Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Some Great Videos for Grandparents & Others Who May Obsess Over the Boys...

Ok, I admit it. I seemingly always have laundry piles mid-fold on my couch. I may get five loads done in a day, but I seem to always stop at least one load short of finishing the folding/ putting away process. It's embarrassing, but it's life- for me at least. Try to ignore it and watch the funny kiddos.

My Firemen, with a race track fire hose.
video

When Gabe's throwing a fit, he DOES NOT LIKE pictures being taken of him. In this video he keeps saying, "No pictures!" while continuing his tantrum. Watch the next video for part B- it's the BEST.
video

PART B of "the fit." It gets funnier!
video

(A few nights ago Matt was making the boys laugh by scowling at Gabe and shouting, "Tell me your name!" Can't remember why this was so funny, but Gabe played along and refused to say his name, only responding with "Nope!" So then Matt and Jes started calling him "Nope.") Here Jesse catches a Nope.
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More mood swings from Gabe... this is funny.
video

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nutty Family Pictures...


Jes had sprayed Gabe's hair with a squirt bottle.


"Cuddling Jakey" a.k.a. Gabe on my belly-



Rather than going to sleep, why not unload all the food storage and try on each pair of Jesse's underwear- (in the dark)? All that work sure is tiring...


Wrestle-mania: Jesse verses Matt...


(Aunt Den sent Jesse's favorite orange shirt. It reads,
"I STILL LIVE WITH MY PARENTS." Love it!)


Lincoln Logs!

Gabe keeps falling asleep just inside his bedroom door at night- not even crying, just dreaming of escape. We have to scoot him away inch by inch.




Oh, and he likes to unload the dresser first.

Fun times on the porch... He might be a redneck. (Comes by it honestly.)


The ever-expanding woman!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

I WISH I Wasn't Familiar With Terms Like "Snot Rocket." Don't You?

It's the ONE- (and I mean ONLY- I put up with a lot around here) topic that is NOT acceptable to discuss in my presence. In a word: mucus. So this is going to be difficult. Gagging yet? I am.

In Sacrament Meeting (which we just came from; the boys are too cold-germy to hang around other kids today), there was a bit of an incident.

Poor Jessica Bogle. Poor, poor Jessica...

This cute, young, very-recently married girl (who was recently called to teach the Sunbeams- again I say, poor Jessica) was sitting in the pew behind us. There was a small ruckus and I looked to Matt to see what I'd missed. Apparently he'd turned around when he heard Jessica quietly shriek in horror, to find Gabe with some of the runny stuff dripping from his hand and hear Jessica proclaim, "He just picked his nose and wiped it on me!" She was still in shock. Matt quickly filled me in and I immediately (mothers have no pride, gee, wonder why...) covered my face and took just a second to pull myself together so I could take this on. I looked up and apologized profusely and scrambled for some wipes to offer her. I missed the comment Jessica's dad made as he laughed and slapped her leg, "You lookin' forward to kids, Honey?!" He went on to stifle my apologies and assure me that that's just what she needed right now, and how we've all been around kids and it wasn't gonna hurt anybody... It was hard to keep my mind focused on the meeting after that. On our way out, Matt caught Jessica's attention and thoughtfully reminded her not to forget to wash her hands.

I know, this is class. No one says sophistication like our family.

Ever Wonder What's in a 3 Year Old Boy's Mind? Here it is...

So what do little boys think about, and what on earth is going on in the minds of their fathers?

In the car driving home from church, after some quiet thought:

"Dad? How would you beat up a dinosaur?"

Matt, right off the cuff:

"I'd call in Close Air Support and bomb his big butt."

"Oh. I'd cut him in half with a really big knife."

Other moms might be horrified by the casual talk of violence, but since it was directed at dinosaurs, not people, I was actually just trying to picture whether Jesse meant vertically or horizontally...

What do you people talk about in the car? Maybe I can make believe I'm in your world sometimes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Please Check This Out!

I borrowed this link from Matt's dear Aunt. It brought such peace to my soul and moved me. I hope it does the same for you! I hope it renews your strength like it did mine.

www.ldsmag.com/youtube/080828christ.html

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Simply Fabulous...

We had stake conference this weekend and jumped through hoops all Saturday to prepare for the drive. Then 7:00 AM came on Sunday and Gabe had a fever of 102. Jes had had one a couple days prior so it wasn't totally unexpected, but a bit of a bummer. We got him on some Tylenol and he came down within a couple of hours and was doing great. With the whole day ahead of us, we had to think of what we could do to take time and appreciate some of Heavenly Father's gifts. We decided to drive out to have a look at the beach areas since it was such a gorgeous day. We went mainly for the sake of the drive which is so beautiful. When we got there we let the boys out to chase the birds while we read some signs about the area, and we snapped some pics for the grandparents. (It was maybe 75 degrees on the beach, and our thermo-thing said it was 92 at the house! Take that, snow-covered family!)














