Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zane's birthday and Thanksgiving...

This week the kids only had school Monday and Tuesday so that was nice! Monday I went and helped out in Zane and Micah's classes. I went and got Gwen afterward. I picked her up from my moms and we went to Hobby Lobby to look for something I was doing for Christmas. I had no luck with that but it was worth the trip since Gwen made me stop in front their large ceramic Nativity they have on display. The pieces are around her size. She just loved looking at the Nativity. It touched my heart. She didn't care about anything else in the whole store. She said, “Mommy, maybe some day we can get one of those.” I said,” That would be cool.” The pieces range from $150 dollars to $400 each. So that day won't be too soon. I had scouts that afternoon and the Zane and Micah had piano. That night for family night we tried to take the kids "yearly pictures". We haven't had time to see how they actually turned out. Hopefully some will work!

Tuesday I suppose to watch Zoe so Stephanie could go to the temple but there was a huge storm coming and they were headed to Idaho so they decided to leave that morning and beat the storm. So Gwen and I were able to do some shopping and go to the post office. We were home in time for lunch! That night Tim and Emily went to the Music Man at the high school and they both enjoyed it. Tim and Timo went to the church and played basketball. Taran and his friends were doing weird things with dress ups. Izak and Micah had their friends Jack and Blake come over for a little movie night and they watched Shaun The Sheep episodes. It was fun to hear them laughing! Later that night Tim and I were putting up a sign for Zane's birthday and the power went out. Tim turned on our gas fireplace in the basement and made sure all the kids had enough blankets. He called the power company and they said it would be back on by 3 AM—it was almost 4 AM because it woke up Tim and he had to go around turning off lights. BTW the huge storm they predicted was a bust here in the valley but north of us got it pretty good.

Wednesday was Zane's 7th birthday! WOW! How did that happening? My little boy is a kid and almost a big kid! He loved his batmobile and extra batman and bad guys, he also got How to Train Your Dragon on DVD and a How to Train Your Dragon t-shirt. Not much but he wanted to go to build a bear for that birthday so we had to be frugal. Granny took him to Target to pick his present and he wanted lunch there as well—Pizza Hut Pizza! He got a couple more Batman toys. In the afternoon, he played with his friend Brian. Emily and her friend Tiffany went and saw HP 7 part 1. Yes, Emily had already seen it but Tiffany couldn't go the other time so I dropped them off and picked them up later. Then we took him to the mall to Build a Bear, he chose a black bear and a Broncos football uniform. It'd in the collage. Then he wanted to go to McDonald's and play and eat a Happy Meal. That was fun. I ran to Blockbuster right by it and got Toy Story 3, The Prince of Persia and Barbie in A Christmas Carol. I didn't really see the Barbie show. But Gwen liked it. I cried in Toy Story, what a cute show! The Prince of Persia was interesting, I think I might have been too tired to watch it. But I liked it more than AVATAR.

Thursday was Thanksgiving but the neighborhood annual Turkey Bowl was canceled since it was very cold. They ended up in the gym at the church. My college friend Dwayne Achee and his family came by for a visit—they came here from California, rough week to be here! We had a great visit, we love their family! His wife Janis and I have the same aunt and uncle but we are not blood related! Small world! Their oldest son and Taran hit off, Benji plays songs by Muse on the piano and Taran played the bass. That's pretty much what they did the whole visit! After they left we went to my mom's for dinner. The food was great and we had a lot of fun. Some played guitar hero, rampage, Lego star wars, watched football, A Muppet Christmas Carol and sang carols around the piano.

Friday I helped my mom with a wedding luncheon for a girl in her ward whose mother died when she was younger and the dad needed help with all the wedding stuff so my mom helped organize the neighbors—this girl is graduating in December so she is super busy! I left in time to get home and help get to Amy's for our Pew family Thanksgiving dinner! Taran had to do some work on the Madrigal stuff and left early to be able to come to Amy's. That was lots of fun. Erick and Liz were down from Idaho so that made it extra special. The day was a little warmer so the kids played football at the park by Amy's. Then once it got dark they settled in. Later the adults minus Tim's parents and Nate went to a 10 year commemoration for Keith and Nancy Johnson who were Tim's cousin and his wife. They died in a car crash 10 years ago on Thanksgiving. It was great to see how their kids are doing. They have overcome many challenges to be where they are today! It was great to hear stories about Keith and Nancy. Nancy sister has done some amazing things for the kids by compiling all of Nancy's letters and things like that. It was a great evening and made me so grateful that I know life continues after this life and that if we are sealed in the temple and keep our covenants we can be together forever. It also made me feel grateful to be associated with so many awesome people in this extended family! We got back late. Poor Nate had to hold down the fort while we were gone so long. Tim and I watched Prince of Persia after we got home.

