Friday, April 25, 2008

Back To Normal... Almost

We finally moved in to our new house Wednesday. Almost. We still have all our appliances over at the old house, and anything that we haven't needed for the last few weeks that we're going to be able to salvage from the old house.

I never thought that I could get exhausted from shopping, but it is possible when you're replacing things that you need for your house. We've spent probably more than $2000 in the last couple of days. There are the obvious things... like cribs, mattresses, televisions, entertainment centers, a couch to sit on, lighting, but then as you try to go on about your daily life, you discover that you are missing other things too. Good thing we live close to Wal-Mart!

You never think about the little things that you use on a daily basis and only replace when you are dissatisfied with what you currently have or it breaks. Things like... a colander. Or pot holders. I made spaghetti and rolls last night... then I discovered that even though I had a pot to put the spaghetti in, I didn't have potholders to take the food out, didn't have a colander, I didn't even have a large spoon to stir the spaghetti in the pot. I found things to make due, but I realized how you just get so used to having things and you take them for granted.

There are food staples that I know that I always seem to have that I'm finding need to be replaced. Like soy sauce. I usually pick up a bottle when it's on sale and I have a coupon, so I always seem to have one in my pantry by the time I run out. But it lasts a long time. If I want to make stir-fry vegetables, I just take it for granted that it's there.

We got our phone service and Tivo back up, finally. That's another thing that I tend to take for granted. Getting those back up hinged on getting the internet working, since we use Vonage, and Tivo needs either a phone connection or an internet connection (through your router) to work. The internet, what do you know, decided that it wanted to have problems our first two days here, so we had neither internet, nor phone, nor Tivo... and since we hook our cable through the Tivo box, we didn't have television either.

But slowly, it's all coming together. We've assembled the futon, entertainment center, crib, new adult bed, and dd is sleeping on a Ready-bed on the floor until we can get the rest of our insurance money. We have a little bit of food in the cupboard and enough utensils to make a couple of things. The phone, cable, internet, and Tivo are back up. Tomorrow our church has assembled a moving party, and we'll get the washer and dryer, freezer, desk for me, and even dd's play house is coming... that's going to be a fun one to move... my dad made it and it's made out of wood, it's big enough that I can stand up in the very center (although I'm short).

After tomorrow, there will still be moving tasks... primarily going through the house and getting the things out that we wish to keep... but the big stuff will be done. And life will return to a new sort of normalcy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Constitution Party: The Other Black Candidate?

Anybody remember a few weeks back, there was a Republican Presidential debate, and you saw your four regulars... there was Ron Paul, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and I'm not sure if Mitt Romney had dropped out or not. There was also some random guy up there on the platform... Alan Keyes. Where did he come from? What was he doing up there? Of course Alan Keyes is not new to politics and it wasn't really the same as having Bob the mailman up there, but it was really odd to see someone up there that nobody knew was even running for president.

Anyway, just a couple of days ago my husband told me that Alan Keyes had left the Republican party. That he was thinking of becoming the next Constitution Party candidate. Cool!

I've been a big fan of the Constitution Party for about 5 years now. I voted for their presidential candidate, Michael Peroutka, during the last election. I knew he had no chance... after all, I had never heard of the guy before. I didn't like either of the mainstream presidential candidates and really couldn't see much of a difference between them (and I still don't think that we would be any better or worse off if Kerry had been nominated), so despite people saying that I was helping one presidential candidate over another by voting 3rd party, I really wasn't, because it really didn't matter. Which can be hard for people to get.

This year, I don't know how I'm going to vote. Barak Obama is pretty scary with his whole black liberation theology ties... Christians and gun owners are bitter? He's pretty scary. Plus he thinks that if a baby survives an abortion it's okay to murder them anyway after they've been born. John McCain isn't great... he's pro-illegal immigration and admits that he doesn't have a firm grasp on the economy, but at least he doesn't think that infanticide is okay if the baby is an abortion survivor, and he doesn't think that a Jesus that loves all people, including white people, is a bad thing.

But if Alan Keyes joins the race as the Constitution Party candidate, that could switch things up a bit. He sounded pretty good in the one presidential debate that he went to. People who are familiar with politics have at least heard of him. He's conservative in a way that John McCain is not.

