". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Follow Me Back and Talk to Me Tuesday!


You follow me, I follow YOU...  =D
Want to learn more about Little YaYa's FMBT
Click the pic or link above and JOIN the FUN!!


So... Since part of this FMBT involves a comment... I say let's make this a little promotional TALK TO ME (and everyone else that sees these comments...) about YOUR BLOG! What kind of blog do you have? 

For example, My blog is a random catch-all & Mommy Blog... I guess... LOL!! My random thoughts flip the switches in my brain that decide to create a post. I try to be helpful, informative, and share good information I think others will appreciate. I do occasionally RANT... *sigh* sorry... and I share my photography and some of my daily experiences. I know, PRETTY RANDOM!! 

I also try to educate a little on my little disorder called bipolar. I have links in the left corner that can help anyone that desires to learn more about it. There are also some links to others with this disorder who also have blogs... I want people to be more AWARE of what it's all about and reduce some of the stigma that is running rampant in the world concerning it. It CAN be the scary things that is the STIGMA out there... BUT it can also be controlled by most individuals and they CAN lead productive lives with the proper treatment/meds/care/support. Even many IN the medical profession are not fully educated on this disorder and  contribute to the stigma. *sigh* 

Don't worry, I'm NOT always talking about this, so I hope you'll follow me on my roller coaster ride... I'm usually pretty UNDER CONTROL!! LOL!! They may call it bipolar... I call it MULTITALENTED!! I've gained MANY talents through my manias!! LOL!! 

Hey, I'm thinking of doing some giveaways and featuring some of my BLOGGY FRIENDS... I'm also going to occasionally do AWARENESS POSTS for various things. Yesterday I did one on Epilepsy for a friend's son. 

Now tell US a bit about YOUR blog!! Also, would you mind being featured or even doing a guest post sometime??? If given that opportunity, WHAT would you want your subject to be? Do you have any CAUSES you'd like to see discussed? 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I'll follow you back whether you do the TALK TO ME part or not... I have another COOKING BLOG: http://tasty-ornot.blogspot.com if you like sharing recipes and would like to follow there.  =D    (((HUGS)))

". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories."


Monday, June 28, 2010

This is for YOU, BUG!! Connor Doran auditioning for AGT - BEAUTIFUL

Today I have Emily at Is This Really My Life to thank for bringing this to my attention. So go follow Emily!!

Connor Doran was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 4. Here he is auditioning for America's Got Talent! Just a BEAUTIFUL STORY!!

WHY did this touch me so??? 
Do YOU know anyone with epilepsy??? 

I have a beautiful friend whose darling son has an epilepsy related disorder!
He has seizures ALL the TIME!!

My friend has a blog ALL about him and the daily struggles they endure. She tells it ALL; happy moments,  scary seizures, fighting for docs to REALLY LOOK at what's going on... There many different kinds of seizures he deals with on a daily basis. She talks about the stigma they face, the misunderstandings of those around them. Her son HAS a DISORDER, but she REFUSES to allow it to DEFINE HIM! 

This cute boy's nick name is BUG!! And BUG is so LUCKY to have a mom/family that love him SO much and will fight his fight along his side and be his champion all the way!!! I am amazed and inspired by the patience, endurance, and ambition that they battle this with. Please follow Bug's story and help them educate others and be AWARE!

Help people understand epilepsy!

Here is some GREAT INFORMATION I gleaned from BUG's BLOG:

Seizure Facts and Myths

Epilepsy is described as the tendency to have repeated seizures that start in the brain. 

Epilepsy is NOT a disease.

Epilepsy is ususally only diagnosed after the person has had more than one seizure.

Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the US after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Epilepsy is NOT a psychological disorder.

It is equal in prevalence to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.

1 in 3 adults know someone with the disorder.

1 in 10 people will have or have had a seizure at some point in their lives.

Nearly 2 in 100 people are currently diagnosed with epilepsy/seizure disorder.

Anyone can have a seizure if the circumstances are right, but most people do not have seizures under ‘normal conditions’.

Deja Vu is a form of seizure.

Approximately 200,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur each year.

The incidence of Epilepsy is highest under the age of 2 and over 65.

In 70 percent of new cases, no cause is found.

Males are slightly more likely to develop Epilepsy than females.

25,000 to 50,000 people will die of seizures and related causes each year in the U.S.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Thank YOU! =D Celtic Woman: YOU Raise Me Up, The Prayer, The Blessing

"Never take someone for granted. Hold every person close to your heart because you might wake up one day and realize that you’ve lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones. ~ Random quote

I know that first post was NOT the inspiration it SHOULD have been as a Sunday Post!! I'm sorry... I HAD to GET IT OUT... *sigh*

So NOW... I want to show MY GRATITUDE to GOD, Christ, those in my family that are supportive of my efforts, my friends, neighbors and acquaintances that offer me support through kind words, a smile, a hug... 


The Prayer
Chloe has such a BEAUTIFUL VOICE

The Blessing

This is Celtic Woman. I went with my mom last year to their concert and it WAS AWESOME!! If you ever get the chance to see them, you WON'T be disappointed!
Hope you enjoyed this!

Suggestions?? Used, Abused, Taken Advantage of... WTH!!!

I am behind on a family sitting and 2 weddings... However, I AGAIN put priorities aside to help a relative. WHY? Because I DO care about her and want HER to KNOW that... But THAT doesn't matter to her. ONLY what she wants or needs at that moment matters... once she GETS what she wanted, she washes her hands of you until there's a new crisis or WANT she needs you for. 

