Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We get at least one more year

I have a Minister friend who thinks that the second coming of the Messiah will occur on Rosh Hashanah. Apparently, all of the Old Testament holidays have a corresponding New Testament fulfillment. Like the Passover and the Crucifixion. I have yet to research this thoroughly myself, but, for now, it sounds plausable. And I trust this person's Biblical interprettations/judgement. So every year I look forward to Maranatha every Rosh Hashanah.

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Body Alignment

The past few days my son has had tremendous pain in his cheek. He couldn't sleep and it made him cry and guzzle Motrin. I took him back to the dentist because he got a filling on that side of his mouth last week. I was Sooooo impressed with the dentist, who took the time to carefully diagnose the problem Then he adjusted his bite by filing down the filling/tooth a little. And it fixed the problem!!!! Can you believe that a tiny change in jaw alignment could cause such intense pain?

A similar thing happened to me several years ago. (Like most people) one of my legs is longer than the other. I thought I would fix it by putting a thick shoe insert into the shoe of the shorter leg. Several days later I experienced the most intense hip pain. Guessing that it might be related to the shoe insert, I took it out, and the pain went away.

Isn't the body amazing? How perfectly aligned it is, that something so little can throw it off?!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Y gets an E for effort

I just got back from the corniest family event ever. But hey, I give the YMCA credit for trying. Every quarter they host a "Flick and Float" in which they show a family friendly movie for people to view while floating in the pool. Sounds like fun, right? My husband asked if they'd play it on a little TV and I exclaimed that of course they were going to project a huge screen on the wall. But to my dismay... they rolled out a little TV. Then they roped off a tiny area in front of it and asked a dozen kids to be quiet in a pool and watch the TV. ha ha. I imagined it tipping off the table, electricuting us all, and how our obituaries would read that we died at the "flick and float". The life guards were two young teenagers who had never done it before so they vigorously enforced small rules to show their authority. Anyway, it was still kind of fun. We didn't stay long, but we've been wanting to go to it for a long time, so at least we got our "flick and float experience".

Another really cute family event the YMCA attempted last month was a doggie race in the pool. (This was the day before the annual pool deep clean). We went to it, even though we don't have a dog. Only three or four showed up. And the race didn't exactly happen. The dogs were mostly afraid off the water, but they eventually got in and rescued their favorite toys. One of the dogs was a beautiful Newfoundland. Brandon fell in love with it. And I was reminded again that that's the kind of dog I want to get some day. It was sort of beat by a cute mutt in a "race" but you could tell it was the best swimmer there. He wasn't even trying. Obviously a natural born swimmer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Congratulations to my mother in law and the other 3081 people who became United States Citizens yesterday!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Corporate Welfare

Have the fed's lost their minds?? Today they "loan" AIG 85 Billion dollars to keep them from going under, right after putting up nearly $30 billion to the investment bank Bear Stearns; committing up to $200 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and at least $5 billion in their mortgage securities...

I guess I see that if they didn't do these things the end (of the value of the dollar) is near... but they're delaying the inevitable and letting the investors off the hook. When the economy does crash the lower and middle class are going to be left holding the bag. mad

Police Details

I used to think that police shouldn't be paid outrageous amounts of money (in overtime pay) to detail construction jobs. That's what Gov. Patrick is trying to change. But today I change my mind. Once again because of the economy. Police get paid about 60,000 a year-which in Massachusetts is just barely enough to keep a family above poverty. The police details help bring their pay to closer to $100,000 - which in Massachusetts, believe it or not, affords you a moderate middle class lifestyle. Nothing fancy. And that's working lots of overtime!

Another reason it's important to pay our police well, besides the fact that they risk their lives for us, is that the type of people who go into law enforcement are naturally aggressive, smart, fearless. And their line of work provides temptations to use their skills to make easy money illegally. Why tempt them? Let's pay the good guys well so that no one is tempted to behave immorally to support their family.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More blogging about the end of America

I'm actually a very logical, sensible person. Which is why my concerns are particularly dire. I'm really, really concerned about the economic state of America. As individuals we, and also our government, are living on credit. Debt.

My family has lived an interesting experiment the past year in which we have lived within our means -with no credit lines. "What's so interesting about that?" you ask. Well. We've been living in poverty during this time even though my husband earns three times the minimum wage. Let me put this another way... If your average undereducated inner-city newlyweds both work minimum wage jobs they will earn even less than my husband does. And that amount falls hugely short of the amount needed to sustain a family. A willingness to work hard is no longer enough to not go hungry.

This might sound like an exaggeration. I often looked at others around me and wonder "how are they affording that?" And the answer is that the majority our population is living on credit. In the book, Maxed Out, it says...

"the best definition I have heard [of preferred customer]t-and this is from a vice-president of MasterCard-is an individual who has a "taste for credit," i.e., someone "willing to make monthly payments-forever." Now I know why, if I fail to pay off my balance in full, my credit limit is increased. I know why the world's largest bank is trolling the poorest back roads of Mississippi looking for new business."

"Credit is a two tiered system. There are those who pay interest and those who collect it. but it has always been thus. What has changed is the marketing of credit, the notion that credit is not a tool but a lifestyle. The financial industry spends vast sums of money spreading the myth that debt is good, that what matters is a good credit score, approval, as though that approval still means what it did a generation ago when denial was the norm."

"It is disturbing enough to many of us that the largest institutions in our culture spread this propaganda every second of every day- that the taste for credit is being systematically cultivated into a voracious appetite among those who can least afford it. But it is even more disturbing that an even larger institution, one that has traditionally provided checks and balances over exactly such abuses of power. The Unites States government."

"For the past forty years, the federal government has helped private coporations sell debt to its citizens and guaranteed them a profit... On its face, guaranteeing bank profits seems an absurd public policy in a free-market., capitalist economy like ours. Why would the federal government assume trillions of dollars of risk on behalf of a hugely profitable industry whose purpose is to shoulder exactly that kind of risk? Or, put another way, why would the federal government give banks an incentive to make risky loans? The answer becomes abundantly clear when one reviews any State of the Union speech of the past twenty five years. Guaranteeing private debt, rather than paying for goods like education (as do many other industrialized nations), saves politicians from making risky choices while allowing them to toss around what sound like very impressive achievements: increases in home "ownership", particularly among minority groups, leaps in college enrollment, particularly among the disadvantaged, a wave of entrepreneurship, and so on".

Republicans are just as guilty (if not more so) than Democrats in this mess. As mentioned in the last quote, they oppose paying for education and healthcare for the masses, instead, deciding it's better to guarantee loans to the masses for those necessities. And spending on National Defense is on credit too...

"Previously, all purchase orders had been routed through a central procurement office, where they were reviewed and approved. Whether you needed a tank or a roll of toilet paper, this was the procedure. Getting supplies often took weeks, sometimes months. It was tedious, time-consuming, and annoying. It wasted paper. It felt draconian in a world where one is accustomed to getting what one wants instantaneously. So the Pentagon had decided that government should imitate business and that soldiers should have expense accounts. What they had neglected to install were the checks and balances. Indeed, what is commonly referred to as "fraud protection" was entirely out-sourced to the credit card issuer, Bank of America which tended to be very liberal with its credit limits and very tight with questions. After all, countries, particularly the USA, don't go bankrupt."

Conclusion: OK. I've delved into the argument that America is going broke. And I define that, not so much by our national deficit which just doubled last month with our Fannie Mae bailout, but rather by the widening fiscal gap between future promises and future income. What are the literal ramifications of this? I'm not exactly sure. At some point, I fear, we face another depression. I don't know when and I don't know how exactly our world domination will change hands to China and Saudi Arabia and other countries that are currently paying cash for everything. But I am fairly convinced that this will happen. That it is inevitable, with the course we are following.

How to protect yourself: Living within your means. Particularly avoiding school loans, which are the only thing you can't declare bankruptcy on. Rent as opposed to buy your house, which is probably only going to go down in value. In fact, when that moment in time comes when the world realizes that America can't pay back its debts our currency won't be worth much either. So investing in tangible items like gold is probably a safer bet. It's also better to invest in intangible things. Put your time and energy into your children and skills, trade, education, and good food and health care which are investments in your future health. The most important intangible, reminds Jesus, is the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 6:19 ""Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."

This blog post sounds very doom and gloom. But I see the big picture. And it doesn't end with another Great Depression. No. It ends with a new world order. With Jesus in charge. And the Devil in a pit of hell. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?"
Matthew 6:24-26

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two things that taste like pie

This week, by chance, I discovered two things that taste just like pie- but are much more healthy for you.

#1 apple flavored yogurt. I can't find the brand, but when I do I'll post it.

#2 dried cherries- tastes just like cherry pie!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Tom Brady

OK. Word is that his injury is serious. Serious as in, jeopardizing his season: serious. I kind of feel like the wind has been knocked out of me.

Maybe other women can understand this analogy. After a traumatic birth you kind of have this need to "do it again" to do it right to try again. Well, that's the feeling I have about last year's superbowl. We came close to perfection. And I just want a chance to try for it again. To do it right. And this is like finding out that your next baby has placenta previa. You hope it will move up, but you see your dreams being taken from you. It's scary.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Video of Palin's 4 year old slicking back Trig's hair

Gov. Palin is all the talk in the political world. My Dad heard a great quote referring to her. "We found our Margret Thatcher". So true! Conservatives are already heralding her for Presidential nomination in four years. I really admire her. She's everything I want to be: a mom to five (I even always said maybe God would bless me with a Downs Syndrome kid), she's in politics, a beauty queen (is she ever!) and she plays the flute (like me!) to boot. Go Palin. Her Minesotan accent amuses me though.

I'm still voting for Obama though- healthcare and all... you know.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Showing off a little

If you are, say, a proud grandma to my kids, please read on. If you are a mom with even slightly competitive tendencies (like me) please disregard.

My baby girl is crawling!!! At five months!!! She's so advanced. I'm so proud. I looked up milestones and the web said that crawling happens between 6 and 10 months. tee hee.

The only other milestones that are really set in my memory because of their advancedness are when Brandon took his first step by himself at 9 1/2 months. And Wolfie rode a two-wheeler by himself at 3 years. Yes. I'm a proud mama.... Now one of these kids has to become a professional athlete and buy me a house!
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