Either way, Keyes running under the Constitution Party ticket would bring recognition to the party in a way that it's never had before. They hold their national convention tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

April 19th

Last week I posted about the FLDS compound in Texas being raided and mentioned that April 19th is a big date in history. In recent history we have had

Ruby Ridge
Oklahoma City

and on the 20th we have

Hitler's birthday
Little Colorado Massacre

Anyway, me and my daughter were doing her history work yesterday, and I found out another major event that happened on April 19th. We had been talking about the colonies, and how the colonists didn't like the taxes so they stopped buying the stuff that was taxed, then they had the tea party and threw all the tea into the sea... then the British decided to leave Boston Common and march to Concord, where all the colonists were keeping their guns. Paul Revere came riding all night through Massachusetts warning about the British soldiers coming... and on April 19th, 1775...

the shot that was heard round the world, otherwise known as the first shot of the American Revolution, was fired by an unknown colonist.

Out of all the years I spent compiling date calendars for the Navy on important dates, that one never registered with me.

It's interesting all the important dates we all seem to forget about collectively as a nation and as a world... like the date that the Polish Calvary and German Infantry defeated the (Islamic) Turks and started to drive them back in the middle ages... September 11th, 1683.

The Food Shortage Hits The Mainstream Press

I've written a couple of times about how several countries have stopped exports of food and that there have been food riots in several countries because of the increase in price, due to the lack of supply. Some of my friends who like to be prepared have been purchasing large quantities of food to feed their families; some of them have not been able to purchase what they wanted because the stores supplying these items are backlogged.

I haven't had the chance to watch much news lately, between commuting 1 hour each way to visit my friends, go to church, or get something from our house, and tossing rotten food out of a refrigerator and freezer that hasn't had electricity for a week, and trying to get back into teaching my daughter on her regular school schedule, there hasn't been much time. But I was very surprised when we had the afternoon here without any errands and I had the chance to turn on Glenn Beck... he was talking about the food supply, of all things!

Now, I realize that he's not the most mainstream of all the press... but he was talking about the economy several months ago, when most of America was blissfully unaware that things would get a lot worse than just the value of our homes declining. His show is on CNN Headline News, so it's not like we're talking about some really off the wall publication that nobody has ever heard of. So I was surprised to see him talking about this. He did tie it into ethanol, which is something he is very much against, but ethanol isn't the only cause of the food shortage.

I guess that Costco is even experiencing shortages in certain staples, and many of its stores are limiting the quantities of staples like rice and/or flour that you can buy. Some of the stores are out of most types of rice.

If there is a grain of truth to what Glenn Beck is saying (and there is)... eventually other news outlets, like ABC News and the like. Because eventually the effects of this will hit the grocery stores. This is where the biggest challenge lies. Because people are likely to get scared and panic. And when they panic they're going to rush to the grocery store and clean everything out.

We're not likely to see an Ethiopia-like famine in this country. We still have farmers in this country, and as long as the crops don't fail we'll still have food, although perhaps not in the abundance that we are used to.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggy Giveaways Carnival Giveaway: Walking With Angels: Aural's Gift!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

I've won before from some of the great sites that work with Bloggy Giveaways, and I wasn't planning on hosting a giveaway until I had an idea... why not give away a copy of my husband's wonderful book as a prize?

Walking With Angels Volume 1: Aural's Gift is a book that details the story of a girl that can see into the spirit world... specifically angels and demons. I know that this book is purely fiction and a product of my husband's imagination, but the tale he weaves is extremely plausable... it really changed my thoughts about how the world of the unseen could potentially work. Do saved people have angels that follow them around? What part do demons have in the physical world?

Well, in this book, the ability to see angels and demons wasn't particularly a blessing. People start to think that Aural is a bit... nutty. Anyway, I won't spoil the rest of the story, but if you would like a copy for free, just leave a comment on my blog telling me either who your favorite Christian author is, or why you would like to read this book.

I will have to add, some of this book might be disturbing to young children. It is not the kind of book I wouldn't want my grandma or pastor reading... in fact, we have loaned this book out to people at my church, including the pastor, but some of the content is best read by older people. Here is a longer review that I wrote about the book.

We will probably end up shipping this straight out from or, otherwise I'd offer to have it autographed. If you really wanted an autographed copy, I could manage that but it would be smoke damaged due to the recent fire.

I will pick the winner randomly out of all comments received prior to 11:59 PM PDT on April 25th. Please only enter once or you will be disqualified. Also make sure that there's an easy way to contact you... if you leave an email I'll email you, if I can't find one I'll post a comment on your blog, and if you leave no email and no blog I'll have to find another winner :( . US addresses only please. I'll post the winner here next week, probably Monday or so.

Good luck! And be sure to visit here for more fabulous prizes!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It Just Figures

We've been drooling over the Wii for more than a year now. We finally decide to buy one (previously I've been trying to win one)... and it doesn't work. The sensor has serious delay issues.

I'm not sure which would take longer... sending the Wii to Nintendo to get repaired or replaced, or taking the Wii back to the store and trying to find another one. The one that we got took more than a month to find. You would think that finding a Wii would be pretty easy, considering that both dh and stepfather-in-law work nights at Wal-Mart, when they get the new shipments in (dh works on the stocking team, although in food, not electronics)... but so far a working Wii eludes us. Oh well, back to looking.

But all is not bad... we have some wonderful news. We hooked the Tivo up today to our mother-in-law's tiny TV in the kid's temporary bedroom, and it still works! We were afraid that the heat, smoke, or perhaps an electrical surge might have damaged it. Our Tivo wireless modem thing we bought also works. We haven't had the chance to try the TV yet, but we're probably going to replace that anyway with the final insurance payment, but if the Tivo didn't get destroyed, with the hard drive in it, the simpler (electronics wise) TV should still work too.

And we have our new address. We get to move in 5 days.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Polygamy Cult vs. CPS

First, excuse me if I'm missing some R's in my typing today. Although dh saved my CPU in the fire, I lost all of my peripherals and just replaced them today. Unfortunately, the cheap keyboard I got has a problem with the R key. So I'm taking it back tomorrow to get something not defective and perhaps better. But for now, bear with me if I miss a couple.

If you've been watching the news, you've probably heard of the raid on the FLDS compound in Texas. Oddly enough, we're coming upon the 15th anniversary of the Waco raid on the 19th... the 19th is a very significant day because it also marks the date of Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City. Today is the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, and the 20th marks both Adolph Hitler's birthday and the Littleton Shooting. When I was the Anti-terrorism officer for my Navy base in Italy, I maintained a calendar of significant dates like these because terrorists like to commemorate dates like this. I always highlighted the 19th and 20th because they are the biggest days of the year for terrorist and other attacks of this sort.

Most of these people used to live in other parts of the country, including Colorado City in Arizona. There was a big to-do a couple of years ago with the FLDS group back then, and their leader ended up getting prosecuted. The group is known for polygamous marriages and forcing young teenagers to marry older men (like in their 50s sometimes).

An anonymous caller said that she was 16 and was being forced to marry against her wishes. They still don't know who this caller is, but the tip was enough to make the police take action. More than likely, they've been watching this group for years and were just waiting for an excuse to come in. They are a pretty secretive group.

All the ladies and children were carted off. CPS took custody of the children and the ladies were given the option of returning to the compound or going to a safe house. Only six ladies took the safe-house option, from what I've heard.

They are complaining because they can't see their children, and of course, I'd be upset too. But the most important thing is ensuring that these children are safe. Even without the anonymous girl showing up, there is still plenty of reason to think that they might not be safe.

The ladies were being questioned by the press, and they were very evasive when they talked about the age of marriage or polygamy. If there really wasn't anything going on, don't you think they would have gone and outright said that only adults were allowed to marry? Well, they're not doing that. They change the subject or give a non-substantive answer. And there have been prior FLDS escapees that have talked about how the conditions were for them.

I'm all for the ability of parents to bring up their children the way they see fit. To a point. You can make your kids go to church, you can make them eat their peas, you can choose what type of school they go to, you can even choose what vaccinations to give them and whether or not they can have birth control in Middle School. I don't want my rights trampled on, and the corollary to that is that other parents have to have their rights too.

However, we do have laws in this country. The laws in Texas require that anyone under the age of 16 have a court order in order to marry. The age of consent in Texas is 17, although I believe that they will not prosecute if the age difference is 3 years or less. In the FLDS community, by accounts of escapees, often the age of marriage is under 17 and the age difference can be measured in decades.

I think that CPS did the right thing by taking the children away while they investigate the matter. While in general, I don't think anonymous calls warrant CPS taking a child away from the parents, this is more than your I saw so and so with dirty hair and I think the parents are neglectful type of case. There is evidence beyond the phone call.

Unfortunately, this is the only life that many of the people have known. I'm all for homeschooling, obviously, but these people have little contact with the outside world at all... and if they are being taught illegal things, that is wrong. The Amish are similar in that their children are educated in the Amish ways and they are to some degree segregated from the world, but there is a vast difference, in that the Amish don't abuse their children as a routine matter by marrying off their young teenagers. The Amish also often deal with the local communities, and are not as isolated in that respect.

I hope that the justice system gets to the bottom of this and that the matter is resolved peaceably. While the adults are free to do a lot of what they do on their own private property, the children need to at least be taught that you don't get married until you are an adult.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Listmania - Best and Worst of House Fires

I'm writing a list post for a contest over at The prize is an external hard drive and you can join too.

Since the biggest thing preoccupying my time right now is the house fire, I'm making a list on the best and worst things of having a house fire. I'll save the best for last by getting the bad stuff out of the way first.

The Worst Things About Having A House Fire

  1. Losing your stuff
  2. Having to make an inventory of everything that you own and lost for the insurance company
  3. Having to live an hour across town because your old house is no longer inhabitable
  4. Cleaning out the refrigerator after it's been without power for a week
  5. Cleaning everything else in the house that's covered in soot and ashes
  6. The bank putting a hold on the insurance company's advance check because they're not used to you depositing so much money in the bank at one time
  7. Throwing away all the plastic baby toys that they can no longer use, remembering your kids playing with them
  8. Seeing your baby's destroyed pictures

The best thing about having a house fire

  1. Getting to shop for new things
  2. Getting the opportunity to take pictures... you never know, maybe they'll be a contest for a picture of the "worst bathroom" and you'll be in the running!
  3. Discovering things that are still usable even after the fire
  4. Starting to resume a normal life again
  5. Having less stuff... easier to declutter!

So that's the best and worst that I can think of so far.

Drug Use: Another Reason It Is Not A Victimless Crime

Some people say that drug use is a victimless crime. If you don't rob somebody, don't spend your kid's milk money on drugs, and don't drive or perform surgery while on drugs, nobody gets hurt, right? Or so some people argue.

Unfortunately, that is a little short sighted. And I'm not even thinking about the drug dealers that might decide to shoot their rivals in their drug wars... they choose to get involved in that lifestyle and that just happens to come with the territory. But far away... where the drugs are grown... a more innocent victim might be affected by someone's drug use.

Let's say you use heroin, or perhaps opium. Let's forget for a minute that heroin is a very addictive drug that might leave you in a sort of desperation that you might not otherwise expect to be in. The poppy seeds that are used to make the opium and heroin are grown somewhere. One of the places happens to be Afghanistan.

Again, forget for a minute that there are a lot of terrorists grown in Afghanistan that get a lot of their power and money from the heroin and opium trade. An increasingly common victim of the drug trade is the opium bride, as described in this Newsweek article.

Here's how it works. A farmer might be down on his luck, so he borrows some money in order to plant a poppy crop. He promises to pay back at the end of the season in the form of opium. But then something happens. Maybe bad weather causes his crop to fail. Sometimes the powers that be decide to declare war on drugs and destroy the crops. The farmer is left with no crop and a debt that he can't pay back. So he gives up the only asset that he might have... he repays his debt by giving away his daughter as a wife to the lender.

Evidently this is becoming more common. Some 5 year old children are often given away in this manner. One person in the story ended up promising his 2-month old daughter to pay off a debt. They are not supposed to actually consummate the marriage until the daughter reaches puberty, but they can go work as housekeepers and maids until that point.

It's sometimes hard to see how our actions affect others... in this case, you never would think that using drugs could lead to someone getting sold as a bride halfway across the world.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Getting Back To Normal

I don't know about other people that have been in house fires, but I'm just glad to see some things start to get back to normal.

I only managed to teach school 1 day last week. I felt bad about it at first, but realistically, if dd was in public school and she had a house fire and had to move an hour away from home, do you think that she'd get any school done last week? I don't think so. Tonight dh is going to work, and he'll be gone for most of the morning, and we'll get school done like normal. That will be good. Then maybe I'll take them to a park so they're not bored out of their minds.

I'm glad that dh saved my computer. It's amazing how much of a difference having your own computer makes when you're trying to get things done. I do a lot of sweepstakes, and I have specialized software on my computer that remembers all my passwords and helps me paste all my information in. I tried using dh's laptop the other night to do this and it was so much less efficient. But I'm getting back into entering my sweepstakes as well, and getting back to normal in that area is helpful as well.

There's only so much adventure you can take before you want to see a return to normalcy. Even if that normalcy involves staying in a strange house and being in different surroundings than you were before.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life In The Museum

Since we had a house fire last Sunday, we moved in with the relatives. I'm thankful that they have two rooms to spare (one for me and dh, one for dd and baby ds), but I'm going to be really glad to move into our new home. Dh applied for family housing at his college, and they said that it would take a week or two to get the background check taken care of so we could move in.

My mother-in-law is great (her husband is okay), but living here is like living in a museum. They have a formal dining room that is always set with a nice place setting, but nobody eats on it except perhaps Thanksgiving... but not every year, just some years. They have lovely candles and decorations, and the house is always showroom ready, like Better Homes and Gardens is going to run through and do a photo shoot or something.

This is not the sort of house that Kindergarteners and toddlers who just lost nearly all of their toys like to run around in.

Both of them are in nearly a constant state of boredom. There is just so much Noggin and Nick Jr. that a kid can watch. We only accomplished one day of school last week (out of our normal 4) because I had to put together an inventory of everything we own that was damaged or lost in the fire. The most fun that they had this week was when we drove across town to check the mail (we're staying about an hour's drive away from our old home) and I discovered that UPS had left a note saying that I had a package to sign for... so I called UPS and asked them to let me pick up the package, and I had to wait 4 hours for it to arrive back at the warehouse. They got to spend 4 hours at the park waiting.

It's still hard to tell exactly how bad the fire is and how much we actually will end up losing. Some things are obviously smoke damaged beyond repair, like couches and mattresses. Some things will be able to be saved with some chemicals and hard work, like clothes. Some things were lost and I'm going to have to look to see what has become of them... my college class ring was in the area where the fire was the worst, and I have to find it first to see whether it is still intact or has become a melted hunk of gold. But everything is still in something of a holding pattern while we wait for our house. We don't have much room here, and we can't really go through our things and clean them up without having a place to bring them to.

In the meantime, the kids are going crazy in this lovely museum. Please pray that the housing department approves our move in the next few days and we can actually have a place of our own again. A place where the kidlets can run around, yell, and not have to worry about getting yelled at for touching the knick-knacks. Well, they aren't really allowed to yell all the time at our house either, but I don't mind a little of it... most of the time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Just hours before my house caught on fire, the Lord told my pastor to change his message from Jude to one on Psalms 18:30, which basically says that the Lord's way is perfect, and he protects those that trust in him.

While I was in church listening to this message, my house was on fire, unbeknownst to me. The smoke detector woke up my dh, who saved my computer and the pictures contained inside (my hero), and put out the fire with the help of my neighbor who brought along a water hose after he used up our fire extinguisher on it.

When I got home and discovered that our house had been on fire, I was shocked. I still find it a little hard to believe. Isn't that one of those things that happens to other people? After finding out the real important information, that my husband was okay (and yes, the pictures), in a way you just have to let it sink in and figure out what to do next.

