Mothers

What is a mother?

1) the female parent of a child, 2) one who bears children, 3) one who raises, influences, cares for, loves and nurtures a child or children.

When I think about what shaped me into the mother that I am, I reflect on those mothers in my life and my history. Of course my mom, was and is a huge influence in my life, but there are others who helped to mother me. When you take the best of what your mom has to offer, one can’t help but know that they took the best from their mothers too, so who I am goes back to those mothers in my family history. I think we also take a little bit from all the mothers who we come in contact with too. So my friend’s moms, grandmothers, and my mother in law have also influenced me.

My grandmothers: Grace Flynn and Lucile Booher influenced their children and me when I had the opportunity to spend time with each of them. My gramma Grace was a quiet strength who kept a very clean house, had beautiful roses and always made sure her family was fed before her. Gramma Booher a more vocal woman who kept a tidy house that was filled with the materials to make anything. They grew an enormous garden and fruit trees, she bottled food. She taught me it is important to spend time with family. She drove and always made sure we had time with Gramma Grace who didn’t drive. Because of her example, I did my best to make sure my children got the chance to know their only living great grandparents.


These are Troy’s grandparents: Bob and Dorothy Herrin. When we lived in Vegas, I would take my kids: Cody, Shantel and Savanna over every Wednesday for lunch with Nana and Papa and then we would stay and visit and play with them for an hour or two. I’m not sure if they remember, but I do, and I tell them. Cody and Shantel remember playing with the toys that they had. Toys that their dad played with when he was little. Toys that their kids can play with when they come to visit at great grandma and grandpa Keiser’s. Nana took me under her wing and taught me the love crafting things. She would take me to the craft day at church, helped me make cards and shared her knowledge with me.


My in laws: Bob and Mary Keiser, live close and they help and teach and influence me and my children in many ways. We share recipes, tips on crocheting, she has helped me tie a quilt, taught Shantel to sew. She teaches and influences as she can, we take what we need from that.


My mom, Myrna Flynn, what can I say about this woman? She is amazing, strong, determined, independent, faithful, patient, bold, she is a fixer. She has taught me to be strong, independent, confident, to cook, and bake. She taught me to have fun, to enjoy life, that you are only as old as you feel, that I can do anything, and not to stress too much. She had 8 single births and has 34 grandchildren and almost 7 great grandchildren.

She is the one I call when I need to talk, to complain, to ask how to do this or that. She will do all she can to help those she loves. She is not huggy and kissy and she doesn’t get to emotional, but you know where you stand with her. She is not perfect but she is my mom and I would not be the person I am without her influence and that influence that has trickled down from her mom and all the moms that shaped her and her mom and her mom and so on back in time.


I hope that my daughters and daughters in law can take all the good that the moms in their lives can give and become the best moms they can be.  That they can see how each generation has something to offer, something that they can take and make their own and pass that on to their children and keep the cycle moving and growing and ever learning.


Thank you mom! I love you!

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Legacy 

My dad turned 80 on the 23rd of March. We planned and pulled off a surprise party for him. All of my siblings were able to make it! ūüôā That’s a big feat, there are 8 of us. The last time we were all together at one event was when our Gramma Grace passed away 10.5 years ago.  Looking around the house at all the people I got to thinking; “what a legacy my parents are leaving.”  (Be sure to click on the hyperlinks.)

When I think of  a family tree, I see it like this, with roots and branches. Our forebears are our roots, our children are our branches, and we are the trunk — that which links the two together.


So lets back this story up a few years…….

One day Sam met Lucile, they liked each other and in 1930 they married.  They had 4 children: Duane, James, Edgar and *Myrna. They raised their children well.


Meanwhile, Willard met Grace and soon they were married in 1934. They had three boys:  *Daren, Lawrence, and Lonny. They raised their boys up right.


Daren met Myrna and they were married in 1958. Over the course of 22 years they had eight children:  Colleen, Sean, Martin, Brandon, *Carrie, Ryanne, Clancy and Megan.   


