Thursday, July 28, 2011

God, Please Bless America.

     How did our country get so messed up?  As I hear about the debt ceiling debate going on in Washington, and to be honest I try not to hear because it makes me furious, I can't believe that these people think they are representing the people.  I hear threats about not sending out social security checks, or not paying the men and women serving in the military and all I have to say to that is, "Hey you senate and congressional members, how about we with hold your pay checks until you get this country into a fiscally responsible place once again."  I doubt any of you would even notice because you get so many freebies that you wouldn't have to worry about keeping the lights on or the pantry full.
     How is it that these people are so out of touch with the reality of what is going on in America?  People are out of work and can't find jobs.  When we, the people can't pay our bills we cut back, no cable, no eating out, no shopping for anything that isn't an absolute necessity, what does our government do?  They spend trillions of dollars on programs that are going to bankrupt our country.  Where is the logic in this? 
Where is the sanity?  I can only assume that bankrupting the country is the ultimate goal of our government at this time and to what end?  That is the scary part. As the gross national product of our country shrinks and our leadership spends more than what we can possibly pay off you have to wonder.  Where will this end.  I'm very afraid that we may see the end of American as we have known it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Too Funny

      Kids are too funny.  My son Kyle is so great with kids, I can't wait until he is a dad. It is going to be fun to watch.  He has told our grandkids that he has a lion in his closet.  They always want to see it until Kyle names which body part the lion is hungry for.  For instance, he told my granddaughter that he would take her to see the lion and that the lion would only eat her ear.  She laughed and said she didn't want to see the lion because she needed her ear.  Kyle and I looked at each other thinking how smart she is to know that she needs her ear.  Kyle said what do you need your ear for? To which she replied," to wear earrings."  We laughed and Kyle agreed that is the only purpose for an ear.
     I wish I had kept a journal of all the funny things my kids have said through the years.  My daughters try to keep up by putting the funny things they say on their blogs. It keeps us entertained.

Please Don't Share The Wealth

     I love my grandkids. They make me smile. They make me laugh.  They give me a sense of immortality.  They will be here long after I am gone.  I just wish they would quit pushing me out the door. 
      Out of the eight of them, one of them invariably has a cold, or the flu, or some other malady that I seem to catch.  When I was just the mom it seemed like I could have a house full of sick kids and I never really caught what they had, I don't know why that is.  It must be some kind of mom invisible force field. Now that I am a grandmother(Monna) I seem to get sick all the time. 
     A few days a go my daughter told me that my grandaughter had a fever and my grandson has a sore throat.  No sooner were the words out of her mouth than I started to get a sore throat.  Maybe it is the power of suggestion, except I don't want a sore throat.  I don't particularly enjoy them. I would rather be healthy.
     My daughters are usually very considerate about not bringing their kids over when they don't feel well but sometimes they are contagious before they show signs of an illness and then the damage is done.  My poor hubby has to work even if he is sick.  There are no sick days for him, that's one of the down sides to being self-employed. 
     So to all of my family and all of my friends, keep your cotton-pickin' germs to yourself.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pioneer Day

     Today is pioneer day here in the great state of Utah.  It's like an extra fourth of July.  I remember when we moved here four years ago today.  I couldn't figure out why some of the stores were closed, the streets were shut down for parades and there were fireworks.  Pioneer Day? What the heck is that?  It is a day where Utahans celebrate there pioneer heritage.  And celebrate they should.  I mean those were some hardy folks crossing the plains in covered wagons and hand carts.  They didn't have shock absorbers in those days and the food must have been awful, kind of like at the beach when you bite into your burger and find that even though you guarded it like Fort Knox, there is sand in your burger. Crunch crunch.  You had to deal with the freezing cold, blazing heat, bugs, snakes and all the other creepy crawlies and critters.  Not to mention trying to keep clean on the trail. I mean, can you imagine all those people not bathing for months. Gross!  I won't even go into the bathroom situation.
     I have always found that time period fascinating and if given the chance I might even go back in time to see what it was like for about a week and that would be it.  I like not having to kill my food before I cook it. I like indoor plumbing, air conditioning and an oven I don't have to chop wood to turn on. I like ice. Can you imagine on a blistering hot day what the pioneers would have given for a bag of ice. I like my washer and dryer, my car and the air conditioning therein.  I like Walmart.
     Yes, let's tip our hats to the people that made the settlement of the west a reality.  They were strong, faithful, long-suffering and patient men and women.  How else could they endure months and months of, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? I have to use the chamber pot. Tell dad to pull over. Are we there yet?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fire And Ice

     Okay, I realize I didn't post this morning, I apologize.  I had planned to post chapter 12, but a funny thing happened on the way to the airport yesterday.  I decided I pretty much hated the whole thing, so I came home with the hubby, and deleted most of it.  I worked on it all day yesterday and I am much happier with it, but it still isn't quite ready, so please bare with me.  I have known enough writers now that I think I can safely say that we are fairly neurotic about our work.  In the mean time I want to share a poem with you.

     Fire and Ice

     Some say the world will end in fire,
     Some say in ice.
     From what I've tasted of desire
     I hold with those who favor fire.
     But if it had to perish twice,
     I think I know enough of hate
     To say that for destruction ice
     Is also great
     And would suffice. 

     You may recognize this as the poem Bella reads in the beginning of the movie, Eclipse.  And guess what it is another Robert Frost poem.  For those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while you know that I am a little bit obsessed with him and his work. 
     I admire any one who can make a living with the written word.  If you think it is easy try this, sit at your computer and start typing a fictional story.  Just try the first chapter. Chapters vary in length but on average they are between six to ten pages long with about 250 words per page.  Give it a shot and see what you come up with I guarantee you will have a new found respect for John Grisham, Nora Roberts and Stephan King.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update On Will And Prayers Needed For Baby Lilly

     For those of you who are wondering how baby Will is doing here is an update.  Will is still in Children's Hospital of L.A.  His kidney have failed and while everyone is hoping that they kick in there is no sign of them doing so yet.  He underwent a major surgery in which doctors removed a large portion of his intestines.  He is stable, and fighting a good fight for such a little guy. 
     Baby Lilly and her twin brother Logan are the newest members of our extended family.  They were born last week by emergency C-section.  Lilly's heart rate took a nose dive and her mama was rushed to the delivery room.  Logan is fine but baby Lilly did not breath for 17 minutes.  She was flown to Primary Children's in Salt Lake were they have been taking care of her.  A recent MRI has shown substantial damage to both hemispheres of her brain. It looks like she may have some rough days ahead.
     Prayers for both of these precious babies is both desperately needed and appreciated.  Both children come from families with great faith and I know they are feeling the love and support from everyone that is thinking and praying for them.
     Thank you to all of my family and friends for all your love and support for these two beautiful babies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Lazy Day, Not So Much

     Do you ever have those days when you just feel lazy.  You don't want to do anything but sit on the couch and watch movies and pop popcorn. I'm having one of them today, but I have already been to Walmart and Hobby Lobby and since I forgot stuff I have to go back to Walmart.  I should have my own dedicated parking spot.  They should all cheer when I walk in the door.  I know most of the checkers by first name.  Today's checker was Margret, she's great, she has three daughters including a set of twins. 
     Margret knows all about our huge family and that my in-laws live with us.  She always asks about them and she never questions my price-matching.  I like Margret.
     I guess on a lazy day, if you have to go to Walmart, several times, it's good if you have friends there.  So much for my lazy day.  Maybe next time. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

National Ice Cream Day

     Did you know that yesterday was National Ice Cream Day?  I didn't know that. How could no one of told me that?  Ice Cream is one of the best things ever invented.  There is something for everyone, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, huckleberry, lime ricky, I recently heard of bacon ice cream.  I think the hubby would love that.  He loves bacon more than me. 
     National Ice Cream Day should have put up billboards so we could all be aware of such a special occasion and celebrate it by eating nothing but ice cream all day long, one of my sons would have been in heaven. 
     If I had to choose one flavor to eat for the rest of my life it would be chocolate.  There is something so wonderful and life affirming about the cold, chocolaty richness of good ice cream.  Thankfully, I don't have to limit myself, because I love most of them, except the mint ones, I don't like mint in my ice cream, but it's okay if you do.  There's room for everyone in my ice cream parlor.
      We have a Cold Stone Ice Cream store just up the street and I love their sweet cream ice cream with almonds, but just the other day I had them add mini-chocolate chips.  I think I found a new fav.  I loved it.  I even bought mini-chocolate chips so I could make an imitation version at home, the hubby tends to hyperventilate when we go to Cold Stone too often.  It's not cheap like the 59 cent cones at Arctic Circle, but the quality of the ice cream is better, not that the cones don't have their place.  Never let it be said that I am an ice cream snob. I would eat most any ice cream. 
     So let's here it for National Ice Cream Day.  I'm celebrating it today because I missed it and I might make this National Ice Cream Week at the Stefan's house, or even National Ice Cream Year just to make up for all the times I've missed.  Okay, I admit I'm just using it as an excuse to eat tons of ice cream, but it really was National Ice Cream Day yesterday and it's summer time, and it's hot and ice cream is cool and delish. 
     So who's joining us in an ice cream?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nature Versus Environment

     How is it you can have ten kids and they all turn out so different?  Where one is quiet and shy, another is loud and boisterous.  One loves to read and others never, ever pick up a book.  Some make friends easily and others struggle to make friends.  What is a reward for one, is a punishment for another.  How can kids raised in the same family and by the same parents be so very, very different.  All I can say is they are born that way.  We come into life with our personality traits already deeply embedded in our genetic make-up.  I do think environment influences you, but you are who you are, and that is one of the hardest things about being a parent.        

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Few Of My Favortie Things

     Have you ever heard someone say, it's the little things in life that matter.  I have to agree.  There are certain things in life that make it extra special, like the cherry on a banana split, even though I don't like those kind of cherries, I do have other favorite things. Here are a few of them in no particular order.
1. Best Foods Mayonnaise.  I don't care how cheap the store brand is I have to have Best Foods.  It's a quality of life issue.
2. Air conditioning.  We have discussed this as a family and it is unanimous, air conditioning is the best invention ever.
3. iPods.  I love, love, love that I don't have to hear my kids music on a daily basis and I love, love, love that I can hear mine.
4. See's Candy, what more needs to be said. 
5. My Cut Co knives.  Oh how I wish I had discovered these when I was eighteen. Alas, I have them now and I love them.  If the house catches on fire it's me and my Cut Co block out the door.
6. Make up. I hate the time it takes me to put it on, but I am ever so grateful for the after affects.
7. Getting my nails done. Again it takes a few hours a month, but with my short and stubby fingers it's the saving grace for my hands.  I like that it makes me feel feminine and pretty.
8. Boneless/skinless chicken breasts. The possibilities are endless. I could and would eat them every night, but then I would have to hear the hoards saying, "Chicken again!" That was said in a really irritating tone of voice in case you didn't catch that.
9. Book stores. I love my Kindle, but there will always be a place in my heart for books and the stores in which they live until I bring them home to live with me.
10. Computers. And last but not least is my laptop.  It has changed my life.  I can write anywhere and at any time.  I can't tell you how much I love that.
What are your favorite things?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Listen To Mama

     As parents you spend your life trying to teach your kids the things they need to know to go through life happy, healthy and as unscathed as possible.  You willingly give them advice along the way, wanting them to learn from your mistakes so that they don't have to learn the hard way.
     Getting them to take your advice, however , is a whole other blog.  As I look back over the years there are very few pieces of advice that I can see that my kids took to heart, but they picked a couple of good ones.
     The first one is a high school diploma is something they give to kids who show up every day and don't cause trouble in class.  There was a time when it meant you could find a job, keep it your whole working life and retire comfortably.  Those days are gone forever.  You have to have a collage degree to get anywhere in life and even that is no guarantee, just ask the good folks who have lost their jobs due to the economy. We have a daughter with an accounting degree and one with a degree in Communicative Disorders.  We have a son that is prepping to be a pharmacist and another one who wants to get an engineering degree.  Another daughter is starting college soon and is thinking about something in the medical field. Having the older ones set the example of higher education for the younger ones is beyond valuable.
     The other piece of advice my kids seemed to have taken is one of my favorite sayings, "If it seems to good to be true it probably is."  No one walks around handing things out for free despite what some people claim.  It takes hard work to get ahead in life and sometimes even that isn't enough.  If someone is promising you the moon step back and take a really close look at it.  There are more folks out there wanting to take what you already have rather than having to work for it themselves.
     Out of all the advice I've given my kids I am glad these are the words of wisdom they have taken to heart.  What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baby William Needs Your Thoughts and Prayers.

     There are moments in life when everything changes in an instant.  All the worries and concerns that were plaguing you melt into the background and more than anything you wish you could go back to that time when your greatest concern was getting a car repaired or paying an unexpected bill.
     Our good friends John and Annette Todd are going through this right now.  Their little grandson William Todd, their son Dan's boy is in L.A.'s Children's Hospital and is very ill.  A couple of days ago he woke up and his diaper was full of blood.  His parents rushed him to the hospital where tests were run. Some kind of intestinal infection is really making this baby sick. Due to the seriousness of his illness he was flown to L.A.C.H. I don't know all the medical details, but the baby's kidneys are failing and he is on dialysis.
     Please keep little William and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he fights the fight of a lifetime.  This adorable baby needs all the help he can get.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Adventures at Cost Co

     We are taking a family trip to Cost Co today and I have to admit to mixed feelings.  While we enjoy strolling the aisles and seeing the huge selection of just down right fun stuff, when we get to the check stand, I cringe.  I have heard that some people call Cost Co the hundred dollar store because you can't leave without spending at least one hundred dollars.  For our family it is the two-hundred and fifty dollar store.  We just can't leave without the muffins, nuts and real whipping cream in a can and then there is the chicken salad. YUM.  And the meat department where you would swear that a whole cow just fell apart in the cooler, larger slabs of beef I have never seen.  And being carnivores we really appreciate this. 
     My husband also loves the food court at Cost Co. Not that the food is the star, he gets excited that he can feed the kids for $1.50 each.  Hot dog and soda comb. To him that is special. We do love the hand-dipped ice cream with nuts and have been known to eat them for lunch. Delish.
     Another guarentee that we will spend more than we should is that we will be taking along at least three, if not more, of our children. My married daughter and her three kids are coming and my daughter-in-law and her baby are also joining the fun.
     I wonder what Cost Co will think when all of us walk through the door.  Actually, I know what they are going to think because I think this every day, "How much longer until bedtime?!"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation Time

     Here we are, summer time and the living is easy.  Even though summer is not my favorite season, there are good things about it, like no school.  That means no homework, no getting up at dawn, in winter, here in Utah the sun doesn't come up until 8:00am. It's hard getting kids up in the dark, it doesn't matter how late it is.  So summer is great sleeping in time.  In Utah the sun is up at 5:45am, it's kind of an oxymoron if you think about it.
     Another summer time plus is vacations.  We did the Disneyland thing and had a blast.  It was our first vacation in four years.  Today we are going to go on a day trip to the Great Basin National Park.  I love this kind of thing, seeing nature and not spending a fortune. 
     So I am curious, what are your plans for summer time fun?  Any big trips planned or are you going to laze around the pool for a couple of months?  Who is going the furthest distance from home? If you can't comment here Facebook me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Caylee Anthony, May She Rest In Peace.

     Is there anyone out there not shocked by the Casey Anthony verdict?  Is there anyone not outraged that a mother apparently got away with murder?  I was not on the jury so I don't know what they heard and only Caylee, Casey and God know for sure what happened to that adorable little girl, but here's what I do know.
     You ask any mother who has lost their child in a store for more than a few minutes what their reaction was and you will hear things like, I was crying my eyes out, I was screaming for him and I didn't care who heard me, I was calling the police, I was telling the clerk to call security and lock down the store.  You won't hear anyone say that they decided to enjoy the moment and go dancing. You won't hear them say they decided to lie about where their child was to the child's grandparents.  You won't hear them say that they have decided to lie to the police about every aspect of where the child is because their father might or might not have tried to molested them when they were eight years old. 
     Casey Anthony may think she is walking away a free woman, but she's not.  If you were an employer looking to hire someone and she walked through your door would you hire her, knowing she is a proven liar?  If you met her at a party would you want to be her friend?  This is a girl who accused her father of molesting her in a public forum only when she was trying to come up with another excuse for her horrid behavior.  All the other lies she told weren't cutting it. She is going to be a social outcast to all but the lowest form of humanity. 
     The damage from this event is devastating.  I doubt her parents marriage will last (rumors of divorce are already circulating) out the year. Who knows what will happen to Casey's brother.  Anyone that had anything to do with this case will have to deal with the memories forever. 
     And last, but not least the world will never know what little Caylee might have been or accomplished in her life, because she never had a chance to live.  There in lies the real tragedy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another Reason I Am Proud To Be An American.

     Have you ever had a time when you were just going about your life and then something totally unexpected happens and it makes you step back and examine the things you take for granted on a daily basis.
   We were watching the soccer playoffs the other day.  We saw the American women beat Columbia and move on to the next round.  We also watched a men's match. I don't remember who it was, but the important thing is that they had a special segment on about soccer in Columbia and how the drug cartels got involved, with bribery and even executions for referees that made calls the drug lords didn't like.  It was awful.
     There was one little part of this documentary that showed the poverty in Columbia.  It showed families and children picking through the local landfill for food and whatever else they could use to better their lives.
     I have heard of this before and seen it on TV. but never have I really imagined what it would be like to have my two little boys picking through rotting food and trash trying to find something to fill their rumbling stomachs.  As I took my husband to the airport on Sunday we passed a landfill, being Sunday there was no one working, but I could see the birds circling and diving down to find something to eat.
     There were no children and or families there trying to find something good enough to stop the hunger and I was grateful once again that I live in a country that has enough of a conscious that we help those, who for whatever reason, can't feed their families and we provide for them. It is just another reason why I am proud to be an American.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!!!

     Happy Fourth of July!!! Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays for two reasons the first is I love fireworks and I look forward to them every year.  Fireworks are the saving grace for summer.  Did I mention I'm not real fond of hot weather?  And the second is that I am a flag waving, red-blooded, proud to be an American, American girl.
     I love this country with all my heart.  I know it is not fashionable to be a proud American for many people today, to them I say, why don't you go and spend a few months in Afghanistan  or Sierra Leone and see how you feel about America.  It's the greatest place in the world.
     Are we perfect, no. We have had periods of time with social injustice, but given some time we tend to come around and try to right the wrongs.  We tend to stand up for the little guy, and to root for the underdog, that's the American way, we love to see the small man come out on top.  We still believe it is the land of opportunity for someone who wants to work hard. 
     The principles and ideas on which this country was founded by our forefathers still ring true to most of us today.
     "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."  This is the preamble of the United Stated Constitution and it is still as meaningful today as it was then.
     I am aware that the price for freedom is not free and that since the beginning of our country many men and women have sacrificed their lives so that we can hold onto the dream for ourselves and our children.  Keep this is mind today as you enjoy your bar-b-q's and your fireworks.  And remember that we have to hold sacred these things so they will be available for our posterity. What we don't value we are not worthy to hold.