Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;

    before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.
 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
    no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
    no one cares for my life.
 I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”
 Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
 Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Defend Your Right as a Parent!!

February 20, 2013
What's Going On?
This has been an extremely busy year so far for parental rights, though very few of you probably knew that. That’s because most states are not yet seeing that action, and the ones that are generally are not aware of activity going on in other states or at the federal level.

So what is going on?

For starters, parental rights bills have been introduced this year in several states, including Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Kansas – and several other states are preparing to introduce similar measures in the weeks ahead.

Virginia’s HB1642 and SB908 have both traveled convoluted paths toward a final bill that no doubt will merge the two into one good parental rights law. Each started from the same draft, underwent amendments in both the House and Senate committees, and looks to protect “a [parent’s] fundamental right [to direct] the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” There have been ups and downs in both houses, but we are very excited about where the bills are right now. (If you live in Virginia, we are asking you to call your state senator. Please see the alert here.)

Missouri’s HB513 also codifies the “fundamental right” of parents “to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their child.” It has been read twice in the House, and the House Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities held a hearing on it on February 19 (yesterday). They have not yet voted on it; that could come at any time.

Oklahoma’s HB1384 is also not far along in the process, but it passed the House Human Services Committee on Monday (February 18). From there it must go to the House floor, then on to the Senate. We will be sending out alerts asking for your calls at those important junctures.

In Kansas, a bill relating to the exercise of religion also includes strong protection for fundamental parental rights. In fact, HB2203 uses both the term “fundamental right” and a call for the “strict scrutiny” level of legal protection relative to parental rights. Although we cannot claim any credit for this bill, we fully support it for the sake of this provision. The bill had a hearing in the Committee on the Judiciary on Monday, February 18.

Meanwhile, in Indiana and Washington state, we are battling bills (SB171 andHB1506/HB1934, respectively) that would grant legal standing to persons outside the immediate family to sue parents for visitation rights of the parents’ children, against the wishes of the parent(s). (Washington: HB1934 is identical to HB1506, and we need your calls again. Please click here for the former alert and apply it to HB1506.)

Efforts are also under way to pass parental rights legislation in several other states. We will update you on those efforts as those bills are introduced.

Sadly, our effort to pass a parental rights bill in Mississippi was cut short. House Bill 496 was challenged on a technicality as being “improperly before the House,” because it did not reference laws on vaccination or child abuse. Under Mississippi law, a bill must specifically reference any existing laws that would be affected by passage of the bill. We contend that these laws would not be impacted, but opponents held otherwise, and the House lawyers sided with them. So the bill was struck without the benefit of a vote, over a difference of opinion in whether it would impact existing law.
What's Going on in Washington?
Meanwhile, we have been working on Capitol Hill to solidify our introduction strategy in both the U.S. House and Senate. The Senate is especially challenging with the departure of Sen. Jim DeMint, who understands our issue well and who has championed our efforts there for the last three sessions. His retirement has forced us to find a new cosponsor who, along with his or her staff, must be brought up to date on the latest developments in our quest to preserve parental rights through this Amendment.

Michael Farris had two encouraging meetings with potential champions last week. I hope to provide some very exciting details soon, so that we can all start to call our lawmakers and get them on board!
What About the CRPD?
While nothing is certain, we are preparing for the likelihood that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which would take away traditional parental rights from those who have disabilities or whose children have disabilities, will be brought up in the Senate again this year. It was narrowly defeated in December by a 61-38 vote (66 yea votes were needed for passage).

While our opponents are hoping it will be brought up again by early spring, we believe current issues before the Senate will delay it by a few more months. But we are not sitting idle. We are reworking our talking points and informative papers, and we are reaching out to groups who have been misled over the political nature of this treaty. There is no immediate threat, but there is an imminent threat – and we are busy working to defeat this danger once again.

Many of you have been waiting patiently for something to happen. Now you can see that a lot has already been happening. It may be that things will soon take off in your state, too. But please know that we appreciate your patience and your support alike.
What Can I Do?
While so much is going on behind the scenes, it is only a matter of time before parental rights becomes a highlighted issue again. In preparation for that, we are trying to double our petition list this year in order to double our voice. If you know anyone who has not yet signed our petition, please invite them to visitparentalrights.org/petition and sign up today. Or you can visit the same link and print out a paper petition, get your friends to sign, then mail it in.

To the same end, we are still promoting Facebook Fan February, with a goal of reaching 30,000 fans at facebook.com/parentalrights.org. If you are not already a fan, visit the page and click “Like.” If you are a fan, share it to your own timeline and encourage your friends to sign up, too.

Finally, please make a financial donation* to support us as we further all of these efforts. We do not receive government grants or large corporate sponsorships – we are dependent on parental rights heroes just like you to keep our movement alive.

Thank you for standing with us in the quiet times and when the fighting gets loud. I look forward to sharing many victories with you throughout this year!


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

* Because ParentalRights.org is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, we regret that donations cannot be deductible for income tax purposes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand

by, Myra Brooks Welch

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Raise Money for Twins with Leukemia | YouCaring

Raise Money for Twins with Leukemia | YouCaring

Josh and I used to be co-worker's at the Distribution Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints back in 1999.  During 2003-2004, my husband and I also lived in the same neighborhood and ward as Josh and his wife, Kim.  At this time they didn't realize the struggles and heartache they would face down the road. Just last year in February, Josh and Kim's twin girls were both diagnosed with Leukemia.  They have been through so much these past several months and are in need of many prayers.

A donation fund has also been set up in their behalf.  If you can donate just $5 they would truly appreciate your donation.  Anything you could give would be a blessing to them.

Please feel free to share this on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guest Post: Read Heather's Story and be Inspired!

Heather Von St. James

Heather Von St. James

Courageous mother, wife and survivor of mesothelioma cancer.
2 0 1 2May14

Finding Courage for Cancer Through Motherhood

Lily & IIf you ask my daughter about my cancer, she will tell you one thing, “I saved my mommy’s life.” She says it in such a nonchalant manner, it is if she is saying “The sky is blue” but she is right, she DID save my life.
My husband and I didn’t rush into parenthood. We waited 7 years into our marriage before trying to get pregnant. I was a little nervous that we might have some issues conceiving; I was 35, not some young virile girl. I had no idea how long it would take to get pregnant, or if I even could. But, we were lucky-- 3 months later, I took the pregnancy test (3 of them actually) just to make sure. They all said the same thing-- I was pregnant! I was going to be a MOTHER! It was funny how almost immediately I started rubbing my belly and thinking of all of the scenarios of having a baby. What would life be like to be a mom and have a baby? What kind of mom would I be? A fun mom? A strict mom? The cool, fashionable mom? I wanted to be the good mom, the one with the kid that behaved. I wanted to be the mom that had the career with the fulfilling family life at home.
Baby Lily and IWhen Lily decided to come into the world, she did so on her terms. After finding out she was in the wrong position, we had an emergency c- section. I remembered saying, “At least she will have a round head.” I’m always looking at the bright side of things. When I finally got to hold her, I was unprepared for the amount of emotion that overcame me. All at once, I wanted everything for this little bundle in my arms. I wanted to protect her from anything that might hurt her. I wanted to nurture her to become the best she could be, teach her, coach her, love her like no mom has loved their child before. The whole working mom scenario seemed not so important. I just wanted to spend time with her, spend time getting to know her, study her and memorize every detail about her as she changed before my very eyes. Nothing really mattered anymore, but this little girl who was so dependent on me. She became so much more to me that I ever dreamed a child could.
Lily & IWhen the mesothelioma diagnosis came just 3 1/2 short months later, my first thought was Lily. I was supposed to be there to raise her! I was her mommy. I NEEDED to be there. As a mother, we make necessary sacrifices for our children without giving it a second thought. I sacrificed being there for Lily’s 6th month of life, so I could be there for the many years to follow. It was pictures of her, emailed to me while I was in the hospital, that gave me the strength to fight, to get up and move, and heal. It was this adorable little girl that needed her mommy to live that gave me the courage to face the unknown world of life threatening surgery, chemo and radiation. It was, in essence, being a mom that saved my life; so Lily is right when she tells people that she saved my life.
With this year’s Mother’s Day, and every Mother’s Day I’m blessed with, I’m reminded to look back, and reflect on what being a mom is. I’ve ended up being just the type of mom I always wanted to be, one that is here to celebrate Mother’s Day with my little girl, who saved my life.

Read more: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/finding-courage-for-cancer-through-motherhood.htm#ixzz1vtig4Miy

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Words I Would Say

As I was driving my kids to their two-day a week school this morning, this song came on the radio. I looked over at my son who is turning 11 in just a couple of months; I couldn't help but think how fast time flies by and that in 8 years he will be leaving to serve a full-time mission for the Lord. I had a "flash-forward" vision of me writing letters of encouragement to my missionary son.

I squeezed his hand and said, "You hear this song? This is what I'm going to write to you someday when you're on your mission."

He just smiled at me. (I know he loves it when I'm mushy with him even though he never admits it.)

I pulled up to his school and he grabbed his coat and bag. As he got out of the car, we exchanged "I love you's" and I said, "Be strong in the lord and, never give up hope, you're going to do great things, I already know, Gods got his hand on you so, don't live life in fear, forgive and forget, but don't forget why your here,"

He blew me a kiss like he always does and walked away.

..... I think sending him off on his mission will be harder for me than I can imagine... *sigh*

Three in the morning,
And I'm still awake,
So I picked up a pen and a page,
And I started writing,
Just what I'd say,
If we were face to face,
I'd tell you just what you mean to me,
I'd tell you these simple truths,

Be strong in the lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
Gods got his hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why your here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

Last time we spoke,
You said you were hurting,
And I felt your pain in my heart,
I want to tell you,
That I keep on praying,
Love will find you where you are,
I know cause I've already been there,
So please hear these simple truths,

Be strong in the lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
Gods got his hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why your here,
Take your time and pray,
These are the words I would say,

From one simple life to another,
I will say,
Come find peace in the father,

Be strong in the lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
Gods got his hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why your here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Hopeless Romantic

I suppose that most people don't feel very attractive when they are sick. It's hard to keep up appearances when your struggling just to keep food down. Like a domino effect, this flu has gone from each of my children and now to me. I've had it for a few days and by this third day I'm feeling very unattractive.

Despite all my feelings of ugliness..... I have a sweet little 6yr. old boy who knows how to win my heart and make me feel very loved. (My husband likes to tease that my son is the hopeless romantic that I always wanted.) Yesterday, after taking a long bath to help ease all my aches and pains, I returned to my bedroom and found this heart on my pillow.

My sweet boy also wrote this for me on the whiteboard in the kitchen.
Watch out ladies! This boy is bound to break a lot of girls hearts.... because only one of you can have him.