welcome 2010

what a year 2009 has been. lots of change ... some good, some not so good. the past is the past, no matter what day it is. let's learn from it, and not dwell in it. that said -
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I've made some resolutions, not entirely sure it's because it's now 2010. it's just another day to me now. I don't even think I made it to midnight! the Katie 10+ years ago would be hungover today ... but we don't need to go there.

* I've posted about Avon's Breast Cancer Walk happening next summer. I'm REALLY looking forward to it. I'm also happy to have committed myself to something that will force me to work out and get in a routine. since it's still 5 months away, I'm hoping by then it will be habit.

*read more books

*be more crafty with the boys ... that's the kind of stuff they will remember forever, then pass it on to their kids.

*a big one that has been always sitting in the back of my mind, is to do all those things that are on the to-do list, but never get done.
for example -
the boys have this tractor toy with special keys to make it work and one has been missing forever. well you can only go so far if you have 3 out of the 4 keys, so I've been wanting to contact the company and try and order that 4th key. yea, not fun. you can see why that one always gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list!


I'm sure there are more things I'll think of later, you know how that goes.
what are your resolutions?????

merry chirstmas

Merry CHRISTmas!

Being a christian I've known December 25th is Jesus' birthday, but I've used this day like the rest of the world - this year included. I'm going through the motions of the day, the way our culture has created it to be. traveling to be with family, friends, eating lots of food, dressing up, buying and giving gifts ... which is all great, but if today is a birthday, shouldn't we be honoring Him? I'm going through the motions because I feel an obligation, and I don't feel like I'm honoring Jesus by doing it.

the obligation is from what I was raised in, by worldly people. and kids believe the truth to be whatever their parents do and say. after becoming an adult (whenever that was) it then becomes my fault, my ignorance, my obligation, my distraction from what Christmas is REALLY suppose to be.

a true believer doesn't just believe in Jesus. a true believer doesn't just go to church on Sundays. it's not just about reading the bible, it's about living it. and not just on Christmas, but every single day.

going through the motions of obligation is NOT living it. I don't want to pass onto my children that same obligation. Today we honor the birth of our Lord.

I'm not entirely sure what that will include (I'm thinking volunteering &/or a soup kitchen) but I just know that how we are doing it this year is not right. Give in a way you can; give with faith to people who actually need it ... like Jesus came to heal the sick, to those who needed it and were faithful for it.

Americans consume way too much as it is ... and then to throw Christmas on top of that, then it just become ridiculous! how much stuff does a person need?!

All that said, we've decided to tell Samuel that Santa is a made up story. He's definitely not traumatized, in fact, I'm not convinced he totally believes us. he says "what about all the songs mama?" I guess he'll get it next year!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

volunteer gift wrap

I recently found out that bookstores, like Borders and Barnes & Noble, take volunteers for gift wrapping during the holiday season.

They will also allow you to collect tips, but only for a non-profit organization. Perfect for me since I've registered to walk in Avon's Walk for Breast Cancer. I was there last night and only made $10, which covers my gas to get there since I'm in the sticks, but that's ok! it's fun and it gets the word out about the walk anyway.

Now this would not be for you real creative types. They gave me a folding table with paper, tape, scissors, a few bows, but that's it. it's pretty blah. you may have guessed, everyone that did get the wrapping were men. ha! typical, but hey, at least they got it done!

I called yesterday and got a couple different shifts, but only because someone cancelled. apparently they start scheduling this in July/Aug. I had no idea!

this could be good for churches, moms clubs, or schools. lots of possibilities.

just wanted to spread the word.

food donation


Land O'Lakes is donating $1 for every person who clicks on their web site.
Go to their website (listed below) and click on the top right side of the
screen where it says: “You Click, We donate. It's that easy.”
Please feel free to pass this on to all of your friends. Food shelves need our
donations more than ever this year!


pink gloves

how fitting ... after I wrote this last blog about my Avon Breast Cancer Walk, my mom sent me this email. please check it out.


all you need to do is click on the video
then you can delete it right away
it's the click on it that matters and you'll help in the fight against breast cancer
thank you so much!

In honor of breast cancer awareness!

When the video gets 1 million hits, Medline will be making a huge contribution to the hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for the community.

