Apr 30, 2009

The Thing!!! -- FHP

Abbie has finally given the green light to announce thing #2!!!

I could try and write a great post about it, but I love what Abbie said! Check it out! She's been working on this for weeks now, ironing out all of the details. We're both pretty stoked about it and hope you will be too!
Recently, funds were sent to Uganda for upgrading a maternity ward in Fort Portal. As soon as we have photos from the project, I'll be sure to post them!
Abbie had an awesome idea of providing much needed items to new mothers soooo.... one thing lead to another and The Future Hope Project was birthed!
For more information, check out the project site. Oh! And Abbie is doing an awesome giveaway for those that participate!
As an added incentive to participate -- each person who sends a care package or donates a minimum of $10 towards the project will have their name entered into a drawing for a handmade Ugandan craft made by one of our Hope Aid beneficiaries in Fort Portal!!!
I realize I'm just now mentioning Hope Aid... you can read more about why I love it here. In a nutshell though, Hope Aid International focuses on increasing productivity through provision of income-generating activities, micro-loan programs, education, and social networks. We strive to promote self-sufficiency and empowerment that will lead to sustainable development.
It's also worth mentioning that we have the BEST staff ever in Uganda. David and his wife, Linda have fully committed themselves to helping others in their community. They are what keeps HAI running each day -- HUGE thank you to both of them!!! Did I mention that they VOLUNTEER their time for all of this??? They both also run Good Hope School - what a job!? Without David and Linda, Hope Aid could not exist in the capacity that it does. They are simply AWESOME!
So.... what are you waiting for?! Check out our new project!!! And don't forget about the giveaways! Let us know what questions you may have!

Apr 27, 2009

Do Something


Back by popular demand! haha

Ok, we'll try this again! For details about Do Something, check out this post. Today, because my friend Jill posted a neat post about giving back to others, and because the Compassion India bloggers visited the home of Mother Teresa, the topic will be random acts of kindness.

Maybe you decide to take flowers to a nursing home or retirement facility, maybe it's leaving a thank you card for your postal delivery person, thanking them for bringing your mail each day, or taking time to talk to a stranger in need who you would have otherwise passed right by... Several years ago, after one of our tae kwon do classes, Master Lee encouraged all of us to call three of our former teachers to thank them for helping us get where we were. I mailed a card to one of mine and we still keep in touch to this day!

Maybe you set a goal of performing one random act of kindness each day, week, or month. With the busyness of life, it's so easy to overlook the small things that can actually be very deep and meaningful to someone else.

I challenge you to learn a little something new about Mother Teresa.

If you need some ideas on things to do, check out this blog.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.

-Mother Teresa

In case you'd like for your act of kindness to be anonymous or if you're uncomfortable posting it, feel free to write about something different! I know that World Malaria Day has brought about some interesting posts lately and that is certainly something that deserves some attention. Feel free to write about anything you'd like! The idea behind Do Something Mondays is that we are jumping out of our comfort zones and reminding ourselves that it's not about us...do something for others, whether it's learning about a cause, helping a neighbor with groceries, or donating time or resources to a cause...


What will you do today?

Acts of Kindness

My friend Jill had a great post this morning....and I'm joining in on the "Pay it Forward" bandwagon.

The idea is that the first five people to post a comment on this blog entry will receive something special from me sometime in the next year! Then you look for people to pay it forward to yourself.

Here's how it works:

1. Leave a comment letting me know you'd like to participate. You must be willing to provide me with a mailing address, obviously.

2. Post a "Pay it Forward" on your blog where you link back to me and extend the same offer to five of your readers. (again, if you don' have a blog, you can still participate maybe over FB, Twitter or just in 'real life' situations!)

3. Promise that you will follow through and send something special to those five who comment on your blog (or however you choose to do it!)

The little something's don't have to be extravagant, just something that you select with that specific person in mind.

So there you have it...are you in? Leave a comment if you want to participate!

Apr 22, 2009

Apr 21, 2009

I love the internet...

Those incapable of laughing out loud at the following video are not my true friends.



This one won't let me embed - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOtkSPjcMi0&NR=1

(Ok, I'm not really serious about the friend thing, but seriously?! How could you not laugh out loud at this?!)

Do Something - follow up

Back in January, I was reading a blog and saw a picture the author had taken. It said, "Do Something." I loved it and wrote to ask her if I could use it for a carnival. I didn't have much blog traffic (probably still don't!) and so no one ever participated, but my first post was one that meant a LOT to me. As I have been sitting here today, thinking about my blog in general, it occurred to me that I never followed up on one of my first 'Do Something' posts. I'm sure that only a couple people remember this but I feel like the post deserves to come 'full circle.'