It looks like we've figured out what to do next, and I'm pretty happy about it. We're going to move to a new house, whether or not our house ends up being totalled or repaired, and we'll sell whatever house/land remains.

Our insurance company should give us the full amount that we are insured for for the contents of our house. The area that caught fire was the most expensive part of our house, with our computers, (musical) keyboard, a TON of software, etc. in that area. We also have to toss all of the baby's plastic toys because they could be toxic to him, all our plastic dishes, utensils, and kitchen tools, and there was smoke damage to everything in our house... some of it we will be able to clean, some of it is not cleanable. Anyway, we did a partial inventory of what was lost, and it easily adds up to our insured amount.

We put together a budget for what we plan on doing with this money, and we decided to turn our lemons into lemonade. As a fan of Dave Ramsey, sometimes I hear people call up and say "We're debt free! We sold all of our stuff on eBay, did this, did that, etc.". Well, we're not selling our stuff on eBay, but we have decided to NOT replace all of our stuff. We will replace some of our things, and use the rest of the money to pay off our car, pay off my student loan, and start an emergency fund.

We will have no debt payments, and our expenses will be lower because we will be living in family housing at dh's school. His job is right by our house, so we will save on gas because he can walk to class and is within minutes of work. The housing includes high-speed internet and cable television, so that will save us $100 a month as well. Since the house will be smaller than the one we were living in, we should have lower electricity bills as well. We're going to put together a budget, and for the first time in years, we will actually have a little money left over after paying for necessary expenses. So we should be able to slowly replace some of the other things that we lost over time, even if we don't buy them right away. And we won't be paying interest to the banks any more!

I don't recommend having a house fire to get out of debt, but at least in this case, we will be able to take a bad situation and use it for good.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What's Next?

I've said it before... after dh lost his second or third job in a year, "what's next, is our house going to catch on fire and burn to the ground?"

Uhhh, that wasn't a good thing to say.

Because that's exactly what happened last night.

I was on my way home from church with my little girl and baby boy. My husband was sleeping because he was going to go to work that evening. On my way home, I saw a police car sitting by the road. I thought it might be a police car pulling someone over. As I got closer, I saw that the car was right outside our road. Then as I pulled onto my street, the police officer stopped me. After a short conversation with him where he treated me like an idiot for not knowing what was going on or where I was supposed to park, he directed me to park by the fence at the end of the street, and I walked down the road with the baby in the stroller.

There were fire trucks on the street. I asked the first people that I came to if they knew what house it was. Was it the blue house? They didn't know, but it was on the same side of the street as ours. When we got farther down, the fire trucks were dangerously close to our house. It was either our house or the neighbor's house. It was our house.

Was my dh okay? I kept walking to the fire trucks and told them the house was mine. "Your husband's over here" the fireman said. Well, at least he's okay. Were my pictures okay? I found out my really great husband had saved my computer. He's such a sweetie.

It took us a while before we could get in the house, and we couldn't see much stuff that night. We went back today and everything is covered in soot and smoke. All throughout the house. Not everything was burned, but everything is covered in smoke.

I guess that something electrical caught on fire, around my husband's computer system.

It looks like we will probably end up debt free from all of this, because we can take some of the money that we're going to get and pay off the car. We'll probably get money from selling the property as well. Not the way I had hoped on becoming debt free.

I hate to ask what's next. There's not much left, except for our lives and health.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Got A Fry's/Kroger's Around? Check Your Sale Paper

If you've been reading my blog in the last several months, you might have noticed me posting several times about the economy. My last post was about a possible food shortage. Well, if you are interested in stocking up on the cheap, you might want to check out your local Fry's/Kroger sale paper. They have a great sale going on, where if you buy 10 items from this list (mix and match though), you get $5 back instantly. You can do this up to 3 times per transaction.

I did this today, and this is what I got for $15.66. That includes tax, and I did not use coupons:

10 cans Hormel Chili
5 boxes Betty Crocker Cake Mix
4 boxes Kroger Pop Tarts
2 packages Goldfish Crackers
6 packages Lipton Sides
3 packages Pillsbury Flaky Layers biscuits

I normally do my shopping on Mondays, but I wanted to try to do this deal twice, so I made a special trip today for this sale. On Monday I will redo this deal, but use coupons... so I should be able to do even better, because I'm sure that there are some coupons that match some of these deals.

