Friday, October 31, 2008

Close to Home

When you've sacrificed time, moeny, and more, for a country other than your own, your perspective changes. Do I like war? Do I want it to continue forever? No. Peace sounds good to me. However, I also understand that there wasn't a single priesthood member in either Afghanistan or Iraq before this war. That this group of people have no idea who Christ is, nor will they ever know if the gospel of Jesus Christ is forbidden, if they are not free. We were born to privilege, and with that comes specific obligations (a line from Ever AFter, thank you!) But it's true. why should America sit in our "bubble" of a perfect world, spoiled rotton, and do nothing? Yes, we are a freedom loving people, and don't we wish this same thing on others? Why shouldn't we promote democracy throughout the world? Were their mistakes made in Iraq, yes, I will never deny it. But I can hold my head high as I think about the sacrifice we've (josh) has made on behalf of those who have no rights. That he was a part of "spreading the gospel throughout the corners of the Earth" as it says in a personal blessing of his.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Poll Question...

I heard this question asked to a group of people on CNN:

Should uninformed people vote?

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Country First?? Integrity in the White House??

There are other political leaders out there that I would rather see as president. But we have TWO choices. I just CANNOT see how Obama can lead, and lead well. Obama is about Obama, his cocky selfish ways are not what this country needs. We need someone who loves this country deeper than himself. Mistakes happen in every presidency. McCain will not be perfect, but I believe, he will always put the country first, as he has already done.

Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Tuesday night's broadcast.

CNN's Campbell Brown complains about Barack Obama's switch on financing.

(CNN) -- You may have heard that Wednesday night Barack Obama will be on five different TV networks speaking directly to the American people.

He bought 30 minutes of airtime from the different networks, a very expensive purchase. But hey, he can afford it. Barack Obama is loaded, way more loaded than John McCain, way more loaded than any presidential candidate has ever been at this stage of the campaign.

Just to throw a number out: He has raised well over $600 million since the start of his campaign, close to what George Bush and John Kerry raised combined in 2004.

Without question, Obama has set the bar at new height with a truly staggering sum of cash. And that is why as we approach this November, it is worth reminding ourselves what Barack Obama said last November.

One year ago, he made a promise. He pledged to accept public financing and to work with the Republican nominee to ensure that they both operated within those limits.

Then it became clear to Sen. Obama and his campaign that he was going to be able to raise on his own far more cash than he would get with public financing. So Obama went back on his word.

He broke his promise and he explained it by arguing that the system is broken and that Republicans know how to work the system to their advantage. He argued he would need all that cash to fight the ruthless attacks of 527s, those independent groups like the Swift Boat Veterans. It's funny though, those attacks never really materialized.

'No bias, no bull'
Get the latest on the presidential race on "Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull"
8 ET Monday through Friday on CNN

see full schedule »
The Washington Post pointed out recently that the bad economy has meant a cash shortage among the 527s and that this election year they have been far less influential.

The courageous among Obama's own supporters concede this decision was really made for one reason, simply because it was to Obama's financial advantage.

On this issue today, former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, an Obama supporter, writes in The New York Post, "a hypocrite is a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue -- who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. And that, it seems to me, is what we are doing now."

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Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull
For this last week, Sen. Obama will be rolling in dough. His commercials, his get-out-the-vote effort will, as the pundits have said, dwarf the McCain campaign's final push. But in fairness, you have to admit, he is getting there in part on a broken promise.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: Copying my friend Emily's Edition...

1. QOTD: While preparing my children for the traditional trick or treat that is done in our town on random days like the Tuesday before Halloween, I was told while helping Hallie on the potty. "Wonder Woman never goes potty, I never see Wonder Woman going potty."

2. Josh and I implemented a new "diet" regimen eating more nutritiously, six small meals a day. Did I mention I've tossed an enormous amount of yummies into the trash to avoid temptation. Why did we take our kids trick or treating tonight?? Duh.

3. Headline on Yahoo News this morning: Housing Prices have Record drops... which explains why we went to WalMart to get FOR RENT signs, which were sold out. So now in America we can't sell our house, but you also aren't going to be able to rent it.

4. Thanks to no one for sharing the news about the Colts last night. I was SURE I would hear from a certain someone in CO. Yup they lost. I believe this means they don't even make the playoffs. Looks like I'm quickly turning into an Eli Manning fan.

