Beach Ready and Storytime

July 26, 2014 at 2:41 pm (Crafts, Family, Personal)

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These next few weeks are going to be beyond insane!  The appraisal on the house we’re trying to buy came back at about 5:30 last night, and we’re scheduled to close Monday.  So it’s been a mad rush of trying to pull all the last minute stuff together to make sure we close on time.  It’s hard to believe we’re finally almost there on this purchase.  It’s been nearly seven months now since we first stepped foot in the house and knew it was the one.  Once all is said and done, I will share the whole amazing story, but right now I am just praying we can get this done Monday.  Monday is also my daughter’s birthday, so that would be an exciting day to close.  But all of this is also falling right at the same time as a trip my family planned months ago to go to the beach.  So I’ve been working hard sewing beach bags for my mom, my sister, and myself…plus some sundresses and a maxi dress I cut patterns out for forever ago!  I’m loving how the beach bags turned out though.  The pattern I used is found here.  It’s super easy and really inexpensive, especially if you have a good coupon for JoAnn’s!  For three of them, I came in at just around $10 with canvas fabric to spare!

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This week also brought a fun storytime at the library.  Thursday evening, the kids got to dress in their pajamas and bring a favorite toy friend to the library for a little bit of storytime, singing, dancing, and games.  It was a really cute event, and I’m so glad I was able to get home from work in time to take them!  Both were a little shy about the dancing (completely surprising for my daughter since she’s a total ham and a social butterfly most days!), but they still had a great time.

And tonight, we’re headed back to the local ballpark to catch another baseball game.  Wawa is handing out free ticket promotions, so this one won’t cost a thing :)!  I love free things!!  Have a blessed weekend!

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Weekend Cake

July 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm (Faith, Family, Personal)

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My crazy weekend is well underway!  This morning, I was blessed to give a talk on the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Elder Brother at our monthly women’s Bible study.  It was such an amazing morning with wonderful, God-loving women!  Sometimes I feel like I have to pinch myself to really believe that God has blessed us so greatly with this church family.  In all my life, I have never met as many incredible women who have a heart for God and each other as I have met at this one church.  Feeling so very thankful right now…

Then I came home and finished up a cake for our landlords’ sweet little daughter.  She chose Pirate Fairy as her theme, and I found some awesome inspiration on Pinterest.  Above is the final results.  And now it’s off to make dinner and plan my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow.  Hope everyone is having a blessed weekend!  How about this awesome weather in July!!!!  It feels like fall here…loving it!

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Marine Museum

July 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm (Family, Personal)

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This view is one of the reasons I love living where we do!  Red barns, open fields, and water!  This weekend went by in a blur.  Hubby was still working to get the (hopefully) new house ready for appraisal, and the kids and I took a much-needed break Saturday.  We met up with friends at a local marine museum for “OtterMania”.

Starting out at the sailboat…

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Dress up in the Discovery Center…

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Arts and crafts…

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The kids colored little posterboard otters.  They turned out really cute!  The wind caught poor Colton’s first otter when we were headed over to the lighthouse.  Usually my little guy isn’t phased by stuff like that, so I laughed and told him his otter decided to go for a swim (it landed in the water).  Then I noticed his little chin quivering.  Poor guy really liked his otter, I guess.  So we quickly made a trip back to the craft station to make another one!

Watching the otters…

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Information session on otters…

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The lighthouse…

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View from the lighthouse…

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Then the kids got to play on the “otter obstacle course”…

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Ringing the bell…

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Checking out the stingrays…

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And back to the Discovery Center…

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So thankful for this time with my kiddos and some wonderful friends!

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Working on the (hopefully) new home

July 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm (Family, Personal)

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The view from the driveway of our (hopefully) new house!

It’s been a really long six months since we first saw this house.  Many emotional ups and downs; times when I was elated because we’d crossed one hurdle only to sit and wait months hearing only crickets; times when I doubted this was God’s plan for us and tried to move on.  But here we are, finally nearing the finish line in this home owning fiasco.  The court has officially accepted our offer, so we are finally officially under contrat on this bad boy.  But sadly this awesome house has been sitting empty for quite a while and through a very harsh winter.  So it had some issues pop up when the seller’s realtor had the utilities turned on – burst faucets (they winterized the pipes thankfully, but forgot to empty the faucets), sagging porch overhang (a not-so-handy homeowner decided to use sheet rock in the overhang…seriously…soaks water right up and weighs down the whole thing), a few rotten boards in the deck, and the A/C needs a new capaciter.  Not too bad considering.  Since my hubby is really good at home repair stuff, the trustee for the bankruptcy allowed him to go in and start fixing it to get the house past appraisal.  So that’s what we’ve been doing all week.  I’m so thankful that hubby is good at this stuff because it’s saving us thousands of dollars.  But it’s wearing on him for sure.  Can’t wait to get this part over.  I’ve done a few things, like cleaning the nasty funk out of the fridge and raking leaves off the deck.  Friends have helped out, too.  One brought his John Deere over and mowed about two acres of grass that had grown about waist high.  But mostly the kids and I just go over to the house for hubby’s moral support.  And take phone pics of the horses next door :).

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I’m most excited about the land and the horses!  It’ll be the fulfilment of a lifelong dream to live this close to or even own horses!  The kids are loving everything about the house…especially Colton.  He’ll go from checking out the horses to scootering around the driveway…

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…to running laps around the empty family room, to playing in the “TV” room (that’s what he calls the playroom because it has a huge white board painted on one wall), to playing on the awesome Amish-built playset in the backyard!  He’s having the time of his life!  I am so thankful for all of our family and friends who have prayed for this situation over the past six months.  Fervently praying now that we can get this through appraisal and finally close on it.  I am dreading the moving process but so looking forward to making this house a home!

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But for now, I’m taking the kids for a much-needed break at the marine museum with friends.  Have a blessed weekend!

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4th of July Weekend

July 7, 2014 at 2:29 pm (Crafts, Family, Personal)

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I hope everyone had an awesome 4th of July!  This is one of my favorite holidays.  It’s a great time of year, a wonderful reason to celebrate, and oh do I love fireworks!  This year got off to a bit of a rocky start, but ever since late spring, it’s just seemed to be perfect and serene.  I’m loving it.  The weather has been incredible in our area…a very mild first half of the summer with an almost constant light breeze.  Absolutly beautiful!  And this weekend was no exception.  We drove out to Alexandria, Virginia where my uncle lives and watched fireworks from the roof of his condo building.  He has a fun little get together every year for the 4th, and we’ve made it out a couple of times now.  It’s nice because there is no fighting traffic and crowds, plus we get an awesome view of the Capitol fireworks along with  a skyline full of fireworks from across D.C.  Bonus that it isn’t too loud for the kids.  Colton doesn’t mind the sound of the fireworks, but Kaitlyn has started to dislike the loud booms…not that it stops her from loving the colorful displays, she just complains about the noise a little.  So this was perfect for her.  We stayed at super nice hotel the night of the 4th and went on a lunch cruise for my grandmother’s birthday on the 5th.  Here are the photo highlights:

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Checking into the hotel…  Jumping on the beds is one of the best parts of hotel stays!

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Party at Uncle Bob’s!

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Colton went crazy for the strawberry soup!  He had at least three helpings, and he was just slurping it down!  Here he is working on his third bowl, photobombed by his cousin!

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On the rooftop while it was still light out…

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It was so windy when we first got there with the tropical storm coming up the coast that we thought the fireworks might be a no go this year…

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Thankfully, the wind calmed down and didn’t hold up the show!

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And a few shots of the skyline and my adorable baby girl looking out over the city…

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Once the Capitol fireworks finale was over, we headed inside where the kids watched some more fireworks from the window…

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It was a really great night!  I’m not a city person at all, but sometimes the city really does have fun things to offer…this is definitely one of those fun things!  After fireworks, we chowed down on some pie and brownies.  I made a coconut cream pie since I didn’t have time to make my dad one of those for Father’s Day, and I also made a mixed berry pie from this recipe.  Great recipe!  It turned out yummy, and I also spruced it up a little bit with stars and stripes!

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All sugared up, it was time to head back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep!  For the 5th, we grabbed some yummy hotel breakfast and headed out to a lunch cruise on the Odyssey.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day to be out on the water! 

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Kaitlyn at the table, and the kids out enjoying the deck…

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Family photos…

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Photobombed by hubby…

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I love this one of my grandma and her great-grandkids!  She turned 86 this weekend, and it’s amazing to think of everything she’s been through in her lifetime.  She’s a tough lady!

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Hubby on the deck with Colton…

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Hubby and me…

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A boy and his Popple…

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The view…

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We got to see many planes take off from and land at Reagan National…

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Boats behind…

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The Washington Monument…

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The view…

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The waitress took down the names of everyone who has a July birthday and gave each one a slice of yummy chocolate layer cake.  The DJ even announced all of their names!  We had four July birthdays in our party: my grandma, my uncle, my little Katybug, and my uncle’s friend.  Kaitlyn was a little confused about being wished a happy birthday when it wasn’t actually her birthday, but she did enjoy the cake!

