Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tiny Dancer

It's always fun when kids start to dance. We learned today that Addie likes to dance to the Thomas theme song. Probably because she's listened to it so many times and recognizes it courtesy of big brother. She moves to all of the music but when the Thomas theme song comes on she really goes to work.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the good ole Summertime

I love how, in the summer, there is always something going on. Yesterday we went and listened to a choir perform. They sang old songs (like, in the good ole summertime) in barbershop style. It was fun, and the weather was perfect. Jack didn't want to leave when it was all over.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What do you feed YOUR kids?

This is kind of a silly post, but I really do need the help. Jack won't eat just anything, and I'm kind of sick of the lunches he will eat. He eats chicken nuggets, fish sticks, pb&j, and occasionally he'll eat something out of the ordinary. What do you guys do to get your little ones to eat? Do you present it in a fun way, do you have other food ideas that kids will like, do you give up and let them eat the same thing over and over? Are you diligent about getting them something from each of the food groups? Help me!

This little guy thanks you!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thomas the Tank Engine

Another steam engine parked in the yard

This is the face of pure, unbridled joy.
Riding the train

We have known that Thomas the tank engine made annual visits to the Heber Valley for a few years but we did not anticipate that we would one day have a son that is completely enthralled with trains. Of course Thomas has everything to do with this. The funny thing is we don't even know how he got hooked on it. I think we were flipping through channels one morning and landed on PBS for too long or something. (Honestly, I'm not sure what is so enchanting about it, the show is really pretty boring.) But the love affair continues just as strong today as ever. We don't leave home without packing a train or two along and while Wow Wow Wubbzy is currently giving Thomas a run for Jack's favorite show to watch, nothing gets playtime like his trains. They get as much use as a construction site port-a-john if not more. So of course we were not going to let Thomas come and go without paying a visit.

Sarah has diligently planned on today for a very long time and she executed with surgical precision. We drove down to Heber this morning and met up with the Willits family to spend a day out with Thomas. By the way I wish I was in the Thomas business, these people have to be making a killing of of this stuff. It was kind of like a carnival centered on Thomas and his counterparts from the majestic island of Sodor. Sir Toppham Hatt was even there chubbin' it up. (In real life don't you think that Mr. Hatt would be like the jerk of an industrialist who runs the town and ruthlessly crushes anyone who crosses him, like Mr. Potter to George Bailey?) They had a petting zoo (complete with a biting pony, and baby camel that, no joke, peed for like 3 straight minutes), decal tattoos, balloon animals, bubble blowing, movies, train sets, a Dugger family style bluegrass band and of course a ride on Thomas' train.

It really was a lot of fun and Thomas was legit. I always thought that they just kind of jerry rigged an existing engine to look like Thomas but this was a dedicated engine (or really more of a car, I don't think it was doing anything but enjoying the ride). It was awesome. I think that everyone really enjoyed it a lot, but of course there was nothing more entertaining than watching Jack watch T-bone roll the rails.

It all worked out so well. We got to do everything that was there, wore the kids out in time for naps and finished just as it was starting to rain.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What is happening?

Over the past several years and especially over the past several months it seems that the "crisis mode" has reached a fever pitch. It also seems that the powers that be would have it remain that way, so they can ramrod whatever ridiculous legislation through the houses of congress unnoticed. Is there anyone else who is wondering that while all major news coverage is devoted to the swine flu, what must the CIA be up to? What leader of what country are they presently overthrowing?

Point is, things happen so fast that we often don't know what we've ended up with until its too late. I mean how many pieces of legislation have been reversed lately. They seem to just get piled on. So we have a thing called the Patriot Act that allows whatever government agency to do just about anything they want to without regard to the rule of law. There was recently a story that really made it hit home for me lately. The FBI took a 16 year old from his home late at night and his parents haven't heard much from him since. The local news affiliate story is linked below.

Obviously we are only getting the mother's side of the story, but my complaint with this as with all individuals being held on suspicion of crimes committed is this: either charge them formally and allow the due process to take place, or let them go. Guantanamo is full of people that have never been charged. Are they terrorists if we can't even charge them with a crime? Is a 16 year old a threat to national security....well, let's charge him and allow some habeas corpus, right? All of these people are in limbo against there will and on the taxpayers buck no less. The worst part is there is nothing anyone can do because the goon squad is above the law (how did that happen?!!) I just wish someone would read the Constitution once in a while. It's amazing how free we should be.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Choo Choo!

Union Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 844 came and visited Evanston today. It was the last steam locomotive built for the Union Pacific Railroad. We took the kiddies out to see it. Jack was really excited, but I think he gets scared of trains close up. They're a lot bigger than he realizes, and this one was also really loud! Addie didn't like it so much. She was trying to take a nap in her car seat, and the horn woke her up. Poor thing!

Eric says he wants some overalls like this guy. If he asks permission, I'm gonna say no!

I need a nap

The kids and I went down to Utah for a few days for my cousin's wedding. We had so much fun! Every day was so loaded with activities, we barely had time to breathe, but we wouldn't have changed a thing (except that we wish Eric could have come for all of it too)!

The wedding was at the Morinda Gardens in Provo. It was beautiful! There were tulips everywhere! Jack had fun running around and dancing with his cousins. The bride and groom looked gorgeous and so happy. I thought I had more pictures of all of my cousins, but I realized I took some on my Dad's camera. Whoops! Anyway, after the reception, Dad came over to Carrie's house and we snacked on cheese and crackers and hot chocolate. Yum!

Friday was full of lots of fun things, but I didn't have my camera most of the day. I did happen to get a few shots of the kids playing in the toy room at the barn. I didn't get pictures of lunch with Uncle Kevin, Aunt Lori, Grandma and Grandpa, or all of the cousins hanging out at the barn that night, or the Mother's day tea that Carrie, Taryn and I went to earlier that day.

On Saturday Carrie took Jack, Griff, and Colson to see the fire the fire department was using for training. Then we went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for lunch (delish) and then to BYU campus. It was really fun. I haven't been there in years! The boys had a blast running around. Grampy got the kiddies new BYU shirts, which the boys were really excited about. Grandma and Grandpa Asay met us up there, and hung out for a little while.

Sunday was Mother's day. We went to Salt Lake for brunch with the Kevin Asay clan, but I didn't bring my camera. It figures that I wouldn't bring the camera on the one day Eric actually got to be with us. Oh well!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still Learning

Over the past year or so I have been forced to challenge everything I have ever been taught about civics, social studies and social interaction, history and politics. I used to consider myself as more of a republican than anything else, though there were and always have been things that I very reluctantly accepted as being correct. Thinking that “well, its coming from a person with an ‘R’ next to their name so its probably more right than wrong.”

Since the primaries of last year I started asking myself questions that weren’t easily answered in any form of media that I could find. I would watch news shows like Fox, CNN, HLN and BBC and always felt like there was something amiss and because of this it was extremely difficult for me to determine for myself what was correct and why.

Then I was able to finally put my finger on it. Nearly everything I had ever been taught, and all the things I had reluctantly accepted as truth were indeed wrong or at least only partially right. This convinced me that Republicans and Democrats alike were primarily wrong in their approach. They were all wrong.

This really hit home to me early in the winter when Evanston was visited by one of our senators and I asked him a question that went something like this “Senator Barrasso, our military is currently spread across 130 +/- countries, we are currently fighting two wars in a region where there has been war for literally thousands of years, wars that we cannot win and our empire is costing us over a trillion dollars a year…..Is there any attempt whatever to bring the troops home and dismantle the empire?”

He thought for a second and replied with something like “That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked it. You know, after 9/11 everything changed. We are actively fighting two wars and I want to make sure we take our hats off to those brave young men and women who have left their families and put their lives in harm’s way for the protection of America. God bless our veterans and thank God that there are so many willing to fight for our freedom.”

I hope that you are thinking what I was thinking at that time, which can be summed up by: “What the hell?” That didn’t even come close to answering any part of my question.

The reason why is he didn’t have an answer. He did not have any principles whereon to base his answer so he danced around it and spit out the official Republican party line. I truly wanted to vomit after I heard it. This is not to say that the good senator is not well intentioned I'm sure he has only the best of intentions.

I decided then that party didn’t really mean very much because if you take a step back, it doesn’t matter who the president has been or what party he’s been affiliated with, the drift is in the same direction, sometimes faster, sometimes slower but the same direction none the less. That is to say we are becoming (and for all intents and purposes are) a warfare, welfare, police, social engineering, socialized empire and getting worse.

So I decided that I needed to give myself the education that school never gave me, specifically in regard to our constitution and free market economics. What I am learning is that we don’t follow the constitution, except for term lengths. But I’m sure that too will eventually change. We follow so little of our own constitution that few even recognize when and how often it is violated. When someone brings up an important constitutional principle that has long been forgotten everyone thinks they are crazy, out-dated, crazy, an extremist, crazy and crazy. This is clearly evident with the entire Ron Paul revolution which by the way, is in no way over. I feel crazy half of the time. Just ask Sarah how many times I ask her if I am in fact crazy. Maybe she’s just being nice. If she is just being nice I would appreciate a heads up.

I couldn’t have told you much about the constitution a year ago and I am still learning about it more everyday. I certainly don’t want to come off like I know everything (or anything) because frankly, what I know could fit in a thimble with some extra space to spare.

The driving point is this: when you have the principles and in this case when you have the constitution of the United States, it makes it incredibly easy to cut to the quick. Now when I hear news or hear of situations it is easy to think of the solution because it is principle based not politically based.

Our government has done such a flawless job of making it so that no one can understand anything and they eventually lose interest. It is supposed to be boring. Very few people find it interesting at all. You are supposed to keep your head down, do what you’re told and for crying out loud listen to the mainstream media, they are telling you exactly what to think.

In reality I find that getting ripped off continually, waging unjust wars, silently taking the rights away from the people, etc. is incredibly interesting.

On top of this no one wants to figure out that what they believe has been fundamentally false. Trust me, I can tell you from personal and ongoing experience that it is difficult to come to terms with that reality but once you do it is incredibly liberating. It is just like seeking out and finding any other truth, it sets the world right.

Just a quick footnote - everyone has their favorite places to get information but if you are looking for another good spot to go visit there are some very good sites linked on the sidebar of this blog, particularly the Ludvig Von Mises Institute.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Updates and some other random stuff

Its that time again! These kiddies are growing up so fast!

Our little Addie Bean is 6 months old. She is sitting up and scooting everywhere. She's eating baby food, and is hungry all the time, which explains the adorable chubby cheeks. My favorite thing about Addie is that she's almost always smiling.

Jackers is a talking machine, and there's no off button. He repeats everything we say, which is a little bit scary.
Today's conversation:
Mom: Its stinky in here, is that you?
Jack: No, actually its Addie.
(It wasn't Addie)

He still loves referring to me and Eric as Eric and Sar. I think he thinks its funny, I kind of do too. If we correct him and say, "I'm mom." He'll say, "I'm Jack." He's finally hitting a little bit of a jealous stage. If I pick Addie up because she's crying, he'll start to cry (so fake, of course). If I turn my back, he'll take Addie's toy away and then run out of the room and hide. One of my favorite things about Jack right now is that he has to end every day with 'dance time'. Each time a song ends he cups his hand around his ear and says, "more song?"

On a completely unrelated note, the kids and I went to the Willits' last week. Jack was in heaven. He's always asking to go to Carrie's house. He loves to play with Colson and 'Boofin'. I love visiting too because I get to see my sisters. Carrie, Taryn and I got to go to the Beehive Bazaar and look at some fun crafts. Thanks to Uncle Brad for babysitting! I really debated on whether or not I should leave Addie, but she was sound asleep when we left (around 9pm), so I thought she would be fine. When we got back home at midnight, we found Brad sitting on the couch holding Jack with Addie laying next to them. I felt so bad! He assured me that he didn't mind, but I still felt terrible. So, thanks again Brad! The funny thing is that I went and set the wide awake Jack on the bed and told him to wait one minute while I went and told Carrie something. By the time I walked out of the room, he had already fallen asleep. I guess he just needed to know I was back.

Ring around the rosies
Exercising with Aunt Carrie