Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How I know my husband loves me: Reason #527

There are so many different reasons why I know my husband loves me, but here is just one.

I hate for things to die! So when DH picked me up for lunch today, we were driving down the road when we drove over the top of something, not realizing until we were going over it that is was a snake. DH could see in the rearview mirror so I immediately asked him if it was still alive and he said he couldn’t tell. We backed up making sure not to run over it. DH got out and sure enough it was just sunning itself and lifted its head and started tasting the air with its tongue to check out DH. During this multiple cars drove by narrowly missing the snake. I told my husband that we couldn’t just leave it there to die, he rolling his eyes at me but got an umbrella out of the trunk. After the snake tried to strike about a dozen times, DH finally got it to the side of the road where it slithered off into the trees. Not every man would stand out there in the middle of the street to save the life of a 2 foot long snake, but DH did because he loves me and he knows it makes me happy. Isn’t he sweet?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can of Worms

Note to self: Don't post on something as controversial as Prop 8 and then go on a business trip and not check your blog for 4 days!

Since I rarely get more than a couple of comments on my blog and I got 15 on my last post it's obvious I opened up a can of worms with this one, but obviously with how controversial Prop 8 has been I'm not surprised. I want to give all the comments on my last post the attention that they deserve, and since I was away from work for a business conference I have a lot of work to catch up on. Therefore, I will reply to the comments, but it may take a day or two.

Oh, and thank you for keeping it respectful. I welcome everyone's opinions, but when people start to be disrespectful I don't want them in my little corner of cyberspace.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stepping up to the Prop 8 table

I’m about to get a little political on you. I don’t get political around here very often because politics are personal and totally opinion based. I have my opinions and you have yours and that’s ok. I may think you’re an idiot for believing what you do, but hey, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

So, yesterday I posted about parents that were keeping their kids out of school to make a point to the California Teachers Union. The California Teachers Union gave $1 million to the No on Prop 8 campaign.

For those of you who aren’t from California, because if you are from California you would have to be living in a cave to not know that Prop 8 was, it is a proposition to amend the state constitution to make marriage legal only between a man and a woman.

My church has taken a very strong stance on Prop 8 and has asked member to vote for it and campaign for it and to do everything in their power to get this Proposition passed. I get that. It goes against what my church teaches and believes, but this proposition is an issue that I have struggled with a great deal. I had a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when they read the letter in church asking for people to vote for this measure. My church has never specifically asked me to vote for one thing or another and I like it that way. I personally don’t care if gay people get married or not. I have gay friends that are in significant long term relationships and I don’t see how what they do in the privacy of their own home affects me. I also truly question whether homosexuality is a choice verses something that people are born with, and if it is something they are born with then why shouldn’t they have the right to marry the person that they love. Yes, the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong, but it also teaches that we shouldn’t judge other people. That’s where I sit on the issue. I try to love everyone no matter what and if it is wrong then Heavenly Father will deal with it, not me. I didn’t want to be put in the middle. During the multiple times when this has been discussed in church I hated the fact that I live in California at this time because I didn’t want to have to make that choice. My church and the Prophet have asked me to do one thing, but I feel for gay couples and their desire to be able to get married, so I was initially just not going to vote on the issue so I didn’t have to choose between my head and my heart. Now I’m back to being undecided.

As I said before, I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, but when it starts to affect me, like telling me what my children have to learn in school or by churches tax exempt status or the ability of religious adoption agencies to exclude gay couples because of the religion’s beliefs, that’s when I start to have a problem with it. And by the way, Ari already has read books in school about gay couples. When we first moved here and she was in 2nd grade we picked her up from school and she started telling us about some story they were reading. DH and I looked at each other and used it as a wonderful teaching opportunity that our religion doesn’t believe that Heavenly Father meant for men to marry men or women to marry women, but that we do need to treat everyone nicely and not judge them. So again, I don’t have a problem with her hearing things like that at school because it opens up teaching opportunities at home, but I would like the option to opt her out if I see fit, and a warning before hand so I know what I should be discussing with her.

The No on 8 campaign says that it won’t change churches tax status or what is taught in schools or anything like that, and of course the way it is written it doesn’t. But in Massachusetts where gay marriage is legal it has opened the door for things such as this father who got arrested for trying to opt his first grader out of learning about gay marriage in class. Parents have the right to teach their children what they want or to opt them out of lessons that they don’t agree with, plain and simple and I don’t like the fact that legalizing same sex marriage could make that happen. I also have an issue with the fact that Catholic Charities of Boston had to either place children in same sex households or close their doors, so they closed their doors. If first parents choose to place their children with same sex couples, that is their choice, but a religious agency shouldn’t be forced to do so just because gay couples are allowed to marry. It is because of reasons like this that I’m now leaning toward voting for Prop 8.

My point in sharing all of this relates back to my question of yesterday and the California Teachers Union. So we saw on the news Monday night that there was a state-wide call for parents who were for Prop 8 to keep their kids out of school to oppose the $1million donation. As I said, I’m not totally for or against Prop 8, but I’m really annoyed that the Teachers Union is donating money to a cause that has nothing to do with education. So DH and I talked about it and decided it might be the right thing to do to take a stand. We talked to Ari about all of it and let her make the choice as to whether or not she wanted to stay home from school yesterday and the reason for it. She initially wanted to go to school because she said she would be “bored” at home so she headed off. A couple minutes later she called DH and said she had thought about it and decided she felt like it was the right decision to stay home. I was proud of her for making that hard decision. DH even ended up having a good conversation about it with the principle of her school. I got a call 7 minutes into the school day asking about Ari’s absence (talk about being on top of things) because we hadn’t called yet, and I explained the reason for the absence. Well, she didn’t understand so the Principal called back to find out exactly why Ari wasn’t going to be in school that day and DH told him why we were doing what we did. He hadn’t heard of the donation or the protest (we live in a VERY liberal community) but was supportive of our decision as parents.

All this rambling to say, we live in interesting times and I think it’s good for Ari to learn to stand for what she believes while she is still young.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

California Parents, Are you keeping your kids home from school?

Have you heard about the protest against the California Teachers Union in regards to Prop 8 and are you keeping your kids home from school today? I just caught the article below on the late news last night so I haven't heard much about it and I'm curious if others are doing it. Let me know.

Parents Organize Prop. 8 Support Protest In School
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― In response to a controversial contribution by a California teachers union, some parents are organizing an effort to keep their kids home for the day and cost public schools money.The California Teachers Association says their members are fighting to keep gay marriage legal because they stand for equality. With cash contributions to anti-Proposition 8 efforts falling short of the opposition, the union injected $1 million into campaign coffers to continue the ad blitz.Supporters of Proposition 8 now have a proposition of their own: They're behind an online effort to keep kids home from school Tuesday. The organizers say for every student who misses school for personal reasons costs the school money, and are banking that high numbers will send a big message.The e-mail says, "Many Calfiornia [sic] public school students are going to be sick and absent from school on Tuesday, October 21st… Many are puzzled why the professional group hired to educate them is spending so much money to push their own social agenda."The chain e-mail also urges teachers supporting Proposition 8 to send a statement of their own: "With all those students out sick, many California public school teachers intend to demand $300 political refunds from their union dues."The CTA did not comment on how much they've donated to other California propositions for this election cycle.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


A couple of my friends had quizzes on their blogs recently so I thought I’d play along.
My friend Nicole posted this one. I am not the dream housewife of the 1930s, but my husband loves me anyway so that will have to do :)


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

(Please note that this is 52 out of 100 so it's not that great)

My friend Shauntae (her blog is private or I would link you) posted this one. All and all it’s fairly accurate, especially considering it trying to figure out my personality from my feet!?!

What Your Feet Say About You:

You are pretty average in your expressiveness. You can express yourself well, but you don't always want to.

You are a very passionate person. You are highly charged and easily inspired.

You are an assertive person at times. You'll pull out all the stops to get what you want, if it's worth it.

You take a while to fall in love, but once you do, you stay pretty attached to your partner.

You are not easily frightened, but you have a few strong phobias.

You are intellectual and philosophical. You are more concerned with thoughts than action.

You are an amazingly hard worker. You aren't spoiled and you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

You are easily influenced by other people. You're quite impressionable, so you should only be around people who are a good influence.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dedicated to my husband

Listen to this song (it also includes the lyrics if you want to read along)!

This is exactly how I feel about my husband!

I didn't post on his birthday (back in September) and I feel a little remiss about that, but in my defense, he NEVER reads my blog so he doesn't know if I blog about him or not. Quite honestly that's a good thing most of the time since he is a very private person and wouldn't be happy that I post about him at all...so yeah, don't tell him ok!

Anyway, I was just listening to some random songs on my mp3 player when this song came on and I knew I had to post about what an awesome husband I have. He is thoughtful and kind, yet incredibly strong when I need him to be. He is also very sarcastic, just like me. He's a great Dad and a wonderful protector.

He would do anything for me too. The other day we had walked to Ari's soccer game which was about a mile and a half away. Not far, but I jokingly complained about walking home after sitting out there in the 95 degree heat and asked my husband if he would walk home and get the car to pick me up. He said "sure", I was of course kidding, but Ari said quietly to me, "that's so sweet, do you think he'd really do that?" I replied "I know he would, because he loves me," and he would have too if I'd been serious. That evolved into a whole conversation about how it's a parents job to teach their children and make them into strong human beings (because he said he wouldn't do it just for her)but his he guessed that meant it was his job to make me soft and weak :)

Anyway, listen to my little dedication to my husband. He is wonderful and he deserves it and so much more.

Friday, October 3, 2008

11 months old

I can’t let the day go by without acknowledging that my baby is 11 months old today. Where did the time go? It’s kind of surreal… on one hand I cannot believe that she hasn’t always been a member of our family. She fits so perfectly and I can’t remember a time that she wasn’t a part of us, and yet it seems like just a couple months ago that she was born.

She is an amazing baby, people at church or at my office who see her on a fairly regular basis ask if she ever fusses or cries because they have never heard her. I can attest that she does get fussy if she is tired, but she is just such an amazing little girl. She does have a temper on her though, and we call her angry as a nickname at home because if she doesn’t get what she wants she will kind of ball up her fists with her arms straight out and clench her jaw. I figure we’re in trouble with this one as she grows up! We figure nicknaming her angry probably isn’t the nicest thing to do though, but have thought of figuring out how you say angry in another language so that not everyone knew what our nickname meant :) Do you speak a foreign language and have any suggestions?

In August Ari, was 9 and Devyn was 9 months so I took their pictures together, so then last night I realized that it was the last day to get pictures of my 10 year old and 10 month as seeing as Devyn turned 11 months old today, but alas, she was tired and I got no good pictures. Oh well!

(Can you tell she's getting tired?)

Calling all First Parents...

This post is in regards to adoption. For an explanation of the term First Mother, check out what Michelle has to say. It’s an older post, but she says it so perfectly that I thought it was easier to link to it than to reiterate what she has to say.

Now that you understand the term, if you are one, go here. It is a survey for anyone who is either a First Mother or First Father who have relinquished a child. "The purpose of this survey is to apprise [sic] the long term effects and attitudes of mothers (and fathers) who have lost children to adoption, particularly in terms of any “promises” or expectations of confidentiality. Accurate data regarding attitudes, perceptions, beliefs and practices affecting parents in these situations is vital in formulating upcoming legislation in areas of family preservation, foster care and adoption. We hope this survey will be the most comprehensive study of parents who surrendered parental rights or whose rights were terminated resulting in their children being either adopted or remaining in foster care."

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What does Diversity mean to you?

To be honest, growing up in Idaho I wasn’t exposed to a whole lot of diversity. Idaho Falls is a little more diverse then a lot of the state because of the INL that brought educated people from around the country, which in turn brought people of different races, ethnicities and nationalities, but unfortunately that’s still not saying much. The LDS church is also the predominate religion in the area, and being a member of that church I was yet again not a member of any minority.

My parents weren’t all that keen on me learning about other religions either. In high school a friend of mine was Catholic and invited me go to the Christmas Midnight Mass with her. I thought it would be fun so I told my parents I wanted to go, but I think my mom cried the entire time I was gone because she thought I was going to convert. I’m not blaming my parents for this fact, they did what they thought was best, I just believe knowledge is power. I have now attended Catholic Mass a few times in my life and because of that experience I have a greater knowledge of my own faith and what I do believe. I have also attended Baptist and Presbyterian congregations as well, and if anything it has only enhanced my beliefs in my religion.

So, along this line of reasoning, I find it important to expand my horizons and knowledge of those who look different, think different or act differently than I. I also want to expose my children to all types of different people and cultures, and last Friday night we had one of those opportunities. In 2001, right after the events of September 11th the Muslim Student Association (we live in a college town) wanted to share their beliefs with the community to help people not familiar with the Muslim people or religion to have a better understanding of who they are and what they believe because of all the negative backlash from the terrorist events. They created an event during the month of Ramadan called “Fast for a Day” and it has turned into an annual event that everyone in the community has the opportunity to attend. From what I understand it has grown immensely over the years (we didn’t live here when it first started) but I was definitely still one of the few blonds (well, it’s getting dark blond now, but that’s not the point) in a sea of black hair. This was sad to me because it’s such a wonderful opportunity to go and mingle and learn about our fellow brothers and sisters in this human race.

They suggest that you fast for the day between 5:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on the day of the event, because during Ramadan Muslims fast during daylight hours to “strive to purify themselves through extra acts of worship, self-restraint (thus the fasting), charity, and other good deeds.” This is to help you better understand the culture and religion, and also to help put you in the right frame of mind. DH and I fasted out of respect for those who were putting on the event (we didn’t feel that it would be necessary to have Ari fast because her concentration at school would have plummeted). I’m guessing not a lot of non-Muslims do the fasting part because one of the hosts was chatting with us and said something to the effect of “you probably didn’t fast” and when we responded that we had he was seemed shocked and asked us about our experience. Later I thought I should have used that as an opportunity to help him better understand our religion and should have explained that we too fast, monthly, for our religion, so it wasn’t a new experience to us. However, that would mean I was quick thinking, which I’m not, I always think of good things to say once a conversation is over. I blame it on my shyness. I have a hard time carrying on a conversation with strangers to begin with.

Anyway, this was the second year we went (last year I didn’t fast because I was pregnant at the time and we had to leave early because Ari had previously made plans with a friend so we didn’t get to stay for dinner) and I am in awe of how spiritual of an experience it is. During the call to prayer, the melodic chanting (I don’t know the correct term for it, but I’m sure you’ve heard it on TV or in movies, where they are almost singing in Arabic) is beautiful and I can definitely feel the spirit in the room. I believe there is truth in most if not all religions and whether we have it all right or not, I believe God knows the true intentions of our hearts and loves each and every one of his children.

Dinner was good, and that’s saying something since I’m not all that adventurous when it comes to culinary adventures, but DH was disappointed because he said the dinner we missed the year before looked and smelled amazing. Since he’s been to the Middle East/Asia on many occasions and he loves to try new foods he was looking forward to having some authentic food. I was just glad it wasn’t too unusual ;)

Now, all this being said, it does not mean that I plan on ferrying my children around to a different church every week so they can experience every religion there is. I have found the religion I believe in and the beliefs and values I want to raise my children with, so we go to our church every Sunday. But, I will continue to seek out opportunities to show them that ours is a world full of differences that are wonderful and good and to be accepting of everyone else for who they are and what they believe.

So, what does diversity mean to you…is it people who look differently than you, act differently than you, think differently than you and what if anything do you do about it? Do you like learning and getting to know those that are different than you or is it a scary unknown?