Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Gingerbread Houses

We went to Jeff's Grandfathers for Thanksgiving, with Jeff's sister Ginni and her family, and his other sister Kimm. Gingerbread houses are a yearly tradition in Jeff's family. This year we introduced hot glue to construct the houses. (Don't tell anyone...I dont think you are suppose to use anything that is not a confection...) This is Kimm's Igloo.
Clint's "Future House" and on the left is Ginni's, on the right is Leah's.

Leah and Derek had fun together playing hide and go seek, and making their houses. It was a nice and peaceful Thanksgiving....I wish I would have thought to take some pictures of Grandpa.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From my sister...

My sister sent me this. She is so perceptive, she always finds the very best info on everything. This is one of those things....

Thomas Sowell is African-American, Korean War Veteran, and Stanford University Economics professor. Very good read on the protesting in California with Prop. 8 November 18, 2008

The Right to Win

By Thomas SowellAmong the many new "rights" being conjured out of thin air, a new one seems to be a "right" to win.Americans have long had the right to put their candidates and their ideas to a vote. Now there seems to be a sense that your rights have been trampled on if you don't win.Hillary Clinton's supporters were not merely disappointed, but outraged, when she lost the Democrats' nomination to Barack Obama. Some took it as a sign that, while racial barriers had come down, the "glass ceiling" holding down women was still in place.Apparently, if you don't win, somebody has put up a barrier or a ceiling. The more obvious explanation of the nomination outcome was that Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary. There is not the slightest reason to doubt that she would have been the nominee if the votes in the primaries had come out her way.As the election approached, pundits warned that, if Obama lost, there would be riots in the ghetto. We will never know. But since when does any candidate have a right to win any office, much less the White House?The worst of all the reactions from people who act as if they have a right to win have come from gay activists in the wake of voter rejection of so-called "gay marriage," which is to say, redefining what marriage has meant for centuries.Blacks and Mormons have been the main targets of the gay activists' anger. Seventy percent of blacks voted against gay marriage in California, so racial epithets were hurled at blacks in Los Angeles-- not in black neighborhoods, by the way.Blacks who just happened to be driving through Westwood, near UCLA, were accosted in their cars and, in addition to being denounced, were warned, "You better watch your back."Even blacks who were carrying signs in favor of gay marriage were denounced with racial epithets.In Michigan, an evangelical church service was invaded and disrupted by gay activists, who also set off a fire alarm, because evangelicals had dared to exercise their right to express their opinions at the polls.In Oakland, California, a mob gathered outside a Mormon temple in such numbers that officials shut down a nearby freeway exit for more than three hours. In their midst was a San Francisco Supervisor who said "The Mormon church has had to rely on our tolerance in the past, to be able to express their beliefs." He added, "This is a huge mistake for them. It looks like they've forgotten some lessons."Apparently Mormons don't have the same rights as other Americans, at least not if they don't vote the way gay activists want them to vote.There was another gay activist mob gathered outside a Mormon temple in Orange County, California.In the past, gay activists have disrupted Catholic services and their "gay pride" parades in San Francisco have crudely mocked nuns.While demanding tolerance from others, gay activists apparently feel no need to show any themselves.How did we get to this kind of situation?With all the various groups who act as if they have a right to win, we got to the present situation over the years, going back to the 1960s, where the idea started gaining acceptance that people who felt aggrieved don't have to follow the rules or even the law."No justice, no peace!" was a slogan that found resonance.Like so many slogans, it sounds good if you don't stop and think-- and awful if you do.Almost by definition, everybody thinks their cause is just. Does that mean that nobody has to obey the rules? That is called anarchy.Nobody is in favor of anarchy. But some people want everybody else to obey the rules, while they don't have to.What they want is not decisive, however. It is what other people are willing to tolerate that determines how far any group can go. When the majority of the people become like sheep, who will tolerate intolerance rather than make a fuss, then there is no limit to how far any group will go.
Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.
Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/11/the_right_to_win.html at November 18, 2008 - 03:03:17 AM PST

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tag from Lisa

Fine...I'll do a tag.
8 TV shows I like to watch:
1. The Office
2. Oprah
3. The Soup
4. Desperate Housewives
5. House
6. Everyday Italian
7. Arrested Development (off-air...I love the DVD's--I have all 3 seasons)
8. American Idol

8 Things that happened yesterday
1. Made French Toast
2. Got Clint off to school
3.Went for a walk with Derek and Rex
4. Played with Kooy and Derek and Rex in the leaves outside
5. Did the dishes
6. Watched Oprah while Derek played on the computer
7. Cooked a Frozen Pizza for Derek and Clint
8. Went to see 007 Quantum of Solace with Jeff

8 Favorite Places to Eat
1. Cafe Rio
2. Wingers
3. Quiznos
4. Olive Garden
5. Paradise Bakery
6. Leger's
7. The Bamboo Hut (Provo)
8. Barnes and Nobel for Hot Chocolate

8 Things I look forward to:
1. Thanksgiving
2. The PTA Fundraiser being over
3. Christmas Eve
4. Christmas
5. Movies--(Bedtime Stories, and Bolt)
6. Jeff's Day off
7. Spring
8. Vacation (Summer)

8 things on my wishlist:
1. New Camera (dig. SLR, 8 megapix.)
2. Pink Kitchen-Aide
3. House Finished
4. Lots of money
5. A house big enough for a tread mill
6. Pedicure
7. Tea pot
8. New Flat Iron

8 people I tag:
1. Amber
2. Andi
3. Michelle
4. Shelli
5. Chelsea
6. Wendy (yeah, right)
7. Janet
8. Anyone who wants to do it!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What goes "Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya" all the way home?

video
Answer: Derek and Kooyman at 11 PM after Disney on Ice and 2 Giant Snowcones!

Last Friday, I went with some BFF's and Clint and Derek to Disney on Ice. I am so happy to have friends who get Disney and all it means to me. Not everyone does.

Clint and Landen both really liked the Mulan part. The War was pretty cool, especially all of the pyrotechnics that were going off.

Derek loved The Incredibles, and Kooyman loved Mickey Mouse, but they both also really liked Stitch.

And I still am a sucker for the Princesses....

It means something to me...and even if I can't make it to Disneyland all the time, A movie, video, or Disney on Ice will help me get through it all. Hopes, Dreams, Faith, and everything that is good in the world is what Disney Represents. It helps me keep in touch with the person that I am always striving to be...even though I don't think I'll ever get there.

Click to play Miranda's Disney on Ice
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Friday, November 14, 2008

EEEWWWW!!!

It looks pretty gross when you mix it up. We made some Gak. It kind of looks like a brain. It was pretty nasty. But the end result is really cool.
It is kind of like Play Dough, but more slippery and stretchy, and it doesn't hold it's shape very well. The Chemical Process that happens when you mix it up is really cool.

And Derek loves to make it and play with the finished product. And for some reason, when you play with it, it gets your hands really clean.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Colored Pasta...

It looks pretty...
And it was fun to color it....
But we aren't quite sure what to do with it now. Collages? Maybe some kind of necklace? Derek likes to sort it, and maybe count it. Any Ideas? Maybe tomorrow we will try to stick some in Play dough.
INSTRUCTIONS

Monday, November 10, 2008

Physical Science Pre-101

Sink or Float experiments...Or, playing with water.
A little water goes a long way! An hour, at least!

We may not have discussed all of the principals of Buoyancy,
But Derek and his friends learned that some things sink, and some things float...and paper muffin cups make great little boats!
Make sure you put a towel down first. And put one on the floor too. And keep telling yourself..."it's just a little water..."

NO adult assembly required...

It's pretty amazing what kids can do on their own.


Michael, Clint, Janet and Marion spent their day off last Friday making an amazing snow fort...All by themselves!

Pretty amazing design and engineering...it even had windows.
I got pretty warm by the afternoon, and of course, it melted mostly that same day. Such is the weather in Utah.
Thanks, guys...for letting Derek and Clint in on the fun!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good shots...Bad Camera

I need a new camera so badly. I have been taking all of my pictures for the last few years with my digital CamCorder. It is the only digital camera I have. The Delay is horrible. The settings are hard to manage in a hurry for full sun flashes, and it is only 3 megapixels. But it takes great videos, and I love the convience of having both in one. Occassionally I can still get some good shots with it. Not today. I should have regular film on hand for my old SLR that takes Amazing Pictures. But I hate hasseling with the film, and the processing...
Christmas is on its way...I am hoping the economy does not effect Jeff's Christmas bonus. I was sure I was going to get a camera this Christmas.
Now I'm not so sure. But at least I have a camera. And even if my pictures are not that great, the shots still remind me of what cute kids I have!


Friday, November 7, 2008

The rift is about to get bigger....

Read this. It's going to get rough. Pretty soon, no one is going to be able to sit on the fence about this.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Well...Oprah likes him

First of all, I am thrilled that both an African American and a Women were on the ticket. I am grateful to live in a nation that really is seeing people as people for who they are and what the represent

It is no secret that I am a Republican. We have a new President...and he is not a Republican. But as an American, I feel that the office of the President of the United States deserves respect. He is going to be our President. He represents who we are. I have spent the last few days since the election researching some things that I can support him on. It wasn't easy. Some of the issues that are the most important to me, he disagrees with. Some of these things, like Partial-Birth Abortion, which is one of the most horrific and evil practices ever known to man, is currently outlawed by the Supreme Court. So for now, it would be difficult for him to overturn it, regardless of his opinions on the matter.


