Friday, March 31, 2006


Hey guys - I meant to post this earlier but time got away from me!

Most of the people on my blog-roll know the Fear family. Their newborn baby Caleb, born two days ago, is having breathing difficulty and I wanted to ask you all to pray for little Caleb to have a speedy recovery. Also pray for the whole family to be comforted. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why citizens are frustrated ...

Here is another example of why, I think, many citizens are frustrated with politicians catering to illegal aliens. There's no commonsense involved.

Higher Ed Cmte Denies Asm Mark Wyland’s Request to Put
Guardians of Our Freedom Before Illegals

Sacramento—The Assembly Higher Education Committee today rejected a bill (AB 2472) authored by Assemblyman Mark Wyland (R-74) that would have rescinded the law allowing illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition and eliminated the one-year residency rule for reservists and veterans and their dependents needed to qualify for in-state tuition.

“The events of the past few days have, unfortunately, exposed a deep rift in our state between those who believe that citizenship matters and those who don’t. The Assembly Higher Education Committee has made that rift deeper by summarily rejecting a bill that would have helped men and women in uniform whose commitment to this country goes far beyond the mere act of taking to the streets to demand ‘rights,’” said Wyland. “We cannot long survive as a country if we insist on turning equity on its head by putting last those whom we should be putting first.”

In 2001, then-Governor Gray Davis signed AB 540 (Firebaugh), which allows nonresident students, regardless of citizenship status, to pay in-state college tuition rates. In 2002, the Assembly Appropriations Committee rejected a bill (AB 1841, Hollingsworth) that would have extended in-state tuition at the California State University and the California Community Colleges to reservists and veterans who resided in the state but did not meet residency requirements. The reason that Democrats gave for rejecting the bill was that the state could not afford to extend in-state tuition to both illegals and military personnel.

The bill offered by Asm Wyland today was meant to make the funds dedicated to subsidizing tuition rates for illegals available to active duty military, reservists, veterans, and their dependents.

I love blogs.

Blogs are so wonderful. With blogs, it’s possible to post about your weekend in Tahoe and end up with comments debating illegal immigration (see below). How cool is that?

This morning Kevin reminded me of another cool thing about blogs – they “chronicle your life.” (Actually, I'm still trying to decide if this is a good thing.)

He sent me a link to one of my earliest posts about how I would never agree to living in a newer house because older houses are better.

We both laughed because of how much my opinion has changed. When we started looking to buy a house just five months after I wrote that post, I quickly realized how nice newer houses are.

For one, you don’t have to deal with popcorn ceilings. For two, the floor plans tend to be more open and spacious. The list goes on and on …

Now I won’t even let Kevin look at a house that was built prior to 1990!

It’s funny how the tables turn.

Oh, and I’d like to mention that the BEST thing about blogs is that they allow you to keep in touch with your friends … and make new ones too.

M's Morning Routine

Kevin took these this morning and told me that my “assignment” today was to put them on the blog. It’s very typical-Meredith these days.

Okay, got that checked off my to-do list!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Snow Day

The weekend started with me and Meredith splitting a French Onion Soup at Panera Bread. I was surprised that she actually liked it. We "had" to eat there so I could use the WIFI and get some work done since we were kicked out of our house by a realtor who wanted to come see it.

Then we drove up to the mountains with friends to stay at their cabin near Tahoe. On the way there, Kevin found out that Lisa teaches California History to fourth-graders. "I never took California history [being from Indiana]," he said. Then he proceeded to ask her all sorts of questions. After explaining about the Spanish Missions, the gold rush, the railroad, etc., Kevin asked her to tell him about the Treaty of Hidalgo.

What?? You can't say you don't know anything about California history if you know about the Treaty of Hidalgo.

The entire weekend was full of fun and laughter. We ate WAY too much food. It snowed all day on Saturday, which was cozy and fun. And it was gorgeous on Sunday. Meredith had her first sledding experience, which she seemed to like quite well.

Getting ready.

"That was fun dad! Let's do it again."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Look at me!

"Why should I play with those other toys now that I know where mom hides the 'special' toys?"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Meredith has now discovered our CD rack!! What am I going to DO?

I suppose there are two answers to that. 1) Put my CDs somewhere else. 2) Train her to leave it alone.

I don't want to move my CDs but I also feel too lazy (maybe too busy?) right now to consistently discipline her for terrorizing my CD rack.

"Training" an eight month old to leave something alone sounds very overwhelming to me right now. It's much easier said than done, let me just say that.

And it's not just this. She now thinks that everything that can "open" is fair game. Every day she discovers new things to explore.

Yesterday she learned how to open the TOP drawer in our bathroom!!

My life has suddenly become much more difficult. Yes, I know that people say when they get mobile, they get much more difficult. Did I believe them? No. My mental response was more like, "Yeah, whatever. How hard can it possibly be?"


Okay, I've gotta go. I think I hear her playing with the fireplace utensils.


Big Dad, Smallest Piece

We were discussing last night how we both grew up with very giving, loving fathers. And how that really impacted us and made us want to be better people.

This was prompted by the fact that Kevin’s dad had generously offered to drive our moving truck cross-country to save us a sizeable amount of money.

We both had stories about how our dads, growing up, always took the smallest piece of dessert so we kids could have the larger ones.

You know how eager kids are to have the largest piece of brownie, or slice of cake, or scoop of ice cream possible? Kids always notice and compare whose piece is bigger, too.

[That’s why our moms always made one kid split something and let the other kid choose which half they wanted. It was the only way to accomplish the matter peacefully.]

Looking back, we realize how fortunate we were to have dads who put their families first – and one example of this was consistently taking the smallest pieces of the “good stuff” for themselves.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Controversial Exit Exam

In 1999 the majority of the California legislature had the gall to pass a very controversial law requiring public school students to take and successfully complete an exit exam before receiving a high school diploma.

The exit exam tests students on sophomore-level math and English language arts. Students are given six opportunities to take and pass this exam.

You’d be surprised to know how many legislators think it’s unreasonable that students be required to know basic 10th grade math and English before graduating from the 12th grade.

Not to get partisan all of the sudden, but it’s the far-left democrats who are having a really hard time imposing these requirements. To them, it’s not about academic excellence, it’s about self-esteem.

“We must go to whatever lengths possible to make sure all kids feel good about themselves,” is their creed. “Not giving them a diploma will make them feel bad. This is the worst evil imaginable, you know.”

The latest attempt to “get around” the exit exam made me laugh. Senator Gloria Romero thinks she has a great solution to the exit exam controversy. Under her plan, every student would get a diploma but, if you pass the exit exam, your diploma would have a special insignia on it. That way you can still say you finished high school, if you didn’t pass the exam, and you wouldn’t feel so bad about yourself. But if you can pass a 10th grade test, you get a special insignia, and you can feel even better. Ha!

How many late-night boardroom meetings did it take to come up with that one?

The truth of the matter is, if there is no standard for high school graduation, a diploma has no meaning or significance. Why should a student try to do better if they’re going to get a diploma no matter what?

One last thing, ensuring that every kid gets a diploma, every kid gets a trophy, etc., etc. is only doing a disservice to the next generation. It prepares kids for some utopia dream-world ... certainly not for real life.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patty Tradition

Anyone eating corned beef tonight? Anyone even like corned beef?

I happen to love corned beef and I only eat it once a year, on St. Patrick's Day. Kevin doesn't really like it but obliges me, as usual.

Mmmmmmm, mmmmm, MMMMM. I can't wait!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bird Flu

I haven’t really been following the whole bird flu hullabaloo because it didn’t seem to be relevant to me. After all, I don’t own a chicken farm. I don’t even own a parakeet.

But after listening to a radio interview on this issue yesterday, I did some more research and found a website with some interesting articles.

It sounds like it could be a much bigger deal than I realized … and it could eventually affect humans who don’t own birds, like me.

“March 13, 2006 - In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States.”

“WHO said bird flu could potentially cause more deaths than those from the global flu pandemics. Because the H5N1 virus is airborne, it is easier to transmit and much more contagious than HIV/AIDS, WHO officials said.”

“No one can say if or when it would happen, but if H5N1 acquired the ability to pass easily from human to human, it could spark a pandemic that would kill millions or even tens of million within a few short months.”

To read more, go here.

Our Puppy

Meredith is crawling everywhere now. My daily activities have suddenly become much more challenging to accomplish.

This morning Kevin put Meredith on our bedroom floor to play with her toys and went to take a shower. A few minutes later he saw her tugging at the shower curtain. She had followed him to see what he was doing.

“It’s like having a little puppy,” he said.

Meredith’s Favorites

Song: “The Eensy Weensy Spider” has finally been replaced with a new favorite – “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys. She likes for us to hold her hands and let her dance while we sing “Ba ba ba, ba Babara Ann.”

Food: Cheerios (bar none). Cheerios is the only food that she will eat even though she’s full. She can down a Cheerio averaging seven seconds. (We think her saliva must be made out of acid.) If we let her feed herself, she goes faster ‘cuz she stuffs her mouth full and works on more than one at a time.

Toys: The remote control (she tends to like things she can't have), her Pooh bear, and a musical wind-up doll with really frizzy hair. She goes hysterics whenever she sees it.

Book: Clifford, the big red dog. She has practically destroyed these books from handling them so much.

Words: She can now say four words. “Dada,” “mama” (finally), “hi,” and “baby.” (She often points to her frizzy-haired doll and says “Ba-by.”)

Outing: To the park, of course. When I swing her on the swing, she smiles from ear to ear. Because she has only one tooth on the bottom, she looks like a little Jack ‘O Lantern.

Pastime: Turning off the light switch. Kevin taught her how to do this as a bedtime routine. Now I can’t walk past a single light switch, with her in my arms, without her lunging for it. I never realized we had so many light switches in our house!! She also loves to dance with daddy, spot herself in the mirror, and interact with other babies and toddlers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Kev just sent these pictures to me. I don’t know where he found the old ones. The new ones were taken from our MLS listing. It brought back memories of how awful our house (especially the backyard) was when we moved in 1 ½ years ago. Kev put the grass seed in himself. But I did my share by helping to remove all of those rocks!





If you can believe it, even with a backyard that looked like that, we bought our house for the full asking price after it had only been on the market two days. Two days was considered a LOOOOONG time for a house to sit on the market back then. Now our house has been on the market for five days and we've only had one showing that we know of. Things have definitely changed!

Last night I told Kevin: "I feel like I've worked really hard for the past two months on a Broadway show and then, on opening night, no one bothered to come!"

Monday, March 13, 2006

A New Feeling

Over the weekend we were in Oakland and then in Fresno to see the Fear family. It was a very different feeling to leave my house on Thursday night knowing that strangers would likely come inside while I was gone to open my cupboards and inspect the insides of my closets and other personal spaces.

Oh how I hate selling a house. Buying a house is fun. Selling a house is a royal pain.

When we got back on Saturday evening I spotted our closet door open just a tad and I knew I hadn’t left it like that.

I immediately started complaining about this. That’s when Kevin told me that he was the one who’d done it.

I’m a very illogical person at times. I want strange people to come inside my house and look in my closets so they will make me an offer. But it bothers me at the same time.

It’s one of those scenarios in life where I just can’t have my cake and eat it too.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Have any of you ever used your spouse's (or someone else's) toothbrush by mistake, only to realize during the act what you'd done?

Did it really gross you out?

It seems unreasonable to me that using your spouse's toothbrush would be a big deal. But last night it was, to a certain member of our household.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Jello on a Tree

I saw a license plate frame yesterday that read, “It’s easier nailing Jello to a tree than finding a good man.”

While I think this expression smacks of man-bashing (which I really loathe), I also believe there’s a grain of truth to it.

Some days I think Kevin is tired of hearing me talk about all the beautiful, smart, quality, late-twenties, Christian, single girls I know and the seeming lack of good Christian guys who are inclined to marry.

