Thursday, July 30, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations, Kendra! Your persistance paid off.

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2009-07-31 02:43:18 UTC

Actually, you had a 75% chance so it wasn't that much of an achievment.

How is it that Sitemeter claims I've had 222 visitors but only TWO people commented? And one of them commented 3 times. Sorry Amber . I guess you didn't want it badly enough.

Maybe my two faithful commenters visited 222 times between the two of them. That would be weird.

Maybe 218 of my readers secretly despise Glenn Beck, or maybe just don't like reading in general.

Maybe 218 of my readers are just shy. Come on people, I love my lurkers! Don't be afraid to just say 'Hi' every once in a while.

Well, anyway, Kendra I hope you enjoy Glenn's book. I'm really glad you won it because A) you seemed desperate and B) you confided that you think Glenn's a cutie.

I hope you enjoy. I think I have your address. Didn't I send you a Christmas card? Your prize will be on its way. I will miss it. Please take care of it and make sure it finds another good home after you're done with it.

Amen and Godspeed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Don't forget to enter my giveaway! It's open until Thursday at 9:00pm Central time. You can click here and leave a comment to enter.

Even if you aren't interested in the prize, I'd encourage you to enter to win it for someone you may know that would be interested.

I'm so excited about my first giveaway! I can see on my Sitemeter stats that I've had lots of visitors but only 3 entries. What gives?! Come on people, it's a free book!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a little dog named Tess who thought she was a big dog. This little dog was doted on by her entire family. Tess was spoiled rotten and got too big for her britches.

One of Tess' very favorite activities, other than chewing up her Mommy's favorite flip flops, was to pretend that she was a very fierce watchdog.

"Ding-dong!" went the doorbell.

"Arf! Arf!" said Tess.

"Whirrrr!" went the Swiffer mop.

"Ruff!" said Tess.

"Swoosh" went the dust mop.

"Grrr!" said Tess.

Of all the household items that Tess hated most, the vacuum cleaner was the one appliance that refused to cower in her presence.

One day, Tess' daddy decided to vacuum. This made Tess' mommy very happy.

This made Tess very angry.

"Bark! Bark! Growl!" said Tess to the vacuum cleaner.

"Zoom! Zoom!" went the vacuum cleaner as it chased Tess.

"ArfArfArfArfARF!" shrieked Tess as the vacuum cleaner sucked up the end of her tail.

"Bwahahahaha!" laughed Tess' daddy.

Thus ends the tale (or tail) of how a little dog named Tess developed a healthy respect for the vacuum cleaner and they all lived happily ever after.


P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Freedom Friday 07.24.09

Welcome to Freedom Friday!

Today we're going to do something fun. I'm having a Freedom Friday Giveaway!

I'm giving away a copy of Glenn Beck's new book "Common Sense."

It's a quick, easy read that really lays out out the case against an out-of-control government...which is handy since that's the title of the book. See? How's that for common sense? Make the title of the book relevant to the subject.

Here's the catch. You knew there had to be one right?

If you win the book, you have to promise:

1) You'll actually read it or give it to someone who will actually read it; and

2) After you read it (or the person you gave it to reads it) you(they) will give it to someone else and ask them to actually read it or give it to someone who will...who will promise to pass it on and on and on; and

3) After each person reads it they will log onto my blog and leave a comment about the book and let me know where they live. Won't it be fun to see how far the book travels?!

I'll put the link to the specific post where comments about the book can be made inside the front cover of the book and my location to get it started. Feel free to be vague about your exact location. This is the world wide web, after all. For example, I'm going to use the closest major city to my actual home town.

Ok, here's how to win:

Leave a comment below and tell me what topic you would like to hear more about here on Freedom Friday. I will use the infamous random number generator to choose a winner from the comments. This contest will close on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm Central. You do not have to be a blogger to win. However, please make sure you leave me your email address in your comment or enter your email address in your Blogger profile so I can contact you if you win. To avoid spam when leaving your email in your comment, you can type "(at)" instead of "@" and "dot" instead of "." I'll use my common sense to figure it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Beach Getaway Day 1 and 2

This is the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort where Wes has a conference.

