Saturday, November 8, 2008

So proud to be this gal's sister in Christ

I thought this was worth sharing. This lady on my Catholic board shared a story about a business that they run and how their employee was treated upon delivering an order to a customer. DH stands for 'dear husband'. I'd love to hear your input on this type of evangelizing...

Her post:

What do you think of giving bible tracts in lieu of tipping?

DH and I own a small pizza restaurant (non-franchise type) that offers dine-in, carry-out, and delivery service. Last night, one of our drivers showed me the "tip" he received from a customer.

tract1.jpg picture by Catmandu99

tract2.jpg picture by Catmandu99

tract3.jpg picture by Catmandu99tract4.jpg picture by Catmandu99

Some of the responses were as follows:

Uh-uh. If someone wants to give that in addition to a tip, fine. But, don't bilk someone out of their tip, especially in today's economy. If you can't afford the tip, go and pick up the pizza yourself!

It is one thing to give in addition to the tip, but it should not be the tip itself.

Yelltipping is part of a person's pay, to not tip is to deprive someone of a portion of their income. it would be great if people in food service made more money & tipping wasn't essential, but it is & to give a tract instead of tipping is something i completly oppose.

if they want to give it & tip fine, totally legit. but to not tip is just bad taste.

And here was her response to the tract.

>>But, what are you gonna do?<<

What DH and I did was compose a letter that we mailed to the customer with their bible tract. Would you like to hear what it said?


Thank you so much for your order Friday night. I sincerely hope your meal exceeded your expectations. We take great pride in going above and beyond with our fresh ingredients, exquisite presentation, enthusiastic staff, and fast delivery.

I am returning the item you gave our delivery driver in lieu of a tip. As a good Catholic woman, I was apalled to see a religious tract deceptively designed to look like currency given in replacement of payment. (Do not defraud your neighbor or rob him. Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight. Leviticus 19:13)

Our drivers are hard working individuals with families who strive to give exceptional service. Their income is dependent upon the tips given them. (Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:15) Would you deny payment to a man building you a house by saying that you had already paid for the building material? (What he toiled for he must give back uneaten; he will not enjoy the profit from his trading. For he has oppressed the poor and left them destitute; he has seized houses he did not build. Surely he will have no respite from his craving; he cannot save himself by his treasure. Job 20: 18-20)

The assumption that any of our employees are in need of reminder that Jesus died for their sins is both erroneous and insulting. You automatically assumed that the gentleman delivering your food was a heathen of some sort, and you denigrated his work by giving him a cheap deceptive stage prop instead of the tip he deserved. He cannot spend it, he cannot save it, he cannot give it to charity, and he does not need the message imprinted thereon. As a Christian, I am ashamed that such a practice is out there. (Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. Jeremiah 22:13)

I am sending this letter today in the hopes that your heart is changed. To paraphrase an old priest of mine – Do not tell me you are a Christian. Let me figure it out for myself.

May God bless you and work in your life,


I seriously doubt that this will change this couple. But if it at least makes them pause before stealing someone else's income, I will feel it's worth it. I count it as a blow for the little guy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Why Obama is not only a bad choice, he is the WORST choice

If you care about life, even in the least, I think a friend's post online summed up what we should all be praying about. It is all but certain (barring a miracle) that Obama will win. What does this mean to you? Well, if you are pro-life - scratch that - if you care about the lives of our unborn children, you need to examine FOCA. It will invalidate every pro-life decision made in the past 30 years.

This is NOT a woman's issue we are talking about. This is a human rights issue that has masked itself as a 'woman's right'. The repercussions are astounding. If you think you can turn a blind eye to the biggest atrocities facing our nation, I implore you to examine your conscience.

I was approached by a lady I met at church a few weeks ago. She told me that due to a conversation I was a part of, she changed her mind from voting for Obama. If I can influence even one person from understanding the inherent evil that is associated with Obama, then I have done my part and this blog has served a good purpose. I am not advocating for McCain. I am advocating against Obama. If you are fortunate to live in a state where you can vote your conscience, consider the Libertarian party or many of the write-in candidates.

