Friday, October 31, 2008

The Best Book in the World!

OK. So I might be a little biased! :-) I just wanted to share with you all a comment that Dusty received via email. It is from a customer that bought his book and emailed him with feedback. This is one of many emails that Dusty has received from people giving him positive feedback. I am so proud of him for just doing whatever it took to make this dream of his a reality. He worked so hard to bring this about. He doesn't give himself enough credit for all that he as done.

Dear Mr. Rhoads,

I received a copy of your book yesterday as a gift and had read the entire volume by night's end. Much like yourself, I became fascinated with Bogertophis subocularis as a child after reading Carl Kauffield's legendary Snakes: The Keeper and the Kept. For most of my life, however, I had neither the financial means nor the know-how necessary to acquire and keep this beautiful creature.

I recently welcomed into this world my first son—a son to whom I hope to impart a curiosity and compassion for all living things, and, in particular, snakes. Ultimately, I realized there would be no better species with which to introduce my son to the majesty of the serpents than a Trans Pecos Rat Snake; thus, approximately two weeks ago, I took possession of my first subocularis, a yearling female.

I would like to thank you for The Complete Subocularis. It is without question the finest species-specific text I have ever read, and I am already beginning to put many of the book's lessons—such as the creation of a naturalistic terrarium—to work. Your passion for the elegant snake we both love is evident throughout your book, and I'd like to thank you once again for publishing such an important addition to the snake lover's literary canon.

Best wishes,

Jason F.

Champaign, Illinois

Monday, October 27, 2008

Warning: It's very hard to watch

I was sent this video by a friend and battled a little on whether or not to post it. I had a hard time deciding because it was difficult to watch and listen to. I wept as I watched it but decided in the end it is the reality of the evils we face and courage needs to take the place of fear and to stand for truth and light. It is way past time that we each strive to educate ourselves on the issues of the world and work relentlessly in our own way to fight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Argh Maties

Booty Call ….Whoo! Whoo! Oh. I mean Booty Re-Call

Shiver me timbers! This just in! Candy company recalls pirate foil-coin wrapped candy just in time for Halloween. Check your maties bags for these and toss them into old Davy Jones’s Locker. And when your little Buccaneers are up in arms and ask, "Blimey! Who be you to take away me booty? Blaggard!" Make it up to them by throwin' in an extra ration of grog and grub for the night :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Country Table Cloth

Anybody got any ideas where I can find a real country looking/feeling table cloth? It's a little harder than I thought trying to find one. (even seasonal ones) If you have any ideas, please post them. Gracias.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

America, are you REALLY ready to go down the long, sad, self-destructive road of socialism?

♪♫ ♪♫ Oh when, oh when will Americans wake up? Oh, when will they wake the freak up? ♪♫

I'm staggered that Barrack Husein Obama is actually winning in the poles. Here's a person who is a Marxist, who wants to take our Second Ammendment rights away to own and bear arms, who wants to socialize America, etc. etc. and he's ahead?! Are you kidding me?!

Ya know, I'm really lucky that I had the oppurtunity to live in a country that was scarred by the devastating effects of socialism. I served a mission in Chile (formerly the Socialist Republic of Chile) for two years. The corruption just doesn't go's as simple as that. Once a country starts down the path of socialized medicine, jobs, food, clothing, housing, etc. -- people collectively have a hard time going back the other way. The country never really seems to recover and people expect more and more and more ....of what the goverment says is "free".

It's like Jeffrey R. Holland said:

"Brethren, part of my warning voice tonight is that this will only get worse. It seems the door to permissiveness...swings only one way. It only opens farther and farther; it never seems to swing back. Individuals can choose to close it, but it is certain, historically speaking, that public appetite and public policy will not close it. No, in the moral realm the only real control you have is self-control."

But most people who live here in the USA are spoiled...they have NO idea what it's like to live in a socialized nation. They're completely ignorant of the social, political, and moral decay that comes from such a corrupt system!

Socialism is almost like a flavor of the month here...something new and "cool" to try's like an EXTREMELY addicting, dangerous drug that an ignorant, naive teenager is willing to try.

So, since so many naive people seem to be just begging for a hit of socialism -- as a little taste, here's just one example, if you will, of the typical kind of oppression that those who once embraced a socialist regime experience every day of their waking lives. Just a recent news clip that I saw as I was at the airport recently...

For the first time ever, Cuban citizens can purchase personal computers. There’s only one model available and it’s priced too high for most Cubans (and it’d seem like a downright rip-off to most Americans), but this is a good start nonetheless.