5. I LOVE the smell of bleach, I know it's weird. But I just think sterile. With my new found love of cleaning with bleach water, I have several "white" polka dotted maternity shirts, right around the belly region.

6. Can I just say there is only five sleeps until my family photo shoot, with a famed photographer? I am seriously so excited, I can't wait.

7. I've been following the story of NieNie, on her sister CJane's blog, for a little while now, and a recent post about sisters made me LOVE my relationship with my sisters even more.

8. Thanks to my pregnancy, (which I continue to believe this child is going to make me crazy... the timing of it's precious arrival couldn't be worse), I am exploding in the chest region. I think my body is preparing to feed the small nation of New Zealand. Do they make bras in size Double Q?

9. Josh has spent a small fortune faxing documents at the local UPS store. I seriously would rather be spending that money on the NEWLY OPENED SONICS!!!!!!!

10. I seriously can't wait to move to our new town, for THIS reason alone.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm off.

To Watch the Colts, tonight....

I can't stay up, so will someone please share the good news with me in the morning?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Four Generations!

How lucky are we to have Josh's parents and grandparents come for a visit!! I was trying to come up with something fun to do... and of course in October, we just had to make some Jack-O-Lanterns.

I took a picture of all four generations carving pumpkins... SORRY COLSON, good hair genes are NOT in your future, unless Grandpa Blackman hooks you up!

And finally the results!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Parenting on the Move.

I'll get to this picture in a minute.

I want to start by saying I grew up moving. I moved 19 times in 20 years. My dad wasn't even active duty military at the time. We would have more kids, a better job, a divorce, a marriage, a college... all kinds of things kept us moving. I really don't know any thing else. The longest place I've ever lived is 3 1/2 years in Bloomington with Josh, in a 700 sq foot apartment, that we paid a whopping 410 a month for. Insane right? My van payment is more than that these days. It's probably bigger, too.

Most of you know, Josh and I are total opposites in almost everything, music, sports, personality. Common ground is the church, and our family. After my dating years had begun I began to realize I really wanted someone from a family that was stable, in more ways than one. This was important to me. I found Josh. His parents live in the same house they lived in when they got married. (technically it's twice as big, still same house) They've been married almost 30 years. Stability, Josh had it in spades.

Then he married me. Life began for him, this crazy moving, going everywhere kind of life. He's even lived in more places than me in the last 6 years. (7 states in 6 1/2 years) It's crazy.

Regularly, we've been the ones to leave, rarely the ones to be left. Recently my little Hallie's friend moved to Wyoming (her mother was a close friend to me), and this was Hallie's first good-bye to a friend. Colson's dealt with it a lot, but for some reason as I look at this picture of these little buddies, my heart ached for her. I realized she too knows what "loss" feels like. I was feeling terrible, I couldn't give my children what Josh had, the one house, the same friends, the constant. As I've thought more about it, is it really that bad?

I mean although my children haven't had one home they've had travels beyond anything I knew at their age, they've seen mountains, oceans, forests, corn fields, deserts, disneyland, monterey bay aquarium, tasted maryland blue crab, been to the top of Pike's peak, hiked the trails of Colorado Springs, enjoyed the breathtaking view of the Garden of the GOds, visited the battlefields of Gettysburg, explored this great nation's capital, including cherry blossoms, the White House, and war memorials, and monuments. They've been to Mount Vernon, orchards, and berry patches, flew in airplanes, explored corn mazes, and tasted ollalieberries... Seen Alcatraz, Pier 39, ridden a subway, and trolley, walked China Town, eaten chocolate crickets (BRANDEE!), explored a space museum in the middle of kansas, Rode a train through the giant redwood trees, walked the Naval academy, and have seen the following temples, Oakland, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, CO, Colombus, OH, Louisville Kentucky, Nauvoo, ILL, Palmyra, New York. They've walked the Sacred Grove, and been to the prison in which the great prophet Joseph Smith was martyred. They've taken their beloved father to the airport countless times with prayers in their hearts, prayers that were heard and answered. They're Seven and Four and One.