Saturday was the BYU vs Utah football game, rivals. Tim went to his parents' with Taran, Izak, Micah and Zane. My mom invited Emily, Gwen and I to see Tangled with her , my dad and sister. She took Timo suit shopping for his birthday and they found a nice suit he likes and then she took him to Iggy's sports grill which he enjoyed. We met my mom, dad and Teresa at the theater. The movie was fantastic! I would like to see it in 3D but Gwen won't wear the glasses so I felt it wasn't worth the money if she wouldn't be able to really see it. Afterward Emily, Gwen and I went to the mall to do some necessary shopping and a little Christmas shopping. We ate the eatery. On our way home we stopped at TJ Maxx and Ross. Emily almost fainted! I guess Gwen is used to shopping trips with me! She was a true trooper. When I got home I worked on laundry! Tim found out he was teaching Elder's Q the next day and was trying to get that done.

Today we woke up to a foot of snow. Tim got to try out the snowblower his parents passed onto us when they bought a new self propelled one! Tim, Timo and Gwen stayed home from church. Timo slept so Tim knew Gwen couldn't be left with him by herself! I came home after my Primary class. Tim went hometeaching today, our hometeachers came and Taran went hometeaching too. Last Sunday in November! Friday Tim got out the Christmas decor and so finally today the kids did the big tree in the living room, Gwen got her own tree decorated, the little boys got some of theirs done. Gwen started on the downstairs tree. I will decorate the top now and let her do the bottom tomorrow! We had our devotional on the Holy Ghost by Taran. He did a good job!

Crazy week ahead, Taran needs to finish applying for BYU—there has been trouble applying and because of Thanksgiving he had to wait until tomorrow to talk to someone about the problem. Taran is busy every night with Madrigal Feast starting Wednesday. I hope Timo gets feeling better his classes are so demanding he doesn't want to miss them. He feels a little better after sleeping most of the day.

Have a fabulous week and try to enjoy this holiday season! I really am in shock that it is upon us, I have been living some what in a daze since I have been sick most of November! Hopefully I can get totally better soon too so I can have that great feeling of love, joy and fulfillment that I get from the season! I do love it!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Freedom Friday

This article is almost a year old but still holds some great thoughts...
Local Solutions to Common Dilemmas

By David Kretzmann on January 19th, 2010

Do people sometimes forget that we are all individuals with common goals, diverse circumstances, and unique perspectives? In many situations this is the case. The more governments, both local and national, expand in size and scope, the more politics become a game of winning and losing rather than representation of the people, providing individual freedom and choice, and encouraging local solutions and creativity. The world faces no shortages of problems, but the solution does not, as often believed, lie in continued centralized power of government, but increased freedom on a local level.

As centralized representatives are empowered with more responsibilities, their ability to directly and effectively represent their constituency decreases. Certainly it is more difficult to directly represent 200 million people than it is to represent 100 people. Such power maintained by a select few opens the door to lobbyists, special interests, and privileged groups who seek to grab a portion of that extraordinary power in order to gain an unnatural advantage over fellow individuals. In 2008 alone, 14,808 lobbyists contributed $3.3 billion to government. In such a scenario, who receives more direct treatment, the 14,808 lobbyists or 14,808 individual citizens? A large government is easily influenced not by individual citizens, but by large and privileged groups with the means to essentially bribe those in control, thus decreasing the power of individuals over our government. Central policies simply can’t represent the unique needs of local communities, towns, and counties.

As governments centralize and expand in power, the power and freedom of individuals decreases. It is not necessary to increase our individual abilities through a complex system managed by far-off politicians. In fact, all that is necessary is a simple concept that is commonly blurred or forgotten: freedom. Freedom is the only “system” that sees all individuals as naturally equal; freedom is based on individual, not central, power, and recognizes that we, the people, can solve our dilemmas free of constraint, force, and coercion. Freedom provides individuals the opportunity to keep the full fruits of their labor and appropriate their money to where they see fit, whether it be to the elderly, those in need of food, or any other service. The element of choice lies with the individual, not with the power of others. Simply put, when focusing on local solutions, individuals maintain far greater freedom and influence of participation, activism, and travel (voting with their feet), than they have in a strongly centralized system.

Individuals carry the greatest initiative, responsibility, and obligation over government in their counties, towns, communities, and neighborhoods. Things would appear much differently today if individual people, rather than federal officials and bureaucrats, were the driving force behind environmental, medical, and other policies. Chances are that many communities would oppose the opening of a nearby coalmine and would work together, as individuals, to find a cleaner, sustainable energy source. People will certainly feel a greater sense of charity and responsibility if they see or know people in their town who need but can’t afford health care. People are simply connected to something that they personally understand, see, and love, and will work together to protect and improve such a place. This is a basic world where solutions are based not on conflict and political gain, but community involvement and cooperation.

