Sunday, May 30, 2010

The last week of school...

We woke up to snow Monday morning. It was supper heavy and weighed down the bushes and trees. We had to knock the snow off with a stick a couple of times. It was a lot more than the photo I took in the collage shows since that was just after an hour of snow and it snowed much longer than that! When I went out to take the picture a bird flew into our house! That was great excitement. Tim finally got it to go out with a broom coaxing it. Luckily it didn't freak out and poo everywhere.

Tuesday it was nice enough that Zane and Gwen ate lunch outside--I had mopped so I made them but it was a nicer day for sure. Timo ran a lacrosse practice for Izak's team--he's helping Tim out with it! Timo got an award at the junior high for his GPA all 3 years 3.97 and his Spanish teacher gave him the department award for excellence in Spanish--we thought that was funny! I had a bridal shower that night too. Tim had EQ meeting that night and visiting.

Wednesday Timo went to Boondocks (place with mini golf, laser tag, go carts and an arcade) with other 9th graders from his school--they took the bus thankfully. He had a good time. Gwen went to her friend Sophie's and I went to 6th grade Promotion. Yep, our school does that! Quite a few kids from our neighborhood spoke and got awards. Then the 6th graders played games after that. Zane went to a friend's so I didn't have to worry about getting back. Emily had a class party at a girl's house in her class who has a pool. She gave a party last year too. Emily had a lot of fun.

Thursday was that last day for Taran and Timo. Timo's school had their 5k run and Timo walked it and deliberately came in last. He was wearing his air cast so they didn't pressure him--it took him over an hour! Some of his friends walked back with him too. Funny kids. Underachievers unite! I took Zane, Marc and Gwen to the Children's Discovery Garden at Thanksgiving Point. It wasn't the warmest but better than some days so they didn't totally freeze when the wind blew. I took photos of the garden there you see in the collage and the kids on Noah's Ark and a bear. They loved it! Emily got a Presidential Academic Excellence Award and a Presidential Fitness Award during their last assembly, good job! Taran and his friends played softball after school. Timo did lacrosse practice again. Taran also had young mens at an assisted living place near our house. Then he went up the canyon with friends and to a dance at the high school. I got to see an old friend from our neighborhood who came to visit it was fun--I took a picture of Izak and her son since they were friends since they were little. When I got home we had a bunch of teenagers, mostly Taran's friends, eating cereal in our kitchen. Tim hung out with them. I had to encourage them to go home, since Tim had to work the next day!

Friday the little kids didn't have to go until 8:45 AM. I ran to Walmart since Taran and Timo were home to watch Gwen. I had to get 125 buns for the annual schools out party in our neighborhood. It was great fun with hot dogs, chips, treats, fruits and veggies, water and otter pops. They had 2 water slides and a dunking machine this year. Emily went to part of it and then I took her and her friend to a party in Alpine hosted by a girl from their class. She had a lot of fun! That afternoon we picked up our van to take it to my parents so it could get fixed--a little more. We had to pay for the transmission to get fixed over $2000. Yes that is not what we wanted that money used for! But it has a valve problem that our mechanic is going to fix--hopefully soon! Tim worked from home after that. The trampoline got a huge hole in it so it will need to be replaced soon!Money, money! Timo's friend John's mom put together a BBQ for the 9th graders. Unfortunately the nice weather didn't hold. It was okay enough to eat and they played a couple games and went inside. Tim made homemade ice cream for it--it's a photo in the collage. Notice the sweatshirt. Homemade ice cream is still great even if you are freezing! We enjoyed hanging out with the parents while the teenagers watched a movie. Taran went to Graduation because he had to sing with the choir. He and his friends who also sang went out to eat after so even though they had to sit through a LONG program I think they had fun in the end. Izak and Micah had a lateover with their friends and watched the new Alice in Wonderland which they liked but said that it was weird. Emily watched Zane and Gwen who crashed at 7:30 PM due to all the fun earlier in the day--they watched a movie before so they didn't feel left out any fun. Tim and Emily watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I exercised instead.

Saturday no soccer but SUPER cold. So Tim went out and got the old trampoline pad off and the put the springs in a box. We plan to order one soon--our kids use it every day! He also mowed & trimmed since it looked like it might rain. I worked on the inside with the kids. Then I went with my sister to Midway to a place called the Barn. She was hoping to get a vase on sale--they were advertising a sale but it was not on sale but she got it anyway it seemed less than when she went last time. She was going to babysit my brother's kids at my mom's since the restaurant is near it so we went to my mom's. I played with my niece and nephew while Teresa took care of the new baby. It was really fun! Tim came and helped out by mowing the lawn--Taran or Timo were going to do it but by the time we had the day figured out they couldn't go because they were going to dinner with friends--I think some girls set this up. Tim brought me home. We stopped for dinner on the way home. Then some of the kids were at our house playing games until 10:30 PM--who says you can't fun without alcohol? They were laughing all night! Tim gave all the little boys hair cut and Gwen a trim. I ran to Old Navy to get Izak some church pants and came out with pants and t-shirts for our family picture this summer. The t-shirts were for the boys and guys $5! I couldn't pass it up!

Tim accidentally moved his alarm clock time up an hour so we got up and going way too early! So we are all tired today! Zane got to share his testimony today in Primary and it was very sweet! Tim and Timo are hometeaching and Taran went today and our hometeachers came too. It's kind of weird not to have choir here at our house anymore!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day! Remember those who fought that you could enjoy this day with family and friends!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Freedom Friday

My brother-in-law posted the link to this article on his blog because he (read and find out)is his favorite President. Since I didn't know much about this President and I enjoyed it so much I thought to post it here! I hope you enjoy it too!

In Honor of a President Few Remember
by Alan Snyder

Ronald Reagan admired him a lot. In fact, when Reagan was looking over his new house—the White House—shortly after his inaugural in 1981, he entered into the Cabinet Room.

On the wall were portraits of Truman, Jefferson, and Lincoln. The White House curator commented at the time, “If you don’t like Mr. Truman, you can move Mr. Truman out.” Even though Reagan, a former Democrat, had voted for Truman back in 1948, he made his decision: Truman’s portrait was removed and one of Calvin Coolidge was dusted off and put in its place.

Nowadays, in all the “right” circles [to be found primarily among the academic elite], the person of Coolidge is a source of amusement, if not outright derision. Why, he was a do-nothing president, someone who didn’t use the power of the office as he should have. Probably his most grievous sin, in their view, was the way he put the brakes on destiny: he was a foe of the progressive movement that was intended to reshape American government and culture.

Coolidge, whose administration spanned a good part of the 1920s, was a throwback to an earlier time. He was not a Woodrow Wilson; rather, he believed in the vision of the Founding Fathers and their concept of limited government. He remained true to the principles of self-government and the sanctity of private property. The rule of law was paramount in his political philosophy. No one was above the law, a belief that, if followed, would keep the people safe from the power of an overextended government.

During the 1920s, the continent of Europe experimented with socialism. What might larger government be able to accomplish? What vistas await us once we unleash the full power of government intervention? Coolidge stood opposed to this false vision of the future.

Historians also like to make fun of his approach to speechmaking. Coolidge preferred to say as little as possible. As he once noted, he never got in trouble for things he didn’t say. Yet when he did speak, he made some very significant pronouncements. His words conveyed key ideas for American success. Meditate on this paragraph, for instance:

In a free republic a great government is the product of a great people. They will look to themselves rather than government for success. The destiny, the greatness of America lies around the hearthstone. If thrift and industry are taught there, and the example of self-sacrifice oft appears, if honor abide there, and high ideals, if there the building of fortune be subordinate to the building of character, America will live in security, rejoicing in an abundant prosperity and good government at home and in peace, respect, and confidence abroad. If these virtues be absent there is no power that can supply these blessings. Look well then to the hearthstone, therein all hope for America lies.

Notice Coolidge’s stress on what he called the “hearthstone,” which is a designation for the family. He saw the family as the cornerstone of society, the place where character should be developed. Note also his subordination of financial fortune to the building of character. Fortune may come, but only if character comes first: thrift, industry, and honor—qualities in short supply at the moment.

America was prosperous during the Coolidge years. The Great Depression was just around the corner, but it didn’t occur as a result of Coolidge’s policies of tax cuts and economic liberty. The Depression was more a result of misdirection from the Federal Reserve [low cash reserves in banks; easy credit]; its continuation throughout the 1930s was due to government actions of the New Deal.

If there’s one thing most historians can agree on with Coolidge, it’s that he easily would have won reelection in 1928 had he chosen to run again. Yet he voluntarily stood down. Why? What prompted that decision? He tells us what led him to do so in his autobiography.

