Friday, December 3, 2010

Why I hate the Government

Where do I begin! I could write a book on all the things they have done to us! I could write an entire series on all the crap they have started to pull in the last year! In the last 3 weeks this is a picture of all the mail we have received from the following people. Oh and the first one you see is actually a check from the IRS even though in a previous letter they said we owed them money from 2009... So why am I complaining about receiving a check? Well the catch is if we cash this check and it is not our money... then the IRS will charge you penalties and interest on the money they would have earned if it had been in their account. Can you believe that?

Internal Revenue Service
Idaho State Tax Commission
Health and Welfare
Idaho Deparment of Labor

This does NOT include the one I received today in the mail from the Idaho State Tax Commission for a past due bill from taxes in 2007 that I guess we underpaid. Isn't it nice of them to finally tell us! This $46.44 bill is now doubled with penalties and interest because it took them 4 years to tell us! Do you not think I would have paid a $46.00 bill!!! Lets stop to think about how much it cost the government for them to go back 4 years in our tax records to figure this out,.

We are a small plumbing business with "ONE" employee and most of this paperwork is in regards to this ONE employee. It is absolutely ridiculous. I am so tired of trying to run this small business and being taxed to death on it. There is something wrong with owning a business and making less money then your employees! There is something wrong with that especially when you are the one taking the risks and working longer hours.

We talked to our accountant  (Being charged $50 an hour) about this insane amount of paperwork and to sort through this pile of mess and he said that right now government agencies are digging back as far as they possibly can to find any possible penny they have overlooked in the last few years and then backcharging you. I know first hand... we are experiencing it. They have literally flipped us upside down, hung us by our toes, and shook out every nickel and dime we had and took it from us. You wonder why small business' resort to paying employees "under the table." Because they literally can't afford to pay these insanely high taxes you have put on us.

I am so angry, so annoyed and so upset. I see my husband go to work every day and work his butt off in sub zero temperatures so that the government can take away every dollar that we earn. You want the economy to thrive? Then quit taxing small business to the point that they cannot afford employees and have to shut down. We decided to lay off our last employee today. We cannot afford to pay him because they just increased our unemployment taxes again for next year. It's not worth the hassle anymore. It costs us more money to hire on help then to just do the work ourselves. That means my husband will just have to work EVEN harder then he aleady does to keep his business floating in this crappy economy. I am just so tired of this. When you have to lay off an employee,  you feel like you are letting a family down when you cannot afford to keep them on anymore... and especially right before the holidays. It was one of the hardest decisions we had to make, but unfortunately it had to be done.

Thank you government for all you have done for us... in the last 3 years we have laid off 12 employees, because your theory of raising taxes and cutting benefits didn't work.... You would rather build roads and bridges then to help a small business thrive.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

look what we woke up too!!!!

I can just see my friends Myriam and Zein so envious of this weather. I know how much Myriam loves the snow! :D LOL! Actually she visited us from the Mediteranean Sea and could not believe how cold it got here.... so this post is for her... while you are enjoying your warm weather we are playing in snow!

Yes that is a bucket on our snowmans head... we didn't have any hats big enough to fit that large head of his.... and those are not cucumbers... they are green carrots... Haven't you ever seen green carrots?
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our team of helpers! The neighbor boy joined in and helped push the kids in the sled

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And this is from yesterday... my little princess! I just love her!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photography Contest | Orange

This week at the theme is orange. It has been months since I have submitted an entry. I love this photo of my daughter. She did not want to take a picture for me! :D

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 324 & 325 - Potty Break and Coffee Break

I had to snap this of Madison... I know I am a mean mom! How could I embarrass my daughter like this? Well I was short on time... hadn't taken a photo yet and we were in a public bathroom and I happened to have my camera... so SNAP! Here is day 324

Do you have a Hastings in your area? I love this place! We go there often especially in the winter and the kids and I go over all their homework. What i love the most is everyday they have happy hour and I can get a buy one get one free on all coffee drinks. The kids absolutely love it! Here is Jacob studying his Math homework and sipping on a Cotton Candy drink.

Happy Shooting! :D

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 320, 321, & 323 ~ always but that's how I roll!

Not even a week into Project 365 and I slipped behind a few days. If you knew how crazy busy I have been maybe you might cut me some slack!

This week has been a little rough. I am missing my husband because he is gone out of town again this week. It has been rough on all of us with him being gone out of town so much. My son Jacob left a note on daddy's car seat that said "I miss you when you are at work." It was on this itsy bitsy tiny piece of paper and he wrote it on there and my husband found it as he was leaving to go out of town for a week. It was a tear jerker.

 The kids and I haven't done a whole lot because I am behind on my photography work and trying to catch up.  I did take them up to this place called Tablerock tonight and we watched the sunset. It was so awesome and such an amazing view of the city of Boise. I hadn't been up there since I was in High School a bazillion years ago!
So here are my pics. I missed day 322 (gasp!) Are you surprised? Does photos of someone else's kids count?

This was at Grandpa's house. Tried to get all 3 to look and smile... but my kids did not want to participate in that adventure! Madison was pouting in the background.

I haven't photographed my dog in so long! Here is lil Miss Adda... this naughty puppy is in the doghouse today. While I was gone she got into the garbage and left a huge mess for me... part of that mess included this mornings coffee grinds all over the floor! Arrrgh!

This was at Tablerock. Love this picture and the boys enjoyed participating in this photo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 319 - Oh the messes we make!

I promised my kids we would paint our pumpkins today. It was such a mess! I am so glad I went to the dollar store today and bought these aprons for the kids.  LOL! I think I saw Ryan painting himself more then I saw him paint his pumpkin. It was fun. I also made this 11x17 template and plan on printing this photo out on my new printer. I bought the Canon Mark Pro Color printer. It's quality is outstanding for home printing!

I really hope I don't miss tomorrows project 364 cause I have a full schedule... Wish me luck! I am rocking it so far!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 318 - Pumpkin Patch

Today the kids headed to the pumpkin patch. Madison got her "baby" sized pumpkin and Ryan found the biggest one he could. Jacob missed out cause he was at school but at one point I considered letting him skip school so he could go.... Would that make me a bad mom? I would be teaching him to play before work... LOL!

I have tons of pictures from today but I chose this one to share. it is my favorite of the day. This was Ryan as he was exiting out of the maze made out of hay stacks. I can always count on him to pose for me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 317 - Playing in Leaves

I had to beg Ryan to lay in a pile of leaves and let his brother throw them on his head for this shot. A bowl of ice cream later for Ryan and a beautiful image for mama... we are a happy family.

Going to hang out with the kids tonight and watch Iron Man. I have been battling this cold for a week now and I thought I was getting better but my headache returned today....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Photo A Day to Keep the Guilt Away....

So I decided that I really need to quit making excuses for neglecting my blog. The other day I had to send in a recent photo of my son Ryan for school and I had to dig through the archives back to early September to even find a photo of him. I am so upset at myself. One day I will look back and regret not having those memories of my little ones no matter how big or small they may seem.

So I decided to jump the bandwagon and start the 365 project. Only one photo a day and it will keep this guilt away! I love the idea of this project and since I love taking pictures... WHY NOT!! I am also cheating... I know I am not on Day 316... but I really didn't want to wait till January 1st to start and I don't want my numbers to be screwy.

My blogs may be short and sweet from here on out but at least not neglected. Thank you to those that have followed my site have been asking where I have been. It makes me feel special. But here I am and here is a picture from the park today. My sweet little daughter who has become the most challenging to photograph.

Monday, September 20, 2010

God Answers Prayers- And not always in the way you expect him too!

This story will warm your heart, make you cry, and maybe even see how truly amazing our God is. He hears our prayers and I am so thankful for stories like this because it reminds me that even when we are part of a world who has turned our back from Him, forgotten Him and lived our lives without Him in our home he still loves us so much and gives us pieces of Him to remind us of the unconditional love He shares for us.

Meet baby Kyler.
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He is a gift from above. He is perfect, beautiful and everything you could ever ask for in a son. He is sweet, innocent and so well loved. God placed him in a loving Christian home with a family who will love and support him as he grows. He will have more love then you could ever imagine and probably get a little spoiled in the process too!
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Families take for granted how lucky they are to have the children they have. This family was reminded daily that they would never be able to have a baby of their own. It was devastating and tore their marriage apart for 5 years. It was an emotional roller coaster for them. They often broke down emotionally wondering why God would do this to them.

Every time they had "HOPE" it was taken from them. Time after time adoptions fell through and the thought of ever bringing home a baby just seemed impossible. Watching friends suffer, lose hope, and begin to lose faith was a hard thing to watch. Seeing turmoil in a marriage because a unquenchable desire could not be fulfilled. I cannot pretend for an instant to know how they must have felt but I can't imagine what life would be like without my kids. I imagine they felt a hole in their hearts constantly. I imagine it made them angry inside to watch the news of abused and abandoned children. I imagine it was hard being friends with those around them who were pregnant or had babies of their own. I imagine they blamed themselves inside for not being able to have children of her own. The shame, the guilt, the void...

When they hit rock bottom they finally decided to completely turned it over to God. They couldn't handle it anymore. It was too much for two people to bare and their marriage would not make it if they continued on this way. They prayed that if God wanted them to have a baby then He will provide one.

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If they could have pick the outcome of their fate they wanted a boy and then a girl. Of course they would have been thrilled with either. They prayed constantly. They would send emails, text messages and updates to those around them asking for prayer when they needed it. I don't think they even realize the lives they have touched along the way and changed.

God did not answer their prayers right away. And I believe at points everyone lost faith temporarily. It seemed an impossible dream and there was so much heart break along the way. But this family never gave up. They held on to the only hope they had and that was that God answers prayers. One day they got that call that changed their lives. God had finally put a baby boy into their hands and in their lives. Baby Kyler was due in 6 weeks by a young mom who loved baby Kyler enough to adopt him to a family because she didn't have the resources to provide a home for this little man. It takes an amazing, loving mother to be able to do that and my heart truly prays for her right now because I cannot imagine how she must have felt to have to make a decision like that.

At this point everyone was still praying their hearts out because there was still no guarantees that they would bring him home. There were still so many hurdles to get through from financials, to legalities, to birth, and health of the baby. They had been through this road before and it ended in tragedy, but for some reason this adoption was different. I have talked to many that just felt at "peace" about it. It felt like God had prepared every one's hearts for this. He provided them both with unexpected career changes right before the big news came home. He gave them financial freedom without expecting it and it just seemed too perfect to end in failure. It just seemed that only someone from a higher power could have put this perfectly into place.

And just when you thought that God couldn't perfect the situation any better... He does. Just a few weeks after they announced they were adopting a baby boy, they found out from their agency another family wanted them to adopt their baby girl. She will be here in just a few weeks!

It was everything Beth and Justin prayed for. It was exactly what they prayed for. We joke that the timing was not as planned... but of course they weren't very specific on timing so God threw in that extra twist. But only God could have planned this. This is His work. And I believe He does this so that we know He did this. He not only gave them two beautiful babies... but He also gave them a story... a testimony... and I believe it is one to be shared and not kept to ourselves.

Yesterday I got the honor of seeing God's miracle first hand. I got to capture these sweet memories for this family who endured so much. Baby Kyler you have brought so much joy to this families lives. I got to see your mommy look at you yesterday and her eyes lit up. Daddy was so proud to talk about you and about all the things he can't wait to do with you when you get older.

We are now waiting for God's second miracle to come home. They still need prayers since this adoption hasn't been finalized. I believe that not only do they need prayer... these birth mothers need prayer also.

Beth and Justin... you are so blessed and I praise God for answering your prayers. I can't help but laugh a little inside when I think about your situation in a few weeks with two brand new babies in your house. It is definitely not how we pictured it, is it? But it really couldn't get better then this either. We love you and in our prayers always.

Isn't God good? Don't forget to praise God for all the little blessings he has given you!

How we spend our weekends

The following is an example of how Boise folks spend their weekends during football season. Since all we do is grow potatoes here and make movies as lame as Napoleon Dynamite (I promise we are not as lame as that movie) this is the next best thing.

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Fortunately the next best thing is the best thing ever! I have slowly become a huge fan of football. I secretly watch football on TV when my husband is working late (shhh! don't tell him...) I still pretend like it's boring and that I only do it for him because I like to spend time with him. It boosts his ego. :D

But there is nothing better then watching our little team from Boise, Idaho grow from nothing into something. It's exciting and if you ever come to Boise during game day you can't pass a car without seeing blue and orange inside, outside or dragging along. People paint their yards blue and orange, hang banners across their houses, hang flags, repaint the inside and outside of their RV's to replicate the Bronco logo. I would imagine that we are one of the top State's for fan support. I think our next game day against the Duck's I will take a stroll and photograph all the craziness you can find here.

Why do we do this? Well probably because we have nothing better to do. Football is really all we got as far as sports... and since we have become a nationally ranked team it is really exciting for us. All this media attention from radio shows, ESPN and news is just incredible. And watching our stadium grow from pathetic and small to something people talk about is exciting. Yes we play on the BLUE turf!!

