10.29.2008

Good Times with McFaddens, Grammy and Baby Shower #73



Kelly, a very calm Autumn and Mike "Ferris" McFadden (the guy who sent an awful pict of Autumn in a Bronco uni)... stopping in while out from Denver (yes, ironically the Eakins were here and from Denver as well - good memory people!)





"Grammy", Autumn and Joy ready for shower #73...



Thank you Lord, she slumbers... and so do I.



Yahoo - thanks Denise and McFads (Correction - THIS ONE IS from McFads, Denise's arrived in the mail! Sorry - thanks to both!). And to the Garcias, whose PINK version is also a HIT. The McFaddens atoned for their Bronco prank by getting us a THIRD Cowboy outfit. Too bad they (the Cowboys) are horrible right now. Thanks everyone!

Good Times

video

10.27.2008

Autumn Top Ten Update

We Love Autumn more and more! Here is her Top Ten Update
  1. Joy and I have also fallen in love with the baby video monitor - set it up tonight. Brilliant.
  2. Autumn's acne is subsiding - now she will be cute to everyone else as well:).
  3. I have also noticed I am watching baby gear commercials with surprising interest like diaper fit technology and such.
  4. I may accidently kiss her right (facial) cheek off if I am not careful.
  5. "Grammy" (Joy's Mom) has discovered Autumn's ability to stand with someone else balancing her.
  6. Joy is a natural at being a fantastic momma.
  7. You are all ridiculously generous - friends, family and church family... meals are still coming this week from church. How can we keep this going until Christmas?
  8. Autumn's #3 ranked favorite spot is being held while me or Joy bounce on the blue yoga ball.
  9. Her perch retains the #2 most desirable location after three weeks ( #1 Mommy).
  10. At 3 weeks old, she has more christmas outfits than I have cowboy paraphenalia.

10.25.2008

Prop 8 - What Should I Be Considering?

I am writing this as Erin (and not Joy - not that she disagrees with me, just that she didn't write this, I did).

I am sure you have been thinking a lot about what to vote for on Prop 8. Why are you voting the way you are?

  • May we dialogue with civility?
  • What do YOU THINK about Prop 8?
  • Is Yes on Prop 8 fair or not (and if so, based on what reasoning?)

I know this is an emotional and divisive issue for many and at the risk of being written off immediately due to my profession (licensed pastor), this isn't about attacking the homosexual lifestyle. Anyone who really understands the teachings of the Gospel, knows that hating people is not part of it. The love of God and neighbor is the greatest commandment - this includes people from all walks of life, religion, socio - economic backgrounds and sexual preferences.

I honestly haven't looked at much of the material out there on this issue... I just know the basics and I wanted to share my thoughts as I long to hear yours. I am not arguing for people to change their lifestyle here, I am simply questioning the deconstruction of a traditional marriage definition in the California State Constitution to allow for same sex marriages.

I also understand that this is a deeply emotional issue, and for some are who have placed hopes in being viewed by society as "legalized couples" - this is paramount on their list of "social injustices". Some well-meaning heterosexual people out there maybe even think it "would be the right thing to do" to let the State of California allow the changes to the definition of marriage to include same-sex (meaning No on 8). The tv ads have been pretty good, like most ads, tugging at the emotions, inciting fear or anger...

...but what should I be considering here?

Here is a quote off the NO on Prop 8 website, whose banner reads "Unfair. Wrong." - how so?

“Proposition 8… would eliminate the fundamental right to same-sex marriage. The very act of denying gay and lesbian couples the right to marrytraditionally the highest legal and societal recognition of a loving commitment – by definition relegates them and their relationship to second class status.”
- Los Angeles Times Editorial, August 8, 2008


Please, bear with me, this sounds persuasive but is the logic behind it?

TWO QUESTIONS:

Question on "fundamental right"
and "right to marry"
Where does that fundamental right come from? A group of lawmakers, scientists, the majority of a society?
To those lobbying for it? Can someone tell me what we all should be fundamentally basing this decision on - it sounds like some sort of an absolute truth or something.

Question on "traditionally"
and "same sex marriage"
How ironic that he is using tradition as a logical basis for establishing recognition among society. What is the traditional definition of marriage ... is same-sex part of that vocabulary, practice and do we have good historical, biological and religous evidence to shape that tradition (I think so generally speaking- see below).

TWO THOUGHTS:

Some thoughts on "fundamental rights" and "right to marry":
This quote from the LA Times presupposes that we all know what FUNDAMENTAL VALUE is being talked about here and WHO decides what is FUNDAMENTAL. In other words, the writer is assuming we all know as a society the moral or ethical foundation of truth we can all go back to and agree upon. Or does he?

WHO determines what is FUNDAMENTAL? Well, without making this a ten page paper, I would say it is hard to have a FUNDAMENTAL (an absolute truth we can all hang our hats on) without a transcendent being (i.e. God. And my biased fundamental) providing the basis for it. Love, justice, beauty, sexuality - think about it, where does those defintions come from originally - chemicals firing in an evolutionary morass at the beginning of time?. Without God (or a god) in ones worldview, one has to have another FUNDAMENTAL to begin with that comes from OUTSIDE oneself.

Does government or society determine the type of FUNDAMENTALS the writer is talking about (there are some good examples but also really bad ones... wait, did I just make a moral judgement on what is good and bad? Think Naziism, Stalinism, Rwandan genocide. Why does the rest of humanity condemn such atrocity)? Sounds good but, take it one step further, is there something beyond society because maybe it TRANSCENDS society? If you say SOCIETY determines that FUNDAMENTAL (such as values like... love your neighbor, same-sex marriage or rape is wrong), then WHICH SOCIETY? And WHO determines that?

