Monday, October 31, 2005

Baby Fever

No, I’m not pregnant, though I am not opposed to the idea, Jackson is sick. We were in Norman on Saturday night and Jackson didn’t sleep well, and last night was just as bad. The only real difference was when I went to change his diaper when he woke up in the middle of the night; he was boiling in his blanket sleeper. I only got one reading on the thermometer and he has over 101. He slept until 9:20 this morning and fell asleep in my lap by 11:20. I think his fever may be gone, but he still just doesn’t feel right.

I hate it when my kids are sick, thankfully that isn’t often. I’d do just about anything to make him feel better. So much for our evening plans, I’m skipping upholstery to stay home with him, and we are going to take Victoria to Wal-Mart to pick up some candy to give out to kids in the neighborhood, with the understanding that she gets to keep some. We aren’t going to let her go to a party tonight. We just don’t want to make anyone else sick, just in case.

Friday, October 28, 2005

On the RUN

The roaring adventures of the Ritchie Clan are moving on into the weekend.  We are skipping the Homecoming Walk Around in Stillwater to stay home tonight.  Then we are off to Norman for my friend Staci’s Halloween Party.  I still haven’t found the right costume, so I’m off to take on that adventure today and maybe tomorrow.  Sunday the church I grew up in turns 40, so we will be at church in Norman on Sunday and then we get to come home.

Next weekend may be just as nutty, that’s why we are staying in tonight.  I’m off to OKC for the Women of Faith conference Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday we will be in Perkins, OK, my father-in-law is subbing for the preacher and we are going to hear him and sing.  The cool thing is that it will be ALL of the family except my brother-in-law from CA.  That will make 8 of us singing together Sunday.  I’m calling it the family gospel hour.  It’ll just be nice to have us all together.

Fun and adventures abound, I hope everyone is doing well, and I hope if you are traveling that you have safe travels!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

22 Days and Counting!

Okay, I have Harry Potter fever bad!  We don’t watch TV (we have rabbit ears for severe weather and the occasional PBS kids show), so I’ve only seen the trailers online and I can’t wait!  The Goblet of Fire opens on November 18th, and even cooler is the fact that it will be at the IMAX in Tulsa!  I am so pumped, I just found out I can order tickets online now!  

You must understand we don’t go to the movies.  I can’t even tell you the last one we went to see.  We have a projector in our living room so we watch all movies on the big screen.  This one I will spend the $10 a person on.  Jonathan is all for it.  Now I just have to line up a babysitter!

I do promise that I will not dress up as a wizard for the occasion; my excitement has its limits.  I may read all of the books again before it comes out though.  Hee!  Hee!  Hee!  I’m just giddy!  Does this classify as geek, freak or weirdo?  

Monday, October 24, 2005

Senator Letter

I am going to e-mail this to every Senator who voted against the Coburn Amendment:

Due to the current FEDERAL restraints the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Remember Senator this is MY money you are playing with, NOT the federal governments.  Your pork is NOT important.  If I HAVE to live on a budget and control my debt you should too.  Might I suggest checking out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, maybe then you’d see some flaws in the way you spend MY money.

I hope you change your ways, and if you choose not to, I hope a TRUE fiscally conservative person REPLACES you in your next election.  I will be sure to work against you in any way I can to insure it.

Sara *****

It may not make a difference, but I’m mad.  It never hurts to try.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I must be getting old and I am unwilling to accept it, or I am just becoming so tired and clumsy it is unreal.  

Friday I fell while walking into the kitchen. This was no minor fall, this was a full-blown over the baby gate, knock it down while holding Jackson and trying not to fall on him.  I ended up dropping him about 6 inches from the ground and fell unbraced on my right side.  It hurt and I tore my khaki slacks.

Saturday not, it wasn’t so much my clumsiness as it was me tripping over a black lab, in the dark, in a pasture.  Unfortunately I landed on the same side I fell on Friday.  Last night I got home had a glass of wine for the pain and went to bed.  

Just call me grace.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I thought it probably sounded crazy that I am reading 6 books, so I thought I’d give a run down.  I should warn you I was wrong, I am reading 7 books.  Fortunately most are non-fiction, so I can jump around in them, especially the one I have read before.

Here is my current list:

  1. Financial Peace Revisited, by Dave Ramsey-this is a first time through.

  2. The New Strong Willed Child, by Dr. James Dobson-this is a first time through, specifically fro Jackson.

  3. The New Dare to Discipline, by Dr. James Dobson-this is a third time through, specifically for Victoria.

  4. Night Lights, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson-this is a first, and a devotional that Jonathan and I are going through together.

  5. The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman-this is a first.

  6. Everyone Worth Knowing, by Lauren Weisberger author of The Devil Wears Prada, this is a first.

  7. The 3 Hour Diet, by Jorge Cruise-this is a first.

I stopped for a while with Beth Moore’s Breaking Free, Brent Curtis and John Eldredge’s The Sacred Romance, Homechooling Step-By-Step, and Homeschooling for Dummies.  I just have too many going and I have to finish a few.

Is there a book that you would read over and over again?  One of my personal favorites to this day is The Westing Game, by Ellan Raskin, I have read it at least once a year since I was 11.  So, know that stands at 16 times.  Other books I will read over and over again are the Harry Potter books and The Secret Garden.  I just love fiction that paints a good picture, but that I can get through quickly and enjoy over and over and over again.  I read a lot of non-fiction so I like a break.

Dave Ramsey's FPU

Financial Peace University. I am embarking on a commitment to my family. Jonathan knows our finances, but I am the one to take care of them. It’s easier for me to juggle them right after breakfast and it gives Jonathan the chance to be with the kids and not worry about it in the evening. I update him and periodically and when he asks, if I don’t have the answer it is at my finger types.

My problem is my spending. Jonathan got a raise and I just spend more, not much more, but more. I’m not increasing our savings, I’m not focusing on retirement and I’m not paying down our debt as quickly as I possible can. Now, I am embarking on a new financial journey, one to my family’s financial peace. I decided to do this too late to join a class here in town, but I am going to work on my own until the next one starts. I’m telling you all this, so that even though I am doing it alone, I’m not completely on my own. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Maybe if I do well it will inspire others to work toward their own financial peace.

On your mark, get set, GO!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Life happenings

Okay, so I haven’t posted anything in several days. I’ve just been enjoying life and my family.

Friday, Victoria got to go to her first homeschool PE class and had a total blast. Saturday we took Jonathan for a walk around downtown and just enjoyed the day, I also bought my upholstery fabric. Sunday we were bad and skipped the church hunt, but we went to the zoo and I got some good pictures. Monday I had upholstery (parental advisory naked chair). Upholstery was after mad office reorganization, which has carried over and I finished today (this is best viewed as a slide show). Thankfully I'd already moved some books to the attic, I just don't have the shelf space for what we have.

It is amazing how unproductive I am when I look at the office and feel like the pot got stirred and I can’t accomplish anything. Things are so much better now; I may go do the dance of joy…maybe not. Tonight we are off for more adventures with dance lessons and meeting a minister from a church we visited. I’m sorry I can’t come up with anything more exciting, but now I think I may go curl up with one of the 6 books I’m reading. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not, seriously 6. Last night I almost couldn’t make up my mind when I went to bed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

My Decision

I announced my decision to Jonathan last night regarding my bachelors in engineering. I am pursuing the degree for the wrong reasons. I have been out to prove to others that I am smarter then they think I am, and also because everyone has told me I need to get a degree in something.

What I have proved is that I can, and at the top of my class if I want to. The fact is I don’t want to. I have nothing to prove to anyone anymore. I know that I am damn smart, and capable of great things. Now it is time for me to reevaluate where I am headed. My current focus is on educating my children; I know I will learn much along the way. Jonathan has plans business wise that he wants to pursue; now we need to evaluate those dreams and goals.

I have never had any intention of really using my degree. I can write patents if I want without it and Jonathan will be able to help on the technical end. I’m going to stop throwing money into that abyss. If I choose to go back later, it will still be there for me.

It all comes down to one thing. I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and dog gone it people like me. Even if the don’t I don’t really care, I like me.

Star Wars

I found this interesting.


It’s an exciting day for me! Victoria is going to her first 4-H meeting tonight. She is 5 and will be a Clover Bud. Here’s an interesting fact for Oklahoma 4-Hers. The Clover Bud program began in Cleveland County for me and 2 other kids. We were the beginning, now I’m taking my daughter for her beginning in a fantastic youth program. Who knows, maybe she’ll be a state officer too. I hope she loves 4-H as much as I did.

No, I didn’t do livestock at all, my project were public speaking, leadership and performing arts.

4-H gave me a valuable commodity, like-minded individuals, who I had the pleasure to meet, and many of whom I still call my friends. To this day I have more friends from 4-H then I do from high school and college combined.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Okay, so this may totally be a girl thing, but I just saw the picture of the possible replacement for Pierce Brosnan, as James Bond.  His name is Daniel Craig.  Of Course he is British, but he’s blond, but he looks more the villain type.  I know it’s not official, but I just don’t see it.  Call me old fashioned, but you can’t do better then Sean Connery for 007.  Pardon me while I drool over his younger days…heck forget his younger days his older ones aren’t bad either.

Fun Fact

I’m not sure what to think of Harriet Mier’s. I’m not going to commentate on her as a Supreme Court Candidate, but I have an interesting fact. She attends Valley View Christian Church. Valley View has a special place in my heart even though they have built a new building and moved. I was in 4 different choirs with Dallas Christian College (as a middle and high school student) and I have been in 6 concerts there, 4 of them I even had solos. I just thought that was a neat coincidence.


I seriously miss one thing about OKC.  That is Pei Wei.  Seriously that’s about all I miss.  I wish there was one here.  I’m working my way around town; so far I’ve tried 3 of the 5 Chinese Restaurants here in town.  I hope 4 and 5 are better.

At last...

…A bumper sticker for both parties.

FINALLY, someone has come out with a 100% bipartisan political bumper sticker.

The hottest selling bumper sticker comes from New York State:


Democrats put it on the rear bumper.

Republicans put it on the front bumper.

My Dad just sent this to me, I’ve seen it before, but I still think it’s funny.

Sleep Deprived

It was one of those nights; believe me I love my kids, but my sleep could have been much improved.  I know Jonathan could have to and I felt great sympathy for the fact that he had to get up and go to work.  I at least managed to get the kids back down at about 6:30 and got about an hour and a half more sleep.

There was a lot of stirring, squirming and crying last night.  Naturally Jonathan and I were in hypersensitive to sound mode.  Hearing Jackson grunt made us check on him (he and Victoria were in another bed in our bedroom last night).  They both usually show up in our room between 2 and 4 anyway.  Usually Jackson is quiet and if he does fuss you can take him and cuddle and he’s out.

No such luck last night.  After the sweet naptime photo op he decided that peace and sleep weren’t necessary.    I’m totally amazed Victoria slept through it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


My upholstery class didn’t start last week, because the teacher had an emergency. It did begin yesterday and to make up time we are adding 30 minutes to every class. We were told when we signed up not to bring our piece the first week, but when we got there she said she wanted us to, but the school hadn’t changed the information. I ran home and Jonathan threw the chair in the trunk and tied it in.

I have posted before pictures here. I forgot to take them before class so I had to pull them off of the photos from the open house site. I had to crop them from living room shots so they aren’t very clear. I will take pictures at the beginning of next week’s class since my chair is still there. Right now I have only frame, springs and burlap left, if you can imagine it.

Life is Good.

There are moments when I wish I had a permanent video, from my own eyes of the sweetness and beauty of my family.

One example. Jackson had some rotten moments, and a few fits this morning. All were mainly, because he was getting into things he shouldn’t and got into trouble.

When he finished lunch and I put him down for his nap he showed who he really is, a sweet little teddy bear. He cuddled up when I picked him up from his booster seat and I carried him up the stairs. When I put him down he put and arm out to hold me, but he was just too tired. He struggled to look at me and blinked and squinted, but eventually resigned himself to sleep. Not a tear was shed and it was really peaceful after what wasn’t a peaceful morning.

I love my family.

Lets talk taxes.

It’s Tuesday and I was just finishing reading my Sunday paper (remember I have kids, it takes a while). I was on the 17th page of section A of The Oklahoman. There was an editorial that caught my eye.

The article was on replacing the income tax with a flat tax I am all for. I believe that being taxed based on consumption is fairer then being taxed on your income. This information from the Economist I found to be a concise bit of information.

A flat tax on personal incomes combines a threshold (that is, an exempt amount) with a single rate of tax on all income above it. The progressivity of such a system can be varied within wide limits using just these two variables. Under systems such as America's, or those operating in most of western Europe, the incentives for the rich to avoid tax (legally or otherwise) are enormous; and the opportunities to do so, which arise from the very complexity of the codes, are commensurately large. So it is unsurprising to discover, as experience suggests, that the rich usually pay about as much tax under a flat-tax regime as they do under an orthodox code.

The flat tax has proven very effective in other countries. Check these additional stats for the Economist article.

Estonia became the first country in Europe to introduce a “flat tax” on personal and corporate income. Income is taxed at a single uniform rate of 26%: no schedule of rates, no deductions. The economy has flourished. Others followed: first, Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia's Baltic neighbours; later Russia (with a rate of 13% on personal income), then Slovakia (19% on personal and corporate income). One of Poland's centre-right opposition parties is campaigning for a similar code (with a rate of 15%). So far eight countries have followed Estonia's example (see article). An old idea that for decades elicited the response, “Fine in theory, just not practical in the real world,” seems to be working as well in practice as it does on the blackboard.

Here’s my opinion on the Fair Tax.
With some of the information that Neal Boortz has been spouting about the Fair Tax I don’t think it’s that fair. It still guarantees welfare through the tax code. My mother-in-law bought his book and after reading a bit through and discussing it over dinner with my husband, father-in-law and myself, there are flaws that he just bypasses.