So I guess, I can stop worrying about what I'm not able to provide, and just do the best we can on the move.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Employed, Round Two

Well, I haven't fully confessed the extent of our situation the past month. But, we have definitely been out of work, and no pay was the scenario. Thank Heavens we were in this house before, and none of our bills have changed... so we could manage a little time off, due to the chunk of money Josh made in six weeks at the last place of employment. I haven't been COMPLETELY frugal, please note a previous post. But we've been trying to save for however long this scenario would be. We were really hoping Josh would get right back on the contract he was working on, just with a different company. But three weeks have passed, and still no word. We just don't have the luxury of time right now, and another opportunity presented itself.

It requires a move south, about 3 and half hours, if you want details, email I'll let you know where we are headed.

Josh begins work on Monday, as does insurance. Which means we spent no time without, or having to pay for Cobra. Another blessing.

We visited the ward this past weekend, at least one of them, and I think we're going to like it. They're redoing the ward boundaries next year because of a brand new stake center so we don't even have to worry about that when finding our next home.

I just can't believe I'll be moving a third time while pregnant. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised!! :)

Josh and I are excited about the possibility and we both feel like we can finally plant our feet.

We came back from our trip and discussed things like school for Colson, me and my pregnancy, along with what to do with our house, we decided we would just rent it, and do the best we could. We come home to find a message on our voicemail about someone interested in renting to own our property!! What great news. Who knows what will happen, but we're hopeful, and busy cleaning to show them the property tomorrow.

Although, we would never wish unemployment on anyone, we're thankful for the time we've had together, we truly have been spoiled hanging out together. And lets hope that's our only trial. Did I mention he'll have a ten minute commute?? That alone is wonderful!!

Anyway, that's the latest, and who knows when everything will happen, but we'll try and keep you posted as we find Joy in our Journey, in yet, another state!

A Late Contribution, But a good one!

Here you go!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This is spreading in the blog world like wildfire... you MUST check it out!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Warped Sense of Frugality.

I pride myself in my recent adventures of the COUPON MOM. I have saved dollars and dollars on my grocery shopping, which I do almost every week, thus adding up to tens of dollars, perhaps hundreds.

I find myself saying NO NO NO to things like School Portraits for Colson. I mean, I have a freaking awesome camera why would I spend the twenty buckaroos, on the smallest package of portraits that may or may not turn out, just to be offered them again come spring. I mean why do we do this?? Can any of you recall a GOOD school picture?? All I remember is the lame plastic comb we got, and that I never got to stand on the bleachers for the class picture because I was always TOO short. Not to mention six years from now when I have FOUR children coming home with book orders, school picture requests, yearbooks, and fundraisers from the various schools. Enough, I must cut spending.

I am the lone American WITHOUT a cell phone.

Basic Cable.

Christmas lights, nope. No need to spend the money on that.

Preschool, forget it. Way too much money. And please do not even discuss with me the "need for socialization". Do you talk to your children? Do your children talk to other children, ta da! Socialization.

So here I am saving, scrimping, and trying to keep spending in our family under control. When I discover THE CUTEST GIRLY CLOTHES. Yes, I bought 2 dresses. Yes, we're technically unemployed. No I won't tell you which two, because then I know you would add it up, and realize that indeed all that money I've been "saving" is gone in 3.2 minutes of online shopping.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

PT for Laila

A while ago I wrote about parents who push and prod their children to the top - encouraging them to walk early, early, early. Well, I'm still not a fan of this theory, I do think you should allow the kids to do their thing. However, Laila, seems to seriously do her thing, and that's it. I decided to go against the Doctor's suggestion and get her evaluated. She does qualify for physical therapy. Not because she's not walking, but because her scoot doesn't count as crawling or creeping. So we now have the pleasure of a physical therapist coming into the home once a week to encourage the crawling and walking. We had her evaluated a week or so ago, and the very next day she pulled to a stand, two days later she's begun to crawl. So apparently Laila heard the rumors she was going to have to do some work, and decided to take matters into her own hands. Her PT lady came today for her first appointment, and I have to say, it was pretty fun to see Laila 'work'. I just love this little girl, her personality is so unique, and she brings this special spirit to our home. Each of my children are blessings to us in each of their unique ways. I do love being a mom, especially because of the specific four children I get to teach, train, and nurture.

BTW, job offer came through today, and we're looking forward to the possibility.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Camera Finds

In an effort to contribute to my own challenge, I opted to head to my FAVORITE way of recording my families happenings, my camera... and I just LOVED what I found.

