Monday, December 26, 2011

The Little Shepherd Boy

We have some Christmas traditions at our house.  I am certain you do also.  One tradition we do is put together a 500 piece puzzle.  I purchased the puzzle and put the outside edges on.  Then it was time to invite Max over to help us.

The first day he came over to help he said to me:  "Grandma do you remember last year when you hid one piece so you could put the last piece in? "  Yes, I did remember that.  That is another  one of my traditions!  I thought no more about it.  Until the next day when Max and his dad came to the house and his dad said:  "Max took one piece to the puzzle home to hide and it went through the washer and dryer."  Now our 500 piece puzzle was 499 pieces.  No problem.  I told Max we would just write a letter to Santa and ask him to bring us the missing piece.  Santa purchased another puzzle just like the one with the missing piece.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus had great plans to find the one missing piece, place it in an envelope and leave it under the tree.  Until.....we finished the puzzle and now it was a 486 piece puzzle!!  Zekey!!!!  I looked under couch cushions, I pulled out every piece of furniture, we turned the main living area upside down and we did not find the missing puzzle pieces.

Now fast forward to tradition #2.  It was a brand new tradition.  I hid a pickle ornament on the tree and told Max and Ava the one to find the pickle would receive a prize.  My tree almost did not survive this new tradition.  I had to change the rules to whoever found the pickle when we took the tree down would win a prize.  Then I got smart and hid the pickle in my stacking ornament.

I hid the pickle in Joseph!!  Max and Ava would never think to look there!

We invited the kids over last night to help take down our ugly, dead tree.  They looked and looked for that pickle! It was nowhere to be found.  Quite like our puzzle pieces!  Finally I took the stacking ornaments off of the tree and asked Max and Ava if they would like to take the ornaments apart and stack them one inside the other.  Max said no, he was certain that pickle was still somewhere  on the tree!  Ava took me up on it .  She opened Joseph and much to her delight and Max's dismay she  found the pickle!  But it was Laura  who truly found the prize. 

The thirteen missing pieces to the puzzle!  Wonder how they got there?!?  That sneaky little Zekey hid them in the shepherd! 

Aunt Liz did a great job typecasting the grandchildren in our Christmas pageant.  Max was the wise man, Ava the angel, and Zekey...well he was the shepherd!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Politics and The Reason for The Season

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

What more can I say than I look forward to the day when the government is upon His shoulders!  Do I think he will be a Democrat?  No.  Do I think he will be a Republican?  No. Do I think He will  be a politician?  No.  But this much I do know. He will rule with  kindness, honesty, compassion, mercy, justice, selflessness (having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.)  All  of these wonderful traits that you can not find in todays politicians!  A beautiful scripture that gives one hope and something to look forward to.  May we all keep this scripture in mind as we celebrate His birth this Sunday.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Merry Christmas to all...Democrat, Republican, Gay, Straight, Male, Female, Black, White, Mormon, Catholic, etc.

P.S.  Even though my husband may disagree with me on some of my political viewpoints he will be the first to tell you I am always right!  Tee Hee, Tee Hee!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Subsidized Programs

It was my first sabbath  in Dunkerque, France.  My companion and I arrived at the building where church was held only to be greeted by an older woman.  (Yes, she was probably in her fifties, but considering I was 24 or so at the time I thought she was older, much older than myself!  Funny how my perspective has changed!)  She asked my companion where Elder so and so was.  My companion explained he had left the city.  No need to explain to her about missionary transfer day!  As we went into the building I asked my companion what that was all about. She explained that the missionary would give this woman a small amount of money each Sunday.  No more was said.  After our church meetings we 6 missionaries had lunch together in  this same building.  We had tons of food!!  We were just finishing up the meal when the parlez phone rang.  The district leader (the young missionary in charge of our group)  answered.  It was the 'older woman' wanting to know if we had any left over food we could possibly give her. Yes, we did have left over food.  No, he would not give her any. He told her no and hung up.   My face must have said it all.  He looked at me and explained:  "Elder so and so trained this woman to beg now she needs to be untrained."  No more was said, but I had a question that required an answer.  Was this District Leaders way of thinking right?  After all he was my priesthood leader.  But my gut told me what he did was wrong.  I posed this question all day long and that evening when I returned to my apartment still seeking answers I opened my Book of Mormon and voila it opened right to this scripture!  I had my answer.

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"  Mosiah 4: 16-19

That answered my question!  Yes, the Lord loves an inquiring mind and He will always answer our questions.

In a nutshell on government subsidized programs.  I am fiercely independent when it comes to taking care of myself.  I also fiercely believe in helping out those less fortunate.  We are NOT all created equal. Yes, yes I know  lots of people say we are enabling them to be lazy or to remain addicted to drugs, but if I am going to errror let it be on the side of kindness and compassion.  I am more annoyed by those same people who complain  who have no problem using the system to benefit themselves.  My mother in law worked for years as secretary of Farmers Home Administration. She was a Democrat.  She always made the comment: "The republican farmers are first in line for  assistance."  I work in the school system and we have a lot who use the subsidized lunch program.  I live in a Republican  town and State.  If you are Republican and you are opposed to the government assisted programs fine.  But do NOT use them to your advantage while complaining about others who use it to theirs.

I will end on another true story. It was Halloween 2008.  I dressed up as a Democrat.  Red , white, and blue attire with an Obama button. To my knowledge I was the only democrat at our school.  Mormons generally tend to be Republicans.  I also had 'handouts'.  A 100 grand candy bar taped to a paper.  Yes, I was giving out 100 grand to my co-workers!  All but one partook of my democratic handout!  Bless her heart, she is a die hard Republican.  Pretty representative of the party if you ask me.

My father use to tell me:  "The Republicans are for the rich getting richer and the Democrats are for the working man."  To this day I sincerely believe what my father taught me.  Yes, I consider myself a conservative Democrat, but I would never no never consider myself a liberal Republican.  Never!  Stay tuned tomorrow for my finale on politics.  So glad it is coming to an end!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


She was in the third grade.  Beautiful brown skin, big dark eyes, tall for her age, very smart, bi-lingual, an American citizen, born and raised in the good ole U.S. of A.  I had her in my reading group and I just fell in love with her.  Such a delightful child.  Fast forward 2 or was it 3 years and she and her little sister, little brother, and mother were all transported back to Mexico.  Father stayed  here, he was legal mother was not.  Had I had access to a magic wand I would have waved it and legalized mom. I  have always wondered what happened to this family.  

One complaint I have heard from those around me is the fact that:  "They take jobs away from the legal citizens."  I do not believe that to be a true or factual statement.  We are surrounded with dairies and let me tell you I believe they would hire American workers if they were willing to work that hard for that low of wage. Americans can collect more on unemployment than work those long hours! Same scenario for the fruit pickers.  Sometimes I think: "Yes, send all the undocumented workers back to Mexico and let the people see how it affects them."

Another complaint I have listened to:
"I am tired of having my tax dollars take care of these children (via Medicaid, subsidized programs, etc.)  How interesting these same people ( who had nicer homes, clothes, cars, etc. than the documented/undocumented worker) took advantage of the system.  Yes, I have no problem paying taxes to feed children from low income families, whether they are here legally or illegally, but I do  have a problem paying  taxes to feed those who are dishonest on the paperwork- those who live in nice brick homes, dress to the 9's and drive nice cars.  I think I better end here.

I for one find the majority of our Hispanic families wonderful people.  Parents who love and care for their children.  Parents who are looking for a better way of life for  their children.  Can you blame them?  I wonder what my ancestors would have thought had their ship not been allowed to dock?  They came  here seeking a better life what if that had been refused to them? 

I found a site I loved and agreed with concerning this subject.  It is

In closing I will quote one statement from this page:

"We must never lose compassion for those who wish to improve their lives through self-determination and the realization of America’s promise."

Yes, it is time to revise the immigration system and not by Arizona standards!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The intricacies of politics requires much too heavy thinking for my simple mind!  Suffice it to say:


1. Environment:  We all have an accountablity to take care of planet earth.  I am not a tree hugger, but I do not believe in raping the environment either. We have a stewardship with what we have been given and I think with that stewardship will come an accounting. We would be wise to remember, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." ~Native American Proverb 

2.  War:  I am pro defensive ( which does require preparation, time, and money) warfare, anti offensive warfare.  The other morning as we played the Star Spangled Banner  my thought was : "Yes, our flag was still there, but what about all those men who were not."  An overwhelming sense of sadness came upon me.  War is  ugly, but it is necessary and vital at times. To all those brave men and women who fought/fight to protect my freedoms I say thank you. 

Of all the quotes on war this was one of my favorites.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."  John Stewart Mill

3.  Marriage:  "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."  Yes, as  a member of the Church of Jesus Christ I trust and support the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles.  Not blindly do I trust.  But because  of my own personal witness to the truthfullness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But let it be known as strong as I feel about this I also feel that strong about how we treat our fellow man.  I strongly believe there should be NO, NONE, ZERO, ZIP  discrimination between male, female, black, white, gay, straight, Mormon, Baptist, etc.  I do not understand the acts of violence or persecution mankind  imposes on its fellowman due to our differences. 

4.  Immigration...I'll leave this for tomorrow.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Death Penalty

This is an easy one for me.  So it will be a short one.  Just what I need today.  I am 100% pro death penalty.  Which is amazing seeing as I have a difficult time killing a house mouse.  I would rather do catch and release!  If it is a 100% certainty that the criminal committed  murder than I am 100% for the death penalty.  I  have no sympathy for Ted Bundy, just for his victims.  That is my political view point on that subject.  You may think I am 'dead' wrong, but I think I am spot on!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taxation with Honest Representation

Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well said, very well said.  As for the privileges I am grateful to pay for....

Education:  I for one am pro public education, which is funded by the taxpayer.  If one is wealthy enough to send their children to private schools go for it, but no I do NOT want to pay for it out of my tax dollar.   I prefer to use my portion of taxes to educate the common man's child.  

Police Force:   I enjoy the safety of my city, thanks to the police force which watches over us.  In a small town you pretty much know them.  My neighbor belongs to this profession.  I see him as honest, hard working, selfless in his service, and underpaid.

Delta has a wonderful city library which benefits many members of this community.  I admit I need to take greater advantage of this public asset.

Transportation:  I do not know about you, but I enjoy well kept highways.  As we travel back east to visit our children and grandchildren the interstate makes my life and the lives of all of us easier.  On the other hand when I travel up north UDOT always has major road construction going on.  Our legislatures are angry with the fact that the people of this state voted no against funding private schooling.  Therefore, they are using the taxpayers money to fund road construction at the cost of public education.  They are trying to 'starve the beast'.  The beast being public education.  Wish I would have saved that article to post. Think I should stop here.  The thoughts of it only agitates me.  Suffice it to say I am grateful for the interstate and local road upkeep and very ungrateful for Utah Legislatures whom I would like to see all booted out.

Enough said about taxes.  I am grateful to be able to pay taxes.  I have no problem with it.  I do have a problem with those in office who misuse sacred funds (Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt) and believe there will come a day and time when they will be held accountable for it.  I am pro flat tax rate, but I would do it on an income based scale.  The lower the income the lower the flat tax rate. 

