Category Archives: Political Thought
This was put out by CatholicVote.com, and is a beautiful, gentle, powerful, well-produced “ad,” about 3.5 minutes long, about the importance of LIFE. Please watch.
Have you seen the polls lately? Far from the death knell that some predicted for McCain, Palin appears, at least in part, to be responsible for the Republican ticket rebounding. McCain-Palin is leading Obama-Biden in most of the latest polls, and those in which they are not outright leading, they’re tied. Now, I know that doesn’t assure the Republicans of a victory in November, but it sure sounds a lot better than being down by 4-8% in the polls, prior to the Republican National Convention, and John McCain’s announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate.
The day of his announcement, I blogged a bit about my excitement over his choice. I’ve not changed my tune there. But, I have sobered up a bit as I’ve read many ultra-conservative stories questioning Palin’s ability to be VP, and even the righteousness of her holding office.
There was one really good story, a week ago or so, comparing Palin to the Biblical Deborah that I was going to quote and link to here on my blog, but the commentary after it got so whacked out that I decided not to give it any more press…
I found a better option today, on Daja’s blog. She writes the best refutation I’ve yet read/heard of those who are under the belief that a) women shouldn’t hold office, and/or b) it’s flawed to compare Sarah Palin with Deborah. PLEASE take a few minutes to read Daja’s well-researched, well-reasoned, always gracious posting.
So. Daja has the Biblical perspective wrapped up, but I have a few more thoughts of my own.
Back to the news of McCain-Palin leading in the polls: If absolutely nothing else, I say that it was worth it to choose Palin just so that Obama won’t get elected. Many of his ideas are, to me, just so wrong. It seems like, yes, he would lead America to change, but to change on the wrong path…. He readily admits he sees government as the savior of our country. I don’t. I won’t go into all of my legion disagreements with Obama, but suffice it to say I strongly disagree with almost all of his major stances.
However, I support Palin as VP not just because she’s simply an antidote to Obama, but because she does appear to have all the qualities (and beliefs, and political stances) that would bring good change to our dear country.
I do have minor reservations about her being able to handle the position while mothering four children who are at home. However, she’s not me. I couldn’t do it, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t. Plus, she’ll have all sorts of help that I just don’t have available for myself. Goodness, who knows what I could accomplish if I had someone simply cleaning my house, doing my family’s laundry, and cooking my family’s food (though I also read that she fired the chef appointed for the Alaska governor, preferring to cook for her own family). Not to mention not having to find a babysitter ever. I’m sure she won’t be spending as much time with her kids as I do with mine, but that doesn’t mean that they are destined for failure as a family.
Plus… although the VP is a full-time job, it’s surely not as demanding as the presidency. Of course, as VP, she may end up, in a tragedy, as the President. (Although, longevity seems to run in McCain’s family — did you see the pics/shots of him with his mother recently??) But, it seems to me that the role of VP would be inherently a lot more flexible than that of the Presidency — the President needs to be visible nearly 100% of the time, but not so much for the VP.
In short, I don’t think every mother of five could be the Vice President of the United States. But, if any one can — and if anyone should — it seems to me that Sarah Palin is our woman.
It’s been a good day:
- I must say I am THRILLED about McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP. Tough, spunky, socially conservative, true reformer, fiscally responsible, mother of FIVE (including her oldest, who is a soldier, and her youngest, who has Down’s Syndrom, whom she chose not to abort), 44 years old… Woo hoo!!! McCain-Palin 2008!!!! Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I have long been a strong supporter of McCain, but with Palin added to the ticket, I am EXCITED!! Hopefully, Palin will draw some fence-sitters over, and give motivation to some only-begrudgingly supportive Republicans, like my Uncle Steve, who semi-tongue-in-cheek, wrote a post in May entitled Sarah Palin for President.
- I am also bursting with some news that isn’t mine to share… but something that I’m thrilled over.
