Friday, July 31, 2009

Hello Ohio!

This post is specifically for people who live in Ohio. I urge you to research Ohio House Bill 176 and contact your Representative with your opinion.

The bill would change state law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected class statuses, like nationality, gender, handicap, etc.

While many ramifications of the bill are unfortunate, there is one that particularly concerns me. Part of the bill would require the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to create educational programs for all public schools to eliminate prejudice based on the covered classes, which would include gender identity and sexual orientation. No, I do not think that prejudice is good, and I do want it to be eliminated, but I would rather take care of that in my home. I do not trust in the school's ability to eliminate prejudice without crossing the line in the other direction.

I do not want my children to go to school to learn that homosexuality is normal or innate and that a girl can decide she is a boy.

It is not the place of schools and teachers to spend time on subject matter like that. Let teachers teach math, English, science, etc. And let parents teach their own children what they believe.

Will I teach my children to be mean or unkind toward those with specific sexual orientation or gender identity? No, I will not. I will teach my children to love and be kind to everyone. Does loving someone mean to enable him or her in unhealthy practices? No, it does not. I will do my best to teach my children that being kind to someone is based on every person's divine worth and not on personal choices they have made.

Homosexuality is not normal. It is a choice people make. I do not deny them the right to make that choice, but I will do all that I can to stop the government from taking the choice away frpm my children be indoctrinating them falsely.

Please contact your representatives and tell them if you think they should vote yes or no on Ohio House Bill 176.

Where I live, my representative is Joe Uecker. His e-mail address is district66@ohr.state.oh.us.

You can find out who yours is on this site: http://www.house.state.oh.us. The necessary contact information can be found on that site as well.

If you aren't sure what to write (and are against HB 176 passing), here is a form letter you can use, if you agree with what it says. I got the letter from this website (click) that you can also use to contact your Representative if you want to e-mail him/her through the site.

The dangerous ramifications of H.B. 176, the so-called "Equal Housing and Employment Act," are a grave concern to me. I write today to ask you to vote NO on this dangerous bill, and want you to know that I consider your NO vote on this bill to be one of the most critical votes of your political career.

“Sexual orientation” and “gender identity” do not qualify as protected classes under our Ohio Civil Rights law. They do not meet any of the criteria stipulated by our courts to qualify for protected class status.

Addition of these classes will strip from Ohio business and property owners the right to make decisions based on their deeply-held religious beliefs, which constitutes"interference with the rights of conscience," a violation of our state constitution.

Further, adding these classes will result in discrimination against all citizens who do not identify themselves as belonging to one of these classes.

The provision of this law that requires the OCRC to work with the Department of Education to prepare programs for all public school students is egregiously harmful. The intent of such programs would be to normalize sexual behaviors and gender roles, contrary to the deeply held religious views that many parents have instilled in their children. Students who believe that homosexual behaviors are wrong would be forced to remain silent or risk being ostracized, penalized, and/or bullied.

Please represent our values by voting NO on this unnecessary, harmful, and discriminatory bill and do everything within your power to see that it is not passed into law.

If you are not an Ohio resident, then please stay informed of what your state is voting on, so you can make sure your voice is heard.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

County Fair

Jeff, Jill, and I went to the Clermont County Fair last night with our friends, the Hoslers. It was so much fun! I haven't been to a county fair in years (since I lived in Indiana), and Jeff had never been to one. :) Jill seemed to enjoy the lights. She was actually tall enough for some of the rides, but since she couldn't walk or hold herself up haha she wasn't allowed. :) She is tall for her age right now, in the 90th percentile for height. I was going to ride the carousel with her, but both times we stopped at the carousel for the Hosler kids, she was asleep. So. Maybe next time, Jilly Bean! ;)

Jeff got a pretty good picture, as good as he could. Big Nick, little Nick, Lilly, and I are all in this picture. Good luck figuring out where. ;)

The Hoslers: Andrew, Big Nick, Sara, Lilly, Little Nick

The Colletts: Jeff, Jill, and Mimi

This ride (the one down there) was crazy. Before it started, the ride guy (who checks to make sure you're locked in) came over and suggested that we switch places, because I might squish Little Nick. I had my doubts that it would happen—surely I had enough control over my body to not squish the poor child, and I'm not that big! Well, then reasoning kicked in, and I figured he probably knows what he is talking about. So we switched. Well.

He knew what he was talking about.

Amazing force shoved us over to my side of the . . . boat/space ship thing. Little Nick was practically glued to my side. It might look like I am using my hand to hold my sunglasses on, but my hand is actually supporting my head, because my neck was having trouble doing its job. Yup. That strong. Crazy. I really want to go to Kings' Island now. I used to go there when I lived in Indiana, and it was so much fun. There's another place here too; well, two actually: Coney Island and The Beach Waterpark. I'll tell you what. If I had money, I would be having some serious fun. So come visit me, because you have money, and you can have serious fun. ;)

Little Nick and I in the front. Big Nick and Lilly in the back.
Disclaimer: Big Nick is big in age, not size. ;)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pioneer Day was Yesterday.

Jill is three months' old today. Yay for time passing quickly! :) It's funny, because she looks big and small to me at the same time. She's still tiny, because I mean look how big we adults are, but she is still big, because she's already over twice as big as she once was!

She usually sleeps with her arms by her sides and sometimes with her arms up in the air. This time she opted for the half and half version. ;)

We had a ward pioneer party today. It was a lot of fun. We are having thunderstorm warnings and watches since last night and all morning though, so that added an interesting element. It was exactly the kind of weather that I missed when I lived in Utah. I actually felt a little scared when I woke up to the thunder and lightning. :) One county over is having a sever thunderstorm watch, so I guess I have somewhat good reason. :) There was actually a motor home on the side of the road as we were driving to the activity. It must have hydroplaned. Below are pictures of Jeff and Jill, also my new friend Sara Hosler and one of her kids, Andy.

Pretty cool, huh? The all dark one is a miniature horse, and the brown and white one is a pony. The miniature horse is smaller than the pony. I guess a miniature pony would be really, really small! It would have been interesting to have a large dog there to see how they all looked in comparison. :)

Pioneer Day is a holiday that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate in memory of the pioneers who crossed the plains. July 24, 1837 (?) was the date that the first group made it to the Salt Lake Valley.

Jill is telling her story. :)
video

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jill update

Well, she's growing. :) It's not an exact measurement, but she's almost 14 pounds and 25 inches long.

She's still our little girl though!





Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Act Now to Prevent Your Tax Dollars from Funding Abortion!

www.familywatchinternational.org

July 21, 2009
Urgent Alert!
Act Now to Prevent Your Tax Dollars
From Funding Abortion!

Unless you and millions of other Americans act quickly, the massive government-run health care program now being rammed through Congress will result in a huge increase in the number of abortions performed in the U.S. paid for with your tax dollars.

This is because the health care bills now working through Congress do not include the usual provision to prohibit the federal funding of abortion. Such a provision, known as the Hyde Amendment, is usually added to the federal appropriations bills every year to prevent your tax dollars from funding abortion.

It is estimated that over the years, The Hyde Amendment has prevented literally hundreds of thousands of babies being killed through elective abortions. The current health care bills do not contain any such prohibition. Instead, they contain language that would allow federal bureaucrats to decide whether abortion will be funded.

Guess what they will decide.

Your congressman and senators need to hear from you immediately that you do not want your tax dollars going to fund abortions. We have set up a feature on our Web site that allows you to quickly and easily send a proposed email message to them. Just click here.

Polls show that more than 70 percent of Americans oppose federal funding of abortion. Congress must hear from us!

The Obama Administration is pushing for unrestricted access to abortion on a wide front. Obama made his position on abortion absolutely clear when, as a candidate, he stated that the first bill he wanted to sign as president was the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) that would remove all federal and state restrictions on abortion, including prohibitions on partial birth abortions.

We also see evidence of the Administration’s hostility to life in the changed position of U.S. delegations to international meetings where the U.S. has now become an active supporter of abortion. We saw it in Obama’s action on his second day in office rescinding the Mexico City policy prohibiting U.S. foreign aid from going to groups that support abortion. We are also seeing it reflected in the aggressively pro-abortion bureaucrats in key positions throughout the Obama Administration. These are the same bureaucrats who will make the decision on federal funding of abortion—unless Congress specifically prohibits it.

There are many reasons to oppose the Obama Administration’s government-run health care proposal ranging from the almost incomprehensible price tag of at least $1.5 trillion (!) to the fact that independent analyses predict that tens of millions of Americans who are currently happy with their private health care will lose it and will be forced on to the government-run program.

Part of the reason why Obama and his allies in Congress are trying to ram this bill through before the August recess in a couple of weeks is that the more Americans learn about what is being proposed, the less they support it.

But the fact that these bills would allow federal funding of elective abortion is more than adequate reason to oppose them unless they are amended to absolutely prohibit it.

We urge you to contact your congressman and senators immediately. This is easily the most important federal threat to the lives of millions of unborn babies that we have confronted in many years. Please take a few minutes to go to our Web site and contact your elected representatives.

Also, please forward this alert on to everyone on your list who you think might also be willing to act to protect the unborn.

This is urgent, as millions of lives are at stake.

Sincerely,
Sharon Slater
Sharon Slater
President

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well

Jeff was holding Jill, so I decided to make something on the computer. This is one of my favorite babies. :)

Ensign

My church has several publications for its members, and one of them is The Ensign. I really enjoy reading The Ensign. I kind of chuckle to myself. I remember when I was younger, a teenager, I would sometimes flip through it and think how incredibly boring it was. I even thought this after I was "too mature and old" for The New Era (the Church's magazine for youth). I didn't think I would ever enjoy reading The Ensign.

Now I devour it.

Life is funny that way.

I like onions now, too.

Anyway.

I was reading this month's Ensign and one short article in the Latter-day Saint Voices section was written directly for me.

You can find the whole article by clicking this link and scrolling down to the third story, "Was I Living the Gospel Fully?"

The part that really struck me was the answer to an issue I have been dealing with recently. I am not longer volunteering, participating in community events, giving much time to family history, working to support my family, and (until recently) serving in a calling. I was feeling a little worthless. Lazy. Like I wasn't good enough at managing my time to be able to get more done in a day.

I have blogged about it, and your comment all helped me immensely, but this short article made all the difference as well.

The author (Carolynn R. Spencer) wrote how she realized that she was living out the gospel by being a mother and tending her children. The Savior has repeatedly asked us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, give shelter to the homeless, etc. And He has said that when we do that for others, we do it for Him.

Well, until reading this article, I had not connected the dots. Jill is often hungry. She is often naked as well. I feed her. I clothe her. I care for her, shelter her, and love her. And as I do it for her, one of God's special, beloved little children, I am also doing it for His son.

As my sister reminded me, my job right now is keeping Jill healthy and happy, and there is nothing else more important than that.

And there are lots of things that I can do while I take care of Jill that will help me not fall into a pit of stagnancy. I can keep my scriptures next to the chair I nurse in and read those instead of watching TV. If I do watch TV, I can watch BYU TV or other uplifting, educating shows, like the Food Channel or HGTV. I can have my laptop next to my chair (like it was today!), so I can type while Jill eats or sleeps on my lap. There is so much I can get done on good days.

And even if I do have a day every now and then when all I did was change 12 diapers, 4 outfits, and 2 crib blankets and then sleep while Jill slept, well, I still fulfilled my second highest calling: being Jill's mommy.

Number one priority is, of course, being Jeff's wife. ;)


Another Ensign article that struck me this week was the one in the middle. You know those ones. They have a bunch of pictures, paintings, quilts, pieces of art, etc.? I usually skip them and keep flipping to the "more interesting" stories. Well, I decided to read it through this month for some reason, and it really made me feel grateful to be a member of my Church. The article is "Pioneers in Ghana," and you can find the pictures and text by clicking this link.

The one that struck me was of the mother with a child kneeling in front of a doctor. The child was very malnourished and the mother had no means to feed her child. The doctor was a member of the Church with access to food supplies provided by our Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). At no cost to the mother, the doctor was able to give her rice, corn, beans, and cooking oil.

Isn't it so wonderful to belong to a church that does things like that? Isn't it so wonderful to be able to be a part of things like that through our tithing and offerings?

I think it's wonderful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Social Security and Baby Names

Some of you probably already know about this site, but I thought it was really interesting. :)

It's the baby name site for the Social Security Administration.

You can see how popular a name has been over the years. For instance, I checked the popularity of Michelle over the last 60 years. My name always made it on the top 1,000 most popular names, but in the 60s and 70s, it was always in the top 10, so it was way big then.

I also checked my middle name, Halley. It only made the top 1,000 in 1986. I got it in 1985, but that's pretty close, and not surprising, because 1985/1986 is when Halley's Comet came back, and it was visible in America in 1986. Interestingly, the different spellings, like Haley, Halle, Hallie, etc. were popular during many different years. So, I just have the uncommon spelling. That makes sense though, because the comment is named after a man named John Halley, so Halley is the last name way to spell it rather than the first name way, like Hallie.

For 2008, Jacob was the most popular boy name and Isabella was the second most popular girl name. Twilight, anyone? :)

Also, Mimi has not made the 1,000 most popular list since the 60s, but it did make it every year before 1967. Well, until 1949 at least. I didn't check back farther than that. So, apparently there aren't a whole lot of legal Mimis running around these days.

Jill hasn't made the list since 2000, so while it's a common name, it doesn't seem to be too popular these days. Good. Maybe Jill will get to be the only Jill in her class at school. Makes things simpler that way. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

and just because I feel like sharing

Jill ended up in three different pairs of pajamas last night.

I was holding her, well she was resting on my nursing pillow, and I felt something wet. I turned her around, and yup, lovely light brown wetness from her bottom area. Jeff grabbed her and went to change her and he did this kind of "oops" noise. He had put on the last diaper, and apparently he was not paying attention, because part of it was folded over instead of spread out, so the diaper contained nothing of the poopyness, and it just all oozed out. On me. Lovely. That was around eleven.

Then sometime around five in the morning, I was in the middle of a diaper change (after nursing), and white liquid (duh milk) just started poring out of her mouth. It wasn't spit up; she was actually throwing up. This is very unusual for her, but it was tons. It was basically everything she had just eaten, so maybe four or five ounces. Luckily, she wasn't just in her crib, she was on a towel in her crib. So, the sheet underneath got a little damp, but the towel contained most of it. However, her jammies were soaked.

So, on to pajamas number three.

That was my evening.

What spurred my posting of this is that I was on my laptop e-mailing a friend, when I looked at her and saw spit up running down her cute, little, fat cheek. I'm such a bad mommy.

(I wiped it off for her before I started typing though!) ;)

Thanks!

I really appreciated all of those comments. It made me feel less lazy and unproductive and much more normal and part of this secret society of parents. :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not much

So, I don't really do much these days, and it's kind of weird. I'm used to going full force all the time. School or work or volunteering or hobbies or being with people. Doing stuff. I used to always do stuff. Now I do almost nothing.

I love what I get to do, which is hold Jill all day long, but I wish she would sleep. I know it's awful to complain, because I really love holding Jill, but then the end of the day comes, and it's like what did I do? Laundry? Well, maybe I got a load in, but is anything folded? No. Cooking? Did I cook anything? No. I practically didn't eat anything until dinner that Laurie made. Reading? Okay. I most likely got to read. Work? Hardly. When she was a newborn, she would fall asleep and then stay asleep when I laid her in her crib. Now, she does not. A few minutes after putting her down, she'll open her eyes and ask me in cute baby noises why in the world I'm not holding her anymore.

I know that I'll miss this. In a few short months, she'll have learned what toys are and what sitting up is, and she'll be happy to sit up and play with toys and let me keep working on my family history project or read my friends' blogs. Someday she'll even push me away and not let me hold her, and then I'll think longingly of these days when that's all I did.

Every day is more rewarding than the last now. She still doesn't talk to me (duh), but she'll smile at me sometimes, and that's a nice response.

And I can't complain really, because most days since Jeff doesn't have a job yet he's home and usually Laurie (my mother-in-law) is home too. It's only days like today when I don't get to shower and no one else is home that I feel like I have no response when someone asks me what I did today.

But hold my baby.

But I have a baby.

So I guess I'm a pretty lucky girl. ;) Pity party over. I'll get stuff done in the future and she's at school and I miss her.

And Jeff just called and he's coming home.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Videos

Jill and Hallie love the swings!
video

I think I know where they got that from! ;)


Jill is all smiles for her daddy!
video

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Four Granddaughters

Here is a taste of how awesome the past week was. :)

(For those of you who don't know, my siblings and I all have one child right now, and they're all girls!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Caught in the act!

Jill has lots of big smiles for us now, but they're hard to catch on camera. Jeff got one though!

video

Oh . . . the world

News . . . Jeff's mom bought Wii Fit, and Jeff and I (and the whole family) are having a lot of fun with it.

Three nights this week, Jill slept from 11:00 until 7:00.

I've used the jogging stroller that I got for my birthday twice.

My cousin has a quote on the bottom of her e-mail signature that says that family are the friends that God chooses for you. I think that is a lovely sentiment and very true. While thinking about that, how God did such a good job picking Jill, my parents, and my siblings, I realized that a person's spouse is the one and only family member God lets you pick for yourself, and how your relationship with your spouse is the most important and lasting one. What a great trust God puts in us and what a privilege it is that we have to be able to pick our spouses. I remember when I was younger, I was terrified of having to make that decision. I used to wish that I could pull a name out of a hat and then just wait until I met the person with that name, and then ta-da! He would be my husband. Well, that's obviously not how it works, and now I'm very glad that it isn't. How wonderful that we get to pick our spouses. I think I made a very good choice. ;)

Other thoughts have been running through my head. Much less positive thoughts about the world, the economy, etc. I'm usually a very positive, upbeat person, but I have these guilty thoughts running through my head. It's basically whenever I think of the economy or money. Our economy is based on consumption, and I don't see a way that it could change. I feel guilty when I spend money, because I feel like I should save it. But I also feel guilty when I save money, because I feel responsibility to shop. If I don't buy something from that store, then I am partially responsible for it going out of business, people losing their jobs, families living on the streets, etc. Isn't that awful? I wish I could just save and be happy. Because right now I'm not spending. I have to look out for my family more than someone else's, but I feel so selfish. What has our society come to? If everyone started saving and only spent money on needs instead of wants, well the majority (I honestly thing) of the country would be out of business. And what then? Thousands of Americans only have skills in retail, sales, and customer service. If those positions don't exist, what can they do? I want to feel good about saving, because I do, but then I see "store closing," "for sale," or read about bankruptcy, and I feel guilty. I know that my purchasing can't keep a business open of course, but I do have a little piece in the puzzle. I have a Honda instead of a GM car. If I had a GM car, then they would be one car better off. Etc. And it keeps just snowballing from there.

So, don't think I go around depressed all the time, because I don't. There are lots of wonderful things in this world that keep me happy, like Jill smiling, or beautiful wildflowers growing where it seems impossible to thrive, or getting to see my family in a few days, or receiving a present from a friend. The guilt just creeps up on me every now and then, so I thought I'd share it to see if I'm just a weirdo or if any of you have ever felt that way, too.

On a positive note, I just got this in an e-mail from my dad, and it's really funny. I don't know if it is true like it claims, but it's way funny.


I Love Mustard.
(This is a true story. If you have children, you will probably relate to this father.)

As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection: a thick slab of ham on a fresh bun with crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, Gourmet Mustard.

The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands, but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side.

"Here, hold Johnny (our six-week-old son) while I get my sandwich," she said.

I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers.

I love mustard.

I had no napkin.

I licked it off.

It was not mustard.

No man ever put a baby down faster.

It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding out.

With a washcloth in each hand, I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue.

Later, after she stopped crying from laughing so hard, my wife Said, "Now you know why they call that fancy mustard Poupon."

When you stop laughing, pass it on.


So, this story is really funny to me, because I absolutely adore mustard. I use it instead of mayonnaise for the most part. However, I like yellow mustard, not brown mustard, so I don't have to be too worried about this story. ;)