Friday, April 25, 2008

This time next week....

I was recently trying to figure out a way to get home to AZ for a special family event. We almost could afford a plane ticket, but not quite. I received a nice gift from my sister, Valerie, who offered to buy a ticket to fly me out there for a few days, from Wednesday to Sunday, to be exact. I am taking Allyson, but the other girls are staying home with Brian who has Thursday through Sunday off. We just have to have a place for the kids to go after school on Wednesday until he gets off...mission accomplished! We are so blessed to have such wonderful family members and friends to help us and do kind things! So anyway, this time next week, I'll be in AZ! Yeah! I can't wait to see my family,it's been since Summertime. Ally has changed so much since we were there.

Just a follow-up to my last blog...

In case you didn't see...Barack did NOT win PA. I don't know what difference it will make in the end, but I had some moments of "Ha-ha" this week...:)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

O brother...Obama

Well, I had a chance to try to stand up for what's right today. Barack Obama has been campaigning in PA the last few weeks or so. Well, as a last big push, he decided to do an old-fashioned "whistle" tour, or whatever they call it. He was traveling by AmTrak from Philadelphia to Harrisburg. Well, he was making a stop in my little town of Wynnewood, very close to my house, so Jessica and I walked over there. I found out on friday afternoon that he was going to be there Saturday at 11:30, but honestly didn't care. I am not a Barack supporter by any stretch of the imagination. Had no plans to go see him. But Saturday morning, I woke up and thought, "I should go hold up signs that let him know that not EVERYBODY in Lower Merion Township is ga-ga over him", although it does seem that way. I figured I had time to run some errands in the morning and be back in time to see him at 11:30.

So we made a couple of signs ("A baby is NOT a punishment" and "I don't cling to religion, I believe in religion") and then started on our way to run errands, the girls with me, Brian home studying for a bit. When we drove by the train station at around 9:30, there were a number of police cars, and lots of pedestrian traffic already there waiting for "His majesty". I decided, when my adrenaline started pumping, to postpone my errands, and go straight to the train station. We went home, dropped off Ally and Courtney (who didn't want to attract attention to herself), and Jessica and I walked to the train station.

While on our way, one of Jessica's classmates and her family drove by us and stopped, asking us if we were going to see Barack. I said "Yes, but probably not for the same reasons you are." They looked at my signs and said "yeah, not for the same reasons." They then said "they're going to confiscate those." To which I said, "they can't do that, it's my free speech." Then I did start getting nervous because, what if they did? I was a lone mom, with my 7 year old daughter, and we didn't want a confrontation, but I didn't want them to squash my free speech rights. I knew they would though.
As we got closer, each Barack volunteer I passed kept telling me that I couldn't take my signs "in there". (First of all, we were at a train station, in a very outdoor, free area. Second of all, I wasn't even "in there", meaning the parking lot.) So I held my signs right outside the entrance to the free train station parking lot and continued to have volunteers tell me I couldn't have signs in there. I would say, "I can stand right here with my signs." They would say, "well, yes you can." I even had a couple of volunteers try to be sneaky and stand sort of in front of me to try to block me. I just moved over a bit, and people still saw and read my signs. Anyway, I guess they were taking away all home-made signs, (they just wanted official Barack signs, of course) although I didn't see another single homemade sign, let alone any other anti-Barack campaigners. Very distressing and very lonely.

Anyway, like I said, I didn't want any trouble, but I did want to go in, so we had some time and Jess and I walked back to our home and made stickers that said the same thing as the signs, only displayed in a way "they" couldn't force me to get rid of. Thinking back now, I should have just stayed outside with my signs and stayed where Barack could see me when his train pulled up. But Jessica wanted to see him. Regardless of how creepy I think he is, he is still a candidate for the office of President of the United States, and it was kind of interesting. No one made me take off the stickers, and no one said anything, but it didn't really accomplish what I wanted to do, to let Obama himself see that someone out here stands for the right.

It was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, a bit of a rush, outside of my comfort zone. Jessica was really into it too. I hope that she, and Courtney, will remember that we tried to stand up for what we believe in...that which is right.

Obama in the blue shirt, towards the top of the picture, Senator Bob Casey of PA is behind him.

Our "fancy" last minute signs and stickers! Boy, am I creative!
Never too early to start them "protesting" for what is right, right? :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things that made me smile this weekend

Allyson has been able to go to the nursery at church for 3 Sundays now. She loves it and almost immediately bonded with 2 of the teachers. In our ward they alternate between 2 women one month, then 2 men the next month. I'm not sure this is really the best thing for all the kids, but the leaders in the ward feel like they want to allow nursery leaders to be able to attend their meetings sometimes. Ally, so far, doesn't seem to mind, she likes being able to play with toys and doesn't really care who is in there. But her first two weeks, Debby and Robin were in there and since then, everytime Ally sees them, she gets very excited. She waves to them during sacrament meeting. One thing that especially made me smile happened after church as we were making our way around the church to get to our car. She was walking along and all of a sudden saw Debby and started "running" while waving to her. She really wanted to say HI. Then a missionary stepped in her way, and she was halted for a minute but found her way around the missionary, who didn't see her and almost stepped on her. She finally got to Debby and waved as big as she could to say hi! It was so cute, I must say. I could also see the almost urgency on her face to get to Debby. :) I'm so glad that she likes her nursery leaders so I don't have to go with her. I had to with the other two girls for quite some time...

Another thing...the weather is FINALLY looking promising. It was a bit on the chilly side yesterday, but it's supposed to be nice Spring temperatures all week. I have to smile when I walk's such a huge difference in everyone's mood when it goes from winter to spring!

Other things that made me smile...

Jessica learning how to dribble a basketball and swing her leg over it.
Courtney sitting down to write her stories and draw pictures...she'll be published someday.
Brian starting his 3 days off.
Getting to take a 2 hour nap on Sunday because Brian was home.
Ally signing "potty" after she wets or messes her diaper. (Okay, that would be a bit embarrassing for her if she knew what I was doing.)
Getting to watch "The Office" for the first time in a VERY long time!
Finding a Smurfs template for my blog! Love the Smurfs!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Winter blasts and Springtime fun

We had a pretty mild winter this year. I recall only one major snow storm. The kids got to stay home from school that day and play in the snow. They always enjoy that. Ally got to really know what snow is like and seemed to enjoy it. It was very cold, but lots of fun.

Here are our beautiful "snow angels"!

Ally loves to pose for the camera these days! We can't help but think she's the most adorable toddler in the world!

Here's our little "Ally-cat"!

Jessica has lost 4 teeth already. This is after her 4th front tooth fell out in March.

One of Ally's favorite things to do is have someone read her a story. Both older sisters are always happy to oblige.

Recently the kids had Spring Break and Brian's vacation overlapped two days so we took a family day trip to New York. We've been there a number of times but we have never gone to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. So we ordered ferry tickets, parked in New Jersey and took the ferry to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island. It was a great experience to see such a grand part of our history. We didn't have a lot of time to see very much of Ellis Island since we had to get to Lady Liberty by 3:30 or we couldn't go in. When we got to the Lady, we were able to hike up the 160+ stairs in the pedestal. The girls were troopers. Brian carried Ally part of the way and then handed her off to Julie. What a difference that was! It was much tougher to carry her up the stairs, which just goes to show how out of shape we are! YIKES! Anyway, despite the wind and chill we enjoyed the view from the top of the pedestal and the whole trip in general. And the girls did great! No complaining at all! That was a miracle in and of itself!

We actually bought Easter dresses and shoes this year. We found matching dresses for Jessica and Ally at Costco. Unfortunately they don't sell Courtney's size there so she was out of luck (although she didn't see it that way. She was a bit relieved.) The Easter bunny filled baskets with a little bit of candy, including "Reester Bunnies" (Reese's pb bunnies...I loved that marketing idea!) and certain Webkinz stuffed animals that the girls have been wanting for a while now. Courtney wanted a reindeer (wrong holiday, I know), and Jessica wanted a turtle. They love Webkinz...they each have 5 now, I believe.

Courtney may have lucked out in not having to match with a sister for Easter, but we bought these matching outfits at Old Navy that were so adorable. She didn't mind this time because she wanted it so much and didn't care whether Jess got one or not. So she did and they both looked so adorable. Nice little Spring outfit.
We took a walk one day when the weather got up to 70+. The flowers were out...we think our favorites are the daffodils. But the tulips are nice too. It did get cold and rainy the next few days so Spring is still teasing us, but I'm sure it will be here soon!