Friday, May 25, 2007
I read once that the average marriage lasts only seven years. Seven short years. Married life has just begun at seven years. You've had a few years together as a couple, you might have a child or two and you're just beginning to get into the meaty part of life and marriage...the ups and downs, the struggles and joys, the challenges and victories.
And yet, so many give up so soon. There are a lot of reasons why, some good and some bad, but the end result is the same...a lot of broken marriages and broken hurting people.
I'm one of the blessed ones. I was picky and married a man who was Godly and gentle and loving and selfless and kind and funny and thoughtful and better than I deserved. The first seven years have flown by and yet I feel like I've known him all my life, like he's been a part of life since the very beginning...and in a way he has. I know God had him in mind for me before I was even born (Andrew is a few years older than me, after all!) We were made for each other and when we finally found each other, through a blind date of all things, we knew we had found, quite literally, our better half.
And so on Sunday, we will once again remember and honor those vows that we took and meant and were determined to live by...to love, honor, obey and cherish each other, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for richer or poorer as long as we both shall live.
I meant it then and I still mean it, perhaps even more, today. Happy Seventh Anniversary, Andrew! I love you!
Photos: Pictures of pictures by Theis photography
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
And the following two pictures are of Emily and her "twin". (Heaven help us!) Actually, it was a mirror image at the mall play area. She had fun seeing two of herself on the camera.
And now in other news...Below is a picture of our pool and deck. And a duck. I found this guy swimming in our pool last Friday evening. I thought it was kind of funny, so of course, I took a picture and planned to post it on my blog.
And then, the next morning...there were two! A male and a female, just hanging out on the pool deck for hours. I can just imagine the conversation the night before:
male duck: Hey honey, I found a great new place for us to live...the water's clear and there's even carpeting! Now, there aren't any fish, but I think we can make do on bugs....
female duck: Oh it's perfect! I love how my feet look under this nice clear water and the carpet will be perfect for out little ducklings to practice their waddling.
We're pretty sure they tried to make a nest under one end of the pool deck (pretty smart if you ask me) but so far, no eggs. Emily is quite thrilled, as you might imagine. So far, they've made an appearance every day except today...so we'll see what happens.
Friday, May 11, 2007
So Miss Emily and I were running all over town doing some errands today and stopped for a quick in-the-van lunch of McDonalds. Just after I ordered and was waiting in line in the drive-through this is the conversation we had:
Emily: "Look mommy, I'm putting lotion on my face!"
Me, (knowing she had no lotion): "Where did you get the lotion from?"
Emily: "I got it from in my nose!" (While simultaneously grinning and sticking her finger back in her nose.)
Friday, May 04, 2007
According to an Associated Press story out of Vienna, Austria:
In some ways, Hiasl is like any other Viennese: He indulges a weakness for pastry, likes to paint and enjoys chilling out by watching TV.
But he doesn't care for coffee, and he isn't actually a person — at least not yet.
In a closely watched test case that could set a global legal precedent for granting basic rights to apes, Austrian animal rights advocates are waging an unusual court battle to get the 26-year-old male chimpanzeee legally declared a "person."
Hiasl's supporters argue that he needs that status to become a legal entity who can receive donations and get a guardian to look out for his interests.
"Our main argument is that Hiasl is a person and has basic legal rights," said Eberhart Theuer, a lawyer leading the challenge on behalf of the Association Against Animal Factories, a Vienna animal rights group.
"We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under certain conditions," Theuer said.
Why, you might ask, is a chimp in need of the status of "personhood"? Apparently, Hiasl and Rosi are both chimps who have been living in an animal sanctuary for the last 25 years. However, the sanctuary eventually went bankrupt, and seeing as how the chimps monthly bills can run upwards of $6800 and the life expectancy of a chimp is about 60 years....well, money was a problem. So what's to be done? Well obviously, the chimps deserve to be declared human beings so that they can be given basic human rights....oh and so they (or more accurately, their caretakers) can receive charitable donations, which is currently illegal.
