Tuesday, November 6, 2012


A long time ago we started a tradition in our family of taking the boys with us to vote.  It started when Big Boy #1 was very small, and I didn't have many other options, but has evolved into something we all look forward to. 
 I take only one boy each election so we have to rotate years.  After voting we always go get some kind of treat to celebrate.  I let them push the buttons (of course I tell them which buttons to push!) and I try to work in a conversation about civic responsibility, sacrifice and political awareness. 
Normally Diamond doesn't get to take a boy with him - with his work schedule he is usually fighting to just get it done.  But this election Big Boy #1 actually opted to wake up early and go vote with his dad.  How great is that?  A fourteen year old boy who will wake up to vote with his dad. 
I truly feel blessed to live in a country where I can vote, where that voting happens in a safe environment and where I know my vote will count.  It is a blessing and a privilege and I pray my boys will honor that right as much as I do.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!

Four years ago I struggled to know who to vote for.  I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal who stands left of most of my church friends and right of my educational colleagues.  Last time around I opted for a third party candidate since I couldn't, with good conscience, vote for either Obama or McCain.  This time around is a different story.  I am thoroughly convinced of who I want to vote for: Mitt Romney.
I opted against Obama four years ago largely because Obama was an unproven leader.  I have been appalled at the fiscal irresponsibility of the Obama administration.  I fully acknowledge that Obama inherited a mess, but that doesn't give him a pass on what has happened during his term as president.  Obama's crippling debt has the potential to damage the US in lasting and devastating ways and I can't imagine four more years of this kind of spending.  Simultaneously, I am impressed with how Romney has a proven record of fixing financial train wrecks.  He's run effective and efficient businesses and that experience in the "real world" will be a great foundation for the nation.  I am under no illusions that Romney will solve all of our problems, but if anyone can back us away from the financial cliff we are running toward it will be Romney. 
My whole life I have been interested in the political system, but I had never been to a political rally until this past weekend when my dad and I took the two older boys to a Romney rally.  It proved to be both interesting and entertaining.  All the "throw him out!" and "fire Obama" outbursts were amusing to me.  My big motivating drive was that I wanted my boys to see the political process up close.  And maybe there was a little part of me that wanted them to see a dedicated Mormon man succeeding in the political world.  While his faith has nothing to do with my vote, there is definitely a part of me that stands amazed at the prospect of a Mormon president.  I could have never fathomed this as a teenager growing up in New York, where most people though Mormons were some strange cross breed of the Amish and Waco. 
Tomorrow I will take Big Boy #2 with me to the voting booth.  (I LOVE voting, and I always take one of the boys with me on election day - no early voting for me!  Plus, I have to get my sticker - right???)  There certainly are other issues in this election, but the state of the economy and the national debt are at the top of my list, which is why I will be voting Mitt Romney for president.

No matter who wins, I will happily return to Target and Best Buy commercials, a phone that doesn't ring off the hook with political calls, and Sunday dinners where I don't argue with my mom.  (She likes Romney too - but apparently questioning anti-Obama/pro-Romney hype doesn't go over so well).  God bless the USA!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

How Old is Too Old?

Here's the real question; how old is too old to trick or treat?  My parents didn't particularly like trick or treating to begin with but they were good sports and let us trick or treat until we were twelve.  Although Diamond's parents were more on board with the tradition, they didn't let their kids trick or treat past twelve either.  We decided to make that our rule.  Who really wants the kid trick or treating to be bigger than the person handing them the candy anyway?  Right?

Luckily, Big Boy #2 is eleven and less than 60 inches, so he was clear to go.  He went as "Glow Stick Man", which is basically the easiest costume ever.  Nothing to it but taping glow sticks to his clothes.  Awesome. 
Of course the Caboose has plenty of years left.  Which is good considering all his ideas for costumes.  The Caboose changed his mind a million times before the big day, but eventually settled on doggie.  Not too bad to do this one either.  Just stitched on some white felt to a black sweatsuit.  Add a collar from the dollar store and voila!
Cutest doggie EVER!
The Caboose was 'helping' with his face makeup, smearing it all over.  We went from cute little puppy to hung over old dog.  Not much better than a 5'10 teenager on your porch.  We ended up washing his face and starting from scratch. 
Although his little brothers were happily prepping for a night full of nougat and nuts, Big Boy #1 was staring down a long, empty night.  It can be hard to be the oldest and outgrow fun things years before your siblings.  He had hoped to have some friends over.  It didn't work out.  BB#1 was thoroughly bummed.  When our neighbors came to the house trick or treating I asked their mom her opinion.  She told me she lets her kids out until high school and suggested that BB#1 join with her thirteen year old son.  I caved.  I told him to quickly pull on his referee shirt for his Replacement Ref costume and go. 
It was the right thing to do.  His despondency cleared right up and he had great evening.  I didn't get any pictures of BB#1 in his costume.  Oh well.  I can always take some pictures when he's trick or treating in college...