MinuteMom October 2011â&#x20AC;˘ Volume 1 Issue 2
the Primaries New Mama Grizzly Supreme Court & More
With my children back in school, and hoping to broaden my horizons as well, I took up a new habit. I walk into the library periodical section, close my eyes, and randomly select a few magazines to review for the week. This week I read an article on the WWI battle of Meuse-Argonne, one of the bloodiest in all of America’s military history. With comrades collapsing every second, the American forces continued trudging into the German lines. Hope motivated them forward. Hope is a profound motivator. Hope of a better world inspired our Founding Fathers to risk all for the cause of liberty. Hope motivates us today to give time and talents to better our country. This month’s As a Family section celebrates Christopher Columbus and his undying hope in a dream. What would the world, our world, be like if he had given up? My hope in starting my new habit was to reawaken dormant interests and find a few new ones too. MinuteMom magazine offers the same opportunity to our members. If you ever hoped to understand the difference between the caucus and primary systems, check out Jeff Krump’s Primer on the Primaries. Other magazine highlights include a tribute to two of our Founding Mothers, Abigail Adams and Martha Washington, as well as one AAM member’s personal experience getting her concealed weapon permit. Hope you enjoy this month’s magazine!
Anita Reeves Co-Founder and Vice - President As a Mom… A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots® Inc.
Anita Reeves takes a quiet moment to read. 2
photo L.. Parker
MinuteMom Magazine October 2011• Volume 1 Issue 2
Features 6 the Terrible Twos
Can you toss a few tantrums? Those impossible to ignore, “make- yourrepresentative- want-to-listen-just-so- he- can -get-you-to-be-quiet” type of tantrums?. By lORI pARKER, pRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER aS A mOM...
10 A Primer on the Primaries 20
It’s time for a primer on the mechanics of our election system. By Jeff Krump, AAM Director At Large - Politics
14 Hearts and Minds
One heart, one mind at a time, can change the world. By Sherry Gu
18 HomeSchooling Through Crisis So how do you homeschool through a crisis?
By Regina Benjamin Steiger, Director of Public relations and Editor
20 Dream Act Passes in California… Is Your State Next? The high cost of college tuition may mean paying big bucks for your kid, and an illegal immigrant too. Why the DREAM act is a taxpayer nightmare, coming to a state near you. By Kami Watkins
22 New Mama Grizzly 28
I was no stranger to guns, but I was petrified by what they could do— what they were meant to do—what everyone around me was training with guns to do—Kill. By Erin Williams, AAM Director of Membership
24 Supreme Court Preview
Federalist Society Supreme Court Preview 2011 October 2, 2011. By Kay Ellen Bacharach
As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
The Save the Constitution - Read It! Campaign is not a group or a program. It is an Attitude. The purpose of Save it! Read it! is to encourage patriots everywhere to do two things: 1. Commit to reading The Constitution and review it often. 2. Encourage others to read the Constitution. We have received challenges to read and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from various sources. All of us must commit to reading the Constitution of the United States of America and review it often. Only by understanding the principles upon which our government was founded can we recognize Constitutional abuses and be able to step up and stop that abuse. The Save the Constitution - Read It! Campaign started as an extension of the Patriot Pin Program developed by As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots to encourage patriots everywhere to save the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Classroom packs of 25 bookmarks are available from www.AsAMom.org Pins, Pendants and bumper stickers are at www.asamomestore.com
www.SaveItReadIt.org ÂŠ2010 As A Mom...A Sisterhood of Mommy PatriotsÂŽ www.asamom.org
28 Our Garden of Liberty I’m afraid we’ve really mucked things up.
By Marlene Peterson, HomeMakers for America, Vice President
36 Investing In America – The Enterprise
Our Founders engineered a system to enable its citizens to live freely - to protect each person’s rights to life, liberty and property. By Philip Johnson
President’s Letter Welcome
4 Board Bits 5 Letters to the Editor 9
Country Sidewalk Seasoning
Children Reading, Writing, and a Rainbow Fish
31 Values Hope…The Anchor of Light
32 Founding Mothers A Founder’s Wife: Martha Washington (1731-1802) A Founder’s Wife: Abigail Adams (1744-1818)
38 As Seen on AAM How I Survived... More Hot Topics ...
40 In the Spotlight 42
44 As A Family
Publisher: As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots.® Inc. www.AsAMom.org Editor Regina Steiger Assistant Editor Patsy Conreaux Contributing Writers: Kay Ellen Bacharach Carrie Christiansen Sherry Gu Jeff Krump Tara Kozub Philip Johnson Marlene Peterson Kami Watkins Erin Wiliams MinuteMom Magazine is published 12 times a year by As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots, Inc. MinuteMom Magazine is available free, on-line. Copyright © 2011 by As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots, Inc. All rights reserved. MinuteMom Magazine is not responsible for errors, omissions or contest fulfillment from third parties. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the official organization policy. As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots® is a registered trademark. On the cover: MinuteMoms of Michigan Photo by Mikayla Joy Please send all article submissions to: email@example.com
MinuteMom Magazine is looking for people to share their talents by producing articles, essays, opinion pieces and original poetry. Artists share your original artwork. Send us photos showing your adventures As a Mom... For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
Advertising inquiries contact: email@example.com Note that submissions are welcome but are not guaranteed inclusion in the magazine.
YYBoard Bits Regina S. Director of Public Relations
MinuteMom Magazine will be adding a new department in our November issue called, “The Mouth of Babes” . We want to hear from our kids! They hear us talking. They hear other adults talking. They hear their friends talking. What are our kids thinking and saying? Write up those pearls or have your young writers send their own articles to firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana L. Director of Education
As Director of Education, I am looking forward to providing helpful articles and tackling the issues we deal with while trying to provide the best education we can to our children. In the meantime, please make sure you have looked through the University http://bit.ly/rmCixc and check out the Daily NewsCap http://bit.ly/nFERaF for an quick update on the top issues of the day!!
Jeff K. Director at Large/ Political Advisor
Many states and communities have important elections coming up in just a few short weeks this November. If mail-in ballots are used, they start going out in about 2 weeks. Make sure you are informed about the issues and candidates and share your knowledge with your family, friends and neighbors. Most of all, make sure you are properly registered and VOTE!!!
PJ B. Director of Groups
We talk about the 10th Amendment. We talk about the Federal Government taking over our freedoms. We talk about States’ Rights. What are we doing about it? Since the primary season is our best chance, these next few months are very important for setting up the strongest states we can. Readers will notice the chairmoms are changing focus and will be going into community and state development, so j oin and participate in your states at http://tinyurl.com/3nvk5ot. The strength of the states can be determined by learning and sharing, not only with each other but also by informing the candidates and the elected officials in your state! If you don’t do it, who will?
Nancy C. Director of Projects
Blankets, Books and Buddies update from New York State: I received a note from Lara, pastor Jeff Kelley’s wife. “I’m trying to organize a distribution of all the supplies you guys have given us this Saturday. So far we have received 41 animals, 17 blankets, and 19 books, plus various school supplies. That is so awesome! Our community will be blessed with the generosity of the members of your organization!” Thanks Moms for all you do! Still looking for a VT address.
Erin W. Director of Membership
As we welcome back fall, we also welcome back our AAM members who have been busy over the summer, and we look forward to hearing what they have been doing during their summer vacations! Returning and new members will find great information about our presidential candidates in “Forums,” learn about Lori’s discovery on the Department of Education website, and get informed about Agenda 21--whose information is so incredible there’s even a new group devoted to it! Join us on AsAMom...! www.AsAMom.org
YYLetters to the Editor Changing Saints With all the fervor about leaving God or any symbol of spiritual belief out of our country, I can’t help wondering when we will have to rename some of the most famous cities in America--San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Saint Augustine, San Antonio & San Diego to name a few. If I am not mistaken, they are named after saints. How about the rivers? Saint Lawrence comes to mind. Think of all the jobs that will be created repainting signs all over America to get God out of our maps, GPS systems and even mountains. Let’s pray that this is just tongue-incheek. Don’t show it to any liberal or it will be the next bill before Congress. God bless even the most misguided of Americans; may they see the light. Donna Pallotta, Ocala, FL Lifeboat For me, finding AAM was like being cast adrift in a lifeboat in the middle of a great ocean and finding an inhabited island called As A Mom - just in time! I have learned a great deal, but the best and most important thing I have learned is that I am not alone. As a Mom... has not only given me incentive to work toward change, it has provided me with an outlet and forum to express my ideas and opinions. It has provided me with the opportunity of learning from others, encouraged me to do research on a variety of topics, and given me the pleasure of helping others. Auntie Anne-Indiana Via AAM Blog Do you have something to say? Send your comments to email@example.com
Let Them Know You Mean Business! Get your AAM business cards at our
Only at www.asamomestore.com
One of the most dreaded phases of childhood has started at As a Mom… On September 26, very, very, late at night, As a Mom… A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots, Inc. turned two years old. It was a very quiet anniversary; no cake, no candles, no wild pin the tail on the donkey. In fact, I slept through that exact moment, having retired to bed at a decent hour this year. It launched what is sure to be anything but a quiet year for As a Mom… as we start into those dreaded ‘terrible twos.’ For those without toddlers, or unnaturally good kids, let me remind you that the ‘Terrible Twos’ is a child development stage normally occurring around the age of two years and typified by toddlers often saying ‘no’, throwing temper tantrums and characterized by increased independence. So are you going to join us in our Terrible Twos?
Are you ready to say NO? Let me hear you say it right now loud and clear,” NO!” Say it loud and clear so it is heard in every political office in the land. No more ignoring the Constitution. No more passing bills that no one has read. No more spending away our children’s futures. Remember to say it over and over again. Say it in e-mails, on Facebook, tweet it really fast. Say it in phone calls and persuasive conversations with neighbors. We have a voice and we know how to use it clearly and loudly. Let your voice be heard. Can you toss a few tantrums? Those impossible to ignore, “make- your-representativewant-to-listen-just-so- he- can -get-you-tobe-quiet” type of tantrums? These are the type of tantrums that result in letters to the editor and visits to Capitol Hill. Make candidates realize that they ignore us to their peril. These are the type of tantrums that make others realize you are serious about what you want when you take your stand.
Crayons courtisy morguefile, Todler couresy Author, Digital art LJp Design
By Lori PARKER As a Mom... pRESIDENT & cO-fOUNDER
“Some refer to this period as the ‘terrible twos.’ It is not really a terrible time, though; it’s a terrific time…” Dr. Spock Baby And Child Care, Benjamin Spock p. 150
As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
We can use our terrible twos to our advantage. Just think how much we have learned in the past two years. We know more about caucuses, the Constitution and the congressional switchboard than we ever dreamed we could know. We have learned how and where to get informed. The best thing is we are not alone; we have a group of other moms to help us find facts and with whom we can share frustrations. Yes! Of course we are ready for the terrible twos; after all we navigated our first twenty-four months something like a nursery full of colicky babies and did our best to make ourselves impossible to ignore. The question is: are they ready for us? Probably not. In all fairness, we really should give them a handbook for dealing with terrible twos. I can’t guarantee it will be any more helpful than all those books on parenting that are on my bookshelf. But at least they can’t say we didn’t try to help. [See sidebar] I am so excited that this election year coincides with the year of our terrible twos. I can’t wait to see how the nation will continue to react as people see us standing as Moms, bold and dignified. On second thought, they shouldn’t be called the terrible twos at all… Welcome to AAM’s Terrific Twos! Let’s get to work and have a wonderful time.
A Politician’s Guide to dealing with the Terrible Twos
by As A Mom… Please note this is only a guide. Remember all citizens are different; if you really want to help your constituent take the time to listen to her or him.
1. One of the leading causes of tantrums is tiredness. Check to see if she is tired of hearing the same old thing again, and again. Avoid saying things you don’t really mean just to appease the masses without ever listening to the complaints. It could be that you have already been told clearly and concisely the problem and even given some solutions.
2. Often tantrums are used as an attention-getting device. Check your calendar. Have you taken time to sit down and listen, read your e-mail and really hear what has been said? If you have been leaving your constituents in the care of babysitters while you have been off having dinner with your union bosses or out dancing with the lobbyists, then you are most likely guilty of ignoring the early signs of a tantrum that could be avoided.
Lori Parker is the President and Co-founder of As a Mon... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots. A mother of four, she has a passion for saving this country for her children. 8
4. Do by Self! This phrase is often heard when you are babying someone who can do for themselves what you are trying to do for them. Be careful not to rob others of their self esteem by doing what they can do for themselves. Handouts rarely become “hand ups”. Instead, they become fetters that are stronger than any 5-point harness system.
Solution to all of the above: Listen and act in such a way that your constituent knows she has been heard and understood. www.AsAMom.org
morguefile, Digital art LJp Design
3. No, means exactly that. If you are being told ‘no’ it means that what you are doing is not liked or appreciated. Stop trying to feed them bills that have been mashed and strained until they no longer resemble the concept of the bill. Stop watering down the content by adding amendments that dilute the flavor.
I was minding my own business, fingering through the clothing rack of a sidewalk sale when I overheard a conversation about ten feet away that caught my attention: “Those tea party people are morons,” snarled a 60-something white man. “They’re uneducated... from the sticks. They don’t read. They vote with their emotions!” He was addressing a 60-something black man who was manning some kind of booth and voicing avid agreement. No doubt about it -- I knew I had to say something. Fairly leaping the ten feet, I circled in front of the men saying “Excuse me. I am a tea party member. I have a Bachelor’s Degree. I am a former television reporter and I research the issues I vote on.” Momentarily taken aback, but unwilling to walk away, the man said, “So you vote against your own best interests?” Our own best interests? I pointed out that my husband and I are both entrepreneurs and what this administration is doing is definitely not in our best interest. He searched for what he considered a certain rallying point. “You don’t like the healthcare plan?” he asked. “Absolutely not!” I exclaimed. I told him since my husband is self-employed, we have always paid for our own health insurance and our rates have gone up since the passage of Obamacare (20% higher), with nothing to show for it -except the loss of that coverage and a rewritten policy with a 10-thousanddollar deductible. I wanted to give him an illustration
As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
of government bureaucracy at its worst –something I am certain we would all have to deal with if Obamacare is not repealed. “Let me give you an example,” I explained. “My mother was a veteran and after filling out about a three-inch stack of forms to apply for a VA benefit she was entitled to, it took thirteen months for her to get it --they seemed to hope at age 90, she would die first.” My challenger quickly interrupted me; He wasn’t really interested in hearing me. He just wanted to make his points. But I backed him off, declaring that he should let me finish. Then I pointed out that six months after applying for the benefit, my mom received a letter informing her that she’d been approved for it, but they weren’t going to give it to her because they had pronounced her incompetent and refused to recognize me as the ”Power of Attorney” she chose to oversee her finances. It took another seven months to get them to relent and provide the aid. “That was the health insurance company wasn’t it?” gloated the man. His wife, who had been listening, broke in and reminded him, “No, that was the government.” Well, if facts were going to get in the way, he decided it was clearly time for the race card. “Just how many blacks and Hispanics and Arabs are out at these tea party things?” he growled. “I don’t know,” I answered truthfully. “I haven’t been at every event to count them.” “How many blacks and Hispanics and Arabs did they (the tea party) elect to office?” he countered.
“What about (Colonel Alan) West from Florida?” I asked him. “Token!” he spat. “This (decorated) military man is a token?” I asked him, incredulous. “So, am I a token?” He punted. “Most of those tea party people are just bigots.” As a woman of color, I faced him down and asked, “Am I a bigot?” Before he could reply, I smiled and reminded him he’d just been talking to one of “those tea party people” and suggested he might want to talk to more of us. And then I walked away Before heading out on this day, I’d read a Christian email I receive every morning. It reminded me that as Christians, we are the salt of the earth. But it urged us to be smart and wise in using and being salt. Too much can ruin flavor and burn the mouth. Wisely measured, it can set the captives free. I had a full day ahead of me and after reading that, I’d asked God to put a guard over my mouth, knowing that I had a class to teach in the morning and grieving friends to console in the afternoon. I’d asked God to help me express His grace and love to my students and my friends. I never expected to offer the most seasoning to a stranger on the sidewalk. —Regina Steiger , editor
Regina says she was keenly aware of how this Scripture, taken from the NIV translation, addressed her encounter on the sidewalk: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 October 2011
A Primer on the Primaries It seems like the election cycle runs 24/7/365 with no pauses or breaks. In reality, the meat of the election cycle is beginning now and will run for the next 5-6 months. But wait you say; the presidential election isn’t until November 6, 2012. That is true, but there’s much going on right now to determine who will be the Republican candidate to challenge President Obama that day. So it’s time for a primer on the mechanics of our election system.
Caucus vs. Primary
Our political system includes both caucuses and primaries to determine the presidential candidate from each major party. There are several types of each, so depending on the state, you will need to find out which system yours uses. Some states actually use both. The simple difference between them is whether you attend a meeting (caucus) or vote in a booth (primary) to determine whom to send to the Party Convention.
10 MinuteMom Magazine
The caucus process begins at the local level. Any registered member of the specific party may attend. Members who live in the same precinct sit together to conduct official business. Candidates are discussed and debated. Each district may have all of their precincts caucus in one location or in the case of larger districts, they may occur in multiple locations. All districts/counties in the state caucus at the same time with results of the votes given to state party headquarters that night. Later in the year at a state party assembly, delegates are selected to attend the national convention. Most pledge to cast their votes according to the caucus/primary votes but some may be uncommitted. Caucuses were the original method of choosing party delegates. But since primaries were introduced in the early 1900s, they have become the more popular system. Some believe a full primary with secret ballots is a more democratic process and attracts more participation. www.AsAMom.org
By jEFF kRUMP As a Mom... Director aT lARGE - pOLITICS
Caucus or Primary: What is your State?
Primary Open Primary Closed Primary Caucus Open Caucus
Alabama - Open Primary. Alaska - Caucuses Arizona - Closed Primary Arkansas - Open Primary California - Primary Colorado - Caucuses Connecticut - Closed Primary Delaware - Primary District of Columbia - Primary Florida - Primary Georgia - Open Primary Hawaii - Open Caucuses Idaho - Open Primary Illinois - Primary Indiana - Open Primary Iowa - Caucus Kansas - Caucuses Kentucky - Closed Primary Louisiana - Caucus Maine - Caucuses Maryland - Closed Primary Massachusetts - Semi-Closed Primary Michigan - Open Primary Minnesota - Open Caucuses Mississippi - Open Primary Missouri - Open Primary Montana - Open Primary Nebraska - Primary As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots速
Nevada - Caucuses New Hampshire - Semi-Open Primary New Jersey - Primary New Mexico - Republican Primary Democrat closed caucus New York - Closed Primary North Carolina - Primary North Dakota - Open Caucuses Ohio - Semi-Open Primary Oklahoma - Closed Primary Oregon - Closed Primary Pennsylvania - Primary Rhode Island - Primary South Carolina - Open Primary South Dakota - Closed Primary Tennessee - Open Primary Texas - Semi-Open Primary Closed Caucus (schedule based on party rules). Utah - Closed Primary Vermont - Open Primary Virginia - Open Primary Washington - Open Caucus & Primary This is a two-step process. West Virginia -Closed Primary 18 Delegates at the State Convention (ask the state party for details), 12 Delegates for the Primary. Wisconsin - Open Primary Wyoming - Caucus October 2011 11
As stated earlier, some states use a caucus system, others use a primary system and a few use both. For example Washington State Republicans use a primary system and the Democrats use the caucus system. The parties pick their own dates which may or may not be the same. The GOP has a long-standing rule allowing Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to be the first states to caucus or primary. Currently the dates are as follows: YY Iowa Feb 6 YY New Hampshire Feb 14th YY Nevada Feb 18th YY South Carolina Feb 28th. March 6th is considered Super Tuesday where most of the other states determine their favorite. Many states, including Florida and Colorado, have considered holding their caucus / primary earlier in the process, right behind Iowa. Party rules penalize states that do so, by cutting their allotted national delegates in half. But the national attention and state participation before the nominee is a lock may be worth the punishment. Late last month, the Colorado GOP Central Committee voted to hold the state-wide caucus on Tuesday, February 7th, the day after Iowa. Colorado will not be punished as the caucus is non-binding and delegates will be selected in April. Each state and each party may set their own rules for primaries. Some use voting booths, mail-in ballots or absentee ballots. YY Closed Primaries only allow registered members of a specific party to vote. YY Open Primaries do not require party affiliation and anyone may vote. YY Blanket Primaries allow the voter to cast one vote for each office, regardless of party affiliation. 12 MinuteMom Magazine
If you want to participate in a party caucus or a closed primary, there are deadlines for registering with a specific party, usually between 30-60 days in advance of the caucus/primary, although some states let you change party affiliation at the door.
How Delegates are Awarded
The Democrats use a proportionate distribution system to choose delegates to their party’s national convention. It’s based on the percentage of votes each candidate received during the primary/caucus season. The Republicans allow states to determine if they use a winner-take-all or proportionate system by which to choose delegates for their party’s convention. To add to the confusion, Democrats have a “Super Delegate” system; Republicans do not. Almost 40% of the delegates to the Democratic convention are former presidents, governors, other elected leaders, or other party elders that may be super delegates. That means only about 60% of the party’s national delegates are actually elected. As you can see, getting involved now is critical if you seriously want to be a part of the process that determines who will be the nominee for president (or other elected offices). You may end up voting in your precinct, district, county, state or even at the national convention before the general election. If you sit this part out, you end up voting once in the general election for a candidate with a red jersey or a blue jersey (or a 3rd party candidate who will be unlikely to win). Many states require you to be registered before the end of the year. I encourage each of you to research your state and county rules and please get involved. Jeff Krump is an As a Mom... Board Member at large and political consultant. He is also Vice Chairman of the Denver County GOP, Vice Chairman of Congressional District 1 (Colorado) and a member of the Colorado GOP State Central Committee www.AsAMom.org
Various Types of Primary Elections
Reading, Writing, and a Rainbow Fish
Turn It Off Or Up Or Down Share The Power All Around… Do The World A Really Big Favor, Be A Community Energy Saver! One, Two, Three, Four…We Don’t Care About The Score!! These two ‘Marxist’ mantras are a sampling of the insidious propaganda peddled to my children both in the classroom and on the athletic field. I am well aware of the powerful influence coaches and teachers wield in shaping my children’s values and principles. As evidenced by the beguiling chants cited here, I find myself swimming upstream against strong currents fraught with rapids of socialism. There is a quiet revolution taking place on our natal sod, a battle for the heart and soul of America. Our children are being incrementally recruited as unwitting soldiers for “fundamental transformation” via the eradication of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and our founding principles of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. From Mao’s Red Army to Lenin’s Communist Youth League, history’s most brutal despots understood that the splintering of the family, the undermining of authority, the demonization of individualism, and the indoctrination of the youth were the necessary components required to build a Communist “utopia”. As Lenin himself said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted… Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.” Although summer provided a muchneeded reprieve from this “quiet revolution,” the season has arrived for the battle to resume. As this mom readies As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
backpacks and dusts off cleats, inherently I know it is also time to dust off my combat boots. The tentacles of the “quiet revolution” are in many seemingly benign agents of change. Years ago, I experienced this firsthand while flipping through the pages of a well-loved, award-winning children’s book called the “Rainbow Fish”. “The Rainbow Fish” is a story about a beautiful glittery-scaled fish swimming in a sea of dull-scaled fish. One day a little plain blue fish follows him asking, “Rainbow Fish, please give me one of your shiny scales. They are so wonderful and you have so many!” Rainbow Fish refuses. Upset, the little fish swims away to inform the community of Rainbow Fish’s greediness in not sharing his wealth of scales. His peers who “turned away when he swam by” punish him by ostracizing him. Sound familiar? Rainbow Fish, the “loneliest fish in the ocean”, in turn, seeks the counsel of a wise octopus, who advises him to spread his wealth around saying, “Give a glittering scale to each of the other fish. You will no longer be the most beautiful fish in the sea, but you will discover how to be happy.” Suddenly he notices the little blue fish behind him who says, “Rainbow Fish, please don’t be angry. I just want one little scale.” Rainbow Fish begrudgingly hands over his scale and soon feels a rather peculiar feeling come over him. Could it be that he has discovered the secret to true happiness? It doesn’t take long before Rainbow Fish finds himself surrounded by all the other fish in the community. Now everyone wants a glittering scale and so Rainbow Fish shares his scales left
and right. The more he gives away, the more delighted he becomes. Ultimately he is left with only one scale of his own. But, “At last he feels at home among the other fish.” Rainbow Fish is now a good and happy little comrade! Reflecting back upon it now, I am reminded of the sobering words of Nadezhada Krupskaya. This notorious Bolshevik Revolutionary, writer, educator, advisor, and wife of Vladimir Lenin said, “The children’s book is one of the most powerful weapons of the socialist character-education of the growing generation.” I believe her! The Rainbow Fish provides a sobering metaphor in this age of “eat the rich” rhetoric. Our children swim in schools fraught with “Rainbow Fish” styled collectivism. We must prepare them to resist being swept up in this perilous current. We must encourage them to let their God-given “scales” shine! In an atmosphere of “Rainbow Fish” acquiescence, we can turn our children toward another kind of metaphorical role model. It is the story of the life cycle of the salmon; one written by God Himself. Salmon are well-known for their heroic journeys upstream, overcoming every obstacle, even dodging bears and leaping over waterfalls, in an attempt to reach their God-given potential. We moms can also learn much from the female salmon, who battles these same rugged currents in an effort to give life to her posterity. A new season is upon us! Let the battle begin anew. —Tara Kozub Reprinted by permission of Smart Girl Nation
October 2011 13
Hearts & Minds American and Ukrainian Flags
The United States, the country of my birth, has been spoken of badly for many years now. The stories being told throughout the world are that America is a selfish country; one that would confiscate resources from around the globe to enrich our own nation; a country so self centered that American citizens would steal what the world has so that we might have our flat screen TVs and SUVs while living off what the rest of the world toils to produce.
We all meet early in the morning after a half hour of fitness. The American and Ukrainian flags are raised and we sing our National Anthems.
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I’ve lived out of the United States twice in my life. The first time was when my husband’s job took us to Luxembourg. We lived there for two years, from July 1992-August 1994. Two of our daughters moved there with us. They attended the American International School of Luxembourg and it was a wonderful experience for them, but turned out to be somewhat of a different experience for me. People from that country, as well as others, would not think twice about engaging me in a bash-America conversation. In fact, I often felt they sought me out just to let me know how poorly Americans were thought of. In some respects, I felt their issues with the US resulted from pure envy, but that did not fully explain their complete distrust and anger of our country. My second experience living out of the United States came in 1994 when we moved to Taipei, Taiwan, again for my husband’s work. Our two younger daughters again moved with us and this time attended the Taipei American School. I would like to say the attitude toward America was different there, but I found a similar distrust of our nation. I found it stemmed initially from many of the same reasons given by the Europeans, as well as a few more. www.AsAMom.org
By Sherry Gu
In 1979, the Carter Administration established the “Taiwan Relations Act”, a policy that established diplomatic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China and broke off relations with the Republic of China, (a.k.a, Taiwan); this after the Taiwanese had been told for years that America would never turn her back on Taiwan. It was an unfortunate government decision that took place when a President with the same agenda as our present one, turned against many of our strongest allies. The propaganda mills of the world are powerful. The stories that are written, the hate that is manufactured, does not happen by chance. It has been going on for many years. Now it seems the strongest purveyors of the anti-American sentiment are the proponents of the “One World Order” philosophy – a belief that dismisses national sovereignty by proclaiming that globally, we are all “one” and should therefore be governed by one set of international laws. This group wishes to “equal out” the “haves” and “have-nots” of the world. Adherents believe Americans make too much money, have too many belongings and live too well. They have decided it’s time we make some sacrifices by giving some of our wealth to those who are more deserving. Stories are told to twist and distort the truth, leaving out how much America has
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done in the world we are accused now of raping. Recipients of this propaganda are never reminded that it was American manpower and money that helped clean up after both WWI & WWII. They are never reminded of how much we help during any world disaster; or how much aid we give to others annually. This and so much more of what America has done and continues to do is successfully downplayed. Some see our charity and assistance as the least we can do. Since his election to the presidency, Barack Obama has helped fuel this malevolence with his endless apology tours, beseeching the world’s forgiveness for all of America’s sins. His agenda mirrors the orchestrations of those who wish to bring America to the brink of disaster. All is not lost however. We know there is hope because these same forces are fueling other fires as well. Since I have experienced firsthand what many people in our world think of America, I wanted to try to change a few hearts and minds. I’ve found in most countries, people are happy to have our tourism dollars, and aid when a disaster hits, but aren’t much interested in taking the relationship much further. I wanted to help, even in the smallest way, to show that the stories they hear are not a true representation of what America is like.
Left to Right: Campers learning what color group they are in. They are divided by English proficiency levels, but they are told it is color groups hoping there will not be any hurt feelings. Several of the Orange team. Some of the Pink team doing a skit, with the Church band helping out.
Decorating the Chapel for the 4th of July. My classroom during an English class. Toasting marshmallows on the 4th of July to make smores.
October 2011 15
Having dinner for the Ukrainian National Day. This group sang for one of our night skits. Our Chapel tucked off in the trees. The different color groups watching the skits for the evening. Everyone who wanted to came up to the front to participate in some games. My group of students wanting to have a class photo
During my Sunday school class at the beginning of this year, a couple stood up to talk about a mission trip they were planning for the coming summer in the Ukraine. Our church had sent “teachers” to a camp for the families of the Ukraine military for the past four years. The objective of their mission is threefold; to teach English, a language this and most countries feel would be of benefit in helping them excel in the world; to share the Bible, because we believe this is the most important information we can share with the world; and to offer our friendship, hoping to change the negative ideas told about who and what we are as a people. I wanted to go, but since I haven’t taught before, I was very skeptical about my abiliTwo of the teachers from California waiting to participate in their skit. Another of my group in an outdoor photo. One of the teachers from our California group is a doctor. Because the Ukraine has one of the highest rates of AIDS in the world, she spoke to all the campers about prevention. Then,
16 MinuteMom Magazine
ties in a classroom. So starting this past January, I began by meeting twice monthly with the missions group. We were given guidance as to the lesson plans we needed to prepare, and shown how best to teach an ESL course. I must say, it turned out to be a much larger challenge than I would have ever anticipated, but the rewards (eventually) came back to me a hundred -fold. The youngest person at the camp was 11 years old, with the majority being in their teens. The oldest were some of the active duty military personnel. I was given an intermediate-level English class to teach and had nine students, as well as an interpreter to help out with language difficulties. (My daughters had bought me a 3-month, we broke off and the girls were taken into a separate room where the teachers were available to answer any questions the girls might have. At the same time the boys were with the male teachers for the same purpose. Campers being awarded certificates on the last day of classes.
Rosetta Stone Russian course, which I used daily until my departure, but you can only learn so much!) I taught English for two hours a day and my partner-teacher taught Bible for another two hours. I stayed in the classroom to help her out when needed, and she did the same for me. I could list all the activities that filled our days, but just know we pretty much spent every waking hour with either our students or others from the camp. Aside from our classes and meal times, we played sports, did skits (we were included even if we would rather not have been, but learned to laugh at ourselves along with everyone else), had bonfires, made smores, danced, sang, laughed, ate, and we prayed. I took a small photo album with pictures of my family to share. I wanted to show my class photos of my three daughters, my husband, my grandchildren, brothers, sister and even my dog. They loved seeing the photos. They wanted to hear stories about them, about my home, about America. I talked to them about living in a country that stood for freedom, a place where constitutional rights are the law of the land and if you are willing to work hard there is nothing to stop you from becoming a success. I also talked about the love Americans have for others. I told them how our churches and neighborhoods band together to help each other out. For example, when winter temperatures drop below 50 degrees here in my California city, our neighborhood churches take turns housing the homeless. We prepare three meals a day and provide beds, showers, even television for them. I pointed out too, that Americans always find a way to help out during disasters in our country, as well as those around the world. The students, always very polite, stayed after to thank me for sharing my life with As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
them. One of the more articulate in English told me she thought it was wonderful to hear about the sympathetic, caring side of Americans. By the last day, I thought of the campers as friends. They shared their family stories and hopes for their futures with me. They talked of one day being able to visit America, and me. On the last day of camp, there were no dry eyes, many tight hugs and pleas for e-mail addresses, MSM, Facebook and whatever media we could connect on so that we could continue our friendships. And since returning home, I have e-mailed all nine of my students and the interpreter and have heard back from all but two. I made DVD’s of the photos I took while at camp and mailed them to each student. I hear back regularly from several of them and continue to help them with their English, as well as just enjoying being a friend. It is difficult to know if I have made a difference in how my students view our country and our people. I find myself hopeful that they will tell others about the America our group was able to show them. At the same time, I have grown in my own understanding and respect for them, by witnessing first-hand their love for their families and their country; their amazing talents, and the genuine kindness they showed to all of us. And if a few now question the conventional thinking fed to them about the USA, there is hope. One heart, one mind at a time can change the world.
A very sad goodbye. Everyone wanted to stay longer. It was difficult to say goodbye. Everyone just wanted to linger and talk with their new friends. Saying their goodbyes Until next year.
She nearly missed the bus, wanting to say a few more goodbyes.
