Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oregon

Last week, Eric was taking an appraisal class in Portland, so the kids and I decided to tag along. We made the 14 (ish) hour drive out there on Monday. It wasn't so bad. Addie slept a lot, and we managed to keep Jack pretty entertained. The last hour of the trip was the hardest. Everyone was sick of the car by then.

Tuesday morning, we were pleased to discover that the continental breakfast the hotel offered was actually quite good. Much better than the stale toast and cold cereal you usually get. Eric was off to class, and we were off the the children's museum (it was raining, so we needed an indoor activity). There were lots of fun things to do. We went to story time, shake rattle and roll (music time), and everything else. Jack's faves were the transportation room (because he got to play with trains), and the Bob the Builder room. Addie didn't really care about any of it.
Wednesday we went to the zoo because it was the only day there wasn't rain in the forecast. The zoo was beautiful. We had a lot of fun at first. We got to see lots of animals, and the weather was perfect. Then it became obvious we needed a break so we went back to the hotel for lunch and naps. After naps we went back to the zoo. This was a mistake. I guess Jack had enough. We saw a few more animals before we called it quits.















Thursday we took a break. Jack needed a normal day. We don't go out on many big adventures at home. We just hung around the hotel all day. We got to see dad on his lunch break, we went swimming, and got to watch Backyardigans. Friday we went to the mall playground. I know it doesn't sound awesome, but it was really fun. I needed a free activity indoors because of the rain, and traveling around with 2 kids and no stroller (we left it at home) was starting to wear on me. Anyway, Jack had a blast. We went back to the hotel for lunch and naps again, and when naps were over, Eric's class was done! The test was over!! So, we went out to the Arboretum. That was the only thing Eric got to do while we were there. That was a bummer, but we still had fun. We really enjoyed Portland and look forward to Eric's next class...well, I do anyway.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just for you

This is for Aunt Danielle, who has been requesting a little update on the kiddies.

JACK:-Likes to call us Sar and Er instead of Mom and Dad.

-He loves to tell Addie no. When she sucks on her fingers, he'll say, "uh-uh Aaee, stop it, no sir, no sir!"

-We've been trying for awhile now to get Jack to say Danielle, but it always comes out Dance, or Amber.

-He loves to color, and then narrate as he does it. "I colorin mom, I colorin cow, mom..."

-He loves his baby sister. Whenever he sees her he'll say, "Aaee cute. I wike it Aaee. Hi Aaee bean, hi Aaee bean!"

-He's learning to say please, but thinks that if he says please he can have whatever he wants.

-He likes to do things on his own. He refuses to hold my hand.

-Likes to share his cars with Addie, and thinks its really cool when she plays with them.

-Calls all letters A, and all numbers 2.

-Whenever I ask if he wants to go bye bye, he says, "yeah, Carrie's house," or, "yeah, walmart!"

-He loves to sing the snowman and popcorn songs.

-He likes to talk on the phone (his fake phones). He usually talks to Daddy, or (his cousin) Colson. He always says, "Hiyo, Aaee's seepin."



ADDIE: -She is one smiley bug!

-She drools a lot.

-Has the cutest little grunty, growly thing (its probably something only her parents could love, and we do).

-She likes to roll around.

-She devours rice cereal.

-She likes to be carried the the Baby Bjorn, facing out.

-She is soo chubby!

-Anything that comes close to her face runs the risk of being pulled into her mouth.

-Her hands will grab anything. She's always pulling my hair out.

-She is such a good baby.

-She tolerates her brother pretty well.




video

Sorry Aunt Dan. This is the best video I've gotten of him saying Danielle. If you listen really close right at the beginning, he says Danielle, but when I ask him to say it again, he decides Amber is easier.

Monday, March 9, 2009

You've Been Plundered

Over the past 100 years Americans have enjoyed unbelievable prosperity, even through the very difficult times. We have achieved a wealth in this nation that other countries can’t even conceive in their wildest dreams, even today. Because of this we have a duty and an obligation to be charitable, to share some of the bounty we enjoy. The vast majority of us are more than happy, sometimes even eager to be charitable, to share, to improve the lives of other through some small means or however we may be capable.

Based on this idea, it seems to me that there has been a severe misunderstanding among a significant portion of the population and among our elected officials who represent us on the various levels of government. When I offer to give something, whether it be time, money, goods or services and do so by my own choosing, taking action on a thought that came in to my own mind, this is called charity. When you force me to give of my means, whether it be time, money, goods or services and enforce my “giving” at the point of a gun this is no longer charity, it is coercion.

Taxing the hell out of the productive members of society (I don’t care how rich they might be) and forcing them to give their money to the unproductive members of society (I don’t care how helpless, destitute, or impaired they might be) is not charity, it’s compulsion, coercion, conscription or worse.

I’m sick of politicians who give a song and dance about how we need to help out every person who is on hard times, whether it’s their own fault or not.This is the thing. When charity becomes a government function, we are all screwed, the people being legally plundered and the people dependent on the “charity”. Have you ever been to a VA hospital, a DMV, a circuit court, an inner city public school, social security office or any of the like? They are complete abominations. And these are the people we are putting in charge of charitable concerns?!

Studies have been done that show when money is set aside through some ridiculous government spending bill loaded with pork that is intended for a special interest group like inner city youth programs, up to 70% of the funds intended for said program are eaten up in bureaucracies, regulatory agencies and inefficiencies within the government.At least when the money is given directly to a charity, usually at least half of that money is making it to its intended user. In some cases every last cent donated makes it to its intended source.

When the government takes over these functions through mandatory taxation two things happen, people go from being happy and generous to being unhappy and wanting to be taxed as little as is humanly possible, also because they now have less money they are less willing to give that money to charities who are in need of it, desperately. The government is always less efficient than the private sector and free market. There is no exception to this rule, it is an absolute certainty. Anyone who denies this doesn’t know what the free market is and probably, like Bush and Obama think we’ve had one for the past few decades…..we haven’t.

The point is that all of these people claiming that through government we are going to make the world a better place don’t know what they are talking about. Or they know exactly what they are talking about and are purposely plundering everything they can get from you or me to give to cronies, goons, buddies and special interests long before it ever gets to the place it was supposed to go, and this needs to stop.

We are becoming less and less wealthy as a nation as our drift towards socialism requires a steady increase in the taxation of the people. We are becoming poorer, the government is getting bigger and less efficient and those who have been in need all the while, are still in need.

This needs to stop, good people need to stop laying down and take action. We all need to throw off the shackles and reclaim our liberties before the fight requires our lives, although I'm willing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Truckers


I'm really tired of truckers who don't respect the unwritten laws of the road. It gets really old when I'm just about to pass a rig and then he decides that since he is going a foot per minute faster than the guy in front of him he needs to pass, cutting me off in the process. I'm tired of catching rocks with my windshield. I'm tired of truckers who have seen Smokey and the Bandit one too many times and think they are the Snowman dropping the hammer on the double nickel to outrun the bears beating down the back door. I get really mad when I'm going up a canyon that would be considered a cat. 4 climb were it in the Tour de France when a trucker decides he needs to pass without having one righteous clue about how steep and how long the road ahead is. I hate it when the semi's roll 3 wide. I hate it when they refuse to break the convoy to let me merge onto the highway. I hate it that when I crest a hill in the early morning and the sun is just low enough in the sky to create a bright beam of light bouncing off the discarded jugs of urine so its hard to see. It's been beating me down for a while now.