Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pickin' and grinnin'

Trying daddy's guitar on for size...

We're Number One....

Puckey, with a giant foam finger...
We didn't actually end up as "Number One", but it sounds better than, "We got our pants beaten off by the other team at our own homecoming".

Ande's cousin, Leah-beth was in town and came to the game with us. Jib cozied right up to her.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, honestly...

Now, I think the PETA people simply have WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY too much time on their hands. Read this article for a good laugh (and a little bit of EEEEWWWWWW!!! factor) about what PETA suggested to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Who's YOUR "Daddy"?

A reader who only identified herself as "Holly W." (I wonder if her last name is Wood?? You know...Holly Wood? That would be SUH-WEET.) Okay, sorry. I've regained composure. Anyway, Ms. "W" left me a comment on both this post and this post, but (conveniently enough) I can't get to her blog (if she has one) to leave a comment directly to her. So I don't know if she'll come back to see if I responded, but on the chance that she might, here's what I'm going to do. I am posting her comments, and I will post my responses embedded within what she wrote. It's easier for me to address her points then.

Here's her first set of comments, left in response to my link to "If You Like Michigan's Economy, You'll Love Obama's":

That's really dangerous to consider an opinion piece from Phil Gramm (remember, he's the McCain economic advisor who said that the economy is strong and that the US is just a nation of whiners) to be journalistic fact! He obviously has an agenda, and that is to make people like you scared of Obama. Unfortunately it's working! The best thing you can do during this election season is to read objective, fact-based articles- not opinion pieces, which are usually just that- opinions!

I'm not sure how one can dispute the fact that states under Democratic leadership have floundered, while states under Republican leadership have prospered. I don't see how Obama is going to help my family by raising taxes my husband's employer has to pay. I see that as a great excuse for employers to shrink their workforce to "make up" for the lost revenue paid out in taxes. I also don't believe that the government spending more money is going to stimulate the economy. I know that if I spend more than I'm bringing in, my personal economy is anything but stimulated. I'm thinking the government would have the same problem. That is, of course, my opinion, but I do try to base my opinion on factual information. As for it being "dangerous" - there is nothing more dangerous than singing. (Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention)

I also want to comment on the other article you put up there about Democratic fundraisers backing McCain. Do you know how this woman is? She's married to a British noblemen, lives in England, and is very rich! Calling Obama "elitist" is simply ridiculous!!! How can Obama be elitist? He was raised by a single mother (partly with food stamps), he just recently paid off his student loans- he didn't get a free ride to Harvard because his daddy could pay tuition- he only has one house (compared to McCain's 7-9 houses- he can't even keep track), he only has one car (McCain has 13)! So what makes him elitist? Because he has a good education? Because he's smart? McCain finished at the Naval Academy at the bottom (or second-to) of his class. Our current president isn't all that smart, and look where that's gotten us!

Lynn Forester de Rothschild grew up in New Jersey, and worked her way up to her financial position in life. She was very wealthy before she even married her husband. That doesn't mean a whole lot. I know of other people who are very wealthy who are humble, and I know of people who don't have much but scorn others who are in their same situation.

The statement that Barack Obama was raised by his single mother who collected food stamps is a bit misleading. According to Time Magazine (April 9, 2008), "Obama's father had an agenda: to return to his home country and help reinvent Kenya. He wanted to take his new family with him. ... "In the end, Ann decided not to follow him." and "When her son was almost 2, Ann returned to college. Money was tight. She collected food stamps and relied on her parents to help take care of young Barack. She would get her bachelor's degree four years later. In the meantime, she met another foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, at the University of Hawaii." Sounds like Obama's mom made the conscious decision to stay in Hawaii (which I don't disagree with, I might have done the same thing), but she had the help of her parents, which is more than many single moms have today.

As for how Obama paid for college, Harvard won't release details of exactly how his entire tuition was paid for, and the Obama's tax records show them paying no interest in student loans after 2004. That's 4 years ago, and his income in 2005 was 1.6 MILLION dollars. He's not exactly "broke" As a matter of fact, the Obama's yearly income for 2000-2004 was nearly TEN TIMES what my family of 7 lives on.

In reference to the number of houses or cars owned by Obama or McCain - In my opinion, if they can afford what they have, let them have it. I personally would never want to own 7 homes or 13 cars, but more than what these people have done for themselves, what have they done for others? What kind of charitable contributions have they made? What have they done to better our world?

Regarding what makes Obama an elitist - how can someone who attended a church that appears to hold a racist view, as well as an anti-American position for 20 years think people will believe he doesn't harbor some resentment towards white people and the country he calls home? How can he not face the flag OR place his hand over his heart during our NATIONAL Anthem, and not be considered un-patriotic? How can his wife come out and say that she's "proud of our country for the first time" (or something like that) only because her husband has the opportunity to become president? What about all of the opportunities they were both afforded in being able to attend college and become successful lawyers? What about her husband becoming a US Senator? I'd say those are all things to be proud of being able to do.

You mentioned McCain's rank in his class at the Naval Academy. Someones grades (or lack thereof) do not necessarily reflect intelligence. My son is VERY smart, gets "A's" on nearly every test...his GPA is only in the "C" range.

Some people have a hard time taking tests, although they could give you a detailed (and correct) answer when questioned outside of a testing situation.

I graduated High School with a 3.98 GPA (4.0 was the best you could do back then...) and yet I was only in the top 10% of my class of 206. Things like that could be a matter of perspective.

Not saying that Obama ever cheated, because I have never heard that about him, but for another example...people can, and do, cheat to succeed sometimes, be it in school, sports, or business. Again, I am not saying Obama ever cheated, just to be clear.

Finally, I'm sorry to hear about your (husband's) grandmother. My thoughts go out to your family.

I appreciate your acknowledgment of Ande's grandma's death. She was a fine, God loving woman. Thank you.

p.s. I'm a concerned US citizen who just happens to live abroad. What I've learned by living in Europe is that government that can offer its people health insurance, a social safety net, free education (that includes college) is simply better in line with my ideology as an ethical Judeo-Christian- I don't need a lecture about God and Jesus. I'd really like to know why you think that health care for children and help for those who are having financial troubles are bad things. In today's economy, a lot of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, but you should know that better than me- I haven't been on American soil in over a year.

I don't think health care for children or help for those who are having financial troubles are bad things. Our family has been the beneficiary of both of those things. I don't have a solution to our country's problems, but I'm for sure not going to vote for someone who I believe will make them worse.

Now, for Ms. "W's" second set of comments, left under the "Like Rats Leaving a Sinking Ship" post:

I just don't get why Conservatives always try to claim that Liberals don't have any morals or are morally corrupt. What's wrong with wanting children to have health insurance, that is ALL children, or wanting those in need to be taken care of by the State when they're just not making it on their own.

Again, I don't see anything wrong with health insurance for everyone, or helping families in need. I just don't see Obama's plan being one that will work.

As for abortion rights and gay marriage- our founding fathers made it clear that in the US we have separation of Church and State- that means LEAVE YOUR BELIEFS OUT OF POLITICS!!!! I live in a country without separation of Church and State (Germany)- I am an American citizen, by the way- and even though religion is taught in public schools as a one of many subjects, they still manage to keep religion out of politics.

Separation of church and state means (simply stated) that our country will not force anyone to follow a "state" religion, and that our country does not claim to be a nation of a specific religion. (Although don't about 85% of Americans claim to be Christian? I'm just sayin') As for leaving religion out of politics - some of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, and those same commandments are the basis on which much of society bases their morality (or at least used to). Separation of church and state does not mean, "Leave your beliefs at the door". I won't vote for someone whom I don't feel shares my beliefs.

As for abortion and homosexual marriage - murder is wrong. Most people agree on that, right? Then why is killing a baby okay? There are so many other alternatives out there. The homosexual lifestyle is wrong, as well. If it weren't, why did people (until recent times) hide it?? Why do people go to court to defend it?

Speaking of separation of church and state and religion being taught in school - did you know the first Bibles published in the US were for use in schools?

Anyway, I personally am also pro-life, but how can I claim to be in a position to judge a woman that feels like abortion is the only option? Why should I take that right away from her? Or better yet, let's start teaching our teens about safer sex or work on ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. We only have to look to Bristol Palin to see that abstinence-only doesn't work. In short, let's start worrying about the people who are already on this earth and start taking care of them.

Using Bristol Palin as a defense for sex-ed seems like a good idea, until you think about the fact that NO form of birth control is 100% effective all of the time EXCEPT abstinence. So Bristol messed up, got caught up in a you honestly believe that knowing how to have sex "safely" helps? To me, it's like giving permission to have sex. Give a teenager a license, a car, and a set of keys. Do you think he's NOT going to want to drive? It's the same thing with sex. Sex outside of marriage has been glamorized more and more in the media. Promoting sex ed, which gives education on how to protect yourself from STD's and unwanted pregnancies, wouldn't even be necessary if people learned to keep it in their pants until marriage, and then remained faithful to their marriage partner for life. Maybe we should start teaching MARRIAGE Ed in schools.

Do any of you work with underprivileged children or people truly on the fringes of our society? I'd be interested to know.

I don't have personal experience with that, other than supporting charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. My husband worked in a homeless shelter/drug rehab facility for about a year, and I did interact with some of the clients there on occasion.

Anyway, what ever happened to "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"? Or loving your neighbor as yourself?

No one is without sin. However, we (Christians) shouldn't look the other way when we know there is sin going on. You can love a person without loving the sins they've committed, but that is not to condone the sin.

In case anyone wants to respond, you can spare yourself any religious arguments- I've heard them all, I've thought about them, and I've studied Theology at the University. You'll just feel like your talking to a brick wall, which is how I'll probably feel by bothering to respond. I just get riled up when I see people telling lies and spreading misinformation about Liberals.

Father God does not lie. His word is the truth. Satan, however, is the Father of Lies. Who's YOUR "Daddy"?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All kinds of stuff..

First of all, thanks to all of you for your well-wishes and prayers for Ande's family in the loss of his grandma. She was a beloved part of the family, and she will be missed dearly. The weather was just beautiful for her funeral, which (in my opinion) made it a little easier to take.

Several of Ande's cousins were in town for the funeral, and a couple of them were able to bless some of the students at Bug's school by providing music for the "See You at the Pole" event that was held yesterday. You can see a couple of pictures by clicking here. Ande's the cute one on the far left, for those of you who don't know! The guy next to him is Ande's cousin, Scott. He's (seriously) about 6'7", which is why everyone else looks so short. Ande's 6'2", if that gives you any perspective...The girl is Ande's cousin Leah-Beth (who's sister Melany blogs here), and the guy on the right is Ande's brother, Ben. I was so glad they were able to share in that experience with the kids at the school.

On Tuesday at Bug's school it was "Crazy Day" (for Spirit Week). This is the outfit that Bug came up with, completely on her own.
(Amanda, I think Bug could give Walker a run for his money!! LOL)
We celebrated my grandma's 81st birthday last weekend, and it was fun to see some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles I don't see very often. I got to hold the newest baby in the family (she's 7 months old) and made my aunt (her grandma) a little jealous when Layla not only didn't cry, but even fell asleep for me! (Apparently this is a rare occurrence)
This is my cousin Stacey (Layla's mom) and Layla.
This is my cousin Stan doing an impersonation of our uncle's mullet. Yes, I said mullet. Apparently in Indiana that's the only hairstyle available?!?!?

FYI: Puckey just looked at that picture and said, "What in the HECK?" HA HA HA HA!!

Bubber told me yesterday that he wants to move in with his dad when he turns 14. I'm not sure where Bubber gets his "legal advice", but he believes that all he has to do is ask his dad and then he can move. Um...that's not QUITE how it works, bud.

His reason for wanting to move? Ande and I won't let him go to the Homecoming Dance (yeah, have you HEARD the kind of music that is acceptable now?? I don't even want to get into the dresses the girls wear OR the dancing...), and I wouldn't let him stay at the JV football game last week because he wasn't going to be with an adult.

Call me overprotective, but he's 13, and wants to do this stuff solely to hang out with his "girlfriend" (which he's far too young to have anyway). I wasn't too much older than him when I started doing things I shouldn't have, and the main reason I did those things was because my mom and dad just really weren't around. I don't want him to fall into that trap. And for those of you who say, "it's a school event, there's not much they could do....." I beg to differ. Been there, done that.

So, keep that situation in your prayers, as I really don't know what his dad's plans are. I'm hoping for his cooperation in this, but who knows for sure what will happen.