Sunday, December 5, 2010

Missing In Action...

Sorry I have been Missing In Action as of late. We have recently been involved in the First Lego League Robotic Competitions, 5th Grade Science Camp (where I was involved with caring for 9 girls and 3 parents that were either bilingual or solely Spanish speaking), our little man had a birthday and we celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family here in Texas.

I look forward to being back soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Take your stand as ONE VOICE in AMERICA!

Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, Carly Fiorina, Nancy Pelosi, Sarah Palin, Harry Reid - all these people have something in common with YOU! Yes, ALL of them. They have ONE vote. They stand for ONE voice in the collective 'VOICE OF THE PEOPLE'! Yes, their voices are loud and we all know far too much about what they say but they were once a voice that blended with the crowd. Their voices once were hardly heard above the collective voice of America. Years ago they were where you are now - part of the silent majority that could make a difference.

There are so many voices in America that at times we may feel that our one voice, our one vote could never make a difference. If our government is to be ruled by the people then we must at least cast our vote and do our part to be heard. We must do all we can. Integrity requires nothing more nor less.

Today, in Arizona, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a requirement that people show valid proof of citizenship to vote. The court felt that the requirement was an "obstacle" to getting citizens out to vote - yet, interestingly, the same court ruled that some form of photo ID was not too stringent a ruling. Could the court have felt that the actual requirement to be a U.S. Citizen must have been too stringent?

To read the article click here.

This is my part to urge EVERYONE who cares about protecting our "unalienable" or God given rights to please make sure you cast your vote. Please contact everyone you know and remind, even urge them to vote. It is of the utmost importance.

JOIN ME in taking your stand as ONE VOICE in the VOICE of the PEOPLE!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quotable Quotes

Our little man's voice yelling from the restroom:


Needless to say he wasn't feeling good and didn't make it to church... but what an absolutely adorable way to tell me he wasn't feeling good. (Maybe all my reminders that 'potty talk' is not welcome are finally getting through!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I've Been Up To...

OK! You may recall that a couple of months ago I looked into the mirror and saw the dreaded, proverbial BEFORE picture looking back at me. Thus, I embarked on learning to do my own hairstyle, eyebrows, went to the library and checked out books on reclaiming our outer beauty, etc. I am happy to say that the BEFORE picture is gone and here are some of the AFTER shots - after I remembered that I was worth taking care of too; after I remembered that it is OK to take time to shape your eyebrows; after I remembered to ask my amazing hair stylist to teach me to do it myself; and after I remembered that I can spend some time in front of a mirror without feeling guilty! So here is what happened after I remembered to enjoy who I am...

My wonderful husband gifted me some time with one extremely talented photographer and friend in the Utah area. My friend, Emily, and I had a blast together getting rid of the before image and putting together a basic head shot for either my real estate business cards, a jacket to a possibly published book or a promo shot for getting commercial print or film jobs. So basically, since I have no idea exactly what I am going to be doing with these pictures, we just had FUN!

Here is that sneak peek that my friends have been requesting. More can be found on Emily's photography blog or her websites - here (select her photo blog and scroll down to find yours truly).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bedazzled Spider

Happy Halloween! Here is a jeweled spider that each of the children made. We had a great time making them and these little creepy crawlers are now hangin' out in our decorations.

Model Helicopter

My dear husband and our wonderful children have had more of a chance to spend time together over the last couple of months. One of their new endeavors is making a model helicopter. Our children are loving working with their Dad on this model (basically a 'manly' craft in my mind). On the same table I had glue guns out and was working on my crafts. We have had some tremendously enjoyable evening around the table crafting, laughing and talking.

Our little ones are especially loving the paint and particularly the metallic paints. They are enjoying their time with their father tremendously.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Up, Up and Away...

Our little crew went to our first ever Hot Air Balloon Festival. We had a lovely picnic dinner sitting in a field (in the shade for my cute husband) and watched Hot Air Balloons soar right over our heads. We could hear the blasts of hot air and often were able to see straight up into the balloon! Our children loved spending time together playing frisbee and enjoying time outdoors together. I enjoyed the music, the beautiful balloons and (of course) the adorable company.

As the sun went down the festival held what is called 'Balloon Glow' and 'Balloon Twinkle'; with all of the balloons firmly anchored to the ground the MC counted down and all pilots lit their fires in their balloons and caused a beautiful glow. They also did what was called a 'Balloon Twinkle' - each pilot lit the fire separately (to music) and caused the balloons to have a twinkle effect. It was beautiful. Riding in a Hot Air Balloon is definitely on my list of things to do!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Politics... (unfortunately) As Usual

On September 21, 2010 the Defense Authorization Bill will be voted on. Subversively hidden in between the lines is the 'DREAM Act'. The DREAM Act sponsors have long fought to sabotage a clearly worded provision in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act that states:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident."

From what I understand, this means that children of illegal immigrants that have become high school graduates are not allowed specialized treatment OVER children whose parents are national citizens of the United States of America. This law does NOT state that a student cannot apply and work their way through a college career. While living in Mexico we saw many youth who were applying to colleges in the United States of America. Some were accepted and others were not - all of these youth were from Mexico with parents residing in Mexico or with proper working papers in order for employment in the U.S.A. Their acceptance or denial thereof was based on MERIT! What more could honestly be asked?

We need to make sure that all nationalities, religions, races and genders realize that they must earn their privileges to attend post-secondary education. We MUST eradicate the mentality that all children are entitled to funding, etc. that would make education possible. We must return to the mentality that we must work for the betterment of ourselves, our cities, our states and our collective nation. This sense of entitlement that is the basis for the DREAM Act is at the root of many of the ills that plague our nation.

Ice Cold Lemonade!

Our little ones wanted to have the experience of running a Lemonade Stand this summer. So, I planned a family yard sale (to de-clutter our home) and out little munchkins advertised, marketed and made much more money than I ever did on a Lemonade stand!

The adorable little advertisers drew in people off the street. Our Little Jedi hired (yes, I said hired) two neighbors to run up and down the streets to attract buyers at both cross streets and paid them with a portion of the proceeds or the option to choose an item from the yard sale! When a family stopped at the yard sale our little advertisers would ask those left in the car if they would like Lemonade! We finally had to close the stand because we ran out of cups!

All our children had a great time, enjoyed making money and I was SO impressed with their ingenuity and management skills!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quotable Quotes

First was heard the sound of breaking plastic and metal.

My cute husband: "Are you all right, dear?"
Me: "Yes, but I just broke the scale." (Our bathroom weight scale.)
My cute husband: "Um... that is one phrase I never hoped to hear my wife say!"

Unfortunately I stepped on the window of our weight scale - and I guess it isn't quite as sturdy as the places where your feet are supposed to go... who knew?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Politics - What we can do!

On September 8, 2010 House Republican Leader John Boehner called for immediate bipartisan action on a two-point plan to address the economy and excessive spending. Boehner’s plan calls on Congress to first pass a bill that would scale back government spending to FY 2008 levels – before the TARP and bailouts. Not only would this provide fiscal discipline (imagine that), but it would save an estimated $100 billion of taxpayer money this year alone. The second leg of the plan calls to enact a two-year freeze on all current tax rates. This would thwart the largest tax hike in our nation’s history and give families and small businesses certainty of what to expect next year.

Immediate and decisive action must be taken. Boehner’s “freeze and cut” proposal is a necessary step for Washington to resuscitate the fragile economy. Furthermore, this plan would prevent a lame-duck Congress from writing another bloated spending bill. House Republicans have heard your concerns this summer and will continue to fight for fiscal discipline and relief from an overbearing government.

If you would like to provide feedback on Leader Boehner’s new economic proposal, I encourage you visit his America Speaking Out submission by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Inner Beauty Out - Entry #5

My pedicure is still shining and the 'Form-A-Brow' kit came in the mail and I have been playing with different stencils and I love, love, love the look of the brow powder that came in the kit... but, I want to find the best look for my eyebrow before I start plucking.

My little ones only had a half day of school today so my time to accomplish all my goals for a day was shortened... so, I thought I would simply whiten my teeth today. I purchased Crest's Pro-Whitening Formula. I simply put the strips on my teeth while I was taking time to read my scriptures for the day - 30 minutes of enlightening (spiritually) and whitening (physically)!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Inner Beauty Out - Entry #4

Today was a bit hectic... but I found some time while grocery shopping to pick up some recommended 'Brilliant Buys' from my beauty guide book.

I bought Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Shampoo and Garnier Fructis Deep Conditioning Triple Oil Conditioner.

I used the products and my hair (in one washing) does feel more luxurious - not too bad for a thirty-six year old mother of four!

Now, I just need to get up the gumption to schedule the haircut and highlights!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Inner Beauty Out - Entry #3

For my inner beauty growth I woke early this morning and took a half an hour to read my scriptures before my day began. I love reading and reflecting in the morning to begin my day - although I am still waking up I find that it helps me take on the rest of the day with more perspective.

For visible beauty I did a pedicure - yes, a simple pedicure.

These two things made me feel a bit more beautiful today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Inner Beauty Out - Entry #1 & 2

The other day I was looking into the mirror (pre make-up) and I realized that I was looking like the proverbial 'BEFORE' picture. I thought to myself, "that just won't do"; then I decided to begin doing something about it each day.

Day One:
I went to the library and looked up books on style, fashion, etc. (Being the college graduate and bookworm - not nerd, just bookworm - that I am I am assuming that much of the information I need I can find in a book.) The library did NOT let me down. I checked out, "How Not to Look Old" by Charla Krupp. This book is going to be a wonderful resource while I am trying to bring out my inner beauty.

Day Two: After flipping through the book I decided to do some, small thing each day to feel beautiful both inside and out. Some days may be small and others may be HUGE (like cutting and highlighting my hair) but each day I would like to do something to feel more beautiful. So, my first purchase was this kit:

You may be wondering exactly what this kit is. It is a "Form-A-Brow" Kit. I am fairly Low Maintenance when it comes to appearance and right now I am on a DIY budget for this endeavor. So, I found an option that was highly recommended that would allow me to make flawless brows. BUT, you have to pluck - not wax. So, we will see how that goes. I always sneeze when having my eyebrows plucked or waxed. it is uncanny.

If you want to try out this little kit along with me it can be purchased here. One of my dear friends and I are going to try it out as soon as it comes in and I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mexico wouldn't be Mexico without...

A trip to Mexico wouldn't be complete without some type of stomach bug! After being here an entire month (minus a couple of days) the bug hit... our little Ladybug and my wonderful husband! I will be M.I.A. for a little while nursing my sick daughter and feverishly hot husband back to health!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cristo Rey Statue

Our family traveled to the state of Guanajuato, Mexico near the city of Leon to view the statue of 'Cristo Rey'. This statue is said to be in the center of Mexico. The people placed a statue of Christ in the center of their country to represent their lives and country centered upon our Savior, Jesus Christ. I though this sentiment was beautiful.

Our family enjoyed trekking up the mountain in our Suburban (my cute husband loved driving on the bumpy roads with mountain curves)!

The cherubs on either side of the statue of Christ each have a specific function; one cherub is removing the crown of thorns and the other cherub is stretching to place upon Christ his crown as our Heavenly King.

Inside the domed building is a lovely sanctuary with an empty funeral pyre - I assume suggesting that Christ has risen. There is a floating bronze crown of thorns suspended over the entire interior of the building. In the exact center of the ceiling is a golden leafed crown to symbolize Christ as our Heavenly King.

Our family enjoyed experiencing this lovely tribute to our Savior.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pueblos Magicos in Mexico

Over this past week I took advantage of our children being at Summer Camp and I traveled a bit around Mexico! Friends and I traveled to Pachuca, Real de Montes, San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo and Tequisquiapan! We visited friends who had moved as well as historical little towns.

While in Real de Montes we ate pastes - these are delicious, historical pastries filled with meat and potatoes or fruit fillings that were used in the mountainous mining towns in Mexico! SO delicious - one would almost become a miner!

In Dolores Hidalgo my adventurous spirit got the best of me and I tried Camarone (Shrimp) Ice Cream from a street vendor with chile on it! It was absolutely the taste of shrimp! The texture of ice cream and the flavor of chile shrimp do NOT go well together! My stomach paid for that little adventure for about 24 hours! But, it was definitely a memory!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Curso de Verano

While here in Mexico our children were invited to a Summer Camp with BOMBARDIER, Inc. Our children have had a fabulous time! They have now done more extreme sports than their parents! Each day they have the opportunity to do a HUGE zip line (1/4 Kilometer), Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Mechanical Bull Riding, Horseback Riding, Aero-Bungee Jumping and other absolutely wonderful activities!

Each morning we cover them with sunblock and each evening they have another sun-kissed tan! They are doing great, overcoming fears and having a wonderful time!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Zihuatanejo & Isla Ixtapa

Our family enjoyed a long weekend in the Mexican fishing town of Zihuatanejo. During our time there we visited Isla Ixtapa and many of the beaches! On Isla Ixtapa, the best beach was Cocohuatalate (I am so not sure I spelled that right.) but it was perfect for our children to play and calm enough that they felt comfortable going into the water without parents!

While on Isla Ixtapa I explored the island and found the "Wild Beach" which everyone on the island had a different name for - thus I am calling it the wild beach... because I had to hike over portions of the island, step lightly under a wasp nest the size of my entire body (I am NOT exaggerating here.) and enter the beach from underneath a small tunnel created by brush. But, once there, it was breathtaking - just myself on a beach with white sand and coral, waves crashing against the rocks and fauna growing to the edge of the sea. It was gorgeous! (I was tempted to bring my children and husband... but due to the ear-piercing screams I know would be heard the moment they saw the wasps nest - did I mention that it was the size of my body? - I deferred.)

We had a wonderful, restful time as a family! The days of resting and relaxing were needed and appreciated!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Queretaro...Ano Bicentenario

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence. Queretaro is known to be part of 'la cuna de Independencia' or the Mexican cradle of Independence. It is here that their National Anthem was first performed, their governing documents were signed and it was the city where the revolution began with a woman, La Corregidora, locked in a room for conspiracy and treason - yet she still managed to get messages out through the keyhole to warn other revolutionaries in the city. The revolutionaries fled Queretaro and the actual cry of Independence was first heard in the city of Dolores Hidalgo early on September 16, 1810.

No matter where the cry of Independence rings out I believe we should celebrate. It always requires bravery and sacrifice to stand against oppression in whatever form. We are enjoying our time in this great city and we hope you enjoy some pictures and a bit of Mexico's history.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Estamos en Mexico... otra vez!

Yes, we are in Mexico once again! We are enjoying visiting with our wonderful friends, seeing the sights and tasting the antijotes of Mexico! We have been here only a few days and have packed in some sightseeing, visiting our church congregation, attending the last day of school at the children's old school and having a pool party with our amigos! We can hardly wait for the adventures of this month to unfold!

The Pursuit of Happiness

This month I have been studying, highlighting and making notations in the margins of two books I would highly recommend to everyone. The books are: "The 5,000 Year Leap: Principles of Freedom 101" and "The Making of America". Both books are distributed by the National Center for Constitutional Studies and can be purchased here.

George Washington said, "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people... and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled."

To see this quote come to pass we, the people, have to become educated once again as to this magnificent document that is to guide the governing of our country. In my reading I am amazed how far off the mark we are already as a country. It is my hope that you will accept my invitation and take time to learn of how we can, together, make a difference.

If you either live in or will be in the Dallas, Texas area on August 28, 2010 there will be a "Making of America" Seminar with guest speaker, Mr. Andy Biggs. Mr. Biggs is a member of the Arizona State Legislature and a speaker from NCCS. The cost will be $15 per person or $35 for a family. For more information on "Making of America" seminars - this site will allow you to either schedule a speaker or find a seminar in your area.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Be Strong and of a Good Courage..."

Our Young Women retreat for church this year is themed after the scripture, "Be Strong and of a Good Courage". Our Stake has chosen the movie "The Wizard of Oz" to serve as an analogy of courage, faith and perseverance while choosing to be compassionate. I have been asked to put together the spiritual program for the retreat... and above is a still I have made for the evening program.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Taking time...

When one finds oneself immersed in constant serviceable activities (i.e. marriage or motherhood) one may find that it is extremely difficult to make time for oneself... but it is SO important to make time. Making time... that may be the wrong phrase; one may have to take time from ones serviceable endeavors to be (dare I say) selfish and build on one's own talents. It will be as hard as carving ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics into golden tablets... but it will bring you similar peace - to know you are making room in your life for YOU!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Burden We Are Shifting to our Children

I am not one to blame Democrats versus Republicans or vice versa. But, I do want to emphatically state that, although I am not an economist or an accountant, I believe that regarding our National Debt (as with all debt) there is a point of no return - when our best efforts to eradicate or pay down our debt will be futile.

The Debt Clock that can be viewed at: is a stunning example of how much we debt we are burdening future generations with. This illustration will cause you to cringe and pray for this time clock to stop.

Further illustrations of just how fast this administration is spending versus the spending of former administrations can be viewed here.

Recently President Obama stated that he was going to (over a 90 day period) find ways to cut our national budget. To understand his comments please see this link - the illustration is well done and easily understood.

I hope you will take a moment to 'see' what we are doing to our own future.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day.

I have been told to relax in bed. (Darn it!) So, I am reading scriptures, receiving quick kisses and hugs from our children and listening to stories my children scamper in to read to me. There are wonderful smells coming from the kitchen and a fantastic husband orchestrating a calm, relaxing day for me. I have received precious gifts throughout the lives of our children and today will not be an exception. For weeks our children have worked on gifts, songs and cards to share how much they love me. I love Mother's Day. These precious gifts, although they wouldn't be worth much on eBay or Etsy - are worth the world to me.

I never thought I would truly enjoy being a mother as much as I have come to love it. I was a young woman with a single purpose of mind that did not include children until much, much later in life (if at all). I am SO grateful to the Lord that he did not accomodate that desire / wish of mine.

Although we, as women, definitely need to carve out time to ourselves to build our own talents and shape who we would like to become - there is also an equal necessity to take time to ponder how absolutely wonderful it is to be a mother who is adored and loved! It is a precious gift; the kind of whole-hearted, all-encompassing, unfiltered love that children give to their mother! It will come through songs, hugs, kisses, hand-made cards, flowers pulled from your garden or a child coming to just being near you!

It is Mother's Day and I cannot express just how grateful I am for my four beautiful, wonderful children and my dear husband! I am grateful my wonderful husband saw something in me twelve years ago and uncovered a aspect of my spirit that I had not bothered to explore - the ability to nurture. Now, these precious children have taught me of what they see in me - the pure love of a Mother!

I hope I can always live up to the woman they want me to be!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Off to the Publishing House...

Well, the little labor of love that started out to be stories, quotes, thoughts and advice for my wonderful children has gotten out of hand!

It began to grow on it's own and now, there are about ten chapters (and there is still more knockin' around in my head)! A few dear friends have asked me for these chapters for their birthdays and others have cheered me on almost daily to try to get these pages out for more women to benefit from - so this is for all my dear friends, over the years, who have said, "Why don't you just write a book." Done!

So, to all my wonderful friends - especially one Fabulously Unfussy Friend - "Thank You" for your constant cheerleading. We'll see where it goes from here...
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From Jellybeans to Chastity...

One of my favorite friends and I were recently talking about children and discipline. As we were talking I mentioned that it is important that our children learn to listen to the Lord's spirit, their parents and wise leaders at a young age - when we are teaching them about jellybeans and consequences of sharing; rather than later when we are teaching about virginity and the consequences of sharing. I would much rather my children learn to listen before their jellybean lessons turn into chastity lessons.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to our Rosita Fresita!

We celebrated a wonderful birthday this past weekend! Our littlest girl turned eight years old! We had a wonderful time and I had so much FUN getting the party ready for her! Really, I had a blast - I made a dessert table, cup cake toppers, invitations, thank you notes and really enjoyed working with our little one to make her birthday memorable and fun! All of the girls had a great time and afterwards our little one expressed her gratitude for a wonderful memory that we created together!

Here are some of the things we whipped up:

Some 'strawberry - licious invitations to entice her guests!

The 'berry sweet cupcakes and cupcake toppers

Scrumptiously Close Up!

A Strawberry Sweet dessert table for munchies.

Lastly, a thank you gift for each of her friends to take home with them!

We had a great time - I even pulled out my grandmother's sewing machine and made the 16" doilies! Honestly, there are very few times in life we get to celebrate how great it is to be eight - so might as well do it with some strawberry-sweet flair!
Hope you can use these ideas to make your next celebration great!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Open Letter to America

Dearest America;

I am a young mother, married, raising wonderful children in a one income family. I am, as are many of you, concerned. The simple fact that I have been impressed to write this letter concerns me; I have pondered writing it since I came home – back to our beloved United States of America.

Just under a year ago upon returning home I sat as an official looked over my family’s documentation to return home to the United States of America. I looked at our national flag and tears came to my eyes as a sense of gratitude and pride grew within me. I cried from a deep sense of all that is good in America, truly a land that I love and one that I had previously taken for granted. My emotions overwhelmed me because of all that I had learned during the time I had spent outside of the borders of the United States of America. My time away taught me just how precious, rare and fragile the liberties we enjoy here are.

Over the nearly two years previous to that moment I had lived in a beautiful, vibrant country that welcomed our young family. Yet, although this country was full of wonderful people, beautiful places and a rich culture it was struggling and in the eyes of the world it was failing. I saw families bind together because that was all they had. I saw extreme hardships. Yet, I saw people filled with a gratitude for what they did have. I saw joy and charity amid what the world termed as chaos. I saw life. I saw how tender the heart of all humans are as I met wonderful people from around the world. I visited with many American volunteers while living abroad. I lived outside of my home – but I came to clearly appreciate the strength, beauty and charity of America.

Then, I returned home. I was not here for the political debates. I had not been a daily witness to the bickering, slandering and gossip that we have come to call the presidential race. I did not hear much of the scandals that unfortunately played out. I was not in the United States of America for the swearing in of our current president. What I did know was from CNN acting as my witness to these events. My personal witness was edited by the media. I celebrated that the voice of the American people had spoken and assumed that all must be as the majority of Americans had hoped. I cheered from afar with the millions of people that watched a historic inauguration. Then, I returned home.

Now, over the last ten months I have become more and more concerned with the state of America. In a mere ten months my tears of gratitude and pride have given way to frustration, resignation and fear. I am writing this letter because I no longer know how the average citizen is to be heard. I am writing because I don’t know how else to address those who could make a difference. I do not believe I am alone. I am writing this for all those who may not feel that they have been or will be heard unless someone begins to speak out. I know that I am only one voice – but I also know that I am one voice in a nation that is to be governed by the voice of the people. I am part of that “voice” – so many of us who feel that we are not and cannot be heard make up the majority of that “voice”. Our concern is that if our leaders cannot hear us or are choosing not to listen – then how will the United States of America be governed by the “voice of the people”?

The majority of the voices that collectively make up the “voice of the people” are charitable, loving, decent people who care equally about people of all races, religions and walks but we care far more about our freedom, liberty and families than what political party you belong to. Most of us simply want the America of our hearts and our history books to once again rise up. At this point, America will need the help of each citizen’s hand to rise. She will need our hands, our words, our works and our hearts. I fear that if we choose not to be heard as “the people” than we will be witness to America’s slow demise.

The current debates and actions taken by the government may have been well intended but they have been wrong. They are continuing in a course of action that seemingly continues to drive our nation deeper into financial, social and spiritual debt. Even going so far as to continue forwarding legislation without the consent of the very voters who elected them to public office – the voters they supposedly represent. How can we claim as a nation to be governed by the people when our leaders are carelessly making decisions against the collective voice of the people?

I am one young mother who has faith that the America I hope for can rise from the misguided body that this nation has become. I hope to lend my hand and heart in this cause. I hope my one voice will be heard. I hope my one voice will make a small difference. I hope I can do my part to prepare this great nation for greater things to come.

Sincerely and Gratefully,
A. Ballard, an American

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wonderwoman, Superwoman... a.k.a. Mother

I have recently realized that Motherhood is nothing less than leaping tall buildings in single bounds and saving your own little universe!

With a wonderful husband off at work - and most of the time he is seriously away (both mentally and physically) - I am the cook, maid, taxi driver, entertainer, referee, consoler, nurse, pillow, teacher, tutor, IT help desk, HR human inter-relationship specialist, dance instructor, singer of lullabies, reader of books and more! All of this constitutes being a mother!

So, wonderwoman had her lasso of truth and superwoman can fly - but, could either of them top the tremendous capacity of a mother? I think not!

When did you realize your greatness as a mother? How did it affect you and your children? I'd love to know...

Friday, March 19, 2010

An evening with Govenor Mitt Romney

Governor Mitt Romney was in Texas last evening on his book tour for "No Apology". My cute husband stayed home and cared for our little ones while I zipped off during rush hour (which is such an ironic name as one cannot 'rush' anywhere) to get to the event.

The event was very well attended, extremely well received and I was impressed with the broad spectrum of people attending. I did notice with concern that my age demographic was very poorly represented - but, that could very well be that many of my peers are rushing home to families and home responsibilities after a full work day.

I was grateful to attend and be able to speak with Governor Romney for a brief, very brief moment. I believe he is a tremendous individual who has a vision for the future of America and I believe that his presence on the national stage can serve to remind us of the important virtues our country was founded upon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Boys will be Boys...

As if cutting off his toe once - drilling through that same toe's nail again to release blood pressure after a second injury and ending up in the ER for excessive vomitting (after receiving eight immunizations from a nurse who was not paying attention) was NOT enough... my dear son decided to see what a full kernel of corn would do if he stuck it into his ear canal.

Well, one day, three doctors visits and surgery later - his ear canal is empty and he knows that 'the only thing that is supposed to go in my ears is SOUND!'

My husband and I only hope he has learned that lesson through all of this!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mile Mark...One Year Later

We have been home from Mexico for 10 months now and for 6 of those months I did not have access to a pool. My dear husband surprised me by purchasing a gym membership for me to a gym with an indoor pool! So, today - almost a year after I began swimming a mile a morning... I have hit the 'Mile Mark' again in swimming and I hope to continue from here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another Snow Day...

We woke up this morning to a winterland, white world! To many of you - this is a daily reality; but living in the South means that a winterland, white world is a little miracle!

Unfortunately, our children still had school and we are looking forward to picking them up A.S.A.P. so that we can see if the tops to our plastic storage bins will make good sleds. My cute husband came home for lunch and decided that he would rather work from home today! Yeah! So... now we are just enjoying the snow and waiting for our children to come home.

I don't know exactly what it is... but freshly fallen snow brings out the giddiness in me! I love it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Home Teaching - A 6 year old's Perspective

This week my cute husband took our Lil' Jedi out with him to do Home Teaching. (This is a program within our church wherein each family has two members of the congregation assigned to visit them monthly to share a gospel message and assess their needs.) Well, today the young man my husband Home Teaches with was not available - so our Lil' Jedi felt privileged to go with his Dad to visit these families.

Upon returning home I was fixing our Lil' Jedi his dinner and we were talking:

Me: "How was Home Teaching with your Dad?"
Lil' Jedi: "Good." (while munching on corn on the cob)
Me: "Did you enjoy the visits?"
Lil' Jedi: "MmmmHmmm." (nodding)
Me: "Well, how was everyone."
Lil' Jedi: "Ok - They're not dead yet Mom."

So, I suppose that in the view of a 6 year old - if you are breathing you are A-OK!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Morning

Fresh bread... the sounds of baking in the kitchen, the smell of fresh bread cooking, the taste of melted butter on warm, wheat bread all equals a feeling of warmth, love and home. The wonderful smell of fresh bread and the sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir filled our Sunday morning.

This morning our little 'Fresita' and I mixed, kneaded and rolled our way to these five butter-topped loaves of bread. Before we left for church one entire loaf was gone - and it was GOOD!

We enjoyed gifting the other loaves to women in our church congregation. We included the scripture from Luke, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." (Luke 4:4) My Visiting Teaching companion and I hadn't had a chance to enjoy our visits in January so we gave this bread and scripture with the promise that this month we would give the bread and next month we would bring the "word" in our message. They each loved the bread and we look forward to visiting them in February!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Backstroke, Butterfly and Yoga!

Since moving back the the great U.S.A. I have been scouting our area for an indoor pool to continue my swimming regimen! Between moving in, getting kids settled for school and then summer I hadn't been diligent about my search! Then, for Christmas, my cute husband found a '24 hour fitness' in the area with a POOL inside! Year round! I am SO excited!

This week I started off with a mile and three quarters (for the week) and had a BLAST! I also tried Yoga for the first time ever... I have to say that I have always thought that Yoga was a bit more restful or natural than I would expect a 'real' workout to be. Well, after years of thinking Yoga was less of a workout I have to admit "I was WRONG!"!

When I entered the room and saw people from their mid 20s all the way to mid 70s I thought, "Really, how hard can this be?" and I stationed myself next to a little, well manicured grandmother. I started up a chat with those around me, sharing that it was my first time doing Yoga. Everyone was friendly and completely relaxed. (Minus the businessman who came to yoga in Dockers, a button down shirt and business shoes... but, to each his own). So, seriously, looking around I saw grandmas, businessmen (in their dockers) and also women in 'yoga' looking gear. So, again, how hard could this be?

