Thursday, October 28, 2004

Beware of Abe

Last night went very well. I received a warning from Angela and Sam when I first walked through the door: “If a guy who looks like Abraham Lincoln raises his hand to ask a question, DON’T call on him.” Well, Abe did in fact ask a question but, lucky for me, another guy on stage answered it. [Whew! Close call.] I was glad I was warned in advance about Abe because he’s one of those types (you’ve all met them) who just want a forum to complain about the ills in the world, without offering coherent, helpful suggestions.

Kevin, my most loyal fan, came to observe last night. He did, however, sneak out at 8 o’clock to see the total moon eclipse. Being a self-admitted science nerd, he’s into that sort of thing. I am, frankly, just as happy to see a picture of it on the Internet. What can I say?

Now I’m off to have lunch with Kevin at a little French Crepery in town. We have a buy-one-get-one-free coupon – and these types of things simply must be taken advantage of, you know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

On Speaking Terms

Tonight I’m speaking about California’s 16 ballot propositions at a voter information night. I’m slightly nervous because there’s so much subject matter that needs to be covered. And I just know that I’ll get questions I probably won’t be able to answer. (That’s what I get for trying to be the Jack-of-All-Trades.)

When I was in high school, I loved public speaking. Probably because that was an era of my life where everything seemed so clear and I, like most teenagers, had all the answers. But now, public speaking isn’t something that I am quite so anxious to jump into. Probably because, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized how little I actually know. And things have become less clear, over time.

The best part about public speaking is being able to connect with an audience and make people laugh. The problem with tonight is that the topic is, um, slightly boring to a lot of people. Maybe my approach should be to just have fun with it. Hmmm . . . we’ll see if that’s possible. I mean, after all, we’re talking about ballot propositions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Way to Defy the Stereotype!

Amy is finally proud to be part of the female race. Article: A majority of women voters favor Bush.

Should we save mom's life?

Yesterday I flipped through a few radio stations until I found Dr. Laura. She was talking to a pregnant woman who was upset because her doctors told her if she carries her child to full term she’ll die. Dr. Laura advised her to get a second opinion and then told her that, in her view, if an unborn baby is threatening the mother’s life, it’s okay to abort as a matter of self defense.

It makes sense to me that when two lives are threatened, and only one life can be saved, that doctors should save that life. But then I remember one single guy I used to know, years ago, who preached about how abortion is always wrong, even to save the life of the mother because, after all, God is sovereign and you should let Him work it out. I remember thinking to myself, “Well, it’s easy for you to say.” Like many other things in life . . . it’s easy and convenient for someone to judge another person when they haven’t been there personally.

When I mentioned this whole topic to Kevin, he tried to get a direct answer from me as to when exactly I think it’s okay to take another life to save yours. “What about the Donner Party?” he asked. Although it’s debatable whether or not the Donner Party actually killed members of their group to survive (eat them) when they were trapped in the Sierras at wintertime, historians think that they did resort to murder.

“What about the woman in the bible who killed and ate her son to survive? Was that okay?” (2 Kings 6:24-33)

“What if you and your child were in a submarine with a limited air supply and, if one of you were killed, the other could survive and be rescued? Would you kill your child then?”

Sigh. This is what happens when two lawyers, who are married to each other, have random conversations – all of the tangents and far-fetched possibilities are explored.

To Kevin’s last question, I told him that I would probably kill myself and let my child live. (Or, I could be like James Bond, cut it close, perform some amazing stunts, and still figure out a way for both of us to make it.) ;-) Obviously one factor to consider is whether or not the child is an aggressor. (If a child is inside you and threatens your life, he/she is an aggressor, even though he/she doesn’t have any evil intentions.) If a child is with you in a submarine and you both are desperate for air, the child isn’t harming you anymore than you’re harming him/her. Does that make sense?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hear No Evil, See No Evil

Whew! I just got back from a meeting in Old Town Folsom to stop an adult/porn shop from opening on Sutter Street (a street filled with doll houses and ice cream shops). I’m very happy to report that I don’t even know what half of the stuff they talked about is. Nor did I ask. Anyway, moving right along . . . it’s refreshing to see community members stand up for their values. In fact, it’s great to see that people even have values anymore. Sometimes you’ve gotta wonder . . .

