Saturday, May 31, 2008

#1 Baby Son

R was an angel yesterday on our first trip to Galveston alone. We met Keith for lunch and a movie. He was so good that Keith even promised him a puppy. Here are some pictures from the past week:



American Racism, Not What You Would Think.


Keith here. This election process has brought to the forefront of my mind something I find very disturbing that is happening in our great land. It is blatant and outspoken racism. This racism has not been widely reported by the main stream media in the past. I am talking about the racism of the Black community against the White community.

Without trying to sound self-righteous or ignorant, I must say that racism baffles me. Perhaps it was growing up in Utah or perhaps it was my time in the military working with and developing relationships with black Americans, or may be it is just the new generation’s mindset, I just don’t get it. To me, skin color is as irrelevant as hair or eye color. Where the difference is legitimate can be found in cultures. I am not trying to stereotype and group all Blacks and all Whites. Obviously not all Blacks are racist, nor are all Whites. I am talking about the so called, self appointed “Black Leaders” and their supporters.

I know there is a history of racism. I have seen footage and read about the civil rights movement. Thankfully that ended before I was born. I understand that those that lived during that time may still feel hurt, and for good reason. It was evil and wrong. I also understand that there is still real racism against blacks. However, when white against black racism rears its ugly head, which thankfully is increasingly rare, blacks and whites together speak out against it, standing united to defeat any injustice or violence against innocents.

Unfortunately when the hatred and racism occurs against whites or non-blacks, it is either ignored or justified. During the Los Angeles riots of 1992 Congresswoman Maxine Waters described the violence in which 58 people were killed, many targeted for their race, as "a spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice." She defended the racial hatred that led a gang of black criminals to nearly beat to death white truck driver Reginald Denny, saying, "the anger in my district is … righteous…I'm just as angry as they are." She chanted the radical slogan "No justice, no peace" and dismissed the mass looting of Korean-owned stores by saying: "There were mothers who took this as an opportunity to take some milk, to take some bread, to take some shoes…. They are not crooks." This is coming from a United States Congresswoman.

In more recent news, Barack Obama’s pastor and spiritual leader for 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, has been in the hot seat. With comments such as AIDs being invented by the US government to destroy the black community, God Damn America, the US of KKK A, he was initially given a pass. Obama tried to excuse his Pastor’s extreme views saying, "For the men and women of Rev. Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table." But, with more and more evidence and Wright’s publicity tour confirming his crazy, racist views, Obama had to denounce him due to public outcry. It was only after public outcry, not his own conscience or values. Now another whack job preacher at Obama’s church, a radical Catholic priest, is being denounced for racial remarks against Hillary Clinton. Now Obama has decided to leave his church after 20 years. He would not renounce the church. It just became a political liability. Who is this guy? What does he really believe? Why did he sit and listen to those racist diatribes for 20 years if he did not support that rhetoric? This is a major candidate for President of the United States!

It seems on every Sunday morning political program such as Meet the Press or This Week, when race is brought up, there is a liberal willing to excuse these racist, extreme views. Imagine if John McCain sat in the pew listening to a white supremacist. What would people say about McCain’s judgment? What would the public outcry be like?

I am tired of the double standard. I have never owned any slaves. I have never lynched anyone. I have never hurt or demeaned any black American. I have never called a black person "Nigger". In fact, the only time I hear that word it is coming out of a black persons mouth. Yet I am responsible for slavery and Jim Crow because of my skin color. Somehow I am keeping the black community down. I am tired of being accused of racism if I disagree with any “black” position. If politicians or pundits speak out against Affirmative Action, they are labeled racists. When Bill Cosby dared speak out about black families needing to do better teaching their children values and self-respect, he was criticized. Blacks who dare go against the main stream ideology, are labeled “Uncle Toms”. And when Obama loses this election, you wait and see, they will blame it on racism, not ideological difference and his lack of experience.

Racism is wrong on every level. Black-White, White-Black, you name it, it’s wrong. From our past struggle with racism in America to the Apartheid of South Africa, to Hitler’s pursuit of the Aryan master race, and in nearly every other countries past with this evil, we have made large strides in the right direction. It is unfortunate that it is being excused, justified and spread in the black communities of America. People like Maxine Waters, Jeremiah Wright, Lewis Fericon, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made lucrative careers out of spreading divisiveness and hatred under the guise of equality and injustice. I hope that, in time, the younger generations will overcome the urge to blame others for their struggles and problems, which tend to be self inflicted. I look forward to the day that hating someone based on skin will go the way of the Dodo. We are better than this.