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Colton stealing a sip of his sister’s apple juice…

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Smurf says, hi!

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Dancing with Amma…

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Love this shot of my grandma and uncle…

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And the boat…

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Thank you Uncle Bob for a wonderful weekend!

We got home earlier than expected on Saturday, so I took the kids out scootering.  That’s pretty much Colton’s favorite thing to do every since he got a scooter for his birthday.  So we packed up the scooters and headed to the trail…and snapped a few shots with the cell phone.

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We had dinner at Ledo Pizza…and the kids got spaghetti, of course!  They are spaghetti fiends!  Who chooses spaghetti over pizza at Ledo’s?  :)  When we got home and got the kids to bed, hubby and I cleared a path through the boxes in our basement (yes, we have seriously been packing since February in the hopes that one day soon we will be able to actually move!) and played some darts.  Sometimes it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the busyness that we forget to spend some fun time together.  It seems like we are always tired by the end of the day and just end up watching an hour or two of TV.  I’m glad we took the time to clear out the downstairs and play some darts…beats TV any day!  Sunday brought church and an outstanding sermon by one of the interns.  Our pastor is on vacation…well, technically he was there this week, but only as a spectator.  So we had one of the recent college graduates who grew up in our church give the sermon.  I always miss having our usual pastor give the sermon, but I do love it when the young guys who grew up in the church get up there and preach.  It’s an awesome reminder of why I want my kids to grow up in this church.  The young adults this church helps develop are unbelievable!  It was another gorgeous day out, so we decided to try the new Dairy Queen that just opened around the corner.  But alas, it was packed, so we went to our old mainstay, Rita’s, for some yummy frozen custard!

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Nothing like a custard mustache!

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Awesome weekend!  Sad to have to go back to work, but so grateful for the wonderful family memories!  And now to end with a few things crafty!

The Star-Spangled Wreath we made, inspired by Pinterest…

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The decorative plates I made my grandma for her birthday…  I just printed pictures in Sepia tone with a laser printer, cut them out, and Mod Podged them on decorative plates.

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And finally…and this is a really long time coming…the dress I knit my daughter.  This was my first project knitting in the round and knitting cables, and I started it more than a year ago.  The knit part has been done for a while, but I didn’t get the motivation or inspiration to add the finishing touches until this past week.  This was a learning experience, so there are several mistakes.  So I ended up crocheting a scalloped edge and some cute little flowers…those flowers at the bottom of the dress are strategically placed to cover up the holes :).  I’m happy this looks as good as it does…I was really close to just chalking it up to a practice round.

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I hope everyone has a very blessed week!

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Some Thoughts

July 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm (Personal)

It really amazes me how easily the politicians in this country can get people riled up about something that never mattered to them before in their however many decades of life.  The government truly manufactures issues just to divide the country, and the masses buy into it so readily.  It’s sad.  There have been a number of Supreme Court rulings that have come out recently, and I have to say, the highest court is doing its job.  The first thing to note is that social issues should never make it to the federal courts.  Nowhere in the Constitution does the federal government have authority to regulate social issues.  Congress routinely oversteps its bounds when it comes to social agendas…governance of those issues should fall to the states and the people, not Congress.  And when Congress or the executive branch overstep their bounds and it makes it to the Supreme Court, the court’s job is to smack them down.  And the court did that unanimously when it came to recess appointments.  That’s their job.  It doesn’t matter who controls the executive branch, they have to stay within their lane…it’s in the best interest of the people.  That ruling has been a long time coming…the executive branch has been abusing its power for decades.  And that’s a huge part of the Supreme Court’s job, to ensure that the government doesn’t push undo authority over the American people.  This country is pretty much split down the middle when it comes to social issues and we all deserve representation.  No side should have unilateral control over those issues.  The whole purpose of our system of government is to limit the power the federal government has over the citizens.

