If George W. Bush had doubled the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved? If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had criticized a state law that he admitted he never even read, would you think that he is just an ignorant hot head? If George W. Bush joined the country of Mexico and sued a state in the United States to force that state to continue to allow illegal immigration, would you question his patriotism and wonder who's side he was on?

If George W. Bush had put 87,000 workers out of work by arbitrarily placing a moratorium on offshore oil drilling on companies that have one of the best safety records of any industry because one company had an accident would you have agreed? If George W. Bush had used a forged document as the basis of the moratorium that would render 87,000 American workers unemployed would you support him?

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a TelePrompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia , would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the nonexistent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States, would you have said that he is clueless?

If George W.. Bush would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in Texas, would you have thought he was a self important, conceited, egotistical jerk?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had misspelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoes as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown  Manhattan  causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America , would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

Singing in the choir for the General Relief Society Meeting was so amazing.  To sing for our prophet and for all the women of the world.  It was so emotional and spiritual. I wish everyone could have that experience.  I know it took a lot of time for the practices (every Sunday night from 6:30-9:00 for 6 weeks).  But it was so worth it!

This is a panoramic shot of the choir.  360 women strong.  What an inspiring group!


Now a couple of gratuitous shots of me.  LOL  I am humbled to be numbered among these women.  Starting from the top row, count down 4 rows and I am the second person to the left.


See the woman with the orange hair?  I am right above her head.  I loved the variety of women that were represented in the choir: young and old, fat and thin, blonde, brunette, red, orange and black hair.  But we are all Sisters in Zion.


This is Sister Jolley, our amazing director.  She is so funny and inspiring.  I love her.


During the broadcast, I tried to keep smiling because you never know when the cameras will be on you.  There were some women who counted and were bragging that they were shown more than others, but it wasn't about how many times we were shown on TV.  It was about sharing our testimonies through song.  And to me, that is the best way to share it!

I hope you were able to watch and hear the messages of hope and inspiration.  If not, go HERE and you can read the talks or watch the meeting.  I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me this experience. 

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

Saturday night, I have the privilege of singing in the Women's Choir for the General Relief Society Meeting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am so thrilled to be a part of this choir.  Not many people get to sing in the Conference Center for our prophet.  What a blessing.

If you have cable, you can watch it live on BYU-TV.  You can also watch it HERE.  You can watch it live, or watch it later. 

So, how are you going to know where to find me?  I could say that I will be the one in the white shirt, but so will all the other 339 women!  LOL 

This is a picture of the Mormon Tabernacle choir.  I have circled the spot where I will be sitting.


I hope you will be watching Saturday night.  Not just for me, but hear messages of inspiration and to have your cup filled.  I know mine is getting low, and this will be just what I need. 

We all have tons of plastic bags.  We call them Wal-mart bags here because we go there a lot, so most of our bags are from there!  I was raised to use and reuse all kinds of bags.  So I always keep these bags and reuse them for garbage bags and carrying things and such.  But they take up so much space.  This picture is of 5 bags.


See, even wadded up, they would take up a lot of space.  Well, my mil taught me a cool way to store them so they take up minimal space.  I will walk you through it.

First, lay your bag down and flatten it out.


Fold it in half,


and then in half again.


Starting at the bottom, start rolling it up.


Keep rolling,


and rolling until you get to the handles.


Open up the handles to form a loop,


twist the loop,


and fold it back over the bag.


There you go.  It takes some time, but now look at how much space those 5 bags take up!  I keep these all in a bag in my pantry, and I never run out of bags!


Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

I want to talk today about work ethics because I need to get some things off my chest.

I was raised to work hard.  When you have something to do, dig in and get it done.  Don't play around because that just puts off the inevitable (and makes your dad really mad!).  Do it right the first time because if you try to cut corners, you will just have to go back and do it right eventually (and you will make your mom really mad!).

When I am working, I am very proud of the fact that I put in my full time.  I work hard and I work fast.  In the office, there are others who are not so concerned with their time.  They like to talk.  A lot.  Now, remember there is a reason why I became an accountant.  I am not a talker.  I like sitting alone and working.  These women will talk for a full half hour after they get to work.  It drives me nuts.  They also have to take care of their farms on Farmville. 

And then at 10:30 they start talking about lunch.  Where are they going to go and who is going to go and get it (don't get me started on the fact that they are eating out every single day.  How can they afford it?).  Finally around noon they go and get the food and go down to the conference room and eat lunch and talk some more for about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, I eat my lunch that I brought from home at my desk in about 10 minutes.  I have too much work to do to take 45 minutes off. 

This all drives me absolutely nuts.  They all complain about how much work they have to do, but I don't see them doing much about it. 

Thank you.  I am very carefully stepping down off my soap box now.

Speaking of swimsuits and "exposing" ourselves, I am white.

And I don't just mean Caucasian, I mean I am white!  I have a farmer tan on my arms, but I am pale and blonde and I don't tan.  I burn.  Then I peel.  Then I am white again.

For years I let that also keep me out of a swimsuit.  But really, who cares?  When I go to the pool, I see lots of women that are pale. 

My kids don't care.  Well, The Teenager might, but he doesn't count.  He's, well, a teenager.  But the little ones don't.  They just want me there playing with them. 

So I do.  I don't care anymore.  I am who I am.

Yes, they are uncomfortable.  Yes, I'm putting myself on display, so to speak.  I did find a swimsuit that has a higher neckline so I'm not revealing cleavage, and it comes down to mid thigh so I don't have to worry about shaving.

But I still am fat.  I don't look good in a swimsuit.  But I grew up with my mom never wearing a swimsuit.  She didn't like how she looked.  I didn't want that for my kids.  I wanted them to have memories of me at the swimming pool too. 

So when I go to the pool, (and this is kind of awful) but I look around at all the women and as long as there is at least one other woman there who looks worse in her swimming suit than I do, then I'm okay. 

And you know what? 

There always is. 

Actually, there are usually quite a few that look worse than I do.  I'm amazed at how heavy some of these women are and how little fabric they have covering them (just because you can wear a bikini doesn't mean you should!).  But as long as they look worse than I do, then I'm okay being there.  Maybe that's a mean attitude to have, but if it gets me into a swimsuit and gets me to the pool with my kids, then they are happy and that's what it's all about.

It's a lot easier to avoid temptation than to resist temptation.

Wow.  This video blew me away.  I guess I am feeling a theme this week.

I wish I could go back and raise my kids with the knowledge I have now.  To spend more time just playing with them.  I was always too concerned with keeping the house clean and getting supper ready or scrapbooking or a million other excuses.  I never felt like I was a "fun mom".  I also wish that I had taken more pride in my appearance.  I used being pregnant and having kids as an excuse to let myself go and eat whatever I wanted.  And now I regret it because the habits are ingrained in me.  I wish I could go back and change how I took care of myself and how I took care of my kids.  I just wish I could go back.  But I can't.  I need to let that go.  I did the best I could.

We all are doing the best we can.  And that's okay.

I'm loving this time in my life.  This stage of my life.  My kids are older and I have more freedom.  I'm busy, but it's a different kind of busy.  During the day they are all at school.  I do have work, but even that is flexible.  It is a slower pace than what I used to have. 

But once they get home, the house comes alive.  I am looking at papers and helping with homework and running them places and getting supper ready.  It's not like when they were little and I was busy all day changing diapers and wiping noses and feeding them.  But in a weird kind of way, I miss that.  My kids don't need me anymore.  Well, they need me, but they don't rely on me to help them with everything. 

But now I am envious of the young mom's in my neighborhood.  When I had young children, the neighborhood we lived in had a lot of teenagers, but no little kids.  I felt very isolated.  And now I feel isolated because we are in a neighborhood that has a lot of little kids, but very few teenagers.  My son is 16 and there are no 16-17 year old girls that go to our ward.  There are very few people my age that have kids my age.  It's a very odd feeling. 

It's a different stage of life and there are pros and cons to it, but there are pros and cons to every stage of life.  For instance, I no longer own a stroller.  And that's a good thing!  I just have to adjust.

When my children were little, I never missed them. I was fortunate enough to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom.  It was the best job, but the hardest job in the world.  I was around them 24/7.  I rarely got a break.  There were a few times that The Doctor and I got away alone, but money was scarce.  So when I did get away, it was never long enough.  I was never ready to come home. 

One time we got away for a whole week.  I thought about my kids and called them every day, but I enjoyed being away and wasn't ready to go home when the week was over.

Last week, all my children were in school all day long.  It was lovely.  This week was okay.  Friday the three youngest ones went with my parents camping.  The Teenager stayed home, but he had to work and go to his motorcycle class (that's another post). So for all intents and purposes, we were alone.

Saturday morning, I got The Teenager off to class and I didn't want to wake up my hubby, so I stayed downstairs and watched TV in my robe.  Alone.  No phone calls, no cartoons, no arguing.  Just peace and quiet. 

And loneliness.

I missed my kids so much!  I couldn't believe it!  After 18 years, I finally missed my kids.  I wanted to see them, to hug them, and to bring them home.  If I didn't hate camping and bugs so much, I would have gone up to see them.  Finally today they came home and it felt so good. As we sat around the dinner table, my family was complete again and I felt at peace.

So for those of you moms who can't comprehend what I am talking about, I understand.  I was there.  But it will come.  It has for me.  It's a good feeling.

"There are too many of us who put question marks instead of periods after what the Lord says. Just trust the Lord. We shouldn't try to spend time explaining what the Lord didn't see fit to explain. We spend useless time."

Harold B. Lee

1. Do you speak any foreign languages? Are there any you'd like to learn?

I can finger spell in Sign Language, so I could get by, albeit slowly.  But that’s it.  I took 1 semester of French in high school and absolutely hated it! 

2. Who is your personal hero?

My mom.  She has been through so much and it has made her stronger.  I really look up to that.  I hope someday my testimony can be as strong as hers.

3. What is one holiday food that you find extremely difficult to resist over- indulging in?

Well, there is chocolate at Valentine’s Day, chocolate at Easter, chocolate at Halloween, and my clam chowder at Christmas. 

4. Tell me about a Christmas decoration that has special meaning or sentimental value.

I love my candy chainsLook here too.

5. How do you feel about snow?

I love it…in December.  The rest of the year it should go away and it should be warm!

6. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night?

Six hours.  I usually go to sleep around 11:30 and I get up at 5:30.  It’s not enough sleep, but I just can’t force myself to bed earlier.

7. You're stuck in a room for 2 hours with only a chalkboard and chalk. What will you write/draw?

I would take the chalk and turn it on it’s side and cover the whole board.  Then I would erase it in patterns.

8. Do you dress for the current temp or for the day's forecast?

I dress for how I feel.  If I feel like wearing capris and flip flops, that’s what I wear.  Even if it’s winter and I have to wear a sweater to stay warm! 

9. Do you prefer to print or write cursive?

I like cursive.  It’s pretty.

10. What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Not horror flicks but ones where the tension or suspense is killer.

“Wait Until Dark” with Audrey Hepburn.  She plays a blink woman and it is terrifying!  “What Lies Beneath” is also scary, as is “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “Watcher in the Woods.”  All good movies!

11. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you've had?

When I was pregnant with The Chocoholic and he was diagnosed with Hydronephrosis

12. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at?

Everything.  I think I am okay at a lot of things (playing the piano, singing, scrapbooking, cooking, etc.), but I don’t really excel at anything.  Except getting stains out.

13. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?

Definitely alone time.  I am not a people person.  There is a reason I became an accountant and not a teacher!

14. Apple or pumpkin pie?


15. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?

Patience and tolerance when I am driving.  I get terrible road rage when I am behind the wheel.  But I am trying every day.  I have found that if I drive the speed limit, I can let people go around me and I don’t get stressed out.

I cannot wait to be resurrected and discover more about this wonderful world of ours!  Watch this video with your kids.  It’s amazing!

I think I'm a little off today.

First, after I showered, I dried the left leg first. 

I NEVER dry the left leg first! 

I always dry the right leg first!  It completely threw me off. 

Then when I did laundry, I did darks first, then my towels, and then my whites. 

I NEVER do darks first! 

I always do whites, then darks, then towels. 

I think my day is ruined!  I feel completely out of sorts!