Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 2009

In addition to good citizenship, you might also be interested in our November 2009! We had a great Thanksgiving holiday. We were blessed enough to have our very good friends Dan and Cortney Exby visit with their sweet baby, Owen. Could he be more precious???? We spent a lot of time playing "chooch", enjoying each other's company, cooking, and eating. We also spent some time shopping and site-seeing. Cortney was the best help ever with our delicious Thanksgiving meal. Dan did a mean job of football watching with John-the manliest manly men activity on this festive day of manly men activities. All were sad when the Exby's had to return to KC on Sunday morning. But life happens, ya know?

Last night for FHE, we drove over to the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine for the Ice show. Every year they have a wonderful display of ice sculptures depicting "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", in addition to a giant ice slide. OH, it's cold in there! 9 degrees to be specific. But upon entry, you are given Parkas to keep warm and we also came prepared with hats and gloves. The ice sculptures were beautiful and the slide was fun, but the experience was definitely over priced. Must be inflation. Darn money elves!

Aidyn earned his yellow and black belt this month in Jui-Jitsu and is very excited about that. Avery is currently soundly invested in the fabulousness that is Taylor Swift. Her mp3 player is never far away and if you want to here her sing "Pictures to Burn", "Love Story", or "You Belong With Me", give her a call. She asked me the other day if we could go to Taylor's house and meet her and I had to explain Hollywood Status to her on a 5 year-old level. So she asked me if we could call her intstead. My message was obviously not clear. All the kiddos are anxious for Christmas and hoping to be on Santa's Nice List. Avery got to meet Santa last night at the Gaylord and was just tickled by that experience. I will say their Santa is impressive! Real beard and everything! Hope all of you have a great holiday season! I don't know if I will be able to post before Christmas as this time of year is very busy for me but I will do my bestest!

Sound Money

We had an amazing lesson in Sunday School this past weekend at my church. Sal Frisella, a local college professor spoke to us about good citizenship. I know that as a member of the majority, I have the same feelings about our current government situation as many of you. What feeling you ask? Well, in a nutshell, we are being seduced into the ridiculous belief that the current administration is heading the right direction with our economy and that the constitution that has always served our country well needs "revision". I say, BULL CRAP! And I really need to say it more frequently. I am a big fan of congressman, Dr. Ron Paul. He is an intelligent, conservavtively minded individual who continues to vote only for legislation that can be supported by our Constitution-without revisions. Please read the following article (just one of many fabulous and oh-so-true idealogies found on and be enlightened. I choose to post this article first because the way the Federal Reserve handles money could very well be the downfall of our country.

Sound Money
Henry Ford once said, “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Are you confused by all the talk about monetary policy, fiat money and inflation? You’re not alone. Bankers and politicians have worked hand in hand for many decades to obscure their activities from the public. They hide behind elaborate structures designed to inflate the money supply while creating the false impression that they are looking out for our best interests.

Inflation is a very simple concept to understand: More money = less value. It may seem contradictory but it’s very straightforward.

For illustration purposes, join me on a brief journey of the imagination. One beautiful morning, you wake up and realize that you own twice as much cash as you had just last night. Magic money elves entered your home and bank account and simply doubled your entire cash assets. You’re now twice as wealthy (or half as poor as the case may be).

But you soon realize that the same thing happened to everyone else in the country. The money supply (total amount of money) has doubled! It’s just a one-time event and your regular income remains the same… you just got lucky this one time. It’s okay to dream, so stay with me.

What happens next? If you’re like most people, you probably start spending. You buy things you always wanted to buy but couldn’t afford. You pay back some debts. You buy stocks. In other words, you put the new money into circulation. So do most other people in the country.

Demand for many products increases because a lot more people can afford them now. Consumers are buying so much stuff that some shortages occur. To protect themselves against these shortages, shops and businesses decide to increase their prices. They know that once prices go up, fewer people will be competing to buy the same products, and the situation will be back to normal.

As a side effect of these higher prices, shop owners start earning higher profits than usual. They have more money in their bank accounts, which allows them to increase their spending. They will invest in new stock or expand their business. They might pay out dividends to their investors and bonuses to their employees, allowing these people to buy more products as well. This additional demand puts even more pressure on other shops to increase their prices.

