Sunday, November 30, 2008

High Pockets like Unc

This is a special video just for Unc. Unc, your style has definitely rubbed off on Ivy girl! We had a great time with you all this weekend and wish we could have come to your church today. Love you and Chelsea both and we'll see you at Christmas.

Please ignore the spaghetti-o's all over Ivy's shirt and the craziness of the videographer.(Hopefully Santa will bring a real video cam for Christmas)!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving: The Grand Finale

Our Family- Thanksgiving 2008

Today we had our last feast with my mom's side of the family. I particularly love this the most because it is in Lexington and we only have to ride about 3 miles to get there! YAY :) It was a lot of fun to see everyone (except Sherri and we missed her lots). Ivy was shy for a while but then warmed up to the fam. She was especially impressed with Aunt Donna's piano playing and the fact the Natalie has a belly button just like hers! (For those of you that don't know, belly buttons are Ivy's latest obsession.) Here are some pics to capture our day.

Ivy and Natalie trying to escape.

Ivy and Nana (the cook)- a great cook I might add!

Natalie showing Ivy her belly button~ from that point on Ivy was sold on their friendship.

Uncle Larry finally getting to snuggle Ivy.

Aunt Chesie (this is her new name) and Ivy looking in the mirror.
Now, Thanksgiving is complete and we are on to the next stop-- Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving: Numero Dos

On Thursday, it is our family tradition to go to Louisville to celebrate with my dad's side of the family. My aunt Dee hosts it at her house and she invites around 25 people. This year we enjoyed the gorgeous weather and got to play outside before the feast. Ivy had so much fun playing with my cousins, Harper and Shea. She was very shy around the not so familiar adults but the second she saw another little person she warmed up right away!

This was the prettiest Turkey day that I can remember! We all enjoyed the sunshine.

Greg, Anthony, and Chelsea gave it a try on the kiddie toys! I was very impressed but to scared to try my coordination out :)

Ivy gave basketball a try!

Shortly after this, Ivy and I had a girl to girl chat about basketball uniforms and the not-so-cute factor! I told her until mommy had some part in a new design that is more flattering to the female frame there would be no b-ball for her! She agrees :)

Ivy loves her cousins! They spoiled her rotten :)

Shea and Ivy reading a book.

Harper and Ivy playing on the swing set.
At the end of the night, we got one (very sleepy) Mommy and Ivy shot.

Ivy' s flexibility impressed us all. She was in such a great mood even after the road trip, being toted all over the place, taking a very short nap, and enduring lots of commotion. I am noticing that this is a bonus of her getting a little bit older- she can adjust to our plans. By the end of the evening she was exhausted but Daddy wanted to sneak in one Mommy picture before changing into her jammies and hitting the roads back to Lexington.

We have one more Thanksgiving meal tomorrow! The grand finale Turkey day post will be coming soon. Then we will be fully into the Christmas spirit!

Happy Late Thanksgiving!

I didn't get time to blog yesterday, but I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and got a chance to love on family and friends. Please take time to reflect on all you are thankful for this time of year. As the Christmas season approaches, we are blessed with the greatest thing of all.... the birth of our Lord, sweet Jesus.

10. My part time job (key word: part time)
9. Home- I know I have house fever like you wouldn't believe because I am so ready to be a home owner. However, the blessing of our house has been one that has definitely given my the opportunity to stay at home with Ivy more. So many memories have been made in my house (newly-weds and newly-parents), that I am sure it will be bitter sweet to move some day.
8. Church- I have went to Southland since I was a little girl. I also have went to church with Greg since we started dating. I am thankful for the biblical principles in such a large church. I am also so humbled by the serving attitudes found in our church.
7. BSF- This has challenged me and helped me to find my way into God's word daily. I am thankful for the obedience that it requires and my growing relationship with Christ Jesus.
6. Friends- Love them! Enough said :)
5. Good health- After gaining 50 lbs during pregnancy (OUCH) I have really made my health a priority. I feel better than I have since I don't know when! :) I want my health to keep up with Ivy and be a good example for her, just as my mom was for me.
4. My family- I have a very close knit family and I don't ever want to take advantage of the blessing that they are in our life.
3. Ivy- My life is forever changed by the entrance to mommy-hood. I could do a top 100 reasons I am thankful for this sweet girl!
2. Greg- I really struck gold meeting Greg at age 16 and never looking back! He is my soul mate and an excellent father.
1. God- his daily grace and guidance!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for Friends