Now each of these children married and have children as well:  (Colleen)- Hosanna, Hokan, Maja, Anders; (Sean)- Shannon, Samuel, Kelsie, Trever; (Martin)- Brandon, Adrianna, Kenneth, Andrae, Charles, William; (Brandon)- Stephanie, CX, Khyle, Kodyn; (Carrie)- Cody, Shantel, Savanna, Robby, Scott, EmmaLece; (Ryanne)-  Javin, Orissa; (Clancy)- Grace, Livia, Stella, Collett, Brooks; (Megan)- Shaylee, Liam, and Clara. This next picture is not all of the grandchildren, but a pretty good chunk of them.


A few of the grandchildren are married and have or are expecting children: (Hosanna)- Layla, Jemma, ?; (Stephanie)- Alaina; (Cody)- Fae; and (Shantel)- ?. Hokan is getting married on the 31st. Our simple tree is turning into quite a forest. ūüôā

We weren’t raised in the lap of luxury, but we had what mattered most, love.  At the party, most of the grandchildren in attendance sang and played the song Daddy’s Hands for Grumpa. It was questioned as to why they didn’t sing a song about grandpas, the reason is that our children are more musically inclined than their parents. ūüôā When the song was finished, we took the opportunity to share a special memory, or a saying of our father’s that has stuck with us. What an awesome thing it was to share our memories with our parents and siblings. 

With a 22 year span between the first and the last child you can imagine that we didn’t all have the same experiences.  For the older childern, dad was home and he worked in radio and television. Colleen recalled a time when dad became quite flustered that no one checked the oil on a regular basis and came in the house saying: “I don’t care what kind of oil you put in there, just put something in!” Because of that, she is very diligent at checking the oil in her vehicles. Sean told of a time he took the car for a joyride with his friend when Dad wasn’t home.  Then while they were out and about, he remembered he had an eye appointment. Sean went on to the appointment and when he came through the door, dad was sitting there. Sean said that he spent the whole appointment thinking:  “I’m dead I’m dead!”  Dad looked at him and said: “I had to ride the bike!” Never take the car without permission even if you are sure your parents are not going to be home! Martin remembered going to work with dad at the radio station, and later driving the truck with him. Brandon remembered a time when he skipped school with Sean and Martin. Unknown to Brandon, the older boys had ratted him out for having skipped school with them. Upon being asked how school was he responded that it was great. (He was like 5 and the older boys would have been 9 and 12). Brandon learned if dad asked you something, he probably already knows the answer.   He also had another memory of getting a bunch of pop out of a vending machine with the same two quarters. The middle kids, didn’t really have a huge opportunity to spend time with dad because he had changed careers and was now a long haul truck driver.  So my memories are mostly of going on the truck with dad in the summers.  One summer, I went trucking with him all by myself. He had a load in Ohio, and it rained a lot there.  We played a lot of backgammon while we waited for the rain to stop. I got BLTs every time we ate at a truck stop and I saved a soda straw from all the places we went. The things I remember him saying, were’t really sayings, but funny songs: Katalina Matalina Hoopingsteiner Walking on a Hogan Pogan Logan was her Name and Kitchy Kitcht Kaimeo. Ryanne recalled having to learn lessons the hard way, but always being reassured of dad’s love after discipline was needed. And also how when she went trucking and they were in Baltimore, dad found every opportunity to drive through the tunnel that goes under the Chesapeake Bay just to watch her cringe. Clancy told of going trucking with dad and playing baseball on the side of the road as well as learning a life lesson about people. He had said something not nice about someone he felt could make more of their life and Dad told him that it takes all kinds of people to make it work. Something dad said one day to Clancy that he remembers is: “if you think it’s right then do it.” It was said after he had asked to do something he knew dad wouldn’t  approve of. He wisely chose not to do it. Now, by the time Megan was in Middle school, dad went from long haul to hauling locally, so she had more of an opportunity to get to know dad. Megan talked about a smell that reminds her of dad, the smell of mechanical grease.  She also remembers being on my horse’s back in the field with dad walking along side, and the neighbor called the horse.  The horse took off and Megan fell, dad carried her into the house. One more thing Megan remembers is how she and dad would run their feet across the carpet and then shock each other. They have a similar sense of humor which might have made mom crazy how they fed off of each other. Megan ended with a grateful heart for the parents we have. Colleen also had a few parting words of love and appreciation for mom and dad. Dad had a few words to say after our stories. He said how he wouldn’t have been able to raise us without my mom. He got a little emotional, it was sweet. He also told a few stories on himself. My mom said that there was a year when dad was gone 360 of 365 days!  Yeah mom is tough and lived a good portion of her child rearing years as if she were a single parent. She is wise and is usually the first person I call when I need to know one thing or another. We are blessed that they are still with us and have been our rocks. They have been married for 58 years. As matriarch and patriarch of our ever growing family, they deserve our respect and love always.

