Saturday, March 31, 2012

How did I go 36 years without reading this book?!?

I love my book club! I can't say it enough! A small group of us began meeting about 9 years ago and we continue to meet monthly. Many have come and gone, but there are still 3 of us (I think) that have been there since the beginning. Our group has gotten MUCH bigger and sometimes it is even difficult to have the discussion with so many people. Not everyone comes every month so the group has a bit of ebb and flow, but there always seems to be a core group that is there every month.

How I love these ladies! We have some gals that are really well read. They are all smart and deep thinkers and I learn so much from them. I love the time spent with these friends discussing books and life stories and experiences. ("What is said at book club, STAYS at book club!") It is not unusual for our talking to go to midnight and sometimes even later. When I leave for book club, Ken usually just says, "See ya tomorrow." :)

But I digress...

ANYWAY, when we made our schedule for this year I was most excited to read our book for March, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Seriously. How did I go 36 years without reading this book?!? I feel like a giant chunk of my education was missing.

I didn't find the story super compelling, but the themes that were developed were so well thought out and explained. I'm sure part of the reason I am so struck with the book is because I am seeing those same themes discussed and debated on our national political stage (and we all know how obsessed I am with that discussion). I kept finding great nuggets of truth that kept resonating with me.

I'm afraid that if I really started to get into the details, I would end up writing an essay and I'm pretty sure that my essay writing skills are pretty rusty, so I won't put you through that. You're welcome. However, our discussion of the book was fascinating to me. Here were just a few of the themes that we talked about: individualism vs. collectivism, being true to yourself, redistribution of wealth, dynamics within society, scope of government, and the nature of evil.

The Fountainhead is easily the most thought provoking book that I have read in years. I give it two thumbs way up! I can't wait to dig into Atlas Shrugged!

Pinewood Derby #1

Ever since becoming a Cub Scout last fall, Trevor has looked forward to the Pinewood Derby. (And I'm pretty sure Ken has been looking forward to it as well.) Trevor took great pride in doing as much of the work as possible. Whenever Ken or myself tried to help, he would remind us that HE was supposed to be doing it. I was really impressed with his dedication as he shaped, sanded, painted, and decorated his car.

The rules for the car rules state that it can't be any more than 5.0 ounces. They must have planned it perfectly (or had amazing luck) because when they put it on the scale, it weighed 5.000 ounces. Pretty amazing!

The day of the big race arrived and we went to the church for the event. Trevor's car did not do as well as we had hoped. He came in 16th out of 19. (Ken was totally trying to figure what they had done wrong and revamping the strategy for next year.) I was concerned that Trev would be disappointed, but he was so caught up with the thrill of racing a car that HE had built, he didn't even seem to notice what place he had come in. I so loved that about him! All the boys had a great time and so did the families that were there to cheer them on.

Until next year...

"Happy Birthday Dear Peyton!"

We had so much fun celebrating Peyton's 6th birthday. She chose to have a "makeup party" and she invited 10 friends to get their glam on. :) We enjoyed a dance party, fancy lunch, playing outside, painted fingernails, and put on makeup. All of these girls are such a joy to be with and it was fun watching them play together. I am continually reminded how important friends are even to these young girls. Peyton had such a wonderful time at her party!

Friday, March 30, 2012


For the last several months I have been bugged by all the STUFF in my house. I had been wanted to declutter and streamline my home. It is a bit tricky sometimes because Ken and I have very different approaches to the stuff issue. I think having to move every couple years while I was growing up taught me that the stuff wasn't the really important stuff. Ken spent most of his growing up in one house and got to keep most of what he wanted. I think it is this a bit problematic as we try to reach an agreement on what is important to have in our home.

Well anyway, decluttering and rethinking my house was not for the faint of heart, so of course, I called my mom. I also suspected that I might need some tough love myself when it came to getting rid of things. :) She was able to come in mid-February after first having to turn around due to a blizzard across the panhandle. Luckily she was able to make it the next day.

Once she got here, we started tackling different areas in the house. We rethought other areas, especially that paper pile area on my kitchen counter and computer. (I swear, papers are the bane of my household organization!) We found a bookshelf on sale at Target and great organizing baskets at Target and Marshalls. Then we found a few accessories. Not too many, I was way more interested in getting rid of things rather than adding to the amount in my house. We did find an owl that was so cute, I didn't even TRY to resist. Everytime I look at him, he just makes me SO happy!

We got rid of a ton of stuff! It felt so good! There is something so cleansing and freeing to release so many unused things. I gathered baby items to pass off to my brother and his wife (they are expecting their first baby this summer). I had a big box of books that I took to the used bookstore. We also had bags and bags of junk to throw out.

Pretty much my mom is AWESOME. I was so thankful that she was up for this not very fun task. In addition to the manual labor she helped me with, she also sewed on scout patches, did some mending (I never quite get around to that pile), and helped Peyton sew a cute bag. It was so sad when it was time for her to go home. I love being around her so much that our time together never seems quite long enough. :(

I still have many projects to do and more items to purge, but we made great progress. It always seems easier when you have a great working buddy. Thanks mom!!!

The dumping room...

All the stuff ready to be picked up by goodwill.

Peyton's cute bag made from her sewing kit she got for Christmas.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mitt's the Man!

After following the GOP Presidential race all too closely, I am choosing to support Mitt Romney. I really like the fact that he has had real life experience running things outside of Washington. With his many years in business he has repeatedly shown that he knows how to balance a budget, streamline an organization, and turn around a failing prospect into a successful one. I am behind his theme of "more jobs, less debt, smaller government". The moral decay I see in our country is troubling, but just as pressing is the state of our economy and our nation's balance book. Out of all those running, I think Mitt Romney has the skills we need to turn around this failing government so we don't become the next Greece.

On February 7th I was able to volunteer at a Mitt Romney rally in Colorado and then speak out in support of Mitt at caucus (in front of about 500 people), and then run our precinct meeting as the chairperson. It was a very full day, especially since I had been pretty sick and was pushing myself pretty hard so I could help. I was totally running on adrenaline and diet coke. I guess I pushed a bit too hard and I completely lost my voice for the next couple days. Ken and the kids didn't seem to mind that too much though. :)

I was up way before dawn to get up to RV America in Johnstown. I was working with the Weld county co-chairs and was asked to be a manager of volunteers for the rally. It was fun to bring Tasha with me to work. I was assigned to be over those at the front door and help signing people in and getting them information about caucus that night. It was fun to greet about 500 or so people, especially Ken as he brought Morgan and Trevor for the rally. I also got to work with some people from the campaign and secret service. When it came time for Mitt to be arriving, I got to go stand with the big-wigs behind where Mitt was going to speak. It was really fun being that close to the stage!

Me with Tasha getting ready for the masses to arrive.

Morgan and Trevor waiting for Mitt to arrive.

Morgan is in the lower left corner.

I'm in the lower right corner.

Mitt got there a little late because of the weather, but his speech was fantastic. I really think he is the right man for the job. I am looking forward to when more people understand his proposals, not the political junkies. After his speech he shook hands with people around the stage. Morgan and Trevor were able to work their way up to the front and shake Mitt's hand. He even commented on Morgan's beautiful green eyes. :)

Morgan shaking Mitt's hand.

I got to go backstage with the other volunteer managers and got to meet Mitt. We had to share our information so the secret service could check us out beforehand. I have to say, it was a thrill to meet him, talk with him for a moment, and take some photos. I truly hope this man can win the nomination and the White House and put our country back on the right track.

The rally volunteer managers.

I was grateful for the opportunity that night to attend my caucus and vote for Mitt. I love the grassroots feeling of a caucus as you are there with your neighbors electing delegates. I got reelected as our precinct committee chair. I really enjoy getting to be involved, even if it is on that small level. Mitt won the vote in our precinct, but I was disappointed that Santorum took Colorado. (I think it hurt that polls showed that he was way ahead and many people didn't show up to vote. In life, no matter what it is, showing up is a HUGE part of the game.)

Today is "Super Tuesday" and I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I really hope that Mitt has an excellent showing tonight and becomes that much closer to being the nominee so he can take on Obama in the fall. Go Mitt!