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Celebrate and Respect the Veterans of America

08posterVeteran’s Day holds so much meaning for me. Having a family member serve is an honor, like no other. To see my father serve and protect, I truly know the hell he’s gone through to provide for not just his family … but his country.

John McCain said it best — Country first.

Most Americans forget the blood, sweat, and tears shed to protect their rights to bad mouth other Americans, to bad mouth the wars and policies, to bad mouth different races.

Today I ask you to put that all aside, if you’re one of those Americans. Put aside your anger for whatever has gone wrong in your idea of a perfect America.

America isn’t perfect … but the soldier’s willing to die to protect it DESERVE your respect. Today call someone you know, who’s served, to thank them.

And Dad…thank you for always putting your country and family first. I appreciate your hard work and life threatening duties you served in. Semper Fi!

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Monday’s Joy

Today has been so good. I found a jack pot at my local grocer’s of wheat free items, that I can cook my husband.

People take eating for granted. They don’t understand what a luxury it is just to have a slice of pizza and some beverages to accompany that!

My poor husband has been allergic – deathly allergic – to wheat for 8 years. He’ll swell up and die when ingesting just a little wheat. Do you all realize how many items have wheat in them?

Tomato soup and many other canned soups
Licorice
vitamins and prescription pills (it’s used a filler/packer)
of course the obvious – pastas and breads

I could go on and on, but won’t bore you with it. Just know that almost every item at the grocery store will list ‘wheat flour’. IHOP even uses wheat flour to enhance the flavor of their omeletes. It’s a sad day when you can’t order an omelete at IHOP, without fearing for ones life.

Well tonight I made my hubby SPAGHETTI! For the first time in 8 years, we’ve had spaghetti as a family. GLUTANO is my new favorite friend! They have spaghetti noodles made with maize flour and starch.

How nice was it to feel like a real wife, and cook for my family? — vs. cooking for my son and I and hoping to find something my husband can eat.

Yeah Glutano…thank you!

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Drinking Haze

When I was 16-18, I lived in Japan, where the legal age to drink was 18. Of course so was driving, so we could do two for the age of one. However, girls, as long they were American, could drink pretty much at any age. I remember a lot of 13 year olds having access to liquor. As long as they looked old enough, they could gain access.

Binge drinking in today’s society is worse than it’s ever been. I’m not saying I’m a saint, because I’ve had my day where I sowed my seeds. I think that’s why this subject is one close to my heart….b/c I had a serious under aged drinking problem, and point blank— the underage drinking on and off campuses is very much out of control today.

Tara, at If Mom says It’s Okay, posts on this very issue today at her blog. She raises some very good points, and I’d like to have your input. The Amethyst Initiative is trying to get the legal age of 21 lowered to 18 in efforts to curb underage drinking. I guess some may say this is a great idea, or a great effort to help solve a very dangerous problem….but won’t it just open the door for more under age drinking? Won’t it crack the door and widen the gap to those who are 14+ that can pass for 18?

Now I know most will say…’You have to have an ID to get liquor’….but come on people. You know girls and guys alike can get alcohol without ID in many many places. So is lowering the age limit a good idea?

Or should we put more educational programs out there?
…..enforce more laws?….
and crack down a little harder on schools, who don’t monitor this problem and punish their students….but instead offer to lower the age to 18?

I’d like to see what we can do to stop the problem or curb it at least without letting the door open to more underage legal drinking. That means more underage driving on the roads for those 16+ drivers…That means more friends influencing their peers to drink…because it’s ‘legal’ for them at 18 now….that means in essence more alcohol related deaths.

Haven’t we had enough of that already?

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Palin’s Perfect Delivery

I try to stay away from politics here as it’s so overused and underwhelming in blog land. I get bored by the arguments for this side or this issue. However I must say that Palin delivered a very cadid and amazing speech last night.

The issues were oil, prosperity, taxes, and less reliance on the government. A smaller government and a larger people! The Democrats say the Republicans didn’t mention the middle class or health care. BUT if they’d listened they would have heard the message of prosperity to the small business owners and workers…are those not the middle class? They would have heard a message to parents with the hope of taking care of their families in every manner…insurance, health, and financial. Even though the words insurance or health care weren’t tossed around like potato’s…the message was clear.

Palin’s efforts to use the words ‘community’ and ‘coordinator’ cracked me up, as we all know, Democrats and Republicans alike, that her experience and record is more impressive than Obama’s on her own. She’s got more experience than Biden and Obama put together, and her track record for ‘actually’ cutting taxes and working ‘for the people’ is an amazing one. And this is just the VP nominee…

You all know I’m a military brat and hold vets, who’ve served, in high regard. So when I look at the candidates for President I can’t help but sway toward McCain. Not just because of his leadership skills, decisions in tough times, and heart for his country…but because of his resolve. I’m sorry…but any man who was a P.O.W. for five years and brutally tortured earns my respect as a leader for our nation.

He was beaten daily. Had both arms broken, which is why he can’t lift them well today. He was taunted with the option to go home, if he only broke…caved in….and gave his captors what they wanted.

They’d give him his freedom for mere words against his country and countrymen. McCain SAID NO!

I don’t know how many men would be that strong. And when I think of Obama in the same scenario fighting for his life to protect his country…I don’t think we’d be his first priority. I think he would be his own first priority.

I think Obama is an impressive man, raising from no where to be where he’s at but the simple truth is that HE HAS NO EXPERIENCE TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. And he flip flops so much I wonder if our country would be well served in his hands.

I did not mean to leave this on my blog, and I’m sure most will love to argue with me. So I apologize in advance for going where I never do…politics. I just think that Palin’s speech was extremely inspiring and exciting. I feel this team is the one that will bring change.

There were many good lines from last night one of them going a little like this:
‘There are those that will use change to strengthen their careers…then there are those that will use their career to strengthen change!’

Party ties aside….because I’m not straight party. If there were a Democrat in office I could be proud of…I would. I’m wanting to know your view on this saying above, and which of the two do you think falls into either category?

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Sadness for Today

I came home today, after dropping my son off at school, to a saturated carpet. My 14 year old puppy lost control of his abilities. I’ve been putting off taking him to put him down, knowing that he’s getting more feeble. He’s still like my puppy in so many ways. He still gets excited and can play with toys in joy. He still wants to love and show affection.

So I’ve been telling myself he was fine. He lasted 14 days at the vet, while being boarded when we were on vacation last month. The vet said he didn’t think he was going to make it at first because he’s stressed himself out so much, with us leaving him there, that his bowels were loose and uncontrollable. However, he gave Hershey meds to help him, and my sweet doggie turned a corner for the better, and continued to do well.

But ever since we brought him home, he’s just not been the same. He doesn’t sleep through the night, because he can’t hold it anymore. And then today I came home, and it was just strung through my entire house.

I only left him for 20 minutes, but it was long enough apparently. Every walking path had a string of zig zag pea which tells me that he just couldn’t hold it in. He wasn’t stopping to pea in a corner because he had to go….he was walking around the house in distress as he couldn’t hold it.

Everything in me tells me it’s time to put him down. His hind legs now shake barely able to hold him up. He’s blind in both eyes, due to massive cataracts. And now he’s incontinent. I’m sad for my puppy, as he’s lived a long loyal life.

In the last 14 years with Hershey, he always knew what I was feeling. He was that in tune with me. When I was sad, he always knew and would lay his head in my lap. When I was stressed, he would break out in hives and stress out for me. When I was uncomfortable with anyone my room-mates would bring over, he’d growl or bark at them, which in effect gave them enough motivation to leave and not come back. He was potty trained after one try when I brought him home, at 10 weeks. I have been a very blessed to have such an extra-ordinary dog. This pure bred puppy changed my life.

I was the first human to actually have contact with him. His breeders let Hershey’s parents have interaction with him, but never held him so that he would bond with the first person to own him….me. I was his momma. For people that don’t have pets…they don’t understand the bond between animal and human. They don’t understand the love for one another. He was my baby, until I had my own. Then Hershey patiently and graciously stepped aside to be the step child, as my son was born into my life. He held no resentment, only love for my new baby.

I’ve not given Hershey as much as he needed in the last 5 years, as my son was my primary focus. But I know Hershey has not been neglected. He’s had a loving family, food, and shelter. He’s been taken care of very well. He just didn’t have the emotional ties to me, like he had before my son was around.

BUT I can give him something now…a chance to let go. I don’t want to see him suffer. Whew…so there’s more than a little sadness in my world today, but I know he’ll be going home to see his creator. And in heaven he’ll get to run and jump again with no pain in his hips.
I took this right before loading him up to go to be in doggy heaven. Goodbye friend…I love you.

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A few reasons why…

Marriage is a tough road. Most couples focus so much on the wedding, that they forget to prepare for life with their spouse. They don’t think to remember that there will be horrifically tough times when you see your partner in a light, you never expected. In 8 short years of marriage, and 10 years total with my husband…we’ve seen each other through a lot.

The life of our child.

The flat line of my husband’s heart, and the miracle that he lived through a horrible experience.

The death of loved ones.

Financial strain.

Financial surplus (still waiting to have that one back).

Proud moments, when the other shines in the spotlight.

Sad moments, when the other almost breaks in defeat.

Tough times, when the other fights through something.

Life throws us all curve balls, and I just don’t know how couples make it without Christ as their center. I know some do…so I know it happens. BUT do they have the peace that only Christ can give?

I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell my adoring husband how much I love him today. And here’s a few silly reasons why…

*Because he leaves me a dry towel hanging in the bathroom every morning for my shower.

*Because he lets me do whatever home improvement project my heart desires, trusting my instincts.

*Because his chest puffs up when he tells people about my book.

*Because he spends so much quality time with our son, who in turn adores his daddy.

*Because he tells me I’m sexy even when I feel I look my worst.

*Because he trys to make me laugh when I’m mad. Try’s being the operative word! Sometimes he succeeds 🙂

*Because he remembers the smallest details and surprises me down the road with little things.

*Because he teaches my son about the most amazing things…from sports to life in general.

*Because he’s himself and that never changes, no matter who he’s talking too…even if resonates a little too loud…I still love him.

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Fridays Bless Me Every Week

Today is the day I post my blessings, and how I look forward to this. Some weeks are harder than others, since it’s a choice to have the peace of God’s love and thankfulness in His blessings, and some weeks just blow me away.

Those that read me know I’ve just come back from a huge blessing in my vacation. I hadn’t been home in 12 long years to Oahu, and hadn’t visited Maui since I was 5. The fact that my son is now five and I took him and my husband to my home was HUGE for me. The obvious blessing was being in a tropical low key, laid back, beautiful environment. Who couldn’t see the blessing in that and thank God for His creation? The not so obvious blessing and the main one for me was to experience it all again as a 5 year old through my son, which really took me home ten-fold. The fact that my auntis, uncles, and cousins got to meet my family is a huge blessing.

Today as I look toward this past week my heart is somewhat heavy as I know I’ve not treated my husband as well as I should have this week. The phrase, submit to your husband keeps going through my mind. This is often a inflammatory biblical instruction for a lot of female liberals. What does it mean…submit? To me, it’s not letting a man walk all over me, as some people like to twist it. To me, it’s having compassion for the man God has chosen for me…letting go of some of my own control and giving my husband his way more than I choose my own.

I’ve been very controlling this week and I don’t feel good about it. What is the blessing in this? That I have a wonderful husband!! He puts up with me and loves me…frustrated or not. I know I need to make it up to him and I’m blessed that he sticks around so I can.

I’ve had no job this whole month…I’m unemployed! HA! How cool is it that this is NOT stressing me out. <—-(blessings right there) This whole month is the only month, before my son starts Kindergarten that I’ll have had all this time with him. I had no one calling me for work…well not for most of the month….so my time was truly “MY” time with my family with no interruptions. I’ve never experienced that freedom before, so this has been a huge blessing.

Now that it’s back to reality and the bills need two incomes…what am I going to do?? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to supplement our household income since I quit my sales career. I have my photography business that I started last October, but that’s not going to take off overnight.

This week my son’s school hired me as a substitute teacher. I turned my new hire packet in this week. I was told that it my be pretty infrequent for the first couple of months, but after that get ready for it to get crazy. I’m not sure how it’s going to pay, but I know God will provide. I’ve also run across a couple of jobs to pay the bills for the next couple of months until teaching kicks in. I’m not sure if they’d be something I’d be interested in, but it’s what they provide that counts. This is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to have something ‘professional’ working that went along with my degree. I finally realize….MY JOB DOESN’T DEFINE ME! I do…being a Christian mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grand-daughter, and friend defines me. This has been a blessing to get this.

Today would have been my Grandfather’s 100th birthday. If you’ve not read about him, you should…because he was and is still, to me, an amazing human being. He died in my arms, and I saw him see the Lord first hand. Seeing his pupils dialate, his breathe quicken, and his head pop up after being in a coma scared me at first. Hearing the monitors scream at me that his heart rate was bottoming out freaked me out. BUT seeing the look on his face when he saw angels come for him…there’s no way I could doubt that he saw the face of Jesus. And even though terrifying for me at the age of 19 or 20, I know this is a blessing now. For one because they say, those that have come back from the dead, that they see their surroundings when they leave their bodies…so this means my papa knew I was with him too.

You see I got there too late to see him before he went into his coma. He went into his comatose state asking for Kimmy and wanted me. I was selfishly on Spring Break in Texas…but took the first flight out as soon as I heard he went into the hospital. I was just too late in saying my goodbye. I have the peace and blessing of today, his 100th birthday, of that lovely man and his love for me. He was my role model growing up, in what to look for in a man. He was truly one of a kind. Please honor his memory today and go read this post about him and my wonderful grandmother, as she too, was truly one amazing lady. For those that don’t know, he was a photographer and the reason the love of photography is in my blood and heart. I hope he’d be proud that I’m trying to make a living at it.

Lastly the fact that we all came home from a long strenuous trip unharmed and well is a huge blessing. Other than my husband’s small fall, which we think he cracked something…we’re all fared well. My son is an amazing traveler! And no one got sick. Praise God for that!

Thank you for tuning in to my little corner of the web world. Next week is the last week of this contest. You can view the video at the post below to see who’s almost winning. If it stays this close in the running, I may have to extend this by another week to get a clear defined winner. I pray you’ll consider counting your blessings…it truly IS life changing. Just ask Terri…you can read why it’s changed her outlook, here.

I think I’ll leave you with a pic I took of my husband and son, on Maui. Have a great weekend all!