Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hey There Delilah, I'm at the MTC

I saw this on a friend's blog and had to share. I love the original song and think this parody is hilarious!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is a Right, Or, Standin' On My Soapbox

You saw the title, so fair warning, ok?

What is a right? We are given certain rights by our country and by God, but what, by definition, is a right? All this talk about the right to free speech, the right to health care, the right to bear arms, the right to happiness, the right to blah, blah, blah has got me thinking about it a lot.

The Bill of Rights doesn't actually secure us the right to happiness. It states that we have the right to pursue happiness. That's a very different thing than just the right to be happy. The Bill also doesn't secure us the right to health care. It doesn't secure us the right to a driver's license or a plasma TV, or a dinner out each week. We have the right to pursue those things, but we do not have a right to them.

As a people and as individuals, we don't have a right to government given health care or any health care at all. It is not the government's responsibility to provide it and it is my right to deny it if I don't want it. We have the right to buy health insurance if we want it and a right to pay out of pocket if we want.

A right is something that doesn't infringe on the rights of others. Therefore, the government does not have the right to force a health care insurance plan (government or otherwise) down my throat. The government has the right to enforce things like auto insurance, driver's licenses, the right to vote for all individuals and set an age requirement for voting, drinking, smoking, etc. because those things can and do affect others, not just the people using those rights. The government has the right to require the people to attend special classes and training before purchasing a weapon, but doesn't have the right to tell the people that they cannot use the weapon for self defense.

There are insurance plans that are required by law which do make sense, such as auto insurance. If I get in a car accident and it is my fault, my insurance will cover the accident. It's my responsibility to make sure those involved in the accident are taken care of monetarily and I can do so by having auto insurance. If I don't have that insurance and get into an accident, then that makes life hard for everyone involved because I may not have money to pay for it out of pocket.

My decision to have health insurance or not however doesn't affect anyone else. If I go to the doctor and I don't have health insurance, my neighbor or the woman next to me in the waiting room doesn't have to pay for it--I do. I don't have a problem with this. When Nathan graduates, he'll be able to exchange his services for those of other medical professionals. We probably wouldn't have to worry about health insurance at all if it wasn't for ObamaCare. But now, we could be forced to buy health insurance, something we don't need, don't want, and will be taking money we need for other things out of our pockets. Instead of buying snow boots, sweaters, and paying for heating the house, we'll have to put that money into health insurance. Great. Now when we get sick at least we can go to the doctor and have him tell us we have a cold.

I lived in Canada for over 18 months. During that time I had an emergency room visit, a dental visit, and needed to see two different general practitioners for different things. The ER had no choice but to admit me, but it was many hours waiting and all for the guy to be less than helpful. He had many other people to get to and wasn't really interested in helping me. The dentist I lucked out on and was the mother of a friend. The doctor? Well, lets say I made about 5 phone calls to doctor offices and was hung up on each one. "No, he's not taking new patients," was all I heard, then click. Finally, before I asked for an appointment, I said, "I'm from the United States and can pay for an appointment." That's when I got in. However, I saw a terrible doctor who wasn't interested in helping me and just wanted to get through his day. His assessment of what was wrong was completely off and showed that he hadn't even listened to me.

The second doctor I saw was for a cyst in my back. While he was nice and did the first half of his job, getting the cyst out and sending it to the lab to make sure it was benign, he asked me if I knew anyone that could take the stitches out for me so I wouldn't have to come back to his office. What?!? Yeah. Good thing one of my mission companions was a nurse. I had to have her take the stitches out because the doctor didn't want me clogging up his office for a 10 minute procedure.

Rights are given based on the idea that they won't infringe on the rights of others. That doesn't mean that everyone will be happy and enjoy life, but that there are basic rights which should not be denied. But just because those rights shouldn't be denied, doesn't mean we have to accept them. Just because I have the right to bear arms doesn't mean I will (but I do). Just because I have the right to free speech doesn't mean I'm going to paint myself a poster and march across the street (but I will write a blog post). Just because I have the right to pursue happiness doesn't mean I will (but I do). And just because some idiot at the White House says I have the right to health insurance doesn't mean I do. I have the right to pursue health insurance, but no more. His telling me I have to have it infringes on my rights and my family's rights. My decision to not buy health insurance doesn't affect him or anyone else in the country. As long as my husband and I can take care of ourselves and our children we have the right to say no to health insurance.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breaking the Streak

Last night Nathan attended his first ever MLB game. I have been to quite a few, but they were all forever ago when the Astros still played in the Astrodome. Just as the game was starting I told Nathan that I might have to cheer for the Orioles because their name sounds so much like Oreos and those just sounded so good right then. And now, actually. But I of course cheered for Cleveland.

This was a first for the kids as well and they loved it. They didn't watch a lot of the game of course, but they thought it was really cool to see real baseball players and to try to find the ball as it would soar after being hit (which unfortunately didn't happen a whole lot). They loved the songs that would play over the loud speakers to get the fans excited and would dance to them, especially Jeremy. Megan loved playing with the other kids that were there since we went with a bunch of people from the dental school and Church.

After the game (which we won, thank goodness, otherwise it would have been the 12th loss for Cleveland) they had the coolest firework display I've ever seen. It was put to some really fun music and they had the words up on a screen for the audience to sing along. Megan and Jeremy were excited for the fireworks until they realized just how close we were to them. They thought for sure we were going to catch fire until I explained to them that we were in a safe area and showed them how other people had to move out of their seats because the could have been hurt.

It was a ton of fun for me. I loved having Jeremy on my lap and explaining to him different aspects of the game. Here's our happy family even more happy because of the win!

I love how the guy behind us is looking at the camera, how Emma looks like she's having a mugshot taken, and how Megan is kind of off in la-la land. And you can't really tell in the picture because it looks a little funny, but I was actually having a good hair day. It was curly and I loved it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Progress, Take Two

I finally fixed my progress bars. It's kind of funny.

I was talking to Nathan about my dismal abilities in math only an hour or so ago.

Ten minutes ago he asked me about my progress bar, if I'd made it to 1% yet.

This of course was depressing because I believed I was at .1% and had been excited moments ago to have finally reached it. It's pretty depressing to have a progress bar that doesn't actually have a bar moving across it, you know?

So I decided to update it with him there, so he could see the new percentage. He watches me and then (I don't know how he did this without laughing at me) says, "Kell, you've got to multiply it by 100."

Yeah. This is why I was an English and History major.

So now I have progress on my progress bars. Yay!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Everything You Missed While Our Camera Was On Vacation Without Us

So here they are, the pictures that have been sitting in Palmyra, NY since Labor Day. And without any further ado. . . .

Emma feeding herself


Our trip to Palmyra
Here are the kids at the Angel Moroni statue

Kristy took this picture of Ryan just before snapping the family picture of us.

Megan rolling down the huge Hill Cumorah.

And here's Jeremy realizing that he didn't want to go down the hill after all.

Megan and Jeremy at the Smith home.

Megan and Jeremy checking out a tree in the Sacred Grove.

Before going on to the Grandin Building (where The Book of Mormon was printed and where we left our camera) we ate lunch at a park and played a bit.

Kristy, Megan, and me. We only got a little dizzy:)

Jeremy crawling around on a weird sculpture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Holes in the Wall and Police

There were two cop cars parked outside our house on Saturday. There were two new holes placed in my kitchen wall, too.

I took Emma grocery shopping with me in the morning and when we got back Nathan got her out of the van, but didn't hear me say the keys were next to her car seat. He shut the door after getting her out, locking them in the car. I called multiple locksmiths pricing their services for getting them out and then considered walking everywhere for the rest of our lives. Then I decided to swallow my pride and call the police. They were very nice about it, except the first officer that came by got his tool stuck in our car window. We thought for a while we'd have to pay an insane amount of money to get it out. When he couldn't unlock the van or get his tool out he radioed another officer for help. He brought a different tool and had our van unlocked in less than five minutes. Then after rolling down the window we were able to get the other tool out. Yay! Thanks University Heights Police!

As for the holes, Nathan and our friend Bryan worked on raising some wires in the backyard that the city decided were too low when we bought the house. Apparently, holes were necessary.

It was a busy, fun weekend and now on to a busy, fun week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


You've probably noticed the three progress bars to the right. I've had one up for a while, but since I'm working on three different stories at the same time, I figured I'd put two more progress bars up. Just so you know (that is if you are even interested) they are all based on a goal of 80,000 words. So if you multiply the percentages by 80,000, you'll know how many words I have on each rough draft.

Right now it's kind of depressing because the percentages are so low that there's no little bar to see. I'm not sure how high the percentage has to be to actually get the bar to show up. I hope we find out.

I've made a goal to write for at least an hour every day, so the percentage on at least one of them should go up every day.

And should you still be reading this post, here is a quick bit about each story so you kind of know what I'm working on when those progress bars change.

The Hinky manuscript (none of these are the titles, they are just working file names so I can keep the stories straight) is a reconstructing of what was once going to be a collection of embarrassing moments. I have gathered hundreds of embarrassing moments from people I've met and haven't met and at first I was going to try to publish them as a simple collection with some witty bits about embarrassment-what happens to us physiologically and emotionally when we get embarrassed or recall those memories, the various ways people deal with embarrassment, what it means when people don't get embarrassed vs. what it means when people say they don't get embarrassed, but really do, etc. I decided that wasn't working for me when Deseret Book asked for something additional and there was really no way I could do it being that I have no idea where 99 percent of my contributors are now.

So now it is a fiction story that incorporates many of the experiences I collected as well as many of my own. I am still thinking I'll try to sell it to Deseret Book or Cedar Fort. We'll see.

The Two draft is about what happens to a woman when she chooses something other than her destiny and is given the opportunity to change her life to reflect the choice she "should" have made.

Arlie is a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

So there you have it. Three of the ideas floating around in my head. I have others, but these are the three that I am choosing to actively think about and plan.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Being Given

Remember this post?

Well, the winners were announced soon after and now that I'm finally done creating the gifts, it's time for sending them on. I've sent Janeen's and Josie's, and given Kristy her's (no point in mailing what I can hand out at Enrichment). Lindsey and Jess, I need y'all's addresses!!

This is what I want from you. Take a picture of what I send you and put it on your blog and then do your lucky five if you haven't already completed it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Labor Day

We had a great Labor Day weekend and I would have blogged about it sooner, but we forgot our camera in Palmyra. Without pictures to use, I kinda got lazy with the post. I still don't have the camera, but I figured I can't really wait anymore and I'll just post the pictures when we get the camera back.

So we went to Palmyra, New York with our friends Ryan and Kristy. It was a lot of fun. Our first stop was the Hill Cumorah where (for those of you who don't know) Joseph Smith received the record he translated into The Book of Mormon. It is a massive hill and I am proud to say that I walked up it with Ryan and Kristy while Nathan drove the kids up it. When I have the camera back, I'll post the pictures of the family, kids, and flowers at the Hill. There is also a Visitors' Center there where we got to see the Christus (huge statue of Christ) they have there and go through their interactive displays which I don't think they had last time we were there.

Next stop was the Smith Farm. We got to see the cabin where they lived and the house that they built and lived in for only a short time before they had to sell it. Right across from the house is the Sacred Grove where Joseph as a young boy went to pray and ask which church to join. I would have liked to go in the grove without the kids so I could feel the wonderful spirit there a little better, but time didn't really allow for that. Nathan and I decided to let Ryan and Kristy go in without us though, since we didn't want our kids bugging them, too. We tried explaining to the kids the importance of the grove and how they needed to be reverent, but they are kids and can only be still and quiet in the outdoors for so long.

After lunch at a fun park we stopped by the Grandin Building which is where The Book of Mormon was printed. We got a tour of the building and got to hear the history of how The Book of Mormon was printed. This is where we left the camera. Thank goodness the sister missionaries found it! After looking everywhere on Sunday for the camera, I called them on Monday and the sister missionary I was talking to said, "We've been waiting for you to call!" They are holding it for a friend of ours in Buffalo to come get it. I'm using this as a great excuse to drive out to Buffalo and visit her. I haven't seen her in Y-E-A-R-S. Probably since high school graduation. And, no. I won't tell you how long ago that was.

Anyway, we are back; we are camera-less; and in slow-mo for blogging without the camera.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


In Megan's Words . . .

"Mom, I have a hypothesis. I think you can run faster than me because you have longer legs. That's my hypothesis."

After hearing a loud thump , Nathan and I rushed upstairs to find Megan in a ball on the floor next to her bed. Nathan picked her up to put her back in bed and Megan calmly said, "I'm still asleep, don't worry."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Book Review-Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility: Revised Edition (Signet Classic) Sense and Sensibility: Revised Edition by Jane Austen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved everything about this book except that Austen brings Willoughby back to explain himself and then Elinor and Marianne forgive him. His explanation of his behavior just made me more mad at him. This book is right up there with Pride and Prejudice. It was much easier to read than Austen's Emma, less humorous than Pride and Prejudice, but more emotional.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, September 4, 2009

Preschool Bliss

Preschool is a wonderful thing. I am one of those people that hates being late, so we arrived at the school about 15 minutes early the first couple days (even earlier today so the kids could play on the playground for a while before going in). By the time Jeremy's teacher opened his classroom door, he was so ready to get in there and play he just ran right in without ever looking back. He wanted to be in school just like Megan. He didn't realize, or maybe didn't care, that I couldn't follow him into the classroom. Megan was the only one who was sad. As we were walking away she told me, "I'm sad for Jeremy because he doesn't have a sister in there to play with." Cute. But I don't think he's worried about that right now.

A friend picked him up from school (we're carpooling with a friend) and according to her, Jeremy's teacher said he did great. No problems.

Same thing happened with Megan. By the time her classroom door opened she was ready and just ran her little butt in there. Jeremy was a little sad and wanted to go in with her, mostly because of the sandbox in her classroom that keeps calling out to him, "Jerrrrremy! Come get dirty! Come throw my sand all over the classroom floor, Jerrrrremy!"

So far my kids are loving it, they are doing well, and they are happy. But the best part of preschool, other than having someone who knows how to teach, teaching them is, the first day after dropping Jeremy off I came home with the idea to clean the house. Megan wanted watermelon and I told her I didn't want to make a mess in the kitchen until the whole house was clean. She went downstairs, I thought to watch PBS (we finally sprang the $8 for basic cable). About ten minutes later she called to me, "Mom! Come see what I did!" I walked downstairs to the basement and found it completely clean. Every toy was picked up and placed exactly where it goes. It was cleaned the way I would have cleaned it. I was so excited I immediately began asking her, "Do you want any fruit snacks? Chocolate milk? Candy? Let me get you whatever your little heart desires." Then she helped me clean up the kitchen. Then she picked up every single toy in the living room and put them away. Bliss. Absolute bliss.

Preschool does wonderful things. Jeremy is even learning how to clean up. Jeremy does not clean. Unless it's his hands, the boy won't do it. You can beg, threaten, or try to move his hands and fingers to grasp toys and put them away, but he will not do it. He got a stamp on his hand yesterday--for CLEANING UP THE TOYS. Who knew? I'll cover his hand with stamps if the kid will do it here at home.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Sweet New Ride

If you missed it, my laptop died last week. And if you didn't check my blog a few hours ago, Nathan is the coolest ever. He told me last night that he was expecting a couple packages and to stick close to home today. So other than taking the kids to school and picking them up, I stayed home waiting.

About an hour before I left to pick up Megan, the side doorbell rang. I went to get it and there was a delivery man with a box. I didn't really pay much attention to the box, or its size, or even what was printed on the box.

Then the guy was checking my signature and asking me what my first initial was. I gave him the wrong answer.

This is because that's when I decided to take a look at the box.

Now, Nathan gets computer stuff in the mail all the time. I'd say every month something comes for either Nathan or a friend who has asked Nathan to build him a computer.

But this box was different. This box said there was a computer in the box. A laptop computer. As the delivery guy started walking away I called after him, "Nathan bought a computer?"

He smiled and said, "Yeah, and it's for you, so don't get mad at him!" Then he laughed and kept walking.

How did he know?

Can I tell you how excited I am? No. There are no words. And I'm a writer, so I know that there are no words to tell you just how excited I am.

This is possibly the coolest laptop ever. This is because it was a surprise from Nathan. [Quick breath] And he bought me a green mouse. And green is my favorite color. [Quick breath] And he put Princess Leia as my little icon for when I get on my computer. [Quick breath] And my background is cool and green with black buildings in silhouette. [Quick breath] And it is cool.

Thank you, Nathan! I love you!!


I have the best husband in the whole world.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Yesterday was the last day of summer vacation for Megan and Jeremy. Preschool orientation was everything I expected and nothing that the kids expected. I figured we'd walk in, get the kids introduced to their teachers and maybe a couple other kids, have them see what stations are in their room, check out the playground and have the teachers pass out all the boring literature I'm supposed to read and the papers I have to fill out.

That's basically what happened, with the exceptions that Megan's teachers had prepared a game to help them find all the stations in the classroom, Jeremy's teachers didn't take us to the playground, and Emma ate sand.

Jeremy was disappointed he didn't get to play with everything he wanted to, Megan didn't want to leave the housekeeping station, and Emma wanted to read all the books she could reach. Yep, those are my kids.

All in all it was good and I'm excited for tomorrow when I can just drop Jeremy off in the morning and Megan off in the afternoon and I'll have a little more free time with fewer kids. I'm also curious as to how Jeremy is going to do. He isn't as social as Megan and stuck next to me through much of his orientation and seemed glued to Megan during hers.

ps, I'll post pictures tomorrow after the real first day.