Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Anyone China bound?

Wouldn't it be wonderful to avoid that LONG flight home and think outside the box for the return leg?? I found this INCREDIBLE price on a 23 day CRUISE leaving Beijing on May 1 with a dream list of ports of call.

The BEST part is that this cruise is on a clearance right now for 78% off the regular price! For this 23 day cruise the prices start at $1099 per person. Unheard of! WHAT a bargin! Go on -- click the link and start packing! Sublease your house for 2 months and come home with potentially more money than when you left after paying for your in China stay AND the 23 day cruise! Ummmm.


Fri May 1 Beijing (Xingang), China 7:00pm
Sat May 2 Dalian, China 8:00am 5:00pm
Sun May 3 At Sea
MonMay 4 Kagoshima, Japan 7:00am 4:00pm
Tue May 5 Pusan, South Korea 9:00am 6:00pm
Wed May 6 At Sea
Thu May 7 Vladivostok, Russia 5:30am 7:00pm
Fri May 8 At Sea
Sat May 9 Sapporo (Muroran), Japan 8:00am 6:00pm
Sun May 10 At Sea
MonMay 11 At Sea
Tue May 12 At Sea
Wed May 13 Crossing International Dateline 8:00am 8:00pm
Wed May 13 At Sea
Thu May 14 At Sea
Fri May 15 At Sea
Sat May 16 Whittier, AK 7:00am 9:30pm
Sun May 17 College Fjord, AK (Cruising) 6:00am 9:00am
MonMay 18 Glacier Bay National Park, AK (Cruising) 10:30am 8:30pm
Tue May 19 Skagway, AK 7:00am 8:30pm
Wed May 20 Juneau, AK 6:30am 4:00pm
Thu May 21 Ketchikan, AK 10:00am 6:00pm
Fri May 22 At Sea
Sat May 23 Vancouver, BC, Canada 7:30am

Monday, March 23, 2009

an open letter from a son to his mother

He is currently on active duty serving our country and wrote this letter to his mother and family. PLEASE take a moment and read his words from the perspective of someone on the front lines of defending our nation.
Scroll down once you click the link to arrive at the letter.

an experiment in Socialism

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. The class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little.. The second Test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for anyone else. All failed to their great surprise and the professor told them that socialism would ultimately fail because the harder to succeed the greater the reward but when a government takes all the reward away; no one will try or succeed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Solving the worlds problems

Out of the blue Elizabeth appeared around the corner the other night and she told me that on the news she heard "we have no magic wand".. the anchor (or whomever) was obviously referring to our nations economic situation. Elizabeth immediately corrected him and presented *her* magic wand waving it around me and then 'tapping' everything in the living room.

So, yes Mr. President, we do indeed have a magic wand :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

when a man puts on your pants...

Sweet Linny from a place called simplicity posted such a humorous and true picture of what it looks like when a man puts pants on your children for you. If you want a daily laugh you must go see and read it.. This tagged a train of thoughts as to my "issues" when Daddy has the kids as he has this week for the most part.

I must preface it all by saying I'm so grateful to him as I was fighting off a sore throat and ear thing. Here are the few observations though.

1. it's ok to not serve veggies with meals.
2. cheese toast, cheese toast, peanut butter and peanut butter sounds like a balanced diet.
3. vitamins.. what vitamins?
4. Did you feed the dog since Saturday sweetheart?
5. The new neighbors that just moved in across the street have yet to see our daughters hair combed.

But, John did his first long solo bike ride... that's more important than veggies this week :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

calling all bird experts!!

HELP! We have a very "pregnant" Robin trying her best to fly into our front windows! She WON'T give up and ALL day is slamming herself into the windows. She perches on the sill, looks in and then will back up and keep trying. I'm afraid she will break her neck one of these times and OH WHAT A MESS she is leaving with all the bird poop she leaves behind! I've tried a cover over the windows so she won't see her reflection, but it doesn't seem to help much.

any thoughts?

Spring restraint

A few weeks ago as Spring break was coming closer we sat by the fire on those chilly cold and often snowy evenings trying to decide what we wanted to do.

We had a week. Should we.... or should we.... or we could....

It was never decided, so the indecision was the decision. We were staying put and going to enjoy a simple low key spring break.

The Daddy has taken off most of the week to enjoy time doing the simple things. They include riding bikes on our street, fishing in the pond near our home, a few movies at Daddy's office complete with microwave popcorn, staying up later, games, and maybe some camping time for the boys complete with a pop up tent and sleeping bag!

It's incredible to imagine that once school starts back again on Monday that there are only 6 weeks left! Where did the time go??

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scandinavian baking

A simple "unusual" ingredient in baking often makes the difference... in this case it's cardamon!


This cake is meant to be served without a frosting or icing and with just a dusting of powdered sugar. On the fancy Scandinavian coffeetable, it belongs as the "middle" course, to be taken with the 2nd cup of coffee. For the best flavor, pulverize fresh cardamon seeds rather than purchasing ready-ground cardamon.

Serves 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly pulverized cardamon seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
vanilla wafer crumbs for coating pan

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamon, salt, eggs and whipping cream into large mixing bowl. Blend for 30 seconds on low speed scraping bowl often. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Butter a 9 inch tube (fancy mold is nice) and dust w/ vanilla wafer crumbs. Pour batter into pan. Bake @ 350 for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a rodent

Not long ago it was John's turn to bring home the class rodent uhhh I mean pet. John was very excited, but I must admit I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. I quickly jump started my attitude and realized this was important and special to John so I put on my happy face and enthusiastically loaded the vermin into our car with glee.

Once home it was like unwrapping presents under the tree to uncover the cage and discover "Snuggles". Snuggles quickly won the heart of the hand that would feed him that weekend and I was actually sorry to see him go Monday a.m. He turned out to be the sweetest of all Guinea pigs and Elizabeth simply adored him.

She would read him books at night before bed and the first night Snuggles appeared to listen intently and then suddenly stuck his neck out and started nibbling on Elizabeth's book! She was mortified.. at first. Then, thought this was hysterical.

We now have a very special plug out of a Golden Book cover thanks to our time with Snuggles.

Sometimes the simplest things are the most treasured memories.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a night!

Guess who's home? AND SHE WAS READY FOR IT!
Check out this beautiful beautiful little girl from Chenzhou, Hunan PRC now forever home in the USA! From the moment we were able to get our first glimpse of her walking into the airport terminal she had that same sweet smile I first saw in her referral picture. She walked down the corridor and when her Daddy put her down, UP went her hand WAVING to everyone!! Truly priceless!

After a marathon plane ride home from China, we hope Mom and Dad are getting some much needed rest! We will leave you alone.. for a few days and then start bugging you for updates Michael and Starla! :)

Congratulations to the new B. family!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

eye candy

I swiped this off of a delightful blog that keeps me up at night.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Serious questions about Muslim beliefs

Rick Mathes, is a well-known leader in prison ministry and wrote about the following exchange with an Islamic Imam.

The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races.

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was apresentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their beliefs.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say. The Imam gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video.

After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: 'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that's the case, can you give me the
definition of an infidel?'

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'

I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?' The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'

He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'

I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'

The Imam was speechless!

I continued, 'I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?'

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame. Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the Diversification' training seminar were not happy with Rick's way of dealing with the Islamic Imam , and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President! This might happen sooner now that President Obama has given large sums of money to relocate hundreds of thousands of refugee Hamas supporters to our US shores. This action by President Obama was signed on Jan. 27, 2009 and entered into the Federal Register on Feb. 4, 2009.
We are also seeing a sugarcoated picture of Islamic extremism, in the name of Political correctness portrayed in our public school textbooks.

Why does the leftist believer reach out in solidarity with the most gay-hating, woman-hating and minority-hating force on earth?

Why does the "progressive" heap adulation upon regimes under which he himself would be annihilated?

Why do radical feminists, who supposedly value women's rights, ignore the suffering of millions of women living under Islamic gender apartheid?

Just curious.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Unimaginable pain

for THIS family tonight.