Saturday, November 28, 2009

There's Nothing More That I Can Say . . .

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read:

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
Adrian Rogers, 1931



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving . . .

TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP.
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS,
I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.

THE LEFTOVERS BECKONED -
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE,
BUT I FOUGHT THE TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT.

TOSSING AND TURNING WITH ANTICIPATION,
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR,
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES GALORE.

GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS, BEANS AND TOMATOES.
I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,

'TIL ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING, FLOATING INTO THE SKY,
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF PIE.
BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES....

HAPPY EATING TO ALL - PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.
MAY YOUR STUFFING BE TASTY,
MAY YOUR TURKEY BE PLUMP.
MAY YOUR POTATOES 'N GRAVY HAVE NARY A LUMP.
MAY YOUR YAMS BE DELICIOUS.
MAY YOUR PIES TAKE THE PRIZE,
MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING DINNER STAY OFF OF YOUR THIGHS!!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL

(poem from an email; author unknown - pictures coursesy of google images)





Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why I Am Thankful to Live In Idaho . . .

Yes, I realize that lil 'ole Idaho has hardly any political clout.
But at least our Representatives have brains.
Even our lone Democrat.
This letter is from him. . .
(Even though he is optimistic about getting a good bill in the Senate - I'm sure not!)



November 23, 2009

Mrs. Loralee Carey
(address deleted)

Dear Loralee:

Thank you for contacting me about my recent vote on H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Like you, I want to find smart ways to reduce the ever-increasing costs of health care, while making insurance easier and more accessible to all Americans. However, I do not believe that this bill was the right approach.

First, I believe very strongly that our government must show much more fiscal accountability. It is my responsibility as your Congressman to make sure we do not enact new spending programs which are not fully paid for and which worsen our already out of control federal budget deficit.

Second, I believe any reforms must reduce costs within our health care system. Unfortunately, this bill did little to do that, keeping in place a structure that allows doctors in states like Florida and New York to charge many times more for simple procedures than doctors in Idaho. Furthermore, a recent report by the non-partisan Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concluded that the bill would actually increase spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years.

Finally, I oppose the creation of a new, government-run health insurance bureaucracy that will reduce competition, limit choices, and do very little to reduce costs within our health care system. We cannot afford to create a new entitlement program at a time when Medicare and other federal medical insurance programs are requiring ever increasing taxpayer support to remain solvent.

We must reform the insurance industry and demand accountability by passing some very simple measures. For example, we need to strengthen tort laws to discourage frivolous lawsuits and the practice of defensive medicine. We need to increase competition by allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines. And we must guarantee that an insurance company cannot deny you coverage just because you have a pre-existing condition.

The vote in the House of Representatives was the first vote in the process for health care reform, and I am still optimistic that a bill will emerge from the Senate that I will be able to support. Please feel free to visit my website at http://minnick.house.gov for continued updates on my work, and do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance in the future.

It is an honor to serve you in the U.S. Congress.

Sincerely,
Walt Minnick
Congressman
ID, 1st CD



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hannah's 2nd Birthday Party!

Our beautiful little granddaughter, Hannah, recently celebrated her 2nd birthday
She seems entralled when we lit her candles . . .


Oops, got frosting on her hand-

As hard as we tried, she just did NOT want anything to do with blowing out her candles!

Big bro Dillon . . .
. . . and baby sis Brooke!

I just had to add this video from that same night . . .


(. . . where was I? How did I not know that my six-year-old had my camera? And this is what he catches with it. I never get good stuff like this - Dillon is way too shy in front of me!)


video

Evan Thomas' 2nd Birthday Party!

Is this an all-boy birthday cake, or what? Tom-Tom picked out the toys that he wanted on his cake, and his mom went to town decorating it.
We should've known-
Once Tom-Tom opened this present (a John Deere talking toolbelt, with an official John Deere hat) he didn't have any interest in anything else!
But when big sis showed an interest in his gifts, even clothes were a little more appealing to him. Sibling rivalry!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

THE SEED

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to
choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to
do something different. He called all the young executives in his
company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have
decided to choose one of you.

"The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going
to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED.

I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from
today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.

I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will
be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received
a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped
him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After
about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about
their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.
Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a
plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had
killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had
nothing.
Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however... He just kept
watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company
brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.
Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot.
But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to
his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his
life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed
at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were
beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes.

