Experts Agree: Birthday Tea Resounding Success

The votes have been counted and the verdict is in: Lily’s birthday tea won high marks for fun. Five friends stopped by today to help Lily celebrate her fourth birthday. Attending were Lucy, Maggie, Megan, Emma, Charmaine, and Lily. Along to help were Maddie, Amanda, Moms and Grandma Field. Jack and I headed for the hills as soon as possible.

Each setting came complete with teacup, boa, flowered bonnet, and lacy gloves. After having tea (lemonade) and crumpets (cupcakes), the girls whipped out a box full of dress-up clothes and et about looking like princesses. (It was here that Jack and I left for Toys R Us.) While we were out, they played party bingo, ate a few more cupcakes, played outside, opened (and played with) gifts, painted their fingernails pink and purple, and had a few more cupcakes.

Great fun was had by everyone, and I believe they set a date for next week to do it all again. You can see a few photos here.

Girls Getting Fat and Sassy

Abby and Grace, though battling colds, are doing great as they head toward 4mths. Both have more than doubled their birth weights: Abby is now ten pounds and Grace is near twelve. They have really started showing off their personalities by smiling, cooing, and complaining (loudly) when it’s time for bed.

This photo shows Jack in a popular spot: holding Abby.

Florida Supreme Court Strikes Down Terri's Law

The decision of the Supreme Court stated “our hearts can fully comprehend the grief so fully demonstrated by Theresa’s family members on this record”, and then went on to vote unanimously to strike down the law that allowed her feeding tube to be reinserted after her husband had it removed last year. Seems to me that their hearts couldn’t comprehend the grief at all.

Terri Schiavo, 40, suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped due to an eating problem. Although she can breathe on her own, she needs a feeding tube to survive. Her husband argues that she would not have wished to be kept alive in this way and wants the tube to be removed and that she be allowed to die.

Her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, rejected the proposal and alleged that their daughter might recover her faculties.

Here’s what’s odd to me… If her husband wants to be rid of her so badly, why not just remove himself as her guardian? He had plans to remarry, yet he wants control of this situation.

A bioethesist who has represented the Catholic Church offered this point of view:

“Might it not be the case, in fact, that some would prefer to see her dead?” he asked.

“King Solomon knew who the real mother of the child was when he saw that one of the women accepted his being cut in half, while the mother cried out that she preferred that he be given alive to the other woman,” Father Miranda added.

“Terri’s husband pursues obsessively his wife’s death (alleging, naturally, that he does so out of compassion for her). Terry’s parents are fighting to save her life. If only our judges would learn something of the wisdom of Solomon,” he concluded.

Election Candidate Comparison

I think we can all agree that this is the most contentious election in recent history, but, in addition, I think it might also be the most important one, too. So I was thinking this morning that it would be nice to have quick access to candidate information and their opinions on various issues. After scouring the web, I’ve located some good resources that I think would be helpful for all voters to have. Keep in mind that some of these, while still representing “facts”, can certainly be written with a personal bias. You’ll just have to parse that out yourself.

First Choice 2004 by Public Agenda

This is the most comprehensive “guide” I’ve found. Instead of just presenting the positions, it walks you through the process of trying to determine your position and then helping you figure out who most closely matches your thoughts. The site says “First Choice 2004 is designed to help you make the most of your vote by having strong, informed opinions about what those choices might be. With these guides, you can find out more about the problems facing the nation and be better armed when considering the plans politicians put forward.”

CNN Candidate Comparison

This is a fairly nice effort at compiling and presenting the information in a candidate- or comparison-view. The “positions” presented are basically one-liners. I’d like to have the ability to delve deeper into specific topics.

NPR: The Candidates on the Issues

This is a fairly nice composite of a wide range of issues. Each issue (Abortion, Immigration, Iraq, etc.) contains a brief synopsis of their views with audio links to relevant stories. It’s a good place to start, though I have noticed some interesting shading of the information.

WHIO.TV Candidate Comparison

While this compilation covers some of the same topics, most of the entries have been provided by the candidates themselves, mostly, it appears, from various position papers. The problem? Their views consist mainly of rhetoric and are nearly impossible to interpret in the form of “If I’m elected, I’ll…” Not real helpful, but a decent place to start.

PriceGrabber Election Comparison

In a clever twist on their stated role as the primary location for comparison shopping, PriceGrabber provides a very brief view of the candidates.

A Proposed Math Quiz for Candidates

Okay, this has nothing to do with their positions on various issues, but it’s a must-read. For them, and for you.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I came home from work the other night and found a picture on the kitchen table that Lily had drawn. She had been at pre-school in the morning and I thought she had drawn it there. After looking at the picture, I was a little concerned…

The image was of a small girl, her face contorted in obvious distress, her little round mouth turned noticeably downward. Now, keep in mind, most of the pictures they draw in pre-school are smiles, flowers, etc. So I got to wondering what could have possibly happened at school to warrant this picture. I found Lily sitting reading a book with Char. I interrupted…

“Lily, honey,” I began, treading lightly, “did you draw this picture at school today?”

“No, I drew it here with Mommy.”

Now, I felt a little better about this, but I have to admit, my curiosity is piqued. “Why is she frowning?”

“That’s Charmaine when she was sick,” Lily said.

“Ah… I see.” Then I noticed that the back was covered in multi-color lines running willy nilly all over the page, no apparent rhyme or reason. I was about to ask when Lily said…

“And on the back is after she threw up!”