Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I enjoyed this commentary . . . . . . .

Tim inspired me with a wonderful commentary on his family's blog. I loved reading it and decided to publish one that I heard on the radio recently that really grabbed me. Enjoy!

Do It for Mom

By Mark Earley

Divorce and the Environment

Note: This commentary was delivered by PFM President Mark Earley.

Is divorce bad for children? The data strongly suggests that it is. There is no shortage of studies that show a correlation between divorce and what social scientists call “adverse outcomes,” such as drug use, teen pregnancy, depression, and other bad things.

Yet, even with the data, many scientists and academics decline to tell people that they should stay married for the sake of children.

If Americans will not stay together for their children’s sake, would they do it to save the planet?

That is the question being asked in the wake of a recent Michigan State study. Researchers there found that divorce “exacts a serious toll on the environment.” How? It boosts “the energy and water consumption of those who used to live together.”

Why this should be the case is not hard to understand: Divorce turns what used to be one household into two. The efficient use of resources, including money, that comes naturally to families living under the same roof no longer applies. In its place are two of just about everything. The researchers calculated that, as the result of divorce, an additional 38 million rooms had to be heated and lighted.

The impact of this divorce-induced consumption is not trivial, they say. The researchers calculated that if divorced couples had stayed married, the “United States would have saved 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 627 BILLION gallons of water”—and that’s in 2005 alone.

That is approximately as much electricity as American households use in three weeks and nearly as much water as all of American industry uses in an entire year.

Clearly, the study’s authors were right when they said that after blaming “industries for environmental problems,” it is time to look at the impact of households. But if you are expecting environmental groups to emphasize or even mention getting and staying married as a way to “save the planet,” well, you are mistaken.

The head of the Earth Policy Institute told the Washington Post that “shifting to more energy-efficient appliances is the answer, not trying to prevent divorce or trying to make divorce more difficult.” In other words, get divorced if you like—just make sure your new home has an energy-efficient dishwasher and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

No surprise here. Environmentalism, as Los Angeles Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez puts it, increasingly resembles a “religious awakening.” But, like most modern religions, its aim is to make the adherent feel righteous, not to be righteous.

Thus, given the choice between personal fulfillment and “saving the planet,” the choice is easy: The environment joins the kids on the list of those things whose well-being is sacrificed on the altar of our autonomy. Just as our children have to settle for “quality time,” “Mother Earth” will have to be content with energy-efficient appliances and a check to an environmental group. Any real sacrifice is for other people to make.

Of course, that does not change the impact that our choices have on both people and now, it seems, the planet. We can violate the moral order for only so long before the stones themselves begin to cry out.

For Further Reading and Information

Roberto Rivera, “Do It for Mom!The Point, 5 December 2007.

A Really Inconvenient Truth: Divorce Is Not Green,” Michigan State University press release, 10 December 2007.

Juliet Eilperin, “Divorce Found to Harm the Environment with Higher Energy, Water Use,” Washington Post, 4 December 2007, A02.

Gregory Rodriguez, “Greenness Is Next to Godliness,” Los Angeles Times, 10 December 2007.

Meghan Daum, “Save the World: Stay Married,” Los Angeles Times, 8 December 2007.

See this table showing the “Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000” and this tableEstimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000—Total Water Use.” Also see “End-Use Consumption of Electricity 2001.” and the “

BreakPoint Commentary No. 071211, “Fruitless Folly: Voluntary Self-Extinction.”

BreakPoint Commentary No. 071102, “Just Do It: Good Stewardship and Global Warming.”

Regis Nicoll, “The New World Religion: Environmentalism and the Western World,” BreakPoint Online, 31 January 2005.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


During the winter months we like to keep a puzzle set up and going. We enjoy doing them together and we have discovered many kindred puzzlers amongst our friends and visitors.

This year during the holidays we started and finished several puzzles.

Ken, Haley, Matthew and I especially like them.

This is a new puzzle so it's the first time we've put it together. Have you noticed a theme around our house?? We seem to have a one track mind!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Church Family

Here are pictures of some of our church family at Christmas.

Lots of good fellowship and food of course.

We were so happy to have Kyle with us for this service.
Everyone at church has come to love him and he's become a part of us all.

Grandpa Bud is so goofy. It's almost impossible to get a serious picture of him. So this series of shots was an attempt to get a normal picture and is hilarious.
Gretchen was encouraging him to act normal and smile. Finally she just gave him a kiss.

Oh well, some things never change! ;-)

We love you all and pray for the Lord's blessing and growth in your lives this year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Joyful Noise

For our Christmas church service each family was encouraged to present something. I've always wanted to be in a bell choir, but never had the opportunity. So about a year ago we purchased these bells for the family. We hadn't really done much with them, so Ken suggested that we dust them off and try our hand at some carols.

Kyle was up for the weekend so he joined in. What a good sport.

We had to tranpose the music because it was from one of our old piano books. That confused us a bit until Gretchen wrote out the music as colored dots. The colors matched the bells of course. Then we could follow!

We did only melody with the exception of the "Amen" at the end.

I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of us performing. It was a LOT of fun. Next year we go for harmony!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Kyle wanted to make gingerbread cookies with the kids.
So he came up and brought his favorite recipe.

In the evening they prepared the dough so that it could chill overnight.

The next morning it was time to make cookies!

We've made gingerbread before, but only for houses and those we don't eat.

I don't know if the recipe for houses is different than for cookies but this dough took a bit more handling.

To really get the feel for our day of cookie making, you must turn on Handel's Messiah and imagine Nate singing the bass solo parts with loud enthusiasm!
Once you've done that you can proceed.

I think decorating is the most fun!

These cookies were yummy! Thanks Kyle for sharing your expertise with us.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anyone Care for a Dance?

Last week we had a real treat! The Pollock family invited us to their neck of the woods for an English Country Dance (ECD). We had a FABULOUS time!

We met first at their home for dinner. You know how you can feel like old friends with people that you have just met? Well it was that way for us. Their hospitality was warm and welcoming. We felt right at home.

Why break up around two tables if you can all squeeze in around one?

After Dinner and a quick change we headed over to Heritage Hall. Gretchen and Nathaniel had fun taking turns teaching and calling the dances. It was the perfect facility, just the right size and pretty as well. There was a restaurant attached to the hall and the owner just had to stop in and see what we were up to. He stayed longer than I would have guessed. Definitely a different picture of young people and families. I wonder what he thought. =)

The girls were all beautiful. They had made dresses for the evening. They had some really fun hair styles. It was so much fun to see everyone's creativity and there is nothing like dancing in a long full dress!

George Washington was said to have loved dancing. This is the kind of dancing that he would have done! (Jared and Annie were a cute married couple in their matching blue outfits)

The names of the dances are so funny ie., Physical Snob, Juice of Barley, The Dressed Ship, Knives and Forks, None Such, I Care Not for These Ladies, and Mad Robin. We didn't actually dance all of those this time, but perhaps if we are privileged enough to go back again, we'll tackle some of these.

It was great to be with a group who gets into it and enjoys it as much as we do. Thanks for inviting us.

When you dance, of course you have to have yummy snacks.

The fellowship with like minded families was a blessing.

In ECDancing each song has it's own particular dance.

Being a sewer I was distracted by all the beautiful dresses and didn't get as many pictures of the guys. My apologies gentleman. They were very dapper as well.

"What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies." Sir William, Pride and Prejudice.

Sherry's mom also joined us at the dance. She was such a good sport and danced several dances. I was blessed to visit with her. She's a sweet godly grandmother who must be a tremendous blessing to her family.

I believe that Daniel danced every dance. He's a seasoned expert now!

The younger girls were darling, . . . . . . . . . bubbly and full of enthusiasm.

This was a great group to call for. They caught on quickly, it was a pretty evenly matched group, and everyone danced most all the dances.
We would call for you guys again in a second!

Monday, December 17, 2007

What It Looks Like At Our House . . . . .


We sure do love this kind of weather! =)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

70 days left!

Not that we're counting, or anything. ;-)