Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Low-Budget Christmas

"We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a Merry Christmas. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...."

Times are hard this year but, Christmas doesn't have to hit our check books. This year because we're in a bind we decided to only buy presents for our children. We spent a total of 100.00 dollars on all three. Over a two month period. This year the kids are into fishing, so off to Wal-Mart we went. We spent 15.00 on each of them for a new fishing pole and an additional 20.00 for brand new reels. On the baby we went to The Dollar Tree and spent all of 25.00 on her.

Furthermore, instead of going out and buying a real tree I dug out my artificial tree from the garage. If you have to have a real tree, try not to spend more than 20.00. A Christmas list with a budget for everyone you decide to buy for this year is always a good idea. Make a list of the people who you are buying for and stick to it. Just remember, it's not the amount you spend, it's the thought that counts. Most people don't think about this either...visit your local Dollar Store. I always find good gift ideas for a dollar. And don't forget you can make your own. The Dollar Stores usually have plenty of craft ideas, too.

Just so the rest of the family doesn't think we forgot about them this Christmas, we're giving away cookies this year to our family and friends. Here's some great ideas for that, too. I spent a whole day on Sunday baking cookies.

Mississippi Mud Cookies-are no bake and takes all of about 15 minutes for those who are pressed for time. You do everything on the stove top and then drop them onto wax paper to cool. That takes maybe 30 min.

I also baked Chocolate Chip, of course. Chocolate Chip/Walnut. And Mint Chip Cookies as well.

I will be visiting my local Dollar Tree to pick up baskets and tissue paper to line the cookies in. This will make them more presentable when they are delivered to my family and friends on Christmas. If this is an idea that appeals to you, there is other options as well. You can choose to put your cookies in decorative bags or on paper plates wrapped in cellophane. These items you can also find at your local Dollar Store.

If you do not have ingredients for cookies you can find most of them at your local Grocery Store. Most of these items are on sale right now. Ususlly at 2 for 3.00. Just check it out and plan carefully so this year you will not over extend yourself.

Christmas is a time for sharing and giving without expecting anything in return. So, go out there and just have fun. Remember your family and your friends by making a phone call and wishing them a Merry Christmas. The children should not be the ones to suffer in this low econimic time so don't let them. Christmas is for the Children and may God bless them.

And this year offer a prayer for our fallen soldiers in Iraq and don't forget about the ones who are still there. They have not forgotten you. Most of them will be spending Christmas away from their families so wish them Good Cheer as well.

May God bless you and keep you always and forever near his heart.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Laree D.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Little Accidents

Hi, all.

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post anything new...Between Thanksgiving, Family and the Grandbaby I have to say I have been extremely busy.

I would like to tell a story at this time. Sometimes Little Accidents that seem like HUGE Mistakes turn out to be Little Blessings.

Once upon a time...There was this little angel that came to visit for the Holidays....

The story begins four years ago, when a young, handsome boy falls in Love with a pretty, young girl. They were only four months apart and not yet eighteen years old. Their relationship was not approved of by his family, since she came from the wrong side of the tracks. His family thought he could do so much better than her. But, he loved her anyway. They didn't have the perfect relationship, they argued as often as anyone. His parents slowly came around, realizing that the girl was going to be around for a long time.

Then one day the boy, not quite 18 came to his Mom and told her that the girl was pregnant....It was then that Mom and Dad gave in, knowing that the girl will be around for the rest of their lives. Though the kids were not married, they decided that having a grandbaby around was good thing. Even though they knew that their son was going to have a hard life for awhile. They stepped in and helped out as much as possible.

March 27, 2008 little Courtney Marie Nicole was born. Dad turned 18 July 15, 2008. Three days after his birthday he moved out of Mom and Dad's with nothing more than a pocketful of change to his name. He was determined to make it on own and provide for his little family. Times were hard but they scraped by. Dad was never sure what the next day would bring. He would get up in the morning and go to work and come home in the evening. His days were always dismal laced with stress and frustration. It's hard being an adult. But, as the baby grew more and more each day, she became his only bright spot when his days were the darkest. Soon, she would laugh whenever he came in the door and it became obvious that he was her bright spot. And her little smile would always tug at his heart. It wasn't long before he fell head over heels in love with his little girl.

