Thursday, January 29, 2009

Noah T.

Usually when Tyler and Gina come for Christmas, they have a b-day party for Noah at Chuck-e-Cheese because it's easy with all the cousins (plus it's the one time a year we take our kids there so they love it). I just found these random pictures and thought I'd post them.
Tyler and Ryder
The girlies on tv
Regina and Reagan -- Gina actually held Reagan like this almost the whole time.
Then Reagan went to Uncle Jim -- I think he secretly likes her.
The cute birthday boy who is an exact replica of Tyler.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Economic Stimulus?

So I'm just a little -- no, I won't lie -- I'm a lot - frustrated with this whole "stimulus" thing.

I've put some facts below about the stimulus and, honestly, I mostly see it as an excuse for Obama/dems in Congress to get what they've always wanted done and for Obama to achieve some of his campaign promises. I mean, I really don't think that part of this stimulus bill should be to "prepare us for universal healthcare," but it is convenient for Obama who promised universal healthcare to the people. He just has a good way of getting the money to do it now -- just call it stimulus and it's all good. Right? Uhm, NO!

I don't care if people are Democrats or Republicans (I don't think I'm either at this point), but I do care if you're informed. If you're going to support something, at least know what's in it for the most part. Do your research, be informed and then CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES. They work for you, after all. Or they should...that's supposed to be the idea of government officials. . .

Below is a graph showing recessions in the U.S. in correlation to how much money was printed at that time. Quite interesting that we're doing something that's never been done before. We've always gotten out of recessions without this large amount of spending, why are we allowing them to convince us that we have no other options now? Sorry, I forewarned that I'm keyed up over this whole thing. I'll just shut up and let the facts speak for themselves now.

Total Cost of Stimulus Legislation: $825 billion

How does this compare?

• In 1993, the unemployment was virtually the same as the rate today (around 7%). Yet, President Clinton’s proposed stimulus legislation *only* contained $16 billion in spending

• The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

• This legislation nears a trillion dollars. President Reagan said the best way to understand a trillion dollars is to imagine a crisp, new stack of $1000 bills.

• If you had a stack four inches high, you’d be a millionaire. A trillion-dollar stack of $1000 bills would measure just over 63 miles high.

• In $20 bills, a trillion dollar stack would be 3150 miles high. That’s about the distance between DC and Trujillo, Peru.

• President Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save 3 million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $42,000 a year.

• This bill provides enough spending to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

• This bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

• Although this legislation has been billed and described as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, but only three percent ($30 billion) of this package is for road and highway spending.

• Much of the funding within the proposed stimulus package will go to programs which already have large, unexpended balances.

• For example, the draft bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already has $16 billion on hand.

• And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.

• Deficit spending will not expand the economy. If that were true, then the current $1.2 trillion deficit -- the largest in history -- would already be rescuing the economy.

• $800 billion more will not change that.

• Trade groups state that every $1 billion in highway “stimulus” can be spent creating 34,779 new construction jobs.

• But Congress must first borrow that $1 billion out of the private sector.

• The private sector then loses or forgoes roughly the same number of jobs.

• Japan responded to a 1990 recession by passing 10 “stimulus” bills over 8 years (building the largest national debt in the industrialized world). Their economy remained stagnant and their per capita income went from the second highest in the world to the tenth highest.

To see the source of this info, go here.

I think I'm with Glenn Beck on this one --- "I'd rather go through a tough period and cleanse ourselves from these bad companies and all the mistakes. I'd rather learn the lesson and still have a little bit of capitalism left."

Let's just suck it up and let people learn to be responsible and learn the hard way - because they're not going to learn anything by being bailed out all the time. It's good to fail. It's even better to get yourself back up again after failing -- but we're taking that option off the table at the moment.

So decide where you stand and call your representatives because the House may be voting on this thing TODAY!

