Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day Down, One Hundred Seventy-Nine to Go

Prayer: Lord, we dedicate this day to You, this year to You.
Empower us to glorify You!
Music Class: Guitar Practice

SAT Prep Class

Algebra 2: Exponents

Short Story, Characters, Setting, Theme, Plot, Tone, Unity

Classic Book: Questions and Answers

Composition: Compose a character sketch using direct exposition.

SAT: Spelling and Vocabulary Words

Chemistry Experiment 1.2: Air Takes Up Space

A paper towel is crumpled and placed in the bottom of a glass.
The glass is submerged (without tipping) in water.

The glass is removed (without tipping) and the paper towel is dry.

The paper is replaced in the glass and submerged.
This time the glass is tipped while under the water.

The paper towel is saturated.

Conclusion: The paper towel remained dry during submersion because there was air taking up space in the glass between the water and the paper towel.

In the second part of the experiment, the paper towel became saturated with water because the glass was tipped allowing the air to escape from the glass and providing open space for the water to rush into the glass.

Chemistry Experiment 1.1: Air Has Mass

A string is tied to a deflated balloon,

then tied to a yardstick.

Deflated balloons have equal mass and, therefore,

may easily be balanced on a fulcrum.

One balloon has been inflated with air.

The more mass, the more matter and the heavier the inflated balloon side, thus causing the bar to tip.

Conclusion: Air has mass. Mass is made up of matter and one way the amount of matter a substance has may be measured is by its weight. The weight of a substance is influenced by the gravitational pull placed on it.

Scrimmage 8/31/09

Saturday, August 29, 2009

VA Booklet Heightens Concern About End-of-Life Counseling

Dear Readers,

I received this e-mail from the Pennsylvania Family Institute yesterday. We, as responsible citizens of this great nation, must keep apprised of the policies our government representatives are enacting. The lives of our loved ones may depend on it!

Personally, I do not usually see eye-to-eye with Senator Specter, but in this case, bravo to the Senator. I will make certain to e-mail him in order to express my agreement.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves,
Matthew 10:16

Beautiful Grace

By Gary Palmer

Currently, there are just over 2,000,000 U.S. World War II veterans still living. Sadly, they die at the rate of more than 5,000 per week which means that by the end of September 2010, we’ll have just over 1,760,000 still with us. Apparently, some people at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) think they aren’t dying fast enough.

In an August 18, 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, Jim Towey shows that the VA has provided more evidence that a government-run health care system will subject people to rationing and subtly encourage them to end their lives as a means of holding down costs. Towey, the former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (2002–2006), wrote that the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care revived a 52-page end-of-life planning document last year entitled “Your Life, Your Choices” which was originally implemented during the Clinton Administration.

The booklet was authored by Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, whose “… interests and expertise pertain to empirical research in clinical ethics (especially end-of-life care) and organizational ethics.” According to his bio, Pearlman’s “ … research has explored euthanasia, the role of quality of life in decision-making, the validity of life-sustaining treatment preferences, medical futility, advance care planning, physician-assisted suicide, and relief of patient suffering.”

Pearlman was an advocate for physician-assisted suicide in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Vacco v. Quill. Despite Pearlman’s expert opinion, the Court ruled that there is no constitutional “right to die” upholding New York’s law against physician-assisted suicide. It should be noted that the Court’s decision was unanimous; apparently, even the Court’s hard-core liberals are against physician-assisted suicide.

Towey also wrote that “Your Life, Your Choices” was promoted to veterans in 1997 as a “living will” throughout the VA’s national network of hospitals and nursing homes. He said the booklet’s end-of-life choices are presented in a way that steers veterans to conclude whether or not their lives are worth living. One worksheet lists various possibilities such as confinement to a nursing home or wheelchair or an inability “to shake the blues” and guilt-inducing scenarios such as the inability to care for their families or becoming an emotional or financial burden on their families.

An updated version was proposed for reintroduction in 2008. After the Bush Administration evaluated the booklet’s treatment of complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Now, under the Obama Administration, the VA has brought it back.

In his article, Towey disclosed that the VA issued a directive in July, 2009 to all primary care physicians instructing them to present advance care planning options to all VA patients and to refer them to “Your Life, Your Choices.” The directive targeted all VA patients, not just those of advanced age and debilitating condition. It even included severely wounded veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

On August 23 in an interview with Fox News Sunday, Towey said that “Your Life, Your Choices” makes aged and severely injured veterans feel like a burden and encourages them to die.

Towey’s article generated a lot of attention among the American public who are already concerned about end-of-life panels mandated in the health care reform bill. He also got the attention of Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) who called for the suspension of the booklet’s use and has called for immediate hearings. As a result of the controversy about the booklet, the VA pulled “Your Life, Your Choices” from its website.

It is unconscionable that American men and women who have answered the nation’s call to arms and suffered the horrors and ravages of war would return home to be encouraged to die just to save a few dollars. But it should not be surprising in light of the end-of-life counseling panels, death panels as some have called them, which target the elderly in the health care reform bill.
As Towey points out, “When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?”

Gary Palmer, an associated scholar of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

For Publication: The following opinion-editorial article is available for publication.
Pennsylvania Family Institute
23 N Front Street
Harrisburg PA 17101
(717) 545-0600

Friday, August 28, 2009

Addendum: What I Did This Summer

How could I forget my summer project! This cabinet in my bathroom used to be a dark walnut color.
I painted it white and distressed it.

I did the same to this shelve last summer.

Here's a closeup of my distressing handiwork.

I attempt to complete a home improvement project every summer.

Well, I guess I didn't have time for those bon bons after all. :)

What I Did This Summer

Learned Algebra 2

Algebra, Algebra, Algebra!!!!

Not So Classic's dream come true

Canned zuchinni

Began volunteering at Lifeline

Watched lovely flowers bloom

Spied a blimp as it flew over my house

Marveled at the beauty of Creation

Rejoiced for the Little Blue Metro

Lots of cooking and baking, of course!

Celebrated my Dear Mother's 80th Birthday

Made homemade spaghetti sauce

Cheered Fire in the triathlon

Attended "Burn" Youth Conference

The remainder of my summer was spent eating bon bons with my feet propped up while napping away the day...NOT!!!!

Hope your summer was great!

We're starting school on Monday, yeah, two more years to go!!!

With Much Love...
Beautiful Grace

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Predator and Prey: The Mosquito and The Spider

This mosquito found itself caught in the spider's web outside my kitchen window yesterday morning. The spider is difficult to see as its brown body blends with the brown tree trunk. Look carefully.

I watched as the much larger prey fought to free itself from the spider's web. The spider would occasionally approach the mosquito using its silk to anchor its leg to the sticky trap.

About an hour went by when Fire noticed the mosquito had finally freed itself from the web.

Not so with the Tomato Horn Worm which I posted about earlier. Once the parasitic eggs of the Braconid Wasp are attached to the worm, it will eventually die.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Predator and Prey: The Tomato Horn Worm and The Braconid Wasp

This Tomato Horn Worm was found in my garden. Follow the link to see why there is a predator and prey shown in this picture. Creation is amazing, because its Creator is AMAZING!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Triathlon Triumph

A Foggy Welcome
Fire Waiting For His Turn
Speedy Swimmer
Thank You, Pastor Steve!

Shoes On, Let's Go
Transition: Swim to Bike
Off Fire GoesGetting Ready to Dismount
Thank you all for praying!
Fire had no problems at all with his heart. During the run he dealt with come pretty nasty cramps, but his heart behaved!!! Thank You, Jesus!!!
Also, I was in peace the entire time. Thank You, Jesus!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Beginnings: Jesus Encircles Our Heart

"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing." John 15:5 (Amplified)

My mother-in-law, June, gave me this vine many years ago. As it began to grow, I started training it to climb my kitchen wall.

After much time, the vine grew across the first wall of my kitchen. My sons said it would be cool if the plant would grow enough to encircle the entire kitchen.

The vine continued to grow until it stretched across the archway Strongman built for me.

More growth occurred until the vine extended over the top of my kitchen cabinets. Notice, there aren't many leaves on this portion of the vine. The plant's position impeded the light from reaching that particular portion of the vine and the leaves turned yellow, shriveled and fell off. Jesus, is Light and "... apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing." We are like the leaves. Our spirits shrivel up without consistant bathing in His holy Light.

The vine has traveled across another wall, and draped itself over my kitchen clock.

The last portion of my kitchen is traversed by the vine.

Saturday, August 8, 2009, the two ends of the vine met just above the sliding glass door which faces the east. The vine has completely encircled my kitchen. I choose to believe this vine represents Jesus who encircles my kitchen, symbolic of the heart of my family.

For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. Deuteronomy 32:9 & 10 (New King James Version)

Not only do I love the fact that Jesus, the True Vine, is encircling the heart of my family, instructing us and keeping us, but my spirit leaps at the fact that my physical vine completely encircled my kitchen on 8/8/09. The number eight symbolizes new beginnings.

Last year, the Lord had promised "a new beginning." If you remember reading the post, "The Appointed Time: A Prayer Request," you know that God had promised me a specific day for resolution of a particular circumstance that I had been dealing with since 2001.

I began a fast to prepare myself for the date the Lord ingrained in my spirit seven years earlier. Yet, the long-awaited, "Appointed Time" came and went with no visible, physical resolution. BUT I continued to trust Jesus!

Deep in my spirit, I believe that the long-awaited resolution will occur soon. If I am wrong in what I believe, then I will continue to cling to and trust in Jesus!

I write my out of my heart in this matter, because I know you also have circumstances and situations which weigh heavily on you.

Jesus, my precious Jesus, is acquainted with your tears.

He has heard your prayers.

Jesus knows your heart.

Keep on clinging to Him, crying out, and praying. The atmosphere is changing, resolution is on the way! In the great and mighty name of King Jesus! AMEN!!!!

With Much Love...