Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Letter

The following is a letter written to the Oregon Department of Revenue Suspense Unit ["Suspense," I'm sure, because they hold you in "suspense" as you wait for your tax return]:
We are responding to the disturbing letter dated 2.23.10 which indicated that, in essence, you don't believe our 2009 tax filing because of the size of our family.  Specifically, we have seven children.

Your letter requests that we provide you with evidence that they exist and that they spend the majority of their time with us in our home.  

Below are the full names, date of birth, and Social Security numbers of our children.  These are the same names and dates and Social Security numbers that have been used for tax reporting since their births:

Name                                     Date of Birth                          Social Security Number
Q R Hess                                                   
G S Hess                                                     
D J Hess                                                              
B A Hess                                                   
A J Hess                                                         
T A Hess                                                  
L J Hess  
In addition, we have provided copies of all of their birth certificates.  You may find it interesting that all of them were born in Oregon.  Don't you have records of this??  

In addition, you will find the "Office Index Card" for each of our children who attend school.  For obvious reasons, the two youngest who are three and 8 months respectively, do not attend school. 

In addition,  please find a few pictures below of our children in different settings including time this past summer in Seaside and from our time in Yellowstone this summer.  We are happy to provide more pictures if needed, demonstrating the fact that these great kids live with us 24/7/365--including soccer games, basketball games, music concerts, pack meetings for scouts, Boy Scout court of honor pictures, church events, a picture of our 12 passenger vehicle purchased this year to drive our family around comfortably.   

If additional proof is required, we are happy to bring them by personally and let them spend some time in your offices.

In addition, I would be happy to invite Mr. Jeff Barker, Oregon State Representative and our next door neighbor to write a letter of reference indicating that he has seen AND heard our children regularly throughout the year. 

Lastly,  I am disappointed that the Oregon Department of Revenue has policies in place that challenge the integrity of solid, honest families who work hard to make Oregon great.  Furthermore, I'm even more disappointed that you feel obligated to have such a policy which must have come about due to the dishonesty of some. 

If the provided information is insufficient, please let us know.  We are enthusiastically awaiting our refund as we are anxious to invest our money in our family. 


P.S. Have a nice day.

Some pictures for your review:
Seaside  - July 2009

Yellowstone – August 2009

December 2009 – Christmas at the Beach House

Please disregard Grandma, Grandpa, K Hess (sister), S Hussey (Nephew), the two dogs, Santa and Mrs. Claus.  These individuals do not live with us to qualify as exemptions.

Just Life

I have been very brief in writing lately.  Shame on me!  There is so much going on here.  I think of all these things I'm going to blog about during a typical day, but none of them end up getting written.  So, today, I'm ending my silence.  Sad thing is, I really have nothing of importance to write about.  Please bear with me.

Our little L is crawling.  Not in the traditional sense.  At this point, it's the combat crawl.  She's also starting the sounds required to learn to speak English--"BaaBaa" and as of today, "MaaMaa."  It's all very exciting.

I want to upload a video of G and his dancing thing at the middle school, but I don't know how.  Ugh!  Usually I mess around with things until I've got it figured out, but I honestly can't see any links to doing it.  If you know how, would you please enlighten me?

I finished my Introduction to Family Processes class and have ventured into statistics, which so far, I'm enjoying completely--much to my surprise.  Not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.  It just has a bad rep.  I'm still working on my children's literature class too and have been reading like a fiend.  Just started The Whipping Boy with A today.  He and I finished Ramona's World yesterday.  DJ and I are reading A View From the Cherry Tree and B and I are reading Where the Red Fern Grows.  I also finished So Far from the Bamboo Grove and The Witch of Blackbird Pond this past week.

So, you can ask if my house nad children are still surviving me?  Amazingly, the kids seem to be doing well.  The house...hmm.  Well, I could do better.

Z and I got to participate in the Not So Newlywed game at the ward activity last night.  We were booted off the island, I guess you could say.  We, at almost 18 years, were the newly-est wed of the crew, so that 's my excuse as to why we came in last.  It's not my fault that he didn't know that his favorite amusement park ride is the bumper cars--the ride he takes the kids on every summer during the family reunion; he's not the amusement park kind of guy--that's my job.  Give me the ride, I'll take it!  The activity was great fun!

Q is sitting here playing piano while I type.  It's lovely.  I got her two books for Christmas, and it seems that she can't get enough of them.  She loves to play Broadway hits.

Two of our boys are suffering from asthma stuff again.  Seems to never end.

All in all, life is good.  I can't say I'm not getting nervous about all the earthquakes around the world right now.  We have a friend serving a mission in Concepcion, Chile, and are happy to know that he's okay.

This coming week, I'm going to make time for blogging.  It's so therapeutic, and I may even do more than throw a link at you with a short comment attached.  Just wait and see...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Favorites - A Good Book

I'm in the middle of my children's literature class and am enjoying it whole-heartedly.  The Witch of Blackbird Pond is the latest book I've finished.  I enjoyed it a lot.  I anticipated it to be heavy and difficult to read, but it was surprisingly not.  Of the books I've read for this class, I would say this is the one I liked the most.  I finished it in two days, so it's not a long belabored read either.

My twelve-year-old daughter started sex ed this week in health class.  She commented on the first day how all the boys in her class would laugh any time a body part was mentioned.  It got so her entire class would giggle.  She was annoyed by this.

Yesterday she came home and shared that during health class the word "penis" was used.  Two boys immediately started to laugh.  DJ then said out loud, "Get a LIFE!"  It caught everyone off guard; they all started laughing.  I think there won't be any more immature giggling this term.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--HAIR!!! Can you see it?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Favorites

I'm LOVING my Blackberry right now!

I had a really ancient one.  I always seem to settle for just whatever when it comes to spending lots of money.  I'll almost always go older or second rate to save a few bucks.  It's just part of who I am. 

While with family during the Christmas vacation, my brother in law offered me his old Blackberry, which was a LOT newer than the dinosaur I was using.

The thing I love about this contraption is that my checklist of thing s to do is incorporated right in with my calendar.  I don't miss a thing.  I have these things that repeat daily, weekly, monthly and yearly and items that I write in just for that day.  I can put a priority on them and write a specific list of tasks that need to be done for that item and then just mark it completed when I'm done.  If it's a repeater, it'll go straight to the next time it needs to be done.

I'm fairly convinced that I"m one of the most distractable people out there.  It takes nothing for me to get off onto a million and a half jobs at the same time and not get one thing finished.  Now, I just concentrate on the next task on the list, and it's all good.

I have tried so many different ways to organize myself and get myself to be more productive, but after nearly three months of this, I'm doing so much better.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

FHE Resources: Education

Two weeks ago, we started basing our Family Home Evening lessons on the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.  This week, we will learn about education.  As I've done some searching for information to share with our family, I've run across some really wonderful resources.  Just in case anyone else might be interested in using them, I thought I'd share them with you here.

The Church has a new website intended for the young men and young women
There is a link at the very top dedicated to For the Strength of Youth.  On each page, the pamplet information is written, and in many, there is a video link at the bottom.  I wish we had used this resources the past two weeks in our efforts to teach our kids; this week we will definitely spend the eight minutes required to watch the video on education.

Another great Family Home Evening resource I ran across a number of years ago is linked to the Deseret Book website.  Here is their lesson on education.  From what I understand, if you go into Deseret Book on a Monday, they have these lessons there available for anyone who asks for free.  Again, this is rumor I've heard; I've never taken advantage of this myself to tell you if it's really true.  As you can see, their lessons come complete with treat recipes. 

I think for the lesson I will be teaching, we're going to have an ice cream sundae bar, building on the analogy offered by Elle in the video.  I may even tag each topping with some facet of education or experience the kids might have some time in life.

A couple of the facets of this topic I want to cover with my kids are the importance of building good habits now and becoming self-motivated (setting goals, etc.).  I also want to talk about the fact that getting a good education is a commandment.  It being such, Heavenly Father will help us to attain it (3 Ne. 3:7), but we must do our part and exercise faith by saving money for this purpose.  This will become a topic for a Family Council discussion and an opportunity for goal setting.

The most important thing I want my kids to leave this lesson with is an understanding of what they each need to do to improve their education right now.  For each child, it's different.  I think we'll end with each writing down a goal for this coming week, and I will follow up with each as he/she gets home from school each day.

So, there it is.  I also wanted to mention that I ran across a blog that's great when you're in a time crunch.  There are quite a few out there based on Family Home Evening, but you might want to check out  It didn't have this particular topic, but there are many, and it seems that they are made with small children in mind.  Then, of course, there is the king daddy of them all.

Have a great Family Home Evening!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Since When... 14 year old boys like to dance?

Every year, the middle school my kids attend does what's called a "Winter Fest."  I believe the purpose of this evening is to showcase what the kids are learning.

One thing that the 8th graders are doing is partner dancing.  When this all started, G would come home all bummed because they "had to dance today."  This went on for days.

All of a sudden, a couple weeks ago, his tone completely changed.
Me:  "How was the day?"
G:  "Good.  We danced today."
Me:  "Huh?"

Then I started hearing the name Annalise.

So, here's what went down about two weeks ago.  Annalise approached G and told him that she wanted to be his partner because if not, some "short" guy was going to ask her.  I think G was thrilled, and now that I've looked through his facebook friends, I can see why.  HaHa!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spring Break

Wanna see where we're staying for spring break?

Here's a little sneak peek.

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