Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return of the king, soccer starts, refereeing, Seussical and prom...

Monday, Tim and Taran were still gone on Choir Tour. They went to Disneyland that day. The Health Care Bill passed Sunday so quite a few of my FB friends and my family members were depressed. I don't blame them, I was very disappointed too. It makes no sense why they would pass a bill that really doesn't do what they say but it reforms student loans and what not else and takes away more freedom and liberty! I while ago I had to come to the conclusion that God is at the helm and I just need to trust Him or I would go crazy or get depressed! The movie Faith Like Potatoes has a great line "The condition for a miracle is difficulty. For a great miracle is impossibility". Love it! So watch the miracles, they will come! But we must keep vigilant and keep the faith!

The little boys had piano right after school. Emily had Seussical practice 4-9 PM and Timo had lacrosse practice 4-6 PM. So I took Gwen with to drop them off (luckily they weren't too far apart!)and the other boys were at friends. It was Gwen's turn for Family Night so we watched It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown. There was some grumbling from her brothers but it turned out fine.

Tuesday I helped at the school Zane's class, as usual. I also worked on some of my 'craft room' stuff that was ALL over the family room. I really wanted it done before Tim came back but that didn't happen! Tim and Taran arrived around 1:30 PM. Gwen, Zane and I picked them up at the high school. They were exhausted but had had a great experience! The kids were happy to see dad and Taran. Tim brought them back GIANT Disneyland lollipops! My dad hung out for awhile while my mom went to the temple. Timo's practice was canceled because we had a crazy arctic wind again so I just took Emily to her practice. That night I went to my first Caucus meeting. I have always wanted to go but it seems like I usually have something that night. It was very interesting and it turned out to be a lot longer than I thought. Tim picked up Emily for me and went to Taran and Timo's basketball game. And then he had to referee a game too. It was a late night after not sleeping much on their way home!

Wednesday Tim stayed home, sick. He slept a lot. Gwen had playgroup so I was able to get some things done that without feeling I was ignoring her! Emily had a Student Council meeting and picture day at play practice--busy! But she made it on time to everything. Timo had lacrosse practice and Izak had the first spring soccer game that night. They lost to a team that they had beat last fall--disappointing! I ahd to leave Izak's game to pick up Timo. Tim was busy with Zane's soccer practice. I worked more on the craft room. I am thinking I may have ran to the store too! Not important, I guess.

Thursday I had to run errands for a fundraiser at our school for the kindergarten teacher. Tim stayed home and worked from home that day and was feeling a bit better so I left Gwen to do it and I got it done fast! Taran was home sick this day. Emily missed piano that day since she had forgotten to practice since she has been having all these extra practices and then doing her homework after she gets home. If she were more organized she probably would have done it. Owell. It was opening night for her play so she didn't need to be there until 5:30 PM. I had to be there at 6:15 PM to take tickets at the door. They had a great turn out and I was able to watch the play once it started. It was very cute. Meanwhile Tim had to go find Izak and Micah since they left without telling us where they were going. So Izak was late to soccer practice and Pack Meeting. Tim went to Pack Meeting and went straight to Messiah practice after. I also finished my referee cards--I coordinate referees for our under 7 teams that play in our league. It's a little crazy but I am able to put my kids in as many games that they want to ref. It's the only perk. But worth it!

Friday Tim actually made it to work and Taran was back at school. He spent a bit of time in the afternoon on Prom Prep. After Kindergarten I took Gwen, Zane and Mark (Zane's friend who comes over on Fridays/Zane goes there on Wednesdays) to the dollar store and they each thought it was fun to pick out a dollar toy! Then another crazy storm hit while we were there so we were glad to get home. We weren't there long and Taran needed me to pay the dance ticket fee and picture fee for Prom. Don't get me wrong he also shelled out a nice chunk of change on his own. But since he doesn't have a steady job--his job is to get good grades in his classes he doesn't have enough to cover it all. So I had to drag those guys over there to give him the money. They were starving by the time we got back! Tim had a soccer practice for Timo and Taran's team but because of the poor weather and both Tim and Taran getting over their colds he canceled. Timo did not have a practice since the JV and Varsity teams had games. I did the 'green room' that night at Emily's play. Keith, Amber, Amy and Maddie all family members from our respective sides came and made Emily feel great--thanks! I took care of the Little Whos with another mom. I had brought some Dr Seuss books and that helped but some kids are just live wires! Luckily the play is about an hour and 15 minutes. I got to hear the crazy news of March Madness, upsets! It has been amazing this year! Izak is the only one in our family with a championship team that is in the final four!

Saturday started out early Tim had Messiah practice at 7 AM Emily went to the temple at 7:30 AM and Taran and Timo went an hour later. I packed up the kids for a 9 Am game that ended up getting changed to noon, lovely. It was chillier than it looked so Gwen who hates long pants and long sleeves was chilly at the games! Taran had the 'day date' which they had a picnic and played at a park with flour--yep! Then they picked up their dates 2 hours later to go to Benihanas. And then Prom was at the Capitol Buidling up the street from the restaurant. He had a great time and got home late. Zane had a game at 11 AM so Tim is the coach so he went, of course. I took Micah, Gwen and Izak to Izak's game at 11:30 AM. Then I left Gwen with my friend Melissa who's son plays with Izak and took Micah to his game at noon. Then we went back to Micah's game after Izak's was over. Izak's game was close they lost 4-3. Micah's team also struggled but they don't keep track since he is still in rec. Then I stopped at Wendy's got them lunch and headed to the florist to get Taran's corsage for his date. Meanwhile Tim picked up Timo after Zane's game which (they didn't do too great either) to take him to his first lacrosse game. The league goofed and all our games are away! This one was in Lehi at 1 PM. Timo played well, had fun but they barely lost 7-6. BTW Izak refereed 9-10:30 AM (Emily came and relieved him part way through so he wouldn't be too tired later for his game then Emily refereed until 1PM and then walked over to a friend's to see her new kittens! Once Tim got home Emily & I left for Salt Lake to see the Young Woman's Broadcast in the Conference Center. After many crazy delays which made Emily stressed we got there and ate a delight dinner at the Nauvoo Cafe--a little rushed but still yummy. The meeting was amazing I especially enjoyed the music and President Utchdorf's talk. Emily really liked his too! We stopped at JCW's on the way home for a shake. Then we piddled around the house getting ready for choir on Sunday and such while we waited for Taran.

Gwen got up in the night like she does almost every night now--I think she needs to use the bathroom but we can't get her too. It was not fun on soo little sleep. We got a new bishop today. He was a counselor to our bishop who got put in the stake presidency. The new counselor is the YM president so more changes to come! The bishop is our neighbor, a great guy, we love the family, he was on choir tour with Tim. His wife and I are good friends--we got Eclipse together at midnight whenever that came out! Taran is really good friends with their 2 oldest sons--one was in the band and the other has gone on all the dance dates with him. They have 2 daughters similar ages with Emily and Micah and so they did playgroup together. We have a lot of amazing men in our neighborhood who could have been called. The Stake President even said that after he called him. We had several things this afternoon and the Messiah tonight. It was amazing--full orchestra just from local neighborhood people! I had a hard time staying awake at times but the Hallelujah chorus brought tears to my eyes! They also encouraged everyone who wanted to join in and had the words. It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it! (not on my part just all those in it!:)

March is almost over and so far we still have a lion around here! Take care and maybe this week I can get back to my Freedom Friday posts!

On this collage you can see Taran and his date Sara on our porch--goofy smile! Emily & I at the conference center and Emily with that cool sculpture thingy. Some friends from Chico I saw last weekend The Ramsdens at my friend Lori's. Gwen and Zane with their lollipops. Emily with Maizy and Jojo from Suessical Jr!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another 2 weeks gone by...