Yet another rainy fall day . . .

On Friday we invited friends over for a “game night.” (We miss the fun times with the Hall family in Virginia!) Everyone must have had a good time because they all stayed until nearly 1 a.m. When we were done playing games, Kevin, by popular demand, kept us all entertained by acting out Guesstures cards until the wee hours of the morning. It was quite funny, actually. Laughter does indeed soothe the soul and bring friends closer together.

On Saturday I slept in – later than I think I’ve ever slept in. But Kevin was up early working on the sprinkler system out in the front yard. I’m really proud of him because he’s become quite the handyman. By late morning, the rain continued to pour outside and Kev came into the house resigning himself to the fact that it was probably useless to try to get any more yard work done. So, instead, we went for a drive to Apple Hill to buy fresh cider (which tastes like liquid candy!), apples, and apple fritters. Our favorite apple orchard is High Hill Ranch.

Throughout our drive, the rain and patchy fog continued to descend, making the Sierra foothills very mysterious. This time of year, there are a few trees scattered here and there that are beautiful shades of orange, yellow, and red. As we drove along, Kevin sang me a really random song about a boy in Wales whose aunt “always says things perfectly” and likes to throw snowballs at cats with green eyes. (I don’t get it either.) It’s a very random Christmas song his chorale is working on.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Sports: The Bane of Humanity

Alright . . . I’m getting ready to say something that will make all of the Average American Males out there refuse to ever read my blog again. But, since my readers are above average, I’m sure they can handle this.

Why on earth are so many people so animated about something so stupid as sports?! This post comes as a result of the “Yankees v. Red Sox” insanity that has been going on for the last few days.

First of all . . . Please don’t stereotype me as a female who doesn’t appreciate sports at all. On the contrary! I find great satisfaction in watching a good game of sports now and then. I also enjoy playing a wide range of sports. As a teenager, I won trophies playing basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. I love sports – to a degree. My main point is that I believe sports consumes too much of America’s time and attention! Too many guys (and a lot of women too) are so entrenched in sports, it’s their life. Whenever their favorite team is on television, they’re glued to the TV. They skip church because of sports. They skip valuable one-on-one time with their spouse and children because of sports. They skip participating in other wonderful activities that would actually make them better people and contribute to the good of humanity, because of sports.

Don’t get me wrong – sports is fun. But that’s all it is. Sports has no significant positive impact on society, culture, or eternity. So why the heck are so many people wasting their lives on it?

There. Now I feel much better.

Confessions of a Young Cook

Lately I’ve been itching to bake stuff. I mean, after all, it’s autumn. That’s when, arguably, it’s the most fun to turn the oven on, get toasty, and savor the delicious flavors of the season. My friends know that I love to find new recipes on the Internet. (My favorite website is AllRecipes.) In order to realize my baking aspirations, I surfed the Net and unearthed a good-lookin’ pumpkin muffin recipe. Please note (just so you really appreciate me), this recipe requires the slicing, hulling, baking, scooping, and pureeing of a pumpkin (yeah, you got it right - no canned puree allowed). At the outset of this venture, I felt very ambitious and adventurous about it. Okay, all of you seasoned cooks out there are probably thinking I’m being way too melodramatic about this. But, you have to understand, in all of my life I’ve never made pumpkin anything from scratch.

Last night was the night I decided to tackle this baking project. Earlier in the evening, shortly after dinner, we attended a local school board candidate forum, which was very interesting. Although I’m glad we went to this, it did put a damper on my grandeur baking plans – I wasn’t able to start my project until approximately 9 o’clock.

At this point of my “story,” I realize that I could drag it on and on . . . but why should I do that when I can simply summarize by saying: A BILLION HOURS LATER, WHEN THERE WAS YELLOW PUMPKIN MEAT, STRINGY PULPY STUFF, SEEDS, PUREE, AND QUASI-PUREE (stuff that didn’t blend quite so well) ALL OVER MY KITCHEN, I finally had the batter prepared and ready to go into the oven. Needless to say, I didn’t get to bed last night until well after midnight. After all that work, I’m starting to wonder if the canned approach isn’t the best idea after all. (So much for being the domestic diva!) I mean, the muffins turned out great and everything, but I’m not so sure they’re three-and-a-half-hours-of-my-life great. Sigh . . . And God bless Betty Crocker!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Santa Works at Sam's Club

I almost entitled this post: “Why Every Family Needs a Truck.” And you’ll soon see why . . .