A few months later, prices of almost everything have gone up. Suppliers and manufacturers are faced with the same threat of too much sudden demand from their clients so they too decide to start charging more.

You went on a one-time buying spree and look what happened! Your income stayed the same, but after a few weeks you can suddenly no longer afford the products you used to buy all the time because all prices in the economy have gone up.

Naturally, you demand a higher salary from your employer. If you’re self-employed or in business, you have to charge your customers more money just so that you can maintain your standard of living. Everyone else is in the same situation. Higher prices keep spreading throughout the entire economy, and it’s getting more and more difficult to make a living.

Can you see how this lucky one-time incident which at first seemed so exciting was extremely harmful not just for you but for the entire country? You briefly had a good time but now you’re worse off than before. In our story there are now twice as many dollars in circulation, but your income remains the same and each dollar you earn is worth only about half as much as it used to be. You’re really hoping for those money elves to come back.

As a matter of fact, some people, companies and banks have managed to develop an inside connection to the “money elves”, allowing them to receive new money into their bank accounts whenever they want to. The money is officially a loan (credit), but they know they never have to pay it back… they just “roll it over”, i.e. take up even more debt. With all that easy money in their accounts, and after hearing on TV that stocks only go up and that real estate prices will continue to rise forever, they tend to get a bit lightheaded and start making bad investment decisions. They know that if anything happens to their investments they will be bailed out by the government, so they do not hesitate to take huge risks with their new found “wealth”.

Let’s stop dreaming and look at the reality of things. What if I told you that these “money elves” do exist and that they spring into action not just once in a lifetime, but every couple of weeks? And that they repeatedly give money to their closest friends, but not to you? That prices are going up because the total amount of money in circulation increases, but that you’re missing out on all the fun?

Well, that’s inflation at work. Who benefits from inflation? Only those who are at the top of the pyramid and receive all that new money directly from the source. As you might have guessed by now, the source is the Federal Reserve, and its recipients include the government which “borrows” a lot of new money each year, without any intention of ever paying it back. Another beneficiary these days are failed banks that are being “bailed out” for the good of the “economy”, or defense contractors that receive money to build up our military so we can have a constant presence all over the world and fight never-ending and unnecessary wars. There was even a huge number of small-time beneficiaries who received consumer loans and sub-prime mortgages they would never be able to pay back.

What, then, is fiat money? It’s exactly what we just talked about: money that can be inflated or increased at the push of a button at the say-so of a powerful person or organization. Nowadays most dollars are just blimps on a computer screen and it’s extremely easy for the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air whenever they want to.

If our money were backed by gold and silver, people couldn’t just sit in some fancy building and push a button to create new money. They would have to engage in honest trade with another party that already has some gold in their possession. Alternatively, they would have to risk their lives and assets to find a suitable spot to build a gold mine, then get dirty and sweaty and actually dig up the gold. Not something I can imagine our “money elves” at the Fed getting down to whenever they feel like playing God with the economy.

As you can see, inflation and fiat money are very seductive and beneficial to those at the top, and very dangerous to everyone else and the nation as a whole. That’s exactly what Henry Ford was talking about. He knew that every country that relies too much on fiat money is ruined sooner rather than later.

There is only one possible solution to the inflation problem: Stop creating money out of thin air. But we’re already in such a mess that the only way to have a real impact on the money supply is to increase interest rates so that people pay back their loans and borrow less money from the banks, which decreases the amount of money in circulation. However, higher interest rates might very well crash the economy. So the Fed’s current “solution” to overcoming inflation is… creating even more of it.

Fiat money is a dangerous addiction. Even if the Fed found a way to stop inflation, as long as the current system persists the temptation will always be there to resume pushing the easy money button. That’s why we need to get back on the gold standard and eliminate the Federal Reserve altogether.

But that won’t happen “before tomorrow morning”, as Henry Ford said, or even this year. Ron Paul believes that the first step towards monetary freedom is to allow open competition in currencies. Once gold and silver are allowed as legal tender and can be sold without sales tax, everyone can use them to store their wealth and to pay for the things they want to buy. The Federal Reserve will finally have a very compelling motivation to stay honest and maintain the value of the dollar because if they don’t, they will simply lose all their customers.