[Honestly, this is my biggest fear in having a daughter – I hope that she will either be happy and fulfilled being single, if God calls her to that, or that she’ll be able to find a good guy to love her and share life with her. If I had a son, I don’t think I would be concerned about this as much. I would have other things to worry about.]

Yesterday Kevin made me list my girlfriends who fall in the above category and I could only think of five (but I know there are more) and he told me that wasn’t that many. Then he went on to list at least five good single guys he knows of. The problem is, the guys he listed don’t seem (to me) to be interested in marriage or dating.

I’m not the type of person who thinks you have to be married to be happy but I happen to know that some of my girlfriends would really like to be married and I feel bad for them that they are having to wait so long.

Ultimately, I guess, we all have to learn to be content in whatever state we are, knowing that God is in control and knows what is best for us. We all have our own issues to deal with.

Now I need to go make some Jello and get some nails. How hard can it be?

Almost There

Well, we’ve now narrowed our “to-do-before-we-sell” list down to a handful of items. One of the last items on the list was mulching the front landscaping.

Can you believe that, at 7 o’clock this morning, Kevin talked me into going outside with him and getting it done before he left for work?

Right now I’m looking down at my scarred, stained hands. I’ve scrubbed them three times to no avail. I don’t think they will ever be the same again.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Why is it that we had to wait until putting our house on the market before making it 100% perfect?

Kevin and I have vowed that after living in our next house for two years we’re going to act like we’re planning to sell it and make it flawless so WE can benefit from it (instead of doing it solely for the next occupiers to enjoy).

It’s just not fair.

This morning a handyman came to replace some cracked tiles in our entryway. I can’t believe how much nicer it looks. And I can’t believe that we lived with it like that for nearly two years! I’m amazed at how little it cost to have it repaired – I think that’s why we waited so long to fix it, we thought it would be more expensive than it was.

When I first met this particular handyman, he gave me the creeps. I totally judged him by his outward appearance. He’s kinda scruffy looking.

But, after seeing his happy-go-lucky demeanor and hearing him whistle the entire morning and talk on his cell phone to a friend about how much he loves helping out with his kids’ baseball team, I’ve decided that he’s a decent human being.

Funny how we can be so quick to judge people by their outward appearances.

And, lastly, please pray for me because I’m extremely overwhelmed. In fact, I can’t even believe I’m blogging right now. I have so much to do to get our house *spotless* (you know, cleaning places you never realized existed in your house until you read a checklist on what to clean before you sell a house). I feel like I need everything to be absolutely flawless in order to get a good offer.

It’s also an incredibly busy time at work for me, with legislation pouring in. I have about 100 bills I need to read before the end of the week. I am so busy I want to pull my hair out and scream!

Excuse me while I go do that …

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Money Matters

One of the questions to be decided upon entering marriage is who will pay the bills. I lucked out because I don’t think I’ve had to pay a single bill since getting married.

Sometimes I feel guilty when Kevin works hard at the office all day and then has to come home and sit in front of Microsoft Money all evening.

Last night was such an evening.

“Hey, listen. I’ll start paying the bills from now on,” I said.

He raised his eyebrows questioningly.

“Your life will be so stress-free if I could do that for you. You wouldn’t have to worry about a thing!”

Then we burst into laughter ‘cuz we both know that the LAST thing that would make Kevin stress-free is having ME in charge of our finances.

When we started dating he was horrified to learn how I “balanced” my checkbook. I would simply write down all of my financial transactions and, periodically, round-up the numbers to ensure that I always had some buffer room. You know, a little extra in my account, so I would always be okay.

I felt confident with this system. I always paid my bills on time and I never once bounced a check.

Kevin, however, was mortified that I didn’t ever know exactly, to the penny, how much money I had in my account.

Last night, when he was reminded of my old-system, he asked, “Weren’t you ever worried that you would get cheated by the bank?”

I told him that I never worried because I knew there were people out there like him who would keep the banks accountable – and mail me something if I needed to join a class action lawsuit.

So, it’s pretty safe for me to offer to pay the bills. He would never let me.