Tuesday, June 30, 2009

HOTM ~June

We have looked in faith to Christ,
Beholding God's atoning Lamb.
He for our sins was sacrificed,
Thus we, though dead, have been born again.

Jesus, Your beauty fills our eyes--
First looking, we were justified;
Now gazing deeper sanctifies,
Till face to face, we are glorified.

We still look each day to Christ
And by the unveiled view are changed.
The Spirit wields the Truth with might,
Conforming us to the Son unstained.

We will look one day on Christ
When He appears, triumphantly.
That blessed hope now purifies,
Till seeing Him, we like Him will be.
Your Beauty Fills Our Eyes was written by Chris Anderson and the tune was composed by Greg Habegger. I'm pretty sure it was written this year but the website wasn't clear on the exact date. Usually the HOTM is written by a deceased person but this one is written by a living person :-). Here is an excerpt from an overview of the meaning behind this hymn:
"This hymn celebrates the wondrous truth that each part of our salvation—justification, sanctification, and glorification—centers on the person and work of Jesus Christ. The three verses and they refrain allude to New Testament texts which teach that gazing on our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the means of our salvation."
In Christ,

Verse of the Week

"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

~Deutoronomy 6:1-9

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Goin' camping again

Every year we go on an annual camping trip with my dad's side of the family, the Marqueses (Uncle Randy, Uncle Jimmy, Grandpa). The Webb's were able to join us for last year but not this year due to an extension of the family, Dominic, not being old enough.
Because of every one's various locations, we always try to meet somewhere halfway for everyone. Though everyone except Uncle Randy seem to end up traveling the farthest... but that's another story. We like going to places with lakes because my Uncle Randy has wave-runners.

Last year we went to Lake Tawakoni (where all the pictures were taken). If you're from east Texas then you most likely know how to pronounce "Tawakoni". For everyone else, here's a hint: it isn't phonetic.
This year we're going to Lake Texoma and surprise, surprise, we're actually going to stay in cabins! We have always stayed in good old-fashioned tents but the vote was against them this year. Besides, it tends to get pretty hot in Texas during the summer.
We'll be gone Thursday--Sunday. We'll try to blog during the trip but if not, expect pictures and a long post next week.

Dad and Caro... having a spit war. Caro claims to was really just water. Notice only them two are playing...

Sophia on the wave-runner with my Dad

Playing football with only six people.

Well, now you know what Caro is really like; pushing unsuspecting cousins into the water.

Group photo!

"Love is costly."

I have been reading a small book recently called, The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper.
Cover to cover it is no more than 96 pages (and I am on page 55) but has been so convicting and encouraging. I really enjoy reading Mr. Piper's blog and the books that he has written, and this one is no exception.
This book is like a smaller, condensed version of Desiring God. Both books use Psalm 27:4 as a foundation,
One thing I have asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in His temple.

Also, on of my favorite quotes, "Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee"
by St. Augustine. I would highly recommend it as a companion in your daily devotionals;
you could comfortably read a chapter a day and be very blessed and convicted!
There is a particular chapter in the book that has had a great impact on me, called

"Pursue Your Joy in the Joy of the Beloved"

One of the bits that stood out for me was a quote by Jonathan Edwards in regards to the proper gain a person receives from loving someone:

In some sense the most benevolent, generous person in the world
seeks his own happiness in doing good to others,
because he places his happiness in their good.
His mind is so enlarged as to take them, as it were, into himself.
Thus when they are happy, he feels it;
he partakes with them, and is happy in their happiness.

It is here that I began my mental struggle.

I go back and forth between praying for this quality in my life, desiring to be that selfless; then some experience in the past of "Love gone wrong" gets in the way.
Do you have someone like that in your life?
For example, this person in my life often brings to mind the verse in James 4:17,
"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

The struggle went away as I continued reading. I realized that one of the main issues was that I was afraid to love and not be loved in return.

I had an issue with the purpose of loving someone when that love does not come easily.

However, Mr. Piper went on to clarify for me that,

"The pursuit of true gain is an essential motive for every good deed."

So what is genuine love? And how do I identify it? What is the difference between truly loving someone and simply running off an emotional high?
Well, Mr. Piper lists four characteristics of genuine love.
(I won't write the entire explanation because I want you to read the book and not just this post.)

~Genuine love is a work of divine grace.
~This experience of His grace will fill you with His joy.
~That joy in His grace will overflow in generosity to meet the needs of others.
~Will instill a desire to give beyond your own ability.

"Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others.
Love is not merely the passive overflow, but the aggressive extension and expansion and completion of joy in God..."

I do realize the majority of this post is someone else's words and thoughts but just know it is not because I wanted to write an "easy post" filled with deep quotes and the meaningful words of great men.
Like I said in the beginning, this book has made a great impact on me and this is the sort of thing that happens after I read a book like this: I want to buy a copy for all my friends and the mailman!

I am a highly emotional, sentimental person (suprise, suprise); the sort that can't just befriend someone; I want to bring them into the depths of a friendship after the first meeting. It's not always the best thing but I am still learning :)
There is so much more I would like to say about this chapter, but I'll end with a quote
(Read above).

"If we took no pleasure in the good of others,
we would feel no pain when the good is impeded.
So make no mistake,
love is on a passionate pursuit to satisfy our deepest longings in the
God-centered good of the beloved....
Love costs you your life in this world.
But in the world to come the joys of eternal life are more than sufficient reward."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Verse of the Week

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

~1 Timothy 6:11-16

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Well, my Pink Bunny... "

Sophia has a stuffed bunny named Pink Bunny. A brief history is that Sophia carries this "girl" around with her everywhere and has lost it several times. As a result of consistently losing her, Chris got her the last Pink Bunny (bunny #3) for the rest of her life.
Pink Bunny has a habit of getting into trouble but she's a loyal companion... or so I'm told. Sophia often has to spank her for various reasons but Pink Bunny is rather stubborn.
Anyway, here's a short but funny conversation Sophia had with Chris a few weeks ago.
Chris was lying next to Mia and so Sophia said, "Daddy, why are you sleeping with Mia and not me?" (tears are brimming at this point)

-"Because I haven't seen her all day."
~"But you haven't seen me either! (stammering) You, you just like Mia more than you like me..."

-"Um... that's not true, Sophia. I love you both."

~"Well, I love my Pink Bunny and, (sniff) and my Pink Bunny loves me! So, I'm just going to sleep with my Pink Bunny!" (flops on bed)

-(laughing) "Ok, you do that."

In Christ,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Verse of the Week

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

~Philippians 4:8-9

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vaccines: the Truth Behind the Needle

Us girls participated in a speech class this past year, taught by two ladies from our church and we each wrote three speeches. The first was a teaching speech that I wrote on archery. Second was a persuasive speech which is the one below. Last was an entertainment speech that I did as a duo with a close friend from The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn.
Last month the entire class presented their choice speech at my church's monthly Homeschool Support Group Meeting. Elena presented one on Macular Degeneration and Caro presented a duo with a close friend on Max And the Big Fat Lie. I presented this and my entertainment speech. Enjoy!
Vaccines: the Truth Behind the Needle
“today, children receive one vaccine at birth, eight vaccines at two months, eight vaccines at four months, nine vaccines at six months, and ten additional vaccines between 12 and 18 months. The…baby is injected with 36 vaccine-drugs before he or she is 1 ½ years old!”
That is a quote taken from the book Vaccine Safety Manual by Neil Miller, MD.
Hello, my name is Micaela Marques and today I will be addressing vaccinations, some assumptions about vaccines, their harm in our world today, and a few solutions. I first began researching this topic two years ago when my nieces went to the doctor for their booster shots. I had never previously questioned vaccines until that time and am continuing my research on it.
To begin, I would like to define the terms “vaccination” and “immunization”, two words which are often used interchangeably but actually, are not synonyms. Vaccination is the physical act of administering an immunibiologic (vaccine) or a toxoid. Immunization is the process (inside of the body) of inducing artificial immunity by administering a vaccine. Now that we are familiar with these terms, we can move on.
Presently, American children are receiving twice as many shots as the rest of the western world. Many of the vaccines that infants receive have long been proven fatal or, at the very least, harmful but are currently being misclassified as a so-called “disease” known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. For years, medical experts have suspected that these two are related and have confirmed this fact but instead of stopping it, they have hushed it up. Why? Because they want a disease-eradicated country which, they think, will come about with the continued use of vaccines which are thought to be responsible for the decline of infectious diseases. However, the decline of disease has not been brought about by the 36 vaccines licensed but by our better understanding and use of medicine, sanitation, personal hygiene, and nutritional choices. In fact, 90% of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and1965 occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread vaccination. In 1960, the U.S. had one of the best infant mortality rates in the world and that was before mass vaccinations but by 2006 it fell to 42nd place, worse than even Cuba. But vaccines don’t only affect infants but children and adults as well.
Vaccines are also thought to be effective and the effects long-lasting but even renowned doctors say they are not that in the least. The only way to get life-long immunity is by getting a disease naturally. Artificial immunity must get “boosted” every few years and even then, we have the results of that with skyrocketed statistics. Autism, mental retardation, eczema and asthma, to name a few, have been linked to vaccines, particularly in children. Most of these problems were rare before mass vaccinations and they are now some the most well-known child ailments. So how necessary are vaccines? Well, for instance, a survey done in 1993 says that 87% of pediatricians and family practitioners do not think the Hepatitis B vaccine is necessary. Many doctors don’t believe some vaccines are required but numerous health organizations compel them to tell their patients that they need vaccines. Nonetheless, we do not know enough about vaccines to declare that they are safe. Vaccines are detrimental to health for a number of reasons; one being there is no immunity buildup in the body while naturally getting a disease is part of a much-needed developmental process. If the disease is properly managed, it is good for overall health. As Harris Coulter, PhD said in 1999,

“Contracting and overcoming [childhood] diseases is part of a developmental process that actually helps develop a healthy, robust, adult immune system able to meet the challenges that inevitable encounters with viruses and bacteria will present later on.”

Vaccines stimulate and highly activate the microglia, the first and main form of active immune defense in the Central Nervous System, in the brain. After activation, these sleeping immune cells can move around the brain like amoeba, secreting very toxic amounts of inflammatory chemicals and two forms of excitotoxins. This puts the brain into a chronically inflamed state and the brain can remain overactive for up to two years after vaccination. A great deal of the human brain is formed during the first two years after birth and continues until between ages 25-27. Vaccines disrupt this critical process and can result in a malformed brain. Surprisingly, many pediatricians don’t know very much about a child’s brain and therefore, promote vaccines naively. Veterinarians found out years ago that in many cases they were over-immunizing our pets, a syndrome they call Vaccinosis. It overwhelmed the immune system of the animals, causing a multitude of physical and neurological disorders. Rather like what we’re seeing today, except we’re seeing it in our children. As a result, we discovered that we can over-immunize our pets but what about our children? Is it so absurd to think that we are over-immunizing our children today?
So, will the decision not to vaccinate really keep children safe and save lives? The answer is yes and no. Not vaccinating is just one risk but there are numerable risks with vaccinating other than what I have already talked about. Vaccines don’t just carry the strain of the disease but numerous other lethal toxins that may help preserve and enhance the vaccine. As I list some of the toxins in vaccines, think over this question: at what cost will we go to in the name of medical science? Mercury; aluminum; phenol (carbolic acid); borax (ant killer); ethylene glycol (antifreeze); dye; acetone (nail polish remover); latex; MSG; monkey, cow, chicken, pig, sheep, and dog tissues and cells which may be contaminated with animal viruses; gelatin; human fetal cells; human viruses; antibiotics; genetically modified yeast; and animal, bacterial, and viral DNA which may affect recipient’s DNA. These are just some of many toxins in various vaccines that, clearly, don’t belong in there. One vaccine called “Thimerosal”, which is 49% mercury, was removed by veterinarians from animal vaccines in 1992 because it was causing various disorders and yet, it is still in human vaccines. The Bible remarks the life of every creature being in its blood and here we are, injecting all sorts of contaminants straight into our blood. How can we take care of the bodies we have if we keep polluting them with dangerous chemicals?
This lands us at another assumption: vaccines are safe and relatively harmless. Studies done in 2000 and 2002 refute that by showing it is the vaccinated children who have autism, asthma, allergies, skin disorders, ADD, ADHD, other behavioral disorders, meningitis, dyslexia, hearing and vision problems. These conditions are quite rare in non-vaccinated children. In addition to that, outbreaks have occurred in 100% vaccinated populations, according to the Center for Disease Control (the CDC). Many states, including Minnesota, are now reporting that 1 in 80 children are affected with Autism. Vaccines are not the only way to prevent epidemics of “dangerous diseases”. There are many natural ways for day-to-day needs and also to fight diseases such as herbal remedies, homeopathy, and essential oils. The solution for many diseases was developed prior to vaccines. The answer is exposure. For example, before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed, doctors encouraged parents to expose their children while they were young. Chickenpox is relatively innocuous when contracted before teenage years. But after the vaccine was licensed, the CDC began warning parents of the dangers of chickenpox and doctors stopped encouraging exposure and began to advocate the vaccine. In many cases, the chickenpox vaccine has caused a disease known as Shingles. Shingles is similar to chickenpox but a less aggressive form and it only began to be a problem after the chickenpox vaccine was licensed. Those who get the chickenpox vaccine can contract shingles as a result. After numerous cases of shingles flooded in, vaccine makers had to create another vaccine to counteract the effects of their original vaccine. Sounds a little backwards, right? Well, what do doctors recommend now if you get a disease? Sleep, water, healthy food, and exercise. Combine that with a natural medicine and yes, it’s that simple.
