Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The contempt shown to parents of large families How do you make a link to a web site without putting in th ewhole address? Plus I wonder if you can "join" or be "friends" with other google bloggers?

Since this blog is all about me, here's a stupid letter I just wrote to my brother in law in prison.

Dear Travis

I’m sorry I haven’t written to you. I haven’t felt like communicating with anyone at all since Michael died. Plus I feel guilty every time I sit at my computer and do anything besides Howards office work or the kids home school! (Ridiculous!) I didn’t even send Christmas cards or pictures. I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time in there. I would never wish misery on you.
We’re all ready for a new existence. We don’t want the same old experiences again. Up to this point our families life has been basically hell. No more. We want to move ahead. Move beyond the poverty, beyond the drug scene, beyond death. This family needs help. We could have used the help of Michael, and you for that matter. Michael is gone but you are still here. That’s what you need to focus on, what YOU can do to help this family. Because if one of us gets ahead we all will benefit. We need YOU to succeed. We DESPERATELY NEED THAT!
My hope is that we can help you and you can help us. Becca is really trying to move forward and get something going in her life so she’s never in the same impoverished and desperate situation she’s been in for so long. She wants the best for you. She just wants you to find that without her being your main focus. Focus on yourself and what you can do for your children and yourself. Be the best you can be. Your family is still here for you. But we need more out of life.
I really can’t even describe how things have been since you’ve been gone. Just trying to move on and move forward. I’m sure you heard that Howards dad died? It’s sad to know you’ll never in this life see a person again! Howards aunt Diana died last year of cancer too. We watched her breath her last. Our dog, blue, died too. That was horrible! This year another aunt of howards died. She was only 49 and has a teenage daughter! I think it was a prescription drug overdose. Her funeral was the same day in Colorado as howards grampa’s in Sandy! He went to his aunts. I’m sick of death. I’m sick of poverty. I’m sick of drugs. I’m sick of sadness. I’m sick of struggleing.
Aurora is 17 and has a drivers license. Howards mom gave her Pauls old jeep Cherokee. The engine was bad so they spent at l least 6 months and at least $2500. on it. I think you were still here when that was going on. She is pretty lazy though and won’t take the thing and find a job! I would think maybe she is just scared but really, I think she is lazy! She has a boyfriend lately. He seems like a nice kid. I’m afraid he’s probably a muscle head though. We’ve only been around him once. I hope she gets her ambition back and gets ready for college.
Malachi is always a worry. We’ve let him grow his hair out way too long. (as soon as schools out I’m cutting it!) It attracts the wrong kind of friends and girls. Girls love him! Some of his friends were kicked out of school because they brought prescription drugs and handed them out. At least Malachi wasn’t a part of it! I have the hardest time getting him to do his homework. What’s wrong with them anyway? I’m trying so hard to give them more than I had! It really bothers me. I want then to do more with their lives than I did! And i’m so busy trying to give them the confidance to do it! Zach and Kiara are home schooling this year. That’s worked out pretty well. We have new neighbors who happen to have kids their age. They’re very mormon of course. Zeke and Emerik go to 3 Peaks, Emerik in Kindergarten and Zeke in 4th. Zeke is always behind and that’s terribly stressful. It really makes me feel like a crappy parent! Emerik I think is doing great in school, even though his first teacher tries to make me think otherwise. He has 2 teachers because instead of going half day he goes all day. I love the second teacher. She’s really a good teacher. Then there’s the babies, Thad, Quade and Rowan. They are very busy and noisy! I don’t have enough lap for them and someone is always feeling left out. Abd at this point I’m ready to do something else with my life that can make us some money. I just don’t know what or how! Also there’s a part of me that feels sad about not having babies anymore. I wouldn’t mind just having more! You have to try and understand, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 18 years! That’s almost half my life! I’m addicted to it and don’t know what else I’m good for!
We are waiting to find out if our new water company is going to knock down our back buildings for a water line or if they’ll figure something else out. We found out that all our buildings behind our house are in the middle of an easement! That’s nice! And of course we’re still trying to add on but we know we can’t afford it!
Well, I know my letter is not funny in any way and I’m sorry. I don’t feel very funny ever. Life is SOOOOOO serious to me! I would really like to move somewhere we can make money and have fun. Aurora and malachi want to stay here. We’ll see.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Just Checking to see if I have anything to say.

