The More the Merrier

Is this too personal?

Kate to Rick

Kate: Um....(contemplative pause)...why do you have to wear shorts AND jeans?


State of the Union Address

I'm reminded tonight of why I will not be sad when George W. Bush leaves the Whitehouse. He speaks a good game in some areas. For instance, he continually speaks of trusting Americans to be dynamic, innovative, and able to contorl our own lives. I agree with this, but my problem with Bush is that he continues to push for more government programs.

Bush wants to expand funding in several areas. He wants to give pell grants for high school students. He wants to expand No Child Left Behind, touting as a great success. Where is the freedom of the people in educating their children? George Bush and republican party are not calling for enough change. President Bush calls on congress to reduce earmarked bills by half. Why not get rid of them all together? He says the budget is on track to be balanced by 2012. Why not immediately cut out all the junk and balance it tomorrow. I cannot run my household by promising to be balanced in 4 years.

George Bush has several good things to say, but his Presidency has been filled with spending, spending, spending. And while he often speaks of solutions, he has yet to get anything done. We need someone to cripple congress with vetoes until things change. No more bipartisanship. Let's have reality. Let's have a revolution!

Ron Paul for President 2008!


Mr. Wizard

If you grew up in the 80s, you may also remember Mr. Wizard's World. Maybe he could explain this: (FYI-there are several good Mr. Wizard's World videos on youtube!)

Rainbow Brite

If you grew up in the 80s, you might remember Rainbow Brite.


Best Investment all year!

It looks like our biggest event of the year turned out to create a positive cash flow in our household rather than a drain as would be expected. I'll break down the financials below:

Birth of Baby Insurance costs ~$800
Diapers and other supplies ~ 20

Child Tax Credit $1000
Proposed Tax Refund $300

The income part assumes I really understand all the tax implications of having a child!

Total Net Gain:
One new baby + $480

Ron Paul - John McCain - Jan 24 2008 Presidential Debate

When Ron Paul asked his question to John McCain last night, I didn't really know what he was getting at, but I figured it was meant to make John McCain look uninformed.

This video, while poking fun at McCain, shows that Ron Paul did indeed make John McCain look uninformed on the topic. Granted the video is making fun of McCain by comparing him to Miss South Carolina, but if you make it to the end, Ron Paul's statement explains why John McCain definitely appears uninformed about the topic.

The only problem is that I am also uninformed (as is most of America I assume), so while cunning, I'm not sure how many votes it won Paul last night. Hopefully, more than I realize.


Conversations with Kate

Kate: Mommy, why is Daddy going to seminary tonight?

Me: Because he loves Jesus and wants to learn more about Him

Kate: Mommy, I love Jesus too...that's why I'm going to Heaven one day

That conversation ended a lot sweeter than the following which had a just plain funny ending

Kate: Mommy, what's Hell?

Me: Hell is where God punishes sin forever and ever

Kate: Maybe we can go there one day

Me: No Kate, Mommy and Daddy will never have to go to Hell and I hope you won't either

Kate: Why does God punish sin?

Me: Because God is holy and perfect and hates sin

Kate: Oh

Me: Kate, everyone sins. Daddy and I do and you do too. We don't love people like we should and we don't always share with others. But remember your bible verse, "The Father has sent His Son to be the Savior"? God sent Jesus to be our Savior. Remember how we talked about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins? Jesus NEVER sinned and He was punished for OUR sins so that if we believe in Him and trust in Him, we will never be punished in Hell for our sins...we'll get to go to Heaven and be with Jesus forever! Isn't that great!

Kate: Well Mommy, my Crocs have dirt on them.

Glad we've got that straight!

Sleeping through the night

Well, it's official...Henry is sleeping through the night! He's 7 and a half weeks old now and has sleeping through for about 2 weeks now. He started with 7 hours, then 8 and last night he even went 10 hours without waking!
I am so thankful for a solid block of sleep now!


Claire - 21 months

My dear Claire,

You are now 21 months old and a joy and treasure to me. You love to play with your dolls and carry your blanket around with you everywhere...even from room to room in our house!
The main thing I wanted to share with you is the special time we've had together lately. This month (it's happened almost everyday), you've been waking up from your nap a little earlier than your brother and sister.
When you wake up, you want to sit in my lap for about 30 min. We talk and laugh and you tell me you love me and you hug and kiss me. I know you won't remember this time we've been sharing but as your mother, few things give me greater joy than this. I love you my sweet girl.


Politically Correct?

I've been watching CNN and Fox News today and I continually hear statistics about what groups vote for which candidates. It's interesting that all the statistics are all related to race, gender, and religion. Aren't those the three things we are NOT supposed to talk about in our country?

According to these TV channels:
1. Women should support Clinton
2. African Americans should support Obama
3. Mormons should support Romney

I cannot help but wonder who the African American Mormon women should support.

Oops! Wanna Get Away?

This needs to be one of those "Wanna get away" commercials from SouthWest!


