Archive for August, 2006

AZ Elections

August 31, 2006

Just wanted to remind you that AZ elections are coming up! Center for AZ Policy has an easy voter’s guide online this year. They submitted a list of questions to all the candidates. They then ask for your online responses to the same questions and let you compare them. Very quick and easy. When you are done, you can print your choices for easy reference. The questions sent to the candidates centered on pro life and morality issues but also AZ spending. If you want to use this helpful guide, visit CAP.


Camping Trip

August 29, 2006

Last week Jim and I and over 50 of our family and friends, spent several days up north camping at Blue Ridge. (Shayla – I should have called you first!!!)

We had such a great time and I am so glad we went. We had 22 kids 10 years of age and younger with us – crazy huh? It was a pretty quiet and uneventful trip (rare but nice). I thought I would share just some pictures and a few little anecdotes from the trip.

Noah and the Stick
I love the way that kids tell stories. David told me this week that if Noah ever runs up to greet me and starts his sentence with “Um” that I better be prepared for the already drafted version of his tale. LOL. David called that one correctly!

Tanner, Noah and Zandi were playing a distance away under a tree. Tanner starts crying. I have a bit of a jog to get there. As David said, Noah meets me and begins his officially prepared statement with “Um…”

“Ummmm Aunt Sissy….a big huge stick fell from high in the sky and hit Tanner on the head.”

I get to Tanner and sure enough, he does have the marking of a big stick konking him in the head. Tanner than say’s:


It was all I could do to hide my laughter. Noah told the absolute truth. He just didn’t mention how the stick got high in the sky to begin with πŸ™‚ .

Tanner and the Shove
Graham was crying because Tanner shoved him. Weird I thought. Tanner isn’t generally aggressive. Noah tells me that Tanner got mad at Graham because he was taking his toys. Hmmmmm. I asked Tanner what happened and he said “I just pushed him. Graham didn’t do nuffin.” I asked several times and got the same answer. Several day’s later we are driving down the road and Tanner say’s “Mommy do you remember when I pushed Graham?”

“Yes” I say.

“Well Alyssa had some toys and I wanted them but she was giving them to Graham.”

“So you just pushed Graham?”

“Yep. And he didn’t do nuffin.”

At least he did tell the absolute truth πŸ™‚

Brave Sweetie

Question for you. If you were in the wilds and had camped close to a narrow mountain trail with a rock wall on one side and a steep cliff dropping down to a reservoir on the other….would you agree to go jeeping with a gal who was lousy at driving a stick shift? Apparently mi madre would :).

Several people over the course of my life have tried to teach me to drive stick to no avail. However, now that we have a Suzuki Samarai, I have been trying to learn. I told Jim that I wanted to go out jeeping and he was about to play mountain golf. He, brave man that he is, said okay. No questions. No “where are you going….when will you be back…do you know what you are doing….???” So, with a calm reserve, I invited my mother along. I put on a brave face and climbed behind the wheel. As I attempted reverse, several friendly campers got the giggles. I saw their patronizing and smug little glances;), but I paid them no mind.

I told mom that we should go up the hill and see the reservoir. Anything in this sentence catch your attention? As in “up a hill”? Yes…didn’t think through that. I had never attempted a stick shift on a hill. I have only driven the jeep alone twice before as a point of fact.

So off we went. We had a lovely drive and we were enjoying ourselves immensely. I got a bit overly confident as we approached the boat dock though. It didn’t seem a good place to turn around so I choose the steep hillside knowing that there was a circular turn around a couple miles up. Never once crossed my mind that I would get into trouble. Am I an idiot? Sometimes.

Half way up the hill I had to stop due to traffic. When I attempted to put it back in first I realized my mistake. Oh great day in the mornin’. With every attempt I slipped a few feet backwards. Terrified of slipping towards the cliff side, I steered towards the rock wall. I later told my dad “Well one of my virtues is at least knowing my limitations. I gave it my all until it was no longer safe and then I waited for a rescue.” Dad said “And that is what I love about you πŸ™‚ “.

When I got to the point that one more attempt would take my rear bumper against the rock, I stopped. Mom, now quite wide eyes wondered what my next plan was. Easy – we flag down help. The next truck up the road was filled with teenage guys in the back. Turns out none of them could drive stick either. The driver, a man in his 40’s (probably), was valiant enough to offer his services. Poor guy. He looked at my predicament rather wide eyed too. I could tell he was in no hurry to attempt it either. At first he say’s “Well put your left foot on the clutch and the other foot on both the brake and the gas holding it at an angle.” My response to that was “Are you kidding?” Ya right.

He jumped in and turned it around and I happily drove it back down the hill. Later I asked Jim what the little gripper thing was on the stick and he told me that he put a hand control in for the gas so that you don’t need 3 feet for those predicaments. Wish I would have realized that sooner! Oh well…lesson learned πŸ™‚ . And yes, my mother still loves me. (By the way, the guy who helped was a college pastor at another valley church. Love it when God sends one kid to bail out another πŸ™‚ ).

Here are trip pictures:

While camping Tanner came up to me and said “I am picking up all the stuff that Ty may choke on.” How sweet. I didn’t inspect.

While doing laundry today I came across his camping jeans with pockets stuffed. Mother’s of boy’s always get afraid to dig into pant pockets. You never know what you may find. My MIL once found bird heads in Jim’s pockets after a hunting trip. YIKES! That caused post traumatic stress for me.

Anyhow, the picture above is what was pulled from Tanner’s pocket. I called Sweetie and said “Man I can’t believe what a precious kid Tanner is. He was literally cleaning the campsite so that Ty wouldn’t get hurt. He picked up glass, nails, and beer bottle caps (which were not ours by the way;). Mom and I just sighed and melted. Papa then adds his two cents. He tells us that he was finding cups all around the trailer filled with these items and he was wondering who did it. Wow! Now I really think Tanner is an incredible kid. Then Jim goes and ruins it. In typical “Jim” fashion he say’s “Babe your dreamin’. I know exactly why Tanner was picking all that stuff up and it wasn’t just for Ty’s sake. He told me he was collecting “shiny stuff”. I prefer the tale Tanner told mama:). This is only the beginning isn’t it? πŸ™‚

Daniel, Noah, Tanner, and Alyssa on Daniel’s new Polaris Ranger. For some reason this Ranger scares Ty to death and he screams bloody murder if you put him on it. Haven’t figured that out yet.

My little honey Zandi who just turned three!

Devoted cousin! Tanner was in trouble and sentenced to the tent (this was for the shove incident). Zandi decided to take his punishment with him and sat outside waiting for me to end the banishment.

Jim and Ty on a merry little walk.

My beautiful husband.

This is Alyssa. She is our friend’s (John and Belinda’s) three year old daughter. Alyssa is a charmer and I love her. She batts her little eyelashes, puts her hands on her hips, and speaks very authoritatively with a deep little froggy voice. I love that voice – it is truly the BEST. Alyssa and Noah are quite close right now. That is FINE by me. Tanner is not all that interested in the female sex right now and I hope to keep it that way for about 25 years πŸ™‚ .

Grandma Cheri went camping with us too! Ty had great fun with TWO grandma’s around to cater to his every whim.

Me and Ty at Potato Lake

My 1 year old nephew Zane. I think that is fish bait in his hands. The kid had a fishin’ pole in his hands all weekend and if you wanted to see an old fashioned brawl, you’d take it away. Ask David what happens though when you put one wife, one three year old, and one year old child in a canoe with the intent to fish. I tried to warn him but he had to learn the hard way. Sigh….

My 1 year old niece Karsyn. This was her first camping trip and she loved every minute of it.

Jim and I drove up a 29 mile dirt rode one day – the rim road – to see Knoll Lake. On the way, there were several points that allowed a gorgeous view of the rim. Arizona is truly beautiful.

Potato lake was another site we visited. It was gorgeous. It was more like a pond though. Later the boy’s told me it is snake infested. That dampened my spirits a bit:)

On the way home we had the privilege of watching a beautiful AZ sunset! It was incredible. I took these pictures out my car window.

Lovely lovely trip. Can’t wait to go again soon.

Snake Tale

August 29, 2006

This posting written with my Grace Girls in mind πŸ™‚ .

Last week Brooke and the kids were over. The kids were quiet and entertained. All of a sudden the front door crashes open and I hear someone yelling. Afraid someone was injured, I rush out to investigate. Jim is yelling “Snake in the neighbors yard!”

So we all traipse to the neighbors. Brooke and Jim and I and five kids. I did NOT like what I saw. I didn’t even think it was possible and some of you will wish I didn’t share this news with you.

The neighbor “Darcy” had been noticing that the pigeons were laying eggs under the eaves of her house. We have ceramic tiles and they leave about a 4 inch opening above the ridge line. When she walked outside to go get dinner she noticed an egg had dropped out of the nest. She looked up and peered into the eyes of…not a pigeon…not a lizard…a beedy eyed snake. Of course she screams and her husband “Jarrod” comes running.

About that time Jim pulls into the driveway home from work. The snake decides to leave the roof and starts slithering down the wall. By the time we got to the scene he was about half way down. Did you know snakes could climb walls? Aaaaaghhh!!! He was a biggie! About 6 feet long. I was convinced he was a rattler because (a) He was MAD and was hissing up a storm (b) He was coiling and getting into striking position (c) he was trying to rattle his tail even though he had no rattle (d) his pattern looked like a rattler. So I was a mite freaked along with Darcy. Brooke barely batted an eye.

For all of you snake lovers I am sorry to report that the snake met an untimely demise. Jarrod and Jim chased it down and terminated it right before it got to OUR garage. I am not pro life where snakes are concerned. I believe Genesis 3:15 is prophetic and literal – he will bruise my heel and I will bruise his head πŸ™‚ . Bruise his head indeed.

Turns out the snake was a harmless Sonoran Gopher snake. These snakes eat pigeons and rattlers so we would have been better served to relocate him but then we would have had to catch him first and he was already M.A.D. How in the heck did he get into our neighborhood? This is the second snake experience in the last year and the neighbors said that the house across the street had a baby rattler on the front porch this year! Totally creepy! I didn’t take the picture above but the picture is of a Sonoran Gopher. Does that sucker look “harmless” to you?!!! Wish I would have taken one while he was crawling down the wall but I didn’t think of it in time. You’ll just have to imagine it.


August 26, 2006

Imagine this…

You are a passionate person and God has called your heart to defend life. One of your all time favorite authors contacts you and requests permission to mention your family in an upcoming article she is writing. Who better to write about the passion of your heart? One who waxes poetic and has gifted your home for over 15 years with her work. Wouldn’t that be really cool? πŸ˜‰ I thought so yesterday!!!!!

Angela Elwell Hunt, a popular christian author, emailed me with this request. She forwarded the article that she wrote for the Tampa Tribune and requested a picture of the boys. I will post a link to the article once it is published. She also wrote about us on her blog. Click HERE to check it out!

I have read most every fiction book Angela has written. She has blessed my life for years (also the reason why she knew our story because chatty me couldn’t help but submit my feedback to her on several of her novels near and dear to me). Here is a SHORT list of some of my favorites if you are interested in checking out her work:

The Note
The Pearl
The Proposal
The Debt
The Truth Teller
The Immortal
The Heirs of Cahira O’Connor series
Legacies of the Ancient River series
Flee the Darkness Series
Roanoke Series

She has been writing quite a bit on bioethics in her blog lately. We are quite like minded on these topics so I am excited for you to read her input as well.

My heart feels blessed!

P.S. Does this sound like I am bragging and being a name dropper or simply sharing my happy news? LOL! I guess I’ll have to beg forgiveness if you think the former.

The Nuremberg Code

August 26, 2006

Familiar with the Nuremberg Code? This was established in 1947 by two American Doctors who were concerned about their findings surrounding the holocaust trials. During the holocaust, medical research was performed upon victims whose lives were deemed “unworthy”. During the trial several German Doctors argued in defense of themselves because there was no law national or international that prevented their research and similar research was being conducted in the United States as well. As a result, Drs. Andrew Ivy and Leo Alexander, American doctors who had worked with the prosecution during the trial submitted a 6 point memorandum to the Counsel for War Crimes that quickly evolved into the 10 point Nuremberg Code. A code that is widely referenced by the international medical community still today.

I think everyone will find point number one extremely significant in light of this week’s ESCR smoke and mirrors attempt. Every point on the Nuremberg Code should have rendered ESCR immoral already.

Let us NEVER forget!!!!

1. The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.

This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that, before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject, there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person, which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.

The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity.

2. The experiment should be such as to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study, and not random and unnecessary in nature.

3. The experiment should be so designed and based on the results of animal experimentation and a knowledge of the natural history of the disease or other problem under study, that the anticipated results will justify the performance of the experiment.

4. The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury.

5. No experiment should be conducted, where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects.

6. The degree of risk to be taken should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved by the experiment.

7. Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability, or death.

8. The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment.

9. During the course of the experiment, the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end, if he has reached the physical or mental state, where continuation of the experiment seemed to him to be impossible.

10. During the course of the experiment, the scientist in charge must be prepared to terminate the experiment at any stage, if he has probable cause to believe, in the exercise of the good faith, superior skill and careful judgement required of him, that a continuation of the experiment is likely to result in injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.

“Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals under Control Council Law No. 10”, Vol. 2, pp. 181-182. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1949.]