Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I Have Fought a Good Fight

I was so impressed with Mitt Romney's gracious speech last night.  It reflected the honor he upheld throughout the campaign. He kept his vision for America at the forefront of his all he did.  He never asked for anyone's vote for any reason other than that they, too, wanted the same great things for our country as he did. 

Because of that, I believe he broke religious barriers--just over four years ago, his Mormon religion seemed to be an insurmountable reason for many not to be able to support his candidacy.  This election has shown that now many Americans can not only accept Mormon candidates, but can look beyond one's religious beliefs to see their political beliefs, as well.  I think he can be proud of the amazing race he ran.  I think he can say, like Paul:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."  (2 Tim. 4:7)

Keep Calm and Carry On

The father of our nation, George Washington, was one of the greatest leaders ever to live.  He led through the most difficult part of our nation's history.  But, as David McCullough said in his book 1776, "Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up. Again and again, in letters to Congress and to his officers, and in his general orders, he had called for perseverance – for 'perseverence and spirit,' for 'patience and perseverance,' for 'unremitting courage and perseverance.' . . . Without Washington’s leadership and unrelenting perseverance, the revolution almost certainly would have failed."

This unrelenting drive for freedom formed the spirit of our great nation. We are a people who face challenges with fortitude and difficulties with determination.  We persevere.  Because we too know what's at stake--the liberty and peace of our great country.

Our nation is only as strong as its individuals.  So, as individuals, we now persevere. We now continue to pray for strength and guidance and protection. We pray for the United States of America, still the greatest nation on earth.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Time to Change!

This is it!
I think the Brady Bunch pretty much summed up this day with a song:

"When it's time to change, then its time to change
Don't fight the tide, come along for the ride, don't you see
When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange
who you are into what you're gonna be."

Romney and Ryan can help make America into what it can and should become. It's time to change! Let's do it today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Disaster on Many Fronts

My heart goes out to all those suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  I’m so happy to see our first responders getting in and putting forth such tremendous effort to help people. I can’t imagine the nightmare they’re all going through. The immediate, temporary help is wonderful!

But I just ache for them when I think about what their life will be like when the responders are gone, temporary assistance has run out, and they have to try to get back to their regular lives.  

Disasters are hard when times are good.  What about when times are bad? When you’ve lost so much, how do you recover when the economy is in such a horrible state? We have to get it turned around.  So many Americans are trying to recover in some way or another. Now Sandy has only added a layer of nightmare to the whole recovery process.

The current economic situation has been so hard on the states, they can’t afford to pay for disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy.  Some states are asking the feds to pay 100% of the bill. See, many states are required to balance their budgets, but the federal government is not, so they can just keep on dishing out money they don’t actually have (hence the $16 trillion debt). But that can’t go on forever, especially when we are already in such a deep abyss—our debt simply isn’t sustainable.

Now more than ever we need a president who knows how and is capable of turning things around in the long term. We need a president who can get our economy back on track. We need a president who can give Americans the hope that he can make our country better because he’s shown he knows how and can do it.  We need Mitt Romney for president.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mom's Worries

I’m a mom. I worry.  Things I worry about the most: my children.

What legacy will our nation leave for them?

First, they will inherit the $16,000,000,000,000 debt.  The rate of our nation’s debt is NOT sustainable!  This is not the inheritance I had in mind for my kids. Mitt Romney will cut that debt and work towards a balanced budget.

Healthcare for my kids under Obamacare would look very different. It would consist of a board of 15 advisors (we don’t know who they are, and we don’t know what they will propose) who will run medicine more like a fast food restaurant menu—a list of things done in the same way for everyone, based on “evidence” of what’s generally good, not based on individual need.  This inevitably leads to rationing or prohibitive access to medical resources deemed “not worth the expense.” What happens then is the middle class won’t tolerate being told how to spend their money on treatment or what treatment they can or can’t receive, and they will seek care outside the government reach. This will NOT create more equity in healthcare delivery, but rather it will create a multi-tier system. The affluent will pay more to get better quality service, and they will not be going to municipal hospitals (for a great article on the subject, see “Cheesecake Factory Medicine” in August 28, 2012 WSJ).  I have experienced this multiple times while living in foreign countries—government-controlled health system was never the first choice for those who could afford private care.  For those who could not, they suffered through inconsistent, inefficient, less effective care.
Mitt Romney will work to repeal Obamacare and put the states in charge of their own healthcare reform.

I want my kids to go to college and chase their dreams.  Not only has the cost of college risen 25% under Obama, but the Census bureau and US Dept of Labor say that 53.6% of bachelor degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed.  I love my kids, but I don’t necessarily want them living in my basement forever because they can’t find jobs or create their own in an economy that doesn’t encourage entrepreneurship and small businesses.
Mitt Romney’s reforms will not only improve access and applicability to education, but improve the overall economy, growing businesses and opportunities for all. 

I grew up with a great love for our country.  I always believed it was a great blessing to live here and enjoy the abundant freedoms and opportunities here.  I knew the United States was special and was a place where people came to make their dreams come true.  I always felt we were the greatest nation on earth.  I want that same vision for my children.  I want them to inherit the same patriotism I developed as a child and grow the same love for the US that I have.
Mitt Romney understands America’s greatness and what it takes to maintain our strengths and liberties.  He will do all he can to be sure we pass down a lasting legacy of  peace, gratitude, and American greatness our children can depend on.  
Mitt Romney as President will help put mothers’ minds at ease.  I want that, and I’m pretty sure my husband and children would appreciate that, too.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oval Office or Principal's Office--A New Low

Seriously, where is his mother? First it’s the snarky, rude sarcasm; then the swearing; but now the disgusting campaign ad comparing voting for the first time to sex for the first time. Really?  

This campaign tactic only ridicules all those who have respect for the sanctity of sex.  It doesn’t somehow empower women by mocking virginity, but belittles them. And he has two young daughters!

Well, if you don’t have a sterling record and reputation to stand on, I guess it’s the old high school trick--you resort to being nasty to try getting popular.  This is his legacy.

And speaking of high school tricks, any high-schooler can tell you that the excuse, “but you didn’t give me enough time,” doesn’t work. 

So, rudeness, cussing, disrespect and disgustion (my own word) are his strategy.  And he has the gall to ask for “a little more time”? For more of the same? 

Is Obama running for student body president or President of the United States? 

Let’s send him back to the principal’s office and put someone respectful, dignified, and genuine into the oval office.  Let’s put Mitt Romney into the office of President of the United States of America.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bayonets and Bad Behavior


I know the real reason some people say Pres. Obama won the debate the other night—it’s because he finished the night without getting put in a time out.

I fully expected to see Obama’s mother come storming out on the stage afterwards, grab her son by the arm, put him over her knee, and give him a good, sound spanking for his rude, disrespectful sass.  And I don’t even believe in spanking!

It’s like I tell my kids, what you say and how you say it says more about you than anything else.  And sarcasm speaks volumes about a person. So when Obama said, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” even my young children watching recognized that as being “mean” and “rude.”  I think they expected me to somehow take away his allowance as a consequence.  If only I could.

I’m sure Obama has heard by now that actually every Marine recruit is required to be proficient in the use of a bayonet.  And that there were horse-mounted US commandos that helped topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The office of the President of the United States is the most highly regarded office in the world.  It should only be held by someone with integrity, honor, and respect (among other things).  We teach our children about George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and set them up as sterling examples for our kids to follow.  We teach them the great things these leaders did and said.  Things like:

“Let us dare to speak and write, that we may be neither led nor driven blindfolded to irretrievable destruction.”    --John Adams

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”    --Thomas Jefferson

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”    --Abraham Lincoln.

Sadly, what will my kids remember from President Obama? His snarky remark about the bayonets and horses (and that he didn’t have to apologize for talking like that to someone).

It’s time for a great leader in the White House.  It’s time to put in someone who not only will function as an excellent president, but will behave in a presidential manner, and who will represent us in a way befitting this great nation.  It’s time for our children to have a president they can look up to and emulate.

It’s time for Mitt Romney.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blinking on the Middle East

I can still remember when I was a young girl, my family would gather for prayer every day, and in those prayers we would ask for the protection and release of the hostages in Iran.

I wasn’t old enough to understand what had happened at the embassy in Iran, or why the Americans were being held there.  But to a little girl, 444 days seemed like a life time.  I still remember the day the hostages were released.

Now, all these years later, once again, one of our American diplomatic missions was stormed, the US consulate in Benghazi. Only this time, no hostages were taken. Four US citizens were murdered.  We pray now for the families of those who were lost.

When the hostages were taken in Iran, President Carter faced criticism for his seemingly hesitant reaction.  This weakened the US in Iran.  Many believe Carter’s blinking cost him the presidential election against Ronald Reagan.

We are still finding out details regarding the security lapses, the misjudgments, the implications of the tragedy in Benghazi.  How did a nation that had just assisted in overthrowing Libya’s Gaddafi suffer such an attack on their consulate? Who did it? What is the appropriate response? And when? 

Will the hesitant reaction of the US administration weaken the US in the Middle East? We have yet to see if Obama’s reaction will cost him the election. 

But one thing is for certain—if Mitt Romney is president, we can count on swift, strong, and certain response to such situations. And, more importantly, we can count on an increase in our military strength and presence, especially when requested, avoiding such tragedies in the first place. 

Romney understands the importance of America’s strength on the world stage. He will assure that we are the strongest nation, and he will not apologize for it.  He will act in such ways as to not only defend that position, but to maintain our status as the greatest nation on earth.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peter Gabriel and the American Condition


Last week my husband took me to a Peter Gabriel concert.  It was great.  It was fun. It was loud.  It was rocking. It made me feel young, except when I’d see people putting on their reading glasses to see which seat their tickets said, and when part way through the concert I thought, “Wow—I wonder how late it will be when Peter finally gets to sleep? Poor guy.”

Now, you may be wondering what Peter Gabriel has to do with voting for Mitt Romney.  Well, one of the crowd favorites was a song called “Don’t Give Up.”  I have always liked that song, but it meant a bit more to me now, and here’s why:

My teenage son come home from school totally despondent last week.  When we sat down to talk about what was wrong, I was surprised by his response:

“I’m really worried about our country and my future.  The way it looks, people are going to be voting for a president whose actions are going to have a huge impact on me, and I have no say in it! Now I may never be able to do the things I’ve always wanted and hoped for.”

He was sincerely concerned.

I’m pretty sure that when I was his age, I worried more about the next dance, or next test, or possibly the Cold War, and probably the latest Duran Duran hit (I totally just dated myself).  But I was pretty confident about my future and about our nation always being the greatest nation in the world.

I wasn’t quite certain how to respond to my son.  I didn’t really know how to make him feel better, how to not give up on the older generations or on America.

Well, Mitt Romney did a pretty good job of taking care of that for me.  My son was watching that same night when Romney knocked the presidential debate out of the park. 

In one night, Mitt restored my son’s hope in the nation, and in his own future.  Through Mitt’s resolution, ideas, confidence, and knowledge, my son recognized that there are still great leaders out there who will do all they can to keep America the strongest and brightest nation in this world.  Mitt lifted my son’s hopes on a very personal level.  And lifted mine too. I fully believe he will once again reassure us all tonight, too, because of his ideas, his leadership, and his belief in America's greatness.

That is the kind of person we need leading this country—one we can believe in, who can encourage us, and is an example of the kind of person our kids can look to and hook their own hopes and dreams.  One who inspires us not to give up, because we know he never will until he has done everything humanly possible to secure our personal liberties and our nation’s place as the greatest on earth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pork and Bean Cupcakes

My husband recently taught a class to a group of boys about how things may appear to be a certain way, but when you see what they’re really made up of, you find out they aren’t as great as they seem.

