Welcome!

Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.

cathyb

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Birthday Party Meltdown

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEYLAND!!!!

The video I posted yesterday (Charlie Bit Me) is one of the cutest I've seen. It goes without saying, though, that the pictures and videos of my precious grandchildren are THE cutest ones ever!! Here's the birthday girl wearing her Birthday Girl shirt and sporting her backpack this morning when she went with Mommy to run some errands. Below is a cute little video of The Birthday Party Meltdown. A little history: At her first and second birthday parties, Leyland would cry whenever we sang Happy Birthday to her. She was okay to sing it to other folks on their birthdays, but for some reason, she would cry when it was her turn to be the birthday girl. This year, though, she seemed to be quite excited about it! Her mom put her down for a nap early on the afternoon of her birthday, knowing that a nap-deprived toddler doesn't make for a pleasant afternoon for anyone. Even Princens get grumpy without a nap. A few minutes later, she called out for a drink, and as I was taking it to her room, I could hear her in there singing Happy Birthday to Curious George, Barney, Elmo, and some of her other stuffed friends. She laughed when I walked in and started singing Happy Birthday to Greemaw. So, we were hopeful that the birthday song wouldn't send her over the edge this time around. She was very sweet all afternoon, and really enjoyed opening her presents, and being the Party Princen. When it came time to light the candles and sing the birthday song, she was so excited!! All was going well until.... well, watch for yourself...
video
Poor Peyton was so upset!! She was crying just as hard as Leyland! In the end, though, everyone was happy, everyone had a turn blowing out candles, and they all lived happily ever after. Just the way it is supposed to be for little princesses everywhere. Happy Birthday, sweet pea. Greemaw loves you so very much!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Charlie Bit Me!!!

This is one of the cutest videos I have ever seen. Whitney and I have watched it a zillion times and it just gets cuter. Be sure to turn up the speakers, and listen closely. Sweet little English accent just makes it cuter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Princen Party

Leyland's birthday is Tuesday. We celebrated today with a Princen Party down at the church. In case you don't remember, "princen" is Leyland's word for "princess". Oh yeah, she's in full Princen mode these days. It was a lovely day with lots of family and friends on hand to celebrate the day. I'm posting a few pictures here. There are more on my Facebook page. Click to enlarge.


A Very Tired Birthday Princess!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Pledge Allegiance

For those of you over a certain age, do you remember how you started the day when you were in school? First there would be roll call. On Mondays you’d turn in your $1.25 lunch money for the week. Then what? Everyone (and I mean everyone) in the classroom would stand at attention beside our desks, place our hands over our hearts, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. And before we sat down, we would bow our heads, and everyone would recite the Lord’s Prayer. Just another fond memory of The Good Old Days. Were there children from non-Christian homes in class? I’m quite sure there were. Did their parents come down with clenched fists, attorneys in tow, threatening to call the ACLU? Nah, most kids I know just recited it and accepted it as something you do. Part of the school day. In the small world in which I grew up, most families I knew went to church, and believed in God, regardless of what they might do on Saturday night. And for the ones who didn’t, nobody ever objected to reference to God or the Pledge to the Flag… my goodness, we even had a Bible Lady who came into the schools!!! How we loved the Bible Lady with her felt storyboards, which she magically turned into beautiful scenes from well-loved Bible stories. Learn John 3:16 and get yourself a New Testament. I always had my eye on that sparkling, glitter-laden wall motto (and I still like sparkly things!), but I never memorized enough scripture to earn it.

Times have surely changed, and while it is certainly the American, even the God-given right of any individual to accept or reject the existence of God, as well as a personal relationship with Him, it has long been more about politics than about religion. Or perhaps the mixture thereof. Regarding the Pledge thing, I learned only recently of a Supreme Court ruling back in the 1940s that said a person could not be “forced” into reciting the Pledge of Allegience. Back then, it was not the “under God” part of the text that gave cause for concern, (quite the opposite) rather the idea of “pledging” oneself to something OTHER than God, i.e. to the Republic or the Flag. Some people felt that to do so was to put another entity above God. Being a believer and follower of God myself, I guess I can kind of see that, although it never occurred to me that I might be undermining my “pledge” to God by pledging allegiance to my country, or the flag that represents her. In my mind, God is God is God and comes before and above my allegiance to anything else… ever. However- it is indeed a law that school children can’t be forced to stand and recite the pledge. That makes me sad. In the olden days we were taught morals, and were taught to love and respect our nation. Our President was someone to be looked upon with honor. Hopefully some of us also learned this at home too, and our mamas and daddys taught us to stand respectfully, with our hands over our hearts when we said The Pledge, or sang the National Anthem. It is such a powerful feeling, that even to this day I get a lump in my throat whenever I say The Pledge, or when I sing the National Anthem. At my church we will sing patriotic songs around July 4th, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day. It is always a struggle to get the words out, because my throat constricts with that powerful feeling of love of country (in spite of all her problems today). The feeling of gratitude for my forefathers who bled and died to ensure our freedom and liberty. The feeling of sadness for families today who miss their loved ones as they serve our nation far from home.

