Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't forget!

Depending on if your state offers early voting, today is the last day to vote before November 4th. Those of you who can... get out there and vote! Those of you who want to make it interesting... follow Keith's lead and make it a ghetto adventure to beat the monotony of standing in line. And, to think I was just going to take a book along with me...
Gotta love the creativity!
Keith, enjoy your voting experience on Tuesday!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gettin' crafty...

So, there are a ton of things whirling around in my head that I want to do. Don't get all excited...I'm not talking about climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon (which are honestly two things I have absolutely NO desire to do at this point in my life...). I'm talking about Tatting and Hand Embroidery!!!

How old is that granny, you ask??? Thirty-four going on seventy-two, but without crippling arthritis! (I know...sometimes I'm the only one that finds me funny.) Seriously though, my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was five with a huge crochet needle and some yarn...I want to say that it was yellow yarn, but my memory could be playing tricks on me. My great-grandmother taught me to sew quilt blocks when I was about eight or nine. I crocheted some Barbie outfits when I was in junior high school....yes, I was still playing with Barbies at the age of 13. And, when I was around 18 I actually crocheted a couple of afghans.

Once my son was born in 1998 I pulled out the old quilt blocks I had sewn as a little girl (my great-granny ended up giving them me a few years before that), and my grandmother's old Singer sewing machine, and made my first baby quilt. My son still has it. It definitely screams "Made by a Novice!" but I've continued sewing off and on ever since then.

Recently, while I was blog-hopping I found a site called Sublime Stitching. "This ain't your gramma's embroidery!" The owner Jenny Hart has a store in Austin, Texas and is quite the major artist. She works with different mediums of art, but what I latched on to was the hand embroidery stuff.

I have ALWAYS wanted to learn how to
hand embroider things!

She has patterns and instructions for making robots, pin-up girls, alphabet letters in the old-school tattoo style font, sexy librarians, el dia de los muertos characters, girly stuff....the list goes on and on! I was so excited when I found it that I quickly sent a link to Hubby demanding that one of those kits be under our Christmas tree for me! The only problem is....I have to wait until Christmas!!!

I think I've found something else I can begin to learn until then. It's called Tatting. If you're not familiar with it then go here for a beautiful example. A big thanks to Fashion Me Fabulous for the wonderful post on October 29th about it! Tatting is a form of lace-making with your hands.

Oh, the ideas that are floating through my mind about what I can create!!!!

Aren't these hobbies time consuming, you ask? Ah, yes they are. And I will have to wedge time in for these wonderful activities between blogging, going to work, being a mom, being a wife, working out and socializing. But, I can't wait to do just that! I can't wait to see what I can create.

Matter of fact, I made a roman shade for my son's bedroom window that I keep meaning to photograph so that I can share it with you. I'll try to remember to do that by tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our leaders....would the military hire them?

With the news of Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens' conviction I wanted to send out a little food for thought. Are you aware that the Senator, despite his felonious conviction, can still run for reelection? Check out this article from The Huffington Post. I also heard this confirmed yesterday on NPR while driving home. I am baffled by this. A felon loses his/her right to vote, but there are no rules as of yet for disqualifying someone from running for the United States Senate once they become a felon. Better yet, "there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress." (Shayana Kadidal, The Huffington Post) Hmmmm....interesting.

Does this bother you like it bothers me? I mean I realize that the stereotype for politicians is that of being "crooks" but I didn't think a real/convicted "crook" could be a leader in Congress! I know, I know...he's claiming innocence so I guess I should hold my thoughts until he's finished with his appeal, right? Won't it be strange, though if he is elected next month, but sentenced to a prison term in February? That will certainly make the global opinion of America shine even brighter, especially the state of Alaska.

Since my husband is reenlisting with the armed services he's recently had to review and complete a lot of paperwork. This paperwork asks a lot of specific questions about Hubby's qualifications, both professionally and personally, since they are inquiring as to why he feels he is a good candidate to return to serve.

That leads me to wonder how many members of Congress, or anyone running for political office for that matter, would successfully pass the application process of going to work for our military and holding a security clearance at any level. No matter if a person is enlisting for the first time or going back into the service, applicants are asked if they've been convicted of a crime. You know, kind of like most job applications. Most employers don't hire candidates with a conviction on their record, at least the ethical ones. How did this slip by when the requirements for serving in the United States Congress were prepared?

I know it takes a certain type of person to hold public office, and I'm not sure that's something I will want or could do in my lifetime. Kudos to those who step up to lead our country. However, I feel that we should demand higher ethical standards from the people we elect. It seems that our society is getting more stringent with what we will and will not let politicians get away with. I hope we only continue to have higher expectations of morals and values from those in elected office. It's not just a reflection of the elected's also a reflection on those of us who vote for those people, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Time!

For a while now I have been noticing these moments of utter happiness that I'm feeling. And they've been sticking around for days at a time. I haven't always been the most consistently happy person, so this is a big deal for me. Moody used to be my middle name all the time. Don't get me wrong...I'm not Oscar the Grouch all the time but I've been known to have a moment here and there. Most of my friends think I'm pretty darn perky most of the time....always ready with a smile or a friendly comment. But my true colors always seem to shine the brightest when I'm around my family. I guess it's because I feel the safest when I'm with them and I feel I can get away with whatever behaviors I'm in the mood for.

I've become more conscious of my "moods" after noticing my son and my husband exhibiting negative behaviors, especially if I was in a good mood and they began to bring me down. (I've always hated that feeling of losing my positive momentum because of someone else's negative energy.) If my boy is in a bad mood I try my hardest to make him talk about it, telling him that getting things out of my head usually is enough to enable me to move on and get into a better frame of mind. This works most of the time...he talks about what's going on in his world, we find something to laugh about, and his beautiful little smile reemerges right along with his bubbly little personality. Other times it doesn't solve the issue and he just has to work whatever it is out on his own. The same goes for Hubby, who can have a "funky" moment for at least a few minutes almost each day of any given week. (Part of this is due to his current last-semester-of-college saga, which is causing him a great deal of stress....but will be over in just a couple of months. Yeah!)

I don't know if its a combination of maturing and mellowing with age, or just maturing, but I've been getting so good at getting out of bad moods more quickly (or not entering into one at all), and not letting other people bring me down. I love this sense of accomplishment! Perhaps it's because holidays are's almost Halloween and I'm finding out how much fun I can really have as an adult with this holiday, and my all-time favorite holiday Christmas is just around the corner. Perhaps it's because I've reached a new phase of parenting that seems less demanding and stressful, or because Hubby is almost finished with his undergrad degree, which means having dual incomes is just around the corner, or because I'm not overbooked with my junior woman's club responsibilities this year so I have more ME time, or because I'm working out on a regular basis and feel better about myself, or heck...maybe it's because I'm blogging! I guess I could list numerous things that are all contributing to my positive emotional health. Who knows. I'm really not digging the over-analysis of the issue, but I do know this....focusing on my own happiness (and how it effects others) is really a wonderful thing. Just being aware of my happiness level seems to magnify just how happy I feel at that moment of reflection.

On a scale from one to ten how happy do you feel? Are you pretty consistent with staying happy? When you're not happy what do you do to bring yourself out of the funk?

I'd say I've been consistently an eight on the happiness scale for quite some time. I've been taking more pictures without any real occasion other than just capturing a moment, praying more and at a more intense level, worrying less, planning for my future projects more....and I seem to be procrastinating less. (Hubby would disagree with the procrastination one as he has to look at the state of my side of the closet each day...I know it's driving you insane, my dear, and I truly appreciate your not saying a word about it.) I'm promising myself that I'm not going to lose site of this once Hubby has military duty away from home. It's my goal to allow for moments of sadness, but to move out of them quickly so I can move forward with taking care of me and the little guy. Not to mention our two pups!

You know, it's kind of scary to think about all the other people that count on us for love, affection, care, support or just a friendly smile. But, it can also be a rewarding thought to imagine what a difference we are making in other people's worlds when we are positive. When I look at it from that perspective, the perspective of who I might be lifting up when I control my emotions, it sure is a lot easier to turn the focus off of me when I need to and focus on who really needs my attention, like my son, my husband, or even the stranger I pass in a store. I know we're all supposed to "look out for number one" but it feels so much better to look beyond that.

Monday, October 27, 2008

On a Happy Halloween Note!

A couple of weeks ago I took my son to the ortho-dontist and was flipping through magazines while I waited for him. I picked up a Family Fun magazine and found a few recipes for Halloween treats. My son and I tried a couple of them out over the weekend and I wanted to pass an easy and fun idea along to you.

It's called Salty Bones! Just get a can of refrigerated bread dough (we picked up the bread sticks variety) and preheat your oven according to the directions on the can. Separate the strips of dough and shape each one into a bone shape on cookie sheet. (You can make the rounded ends by cutting about an inch and a half down on the center of each end, then rounding the strips toward the middle of the bone. If you pinch the the ends of the dough together they should stick. The bones will fluff up and look just perfect as they bake!) Before you pop them into the oven, sprinkle the bones with sea salt.

These were so delicious, and we had a lot of fun making the shapes! Last night we carved our pumpkins..... "Jack Skellington" is a favorite of ours, and my son found "Boofus" that we also enjoyed carving. We had a bit of an accident with one of Boofus' eye balls, but we figured with a name like Boofus, how could anyone really go wrong!

Enjoy preparing for Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Update for Ginette & Tiffany...

And for the rest of you that read my last post and visited the links about the Nielson's. Please click here to read a very detailed article about how they are now doing, exactly what happened after the plane crash and how their families are coping with the recovery. This article, A Sister is Brought Even Closer, brought out so many different emotions, but mostly relief and a sense of calmness that Christian and Stephanie are going to be ok....their love is totally enveloping and overpowering in the most comforting of ways. And, thank you for sharing in this love story with me. I know it's definitely a tear-jerker, but it has moved us (and thousands of others) in more positive ways than we can count.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We can't even begin to imagine...