A few more stories were shared here and here.  


Now family dynamics can be interesting. With so many people coming from different backgrounds joining the family, there’s bound to be some disagreements and some hurt feelings. The trick is to see this creation of a new family within the family with a long term perspective.  The perspective we need to have is this:  In the eternal scope of things, does this really matter?  If the answer is yes, then do something about it. If the answer is no, then breathe deeply and let it go. Families are forever and we need to remember that!  It doesn’t matter if you were born into, adopted into or married into the family, it is yours now! There will be times when we think we are right or should be in charge. This can and will cause hurt feelings. If we try hard to think before we act or speak, realize when we haven’t been kind, be humble and forgiving, then these bumps on the road to forever can be overcome. 

I have always told my children that in the end all we really have is family. Friends come and go, (a few stick with you through thick and thin) but family is connected by roots and branches weaved together to create a tight mesh that holds us together. Love strongly, forgive freely and set your sights on the future.

The legacy we want to leave behind is one of love!



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New Beginnings 

Emmy gave a talk at New Beginnings tonight. (New Beginnings is a welcoming for the girls turning 12 this year and moving into the young women’s program.) The leaders and some of the older girls give talks to introduce the new girls to the young women’s theme:
And teach them about the virtues listed in the theme. It also helps reaffirm them to the older girls, it’s a good review for everyone.

Each virtue has a color associated with it:


EmmaLece was asked to give a 3 minute talk on one of these virtues. Em gets really nervous speaking in public and she really didn’t want to do it, but she sat down and started to research and write her talk.  She got a good start. Her dad read it over and said he would look up a few talks on the subject that she could read and maybe use some of one to add to what she had written. 

When she got home from school, her dad had found a good talk for her to read and hopefully use in her talk. She read over it and when I arrived home, I helped her pick and choose parts of the talk then she typed it up. After reading it through she had about a 5 min talk ready to go.  

We arrived at church and she was becoming nervous, trying to remember to breathe deeply and be brave.  The leaders gave their talks and then the young women got up in turn and gave their talks. EmmaLece continued to have increasing nerves as the other girls gave one and two minute talks. She really didn’t want to do it, but we smiled at her and gave her encouragement.

She wore a dark purple blouse to represent her virtue.


She got up and shared her talk: 

Integrity
I was asked to speak on integrity. In a talk titled “True Blue, Through and Through” by Sheri L. Dew, she says: “Today I want to talk with you about a virtue that is just plain smart and that will have as much impact on your happiness, your peace of mind, and your ability to fulfill your life‚Äôs mission as any virtue I can think of.

It is a virtue that will ultimately make you or break you. It will make or break you as a husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister, colleague or friend or leader. It will make or break your career. And most significantly, it will make or break your efforts to achieve exaltation. For it will define your relationship with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

This is a virtue that every man or woman of God must come to possess in increasing degrees. It is a virtue found in every true follower of Jesus Christ.  

 It is the virtue of integrity.

We tend to define integrity as honesty. And without question, it includes that. But telling the truth is just the beginning of integrity.” Close quote. 

The dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. What are moral principles? Moral principles are good standards. So, integrity means the quality of being honest and having good moral standards. 

Integrity is the foundational virtue upon which all other virtues are dependant. It is the first rung on the character ladder. Where there is integrity, other virtues will follow. Where there is no integrity, other virtues have no chance of developing. (Sheri L. Dew- True Blue, Through and Through)

President Joseph F. Smith called integrity ‚Äúthe cornerstone of character‚ÄĚ (4 April 1897 General Conference). And President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of integrity this way: ‚ÄúMen and women of integrity understand intrinsically ( in an essential or natural way) that theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before anyone‚ÄĚ (Standing for Something, 29). 
Sheri Dew has seven suggestions to help us become men and women of integrity:

“1. Decide today, once and for all, that you will be worthy of trust-the trust of family and friends, colleagues and business associates, and most of all, the Lord. The more the Lord trusts you, the more knowledge and power He will give you. The Holy Ghost is not able to inspire or endorse the words or actions of someone who is not true and who can‚Äôt be trusted. So decide now, today, once and for all, that at all cost you will be a man or woman of integrity who can be trusted.

2. Have faith that the Lord can and will help you, and then diligently seek His help. Challenges that test our faith are almost always opportunities to strengthen our faith. So believe the Lord will help you, and then diligently seek after His help.

3. Make covenants and keep them. In other words, do what you say you will do. This begins with keeping the covenants you made at baptism and again in the House of the Lord, and then being precisely, completely true to those covenants.

But it also includes being fair and square with others. Here is a sample checklist: Do you do what you say you will do, or do you often make excuses for not coming through? Will you rationalize taking advantage of someone else if it is to your advantage? Are you doing your own classwork? Do you give your best effort at work or just put in time? Do you pay a full tithe? Are you really living the Honor Code? Would you date your best friend’s boyfriend behind her back? Are you honest with those you date, or are you leading someone on because no one better has come along and you don’t want to sit home Friday night? Are you straight with your parents about how you spend their money? If you could improve your chance for graduate school by cheating, would you do it? What DVDs do you watch and web sites do you visit when you’re alone? Are you honest and moral in the dark of night as well as broad daylight? Are you true to those who have trusted you with their love and confidence? Are you living worthy of the kind of man or woman you hope to marry, and of the children whom our Father will entrust to your care?

4. Stand up for what you believe. In fact, look for every opportunity to do so. Don’t be showy or loud about it, and please don’t ever criticize or judge others in the process. But relish every opportunity to stand for something, to be true to what you know is right.

5. Expect your integrity to be challenged. Metaphorically speaking, be on the lookout for Potiphar‚Äôs wife. She will show up again and again. Be ready to leave your cloak in her hand and flee again and again, because Satan won‚Äôt tempt you just once. Moses had to resist Satan‚Äôs temptations four times. And he had to tell Satan to beat it four times before he finally left‚Äďand that was after ranting and raving, weeping and wailing, and exposing Moses to the bitterness of hell (see Moses 1:19-22).

6. Don‚Äôt give up. This is a lifelong process. No one except the Savior will live a perfect life, and no one is perfected in a day. It takes time and sheer work to develop and refine our integrity. Heber J. Grant said it this way: ‚ÄúI know of no easy formula for success. Persist, persist, PERSIST; work, work, WORK‚Äďis what counts in the battle of life‚ÄĚ

7. Covenant‚Äďor perhaps I should say, renew your covenant‚Äďwith our Father and His Son to do what you came here to do. For doing what we agreed to do premortally is the ultimate expression of our integrity.

There is no such thing as slightly breaking a law‚Äďwhether a law of the land or a law of God‚Äďbecause even a slight breach of integrity opens the door for Satan.” Close quote.

The color that was chosen for this value is purple, so when ever you see the color purple, think of integrity. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

By the time she made it to the last point, she was a bit teary but she made it through to the “amen” and ran for the bathroom.  I followed her as did one of the leaders and her best bud.  They gave her hugs and told her what a great job she had done.  Everyone was impressed with her ability to do just what she had been asked to do. She is working on developing the virtue of Integrity! We are so pleased with her accomplishments. 

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Im getting a new title…

It has been a while since I blogged and a lot has happened. ¬†Life moves quickly and we can’t seem to slow it down at all! (Here’s a quick overview of the last few years…)

Three children have graduated from high school!  How does this happen?

Cody graduated in 2013

Cody served a mission in Buenos Aries, Argentina from Feb 2014 till July 2015.

Shantel graduated in 2014

Shantel joined her Aunt Colleen and cousin, Maja on a trip to Hawaii.

Savanna graduated in 2016

Savanna excelled in sports and academics, visited a college and made a plan (at least for a year!). She took a once in a lifetime trip to Australia with Down Under Sports and competed in a multi-nation track and field meet in the discus and the shot put. What an experience she had.

My other three children have grown up as well: Robby is a junior now. He excels in sports, academics and music. He spent two summers at Scout camp working and learning. He took a trip to Washington DC with the NRA and had a wonderful time. He is considering joining the Marines.

