Thursday, October 30, 2008

Have We Turned In to Cats and Dogs?

Recently we added a new member to our household. Dan doesn't like me to call them members of the family, so they are "Household Members".
We have had Buddy, the dog, for almost 5 years. He is an established member of our household. Buddy was a long thought out decision. A couple of our children were extremely terrified of any kind of animal, and I admittedly love dogs. So Buddy was a means to an end for the kids, and it was the correct decision. They are no longer afraid. In fact, they love him. We moved thier fear into the house and made them face it. We added Tazzy for more reasons than a pet. He is the exterminator, however, we are all attached to him as well now. He is cute and fuzzy. Now that we have had Tazzy for almost 2 weeks, he and Buddy have learned to get a long. At least to tolerate each other. Buddy is older and has had the run of the house for years and has had to adjust to the new kitten that wants to run and play in all of Buddy's places. Tazzy has also had to learn that Buddy is the king and that there are certain things he can't do. While there has been some adjustment on everyone's part, and I mean all of us including the pets, the pets seem to have figured out how to just be happy and tolerate each others differences. I do have a reason for saying all of this, I promise.
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I like to know the reasons for why things happen. While I understand that sometimes there are no reasons to speak of, I can usually make some kind of analogy that explains it. Probably annoying to some, but that's who I am.
So here goes. If we can put a cat and dog together, natural enemies, then why can't we unite our country, our homes, our cities, etc. ? Right now I am especially upset at how we can't even get through an election without feeling that we have to pick a side. Why can't we just vote for WHO ? I would venture a guess that both some Republicans and some Democrats have good ideas and ideals, but we don't get to find out what many of those are, because we are too wound up in having to be one or the other. Why must we have to pick a side. Wasn't this country established with the idea that we could be free to make the decisions that we felt best about without fear of retaliation? I hate that we don't dare to put a sign in our yard because of fear. My husband has taken so much grief for putting an Obama08 sticker on his car. It is rediculous. Doesn't he have the right to have an opinion? It seems that no he doesn't because it's not the popular one for this area. This is REDICULOUS!! Watching the debates during this election has just made me mad. Not so much informed, just mad at the mudslinging and nothing else.
I once wrote a paper at school called "What Happened to the United States of America" We are not united, we are required it seems, to be either Republicans or Democrats. I for one am really sick of this attitude. I think that this country needs leaders and citizens that take the example that our little furry friends have shown us. Life is not all about being cats or dogs, it's about being friends and family. This is the only way to progress and make this earth a happy and safe place to live.

Memory, Volleyball, and the Election

My rememberer is broken. I get this trait from my father. I can look at a person that I have known for years, and their name will escape my mind. My wife is constantly reminding me that my recollection of past events is slightly skewed from reality. This lack of recollection ability, as well as other character flaws, makes my church calling very difficult and makes social situations awkward at times. I have tried to keep a journal, to record everyday events, but it is too time consuming and I am unable to keep up with it. That’s where this whole blog thing comes in. I can share the mundane details of my boring life’s events and it get to work as an online journal as well.

Today I am working my regular job until noon, and then going to the McKay center to assist with the Utah high school volleyball championship. I enjoy volleyball, more since my daughter has started to play and I am emotionally involved in the outcome of the game. Megan went to UVU volleyball camp this summer and came out a much improved player. She has played Lehi city volleyball for the past 2 years and has come in on the second place team both years. The reason that the family travels to Lehi every Saturday in the fall is that there is no girl’s volleyball city league in Orem. This is the same reason that the family travels to Provo every Saturday morning in the fall, because Orem does not offer a flag football league to anyone younger than third grade level. Family city USA.

Barrack Obama took to the airwaves last night to explain his positions to the American people. Christy had been complaining earlier in the campaign season that she did not understand where the candidates stood on the issues. This was a great move on the part of the future commander-in-chief. It let him spend time explaining his positions without the interference of the other party’s condescending rhetoric after each stated position. Obama has been my candidate since the beginning of the election cycle. It is nice to see your horse in the lead at the end of the race. I believe that this election will not even be close. The American people will send a message to the party of Bush, Cheney, and Rove that this country wants to come together and work on the things that will unite us and advance the country as a whole, and not just one segment of society. Universal healthcare is good for the country. Energy independence is good for the country. Environmental awareness is good for the country.

I do not believe in trickle down economics. Give more money to the rich so that they can buy their boats, furs, cars, and that will somehow enrich our measly little unimportant lives as we serve them to try to obtain a taste of their table scraps. Give me a break. Only the rich benefit from that thinking. Compare the economy under Clinton to the economy under Bush. Look at the Bush tax cuts, as good at they have been for the economy, it may be time to try something else. Give a rich person a few dollars and he may spend it, or he may invest it, or he may send it to Harvard to add to their endowment fund. Let me save a few dollars on taxes, and I will spend that money. At Wal-Mart, at the grocery store, or at the sporting goods store. That spending creates jobs in my community. It helps the grocery stocker, the cashier, and the owner of the sporting goods store, not the investment banker, the Rolls Royce dealer, or the Harvard administrator.

I will be working for the Lieutenant Governor’s office this coming Tuesday as a poll worker. I think the greatest exercise of the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans is going to the polls and casting a ballot for the persons that we feel represent our interests. Many have sacrificed to give us that right, let’s honor that sacrifice by taking a few minutes to study the candidates, their stand on the issues, and casting a vote. I realize that I stand in the minority in this state, but I have cast my vote because it is my right to do so. I have a hope that an excellent showing by the minority party in this state, during this election, will let the politicians know that there are those who do not agree with them, and may have to keep at least one eye over their shoulder while passing legislation.

- Dan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This is Dan. A self portrait. Not everyone sees it but there is a large Y in the background. Dan regularly hikes to the Y on his lunch break. He likes the time in nature and feels exhilarated afterward. This is something I can't do anymore, so he takes the kids and they hike all over the place.

Dan is so resilient. The poor man has been put through the ringer over the past few years while I have been in and out of the hospital and both of us have had several surgeries and yet he somehow still manages to land on his feet (we won't tell the Podiatrist) and keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Clothing our children is a major accomplishment, as we have a teenage son who has grown so fast over the last couple of years, he's lucky to have any clothes for more than a month at a time.

Dan feels discouraged a lot, and really, who wouldn't? He is wonderful though. He is a father, a husband, a provider, takes his church calling very seriously (and it isn't an easy one by a long shot) and still manages to find time for us. I just hope he knows how much we love and appreciate him. I feel extremely lucky to have found him and get to keep him forever. Something many people never get the chance to know.


Friends, Family and Work

Last night our friends came over. Christy’s visiting teacher (it’s a Mormon thing) brought her husband over to keep me occupied during their visit. I usually just go into my room and watch TV while she is here, but this was a nice change from the regular routine. We haven’t had many friends that are not family since the arrival of children into our brood. It was good to have Will over to play Wii and have a limited political discussion (we are an Obama household with is in the minority in our community). I am basically a hermit and like to stay home.

This week I am trying to cram 80 hours of work unto a 6 day work week. Since the introduction of the teen-aged eating, sporting, growing out of their clothes faster than we can replace them machines into our home, and the fact that Christy is unable to work, the budget is tight and is being supplemented by my working a part-time job or two. I have the type of job that finds me in a cubicle 10 hours a day, 4 days a week, ipod blasting in my ears, and me just processing paperwork submitted to the little state government agency that I work for. I work as a guest services representative at the McKay Events Center on the campus of Utah Valley University. I worked for the Orem Owlz in summer, and work an occasional shift as a produce clerk at Albertson’s. The part-time jobs force me out into public and make me interact with people. The people that I work for at the MEC are excellent and the job is enjoyable, which makes it easier to leave my family to go and do the work.