There is a site that I found sometime last month that I have become completely inspired & mesmerized by and hopelessly addicted to. It is a site called the NienieDialogues that was started back in 2005 by a lovely woman named Stephanie Nielson. You may have already visited her site...I have a link on the left side of my blog that says "I read Nienie". She began writing about her children and her husband so that they could keep family members they had to move away from closely connected. She developed a magnificent relationship with mothers across the world whether she meant to or not.

This is not just a site with pictures and posts of how much the kids were growing or what they did that particular day. The posts are full of family love and devotion that we all can learn from.

I am completely enamored by the love Stephanie always writes about and displays in her photos. If you have some time to spare, and haven't visited her site, I urge you to take a look. In August of this year Stephanie and her husband Christian were critically injured and burned in a private plane crash. Amazingly, they have survived. Stephanie's sister Courtney has kept the NienieDialogues up and running with re-posts of the Nielson chronicles. Courtney also has her own site where she posts updates about Stephanie & Christian's four children, as well as how the couple is progressing with their recovery. There is also a site dedicated to their recovery you can also check out, however I've found that Courtney's site is updated almost daily.

Christian sustained burns covering about 35% of his body, and Stephanie's burns cover over 80% of hers. Christian has been awake and receiving physical therapy for a couple of weeks now, while Stephanie is just being brought out of her medically induced coma. This couple has been fighting for their survival since August. I've read of the immense faith and love their family has for them and for their children. I continue to read of the faith they all have in God and each other to help this young family survive and remain together.

Their lives are an amazing inspiration. I struggle to imagine what it would feel like to have that happen to someone I love, and I honestly can't fathom the reality of it. The Nielson's and their extended families are such uplifting people to read about. (Several different relatives have even posted writings on Courtney's site.) There are fund raising opportunities that you can participate in, links you can add to your blog, reminders of their need for many little things we can do to help a strong, faithful and loving family survive and recover.

Most of all, if I can get you to take only one thing out of reading about the Nielson's accident and recovery, try to digest how much we need to love our children and spouses, to show them and tell them of our constant love for them, to lift them up in prayer and to constantly be thankful of their presence in our lives. Make sure to absorb all of the small moments you can each day reminding ourselves that we do not know our fate and what our future will hold. We can lose each other so quickly. Make the much as we possibly can....of who we have in our lives that matter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bookworm Award

I received a funny email from Me.... letting me know that I had been given the Bookworm Award! The rules are: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences...The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!!

The book that I am currently reading is When You Are Engulfed in Flames, by David Sedaris. (I absolutely love this author...this is my second time to read this book!) The text says... "Buy it." This is my sister Amy's advice in regard to everything, from a taxidermied horse head to a camouflage thong. "Just get it," she says. "You'll feel better." Eye something closely or pick it up for further inspection, and she'll move in to justify the cost. "It's not really that expensive, and, besides, won't you be getting a tax refund? Go on. Treat yourself."

Ok, so that's not the best example of what a great hilarious read this book is, but I had to follow the rules.

I would like to pass this award to Ms. Mindless, Cassy, Keith, Nathan, and Hollylynn. I can't wait to hear about what you're reading!

Oh the things I dream!

My mind plays horrible tricks on me sometimes. Does yours? And, it's usually when I'm unconscious....while I'm sleeping. Much to my dismay I have dreams about my coworkers from time to time. Usually about one each week about someone different from work.

Typically I don't remember much about these dreams...they scamper from my brain almost as soon as I get up from the pillow. But, one dream...that I can safely laugh about now...keeps popping into my head when I interact with this one particular colleague.

A few months back I woke up to realize that I had just been dreaming that I was in bed with a man I work with. Not just any man, but possibly the scariest looking man we have in our company. Granted, he's a very sweet fellow. But, he's seriously lacking in the personal hygiene & grooming departments. I'm more of a neat-freak about my appearance, so we are quite the contrast.

The dream went like this.... Ungroomed Coworker (Uck) and I were having pillow talk wrapped in the whitest sheets I've ever seen in the whitest, brightest bedroom that I've ever imagined. This is humorous in and of itself just due to the fact that this gentleman is never clean and bright. (His nails always have grunge under them, he wreaks of cigarette smoke and oily hair, his teeth are rotting in his head and one has actually fallen of the two top front ones....that he has no intention of replacing. Lovely visual, eh?) But again let me stress, he's a very nice person! Back to the dream... as we were laying there chatting he called me...... Lucifer. Yep, he called me the devil! I was mortified when I woke up. So mortified that I had to tell someone about this, so I told my husband. He found it rather humorous and hopefully as disgusting as I did. Then, I had to text message another coworker (who happens to be a very close friend) about it.

I think I had this dream because I'm not always the nicest person to him. He bugs me incessantly with his lack of concern over his appearance, and he's a manager at our company for Pete's sake, and he's constantly tardy. We're talking 1/2 hour to hour late kind of tardy. I know, I know...where's the discipline policy at work. Not sure...I'm not in charge of implementing that or I would have by now! It's really not needed that badly since all the rest of our staff is respectful of what time we get started each day.