Who is this Ron Paul Guy?

In recent days I've had several conversations with people who are unfamiliar with Ron Paul. Others I've spoken with think he's not electable and they're planning to vote for someone they think can be Romney or McCain or whoever....

If you fall into one of those categories, please read through these articles and watch these videos. These are resources I've read or watched over the past few days:

Is Ron Paul Electable?

Shouldn't we Christians vote for the baptist pastor?

Ronald Reagan was charged with being "unelectable" in late March

Who is this Ron Paul guy?

And why do you keep writing posts about him?

Ron Paul's ideas are crazy?


Vote in our Poll

Please vote in our poll to the right. We'll do a poll for the democrats later...


The perfect holiday gift?

Don't tell Peggy, but this is what she's getting for her b'day...

A Radon Testing Kit!!!

This site says it is a "great holiday present"....Here's an excerpt from the site:

This holiday season, give your loved ones the gift of health. Radon
test kits make great holiday presents for friends and family, reminding them to
test for radon to protect their health. Think about giving test kits to
friends and family who have recently purchased a new home, friends who might
want to protect their children at home, or anyone, to reduce their risk of
becoming one of the 20,000 Americans who dies from radon-related lung cancer
deaths each year.

I don't know much about radon gas, but whoever wrote that it's a great holiday gift makes me glad I celebrate Christmas instead of "holiday"!


My top ten favorite things about newborns

10 - How beautiful they are (and how beautiful everyone else tells you they are)

9 - The Fencing Arms (one arm stretched out and the other arm bent)

8 - The way their feet are always flexed

7 - Their long skinny legs

6 - The way they jerk when they are startled

5 - The way they smile in their sleep

4 - The way they stare into your eyes

3 - The way they always keep their hands in those tight little fists

2 - The little noises they make (this was almost my #1)

1 - The way they smell


Down with Charter Communications - Revisited

I contacted the mayor of hoover to vent my frustrations with the Charter monopoly in Hoover, and I found that city officials are trying to bring competition to Hoover. AT&T has been given a franchise agreement and my hope is that they offer their "u-verse" tv in Hoover soon.

This article discusses the u-verse offering, and at first glance, it seems pretty amazing. Who wouldn't want cable and internet bundled together for $59?

Down with Charter! They'll never compete if this thing takes off and the quality of it is decent.

Leaving the House

Since I just posted about going to the grocery store for the first time, I thought I'd let you know what's involved with getting 3 children out the door.

Supervise teeth brushing
Make sure she goes to the bathroom
Pick out clothes
Supervise getting dressed
Help tie shoes
Fix hair
Put on coat

Brush her teeth
Put on clean diaper
Pick out clothes
Dress her
Put on shoes and socks (normally this is done 2x before we leave because she always takes them off)
Fix hair
Make sure I have another diaper with me...just in case
Put on coat
Make sure we have "botbee" (her blanket)

Change diaper
Pick out clothes
Get him dressed
Strap in car seat carrier
Put blanket over him
Make sure I have diapers/bottle if we are going to be out awhile

Walk all 3 to the car...
Buckle Henry's seat in
Buckle Kate in
Buckle Claire in
Climb to the front on the van
Sit in my seat
Buckle myself in

Turn on the car

Sit and rest (I actually do this)

Now, this may seem like a lot but it normally only takes about 2 hours :)


Well, I finally did it....I went to the grocery store with all three children...all by myself! Up to this point, Rick was going to the store with me (since Henry's birth) but since my children don't go to Mother's Day Out and last I checked weren't going anywhere, I decided I needed to learn to run errands with the whole crew. Honestly, I had been wondering how this would work since I saw those 2 little lines on my pregnancy test with Henry. I looked around, did some research and decided to by a sling. I bought a hotsling based on some recommendations and I love it! (thanks emily h. and katy - meredith told me you liked yours) It's SO easy to pop your baby in and out of and then you still have both hands free. I tried a front carrier before and it was too much work with all the buckles, etc. I needed something simpler and this was it. It was money well spent and I can see myself using it for a long time. Going to the store turned out to be easy so now I know I can do it! I bought my sling from attachedtobaby.com and got it from the outlet section for half of what they retail for. I highly recommend this to any mom!


Would You, Could You?

My mom gave us the book Green Eggs and Ham for Christmas. Apparently, it's a hit! We were putting Kate and Claire to bed a few moments ago and here's the conversation that we heard.

Kate: Would you like to play beauty parlor Claire?

Claire: Yep

Kate: Would you, could you, in the dark?

Tax Benefits?

Who is running our government? As our politicians have attempted to make things better for the working class of our society, more insanity ensues. Today, i'm talking about Flexible Spending Accounts.

At DAXKO, where I work, we received news yesterday that we would now have FSAs as a benefit. My first thought was, oh good. After a little research, I do not know what to think about them. I must decide how much medical expense I will incur during the year at the beginning of the year, and if I guess wrong, I'll lose any money I did not use. I do not know the accuracy of wikipedia on this, but it tells me that I can REQUEST a refund (it's not automatic) of unused funds, and if I do not request a refund, I'm taxed on the non-refunded amount.

Surely, this is wrong. From my little research (10 minutes or so online), it seems that FSAs are another attempt by our government officials to provide relief, and once again, they have only made our lives more difficult.

At first glance I think, "Yes, I'll participate. After all it's free money." But stepping back, I wonder if it is free money. There seems to be a good bit of overhead as I must manage yet another account of money, and interact with the government on yet another level (Ever file tax returns?). Living in America, we become less free everyday. If I participate in this plan, does the federal government now know every medical expense I make? And what am I being paid for this disclosure? The tax benefit does not seem to be that significant (a few hundres dollars per year).

I'm not knocking DAXKO here. This is all about the politicans we continually elect into office. They attempt to fix a broken system and it only becomes worse. And no Mike Huckabee, preventative healthcare is not the ultimate solution. We cannot prevent all health problems, and if we move that direction, I'll be going to the doctor once a week for a "check-up" in order to not lose my co-pay that I set aside at the beginning of the year in hopes that I could keep from getting sick. Preventative healthcare simply leads to "charts" that are useless.

After all, how many of you have babies under a year old that either weigh too much or weigh too little? Everyone of Peggy and I's children have measured 90% height and 10% weight on "the charts"? In a world where obesity is a major issue one would think this is a good thing, but not according to our doctors who are into "preventative healthcare measures".


Down With Charter Communications!

I know I'm not supposed to really "Hate", but I do Hate charter communications. Everytime I contact their support (which is too often), I'm on the line forever (or chat), and they must "access my account".

Charter representatives cannot tell me how much certain services cost without "accessing my account". I guess I'll be charged a "complaint fee". I'm considering downgrading to "basic cable", and I've been chatting with the charter support team for 10 minutes just to receive a simple quote.

The chat representative needed my address, phone, and last 4 digits of my social security number to receive a simple quote. I was then told it would take 2-3 minutes (after the previous 10 minutes) to get the quote.

I'm curious how a company run like this stays in business, and I quickly remember it is because the government is involved. We in Hoover have no options. Cable is regulated and restricted to charter alone in hoover alabama. I have never spoken to anyone with favorable things to say about the company, yet we're stuck. Someone in our city council is receiving a kick-back. This must be the case!

Charter raises my rates annually without providing any additional value (they actually took channels away this year). They increase their internet costs and I have no other options because bellsouth cannot get a strong enough signal to our neighborhood. I guess I should just be a good little American and quit complaining.

In a free country, I should have choices, but I have no other viable options, and I have no voice to make changes. I didn't intend to get into this during this post, but this is why I support Ron Paul for President. Everytime the government becomes involved in something, the cost goes up, the value decreases, and government officials become rich and more powerful. This is not a good combination.

It is indeed time for a revolution. I vote we start with taking down charter communications.


Henry - 1 month - January 3rd, 2008

To my son,

Today you are 1 month old! I can't believe it's only been 1 month because it seems like you've been with us forever and I can't even picture our little family without you now.

You are a good baby. You sleep well and have only gotten up one time in the night since you were 8 days old. I'm hoping in the next week or 2 that you'll follow in your sisters steps and start sleeping all the way through the night but if not, I'll enjoy the time that just the 2 of us share at 3am. You smiled for the first time on New Years Day! I must say that I am so glad that you gave your first smile to me. You fit right into our family and your sisters sure do love you. They hug and kiss you all the time and fight to hold you. Whenever they wake up in the morning or after naptime, they both ask for you first thing.

If I could tell you one thing that you should carry with you your entire life it would be to watch your father. See how worship is first. See how he loves me and treats me and cares for me. See how he loves you and your sisters. See how he works hard but never puts work above us. See how he spends his time. You will never be too old to seek his guidance or spend time with him.
While you are in our house, we will be preparing you to one day leave and to be a man, a husband and a father. You have no better example than your own father. When you leave us, you will be ready if you learn from him. The Lord has blessed you. All this talk of leaving makes me sad so for now, I will hold you close and hold you tight while you are still my baby.

I will love you my whole life,


Ron Paul, Fox News, ABC, Stop the madness!

For the first time in my life, I'm interested in politics. The message of Ron Paul deserves credit for this. I do not want to lift the man up too high for fear of him overshadowing our Saviour Jesus Christ, but I do enjoy hearing the refreshing political message Paul is broadcasting. I generally do not trust politicians and am not sure if Ron Paul is really different from the others, but at this point he's convinced me to give him a shot unlike Fox News and ABC.

These two channels have not invited Ron Paul to their debates, and I would like to see the other candidates refuse to participate in those debates if they truly believe openness and freedom are good things.

Granted, I do not truly expect anyone of the candidates to refuse an opportunity to squash another candidate due to censorship, but then again, if they did, I may actually give them another look.....on 2nd though...nah.