When we can't count on a candidate to represent the unborn, can we truly trust them with any other issue? I am not a one-issue voter, but in order of importance this one is at the top of the list.

I give you my friend's post. And an FYI: this is from a Catholic pov.

This is very difficult for me because I am friends with women whom I know totally disagree with me on this issue, however I think that a lot of people here who THINK they are informed are not informed about certain issues. FOCA is one of them. The reason why I say this is because there has not nearly been enough light on FOCA and how it is different from what we know to be Roe and Doe.

First of all the Church's stance when both candidates are in favor of a policy that is in conflict with Church teaching, that one is supposed to weigh the candidates and vote for the one who is in less opposition to moral issues. It does not mean that if you can find fault with both that you can ignore the moral conflict with the greater offender and vote for them because you find moral fault with both. So in your example of Obama being pro-abortion rights and McCain being pro-death penalty there is a extreme difference in effect. Three thousand unborn children are slaughtered daily- innocent unborn children who have commited no sin. Contrast that with a few hundred criminals each year who have committed grave atrocities and there isn't a comparison. FTR I have had a friend brutally murdered and I am still anti death penalty.

This is not about Roe and Doe. It is, but that is not all it is about. It is about FOCA. FOCA will remove every piece of abortion restriction legislation on the books from the last 30 years or more. It will defund crisis pregnancy clinics who will not refer for abortion. It will run Catholic hospitals out of business because it will remove the conscience clause for hospitals and pharmacies.

Do you like your Catholic hospital? Do you like your NFP only doctor? With a Deomcratic supermajority and a Democratic president, particularly if the fillibuster is lost, you can say goodbye to all of that. It means medicaid WILL fund birth control and abortion. It means your health insurance will reimburse birth control and abortion. It means that your pharmacy WILL carry Plan B, RU 486 and all forms of birth control.

I am already considering which midwife I will go to when my doctor stops delivering babies. He is NFP only and if faced with doing abortions, tubals and perscribing birth control, he will stop practicing.

We help fundraise for a crisis pregnancy clinic that provides MEDICAL care, not just counseling. It is Pro-life 100%. They have already scheduled an emergency board meeting to plan for when FOCA is passed should Obama win tonight, because if FOCA is passed they will probably have to forfeit their license since they will not be able to keep it and refuse to refer for abortions. This clinic has already driven one abortuary out of business and is almost done driving another one out of business.

I say it again. This isn't about Roe and Doe, it is about way more than that.

And I have a special needs child in public school ESE right now. I am very aware of the issues with our public schools. I am an informed voter. Neither candidate is a great choice, however there is too much riding on the moral issues surrounding this election to vote for Obama. Not to mention I do not think his platform will solve any of our problems.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pantry pics for pals

cereal (we're low on a few of those) and our fiber one bars we have to (HAVE TO) keep up high away from the little mouths!

can you tell we like cereal?

my spices section

more spices and usual grab and cook stuff

breakfast stuff (my kids eat oatmeal all the time!) and random cooking things...if i'm feeling it

all my cookbooks that i rarely use

baby food and refried beans - where it's empty is where we usually have Ranch Style Beans - we're out!!! i love that stuff! i always serve it with my quick and easy chicken and rice casserole

tomatoes...i ought to call this the tomato shelf, lol. we have them available in stewed and diced...right now...we usually have a couple other varieties too...can never have enough of this stuff on hand! green beans, corn, creamed soups for whatevers and baked beans and canned olives.

all peanut buttery type stuff, and canned stuff like tuna - we also keep our canned chicken and beef there too when we buy it

dried pasta, soups and a random can of beans

always have to have tomato soup on hand for grilled cheese! black beans, garbanzo and black eyed peas, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and some spaghetti sauce and yes, cranberry sauce.
**i'll have to photograph the bottom shelf that i apparently overlooked but it's got some of my paper products like paper plates, bowls, napkins, lunch bags, plastic utencils, and other things like trivets, foil paper and things I overbuy on, like miracle whip, relish, ketchup, dressing, etc.**

i added some light for this, but basically a repeat of the above photo...

