Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ann Romney

I LOVE this woman... Her speech was AMAZING and life changing... here it is if you missed it! ~
I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party.
And while there are many important issues we'll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.
I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.
Tonight I want to talk to you about love.
I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.
I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it -- the love we have for our children and our children's children.
And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.
They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The parents who lie awake at night side by side, wondering how they'll be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent; the single dad who's working extra hours tonight, so that his kids can buy some new clothes to go back to school, can take a school trip or play a sport, so his kids can feel… like the other kids.
And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that's just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.
I've been all across this country for the past year and a half and heard these stories of how hard it is to get ahead now. I've heard your voices: “I'm running in place,” “we just can't get ahead.”
Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they'll make it through another one tomorrow. But in that end of the day moment, they just aren't sure how.
And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it?
It's the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.
It's the moms of this nation -- single, married, widowed -- who really hold this country together. We're the mothers, we're the wives, we're the grandmothers, we're the big sisters, we're the little sisters, we're the daughters.
You know it's true, don't you?
You're the ones who always have to do a little more.
You know what it's like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done.
You know what those late night phone calls with an elderly parent are like and the long weekend drives just to see how they're doing.
You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answer the phone when you call at night.
You know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.
You are the best of America.
You are the hope of America.
There would not be an America without you.
Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.
I'm not sure if men really understand this, but I don't think there's a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!
And that's fine. We don't want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It's all the little things -- that price at the pump you just can't believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It's all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things -- the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.
We're too smart to know there aren't easy answers. But we're not dumb enough to accept that there aren't better answers.
And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in.
His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him.
I could tell you why I fell in love with him -- he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous -- girls like that, it shows the guy's a little intimidated -- and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren't around.
That's a good thing. And he made me laugh.
I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.

When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business -- one he built himself, by the way.
He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.
My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America. He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country -- and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.
Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values. I didn't know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.
Mitt's dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.
He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.
When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.
We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn't care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.
Then our first son came along. All at once I'm 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who's going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.
That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I'm still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.
I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.
A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.
I know this good and decent man for what he is -- warm and loving and patient.
He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one's fellow man. From the time we were first married, I've seen him spend countless hours helping others. I've seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.
You may not agree with Mitt's positions on issues or his politics. Massachusetts is only 13% Republican, so it's not like that's a shock.
But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President:
No one will work harder.
No one will care more.
No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!
It's true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?
Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, “Try to do... okay?”
And let's be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney's success?
Of course not.
Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work. He had the chance to get the education his father never had.
But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.
He built it.
He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn't going to work. Mitt's reaction was to work harder and press on.
Today that company has become another great American success story.
Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams?
Yes, it has.
It allowed us to give our sons the chance at good educations and made all those long hours of book reports and homework worth every minute. It's given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined. Mitt doesn't like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we're no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don't do it so that others will think more of them.
They do it because there IS no greater joy.
“Give and it shall be given unto you.”
But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes. That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds. This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.
At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up.
He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%.
Under Mitt, Massachusetts's schools were the best in the nation. The best. He started the John and Abigail Adams scholarships, which give the top 25% of high school graduates a four-year tuition-free scholarship.
This is the man America needs.
This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can't be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.
I can't tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:
This man will not fail.
This man will not let us down.
This man will lift up America!
It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy.
But he still makes me laugh. And never once did I have a single reason to doubt that I was the luckiest woman in the world.
I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts.
This is our country.
This is our future.
These are our children and grandchildren.
You can trust Mitt.
He loves America.
He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance.
Give him that chance.
Give America that chance.
God bless each of you and God Bless the United States of America.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Before I forget...

Hailey said the most AMAZING prayer last night...
It went a little something like this...

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for daddy. Thank you for mommy. Thank you for Landon. Thank you for Hailey. Thank you for Landon's dead fish. Thank you for my good fish. Oh, and thank you for the food. We say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

I know it is inappropriate to laugh in the middle of a prayer, but Matt and I both looked up at each other; giggled and then said "Amen!"