Check out these photos on the collage and you can see we celebrated Tim's birthday, St. Patrick's Day, my cousin Marnae's wedding in the Draper Temple, went to the park with friends, had tantrums, held baby Tate, Taran and Timo got their patriarchal blessings...not necessarily in that order either! We still had piano, a couple of basketball games, lacrosse practices, extra play practices, school talent show try outs, inspiring stake conference, student council meetings, school choir concerts and early morning choir practices, lost church shoes, helping at the school, runny noses, scouts, laundry, organizing my junk room, arctic winds, reality of my dad's illness and it's progression, snow, visiting with old friends from Chico, took Izak and friends to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid...Tim and Taran gone on choir tour to California until this Tuesday...Universal Studios, the beach, Disneyland...yep, very cool or sweet! We watched Imagine That and Where the Wild Things Are...March Madness--NCAA basketball my bracket is hosed...But it's ALL good. Really, I feel so lucky for all the people in my life, I have the best husband, my kids are pretty decent humans, most of the time, I have a supportive extended family, my friends and neighbors are also very supportive what more could I want? Maybe that the Health Care bill doesn't pass... would that be too much? Anyway, life isn't perfect but I am at peace with it most of the time which is a great place to be. If God be with us who can be against us? That's how I am feeling today. So grateful!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Freedom Friday, a little late

A great article my neighbor shared on Facebook, a must read!

The Heat is On: Congressman’s Office Says Constituent Calls Are ‘Harassment’
by Capitol Confidential

Yesterday, I decided to call Rep. John Garamendi’s (CA-10) office in Washington, D.C. He’s my representative and I wanted to voice my opposition to the Senate Health Care Bill. I spoke with a female staffer and politely told her that, while I support health care reform, I oppose the Senate Bill because it wasn’t true “reform.” She said the Congressman thinks it’s a good bill and that he campaigned on health care reform. I told her I knew that. I also mentioned that I voted for him. When I tried to give her specific reasons why the Senate Bill would harm our system rather than reform it, she refused to listen. She said she was very busy and hung up on me. Being the persistent person that I am, I kept calling back. Each time I tried to finish my point, she hung up.

I called one more time. This time she said, “If you call one more time, we will notify Capital Police.” I asked why my conduct warranted involving federal law enforcement agents. She said I was “harassing” her. I tried to explain that trying to convince a representative to change his or her vote didn’t constitute “harassment.” Before I could fully explain, she hung up again.

I called back. This time, I asked to speak to her supervisor in order to report her repeated hanging up as well as the threat she made. I was placed on hold. Thinking I was holding for her supervisor, I was shocked when a Federal Agent with the Capital Police picked-up the telephone.

At first, the Agent was curt with me. He claimed I was harassing Mr. Garamendi’s staff by continually calling after being told to stop calling. I asked him when it became a federal crime to lobby a congressman. He said that it wasn’t but it was a crime to “harass” congressional members and staff pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 223. I told him I was an attorney (which I am) and that I would research the statute he had cited.

After researching 47 U.S.C. 223, I called Mr. Garamendi’s office again and asked to be transferred back to the Capital Police Agent. The Agent picked up the phone and I explained to him that the statute he cited was not controlling since it only prohibits people from calling with the specific intent to harass. I further explained that I was simply trying to voice my concerns with the intent of getting Mr. Garamendi to change his mind, not to harass his staff. The Agent eventually agreed with my position and said he would call Mr. Garamendi’s office and instruct his staff that I was within my rights to call my congressman and voice my concerns.

After I hung up, I realized that this story should be told. Besides being an attorney, I’ve also had the privilege of serving this great country in the United States Marine Corps. Having seen the ugly legislative process the Senate Bill had been through, I saw this as not just another tactic to pass the Senate Bill at all costs, but also as an affront to our liberties.

While I’m fortunate enough to be able to legally challenge what happened today, others aren’t. The sad part is the democrats know this. They know that Americans unfamiliar with federal jurisprudence can easily be silenced when threats to involve federal agents are made. They know that most Americans don’t want trouble and they’ll go away rather than face the possibility of having to explain themselves to federal agents. That’s why I found this tactic appalling, as a Marine, as an attorney and as a proud American.

During my final contact with Mr. Garamendi’s staff, it was confirmed to me that he would vote for the Senate Bill no matter what. I was told that I was wasting my time by calling. Mr. Garamendi is a junior member of the House of Representatives. He was just elected via a special election last November. He has made it clear that he is willing to forsake his constituents in order to please the Speaker of the House.

