Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Isaiah 52:12 "But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear gaurd."

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Security for Yesterday. "God requireth that which is past." At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. "For the Lord will go before you." This is a gracious revelation, that God will garrison where we have failed to. He will watch lest things trip us up again into like failure, as they assuredly would do if He were not our rerewared [rear gaurd]. God's hand reaches back to the past and makes a clearing-house for conscience.

Security for Today. "For ye shall not go out with haste." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, unremembering delight, nor with the flight of impulsive thoughtlessness, but with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.
Happy New Year, friends. I pray that the failures of your past will not hinder your walk, but instead of will make a "clearing-house for conscience". He is the God of our past, as well as our future. Amen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Word of the Day: Immanuel

"God with us." I have been studying the tabernacle in BSF these last few weeks. The tabernacle was a visible reminder that God was an every day presence for the Israelites. It was a sign that God wanted intimacy, but that intimacy was unatainable by our own means. Hence all the sacrifices needed to enter into the presence of God.

It all pointed to the eventual coming of Messiah. Jesus. God with Us. Immanuel. We can have intimacy with God all because of Jesus. God came to earth so that we might enjoy perfect communion with Him, for all eternity. Isn't that amazing?

My favorite name for God. Immanuel. God with Us. He doesn't need us. He WANTS us.

I hope you all have a very blessed Christmas. I hope that you all get a chance to contemplate the enormity of God's work in sending Jesus as the final sacrifice so that we can have intimacy with our Father and Creator.

May God bless you with understanding and peace on this day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Celebration

We're celebrating here in the Wilhelmsen house this morning. The most wonderful, most talented Erik has won his fantasy football league.

Congratulations to Team Brawlers. And halla for the extra cash!

All those late night trades, and Sunday morning obsessions has paid off. Woo Hoo the season is over! YES! Now we can focus on really important things, like American Idol.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a morning...

As I sit at my computer for a few minutes, catching up on some friends, okay, not really friends, but blogs, an atrocious smell greets my nose.

Yes, my toilet is stopped up. And no amount of plunging on my part has helped. And it's DISGUSTING! Thank the living LORD that we are eating out at a friend's house tonight. And the unfortunate thing is that I have had candles burning all morning and been baking and cooking all morning, and still, the SMELL. And ya'll who know me KNOW that I do not have a great sense of smell. Maybe I do a lot of breathing though my mouth. Probably a good thing today.

Of course this kind of crap always happens within minutes of my husband leaving the house for the day. I swear when we got married I wanted to insert a clause into my vows. "I promise to love, honor and obey, blah blah blah. As long as I am not in charge of toilet stoppages, trash cans, or yard work. I'll cook, clean, launder, fold, iron, and be your everyday girlfriend AS LONG as I don't have to mess with any of those things, as long as we both shall live." But no. Today I had to do the plunging. And it didn't work. I think I am plunger-retarded. I don't get it. I think it has to do with the angle of the plunger and since I'm height-challenged I think I'm already at a disadvantage. I NEED A BAILOUT!

Or a plumber. Or my husband!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Clarification

Okay, so my previous post about the Big 3 American car makers may have been overly harsh. I know, how uncharacteristic of me.

It turns out that GM is one of the best car manufacturers in the world. And really, does anyone make a better truck than Ford? Not to mention that Chrysler pretty much pioneered the mini-van. So, yeah, I'm wrong that no one buys their cars. A lot of people, worldwide, buy their cars. (Factoid, the Buick is one of the top cars sold in China! Who knew?)

So, basically, I was wrong about the importance of the Big 3. I have been set straight.

However, I do not think it right to give out a bailout. I am saddened that the American car makers are in such a predicament, but the truth is some mismanagement and poor acquisitions are playing themselves out. GM should not have given the United Autoworkers life-time pensions in exchange for lower salaries in the 80's. They probably shouldn't have spent so much money on Hummer. And most of them should have changed their business models to compensate for the tough competition in the US car market. I heard on the radio that in the 1950's, GM's goal was to have 40% of the market share in the US. Fine back then, but not possible now with all the brands available. (I guess that explains the protectionist arguments the Unions spout.) The problem is they are still manufacturing cars with that goal.

I would be thrilled if the automobile makers would actually put Congress where they belong with this thing. The cafe standards alone have aided to the sorry state of the automobile industry. When government gets into business, business suffers. So, I say the bailout should happen with the elimination of the cafe standards.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Give-Away Day

Hey there,

It's Give-Away Day at sewmamasew.com. Anyways, here's a link to a give-away that I entered. Isn't that a pretty fabric?

If you're interested in entering for some of those give-aways (not sure if that's correct) then check out the Sew Mama Sew site. Pretty neat stuff if you ask me, and just in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Wilhelmsens


Yes, I am the first of my friends to get out my Christmas Cards. Well, technically I don't do cards. I do blog posts.

In any case, my sister-in-law is a photographer and took our family photos a couple of weeks ago. Um, can I just say that she rocks? I am one of the luckiest girls alive. I have three sisters-in-law who are so kind, loving and fun. And one of them takes our photos. Cool, right? I know. So lucky.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thankgoodness for Rock Band!

Seriously, Rock Band totally rocks and I'm proud to say that I have now attained a consistent Medium level. Oh yeah, mediocrity. It's basically my station in life. How many people can say their life skills are equal to their talent level on Rock Band? Not expert, but good. Well, that's me.

In any case, we had a totally awesome (can't help pick up the rocker-lingo) weekend with my brothers and sister-in-law, and the most adorable nephew in the world. Together we introduced our parents to the world of fake instruments and rock-star status.

All I can say is that I've got a fever and the remedy is more cowbell...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas has come to the Wilhelmsen's

We put up our tree this last weekend. We figured that since Christmas was only three weeks from Thanksgiving it wasn't enough time to fully enjoy the tree and decorations.

However, now it means that my daughters have four weeks to completely destroy my decorations.

It's funny, I never get tired of saying "Stop playing with Baby Jesus." Somehow it always seems to make me laugh a little. Although now my daughter (I won't tell you which one, it's a mystery) is playing with all the stable animals. I have had to permanently remove the Precious Moments Nativity entirely. Oh well. I'm sure they'll outgrow the whole playing-with-the-nativity-pieces, surely by the time they're 16. Right?

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Cabinet

Does it strike anyone as odd that Obama is picking the old gaurd for his cabinet? It sure does me. I mean he was supposed to be about "hope and change" and yet he goes for the same old has-beens and do-nothings. Hmm, sure will be interesting what kind of change those folks bring about.

Let's discuss who Obama has chosen thus far:

1. Rom Emmanual-He's a long-time politician from Chicago (what a surprise) who helped Bill Clinton get elected in '92. Also, he was instrumental in finding values-conscience candidates to run in the south in 2004, which helped the Republicans lose the majority.

2. Janet Napolitano-Seriously, I'm thrilled. Couldn't be happier. GET HER OUT OF THIS STATE! This is probably the best thing that has come out of this election. Budget deficits, higher taxes, vetoing everything coming out of the state legislature, and issuing executive orders which bypass the legislative process-all things I won't miss when she is gone. Maybe now the State of Arizone can actually get something done.

3. Tom Daschle-My personal favorite choice, thus far. One time Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader he lost his re-election bid to John Thune in 2004. So, let me lay this out for you, folks. Tom Daschle lost his election, has not been in public service for the last four years, and Obama is picking him to head up the Health and Human Services Department! This is outrageous. A Majority Leader (the first to be ousted since Barry Goldwater did it in 1952) who was not re-elected is now going to be in charge of implementing Universal Healthcare (Lord, please don't let it get passed!); responsible for creating abortion policy and everything else the Health and Human Services department does. Oh yeah, I feel represented. Not even South Dakota wanted him back in the Senate, and now he's going to be in the cabinet.

4. Hilary Clinton-She just can't resist the power that the Secretary of State has. Poor woman. I feel bad for her. Second (in her mind) to Bill and now 2nd to Obama.

Obviously, the blessing in this is that two of these people are sitting members of Congress, which will free their seats for someone else (appointed by govenors, of course) but vulnerable to re-election. I am glad Clinton will be out of the Senate. I am thrilled that Emmanuel will be out of the House. But is this the "Change" the American voters were thinking of? Isn't this the same-old same-old?

The Way It Should Be

Crocs are going down!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Too Big to Fail?

AIG was not too big to fail. Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac are not too big to fail. It's history lesson time, friends. I present companies who were not too big to fail and did.

1. Braniff International Airways: was an American airline that existed from 1928 until 1982. It operated in the central midwest, South America, Panama, Asia and Europe. The airline ceased operations on May 12, 1982, a victim of escalating fuel prices, aggressive expansion, and fierce competition.

2. TWA: went into bankruptcy several times and was finally bought by American Airlines instead of going under.

3. Apple: Almost died in the early 90's from their inability to capitalize on and market the Windows OS. (I am grossly simplifying, I know.) Nevertheless, it allowed Microsoft to buy up Apple shares and gave Apple the influx of cash to start making a product that was unique and innovative.

I originally had Chrysler on my list but in the 80's it asked the government for a bail out, got one, and slowly got itself back in the black. Furthermore, the tax payers subsidized Chrysler's failure until it came up with a product good enough to sell. That's not the way business is supposed to work. I propose that if Chrysler had sold to another car manufacturer they would have a better product to work with.

I guess you know what I'm getting at. GM, while a large company, is not too big to fail. Rather it is too big not to fail. In this kind of economy where the businesses who survive are the ones who cut their expenses, there is no reason for tax payer money to subsidize GM's inability to manage costs. And that includes the unions. The United Auto Workers are fighting for this bail-out because it keeps their cushy pensions in place and keeps the workers in unreasonably high-paying jobs.

Add that to the Congressmen who desperately need those union contributions and those union votes and you have a recipe for overpriced cars, which means that GM won't be making a profit anytime soon. And there we go again. It's a cycle that should be broken now. Get government out of business. Period.

GM was in trouble long before this recession hit. They knew that the pensions were draining profits. This has been coming for several years. I say let them go. I know it will be painful in the short-term, but long-term will be for the best.

With GM out of business something new and better would come our way. Like Apple who's original system was a mediocre product, now with the iPod and iMac and Safari, they have a terrific product line and a brilliant marketing strategy.

Why subsidize a product that people don't want? If GM is not making a car worth buying, then why should the American people pay for it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Election Day Anecdotes

So two eventful things happened in my life last Tuesday.

The first was at the polling place. First off, I got there before they opened because I wanted to vote before the girls woke up. The last time I voted for President Reagan was only3 months old and the line was not much of a problem. Anyways, back to the line. So I'm waiting and waiting. And then I get up to the front and it turns out that the line actually splits into two, one for last names starting with A-L and one for M-Z. Being a 'W' put me in the SLOWEST LINE imaginable. I'm not kidding, the A-L's were racing through the door, being checked in, signing, getting their ballot and voting all before one M-Z was getting through the door to be checked in. I SWEAR. Us M-Z's were getting pretty irritated (which, if you know me, takes no time at all.) I started speculating that maybe the M-Z lady couldn't read and should probably be relieved. At the very least the A-L lady and M-Z lady should have switched places. It was ridiculous.

Anyways, that was my voting experience.

The next anecdote is about my neighbor and my complete inability to convince anyone of anything.

My neighbor and I walk in the early mornings a few times a week. And lately she's been bringing up politics. She knows that it's my hobby and will not turn down an opportunity to speak my mind. And unfortunately at 5 am, my mind doesn't have much of a filter. I frequently launch into sweeping generalities that early in the morning. For instance I told her that Democrats do not have senses of humor. And actually, I do believe that. But really, you try making a case of that kind at 5 am, before coffee/tea. Needless to say, the argument was not convincing. I tried telling her that since Republicans, especially Conservatives, believe that the human spirit is capable (glass is half-full types) that makes us much more capable of laughing at ourselves. Well, the argument didn't win her over. And really, it turns out that nothing I have said regarding the current political landscape had convinced her to vote for McCain.

She voted for Obama, I think. I haven't asked. She did not vote for McCain. But honestly, I could barely vote for McCain. So, it was a weak case anyways.

If I can't help along the Conservative cause, I don't know what I'm doing with Christianity. Hopefully, one day, when my neighbor asks about Jesus I'll be ready, and loaded with caffeine.

In Box

I have an inbox issue. I don't like dealing with email. It piles up and then totally overwhelms me. So, I check it all the time but only respond once there are too many items in there that I can't possibly think!

I mean, what do you do with an email from a guy from high school who was in one of your choir sections who tracks you down just for an update? I don't immediately respond, that's what I do. (Or don't do.) And how about that announcement from a friend about a new business? Do you have an file named "Friends' New Business Ventures"? Or how about those money saving tips that you know you should follow or at the very least look up? Yep, I don't have a place for those either. They all just stay in my inbox.

What ends up happening is that in a frenzy I respond to that highschool aquantance (no, I will not be setting my husband up with him... :), respond to the friend with the new business inquiring for some deeper information, and the money-saving tips just stay there. I can't do it all in one night!

And at last, my inbox is down to 10 items. Much more manageable. I'm sure I'll be overwhelmsed by this time next week...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Embarrasing

I signed up to bring snack for Reagan for Awana tonight. I baked snickerdoodles. They are amazing. I sent 24 with Reagan. There were not enough.

I am so embarrased. But now I think that it must be really cool that there were so many kids at Awana tonight that they actually didn't have enough snack. I mean how many kids learned something new about Jesus tonight. Right? Anyone? Eternal salvation is so much cooler than a cookie.

However, Reagan was heartbroken that not everyone got cookies for snack. Instead of just 2 kids not getting cookies, they only gave half the class a snickerdoodle and the rest of the class got Cheerios. She cried and cried. I cringed and cringed. Oh the parental guilt.

I'm off to stuff my feelings with cookies...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh How True

I got this in an email. Just a little tax education in case you didn't get any in college.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

'Since you are all such good customers, he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.
Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.!

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20, 'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, 'but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Please

Can we please put the entire blacks-are-discriminated-against and white-people-are-racist idea to rest?

Does his victory mean that America is now officially beyond racism? Does it finally complete the work of the civil rights movement so that racism is at last dismissible as an explanation of black difficulty? Can the good Revs. Jackson and Sharpton now safely retire to the seashore? [Please, God, make it so...] Will the Obama victory dispel the twin stigmas that have tormented black and white Americans for so long -- that blacks are inherently inferior and whites inherently racist? Doesn't a black in the Oval Office put the lie to both black inferiority and white racism? Doesn't it imply a "post-racial" America? And shouldn't those of us -- white and black -- who did not vote for Mr. Obama take pride in what his victory says about our culture even as we mourn our political loss? (insert mine.)

The money quote: "Obama's post-racial idealism told whites the one thing they most wanted to hear: America had essentially contained the evil of racism to the point at which it was no longer a serious barrier to black advancement."

Of course, it is true that white America has made great progress in curbing racism over the last 40 years. I believe, for example, that Colin Powell might well have been elected president in 1996 had he run against a then rather weak Bill Clinton. It is exactly because America has made such dramatic racial progress that whites today chafe so under the racist stigma. So I don't think whites really want change from Obama as much as they want documentation of change that has already occurred. They want him in the White House first of all as evidence, certification and recognition.

But there is an inherent contradiction in all this. When whites -- especially today's younger generation -- proudly support Obama for his post-racialism, they unwittingly embrace race as their primary motivation. They think and act racially, not post-racially. The point is that a post-racial society is a bargainer's ploy: It seduces whites with a vision of their racial innocence precisely to coerce them into acting out of a racial motivation. A real post-racialist could not be bargained with and would not care about displaying or documenting his racial innocence. Such a person would evaluate Obama politically rather than culturally. (emphasis mine)
I, for one, am hoping that with the election of President Obama, America can finally move past racial lines. It's just sad that it had to take President Obama to do it when black Americans have had amazing roll models like Colin Powel, Condoleezza Rice, and Clarence Thomas.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Come What May

So, big day. I have this undercurrent of energy flowing through me. I love it. And I can honestly tell you that I am mentally and spiritually prepared for whatever happens next.

How, you ask? Well it is quite simply because I believe in The One who has ordained this day. I have chosen a future with the Victorious, most Glorious, Yahweh. Come what may.

At BSF this morning, the teaching leader gave us two Bible verses. BSF is very apolitical, which I totally respect by not talking politics while there. But she had to point out that the changes which America is in store for are not without precedent. Indeed, Israel on her exodus experienced regime change, freedom from slavery, thirst and hunger issues, and terror. Thankfully, God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. God will not leave us, either.

Two passages from the Bible for you. (Whether you are for Obama or McCain.)

"No king is saved by the size of his army: no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; depite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:16-22 (emphasis mine)

"The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men." Daniel 4:17


I was convicted by two things this morning with these passages.

1. Political obsession can be a form of idolatry. Ouch, I know. Hello? Do you know how many political commentators and news sites I read? Listen to? Yeah, anything that gets between me and God is an idol. And yep, politics falls right in there.

2. I rely on God, not government. And I will not complain should Obama win. Complaining tells God that He is undesirable or unworthy, and his path is not good enough. (Those who remember my posts about potty-training know I have a hard time not complaining!)

And since I believe that God has chosen the right person for HIS WILL at THIS TIME I can be content. I know that God will be glorified through my praises of Him and my actions for Him. Anything else is futile.

However, I should say that I don't intend to give up my conservative stance, nor will I be quiet about it. But I will not complain. And I will not quarrel with God. (At least, I'll do my best...)

But I believe God has called me to take a stand for freedom. Freedom for all people, freedom from coercion and freedom to live a life of liberty. On that I will not be silent.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ahem...

I am so glad that I don't get any local news stations right now. This is the biggest blessing in all of the hassle we've had lately with DirecTV.

At least I won't be watching this garbage...

Too true...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Husband Blind Dates

After eight glorious years of marriage, I have finally learned something about my dear husband, the wonderful Erik.


He does not like to be set up on blind dates with other husbands.


You know. When you and another girl get on so well that you think, well, of course, we should double date. Of course, since me and girlfriend get along, husbands will quickly hit it off too. They are bound to become boosom buddies, fantasy football pals, confidants, accountability partners. (Okay, maybe the last two are a stretch...)


In any case, I make friends just a smidge faster than the wonderful Erik. He's friendly, just more reserved initially. So, recently I have approached him about making a new couple-aquaintance. He's basically asked me to interview the husband through the girlfriend a couple more times before going out on a double. I think that's a pretty good idea. I'm pretty sure he's put up with plenty of awkward moments for my sake. The least I can do is try to make sure there will be a love connection when we do finally get the husbands together.

The Name

Have you ever stopped to wonder at the names of God? In my Bible study we have been working through the life of Moses. And in Exodus, God reveals himself as "I Am that I Am". Whereas He revealed himself as El Shaddai, God Almighty, to Abraham, He now revealed himself as I Am, or I Am That I Am, Yahweh, Jehovah. I Am, He is. Always. Forever. No beginning. No end. He's not relative to anything or anyone. He is. Amazing.

The names of God are also the characteristics of Him, or his personality, which He has revealed to us. And doesn't it blow your mind that those revelations are only part of who He is? Even the revelations about His personality are only as much as He's chosen to reveal.

It is humbling and exciting to find new ways to wonder at God. I only know as much as He's revealed. Awesome. I'm excited for eternity.

Do you have any favorite names for God?

What is going on...

I have been swamped. I'm sorry that I haven't posted. Here come some quick hits.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Been Banned...

My BFF, one of the blondes, has asked me not to read her blog. Apparently something amazing has happened in her life and knowing that I struggle against envy, she has asked me not to read her blog. I'm wondering if she thinks I'll not be friends with her anymore...

Also, yes, I'm the one who had the conversation with her on the phone. The one whose kid still poops her pants and anywhere else except the toilet.

So, whatever the news is, YEAH. I'm sure I'll be really happy for you. Unless, of course, you just got a new mini-van. Which might just send me over the edge. ;)

Am I the only one who is so disgusting inside that friends (or family, come on, I'm honest) would rather not tell me when they have amazing news? Oh, what a horrible realization about myself this has been. And not that it wasn't needed. It totally is. It's exactly what's needed. I need to be shown my reflection every now and then. Or I might just go around with toilet paper stuck to my shoe, and lipstick on my teeth, or my skirt tucked up under my panty hose.

I am using this time instead to reflect on what God may be trying to tell me through my dear friend. All things happen for the good for those who love Him. And I Love Him alot. So, I'll not read and trust.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm Just Sick

As you can imagine, I'm horrified at the Senate by passing their version of the Bail Out Bill. And I'm seriously disappointed by the 25 Republican Senators who voted for it. Not only did they just vote to give away tax payer dollars, but they added over 110 BILLION dollars in PORK! WTH?!?!?!

Not only is this bill CHOCK full of pork, but it also sets up another agency called the Office of Financial Security and can administrate the "Troubled Asset Relief Program" all under the sole authority of the Secretary of Treasury, a non-elected position. This is setting up a socialist-type oversight of all financial institutions who want to have "security" of the funds through market turmoil. This will not work in a free-market. Institutions will want security, and will then have to trade in their ability to make profit. This could potentially have disastrous side effects.

By the way, the bill is now 451 pages long. Don't even try and tell me this is an emergency relief package. (Senator Kyl, thank you very much!) If this was such an emergency then Congress would have acted last week. Furthermore, the longer this takes to get through, the better the financial markets seem to be doing. How about we let the market operate as it's supposed to and you leave it the heck alone? You get me Congress? (Pardon me, I'm very upset.)


On page 261 we get to the so-called TAX EXTENDERS, AND ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX RELIEF. Sounds good, right? It starts off not bad, with the renewal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, and local and state sales tax deductions. And then we get to the good stuff. All the little people whose businesses will now by subsidized by tax-payer dollars.

Let's just see who is on the list for some money, shall we?


Sec. 312. Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic
production activities in Puerto Rico.
-Um, hi. I like rum as much as the next person. But I wasn't aware that the rum market was taking a financial hit because of the housing crisis. If anything, the sales of rum would go up, since it's a proven economic fact that the amount of alcohol consumed goes up when the financial market goes down. (a la The Great Depression.)

Sec. 319. Extension of work opportunity tax credit for Hurricane Katrina employees.
-Whatever.

Sec. 325. Extension and modification of duty suspension on wool products; wool research fund; wool duty refunds.
-Again, is the wool industry being adversely affected by the mortgage bubble? I wasn't aware of it. I know, they must have a good lobbyist.

Sec. 502. Provisions related to film and television productions.
-Really? You make a movie and you get to take a deduction? No wonder Hollywood is in the bag of the Dems.

Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for
use by children.
-Wow. New low. I guess instead of soccer, Reagan will be picking up archery. You know, since the U.S. is so gifted in that sport. But maybe I'm being unfair. This exemption only applies to all-natural woods without lamination or artificial means of strengthening the spine. More trees for arrows! I want only organically grown wood for my arrows.

I would like to encourage you, my friends, to contact your Congressmen (Reps and Senators) and tell them what you think of this bill. Don't believe the T.V. media. This will not help America.

Video for the Thursday

Ooooh, look at that corruption. And at the center of it is Obama.




Friday, September 19, 2008

Bon Voyage!

I'll be back in a week!

Toodles!

Open Letters

Dear CitiBank,

I won't be paying my mortgage this month. The federal government will be happy to pay it for me. All you have to do is take on too much debt, be on the verge of foreign takeover and the federal government will magically have several trillion dollars to help pay for my mortgage.

Also, since I already pay taxes, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be paying for this house anyways. If you could please send me the deed to the house, I will consider this matter closed.

Sincerely,

The Sunshine-y One


Dear Visa,

I'm going to skip my payment this month in an effort to get the credit card industry "rescued" by the federal government. Granted, I used that money to buy things that I wanted, but I just don't think I should have to pay it back.

So, ask Secretary Paulson to fork over my share of the credit mess.

Thanks so much,

Sunshine


Dear AIG,

I didn't really want to pay for everyone else's insurance, however, it is destined that you too are going to be run and owned by the federal government.

Since I faithfully pay my taxes, I will expect some of the shares of AIG. Since I'm a tax payer, and the government, which I hire, bought you, I now own part of you. You can send my 1/180,000,000 part of the share to Visa. That should square everything up.

Very truly yours,

Sunshine

Dear Treasurey Secretary Paulson,

I just wanted to drop you a line about how much I appreciate your interference in the U.S. economy. Especially since, as a non-elected official you are not required to run for any type of re-election, why not spend over 3 trillion dollars of tax payer money? Good for you.

If I was Heidi, you'd be auf'd.

Very appreciatively yours,

Jessica


Dear President George W. Bush,

I have always defended you. Even though I hated A LOT of the legislation that you signed into law, mainly McCain Feingold, I stood up for you. You have been pretty good with the War on Terror. We're winning in Iraq. There are some great things happening over there. Yeah.

But this disasator of a bail out program is a horrible idea. First with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who got themselves into that mess with the help of Congress, then with AIG. Oh, and you put your foot down with Lehman Bros, yeah right. But now with approving the funding of banks bad debt. You have got to be kidding. Enough! This is Congress' fault because people were allowed loans they couldn't have afforded. But no. Let's just go ahead and take over the mortgages too.

I'm now actually convinced that John McCain is the right sort of guy for this time.

Adios Partner,

Sunshine-y

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jim Johnson

Oops.

PSA: Project Runway Season 5's Kenley



And now, a Public Service Announcement by your host, the Sunshine-y one.

Dear Kenley. You are not the end-all and be-all of fashion. Honey, you are only 25 and have about 4 years of experience as a working designer.

We all get that you are incredibly talented and have a great, albeit predictable, style. I even like vintage. But honestly, do you have to use tulle on every outfit? I like tulle, but come on! Every outfit. And usually part of it is exposed. Every time. Seriously girl, try something a little different. If you make it to Bryant Park it won't be because Nina Garcia actually likes your style, it'll be because somehow your outfits just don't seem to suck! (Which, while trying to find pictures, I discovered that she somehow made it to Bryant Park. Whatever. I hope Korto or Jarrell wins, so there!)

Anyways, back to the issue at hand. When Tim Gunn (pretty much the God of Parsons) suggests that maybe the exposed tulle isn't such a professional look, maybe you could actually take it as what it is, a critique, from someone much wiser than yourself. Instead you get incredibly defensive and say to the cameras, "I'm not going to listen to that" with your little snotty attitude. Where do you get off girl? I know that Tim Gunn doesn't need me to defend him, I'm just trying to help you understand, dear Kenley, that you are your own worst enemy. Your complete innability to take criticism, from either Gunn or the judges, will not help you in the future.

You do not get to put on the Karl Lagerfeld air until you are at least 60, have been wearing the exact same outfit for at least 30 of the past years, and have a multi-million dollar label. When you are showing in Paris, then you can refuse to listen to Tim Gunn's advice. Until then, dear Kenley, shut up and take some criticism like a FREAKING ADULT!
This has been a public service announcement from the Valley of Sunshine. We will now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Blogging Block

Yep, I've got it. I need to post a couple of book reviews, so those are going to get done tonight. Thanks to my faithful readers. I can't wait to tell you about the books I've just finished.

Toodles.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Community Organizers Unite!

One of the best lines from Sarah Palin's speech on Wednesday night. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."

Classic. Here's an article in defense of community organizers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thoughts on the Sarah Palin Drama

I don't really like personal drama, but I have to admit I've been addicted to absorbing as much information as possible about the Governor.

First off, all of those rumors about the baby being the daughters were horrible and I knew immediately they were not true. Unfortunately, it turns out that the eldest daughter, Bristol, is pregnant. Unfortunate in the sense of what this means for their family. Not unfortunate for how this plays out in the arena of public scrutiny.

I have thought this through pretty carefully over the last couple of days and I would like to offer my analysis to those of you readers.

The eldest daughter, only 17 years old, is pregnant. What does this say about their home life? I have to admit that this has crossed my mind. But then I'm reminded of my own adolescents and early adulthood. And to be quite frank, how in the world did I get out of high school not pregnant? I know it was God's grace over my life. (Not that those who are pregnant teens are not within God's grace, it just wasn't apart of his plan for my life.) I did not end up pregnant, but I made some bad decisions. Should my parents have shouldered the blame for the consequences of those choices? I think not. Teenagers have the tendency to make adult decisions WAY before they should. Who is responsible for those decisions? Not the parents. My parents were not responsible for the promiscuous behavior of their eldest child, as Sarah and Todd Palin are not the bearers of Bristol's decision. As parents we only have so long to impress upon our children the values and morals that will keep them from making decisions which will forfeit a piece of their future. In the current American culture, that time is shrinking so that our kids now need to know everything by what, 8 -10 years old? They can't even fathom long-term consequences at that age.

So, with that defense out of the way, I am still pro-Palin. I think she has sufficient experience to be Vice-President. I think that whatever her and her husband have decided about the rearing of their kids is their decision and need not be questioned by the likes of me, or anyone else who is not them or their Lord.

I ache for Bristol. I have recently started working with a teenage moms program through my church, and to see that kinds of trials these girls are going through is humbling. Like my girls, Bristol's life will be tough without public scrutiny. With a 24 hour news cycle, I can't imagine. It may seem hoaky, but I lift them up in prayer. They need it.

I'll get into the experience in a later post.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hilarious

Sarah Palin for V.P.!

Yes, I am thrilled with the Palin pick for a couple of reasons.

First, and most importantly, because she is a conservative. A NRA-card-toting, abortion-refusing, pro-drill-in-Alaska, kill-Bridge-to-Nowhere, Conservative. That's my type of girl!

Secondly, I am thrilled that he picked a woman. Now, I do not go for identity politics. And there may have been part of this decision which was identity based. And yet I'm willing to overlook it since it shows the GOP as willing to step up to the plate. No matter what I think, there are Americans who do vote for candidates of the basis of sex, race and religion. So, what are you going to do? I wish the GOP didn't have to play the identity politics game, but alas, this is the field we are on and we better start playing or we're going to lose.

The most brilliant thing about this pick was the timing. I LOVE MCCAIN FOR THIS! He announced his pick the morning after Obama's speech. Essentially nullifying everything Obama spoke on only 12 hours earlier. Sure he gave a good speech, but who is talking about it today? Not that he said anything which hasn't been said over the last 40 years. But at least the media isn't regurgitating on it.

So, yes, I'm happy about the Sarah Palin pick. What say you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

White Lies

I just read a great article about being a conservative. Don't fight it. It feels good to be on this side...

Word of the Day: Ardent

Ardent, which means a feeling a warmth typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity, in the Latin present participle means to burn. I prefer the visual of a steady, consistent burn when I think of ardent.

I am an ardent fan of a few things, which I do not need to go into, but I can honestly tell you that those things which I am ardent in are steadfastly practiced and given large amounts of time and energy.

In Nancy Pelosi's words (on Meet the Press on Sunday), she is an ardent Catholic and confident that the Catholic Church has been unable to determine when a fetus becomes viable. Well, that set off a firestorm from real ardent Catholics. Here is a letter from Archbishop Chaput from Northern Colorado. In it he very eloquently lays out the case for why abortion has ALWAYS been against church doctrine, no matter what state of animation the fetus was in. As an ardent Catholic, wouldn't you have thought Pelosi would know that?

I recommend reading this open letter. It's not very long but it gives some very helpful doctrinal insight on abortion. My favorite line from the letter is taken from Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977), in which he says,
"Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."
As to the separation of Church from State:
Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled." But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.
How can an ardent Catholic not know where the Church stands on this issue? Apparently Pelosi (and Joe Biden, another ardent Catholic, fyi) do not hold with the Catholic Church on abortion. At the very least she should have said, "I know what the Catholic Church has been teaching for over two thousand years, and I disagree for political expediency." Just kidding on the last part. She would never admit to being pro-choice for political expediency.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Word of the Day: Loquacious

Loquacious is the word of the day. Loquacious means being characterized with excessive speech, long-winded, wordy, garrulous.

All words used this weekend to characterize, Joe Biden. Obama's choice for V.P. And to think, I was worried.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Word of the Day: Juju

Here is one for all my Scrabulous friends. Oh, I can hear the wheels turning. 'Juju is a word!' Yes, it is, my dear vocabulary-interested ones. And no, it is not the name of the popular chewy candy, which would make it a proper noun and not in the Scrabble Dictionary. No, the word is juju and it is something that is superstitiously believed to have magical powers.

Now don't you feel more prepared for your next Scrabulous match up?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poop Training

I am potty-training Matilyn. Well, actually, she's doing fine for the #1 business. It's the #2 business that is seriously not happening. And actually, it's happening, just not in the potty.

Yesterday, my dear second daughter pooped in her pants. This is nothing new, so I cleaned it up. And since we were having neighbors over for dinner, I didn't bother to put panties on her. (Her dress was long enough and I was busy getting the house together.) Needless to say, the darling then pooped in Reagan's room. Oh yeah. Fun times. Erik went in to check on the girls, and Regan had already gotten a tissue and was starting to clean it up. Isn't that sweet? Erik said, "Reagan, you don't have to clean up Mati's poop." Honestly.

So, I would love some advice on how to help my second daughter succeed in this endeavor of pooping on the potty. Just some details about her, though. First, she's stubborn and not patient. So me getting her on the potty is enough of a battle. I'm having a tough time getting her to stay on the potty long enough to get the poop moving. Second, she's got serious attitude. So, any tips on how to make this funny, even if it's only funny for me would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm in the McCain Camp

I have finally decided that John McCain is my candidate. Yep, I'm a McCain Girl. Wow, I didn't think I ever would be, but here it is, August 19th and I'm in the McCain camp.

Of course this means that I will be tirelessly working on my friends to join me in voting the GOP ticket. Now I am excited about John McCain. Before I was like, well, of course I'm voting Republican, how can I not? Oh yeah, now I'll be working to convince those around me that McCain is the better pick. The better candidate. The better person for the job.

What, you may ask, is the reason for this change in my level of interest? Well, it was the informal debate at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. This is where McCain got me. I know it could be contrived; I am not naive. But McCain's answers were heartfelt and meaningful whereas Obama's answers were long-winded and philosophically void.

I found the question about the toughest moral dilemma the most telling. While Obama spoke of his personal experimentation with drugs and drinking McCain discussed his decision to stay in captivity when given the opportunity to leave while imprisoned in Vietnam. There's just something about the quiet application of the verse "Lay down his life for his friends" that I think McCain gets while Obama only seems to be able to quote it. After all, what is the Bible without personal application? I think McCain gets that and Obama doesn't.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Go World? No Way. GO USA!

So, like any red-blooded (and I do mean RED!) American I am going to partake in my share of the Olympics. I rather enjoy the swimming (Let's Go Phelps!), the diving (How in the world can they do that off a platform?) and of course, the gymnastics (Let's hear it for Johnson and Luikin!).

All of this to say that I'm intensely pro-America! I love this country. It totally rocks. And I love competition. I think competition is what keeps people interested. It keeps people from giving up. Competition is a God-send for Humans. Yes, I know, how very anti-socialist of me. And you guessed it, I'm incredibly anti-socialism! But back to the Olympics... (man, the vituperations lately!)

So, I don't think I'd be remiss to say that every country competing in the Summer Olympics is going to be thinking about anything but winning. It's all about the Final Medal count, right? For everyone! So why would Visa (the official credit card of the Beijing Olympics) run an entire marketing campaign (since May, no less) with "Go World" as the slogan. Go World? Excuse me, but isn't Visa an American company? Can they not say "Go America"? And since I'm sure Visa does have an international market, can't they at least say "Go America" for the United States and "Go Mexico" when they run the ads in Mexico? I kind of like that.

But truth be told, I totally love the ads. I know they play to the emotional aspect of Visa (did you ever hear of a credit card emoting?), but still I love them. Like the UK's 400m runner Derek Redmond story, from the 1992 Olympics. Man, who could forget what it was like to see Derek's father run onto the track to assist his son to the finish line? Still vaclempts me.

Or the Kerri Strug vault which secured Gold for the Women's Gymnastics team in 1996. I totally remember that. How amazing.

And then the Bob Beamon Long Jump, which I do not remember (It was in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.) but still think it's pretty rockin'. By the way, Beamon was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in '69. Interesting, no?

So, yes, Visa, great job on the ads. I just wish for the American ads they would have put Go USA.

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus...What the...?

Is it possible that I am the only person over 18 years of age who does not know the difference between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus? I thought they were the same person. If they are the same person (one being the Disney TV show character), then how in the world are they doing a CONCERT TOUR together? I'm so confused. One is a blond; one is a brunette. Is that it? Are there speech differences? Isn't the character on the show a rock star? So, where's the fiction?

And I don't think I'm the only one confused. It looks to me like Hannah/Miley doesn't know who she really is either. Her second album is called "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus". Wow. Genius. Have a TV persona introduce you to the real world as yourself. I can not even imagine what her adulthood is going to be like.

And don't think that I'm wishing any of that Lohan-ick on Cyrus, cause I'm not. But all this feels a little weird. It feels like the Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines stuff. Did anybody else find that disturbing?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh, I'll Give You Vituperate

vituperate \vy-TOO-puh-rate, -TYOO-, vi-\, verb:
To find fault with; to scold; to overwhelm with wordy abuse; to censure severely or abusively; to rate.
Yesterday's word of the day was vituperate. And indeed, I felt like vituperating APS. That's Arizona Public Service for those of you not in Arizona. Yesterday I discovered this lovely document in my mail.That's right. A public notice that they are about to raise our rates, again. And the worst part is that they're calling this an "interim rate increase". Yeah right. It reminds me of when the Nazis asked the Jews in Germany to register themselves for the purpose of counting. And then they made it illegal to exist if you're Jewish. And then the Nazis started killing the Jews.

So, maybe my example is a bit over the top, but come on. Who do they think they are kidding? Interim rate increase my foot! I would like to know when the rates will go back to it's current price. Also, what about the declining price of fuel? Are we going to see any relief from the power companies? I doubt it! Are they going to ask the Corporation Commission if they can lower the price of electricity? Is that in the plan?

And before you go feeling sympathetic for APS, let me enlighten you of the recent profit announcement. Oh yes, APS (Parent company is Pinnacle West), just posted an almost $140 million dollar profit. (Which is up about 50% from this quarter last year.) Check out the full AZcentral.com story here. Here's the bottom line for us power-consumers.

In addition to the 9.4 percent rate increase that would bring the monthly average household electric bill up about $11, APS has asked the Corporation Commission to grant the utility an interim increase that would raise bills about $4.66 in the meantime while the lengthy rate hearings take place.

Did you see that? Already they are hoping to increase the cost to us consumers by 9.4%, and the interim rate would raise it about $5.00 more, a month!

Aparently, Pinnacle West has a hard time resolving regulation issues with supply and demand. "Analyst Philip Adams of Gimme Credit research said "but (Pinnacle West) has historically had a problem getting timely regulatory relief to meet rising costs and a return on invested capital to support the growth." And we consumers pay the price. Sounds like mismanagement on the part of Pinnacle West. Yet their executives all receive bonuses.

Please be careful who you vote for on the Corporation Commission. They are the ones who determine whether or not these rates increase or stay the same. I'll keep you posted about this one. I may go to the hearing and vituperate for a few minutes!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Word of the Day: Obeisance

\oh-BEE-suhn(t)s; oh-BAY-suhn(t)s\, noun:
1. An expression of deference or respect, such as a bow or curtsy.
2. Deference, homage.


Used in a sentence: I bow my head when I pray in obeisance to the Lord Most High.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Irony

So, it's my last day of work, and I'm reading the news. On the bottom is a brief story about a woman who pierced her foot with a sword while performing a Wicca ceremony. The ceremony was in honor of the recent good luck the woman has experienced.

Isn't that hilarious? I would say her luck ran out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dark Knight

So, the wonderful Erik wanted to see "Dark Knight" for his birthday. Which we did. And I don't know if you know this about me, but actually, I am very impressionable. So, seeing Heath Ledger play this PSYCHOPATH really freaked me out. I didn't sleep that well, and we were throwing a party the next day! Oh man, I kept imaging the Joker breaking into our house, for no reason. Which, I might add, is the scary thing about the Joker in this story. There was no reason, there was no background on this maniac. He just existed and his only desire was to promote chaos and destruction. It was scary. And you know, I can't actually tell you it was a good movie. I was so shocked most of the time watching this twisted person wreak havoc on society.

Not to mention that the fact that Heath Ledger killed himself at the end of filming this movie never left my mind. He must have been seriously disturbed...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not My Proudest Moment,

But funny anyways... Thanks for putting this on YouTube, Tanya. I told you I'd be pissed...

Happy Birthday Erik!


I love you, Erik. You're the most amazing man I know. I love you forever.

(re)Buff-ed

I just saw the news release which details the overruling by the 3rd Circut Court of Appeals of the FCC's fine on CBS for the supposed "wardrobe malfunction" of Janet Jackson's during the Super Bowl in 2004. The FCC fined CBS $550,000. (Which, in 2004, a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl went for over $2 million dollars!) However, today that fine was voided because the FCC acted harshly, and enacted a stricter fine than usual. In their own words,
The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pervasive as to amount to shock treatment' for the audience."
In over 30 years, the FCC has not enforced, to such a degree, the decency standard for which it punished CBS. The Court decided that this fine was a departure from their current indecency standards, which, I may suppose, is far more lax.

"In a statement Monday, CBS said it hoped the decision 'will lead the FCC to return to the policy of restrained indecency enforcement it followed for decades.'"

What got my goat about this story is not the judiciary's ruling, for once. Obviously they have to weigh the fairness of fines imposed in the past versus this fine. And the court found that this fine was too harsh, from what the FCC usually imposes. And that's my problem. Why is this one the harshest fine the FCC has imposed in a 30 year period? I was just as outraged about the whole bare-breast thing. (It was indecent, for Heaven's sake!), but are they telling me that nothing on T.V. has ever come as close to being indecent as that was? It was 1/16 of a second of bareness. I'm upset that now the FCC decides to stand up for decency, and what a shocker, they get slapped down. How about enforcing standards all along? How's that for policy? It bothers me that the FCC doesn't enforce the decency standard without the audience being up-in-arms about it. It takes an entire segment of the U.S. population to get our government agencies (which, hello, isn't that what their supposed to do?) to act in our interests, without us always being on their tail.

There is a lot of freedom, and when we try to impose standards and that freedom is restricted, the courts will attempt to smack it down. The standards for decency has been too loose for the FCC to all of the sudden attempt strict compliance.

I am concerned about what this means for the future. I think this means that we are the ones who should impose decency in our lives and in our children's lives. We should start standing up for decency on the micro scale, so that eventually, hopefully, decency is a part of the larger American culture.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Memoirs of a Working Mom

So, as my internship is drawing to a close (exactly one week from tomorrow, praise the Lord), I thought it would be interesting to draw some conclusions from what I've learned.

First, working and maintaining a healthy marriage is a bit difficult. I have been going into work at 6:00 am so as to be home when the girls wake up from naps. However, I have to go to bed by 8:30, 9 at the latest. And the wonderful Erik is a night person. Oh boy. Not easy. Thankfully, it's almost over and we can have the nights back together.

Secondly, balancing the girls needs with my exhaustion has been tough. I try and give them what I have left in the afternoons, which makes me awful tired by about 8:00 pm. (You can see the conflict.) Thankfully, I found something that gives me energy and allows them to participate. I have been doing Yoga in the afternoons after work and the girls do it with me. I'm pepped up after my workout, and the girls have a ball doing all the poses with me. It's pretty cute.

Third, being a SAHM kind of rocks. I didn't know it when I had it. Oh, praise Jesus that I can go back to it. Halla!

Fourth, traffic and sky-high gas prices seriously dent my meager pay check. Very happy to not have those regular expenses soon.

I do want you know that I have loved working in a personal injury firm this summer. I used to think PI was just out to get the most money, which they are, but also, they do help a lot of people. I can understand why people need PI lawyers, and why lawyers go into PI. It's not super glam, but it's a steady paycheck. And the clients are usually quite happy. So, win-win, if you ask me. And although I did not do well on the LSAT this time, I did really love the industry. So, we'll see what God has planned.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

SYTYCD

Alright, I love So You Think You Can Dance. It's awesome and I'm always a little happier when the show is on. I just love to watch dance, and the choreographers are amazing. They have got to be the most talented people in dance. I have watched it for the past two seasons.

If you don't watch the show, then just pretend like you know what I'm talking about.