Kayla & Nick, Ashley, Drew & Brayden, Greg, Ivy & I decided to have a pre-thanksgiving meal with pizza. (We are all about the $5 pizzas!) It was great to see everyone. We haven't been able to all sit down together and visit in quite a few months. It is sometimes difficult with children, work schedules, and close knit families to find the time... but when we do, it is so worth it! Kayla, Ashley, and I could talk teaching and babies well into the evening and who knows what the boys talk about but we are just thankful that they get along. Ivy and Brayden even had their own little language of smiles, giggling, and mostly gentle touches. I am so thankful to have such excellent friends!!

The girls and Brayden :)

Family Picture~ Ivy loves her pseudo Uncle Nick and Aunt Kayla!

Ashley had just changed Brayden's diaper when Ivy dove on the blanket like it was her turn. Then she had fun holding Brayden's sweet hands.

Every time we venture to G-town, Ivy has a blast with Brayden's toys. I believe he wins the "best toy award" out of Ivy's friends. This contraption spit balls all over the place! Ivy loved it and before long Brayden will be scurrying around after all the balls too. I didn't get video of Ivy and Ashley dancing to Brayden's new CD~ but seriously, they had so much fun together!

Dear Ashley, Thanks for pulling out all you awesome toys and playing with me. I had so much fun. :) I can't wait for Brayden to be able to play with the big kid toys too! Love, Ivy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Paci 911~

I'm glad my child isn't the only one!

Okay, we have had some major changes in the Smorstad household with regards to the paci. First some history.... we love the paci.

Here is where is started!

Ivy has had one since the first day of life. It has kept her happy, it fulfilled her sucking need, and now provides her with comfort in any situation. If I could go back in time, I would not change this in the least. Actually, I am sad for moms who don't have the go-to soothing of a paci because I don't know what I would do. (Dependent-you say- yea a little!) However, Ivy is now almost 16 months and learning new words every day. I do not want it to hinder her speech or cause permanent damage to the shape of her mouth. So here is when the crazy mommy steps in with an intervention. Is it just me or is that what being a mommy is- constantly stepping in with a change for your little one- to better them and their sleep habits, eating habits, fussy time, talking, walking, moving.... etc.

At about 6 months I declared Ivy a true paci addict :)

So last Saturday (making today the 10th day), Greg and I declared pacis were for sleepy time only. She did great on day one. No asking for the paci- it helps that she doesn't know the word yet! And we did let her take it to the nursery (for comfort purposes). So yes, we have been about 10 days paci free except in the bed. Friends, this has been a test for mommy and daddy! Last night as I was trying to make dinner Ivy was clinging to my legs and whining, her new vice. It seems that the biggest thing that we have noticed (being paci free) is from about 5:00-8:00 (bedtime) Ivy wants to be held and if she isn't then she whines- a droning, endless whine. I can't quite tote a 21 lb child for 3 hours unless I want to be rewarded the buffest arms award- or better yet, the broken back award. So therefore last night was the night that Daddy folded and declared we needed the paci. Ivy ran to the stairs awaiting the delivery of her beloved paci. She was whine free and paci sucking for the next few hours.... and ahhh... it was a peaceful evening for Greg and I. So my question- what do we do?

Are we mis-using this precious jewel to prevent the whining?

Is the paci Ivy's security blanket during the fussy time?

Will we have to go through this no matter what age we kick the paci to the curb?

Is 16 months to old to have a paci?

Should we limit not ban the paci during awake hours?

The joys of being a parent. We have to make decisions that best serve our lovely little ones. It can be hard, and I know I am the toughest judge on myself. I know lots of you have been here or are here right now. I would love to know your thoughts!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Edward Cullen Lovers!

Eating at Saul Good before venturing off to Twilight!

Last night I was one of the millions of people who got to see the real life Edward! A group of teachers that I work with, who are all equally in love with Mr. Cullen, went to see Twilight last night. It was an awesome movie but I have to say no movie can ever compare to the book. YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU SEE! We had so much fun acting like we were 15 years old again. We ate at Saul Good before and enjoyed some yummy treats and then we headed over to the theater. It was a great time with some awesome girls!

Waiting in line... worth every minute!

Counting down the minutes.... YAY!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

1. SNOW! I love it. I took a walk tonight in the snow and loved knowing that winter is here. I seriously love every season and I will act this giddy for each change that takes place.

2. BOWS! I have not gotten to do the bow thing because Ivy was anti-headband and then anti-bow once she got the hair. Since the hair cut on Sunday we have worn a bow everyday. I am thankful to see Ivy in this girly new light.

3. Other Mommies! I am thankful for my mommy friends. I love the relationship that forms and support that we can give each other through the difficult times. My great friend, Diana, and I have been able to spend time together weekly with me working part time. Our friendship has grown so much and I am so appreciative of that. I love seeing the girls play. I also love all the other blogging mommies. Reading about your mommy adventures is like Chicken Soup for the Mommy's Soul. And what an amazing world we live in that I can feel like I am in the day to day life of my mommy friends all the way in Utah! The Internet is the greatest thing in the world. Seriously, I am so thankful for these friendships!

4. Twilight and more importantly, EDWARD, tomorrow at 9:50 with tons of my teacher friends who are equally in love with Edward. We will all be wearing our Twilight shirts to work and out tomorrow evening. (Pictures will be soon!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snowy Monday

Last night we got a pleasant November surprise when little flurries began to build up on our deck. I was just about to leave for Bible study when Ivy began beating on the glass door, pointing, and jabbering away. Being the Ivy whisperer (haha) I could easily tell that she wanted out to touch this mysterious white stuff. It snowed many times last winter but Ivy was too little to experience the snow. On this snowy Monday Ivy got her first feel for the snow!
(And let's just say, she was a little less than thrilled as you can tell by her facial expression in the picture with Daddy!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Bangs!

So I have debated and stewed over this decision for about a month now. I even enlisted my fellow blogger's advice. Should I give Ivy Girl bangs? I was torn to between seeing my beautiful girl's eyes and the horrific pictures of me with fluffy bangs many years ago. However, this weekend after a lot of thought and many bow and pony tail attempts, Greg and I made up our minds to take Ivy for a hair cut. I was so so so nervous that it would be terrible but kept reminding myself how fast hair grows. I still haven't given up the idea to eventually grow out Ivy's bangs, especially once it all thickens up. But for now we are overly satisfied with Ivy's new hair do!

And guess what??? She has even kept the hair bow in all day long- looking in the mirror and everything. The hair cut was a success!

First Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
This past weekend we kicked off the holiday season with our first Thanksgiving. Greg's parents hosted it at their house- we had fun visiting and eating a yummy meal! This was the first time that Greg and I have a had a Thanksgiving with just our immediate family. Both of our parents were there and Anthony and Chelsea were home this weekend to enjoy the get together. It was very nice to have everyone special to us sharing a meal. We are so thankful for such an awesome family!

Ivy taking a break from play time to get kisses from Unc!

I love my Pops!!!

Is Ivy the center of attention? Why, no, of course not! :)

Cheesing in the mini-chair!
*I have been saying "Say cheese" and this is the face we get!*

Ivy and Grandma playing with Ivy's favorite toy.


