A Message From Wendy
A friend stopped me the other day and asked why I hadn't been doing my posts. She was right. It has been a while. I thought to myself, "Hey, school is out for the summer, I have a nice break from teaching, I'm going to be up in Washington with Rich, why not start it up again?" So here I am, sitting down to write, and I have no idea where to start.
There has been so much going on these first few months. All of our boys have graduated and two of them, Ryan and Casey, have deployed to Iraq. Our third son Kyle is in the Army National Guard, training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. And finally, there is all the hard work and long hours Rich has been putting in in Washington and back in the District.
I really can't tell you how proud I am of all of them. It's been a little over six months since Rich started in Congress and even though it's been tough having him away so much of the time, I know he feels really good about what he's doing. Every night, when things quiet down up there, I get a call from him and he fills me in on all the details.
It's amazing how much his stories have changed over the months. In the beginning, it was all so new and he was trying to figure it all out. Now, he is focused and he knows where he's going. It really has been impressive to see him get a handle on things so quickly. I like to tape C-SPAN and watch it when I get home to see him fighting and working for us.
I think it's been a real adjustment getting used to a new city and understanding how DC works. A lot of Congressmen have spent their careers in politics, but Rich is used to being Sheriff. He's used to being able to make decisions about what needs to happen. Now, he has to wait on 434 other people to make up their mind before anything gets done. I think that's a little frustrating for him.
The other big challenge for him in the beginning was getting familiar with the ins and outs of all of these federal policies. He was telling me the other day that the tax code is 70,000 pages long! There must only be three people in the world who know everything that is in there (a scary thought by itself). I can't imagine trying to learn all of those little provisions and policies, but Rich has been working hard and studying and now, when I talk to him, he seems like such an expert on so many of these issues. I just couldn't be prouder of him.
The trick now is getting his colleagues in line so they can really make a difference for the country.
October 18, 2010
This campaign has allowed my family and me to get out and meet our neighbors in a way that only a campaign can. From the Watermelon festival to a good old fashioned barn dance, these festivities have allowed us to get to know so many wonderful people who share our love for our little corner of Florida. While these festivals are a great way to spend our Saturdays, home is truly the heart of this campaign.
Not our home per say, but the homes of our neighbors across this wonderful district. I cannot get over the kindness and hospitality that so many wonderful people have shown Rich, our campaign and our family. They have opened their homes to us to bring together people who all share the common goal of serving our nation and putting our country back in the right direction.
I will treasure the time spent with you most and will always be grateful to our wonderful neighbors whom we now get to call great friends.
Pictures From The Campaign
Wendy Talking to Voters at "Meet and Greet"
Wendy Listening to the concerns of constituents
Wendy talking to small business owner
October 5, 2010
Each year I introduce my students to a litany of great
authors and their historic literary masterpieces. By the end of the year,
it is my goal for each of them that they not only complete each reading
assignment, but that they understand it and can apply it to many different
facets of their lives. However, my hope for each of my students goes far
beyond assigned readings. I hope that through this curriculum, they each
develop a true love and appreciation for reading. I wish for each of them
to know the joy of taking advantage of a quiet afternoon to pick up a book, and
allow it to take their imagination where it will.
Of course we don't just read for entertainment. Personally, I turn to reading for enrichment, advice, to brush up on my history, or to learn more about a new found hobby. Here are a few titles that are currently sitting on my nightstand, patiently waiting for me to find a quiet moment, when I can pick them up again. I hope one will pique your interest.
- Devotions for Women on the Go by Stephen Arterburn and Pam Farrel: Given to me by a dear friend, this is a book offers a daily devotional for all 365 days of the year. I read it daily and am now on my second time through. This time, I am using my Bible to look up each scripture reference.
- Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet: I just finished this book and am now reading his follow up book, World Without End.
- Recommended Author: I love anything by Ann Rinaldi: The Last Silk Dress, Time Enough For Drums, An Acquaintance with Darkness. I love this author because she really researches the material, and gives the historical facts and context and what she takes liberty on, she always includes in her Author's Notes at the end of the book.
you have just finished a book that you're eager to recommend, send it my way, I
would love to add it to my list. Happy reading!