So, last night was painful. I have to say I was disappointed in Kherrington (sp?) and Twitch. Normally they are one of my favs, but their energy just wasn't there. And then, hello, Comfort. She just needs to go. It's getting horrible. Every time she walks over to the judges table they beat her down a little more. I mean, sure her dancing is not nearly the caliber the others are, but the judges were the one who kept her on week after week. Anyways, I think tonight is Comfort's last night. The flame went out of her. And it's really too bad. Comfort has a great story and no formal training. Although, the lack of training is probably what's going to kick her off. She doesn't finish her lines and steps. It's all a little amateur.

Also, it's painful to watch Jessica take her reviews. I mean, come on, the girl has been in the bottom just about every week. And every week the judges tell her, "Jessica, Will (her partner) is so good. You really need to step it up." Poor girl. She got onto that show with out Will; now she's dragging him down. Although honestly, Jessica does not have the spark that Will does. Will is a complete dancer and Jessica just can't get there. I think her physical talent is there, but the mental jump isn't being made.

So, now I feel a bunch better getting that off my chest. Do you remember how the summer T.V. schedule was all re-runs? I love the new summer programming. I think it's great. Some of my favorite shows are in the summer. (Well, of course, I love T.V., so, I'd always be able to find something I like. I'm also agreeable, which makes for a good audience. I'm always good for laughing!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Not as high as I was expecting...

So, I got my score. Not good.

I have learned two things thus far, which I'm sure is just the beginning. 1) I am not as smart as I think I am and 2) my instincts are not very reliable. This is rather humbling for me, with a touch of humiliation.

At least I've still got my day-job - being wife and mother.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yes, I'm here...

I just haven't known what to post about. There's a lot going on in the world, but I just haven't found the motivation to get on it.

I mean, I could've posted about the District of Columbia v. Heller decision from the Supreme Court last week. What a huge win for 2nd Amendment rights that was! It was nice to see the High Court uphold the constitution.

Unlike, say, the Boumediene v. Bush case, which extended the rights of citizens to enemy detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay. I would like to point out that the official definition of citizens is a person who serves a country. How exactly did the Court make that jump? The people held in Gitmo are people arrested for crimes against the U.S. They are not citizens, yet this court has found that they can not be denied the right of habeas corpus. So, yes, I could have posted about that and how outraged I was by that decision.

And then Kennedy v. Louisiana, which may have sounded like a good idea. I mean, really, is it entirely necessary to punish a person convicted of the rape of a child with the death penalty. Initially I was a little on the fence with this one. Meaning, is this a situation where the death penalty is too harsh a punishment? But now that I've thought and read more about it I understand that in this decision the Court held that in some cases a state can not make it's own laws regarding the punishment of crimes. This decision was a blow for state sovereignty and a big disappointment for me, an ardent states' rights supporter.

So, yes, I could have blogged about all that. And aren't you glad I did? :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's done...

Finally. 10 weeks of planning and studying and I completed it. Didn't even run out of time! And the best part, for the next five weeks I get to live in the delusion that I got a 180!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's Not All Shoes & Stories

With the coming general elections, it's time I start getting serious about illuminating some of the political arguments at stake this November.

I came across this WSJ article from the blog "Between Two Worlds". I know it's uncomfortable to discuss things that are as heated as abortion, which is why I tend to avoid discussing it on my blog. Everyone knows how conservative I am in my beliefs, and I just haven't felt lead to pontificate lately. Except today. Upon reading this article, I am re-energized.

People, Obama is radical. He comes across as gentle and quiet, almost holy, but he's got an agenda. It's not all about "hope". (whatever that means in the political sphere...)

To Mr. Obama, abortion, or "reproductive justice," is "one of the most fundamental rights we possess." And he promises, "the first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," which would overturn hundreds of federal and state laws limiting abortion, including the federal ban on partial-birth abortion and bans on public funding of abortion.


Excuse me? "Reproductive justice"? Oh my.

He has voted against, or abstained from, all limits on abortion. Including those of the worst sort, like partial-birth abortion. And he doesn't believe in recognizing those who survive abortions as persons. He thinks they should be killed! The woman in the article is just such a person. She survived an abortion; Obama would have her dead.

Please read the article. The personal side to the issue is something I think most miss while discussing the merits of abortion.

Friday, June 6, 2008

SATC

Yes, I did just see "Sex and the City" last night. Don't judge me.

It was better than I thought. Of course, I've been watching SATC on TBS, so much of the sex and curse words are all edited, therefore the movie was shocking to say the least. I actually covered my eyes.

So, the story was better than I anticipated, like I mentioned above. A little drama that would have taken an entire season to unravel was fun to watch on the big screen. And they incorporated all four girls' stories pretty well I thought. It's kind of tough to make a movie with four main characters (well, relatively main as Carrie has always been the center) because it could take so long to develop the stories. But, I thought it was well done and will leave SATC fans pretty satisfied. At least I was.

Now the fashion, oh my! Once again, Carrie blows us all away with her taking runway looks to the street, but the character always pulls it off. Not a huge fan of the gladiator sandals, but the blue Manolo's were TO DIE FOR! Aren't they beautiful? And so romantic... Who wouldn't love a $1000 shoe for a engagment gift? I mean, cheaper than the ring, right. Of course, I'm sitting here wondering if I would trade my diamond for shoes, and the answer is decidedly 'no'. My girls would traipse around the house in these for sure and probably even gnaw off the buckle. C'est la vie.

Back to the movie, I actually think the movie had some good points regarding marriage. It touched on an issue that I find incredibly important. In the movie, ****Spoiler Alert!**** Carrie and Big decide to buy a home. Except, Big buys the home for them. Technically, the home is in Big's name. Miranda asks Carrie to consider what would happen should they break up? Carrie would be homeless with no assets. The thing is, until this point, Carrie was fine with living with Big. It was until the security question comes up that she's willing to broach the topic with Big.

My point is that marriage really is an incredibly important thing for women. The institution protects women. That message gets all skewed now because women are supposed to be able to support themselves, have their own jobs, their own security. But what is missed is that marriage really helps women out. And they are selling themselves short by "shacking up".

Also, the movie pointed out that marriage is worth working on. ***Spoiler*** Miranda and Steve go thru a hard time, but they work it out. I would have liked to see Miranda actually realize that she was as much to blame for the problems, instead of just having the responsibility to forgive Steve. It didn't go far enough there, in my humble opinion.

Love Charlotte.

Samantha. Poor Samantha. There was something so disturbing about watching a 50-ish woman still wanting the promiscuous lifestyle she left behind for the man she loved. And yes, that's right, she choose herself. Typical Samantha. I bet she has every STD in the book.

Overall, I would buy this movie if they made it into an edited form. As it stands right now, there is no way I'll ever own this movie. Of course, this movie edited, what would be left? I guess fashion! :) Always a good thing.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Update to Buyer's Remorse

So, I finally got around to returning the jellies to Old Navy that mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Here's a basic account of what happened this morning.

Me: Hi, I need to return these jellies.
ON: Okay, you can go pick out something else and exchange it.
Me: Actually, I'm really frustrated with the quality of these shoes, as this is the second time I've had to exchange the pink pair. So, I would like store credit.
ON: Alright, I can do that but unfortunately, the computer will only let me send you the credit in the mail.
Me: Really? Okay, thanks.
I couldn't believe it! Their crappy shoes and I have to wait 10 days for them to send me my money!

Crappy shoes. Crappy return policy! At least it's not as bad as Target, you know?

Hiatus Terminated

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted-notice that I'm assuming there are as many people out there interested as I may think there are. Anyways, for those of you who do read and are wondering what's been going on, here it is:

First, I went to Texas to clean out my grandfather's house and help it get ready for sale. I brought the Reagan and she was awesome! My mom and I drove out and started in. We cleaned, moved out furniture, and peeled wallpaper, while Reagan watched movies and played with toys from the 60's (which I know were probably a hazard since they were made of metal or wood). Really, Reagan was amazing. A perfect angel, which is really just a huge shout-out to God for blessing me with a great kid and a great week.

We returned. I recovered briefly from the 15 hour drive, and went to work. That's right. I've rejoined the work force. I honestly can't believe it. After four years of SAHM status, the part-time working mom thing is taking a bit of time to get used to. I am working as an intern for a private law-firm who do personal injury. And no, they do not rent the back of the phone book for ad space.

Which leads me to something that I guess I'll just put out there. I am taking the LSAT's on June 16th. It's always been a dream of mine to go to law school, and I realized that if I didn't try to get in I'll always wonder if I could. So, hence, the internship and the studying.

In the meantime, the girls are bouncing from my MIL to my mom, to staying home with Daddy on his flex day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Buyers Remorse

I am no stranger to buyers remorse. I'm usually filled with guilt the moment I've spent any money on myself which I have not budgeted. (Please, no comments about budgeting-I've heard it all. It's like the whole "Diet Coke is going to kill you someday if you don't give it up" argument. I've heard most of it and I agree with it. And someday I'll get better at it.)

Anyways, yesterday after a rather rough morning with the girls, in which Matilyn proceeded to whine for about 1.5 hours straight, I went to Old Navy. I love that stinking store. Never mind that the sizes are not consistent from one season to the next.

Except, now I'm hating that store. After I perused through the women's section (where I found an adorable black wrap dress for only $16!) I went over to the kids' section. Low and behold, there were jellies. You know, the plastic shoes that girls where? Well, for $10 a pair I thought they were worth it. So I bought a pink and green pair. Once home, the girls wanted to put them on. Within minutes the pink pair's snap broke. I promised a very devastated Reagan that tomorrow (today) we would go back to the store and exchange them for a new pair.

Today, we got into the car and went back to ON to exchange them. I got the new pair, cut off the tags (saved them of course) and put them on a very happy Reagan and then we went to the gym. By the time my yogalates class was over, the pink ones broke again. I'm not kidding. So, Reagan is flipping out. So much so that she wouldn't even put the shoe on since it wouldn't snap. And then Mati starts flipping out; apparently something was wrong with the green ones too. Darn it. I hauled them off to the car, took their shoes off, and told them that for throwing those fits, they are not getting jellies at all. I'm taking them back for a FULL REFUND!

And that leads me to the real remorse. Crappy shoes from ON. You get what you pay for, I guess.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another One

Yes, I remembered what other movie I just saw. (Don't you love when you remember what you forgot?) Anyways, the oh-so-economically-minded Erik and I went to free screening of "Prince Caspian", the next in the Narnia series.

It was very good. I love, love, love C.S. Lewis, and what a treat to see this fine adaptation. And on that note, I have the highest respect for Walden Media, the makers of the film. They take great family books and make them into fabulous, mostly-family, movies. So, please go see this movie. Your kids will love it; you will love it.

One scene that I remember in detail enough to discuss was where Lucy is looking for Aslan so he can help them in the war against the Tellmuns (I don't remember their names...). Well, Lucy finds Aslan and they sit and talk for a moment. Can you imagine? The battle is raging, and Aslan is concerned about Lucy and why she waited so long to come find him. For the first time I realized that Jesus wants the relationship so much more than a victory. He wants us to come to Him, and then go fight together. He already won the war, why rush into the battle?

Anyways, great movie. Wonderful story. See it.

My Version of Productivity

Inspired by my friend, Katie's, Productivity post, I thought I would list out all of the movies I've watched in the last week.

First, the most-attentive Erik and I rented "Lars and the Real Girl". It was fantastic. I would categorize it as more Steve Carell than Will Ferrell, and better than Steve Carell at that. Ryan Gosling plays a relationship-impaired man, who purchases a life-size doll who becomes his girlfriend. I know it sounds hoaky, but it is really a good story. With completely original characters and an unique story this movie is worth the time it took to watch.

Secondly, I watched "Miss Potter" with Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. It is a movie based on the life of Beatrix Potter, the author and illustrator of the "Peter Rabbit" books. You can imagine how much I loved it, a movie about a woman who writes books! Loved it! The director included some bits of animation to portray how the animals (like Peter Rabbit, and Jemima Puddleduck, for example) actually came to life for Potter, and I think it worked very well. Also, it's always a treat for me to see Ewan McGregor with Zellweger as they seem to work so well together. (Reminds me of Doris Day and Rock Hudson.)

And I think there was another movie that I saw, but I can't remember what it was. However, I did finish an excellent book this week. "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult was superb and I highly recommend it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a perfectly wonderful Mother's Day I had! I have to tell you, the most honorable Erik really won me over this year. Allow me to brag a bit.

First, he woke up at 6 am, on Sunday. Oh yeah. Do you know what I woke up to hearing? Not screaming kids. Not the Disney Channel. Oh no, I woke up to the sounds of dishes being done. Oh baby. How's that for titillating? (We are a dishes-can-wait-till-morning family, especially on the weekend.)

Then, he brought me breakfast in bed! My girls came into the room also, Reagan saying, "Happy Mother's Day!" and Mati saying, "Mommy, get out of bed!" Needless to say, I ignored Mati. And then, I turned on the TV. That's right, I watched TV, in bed, with my breakfast. Reagan wanted to stay with me, but I told her that we weren't watching Disney, we were going to watch the news. And then I proceeded to do something which I haven't done in years. I watched "Meet the Press"! Oh Glory Be! (Who doesn't love a little politics on Sunday morning?)

Then came the best part. The oh-so-wonderful Erik took the girls with him to work! Oh my goodness! A whole morning just to myself. I gave myself a pedicure. I watched "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace" (My favorite of the Sunday morning talk shows). I watched last week's episode of "CSI: NY". What a wonderful morning.

Lastly, I went to a tea baby shower in Mesa, and I didn't even mind the drive.

Okay, so that was my awesome Mother's Day. I am a new woman!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Still Captivates Me

Even now, with Reagan almost four, she's still so sweet. Will I ever get tired of watching her sleep?

Insanity?

One definition for insanity is continuing to do something and expecting a different outcome. This occurred to me on Monday morning while in aerobics.

I have been doing step aerobics off and on for over 9 years. I have been working out, most recently, for over 18 months and I pretty much stick to the same routine. Monday: 8:30 step aerobics/sculpt; Tuesday: Either cycle or kickboxing; Wednesday: Step/Sculpt; Thursday: Either cycle or kickboxing; Friday: Step. Sometimes I mix in some extra weigh-lifting, but it's not consistent.

Anyways, on Monday morning I looked around the room and saw the usual crowd who normally goes to the gym on Mondays and I realized that not one person in there was smaller, thinner, buffer. And sure enough, I looked at my reflection and yep, definitely not smaller in the right areas.

I had had it. What in the world? For 18 months I've been sweating out the calories, and it turns out that I was just maintaining. Talk about insanity. I was so mad, I almost walked out.

Well, I almost gave up working out. But I don't want to do that. So, after a healthy talk from one of my friends, I have switched up everything. I'm only going to the gym for classes that I want to do. (Warning: RANT COMING!) No more obligatory workouts! No more not enjoying it! I'm going to pilates, yoga, and weight-lifting. And I'm doing the machines! No more of this class stuff, I can't be bored one more minute! I don't want to be frustrated with my workouts!

Also, I am doing Turbo Jam. Okay, it's crazy and I look hilarious shakin' my booty. But it's fun and NOT BORING!

Alright, I need to go have a brown rice cake with a smidgen of peanut butter. The diet, after all, has to stay a little boring...