...and have a happy Wed! I'm off to help Amy tape/caulk her upstairs in preparation for painting before the big birthday/Super Bowl party on Sunday.

p.s. if you live in Mesa/Q.C. - Jeff Flake is your representative and he's NOT voting for the stimulus -- I just called Washington.

p.p.s. I know if I read this, I would get excited and then never call, so I'll make it easy for you. Go here and you can type in your state and find your representative and his/her contact information.

p.p.p.s. 4:35 PM - I just found out that it passed in the House.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How to take a shower . . . and other things

When you have a baby who crawls and puts everything in her mouth and is super-curious about everything - it takes some creativity for a mom to get a shower in the morning.
This is my latest solution to the what-to-do-with-the-children-while-I-shower dilemma. London plays PBS kids while Reag watches with snacks, a sippy and her beloved binky. Needless to say, my showers are mighty quick.
This is Regan's Christmas present from G&G Jones. It's the only baby doll (and believe me, we have many in this household) that she will pick up, giggle at, chatter to, and then attack with "besitos." When I saw her giving it loves, I just had to document it so I ran to get the camera and when I returned, the love fest was not over as you can see.
Reagan's "besitos" (Spanish for kisses) are full on slobber fests that usually involve her grabbing your face and grunting or growling. I get them all the time and love it! Just a cute girly who is cutting her first -- yes first (at 10 months) tooth this week! And here is her high-chair the girls made for her in their room.
She'll sit in it and joyfully eat plastic food.
She definitely loves her older sisters and usually goes into fits of laughter just by looking at them or even walking into their room - it's like her own Reagan-Disneyland.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"The Good Part"

"and I have chosen the good part," (2 Nephi 2:30)

I read those words Sunday during my scripture study and they really struck me. It's funny how it's probably my 100th time reading the BOM, but here I am still seeing new things every time (yes, even in my awesome new scriptures I got for Christmas!).

Lehi is speaking to his son, Jacob, as kind of a last speech before he dies and those are his last words. As I pondered over those words, I wondered if, at the end of my life, I will be able to say "and I have chosen the good part."

What is the good part?

I suppose it's basically the same and yet different for each person. That's up to you to ponder and decide on your own.

As for me, I've decided that the good part includes numerous things, but number one being that I have chosen to live the gospel to the fullest. This does not mean I merely go to church on Sundays and look like I live the gospel. Rather, it means that I feel the gospel and it's part of my being and I am constantly striving to strengthen my relationship with the Savior and understand His role better in my life as well as in the lives of those around me (because until we do, we'll never realize how much we really don't understand).

For me, the good part also includes my choice to have an eternal marriage and family -- and to work hard to make sure we all make it in the end.

It all sounds grand, but here's what my "good part" includes on a daily basis:
and I wouldn't trade anything in the world for it!

One thing we have started this week is something I should have done a long time ago and that is to read a little of the BOM every night with the girlies.

Remember that scripture that talks about the children leading the way?

Monday I was reading my scriptures and London came up and asked me, "Mom, why don't we read the scriptures together as a family?" I told her that we would start that night. So I got a blue BOM out and put it on their shelf while they both made bookmarks for the occasion. Now every night before family prayer, we read a little and it has been so fabulous that I wonder why we didn't start this earlier. Even last night Nate and I were in a hurry because we were getting them to bed later than usual, but good old faithful London wouldn't let us leave until we'd read. Yes, we can learn from our children. This has become a small portion of "the good part" for my little family.

And the amazing thing is that life is great/better when we choose "the good part," so why do we sometimes balk at it? The blessing far outweigh the work. Like did you ever notice how much better you deal with life/your children when you do your scripture study everyday? It's like my magic ingredient for making the day go smoothly and works so well that I wonder why I ever miss a day (and yet, imperfect me always seems to slip a missed day in here and there).

So over the next week or so I'll be pondering what else my "good part" includes because this is just the tip of the iceberg, I am sure. . .

Cousins Pictures - catch-up

Cousins at the Park.
They're not the best pics, but it's the memories, right?
This was the last night before they left - snuggling on the couch, watching tv.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thinking of Megan. . .

This morning as I read my CNN Newsletter, one headliner caught my eye and made me think of Megan. It read:

Iowan: Cold hurts, makes 'skin burn.'

Ouch! Poor Megan out there in good old Iowa. I'll be thinking of you as my house heats up to about 76 by the end of the day with no heater or air conditioner running. Maybe this picture will help you, Megs ---
I love you!!!

On another note, I am feeling dang crappy right now with major congestion/headache/cough. Reagan and London are stuffed up too, but are acting fine so far. Lucky for me, it's Cyndee's day off and she didn't get to see the girls last week so she's going to come and get them for the day. Lovely. As a mom you get so used to just sucking it up when you're sick so this should be super nice to just lay down and not have to worry about anything - or better yet, anyone. Hopefully the rest will help me knock it and we can go to the zoo like we'd planned to this weekend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Plan (to get what I want)

I am a smoothie girl.

I had a roommate in college who worked for JambaJuice (she also went home at Christmas break and never came back, thinking she was pregnant -- but that's a whole other story). I used to bask in the joy of her making me homemade Jambas. I was shocked to learn that you had to sign a contract before working there promising not to disclose their "secret jamba recipes."

Didn't they ever learn to SHARE???

I was also shocked to learn that my roommate had no morals (this was before Christmas break, obviously). She shared recipes right and left.



Why did I not have the foresight to type and save those dang recipes?

I suppose it was fate because I lacked the main ingredient -- one of these babies:

I covet this little machine (maybe I should secretly steal Amy's).

If you've never heard of vita-mix then I'm sorry for you. Go here to learn more, but beware of the temptation to covet that will inevitably overcome you.

I have wanted one for years and the other day I remembered that fact. I made smoothies for our breakfast and realized it mostly tasted like strawberry/blueberry milk. Milk - that's mostly all I could taste. Then my mind wandered over to vita-mix land where you don't need to add liquid because the thing pulverizes your food so much that liquid results immediately. So you just throw in a bunch of fruit (even whole apples) and voila, you have a smoothie that doesn't taste like milk.

I will get a vita-mix someday -- if I had just saved a little every month instead of just plain pining away for it then I would definitely have the $500+ to buy the dang thing.

So my new plan is to make an envelope labeled "Vita-Mix Fund."

Every month I shall contribute to it until someday (hopefully soon), I will be able to make all the smoothies I want with my shiny new vita-mix.

Or I could just write the government for a $700 bailout (and get the deluxe package).

And maybe then I'll consider getting a job at Jamba Juice and work there a month - okay a week - only to get the recipes (for my own personal home use, of course, not to be shared).

Sounds like a plan . . . I'll keep you updated on my quest.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Trillion

I am sick of ALL politicians -- and I mean ALL -- no matter what party they are affiliated with.

This week Barack Obama -- whom I give my support 100% as my new president until he does something I disagree with and then my approval rating may begin dropping, but we'll see. I'm willing to give him a fair chance. I am not a sore loser - well, unless we're talking about croquet (but I would never lose at that because I ROCK at croquet!). Besides, I really disliked McCain anyway, as did mostly all conservatives -- anyway, tangent over -- Obama announced his $1.2 trillion plan this week. He says trillion dollar deficits are going to be many years to come, but we must "spend our way out of this recession."

I humbly ask: what about capitalism?

Why can't we just let companies who are failing fail and then let others rise in their place instead of the government picking and choosing who wins . . . that is not capitalism despite what Congress and Pres. Bush think. Government should never have that kind of power - at least not in America because that's not what made us great. Capitalism is what made us a great and wealthy country.

I am aghast.

Or at least why not spend the money on something useful like we did after WWII when we invested in things that made us money like the Jet Engine? Not zoos, BMX dirt bike trails, gigantic water slides, museums, taverns and waterfalls (which are all included in this new $1.2 trillion plan). I don't think any of those will bring us enough money back to pay that debt off -- nobody in the world will come clamoring for our water slide and waterfall technology like they did with the Jet Engine after WWII.

By the way, if you were counting right now, one, two, three, four, five, six -- it would take you 32 days to get to a million. It would take you 32 years to count to a billion. It would take you 32,000 years to count to a trillion.

Wow. And we hear them talking about it like it's pocket change.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I totally forgot how nice it is to go through a day full of being a mom (which is quite exhausting) and then have this dropped off at your house right at dinner-time.
Amy and I decided to get out of slacker mode and pick up again on our dinner exchange. I couldn't be happier. I am the first to admit that when we kind of stopped in late Spring last year, my family suffered all summer and into fall and the holidays. Real dinners were had about 3 times a week (which isn't a lot when there's 7 days to account for in a week). PB&J became a staple, as long as Nate had his Nacho flavored Doritos.

But it's a new year and my family will be getting regular meals once again. Hallelujah!

Amy even started with a bang - dessert.
This was Reagan's first pudding experience and the reactions were priceless. With the first bite being vanilla she merely smiled, but with the second bite being chocolate she immediately giggled and clapped her hands, hungrily looking at me for more. She continued clapping and giggling every time she got a chocolate bite. I think she likes chocolate.