What tops it all off is that she talks LITERAL CRAP behind my back like I'm some horrible beast. I have NEVER been rude to her in ANY WAY!! I've also NEVER tried to SHOVE my religion down her throat. However, when she asked to stay with us for a time once, I did mention that LDS standards apply in our home. 

She needed to not:
  • swear
  • drink alcohol
  • take meds in any way other than prescribed
  • do any kind of drugs
  • watch R rated movies
  • watch inappropriate television shows
  • view inappropriate things on the internet
  • or let her psycho BF know where we live
We do:
  • go to church
  • read scriptures
  • have Family Home Evening
  • have family prayers
  • pray before meals
I NEVER said SHE had to participate in any of the things we do, but she needed to be aware that is part of our home and not to interfere with those things. I honestly don't see where that is too much to ask.

I have dropped EVERYTHING to run to her aid when she's been afraid for her life from said psycho bf... also when she has attempted (on more than one occasion) to end it herself because of him... I have paid copays for emergency room, doctor visits and meds... Then I become the enemy!! Trying to SHOVE my religion down her throat and force her  to not interact with said psycho... She chooses HIS FAMILY and HIM over everyone who has loved her and tried to help her time and time again... 

So she calls on SATURDAY and needs me to take family pix for her. (She has 2 boys...) Then she says she has the girls...(That would be Psycho's girls that he doesn't have custody of... and psycho is in prison at the moment...) It was for HER! She wanted pictures with all of them. Mind you, this is the FIRST time she's CALLED me in a decade that it wasn't a life-crisis or needing help moving and NO ONE ELSE CAN HELP... She EVEN sounded like she was in a good mood. So I rearranged some things and said I'd do it.  (Now you need to also know that there have been times that she's said she NEEDS to come over for something or another and I WAIT... and WAIT... and CALL... no answer... and she just DOESN'T SHOW UP...) So they come... She says just one or two. I take them to a park where the background will be nicer... Then it turns into a full out SITTING. I NEVER SAID I'd have a whole sitting READY to PRINT immediately... 

Her boys were going to swim with my boys... OUR rule... and she agreed... If they swim, she has to be here to supervise them. 15 minutes into them in the pool she NEEDS to take the girls home but she'll be RIGHT BACK... Hubby has things to do... gone...  So I can't do ANYTHING ESLE because I have to play lifeguard at the pool... NOT the AGREEMENT... 2 HOURS LATER she returns and wants to look at the pix. Then she wants her by herself, her with all of them, her with the girls (3 different poses of those), her with the boys, her with EACH of them individually.... PLUS she doesn't like the way her shirt is cut above the other and thinks it makes her look fat... so I need to fix that...

I had already made it clear that I was still behind on 2 wedding shoots and a family shoot... *sigh* Forward to the NEXT DAY... FATHER'S DAY!!! We just got home from church, I'm getting dinner on the table... *ring*Ring* It's her! She's at psycho's mother's house and wants to show everybody the pictures and print some. I tell her we have kids coming with families probably before dinner is done and I don't have time right now. SHE is ANNOYED. "Well, everybody is HERE NOW! I want to show them and bring some to [Psycho]...   BINGO!!! NOW the TRUTH comes OUT!!! BS!!! I did these for HER... NOT for HIS FREAKING FATHER'S DAY and CERTAINLY NOT at the expense of my husband's Father's Day!!! I don't do WORK stuff on Sunday, ANYWAY!!! 

Later she called and I wasn't in the room where my cell was... but she also didn't leave a message... There were a couple times that happened in the next couple days. I figured if she won't even leave a message, I'll get to it as soon as I can and then she'll be happy... (BUT she refuses to BE HAPPY unless the world is revolving AROUND HER...) AND WOW!!! You know I did get a few OTHER things DONE... but I'm still far behind... I took time out of our family reunion time to get hers finished and uploaded. She has them ALL and none of the others waiting on me have theirs because I did hers first... This is a busy time and NOT just with photography! 

She does not EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE PHOTOS, or ME... say THANK YOU!!! NADA... ZIP!!! BS!!! I have my OWN MENTAL CRAP to deal with not to mention ACTUAL OBLIGATIONS of MY OWN... and she keeps SUCKING ME FURTHER DOWN into HER PIT!!! I'm SO EMOTIONALLY SPENT!! WHY  do I keep letting her DO THIS to me??

So I wasn't feeling well and AGAIN opted to come home to sleep from the reunion... My extended family surely sees me as a mega-FLAKE!! (Mind you, this reunion is hubby's mother's side of the family... this individual is my half sister... She could care less about FAMILY: MINE, HERS, OURS... It's ALL about HER... and the psycho that will eventually murder her, or drive her to do it herself... Yeah... she CARES about HIS FAMILY... How about THEY come rescue her from his clutches next time... pay her copays... sit for hours on end, even overnight in an ER... HELP HER MOVE... pay for meds... CARE ENOUGH to encourage her to DO THE THINGS SHE NEEDS TO TO GET in a BETTER PLACE???