Please check it out. It's an easy and great way to donate to a wonderful cause, and who hasn't been touched by breast cancer?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdVfyt-mLw

Avon Outreach

I just attended an introduction meeting for Avon's Breast Cancer Walk, happening June 2010. I've done The Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society a couple of times; once as an individual walker, then the following year as team captain for the local mom's club in was involved with. it was very satisfying for me, and since then, my heart aches to help in any way I can.

Avon's walk is set up much differently than the ACS Relay. for one, this is a 39 mile trek in the Rocky Mountain region; 26 miles on Saturday then the remaining 13 on Sunday. I have NEVER walked anything close to this, ever. I think th
e longest continuous walk I've done is 5 or so miles.
they also have every registered walker commit to raising $1800. they don't really care if you come individually or create a team, anyone can join.

it's a fundraiser, but also much more. attending the walk itself will not raise any more money, but it is to come together for the cause, to see survivors & co-survivors, to see exactly where your fundraising
efforts are going to, to hear stories & testimonies, to encourage hope & offer support. I'm sure to be in the presence of women who have to fight this fight, or help others fight, will be inspiring.

I was telling Matt all about it and he will support me, but he honestly doesn't see the point of the walk itself. he's always been pessimistic about the medical industry, believing it's one big conspiracy and everyone is just in it for the money. but more so, he also believes God giveth, and He taketh away.
for me, the conspiracy part is partially true. just the evils of the industry, the world. but I too believe God gives and rightly takes away, but I also believe that God works through other people (like the doctors & nurses) and also using foundations such as Avon and ACS.

one of my favorite passages. you should read it.

being a registered walker, they will be assigning me someone to work with me to make sure I get to $1800, as well as, work with me on training. because I WILL need to train. 39 miles in 2 days?! oh my goodness, I'm in for a butt-whoopin'! but hopefully starting now (6 months away) I can do it. I honestly haven't been to the gym since I was pregnant with Elliott, so it's definitely time to get off my butt and get physical again. so yay for getting skinny! another plus to starting now, I will lose some weight before Hawaii!

I have a GPS in my car, and as I was driving home the other day I noticed how far away the next town is, it's about 15 miles. so I guess some days I'll have Matt drop me off and I'll just walk home. seems crazy, but that's only 1/2 of the first day!

as far as the $1800 goes, I'm planning on using my Avon business to help promote it. so with that, along with my friends and family, I'm hoping to exceed my goal. I should be getting a website set up for it soon, and when I do, I'll be sure to post it. every $1 helps!

so in the future, I'll be blogging about this journey. it doesn't exactly compare to having cancer, but it's the least I can do to help.

have you participated in Avon's Breast Cancer Walk before? tell me about it.

c'mon 32

so my hubby can't keep a secret to save his life. his anticipation and excitement builds up too much and he simply can't stand it. he tries to make it so I pry it out of him, but this is how it really went down -
"so do you want to know?"
"no I can wait until Christmas"
"want to play 20 questions?"
"no, I'll wait"
"oh, but you'll need a few months to prepare"
"yea right"
"no really. don't you want to know?!"
"you're pathetic. alright, what is it?"

so for Christmas, he is taking us to HAWAII during my birthday!! so on my 32nd birthday, we will be up in a helicopter getting a birds eye view of the islands!

for one entire day, we'll be at a luau. 10 hours of eating, drinking, belly dancing ... and whatever else they do.
he also found a VIP pass that will be good for museums, parks, spas, and a whole bunch of other extras for the entire trip.

us = him and I ... NO KIDS

my birthday isn't until February, but the whole idea is to leave 3 feet of snow behind us. right now in December, we have snow but not tons and tons of it. by February we'll be so sick of snow, it'll be great timing.

now he hasn't actually purchased the tickets yet, but he definitely knows better than to play with my emotions like that!
anyone know - will prices be better after the new year when holiday travel is over?

I've wanted a getaway with my hubby for what seems like forever. of course I love my kids, but mama & papa have to come first sometimes. whoo hoo! I'm soooooo excited!

got any insider tips for me? I'm all ears!

living in the past

usually living in the past is a bad thing ... but I had to. let me explain.