The exciting occurrences of the day were,
Howard woke up with diarrhea so we definitely had to beg off going to CC for mothers day with Selena and family. We had already basically decided that last night anyway because Rowan has been sick all week with vomiting and diarrhea and Quade and Thad had fevers and coughs! I had picked up Zeke from school early on Friday with stomach complaints.
While Howard, myself, Rowan and Quade were in the shower Howard was feeling extremely ILL! He sat down and held Rowan while I washed up. Suddenly he just about kicked my feet out from under me and I had to stop myself from falling on him. I thought that was pretty weird especially since he didn’t apologize or anything! How rude! I finished rinsing my hair or whatever I was doing and slowly though, hmm, that IS weird! What’s wrong with him? I turned and found him slumped over with his head kinda rolled down on his chest. I could see one eye and it seemed to be open and staring! I said HOWARD! Did you pass out? Are you ok? He lifted his head and stammered “uh, what happened?” wow, that was freaky! So he’s been in bed all day except for later this afternoon when he actually felt well enough to have spaghetti. I’ve given him ibuprofen twice and made him some carob milk for the diarrhea.
Howard’s on the phone now with Jonnie, whose brother, Isaac, was badly hurt this morning while riding his bike in the Short Creek. Rose had called earlier to let us know. Jonnie says they had to life flight him to Las Vegas! It makes me glad we weren’t there this morning! I’m so afraid something like that is going to happen. Isaac is somewhat reckless I found out after the last time we played in the sand with him. Recklessness really bothers me.
Always working on getting malachi to do his homework. Why is that SOOOO difficult?

Polygamists from Texas unwelcome in Mexico Mormon community

Brent Lebaron is my brother in law.