To illustrate this he made tasty looking cupcakes with yummy frosting on top. But when the boys bit into them, they found them filled with mushy pork and beans.

People have been discussing why it was Obama did such a bad job in the debate last week and have come up with all sorts of explanations and excuses.  But the bottom line for me is that  he had a bad time because he has had a bad presidency.

Sure, give him a pre-written speech about things he can spin to look positive with no one to argue his position, and President Obama does fine.  Let him talk about his feelings on how he deserves more time with no one to argue his position, and President Obama does fine.  Let him describe the good things he has always hoped to do with no one to argue his position, and he does fine.

On the outside, President Obama looks fine, presents himself nicely, and speaks well.  He appears to be a good frosted cupcake.  But when you look inside his presidency, you just get pork and beans.

If the president had done a great job with the deficit, he could have debated it well.  If he had done a great job with employment, he could have debated it well.  If he had great ideas for how to turn the nation around, he could have debated them well.  The fact is, he did not do well, because he didn’t have a strong leg to stand on to begin with.

And Obama’s campaign has been one of not reminding people of all the great things he has done for America, but rather trying to convince people that Romney wouldn’t be a good choice.  Romney clearly put that nonsense to rest.

The debate was just one more opportunity for America to see that with Romney we know we are getting great ideas, great experience, and great leadership.  We won’t have to wonder if  his presidency would look good from the outside, but on the inside find only mushy pork and beans.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Choose the Right

Yesterday was my favorite church day, the day all of our primary children, ages 3-11, put on their annual program.  Nearly 100 children walked mostly-reverently through the chapel up to the stand and choir seats in the front.  There they sang songs, and each said something brief about what they had been learning this year in their Sunday classes.  Their theme this year was “Choose the Right.”  As the kids sang and talked about making good choices and following Jesus, I was so moved by their sweet spirits and their budding desires to do what is right. To choose to do what they believe they should. To choose to follow the path they have been taught will lead them to the greatest happiness.  They were celebrating not only the concept to “Choose the Right,” but also the “Right to Choose.”

What a blessing we have living in a country founded on basic, God-given rights. Our freedoms are bountiful.  I had to laugh a little last week when I saw that an Iranian news agency picked up a story from The Onion with the headline: “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama.” 

First, I thought it was interesting that people out there in the world actually find that plausible.  But, while we know The Onion is just a newspaper for entertainment and farce, I can understand how people in certain other countries may not know that, or even believe that such a thing would be possible. 

Political satire is lost on much of the world, simply because such a notion as mocking or criticizing government leaders or policy carries such severe consequences. 

Our freedom of speech is something many of us take for granted.  Even simple blogs, such as this, could get writers in deep trouble.  Speaking our minds, expressing our beliefs, gathering together to discuss them—all freedoms that not all of the world enjoys.

How grateful we should be for the rights afforded us simply by being Americans in this great country.  We cannot take these for granted.  Our nation fought a hard, bloody fight to gain its freedom.  But loss of freedom comes in  a much more subtle way. More government control, less personal choice. More government intervention, less individual responsibility.

Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. “

Now more than ever we must be vigilant in guarding our freedoms, our god-given rights.  We must elect leaders who understand this and will fight for us.  Leaders who will select judges who will uphold our rights. Leaders who will help preserve our “Right to Choose” so we can “Choose the Right.”  Leaders like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Keep Government Out--A Personal Experience

Recently I received an e-mail from the Romney campaign pointing out the main difference between his campaign and Obama’s:

Mitt Romney's vision for America is an opportunity society, where free people and free enterprise thrive and success is admired and emulated, not attacked. President Obama's vision for America is a government-centered society, where government grows bigger and more active, occupying more of our everyday lives.”

I think one of the areas we see this most obviously lately is healthcare.

