Things I learned this week…

  • When inspired, Americans can be called to action.
  • No matter who is elected to run the US, God is still in control. (I already knew this, but I had to remind myself.)
  • I can communicate with a Swedish doughnut-maker.
  • Christian does not equal Republican.
  • My snuggly kitten is the reason it is so hard to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Pineapple salsa ROCKS.
  • Sometimes, it is okay to just let a fever run its course.
  • Pumpkin crisp gives me heartburn.
  • You can’t argue with crazy.
  • Don’t click on that Facebook video sent to you by your friend unless you *know* they sent it to you. (Some lessons don’t have to be learned the hard way.)
  • Heartburn is totally worth the price of devouring pumpkin crisp.
  • You can be refreshed by taking time to simply enjoy the colors of fall.
  • You can get some really good deals by watching grocery store ads and using coupons.
  • If your team is down 21-3 in the 2nd quarter, don’t give up hope.  They still may win it.
  • When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
  • The best of friends can talk for hours about egg nog and the categorization of foods.
  • Pumpkin is a fruit. (Again, something I knew, but got to share it with the aforementioned friends.)
  • A Facebook status may bring on more discussion than you had planned.
  • It is better to lose sleep than miss the speeches from two impressive men.
  • Don’t feed the ducks.

FREE is for ME

Frugal Mom Blog

Who doesn’t like free stuff?  Every day this week, there is a contest to win free stuff…and all you have to do is visit the websites listed & say what you like.  And who can’t use another excuse to do some online window shopping?

Check it out…and if you win, I’ll be so thrilled to know you started it all right here.

Charitable Donations of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates

Anyone have a soapbox for me to borrow? One thing I abhor about politics is the spinning – there is always an angle and you can’t trust any sources.  I don’t trust Fox News any more than I trust CNN to give the FACTS.  But one thing that I’ve learned to trust in this world is numbers – they just don’t lie.

I’ve done a little digging and found the actual PDF files of the candidates’ tax returns.  I got them from this website: taxhistory.org. It could all be a scam, but they do have all of the candidates tax returns listed & it is pretty easy to read them if you’re familiar with your own tax returns.

Here are some numbers that I’d like to share with you:

Barack Obama – AGI (adjusted Gross Income) = $4,139,965.
Donations to Charity = $240,370
Percentage of AGI to charity = 5.8%

Joe Biden –         AGI = $319,853
Donations to Charity = $995
Percentage of AGI to charity = .3%  (that is POINT 3 percent)

John McCain –   AGI = $386,527
Donations to Charity = $105,467
Percentage of AGI to charity = 27.3%  (more on this in a minute…)

Sarah Palin –      AGI = $166,080
Donations to Charity = $3325
Percentage of AGI to charity = 2.0%

These are just numbers, and I would like to note where McCain’s donations went – they were all cash donations to the McCain foundation.  And here are some McCain Foundation facts:

  • Cindy and John McCain are the primary contributors to the McCain Foundation
  • The McCain Foundation received $176,508 in donations in 2007
  • If John McCain accounts for $105,467 – that is approximately 60% of the Foundation’s contributions.
  • The Foundation dispersed approximately $78,250 to various charities ranging from animal welfare ($500), Craniofacial abnormalities ($35,000), clearing mines ($25,000) and various educational and cultural programs ($12,250).
  • If you take 60% of the foundations donations and say that those came from John McCain, that accounts for $46,950.  As a percentage of his AGI, that equals 12.1%.

And just a little side note…if you combine the AGI’s and contributions of the other 3 candidates, their percentage of donation is 5.2%.  I think it is pretty shameful that my husband & I donated more to charity (as a percentage) than all three combined.

It isn’t the government’s responsibility to take care of the people.  It is the people’s responsibility to take care of the people.  Just my humble opinion.

But those are some pretty convicting numbers, if you ask me.

I love my camera phone

My phone is just about full – so it is time to clear out some pictures.  Here are some of the favorite moments that have been captured on the little Blackberry Pearl.  If you click on each picture, you can get the little background story (if there is one…)

Yes, yes…I know…

I’m a bad blogger.  You saw that school started though, right?  So I get a little sympathy for trying to be the number one juggler, right?

One of the printers in our office (the color one) used to be in the business center.  So, there are random people in the place of business who can print to it.  But, the printer has been moved to our office which is behind a locked door.  You never know what little gem you’ll have on the printer when you come to the office in the morning.  I’m the first one in (when I actually GO to the office) and this is what I found today:

I decided to hang it up on the wall, in the spirit of working safe(ly).  My co-workers need to be thanked also!  After all, we all do work very safe(ly) each and every day.  We lift with our legs (not our backs), we clean up spills immediately, and we always use a wet floor sign.

How long can I look at it, though?  It’s already making me a little bit crazy and it has only been on the wall for all of 15 minutes.

safeLY
safeLY
safeLY
safeLY
safeLY

Okay – that’s a little better.  I may have gotten it out of my system.  I wish I had a green marker, I could just go add that little LY to the end of safe.  Then I wouldn’t have to say it in my head over and over again.

Back to school time

There are mixed emotions this year.  I love getting back into a routine and getting the kids into bed at a decent (ie earlier than me) bedtime. School starts on Monday and we had orientation today. 

First stop was the elementary school, where we know the routine.  Go to the cafeteria, get the clinic, PTA, and transportation forms.  Fill out the two and turn them back in, leave the third on the table for the next person, (I’ll let you figure out which one I don’t fill out) and head to the classroom.  Meet the teacher, fill out some more forms, sign here, sign there, nice to meet you, out the door. 

Then, we take the inaugural trip to the middle school. This is where things get a little hectic because I’m out of my element.  I don’t know the building, the teachers, the routine of it all.  I recognize some of the other parents and students, but there are more unfamiliar faces than I’m used to.  We find the boys’ homerooms, meet the teachers, follow directions, fill out more forms, check here, check there, find their schedules, compare their schedules, wonder what math is going to be like for them in the same class, and head out the door.  Spinning.  Overwhelmed.  And it all hits me.  I’m not ready!

I’m not ready to get back into the hectic school routine.  I like early bed time, but I don’t like homework and projects.  I like routine, but I don’t like more things on the calendar.  I like organization, but I’m not ready to clear out the dining room and make way for all of the new files and information that are on the way.  

Too bad. One thing I have learned is that you can’t stop time.  The kids are going to grow up, the kitten is going to become a cat, and Big Brother will award another houseguest $500,000.  I’ve got four days to get used to the idea of back to school. And I think I can embrace shopping for school supplies if I know that I’ll get a new pen out of the deal.

Total Connectivity

WOW.  I’m amazed at technology…and my access to it. I’m currently on I-75 south from Atlanta to Tampa.  We’re about 12 miles outside of Valdosta, our half-way marker.  And I’m on my laptop. Connected to the internet.

I had thought I was high-tech when I could download Facebook to my phone.  I could update my status via the internet on my Blackberry.  I could get my mail for both home and work on my Blackberry.  I could even post to message boards through my phone. That was SO yesterday.

And now I’ve got an air card and have full access to the internet via satellite. And I’ve got a power inverter so that I can plug my laptop into the car charger.  And I’ve got my Nintendo DS plugged in and charging right next to my laptop cord via the USB connection.  AND if I need to charge my phone, I can either do it through my laptop  (although I don’t have the cable for it) or on the other outlet on the inverter.

A little over-stimulated?  Probably. If they realize that all of these radio/compter/satellite waves cause brain tumors, I’m going to be your prime candidate.  Because if my cell phone hasn’t done me in by now, this probably will.