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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Tamara's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
2:55 pm
I'm cold
Is it less expensive to close the curtains, thus retaining heat, and keep the lights on all day; or keep the house chilly and save the electricity by utilizing the sunlight?

Does sunlight exposure through windows give the vitamin D benefits?
Friday, October 1st, 2010
9:56 am
Political survey
The other day a political survey called me. I participated. Weird, I know, but I sort of like to be involved in that sort of thing.

One question was how would I describe my politics: conservative, moderate, or progressive.

Progressive? Is that the new term now?

It begs the question, Progress toward what?
Monday, April 12th, 2010
8:48 am
almost afraid to look
I left Grace with a bowl of leftover oatmeal while I came to the computer. I am afraid of what I might find when I go get her. Maybe I'll run the bath first.
Thursday, April 1st, 2010
9:08 am
We went to Walmart before our vacation to get a jug of sunscreen. Being the cheap-o consumers we are, we got the large bottle of generic "Equate" brand 50spf Sport/waterproof. BAD. BAD. It stained our clothes orange. Truthfully, probably about a quarter of the clothes we took on vacation were ruined from the sunscreen. It mainly affected the light colored things. Reds or dark colors it at least doesn't show.

In the sunscreen's defense, it does offer a disclaimer that it might stain certain clothes. Even if I had read that before I bought it, I wouldn't have expected such widespread garment carnage.

There is a Walmart opening in Kenai this month. I am half considering writing a letter to the editor of the paper to warn people against buying the Walmart brand sunscreen.

I guess what I really should do is write a letter of complaint to the company. It really was ridiculous.
Saturday, January 30th, 2010
3:23 pm
Just Saying...
A gargle of salt water with a splash of lemon juice tastes eerily of vomit. Too bad it works to relieve sore throat.
Thursday, December 31st, 2009
3:21 pm
That blasted 25 pounds!
I'm going to lose it. I dropped 15 pounds last year, however the holidays found it again.

Here's my plan:
For each 5 pounds down, I will get to buy myself a new outfit.
Rich is going to match that when I get to my goal.
Then for each month that I maintain within 5 lbs, I will get another outfit.

I am tired of my old clothes that I've been wearing for several years. They are just tired. And I feel sloppy in them. So getting a new wardrobe (which I normally don't care about - that's the weird thing) is my motivation.

I guess I'll have to exercise. Gross!
Friday, November 27th, 2009
9:28 am
Reality TV?
What is it with "reality TV" that makes people pull stunts like Balloon Boy and White House Crashers in order to increase their odds? Don't they think it through that when all is said and done, they will be no where near a film crew? I don't think jail security cameras count in "reality shows."
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
3:21 pm
Car Seats
Alaska made a new car seat law that children under 8 have to be restrained in a safety seat of some sort.   Great law except I can't fit any more than two safety seats in my car.  I wrote a letter to my Congressional delegation, and to the bill sponsors.  One guy sent a copy of my letter to a lady at DOT asking her to comment on my objections.  She missed my point so I wrote back to explain further.  So today I got a final reply from the Representative.  He basically said he understood my points but there is nothing that can be done about it.  He said that my comments did make him think differently about the whole thing.  I guess that's something.

Mainly I objected saying that large families have a hard enough time trying to find a vehicle that fits the whole family and you can't have more than two booster seats to a bench.  And that's if you don't have someone sitting in the middle.  What if a family cannot afford to upgrade their sedan to a minivan to accommodate three children under 8?  Also, the law will prohibit school field trips where parents drive the kids around.  Schools will be obligated to make sure each kid has a booster seat.  Which will mean that the students have to bring their seat on the bus and keep track of it all day.  Since no more than two boosters will fit on a bench, more parents will need to drive.  In a time of two working parents, finding drivers for 25 kids is a challenge anyway.  Instead of jumping through the hoops, teachers will cancel those field trips.  Renting a bus is prohibitively expensive.

It does turn out that there is some sort of Federal funding attached to booster seat laws.

It is a noble law designed to do good things.  And for most people it will work fine.  Only three of my children are affected.  I put Ruby in the center seat as that has been touted to be safest.

I am considering emailing the Representative to ask if I can contact him for a "get out of jail free" card if I ever get stopped and have a ticket for not having all my children properly restrained.  Thankfully, the law says that children over age 8 it is parent discretion if they don't fit the weight/height requirement.  Other wise I'd need 4 boosters, maybe 5.
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
9:18 pm
I thought the kids might have swine flu, but they recovered after 2-3 days.  And the two people in our household who were actually tested for H1N1  were negative.  They must have had some other 36 hour virus marked by headache and fever.

I want the flu.  I want them all to have it at once.  Bring. It. On!  (I just don't want to get it myself. At least not until they are done and only when Rich is home.)

Let's just get it out of the way so we can go on with our lives.

Guess I should fill out the vaccine refusal for the school.
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
9:37 am
From point A to point B
Is there a commuter shuttle or anything that goes from LA to San Diego?  Or would it be cheapest/most expedient to rent a car (bearing in mind our family of 8)?
Sunday, October 4th, 2009
9:51 am
Where has the year gone?
Grace turns one today.  I can't believe it.  She used to be so little...

I don't know how to post pictures.  I'll ask Rich to help me when he gets home.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
7:24 pm
Oh, the words that are coined related to computers.

I signed up for a "Webinar" tonight.  But it never occurred to me to check the time zone. 

So I was an hour late and missed the whole thing.  It sounded like it would have been interesting, too.

My boys are selling Trail's End popcorn for Cub and Boy Scouts.  Let me know if you want some and I'll hook you up with their order code.  Please think about it.  The more popcorn people buy, the less checks I will need to write for cool Scouting activities.
Monday, August 31st, 2009
8:50 am
College Words
Last week Rich got his diploma and transcript for his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration!  Whoo!  Hoo!  He's been working on it for a long time now.  Well deserved!

A couple days after the diploma arrived he actually used the word "vacuous" in a sentence.

I'd say he's putting that B.S. degree to good use.
Saturday, August 1st, 2009
5:15 pm
Just thinking
Prof. Gates must have been a significant contributor to Obama campaigns. 

When Iran broke out into major protests regarding the "election" the White House remained silent even though the world was waiting for a response.  But some dude gets arrested for disorderly conduct and he wastes no time speaking out.

I liked what Colin Powell said about it.  That Gates overreacted and should have just sucked it up about being racially profiled.  It seems to me that if one were truly being racially profiled, the best course of action would be to hold oneself above reproach so that the racial stereotype does not continue to perpetuate.
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
9:15 am
School starts one month from today!!  Haaal - LE- lu-ja!  But...

Having them all home is a constant buzz of noise in the background punctuated by a few heated arguments.  You get used to it.  When school starts only the baby will be home and I can handle her.  But my peace and quiet abruptly comes to an end at 4:00 every day, my blood pressure rises and I'm frazzled for the whole evening.

So I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to school or not.
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
10:08 am
Happy Birthday to Ruby (yesterday)!  I can't believe she's 6.
Thursday, June 4th, 2009
9:57 am
National Math Standards
The Dept. of Education is proposing creating national math standards.  Gov. Palin has decided against participating in this effort.  I just wrote a letter to the ADN editor:

Perhaps Gov. Palin doesn't wish to participate in the effort because she realizes that Alaskan students would skew the results too high.
Not to mention that nationalizing education is unconstitutional.
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
8:53 am
Sara Groves
I just got a new CD: Sara Groves "Tell Me What You Know"

Here's why I bought it. (I hope I don't get in trouble for copying lyrics.)

When the Saints

Lord, I have a heavy burden of all I've seen and know
It's more than I can handle
But your Word is burning like a fire shut up in my bones
And I can't let it go
And when I'm weary and overwrought
With so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars

And when the saints go marching in
I want to be one of them

Lord, it's all that I can't carry and cannot leave behind
It all can overwhelm me
But when I think of all who've gone before and lived a faithful life
Their courage compels me
And when I'm weary and =overwrought
With so many battles left unfought
I think of Paul and Silas in the prison yard
I hear their song of freedom rising to the stars
I see the shepherd Moses in the pharaoh's court
I hear his call fro freedom for the people of the Lord

I see the long quite walk along the underground railroad
I see the slave awakening to the value of her sould
I see the young missionary and the angry spear
I see his family returning with no trace of fear
I see the long hard shadows of Calcutta nights
I see the sister standing by the dying man's side
I see the young girl huddled on the brothel floor
I see the man with a passion come kicking down that door
I see the man of sorrow and his long troubled road
I see the world on his shoulders and my easy load

I always cry at the young girl huddled on the brothel floor.  I want to be one of the Saints, too, when they go marching in.

I've listened to the whole album, but haven't yet paid attention to all the songs.  I bought it for that one.
Friday, April 24th, 2009
2:35 pm
Conversation with the neighbor kid
The neighbor kid came over for a few minutes this afternoon. I had this conversation with him (4th grade)

C: I didn't have any water that I could use at home so I filled my squirt gun with juice.

Me: You don't have water at your house?

C: We do have water. The water that comes out of the sink is nasty and I'm not allowed to use the bottled water so I used juice.

Me: Oh. Well, please don't squirt Josh with juice.

C: OK. We are just going to pretend.

Me: Next time it will be OK to use the sink water.

C: Well, it's really yukky and sometimes stuff other than water comes out.

I wonder if his mom knew he used juice in the squirt gun because he wasn't supposed to use bottled water.

Our water is kinda gross, too, but only water comes out of it. We generally don't drink it, but it is potable.
Monday, April 20th, 2009
5:08 pm
I was listening to Chris Fabry Live! (my favorite radio show)this morning and he was asking something along the lines of is it necessary to make such a big deal out of this 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings.

Here is an email I sent him, slightly edited:


I am listening this morning, as usual.

Here is what I think about the anniversary of Columbine and others:

How many times does it say in Deuteronomy to "Remember?" I counted in my concordance and the Bible says Remember 168 times, not counting variations.

Remembering is how our history is passed on. Remembering helps to prevent revisionist history in the future.

And I think that remembering shows honor.

I substituted in our teen Sunday School class a few weeks ago and the topic came up of what would we do if our lives were on the line for the Gospel. Someone mentioned the book by the family of the young lady you mentioned -She Said Yes. The teens in that class did not know about Columbine. I was shocked, really. But then they were only 4-8 years old at the time. My son who is almost 11 doesn't know, either.

I imagine it is hard for the families to relive it again with all the attention this year. But it is an important anniversary to mark so that we do remember this page in our history. We have to Remember 9/11. We have to Remember D-Day. We have to Remember Pearl Harbor. We have to Remember the Alamo. (We have to Remember Cpl Tom Roberts and Cpl Bryan Verkler and Scott Severns.) If we don't Remember, we will forget.

Tamara Holschen
Anchor Point, Alaska
Alaska Village Missions Radio Network

P.S. I wonder if the people are remembering the perpetrators as victims today? Their families surely do.
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