Grandpa and I were both there but didn't end up in any pictures!! So sad~ :(
It is hard to catch Grandpa and Ivy because they are always off on an adventure!

Now, that we have officially had a Thanksgiving meal I am so ready to bust out all of the Christmas decor. Before I do that I have to spend some time in prayer begging that Ivy is not tempted to pull everything off the tree. I am not sure we can have that battle for a month! And if she is so very tempted I am praying that God grants me the patience to deal with it. Everybody should include that in their prayers!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Thursday

I have been tagged again-
I am to tell you 6 things that make me HAPPY and then tag 6 people to think about the 6 things that make them HAPPY!! I am sure some of you won't play and I guess I forgive you for not jumping into the blogging world whole heartily!

I have decided to focus on the little things in life because I am sure most of you could quickly rattle off the 6 "you guessed it" things that make me HAPPY. So here it goes:

6 Things for HAPPY THURSDAY:

1. Coffee- I am not and will not ever be a morning person, but like it or not Ivy is. My cup of coffee gets me jump started and makes me much more enjoyable for Miss Ivy to be around in the a.m. I have to make it just perfect with the right amount of sweetness... yum.

2. BOYS DON'T READ THIS- Matching Panties - You read that right, I like to match my panties to my clothes. Haha! A little something about me that you didn't know. :) Next time you see me you'll probably be trying to guess what color the little darlings are. I am excited for Santa to bring me some new underoos and I will have to match them to any new shirts I get.

** Ivy shares my pantie fetish as she has walked around for 3 days with the same pair that she stole... but she likes to wear them like a necklace. (Do you love her expression?)

3. Chocolate I love chocolate morning, noon, or night and I have never found a type of chocolate that I did not thoroughly enjoy. No further explanation needed.

4. Christmas Music This week I felt that it was perfectly okay for me to bust out the Christmas music. It will be blasting in my car until Dec. 26th when I will retire it until next year. My hubby HATES Christmas music so he bans it from being played in our house unless we are decorating the tree.... which I plan to do very very soon!!

5. Giggles I love to laugh. Greg makes me laugh with his very understated humor. He is not the type that is a jokester but he says off the cuff things that get me smiling for days. Add Ivy into the picture and I pretty much laugh all the time. This might be my favorite Post Secret ever and I could have sent it in. LOVE IT and totally relate to the sender.

6. My Quiet Time Each day I have a little bit of quiet time. I am learning to use this time more productively than Facebook alone (haha). I spend time doing my Bible study (we are studying Moses' life and seeing God's faithfulness to the Israelites is really resonating in my heart), praying, resting (we all need a little shut-eye), exercising, and even cleaning. Regardless of how I use my quiet time, it is taken in.... that little dose of happiness, and cherished every single day.

So I ask you-

Kendra, Lori, Kelli, Emily, Jackie, and Ashley-

What makes you happy?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby in Disguise

This is the new look Ivy plans to use when she is up to no good.
"Mommy, have you seen that crazy baby with a purple nose? She made quite the mess with the toilet paper."
( As she hides her disguise in the toy box---- the mess was a success and Ivy is not to blame!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hi. My name is Sarah. I am 24. And I am a Facebook Addict.
But..... the good news and reason for this post is to tell you that I have not been on facebook since Wednesday. Friends, this is a miracle and probably the longest I have been facebook free since I entered the facebook world about 4 years ago. I am bound and determined to not have the uncontrollable urge to get on there 3 times a day (minimum) and look at every updated profile, which then usually leads to more profiles, to more profiles.... you get the picture. I am hoping to learn to use my time more wisely. I am hoping to not being doing 4 days of Bible study on Sunday before Monday night Bible study. I am hoping that when Ivy can talk more she doesn't say "Geeezzz, Mom, can't you get off that thing?" And I am hoping not to recognize people out and about because I have seen them on facebook. So seriously, I am making light of this situation but it is sort of a problem. I am enjoying my freedom from facebook so for now the hiatus will continue. Wish me luck!
PS~ If you are trying to get ahold of me through facebook, maybe you should try a blog comment or email instead? Haha! Please don't unfriend me in real life just because you are feeling a little ignored on facebook.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for:
1. The Twilight movie that will be coming out in 14 days! Can't wait :) to go see it and fall in love with the real life movie Edward instead of the only in my imagination book Edward!