If you want to do this deal a lot but are low on money, check on Monday or Tuesday. If they run out of their sale items they will give you a raincheck and you can do this deal next week or whenever they get them back in. I bought the last of the Lipton Sides today at my store... they may or may not restock them tonight. I did this a couple of months ago when they had Tombstone Pizza on sale... $1.50 each if you bought 9. They also had $.99/lb ground beef patties in 5 pound bags. They had sold out, but I was able to get rainchecks for them, and a few weeks later when they restocked, I was able to get 20 pounds of ground beef for $20 and 9 Tombstone pizzas for $1.50 each.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

An Upcoming Famine?

When I went grocery shopping Monday afternoon, I picked up 8 bags of pasta. Tomorrow when I go shopping after taking the kidlets to the library, I plan on getting a 20 pound bag of rice.

No, we're not gluttons (well, not my kids or my husband at least, and not me to that extreme), but I'm starting to get a little concerned. All that flooding going on in the midwest? It's destroying some of the crops in this country. I saw a sign at the grocery store the other day saying that weather in other parts of the world were making bananas harder to get to America, and another friend in another part of the country saw the same sign. Ever since then, the bananas that have arrived have been more bruised and have been of poorer quality, and the price went up $.20 a pound. In Asia, some of the rice harvest has been decimated and the price of rice is going up there... some countries are not going to be exporting.

The cost of food is going up all over the world, according to MSN. Food is getting more scarce everywhere.

Here is a video from CNN about the subject:

In the US, many of us depend on the grocery stores to supply us with our daily bread. What would happen if a major shock to the world's food supply hit the news today? What would happen if you turned to and discovered that several countries had decided that instead of exporting their food, they were going to keep it inside their own countries in order to keep their citizens from starving? What if a major weather event hit our country this year and most of the crops were destroyed? All at the same time? Do you think that the grocery stores would empty pretty fast?

We've lived in a land of plenty for so long, that we think that a food shortage could never happen here. Perhaps the people of Egypt felt the same way during Joseph's day? There were seven years of bountiful harvests. You say, Joseph was storing grain away... but the people were not. The Egyptians ended up giving Joseph all their gold, then they ended up selling their livestock to Egypt, and eventually the country ended up owning everything that the Egyptians had, because they had no other way to get food but to sell all. They obviously weren't planning for famine, or they would not have had to sell everything that they owned in that manner.

I don't have the resources to gather much, but at this point I think that getting a little extra is a good idea. The Bible says that in the beginning of the tribulation, there will be famine. The rapture will take the Christians away before the tribulation, but that doesn't mean that there will be an abundance of food until that point. If I could, I'd rather be prepared as much as I could. 8 bags of pasta and 20 pounds of rice might not feed a family of 4 for very long if there was nothing else in the store to buy, but it would feed someone a little longer than 0 bags of pasta and 0 pounds of rice would.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How My Babies Got Their Names

And now, for something completely unrelated... a post about how my babies got their names (it's for a contest where you can win a $50 gift card).

My kids are named after characters in the Dragonlance books, written by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. The characters are brave, good, kind, and are the kind of people that I would like them to grow up to be... mostly.

Their middle names come from my family and the Bible (the family names just happen to be in the Bible). My mother-in-law's name was used for my daughter's middle name, and my dad's middle name is my son's middle name now.

If we ever have another baby boy, we'll probably give him my Grandfather's middle name as the first name and find a Bible name for the middle name.

Both ds and dd do not have names in the top 1000 baby names, for any year, but I have actually met people that have these names before. They are obscure but nice. My grandfather's middle name is a lot more common, but it is quickly dropping out of the list of top 1000 baby names in favor of all the Jadens, Kaidens, and Aidens that are out there now.

So that's their story. If you would like to try to win the $50 gift card as well, you can go here and write your own story on your blog. Or if you don't want to try to win a $50 gift card but you have an interesting story about how you named your babies, you can leave a comment here... but I'm not giving away any prizes.