My husband has cancer, and like most people in this economy, he can’t help but worry about job security. Yes, it’s true, I would love to be assured that he will always be able to get health insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions, and be assured that my family’s health care will always be covered.  But at what cost?

I had to laugh to myself while watching the Olympics this summer.  During the opening ceremonies dancers and performers were celebrating all things wonderful about England, including their famous health care system. Well, my family lived in England for a while and experienced their system first-hand.

First, I will say that it was quite generous of the National Health System to include us, even though we were not British citizens.  However, the NHS facilities and services were a less than optimal.  On different occasions I had to spend some time in the local hospital with my children. I felt I was in something from an old , worn-out World War II movie hospital ward. Fortunately, my children were both fine, and for that I am truly grateful.

But when I found out I was pregnant, I admit that along with my excitement, I was terrified. I had heard stories that women were kept waiting in the halls, delivered their babies, then were sent home right away. When I asked my friends if those stories matched their own experiences, they said yes. “But, you wouldn’t want to stay in the hospital more than six hours anyhow,” they said, “because it’s impossible to sleep in the maternity ward with eight other women and their babies lined up in the beds next to you.”

I had confidence in my midwife (at least until she recommended I have my baby at home), and I must say that most of the midwives in England are highly skilled. But I was terrified to have a baby in one of the NHS hospitals.  I was faced with the decision to either have my baby at home, at the NHS maternity ward, or fly home and be without my husband for several weeks to have the baby back in the States. None of those options was appealing.

Another option came available—private insurance. We realized our private insurance would cover the private hospital in London. I could deliver there. I was so relieved. I was even excited when I heard that this was the finest, fanciest hospital around; that people from all over Europe went there to have their babies.  Royalty from the middle east would rent out an entire floor to bring their entire entourage for when a new prince or princess was to be born.  Victoria and David Beckham were even having there baby there at the same time I would be!  Well, that clinched the deal.

I have to say, I had wonderful midwives (and a great doctor who had long since lost his New Jersey accent and replaced it with something a little more posh). 


Even with the best facilities in London, I was a little disappointed. I have had three other children in the U.S., and all three hospitals were much nicer and better equipped and more comfortable than even that fine hospital my private insurance covered.  Fortunately, all went pretty well with the pregnancy and the delivery of my third son.

But I do cringe when people talk about health care reform and government involvment. I wonder how many people asking for more government regulation or socialized medicine have ever received health care from a system utilizing those standards? On paper it all sounds wonderful. But I have lived in various countries with this sort of government regulated system. And it seems quite clear to me that when government gets involved,  the personal cost may go down initially, but so does the quality of both the care and the physical resources.  And in order to try to get better quality care, the cost jumps significantly higher. 

Who suffers the most then? The poor that the government was trying to help in the first place. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oh yeah--throw God in there somewhere

In case you need a little pain in your life to make you feel alive, try watching the democrats attempt to amend their platform at their delegate convention.

Somehow they neglected US support for Israel by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. So they threw that in. That was one amendment.

But attention was drawn to the fact that they apparently had somehow left out God from their platform. Perhaps they felt they didn't need Him if they have Obama. I guess they got enough complaints or bad press that they decided to put Him in.  Here's how they did it:

Amendment 1: Page 32, line 48:  "We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential."

Seriously? I mean I am extremely grateful the Lord has provided work for my family, but THAT is how they sneak God into their platform? A mention of "God-given" potential in terms of working?  

And do they see the irony of this, considering the President recently waived the welfare work requirement?

Unbelievable.  But just as unbelievable, was the fact that such amendments require a two-thirds vote. Clearly they couldn't get it! Even after voting three times, trying each time to get the cheers of those in favor louder than the cheers of those opposed, there was still not two-thirds in favor.  So, what did they do about it? Passed it anyhow.  Typical Obama style. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Republican Rock Star

Last night one of Fox news' reporters said that the Republicans have a rock star--he was talking about Chris Christie. Well, yeah, Chris was great and all, but it was ANN that rocked the house! It was ANN that inspired me as a patirot. It was ANN that made me feel proud to be a mother. And yes, it was ANN that even moved me to tears.

Ann was amazing, reminding us that it is the greatness in each individual that makes this nation the great nation it is. And it's mothers who make those individuals.  She reminded us of the critical roles moms have in America. Moms stand strong when everything else around us is falling down.  Moms have smiles on our faces even when our hearts are aching inside for the struggles of our kids. Moms give up anything and everything to give their kids a chance at their hopes and dreams.  And hopes and dreams are what make up America.  Ann Romney knows that. Moms know that.  And we teach that to our children.  And we want to do everything we can to ensure their possibilities.

My sweet nine-year-old occasionally says to me, "Mom, I'm sorry you have to do so much. Do you like being a mom?" 

My answer is always the same. "I love it.  And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!"  

And what greater nation is there in the world in which to raise a family? There is no greater place to seek opportunities, gain experience, and reach high and lofty goals.  We cannot afford to let that change in America.  We cannot afford to lose that dream for our children.

Ann Romney reminded the world that under the leadership of her husband, our nation can not only return to the greatness Mitt will never apologize for, but can become even greater.  When we think about our children's futures, we can remove the fear and doubts and replace them with ferver and determination.  Because the possibilites will be there.  The American dream will be revived.

So, my praises to Ann for her remarkable, inspiring words last night.  The only thing that she got wrong was thinking she is the luckiest woman in the world--that prize goes to me, but I suppose every mother feels that way.  She's still a rock star in my eyes!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Inspiration of Olympic Proportions

I love the Olympics.  Starting from the moment that first torch is lit to the very last moment of the closing ceremonies, I am enthralled with the incredible games.  I think it’s because every athlete, every medal represents a little bit of each of us, a little bit of the American dream—the dream that with hard work, dedication, innovation, anything is possible.

But there is something special about seeing our flag raised and our anthem played that lights a flame inside me.  It’s a burning sense of patriotism and national pride.

Woodrow Wilson once said, "The things that the flag stands for were created by the experiences of a great people. Everything that it stands for was written by their lives. The flag is the embodiment, not of sentiment, but of history." 

When I see fans waving our flag from the stands, or athletes wrapped in it running around the field, or even the stars and stripes on t-shirts and uniforms, I am reminded of what our nation has gone through to have the freedoms that flag represents, and what our nation now stands for among the nations of the world.

These Olympians represent the very best athletes in the world.  They inspire us all to not be satisfied with mediocrity-- to work harder, reach higher, and dream bigger.  In the same way, our nation does the same.  The United States of America is the greatest nation on earth.  And just like those athletes, our greatness can inspire freedom, democracy, and greatness in others everywhere across the world.  That is what the true American dream is all about. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Affordable Luxury

My father used to always tell us, “You’ve got to distinguish between wants and needs.

Recently President Obama said that after his daughters were born, he and Michelle “could not afford the luxury” of her staying home with the children.


Both Barak and Michelle are Harvard graduates. She had been working for 10 years, he had been working for 6 when their first daughter was born.

They hadn’t been working at McDonald’s.

In 2005 their combined income was nearly $500,000. And certainly they had savings. In 2005 Barak alone was making over $162,000.

Yet, with that kind of income, Mr. Obama said they “couldn’t afford the luxury” of living on just his income [Insert my dad’s advice here—remember—wants vs. needs?].

Does he realize that his measly $162,000 is more than triple most states’ median incomes today?

Most people in this country, and most certainly in the world, live on far less than $162,000, even with two incomes.

I grew up in a town with many large families who lived off one income (my family was one of them). Often times that one income was that of a farmer or school teacher. Sure, most of us had to wear out our tennis shoes before we could get a new pair, and we shared bedrooms, and even, gasp, rode the bus to school since we teenagers didn’t have our own cars.

We got jobs to help pay for school trips, new shoes, dates, and college. We didn’t have a TV in every room. We stayed home for spring break. I didn’t know a single family who took a trip to Europe every summer or had a home in Aspen. But we had plenty to eat and we went to school, and we had clothes to wear (of course, my older siblings reminded me I was spoiled since they only had two pairs of pants in Jr. high). And even though it may have just been to Yellowstone National Park, we took vacations and spent time together as a family. And guess what—we turned out fine. In fact, we thrived.

Could some of those families have been better off financially if both parents brought home a pay check? Could they have had fancier vacations, nicer wardrobes? How about expensive colleges, and new cars? On a small-town’s school teacher’s salary could they afford the luxury of a single income?

Well, somehow, yes. But it was a choice. A life-style choice.

Could the Obama’s have afforded the luxury of his single income? Absolutely (and had they lived anywhere near where I grew up, they could have afforded to live high on the hog and then some).

But, perhaps they wouldn’t have been able to have the vacations they wanted or live in the house they wanted in the city they wanted with the cars and clothes and careers they wanted.

Like most Americans, they would have had to survive on much less. Maybe even sacrificed a bit. But make no mistake, they could afford it.

So, I say, Mr. President, don’t insult working families by trying to paint yourselves as poor, suffering Americans.

Thinking they couldn’t afford living on $160,000 a year, answer me this—who is the one out of touch now?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Women's War

Perhaps it’s time for those of us moms who have “never worked a day in our lives” to start lining up for unemployment benefits. That ought to make the joblessness numbers more interesting! Maybe then we could show we care about the economy.

If a woman is not in the “work force” does it mean she cares less about economic issues? Does it mean she is less aware of the terrible economic problems facing our nation, more particularly her own family? Does it mean she is out of touch with how the economy impacts hers or her family’s life?


If a woman is not the one bringing home a pay check, she still has to worry about that pay check.

Right now my husband’s company is going through a hostile take-over. It is not my job at stake. I am not the one dealing with the intricacies of such transactions. The share-holders do not even know I exist. But am I concerned? You better believe it.

My husband and I made the choice nearly 20 years ago that when children came to our family I would care for them full-time, even if it meant financial sacrifice and sacrifice of my own time and career, among other things. For the last 15 years, this is exactly what I have been doing. I know many people think that’s crazy. I know many people, including other mothers, put very little value on what I do and the choice we made.

Several years ago, when we tried to get life insurance for me, the first insurance company we went to refused to insure me because I “didn’t contribute” enough to our financial well-being. When we sat down and calculated my “contributions” we quickly discovered that were we to have to hire out the “work” I do (if I were to die or become incapacitated), we wouldn’t be able to afford it! This was just for the basic cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, music lessons, and child-care, not to mention tutoring and full-time teaching for our one home-schooled child. Needless to say, I was more than displeased with the insurance company’s ignorant response (obviously, we dropped them as our carrier for any insurance and went with another company).

When a woman leaves the “work force” to care for her family, it does not make her less concerned or less in touch with economic concerns. If anything, it makes us more concerned. We have to plan carefully, make adjustments and sacrifices, and be creative in budget development. We know that if our husband loses his job, we do not have a second income to fall back on. I fully recognize many women don’t have the choice to be at home full-time, and I feel extremely grateful that I can be with my kids. Although it is not without its challenges, being home with my kids is my favorite place to be and it is my very most favorite job. I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I hope I don’t have to.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Parenting Tips

This week I got an e-mail telling about a chance to win a day with Mitt at the ball park in Boston for Patriots’ Day. As one recently popular movie expressed, “It’s hard not to get romantic about baseball.” It’s true. And what could be more American than a good baseball game mixed with even better political conversation? Especially if there are hot dogs and ice-cream involved? Yet, having said that, as much as I would love discussing policy and interesting ideas about government change, I don’t think that’s how my day would go, if I were to win a few hours with Mitt Romney.

I can read his books and study his official web site to find out all about his platform and political beliefs. No, what I would really want to get from him would be his parenting secrets.

You read that right. Parenting secrets. And I’m guessing Mitt would say I should ask Ann. But I’m sure it took both of them to raise such a good family.

We've all heard you can tell a lot about a person by their grandkids. I hope my children reflect what wonderful, faithful people my parents are (so far, so good). Now, I don’t personally know Mitt or Ann, but I do know a couple of their kids and their grandkids. Two of their sons and their families go to church with us, and you couldn't find better people anywhere--and it shows in their kids. They all are kind, generous, hard-working, creative, and funny! Their kids, like most kids, come in, have a snack, then head for the first thing with wheels (and I know at their houses, skates and scooters are even allowed inside, along with swings and slides!). The kids help out at every scout activity or church activity, whether it's cooking, cleaning, or sewing; they work with their parents at the bishop's store house packing and shelving food for the needy; they help babysit the neighbors, they say “please and thank you,” and they do it all with a smile! These kids are good and faithful and not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Clearly they have been taught well by example.

So, when Mitt talks about wanting to preserve the greatness of America for his grandkids, I can put faces to his words, and I know he means it. He's a great man who will be great for this country. And I, for one, would love to know his secrets.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Making a Connection

People complain that Mitt Romney doesn’t “connect” with people. What does that even mean—is it like in sixth grade, when my friend Bonnie and I skipped class so her mom could take us to the high school to see Ronald Reagan speak? I reached over the railing, and he shook my hand in the sea of other hands he shook. The star of “Bed time for Bonzo” shook my hand—oh, yeah, and the president! I felt connected.

I have to say I don’t agree with critics’ claims that Mitt can’t make a connection. I think he can, at least with me. Not because my bank account is in the millions. It isn't. I wouldn’t be opposed to that changing. Not because we share the same religion. We do. But so does Harry Reid. Not even because we are both Republicans. We are. As is Herman Cain.

I don't really even care about any of that. Yes, Mitt is kind—remember the story of when his business partner’s daughter went missing in New York and he shut down the offices so everyone could help find her (and they did)? Yes, Mitt is generous—he donates millions and millions of dollars to charity (and not just his church). And, yes, Mitt is a man of great standards and principles—beyond his religious activity, his body guard once described him as “Wicked smart and squeaky clean” (oh, yeah, he’s smart too—law and business degrees from Harvard—sheesh!).

But let's not forget what the biggest issues really are right now--ballooning debt, out of control spending, horrible foreign relations, the government spreading dangerously into too many aspects of our lives. We need someone who can get America back on the right path, someone who loves this nation and understands its unique and critical position in the world, and knows how to get our economy and our nation back on solid ground.

I don't care if he eats cheeseburgers off the dollar menu or shops at Old Navy. I don't care what kind of car and how many he drives. I don’t care about where he vacations (if people really cared about that wouldn't we be more outraged at Michelle Obama’s 19 vacations in the last three years--that we are helping to pay for?). I don't care if he feels my pain.

No, what I care about, what I relate to, is creating an America that my children can love the way I have, that they can feel pride and joy when the Boy Scout walks past in the parade carrying our nation’s flag. I want a president who holds our country to a higher standard, thereby holding each of its citizens to a higher standard that, because of our freedom and opportunities, we can reach and achieve. That's what I connect with.

I grew up in a small town in Idaho (I guess it’s pretty impressive we actually had presidential visits there). At age eleven, I started my first summer job, along with a few of my siblings, moving irrigation pipe in a nearby farmer’s wheat and potato fields. It was a far cry from the Boston suburbs or LaJolla, California. But it was an important part of America for me. It was where I learned what’s really important in life, and how abundantly we are blessed here in this great country. I don’t have to live the same lifestyle as someone else in order to connect with them. It’s our humanity, our desire for peace—our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that “connects” us. Those are things Mitt Romney stands for. Under his leadership, those are the things that will flourish, those are the things that will make our country the country I grew up loving.