Lovin' that she can say her own prayers...
And Lovin' it even more that she adds her own little spice to liven this party up!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Today is my oldest child's FIRST day of Kindergarten!!
We have been preparing Hailey Bird for this day for a few months now.
 She picked out her Backpack... and helped me write her name on it... (she spelled her name for me)
 She also picked out her new outfit for the BIG DAY ~ Converse All Stars and all!!
 And of course we had to get her picture in front of the door at home...
 We drove half way to the school then walked from the neighborhood. Mrs. Gunner told the parents at the open house that we could bring the kids to the Kindergarten Playground and let them play. Hailey did not want to play, she just wanted to ask a ton of questions and tell me "Don't leave me alone" ~heartbreaking right? We got her special name tag and wrote her name on the board for what she was eating for lunch. Then Mrs. Gunner had the kids get in line. Kids Tears REALLY started at this point. There was a sweet little girl in front of us that was almost hysterical... Hailey took her hand; and told her she could walk with her.
The little girl kept looking back for her parents, and her dad went to walk her after she dropped Hailey's hand. But to my TOTAL SURPRISE Hailey did not throw a fit at all!! No tears from Hailey... Daddy... Landon... OR MOMMY! She walked in line all the way to the classroom and went inside. Matt and I looked at each other... HUGE smiles on our faces and decided it was a success!! I have to admit when I saw her helping that little girl; my eyes got a little watery; but I held myself together!
Landon was sad to leave his sister at the big school; well see how our quiet day at home goes...
My Little Girl is starting her "growing up" journey and I am LOVING it!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Hailey is getting prepared for her FIRST day of Kindergarten...
So we went to JCPenny Salon for her first Official PROFESSIONAL hair cut... 
(mommy has been cutting her hair all these years... thank you thank you!)
"Auntie Carissa" the AMAZING friend I have that does my hair called to let me know that her salon was giving FREE haircuts to kids K-6!! We took advantage for sure!!
 Hailey LOVED it!
 Carissa asked how short she wanted it, and of course I had to say just a few inches because Hailey pointed to just above her ear... daddy would NOT be happy if I let her cut it that short...
Just a few inches and cute bangs! 
This little girl is READY!!
Thanks Carissa!! You are the BEST!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Family Trip ~ Part FOUR

Here we are in PRESTON IDAHO!!
They had a sidewalk sale going on because of the rodeo; the kids got some money from Grandma Andersen and Great Grandma Smith to buy something special... cotton candy was the treat they picked!
Landon loves trying on shoes! Here he is in some awesome cowboy boots!
And I just LOVED these chairs! Top picture is our little family! Bottom pictures are Hailey with two of her favorite people! Her momma and her Auntie Sharon!
Hailey just LOVED the giant glasses that Grandma bought! HA HA! Can't you tell!? And Matt loved seeing a charity that made tie-dye stuff. He wanted to remember it! OH and he also wanted to remember the person in the bottom right hand corner too... he swears that was a woman... I myself DO NOT KNOW! LOL!
That same day we headed to the Parade!! We like to sit near Preston High School in the shade trees... We all jumped in the back of Great Grandpa Smith's truck for the short ride over there!
And while we were waiting for the parade to start we decided we should get a picture of Grandma with ALL her ADORABLE grand kids! As you can tell it is not easy getting all 8 kids to look at once! :)
These kids sure are lucky!! LOVE THEM!!
Here we are all getting closer to the street to see the parade!!
Horses, Tractors, Phi-Del Cheerleaders... OH MY! We are in Preston, ID for sure!
Cousins READY To head home after the parade!
We had little time to get ready for the Rodeo that night after the parade... Here the kids are waiting in line with us to see the FAMOUS PRESTON RODEO!!
It was GREAT seeing all the horses and tricks and cowboys! They even had some little kids riding the sheep... i forget what that was called! LOL! The kids fell asleep by the end, but we KNOW they enjoyed it for sure!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Family Trip ~ Part THREE

On Tuesday we went to Grandma and Grandpa Andersen's House.
We meet up with my sister Nicole, hubby Brian and kiddies.
Hailey loves her cousin Katelyn. They are about 10 months apart, but they look about the same age.
Landon and Johnathon tried to play together; but they both had a hard time sharing toys. Totally typical for their age; they are exactly one year apart.
At the Homestead (that is what we called the Andersen Grandparents House growing up) they have all kinds of fun stuff for kids. Above you can see the Zipline and the Flying Airplane. The kids had to take turns on both these things. They played for HOURS outside on the toys...
Over by the barn is the swing. I remember swinging on this as a kid... as you can see Sharon and I made sure to get our ride in on the swing!
A new addition to the barn is the slide. I have heard about this side from other cousins' but never was able to see it until this trip. The kids had a ball playing on the slide. Running up the side and going down. It sure was fun! These kids are SO lucky!
After all this fun the kids got to enjoy picking raspberries, and watching great grandpa dig potatoes out of the ground! They sure LOVED that!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Family Trip ~ Part TWO

Preston Idaho that is. Our first stop was at Grandma & Grandpa Smith's house. 
While I settled in; Great Grandpa and Matt took the kids on a little tour.
We meet up with my mother and sister Sharon here.
They went to see the Elk; but were not able to get a good view; so they hit up the Rodeo Grounds. 
The kids LOVED that!
They even caught a little wakeboarding action! Talk about a GREAT tour!
One of Grandpa's Friends stopped by after they returned. He was driving the four wheeler above and offered for the kids to get a ride with Great Grandpa. They went around the block and loved it!!
When the kids got back; they wanted to play so Sharon and I walked them to the park while the others went shopping.
Both kids loved the slides and the swing at the park. It was a beautiful day!
The kids learned real soon that they LOVED going to Great Grandma Smiths! Not only is she a nice Grandma; she has soda and cookies!
We don't let the kids have much soda at home so this was a REAL treat. I have told Matt stories about when I was a kid and we came to visit and Grandma and Grandpa Smiths; they made sure we had plenty of soda, cookies and treats when we came. It is nice to see she is going to spoil the great grand kids the same way! She is the PERFECT grandma!!
Landon's favorite part of the park was the water fountain. (hehe don't you like his underoo shot...)
He sat up on that water fountain station and played with the water half of the time we were there. He got a little wet; but he got us wet for sure! One of them shot water really high. 
Landon would turn it on whenever anyone came near him! What a crack up!
Hailey taught us the importance of Yoga... she got in her special yoga pose while she was swinging and demanded that everyone else follow... and we all did! Even Landon as you can see above!! 
It was fun sitting back enjoying the day with my little sister and playing with the kids.
On the way home Landon was lucky enough to get a ride on Sharon's shoulders! These kids are not going to know what hits them when Auntie Sharon is gone on her mission come October!! We are trying to cherish all the moments we can get before she goes.
We got home, relaxed, watched olympics on TV, ate, and got the kids ready for bed. 
It was a fun day!! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Trip ~ Part ONE

Our little family was able to have a ROAD TRIP (it felt like we went on a trip around the world) 
We did a "Little Circle" around California-Nevada-Utah-Idaho. Our first destination was VEGAS BABY!!
Vegas is a PERFECT stop for our family~
 It is half way to Salt Lake City which was our first Utah destination.
 The first hotel we stayed in was a very nice hotel off the strip.
(The kids LOVED all the different places we were able to stay on the trip!!)
 Unfortunately we did not spend much time in Vegas; just an quick over~nighter to cut the trip in half.
We woke up; got some McDonald's and hit the road. 
Our second stop was in South Jordan. We stayed 3 days at my Uncle Kelton and Aunt Annel. Kelton is one of my dad's younger siblings. They have four wonderful kids that made the stay OH SO NICE!! The first day we were there; they set up this AMAZING water slide!! They invited all the Andersen Family to come out so we were able to visit with a TON of my family.
This water slide is always a HIT! It was a little gloomy outside at times; but that was not going to stop all the family from enjoying it! We had an Andersen Family Reunion in 2005, and this was a highlight of that reunion so I asked if we might be able to enjoy it again!!
At first the kids were a little scared; but after going down a few times they were sold on it!!
We had a wonderful potluck lunch; and just enjoyed the rest of the day with all the family that came!!

The next day was Sunday. After church Annel gave us a little tour of the area. They have a beautiful man made lake with ducks and geese. Of course we had to stop and enjoy that as well. 
We relaxed that day as well. The cousins pulled out some toys for Hailey and Landon to enjoy.
And Hailey took FULL advantage of cousin Whitney painting her toe nails!
 She is so girly about some things; she has always LOVED getting her nails painted!!
That night we went to Matt's Aunt and Uncles house to visit with some "Bird Family" Aunt Maylynn and Uncle Bryan made a great dinner for us. We played games; laughed; and had a great time visiting. My favorite part of the visit was the dessert... Aunt Maylynn made a Cookie Dough Brownie ~ it was SO good. On our way to their house Matt noticed that we had passed the cemetery that his Grandfather Houghton was laid to rest. We made sure to visit his grave site; we tried to get a picture but it was raining and windy and both our cameras on the phone could not get a good photo. (as you can tell  by the two pictures at the bottom right)
When we got back to the Andersen's everyone was downstairs just hanging out. Aunt Annel was grooming Lucy their dog. Poor Lucy had no idea what was coming... Hailey followed her around the whole time we were there; she just LOVED when Annel put her clothes on her. Lucy finally gave into Hailey and allowed her to hold her. Hailey was in doggy heaven!!
And while Hailey loved on Lucy; Landon was making us all laugh. He is in the "I can do it by myself" stage. So as you can tell he is dressing himself after going potty. Often his pants are on backwards and when I try to correct him he says I am wrong... what do you think? Silly Boy!! Time for BED!
On Monday we had a few visits planned. First we went to do a site visit at my Uncle Dalan's company. He is another of my dad's younger siblings. He and my cousin's husband Eric Hopkins work at Temkin International. It is a packaging manufacture; and Matt just had to see it! Eric gave us a tour and it was REALLY neat checking it out. Now I know where Target Brand packages are made! 
After our site visit we headed to Springville for lunch with our dear friends The Alba's. We meet the Alba family when we moved into our new ward in Clovis about three years ago. Micha was a coach on the Fresno State Football team so Matt automatically clicked with him. Wendy and I hit it off just because she is so easy going and fun to hang out with. She was Hailey's Ballet teacher last summer. We enjoyed seeing them; and catching up on what was new with them. Fun gossip + great food = a good time! Thank you Alba's for the GREAT time!
That night for F.H.E. we hit the park across the street from the Andersen's house for some fun. Matt was shooting off tennis balls with the launchers, Uncle Kelton pulled out an air rocket propeller that the kids loved. But I think the BEST was the Leaf Blower converted into a bounce house ball shooter. As you can see in the top right picture the kids loved loading the blower with balls. There was a group of kids just down the hill catching the balls being shot. It was a great fun night!
The next morning we packed up headed for Preston Idaho to visit my grandparents. The Andersen Family sure showed us a GREAT time on our visit! THANKS ANNEL and KELTON! We love you and appreciate your hospitality SO Much!!