Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I copied Erika and Tyler's Christmas card design and created a card to send out to all of my far-away friends and relatives.

Unfortunately, the only people who ended up getting a card were the people that I saw face to face and handed them to. Sorry!

At least it is a step in the right direction. This is the first year every that I have even attempted to send out a Christmas card. Next year, I'll just plan on it and get an earlier start. (I hope...)

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009!

Love, Flint, Alli, Isaac, and our June Baby!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Christmas, I'm finally blogging about Halloween

OK, so I've been a slacker, but I kind of have an excuse... About a month ago, I made a long slide show, complete with captions, of Halloween pictures. I was finished and in the process of saving the show when Isaac found the power button on my computer, and figured out that he could press it in. When I found the time to go back and try again, I discovered that no matter how I saved my show, it always displayed as a show created by someone else... I told myself that I would figure it out and post later, but after the frustration, it was always easier to find other things to do.

Anyway, I had kind of figured that I had lost my window of opportunity, since we are deep into the Christmas season already, but ScrapChairPotato did a Halloween, etc. post today! If she can do it, so can I.

Here is my little chicken wandering the cultural hall at our ward party.

The party was fun, but the confusion in the room was a little much for him.

He preferred playing with the decoration in my "trunk-or-treat" room.

On Halloween night, we went to the party at Michal's house, and he felt much more at home.

At first he was still more interested in playing with or eating the decorations.He thought that the decorative corn was pretty cool (appropriate for a chicken), but the ladybug would have been more impressed by flowers.
The party was wonderful, as usual. Lots of food, friends and fun.
Daddy even took the night off to join in on the fun.
Daddy tried to take Isaac trick-or -treating, but Issac was still more interested
in the corn cob then the candy.
My favorite thing of the evening was the homemade root beer that accidentally
(overactive dry ice) froze into root beer slush.

Henry (The Dread Pirate Roberts) liked the cauldron full of trick-or-treating candy.

What? Candy?

Don't worry, Papa with share his candy.
And Bronwen with share her milk.
Then you can kick back in your chicken coop for a while.

I didn't get my camera out when Becky and the cousins were there.
But I got the other cousins to pose for pictures.

Kimball was Dr. Howard Carter.
(He and Henry did tours of King Tuts tomb back in their room.)

Henry was a very serious Dread Pirate Roberts.

Ian was Peter Pan.

Bronwen was a ballerina - "Pli-e"

Jared was an 80's Rocker, who cooked our hot dogs and corn dogs to perfection.

Ian changed out of his costume into his cozy PJs early
to cuddle on the couch with Grammy and Papa.

and Isaac wished that Daddy hadn't had that last bowl of chili.
"Breath of fire."

All in all, it was a fun and successful Halloween.

I guess it is time to start decorating for Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Eat up!

May you all enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey as much as Isaac enjoys his Ramen noodles...

...and penne with spicy red sauce!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We have nothing to be ashamed of...

I got this letter in an e-mail and thought it was worthy of posting. I don't know if it was a letter to the editor, or just a letter to friends who may be confused by the craziness in the media regarding Proposition 8. Either way, he or she makes some very valid points that I wish more people would consider before condemning the LDS church of wrong-doing.

"Dear Friends,

In the aftermath of the recent election, we may find ourselves oddly on the defensive regarding our support for the Yes on Proposition 8 cause. Our young people have been especially subject to mean spirited comments by high school friends and teachers. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We did nothing wrong. In fact, we did everything that a civic minded American can and should do. I have put together a few facts that help me to appreciate our position better. For example:

1. Mormons make up less than 2% of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million.

2. Mormon voters were less than 5% of the yes vote. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6% of the Yes vote and 2.4% of the total Proposition 8 vote.

3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) donated no money to the Yes on 8 campaign. Individual members of the Church were encouraged to support the Yes on 8 efforts and, exercising their constitutional right to free speech, donated whatever they felt like donating.

4. The No on 8 campaign raised more money than the Yes on 8 campaign. Unofficial estimates put No on 8 at $38 million and Yes on 8 at $32 million, making it the most expensive non-presidential election in the country.

5. Advertising messages for the Yes on 8 campaign are based on case law and real-life situations. The No on 8 supporters have insisted that the Yes on 8 messaging is based on lies. Every Yes on 8 claim is supported.

6. The majority of our friends and neighbors voted Yes on 8. Los Angeles County voted in favor of Yes on 8. Ventura County voted in favor of Yes on 8.

7. African Americans overwhelmingly supported Yes on 8. Exit polls show that 70% of Black voters chose Yes on 8. This was interesting because the majority of these voters voted for President-elect Obama. No on 8 supporters had assumed that Obama voters would vote No on 8.

8. The majority of Latino voters voted Yes on 8. Exit polls show that the majority of Latinos supported Yes on 8 and cited religious beliefs (assumed to be primarily Catholic).

9. The Yes on 8 coalition was a broad spectrum of religious organizations. Catholics, Evangelicals, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, Muslims - all supported Yes on 8. It is estimated that there are 10 million Catholics and 10 million Protestants in California. Mormons were a tiny fraction of the population represented by Yes on 8 coalition members.

10. Not all Mormons voted in favor of Proposition 8. Our faith accords that each person be allowed to choose for him or her self. Church leaders have asked members to treat other members with "civility, respect and love," despite their differing views.

11. The Church did not violate the principle of separation of church and state. This principle is derived from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." The phrase "separation of church and state", which does not appear in the Constitution itself, is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, although it has since been quoted in several opinions handed down by the United States Supreme Court in recent years. The LDS Church is under no obligation to refrain from participating in the political process, to the extent permitted by law. U.S. election law is very clear that churches may not endorse candidates, but may support issues. The Church has always been very careful on this matter and occasionally (not often) chooses to support causes that it feels to be of a moral nature.

12. Supporters of Proposition 8 did exactly what the Constitution provides for all citizens: they exercised their First Amendment rights to speak out on an issue that concerned them, make contributions to a cause that they support, and then vote in the regular electoral process. For the most part, this seems to have been done in an open, fair, and civil way. Opponents of 8 have accused supporters of being bigots, liars, and worse. The fact is, we simply did what Americans do - we spoke up, we campaigned, and we voted.

Hold your heads up high - you did a great job on this most important cause. We will have more opportunities in the future to participate in our democratic process. Let's remember the lessons learned and do an even better job next time.
These are my personal opinions and thoughts; any errors are mine and in no way reflect official Church policy or doctrine." (End quote)

Again, I am sorry that I don't have the source of this letter, other than the fact that it as "Apparently the written by a member of the Newbury Park stake." Regardless of the source, I enjoyed reading it and hoped you did too.

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 10:22).

Monday, October 13, 2008

Preserving the Divine institution of Marriage

I am taking a quick break from posting cute pictures of Isaac,

and cooking projects,

to talk about something that has been occupying my thoughts and time over the past couple months. Even though I am pretty sure that the only people who read my blog are family and friends who already know my opinion on Proposition 8,

I feel like I need to point out a few things that I have found out while researching the issue. I thought that I would post a few talking points that I collected from here and here, that we can bring up in our daily conversations. (I highly recommend reading both articles if you are interested in finding out more.)

Hopefully, this will help get the word out about the importance of a yes vote.

- Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage, it is not an attack on the gay lifestyle. We an have tolerance without condoning. (Just like cute little Scotty learned to do when watching Isaac attack his birthday cake.)

We can love someone while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.

As Elder Dallin H oaks has explained,

"Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another's differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one's standards or one's opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way or reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination."

- In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits.

- While it may be true that allowing singe-sex unions may not immediately and directly affect all existing marriage, the real question is how it will affect society as a whole over time, including the rising generation and future generations. Unless Proposition 8 passes, California society will soon undergo a profound change in its basic understanding of marriage and family life. That will affect everyone in numerous ways.
- Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies, intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. Over time, greater acceptance of nontraditional marriage will be demanded of all people. This could impact the ability of any religion to teach and practice its beliefs.
- In fact, some advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemption and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions.

- Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt children. If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will be required to teach young children that there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage. ("They are going to teach me what?")

Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages. Morality is taken completely out of the equation.

- Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches. The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about morality, marriage and family. We can express genuine love and friendship for homosexual family members or friends without accepting the practice of homosexuality. However, speaking out against practices with which a church disagrees on moral grounds - including same-sex marriage- will be identified as abuse, "hate speech" and discrimination.

- The prospect of same-sex marriage has already spawned legal collisions with the rights of free speech and of action based on religious beliefs. For example, advocates and government officials in certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston have stopped offering adoption services.

- The people of California voted 61-39 to make traditional marriage the law. Four activist judges overreached their authority and have ignored the will of the people. Judges are appointed to interpret and uphold the law, not to make the law.

Please do your part in defending the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. This is not about equality. It is a moral issue. We can't foresee all of the consequences if Proposition 8 fails, but we know enough to see that it is of profound importance to our religion and the future of our society that it succeeds.
"... the family is ordained of God. Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Isaac!

Guess who is one year old!!!

We love you sweet Isaac and are so blessed to have you in our lives! Every age has been my favorite so far. I am excited to see what the next year brings.

(Yes, this is a random slide show, but it is supposed to be Isaac eating cake.)

I spent a long time on creating a birthday cake slide show, on Saturday, but when I went to post it, the code kept giving me this other persons show. Very strange and frustrating. I am working on making another one. But until then, I think that you can view the right show by going to this URL. I love technology.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Pair of Shoes

As the seasons change and it starts to get cooler, the transition from flip flops to "real" shoes takes some getting use to. For Isaac, as the seasons change and his walking skills advance, the transition from bare feet to any shoe at all takes a lot of getting use to .

(Here is Isaac in his new front facing car seat, on the way to the shoe store.)

We went to the Stride Right outlet store and got Isaac sized for new shoes last Saturday afternoon. She originally told us that we should get him a 6 1/2 wide, so that he would have some growing room. We found a pair and put them on his feet, but they were ridiculously big. The poor boy kept stepping on his own toes as he attempted to walk across the floor. I didn't get a video of that first attempt because I was to busy catching him as he fell down, over and over.

We decided that we should try the 6W and found that there was still plenty of growing room, but not as much "tripping surface". They were a little brown boot, with a fairly stiff sole. Here he is trying to walk in them. They are a little better...but he does keep tripping over himself.

Even though we knew he would get use to walking in them eventually, be decided to look for something that was a little more flexible. We found a cute little pair of flexible tennis shoes for him. Here is his maiden voyage. He still needs to get use to them, but he did much better this time. (He did have a little extra motivation, there were some little girls in one of the isles around the corner that he really wanted to find.)

I can't believe how big he is getting. (Thanks Nana for the early Birthbay gift!)

P.S. I took all of the video and pictures with my cell phone, since I left the real cameras at home. Hey, bad quality is better than nothing.