The twins: Scott and EmmaLece are in the 7th grade!

Scott tried wrestling and although he never won a match, he had a great time and plans to join the team again.  He loves playing the drums and feels the rhythm of life everywhere!

EmmaLece loves to sing and competed in the music festival earning a superior rating on her solo! She broke her arm.

This year has been especially busy. In February Cody got married!  That resulted in a 900 mile (one way) trip to the happy event.

Savanna graduated from high school with honors.

We learned we are to be grandparents come November, thanks to Cody and Megan. (The ultrasound says it’s a girl!)

Shantel got engaged and then married in August. Closer to home only about an hour and half drive to Medicine Rocks State Park.

Savanna went off on her new adventure: college 9 hours away!

The twins turned 12 in July and were able to go to the temple this past Saturday (September 10, 2016) for the first time. They had a good experience and we had a memorable drive home. Somehow the cap to the coolant was off and the engine overheated. We spent a good 45 mins on the side of the freeway until we were rescued and able to head on home.

So on to this new title: Grandma! I’m still not sure how I feel about that?! I want a cool gramma name, that much I do know. As I think on this new title, I think of what a grandma is and how can I possibly live up to that? What comes to mind first when you hear the words Grandma and Grandpa? ¬†The faces of all the grandparents I’ve had or borrowed come to mind and all the things they did for me. What they taught me and how they shaped who I have become is in the forefront of my mind. ¬†What have I got to offer? ¬†How will I be an influential part of their lives? How will these future grandkid remember me? ¬†Am I ready for this? (Not that I have much of a choice! Hahaha! I am excited to watch my children experience this new adventure: ¬†Parenthood!)

Who were my grandparents and what did I learn from them? ¬†I had my Grampa Sam and Gramma Booher and my Gramma Grace. ¬†Admittedly, we spent more time with my mom’s parents than with my dad’s mom. I do wish I had gotten the opportunity ¬†to know Gramma Grace better, but she didn’t drive and I guess it was more work for us to get to her house. Whatever the reason, we didn’t go often and she passed away many years ago. ¬†It may be what motivates me to want to be an¬†approachable involved gramma. ¬†My Gramma Booher drove and she saw the importance of us at least getting to know gramma Grace some. She would take us over for a few days visit. ¬†My opinion of her was a very quiet, private person who kept a very tidy house and grew beautiful flowers. ¬†Gramma and Grampa Booher, on the other-hand, were adventurous; taking road trips, going fishing or out to cut wood. They grew a huge garden, gramma bottled a lot of stuff and made us clothing and quilts. ¬†She was a robust little woman who knew what she wanted. ¬†She was talented and she shared what she had with those around her. ¬†My grampa was funny and fun. We learned how to chase the neighbors cows away with a slingshot and a water hose. We learned how to sing the alphabet backwards and all about bottle hounding (Collecting old bottles and how best to display them for maximum color.). ¬†Gramma tried to impart her knowledge to us, patiently teaching how to sew (Sadly, she gave up on me, I did manage to make a duck pillow!). I think it was Gramma Grace who attempted to teach me to crochet (I wasn’t very good or patient with myself and it took me until I was in my 20’s to give those skills another go.)

When I got married, I gained another set of grandparents: Bob and Dorothy Herrin (Nana and Papa). What a wonderful cute couple they were. ¬†We had the opportunity to live rather close to them (In the same city! What a treat, to visit my grandparents, as a child it was about a 3-4 hour drive!) I was determined to to get to know them to not take them for granted. I hoped to make memories for my young children with them. ¬†I made it a point to take them at least once a week for a lunch visit. ¬†I went to craft days with Nana and learned with her. She was a very talented lady (a lot like gramma Booher). I was sad to leave Vegas knowing it would not be often we would get to see them. Sadly, the twins never met Papa, we never got the chance to take them to Vegas before he passed on. Nana came to Montana to visit and ended up living out the rest of her days here. All of my children were able to spend time with her and help to care for her in her last years. ¬†It was hard to see age take it’s toll on her, but I hope that my children learned compassion, service and love for their great-grandma. ¬†I hope that they have learned that grandparents deserve respect and admiration and love for they are the matriarchs and patriarchs of our family. ¬†They paved the way for us and them and for their future children. ¬†Age is a vicious thing! When we are young we dream only of growing up and doing more and when we are grown we yearn for our youth.

As I approach the cusp of this new adventure, I want to be all of these grandparents best qualities. I want my children to be able to see the many great and wonderful qualities that their grandparents have. I want my children to love, cherish, respect and enjoy making memories with their grandparents. I want my children to honor their grandparents living or not. I want them to remember that grandparents are the make-up of their parents and thusly of them.  When my children look in the mirror, do they see them smiling at them in love and pride for who they have become?  Becoming a parent and a grandparent is carrying on a legacy of love, sacrifice and service. I reach for this new title with excited shaky hands and a prayer that I will be the best of all that came before me!

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2013 The Elves Adventures Begin 

The elves heard the kids talking about putting up the Christmas tree, they also heard how tired people were and so decided to just help out a little.
    
It was a bit of work, but Lily and Fredwardo are pretty tricky elves!

  
The next evening, they found the box of Little People.

 
With a little teamwork they were able to have quite a bit of fun.
Since they are new to our house, there are a lot of things and places to explore. One never knows what to expect in the morning. 

   
This evening they did a little exploring and decorating. 
Lily and Fredwardo found that we have a great Little People Nativity and a fun Christmas book. Who doesn’t love a good Christmas story?

  
They learned quick that there many things they don’t know. Lily and Fredwardo are quick though and took to the web to find this fun string game to share with Scott and Em.

  
A Christmas carol is always a good idea.

  
With a little creative stacking the elves were able to get up to the window and have a peak outside.

  
Paper airplanes are so much fun that Lily and Fredwardo thought they’d make a few.

  
Phase 10 was next to be conquered by our good little elves. 

  
Lily was thinking hard about creating something fun, but then she fell asleep under a few papers.

  
Fredwardo got busy crafting and made some fun snowflake decorations.

  
I’m not sure if lily and Fredwardo were playing hide and seek or trying to fold the laundry.

  
A snowball fight! What creative elves have come to visit us.

  
Digging through the books they came up with this fun one.  

 Do you know how much fun it is to read and play along with these Can You See What I See books? Fredwardo and lily sure had a good time.

  

 
They were curious about the crochet project laying out. I guess they thought they could finish up the rug for Rez. They might have bitten off more than they could chew‚Ķ. But it’s always good to learn new things.

  
This evening, they wanted to remind Scott and Em about the true meaning of Christmas and drew them some pictures.

  
They have been paying attention to our nightly routine and have message of reminder for us all.

  
They sometimes need to climb a little to find a nice place to just rest!

  
Lily and Fredwardo found the kitchen and discovered the wonder of baking.those look like really yummy cookies!

  
The twins had to wrap up the mugs for the exchange. Such good helpers.

  
Checking out the African mounts: Impala and blesbok.

     
Card houses, I used to make these or try to when I was a kid. Lily and Fredwardo did a good job with theirs. 

    
All that building worked up a good appetite and they decided some banana bread would make a yummy snack. I sure like helper elves like Lily and Fredwardo.

   
 A little game of hide and seek is always fun.

  
Fredwardo decided to check things out in Scott’s room.

  

  
Lily went down to Em’s room, but as she got in the door, Em started to rummage around. She spent the evening guarding the door.

  
With Fredwardo and Lily on the job, the presents were successfully placed under the tree and Scott’s plan to capture Santa foiled! 

#christmaselves #lilyandfredwardoadventures

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Christmas Elves

December 2012 Scott and Em heard about the Elf on a Shelf and wanted one. I did a little research and didn’t like that elf! I found a cute Christmas Elf crochet pattern and told them I’d make them a cool elf.   
This is Lily and she is the first I made. I followed the instructions, but wasn’t really happy with the results. So I made a few changes for Scott‚Äôs elf.

  
Meet Fredwardo, he and lily are going to have many adventures each December! We don’t tolerate naughty elves in this house, so let’s hope that they are helpful and fun loving elves!

#christmaselves #lilyandfredwardo 

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Verizon is NOT on my good side…..

My daughter recently turned 18 and she went down and got a pay by the month Verizon phone. She has not had a problem with it and was wanting to upgrade to a 2 year contract so she could have an iPhone. ¬†We figured a valid driver’s license would be sufficient to open an account, after-all it is proof of ID and age, right?

A little backstory on my daughter, Shantel: she has been working at the same place since she was 15, has purchased 3 vehicles with her earnings from said job, she has paid us for her insurance since she was 16, she is paying for the college classes she is taking while still in high school and she is very money savvy.

She goes into the Verizon Wireless authorized retailer in our area and fills out all the required paperwork, after they run the information¬†corporate headquarters (customer service) informs the local dealer that she must send in a copy of her driver’s license and her social security card as proof that she is 18. ¬†Well I’m totally old school on social security cards and numbers. ¬†I’m highly against them being used as a form of ID. ¬†I sent her birth certificate with her as proof of age along with her license. ¬†It was rejected by headquarters because it was not the SSN card!

notid

(notice the ‘not for identification’ that use to be printed right on the cards?!)

I went on to the government page on social security¬†¬†and as I already knew that social security numbers were never intended as a means of identity. ¬†Here’s the reason it was created:

“The Social Security Act (Act of August 14, 1935) [H. R. 7260]

An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes.” (the whole act is there to read, I’m not going to paste it here though.)

Basically it is for the government to know what you have paid into Social Security to provide for you in your old age and to provide for disabled persons.  Nowhere does it say this is a form of ID.

Another page on the site states this:

“The use of the Social Security number (SSN) has expanded significantly since its inception in 1936. Created merely to keep track of the earnings history of¬†U.S.¬†workers for Social Security entitlement and benefit computation purposes, it has come to be used as a nearly universal identifier. Assigned at birth, the¬†SSN¬†enables government agencies to identify individuals in their records and businesses to track an individual’s financial information. This article explores the history and meaning of the¬†SSN¬†and the Social Security card, as well as the Social Security Administration’s (SSA‘s)¬†SSN¬†master file, generally known as the Numident. The article also traces the historical expansion of¬†SSN¬†use and the steps¬†SSA¬†has taken to enhance¬†SSN¬†integrity.”

Later in the article is states that the thinking of the citizens has changed and people are not as willing to use the SSN as ID :

“December¬†2004,¬†IRTPA¬†legislation prohibited states from displaying the¬†SSN¬†on driver’s licenses or motor vehicle registrations. In 2007, the President’s Identity Theft Task Force (2007, 3) included among its¬†SSN¬†recommendations that “federal agencies should reduce the unnecessary use of¬†SSNs, the most valuable commodity for an identity thief.”

On November¬†18, 2008, President George¬†W. Bush issued¬†EO¬†13478 rescinding the 1943¬†EO¬†requiring all federal agencies to use the¬†SSN¬†as an identifier. Then in December, the¬†FTC¬†(2008) issued a plea to companies, schools, and other private entities to find better ways to authenticate identities than using the¬†SSN. State and local entities have begun to delete¬†SSNs on electronic versions of public records. Congress has also considered legislation that would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to use an alternative to the¬†SSN¬†as the Medicare claim number. Even¬†SSA, which created the¬†SSN¬†for its program use, has ceased to print the full¬†SSN¬†on some of its correspondence with beneficiaries (Lockhart¬†2002). The agency now advises individuals to keep their Social Security card in a safe place and not to carry it with them (SSA¬†2007a).”

After reading these articles on the government’s site I accompanied my daughter back to the local store to try and enlighten Verizon Wireless in these matters. ¬†The local guy contacted headquarters and then gave me the phone. ¬†I gave the woman on the other end the ‘what-for’ and after informing me that the conversation was being recorded, then said she couldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t the one on the “contract” . I gave the phone to Shantel and she also told them that she would not be providing a copy of her SSN card as it is not a valid form of ID. ¬†She then asked to speak to a manager or someone who could actually address the problem. ¬†The woman gave her another 800 number to call and talk to them. ¬†When she asked to just be transferred, she was told: ¬†“I don’t have the authority to transfer you.”
After a few more words with the local guy about the stupidity of this requirement which is only for young adults, we left.

I then went to Verizon Wireless’s FaceBook page and left this:

It’s really quite insane that in order for an 18 yr old to have their own contract you require a faxed copy of a social security card! You do realize that SSN# is not meant for that, right? The purpose of SSN# is for tracking how much you’ve paid into social security, so that you can be properly compensated after your reach the age of retirement. You should check out the government site in reference to social security and see that it is not recommended that places use this number to identify a person as it sets one up for identity theft! The number itself is on the application, to require a physical copy is asinine!

Here is their reply (which I was happy to see they took me semi seriously.  I will post the comments as of now):

Verizon Wireless¬†Hi Carrie, I apologize for any frustration with needing to provide the requested information. There is another option available. Please bring the needed information into one of our corporate stores. This way the information can be given without it being faxed in. Here’s a link to our store locator¬†http://bit.ly/3SdsA¬†Ed

www.verizonwireless.com

    • Carrie Flynn Keiser¬†The problem is that showing a SSN card in no way proves you are 18. There’s no birthdate on it, no photo of the person. Willingly we provided a drivers license and a birth certificate as proof of age and the SS# was on the application. That should have covered the age issue. Thank you for responding.
      Like · Reply · 3 hrs · Edited
  • Carrie Flynn Keiser¬†I’m not impressed with AT&T either as they gave¬†Cody Keiser¬†the
    amount he needed to make his account current and buy out the contract since he was leaving for 2 years. The amount was paid and the phone given to his grandpa. When grandpa tried to activate the phone, they were told an additional $250 needed to be paid!
    Like · Reply · 2 hrs
    • Verizon Wireless¬†I can understand your point, Carrie. However, we still use the SSN information as a valid way to verify an account and information. I suggest going to a local store with all that you mentioned such. Presenting the driver’s license can go along with the SSN card that would match the name up and be considered a valid document. Ed
      Like · 2 hrs
  • Carrie Flynn Keiser¬†Like I said the number was on the application. The birth certificate is a much more valid form of proving ID. As that is what is required for obtaining a valid drivers license or a passport. No state or government issuing ID requires PRESENTATION of the actual card. It is stated right on the card that it is not to be carried around. After looking at the government website and reading that legislation has been put thru stating states can no loner require the SSN on the licenses, I think you should re-think your ID policies. We also live no where near a corporate store.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

I also reposted the original post to my FaceBook page and asked people to like and share it.  I went one step farther and created a photo to go along with this post:

Warning to all the¬†#responsible¬†young adults, you too might run into a snag when wanting to get your own phone contract with¬†#VerizonWireless. They have this crazy policy that requires a physical copy of your#sociasecuritycard¬†as a second¬†form of proof of age! WHAT?! even though you put your number on the contract and present your driver’s license as proof of your age, they will require a faxed copy of both sent to their home office. now if you want to vote, you can present your driver’s license or your birth certificate as proof of age, same if you’d like to get a passport, but heaven forbid you present them as proof of age to Verizon Wireless! Spread the word people! We’ve all heard how social media can be a great help, let’s help others who might be considering proving they are an adult ready for adult responsibilities!

¬†‚ÄĒ with¬†Shantel Keiser.

Photo: Warning to all the #responsible young adults, you too might run into a snag when wanting to get your own phone contract with #VerizonWireless.  They have this crazy policy that requires a physical copy of your #sociasecuritycard as a second form of proof of age!  WHAT?! even though you put your number on the contract and present your driver's license as proof of your age, they will require a faxed copy of both sent to their home office.  now if you want to vote, you can present your driver's license or your birth certificate as proof of age, same if you'd like to get a passport, but heaven forbid you present them as proof of age to Verizon Wireless!  Spread the word people!  We've all heard how social media can be a great help, let's help others who might be considering proving they are an adult ready for adult responsibilities!
3Like ·  · Stop Notifications · Promote ·  · Tag photo

I would love for this to be a “wake-up” call for Verizon Wireless, for them to realize that what they are requiring of these young people is a misuse of the SSN card and pretty much not legal. ¬†I would love for them to accept a birth certificate and driver’s license as forms of ID that prove age. ¬†I would love for them to realize that they are not helping these young adults to grow and become responsible citizens of this country. ¬†I want them to realize that if this is their policy then EVERY person wanting to sign a phone contract with them will also have to prove who they are with the same documents, or no dice!

Wake up Verizon Wireless! and any other company that thinks this is an acceptable ….. It’s NOT!

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS BLOG POST AND GET THE WORD OUT!

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