I am driving a '91 Jeep Cherokee; had to get a 4x4 once we moved here. anyway, being a slightly older car it has a tape deck. hubby is planning on installing a CD player soon, but in the meantime I need my music. I am a car singer! I can't help it. since we live in the forest, I'm in the car a good 20-25 minutes before I get reception for any radio stations, which is a bummer.

at the thrift store the other day, I see a HUGE bin of tapes. because really, who has a tape deck anymore that uses it? so I'm digging through and find an oldie but a goodie, from back in my early teenage years ... dare I say it and totally embarrass myself? ... I paid .50 each for 2 New Kids on the Block tapes; Hangin' Tough & Step by Step. if I remember right, it's their very first and second albums.

yep, I loved them. now I didn't have the pillow cases or the action figure/dolls or write to their fan club, but I did have a poster or two in my bedroom, daydreaming about Joey, the baby of the group. aaawwwww!

look at this picture. then and now. look at that big fluffy hair! I don't care, they were studs then and now!

if you are too young to know what I'm talking about, they were my N Sync ... or if you happen to be too old to know, they were my Beatles.

now my cousin is a fan still. do you know they are on tour today? I think they have a new album, but I'm positive they are singing their oldies still. how could they not?! anyway, she just went on a road trip to Chicago to see them in concert and even got her picture taken with her heart throb Jordan; lucky girl!

ok, you're turn. what music do you love when you were a teenager? c'mon, make me laugh!

AIDS day

first let me say, these are just MY thoughts. if you'd like to have a civil discussion about this subject, I'm all ears. that said, I have mixed feelings about today, which is AIDS day.

I read an article about a gay couple in Argentina that wanted to marry today. the government stopped it, saying it was unconstitutional. it's going up for review, blah, blah, blah, whatever loopholes Argentina has to make them jump through.

there are gay marriage battles all over our country too, since it's not legal in every state ... yet. I believe it will be allowed in the majority of states, sooner than later.

before I was saved, I believed that anyone can love anyone. gay, straight, whatever; "all you need it love." (side note: the Beatles are awesome!)

knowing God now and reading his word, I have come to learn how wrong it is. simply stated, it's a sin. there are lots of scripture about sexual immorality (from a bible-believing perspective will include homosexuality), but here are a couple passages about homosexuality specifically - Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

I have had some experience with AIDS. I had a co-worker/friend die from AIDS. I was his assistant at a furniture store; anyone that works full time knows that you often spend more time with your co-workers than your family and friends. this was my situation. we really got to know each other after 40-60 hours per week. he was a great guy. openly gay (not that he really had to tell you he was!) and was in a monogamous relationship, or so he thought.

he got a routine check up, and because he was gay, got tested for HIV. not exactly a test you can study for. he was diagnosed in February '98. wow, it's been 10 years already. I still think about him often.
his doctors put him on medication right away so it wouldn't progress to AIDS. he quit his job so he could move and be closer to his family, since he didn't know how long he'd have left in this life; he did this just a couple months after his diagnosis. apparently he had a major allergic reaction to his medication and on the drive to his parents, his eyes got so swollen an ambulance had to be called from the road. he went to the hospital and never left.
can you imagine having just 2 months to process all that? the one you love has not only cheated on you, but gave you HIV?!

it was all very sad. a co-worker and I drove to his funeral. he was raised a christian, which I never knew about him. I was a VERY new christian then, so I didn't ask or really talk about it much. on the program included a poem he wrote. it was about the torture of being a gay man, but having a christian mind/beliefs.

so I believe he knew it was wrong all along. how tragic.

I have a pastor friend who has this perspective on homosexuality -
he believes people are born gay, just like people are born with any disease. it's unfortunate, but it happens. we all have our "issues." sexual immorality is a big one for a lot of people; it could be pornography, prostitutes, adultery, homosexuality, among others. it is sin. we all have sin in one way, shape, or form. sin has had a snowball effect on mankind for so long, that people are literally born that way now. for any of our "issues" the KEY is self control. do we give in to our fleshly desires? we're certainly not supposed to if it causes us to sin; check out the link here.

I like this perspective. it makes sense to me.

what doesn't make sense are gay christian churches. how can they interpret those verses differently and justify their lifestyles?

of course there are other ways to get AIDS. you don't hear about it too much though.

Starbucks (and others) are donating part of your purchase to AIDS awareness. I'm conflicted. I'm all for supporting cancer organizations; cancer comes without warning or any reason at all. but supporting AIDS day seems to be supporting the "right to be gay." yes, I know it's also for raising awareness through education, but ultimately, it supports the gay community. no? this could just be my ignorance ... but that's me being honest. I wouldn't go to the gay pride parade just because I like parades and rainbows. would you?

leave me a comment no matter what you believe. I'm interested.

ps. I saw a bumper sticker a few weeks ago that I really like.
it said - I'm not gay, I just like rainbows

lunch

did your mom ever put notes in your lunch at school? a kid remembers that kind of stuff.