Speaker Pelosi has said that she will stop at nothing to get the Senate Bill passed. She publicly stated that she would “pole vault over a wall” if barriers stood in her way. While that may be an amusing spectacle, it is indicative of what happened to me today. Apparently, threatening Americans with federal crimes to silence them is the latest tool in Speaker Pelosi’s dirty bag of tricks.

In the coming days, I’m sure more stories will develop illustrating the “win at all costs” tactics being employed by democrats. It’s these tactics that have appalled a majority of Americans to the point that the Senate Bill has overwhelmingly been rejected by the American people. When we try to explain that to Speaker Pelosi’s Caucus, we are threatened with criminal sanctions. We are told to shut up or face federal agents. Such treatment may be acceptable in the former Soviet Union, but it’s repulsive in the country I love and served. Is this hope and change?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We REALLY don't want THIS Health Care Bill

Anyone who follows my blog knows I have posted many articles and opinions along these lines. But we must not let this pass. What's the big deal?

First: This is not going to solve ANY problems that it has been advertised to fix. If we really want health care reform we need a solution that does not include more government involvement.

2nd: There has never been a federal government program that ran efficiently. I am not anti-government but they are not efficient and this would just be a huge pain in the neck for everyone! Ask anyone on Medicare or their family how it's working out?

3rd: This is becoming more about bailing out special interest groups who don't want to pay health care benefits--unions.

4th: Most citizens don't want this bill passed. I thought we paid the salaries of the government officials so why are they not listening to us?

5th: These congressmen and senators don't want this health care plan themselves so why make us have it?

6th:It's unconstitutional to force people to have health care programs they don't want--they will jail or fine you if you don't.

7th: It's unethical that some states are getting kick backs if their reps vote for the plan, buying votes with favors that is TOTALLY wrong.

8th: It will bankrupt our country, some say within 4 years (Massachusetts' Treasurer) some say less. Then we will have NO programs...

9th: It's fundamentally against all the principles upon which this country was founded.

So why does our President, Pelosi and Reid want this so bad? Power, control, payback...they owe some people BIG, they want to collapse the economy so they can takeover and show that capitalism doesn't work, they are stupid, they are evil...

I do not know why they are pushing this bill when we have close to 10% unemployment and a HUGE deficit our priority should be stimulating the economy through tax cuts and cutting spending. We are in prime condition if we stop this to stabilize by cutting spending and taxes to be seen as a good investment again and foreign countries and companies will come here to develop and invest. A bigger government is not productive to the economy.

Please pray for our country! Pray for our leaders to have the courage to stop this madness. If this passes we have little chance of getting rid of it and we WILL regret it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Freedom Friday a day early...

Read this article this morning, even though this does not affect me right now back-door taxing may affect us all in the end...

Health-care reform's 'back-door' tax
By Jia Lynn Yang, writer
March 11, 2010: 10:18 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Fortune) -- The big talk on Capitol Hill may be about health-care reform, but as part of this massive undertaking, the Democrats are quietly reshaping the tax system too. Tucked inside President Obama's latest health-care proposal is a major change to the Medicare tax.

Since its conception, the Medicare tax has always been tied to payrolls. Every paycheck, employers and employees each chip in 1.45%, regardless of how much someone makes. Under Obama's proposal -- which should be very close to what Congress winds up enacting -- a Medicare tax would now be applied to investment income too: Individuals who earn more than $200,000 and couples over $250,000 would pay an additional 2.9% surtax on unearned income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents.

Two things happen here. The first one is that the Medicare tax would go from being a payroll tax (like Social Security) to an income tax.

"You can certainly make the argument that [payroll is] really not appropriate anymore and we may as well tax all income," says Howard Gleckman, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute and editor TaxVox, the center's tax and budget policy blog. "But this is kind of a back-door way to do it."

The Democrats found their way to this "back door" because they couldn't agree on how to pay for the health-care bill: House Dems don't like the Senate's proposal to tax so-called Cadillac plans, and Senate Democrats don't like the House bill's inclusion of an income tax on the wealthy to pay for health care.

That paves the way for the second change. The Medicare tax has long been set at a flat rate -- the idea being that everyone pays into the system at the same rate and then receives the same amount of medical benefits later in life.

But by giving the Medicare tax the qualities of an income tax, Democrats can raise taxes on high-earners without explicitly calling it an income tax hike. The proposal also targets this group by adding 0.9% to their payroll portion of the Medicare tax too. Adding a tax just for households making over $250,000 would make the tax progressive for the first time.

The Obama administration says taxing the wealthy on unearned income is only fair because anyone who lives off their dividends and interest should have that money treated as wages too.

Gleckman points out that because the tax is being changed indirectly via health-care reform, the policy design is a bit unorthodox. "Usually we have tax brackets rather than this cliff, where suddenly if you make a dollar more you're subject to this additional tax," he says. But there are ways around it: Taxpayers who want to avoid getting bumped up to the higher rate could easily wait a little longer to sell their stock after the new-year cutoff.

The Center for Tax Justice points out the changes would only affect 2.3% of taxpayers in 2014. And the tax would not apply to income earned through tax-deferred retirement accounts.

Still, those higher-income taxpayers would foot a significant chunk of the bill's revenue streams. The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that Obama's proposal to raise the Medicare payroll tax and expand the tax to unearned income would bring in $183.6 billion in revenues from 2010 to 2019. That's 44% of estimated total revenues needed to pay for health care, making it the biggest portion of all the proposed changes.

There is confusion over whether the Medicare tax on unearned income would apply to capital gains too. In Obama's proposal, the only forms of unearned income listed are interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents.

But the plan does make it clear that unearned income, not just wage income, is now fair game. If capital gains income is indeed included, the wealthy would effectively be facing a cap gains tax rate of 22.9%. (The rate is already due to go from 15% to 20% next year) As of this writing, the White House had not responded to a request for comment.

The Democrats have to figure out some way to pay for health care to pass their bill, and this "back-door" tax could be their best hope at a workable compromise. But as they consider how to reshape the country's medical system, watch out for how they're changing the tax system too. If Obama's proposal goes through, other taxes could start popping up in some new, unexpected places.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Tim!

So here's a cute baby picture of Tim. I can't remember how old he is in this photo. But what a cutie! Funny to think he is the father of this group of goofballs! Yes, we are querky and have many faults but we are {hopefully} learning to love one another and be kind. Tim is one of those amazing people that is easy going and fun but responsible too. He doesn't worry about things, he says it's pointless to worry. He says that you should just do what you can and trust God will help you because you've done your best. That has helped me a lot! He rarely is critical of ANYONE, he is even careful when he speaks of politicians! I call him Mary Poppins--practically perfect. He doesn't like that much because he hates that movie! He also has many talents and is 'freakin'' smart too. It's a wonder he married me--it's my lips I think. I feel so blessed to be married to such a fantastic guy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March is marching on...

You know the saying in like a lion and out like a lamb? Well, it's usually talking about the weather but I think this year it is talking about my life. This week was Dr. Seuss' birthday and it's our tradition to celebrate it. We had green eggs and bacon for ham and birthday cake. You can see in the collage some of it mingled with Izak's birthday which was Friday. Te kids loved getting to blow out the birthday cake candles together for Dr Seuss. I am not sure Gwen really got why we did it...
"Mommy, we blew out the candles because Dr Seuss couldn't?"
"Yep." I said.
Gwen, "Is he dead?"
"Yep" I said.
"But we are having cake for his birthday?"
"Yep, because we love his books and he can't be here to blow out the candles."

I should have said that mommy just likes any excuse to turn an everyday day into a fun party! I really enjoy those types of things.

Other happenings: scouts for me, cub scouts, basketball, lacrosse but only one day since the snow canceled the other days. Gwen went to her first birthday party her friend Sophie turned 3 and Sophie's mom took them to Del Taco and they played on the play stuff there and had lunch. Tim and I went to BYU to the Jazz Voices concert, it was pretty awesome! I had a Relief Society meeting to celebrate the Birthday of the RS. The food was delicious but the speaker later was Anita Stanfield, yes THE write. She was hilarious and also brought some great points that I am going to share in our devotional tonight. She really is an amazing person. I have never read her books but now I'd like to! If you ever have a chance to hear her GO! I may devote a post on her talk. All week I had little things to do to get ready for the baptism and Izak's birthday. It was a little crazy but with some tender mercies it all came together. We celebrated Tim, Izak and Micah's birthday Friday night thanks to my mom. She was going to have it at her house but I had made our made the van's battery die and it wouldn't go so everyone came here. Tim replaced the battery Saturday so we should be in business! I also got my hair cut by my niece Erika while Emily and Gwen were pampered--a fund raiser at Erika's school for charity. They had fun and I got my eye brows waxed too. Saturday was the baptism and it was a good as it gets. Taran was able to baptized Micah, Tim confirmed him. Izak gave one of the talks and did a great job. Tim and Emily sang and their song really brought the spirit into the meeting. It was a great day and when it was over I asked Taran how it felt to baptize Micah he said that it was better than his baptism. I am so grateful he was able to do that! We had lunch over at our house for all the family and friends who came. I bought too much but that's okay we have dinner ready for tonight! I felt so blessed, because this week was a bit tough but I knew it was just that Satan wanted us to be discouraged and disappointed with each other to ruin a special time but in the end it may have pulled us closer together--I think so! We'll see. We are NO where near perfect but Micah's baptism was a perfect moment!

I can't remember anymore, lucky you! So this is it for now, check out the collages and this great article about some of the missionaries in Chile and the earthquakehere. Our prayers are with all those around the world who are overcoming these natural disasters.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Izak!

Poor Izak, today is his 10th birthday and it has been a crazy day! Luckily I got up early enough to make him crepes and my mom and dad took him out for lunch. They also let him pick out a new toy too. He is such a sweet and happy boy. I thoroughly enjoyed him as a baby and little boy he just so fun. He is also musically talented with singing and piano--I think our kids get this from Tim. He is active loves to play most sports and games. He is fun to watch in sports especially basketball. He was born 1 week after we moved into our house here. So it was a bit chaotic for awhile especially when we put grass in our new yard. He is really great with younger kids playing with him and including them in things. He is a great part of our family and we hope this year is great for him!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Freedom Friday a little early...

Warren G Harding and the 1920 Depression - Learning the Right Lesson
By David Singhiser

Thomas E. Woods, author of the best selling book, Meltdown, wrote in a recent article about another depression in the early part of the Twentieth Century, the 1920-1921 Depression, and how President Warren G. Harding and his administration handled it. The situation was dire after World War I. Unemployment jumped from 4 percent to almost 12 percent and the Gross National Product fell 17 percent.

The common myth taught in government schools is that laissez-faire capitalism caused the Great Depression, and only the massive government programs of President Roosevelt's New Deal ended it. It continues by condemning President Hoover for doing little to help and making things worse. If some more knowledgeable or honest historians admit that the New Deal policies did not actually lift the nation out of the depression, the other explanation is that World War II ended it. That too is bad economics. They ignore the cuts in government spending and taxes that finally sparked the recovery after the war.

The facts, however, do not support the common interpretation. Hoover did indeed begin massive government intervention in the economy, and to such an extent that FDR during the 1932 election actually criticized him for his extravagance. Herbert Hoover, despite the conventional wisdom, was not a laissez-faire capitalist and believed in government intervention in the economy.

As a member of the Harding administration, he recommend government stimulation of the economy to stop the 1920 depression, but Harding ignored his advice and let the recovery take place naturally without bailouts or government spending. Instead, Harding cut taxes on all income groups, cut the budget nearly in half between 1920 and 1922 and cut the national debt, not deficit, but debt by one-third! The recovery was swift, with evidence of it beginning in the late summer of 1921. Unemployment fell to 6.7 percent and in 1923 finally to 2.4 percent.

The 1920 Depression is forgotten as is President Harding's sound handling of the crisis. Politicians of today are learning the wrong lessons, once again, copying the strategies that led to more than fifteen years of economic stagnation during FDR's reign.

Wouldn't it be better if the politicians and media of today learned the right lesson, from the wiser, forgotten, and much maligned President Harding?