A locally managed government created to represent and serve the people fully can only function with an informed and active public. To do my own part in bringing this about, I developed Freedom Chatter in March 2009 with the slogan, “Involve, Interact, Inform.” Freedom Chatter is an ongoing project of mine with the objective to bring together a community of contributors and excited individuals eager to analyze all areas of business, economics, and public policy. Freedom Chatter recognizes the inherent qualities of human nature to be creative, diverse, and develop original ideas; it is unreasonable to expect everyone to subscribe to one viewpoint or ideology, whether it is on a local or national scale. By acknowledging the power and creativity each one of us carries locally as individuals and utilizing our ability to interact and inform, a rebirth in freedom, prosperity, and happiness is well within reach.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Just wanted to publicly thank God for all his many, many blessings. I am so grateful for everything in my life even the bad-it could be worse! May you have a wonderful day celebrating all your blessings!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some musicals, Harry Potter and Timo's birthday...

Monday we woke up to cold and snow. I went to help in Micah's class (after Zane's) and the teacher had forgotten to tell me they were going on a field trip but duh, my kid is in the class why I didn't think of it...Anyway, she needed another mom and asked if I could go along. My mom who had Gwen said that was fine so I went! They walked over to the high school only a few blocks from the school to see the musical The Music Man. I was glad I got to go since some of Taran's friends were in it. They did a really great job especially for high school kids! The kids liked it until the end when there was kissing! Luckily by the time we left for the play the sun was shining, it was only windy and my hoodie vest I was wearing kept me sheltered from it. I had scouts, and we had Family Night. Zane and Micah had piano.
Emily had her musical practice until 6 PM that night.

Tuesday Emily and Izak take piano before school so Emily went to piano but stayed home to rest since she has been fighting a cold and to finish her science fair project--it wasn't due until Thursday but her musical was starting Wednesday night. I went to the Draper Temple and Gwen to Zoe's to play even though Emily was home I figured Gwen would still rather play with Zoe. I really enjoyed going to the Draper Temple since Timpanogos is closed for cleaning until this week. They are as windy as us...maybe more. After I picked up Gwen, I ran to Walmart by myself since Emily was home. Boy is that a nice break! I really dislike taking my kids to the store before Christmas...they get strange ideas and change their minds. Which means what I bought that they wanted when it was on sale is no longer what they want! I am trying to get organized for Christmas...I got some presents made this week. I feel the pressure to get some finished and mailed before Thanksgiving. That night Emily's practice went until 8 PM. Izak went with his scouts to see The Music Man at the high school and he enjoyed it.

Wednesday Gwen had preschool and I drove. I went to Holy Cow and to Robert's Craft after. After I picked Gwen and Zoe up they went to Sophie's for playgroup. Then I ate a quick lunch at home then ran to Sandy about 20 minutes north of here. I wanted to buy a baby gift for my friend Melissa who had her baby that night and Timo's birthday present. Timo want a Jazz jersey with Al Jefferson's name and number on it. Those aren't cheap so he didn't get a lot for his birthday. I found a cute outfit for baby Van and I was home before the kids got home. That night was opening night for Emily's musical: You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. Tim went and really enjoyed it while I stayed home with the little kids. Timo had early scouts and they had pizza and ice cream to say good bye to him and did a planning of activities. Taran didn't go to scouts since he wasn't going on the camp out that week end.

Thursday Gwen and I finished up getting some birthday cards for Timo and buying his breakfast and getting other special food for his birthday. I avoided the toy area! That night Taran and his friends went to the Music Man and then to Harry Potter the midnight showing. They dressed up and everything--see in the collage the big group! That night the rest of us went to Emily's musical. Aunt Teresa, and both sets of grandparents came. Emily danced with grandpa Pew during the blanket song. We all enjoyed the show and Emily did a great job on her part. She had fun showing Gwen to all her drama friends. That night Timo needed help with his Spanish homework so we were up late.

Friday was Timo's birthday. We got Taran up for it and then he went back to sleep. I had a meeting with the Primary President, she is over scouts and my teaching age group so she was asking about my callings and everything like that. Then Gwen and I went to the dollar store to buy some ACE bandages, guaze pads and such for medical kits our ward is putting together at our ward Christmas party. They were having the Primary children come around house to house to collect donations on Saturday. I also had to get a present for a girl who was turning 16 too. She and Timo were baptized on the same day. Her mom planned a surprise party for Timo's birthday--forgetting that it was his birthday. When she remembered she felt really bad. It wasn't a problem because Timo didn't really want to do much that night. He wants to go to a Jazz game with some of his friends but he didn't want to go THAT night. So Timo went to her party and that mom had them sing Happy Birthday to both of them and I donated some ice cream and plain brownies. She will get me digital copies of the birthday, I am sure. Most of Timo's friends were there to it worked out great! They played games and watched a movie. Meanwhile, I went to Emily's musical. A little less than half way I started feeling sick so I left and ran to the bathroom. I didn't throw up but I did have the other. So instead of staying to find out I ran home as fast as I could so if it started again I would be alright at home! I drank some coke and rested. I did have some cramping but it went away. Tim took Emily some clothes and baby wipes for the make up and took her and 2 friends to see Harry Potter. They thoroughly enjoyed it. Taran had a mellow night at home since half of his friends were on the camp out or in the musical The Music Man. After the musical was over some came over and they hung out.

Saturday I woke up with a cold, my throat was super sore. I blame the kid in the dollar store who was hacking and sneezing behind me in line. I took some Dayquil and after time I didn't feel too bad anymore. The kids did their chores and went to the Primary activity. Tim played basketball from 8-9:30 AM. So he got home after they left. He took Taran to a tux place to buy his shirt, pants and shoes for Chamber. They stopped at Costco on the way back. By the time they got home it was time for Tim and I to leave for the BYU vs New Mexico football game. It was chilly and windy. Tim and I decided to brave it and if it got too uncomfortable we'd leave--this was huge because Tim NEVER leaves a game early for ANYTHING! Well, it turned out okay and comfortable. It was lots of fun mostly just being with Tim on a date is fun. We bought our concessions from Lone Peak's student council, one of Taran's friends helped us. We were home by 8:30 PM. Timo and some friends were here babysitting. Taran had taken Emily to her musical, it's final night and watched and brought her home. Later I watched Brain Regan while I folded laundry. Taran and some of his friends were working on homework, another was playing the piano, another watching Lord of the Rings with Emily and playing in the play room and one watched with me. Timo had left with his friends to watch the Jazz basketball game. Half of Taran's friends left--the ones not doing homework. Tim and I went to bed.

Sunday was early for Tim and the boys they had a Stake Priesthood meeting at 7 AM. Then they had choir at 8:15 AM. They were singing today. I got to go to Sunday School and Relief Society today and they were great and very inspiring along with a great Sacrament meeting as well! After church Timo was ordained to be a Priest it was nice that Grandma and Grandpa Pew could come and Granny. My dad had a rough night with his oxygen tank not being plugged into his mask! Oops! The bishop had Taran, our hometeacher's companion, his son and the first assistant join in the circle. It was a great experience! Then we went back later for tithing settlement.

I feel so blessed. Truly, I have much to be thankful for and I have been writing in a special journal almost daily--I try. Then just as November was going to start I made one for our family to just write down each day what they are thankful for in a special book--I posted about a few weeks ago. I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy your relationships, make that the focus NOT the food!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy 16th Birthday Timo!

Another child is now driving did this happen? Time seems to be speeding up this year...Timo has been a remarkable second child. He is hardworking, conscientious and responsible. He can't wait to get his license in fact he wanted to go today but I didn't think we could get there and back in time. Maybe next week! He is not perfect but he really works hard at doing his best at most things. Because of his work ethic he has developed many talents and skills. He is the type of person who makes you mad because if he decides to achieve something, he will. If he keeps this up he will do great things. I enjoy discussing life and stuff with him and his siblings. I am a nosy mom. But he humors me. I am so please with where he has been and where he is going. Here's 16 more years of good things!

Freedom Friday

Feel overwhelmed by all the craziness in Washington DC. Wondering what you can do or how to even keep track of what is going on? Here is a great website that is devoted to less government policies and lower taxes and MORE freedom/liberty. Check it out and visit regularly to get involved--it only takes a couple of minutes to sign a petition or send your representatives an email. No excuses, you CAN do this and we all must if we want to reclaim our country. Here it is:


Sunday, November 14, 2010


So I left my camera at Tim's parents' last night when we celebrated the November birthdays...Ammon, JoAnn, Anna, Timo and Zane. It was fun to get together but now I won't have any photos to post for my blog this week. Although I did not take many photos since I was recovering from the flu. Monday I felt better but still week and Tim advised me to not help at the school as I usually do. So I laid low. Gwen stayed home instead of going out to my mom's. My friend Stephanie came and got Gwen later to play with her Zoe. This was nice so I could rest then I was able to help the kids with homework without feeling like I was ignoring Gwen! I had scouts so I took some medicine that made me woozy so I basically sat aside while my co-leader taught the bowline to the boys. I signed their books! I was so out of it, really! For family night we did Emily's science fair project. It was fun, those who were not participating watched old home movies until it was their turn.