Jim put his empty pot on the floor and
many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young
executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back.. "My, what great plants, trees, and
flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be
appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his
empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he
will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his
seed
- Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and
then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief
Executive Officer! His name is Jim!"

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a
seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back
to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was
not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.
When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another
seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with
my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief
Executive Officer!"

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

* If you plant faith in God , you will reap a harvest

So, be careful what you plant now;
it will determine what you will reap later..

"Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back"

(Thanks Duane and Penny, for emailing this to me...)

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Primary (Still!) Teaches Me . . .

This week it was my turn to do Sharing Time for the Primary children. I love this part of my calling; even though I am not at all comfortable speaking in front of a group, it always helps my testimony grow when I see how much the Gospel means to those children, and witness the formation of their own testimonies.

This week the topic was setting a good example of service in our family. Which made me think of all the good examples of service that were set for me. I grew up in a wonderful family, with faithful parents who put raising their family first, who always helped those around them, and steadfastedly served in their callings. They were the greatest example of service in my life. And there were others who taught me by example, as well.

I remember the day, quite a few years ago, when I was called to be the Primary President. We had only been in the area for about a year, and our ward had just been divided. My only previous experience in Primary was as the pianist. I actually giggled when the Bishop extended the calling. (Me?) That might seem disrespectful or sacrilegious, of course unless you knew that the Bishop and his wife were good friends of ours.


I said "Are you sure? I have never done anything like that before." And all he said in reply was "Oh yes, we are sure". Somehow those simple words lifted me up and gave me courage.
But as soon as I stepped outside his office, I burst into tears. I was overwhelmed. How was I going to be able to serve in this capacity? My fourth child was a toddler, and my husband and I were trying to get a new business off the ground. The time commitment seemed overwhelming.

But as I prayed and pondered on how in the world I could fulfill this calling to serve these precious children, I was prompted by the Holy Ghost in two ways: to pick 2 specific women to be my counselors, whose talents and capabilities far exceeded my own, and most importantly, their strong testimonies would bring spirituality to the Primary where mine was so lacking. (My testimony wasn't weak, but my spirituality certainly was.) The second prompting was to draw on the experiences I'd had as a primary pianist.


In what way could I do that? Our prior wards had always had wonderful, spiritual, and accomplished women in the Primary. I had been given the opportunity during those years to watch and absorb each week all of the wonderful ways that they served in their callings. I drew so much from that as I struggled to fulfill my role. There were many times that I wanted to give up. But with the support and love of my counselors and the example of those previous sisters, I learned and grew in the Gospel.
I am so grateful for all that I learned from that experience. Now, about 12 years later, as I serve again as a primary counselor, I am thankful for the wonderful sisters that I am blessed to work with, especially our wonderful president. I know what she is going through, and I try to do all I can to lighten her load. I know that my Heavenly Father has given me these experiences to not only serve others, but to help me learn and grow.


And I carry with me the realization that I may be looked upon as an example to others, and that I have the responsibility to be the best kind of example that I can. A heavy load to carry, but I hope that I can in some small way, inspire others to love and fulfill their callings, no matter what they may be.
No calling in the LDS Church is insignificant. I have learned that firsthand.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm Dreaming . . .

Apparently,
. . . of a White Thanks-giv-ing.

It started snowing early this afternoon and hasn't stopped since.
I hope we aren't in for a repeat of last year's winter storms-
(Six FEET of snow fell in the month of December!)
It is pretty when it snows . . . I will post more pictures here tomorrow. Hopefully there will be a blue sky to go with the snow!
*** update ** The sun hasn't come out long enough for me to get a picture with the pretty blue sky!***
What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Friday Fill-Ins

I saw this little list, and I thought it might be fun to do. . . so here I go!

1. The last band I saw live was . . . Owl City in Spokane WA.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is . . . visiting with family and eating lots of yummy food!
3. My Christmas shopping is . . . so not done. I've barely even started. But I'm not doing much this year, so it's not a big deal.
4. Thoughts of . . . good friends fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear . . . my new black high-heeled boots. Dang this bruised baby toe!
6. Bagpipes . . . are annoying. Please! You can't really tell me you like those sounds?
7. This weekend I will . . . finally hang the rest of my new handmade shutters, if it doesn't rain or snow!

Oh, and I love this . . .

From: patricia goard
Subject: health care

Let me get this straight:

They're going to pass a health care plan -
Written by a committee whose head says he doesn't understand it,
Passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it,
Signed by a president that also hasn't read it, and who smokes,
With funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,
Overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and
Financed by a country that's nearly broke.

What could possibly go wrong? :~D

You all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letting It Go. . . and Doing Something Better. . .

I have been just full of angst about everything that has been going on in Washington DC. and our country with the Healthcare debacle.

It has been consuming me to the point where I just couldn't think of anything else. I did all that I could, regularly emailing and faxing my representatives. But living in Idaho as I do, most of our representatives are conservative Republicans, and fairly loyal to the principles of the party. Have you seen Senator Mike Crapo out and about warning dangers of passing this healthcare bill?

Yeah, he's from Idaho :~D

However, I looked at the Whip list on Saturday (a list of all the congressmen and women and how they were projected to vote) and was horrified to see that the lone Democratic congressman, Walt Minnick, was considering a "yes" vote on Saturday. So I dashed off an email to him, blatantly begging him to vote no. Which he did, thankfully. I am sure he must have gotten many letters just like mine.

So, Saturday night, after returning from a much needed (and hilariously fun, I might add) night out with friends, I was shocked and disappointed, but not totally surprised, to see that the mammoth 1990 page bill has passed the House.

However, I realized that I had done all I could.

I had prayed. I had written my representatives. I had donated money. (I wished I could have been at the 9/12 march on DC!)

There is a long fight left to go, with committees to pick it apart, and the Senate to vote on their own version(s).


But this angst.

I can't continue to live with it.

I am an insignificant cog in the political wheel of life.

Spinning my wheels.

Needle in the haystack of the process . . .

. . . Sunday was the Primary Sacrament meeting presentation. (where the children speak small parts and sing songs tied to a theme, for all the members of the congregation). This year the theme was The Family Is Ordained of God. Each child got to get up and say a small part, and participate in singing songs about the sacredness of families. I was so proud of them! Each one did their very best. I love my calling, working with the Primary children. I my opinion, it is the best place to be. And I love the people that I work with. They are such a great example to me.


This made me realize, there is much I can do that will make a difference, right here, right now, all around me.

-I can be a better wife. I can have my husband's back when faced with work, church, and child-raising challenges. I can better anticipate his needs. Not in a doormat way, of course, but in a way that makes the household run smoother. I can do a better job of showing love and affection, even when I am cranky, because I know that we both need that especially during stressful times.

-I can be a better mom. I can be more patient, kind, loving, patient (did I say that already?) and be a better example of the principles I am trying to teach them.

-I can do better in my calling. I can pray more about what I need to present in Sharing Time. I can put more time, effort, and prayer into every aspect of my responsibilities.

-I can be a better Sister in the Gospel. I can do better at visiting teaching, taking meals to families in need, and serving in any capacity that I can.

So, after all I can do in the political aspect, now what I need to do is to let it go.

Not give up the fight for what I believe is the right thing for my country,

but to not let it consume me and my whole life.

So, hey there Angst, I'm takin' my life back!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Operation Taco Bell: Hey Congress, Would You Like Some Hot Sauce With That Bill You Just Passed?

November 08, 2009
by Jeanette Pryor

It was rumored that my Organic Chemistry professor, a true mad scientist and delightfully eccentric individual, used to reward failed college exams by stapling a Taco Bell application to the tests before returning them to their disgraced producers. His obvious objective was to paint a vivid picture of the future lax students were preparing for themselves by neglecting to study harder.

I would like to suggest that we, the People, offer similar visions to our representatives in Washington of the life they just applied for by passing this Ticket on the Marx Express, “Health Care Reform.” Let us swing by Taco Bell, ask for a couple of blank applications, and mail them to the Congressmen and Women who just failed the test on Core American Principles. The fast food applications should also be sent to the Republican intellectual dwarves who, by supporting the Stupak Amendment, eased the consciences of Pro-Life Democrats and enabled the passing of the Bill. Three defecting Democratic votes would have saved America from becoming Cuba.

Special applications should be sent to Republican Traitor, Joseph Cao. He is not worthy to serve burritos to American teen-agers. He should work for Burger King. (No offense meant here to either Taco Bell or Burger King. Sometimes we need to eat there, and sometimes we need to work there, too. But you get the point, right?)

(BIG) P.S. - You've gotta read Rick's comment here for this post!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I was Awarded "One Lovely Blog"?

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE awards.

My new bloggy friend over at The Stroller Ballet just gave me this award.



I don't know how she missed my post the other day with the gruesome, scary cakes,
but if she says my blog is "lovely" then I will be gracious and give her a BIGThank You.
I do appreciate the compliment!


The official rules of accepting this award are as follows:

Accept this award and post it on your blog. Include link back to the blog you received it from.


Pass the award to fifteen blogs you have newly discovered.

Be sure to contact them to let them know they have been awarded.


I would like to give this award to:

http://mommysmoneycents.blogspot.com/
http://noelleplatt.blogspot.com/
http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com/
http://nightowlmama.blogspot.com/
http://barbalootsuit.blogspot.com/
http://thegregbeefamily.blogspot.com/
http://bonjournoprincipessa.blogspot.com/
http://imnotcrazymommy.blogspot.com/
http://positivelyorganic.blogspot.com/
http://rlpulsipher.blogspot.com/
http://securityville.blogspot.com/
http://themaisyreport.blogspot.com/
http://screamandhug.blogspot.com/
http://mortonbunch.blogspot.com/
http://jadeandben.blogspot.com/

Also, please stop by Sarah's blog and take a peek. You will enjoy her humor and insight into this crazy world that we all live in!


And, I just want to wish all of you a Happy Fall!

Just cuz it's a beautiful time of year....

I think these are breathtaking. . . .
I wish I could take photos like these!



Courtesy of Google Images. . .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Adventure With My Girls

A couple of weeks ago, Rachel, Noelle and I went to a concert at The Service Station in Spokane.

Pretty awesome venue.

Except this night there were no chairs, and all the kids were standing shoulder to shoulder for this concert. They estimated there were about 1,000 people there that night.

On a school night.

(Where were their parents??? Actually, there were quite a few parents there, hanging out with their teens like I was. That's the cool thing about these all-ages shows)

Got there a little late, because I took the wrong exit. Actually, I missed the exit and ended up going almost to the airport . . . then got all mixed up and turned around trying to find our way. Eventually, with the help of a kind man at a cute little gas station, we got there. Only a half an hour late. But we got there, and that's all that mattered!
---
The headliner at the show was "Owl City". They are out of Seattle, and even though I had heard their music dozens of times on the car CD player, I didn't expect to have as much fun as I did! Which is crazy, because I always have fun with my girls!

The strings were my favorite part of the band. Super cool...


They sound a LOT better live than their recorded CD. And Waaaaay better than the recording from my teeny tiny camera. Which I had posted but took down because it was so bad.

We had So Much Fun! So much so, that Rachel kept asking "Why haven't you blogged about the Owl City show yet?"

My girls . . .

So, remember I said that we got lost getting there? Yeah. I was totally disoriented. Usually I can get around just fine, because I can tell which way is north, south, east, and west.
In the daylight.
Which it WASN't.
It was rainy and pitch black. No sun. No moon. Not even the North Star to guide us.

So, since I had no idea which direction to go to get home, I decided to stop and ask for directions, cuz I am not like a man that way.

But, it was cold, and, like I said, dark, so I didn't want to get out somewhere in this totally unfamiliar area. It was probably completely safe - it was located in a suburban area, and it was only about 10 pm on a weeknight, so how dangerous could that be? But just to be safe, I pulled into a Zip's drive-thru.

You'd do that too, wouldn't you? Get a side order of which way is south with those fries?
So Rachel - without me knowing - caught this -

(at the end the picture goes black, but the sound kept recording!)

video

I originally threatened her with bodily harm if she showed this to anyone, because I was more than a little embarrassed - but it IS kinda funny, so I posted it, even though it is at my own expense (and now you all know what a dork I really am . . .)

Hey, I was just trying to keep all of us safe and sound!
********
Rachel has two more shows coming up . . .

She opens for these bands at Art, Music and More in Spokane on Nov. 14. She is pretty excited about it because she has been a HUGE fan of Breathe Electric for years . . .
She has another show coming up on Nov 20, in Coeur d'Alene. I will post about it later.