The instructor bounces into the room and up to the podium. I decided it may be wise to just let her know that this is my first Yoga class. She expresses TONS of enthusiasm for my first class and promises me that she will tell me where to put my arms, legs, hands and feet. That is good, considering I serioulsy have NO IDEA what I am doing.

She instructs me to grab a mat from the closet - and I do... choosing the one that looks least used and doesn't have odd stains on it... At this point I am wondering what stains are doing on a Yoga mat - I mean, do you even break a sweat?

I lay the mat out just in front of the adorable, well-manicured grandmother and start stretching (just like everyone else). I then begin to hear lovely, calming ocean surf with music and I think "Yeah, this will be relaxing without taxing my muscles." (Little did I know...)

The first series of movements we do are announced as the "Sun Salutation" - and I don't know about you... but I don't usually give salutations with my bottom straight in the air with both hands and feet on the floor (hip width apart, mind you). But, from there the instructor had us do body folds (leaning over); monkeys (leaning over with a flat back) and planks - OK, right about NOW, during the planks (which are push ups that you hold in position for a period of time) I thought, "Am I actually feeling perspiration?"

Well, this series of movements were repeated who knows how many times... and each time I got to the plank my muscles in my arms would just begin to BURN. It wasn't just perspiration! No, it was all out BURN - and TO TOP IT OFF, the well-manicured Grandmother was not breaking a sweat! So, I was NOT about to let that happen! So, I smiled and kept on truckin'!

About 20 minutes into the class the instructor said, "OK, that was a nice warm-up." I thought, "Oh my dear... are you serious?" I could already feel a slow burn in my upper arms.

Well, then we get into the 'real' moves of Yoga and just let me say... that there seriously are muscles that I had NO idea I had or what functions they do! AND when you are focusing on some muscles SO much - the other muscles in your body don't do much (like hold your stomach in)! So, about this point I am thinking - "Why, in heaven's name are there MIRRORS on three sides of this room?" And then I see Grandma behind me smiling and relaxed... and my determination hardens.

Well, to say the least, I perspired, my muscles burned, I learned about muscles that I never knew about - BUT, by the end I felt like I had just been treated to an hour massage. I was that relaxed and rejuvinated - Seriously! I was amazed... at the end of the session everyone got up and started rolling their mats, etc. and I was still laying on the floor! I think Grandma was in her car by the time I moved.

So, overall - I am a new fan of Yoga! I felt great after class - and then, about 9pm that night I began to feel the muscles that I had used... but in a good way!
So, Yoga is now being added to my weekly regimen! Just picture me sitting on a mat with my hands on my bended knees, humming to myself... Yeah, Right!

OH, and IF you try this - remember to wear baggier clothes... until you are not worried about what muscles relax when the other ones are being worked on!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A little FYI from our youngest!

This was a recent conversation I had with our son - take note that this conversation lasted well over an hour with all the dramatics possible out of a 6 year old! I will shorten the experience to spare you...

Our little man: "Mom, why couldn't you name me Luke?"
Mom (not quite paying attention yet): "Mommy and Daddy picked your name because it was the name of some great men and it worked with your middle name which is after Daddy's best friend."
Little man (while stomping his foot): "I don't like it - I want to change my name to Luke!"
Mom: "We thought about Luke but it didn't seem to fit at the time."
Little man (complete incredulity): "YOU THOUGHT ABOUT LUKE BUT DIDN'T NAME ME LUKE?"
Mom: "Yes."
Little man: "How can we change it. I can't go on another day... I want to be Luke!"
Mom: "What if I call you my little Jedi? I can call you that on the blog."
Little man: "You mean like a nickname?"
Mom: "Exactly!"
Little man (thinking): "What about...."
Mom: "Yes..."
Little man: "What about you call me Captain Luke the Jedi?"
Mom: "That is a mouthful."
Little man: "You can call me Captain Luke for short."
Mom: "Oh, that is LOTS better."

Thus, to all those who may be interested in our little family galaxy that we record on this blog... our "Little Man" will from now on be called "Captain Luke" or "Lil' Jedi" per his solemn request!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 has been with us for an entire ten days and I am now sitting down and commemorating it! We have welcomed in the New Year in our home with fevers, sinusitis, bronchitis and ear infections! Welcome to the New Year!

Today (the first day that ALL of my children would be able to return to school) school was CANCELLED! So, we are going to 'play school'. My cute husband is flying back into town today and my only hope is that the ice on the runways will NOT keep him from coming home!