Monday, August 13, 2012

Circus Juventus

Circus Juventus is a not for profit circus school for kids. They put on a performance at the end of summer and it is AMAZING!! It is in the style of cirque-de-soleil performances. The theme was "Showdown" with Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp. The first half was almost an hour and forty five minutes which was a bit much for the kids, Dru especially. We chose to spare the people around us and head to the park instead of returning after intermission. The performers were ages 10-21 and were spectacular. We hope for more patience in our little girl for next year!

MNCM to see Curious George

A little mini golf

Sliding out of a rocket

They both loved the musical area

The Upcoming Election

In less than 3 months Minnesota will be voting on a very important issue. The issue of marriage. I am usually not overly personal on this blog but I feel it's time I put down my feelings on the MN marriage amendment. Julie and I have been together for nearly 16 years and have two beautiful children. It took us great love, commitment, and financial strains to have these children. With or without them we still need the protections being married would bring. We ask that you think of us and our children when heading to the polls in November.

It goes without saying that we also would like to show our love to each other to our friends and family and to God. We were made in His image and He loves us unconditionally. Commitment to another person is about love, respect, faith, trust and friendship, not gender. I don't believe that the public should be able to vote on legislation that is discriminatory but here we are. This amendment, even if it fails (which is what we want), would not allow us to marry but it would make it possible in the future. Changing the constitution is a scary deal. Here will be the wording of the amendment:

"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?"
YES     NO

There are more than 1,000 rights that protect married couples today. I will only share a few of them but these are some of the ones that are the most obvious.

Examples of marriage laws we are not afforded:
(exerpt from

Tax Benefits

  • Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
  • Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Estate Planning Benefits

  • Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
  • Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
  • Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
  • Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

Government Benefits

  • Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
  • Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
  • Receiving public assistance benefits.

Employment Benefits

  • Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
  • Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
  • Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
  • Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

Medical Benefits

  • Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
  • Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Death Benefits

  • Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
  • Making burial or other final arrangements.

Family Benefits

  • Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
  • Applying for joint foster care rights.
  • Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
  • Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

Housing Benefits

  • Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
  • Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Consumer Benefits

  • Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
  • Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
  • Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

Other Legal Benefits and Protections

  • Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
  • Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
  • Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
  • Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Annual Twins Game

View from our seats

Leo being silly

Dru with T.C.!!

Everyone having a great time!

 After the game on the field

For the third year in a row my parents took all of us to a Twins game for our Christmas gift. This year was a win against the Cleveland Indians (5-1)!! The kids did a little better sitting still so I was able to see a bit more of the actual baseball game. After the game the kids (and grandpa) were able to run around the bases. They loved it and I know grandpa liked helping Leo around the bases, he made sure Leo touched all of them :) Thanks G & G, we had another memorable day!