Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Artwork

Artwork is a big deal at our house. Few things bring me more joy than crafting with the girls and their friends. But what is unique to Mark and our sweet girls is painting with acrylics on canvas. BRAVE MAN! It is a messy job, but the payoffs are GREAT!!

Isabella, an artist just like her Grandma Kay
Lisi ... and a color palette as unique as she is!
the finished product

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


And maybe you could insert the name "Lisi" in place of "Carol"...

Little Carol came into the kitchen where her mother was making dinner. Her birthday was coming up and she thought this was a good time to tell her mother what she wanted. "Mom, I want a bike for my birthday."
Now, Little Carol was a bit of a troublemaker. She had gotten into trouble at school and at home. Carol's mother asked her if she thought she deserved to get a bike for her birthday. Little Carol, of course, thought she did.

Carol's mother, being a Christian woman, wanted her to reflect on her behavior over the last year, and write a letter to God and tell him why she deserved a bike for her birthday. Little Carol stomped up th e steps to her room and sat down to write God a letter.

Dear God:
I have been a very good girl this year and I would like a bike for my
birthday. I want a red one.

Your friend,

Carol knew this wasn't true. She had not been a very good girl this year, so
she tore up the letter and started over.

Dear God:
This is your friend Carol. I have been a pretty good girl this year, and I
would like a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you,

Carol knew this wasn't true either. She tore up the letter and started again.

Dear God:

I know I haven't been a good girl this year. I am very sorry. I will be a
good girl if you just send me a red bike for my birthday.
Thank you,

Carol knew, even if it was true, this letter was not going to get her a bike. By now, she was very upset. She went downstairs and told her mother she wanted to go to church. Carol's mother thought her plan had worked because Carol looked very sad.

"Just be home in time for dinner," her mother said.

Carol walked down the street to the church and up to the altar. She looked
around to see if anyone was there. She picked up a statue of the Virgin Mary, slipped it under her jacket and ran out of the church, down the street, into her house, and up to her room. She shut the door and sat down and wrote her letter to God.



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The 100th Day of Kindergarten

Fun With Friends

Saturday morning we invited our friends Macy & Mya over to play....and PLAY we did!!!
Isabella was a flying Momma horse, and Macy was her princess owner. Mya likes all things Dora, and just walking around behind the big kids. (Who, by the way, were ADORABLE with that!!) And Lisi was, well, just silly.
Imagine that!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Are YOU a Good Person?

Are you good enough to get into Heaven?
click here

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweet Baby Shaylee

Lisi and I had the pleasure of hangin' with Shaylee earlier this week. Our time went by waaaay too quickly, so we are hoping that her mom will let her come over and play again soon.
As a matter of fact, the next day, Lisi said to me, "Mom, when is that sweet baby coming over again?"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

blurring the line between Left & Right

This is Glenn Beck's take on who we will be able to vote for should the likes of John McCain or other 'moderates' be nominated for the upcoming elections.
Funny Stuff...the 'donkaphant' party.
but funny stuff...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Barstool Economics

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten
comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it
would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every
day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the
owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he
said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks
for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the
first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.
But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they
divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted
that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would
each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested
that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same
amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.!

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued
to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to
compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed
to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'

'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar,
too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back
when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'

'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get
anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat
down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill,
they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money
between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our
tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most
benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being
wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might
start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics, University of Georgia

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Home from Hong Kong

My (LUCKY!) brother, Alex, has been in Hong Kong since just after Christmas. I MISS HIM!!! But, thankfully, he should be landing back in the ol' U.S. of A. later today. Bummer that he will be going straight to Iowa City and we will not be able to see him, but at least we will know he is 'home'.
These are a few pix that he e-mailed while he was in Hong Kong. His first few days there he was able to stay with a friend that he met last summer when he was studying in Spain (did I mention that he is LUCKY?!?!?!). She is from Hong Kong, so Alex was able to stay out of the city in a more British area of the country. He said it was a very cool experience, and that he really enjoyed her family, too.
Then he was going on to meet up with the other MBA students on this 3 week trip. They were also going to mainland China. I cannot wait to hear all about his adventures!!!
Welcome Home, Unky Alex! We LOVE you, and we have MISSED you!!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Go Big Blue!!

This week Isabella and friends participated in the "Jr Cheer" clinic at school, and performed at half-time at tonight's basketball game. The pictures are fun, but, oh!, how I wish I had a video camera going!!!Ellie, Isabella, Bella & Maddie

Kindergartner's ready to cheer!

