No. 476 on the List – I Remember You

Matthew Barnes, 37 Monroe, NY

Matthew was a firefighter for the NY Fire Dept. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a friend. His friends remember him as a kind, strong, soft-spoken guy. They reminisce about him skipping school to watch movies, and even before that, playing stick ball with him in his yard. His parents are grieved that he died before they did. No parent ever wants to outlive their child. His wife Sue is raising their boys alone now….that’s not what she had planned. Matthew, you were my age when you died. I will always remember you and not let you just become some name on a list.

You’re number 476, but to me, you’re Matthew Barnes.

You are a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a friend.

I will always remember….

I was nursing my newborn son in my office at work. My husband called me on the phone and said that I needed to get to a radio or television because a plane had just hit one of the twin towers in New York city where my uncle lives.

I put AJ down in his crib and ran across the hall to my brother’s office and told him to turn on the tv, phone still in hand. We watched in horror at the events unfolding before our eyes. It was only a few minutes later that we saw the second plane fly into the other tower. It was so incredibly surreal….truly like something out of a movie…I just could not believe it was happening.

I stayed glued to the tv for the next 24 hours, from work to home and back again. I just could not stop watching. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t. I wanted to explain everything that was happening to my 4 year old, but I knew it wasn’t the time for full disclosure. So I cried and held my babies. I cried for the families who lost loved ones. I cried for the children that would never see their mommies and daddies again. I cried for the moms and dads who would never see their children again. I cried for all those who lost their lives trying to rescue people. …

I cried for a nation that would forever be changed… I cried for the changes that were still to come….today, I do not cry. Today, I remember the victims and families that were directly impacted by the attacks. I remember the families that are serving today on foreign soil protecting my rights and freedoms. I remember this nation, so long ago founded by men who believed in moral absolutes and thank my God for them.

I will not forget September 11, 2001. I will not let my children forget it. It will always affect me and have an effect on how I live my life from here until I step out into eternity.

You Know Who You Are…

I received this message in my inbox last night after posting my blog:

Which GI’s ?

Hey Karen: Thought this would make for a better private conversation than as commentary on your blog. Which GI’s? The ones (like my Grandfather) who fought in WW2 or the current GI’s in Iraq… they’re dying for the freedom of Iraq’s citizens not mine. Honestly, I’d prefer they weren’t dying. I am proud of the commitment members of our volunteeer army have made to this country… I’m sad to see what they have been lead to do.
-Name withheld to protect the naive

My first response was to prepare a point by point refutation – but I found that I had written several pages worth – -so instead, I’ll just address the actual situation.

There was nothing at all in my blog pertaining to the validity of one GI’s battle over anothers. Instead, it was praising Christ for His sacrifice for ALL mankind and the sacrifice of ALL Americans that have given their lives or put their lives on the line for their country.

This was not meant to be a springboard for attacking anyone’s value system. I’m not looking to provide a platform for somebody to attack Americans where they had none before.

Thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for commenting. Next time you have something to say, don’t worry about saying it in private – I’m a big girl and can defend my beliefs. There is no need to sugarcoat anything on my behalf.

Number Problem

Very tricky math!

Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.

Do not peek at the bottom of the blog.

Hey! I said…DO NOT peek…why’d you look??? Oh well, try it anyway.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 30.. add another 1000.

Now add 20.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 10.

What is the total?




Actually, it’s 4100.

Handy Car

Yes, folks. That’s what it’s actually called. Handy car… I don’t know how many plastic babies lost their lives in the embellishment of this vehicle and the one behind it, but I think there’s a new illustration in Webster’s Dictionary next to the word creepy. These are known as “art cars.”

There go the Dividends…

From the Washington Post:

Alaska Gov. Frank H. Murkowski yesterday ordered a state-government hiring freeze and worried over whether the state has enough heating oil or funding for social services as Alaskans braced for an economic crisis brought on by the sudden shutdown of oil production in Prudhoe Bay.

Oil company BP ceased most operations Sunday after a heavily corroded pipeline was discovered dripping oil. The closure is costing the state $6.4 million a day in tax revenues and royalties, and some officials estimate it could be six months before 16 miles of pipes are repaired and the pipeline is running at full capacity.

Nearly 90 percent of the state’s revenue comes from the oil fields, and Alaska’s revenue commissioner says the state can operate for about two months before running out of money.
90% of revenue from oil fields! There is no way that they couldn’t forsee this scenario occuring one day.

When I lived in Alaska, we got a “Permanant Fund Dividend” from the reserves that were left after all the bills had been paid. One year, I received over $1800! I guess that will go bye the bye….they might even have to start paying (GASP!) state taxes…

Today is a New Day

My son recently turned 4. He wanted two things for his birthday: 1. All the cars from the movie “Cars” and 2. The movie “Chicken Little”.

Well, he didn’t get all the cars from the movie, but only because we haven’t been able to find them all – apparently, they are in high demand and KB toys just can’t keep them in stock, Target won’t keep them, and Wal-Mart couldn’t care less about keeping them in stock. He DID receive the movie “Chicken Little”. Even as I write this, he’s in the living room watching that movie for about the hundredth time since we bought it for him. (Now, don’t start thinking I let the tv babysit my kids…it’s not even 8 in the morning yet and he only woke up to watch that movie!)

Here’s the problem. He thinks Chicken Little is real. He wants to be JUST LIKE Chicken Little. He sings the theme song over and over throughout the day. The words go something like, “One little slip….yadda yadda yadda”, but he INSISTS they say, “One little SHRIMP..” Who am I to argue?

He has asked me to buy him some green glasses, a green striped tee shirt, and dark brown shorts “just like Chicken Little”. He doesn’t realize that CL’s outfit would most likely be the featured outfit on TLC’s show “What Not to Wear”. It’s so cool to him. I love that about him…not afraid to embrace being different. Different is normal for him…THAT’s cool to me.

Recently, he told me, “Mom…I loooove Chicken Little”. I said, “I know, son.” Now if I can just get the words to that theme song down…

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