January 12, 2013
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This is my last in a series on the American Dream. Just to be clear, I had titled the columns “The American Dream” and the editorial staff added the examining Common Core to the column. This lesson plan was found online at Coreknowledge.org under Colorado Lesson Plans, History and Geography, Capitalism and Socialism.
Last week I explained how, in my opinion, a lesson plan on capitalism helped to sway the children to think that capitalism is bad. This week, we will touch on what is taught through this lesson plan on socialism, communism, and how this sways sympathy toward these political theories.
Last week I presented you with the beginnings of a lesson plan on capitalism and socialism. I was concerned that lessons like this are helping move our country farther away from the ideals that I consider “The American Dream.”
One of the things that is important to me is keeping the idea of “The American Dream” alive for my descendants. When you know someone who chose to be here, you feel firsthand the passion in which this country was built. Luckily, my children both knew a man who came to this country from Syria, and he taught them the value of this dream. He loved this country and all the opportunity that it holds. I am so afraid that less and less of the values he held dear are being taught to our children today.
The new year is just a few days away. In a few more, I will have been writing this column for two years.
I’ve been pondering Christmas. What is Christmas about? Not the holiday that we celebrate currently, but the birth of a man that would have an impact on the world forever; the birth of Jesus. No matter your beliefs, the life of this one man has impacted the world since his birth.
There are so many things that make Christmas special. To celebrate the birth of Jesus, we partake in so many customs both old and new. All of these traditions involve friends and family. One of our special Christmas rituals is attending the Big Gulch Community Club Christmas Party.
This week, Stephanie Pearce tells a story of desperation around Christmas time and a family found beauty.
I read the other day that scientists have studied brain waves in dogs and have proven that they feel love toward the humans that care for them like we do family. I really didn't need to read that to know that. I'm pretty sure anyone who has a dog knows that they love us. Two of the four dogs were actual rescues. One of the others were a gift to our daughter from a neighbor, and the other we got from a friend who's dog had unplanned pups.
Thanksgiving brings several memories of family back to me. However, there are a couple memories of school that pop in my head every Thanksgiving.
As a writer, I always hope that something I write will touch someone. I want to have an impact on my readers in a positive way. I want people to remember me in an optimistic light.
Grace. When I say the word I think beauty. I think how I have received something I don’t deserve and how beautiful my life is because of it.
When we are going through a tough time, it is so easy to get very self-involved. It is so easy to sit back and think of all the ways that things are going wrong for you.
We live in an amazing community that is a very giving community in general. I am thinking about this as I fill out my Moffat County United Way contribution form at work. We have services, programs, and activities that are funded in a large part through donations such as United Way.
This election has been weighing heavily on my mind. The most important thing you can do this election is fill your ballot out and get it turned back in.
We live in a country-minded community full of hardworking people. We need to realize that in the upcoming elections, the way we vote can have huge impacts on all the things that are important to all of us.
Volunteers are the most important part of most many functions that our kids are involved in. These volunteers sometimes don’t know much about the event they are helping with but are more than willing to get out there and try.
On a rare night when I had the opportunity to flip through my options on the television, I as truly amazed with the reality shows to choose from.
So, last week, the EPA came to visit. Now what? Is it over? Do we sit back and wait to see if they heard what we had to say? Do we see if they learned anything from their visit? No. We have to be active, and there are a lot of things we need to do.
Sitting at the rodeo, I watched as girl after girl (more than 20) guided their horses through the poles. The horse and rider go down the length of poles, turn around the end pole, weave down, turn back around and weave back down and come straight back at a dead run on the opposite side that they started. Pole bending can be a very beautiful event to watch.
You’ve heard me talk about my kids and how much I love them, but I also have a nephew that was in and out of our household throughout several years. I watched him when he was a baby while his mother worked, and when he was in fifth grade, he came to live with me for the school year. He traveled to school in Hayden with me and my son because that’s where I worked.
I feel your presence as I drive down the road. I thought about how you would have enjoyed this trip to State Fair. You would have enjoyed it because of the reason for the trip, to watch your granddaughter. I thought about you more on this particular trip than I have since you’ve been gone.
I read a quote from Ann Voskamp that said, "Cleanliness isn't next to godliness. Love is." What a heart- and eye-opening statement. She went on to talk about how having a perfectly clean house isn't going to matter as much to your family in the long run as much as being close with them will be.
All of our dogs have been rescued except one. All of my dogs are special, but there was one extra-special dog that adored me, and his name was Jake.
My favorite time of year is here. It is the Moffat County Fair. My family’s summer is not complete without it.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about the Colorado U.S. Senate race between Mark Udall and Cory Gardner. I actually have been getting extremely angry about it, to be honest. To me, the issues they are running on don’t even compare. I am a woman in Colorado who owns a ranch and works at a coal mine and somehow my livelihood seems more important than making sure my employer helps me to not make a life.
I love that our town can be a little western sometimes. When I was a kid in the 80s, my neighbor and I sometimes kept our horses in town for certain events. When the horses were in town, sometimes we would ride our horses around.
Besides my husband, my kids are my everything. When I was little, I always wanted to be a mom. When my friends and I would play house, I always insisted on being the mom.
Marriage is hard work. It’s not something that often just comes easy.
Walking through a flower garden, I stop and look at the beauty of each flower. The delicate intricacies of their pedals, stems and leaves makes me stand in awe at their sight. Each type of flower has its unique design.
While I’m writing this, we won’t have celebrated Father’s Day yet, but this piece won’t make it into print until the day after Father’s Day. I’m so thankful for the fathers in our lives and want to share my husband’s dad who was a treasured father and Grandpa.
Every summer evening seems to be packed with something for our family. I truly don’t understand when I hear people say that their kids are bored and have nothing to do because we are always on the go. This week alone, I’ve taken my daughter to something every night.
It is amazing how people grow and change during a span of years. Celebrating 17 years of marriage during Memorial Day weekend, I reflected on how much we have changed in those years. Our dreams have changed and we’ve grown together.
Spring seems to be a great time for new loves and the starts of new relationships. Remember to be patient and watchful.
I was just talking to a new mom. Her baby is just a week old. She is tired; worried she’s not doing enough or not doing things correctly. She hadn’t been around many babies and hadn’t held one since she was 5 until her beautiful little girl was born. She’s scared. She loves this little girl and doesn’t want to do anything wrong. Funny thing is, as a parent, those feelings never really go away.
Some of my favorite memories revolved around the garden and the hothouse that my parents kept in the winter. The garden was a way for Mom to help sustain us, and she was, and still is, great at growing a garden.
Bullying comes in all forms. It’s most commonly found at schools among young people. It can be on the playground, but as children grow, so do the bullying tactics. It can be found online, in texts and in person. Even though many tragedies have come from school bullying including shootings and suicide, bullying never seems to go away. It seems as if the high people get from bullying is much more valuable than making it stop.
So many times in life we as parents, employers, teachers, spouses, etc. work so hard at dealing with problems that arise that we forget about the things done right. It is so important to not lose focus on the things that go right, the person that does so much for us that we may not even notice, the child that plugs away without disruption, the things our spouse does for us without a “thank you.” To keep these things running smoothly, we should appreciate these people in our lives.
I received a few messages this week on Facebook. Thank you for those of you who shared with me what you and your kids do for fun together. The stories were heartwarming. Two of them involved potato guns. I have to warn you that even though potato guns are extremely fun and entertaining, they can be harmful if not handled well. Our family has also built potato guns for family entertainment.
Living in the middle of nowhere like we do, we travel for everything we do. This travel requires planning. Right now, we are planning traveling for prom.
I was looking on Facebook at the You Know You Grew Up in Craig page the other day. I noticed a kid had asked what people who grew up in Craig did as a teenager for fun. He said the kids nowadays hang out at Murdoch’s, but they were getting bored with it. I read this post and the 86 responses at a family dinner. We laughed and talked about the things we used to do. It’s funny how different generations did things differently.
Turning 40 last week wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Somehow, a cake showed up at work, and I shared pieces with those who weren’t dieting. My family was taken to dinner by my sweet son. My husband was so sweet and made me feel amazingly loved and appreciated with a gift and a card that made me cry. But there was one gift I got that made me feel young again. It took me back to every happy event in my life.
Do we want sparkly? Do we want satin or lace? What color looks best with her skin tone? If you haven’t guessed my life has been consumed with getting my beautiful girl ready for prom. Yes, it’s that time of year when getting a dress fit for the occasion in Craig, is impossible. We don’t have too many options. Craig doesn’t have any stores that carry beautiful prom dresses anymore. Back when I was a kid, we had a couple. Not a large selection, but we did have options in Craig.
Have you ever noticed it's usually the small things that get the biggest reactions out of us? For instance, paper cuts sting like crazy. Mice make some of the biggest people jump on a chair in fright. Then there's spiders.
I have a fortune from a fortune cookie taped to my computer. It reads, “follow the dream that keeps coming back. It’s your destiny.” I keep it there to remind me there is more to me than just the things I do to get through life. I keep myself motivated in finding that dream so that living this everyday life seems more a little more bearable.
Milestone birthdays can be exciting, but it seems the older you get, the less exciting they become. I was the youngest kid on our block growing up. I was quite a bit younger than most, and I always wanted to be older like the other children.
I love how the seasons work. The first day of spring is less than a month away. Spring, with all its newness will be here. Isn’t it amazing that every year we get to see this entire freshness take place? What if we appreciated every day in our life like it was a season?
As most moms will tell you, there is nothing that is quite so special as the pregnancy with and birth of your first child. The following pregnancies and births are special and usually each is different, but the first is just that ... the first. My first was 22 years ago at the end of this week. It amazes me that when I think about it, it is like it was just yesterday.
Don’t discount your better half’s love for you because they don’t go out of their way to make grand gestures. Look for their steady, little acts of love that they do for you.
Belief in something sometimes is all it takes to get you through. I never will say I can’t do something before I try. After reading about Cliff Young this week, I know that certainly, the quote “If you believe it, you can achieve it” rings true.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t something I have ever been successful at making or keeping. I just want this year, again, to focus on what is important to me; to slow down and take in all the joys there are around me. I want to take this year and make it about being joyful, thankful and positive about the situations around me.
We have three amazing dogs. Well, four, but three really proved their worth a few weeks ago. It’s amazing to me that these animals can be so sweet, yet when needed, would be willing to lay their life down for their humans in an instant.
My daughter and I were driving down the road and she plugs in her iPhone to the radio and plays a song from her playlist. The introduction plays with a little banjo, guitar and piano. I know instantly what this song is I ask her, “You really downloaded this song?” She replies, “Yes, it reminds me of us.”
In the few days between Christmas and the New Year, we will find ourselves making plans for the year ahead and designing new resolutions. I’m all for making plans and goals. I teach my kids to do the same because you can never get anywhere if you don’t have a goal with a plan to reach it. This year though, I want to wait until the New Year to start planning it. I want to take the days in between now and the New Year to reminisce about the year that is coming to a close.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the true meaning, the birth of Jesus Christ, and I love the focus on family. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so I may not have gotten the biggest, best presents all of the time, but the memories of Christmas were priceless, and I love passing that on to my kids.
Winter holds so many wonderful memories for me. My daughter is getting to where she hates seeing the snow come, but I remember when she couldn’t wait for it. She used to love getting out and playing in the snow.
Listening is a skill that most of us learn early in life. We listen to our parents to learn how to speak and learn every day skills. We listen to our teachers to learn more. Some people also listen to clergy to help guide them through this life. Listening can be the most important part of a relationship. The funny thing about listening, though, is that when it is done right, it is done with an open mind and with your mouth shut.
Thanksgiving. The word brings so many things to mind. Giving thanks, traditions, family, friends, food and warmth are just a few. We’ve had fancy dinners at nice hotel restaurants and meager dinners at a tiny diner where we were thankful the gravy was good and covered the rest of the food that wasn’t quite so tasty. My favorite Thanksgivings, though, were those spent in our little homestead house at the ranch.
There’s always a special bond between a mother and a daughter. Sometimes it takes a little time for the lessons a mother can teach a daughter to really take hold.
Black and white photos in an old scrapbook fill the pages with names and dates delicately scripted underneath. Grandpa in his Marine dress uniforms on the steps of a building with his beautiful bride.
