We actually started a tradition with Brigham 4 years ago taking him to vote.. although, back then he was only about 4 months old! I remember what a trooper he was as we waited and waited in line.
Then when he was a little over two years old, we took him to the church around the corner from our subdivision to vote in the local election. Andrew wanted to start early, teaching Brigham the importance of voting, and what it means and everything.. (though not sure much sank in.. lol)
So Andrew even let Brig press the buttons on the voting screen. So when we were finished that year, and the sweet old lady bent down to talk to Brigham and give him the sticker.. she said to him " Hi there little one.. did you vote for Santa Clause?" (maybe b/c it was Nov. and the stores were in full gear with promoting the holiday.. ) and this cute little kid of ours just looked up at her, and said " No, I voted for Jesus!" The lady was taken back, and several other people around heard and commented on how amazed they were he said that.
Andrew and I were actually in shock too.. (he had no promptings.. lol) so we kind of saw that as an encouragement that what we were teaching him was doing some good.
anyway, so this year I had to help in Brigham's PreK class while the teachers were doing some testing..his schools was also a voting site, so I called Andrew and he left work to meet me there , so we could vote together. He had already pulled Brigham out of class to join us, when I met up with him. Luckily, the whole thing took us all of 6 minutes.. which I am very thankful, as I have heard many people had to stand in lines for more than an hour.
So now its over. I am quite frankly glad that the whole political mess is over. I mean I watched the debates, but had a hard time believing either candidate at times. I kept questioning Andrew if there was such a thing as an honest politician. I am sick of the phone calls. sick of the stacks of mailings that just smear peoples names. I always stop and think.. these are some body's kids. and some one's father. or some one's friend.
In fact as I watched the concession speech last night, I told Andrew I was feeling so bad for Mc Cain. though I would have felt the same emotions for Obama, had he not won. I just don't like losers. Andrew laughed at me thru the world series, too when I was all bummed out for the losing team. I just hate to see people fail. So, I kept asking "well.. whats going to happen to Mc Cain, and Palin, what about their families.. how do you just go back about your business?"
ok.. I digress....
But seriously, I am happy about the outcome. I think it speaks volumes for the strides our country has made. I mean I think its incredible that this kind of history has been made in our lifetime. Our children will be reading about the significance of this date in their history books. Andrew and I can tell them, that we were part of it. I have heard so many Christians speak just hatred towards this man. Even today on the radio, they were talking about how at a gas station a group of people were using derogatory terms about this newly elected president. That just makes me sad. I am all for free speech.. thank goodness we live where we do. But people are being so negative , just based on things that the media has put out there.. things that is part of a political campaign- part of where "digging" up things in a person's past and used out of context is to just stir things up. And it looks like those tactics have achieved what they were after.. to create fear and have people base their opinions simply out of the fear of the unknown. This guy has come really far, and I think that people should give him a chance and see what he can do, before kicking him out the door. I for one am believing that God is our master planner.I believe that he is a God that is Good. That he protects us and loves us. He will not leave nor forsake us.
I also think that no one president will solve all our problems. Even if they promise to. Also, people so often vote on the candidate based on emotional issues.. such as abortion. I realize its a sticky situation for Christians. Unfortunately in our country the president does not make that decision. He certainly supports the decision set forth by the courts.. but people get all wrapped up in a particular person's view on something like that , and then decide that they're incapable of any other types of country improvement. They tend to label a person just based on their view of that one issue. I would hate to be judged in entirety, simply for a view or opinion that I may have on one particular issue. Isn't that what Grace is all about?
This was something that a high school classmate of mine, brother of a good friend of mine, and son of some very well respected people at my old church had to say about the election. He was raised in a christian family, attended Christian school, went on to work in inner city youth ministry, and obtain his pastoral degree. What he said in his reasoning for voting, gave me something to think about. Even post election, maybe it will you too.****
1. his symbolic value - he represents a lot of what i love and think is unique about 21rst century america. mixed race. single parent. raised by grandparents. moved around. harvard educated. student loans. difficult to categorize. i think his story represents much of what is good about the possibility of america and a new globalized world. he's like a president... only remixed.2. ability to communicate and inspire. i think if we are honest, a president cannot and should not be a detail oriented policy wonk on every issue. there is too much to know. i think presidents need to have good judgment, character, and then be able to rally support for the common cause. i think obama is able to do that in a way that mccain is not. i also trust his intelligence and ability to communicate in a way that i have not for GWB. i think i would be proud to have him represent our country.3. energy policy - i think this is possibly the next great issue facing the world. as the world gains population, globalization moves forward, and there is a rise in the middle class of china, india, brazil, etc. i think that we must have a revolution in our thoughts about energy. we have 6 billion people on the earth currently and project 9 billion by 2050. As globalization gives rise to a middle class, energy will become more and more scarce. "drill baby drill" is just not an energy policy and is the equivalent of having a crowd shout "Model T Fords!" as a transportation policy.... to me, energy policy represents a huge stewardship issue, an environmental issue; an economics issue; and a foreign relations issue. (quick aside, the best book i have read in a while that sums up much of my political feelings right now is thomas friedman's flat, hot and crowded. forgive me if i steal some of his ideas)4. tax policy / economics - the gap between rich and poor is higher than at any time since the great depression. continuing to give tax cuts to the richest 5% of americans does not seem just or fiscally responsible. i think it takes courage for obama to admit that taxes will need to be raised on those making over $250,000... it is never popular, but it is true. if you want any programs, you have to pay for them.besides, what are we really talking about here in terms of actual money. moving the highest tax bracket from 35 percent to 39 percent would mean an additional $4,000 in taxes on $100,000 of earnings for someone making over $250k. this is the same marginal tax bracket as we had under both ronald reagan or bill clinton. were they accused of being a socialist?5.Issues around the orphan, widow, immigrant, poor - honestly i think obama's administration would treat these people with more dignity than another republican administration. this means i'm with obama on poverty, immigration issues.
6. I've actually heard him talk about requiring sacrifice and the need for americans to change our consumption patterns in regards to energy and climate change...7. foreign policy - i don't think you fight al queda in 60 countries by occupying iraq. i have become very concerned at how the US foreign policy is so fear driven. it seems the USA has lost so much of its standing within the world community over the past 8 years. we used to export hope and ideals, now we export fear.i think energy policy is a huge foreign policy issue. it makes no sense that we spend billions on the war against terror with our right hand and with our left hand, we pay billions to countries that finance terrorism with their oil revenues. if we really wanted to fight terrorism, one of the best ways would be to gain energy independence and turn off the funding stream. i recently read a summary of a study that found of the 23 countries that derive the majority of their export income from oil and gas, not a single one is a democracy. i don't think that is a coincidence.8. i think that the VP choices reveal a lot about the respective administrations. obama chose someone who complemented his skill set with foreign policy experience, experience in washington, etc. mccain's choice raises major questions for me as it seems much more political in nature, trying to attract a specific core constituency of republicans. I have to admit i lost some respect for McCain when he picked Palin. If McCain truly believes she is the most qualified person he could find to be VP, then i question his judgment. If he chose Palin for political reasons (i.e. shore up his conservative base), then i'm disappointed. If he would have picked Lieberman or Ridge or many other people, i would have at least respected the choice. with Palin, it makes me question what type of matrix he would use to make other big choices.she seems like a good enough person and a popular governor. i have a hard time believing she is ready to be president. she was mayor of a town smaller than where i grew up and governor of a state with less population than the county n which ii currently live...
9. Wall Street Meltdown - the recent Wall Street meltdown also makes me less comfortable with McCain and the Repubs. He has recently been talking about increasing regulation on wall street and firing the head of the SEC, but his record has consistently been for deregulation and less oversight by the government. as a person working in business and finance, i am usually NOT in favor of governments being overly involved in markets. However, to me this is simply a case where the pendulum under Bush / Cheaney has swung dangerously towards no oversight and totally free markets. markets are very efficient at producing goods... however, they are not inherently good. they are inherently efficient and need to be overseen and guided to guard against abuse. McCain does not have a record that shows me he would do this.10. Finally, i think the pendulum is so far right after 8 years of GWB and 6 years of a republican controlled congress (mostly) that we need a bit of a correction. i think most political parties get scary the more you get out on the edges and i think that Bush / Cheaney has been one of the most conservative administrations in history.11. i'm tired of the assumption that christians are right wing republicans
STEPPING DOWN FROM MY SOAP BOX... and I want you to know that I do respect others opinions. That's what is so cool about living here, is that we all don't have to agree. YAY ! The bottom line for me as a Christian , is that I am thankful that I have a God that protects me. I trust that He has the master plan.. and if this is part of it, than I need to rest in the fact that he orchestrates every detail, even to whom we have in leadership and what that leader will do with the power given.
and so on a lighter note, I am thankful that I was able to spend homecoming with my family. I am glad that I could see the eyes light up on a 4 year old boy's face, when he saw Pete off in a distance!
The Boiler maker. We see this statue from the other side of the building every time we drive to church. Brigham always asks.. " whose that big guy?" And Andrew replies.. "the boiler maker".. and then they go into what he does and who he is ... pretty cute.
this has been a traditional picture spot right near all the homecoming festivities!
here is Miss Tatum, modeling her new pants that mommy made!! I had seen these on Etsy, when she was just born, and couldn't wait till she was upright and I could attempt them on my own!
the girl loves her kitchen... we got this for Brigham last year for Christmas, and she has become quite domestic in it.. almost every time I am cooking.. she has to be in there too!!
and another PSA!!! this sweet little cat needs a good home. In my consistent nature of bringing home strays.. (only to pass them on to others, like my mom and my dad) .. my dad reluctantly took this beautiful female in about 6-7 years ago , after I put her in a box, and dropped her off at his apartment!!
well , the time has come, that my dad is moving and doesn't want to take her with.. (since he only kept her to be nice to me =)
she has been indoors the whole time. totally keeps to her self, but enjoys some attention and a good meal too.
Her name is Cosette, and if you're interested or know someone who would give her a good home.. please let me know!
Otherwise she is going to an animal shelter =(.
alright... its late..