This Is Me

Jessie Bee
I am a seeker of God, a help-meet to my husband and a mother to my 3 children. I love hot lattes, good books, cold weather and anything that inspires me to be creative. I desire simplicity and authenticity, but often have to remind myself to seek those .
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Birthday Party Success!

Today is my son's 6th birthday.  They're not lying when they say they grow up too fast.  This morning I watched him making pancakes for breakfast.  He asked me to come over and pour some into shapes so I tried, but they kept coming out funny.  "That one looks like a pickle."  "That one looks like the moon."  At least he was positive about it.  Apparently I even made one that looked like a chrysalis.  Props to me for that.

Since his birthday fell on a Monday, we decided to have his birthday party on Saturday.  And MAN did we have fun!!  We asked the boys to come at 9am, still dressed in their p.j.'s.  We fed them cereal, watched Saturday morning cartoons and had a rockin' pillow fight.

Here are some pics of the event!

The invitation.  Funny story about Noah.  My son said he wanted to invite this little boy to the party, but I found out later that he was no longer in C's AWANA group...and hadn't been since LAST YEAR.  With no way to contact him, we had to forfeit the attempt.

We had gobs of cereal waiting for them!

Coloring pages of Phineas and Ferb - C's cartoon of choice.

Can't forget the vitamins!
The favors, their own cereal spoon and some magic milk straws.
(They also took home a box of their own cereal concoction.)

Pillows are fluffed and ready for the pillow fight.
My blue couch joined in the festivities.  Can you see why I love it so much?  : )
The pillow fight!
The Birthday (pan)Cake!  Layered with chocolate chips, this was a huge hit!

Overall, this party was absolutely perfect.  I would totally recommend it to anyone looking for an easy (and affordable) birthday option!  

(For more ideas on the event, take a look at the blog where I stole this idea from here.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My thoughts on occupying ANY street.

First of all, Occupy Wall Street confuses me.  Can some tell me EXACTLY what the goal of the movement is?

I read on the Occupy Wall Street website that this movement is"fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations."


How much power can major banks, multinational corps and the so-called "Wall Street" possess if not first granted by our friend, Mr. Government?  None.  

Let's consider, for instance, the housing market crash.  Thanks to my real estate classes, I've learned quite a bit on the subject:

In 1977, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act which required lending companies to quit discriminating against credit requests from people in low-income neighborhoods.  Up until the year 2000, the percentage of lending devoted to low-income living was at or around 30%.  

In 2000, during the Clinton Administration, that percentage was raised to a whopping 55%, and in 2007 (during Bush's administration), was raised again to 55%.  

So herein lies Problem #1:  Subprime mortgages.  More than half of all mortgages being given out by financial institutions were what we call "subprime", which literally means "less than prime." 

Problem #2:  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were busy buying up these loans.  Banks lend buyers the money, then turn around and sell those loans (more specifically the interest) to larger companies (e.g. Freddie Mae, et al) so that they have the cash to keep giving mortgages to borrowers.  That's fine and dandy, and it worked great, unless it's the government insuring most of these mortgages, and most of these mortgages are subprime.

Problem #3: Investors stopped investing.  How is it that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could keep buying up these mortgages from the banks?  It's because investors would invest their money for what are known as Mortgage -Backed Securities (MBS).  I'm not going to go into the details of those.  When the interest rates jumped up on the subprime mortgages, the borrowers could no longer afford them so they stopped paying them, which obviously made investors worry about their investments and stop investing.  With no more money coming into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and no money being paid on the mortgages, it only makes sense that the entire system crashed.  

But wait.  Who started the problem?  (Answer:  the government)

In a study regarding lottery winners, published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, results showed that more money does not solve a spending crisis.  Essentially people who cannot handle a budget rarely do any better when more money is handed over to them.  So while I am in 100% agreement with the OWS movement in that large corporations (big banks, etc) should not be bailed out of financial hardships as a result of stupidity, I also don't believe they should be paying more in taxes than is already required.  Teach the government to work on a budget, and then reevaluate the tax percentages.  

I suppose watching my husband run a business gives me a bias in this situation.  He is incredibly fiscally responsible when it comes to running his business and our family willingly takes a smaller income just so he can pay off his business debts faster (e.g. truck leases). 
My husband and I pay for our own health insurance, we are funding our own retirement (and don't anticipate taking in Social Security, although we pay it dutifully), my husband lowers the unemployment rate via his business, and we give to charities monthly.  We are definitely part of the 99% who work hard.  However, I refuse to see the economical problems we're facing originating from the (much too stereotyped) 1%.  I'd argue that it's a two-fold problem resulting from a) the lack of morals we are seeing throughout our country's leadership, both government and corporate and b) yes, I'll say it - our government is too big.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I have two siblings and five cousins in my generation of the family tree.  The kicker here is that, of the 8 of us, we are ALL FEMALE.  So I missed out on some seemingly necessary information regarding the opposite sex.  Some of it was easy to understand and accept:  they like dirt, and trucks, and blowing things up.  And if they can't participate in it themselves, they like to watch shows about it.  But after being married to a man for the past 7 years, one thing still puzzles me.

Why do men believe they have the power to change the color of a traffic light?

Friday, October 7, 2011


Last ride in my Dad's jeep.  

Yesterday my family said goodbye to our puppy.

No, she wasn't really a puppy - she lived a full and happy life - but she was the youngest in the line of our childhood dogs and therefore always the baby.  I realize some people may mock the relationship a person can have with a dog, but until you experience the transformation of an animal becoming a family member, it's difficult to comprehend the the reality of the loss.

Reba was our first childhood dog.  We brought her home because she managed to run circles around my little sister (who was a mere toddler at the time) without knocking her over.  Win.  She became the Lassie of the neighborhood, roaming the block playing with the kids and barking at the strangers.  At one point we had to quarantine her because we found out the neighbor boy had jumped on her back and injured it.  She didn't do a thing to him.

Sarah, our second dog, was my personal dog.  My mom insisted "NO BLACK LABS" because we had a friend with a black lab who left dreadful amounts of black hair all over their house, but it was because of that black lab that I wanted a black lab.  Catch-22, ugh.  So I decided I'd go for a Siberian Husky.  "NO SIBERIAN HUSKIES BECAUSE THEY'RE TOO BIG."  Seriously mom?  What CAN I have?  =)  I finally settled on trying to find a Siberian Husky mix because they'd likely be white with light eyes, and if mixed with the right breed, would be smaller.  Besides, our family has always been a sucker for mutts.  Whatever the dog, I was going to call her Honey because I thought it was the perfect name for a dog.  One afternoon we walked into the Humane Society and - lo and behold - the angels were singing and shining down on this one dog.  She was a medium-sized Siberian Husky mix named Honey.  I kid you not.  I called my mom over, absolutely thrilled that God would answer my request so perfectly...until my mom pointed out the reason she was there: "Does not get along with other dogs."  Seriously?  I'm sure I looked for a candid camera at that point.  Or suggested that some animals were meant to be wild and we should go ahead and set Reba free.  Yeah, that didn't work.  So we kept looking.  Long story short...we came home with Sarah - a black lab/dalmation mix.  I'd like to say my mom ate her words, but since she was the one who let me get Sarah, I won't.

Penny came very soon after.  She was the runt in a pack of misfit pups - part coyote/part German Shepherd.  Little did we know what we were in for.  A snapshot of her life includes electrocution (her own fault), eating a couple pounds of chocolate and sprinting through the house for. several. hours., trying to escape the lawn chair she was tied to while down at Fiesta Island, and keeping all the airplanes out of the yard for the many years we were blessed to call her ours.  And to this day we've never had a plane land there.  In honor of her service, I made this:

I put it on her little grave in my parents backyard.

Last night I went to bed just fine.  I was thinking a lot about my younger sister, to whom Penny belonged, because I realized this was her first night without her dog.  Those first nights are always the hardest.  But I was fine...until this morning.  Because I have to go to my parents house today.

I haven't lived with Penny since I moved out of my parents house several years ago, but I go to their house quite regularly (can anyone say "free babysitting", haha).  I have no doubt I was secretly Penny's favorite visitor (don't worry Penny, I won't tell anyone) if only because I would come in feeding her handfuls of treats.  Actually, the treats were a ploy to get my mom's puppies to like me and, to this day, have STILL not made a dent in our relationship.  But if chunky ol' Penny was going to go wriggle and squirm to stand up and trot over to me, of course she was going to get some.  Of course.

But not today.  Yesterday she joined our two other childhood dogs wherever dogs go when they die.  There are some arguments that animals make it to heaven, and I'll be okay believing that if only because it makes me smile to think that she's running with her canine sisters and probably keeping the angels from landing.

 Rest in peace, Penny.  We love you.

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