Sunday, December 20, 2009

What will you give?

As we approach Christmas quickly, let us not forget to GIVE...




Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Grateful reflections

This post started forming itself in the weeks coming up to thanksgiving... Then I never posted it and continued to reflect on things I am grateful for, but mostly on what's changed since last year...

Thanksgiving 2008 was great. Life was awesome! We were so greatly blessed! Temporally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I felt blessed to be where I was, to have finally achieved the Balance I had been striving for for quite a while. And then, it all changed... Well not all, but the Temporal part was now nonexistent... But throughout it all we were blessed nonetheless. So many times along the way! (You can read about it here.)

It has been a rough year for me, but it has also been a great year.

I've shed lots of tears, felt sorry for myself, and I've missed "home"... But more importantly what I've been reminded of more than anything is that I am greatly blessed and greatly loved.

God has blessed me to see how blessed I am this year with a Husband who has carried me and lifted me up more times than I can count, who has made incredible efforts to make sure I was okay, who has gone out of his way to help more even after a long and tenuous day at work. I wasn't the best wife this year... He made up the difference without complaints.

I was blessed with boys. Loud, active and loving! Challenging; Yes. Would I change it: NEVER. I tire of the Jedi battles and the 1000's of times I have to explain that the couch is NOT a landing pad; but at the end of the day, when I check on my boys before going to bed and see their peaceful and sweet faces, I forget it all. I Love my boys! All 4 of them!

I was blessed to see the Hand of God in our lives. Everyday. As long as I pay attention.

So much has changed in the last year, but still, so much remains the same.

Life matters.

God, family and country are still the things I hold dear.

The secret to happiness is to be grateful even when things aren't perfect.
I've learned to appreciate today; realized I can't change yesterday and to try my best tomorrow.

So much has changed, yet so much remains the same...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So much to say, so much to do,...

So little time!

Well I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post! Okay; I do believe it!
Let me rephrase: I can't believe time is flying by so quick!

I have had a million and one post ideas, most of which I can't remember at the moment.

The routine in the Beckman household is finally coming back to a somewhat normality (is that a word?)!!!

I really cannot complain! Elijah is a champion sleeper! He will usually sleep a 7-8 hour stretch, eat and then do another 3-4 hours! I am SO blessed with this easy mellow baby! He slept trough the night last night too! First time! And only 2 months old! It might be normal for some of you, but for me,(4th time mom) this IS a first.


There has been a LOT going on!

My Dad is engaged! Changes my summer plans to a quick fall trip instead... But it also mean we will all be going!

We had a great thanksgiving! Some friends from the ward came over and had dinner with us. And the greatest of ALL: Joseph took Wednesday off! So we had him home for a full 5 days! I can't even count how many Nerf battles went on... And the war isn't over!

I have 2 new callings (Callings are volunteer church responsibilities). I am now the new Relief Society Chorister and I am also on the Relief Society Activity Board (The Relief society is our Church's organization for Women for more information go here). I am thrilled! I have never served in the Relief Society before and I am really enjoying it!

We had a Birthday last weekend with our Zack turning 6. He had a Grand time with his friends here. I made a zillions mini-cupcakes that definitely turned out great! Can't believe the boy is already 6... Time sure is flying!!!




I am so jealous of Matthew and Joseph who are catching a plane to Salt Lake city tonight and staying for the weekend... I wish I could go to!

Well I could probably go on, but I better make good use of 2 kids napping at the same time to get something done around the house...

I promise I won't be gone a month... I have a post I really want to do soon... I've been thinking about it for weeks...

Tourlou!
(that's French for c ya later y'all)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Everybody likes a nice new and FREE handbag!

My friend Nat has a new job...

She is blogging for Recessionista.

Never heard of it?

Check it out!

And don't forget to enter their giveaway!!!

Oh you lucky Idahoans and Utahns...
You can have live parties...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Elijah's Newborn Pictures



These were taken at 5 days...

Thanks to Laura for the great pictures!

Posted by Picasa

Tidbits in a flash...

I had forgotten how having a new baby is so time consuming...
After feeding, diapering and holding that sweet little boy;
there is very little time left for cleaning, cooking, blogging
and stuff as trivial as plucking my eyebrows...

*****

The other day it literally took me 2 hours to vacuum my living room.

*****

I decided to go back to buying "regular carrots"
instead of baby carrots.

As I took one out of the fridge
and started peeling it
for Mattthew and Zackary's lunches,
Mathew turned around and asked:
"What's THAT?"

me: "A carrot"

Matt: " What kind of carrot is this?"

me: "A regular, plain old carrot!"

Matt: "Ooh! So that's what a regular carrot looks like!"

It is a sad world when you discover your almost 8 year old
never really realized baby carrots aren't "real"...

*****

Zack has been working on his letters, letter sounds
and sight words quite hard.

Sometimes I get frustrated
(mostly at myself)
for not being better last year
and making sure he really knew all this stuff...
Mommy guilt is hard to let go...

*****

I never understood Dr. Seuss books...
You know they are kind of weird...
Turns out, they are great for kids like Zack!
Full of all the sight words he needs to learn
and the concepts like rhyming too!

Guess what he is reading before bed every night...

*****

Ever wonder why sometimes similar events do not recreate similar results?

I can honestly say that I look better now
than I did after any of the previous 3 births...

Weird!

I thought this only was supposed to happen after a first baby...
(I looked terrible after my first!)

*****

Sugar has become my drug...

I don't drink caffeine,
(Almost never...
Long drives sometime have me reaching for a "Satan Soda"...)

I find myself looking for something sweet 5 times a day...

Yep! I am in need of a "pick me up" right now...

*****

It's been a crazy rainy day today...
That's when I wish we had automatic garage doors...

*****

Samuel has been the most helpful big brother!
He has to be the one bringing me diapers and wipes...

He has also starting diagnosing Elijah's crying...

"Mommy Eli is hungry that why him is crying"...

*****

Joseph bought some plane tickets this weekend.

He will be taking Matthew back to Utah
the first weekend of December
so Matthew can be at his best friend Kaden's baptism...

That is what he wants for his birthday...

*****

Joseph spent last Friday night and Saturday at a Camporee
with the deacons (12-13 yr old boys) of our ward.

He volunteered to help out because one of the leaders couldn't go.

He ended up being IT...

And he had a BLAST
and a very nice looking sunburn!

*****

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Introducing...

Elijah Marc Beckman




Born September 25th,
weighing 8lbs 12 oz,
measuring 21 1/4 inches


Yes; it's a fourth boy for us and we are fine with that!

More pictures to come soon...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Love potion Number 9

Nine years!

Can you believe it?

It seems like time flies and I don't notice it...
(Except when it comes to having a baby... These last 10 days have dragged on like nothing else...)

The road from eight to nine was an unexpectedly rocky one.
At least for me.
The last year has brought challenges and trials,
small and big,
important and not so life changing...

Somehow,
we made it through without being scathed.
Somehow,
you found a way to put up with me,
love me,
care for me,
help me through...

I know my struggles over the last year impacted us,
but I also know that we found a way to work through them.

I know that it brought us closer,
made us stronger.

I just LOVE you!

Yes baby!
It's love potion number 9!!!

Happy Anniversary!






Saturday, September 12, 2009

What to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon

Especially in a house full of boys:

NERF WAR!!!




Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 11, 2009

Preggy news


That's me!
37 weeks and 4 days
with the ready to go for the hospital bag in the background...

Me to the doctor this morning:
" So how accurate is the weight estimate you gave me last week?"
(At my appointment last week,
I had an ultrasound that estimated the baby around 7 1/2 pounds...
That was 36 weeks and 4 days.)


The Doc:
"Pretty accurate.
Why?
Are you getting a little nervous?
(flipping through my chart and checking the weight estimate)
Yeah this baby already 8 pounds...
How do you feel about induction?

Me:
" Well obviously I would rather go on my own,
but give me another week and I will change my mind..."

The doc:
"The good news is that this is your 4th baby so it shouldn't be a problem..."

I am still a little concerned...
I have been walking two miles a day for the last week
in the hopes of getting things moving,
but obviously this baby has a mind of its own!

The good news is that I lost another 2 pounds (don't ask me how!),
that I am dilated to about a 2cm and 80% effaced.

So hopefully once things get moving it won't be long...

Wish me luck!

We remember... A message of hope.

Because we will never forget.

And most of all, because there is always hope in Christ.

Monday, August 31, 2009

First day of school

It's already been a week, and I should have posted these last week, but it's been so busy!

Here is a pictures of my two school boys! (with Sam on the side...)



Matthew is now in 2nd grade and Zackary started Kindergarten!

I had a little pang in the heart when Zackary walked in the school happy as can be, blew me a kiss and waved goodbye... My little boy is all grown up!

Sunday night, the day before the first day of school, we had our back to school feast with Italian Fondue and our traditional back to school cake. (It's usually cupcakes, but it seems I forgot to buy a new cupcake tin when I got rid of the very old one...)

(I am NOT a great cake decorator...)



More updates to come on the rest of our lives soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stonewalled in parenting...

I do not know about you, but sometimes I get stonewalled in my parenting.
My children will have a new "phase" and I just don't know what I should do about it or how I am suppose to handle it...

Over the last couple of weeks, Matthew has been testing my patience...

Make it terrible two's tantrums in a 7 1/2 year old that talks back and tells you all about your meanness toward him...

At first, I was really taken aback (thinking it was a one time thing) and really shaken.

It was a Monday night and Joseph was working late.
I had to make him come home because nothing I did was making it stop...

But then it happened again a few days later...
And on different scales of seriousness a few times since...

Time out isn't working out great.
He'll sit in his room, but the quiet part is lost on him...
Taking away video game privileges makes him realize he's really in trouble,
but he then tries to barter for it back by threatening he'll only behave if we give them back...
That hasn't worked but he still tries...

And then it just makes me wonder;
what happened to make a sweet child become so angry and ungrateful all at once?
What did I do or not do? Why is this happening?

He wrote me a few "angry letters" telling me to stay out of his stuff and that the big rule was to NEVER EVER GROUND HIM...

He speaks without even thinking saying things that aren't exactly nice, talks back,...

And I am at a loss.

Even the conversations with his dad seem to work for only a day or two...

But then in the midst of it all there will be the "moment de repit" this "hiatus" of sorts, where he is his own sweet self again...

I know I love him and he loves me;
I am just not sure I can take much more of the little temper flares...

I didn't think tantrums were coming back...

I hit a stonewall.

Just need to figure out how to get over it...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The best article so far about the health care debate!

Camille Paglia nailed it!

Even if I disagree with her on some points, at least she is honest and understands things as they stand.

There is something so very refreshing about intellectual honesty!

Read her article here.

An explanation on the nazi thing...

I am not trying to compare the current administration to the 3rd Reich.

More specifically, I would say that the administration is simply leaning toward fascism.

Why do I say that?

Here is the definition of Fascism:

Fascism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fascism portal
Politics portal
v • d • e

Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, comprises a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology[1][2][3][4] and a corporatist economic ideology. [5]

Fascists believe that nations and/or races are in perpetual conflict whereby only the strong can survive by being healthy, vital, and by asserting themselves in conflict against the weak.[6] Fascists advocate the creation of a single-party state.[7] Fascist governments forbid and suppress criticism and opposition to the government and the fascist movement.[8] Fascism opposes class conflict, blames capitalist liberal democracies for its creation and communists for exploiting the concept.[9] Fascism is much defined by what it opposes, what scholars call the fascist negations - its opposition to individualism,[10] rationalism, liberalism, conservatism and communism. [11] In the economic sphere, many fascist leaders have claimed to support a "Third Way" in economic policy, which they believed superior to both the rampant individualism of unrestrained capitalism and the severe control of state communism.[12][13] This was to be achieved by establishing significant government control over business and labour (Mussolini called his nation's system "the corporate state").[14][15] No common and concise definition exists for fascism and historians and political scientists disagree on what should be in any concise definition.[16]


President Obama said in his inaugural speech that "we are going to remake America". Notice he didn't say rebuild...

Now I guess I am a part of these crazies who believe this nation was founded by divine providence with the help of divinely inspired men. Therefore, "remaking" America troubles me. Rebuilding or restoring America to it's founding principles would be different.

Since he took the Oath of office in January, president Obama has continued the takeover of Banks, GM, Chrysler (which I believe was sold to Fiat) and then he also named "czars"...

Czars do not appear anywhere in the constitution, they do not need to be confirmed by congress. They only report to the president... These are not part of the usual presidential "cabinet" or advisers...

Then there is the Press. The press is supposed to be the 4th branch of government. But unfortunately, very few have even questioned the president on any of his policies and or assumptions. They are acting as a propaganda machine by selling the president's agenda instead of reporting fairly on the issues.

Finally, there is this setup of acquiring information on those who disagree... The request of emailing the white house was the first thing that really bothered me. Then there was the announcement by the Technology Czar of a shift of policy concerning electronic cookies...

So you see I don't believe President Obama is Hitler or even a dictator. I only believe that he is laying the foundations that are taking us toward Fascism.

You also have to remember that not all Fascists were crazy... Mussolini was loved by his people...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

About the Health care debate...

My friend Jean-Michel commented on my last post. He referred me to 3 different links to show me what kind of information he is getting. He made sure to point out that the author leans to the left and that he enjoys the other perspective given on my Blog...

Unless you read french, you won't be able to understand the articles, but the videos are in English.

Here are the links:

"Santé, démocratie et «voyoucratie»"

"Petit manuel du parfait teabagger"

"La vidéo du jour"

What I found most interesting in all three blog posts is that the perspective is clearly one sided.

No where was there ever a mention of registered democrats attending these town hall meetings and expressing their concerns about the reform.

I would like to offer this link to counter balance the argument.

Here is the video attached to the article I just linked:




As a clarification to my friend, I would like to point out that this is not a Republican blog. I take pride in the title of being an independent conservative. And if you are wondering; there is a difference!

I do not claim to understand the bill perfectly. In fact, there isn't actually a final bill yet.

Here is what I do know:

The grassroots movement IS real. Although the Republican party would like to believe it has some pull, it really doesn't anymore. There are some groups that are organizing. They are concerned citizens groups. They started organizing when the bailout fiasco started. President Obama himself is proud of his Community organising background... Is it only the groups that agree with his policies that should be allowed to assemble and be heard? And if you think that people are losing it at those meetings, you have to understand the level of frustration currently existing among the American people. Most of them have called and/or written to their representatives on many occasions over the last year; begging them not to pass the bailout number 1, bailout number 2, cap and trade,... And even after overwhelming opposition, the representatives voted for those measures anyways...


The health care system is not perfect. There is problems, and rising costs are an issue. But government is NOT the solution.

The power grabbing happening in Washington over last few years is simply unconstitutional.

Politicians would have us believe we are to stupid to know what is good for us. That without them telling us what we should and should not do, eat, think,... we wouldn't have a clue.

The fall of Adam and Eve provided the knowledge of good and evil, and the ability to judge for ourselves. God believes in the individual as we are the only ones who can make choices for ourselves...

I believe that some of the problem come from government taking over parts of the system. When charity is left to the individual, the American people has proven over and over again that they are generous and that they will help their neighbors in need. Individualism is the base of the American system. The founding fathers believed that nothing was to trump the individual. The moral individual. Most Americans still have strong values. Most still believe in the existence of a God. By giving the people their freedom back we could solve all kinds of societal problems...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This sounds like Gestapo controlled Germany...

Here is a video of President Obama dating from 2003:



Here is the response from the White House when the video emerged on Drudge Report:



Now if you go to the official website you can read the following:

" There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov."

Does that sound good to you?

It definitely has a feel of "gestapoishness" to me...

Why is this administration so afraid of debate?

Why do I feel like this absolutely threatens my 1st amendment right?

Why are they trying to ridicule anyone who brings up a valid question?


I know socialized medicine...
Remember; I'm from Canada!
Ask me about my grandma's latest adventure in the hospital...
Let's just say that an American hospital would get sued big time if they treated anyone the way she was treated...


What do you think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The road home...

We left Utah Wednesday morning at 6:30 am.

We stopped to sleep somewhere after Amarillo, TX around 12:30 am...

We got up at 5:30 am

and finally made it home at 2:00 pm!

The only casualty: my ankles and feet...



It took 2 days for the swelling to go away completely...

Vacation - Back to Utah for one more day...

We left Coeur d'Alene monday morning
and were back at the Gearheart's that night.

The trip back to Utah went well even if it seemed to take forever!

Donelle was sweet and even drove my car for a bit!
The boys enjoyed riding in Uncle Jerry's car
and
watching none other than StarWars...
(Have I mentioned they are all Jedi obsessed lately?)

Our last day in Utah was spent relaxing in the pool,
preparing things for the trip back
and
having a great lunch in the Uintah National park!

Jerry and Donelle took us there for the perfect summer lunch of:
Roasted hot-dogs and smores!

It was so much fun and might I add
SO DELICIOUS!!!



The boys got in the dirt and enjoyed following Brittany around!

We went to bed ready to make our way back home...

Thank you to Jerry, Donelle and Brittany!
The boys had a blast and so did I!


Vacation review - northern Idaho

We arrived at Joseph's grandma's on Thursday the 23rd.
We made great time getting there
and had time to enjoy dinner and a few hours of chatting (for me!)
and running outside (for the boys) before bed.

We went to the Coeur d'Alene Lake on Friday with Jerry, Donelle and Brittany.
We had fun even if the water was a refreshing 73 degrees.
Sometime Friday night or very early Saturday morning,
my in-laws made it to town...
I tried staying up with Grandma,
but around 11 I just wasn't going to make it.
Grandma sent me to bed...
And the 86 year old woman waited until they got there by herself...

We had loads of fun visiting together!

It was nice to visit and chat with my mother and father-in-law,
my sister-in-law,
meeting Evyn for the first time,
my brother-in-law and his new wife!

The cousins had a brilliant time!
It was like they had never been apart...

Kari (Joseph's cousin) got married Saturday evening and it was a happy moment!
(but boy was it hot in there!)



Sunday, we went to church and enjoyed a wonderful dinner of Moose Roast...
It was quite delicious!

Overall, the weather was PERFECT!
(especially for an always hot, pregnant woman like me!)

I must say that my favorite thing about Grandma's house
is the swing on the porch.
It is just the perfect place to chat and catch up.
I {LOVE} Joseph's grandma!
She is a no-nonsense person who will do anything for you.
She and Leo worked so hard to accommodate all of us!
And they really are cute together!

We left Monday morning to go back to Jerry's and Donelle's...

Big thanks to Grandma and Leo!
We had a great time!
The kids enjoyed it,
even if Sam wouldn't ever say goodnight...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anyone want to enter a sweet giveaway?


Thanks to petit elephant
and the Body Shop,
you can enter to win $70 worth of
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil creams, scrubs and butter!!!




You have until Friday the 7th so don't waste time!

Click here to view the giveaway post


Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday in Utah: our beloved 2nd ward!

We were so happy to attend our Sunday meetings in the 2nd ward.

It was just like coming home.

It was nice to see everyone!

All the smiles and the hugs, the how do you do!

The many questions as to whether we were back or just visiting.

The kids were glad to be back with their old friends and so was I.

I was fortunate enough to be there the Sunday right after camp and hear a few Young Women talk about their experience.

After Church,
we were expected at the Swanson's for dinner.
Joni and Bishop also invited the Reeds.
It was like old times (minus Joseph...)!





"Talking the Blues without Brother Joseph" exact quote...



It was really nice to catch up with them all.
And later on with just Joni and Rich.

It provided something I had not anticipated getting:

{ closure }

But not in an ending manner...

For the first time ever, when returning to a previous ward,
I didn't feel like it wasn't where I belonged anymore.

It felt like coming home...

But at the same time,

{ the tender mercies
of the lord }

(1 Nephi 1:20)

an understanding that it was okay,
that this is where I am at this point and time,
that this is where I need to be at this time,
that the story has not ended.

Somehow,
this is an Hiatus...

My heart and my soul need not be torn anymore.


Understanding,

Acceptance,

Peace...




Vacation Review - Utah time minus sunday...

We had a grand time visiting friends and family!

Our first full day in Utah was spent visiting with Ness and the kids!
We used to be neighbors and it's been different not being next door to each other!
We had a great time catching up and the kids acted like they had never been apart!

Monday morning, Emily was sweet enough to let us come over and hang out!
I don't know why I didn't get any pictures...
Zack was so happy to see Isaac!
The kids had a really good time and it was nice to chat with Emily!
She has got to be one of the sweetest women on the face of the earth!

She also came with us to school Lunch where we met Nancy and Ness.

We spent Monday night with the Walls!
They were so gracious as to have us over for dinner.
The Walls were our fisrt neighbors when we moved to Utah
and were just down the street when we moved to a bigger place.
Kaylie was almost always the first designated babysitter...
The Twins are in Argentina serving their mission until next february.
We {LOVE} the Walls.
They became even more dear to us when Kelly unexpectedly passed away last October.
Joseph became their home teacher.
They are just one of those family that will remain dear in our hearts forever!
We experienced Wii Fit for the first time!
It was a lot of fun!

Tuesday,
we went to playgroup to catch up with our old friends from the ward!
I forgot to take the camera out...

Later,
we met the Apolonio's at a Splash pad in south Ogden.
We had such a great time catching up and the kids were having such a nice time that I forgot all about taking pictures...

We then had dinner at the Schriever's Tuesday night.
I had the chance to see her beautiful little Lincoln up close!
Unfortunately, the camera somehow stayed in the car...

Bradi then took me with her to Mutual as Ben graciously offered to keep the kids.
It was a fun time with the young women.
I got a masterfully done pedicure by Ivonne!
Catching up was a lot of fun!
I miss those girls!
(So sad I missed you too Jennie!)

Wednesday morning, we said goodbye to Nancy, Luke, Phillip and Olivier.
They were so sweet as to let us stay with them for 5 days.

(We were having so much fun, this is the only picture we took the entire time we were together...)

It was nice to spend time with them and catch up!
Nancy and I spent Saturday together and most mornings!
Thank you guys!

Then we headed over to the Oquirrh Mountain temple open house.
We had a great time and the kids loved being able to see the inside of the Temple.
Once again, sorry no pics...

We then went to the Gearhearts (Joseph's Uncle),
in Highland,
and prepared to take the trip up to Northern Idaho the next day...

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

15 days,

4884.3 miles,

8 States (some crossed twice),

Lots of time in the car,

But lots more fun time visiting family and friends!

The only casualty: 2 swollen ankles! (that already look a lot better today!)

I will post all about our trip in the next week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We will be gone...

We are leaving tomorrow morning for a two week trip to visit friends and family in Utah and Idaho. Since I'm not one of those great bloggers who prepare posts in advance, you'll have to wait till we get back for all the super duper details!

Have fun! (I know we will! Even though it'd be more fun if Joseph was coming too...)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Belly glimpses...

I had another doctor's appointment Tuesday morning.

To my delight I lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks!
I guess being scared out of my pants by a glucose test has its perks...

I had another ultrasound (routine for my doctor) to check on the baby's size, fluid around the baby and position of the placenta. The baby now weighs about 3 pounds, and the rest is all good and in the right amounts and places.

I took a look at my little one, saw a little face, 2 little fists, and 2 little feet! In between the feet, was what could be (or not) girl parts...

I will not bet anything on it, since a saw this for less than a second...

After all I have a 50% chance of being right!

And if I am not, it will only mean one more Jedi/superhero/monkey in the house : )!

We'll find out for sure in September!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Heavenly Freedoms



I am grateful for the Freedom of religion, of opinion.

Mostly, I am grateful for the Freedom of choice.
For the ability I have to make my life better.

I am grateful for the freedom of having children, of raising them the way I see fit.

What Freedoms are you grateful for?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless the USA!


A happy Independence Day! {and a few thoughts...}

"THESE are the times that try men's souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,
in this crisis,
shrink from the service of their country;
but he that stands by it now,
deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny,
like hell,
is not easily conquered;
yet we have this consolation with us,
that the harder the conflict,
the more glorious the triumph.

What we obtain too cheap,
we esteem too lightly:
it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as
FREEDOM
should not be highly rated."

[Thomas Paine, The Crisis, December 23rd 1776]

As these words have been filling my brain for the last week
(thanks to Brother Miller's talk in Church last Sunday!),
I have reflected upon them,
pounded them over,
milled them through...

How appropriate for our times are these words.

In a moment where we found ourselves hanging,
fighting against tyrannical ideas
in a government that was established to provide
the highest level of FREEDOM
ever known to man.

It is a strange thing for me,
to be so attached to this nation.

Born and raised in Quebec, Canada,
with strong proud Quebec roots.
Maybe it is the Quebecoise in me
that makes it so vibrant a need to fight,
to save and salvage
what was God given and inspired...

Marrying into this nation,
but most of all bearing children into it,
has sealed my bond...

And as we celebrate today,
for all that those brave men and women did,
my heart will be filled with gratitude,
reverence,
awe,...
and resolve.

These ARE the times that try men's soul,
once again.

We can no longer afford to be silent,
complacent in our Freedom.

Just as the signers of the Declaration of Independence
mutually pledged
their lives,
fortunes
and
sacred honor;
So it is time for US to do so.



Did you know?

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War.

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, and nine were farmers and large plantation owners. They were well educated, smart enough to know that by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrants. They did it anyway, and God bless them for it! [Courtesy of the Glenn Beck Email Newsletter July 3rd 2009]


HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Woohoo!

If you haven't read the previous post, you might not get this, but I just talked to the nurse at my doctor's office and my test came back NORMAL!

I'm in the clear!

Wouf, I can breathe a tiny bit better now!

Blog absence...

Yep, we've been busy and it's been crazy!


I had a doctor appointment last week and took my glucose screening test. It was "a little high" (whatever that is suppose to mean...) so I had the honor of going back to the doctor's office Monday morning and doing a 4 hour test.

First, they drew my blood to test my fasting blood sugar level (yep I couldn't eat for 12 hours before hand), then I had to drink the orange sugary glucose solution without throwing up (because if you do, you have to come back another day), and the waiting game began.

I had blood drawn 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours later. Finally I could go home and eat! I was starved!

I am still awaiting the results and a {little} bit stressed about it...

I was in better shape going into this pregnancy than my previous two... But then I also have to admit that the work out schedule fell off to the wayside with the move, the morning sickness and the tiredness... But have no fear! This little test has scared me right off my couch and onto the exercise bike, ball and Yoga mat!

My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few years ago.
I told myself I was going to make sure that didn't happen to me.

You have my word, ladies and gentlemen, after this baby is born, this Mama will be back into her skinny pants and stay there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So much on the plate...

Have you noticed how much there is on the plate of National and International news lately?

Just to name a few; there is Iran, North Korea, the health care debate, the economy, the Sanford scandal,...

I mean there is just so much it is hard to know where to concentrate.

One thing that is trying to make its way unnoticed is the Cap and trade bill.

The house is scheduled to vote on it tomorrow.

Why aren't we hearing more about it?

I am not an environmentalist best friend. I do not believe that Global warming is a settled science. Now do not get me wrong, I do believe in being a good steward of God's creations, but I also believe that God gave us intelligence to improve our lot on this earth. Going back to the dark ages in order to "save" the planet is not what I agree with.

I believe climate is what it is: a variation of temperatures. As sure as the temperature change from day to day, there are also seasons or patterns in the weather. There is NO fixed temperature and there is NO WAY we can predict what the temperature will be in 5, 10, 20 years from now. Have you noticed how often the daily weather predictions are accurate?

Cap and trade as I understand it is a tax. Pure and simple. It's a tax that is veiled into a "feel good" "we are saving the planet" blanket.

The cost to each of us will be staggering. And since government predictions are also so often accurate when it comes to cost, it will be a LOT more than is expected.

You can read more about it here, here, here and here.

Please tell congress we do not need,
nor want,
nor can afford
Cap and Trade!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bonne St-Jean! Happy St. Jean Baptiste day!

Bonne St-Jean a tous!
Un petit clip de "mes Aieux" et un souper de poutine pour celebrer!

Today is Quebec's "day".
I thought I would give you all a taste of french Canadian music with this video...

And you can all be jealous of my dinner tonight because there is POUTINE on the menu!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pajama time!

Tonight as usual, we sent the kids to get their pajamas on.

This is how Zackary came back out:

 
Posted by Picasa


To my refrained laugh and Joseph's look he replied:

" What? They match!"

The last few minutes before bed were therefore spent palying "Army" and avoiding bad guys, bombs and grenades while trying to save the innocent bystanders...

What is there to add?

Boys will be boys and Zack will be Zack!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 19, 2009

A little reminder...

The arrogance continues...

I cannot believe this video!






There was no disrespect in the way Brigadier General Walsh addressed the Senator.
In fact, as any military personnel, he addressed her with utmost respect!
Why would you stop and DEMAND to be called senator?
I understand you are,
but why does it matter whether you are called ma'am or Senator?

An open letter to our Nation's Leadership by Janet Contreras

Because sometimes, someone else just says it all and there is just nothing you can add to it...

THANK YOU
Mrs Contreras
for expressing so many of my own fears
and frustrations!

The Letter:

I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Our turn...

You can go here to forward it.

Go here to add your name to this letter as a petition to our leaders in Washington.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bedside conversation...

Last night,
as we were laying in bed after having said our prayer,
and as I was trying to stay as still as I could
so the ceiling fan could attempt to cool me;
Joseph and I had the following conversation:


Joseph: " I hope you don't take it badly if
I don't cuddle with you too much
until you have the baby..."

Me (totally sarcastic): "What? Do you mean I am too hot?"

Joseph: " Yeah! I mean it's not a slow constant heat either!
I get close to you and 5 minutes later
it's like HOLY COW I'm being roasted!"

Me: " Haha! Imagine being ME!"


I must say this little bun in my oven
is definitely making me sweat : )

Friday, June 12, 2009

Girly hopes...

We received a package from my in-laws today.

It contained Samuel's birthday gift,
a book for Matthew
and
a monster truck for Zack.

It also contained this beautiful hand-crocheted baby dress.



It was crocheted by Joseph's paternal Grandmother years ago.
My mother-in-law had asked her to crochet 4 of them;
1 for each of her children.

They've been in my mother-in-law possession since.

Obviously, my mother-in-law is thinking that maybe this time it's a girl...

After all,
the boy/girl ratio of grandchildren
in the Beckman family is 6 boys/1 girl...

It sure could use a little balance!

As for me,
I'll believe it when I see it...
(Notwithstanding ladies feeling spirits and all)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Conservative foreign policy explained...

This article by John R. Bolton (former US ambassador to the UN) is one of the most well written and well explained argument for conservative foreign policy ever!

So well said!

Read it!

Walmart and feeling spirits...

A couple of days ago I made a run to Walmart with the kids.
It's a shocker, I know, but I forgot to buy more salt and nail polish remover...
(They are such a common occurrence on my list as I am sure they are on yours!)

So I picked up the salt in the spice isle
and attempted to remember through the jumble
where the nail polish remover should be now...

{Our Walmart is undergoing renovations
and they are revamping the whole floor plan.
Products are moved from day to day
so it can be quite a pain to try to locate something.
Thankfully it had not yet been moved. }

There was a little black lady employee in the nail product isle.

As I was trying to decide between
the "strengthening" or "nourishing" nail polish remover,
she approached me.


She looked at my 3 kids and said: "3 boys!"

She then pointed at my belly and asked: "and this one?"

To which I replied: "We don't know it's a surprise..."

She then proceeded to tell me the following: "Oh it's a girl honey!
I can feel her spirit.
It's real strong!
She's gonna have such good protectors!
It's a girl.
Her spirit is real strong..."



I thanked her,
wished her a good afternoon
and walked away with my nourishing nail polish remover...

She was really nice and really sweet,
but what a bizarre thing!

I need to learn a few things...

My friend Jennie started adding electronic marks on her pictures a little while ago. She said it was to prevent her pictures from being used by someone else. Now, she is a very good photographer and her pictures are amazing so I could understand, but I didn't think I had to worry about it since I am a middle of the road home photographer and don't have a fancy camera...

But maybe it's time I learn a few things...

Especially after reading this story this morning...

DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE HOW TO PUT A MARK ON YOUR PICTURE OR LOWER THE RES?
(I know I am such a clueless blogger!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A lowkey birthday party for a little boy of three...

Samuel had a birthday yesterday!

I can't believe this little boy is already 3!

He took cupcakes to nursery (at church) and shared with his little friends.

Sam fell asleep on the way home from church and was hard to wake when dinner was ready.


But once he was awake, we had a perfect birthday dinner of homemade pizza, soda pop and cupcakes! (All of his wishes of course!)




And he was thrilled with his new firefighter truck!



Sam's favorite things to play: Ben 10 Alien force (he pretends he is turning into Humogosaur all the time!), Ninja turtles, and any other super hero that exists under the sun!

His favorite snacks are fruit snack and cheese-it.

His favorite foods are most certainly hot-dogs, Mac and Cheese and Pizza!

He is a somewhat picky eater, but don't think you have him figured out! One day he will love something and the other he won't touch it!

He is a cute little guy that has to make sure he gives his daddy a kiss and a hug and another kiss before he can go to work. He is always impatient for his daddy to come home! In fact, if it is taking too long, he will bring me my cell phone and start begging to call him.

He loves playing outside and loves the pool! He is a little talker and loves to retell stories.

He can dress himself (for the most part) and drives me crazy by changing his mind about what to wear 20 times a day!

How I love this little boy who is so dang cute and most of all knows it!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sweet treat!

Joseph brought home a box of these earlier this week...



It' s pure deliciousness!

After all, it is chocolate, strawberry and an Oreo cookie!

What more could you ask for (other than a cold glass of milk)?

Glenn Beck's Common Sense tour

Yesterday as we were getting dinner ready,
Joseph and I were talking about what we wanted to do for our date night tonight.
The Young Women in our ward are doing a fund raiser for camp and 2 of them will be babysitting our kids here at home at a price of $30 for 4 hours
(a little pricier than what we usually spend, but it's for a good cause!).

He suggested we go watch the Glenn Beck show in a theater
(because he knows I really like him).
I replied that the theater thing was only on that day with an encore next week,
that Glenn will be in Houston Live tonight,
but that the price of 2 tickets was definitely over our budget...
(I had already priced them out and for both of us it would have been $100.
After all, we are not the federal government,
we actually can't spend more than we have...).

So then he he told me I should go watch it.
After all the Playoffs were on and that's what he wanted to watch...

So I went.

It was FABULOUS!!!



Glenn was really hilarious!

The theater was almost full and I had a really good time!

The show was all about common sense.

It was thought provoking without being overwhelming or nagging.

One of my favorite lines;
Glenn reading from a Dog shampoo label:
"Caution: do not feed to fish"!?!
How stupid have we become?

So here is my humble review:

It was a lot of laughs, a lot of blunt truths, without all the mess of political correctness.

I think that's mostly why I like Glenn Beck; because he simply calls it the way he sees it.

{Honesty}
is
Truly refreshing!

He also is so very funny !

If you are lucky enough to be able to go see him live tonight in Houston,
ENJOY!
(I think there are still a few seats available!)

If not,
you can always catch the Encore in a theater near you on June 11th!
Click here to check it out!

Worth every penny!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Viruses are such an annoyance...

Samuel and I spent last weekend battling a virus that caused headache, scratchy throat and in Sam's case; fever and upset stomach.

It was a fast moving bug.

It started Friday night and was completely gone by Monday morning.

Monday afternoon, I got a call from the school nurse informing me Matthew had a fever of 101.8...
He was also sick for 2 days, hence missing the last 2 days of school...

Tuesday morning, Zack became ill also. In his case, it only lasted 24 hours, but it was a little more brutal...

Joseph came home from work early Wednesday and had a rough night last night, but I dare say we are finally out of the woods!

My house is now also sanitized...

Did I ever mention how much I LOVE my shark steam mop?
It does wonders when your son throws up at 2 am...
Cleaned the whole bathroom mess up within 5 minutes!
It's almost like magic!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Clean sheets...

Happiness is:

Sleeping in a bed made of freshly washed sheets...

Not sure why!

It could be the smell of fresh laundry
or
simply the feeling of crispness...

It just makes me Happy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

WoW Friends and a purple heart...

Joseph loves to play WoW (World of Warcraft).
It's an online game.
He plays mostly on Fridays and Saturdays nights,
and mostly when I am asleep.
It's his thing to unwind.

A few months ago, Joseph became friends with "Elcuban".

Elcuban is a military man.
I think he is Air Force because he flies planes.
About 2 months ago,
he told Joseph he wouldn't be on for a while,
because he was being deployed to Iraq for 3 or 4 months.

Then, last Friday, he was back on.
He told Joseph he was being awarded the purple heart...

I said: "Well that can't be good! Did he get hurt?"

But he was already offline...

Joseph found out Saturday that he was wounded in combat and took 3 bullets from AK-47s. He didn't expand much on the details, just said that it was pretty painful and that he is on pretty heavy pain meds right now. He will be retired unless he can get back in shape in the next couple of months...

I am not sure Elcuban will even ever read this, but I would just like to say;
we are grateful for your service and sacrifice!

We hope you get better quickly!

Pregnancy updates

I had my 22 weeks check up last Tuesday.

I gained 6 pounds in the last month... Terrifying! (In my defense; never get weighed the day after memorial day, especially if the menu included home BBQ beef brisket, corn on the cob, baked potatoes and a homemade ice cream cake by Allison! I've lost 2 pounds since the appointment...) But overall, I've only gained 7 pounds. So even though I need to watch it, I am not going to freak out about it!

The Baby's heartbeat is strong and still at about the mark of 150 beats/minute.

The roundness of my stomach is astonishing, mostly because it all came out at once, or so it seems like!

The baby is definitely moving lots now! Joseph even felt the exercising little one kicks last night!

Speaking of Joseph, is your husband a belly rubber when you are pregnant?

Joseph wasn't that much before but this time around he loves to rub my baby belly and I LOVE IT!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Adventures in loosing a tooth

Matthew lost another tooth last Saturday.

It had been really wiggly for a while but he still refused to let me pull it with a string.

Here is the story:

We went for a swim at our neighborhood pool. It was the day of the opening so the kids were really excited.

After we got home, we got the kids in the tub and then Joseph and I got in the shower. As we are finishing up, we heard the screams and cries of one of our children. Joseph quickly got out of the bathroom, still dripping, to discover Matthew dripping blood from his mouth. He was really gracious and left a trail of blood drops from the living room all the way to the master bathroom...

Apparently, Samuel and him had a frontal collision of sort. Samuel being shorter, his head hit right at Matthew's mouth and resulted in the loose tooth falling out.

I guess that's what you get from putting it off too long...

The lessons Zack learned from Family home evening...


A couple of Mondays ago, we had a family home evening about free agency.

Free Agency is a gift from God to all of humanity that allows us to make our own choices.

I explained the principle of free agency to my children. I told them that we are all free to make our own choices, but we do not get to choose the consequences those choices whether good or bad.

Here is the dialogue the next day, when I told Zackary it was time to go get Matthew from school:


Me: "Zack, it's time to go get Matthew."

Zack: "I don't want to go get Matthew today..."

Me: "Well, you don't really have a choice, you can't stay home by yourself..."

Zack: "But Mom, you told us we always have a choice and we can make our own choices..."

Yeah; isn't it so nice to know you ARE getting through to your children!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye : (

We took Eliane to the Airport after Sacrament meeting on May 17th. WE were sad to see her leave!




It took a few days for Samuel to realize she was really gone. He kept asking if her could go wake her up in the morning, or where she was...

So cute! Mostly because he is such a reluctant little guy. It takes him a day or two to warm up and then he likes to play shy because he knows it's cute!

We all miss having her around, we had so much fun while she was here!

Houston Aquarium

We visited the Houston Aquarium while my sister was in town. It was fun even if it's not a very big one. The kids loved to look at all the fishes and other creatures they had there. I must say that the 2 biggest hits were the white tigers and the splash pad outside...