2. In just half a year... literally 6 months... my husband will officially be a UK graduate. I am so proud of him and the hard work he has done. I believe it is pretty incredible that he is able to balance being a student, intern, husband, and father. And if I do brag for a moment- he does an amazing job of each of these things!! I can't wait to see him graduate and start his career. :)

3. How could I not be thankful for a post-nap hairdo like this? I love my little --snot dripping, teeth hurting, fit throwing, candy eating-- Ivy!

** A little Ivy humor to go along with this silly picture-- Ivy has had a bad cold (now sinus infection) for about 3 weeks. She has been coughing and had a runny nose and you can tell she is just tired of it. She has learned to stick her fingers in her nose when it won't quit dripping (nasty... I know). At Panera we were telling her "shhhhh" because she was talking on volume 10 (the typical Ivy talk) and she thought we had our finger in our nose too. She immediately stuck her fingers (plural) in her nose and persisted to do her own "shhhh." It was hilarious! Kids are the best medicine for any bad day- they are so funny without even meaning to be!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Notes from a Liberal Christian

I said I wasn't going to talk politics on my blog. And I really didn't intend to... but as we wait for the election results I am feeling very pulled to defend being a liberal Christian. I feel like many people (and someone even wrote on my facebook wall) are shocked to see that I am supporting Obama and have been prayerful in my decision to do so. I think as Christians we so quickly jump to cover our two bases- abortion and marriage. Those are two very important things but my heart is much more convicted to take care of the poor. (I feel like the other two are also going to be touched on... but this should not be a basis to choose a leader for our nation.) My brother is majoring in biblical studies and I can testify that it is his first priority to further God's kingdom. We have had many political discussions and using the Bible as his foundation he supports the democratic party. I wanted to share some portions of his political rationale that so eloquently captures all that I believe as well. I love so much that he uses God's word to defend this stance to the many right-winged Christians that can quickly judge. I am not saying that if you voted for McCain you are wrong or going against God's word, however, what I am suggesting is that it is possible to love God with all of your heart and vote for Barack Obama.

My amazing brother and sweet, Baby Ivy! (*Photo opportunity I couldn't pass up*)

Anyways, here is some portions of his political defense! Really this is worth reading, even though it is a touch lengthy!

The main reason I am choosing to vote democrat this election has to do with poverty and issues related to it. With over 2000 verses in the Bible involving commands for God's people to care for the poor, I see loving and caring for the poor being one of the premiere characteristics of the people of God. Many Christians from the politically conservative viewpoint claim to agree that the poor must be taken care of, but their approach in doing so is different from mine. They prefer the least amount of government involvement as possible so that the only ways the poor's needs are reached are either through individual generosity or the church's relief efforts. While these are good things, I see them as insufficient. Both of these ways to address poverty only help the symptoms of the problem: hunger, homelessness, nakedness, etc. And they fail to address the things that have either helped to push people into poverty or prevent them from getting out of it. I liken this situation to a metaphor I once heard. If the town 10 miles down the road from you gets hammered by a flood, your town will go relieve them of the problems they have faced because of the flood. This may involve rebuilding, cleaning up, or just providing people with a place to stay. If the flood happens again, the same response ensues. And again, the cycle repeats. Eventually, I think the wise thing to do would be to try to figure out what it is that allows this flood to take place and do whatever is possible to prevent it from happening again. With poverty, then, I believe there are systemic and structural problems within our society that are oppressive in nature and thus keep people from getting out of the poverty they are in. Because of this, we need to do more to address poverty other than just giving people soup, sweatshirts, and shelters. We must address structural problems that cause poverty, predominantly in the education and business worlds.

