Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Primary Program and Stryder arrives

This last weekend we went to the cabin and I challenged the kids to get in the stream going into Logan river.  The water was 43° F and they all did it!  I was very surprised.  We had a very fun weekend together playing games and enjoying the fall weather.

We went home late Saturday evening so Cathi and the kids could participate in the primary program.

We also got a pleasant surprise that Steve and Meg's new baby boy arrived.  His name is Stryder.  Here's some video (Hit the Expand icon (The four arrow at the bottom right of the video) to blow up the video good enough for you to see.  I didn't zoom in on the video)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My thoughts on Charitable donations

So some guy facebooked about this news story saying that charitable donations shouldn't be tax deductions.  At first I was a little defensive.  You know I count on getting a little bit back every February and I appreciate it.  But what if the government kept that money and didn't allow me to count it as a tax deduction?  Two thoughts:

  1. That would probably really help get our nation out of debt.  Imagine all the charitable tax deductions that if the government were able to keep how much more revenue that would be, and hopefully that could be used to reduce the deficit. 
  2. Why do you give to charity?  I would imagine that most people don't give to charity BECAUSE it's a tax deduction, but because they feel supportive of the organization they're donating to.  The tax deduction is a little perk, but if that perk were taken away, would it remove the incentive to donate?  Maybe for those who are on the fence about it.  But those who feel strongly about their charity of choice would still donate.  
In my case, I pay 10% to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Some argue that it isn't a charity and that its a flat rate percentage and mandatory.  Mandatory?  Define mandatory.  Would I lose my membership in the church, No.  Would I be branded on my forehead that I'm a non-tithe member? No.  Would I have a temple recommend.  No, but if I wasn't paying tithing, I wouldn't expect to either.  It takes faith to believe in what the temple represents, just as it take faith to pay tithing.  So it's absurd to feel robbed of temple blessings by not having a recommend because I wasn't paying tithing.  Everyone who pays tithing does so out of choice.  The church doesn't have the right to automatically take money out of my account.  So the argument that it's mandatory is ridiculous.  

If the government decided to remove tax deductions on charitable donations, I wouldn't freak out.  I'm not sure if members of the church in other countries with different tax laws are given the same incentive to pay their tithing, and they still pay it.  It takes faith to pay tithing, and not getting that perk of a hefty tax refund every February would make the faith to continue to pay more significant and I believe the blessings would be also more powerful.   

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Family Home Evening at Black Island Farms

We got a good deal at for Black Island Farm entrance.  We got there at 5:15 and went immediately to the pumpkin patch because the line was only about 20 feet long and typically is much longer than that.  Each kid got to go out in the field and pick their own pumpkin.  There was some pretty impressive ones out there.  Jacob picked his out while on the way, and ended up running back about 300 yards to get his.

After that we went in and did the corn maze and all the slides.  Lots of fun all evening!

Cathi told me "This is one of the highlights of the whole year!"  It was so fun watching all the little ones run as fast as they can from the end of the slide back to where they climb back up.  Full out sprints.
I ended up getting them small lightsabers at the farmers market.  It was hilarious watching Oliver fight with his imaginary Sith opponent.

We were there until 8:30 and it was dark and cold and lots of kids were complaining that they were too cold, even with their winter coats on.  Sams hands were like ice.  They all had a ball and burned a fun family moment into their memories.

Here's some pics and vid: