Saturday, December 27, 2008

Look who's here...

My sister is here!!! We've had 2 days together! 1 and a half more to go... yay!

More pictures to come. (some embarassing)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Walkin' around in a wheelchair

Today is my Daddy's birthday. I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the person that I not only look like, but act so much like too.

Here are some things that he and I have in common...

*We both have a cutting wit. It's just the truth. We can hurl jokes like nobody's business. It often worked to my disadvantage when I was a teenager and would overstep during arguments, however. But it's amusing when we get together now. :)

*We both have a strong aversion to vomit. (it sets off a chain reaction you don't want to be witness to)

*We both have feet like hobbits. His are only slightly more hairy. ( I said only slightly)

*We both are excellent cooks. Although I didn't practice this much while I lived at home, I learned most of what I know about cooking from my dad. He can whip up some mean vittles.

*We are both musically inclined. If you're ever around when he picks up his guitar, you'll be staying 'till he's done. He also played the trumpet way back when...

*We're both into photography. He always has a camera in his hand. And we also both enjoy the amusement that comes from stalking people with said camera.

*We're both pranksters, Much to the dismay of my poor mother.

*We both have an affinity for weather watching. His catchphrase is "look to the west". In high school that translated to "it's probably not a good idea for you to be going out tonight, because there is a weather system headed our way, and i don't want you getting caught in it", now it means "ha ha Dad, there are clouds over there"

*We would both go barefoot year round if it was socially accepted. (but not likely, what with the hobbit feet and all)

*We are both part Czechoslovakian (spelling, eh, whatever), and we look it!

There are many more, but I have to go return his gift, because apparently he already has the one I got him.

Thanks, Dad for being a wonderful man, and a great Dad, and an awesome Papa. Us girls absolutely cherish you.

You're awesome.

Happy Birthday!

Birthday Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, December 22, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Congress gives itself a present.

By Jordy Yager
Posted: 12/17/08 05:41 PM [ET]
A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.
Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”
However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients.
Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000.
“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”
Member raises are often characterized as examples of wasteful spending, especially when many constituents and businesses in members’ districts are in financial despair.
Rep. Harry Mitchell, a first-term Democrat from Arizona, sponsored legislation earlier this year that would have prevented the automatic pay adjustments from kicking in for members next year. But the bill, which attracted 34 cosponsors, failed to make it out of committee.
“They don’t even go through the front door. They have it set up so that it’s wired so that you actually have to undo the pay raise rather than vote for a pay raise,” Ellis said.
Freezing congressional salaries is hardly a new idea on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers have floated similar proposals in every year dating back to 1995, and long before that. Though the concept of forgoing a raise has attracted some support from more senior members, it is most popular with freshman lawmakers, who are often most vulnerable.
In 2006, after the Republican-led Senate rejected an increase to the minimum wage, Democrats, who had just come to power in the House with a slew of freshmen, vowed to block their own pay raise until the wage increase was passed. The minimum wage was eventually increased and lawmakers received their automatic pay hike.
In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. But by 1965 members were receiving $30,000 a year, which is the modern equivalent of about $195,000.
Currently the average lawmaker makes $169,300 a year, with leadership making slightly more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes $217,400, while the minority and majority leaders in the House and Senate make $188,100.
Ellis said that while freezing the pay increase would be a step in the right direction, it would be better to have it set up so that members would have to take action, and vote, for a pay raise and deal with the consequences, rather than get one automatically.
“It is probably never going to be politically popular to raise Congress’s salary,” he said. “I don’t think you’re going to find taxpayers saying, ‘Yeah I think I should pay my congressman more’.”

How to get through the Holidays.

Eating Tips for the Holidays

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you will need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!!!"

Did you read this carefully? Ho Ho Ho!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sittin' with SNL

I'm spending my night babysitting for my neighbor/buddy and I'm spending some quality time with snl whilst the children sleep. Wont you watch with me?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Existential Santa

I'm struggling a bit this holiday season. Everywhere you go, there he is. He's larger than life, charismatic, and he brings toys. How can Jesus compete with a guy who brings dolls that wet themselves?

My struggle is this: how do I lead my children to have faith in something they cannot see, yet give them faith in something that's visible everywhere but is, in fact, not real? Where do I draw the line between holiday fun, and choosing the right side of the divide to take up against the world? It's important to me that my girls stay childlike, and don't grow up too fast, but also that they realize that knowing our culture is relevant to spreading their faith. What do we do as parents to set up boundaries for them?

I'd like to hear from other moms and dads, or just anyone with an opinion about what you're doing during our Celebration of the Savior's birth, i.e. CHRISTmas.

Is Santa real in your house?
Got any thoughts?

*this post is the result of an annual discussion between myself and a very awesome friend I have. We still haven't figured it out. Please help.

santa Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What happens when

You let a youth group add a final touch to your tree.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A moment to remember

There are so many things that happen as a parent that I want to hold in my heart and remember forever. The look of pure joy on all my babies faces when they tasted something sugary for the first time, the excitement and nervousness Kayleigh showed on her first day of kindergarten, or the look of pure and utter exhilaration and joy that Taylor had this summer when she rode the "crazy legs" ride at six flags for the first time. I'm not someone who journals a lot, (and I know I should be), but this blog sort of fills a bit of that vortex. I had another moment tonight that I just want to tuck away for when they all grow up.

This year, all the girls were old enough to participate in the "sister tree" that I've been doing every year since I was pregnant with Taylor. They get to give special gifts for each other that they can open on Christmas Eve. It's their own ornaments, decorations, and they really enjoy it. So, we did that (with some extra special help from Ella who loved to move the ornaments around). Then it was bedtime. Kayleigh in her bed, and Taylor and Ella in their beds in their own room. I put Taylor to bed first, (she's "making" her list for her sisters) and then put Ella to bed and shut the door. Of course she runs screaming at me as I shut the door, so I go back in to settle her down. It's all quiet in the room as I snuggle her in, and I can hear Taylor up there in her bunk bed scribbling on her paper. I quietly start to sing "Jesus loves me" and by the second time around, Taylor is softly singing with me. We sing the song over one more time, and by the time it's over, yep, she's fast asleep. Eyes closed, and the most peaceful look is upon her face (if you know her, you know she rarely sits still, so this is such a joy to see).
I walk out of the room and Taylor quietly says "I love you so much, mommy".

This is what makes life on earth worthwhile.

Friday, December 5, 2008

From Our Family to Yours

Have a groovy holiday season.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Let's get in the Holiday spirit

There's no better way, than to watch this!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My big cushy bubble.

Thank you friends and family (you know who you are) who've helped me through a very difficult few days. I just want you to know that while I really couldn't or shouldn't post anything about why I've been in such turmoil, I wanted to publicly say thank you for your support. It's been needed, and still is. I am so glad that I have this big cushy bubble that protects me and heals me when the outside world gets too rough. I love you guys.

More positive and happy blog posts to come in a few days when I'm ready. Yay!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kayleigh's new outlook.


After (sorry about the "see food" dinner...)

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