We are known for our trick plays, our style, the Fiesta Bowl (Cinderella Story), our undefeated - now Nationally ranked team, Coach Pete our coach and we are compared to the story of David and Goliath (us being David) but hey David wins so we are fine with that comparison. We are usually the underdogs in our big games and still seem to pull of victory after victory. We keep our fans on their toes, we put up a good fight and usually give ESPN a edge of your seat game which they seem to love! (probably for ratings)

Our fan support has become insane. On the flip side of that so has our rivalries. Everyone wants a chance to beat Boise State. Bring it on! We are always up for a challenge.

But if you ever come to Boise during football season it will amaze you how something like football can bring a city together. You yell out your window "BOISEEEEEE!" and someone will shout back "STAAATE!

Don't be afraid... jump the Boise Bandwagon! We are fun, friendly and we always put up for a good fight. We play from our hearts and that will conquer all. Go Broncos!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Principal Makes a Phone Call Already

***FIXED!! I was spelling Principal wrong. Thanks Grandpa for correcting me. I hate misspelling words ****

When you think of the principal calling your house what is the first thing that runs through your mind? "What did my kid do?"

For the most part my kids are very well behaved. A little loud but very sweet tempered kids and I never have to really worry about them picking on other kids or disrespecting their teachers. But on occasion they do have to be put back in "check!"

My son is the social butterfly... he likes to talk and talk and talk... (eeeks he gets that from me!). Last year his teacher last year asked if she could make my son wear a hula hoop to learn his "bubble" boundary because he doesn't understand to keep his hands to himself. I kindly declined her offer to make my son wear a hula hoop even though the idea did slightly humor me... LOL! I am all about teaching my kid a good lesson... but knowing Jacob this would actually embarrass him so bad I think it would upset him emotionally. (he is also emotional like me)

So Jacob is now in 2nd grade (oh my gosh I have a 2nd grader!!) and already only after 1 week he got a note home from the teacher for "talking."

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This is not a shocker to me since this was our biggest challenge last year in 1st grade. So my son's punishment was to write an apology letter to his teacher. (yes this photog mom took a pic). I plan to black mail him when he has kids. BTW... doesn't he have the nicest handwriting!

So as a parent I felt like this was a good punishment and we talked about why he can't talk during class and how it is disrespectful because it prevents his teacher from doing her job... blah blah... same lecture as last year. And so the next day after school we were just finishing up homework and I get a call from the school. I immediately turn to Jacob and said "Why is your school calling me....what did you do?" He turned stone faced and said "nothing mom I got a stamp for good behavior today." So I answer and it's the principle.... YIKES! My heart stopped when he says...

"This is Mr. Principal (okay so he actually said his name but I don't have permission to use it) calling about Jacob Roper." I immediately answer by saying "Oh no... what did he do?" And the principle laughed and said "No this is a good call."

So long story short I had a long conversation with the principle and they are taking 10 2nd grade students and doing a 3rd grade combo class. My son was chosen to be placed in a 3rd grade class. He is one of the top students at his school and I think the reason my son talks so much during class is he would get bored because he would always finish his assignments faster then the other kids and then talk to his neighbors because he had nothing to do. It frustrated me that there was no resources available in our public schools for students who were advanced but there were plenty of programs offered for students who were behind. But since I haven't won the lottery yet I still can't put my kid in a private school that would cost $4,500 a year per child.... times 3 kids... =  impossible for us so public schools are our only option...until we get rich. (God can you read this?)

So for now I am on cloud nine... bragging about my son... who so luckily inherited his fathers geniousness and his mothers.... well.... outspokeness. And now I am also still grasping the idea that I am now a proud mother of a 3rd grader. He started his new class yesterday... and already had an hour worth of homework to do... but he whizzed right through it. He is so incredibly smart. I do not know why God trusts me to take care of a child who will probably be more educated then me me here in a few years... but I pray that I lead him in the right direction and that I stay devoted to him and also the other two kids as they continue their education.

So here is a picture of Jacob starting his first day of 3rd grade
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and the beautiful picture he made for me the other day.
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and also lets not forget Ryan... he made me this beautiful bus. He is just loving his kindergarten class... and I think my son might just have a crush on the lovely Mrs. "N" because I already caught him writing a letter to her (or at least trying too) since he can't spell yet. LOL! Too cute!
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Lesson #1: Don't assume the worst in your kid when the principal calls
Lesson #2: Principals deliver "BAD" and GOOD" news!
Lesson #3: My kid is growing up way to fast... I feel like 2 days ago he was just starting 2nd grade.... oh... wait... he was! :D

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