Glen Beck came to the MEC last week and I enjoyed his presentation, even though I do not agree with some of his views. I felt him to be the anti-Hannity, sincere, emotional, and trying to tell the truth as he sees it, not showboating, and humble. It was the first time that I had heard him, and I enjoyed it. One of the advantages of working that job is that I do get to see most of the events that come there. President Uchtdorf, of the first presidency of the church, was there yesterday and talked about the global economy and relative morality in the modern world. I was working, and therefore unable to give him my full attention, so I had a hard time understanding all that he was trying to say. He is German and speaks English very well, but with his heavy German accent, and my concentrating on other things, I’m sure that most of what he was trying to say was lost on me. I am now gearing up for the state volleyball championships this weekend and next.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Thoughts While Not Sleeping.....Again

Today was an interesting day. I have been fighting a migraine for several days now and have pretty much given up ever getting rid of it. I know, bad attitude. I either sleep a lot or not at all, I guess tonight is a not at all. Trying to emotionally get through life right now is not all it's cracked up to be.

About 10 days ago we got a kitten. While I love him to death, he thinks I should be awake at 6 AM, and somehow tells time and literally kicks me in the face in the morning when it is time to get up. I actually find it very cute, but he is lucky he is furry and soft and cute, or I might not take it so well. Plus, if he didn't wake me up, the dog would, so I guess it's good for me, this way I am awake when the older kids leave for school. I have had a really hard time getting up early since I was in the hospital a couple of years ago. It's like my body just thinks its not necessary to get up. Enough about that.

I have been searching for almost a year for a teacher I had in grade school. A couple of weeks ago when I had almost given up, I was searching through facebook on a night like tonight and just thought that I should give it a shot on there. I did not find him, but found a woman that I thought might be his daughter. I had babysat for these people and remembered some of thier names. Turns out that she was his daughter and she gave me the information to contact him. This teacher had a very profound affect on me. I had some great teachers in grade school, but this one was special. He used to tell me how bright I was and how he wished I would realize it. I did not have very good self esteem when I was young, and still fight it now. But I have never forgotten being told that I was "Bright and Beautiful" by this particular teacher. I really don't think he knows how much that meant to me. I am so thankful for finally finding him so I could thank him for being a positive and caring force in my life. I feel like I was supposed to find him because it was so easy once I looked in the right place. Now I can check off another thing that I have been needing to do. I am really happy that we have the electronic age. I have been finding and talking to many people who I haven't seen in years lately.

OK, enough ranting for tonight.


The Cruising Buddies and the Beach Dog

These are our cruising buddies. This picture was taken on the beach in Mazatlan. (Left to right) Rose, Me, Dan, Sherrie, Catherine, Jerry, Kay, and Carl is in front with the beach dog. I really miss these people.

This vacation was what Dan and I call our honeymoon. We never really had one and waited almost 19 years to go. It was the greatest experience other than having our children that I have ever had. We got to spend time together with no stresses, and we met these really great people.

Rose is Dan's dancing partner. They did do a lot of dancing on this trip. I am not one to dance and Dan loves it, and apparantely so does Rose. Rose is one of my best friends now and we all really had a blast together. Hopefully we will get to se all of them again soon.

Aubree (Or Aubs as we call her)

This is Aubree at the UVUphoria. Aubree is the aspiring actress we're sure. Loves the camera.


This is Megan. Also on the Timpanogos Cave adventure.


This is Kyler. He was hiking to Timpanogos Cave with Dan and his cousins and aunts during the family reunion.


Jake is our little "Ham". He makes a goofy face whenever you aim a camera in his direction

The animals, Buddy and Tazzy, pretending to get along.

It's all new to me

Well, I am learning how this blogging thing works. Have never done it before like this, but thought it could be fun. I will be posting some pics as soon as I figure out how, and will have a WAY more interesting post.