Tuesday was Stephanie's turn to go to the temple. Our temple is closed for cleaning so she went to the Draper temple. Zoe joined us for a Costco trip since I still couldn't drive on my meds Tim took us and I stopped by the Urgent Care to make sure I didn't have a sinus infection. They thought I did and I got out not too long after Tim and the girls finished shopping at Costco. He dropped us off at home and got my medicine from Walmart. The girls just wanted to play after eating churros--well I guess Zoe didn't want hers really...anyway, they played even though I offered lunch. Not long after Zoe left Gwen's friend Claire came so they played between our houses and I just hung out. I only did the basics of laundry and dishes. Micah made dinner at scouts so that was nice! That night Tim took me shopping at Walmart for our big price matching trip to Walmart. So I was set even though I couldn't drive.

Wednesday Stephanie took Gwen to preschool with Zoe and home. Zoe ended up hanging with her and Sophie for most of the day. They had fun, ate lunch and played well. Erika our niece came over and cut Gwen, Taran, Emily and my hair. She just finished Paul Mitchell so she can do that, it was so nice to have to go anywhere! She did a great job--wish I had the pictures! That night I had a scout committee meeting which ended up being short. Thursday morning we found out Timo's ride to the Lone Peak High School Semi-finals in 5 A football at the U of U football stadium had fallen through. Tim really couldn't and so I volunteered. Then I asked my mom to watch Gwen and let me borrow her car since my big van needed a new hose put on it! She was a gem and I was able to drive the boys up and they got a ride home with another dad from our neighborhood--he took them to a buffet after the tough loss to comfort them!:) Taran rode the spirit bus, they had 13 school buses full of students so they got out at 9 AM--20 minute class schedule that day. The buses were too full for all the students hence me driving. I was so proud of myself! I have never driven to SLC by myself before. I was feeling so much better too so that was nice. That night was a shower for my cousin Marnae who is having a baby boy after the holidays so my mom and I ran to the store when I got home a got her some presents from us, Teresa, Amber and Katie. Hopefully she liked them! Teresa took the presents and Amber went too but my mom and I were still not 100% so we did not venture out that night.

Friday Gwen and I went to Walmart to get my nephew Ammon a birthday present for Zane and Micah to take to his party that afternoon. And to get stuff for Timo's camp out. I was a zombie because I woke up at 4 AM coughing but I was blessed to do what I had to even though I didn't get a nap or anything! Timo had to be dropped off at 3:45 PM and Zane and Micah had to be dropped off at 4 PM so they were a little late. Then I had to go back and get Emily at 5 PM and the boys at 5:30 PM--Taran had work. Luckily my neighbor/friend kept Gwen until I done with that. I fixed a quick dinner and then Tim and I went to a Marriage Enrichment class at the church. It was actually on finances, a professor from BYU spoke and we had actually heard him last year he came to our ward. He was really good and we learned a few more things, he was even funny! Tim and I came home and changed and went out to eat. Taran had a birthday party so Emily got to babysit even though she doesn't feel well. It was a nice evening--I actually got my parents' Christmas gift made and we went to bed before Taran got home.

Saturday Emily had play practice 9AM-3PM. Tim took the little boys and Gwen to his parents to watch the BYU vs Colorado St football game. Taran slept in and then did his chores and hung out at the old bishop's house to watch the game with his friends. I got some more gifts started for Christmas. And did house work and made a cake for the family birthday party that night. I got my eye brows waxed at my sister's neighbor, I hate plucking my eyebrows. She needs the work so I am glad to have her do it. We ate dinner then Tim and I went to an open house for a kid in our ward going to Mexico on his mission. He was a friend of Taran's and I visit taught his mom for a time. He's a nice kid. Then we packed everyone up and went to Tim's parents' for the family party. Emily was able to test some people for the science fair and we celebrated! Taran even made it with some friends after playing Quidditch and going to the open house! It's always fun to get together--we missed Erin in DC and Janna on her big dance date to Preference! We got the kids to bed and Tim ironed and I folded laundry while we watched Sherlock Holmes, loved that movie and I am wondering when the next one comes out!

Today The kid going on his mission spoke and that was good. I taught and I missed Gwen share her testimony in jr Primary. I got to go to RS though and it's been awhile. After church our neighbors brought a cool candy bar flower bouquet in fall colors and a Thanksgiving note! I want to take a photo before we eat it! Timo finished his Duty to God stuff! Yeah! Now Taran is off to mission prep and us to my mom's for the Louw side November birthdays!