If I later delete this it's because I get chicken and worry that she'll read it... not that any of it ISN'T TRUE... but because I really don't PURPOSELY TRY to hurt others feelings... BUT I NEED support in this and I honestly don't know WHERE to turn...  It's not likely she'd ever come here... WHY??? It's about MY LIFE... which doesn't MATTER!!  Others for support? NOT!! I get so many different stories from family members my head is swimming... So and so said ____ .... Well YOU told me______   I NEVER SAID THAT....  Tired of BS!!! I'm DONE!!   ...and nobody CARES...

Update Sunday, June 27. 2010 @ 5:51pm
I originally had unlocked the gallery so she could download the original files. The gallery had 3 visits, so I assumed she had gotten them. I removed the password to download... Well, she hadn't gotten them all... SO I finally got a phone call needing the password reinstated and a "Thank You"  WOW!! I wonder if she read this? There was a link from my fb page... Hmmm.... *scratching head*. So I guess I should feel better now, right? I'm trying...

I guess the creepy creepo is about to get his portraits. She also had her son snap one of her doing a sexy look for him... GAG!!! Whatever... WHY does she ALWAYS DEFEND HIM?? He has held a knife to her, held her prisoner, tried to choke the life out of her... But we just DON'T KNOW HOW SWEET he CAN be when he takes his meds the way he's SUPPOSED to!! HELLOOOOoooo.... He's OBVIOUSLY NOT RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH to DO THAT consistently ENOUGH for MY LIKING...  *sigh*


THANK YOU to my sweet friends that offered me support! Alexis & Penny... you're theBOMB.COM !!  =D  Check out the THANK YOU post above that has Celtic Womn "You Rasie Me UP" video... That's for YOU!!!  (((HUGS)))

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Short/Sweet Slideshow for Saturday!

Just thought I'd share... This is from a recent sitting.

I'm in the middle of a family reunion from my hubby's mother's side of the family this weekend. Today is the busiest of the days and here I am... being a DUD!! After 3 nights doing that silly sleep test and NOT getting much sleep... I opted out of camping tonight and just HAD to stop at Walmart... we REALLY shouldn't GO THERE... *sigh* I just needed to get a yard of white fabric for an apron and a few things for my chili tomorrow... YEAH!! They're were LOTS of things on SALE AND CLEARANCE!!! 3 HOURS later... and I won't say HOW MUCH... Here I AM and I couldn't help throwing you a small post... Hmmm... are my 30 days straight posting up yet?? LOL!! Yay or Nay; NO matter... you're getting this!!  ;p

NOW!!! MUST RELEASE MOUSE AND SLEEP!!!!.....     ZZZZzzzzzz......   ((HUGS))

Friday, June 25, 2010

RANDOM: Sleep Test, Family Reunion...

Sorry, Pageant post has to wait till I can find some more PICS!!  ;p

There's a LOT going on at the moment, so this one will be short.  ;D

Ever done a sleep test??? Well, I'm SUPPOSED to be on the 3rd night of one right now... However, I have to be hooked up to the dumb thing for 6 hours straight AND I have to get Matthew off to school. You see, hubby and Stitch boy are already camping for the reunion that goes till Sunday. So after so many hours of insomnia... I'm at the point where now I HAVE to stay up to get HIM OFF... THEN I'll have about 6 hrs where I'll hopefully crash and get the dumb thing DONE. I have a hard time sleeping with all that stuff attached to me and can't move and such... GRRRrr.... 

Family reunions!! Aren't they FUN??? Yes, I do mean that 2 ways... It's so GREAT to see everybody and do fun things together. Catching up and such!! However... Anyone else notice that sibling rivalry NEVER DIES??? AND hubby is always running around and so busy I frequently feel like an outsider. Don't have much of a niche where I feel right at home... I guess that's just ME, though... For the record, I AM bringing my pups!! I'll give you a follow up later!  =D   Pray that my Lorazepam is enough to get me through the anxiety moments... LOL!!

On another note, I have found a few of my childhood friends from Florida and I'm VERY excited to reconnect with them!! More on this in a later post... TOO!! Or as Shades of Blonde would say, "When I get  the time..."  LOL!!  So, I guess I'm in the same BOAT!!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writer's Workshop: My Children's Similarities to ME

To start, I'm just going to say that this is the shortened version and I'm OH SO SAD about it!! Only one person commented on the full version. I came back to the computer and checked the Link for the Writer's Workshop Button and it wasn't working. So I fixed it! But that's NOT ALL I DID... *sniff* My POST was GONE!!! All that was left WAS the comments. SO SAD!! So here's the summed up version, because I don't have ALL the time I put into it last night again. We have a reunion that will be occupying most of my time through the weekend, I'm WAY BEHIND on editing and I need to make my niece and apron. *sigh*

Mama's Losin' It

I chose Assignment #3!

What does your child do that reminds you most of yourself? How does it make you feel?

Yours, Mine, and Ours makes 10! Here's a shot of the 6 that did NOT come from MY genes. I see characteristics of both their mom and hubs in most all of them. The youngest two of them are the only ones I really had any kind of a parental influence on at all. The youngest was 12 and next up was 15. The rest were graduated from HS, attending college, and 2 had already begun their families.

So we will jump to the ones that actually got some of their GENES directly through ME!

We will call my first born COUNTRY GIRL, because she IS! She loves the outdoors and being in the country. She loves animals (especially dogs), hunting, camping and 4-wheeling... She is the MOST like me and has always had similar features to me, but prettier! Her dimples are deeper... Our coloring is similar, but she isn't quite as fair and doesn't burn as easily as I do.