That being said, these are a few of the things that I can support him on, and I am hopeful that maybe he is right.


I feel the War was necessary. I, however, also hate it. I hate families being torn apart, I hate the hardships that our soldiers have to endure, I hate the causalities of innocent civilians and especially children that have to experience horrible things. But I think horrible actions need to be taken at times. I think it was a difficult decision to make at a time when difficult decisions were needed. I think in the future, more Americans will realize that Bush was a good President.


I hope that maybe through diplomacy, many things can be resolved. I am willing to support Obama in his desire to try a new approach. And I hope and pray that he is successful. But if he is, that does not mean that what Bush did was wrong at the time.


Obama supports the death penalty for certain crimes. So do I.


He says he wants to maintain hunting traditions and would not take guns away. He is backed by both the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the American Hunters and Shooters Association.


He opposes gay marriage but also opposes a federal constitutional amendment to ban it, as well as a California effort to ban it; supports civil unions. I do support a constitutional amendment to ban it. I have thought about my feelings on this particular issue for a long time. It is not that I am not sympathetic to those who have that type of lifestyle. And I realize that the reasons for the lifestyles are complicated. I believe that it is not as simple as choosing to be gay. I know there are biological, as well as psychological reasons for this lifestyle. But that does not make it right. Even if you take God out of the equation, it is not the way Nature intended us to be. It is deviant from the way our bodies were created. So I do feel the practice is wrong. And should not be condoned. And marriage makes it all the more acceptable. It is not. It is something that should be kept private by the people who choose to live that way. And it violates MY freedom of speech to re-define marriage. But it seems more and more that you really only have Freedom of Speech if you are liberal. Conservatives are not allowed to express themselves. It is VERY unfair.


He Supports gay adoptions--I think older foster children may be able to benefit from this type of situation.


He supports in part President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act
He Believes this law is good in concept but poor in design, funding and implementation
Would rewrite the law, retaining its emphasis on high standards and accountability but offering more help to high-need schools, including training thousands of new teachers to serve in them. Believes the law is good in concept but needs funding and better measurement of student progress.
I think I agree with this.

Obama would strive for universal coverage by establishing a new federal health plan for the uninsured, providing benefits comparable to those offered to federal employees. Premiums would be subsidized for low earners. Eligibility for other public programs — Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan — would be expanded. Mr. Obama also would establish a government exchange that would allow individuals to shop for the new public plan and approved private plans. --I agree all children need to be covered--as well as Veterans, and Seniors. I am not sure how I feel about everything else. There are people who take advantage of Welfare programs.

Agree with Immigration laws--not perfect policy, but the best option that is out there. And something needs to be done.

Obama may be able to help the workers in the auto industry. I hope he can. Being from Detroit, I have witnessed some of mistakes that greedy, selfish and unethical corporations have made that have affected the opportunities of the working Americans. Americans who want to work, who have had jobs ripped away from them so corporations can exploit workers in other countries to make big bucks. I may even have a liberal view on this. We need to help each other in this country by keeping jobs for our workers here. It would benefit us all.

Iran,Iraq, and Afghanistan--I hope he knows what he is doing.

Russia--I have been following the Russian/Georgia conflict, ever since the Olympics. I think America, as the most powerful country in the world, needs to help fledgling democracies. I know America helps. I also know that we are criticised whether we help, or not. Usually help means some kind of military action. The same people complain if we do, and if we don't. I agree in part with Obama that we need our allies to stand up to Russia. If they take Georgia, what will they try to take next? Also, Georgia really stands for something in a part of the world where hope, Democracy, and Freedom don't exist. The leader Mikheil Saakashvili reminds me of an American Founding Father. I have just been so impressed with him and his political philosophy on Democracy. We have to help people and countries like that. I hope and pray we do.

My mind is still just racing. There is so much more I want to say and learn about. The Internet makes knowledge so easy. It is a real goal of mine to become more locally knowledgeable about the politics in my community. When I went to vote, I was a little overwhelmed about all of the state issues that needed to be voted on, and I knew about so few. I skipped the ones I hadn't heard about. But I need to be more knowledgeable about local things.

Is anyone still reading?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Politica

I just want to remind everyone that this is America, and we all have our own opinions. I respect those who have opinions that are diffrent than mine. We all have issues that are important to us as individuals. That is what makes America great. It is too late at night for me to even start with how I feel. I would have to write a book to express everything I am feeling right now. I am not at all surprised, but still a little disappointed. I think for now I will keep all of my political views to myself....But I will leave you with this...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A few Fall Activities

Raking leaves...we will still have some time for more of this.

Clint and Derek at the Pumpkin Patch.

Pickin Pumpkins from Carol Day's little pumpkin patch with Megan

Our pumpkins that didn't get carved this year...

