Friday, October 31, 2008

Seriously? The handwriting is on the wall...

Australia: No residency for boy with Down syndrome

  • By TANALEE SMITH, Associated Press Writer Tanalee Smith, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 38 mins ago
German doctor Bernhard Moeller, right, with his wife Isabella and son Lukas, 13,

AP – German doctor Bernhard Moeller, right, with his wife Isabella and son Lukas, 13, are pictured at their …

SYDNEY, Australia – A German doctor hoping to gain permanent residency in Australia said Friday he will fight an immigration department decision denying his application because his son has Down syndrome. Bernhard Moeller came to Australia with his family two years ago to help fill a doctor shortage in a rural area of Victoria state.

His temporary work visa is valid until 2010, but his application for permanent residency was rejected this week. The immigration department said Moeller's 13-year-old son, Lukas, "did not meet the health requirement."

"A medical officer of the Commonwealth assessed that his son's existing medical condition was likely to result in a significant and ongoing cost to the Australian community," a departmental spokesman said in a statement issued Thursday by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

"This is not discrimination. A disability in itself is not grounds for failing the health requirement — it is a question of the cost implications to the community," the statement said.

Moeller said he would appeal the decision.

"We like to live here, we have settled in well, we are welcomed by the community here and we don't want to give up just because the federal government doesn't welcome my son," he told reporters.

Moeller has powerful supporters. Victorian Premier John Brumby has pledged to support the family's appeal, and federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said Friday she would speak to the immigration minister about the case.

Roxon said the case must go through proper channels — an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal and then the immigration minister — but that "there is a valid reason for this doctor and his family to be eligible to stay here in Australia."

"As a government, we understand the importance of having doctors working in our rural and regional communities and we support them in many ways and continue to do this," Roxon said.

Don McRae, director of clinical services at Wimmera Health Care Group, said the hospital had invested a lot of time and energy in recruiting the German specialist to Horsham, about 100 miles northwest of Melbourne.

"We were very surprised by the decision," he said of the immigration department's rejection. "It's distressing for Dr. Moeller's family and distressing for the community who have welcomed him and relied on his medical services."

Immigration Minister Chris Evans has no power to intervene in the case until the review tribunal or a court upholds the department's decision.

David Tolleson, executive director of the Atlanta-based National Down Syndrome Congress, said he was disappointed by the decision.

"What is the cost implication to the community of a doctor shortage?" Tolleson asked. "I assume the son had the same costs for the last two years and they were happy to have the family and use the dad as a doctor."

Down syndrome, caused by an extra chromosome, is characterized by mental retardation of varying degrees. Those with Down syndrome also can have other problems: Nearly half will have a heart defect, some serious enough to require surgery soon after birth.

Tolleson said that people with Down syndrome have a spectrum of abilities.

"Some need more support, some go on to graduate from college with a four-year degree, and most are somewhere in between," he said.

The immigration department said it appreciates Moeller's contribution to the community but said it must follow the relevant laws in considering residency applications.

"If we did not have a health requirement, the costs to the community and health system would not be sustainable," the statement said.

More than 150,000 migrants settled in Australia in 2007-08, the department said.

Shortages of medical practitioners in rural parts of Australia have led a number of recent government initiatives to boost the numbers of doctors and nurses nationwide.

___

Associated Press Writer Carley Petesch in New York contributed to this report.

Worked for Jesus

Genesis 18:23-32 (New International Version)

23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?

24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?

25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

26 The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,

28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city because of five people?"

"If I find forty-five there," he said, "I will not destroy it."

29 Once again he spoke to him, "What if only forty are found there?"

He said, "For the sake of forty, I will not do it."

30 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?"

He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."

31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?"

He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it."

32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?"

He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."

Jesus used Scripture to combat evil. I'm just trying to be all WWJD? I'm pretty sure it represents our best defense of our nation.

I find this to be a very comforting Scripture. Very comforting.

Well-said

“He who says that religion and politics don’t mix, understands neither one.”


~Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Cry of My Heart

In open fields of wild flowers,
she breathes the air and flies away
She thanks her Jesus for the daises and the roses
in no simple language
Someday she'll understand the meaning of it all

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"

Sitting silent wearing Sunday best
The sermon echoes through the walls
A great salvation through it calls to the people
who stare into nowhere, and can't feel the chains on their souls

He's more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
Someday we'll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He'll call us and we will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we'll pray,

"I want to fall in love with You"

It seems too easy to call you "Savior",
Not close enough to call you "God"
So as I sit and think of words I can mention
to show my devotion

"I want to fall in love with You"

"my heart beats for You"

(lyrics by Jars of Clay)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

COMPASSION




In December 2005, I began to research in earnest, international adoption. I knew the process was iffy and long, at best; and heartbreaking and unethical, at worst.

I chose China. China un-chose us. I chose Vietnam. Vietnam (and the USA) un-chose lots of families. Things did not go as planned. We most likely will never adopt.

During this time, I attended a two-day Christian concert at the UNI-Dome called "ONEfest". It was awesome. During Alli Rogers set, she introduced her husband and called the audience's attention to a table, full of children to sponsor through "Compassion International". I felt led.

I walked toward the table, but quickly decided if I looked at the children's faces, I would want to adopt all of them. How could I choose? ugh.

I dropped to my knees (demonstrative me, I could care less what anyone thinks, when I need to connect with my God). I prayed, asking Him to show me what to do, who to sponsor. I stood and walked to the table.

I studied the sea of faces, all neatly packaged in plastics sleeves. Black, white, Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern. So many children. Boys. Girls. Teens. Toddlers. So many nations. Overwhelmed with the need.

Then I spied my little girl. Yukke. Indonesia. Age 5. Kindergarten. Slight tilt to her chin. Slight smile on her lips. Looking directly into the camera. Pigtails. Confident. Sweet. Maybe a little shy? Could I really make a difference? In a personal way?

I asked questions. I read the information and when I read that Compassion will actually allow you to meet your sponsored child in his/her country, I was sold out. Sign me up! For $32.00 a month, I can meet my child through letters, drawings, photos. I send letters back, with photos, stickers, gum (you can only send flat items). A Christmas and birthday check each year (this is all that is allowed), also make their way to Indonesia.

And I am watching my little one grow up. My little Yukke. When there have been natural disasters in her country, I have called Compassion to inquire about her safety and that of her family (she has a dad, mom and sister). The staff checks on her village and gets back to me about what is going on in her area of the country. I so appreciate that.

The most recent package I received from Compassion, included a letter, a new photo, updates and even cute bookmarks with Yukke's face on them. But immediately, I was sort of alarmed. As I studied little Yukke's face I saw something I'd never seen before.

What is it? Do you see it (I am referring to the photo of her in the pink Mickey Mouse dress)? Something isn't right. Darkness. Sadness. Anger? Bad day? Third finger, left hand; a ring, not there before. I don't know, but I am worried about my little Yukke.

Sponsoring a child through Compassion has been a wonderful experience. I would love to sponsor Yukke throughout her young life, into adulthood and then, start all over with another child. I would love to meet this little girl in Indonesia some day. I hope it can happen. Nah. I pray it will happen.

But first of all, I need to make sure that little Yukke is OK. Will you all pray with me for her welfare in all areas of her life? That I can make certain somehow that she is not in any danger or hardship, that she hasn't suffered any losses of family members? That she is well.

Thanks.

The running joke in my kids' lives is that I always have said, in complete seriousness, "All of the children are mine". That's how I feel. That's how it is in my heart.

And I am worried. Because I care.

Yukke is somehow mine.

Goin' Solo

State Solo competition is this Saturday in the Heartland, so you know where we will be alllll day looong.

Here are some photo highlights from the dress rehearsal. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos and video.

Purse camera.

Emotional mom.

Technogeek.

Nuff said.



MyGirl and Emmy with their flowers.

The soloists with their coach, MamaMorgan.

Soloists: Kate, Allie, Alannah, Pricilla and Emmy.

Halloween Fun

Here is a slide show of the annual Dance Team sponsored Halloween Dance. This year was the first year that the *parents* were to dress up in costumes, too. Let's see how well Mark and I did. (hehe)



Wait. What? Where's Mark's pic? Where's my costume?

Ummm....we didn't do very well, did we?

I spent $8.00 on my light up Tshirt from Wally-World and Mark....?

Never mind. Not really his thing.

Hmmm...Two Blogs. How does this work?

I've Been Tagged...

...by my dear cyber-friend, Maureen at "My Little Pearl". I love Maureen! She is a single mom (I used to be a single mom). She is from the Midwest (me, too!). She is hip and cool (oh, never mind). lol

Now, let's see...what are the rules?

Seven weird or random facts about moi.

1). I am originally from the South and even though I have not lived there since I was 7 (allmost 40 years ago), it is still a very big part of my identity. I love grits, fried chicken, Pensacola Beach, antebellum homes, Southern rock and my Southern family names.

2. I can stand and walk on my toe knuckles. Eeeyew!

3. I have wanted to adopt as long as I can remember. If I am unable to pursue this (and it's not looking likely for many reasons), I will look for other ways to make a difference to orphans, especially in Vietnam.

4). I love TLC--medical shows, medical oddity shows and the Kids by the Dozen series; I am even fascinated by the Duggars!!

5). When I turned 40, I made a life list of things to do. It keeps me focused. Anyone know where I can go to stomp grapes?

6). I did not grow up going to church, but became a Christian at age 30. Jesus changed my life and I would never go back!

7). I have been a speech/language patholgist for 23 years. My next career might be: a lactation consultant, a traveling speech therapist or an RV deliverer. I'm still deciding!

Now, I will tag....

Christianne at A Full Quiver
Val at
(D)rivvel Supp
Marcia at
Clive and Marcia and family
Brenda at
Chocoholic Goes to Vietnam
Erin at
Erinlo
Marji at
Leap and the Net Will Appear
Christy at
Cherry Blossom Life


Happy Weirdness!!

(this is posted on my other blog, too---sorry, if you've already read this over there).

Enough Ugliness to go Around...just not enough Media Coverage

Huh.

That's funny.

Funny 'odd', not funny 'hilarious'.


A major political candidate, in effigy, hung by a noose at someone's home in ::gasp:: areyoukiddingme? California.

No media coverage (save this comments blog).

Bet you guess which candidate it ain't by the deafening silence.










Monday, October 27, 2008

Makes me giggle like a schoolgirl

Read this gentleman's take on Sarah Palin, John McCain, Obama and the sheer brilliance of "... for such a time as this ...".

Amen. May it be so.

And may His name be glorified.

Pssst...

Reminder from the God of the Universe...

You can't argue someone into a Kingdom mindset.

That isn't how God does His thing.

That is why I have been so frustrated with this pre-election back and forth banter.

I forgot that His ways are not my ways.

Thank you, Lord, that Your will is not dependent on *my* wisdom
and debate skills.

Because if that were true, we'd really be in a heck of a mess. (shakes head and rolls eyes)

No one falls in love with an *argument*.

They fall in love with a Person.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wake up, America

This is where we are headed, if we blindly follow a man who makes socialism seem so attractive, so right.

From Richmond Times-Dispatch, Monday, July 7, 2008

Dear Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day, and on July 4 I celebrate America's. This year is special, because it marks the 40Th anniversary of my independence.


On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba, and a few months later, I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive. When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. They never demanded answers. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said, 'Praise the Lord.' And when the young leader said, 'I will be for change and I'll bring you change,' everyone yelled, 'Viva Fidel!'

But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's guns went silent, the people's guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over, more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I'm back to the beginning of my story.

Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?

Would we?

Manuel Alvarez, Jr.

(special thanks to the famous Ohilda, who is Cuban by birth, for placing this letter on
her blog).

Back at 'cha

I am the pleased recipient of the "I <3 Your Blog" (en masse) by Ohilda at "A Bouquet of Blessings".

I've 'known' Ohilda since before she adopted Emperor Kai, then darling AJ, then Princess Anna Grace. Sounds fun, huh? Ohilda's life is anything but boring!

Ohilda is funny, thoughtful, honest and loves her some serious Jesus!!

Thanks for adding me to your blogroll and for nominating me for the award.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What is wrong with us? ***read the last sentences, please



This video is rather eye-opening and therefore, quite depressing.

The most frequently performed medical procedure? Gag.

44 million?
Gah.

How can we, as a society, tolerate partial birth abortion? Of all the horrors we commit in America, this one has no equal. Not war. Not
homicide or rape. Not even the death penalty is more cruel. And although it is tempting to be a supporter of capital punishment (especially in the area of child rape and murder), I no longer believe it is right. I believe only God has the wisdom to decide when to create life or when to end it. Not my call.


If a teen girl gives birth in a stall in her junior high bathroom, leaving the baby to drown in the toilet, she (being a juvenile!!), will be prosecuted, while the educated, salaried mother who her exercises her "right" to abort her baby at term (read: kill it as it is being born), is protected under the law. What is wrong with us?

How can we partially deliver a baby and tear open it's precious skull with surgical instruments? How can we shred its perfect, innocent body in the name of convenience? Who could perform this procedure and sleep at night?

I have had friends who have miscarried babies and make no mistake, that was a BABY to the woman. Why else does she grieve? The miscarried INFANT is not even viable at 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, but that is not at all comforting to the parent(s). They just want their BABY (not product of conception, mass of cells, embryo, etc.). The physical representation of hopes and dreams is a baby.

A baby.

Me? I say we should keep partial birth abortion legal...but, here's *my* rules.

An abortion-minded woman enters a clinic and signs papers to undergo this procedure. One of the papers she will sign is termination papers. Nope. Not termination of the BABY, but termination of the mother's parental rights. Her "right" to leave the hospital, unencumbered by a BABY will be protected (that's the big deal for pro-choice folks, right?) and the baby's life will be spared (that's the big deal for pro-life people).

It's brilliant, right? Everyone wins, especially the thousands of fertility-challenged couples, who cannot conceive and carry an infant to term. Those who do not wish to parent, don't have to and those who desperately desire a family more than anything!! would finally have their dream come true.


And the baby? The baby that was lovingly created by a loving Creator?

Maybe she'll be a future kindergarten teacher? A tiny ballerina? A testosterone-filled little pirate? An auto mechanic? A pastor? An inventor? An artist?
Only God knows. :~)

And unfortunately, because we think we know best, far too often we forfeit the pleasure of watching these little ones become the apple of their Father's (and mother's) eye.


And that breaks. my. heart.

****Please know that if you are a woman who has experienced an abortion, I am not judging you or your decision. If I would have found myself with an unplanned pregnancy, prior to age 30, I tell you with certainty, I would have had an abortion. At the time, I believed that to do so was right and that it was my *right*. I know women who have had abortions and they report feeling guilt and shame related to their decision, which was made many years earlier.

God is big enough to wrap you in His love and compassion. There is nothing any of us do that is beyond His ability and desire to redeem. He can't wait to hear you bang through the front door, looking for Him.

Just ask. Just believe.

And receive.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Clive Staples is da man!

If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are halfhearted creatures fooling about with drink and sex and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mudpies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.


— C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Of Patriots and Disciples

This one's gonna be all over the place, folks. Leave now (if you are prone to mental motion sickness) or buckle up and hang on.

Politics and religion. The two things you're not to talk about in polite company. I get that. I really do. Especially this election cycle. People on both sides are ALL keyed up and tense. oooohweeeee.

Keyed up. and *tense*.
(picture my quick, violent head shaking, lips loosely flapping).

So, after determining that the old adage is, in fact, more than just a 'serving suggestion' (at work, anyway), I have ceased 'talking politics' at work. Religion (of all things) seems a tamer topic. Go figure.

Anyhoo.
Problem is, for me, religion and politics cannot be separated. Not, "I choose not to" separate. Can. Not. Be Separated. The one (religion), absolutely defines the other (politics). They are a meld-y, gooey, intertwined salt-water-and-light-taffy whole.

So, here's where I'm at with religion and politics and why.

I became a Christian in 1992, when GHW Bush was in office. And he was elected after 8 (glorious and unappreciated by the former me) years of leadership by conservative poster-child Ronald Reagan. My politics were radically changed as I grew to know and love Jesus more and more. I effortlessly aligned my political allegiance with conservative Republicans (oooh. I said the 'c' word).


And so, I voted Bush ('96) and Bush ('00) and Bush ('04). And I noticed that when the Dems were 'in the house', my pocketbook was fatter (education and health care tend to do better, therefore my salary increases. This is, of course, off-set by the TAX increases that also come with Dems, but we are not talking about that now). So, over time the joke in my mind was, "Hmmmm...should I vote my conscience or vote my paycheck?" haha BTW, my conscience wins every time. There really is no question of that at all.

So, here we are again. Same place we were after 8 years of Reagan and 4 years of Bush Senior, which led to 8 years of Clinton, which led to 8 years of Bush, which will lead to ....sigh. It's all just a bunch of backlash every few years. As the nation looks to a political party to change the nation in the way they hope and are sorely disappointed, the tide shifts and the 'other guys' get in. Am I right?

This was my aha moment (actually I had one moment and one sloooow realization): the aha moment came as I listened to live radio, as the votes were counted regarding the impeachment hearing for (then) President Clinton. And the Republican-led Senate, who at the time, had quite a swell of emotion and momentum from the citizens and the House of Representatives, *refused* to do what I felt was their duty: represent their constituents, uphold the law and impeach the President.


(from Wikipedia...
Former President of the United States Bill Clinton
was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, and acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. The charges, perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of power arose from the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Paula Jones law suit. The trial proceedings were largely party-line, with no Democratic Senators voting for conviction and only five Democratic Representatives voting to impeach. In all, 50 senators voted "not guilty," and 50 voted "guilty" on the obstruction charge. The Senate also acquitted on the charge of perjury with 55 votes cast as "not guilty," and 45 votes as "guilty."

Bummer.

Big. Bad. Bummer.
But oh well. Next up, was GW Bush's Presidency.

W. The man who I admired for stating that "Jesus Christ" was the person who had had the most influence on him.
Was I happy? ummm...duh. Yeah. I was thrilled. This wasn't just some random guy who happened to think like I do, but a very important someone!; someone who just happened to be the head of the nation and the leader of the Republican-led Congress. Woohoo! *Now* things were gonna start happenin'!!!

And they did....sort of. Faith-based initiatives were put into place, but they were so restrictive in their micromanagement that most agencies found they couldn't work effeciently within their confines.

That's OK. Let's move along. We can overturn Roe v. Wade.

Slooooowly, so slowly, it dawned on me that that was not going to happen. It wasn't even on any 'politician's' radar, really.
And I could hear the echoes of my wise, Mennonite friend, Julie, saying, "They are just men. You cannot expect a political party or an elected official to change the nation. It's not going to happen."

And she is right. I am so sorry to say that she is right. You cannot legislate morality (that's a spin on Julie's wisdom).

I love my country. You would be hard pressed to find a more patriotic husband and wife team, than M and I. We love our land. We study our country's history. We study the founder's journals and writings. We pray for our leaders (whomever they are). We hug soldiers. We attend parades. I cry at national cemetaries. I cry when soldiers come home to be buried. We place our hand over our hearts as the "Star Spangled Banner" is played/sung or the flag passes by. We teach our children to do the same.

I believe that our nation was founded by Christian men to *be* a Christian nation. I am aware that this view is not deemed to be savvy, hip or cool.
But I believe it is true.

I also believe that our nation is the best example of a Christian government experiment that has ever been established. Based upon Judeo-Christian values, our nation owes it's greatest thoughts, men, laws and documents to the Bible itself. I pray our nation will continue to prosper, to bless others for a long while.

But ultimately, I already know how the story of the world ends. The God Team wins. But, the Bible is clear. it will be uhhh-uhhhh-ugly*, before that happy day comes.


So, from this point on, by head is clearer. My heart is undivided. Will I cease voting my conscience? Not at all. It is a great, priceless privilege to be able to cast a free and secret ballot for the persons who will represent me. I will vote. But I will not place my complete faith and trust in mere men. Even those who profess Jesus as Lord, are but men.

So, I will vote and I will pray and I will continue to tell others of the wonderful, loving Person that created me, saved me, changed me, loves me and leads me. And I will pledge my ulitmate allegiance to Him.

May God continue to bless America.

2 Chronicles 7:14

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nostalgia

And...because I'm all nostalgic now and because I've been scanning and prepping and scrapbooking and prepping for dd's senior open house, I have photos of the littles from our camping days readily available.

So here are a few.

Pouring water down your swimsuit is great Iowa fun! For the record, the two engaging in that activity are *Julie's* kids! lol


Lastly...

Why, yes I *do* consider this camping. Five little ones and three adults in TENTS? Tried it. Once. It rained ALL weekend LOONG. This is called 'cabin camping'. No apologies.

Enough. Enough, I say!

Enough with the growing and becoming adults and the making plans for the *leaving*. sigh

Here is one of my favorite photos from my youngest's babyhood.


l to r---Allison, Bradley and my dd, Alannah.

My dear friend, Julie and I were pregnant for the first time with our first babies (Mallori and Jared, who were born 1 week apart) and then again with our second pregnancies (only hers turned out to be TWO); our babies were born 1 month apart that time. Five kids under the age of 3 made for some interesting camping outings. lol And we went camping a lot in those days.

Julie and I remain great friends, although we rarely see one another, we are forever joined by our corny senses of humor, a shared history and a love of God. There ain't nothin' we haven't been through together and there ain't nothin' we wouldn't do for one another. She is my 'sister'.

I've shared my dd's senior photos (but here is one, just in case you've been pining to see one again).


And here are a couple of Allison and Bradley, all grown up and...


waaaaahhhh!!!

I'm gonna miss all the kids.


::sniffsniff::

Julie and I are gonna have to have some sort of mid-life crisis together. Rio?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Athlete Accolades

Is there anyplace the kids are *not* plugged in? Nope. Here is A and her coach, waiting for awards to be handed out at the monthly athletic booster meeting. DD is the October Athlete of the Month.

Here is my sweet girl not wanting to stop and pose for a picture for her mom. Note the lack of eye contact (as though that would make me go away ::snort:: She knows me better than that).


And here is the best one of the bunch (although the other two are more 'real'). Coach made her stand up and look at her mom and say, "Cheese". Thanks, Coach! I'll slip ya a 20.00 later....

Already did, thank you very much


I voted absentee a few weeks back. Just in case....

Two Great Nieces



Mark's niece, J and her little Miss, Riley Reagan visited this week from AZ.

It was so nice to see them. We wished we lived closer and could see them more often.

Here are a couple of cute photos of J and Riley Reagan sharing some killer apple crisp that Mark made. YUM!. Riley ate all of hers, then started in on mom's. (you can see the little salsa bowl she had her dessert in, in the foreground).

The movie clip is just one minute of Riley being her sassy, active, cute self.
(sorry it begins sideways. technodork)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Clips




"Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy."

Happy Sabbath everyone. :~)

May we meet with the very God of the Universe, as we gather to worship, refresh, learn, grow, serve, and go forth.


Oh! how I need you, Lord. You are my only hope.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

TURN ON YOUR TUBE---IT'S SARAH NITE LIVE (plus quick addition of random thoughts)

HOW CAN YOU DISLIKE HER?

SHE IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!


(ps in what sort of parallel universe or bad karma thing, must my dear brother be living in right now? one of his all-time favorite Hollywood personalities, who looks *just like* someone...just guessing here...he would NEVER want to be on the same stage as his all-time favorite Hollywood personality---heh heh heh). life is strange, no?

PPS Wait. Is that all? Is Sarah done? (open mouth, close mouth, no sound, eyes darting). grunt

Bragging Rights

Visit this studio's website to see some photos of my baby girl. awwwww...

After entering the site, she is photo set number 2 in the 'home' section and she is #20 of 21 in 'senior brilliance 1'.

I spy many other seniors and families I know, as well.

Bo takes beautiful photos. Wow.

Bloodsucking Menace--XPost

Nah. Not another political post.

That is the title of the little cartoon information packet I received from my veterinarian this morning. Yeah. Nice.

The Scout has fleas.

And we (er, ummm..make that *I*) have been alternately sympathetic to the dog's plight, p*ssed off at Mother Nature (fleas after several hard frosts? come on!), huffy (not huff*ing*) about spraying, vacuuming, washing, and horrified that I saw, with my OWN EYES, my first flea ever.

Can I just say, I am not pleased.


It's Saturday...my day to be moderately lazy and mildly productive. This situation is not allowing me the luxury of my normal quasi-sloth weekend festival.

And as bad as the interruption of my laze-about ways has been and still is, the worst part is that I have no idea how many of my hard-earned, heretofore un-re-distributed dollars I will owe the kind veterinarian.

Obama? I trust you to make it right.

:snort: (I just can't *not* inject my politial commentary It's seemingly impossible).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fair and Balanced---and another promise...

Palin Set to Appear on SNL

Sarah Palin will get a chance to poke fun at herself -- and meet her doppelganger, Tina Fey -- in her first appearance on the comedy sketch show, "Saturday Night Live."

FOXNews.com

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin is stepping into the lion's den, so to speak, when she makes her first appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

Actor Josh Brolin, who plays President Bush in Oliver Stone's new movie, "W", will host Saturday's episode.

John McCain's campaign confirmed Palin's appearance to FOX News. But spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker offered no details about what the Alaska governor will say or do.

The entertainment show's ratings has surged this season largely thanks to Tina Fey's wicked and dead-on impersonation of Palin. The hike in ratings has led to the show adding a half-hour program Thursday nights devoted to mocking the candidates.

Last week, Palin said she would love to be on the show with Fey and show her how she is really done.

"I love her," she said. "She's hot and she's so talented and it would be fun to either imitate her or keep on giving her more material and keep her in business."

Keeping her in business though is not what Fey wants. The comedian told TV Guide that she won't keep up her much acclaimed role as Palin if she becomes vice president -- much to the chagrin of political comedy fans.

*******"If she wins, I'm done. I can't do that for four years," Fey told the magazine. "And by 'I'm done,' I mean I'm leaving Earth."********

Fey has mastered Palin's folksiness while targeting the perception that she is all style and no substance.

McCain called Fey a "tremendous talent" during an appearance Thursday night on CBS' Late Show with David Letterman and predicted that Palin's appearance will probably draw a bigger audience than his debate with Barack Obama..

"Tina Fey does a great job," he said. "Sarah Palin enjoys it. She understands it's part of what politics is all about."

****Who else is gonna wait around to see Tina Fey jet propelling into the stratosphere?****** ala Barbara Streisand and Alec Baldwin? Me! Me! Pick me! (heh heh)

As I Continually Seek to Tirelessly Serve the Public



This is Part 1 of 2.

Watch them both.

They were both quite funny last evening.

Far more fun than the debates.

My Boycott has been Temporarily Suspended...

  • Story Highlights
  • Multiple sources tell CNN that Sarah Palin will appear on show Saturday
  • Former SNL cast member Tina Fey has played Palin three times on the show
  • Unclear whether Fey will also appear on show

(CNN) -- Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin plans to appear on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, multiple sources told CNN Thursday.

They've had the imitation, but now "Saturday Night Live" is getting the real Sarah Palin this weekend.

They've had the imitation, but now "Saturday Night Live" is getting the real Sarah Palin this weekend.

"Saturday Night Live" has featured three opening skits in which former cast member and Palin lookalike Tina Fey portrays the Alaska governor.

It was not known whether Fey also will appear on Saturday night's program.

The live comedy program airs on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Fey first appeared as Palin for the show's season premiere last month in a sketch with SNL cast member Amy Poehler, who played Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Fey reprised her role as Palin two weeks later, again alongside Poehler, who played CBS's Katie Couric in a parody of Palin's interview with the CBS anchor earlier that week.

Earlier this week, Palin told reporters that she'd love to appear on the show with Fey, The Associated Press reported.

"I love her, she's a hoot and she's so talented," Palin said, according to the AP.

"It would be fun to meet her, *imitate her* and keep on giving her new material."

Woot! Woot!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I can't compete, therefore, I link

I have always felt badly that the duties of the office of the presidency takes such a toll on our Commander in Chief.

Here is the proof. It's just so sad.

Emphasis His

2 Chronicles 7:14

"If *My people*, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land".


Slding Faster Down the Slippery Slope

I could not write a better, clearer, more moving post, so I am linking you to my cyber-friend, Melissa's blog to read what she has written and compiled.

In my opinion, it is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE that you read her post.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, read this.

It really is a matter of life and death.


Be informed.

Be moved.

Be changed.


(p.s. I promise to stop SHOUTING at you when the issues do not affect the fate of our nation).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN


If I wrote that word all day, every day from now till the election, would that even be a drop in the bucket compared to the loud, unrelenting din of accusations of voter fraud in the Florida elections of 2000? Hanging chads? Dimpled chads? Stolen election? Remember all that?

Somebody best be looking into this, especially in every swing state.

There's a whole lotta corruption going on. And there's plenty of blame to go around.


ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

ACORN

Monday, October 13, 2008

unh unh unh

I have just watched an Obama video and oh, for honkin' out loud. Such overt propaganda. sheesh. Over the top. (shaking my head like Andy Griffith when he is frustrated with Barney).

I shan't be linking the video on my blog, but I know it can be easily found on You Tube, so look it up if you must, but here is a snippet of a comment I left on another blog, after watching the aforementioned video...

"Bottom line?

I vow to not think ill of you because you plan to vote differently than I do.

I promise to assume that we are each voting our conscience, behaving honorably in all we do, working in our communities and across the globe for the betterment of all, for the easing of poverty and suffering, for the inclusion of the weak and ill and disabled, to be good stewards of all we are given.

I can believe that you are operating out of your worldview, just as I operate out of mine.

And that, while we may differ in our proposals for attaining a “Let it Be” photo montage status here on earth, I can believe you want it as badly as I do.

I can promise that. Can you?

Imagine. It’s easy if you try."

Marathon Weekend--XPost


(as always, if you want to view the photos and captions without being in my fake living room, just click on the photos)

We've been busy! Two of our six (oldest son and oldest daughter) have trained for allmost a year for the Chicago Marathon. This weekend was Marathon Weekend and boy, did we have fun.

We left Friday afternoon, picked up R. (daughter) and drove to small town, Illinois where B. (son) lives. Got to go out to dinner with the kids, B.'s friend, A. and her mom, N. Good food and good fun.

Slept in a bit on Saturday AM and then drove into the city, where we behaved like good parents by waiting for the two runners to get their registration packets (can you say TRAFFIC? and DOUBLE PARK? and stressful, angry outbursts, with honking and increased blood pressure? I thought you could.). lol


Then, the kids did their thing and Mark and I went on a bit of a walk at sunset. After that, we were hungry, so we ducked into a Thai place on Lake Michigan. Yum. Finally, we went to bed early (cuz the runners needed their rest).

Up early on race day and down to the starting line about a mile aways and an hour before the gun. Another walk around the lakeshore and back to the room to nap...er, relax.

The the worst part of the insanity began as we began to try to find a way to watch our runners cross the line. yeah. We are stoopid. lol

I had no idea how many people are waaay into this. 45,000 runners. Each with an entourage of supporters. It was sheer madness.
And rather HOT for mid-October (80 degrees). So it was 'sweaty' madness, my least favorite form of the disease.

So, we did not get to see either runner cross the finish line and had to resort to Plan B (thank goodness we *had* a Plan B) and simply met in the hotel room. Wow. I am so very impressed with the dedication and fitness level of R. and B. I could NEVER run marathon.

The runners rallied well and after showers, we all went off to dinner and ate some legendary pizza. And got to listen to Chicago natives say, "Sausage" just like on that Chris Farley SNL sketch. ha ha


Even thought we didn't get home till 10:30 PM, exhausted (although, I will concede we were not as exhausted as the runners-lol), it was all so worth it. Would they do it again? Well, 50% of them would. I'll let you guess which one is which.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To clarify

Please know, dear gentle reader, that in the previous post, I was not referring to *you* in particular, but to the 'you' in a general manner.

*You* are not behaving badly; the greater 'they' is who I feel could be behaving better.


Hopefully, you already knew that.

If not, you do now. :~)


The one in which she makes odd third person refernences

OK, so last night's debate was a snore fest for me. After the first few questions, it seemed both candidates had had their say on all topics and so, I began half-listening and half-web surfing. eh.

And today, I've read a few news sources' review of things (CNN and FOX both) and have reviewed a few of the blogs that have been making me think about the election.

And all that to say...

Miss Teri is feeling so. very. done. with politics, political coverage and political blogs, mostly because I think we've all made up our minds and all this examination and rumination is not having the desired effect of enlightening and/or solidifying voter's minds.


It's all starting to feel icky and divisive and intense and it seems we've all passed the point of discussion and debate and have instead, entered into the ridiculous, shrill and sad.


So, unless something really, really, really earth-shattering happens in the campaign, I'll feel OK with knowing that so much information has been shared that no-one need vote from ignorance of the issues and the candidate's stance related to them.


Fair?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I thought I recognized you!!

Welcome Back, Dad

By Michael Reagan

I’ve been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we’d never see his like again because he was one of a kind.

I was wrong!

Wednesday night I watched the Republican National Convention on television and there, before my very eyes, I saw my Dad reborn; only this time he's a she.

And what a she!

