Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Counting down

I am kind of amazed that I am not in full-on panic mode at this point. Closing is in just a couple of weeks, we have a pending offer on this house (but the buyers' house hasn't sold), things seem to be falling into place. I tend toward expecting the worst, but every step toward this move has been a huge blessing, and I am trying hard to not let fear and doubt cloud my vision.
On one hand I am excited to be out of this house - since our offer is pending we are still showing it and having open houses. The pressure and stress of trying to get a house ready to show with three little kids following me around tends to make me not such a great mother in that last hour of frantic cleaning. On the other hand, I really will miss this little house. I am looking forward to one last Easter Egg hunt and Easter dinner!
Thea is crawling onto my lap and then onto the desk, so I think it's time to redirect my attentions!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

LCMS Reporter posits "An 'educated" response to membership loss"

We received the March 2010 issue of the LCMS Reporter today, with a commentary entitled An 'educated' response to membership loss. Author Mark Blanke laments "a 15% decline in baptized members between 1976 and 2006" and asks "To what might we attribute this loss?" He postulates that parish education is to blame...but I think he might be missing something a bit more obvious: the advent of modern birth control.

A few key dates (source: Birth Control Timeline from MedicineNet.com)

  • 1965 - The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Comstock laws that banned contraception.
  • 1976 - A T-shaped IUD is approved by the FDA.
  • 1980s -The modern, low-dose, two- and three-phase birth control pills become available. 1992 - The FDA approves the first hormone shot to prevent pregnancy for several months at a time -- Depo Provera.
  • 1998 - The first emergency contraception is approved by the FDA. Women can take Preven pills up to 72 hours after sex to prevent pregnancy.
  • 2000-2002 - Four new birth control products are approved by the FDA a birth control "patch," slowly releases hormones through the skin; NuvaRing, a small, flexible ring is inserted into the vagina and releases hormones for three weeks. Lunelle is a monthly hormone injection. Mirena is an IUD effective for 5 years.
  • 2003 - The first continuous birth control pill, which women take every day to suppress their periods and provide birth control, was approved in September. Seasonale schedules four menstrual periods a year.
Blanke cites "a loss of more than 400,000 individuals". Though I don't have the resources to compile numbers, I would not be surprised to see that this overall loss could be accounted for by our failure to honor the vocation of motherhood - we are simply not replenishing "all the saints, who from their labors rest."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

37 Days

The new house is coming along...Lights are installed, everything is painted, stone is on the fireplace. I would feel a lot better though, if this house would sell. We've had, on average, a couple of showings each week, but no offers. I think that we will reduce the price this week - I would hate to think that we would sell it for just barely more than we paid, especially since fees would eat up almost everything we have managed to gain in equity. Lest I sound like I am complaining, I am truly thankful for all the blessings that we've received in the process of getting our new house!
A few pictures of what the new place looks like these days:
Master bedroom (still most excited about my bathroom!)
Dining area, doorway into our bedroom, kitchen counter on the right:
In family room, looking into kitchen:

Things are moving fast, but I am still nervous that we will run into some huge hurdle along the way. I would even venture to guess that the nasty headaches I've had for the last 6 months might dissipate after all the closings are finished. I am carrying so much unnecessary stress.

In news of my girls, everyone is doing well. Thea had her first ear infection and antibiotics, usually we use the wait and see type of treatment, but she had been pretty miserable at for a few days already. Käthe and I were also battling colds, and Ella had progressed into full-blown pneumonia (again, second time this winter). I feel so bad for her - she is doing all right academically (at or just above grade level) but I can't help but feel that missing weeks of school at a time is holding her back. I remember reading lots of chapter books in first grade, and my mom's Christian pioneer novels by second grade (because I wasn't allowed to check them out from the school library yet - you had to be in third grade for full library access!)
I am planning on a bit of home summer-schooling so that she can make a fresh start at her new district this fall!
Käthe and Thea being silly:
Ella playing in the snow, Käthe and Thea eating it (their usual MO).