I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

I for one quite enjoy the civilized and privileged  world I live in.  I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to all of those past, present and future hard working, honest people who  made and make this possible.  Thank you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The young woman lay in fetal position in the hospital bed sobbing uncontrollably.  Her mother was by her bedside offering 'reassuring' words.  "It's over now, it is all over.  It will be okay."  Yes, it was over for the life that was growing inside the young woman's body.  Today this young woman (who chose abortion) would probably be in her early 50's. I wonder if it has ever been over for her.  That is a decision she made, with the support of her mother.  That is a decision she will have to live with. (Perhaps I should interject here that when this event took place I had great sympathy for the young girl and absolutely none for her mother.)  Personally, I am anti abortion.  I am opposed to legalizing abortion.  There are other options.  Choose to marry, choose to be a single parent, or choose to place the child for adoption.  If  one is responsible enough to choose to have sexual relations one should be responsible enough to choose life for the unborn.  As for the one who is pregnant due to rape or incest my heart aches for them.  Truly it does.  But can two wrongs make a right?  Once again I am pro life.  Adoption.  A beautiful word.  Even though I choose pro life and anti abortion I also choose not to condemn or judge those who make choices unlike my own.

With this post you may think I belong to the wrong party, but I assure you I do not!  Call me a conservative Democrat, but never call me a Republican!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Becoming Democrat

My father worked for Chevron Pipeline as long as I remember.  He was a middle class American.  He served in the  Armed Forces in World War II.  He was also a Democrat.  I knew he was a democrat as well as I knew my mother was a democrat.  Neither was terribly vocal about it.  Though I do remember my father saying:  "The Republican party is for the rich getting richer.  The Democrats are for the working class American."  Thus I became a democrat by name.  Recently I watched a documentary by Michael Moore titled:  "Capitalism: A Love Story"  It rang truth to my soul and that is when I realized I was a democrat by heart.  I am sorry, but I can not listen to Glen Beck.  He irks my inner being. As does Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party movement.   I am fully aware that Michael Moore has the same effect on others.  I have decided to dedicate the next few days of blogging to my own personal viewpoints on political topics.  You will discover why I am doing this on the last day of my political soap box.   Tomorrow I choose to discuss abortion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

Yesterday by 8:30 a.m.  three children were sent home due to the flu bug.  Today one of our kindergarten students informed his teacher he was sick.  It was during program practice.  The instructional assistant brought him in to the office where I had him lay down on the couch in the nurse's office.  A few minutes later  he was up and about playing on the scales.  I went in and told him it was time to go back to program practice.  He replied:  "Well, my mom hasn't come to get me yet."  To which I responded:  "You are not sick."   He giggled and said:  "I tricked you!"  To which I replied:  "Well, I tricked you.  I did not call your mom so she is not coming  to get you  so go back to the gym."  He giggled as he left the office still thinking he had pulled a fast one on me!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Missing Country Living

Driving back in to town, after visiting Jacquie and Doug in Sutherland,  was this beautiful sight bidding us farewell.  Now this makes me miss living out on the farm!   Unobstructed view of the most gorgeous sunsets!!  Those are sweet memories.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thoughts on Blessings and Gratitude

I have been pondering blessings and gratitude.
     How grateful I am for the good parents my grandchildren have.  Then my thoughts turn to of some of our little ones at school who are not so fortunate and my heart aches. 
     How grateful I am for a warm home and food to sustain life.  Then I think of those who are hungry and cold and I feel guilty.
     How grateful I am for the safe keeping of my children.  Then I remember my friends and neighbors who have lost a child in their youth and  my heart is filled with sorrow for them and anyone who has buried a child.
     How grateful I am for the health I enjoy.  Then my thoughts turn to my friend who is in the early stages of Alzheimers and it is so heartbreaking.
     Sometimes blessings and gratitude seem like a double edge sword to me.  If that makes any sense at all.  I am grateful to have never been a victim of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, but what about those who have been. I am grateful for a job I love, but what about all those who are struggling with unemployment. The list could go on and on.  I guess what I am most grateful for is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Trusting that somehow, someway it will all work out.  If not in this life then in the next.