This is Wes and me being giddy.

Ok, so that's not really us. Those people are much younger and thinner...but not happier, I can tell you that!

This is the view from where we're sitting.

Do you know what you CAN'T see in any of these pictures?

My kids.

What a shame.

Oh, don't worry. They're having a blast at G & G (Grandma & Grandpa) Camp with all the cousins.

This is the dive where we ate like the locals.

Would you look at the view I had to look at

while I ate this

And lest you think this vacation is all about eating...

well, yeah. It is.

We ate here last night.

Do not judge a restaurant by it's name.

I had Blue Crab Stuffed Squash Gratin to start.

Peeps, I have never had anything this tasty before. Wow.

Then, Wes and I shared the Surf 'n Turf, which was short ribs and Catfish Meuniere. If you've never had Catfish Meuniere, your life is incomplete. It is lightly battered and fried catfish with a brown butter sauce. You must have it. Now.

Anyhoo, the ribs and fish were served on a bed of the creamiest, most perfectly seasoned cheese grits I've ever had. And don't even get me started on the perfectly browned potatoes and steamed green beans with the most delicious smoky grilled tomatoes. Oh. My. Word.

And that's just my half.

So we rolled out of Stinky's, literally, and headed home to get rested up for another tough day at the beach. It's a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Freedom Friday 07.17.09

Welcome to Freedom Friday!

Today I am incapable of writing a coherent post since my head is swirling with the health care debacle, the cap and trade fiasco, anthropogenic global warming hysteria, the Goldman Sachs oligarchy that is taking control of our government, GE's plan to rule the world through carbon credits and "green" energy, and China's growing economic stranglehold on us.

Let's clear our muddled brains for a minute and take a deep breath.

OK, that's better.

Now. In times like these when our country, nay, the whole world is burning down around us it's crucial to know what your values are and what you believe.

What do you believe?

I believe in God first. I believe in the Constitution second.

Not the "living, breathing," constantly "evolving" Constitution that Progressives talk about. I believe in the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Progressives want you to believe that the Constitution is outdated and that it has to change as society changes. No, no, NO! The Constitution is still as relevant today as it was 200 years ago. Truth doesn't change. Core values do not change.

If you don't know what you believe, EDUCATE yourself. We are in the midst of a sea change. I believe that the times we are living in will be written about and studied for years to come. The decisions we make today will be analyzed and second-guessed for generations to come. Please don't blindly accept what you are being spoon-fed by the media and politicians. Don't be afraid to ask "Why?" and "Does this make sense?" And above all else, REMEMBER: Everyone has an agenda.

No country or society has ever done what we are currently doing and survived intact. We cannot continue to borrow and print money. In the words of our illustrious Vice-President Biden, "We have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt." Ask yourself if that even makes sense?! IT IS UNSUSTAINABLE. Study the Weimar Republic. Be a student of history. Because history DOES repeat itself. Don't think that you can continue to go about your daily lives in ignorant bliss with your head in the sand.

If you aren't sure what you believe, here are a few books that I've found helpful in understanding where we've come from and the dangers of where we might be going:

Common Sense by Glenn Beck.

The Five Thousand Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed The World by W. Cleon Skousen

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Schlaes

American Progressivism: A Reader by Ronald J. Pestritto

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

If you aren't sure where to start, I'd recommend starting with The 5,000 Year Leap. Skousen draws heavily from original source materials to show how and why our system was founded.

And I don't want to hear any of this, "But I'm not smart enough to read this stuff." or "History is boring." or "I'm just gonna let the people who know these things take care of the decision-making." It is absolutely vital that we pay attention!

In the words of John Adams in his Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law in 1765, "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers. "

So go read, go study, go listen and God speed.

And God Bless America.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Which I Confess My Lowbrow Sense of Humor

Subtitle: In Defense of Spongebob Squarepants

I've had blogger's block today. And lo and behold, Twitter has provided some bloggy fodder.

I discovered today that apparently I am the only mom on the planet that lets her kids watch Spongebob Squarepants.

Hello?! He's a sea sponge that looks like a kitchen sponge.

That's hilarious!

He lives in a pineapple under the sea.

What's not to love?!

I've been told by several friends who shall remain nameless(you know who you are), that ye old Sponge is crude. Say what? Maybe I don't know what crude is. I usually define it as involving foul language, bodily function humor or sexual innuendo. To my knowledge, Bob the Sponge with the Pants That Are Square is not guilty of any of the above-referenced behavior.

I've also been told by the same nameless friends that said Sponge and friends don't talk nice to each other. While this may be true of Squidward, that's his job. He is the antagonist. Every great work of literary genius has one, right?

Sometimes Patrick and Bob the Sponge disagree and use cross words with each other. But they always work things out in the end which I think is a good lesson in forgiveness.

As you can tell, we love the Square-panted Spongebob around here. Wes and I have been known to watch even when the kids aren't here. While I would never hold Spongebob up as a great moral teacher, he IS loyal, a hard worker and strives for excellence in everything he does. He is forgiving and honest. He's a good friend. He's an optimist.

Spongebob for President 2012!!

And absorbent, yellow and porous is he, for Pete's sake!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Pantry Redo

Do you remember lo, these many posts ago, that I told you how sad my pantry makes me?

Well, I finally hired a painter.

She worked for peanuts cookies.

A little paint, spray adhesive and cutie patootie scrapbook paper later...

VoilĂ !

I still want some more containers, baskets, bins and such but it's such an improvement already. It makes me smile...until I realize that it has to be restocked and that means a trip to my nemesis, Wal-Mart.

I wonder if I can hire a personal shopper?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Freedom Friday 07.10.09

Freedom Friday is back! Welcome.

If you're new here, you can check out the Freedom Friday links over there in the sidebar to read how it got started and what it's all about.

Today's topic is...

Health Care.


I've been reading about the history of the American health insurance industry but before you stop reading, I am NOT going to bore you with it. I would just like to say that I think the problem with today's health system was created by the unintended consequences of excessive government regulation.

Say what?!

In a nutshell, during World War II, wage freezes imposed by the government actually accelerated the spread of group health care. Unable by law to attract workers by paying more, employers instead began adding health care to their benefit packages, resulting in our current employer-based health insurance system. This also proves once again that despite government's good intentions, they more often than not create more problems than they solve.

Government programs to cover health care costs began to expand during the 1950s and 1960s. When the government created Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965, private sources still paid 75 percent of all of the health care costs. By 1995, individuals and companies only paid for about half of the health care with the government responsible for the other half. I think that this government intervention contributed to the notion that health insurance is a "right" and also contributed to increased health care costs to the insured. Once again...say it with me...Government's good intentions created more problems than they solved.

So, what makes us think that government can fix it this time?

No, really. THIS time they'll get it right.

I believe that the health care plan(s) being discussed in Washington will lead to lower-quality health care, fewer medical personnel entering the profession, and more government control of what should be personal decisions between you and your doctor. In a word, DISASTER!

So, Lisa, what's YOUR solution?

I think ideally the solution would be market-based where individuals are responsible for purchasing their own insurance. Elimination of government intervention and meddling in health care would lead to greater competition which would lead to lower costs.


I know, the idea of individuals actually being responsible for themselves is shocking. But you know, I pay for my own auto and homeowner's insurance. If I chose not to and I crashed my car or my house burned down...well, it would suck to be me. Why should health insurance be any different?

How do we get there in today's political climate?

I don't think we can.

Which is one great reason to get actively involved in changing the political climate! Government IS the problem. Or more to the point, the two-party system IS the problem.

I know, I KNOW, I've just greatly over-simplified a very complex subject. But hopefully this will serve as a starting point for you to begin thinking about government's role in health care.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An Open Letter of Apology

Dear Mr. Kirk:

I would like to offer you my sincerest, most humble apologies for the ingratitude I showed you when you graciously agreed to feed me while my family was gone. I have been severely reprimanded.

While I do not try to excuse my behavior, I would like to offer an explanation. You see, when my family left for vacation my Mama told me I was in charge and was to keep an eye on the house. She failed to mention that you would be coming to feed me and my sister Dazey so you caught me off guard.

Perhaps I would have been ok with you just feeding us but when you attempted to turn on the sprinklers I immediately went on high alert status because only my Daddy is allowed to operate said sprinklers. And you were dangerously close to my family's house which, I remind you, I was charged with protecting.

I would like to suggest that perhaps the next time you come to visit, assuming you have not already terminated your friendship with my family, you should bring with you two forms of picture i.d. and proper authorization. I have an agreement with the Fedex man that seems to work satisfactorily. However, I do search all packages and if something seems suspicious I feel obligated to shred said package. If you do come back to visit, please be prepared to empty your pockets and please put all liquids in 3 oz. or smaller, clear containers.

I understand that you may come over tonight to shoot some fireworks. Please know that I expect you to abide by all applicable fire codes and I have assessed the current threat level at Orange.

Again, I offer my deepest apologies for the misunderstanding.


Maddie "Bebo", the German Shepherd

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Surrender All by Joni Lamb - A Review

“Surrender All: Your Answer To Living with Peace, Power & Purpose” by Joni Lamb is a fairly quick, easy read that at times can come across as a little trite especially if you have recently suffered a type of crisis or tragedy in your life that she addresses in the book. However, just when you decide that she is oversimplifying some of life’s greatest struggles, Mrs. Lamb will surprise you with a thought-provoking statement.

She discusses surrender in several areas of our lives such as marriage, children, career, and loss. Joni recounts dramatic, almost unbelievable at times, stories of extraordinary people who have had to surrender to God in the most difficult of circumstances. In fact, some of the stories she shares could have entire books written about them and really couldn’t be covered in depth enough in this book which left me feeling as though she were a little bit flippant with them.

She also uses her own personal experience to share her uplifting, encouraging message of surrendering your all to God. Joni constantly reassures us that God will mend and restore all aspects of our lives including finances, health and relationships if we will just surrender them to Him. However, she is also very careful to make sure we understand that God hasn’t promised us a life of ease as His children and that surrender doesn’t guarantee a worry-free existence. Sometimes she flirts a little with the “prosperity gospel” or “name it and claim it theology” but mostly her advice seems to be grounded in Scripture. Most importantly, she makes sure to share the most significant story of surrender: Jesus.

Overall, Mrs. Lamb’s book is an interesting read that should encourage you to examine your own life for areas that need surrender in order to bring about the peace you are longing for.

Great American Road Trip 2009 Days 9 and 10

There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.

Yesterday was the Fourth and we spent it just outside of Nashville, TN in Franklin with a good friend of Wes' that I had never met. He and his family were super nice and they had also invited over some other friends and we enjoyed getting to know them too. We grilled out and then had planned on going to see the fireworks. Due to some rain that was expected, the city decided to move up the fireworks by 30 minutes...but we didn't get the memo. So we missed them.

We headed into the last stretch of our trip today. The stretch home!

We've had a great time and made a lot of memories but I don't mind tellin' you that we're all glad to be home. I missed my dogs something fierce.

2,835...the number of miles driven.

240...the number of hours spent together.

50 bazillion...the number of puppy kisses when we got home.

10 day road trip with the fam...priceless!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day 2009

Today you are probably planning to enjoy a long weekend with family, friends, food and fireworks. I am too.

But I want to take a moment to reflect on what Independence Day really means. I think this year is more meaningful to me since we've just visited some places our founders lived and worked. I've stood in the very spots that they walked on. And I am amazed beyond words at the enormity of their undertaking.

Those fifty-six brave men who signed the Declaration of Independence knew that by signing they were committing treason against the king and were therefore effectively signing their own death warrants. And yet, spurred on by strength of their convictions and an uncommon courage, they did sign and in so doing started the Revolution that would birth a new nation. Our nation.

These were ordinary men. Men with jobs and families and responsibilities. Men who wanted nothing more than to be left alone to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Men like you and me.

And yet they were men of extraordinary courage. Men who, when faced with difficult choices, chose to do the hard thing. The right thing. Men who were forced by their core values to not keep silent in the face of evil, oppression and tyranny. They were men of vision who foresaw the endless possibilities of a people who were free to pursue their dreams.

These fifty-six men were willing to sacrifice everything in the name of freedom. With "a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence," they "mutually pledge[d] to each other [their] Lives, [their] Fortunes, and [their] sacred Honor." And many of them eventually sacrificed their livelihood, the lives of sons who felt called to join their fight, and even their own lives. They gave all that they had so that we could be all that we are.

Today, I would ask you to consider for a moment how easy it would have been for these men to keep silent, to go about their business and to continue to live under the rule of an unjust king. And then thank Our God Almighty that they did not.

I would also ask you to consider how easy it is for us today to take for granted the freedom we have and how easy it is to remain silent when we see our out-of-control government becoming the very thing our founders hated and despised, the very thing they were willing to die to escape. Yes, it would be easier to bury our heads in the sand, to go on about our daily lives. But someday will our children's children wonder what it was like to live in freedom?

May we remember the cost of freedom and may we not be quick to give it away.

May we be worthy of their sacrifice.

Great American Road Trip Day 8

We're on the road again. This time to Oak Ridge, TN.

The Secret City.

The home of the Oak Ridge Boys?

I'll have to google that.

Tomorrow we'll take a tour so I'll get the scoop on Oak Ridge.

There's not much to report for today.

We did eat here on the recommendation of my friend, Mer . Mer has never steered me wrong!

And we found Dixie's store:

And I saw a woman wash her hair in the convenience store bathroom sink.

And she commented that they were out of soap the last time she was here too.

Come here often, do you?

And we had Marble Slab Creamery for supper.

A perfect end to a hard day on the road.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great American Road Trip Day 7

We visited the National Archives today. We waited in line FOREVER to see the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Magna Carta. Very cool. Totally worth the wait. We don't have pictures because flash photography is prohibited and the lighting is very low to protect the documents.

Flat Glenn begged to have his picture taken outside the Archives with this statue that reminds us to "Study the Past."

Next, we went to the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

Wow. Words are inadequate to describe this place, the stories and the feelings. My kids were both fascinated and both of them thought this was the most interesting place we'd visited so far. We also had some really great discussions about the dangers of propaganda and blindly following a cult of personality leader, etc. We also discussed what we hoped we would have done as German citizens and how vital it is to speak up for what is right and stand against what is wrong--no matter the cost.

Flat Glenn was dying to the this exhibit but didn't want to be a distraction so I left my purse unzipped so he could hear and peek out every once in a while.

"The State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda" was perhaps the very best tour we have taken and it was well worth this whole trip for that one tour. It is self-guided but we happened upon a very knowledgeable volunteer who was directing a tour and tagged along. Enlightening!

We made it the least ONE of them...the Museum of American History. Mainly we just wanted to see Dorothy's ruby slippers. The queue for the slippers was looonnnngggg but Caitlin had her heart set on seeing them so I waited with her. Wes and Hayley bailed on us so they also missed: Stephen Colbert's portrait, Archie Bunker's chair, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Minnie Pearl's hat!

NOW my trip is complete.

We've finally mastered the Metro system. In fact, we looked so confident we had someone ask US for directions! On the ride back to the hotel, though, Wes found himself seated next to a couple of FLAMING libs. They were young and so full of themselves. They talked the entire time about what a fabulous job Obama is doing, the crazy nuts who go to Palin rallies, etc. One of them even said very apologetically that his dad is a conservative. The other one said he was very glad his friend managed to outgrow it.

I had to keep giving Wes the stink eye to keep him quiet. By the time we got off, I needed duct tape because his head had exploded and he needed a transfusion because blood was shooting directly out of his eyes.

So, that was a fitting end to our D.C. visit. We're all ready to shake the dust of this town off our feet.

We felt suffocated and decided to just get in the car and start driving toward Annapolis. No plans...just to see what we could see. Because that's how we roll. Historic downtown Annapolis is lovely and quaint. The Naval Academy is very impressive.

And the fresh Maryland blue crabs at Cantler's were delicious!

After spending some time outside the big city we all felt renewed. Tomorrow we're on the road again most of the day to Oak Ridge, TN. I catch ya there!

Farewell, D.C.!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great American Road Trip Day 6

We were off to a great start this morning when Wes woke us up with Starbucks and chocolate donuts. This is why I married him.

Today we thought we'd do a little less walking by driving over to Arlington National Cemetery. (Note: It did not, in fact, result in less walking.) On the way, we saw the Pentagon and decided to swing by and see what was happenin'. It is not very tourist friendly, not that I blame them. I snapped a few pics before I noticed the sign that said "No photography." So in the interest of national security I will not post them.

We couldn't figure out where to park so we asked a kind-looking stranger who was lounging about in front of the Pentagon. He was most helpful but he asked a lot of questions. Where are you from? What part of AR? Oh, I went to high school in such and such in AR. Do you know any Owens? Yada, yada, yada. But you know what really bugged me about him? He looked very official in his blue shirt and tie with the official-looking lanyard with his I.D. on it...except his I.D. was tucked inside his shirt pocket. Hmmmm...That was weird, I'm just sayin'. Maybe he thought we were spies since I was snapping pics like a crazy woman. Although, we would have to be The Worst Spies Ever. Not stealthy. Not at all.

We opted out of parking on the north 40 and walking 200,000 miles to the Pentagon Memorial and instead headed for Arlington National Cemetery.

We visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the changing of the guard. It is a very solemn and awe-inspiring event.

Flat Glen wanted to be very respectful so he volunteered to spend the day in my purse. What a guy!

I cannot tell you how much walking we did. I don't want to think about it. It was MUCH worse that the National Mall because it's hilly. If you go, it is soooo worth the money to pay to ride the tour bus. They tell you all about everything and drop you off right in front of each site of interest. We know because we stood in the hot sun sweating and watching the smart people on the bus laugh at us as they cruised by.

This is a totally legal picture of the Pentagon as seen from the Arlington Cemetery.

We had all lost our sense of humor by the time we were done and I even lost all sense of reason. Do Not Do This. I repeat, do not attempt to walk the Cemetery.

We decided to head for Mt. Vernon because we are all getting just a little claustrophobic what with the tall buildings and cars everywhere. I need to see a pasture of cows in the worst way!

We ate lunch at the Mt. Vernon Inn which was delightful. I had the best chicken salad sandwich. I'm sorry, Amb, I was too hungry to take a picture.

Next we visited the gift shop where I purchased my mandatory Christmas ornament. (I get an ornament each year that represents our family vacation for that year.) It is lovely. Sorry I didn't take a picture.

While I was browsing the ornaments Wes went to find out how much tickets are to tour the house and grounds. Yeah, it would be $55 for all of us and Wes was less than enthusiastic so we skipped it. In my mind, I visited it. Years from now my great-grandchildren will see my keepsake ornament and never know I didn't actually go in. I can live with that.

And maybe they'll think great-grandma Lisa was a really cool spy, too.