Tuesday, September 30, 2008

'Specially For Trine, Regina, Paula, and Janene (plus bonus picture)

I know, I know, you guys are sooooo jealous!
Icing on the cake? Here's the prettiest picture of me I could find from our trip up to Grand Rapids this past weekend:

I'm to sexy for this post.

Oh, one more bonus picture for Regina:

Monday, September 22, 2008


I love Minnesota (for about 4 months of the year).

I may have mentioned before that Butch works out of town a lot. I don't advertise when he does (for obvious safety reasons) but lately, on and off, for the last few months, he's worked mainly in and around Duluth, MN. He works most of the week (sometimes all week) when he gets a job "out of town". He typically comes home on the weekend but on occasion has worked out of state and has had to stay for a weekend.

Last year, we went to Alexandria, MN when he had a job there. That was very nice and it introduced the kids to the idea of the "mini-vacation". It's great because we get to go to rinky-dink little museums where there aren't hardly any people (everyone's in school!) and the volunteers there love to spend extra time with our little group.

We've been promising the kids all summer to visit Duluth but I'm so glad we waited until last week! The weather was PERFECT. School was in session so we were the only kids around. We got to walk from Canal Park right up to Butch work site and take pictures and video of his crew in action! It was a little weird for Butch to have his worlds collide like that but he really enjoyed having us there to break up the boredom.

He stays in a hotel across the HUGEST bridge in Superior, WI (which is decidedly a NOT fabulous town) because it's a whole lot cheaper but very close to Duluth. We stayed in a suite so we didn't drive each other nuts and we all fit in there just fine.

I planned only one night and to visit the zoo but we ended up NOT going to the zoo and staying two extra nights.

Here are some pictures of some of the things we did.


(I had to buy a cheapy camera, another Kodak Easy Share, on this vacation so my pictures are a little blurry but as I was trying it out, I took this one of Bocker and Matty eating continental breakfast. Matty looked up and said, "No pictures on my vacation!" sorry Matty, no can do)

Mari started playing with the "kissing bears" she brought in her "packpack" to the hotel. They were REALLY gettin' it on, and the kids and I were completely shocked at the sound her bears made while making out. We asked her where they could have possibly learned that behavior. I still don't know.

(Trina is pointing out our "you are here" at the bottom tip of Lake Superior. This was a really cool, aerial view of the great lakes and was so huge it wouldn't fit in the camera viewfinder! I really recommend coming to this city and especially visiting the aquarium. It was a beautiful, interactive place that the kids really enjoyed.)

Ice Cream

Walking Around and In Canal Park

(aftermath of ice cream)

Butch's Work Site

We got to get up really close to see the building that he was helping to construct right downtown Duluth. He is actually looking forward to going back to do the upper floors because his view of Canal Park and the lake is phenomenal from up there! I hope we can go back too, and maybe spend one or two nights, go back to Gooseberry Falls, or see some of the lighthouses and visit some more museums.

The crane operator had to load a plank back on to the truck because it was wrong. I was amazed to watch how he had to lace it through the steel I beams, hoist it over the beautiful next door building with the really big windows, over the street lamp and onto the truck without really being able to have a clear view. It's quite an operation! You should have seen the look on the lady's face who was stuck in traffic under it as it was coming down. She looked up in horror and had that "get me outta here!" look on her face as she rolled down the window and craned her neck to see what was going on! Butch ran across the street to hop up on the truck as a way of reassuring her that she wasn't actually UNDER the plank and that she was perfectly safe where she was. The operator did a wonderful job of getting the plank back on the truck nice and safe.
Gooseberry Falls
Bocker's always been obsessed with lava. He asks me a million questions about it all the time. This trip was FULL of references to lava. He was in lava heaven.
Weazy thought Tommy's toes were as pretty as the scenery.
I let Matty venture out much more than anyone else (against my instinct), but he needed a little freedom after being "extra safety monitor" for so many days! It did just the trick for an increasingly whiny boy who was getting a little stifled in the van.

Two Harbors Museum

The "Edna G" tugboat has been in the harbor for over 100 years. It's a floating museum (big ships don't need the tugs anymore we were told by the wonderful guide who gave us a private tour). We also got to see a big taconite ship load up and pull away from the big loading dock. It was quite interesting for us landlubbers.
Trina is freaked out by mannequins. So am I.