Nearly all of us agree that people should be treated equally. I also believe we should treat racists equally. White, Black, Brown or Red, racists of all colors should be treated with the same scrutiny and opposition.

We will never be free of racism if we insist on making race an issue. This comes in many forms. Affirmative action is state sponsored discrimination. It is privileging groups based on skin color. It always bothers me to see "Race" on applications or other forms. What difference does it make? I always check "Other". Black Entertainment Television, The National Black Caucus, National Associaton for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, (isn't it ironic that "colored" is now considered politically incorrect), National Latino Caucus, Miss Black America, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, all these things and so many more only divide us. Can you imagine the outrage if a group attempted to form a White group of any kind. There would be riots. At some point we all need to rally together and just be Americans. Furthermore, with the mixing of races, what constitutes a Black person or Asian person? Do you have to be more 50% or more to be accepted in a "club"? It is so small and stupid.

It will take honest, courageous minority leaders to change minds and break down the divisive status quo.

As a wise Republican once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

So do I.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

So long, May. Hello Hurricane Season?

Well, hurricane season officially begins on Sunday, so let the fun begin! This is my second hurricane season in the Gulf. We were really fortunate to miss any big storms last year, but the local news outlets love to make you think it is the end of the world every time a wave develops off the coast of Africa. Last year, when a storm appeared to be heading towards us, I went with my neighbor to Sam's Club, Target, Kroger, Walmart, and Randall's and their was not ONE bottle of water in sight. After seeing how badly people react to these storms, I am going to make sure I stock up on water, food, and diapers this year. Especially considering we are not in an evacuation zone (which basically means everyone who does evacuate comes towards us.) Callie was nice enough to give me a NOAA weather radio/TV with flashlight last year, but I am hoping I will never have a need for it! I guess it all comes down to being prepared. However, somehow my subconscious thinks that if I don't prepare for a storm than a storm will never come. Stupid, but true.
Here's a satellite image of Katrina. Like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home

I don't even like Michael Buble, but on nights like these I feel like I want to go home. Home isn't really a place, but the feeling you get when you are with the people you love. I have little Remington, of course. And I love the feeling when we visit the Piper family here in Houston, but it's nights without Keith that I really miss Utah and the family we have there. It's especially hard in the summer when all my favorite festivities are taking place. I know my family probably went to visit the cemetery for the annual sunset bagpipe ceremony tonight. I guess I'm just a little melancholy.
I'm lucky I know, but I want to go home.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Little boy

video

I love this kid!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The joys of Baxter

We have almost reached the two year mark of Baxter coming into our lives. Keith adopted him without my knowledge when we lived in Pueblo. Since then, he has caused joy and pain, made us laugh hysterically, pooped out both ends (don't ask), traveled across half the country, snuggled us during thunderstorms, eaten rat poison, licked frogs, and learned tricks. It is guaranteed that he will pluck a wet towel out of the laundry basket and roll around on it in order to transfer the smell to himself. He also does this with earthworms, anything dead in the yard, and with the goo cockroaches leave on the floor after they die. Why he insists on rolling in stink is beyond me. It is one of his lesser qualities
Despite the need to be stinky, he has always boosted my spirits and been my constant little companion while Keith has worked and traveled. Bax displays the perfect amount of affection, neediness and independence. He is gentle with Remington and makes sure Niles stays in line. We just love him and hope he has many good years to come.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Featured Recipe: Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

While Keith was having his picture perfect weekend, I was home doing the domestic thing. I found this recipe to use up 5 ripe bananas. Great alternative to plain old banana bread. Here is a fantastic breakfast/dessert recipe compliments of recipezaar.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe
Makes 8 -12 muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.
3. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
4. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full.
6. Bake at 350 deg F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.



Just throwing this in for the Grandmas. He loves his bears:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Another picture perfect weekend

I have taken advantage of the cold front that passed through Thursday and spent some time outside this weekend. Yard work, chair building, etc. We had our neighbors over for "brisket 2.0", it was even better than the first attempt. Woke up after 4 hours sleep at 4am Friday to fire up the shrine, 14 hours on the smoker yielded some fork tender beef.



I stayed up Friday night until 4 am writing my previous post. At 5 am I woke up. My neighbor thanked me for the bbq with a fishing trip on Lake Houston, which is right down the street from our house. Dave, Christian (neighbors 15 yr old son) and I set out at 6 am. We caught some catfish, nothing too special, and I even hooked a little snapping turtle. I saw some Water Moccasins (poisonous snake) and a gator. I think he was pretty small. Maybe 4 ft. Anyway, had a lot of fun. I am dog tired though. I am going to bed now. I think I'll wake up some time in November.



Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh, California, how could you! Oh, wait, you're Califoria. Nevermind


Keith here. Well it appears we have another case of judicial totalitarianism. And make no mistake, it is totalitarianism. It is vile and tyrannical. I, of course, am talking about the bench issued order that, despite the will of the people, gay couples have a "right" to marry. A little history on the California controversy. In 1999 domestic partnerships became available to same sex couples affording them the same state privileges that marriage does. That was not enough for the radical gay community. So, in 2000 proposition 22 was put on the ballot to allow the people to decide if marriage should should be limited to one man one woman. It passed with 61.4% in favor of the definition. Of course it was challenged in the court system and now in a 4-3 decision, the court has overturned the peoples will and opened California to Same-Sex marriages. Now, as a last resort of the people to govern themselves and prevent "Bench Legislation", a proposition to amend the state constitution will be put before voters in Nov. 08.

I discuss this topic with many people and it seems everyone has a different opinion. Here are my thoughts and my argument that the definition of marriage should remain one man, one woman.

First of all, we need to be intellectually honest and use the English language accurately. There has been truck loads of propaganda and demagoguery that must be corrected and dispelled.

First lets explore the notion that gays can't marry. This is utterly false. A gay couple is free to go to a supporting church or similar institution and marry. More power to them, they should live and be well. That is not enough for the radical gay community though. I say radical because obviously not all gay Americans are demanding same-sex marriages. In fact there are gays that oppose it. The radical gay community demands government recognition and sanctioning of their union. Some say it makes them feel like second class citizens to be denied marriage. This is why domestic partnerships will not satisfy them. No one is denied the ability to marry. Whether straight, gay, you name it, everyone is allowed to marry. You just can't marry a relative, or multiple people, or someone of the same sex. There is no inherent right for adults to marry whomever, or whatever you want. The attitude of the government is, as it should be in my view, that as adults, you can do pretty much whatever you want. You can marry a goat in whatever religious or similar service you want to have preformed, but the government only condones and officially recognizes a union of one man to one woman. (FYI goat-lovers, consummating your marriage is a no-no). The reason is that we as a society have decided that this is the ideal arrangement for the raising of families and creating the strongest core family structure. Obviously that opinion is also steeped in our Judeo-Christian heritage and tradition.

One truly disappointing, blatant lie spewed from the radical gay community (hereafter referred to as RGC) is that there is no difference between man and woman. It is so ludicrous that I hesitate to respond to it. However this is a major justification to their cause. They argue that children do not need a man and a woman, that children only need two people to love them. Before this came about much more talk of the shame of fatherless households could be heard on even liberal news outlets. Here is a simple exercise in common sense. Imagine an average young man. See him with a loving Father and Mother. The Father teaches him about the proper role of manhood and is an example to look up to. A disciplinarian, a guide and teacher. The Mother is active in his development with learning how to treat women properly, providing the nurturing that only a Mother can provide. Then imagine a boy with two women raising him. Who is supposed to teach him what it means to be a Man, how to behave, how to treat women? Who is his male role model? It saddens me, coming from a loving home with great parents. I have seen it work. To miss out on the unique perspectives that can only be gained from both sexes is setting up this young man for trouble, frustration and possibly failure. Again, until recently, it was agreed by all that fatherless households have been a catastrophic damage to youth, and it is widely suggested that it is the cause for the wide spread failing of the black community. Obviously the world is not perfect. Marriages fail, too easily and too often it seems these days. It is not ideal, but it is a reality, that not all children will have a Mom and Dad to raise them. Divorce, deaths, illness. Parents may not be perfect. They may be abusive or derelict in their responsibilities to their children. Many things may occur that would disadvantage these affected youth. Another myth that the RGC uses to demean traditional marriage is the ridiculous notion that there is a 50% divorce rate. The 2001 census found 166,932,000 Americans have ever been married – or 76% of all those 15 and older. Meanwhile, 48,412,000 have ever been divorced. This means that of all those who have ever been married, 71% are either still married to the person they originally wed, or else they remained married until the spouse died. Hardly the 50% claimed by enemies of traditional marriage. Not perfect, but however unfortunate as divorce or some bad parents may be, the institution does not change. By the government sanctioning same sex unions it is sending a message that fatherless households or motherless households are acceptable and supported. It is time to stop being selfish and think about the effects this will have on children.