Sam only goes to school 2 days per week, but I insist he gets a homemade lunch rather than whatever school is serving. for a few reasons -
1. I'm cheap
2. I'm paranoid about what the school serves; extra preservatives and such
3. he's got the cutest lunch bag; a dinosaur no less!
4. I can give him a note on his napkin :)

here is a link to help a kid get a lunch. lunchables is giving away lunches, with your promise of adding a special note to your childs' lunch. it's too easy. thanks to Robyn for this!

right to write?

it's amazing how genetics work.

do you know not everyone can curl their tongue? Sam and I can do it, hubby can't. we think it's hilarious, because Papa can usually do anything we can do, only better. this is the one thing Sam and I both have on him that he can't get. haha!

Matt and I are both righty's. Sam, however, is a lefty. I have 2 aunts that are lefty's, but I think Matt's mom was a lefty. Sam seems very proud to be a little different. he introduces himself to people we meet like this: "Hi. I'm Sam. This is Elliott. I just turned 5 and he just turned 1. and guess what? I'm a lefty." and people always say "oooooh & aaaaah." it's always funny. I had to repeat that to him a lot this last spring so he could remind his t-ball coach which way he had to bat. so ever since then.

I'm starting to think Elliott will be a lefty too. this morning at breakfast, he was holding his spoon in his right hand, but grabbing food, eating it with his left. I know it's still too early to know for sure. I'm sort of secretly hoping he is a lefty. that way, with all the speicalty lefty stuff we'll have to buy for Sam, we can pass them on to Elliott. like sporting equipment, mostly. mmmm, what else do lefty's need?

did you see that Simpson's episode where Ned Flanders opens a lefty store? the Leftorium. that's what we'll need. :)

is your child a lefty? what are your challenges? not that it's a disability, but you know what I mean.

a worthy cookie

I'm a big sweets fan, and I love to bake. not a good combo.
but here is a cookie recipe that I consider "better" than most. I justify "better" by it not having chocolate chips, but having dried fruit. yes, I'm horrible. and yes, I live in a fantasy world sometimes.

Ranger Cookies
1/2C butter, softened
1/2C sugar
1/2C brown sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1 egg
1tsp vanilla

1 1/4 flour
1C quick cooking oats
1C coconut
1C raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, or a mix of dried fruits

mix wet, add dry. bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, and ta-da! enjoy!

food drive

my friend Jennifer is the perfect example of how we ought to be helping each other. and not just during the Christmas season, but anytime. she is dejunking and giving it away for free ... sort of ... in exchange for an item to donate to her food drive

if you are in the Colorado Springs area, check out the free catergory on craigslist.org. you will easily find her postings. she is going above and beyond, to help people she doesn't even know, throughout her community.

Avon and I are helping too. for every sale made in Campaign #25, I will be donating 40% of my profits to her food drive. if you'd like to help while purchasing Avon, just contact me saying you'd like your order to be put towards Jennifer's efforts. You don't have to live in the area for this; online orders included too.

Thanks and feel free to pass this on!

thrift or retail?

I am to a point in my bargain hunting that paying retail is for suckers. really. you can buy just about everything you need at thrift stores. and yes, you can find stuff in good, and even great, condition. clothes, toys, books, home decor of all kinds, and then there is a bunch of stuff you don't need or want
it's truly amazing what you will find. sometimes it's SO ugly you can't believe someone actually wore it, or displayed it in their home. then other times it's amazing people just get rid of something so perfect ... and that's where I like to come in.

now on the other hand, there are some things you just have to go buy and pay retail. a few years ago, I paid $20 for a can opener. a can opener! ridiculous, I know.
3 years ago, I wasn't quite into my thrift stores as I am now, but I am glad I did it. it is THE BEST can opener ever. and after 3 years, I guess I got my money's worth already.

today I went to Bed Bath & Beyond. what an awesome store. but as I'm walking around, and noticing these prices, my jaw drops. it seems insane to pay these prices, all the time, for this kind of stuff. I suppose for someone where money isn't an issue, then who cares. we aren't as broke as last year, but I will not give up my thrift stores no matter how much we make. seriously. it's my therapy, I guess.
but I did buy a veggie steamer for $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond. I had one of those cheap metal ones; it broke, multiple times. I broke down and bought a silicone one. LOVE IT. another item worth every penny.