On another food note, I made super good tacos the other night.
For the recipe, go here.

And just for fun, if you want to wow your hubby with a fabulous sandwich one Saturday or Sunday afternoon, try this - it's my favorite!

Wow, now I'm hungry. I think I'll go eat lunch.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Before I forget. . .

I have a couple things I need to remember AND they're good for some laughs.


...has a bad habit. Let me preface this story with the fact that Savy bites her fingernails and it drives me CRAZY (it's Megan all over again!) So the other day I was helping her with homework and she asks me (in all seriousness, mind you): "Can I bite your fingernails?"

Now, I understand that biting nails is a bad habit/obsession, but how much worse is it if you covet other people's nails because you've already bitten yours to the quick?????

London still obsessed with cleanliness and washing of hands. You know how kids always have to inform you when they go to the bathroom? Well, the other day she tells me, "Mom, I'm going into the bathroom to pick my booger and then put it in a kleenex and then wash my hands." So precise and clean . . . and dare I say, too much information?

Also, the other day she asked me if she could have a Henry Kiss (Hershey). I love it when they mix up words - I think it's so cute.

Reagan perfect. She's growing fast and I shocked myself into reality when I realized the other day that in 2 1/2 months, she will be one!!!! Hello! Where did that time go? She is the ever-curious crawler, getting into everything and pulling herself up to stand like a big girl. Although I must say I am shocked that she still has no teeth and I've been claiming teething since she was two months old! She freely hands out slobbery besitos (kisses) and giggles. What joy she brings into our family!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

3 1/2 Hours

I've been working on "redecorating" my blog (check out my cool buttons - some take you to other pages or links while others are just for labeling purposes).

Maybe next time it'll be faster (because hopefully I'll remember what I'm doing).

I am, however, very happy with the results.

Nice and clean and fresh for a new year.

A bit girly, but that's my life . . . with a little splash of Nate - who's definitely not girly in the least.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I may be able to salvage the day and get a couple things done before Nate comes home. Perhaps.

blog list

Monday, January 5, 2009

La Navidad

I've been a slacker at posting these because JoDee was here and we stayed up too late every night -- mostly playing rock band until we all felt like we had carpal tunnel (Amy and Andee at least). One night was devoted to my new favorite movie though. And I'm so not used to staying up past midnight anymore so the 2:30 bedtime on New Years about did me in the next day. . . week (more on that later as I steal pictures from Amy).

So now today has been devoted to deep cleaning and laundry. Seriously, it's 3:32 and this is the first time I've sat down today -- and I'm far from done.

So here we go!

Christmas was fast, chaotic and fun. Isn't it always? Seeing Tyler's family is always fun and then as soon as they were ready to go, JoDee came down with the girls for a "cousins Christmas party" and a weeks worth of fun.

(picture overload, as usual)

Reagan was just excited to have the whole family in "her world" (the floor).
I about died at the difference in these two girls Christmas morning. Every present evoked a squeal of delight from Savannah while London appeared rather stoic while opening hers. I was a bit worried that she was unhappy with her loot until Nate informed me that she whispered to him that this was the best Christmas ever. I guess that's just the difference in their personalities.London with her presents from Savannah. I was so excited that Savs got to go to "Santa's Workshop" at school because I remembered going as a child. Yeah for Mr. C. - the P.E. teacher who instilled a love of hula hooping in my little girl! If you haven't had a good laugh lately, you should watch this girl hula-hoop! It's the best thing in the world! I'll have to see if I can figure out how to put a video of it on here.
I must say that it was one of the best meals EVER!. Amy made the same (amazing) turkey I made for Thanksgiving and I made the same stuffing and then mom's rolls were fabulous, as usual. . . I could go on and on, but I already have.
Davyn, Wyatt, London and Noah
Ryder was excited to have another little person. Here he is trying to blow on her tummy -- like everyone always does to him.
And here he is just flat out pestering the poor girl. It was quite entertaining to watch and Reagan didn't get upset at all. Cyn and Noah. London and Ryder with D's new "Wall-e computer." London's always attaching herself to a little one - she likes being older and tending them.
Noah - the boy is seriously an exact replica of Tyler at that age. Cutie Ryder.
Reagan's Christmas bottle with Grandma Jones.Merry Christmas!