We both loved to perform as we grew up: 
From the time I was little I loved to perform! I sang at a wedding by request when I was 4. (I was their flower girl.) I was in all types of school bands, I was a cheerleader in jr high, I danced, I twirled a baton as a majorette in high school, was in all the choirs, performed in musicals and plays, did child/teen modeling and was in a couple pageants. (THAT topic deserve a post of it's own... We'll go further into THAT TOMORROW!  LOL!)

She started out as a toddler with pageants and did that for a couple years. (Again, TOMORROW... LOL!) She tried choir, and although it was OK, she loved to DANCE MORE! This was her chosen medium to PERFORM!! THAT was HER THING!! She was in a competition team from elementary school on. In high school she was on the Dance Company. It was FUN going to these performances and watching her! It was almost like watching a little me out there, loving to do things that I did, but BETTER.

Now not everything she got from me is a positive. She always displayed some distracted and mood variances throughout. Never diagnosed, though... Some of that continues, but she functions very well and has found herself a nice cowboy that loves her the way she is, has patience and a sense of humor. She also has taken on more of my physical traits that developed in adulthood. I have a metabolic disease. I easily put weight on and it's hard to take it off. Well, it looks like she probably has it,too. Since getting out of school and not practicing with dance for hours every day of her life, she is taking on the rounder shape of her mother and she's not too happy about that. I was hoping she'd take the leaner genes of her father... but she's still adorable and I LOVE her!!  =D

~The BOYS!!! Short and SWEET!~ 

College Boy LOOKS and has some characteristics like his laugh and facial expressions more like his dad... (DUN dun dun... the EX). So at times it reminds me of the jerk... HOWEVER!! College Boy is SMART, SENSITIVE and has a GOOD HEART!!! Traits he could only have gotten from his MOMMA!! ME!!  ;p

STITCH Kid has the round shape before even getting to his teens. He is taller than me already (NOT a HARD thing...) but I worry about his girth starting so young! He's been in huskies and beyond since he was about 7. He also has ADD (maybe worse... to be determined when he's OLDER...) to the MAX!! He shows a tough exterior, but if someone is willing to give him enough of a chance, you'll find a tender hearted boy inside. So the mental difficulties I believe he has double barrel, but he gets the soft, gooey stuff inside from ME!! LOL!!

Hubby in 4th grade Silly Boy in 3rd grade... just sayin'!

SILLY Boy is SO MUCH like his dad (the hubs) it's comical!! He LOVES that!! I could do a whole POST on their similarities!! WHAT CAN I find that he gets from ME??? He DOES have a bit of a temper... which only COULD come from me, since his papa AIN'T GOT ONE!! His papa also HATES BUTTER!! So we TORTURE him by spreading butter on something, calling him, and saying, "MMMmmmm..." just to GROSS him out as we DOWN IT!! Come on... it's ALL I've GOT with this one!! LOL!!

So in the end, it's nice to see things that remind us of ourselves in our children in many situations... but there are some things we wish we hadn't passed along. *sigh*  If ONLY we could CHOOSE WHAT to PASS to THEM!! We love them and ONLY WANT the BEST for THEM!!   (((HUGS)))

Woohoo!! That's MY DESIGN!!

So I did this layout design for Sir Scrapalot Designs... It's for his Scrapping {YOU}niversity! The topic was "What did YOU want to be when you grew up?" That's as far as I got instruction on... but I guess he liked it enough to post it on his site.  ;D  We had to use one of his kits to design a layout on the topic provided. I used the ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT kit and it is AWESOME!! There were SO MANY things I could have done with it!! Included are: 18 Patterned Papers, 3 full alphas, a pack of 18 Solid Papers, and assorted elements
Click to see the actual POST!! If you'd like to keep up with his BLOG, be sure to FOLLOW him for all kinds of GREAT digital scrapping ideas!! 
Mind you, there may have been a time I wanted to BE this, but it was short lived... along with my SHORT stature!! Literally... I loved to sing, dance, perform however, WHATEVER!! So I had my short lived time in front of a camera and in the spotlight... now I hide BEHIND the camera and try to make others feel good about the image they take from a sitting with me.  =D  There's a lot less pressure being BEHIND the camera... My genetics just wouldn't have CUT IT in that field. I DID have the pix for doing that layout... so I ran with it!  (((HUGS)))

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Surf Dog Ricochet's Inspiring Story! Free Agency, Acceptance & Individuality

If you were touched by this story, you can learn more about Ricochet at Surf Dog Ricochet, Like her on her FB, and Follow her on Twitter.

I absolutely LOVE this!! For many reasons... First of all, it's quite a LESSON in LIFE!! One of acceptance, free agency and Individuality! We don't fit in molds... How BORING would life be if we were all the same?

Often we have a plan in our minds... that plan doesn't always TURN the way WE WANT it to. Are WE selfless enough to be flexible and allow others (that AREN'T playing into OUR PLANS...) BECOME ALL that THEY CAN be? Or do we hold on to the negativity that they REBELLED against us. Think about this... especially where perhaps those in our own families are concerned. Perhaps there are children that didn't make the choices WE would have had them make... Do we encourage them in the paths THEY CHOOSE (OK... that are not DESTRUCTIVE that is...), or do we turn our back on them because they didn't do the things WE wanted them to?

I see a little of me.. My hubby does not try to MAKE me be the "Model Super MOM/Domestic GODDESS" that I am NOT... He steps back and watches... encourages when I actually go in a direction... (which frequently changes without notice, I might add...) Loves me in spite of not being the ideal WIFE (like his first... yadda yadda yadda)... There are those that resent me for NOT being those things... They are not the ones I turn to for my support and I am LUCKY to have a husband with patience and understanding in my short-comings. Yet, just as Ricochet found a GREAT purpose to fulfill, there ARE things that I AM good at and can help others with... and that I honestly DO TRY to DO...

If you KNOW me, you KNOW I LOVE dogs and I firmly believe they are so much MORE than most HUMANS give them credit for (with the proper training and care).

I know my Jazzi does more for me than anyone realizes!! She helps me cope when I am overwhelmed. She has a 6th sense and is in tune with my emotions. When I am down, she will not leave my side. She is very loving and more sympathetic than the human nature of the human-kind... LOL!! Don't take that wrong, I'm NOT that whacked... Just sayin'... Humans have lives to attend to and it's as if I AM her JOB! Her job being to help me be HAPPY! Haha!! She's pretty good at it, too! AND she ENJOYS it!! She has a calming effect on me when my anxiety rises... If you ALL could be so lucky!! ;p  Now Jake is awesome, but College Boy is HIS job and he is old and having a hard time with College Boy not living at home anymore...  :`(          ~ (((HUGS)))

Jazzi is by my head... 
the other is Jake...  

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Follow Me Back Tuesday!


First off, FOLLOW ME (Thanks you!!) and I PROMISE to FOLLOW you BACK!! (Unless your blog is something inappropriate to view with my children or hubby by my side... ;p  LOL!!)
THEN click on the picture above or HERE to link up directly to THAT post, and meet MANY NEW blog friends!! =D


I have to say I was so HAPPY when I took hubby his lunch and went to vote in the primaries. They ACTUALLY ASKED me for ID and while LOOKING at that ID asked me to verify my address!!! YAY!! We're making a little PROGRESS!! *sigh* That has always IRKED me in the past. Hubby frequently works as an election judge and in the past they were NOT ALLOWED to ask for ID! HOW WARPED is THAT... That was the invitation for fraud... VOTE EARLY, VOTE OFTEN... Use different names of  deceased individuals or ones that moved, at different polling stations... If you THINK that DIDN'T HAPPEN, Pull your head out of the sand.  At ANY RATE, I am SO GLAD for this move in the right direction!!

OK, I will not TELL ANYONE how to VOTE, but if you DON'T VOTE, you have no right to complain about what goes on in politics. Things are getting UGLY and we are losing representation of the PEOPLE because of the APATHY!! People figure their vote does NOT count and don't go. I can see where people feel that way, at times. But HEY!! When there are SO MANY that feel that way, it adds up to A LOT and leaves more room for the frauds to manipulate things. I'm not saying you can't complain if the person you voted for starts screwing up... but don't complain if YOU REFUSE to DO your part! You HAVE to VOTE!!

Primaries MATTER!! If the BEST person for the job doesn't make it to the end ballot because people didn't VOTE in the primaries, then you will NOT get the best person IN the POSITION!!

I am also a firm believer in ONLY making an educated vote. You CAN cast a ballot without voting for everything that is put before you!! If you are not familiar with the race and what each person stands for... as in WHO represents what YOU want to see HAPPEN, do NOT cast a vote in THAT section!! DON'T cast your vote by who has the most signs out or sounds more familiar!! This is NOT a POPULARITY contest. These people are SUPPOSED to REPRESENT the PEOPLE! I could care LESS who has more charm and charisma, is better looking, has the most money to advertise more (or BASH MORE as is frequently the case...), who has the BIGGER FAMILY NAME, etc... KNOW what they STAND FOR and KNOW that is what YOU stand for! Same thing with the ISSUES... If you do NOT understand it, LEAVE that section BLANK!! PLEASE!! For the sake of those that work so hard to pass or fight an issue for the GOOD, if you just vote a way because someone TOLD you to, without KNOWING what it stands for and the effect on the community and individuals involved, SKIP that PART. It all is fine and dandy to say YES, it might be NICE to give X project $$$ for _____... But then consider WHERE that money will come from, IS that money THERE? Just as you have to should prioritize your home budget, there HAS to be BALANCE. REMEMBER, money DOESN'T grow on the trees... 

Some may read this and think, "Gee, this crazy person is telling me to VOTE, then tells me NOT to VOTE... WTH???" I am NOT! I am saying VOTE! But do it INTELLIGENTLY! USE your BRAIN in the process. VOTE on the things you can make an EDUCATED VOTE on. Leave blank the things you are clueless of! 

When an elected official does a poor job in office, you often feel powerless. 
DO what you CAN!! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful!! Amazing dancer... Love Story Meets Viva La Vida

OK, AFTER tonight I'll lay off the Jon Schmidt bit for a while... At least until I go to the Sandy Amphitheater concert with my 11 yr old!! LOL!! We are GOING and we WILL be in the RESERVED SEATS!! YAY!! And YES, I WILL have my camera! HOW did you GUESS?? (Oh... you're getting to know me a bit... eh?)  ;p

Well, since I'm TOTALLY busy working on some other projects, I wanted to share this clip that I COULD embed of Love Story Meets Viva La Vida!! This is a MASH-UP Jon Schmidt did of Taylor Swift's Love Story and Cold Play's Viva La Vida. Whoever put this video together did a BANG UP JOB!! (My college boy is majoring in Film Production... I could SO SEE HIM doing things SO AWESOME!!)  And the dancer is INCREDIBLE, too!!