- I had another doc appointment this morning. They started off with an ultrasound… to my surprise, it included some 3D imaging, and I got to see some fantastic footage of my 32-week-old daughter. By the u/s, she measures 4 lbs 12 oz, which puts her in the 90th percentile. My doc is semi-worried. Not worried, I guess, but even though I think he’s a great doctor, and I’m glad I switched, if I go much past my 39th week, I can see in advance that I’m going to have to strongly advocate for myself NOT to be induced — although for him, inducing starts with some natural/homeopathic ‘remedies.’ I will continue to advocate for a non-interventive start of labor, and refuse treatment for induction, if it comes down to that. Two of my four children were born at 38 weeks, so I’ll be praying for that, so the whole thing won’t be an issue. Asking him about the carb/weight situation, he did say that it wasn’t his aim for me to lose weight (I “officially” lost 1 lb in the two weeks since I last saw him, but according to my scale, I’ve lost four lbs…), but for me to limit my carbs. He agreed that if I was dropping weight like gangbusters at 100g carbs, but seem to be stable at 150g carbs, to up my daily intake to 150g, which I’ve already done. … Back to the ultrasound — Seeing my unborn baby Fiala’s sweet face on the screen has made even more love and expectation rise up in my heart. I’ve been walking around all day, almost dreamily happy. It has made her feel like even more of a PERSON, and not just an idea who thumps around in my tummy all day. She has chubby cheeks, very girly lips, does not seem to have my jutty/manly/square chin, has an absolutely serene expression, and an unfortunately large-looking nose. (Both my hubby and I have larger-than-average schnozzes, but our kids have been pretty much spared in the nose category, so far.)
- I was reflecting that, for the last two weeks solid, ALL my posts have been either pregnancy-related, or school-related. I feel half an urge to apologize for the monotony… but, it’s a good monotony. I must say that I never thought I’d be so very thankful to live a life where I get to indulge in such joys. There are still other things that go on in my life, but, obviously, my thoughts are overtaken with those two subjects… 🙂 I’m extremely thankful to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling, pregnant mother.
Grant and Wes and I were studying about Mars today, and Googled to find out more about its polar ice caps. I thought they were purely carbon dioxide (dry) ice, but it turns out that research is currently suggesting that they may be water ice covered in a layer of dry ice. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus either way right now.
However, that’s not my point.
Upon Googling, I saw several articles that I thought were interesting. This knowledge is, apparently, more than a year old, but it was new to me. It’s that Mars is currently experiencing global (Martian?) warming, and its polar ice caps are shrinking. The level which Mars’ temperatures have raised since the 1970s are commensurate with the amount of global warming experienced on Earth in the same time period. This has led to some scientists to propose that Earth’s current trend towards global warming and Mars’ global warming might have the same source: the Sun. Not millions of cars spewing exhaust, and the smokestacks from factories, and other human sources.
After the younger boys and I did science, I called my almost 11yo Ethan in, too, and we had a little discussion about environmentalism. Today’s Earth Day, which the boys heard about from some place. And I’ve been hearing them start talking about some current popular environmental theories as if they were fact lately, which is of some concern to me. Now, I’m not anti-environmental; I consider my stance to be one of “stewardship.”
When God created the Earth and plants and animals and people, in Genesis 1:26-28, He gave Adam instructions to both care for the inhabitants of the Earth and to be “fruitful and multiply.” In other words, the environment is important, and people are, too.
We talked about our hiking trips, and about how disappointing it is to see trash along the way, or “our” lovely riparian area with a teensy spring in the middle of the desert west of Lake Pleasant that has been destroyed by illegal gold mining done by chemical leaching, which has killed all the plant and animal life in the stream and its surroundings, turning the area an unnatural orange. Litter = bad. Permanent destruction of unrenewable and rare resources = bad. We want to care for the gifts God has entrusted to us, not trash them.
However, it’s not like everyone should recycle their cars, become vegetarians, move into a cave and never have kids.
I also mentioned something that Ethan and I, as he studies geology, have discussed extensively: Scientists are swayed by their own biases and beliefs. If a scientist does not believe in God, and believes that there should be zero (or negative) population growth, that’s going to be reflected in his research, and the conclusions which she draws. Same with creationist scientists. Not that all, or even most, scientists are “bad;” we just need to be careful what/whom we listen to, what we believe, what we accept as truth.
I thought that the example of Mars was a fantastic one. All three of my boys, even 6yo Wesley, had heard of “global warming.” All of them were of the firm conviction that global warming is because of people and pollution. Now, I’m not suggesting that we should return to London of the Industrial Revolution and fill our cities’ air with unhealthy chemicals to the extent that street lights are needed during the day. However, I’m skeptical that all of the current global warming trends are simply from pollution. And Mars’ melting polar caps seem to be a suggestion that my skepticism is shared by at least a few scientists. I’ve often thought that perhaps there is some other source, like in the sun itself, causing it to, say, burn slightly hotter for the last few decades, leading to current climate change upon the Earth. Or something like that.
I’m not a scientist, and I may be opening another unwelcome can of worms here. I certainly don’t want to be blasted as an Earth-hater, because I’m not. I love the world that God has given to us, and we actively work to be wise, careful, responsible stewards with His gifts. But, neither do I want to swallow the Gospel According to Al Gore, et al, hook, line and sinker.
If you care to read the articles about Mars’ melting polar ice caps, here you go:
WordPress has a handy stats page that lets me know where links are posted which allow folks to find me. I often know the person who is linking to my blog, but when I don’t, I usually visit the page, always finding bright, reasonable, charming, clever folks. You know, great minds… 😉
By this method, I found a blog that is definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re pro-chastity, secondarily if you’re pro-life, and very secondarily if you’re Catholic. (I’m two out of three.) It’s the blog home of Dawn Eden, an author and activist for saving sex for marriage.
I was a virgin when I married, and in my 13 years of marriage, have met maybe three other women who were likewise. It’s an appallingly small percentage of woman who keep themselves for their husband, even amongst Christians.
In addition, on Dawn’s website, I found this graphic that made me literally laugh out loud. I hooted, actually.
Note: This is absolutely ***NOT*** aimed at any particular person, be it any person I know IRL, in the blogosphere, or otherwise. It’s simply my concerns over a growing trend that is of high concern to me. Also, please read it as me being troubled in my soul, not as me being snarky with society.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this topic over the last… year. Maybe more.
I’ve observed increasingly compartmentalized, partisan politics — and general life — that has been sweeping this country for at least the last decade. Symptomatically, I’ve also read (or heard) a number of voters (especially Republican ones) proclaiming, “Well, if there isn’t a candidate with whom I agree 100%, I’m either not going to vote at all, or I’m going to vote Democratic.”
Gone is teamwork. Gone is synergy. Gone is friendship. Gone is good sportsmanship and fair play. Gone is good faith. Gone is the simple acceptance of, “Not everyone thinks the same way I do, and not everyone should.”
The Founding Fathers of this country — even though they disagreed with England in a passionate and violent way — did acknowledge that no one person, and no one way of thought was perfect, and thus set up a governmental system with checks and balances, disabling any one outlook from completely dominating the federal government. (In other words, there are some hills worth dying on, but perhaps not very many of them.)
Now, I’m not suggesting that the politics of most of the 20th century is preferable. Marked by “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine,” that attitude makes me want to puke, actually, and seems to have its ethical foundation in Jell-o.
But in lieu of back-scratching politics of years past has come sharply divided, combative, posturing politics which seeks to create wider chasms and brew enemies. Name-calling, accusations, spiteful “play,” retaliation, dirt-digging, and filibustering are now par for the course in American politics. To me, that seems just as bad — perhaps worse — than back-scratching.
In a previous post, I wrote about taking a pragmatic stance when choosing a Presidential candidate. I was assailed, both privately and in a comment or two, about that “un-Christianlike” position.
But is it truly un-Christlike??
Think about your marriage, if, in fact, you are blessed with a spouse. Think about your friendships. Your church. Think about, really, any good relationship with a person or entity. Don’t all of them require some sort of practical acceptance in order to maintain them, and certainly in order to grow them? Don’t all relationships require a measure of love to cover a multitude of sins? Don’t all of them cause you to stretch in one way or another? Don’t all call you to hold aside one opinion or two, in favor of a gracious, working relationship?
Now, I’m also not suggesting that we need to adore John McCain and let our love for him cover his unwise, quick temper with those who are likewise combative.
But, my concern is broader than simply whom we choose for President.
Take friendship: It would be absolutely fabulous if I could find another Christian, conservative Republican, Sonlight-homeschooling, introverted mother of 4+ children who adores worship, attends the Vineyard, loves Pei Wei, has a classic/antique taste for home decorating, and has celiac disease. Oh. Wait! I have done that. Her name is Shellie, and friendship with her has been an absolute joy to my heart. But, are all my friends Shellies? Should they be?? Even with Shellie, there have been disagreements and struggles, in spite of our almost-creepy similarities. She recently remarked something like, “Could there possibly be two more people who are so alike and so different as we are?” There have been times when I think we’ve both been tempted to give the relationship a heave, but by the grace of God, persistence, and a simple value for each other, we haven’t done that. We’re committed.
In order to successfully engage in relationship of any kind, there simply must be some allowances extended to the other person. We have to allow them to think differently, value differently, express differently, opine differently, work differently, have different strengths, different weaknesses, different pleasures and tastes… At least to some extent.
But, that’s just it. The “some extent” is completely evaporating from American society. And it’s not just Republican Christians. Liberals, Democrats, non-Christians and everyone in between are just as biting and divisive as Ann Coulter-types.
Thus, we have a divorce rate that’s, what? Sixty percent, now, or at least nearing that?
Thus, we have an rising percentage of never-married people, who simply can’t/won’t/are-afraid-to make commitment.
Thus, have a rise in matchmaking services that promise to find someone who is, basically, exactly like YOU.
Thus, we have uncommital, chronic church-hoppers. Or, simply non-attenders.
Thus, we have scads of websites, forums, blog rings of people with whom we can simply agree, who’ll never ruffle our feathers, nor challenge us to think.
Thus, even within the Church, we have books, websites, television hosts, and seminar speakers who
command invite listeners to think, act, be the exactly particular type of Christian they are, and reject any denomination that doesn’t have Mr. Esteemed Whoever as the basis for their theology, essentially pitting Christian against Christian.
Thus, we have folks who regularly troll monster.com and other “jobbing” websites, constantly on the lookout for the bigger and better, for a move up in the world, and a few more disposable-income dollars in their pockets, instead of deciding to commit to an employer for mutual benefit.
Thus, we have professional athletes who take their gripes against a coach to the media and petulantly demand to be traded.
Thus, we have voters who say, “Well, I only agree with 95% of this candidate’s positions, so I just won’t vote at all!” Or, “That 5% over which we don’t agree is so important to me that I’d rather vote for someone with whom I only agree 5%, instead of voting for him.”
In short, we are developing a whole culture fine-tuning its own god of Individualism, esteeming only themselves and their opinions, who see pragmatism as a bad word, and who are unwilling to bend, to give, to be gracious, to work in concert, to value each other’s strengths, and willingly compensate for each other’s weaknesses. We’re encouraging a whole generation of Pharisees and Levites, instead of kind Samaritans.
Am I the only person concerned about this????
Perhaps not. But, it seems that the only people really bothered by it are making, of all things, Hyundai commercials, and using America’s growing lack of commitment for marketing purposes. Hm.
And perhaps, commitment problems and hyper-individualism aren’t totally synonymous, but they’re awfully close cousins. Maybe even siblings.
My friend Shellie forwarded me a fantastic* piece, written 9 Feb in The Australian, that perfectly articulated my concerns about Barack Obama. Many people are very inspired by him and hope he becomes the next President. On the other end of the spectrum, some think he is — literally — the antichrist (as illustrated by the responses to my friend Iain’s tongue-in-cheek post from just shy of a year ago). I haven’t read Barack’s book, and pretty much all of my opinions about him are more like impressions than footnoted, well-documented, researched thoughts. However, the above article’s author, who is much more familiar with Obama specifics, has come to much the same conclusions I have, for many of the same reasons.
He begins the story relating the story of what happened to the folks who completely bought into Mandela’s (possibly unintended) campaign promises, and likening that event to what may happen if Obama actually takes the Oval Office.
It was early 1994 when Nelson Mandela gave a speech in a slum outside Cape Town and spoke in grand terms of a new beginning and how when he was elected president every household would have a washing machine.
People took him literally. A few months later he became South Africa’s first black president. That’s when clerks in department stores in Cape Town had to turn people away demanding their free washer and dryer.
The story only improves from there. It’s well-worth a read, whether you support Obama or not.
*If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that’s my favorite superlative. Sorry for its overuse. Any suggestions for alternate exclamations??
I was happy to do so.
I was less happy about taking all four of my children to the polls, but I gave them
threats a pep talk about surprising the adults there by being a blessing to them, enabling them in what they were there to do — vote — which is very important, by keeping their entire bodies quiet.
But, I needn’t have worried; the entire affair took about five minutes, because there was no line. And, they were complimented by an adult regarding their behavior. 😀
I find myself troubled, though, because I have been challenged by some folks regarding my candidate of choice, John McCain.
I don’t like to be challenged. I don’t like to be tested. I realize that it’s important, sometimes, to submit to that, but there’s a deep part of me that wants people to realize that I have given so much thought to the issue — whatever the issue is — and my intentions are good. ~sigh~ (02/07/08 — ETA: For me, not liking to be challenged is based on my high desire to be trusted. Not to simply pan it off on personality, but it’s a standard trait among Meyers-Briggs’ ISTJs, which I am. I have a NEED to be trusted, and it is personally wounding to me when people don’t trust me, because I’m utterly sincere. I take it as an affront — more than I should — when people don’t trust me. It’s not about being afraid that I might be wrong.)
My support of McCain has been long-standing. I voted for him in the primaries in 2000. I’m live in Arizona, from where he’s been an outstanding U.S. Congressman for more than 25 years.
I have though, been having some internal musings about the whole situation, especially since most Christians, and certainly most Christian homeschoolers, support Huckabee. Why do I support McCain? Is he the most conservative? No. Do I agree with all of his voting decisions and public stances? No. But, still, I support him.
I have come to the realization that I’m not as conservative as I once was. I have also come to the realization that my hopes for a president lie not just in what he espouses, but in his leadership abilities. The ability to lead well is a HUGE issue for me. Also, I confess that I am more pragmatic about my choice of Presidents than I used to be. I once thought pragmatism was a dirty word. I thought a pragmatist meant someone who didn’t have the courage of — nor, the proper foundations for — their convictions.
So, how did I get from being ultra-conservative to where I am now? It’s a long story, which includes finding out — much to my absolute horror — that a high school boyfriend, who was a golden boy of the ultra-conservative think-tank/lecture group I attended, The Arizona Breakfast Club, and also president of the Young Republicans at Arizona State University, was secretly a white supremacist who viewed the Holocaust as a lie. Matt couldn’t understand why I broke up with him. Duh. I also came to the realization that most ultra-conservatives are totally fear-based (much like most ultra-liberals are guilt-based). I don’t want to live a fearful life.
The most pivotal point in my change of outlook happened after I got married.
I quickly saw that being unbending in my stances — no matter what the topic — was often based in selfishness, arrogance, a lack of concern about others, cold-heartedness, self-righteousness, an unwillingness to hear anyone else’s opinion, and more ruthless and unkind character qualities. It became abundantly clear to me that the trust of my husband, and peace in our home, most often trumped my “need” to be right. Thus, I launched on my slow-moving journey towards valuing others at least as much as I do myself, and understanding that others’ opinions and thoughts could actually be good — even when they didn’t agree with mine. And, as a matter of fact, just because I valued something as important didn’t mean that it should be important to everyone else.
In other words, I learned that, just because someone disagrees with me doesn’t make them wrong.
I’m NOT saying, “It’s all relative.” I don’t believe that. There are definitely areas of sin, and there are definitely areas of black and white. But, beyond that, there’s a whole lot of grey area shaded with opinion, translation, personal values, personality, personal history, personal convictions… and on and on.
I’m tellin’ ya, if I hadn’t been
hit over the head with a sledgehammer learned that, I would be divorced, and much the worse for it. I’d probably hate the Body of Christ, and have virtually no respect nor value for authority of any kind. I’d probably be a childless hermit, and I’m not kidding. I’d probably live five miles up a dirt road in the wild hills somewhere, contentedly (but not so happily) by myself, fighting mental illness.
All that to say, my support of McCain is somewhat pragmatic, and I don’t think that’s bad. For me, it’s a triumph.
And, I confess, the issue with which most conservatives take offense with — the McCain-Feingold bill — I really don’t understand. I mean, literally. I have virtually no idea what that bill is about, and all its many ramifications, because it just wasn’t that important to me at the time. I do know that I receive fewer mailers from both pro-life (and other conservative interests) and pro-union (and other liberal interests) during election time, and I think that’s an outgrowth of the McCain-Feingold bill.
If you’re still reading, you may want to check out this article, describing Bob Dole’s defense of John McCain, in a fairly terse letter to Rush Limbaugh, who, along with other conservative pundits and analysts, aren’t big fans of McCain. One bit was of particular interest to me:
As a P.S., Dole adds a table from the Senate Library showing that McCain’s voting record — as measured by support for the president — mirrored that of the ultra- conservative former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).
Jesse Helms, folks. His voting record mirrors Jesse Helms. I’ve seen the same said of McCain’s record and that of Fred Thompson, too, also a bastion in the conservative front.
I realize that he is not as conservative as some. But neither is he as liberal as perceived by some others. Republicans are cutting off their noses to spite their faces, IMO, when they vociferate against McCain. Even if he’s “soft” on issues that some of us would rather he’d be hard on, he’s still, overall, had a very strong conservative record over the entire course of his political career.
In Arizona, he has a 19% disapproval rating, and that’s among Democrats *and* Republicans. The most conservative don’t approve (for reasons that seem ridiculous to me), and for more understandable reasons, the most liberal don’t approve. But other than that, by those who know him best, he has had a STRONG approval rating since he took national office in 1982. For 25+ years, he has proven himself as a strong leader who can get the job done. He runs his mouth, he ruffles feathers, he’s unafraid to have friends who think/believe differently than he does. But he’s a GOOD statesman. Regardless of what the most extreme would accuse him of, or hold against him, he has been a fantastic Congressman.
There are things that I’d rather he’d not espouse. I wish he was vocally a little more supportive of 2nd ammendment issues (though his voting record shows him to be pro-gun). I don’t think amnesty is the way to go (though I’m not incredibly opposed to it). I wish his economic policy was a little more clear. I’d like to know where he stands on US sovereignty issues (though, from his military and POW history, I can’t imagine him supporting any sort of North American Union or anything like that, but from what I can find, he hasn’t been really vocal about his beliefs on the matter). He does support the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, though why he felt differently for so long is beyond me. I also wish he was younger, but, oh, well.
I like his sense of humor. I like that he’s unafraid to speak his mind. I like that he’s tough. I value the fact that all seven of his kids have a good relationship with him; to me, that speaks volumes. It bothers me that he’s on his 2nd marriage, but at least he’s been married to Cindy for nearly 28 years.
I think his is the face that should be turned to the world, saying, “We are Americans. We believe strongly in some really significant things, and we’re willing to back it up, but if you have some disagreements, I’ll probably listen to you. Some areas are non-negotiables, but I am interested in hearing you out.” Unlike Bush, he’s at least willing to listen to (most) others who don’t agree with him. AND, unlike Bush, he’s not really a “damn the torpedoes” kind of guy; he’s more willing to at least try to build concensus, even though he’s not always successful. Bush says, “This is what I’m doing, and I don’t care what anyone thinks, and I don’t care if anyone else is on board.” McCain says, “This is what I plan on doing, and this is why I think it’s a good decision; I’d like you to come along.” IMO, that’s better leadership, and we need a president who is a good leader, not just has good ideas. In every situation McCain has been in, for all of his life (at least POW-era and afterwards), he has proven himself to be a LEADER. That is VERY important to me.
I am very firm in my resolve of supporting McCain, even though he’s not perfect; I think he would be a fantastic leader of the American people, and a good statesman FOR the American people in foreign affairs.
Plus…. you gotta vote for someone, and I think that McCain is far and away the best choice among Romney (YUCK. Why isn’t anyone talking about his fairly extreme liberalism and leadership failings???? Even the state over which he was governor, Massachussetts, supports McCain, saying Romney was an awful governor), Huckabee, Paul, Clinton or Obama. (02/07/08: ETA — I meant that the most conservative newspaper from Romney’s “home” state supported McCain, not, obviously, as the primaries showed, that the whole state did.)
So. Anyone still with me??? 😀
Please, exercise your right to vote. I’d be thrilled if you’d join me in support of McCain, though I would understand if you don’t; he’s not perfect. But, please, support someone (I’d be especially pleased if that “someone” was at least a Republican), and don’t just complain about the choices available, and PLEASE don’t cut off your conservative nose to spite your Republican face by saying you’d rather vote for Obama than McCain in the November elections. That’s just stupid. IMO. In my still-not-so-humble opinion.
- Working on my list of projects that I intended to do over Christmas break, but never got done, from cleaning wood blinds, to making valances for some arch-topped windows, to handwashing that quilt that’s been at the bottom of my laundry basket for months and more.
- Researching more about the Presidential candidates. I am STILL heavily in favor of McCain (as I have been since the 2000 primaries), but I have come under some fairly heavy fire from a few friends and acquaintances for my support of him, so I’ve decided to “know why I believe what I believe,” so to speak, and make sure my support is not in error. I’ve been composing a “Why I Like McCain (and Why I Don’t Like the Other Candidates)” post in my head for the last couple of weeks, but it hasn’t found its way, yet, to my blog.
- Potty training. Still. There have been breakthroughs — Audrey now tells me she needs to go potty before she does the deed, not after. She still says, “Change you!” in either case, so my heart goes pitter-pat, in expectation of another pair of soaked jeans. But, she’s getting better. She’s still got the internal impasse of, “I won’t go poop in the potty, but neither will I poop in my diaper or underthings.” So, that’s still an issue. Oh, well. I’ve implemented a “poop or get off the pot” policy, having her sit for 10 minutes max. This usually means that, 10 minutes later, she’ll cry, “Potty!!” or “Change you!!” so I hurry her to the bathroom again, where she squirms uncomforably for another 10 minutes, again, with no results. That continues from about 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It makes for long days.
- On Friday, some friends called us for an impromptu get-together for dinner, at Pei Wei (yum!), and we ran into my old pastor and his wife and their two kids (plus his wife’s sister and her husband), and had a great time catching up regarding the last four years or so since I’ve seen them. We are all amazed that, at 34, I must be considered a “grown up.” They’ve known me since I was 16 and were laughing in amazement at my “transformation.” I proclaimed, “I wasn’t that weird!” and they insisted that I was. They have two children whom they’ve adopted, whom I’d never met, and it was wonderful to see them.
- Researching our family’s summer trip. I know. It’s barely February. But, my hubby doesn’t want to go camping (still), and I’d rather have a longer cheap vacation than a shorter posh one… so the compromise is US Forest Service cabins, which is just shy of camping. Most of them run $25-45 per night, have no electricity, and usually no running water. But some of them are really lovely, and completely by themselves in the middle of the woods, often just a few miles from various National Parks. The downside is that they can often be booked for 6 months in advance, so I have to plan NOW for our trip in July or August. It doesn’t appear that we’ll be able to go up to Yellowstone, as I’d hoped, but perhaps Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The kids and I and my mom, aunt, and uncle went to the North Rim in May of ’07, but my hubby hasn’t been to the Grand Canyon since he was 15, and not to the North Rim, ever.
- Semi-planning an overnight backpacking trip with my friend Erin. Yay! 🙂
- Plus the regular stuff of being a wife, working on my relationship with God, mothering and homeschooling four children, keeping the house reasonably clean and clean clothes in everyone’s dressers.
- Trying not to feel overwhelmed. I just have a lot going on. It’s all good. I truly love my life. But, I just wish that I could have a few more hours each day while the rest of the world is on pause, so that I could catch up on laundry. Or actually take a shower every day. Or go out for coffee with a friend. Or read more books to my daughter. Or go on a date with my hubby. I’m really feeling worn out, and doing my best to be mindfully diligent to not slip into full-blown depression, which is easy for me to do, in this state. One of the best ways for me to do this is to remind myself to, “Stay connected!” This means returning e-mails and phone calls, and, honestly, blogging, which I haven’t done much of the last week+. I also need to be diligent to not check out in the evening after my children have gone to bed… but spending quality time with my hubby and not just curling up with a crossword puzzle or standing at the table folding 6 loads of laundry until 11 p.m. and semi-ignoring him.
- Someone recently remarked to me, “Isn’t this phase of toddlerhood frustrating? They’re just learning to talk, and can’t communicate very well.” Well, no, actually, it hasn’t been frustrating. Audrey is nearly 21 months and is speaking in… well, not usually “sentences,” but in understandable phrases. Saturday at lunch it was, “Daddy a-lap a-Fweetos?” “You mean you want to sit in Daddy’s lap and eat Fritos?” Emphatically nodding her head, she confirmed, “Yes.” Grant was my my first complex-talker amongst my three boys. He wasn’t the first to utter a word, but the first to put words together and be able to hold conversation. I told Grant the other day that Audrey blows doors off of his baby abilities. Last week, I also heard for the first of surely many times, “Auda-rey do eet a-sef.”
- I am bummed out by the state of the developing Presedential primaries. I am totally dismayed by the Democratic candidates: Lord, save us from the ultra-scheming, untrustworthy Hillary. And, of concern to me about Obama, the apple doesn’t usually fall from the tree, as they say, though it does, sometimes. But, what is of more concern to me than his history is his lack of experience. I just don’t think he has the experience needed to be a President. I also sincerely mistrust his motives. Not that I’m likely to vote Democratic, in any case. But, I’m not really thrilled with the crop of Republican candidates, either. I’m looking for an electable candidate with a solid political track record and an upright personal life. The only one fits that bill, in my perspective, is John McCain. I absoultely, positively adore McCain. I’m not suggesting that I have agreed with 100% of his political decisions or current stances. But, he is probably the most honest politician ever produced in recent memory, and that goes a long way with me. I’d rather someone tell me, “Here is where I stand” and know that he’s telling the truth — even if I don’t completely agree with his position — than have that person try to spin their own platform into what he thinks I want to hear. McCain is an open book. However, he’s 71. I’m sure he’s a “young” 71, but, still, I think the Presidency ages a person at at least twice the normal rate. I think McCain would make a fantastic President, but I heartily wish he was a good 10 years younger. I met him about 11 years ago at a state precinct meeting, which he just happened to attend, not as a scheduled speaker, though, of course, he was called up to say a few words. I found him to be a very affable, sharp-witted man, with a lot of personal charisma. He listens well, and responds to the actual questions, not just coming out with canned, practiced statements. IOW, he thinks well on his feet. He’s diplomatic, too, which I think is important, especially in foreign affairs. It’s hard to find an honest, diplomatic politician, but McCain is it.
- I have been ill since the 26th. My lungs hurt, and I have been congested and coughing, and my body feels weighted down, internally, with extra gravity or something. I wish I could just lay down and do nothing for a few days. What with Christmas and illness, my house is a disaster. So… I’m taking a few days (maybe a week?) off of blogging. Not that I’ve blogged much in the last couple of weeks, but there’ll be even less output from me. I need to spend what little energy I have on getting my home whipped into shape. I went to church yesterday, but mostly because I wanted to see the end-of-year video. I told Martin, “I’ll stay for worship and the video, then I’m going home.” Well, the video was about 40 minutes long, so with worship, that was most of the service right there. Then, my father-in-law (who is moving back from Colorado — YAY!!) was at church, and he an my brother-in-law wanted to go out to lunch… then, our friends (it’s a particular treat having friends whom I enjoy who also have children whom my kids enjoy) wanted to join us, and I couldn’t resist. We all went out to lunch, which I enjoyed immensely and hopefully, I didn’t infect anyone. Eek.
- The Arizona Cardinals finished 8-8 for the season, with a fantastic home win over the Rams yesterday. I heart coach Ken Whisenhunt. No playoffs this year, but I’m very hopeful for our next season. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin rock, and Kurt Warner proved himself to be the best backup quarterback in the NFL. It was the first year ever that my husband didn’t razz me for being a Cardinals fan. (But then, as a lifelong Packers fan, he’s been on a Favre-induced high all year, which makes him favorably disposed to everyone else’s football proclivities; all is basked in the glowing, grinning, grizzled light of Brett.)