Sherry Gu is the mother of three daughters and grandmother of two granddaughters, and one grandson. From 1991-2005 she lived out of the U.S., traveling for her husband’s work. She enjoys photography and loves to record the blessings of our country. She is also passionate about doing all she can to help stop the dismantling of all that has made America, the beautiful. October 2011 17
Homeschooling Through Crisis
Homeschooling Through Crisis How do you homeschool through a crisis? I used to ask that of those who trekked this way before me. How do I homeschool when my 89-year old mother breaks her hip? How do I homeschool when our family dog is diagnosed with a life-threatening tumor out of the clear blue sky? How do I homeschool when someone dies? The simplest answer seems to me that you don’t. My mother battled dementia. She moved in with my husband, two very young daughters and me more than nine years ago. God answered her prayers (requests I didn’t even know she’d made of Him) and enabled us to build an apartment for her on our home. Six months later, we were caught quite off guard when she was diagnosed with dementia. I have one sibling-- a sister-- who lives over 500 miles away. When she heard the news, her first words to me were, “I guess you’re going to have to stop home18 MinuteMom Magazine
schooling.” A friend pointed out later my first words to her could have been, ‘I guess you’re going to have to move back home and help.’ Though I wished it, I didn’t say it. I wondered instead what this was going to mean for our family. When my sister notified the police, purchased a “Safe Return” identification bracelet for my mother and put her on a national registry to protect her from becoming another tragic news story of the wandering and now lost dementia sufferer, I began a sort of death watch. But dementia’s not like that. It’s not a “here todaygone tomorrow” illness. There was a journey ahead of us and God gave me very clear instructions for the trip when He spoke to my thoughts one day and said, “She’s not dying. She’s living. Help her live.” And that’s what we did. Wherever we went, whatever we did, Mother was with us. On a road trip to Chicago, and one to Washington D.C., she was there. On those “need-a treat” trips to Dairy Queen and pajama-clad rides by a moonlit Lake www.AsAMom.org
By Regina Benjamin Steiger As a Mom... Director of Public reLations and Editor
St. Clair, she was there. Fireworks, concerts, barbecues, art fairs –beluga whales in Chicago, pig races at the Michigan State Fair, blueberry picking in Canada, art at the DIA—she was there. Over time, one daughter took on the job of rolling her hair at night and applying her makeup during the day. Eventually, both girls, my husband and I took on even more personal helps than that. And it was by no means easy. Dementia didn’t just rob my mother of her memories and her ability to function little by little. At times, it completely changed her personality. The loving mother I’d grown up with became the grandmother who did not want to be treated like a child. And even though she needed their help, she could be heartbreakingly harsh with my tender young daughters. My younger daughter has been wired by God with the gifts of compassion and mercy. She was always able to push past her grandmother’s crankiness, telling her, “Grandma, that’s not nice,” and continue on doing whatever it was Mother needed help doing. My older daughter has been wired by God to seek righteousness and justice. Her journey with Mother was often painted with tears and resentment. She recognized that her grandmother had a disease. But knowing that didn’t protect her feelings from being hurt and she often avoided contact. Yet at other times, she was forced not only to make contact but to learn how to handle trauma –a lesson no textbook can teach. One cold January day when she was just thirteen, I sent her into Mother’s apartment to check on her at the winding down of a lazy, Saturday afternoon. She came rushing back to report that her grandmother was naked, lying on the floor and appeared to be dead. It became clear that Mother had insisted on getting ready for bed as she felt the daylight waning that afternoon. She’d successfully removed everything but her pantyhose and had seemingly gotten caught in them as she tried to pull them off. She pulled her hip out instead, and fractured it. And that was one of those times when the homeschooling stopped, and we lived out days of Mother in the hospital, in rehab and back in the hospital again. It was a time of exhaustion and worry, yet a time when more than ever, I heard very clear prompts from God. He told me when I needed to alert the medics who were caring for Mother about a problem of which they were unaware. He told me when I needed to investigate, and learned that the rehab pharmacy made an error and had put her on a triple dose of dementia As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
medication. And when I was told that Mother seemed to be dying, I learned from Him that He would tell me Himself when He planned to take her, and furthermore, when He did so, I would be by her side. It is now January again. Last spring our homeschooling stopped when our family dog went from wiggly anticipation for a walk or a treat to suddenly lame and lethargic. In a day, we received the shattering diagnosis that she had a mass on her spleen. Surgery would reveal whether it was malignant and we were forced to steel ourselves for the possibility of her death on the operating table. All too soon we were informed that the tumor was malignant. Our family spent five heartbreaking weeks learning how to relieve her pain, carry her outside for bathroom breaks in a homemade hammock and clean her up to bring her back in again. We all learned to lean heavily on God as we nursed her with the tenderest and most watchful of care. And when the dreaded day came that the vet (who had been even more sure than we, that together we could help her live) told us it was time to let her go, it had to have been God Himself, Who led us to gather around her, hugging her, recounting stories of our times with her and telling her how much we loved having her as part of our family. Although we didn’t understand, it may be that God was teaching us how to say goodbye. Because five months later, He took my mother home with Him. And just as He had promised, I was by her side. There was no prompting and certainly no audible voice, but through God, I just knew when she was leaving. My husband and daughters joined me at her bedside. We had each spent time telling her how much we loved her, recounting the many times we had enjoyed with her, forgiving her, asking for forgiveness and telling her goodbye. It was the most beautiful, sacred, peaceful experience – one that living, not schooling, had prepared us to face. So how do you homeschool through a crisis? You don’t. You stop. You live through it and really listen for God. And when you get to the other side of it, you realize, that was learning enough. Regina Bengamin Steiger is a homeschooling mom, writer, editor, video producer, artist and art teacher who is begging God to move her, her family and her many talents to Hawaii! She also serves as AAM’s Director of Public Relations and Magazine Editor. October 2011 19
Dream Act Passes in California: Is Your State Next? With the impending demands of my son’s encroaching college years, I’m left wondering where and how we will come up with the money for tuition. It’s a dilemma many of us taxpaying, hardworking, legal citizens struggle with as our youths graduate this next year. Now, with the passing of the Dream Act in California, I’m filled with anxiety and continue to question how exactly my son-who maintained a 4.0+ GPA and took AP and Honors classes for all four years of high school-will be able to afford and compete against kids that are getting a free ride. The Dream Act, an acronym for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors,” is bipartisan legislation that would provide temporary legal status to illegal students progressing to permanent legal status, providing these students enrolled in college or served in the U.S military. While certain states have put their own spin on this Dream Act, California hasn’t wasted any time in passing this bill into law. The California Dream Act was introduced as two bills, Assembly Bill 130 and 131. AB130, which Governor Jerry Brown has already signed into law, allows students that have come to our country illegally to apply for and obtain specific financial aid from privately funded scholarships. In addition to this financial aid, they would also qualify for in-state tuition. However, the bulk of the Dream Act lies in AB131, which was presented to Governor Brown in September. It allows for these undocumented students to obtain public financial aid, the same financial aid provided to U.S citizens and legal residents from tax dollars. This financial aid would include aid in the form of Board of Governor [BOG] fee waivers, Institutional Student Aid, and Cal Grants. 20 MinuteMom Magazine
This so-called Dream Act, which is turning out to be a nightmare for overburdened taxpayers, provides financial aid for undocumented students residing here in California prior to 16 years of age. They will have to have attended a California high school for 3 years and graduated, as well as a few other lenient stipulations. The argument made by the Democrats is that this will create a more educated population. But is it sound judgment to take from one struggling group and give to another? Contesting Assembly Bill 131, Tim Donnelly my district’s Assemblyman said in the Victor Valley Daily Press, “This is a travesty that undermines the rule of law and costs the taxpayers anywhere from $22 to $42 million annually.” He continued, “Despite the fact that 12 percent of Californians are out of work, the Legislature saw fit to raise your taxes and use them to fund illegals’ tuition.” The sad truth is that California is already inundated with illegal immigrants. So, how attractive will it be for them to see that we are now offering a free college ride to all of them that that want it? Add to that the fact that our state’s college tuition rates increased by $10.00 per unit this past summer and you begin to realize the magnitude of the financial burden for our citizens who are already struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. How much farther will the weight of illegals tax our system, when we already pay for free healthcare, free subsidized food, school lunch programs, and now college tuition beginning 2013? Republicans have argued that this will only encourage further illegal immigration. One of the best points made was by Assemblyman Curt Hagman R-Chino Hills, quoted in the Victor Valley Daily Press: “If we’re going to invest in www.AsAMom.org
By Kami Watkins
those students we should get some return on the investment when they leave school and go into the workforce.” Hagman was referring to the fact that those who are here illegally and use this tuition, will not be able to legally work here after they graduate. (Sounds to me like the Dem’s are setting up another type of Dream Act in the future, which would allow those graduating illegals to obtain work legally. But I digress). I have to wonder if there will ever be an “Act” declared that rewards the hardworking, taxpaying, law-abiding citizen. The continued misuse of tax dollars will eventually deplete the taxpayer, leaving us with nothing left to give to the state. How many more times will we be taxed in the name of some equal opportunity program in order to foot the bill for some free-loading, liberal agenda? As I stew over the recently passed bill, I have to remind myself to press forward, do the right thing and take action. Action will determine results. However, we need mass action! We need men and women willing to take a stand on what is clearly an abuse of power and against the rule of law! It is wrong to place further burdens on taxpaying citizens to benefit those who pay no taxes. It is wrong to ignore the rights of law-abiding citizens, so as to increase the rights of illegal immigrants. Take note from this concerned Californian. Pay attention to what is happening in your own state. Contact your Governors, Legislators and other state officials to learn what is happening regarding the Dream Act in your area. These people work for you. Call and write them until they know you by name. Our only recourse is to take action and voice our concerns. If we don’t, just remember, our nightmare is only a Dream Act away. Resources: Victor Valley Daily Press, http://www.change.org, http://www.californiadreamact.org, http://www.nilc.org/immlawpolicy/dream/dream-bills-summary-2011-05.
Kami Watkins is a stay-at-home mother of six children, one of which just joined the Army...”Hoorah!”. She has been a community and school volunteer for the past 15 years and resides with her husband and family in Southern California. She considers herself the DIY Queen of household projects, adding, “Blogging, herbal medicine and gardening are my main hobbies. Writing is my love!” Kami’s motto for life is: Be of Good Cheer! As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
October 2011 21
Shortly after we were married, my husband returned from a visit with his Grandaddy toting a large box. He opened it to show me the rifles his Grandaddy owned and collected over the years—and was now giving to my husband. I thought: ‘Whoa!!!!! Are THOSE guns going into OUR house?!’ I broke out into a cold sweat. I grew up an “Army brat” at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, where everyone had guns—big guns. We heard gunfire from the training range every day during the summer; and at 5p.m. every afternoon, a cannon went off while the American flag was lowered for the night. I was no stranger to guns, but I was petrified by what they could do—what they were meant to do—what everyone around me was training with guns to do—Kill. My husband, however, grew up in a family where hunting was a regular weekend activity, and a source of food; where skeet shooting was a regular event, and going to the gun range was a fun, rainy day activity. He had a healthy respect for them, their danger, their potential, but he also had the experience with them to know how to be safe with them. Over time I got used to seeing our new gun collec22 MinuteMom Magazine
tion in the corner cabinet, but I never felt comfortable with them. One day while eight months pregnant with our second child, I realized I had to come to terms with these guns! I didn’t have to love them, but I had to at least feel safe around them, and perhaps be able to use one to defend the family. Then I began thinking about my kids and what I would do if anyone tried to break into our home with us in it, or attack us at the park, or while on my run. I started to see guns as a potential, self-protection device, and finally asked my husband to teach me how to shoot. My first time at the range I broke out into a cold sweat and my hands were shaking. My husband talked me thru how he checked to see if the gun was unloaded, how he loaded the weapon, kept his finger off the trigger, held it up, and eventually fired. He was trying to help me learn that healthy respect for the weapon, but even still, it nearly fell out of my hands when he first handed it to me! My first shot ended up who-knows-where, but by the end of the round, I was at least hitting the target. Before we left, my husband moved me closer to the target, loaded one cartridge and said, "That man is hurting your children". I aimed, took a breath and fired—right into the center. www.AsAMom.org
Corutesy of Author
By Erin Williams As a Mom... Director of Membership
I eventually engaged in a conversation with a gun-enthusiast friend of mine, who brought up an interesting point to think about: "Only use a gun as your self defense option if you are willing to use it to kill with." I thought about that. Hard. I believe in the sanctity of life, in the Ten Commandments. Would I be able to pull the trigger? One look at my children's innocent faces and I knew—if anyone tried to harm them, and I was all out of options, yes. I could shoot to kill. It's a terrible realization to make, and one that I don't take lightly. I know that I will always use every other option available to me before taking out the gun, but I would be willing to kill someone harming my children if that were my only option left. Once I became more comfortable with the guns, I started to keep a loaded revolver in a locked safe in my office. When the kids were upstairs for their naptimes, I would take it out and have it by my side—just in case someone tried to break into the home. I had practiced with it enough to feel that I could at least hurt a would-be attacker. As the economy gets worse and worse, people are becoming more and more desperate. Our county has seen more break-ins occurring during the day, and I wanted to be ready to get between a potential attacker and my children, and be ready to defend us. As more flash mobs turned from being fun moments of spontaneity to violent acts of lawbreaking, I began to be more and more fearful of being out in stores with my children. What if a flash mob swarmed the grocery store? What about at the gas station? What if some lunatic showed up at the park/playground? Our police officers are incredible, but not before they get there! What happens in those moments before the cops arrive? I needed to feel that I could protect my family outside the home. I enrolled in a self defense class, and looked into getting a concealed weapon permit. In Virginia, you may carry a loaded gun in plain sight without a permit of any kind. You may also carry it in a "container" in a vehicle—a glove box for example. But to carry a weapon with any part of it concealed from view, you must attend a basic handgun safety class and apply for a permit. On Constitution Day, I attended my handgun class and handed a pocket Constitution to each classmate. We had a good chuckle about that, then launched into an impromptu discussion about our Second Amendment rights. Of As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
the 30 of us, about 90% were women, and 100% of those women were there On to improve their self defense ability. Constitution The class was wonderful! The instructor talked us thru the difDay, I attended ference between a semi-automatic my handgun and a revolver; how to break down each gun and check to see class and if it's loaded or not; how to clean handed a pocket and care for the guns; the science and physics behind a single Constitution to cartridge; how to handle misfires, each and touched a bit on how to handle classmate. ourselves in self defense situations. I left the class feeling so much more knowledgeable, and ready to practice more! To finish the process of getting my permit, I had to go to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, file my paperwork, and get my fingerprints done. In VA, the cost of the permit may not exceed $50 and that fee must include all processing charges. Each county can decide if they want fingerprints on file, but to process the fingerprints, the FBI charges $30.22 —money that must come from the overall fee. Most counties will charge the full $50, not do the fingerprints, and pocket the entire fee for the county—mine requires the fingerprints. The state has 45 days to either approve or deny my request. Should they not notify me either way within those 45 days, the permit must automatically be approved. While I wait for my permit to be processed, I am making a conscious effort to go practice shooting every weekend with my new gun. I know that if there is ever a need to use my gun I have a responsibility to be comfortable with it, and although I no longer shake when I pick it up, I still have that healthy fear and respect for my weapon. I pray daily that I never have to use it; that the only thing to see the "business end" of my gun is the target on the range. But I feel empowered now, and no longer defenseless should that worst case scenario ever occur. I have officially joined the ranks of Mama Grizzlies! Erin Williams is the As a Mom… Director of Membership and mother of two. Besides learning to shoot she has added “once-a-month cooking” to her talents. She homeschools and can often be found in the AAM chat room. October 2011 23
Supreme Court Preview By Kay Ellen Bacharach Recently I was asked to attend a Supreme Court preview for a glimpse into what’s in store for the 2011/2012 term and for MinuteMom Magazine. The Supreme Court preview is an annual event hosted by the Federalist Society at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. I am neither a lawyer nor a journalist. I am just a mom and grandmother. I took a very deep breath, and said, ‘Yes.’ I spent the next several weeks reading the history of the Supreme Court. Armed with my trusty dictionary, I became familiar with some of the Court’s legal language. As I waded through some of the important Court opinions that have shaped our understanding of the Constitution, I not only saw the structural evolution of the Supreme Court, but how Justices’ judicial philosophies developed during our Nation’s history. This research does not begin 24 MinuteMom Magazine
to scratch the surface of American jurisprudence, but I hoped my efforts would give me a solid foundation from which to begin. I was more at ease than I expected when I entered the seventh floor, Morrow Room at the National Press Club. An assortment of lawyers, legal clerks, law students, and I assume, not a few Supreme Court “junkies” and members of the Washington press corps joined me waiting for the program to begin. The moderator was Jan Crawford, CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent. She guided the Society’s six distinguished guests (for biographies see http://www.fed-soc.org/aboutus/) through a lively discussion, outlining what each considered the most interesting cases coming before the Court this term. www.AsAMom.org
The first speaker was Thomas Hungar who outlined two cases.
a GPS tracking device on the petitioner’s vehicle without a warrant or the owner’s permission. The second issue is whether the Constitution was violated by the use of a GPS tracking device to monitor the vehicle’s location.
Reasonable Search U.S. v. Jones is a Fourth Amendment case. After obtaining a warrant, (which was to be used within 10 days), the Washington D.C. police planned to Due Process install a Global Positioning System (GPS) trackIn Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, ing device on Mr. Jones’ vehicle. This was to be the Sacketts purchased a half acre of land in done in D.C. On the 11th day, (after the warrant Idaho to build their dream home. After gradhad expired), a GPS tracking device was installed ing their property, they received an Administraon Jones’ vehicle in the State of Maryland. After tive Compliance Order (ACO) from the EPA. 30 days he was arrested, According to the Clean convicted and sentenced Water Act, the Sacketts Some Cases Coming Before for cocaine trafficking. had destroyed wetlands The Court This Term. Jones appealed to the without a permit and faced D.C. Circuit Court. And fines up to $37,000 a day Reasonable Search in her opinion, Supreme until the land was restored. Due Process Court Justice Ruth Bader The Sacketts filed suit, but Ginsburg, held that it the lower courts ruled that Intellectual Property Rights was a warrantless search the EPA’s ACO was not in violation of the fourth subject to judicial review. Constitutional Separation of Amendment. She indiThe Sacketts suit was Powers and Individual Rights cated that in this case, thrown out. In this case the the long-term, prolonged Supreme Court agreed to Freedom of Speech surveillance provided a hear two questions. Does mosaic of information the Clean Water Act prePatient Protection and beyond what a single perclude a judicial review? If Affordable Care Act son could reasonably colit does, does this violate the (Obamacare) lect and was thereby more property owner’s due prointrusive and violated the cess rights? The answers to First Amendment reasonable expectation of these questions will have privacy of a person. an impact on many regulaThe Circuit Court asked: “Can the device be tory enforcement actions of the Executive branch, attached without a warrant? Is the installation of for example, the Clean Air Act. the GPS tracking device itself a violation of the Intellectual Property Rights fourth Amendment against unreasonable search According to the US Patent Office website, and seizure in the absence of a warrant.” Intellectual Property (IP) “... is imagination made The significance of this case is found in the 1983 real. It is the ownership of a dream, an idea, an Supreme Court’s Knotts case, where the governimprovement, an emotion that we can touch, see, ment’s use of a radio beeper to track a car was found constitutional because a person travelling hear, and feel. It is an asset, just like your home, on public roads does not have a reasonable expec- your car, or your bank account.” Professor Adam Mossoff briefed us on two tation of privacy in his movements. In a footnote to the Knotts case, the Supreme Court said Intellectual Property cases before the Supreme it had not decided whether planting the device Court this term: Mayo Collaborative Services itself was problematic under the Fourth Amend- v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. and Golan v. ment as an intrusion on the property rights of a Holder. The Mayo case is highly technical. The basic property owner. question, according to Mossoff, is “Whether a In the case of the United States verses Jones, the method for correlating the administration of Court will look at two important issues. First, does the Constitution allow the police to attach a drug with the success rate of the drug within As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
October 2011 25
the body of a patient” is a patentable process or a discovery of fact, which is not patentable. An opinion in Mayo may be very important in the biotech field. “The Justices will have to take care not to create a rule detrimental to future biotech research,” he said. The outcome of Golan V. Holder will be relevant to all of us. The Court is asked if the U.S. Constitution prohibits Congress from taking foreign works, such as music, works of art and writings that are in the public domain, and restoring copyright protection to those items. Secondly, the Court is asked whether a section of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act violates the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment.
Top row (left to right): Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Bottom row (left to right): Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin G. Scalia, and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.
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Constitutional Separation of Powers and Individual Rights Cases Elizabeth Papez reviewed three cases that deal with these issues: Florence v. Board of Freeholders; M.B.Z. v. Clinton, and three cases from Toby Douglas, California Department of Health Care Services that have been consolidated. On the surface these cases seem unrelated. However, all have a constitutional dimension. And all “... involve the role and power of Federal courts to step in and say when another part of the government has gone too far or overstepped its bounds as (to) individual rights” Papez said. And while these cases are important, they are not the blockbuster cases like DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) or the Healthcare Mandate. How the Court resolves “separation of powers” and federalism issues in cases like these, “...gives an indication how Justices may decide on some of the bigger cases.” Because in all of the “big cases”, the issues turn on the same “separation of powers” and federalism issues seen in these.
On the first day of the new session, the Court will hear the three Douglas cases, which involve Medicaid law. Medicaid receives money from both the state and the Federal Government. Due to budget cuts, the state of California wanted to reduce reimbursement to providers between 1 and 10 %. The providers asked the Federal Court to stop this on the theory that the State cuts are preempted by Federal Medicaid law. The Supreme Court will be asked where the Federal Courts get the power to issue this injunction against the states. The 9th Circuit agreed that the Federal Medicaid statute does not give these private persons/providers standing to go to court to obtain the injunction under the Federal law, but under the Supremacy Clause. Florence v. Board of Freeholders tests whether the constitutional rights of an individual were violated when he was arrested on a minor offense, and had to undergo repeated strip searches while in custody. Papez said the arrest warrant was invalid. The Court will be asked whether the government has the power to subject everyone arrested for minor offenses to strip searches. There is also a “separation of powers” issue to the case: How much should the courts defer to the Executive branch? Do people who are arrested on minor offenses have a protected Fourth Amendment right to privacy that would preclude them being strip-searched? “M.B.Z. v. Clinton is a big separation of powers” case according to Papez. In 2002, Congress passed a law stating a US citizen born in Jerusalem may request the State Department list Jerusalem, Israel as the place of birth on the person’s passport. Prior to this law, only Jerusalem was listed as the place of birth. In a signing statement, President Bush said that Congress could not order the State Department to recognize a foreign state. The government claims it is not in the interest of United States foreign policy to be seen as arbitrarily coming down on the side of Israel in a territorial dispute. In M.B.Z v. Clinton, parents requested their child’s passport be issued with Jerusalem, Israel as the place of birth. The State Department listed Jerusalem. The court will look at whether the law passed by Congress instructing the Secretary of State to do this interferes with the President’s constitutional authority to recognize foreign nations. And the Court has added an additional question: What is the nature of Presidential power? www.AsAMom.org
Freedom of Speech Professor Mark L. Rienzi served up two cases involving freedom of speech. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC the issue is the whether the Federal employment discrimination statutes, which do not usually apply to religious ministers, is extended to teachers at the parochial school. The Lutheran Church does include its teachers as ministers because of the teachers religious duties and education requirements, and does not separate a teacher’s duties into religious and secular parts. The teacher refused to use the Church’s required internal resolution process to resolve an employment dispute and sued the Church under the Federal employment discrimination statutes. The question really is, who is a minister? The Court does not usually interfere in Church-related disputes because of the Establishment clause. The second case, Knox v. SEIU is asking if state employees have the right to decline paying union dues that are used for political activities of the union. In California, the state collects dues from union and non-union employees, which are to be used for collective bargaining purposes only. Proper notice is given so non-union employees can opt out of the political activities. In this case SEIU asked for a special “political fight-back fund” without giving any notice that would have allowed non-union workers to opt out of the special political collection Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) Michael Carvin, who argued this case before the 11th Circuit, discussed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”. He discussed in detail the majority and minority opinions. When the Supreme Court hears this case, it will have a series of questions to answer: Is the individual mandate constitutional? Is the individual mandate severable from the rest of the legislation -- that is, can the bill stand without the mandate? The Court will also answer the Fourth Circuit opinion, which is that all challenges to the individual mandates are impermissible under the Anti-Injunction Act. This law prohibits the Federal Courts from enjoining (i.e. directing or ordering) the government’s collection of a tax. First Amendment The case that Neal Katyal presented was FCC v. FOX which is a constitutional question on the vagueness of the FCC standards. The FCC found some television broadcasts obscene and issued fines, while other broadcasts with similar content were As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
not sanctioned or fined. The Court will also address whether the policy complies overall with the First Amendment. Potential Additions Professor Mark L. Rienzi said U.S. v. Alverez is not currently on the Supreme Court docket, but the Executive branch of the Federal Government has asked the Supreme Court to exercise its authority to select cases it will hear, and thus, hear this. The question is whether the Stolen Valor Act, which prohibits anyone from lying about being awarded a military decoration or medal authorized by Congress, violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment. Last term, the Supreme Court ruled in the Westburo Baptist case, that ugly speech is still protected speech. “Can the government make it a crime to lie?” Rienzi asked. Michael Carvin also touched briefly on several other cases not currently on the Supreme Court’s docket. In Bluman v. FEC, the question is whether the constitutional rights of resident aliens are violated by the law prohibiting foreign nationals from contributing to election campaigns. Because of the implications in the upcoming elections, this case will probably end up before the Court this term. Carvin’s final case, Fisher v. University of Texas deals with racial preferences in admission policy. I drove home in silence, awed by the issues facing the Court this term in just these few cases; freedom of speech, states’ rights, privacy, presidential powers, separation of powers, due process, property rights of the individual and federalism. The panelists touched on only a small number of pending cases. But the Court faces such issues every term. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the event, the legal heavy-weights or the press members present. So why was I struck by the magnitude of these issues? As I pulled into my driveway it dawned on me. These issues echo in the developing Presidential campaign— the epic struggle for states rights, individual rights and the ever-expanding role of the Federal Government. As I hope and pray that the Supreme Court gets it “right”, I hope the electorate does as well. Kay Ellen Bacharach is a Blue Star mom of two and grandmother of five. She is a graduate of the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. She is married to a retired military fellow that she has followed around the world for the past 42 years. She was raised in a small town, but has since lived in all four corners of the United States and seven years in Germany. October 2011 27
Our Garden of Liberty (Note: My daughter’s friend recently attended a conference for educators. The keynote speaker, a well-recognized retired professor of education, expressed how excited he was that our entire system was about to collapse because then the “enlightened” ones could begin to rebuild. Almost all of the other attendees nodded in approval. His words and the reaction have been troubling me. This chapter was written in response to it.) My mother had a big, beautiful garden. The walkway leading down to it was lined with fruit trees of every kind–apple, pear, apricot, plum, cherry, peach and nectarine. The garden itself was a masterpiece, every vegetable you can imagine, with strawberries growing in carefully painted boxes and the whole garden bordered by a massive row of raspberries. Sprinkled throughout were splashes of golden marigolds, pale pink peonies and purple cosmos. My children were small when my mother had this garden and they loved to play in it. They chased butterflies and danced on the little bridge that crossed the creek on the backside of the property. Many evenings I stood at the top of the hill and watched the sun set behind them, taking in the lilac and honeysuckle scented breezes while they gathered baskets full of big, juicy blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. It was as close to a piece of heaven-on-earth as I can think of. As my mother got older, she needed to move to a smaller place and it was my good fortune to inherit this magnificent garden. I excitedly looked forward 28 MinuteMom Magazine
to carrying on the tradition. Maybe I should mention, though, my mother had grown up on a farm in Idaho. I was a California city girl. We had a swimming pool in our back yard, not a garden. Why I thought I could step into that garden and instinctively know how to take care of it makes no sense to me today. But at the time, I couldn’t see any problems. That first spring, my husband and I eagerly picked out the packets of seeds and took our kids down to the garden to plant them. We felt so proud of ourselves as we stepped back and dreamed of the great harvest ahead. Seemingly overnight, we found ourselves facing the biggest crop of weeds you’ve ever seen. We couldn’t even tell the weeds from the plants. Nothing had prepared us for the amount of time and work it was going to take to get on top of them. And we never did. As the season wore on, I noticed the leaves on the raspberry plants were starting to curl and wither. And then the plants started to die. We cut them all down, hoping they’d grow back the next spring. They didn’t. The strawberries stopped producing fruit. The apples had worms in them. And our entire cherry crop was carried away by the birds that mockingly spit the pits back at us. Realizing we had overestimated ourselves, the next year we decided to focus on one crop. So we went out and bought every variety of tomato plant we could find–72 plants in all. We watered them and weeded them and caged them and then one glorious day we www.AsAMom.org
By Marlene Peterson Home Makers for America Vice-President www. homemakersforamerica.org
had a bonanza harvest of tomatoes. We picked boxes and boxes of them. We gave them to our neighbors and our friends. We had tomatoes with every meal. We made salsa and spaghetti sauce. And still we found ourselves with boxes and boxes of tomatoes rotting in our patio. After awhile, there was nothing we could do but take them out in the field and dump them. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking what a dope I was. Why on earth did I not can them? The simple fact was, I didn’t know how. The next year, we planted two zucchini plants. And then after that, it was just easier and cheaper to buy all our produce at the store. Within a few, short seasons, my mother’s beautiful garden was overrun and choked with weeds. I had completely ruined it–certainly not out of willfulness but out of sheer ignorance. Now, no one would ever say the garden had failed. Clearly, the fault was with the hands to which the garden had been entrusted. I simply had no clue how to take care of it or how to make good use of the fruits of that labor. There are those today who say our garden of liberty has failed – that the American experiment in selfgovernment doesn’t work. They even go so far as to say that our “sweet land of liberty” never even existed. These “enlightened” ones tell us there’s nothing left to do but plough under the garden, pour a nice slab of cement over it and plant a Wal-Mart on top, because as we all know, you can get everything you need at Wal-Mart. But I can tell you from my own experience, that even though the strawberries I buy at Wal-Mart may provide all the nutritional requirements my body needs to survive, I have never tasted a strawberry from WalMart that came anywhere close to tasting as sweet as the strawberries from my mother’s garden. And I, for one, am not ready to settle. And so I have been doing what I should have done with my mother’s garden—I’ve spent the last several years digging up and brushing off manuals. Fortunately for us, those who gave us our Republic left us with detailed notes and advice. They told us what pests and bugs to be on guard against. They described the symptoms of disease and how to treat it before it caused too much damage. Like a gardening manual, what I noticed most in their writings was their focus on “soil” preparation. They knew the secret behind the miracle of America had everything to do with the hearts and character of her citizens. Without adequate soil preparation, the garden wouldn’t grow. And so one of their first orders of business was to establish common schools for the As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
purpose of training up the next generation of gardeners for the Republic they had labored so hard to establish. I’ve read the school laws and statutes of many of those early schools. Their national standards looked a bit different than ours. Their instructional focus was on “principles of piety, justice, and a sacred regard to truth, love to their country, humanity and universal benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality, chastity, moderation, and temperance, and those other virtues which are the ornament of human society and the basis upon which a republican constitution is founded.” Their stated outcome was “to lead their pupils into a clear understanding of the tendency of the abovementioned virtues, to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, and secure the blessings of liberty, as well as to promote their future happiness.” When was the last time you heard anyone bring up any of these concerns when we talk about problems with education today? Somewhere along the way it seems our schools stopped teaching our children to tend and grow their own gardens of happiness and, instead, started producing skilled laborers to work in someone else’s garden. Another common thread of instruction that ran through all their writings was the necessity of an open Bible because the Bible was the rock upon which everything was built. They warned that you may as well plant a seed in air and expect it to grow as ignore the Bible and expect America to thrive. A people who knew that their unalienable rights were endowed by their Creator would never allow an intruder to step in and take those rights away. The Bible was the one book with the power to unite a people because no one group could claim ownership of it. Its universal message of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man touched hearts across nationalities and across denominations. The Bible was the key to self-government. They gravely warned that if it was ignored or rejected, “our expiring anguish will surpass that of any nation that ever lived.” A recent survey indicates that the average American owns three copies of the Bible, but doesn’t read any of them. Are we starting to feel a bit of that “expiring anguish”? I’m afraid we’ve really mucked things up. Our beautiful garden of liberty is overrun and choked with weeds of debt, corruption and greed. We’ve got worms in our apples and boxes of tomatoes rotting in the patio. But I’ll tell you why I still have hope. I have hope because I believe in a liberty-loving God who has the power to make things right. He knows better than to hand over the rare and prized gift of libOctober 2011 29
You would pledge your life, your fortune and your sacred honor for America.
Would you take 15 minutes to share a story of why you love America with your kids? YOU WILL FIND A PLENTIFUL SUPPLY OF STORIES TO DRAW FROM THAT WILL INSPIRE PATRIOTISM, CHARACTER & FAITH AT:
gardenofliberty.org Look for the Freedom Series12 volumes of stories drawn from pre-1923 literature written for young people. Receive a book-a-month.
“A love of liberty is best grown in the home.”
erty to a people who don’t know how to take care of it or how to make good use of the inevitable bounteous harvest of prosperity that always accompanies true liberty. To place liberty in the hands of such a people is as much a waste as my mother turning her garden over to me. But just as soon as He finds a people who are prepared, who have diligently studied the “gardeners’” manuals and who value the gift so much that they would pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to possess it, to that people He promises to stand guard over them as they labor. For them, He will turn the soil over if needs be and prepare it for a new planting–just as He did with our Founding Fathers. I moved away from my mother’s garden a long time ago. I feel so badly that I ruined it. I have the same pangs of regret when I read the stories of the sacrifices and struggles of our patriot mothers and fathers and think of what we’ve done to the beautiful Republic they left us. While there is nothing I can do to reclaim my mother’s garden, there’s a lot I can do as a laborer for freedom. Yes, elections and policies are important, but it turns out most of the real work of a Republic is done at home and involves character and heart. I now understand that the lessons and principles of liberty do not come instinctively to us or our children; we have to be willing to make time to learn and teach them. And anyone who believes we can move the cause of freedom forward without the Hand of Divine Providence should try gardening without sunshine. America’s Garden of Liberty is not dead, but it has been sorely neglected. We are at risk of losing it altogether. I believe it’s worth every effort to restore it for our children and our children’s children. Do you? “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” –Thomas Jefferson Marlene Peterson is the mother of nine children and grandmother of five. She serves as VP of Homemakers for America and is Founder of Libraries of Hope. She and her husband, Brent, reside in Appomattox, VA.
Hope…The Anchor of Light We have the ability as women to alter the course for humankind in our very actions and deeds, and it all begins with a renewed outlook on any situation or circumstance. We can bring hope like a beam of light that pierces the heart, to those that are drowning in despair, conflict and sorrow. Here at As A Mom... we have examples of this, as I’m reminded of the beginnings of the Blankets, Books and Buddies program. When AAM founder Lori Parker took a trip to Joplin, Missouri on the heels of last spring’s devastating tornado in that town, she carried with her the simple gifts of blankets, books and stuffed animals. And she experienced firsthand the joy that came from seeing the recipients experience a renewed sense of hope. B, B &B has offered something uplifting and positive to residents in Alabama, Mississippi and other states as well. And now New York and Vermont are on the list of those in need. When there is a crisis and you ask yourself, “What can I do?” the answer is simple. Offer hope! We offer hope when we share a loaf of bread with a neighbor; as we take notice of someone in need; as we share our experiences on prepping, take the
time to share a smile or kind word; as we make a lasting difference in people’s lives. There are countless ways we can serve one another, and the best way in which to do this is to get outside of ourselves and show the brightness of the future. That is the essence of our faith in God and the result of true charity. These three sisters, faith, hope and charity are the fruits of each other, while their nemeses are doubt, despair and selfish inaction. These sister virtues, faith, hope and charity work best unified and undivided. As do we. If we are to receive the full benefit of faith, we must hope for it. If we are to receive the benefit of hope, we must have faith in it. If we are to exercise true charity, both faith and hope must abide in order to deliver the selfless act of kindness. All require positive action and outlook. Let us all change our mindsets to things of a brighter future. Let us be confident and immovable in bringing light and joy to those in need. Let hope be the “anchor of our souls,” as we endeavor to fulfill our destinies as women, to bring light and renewed confidence to our nation and its people. —Kami Watkins , CA
Illustation by L. Parker
What better relief from despair can we have, than to exercise hope. Despair brings darkness while hope brings light. Hope is that flicker of light in our hearts, encouraging us to press on. It is that shining beacon that invites us to continue on our path to something more promising. It invites the spirit of happiness, gratitude and a bright outlook on the future. Hope is trust and confidence in God’s promises. Its fruits are the expectation and belief that something better is ahead. In Hebrews 6:19, we read, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast...” Sure and Steadfast! Confident and immovable like an anchor. Strong enough to keep us bound to a certain standard or course. This anchor of light-this hopeis connected by the links of trust, belief and optimism to our hearts. Once removed we will drift and float amid the stormy waters seemingly alone in despair! Is there any better time than now, when hope is absolutely necessary to abide the storms ahead? There are catastrophes upon this continent and abroad that require the hope of noble women and men to bring light where there is otherwise impending darkness.
As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
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YYFounding Mothers Most of us have heard the stories of our Founding Fathers: George Washington was a war hero and our first president; Benjamin Franklin was a great inventor; John Hancock and Samuel Adams were fearless public protestors against the British government; etc. For a mom in these modern times, so far removed from what life was like in late 18th century America, these amazing historical heroes are hard to relate to and it’s difficult to see how a stay-at-home mom, like myself, can make the kind of positive impact on our country that they did. But, what about the families of our Founding Fathers? What about the wives? What were their lives like? Were they supportive of the patriots in their family or were they essentially abandoned and out of the picture? In this series about the wives of our Founders, I hope you, my fellow Mommy Patriots, will be inspired by these stories of the women behind the men, as you learn how they also played a hand in the founding of America.
Founding Mot hers By Carrie Christiansen
A Founder’s Wife: Martha Washington (1731-1802)
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she turned down numerous suitors, who no doubt recognized the opportunity the richest, prettiest widow in the area presented. However, just weeks after meeting General George Washington at a neighbor’s home, the two were engaged. Martha married the war hero in January 1759.
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, wife of our country’s first president, General George Washington, should be an inspiration to all patriotic mothers. When duty called and challenges presented themselves, she always showed selfless grace and courage to do what she could to best help those in need around her. Born into a life of privilege as the first daughter of a well-off tobacco planter, she didn’t want for any material possession. Her father, John Dandridge, made sure his daughters were educated in basic math, reading and writing, in addition to the typical education of the time for females, which revolved around the domestic duties of a wife. At 18, Martha married Daniel Parke Custis, 20 years her senior, and a planter from one of the richest fortunes in Virginia. After six years of marriage, they had four children, but only the two youngest were still alive when Daniel died suddenly in 1757. Martha, just 26 years old, was left alone to raise two toddler children and run their 27 square mile estate and tobacco farm. Surviving correspondence between her and the London merchants handling the large Custis tobacco export shows she proved herself a smart and capable business woman. Remarriage was not a priority to Martha and
Their marriage was a loving one. George loved Martha’s children, Jacky and Patsy, as his own, and Martha fell comfortably into her role managing the household, estate staff, farm and entertaining frequent guests. They both desired nothing more than to live a quiet life working their Mt. Vernon estate with their children and grandchildren surrounding them. Unfortunately, they had nearly 40 hard years ahead of them. Patsy, their beloved daughter, died suddenly in 1773 due to an epileptic seizure, and shortly thereafter, the infamous Boston Tea Party was a clear sign that America needed to go to war with England. George and other patriots were travelling the colonies to recruit soldiers for the offense and in 1775, George was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. During the eight years of the American Revolution, Martha would travel up to a month to reach the army camps where she would spend the winter with George. Congress could supply very little to the Continental Army, leaving the soldiers hungry and without enough clothing or ammunition. Martha always arrived at the camps with good food and supplies from home. A woman who visited Martha in the camp one day said “I never in my life knew a woman so busy from early morning until late at night as was Lady Washington, providing comforts for the sick soldiers. Everyday, excepting Sundays, the wives of officers in camp, and sometimes other women, were invited…to assist her in knitting socks, patching garments, and making shirts for the poor soldiers when materials could be procured. Every fair day she might be seen…going among the huts seeking the keenest and most needy sufferers, and giving all the comfort to them in her power.” Martha was sent home during the spring and summers, when fighting increased. But life at Mt. Vernon was no more relaxing than at camp. Not only were there wartime fears and shortages to cope with, but by being the wife of the most notorious traitor to the King, Martha and Mt. Vernon were targets of the enemy and had to be on guard at all times. She spent eight, long hard winters at army camps to be with George and provide support and comfort to the soldiers. She became a bit of a celebrity, receiving cheers from the soldiers when she arrived in camp each winter, and she was an inspiration to patriotic women in the cities. In 1780, Martha found she had inspired a group As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
of women in Philadelphia known as Women of America, who began a nationwide drive to help improve the lives of the soldiers through encouraging women to sacrifice luxuries in order to give money to support the soldiers. The war was won and George was finally able to return home on Christmas Day, 1783. He and Martha had five fast and happy years at Mt. Vernon before George was unanimously elected first President of the United States. Reluctant, but willing to serve their country once again, the couple headed to New York. Martha did not care for her new role as the wife of a president, joking that she should be called “Chief State Prisoner.” But she carried out her many duties and responsibilities as well as she knew how. Keeping in mind that her behavior would set a precedent for future First Ladies, she said, “I am determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” And by that time in her life, in addition to being first a General’s wife and then the first President’s wife, she had lost all four of her children to illness, as well as five of her siblings and many nieces and nephews. After serving two terms as president, George and Martha refused a third and happily returned home to Mt. Vernon. Their long-awaited and much-deserved retirement lasted only three years before George suddenly contracted an infection of the throat and died within two days at the age of 67. Martha lasted two more years before dying of a fever in 1802. Martha’s ability to persevere through personal tragedy while facing hardship, and her conscious choice to cheerfully do what was necessary for her family and country regardless of her own desires, is inspirational and a model to look to in these times of political turmoil and challenge in our country. Her story reminds us that it took more than the handful of famous Founding Fathers to establish our independence. Their wives, children and thousands of other nameless brave Americans sacrificed their comforts and personal desires to fight for our freedoms. Each generation must do its part to keep it alive. I often wonder if I could have done as Martha Washington did. October 2011 33
A Founder’s Wife: Abigail Adams (1744-1818) Abigail Adams, wife of second United States President John Adams and mother of 6th President John Quincy Adams, played an influential, but not widely known role in our country’s founding. Her unafraid outspokenness combined with her public position put her at odds with many, but showed her to be a fervent political observer, valuable confidante to her husband, and an inspiring first lady. Abigail’s father, Reverend William Smith emphasized the importance of reason, morality and charity to all five of his children, as is evidenced through Abigail’s life. She was so often sick as a child that she was unable to receive any formal schooling and was homeschooled by her mother. Abigail became an avid reader of the classics and ancient history, and was especially interested in philosophy, theology, government and law. John Adams, country lawyer and longtime friend of the Smith family, married Abigail in 1764 after a three year courtship. He was attracted to her wit and extensive knowledge of poetry, philosophy and politics, which was considered inappropriate for a woman. She moved to his farm in Braintree, MA (now Quincy, MA) and started a family.
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As a circuit lawyer and then as a delegate to the Continental Congress, John travelled long and often, leaving Abigail alone to raise their four surviving children and run the household and farm. Once John joined Congress, frugality was essential, as their home was all of their wealth and each year’s crop their only income. Beyond the demanding responsibilities of wife and mother, Abigail worked on teaching herself French, used a spinning wheel and helped the poor as time and finances would allow. And though the Revolution in Boston was close enough for Abigail to see flashes of light and feel gun fire shake their home, she wrote supportive, affectionate and witty letters to John, always refusing to feel sorry for herself. Abigail Adams is considered to be one of the first advocates for women’s rights. In the creation of a new form of government, she saw an opportunity to make women legally equal to men and argued for women’s rights to own property, have equal educational opportunities and an expanded role in public affairs. In 1776 she wrote her most famous letter to John and the Second Continental Congress, requesting they “remember the ladies” and “not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.” Even her husband lacked appreciation for her opinions at times, responding with “I cannot but laugh…We know better than to repeal our masculine systems.” Abigail also made known to Congress through her letters, her strong opinions about slavery. The Adams family did not own slaves, opting instead to employ workers as needed. Abigail believed slavery was a danger to American democracy and in another 1776 letter, she questioned the slaveowning Congressmen’s “passion for liberty”, since they had been used to “depriving their fellow creatures” of freedom. The Adams’ were the first to inhabit the White House in Washington DC, although Abigail’s fragile health only allowed her to spend four months living in the capitol, which was unfinished, mostly unfurnished, cold and damp. She saw her role as the President’s wife to include hosting the public in Martha Washington’s trawww.AsAMom.org
dition and being a partisan symbol for the Federalist Party. She sent editorial letters to friends and family, encouraging them to make her information and viewpoint public, in order to further the interests of the Administration. Abigail is now admired as one of the most learned women ever to serve as a first lady, but at the time, she faced much opposition in the press, which questioned her influence over the President. She was sarcastically referred to as “Her Majesty” and “Mrs. President.” Both Abigail and John were completely devoted to principle and not known for willingness to compromise. The strong bond between them helped ensure John Adams would be a one term president. Married more than 50 years, the many preserved letters sent between them clearly show John considered her a true and equal partner in family and politics. John sought and considered Abigail’s advice on nearly every issue he faced. She was never hesitant to share her often unappreciated opinions in private or public,
always staying true to her convictions and what she believed our nation should be; one of equality for both sexes and all races. Abigail Adams was a moral woman of principle, bravery and patriotism. Largely through the use of pen and paper, her voice surely contributed to the process of creating and running our young country. She is an inspiration to those of us fighting to preserve the US Constitution while wielding the same weapon. I can only hope to be as principled, tough and unafraid of opposition as Abigail Adams. Reprinted by permission of Liberty Ink Journal. Revised
Carrie Christiansen is a Seattle native, now residing in Loveland, CO. She earned a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Montana State University, which she now puts to good use as a wife and stay-athome mom of two young children.
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Investing In America – The Enterprise If America was a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, would you buy its stock? When you look to invest in a company you look to its business model and say, does this make sense? Will it work? How do their products or services stack up? You may consider the brand. Is it solid gold or a bit tarnished? You look to its competitors and evaluate whether Company A can execute better than Companies B, C and D. You analyze its balance sheet. Is the company financially sound? And you scrutinize the management. Do they understand the business that they are in? Do they have the skill sets, the experience, and the vision to lead the company forward successfully? Do they understand the company’s history and culture? America as an enterprise has several stakeholder sets. The states are stakeholders. Companies domiciled or doing business in the U.S. are stakeholders. And, of course, the most important stakeholders are its 300 million-plus citizens. So, as a citizen-stakeholder, how do feel about 36 MinuteMom Magazine
this enterprise? Would you buy more stock in America or sell it short? Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of Home Depot, was on CNBC this morning. He was discussing the current CEO (Frank Blake) and his approach to the business. One interesting thing Mr. Marcus mentioned was that Mr. Blake’s evaluation of the company confirmed that its founders had essentially gotten it right. Their business model was good, their focus on the customer was right, and the culture within the company engendered tremendous employee performance and loyalty. In short, Home Depot was delivering for its customers, shareholders and employees. Operating from this vantage point, Mr. Blake focused his efforts on improving processes and maximizing its inherent strengths. Mr. Blake is a smart guy. He is a man that would look at a wheel and know that a change in its shape, say to an oval or a square, wouldn’t improve its function, namely rolling smoothly and efficiently down the road. www.AsAMom.org
By Philip Johnson
So, back to our analogy of America as an enterprise. America’s product, as founded, was insuring individual liberty. Our Founders engineered a system to enable its citizens to live freely - to protect each person’s rights to life, liberty and property. What a business plan it was. Over time, it became the richest entity in the world and the envy of the world. People from every corner of the globe sought to cross our shores to realize their own dreams of self-determination. America was the magnet for millions who yearned for freedom or fortune. The goal of America, of its Founders, was not to be the most powerful or prosperous nation in the world. Their goal was simply to allow men to live free and be secure in their person and property. The power and prosperity were just the natural outcome of a free and unfettered people realizing their personal aspirations. Plant an acorn and get an oak. America indeed benefited from a well thought-out business plan, and secondly from leadership that understood their role as caretakers and protectors of that grand plan. Well, at least until the meddlesome Woodrow Wilson arrived on the scene – followed later by Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and now Barack Obama. Yes, leadership does matter. Despite the misguided policies of Wilson, Roosevelt and Johnson, America continued to function well, though timebombs were ticking away. The American brand was revered. This was the place to live; this was the place to start and build a business; this was the place to follow your faith; this was the place to “be all you can be”. The stamp “Made in America” was the gold standard worldwide. Our products reflected our pride and happiness. So what has become of this great “American enterprise” heritage? We have lost our way. We have forgotten (and rewritten) our history. We have strayed from our business plan – our Constitution. Remember our product was freedom. We have tinkered with that product to the point where it barely resembles the original. Our current CEO doesn’t seem to care for the original. In his words, he wanted to ”fundamentally transform” America. He believes, as do all Progressives, that the Constitution is a document of negative rights. He believed the Warren Court didn’t go far enough, that they should have addressed social justice – redistributionist policies. This CEO and his management team need to be fired. Our core “product” has been ignored. Now the company thinks it’s in the insurance business, the car business, the green energy business, the housing and mortgage business, the food and grocery business, the airline security business, the retirement planning business, and the health care business, to name a few. As a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
Along the way the Federal Government has infused itself into virtually every facet of our lives, our property, and our businesses. We are being smothered, demoralized and dispirited. Our businesses are being strangled with regulation, taxes and an uneven playing field with moveable rules. What America needs now is a venture capital firm to step in and redirect this enterprise to its core values and strengths, and shed the rest. To reassert its core product, freedom, and put it back on the pedestal it deserves. I’ll take Steve Jobs and Apple. You can keep Solyndra. © Philip Johnson Freedom Farm September 15, 2011
Philip Johnson is a thirty-year marketing and advertising veteran, primarily focused on assisting small businesses. In 2006, he launched Showcase Publishing , a directory publishing company in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. It currently serves some 550 small businesses. In 2010, Philip launched his blog: http://freedomfarm.me and is currently writing his first novel, tentatively titled “The New Americans” .
October 2011 37
YYAs Seen on AAM
How I Survived... Several moms shared stories about how they survived hurricane Irene or any other disaster(s) this year. Stacey shared her story: We were without power for six days in late April 2011 due to massive tornado damage in or area. We got through quite comfortably. The weather was PERFECT, which helped a lot. Initially I thought that we were not as prepared as I soon realized. We fed not only ourselves but two other families. Some of the things that made this electricity-free staycation work are as follows: Propane— We neede lots of propane for cooking (and warming bathwater) along with a camping stove that
worked amazingly well. We set up an auxilliary kitchen in our garage and cooked up all kinds of stuff that would have ruined otherwise. Batteries, flashlights, candles and headlamps. A decent stock of food to consume and share. We purchase a lot in bulk and it was certainly painless to share a bit of oatmeal or some rice when we had 40+ pounds of the stuff. Gasoline—Had we needed to get somewhere we would have been fairly limited if it were not for our gasoline backstock. We keep 25 gallons on hand that we rotate through to keep it fresh, we also stabilize it so it will last longer. Thankfully we had no reason to leave and were actually able to use
some of our fuel to help neighbors with massive tree damage. Water— While we were never without running water the fact of the matter is if the power had not been restored quickly, the water treatment facility may have had problems treating and delivering safe water. Water was one of the first things I started storing. It is practically free and needed to sustain life; kind of a no-brainer. Read more survival stories here: http://tinyurl.com/3m7t55w and http://tinyurl.com/3do38mu Learn from some real survivors!