It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exultation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.

Coolidge saw the problems associated with elected office. He knew that men often developed what might be called the “swelled-head syndrome.” He wanted nothing to do with that. If for no other reason, Coolidge should be honored for his willingness to set aside power and maintain his good character. Where are the politicians willing to do that today?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


It started last year. Our fascia on our porch over our cement pad separated from the post--cement settled. So the birds found a home there last year and I forgot to remind Tim to close it last fall. So this spring they have returned poo and sticks all over the cement and a constant chirping now that the eggs have hatched. I think the babies are close to leaving. The second photo a baby bird's beak (or maybe 2 of them)is poking out. The first photo I took from hiding. I just held my camera where I could see them but where my body was hidden. I was in full view and the mommy bird flew up to feed and saw me a flew back to our grass. So I hid (I am in the house but our back door is a full window) just enough that she came back and I got this cool shot. Tim is fascinated and doesn't mind the mess. I on the other hand want him to seal it up once they fly away. Last year they took pieces of my tomato plants and other plants. I know other birds can do this too but their opening is facing the garden so it's perfect for that! So for now if we don't clean off the pad regularly it looks like a scene from the movie The Birds.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More end of the school year stuff!

So it was another busy week with Taran and Timo had choir concerts which were enjoyable and all the grandparents and aunt Teresa came too! The elementary kids had their dance festival which ended up in the high school gym instead of outside since the weather has been very unpredictable--global warming, I want some! It was very cute and my neighbor got there an hour early and saved seats for those of us not up to sitting for an hour extra! My mom, Taran, Tim, Gwen and I went to that. It was really cute and do I dare say the best one overall. What I mean is that ALL the dances were good not just the ones my kids were in! Zane did the macarena, Micah and under the sea dance, Izak Pirates of the Caribbean and Emily Hoe Down Throw Down. We had our last soccer games this week as well and the weather made those interesting but in the end it was a decent weather day. Timo pent about 30 plus hours on a Spanish video assignment. So we saw a lot of his friends and we had some late nights as they finished up and he edited. Taran was a little sick with the cold I had and now is better. The 6th grade had a talent show and Emily and her friend sang a song from Brother Bear "Tell Everybody I'm On My Way". Her soccer team had a party Friday after their last game. I was able to fit in a trip to the temple which was nice. Taran and his friends have been going every week after school so he doesn't have to get up early when Tim takes Emily and Timo! Very proud of him for doing that with them every week with tests and such.

Monday I was able to go to Heber with Tim's parents and sister Amy to see the cabins and facilities of the reunion site they got. It is going to be so fun! It really made it more real and I couldn't wait to tell our kids about how nice it will be. This definitely Tim's way of camping! So it seem everything is coming up so soon!

Well, this it the last week of school. No homework for most kids but Taran has finals Monday-Wednesday. I am so glad!!! YEAH! Have a great week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freedom Friday, a little late

Food for thought...

Morning Bell: “We’ve Come to Take Our Government Back”
Author: Michael Franc

Posted May 19th, 2010

Last month the Pew Research Center reported that only 22% of Americans trusted the government to do the right thing always or most of the time. And that was the good news for incumbents:

Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.

Significantly, a majority of Americans (52%) see the members of Congress themselves as the source of their dissatisfaction. Only 38% attribute their frustration to “a broken political system.”

Last night’s election results in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas seem to bear that out:

* In Kentucky, political newcomer Rand Paul trounced Secretary of State Trey Grayson. As a proxy for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Grayson had inadvertently become the Washington insider in the race despite never having been elected to federal office. And, as the son of libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, the younger Paul was also a proxy of sorts. He came to embody the desire of voters in the Bluegrass State to send the ultimate outsider to Washington. His mission? Shrink the federal behemoth, balance the budget and reduce the federal debt while exhibiting some long overdue humility from our public servants.
* In Pennsylvania, given the opportunity to oust a five-term incumbent Senator with plenty of inside-the-Beltway clout, Democratic primary voters cheerfully complied. They dumped Arlen Specter in favor of a relative newcomer, second-term Rep. Joe Sestak. In his victory speech, Sestak struck a defiant populist tone, characterizing his victory as a “win for the people” over “the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C.”
* In Arkansas, Democratic primary challengers from both the right and left squeezed incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln into a run-off against the state’s leftist Lt. Governor, Bill Halter. While Halter galvanized Arkansas’ Democratic base on the political left, businessman D. C. Morrison ran to Lincoln’s right as a conservative, Reagan-loving Democrat. Morrison cast his vote for Ron Paul in 2008 and spent considerable time railing against Obamacare, bailouts, the stimulus bill and mounting government debt, Morrison pulled a not insignificant 13% of the Democratic vote.

