It can be difficult for a larger family of young kids to participate in non-obligatory events, but when it was announced that Senator Barack Obama would be coming to Boise to speak on Saturday, I knew that I had to take advantage of the rare opportunity to expose Hero to the workings of our nation's government. We got up at 6:30 on a freezing weekend morning (James kindly stayed home with the younger kiddos), bundled into the car, made a quick stop at Starbucks to fortify ourselves for the day, and headed downtown to the Taco Bell Arena (I thought about writing Taco Ballerina, because that's what we call it, but I thought that might be confusing, LOL). Thankfully Boise State opened up some empty fields for parking, so we had only a one mile trudge to the back of the line. We ended up with frozen feet after waiting outside for one hour to get in, but it was well worth it. The record-setting crowd (14,000+) was as diverse as Boise gets - from tiny babies to wheelchair-bound elderly folks. It was energized and enthusiastic as former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus gave an opening speech. But it really roared to life and got on its feet when the charismatic Illinois senator entered. Obama's speech lasted for about 45 minutes and was inspirational, hopeful, and positive. As far as the political stump speech as a species goes, it was great. Hero enjoyed herself immensely, and couldn't wait to share with her classroom that she had been there, which was the most positive aspect of the entire experience.