The RGC also tries to play down the magnitude of this issue by assuring people that this is not a big deal and that it won't change anything, a "live and let love" attitude. Here is the problem. Imagine 50 years ago turning on the TV and seeing two men kiss passionately on broadcast networks. Imagine seeing two women embracing each other as lovers in a mall or park as you take the new Bel-air for a spin with Wally and the Beaver in the back seat. It would be an outrage, shocking, scandalous! Not that there weren't gay people back then, it just wasn't in your face. The point I am getting at is that the RGC is very patient. They work slowly, pushing the envelope little by little. You would have never thought in 1985 that gay marriage would even be an issue, it would seem absurd. The problem is that they will not stop at gay marriage. Once the government sanctions their unions and deems their practice equal, the gates will be opened to non-stop inundation of homosexual practices. For example, sex ed. When gay marriage is legal, gay sex WILL need to be taught in schools along with heterosexual sex. Does anyone find that over the line, I do. But you can't stop it because there is no difference between hetero and homo anymore. They are to be equally celebrated, not tolerated, celebrated and encouraged. They rarely let the end game slip. The tell all is found in the Gay Rights Platform. It was created at the National Coalition of Gay Organizations Convention held in Chicago in 1972. It is shocking to see the RGCs goals fully revealed. I couldn't make this stuff up. This is the full list. (Bold added for emphasis)

FEDERAL LEVEL:

1. Amend all federal Civil Rights Acts, other legislation and government controls to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and public services.

2. Issuance by the President of an executive order prohibiting the military from excluding for reasons of their sexual orientation, persons who of their own volition desire entrance into the Armed Services; and from issuing less-than-fully-honorable discharges for homosexuality; and the upgrading to fully honorable all such discharges previously issued, with retroactive benefits.

3. Issuance by the President of an executive order prohibiting discrimination in the federal civil service because of sexual orientation, in hiring and promoting; and prohibiting discriminations against homosexuals in security clearances.

4. Elimination of tax inequities victimizing single persons and same-sex couples.

5. Elimination of bars to the entry, immigration and naturalization of homosexual aliens.

6. Federal encouragement and support for sex education courses, prepared and taught by gay women and men, presenting homosexuality as a valid, healthy preference and lifestyle as a viable alternative to heterosexuality.

7. Appropriate executive orders, regulations and legislation banning the compiling, maintenance and dissemination of information on an individual's sexual preferences, behavior, and social and political activities for dossiers and data banks.

8. Federal funding of aid programs of gay men's and women's organizations designed to alleviate the problems encountered by Gay women and men which are engendered by an oppressive sexist society.

9. Immediate release of all Gay women and men now incarcerated in detention centers, prisons and mental institutions because of sexual offense charges relating to victimless crimes or sexual orientation; and that adequate compensation be made for the physical and mental duress encountered; and that all existing records relating to the incarceration be immediately expunged.

STATE LEVEL:

1. All federal legislation and programs enumerated in Demands 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9 above should be implemented at the State level where applicable.

2. Repeal of all state laws prohibiting private sexual acts involving consenting persons; equalization for homosexuals and heterosexuals for the enforcement of all laws.

3. Repeal all state laws prohibiting solicitation for private voluntary sexual liaisons; and laws prohibiting prostitution, both male and female.

4. Enactment of legislation prohibiting insurance companies and any other state-regulated enterprises from discriminating because of sexual orientation, in insurance and in bonding or any other prerequisite to employment or control of one's personal demesne.

5. Enactment of legislation so that child custody, adoption, visitation rights, foster parenting, and the like shall not be denied because of sexual orientation or marital status.

6. Repeal of all state laws prohibiting transvestism and cross-dressing.

7. Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent.


8. Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit; and the extension of legal benefits to all persons who cohabit regardless of sex or numbers.

Shocking isn't it. Federal #6 and State #7 really made me do a double take. Their audacity is stunning. That is their own stated mission objectives. So we are faced with a decision. Is the country they want in line with the country we want? For me it is not, and so I must resist their advances. It is not out of hatred or anger or bigotry that I stand against them. They are free to do as they please behind closed doors. I have nothing personally against them. In fact the few gay guys I know are really nice people. I just have a different view of what I want my country to be and how I want my children to be raised. That's all. And if the majority share my opinion, then I'm sorry, but they can't have it their way. Now, that said, they are free to try to convince enough people to side with them and change the laws. That is how Democracies function.

A society can and should define marriage. I have gone head to head with many a hippie on this. Many liberals who support same-sex are surprised to discover that they agree on limiting marriage, the question is, to what?
I always ask, "If same sex marriage is allowed, what about a Brother/Sister?"
They always reply, "Incest leads to genetically retarded kids, that's not right."
I then reply, "OK, you are fine with socially retarded kids from Fatherless or Motherless households, but genetic retardation, I'll buy that. What if they couldn't have kids, tubes tied, or sterile, then what?"
Answers the liberal, "Still, it's incest and that's wrong. There is still a possibility that they could have a kid."
So I ask, "OK, since your complaint is genetics, what about a guy that wants to marry two or three women or vice versa?"
Liberal "Of course the guy from Utah brings up polygamy. No, that is not good for kids, a lot of those women are abused and it's unhealthy."
So I turn it around on them, "How dare you tell those people how to live there life, they all adults who love each other. There are no genetic problems. You're a bigot!"
To which the liberal victim replies, "It's about two people who love each other, not 3 or 20 thats crazy."
And now the final blow, "So tell me why two brothers can't get married? Two people who love each other, no risk of retarded kids."
That usually stops them, they flounder for a while about incest, but really they have no argument. Eventually they concede that society can limit marriage and that it is not an inherent right.


Some say that this should be a State to State issue. Unfortunately it can not, due to Article 4 Section 1 of the Constitution, the full faith and credit clause. Just as drivers licenses are recognized in other states, so are marriages. There has already been problems with same sex marriages and non supporting states. In Massachusetts, where gay marriages are legal, two women were married. They have a little girl, I believe from a previous hetero marriage. The mother/"wife" leaves her "wife" and goes back to her home state that doesn't recognize her Mass. marriage. Now there is a custody battle, one state saying one thing, the other state saying another thing. Because of these situations and unique problems, leaving it up to states is not an option.

Marriage laws have been changed throughout our history. Women are no longer looked upon as Man's property, they did away with the "rule of thumb" (lucky you, Candice) and race is no longer a factor. These changes have been insignificant since it does not change the core belief. Allowing interracial marriages is another common argument of the RGC. They want to play victim and mock the true injustice and true suffering of the Black American community in Americas past. The difference here is that we as a people have decided that there is no significant difference between races. However, there is an astronomical difference between sexes. To deny that is to deny reality. Two men raising a little girl is vastly different from a White woman and an Asian man raising her. It is so painfully obvious!

As our society grows increasingly narcissistic it's time we step back and think of the good of the Country and the good of the kids. It's time to silence the chorus of adults singing "Me, ME, Me, ME, ME,". The liberal guilt of the baby boomer generation is a virus weakening our Nation. It is being contracted through the liberal biased media and college campuses across our land. "Reparations". "Appease the world". "Moral relativism". "How dare you say they're wrong". Those baby boomer hippies you saw at Woodstock, mating in the mud and dung, burning the flag, are now in positions of leadership and power. They are still just as idiotic, but they are politically active and motivated. They are the only generation I am aware of that never grew up mentally and socially. They have a big influence on current politics. It will take a lot of us to get off the couch and vote to overcome their numbers. I know peoples feelings are going to be hurt by this defining of marriage. I take no joy in it. But sometimes, nay, often, the hardest stand and the right stand are the same. And it is time to make a stand.

I view marriage as a great, solid hydro-electric dam, providing the energy to keep America moving by popping out little, future, tax payers. By changing the definition, it springs a leak and weakens. Nothing can stop the cracks from spreading and more leaks from popping (polygamy, incest). Eventually there will be nothing left. Just a lazy creek, wandering along with no real direction, the powerhouse will have been destroyed. All from one little crack, who'd have thought?

We live in an upside down world where judges are imposing their individual will on the people. It is because of this that I strongly support the movement to amend the US Constitution to define marriage as between one natural born man to one natural born woman. I hope you'll join the fight.
Have a great day. The soap box is all yours.

Things to like/dislike about Houston

Things to like:
Lots of lush vegetation
Interesting variety of birds and wildlife (cardinals, coyotes, armadillo, possum)
Mild winters with lots of sunshine
Amazing thunderstorms
Not far from the beach
Home prices

Things to dislike:
Texans
Mosquitoes the size of birds
Cockroaches
Crime (Lots of murders)
Property Taxes
Humidity

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Random Thoughts

-I had a dream that Baxter caught a cockroach in his mouth and put it in the garbage for me.
-Keith was speculating if we will feel the same towards our next child as we do towards Niles (Niles is always #2) We always call Baxter #1.
-For the 3rd time, I referred to Remington as Niles when he was crying. Then I yelled Ryan! when Niles was barking (Ryan is my nephew.)
-My family always asks the results of American Idol because I see it an hour before them.
-I hate Winnie the Pooh.
-I'm hungry
-Remington has grown by leaps and bounds this week. He is starting to fill out 3 month clothes.
-Why are bed sheets so expensive?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

AAAAAAmerica!



Keith here. I have been feeling patriotic recently for no particular reason. I thought I'd share 10 things I love about the old U.S. of A. I encourage others to do the same. (guilt trip attempt)

10. Free market.
I read a story about a Russian that came to America. The thing that really left an impression with the person was toothpaste. He was shocked by all the different kinds there were. He said that there is only one brand of everything over there. Can you imagine only having one-ply toilet paper available at the store! I would revolt!

9. Our ability to learn from mistakes and progress as a Nation.
Slavery, womens rights (voting), Jim Crow, etc. I think it is awesome that we as a people can recognize a wrong, convince enough people that it is wrong and then make correct changes. The problem is that people can take it too far, in my opinion. Ending slavery, which cost the US about 600,000 men, and ensuring equal rights isn't enough for some people. They want racial favoritism. I thought the idea was that skin color doesn't matter. It is sad that the victims of racism have become the racists. But they are free to argue their case and try to convince us they're right. The problem now is that instead of the people deciding how to steer the nation, nine men and women in black robes are trying to do the driving.

8. Trying to do the right thing.
While I am sure that not all Americans agree that this is a good thing, I like that we at least try to do the right thing as a Nation. For instance, Israel. A fierce little dog surrounded by a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. We have been supporting the Israelis for a long time. Yes, it is in our National interest to see a democracy flourish in the region, but it is also a moral obligation to support our allies, even in the face of overwhelming odds. Also US charities. While liberals try to force charity through taxation, I find it funny that mean nasty conservatives actually donate more of their income to private charities. We are a charitable people. When disasters occur at home or overseas it seems that the American people have always been willing to help out. P.S. Little factoid, Americans give more to charity when taxed less. Stupid liberals.

7. The Melting Pot.
While I am fiercely opposed to illegal immigration, I love seeing so many different cultures. Everyone in this Country is an immigrant. Yes, even the Indians. They just got here before Columbus. Anyway, I love going to little Italy areas or China towns.
I just want everyone to learn English and wave the American flag. You don't have to give up your culture, just become an American. I like seeing Americans who came from Mexico. I hate seeing the Mexicans living in the USA. Waving their Mexican flags, supporting ILLEGAL immigration, etc. If you are going to come here, you have to join us. How can a country unite if we all speak different languages and rally under different flags?

6. The Beauty
Ever wonder why Arabs are so pissed off all the time. Well one of the reasons, aside from homely women, is that they live in a giant kitty litter box. We are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. On top of that, we can choose what climate we want to live in. We are free to live in the dirty, sweaty South, or the icy North. The rugged mountains of the West, or the tropics of southern Florida.

5. Term Limits
Even though I love Bush (I think I'm the only one), I am glad we have term limits. Especially when I look at the candidates for 2008. Perhaps an exception should have been made for Reagen though. I think term limits should be set for all elected officials. Senate, Congress, Mayor, Governor, Supreme Court Justices, etc. I think people lose their sense of reality when they are in Washington or other office for too long. I also think McCain/Feingold is lame because it ensures that only rich people can run for office.

4. American Ingenuity
It is stunning how much technology comes out of American minds. Over 90% of medical advances and breakthroughs come from America. The internet, cars, airplanes, smart bombs, the Second Amendment, it is amazing what this young country has come up with.

3. The Founders Wisdom
I am glad we had such wise men back then. Their little experiment turned out pretty well. Can you imagine this place if they didn't have the foresight to come up with the Bill of Rights. It would be a mess. I read Jefferson and think, wow, I could never write like that. I can't help but think that we are getting dumber as a people. (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Al Gore) I know we as a whole are more educated, but I think our higher learning institutions have become more lame. Being college educated used to mean something. Now it is just a more expensive high school. It has become un-challenging and are offering courses on ridiculous subjects like gay and lesbian studies instead of focusing on real subjects like finance, usable math, writing, etc. I wonder how many college grads that took advanced math like Calculus and Trigonometry can't figure out the interest on their credit cards or how much they need to invest now, and how, in order to retire with a nice nest egg and not have to suck off the governmental teat when they get old.

2. We Are All Born Naked
I love that no matter how poor you were born and raised, anyone can overcome class and other social constraints. I love that you can be what you want to be. It may be more or less difficult based on individual circumstances, but there are no real barriers if one is determined enough, only imagined ones. Look at Abe Lincoln. Dirt poor, ugly as sin, beast of a wife, lost multiple elections, and still became one of the greatest Presidents ever.

1. Freedom
While we may not be as free as I would like, we are the most free people in the world with the most opportunities. Our relatively young country has done more good in the world than any other. There are too many examples of that to mention. We are not perfect. But we are the closest anyone has ever gotten to it. I am very lucky to be a part of the USA. I love it and I will fight and kill for it. I wish everyone was as proud to be an American as I am.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Keith's Creation

Keith has been in the blazing heat for two days constructing this beauty for our deck:


He is so handy! I think he should sell them.

Newsletter: Month Two


Dear Remington,
Today you turn two months old. You have really sprouted this month, gaining over 2 lbs and growing over an inch. You have started to 'uncurl' and you love to stretch and raise your arms over your head. You gave daddy a smile before he left for 16 days, and you have been smiling often since then. You have even tried to laugh the last few days, but it usually turns into a gasp for air. You still scowl a lot, but have relaxed since becoming more aware of the world. You love to listen to the sound of other people's voices.

You clench your 'puppy paws' really tight when you eat. We call them paws because they are large compared to the rest of your body. You'll grow into them, but the doctor still thinks you will be a short adult. It's a good thing, you'll be able to disappear in a crowd easily.
We have tummy time everyday and you practice lifting your head and even rolling. You have an incredibly strong neck and you can hold it up like a much older baby. You are not a bobble head anymore, you have more control over your movements now.
You have now given me the official title of 'mommy' according to your dad. I have been pooped on twice while trying to burp you. While disgusting, it wasn't as devastating as I could have imagined. I guess that means I really love you! You make up for it by how easy you are.

Our days are still pretty low key, though I am getting more adventurous and taking you out for longer intervals. You love the car, the brightness and colors of the grocery store, and your car seat. On our first outing alone, you were due for a nap. Instead, you spent the whole time at the grocery store cooing and smiling. You almost always fall asleep otherwise, and you have a funny knack of waking up and screaming the second we pull into the driveway.
By far, the favorite part of your day is baby bath time. Sometimes you are so relaxed that you fall asleep while I wash your hair. If you're not asleep, you coo and kick. You love getting massaged with baby lotion and you demand to be swaddled as soon as your pajamas are over your head.
You are a wonder baby in that you sleep a solid 6-8 hours almost every night. That's where you take after me. I love to sleep. Then you wake up starving and need to eat every hour until noon.
The only things that seem to make you really cry are diaper changes when you are hungry, being really tired, and losing your binki when you really want it. You have also started crying when you wake up and no one is there to hold you. I understand because I do the same thing.

You have loved going on walks, but in the last week it has gotten too hot to stay outside. The mosquito net we got for your stroller has worked wonders, and we don't have to worry about covering you in nasty chemicals.
Your two month doctor appointment was pretty upsetting to me. Even though you are perfectly healthy, you had to get four shots. They made me hold your arms down while you flailed. You only cried for a second. I remember thinking how tough you are going to be when you get older. I have thought that since you were born, especially given how many times you had your heels pricked due to jaundice. I can picture you being the brute on your sports team or joining the military. I try not to have expectations for you, I just want you to always be good to people. Luckily, you have a great example in your dad.
I don't know what I did to deserve you. You are a fantastic baby. I can only imagine the suffering you will inflict on us as a teenager as payback. Either that, or our second child will be Beelzebub's spawn. I guess we will wait and see.
Love, Mama
video

Friday, May 9, 2008

Talent

Check out these mad skills. Sit, Spin, Lay, Roll Over... video

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tagged

List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Joys:
1. My Man
2. My Baby
3. My Pups
Fears:
1. Losing Loved Ones
2. Falling Victim to Crime
3. Cockroaches
Goals:
1. Finish 1 Book a Week
2. Finish Education
3. Furnish Living Room
Obsessions:
1. Taking photos of baby
2. Making good food for 1
3. Blogging
Random Facts:
1. I am a recent convert from Coke to Diet Pepsi
2. I am the King AND Queen of Procrastination
3. I love doing the baby's laundry
Tag: Piper, Angie,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Growing up.

R had his 2 month appointment with the doc today. I timed everything perfectly, from my shower to feeding him to taking the dogs out. However, I failed to leave enough time to get shat upon by an explosive baby, a time bomb if you will. It was really as if he weren't wearing a diaper at all, because when I went to clean him up, he diaper was almost completely empty. I guess this is cosmic payback for laughing at Keith when a seagull pooped on his neck in Galveston...He says I am officially a mommy now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Finally!

Perfect timing to have received my conceal carry permit! Here's why: A woman was stabbed and left for dead in her home 3 blocks from here. Guess our peaceful little town isn't so peaceful anymore. Here is my "peace." Bad guys, beware.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Kidlet

Kidlet is Remington's new nickname. I also like to call him 'baby son.' He is getting so big so fast. It makes me sad that no one is around to witness it...
So cute in his puppy shirt:

The most adorable onesie from the Guzmans:

The best smile I can capture on film:

I love my Shmoo!

Well, how do I follow that?!? Keith is always sneaky about these sorts of things so now I have to one up him!
Things I love about my handsome man:
1. He calls me peaches
2. Always lets me choose the restaurant
3. Looks for the best in people
4. Will help anyone with anything at the drop of a hat
5. Tolerates the messes I make, esp with paperwork
6. Surprisingly agile
7. an amazing cook, demands perfection
8. great handyman and mechanic, can fix nearly anything
9. he is the fastest eater in the world, I've only finished a meal before him once (and that was when I was eight months pregnant)
10. he doesn't blink when playing Playstation, I have to remind him or he starts crying
11. he remembers the lyrics to every jingle he's ever heard
12. he compliments me in front of people and in private
13. would do anything for his family
14. calls to check on me numerous times per day
15. he has a great singing voice
16. even his subconscious loves me, he snuggles me in his sleep
17. he doesn't care about sports, but I can't tear him away from 'This Old House'
18. I love that people love him
19. he loathes Rachel Ray, Days of Our Lives, and Alec Baldwin
20. excellent provider for our little family
21. he actually offers to change diapers, and changed ALL R's diapers for the first four days
22. he is always making me laugh, and he laughs at my dumb jokes
23. makes me grand breakfasts
24. tolerates my "obnoxious fad" of being a vegetarian
25. truly amazing father
26. he is my best friend

I love you, babe!