I suppose the point of this post is to encourage young parents to please instill in your children the HONOR and PRIVILEGE to pledge their allegiance to this Republic and The Flag that represents our nation. It takes nothing away from your commitment to God. (Kids won’t even understand that anyhow.) Teach them that saying The Pledge is not a “duty” at school, like learning and reciting math formulas, but rather a way to show love and respect to a nation that (again, in spite of her problems today), is the best place on earth to live.

Parents, teach your kids to say The Pledge. When my grandchildren are just a bit older, I hope to have a little routine, like Whitney did in daycare, to pause for a moment, say a prayer, say The Pledge, and sing little songs to learn the days of the week. Teach them young so that it is a part of their lives, and when they go to school and find out that they don’t “have to say it”… that will seem a foreign concept to them. If you don’t teach them at home, when they get to school and find out they don’t “have to say it”, then how many of them do you think will take the time to learn it, and what will it mean to them? Especially when most of them will have seen that our current President holds exhibiting that manner of patriotism with such little regard.

And for those folks who don’t want to say it because your forefathers lived in caves and oppressed your female ancestors, or because your ancestors worked as slaves on a plantation, or because it goes against what you learned in the Koran, or if it offends your motherland, whether you arrived in this country through Ellis Island, or whether you came here illegally…. My thought is this: If you are sitting in an American classroom, paid for by American tax dollars, then if you won’t pledge your allegiance to this country, (and if you won’t go back to where you came from), you should at least drop your head and pray to whomever you pray to and thank your god for the opportunity to sit in that classroom, free of charge, and obtain an education. And you should keep your mouth shut if others in the classroom saying The Pledge offends you.

A few squeaky wheels were responsible for getting The Lord’s Prayer taken out of schools. There’s already a law protecting those who don’t want to say The Pledge. How many squeaky wheels (or ACLU attorneys) will it take to have The Pledge banned from our classrooms???

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh Jimmy!

I've been called many things in my life, recently including a "terrorist". (here) But now the former President of the United States, a good ol' boy from Georgia, has called me a racist. Not me personally, not by name, but by virtue of generalization. He said "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American," Carter told "NBC Nightly News."

Get Out. Granted, there will always be those few who don't want him to be President because he is black. This goes back to many of my posts during the election campaigns. (That is supposed to be a BAD thing, while it is okay that zillions of black people voted for him only BECAUSE he is black. What's the difference? Racism is Racism.)

However. Disagreeing with with government policy doesn't make me a racist any more than it makes me a terrorist. I didn't agree with everything George Bush did. Does that make me a... racist against.... my own race? Seriously. You didn't see the Bush administration pulling the race card every time a black person criticized him. And believe me, that administration took its share of criticism. And still does.
Interestingly, the Chairman of the RNC is a black man. He disagrees with Carter, and states that those so quick to pull that race card are doing more harm to President Obama than they are good.
Ya'll "Racism" folks need to just get over it. We don't like his policy. I wouldn't like the policy if Ward Cleaver, Andy Griffeth, John Wayne or Charlton Heston were the president.

There are too many other urgent matters on the table to be wasting time on playing the race card, especially with the Joe Wilson thing. I'd venture to say that Mr. Wilson would have made his statement (however inappropriate in the setting), if Ward, Andy, John or Charlton had been the one doing the lying.
Mr. Obama, a great many Americans disagree with your policies, and do not trust you to tell the truth. It's just a fact. I'm sure you don't like it. But c'mon! Take it like a man. Don't hide behind the racism cry. You gotta know that in order to please one group of people, you're going to displease another. You and your folks need to stop pouting like kids on the playground. Get over it. We're not communists, terrorists, or racists. We're Americans, just voicing our discontent, an action that is protected by the Constitution. And we will continue to voice it. You work for us, remember?? Get busy with the real issues de-funding ACORN, requiring czars to undergo congressional hearings, and most important to the immediate future, revise the current health reform bill. Get at it. Stop whining.
And Jimmy... with all due respect... just go back to building houses and planting peanuts. You disappoint me. Put down your stick, and stop stirring the pot.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Something In The Water?

Wow!!! There's been lots of baby news lately! Gemma Claire is due to arrive in about a month. This morning we learned that Brandi is having a girl, Brooke Addison. And just this evening I learned that (my nephew) Ryan and Alissa are expecting a baby in March!! Such happy news!! We've been purging closets and the storage building lately, and I found myself wanting to snuggle a tiny baby again as we folded away the newborn outfits that belonged to Leyland and Corey. Now it looks like there are three new babies about to join the family. That being said, I'm glad we don't have to filter the water at The 409. No more babies here for sure. We'll just enjoy them from (not too much) afar. Congratulations ya'll!!! Can't wait to snuggle with the new little bundles.

Monday, September 7, 2009

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Czars

(Note: For some reason Blogger is choosing random words to underline and link. These are not my links, unless it says "click here", so don't click on any of those green underlined words. They're not my links.)

Czar. When I used to hear that word, it conjured up visions of Russia in the old days. Not the case any more. Now when I hear the word czar, and if you follow political news closely, you're hearing it an awful lot, I think of my own government. I had no idea that the president has the authority to appoint whomever he chooses to be advisors in certain areas. Apparently this practice isn't new. I believe it started with FDR, who created The Office of Price Administration, and its director was given the title of "czar" by the media. (Now, don't go getting too impressed about my knowledge, I'm just a huge Google fan!) So it's not a new practice, just an unfamiliar one to most folks, I'd bet.

These appointments do not require any vetting, nor any votes of approval by congress. These czars are not even accountable to the congress, the cabinet, the American people, nor anyone but the President of the United States. How scary is that! If we needed a Czar of Scrapbooking, I'd be just as qualified as anyone, and the president could choose me if he wanted to. I doubt seriously that Mr. Obama knows about the hazards of acid and lignen on photographs, or the best way to adhere vellum to a layout. He probably has no idea which adhesive works best for mulberry paper. I'm fairly certain he's never heard of a Cricut, and probably wouldn't know what to do with a Cuttlebug if it came up and bit him on the nose. I can only imagine what he would try to do with a corner rounder, and the only thing he could deduce about a Memory Makers took kit is that trying to board an airplane with it in your carryon would probably get you arrested. However, with a scrapbook czar by his side, feeding him information and showing him techniques, pretty soon he'd be able to make a scrapbook of his own. More likely, though, he'd grow weary of the process and just tell the scrapbook czar just to make the decisions, design the layout, do whatever necessary to make the process work, and then he would sign off on it as though it were his own creation.

Sound a bit far-fetched to you? Hmmm let's see. I wonder how much a junior senator from Chicago knows about the reality of health care, auto recovery, border control, green living, etc. How in the world will he be presidential and preside over so much that he knows so little about? Well, by appointing people to *help* him and advise him. Glenn Beck from FNN reports that there are currently approximately 32 czars, with several more yet to be appointed. To see a list of them, their salary (if known) and a brief *job* description, click here.

Now here's where it gets interesting. If you watch network news, you won't have heard much about this, but watch-dog news reporters such as FNN, have been all over this. Over the weekend, the appointed Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, resigned his position. It seems that Mr. Jones is a radical, self-proclaimed communist radical. Don't believe me? Do your own Google or You-Tube search and see some of the outrageous statements he has made. Because of the watch-dog reporting, much attention has been focused on this man, which in turn brings about question and unease as to why the leader of our nation would appoint such a dispicable person to advise him on ANYTHING. Mr. Jones has lashed out against the reports, blaming it on the "republicans", even saying in a speaking engagement that republicans are "@ssholes". And that is a quote. Many were calling for his resignation for the past few weeks, just because of who he has aligned himself with in the past, STORM, the communist party, etc. However, the final nail in his coffin came at the end of last week when it was uncovered that in 2004, I believe it was, he signed a form stating that he believed the Bush administration was involved in a 9-11 conspiracy. When questioned about it, he claims that he "didn't read the report carefully". Huh? Here's another example: Excerpt from a Nov. 2005 interview in the East Bay Express: Jones had planned to move to Washington, DC, and had already landed a job and an apartment there. But in jail, he said, "I met all these young radical people of color -- I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.'" Although he already had a plane ticket, he decided to stay in San Francisco. "I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary." In the months that followed, he let go of any lingering thoughts that he might fit in with the status quo. "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th," he said. "By August, I was a communist." In 1994, the young activists formed a socialist collective, Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, or STORM, which held study groups on the theories of Marx and Lenin and dreamed of a multiracial socialist utopia. They protested police brutality and got arrested for crashing through police barricades. In 1996, Jones decided to launch his own operation, which he named the Ella Baker Center after an unsung hero of the civil-rights movement.

At any rate, in a time when so many other issues of importance are at stake, the Obama administration doesn't need to spend time, energy and resources defending this reprehensible man, so his resignation was called for. His letter of resignation begins: "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

Seriously??? No responsibility for his actions? Poor fella!! The big bad Americans who have the audacity to oppose Mr. Obama's proposals, are making up terrible lies about him. (I guess we fabricated the videos and written reports as well. Aren't we just creative like that!) These are the words of an arrogant man who was in the upper echelons of (appointed) government, who had the ear of our president. Sorta makes me question (again) the judgment of our leader!

Check it out for yourself. Do a Google search on the czar system, and especially these two names: Cass Sunstein, John Holdren. These are the people who are advising our president.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pride

An awesome young lady in my church posted this on her Facebook page, and I wanted to share. Thanks, Anna.

Pride

My name is Pride.
I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny...because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment...because you "deserve better than this."
I cheat you of knowledge...because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing...because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness...because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you of vision...because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship...because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love...because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven...because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory...because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride.
I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you.
Untrue.
God has so much for you, I admit.
But don't worry...If you stick with me,you'll never know.
-Broadman & Holman

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hello Blog

Remember me? I seem to have neglected writing for quite some time now. I remember when rarely a day would pass that didn't find me posting something. One of the reasons I haven't been posting as much is that I've become a Facebook Junkie. It's fun to click on there and see what folks are up to. Another reason is that life at The 409 continues to be crazy in a warp-speed kind of way. Whitney has been experiencing some post-childbirth, pelvic stress issues, and it was determined that she would have to undergo surgery. After carefully checking the calendar against The Snoops' travel agenda, my co-workers' vacation times and a couple of things I had scheduled, we narrowed it down to a two-week period that would coincide well with the above-mentioned plans. Unfortunately, none of those dates were available. Our choices were a date eight weeks in the future, or five days in the future. YIKES!! My parents were out of town, but we decided to go ahead and take the appointment anyway. She was just too uncomfortable to wait eight more weeks. So this past Wednesday found us at the hospital, where she underwent a hysterectomy. Such a drastic surgery indeed for one so young, but her ovaries were left intact, which will allow her to avoid hormone-replacement therapy. Believe it or not, she was discharged from the hospital 23 hours later, in a fair amount of pain, but far better than I was after having a similar surgery at age 33. Recovery has been slow and steady, with a minor, but excruciatingly painful, episode of ileus on Friday afternoon. Today she is still moving quite slowly, but I am amazed at how well she is doing. She is restricted from lifting anything at all for six weeks, which means no picking up the babies. Dustin and I will be tag-teaming it until she is able to resume her mommy duties. I'll be working second shift so that I can take care of the children until he gets home from his job, then he will assume the role of caregiver for Whitney and take care of the chidlren while I work. The kids know that things are wierd, and they're not quite sure what to make of it.

I've been reminded this week to count my blessings. I'm especially thankful for:

~My parents, who were sorely missed this past week.
~My parents, who are home now and will be helping out in the coming weeks.
~Whitney's cousin Tammy, who kept the children so I could be at the hospital the morning of surgery.
~The flexibility of my job to allow me to work 2nd shift during Whit's recovery, and my wonderful co-workers who are like an extension of family. Thanks, guys.. Ya'll rock!
~Whitney's grandmother, Nany, who stayed with her all day on Thursday while Dustin worked and I stayed home with the children.
~Family members and friends who called and e-mailed with thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and offers to help.
~To Dr. Campbell, the most wonderful physician/surgeon.
~And most importantly, to God for a safe and successful surgery.
CathyB