Do we notice the slippery slope? I understand not everyone is a believer in God of some kind, let alone a Christian, but to hear these arguments that say No to Prop 8 using ethical language (like fundamental right) begs me to challenge the basis for it. There is probably a lot more to say here but I will leave this here for now (see RZIM, Ravi Zacharias for more on this line of reasoning).

Some thoughts on "traditionally" and "same-sex marriage":
I think it makes sense to retain the terminology of "civil union" for those who want to make a commitment to live a homosexual lifestyle together with a partner but to change the definition of marriage is where the line must be drawn. (Some of these are from Rick Warren's News & Views)
  1. Why are we going to change the definition for marriage for 2% of the population in North America?
  2. Why are we going to change the definition of marriage when all major religions though out history have stated it was between a man and a woman?
  3. Why is there a need to change it now after 5000 years of human existence?
  4. How would humanity have multiplied to the 6 billion people on earth today without the understanding that marriage was between a man and a woman?

My point is this (all-caps below for emphasis not anger):

  • SAME-SEX MARRIAGE is NOT A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT that is being opposed. It is an OPINION THAT WANTS TO CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE that is being opposed IN THE FACE of CONTRARY FUNDAMENTAL EVIDENCE (YES on 8).

  • IT (Yes on 8) IS NOT UNFAIR because FAIR would IMPLY AN INJUSTICE based on a FUNDAMENTAL DEFINITION of what marriage is SUPPOSED TO BE.

  • SAYING (No on 8), IS CHANGING THE FUNDAMENTAL DEFINITION OF A HISTORICAL, BIOLOGICAL and RELIGOUS TRADITION... A LEGAL and/or RELIGOUS COMMITMENT BETWEEN A MAN AND WOMAN.

  • I AM VOTING YES on 8

What does this mean for how I treat my family, friends and neighbors that are homosexual?
  • I lovingly disagree with changing the definition of marriage but I still love my family, friends and neighbors.
  • If they desire to make a lifelong commitment to a same sex partner at a civil union - I would not oppose that even though I would disagree with the lifestyle choice (I disagree with other lifestyle choices like not exercising or spending over $20 on a haircut).
  • If they ever want to talk about it personally with me, I would love that.
  • I still consider anyone gay, straight, bi, trans, "fill in the blank" inherently valuable to God, deeply loved by Him and will treat them with dignity, respect and love as I believe Jesus would.

This is not a term paper or a philosophy test so I have no illusion of being smart or that I have it all figured out. I am sure there are some significant holes in my thinking. Help me understand your perception.

Please share with me what you think and why you plan on voting the way you are.

Thanks for your consideration.

More beautiful and heart warming pictures of Autumn will return shortly.

10.17.2008

The Eakin Invasion



Our good friends, The Eakins, that I (Erin) have known since college came to Socal from Denver for Disneyland and sun. It was an awesome 2 hour whirlwind of activity and laughs. Great to see them and have them meet Autumn for the first time. Their kids are Troon (oldest boy), Kendall (girl) and Cameron (youngest boy) - the most active, well spoken and best behaved kids we know. Nice job Evan and Sue!

10.12.2008

What Autumn Likes


Over a week of getting to know our daughter, I am starting to learn what she likes (and what she doesn't):

Autumn likes:

1. Her "Perch"
For some reason she is at total peace laying on her back on her changing table. She stares through the blinds at the sunny outside as if on a sunny beach in the Bahamas.

2. To Keep Us Guessing
For twenty minutes at a time she will LOVE being swaddled, shooshed, suckled, etc. but then she likes to be freed from her swaddle and lay on her back unhindered. The next ten minutes it may be reswaddled near the oven fan while sitting in her lil rocking "rain forest themed" chair.

3. Her time with Daddy
Between 5am - 7am in the morning give or take an hour. She tends not to enjoy Daddy between 1am - 5am.

4. The Outside
In brief stints (See #2). Grandma Nanjan has had numerous successful attempts to hold her while outside and even braved a ride or two in the stroller. Daddy tried this once and made it past the front patio before aborting the mission. She does enjoy the car ride but not getting into the car seat.

5. Her Furrowed-Brow
(See videos and pictures below). She is very inquisitive and pensive.

6. To be fed all day and night
"S
orry honey, can't help with that one".

7. To Wait for Grandma to change her
Waiting to save her best for last after Nancy has already cleaned her up.

8. To Scratch Her Initials into Daddy's Neck while he burps her

9. Falling Asleep Anywhere Near or On Mommy

10. To See How Stain Resistant Her Cute Outfits Are


We are so thankful to the Lord for this precious gift!

10.06.2008

Family and Family Resemblance

We have finally discovered a part of Autumn that actually looks like her Dad. After seeing Joy's baby picts, Autumn is a mirror image of my brunette bombshell wife with one exception... just like her dad, she has super- narrow, long feeeeeeet. Check these babies out!

Look at the big toe extension...
They are for swimming "freestyle" sweetheart!



Here are some more fun family picts...

10.03.2008

Welcome Autumn (Elizabeth Kerr)!



Autumn Elizabeth Kerr arrived on Thursday, Oct 2, 2008 at 8:52am at St Joseph's, Orange, CA at a stout 8 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long! Brown hair and blue eyes (for now)... yahoo, thank you Lord for this wonderful blessing! She has already started asking me about the Cowboys game on Sunday - thankfully, we will be able to watch the game together.

We are home and plan on getting our movie files edited and uploaded for your viewing - thanks for all of your prayers and support! We are pumped...oops, now for a diaper change.