Pee-Wee Cage Fighting, or Redneck Trampoline Surround? You Decide.



Whatever you call it, it's... something! What a perfect representation of who we are at our core. We've erected this beautiful monstrosity so the kids won't topple their way to the E.R. We had SO much trouble trying to order the surround that goes with our trampoline, and finally gave up when the only source we could find actually charged more for the net thing than the tramp cost. But never fear! We're outside of the box thinkers, so a little PVC piping and some orange construction netting and a billion zip-ties later, Ta Da! Oh, and note the plastic pool ladder, and the anti-rabbit fencing around the base to prevent the boys from walking underneath and getting jumped on... You know you wish YOUR yard had this in it! We're thinking about keeping some of the left over PVC for weaponry purposes. Ok, we're not THAT hick.

Young Love...

Do we still count as young?

This one's for you, Haylee! I told Matt you asked about his ridiculous pictures, so he snapped a new shot. Maybe you shouldn't ask anymore... it could get worse.

Playgroup Today






We met at Heidi's this morning and a really cool lady named Marina (spell?) came and led us in some Spanish learning and play. It was tons 0f fun! We are loving all the friends we've got here. Such great, fun people!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back for More?

Ok, so ignore me if you're not up for this. And don't forget to check back. I promise this blog will still contain its regular stuff, but now you may have to ignore some other stuff I'll have on here if you simply want to see what silly & fun things my family's up to. So here's what, I believe, the world is up to.

I listed some principles and values in my last post. The point of that is this: When you lay a foundation of basic beliefs, it makes every situation more simple. You want to be immune to the chaotic political banter and brainwashing that's thrown at you? Define for yourself what you believe are the purest truths, and you won't have to wonder where you stand. Things are made so complicated by the time it's all filtered through debaters and speech writers and biased media- on both sides. So boil it down, and compare it to what you know is right, without regard for political spin. Once you decide where you are on an issue you'll often look around and think that you look like a freak compared to everyone else, and feel like you're standing alone. Don't let yourself be swayed by the people who mock your opinions or try to make your position look stupid. Remind yourself what you based your decision on and stand firm, without second guessing. Remember Lehi's dream? Let what you know is right be your iron rod and guide you. Do not be one who listens to the people in the great and spacious building who point and laugh. Those who were embarrassed and ashamed when they were mocked lost hold of their grasp on the rod, and were lost. Do not be confused by the mists of darkness. These obstacles are things Satan has put in our way to convince us to let go of truth. Remember, you are following the direction that your faith is leading you. You are headed toward your goal for a reason. Do not forget it.

Now where does this all tie in... I believe the constitution was divinely inspired, and that this is the land God prepared for His righteous. The scriptures tell us that this is the promised land, and I believe of course that the Lord had a hand in preparing it for us. If any of you have been to the historical sites and buildings where our founding fathers labored for hours in sweltering heat to pound out the foundation of our country, you may remember feeling the Spirit around you, affirming something to you. When I took that trip years ago, I was profoundly affected by what I saw and what I learned, and I came to believe that what occurred there was had spiritual significance.

But now so much is being changed. Suddenly there seem to be so few left who think the founding fathers had any clue what they were doing. That the new generation can do better, that we know better, that society has changed and the views of old are somehow moot now due to their antiquity. Well I think truth never changes and that right and wrong are immune to the fads of modern thinking. People can laugh; they should. Many people's thinking is so lost that I surely must look like an old-fashioned idiot to them. Unfortunately for them, their opinions are based largely on what society deems politically correct and what others think makes them important. I think my foundations are more solid.

So let's have a look. What has changed? Far too many things to list here, so we'll grab just a few issues for review. When people used to break the law (or even just rules, for children) they were punished, generally in front of other people, and were made to feel ashamed and embarrassed, and compelled to make restitution. They were shunned to a degree, and had to live with the fact that they'd let down the people who respected them. Now, adults are sent to prisons that have nicer conditions than our troops are afforded. If they have the right connections, they may not be prosecuted at all, or things just somehow fizzle out for them and go away. (I can site many sources and examples of all this if necessary.) Children have so many "rights" at school that they are not to be made uncomfortable for things they do, and often are not held responsible for their actions at all. Even many parents these days guard against their children experiencing embarrassment or shame of any kind for the choices they make, mistakenly believing that talking with the child (who is literally incapable of rational thinking, due to an immature brain) will do the trick. (If you stole a cookie from the store and the manager gently discussed that there are other choices available to you and took it no further, what would you do the next time you were craving Chips Ahoy?) Thus, kids feel no sense of obligation to people around them and have no interest in good citizenship or ethics or morals. Why should they? They have no negative feelings (shame, regret, remorse) to associate with their bad behavior. The statistics for children of recent generations who act out violently toward themselves or others and have low "self esteem" are incredible when compared to stats from generations ago. And I think we all know that crime is rising at astounding rates, among children and adults. I see a distinct connection.

How about this topic: Our country today spends tax dollars that came from your pockets to fund the murder of its most innocent citizens. Legalized- and now subsidized (government FUNDED)- abortion must be the strongest example of where evil has seeped into our government. I could use bolder words and horrific examples here to drive the point home, but the topic sickens so many of us so very deeply that I'll avoid it right now. Hopefully graphic details aren't necessary to grasp the evil of this concept.

Now let's consider finances. Simply put, a few decades ago our government left behind the "gold standard," (which regulated how much money bounced around in the economy because the numbers were all backed with actual gold). It used to be that each paper dollar had one dollar's worth of gold sitting behind lock and key, to justify that dollar. And the coins were actually made of the metal they represented, and thus held intrinsic value. But then the government authorized itself to print money at will and distribute it as they saw fit. Inflation rose of course as this money was disbursed, but society managed. Well now the market is being flooded with trillions of dollars, far surpassing anything that's been done here before. Let's examine the significance of that. One million seconds is about 12 days. One billion seconds is about 32 years. One trillion seconds is about 32,000 years. Did you catch that? Wanna read it again? Ok, so there's the significance of a million, verses a billion, verses a trillion. How much money is being "spent" now (remember, this money doesn't really exist, but will be billed to us, our children, their children, and their children...) in the name of bailouts? Oh, right. Nearly $8 trillion. (How long do you think it will take to pay THAT back? And how high will our taxes be raised to cover it? If you think taxes from the "rich" will have it covered, think again.) So as this money is flooded into our economy in the next few years, how do you think that will go? Inflation will skyrocket as never conceived of here before. So between that and the ever-increasing burdens being imposed on U.S. businesses, how long do you think it will be until they just can't compete anymore? Till production stops and stores' shelves are empty? (Don't forget, that's more jobs lost.) Some reliable economists predict that could be the case as early as October of this year. Maybe it will be later than that. The real question is, will you be ready? What would your family need if you couldn't go pick things up from Walmart? How long would your life continue as normal? Envisioning this situation, do you think there will be people who starve? People waiting all day at soup kitchens? People depending 100% on the government to meet their most basic needs? Does any of this sound familiar? Does the term communism spring to mind? In all countries that have gone down this path, there has been death by starvation and untold suffering. With all the soup kitchens the government will have to provide to try and feed all these people, what do you think will happen to the taxes of those who do have jobs? In countries that have overspent to this degree, taxes have been shown to rise as high as 95% of people's paychecks. So when our paychecks are all but taken from us (who are lucky enough to have a job at all) and people are watching their kids go hungry, how desperate do you think they'll be? Certainly it's reasonable to assume many will turn to violence out of desperation, and chaos is certain to follow. This recession is being compared to the great depression. Based on what I've read and heard from very wise authorities on the subject I believe it will be far worse. In other countries whose governments have printed vast quantities of currency like this, many of the people ended up literally burning the paper money to keep warm, because it was virtually worthless. Google it; you'll see pictures. Some of us have received emails with pictures of people carrying thousands of paper units to pay for a banana. That's the result. That is the natural outcome of taking the road that our country is racing down.

