Monday, December 31, 2012

Significance of 2012

"In times like these, it's important to remember, there have always been times like these."  Paul Harvey

Helaman 5:2
2 For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.

The 2012 election was significant to me because it was the first time I felt that the majority of Americans chose evil over good.  And they were happy about it.  Whether they were fooled by Obama's deception and a media intent on seeing him as president, or just thought he deserved another chance despite his dismal record, or actually understand the transformation he desires and think it'll be good, who knows?  

Don't get me wrong.  I have great hope for the future because in times of trouble great miracles happen, and we are certainly in times of trouble.  But unfortunately I feel like we just hopped on the fast track heading downhill, and it's clear daily how fast we're descending.   You might have said four years ago that Obama was elected on lots of feel-good HOPE, little being known about him, but this time, after four years of evidence that he has a dangerous agenda for the country, the majority of people still voted for him believing in some utopia while mocking the traditional values of morality, religion, hard work, and freedom.

I met someone here where I live named Dana (pronounced Donna) from Romania, who grew up under socialism and it's horrors, and she is terrified.  We took a class on the constitution together and after the election she said, quote (from facebook), "I don't want to live in a socialist country... not gives me goose bumps only thinking about it... Do people ever learn something from history? Right now, I feel like I want to live somewhere else... My only hope is in the Lord."  She has shown me the pictures of her youth in bread lines, riots, and the dead bodies lined up on the ground.  If only kids in school were taught true history.

America is and has been the hope and light of the world.   But people are not taught about that history in our schools.  America=bad!  Nor are they taught what happens when the government becomes so powerful that it's tentacles reach into every aspect of your life, taking more and more taxes to pay for entitlement programs, forcing you into government run healthcare, telling you what you can and can't eat, and taking your freedom to own a gun to protect yourself, a most basic right.  Governments never give back power, they covet it more and more because they think they know what's best, and slowly our ability to choose slips away, and I fear one day soon we will no longer able to 'vote them out'.  Taking away guns isn't about saving children, it's about control.  Obamacare isn't about healthcare, it's about control.  They are not giving up their guns and they specifically wrote themselves out of the healthcare bill that they claim will be so wonderful for us. 

The president has the media is on his side.  The educational system on his side indoctrinating kids and skewing the true facts of history.  And for some reason, people are taught to care more about free abortions, same sex marriage, amnesty, and free birth control, than the safety and economic well being of our nation.  No nation can be free and safe in out of control debt.  The more debt, the more unstable a nation we become.  The perfect storm for other countries to harm us, or for our own government to fail and then declare an emergency and seize control.  Just until the crisis is over!

A large portion of people now look to the government for their needs to be met, and believe it's okay to take from their neighbors.  They've come to believe that their lot in life will never be fair no matter how hard they try, so they deserve it.  Redistributing of wealth.  Obama's favorite.

Jesus said, "And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also."  So be it.  However, it's only so long until you run out of other people's stuff.  That's why socialism doesn't work.  Already, half the population pays no taxes and yet has the power to vote to raise the taxes the other half pays to provide benefits for themselves.

Helaman 3:34
34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.

I do not want my kids to grow up in a land where you feel 'what's the use in succeeding?'.  I mean the government's just going to take it all anyway, and social security won't be around for us, and government handouts are so easy, we'd be dumb not to take them! 

We were on welfare growing up, and it was awful, and we tried to get off of it as soon as we could (when my mom finished school and got a teaching job).  Now the people I know on food stamps have significantly more money than we do per month for groceries.   No wonder it's become a way of life for so many.  I do not mind the people who deserve their social security, or those who truly are disabled or needy, but too many take advantage.  Yet daily the government is trying to get as many signed up as possible, including illegal aliens, because these people will never vote them out of office if it means they won't get their checks.  The government taking money from one person to give to another is stealing.  They think they are being "charitable" with other people's money or making things equal and "fair", but it is a far cry from true charity where we freely give of our own free will and choice.

Pat and I grew up fast because we had to.  I remember trying to get a job when I was 14 sorting fruit in the factory with all the immigrant workers, only to find out after they had hired me, that I was too young.  The manager was really upset too since he'd done all the paper work and only after that did he ask my age.  I had no idea I had to be 16 to work!  I went with an older friend and I just wanted to better my situation and I was willing to work for it.  But I did get my first job at 15 1/2 and I have worked ever since then until I left the work force to be a mom.  

I feel like America doesn't want to grow up and be responsible like that anymore.  I worked my way up from fast food bathrooms in downtown Sacramento, to doing accounting at a foster care agency, insurance and admitting at Sutter Memorial hospital, and visiting attorneys as an account rep.  I used to go clubbing and do stupid stuff until I realized how empty and dumb it all was.  If you're never forced to grow up, maybe you never realize that.   So many parents aren't good parents and so kids don't learn.  It doesn't compute in my brain to expect your neighbor to take care of you when you are an able bodied person. 

Mostly I feel sad because America missed out on a great man.  I have been politically active since I was a teenager and I have not seen a candidate as wholesome, good, and hard working as Mitt Romney, since Reagan.   I wasn't sure about him at first, but he continually impressed me.  I truly believe he would have been an inspiring leader.  Perhaps a George Washington.  Will God raise up another? 

Our family had prayed "that we can have a good president" for weeks, and the day of the election we all took turns praying that morning.  Finally at 7:00pm, I said one last prayer and headed to start watching results though I was extremely tired.  No results were in yet, and I felt a peace, as if God was saying, you are pregnant, you are tired.  Go to sleep.  I will handle it, and all will be well.  And so I did.  I didn't feel a good feeling, just peace, and I thankfully woke up once it was all over in the morning.  I trust God and I know that he is watching over us.  He will be there when we need him.  I will continue to do my best in life, and am so thankful for strong youth in the rising generation of these last days that I get to work with.  They give me great hope.

Now all I can do is continue to pray for my country and my president.  After all he is my brother, and I can have hope that he'll do the right thing.  I believe the prophecies about this land, and that God is very near.  I am encouraged by the good people I know exist, and that I choose to associate with, and have innumerable reasons to be optimistic.  Good day!

[T]he [federal] government . . . can never be in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, and oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any other despotic or oppressive form so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.- George Washington

Finishing out 2012

It's been so long!  As I made you all aware in my last post, I was just getting sick and it was two days before Christmas, and that's where we left off.  I did get the flu, and haven't been that sick in years, which is really saying something.  Most of our Christmas plans got scrapped.  Sorry friends and neighbors!  Thanks to those who kindly stopped by our place, though, like the Ohran's, Kraus's and our secret Elves.  It was really and truly appreciated!!!

As for sick people, we're pretty sure Sam's eardrum burst, as he was leaking fluid out of his ear for days, and luckily, thanks to the antibiotics is doing fine now.  But that kid is amazing.  He never made a peep, just laid there for days, and he had two extremely bad ear infections, we found out later.  I felt awful for not taking him in sooner!  Our whole Christmas break seemed to be laying around (everyone was at some stage of illness), or visiting doctors.  Fun.

As an aside, score one for Pat and flu shots.  This year he's the only one who got one, and he's the only one who didn't get sick.  I don't believe in flu shots because one year he and all the kids got one, and not only did the kids get sick from the shot (mild, but annoying), but he and the kids all got the flu that year and I didn't.   Now we're even.  I am not so opposed to the flu shot anymore. (Update: Nevermind, I just read this: The vaccine, he pointed out, contains formaldehyde and thimerosal – an organic compound containing mercury, which impairs the neurological and immune systems – along with detergents, antibiotics and allergens that cause infertility.

D's birthday gift from Grandmama and Papi.  It's like a little lego guy with lights on his feet that you can point where you like and obviously, wear on your head.  He loves it.
I tried to make Pat cancel Christmas, but he thought not.  So he made the entire dinner (which no one really cared about, but he wanted to do it), not including desserts.  We didn't do a single dessert- which is fine.  He wrapped the gifts, and I tried to help, but he gave me one simple job involving tape, and I cried.  It took so much effort just to try to peel off a tiny piece of tape.  My body ached down to my toes, I could barely breathe, and was coughing so hard my ribs felt like they would crack.  Then in the morning, I was awake long enough to see them open presents, but couldn't enjoy them with the kids or enjoy the day.  Just tossed and turned in a feverish un-sleep.  But I knew enough to know that they were happy, and that was happy.

And, all that said, it actually turned out to be a really nice Christmas.  The kids got busy gifts as I like to call them: science kits, books, games, recorders to learn how to play, etc.  And they really were busy for days working on puzzles and learning how to use their stuff.  Of course, having Pat there, he was able to do everything with them, and I was so grateful for that!!!! 

Grandma sent us a box with popcorn in it!!!
The kids didn't seem to miss not getting Lego's, swords, video games, or other big ticket items.  I mean, maybe they missed it, but... no complaints.  I have terrific kids.  Sam and Dallas did a great job of buying something for everyone with their own money, and were really sweethearts.  I now own a beautiful necklace that says Mother on it, shaped like a heart.  They even remembered Bella.  They got her a ball on a rope, and Bella, being the bright energetic dog that she is, went back to sleep.  I have since seen Sam prying open her mouth to put the rope in, hoping she'll get the idea.

Evan wearing the new winter clothes from Aunt Steph.  Those are gorilla slippers!
I am thankful for family far away that sent gifts and remembered the kids.  It really makes a huge difference to have help caring for the kids, and to know that we aren't forgotten.

My first time out into society after being sick, was church and then the youth New Years dance the next day.  It was exhausting.  We had to go in the morning to decorate for 3 hours, and then at night.   At almost 1am, I just finally had to leave.  I should have stayed at least another hour to clean up, but with all me and the baby had been through being sick, I was done, and worried about the long, snowy drive home.  

I am now down to a little more than 6 weeks until I deliver.  And guess what I just found out today?!  I have gestational diabetes!  I think this is going to involve poking myself often.  Yea!  I can't get enough of that. At my last ultrasound they said the baby's abdomen was bigger than normal, an indication of gestational diabetes, so I went right away for the multi-hour/multi-poke test.  It's only been frustrating waiting a week for them to call with results.  We'll see what they say about diet.  Also the baby is breech, and still has time to turn, but time's kinda running out.  Am I going to end up having a c-section?  Only time will tell.  Please turn baby boy!

We quit 4-H, and I cannot tell you the degree of guilt I feel about disappointing so many people, but I also feel like it's the right thing to do for us currently.   They decided to do dues this year, and even though it's only $10 a kid, and a bit for Pat, we just really can't afford it.  We have too many good things that keep us a bit too busy and need to cut back.  But then again I look at friends of mine and their families and they seem to be able to do more, and I feel like a loser.  Oh well.  Everyone's different.

I don't actually have this book, so I can't recommend it for sure.  I just listen to him on the radio.
I have been listening to this guy Dave Ramsey on the radio, and he's all about getting out of debt- living like no one else (eating rice and beans if you must) so you can live like no one else (being free of debt).  Pat has a 12 year plan, but I think I'd rather suffer more, and be free sooner.  I think?  I wish I could go back in time and not get as many school loans for his master's degree, and make a wiser home purchase.  But what can you do now?   I cannot believe how much this Ramsey guy has opened up my mind, and I just wish someone had taught me this stuff before!!  Plus he's a Christian and brings that side of it into the discussion- our stewardship over all that God has given us.  There's no going back in time for us, but you'd better believe my kids will at least be taught, and have the option of knowing the alternatives to living life like everyone else.  

I had this friend, when I worked at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento, who was from Romania- an older man, working as a janitor/engineer who loved me like a daughter and I him like a father.  He would always visit with me in his broken English.  He amazed me at how well he did, and how kind he was.  Pat and I even visited him in his home after we were married.  When his son got married, my friend bought him a house!!  Cash.  Then his son could save up all his life to give the same gift to his children.  That's how he taught his children to live.  Maybe extreme, but no paying interest to other people your whole life?  No being a slave to the government or banks or bill collectors.  Same with cars, he just saved up and payed cash.  I think it comes from growing up under socialism- he was free now and didn't want anything to take away from that.  It's like when you sin, you feel like you are more free, but really you are bound by the consequences of your decisions.  Same with money.  Maybe it sucks to live within your means, but at least you are free.  Truly free.  Nobody else owns you or can manipulate you.  And to those who are good stewards of the money God has given you, will be given and trusted with more.  Bishop Shepherd said that if he could give a million dollars to every person in the ward, after a while, the same people who are in trouble with money now, would be in trouble again, and vice-versa. 

So I hope to do better this year.  But even with Pat's raise, we will take home less because of taxes going up.  Do you know how depressed I was when Pat told me that?  It's bad enough that a dollar buys less and less...   

Anyway, there's a lot of stuff up in the air- a lot of things in life that are changing for us, a lot of who knows?   And Evan just got glasses!  Turns out he really can't see that well, poor guy.  I guess he can switch to contacts when he's older, and then have surgery when he's ready and probably be fine.  For now he's getting used to it, and feeling embarrassed and sad.

He refuses to take a picture with his glasses, poor guy.
We got rid of Netflicks so we can read books rather than watch TV.  The kids feverishly finished The Avengers before we got rid of Netflicks- it was funny.  By the way, they did, in fact, finish a years worth of math already, and so now we're starting our second year!!!  Yea boys!!!

This is Sam with his freaky slippers and a book he got.  We got a lot of books!
By the way, D, S, and E have turned into super cleaners and are doing a wonderful job of keeping a lot of the house clean for us, and just being very responsible and trustworthy.  Also Leia is hanging in there with the potty training!  We still can't get a number 2 actually in the toilet, but hopefully soon.  She has decided she REALLY loves me, and constantly comes up to me, lays her head on me and says, "MOM!  I love you", with a lot of feeling.  Although it sounds like, "I of oooo."  She was in the bathroom the other day, and I sat in there with her for over an hour and a half trying to get her to go.  I didn't want to give up, because as soon as we leave, she makes a mess, so I refused to let us be done.  But there's only so much sitting on the tub a mom can take.  Only so many books to read.  By the end I was dramatically laying on the wall, fake crying, pleading, "Just go potty!!", and she laughed at it all, and interjected, "Mom, I of ooo!", here and there as sweet as honey.  She is such a funny girl.

Lei-lei got pretty princess stuff.  What else?  This girl is so funny- I wish you could have heard her freaking out over her gifts.  Aunt Steph got her a new dress and she nearly fell over dead with rapture.  She breathes all funny and squeaks!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Traditions

I told Evan to smile, but he wanted to look reverent and act holy, like an angel.
As is our family tradition, we're having a bit of a sick Christmas again this year.  It happens every year, and it's so frustrating.  It started with Dallas (bronchitis, fever, etc) , and then the three younger ones got it at the same time (add in throwing up), and Pat and I thought we'd escape, until I came down with it yesterday, and he's just starting.  Someone has been very sick for 13 days now, and we have missed out on church, getting gifts sent in time, and doing things for friends and neighbors. And yes, I have been reminded again that I really need to take care of Christmas and make all my plans in October!  I honestly tried...   It's such a happy time of year, and we are house bound again!  Evan even had to miss his last two days of school before break and all the fun party stuff.  Sam is the saddest though, with burning eyes, and dark circles, ear aches, fever, coughing, and throwing up.  He hasn't hardly moved in 4 days.  Yet he suffers in complete silence.  And then there's Leia who cries from the moment she wakes up, and wants to be held, which is really hard at this stage in my pregnancy.

The bright spot in all this is the cards people send, and that someone has decided to do the 12 days of Christmas on us, and it has been nearly the exact same days as our sick days.  After spending each day nursing sick people and cleaning up throw up, it's nice to hear that doorbell ring and know that someone cares about us!  Bless them!  We've been taking pictures of everything they brought us and I'll have to post those soon because it's so fun!  And believe me, getting to our house each night, even for someone who lives in our town, is no easy task.  We have a long open driveway and front yard which makes doorbell ditching nearly impossible, and very slippery snowy roads that are extremely easy to get stuck on.  I was coming home from getting groceries and had to keep backing up and making several runs at it before I could get up our road.
Driving from our house to where our new paved road starts!!!

About the only thing I've accomplished is getting most of our Christmas cards out, and some gifts for the kids ordered online.  The last thing I did before we all got sick, was to take a tour of the hospital where I will be delivering soon.  We're still trying to get our Christmas decorations up and Pat tells me Christmas is in two days!!!!  Ahhhhh.....freakout! 

There's a happy angel!  These are the costumes the primary kids wore for the Christmas play we did back at the beginning of December.
Some sadness:  A dear lady at church, who I loved and taught me very much, Lisa, has just passed away, killed in a car accident.  She was so kind and giving of her time to everyone, always volunteering to watch my kids and teaching me how to be healthier, and not charging me for her time.  She was a saint.  I couldn't go to her funeral because of how sick we've been, and I still cannot quite believe it's true.  It's been such a shock to me.  I really am having a hard time accepting it.  Also some bickering broke out recently because of some misunderstanding which is sad to me- hopefully it's resolved.  Another friend is so stressed out with all the issues she's been dealing with that she's losing her hair.  She is really dealing with a lot.

I'm thankful, that the real reason we celebrate Christmas, it to remember that God loved us so much, that he send his Son, the most priceless, unimaginable gift, without which we would have no reason to hope, and no chance for happiness.

Every time I pray, I mean really pray, I feel him there, and I know he lives.  I know he knows what we're going through, and wants to help us.  I guess he waits for us to show that we want him in our lives, and to show that we love him.  He always loves us.