Chad Estes Chad Estes' blog: A journey from fear to love, from rules to relationship, and from religion to freedom.
Colin Mansfield Ground Shaking: the journey, thoughts, and musings of my son, Colin Mansfield.
Dr. Kevin Hearon An excellent source of health and wellness information by an internationally known Doctor, who is also one of my best friends!
Huckleberries Updates from North Idaho and Eastern Washington via the Spokesman Review's DFO. This is one of the MOST read political blogs in Idaho.
Idaho Chooses Life The leader of pro-life culture in Idaho, led by the only man who once fully supported the pro-choice movement. David Ripley's voice echoes with truth, judgement and mercy on behalf of the pre-born and helpless.
Mac Mayer Inspiring youth towards success: both financially and spiritually. Mac is an author, entrepreneur, and professional businessman who has coached thousands of youth towards ownership, investing, and leadeship.
Meg Roe My daughter's eclectic journey of life as a housewife and CIA operative.
I'm going to refrain from posting any further comments on both my blog and FB until Thursday May 23rd.
I'm taking a "vacation" from writing.
I'm just gonna "be" with family. AND I'd like YOU to add comments at the end of this post about your OWN experiences with reunions. I'd love to hear from you.
These pics show two amazing relatives Susan and I have the honor of seeing grow in life and in spirit. Dr. Scott Randall is married to my sister Kathy's daughter Stacey. I have known him since he was a young teen. I am so proud of him for the man he is, the husband and dad he is and the doc he is.
My sis, Joyce, is the Mother of the New Bride, Mercedes, whose wedding is at the center of this reunion.
I am so proud of all my sisters and brothers.
And Joyce has shown me a level of personal growth and stature that touches many people. She and her husband, Dan, show all of us the value of risk and reward.
I love seeing my siblings and their spouses and kids (and grand kids).
How about you and your family?
Share with the readers if this blog while I am quiet. People will benefit from your life. Share it with us all.
My brothers and sisters are coming together this next weekend for a family reunion - enveloping a wedding of of one of our precious nieces.
Shy of Wally and The Beav, or Timmy and Lassie, or Donna Reed's son and daughter or even Little Ricky Ricardo, my siblings were (and are) the best.
In a family where dad was far too harsh & rough and mom was far too weak and yet angry, my siblings were far and away the best. We enjoyed each other and loved our lives - together as kids and a part as adults.
We last were together at our dad's funeral last August, though we did manage to laugh and enjoy each other's company. This reunion will be fully joyful.
Our ages range from 63 to 48.
Seven Mansfields, then. Seven Mansfields, still.
When our mom died 19 years ago we were sad, same when our dad passed away last year. Sad, but not devastated. We learned early to be as I labeled it in my book, Beautiful Nate: "a band of brothers and sisters".
For that we were, and remain so today.
I will most likely write something about our time together. Today, though I just wanted to place our siblinghood in perspective to the hours and hours we spent in front of the TV as kids.
This seemed an appropriate way to do so. Especially when we looked like this, way back when.
In many ways the kids of the 50's and 60's seemed to live lives that were in front of the TV set and then in front of each other, only secondarily. We sure did in my home. These two realities co-existed when television was in its infancy. Not so much anymore, is my guess.
The shows then almost seemed like reality and our little lives seemed like faded inconsequential episodes of unreality that never quite ended... and if it did end, it often didn't end well.
All these years later it is wonderful to know that our lives ARE real and are NOT ending at all - just continuing and doing so at a wonderfully real and rewarding pace.
We learned to turn off the TV and turn to a life lived well, a life lived more abundantly.
I can't wait to see my siblings, their kids, in-laws and grandchildren (those who can attend.)
PS: Here's a cool visit with the kid stars of yesteryear who co-existed with us so many years ago.
The case can be made that camo does such a good job that we often fail to take time to think about it.
By making it's wearers "invisible", it becomes invisible.
Like our rights as citizens. We don't see them, but they are there...and they are real.
It's more than subterfuge. It's cover - it's visual protection against a foe, foreign or domestic. Just like the law within the Constitution.
Both represent safety. Men and women who wear camo (BDUs, ACU's et al) protect us. It's worn by soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen.
The rights of the Constitution are worn by all of us. We slip it on one sleeve at a time - and we wear it all. Like Joseph of the Old Testament, it is a coat of many colors - many hues of freedom.
Seldom do the colors of our flag match the colors blended together in life. At least not visibly
Red, white and blue are not thought of as colors that hide or protect us, but they do, don't they?
You see, they are the colors that we live and work under everyday. They are the colors that thrill the heart and under which men and women snap their salutes.
We wear the camo. Business suits, blue collars, uniforms and college clothes. We stand ready to help. As Americans we each do our part.
My family history of service within the military is clear, but no more clear than yours. We each do our part.
As Memorial Day approaches, let us give thanks to each service member who served and died... and give thanks to those who served as civilians - in a uniform for a season and then out of one for many years.
And Marines - for they are always just Marines.
I give thanks for my father who served well as a young man and died well as an old man.
He never wore a uniform after his retirement in 1966, as an active member of the service. Not on the outside. But he taught us all to wear it on the inside. Like he did.
Covered in the camo of red, white and blue, my father served well. He wore the uniform of an American citizen for all of his life, only 21 years in military uniform.
So did many other members of my family, the pics are below.
As a nation, our service members are us - all of us.
We must all serve well together, gripping hands with those hands of the past.
The breaking news has just been released by CBS re: the jury finding Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty on 3 counts of first degree murder.
It leaves me deeply saddened. It may leave others deeply shocked, though I am not.
I am saddened for the women he mistreated.
For over three decades - as long as Dr. Gosnell has been performing abortions - I've been involved in the pro-life side of the debate; I've also been persuaded that the premature ending of life in the womb has often been ONLY an exercise in debate by both sides. The actual "body of evidence" has seldom been available as items of evidence in a trial. And the women get mistreated, first by men who use them for their own sick satisfaction. Others followed who fiercly debated each side of the debate, but never really cared for the mothers.
The invisible babies show up on the pro-life side as the terribly mangled bodies (of precious children), the invisible feelings of the frightened mothers are often left alone and abandoned by uncaring conservative idealogues.
They show up on the pro-choice side of the debate as
cold statistics (of precious unwed mothers) by uncaring liberal
I am not shocked today - because I have seen so much of it in the past - on both sides of the issue. Yet, no case like this was ever brought forward in the past. It is undesired new ground to many in the debate. And it is here.
In the 1990's I had to become an expert on two levels in this area of interrupting pregnancies - both as an expert with the facts and an expert with the law (at least the law of Idaho.)
Shallow people on both sides of the debate in those days created an odd-speak; they easily refrained from the use of the word "hate" when talking about their feelings towards their opponents - while at the same time they eagerly employed the word "hate" when describing what they thought their opponent's feelings were toward followers of their perspective. It was a case of I'm OK, you think I'm Evil. Both sides. Demonization never advances honest dialog. Never.
I suppose in some strange way, deep within themselves, people on the two sides of the baby-in-the-womb debate so often held what they saw as a justified hatred for the the holders of the opposing point of view that they broadcast their emotions on the other guy or gal. Maybe then and now.
How wasted is that energy. Hatred has no place in this debate of philosophies.
It may, though, have a place in our emotions...
By our very nature as caring, loving human beings, hatred seems to have a place when discussing the actions by purposeful perpetrators afforded against innocent people; the way women and babies were treated via the results of the jury trial of Dr. Gosnell.
Caring liberals and loving conservatives can hate what this man has done.
Maybe hate has an appropriate audience - those of us who truly care.
I hate that we have to see what he did. I hate that people died.
I've come to a point in my life where I hate having to talk about abortion.
I hate it. In the past I hated having to know these things and see these things and I hated having to show my family - my little kids - these things.
I hate that America has to see these real and really ugly things today.
I believe the pro-choice advocates when they say that "no one wants to get an abortion". Death has no beauty, nor does it have any desire to it.
It is death, not termination. It is sadness, not political triumph or defeat. The heart of the baby is stopped, the heart of the mom is broken and the heart of the biological father is often as calloused and uncaring as apparently the jury saw Dr. Kermit Gosnell's heart to be. A gentle caring man is not found guilty of three counts of first degree murder, by a jury of his peers. A gentle caring man does not impregnate a woman and abandon her.
The nation may be shocked simply because of the visible brutality of Dr. Gosnell's medical clinic. His behavior of illegally selling pain relievers was what caused the authorities to raid his clinic. What they found upon entering it was a clinic unlike anything brought to the public's attention since 1973's approval of Roe v Wade.
I'm not shocked by the discovery of how his clinic treated mother and child nor am I shocked by his gulty verdict. My shock ended a long time ago.
I'm simply saddened that he did these things to people.
My heart breaks for the women he so deeply mistreated and the babies that he cavalierly killed - as if they were so many unwanted domestic animals. (Even such treatment of kittens, pups and other animal kingdom babies would not be accepted by any of us.)
My guess is that even those who philosophically advocate a pro-choice position are saddened and shocked by what this man did.
"(Carney is) playing semantic games, telling a roomful of journalists that the
definition of editing we’ve all been using is wrong, that the only thing
that matters is who’s actually working the keyboard. It’s not quite
re-defining the word “is,” or the phrase “sexual relations,” but it’s
not all that far off, either."
Ouch. That helps no one in the Administration today.
"I believe that before it’s all over, this president will
not fill out his full term,” Huckabee said. “I know that puts me on a
limb, but this is not minor.”
“When a president lies to the American people and is part of a
cover-up, he cannot continue to govern,” he added. “And as the facts
come out, I think we’re going to see something startling. And before
it’s over, I don’t think this president will finish his term unless
somehow they can delay it in Congress past the next three and a half
I do not believe in the casual use of the word impeachment.
It honors no one.
Not the elected official about whom the discussion swirls.
Not the people of our nation. It honors no one. Those who were forced to administer it against Bill Clinton all felt soiled when it ended.
By its very nature impeachment deals with dishonor.
It is the scalpel used to dig more deeply into the infected body politic.
And it MUST NOT be used cavalierly.
Impeachment must only come back into our vocabulary because it is the only way to legally solve the situation.
If House investigations must be conducted, let it be done with sadness and yet with clarity - not partisan loyalty or sickening political gloating or defensiveness.
Let it be done with the sense of national sadness that Rep. Charles Wiggins conducted his review of the facts 40 years ago this summer and next.
Benghazi's deaths have little honor to them since we do still do not know the truth around them. If these Americans were murdered for any reason other than simply defending themselves, that truth must be brought out.
Like Chuck Wiggins would have done.
We will soon see if Jim Inhofe understands that level of honor.
Let's see if the United States, itself, understands that level of honor.