Now the Hobby Lobby thing.  Again, I will say that the Supreme Court should not have to rule on social issues because the federal government has no grounds to impose legislation over social issues.  That’s the way the Constitution was written, but unfortunately, that’s not the reality of how our government is running.  So, alas, social issues are coming before the Supreme Court.  Because these issues aren’t really federal territory, the justices tend to rule more subjectively on them then objectively, problem number one.  But what really amazes me is that people get so spun up about these rulings.  Through high school, college, serving in the Navy, and now the workforce, I have known many people from all walks of life.  Various income levels, backgrounds, work fields, etc.  Some with insurance, some without.  Not once in my life have I ever heard anyone complain about not having access to birth control or having to pay too much for it.  Not once.  I’ve heard people complain about paying high copays for lifesaving cancer drugs, heart medication, etc.  But never birth control.  I’ve never heard anyone discuss their desire to use IUDs or Plan B but not having access.  I have known many people who were too lazy to get check ups and actually get birth control.  I’ve known many people who weren’t responsible enough to use birth control effectively.  But I’ve never known anyone who wasn’t able to get the birth control they wanted or needed.  While I know there are cases out there, I think those cases are very limited.  So, from my standpoint, for most people the whole thing is a manufactured issue.  The only time I’ve ever had free birth control was when I was in the Navy…government run healthcare.  And I can tell you, even though it was free, it was also whatever generic brand they happened to have on hand.  It was the most miserable experience using birth control the Navy doctors prescribed.  There wasn’t a lot of choice. 

But all that aside, there are a few important things to note in the Hobby Lobby case.  One, Hobby Lobby provides routine birth control coverage, it only objects to birth control that the owners believe terminates a fertilized egg.  Hobby Lobby also appears to offer relatively high salaries to its employees, so that’s something to take into consideration.  Is Hobby Lobby hypocritical because of other practices?  Sure.  We’re all hypocritical.  Every single human being that ever lived can be considered a hypocrite for some reason or another.  We choose and prioritize what matters to us.  And we absolutely have the right in this country to voice our opinions and fight the fights that we are most passionate about.  That’s a beautiful thing, freedom of thought and speech.  And EVERYONE is entitled to it, regardless of whether they share your views or not.  I don’t want anyone silenced because that means one day, I may be the one silenced.  It’s also important to note that the Supreme Court made it very clear in its ruling that this decision only applies to the contraception issue presented.  So all of the alarmists out there who have jumped straight to crazy arguments that this ruling will set a precedent for human sacrifices and such are completely off base.  Are you really that scared that companies are now suddenly going to go off the deep end and force their employees to do insane things?  Really?  Do you think those companies would be able to stay competitive in a capitalistic system?  No.  This ruling is about what companies can opt out of, not what they can impose on their employees.  And it is a very limited ruling.  Plus, we still have the right in this country to choose who we work for.  If you don’t agree with a company’s policies, don’t work for them or support them with your hard-earned money.

The real issue here isn’t about women’s rights and health.  The access is there and has been.  We all have to prioritize what we need and figure out how to make it work.  I’d be far more concerned about making lifesaving prescriptions more affordable.  But the real issue at the center of this ruling is the government’s authority to force people or corporations to do what it wants.  When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, it specifically noted that the mandates are only Constitutional if implemented as a tax.  Health care is decidely not part of interstate commerce.  So, the problem is that this system is not written as a tax and is not implemented as a tax.  To implement health care as a tax, the system would have to go to a federally run single payer system.  Do we really want the idiots in Congress running our healthcare?  Seriously?  Oh wait, people actually voted for that…and threw the IRS into the mix for good measure…yikes.  When we look at a ruling like Hobby Lobby, we really have to take the long term implications into account.  Do we want the Supreme Court to set the precedence that Congress can force people and/or corporations to do anything it wants?  What if the next Congress passed a law mandating that every business opens each day with a word of prayer or businesses must allocate a certain amount of their profits to go toward abortion education?  How thrilled would the liberals be about that?  Separation of church and state in fact isn’t a part of the Constitution…look it up.  And the Supreme Court is tasked only with upholding the Constitution, not any other documents or lines of thought that have become standard in our country.  Had the Supreme Court ruled against Hobby Lobby, it would have set a very dangerous precedent for all sides of the aisle.  The federal government does not have the authority to regulate businesses except in matters that pertain to interstate commerce.  And the Supreme Court already ruled correctly that health care is not interstate commerce.  So, logically, the federal government cannot force privately owned companies to do anything.  And that’s a good thing.  Limiting the government’s control over our lives and businesses is a really good thing.

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Thought for the Day

June 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm (Personal, Uncategorized)

Personal opinions don’t change truth.

If only everyone who claims to believe the Bible, and those who argue adamantly against it, would just read and understand it, we’d all be better off.  Philosophical arguments pretty much always involve ignorance and misinformation.  Next time we find ourselves passionately arguing with someone who is in our eyes “too stupid to get it”, may we take a look in the mirror and make sure we’ve done our due diligence and gotten all of our facts straight.  Every one of us is guilty of forming opinions without thoroughly researching an issue and filtering out misinformation.  Do we just want to win the shouting match, or do we truly want to continuously learn and be better informed?

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I Voted!!!

June 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm (Faith, Personal, Uncategorized)

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Ok, yes it’s only the primary, some might say.  But it’s still exhilliarating to vote, in my humble opinion.  I really wish the politicians would stop working so hard to divide our nation.  Every time I go to the polling place, people are so happy and polite and courteous.  There’s no bitter bickering about party lines or candidates or issues like we see online.  There’s just a sort of pride in being able to walk into that building and have a small say in how our government is run.  Maybe it’s just the area that I live in, but it’s refreshing.  We get so spun up with hatred and mud-slinging in political races that we lose the personal side and the “united we stand.”  And the politicians are more than happy to watch us tear each other apart about simple little things that they fabricate.  They are the only ones who truly benefit from that.  It’s like the advertising business; we’re told we need something and we can’t live without it, and we just have to have it.  It’s all fabricated.  What happened to civil discourse and respect of others’ opinions?  Oh, how I would love to get back to that way of operating.  Because in the end, most of us are just hardworking Americans trying to do the best we can for ourselves and our family.  We should embrace the diverse perspectives because that’s how we learn and challenge ourselves and solidify our own beliefs.  I am very grateful, particularly today, that we still have the opportunity to vote in this country.  It’s a huge privilege that most other nations don’t enjoy.  We are very blessed.  Even though the candidates I vote for hardly ever win in this state, except maybe in the primaries, it’s still wonderful to have that hope every couple of years that maybe this election will turn out differently.  Walking into a polling station to cast my vote gives me that hope, and I am so thankful for that.  I wish more people would vote, regardless of their position on the issues, and I wish those who vote would educate themselves more before they cast their ballot.  But right now, I am just praising God to live in a free nation that still allows the people to have a say in government!

And go Charles Lollar!  We’re praying you are the answer to years of faithful Marylanders’ prayers!!  Hopefully, God kept you from winning the House seat in 2010 because He has bigger plans to use you as governor!!  That would be a new day in Maryland, indeed!

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Importance of Voting in Primary Elections

June 24, 2014 at 2:32 pm (Faith, Personal)

I really didn’t think much about politics until four and a half years ago when I moved back to a state that is run decidedly contrary to my own beliefs and my concept of common sense.  The politicians in this country are mindboggling.  I find myself wondering every day, what morons actually vote for these people?  But the truth is even sadder…most people don’t even know what they’re voting for or they choose not to exercise their right to vote because they claim they don’t like the options.  Or worse yet, they vote based on one minor issue instead of investigating which candidate actually fits best with their overall vision.  They don’t do their homework before they go to the polls.  They’re too easily swayed by partisan politics and the candidates who have gobs of money to sink into their campaigns.  Seven states, including my home state of Maryland, are holding primary elections today.  I read an article that included several quotes from my fellow Marylanders stating that they were just too busy to research candidates, or that they couldn’t care less about the primaries because they’ll just let other people in their party decide who goes on the ballot in November and they’ll vote for whoever their fellow Ds or Rs choose.

WRONG ANSWER!!!  Primaries are extremely important to having a candidate on the ballot that not only has a chance of winning, but truly reflects the values of the constituents.  As a conservative Republican in Maryland, voting can be a depressing exercise in building my hopes up that the state will start heading in a better direction, only to find out Rs are still substantially outnumbered.  The area I live in is overwhelmingly conservative, but we’ve been gerrymandered out of any representation in our state or national government.  With the odds stacked against me, I still stump for exceptional candidates, I still vote in primaries and general elections, and I still pray fervently that God will have mercy on our sad little state and give us a break from the tax and spend government that routinely uses our children as guinea pigs for untested school initiatives like the absurd No Child Left Behind and Common Core programs.  Why?  Because I’m here for the foreseeable future for job and family reasons, and I have to hold out hope that someday Marylanders will wake up and realize we are hemorrhaging jobs, forcing parents to pull their kids from the public school system, and oh by the way, we’re one of the highest tax states in the country.  I mean, come on, our lovely politicians have instituted a “rain tax” and want to force everyone on to public water and sewer systems at taxpayer expense when us rural folk are pretty darn fond of our wells.  And the politicians’ only other answer to our budget woes, besides the excessive taxing and the raiding of transportation funds, is to legalize gambling and marijuana so we can tax that, too.  How sad is it when you have to resort to supporting people’s vices because you just can’t figure out how to balance a budget?  The Maryland political climate really is insanity at its finest.  And yet, when you ask many voters, they think our elected officials are doing a swell job.  Really???  But, but our schools are ranked number 1 in the country…yeah, on standardized tests, because that’s what we teach here…tests.  The jury’s still out on whether those test-trained children will become productive, well-rounded citizens when they grow up.

