November 30, 2004

Busy Busy Busy

That high school speech class is coming in handy as I "cut" a book, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, for a reader's theatre to be performed by our junior and senior high girls for the ladies Mug & Muffin at our church this week.

Each woman brings a Christmas mug cleaned and wrapped to exchange with another woman. We will then consume delicious quantities of muffins and coffees, teas, hot chocolates, and candies. We will be singing carols, listening to the young ladies perform, and forging friendships; all the things that women of any congregation enjoy.

The book is one of my favorites. Years ago, I made a goal of purchasing at least 24 picture books about Christmas so that I could read, as well as our Advent devotion, a new story each night to our girls. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey has become an endeared favorite of our home. It's message is simple, without preaching, and causes pause for reflection and thanks for all the goodness with which we are truly blessed.

I have been asked to sing a song, as well. Heirlooms by
Amy Grant is a lovely and sweet song that incorporates the memories of family with the memory of the gift of Christ. I think it will be a perfect fit for the evening.

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Rae at 01:49 PM | Comments (3)
» links with: What A Wonderful Idea!

Top Ten Reasons for Driving Across Country Instead of Flying

10) Nothing like white-knuckling it through Utah and Colorado; in fact, an excellent cardio workout.
9) Junk food fest: Cheetos, Swedish Fish (Blech! The choice of my fellow passengers ), Hostess Cupcakes, Gummy worms, Nerds, Tic Tacs, Red Bull (wretching- that stuff was disgusting! liquid sweet tarts is not appealing...) Diet Dr. Pepper, thick gas station coffee.
8)Family sing alongs without all those dirty looks from airline passengers.
7)Good music as loud as you want it without, well, see #8.
6)Laughing with R at 3 a.m. in eastern CO.
5)Laughing with the girls at 11 a.m. in eastern Kansas.
4)Layovers where, when, and however long you choose.
3)You can complain directly to the pilot while weilding a nail file and not find a police escort waiting at the next Amoco. (Laugh people).
2)I take off my shoes when I want to take off my shoes.
1)Family togetherness at half the cost.

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Blogosphere Bling Bling

As usual, I am the last to know, but Right Wing Sparkle is all that shines.

And as I am part crow and am drawn to shiny, pretty things, I have added this twinkling, chic, mom-of-four to the Ladies of the 'Sphere.

H/T: Patrick :D

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Rae at 12:32 PM | Comments (4)
» The LLama Butchers links with: If it's good enough for Rae...

November 25, 2004

Thanks and Thanksgiving

For what are you thankful?

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November 24, 2004

Tell It Like It Is

I found out what the Marines wrote on the bridge. You can read it here.

Thanks for posting it, guys, and you can link my blog anytime.

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The Jackpot

You know my children are very deprived. This week they have been feasting on white bread, sugary cereal, and computer games. Who needs the lottery when you have IronKids®, Fruit Loops®, and Barbie®?

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South of the Border

Oh my! That sounds a litle too spicy for me.

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Nice little find

What a nifty little site, The Absurd Report. Thanks for linking Lt. Col. Bellon's letter.

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Photos of Lt. Col. Bellon

Lt.Col. Bellonn in Fallujah 3.bmp
Lt. Col. Bellon on the left.

Lt.Col.Bellon in Fallujah.bmp
Lt. Col. Bellon in the center on "The Bridge."

LT.Col.Bellon in Fallujah 2.bmp
Lt. Co. Bellon center.

They can be seen on The Green Side, as well.

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El Fin

Many in the 'sphere have been concerned for Kris. I commented for her on the last post. She is alive and well, but has decided to leave the 'sphere for awhile. Should she again decide to take up blogging, I will let people know her new link information by posting it here. She thanks everyone for their thoughtful concern and sends her best wishes.

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The Cure

To the desperate Google searcher, while I confess to occasionally doing so, I can offer no relief.

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Gimme A Break

Once upon a time there was a little rich girl. When she grew up she decided to go to the University of Southern California. But when she got there, her brainbox was bare, and so she paid Elena Martinez $20,000 to write all her papers, e-mail professors, and earn A's and B's for her.

Excuse me, but why is it that The Rich Girl is any worse than The Cheatee? Isn't taking the $20,000 and actually posing as someone else just as bad as asking and paying someone to do it? Elena Martinez is painted as the poor woman who couldn't afford to stay at USC and so moved home to go to the smaller college and work her way through- yeah, that $20,000 probably made it far more affordable.

Both are wrong, but leave it to the media to make The Rich Girl look all the worse and exonerate the other because she, having less money, couldn't resist the temptation to cheat for another human being's education. And, after all, she did her own work while cheating for The Rich Girl.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Columbia and students of the University of Missouri are a bit relieved to have found a way out of having the new sports arena named after a 22 year-old girl who didn't even attend the university in the town in which she grew-up. Present company included.

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November 23, 2004

To the Place I Belong

1)The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (The St. Louis Arch and The Old Court House). Having read Sacajawea, written by Joseph Bruchac, a wonderful children's author and storyteller of Native American literature such as Squanto and Children of the Longhouse, we were able to fill in the precious details that the National Geographic film left out. (An aside, I highly recommend any of his books). A read The Captain's Dog last year and enjoyed seeing the portrayal of Capt. Lewis' faithful Newfoundland.
2)Picking up beautiful Sweet Gum and Maple leaves for leaf rubbings.
3)Farotto's St. Louis style pizza-mmmmmmm.
4)Watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with E and mother-in-law- simply enchanting ;).

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November 22, 2004

Take Me Home Country Road

1)Lion's Choice.
3)Grass that is still green.
4)Decidous trees in great number whose leaves actually have color.
5)Daylight Donuts.
6)My mother-in-law's cooking- wonderful comfort food.
7)Family and friends who are truly delighted in seeing you.

P.S. I found my coat. :D :D :D

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November 21, 2004

The Real News

New from Lt. Col. Bellon. The real news of Fallujah.

Dear Dad -

Just came out of the city and I honestly do not know where to start. I am afraid that whatever I send you will not do sufficient honor to the men who fought and took Fallujah.

Shortly before the attack, Task Force Fallujah was built. It consisted of Regimental Combat Team 1 built around 1st Marine Regiment and Regimental Combat Team 7 built around 7th Marine Regiment. Each Regiment consisted of two Marine Rifle Battalions reinforced and one Army mechanized infantry battalion.

Read more The Real News »

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Rae at 12:08 AM | Comments (11)
» The Politburo Diktat links with: A Marine Emails from Falluja
» white pebble links with: Stories of heroes
» The LLama Butchers links with: New From Fallujah
» INDC Journal links with: More of the Fight in Fallujah
» links with: Eye Witness To The Assault (Farrah)
» links with: The Real News from Fallujah: A soldier's report
» The Mulatto Advocate links with: What you won't hear in the news
» Carnivorous Conservative links with: Some Real News
» links with: If Only I Had Been Reading This Week
» King of Fools links with: Fallujah Story
» A Likely Story links with: Tell It Like It Is

November 19, 2004


My good friend, Amy, formerly of Jo's Jaunts, has a new abode: Momma of Three. Now, we all recall starting our blog and the thrill of a received comment. So be nice and say something kind and friendly :D

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Holiday (can't you just hear Madge now?)

We are heading out on holiday this weekend. But, fortunately, I won't have to stop strangers, nor hang my immune system on the line by visiting the public library of St. Louis in search of a computer. No sir, I will be able to blog and surf all I want.

So, will pop back in Sunday night late or Monday.

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Rae at 10:04 AM | Comments (10)
» The LLama Butchers links with: The Second Season of the LLamas begins!

November 17, 2004

Please Pass the Pump

To the person using MSN to search for "hand sanitizer tolerance"- I tolerate it very well, and actually prefer that people use it.

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Rae at 07:39 PM | Comments (6) | Search Engine Cracks
» The LLama Butchers links with: You go girl!

November 16, 2004

Two Jerks and a Baby; One Man and a Lady

The surname my biological father bestowed upon me was packed neatly away when my mother finally married David. It was attached to my school records and files at the beginning of one school year, with promises of documentation to be produced later. Somewhere in the shuffle of report cards and testings, the demand for proof ceased and I had finally, without the blessing of the state of Oklahoma, changed my name.

It wasn't until I was living in Missouri in the middle of my junior year of high school, that I sought the permission of the county judge for the last remnants of Jack's empty and faceless heritage to be removed from me. I felt like I was in a state of appellation limbo, not really Jack's and definitely not David's. The name change was merely an outward formality of conforming. I had to have a last name. I simply went with the one with which everyone was already familiar. At 16, the more "normal" one is to her peers, the less grief to be endured. I wanted no questions.

Though I bore the names of two men, both poor paternal poseurs, neither had any claim to me, to my heart, to be called "daddy" by my voice, to be the first man treasured in my soul. I sometimes find it ironic that I had to be married to actually bear the name of a man and a family who loved me and desired me for their own. No longer was I symbolically beleagured to my oppressor or simply the result of a divorce settlement.

I love my married name. I love the way it flows smoothly off the tongue. It is regal, beautiful, dignified. It says to those who know it: hard work, sacrifice, dependability, trust, character, integrity. But most of all, I love the man whom it represents.

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Rae at 02:41 PM | Comments (18) | A Fine Memory
» Marriages Restored links with: What's In A Name

November 13, 2004

From an e-mail to R,

From an e-mail to R, we found out that Lt.Col. Bellon was briefly on a CBS news clip. (Windows Media or Real Player required to view).

Please remember to pray not only for the Marines, but for the families whose hearts are anxious and nights are sleepless.

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I am not surprised

You are King Arthur of the Britons! You let no-one stand in your way, you are brave and strong! Keep searching, you'll find the grail yet!
You are King Arthur of the Britons! You let no-one
stand in your way, you are brave and strong!
Keep searching, you'll find the grail yet!

Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character are you REALLY?
brought to you by Quizilla

How ironic, as R and I watched The Holy Grail just this past week. It was the official introduction to E (although we did skip Sir Lancelot's journey). While watching she was able to recognize where her very funny father had gotten some of his most famous moves. He tells of having to endure long drives from D.C.'s "8th and I" Barracks back home and entertaining himself by making unusual faces in the mirror at himself and then to passers-by. Needless to say, E loved it. We are so proud.

H/t: HRM via Beth.

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November 12, 2004


I guess you could say I am finally "on the map."

Thank you, Commissar :D

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Fools Rush In

To the person who used a search engine looking for "Fools think in absolutes"- you've absolutely found the correct site.

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Rae at 04:47 PM | Comments (2) | Search Engine Cracks
» The LLama Butchers links with: Fools may think in absolutes...

November 11, 2004

More than I Can Say

Somehow "Happy Veteran's Day" just doesn't seem a cohesive and properly dictated phrase. "Thank a Veteran Day" seems far more profitable.

Thank you for dying that I might live. Thank you for believing in freedom and justice for all, whether on American soil or abroad, that I might live in peace, prosperity, and without fear for my life or liberty. Thank you for bravely bearing the atrocities of war throughout your lives that I might be free from the horrors of such things.

May your sleep be blessed and peaceful. May your heart be relieved of survivor's guilt. May you one day again see the face of your commrades and hear it said, "Well done." May I savor every meal, a comfortable bed and sleep, a vigorous stroll, and every breath while remembering that you went without food, without sleep or slept in the rain and mud of a foxhole, lost limbs, and sacrificed your very life that I might enjoy even these simple things and see the beauty in them.

Please take the time to look into the eyes, shake the hand of, and sincerely thank someone who served this great country with his or her life that we might live, indeed.

Thank you, Votaw (WWII Army Veteran and survivor of the Bataan Death March).
Thank you, Ralph (Korean Army Veteran and National Guardsman).
Thank you, R (Marine Veteran of Operation Desert Storm and former Body Bearer burying with honor those who honorably served).
Thank you, Mom (Army Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom).

Thank you, Marines.
Thank you, Soldiers.
Thank you, Sailors.
Thank you, Airmen.
Thank you, Guardsmen (Army and Air).
Thank you, Coast Guard.

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Rae at 12:49 PM | Comments (6) | It's about them (our brave military)
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Comrade Rae

November 10, 2004

The Few, The Proud

Happy 229th Birthday, United States Marine Corps.

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job--
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;

If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

(Interesting history of the hymn).

There are many things that make me proud to know R, to be his wife and an intimate part of his life, but in the top five is he served this country with his life as a Marine. To this day he is a committed and knowledgeable man and being a part of the USMC contributed to that development. Tonight he will call his commrades, catch-up, and wish his brothers many happy returns of the day, in the field, and throughout life as a United States Marine. "Once a Marine, Always a Marine."

Update: Found the letter from the Commandant of the Marine Corps to the Marines via Deb.

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Do A Little Dance...

Randy is celebrating his blogiversary! Happy Day, Randy :D

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November 09, 2004

When the dog bites, when the bee stings

I simply remember my favorite things:

3)Frightfully hot bath water.
4)Hot creamy coffee.
5)Late night conversations with friends.
6)Being warm under the covers while the air around me is chilly.
7)A real letter in the real mail.
8))Films: Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, The Sound of Music, Old Live-Action Disney (Swiss Family Robinson, The Parent Trap, Pollyanna, etc), The Sand Lot
9)Girl Meets God, Shopaholic series, The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows, anything by Roald Dahl
10)Cold White Zin.
11)Hot white tea.
12)Pinot Noir
13)My down comforter
14)Chopin, Norah, Keith Jarrett (please listen to the samples), Diana Krall, Renée Fleming, Bob Seger, Jackson Browne, Beethoven, Bach, Handel
15)Chocolate labs
16)Sam, the blue-mackeral-tabby-sycophant-cat
17)The smell of a camp fire; the taste of s'mores
18)My mother's home.
19)OPI colors Cajun Shrimp, Cotton Candy, Massachussets Mulberry, and Chapel of Love
20)Guacamole, Tortilla Chips, and ice-cold beer
21)My cheesecake and fresh raspberries
22)The smell of rain on hot cement in the summer.

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Rae at 12:10 PM | Comments (12)
» The LLama Butchers links with: How bout a little midday Julie Andrews fix?

November 08, 2004

My Life

Interesting, I think it had something to do with the last question on the quiz. Which I confess to altering a bit after I got the first results. i just don't see my life as rated "R." But apparently, that is up to interpretation.

Via Randy.

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November 06, 2004

Many Thanks

I can't thank Steve and Robert enough for linking Lt. Col. Bellon's letter. Due to Bill at INDC reading their blog, he linked it also, and now at least 450 people have come to read his letter of truth, written with such passion and urgency, for themselves.

And, as always, the ever-faithful King of Fools, deserves credit for consistently linking Dave's letters. Blackfive consistently links to Dave's letters, too. And I definitely appreciate his admonition while linking this one, as well.

Newcomer to me, Random Nuclear Strikes, also found post room to link Dave's letter. Thank you, as well.

Also, thanks to "Applesweet" who hyperlinked the letter over at Little Green Footballs.

A few private forum viewers also found his letter interesting.

Please go and read all of Dave's letters at the site his parents maintain for him, The Green Side. As Dave is a personal friend of ours, anytime he sends a new letter home, his parents are very kind to forward it on to us (and numerous other friends and family members of Dave's) as well as posting it on the site.

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Rae at 01:11 PM | Comments (5) | It's not about me
» The LLama Butchers links with: Letters from Fallujah

November 04, 2004

Fallujah: Revisted

This has been a long time coming. My prayers of safety, wisdom, a swift hand and thinking are with the Marines. Take it to 'em and be done and Godspeed.

Dear Dad -

As you have no doubt been watching, we have had our hands full around Fallujah. It would seem as if the final reckoning is coming. The city has been on a consistent down hill spiral since we were ordered out in April. It's siren call for extremists and criminals has only increased steadily and the instability and violence that radiates out of the town has expanded exponentially. If there is another city in the world that contains more terrorists, I would be surprised. From the last two years, I just don't see a way that we can succeed in Iraq without reducing this threat. The cost of continuing on without taking decisive action is too high to dwell on.

Read more Fallujah: Revisted »

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Rae at 06:26 PM | Comments (21) | Truth from the Front
» King of Fools links with: Letter from the Front
» The LLama Butchers links with: Hammer Time
» INDC Journal links with: Reducing Fallujah
» Random Nuclear Strikes links with: Request to those terrorists hiding in Fallujah
» The way I see it links with: God Bless Our Troops
» links with: Fallujah revisited: A bigger foe than before
» Hyscience links with: A Letter From A Marine In Fallujah
» House Of The Dog links with: Fallujah: Revisted
» Teacher's Ramblings links with: Falluja-Why?
» Watcher of Weasels links with: Submitted for Your Approval
» Everyday Thoughts Collected links with: A Likely Story: Fallujah: Revisted

November 03, 2004

Gimme a "B"

(H/T to Val for the photo [see his h/t for original source]).

Tonight, we will consume cake and celebrate the victory of George W. Bush. I am thrilled that "W" won and thrilled that Kerry did not. Does it mean that I think Mr. Bush to be a perfect human being? No. Does it mean that I agree with him on every point? No. It simply means that I voted for him and my spouse voted for him because we believed him to be the better choice of the several that ran. I would expect no less, nor ask no less of anyone who had voted for Kerry had he won the election.

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What are you giving her?


This is the day (repeat)
That Kris was birthed (repeat)
I will rejoice (repeat)
And be glad in it (repeat).

'Cause this is the day that Kris was birthed.
I will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day (repeat)
That Kris was birthed.

Happy Birthday to The Best Friend. Now you go tell her.

Many happy returns of the day :D

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The Sound of Rushing Wind (Altoids Gum chewed for your comfort)


Kris , the ever faithful friend, kept me abreast of all the latest election news via telephone as we only have high-powered rabbit ears and broke-down dial-up.

Celebrate good times (Read the comments and see what Jeff has officially declared for November 4th- credit at last!), come on!

Looks like La Shawn and I can both breathe now.

Now, be nice because the respectable thing has been done.

And Jeff nicely sums it up, too.

P.S. Love this from Andy (warning of, umm, "language").

Updated: CD has a terrific winning slogan.

Updated 2: Zombyboy has weighed in (finally - been waiting ;)

Updated 3: Good point, Margi. :::Shiver:::

Updated 4: I'm a little late catching this, but Val made me laugh.

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November 02, 2004

Waiting to Exhale

Whew! Now I can at least live with myself should He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named win.

P.S. It's very hard to type while holding your breath.

P.S.S. To the jerk who kept sighing and groaning as I shared and educated my daughters on the election and voting process: I hope your chads were left hanging.

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November 01, 2004

Baited Breath

Shhhhh! Can't you tell I am holding my breath until 12:01 a.m. November 3rd? Or maybe January 20, 2005?

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