"Today on Do Something Monday, I have decided to do some homework. I plan to contact someone who is in position to explain all of the ins and outs of my potential decision. And then I plan to learn more about other possible solutions to help. That's all I can say for now as this is something very personal and I fear that opinions may sway what I ultimately decide."

My something was a friend in need of a kidney. I found out that a very dear friend from church had been sick and her kidneys were failing. My initial reaction was ok, I'll give her one of mine. I didn't say this out loud of course but I immediately went into research mode learning all that I could about the process, procedure, prognosis, etc... for both parties. There were a lot of factors to consider, two of the most important being the age of both of us (one somewhat young and the other somewhat older) and the impact on my ability to have children one day. Ultimately, by the time I was in the end stages of my research I found out that her family was being tested, and from what I understand they are still going through the process.

Let's talk change.

Obama started it. "Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can."

I don't necessarily deal with change well. Afterall, I haven't had to "change" much in the last 10+ years of my life - and when I did have change, it was very minor in the grand scheme of things. Change, however, is part of life. It is a necessary part of life. But that doesn't mean that I welcome it too graciously. I wouldn't say I resist it, rather I am slow to embrace it.

I want to like change. I want very much to like it. But it's my nature to be quite the opposite. I am SO a creature of habit. And comfort. When I look back at my life, I haven't always been this way. I would have NEVER gone to the places I have been or done the things I have done in my life if I was really and truly afraid of change. I'm not sure when I became so hesitant. It would be nice to know, because as Dr. Phil says, "you can't change what you don't acknowledge..." So if I could pin point something then I could totally change it all around.

I'm slowly warming up to change. I am. I really am. I've read some great blog posts this week that have been helpful - if for no other reason than to ensure my sanity! No really, they've helped confirm that it is not just me. I really love the blog world. These posts have come at a time when I really needed them. I don't think it's coincidence either. ;)


Heather wrote this one:
Do you have someone in your life that makes you think?
Someone who looks at your life and is able to summarize it and explain it in words that were so deep in your heart, that you could not even put vocabulary to it? I have recently become friends with someone who does this for me. This is an email she sent me after she watched the Adoption Video #7 (about min 2). It was the day we met Losiah for the first time, which so happened to be Thanksgiving.


This was some of her words, how she got in my head, my heart, I don't know. But 2 years later she gets it. I have pushed these things away. Life got so chaotic and I never approached these thoughts again.
UNTIL NOW! Here you go...

"I got to watch you eating your Turkey dinner in Korea and I was watching you smile and feeling like you wanted to cry. Here you were at one of the most anticipated moments of your adult life and all you wanted was to be anywhere but there. Isn't that how it so often is for us? We long and we wait and we desire, but when reality happens...we want to run! :) I feel like that's me on a constant basis. How we want success, but sometimes we fear success more than we fear failure. It's safer to think in the negative terms of, "what if I don't succeed, or what if I never make it, or what if I can't get a job." Because then we seemingly have control over those situations...we can fall on the default of, "well, I knew it would never happen." But...if we become successful, we have no way of maneuvering through that outcome...we don't know what to expect or how to take our life to the next level...especially if we are in a mindset of letdowns and failures."

Oh this struck my soul.
I had just met my son and yet I was so let down.
The moment happened, but it was not like the movies.
He was cute... but he was not mine.
Carlos and I were together, but we felt so alone.
I wanted to be home with what I knew, what made me feel comfortable, what made me feel safe. Oh how life is funny. We long and we want, but then it happens and often we are let down. We all have dreams. Dreams of school, work, marriage, kids, retirement. We all long to have those dreams fulfilled, but often times when they are, we are not satisfied. Marriage, kids, work, retirement, what is it for you? Have you had a dream that has not turned out as you thought? H


Then today, my blog friend Suz posted a link to her friend's blog:

Like, the last thing I want to hear from people is, “don’t worry thing’s will be okay…it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever done…you won’t care about all that…blah blah.”
I know those things, but I don’t want to accept them at this point, you know?
I don’t want to hear a bunch of typical niceties from people. The bottom line is, you get used to living a certain way and when a ton of things change all at once, its hard to handle, no matter who you are.
I’m used to living a certain way and lately every time I turn around, something else is changing and I can’t just do things anymore. Between my mom moving in, Mikey’s pillage and plunder of a good majority of our house, and the physical changes I’m having to go through, not to mention all the changes coming very shortly down the road, it’s just all so much at one time.


Help me. Tell me how you deal with change. What works for you?

Apr 20, 2009

Visitors

We had two visitors yesterday. They've stopped by before but were too timid for me to get anywhere near as close as I was allowed yesterday. Aren't they beautiful?! When I worked at the university we'd feed the ducks almost every afternoon. There were also lots of geese but only a few were friendly. Many of the ducks had been around since they hatched so they are very friendly. "My" duck was Pip. He was SO cute! Ok he looked like the others, and he was a little scardy cat... but I still liked him because he was part of the batch that I got to see from egg to duck! There were lots of ducks though that had been there for years from birth/hatch though so we had lots of friendly ones! Is it obvious that I don't know duck terminology? I could google it, but...

I'd like to think these two geese will be friendly but I'm not sure they'll come around often enough to get to know us - but they should because there are at least ten of us that rotate feeding the turtles in the pond. These geese don't know what they might be missing! I might have to buy some cracked corn if I see them again!

Inspiration

Jess posted this on her blog today. I think I love it. We'll call it inspiration nonetheless.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
―Joseph Campbell

Apr 18, 2009

Send Grandma to Nationals

Please tell me if you've seen a bake sale sign that's better than this one. A group of older ladies (ooooolder) selling homemade goodies to get their team to basketball nationals. I loved it! They joked that they were going to charge me to take a picture. I bought some fudge instead, but it melted before I could eat it. :(


video

After walking through the craft tents we listened to the bag pipes and then headed to a tea house for lunch. Mom and I splilt vegetable lasagna, blackbean salad, and a strawberry smoothie. Yum. K was also there and had a turkey salad sandwich, it was good too!

After the festival we all went on a walk but it's SO warm here today that we're all exhausted now, so I don't think I'll be trying any new things today... I'll be sure to pick up my next food combo at the grocery tomorrow.

Happy Saturday!

Apr 16, 2009

Bon appetit...KFC

This was $7! Has KFC always been this pricey?! The mac'n cheese wasn't good today. I felt horrible throwing it away but it was awful! Mashed potatoes, slaw, crispy snacker, biscuit (Mmm!). I wasn't sure about this in the beginning... I didn't include the pic because it was way over exposed but you would have seen a tiny dollop of potatoes in the slaw. I wasn't too excited about this combo but figured, hey, potatoes -- gooooood... slaw -- goooooood, so what's not to like?! After the initial little dollop went down okay I finished dipping my biscuit in some potatoes (just in case this combo wasn't especially palatable) and then shoveled some slaw in there!
This is what was left after the mixing.
Not bad Jess, not bad at all.
I'm going to have to skip sardine sandwiches with ketchup and horseradish and all things meat.
Stay tuned...this could get interesting.
(Do you love that I totally just outed you all?!)

Apr 15, 2009

Bon appetit...Let's eat!

I was talking to my friend yesterday (was it yesterday?) about something... and it lead to food. I like food. That should not be a secret. I'm happy for everyone to know that I like food. Anyway, we discuss that she, who will remain nameless, enjoys raw potatoes. Ew. But okay, I'll try it. I then tell her that I like peanut butter and mayonnaise (ok, Miracle Whip, regular fat content kind) sandwiches. She says, "ew" to that.

We laugh about it, somehow it leads to declawing cats and circumcision... and I am back in the office and have to go. Do you love that I leave you hanging on how we got to all of that? I don't really remember to tell you the truth. We initially talked about applique, so go figure.

So... what is your weird food? I'm very curious and I think that maybe this weekend I'll humor you all by tasting your weird food.

I don't eat red meat or seafood so while I still want you to share, I'm not going to taste that thankyouverymuch.

It seems only fitting that I say happy hump day to end this post.

Apr 13, 2009

Nola's Easter Lamb

video

My friend, Nola's "Aunt" Karlei, brought a fun little Easter basket for Nola last week. I gave her the stuffed lamb that was in it and this is how much fun she had! I'd also like to note that the sheep/cow that's on the floor was from Aunt Karlei and Uncle Luke at Christmas. Spoiled dog? Crazy dog lady? Okay...

The Bear!

video

This is one of the bears from our hiking trip last Friday. Turbo was SO funny -- he was digging in wet sand and then out of nowhere ploughed into the water. I tried to get it on video but somehow missed it. You can hear his mama laughing in the background, I think we were all laughing - he was such a riot! Now if he could only teach Gator how to love the water...