try your local thrift store first. let me encourage you with my latest discoveries -
I'm finding out that kitchen gadgets are expensive brand new, but thrift stores don't seem to know what they have, or just don't care. I bought a zester, a pastry blender and a pair of tongs, all for .50 each. easily $20+ at any retail store.
books are another great thing to shop for there. they're usually in great condition. kids books on the other hand, usually beat up. but most books are .50 - $1 each.
seasonal items are also a good find. in retail stores, you don't get 50% off until days after the holiday. at thrift stores, it's already 90% off and you will also find a lot of it in it's original box.

also know that you are not only saving tons of money, but you're recycling too. a great lesson for yourself and your kids!

in conclusion, I'm only a sucker when I have to be. :)

trust fall

did you have to do trust falls in gym class? I remember doing them. I also remember being so nervous about them, not fully trusting who was going to catch me.

Sam and I were waiting for Papa to do something, and I suddenly thought to show this to Sam. he didn't get it.
so Papa comes out and suggests we show him. for some reason, I didn't think I had to endure that nervousness and anxiety that I did in junior high. I obviously can't catch him (he's 300 lbs), so I guess it was up to me to show Sam how it's done.
it's one thing to eat the vegetables you don't like in front of your kids to show them - yes, it can be done. this trust fall is another thing.

so arms out, turn and check he's there and ready to catch me. yep, he's there. I'm ready, no, wait, check again. I'm ready, no, wait, will Elliott get in the way? no, he's safe and watching too. I'm ready, no wait, check again. finally, just do it already!
he did catch me, but I admit, I did take a small step back in that last mili-second. so I went through the process again. glad to say I wasn't so chicken the second time around.

realizing there is fear in me, bringing it out in the open, and just going through that process takes effort. as much as I didn't want to confront it, I also knew I had to. especially because Sam was there and watching. not just watching, but watching to see how it's done so he can have a turn.

in the end, Sam got to see and was able to do it too. he went through his own process, but it was much shorter than mine ... and too, he doesn't care if his brother gets in the way. sometimes that no fear thing kids have seems so wrong, but actually, that's the way God wants us to be all the time.

what's the worst that can happen? I will fall on the floor. I will be sore, but I will live.
another situation - flying in a plane, what's the worst that can happen? we will crash and die. I'm headed to heaven to see my Creator, so is that really so bad? nope, it shouldn't be.

find someone to do a trust fall with. see if you can do it too. you will. :)


excuse the mess

I've just discovered all this custom stuff I can do to my blog ... so I'm experimenting.

any advice?

why?

when people are selling their stuff (say on craigslist) do they list it as vintage or antique? people don't know what they're talking about. they need to just list it as old and ugly. really, is anything from the 60's antique? I am the only one who has seen the Antique Road Show?! c'mon people.

for facebook users, why do you poke? I do it, but don't know why.

why do toddlers want to be held all the time, only to be put down again?
and around and around we go.

why can't we all be blessed with perfect skin?

when Sam spills his drink at the restaurant, why does it only spill on me and make me look like I peed my pants?! seriously.

why can't the kitchen be clean for more than 30 minutes at a time? I feel like some days, I live in the kitchen alone.

why is God so good?

why do I have to be soooo ticklish, but hate to be tickled?

why did my camera have to break? I have to buy disposables :(

why do I bother putting a top sheet on the bed? it always ends up under the comforter, kicked down to the bottom. every. single. morning.

why do kids touch everything they're not suppose to? how do they know? seriously, even before you tell them that first time, they know.

why do people without kids think they have a clue what's it's like? people you don't, so stop with the looks.

why can't Santa be real?

why have I been chosen to believe? Jesus, not Santa. why am I so deserving?

my random thoughts for the day ...

name change

When I picked up Sam at school today, his teacher had a funny story for me. I have to share.

One of Sam's assignments was to write about his favorite bible story. his favorite was the about the whale, with the pirates who don't do anything. :)
In class, the few his teacher covered was Noah and the Ark, Jesus and the Cross, Jonah and the Whale, and David and Goliath.

So after hearing that last one, Sam says " I want to change my name to David" then he says to his teacher, "but you can call me Dave"

vista print

do you need business cards? return address stickers?
personalized stamps? mouse pads?

vista print is a great resource ... and cheap, let's not forget cheap!