Polygamists from Texas unwelcome in Mexico Mormon community
07:55 AM CDT on Thursday, May 8, 2008
By ALFREDO CORCHADO / The Dallas Morning News
COLONIA LeBARON, Mexico — Nestled in the foothills of Chihuahua's Sierra Tarahumara, a community of breakaway Mormons is worried that polygamists from the sect in Eldorado, Texas, will seek refuge here — much as the founders did when they fled Utah beginning in the 1890s.
The community has worked hard for generations to gain acceptance here.
Though polygamy is outlawed in Mexico — just as in the U.S. — about 15 percent of the community still maintains polygamous relationships, with men getting around the law by taking on what they term “spiritual wives.”
Even so, their message to those wanting to seek legal refuge in Mexico is clear: Don't even think about moving here.
“The last thing we need here are a bunch of outlaws,” said Lillian Tucker, 40, a mother of 18 who practices polygamy, but is against forcing minors into marriage. “I don't recommend anyone that's committing a crime or that's using religion to become a pedophile to come down here, because they're not going to be welcome.”
On April 3, Texas child welfare authorities raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a polygamist compound outside Eldorado, removing children because they believed underage girls were being forced into marriages and sex with older men. More than half of the 14- to 17-year-old girls — 31 of 53 — swept into state custody already have children or are pregnant, officials said. Officials now have custody of 464 children and also are investigating possible sexual abuse of boys.
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have denied there was any abuse. And civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the sweeping nature of the removals.
Here in Chihuahua, sympathy runs high for the Texas families split from their children. But most understand that something had to be done to protect minors.
“I'm very concerned about what's happening to so many children,” said Clary Jones, 52 and a former mayor of Galeana, the municipality that includes Colonia LeBaron.
Added Ms. Tucker: “They should go straight to the ones you feel are being abused and take care of them instead of traumatizing 400 and something children in the process.”
Some four hours southwest of El Paso, Texas, Colonia LeBaron is named after a polygamist who fled his native Utah in 1924 with his two wives and eight children. Alma Dayer LeBaron initially settled in Colonia Juárez, the first breakaway Mormon colony established in 1890, about 30 minutes from here.
But after polygamy was discontinued there, he moved his family to Galeana and founded what is known today as Colonia LeBaron, laying the groundwork for the Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times, an offshoot of the Mormon Church.
Ludicrous idea
For this community, the Eldorado case is once again testing their resolve to keep away those who may want to seek refuge — including some of whom may have relatives here.
Willie Jessop, a de facto spokesman in Eldorado for that group, said the idea that members of his sect would move to Mexico is ludicrous.
They want to stay near their children — most of whom are in foster care, Mr. Jessop said. And they may be disenchanted with the U.S. government, but they don't feel they'd have greater protection south of the border.
“I would never send any wife or child of mine down there,” he said.
Still, residents in LeBaron said they've seen this story play out before.
“My hope is that we stop that kind of stuff *,” said Brent Verlan LeBaron, a descendant of the founder, “but it's happened before.”
Some polygamists from a colony in Colorado City, Ariz., headed south after a 2002 raid there — to the Mexican states of Sonora or Chihuahua, both bordering the U.S.
Fundamentalist leader Orson William Black, another self-proclaimed prophet, fled for LeBaron.
When he arrived with three wives and an underage bride-to-be, residents kicked him out of town, locals said. Mr. Black is now believed to be hiding somewhere along this isolated mountainous region.
“We don't want trouble,” Mr. Jones said. “We're living our own way of life here and it's within the law and we're all trying to be productive citizens of Mexico* And trying to do the best we can. When somebody comes in like this, it makes it real difficult for everyone.”
Residents in this valley of apple orchards, pecan trees and alfalfa fields work as farmers and lead a quiet life devoted to their large families — the majority of whom are related to one another.
They blend in with Mexican residents, speak two languages and embrace both cultures.
Religion is no longer organized, though they gather weekly for bible study and read the Book of Mormon, they say.
Dwindling numbers
Polygamy in Colonia LeBaron today is only practiced by “consenting adults,” said Mr. Jones, who is widely respected as a community leader and bridge builder. He served as Galeana's first “American mayor,” a reference to his blonde hair and blue eyes, from 2001 to 2004.
Those who practice polygamy stay within the law by not being legally married to more than one person and their numbers are dwindling.
The Chihuahua native is married to one of Alma Dayer LeBaron's granddaughters and he does not practice polygamy.
“If we're doing plural marriage at all, we're doing it within the law, within freedom of choice,” Mr. Jones said. “And maybe that's why we're living plural marriage less and less because there is not the religious push anymore toward doing that.”
Ms. Tucker, for instance, is in a polygamous relationship as a spiritual wife, but none of her four married daughters practices polygamy. And that's fine with her.
Her children range in age from 7 months to 22 years of age. Her husband, whom she declined to name without his approval, has 14 children with her “sister wife.” She doesn't share her 7-bedroom home with her sister wife, but they get along just fine and their children consider themselves brothers and sisters, she said.
Mexicans tolerate their lifestyle, she said, even admire that “we're not hypocritical.”
“We share a husband. We love big families,” she said “But polygamy is not something I recommend to anyone unless you share the same fundamental religious beliefs because otherwise it could turn into a mess.”
As she presides over the organized chaos that is her home, Ms. Tucker turns her attention to the Eldorado situation and shakes her head.
“I'd tell the mothers, 'Wake up and use your common sense. Use your relationship with God, and if doesn't feel right, get the heck out of there,'” she said. “What were they thinking?”

Staff writer Emily Ramshaw and BELO TV U.S.-Mexico Bureau Chief Angela Kocherga contributed to this report.