Friday, July 31, 2009

Got Books?

Do your children some new books for summer reading? Go here to see a teenager's perspective on what they'd enjoy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What You Could Be Looking Forward to... Health Care Reform

HR 3200 currently under consideration in the House of Representatives:

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill - THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill - YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill - The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your benefits for you. You have no choice!

Pg 50 Section 152 in HC bill - HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill – Gov’t will have real-time access to individual’s finances & a National ID Health care card will be issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access to your banks accts for electronic funds transfer.

Pg 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange to bring priv HC plans under Govt control.

Pg 84 Sec 203 HC bill - Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private Health Care plans in the Exchange

Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration your Healthcare!

Pg 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill - Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services.
Example - Translation for illegal aliens.

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan

Pg 85 Line 7 HC Bill - Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members - Your Health Care WILL be rationed

Pg 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill - Medicaid Eligible Individual will be automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.

Pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue Govt on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt Monopoly.

Pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill - Doctors/ #AMA - The Govt will tell YOU what you can make.

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public opt plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer w/ payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

Pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesnt provide public opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesnt have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay ).

Pg 195 Officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial and personal records.

Pg 203 Line 14-15 HC - “The tax im posed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that. Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill - Doctors, it does not matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same.

Pg 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr’s time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans.

Pg 265 Sec 1131Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries.

Pg 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

Pg 272 SEC. 1145. Treatment of certain cancer hospitals – Cancer patients - welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals for what Govt deems preventable readmissions. (Incentives for hospital to not treat and release.)

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission-Govt will penalize you.

Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand.

pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 - Govt mandates established of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing.

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans (Part B), HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Govt plan.

Pg 354 Sec 1177 - Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people!

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy - Telehealth Advisory Committee. HC by phone/Internet?

Pg 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance [Death] Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life.

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

Pg 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Gov’t provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.

Pg 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program for orders for end of life. The Gov’t has a say in how your life ends.

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “adv. care planning consult” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

Pg 429 Lines 10-12 “adv. care consultation” may incl an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 - The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.
PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life
(NOTE FROM RJ: The above really does give the government the authority to determine who lives and dies, and when. A government bureaucrat really will be making this decision for you and your loved ones.)

Pg 469 - Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?

Pg 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment to a community-based org. Like ACORN?

Pg 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. They will insert Government into your marriage. Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those svcs

PG 502 Sec 1181 Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research Established. – Hello Big Brother – Literally.

Pg 503 Lines 13-19 Gov’t will build registries and data networks from YOUR electronic med records.

Pg 503 lines 21-25 Gov’t may secure data directly from any depart or agency of the US including your data.

Pg 504 Lines 6-10 The “Center” will collect data both published & unpublished (that means public & your private info)

PG 506 Lines 19-21 The Center will recommend policies that would allow for public access of data.

PG 518 Lines 21-25 The Commission will have input from HC consumer reps – Can you say unions & ACORN?

PG 524 18-22 Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund set up. More taxes for ALL.

PG 621 Lines 20-25 Gov’t will define what Quality means in HC. Since when does Gov’t know about quality?

Pg 622 Lines 2-9 To pay for the Quality Standards, Govt will transfer $$ from to other Govt Trust Funds. More Taxes.

PG 624 “Quality” measures shall be designed to assess outcomes & functional status of patients.

PG 624 “Quality” measures shall be designed to profile you including race, age, gender, place of residence, etc

Pg 628 Sec 1443 Gov’t will give “Multi-Stake Holders” Pre-Rule Making input into Selection of “Quality” Measures.

Pg 630 9-24/631 1-9 Those Multi-stake holder groups incl. Unions & groups like ACORN deciding HC quality.

Pg 632 Lines 14-25 The Gov’t may implement any “Quality measure” of HC Services as they see fit.

PG 633 14-25/ 634 1-9 The Secretary may issue non-endorsed “Quality Measures” for Physician Services & Dialysis Services.

Pg 635 to 653 Physicians Payments Sunshine Provision – Gov’t wants to shine sunlight on Docs but not Govt.

Pg 654-659 Public Reporting on Health Care-Associated Infections – Looks okay.

PG 660-671 Doctors in Residency – Gov’t will tell you where your residency will be, thus where you’ll live.

Pg 676-686 Gov’t will regulate hospitals in EVERY aspect of residency programs, incl. teaching

Pg 686-700 Increased Funding to Fight Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. You mean like the Gov’t with an $18 million website?

PGs 701-704 Sec 1619 If your part of HC plan isn’t in Gov’t HC Exchange but you qualify for Fed aid, no payment.

PG 705-709 SEC. 1128 If Secr gets complaints (ACORN) on HC provider or supplier, Gov’t can do background check.

PG 711 Lines 8-14 The Secretary has broad powers to deny HC providers/ suppliers admittance into HC Exchange. Your doctor could be thrown out of business.

Pg 719-720 Sec 1637 ANY Doctor who orders durable med equip or home med services MUST be enrolled in Medicare.

PG 722 Sec 1639 Gov’t MANDATES Doctors must have face to face with patient to certify patient for Home Health Svcs.

PG 724 23-25 PG 725 1-5 The same Gov’t certifications will apply to Medicaid & CHIP (your kids)

PG 724 Lines 16-22 Gov’t reserves rt to apply face to face certification for patient to ANY other HC service.

Pg 735 lines 16-25 For law enforce. proposes the Secretary-HHS will give Atty General access to ALL data.

PG 740-757 Gov’t sets guidelines for subsidizing the uninsured (Thats your tax dollars people)

Pg 757-762 Fed gov’t will shift burden of payments to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) to States. (Taxes)

Pg 763 1-8 No DS/EA hospitals will be paid unless they provide services without regard to national origin

Pg 765 Sec 1711 Gov’t will require Preventative Services including vaccines. (Choice?)

Pg 768 Sec 1713 Gov’t – Nurse Home Visitation Svcs (Hello union paybacks)

Pg 769 11-14 Nurse Home Visit Svcs include-economic self-sufficiency, employ adv, school-readiness.

Pg 769 3-5 Nurse Home Visit Services - “increasing birth intervals between pregnancies.” Govt ABORTIONS anyone

Pg 770 SEC 1714 Fed Gov’t mandates eligibility for State Family Planning Services. Abortion & State Sovereign.

Pg 789-797 Gov’t will set, mandate drug prices, controlling which drugs brought to market. Bye innovation.

Pgs 797-800 SEC. 1744 PAYMENTS for graduate medical education. The government will now control Drs’ education.

PG 801 Sec 1751 The Govt will decide which Health care conditions will be paid. Say RATION!

Pg 810 SEC. 1759. Billing Agents, clearinghouses, etc req. to register. Gov’t takes over private payment sys.

Pg 820-824 Sec 1801 Govt will identify individ. ineligible for subsidies. Will access all personal financial information.

Pg 824-829 SEC. 1802. Govt Sets up Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund. Another tax black hole.

PG 829-833 Gov’t will impose a fee on ALL private health ins. plans incl. self insured to pay for Trust Fund!

PG 835 11-13 fees imposed by Gov’t for Trust Fund shall be treated as if they were taxes.

Pg 838-840 Gov’t will design & implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids & families expect kids.

PG 844-845 This Home Visitation Prog. includes Gov’t coming into your house & telling you how to parent!!!

Pg 859 Gov’t will establish a Public Health Fund at a cost of $88,800,000,000. Yes that’s Billion.
Pg 865 The Gov’t will MANDATE the establishment of a National Health Service Corps.

PG 865 to 876 The NHS Corps is a program where Drs. perform mandatory HC for 2yrs for part loan repayment.

PG 876-892 The govt takes over the education of our Med students and Drs.

PG 898 The Govt will establish a Public Health Workforce Corps to ensure supply of public health prof.

PG 898 The Public health workforce corps shall consist of civilian employees of the U.S. as Secretary deems.

PG 898 The Public health workforce corps shall consist of officers of Regular & Reserve Corps of Service.

PG 900 The Public Health Workforce Corps includes veterinarians.

PG 901 The Public Health Workforce Corps WILL include commissioned Regular & Reserve Officers. HC Draft?

PG 910 The Govt will develop, build & run Public Health Training Centers.

PG 913-914 Govt starts a HC affirmative action program thru guise of diversity scholarships.

PG 915 SEC. 2251. Govt MANDDATES Cultural & linguistic competency training for HC professionals.

Pg 932 The Govt will estab Preventative & Wellness Trust fund- initial cost of $30,800,000,000-Billion.

PG 935 21-22 Govt will identify specific goals & objectives for prevention & wellness activities. Control YOU!!

PG 936 Govt will develop “Healthy People & National Public Health Perform. Standards” Tell me what to eat?

PG 942 Lines 22-25 More Gov’t? Offices of Surgeon General -Public Health Svc, Minority Health, Women’s Health

PG 950- 980 BIG GOV’T core pub health infrastructure including workforce capacity, lab systems; health info sys, etc

PG 993 Gov’t will establish school based health clinics. Your kids won’t have a chance.

PG 994 School Based Health Clinic will be integrated into the school environment. Say GOVT Brainwash!

PG 1001 The Govt will establish a National Medical Device Registry. Will you be tracked?

Mathew D. Staver* Founder and Chairman Dean and Professor of Law Liberty Counsel Liberty University School of Law Offices in Florida, Virginia and the District of Columbia, Lynchburg, Virginia (800) 671-1776 - Telephone (434) 592-5300

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cardboard Capers

Nothing to do? Too hot outside to breath let alone run and play?

I have the answer for you! Just follow my step by step instructions for hours of happy childhood memories:

1. Find yourself a box. Look for a nice big one like the ones large appliances come in. (Call a store that sells them and they often will save them for you or tell you where to pick one up, I've done it multiple times.) Bring it home. Set in in the coolest room of your house.
2. Obtain a copy of Christina Katerina and the Box.

3. Read said book to children.

4. Watch as they are busy with imaginative play for hours.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We've moved on to apricots in the valley of fruit that we live in. They are everywhere, people asking, "Do you want some?" or "Please come pick my trees!!!"

And we have. Twice now. It really is a fun (albeit sweat-producing in the upper ninety degree weather) family activity. And just tonight, Mr. Right brought home a huge box from someone at work. I've been working on them for days now. The fruit driers are humming (note to self: Buy more of them! When the fruit is ready, it is ready and they can't wait around for days while the other fruit is drying.)

I sure am thankful for all of this free, organic fruit but I've had several frustrating incidences tonight. One thing is that my old house does not like it when I have every burner on and the oven going at the same time. The fuse box and I are getting to know each other well. My tendency toward impatients does me no good during canning either. I've had three jar fatalities so far. Putting a too cold jar in to too hot a water bath does that to even the best of them.

But, most jars are coming out ok. It's so nice to be working away and hear the pop! pop! of the jars sealing. What satisfaction! And, when I am most frustrated at my little issues, I think of the story that my friend Suzy told me. Years ago she was canning peaches, half gallons, I believe. She'd worked and worked for hours, placing each jar on her wood table as they came out of the water bath. When she was done, she sat down and admired their beauty. They were so beautiful, in fact, that she left those jars of peaches right where they were for several days just to look at them. When she was ready to put them away, as she picked up each jar, the bottoms broke off right where the hot jar had had contact with the table. She sat and cried. Whatever is going on in my kitchen, at least it's not as bad as Suzy's peaches!

Every time I begin to think that canning is just one gigantic time waster, I try to remember that I'm helping my husband to provide for the family by spending my time doing something that would cost a lot of money to buy. I try to remember that by teaching my children how to grow, harvest and preserve the harvest, I am enabling them, and possibly future generations to be self sufficient, which is a dying skill. I try to remember that when I know exactly where the food came from and how it was processed, I can rest easy knowing that it is the best possible thing I can feed my children. I try to remember that keeping busy to prepare for the future is what I should be doing, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gather her food in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8

And one more thing I will leave you with tonight.... a yummy recipe:

Apricot Butter

24 medium apricots
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon

To prepare pulp:Wash and stem apricots; cut in halves; pit. Cook apricots until soft, adding only enough water to prevent sticking (about 1/2 cup). Press through a sieve or food mill. Measure 1 1/2 quarts apricot pulp.

To prepare butter: Combine apricot pulp and sugar. Cook until thick enough to round up on a spoon. As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Add lemon juice. Ladle the hot butter into jars.

Process jars in water bath canner for 10 minutes for pints.

My Birthday Girl

Well, it's happened. My daughter is 16. I can't believe it. Now she's even talking about driving a car. Driving a car, can you imagine?

We quietly welcomed her birthday at home on Thursday. She chose to have blueberry pancakes for breakfast and her favorite cream cheese and veggie sandwiches on french bread for lunch. She wasn't supposed to have any chores that day... but being as indespensable as she really is, she did end up helping her mom anyway. :)

I really wanted this birthday to be a special one. I would have bought her this if I could have... (doesn't it look like something you'll see with the name Barbie written on the side?)

But, lacking funds for such a purchase, I came up with a plan. I contacted all of the woman that I could think of that had an impact in Serenity's life. I asked them to make a quilt square for her. The results were truly amazing. Each square was so different, beautiful and unique. It turned out better than I could have imagined.

I think there were fifty plus squares in the end. Thank you to everyone who participated! She was so surprised (amazing, due to the fact that I have a very hard time keeping secrets, especially from those I am with 24/7!) Many people who we haven't talking with in years were able to send a square, former teachers, Sunday school and Awana leaders, old friends and pen pals.
This weekend, my parents came to visit. That is always a treat for all of the children, but Serenity's grampy made sure that she had a special birthday by getting her what she really wanted, an ice cream cake! I am thankful that she has such a sweet spirit and is so easy to please. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Brotherly Love

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Romans 12:10

I am overwhelmed with the generosity of another family.

A little background, we lived in Marysville, a small town way out from where we wanted to be, for 18 months. We could afford a big enough house there for all of the children that we had with us at that time. We lived there just long enough to meet a wonderful Christian family with eight children. One little thing, though, they didn't speak much English. They moved from the Ukraine eight years ago.

This family has been nothing but a blessing to us. From the example of their well behaved and moral children to their love for others.

I am still in shock. Today, this man, his son and two friends came to my house (near where they'd been fishing), 300 miles from their home. He picked up my car, that has not been running for a year and a half. He is taking it home to put a new engine in it. He is not charging us for the engine. Or the gas. Or the rental price of tow dolly. Or any money for labor. I am sure they have no idea what this means to us. My soon-to-be sixteen year old daughter will have the opportunity to learn to drive. It will save us an incredible amount of money in gas, due to the fact that my husband is driving a 16 passenger van back and forth to work daily. We have not had the money to fix it, and to be honest, I thought it would never happen.

My husband and I were talking... "If this was anyone else, it would seem suspicious. We would wonder... why are they being so nice?"

These people have gone out of their way, above and beyond to help us where they can. The wife, through our daughters taught me how to make pickles when I was up to my ears in little babies and thought that I could never learn how to can. They've blessed us with friendship. I am amazed.

I pray that I can take their example of how to treat others, especially other believers, and learn from them. I want to pass on their kindness and true Christian love to others. Above all I pray that they are blessed 100 fold.

Thank you!

Monday, July 20, 2009

We Be Jammin'

Working on blueberry jam this afternoon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Make Your Own: Mint Extract

I'm a mintaholic. Hold the chocolate, unless it's very minty that is! Mint ice cream, mint tea, I love it all.

This year I'm growing mint. Mmmm... I love to smell it in the garden.

Did you know that you can use that mint in the garden to make your own extract? Try it!

Mint Extract:
To make mint extract, obtain a pound or so of fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves (harvest them at noon time on a sunny day), wash them well and crush/bruise the leaves. Add these to a quart sized canning jar of vodka and place in the sun. Using a piece of well-washed, new cheese cloth, strain (and discard) the leaves from the infusion after three to four weeks.
(Taken from

****Post update 9/09:

My mint extract turned out SO WELL! Especially the "chocolate mint" variety. It smells great. Think ahead and make some up now in pretty bottles for the holidays. Tie a ribbon on and viola! instant hostess gift. The only cost is some cheap Vodka, at about $10 a bottle at the liquor store, it will make you several smaller bottles of extract. Many gifts for less than a dollar each!

Super Sale on Blueberries

Fred Meyer is having a great sale on blueberries! $1.57 per pound if you buy them in five pound boxes. That is cheaper than the u-pick price around here.

Blueberries are so easy... dump your berries in to gallon size freezer bags and put them in the freezer. They are lower in moister than a lot of other things so they don't stick together. You'll be so glad you bought them when you're baking up fresh blueberry muffins later in the year.

Blueberries top the charts with antioxidants and have been shown to help with brain, eye and vascular health. Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are highly reactive particles - induced by such things as cigarette smoking, sunlight and excessive exercise - that damage cells throughout the body by triggering oxidative reactions.
Not only are blueberries low in calories and high in fiber, they are packed with phytonutrients (plant compounds) that may promote healthy aging. In fact, preliminary studies focused on blueberry consumption have shown improved motor skills and a benefit in age-related short-term memory function. Blueberries may also provide other benefits such as supporting cardiovascular health and a healthy urinary tract.

You may not need a health-related reason to eat blueberries. They are just so delicious! But if you need one more, they're a low glycemic fruit, meaning that they raise blood sugar levels at a lower pace.

Friday, July 17, 2009

All American Pass Time

Forget about baseball and apple pie. Jumping on the trampoline with a sprinkler underneath beats all that. Especially when it's 105 degrees out! Here's my four-year-old Speed Racer enjoying himself: