This is Audra with her friend Tucker- it was really cute, because he just kept wanting to eat all of the suckers. Aud was mostly awestruck the entire time- just taking everything in. That is what she does in new situations- she is very cautious and watches everything. There was a lot for her to take in- all the rooms were decorated in varying themes. She didn't say one word the whole time, but apparently when Ben put her in his car (we had separate cars and he took her home) she was just squealing with delight the entire ride home because she had such a good time. What a silly girl!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
8 Things I am Passionate About:
2-The Gospel of Jesus Christ
5-Politics (anybody surprised? Even though I hate it, I am passionate about it- sometimes way too passionate!)
7-Serving (although I could do a much better job of this!)
8 Words or Phrases I say WAAAY Too Often:
1-Audra, where are you? (she now likes to hide from us)
2-Put it in your mouth!
3-Don't throw food on the floor! (Hence response #2)
5-Are you poopy?
6-Do you want to stack blocks?
7-What a cute little Aud-Pod! (Well, I guess I can't really say that too much- she is too cute!)
8-Let's go for a walk (Audra wishes I would say this a lot more often!)
8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1-Travel, travel, travel!
2-Go on a mission, or two, or three with Ben for my church
3-Go to a third world country to do Habitat for Humanity
4-Go to a Bronco's game
5-Eat dinner at the Space Needle
6-Be a grandmother (then you can send the kids home!)
7-Go on a cruise with my sisters and/or college roommates and/or best friends
8-Go to Women's Conference at BYU with my sisters and/or college roommates and/or best friends
8 Things I Have Learned From My Past:
1-When you don't feel like praying, pray anyway- that's when you need it most
2-When the Lord directs you to be somewhere/do something, even if you can't understand why, you need to trust in Him and have faith to do it anyway, even if it is the hardest thing you have ever had to do
3-When you feel all alone, you are not; you will never be left comfortless.
4-Live life for the moments- love the journey, not just the destination!
5-Don't take yourself too seriously- be willing to laugh at yourself and your mistakes, and move on!
6- Most people want one simple thing: to feel loved and/or valued.
7-I am a lot stronger then I give myself credit for (I mean emotionally/spiritually- not physically- I am absolutely not strong physically...)
8-Don't ever give up!
8 Places I Would Love To See: (This isn't fair, because pretty much I would love to see anywhere- but I will name some of my top spots)
4-The Sacred Grove
5-A temple session at the Salt Lake Temple
8 Things I Currently Need or Want: (I don't really like this question, because I feel that Ben and I have been so incredibly blessed, and I can't complain AT ALL- so, consider these all just whimsical musings and they are all WANTS- none of them are needs, so hopefully I won't sound too selfish!)
1-Time without Ben or Aud to just do whatever I want without worrying about dinner or poopy diapers or anything else (that sounds mean, but all of you moms know what I am talking about!)
2-A maid to clean my house so I can spend more time playing with Aud instead of worrying about the messes
3-Our battery charger- I can't find it anywhere and I really want to take pictures of Aud in her Halloween costume tonight!
4- A new bedroom set- right now our mattress is sitting on the floor
6-A new winter coat
7-Art skills- they asked me to make a poster for a church activity, and they probably will never do so again after they see my horrible abilities!
8-The election to FINALLY be over!
8 People I Tag:
1. Whoever wants to do this
2.Whoever wants to do this
3Whoever wants to do this
4.Whoever wants to do this
5.Whoever wants to do this
6.Whoever wants to do this
7.Whoever wants to do this
8. Jen- HA! I tricked you all, and I won't say which one so you are all tagged!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
By far, the scariest movie I have ever seen: Skeleton Key
Who doesn't love this all-time classic- The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown? Definitely my favorite Halloween show!
Suspenseful Classic: Psycho
It is rated "R", but 1960's "R" (I know that isn't really an excuse!!!). Anyway, this one was just bizarre, crazy, Halloween insane! Do they show it on TV?
Hmm...I really can't think of any others...you can tell we are not scary movie people! What are your favorites??? Happy Halloween!!
Our local paper, The Highlands Ranch Herald, is a VERY conservative paper. Annoyingly so. They have this one contributor, Curt Dale (hereafter to be referred to as CD), who really ticks me off on a weekly basis. He writes these rediculously over-the-top pieces that I am certain even stalwart conservatives would admit are completely overboard in their inaccurices and pointless diatribes. So, I have tried to send articles to the paper that show the other side of his nonsense. Of course, because the paper is so conservative, none of my articles ever get printed, and it makes me sad that nobody gets to read my rantings, so I decided to post them here (much to the dismay of my husband who has tried to talk me out of posting them). I am sending about 2-4 articles a week, and I am posting as many of them as I still have on my computer. Of course, you do not have to read any of them! A lot of my reason for posting them is just that I still have them- and if I ever decide to publish my blog, they will be recorded for my posterity, as my friend Jen N. always says! Of course, many of you are conservative and won't appreciate my arguements. If you would like to read the conservative CD, you can read his articles from the Highlands Ranch Herald website and by clicking on "Opinion." I am not trying to prehend that my writings are balanced- they are not. I am merely attempting to encourage the paper to try and provide more balanced coverage by having CD's articles, as well as those from other parties. If you want to post, you can- but know that you can't change my mind because I have already voted, and I have already read the counterpoints- they are what CD writes every week:) But, hopefully even if you totally disagree with me and if you decide you would like to read my thoughts, I hope that I can at least get people to think about things from a different perspective. Enjoy my musings!!!
This is an article I just sent in in response to CD's claim that Obama is a socialist:
Yet again Curt Dale grabbed an opportunity to appear ignorant and callous in his latest musings- last week writing about the GOP's latest buzz word, "socialism." It appears the GOP and Mr. Dale are so desperate to try and catch up in any poll that they will yet again resort to lies and misinformation in a pitiful attempt to trick voters.
Thankfully, this time voters will not be so easily distracted or deceived. In 2004, the GOP did everything in their power to label Kerry a "flip-flopper." Unfortunately, this tactic worked- to the detriment of America. My friends who voted for Bush in 2004 deeply regreat that decision, many openly admitting Bush is perhaps the worst mistake in American history. Now, in 2008, Democrats and Independants have learned their lesson! No longer are we fooled by vague and nonsensical labels such as "terrorists" or "Islam" or even "socialist." Attempts to attach Obama to William Ayers or ACORN have fallen on deaf ears, as voters in poll after poll reclaim their freedom from misguided distractions and force both candidates to talk about issues- something McCain does not want to do because his political ideologies fall well short of what voters seek in their president.
In their frantic attempt to slander a man who found the American dream through sacrifice and hard work, the GOP now uses the phrase "socialist" to describe Barack Obama. Once again, the GOP and Curt Dale fail to recognize what Obama seeks to achieve. Under the power of the GOP, Wall Street has become so deregulated and the economy has become so bad that even McCain has had to admit the fundamentals of our economy are NOT strong. John McCain, one of the greatest deregulators in the senate, wants to continue the same Bush deregulations that caused this crisis. While CEO's walk away with millions, average citizens have lost their retirement savings and pensions. My own mother lost over $600,000 after 25 years of working at Washington Mutual, funds that will never be recovered, while the CEO walked away with 21 million dollars for 18 days of work. This is what McCain wants to continue! Don't believe me? Look at his voting record and interviews he has given. Just last month he told The View what a believer in deregulation he is, and how there must be deregulation to ensure growth in the economy. A month later, we see the horrors the product of that belief have caused. Obama would like to cut taxes on 95% of Americans- on me, and almost everybody reading this article. That is not socialism, that is common sense. He wants to roll back the tax cuts for the rich back to the levels of when Clinton was in office- back when our government had a huge surplus, not a huge deficit. That is not socialism- that is common sense. The GOP and Mr. Dale need to look in the dictionary for the definition of "socialism." I guarantee giving 95% of Americans a tax cut does not meet that description.
"Socialism" is merely another term the GOP has conjured from thin air in a lame attempt to discredit a good and honest man who wants to lift the poor and middle classes so that all can fulfill the American dream. Thankfully, this year, in 2008, Democrats and Independants will not fall for tired and slanderous lies. This year, Democrats and Independants will stand up to the malicious and phony attacks and vote for truth- and a better future for us all. This year, we will elect Barack Obama.
This is my absolute favorite piece that I have written- I was really sad it didn't get published, because I thought it was my best:
In 2001, America endured one of it's most difficult challenges: the tragedy of 9/11. Images of the collapsing towers and the memories of so many lives lost easily come to mind when we think upon that date. That tragedy brought Americans together in a way no other event could. We prayed together. We cried together. We gave monetary contributions to the victims families in unprecedented amounts. We mourned and cried some more. For the first time in my life, I truly felt that we- Americans- were one.
Seven years later, all that has changed. Instead of being united, we are more divided now then ever before. Hatred spews forth between neighbors who should be friends. Words like "communists" and "socialists" are being spewed out of peoples mouths who know nothing of what they speak. Decorated war heroes who have served our country honorably and who hold the most integrous of ideals are being called "racist" because of who they choose to endorse in the presidential election. At political rallies, people are yelling "traitor," "terrorists," and "off with his head"- and rather than being condemned for their hatred, they are being praised and defended for their loyalty. A Vice Presidential nominee stood in front of a crowd and called them "Pro-America"- implying there were some of us who are anti-America because we may disagree with her political views.
The level of divisive lies and dangerous name-calling has not been seen since McCarthy. The greatness of America lies not in our similarities, but rather our differences. The greatness of America is not that we all think alike, but rather that we bring a variety of ideas together to determine the best possible solution. The greatness of America lies in our diversity- that in this, the greatest country on earth, we value different races, religions, and political ideologies. Barack Obama famously said, "The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America."
A country as great as ours- even the United States of America- needs now, more then ever, a leader who will bring us together, not divide us. Unfortunately, the McCain/Palin camp has done nothng but try to get us to rally in hate, laying clamins such as "Obama doesn't think like we do" or "Obama doesn't love this coutnry" or "Democrats are anti-American." In this time of uncertainty and doubt, we cannot afford to have people in the White House who believe that if we "don't think like they do" we are unpatriotic and anti-American. Consistently, Obama speaks again and again of bringing our country together- of working together to be united. He said, "one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism."
The hatred spewing from the McCain campaign will never heal wounds or solve progblems. We must believe that this country deserves better- that our children deserve better. We are strong-not because of our military, but because of our people. We are the wealthiest country in the world, but that is not what makes us rich. As Obama said it is the "American spirit that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences." And rather then voting out of fear, hate, and division, I will vote this year for the promise of a better world for my daughter- because I am a patriot and because I do love this country.
This one was actually a response I put on a friend's blog who wrote a beautiful piece on why abortion is wrong(really, what she wrote was wonderful, if you want to read it let me know and I will tell you where to find it) and then asked how Mormons can be Democrats and support candidates who support abortion. I liked my response so much I decided to turn into an article and send it to the paper:
A few years ago I didn't have a party- my parents never talked politics growing up. Then I decided I needed to be informed. I started listening to Rush Limbaugh and taking a more active role in politics. It took me about a year of research to decide to become a democrat- even though I am a staunch Christian and attend church weekly- and I have never once regretted that decision.Why did I choose to be a democrat? Overwhelmingly, in all of my research, I could not believe the "it's all about me, me, me" attitude of the Republicans. I couldn't stand that. Republicans kept saying on the radio and FoxNews, "I have good health care, who cares if you don't?" It was such an anti-Christian message, that I couldn't believe the hypocrisy of the party. The dems, on the other hand, consistently wanted to help the poor, find houses for the homeless, create good jobs in our country instead of laying people off for the bottome line. I could go on and on with a thousand different examples of the "me, me, me" attitude of the reps. vs. the dems.
Now, of course, abortion is a major issue. I get that- I am as pro-life as anybody out there. But, in the past 5 years of forming my political views and continuing to grow in them, I have come to several conclusions:
1. Morality can't be legislated. Even if McCain won, he wants to let states decide whether abortion is banned or not. OK, fine- but then people in UT who want an abortion will just go to NV or CA. Nothing gets solved- the killing of babies will still continue.
2. Because people will do it anyway, the ONLY way to get people to stop having abortions is through Christ. That is it- He is the only one who can heal the victims heart who was raped so she can have the strength to have the baby and maybe give the baby up for adoption, He is the ONLY one who can turn people's hearts who don't understand when life begins, which many people do not, to find a higher purpose and understanding of life. He is THE answer- not government. It is my very strong opinion, that the greatest way to stop abortion is NOT to go through legislation, but to teach the Good Word.
3. Another reason legislation won't work is because it will never happen. The Reps. use abortion as a platform to get their base to vote for them. They know if they overturn Roe v. Wade, their base won't vote for them- and there are many, many, people who are one issue voters, and once that issue is off the table, the Reps. know they will lose a great number of votes.
What causes me to think the Rep. will never change Roe v. Wade? Because they have had the presidency for the last 22 of 30 years and had COMPLETE power in the courts, the White House, the Senate and House for the last 6 of 8 years and have done NOTHING to change it- they successfully proved that abortion is merely a talking point for them, not something they will actually have the courage to do anything about.
Having said that, I go back to Obama. He doesn't agree with me of when life begins that I do. But, he isn't going to do anything to change Roe v. Wade either- just like McCain/Palin who won't do anything. I thought he explained VERY well why he voted no on partial birth abortions during the third debate- because there was ALREADY a law! I disagree with him on abortion (an issue I have already explained is a mute point in my book), but I absolutely agree with him on other great issues dealing with life:
1. Health Care- our health care system is disgusting, and anybody who disagrees doesn't have a heart for those who are less fortunate- even if they are illegal immigrants (another issue entirely)
2. He hates corporate greed- what is happening right now with the economy is a direct result of thinking the rich should have whatever they want (back to the Rep. idea that it is all about me, me, me)
3. He has been faithful to his wife- unlike McCain, he didn't cheat on his disfigured first wife and leave her for a rich heiress (which, by the way, is also morally wrong according to the Bible)
4. In my book, Obama is much more Christian then McCain. He cares about the working class. Some may not believe that, but I do. Many Christians talk about having hope that the abortion law might change. I hope that we can have a president who cares about the people he is serving- who won't start a war based on lies because he has an ego problem, and cost the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraquais. I hope for a president who cares less about giving to the rich and more about caring for the poor.
In my humble opionion, we will have MUCH greater success stopping abortions NOT through legislation, but through the teachings of Christ. He is THE answer- not McCain, not Obama, not the Supremem Court- CHRIST. If we start focusing on loving our sisters who are considering abortion rather then bombing clinics, if we start teaching of Christ instead of showing bloody pictures of dead fetus', THEN I have hope that abortions will curtail- but not until then. And that is why I can vote- with a VERY clear conscience-for Obama, even though I am pro-life and a strong Christian.
This is the one and only article of mine that actually did get printed. This is in response to an awful article CD wrote that said all Democrats are horrible people because they steal yard signs, and Obama told them they shoud, while Republicans are perfect and would never do such a thing. What an ignorant and arrogant man- it still ticks me off that he make such an outrageous claim!!!
I am repulsed by your recent story printed by Curt Dale. Disgusting does not begin to describe the article in which he implied not only that Democrats were the only ones stealing signs in our neighborhoods, but that Barack Obama actually enocuraged this behavior. His article is beyond reprehensible and the Herald should be ashamed to print such ludicrous nonesense. Democracts have not only had their signs stolen, but their houses have been egged, and in one instance a house had a can of paint thrown onto it. Perhaps McCain, with his pro-military stance, is secretly asking Republicans to engage in vandalism. I am sorry that his precious street signs were stolen, but to ignorantly insist that only Democrats engage in such childish behavior is an outright lie. Maybe the reason you have never heard of such behavior occurring on the Republican side, Mr. Dale, is because you are too blind to see the obvious, to deaf too hear anybody who disagrees with you, and too out of touch with the American people to be able to make accurate observations. Shame on the Herald for printing such an outlandish story!
This was just a quick letter I sent right after the VP debates:
Sarah Palin did everything right during the VP Debate last Thursday. The McCain camp prepared her well- she knew all the right answers, and even got in a few jabs. She exceeded all expectations- and still lost. Even at her best, she lost. This should tell us all something about her lack of qualifications, ability, talent, experience and knowledge needed to be VP of this great country.
This is the first letter I sent, and I am a little sad it didn't get published. I used some of these same points in some other articles. I think I used to much emotion in this article, not enough fact, so I don't think it is my strongest arguements, but I liked it nevertheless. This is the one that will probably make my conservative friends the most angry. I don't mean to- and as said before, read at your own risk!!!
Growing up, my family never discussed politics, and so it was while I attended college my political beliefs began to take root. I attended arguably the most Republican university in the US- Brigham Young University in Utah- and it was there I discovered politics and how politics change lives.
Now, seven years after graduation, my opinion of the Republican party has changed. Yesterday I wanted to see what Rush Limbaugh thought of McCain's choice of vice president, thinking he might have some insight. Instead all I found was a wall full of attacks toward the Democratic Party. Not one article on him entire website discussed issues, provided insight into what the Republicans believed, or talked about why I should vote Republican. Instead, every article was laced with hate toward Obama and liberals.
In attempting to discuss issues with my Republican friends, I only hear such comments as "Everybody hates Obama" or some other rheteoric. This has led me to become completely disenchanted with the Republican party. "Liberals suck" does not explain why the Republican Party did nothing to alter Roe v. Wade even though they had complete power in the HOuse, Senate, Supreme Court, and White House for six of the past eight years. "Red states rule" is not an answer as to why there is still no constitutional ban on gay marriage, even though that was the only promise George Bush made in 2004. "Obama is Muslim" does not help to understand how McCain will bring jobs back to America, ease taxes on the middle class, help fight terrorism, or offer immigration reform.