"If we can get Hiasl declared a person, he would have the right to own property. Then, if people wanted to donate something to him, he'd have the right to receive it," said Theuer, who has vowed if necessary to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
Austria isn't the only country where primate rights are being debated. Spain's parliament is considering a bill that would endorse the Great Ape Project, a Seattle-based international initiative to extend "fundamental moral and legal protections" to apes.
If Hiasl gets a guardian, "it will be the first time the species barrier will have been crossed for legal 'personhood,"' said Jan Creamer, chief executive of Animal Defenders International, which is working to end the use of primates in research."
Ahhh...it's all getting clearer now.
"Martin Balluch, a scientist who heads the Association Against Animal Factories, since has asked a federal court for a ruling on the guardianship issue.
"Chimps share 99.4 percent of their DNA with humans," he said. "OK, they're not homo sapiens. But they're obviously also not things — the only other option the law provides."
So, let me get this straight. They're almost humans, they're definitely not "things", so let's just grant them human, personhood status.
But Stibbe [who petitioned to be Hiasl's legal trustee], who brings Hiasl sweets and yogurt and watches him draw, paint and clown around by dressing up in knee-high rubber Wellington boots, insists he deserves more legal rights "than bricks or apples or potatoes."
"He can be very playful but also thoughtful," she said. "Being with him is like playing with someone who can't talk."
A date for the appeal hasn't yet been set, but Hiasl's legal team already has lined up several expert witnesses. Theuer said they include Jane Goodall, the world's foremost observer of chimpanzee behavior, who revolutionized research on primates during the 1960s when she studied them at close range in Tanzania.
"When you see Hiasl, he really comes across as a person," Theuer said.
"He has a real personality. It strikes you immediately: This is an individual. You just have to look him in the eye to see that."
This literally has to be one of the most insane and frightening cases I've seen in a long time. To put it in perspective, Austria, and apparently Spain and Seattle, are seriously debating the merits of giving apes human status and rights, yet a human BABY can legally be aborted because it's only a fetus...a non-human....a thing....a possession....an object to be tossed away without a thought.
I can't even think straight. More on this later...maybe when I cool off.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
So I've decided that May is "Get Things Done" month. And now, drumroll please....my top 10 things to get done in May:
1. Paint!! I need to finish painting the master bathroom (it's been partially painted for a year or so now...don't ask) and paint Emily's bathroom. There are other rooms I'd like to tackle, but they would require an Emily-free weekend.
2. Clean out closets. I've done some re-organizing in the kitchen and "found" extra cupboard space, so now it's time for the closets. I need to get rid of lots of clothes and just get things better organized in general.
3. Clean out the basement. Basically, it's a huge third-floor unfinished laundry/storage space. Since it isn't scheduled to be finished anytime soon...it needs to get cleaned. Most of the boxes down there are half-empty and full of junk and have been untouched for the last 3 years begging the question, "Do we really need this stuff?" I'm ready to say "NO!". We need some big storage containers and shelving or something...but first there must be fumigation of all living bugs and spiders. (That's why most of the stuff has been untouched for 3 years!)
4. Visit the BMV. Yes, it's time to visit the armpit of society, the bureau of motor vehicles. Why is it that I feel as though I am risking my life when I go there? And could the people that work there please be just a little more helpful? We have to claim the title to a car and then renew both registrations before May 15th. Fun stuff!
5. Buy and install a new refrigerator. Enough said.
6. Weed and work in the flower beds. Must this really be done every year? Can flower beds be fumigated too? UGH!
7. Visit preschools in an attempt to find one for Miss Emmy in the fall. I can see it now...dragging Emily kicking and screaming from the playing with all the other kids...
8. Get the pool up and running. Hopefully this year, we won't have to wait until the end of July to use it.
9. Start organizing the thousands of pictures of Emily and our wedding (not taken in the order!). Seriously, this could take a while...can I have more than a month, please?
10. Paint the garage door. Not a big deal, but it could definitely use a fresh coat of paint and right now, that sounds like the easiest task on the list!
Hmmmm.....I've got my work cut out for me. YIKES!!!!!!
Now, what about you? What are some things you have on your to-do list? Anyone want to share?