In one blockbuster of a speech, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resurrected my Dad’s indomitable spirit and sent it soaring above the convention center, shooting shock waves through the cynical media’s assigned spaces and electrifying the huge audience with the kind of inspiring rhetoric we haven’t heard since my Dad left the scene.

This was Ronald Reagan at his best -- the same Ronald Reagan who made the address known now solely as “The Speech,” which during the Goldwater campaign set the tone and the agenda for the rebirth of the traditional conservative movement that later sent him to the White House for eight years and revived the moribund GOP.

Last night was an extraordinary event. Widely seen beforehand as a make-or-break effort -- either an opportunity for Sarah Palin to show that she was the happy warrior that John McCain assured us she was, or a disaster that would dash McCain’s presidential hopes and send her back to Alaska, sadder but wiser.

Obviously un-intimidated by either the savage onslaught to which the left-leaning media had subjected her, or the incredible challenge she faced -- and oozing with confidence -- she strode defiantly to the podium and proved she was everything and even more than John McCain told us.

Much has been made of the fact that she is a woman. What we saw last night, however, was something much more than a just a woman accomplishing something no Republican woman has ever achieved. What we saw was a red-blooded American with that rare, God-given ability to rally her dispirited fellow Republicans and take up the daunting task of leading them -- and all her fellow Americans -- on a pilgrimage to that shining city on the hill my father envisioned as our nation’s real destination.

In a few words she managed to rip the mask from the faces of her Democratic rivals and reveal them for what they are -- a pair of old-fashioned liberals making promises that cannot be kept without bankrupting the nation and reducing most Americans to the status of mendicants begging for their daily bread at the feet of an all-powerful government.

Most important, by comparing her own stunning record of achievement with his, she showed Barack Obama for the sham that he is, a man without any solid accomplishments beyond conspicuous self-aggrandizement.

Like Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin is one of us. She knows how most of us live because that’s the way she lives. She shares our homespun values and our beliefs, and she glories in her status as a small-town woman who put her shoulder to the wheel and made life better for her neighbors.

Her astonishing rise up from the grass-roots, her total lack of self-importance, and her ordinary American values and modest lifestyle reveal her to be the kind of hard-working, optimistic, ordinary American who made this country the greatest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth.

As hard as you might try, you won’t find that kind of plain-spoken, down-to-earth, self-reliant American in the upper ranks of the liberal-infested, elitist Democratic Party, or in the Obama campaign.

Sarah Palin didn’t go to Harvard, or fiddle around in urban neighborhood leftist activism while engaging in opportunism within the ranks of one of the nation’s most corrupt political machines, never challenging it and going along to get along, like Barack Obama.

Instead she took on the corrupt establishment in Alaska and beat it, rising to the governorship while bringing reforms to every level of government she served in on her way up the ladder.

Welcome back, Dad, even if you’re wearing a dress and bearing children this time around.

Mr. Reagan is a syndicated radio talk-show host and the son of former President Ronald Reagan.

Monday, October 6, 2008

God's Harvest

Look at my pretty tomatoes! This is my second HUGE batch this year.

Which is noteworthy, since I did not plant any tomatoes this year.

The tomatoes appeared this year, after some fell, rotting, into the rocky soil, at the end of the previous year's harvest.

So God planted the tomatoes and made them grow (provided sun and water) and I merely harvested them.

I'm just happy to be a laborer of God's Harvest, in all ways. :~)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Perfect Fall Day


Itinerary

9:00 AM awaken slowly, read, blog, pick up house, get ready for the day--Yay! We can wear fall clothes--sunny and 65 degrees.

12:00 leave town with Rachel, Caleb, Mark and I--headed for the apple orchard; a beloved fall tradition---Oh, what the heck! Let's take the dog, too! lol And an empty cooler...

3:00 arrive at our favorite orchard in Gays Mills, WI--took the scenic route!!! Leaves just beginning to turn on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

4:00 leave Gays Mills with ::cough cough:: *alot* of apples (3 or 4 kinds), jams, salad dressing, donuts, turnovers, cider, cheese curds.

5:00 stop in Prairie Du Chien, WI to browse through Cabela's outfitters store

6:30 to Elkader, Iowa for dinner---small town, no idea what we will find to suit a 4 year old, a clean eater and two middle agers. EUREKA! A *great* Irish pub with amazing food! Score! They even have a digital jukebox that allows me to play and teach Caleb to dance to "YMCA". Dancing in a town with your grandson where no-one knows you...Priceless. (pardon my sideways 30 second video below--hopefully, the cute factor makes up for my techno blunders)

8:00 driving in the night, beautiful moon, sleeping family, Cat Stevens "Teaser and the Firecat" CD

10:00 arrive back in the driveway--unload sleeping boy and lots of leftovers and apple products and dog gear.


11:00 jammies on, feet up, another apple donut for everyone, mindless TV and chatter

12:00 AM Bed felt so good!!!!!
The perfect blend of emotional and mental fatigue, coupled with physical tiredness and extreme inner gratitude for all the blessings we have been given.