We recently decided to buy two twin beds for our guest bedroom. The main reason we’re doing this now, as opposed to later, is that my grandparents and parents are coming to visit us in a few weeks and we don’t want to make my grandparents sleep on either the lumpy futon or the air mattress on the floor. Aren’t we so nice?

After shopping around, we found the best deal at Sam’s and purchased the beds last night, just as the store was closing for the evening. If you know Kevin, you know that he drives a little Honda Accord. As you’re reading this, you may be wondering, since you’re an intelligent person, “How on earth are Amy and Kevin going to fit two mattresses, two box-springs, and two bed frames in their little car?” We were also slightly concerned about this potential predicament. But, being the type of people who would never let a little problem like this faze us, we proceeded to move forward.

You know how, at places like Sam’s Club and Costco, they always check your receipt, and mark it with a big line, when you exit the store? Well, the guy who was doing this last night was a very portly gent, with a full belly, round cheeks, snow-white hair, and a long curly beard. As we left the store, I whispered to Kevin, “He looks like Santa Claus.”

Well, would you know it, the mattresses wouldn’t fit after all. And we were so sure that they would! In a moment of brilliant inspiration, we decided that Kevin should go to WalMart, buy rope to tie the mattresses to the top of our car, and then make two trips home to take the bed sets, one at a time. In the meantime, Amy would wait for him in front of Sam’s, guarding the goods.

As I stood outside in the cold, waiting for Kevin, I was slightly bored. So, I decided to sit down on the curb, call my sister Christy, and have a chat. After ending my conversation with her, I looked up to see the cheery gentleman with the white beard who marked our receipt, staring down at me. “Are you okay?” he asked. I told him that I was and explained that I was waiting for my husband. His eyes twinkled (like only a true Santa’s eyes could twinkle) and in a moment he was gone again. But before he left my presence, I caught sight of his name badge. In big black capital letters, it read “SANTA.”

So, yes, Amy, there really is a Santa Claus. And, when he’s not busy taking toys to children, he works at Sam’s Club in Roseville, California.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

"Tut, Tut . . ."

I have no idea why I bothered to blow dry my hair this morning. Today the wind and rain ferociously pulled at me, threatening to tear me apart and hurl me in a thousand different directions, as I struggled to walk the three blocks to my office this morning. About halfway there, my umbrella was forced inside out by the wind and I gave up attempting to shield myself from the rain and made hurried dash for the office lobby.

In my dream world, I would have stayed home today, and cozied up next to a warm fire with a good book, and, of course, a cup of hot chocolate. But, like everyone else out there, I live in the real world – and definitely not the world of my hopeful imagination.

The other day Kevin and I were talking about math, of all things, and the subject of rain came up. Kevin is a true modern day Renaissance Man. That’s one thing I love about him. He has a wide range of interests (art, science, law, theology, etc.) and never ceases to teach me new things. (Another good thing is that, even if he’s told me something several months before, there’s a good chance my bad memory has forgotten it. So, everything is always new and interesting! Ha!) He was explaining to me a question that intrigues mathematicians, involving rain. Basically, the question is – if rain is falling consistently, and there is no wind, will a person get more wet if he runs from point A to point B, or if he walks from point A to point B. Apparently it’s a close call but it’s likely that a person gets more wet if he runs.

A: Why do they have to make such a mathematical fuss over this? Why not just have two people start at point A, one of them running and one of them walking, and then, when they get to point B, take a good look at them to see who is wetter?
K: But what if it’s so close that it’s hard to tell?
A: Then it doesn’t really matter what someone does if you can’t tell the difference, does it?
K: Argh! You are way too practical. That’s no fun at all. I want to theorize about this!

Monday, October 18, 2004

The only difference between men and boys . . .