Ron Paul has been an advocate of the gold standard and open competition in currencies for many years. He is the Federal Reserve’s most outspoken opponent in Congress and has frequently questioned Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke about the Fed’s actions.

Join the Ron Paul Revolution and help us put the Fed where it belongs: into the history books and out of our financial lives.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Fall Everyone!!!

Here are some pics from our fall spooktacular and recent family picture shoot. Thanks LeeAnn!!! for the best photography Texas has ever seen!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Dream Come True

I have loved Bono for many, many years. Since I was 14, U2 has been one of my favorites. Their inspiring music spans decades and reaches out to people of all ages. The humanitarian work that they do changes lives every minute of every day. This is a band that makes a difference. They don't just sing about the unification of our world in all things, they work to make unification and change happen.

Considering my passion for this band, it is strange to think that I have never before last Monday night, seen them in concert. I was some what of a ooncert junkie as a teenager and young adult. But the elusive U2 concert was always just beyond my reach either location wise or financially. I'm not sure how many times they have toured during my life, I'm just amazingly grateful to have finally seen them live. I know I'm a wife, and a mother, and a thirty-something, but I still get a little crazy when it comes to good music.

Bono completely sold out the new Cowboys stadium here in Dallas. There must have been a million people there, it was insane. And with the Muse opening???? Hello!!! Heaven on earth! The musically gifted Matthew Bellamy of the Muse got the party started. What a genius! He is so talented!! The crowd was ready when U2 took the stage and the experience was sureal for me. I know I'm 14 here, but I swear seeing Bono and the Edge right there in front of me, live, in person.....words cannot describe the feeling. Mesmerizing! Euphoric! Phenomenal! My Dallas BFF Pam joined me for the evening and we had such a blast. U2 played just about every one of my favorite songs. Seriously, if I could have picked the music line-up for Bono, the concert couldn't have been more perfect.

Kudos to my wonderful husband and his phat connections for getting us fab seats. I love you Babe!! This is one of the best gifts you've given me. Enjoy some concert pix....

Saturday, September 26, 2009


We had A LOT of fun during the month of September. From Aidyn's birthday party to Animefest to Disneyland we traveled near and far for fabulous adventure. Words are not sufficient so I will let pictures do the talking!

One excellent tidbit I will mention. After reading the story below you might wonder, "why would she mention that over everything else???" Do you really want to know? Story first:

Aidyn received his Wolf at our pack meeting this month. He was very excited and I am so proud of him for the enthusiasm he was able to muster as he worked to complete all of the Wolf Achievements. But I was MOST proud of the comment he made at pack meeting while the cubs were playing an intermission game. Award ceremonies without games make for very dry meetings, you know. Each den was given a bucket with a letter on the front of it. All of the boys lined up behind their bucket and each one took a turn running up to a pile of misc junk at the front of our staging area and trying to find something that started with their letter. The Webelos had A, the Bears (us) had S, and the Wolves had B. Well the boys thought this was great fun and were running back and forth like crazy trying to accumulate the most items in their bucket. When Aidyn took his turn, he ran to the front, searched through the pile, grabbed an item that he decided started with the letter S and ran back to his den. He's holding up this character and all of his teammates are yelling at him, "AIDYN!!! NOOO!!! What are you doing!!!! That's and astronaut! ASTRONAUT STARTS WITH THE LETTER A!!!!!"

Aidyn smiles jubiliantly (like he knows this great secret he's about to reveal)and yells back, "No it's a SPACEMAN! You know, a Spaceman? Haven't you ever heard that song???" Here he shakes his shaggy little head impatiently and says to no one in particular, "It's a song about alien abduction".

He was shocked that none of the other Bear Cubs new what he was talking about. I mean come on! Are we the only worshippers of the amazing Brandon Flowers and his lyrics of awesomeness? Surely not.

So really, I am not sure why I mention that story instead of glorious recollections of the Happiest Place On Earth, or descriptions of the utter wierdness that was Animefest. Be honest with yourself though, doesn't that inspire you to go rock out with your kiddos RIGHT NOW to the Killers?? I know I'm gonna!

Pause for dramatic effect........................

Ok, I don't want you to be dissapointed. You've been expecting more than Fond Crazy Amy Rememberances From the Cub Scout Vault. A taste of the Mickey experience? The California Screamin' screamin? The thrill of Fantasmic? The Bibbity Bobbity Boo Makeovers? The Fabulous Stevens Family West Coast and Texas togetherness? The joy and magic of cousinhood? I can deliver some of that here to you in cyberspace, as well. We had such a great time seeing our family from Oregon, and in all honesty, that was a much higher point this September than my Killers' moment. How we miss family!!! Richmond, Caroline, and Jessica along with their sweet families were able to make the SO-CAL trip, and Ross was there for the fun as well. The kids absolutely LOVED seeing their Stevens' cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandpa. Families are forever you know, and being together at the Happiest Place On Earth was a little slice thereof. Que slideshow!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fun with Friends

We had so much fun with the Crabtree's and Dan when they visited! Mike made this awesome video of the Stevens' backyard experience.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I just wanted to post a big, heart felt, sincere thank you to all the protestors that marched on Washington this morning to protest the Obama health care reform plan and deficit spending crisis our nation faces. Thank you for your bravery, for giving of your time and resources, and for speaking for the silent majority. You are my heroes!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Read it and Weep

My Dad sent me this....rings quite true!!

Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama

Please read, even if you are an Obama fan. It is legitimate, written
by respected, Lou Prichett, formerly of Proctor and Gamble. Lou
Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an
acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest
rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize
him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way

America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to
be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to
Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble
and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.


Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike
any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy
League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no
visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth
growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus
don't understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself
with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly
denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America '
crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style
country where the government sector dominates instead of the private

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a
government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly
capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose
that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of
living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against
certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging
you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider
opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent
and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs,
Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points
of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will
probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett


This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it.
Big surprise! Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over
500,000 hits. Keep it going. All that is necessary for evil to
succeed is that good men do nothing. It's happening right now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School!

Well, it was back to the ole' grind today for my three kids and me. Yep, that's right THREE. All three of them are in school full time this year!!! Crazy!!! I have no idea what I will do with myself. Ok, I have a few ideas but until I win the lottery, I'm going to have to do a little more brain storming. I thought about going back to school to finish my degree they have a major in Shopping with a minor in VISA and Mastercard available at accredited colleges these days? Ha!

Addy started Middle School today! She is a 6th grader. Man that makes me feel old! In this day and age when couples are having their first kid at the age of early-thirty-something, I am sending mine to middle school. Addy is really excited about middle school and I am happy for her. She is intelligent, kind, and beautiful inside and out and I know these qualities partnered with her many talents will serve her well. She dropped the "a boy at school asked me out today" on me while I was signing endless back to school paperwork. Are you kidding me??? Already???? She promptly told the KID, "sorry, I'm not dating until I'm 16". That's my girl!

Aidyn was pretty lukewarm about going back to school. He descried his day as not very fun, but "pretty ok", which for him means normal. At the beginning of every school year I have to remind Aidyn that he isn't going to school to "have fun". He is going to school to learn and if there happens to be a little fun had along the way, he's darn lucky! We use a version of the same psychology for church on rough Sundays. Anyway, he was lucky enough to get some of his friends in his class, he really likes his teacher, and I will be absolutely SHOCKED if he has anything but a fabulous year......of learning of course.

Ahhhh Avery. My little baby all grown up and going to Kindergarten!!! Here in Texas, it's full day Kindergarten and sooooo weird for me! 7 hours is a long time not to have any kids at home. Avery has been excited to go to Kindergarten since our first conversation about it last spring. During the summer she regularly asked me when she would start. Can you believe she is my first child to be excited about going to school? She wanted to walk in all by herself today until I finally convinced her that since she didn't know where her classroom was, maybe Aidyn could show her? Big brother is entirely more cool than "mom". When I arrived to pick them up, she was beaming; her famous ear-to-ear grin just plastered on her face and she couldn't wait to get home and tell me ALL about it. When John asked her what she learned at school today she said, "PE". Awesome! Oh, and true to her little fashionista self, she was already planning her outfit for tomorrow before bed this evening. So cute!!!

John gave each of the kids their annual Back to School Father's Blessing last night. Such a comfort for all of us. Having the Priesthood in our home means so much to me and I am eternally grateful to my husband for being a worthy holder. Addy remarked on how this annual Father's Blessing helps her to feel "ready and at ease" about returning to school. Aidyn asked how much longer before he could have the Priesthood and if he could start baptizing people as soon as he got it. Whoa there tiger! And sweet Avery; she smiled up at her Daddy when it was her turn with so much admiration, feeling like such a big girl and ready to conquer the world (or at least the first day of Kindergarten) and said, thank you Daddy, I love you. Aren't kids the greatest?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

5 Endangered Freedoms

If you aren't worried about the Obama Administration's health care reform plans, read the fine print. The deception is subtle and dubious. You'll find that a lot of cherished aspects of the current system would disappear.

"In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans -- and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy's Health committee, contradict the President's assurances. To be sure, it isn't easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company's Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests -- you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.

In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage -- including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money -- but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can't have. It's a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

Let's explore the five freedoms that Americans would lose under Obamacare:

1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan

The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance through "qualified" plans offered by health-care "exchanges" that would be set up in each state. The rub is that the plans can't really compete based on what they offer. The reason: The federal government will impose a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer.

Today, many states require these "standard benefits packages" -- and they're a major cause for the rise in health-care costs. Every group, from chiropractors to alcohol-abuse counselors, do lobbying to get included. Connecticut, for example, requires reimbursement for hair transplants, hearing aids, and in vitro fertilization.

The Senate bill would require coverage for prescription drugs, mental-health benefits, and substance-abuse services. It also requires policies to insure "children" until the age of 26. That's just the starting list. The bills would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add to the list of required benefits, based on recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans, therefore, wouldn't even know what's in their plans and what they're required to pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bills become law.

2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

As with the previous example, the Obama plan enshrines into federal law one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating. Eleven states, ranging from New York to Oregon, have some form of community rating. In its purest form, community rating requires that all patients pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition.

Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan, but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care. The reason is twofold: First, it forces young people, who typically have lower incomes than older workers, to pay far more than their actual cost, and gives older workers, who can afford to pay more, a big discount. The state laws gouging the young are a major reason so many of them have joined the ranks of uninsured.

Under the Senate plan, insurers would be barred from charging any more than twice as much for one patient vs. any other patient with the same coverage. So if a 20-year-old who costs just $800 a year to insure is forced to pay $2,500, a 62-year-old who costs $7,500 would pay no more than $5,000.

Second, the bills would ban insurers from charging differing premiums based on the health of their customers. Again, that's understandable for folks with diabetes or cancer. But the bills would bar rewarding people who pursue a healthy lifestyle of exercise or a cholesterol-conscious diet. That's hardly a formula for lower costs. It's as if car insurers had to charge the same rates to safe drivers as to chronic speeders with a history of accidents.

3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That's what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less.

Hundreds of companies now offer Health Savings Accounts to about 5 million employees. Those workers deposit tax-free money in the accounts and get a matching contribution from their employer. They can use the funds to buy a high-deductible plan -- say for major medical costs over $12,000. Preventive care is reimbursed, but patients pay all other routine doctor visits and tests with their own money from the HSA account. As a result, HSA users are far more cost-conscious than customers who are reimbursed for the majority of their care.

The bills seriously endanger the trend toward consumer-driven care in general. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses. "The government could set extremely low deductibles that would eliminate HSAs," says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free-market research group. "And they could do it after the bills are passed."

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan

This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have ventured.

The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most other big companies.

The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.

But read on.

The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.

The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.

5. Freedom to choose your doctors

The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges -- and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists.

Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago. It was consumer outrage over despotic gatekeepers that made the HMOs so unpopular, and killed what was billed as the solution to America's health-care cost explosion.

The bills do not specifically rule out fee-for-service plans as options to be offered through the exchanges. But remember, those plans -- if they exist -- would be barred from charging sick or elderly patients more than young and healthy ones. So patients would be inclined to game the system, staying in the HMO while they're healthy and switching to fee-for-service when they become seriously ill. "That would kill fee-for-service in a hurry," says Goodman.

In reality, the flexible, employer-based plans that now dominate the landscape, and that Americans so cherish, could disappear far faster than the 5 year "grace period" that's barely being discussed.

Companies would have the option of paying an 8% payroll tax into a fund that pays for coverage for Americans who aren't covered by their employers. It won't happen right away -- large companies must wait a couple of years before they opt out. But it will happen, since it's likely that the tax will rise a lot more slowly than corporate health-care costs, especially since they'll be lobbying Washington to keep the tax under control in the righteous name of job creation.

The best solution is to move to a let-freedom-ring regime of high deductibles, no community rating, no standard benefits, and cross-state shopping for bargains (another market-based reform that's strictly taboo in the bills). I'll propose my own solution in another piece soon on For now, we suffer with a flawed health-care system, but we still have our Five Freedoms. Call them the Five Endangered Freedoms."

To read more on the Obama Administration's subtle, dubious deceptions, go to:
It is worth your time to watch this video.

Educate yourself on what is happening in this Nation. Brush up on your Constitutional Rights. Stand up for yourself, your family, and your future. How have we let this national and world crisis escalate???

I ask Ron Paul, can't we just secede????

Friday, August 14, 2009

Where did the summer go???

With only 10 days until school starts, I can barely believe that summer is nearly over. Oh sure, here in Texas it will be summer until early November, but the fun ends just a little bit for everyone when school starts. Aidyn and Avery are SUPER excited to go back. Avery asks me on a regular basis if she can go to school "tomorrow yet?" Aidyn can't wait to see his friends. Addy, on the other hand, is a little apprehensive. Middle school is going to be different, and Addy doesn't get a long real well with different. She is a little nervous, but as usual, I am sure that after the first day is over, she will come home beaming like always, wearing her post first day "school is cool" smile.

We have been buuuuuuuuuusy these past few weeks. We went to San Antonio for a week as a family and hit all the major family fun parks down in that neck of the woods. 6Flags, Sea World, the SA zoo, Schlitterbaun, and the Alamo. In late July, the heat and humidity was awful. The kids were pooped not 15 minutes after we started each activity. We still ended up having a good time, but all in all, the vacation ranked well below our expectations. Note to self, we officially vote Schlitterbahn as the worst vacation destination on the planet. Not only was the place a total dump, but even on a week day, the crowds were beyond long. 2 hours into our Thursday visit, we had gone down 2 mediocre slides and were at the front (very front!) of the line for slide 3 when the weather turned. Rain starts pouring down, the powers that be decide to close the park, no rain checks, no refunds, $160 down the drain. Wow. We were shocked at not only the lack of organization and knowledge of the Schlitterbahn staff when the rain started and chaos ensued, but also at the horrible customer service. The ticket booths literally closed all their windows and the workers inside wouldn't talk to guests. NEVER GO THERE!!!

Bright spots on our vacation: Grandpa Ross joined us and it was great fun for all of us to see him. The San Antonio Zoo was really nice and I would rate it as the top attraction we visited. Togetherness as a family is not easy to come by in weekly format, and that alone made the trip worth it.

Last week the kids and I headed to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit my family. I was born and raised in the area and my family still lives there. We were privileged to stay with my sister, Julie, her husband Erik, and their daughter Skyler. We also spent some good quality time with my parents, my brother, Brian, and my sister-in-law, Lori. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to see my parents as happy as they have ever been, my brother and sister both married to 2 of the best people I know, and life moving on, getting better every day. Family is such a blessing and I love mine! I am grateful to have amazing relationships with both of my parents and my two siblings. 3 cheers for forever!!

One of our favorite outings was to San Francisco. My kids have never been and it has been several years since I myself have made my way across the Bay Bridge. My generous brother Brian and his wife Lori rented a party bus for the day. For those of you who do not know what a party bus is, think giant luxury bus complete with wet bar (which the kids loved), party music, and a fabulous driver. We rode the bus to the cable car station. From there we rode the cable cars to Pier 39 and then the party bus to the California Academy of Sciences. Both destinations were very fun. The museum was a little crowded, but still very cool. By and large, the kids thought the party bus was the best part of the trip. They sang, they danced, they partied. We all had a blast. When the kids and I boarded the plane for home, Avery sat down next to me looking a little forlorn. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Nothing.......I just really wish this was a PARTY plane". Awesome! Thanks family for a wonderful trip! It was so great to see all of you and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. I can't wait until we can go back!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Plan

You gotta love Robin Williams......Even if he's a little nuts. Leave it to Robin to come up with the perfect plan for our beloved country. What we need now is for our UN Ambassador to stand up and repeat this message.....

Robin Williams' plan...(Hard to argue with simple no nonsense logic!)

'I see a lot of people yelling for peace but I have not heard of a plan for peace. So, here's one plan.'

1) 'The US will apologize to the world for our 'interference' in their affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of those 'good 'ole' boys', we will never 'interfere' again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany , South Korea , the Middle East , and the Philippines . They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are. They're illegal!!! France will welcome them..

4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5) No foreign 'students' over age 21. The older ones are the bombers.. If they don't attend classes, they get a 'D' and it's back home baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go someplace else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not 'interfere.' They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or given to the army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us 'Ugly Americans' any longer. The Language we speak is ENGLISH...learn it...or LEAVE...Now, isn't that a winner of a plan?

'The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'you want a piece of me?' '

Let's get this man a meeting with the President!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nuber Comes to Texas!

My little sister, Julie Ann Tymn-Harrison, came to visit us in Dallas this past week. We had such a blast! She is a go-go-goer, so we went! Enjoy this slide of the cool stuff we did!

PS-I miss my family!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

OMG!!! Where have I been??

Ahhh life. It just doesn't slow down, does it? Here are a few things we've been doing....

Swimming EVERY DAY

Everything really IS bigger in Texas. We didn't just have a school carnival to end the year, we had a school Renassaince Festival. Hello! School functions of this magnitude here actually profit in the tens of thousands of dollars. Who'd a thunk it? Addy was a awarded a special honor for her entry in the Blanton Renfest writing competition. She got to be a member of the royal court, serving the Queen of Renfest as a Lady in Waiting. She was even knighted! Go Lady Addison!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just over a month to go!!!'s true. I am an insatiable Harry Potter geek and I am totally counting the days until movie 6 comes out (July 15th for those of you wanting to mark your calendars!!!). John makes fun of me on a regular basis so I haven't yet told him that I've officially joined the fan club AND purchased tickets for the London premier. I'm so dressing up in my Gryffindor cape and I'll be flashing my hand whittled replica Harry Potter wand as well. I haven't decided whether or not to wear my radish earrings or lightening bolts...but I'm definitely going with the snitch necklace and trademark Harry Potter glasses. If I can get my hands on a realistic looking Firebolt, I'm definitley going to pack that, too.

Ok, not that big of a Harry Potter geek. But I am excited about the movie! I've loaded my playlist with tracks by this hilarious band called "Harry and the Potters" and I'm going to leave it up for awhile. You don't have to be a fan to enjoy the music cuz it's dang funny.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I love being a mom. It's my favorite job in the world. I am so grateful for the opportunity to stay at home with my kids and raise them myself. I feel blessed every day. Cheers to all the stay at home mom's out there! I hope you feel as blessed as I do. The following slideshow is dedicated to Grandma Tymn and Grandma Stevens who do not get to watch first hand their sweet grandbabies grow-up. We miss you, love you, appreciate all you have done for us, and wish you a VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! These photos are courtesy of LeeAnn Widyn, my fabulous friend and professional photographer.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!

We can hardly believe our baby girl turned 5 this week! Avery had a very memorable birthday month. Grandma and Grandpa Tymn came all the way from California to celebrate Avery's special day. She adored being doted on and getting extra love and attention from Gma an Gpa for a whole week. Come back you guys!!!

Today, Buddy the horse and his petting zoo friends came to our front yard for a fabulous pony ride and petting zoo party! All the girls dressed like princesses and the boys like knights. They were beyond cute. I can't remember the last time I saw so much squealing, giggling, and jumping up and down. To top off the celebration, Avery's BFF Zaida is sleeping over tonight. They are two peas in a pod and will definitely be trouble when teenagers. Crazy girls.

Enjoy some pix from our fun with my Mom and Dad and Avery's 5th Bday!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter 4 : Proud Parenting Moments

Life is pretty normal here in Stevensville. We had a wonderful 80 something degree day today and the kids made me heat up the hot tub so they could "swim". They seriously played in that thing for 2 hours! Kids. Aren't they great. So I pledged a few postings back to keep up with the funny things my kids say and I've got a couple of goodies in the last week. The first one stems from John's and My self's desires to enrich our children's lives by introducing them to some classic comedies. Your idea of classic may be a lot different then ours. We are teaching them to appreciate movies like "Goonies", "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Tommy Boy", and 2 of John's personal favorites, "Ace Ventura Pet Detective" 1 and 2. We watched these two last weekend and our kids LOVED them, especially Aidyn who is currently trying to master the ever so sexy Ace Ventura walk. They walk around saying "Bumble-Bee Tuna" and "Shicaca" and "All Righty Then" and most people just look at them strangely. I think to myself, "Ahhh, aren't they precious!".
For those of you who are a little shaky on your Ace Ventura trivia, let me refresh your memory with some brief movie facts: In Ace Ventura 1, Ace is trying to find "Snowflake" the Miami Dolphins team mascot, a live Dolphin, who has been kidnapped. In Ace Ventura 2, Ace travels to Africa to find the missing "Shicaca"-an albino bat that is sacred to a tribe that lives there. While he is searching for the Shicaca (I just love saying that) he follows two suspects to a secret meeting in a fake rhino. Yes, a fake rhino. Ace controls the rhino from inside it's body using levers and buttons and when his cooling fan breaks down, he becomes incredibly hot and sweats like a beast. He takes off ALL his clothes, but it's still not enough-he has to get out of the thing. When he tries to open the door, the handle breaks off, so he desperately goes searching for another exit. He finds a tiny hole in the rhino's behind that stretches open the more he pushes and pulls. As he is pushing and pulling his way out of the rhino's arse, a tour shuttle shows up and a family of four steps out.
Mom says, "Look children! The mother rhino is giving birth!"
Everyone else, "ooooooh, ahhhhhhh, Ohhhhhhhh"
They all watch expectantly for several minutes, first in glorious anticipation and then sort of dumbfounded, and finally completely horrified. The mother and daughter are all but puking when Ace plops out on the ground naked and in the fetal position. The camera switches to the boy (approx age 8-10) and with a huge grin on his face, he yells, "COOL!". Yeah, pretty cool. Aidyn thought so, too! In fact, so much so that the following Monday at school, he shared this special scene with his 2nd grade class during sharing time. So proud! He came home that afternoon and said,
"Guess what mom!" and loving that he wanted to tell me something about his day, I put on my biggest interested mommy smile and replied,
"What bud!" and he said,
"Remember that part in Ace Ventura when Ace is stuck in the rhino and he climbs out through the rhino's butt, and the boy says 'cool'?" I'm thinking in my head-where on earth could this possibly be going-so I say,
"Sure that was funny,....and a little disturbing." And Aidyn says,
"It was 'cool' and I shared that with my class during sharing today!" He is very excited and feeling quite pleased with his successful retelling, I can hear it in his voice. I am feeling a little shocked and at the same time trying my hardest not to laugh uncontrollably. I take a deep breath and calmly say,
"Really, wow. How did Ms. Martin like your story?" Aidyn thought for a minute, and then replied,
"Everyone else laughed pretty hard, but Ms. Martin didn't say anything."
Yeah, surprising. I waited the rest of the afternoon for a call from either Ms. Martin or the principal, but luckily, we were in the clear(:

John is out of town this week and yesterday he called while Avery and I were in the car. I talked to him for a few minutes, Avery talked to him for a few minutes, and then we said bye and hung up. A few seconds later, John calls back but when I answer the call, no one's there. I have a ring set for John's calls so I can tell when he calls without having to look at my caller id. Avery recognized his call tone and said, "Mom, did Daddy's butt just call you?" It was seriously awesome. I love that commercial.

Hope Y'all are well and happy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Super Bowl 43

John and his good Bro, Josh, went to Tampa for the Super Bowl this year. I heard it was fab. Here are pictures of their fabulous time. Word up.

Oh, and he also saw and anteater. Neat!

Addy had a birthday Shout HURRAY!

Addy is 11!!! Our baby Duba is growing into a beautiful young woman at the speed of light, right before our eyes. She is amazing in so many ways and we couldn't be more pleased with the great decisions she is making in her life. I love her independent spirit, her tendancy to go her own way, her uniqueness, her artistry, her desires to achieve greatness, and the way she smiles when she accomplishes a goal. I admire her incredible faith most of all. We love you Addy! Keep up the awesome! Enjoy some pages from Addy's first year!


and 11th bday party!