"Cookie Monster says that the Lions are
the cookies at the top of the jar"

a victory stance

Isabella & the Lion's mascot
(and Lilli Smith's 'rabbit ears')

Monday, January 14, 2008

an unfortunate truth...

as told by a 6 year old...
Me: Get your things together. We are leaving in 5 minutes.
Isabella: I know what 5 minutes is.
Me: You do? What is it?
Isabella: It's enough time to argue, and then we leave.

walk this way

YEAH to good ideas!!
My friend Marci (whose blog I would love to link to, but she does not blog) had this GREAT idea to meet M/W/F mornings @ 9:10 @ Jordan Creek Town Center to walk the mall for an hour. (It is one of the many 'life groups' offered thru Jordan Creek Family Church this semester.)
So this morning Marci, Alicia and I met with strollers ready to go, and walked the 0.56 mile route.....over, and over, and over again. We chatted so much that the time flew by!! And my legs were burning! (Maybe I should not admit how out of shape I am, but oh well, it is the sad truth.)
Hope you can join us on Wednesday!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

WOW- What an amazing movie!
Mark and I watched "3:10 to Yuma" last night, and we were both blown away by what an excellent movie it was.
I think Mark was happy going into it because we picked that over Jennifer Aniston's "Rumor Has It". I like a good western, but a good western is not always so easy to come by these days.
This is a good western.
At the end of the movie, Mark was all into how deep the context of the film was, and he said that it reminded him of the way Ted Dekker writes. And if you have been a part of Mark's "book ministry", you know who Ted Dekker is:)
Anyway, I cannot recommend this enough, and just to add an already great experience, we rented it at a RedBox!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Do I Need To Go Back To Politics???

I finally take a break from politics to focus on my sweet Lisi's birthday, and I have NO comments???
People, I need to go back to politicking????

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Lisi Girl

It has been 4 years in the coming, but I do believe that this girl is growing into the the BIG personality with which she was born. She is still on the move, but now with more direction, and with more purpose, and, dare I say it, with a bit more restraint.
More days than not, she is just silly and fun.
And those are the days that I am delighted to say "that's my girl!"
Happy 4th birthday, Lu Lu Girl

these are a few of her favorite things

let's just list off some of the goodies...
a t-ball set and other sporting stuff from Manndy & Mackie, "Look, it's a GIANT Bible!" from Grandma Nancy & Grandpa Bill, Dora jammies from The Greats in St Louis (which she insisted on wearing that night), a "little Georgie" from Aunt Cindy (that has gone everywhere with us today...who knew anyone could be loved more than "Georgie"???), Hullabaloo Zoo game from favorite cousins Heather, Nick & Emma, and the hands down favorite...fuzzy lined Crocs from Grammy and Papa!!
Of course there were lots of crafts, Dora games, Curious George goodies, cute, CUTE clothes, and really, just a fun afternoon for all.

I'm Bad

Iz and Lisi spent SO much time playing with their cousins Von D...Paige, Annie, Will & Logan...and these are the only pix that I took!
I'm bad.
As you can imagine, a great time was had by all, whether they were making crafts (thanks Great Grandma Dinosaur and Auntie Lisa!) or going to the Magic House (again, thank you, Auntie Lisa!).

Let the celebrations begin!

We were able to begin celebrating Lisi's birthday early when we were in St Louis.
Mark, Iz, Lisi and I made a surprise visit to Grandma Jill's house that Saturday night, and thankfully she had not yet mailed Lisi's gifts!!
Of course Isabella wanted in on the action, and has had as much fun with the princess attire as Lisi has, but it is SO much fun to see Lisi's imagination really kick into full gear as she plays with dolls and other dress up clothes.
Of course, the gift box of a monkey was a HUGE hit:)
Thank you, Grandma Jill!
We love being able to spend time with you!!
(It was also really fun that her mom, Great Grandma Jackson, and friends of theirs, Ted & Ruth, were also there for dinner that night. I have known all of them since I was Isabella's age, too!!)

A Sight To Warm A Mom's Heart

Mark and I went to a dinner party Saturday night, and when we got home, the sitter told us that our sweet girls had asked to go to bed together. That never happens! But it sure is a sight to warm a momma's heart:)
Grandma Jill...notice Lisi cuddled up with her monkey blanket in her sister's bed.

A Fish Named Berry

Isabella and Grammy surprised Lisi with a FISH for her birthday.
A red fish named "Berry"!!!

And then Grammy called me the next morning, just crackin' herself up!, because she realized that this flamboyant fish has a last name...MANILOW!!!
We have a colorful and extravagant fish named Berry Manilow!!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

It's a HuckaBOOM

Now I know how sports fans feel after a big game.  I am just PUMPED!!  Difference is I only get this rush once every 4 years.  Well, no, I take that back.  I will be up until the wee hours of the night on Nov 11th, too:)  Still, it is not the same as having all eyes on Iowa.  Really, I just love this!!
It's a bummer that there is already so much negative commentary going on about Huckabee.  I am trying to keep it in perspective, though.  If Romney had won the caucus last night, I would be having a tough time with it today.  But what bums me out about what is being said about Huckabee is that so much of it is, quite simply, half-truths and assumptions.
For example, I have heard ALOT of talk about how the majority of his support comes from Evangelical Christians.  Well, that is great.  But in all of this process, I have never once been asked to fill out a form that says anything to the effect that "I am a Mike Huckabee supporter, and I am an Evangelical Christian", so how can the media be reporting such a statistic??  (What gets me more fired up, though, are those touting that he is 'not Christian enough'.  What is that suppose to mean???)
I am also tired of hearing how many prison sentences he commuted, or people he pardoned.  Now, I do not know the specifics of these cases, but my understanding is that 1) Huckabee does believe in the potential for rehabilitation of offenders, and 2) in order for some of these people to get a job and be productive, contributing members of our society, they needed their Governor to say that he would vouch for them.  That said, after becoming Governor mid-term, he went on to be elected by the people of Arkansas on his own merit...TWICE.  
And when Huckabee entered the Governor's office, there was a $250 million deficit in the state.  When he left 10 years later, there was an $800 million surplus, schools were better, and roadways were no longer among the worst in the nation.  The people of Arkansas voted on raising taxes for these improvements.  The roadways, as they were when he took office (which had previously been occupied by Bill Clinton), were so bad that truckers would take other routes, and this, therefore, had a negative impact on the economy of Arkansas.  The citizens of the state recognized this, and voted to do something about it.
Whew!  I am breathing easier:)
These are just a few examples of how I see Huckabee being mis-represented in the media and in the campaign race.
I am so looking forward to seeing how he works his way thru the remainder of this marathon!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I say IOWA, you say CAUCUS!!!

That is the voice mail I got from favorite cousin Heather earlier today.
What a HOOT!!!
But what a FUN night this has been!!!
Come on, everyone, say it with me,
"I Like Mike!"

For the record, our precinct location had 2.5 times the number of people that they anticipated, and another friends precinct had nearly 10 times the number that had been anticipated.  That is simply AMAZING to me.  And I love it!!

This is a big deal.  It is a big deal for Iowa, and Iowans take it seriously.  The elections themselves are a big deal, and I hope all of the country will take it seriously.  The Iowa Caucus' tonight has set the next 10 months in motion.  But it is up to everyone else to take that baton and RUN with it.  

Let's GO!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

my husband's favorite new "line"

"If you were a booger, I would pick you first."
~ Anthony on Snoop-Dog's "Fatherhood"

...ya, I'll let you know how that works for him (hee,hee,hee)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


If you live in Iowa, PLEASE GET READY TO CAUCUS!!!
It is THIS Thursday, January 3rd @ 7pm (but be there closer to 6:30pm).
It is such a privilege of living here, and it is such a unique and important process.
If you do not know where your caucus site will be, click here.
If you want to learn more about the Republican candidates, click here.
If you want more information about the Democratic candidates, click here.
If you want to learn more about MIKE HUCKABEE, click here.
Not yet registered to vote? No worries. It is OK to register at your caucus site.

My 1.5 seconds of fame

Mark and I joined ALOT of friends (there was a HUGE turned out, and so many people that we knew!) at Wakonda Club New Year's Eve for a "meet & greet" with Mike Huckabee. We were surprised at how many media trucks were in the parking lot when we arrived, and further surprised when a reporter asked to interview me!! Afterward I called my Mom & favorite cousin Heather to ask them to Tivo Good Morning America at 7am New Year's Day. I mean, who is watching the news at that time on that day???
Well, I had my 1.5 seconds of fame when I appeared on ABC at 7:04am.
At best, I would have thought you would have known to look for me to even notice, but then Heather called to tell me that her Dad called her to ask, if by chance, I had been on the national news! Too Funny!!
The following pix were taken on my iPhone of Mike Huckabee, and my girlfriend's brother in law:

What I love about Christmastime

Tonight as Isabella and I were getting ready to say prayers, I asked her who she wanted to pray for (Uncle Alex in Hong Kong), and what she wanted to thank God for (sending His one and only Son). That sweet girl continues to amaze me, humble me, and teach me. As I reflect back on what I love about Christmastime, Jesus is at the TOP of the list. It could be argued that He should BE the list. But for me, I have a few other images that show what I love about Christmastime..
Lisi delighting in getting the only thing she asked Santa for alarm clock
Isabella and the evidence of a successful Christmas morning
Uncle Alex spending the night on Christmas Eve
The "art board" crowded with Christmas cards and photos
from family and friends