We all had a great time and had a very positive reaction to our little/big group as we walked around Duluth and the other places we went. Sometimes we got strange looks (probably because of the presence of school age children during school hours) but, overall, if someone asked me if all those kids were mine, they were very sweet and would say something like "Oh, I was one of seven!" or "I have 6 of my own!" or "Good for you!" or "They are so well behaved!". It was a good thing for everyone that we took this little trip.
Next post:

Kidspeak from the last few weeks

I've got some doozies from the trip.

At dinner after our first night home together, we discussed where we'd like to go if we had unlimited funds and time to do it right.

I suggested to go South.

Mari said "Keksis". Bocker said "Texas!". He also wondered how long it would take to get there. Butch said it would take a couple of days. Bocker then wondered how long it would take to walk there. Trina told him it would take about a week of walking. Bocker said we couldn't do that, we'd probably get "walk-sick".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lift Your Eyes

...and see that God is good. Have hope in every day and in every lesson that God is trying to teach you. Let go of little hurts and nuisances. All that matters is life the way God wills us to live it. All that matters is the grace God gives us to pray and grow, and really live our faith.

I can choose not to see that God has His hand in the seemingly sad and terrible way some people suffer and live their lives, but that would mean that all my words and statements of faith have empty meaning.

It is WORK to hope. It is WORK to pray. It's DAMN HARD WORK to CHOOSE to live out our faith and to remain in God's love.

I will not give in to the temptation to let sorrow and fear rule my life. I WILL not give in to the easy path of self doubt and deep, selfish pity. These things are from the evil of hell and have no place in my family.

I will pray for Cole and his family.
I will pray for Cole to pray for us when he joins the communion of saints and sees God's face.

I will pray that the miracle of his life is revealed to all.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

That's All: Folks

Have you been totally irritated by "buzz words" during this campaign season? My major pet-peeve is the use of the word "folks".

It all started last year during all the campaign stops in the midwest when the (mostly democrat) candidates were talking about "regular people" in their "off the cuff" speeches.

So, there'd be this one guy who would try to sound like good ol' Rufus, down at the fillin' station. You know, "folks" in this here town, they been really strugglin' to pay the mortgage, buy food...blah blah blah.

Now it's mostly Barack Obama (but every candidate is guilty of it at one time or another) saying things like, "I don't know any folks that...", "If folks want to get extra help with their utilities...", "We want to give folks the opportunity to..."

YUCK. If I hear that condescending jerk say the word "folks" one more time, I'll explode.

Okay, I probably won't explode (and yes, I lied...I'm writing another anti-O post but it really applies to all those jerks who try to sound like "us" and end up sounding like major dumb-asses) I think the only "folks" who would fall for that schmaltz are maybe some elitist snobs who have never gone on road trip outside of the city, have never mingled with the unwashed masses, or who have never had to run down to Walmart to buy some toilet paper and diapers. They are sitting there in their bizarro world drinking their latte, watching CNN and thinking, "Wow, that Barack Obama really speaks to the little people of the country. He really seems to relate to the folks who are down on their luck and just need a little help to get over the hump if they could just go green and volunteer we could give them some assistance and sign them up for WIC and get them to vote for our sociali...I mean "progressive policies" then we could build some affordable housing and build some solar panels and the government could subsidize some more windmills and..."


Okay, I'm better now. I propose we keep a "Barack Buzz Words Count" and here are the BWs I'm keeping track of (let's say...in the debates only from now on):

"Y'oh" (which means "you know" which means something like "Do you understand what I'm saying...because I don't")

"folks" (which means "those strange people that I don't know but I want them to think that I relate to them and like them...y'oh...The dregs of society that will all vote for me?)

"um" (which means "durrrrrr, duhhhhh, dohhhhhhh, errrrrr, ahhhhhh, where is my teleprompter????")

"ah" (complete with extra snobby 'eye blinks'. means: see above^)

This is gonna be fun, folks!

(...and it will save my freshly painted walls from fist-smashes. Repairs are time consuming and costly these days. Y'oh? The cost of raw materials is rising because of the greedy oil companies and "big sheetrock"...)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One Thing Matters

One thing that drives me nuts is when someone looks you in the eye and outright LIES to you. Have you ever had one of your children smack another one of your children RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU and when you spaz out and ask the first child, "Why did you do that???" they look you right in the eye and say something like, "Do what?" or say (before you even say anything) "I didn't do it!".

(WARNING! I am not a clinical psychologist. I don't know any of this for a fact. I'm just spouting my observations as a human being...)

I think human beings are absolutely programmed to self protect and keep themselves out of emotional and physical trouble. I think as we get older, we realize that our little lies are so transparent that , as much as we'd even like to convince ourselves, we really need to do the right thing and tell the truth.

Because we have grown UP.

Because we have grown WISER (thanks be to GOD!).

Because WISE people, who want to be treated as they treat others, KNOW better!

Barack Obama heard this testimony...

"One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down's Syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about 1/2 pound, and was about 10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn't tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if his heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of our dead patients are taken.
Other co-workers have told me many upsetting stories about live aborted babies whom they have cared for. I was told about an aborted baby who was supposed to have Spina bifida but was delivered with an intact spine. Another nurse is haunted by the memory of an aborted baby who came out weighing much more than expected ~ almost two pounds. She is haunted because she doesn't know if she made a mistake by not getting that baby medical help. A Support Associate told me about a live aborted baby who was left to die on the counter of the Soiled Utility Room wrapped in a disposable towel. This baby was accidentally thrown into the garbage, and when they later were going through the trash to find the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor.
I was recently told about a situation by a nurse who said, "I can't stop thinking about it." She had a patient who was 23+ weeks pregnant, and it did not look as if her baby would be able to continue to live inside of her. The baby was healthy and had up to a 39% chance of survival, according to national statistics. But the patient chose to abort. The baby was born alive. If the mother had wanted everything done for her baby, there would have been a neonatologist, pediatric resident, neonatal nurse, and respiratory therapist present for the delivery, and the baby would have been taken to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for specialized care. Instead, the only personnel present for this delivery were an obstetrical resident and my co-worker. After delivery the baby, who showed early signs of thriving, was merely wrapped in a blanket and kept in the Labor & Delivery Department until she died 2-1/2 hours later.
Something is very wrong with a legal system that says doctors are mandated to pronounce babies dead but are not mandated to assess babies for life and chances of survival. In other words, our laws currently say that babies have no rights to medical oversight until they are dead. We look the other way and pretend that these babies aren't human while they're alive but human only after they are dead. We issue these babies both birth and death certificates, but it is really only the death certificate that matters. No other children in America are medically abandoned like this.

...and still, this happened:

"Rising on the floor, Obama said, “As I understand it, this puts the burden on the attending physician who has determined, since they were performing this procedure, that, in fact, this is a nonviable fetus; that if that fetus, or child -- however way you want to describe it -- is now outside the mother's womb and the doctor continues to think that it's nonviable but there's, let's say, movement or some indication that, in fact, they're not just coming out limp and dead, that, in fact, they would then have to call a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved.”

In effect, Obama made clear he believed the legislature should trust the abortionist who had botched the abortion to determine whether or not the baby would survive.

In 2002, unlike 2001, Barack Obama took the rare -- for him -- step of voting “no” against all three pieces of legislation instead of voting “present.”

No doubt, like in 2001, Obama still pondered the implication of what would happen “if this were a child.” So how was a “born alive” infant defined? Barack Obama, in his own words, noted the legislation would define a “born alive” child and “if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.”

Knowing how the legislation defined a child makes clear that Obama did support infanticide. The legislation, in 2002 pushed as S.B. 1662, defined a child as follows:

the term "born alive", with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after that expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion.

In other words, a child who is breathing, has a beating heart, or shows voluntary muscle movement and who is fully outside the mother shall be considered a “born alive” child. That was too much for Barack Obama. He did not think that a child who was alive and outside the mother’s womb should be considered a child for purposes of giving the child equal protection rights if it was the mother and doctor’s intention that the child be killed.

That is not a stretch or inference of Barack Obama’s record. That is Barack Obama’s record. The facts make that uncomfortably clear.

In 2003, the BAIPA made its way through the Illinois General Assembly again, having died in 2001 and 2002 in the Illinois House of Representatives. Between 2002 and 2003, the Democrats took over the Illinois Senate. Barack Obama then chaired the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Despite the BAIPA having passed the United States Congress with the support of Hillary Clinton, Ted Kenedy, Jerrold Nadler, and Barbara Boxer, and despite abortion groups likes Planned Parenthood and NARAL no longer opposing the legislation, Barack Obama still opposed it.

The law, contrary to Obama’s assertions, included abortion rights protections. Barack Obama himself voted in his committee to include those protections. But after voting to include abortion rights protections, Obama voted against the legislation in his committee. The BAIPA died in Obama’s committee in 2003, by a vote of 6-4.

Supporters of Barack Obama, such as Alan Colmes, say it is heinous and offensive to accuse Obama of supporting infanticide. David Brody of CBN, in denying Obama supports infanticide, writes, “Obama is a father of two young girls. You can bet that attacks like that will get him or any father riled up. That language seems to be way over the top. His critics can paint him as a pro-choice liberal. That’s fair but to go any further is really beyond the pale. Is Obama really sinister, a monster?” That is the gist of the Obama defense and is echoed by David Brody, Alan Colmes, and others. Barack Obama had children, therefore there is no way he could support infanticide.

Margaret Sanger and Josef Mengele both had children too. And somewhere in hell, Margaret Sanger is filling out her absentee ballot. Whether she casts it in New Orleans or Chicago won’t matter much in the final tally. "

You can nuance it any way you want by hiding behind "the poor" or "war", but I believe that if you are a Roman Catholic (not if you just call yourself one), you can NOT vote for Barack Obama.

A vote for him is a vote pro-abortion. Period. It's really the one thing he's stood up for and should be known for... Even when no one else would!

Here is a video I got off of
Jill Stanek's blog (everyone should go there every day!) that I think is wonderful. I am an unapologetic fan of Ann Coulter and I love how she hides her brilliance behind sarcasm. I just do.

She's sarcastic in this video (of course) but really listen to her words...SHE'S RIGHT! If you read all of the background on the legislation regarding the
Born Alive Infants Protection Act , you can see that (at best) Barack Obama is a completely ignorant goof when it comes to making decisions of life and death and (at worst) possibly has no regard for human life in it's poorest state (when it's completely dependant on the mother or medical intervention for survival).

I'll post nothing more "anti-Obama" because, even though he's annoying, and stiff, and a silly empty suit. All of the above stuff is all that matters to me in this election. Without a right to life, we HAVE NO RIGHTS. If Obama is so completely snowed by the notion that the BAIPA would somehow interfere with a woman's right to chose so much so, that he fails to recognize the simple truth that a child born breathing and with a heartbeat is AN ACTUAL human being despite the sad reality that it was first discarded by it's mother...HOW could he be trusted with any other legislation ?

How would it be any different if a mother took her toddler to a bridge and flung it off but the child survived? Would the EMS people just see that it was "the mother's choice" and back off, just holding the child until it bled to death or suffocated because it's lungs were damaged and it couldn't breathe?

How could ANYONE stand by and let this man be elected? Why aren't the facts of his vote in this matter being repeated every single day in the media?

Monday, September 08, 2008


Mama: (carrying Mari out to get the mail, I notice she has some pink goo all over her mint green pants)
Hey, Mari? What's that on your leg?

Mari: My feets.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Post Snatcher

I thought I'd take a break from posting about politics and post some pics of the kids and I and some things we've been up to. Thing is, I still don't have a camera so I'm at the mercy of my daughter's Polaroid digital point and shoot and whether she's generous enough to download the pictures so I can use them (insert teenager eye-rolling here).

So, to get her back for being such a stingy sharer, I stole the post she just made on HER blog bwaaaaahahahahahahahaha. I'm the "cool" mom on the block for sure now (as if I wasn't before).

We got our things ready for school:

We went to Beebe lake (It was too cold to swim, but we walked in the sand, on the pier, and in the woods surrounding the lake):

For some reason, Tommy couldn't take his eyes off of my camera...

"Ooh shiny...."

"Must get camera!!"

"Man, I wish I could chew on that thing!!"