More Hot Topics ... With all the recent debates and changes in polling status, conversations on the 2012 Presidential forums have been busy: http://tinyurl.com/4y3bkvy This is a great example of a Mom questioning with boldness, doing the research, and sharing her knowledge with others---pursuading others to do likewise:
the wealthiest Americans contribute their fair share.” So it got me to thinking, ‘what did the president mean by the words, “make” and “fair share”’? Read it all here: http://tinyurl.com/3lj5a76
38 MinuteMom Magazine
As A Nation And A President Thinketh.., Now, yesterday, I heard our president say something that caught my attention and I quote, “We believe that the responsible approach is to make sure
2011 Fundraising Campaign All We Have Left is Change. For almost 2 years our all-volunteer board and team have been working with members “to empower Moms and Moms- at-Heart in preserving our Constitution, country and children’s future”. We would like to continue to expand the message and support Moms everywhere. But we need more than kind hearts to do so. The change you find this week can help fulfill our budget needs . Look around… under couch cushions, in the dryer, under the dresser… Lori’s kids would like to point out that children’s piggy banks are off limits… and donate your extra change! * Our budget has been very carefully thought out, and we have made every effort to economize where we can. These funds will cover needs such as software, bookkeeping services, state group and travel needs. There are also ongoing fees for the web domains, mail box and legal services. Your donations are very much appreciated, however they are not tax deductible.
YYIn the Spotlight Jeff-Director At Large / CO We are so happy to shine our spotlight on Jeff, our Director At Large. Jeff is a proud single dad of a 26 year old son, and a 12 year old daughter. Jeff has always been a Conservative. His dad was a successful businessman and his parents and grandparents were Republicans. Jeff graduated and taught business at the University of Colorado in the 70’s, during the war protests. He has also spent more than 25 years in the music business, working with mostly politically liberal artists. Jeff became very actively involved in the Republican Party about ten years ago, because he was frustrated to see the party moving too far to the left. He has been studying the Constitution over the years and jumped in, determined to make a difference in returning our country to the conservative values our Founders intended. He has held numerous elected positions within the party, but has never
run for office. He is a GOP political activist, and has been a driving force on numerous elections, from citizen driven initiatives (e.g. the new football stadium in Denver) to candidate campaigns, too numerous to mention. Jeff has spent one-on-one time with almost every candidate currently running for the GOP nomination for President. He also gets called to help with elections outside of Colorado and is currently working with Christine O’Donnell, on her book tour for “Trouble Maker”. Jeff joined AAM during the first week. Chatters were all over the place with excitement, as well as misinformation. Jeff joined chat to help moderate, and give factual information, much of it based on the Constitution. Nearly two years ago, members of the AAM board asked Jeff to take on a formal position with the organization. First, he focused on the chat room, and
then his position expanded to Assistant Director of Membership. Next he became Director of Membership and now he is an AAM board member and political consultant. Jeff is the only male on the AAM Board of Directors, and is flattered, humbled and proud to have been invited. He considers himself blessed and honored to be friends with so many of our members. He is willing to do anything to contribute to As a Mom... because he believes that the “moms” of our country, will save it. Jeff is just one of the “dads” on AAM He contributes much to our group, as well as other groups, and is another example of what one person can do. He is a very friendly, knowledgeable “chatter” and is always fun to talk to. We are blessed to have Jeff as a member and we congratulate him for being in our “Member Spotlight” this month!
truth of healthcare reform.” In October of 2010, Barbara was in the audience of the Glenn Beck show. She was invited to speak about 9-12 Super Seniors. After she described the group and its goals, Glenn looked into the camera and told his viewers, “Crash that site!” Barbara had three days before the taped show would actually air, and turned to Nancy, Director of Projects at As a Mom..., to help her prepare for what she believed would be an overwhelming response to the program, and she was right. A month later, Beck asked 9-12 Super Seniors and AAM to help him track food prices. Barbara was put in touch with AAM founder, Lori Parker and together they got a whirlwind project off and running. Days later, Lori, Nancy and Barbara spoke about food prices and food storage on the “Glenn Beck Show”.
Barbara’s national 9-12 group website www.912SuperSeniors.org focuses on educating seniors, empowering them through recognition of their experiences, maturity and judgment, and helping them take action! Barbara believes the work done at AAM is creative and effective in making a difference. She shares information she finds there with seniors. She visits the site often to read the blogs or joins in chat. She finds comfort and support with other moms who are just like her. We are blessed to have such a wonderful member of AAM and we appreciate all that Barbara does both on our site, and on her own 9-12 Super Seniors site. She is a wonderful example of what one person can do, and she does so with enthusiasm. She is a delight, and we congratulate her for being in the “Member Spotlight” this month!
We are so happy to shine our spotlight on Barbara Lynn. She is originally from Leipsic, Ohio. She now lives in New York with her husband of 42 years. She is a graduate of Ohio State University, and has a MS in accounting from Long Island’s C.W. Post University. Barbara is a retired college professor and an almost retired CPA. Barbara discovered our site when Glenn Beck first began focusing on the abilities “moms” bring to the public discourse. She felt the site was like a “second home”. She knew that when there is tough work to be done, a busy woman is the best one to do it. The government takeover of healthcare spelled trouble to Barbara. She says, “I knew all America’s healthcare would suffer and seniors would be the first and most vulnerable victims. I formed a local group called 9-12 Super Seniors, started a basic website and worked to inform seniors about the 40 MinuteMom Magazine
Barbara Lynn / NY
Erin-Dir. Of Membership/ VA We are so pleased to shine our spotlight on Erin, our Director of Membership. She spent the first 21 years of her life living at USMA at West Point in New York. While there, she was exposed to people from all over the world. Erin developed a profound appreciation for our military as she proudly watched generations of the finest men and women educate themselves to be leaders of the bravest and finest. She has also been to many funerals, as a result of their heroic actions. After attending a very liberal private high school, then graduating from a very conservative college, Erin worked for several years as a labor-and-delivery RN. She married the love of her life and became a stay-at-home mother to her two precious children, whom she homeschools. One day as Erin was driving her
affectionately nicknamed children, "Thing One and Thing Two" to an activity, she heard Lori Parker call into the Glenn Beck radio show. Lori was talking about a new online group she started called As a Mom... Erin was ecstatic to learn that there was finally a place where she could share information with other moms, just like her. Erin has learned so many things on AAM in the last two years. She learned how to chat in a chat room, and post in discussions. She has learned about Congressional committees; the important role our federal judges play; and the detrimental effects of voter fraud. She has gotten tips on everything from how to help her daughter stop sucking her thumb and how to can tomatoes, to advice on calling her Congressman and debating a liberal on the finer points of the uncon-
stitutionality of the healthcare bill! The highlight of the last two years for Erin was meeting all the moms who had become her online friends as together, they worried about our country, and fought to protect our Constitution and freedoms, at Glenn Beck's, Restoring Honor Event last year. Erin says, "Lori gave us all such an amazing gift when she invited us all to join her at As a Mom... and I am so appreciative of all the love, support, knowledge and humor everyone has shared!" Erin is a very special member of our AAM family, and we consider ourselves blessed to have her here. She is always willing to help anyone, and does so with a delightful, enthusiastic spirit we all appreciate. Simply put, Erin is a joy. We congratulate her for being in the "Member Spotlight" this month! Jeff with daughter & Herman Cain Barbara Erin Karena
Karena M. / FL We are so proud to shine our spotlight on Karena M., a second generation Pinellas County, Florida native. Karena graduated from Saint Petersburg College with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology. She also has a Career Diploma from the Penn Foster Pharmacy Technician Program. Karena's passion for education has led her to be a home educator for the past seventeen years. She currently home educates her two daughters, Lynda and Lorena. She is also the proud mom of Shawn. Karena joined a local patriot group in March of 2009, but was not inspired to step into an active volunteer role, until she heard Lori Parker from As a Mom... describe the group that was started to provide a connection with like-minded moms across the country. In OctoAs a Mom... A Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots®
ber of 2009, at an AAM meeting for Florida, Karena volunteered to be the Education Team Leader for Pinellas County. That same month, she had her first public speaking experience at the local school board meeting. In December of 2009, she took the role of Florida State Chairmom for AAM a role in which she has been honored to serve. Some of her favorite memories are gathered from the “As a Mom... E3 - Encouragement, Energize & Educate” tour of Florida in January of 2010, where she was able to meet with moms across Florida. While it was necessary to step down from her role as Chairmom in July of 2011, her heart still remains with the organization and she remains committed to doing what she can to energize and educate the passionate and dedicated
moms of Florida and beyond. Karena is currently serving on an advisory board for Homemakers for America. She is the Education Leader for the Tea Party Network of Florida, the Team Leader in her Congressional District for GOOOH, an Event Organizer for Pinellas Patriots and the founder of Patriot Support Service. She believes that it will be moms that make the difference in the restoration of the founding principles of our country. We appreciate all that Karena has done, both as an AAM member and as an active educator and patriot. She is a wonderful example of what educating yourself and then educating others can accomplish. We are so blessed to have Karena as a member, and we congratulate her for being in the "Member Spotlight" this month! October 2011 41
I. In the October of his last year, my father took his children trick or treating. He loved the father he was. He wore an old man’s mask of rubber-y moles and short white hair that stood like electrocuted fuzz. My sisters and I were the Eskimo, the Bee and the Queen. One sister in her tin foil tiara and white silk sheets did all she could do to look royal, clutching her scepter, a silver twirling baton. The other, wore a makeshift bumblebee jacket of yellow yarn and coat hangers couldn’t find a way to buzz. I, the Eskimo, wore a simple hooded fur parka I was glad I was an Eskimo. I kept warm. It was bitter cold All Hollow’s Eve unlike any other in our small New England town. My father stood like a giant in his six foot frame Out on the driveway and up the street I spied Butchie McGillichuttie- the school bully. His family never gave out candy just comic book and cents. Sometimes you got lucky with a nickel. The neighbors looked, nodded to my father while he stood at the end of their drives. Guaranteeing us a safe passage from one house to the next. . Sheparding us over black hills of night, across green quiet lawns Behind my fathers mask, I could not see that he was tired or dying. 42 MinuteMom Magazine
I think he knew he was dying I think they always do. II. We covered ten whole streets that night. More than any other of Halloween’s past. When the satchels of our collected treats became heavy, we made our way home.. Clutching our pillowcases, swinging them side to side, we could hear the ca- link, ca-link jingling of pennies and silver against the candies with hard insides. The sky was filled, with yellow lights that night, but I was looking for the Moon. My father raised his hands upwards as if asking for a blessing, pointing to the Big Dipper, The Twin Sisters, The Bear, the belt of Orion , Andromeda and all the Constellations. Teaching us how to find stars was something he had to do.. But what did we know? Frost forming on our wrist, creeping up our sleeves the wind, cruel on our ears and nose. All we wanted was to get home. Go home. We did where once inside, we sorted out the candies, evened the piles made quick and fast deals for Nestlé’s Crunch, Almond Joys, Oh Henry Bars, and Snickers. There were no bad apples in 1966 Sitting by the frost- paned window, the mask, now folded in his hands, I looked to my father his eyes, said the words he never did. In November, he joined that world of ghosts and spirits and left he Milky Way, the Big Dipper and all the stars… for us —Carol Travis revised September www.AsAMom.org
Paperback: List $12.99 - $11.00 Audio Book: List $24.99 - $20.00 Audio only downloads also available: www.longingforeden.com
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Principle 1: America is good. Take control of your child’s future. Teach them our history.
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YYAs A Family
“There goes that crazy man!” That’s what the village children would cry when they saw Christopher Columbus walking down the street. His clothes had become tattered and ragged. His hair had turned white. Most of his friends had deserted him. His wife had died and left him to care for their little son, Diego. Everywhere he turned, people laughed and made fun of him. For seventeen long years, he had tried to find someone who would believe in his dream–a dream he claimed God had placed in his heart. “Our Lord Jesus desired to perform a very obvious miracle in the voyage to the Indies, to comfort me and the whole people of God.” He shared his dream with the kings of Portugal, England and France. He shared it with the wisest scholars of the royal courts. He shared it with most anyone who would listen. But in the end, they all concluded it was foolishness. Other men would have given up. But not Christopher Columbus. He never lost hope. And because he never lost hope, at long last he found a friend in Queen Isabella of Spain. And now the story of the Pinta, the Nina and the Santa Maria that sailed the ocean blue in 1492 is gratefully remembered by a nation made possible because of one courageous man who never gave up.
Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul and sings The tune without the words and Never stops at all. ------Emily Dickinson 44 MinuteMom Magazine
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Christopher Columbus arrives in the new world.