Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas my Darlings.... and a Happy New Year too!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope each one of you have a wonderful Christmas filled with the love of family and friends.

I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends and family who support me in all I do and write such uplifting comments on my blog. Thank You for Inspiring me and sharing your lives with me.

I love you all!





Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thats My Boy!

This is my cute, saxophone playing, long-haired son. 

These pictures are from Canyon View High School's Christmas Concert

I miss him

I wish I could have been there

Unfortunately, I have to result in viewing these pictures from the school website


Fortunately, they do post them so I can at least see him once in a while even if its a photo


I'm so proud of my boy!


Canyon View High School Christmas Concert


I LOVE YOU JESSIE !!

~Mom






















Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm dreaming of .... a White Christmas.....I mean a break!

Oh my goodness its been a long while since I've posted anything.  I hate not having the time to blog.  But school is really killing me right now!  This session, I've had an algebra class and a principles of business class.  Algebra alone was killer but add to that all the required assignments (usually 2 each)  from both classes due each week, and working a full-time job on top of that and I feel like I am going to pull my hair out.

I had math finals due yesterday and I didn't realize it was due yesterday until Thursday so I literally spent every waking hour that I wasn't at work, studying and preparing for my exam all weekend.  I'm stressed and I'm feeling a little down because I haven't had anytime to enjoy the holidays like I want.  But why am I complaining?  I chose this path so I will just shut up now. 

Any hoo....  I have a 2 more assignments for each class due this week and then I will be on break until after the new year.  Thank Goodness! 

So now you know what I have been doing.  What I haven't been doing is baking and making candy or shopping.  I am hoping to get started on that very soon. 

I'm excited though because DH and I are driving to Utah on Friday to pick up my kids and bring them back up here for Christmas.  I am really looking forward to seeing them. 

I am very proud of Shellise.  She was in her school play "White Christmas" which held their production every day last week.  She has to be beat!   I sure wish I could have seen her in that play, it is my favorite holiday production. 






Shellise also takes ballroom dance and will be performing next weekend and I will get to see that performance while I am there.  I can't wait! 

I hope to be able to finish my Christmas shopping, do some baking and make candy, and catch up on some much needed projects sometime soon, or maybe I won't.  For right now I have to get my school assignments done so I can enjoy the holidays.  Looking ahead to some wonderful quality time with my kids. 
And I am looking ahead to some quality posts by me in the near future... maybe?  I hope.  Miss you all! 

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 29, 2010

There is sorrow in our hearts today.....

At our house, we have been struggling with some situations that have left us mourning the loss of an unborn baby. 
A few weeks ago, I shared with you all the news that I was going to be another grandma, that my stepson and his wife (who were living with us) were expecting a baby in May. 

Since that time, "his wife" decided that she did not want to be married anymore and just up and left one day, traveling back to Indiana to be with her family and ex-boyfriend(s).  We really didn't understand this and begged her to stay and to come back.  Lots of lies were brought to light that left Kyle and us just plain shocked.  This was difficult enough.

But then she had to throw something even bigger into the fire.  She decided that she didn't want the baby.  She also decided that she didn't want Kyle to have it either.  Instead she made the decision to have an abortion.  She was 16 weeks pregnant!  No amount of begging, pleading, trying to make her understand that what she would be doing was just plain murder, nothing we could say or do would change her mind. 

Yesterday her family drove her to Chicago (the only place that will do late term abortions) and she had
the baby aborted.  We are all really sad and do not understand why anyone would do such a thing especially when that baby was wanted by the father and by grandparents.  Unfortunately, father's don't have any rights to unborn children. 

We are in mourning over the loss of this precious baby that had fingers and toes and heartbeat.  The only thing that is getting us through is our faith in knowing that this child is in Gods hands and that we will see this baby someday. 

I am also very thankful and happy that it is Christmas time.  Where the spirit of Christmas can enter our home and help to heal our hearts. 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Mosque at Ground Zero - An essay written by Sherrie Carpenter

I want to share with you my final essay I wrote for my English Composition class.  It's regarding a controversial topic that affects all of us American's and something that I feel very passionate about. 

The propriety of building a Muslim Mosque at Ground Zero

On September 11, 2001 radical Muslim terrorists hijacked airplanes and flew them into the Twin Towers killing thousands of innocent people, destroying the buildings, shattering the ideals of the American people and forever changing our lives as we knew them. Fast forward nine years later to today and now Muslims (extreme radicals or not) are planning on building a Muslim Mosque very near the site that is called Ground Zero.

This has caused a huge debate within the United States, dividing the country, and bringing out strong feelings of anger towards one another. Kuhner writes, “The building of this mosque is a sacrilegious act - a deliberate slap in the face to the victims, their families and all Americans. The mosque will cast a giant, dark shadow over ground zero, serving as a testament to the Islamist conquest of America. Islamists are using our freedoms in an effort to destroy our freedoms” (Kuhner 2010, para.4). Even though the United States was built upon tolerance and religious freedom, I don't believe a mosque should be built near that site or at all because that ground is sacred, it will bring about continued hate, discontent and additional terrorism and most importantly because Muslims build mosques in places they have conquered.

To begin with, the backers of the mosque feel that because the “United States was built upon tolerance and religious freedom, a mosque at Ground Zero would represent American values.” They also suggest that “Muslims have the same right to build a house of worship in Lower Manhattan and to pray for the victims of 9/11 as any other group” (ProCon.org. 2010, October 28) .

I agree that America is recognized for its tolerance and that American’s have many freedoms other countries do not, including religious freedom. But does that mean we have to be na├»ve and allow others to use those freedoms against us? I think not! Being that it is America; Muslims are free to build mosques and to practice their religion however they see fit. In fact mosques are scattered all around the United States. However, that does not mean that they should build one on or near the area where so many lost their lives at the hands of Islamic terrorists. The majority of people in this country feel that Ground Zero is “our cemetery – our sacred place” (Bottum 2010), a place that should be memorialized. A New York construction worker who lost an uncle on 9/11 says about the plans to build a mosque, “It's like spitting in the face of all the people that died” (Investor’s Business Daily, 2010 August 23).

Additionally, Newt Gingrich tells us that “there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.” He also goes on to say “there should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over” (Gingrich 2010, para.1 and 4)

According to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, "All the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero will do is create more division, more anger, and more hatred" (ProCon.org, 2010). I believe the backers of the mosque are getting exactly what they want. They want to see the American people divided and full of hate towards one another, causing much discontent for all of us that have lived in a peaceful and free country for most of our lives. Many people ask why Muslims would think that it’s okay to build a mosque at Ground Zero. This is why folks! Because having so much hate, discontent and a country divided ultimately diminishes the freedoms we have and enjoy, and then the United States would emulate many of the Muslim controlled countries.

While doing my research for this paper I came across literally hundreds of articles and comments all around the world from many countries who are calling this a deliberate act of provocation. Personally, I was impressed with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s statement while addressing the controversy via twitter. She stated “Peace-seeking Muslims, please understand, the Ground Zero mosque is an unnecessary provocation; it stabs hearts. Please reject it in the interests of healing” (Pro.con.org, 2010 para.9).

Furthermore, it is has been proven that mosques have served as a “breeding ground for terrorism” (Scarborough 2010). We hear it all the time in the news where mosques have been used as meeting and training places for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. It was a mosque in Hamburg, Germany where the planners of the September 11th attack met and organized their plans.

Additionally, Scarborough includes in his article a quote by Steve Emerson who is the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism for Human Events. Emerson says "Around the world, mosques have been disproportionately used as venues for terrorists to raise funds, plot operations, recruit new terrorists and radicalize young Muslims”, (Scarborough 2010). Do we really need another place where radical Islamic terrorists can meet, train, plan and carryout the next terroristic plot against the United States right on top of the hallowed ground of Ground Zero? I believe this would be a bad or dangerous idea. We would be allowing them to stick it to us again. And this is just what they want.

Of much more concern is the real underlying motive for building the mosque on Ground Zero. It is said that Muslims build mosques in places they have conquered to be a symbol of a triumphant victory. There is a very long history that gives proof that “thousands of mosques, from Spain to India, were built on sites of important religious or political conquests” (The American Critic, 2010 September 9). Many people including Muslims themselves can attest to this statement. For example, in a Washington Times article a Sudanese immigrant writes a piece about his experiences, stating “The building of mosques near sites of Islamic conquests or successful military actions later became common throughout much of the world, including Cordoba, Spain, for which the proposed Ground Zero Mosque project is named. They became unmistakable portraits of victory and of the domination and control exercised by the victors, who plundered cities and converted captives at the point of a sword. In 1683, the whole of Europe was threatened until the king of Poland came to its aid at Vienna's gates. That happened on Sept. 11, a date al-Qaeda chose in striking America nine years ago” (Levi, 2010 para.5).

One of the most sacred places of all time, in all of Christendom, is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem where Jesus was believed to be resurrected. Jerusalem was captured by Muslims in 638 and soon after, all the churches were “cleansed”. Following the “cleansing” the Muslim conquerors built a “spectacular edifice”, what is called the Dome of the Rock, right on top of that sacred place. This was their way of proclaiming “Islamic supremacy, to ensure that the followers of Islam would not be tempted by Christianity” (Gray, 1989-2009). This is just one of many examples throughout history. Even though some people think otherwise, the Islam religion does not tolerate anyone who opposes the teachings of Islam. The very meaning of the word Islam is “submission”. In fact, if a Muslim rejects or turns away from the teachings of Islam, the penalties are extremely severe, that may include being disinherited, jail, or even death. Historically, Islam is not a peaceful religion and I can feel and see it’s evilness in many ways. Islam creates violence. Its history of death and destruction speaks for itself.

Levi also reports, “Throughout much of the Muslim world, the sight of a brand-new mosque rising over the ruins of the Twin Towers will be a powerful and enduring image and symbol. It will be interpreted widely in a manner unfavorable to the United States. It will serve as a triumphal rallying cry for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, which will seize upon the symbolism as a recruiting tool” (Levi, 2010 para.6).

The proponents of the mosque say that it will be an asset to the city of New York, a holy place, where Muslims can worship to denounce terrorism and promote peaceful relationships with Americans of other faiths. While that is a nice thought, I don’t believe that for a minute. There are just too many other instances where it has been proven otherwise.

In summary, while building a Muslim mosque at that location is not illegal or unconstitutional, is it appropriate to do so? If building a mosque on or near Ground Zero causes so much hate and discontent between Muslims and Americans of other faiths and feelings like we are getting slapped in the face, one must ask why? Why are the backers of this mosque so intent on building it there? The majority of the people in the United States believe that it is hallowed ground and a place that one should be able to go to remember those that lost their lives that September day. If the proponents of the mosque are being truthful and it is intended for a peaceful, holy place of worship, then they should understand that Ground Zero is not the place to build it. Islamists and proponents of the mosque that call for tolerance should really look at their “own practices” rather than criticizing America’s (Pro.con.org, 2010). There are over 100 mosques in the state of New York, not to mention the hundreds scattered all around the country. When a Christian church or synagogue is built in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Islam region, then we can talk about tolerance (Gingrich 2010). Rather than building a mosque, let’s build a memorial to commemorate the 2,966 lives that were lost. If you agree with me, then let your voices be heard! Let’s come together as a country and demand that a memorial be built there and boycott that mosque.

I am astounded and appalled at the number of our elected officials that are proponents of building this mosque. Namely, the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and our dear President of the United States, Barrack Obama. I am horrified that the U. S. President would support such a thing to be built right where so many people lost their lives at the hands of Muslim terrorists. I am shocked that he would support a mosque over a memorial. But then again President Obama is a closet Muslim isn’t he? However, that will have to be a different topic for another paper on a future date. I just don’t understand that when given a plethora of facts and lessons of history, why anyone would agree that building a mosque in what should be a sacred commemorative place is a fine thing to do.
The solution is simple, and it should have been done years ago. Building a memorial is easy and what the majority of American’s want to see be done at that location. It’s just the right thing to do!




I would love to hear your feedback and your thoughts regarding this controversy!

References
Jeffrey T. Kuhner, S. (2010). Radical Islam's conquest of America. Washington Times, The
(DC), 1. Retrieved from Regional Business News database.
ProCon.org. (2010, October 28). WTC Muslim Center ProCon.org.
WTCMuslimCenter.ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://wtcmuslimcenter.procon.org/
Bottum, J. (2010). Holy War Over Ground Zero. First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion &
Public Life, (206), 3-4. Retrieved from http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/08/holy-war-over-ground-zero
Investor's Business, D. (2010, August 23). Hard Hats: No Mosque! No Mosque! Investors
Business Daily, p. A14. Retrieved from http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/544592/201008201902/Hard-Hats-No-Mosque-No-Mosque.aspx
Newt Gingrich, (2010, July 21). Statement on Proposed Mosque/Islamic Community Center near
Ground Zero. Retrieved from www.newt.org.
ProCon.org. (2010, October 28). WTC Muslim Center ProCon.org.
WTCMuslimCenter.ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://wtcmuslimcenter.procon.org/
Scarborough, R. (2010, August 24). Human Events. Bring On the Mosque, Bring On the Terror.
Retrieved from http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38678
The American Critic. (2010, September 9). Building mosques is a symbol of conquest for Islam
followers. Retrieved from
http://theamericancritic.com/articles/Building_Mosques_Is_A_Symbol_Of_Conquest
William Ochan Levi, S. (2010). A classic act of provocation. Washington Times, The
(DC), 1. Retrieved from http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/31/a-classic-
act-of-provocation/?page=1
Martin Gray (1989-2009). Places of Peace and Power. Retrieved from
http://sacredsites.com/middle_east/israel/jerusalem.html



Weekend Anniversary Fun!

I had such a fun time with my DH this weekend.  We spent the weekend in Billings for our Anniversary.  We live in a small town and don't have some the stores and eating places we like to shop and eat at.  So it was a real treat!  We knocked out some of our Christmas shopping which feels so great to have part of it done so early.

It was even fabulous weather.  Warm (near 70) and sunny.  We really have had a terrific fall season and I'm sad that its soon to be leaving us.  We are expected to have several inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon.  So goodbye fall. 

I am glad I got to enjoy my weekend trip with my sweetheart.  Happy Anniversary Babe!  I LOVE YOU with all my Heart and Soul! 




Friday, November 5, 2010

The Loonnggeesstt Weeeeekkkk!

Somehow I just knew this was going to be the longest week when I was looking forward to this coming weekend on Monday morning.  But I didn't realize how long it was really going to be until yesterday, Wednesday, when I really thought it was Thursday.   And today really felt like it should have been Friday.  Ugh!  I hate it when that happens, don't you? 



You might be asking why I am looking forward to this coming weekend so I will tell you.  DH and I are celebrating our anniversary and we are going to spend Saturday and Sunday in Billings. I am so excited and can't wait!  I am really looking forward to just being away from the everyday stuff and having some one on one time with my sweetheart.  Plus we have plans to go to Red Lobster.  It is extremely difficult to find a good seafood place around here, and I have not been to Red Lobster since we moved from Salt Lake.  So yeah, I have been just a little excited. 

Do you think this week could get any slower?  I still have Friday to get through.  C'mon already!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

What I wish for.... And.... What I get!

I know its been a while since I have posted anything of real significance, I wish I had something significant to say.  But alas, I think all my used up brain cells are being put into my English Composition II class.  I only have just this one class this session, but it is kicking my butt.  It takes up practically every non-working, non-sleeping hour of my days.  Learning how to write proper essays, in APA style citations, including all the research involved is just so time consuming.  Thank goodness I just have the one class! 



