Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday and it's been a great day. The boys both gave me an electric toothbrush. Now I have an orange one and a blue one. Dennis gave me an i-pod touch. It's very nice! My friend, Gail, gave me an Easter lily. I had students sing to me all day with many well wishes and birthday cards.

Tonight we went to Ruby Tuesday for my birthday meal because I had a coupon for a free hamburger. You get that when you join their birthday club! Then, we went to McDonald's for an ice cream sundae. I am stuffed! I really blew my low-carb diet with all the birthday food today. That's OK for birthdays come just once a year. I am glad to see another one come!

I'm already looking forward to next year's celebration!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palm Sunday

One of the Sunday's that I really love and look forward to is Palm Sunday. It's the Sunday that begins Holy Week and starts one looking toward Easter. I love the scripture readings (even though it is very long), I love the red vestments of the priests, and I love getting the palms. Carrying palms in procession goes way back into the Old Testament, where it was not only approved but commanded by God at the very foundation of the Old Testament religion. In the fall of the year, after the harvest, God commanded this when the people gathered for the Feast of Tabernacles. "And you shall take to you on the first day the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God." Leviticus 23:40. Did I mention that I LOVE the Old Testament? Without understanding the Old Testament, one misses so much in the New Testament. I was fortunate to grow up with a father that instilled that love of the Old Testament in me. But, I digress.....

This year, I looked up the directions of how to make a cross out of the palms. Above are the three best ones. Somehow, we ended up with 8 palms and I made 8 crosses. Because they have been blessed, we cannot throw them away. They will be added to our other palms. I like to keep some under the mattress, some in drawers, and maybe this year, I will put some behind some holy pictures that we have.

Plus, did I mention, that my boys think I am the most creative, crafty person in the world because I can make crosses out of palms? I think I will let them think that a little bit longer!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Conversations with Nikolai

Nikolai: Mom, I made a 93 on my reading test. That's not too good is it?

Mama: Nikolai, that is a good score. I am proud of that grade.

Nikolai: I don't think it is too good.

Mama: Well, Nikolai, it is an A.

Nikolai: But Mom, I am an A+ student!

Mama: Nikolai, it's OK not to get a 100 on every test or quiz. Both of my boys are smart! Papa and I just want you to do your best.

Nikolai: Well, I did get a hundred on my spelling test and my math test. You know, Deniska is just a B+ student! (giggle)

I don't know where Nikolai gets his drive to make straight A's. I wish he would lighten up on himself and not set such high standards. Deniska, on the other hand, is happy no matter what his grade is. He is just happy all the time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Look, Ma, I can say the F word!"

What an absolute embarrassment to the office of Vice-Presidency this man is. I am ashamed that anyone representing the United States of America could use such foul language at an official gathering. SHAME on you, Mr. Vice-President. I think you need to wash your mouth out with soap!!!

A letter from my Congrssman

This is the letter from my Congressman that I receive in response to a letter that I had written him. Of particular interest is the paragraph that I have put in a different color.

"Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to the health care reform legislation which was recently considered in Congress, along with your support for pro-life measures. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important issue.

The state of our health care system is a pressing problem in our nation. The cost of health care and health insurance, as well as the high number of people who are either uninsured or underinsured, are areas where our nation can do better. The United States spends a large and constantly growing share of national income on health care. In 2009, health spending is expected to approach $2.4 trillion and account for more than 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, at the current rate of increase, these amounts are expected to reach $3.1 trillion by 2012. Our country spends substantially more on health care than other developed countries, both per capita and as a share of GDP. At the same time, I understand how vital it is that America remains at the forefront of medical research and development. Americans must continue to have access to the most advanced medical cures and treatments. Please know that I have been committed to working with my colleagues to reform our health care system to make it more affordable, accessible, and efficient for all parties involved.

The Senate passed H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60-39. Despite unanimous Republican opposition in both chambers, this legislation was also passed by the House on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219-212, and was signed by the President on March 23, 2010. Immediately after passing H.R. 3590, the House also passed H.R. 4872, Reconciliation Act of 2010, by a vote of 220-211, also without any Republican support. This legislation, which makes changes to H.R. 3590, will now be considered by the Senate.

Unfortunately, this looming health care reform bill essentially amounts to a government takeover of the health care system which will result in devastating consequences for families and small businesses across the country. A government takeover of health care will raise taxes, ration care, and allow government bureaucrats to make health care decisions that should be made by families and their doctors. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that this health care plan will actually increase health care spending and expand government by creating over 150 additional government offices, agencies, commissions, programs, and bureaucracies. Furthermore, a new government-run insurance exchange program will not only necessarily force millions of hard-working Americans out of their current employer-based coverage, as employers opt to drop coverage in lieu of the cheaper government plan, but millions of workers will also lose their jobs because small businesses will not be able to afford the pending taxes and penalties which will be placed upon them due to employer mandates. At a time when our nation is suffering economically and unemployment stands at over ten percent, we should instead be fighting to create jobs and encourage economic growth and development.

H.R. 3590 raises taxes by $569.2 billion, harming small businesses and middle-class families; cuts Medicare by $523.5 billion, reducing benefits and raising premiums for seniors; and spends an additional $48 billion on Medicaid, further threatening already struggling state budgets. Additionally, once all spending is accounted for and the bill has been fully implemented, the true cost of this legislation is over $2.6 trillion. Despite claims that this reform will reduce the federal deficit, the total deficit will actually increase by $969.5 billion after accounting for discretionary spending, Medicare cuts, the physician payment SGR "fix", and removing the off-budget Social Security Revenues and the CLASS Act. While the purpose for reform is to reduce health care spending, federal spending on health care will instead increase by $390 billion, and personal health expenditures will increase by $222 billion as insurance premiums increase by 10-13% for patients of all ages.

However, just because this legislation has passed does not mean that the fight is over. I will do everything in my power to defend South Carolina's 10th Amendment rights against these excessive federal government mandates.

Furthermore, I believe strongly in the sanctity of human life. Any attempt to harm an innocent child is wrong, and I am committed to promoting legislation that will protect the unborn. While serving in the South Carolina State House and since coming to the United States Congress during the 108th Congress, I have supported legislation that would ban partial-birth abortions (Public Law 108-105), prohibit depriving any unborn person of life, and require doctors to notify mothers that an abortion procedure may cause an unborn child pain (H.R. 356 of the 109th Congress).

Millions of Americans have expressed their opposition to this bill because of provisions which would allow for the federal funding of abortions through subsidies for health care plans which cover abortions; funding to health centers which provide abortions; and mandating that individuals with certain health care plans make separate payments for abortion coverage, even if they are morally opposed. On November 7, 2009, my colleagues in the House were able to come together and pass the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act, to ban funds in this bill from being used for abortions. Unfortunately, the Democrats blocked the inclusion of this Amendment in H.R. 3590. Instead, they compromised the values of millions of pro-life Americans by accepting President Obama's agreement to issue an Executive Order to ban funds in the bill from being used for abortions. My concern with this compromise is that an Executive Order is not law and can be overturned at any time. Please be sure I am committed to the passage of federal legislation to provide real safeguards against the federal funding of abortions.

Again, thank you for your correspondence. I hope this helps you understand my stance on these important issues. Please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you have concerns regarding any issue under consideration in Congress.


J. Gresham Barrett
Member of Congress"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just Vote NO!

Please contact your House of Representatives to vote against President Obama's proposed Senate healthcare bill. This bill will allow for federal funding of abortion and will not provide conscience protection for health care professionals and health care institutions. Abortion should not be a part of healthcare reform, nor financed with tax dollars. Including its funding does nothing to reduce costs or increase access to medical care.

I encourage you to contact your Representative and urge him/her to vote “no” on health care reform. Christians need to weigh in on this important vote. Call your Representative at 202-224-3121 or send them an e-mail through

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Softball Game

Dennis, the boys, and I attended a double headed softball game today at my school. That's my school in the picture above. The JV girls won and the varsity lost by 1 point. It was the perfect day to be outside. My boys played with one of the coach's chocolate lab the entire time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


After waiting 2 years, we finally had our Domestication hearing on Nikolai yesterday. Judge Cain was our judge and he went over and beyond with both boys. He allowed them to sit in his seat and bang the gavel. So cute! Thank you Judge Cain. After the hearing, we went to Red Lobster for lunch to celebrate. It was a good day for all!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I hate being sick

I have been in bed for the past 2 days just sick with this bronchitis stuff. I called the doctor on Friday and he called me in some amoxicillin, which I started taking on Friday night. I hope I will start feeling better soon. I didn't even make it to church this weekend. I can count on one hand the number of times I have missed church. I hope I am able to go to work tomorrow. The boys have been so good this weekend. I think they know I do not feel well. Even Nikolai has been doting on me and telling me he loves me. I have such sweet boys! Dennis, of course, has been wonderful as usual in taking care of things around here while I am under the weather. I am truly blessed to have such a loving family.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The boys and I are all home today on a snow day. It is snowing right now with no accumulation. It is melting as soon as it hits the ground but it is beautiful to watch. We are supposed to have 3-6 inches but I don't see that happening. I am happy to be home today. I went to the doctor yesterday and have bronchitis. It was nice to sleep in this morning, even though Deniska woke me up every half hour asking if he could eat something. Nikolai is watching a movie and Deniska is coloring.
I am really thankful for the blessing we have. We are all nice and warm. We have food in our kitchen. I wish Dennis could be home with us. If it gets bad, he will come home. I am focusing on our blessings for several reasons. Yesterday when I was at the doctor's office, there was a lady who did not pay her doctor's bill because she did not have the money. It was $2. She said she would pay on Wednesday when she got paid. Her insurance must be very good to have a co-pay of only $2. My co-pay is $10. Not knowing the whole story, I did not offer to pay her bill. I did not feel led to do so. But it did remind me to be thankful for the money in my checking account to pay for my bill and drugs. My drugs came to about $80. I do feel much better so I guess it was worth the money.
The other reason, is one of my co-workers found her husband dead yesterday morning. He was in his early 40s. I guess that is why I went to the doctor's in the first place. I certainly do not want to die over something that could have been prevented. On the other hand, I know it is appointed for us to die. God knows when and how. I cherish every day I have with my family. I have the very best husband and 2 precious boys. We are all happy. I pray that we all have a long, happy life together.

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.