my nutrisystem stuff and our garbage bags...still undecided on whether those are going out to the garage too (there's a small glimpse of my paper products shelf)

i keep popcorn, extra bags of chips, pretzels (that don't fit over the fridge) here

this is my wip (work in progress)

I was challenged to show my before pictures of my pantry to friends online who wanted to see my 'stockpiling' in action. BUUUUT, I couldn't do the before pictures...well, a true before anyway. The pantry is by no means the way I want it, but I tidied it up a little before snapping some pics

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ode to a neglected blog

Nothing. To be honest, I've let this one slip. The family blog took on more of a life than I thought and somehow it's become a really fun outlet for me. This one is going to take some more time to get used to and into a groove. I'm trying, though. I really am. I think about this poor neglected blog from time to time and how it's not going anywhere. I promise I'll be back more frequently. In the meantime I have *got* to find a way to come up with some topics - they don't even have to be interesting - this is how desparate I am. ANYTHING! If you are reading this and have ideas, please leave a comment so I can post! Quick! Before it goes code blue! lol

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Relying on the kindness of strangers

It just occurred to me today that people are sometimes nice...just because. In this season of Lent, and particularly today when things feel hugely overwhelming, I have to self-highlight things that people do that I want to mirror in my own behavior. And it was something as simple as flashing headlights. I had the car all loaded up to take some stuff to Goodwill. I was a woman on a mission yesterday. What started out as a search for empty boxes to throw away for trash day turned into a mini garage sweep. In just under two hours, I got half of the garage pared down to what we actually need. I was pretty proud of myself. I got the back of the Yukon all filled up, took a picture for posterity...ok, not really :) but for tax purposes. It helps me organize the It's Deductible program better. I headed over to Goodwill where I dropped everything off. I took a different way home, one that sort of weaves through the back of our neighborhood. As I make a turn, someone coming towards me is flashing her headlights furiously. I looked at the speedometer. Check. Everything is good. I can see the patrol car sitting in the shade and when I first look, it's pretty well hidden. Then a second car coming towards me does the same thing. At this point, I haven't really given their charity much thought. Further down the road and closer to home, I am on the phone and hang up. As I hang up, I notice another patrol car at a stop light. GREAT I think to myself. This is a notorious spot that some ladies on the local Austin board of BBC (my favorite website) have talked about getting a ticket when only going 2 miles over the speed limit. Why? Because this is in front of a school. But it's not the flashing yellow light time of day. It's about 10:30 a.m. I look at my speedometer again. I'm going 33mph in a 30mph zone. Uh oh. I slow down as soon as I notice the problem and wait for those lights to swirl around. It doesn't happen. Over in the grassy median is the other officer with his motorcycle. Turns out the two of them are chattin' it up. They didn't even have the radar gun pointed at anyone. I seriously dodged a bullet. I've never gotten a speeding ticket...or any ticket - ok, well, there was that one I got on campus years ago for parking without the right permit. But moving violations...I haven't gotten any of those.

The speed traps in Austin are ridiculous to say the least. But keeping things in perspective, I realize that things could have been a lot worse. On the heels of lots of sick kids, lots of visitors in the house and projects going left and right, I'm just glad I didn't have to add this to my list of things to deal with. I love spring, but with it comes a lot of decluttering. With that comes a lot of dealing with stuff that hasn't been dealt with in a while. It's good to get things taken care of, but at the same time, the old saying 'when it rains it pours' is the bitter truth. I like the idea of knowing I'll have a clean garage soon or that the kids' rooms are almost complete or that we'll get to do some shopping for new light fixtures, but getting to that good feeling means going through a lot of yuck in the meantime.

Lent is definitely a time for me to carry my cross more dilligently. I don't always do it quietly and that, in and of itself is my cross. I have to work hard at catching myself when I don't carry it quietly. I try not to complain too much, but sometimes it's honestly just that hard.

I think Lent to a more specific thought will be the topic of my next post. In the meantime, I am just glad someone was nice enough to flash their headlights for me. I'm a huge proponent of paying it forward, so I'll be looking forward to doing something nice for someone else very soon.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I think we may have the ugliest wallpaper...ever!

So, we finally bit the bullet and hired professionals to paint Jonathan's (and Drew's) room. Jonathan had wanted some outrageous color schemes for his room including black, but we finally settled on orange...two shades of orange. I want tangerines when I walk in his room now, lol. I got the paint for both the girls' and boys' room, but we admitted defeat after the girls' room because of all the ridiculous taping for the moulding, chair railing and picture moulding. It was just too much. It came down to $ vs. time. Time won out and I brought in a paint company to give us an estimate for the room as well as a couple other projects we wanted to look over and factor into our "I'm sick and tired of looking at it" budget. The bathroom was one of those rooms. Our bathroom. Why on God's green earth wallpaper was ever popular is beyond me, but we had three rooms with it. The kitchy kitchen with its PT Barnum and Bailey circus look, our master bath with the worst and largest print blue French toile and the kids' bathroom. We opted to do both the bathroom and Jonathan's bedroom at the same time. As I sit here, they are now putting up the primer for the paint. I am SOOOO glad we didn't decide to do it ourself. We'd have had to float the wallpaper seams, texture it ourselves and then paint it. I can't make a straight line to save my would have looked gawd awful!!

So, now we'll be waiting for the upstairs bathroom and kitchen estimates to come through. I have to think long and hard about how soon I want to be displaced again. Going without the master bathroom was pretty hard. I keep Paige and Drew's clothes in my closet and I totally forgot to get extra changes of clothes out. Not to mention I totally underestimated the upheaval of the bathroom between work shifts. This totally solidifies my opinion of never wanting to live through any kind of renovations while living in the house. At least major renovations.

In the meantime, I'll just dream about what I want to do next.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shall we toast to a new blog?

There's nothing more refreshing than starting a new project. Why? Because it's completely untainted. I haven't done anything yet, so it's 'oh so perfect'. That's how I'm viewing my newest blog. It's going to contain the things I want to talk about that have to do with anything and everything beyond the things that would normally define who I am. That means, anything beyond the family spectrum - I have had a lot of fun working on Drew's blog that it's sort of evolved into what the family's doing. Rather than bog it down with my own personal interests, I thought I'd start a new one where I can talk about a lot of things. Of course, I do realize that a huge part of me is defined as Martina the individual, Martina - wife to Neil, and Martina the momma aka Ashley's mom, Jonathan's mom, Paige's mom and now Drew's mom. Oh, and the occasional 'hey you' factor. I wear a lot of hats...that's for sure.

So, what does this blog mean to me? Well, I guess I've been wanting a landing spot to talk about anything from politics to religion (shhhh, the two big no-no's!) Why? Because I think we're living in an age where the privacy of the polls and not sharing our religion has gotten ridiculously silent. We should be living in an age where we can discuss these things and I believe it *can* be done. It *should* be done. And something as simple as disagreement can be viewed as differing points and the discussion can cheerfully end. The biggest thing I've discovered about myself is that it's ok to disagree and move on. I've also noticed that there are many, many people who insist on being right to the point that they have alienated the discussion and turn it into something else. I call that the no ears syndrome. I love the spirit of the debate because it doesn't have to be something personal. Sometimes you'll run across someone who is looking for a good (what I call) headbutt. Those are nearly always fruitless discussions.

In any case, I hope that you'll enjoy this blog as much as I will enjoy keeping up with it. I want to share everything from favorite recipes I come across, photos I take, anecdotes from my daily life or news events going on. I also want to share tips on anything I can find to make my life easier, like housekeeping tips, a good craft idea, or maybe some home decorating ideas. I could always use those!

So, pull up a chair, grab a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate or tea and let's see how this blog morphs, ok?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Woo Hoo! I can write about anything I want!

I've been debating starting my own blog to talk about stuff that interests me, from the small things that really don't matter at all to other, more important things. I have no examples of either category, which shows anyone who's reading that I have absolutlely no direction in this blog. Instead of blogs, they ought to call them 'blah blah blahs' because that's exactly what I intend on doing. Rambling. About nonsensical stuff, lol.