Seniority on the most powerful congressional committees and endorsements from Washington’s most powerful insiders, including President Obama, were liabilities last night.

So, what explains the outcome in the special House election to replace recently deceased Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)? An aide to Murtha, Mark Critz, handily defeated Republican businessman Tim Burns in a contest many pundits felt would serve as an early barometer of Republican prospects in November. As one political consultant noted last night: “I think us pundits in Washington are going to have to revise our thinking about whether this is a wave election year for Republicans.”

Ron Brownstein, the brainy political expert at National Journal, argues that to regain control of the House, Republicans must prevail in seats such as this one. Districts where there is little racial diversity (i.e., where whites comprise 90% or more of the electorate) and few attended college. Murtha’s seat, Pennsylvania-12, fits this profile to a tee.

Get ready for an outpouring of new analyses spouting a new conventional wisdom, one that dismisses the power of the Tea Party movement, and questions whether 2010 will be a watershed election after all.

But, if Critz’s victory is to serve as some sort of a blueprint for Democrats, it will require some serious triangulation. Critz, after all, campaigned (rhetorically, at least) to the right of most Washington Democrats. “I opposed the health care bill,” he insisted during a debate, and then added for good measure that “I’m pro-life and pro-gun. That’s not liberal.” As with the outcomes in those Senate primaries, Washington’s Democratic establishment cannot draw much solace from this development.

There is an overriding lesson for conservatives from last night’s results as well.

Many are prematurely confident that November will be one of those rare “wave” elections that upend the Washington power structure and realign our politics. Maybe. But the early warning signs have been there for everyone to see for awhile now, at least since Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) historic election in January. Savvy liberal political strategists and worried Democratic primary voters, moreover, have had ample time to adapt to the demands of an angry and increasingly conservative electorate. Few Democrats in swing or conservative districts will run as Pelosi or Obama liberals. Instead, expect their rhetoric to morph the populism of Joe Sestak into the conservatism of Mark Critz. As Rand Paul said last night:

I have a message, a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We’ve come to take our government back.

Quick Hits:

* The leftist majorities in Congress are planning to pass another $283 billion in deficit spending before the Memorial Day recess.
* According to the Commonwealth of Virginia, Obamacare will cost the state about $1.5 billion through 2022, a roughly $400 million increase from initial estimates.
* Frustrated by reimbursement cuts that will only get worse under Obamacare, more than 300 Texas doctors have stopped seeing Medicare patients in the last two years, including 50 in the first three months of 2010.
* Undercover investigators found evidence of fraud and abuse at federal Head Start preschool centers throughout the country.
* According to Rasmussen Reports, 39% of voters believe Elena Kagan should be confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate, while another 39% say she should not.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The winding down of the school year...

If you are like me, you are thinking May is as busy as December! We've started to hit the end of the year activities...and this week coming up is full of even more!

Monday: piano for Izak & Micah, scouts for me and Izak and Timo has been helping Izak's WEBELOS den, Family Night we worked on a family creed that we are going to repeat each day--we were inspired by a family in our neighborhood who has the most AWESOME cheer you would have to see to understand and I have wanted to do it ever since I learned the Scout Law so we are close to a final product but it will not be anything as amazing as theirs!

Tuesday: I ran errands that morning, Zane had soccer practice that night and I am not sure what else happened besides normal helping out

Wednesday: Gwen went to playgroup and her friend's mom took them to her parents' and their neighbors who all have animals including camels! She brought home her own egg! I mopped and dumped the water--which proved to be bad for my back, my visiting teachers came which is always nice! I had a scout committee meeting that night which was nice a short...

Thursday: I woke up in terrible pain in my back so Tim stayed home and helped me out. I stayed on a heating pad until I could get up, then once I felt good enough to get around I exercised and it helped a lot actually, Izak's class had a "Poetry in the Park" for parents so we went with Zane and Gwen and it was very cute, they had cookies and lemonade after for us too! Tim took Emily to piano, and did all the laundry and cleaning, although Gwen did help me unload the dishwasher when he was gone! Taran had his girls's team soccer practice and he had a City Youth Council Meeting. His friend is running for the mayor youth position and got him and his friends involved. Tim ran soccer practice for Taran and Timo's team since he's the coach but they both couldn't go--Timo's ankle is still bothering him. I picked up Emily and her friend from their soccer practice. Emily had a migraine and went to bed after some advil and a shower. Tim had training with the Stake Presidency with the whole Elder's Quorum Presidency. It went late. Timo was on his last legs of studying for his AP Geography test. He thinks he aced the essay but isn't so sure about the multiple choice.

Friday: I felt better and I used my brace to make sure I didn't tweak my back. Emily's class did a rocket launch--you can see her holding her rocket in the collage. Zane's class got to watch some of them! Zane's kindergarten teacher invited all the parents and siblings to the last 1/2 hour of kindergarten to see the classroom, etc. she had lots of cute things they could do. He was so excited to take Gwen around and introduce her to his school friends who don't know her. She loved it as well. After we had Marc( we have been trading all year Wednesdays and Fridays) so after lunch we went to the park and fed the ducks. It was windy so the air felt very cool off the water. I left my camera in the car so I took some photos with my phone but I am too lazy to go get it. I did take pictures as you can see of the park and the kids on the playground. It was more comfortable there and the kids had a lot of fun. My niece Holly came over to play while her mom took her brother for his check up then they hung out and played after. It was fun overall, Zane just gets super bossy with Anders and he's no weenie! That night was Emily's piano recital and the Father/Son Camp Out. My mom watched Gwen for me at her house and my dad came with Emily and I. Emily and the other students were very impressive. Emily did mess up at the end (not terribly but enough) which is disappointing but she can't be perfect at EVERYTHING! After we met up with my mom at Kneaders, a deli/bakery place. We had dinner and a dessert. Then we went home and watched Princess and the Frog and New in Town. We had already seen The Princess and the Frog but in the Theater around the holidays so Gwen enjoyed watching it again. Emily and I were entertained by New in Town. Although I wouldn't buy it. Tim and the boys enjoyed the camp out. Tim had 2 extra boys whose dad is in India for work stuff. Taran and Timo didn't spend the night--they got special permission to camp at our park since they were doing service in the morning there. They came home after the campfire program and night games. I found some jobs for Taran to apply for online so we were up until midnight working on that!

Saturday: I had to get up by 5:30 AM to get a breakfast casserole in the oven for the camp out breakfast so it would be ready by 7 AM. I woke up at 5 AM on my own and got going. At 8 AM we were starting a service project in honor of Scouting's 100 years in the USA. So we got super dirty, cleaning the creek that winds along the trail behind the homes in our neighborhood. This was a district sponsored conservation project so our whole city was up and working on projects all over. The cub scouts from our ward helped at the Elementary School spreading new bark on the playground. The plan was to that our projects would take 4 hours but we finished an hour or more sooner! Tim was worried about my back but I was fine! I am a little sore today. Micah had a soccer game right after and he scored in it. Zane had a game at the same time and he scored 2 goals and then Emily had a game later where she scored as well. Granny and Grandpa split up and one went to Znae's and one went to Micah's and that made them very happy! Timo spent most his day working a Spanish video for his Spanish 3 class. They are almost done! We ate outside since they were using our kitchen table for writing--Taran and I helped them translate some of their stuff. Tim and I went out to get a part for the toilet and a milkshake while Taran babysat. Emily went to a friend's to make cupcakes. They delivered them to people after. I got a licorice shake but it was weak, it should have had more flavoring, owell. The handle of the downstairs toilet broke off on Friday, now Tim has replaced everything inside the tank! So that was our date, we came home to Taran's friends eating our cereal. Apparently we are the only ones who have yummmy cereal! Boys! They left and hung somewhere else the rest of the night. Tim and I ironed and put laundry away while watching Ironman 1. I had forgotten a lot of that show! Emily watched it with us (on Clearplay) and fell asleep before it ended.

Sunday: It was ward conference and it was very good--at least the part I went to Sacrament Meeting. The theme was the Book of Mormon which I love! I substituted for the Primary Secretary since she just had a baby. I had to find subs which was awkward but in the end it all worked out. Tim is no longer the choir director so we had Manly choir for the last time here. They are singing next week and then it will be the new choir director's turn and she is fully capable! We enjoyed a nice devotional by Timo this afternoon. Tim is trying to get organized and I worked on scout stuff.

Have a great week! We have 10 days of school left! yeah!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Freedom Friday

Must read and do something...

Administrative State of Emergency Todd Thurman

Posted May 12th, 2010 at 4:46pm in First Principles

The administrative state is one of the biggest threats to our liberty and it is operating without consent of the people and under the radar of most people. This is a huge cause for concern and it is something that should be brought out into the open. The administrative state acts without consent of the governed and has little public accountability giving them power to interpret and enforce laws however it sees fit. This is causing a decline in our constitutional government.

The administrative state are government bureaucracies that create “rules” that have the power of law, but were not voted on by Congress, or signed by the president. This gives them unregulated power to regulate our lives in ways that were never intended by the Founders. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson cited the administrative state as one of the reasons they were declaring their independence from Britain:

"He [King George III] has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance."

Americans have always hated the administrative state and we continue to hate it. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 75% of Americans are angry with the current policies of the federal government. That is an astronomical number that could go higher.

Perhaps the most notable bureaucracy is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It seeks to create rules based on the Clean Air Act that would greatly impact our ability to do simple things like drive cars. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to create rules to “gradually decrease” the amount of salt that is allowed in certain foods. This is the definition of a “nanny state” and goes directly against the Constitution. Article I gives ALL legislative power to Congress. It is an absolute statement with no room for interpretation. This ultimately was supposed to put the power of law-making in the hands of the people because, after all, the people elect people to represent their will in Congress. However, with the rise of the administrative state it is becoming less and less like a representative government and more of a despotic government.

The Administrative is set to become even more powerful because of the passage of Obamacare. Now, the power over one-sixth of the economy will be transferred to over 100 federal agencies all reporting to the Department of Health and Human Services, who’s head is also not subject to congressional authority as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Heritage’s Dr. Matt Spalding notes that:

If Obamacare becomes settled law, and its programs are fixed in place, it will go far in cementing the United States as a post-constitutional administrative state.

The major problem is that the overwhelming majority of laws in this country are not made by congress, but rather, the administrative state. This spells disaster for the American people and the American form of government. Instead of being subjects to the crown, we are subjects to the federal bureaucracies that we have no control over. Heritage’s Dr. Joe Postell states that we must devise a strategy to bar Congress from delegating legislative power to agencies, eliminate the consolidation of all three powers in these agencies and make these agencies accountable to the people. If nothing happens, the great American experiment could end.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A little thought...

"I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works." Psalms 9:1

This morning I am full of gratitude to God, my Heavenly Father. That this all powerful being is so loving and merciful to me in my shortcomings. I feel like if I try a little He blesses me a ton. I know I don't deserve all my blessings but I am grateful for his generosity on my behalf. If you haven't felt His love for you lately just pray and do one thing He has asked and see how much He really loves you! Because He really loves each of us so very much!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Point Farm, Cinco de Mayo, Scout Camp Out and Mother's Day...

Monday: We let the little boys sleep in and then stay home because we had such a late night Sunday. They worked on piano and scouts and they are pretty much done at school so I didn't feel like it was a big deal! Tim fixed the washing machine and helped me with scouts. He taught them how to use a compass. We went to Thanksgiving Point Farm for Family Night and my parents joined us. It was fun and we rode the wagon instead of the ponies. Tim enjoyed feeding the horses hay...

Tuesday: I went to Izak's soccer game in Provo. Tim met up with us there. They played well but still lost--should have tied a couple of bad calls. Owell.

Wednesday: Taran took his AP Calculus test. He's hopeful he passed but we won't know until June. His teacher had breakfast for them--great teacher. After lunch I took Gwen, Zane and Marc to the Thanksgiving Point Farm they rode the horses and had a great time throwing the corn at the animals! They actually enjoyed playing in the play jail for about 45 minutes. I took Timo to his follow up on his ankle and he still needs to wear the air cast. He should have had his ankle casted for four weeks--he had a compression on one side. It was Cinco de Mayo so we had grilled steak tacos--marinated in a tangy lime marinade. It was yummy and we ended with Klondike's Chaco Taco. I was going to attempt a fried ice cream recipe I found with rice krispies. This was less work and not too pricey and everyone loved them! That night I started to feel even more miserable--my allergies and cold hit me hard at Thanksgiving Point Farm.

Thursday: I woke up feeling horrible so Tim worked from home and helped out with the running around to piano and such. Taran and Timo's team had a soccer game that night he coached--Timo didn't go, they won anyway. Izak's last game was that night but because I was sick he went with a friend. They lost. So the season is over. I also missed our Relief Society Activity that night that I wanted to attend! At least by sleeping and resting all day I felt way better.

Friday: Taran had his AP US History test which he felt more prepared for and is fairly confident he passed. I prepared for my scout camp out and then went to Muffins for Mom's at the elementary school. My awesome friend Stephanie watched Gwen at the last minute since Taran was not done in time. Zane was at Marc's.--they actually used our pass and went to the Dinosaur museum. He got in free and they got in at half price. The 2nd graders sing to their moms and then do some activities in the classroom with m & ms (me and mom) and have muffins. It was fun and the kids snag so cute! What a great tradition at that school! I went with Taran all the way through Micah so far! Zane and Gwen had a birthday party after school so I dropped them off and went over to our camp out to prepare. We had a great time and lots of parents helped. Tim rented Serenity and Fantastic Mr Fox. He said that Fantastic Mr. Fox was weird but funny--not much of a kid's show. Emily and friends set up a tent in our backyard and played in it until they had to leave. Timo and Taran's scouts troops were going camping together that night but neither could go Timo due to his ankle and Taran a State Choir competition the next morning, early. So Taran and Timo went with some friends to Macey's (grocery store)and got KING KONG CONES cheap twist cones that are HUGE. I got home in time to watch Hot Rod on Clearplay with them--crazy movie. Emily summed it up well,"I think I lost some brain cells watching that movie!" It does have some funny parts but overall strange! My scout cohort and I can't sleepover with the scouts, fortunately we had plenty of dads who helped us out.

Saturday I slept in so I missed the breakfast for my scouts. I hear it turned out great without me--no surprise! We had Zane, Emily and Micah's soccer games. All three of them scored. I missed Emily's when I took my mom out to lunch for Mother's Day at the Trellis. Gwen and my sister came too. It was fun and yummy. We also did a little shopping after. Emily and Izak also refereed. That afternoon we worked on tidying the house and Tim went Mother's Day shopping. Emily had a party for her friend Paige, who was Madi, birthday. They had a blast on some crazy scavenger hunt all over! That night Tim and I went on a date to see Ironman 2 with some of our friends from the neighborhood--it was a huge group. I was pleasantly surprised by how fun the movie was--I liked it as much as the first movie. I had VERY low expectations. I sat next to my friend Linda who organized it and we laughed all the way through--nice to have someone else who laughs with me--out loud! After Tim and I grabbed drinks at Sonic and stopped at Walmart for milk and such.

Sunday: Tim made me a yummy breakfast. Then we raced to church since it is at 9 AM. The meetings were great. I especially enjoyed the children singing for the mom's and little Gwen went up there and sang--you could barely see her face in front she is so little! Zane walked her up holding hands--precious! (Why don't my kids treat each other like they treat Gwen???) Seriously before church the 3 younger boys were wrestling and fighting...typical! Tim got a new calling, he is the Elder's Quorum Secretary. He had that calling in our last ward until we moved here and he was the EQ President in our young adult ward until we got married. He is kind of sad about not being the choir director anymore but is always willing to help in anyway. They haven't called anyone to take his place so he'll get to do Manly Choir. We got home and did my mother's day presents which were all great--those who call me will be happy to know we have a new home phone system Tim bought at Costco so now I won't sound like I am on the space shuttle anymore! I loved all the cool things the kids made at school for me, treasures! We went to my mom's for dinner, Teresa and the men prepared most of the meal: salmon, steak and chicken, roasted potatoes, raspberry salad, steamed vegetables, watermelon and rolls. Tim's parents came too and Charl and Katie's family. Keith was with Amber at her parents' since it was also her dad's birthday. We had a great meal and cheesecake and ice cream novelties for dessert--yummy! After Tim's parents left--to get home to phone calls. Jodi, our pseudo adopted sister, came too. We played Oodles which Jodi and Katie dominated but I was impressed with Emily and Taran's play. It was a great day and I very grateful for my mother and mother-in-law. Such amazing people and great examples to me. I am grateful I can be a mother and I love each of my kids so much. I feel greatly inadequate in my roll as mother I find it very challenging on so many levels! But has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and helps me see how much he loves each of us. And that is a great gift. I hope you know how much He loves you and if you don't feel it...pray to feel it and you will. I know because I have. Have a great week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Freedom Friday, a little late

Another great article from As A Mom website...

TANSTAAFL: The FIRST (and most important) Rule of Economics

Whether you consider economics boring, intimidating or just not your thing , there is at least one concept that you need to not only understand, but apply. TANSTAFL - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

I am sure that you have heard the term before, and probably gave it cursory thought, laughed it off and moved on about your life. But let's give it just another few minutes of consideration - and then evaluate how much of your life this simple rule affects.

Any product or service that is offered FREE of charge costs someone, something at some time.

Consider this every day example. You are shopping and you see a promotion that offers a free item with the purchase of a specific product. Because of the first rule of Economics, you know that the company offering the deal must have a plan to regain the costs in some other fashion. Costs can be buried within the price of the item you are purchasing. They may be disguised as "handling fees" or the company may be taking a calculated risk that investing in the gift will secure future sales or retain your patronage in order to cover the cost of the free item. Whatever the method, the gift-giver must account for the cost in some way or they will not be able to remain in business.

NOTHING of value is free.

Promotions for free stuff are rather easy to spot when they come from retailers vying for your business. Most people innately understand this simple rule of economics when it comes to things that you purchase voluntarily. And, generally speaking, we make our choices to buy or not to buy based on our perceived value added to the transaction and on which product package will best serve our needs. This is a good example of the Free Market at work.

But what about involuntary transactions?

The Government takes our money, involuntarily, through taxes, both directly (income tax or tax on profits) and indirectly (taxes on goods and services). It is very important to understand that no government has any money of its own. Government officials are charged with the duty to be the stewards of our money taken in taxes and to provide us with an order of society that allows equal opportunity and equal protection for all.

All government spending is the spending of YOUR money.

Our elected representatives (city, state and federal) spend our money. According to the US Constitution, money collected in Federal taxes can only be spent on things that benefit EVERYONE in society equally. Over the years, however, this "rule" has been left by the way side. Our government boasts of all the services it offers - whether we want them or not – and continues to add more. Most of us are not eligible for most of the services that we pay for. Welfare programs give our money to poor people and subsidy programs give our money to corporations.

The practice of taking money unequally from some members of society (through our progressive taxation system), and then returning that money unequally to other members of society (through welfare and subsidy programs) is known as "redistribution of wealth." The Government is constantly scheming to create programs that they portray to us as "free stuff," but since we know that TANSTAAFL, we must also know that these programs have to be paid for.

If the Government does not have any money that they do not first take from us, it follows that we must, in fact, pay for the programs, involuntarily, through taxes. Following this logic further, if you are not poor and receiving welfare, or a corporation that receives subsidies, a large portion of the "free stuff" is being given to other people, but paid for by you.

The myth of "free" ends here with the bulk of American workers in the Middle Class.

It is our absolute duty as American citizens to be aware and to actively participate in our Government. We must be diligent. We must pay attention. We must make informed decisions and insist that our friends and family do the same. We are where we are today because as a country, we have become complacent. We have fallen for the Government's Marketing Campaigns and have allowed Government to grow consistently larger. Larger Government requires more money to maintain itself and the only way for the Government to get more money is to market more products that we, through our own inaction are forced to purchase. By our apathy we have perpetuated the cycle of collection and redistribution of our individual wealth - resulting in nothing less than the continuous loss of personal liberty and the voracious strengthening the collective agenda.

We must stop the cycle.

©Copyright Diana Learn & AAM 2009

And to that I say, AMEN!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A flood, winter returns and blessings...

It's late but just a quick word about this week. Our washer broke and flooded into our basement note pictures in the collage of the damage--not too bad. I got to go to the Tulip Festival with friends it was still amazing even though the weather was turning nasty...friends took all my laundry Tuesday and did for me! Such Christlike turned snowy and rainy all week...we canceled our camp out hopefully this week will be good weather...baptism of twin nephews Danilo and Diego another blessing and Micah's good friend Jack also got mom let me do more laundry at her house...more birthdays celebrated tonight...lots of fun and laughs more blessings...the parts to the washer are suppose to come tomorrow for our washer, cross our fingers! If not I know blessings will come from somewhere, they ALWAYS do!

PS Taran finally picked up his Prom pictures and they are in the collage.