Education example. Mason (a rich suburb outside of Cincinnati) public school system gives $6000 worth of resources per each fully functioning (not special needs) student while Cincinnati Public Schools, which predominantly comprises of inner city schools, only receive $3000 worth of resources. Is that just? How can we ever expect kids that are already in poor situations to climb out of the hole they are in and break the cycle when they already have several strikes against them? Statistically, many of these kids are in single parent families, often have a father absent from the house, and generally lack positive external motivation and influence. By refusing to provide them with sufficient educational resources, we just give another strike against them.

Business example. It is simply not just for CEOs to walk off with 10 million dollar severance packages while laying off thousands of workers. Nor is it just that the CEO of Disney used to get payed close to $17,000 PER HOUR while children in Haiti made Disney T-shirts for less than a dime an hour. Some sort of regulation needs to take place here. Too much power is given to the big boys at the top of the corporate world. Some people say, "Well, if we regulate a free market system, then our economy would drop." Bull, regulation has been happening for years and we still benefit from it today. 40 hour work weeks, minimum wage, adequate working conditions, and paid overtime are all examples of government mandates on the business world to prevent oppression and to take some power out of the business owners' hands. I think some regulation needs to be in place here.

Healthcare is also worth noting. While I don't necessarily think healthcare is a "right," I certainly don't see any reason why the richest nation in the world can't find a way to provide healthcare to the 47 million people without it. I am personally willing to give up the timely and luxurious nature of my healthcare so that the 47 million people with NOTHING can at least have something. Self-denial for the sake of others essentially sums up all of the ethical behaviors that Christians are expected to strive to do, and I see this as a way of demonstrating self-sacrificial love.

A right-wing Christian is sure to shout out, "But what about abortion!" I personally believe that Obama's healthcare and economic policies will do a better job at actually reducing abortions than the Republican party's failed attempts to overturn Roe V. Wade. In the 35 years that Roe v. Wade has been in effect, a Republican president held office for 23 of those years, and nothing was changed. Also, from January 2006 (with the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito) until January 2007 (when Democratic majority took over congress), the Republicans controlled all three branches of the government and still no effort was made to overturn Roe v. Wade. Additionally, Chief Justice Roberts, the most conservative Justice, has come out and stated that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and it was backed up by the Casey case. Furthermore, all overturning Roe v. Wade would do would be to allow each state to decide for itself whether or not to legalize abortions. It would not nationally prohibit abortions. Naturally, then, the only states that would actually legislate against abortion would be those with the fewest abortions already, not the ones with the most abortions. Combine that with the ability to cross state lines and the amount of actual reduction of abortions is close to zero. And that is if Roe v. Wade even gets overturned! Because of that, I think it's time to use another plan. It has been statistically proven time and again that there is a direct correlation between poverty and abortion, which means that those experiencing financial hardship are most likely to abort their babies. Because of that, I think addressing poverty (which Obama will do, i think) will reduce some abortions. Also, with Obama's healthcare plan, prenatal and postnatal healthcare become available and affordable for poor pregnant women, thus reducing more abortions. Additonally, a liberal sexual education curriculum would allow for students to be educated about birth control and different forms of contraception in order to prevent pregnancy instead of just focusing on abstinence, thus eliminating more abortions.