So now that you have a healthy respect for what's going down, let's talk about something more important than all of this. Heavenly Father has given us a Prophet to guide us. He's given us scriptures and prayer and faith and personal revelation to rely on. He's told us for years to build up a supply of food for our families, and has promised to deliver those who follow Him. If you're tempted to write all the current crises off and think it will never happen here, remember that when God has blessed people and they become greedy and prideful and stray from righteousness, He sees that they must be humbled, and suffering follows. It's the endless cycle that continues throughout the scriptures, and we are an extension of that history. It will work no differently for us. Do not be fooled into thinking that we're immune; remember, our society is the one trying to remove God from every aspect of life in order to avoid "offending" anyone who believes differently. Well people can believe what they want, but I will never stop serving God. We must be governed by our principles and live accordingly. What do you believe in? That will become very important as we all become so desperate. Remember that whatever the Lord has asked of His followers, whatever suffering they must endure (try and think of an example of God's people not being tested...) they are rewarded tenfold for their obedience. Lean on your faith rather than fear, and make sure you're in good standing with your Savior and Heavenly Father. We're all going to need their guidance so much; we already do. Do your best, and you'll be richly blessed. I have so much to work on but every step I take in the right direction has turned out to bless me like I couldn't have imagined, and I know it is the same for you. Have faith and also remember that fear is a tool of the devil. Do not let him discourage you. You've been shown so many times yourself and have seen countless examples of others that prove the Lord will not abandon His people. So rely on Him. Pray for His council and do what you know to be right. And if you have the means, buy a freaking farm in the middle of nowhere to weather the storm... We've been counciled to live as self-sufficiently as possible, and now's the time for us to learn the skills. You know, God doesn't always say, "The floods are coming so build a boat." He tells us to build the boat, and if we listen, we sure end up glad we did. Pretty sure the Lord's way is the safest bet. So I advise you, my family and friends and everyone out there, to get in shape and do what you need to do to get prepared. In my last post I quoted John Leach, "Denial and inactivity prepare people well for the roles of victim and corpse." Don't live in ignorance.

P.S.- I should add that I honestly, 100% hope I am dead, stinking wrong about what's coming. I would love nothing more and boy, it would make life simpler. But I've done my homework, I've investigated it, and this is what I see. I sound like a crazy person. But if you look into it with an open, honest heart and ask for guidance from the Spirit, I believe you will be as alarmed by what you find as me. Please do it. Check it out at least. Whether we end up agreeing or not is not the point. What matters is that we all do our best to get prepared and the Lord will guide us. I wish you all the very best in searching out the truth. If you have any questions, you know where I live...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'M OBLIGATED TO TELL MY LOVED ONES, AND THAT MEANS YOU.

If a person truly believes there is danger approaching and does not warn others, that person shares responsibility for whatever suffering results. Simple philosophy, and I think it's true. So, here we go. Some people may get freaked out or think I'm entirely nuts, but that takes a back seat to the sense of obligation I'm feeling. Here it is: I believe that trouble is coming and many people don't see it or won't allow themselves to really consider the prospect, because it's scary and bloody unpleasant. But I also believe that with STRONG faith and preparation we don't need to have fear. We simply need to rely on God and follow promptings that guide us; listen to our guts. If we fail to prepare, if we bury our heads in the sand to avoid the headache of it all, we will surely regret it.

"Denial and inactivity prepare people well for the roles of victim and corpse." -John Leach

Sounds melodramatic, I know. But it makes a good point. So let's get down to it. Our country was founded, through direction of our Heavenly Father, upon certain principles and values. Laws were set up based on these things, and society was governed to reflect it. Thus the success our country alone has had in offering true freedom to those of us lucky enough to live in the United States of America, the promised land.
Clearly I'm invested in these things, but I regret that I don't have the extent of education I hope to one day gain of our nation's history and the admirable men who laid the foundation for our freedom. Fortunately, I know of someone who knows these things well and who has studied it out in his heart, and learned and prayed, and has made it simple enough for the rest of us to grab hold of.
Glenn Beck is someone I admire and respect, and in his words I find inspiration and clarity of the mess we're living in. He's recently come out with some principles and values that warrant consideration. I hope you'll take a minute to read through them and ponder your stance.

Nine Principles:
1. America is good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my life.
3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. (That part is key, we have the right to earn what we want, not just get what we want.)
7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. (Charity is wonderful, but it's at my discretion.)
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion. (No matter how politically incorrect it may be!)
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

12 Values:
Honesty
Reverence
Hope
Thrift
Humility
Charity
Sincerity
Moderation
Hard Work
Courage
Personal Responsibility
Friendship

These things are precious to me. I'm upset by most of what I see going on politically. There's so much greed and corruption and- to be bold- evil, that I'm concerned about the natural consequences I see barreling toward us. We are systematically losing the freedoms God prepared for us.
If these things are important to you, if your alarm bells or your gut or your instinct are alerting you at all that something is coming, leave me a comment or email me and I'll write more about this. I think there are so many important things going on right in front of our faces, and many of us don't or won't see it. We have got to pay attention so we can prepare our families and ourselves. There's so much ahead... Let me know if you want to read what I believe in my soul is on the way for all of us, because heaven knows I'd be happy to elaborate (further). So many opinions, so little space to write before people go numb and find something else to read...