He swears that a $100 purchase would have $23 in tax. In essence the product is $67, not $100. He says it is a 23% tax. Simple mathematical skills show us (by dividing $67 by $23) that the tax rate is actually 34%. He’s playing a bit of a slide of hand trick in his book.

Whether you agree or disagree give this some thought before you condemn it. I want to hold on to my money longer. I’m ready for no April 15th deadlines and NO IRS!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Whether or not you agree with the new Oklahoma lotteries that are beginning this week, I’m not in favor of it.

Here’s why.  Many years ago Oklahoma ok’d horse racing.  It was going to be the savior of the state.  Now we’ve passed gaming bills to allow gaming at the tracks to bail them out.  The information we were given regarding real gaming at casinos and tracks said that it would bring in $5.4 million a MONTH.  Now the numbers are in and it’s only going to bring in $5.4 million a YEAR.  This rubs me like the new tobacco tax we had to have.  The revenue isn’t what they said, yet they already have new programs that now they can’t fund with it.  Gee, where is the money going to come from?  I firmly believe they aren’t going to cut programs.

Looking at these things I just can’t imagine that the lotto is going to do much for us.  Maybe you disagree, but as for me I’m glad I voted no.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


This is the best weather. I love it when I can wear short and long sleeves or shorts and a sweatshirt. It’s the kind of weather where if you hot you can shed a layer (not a summer reality) or if your cold you can add more! YEAH!

The leaves are just starting to change. Jonathan and I love to drive around in the country to check out the trees. Now that I have a digital camera I’ll take more pictures. My favorite leaf change is the poison sumac. It sounds crazy, but the bright red vine on the changing trees are just gorgeous. Crisp, clear sky and just a bite in the air, I’m not sure it gets better.

Well, maybe it does when it involves chilly bedrooms and cuddling.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

They say...

…the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. Well, I’m not sure I won Jonathan that way, but today I was on the maintenance plan. I made one heck of a dinner and I was very proud, we all ate until we were almost sick.

When the front started through I started to cook. Some of you know that I love to bake, but I’ve never been a great cook. I taught myself today how to make a killer marinade for steak and made a huge batch of scalloped potatoes (one of Jonathan’s favorite foods). When he got home the grill was almost hot and the potatoes were almost done. I don’t cook like this in the summer. I may make steak, but I never run my oven if I can help it.

He was very happy and the steak was great. I am ready to continue cooking until it gets hot again. The only thing that would be better is having my old stove in the house. It’s too bad it’s in the garage still. I have to remove the drop-in and cut out some cabinet to get it in. It’s a 1940’s model Chamber type B, very similar to Rachel Ray’s on 30 minute meals. The only real difference is the back is taller on mine.

You might be an A&M Aggies if...(UPDATED)

...You put plywood on the wrong side of the glass when a hurricane is coming.

I've had an insult or joke for numerous other universities, but the one posted on Auz's Blog is great, mainly because it is true and has pictures to prove it.

Wow! College Station, TX is a sad, strange place.


Someone called into the Neal Boortz show and explained why this bookstore did this. They called the store to find out why. The store had very expensive aluminum windows that would have been damaged by the screws and would have cost a great deal to replace. Sincence the store had wood frames inside they determined loosing the glass, but noy destroying the frames or merchandise would be worth it. They weighed the cost and determined that glass replacement was cheaper then any other option. Now it's not quite as dumb, but it's still funny to look at.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I got this in an e-mail today and it’s been a long time since I have seen it. Do you know the answer?

What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich need it, and if you eat it, you'll die?

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!
Check the comments for the answer!

Victoria's First Tommy Gun

Jonathan made Victoria her first Tommy gun last night, it only shoots rubber bands of course, but she thinks it’s great. She even went and showed it to the 10-year-old boy next door. He ran and got his rubber band gun and they sat and shot moths on our front porch. It was pretty funny. She’s had more fun with that stick of wood and some rubber bands then most things she’s been bought. I’m glad she appreciates the simple things.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

OU Excitement (UPDATED)

Well, OU looked more solid and played an okay game, but wow, a suicide bombing. I never would have imagined.

My sisters have season tickets and called from the game to see if we heard the explosion on TV. We didn't, but the last thing I expected was a bomb. I was guessing a cooker from vendor had blown or something along those lines. All I can really say is I'm stunned.


I’ve been over on Cam’s site as usual, and he has linked to Michelle Malkin’s site. There is a lot of info on this there. Things are still inconclusive and I’m not willing to just agree with President Boren. Norman is my hometown and things like this shouldn’t be happening there.