Many Christians get all bent out of shape about the government forcing people to give and whatnot. They think that all giving needs to come from a inner conviction in the hear to meet someone's needs. I am definitely in favor of that, but that that it is alright also for the government to take SOME in order to take care of its people. I see two examples of this in the Old Testament. First, the time of Jubilee found in Leviticus 25 (i think?). God understood the injustices that would be involved in slavery and economic trade, so he put a MANDATE down across the nation to return all bought property to its original owners and free all slaves every 50 years. Now I realize this is a theocratic government with a completely different situation and that this is far from the main point of the text, but I'm positive that not all people that participated in Jubilee did it out of personal conviction or choice. It was a law, mandated by the leader of the nation (God), that people had to participate in whether they like it or not.Another example is the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. He was thrown into a leadership position in what we would call a "secular" government in a secular nation. While in that position, he made it a requirement for everyone to bring 20% of their crops to him to be stored for times of future need. People say, "but he was led by God!" I certainly agree, but I definitely don't think that all the people living in Egypt that brought 20% of their crops to Joseph did so out of a realization of the famine that was coming or the conviction that they needed to do something to help other people in times of need. Once again, this is NOT the main point of the story. I'm only saying that it is an instance when people were forced by the government to give up something for the sake of others, regardless of their personal convictions.

Do I think that the government should take the primary role in addressing poverty? No, the church should. Do I think the government should be allowed to force people to give everything or to put extreme regulations on people or to become extremely communist like Soviet Union or Germany? Absolutely not, and conveniently, this has NO CHANCE of happening in the U.S. However, I do think that the government should be involved in regulation on some level or another and am perfectly fine with the government forcing fortunate folks to give a little more, even if it is unwillingly, out of their surplus for the greater need of the impoverished. Nothing extreme here. (Heaven forbid a rich person downgrading from an 8 car garage to a 3 or from a pool to a hot tub so that others can eat! Wouldn't want that to happen!)

Also, I do want to point out that I am NOT in favor of welfare for people who are capable of working, but don't. I am okay with welfare for people who are incapable of working (due to illness or disability), or for people who work but are not able to fully pay for their bills. I am for money being spent on projects and programs that involve helping people get employed, providing them with job training, paying for people to go to school or a technical college, and things of that nature. I do realize that the democratic party will always give some handouts to people that don't work even though they can, and I don't approve of it. But I'm willing to let the system be abused some if it can bring good in other areas.

All that said, I don't think my views are perfect. Nor do I think that all Christians must vote Democrat. I am voting Democrat based on convictions that I have based on my study of the Bible and my belief that democratic policies will address those convictions. Likewise, my teach Dr. Weatherly is voting Republican for the exact same reasons. He truly thinks that government regulation hinders the economy, and that hinders the relief of poverty, so he is all for conservative politics and economics. He is passionate about the same things as me, but he thinks the problem should be addressed in different ways. That's okay. I'm not forcing my views on anybody. I'm simply showing how my vote can come from Christian convictions and coincides with my faith.

I love my brother! I think he is awesome. His words just help to put my veiws (with a lot of support behind them) out there.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

We started our Halloween as a UK cheerleader! Ivy and her baby were wearing the same outfit thanks to Grandma. After she got dressed she kept looking at her outfit and the babies and was excited that they were matching. John Hunter (the football player)able to join my first graders at their pumpkin party. The first graders were so excited to play with the babies. Kendra and I just might have found ourselves some future babysitters. John Hunter and Ivy were so exhausted they fell asleep on the way home and took long naps to prepare for trick or treat!

So we were a cheerleader at day and a skunk by night. We dressed Ivy up as a little stinker and went around the block to trick or treat. We had quite the entourage with Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Pops, and our family. Ivy rode in the wagon and was very friendly as we went door to door. Every time someone gave her candy she immediately thought that someone was going to take it from her, so she would grab it and run back to the safe-haven of her grandparents! We had a great time.

My favorite moments from Ivy's first trick-or-treating experience~

1. The sight of her seeing that candy has indeed been put in her "purse."
2. The satisfaction of eating her first twizzler.
3. The little stinker walking all by herself- so big.... tear :(.... no really, it was so fun!
4. Ivy's shock to see Elmo jumping out of a pumpkin.
5. The way she kept looking out of the wagon with a "is this really happening" smirk.