date February 27, 2009

Things have been pretty quiet at our house lately, which is a good thing. The girls have been doing some things with school but nothing really has been going on. Becky had All-State speech last Saturday and even though they didn't win the banner I think they did a fantastic job and I am proud of all of them. This Saturday she has individual speech in Algona and then Honor Band in Storm Lake so it will be a busy day for her. Kayla also has Honor Band but she doesn't do individual speech...even though I tell her it would be good for her too :-)

Brian has been busy paying traffic tickets! He got stopped for a seat belt, speeding and then speeding again and when he was asked to show his insurance he was all flustered and couldn't find it, so got a ticket for $400. Since he did have insurance he had to go before the judge to prove it and get the ticket taken off...all the way in Des Moines of course! The boy needs to slow down...I told him if he would leave a little earlier he wouldn't have to drive so fast to get there! 

Dan has been fighting a cold for a few weeks so isn't getting much more done than what absolutely has to be done. I try to tell him to go to the doctor, but that would be silly, why would you do that? It is like having four kids somedays! I have been working on getting all the details worked out for when we go to the college visit to Chicago and trying to figure out all the college things that have to be done now. There seems to be a never ending list of little things that have to be done...papers signed, housing forms sent in, health insurance accepted or declined...and no matter what needs done it seems to need money to go with it! I should have planned better when I had kids and not had them close enough together so that more than one would be in college at a time! Oh well, I guess I had better get used to it because I have a feeling by the time Kayla goes to college Brian may still be there too. The joys of parenthood...

date February 26, 2009

I was going to do this post yesterday, but, as sometimes happens, life got in the way.

Yesterday my parents celebrated 49 years of marriage...I would say wedded bliss but I am sure there were some days when it was far from bliss! 49, that is a long time to spend with one person! But the years have been good to them and I am sure they think the time has flown by. I remember as a little girl hearing my dad come home and yell in the door for his "honzy-babe" when he needed something. I thought that was such a silly nickname, but I also thought it was sweet. He still calls her that to this day, and I still think it is sweet. Watching your parents marriage can be both good, bad and inspiring. I don't remember very many fights, but I do remember a few times seeing them hold hands and share a little kiss. Embarrassing when you are a kid. Another blog that I follow wrote about her parents always showing affection towards each other...holding hands, hugs, always being close. That doesn't describe my parents, but they love each other none the less. My parents love each other in a quiet, subtle way. A simple look, a gentle always knows dad's bus schedule and where he will be and when he will be home. She always makes sure his dinner is waiting for him when he gets there and she never gets mad when he throws the paper on the floor after he is done reading it. Dad helps mom up the stairs when her knee is giving her trouble, he sat by her bed when she was in the hospital, and when they first got married he ate food he didn't like (for several years) just because she made it for him. Quiet, subtle love. My dad is not the kind of person that drives any faster than 55mph, no matter what! But when mom fell and broke her leg and I rode with him to the hospital he drove close to 70mph...darn near took the corners on two wheels! Quiet, subtle love. This is the kind of marriage we as kids took for granted...other kid's parents got divorced, that was never even a thought at our house. Growing up we knew our parents would be married forever..and after 49 years they are still working on forever together. Theirs is the marriage I can model mine after...forgive the mistakes, make-up after the fights, raise the kids with love...but always put your marriage first. The kids will grow up and move still have to live with each other. Quiet, subtle love. The kind of love that grows from year to year...I still remember my dad saying that he married his best friend...I don't remember what the occasion was, but those words stuck in my mind. Mom makes dad's meals and washes his clothes...not because she wants to, but because that is what she does for the man she loves. Dad spent all of their marriage working and providing for his wife and kids...not because he wanted to, but because that is what you do for the woman you love. Quiet, subtle love. 49 years of sacrifices, gifts, little things done for each other, time together, time missed while apart...49 years of quiet, subtle love.

So here's to a lifetime of love and a marriage that lasts and lasts and's to my favorite married couple. I love you mom and dad and thanks for showing me what marriage and love is all about.

date February 18, 2009

I love how it is almost dark when I took this picture, yet the angel is light. It really shows in the second picture, the dark stone beneath the angel's feet while the angel is bright. In reality, the stone is the same color all the way from the top to the bottom. I love this, to me it is beautiful.

date February 13, 2009

Call me crazy, and I sure many of you do, but I just spent my noon hour driving through the cemetery. I know, this sounds nuts, but it is quiet and sometimes you come across some interesting monuments. For example, today I found a huge building entitled "Storm Lake Mausoleum", I was tempted to see if the door was locked, but if it wasn't I knew I would never have the courage to go in anyway! I also found a smaller building with a family name on it, again, kind of creeped me out. I have no problem with death and cemeteries, I just have a problem walking into a building that is solely made for the dead's final resting place.  Strange? Maybe, but oh well, everyone has their foibles. As I was driving I discovered a tall monument with an angel on top that just made me stop the car and was simply amazing. Tomorrow I am bringing my camera to take a photo of it...I just fell in love with this grave marker! As most of you know, I am an angel freak (last count I had over 100 over them) but I don't think that is what drew me to this monument as much as the simple beauty of it did.  It is old and discolored, but such "good vibes" came from it...again, call me crazy! (I can take it!) I have often driven through different cemeteries and admired the headstones and monuments, but this is one that I won't forget...and the first I will have a picture of!