You may also be wondering about diseases such as polio. Whenever most people think of polio, they think of iron lungs, paralysis, death, and perhaps even the Cutter Incident. This is the biggest misunderstanding of that particular disease and is not the case for the most part. There are basically only four kinds of polio: the simple viral infection, abortive, non-paralytic, and paralytic, which has three types (spinal, bulbar, and spinobulbar). Ninety percent of people exposed to polio get the simple viral infection and only less than 3% get the paralytic polio and out of these, 50% completely recover. Since the introduction of the polio vaccine in 1954, residual paralysis is at 10-20 days and again at 50-70 days after the onset of illness. Consider how it was before the vaccine: partial or complete paralysis of one or more muscle groups. Paralysis was detected on two exams which were 24 hours apart. Even Surgeon General David Satcher, who is a MD, said,
“Since 1979, the only cases of polio in the U.S. have been associated with the Oral Polio Vaccine.”
The CDC even admits that fact. So the vaccine has actually caused residual paralysis and there is no recovery. Additionally, the polio vaccine has been linked to three kinds of cancer and the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s as if we have traded mumps and measles for cancer and leukemia, as a medical doctor once said.
If you still want to do vaccinations, at least don’t vaccinate infants and children with so many at one time and at such a young age. It’s like overdosing on 36 different drugs only this time, the doctor authorizes it. In our culture, we’re constantly telling children not to do drugs yet we take them to the doctor to get drugged. How can we teach children that drugs are bad if we take them all the time?
We evidently cannot afford to blindly declare that vaccines are ok just because the CDC, AAP, or vaccine makers say so. Having said that, I would like to remind my listeners that this is a decision you will have to make on your own. The choice to vaccinate or not to vaccinate is entirely up to you. I hope the material presented today gives you a better understanding of the subject and that you will consider it as you make a discerning and educated decision for yourself and your children. Remember that 1 Corinthians 10:31 says,

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
So let us glorify God by being vigilant as to what we put in our bodies. Thank you.
In Christ,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Days...

So, we've had a bit of a change in our plans for this week.
Tomorrow Mom is coming to pick up all the females--I suppose we can't say that anymore :)
At any rate, we are all leaving back for Houston tomorrow afternoon!
Here is another peek at a bit more of what we have been doing this week...
The aprons were an extra precaution against cream of rice spills...
quite prevalent among the natives.

Apodaca and Webb Productions put on a mini puppet show,
complete with props and sound effects!

Abby was their publicity agent and looking on from the wings...
I don't think she liked the camera...ah well...
Dominic was pretty much out throughout the entire show...
understandably so...
The next day Sophia read to Mia while Nicole and I were fixing supper

These headscarves came in great handy during the week! Their hair was spared much peanut butter and unidentifiable stickiness :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A peek into our week through pictures

Yesterday morning and this morning the girls and I have been taking advantage of the cool, breezy weather, and walking to the park for breakfast.
This morning we had warm, yummy Baked Oatmeal and chocolate milk :)

This is on the trail going home from the park.

I hope that it will be this nice all week but considering that we are in
Austin I am not hoping too much :)
We are able to get out of the house by 8:30, giving Nicole nearly two hours of a quite home.
The girls love the park and the trail that gets us there! We don't usually take them because it is so hot but the mornings have been working out very well.
It is a sweet way to start our day,
Thank you Lord for lovely weather!

Verse of the Week

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

~Ephesians 1:3-6

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Phrases and sayings I have learned and translated while serving as a nanny.

One of the joys of helping families after the birth of a baby is the little words and phrases you pick up in each home. Each family is different and naturally does nearly everything differently; from bath time to breakfast there is always room to adjust and learn new things.

However, something I have noticed is that no matter what home or family you are in, the use of the words "I" and "We" have a universal meaning: "You".

For example, today Nicole said: "Today I would really like to organize Sophie's closet, if I get that done then I will have accomplished a lot!"

Translation: Could you please organize Sophie's closet.
I know I am using the word "I" but I really mean you :)

Later Nicole said, "I'm going to transfer the diapers from the washer to hang on the clothsline"
Translation: Please go hang the diapers outside and put the cloth wipes in the dryer :)

In short, the majority of mothers use the words "I", "We", and "You" interchangably and liberally. I have seen this in many new mothers and my own Mom.
I always think it is comical when new mothers try to pretend they can do everyday tasks like re-organizing a closet just recently hit by a rabid bull or hanging out diapers on a clothsline that is nearly five feet taller than you.

But it makes me feel very strong and capable in a feminin, girly way :)
"I'll take out that trash for you Nicole,
no sense in a pretty lady like you doing a dirty job like this."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Life in the Webb home (Day One & Two)

Sophia woke up Saturday feeling rather "lonely" because my family had left without saying goodbye. Tears were shed but they were quickly dried when she remembered Nani (my mom) was coming back on Thursday... and because she had chocolate milk to drink with her breakfast. Dominic was so tired from all the eating and sleeping that he does. Nicole tried a wool diaper cover for him for the first time and she really liked it.We spent kind of a laid-back day with Bolt (very funny movie), popcorn, baking shortbread, and friends to visit. However, dinnertime was another story. After many fake tears and getting spanked numerous times, Mia finally finished her food and walked off sticky, but happy to the bathtub. So Nicole and I sat down and began to eat some delicious shortbread with jelly. A disgusted scream, made by Sophia, came from the bathroom minutes later, "EW!" Yes, it's true. Mia hadn't finished her last bite of vegetables and somehow felt compelled to spit it out into the bathtub. I found Mia sitting there laughing while Sophia was trying her best to avoid the bits of food while still yelling for help.

So, that was Day One.

Sunday was also pretty laid-back. Poor Nicole had to endure being spit up on in the wee hours of the morning. She's thankful it didn't get anywhere else but on her and Dominic. Mia joined me in reading devotions while we waited for Sophia to wake up. After breakfast, we did our catechism and devotions for about an hour. Now, since my family is full of girls, I tend to forget how different boys are. Particularly when you change their diapers. Dominic caused all sorts of commotion (gasping and screaming) when the walls behind him got very wet all of a sudden. Nicole, the intelligent one, put the diaper back over him to prevent further wetness. We all laughed and then gave him (and the walls) a good scrub. Grandpa and Grandma Webb stopped by after lunch for a short visit. After Mia went down for a much-needed nap, the rest of us played Trap The Caps until Nicole mercilessly won. Seriously, she really whooped us. Sophia and I then enjoyed a cup of tea with shortbread while Nicole joined Mia in sleep land. After the sleepy people got up, we made flautas (kind of like a taco) for dinner and once again, the little girls battled to finish their food. This time I checked to make sure Mia had actually swallowed her food before she was excused from the table. After reading Sir Maggie the Mighty: A Book About Obedience about 20 times, I can safely say that I have memorized it and I can rhyme pretty well now.

Similar to Elena's experience with the Apodaca family, I have found that a schedule is one of the most helpful things. Even if you don't get everything done, you can always refer back to it when you're not sure what to do next. It keeps you focused on what needs to be accomplished for the day and it's very satisfying to look at your list and see that everything is done.

In Christ,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in your tent forever!

Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of
those who fear your name.
Prolong the life of the king; may his years endure to all generations!

May he be enthroned forever before God;
appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day.


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