Hope you ENJOY it!! (((HUGS)))

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Change of plans... Haven't had time to narrow and edit pix... Got busy... Sorry!   :`(    I had planned on posting more on the spiritual side of the Manti experience today, but I was busy ALL day. Sorry. I will have to reschedule that at a later time. There's so much going on at the moment and I'm feeling pulled in many directions. This was just one of those things that COULD wait. HUBBY came first today... seeing how it was HIS day... Father's Day!  ;D  And many of the kids and grandkids were here. So bear with me and I'll post it soon.
So, a while back I featured Jon Schmidt and said I would share a few of my favorites. Well, THAT I will do NOW!  =D  The following clip gives you a little taste of what one of his concerts is like and features some of my favorites. Waterfall and All of Me. It shows how personable he is and FUN!! He makes the piano FUN!! He inspired my 11 yr old to want to learn to play! He has already composed a song and hopes to do more as his skills progress. I'll have to download him at his recital and make a post out of it.  ;D  EXHILARATING!!

He is an incredible performer, inspirational and down to earth! Here he is introducing his newest album Bonus Tracks (which my boys bought me for Mother's Day this year... YAY!) He has put ALL of the songs on a YouTube Playlist that can be listened to anytime for FREE!! What a GUY!!

If this doesn't inspire you to want to see him in concert or get some of his albums (I have them ALL)... Then how about some of his FUN antics?? Here he is racing the Root beer Rag

Here he is playing DUMB SONG, his spoof of the BUMBLE BEE TUNA commercial that he wrote when he was 15:

I couldn't find the one where he plays upside down on the bench... I think it briefly shows it in that first clip, though.

THEN there are his MASH-UPS!! Pachelbel Meets U2, Love Story Meets Viva la Vida (Shown below and WELL worth the LISTEN!!) and Love Story Meets Love Story are ALL AWESOME!!

This one has to be my favorite, I think!! AMAZING!!!  =D Hope you enjoy it and let me know what YOU think!!    (Apparently this one wouldn't let it be embedded and will open it in YouTube in another window. It's WORTH it!! TRUST ME!!! DO IT!!)

You can go to his website to download MP3s, sheet music, order CDs, books, etc... You can find playlists he's created for any mood or occasion! You can even EMBED them on your blog or site! You'll also see scheduled events of when he may be playing in your area. I took my boys to the Sandy Amphitheater last year. It was a BEAUTIFUL setting with the sunset and all... HOWEVER, I recommend you get the RESERVED SEATS!! We didn't and were so far up and to the side on the grass we could hardly see or hear him... and his antics on stage and GREAT personality are a major part of the show. Kids were playing and rolling on the hill, people talking loudly... It was like we were at the fair and he was a background performer. We were sad... So IF we do THAT ONE again, we WILL have reserved SEATS up close and PERSONAL!! We also LOVE to go to the Wolf Mountain Performance! I'm thinking of taking my 11 yr old to Thanksgiving Point this year, too.

They also always have a table set up where you can buy his CDs and music books! He will even sign them if you like and let you snap a quick picture!!

And you GOTTA' LOVE the notes he puts throughout the sheet music! LOL!

LOL! This was 2 years ago at Wolf Mountain!  ;D

Hope you've enjoyed this more in depth into what I LOVE about this artist!!
PLEASE comment and let me know what YOU think!! (((HUGS)))

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sorry about the BEAST and Happy Father's Day!

Head start for tomorrow... Father's Day!

Did you read the post on what a BEAST I was yesterday??? Well... I also acknowledged that I wasn't so nice to my sweetie, either... *sigh* I have to back up a step. So read how awful I was FIRST, then continue here...

My PLAN WAS to go around the temple and get some beautiful shots of it... But by the time we were done with all the family shots, I just didn't have it in me anymore... Yes, he had changed the lens on the other camera... and occasionally disappeared... NOW let me SHOW YOU what he DID at those time WITH that camera!!

I LOVE HIM!!  *sigh*

The song I attached is so appropriate for days like yesterday... ME being a BEAST and all... so I dedicate it to HIM! His patience is amazing and I don't know what I'd do without HIM! This is by Mindy Gledhill from her Feather in the Wind Album that ROCKS!!

Hubby with some of the Grandkids! 
(OK, so this pic is from 2 years ago... SO WHAT? NOW there's a POOL in that spot! YEEHAW!)
OK, so I have to shout a tribute to my POPS!!
POPS is the first decent father figure I've had! My dad left my mom for a different lifestyle when I was one. Although I loved him dearly, he wasn't really THERE for me throughout my life and across the nation... He kept in touch with my older sister and brother before me. He would just tell my sister to tell me he said HI.  :`(
MOM had some pretty rocky relationships and seemed to be a magnet for abusive/whacked overgrown boys... Well, when I was 26, FINALLY my mother found a GOOD ONE and she and POPS were united!! I hope he knows how much he means to me! I wish I could take away his ailing health and make him all better... and keep him around longer!! 
Happy Father's Day Hubby and POP!! ;o)

Friday, June 18, 2010


Hmmm... Today was a wacky day... Kind of a roller-coaster. Do you REALLY want my REAL thoughts?? In person I tone it down. A LOT!! I'm really quite a BEAST at times!! I had my moments but STILL exercised GREAT RESTRAINT! 