Getting Back To Basics
Over the years, some of our best conversations as a family have taken place around our dinner table. With three boys running in twelve difference directions, on any given day, it wasn't always easy to get all five of us around the dinner table at one time, but Rich and I tried our very best to make that a priority. As our boys have grown up and moved out, I have come to treasure that time together. Any time with family is special, no matter if it is breakfast or dinner.
During these tough times in our economy, more and more families are getting back to basics. We're cutting back on dining out and thus spending more time together, under the same roof, catching up the old fashioned way: around the dinner table.
It brings great comfort to be with your family during a stressful time, and in our family I try to provide some comfort food to go along with it. Sometimes I snoop around online for a new and adventurous recipe, but I've found that, at the end of the day, there's nothing better than a good family favorite.
Below is a recipe my mother-in-law passed down to me. A favorite of my boys’ who always want me to make it when they are home, especially around the holidays. The next time you are planning your family breakfast or dinner, I hope you will add it to your menu and let us know it if was a hit around your table as well.
Look forward to hearing from you soon. In the mean time, may God bless you and your home.
The Nugent Sausage & Egg Casserole
-1 lb mild sausage
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp dry mustard
-2 cups milk
-1 pack(4 oz) grated cheddar cheese
-6 slices bread
-Cook & drain sausage (set aside to cool)
-Beat eggs, salt & dry mustard
-Add milk & continue heating
-Remove crust from bread & cut in ½” slices.
-Add Cheese, sausage and bread cubes & stir with fork until blended
-Pour into lightly greased 9x13” pan
-Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min
Blue Star Mom
September 15, 2010
Raising three wonderful sons is my proudest achievement. And, as any mom knows, there is no greater joy than to watch your own children grow, follow their dreams and succeed. There are hardly words to express the pride my husband and I have felt as we have watched our sons grow into officers and gentlemen.
However, there is no emotion like the one that comes over you when you are faced with sending your son off to war. In spite of our nerves, Rich and I try everyday to show each of our sons just how very proud we are of them. We are truly grateful that they have answered their respective calls to serve. It is so important that we continue to show our pride and gratitude for each of our sons and daughters who serve our country. Unfortunately, too many of them do not have the strong support network back home that they both need and deserve.
Blue Star Mothers is a network of military moms who are dedicated to caring for our soldiers and veterans. Founded in 1942 in Flint, Michigan, they are most well known for sending tens of thousands of care packages to our troops, most especially those who do not receive mail on a regular basis.
This organization has made it their mission to make sure that every service man and woman knows that they have the support of a very grateful nation back home. While offering support to our soldiers, they also serve as a very necessary support system for each other. They are a sounding board for each others concerns and very often pull each other through the quiet moments that often come when a son or daughter is away for an uncertain amount of time. Supporting this organization is one way that we can all take an active roll in supporting our troops. I encourage you to visit BlueStarMothers.org and read a little bit more about the different initiatives they offer.
Thank you to all of the men and women who serve our nation, and to the parents and families who stand behind them. God bless you all and may God bless our great country that you are working so tirelessly to defend. Thank you for all that you do.
Words From Wendy
September 9, 2010
When I take a step back to think about our campaign, it truly reminds me of the
beginning of a new school year. The long nights of preparation that go on
behind the scenes are difficult, yet rewarding at the same time. And once
the year begins, I am always greeted with new and friendly faces, exciting
challenges, and the anticipation of a successful year.
Over the last few months and with the help of so many, we persevered on the campaign trail. I have had the pleasure of meeting new people who have graciously opened their arms and homes to my family and me. And while there have been some challenges along the way, Rich and I have found both new and old friends who have helped to keep us going through the tough times.
If there is one thing that I have learned from my 29-year career as a schoolteacher, it is that hard work and self-determination can bring about positive changes and provide for a brighter future. We're all pulling in the same direction, towards a better America.