Now let me start this by saying I am very, very proud of all my children equally! It just happens that this post is about Becky, so I don't want to hear any whining from Brian or Kayla that I am favoring Becky...I am proud of all of you!

With that said, Becky is having an outstanding senior year! She was accepted into Loyola, as I bragged about before and given a great scholarship just because she is smart. Now she has been involved in large group speech and found out yesterday that her group gets to perform at All-State in a few weeks. This is a big deal and very exciting! It is hard to list all her accomplishments this year, because I am sure to mess something up, but...president of Honor Society, "A" honor roll, accepted to Loyola, given Presidential Scholarship, won award for financial literacy, All-State large group speech...and this is only half-way through the year. Becky is making sure that Laurens-Marathon will never forget she was there!

date February 10, 2009

After what seems like an eternity of campaigning on a platform of change and rejecting partisanship for the sake of a better America, its come to this.

I truly believe that Obama meant what he said about bringing together red states and blue states for the greater good of the United States, but those who hopped on the hope and change bandwagon seem to have done so for their own selfish interests and it shows. It seems that in times of crisis the true colors of politicians start to show, and while Obama makes the media rounds touting the idea that no party has a monopoly on good ideas, it turns out that neither party has a monopoly on foolishness.

Republicans subscribe with almost unshakable faith to the gospel of Reagan and have come out of the electoral gates crying "Tax cuts! Corporate tax cuts! Capital gains tax cuts! Only tax cuts can get us out of a recession because everyone knows the new deal failed." As most people who live in the real world know, the new deal put people to work on projects that needed doing and the tax cuts that republicans are proposing as a solution to today's crisis are the same trickle down economics that got us into this mess in the first place. The republican party has twisted Obama's message of bipartisanship and in a very partisan way claimed that a bill is only bipartisan if democrats vote for trickle down tax cuts, but refuse to consider the possibility that putting money into the economy and investing in programs that will grow some of America's more modern industries and give us sustainable energy is good for getting us out of the recession and keeping us out of similar situations in the future.

Democrats in congress have the perfect opportunity to do the right thing and pass a bill that will help America now and in the future. All they have to do is show up and vote yes, but that isn't enough for these "glorious agents of change", not by a long shot. Democrats hopped on the hope and change train for votes and only votes, their ideas aren't bad and their bill, while not perfect, is the best combination of tax cuts and spending for sustainable stimulus anyone can hope for in a case where passing a bill as quickly as possible is a priority, but not one of them really understands what bipartisanship really means. Both republicans and democrats publicly claim that they are working in the spirit of cooperation and in the next sentence blame the other party for holding up the show.

America is overdue for a change, the people voted for change, the politicians claim they are making the change but they are making a mistake. It is not bipartisan to pat yourself on the back with one hand while you push your opponent into the mud with the other, it is not bipartisan to always be on the opposite side of the other party on every issue. When was the last time that democrats and republicans came together and passed a bill on its merits instead of opposing it because it was brought up on the wrong side of the aisle?

It is time to stand up to these people, it is time to send a message that we will no longer tolerate any party using any issue, be it terrorism or socialism or an economic crisis to divide the people, it is time to tell our politicians that if they don't get past their ideology and consider the possibility that they could be wrong, we as a people will show them they are wrong. It is time to tell them that if they don't do their job, we will fire them. It is time for someone to do the right thing and if no one in congress will step up to the plate and reject the temptation to play only to their constituents and govern by strict ideology then it is time to vote for someone new.

date February 6, 2009

Not much! Just leading a normal, boring life with nothing new or exciting going on. The girls are of course busy with school things and of course Dan and I work every day, but that is about it. I have become addicted to Facebook, much to the embarrassment of my children! But in my defense, I am most definitely not the oldest person on there...and I have made contact with a lot of my old high school classmates. I find it greatly amusing that the people who were to good to talk to me in high school are now my friends on Facebook. Oh, such is the way of the world. 

We get to go to speech again on Saturday, this time in Spencer, for State Large Group. Becky will be performing her ensemble and Choral Reading and Kayla will be performing in Reader's Theatre...should be a fun day. Becky and I have been working on the guest list for graduation, so far we are up to about 90 invites to be mailed out and expect maybe around 150 people to show up. The cake pans for the mini angel food cakes arrived yesterday, so now we are going to have to do some experimenting on baking and freezing them. I should start on ordering decorations too and should also go through her pictures to get them sent to Curt for making the DVD. I also need to get the payments sent to Loyola and KU so that they know the kids are for sure accepting the admittance offers, I need to get Becky started on looking at housing at Loyola and working on some scholarships they offer, plus the ones from the school. I should also make Brian some cookies as he put in a request for them last night.So many "shoulds" and so few "dids"! Oh well, I am good at last minute things too! But, I am best at going home at night and just sitting down and doing nothing :-)

date February 5, 2009
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