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Thanksgiving 2013 – Counting My Blessings

28 Nov

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I’m going to take an opposite approach to Thanksgiving this year. Instead of focusing on what I DO HAVE I’m going to focus on what I DON’T HAVE.

Calm down. I’m not talking about in a materialistic way.

To properly approach Thanksgiving Day, I think we need to always keep in mind what the actual living conditions of the Pilgrims were. They had landed in the middle of a New England winter in a strange new land, intent on serving the One True God. For their faith and their freedom they faced harsh circumstances in an epic way. We don’t need to describe in gory detail the privation they endured because the statistics tell it all:

By the time spring came, only 47 of the original 102 colonists were alive. And of those alive, only seven were strong enough to function and had to take care of the rest.

With these heartbreaking, intense hardships, they still chose to praise God for his provision and were truly thankful that they had harvested enough food so that they would not become extinct in their second winter in the New World. They were thankful simply to eat and be able to live in a world with nothing but cold, work, and nights without light. In the words of Edward Winslow, one of the survivors who wrote an account of their experience the first year,

“And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

In light of those circumstances, they still looked to their Creator and said, “Thank you, God. You are good.” Looking at the God-centered gratitude offered up by these brave souls, I feel humbled and blessed. Beyond blessed. Jeez, I don’t even know if there’s a word to describe blessed beyond blessed. Uber blessed?

So, that said, I am focusing on what I DON’T have this Thanksgiving.

I don’t have want in my life.

I don’t have hunger.

I don’t have sickness.

I don’t have death or loss.

I don’t have fear.

But when I do, (not if, but when) the ultimate blessing comes in know that it won’t change a thing. GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN. God is still good. Whatever my lot, it is well with my soul. And that’s where the true “thanks giving” comes in. It reminds me of the quote I posted above:

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

I am rich and I am blessed and it has nothing to do with my car, or my home, or my cosplays, or my book collection, or the plants on my patio (though those ARE things to gives thanks for). When I think of my many blessings, I think of my handsome husband – my hearts brother, my best friend, my hunka hunka lovin’ man. I think of my precious baby girl – my baby world, my little koala cuddles, my pretty princess. MY FAMILY. Dear God, how did I ever get to be so blessed?! It boggles my brain. But with all these blessings, what is even more amazing?

The realization that the heart of my happiness is the intangible blessings that come from knowing and loving the Creator of every good thing.

I may have more next year. I may have less. But through it all, I know God is good. And that is more than enough for me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone,  and God Bless!

Sarah Palin Book Tour in Pensacola, Florida

19 Nov

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Guess who has two thumbs and got Sarah Palin’s autograph… IN PERSON?!?! Yeeeeah, that’s right. THIS GIRL!

The gorgeous Governor of Alaska was in Pensacola, Florida yesterday on her book tour for her newest work, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas”. I finished reading it just in time for the autograph signing event. I don’t think you guys understand the importance of that. One of my biggest, biggest and I mean BIGGEST pet peeves is getting into the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving. DON’T YOU ENCROACH ON MY FALL TIME SANTA.

So reading a book that is just chock full of warm and fuzzies for the holidays shows just how much I adore Sarah Palin.

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My husband had duty on the base and it looked like he wasn’t going to be able to make it.. buuuut! He asked for permission to ditch out long enough to get the book signed, and against all odds the big wigs on the base said okay! So I picked him up from work at the very last minute, we ran to Books a Million, and we joined the 1000+ people crowding the building to meet the lovely lady herself (along with her family – Todd, Piper and Bristol).

I’m told she signed 894 books last night! And we’re but one itty bitty stop on her massive tour. Poor lady better have a hot bath and a masseuse on hand, amiright?!

So. There we were, a young mother, a young man in military uniform and a tiny newborn baby in a tiny little sailor suit, mingling among a crowd of what I’m willing to bet were 99.9% Christian conservatives. Jonathan was stopped and thanked for his service countless times. And the reaction to a Navy man with a tiny baby in his arms? PRICELESS. It was like a constant surround sound track of oooohhhs and ahhhhhs and “how old?” and “whats her name?” and “she’s so precious!”

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They made us leave our phones and cameras outside of the autograph area, but Palin had her own photography crew there taking pictures. When Jonathan approached the table with tiny Tessa in tow, we just KNEW we’d be seeing that image again soon. And lo and behold, the very next morning, what do we find on Sarah Palin’s personal Facebook page:

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Awwww yeah. That’s my sexy family. I am such a proud mommy and wife. I wasn’t in the picture because they were pushing us along single file and after my book was signed, they ushered me away. I turned around to see Jonathan chatting it up with Palin. I tried to walk back to the table but the Books a Million gal stopped me like I was some crazed wacko trying to go back to lick the pretty lady. (In her defense, the thought had crossed my mind. I’VE GOT SUCH A CRUSH ON HER!)

Anyhoo, I’ll follow up with a book review soon enough. MERRY CHRISTMAS YA’LL!!

Thor 2: The Dark World Weekend Release and Movie Review

9 Nov

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My handsome hubby and I made Thor and Lady Sif cosplays last year for the midnight release of The Avengers on May 4, 2012. We were one of the lucky few that managed to nab tickets to to the official Disney premiere at The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California where Stan Lee was present showing off his mega-Marvel collection.

It was our first time working with eva foam for the armor elements of the costume, and at the time we started on our project, there weren’t any existing blueprints or pepakura files for Thor’s armor. So while a lot of costume aspects were rendered from scratch and thrown together last minute, we were super thrilled with the outcome… and Jonathan even placed second in the cosplay contest!

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The costume contest at The Avengers midnight release. Jon and I are on the far end. The contest was by selection only… you couldn’t enter, they had to tap you for eligibility. Even so, there were a lot of amazing costumes that DIDN’T come up on stage, while some lame-o ones made it up.

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Jon and I with our friends Will and Houkje. We pretty much stole these photos off of The El Capitan Theater website, haha.

You can see us at 30 seconds, 47 seconds, 54 seconds and you can my handsome friend Will cosplaying as Tony Stark at 2 minutes 18 seconds. ^_^

At the time of The Avengers release, when we were still high on the crack of Marvel superheroes coming together into one orgasmically epic film, we had made plans to redo most aspects of Jonathan’s costume to make it more realistic and sturdy. Buuuuuut, then Jonathan joined the Navy. And we knew he’d be in A School during the release of Thor 2. Since there were too many unknowns – where will we be, will he be able to go with his schedule, will there even be a strong cosplay crowd, etc., etc. – we decided to forget about any plans to cosplay to the opening weekend. *sniffles*

BUT! Then we met up with this crazy awesome group of cosplayers, the Pensacola Costumers Guild, and we knew we had to get in on the fun. A dozen frenzied calls to my mother pleading for cosplay care packages and a couple weeks later, we received Jonathan’s Thor costume in the mail, just in time for this weekend release! Oh, and we had to buy him a wig since the Navy chopped off his luscious locks of hair. *sobs*

Which brings us to last night and the opening of Thor 2: The Dark World! We met up with the guild at Books a Million for some geekery and nerdtastic fellowship – with lots of costume show and tell and prancing around for photo-ops. I went sans costume since I had the baby and I’m pretty sure my costume wouldn’t fit. But I got to play camera girl, which was a nice change!

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The costuming guild took up the entire lower section / back two rows of the theater.

SO!! Enough with the chit chat! On with the movie review!

Omg omg omg omg!!!! KJNSDFUISNAFKNkjbfiusnbsadn!!!!! After leaving the movie theater I kept trying to gather my thoughts into some kind of cohesive dialogue so I could give at least the semblance of an intellectual review of the movie, but every internal monologue on the film just sounded like an Herbal Essence commercial.

Yes. My mind was sexually assaulted by this movie. And I liked it.

I can only really put it into perspective by saying it is WAY better than Thor 1. But it is not quite as good as The Avengers. (Which, as of right now, is the best movie in the universe.)

The only remotely negative comments I could conjure for this film is that Darcy had a lot of screen time, she dominated almost every scene she was in, and her relentlessly dry humor and quirky comments got a little overbearing at times. That’s not to say that I dislike her character or her lines. It just seemed a little too much for some scenes. But then awesomeness would ensue and all of her forcefulness would be forgotten.

My other complaint is the dry(ish) romance. I did like the subtle love triangle aspects they planted seeds for with Lady Sif and Thor and I wonder what kind of rivalry they’re gonna conjure up there for following movies… and how closely they’ll stick to the comic book storyline? But the only think I don’t like about these movies is that the Thor / Jane romance is a little empty. I mean, I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that freaking Edward and Bella from Twilight seem to have a better relationship build up and much more of an engaging romance than these two. Again, I’m not complaining. But it could be BETTER, I think.

So that’s the summary of my negative comments, review-wise.

Now for the good stuff! I loved, loved, LOVED the humor in this movie. It’s so much more in step with the overall Avengers theme and franchise now, that all of the movies – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America – appear to be taking on a solid form of being the “same story” in the same world, while simultaneously being totally apart, unique and stand-alone.

I noticed on Rotten Tomatoes that people were actually complaining about that. “They kept mentioning Shield. They kept mentioning Captain America. They kept referencing the other superheroes.” Seriously? This movie embraces continuity and builds on a brilliant tapestry of superhero synergy.. and that’s a BAD thing??? Uhhh, okay. That makes sense…. NOT. Those movie reviewers suck.