Well, we’ve been saving for a digital camera for quite some time. Nearly a year, actually. We’ve found that we do really well with a “cash system” budget where we put aside money from each paycheck into an envelope for something “big” that we want to buy in the future. (We buy all of our clothes and our groceries this way, too.) Although we’ve had enough money saved up to buy a digital camera for several months now, we have hesitated because we haven’t been able to find the “exact one” that Kevin wants. (He knew what it was in his mind but hadn’t yet found it on the market.) On Friday we decided that we’d just settle and buy whatever looked good at the retail store. The amazing thing is, just that morning, they got a new shipment of cameras and Kevin’s “dream camera” was sitting there waiting for us. Sometimes procrastination really pays off. Kevin has been ecstatic ever since this purchase. He’s just like a little boy at Christmas – and I think it’s really cute. They say that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. ;-)

In Love With Coupons

After shopping on Friday night, we used a coupon for “buy one get one free” at the local mini-golf course. I think this is the first time we’ve been mini-golfing without inviting other friends to come. We had so much fun and have determined to do this again for a future date night. This particular course was awesome – it had tons of trap doors, and other amusing obstacles. The entire game was hysterical because both of us are extremely competitive. Before we began, I figured Kevin would probably blow me out of the water. But, actually, when we ended the game, I lost by only four points. I think it helped that I got three holes in one. But the fact that I got three holes in one and still lost perfectly demonstrates how inconsistent of an athlete that I am. Anyway, I’m happy to report that, even though I lost, I definitely had him scared a few times and I sure as anything gave him a run for his money. Thus, the game was a success.

While Kev was at his choral practice on Saturday (in which he says he almost completely lost his voice after singing for seven hours straight), I went grocery shopping. Apparently there’s fierce grocery store competition in our new neighborhood. I say this because we got tons of coupons in the mail for free stuff, welcoming us to the neighborhood. One store gave us a free breakfast (eggs, bacon, bread, and preserves) along with a free frying pan. (Of course, it’s a really low-quality frying pan. But, nonetheless!) Another store gave us a free hot-dog dinner with chips and coke, etc. Another store gave us a bunch of free random stuff, including air freshener, paper towels, and pre-made salad. So, basically, since the coupons were going to expire soon, I spent two hours hopping from grocery store to grocery store collecting all the free stuff. It was great. (I didn’t get the hot dogs, ‘cuz we don’t really like them, but did give the coupon to a guy who looked like he’d appreciate it – and he did seem pretty happy to receive it.) When all was said and done, I think I probably got at least fifty bucks worth of free stuff. Now what kind of pessimist says that nothing in life is free?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Brahms . . . so much more than a lullaby

Picture from earlier this evening taken in the Rose Garden downtown after Kevin's Sacramento Choral Society Concert. The concert included choral works by Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak. (Amy says she would never have been able to spell "Dvorak" without Kevin's help.)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Is it Autumn that makes me this way?

Maybe it’s the descent of a new season, with the climate changes, and leaves fluttering downward. Maybe not. I don’t know why exactly but for some reason I’ve been in an uncharacteristically reflective mood lately. One thing I’ve been thinking about is that I probably devote too much of my time to pure folly. (But I also know that it’s okay to enjoy life, too.) Maybe it’s just that the passing of time is becoming more tangible to me and I feel that I should be doing more to stretch myself, deepen my relationship with God, etc. I’ve been convicted lately that I probably watch too many stupid movies and don’t read enough good books. Lately I’ve been reading A Severe Mercy and it’s been tremendously inspiring, to the point of tears on several occasions - and I’m not your typical weepy person (I’ll write more on this later). Part of the reason I think I’ve been so moved by this book is the fact that I can relate to the author on so many different levels. This book has edified me and strengthened my walk with God. As I read it, I can’t help but think, “God, you are good.” I want to read more books like it when I’m done. Hopefully it will happen. Maybe I’ll rotate between good books and stupid movies to help wean myself. Why does the spirit have to be so willing and the flesh so weak?

Last night Kevin called to me from outside: “Amy, come look at this!” There was a layer of ash all over the trashcan lid from the nearby forest fires. Guys, I cannot tell you how incredible it is to see the first-hand affects of the fire. Yesterday you would have thought it was the end of the world.

Bible Study Antithesis

We’re going to two different bible studies right now and last night was the “couples” bible study that tends to get a little more rowdy, if you know what I mean. Walt asked us last night if we had any prayer requests. I piped up that Kevin has a concert next weekend. Walt expressed interest in going: “Yeah, man, I’d be your biggest fan there. I’d get in the mosh-pit and scream and yell for you. I’d even throw my boxers on stage! I’d be like ‘Yeah, there’s my man! You go dude!’” The really amazing part about all of this is that I think Walt was serious. Little does he know! In fact, last night, I told him: “Walt, I would pay good money to see you go to one of Kevin’s concerts.” Later on in the evening, I asked Kevin: “Do they really throw boxers on stage at rock concerts?” Kevin replied: “Amy, I have NO idea.” We are just so sheltered!

There’s a new non-Christian couple attending this bible study. It’s been challenging to unearth the basics of the faith again and try to explain things in a way that a non-Christian would understand them. If you’ve been a Christian practically all your life, it’s easy to toss around certain cryptic terminology without realizing it. We simply can’t do that, without further explanation, of course, now that this new couple has joined us. Last night we had some good discussion on Creationism. The “other” bible study we attend is with a group of much more “seasoned” Christians from our church. These people tend to delve into entirely different subject matter than would ever be discussed at our other bible study. I think it’s extremely good for us to go to both bible studies – even though it’s trying (insane, might be a better word) sometimes to fit everything into the schedule.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Presidential Debate: Myth of Amoral Lawmaking

Last night’s presidential debate helped to further show the stark contrast between the two candidates running for America’s highest office. Although both President Bush and Senator Kerry talked about their faith, it was interesting to note how they believe their faith should assume different roles in policy decision-making. John Kerry stated plainly that: “The President and I have a difference of opinion about how we live out our sense of faith.” John Kerry, when talking about his support of abortion rights, said: “I believe that I can’t legislate or transfer to another American citizen my article of faith.” George W. Bush, however, stated that his faith plays an important role when he makes policy decisions: “When I make decisions, I stand on principles [referring to his religious beliefs], and the principles are derived from who I am.” The problem with what John Kerry said is that, although he may think he doesn’t force his values on others, it’s simply impossible for him not to. Everyone’s beliefs, principles, and religious views (if they have any) are necessarily a part of their decision-making. That’s what policy decisions are all about – imposing what you believe on other people (enacting laws for them to follow). There is no such thing as amoral lawmaking. Every time John Kerry casts a vote in the senate (whether it be on tax increases, raising the minimum wage, or keeping partial birth abortion legal), he imposes his values on others. The question becomes whose values will control. The two candidates last night clearly demonstrated that they have opposing values on many crucial issues. It’s important to go to the polls on November 2nd and vote for the candidate who best shares your values. Someone’s set of values will govern. Whose will it be?

Weird A.M.

For the last few hours I’ve felt as though I’ve been trapped in someone’s science fiction novel. As I drove into downtown Sacramento this morning, a neon red-colored sun suddenly popped out from behind a large tree. It was such an odd color that it caught me by surprise. The sky beyond the sun was an unusual grayish yellow color. Throughout my entire commute, in fact, the bizarre sky loomed incomprehensibly in the horizon. It definitely made for an interesting drive. Apparently a nearby forest fire is causing these strange conditions.

This morning I had to turn off my radio because of all the O’Reilly talk. It made me sick to my stomach. Honestly, I thought it was rather indecent to put on the radio. If even half of what he is accused of is true, it’s utterly disgusting. Although I used to be an O’Reilly fan, I stopped listening to the O’Reilly Factor months ago because I decided that he’s too cocky and egotistical for my liking. (This is also why I stopped listening to Rush.) But I suppose you’ve gotta have a pretty-durn-good-sized-ego to make it big in talk radio. Anyway, it’s really disappointing about O’Reilly. It just goes to show that conservatives are no better than liberals – without the Christ Factor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"Ignorance of the law is . . ."