This month is marching along! This week: Emily's play and Timo's 16th birthday! Today is Tim's mom's actual birthday! Happy Birthday!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Freedom Friday

I found this article to be very insightful! What do you think?

Political Production vs. Economic Production

By David Kretzmann on October 9th, 2010

It is often said that government represents the collective ability of society to come together and legislate for the “public good.” What exactly the “public good” represents is rarely agreed upon by the two dominant political parties, but they both generally agree that it is the role of government to meddle in society in one form or another. The irony is that to help “the people,” government must first expropriate money from the people it intends to help. All this is defended as “public service,” which presents a selfless image of noble representatives working for the betterment of society. The term “public service” both greatly distorts the reality of government operations and negates where the actual service really takes place: in the private sector.

Economic historian Thomas E. Woods, Jr. lays out the distinction between the economic and political means of production. The economic means of production is fully utilized only in a complete free market, where someone accumulates wealth based on their ability to produce a product or service that is of value to other individuals. For example, let’s observe a scenario where a customer gives a baker $3 for a loaf of bread. Economic wealth is created through this voluntary exchange because both the baker and the customer value each other’s item more than their own. The baker would rather have $3 than his loaf of bread, and the customer would rather have a loaf of bread than his $3. The exchange mutually pleases both the baker and the customer, and it is this principle of voluntary exchange that the economic means of production is based upon.

Then you have the political means of production through government. A political transaction comes at the expense of one person for the benefit of another, because on its own government has no wealth or productive capabilities. Government can offer a “service” only after forcefully extracting the means to pay for it from another person or group. In other words, government survives based not on the value of its services (as with economic production), but rather on how much wealth it can take from society. Governments must tax, borrow, or print money (all of which come at the expense of the people) to offer its programs; whereas businesses in a free market must produce a service that people voluntarily choose to support.

“[N]o government, so called, can reasonably be trusted for a moment, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.” — Lysander Spooner, No Treason: III

Curiously, in mainstream education, economics, and history, those who expand the political means of production are praised as “public servants” while those who use the economic means of production are labeled “exploiters.” The political means of production represents nothing less than collective thievery, or what French statesman Frederic Bastiat termed “legal plunder.” Elected thievery is still thievery. The fact that some of the thieves may be elected by a majority of the people makes it no less of a moral debasement or fraud. An individual thief is immediately arrested if he tries to steal wealth with force, yet the same action of theft is casually accepted when undertaken by collective government.

One need only look through history to recognize that the vast improvements in the human condition have come from the economic, not political, means of production. People commonly object with the argument that the relative free market conditions in the 1800s exploited workers with “wage slavery” and led to a decrease in the living conditions of the average person. My first reaction to this argument is: Why would millions of people voluntarily immigrate to the U.S. precisely during those times when the common person was supposedly being most “exploited”? By ignoring this question, free market skeptics are conceding that the millions of immigrants who traveled to the U.S. for a new life were completely duped and bound to become “wage slaves” to corporate tyrants. This anti-capitalist narrative of history is widely accepted and used to bludgeon people who dare suggest it was the free market (not government) that increased the living conditions of the common person, thus why millions of relatively poor people from all corners of the earth migrated specifically to the U.S. during the 19th century.

What attracted the millions of migrants from Europe, Asia, Mexico, and other world regions to the U.S.? The logical answer is that they were drawn to a society that was built on the concept of the economic means of production, a society where individual choice and initiative reigned supreme. People tend to show their highest preferences in society by voting with their feet. People will not voluntarily move somewhere if they believe they will be worse off because of it, nor will they voluntarily stay in a dismal scenario if they have a better alternative. History provides the simple but crucial observation that when given the choice people choose societies that emphasize the economic, not political, means of production. This means a society built on strong property rights, little or no economic regulation, and voluntary exchange.

“How do people best vote? With their feet. Where do people try to immigrate? …[S]o far as the United States is concerned, people from all over the world seek to immigrate here. They aren’t coming here to be made miserable. They aren’t coming here to be exploited. And you can’t say that they’re all fools; they know what they’re getting into.” — Milton Friedman

There is no compromise between political production and economic production. Political production is based entirely on force, coercion, and a zero-sum game of theft and welfare. Such a system can be philosophically defended as an instrument that can be used for good, provided the right people are the plunderers and distributors. However, such a notion defends the idea that one person or a small group of people know the perfect remedy to societal ills, and demolishes the concept of individual liberty, responsibility, and charity. People are not perfect, but you will not perfect them further by concentrating coercive political power in the hands of a select few who promise to mold mankind for the better. If the bureaucrats’ knowledge, skills, and capabilities are truly worthwhile and necessary, they should have no trouble prospering in a free economy by voluntarily offering their services to those who may find them of value.

We have too often seen the economic and moral disasters caused by the political means of production. Such a system is not fit for a free, moral, and responsible individual or society. It is time that we fully embrace the economic means of production, a system where businesses survive because of their service and productivity to their fellow man, not their political clout; a system where individuals are free to pursue their own separate interests without limitations or threats of collective coercion; a system where power and sovereignty is localized within each individual. Such a system is the natural state of freedom, and it is the ultimate tool to bring about the virtues of service, cooperation, and responsibility.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Week of November...

We have had beautiful fall weather all week. Tomorrow is suppose to be 30 degrees cooler! Crazy! We did a service project for Family Night at the duck pond we cleaned up the trash and fed the ducks who were very hungry! They came up on the shore--see Tim. Tim actually put some bread on his shoe and they would come up and eat it off of it. This was Timo's service for Teacher's Quorum. Tuesday Gwen woke up with a goopy eye so I took her to the doctor. I was suppose to go to the temple that day but alas it did not work out. I also do my big shopping that day and I had to wait until that night. I also voted, went to a baby shower and an election party! Big night. Anyway, the doctor never said what she had but he said that she was contagious. So that meant no preschool the next day.

Which was Wednesday, and I had told my mom I would take her to get her cataract surgery so Tim took a sick day and stayed with Gwen who ended up with a fever. Izak had a cough and stayed home too. I spent the day at my parents making sure my mom got to rest and got her eye drops. It was nice and restful for me as well. I went home once I gave my mom her eye drops and knew they were set for dinner. I had a meeting at the high school. I am now the Publicity Board member for the choirs at Lone Peak. I feel fortunate to be able to help out in any way. The choir teacher is great but not very organized and this mom is helping her get there and be less stressed! This position is one of the more low key so I am grateful!

Thursday I woke up with a goopy eye. I went to the urgent care since my doctor never has an opening. Emily had not slept well the night before and opted to sty home! Great! She babysat while I went to the doctor. I had pink eye...great! I was contagious. So I went to Target to get my prescription filled and bought all my stocking candy from the Halloween 50% off! Amazingly good candy was still left! I had Emily make dinner for my mom since I didn't want to give her pink eye. Emily and Tim took the food: cauliflower soup and fancy bread I had bought. They loved it. We also ate it and those who don't like it had burritos! I missed our RS meeting and our awesome RS president brought me dinner from it and I saved for lunch the next day! Taran and some of his friends (guys and girls) had been practicing With or Without you by U2 and performed it at a benefit concert for a girl who was in a car accident. This is a photo from that I forgot to put in my collage.

Friday Tim's sister and her husband were going to St George for a band competition for their daughter Janna. They are band parents and help out at these things. So we got to have their 3 younger kids over. This was great fun for us! They brought Ammon over after they took him out to lunch at McDonald's for his birthday. He and Gwen had great fun together. Then Taran watched them while I went and got Maddie and Jeremy. I forgot to mention that I called the school to let Taran and Timo go to a State Volleyball game for their girls' team. They won but I forgot to see if they won yesterday! Anyway...I thought I was pretty nice to do that!:) Around later afternoon I started to feel yucky. I did my best and then would rest. Tim took all the little boys, including Amy's boys to the BYU vs BYU-Hawaii basketball game. My sister Teresa got a great deal on tickets since she is an alumni of BYU-H. She met up with them at the game. Tim took pictures and videoed the boys dancing to the music. It looks like they had a blast. Meanwhile, Emily and Maddie cleaned up dinner for me, and I gave Gwen a bath and then we watched Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue. It's actually pretty cute. Then she went to bed around 7:30 PM! By then I was feeling rotten and went and laid down. Emily and Maddie watched The Blind Side, Taran had gone to the football game at Lone Peak--they won and this is play offs and Timo and his friends were playing basketball on our court--they were too cheap to pay for the football game. By the time Tim and the little boys got home I had a raging fever. Tim said that even my hand was hot. He gave me a blessing and my fever broke a couple of hours later. Tim had his own troubles with our van it was overheating so he stopped at my parents and borrowed their car and Teresa helped take some of the boys home in her truck. So one more thing to fix!