The latest of Family Projects... Josh and I have way TOO MUCH time on our hands thanks to a contract ending, and a delayed beginning, BUT, for Halloween this year our SUPER kids, are dressing up like SUPER HEROES... AKA the Justice League, we'll have FLASH, SUPERMAN, and WONDER WOMAN. Josh and I will be Batman, and Hawk Girl (she's a part of the Justice League, FYI), ANYWAY, for our church's trunk or treat we decided to make a Justice League Command Center. I had Colson take apart a phone, and we hot glued wires, etc., used some spray paint, and ta da, the back of the van will be converted to the perfect place for the Justice League to meet. We're handing out Bazooka gum (comic strips included) along with American flag tootsie rolls, we're way too excited for Halloween this year, but we've had a TON OF FUN planning this!

When Laila gets up in the morning or from her nap, we hear the squeals of delight as we walk by her room... she hears our footsteps and is SURE we're on our way to get her. Today, I wanted to make sure I captured this moment of JOY, seeing her cutie pie face when she was getting up!

I caught this little girl in a tree at church, during the labor day picnic... how cute is she??

Is this classic Colson or what? I couldn't capture the moment any better - his army guys set up with a battle, including a stone barrier. I will ALWAYS remember Colson this way.

And finally, I found this number. I walked into the living room one weekend morning to find ALL the kiddos cuddled with daddy... I love the look on his face. Hope he knows he has to make room for one more.

Thanks so much to everyone that participated in the JOY search. I was so uplifted by every one's entries, and have set some new goals for myself. Really I have so many reasons to smile. Life is good.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Transcript is Available

Check out the talk HERE. Be sure to look for the updates in the next post, for all those that participated! :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Joy Finding and Sharing

It's begun - I saw TWO posts yesterday that shared some thoughts on where they find joy in their life.

Loved Leah's suggestions to remember the Little Things, and Monique's Joys Abroad was a fun twist, especially for those of you far from "home".

Keep 'em coming!

Here's the latest from my friend Emily!

My sweet friend waited a LONG time for her sweet little girl... what's amazing, is this woman was JOYFUL BEFORE the blessing of being a mom arrived!! Watching her now find JOY in this little one, in everything she does, reminds me to celebrate each and every moment with my kiddos, that came so easily to me. Jamie, thanks for your sweet thoughts!

And then there's Harmony - a girl I sorta knew, but really learned to love when she moved a million miles away... How is that possible??? Blogging of course. She's a crazy cool photographer and LOVED her interpretation of the challenge.

Who hasn't told their little ones "just a minute, or not right now, or Later" What a great reminder from Crystal, thanks for the inspiration!!

On a further search, I discovered THIS SUPER FUNNY post from Lydia- I think we can ALL relate!

Harmony's friend also SHARED!

And Lindsay, just added her version here, I think it was a computer glitch that took so long! :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Prophetic Blogging

Yes, Yes. If you listened to Conference this Sunday, you must have heard the Prophet's counsel to "FIND JOY IN THE JOURNEY NOW", as far as I know, President Monson's not blog hopping looking for a topic. Even so, it was fun to think, maybe just maybe I was on the right track for once... :)

You can hear the talk HERE, if you missed it.

And I would just LOVE to add a link in my next blog entry of all of you that take the time to write an entry in your blog about how you implemented the counsel to Find Joy In the Journey Now. I'll be checking your blogs to see where YOU find Joy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I'm just reminding everyone That I'm pretty sure deadline to register is tomorrow... Or maybe Monday - Don't forget!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

It Moves!!

The Pea Pod is finally moving all around... i am loving the feeling of the itty bitty baby moving. I just know this is the end of my baby making years, and with that comes those bittersweet moments. There's NOTHING like feeling the baby. It's miraculous, it's incredible, a blessing, and a dream. Blessings come. For us, Four times over. Thank you, oh thank you Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fall Baking!!!!!!


You know I LOVE fall - so I just HAD to spend the weekend baking...

Pumpkin Caramels


Gingerbread Cookies (From Nauvoo) with Pumpkin Cream Cheese frosting...

I just made THIS YUMMY SOUP for dinner tonight, FANTASTIC and EASY!!

And next On my list:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies...

By the way, my lucky neighbors scored BIG!! Don't you wish you lived closer?