Sunday, March 29, 2009


I used to call myself a political junkie. But I've realized it was never really about the political's about principles. I guess you'd call me a principles junkie. Constitution junkie? Founding fathers junkie? I don't know...still working on that.

Here's a little video that I found really inspiring and beautiful.

Enjoy it on this blessed Sunday! I'll be returning from my undisclosed location today and I'll share the Sullivan family adventure with you this week.

Oh, and a shout out to my friend Alison for telling me how to embed videos!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freedom Friday 03.27.09

Welcome to Freedom Friday where we discuss the founding principles of our great nation!

Today's principle is:

The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

“It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.”- Thomas Jefferson

In 1996, Hillary Clinton wrote the book It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us in which she presented her vision for the children of America. She focused on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child's well-being, and advocated for a society which meets all of a child's needs. At the time I remember thinking that the title made me feel good. After all, who wouldn't want a nurturing and loving society to help raise their children?

And then I had kids.

And I saw society through the eyes of a mother.

And I do. not. want. them. raising. my. kids.

And then my kids started to school in the public school system.

And I realized that, like it or not, they were trying to raise my kids for me.

I make sure that I know what my kids are learning. I read their textbooks and sometimes we have to have the discussion that while they have to know certain things for testing purposes this is what we actually believe to be the truth. They understand this and it brings me great joy when they come home and tell me "Mom, my teacher said so and so but I know the Bible says... or I know you taught me... or my book says such and such but..." It does a Momma's heart good for her kids to think for themselves! "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

My kids are MY God-given responsibility and even though society, culture and the government want me to believe I need their help in raising them I consider it an honor and a blessing to "...bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coming To You From An Undisclosed Location

I just realized I haven't posted since last Friday.

You'd think I'd have lots to share with you. Not so much.

I am currently watching American Idol and lovin' me some Wi-Fi in an undisclosed location. I will share details with you soon.

Aren't you all a-twitter with excitement?! Yeah, it's not that great really. But a rainy day in ___________ is better than a sunny day at work!

Today I took all three of my dogs to the vet at the same time. What was I thinkin'?

Caitlin carried Tess, the Sheltie. Trying to walk with her on a leash is like having the Tazmanian Devil on a string. Or a bumblebee. Whatever.

That left me and my weakling, arthritic, fibromyalgic self holding on desperately to 130 pounds of dog: Maddie the German Shepherd and Dazey the Golden Retriever. Maddie terrified everyone in the lobby because she's huge and scary-looking and she wanted to inspect everyone. She's very safety-conscious. We call her Patch the Safety Pony. Dazey is just a big goofball and tried to hide behind me which made it difficult to walk. And drive. Have you tried driving with a 65-pound dog in your lap? One woman commented to me that she hoped I was really strong. And with that, the vet quickly ushered us into the back room. Can't say I blame him.

I'm SO NOT doing that again!

I'm checkin' out for now. See y'all!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Freedom Friday 03.20.09

Welcome to another edition of Freedom Friday!

Today we will discuss the third principle:

I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

I think one of the greatest problems in our society today is that we no longer trust each other. Why have we lost that trust? Because we aren't honest with ourselves and with each other.

We can point to Bernie Madoff as a prime example of greed and dishonesty in business. We can voice outrage at the lies of Senator Chris Dodd . Yes, there are scores of examples of dishonesty in business and public life.

But let me ask you this: What about us - you and me?

When did we cease to value honesty in people? When did we start to reward those who tell us what we want to hear whether or not it's the truth? When did we decide that if you were smart enough or important enough then it didn't matter if you were honest? Why do we continue to elect to political office men and women who don't make honesty a priority? We continue to vote for the ones that promise us stuff we like, for the most eloquent speakers, the most personable individuals, the ones with the most money that can buy the most entertaining commercials.

How can we expect our leaders to live by principles that we ourselves don't value?

When the phone rings and it's someone you'd rather not talk to, do you tell your kids (or whoever answered the phone) to tell the person you're not home? Do you fudge your deductions on your tax return because you know most likely no one will ever know? Do you tell "white lies" to avoid hurting someone's feelings? Ouch. That's the one I have trouble with.

"No, dear, that shirt doesn't make you look fat."

"No, honey, I can't eat at school with you today because I have an 'appointment'."

"I really like your new haircut."

Let's agree to challenge ourselves to be more honest each day. We won't be perfect, but it's a start. And then let's agree to expect honesty from each other and then let's expect it from our leaders- local and national.

“I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” - George Washington

"A psalm of David. Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. " Psalms 15:1-5 (NIV)

One last thing: My hubby is bummed that these Friday posts don't get many comments. He's afraid that I've alienated all my readers--actually, he thinks you may all be closet socialists. Could you leave me a comment just to let us know you're out there and that I haven't run you off...yet?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


That's MUCH better!

It this doesn't make any sense to you, you must have missed
this post.

Of course, I really just moved most of the stuff into my armoire. At least I don't have to look at it. I did manage to file all of my brokerage statements. Huh. I just realized that if you break that down you get "broke" and "rage." Irony. I love it.

Now my dog thinks the chair is just for her. Does anyone know where I can get one of these? Have you used one? Does it really work?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rachel’s Tears by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott with Steve Rabey is a very touching account of the life of an incredible teenage girl, Rachel Scott, who was killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Written by her parents, this book is much more than just a blow-by-blow account of the days leading up to and including the shooting. It is a very personal account of Rachel’s life and faith. Although Rachel was a typical teenage girl, she was also a girl with a remarkably deep faith and spiritual maturity beyond her years. She was a devoted follower of Christ and millions of lives are impacted each year as her family continues to share her story to students all over the country. I was inspired by Rachel’s courage and convictions as well as her family’s response to the tragedy. Instead of reacting with bitterness, they are an encouraging example of forgiveness and peace amidst trials. The book includes a lot of excerpts from Rachel’s journals and drawings and it is fascinating to see that she seemed to sense that her time was short and she wanted to make the most of it. I expected the book to be sad and depressing but instead found it to be uplifting and hopeful.

You can purchase this book here.

Another Shameful Confession

Since you really seem to love it when I humiliate myself on the World Wide Web, I thought I'd toss you this hunk o' red meat. Let the feeding frenzy begin...

I actually slept in the guest room the other night because the clutter in the master bedroom made me too nervous to sleep. THIS is what the corner of my bedroom looks like:

Let's see what we have here:

1. See the square bamboo basket with the cream fabric liner? It's part of a set of 3 that I bought A YEAR AGO to organize my laundry room cabinets. It is currently holding some of my dog collar inventory and some books I'm reading.

2. See the two woven baskets? I bought those a while back to organize my paperwork. They are both full of papers that need to be filed, magazines I need to read, catalogs I plan to look at someday, our new health plan info that I plan to study one of these days, probably a few bills that need to be paid and a myriad of other REALLY IMPORTANT stuff that I haven't found the time to pay any attention to.

3. Yes, that is a bag of Ghiradelli chocolate. Very good for relieving clutter-induced stress.

4. That flat priority mailing box contains the fabric I ordered a while back to make new bedding and window treatments. Obviously that project is coming along nicely!

5. See the big oval basket on the floor? It's full of blank cds, picture cds, cd cases, usb cables, power cords, etc. And a 3-hole puncher. You know, for all that filing that I do.

6. See my favorite Skechers tennis shoes? I heart those.

So, don't you all feel better about yourselves now? You're welcome!

In other news, we had Hayley's 13th Birthday party on Friday night. We had about 13 teenage girls and one lone boy running amok for four hours. At one point, it got eerily quiet so I decided I'd better go see what was going on. I tiptoed upstairs and peeked in the playroom, which was entirely dark, and they were all sitting in a circle on the floor with Casting Crowns' "Praise You In This Storm" playing in the background. So I queried, "What are y'all doing?" and there were a few nervous giggles and then a tentative little voice said, almost apologetically, "We're praising the Lord?"

Well, then. Carry on.

Also, that night the dog slept with Hayley and peed on her pillow...while her head was on it. HA! HA! HA! I thought it was pretty funny until I remembered that I'm the one who has to wash all the bedding. Bummer.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Freedom Friday 03.13.09

Principal #2 - I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

Did you happen to catch this headline the other day?

"15 % of Americans Claim No Religion At All."

This is acccording to the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) released on March 10, 2009. While it seems disturbing, let's think about what it also indicates...85% of Americans DO believe in God or at least some kind of higher power.

Now we can argue differences in theology, doctrine or denomination or whether my God and your God are one and the same but that's a different conversation. Let's focus on our common ground: Most of us believe in a Creator. Our founders called this 'Nature's God.' You see, they knew that they could never agree on just one interpretation of God or just one theology. But they also knew that it was absolutely imperative that for this kind of government to work, the people had to be capable of self-governance. This self-governance depends upon the morals and values of the people. We derive our sense of morality and values from our belief in God.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams, October 11, 1798

As people of faith, we must stand together. ALL faiths, denominations and doctrines. We must put aside our differences and quit attacking each other. God is under attack in our society and we are fighting for the soul of our country.

This week there was a bill proposal brought before the Connecticut Judiciary Committee that would have taken control of the Catholic Church's property and financial management away from the church leaders and given control to the State of Connecticut.

Let that sink in for a minute.

A bill was proposed that would have given control of the church to the state.

Fortunately, the bill was killed due to the uproar it caused in the religious community. And if you've been reading this and thinking to yourself, "I'm not Catholic, I'm a Baptist (or Methodist, Prebyterian or Jewish) so what do I care?" then you, my friend, need to wake up. An assault on religion, ANY religion, is an assault on your religion. If this bill had passed, how long do you think it would be before another legislator decided that since this bill had set a precedent it might also work for the state to take over the Southern Baptist Convention, etc.?

Please, be aware of what's going on around you. We may not be of this world, but we do live in it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten Things That Freak Me Out

My friend, Mer is hosting a fun linky. Today, in honor of the ginormous snakes that I've seen crossing my road, I'm going to list the ten things that really freak me out.

10. Sharks. I don't live near the ocean and I hardly ever go to the beach so I'm not sure why I have a problem with sharks. More of a morbid fascination, actually.

9. Al Franken being elected a U.S. Senator. Sort of.

8. Guys that wear black hi-top Reeboks. I once stopped dating a guy in college because I saw him wearing these. Not proud of that, but there it is. In his defense it was the 90s. But they are still ugly.

7. Liberals.

6. Chewing gum. This one doesn't so much freak me out as irritate me. My husband has known me for 19+ years. To this day, he still offers me a piece of gum when he opens the pack. Grrrr!

5. Vomit. I'll spare you a picture of this one.

4. Heights. No picture for this one either.

3. The irrational fear that Glenn Beck will decide to retire from radio and tv.

2. Spiders. My husband once took me to spend the night in a hotel because I found one of these in our apartment. How great is he?! Oh, and we moved the next day. Remind me to tell you that story sometime.

1. Snakes. My husband ran over one of these last night. Except it was 10 ft long. Ok, not really. 6 feet. Ok, I'm still exaggerating but it WAS twice the length and thickness of the one in the picture. Then I saw another at least this big this afternoon. I was unable to run over it because I had my feet up in the seat and couldn't reach the gas pedal.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Priorities Schmiorities

This post is dedicated to my bloggy friends who have succumbed to this so-called "Unplugging" fad. You are seriously bumming me out.

I know, I know. You've got things that need to be done like cooking, cleaning, raising of the kids, yada yada yada. But really, what could be more important than my knowing what is going on in your life at all times? If I don't have your blogs to read, what will I do with all my free time?

I could resort to doing household chores of my own, but why get my family's hopes up when you and I both know as soon as you plug back in, I'm there.

I could spend time gathering Wes' weekly expense reports for last year from the THREE different jobs he had so I can do our tax return. Nah.

I could start on the many, numerous decorating projects I have started but failed to finish. But it's really much more fun and less work to just look at inspiring pictures on your blogs of projects you have completed.

I think I'll just go take some pictures of some of the plants and trees that are starting to bloom around here, you know, so I'll have something to share with you all when you decide to plug back in.

In other news, I was going to pick up Caitlin from school today and was so absorbed in my thoughts about what I might blog today that I forgot to turn and then found myself halfway across town wondering where I was going. Oh, and when I got to school I figured out that Caitlin had Benchmark this afternoon and I wasn't supposed to pick her up until 5:00.

I do not have a problem.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Freedom Friday 03.06.09

Are you totally creeped out by my logo? Allow me to explain.

It was designed by Glenn Beck and is based on one of the earliest political cartoons by Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin was making a point about colonial unity. Glenn's logo makes a point about the unity of the American people.

Glenn has spent several years studying and reading our founding fathers and has proposed nine basic principles that our founders embraced and that most of us today can agree on. The point is in this day and age we have strayed so far from what our founders intended. They fought for and died for these principles. We argue today about politics, Democrat v. Republican, left v. right, conservative v. liberal. There are two extremes and they are vocal but Glenn believes, and I do too, that MOST of the country doesn't care about how you label your politics. MOST of us care more about the principles that you live by. We CAN quit fighting and unite around these principles.

The first of these principles is that America is good.

There has been so much divisiveness in politics in recent years, it should come as no surprise that America's image is somewhat tainted. After all, you can't keep calling our President (Bush) evil and then expect everyone to believe America is great. In the era of Blame America First, we need to remember that America is good. Have we done things that tarnish our reputation? You betcha. But the government is only as good and honest as the people who elect it. Samuel Adams said "He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man...The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people."

Virtue. Moral excellence.

I challenge you to promote the virtue of America by first living virtuously in your own life.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Do the right thing.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Then I challenge you, as far as your influence extends, do not suffer anyone to be chosen into any office of power and trust who does not also live virtuously. Our reputation depends on it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back in the Blogging Saddle

You HAVE to watch this video clip! I wish I was really smart and knew how to put it directly in my blog (is that called 'embedding'?) But I'm not and I don't so here's the link. Warning: Do not attempt to drink anything while watching unless you like snorting liquids out your nose. And if you don't think this is funny then I don't know what's wrong with you.

My hubby just brought me one of these. See? This is why I love him.

My sweet friends, Amber and Stephanie brought us this for dinner:


And they brought us a pink dogwood tree from our small group and the nicest card. Someday when it is all grown up it will look like this:

I think I'll put it where my Japanese Maple used to live...before it was murdered.

This is the convicted killer:

Yeah, she looks sweet right now but don't let her looks fool you. She is deadly to landscaping. Hence, the electric fence in my flower beds right now. Oh so attractive. And apparently she has a hard time staying awake for the 10 o'clock news. Maybe she was hoping to see her mug shot?