My kids and I have been discussing what I knew about the Issues on the Ohio ballot, but tonight was the real discussion.  I had to look up the details to a few, and involved them in my research.  it was fascinating to watch my critical thinkers ask the following about Issue 1 (which proposes an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to give a bonus to vets of the Gulf conflicts of a decade ago).  Some of their questions were:

How much money are they proposing Ohio borrow?
How long will it take to pay it off?
How much are the vets and families getting?
What is the financial status of Ohio at this time?
Is this something that governments do (asking about precedent here)?
How will it get paid back?
Is Ohio the position to be going into debt over this?

I was so impressed!  It was fascinating to watch their sharp minds really, really think through these issues and the ramifications of government involvement.  I wonder how many people vote without having done their research, or who cannot think through all details and effects of proposed issues? 

We also discussed Issue 2, of which i am fairly well informed.  (Vote NO!)  It was a good chance to teach my kids when something that has merit must be sent back the drawing board because the solution is poorly laid out and ripe for corruption.  It was a great opportunity to show them that we voters are not forced to accept what is put in front of us, or else succumb to the fear that proponents invariably incite in order to push their agenda.  Say no, and tell them to come back with something acceptable!

I hope you'll vote on Tuesday, after having educated yourself on the issues.  The only thing more dangerous than citizens who don't vote is voting citizens who are not informed enough to know that they are cattle being herded into the booths to vote the agenda of whichever group of people has the most amount of money.



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Here are some miscellaneous photos that I happened to be working with tonight.  Thought you'd like to see them.  Probably more to come!
Elena baking pies.
Matt and Jonny match.
Noelle sipping, Owen working.
Boys love each other!
Boy loves photos.
Sisters on the beach.
On the way home from dinner last night, someone started singing “I See the Moon.”  This song has so much sentimental meaning with our family


It is the song Matt sang to Julia in my tummy for 9 months, and then soon after birth in the recovery room.  She stopped her screaming and opened her little newborn peepers, and stared right at him as he sang it to her.  Hello, Daddy.


As Julia grew through her first two years, we sang it to her often and made up new words to it to create a second verse which included the announcement to her that we were expecting Hope.  Welcome, Hope.  It’s your song too.


It is the song Matt has sung to and with all of our children.  It is the song that they probably first heard him harmonize with me.


It is the song that Matt’s father, “Grampa,” sang to his children and our children through the years until he died.  He gave us these simple words:


I see the moon, and the moon sees me.

The moon sees somebody I like to see.

God bless the moon, and God bless me

And God bless the somebody I’d like to see.


Matt started telling the kids a story …


"Imagine a scene very similar to this.  Riding home late at night in the family station wagon, on our way home from Uncle Ralph’s house.  It’s dark, and we’re all tired, and the family is singing this exact song, harmonizing.  There I was, 13 years old, tired but content from a night of fun.  And as I was there in that station wagon, singing this song, the moon was indeed shining on my special Somebody.  It was shining on 5 year old little Natalee, down in Louisiana.  I never could have known.  I was asking God to bless your mom.  Girls, right now, some of you who will get married someday …. The moon might be shining on your husband."


Which got me started on a story …


"When I was still in Louisiana, a girl of about 10, I remember being worried about finding a good husband.  I remember asking my Mom if I would be able to find a husband as good as my Daddy.  She must have told somebody at church that I was concerned about it, because a woman gave me a prayer to St. Raphael.  The prayer asked the saint to watch over my future spouse and keep him for me, until it was time for us to be together.  So I too, was praying for your dad, and I didn’t even know him.  See how God has blessed us?"

As I sit here tonight, I am blown away by the realization that God has taken such good care of us, and that He does indeed answer prayers.  Just ask, and wait, and believe.
Sundays around here revolve around football.  It wasn't always this way, but since the kids have become fans of the game, I am completely outnumbered.  If you can't beat 'em ... get into the game too!

So after the big Steelers game every week, we head on over to the local bowling alley that has always treated us well.  They either give us free shoes, or an hourly rate ... very inexpensive fun for this big family.  Things have gotten very competitive, in such a fun way, because one is not necessarily better because one is older.  Seems like the person who did well last time won't necessarily get the best score this week.  There is lots of laughter and lots of ribbing, and these kids are getting the hang of graciously winning, and graciously losing.  Matt is still not so good on the losing part, but since that doesn't happen that often I don't have so much to worry about there.  ; )

We usually eat out once in a weekend, and it's usually Sunday.  Tonight we had dinner out with my parents.  The kids think it's SUCH a treat to see them, and the little ones really enjoy showing off their latest accomplishments such as winking or whistiling.  I've got great parents, and always enjoy spending a little time with them.  LIfe is good.
Nathan Lee.  Love almost every soulful song of his.  Best one: El Diabolo Y El Angel -- it's a song where he reveals that he is "rainbows and razorblades" and every other contradiction.  I think he's Christian, because I've heard a few songs that seem to indicate it, but I can't find proof.  His music is not dark, but satisfyingly reflective of the realness of life and humanity, and all the mistakes and wonders that come with it.  Give him a listen.
Does anyone else feel like they should go ahead and just co-habitate with their senators?  I mean, seriously.  Apparently I should be talking to them every hour.  I currently have about 7 emails in my inbox from the last few days telling me that in some way or another our country is going to Hell in a handbasket and I should start screaming really loudly so that doesn’t happen.

It's not like I don't take it seriously, or that I don't want to do it.  It's just frustrating when you have a mere few hours to CHANGE THE WORLD, and yet you have to get kids to tennis, stop fights, make lunch, etc.  Perhaps I should just get a direct line, " Hey Bill, it's me again.  So I'm thinking you'd better not vote for that one or I'm going to have to start a smear campaign in this hometown of yours."  Yeah, I daydream about scare tactics and big influence.  How else is a housewife supposed to keep herself motivated to keep calling when it doesn't seem to do a thing! 

I guess getting a good president in can really save you a lot of crap, eh?  Go Ron Paul for 2012!

You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an event - it is a habit."

384-322 BC, Greek Philosopher and Scientist
You can find the stories he talks about here and here.

This place was amazing!

Family photo in front of Really Fast Car.

She did it!

So did the Shrunken Head Girl.

Flying on a jet plane.

Sitting in a jet engine!

Running the submarine.

Clowning around.

This is so Elena -- helping Owen.


We met up with friends one of the days in Chicago, but unfortunately didn't manage to get a photo with all of us.  If you notice an extra kid in some of the photos, you're not imagining it!

Illicit photo in a race car.

Matt's new passion -- racing go-carts.  He won!

Speed Racer & kids.

Rainforest Cafe.

Noelle and Jordan