Saturday I felt a lot better. Tim went to play basketball in the morning then he took Emily to play practice. Taran, Tim, Ammon and Zane went to the BYU football game vs UNLV. They had a blast. The kids got their chores done quick--cousinc are great incentive. They played outside, played computer football games and went to the park. Timo drove me to pick up Emily. Then we stopped at Walmart so I could get some more medicine. BTW Timo passed his road test earlier in the week so he can get his license when he turns 16...we'll see! I rested after taking medicine and was in and out. The kids were great and we started our gratitude fast that afternoon. The kids watched Narnia and then showered and went to bed. The little boys and Gwen were all asleep by 9:30! And we had daylight savings--we didn't tell them. By that time I was feeling lots better and tidied my bedroom. Put laundry away. Taran got home late. Timo went suit shopping with Granny and didn't really find what he wanted. He did get some books at the BYU library for his next research paper.

That night I slept fine until 2:30 AM when my ear started hurting. I had Tim put ear drops in that ear. It eventually worked and I got back to sleep. Jeremy threw up that morning and Micah's tummy was hurting so they stayed home with me and everyone else went to church. Micah never did throw up. Jeremy did again and then was fine. We broke our fast when everyone got home from church. Later we went to Tim's parents' for dinner. Our nephew Daniel is leaving for basic training in Missouri tomorrow so we had a little family gathering for him. That was fun and then Tim and I took Daniel to his hotel near the airport. He's a great guy and will do great things! I was going to go to the doctor but now I am going to see how this night goes. If I am better enough I'll not worry or I'll go tomorrow if I have a bad night. I am so very thankful for the priesthood power and for Nyquil and Dayquil!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Louw Reunion: Day 4: The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone...Bison

We spent lunch at Yellowstone, one we had packed the day before. The lake is gorgeous! Then we got to a valley that had tons of Bison! We had seen some here and there through out the day but then we hit the mother load in the valley--sorry I can't remember the name of it. This left a lasting impression on the kids. I videoed the some male bison fighting! Then we head up to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the lower falls...WOW! We thoroughly enjoyed this area. We ate at a diner at the visitor center area there. The visitor center was new and really interesting. Then there were 5 or so restaurants and shops nearby. After we ate we went to the Firehole River. We had heard it was a fun place. The water is somewhat warm, and not from the visitors but from the warm water running into the river. The kids jumped in and all the adult men. It was too much work for me--the changing area is way above and there are only 4 of them. I am just too lazy so I walked into the water and that was good enough for me. We tried to hit some other geothermal features on our way back but our car got lost. The other cars found the spots but since it was getting dark they couldn't see much anyway. So we headed home and they met up with us at home. I was disappointed since there were more places I'd like to see but no else wanted to go back the next day. I hope to go back next year for our anniversary!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Freedom Friday

A friend of our family from California sent me this article about the US Economy. Why does it matter, the economy? I know money isn't everything BUT in the world of government it is important. And in the practical sense of LIFE it matters! If the newly elected officials can't stop the crazy spending and cut taxes we will be in dire straits soon. If people panic Obama could be poised to 'take over' and 'fix everything'. This fragile economy is very threatening to our liberty. Tough times or tougher times are ahead but we can do it. We must stop spending and change the tax code. If we go to a straight national sales tax and no IRS anymore, no loop holes. Foreigners and illegals would pay for what they buy and use in our country. I am wondering how much money could be saved by not having to print the tax code and all the pamphlets. States could follow suit. No more paper work. This would be huge. BUT if we don't do something different than we are doing now we will spiral out of control. We can not rest, we must keep vigilant on our representatives about what we need to do NOW! Let your representatives know today that you want the spending stopped and solutions to the deficit found! This will lead us to greater national security financially and increase our individual freedoms.

Monday, November 1, 2010

So much to be thankful for...

As I look around me in line at the local Walmart, I am reminded of how blessed I am. I live in the top 5 percent of the worlds people in standard of living and I am middle class, maybe even lower middle class! Sure those Hollywood stars have lots of money, and power and fame but at what cost? How would you like to have every mistake you made plastered all over the check out stands? And even some that aren't true?

Anyway, I was pondering on my family and how I might help them focus on what they have instead of what they don't have. I am not going to deny it, money is tight and Christmas is going to small but by many standards outside the US still big! I am a super duper frugal shopper--my kids always ask why do you only buy things when they are on sale? So as I was pondering on this idea I read the recent talk by Thomas S. Monson on The Divine Gift of Gratitude. I decided to create a gratitude journal for our family that we would write in every night. It's only been one night but I have seen improvements in the prayers our kids have given--much more thankful. I introduced the idea in a family devotional last night--I used an old sharing time from 2005 and President Monson's talk. We did something similar before but we didn't write it down. I feel like we need to write this down so we don't forget. So many little things happen in our lives that are small blessings but important nonetheless. They remind us that God loves us and is aware of our needs. I know when we express gratitude to God for our blessings we feel closer to him. Pres. Monson says that "to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." I believe that so why not? This may be the best gift I ever gave my kids!