Tommy started sitting up on his own:
Me and Weazy learned how to install doorknobs in the basement. ( And we got the second coat of paint done in my room! Won't be long now...)
...And I got a haircut... Again :)

She Sure Licked 'Em Good!

My favorite part of the speech?

When the littlest daughter was holding the baby and she gives her hand a big ol' lick and slicks his hair down.

THAT was a "mom move" and every mom out there worth her salt knows it well.

The reason I liked it so much was that it told me that her little one has spent a LOT of time with her mom to learn that mom move (it is not an automatic move, it has to be learned). It told me that she really is the middle class, downhomish, tough girl, loving mom that she presents herself to be.

This morning on the Joe Scarborough show, Amy Klobuchar was on and she had the nerve to say something like, "she never said the words 'middle class'!" to which the co-host replied something along the lines of, "she didn't HAVE to, she IS!"

Which was as plain as the nose on your face if you are, indeed, an actual middle class person!

Another complaint from the talking heads this morning was that she will be weak on foreign policy blahblahblah. What a joke. I have a feeling she could hold her own in any situation. But, the thing is...NO president (or VP) is truly alone when dealing with foriegn matters at all. I think about the strong prime ministers and queens throughout history who managed quite well to run their countries with lots more kids and more venomous snakes trying to take them down (with REAL poison, not just poisonous words!) than anyone today could deal with. President/VP of the U.S.? Piece of cake compared to that!

(she just keeps smiling and says "that's cool" when the blowhard, pink-tied idiot asks her the same damn question over and over. This lady is so for real, it's SCARY to them)

I thought it was super funny that the complaints got reduced down to "SHE'S MEAN!" and "how could she possibly mother her children and work at the same time?". Wow.

When they say, "I don't know if they can energize the base with her.". What they are really saying is, "holy crap, we are up s*** creek with this candidate now. Barack doesn't stand a chance against a bunch of riled up middle class soccer/hockey/cheerleading/Catholic/Prolife/piano/hunting/fishing/wrestling/4-wheeling/danceclass/homeschooling/politically saavy/regular/everyday/normal
WOMEN who now have someone JUST LIKE THEM to speak with their voice and be heard."

I love how this morning, on all of the news shows, all of hosts (that still have brown on their noses that hasn't wiped off from last week's DNC) are all so serious and depressed looking after Sarah Palin's whale of a speech.

It's hard not to be just a teeny bit giddy and giggle like a girl.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why I'm A CONSERVATIVE First, Republican...Maybe* UPDATE

I was invited to pay 95 buckeroonies to go to a special pro-life gathering honoring Sarah Palin (a couple of months ago). Trine and I were going to go and hob knob with our hero, Phyllis Schlafly and get to meet the interesting Governor of Alaska.

We were kicking ourselves that we didn't buy tickets when we heard she had been chosen as the VP candidate.

Looks like we would have been disappointed anyway.
I know that schedules change and such, but would it be too much to ask for just a few minutes with the people that kept the conservative identity of the party alive all these years? Especially Mrs. Schlafly who is, in my opinion, the epitome of authentic womanhood. She is what Sarah Palin should wish to be when she grows up.

The worst criticism of her over the years has come from "feminists" who want to shut her up. They don't see that a woman always has/always will have "equal rights" but different talents. In the U.S., we have the FREEDOM to enjoy working with the talents God gave us to do whatever we want within our abilities! How dare they criticize her for achieving her goals and fighting for the little ones who REALLY HAVE NO VOICE? Oh, wait, I know how they dare! Because we have the freedom of speech! I know it would be so much easier to shut someone up when you don't know how to argue with them anymore, but we don't have the RIGHT to do THAT!

...rant to resume after I have a nice day with the kids. We are going for a nature walk in the low 70's weather we're having. I LOVE FALL!!!

* I talked to my sis today and she said she was listening to Laura Ingraham this morning. Laura said that she was at that reception and that she understood why they had to keep Gov. Palin "under wraps" and not let her attend the reception. I still think it would have been amazing if she showed up, but it would have been just as cool and amazing if we had gone to see Laura! We saw her speak at a country club one time when she was still receiving treatment for cancer. She is just incredible. Check her out some time if you get a chance.