Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BlogHer from Home

Caution:  This post is BORING.  If you care to see my thoughts splattered on this page, please keep reading.  Otherwise, stay tuned for my next update!  :)

I have decided that I would like to be a "published" blogger by being accepted to a blogging network.  I have recently been rejected from the *BlogHer Publishing Network, and that's okay.  Apparently I can try again in 6 months.  I've been going strong as a blogger since 2008, so I'm pretty sure I'll still be around on the web in 6 months to apply again. :) 

So now I have this new goal, and it's honestly kind of a foreign field to me, but that's kind of fun, too, because it's like a new adventure.  I am not sure what my options are.  At this point, I can foresee myself getting in with BlogHer over time by making some minor adjustments to this blog, or I can begin a new blog and try to develop that one in a different way while keeping this blog going, too.  The only problem is that I have a limited amount of blogging time, so if I have too many blog commitments, I might drop one.  I'm pretty partial to this one, since it documents my life.

It's also possible that another blogging network would like my blog as is and would allow me to advertise, opening the path for me to possibly earn some extremely small amounts of income by allowing ads on my page (but I'm not sure if that counts as being a "published" blogger).

While I'm divulging my deepest darkest writing goals & aspirations, I will go ahead and mention that I'm writing 3 children's books (one for each kid).  I do happen to be a member of ANWA (American Night Writers Association), and I do have the goal to be a published author someday.

The future's so bright, I've got to wear shades.  Or maybe I should just pick up a shovel & get working harder.

*In exchange for mentioning BlogHer in my post, I am receiving a sweepstakes entry to win tickets to the BlogHer conference in 2014.  Pick me!  Pick me!*

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Prove me WRONG, Bank of America!

Dear President Brian Monaghan,

I have been a Bank of America customer since I got married almost 9 years ago.  My husband has been a customer much longer than that.  I didn't regret my decision to switch banks for very long, and I quickly sank into a groove with the company.  The only bump in the road I've had with Bank of America was a couple years ago when I decided to cut debt out of my life and get rid of my credit card--your customer service department couldn't make the experience clean and easy.  It turned into an extreme hassle to close the card.  But other than that I've been happy, and mostly because I do happen to like my local bank tellers.  I especially enjoy visiting with them at my favorite branch where they know me by name at the DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW.  My regular order goes something like this: "I need to make a deposit, and may I have 3 suckers, please?"  My kids LIVE for this drive through experience, and they know they have to be good while we sit in line if they're going to actually enjoy those suckers.

Recently, with my kids in tow, I ran a deposit through the drive through, and I couldn't miss the extremely large sign on the window announcing that on Sept. 9th, Bank of America will no longer be offering drive-through services.


Do you realize that I go to this branch specifically, because the other two closer to my home DON'T offer drive thru services EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE THE WINDOW & CAPABILITY?  Do you realize that it's SUMMER TIME, and it's BLAZING HOT outside?  I'm not afraid of walking inside the bank.  I think it's good exercise to walk as much as possible. But I'm telling you, when there are 3 little kids in the car, the amount of time it takes to do ANYTHING is multiplied by exponents!!!  In the amount of time it takes to unload 3 kids from 3 car seats, make sure they still have their shoes on so they don't burn their feet on the sizzling asphalt, look both ways, cross the parking lot safely, and open the door to the bank, I could have had the deposit done in the drive through.  But then we still have to brave the internal bank experience.  It sounds like this:  "Please don't run around.  Don't pull on the polls while we wait in line. Oh, no, sorry, Baby!  I left your sippy in the van.  Be happy, be happy!  Here's a fruit snack.  No, Buddy, you can't have a sucker, yet, we have to wait for 5 more people before it's our turn; be good, or you won't be able to get one.  You're right--that person DOES have tattoos on his arm.  Try not to stare.  We should probably be a little more quiet in here, too.  Don't pick your nose; that's gross.  Oh, it's our turn!  Oh, no!  Where's my deposit?  I thought I put it in my purse!  Okay, here it is.  (To the teller:)  I'm doing great, thank you!  (Back to the kids:) Why are your shoes off?  Put them on again, so you don't burn your feet going back to our car!  Ak!  Please don't lay on the ground.  Let's GO!"

You don't even want to imagine the horror when one or more of my kids (sometimes even ALL THREE) have fallen asleep on the car ride, and I have to wake them up to haul them inside the bank.  Your other customers DO NOT want a wailing, tired kid--or THREE--in line as we wait to make a transaction!

When I asked why the branch was closing down their drive thru, they said it's because ATM's are showing a higher rate of activity.  Well, let's think about this:  ATM's are open 24/7.  Of course they're going to show activity--you can use them any time of night or day.  When the bank closes, customers have NO OTHER CHOICE.  But let me tell you what ATM's DON'T DO.  They don't offer service with a smile.  They don't care about me or ask me how I'm doing.  When I'm the one making deposits for a Small Business during business hours with all my kids in tow, ATM's are not helpful to me because I don't carry a card for the company.  And most importantly to my kids, ATM's DO NOT hand out courtesy suckers for good little boys & girls. 

At this present point in time, Brian Monaghan, I am being reminded that the Big-Ol'-Corporate side of Bank of America does not care about its customers on a personal level.  What do you want from me?  I've given you a phone call, you just got a blog post, you'll be getting a letter from me in a few days.  Would you like a petition?  Would you like a newspaper article?  Would you like me to schedule a mass-drive-thru-day to prove that I am NOT the only one of your customers that feels this way?  What do you want?  My business? 

I'll tell you what I want:  I want Bank of America to prove me wrong.  Show me that you care about your customers on a personal level, and please keep drive thru windows open at the locations that currently still have drive thru capabilities.

Debra Jo

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who Would EVER Buy THAT? (Choking On My Words)

I am 29. Half-a-year ago, I wondered how much anxiety my internal self would experience on the actual milestone date.  Frankly, on my birthday, from the moment I woke up I didn't have time to waste with having anxiety concerning my "oldness".  I had other matters on my mind.  To understand WHY, you need a bit of background.

Background Info #1:  I hate Sasquatch & Aliens, because there is an ever present part of me (sometimes overwhelmingly large/sometimes extremely small) that truly believes BOTH are real.  Remember this post?

Background Info #2:  There is this little shop on the side of Highway 260 that sells hideous wood carvings of aliens, and other ODD sorts of items that I turn my nose up to.  "Gah!  Who would EVER buy THAT?"  I say as we drive past it.

Now that you know, you can easily imagine my DELIGHT when on the morning of my TWENTY-NINTH birthday, I woke up to THIS:


My personal martian "CAME IN PEACE" with birthday wishes and all, but it's possible I stood at the top of the stairs looking down on him, with hands on my hips, as I spoke to my parents in the garage:
"That's not funny.  I can't believe you actually spent MONEY on THAT!!!!  HOW MUCH did you pay for it?" I demanded.
Mom just laughed and Dad said, "It doesn't matter.  Mom's been planning on buying you one for a LONG time.  Happy Birthday!"
It took me a bit, but I eventually warmed up to my "little green man".  My son, Miles, has liked him from the beginning, since they're essentially the same size.
My birthday truly was "OUTTA THIS WORLD" as my new friend, whom we have named MARTY, predicted.  My mom thought I wasn't going to take him home with me, so my brother & his friends wrapped him up like ET and put him in my Grandma's closet.  Haha!  Oh, how I wish I had a picture of that.  However, we couldn't leave this treasure behind. 
My son, Emmett likes to put glasses on the martian, and climb on him.
Our first prank of all happened within a week of my new favorite possession.  Karly had suggested that we watch the movie FIRE IN THE SKY while we were still in the small town of Heber.  Of course she & my brother, Heber, and all of their friends, Jodi, Biscuit, Ryan, Ian, and Payton, were all up for it.  I truly did have a STELLAR birthday (of which I'll post the other amazing pics of later).  But while I was okay with waking up to an alien, ending the day with aliens was an entirely different concept to me, and I was NOT IN THE MOOD for that on my birthday.  Fortunately the Netflix download didn't work so I didn't have to suffer through a scary movie or hide in another room for 2 hours, and we all played cards instead. 
SO, a week later the teenagers all reunited at Karly's house to watch the movie they were jipped on watching.  They still thought my alien was wrapped in blankets in my Grandma's closet, but we had him & couldn't resist the fun.  We essentially dropped my brother off for the hang-out, and then we set our timer for 45 minutes later so we wouldn't get caught sneaking around their house.  Finally the time came and Mitch strapped our alien in the car (I had to take a pic first).  Then the boys & I hopped in the back, and we all drove it to Karly's house in the middle of their movie night to leave it on the doorstep with a sign that said,
"Stay away from phone booths,

It was classic.  Who would have ever thought that I would end up the proud owner of a wooden, hand-carved, alien, from the notorious little shop of creatures that I have previously loved to despise?  The birthday joke my family played on me really was a funny one, but let me tell you:


Monday, July 15, 2013

Socks On Steroids

Could you raise 12 children?  Could you?  Could you do it with flying colors?

I know someone who IS, and I do mean IS CURRENTLY working on the endeavor of raising TWELVE children;  she and her husband are doing this with FLYING COLORS.  She has all kinds of inspirational quotes on her walls such as:

"This house isn't under construction. 
 Kids just live here." 


"A clean house is a life wasted." 

Despite all of these inspirational quotes to remind you that the true meaning of life is not about removing the last dust speck from the baseboard in the corner, this house STILL had the cleanest bathroom I've ever seen.  It was sparkling.  How on earth do you raise 12 kids (8 of them being boys for that matter), and still end up with a sparkling bathroom?  My cousin, Tiffani, is a SUPER-Mom.

I was fortunate enough to spend the majority of a day with Tiff a couple weeks ago.  I knew I would be traveling through her town on my way home from the Homestead, and I asked her if we could have a play date with her 12 children.  :)  Let me tell you, it was a MEMORABLE experience for me and my 'offspring'.  Hang on to your seats, because I've documented the ride:

1)  A few steps after you enter the Martineau home, you might be lucky enough to spy this table in the Living Room.  It includes 14 copies of the Book of Mormon, and it looks like at least 7 Bibles are in those Scripture Cases.  What a beautiful sight!  This is a home that reads scriptures & has prayer daily.  I love that EVERY child has their own copy of scriptures to help them stay alert and awake.  I didn't really notice until later, but look at the table cloth--it's PATRIOTICThey teach their kids to love God AND Country...what greater things could strengthen their family than a heritage like that?  I dare say nothing.

2) Since we were camping out for most the day at their house, and since I knew they would be feeding me dinner, I thought, "Maybe there's some way I could give back."  And that's when I spied a basket of socks.  My BRILLIANT idea kind of back fired & in the end I'm pretty sure it wasn't even helpful.   Timing myself for fun, I had TWENTY straight minutes of sorting socks by colors.  Then I recruited help from Eva and we started matching up socks.  We got sick of the white ones really fast.  Then we moved to the dark colors, and then we moved to the small pile of colorful socks, because we thought we'd actually see some progress there.  After AN HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES, I started delegating to Tristan and Eva, but not to Michael, because he said he wasn't allowed to do the socks.  Haha!  They finished up for me, and even then, we had what looked like a FULL basket of socks left over. 

Here's some crazy math for you.  This family lives in a place where they have to wear socks often, especially in the Winter.  If they average one pair of socks for everyone each day, that turns into 28 socks per day. 28 socks/day x 7 = 196 socks/week. 
196 socks/week x 52 = 10,192 socks per year!!! 

Once we realized this astounding laundry trivia fact for the Martineau household, Eva asked me, "Is this why you only had 3 kids?" 

3)  Everything was all hunky-dory while we were folding socks, and that's when Tiffani told me she needed to leave to the store for just a little while.  Her famous words were, "You're in charge of twelve kids."  I thought it wouldn't be a problem.  She told us to get the hot dogs out of the freezer, and open 3 cans of Hormel Chili to put on the stove.  Easy, right?  Ready for that crazy math, again? 

12 kids + my 3 kids + 3 cousins + 2 friends
= 20 children!!!!!
Being a teacher with 30 kids in a classroom is totally different than having 5 kids outside, 4 going around the block, 4 squealing in the hallway, 2 trying to tell the little boys that they need to give up the video game controllers, 2 folding socks, and 3 others who knows where.
That's when the GOAT showed up.
4)  The hero within me told me I had to save the kids from the goat.  I wasn't sure if it was a nice goat or not, and his little goat horns were at the eye level of the 2 and 3 year olds.  My anxiety level started rising, and Marron started screaming with equal parts of delight and horror at the sight of the savage goat.  Soon I saw my cousin, Macky crossing the street, and I thought he would save us, but NO.  He went to rescue his dog that was barking wildly about the intruder.  And that's when ALL the kids came out on the lawn and I started worrying about 20 children being charged by a wild beast instead of 5.

Don't worry, we were eventually saved by the owner of the goat.  The owner's name was Billy, which is nothing short of IRONIC.   His first words were, "Be careful, he butts."  Gee whiz!  The goat episode could have been awful, and it wasn't!  I had a big sigh of relief until I turned around and found kids climbing on the car.  (Please don't get mad at them, Tiff, I actually made them pause for a picture before they got down, so it's really my fault now.)

Eva looked at me on the lawn and said, "Boy, you sure are making a lot of memories, aren't you?"

What a darling and happy kid.  That's Paul.  He was very helpful, too.
5)  Seconds after we saved "The Loser Cruiser" from potential dents & scratches, I got a text from Tiff & Brandon saying they were on their way back. I started freaking out inside my head, because NOTHING they asked us to do was done.  What kind of a dog-poo reputation would I have if they saw I couldn't even handle the simple tasks they needed?
"Eva!  Did you get the hot dogs out of the freezer?"
"Not, yet."
"Oh, no!  Are you serious?  Why not?"
"Because, remember? I told you I needed help moving something first, and you said you would help me, but THEN THE GOAT CAME."
"Oh, yeah!  Oh my gosh!  Hurry!  Where are they?  We've got to get them out of the freezer before your mom & dad get back!"
I was laughing the whole time.  It's not like Tiff wanted us to MAKE the dinner.  All she wanted was the ingredients ON the counter, and we were frantically running to get them as they turned onto the street.  And then I saw red drips from otter pops all over the tile floor.  Amelia wiped those up for me seconds before Tiff & Brandon walked in the door.  And *WHEW*  that's when everything calmed down again, and that's when having 12 kids seemed like it was easy, because the PROS were BACK!

Tyson & Morgan

Miles, Milly, Gracie, Miles, Maron, Mallory

Tyson, Emmett, Nate, Morgan, Titan, Tristan

Tyson, Emmett, Morgan, Nate, Neighbor kid, Caden, Zack, Titan?, Other kid, Tristan

Paul, Kaylin, Zach, Mallory, Miles, Amelia, Marron

Zach?, Marron, Miles, Milly

6)  This sweetheart is THE BEST BABY SITTER EVER!  I never had to worry about my 1 year old, because this darling girl carted him around everywhere.  I LOVE HER!  Honestly, ALL of Brandon & Tiff's kids are like this--they are the most loving, most helpful, quick to obey, sweetest, funnest kids you've ever met.  I would keep them all if I could!

Miles, Emmett, Tyson, Zach?, Neighbor

Beauty Queen

Miles & Miles

 D-Jo & Tiff
7)  Side note:  Amid everything else, they still had energy to have a yard sale. The necklace I'm wearing in this picture was one of my treasures from the garage sale when I went back the next day.
8)  One more fact about this family:  They call almost everyone Aunt ______ or Uncle ____ .  I was amazed at the way they open their arms & hearts to everyone who comes to their doorstep.  Friend, neighbor, or actual family, you are treated like family.  There's an abundance of love in that household.
And as for your first question, Eva:  After having so much fun, I am sure that more than 3 kids would be a BLAST in my household, but I'm also pretty darn sure that after the hot-dog FIASCO, I may have to leave the raising of TWELVE kids to the PROS.  :)
I walked away inspired, happier, and with new, AWESOME memories!
That was one of the best days of my life, Tiff! Thanks for the play date! Gosh I love you guys!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tenney's Never Quit

Alpine, AZ is where my Grandpa Tenney grew up, and where generations of my grandparents have been buried.  At our Tenney Reunion 2 weeks ago, we had an excellent "Cemetery Tour" in which several individuals were asked to dress up, stand by a grave stone, and act out vignettes about the life of a particular ancestor.

Mitchell was Warren Moroni Tenney Sr. - who came with his father over Lee's Backbone with the first Saw Mill in Arizona.  His mother and siblings stayed in Utah and left the family and eventually the church.  Because of this one man's choice to take a leap of faith, all the generations that have followed have had the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.  This Great-Great-Great Grandpa almost died on the trip, and the only thing that saved him was the faithfulness of his oxen, whose tails got ran over by the wagon wheels, because they sat on their haunches to prevent the load from toppling down the mountain, which would have sent Warren & his father to their deaths.  They set those faithful oxen out to pasture for the rest of their lives after the trip was over.
I was asked to portray Ella Hamblin Tenney (wife to Warren Sr. and daughter of Jacob Hamblin & Priscilla).  Ella grew up in New Mexico, which is close to Alpine.  She got married when she was 16, and Warren came riding up the day he met her in a buck-skin suit.  He wanted to marry her, and she said only if he promised to take her to the St. George temple to be sealed for eternity BEFORE their first child was born.  Once she became pregnant, he kept true to his promise, and they made the trip to St. George, UT.  She was so ill, and the wagon ride didn't make anything easier.  She couldn't keep any food down, and the jarring of the wagon was extremely difficult as they journeyed for TWO MONTHS.  They were sealed & she felt so happy to know that this child would be theirs forever.  On the way back, the snows came early, and they had to trudge through 3 feet of snow.  It was difficult, but they made it back safely, and raised  THIRTEEN children.  What a legacy and example, though. They traveled for FOUR MONTHS (sacrificing work and other endeavors) just to have the blessing of the temple in their lives.  Faith.  Love.  Devotion.  Testimony.  Priesthood Power.  Unwavering.
Before I got to the Cemetery, I looked over and saw a little old lady walking with my cousin Kalin.  I wondered who it was.  When she got closer I realized it wasn't a real little old lady, it was my cousin, Tenney pretending to be my Grandma Wanda Peterson Tenney.  When I realized that I started laughing, and then I got a little choked up.  THEY LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE MY GRANDMA AND GRANDPA TENNEY...what's funny now is that the picture doesn't really look like my grandparents looked, but I'm telling you that in the cemetery they did look like them. Haha!
Oh, Grandma and Grandpa Tenney, do you know how much I miss you?!  You look awesome here.  :)  LOL!
Then we walked over to their graves and...Grandma Velma was there...being played by Paige.  Uh...then I had the thought, "You should probably take a picture with Grandma Tenney, Grandpa Tenney, and Grandma Velma."  So I snapped the photo really fast and laughed.  It was funny, but awkward, too.  Basically in a nut shell Grandma & Grandpa had 9 kids and got divorced.  My Grandpa eventually remarried, but my Grandma didn't, and after Grandma Velma died, my Grandma & Grandpa Tenney got remarried.  So...now they're all in heaven hanging out together.  And this is the first picture we've ever taken with the 3 of them.  So I laughed because it was kind of funny.
I've never met Velma, because she died the year my parents married, but she was a good person.  She had never married, but was willing to take on the "baggage" of a divorced man with 9 kids...so she knew what LOVE means.  And without a doubt, my Grandma Tenney also knew what LOVE means, as she prayed for my Grandpa even after they were divorced, and married him again even though 'a lot of water passed under the bridge'.  She essentially kept the family together in so many ways.  And my Grandpa Tenney also knew what LOVE means, as he did everything in his power to keep us all together in the end.  These are all 3 "Tenney's Who Didn't Quit." 
At any rate, I believe that when I meet Grandma Velma that I will like her, because I definitely love and adore my Uncle Warren and his kids and my Aunt Kem and her kids. 
 Gerry & Dana were the son & daughter-in-law of the ancestors Mitch & I acted out.

 This is hilarious to me, because Nathanael AKA 'Walt' took the picture by Grandma & Grandpa's gravestones for us, and he completely missed the gravestones.  Hahaha!  I guess it just means I will have to take my children back there someday.
 Thank you very much: I got Uncle Warren and his kids in the photo WITH the gravestones. 
 What the?  Grandpa likes pirates?  :)
 Grandpa's parents
 This was Grandpa Tenney's older brother.  He died when he was 2 or younger.  This is the reason why my grandpa was named Lewis, as opposed to Warren, like the 2 generations before him.  On another stone in the graveyard of a baby, I saw the words, "Ours for a moment, God's forever."  What faith and love the parent of any lost child must have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 The Lollipop Shoppe was awesome, and expensive.  Remember that if you ever have to eat or purchase anything in Alpine, that it's been imported 5 hours or more from a larger city, so there's a mark up.  But even if you pay $4 for a lollipop because you couldn't afford the $8 ones, or the $300 one, that it's okay.  And it's still fun.  Make sure to take pictures, because your wallet says you might not be going back.  J/K.

Also remember that when you buy a lollipop, that the best part is the anticipation.  Usually they get dropped in 0.5 seconds after you leave the shop, or the slobber weakens the stick at the base in 2 minutes and either way, you end up with a broken lollipop.  Haha!

 I talked back to the wallet, and we went back to the Lollipop Shop with Julia & Nathanael.

 This is my cousin, Julia.  She was SO EXCITED to see the baby donkey.  She also received her mission call at the reunion to THE SAME PLACE AS WARREN MORONI TENNEY SR.  Isn't that AMAZING?  I believe this is in no way a coincidence - I believe this was meant to be.   Her mom got the letter and with permission, opened it and scanned it and emailed it to Julia so she could read it.  How neat that she got to read her call to the family while we were in the place that our ancestors lived and that she'll get to serve the people in the same place that our Great-Great Grandpa did - and all this happened on the same day we were telling stories about him.  So awesome! 
 My darling Borden nephew came with us - he kept calling us "Tingey's" because he's used to hearing that instead of "Tenney's".  Haha!
We stayed at the Homestead to save on costs so that we could spend it on the imported food in Alpine.  J/K  My Lego heads looked AWESOME with the camouflage design that happened by the dust, dirt, and rattling on the bumpy roads.  I couldn't have designed it better!  It's washed off by now, though.  Bummer!
To finish out our trip, Mitch left the reunion and went to Scout Camp, and I stayed at the Homestead with my mother-in-law, nephew, and kids.  We had a great time.
Tyson had a heart attack one day when they went to catch snakes at Snake Lake.  The cows were by the pond, and one had horns.  He came running back alone and nervous.  "MOM!  There's a bull at Snake Lake, and Caden & Emmett won't listen to me."  I told him I'd go down there and started walking, "WAIT!  Do you even know how dangerous a bull is?  Have you even ever been near one before?  What if something happens to you? (And then he choked up.) I don't want something to happen to my little brother, or my best cousin!"  I told him I'd be fine and to say a little prayer.  Fortunately the bull was not even paying attention to the other boys, and we drew them all to safety, but those DARN COWS camped out for TWO DAYS STRAIGHT, and the boys weren't ever able to go into their territory and catch the snakes on this trip.  Caden was such a tough guy as we walked back to the cabin, "I could run faster than a bull."  I'd like to see him try. :) 
On the way back from the reunion, Miles had pink-eye, so I had to chill out in Springerville and kill time while I waited for the on-call doctor to talk to the nurse and call us in an eye-drop prescription.  What do you know?  Springerville has an air-port.  We saw maybe 15 little planes there.  The boys liked it.

We also drove past a little river.  :)

 This is why the Homestead is the BEST place in the world for little boys. 
 Miles getting spoiled.
 Sleeping in the swing.
 Air port picture out of order, but I love Tyson's new fetish with making faces that go with the pictures he poses for.
 Miles was so cute walking with Grandma Borden. She took us all to McDonald's on the way home.
And that's it.
Don't worry, Tiff--you're in the next post
(there's simply too much to tell in this post since it's already so long.) 
Stay tuned--I'll blog again in a few days.
Happy 4th of July, everyone!!!!
America is all about loving God, loving FAMILY, and loving FREEDOM.  I am so grateful to my ancestors who NEVER GAVE UP so that we could enjoy the freedoms of this GREAT NATION.  Their journeys were hard, but they SAW US - they envisioned what the future would be like, and THEY DID IT FOR US!!!!   Thomas & Ann Tenney were the first Tenneys to come to America, and every single Tenney in America can honor their name today, even if their last name is spelt differently, they are connected.  My mom's side has a history of being great patriots, too, and have the deepest work-ethic of anyone I've ever known - true American Spirit.  They had dreams and made them happen - they grew their family and grew their businesses, and bettered the communities they helped establish.  Amazing people!  I am also so grateful for the heritage my husband's family has - his g-g-g-grandfather on his mom's side Homesteaded some land that keeps the family & gospel ties strong and continuing for their posterity today.  And my husband's father is a modern-day-pioneer in his faith and without a doubt thru all his boys & grandsons (and granddaughters, too), is establishing a family name that will carry on his example in living the gospel.  I am so grateful for the blessings we have, for the heritage we have, for the sacrifices made so we can have our Bill of Rights.  All the people who came before knew that freedom isn't free.  We must to everything in our power to preserve this great nation so the children who are to come can enjoy the privileges we enjoy and so that the sacrifices of those who have gone before are not wasted.
God Bless America!