Anyway, I know that I have given him the look of disappointment too many times to count, and I know he's heard my tone of disdain on more than one occasion. I guess I feel a little guilty about it since he's "such a nice guy" if I'm actually dreaming about him calling me Lucifer in a soft voice with a sweet, tooth-missing kind of smile.

So, this morning he was late again. After an hour someone called him and left him a message. I guess that served as him alarm clock because he called in right after that and said he was running late...would be in in about 40 minutes. I had to deliver some paperwork to his office after he finally arrived and cheerily said, "Hey Sleepyhead!" with a genuinely friendly smile. You know, since he's such a nice guy and all. He just chuckled back and said, "I guess I deserve that."

Yep, dude.... I can think of more that you deserve. Like a trip to the cosmetic dentist's office. And a nicotine patch. I really do wish him the best. Honestly!

So, what are some of your crazy dreams???

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Military on my mind...

I can't get the military out of my head. This week my brain has been swirling with ideas and random wonderings about what my life will be like in the first quarter of 2009. As I've briefly mentioned in past posts, my husband will be going active duty again very soon. This will greatly effect our lives for a long time. "If you don't stand for something then you'll stand for anything." - Unknown

I'm past the point of being sad or upset. I support my husband and his career. He's a very driven person and feels it is his calling to further serve our country. I deeply admire his decision, even though the selfish side of me wanted him to pick something else while he was debating his options. I'm proud of him for being brave enough to contemplate going to war, which is definitely where he'll end up. But, I'm realistic enough to know that I will need to pray as hard as I possibly can for God to keep him safe. "The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible." - Rich Devos

With all of that said, I am committing to a new project. "Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction." - Unknown It is my goal to establish some sort of spousal support blog for military wives. I've been doing some digging online and haven't found anything that makes me feel welcome and comfy when I enter the site. Everything that I've found so far seems very medicinal and impersonal. Very government stamped, if you will. I did find one site that I particularly liked but it hadn't been updated since 2007. I've emailed one of the ladies in charge so I'm hoping to hear back with news that she's still got something I can access somewhere. If I hear back from her then I'll link to her site.

I would like to ask you guys if you are familiar with any good military support sites for wives out there on the vast internet that we like to peruse each day. From now until Hubby deploys I want to research all that's out there and see what I can add that might be a powerful resource for other military wives. Please keep in mind that I'm not looking for resources that reference "true confessions" and the like....I've encountered those sites and even though some spouses use them for legitimate topics, the site manager(s) permit other users to confess infidelities and things that aren't supportive to a healthy marriage. "Change your thoughts and change your world." - Norman Vincent Peale My project will only serve military wives in a healthy and uplifting way. "Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see shadows." - Helen Keller

I know you all visit a lot of different places on the web, so if you encounter anything for military wives please post a link in my comments section. I greatly appreciate your help! And, I'll keep you posted on my progress.

One last thing....thanks Bridge for sharing the quotes with me today. Your timing couldn't have been better or more poignant!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A political note...

Hubby and I have had many conversations these past few weeks about who we'll be voting for. He's pretty solid with his choice, but I've been floundering with different ideals. I like portions of Obama's platform and I like portions of McCain's platform. Honestly, I just wish Colin Powell would have run for President...that would've been a no-brainer for me since I really like the guy.

I keep hearing tidbits about Obama's support of terrorist-linked organizations and people. Today, as I was searching various blog links, I was led to this site Roadhouse Blog and a video posted this past Thursday. I urge you to check it out. For some reason I couldn't hear any sound during the video on my computer...not sure why...but the text that pops up between video segments is enough to drive home a very powerful message about Obama and how he's linked to worthless, genocide supporting jerks in Africa. The video ends with the question "why" would he do such a thing. I'm asking myself the exact same question. You should, too.

And read other posts that Terry has on his site....I was enlightened by his perspective. Not that I agree with all of it, but he makes very powerful points.

Friday, October 17, 2008

She got me!

I've been tagged to dish out six random facts about myself that you probably don't know. I sort of played this game not too long ago in a one-sided way.... I didn't get tagged, but I posted some randomness about myself hoping that readers would post their random facts in my comments section. I'm hoping I'll get some of you to play along, although I don't feel right about tagging anyone since I just tagged some bloggers last week with my Smile Award post. So, if you've been tagged twice by me recently and I'm annoying the crap out of you.... I apologize. Please forgive my affection for these little blog games at the moment! I'm sure it will fade and you will not be troubled much more by me in the future!

Shop Girl, I truly appreciate you tagging me! For those that want to play are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you 2. Post the rules on your blog 3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself 4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs 5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. 6. Let your tagger know when your entry is UP

So, what are some facts about me that you might enjoy? Hmmm.....
  • I'm a realist...certainly not an idealist
  • I love to eat home grown tomatoes! Just slice 'em up and sprinkle with salt.... Yumm-eee! I could be a farm girl so easily if I just had the time, the skill and the land. I would love to tend a garden (if I had a more green thumb) and have chickens, horses, pigs...the whole nine yards. But, I would still need my city slicker outlet from time to time.... I can't give up fashion, cultured dining experiences and shopping totally...
  • I really enjoy quilting & sewing...I just don't make enough time for it
  • The tattoo featured on my blog belongs to me.... I just added it this past May in honor of my son's 10th birthday. (And, dear sister... I plan on adding to it! You may vomit on your own time and please spare me the details.)
  • I believe there is life on other planets! Ok, there...I said it to more than just my son. I just can't see how God could create our planet, our solar system and the entire universe and let us be the only living things running around in it. Now, I'm not pyscho about the issue and I don't believe that I'll ever be abducted by aliens or anything, but hey....there's gotta be something out there other than us!
  • I eat turkey bacon almost every morning of the week...two slices. Hey, gotta have my protein!
So, these little tidbits may not be that interesting....but, I had a hard time coming up with anything today. On to who I'm tagging....
Your turn! And, thanks for playing! Have a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

mis ninos

Sorry I don't have the proper Spanish symbols for my title....but here are my beloved doberman, one chihuahua and one fantabulous boy with some face paint when he was a skate punk zombie!
They bring me so much joy every day. I miss them when we're apart from each other. They are so loving and devoted. What would I do without my leeetle beeebies??? I know I've blogged about anonymity and not wanting to put faces up of my family members, however I justified adding my favorite little boy to this shot because of the somewhat incognito thing he's got going on, plus this picture is two years old....he's changed a lot since then!

I love being a mom! I can't imagine life without my son and our pups. Sometimes I like to think about how much motherhood has changed me over the years. It was an instantaneous makeover. When I first became a mom I was scared of everything, phobic about the slightest germ and paranoid as all hell about anything you can imagine happening to my baby. I drove a lot of my family members crazy. Some of that has faded....I'm not near the germaphobe that I used to be and I "let go" more now with things my son wants to do or try. Motherhood altered the way I looked at everything....if I would work outside the home, when I would work, what I would do, who I would let be around my child, what environments I would take my child around, the list goes on an on...

There are several things I would do different now, ten years later, if I had a newborn. I wouldn't be so paranoid...wouldn't live in fear that my son would be harmed if I wasn't guarding him....I would certainly try to be a much more relaxed parent. But there are also many things that I wouldn't change. I've always been very affectionate to him (along with other family members) so I definitely wouldn't change that. My son is such a loving and lovable little guy that I think is a direct result from being hovered over and smooched on as frequently as possible. I wouldn't change the fact that I question him a lot, too....ask him about school and what he does in class, who he hangs out with, who he talks to on the phone, if he has a girlfriend, what he does at other people's homes, talk to his friends' parents....that sort of stuff. Yes, I'm a bit nosy, but I want him to know that I care and that I'll check up on him so he better tell me the truth. Plus, when I question him it prompts him to question me, too. We have a lot of really good conversations that way!

I'm also really glad I'm a dog lover. Not a huge fan of cats....mainly because of allergies, but also because they roam everywhere and have an "I could care less about you" attitude. Most dogs aren't like that unless they are bred or raised to be that way. My dogs are affectionate and cuddly, and so very loyal! They think they are little humans, and I like it that way! I just can't imagine coming home and not having them there to greet us and be part of our family.

My children make me want to sing and dance around acting goofy! Right now I would love to be jumping around the living room with all three of them to "Shake It" by Metro Station. I'll see you guys very soon!!! (not than any of them read my blog.....)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty.....what is it to me?

My husband sent me a link today to a very interesting site.... Blog Action Day 2008. The topic that bloggers were asked to write about today is Poverty. At first I thought, I don't really know much about poverty, thank goodness. But then I found myself thinking how shallow I am for not knowing anything to say on the issue. So, I gave it more thought and low and behold lots of ideas began coming to my mind!

I am fortunate to not be in a state of poverty. I have a wonderful home, a beautiful family, lots of friends across the income spectrum, a great job and my bills are all paid up to date. I am blessed to not have to worry about major financial issues at the moment, other than making sure my retirement fund is not being wiped out. But, my eyes are open enough to see that there are tons of people in our world that are not as fortunate. I keep seeing this homeless man walking around the suburb that I live in, and I always think..."We have homeless people here? When did that happen?" I see signs that indicate the percentage of children that go to bed hungry in the metropolis area that I live in. I see these things and I keep driving. I might say a little prayer thanking God for my blessings, but I just keep driving.

Sure, I participate in clothing drives, food drives, make donations regularly of the stuff in my house I no longer need, write checks to charitable organizations, and have even led a fundraiser for a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged children in a city nearby. But, what does that really add up to? Hopefully, it adds up to a little bit of something for a lot of people...or a lot of something for even one person.

I could list some statistics but if you're reading this I would bet you are pretty internet savvy and know how to look up statistics that are meaningful to your belief system. My recommendations for helping out the poor are these....

  • donate to your local food banks often
  • sort through your clothes and shoes and donate items that you haven't touched in the last year (someone else will most likely wear it more than you out of necessity)
  • pray for the needy around the world
  • participate in fund raisers that benefit those affected greatly by poverty
  • if you live in an area with homeless people, or see people begging for money on corners, carry a snack bag with you to hand out to them that includes food and bottled water
  • find out how political candidates you are considering voting for feel about poverty stricken people and what those candidates have done to support bringing people out of poverty
  • educate young people on choices they might be making that can lead them to an impoverished lifestyle
  • live by example.... help in ways that are safe and possible for you and your family
There was a time in my life while growing up when we were pretty close to poor. My mom was a single parent of two daughters, but she moved us to a bigger city so she could get a decent job and have a steady income to support us. Fortunately, she received some child support and help from grandparents when it came to clothing us, but I remember her telling me that I would have to wear my shirts and pants a couple of times before washing them since we had to go to a laundromat...that she couldn't afford to buy a lot of groceries....that I had to get a job and help pay for my own expenses when I was 15.... We always had a roof over our heads, we always got medical treatment when it was needed, we always had food on the table, a phone and electricity, a car for my mom to drive....lots of things that truly poor people don't have. She struggled to raise us by herself for several years, but we all came through it and better opportunities came along.

I guess the message about poverty that I would like to convey is this.... be aware of poverty. Try not to get so wrapped up in LIFE that we forget about what's outside of our little bubbles. If all you can do is pray for the poor, then pray. Prayer is a very powerful tool that I believe in strongly. But, if you can donate time and money to help out then certainly try to do that, too. We can all make a world of difference when we want to.

Here's a link to even better ideas to help end poverty.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My first award!

I am very excited to be able to share this exciting news with you. As I've probably mentioned before, there are several blogs that I've begun following over the past months since I started blogging. There are a few blog friends that I comment with back and forth regularly regarding each others posts. I received a wonderful compliment and award from my blog friend Nette last week that you can see here... Thank you, Ginette, for this flattering acknowledgment!The characteristics that the recipient of this award must have are: must display a cheerful disposition, must love one another, must make mistakes, must learn from others, must be a positive contributor to the blog world, must love life, and must love kids.

Since I've accepted this award there are some rules that I must also follow: must link back to the creator, must post these rules, must choose five new people to receive this award who fit the characteristics listed above, must post the characteristics needed to qualify for the award, must create a post sharing your win with others, and you must thank your giver.

I choose to pass this award along to the following wonderful bloggers: Write amazing blog written by an amazing new mommy who revels in the many treasurable moments of motherhood; Becoming Me... an uplifting site that perfectly meets all the above listed criteria; the Nienie Dialogues... this has got to be the most moving blog I've was created by a mother of four and a passionate wife who treasures her family, but is currently in a medically induced coma as she (and her husband) recovers from a private plane crash that occurred in August of this year. Her sister keeps Nie's blog going so that we can be blessed by her thoughtful living; C Jane... this blog is from Courtney, the sister of Nie, who keeps the readers abreast of Nie's progress and the progress of Nie's husband Christian, as well as posts about her own wonderfully amazing family moments; Blonde Revelations... a blog from the friend of mine who inspired me to blog in the first place, MC. She loves her family and is in a perpetual state of improvement, which I admire.

Thank you again to Ginette for enlightening me with this award, and for urging me to reflect on the blogs that have moved me. Nette's Niche is also a very inspiring blog that I read daily, but since she has already received the Smile Award I selected five others...belive me, Nette, you are in my top picks, too! And, thank you to all of the bloggers that I'm passing this award on to. Though most of us have never met, your blogs move me every day and I always look forward to reading your latest and greatest thoughts!

I look forward to reading more award-worthy blogs and discovering all sorts of new and inspriational ideas each week! Happy blogging everyone!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

consider donation...

Several years ago I decided to become an organ donor. I the little red sticker to put on my driver's license, and told my family that if I was ever able to donate my organs to please carry out that wish for me. Then, one year it was time for me to renew my driver's license. When I got my new one, I pitched the old one in the trash, and didn't take the time to get a new sticker.

I have a good friend who is a transplant recipient. She received a kidney over fifteen years ago and is doing great. We talked about this subject probably a year ago, and it quickly slipped my mind again. Last night, while I was blog-searching, I found a site called Bloggers Unite, and they pick a topic every few months for bloggers to write about on a specific day to spread awareness of a particular issue on a global level. I noticed one of their past topics was organ donation, and it reminded me of this important issue that I have forgotten about too many times.

Today I looked up a site called Donate Life and made sure to add my name to the registry. I know some people have fears about becoming an organ donor, but please take the time to read about your options. The fact is we never know when it will be our time "to go" and it could be in a manner that would permit you to save at least one person's life. Talk about an amazing gift! Please consider becoming an organ donor and letting your family know of your wishes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

face off

Perhaps you are just as confused as I am right now regarding who to vote for in the upcoming Presidential election. I consider myself an independent voter so I never choose the straight ticket option. My preference is to study the candidates and where they stand on the issues that concern me and vote for who I think I can consciously support for the next four years.

Hubby sent me a link to Bob Staake's site earlier this morning and I thought I would share it with you. I find that this image poignantly depicts just how the candidates are having to go up against each other (figuratively speaking, of course) as they compete in this campaign. Sure, Obama and McCain may look all nicey-nice on camera, but isn't this how they really feel about their demise?

I know, I know....this post isn't helping you to decide who to vote for. But, I hope it serves as a source of political entertainment even if only for a brief moment. And, don't forget...early voting begins very soon!!! Check your local listings for details....

Monday, October 6, 2008

worth your while

As you may have noticed my template has finally changed here at Securityville. I'm so excited to see the new and improved version that I am completely elated!!! Let me just say a HUGE thank you to Lyndsay Johnson for making it possible! She is a wonderful graphic designer (that I found while out blog searching one day) and you must take the time to visit her site. She has some amazing creations! Not only did she tweak one of her original designs to fit my blog, but she helped me with uploading everything so that it works perfectly! All at an utterly affordable price!

Thank you for making me look professional, Lyndsay!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

weekend reflections

Another wonderful weekend is drawing to a close, but I'm so excited to be able to share my experiences with you! I'm sure that sounds super cheesy, but I can't help it. My family members call me a "dork" pretty regularly, and I'm happy to say it fits most of the time! On to some details...

Friday's Potluck Lunch at work was a huge success and everyone at the office seemed to have a great time. There were a couple of Negative Nancies, but I think the rest of us turned most of them around. After that it was on to my friend K's beautiful new house. We had a great time sitting around chatting, having a bit of wine while we unpacked her formal dining room. It ended up just being the two of us, but I was really grateful for that. We turned up the tunes and talked about anything and everything that popped into our heads!

Saturday, Hubby and I went to our son's football game, and unfortunately his team was creamed again. Not just a little, but by a landslide! Two of his coaches were behaving horribly and setting a perfectly bad example of sportsmanship. We actually snapped a picture of the head coach getting in the face of one of the referees. Granted, the refs were missing some pretty big calls but really now....this is pee wee football we're dealing with. Those guys were acting as if it was the NFL and their careers were riding on the outcome of the game. I felt bad for the boys on the team. They played hard and gave it their all only to have to deal with some screaming middle-aged men trying to live out their fantasies through other people.

After we got home, Hubby and I exchanged our anniversary gifts and went outside to share the vows that we had written for each other. We stood in our backyard under a willow tree (that's me and the willow below) that we planted after buying our house. His vows were very touching and sweet, and of course I cried while delivering part of mine. That also made me laugh a little since I tend to laugh when I get nervous or embarrassed, and I had to apologize for the interruption, but I managed to say everything out loud even though some of my sentences were a bit broken up. I'm so glad we did that! It was truly special for both of us.

Later that evening Hubby and I headed downtown for our anniversary. We had dinner at a restaurant called Charleston's. It's nothing super fancy but it's where we went for our first date, and you may remember from Friday's post that we had decided to recreate our first date as part of the celebration of our fourth wedding anniversary. Dinner was delicious, just like we had remembered, and we agreed we both overate just a bit. After that we hit our favorite pub, but quickly realized the beer wasn't doing anything for our overly full stomachs. There is a beautiful wine bar several blocks away that we walked to, and the walk was just what we needed. We felt so much better by the time we got there and settled in for a romantic, candle-lit experience. We sampled a bit of wine and cheese as we chatted, then hit up Starbucks to have our "dessert" before we drove home. (Yep, we've got a lot of calories to work off this week....we kept laughing about consuming so much food and sweet stuff. Oh well, it was a very special occasion!)

We had such a great time! Today we've both been working on stuff around the house, including putting up some Halloween decorations on the porch. The little guy will be back with us tomorrow and the week will begin again with all the family things that make time go by so fast. He and I will head to the pumpkin patch one evening this week, which is something he looks forward to every October. It's fun watching him make his selections. I'm sure in a few more years he'll think he's too old for that so I've got to soak up what I can.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another exciting weekend!

Ok, in case you haven't noticed after reading my post last week, I love my Friday afternoons and my weekends! I am really looking forward to this afternoon and all that my weekend plans will bring! First of all, I asked my coworkers to participate in a Potluck Lunch and we had a great response from almost everyone. Then, I'm going to my close friend K's house to hang out and help her unpack in her beautiful new home. We have another close friend who'll join us for awhile, but K and I will keep each other company through husband and I have quite a lot planned for Saturday. We are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary and we are going to recreate our first date! I'm so excited!!! In addition to dining at the same restaurant we went to over five years ago, we are going to the pub we had an after dinner beer at, then walking over to the Starbucks where we had coffee before we wrapped up our date. My husband had me laughing so hard that night that I was crying and people were looking at me strangely. We didn't care, though. It was a blast!

Before we get started on our date Saturday night we plan to renew our vows. I'm EXTREMELY excited about this sentiment but kind of nervous about it. I don't know why, Hubby and I are very close and are able to talk about anything and everything. Perhaps it's because I'm going to have to try really hard not to cry. Hubby is reenlisting in the military soon so this anniversary is somewhat extra special to me. I know there will be many more to come in the future, but none will be quite like this one as we prepare for him to transfer to various locations around the world. I've been working on my vows for two weeks so I'm hoping I haven't forgotten anything poignant that I know I would want to say. I feel like I've covered all the bases, but I just hate to goof it up.

On a lighter note about Saturday, my son will be playing in his third football game. I'm really looking forward to watching him play again. His "tard" of a coach didn't play him very much until the end of the game last week which was a disappointment for all of us, so we're hoping he gets more game time. The coaches plan wasn't successful...we got I'm hoping he rotates his players better giving everyone a shot to contribute equally. I'll keep you posted! (no pun intended!)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I'll post again after Saturday's events and let you know how everything transpired!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wake up, Americans!

Ok, I've got to vent.... I am so tired of hearing people around me (on television, in person, on the radio, etc.) complain about aches, pains, health problems or anything else they can find to gripe about even though they've put themselves in the "painful" situations. Are people in such denial that they can't admit their back problems, their internal organ malfunctions, their chronic pain-associated symptoms are due to a general lack of taking care of themselves??? I guess denial is the answer otherwise we wouldn't have the rising health care crisis in our nation due to obesity and smoking-related illnesses.

Wake up people!!! What types of food do you put into your body? Are you a smoker? What are you drinking? How much of those things are you actually consuming and how much of those calories and fat are you actually burning off? I'm tired of the excuses.... "I don't have time to work out," "It's my body and I'll live how I want," and other ignorant statements like that. Guess what, people....your choices are affecting our nation, and on a more micro level, our families.

I aboslutely hate to see parents smoking around their children. It's bad enough they want to smoke at all, especially in public where people like me (non-smoking, do not have a death wish, life-loving individuals) have to walk past them to get into or out of a building.

Yes, it's hard to make changes that stick in our lives. I'm a commuter with a very busy family life so I know how hard it can be to find the time to exercise. However, I'll tell you this for sure...when I know I'm not going to be able to exercise then I make sure the food and drinks that I consume are as healthy as possible for that day or so. I'm not going to stick my mouth around the tailpipe of my car to inhale toxic fumes therefore I will not smoke cigarettes. I'm not going to dine at Mickey D's or even Chick-Fil-A, or even just make a bowl of mac and cheese, if I know I won't have time to work off some of what I've consumed. And, there really a need to eat the donuts that people bring to work? I respect my body and I want to do all that I can so it will last me a long time. I'm not going to take it for granted that this body will hold out for as long as I need it to...who knows what genetic mistakes or age-related issues will be in my future. Why would I want to increase my chances of perishing at an early age?

People, we owe it to ourselves and to each other to be healthy. Stop taking it for granted that just because you got away with eating like a little pig and smoking like a freight train when you were a teenager that you can continue to do that as an adult. We have resposibilites to ourselves and to each other to not cost our society tons of money in rising health care costs, and to not increase our mortality rate so that other people are left to take care of our children, or that our overweight children will be left for our medical industry to fix.

Be watchful of what you're eating and drinking and how much exercise you are getting. Don't be a moron and smoke! Stop the complacency and be proactive. And, stop expecting everyone else to feel sorry for you or to take care of you when your body stops functioning. Wake up, unhealthy people because you've done it to yourself!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


In keeping with the inspirational theme of today....
I've seen this on a few blogs I've visited, but had no clue
what they were called...

Now I's a "Wordle" and you can make one, too!
Talk about fun and inspirational! Give it a click!

All things inspirational....

It amazes me sometimes that I can buzz along through life and not take notice of little things I'm taking for granted. I try really hard to make mental notes of the many "forget-me-nots" throughout each day, but I'm a creature of habit and routine, so sometimes....lots of times, actually...I lose track of what brings me happiness each day.

Today, I'm going to list some of the many fleeting things that I've made those mental notes of that make me smile or bring me inspiration. I hope that you find inspiration in the little things throughout your day, too!

Inspiring happy moments....

1. Seeing my son's smile and hearing when he laughs uncontrollably
2. Soft kisses on the head from my husband
3. Catching someone smiling at me in an unsolicited way
4. When my dogs lay their heads on my lap
5. Receiving a card or note from someone in the mail
6. Saying prayers each night with my son and knowing that he looks forward to that time we share
7. Imagining how my husband and I will be living our life together in 10 years
8. Feeling like I've made a positive contribution at work
9. When I complete a project entirely
10. The smell of fall taking over the summer season
11. Thinking of renewing my marriage vows with Hubby
12. Imagining the next Mom & Sis Day
13. Hearing my son grunt as he makes tackles (this is a new thing for him)
14. Hearing my son say he wants to work on classic cars
15. Sitting outside hearing the birds and feeling the warmth of the sun