I just had business cards made and received a coupon for my next order. just go to www.vistaprint.com/rals and you will automatically get 25% off your order at checkout. yay!

ps. if you opt for the slow shipment (I think it says up to 21 days) it will get to you in less than 2 weeks. mine did anyway.

just wanted to pass on some savings!!

a simple request

this was brought to my attention from a friend of mine on facebook.


A friend of a friend of a friend has a 5 yr old son Noah. He is in the last stages of 2 1/2 yr battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer. The family is celebrating Christmas next week and Noah's request is to get lots of Christmas cards. Let's get him some!


Please send cards to:

Noah Biorkma

1141 Fountain Viewcircle

South Lyon, MI 4817


if you're wondering what neuroblastoma cancer is, check this out. pass it on!

harsh reality

I was reading Luke chapter 21 and Jesus is explaining the signs of the end of the age. not a mere man, Jesus. those words in red. to me, knowing that the words are from Jesus has a bigger impact. and it should.
here's a blurb (Luke 21:9-11)
"when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. these things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. then he said to them "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. there will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven."

how funny is it when your world somehow completely compliments the scripture you read that same day? funny. ironic. just too perfect. to me, it must be God getting through.

in this case, it wasn't flowers and rainbows of hope and love. it was the ugly truth. the process of the end times. the snowball effect of sin in our world. the unimaginable actually happening. the reality of this world. disgusting and cold. no I'm not happy about it. it's keeping me up at night.

for a long while I wouldn't watch or read the news, it was all too sad and depressing. but I started up again during election time to stay in the loop somewhat. I was feeling stupid not knowing what was happening; listening but not participating in discussions because I was simply clueless. so I was catching up on the news yesterday (I use cnn.com) and was horrified. have you read the news lately?!

** a mom murdered her 2 boys (2 & 8) and then tried to commit suicide. slit their throats and then her own. when she was unsuccessful at killing herself, she made up a story about being kidnapped and he killed the boys. the police found her boys in her van, left for dead. the 8 year old somehow survived and was able to tell the police who did this to him, not to mention, he witnessed his brother's death.
** the Fort Hood incident. cnn is calling it a massacre. 13 dead.
** the Ohio man with 11 bodies found buried all over his home. a murderer, a serial rapist & sex offender.
** FL baby Shannon found under a bed
** a 30 year old woman found dead in the lake right outside my house!

I can hardly believe it all. I can't fathom what goes on in the minds of these people. what happened in their lives to lead to this? this isn't just ugly, it's really twisted.
it's easy to say sin is sin, but when you put in terms of shoplifting vs murder & rape ... I don't know how God deals with it all. yet another reason why He's so awesome I suppose.

another aspect to this is the media and what stories they present. our culture is so numb. we seem to "need" more violence, more excitement, more consequences, more, more, more to be interested. (side note: it makes me think of Monsters Inc. how they need screams to run their city, but kids just aren't scared anymore)

so back to the verse -
to me it's clear that this kind of ugliness will continue on. as nasty as the world is, it will get worse before it ends. there will come a point we will want it to end, and it won't. God is going to allow our sin to snowball, or I should say, He is allowing it. Jesus says these things MUST happen. and in a godly sort of way, He will say I told you so.
I only listed criminal stories because that's what I read about. there are also earthquakes & hurricanes happening worldwide, destroying lives. starving people are everywhere. diseases - AIDS, cancer, notice all the drug commercials on tv? those are mindgames. there are more and more and more ... with more coming.
they are all fearful events. unpredictable. grown mature people of the world, but undeveloped & immature spirits that have no grasp. scary to watch people lose such control, giving in to the enemy.

I don't know why God brought all this to my attention. I didn't think I was living in a dream-world, I knew ugliness was out there. I don't want to know these stories. I don't want to hear about the details. my heart aches. I can't sleep. I don't understand.
trying to find some peace with Luke 21:14, "but make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves," and also Luke 21:19, "by standing firm you will gain life."

what do you think about the end times? will we see it?
I've always known my kids will see more than I, but it's their kids (my grandkids) and will see the end. I think we are close. really close.

where do you get your news? is there a "nicer" news resource out there?

Avon update


* so far, I'm happy with my decision to sell Avon. like I've said before, I'm far from a girly girl (I have my moments) so selling makeup is somewhat unfitting for me. however Avon isn't pushy with trendiness, so that's why it suits me. they want to support you as a woman, whatever your style is. I like that; I can still feel free to be me.

* I am really not a pushy sales person, I don't want to be. there maybe people that do buy from pushiness, but does anyone really like it? I'd say no. luckily Avon has such a great reputation, that is sort of sells itself.

* whatever it is I do, I can't lie about it. I can't sell Avon and tell
people it's wonderful if I really don't believe it. I was never a good liar, ever. even before I was a believer, I felt conviction eating at me. so know that I'm continuing with Avon because I really do like their products! promise. in fact, I'm blogging about my experiences with the various Avon products I buy. you can check that out on my website.

** my pitch to you blog-land ...
open 24/7!

Avon is now doing e-parties! instead of having an Avon party at your home, you have a party online. it's so easy!! similar to tupperware, pampered chef, discovery toys, or any other home party, you are the host and you forward info to my online store to everyone in your contacts list. then depending on how many sales you rack up, depends on the prize/discount you receive for hosting. Christmas is right around the corner, so it's the perfect time to host! Avon is more than just makeup, there are so many gift ideas in every brochure!! no matter where you are reading this from, you can host an e-party. you are already online, so why not try it out?!

interested? leave me a comment. thanks!

simple prevention

here is an email that was forwarded to me about swine flu. I wanted to post here because it's simple, and we all need simple. nope I'm not a doctor, just a (somewhat paranoid) mom. although being up here in the mountains, I'm not too too worried about it. I haven't taken any extra steps with H1N1 going around. to me it's just the flu, a really really bad flu. so this year, like every flu season, I encourage more hand-washing and more anti-bacterial stuff for everyone in my family. hope it helps!

Prevent Swine Flu - Good Advice

Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS, DRM, DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid Specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear Medicine Department and Thyroid Clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and Critical Centre, Malad (W).

He says:
The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications
2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once everyday with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effecting in bringing down viral population.*
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee,etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Pass this one on!

unbottled

I know something isn't right spiritually when everything on the outside is perfect, but somehow I'm still unhappy. it's easy to think "if I had this" or "if this would just happen," life would be great. if it were only that easy, right?!

I have a great, beautiful home
a family, happy & healthy
food in the fridge
money in the bank
a God who loves me & is always there
I stay home with my kids
and on and on and on I could go.

during the season I was involved with church, I was pushed spiritually in a way I never had been before. although this church is no more, it was a major tool God used to get through to me.
in that time I was upset a lot because I was made uncomfortable; pushed to go to an unexpected place. a place I didn't know existed until I got there. I now miss it.
currently I am not in a church, and get upset a lot because stuff gets bottled up. no one pushes me; I'm stagnant. blah.
both may be an uncomfortable place, but at least in one of them, change happens. and I know God wants us flexible to change; willing and knowing we're able. I'm realizing I need self-discipline for sure, but also, how important accountability is for my progress.

in my hearts of hearts, I believe in His power. my faith lacks in His willingness. His mercy and grace constantly amazes me, but that's different than bringing change to me, to you, or to the world. the world is in a place where all He can do is bring revelation to believers, with ears to hear and a passion in their hearts.
there is a root of something in me, nagging at me. God get me uncomfortable. give me a revelation, because I'm ready to rip it out.

I was listening to an older CD of mine - Michelle Branch. I don't know where she is now, but 5 or so years back I discovered her music and many of her christian lyrics stick with me day to day. here's one -

and when I catch my breath, it's You I see
You're everything I know, that makes me believe
I'm not alone

life gets crazy. busy. how do you keep the world out? is that even possible? I get caught up in it and eventually feel it. I think the goal is to feel it sooner, always sooner. when I feel it and catch my breath (spiritually), then it's You I see.

your thoughts on my thoughts? leave a comment.

bring help!

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so
you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.
You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance."

In this position your aging, toneless (God I should have gone to the gym!!!) thigh muscles begin
to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance".

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward
against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get".

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
You're e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.
You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, .....so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.
You are no longer able to smile politely to them.

A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet papertrailing from your shoe.(Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom.
Annoyed, he asks,” What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms (rest??? You've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door!

diy

I was making dinner last night and realized I didn't have any bread crumbs. It's just one of those things that you assume is always there in the pantry, right? and of course I'm so far into the recipe that I have to keep going, but going to the grocery store here is a 1/2 hour venture, so what to do?
google it! this is always my answer, and I was surprised at what I found. if you are in need of some bread crumbs, here's what you do -
take any bread (rye, wheat, white, sourdough, anything will do) all the same kind or not, and throw it in your cuisinart until you get crumbs. for whatever reason I thought it was much more difficult than that!
it will not work if it is fresh and moist; you need bread a few days old and a bit dried out. if it's not dry, place slices on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 10 or so minutes, then put in your cuisinart.

just thought someone else out there may need the same enlightenment about bread crumbs that I got last night! happy cooking!

turning 5

my Sam just turned 5. he's been talking about turning five for months; he's been so excited. silly me, I thought he was excited for his birthday to get a few presents. nope, he's was more excited to tell people his age and be able to hold out his whole hand to show them. he did get a few presents, but he like the birthday sundaes we made more. I'm glad he's not focused on the material things ... I wonder how long that will last. my hope, forever.

my camera is officially broken, so I don't have pics to post. :(
but we did get silly with the mac the other night, so here is what 5 looks like ... sort of. aren't we cute?!


I love my son to pieces. he has helped me so much in his 5 short years, he has no idea. I hope to tell him one day, without crying my eyeballs out that is!
in short, God gave me this verse specifically about Samuel a few years ago -
Hebrews 1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

happy 5th birthday son, you are a true blessing.

Divide

I have lived here just a couple of weeks, but it feels like longer. I mean that in a good way. I love it here. this house feels like home already, and usually for me, that takes awhile to get. I pray God will keep us here for a long time ... I have learned to never say never, but also, never say forever. only God is forever; can I get an amen?!

since my camera is broken, I thought I'd google Divide, CO. here is what I got -


yep, this is exactly what it looks like. in fact, this looks identical to the road you have to take to get to my house. the clouds aren't usually so dark, maybe this winter as the storms are coming. but here in CO the clouds are always beautiful. if you are a cloud person, you would love it. I have discovered that about myself; I am always noticing the clouds. leaves me speechless most of the time.
that is Pikes Peak in the background, which is at 14,000 feet. our house is at 9,200 feet, so you want snow, come visit us! we are planning on lots of snowmen, ice skating (there is a pond behind our house!), shoveling, and sledding. of course if you come, you might get snowed in for a few days!
in and out of these woods are lots of elk. I've seen the females up close and they are huge. I'd say 3x the size of a doe. I've seen a buck from afar, and you can definitely tell, he's even bigger. it's truly amazing. I actually found an elk watching trip, it's 2 1/2 hours walking all around the picture above. I expect it to be pretty awesome!

feels good turning into a mountain girl. I promise to shower daily and still shave my legs!!


I am not my own

more and more I am being shown that I am not my own. we are taught by the world to have, take, or keep control of our lives, but really, God has control. total control. to me, that's comforting. scary at times, but ultimately, it's comforting.

change of subject, but I'll bring it all back together ...

moving to CO I had to chop my hair. the elevation totally flattened it and I didn't know what to do with it. honestly, I don't care about my hair. sometimes I try to be a girly girl, but it's fake and it lasts only a short time. it's just not in me to care or get excited about it.

with these 2 thoughts running around in my head, I finally got to put them together with a 3rd thought ...

for whatever reason, my heart aches for people affected by cancer. it's a disease that comes no matter what you do to avoid it. a disease with no sure cure available. people of all ages gets it. no one knows why or how.

I really don't have too much experience with cancer. I don't know my family tree that far back, but of the ones I know, there are a couple that have died from cancer. but their deaths came from their lifestyle of smoking; in my opinion, their own stupidity. but from what I remember, I don't think they had to go through chemo and loose their hair. the cancer was either too far gone or came on too fast.
I also got involved with a mom's club a couple years ago, and I became the community outreach contact for the group. I'd set up park clean-up days, get us in the local parades, and one year, got us involved with the Relay for Life, which is a huge event to raise money for cancer awareness and research. I was so happy to help and so heartbroken at the candlelight vigil held that night.

all that put together equal this ...

seeing and understanding that I am not my own, and I don't really care about my hair, and I somehow want to help ease the pain of cancer, I've decided to get involved with Pantene and their Beautiful Lengths program. I don't particularly like Pantene products, their too heavy for me, but they have this great program with the American Cancer Society.

so hair donation has been added to my bucket list. :)
wish me luck to grow my hair that long!! should be interesting. I haven't had long hair since high school I think.

Here are some other programs to get involved with if you're interested too.