Saturday, September 18, 2010

Little League

Today was Cavett's first little league baseball game.  I don't think it could have been any hotter or more humid at 1:00 p.m.  No matter, he had fun and enjoyed the game.  He even hit one of the coach pitched balls.  You see, we some how skipped over T-ball and went to modified coach pitch which basically means, his coach pitches the first 4 balls to him.  If he hits it great, if he doesn't then he gets three wacks with the T. 

During the course of the 5 inning game, he played first base, second base, third base, short stop, and center.  On his run into home, he even gave the crowd a dramatic slide even though it wasn't necessary. 

He's a good "thrower."  This might be his game if we can work on batting and catching, especially being left handed or a switch hitter. 

Cousin Thomas, are you up for lessons any time soon? 

Kendrick kept himself busy with some older kids on the hill.  What else do you need than a skateboard or some cardboard and a hill? 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Yearly Political Statement

I have always heard the term "tort reform" thrown around political debates for sometime now and never really took notice.  Was it an acronymn for something?  Was it "tart or tort?"  And what is it all about?  

Recently, I've taken a look and delved deeper than I normally would.  If you don't know or unsure the Wikipedia definition is:

"Tort reform refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort is a system for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to another's person, property or other protected interests (e.g. reputation, under libel and slander laws)."  

Now, I don't know a ton about the law system.  It's not my cup of tea.  I've never served on a jury and it is against my nature to argue like that.  The word play lawyers use it horrific in my mind.  Even one little tiny change in one word of a phrase can totally change your answer.  Drives me batty. 

I digress...but I'd like to focus on what is closest to me, the medical aspect of tort reform.

The way the medical malpractice tort system is set up right now is just inefficient and can drag on for days and days calling "expert witness" after "expert witness".

 Luckily, we live in Texas where a cap has been put on the size of the "prize" to the plaintiff, but unfortunately that still leaves the defendent with mountains of trouble, whether they caused the issue or not.  In most of the Western world there is a "loser pays" rule.  Not so in the great United States of America.  Even if the defendent wins, there are high court costs and lawyer fees.  Insurance premiums go up and as a result this cost is all passed on to the public.  Not to mention the fact that in the medical field, clinic practices are changed.  More unneccerary lab work, digital imaging and steps to restrict their practice in procedures prone to complications, such as trauma surgery, and avoiding patients who had complex medical problems or were perceived as litigious have been cited.

I'm not against litigation against doctors that show up stoned in the operating room.  I'm not against litigation involving surgeons that leave objects sewn up inside of the body.  But doctors are not God.  They can't make everyone well.  Procedures sometimes have complications beyond human control.  Babies are sometimes born with birth defects that is not the surgeon's fault.  Sometimes a tranplanted organ is rejected.  It's not always going to turn out the right way.  Human "fixing" is never as good as what God gave us and good doctors shouldn't be blamed when they did their best. 

I believe everyone should  have their day in court if it is needed and appropriate, but frivolous lawsuits are clogging up the system.  It should be a quick and efficient dispute resolution, not years in the making.  Court appointed expert witnesses should be utilized.  And, most importantly, the "English Rule" of the loser should pay litigation fees should be enacted.  In fact, socialized medicine and the "loser pays" goes hand in hand in all these other western countries.  Why aren't the liberals jumping on this band wagon and screaming about bringing it to the US just like they did the socialized health care reform?

We need to restore litigation to its traditional and appropriate role in our society. A lawsuit takes a very heavy emotional and financial toll on participants, and therefore should be the remedy of last resort to resolve disputes between parties. A lawsuit should not be used to win lottery-type riches for a lawyer and his client.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Refuge

I can't go into detail now, but this is weighing on my heart and someone dear to me needs to read it. 

When it seems your world is collapsing and everything is against you and it is storming all around, it's so good to know that we have a refuge from the storm, a shelter from the shade.  Thanks be to Him who will protect us and guide us along the difficult path.  He will always be there.

"The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9

"God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.  Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!" Psalm 46:1-3

"But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress.
You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat.
For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall,
or like the relentless heat of the desert.  But you silence the roar of foreign nations. 
As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled."
Isaiah 25:3-4

Know that you are loved by a just, omniscient, faithful, merciful and mighty God who has the ultimate plan--the one we should seek.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Birthday Trip

Stephen had been gone for 4 days to Vegas to teach and will be gone again next week to Houston.  I missed him much over the weekend and I was so glad to get to spend the weekend with him.  We had invited several other couples, but it didn't work out for any of them.  While I missed the comradere, it was so good to reconnect with one another and just focus on us.

Much time was spent eating.  Sushi at Okada, Brunch at Black Bear Diner off the Strip and Botera Steakhouse for the actual birthday dinner.  Now some of you may really cringe at this, but I got my childhood favorite for my appetizer--Bone Marrow and Onion Jam. 

I know you are probably totally grossed out.  As a kid, my Mom would buy the roast with a bone in it for our Sunday lunch.  We would spread the marrow on a piece of bread, salt it and eat it.  YUM!  I remember "fighting" my grampa for it.  Since then, I have never seen bone in roasts at the grocery store and never seen it at a restaurant.  Happy birthday to me!!!

Then there was pool lounging, a bit of a shopping spree at H & M, trying on really expensive clothes for my friend Ainslee who interns for a designer, Victor de Souza, and of course people watching.  Vegas is THE best place for that. 

It was a great weekend and one of the best birthdays ever.  Thank you again, Stephen.  I love you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hunter Alexander Armstrong

Precious little one, you have finally arrived into this world!  You have been prayed over and thought of many times, but there is one who knew you way before anyone on this earth. 

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body

and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed." Psalm 139:13-16

I pray blessings over you that you may know the love of those around you and your creator, and know you are His.  I pray you discover the grand plan and purpose that God has for you.  I pray blessings of joy and happiness and to find peace in the times of trial and an answer to each prayer. 

I know that there are exciting things in your future and I look forward to watching you grow and hopefully, becoming good friend with Cavett and Kendrick.

I love you, Hunter Alexander Armstrong. 

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A New Tradition

This Labor Day we wanted to completely soak ourselves in family time.  Stephen will be out of town for the next two weeks, so we wanted the kids to have lots of time with him.  We decided on a morning bike ride.  Stephen downloaded the Allen trail map studied it and then let the kids look at it.  Of course, to them it was a treasure map.   In the meantime, I made banana/flaxseed muffins and Stephen sat quietly on the end of the island writing while the kids argued over the map. 

I kept looking over there thinking, "Get off your duff and help me!  Do you hear the kid asking for milk?"  After a few more minutes, I decided I'd just say, "What are you doing over there?"   

"Making a Treasure Hunt," he replied.


We packed our lunches and bicycles and headed out.  But first we had to check the mail just in case the mailman forgot and came today any way.  Low and behold our first clue. 

Clue #1:  In all the mayhem, we lost the first clue, but it said to go to the Astronaut Park and look under a trash can.  (The Space Park near Cavett's school at the head of the trail.)

Clue #2:  Through the woods and down the "Teacher's Path," look where they sit, but don't take a river bath.  (This was the Eco-trail that was next to an elementary school.)

Clue #3:  Look for a park where dogs can play.  Then turn around and on a tree I'll stay.  (Across from the dog park.) What was funny was that when they received this clue, someone with a dog walked by and Cavett asked them if they knew of a dog park nearby.  These people had no clue there were in fact two different ones up ahead. 

Clue #4:  On the next bridge where cars can go, look for a clue where the light doesn't like to go.  (In the shadows of a bridge.)

Clue #5:  Quickly, Quickly!  You are almost there.  To the closest park, ride on like a mare.  Find the place where Moms like to sit.  Your treasure is hiding under it.  (Had to look at the map and determine the closest park and find a bench.)

Treasure:  You found all the clues, so this treasure is all for you.  It is a solution for all your hard work.  You get Yoga-lution for your dessert. (Our local frozen yogurt shop.)

This man is the best!  He even made it rhyme and kept them guessing.  At this point, Cavett still doesn't even know how or who put the clues there. 

It's our new Labor Day tradition.  It's just going to have to get harder.  Geo-caching here we come! 
And if you thought that Kendrick rode in the trailer the whole way, you are wrong!

My Little Superheros

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The First Day of 3 Year Old Pre-K

In preparation for the big day, the week has been spent getting Kendrick a few new shorts, a pediatrician check-up and Meet the Teacher was yesterday.   He remembered his school from last year, but was a little confused why he didn't have Mrs. Pam and Mrs. Carmela.  He didn't want to stay in the classroom and do anything.  So, we said hi and bye and left. 

This morning was no different.  He received his Back-to-School treat: a manipulative calendar.  We took our front door picture.  Stephen and I both walked him in and he was the first one.  His teachers are Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Hayden.  We said hi and bye and left.  I got a kiss blown to me.  We walked out laughing in that we are probably some of the only parents that had a child with no separation anxiety, had a kiss blown instead of hugs and real kisses and walk out of the building so quickly. 

It's a blessing and a curse.  I guess it's just easier for the second child.

He had a great day though!  He loved painting and coloring and reading Llama, Llama, Mad at Momma, playing Red Light, Green Light and singing "This Little Light of Mine."  He even started Spanish with his former teacher Miss Carmela today learning the color green-verde. 

He's growing up...