The Avengers references were AWESOME, the action was engaging, the imagery was stunning, the story wasn’t epic but it certainly was thrilling, and most importantly, they gave us a shirtless Thor scene.

So in my book, Thor 2 was a ten. GO SEE IT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!!!!!!!!!

Jericho March Around the Pensacola Abortion Clinic

7 Nov

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To wrap up the 40 Days For Life campaign, a large group of Christ followers – my sweet little Tessa and myself included – participated in a Jericho March around the one remaining abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida.

The Christians attending were made up of Catholics and Protestants of various denominations, and it was an amazing time of fellowship and Biblical based action. The majority attending were Catholic, (I’m a non-denominational Christian myself), so while I was left to pray quietly among the Hail Mary’s, it was still nice joining hands with my apocrypha-toting brethren. As I’ve always said, in the pro-life party, nobody parties like a Catholic.

Anyhoo, the Jericho March is based on Scripture from the book of Joshua, Chapter 6. The Israelites were able to take down a fortress by peacefully walking around the city walls of Jericho. And in reenacting a peaceful Jericho March around an abortion clinic, we are stating in our actions that we have faith that the same God that caused the walls of Jericho to come crashing down, can and will do the same to the spiritual fortress of sin that resides in an abortion mill.

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Now, in my years of activism I tend to NOT identify myself as a Christian while approaching people on the subject of abortion. I am like a ninja Christian in that respect. I prefer the James Bond-esque approach of pro-life activism – booking abortions so I can get into the waiting room to loudly peruse over fetal development charts with the other girls considering abortion, and sitting through abortion counseling to get a better grasp of what lies are being peddled to naïve girls alone and scared with a new pregnancy. I do this because I strongly feel that you do not need to be a Christian to see that butchering babies is wrong.

Too many women take the easy out and sacrifice their intellect with the Christian faith as their scapegoat. The second they spot your cross necklace, or hear you quote Scripture, they try to justify their intentional ignorance by shoehorning common sense into the realm of “Christian faith” and “attacks on women’s health” that they, as non-Christians, don’t have to subject themselves to.

The fact is, it requires far more faith to believe that abortion DOESN’T kill an innocent human!

Medical textbooks and scientific reference works consistently agree that human life begins at conception. This means that the moment an egg is fertilized by a sperm, it brings into existence a zygote, which is a genetically distinct human being. This isn’t biased information. These are basic, indisputable biological facts that have been affirmed by medical professionals worldwide for decades. If you had a zygote on a medical slide in an elementary biology class and answered that it’s anything BUT a human being, you’d be flunked out of the class.

Pointing out the medically establish humanity of the preborn is no more an attack on women’s health than challenging the flat earth theory is an attack on nautical travel.

We would do well to remind our pro-abort friends who hold God’s word in contempt and love to paint themselves as the picture of modern progression, that to ignore the advance of modern medical science is archaic, antediluvian, and (dare we say it?) intolerant.

For a group of people who love to discredit their opposition by claiming to be above uninformed, religious opinion, it’s amazing to watch their persistent ignorance to the basic biological and medical facts of prenatal development. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, fairly intelligent individuals would persist in rejecting science, in the face of strong evidence, so that they can sit back comfortably in their subjective, faith-based worldview that killing a child is the equivalent of pulling a tooth?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of ‘Faith’ is, ‘Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.’ Since the statement, ‘a fetus isn’t a child’ is not based on any tangible data, and in fact goes contrary to all established evidence – it is quite literally a faith statement. It is an opinion. It is not grounded in reality.

When you listen to pro-aborts sputtering out nonsense about ‘a fetus is just a formless blob’, ‘it’s the woman’s body’, etc… you are listening to faith statements that directly oppose the most fundamental precepts of medical knowledge. You must willingly adopt ignorance and become intellectually retarded to believe the faith statements dehumanizing the fetus. And they call us the extremists?

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The abortion clinic in Pensacola. Seriously, who would take their vagina into that shady looking butcher shop?

The question of when life begins isn’t relative. It is clearly definable in terms of science. To keep a belief grounded in the elusive playground of ‘what’s right for me’ is not progressive. It does not help women. It hurts women.

This really is an intellectual war, as well as a spiritual one. You have to realize that people coming into an abortion clinic are essentially made up of two groups: Those who are uninformed or misinformed when it comes to the medical facts of personhood, and those who remain willfully ignorant of the medical facts of personhood. One group is deceiving and one group is being deceived.

Our jobs as activists taking a stand for life is to clear the fog. Tell it like it is.

Be blunt. Be bold.

Like toddler and adolescent, the terms embryo and fetus do not refer to nonhumans, but to humans at particular stages of development. And stage of development does not alter human worth. The pre-born are undeniably human and as such deserve equal rights. It really is that simple!

As pro-life activists, we’re up against a behemoth of lies and we are called to dispel them with truth and simple undeniable facts.

As Christians, we’re up against a behemoth of lies. But we know who the Father of Lies is (John 8:22). As a liar and a murderer from the beginning, he has made his stronghold in the abortion mills that deal in wholesale murder and lies. As much as I emphasize appealing to the intellectual side of individuals, that alone is not enough. The fog of moral confusion is more than just a self-imposed ignorance of a select few. It is a very real spiritual fog of confusion and deceit that oozes from the foothold Satan has in his stronghold of the abortion industry. Thankfully, we serve a powerful God that can, has and WILL act through his faithful children to bring the walls of Satan’s stronghold crashing down.

Hence, the Jericho March. Just like the pompous peas in Veggie Tales, I can just hear the clouded minds of the abortion mill workers… “Keep walking, but you won’t knock down our wall, keep walking, but she isn’t gonna fall…” But we know that the wall WILL fall. The fog WILL lift.

Just keep walking. ^_^

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Emerald Coast Coalition for Life Fundraiser

5 Nov

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This past weekend Jonathan and I attended a fundraising event for the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life. This group is a non-profit organization that is highly active in the pro-life community here in Pensacola, Florida – organizing outreach events, educating the public on abortion and offering abortion alternatives.

The theme for the fundraiser was a starfish, inspired by Loren Eisley’s “Starfish Story”:

One day a young man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”

The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

The man laughed and said, “Don’t you realize, there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man he said, “I made a difference to that one.”

And the Emerald Coast Coalition for Life (ECCL) is making a difference… one life at a time.

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After Dr. Ernie Cyr, the Executive Director for ECCL (and a spitting image of Greg Gutfeld from Fox News), gave the ministry update and offered the pledge challenge, we all had the privilege of listening to the touching story of the nights keynote speaker, Mr. Chad Judice.

And by touching story, I mean a frikkin’ TEAR JERKER. A “I-can’t-see-to-take-pictures-because-my-lens-is-somehow-all-blurry” story. Chad Judice is the author of Waiting For Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith and Eli’s Reach. Both books outline the story of his son Eli, born with spina bifida, a condition that moves over 80% of mothers to abort their babies that suffer from it. Choosing to ignore the advice and the social pressure of a world without morals urging them to kill their baby, they walked in faith and prayerfully welcomed their son into this world, where he is a source of joy and inspiration to many.

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It never ceases to amaze me that we live in a world that supports, protects and draws hope from children with special needs – cheering for the Special Olympics, recoiling in horror at those who would pick on or harm a kid with special needs – yet if those same children were to be brutally dismembered in the womb, many would see it as a “responsible” or “acceptable” thing to do. The same child that brings joy and hope to the world, would be left floating in a bloody abortionists bowl if many pro-choicers had their way.

This is why groups like ECCL are so vital to the health of our community. When the pro-death crowd is pushing for the relentless slaughter of babies – healthy or handicapped – those children in danger of “choice” need an advocate. Whether that means standing outside of an abortion mill to counsel confused young women, or lending financial support to those who have the time to reach out. While there will always be people in this world that seek to harm children, if you can say, “I made a difference to that one”, you have truly left this world different than when you came in. What higher calling?

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Tessa’s First Halloween!

31 Oct

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Happy Halloween!! The Freeman Family will be spending Tessa’s first Halloween sitting on the couch, watching scary movies by the fire, eating home made split pea soup and homemade cookies and handing out candy to visiting trick or treaters. Good, fattening, name brand candy that would make this woman’s blood boil. (No, I don’t harbor any resentment to the houses with cheap tootsie roll and temporary tattoo Halloween handouts… why do you ask??)

For baby Tessa’s first Halloween, she will be wearing her Sheriff onesie (first Halloween costume – she’s going as her Grandpa! haha). In the following years she will be doomed to wear the most fabulous, elaborate costumes that her cosplay parents can craft for Halloween. I seriously cannot wait!

Happy Halloween everyone! Oh, and check out these cute holiday photos we took yesterday…. One of the perks of motherhood is being able to stick your pumpkin sized baby into a baby sized pumpkin. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

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Gallery Night in Downtown Pensacola

22 Oct

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Jonathan and I took Tessa to the local Gallery Night at Downtown Pensacola… lots of live music, local art and al fresco dining by local businesses. I was amazed at how hoppin’ this place was. It was much more bustling than the Los Angeles Art Walk, and there was the added bonus of not having to worry about half dressed drunks peeing on the sidewalks.

I much preferred this cleaner, family friendly version, strolling along the brick sidewalks of Downtown Pensacola, with the festive, block-party atmosphere. This is gonna be our regular monthly thing as long as we’re here. I really need to stop falling in love with Pensacola. This spring, and Jonathan’s final orders, are only a couple months away. (Eeeep!)

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