Friday, December 19, 2008

My Thingy LIES!

It says that my sister, Ashley, has not updated her blob for 4 weeks - but she does it probably every other day, if not daily. Why is that? Why does it LIE!?!

Dirty Lying Blob thingy...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well... we are coming down to it - 9 days left... I can't believe that it's so close! I don't have much that I can write right now - I am at work - but I wanted to share my little invite with those of you that I have missed. Feel free to join us if you can. We would love to have anyone there that wishes to witness this miracle! LOVE You all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Aonika Needs -

So, I saw this on Ashley's site - I was catching up, and I thought that it would be funny to do. Especially since I feel the need to get some of the anger out. So, off to google I go, to type in "Aonika Needs" - well, nothing came up with the whole sentence, so - I had to put it together. it said Aonika - and then in the rest of it somewhere else it said "needs...." and lo' here you have some GREAT laughs - read on...

1) Aonika needs (to be played on a high definition format) - SO true... After all, you'd be getting the best pictures that way.

2) Aonika needs (to get Michelle a better bra. She's too young to be sagging). WOAH? What about me? Why don't I get the better bra? And who is Michelle anyway? They say she's young, well - doesn't that mean that I am messin' in a place I shouldn't be messin?

3) Aonika needs (to be an all star cast) - well, that's true - I can be anyone I want that way.

4) Aonika needs (to report a problem with my order) - Now, I didn't know I had one, but I better start checking around to find out just what I did that has a problem! Been shopping a lot online lately!

5) Aonika needs (to upgrade your Flash player ownage) - I have NO idea what that means... but, I usually have the hubby take care of that one.

6) Aonika needs (some more editing) - Well, FINE - I thought that I had cleaned up my act, but apparently not!

7) Aonika needs (to be willing to take some time to reflect in the spirit) Well, doesn't everyone? But, I like this one, I think that I will keep it.

8) Aonika needs (our children during an emergency) NO I DO NOT! BACK OFF YO!

9) Aonika needs (to know about planning the perfect day) Well, You are right about that. If I had THAT information, I would be pretty indisposable.

10) Aonika needs (to be a member to access this page) You are right - I do need to be a member to access THIS particular page... go figure.

Hope you all had a laugh - specially after all the serious stuff... HUGS

Follow up to my previous post...

To follow the post that I made regarding the Proposition 8 issue in California - I want to post something else that I got -

Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008, 10:28 PM

The following article appeared in Mormon Times today . I think it's excellent. I have bolded a particular part where he quotes Books of Mormon scripture that applies to our times. As you know, the Book of Mormon wasn't written for the Nephites, it was written for us. I think the gulf between the righteous and the wicked is widening and deepening, and we can expect more of the same.
Heroes and victims in Prop. 8 struggle
By Orson Scott Card
Mormon Times
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

Many people worked to pass Proposition 8 in California. Those who wish to be our enemies are working hard to blame it all on the Mormons, but our votes alone could never have done the job of protecting marriage from a fatal redefinition.

If anyone doubts that, they should read the letter from Kevin Hamilton that has been circulating on the Internet.

Brother Hamilton, a seminary teacher, asked his students a couple of days after the election if any of them had been treated with hostility because they were Mormon.

Every hand went up.

So Brother Hamilton collected the statistics about who is to "blame" for passing Proposition 8 and gave it to his students, proving that we did no harm and certainly did not act alone. We were part of a coalition of people to whom marriage is not just a brand that can be put on any relationship. We did not and do not stand alone.

Then, thinking that others might be interested, Brother Hamilton wrote it into an e-mail and sent it to a couple of friends.

His friends sent it on. It spread through the church. You've probably already seen it.

When it reached me, I realized that Brother Hamilton had already done precisely the research that I intended to do for this column.

So I am posting the text of his letter at the end of this column on MormonTimes.com, and will move on to my own particular points.

There are many heroes in this struggle, but I want to call special attention to the young Saints in the singles wards of California. Outside the Church, most of their peers were against Proposition 8; inexperienced in marriage and child-rearing, they saw no harm in gay marriage.

So when our Latter-day Saint singles heeded the call of the church's leaders to take part in the defense of marriage, they, more than any other group of Saints, were swimming upstream.

They worked hard. They took risks. And many of them paid a price that is heavy indeed.

Many of them lost dear friends -- sometimes with bitter, angry recriminations from people they had once been close to.

It seems ironic that these young Mormons were open-minded enough to be friends with people whose lives were so different from their own; but their friends, in the name of tolerance, could not remain friends with Mormons who merely stood up for their faith.

If the situation had been reversed, if Prop. 8 had failed, these LDS young people would not have rejected their friends who voted to repudiate the meaning of marriage. And if they had, would they not have been condemned as bigots, for being unable to tolerate someone else voting his conscience?

I have been more fortunate. All my gay friends who might have repudiated me for supporting Prop. 8 had already condemned me long ago for standing by a Christ-centered, prophet-led church. The gay friends who remained at the time of the vote already knew my views, and our relationship continues.

(Not that I lack for hate mail and death threats from the "tolerant," mind you. It just didn't come from my friends.)

I suspect that the young Saints from those California singles wards felt the cost -- socially and in their hearts -- more keenly than anyone.

But as one of them pointed out to me in a conversation soon after the vote, "Now we know what it was like for believers in the Book of Mormon." So many times, the division between the followers of Christ and their opponents and persecutors was not geographical or national or cultural -- it was their own friends and neighbors who turned on them.

Reading the end of the book of Helaman, we can hear the voices of those who attack the church (and all religions) today.

They accuse us of continuing a "wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing ... therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes."

They accuse the church of wanting to "keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them ... and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives" (Hel. 16:20-21).


Their story is that we Mormons somehow oppress them and force them; they claim to be our victims. And yet they are the ones who tried to force us to accept their radical change through judicial edict, rejecting a clear majority vote only a few years before.

All we did was tell the truth, and try to persuade other people to act on that truth by voting for the proposition. We forced no one. We deceived no one. It was democracy.

Out here in the East and South, many of our young men and women are serving missions in California. When a particularly vicious and bigoted ad showed Mormon missionaries bursting into the homes of gay couples, wresting the rings from their fingers and tearing up their marriage licenses, we feared that this might make people feel justified in acts of violence and hostility toward our missionaries.

If we had put out an ad showing gay activists forcing their views on unwilling citizens, it would have actually been true -- since that is exactly what happened to make Prop. 8 necessary in the first place.

But we were careful never to do or say anything that might seem to condone violence against individual gay people. They took no such care for our missionaries.

Here is where the Savior's admonition to Peter comes into play. We can see that they would not bear it if we treated them as they have treated us -- but we will not treat them that way.

This victory in California was by a shockingly slim margin. The forces arrayed against us depend on concealing actual scientific and historical evidence from the voters -- it is frightening how close they came to blinding a majority.

Our opponents will move on to other states -- Massachusetts and Connecticut, for instance. And they will make us their targets and whipping boys. By painting us as the group trying to "force" our beliefs on unwilling people -- falsely accusing us, in short, of doing exactly what they really are doing -- they hope to arouse hatred and rage toward Mormons and use that as a means of prevailing in the political contest.

We must be prepared to be the victims of lies. We may also see acts of violence and persecution by individuals and governments against Mormons, individually and as a church.

What we must not do, what we must not tolerate, is the slightest action by any member of the church to harm or persecute others. They declare themselves our enemies, but we refuse to recognize that declaration.

We know that we are in fact the friends of all; that a society that organizes itself to promote traditional marriage is the one most likely to promote the general happiness -- even of those who choose not to enter into such a marriage.

We are not fighting a war, we are liberating people by telling them the truth. Only when they know the truth can they be free.


Kevin Hamilton's Letter on Proposition 8 and the Mormon Church

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 percent of the population of California. There are approximately 800,000 LDS out of a total population of approximately 34 million.Mormon voters were less than 5 percent of the yes vote.

2. If one estimates that 250,000 LDS are registered voters (the rest being children), then LDS voters made up 4.6 percent of the yes vote and 2.4 percent 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 percent 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 herself. 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 principal 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 as 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.

Thanks,
Kevin Hamilton

In the face of hatred

Before I get started with my soapbox - I want you to know that this post is not by me, but by a person who witnessed the things that have been going on. - the pictures were enough to make me angry - sad - and want to fight back... But, that's not the point of this person's blob - which is why I am sending it on...

Subject: In the Face of Hatred

It has been an interesting week.

The Chinese homily, “May you live in interesting times,” has its roots in a curse, not a blessing.

As I said, it has been an interesting week.

The controversy in California regarding Proposition 8 (the proposed amendment to the California constitution defining marriage to be strictly between a man and a woman) built to a frenzy in the days leading up to Tuesday's election and then exploded into anger and violence in the aftermath of Prop 8's slim passage into law.

I am a Los Angeles Police Department detective supervisor running a sex crimes unit covering the western quarter of the city, which also includes the area where the Los Angeles temple is located. I have a fantastic crew of 20 detectives who are an amazing mixture of races and sexes. I have several detectives who are openly gay or lesbian. This orientation has nothing to do with their efficiency as investigators. I deeply respect and like these individuals. I enjoy working with them. My life is often in their hands when we serve high risk search or arrest warrants. I trust them implicitly.

Obviously, the types of crimes we investigate bring us into regular contact with victims who are of an alternative lifestyle orientation. It is incumbent upon us that our compassion for these victims be no less than for victims who are heterosexual.

Hard Choices

Working in such an environment, I found taking a position on Proposition 8 to be difficult. Even though I chose to follow the direction of our Church leaders in my voting decision, it was extremely hard for me to place myself on the line when it came to actively working to ensure the passage of Proposition 8.

Still, I watched in amazement as my fellow ward and stake members worked tirelessly, committing themselves full-heartedly to the cause – not out of homophobic hatred, but out of a love of Christ and a belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage. Their faith strengthened mine, and I committed to participate in a sign waving public rally sponsored by our stake to be held at a local intersection.

By following through on this commitment, I found I had a greater stake in the battle than I had ever thought. I learned a number of hard and harsh lessons. And in the events following the election and passage of Proposition 8, I felt great anguish forcing me to drop to my knees in prayer – eventually coming to a more personal understanding of the Love of Christ and what he expects from me.

During the Proposition 8 rally, as I stood with my wife and friends waving Yes On 8 signs and waving to the passing rush hour traffic, I learned several things. I learned supporters of both Yes On 8 and No On 8 liked to honk their horns. I learned the way to tell the difference is the No On 8 supporters usually accompanied their horn honking with an obscene gesture or a string of obscenities. They also liked to swerve their cars toward the children on the curb.

I learned when we didn't engage in argument with the No On 8 supporters who intermingled with us in the intersection, they became enraged, red faced, and fit to burst.

I have no doubt Yes On 8 supporters both from our church and other churches engaged at some point in the shouting matches during the numerous rallies and demonstrations across the state. However, on the evening of my participation, I was amazed by the cool and non-confrontational way the Yes On 8 supporters conducted themselves.

I learned at the rally several of our ward members had received hate mail after their names, religious affiliation, contribution mounts, and addresses were published on a website inciting No On 8 supporters to target the listed individuals. Their houses and cars had been vandalized, their campaign support signs stolen, and opposition signs planted in their place.
When I returned home after the rally, I had a huge headache and my stomach was in knots. I am not a fan of confrontation, and the noise of the horn honking, both pro and con, and the divisive atmosphere inherent in the volatile situation had taken its toll. Still, after praying with my wife, I felt calmer and was pleased we had chosen to participate. While our efforts were miniscule compared to the hours of service to the cause provided by others, we had at least jumped down from the fence and done something.

Then I saw the latest No On 8 television commercial.

Tolerance?

Supposedly produced by an independent group not affiliated with the official No On 8 campaign, the thirty second commercial spot shows two scruffy male white actors portraying Mormon missionaries who force their way into the well-kept home of a married lesbian couple.

“Hi, we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” one says.

“We're here to take away your rights,” says his companion.

The missionaries then rip the wedding rings from the women's fingers and ransack the house until they find the women's marriage license, which they destroy.

“Hey, we have rights,” one of the women says.

“Not if we can help it,” answers a missionary.

Moving outside the residence, one of the missionaries smugly says, “That was easy.”

Flexing his muscles, his companion asks, “What do we want to ban next?”
While I was appalled by the commercial, I was even more appalled both MSNBC and The Comedy Channel happily took money to broadcast this overtly hate filled vignette. I cannot imagine a similar commercial, targeted at any other religious or racial group, not being considered a hate crime with a civic outcry for prosecution.

My hackles were beginning to rise in a distinctly unchristian way. However, the fun was just beginning.

Election Day And Aftermath

Election day in California saw numerous No On 8 activists distributing literature and vocalizing at polling sites in clear violation of election laws. Police were called, 100 yard distances from the polling places were paced off, yet the agitation continued.

Despite these efforts, Proposition 8 obtained a slim majority (52.5% to 47.5%). Exit polls showed the proposition was supported by 7 of 10 Black voters, a majority of Latino voters, and by people with children under the age of 18 still at home. Clearly, it was supported by all people who believed marriage is a special and protected institution.

The day after the election, spontaneous protests sprung up in West Hollywood – a small residential community, with a large gay and lesbian population, located within Los Angeles County , but just outside Los Angeles city borders. The protests did not have a particular focus or target other than outrage as they strayed outside the confines of West Hollywood and into Beverly Hills , Hollywood , and West Los Angeles . Several arrests were made, but the seething anger at the passage of Proposition 8 was not dampened.

On Thursday, however, two days after the election, rumors began to be picked up by LAPD of a large protest organized by gay and lesbian activists and their supporters to be staged outside the Los Angeles LDS temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles.
LAPD has 22 geographic Areas divided between 4 administrative Bureaus . My investigative unit is attached to Operations-West Bureau – which has responsibility for the area where the Los Angeles temple grounds are located. We operate out of a squadroom across from the Bureau's administrative offices. In such proximity, I was in a position to observe the command post set up in the Bureau offices to monitor the actions of the field command post charged with keeping the already illegal (no permits) protest peaceful.

What I learned by watching and listening shouldn't have surprised
me, but it did. During my 30+ year tenure, the LAPD as an organization has made great professional strides in the internal battle against sexual harassment, sexual orientation harassment, and racism. While there are still those in civil liberty organizations who contest we are still guilty of racially profiling on the streets (difficult to imagine when our department is so thoroughly integrated at this point in time), organizationally there is little or no tension remaining in these areas.

In the Bureau command post there was a large screen television displaying scenes from the protest outside the Los Angeles temple. Imagine my surprise, when angry protestors began rushing the closed temple gates, and I heard an officer in the command post say, “I hope they burn that place to the ground.”
Imagine my even stronger surprise when another officer replied, “They better hope they don't get through the gates, because the Mormons have an army in a bunker under the temple that will come out and kill them all.”

Really? My temple recommend must not be of a high enough clearance to get me into that part of the temple.
I'm now doing a slow burn. Not only am I watching a sacred building under siege from 2,500 angry people shouting, “ SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND HATE,” and carrying signs proclaiming MORMON HATERS and LOVE NOT HATE, I'm listening to other police officers who agree with the protestors or have the most imaginative fantasies about blood atonement armies hidden under the temple (exactly how do we feed them, drill them, get them in and out without anybody seeing, or are they all in a state of suspended animation until needed?).

I want to emphasize these were not officers or detectives from my own unit – who are all aware of my Mormon faith. Those in my unit who disagree with me over this issue are respectfully tolerant, as I am respectfully tolerant of their opposite beliefs. Tolerance, as Orson Scott Card recently pointed out, is indicative of disagreement. It is not a battle we choose to fight amongst ourselves. Most of us have known each other for a long time and are either embracing of, or oblivious to, our differences – divisiveness has no place in the types of investigations we conduct.

The Mob

The worst, however, was yet to come. The temple presidency made a decision to close the temple for the evening. The right decision, but since when do we as Americans stand by – no matter what our religion – while access to a place of worship is forced to close down because of aggressive outside influences?

The late local news showed scenes of several Hispanic females in tears outside the temple trying to remove the signs desecrating the walls and fences surrounding the temple. As these individuals – who according to a temple spokesperson were not church members – removed the hate-filled signs, the mob exploded and began beating the individuals to the ground. Police intervened and arrests were made, but the fact this was allowed to happen at all was appalling.

Other supporters of Yes On 8 drove slowly by the protestors with Yes On 8 signs attached to their cars and pickups sparking other violent confrontations.
A friend of mine, watching the same scenes play out on the television, called and said he felt like he wanted to go down to the temple with a baseball bat and begin swinging at the demonstrators. I must admit, the natural man in me agreed.

In actuality, the scenes on the television, literally drove me to my knees in prayer for the safety of the temple, the members, and our church. A lesson I have learned several times before, caused me to expand my prayers to include those who were opposing us for they are not our enemies – they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Appropriate Response

In the face of hatred, how are we to feel about this focused attack upon our church? An attack launched not because we are the only supporters of Proposition 8, but because we have been the most visible and financially supportive entity in the battle. We are an easy target.

In a recent article on Christian Courage , Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “I would say that one of mortality's great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively – to put up our dukes . But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior's example. Remember, Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi's dream, those coming to the Savior also endured ‘mocking and pointing … fingers' (1 Nephi 8:27). ‘The world hath hated [my disciples],' Jesus said, ‘because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world' (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.
“To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do' (Luke 23:34).”

We have often been instructed to love our enemies, and despite the current horror of our trials, this is no time to do differently.
As I write this (Friday, November 7, 2008), plans are being made by the LAPD to respond to another larger protest/demonstration being planned by No On 8 supporters to be staged in front of the Los Angeles temple on Saturday.

This is interesting since Saturday is my stake's day in the temple. For some weeks now, we have been encouraging families to come together to the temple on Saturday to participate in ordinances.
How do we respond to hatred disguised by the adversary as tolerance? Our stake president has talked to the temple presidency who has assured him the temple will be open for business as usual. There are eight weddings scheduled on the grounds. Will we be able to get to the temple without being molested or our vehicles vandalized? We must place our faith in the Lord and proceed.Challenges to our faith are not new. Nor are they likely to go away anytime soon. But, as Elder Hales reminds us, “True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition. We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice – who are ‘kept from the truth because they know not where to find it' (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.”Lessons Learned

Clearly there are lessons to be learned from the current unrest:

Tolerance is not agreement and should not be a one way street. However, we must still remain tolerant of those who are intolerant of us.

Recognize the adversary at work here – making good seem bad and evil seem good.

We can only be disciples of Christ when we respond to adversity in a Christlike manner. To do less opens our actions to the influence of the adversary and hurts us even more.

We should never take for granted the opportunities we have to gather together in worship. We should never put off the opportunity to attend the temple. For these valuable things can be disrupted and possibly even closed to us – if not permanently, then at least on a temporary basis.

Pray. Often. Don't forget to include those who are set against you.

And finally, have no doubt President Monson knows where all of this is leading. He will surely reveal the knowledge to us on the Lord's timetable. Meanwhile, we must support and trust him, his inspired councilors, and our inspired local leaders in our actions. Their actions of Christian courage will be our examples.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

- NKOTB -

LOOK AT THAT HAIR!

Who'd of Thunk it? The New Kids on the Block are back???

That's RIGHT - Meet Danny (Danny Wood)
Meet Donny (Yes - Donny Wahlberg)
Meet Joey (Joe McIntyre)Meet Jon (Jonathan Knight)
Meet Jordan (Jordan Knight - Personal Favorite)
(Now, say it fast (DO IT!) - Danny, Donny, Joe, Jon, Jordan)

Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) were a huge sensation. They sold 70 million albums worldwide and paved the way for the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, 98 degrees, and many others. They won two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock band and Favorite Pop Rock album for (Darrell's personal favorite) Hangin' Tough. Their fan club consisted of over 500,000 members.

Now, the NKOTB were a personal favorite of mine. I really liked them quite a bit growing up. Oh, yes, I should say, I love all boy bands and most pop music. But, New Kids - well, they were the first TRUE boy band following the Jackson 5.

I will admit, when Tim called me and let me know that he could send me a link for tickets - I was a little apprehensive about the SERIOUS teasing I would get. But, I bought tickets for myself and the kids (K, A, and D all went too). It cost (THANKS TIM) 5.80 to go to this concert.

THE BEST TIME!
We had the best time! Lady Gaga opened up - not my style, but not too bad. Then Natasha Beddingfield - She's awesome. She sings Unwritten and Pocketful of Sunshine. The kids REALLY liked them
THEN - The NKOTB came out - and it was a
sea of screaming women. Darrell was so funny - he said "Why don't they be quiet!?!" And, well, I just couldn't explain.

The New Kids on the Block put on one of the best concerts that I have seen. (*disclaimer - Matchbox 20 WAS better...) Between fireworks, hot OLD dance moves (like the patented leg swoop that they do), and their solos - I would say that it was a great experience! The kids and I were in section 101 - 1 section away from the stage. They were able to see everything going on and be involved.

Aside from the 28-50 year old women who decided to dress in spandex and stirrup pants, and put on the side pony tails again - well, it was quite enjoyable. I never realized how many of us crazies there truly were until this very concert!

Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
So, This year I decided that i would dress my self up as... that's right - a Drow. That would be a "dark elf" for those of you that don't read any fantasy novels out there. Rick helped me to latex my ears on the night before, and then this morning he put on my first layer of black... it took a few layers of black, but I finally got it. And then... I went to work..

We had a few people that dressed up at work - which makes the costume contest all that more enjoyable. We had a Sayter, (you know - the goat creature), and two cowgirls, a cat, a vampire, a corpse bride, two quarterbacks (One of them was the quarterback of the "buck" n "ears"), and quite a few others. There was a pirate and a polygamist, and a homosexual, and a lesbian --- (It's a pretty open minded office - which is odd these days).
So, on we went - and there was a tie for the winner of the costume contest - it was me and callie. This is Glade - the owner of Obeo - Had to get a picture with him for the website. that was pretty fun. My friend, Callie, works at The castle of Chaos as a vampire. Her teeth are prosthetics that she made herself - And I think that's so neat! :D
This is our CEO - you can't tell, but underneath, he doesn't really look like that at all. It's quite amusing. Just some ears, teeth, glasses and Viola! There you have a whole different look.

Anyway, tonight is Trick-Or-Treating ... I can't wait to go... Actually, I can't wait to see what the kids are going to say when they see me. :D They have no idea what I look like right now... so, I anticipate lots of fun tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Morning Everyone -

So, I think that I should note that if I am going to blob, then it is not going to be as eventful as I would hope. Well, I guess I should clarify - at work, I don't have my photos with me. So, it makes it kind of hard to use the typical visual aids that I would normally offer up to you. BUT ALAS! That does not mean that I can't write! By golly - So, here are my ramblings on a Monday Morning - way too early to be rambling , but I am done with my Billing tickets so, I am going to go forth and ramble away... TAKE THAT!

My eldest sister, Aislinn, has always been fantastic at including me in things that her ward does. I know that I am not a member of her ward, but I feel very much a part of her ward. Last year, she invited me to sing in their Stake Choir - which I LOVED doing - and this year she invited me back.

Now, for those of you that don't know, I love to sing. I am not always the BEST at the singing thing - and I know that - BUT, I do love to sing and will sing frequently. So, being involved in something like this is JUST what I need. If our own Stake did something like this (AND had a director as cool as Leeann) then I would probably sing there... but Right now they don't, so I will give my talents to Aislinn's stake.

Now - we have gotten off track... (I do that a lot if you haven't noticed). Last night was the first rehearsal. We are singing my most favorite song, Oh Holy Night. With a nice HIGH B at the end of it. Now, I have been sick, and I currently cannot hit this note without sounding like a stuck cow - but I did sing fairly high most of the night. My throat is killing me this morning. Is it worth it? I think that it is - but at the same time, I really hate having a sore throat.

In addition to that, we have a couple ladies that haven't figured out that a good choir makes ONE sound. They sing Together - not above someone else. I actually found myself dropping out last night because I really felt that the other ladies were so overpowering, that I was not needed. And, I am already debating about taking up the Second Soprano this year, over a first - just because I think that a few extra lower voices may be necessary to save the sound.

Either way, I am very happy to participate in this yet again. I was Hoping that the Youngest would be involved in it this year, and maybe she still will be-

Also - this session caused me to finally get off my Tookus - and I went on a search last night for Missa Mormonis. AND, I found most of what I was looking for. It's not easy to find - but once I figured out who the composer was, I was able to locate it on a song by song basis. It also got me in the gear of practicing the piano for Christmas songs. I think that it would be fun to actually have a few that I could play decently before december ... :D

So, there are my ramblings for a monday morning - I am sorry that there are no pictures for you .... maybe tomorrow I will remember my flash drive. :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BAH - sometimes I just get so mad

I mean, seriously people - harming animals over an Election is just WRONG. Wrong wrong wrong -

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200810210015/NEWS01/810210324

I don't care how you feel about either Senator McCain or Senator Obama - I don't think that there should be ANY reason that animals get harmed because of someone's feelings one way or the other. The link is above, but I am listing the article below too -

CULLOWHEE – An Arden businessman is offering a reward today for information leading to an arrest in the case of a dead bear covered in Barack Obama campaign posters that was dumped at the entrance to Western Carolina University.

Linn Beachem, owner of Beachem Carpet & Tile Care, said his $500 reward is not about the potential political message behind the incident. Instead, he is motivated by the act of someone killing and then dumping a bear on campus.

“I don’t want to make it about politics,” he said this morning. “It is just a despicable act.”

Beachem is hoping the $500 reward will spur others to offer even more reward money that might lead to an arrest in the case.

A university spokesman this morning said campus police are following leads. The U.S. Secret Service has also been notified as a matter of routine protocol, said university spokesman Bill Studenc.

In another new detail this morning, investigators found writing on duct tape attached to the poster requesting that no one steal it, making it appear the sign had been stolen before it was placed on the bear, Studenc said.

Maintenance workers found the 75-pound bear cub at the roundabout near the Catamount statute about 7:45 a.m., said Tom Johnson, chief of university police.

“It looked like it had been shot in the head as best we can tell. A couple of Obama campaign signs had been stapled together and stuck over its head,” Johnson said.

University police called in N.C. Wildlife Resources officials to remove the body and help in the investigation.

Bear season is under way in Western North Carolina. It is illegal to kill bear cubs weighing less than 50 pounds, according to state hunting regulations.

“But this is certainly unacceptable,” Johnson said. “Someone evidently was wanting to draw attention to the election. If we find out who they are, we'll make sure they'll get some attention themselves.”

The university issued a statement calling what happened deplorable and troubling.

“We cannot speculate on the motives of the people involved nor who those people might be, said Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor. “Campus police are cooperating with authorities to investigate this matter.”

Johnson said he knew of no other complaints related to the election.

Monday, October 20, 2008

BAH - I'd just like to say -

That it's slightly irritating that I am at work. There are things that I want to blog - I have pictures for those things... and those pictures are at my house,..., RIGHT NOW. Good pictures too. I mean, there was pumpkin carving, and soccer, and stuff - and GOOD pictures... and they are at home, on my camera - just WAITING to be blobbed. But, do I have them here to blob? No! Could I blob about them anyway? Well, sure I could. I really could blob about them anyway - I could even post the pictures later. BUT, that would just stink because they would be at home until I finally got to the point where I could put them up online, and who KNOWS when that will be. BAH - I mean really... BAH. So, here's my rant for the day. If I were home, I would put up pictures with the rant - but I am not, so you will just have to deal with the text of the day. LOVE YA!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In TWO DAYS -

In Two Days - my Kennedy will be 10 years old finally... She seems older than 10 to me already. Over the last year she has changed and matured into a beautiful girl. She is reading better, solving puzzles on her own, trying new things without fear, and developing the self esteem that I hoped she would find.

I look back and it's hard for me to believe that she's gotten to big so fast. There are times when I wonder why it is that she doesn't climb up into my lap anymore, and then I realize that it's because she's gotten so big. But, there are things that we still can do together that she's just fine with - she lets me play with her hair, and we do lots in the kitchen together.
She's talented, she's bold, she's brave. She would give you anything she could just to see you smile. Though she can be bossy with her siblings, she is a people pleaser and doesn't like to see anyone down in the dumps. I am truly proud of the girl that she's turning out to be. I love to see her achieve her goals, and set new ones. She has the best imagination!
Anyway, this blog is for My Kennedy - though she may not ever read it, I just wanted to share. After all - they grow up SO fast.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October has finally arrived!

HAPPY OCTOBER EVERYONE!
Ok - so I know that it's only been a day since my last post - but, I figured that I would do my best to write something. I yanked some of the cruise photos off of my MySpace page since I haven't posted anything here yet - and hopefully you will be able to keep up with all the nonsense that I will write here.
Welcome to Cozumel - the City of Tulum! Probably one of the most fantastic sites that I have ever visited in my whole life. We didn't visit Tulum until the end of our cruise trip - but it was well worth the wait. I can definately say that I would love to go back here in the near future - preferably before 2012 - after all, the world is supposed to "End" then... RIGHT!?!
Here we are, yet again, in front of one of the temples in Tulum. Some random couple took this shot - but it turned out great!
Now - I took this shot - with the cave and the "house" and whatnot - The whole site was impressive and I could not choose a favorite shot sooner than I could choose a favorite star in the heavens. I liked the ocean, the sands, the shores, and the feeling that this entire site exuded. I can only say that Each person should, at least once in their life, go to a place such as this. Then - just stop - and examine the feelings that come along with it. I can almost guarantee that you will not be disappointed at the connection you feel.In Roatan (Above and Below). We took these pictures on my Birthday! That's right - Happy 31st! (This may be the only time that I publically admit that I am that old, so you may want to take a screen shot--- NOW) By the way, Roatan was THE BEST Birthday that I have had in 6 years. Just so you all know - I wouldn't mind getting another birthday present in the future that was similar to this one.

The picture here was taken at the top of one of the structures in Altun Ha - (Belize). It was Vastly different than anything in Tulum, but still an incredible and beautiful place to be. Altun Ha was interesting because many of the structures have not been excavated yet. So, there are mounds and mounds all over the place - I would LOVE to see what's underneath all of that dirt - but, apparently it's not time to unearth that area. Also, the Belizian government just doesn't have the money to do the excavation - so, it will sit like that for a while longer, I am certain.
Did we have a good time? We sure did! And I want to go back - SOON! Now -I have to get my self back to work. Hope that all is going well for everyone today - TTYS

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Boogity Boogity Boo

So, it's true - I acquired myself a job. And - quite frankly - I like the job that I have acquired. I work for this company called Obeo. Now - most people may know them better as "360house.com". They are the site that does virtual tours of properties all over the country. So, you want to buy a house, you start looking - you can't stand Real Estate Agents - so you decide that you are going to look online. Then you find this site that does panoramas of the home. It's nice, because you can at least see the place before you drive up and are investing physical time... Stay in the comfort of your home and browse potential homes this way! Actually, it's quite nice. I mean, they even have a program that (if the realator adds it) you can change the color of counters, and cabinets, and paint on the walls. You can see what it would look like if you were to change it around. Psychologically, it's impressive, because you invest yourself in the home when you start making changes to it. It really is a pretty neat place to work for.

Also, I am not dealing with regular people here. I deal with Realators who are listing or who want to list. And, I am also in the billing department - which keeps me off the phones for some time whilst I am handling accounting issues. If the job works out - I can forsee myself quite happy here.


I didn't post any cruise pictures here just yet - I know, I know... it's because I just haven't done it. I stink. Though - they are all up on my Myspace page. I just need to drag them on over here. If you haven't read my other blob though - I will note it here as well... (I don't know who travels where on the internet... sheesh)

ANNOUNCING
On December 13th in the Year of our Lord 2008 - I will be at the Salt Lake City Temple, getting sealed to my sweetheart. If you can make it, that would be great - if you can't, well, I totally understand and that's just fine too. The endowments will be at 1:00 and the sealing is scheduled for 3:00. I can say that I am totally excited - because, well, I am. So - there's your news, if you haven't read the other blob that I have.

And now - I have to get back to work - but I will write more later... Really- NO , really - I promise... I will I will I will!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Tagging Game

So, I get back from my cruise - take a few days to break - and then today I finally get to a point where I can start reading and catching up on the blobs that were left to me. But what to My wandering eyes should appear - but TAGGING! Ok... Ok - you all have gotten me... as it seems to me that you all have put at the end of your "Tagging" Blogs - "I tag whoever read this"... WHAT IS THAT!?! So, now I must catch up on this tagging nonsense -

For you, Ashley - and you, Christy - and you, Amanda ... here are the responses to the TAGGING that you have started.
Tag of 3's...thanks Ashley AND Christy
3 Joys - I enjoy watching my kids succeed at new things and discover new things. I enjoy my sleep - A LOT! I enjoy a good laugh with my friends and family.


3 Fears - Oh - these aren't hard in the least... SPIDERS (definately), Heights (Like the GRAND CANYON), And the stage - yes... I have "Stage fright" - in a bad way... (Now you see how I skirted that question... I rock... I could have gotten into some things that were WAY deeper than the surface fears that I just put on down here...)


3 Obsessions - I am obsessive about Music. I Obsess over threads when I do cross-stitches. I am obsessive about my "Lists"


3 surprising facts - About me? Or like christy did, where she put three facts about the father of our nation? I would guess that I would put them about me - too many tagged things here and I have got to catch up... So, here goes - I CAN name that tune in 2 notes or less (Most of the time) AND give you the appropriate lyrics to said tune. I (with practice) Can tell the colors of things with my hands (And blindfolded). I have had pieces of my Poetry published in the National Database of Poets.

Tagged Again - Thanks to Christy...
(X) Gone on a blind date
(X) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country
(X) Gone to Washington , DC (As with Christy, I've only been to the airport)
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Sang Karaoke
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't?
(X) Made prank phone calls
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors (I will NEVER tell about it though)
(X) Gone to the movies
1. Any nickname? RED
2. Mother's name? Sandy
3. Favorite Drink? Hot Chocolate
4. Tattoo??? No way
5. Body piercings?? Ears (Twice) and Belly Button (Three times) Though, the belly is healed up now.
6. How much do you love your job? I don't know... I start tomorrow and will have to update you.
7. Birthplace? Provo, Utah
8. Favorite vacation spot? Cozumel or Roatan
9. Ever been to Africa ? Hate to disappoint you here, but no...
10. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Absolutely! That's one of the basic dinner staples!
11. Ever been on TV? No But I used to WISH to be on TV... does that count?
12. Ever stole a traffic sign? No... I was pretty good
13. Ever been in a car accident? Yes
14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4 Doors for BOTH vehicles
15. Favorite salad dressing? Ranch - made by HIDDEN VALLEY
16. Favorite pie? Toss up here - I like Hershey Pie, and Pumpkin Pie, Cherry pie, and Pecan Pie - I will even go with a good Cheesecake type pie. I like Dessert... really... A LOT
17. Favorite holiday? HALLOWEEN
18. Favorite number? 17
19. Favorite movie? Too many to list here - Phantom of the Opera, or Ever After can be watched ANY Day though - oh, Moulin Rouge too... And any Horror film.
20. Favorite dessert? TOO MANY - I like it if it's sweet. I really like Banana's Foster, and Chocolate... and Pie... and cake - and cupcakes, cookies, ice cream... Mmmmm...
21. Favorite food? DESSERT or chineese
22. Favorite day of the week? Wednesdays - Half way to the weekend... and I have my kids on those days.
23. Favorite brand of body wash?? Anything that smells like Cucumber Melon
24. Favorite toothpaste? Crest
25. Favorite smell ? Vanilla, Dessert, A Rainstorm
26. What do you do to relax? Cross Stitch, Read, Sing, Play the Piano in my Quirky Way
27. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Fat and Happy
28. Who do you tag? If you are reading this (and haven't participated in the tagging already), I tag YOU!

Quirky Game- TAG I'm IT! The Rules: List the person who tagged you ( Thanks AMANDA!). Tell about 6 quirks of yours.

QUIRK #1 - I am super picky about my LISTS. In fact, I make the same cleaning list every day. Oh, sure - I've typed it up at least a dozen times, thinking that would stop the obsessive compulsive need to write the list the next day. But it doesn't help. I have to rewrite it every day. Even if I am not cleaning that day, the list must be written. Now, I will say that I did well when I was on the cruise - I didn't write the list at all... maybe it's because I was far enough away from my home that I didn't need to worry about it. BUT - I got home, and I started on the list again... interesting huh?!? No - it's just plain crazy. And I am... so, lets carry on please.

QUIRK #2 - When I decide to take on a project, like cleaning out my closet or organizing my craft closet - it could take all day. Now, a closet shouldn't take all day - but it does because things like pens, all need to be tested for working condition and then placed in their spots in the same way. They have to have the ink side pointing away from me!

QUIRK #3 - My Closet is color coordinated - I get very irritated if the shirts are out of order or the pants are placed somewhere other than where they belong. The shirt colors go; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Beige, Tan, Brown, White, Black. You should also know that with this organization level, my socks must be the same way. I used to do my undies like this too, but the drawer is too small to keep up with it, so now they are getting shoved around in there... but the socks still get organized. You should see when Rick hangs up my clothes - I spend another half hour going through and putting things where I feel that they need to go because he just DOES NOT see the way that I have things laid out.

QUIRK #4 - My DvD's follow the same pathway as my closet - They are all alphabetized... and I get very bent out of shape when they get out of order. Same with books and such - I have got to have an order to things around here!


QUIRK #5 - If there are carts (Buggy's) in the parking lot around my car, I will move them all carefully into the cart return place. It's a habit I picked up from my first marriage. I can't stand it when there are carts around my car. I think that it's just plum lazy of people to not put their cart away when they are done. What... they are willing to walk around the store the whole time, but too tired to push a shopping cart to the return spot? Now, this isn't something that I do all the time - I don't do it when I am with Rick, because he's usually in a hurry and doesn't want me to fiddle with it...but when I am alone, there's not going to be a cart within 50 feet of my car, unless I am parked that close to the return... LOL

QUIRK #6 - I HATE those ridiculous e-mails that are forwarded from people... the whole "if you don't forward this to ten people then bad luck will befall you" - um... it's a CHAIN LETTER. People send those all the time, and I delete them - and sometimes, I send back a nasty little e-mail telling them that I would prefer not getting their junk just because they are superstitious. I also check out everything on Snopes and places like that. I think that it's important to research the things that you are reading! Just because it comes from my mom does not make it factual - so, I am notorious for checking things out and either putting a stop to the nasty rumors or chain letters going around, or I at least educate the person that chose to send it to me. Beware of sending those things to me!

OK - now that we have gotten through all of that - feel free to respond in whatever manner you feel is necessary. LOVE TO ALL! I will put up cruise pictures later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Well, because everyone else is doing it - so must I...

SEE - I got my documents for the cruise too - So, to Christy and Aislinn - ya showoffs! LOL - I got mine too and , no, I didn't do the dance... but I am very VERY happy about it all. Does that count? VERY happy? It should count... I put everything together already - my confirmation for Fins and Flippers, and my Avis Rental for the Grand Caymans... I am so thrilled- it's all together. The only thing that is not together is my room with everyone else... but, thats' alright. I will make lots of noise on Deck 2, and perhaps they will move everyone away from me and rick... LOL
AHEM... moving forward...


Aislinn and I canned peaches. I know that I said something about this before - but Here are a few of the ones that got done. I gave a Jar to Jeremy, who is a HUGE peachy fan. I am a fan too. And they are so yummy - MMMMM Yummy. I think that I am becoming an expert Jar-er. And I like it! I wish that I had known how to do this a long time ago. I would have been jarring EVERYTHING that I could. Seriously. I buy so much stuff in bulk that I could have had a SERIOUS Food Storage going on around this joint! :D - Well, it's better late than never at all, right?


And, finally, the crowning moment of my week - I am TRULY a soccer mom now. Well, soccer stepmom from this picture. Number 7 is Aspen at her first game with the Silver Sharks. (Shark attack!) Anyway... they didn't win the game, but it was great fun to be a part of the whole ordeal of the first soccer game. I was TOTALLY Thrilled... TOTALLY. GO SHARKS!