Now she's 8 months and crawling all over the house. She stays with her Grandparents at least one day a week. Not only does she have Dad wrapped around her little finger, she has Grandpa as well. She needs cuddle time with her Grandma before she goes to bed and she needs Grandpa to tell her everythings going to be okay. She needs Mom to hold her and love her, but her Daddy and Grandpa walk on water. She thinks they hung the Moon and the Stars.

The little Angel had snuck in and stolen everybody's heart with her smile. She's a joy to have around and the Grandparents wouldn't trade her for the World. It's nice having her for the Holidays and that one special day of the week. And it's just as nice to take her back to Mom and Dad. Though, the Grandparents miss her she still needs Mom and Dad, too. They look forward to the next time the Little Angel comes to visit.

So, it is true...Little Accidents do turn into the Greatest Blessings of All. For us this was an awesome Thanksgiving. We had many things to be thankful for this year and we look forward to the many ones to come.

As we go into the Holidays remember that Family is more important than anything else. And Grandchildren are little Blessings given to us by God.

I wish all of you Happiness and Good Cheer
Through the rest of this here year.
May God Bless you and Keep you
Forever and always near.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.
From My Family to Yours

Laree D.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For Richer, For Poorer?

Hmm....Now that's a good question. "For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. 'Til death do we part...."

These are the common words of Wedding Vows, for those who are married. For those who are not, they are still just as well known. "For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. 'Til death do we part." Means simply, "Through the good times and the bad times, I will never leave you until the day I die. This much I can promise."

Now, let's take these very famous words and put them towards our Country we live in, the United States of America.

For richer or for poorer....Once this great Country of Ours was richer than any other Country in the World. Other countries came to us for Finaicial Aid, Food Donations and Chairitable Deeds. People would come across our borders because we offered things that they could not get from their own. Wealth, Happiness, Opportunities, Education and Freedom. We are still one of the richest Countries in the world, today. Accept we are now teetering on the edge of another Stock Market Slump. Balanced precariously on the edge of a major Economic Disaster. With our deficit rising every passing year and our jobs being moved to other countries, there is very little income coming into the Country. Our homes our foreclosing across the Nation because of the lack of good paying jobs.

If Obama gives the word to stop drilling off our coastlines for oil, the price of Oil will go up. And so will the price of Gas. The thing is, Oil is the main ingredient for Diesel not Gas. It really has nothing to do with Gas. If we stop drilling, we will have to Import our Oil. Not only will we have to pay for the Oil we import but the taxes as well to have it Shipped. The convience stores we frequent whenever we need fuel will have to raise their prices as well to cover the extra costs in Taxes. Food goes up again in the grocery stores, because they too have to pay for your products being shipped to them. It's a vicious circle. Everything comes back around to where it started eventually.

If we can get Washington to consider allowing us to keep drilling for Oil off our coastlines it might just be the thing that will pull us from the brink of an Economic Disaster. Things are moving forward at this time. Gas and deisel is cheaper. The food prices have stabilized. Our biggest problem right now is our Jobs being moved to other Countries and being forced out of our Homes. Unfortunantly, we can't do everything at once. So, let's handle one thing at a time. Getting Washington to let us continue drilling is the first step. Then we can worry about the bigger things. Our Jobs and our Homes. It's not a lot, but it is a place to start.

So, this is where the last part of the first statement comes in "In sickness and in health. 'Til death do us part." I love this great Country of ours. I was born here and I will die here. Just like the vows promise. No matter where this country goes or how it ends up, I will never forsake it. And I hope and pray that you feel the same way as I do.

Thank you. And have a good day.

Laree D.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vetran's Day

Well...Today is Vetran's Day, a day to remember our Vetrans who have fought and are still fighting for our Freedom. A day to fly our flags with pride and honor. To, remember the sodiers who have died in the quest and offer up a little prayer for them, too. I promise you, it doesn't take long. Just bow your head and whisper a small prayer. It's that easy. I did.

This year, on Vetrans Day, we have a new President sitting in the White House. All eyes are focused on Washington as the whole Country waits with baited breath to see what his first move is. Will he bring our troops home? Is he going to do everything he said he would? Is he the right person for the job? Or are we second guessing our own votes? Should we have put McCain in the White House, instead? Who knows? Only time will tell.

Rumour has it that he is undoing everything that former President Bush has done. He has plans to stop drilling off our coasts. Once again the prices for oil will go up and so will gas. He is talking about bringing home our troops by 2011. That's three years away. But a lot of questions has been raised by old timers who lived through the Vietnam War and the return of our troops. The American public looked upon them with shame, when they had nothing to do with returning to our shores. The Government ordered them home. Most are wondering if the return of our troops will cast them in a shadow of shame.

I say, it is time! We sent them over when they hit our Towers, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Remember that? Remember the horror and the terror, felt across the Nation as we all watched helplessly for the last tower to crumble to the ground? Remember the heartbreaking scenes that played endlessly across our television sets as people took their own lives into thier hands and jumped? Remember the dark and terrible scenes that followed with the clean up at Ground Zero? While we watched with baited breath as they uncovered one body after another? As one Nation we all hoped and prayed that one, just one person would be found alive? Do you remeber that?

Well, I do. Everyday, I remember. Everytime I see Old Glory flying against a skyline, I remember. Every time I see a young soldier in uniform walking down the street, or going into a local grocery store. I remember that Tuesday, seven years ago, Sept. 11, 2008. I remember why we are over there. I remember nearly 4000 American Citzens lost there lives, Sept. 11, 2001. I remember the families of those who were killed when the Twin Towers fell. I remember the 2000 other people who were never found. Their bodies assumed to be obliterated by that hijacked plane when it struck the Towers. I remember that thousands of families were asked to give up DNA or blood samples so they could be matched to bodies that were unidentifible. I remember all the heroes on Flight 63 that risked their own live to save those unsuspecting American Citizens on the ground. I remember...I remember...Don't you?

So, when Washington gives the word for our troops to come home it will not be in shame because they did not win the War. The War on Terrorism still goes on and it will for many years to come. We will welcome them with open arms for their part they played in our Freedom. We will then, mourn the ones who lost their lives and who have paid the ultimate price. Freedom does not come cheap, people. It is bought for a price. A higher price than any one of us can fully comprehend. But, the soldeir can. He/She alone knows the price for our Freedom. For they are the ones who were there, witnessing, first hand the cost.

Happy Vetrans Day. May God go with you wherever you should roam.

And God Bless America and Our Troops.

Laree D.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Your Books

Hello all....

Oh my! I'm so happy all of you left so many wonderful comments. I tried to reply to everyone and if I missed you I am truly sorry. Keep visiting this site and keep leaving your comments.

Now, let's open up a discussion on Your Books. So, many were left. Let me see...Nicholoas Sparks. That's a good one. I like him. Some of his titles escape me for the moment so please refresh my memory. The other two I'm not completely familar with, so tell me about them.

And I want to know who Max Lucar is. Tell me about him and some of his works.

Here's a few other books I really enjoy. Patricia Cornwell. I have read several of her novels. Everything from The Body Farm to Body Of Evidence. I like her Scarpetta series. She's kind of like a female Quincy. Scarpetta is an ME for Richmond VG. She tracks down serial killers and solves high profile cases. She works with the FBI and the local police dept. Pretty good reads.

Another author I like is Dan Brown. He's like a sci-fi writer. He wrote The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I haven't read The Da Vinci Code, yet but I will soon. When I do I will tell you all about it. I did read Angel's And Demons, though. EXCELLENT BOOK! Very good read!

If you like Historical Romance, here's one you have got to check out. Kathleen Woodiwiss, A Rose In Winter. Awsome read! It's kind of like a Rags to Riches, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, story all mixed up in one. With a Headless Horseman and a Dark Knight running around mucking everything up.

Here's one if you like Miedeval, George R. R. Martin series Song of Ice and Fire. He has three in this series. A Game of Thrones. A Clash of Kings. A Storm of Swords. I got through the first one pretty easy. It held my interest from cover to cover. I started on Clash Of Kings but it seems to be going rather slow. Not sure why. Check these out. You might like them better than I. If you do, tell me about them. I would love to hear it.

Well, that's it for today. I sure hope all of you enjoyed reading my posts.

In closing I will like to leave you with The Thought For The Day:

No matter how dark your day may seem. If you smile at one person today you will not only brighten their day you will also brighten yours.

Keep it up! And please come back again. See you all soon.
Bye for now.

Laree D.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Moving On

Well...Here we are again....

With the Election behind us and Prop 8 being passed it is time to move on to other things. All eyes are on San Francisco right now, wondering if the Representives for No on Prop 8 are going to get our votes overturned. But, that is an issue for another day. We will worry about that when the time comes. Apperently, the measure has until Dec. 31, 2008 before it becomes official, anyway.

Now on to other things.

I just read two very good novels recently. James Patterson's Jack and Jill and Steven King's Doloros Claibourne.

I like James Patterson, but I don't read his books very often. This book is a great read. It's another Detective, Dr. Alex Cross novel. In this book there is two strings of murders that Detective Cross has to investigate. One set of murders happens on Capital Hill in Washington, DC. The other set of murders happen in a second class neighborhood down the street from Cross home. All eyes are on Capital Hill, wondering when the next celebrity will be bruatally murdered. Very few people care about the young kids also being brutally murdered in the back streets of Washington, DC.

The second novel is Steven King's Doloros Claibourne. Now, I'm not a Steven King fan. Never have been. But, I have to say, this book was another good read. I'm looking forward to reading another one of his novels, Gerold's Game. Doloros Claibourne is about a young woman raised on an island near Maine. In a time where "home correction" was allowed. A time when a man could discpline his wife and get away with it. You have to read the novel to see how Doloros overcame he many obstacles, trials and tribulations that were put into her path. She's a smart, down to earth woman. She's got a good, strong head on her shoulders. And she finds a freind in a place she would have never thought would be.

If you haven't already read this book, do so. It's a good read. And if your a Steven King fan it's a plus. I found both of these novels at my local grocery store. I also frequent a used book store in my neighborhood.

Well, that's about it for today. Enjoy and have a great day. I will see you tomorrow and look forward to seeing what you have written, also.

Now, here's the question for the day.

What is your all time favorite novel? Romance? Action? Fiction? Sci-fi? Or do you like to mix it up? Tell me. Leave your comments and your ideas. Before you go, check out my other blog The Dark Wolf at lareepublishedauthor.blogspot.com.

See you soon.

Laree D.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Bless America

Hi all. Here's my latest news.

Well...I guess we have a new president. I didn't vote for him, but I sincerely hope he does this Country proud. I do have to say it is nice to have the first Black President in the White House. It's been a long time coming. So, for all of you supporters Congratulations! You won it. And I hope that he continues on the path he outlined for us as the leader of this great Nation of ours. HooRah!

Now onto more controversial subjects-Prop 8

I voted Yes on 8 as all of you know. And I am proud to say that 5,725,000 other people feel the same way I do. Once again the Sanctity of Traditional Marriage is sacred again. But, as one spokewoman for the Mormon Church says in an interview this morning, "This measure in no way changes anything for Gay Rights." It's true. We will continue turning a blind eye to same sex couples co-living together and setting up housekeeping. They will still be covered in the insurance offered by various companies. Even though I disagree with couples living together outside of Marriage this also covers those who do. This woman continues on by saying, "...All this measure does is difines that the Sate of California can only recognize a Marriage as Traditional, between a man and a woman."

Furthermore, we who voted Yes on Prop 8 are being accused of racism and discriminating against Gay Rights. This is not true. The laws are pretty clear on this particular argument. You can not be racist or discriminate against sexual orientation. You can be racial and discriminate against other races than yours. That is the real definition of racial discrimination. It has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orintation. Voting Yes on 8 does not make anyone racist it only defines what California wants, No Gay Marriages Allowed.

Moving on to another issue that will soon be coming up in this State. Gay couples being allowed to adopt or foster children. The State of Arkansas voted Yes on Prop 8, also took it to another level. They voted against Gay couples being allowed to adopt or foster children. I'm not sure about our Morale supporters in Arizona and Florida on this particular argument. I do know, that they also voted in our favor on Prop 8. But, it will soon become clear if we need to follow Arkansas lead on Gay Couples being able to adopt or foster children. As for me, I disagree with the whole adopting thing. I beleive that a child should be rasied in Traditional Home with Traditional Values. Being Gay is a choice. Your choice. And I commend you for that. But, it does not mean that being Gay is Right.

So, here it is. My views and opoinons on this whole Election thing. What's yours? Leave your comments and refute any or all of my statements including anything others have wrote.

Thank you and have nice day.

Laree D.