The computer is a QTECH PC and costs just under $800. It’s got a Celeron processor, 80GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, Windows XP, CRT monitor, and a DVD drive. By comparison, according to the Associated Press, “For about $80 less, buyers in the U.S. can get a desktop with more than twice the memory, an 80GB SATA hard drive and 22-inch LCD flat screen monitor.
The Cuban PCs will be sold in government-run electronic stores and will primarily be used for limited gaming and things like word processing and schoolwork. Internet access is still a big no-no in Cuba, though. According to the AP

Except for some trusted officials and state journalists, most Cubans are banned from accessing the Internet at home. So many of these new computers may never be connected to the Web.
Some people buy limited e-mail access on the black market, usually sharing an account with the authorized holder, who usually works for the state. Even if they could access the Web, Cubans can’t shop on line because they don’t have credit cards.

Computers have apparently been available on the black market for a while in Cuba for roughly the same price, but those prices may fall now that buying computers is legal. The bigger issue is the price of the machines.

The average state salary in Cuba is less than $20 per month, although “most Cubans have access to extra income through jobs with foreign firms, tips from working in tourism or money sent by relatives living abroad.”
There you have, does that sound like a flavor you want to try?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sicky Wicky

Dusty and I are both sick puppies! He got a cold or the flu last week and gave it to me and we are not good. It sucks when you are both sick. We are miserable! But, at least it's not something worse and we know it will pass; eventually ;-)

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

You HAVE to go and check out this blog giveaway. This lady is BEYOND talented and is giving away the most gorgeous dress / costume I have ever seen. And she made it! She put so much heart and soul into this dress just to turn around and give it away. So amazing. So talented.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't even know what to put htere....

I just read this article today. I am angered, disgusted and totally in awe that this would happen. A San Fransisco FIRST GRADE classroom was taken on a field trip. Where were they taken? Why would a field trip be so bad? Because they went to their gay teacher's wedding!!!! Yes. A first grade classroom took a school-sponsored field trip to their gay teachers wedding. The school said that they saw it as a good "teaching moment". I think what floors me most of all is that it was the parent's idea to go in support of their teacher. Only two children's parents wouldn't let their kids go. The other kids were there with Vote No on Prop 8 buttons on their shirts. The children were interviewed of what they thought of the wedding, marriage and love.

Typically kids love their teachers. They want to please them. Kids do their best for them. For the school system to take the same-gender marriage thing this far ( and it will ONLY get worse) is sickening. It only creates confusion on these innocent little children. As the article states, this is complete and deliberate indoctrination of our children. I am glad that I have been exposed to alternate schooling methods from books like Thomas Jefferson Education. I am in no way satisfied with just sticking my kids in a public school because that's the way it's been before. I have NO idea what I / we will do when our kids come along and are at that age but I want to really start researching all of my options now.

Dusty and I were talking over lunch today about this a little bit. We think that sometimes people think that because this time in our history has been prophesied about people think that it's going to come no matter what. It will only come if good people do nothing and stay silent. This issue is not about diversity. It's not about tolerance. Same-gender marriage is a perversion of our human bodies. It goes against the law of nature and fails to continue or sustain human life.

I am sorry about blogging so much about this issue lately. I am sorry it even has to be discussed. Here is the link to that article. I want to hear your thoughts!! I also want to challenge everyone again to support the church financially and with your time to help fight this battle.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

That old Devil Complacency

Now, I realized that -- before I even started typing -- this isn't going to be one of those posts that is popular. Nobody's going to be telling me how nice we looked in recent photos or how cute my unborn children will be...none of that nice, gushy stuff...but whatever. It is what it is. :-)

Turns out, Amy is asleep, and I couldn't fall asleep, and I've been awake just thinking about the present state of things going on in the world...basically, the human condition.

It started as I was thinking about Proposition 8 and that whole mess in wonder how that is even a question. I mean, we need to define marriage? Really?! You know, I didn't think 28 was that old, but gee whiz, I don't even have kids yet myself; I'm not even finished with school myself, and yet, when I was a kid in the '80s and early '90s, such a predicament in our legislature wasn't even a whisper of a thought...and now look where we're at. elementary education must really be stone age -- that is, if those who would vote no to Prop8 are right.

But that's not even where I was going with all of this...I wanted to talk about complacency.

I think complacency's older brother is prosperity, or at least comfortable prosperity. Of course, prosperity is intrinsically good, in and of itself. We all want it, and God has told us that He wants to bless us with it. But when we prosper, we as a human race, tend to forget Who it was who gave us what we have, and we take those blessings for granted.

In particular, I'm thinking about our current economical status in the U.S.A., but you can see the complacency everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Even in my field of study (conservation biology), I see how prevalent it is...we're losing clean water, clean air, healthy soils, many species of plants and animals at a pace 100 - 1000 times faster than the usual extinction rate -- including some very key species to our own survival (like bees and other pollinators of our farmlands, for example). Basically, we're chewing up many of the earth's resources before they have time to recover.

I wonder how this nation will react or respond if things get much worse, economically. In a way, I would almost welcome hard times...I see how people in this nation seem to expect prosperity. They expect to get x, y, and z every day of the week. It's when we start expecting things, be it "free" health care, a job, happiness, you fill in the blank...that we start to play with some dangerous slippery slopes of society (say that five times fast! :-) Ha!).

A favorite quote of mine is from Aldo Leopold. He said that "there are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace." Boy, was he right!

On the other hand, I fear that the present climate of this nation isn't spiritually prepared for devastating economic troubles.

All of this expecting this and that from the "government" can be heard everywhere. And that's just it! People say that "the government should provide free health care". I'd like to ask those people just who (or what) they think the "government" is...well, I can tell you. It's YOU! We live in the freest nation in the world, but we're losing our freedoms because people somehow think that the "government" is some sort of detached all-powerful entity (almost like a parent) that feeds us and clothes us -- and does everything else for us -- when we whine loud enough.

And by thinking that way, the people, in essence, hand over the deed, the keys to their home -- and every other power that is theirs -- over to the "government". In a nutshell, the master (i.e. the people) ALLOWS the servant (i.e. those whom WE have elected to serve US and to make and uphold OUR laws) to waltz in, take over our property, and take command, and we then become like the dependent baby who has to whine to get what used to be his.

And when a nation begins to expect "free" health care and other services, socialism starts looking really enticing to many of those people, and too often, the people hastily choose to do what appears as easy, as opposed to what is right. If I hire someone to manage certain affairs for me, I'm not asking him to take charge and responsibility for my life, but this is EXACTLY what people do who think the government is something more than what it was originally "hired" to do.

In conclusion of writing this, my main hope is that we strive to live in a way that doesn't shirk our stewardship or forfeit our freedom and responsibility to mere hired servants...every person's own conscience is his or her own best conscience.

'Nough said for one late night...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Best Way to Donate?

Below are some links and resources for you to read and really try to understand the implications of Proposition8 and the ramifications of same-gender marriages. I still try to understand how and why our world has gotten so backwards. But the time was told when good will be called evil and evil be called good. Even though it is hard for me to understand I do realize that it is my duty as a "mother" and family member to stand for truth and fight for righteousness and freedom.

I truly believe that we have been held back to come forth in a time where our strength as Children of God would be tested beyond comprehension and our faith tested to the very end. If we stay silent and ignorant we forfeit not only blessings that come to the faithful and righteous but we forfeit the opportunity that could have come to us if we would but stand for something! When you are involved in a purpose greater than your own you grow and mature spiritually in indescribable ways . God is on our side. In the end Truth will prevail but it is our chance now to show our faith and strength and protect the family, protect the innocence of our children and fight for Truth.

Below are some resource links and one video (thanks, Heather and Robert). There are also many ways to volunteer. Join Facebook groups like "Protect California Marriage". Commit to being a volunteer through organizations like, your Church, community etc. Seek out ways to be involved, there are many!

I have one question for you. We have been asked to impart of our means and time in any way that we can give to help protect the family and fight against Prop8. If we were to donate on our tithing slips, which would be the category that you would donate to? Or is there another way that is better? I challenge all of us to donate our funds and time to fight this battle. It's only the beginning. Now is the time to commit to stand for something and have your actions back up your words.

What are some other ways that that you have found we can fight in the battle?


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Quote from unlikely sources...

I heard a powerful quote yesterday from an unlikely source, Jim Carrey. We all know him for his crazy antics but he is a big believer in positive thinking and the power of the mind.

"You put out what you think you deserve." ~Jim Carrey

I can't agree with this more. We, as a human race, are the ones that limit ourselves. We limit our success. We don't allow ourselves to dream and think big. Even if you are asked to dream up your "perfect life" scenario we tend to dream big, but only what we think is possible to actually achieve. Why do we do this? Are we afraid that if we dream big and come short that it is a message loud and clear that "the voice" was right. Ya know, that "voice" that tells you you can't, that you're not good enough or that you are undeserving.

It takes time and continuous training to let your mind think big. This quote listed above is very real. If we think that we are undeserving our actions will inevitably lead us to underachieve and bring to pass those negative thoughts. Then we tell ourselves, "See. I told you so. I'm not good enough. I shouldn't have even tried."

However, if we take the mental approach of acting as if. Acting as if you are already where you want to be. Acting as if you already have that nice lifestyle, awesome job, business etc. Acting as if you have already accomplished whatever it is that you wanted to. I don't mean to spend money that you don't have or anything even remotely close to that. Just the opposite. Successful people think different than mainstream America, a lot different. Think successful thoughts. Treat yourself with more respect than you currently do and respect your time as well. Allow yourself to be conscious. Be conscious of what and how you eat, where your time goes, where your money goes, what is important to you, what your goals are etc. Live and act with a conscious purpose.

If we "put out what we think we deserve" and we think we are undeserving, then our actions will make us fall short, live unconsciously, have self defeating and berating thoughts or just live in plain confusion.

On the other hand. If we "put out what we think we deserve" and we know that we are deserving, great things happen. Our actions will lead us to success over time. Jim Carrey actually wrote himself a check for $5 million dollars. He made the check out to himself and carried it around in his wallet. When we got turned down or feeling low, he would pull that check out and he believed it.

Another quote is "energy flows where attention goes"...I want to say this is from James Ray. But it all relates to the same thing. If we concentrate on falling short, not being "good enough" and our attention is focused on the negative, we will get negative results and energy. However, the opposite is true as well.

I honestly believe that Heavenly Father wants to bless us beyond our comprehension. He tells us that in the scriptures. He wants us to show gratitude and recognize abundance. Begin this cycle of gratitude - abundance - blessings. Put it to the test. "....prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not dopen you the ewindows of heaven, and pour you out a fblessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." ~ Malachi 3:10

You deserve it. I deserve it. Live consciously and see what will unfold. Dream big dreams. Think big thoughts----think HUGE! Stop listening to the voice and stop limiting yourself. You are worth it! Heavenly Father already knows it....He is just waiting for us to catch on!

Good Read

I just wanted to share this link from about the current financial crisis. I think we may know what it shares already but for some who might be a little confused or unsure, Click on the link and take a few minutes to read it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

London and Scotland

This is a Church building in Hyde Park, London, England. I have always wanted to go to Hyde Park. It is so rich in history in and out of the Church. We all showed up at the conference late so we could go to Church service. We took a train and then walked, a lot, but finally arrived. We only stayed for sacrament meeting but that was enough for me. I felt so blessed that day.

This is a picture from Scotland from one of the main streets. Look how gorgeous the typical street it. I absolutely loved, loved, loved Scotland. I would rather go there than London any day. Both were fun but Scotland captured a place in my heart. Everything is old. Everything. The "new city" was built over 200 years ago. It was truly a magical place for me. My jaw literally dropped when I walked up the ramp out of the train station and saw the absolute beauty of Edinburgh. I will

Who doesn't love red phone booths?! You saw people taking pictures of them ALL of the time. This was in London. I took the picture and then messed with the colors to make it look like it was an animated picture. This totally reminded me of Harry Potter and made me more excited to go and see Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Crossing railway station. This picture was taken right before we got to Big Ben.

This is one picture of Edinburgh Castle. I took so many pictures. There are some that are much better but I just this one up as a teaser :-) The castle was so big. I had no idea it had so much in it; including the Crown Jewels. What a gorgeous place. I always like to take a moment and think about the people who were there when it was new so many hundreds of years ago. The castle has so much history and tradition.

So this is Big Ben! It was so cool for me to get to see it in person. I have seen it countless times in movies, plays and read about things that happened there. It is in Westminster, London and is even bigger than I thought it was. This is an extremely high traffic tourist spot but was a lot of fun to be in the mix right there in the middle of it in London.

This was a typical scene in Scotland. Real men wear skirts :-) It felt like I was back in time seeing men like this all around.

This was a sidewalk chalk artist (do they have an actual title?!) at Trafalgar Square. There was a huge celebration going on that day we were there and it was crazy!! People were everywhere. This totally reminded me of Mary Poppins. He was really good and was real animated with his talk and was singing. It was great.

This was the last full day in Scotland. It was such a wonderful way to end the trip. I remember walking up and down the beach in the open, cool air thinking about the fact that I had traveled to England and Scotland, two places I had always wanted to go but never thought I would visit. I had such amazing experiences. This was a great time to stop and meditate before the trip home. A perfect ending.

........more pictures to come.......

Labor Day at Mount Timpanogos

Yeah this is late but here are a few pictures of our time at Mt. Timp hiking. The whole area around there was so beautiful. We went for a drive afterward and it reminded me of Colorado. It was gorgeous.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Where do you look when you can't find your cell phone?

Why you look in the bottom of a cup full of water of course! Duh!

Yeah. I have no explanation for this. We couldn't find Dusty's cell phone one morning this week and he happened to pick up a cup of water and look in it and there ya go.... It had to of been in there all night. It was completely ruined.