A close up of the birthday cake:
Eating birthday cake (I love the frosting on the nose!):
Getting cleaned up after birthday cake (thanks Nana!):
Presents (Look mom, cookies!!):
What a fun day!
Followed by a breakfast with "Mr. Monkey" that included banana-chocolate chip pancakes and eggs:
We all then took a morning nap and woke up to take Benjamin to the doctor for his one year well visit. He is weighing in at 21 lbs, 2.5 oz and is 28.5 inches long. He has grown so much!! He had to get five shots, which wasn't pretty, but he was a trooper. Afterwards we stopped at Dairy Queen for a small cup of vanilla soft-serve for our brave little patient!
After lunch and a few bites of ice cream, we all headed upstairs to pack- Benjamin helped too!
Overall, it was a wonderful day and we are so thankful for the gift of our sweet baby boy. More pictures of his birthday party to follow!
This breaks my heart and it is hard to know where to start with this. While I hold to France's right to withhold citizenship, I don't believe they have done France any favors by this decision. Their reasoning is too gray- where will a line be drawn? While I struggle with the political implications and court rulings, my most alarming concern is for this woman, known by the news story only as "Madame M."
Her religious beliefs are not merely a decision she made- it is the result of hundreds of years of enculturation that cannot be easily separated from who she is. Who are we to say she must remove her veil? While I do not agree with the need to cover a woman's face by wearing a veil, I do not believe that simply saying, "You cannot wear the veil" will help the situation. The issue is much deeper and routed in the heart. She wears the veil because her husband says it is for her protection and she believes it- how might she feel if told she can't wear it? Granted, she may deeply desire to remove the veil but wears it out of submission to her husband. In my mind this means that the husband, not his wife, has not assimilated into French culture; yet he is a citizen. This decision to deny citizenship was meant to protect the values of French society when it all it has done was take away her right to choose.
Another issue I have is their view on submission. Keith and I actually discussed this the other day, when he asked me how I felt when we disagree on something, but I choose to submit. He actually phrased it like this: "If you were talking to a girlfriend who doesn't believe in submission to her husband, how do you explain why you do?" (or something very similar to that).
My response was that I believe wholeheartedly that a wife should submit to her husband as unto the Lord. Does that mean that a wife is a doormat? Absolutely not. Does that mean that a wife is a little mouse who never has an opinion? Nope. It actually saddens me a great deal that the world has taught women that submission is a dirty word. That we must be independent and fight the chains of oppression. Hogwash.
I will start with submission to the Lord before I talk about husbands, etc. Why do we submit to the Lord? It is usually my pride that makes me stumble in this area; I think I know better than God about what will make me happy and give me joy. But I don't; only He knows what will give me life abundant. So, when I submit to him I am laying aside pride and seeking him with humility because I trust that He is in control and that He desires my good. I may not understand why God does what He does, but I trust in His character and His love for me.
When it comes to Keith it is the same way. We may no see eye-to-eye, but I trust completely that he loves me and desires good for me. So I submit. It is not a curse to do so, but a blessing. Jesus tells us, "Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). This is foolishness to the world. They cannot understand it. But it is truth.
How does this relate to the Madame M? Should she submit to her husband? God tells us that to submit is a blessing. I don't know the answer for Madame M, but I will be praying for her and her husband. There is a lot more at stake then just her citizenship.
We had a hamburger cookout with some dear family friends and did some swiming in their new pool. Benjamin loved the water, especially a fountain they had. Some pictures from the occassion:
After leaving Tejas, we drove to the Frio River, a Fisher Family Stomping Grounds for 4 days of relaxing and floating the river. All of us were roasted (especially me!) even after putting on SPF 70 (and yes you read that right- I was surprised that they made it that strong). Apparently the powerful SPF was no match for three hours on the river in July. But it's OK- I had been meaning to get a little color on the legs, even though I am an advocate of "Pale is the new tan."
We also had fun playing a board game called Balderdash, a hilarious game in which you make up stuff. For example, you have a word like "Zobo"- the reader has the actual definition of the word and everyone else makes up what they think it is. Guess what you think a 'Zobo' is from the following list. Is it:
A.) A musical instrument from Zaire in which the player bangs sticks together
B.) A cross between a zebra and a yak
C.) A rare crystal found in extinct volcanoes
D.) The Croatian word for belly button lint
You can appreciate the humor I hope (oh, and if you guessed number 2 you were correct)! We had a great time with friends and family and good dose of relaxation before we hit the ground running with preparations for our move to Central Asia.
After leaving the Frio, we headed to Robinson to spend some time with Keith's family. Our last night there, Me and Amy were inducted into our husbands childhood favorite game "Sock Ball." The object is this: Hit a rolled up sock with your hand and attempt to run the bases on your knees. Outfielders are on their knees as well. There were only two injuries, one when Joseph hit Amy in the eye with the "ball," and when I cut my hand on a piece of debris on the carpet diving for a fly ball. It was an instant favorite even though I was sore for days afterwards!
Well, that's it for the moment. Right now Keith and I are in La Grange doing laundry and packing/organizing before headed to Houston to visit friends and family as well as run a few errands. More to follow!