Thursday, September 27, 2007

A hard truth

It all started easily enough. I was reading through my usual blogs and checked in with Jess at Making Home. I've only just recently started reading Jess's blog, but have found her posts to be informative, well-written, and thorough (I am actually amazed that she finds time to write so much so well!). From time to time, Jess writes a round-up of articles of note that she has read recently. And then under the category for "Food For Thought" , I read:
"Vaccines and their ingredients: You may be surprised (as I was!) to learn that aborted human fetal tissue is an ingredient in many mainstream vaccines. Take a look and make an informed choice about these issues from now on."
I have read anti-vaccine information before. It seems that many of the natural birth, home birth, whole foods, homeschooling, etc. crowd are also anti-vaccine, and I was interested by the idea although I had not done much research. Then, this past week, Jenny McCarthy spoke about the MMR vaccine and her ideas about it causing her son's autism. I was curious, did some research on MMR and autism, and told Joe yesterday that I wanted to consider not giving it to Charlie. But nothing prepared me for the information I read today.

I thought that surely this idea that vaccines were made from aborted babies must just be the latest right-wing rumor making its way around the internet. So, I clicked her link and was brought to an anti-vaccine website that contained a table showing the ingredients in different vaccines. I chose one that I recognized and think that my boys have gotten: Varivax. The chart says it contains (among other things) "human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue." What!?

Still not convinced and since there are so many rumors going around out there, I went to the manufacturer's website and found the prescribing information for Varivax. The first paragraph that describes how the vaccine is made says:
"The virus was initially obtained from a child with natural varicella, then introduced into human embryonic lung cell cultures, adapted to and propagated in embryonic guinea pig cell cultures and finally propagated in human diploid cell cultures (WI-38). Further passage of the virus for varicella vaccine was performed at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in human diploid cell cultures (MRC-5) that were free of adventitious agents."

I still didn't believe what I was reading and called Merck (880-672-6372) to hear it directly from them. After only a minute or two punching the right numbers on my phone to get to a service representative, Stacey answered. I described going online and finding the prescribing information, and then I asked my question.
"Where did you get the human embryonic lung cells?"
"I will be happy to find that answer for you, Mrs. Holland. Can you hold, please?"
Stacey placed me on hold and when she picked back up, it was obvious that she was reading a scripted answer.
"Thank you for holding, Mrs. Holland. The cells cultured for this and other vaccines were approved by the FDA for use in vaccine development from an aborted fetus from 30 years ago...."
I really didn't hear much after she said "aborted fetus." Nothing else that she said mattered. I do remember her emphasizing the "30 years ago" part, as if profiting from a death that took place a long time ago made it less heinous. I ended the call politely and went and found Joe and told him what I had learned with tears in my eyes.

I have spent the remainder of my free moments of time (stolen in between the normal work of day to day life) pulling up article after article. Apparently, many vaccines were developed using embryonic stem cell lines derived from aborted babies. They actually know in the case of some of the stem lines, what baby it came from (a boy or girl and it's gestational age) and the situation around the abortion! I had no idea! I am still just in shock and feel so deceived. I hate the horror that is abortion and have wept before at the magnitude of its evil. But, I never before today realized that I have ever done anything to support it.

Read it!

I read a great post a few days ago. I am late in referencing it since made the rounds in the blogosphere while we were on vacation, but nevertheless I had to post it here too:

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson from Fresh Brewed Life

(HT to Barbara at Mommy Life)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wreck update

Joe rode to Jackson with a friend today and got a rental minivan. So now the boys and I will be able to get out of the house! The adjuster from AllState looked at our minivan too and estimated the damage at $2900. Now, we'll take it to the body shop and they can make their adjustments to AllState's estimate and start working on the van. It is borderline on whether it will be declared "totaled" or not...we'll see.

Joe is still pretty sore and I've kept Will and David on ibuprofen until last night. Will is more bothered by the 60 or so chigger or tick bites on his ankles than he is from the wreck. David can't say, of course, but seems to be fine.

Just another manic Monday

I know that it is going to be a long day when I am giving the boys a bath already at 10 AM. Monday was one of those days. With energy to burn after being cooped up in the car for 2 days, the boys ran and ran Monday morning and were coated in mud. I popped them in the shower (they were actually too muddy for a bath to have done any good) and got them out and dressed. I ran to answer the phone and it was a realtor wanting to show the an hour!

I said yes and scrambled to get ready. Thankfully, Charlie had fallen asleep in the swing and I plopped Will and David down in front of a movie. Joseph and I worked our way through each room straightening and cleaning. He was such a good little helper and had a great attitude the whole time! I grabbed a loaf of bread, block of cheese, and some waters and put the boys into the Corolla (the van is still out of commission from the wreck). The three bigger guys where in the back and I sat Charlie's carrier on the front passenger seat. We drove just barely down the street since Joseph and Charlie weren't buckled in and waited. They ended up looking at the house for almost an hour. Later, the realtor said that the wife really liked the house, but that the husband wanted more land.

I was grateful that I had left the house presentable before we left on vacation and that we had put most things away on Sunday when we got home. I was also grateful for God's peace as I "stashed and dashed" cleaning up. He knew each part of my day that Monday and had a plan and a purpose for the busyness. I kept on reminding myself of his sovereignty as I cleaned and repeated Isaiah 26:3 ("You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.") to myself.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

On the road again

I'm checking in tonight from the Courtyard Marriott in Chattanooga where we are staying on the way home. What a week! Joe was rear-ended while driving the van with David, Will, my dad, and my brother-in-law in the car with him. It has added drama to an already intense week. And tonight, Joe realized that he left his prescription muscle relaxant for the whiplash in Lynchburg.

We have talked a lot (okay, not a lot because it has been busy, but whenever we could) about how God has a plan for this too. We are wanting to learn to be content in all circumstances!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday morning

It is 74 degrees here this morning and my boys are excited because they think, "Fall is here!" They insisted that they were freezing and needed to wear their jackets. I wonder what they are going to think when we go to Virginia this weekend and it is in the 50s?

Monday, September 10, 2007


I made meatballs for the first time today using a recipe from Tammy's Recipes. I doubled the recipe and froze 3 meals worth, while we enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight too. I also made Tammy's Italian Cheese bread, which reminded Joe and I of something we used to order out from Gumby's in Charlottesville.
Charlie has finally turned a corner (and it is not a corner leading to a dead-end as Joe predicted) and is happy! He is starting to sleep more and doesn't cry all of the time. Hallelujah!
We leave Friday for Virginia and can't wait to see everyone!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

by Louisa Stead

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”


Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.