Apr 12, 2009

Makeover


I bought this hutch a few years ago for pretty cheap at a shop downtown. It's a neat place that typically buys estate pieces, but they also have a lot of junk too! I found this piece and fell in love with it. Originally, I'd planned to strip it, paint it black, then antique it, but the wood was so pretty I couldn't do it... that and Mom talked me out of it. The inside was horrible; it had this puke nasty diarrhea yellow brown colored velvet nailed to the shelves - which as it turned out - were rotten boards. I immediately tore the puke nasty diarrhea yellow brown colored velvet out and exposed the sorta rotten wood -- then just left the sorta rotten wood in there! I was lazy... and I didn't know where to start (duh, Lowes).
I filled it up with picture frames and ceramics and a soapstone nativity from Kenya, but (there's usually always a 'but,' right???) since I've been doing more sewing, I have found myself using the dining room table as my assembly area. I had all of my stuff on the table because I have absolutely NO space in the sunroom (office/craft room) for anything else, and I don't really want to spend $40 on a fold-up table when I have a perfectly good, unused table just to the side of that room. So... makeover time!
This makeover mainly consisted of removing picture frames, the soapstone nativity, ceramincs, and a few random trinkets and laying plain canvas over the rotten boards (yeah, I know... Lowes). Then I somewhat organized the fabric, supplies, etc... on two shelves. I still need the bottom shelf for cookbooks and recipes since the kitchen is so small, but it totally works. I love how it looks too. Makes me feel so crafty inside. I really do need to fix this piece up, but it's SO fragile I almost hate to do anything to it at the same time. For now, it works and I guess that's all that matters.
Hope everyone had a great Easter! I'll post Easter pics sometime tomorrow. We have some really cute ones of the puppies. They were SO much fun and they are SO sweet! I can't wait to show off their big feet... their paws are more than double the size of Nola's and they are only 11 weeks old!!!

Apr 11, 2009

Happy Easter!


Apr 10, 2009

Goin' on a bear hunt...or just a hike!

Remember the swamp? This is it, live and in person. Yuck. Be the river, be the river, be the river... you can do it... (my new mantra)... first in changes was to take more opportunities as they arise. I had to work last night and a couple of friends were in the shop... G mentioned wanting to go to one of the local parks to break in his new boots... K was also there and we'd talked about doing something this weekend so... off we went early this morning. We spent about 3 hours or so hiking 5 miles around the park. It was a *gorgeous* day! 84 degrees and sunny! It was really windy later in the afternoon but we had a great time, couldn't have asked for better weather. I brought my appendage, while K brought her dog Turbo. :) Turbo is Nola's favorite of all of K and L's dogs.
G took us on a new trail, which was nice (I like to stick with the familiar so see, yet another change!)... we ended up at the beach and had a blast watching Turbo and Nola run around in the sand.




Back at the visitor's center we checked everyone for ticks... Turbo had one, K had another. Thankfully, me, Nola, and G were clear of any and all bugs. Whew.


Nola came home and went straight to her crate (very odd for her). I later found her here... the camera was obviously no longer welcomed... oh well. Sleepy, grumpy, and just plain worn out will do that to anyone.

Off to the bookstore to see what Easter books they may have on sale... then hitting up the fabric store before coming back home to collapse.

Anyone going to Good Friday service? I'm skipping tonight but will plan on Easter vigil tomorrow evening.

24,000 Condoms

Did I mention that I am paid to teach safe sex/sex ed? I facilitate a session called VOICES, I'll spare you the acronym. The fun fact about my work is that I get to teach people about condoms. I typically visit substance abuse centers but I also go to random small group meetings and various other places.
VOICES participants are given different types of condoms to promote condom use, so I get to order LOTS of different types of condoms. Did you know there are over 300 different ones? I picked about 24 different types this go-round. We've probably had about 50 or so different ones to give out since starting the program year before last. Each case has 1,000 so we made about 1,000 bags (each bag had one of each kind inside, along with instructions in case they weren't paying attention in class). I have had condom boxes in my office and in the side hallway all week. There are several more cases of them but I have to drop them off at our community drop off sites next week...
I have to get as many people as I can to help me because we set up assembly line style and watch movies in the conference rooms. Typically I try to rent a somewhat relevant movie but this time I didn't have a chance to run by the video store so S brough Marley and Me. Oooh, I cried!!! We all cried. It wasn't as great as I'd hoped it would be, but it was cute. I love Jennifer Aniston! We also had cupcakes, kitkats, and chips. Yum!
I'm SO thankful for everyone that came to help -- my regulars, S and A, then J, E, K, and another J towards the end. Thanks everyone!!

Apr 7, 2009

Caveman Food


Does it bother anyone else that Caveman's lunch consisted of california rolls, a brownie, and coffee? What is with this guy?! I date him?!

Apr 6, 2009

Blog Etiquette

Friends... please help. Teach me about comments...

When I post a comment, sometimes I'll 'subscribe' to the replies to it but other times I will not. What do you do? Do you subscribe to comments every time you comment, just sometimes, or never at all?

When replying to comments, is it etiquette to just reply to others' comments on my blog or go to the person's blog?

I do a little of both because I'm never sure... well ok, sometimes I do know but only because I have tens (twos?) of dedicated stalkers who know exactly who they are. :P And my sister.

So... fill me in! What does one do???

Apr 5, 2009

Weekend projects...

This is by far my most favorite quilt I've done yet! (Ok, amongst four...) It's for my friend's little girl, Miley, who is quite possible the cutest baby I've ever seen. I'll have to see if I can get permission to share a photo! Or maybe she'll take one of Miley with her quilt so I can share! She's so cute, you could eat her up!
Vashti's bag - I love these colors! I might have to make one for me from these fabrics! LOVE!
This one... Er! To say I had a fight with this bag would be an understatement. It looks GREAT in the picture but the details, awful! Instead of turning all of the edges over at once (because you know, that's a pain), I did it piece by piece before I put them together. Not cool. So this bag is sorta done. I'm going to order more of this fabric though because it's gorgeous. It also looks really good with the green polka dots.
I have to work three nights this week so I'm on a sewing hiatus for a while! I'm planning to order some more fabric next weekend - can't wait!

'By Your Side'



My favorite part:
'Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life'


This was posted on Angie's blog. Her husband passed away in December after a dirt bike accident. A family friend set up a blog so people could pray for their family... Angie posted this video and when I watched it, I was reminded of Easter, and what it truly means. Angie and her son Nolan (great name, isn't it? :)) still need prayer, stop by their blog to read their story.

Swamp Thing

Yep, that's me. In case you missed the video of Francis Chan outing me, catch it again here. I was reading through Bible study this past week catching up from the previous week, and Beth Moore had us reading about broken hearts. I'm not sure what my mind was thinking because I didn't really get much out of the topic. However, towards the end of the lesson, she wrote about change. Bingo.

'...the life of a Christian is never about sameness. It's always about change. That's why we must learn to survive and once again thrive...'

My revelation: I am a swamp.

Not just any swamp, a really gross one. Plastic bottles bob up and down, mosquitos swarm the surface, algae and thick mud line the top and bottom of the stagnant, standing water. There's probably some dead stuff in there somwhere. I'd say completely lifeless, but did you catch the part about algae and mosquitos? Lovely! Please, come and visit me!

I like routine. I like habit. But I like it because it's safe. I swear I should be a risk analyzer. I feel like the guy in Along Came Polly.

Now, picture this: A river. Flowing. Fish swim through the rocks and pebbles that line the bottom. Beautiful clear water rushing through the channel. Flowers in bloom on the banks. Birds chirping from trees that fill spaces in the green grass nearby.

Why am I afraid of this?! Clearly it is a much prettier picture. Wait, I know why. The rocks. Big ones, small ones, heavy ones, tiny ones. But the river is still flowing and it still has its beauty. Hmmm... teach me, river.

Change is like a river. It's flowing. It's healthy. My fear of change is keeping me from moving forward. For the past several years, nothing has changed. Sure, I've started a different job here or there, brought Nola into my life, been to places here and there... but everything has been safe. It's been comfortable. I can feel change breathing on me. I can feel change stirring in my heart and stirring around me every day. I'm slowly warming up to the idea of embracing it.

Apr 4, 2009

Another new bag...

I'm not especially in love with this fabric, but it's cute. I think these would be $25 b/c it's double the fabric, and work... but I love this style! It's just the right size. I lined the outer fabric with thick interfacing and then left the inside lining as is so it's a nice combo. I could line the inside lining if anyone needed it to be super duper sturdy, but I think the single side of interfacing will do just the trick. On the flip side, I could also leave out any interfacing for a more compact bag. Not sure if anyone is interested but thought I'd put it out there! All profit goes to Hope Aid.

Apr 3, 2009

Fabric package, because it's fun!



Ahhh!!!

I'm off this afternoon (yay!) and my postal delivery person just brought me a big (ok, not really big, but heavyish!) box -- of FABRIC!!!

So -- everyone that emailed me about a bag -- I'll be working on them this weekend!!

Can't wait to upload the pics! Right now, I'm too excited and I'm going to have to start cutting out some bags! Will post some pics later!!!

Apr 1, 2009

Challenge!

Ok, I'm not the best at these... and after watching this video (I'm slowly making my way through his book!), I realize I have a LOT of work to do. But, here is a challenge for us all. And if you've not read Crazy Love, READ IT. I'm only on the third chapter and it's GOOD.

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
-Anonymous
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub