Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

It is amazing to me how many people think that police in AZ will be walking around demanding ID from anyone who looks like they are not from the US.  Sheriff Joe was on CNN trying to explain what the new law means--simply that people who have committed a CRIME will be asked for their ID.  Police are busy enough keeping us safe (ironically from the illegals, who apparently commit the majority of homicides in AZ) that they aren't going to go around asking everyone they see for their ID.  People need to stop, take a deep breath, and actually READ THE LAW--it's not that long-- before they decide to 'hide illegals,' like the church leaders are planning to do.  I mean, really.

Yes, people can come here looking for a better life--but they need to do so legally, just like all the other LEGAL immigrants have done for 100s of years.  We are moving to Texas to make a better life for our family, but we're going to register our vehicles, register to vote, pay state taxes (oh, wait!  Texas doesn't have those!), etc.  I am very confused about why any law-abiding, tax paying citizen would want to take money away from his/her family to pay for the incarceration, education, and health care of criminals (yes ILLEGAL immigrants are criminals because they are breaking the law). 

Get informed people.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Refried Beans on the Capitol Building

The whole country is in an uproar about Arizona's new law.  People should think (or at least read all the information) before smearing refried beans all over the AZ capitol building.  These kinds of immature responses, and the lack of knowledge about the new law shown by its opponents, is quite telling.  I'm not sure why people seem to think that the US should be different from any other country in the world as far as border security.  There is no other country in the world where people can just show up and mooch off the citizens of that country with no repercussions. 

The new bill in AZ simply gives police officers the ability to enforce the law.  Any citizen who commits a crime can be detained until they can prove their identity.  The new law simply extends that privilege to illigal immigrants (key word here:  ILLEGAL!!!).  Police can't stop anyone on the street and demand their ID--they have to have committed an offense/crime.  Now, if someone is illegal, officers can take them in, instead of letting them go because ICE can't repond in a timely fashion.

83% of suspects in homicides in AZ are illegal immigrants.  Illegal immigrants cost taxpayers billions in healthcare costs, education costs, and criminal costs.  The Hispanic community in America contributes much to our culture.  And everyone is welcome to come to the US LEGALLY.  To use our services because they are paying taxes.   And to abide by our laws. 

The new law just ends the free ride for illegal immigrants, providing an incentive to come here legally.  We need to have faith in our officers that they will do what they've sworn to do--protect the citizens of AZ by enforcing the laws--instead of demonizing the men and women who put their lives on the line for us everyday by claiming that they will go around on a hispanic roundup.  These kinds of responses are what is offensive about the law--not the law itself.  Why are we putting people who are committing crimes (ILLEGAL immigrants) above our police officers? 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rainy days...

I would have loved to spend the day baking cookies with my kids, but I'll have to be content today with teaching while watching the snow fall outside in Prescott, helping Ryan clean up a (small) jobsite in the rain, and having pizza and root beer with the family at Crusty's.  My house is clean, much of my grading is done, and I'm ready to sit down and read Chapter 2 in Mission of Motherhood.  Can't wait!

Just for are some pictures of my kids from 2 years ago at Josyan's 1st haircut...Wow!  Time goes by fast.  :-(


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Nation of Grinders

"A Nation of Grinders," by David Brooks, is the essay I discussed with my composition classes today at Yavapai College.  Though the essay was written in 2003, it applies so well to the situation in our country today.  Brooks says that we ought to adopt Lincoln as "the defining capitalist figure for our age," not because he was president during one of the most challenging eras in US History, but because he worked hard to move himself from extreme poverty to a level of success before he became president. 

Brooks gives several examples of the ethics of hard work, citing companies like Walgreens and Kroger who have consistently outscored even the big dot coms on Wall Street.  The language of those companies includes words like 'disciplined," "determined," "accountable," and "responsible."  What if all of us decided to be disciplined, determined, accountable, and responsible?  Now, that's a thought!

So many of us have these grand ideas of great riches in store for us, and, when they don't materialize, we see ourselves as failures and just give up.  Isn't that what's happened all across this country?  We've given up on a large scale, content to let the government's lies about the inability of people to move up in the world convince us to sit on our behinds and let the 'nanny state' (thanks Hannity!) take care of us by stealing from the rich.  Of course part of the draw of this irresponsible state of mind is the media's portrayal of the rich as Paris Hilton's--squandering money they didn't work for--instead of the true picture of the vast majority of the wealthy who worked hard and are still working hard for their money, saving instead of spending, and basically being role models for what the rest of us could achieve if we just decided to take responsibility.

Yes, what if we clung to Brooks' example--that Lincoln who worked hard and rose above his circumstances by believing in the moral responsibility of every person to improve him/herself?  What if we saw the rich not as thieves, but as hard-working people deserving of their success?  Would we not be happier by far?  Would we not see the fruits of our own labor?  Maybe not overnight, but, as Brooks says, over decades and generations, we would see ourselves rising above our current circumstances.  Isn't that, after all, what the American dream is all about? 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Mission of Motherhood--Chapter One

A lifelong friend of mine and I happen to be in the same place at the same time for a very short time, as we are both moving across country in the next few months.  We decided to read a book together before we had off our separate ways.  Each week, we are reading one chapter of Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood.   I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you here each week.  If you'd like to read along, I'd love to discuss the book with you, as well!

Chapter One is called "A Journey Like No Other:  Discovering the Mission of Motherhood."  Clarkson expertly describes the dilemma so many moms face--figuring out WHO exactly they are supposed to be in life.  The church often tells us that we are to be wives and moms, nothing more.  The world tells us that motherhood is a waste of our gifts and talents.  Clarkson, in searching the Bible, has found the answer--and I have finally found someone who speaks directly to my heart!

In the first chapter, Clarkson describes her own journey to finding who she is meant to be as a daughter of God.  I love that she describes motherhood as a 'divine calling,' but also says that "As important as my role is, and as important as my children are, they are not to be the center of my life, and my central calling is not to motherhood...My calling as a mother is the same as any other Christian's:  to fulfill God's will for our lives and to glorify Him.  This means I am to honor the Lord's design for my a careful steward of the world in which I opportunities to bring God's message of redemption to make full use of the gifts and talents He has placed in my delight in Him and worship Him..."  (Clarkson, 14-15).

I find that this statement provides me, as a mom, with a sense of balance.  Yes, being present here with my kids and shepherding their hearts is an important part of my life--but it's just a part of who I am.  And my role as a Mom is just a part of my role in God's kingdom.  As I put the gifts God gave me to use, my children will learn how to use their own talents to serve Him.  Being a Mom is a part of what I DO, but it should not completely define who I AM. 

I think Paul's explanation of the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians applies here, too...

1 Cor. 12:   14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Coupon Adventure Continues

Prompted by a student's essay, I have been experimenting with coupons.  Even in our 'poorest' days as newly married college students, I didn't use coupons, though I did shop the store sales.  My student's huge savings inspired me to give coupons a REAL try.  Not paying for deodorant and getting toothpaste for 20 cents?  Yes, I thought, this is worth a try!  My first week, I spent $160, saving $115.  I followed my student's advice:  1) only buy what you normally would, 2) only buy things that are on sale, and 3) only buy things that you have coupons for.  According to her advice, store sales are on a 6 week cycle, so after about a month, you should be stocked up with everything you need.  In the meantime, plan meals from what's in the pantry, rather than shopping for what you need.

So, this week, armed with the latest batch of coupons from my mother-in-law's Sunday paper and, I diligently shopped the Bashas' sales.  I spent $73, and saved $81!  Even the cashier was impressed.  :-)  My best buy this week?  A bottle of Vaseline Sheer Infusion.  Normally $6.88, it was on sale for $3.88 and I had a coupon for $3.75.  My cost?  13 cents!!!  Do I always buy this particular brand of lotion? No.  But I do buy lotion, I like Vaseline on the whole, and I'm not particular.  So, 13 cents well-spent.  :-)  Another great deal--Bashas' has GM cereals on sale for $1.99 a box.  When you buy four boxes, you get a gallon of milk ($3.88) for free.  I had coupons for 50 cents to $1 off each box of cereal.  So, for about $6, I got 2 boxes of Cheerios, 2 boxes of Kix, and a gallon of milk.  Not bad!

I might be able to save more by shopping at different stores, but Bashas' in the only one in town, and with gas prices being what they are, I'm thinking that the extra savings might not be worth the trip. I've heard is good, too, but for now, I'm content with shopping Bashas' super Fri/Sat sales and clipping coupons, especially since I discovered that I have two EXCELLENT coupon clippers in my house! :-)

Date Night

Ryan & I had a wonderful date night last night.  We went to the movies with our friends and saw, you guessed it!, Date Night with Steve Carell and Tina Fey.  If you haven't seen the previews, Date Night is a comedy about a couple who, scared by their friends' pending divorce, question their own marriage.  In an effort to revive the fire of their relationship, they visit a fancy restaurant where, since they are unable to get a table, they take another couple's reservation.  Unfortunately, the reservation they stole belongs to crooks, and the suburban couple finds themselves in a scary adventure full of hilarious comedy.  Despite the language (including the F-bomb) & not-so-subtle innuendos, I have not laughed so hard at a movie in a VERY long time!  The best part is the ending, in which the couple realizes that love is about making a choice--a choice to stick to the person you love, no matter what. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dixie Carter

When Ryan & I first got married, I used to get up every morning and work out with Denise Austin on Lifetime.  Immediately following was Designing Women.  Dixie Carter (Julia Sugerbaker) was my favorite character on the show.  She was classy, intelligent, beautiful, kind, and funny. 

I'm finding out now that she has died that she was that in real life, too, and more.  I love one of the quotes that Fox News played tonight, (from memory--I can't find the exact quote online) "People won't regret not attending one more meeting, but they will regret not spending every moment with their children." 

I tend to get caught up in the brain suckers (TV) and time suckers (computer) and just all the things I 'HAVE" to do.  I start the day with good intentions, but end up hating myself at the end of the day as my mind runs through all the things I could have said/done to be a better mom.  I can justify everything I do, of course--papers have to be graded on time and all the twitter/facebook/blogging hopefully will lead to more freedom for me to be Mom.  But what am I sacrificing in the process?

I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  Romans 7:15 

I suppose if Paul couldn't get it right, I shouldn't be too disappointed that I'm not perfect...but I sure do try hard.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I am so excited to have found and the Ultimate Blog Party!  This is my first year participating--and also my first year actively blogging.  I am a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom of three children (7,5, and 3).  The desire of my heart is to help moms find a balance between being present in their homes and living a passionate life doing the good things God intended for them from the beginning! 

You'll see that I'm still getting started, but my blog focuses on faith, family, and finances, sharing my heart, my life, and my experience with you.   I hope that you like what you see! 

Don't forget to check out all the other great blogs at the Ultimate Blog Party--and win great prizes, too!  Here are a few of my top picks: 

#5 a mini-cupcake kit for kids from great organization that supports critically ill children and their families--

#7 A tupperware prize pack (LOVE tupperware!) from

#25 A Thomas Jefferson Education from this site with great faith-based reviews!

#69 The Itty-Bitty Bookworm from I love this idea!  teaching preschool through literature!!!

#106-- The preschool Letter of the Week Curriculum from

My goodness--or any of the other great prizes!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


What good does recycling do if my husband dumps the recyclables in the trash on trash day?  Seriously. 

I do try really hard to recycle--it's really not that much more difficult to put cans, bottles, and cereal boxes in a bin in the garage rather than in the trash.  And not too much of a hassle to bring the bin to town.   The chickens love to eat the leftover scraps from the table, too, reducing the amount of garbage in the compactor.  (I do refuse to feed chickens leftover eggs and chicken--something just too weird about that!) 

I don't believe in global warming or government control of...well of anything, but I do believe in taking care of the earth--and somehow huge piles of trash covered in dirt don't really seem to fit the bill.  We're not perfect here in the Palmer household, but we do try.  Am I going to freak out about a light left on or a bottle not recycled...nope.  But if everyone just does a little bit, that adds up to a lot. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My family is very close--my cousins are like brothers & sisters, and all of our kids are best friends.  So our family gatherings grow every year!  We started celebrating Easter on Saturday as a family to make the day a little less stressful a few years ago, which made it easier for us all to get together.  Still, this is the first time in a long time that the whole family (on my Mom's side) has been in one place at the same time--my grandparents, my Mom & her husband & all my siblings, and my aunt and uncle and their families (with the exception of three of my cousins who had to work that day).

So, this Saturday we had 17 kids (ages 3 months to 13) here, along with all the adults.  Aside from an unknown little one who dug up my garden and a turkey that refused to cook in a timely manner, we had a fantastic time.  It's so much fun to watch our kids grow up together!
The kids found all but one of the 150+ eggs we hid.  (We don't know if there's an egg still out there, or if we miscounted!)  In years past, each child had his/her own color of eggs to avoid confusion, but this year we divided eggs into three categories (girls, big boys, and little boys).  With 13 kids of egg-hunting age, we just didn't have enough colors to go around!  It was so fun to hear the little ones calling out their colors (there's an orange one!) and counting down--(I have 7--I need 5 more!).  And, of course, when the kids joined together to help the others find their eggs--that's a beautiful thing!

Even better?  Hearing the kids tell the Easter story in their own words.  God sent Jesus to die for us, to wash away our sins, so we can live forever with Him in Heaven.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Square Foot Gardening

Some wonderful friends gave us a book on Square Foot Gardening a few years ago, and it has helped us to make the most of our gardening.  Rather than planting in rows, which wastes space and is hard to keep up with, square foot gardening divides the garden into squares.  You can plant whatever you like in each square, and, after you harvest your square, you plant something else.  Square foot gardens look really nice, are easier to weed, produce more veggies, and are great for kids!

We have three 8x4 gardens.  I'm excited to see broccoli, sweet peas, spinach, lettuce, and radishes growing already.  Last summer, my kids ate sweet peas, cherry tomatoes, and carrots right out of the garden!  And I was able to can all sorts of goodies.  I'm looking forward to a wonderful harvest again this summer. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great Chicken

Why is it that even the best recipes don't turn out when I have company?  I stumbled on a great marinade for chicken in an old Taste of Home magazine (olive oil, lime juice, garlic, spices) that made the most tender, best tasting chicken on the grill.  I only had 2 hours, vs 8, to marinate the chicken for dinner tonight, but it turned out dry and without the flavor it had the first time around.  I suppose I could blame the failure on my hubby's grilling skills..but I think the fault lies in my lack of preparation.  :-)  At least I made up for it with some VERY yummy brownies.  Quick tip from my mom-in-law--frost brownies with chocolate cake frosting.  YUM! 

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