Monday, September 22, 2008

Two Weddings and a.....

Ok, Just Two Weddings. Here are photos of some "kids" that many of you will know and love. And, they are MARRIED now!!! We attended Becky's wedding in the DC temple on August 26th and Cory was married in St. George on Sept. 20th. Their spouses are wonderful and we are so happy for them both.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Sub, Part 1

{I am substitute teaching these days, so I thought it would be fun to share some of the funny things kids say….}

{in a third grade class during an assignment to read “Times for Kids”, which was all about John McCain. They did one on Obama a week or so earlier. This discussion occurred during a “gathering” on the rug }

Kid1 - Mrs, T, who are you voting for?

Mrs, T – I don’t think I will tell you that. It’s not part of my job.

Kid1 – Well, Mrs. D. told us who SHE is voting for.

Mrs. T – Really? Well, that is fascinating. I’m still not going to tell you, but I will say that voting is very important and voters need to study all of the important issues and opinions.

Kid2 – I am voting for McCain. I want to have someone in there that I can trust.

Another school…. 3rd grade….

Kid1 – Who are you voting for?

Kid2 – Obama

Kid 1 – Yea, OBAMA Rocks!!

Kid2 – Yea he totally rocks.

Kids 1 2 3 4 5…..—OBAMA ROCKS! OBAMA ROCKS!

2nd grade….

Mrs. T – Wow, your class has been SO wonderful during our time together. I will be so happy to report that to your teacher.

Kid 1 – Well, I am just going to give you a hug then!

Mrs, T –Great! Thanks!

Kid2 – Yea, so am I!!

Kid1 – Yea, I am going to give you another one!

Mrs T – (said to self) This job isn’t so bad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Defenders' Day

OK, I will stop with the politics for a while.... whew. Last weekend we attended the "Defenders' Day" Celebration at Ft. McHenry in downtown Baltimore. To quote from a WBAL reporter, Scott Wykoff,

"Defenders Day is a Maryland holiday that commemorates Baltimore's successful defense against British invaders in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. The bombardment of Fort McHenry during the battle inspired the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner." The British launched a land assault at North Point before initiating the naval attack."

We had a great time with friends watching the many War of 1812 re-enactments, listening to some live music and partaking of some lovely food and conversation. You can read more about this event here. Fortunately, I didn’t run into the MD governor during his photo op time… (Dang, I wasn’t going to be political!!)

The Patriotic One



Kaylene and her new friends

Marching into Battle....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11 Memories

Seven years ago at about this time right now, I had just gotten home from walking Les two blocks away to her Elementary School. I turned on the TV to see what crazy things Regis and Kelly were up to this morning. A dark and scary feeling came over me as I began to watch the news on every channel focused on New York City, and trying to wrap my brain around the events taking place. I was glued; I didn’t leave the room. My mind started to race as the “talking heads” were speculating what might happen next, and reporting what the experts figured out what was happening next.

I realized that perhaps government buildings would be targeted – the Pentagon had been hit. Richard had worked there for a few months not too long before this. There was one plane still missing – where was it? Was it headed towards other government buildings? Richard was at work IN a tall, mirrored-window building. I had to talk to him to be sure he was ok. I called his work number – the call didn’t go through. I called and called and called as I worked myself up more into panic mode. I finally got an answer – I told him what was on TV. He hadn’t heard about it yet – they turned on their TVs.

So, what do I do about my kids? Because no one really knew the extent of what was going to happen, some irrational thoughts climbed into my head. Living as far from DC as we do, I was pretty sure they were safe. But I was worried about what they were seeing or learning at school – would they be worried about their dad? Did I need to comfort them? Hopefully the schools were smart enough to not let the word out yet to the students.

Brian’s wasn’t – he was in a 7th grade Shop class with the TV on for some reason. His shop teacher was in the Army Reserves and felt the need to see what was happening (he later went to Iraq at the very beginning of the war). Brian watched the whole thing. I finally convinced myself that I knew he was a stable enough kid that he would be ok to stay the rest of the day at school. And, he was. If I remember correctly, the schools did dismiss the kids early that day, though.

What about our emotional Les? If other kids were panicking, she would be also. Would her school keep the word quiet? Well, good ol’ Carroll County moms, who probably were related to many federal workers just like us, began walking and driving to pick their kids up early from school. I resisted as long as I could, but I succumbed and went and pulled her out. She was clueless – just trying to figure out why all the kids were leaving. So, I admit, I added to the panic that day. It was hard not to – I had never felt so afraid.

Now, what to do about Richard? Is he still safe? I needed him to be HOME. I needed to feel safe. I needed to have my family around me. After calling and calling and calling again, I got him back on the phone and asked him to please come home. He got permission and after driving through many traffic jams of fathers and mothers hurrying home to loved ones, he finally arrived. I felt some relief.

Phone calls came in from all over the country from family and friends to check on us – was Richard still working at the Pentagon? Thankfully he was not. We were glued to the news for the rest of the day, and for many days following. Richard continued to remind me that if I panicked, if I stayed afraid or changed my way of life, then the terrorists won. Life has not been the same since.

So today, on the anniversary of one of the worst days in American History, I decided to flip through the news channels to see their coverage today. Thankfully, Fox News and CNN were covering the commemoration events around the East Coast. Not surprisingly, but sadly, The Today Show had Matt Lauer cooking with some clueless chef outside of Rockefeller Plaza. They should be ashamed. And again, sadly, they probably are not.

I, for one, am grateful for all who fight for our country and work to keep us safe. America, the beautiful, continues on.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dragonfly Blankie

After a poor attempt a few months ago {although it was done with LOVE} to make a satiny/flannel-y baby blanket for baby Luke, I tried it again. Well, this one turned out WAY better - sorry, Katie! I'll make you a new one if you want! I learned a few tricks, and of course have the MAGIC of a new Viking sewing machine. I even tried out a NEW STITCH that looks like this **** sort of. It was for one of L's YW leaders and her soon-to-be-born daughter. It's not perfect, either but again was made with LOVE. I hope the she-babe doesn't slide out of it, Lindsay! Thanks for the help, dear WeatherBEE!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin Ponderings

Ok, I have tried really hard to not write about this but I feel compelled. I hesitate to ever really get into political issues because I don’t’ handle disagreement well, and politics by nature brings on differing opinions. I decided to take the risk – especially since all TWO of my readers are most likely thinking similar thoughts. So, I guess maybe it isn’t a risk at all?

So, it is a known fact that I was pulling for Brother Romney to be named the Republican VP. I gotta say that I was shocked at the announcement about Sarah Palin. I had never heard of her before – not even in all my radio talk show listening. Upon learning that she has 5 children, is only 44 (younger than me which is SOOO very weird) my mind has reeled with conflicting thoughts. I will ramble them off.

At this point, I am pretty much for anything that happens to keep liberals out of the White House. While I am conservative, I do always give a listen to “the other side” and their candidates, proposals, plans, etc. While I cannot stand the sound of Hillary C’s voice, I did at least ponder for a while about the current “chosen” one. For me, there are too many unanswered questions and too many Un-American words and attitudes. I was raised by a father who was a Prisoner of War in World War II, and both of my parents were young during the Great Depression, so patriotism runs strong and true through my veins.

I am uplifted and excited by Sarah Palin. I love what she said the night she was introduced as a running mate, and I shed many tears during her speech last night at the Republican Convention. She inspires me, makes me laugh with her wit, and has weathered the last few days of media attacks like a rock being beaten by waves of hatred. I am thrilled to have a conservative woman give us all some hope that some personality and backbone may be back in the White House. She is an example of confidence and of having principles that for now, seem to be unshakable.

However, my LDS beliefs and my own life’s choices ring through loudly. It all culminated today when Laura Ingram, one of those conservative talk show hosts (one that I don’t listen to much because she really plucks my last nerve) was bashing one of the left-wing columnists named Sally Quinn who clearly talks out of both sides of her mouth when it comes to women in politics, etc. In response to one of Ms. Quinn’s double standard rantings, Laura said, “Well, Sally – why don’t YOU stay at home and bake cookies…!” Now, if my mind serves me correctly, that is exactly what Hillary Clinton said that got her in so much hot water when hubby Bill was running for his first term in office. The conservative “stay at home mom” crowd went NUTS, and boy, did the Ciintons have to back-pedal on that one! (It obviously didn’t hurt them enough, however, since we endured them for 8 years…). So, Laura has brought it all full circle. That’s when I got angry, and more confused.

I have to ask myself that if a parent had been home more often, would her oldest daughter be finding herself in the situation that she is currently in? As a mom of teens I learned long ago that we do not control our children and they are who they are, and things will happen even when you think you have the tightest cord possible around their necks. I still have to ask that question even though it isn’t really my business. Is it now my “business”, though, since this Hockey Mom is now in the world’s spotlight? Maybe. Having a daughter with some special needs I know that, for us, the absolute right decision was to do all we could starting 25 years ago for me to not have to be a working mom (both of us were raised by wonderful women, who both HAD to work to pay bills even in the “old” days, so that is not a judgment on those women who have to work). I am grateful that I had the choice, tough as it has been.

As Erin reminded me, there is a time and a season for everything. Perhaps Mr. Palin will now be a stay-at-home dad. I hope so. Perhaps the world truly needs Sarah Palin as much as her children do. Perhaps my “world” needs me to continue trying to follow the prophets and heed scriptural warnings and teachings, so that the spirit will guide my steps. I will pray that it guides hers, too.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Birthday Pros and Cons

When you are over 40, the celebration of your birthday kind of changes. My mother and her mother, whom I truly adored and miss so much, did not like getting older and made that very clear to us all. In fact, Mom remained “29” and then “39” for many years in a row! Yet, throughout their lives, they did all they could to maintain beauty – priorities continued to the end to wear flattering make-up, always have great hairstyles, and dress fashionably. I am grateful for that example – I wish I had the “fashionably” part down better. But, I digress.

So, what was good and bad about last Friday on “the birthday” this year?

Cons: (so I can end on a positive note…)

  1. I had to make my own birthday cake (ok, so I chose to do that – Rich would have gotten me one had I mentioned it…).
  2. I am one year closer to a BIG one… ew.
  3. Mitt Romney was not chosen as McCain’s running mate.
  4. My house was way too quiet most of the day
  5. AARP will start sending me mail very soon
  6. My favorite t.v. shows on Friday nights were NOT on –which proves once again that, since I care about that, I am getting old.
  7. They say 50 is the “new 40”. Well, 40 isn’t really so great, so is that a good thing, really??? I’ll decide that next year, I guess. Ahhh – Mom’s influence coming through again…


  1. I got an AWESOME present from my dear hubby!

  1. I share my birthday with John McCain and Michael Jackson, and my cool nephew Jon – time will tell if sharing it with McCain is a “pro” – we already know about Michael Jackson (oooh – should I have put that in the “cons” section?).
  2. I got to have lunches with some of my dear friends – and THEY pay!
  3. My sister in law Kate sent me flowers – so dear (that is cool nephew Jon’s mom, by the way…)
  4. The famed author and dear creator of This and That, Erin, sent me a gorgeous handmade birthday card!
  5. I also got cards from “Steen” and from our Relief Society
  6. I got a box from my missionary son with a photo cd, (see some of those photos here), a musical birthday card, and a lovely Hot Pad – that HE MADE! What a riot!
  7. Rich came home early from work – yay! We went to dinner and to a movie.
  8. Hurricane Gustav did NOT make landfall on my birthday, as Katrina did a few years back

Mom taught me to make lists of Pros and Cons when making big decisions. Well, Mom, you were right – and it even helps to make a potentially bad thing look a little bit brighter. Look at those lists!! The Pros in my life win again. That is a blessing indeed.