We just got word that they’re lowering the speed limits on 90 different streets in our city. It makes sense for them to do this because there’s been a lot of new construction on many roads in our town and the current speed limits are probably outdated and too permissive. For instance, one road south of where we live is lined with “farm-like” houses (yes, they do exist in California). Across the street is a new development with lots of homes crammed very close together with tiny yards (this is more like the “real” California). The speed limit on this street, which was obviously instituted before the population growth, is 50 mph. If I were on the City Council, I’d probably vote to lower the speed limit on that street, and others like it, too. But, as a resident of this town, it’s going to be a big pain adjusting to the new restrictions. This morning I pondered whether or not they’d give us a “warning” ticket before we got a real one. (Kevin told me not to count on it.) I think it would be wrong for them to take a “sudden-death” approach. I mean . . . how many of you actually check the speed limits regularly on streets you’re already familiar with? What if you’re unaware of new speed regulations? I know, I know . . . ignorance of the law is supposedly no excuse. But I would argue that nowadays there are so many laws (most of them stupid) that are being passed that your average Joe can no longer be expected to know them all. When laws follow what a person’s conscience should know (e.g., don’t murder or steal, etc.), then, yes, I agree, ignorance is not an excuse. But that’s simply not the case anymore. Many laws nowadays cover things a person can’t be expected to reasonably know. Like in Downey, CA where it’s illegal to wash your car on the street. Or, in my hometown of Long Beach, apparently it’s illegal to curse on a mini-golf course. (Not that I’m an advocate of swear words, or that I believe laws like these are frequently enforced, but who’s supposed to know about this?) And the list goes on. It’s getting to the point where I think ignorance of the law should be an excuse, in many instances.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Adventures in the Sky

On Saturday I begged Kevin to take me to the annual air show in S.F. A group of kids from our church were going and needed “chaperones,” but, secretly, I wanted to go ‘cuz it sounded like fun. As we drove across the Bay Bridge into the City, we spotted a plane taking a spinning nosedive toward the Bay. This made me recollect the time that my sister Betsy, a pilot, took Kevin and me up in a little Cessna. I was somewhat nervous going up with her because I know first-hand how she drives automobiles. (I was relieved, however, to discover that she’s an excellent pilot.) As we were in the air, just over the Pacific Ocean, Betsy started talking about all these emergency maneuvers she knows in case the engine dies in mid-air. Then, she suddenly (to illustrate her skill?) dropped the plane a hundred feet. I’ve never screamed so much in all my life. (I mean, I absolutely love things like roller coasters, but airplanes aren’t on a track, you know!) Next, she proceeded to turn the plane upside down, and around again. Although Kevin seemed to enjoy these little tricks, by the time our ride was over my voice was gone and my knuckles were white and purple from clinging to the edge of my seat.

Incidentally, Betsy has her final interview with Continental Airlines today. I hope she gets the job because siblings fly free. And, like my sister Christy said, it would be so wonderful to be able to say, “Gee, I think I’ll go to Kenya today,” and not have to pay for it.

The sad part about Saturday was that we missed most of the air show. We got to Fisherman’s Wharf late because one of the kids had to take his SAT test that morning. Another sad part was that the Blue Angles ended up not being able to make it. BUT . . . aside from the disappointments, what we saw of it truly was incredible. I was really impressed with the Canadian airplanes (I forget their name?), performing stunts and flying in cool formations.

After catching the last bit of the air show, we walked to Union Square. Kevin told me later that: “I will never again let you tell people that ‘Oh, it’s not that far!’ to walk to Union Square from the Wharf.” Kevin says that I do this all the time when we go to S.F. with people who aren’t familiar with the City. Kevin thinks it’s too long to drag people because of the distance, and the fact that it’s mostly uphill, and (strangely enough) people always seem to be hungry about half-way there. Sigh . . . but I really love walking in S.F. It’s just so much fun! Too bad others don’t share my joy. [sob]

At church on Sunday, Angela told me (in front of her mom) that we were great chaperones and the kids loved us because we let them do whatever they wanted. I could see the mother’s eyes widen at this comment. WRONG thing to say in front of the mother, Angela! ;-)

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Bible study has resumed for the new season. We missed the first few weeks because we’ve been sick, busy, exhausted, etc. But last night we finally made it. We had some good discussion on 1 John. Afterwards, we talked about the neighborhood we now live in. Everyone wanted to know “what public school our kids will attend.” They are ALL public school teachers, every last one of them, so that is the most natural question for them to ask.

Kevin and I are definitely the oddballs in the group. Not only are we the only people who are not public school teachers, we are two of only four people in the study who actually grew up in Christian homes, where our parents encouraged us spiritually. We try not to come on too strong, all at once, especially since we’re still fairly new to the group. But, finally, last night, (since it was like the fifth time we’ve been asked about this!) I reminded our friends that we were homeschooled as kids and it might be a logical possibility that we would want to homeschool our future, hypothetical children as well.

After a minute of silence, Kristi spoke up: “Well, obviously, that’s what you’re comfortable with, since it’s what you ‘know’”

This sparked a little more discussion on the topic. We didn’t say anything that I think could be considered as judgmental because, honestly, my belief is that parents need to decide what is best for their own children, with a clear conscience before God.

Kristi said something about how, being public school teachers, it would be hypocritical for them to homeschool their kids. “And, we all went to public school, and we turned out okay.”

Kevin’s response was that God can use any set of circumstances for His good, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best thing. “The reason we’ll homeschool our kids is because we feel like we have a duty to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and that sending them to public school, where they’ll be taught things polar opposite to our belief system, is not supportive of that goal.”

I told them (and Kevin agrees) that I really admire them for being Christian teachers in the public school system. I think they are making a difference in the lives of many children - for good. In my experience (with my current job), I've seen a lot of educators who ALSO want to make a difference in public school childrens' lives - but they are very scary people (frankly!) who have no reverence for God or respect for parental convictions.

So, in the end, I think everyone was a little stunned. But they’ll get over it – because they know, deep down inside, that despite how completely RADICAL we are, we love them all.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Very random succession of thoughts . . .

This morning I was observing a little old lady safely guard children as they walked across the street in my neighborhood. It made me wonder what it’d be like to have that job. The advantages would be a) fulfillment in knowing you’re looking over the children, b) making friendships, c) getting a good tan, etc. The worst parts would be a) having to get up so early, b) being bored when no kids come for hours, and c) the incredible lack of salary. But, anyway, I found an opening for a cross guard in Elyria, Ohio, if anyone is interested. :-)

So . . . today is the big day for Martha. She enters her jail cell. I wonder if they’ll let her bring anything with her to entertain herself or decorate. From the way the newscasters talk, things won’t be so bad for her. They make it sound like she’ll be spending the next five months in a grey-colored resort. I heard this morning that today she’ll have to endure a strip search – and most of the guards at this facility are male. Okay, um, that would be really embarrassing. I feel for Martha. I really do.

We are wondering what’s “up” because we still haven’t gotten our first mortgage bill and it’s been almost two months since we’ve moved into our house. Not that we mind, or anything. Maybe our house is FREE.

Okay, time to wake up and enter the real world.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Yesterday was the second time in a week that I’ve left my purse somewhere while running errands with Kevin. I’ve blamed it on the fact that usually I don’t bother to bring my purse when I'm with him ‘cuz he’s carrying his wallet and I don’t need it. After last night, Kevin said that I should start carrying it with me all the time again so I get used to it and won’t leave it places.

A: “But that’s the reason I married you – so I wouldn’t have to carry a purse anymore.”

K: “And the reason I married YOU was so I could put things in your purse when we go out."

Hmmm . . . it's a classic lose-lose scenario.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Ever had that feeling of being so frustrated, yet so helpless? Right now something is happening to someone I care about that is so unfair. As much as I want to make everything all better and erase all of the injustice, I can’t. My hands are tied.

It’s good in times like these for me to stop and realize God is in control. You know, it’s really easy to say “God is in control.” It’s harder to believe it. And, although the expression is trite, I do believe with ever fiber in my being that God is in control. Nothing happens outside of His will. He sees. He knows. In the end, He will right all of the wrongs in this world. It’s the only thing that keeps me hopeful sometimes.

My Advice: Be Careful Not to Sneeze On a Crime Scene

The last few weeks I’ve been busy researching California’s ballot initiatives for this November’s election. It’s my job to prepare an analysis and recommendation on these initiatives for CRI’s board. Since (for better or worse) I tend to quickly have strong opinions on policy issues, I haven’t had much difficulty figuring out whether the various initiatives should be opposed or supported. But there’s one exception: Prop 69. If you are really bored and want to give your opinion, I’d love to hear it. (Of course, I’m sure I can already guess Mark’s opinion.) ;-)

Current law in California requires DNA samples to be taken from anyone convicted of a serious felony. The DNA is then stored in a database and used to help solve future crimes. Prop 69 would mandate the collection of DNA samples from anyone who is arrested for any felony. My immediate reaction was that this seems like a complete invasion of privacy. What’s more “private” than a person’s DNA? And I don’t like the idea that innocent people’s DNA would be sitting in a master database along with the DNA of convicted murderers and rapists. Apparently there are 50,000 people arrested every year in California who are never charged with a crime. Prop 69 could also require your DNA to be placed in the master database even if all you did was write a bad check or trespass (technically considered a felonies). The worst part about Prop 69 is that a person who is not convicted (either because charges were dropped or they were proved innocent at trial) cannot appeal a decision that refuses to remove their DNA from the database. The decision of the lower court is final.

Arguments in favor of Prop 69: 31 other states, including Virginia, already have similar databases. Although Virginia has a population 1/3 the size of California, it has more than doubled California’s record in solving crimes through DNA technology. Probably the strongest and best argument in favor of Prop 69 is that the DNA samples collected will provide only non-genetic identification markers (i.e., the DNA collected won’t give genetic or other personal data and will only be used to identify someone). Because of this, the DNA samples collected would be virtually identical to the old-fashioned fingerprints that have been required at criminal bookings for nearly 100 years and used to confirm a person’s identity. The only difference is that the DNA is 100% more accurate and is easily digitized. Under Prop 69, DNA would be collected in a non-invasive manner using a simple mouth-swab.

I think that privacy rights are very important. I also think that it’s essential to support law enforcement and help prevent crime. When these two convictions clash, the question becomes which is more important. Any thoughts?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Slumber Parties

Since Kevin is AWOL preparing for his trial, which starts today, I was very happy to hear that Angela and Theresa could come spend the night with me on Saturday. We watched a chick flick and then talked about hair. After an hour of hair-talk, we spent the rest of the time talking about boys. At approximately 1 a.m., we decided that we have the male-species completely figured out. With all of the world’s most serious problems solved, we called it a night.

I’ve decided I don’t like Kevin gone. It makes me sad. I had to sit all by myself in church yesterday. Typically Kevin will write the tithe check and then let me put it in the plate. The reason he does this is because my dad used to always give me a quarter to put in the offering plate when I was a little girl. One day I told Kevin what a good memory this was of my childhood. From then on, he started giving me the tithe check just before the plate was passed so I could put it in. It totally makes me laugh. Yesterday he wasn’t there to give it to me and I had to reach in my purse for it. My quality of life has completely deteriorated with him gone. Trials are stupid. That’s what I’ve decided.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Prince and the Pea

Kevin is very partial about his pillow. Shortly after our marriage we took some gift money and bought two pillows. Each of us picked out our own. Since I always sleep like a baby, regardless of what’s under my head, I wasn’t that particular about what pillow I got. Kevin, on the other hand, took quite a while to decide. Because he’s so funny about his pillow, I always tease him about it. (It’s the type of thing where, if he didn’t make such a big deal about it, I would totally leave him alone. But because it’s a real “issue” for him, I harass him about it constantly.) I always argue with him about which is his pillow and which is mine. Of course, in his mind, his pillow (which, incidentally cost twice what mine did) is far superior to mine. Sometimes I’ll swap pillows to see if he’ll notice. When he does, he demands (nicely) for it to be returned. Then I’ll sigh and say “Okay, you can use my pillow tonight.” Then I get this huge reaction: “It’s MY pillow!!!”

Last night Kevin changed the sheets on our bed. He specifically picked out two different pillowcases – so I would be sure to distinguish clearly which was his pillow and which was mine. “Yours is the solid one and mine is the striped one,” he said. Then he repeated this several times to make sure I remembered it. Later on in the evening, I switched the pillowcases when he wasn’t watching.

Last night, as the lights were turned out, I was holding my breath to see if he would notice. (Silently I was wondering how many days it would take before he’d discover the mix-up.) Within seconds Kevin shrieked, “Amy, what did you DO?!! You are such a brat!!!” I quickly turned on the light so I could see his face. The reaction was priceless. It’s interesting to me that he could tell I’d switched the pillows before he even laid his head on it. All he had to do was touch it with his hand! “Kevin,” I told him, recalling the story of the Princess and the Pea, “You truly are a prince.”