I tried, but could NOT sleep last night. AT ALL...Racing mind mania... Guess that's nothing NEW... 

We had to hit the road by 5:45am to be at the Manti Temple for the 9am sealing of my niece and her family. YAY!! We've been WAITING for this day!! Sounds like the START of a BEAUTIFUL DAY, right? It was... TRUST ME!! We made good time getting down there. She WANTED us all in white, so we changed. The temple is a beautiful and peaceful place. I will go into how SPECIAL this was on Sunday, because it TOTALLY WAS!!  =D

THEN we go out to do the family portraits. She had ASKED me to do this. Part of the reason I came even though I had sick boys at home (just a cold... I'm not THAT bad...) and hadn't slept... I had brought my equipment, 2 cameras with different lenses attached... yadda... yadda... yadda... Hubby was going to change and go get the equipment and meet me outside because he's SO FAST and me... NOT so much. The place I WANTED to do them was unavailable because they had everything set up for the Mormon Miracle Pageant. (An AWESOME event if you've never been... but it WAS inconvenient to ME at the MOMENT... *sigh*) So... had to consider other spots. Mind you, there were 6 kids, the oldest 10 and the youngest an infant whose nap time was rapidly approaching. WHERE was the HUBS??? Maybe at the car getting the equipment still??? How was I to KNOW for sure... Give it 10 MORE minutes of waiting and he comes OUT of the temple... ??? He had been chit chatting about his latest book with the temple president... *sigh* But he RUNS fast... gotta' love'im...

We have to go down and up stairs to get to a grassy hill to the northeast of the temple. I am NOT wearing hiking shoes... Dresses, dress shoes and photography are not always a GOOD combination... I can feel my arches starting to scream for attention already... 

I just have to say that THIS is where the frustration really starts... You have a family with many little children... GETTING THE SHOT is a challenge without ANY HELP from outsiders... Or I guess in this case INSIDERS... Seeing as how the kids KNOW the GRANDMA better than ME!! So as she is OFF to the side with her camera trying to pose them, making sounds, calling names, etc... I just let her for a bit, THINKING that then she'll give me MY turn... AFTER The kids are TIRED of the whole process... I could just pack it in, grandma has it covered. (This would be niece's hubby's mother, NOT my sis...) So after a bit I just said "OK, I need all eyes over here. If you're done for a minute, I get half of the eyes over there and some here. It doesn't work." She seems put out. (In all honesty, there were moments of the others -including G-ma- being very helpful and I can see the beast in me bubbling out... So REMEMBER my LATER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT as I continue my pathetic rambling...)

Yeah... THESE will NOT be among the faves... *sigh*

The people in our way in another spot moved, so we did too. The family and kids had to walk down a hill and we had to drive around below a wall to where I was to shoot. Had more cooperation here. Then, again, there were other kids at the top of the hill that just kept running around behind them, so I'll have to EDIT them OUT!! The sun was blazing and there were more shots than I'd planned. It was hard to see what was coming out due to how bright it was outside. HAD to use flash fill to see their faces at all. WRONG time of day for outdoor full sun shots. GAH! In spite of my 15SPF moisturizer, I was getting burned. I appreciated G_ coming down to try to get the kids to focus in my direction. Feet DYING by this time... Kids are REALLY getting tired of this...

Niece wants more up close to the temple by the door on the West side... so we drive back up. When hubby informs me I'm a little HARSH..." *sigh* What am I supposed to DO?? Can't take the shoes anymore and just take them OFF. Get to where they are and G-ma is posing and clicking again. I just wait for a bit. When I go to start, she continues, so I stop again. Her to me, "You do your thing and I'll do mine." Me, "I can be done if you just want to take this. I can go." Niece, "No! Ok everybody look at Aunt Holly now... I'm hot and can feel my skin toasting. My feet are killing. My head is now splitting. The kids DON'T want to play anymore. AND I'm the BEAST! She's coming out... AND now I get to try to get 6 kids to look at me and SMILE after how long in the hot sun? We finish and I did get some shots. I'll include some good shots on Sunday's post. 

NOW WHAT?? I had REALLY WANTED to go around and take all kinds of beautiful shots of the temple from different angles and such... I knew hubs had taken a few... *sigh* I just COULDN'T DO IT... Also, the idea of all going to lunch had been brought up earlier. Sis didn't know if there was a definite plan, she was going to round them up and figure it out. Right then it just hit me... I just want to go home... The temple was a beautiful experience, I'm glad I went. The after part... not so much. I was exhausted, hungry, and in pain. I hope she wasn't offended and I REALLY wish I'd said BYE to some of the others... but I just HAD to GO... I hope she (& they) understands. 

I DO ACKNOWLEDGE that my beast side came out towards the hubs, too... Being annoyed about not having the equipment right away, changing a lens on my other camera, etc... I don't know HOW he puts up with me...  (What would I DO w/o HIM?? *sniff*)  SO GLAD HE was driving!! We grabbed Arby's at the drive-thru and WENT on our way... We got home; one boy was feeling fine and the other was doing much better. I CRASHED for a few hours. Such was my roller-coaster day of high and low. I'm just grateful it wasn't the EXTREME RIDE!  ;p


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Just Call Me Gracie!!

UGH!!! Does anyone ELSE have 2 left feet... and at the most embarrassing moments??? Yeah... THAT would be MY DEPARTMENT!!! I am ALWAYS doing embarrassing things!! TONIGHT was a MEGA PREPPING for TREK night! For those of you unfamiliar with what TREK is, I'll do a whole OTHER post on that SOON!!  ;p  We were doing a Dutch Oven training with the Mas & Pas then a Committee Chair Meeting. Our time spanned from 5:30pm-10:30pm. YAWN!!

So here I am helping a few with a Dutch Oven Cobbler (YUMMY!) and one asks me for a paper towel. I turn to go get one and...  BAM!  I am ON the CEMENT!! Of COURSE EVERY ONE SAW!!! Oh!! EXCEPT MY husband... who was clueless as to why my ankle hurt and every one kept asking if I was OK... *sigh*  YES... I'm OK... but my ankle is sore... and I skinned my KNEE... like a THREE yr old!! Hmmm... yeah, my pride has been knocked down a few more notches... 

Then one of the ladies on the committee needed to leave and told me... Later hubby was introducing the committee... As he was going through the light bulb goes off in my scattered BRAIN and I say OH!! So & so had to leave... "Yeah! I covered that..." GEE!! WHERE was I??? GAH!! LaLa Land, I guess... I know it's no big deal and probably no one else was even phased, but I felt STUPID and embarrassed AGAIN... but that's just ME!! Scatter-brained GRACIE!!!

So if you want to get TMI about our PRETREK... WORD OF WARNING: Pay ATTENTION to if there are ANY WET SPOTS on the FLOOR in a Port-a-Potty!!! If you're a gal and you DROP your BLOOMERS... They WILL be WET when you PULL them BACK UP!!  UGH!!!  Luckily we had BABY WIPES in the truck... but I had to wash out my BLOOMERS and hang them in the truck to dry... (Didn't want to ADVERTISE I wasn't WEARING THEM!!) Well... there was a LOT of moisture that night, so I was wearing DAMP bloomers the next day, but at least they were CLEAN!!! *sigh* NEEDLESS to say, I will be bringing EXTRAS of EVERYTHING to the REAL Trek and I WILL pay attention to the floors of EVERY Port-o-Potty I ever go in AGAIN in my LIFE!!

*The photo is OBVIOUSLY NOT MINE!  ;p

So, I guess our committee gets to work with George and Gracie for the Trek!! He's the short, funny guy (w/o the cigar, though...) that pulls it all together, & I'm the scatter-brained KLUTZ by his side!!

Now as far as the KLUTZ thing goes, this is NOT an unusual occurrence. Hubby and I can just go for a WALK around the BLOCK and I will go DOWN once... or MORE... So since I don't do well WALKING... I guess that's why I'm COOKING!! Thank HEAVEN for SMALL miracles. (OK, and I'd probably die of a heart attack, too. just going up 3 flights of stairs at once about does me IN!) *sigh*

"Say Goodnight, Gracie."
"Good night."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

CBC'10 Swag Bag Giveaway from MMB

Mormon Mommy Blog / CBC'10 Swag Bag Giveaway
YOU can enter to WIN EVEN if you didn't GO to the CONFERENCE!!
You have until Sunday, June 20 at 11:59pm MST to enter!! There are 7 opportunities.

Now, mind you, I DID pay for and GO to the conference, but MY SWAG BAG was NOT as special as the one they're giving away!! So go check it out and ENTER!  =D

FED UP with this BORDER CRAP!!

I try not to get controversial and such here, but I can't hold back today, so I won't. I am SO SICK of our current do NOTHING in SUPPORT of our OWN COUNTRY government!!! I just may be speaking up more about it all, because this is MY COUNTRY and it matters to ME! If you choose to stick your head in the sand and pretend that this politically correct crap is good for our NATION... I whole heartedly DISAGREE! I am NOT a racist for saying so, either!! I love my brothers and sisters of ALL NATIONS!! They are ALL WELCOME... IF they come here LEGALLY!! Any OTHER way is a CRIME! PERIOD!!

VOTE EVERYONE OUT that isn't willing to OPENLY take a STAND for OUR RIGHTS!! *sigh*

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sharing my 2008 Nature Photos in Hawaii!

This post is in honor of the 5th Annual Nature Photography Day!! I was not able to get out and SHOOT today, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite nature shots I took a couple years ago when we went to Hawaii!! I fell in love with plumerias and orchids while we were there!! I would also LOVE to go do a whole week on Kauai!! 6 of the following shots were on Kauai! The orchids were shot in Hilo at an orchid farm. The others were shot on Maui. Even with it raining and overcast the whole time, it was BEAUTIFUL EVERYWHERE we went!! 

Hope you ENJOY!! Let me know your thoughts!  =D

*All images copyrighted by Holly Jackson
Please do not use my images without permission. Thanks!  ;D

NaPali Coast, Kauai
Beach on Kauai
Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Taken on Kauai

Orchid Farm in Hilo, Hawaii
Orchid Farm in Hilo, Hawaii
Orchid Farm in Hilo, Hawaii
Orchid Farm in Hilo, Hawaii

Orchid Farm in Hilo, Hawaii
Iao Needle, Maui
Near Iao Needle, Maui

Near Iao Needle, Maui
Near the BIG OLD BANYON Tree in Maui
A resort in Maui
I think this flower was shot in Kona, Hawaii
Hmmm... this was a beach either on Maui or Kauai. LOL!
The wild roosters were EVERYWHERE and VERY colorful!!

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