But I digress…back to my original point of why it’s so important to vote in the primaries.  I’m not too fond of the Republicans in Maryland either.  They’re really just Democrats light.  They play it safe in an area where the odds are clearly against them, hoping to sway some of the dissatisfied Dems.  That just doesn’t work.  The only reason I haven’t switched to Independent is because I want to option of voting in the primaries when those rare gems of candidates appear.  But in doing research for the primary today, I found that there are some really good candidates who are fiscal conservatives and strong respectable citizens with proven track records of being able to manage a budget and make sound decisions.  I found that there are actually even a few who aren’t ashamed of their Christian values and aren’t afraid to take on controvesial topics because it might keep them from turning a few Dems to the red side.  And that’s why I’m voting in the primary today.  I want good upstanding candidates like Charles Lollar and Tom Potter to be on the ballot in November, not some liberal-light who will be business as usual.  I can’t vote for any of them in good conscience.

The right to vote has been a right that women and minorities had to fight for.  It is essential to the very foundation of our liberty.  So why does such a small percentage of eligible voters turn out?  Why are people so careless with this important responsibility?  I don’t understand it.  But I urge everyone to make their voice heard this election and vote in their primaries and the general elections.  So many people complain about things going on in their states and at the federal level, but when the time comes to vote, they either abstain or vote the same people right back in…isn’t that the definition of insanity??  So please, everyone do your homework and vote!

Praying for more success in changing Maryland this year!!

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A Night at the Ball Park

June 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm (Faith, Family, Personal)

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My son has been asking to go to another baseball game ever since our church went to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs game in April.  So hubby and I decided it might be a nice evening to go last night, and we were definitely right!  What a gorgeous night in the 70s after a week of 90+ temps.  The Blue Crabs didn’t win (the score was 9-2 until they finally rallied in the 7th inning), but it was still a beautiful night to be taking in America’s favorite pasttime.  Bonus that they have fireworks after the game on Fridays!  Here are some photos from the evening!

The fam…

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I love AA ball because the bleachers are never full!  My boys eating popcorn…

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Baby girl…

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She was none too impressed with the game, so we had to bribe her with popcorn to get her to sit through five innings before we took the kids into the play area.  But at least the play area still has a great view of the field, so we didn’t miss anything and the kids had a blast! 

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We sat on the first base line, so many foul balls came through our general vacinity.  Kaitlyn pointed at one when it started getting darker and said, “Mom, I saw a shooting star.”  Too cute!

The field through the night…

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The Blue Crabs…

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And fireworks!!!

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Kaitlyn said she “loved the fireworks only” but she didn’t like the loud booms they made.  Such a great evening!  I can’t wait to take the kids back to the ball park!  Colton is looking forward to the next game.  He had his stuffed animals lined up on the stairs cheering and said they were watching a baseball game!

We’ve also introduced the kids to firefly catching these past several nights, and they are loving it.  Kaitlyn has caught several herself.

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We let them go the next day and catch more.  We’re also going to start the scholastic lesson on how fireflies use their lights to communicate and how to tell male from female by their lights.  I think the kids will really enjoy that!

Today was also a great day because our monthly women’s Bible study started up again after taking a two-month spring break.  As stressful as it can be preparing for these studies, I am always so glad to have the opportunity to get together with some wonderful Christian women and have a time to reflect on God and fellowship.  Today, we talked about the clutter in our lives that distracts us from focusing on God, particularly during our quiet times and prayer.  One thing that the author, Angela Thomas, said that really spoke to me was that she didn’t want to get to Heaven and have God tell her, “But I had so much more planned for you, if you would have only listened.”  That’s so true.  God has plans for us that we can’t even begin to imagine, and that quiet time and prayer are so important.  It was refreshing and just what I needed to hear right now.  And now I will end with a few extra shots from Father’s Day that I didn’t have a chance to download last weekend.  Have a blessed weekend!

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And the magazine holder my kids painted and put their handprints on for my dad’s Father’s Day gift…

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