Fall is the perfect time to make pies. The cooler weather makes it tolerable to turn the oven on and heat up the house. The smell of the baking pie crust wrapped around the warm, fragrant fruit fills the air. Making pies totally from scratch isn’t heard of a lot with the convenience of pre-made pie crusts and even frozen pies. My favorite part of pie baking is the leftover crust my mom would make into cinnamon sticks.
One of the things that inspires me to write this column is my passion for where I come from — right here. There still are things that happen in this community that make me feel that we will overcome any obstacle, whether it be the oil and gas booms and busts, the president and governor attacking our industries, or the question of becoming a new state. Our community is here for one another.
Enjoy this Halloween and don’t take it so seriously. Remember to enjoy your kids and all the memories that you’re making. Have fun, be safe and don’t forget to laugh.
This electronic world we live in amazes me. I am in awe at how it works with email, Facebook, snapchat, texting, phones; there is communication everywhere and just about anywhere. When I was in high school we didn’t even have a phone, let alone a personal cell phone that you can do all of the above on. My friends were all in this town except for a pen pal maybe. If you didn’t live here, I most likely didn’t know you.
Our family is full of colorful people. That is putting it mildly. They like to tell stories, joke and pull pranks. I think October could be a great month to let you in on a few of these stories. My grandma used to tell us “ghost stories.”
The cold creeps in and wraps around us like a blanket of fog. Sometimes you can actually see it. Other times it’s just the feeling. It makes us want to dress warmer. It makes us prepare to spend more time inside, closer together. It makes us want to cuddle, to drink warm drinks and sit by a fire. It makes us excited to plan for the holidays ahead.
I grew up learning it’s better to give than to receive. We all are programmed to give, give, give. But I’ve learned a valuable lesson the past few months. Sometimes, you need to be a gracious receiver. When you are raised to be strong, to be the giver, to do all you can to help others, it’s kind of hard to get in the mindset to accept help or gifts from others. But, what is the best part of giving? It’s knowing that you helped someone or made someone a little happier by your gift. So when you give, most likely you’re expecting a certain reaction from the receiver.
I grew up being taught to treat others how you want to be treated. OK, maybe when it came to my siblings, that rule didn’t get used enough, but for the most part, I have tried to always abide by this rule. I really think it applies in the real world and if more people used it, every day would be a little brighter all around.
I drive by the chokecherry bushes everyday twice a day; on my way to work and on my way home. They change throughout the year almost like we do throughout our lives. They make me really think about how quickly this life goes by. In the spring, these bushes are just lots of grey twigs sticking out of the ground. There’s really nothing to them. They may be sprouting some green buds that will eventually be leaves, but really there’s not much there. Kind of like when babies are first born and they just eat and sleep and you find yourself staring at them for hours.
Oh, to be young again. Actually, I don’t wish to be young again, but it would be nice to feel young again. Watching teenage girls figure out who they are can be very entertaining.
Marriage is a commitment. The definition of commitment is: 1. a pledge or promise , 2. Engagement, involvement. My parents celebrated 50 years of marriage this past weekend and my in-laws are on their 54th year. Talk about commitment. I look at these couples and I find inspiration to make my marriage last (we’re on year 16).
Approach of fall brings back memories of gathering cattle with the family.
A fair family is a family of a different breed. They live for this one time a year where they spend a week or two before school starts running like crazy, making amazing memories. Fair families work hard together toward a common goal. It’s actually the 4-H motto: To make the best better. And that is their goal every year — to have a better product than the year before.
Smiles and sweet memories are easy to come by in summertime. With the sun sinking down over the horizon and the glaring heat seeming to disappear with it, relaxation kicks in. With that usually would come a treat in the evening.
National Friendship day is Aug. 4, so that made me think that friendship would be a perfect topic to cover this week. I wrote about my best friend a while back. She doesn’t live here, but we are still extremely close. We make an effort to stay in touch, and I know we will be friends, as the saying goes “until we are senile and are new friends again.”
My daughter has a friend that is still away at college. He had come home for the Fourth of July holiday and had mentioned how he really misses home when he’s away. So, my daughter came up with the idea to send him a care package when he went back to school. This care package started off as a way to make someone else’s day, but we had so much fun putting it together. We sat down and decided what to put in this package. The first thing that came to mind was food. Food is pretty comforting when you’re missing home.
Love your kids. When they try to push you away, don't listen, as the next second they may need you — even for just a moment. And don't ever be afraid to brag about your kids. Let them hear you. They need to know how proud you are of them. These years with them go too fast to not love them every chance and every way you can.
I have always believed that when you speak things out loud they seem to have a chance of happening. For instance, have you heard ranchers say that we need rain and they say out loud that it will rain when their hay is on the ground? What usually happens? It rains when their hay is on the ground. When we tell ourselves that we can accomplish something, what usually happens? We accomplish it. When we tell ourselves we can’t? We usually don’t.
Life passes by so quickly. The loss of someone we love is bound to happen because no one lives forever. Some are taken way too soon, and we will never understand why. The past couple of years, so much loss has passed through our families and our friends. That’s why it is so important to make sure your life was a life worth living.
Country-dances bring back memories of old, and help us celebrate new generations.
I’m so thankful that kids are so resilient.
My parents were self-employed, so when summer came, I was with them all the time.
This last week was an eye opener for me.
This upcoming weekend, Grand Olde West Days and Wild West Weekend will be in full swing. Everyone should get out and take advantage of all the community has to offer this weekend.
A large hill of rocks sits behind our house.
It was the first day of kindergarten. I was scared to death because I had never really spent much time away from my mother. I remember seeing this little girl across the room.
In the past week, we’ve lost two members of our family: our cow, Cocoa Bean, and our dog, Girl.
You know the old saying, “If you get bucked off a horse, you better get right back on”?
I’ve been noticing the articles about the trash, and Craig clean-up days will be coming around the bend. I’ve been thinking about this community clean-up and I think it’s a great idea.
“Major,” that special horse I had that taught me about patience, played such a big role in my childhood.
Have you noticed how everyone in this economy is trying to get the best deal they can for as little as possible? I’ve noticed this in several areas, not just in buying goods, but that is a great example.
Spring is in the air. I can smell the wet snow melting and making glorious scents of spring. These smells on our ranch usually mean mud … lots and lots of mud. But it’s all in how you look at it. You can take the positives or the negatives.
I recently chaperoned a 4-H trip, and I was pretty nervous about it. I wasn’t nervous about the trip in general, I was nervous about how I would fit in with the other chaperones and about how to be a good chaperone without ruining the trip for my daughter. This trip ended up being a great learning experience for everyone who went, and especially for me.
There are few things that smell like home to me more than fresh baked bread. Last week as I wrote about my Grandma’s apron, it brought back memories of baking bread with her. It also seemed like my mom was always baking bread when we were growing up. I love the aroma, so warm and delicious.
I read a post on Facebook the other day about a grandmother’s apron, and it made me smile as I thought of my Grandma’s aprons. I always have loved aprons, and today I enjoy sewing old time lookalikes.
Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with my son about how I’ve raised him and made so many mistakes. He assured me that he has turned out OK. He also told me something that really hit home: He told me not to hold on to the past or to grudges, but to give each day a new start. I know, he’s pretty wise for being so young. This is easier said than done for most humans, but not so much for dogs. I have a dog that is really good at this.
This Valentine’s Day has brought to mind to me several country music songs. One that really stands out is Brad Paisley’s “Two People Fell in Love.” It talks about how the love of two people can have an effect on so many whether it’s through their actions or through those they have brought into this world.
Inspiration is something all of us need at times. I’m always looking for inspiration to help me be a better assistant, mother, and wife. When I’m searching for inspiration to be a better person, I don’t have to look far. In fact, I have two friends that pop right in mind for that sort of encouragement; Mo and Susan.
It is amazing to me how we teach our kids values and they don’t even know it. I was working more on my list of things that are important to me and I started remembering happy childhood memories of very teachable moments. I started thinking about how I learned that giving back to my community by volunteering is so important. When I was little one of my very first memories is sitting on my mom’s lap while she was playing piano in this little white house made into a rest home on Yampa Avenue here in Craig. At least once a month you could find my mom in there on a Sunday afternoon playing and singing hymns for the residents.
As this New Year is upon us, I’m thinking how I want this year to look. In doing so, I’m organizing the things that are important to me. The trend seems to be getting back to the basics and I am all about that. After all, I live on a ranch and I enjoy “the basics.”