Yes oh Yes, how I wish I could think of something really witty, clever and fun to write about. Unfortunately, I just can't think, plain and simple!  Or maybe it's just that I have absolutely no creativity?  Hmmmm...

Anyway, back to what I wish for...

Right now I am wishing for more time.  More time at home, more time with my husband, more time to do homework, more time to blog, oh and lets not forget more time to sleep.  Guess its not in the cards right now!  So I do the best I can.


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Thank goodness I am finally feeling better. I wish that I had not been sick for the past 4 weeks.  I can't say I felt really sick except that I have been battling dizziness. Besides that, I had some headaches and extreme tiredness once in a while.  I tried going the natural way first and DH did some ear candling on me in hopes to remove any fluid that was in my ears. After all, it's worked before.  This is what was found.....


Ummm yeah thats Ear Wax!  Gross Huh?

I wasn't going to even post this picture but you know.... I just had too.  After all it does make a more interesting post right?  Besides, it's Halloween.  Ha!

Anyway... a week after the candling and I was still dizzy and it was getting worse so I went to the doctor.  I hate going to the doctor! However, as a driver for work it was really unsafe for me to continue driving like that.  Well I learned that I had a double ear infection AND a sinus infection!  The doctor prescribed a Z-pac, some nasal spray and some motion sickness medicine that I couldn't take anyway because it would knock me out.  The Z-pac is a 5 day antibiotic and I did feel slightly better after that except that I still had dizzy spells once in a while.  So another week passes by and one day I wake up and my head is spinning continually.  It's the worse dizziness that I have ever experienced.  So I called in sick for work and went back to the doctor.  Doctor prescribes another antibiotic, this time penicillin based Augmentin.  Why didn't they prescribe this the first time?  Also he told me to take Mucinex D.  

So after new meds, a priesthood blessing, and 7 days later I am finally feeling like myself again.  The dizziness is gone thank goodness! 

-----------------------------------------

Now on to better news....  I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!!! 



Kyle and Domonique are expecting a baby in May.  We are so excited!  She is doing ok so far.  Luckily she hasn't had the whole morning sickness thing, but she is very tired and slightly moody once in a while.  All to be expected.  We are just really glad they are both here with us where we can take care of them and provide a safe and loving home for the baby. 

------------------------------------------

How have you been enjoying your Fall weather?  We have been having such a really lovely Fall and I have been thoroughly enjoying all the pretty colors of the trees as they prepare for dormancy.  We have taken a few drives through the canyons recently and it has just been beautiful.  I took very few pictures unfortunately but here are a couple...




However, as of today, the weather seems to be changing into colder, wetter weather.  We even woke up to snow on the tops of the mountains. We could get a little dusting of snow in town by morning, but I am hoping not.  I am just not ready for the snow.  Let me rephrase that... I am not ready "mentally" for the snow.  I am ready for the snow as far as the warm boots, gloves, coats, hats and all that a person needs to stay dry and warm.  Thanks to my DH he took me shopping this weekend to get me set up for what I will need for working out in the elements. 



I know it's inevitable, but can't I wish for a little more of the nice, warm Fall weather we have had so far? 



 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Segment #4 - Yellowstone - A few more favorites

I just have a few more favorite photos and memories to share with you about our trip to Yellowstone. 













Dad Carpenter


MIL and I taking pictures of us taking pictures
So Fun!

We had some good laughs and fun times


Such beauty even in Buffalo



MIL doing what she does best

My view of MIL in the car. LOL!


We woke up to a dusting of snow on our last day there









Yes this is real.  He was just sitting on the lawn near the lodge

Yellowstone Falls



One BIG guy!



These are the final highlights of our trip.  I can't believe it's taken me a month to finish posting about our Yellowstone trip. But life has been crazy lately.  I have so many other photos that I could literally spend a few more posts to show you. But I would encourage you to go and see for yourself. It's just a really beautiful place to enjoy all of God's creations.