I want to talk issues with Republicans, but I have found that idea to be to extremem and impossible for them. Perhaps it is because they know they will lose when actual issues are discussed, and so they are relegated to pointless atacks that have nothing to do wtih politics.
I am Christian, and I love my Republican brothers and sisters. But, after listening again and again to their hateful suppsed "arguements"- I never want to be one of them.
Anyway, here are some of my rantings. Like I said before, the only reason I wrote any of this is because of CD and the rediculously biased paper we get (it's free- I would NEVER pay for it because of it's bias). But, now it is here for my posterity!!!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Audra liked the tree as well!
What a cutie!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Even though I think our BareNakedLadies video was absolutely stellar, we didn't make it into the top 10, as decided by the Ships and Dip Crew, so we are out of the competition. Perhaps they will have a video contest again next year and we can enter again...
But, on the brighter side- the debates are finally over!! That is reason to celebrate!!!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This picture is proof I'm a horrible mother: She loves to wrap herself in string. Not the safest, but I am always right next to her and I carefully unwrap her after she has her fun!!
So, Happy Halloween a little early from the cutest pumpkin in the world!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The next clue took me to one my favorite restaurants: Applebee's! YUM!!!! I ordered the Spicy Orange Chicken- delicious!!!! Then, the next clue led me to a little monster with lots of teeth with a mohawk that liked to jump up and down on people's bellies: Audra!!!!There, I was greeted by the Little Monster herself and a gift from Ben: the Zumba workout videos. I wanted these videos because you Latin Dance your way to burn up to 1,000 calories an hour- and it looks like a ton of fun! We will see...
My next clue led me to home and an awaiting cheesecake which Ben made by himself (but I'm guessing had a little help from his mom). It's kind-of a funny story with the cheesecake: He has always bragged about how he makes a fantastic cheesecake, but he never made it for me so I always tease him that he has made cheesecake for all of his other girlfriends, but never me. He insists he has never made cheesecake for any girlfriend, but I tease him anyway. But now, he has officially made me a cheesecake (which was absolutely DELICIOUS by the way- he will defnitely be asked to make it again in the future!!!) so I guess I can't tease him anymore!!!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Apparently, there are only about 3 other videoes submitted, so we have a good chance of winning- BUT, we are having difficulties posting the video to the site like we are supposed to, so we are in the process of figuring that out. Wish us luck!!!
Oh, and the grand prize: Two free tickets for their annual Ships and Dips Cruise in the Caribbean, where you get to visit the Caribbean, AND meet BNL!!! How cool is that???? Of course, if we win we will have to arm wrestle who gets the tickets:)
I stole the title from my sister Michelle- I hope you don't mind!
It has gotten VERY cold here in Colorado- they are saying we might get snow tonight. (There tends to only be two seasons in Colorado- hot summer or cold winter.) So, last night I had my first hot chocolate of the season- YUM!!! And, in my opinion, the best hot chocolate EVER is Stephen's Hot Chocolate- nothing is better on a wintry evening! Anybody else have a favorite?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
We went up to the mountains to look at the Aspen trees and also took them to Garden of the Gods which was awesome. Colorado is such a beautiful place to live (even if it doesn't have the Seattle rain!).
My parents took us all out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which is one of my favorites, on Saturday for my Birthday! We left incredibly stuffed, with enough leftovers for dinner the next night, and we had to take our cheesecake home because we were too full to eat it at the restaurant! What a great treat!!!
People have asked me if it is weird reaching the 30 milestone, and I have to say that it is not. I love Birthdays- it certainly beats the alternative! But, it does give one a good chance to look back at their life and realize what they have accomplished, what goals they want to reach in the future, and such. I have to say that I am incredibly happy with where I am in life right now. I look at all the Lord has blessed me with, and I am truly amazed at the love He has for me. I have an incredible marriage to my perfect match (insert all the old cliche's here- he completes me, I can't live without him, etc.), I have a beautiful daughter, I have traveled the world and spent a year of my life waking up every morning to go and just do service to those less fortunate. The list goes on and on of how grateful I am for the life I have been blessed with. I know all of you feel the same about your lives- and I guess turning 30 has allowed me to go back and reflect on that life and look forward for the future!!!!
Oh, and just so you all know- Ben has something special planned for this weekend, he decided to surprise me this weekend with my Birthday gift since we were so busy with company this last weekend. I will keep you all posted!!!
And, of course, what would a trip to Denver be without Casa Bonita? The food actually was not as bad as I remember!!!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Or eating a Subway sandwich?
Or sining in a group to the American host families?
We are very excited to have him here- tonight we are going to Goonter Toody's, and Friday we are headed to Casa Bonita. What an exciting adventure!!