Goodbye, Halloween


I feel like this month has been so busy for me that I really haven't taken the time to enjoy this holiday. Halloween just kind of came and went while I was too busy with the school fundraiser, Red Ribbon Week, the Reflections contest, The Book Fair, and Cub Scouts. I feel like it just slipped away, with hardly any anticipation, and a lot of the fun things I like to do every October, like getting pumpkin shakes, and going to Frightmares, I didn't get the chance to do. I know PTA is a one time job, but so is Derek's 3rd Halloween, and Clint's last one before jr. high.
I am really going to make it a point to slow down a lot over this Christmas Holiday Season, and take time to enjoy it. I love Christmas. And I am excited for the season to start. And things at the school that don't get done before Thanksgiving are just going to have to wait until January.

(In the picture is Matthew, (football player), Clint (Indiana Jones), Derek, would not wear his batman costume, so he is wearing Clint's old skeleton costume, Kooyman, (Skeleton), Jeff (Homer), Matt (Chicken), Richard (Scary skeleton).

Thanks Chelsea!

Chelsea, in the BYU animation program, got us in to a sneak peak of Madagascar 2. We were excited to go, but I didn't have really high expectations, because I didn't love the first Madagascar. But this one was Great! I really loved it. 10 times better than the original. Thanks Chelsea! 2 Movies in one day! Life can't get much better than that. Did I mention I love movies at Jordan Commons? My little mini vacation!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Batman, Batman

(Derek's Batman...) I went to see Batman again tonight. Everyone said I would like it better the second time. It was Clint's first time seeing it. I did like it better this time. Maybe it's due to the dual nature of the entire movie that makes it better the second time, or maybe it's because I missed so much the first time around because so much is going on. After the first time, I felt a little depressed. This time, I liked it much more. I know there are those of you who have mentioned how you hate when people who really don't know anything review movies, (Lisa), so you can stop reading now. For anyone else who cares, this is what I think...

I thought it was interesting how everything in the movie is about the dual nature of things. My sister Wendy, and Chelsea, pointed some of these things out.
  • There are 2 superpowers: 1, an agent of Chaos, the Joker, and the other, still Chaotic, but good, Batman

  • Rachel has to choose between 2 men

  • There are 2 boats

  • There is 2 face

  • 2 sides of the coin

  • Batman has 2 identities

  • This is even the 2nd of the 2 Batman Movies

There will always be good and evil, black and white, right and wrong. We all need to decide what side we are on. So here are 10 things that I love/hate about the Batman movie. (Spoiler Alert)


  • Love: Heath Ledger as the Joker. Thought he was brilliant and a lot more enjoyable the second time. Hate: That he was not in the movie more. Not enough Joker

  • Love: The Bat mobile and the Bat Cycle. Hate: When I thought the commissioner was really dead for 15 min. the first time I saw it.

  • Love: The few good guys; Alfred, The Commissioner, and Lucius Hate: So many corrupt police officers, and how Harvey Dent succumbed so quickly and easily to evil. I didn't believe it for a second. Although, the joker said that your true nature is revealed when you are close to death...maybe Harvey Dent just alwasy had everybody fooled...maybe he never really was all that we thought and hoped he was, and it took his accident to reveal it. RAchel was still good and strong when she realized that she was going to die. Batman had the same tragedy that he had to deal with, but it made him better....so much to think about.

  • Love: That Christian Bale makes a great Batman Hate: Maggie G. as Rachel

  • Love: That Batman is also Chaotic and unpredictable, just like the Joker. Hate: That Heath Ledger is dead.

  • Love: That Alfred is so loyal, and he told Batman that to catch the bad guys, he had to burn the jungle down. Made sense that Batman had to do whatever was necessary to stop the Joker. Tap all of the phones in Gotham to stop him. Very conservative move. Sometimes it's necessary. Hate: That Rachel dies, and whenever kids were involved, I don't like that
  • Love: That Batman had to break laws to catch the Joker and realizes that taping phones was the only way, and he did it. Hate: He took the fall for Harvey Dent at the end. Although, that is probably the most heroic thing he could do, but to give Gotham Harvey Dent's reputation is a lie. He is the real Hero and what Gotham really needs.

  • Love: The boat stand off, and how the criminals did the right thing, and Batman had faith that they would, which is why he does what he does for the people of Gotham. Hate: That the boat scene, which could have been a real turning point for the movie, was not accentuated enough, and was just kind of swept under the rug.

  • Love: That Batman and the Joker do what they do for deep and meaningful motives. Not for money, but because of what they represent. Hate: That Gotham looks like Chicago or New York, and not like Gotham.

  • Love: Batman Hate: Having to wait a long time for the next Batman movie

So, now that you know how I feel, Check out Chlesea's latest drawing of the Dark Knight, with the greatest line of the movie: Batman "A silent Gardian, A watchful protector". I love a good superhero. I love things that represent what is possible, if we believe, and hope for a better world.