Archive for April, 2007

Alternate Title:

‘Cause celebrities aren’t the only ones who get to party with their friends for a good cause….

Okay, so, almost a year ago (I KNOW…can you believe it!?!) I wrote this post after coming home for an in-home product party thing. Go on over there and read it, because 1-I already wrote it and 2-I couldn’t write it better now.

Seriously, go read it.

I can wait.

Okay, soooooo…..I wrote that a year ago and guess what I did. Nothing. Nothing at all. Though the thoughts and idea of it all have not left me in this past year.

Fast forward to present:

In our home group (will explain that later), we all started talking about our gifts and passions, and the dreams we had for serving our communities using those gifts. I shared my idea for this party. A party where all of my friends would be invited for good music, great food, and lots of fun. Instead of coming together to buy kitchen products or candles or something else that we don’t really need (want, yes. need? I can’t say I’ve ever bought anything at one of those parties that I couldn’t live without), we combine our resources to support those who truly are in need. Of food, clean water, clothing, medicine, education, shelter, etc. All of those things that we take for granted. All of those things that we have always had, and never doubt that we will. All of those things that others die without. All of those things that we have the means to provide.

So, I shared all that with the group at the table (7 of us adults). And guess what happened. Give up? They all got so excited! They were like, “Yeah, we’re gonna do this!”

What an amazing feeling. To have hoped and dreamed to put this together, and then to share it with others and have them appear as passionate and excited about it as I was, that’s a feeling that’s gotta be better than any drug out there. I’ve been on a high with this one for a while.

So, anyway, everybody just started owning this from the start. And one of the coolest things is that we are all gifted in such very different ways, with different strengths, different perspectives, and different ideas. I love that they are excited about details that I never would have considered, that they’re asking answers of me to questions I would have forgotten to ask. That, together, we’ll be able to do more with this party than I would ever have been able to do on my own.

Have I mentioned that I. Am. So. Totally. Psyched? Oh yeah, baby.

Baldman and I are supposed to get a page out here just with the details for the party. I’ll let you know when it’s up. Let me know if you want to come! So far, we know that it’s Sunday, June 10th at 4:30 pm. Everyone is invited to come. We are raising money for World Vision. We’ve supported them through child sponsorship for over a decade, and trust them to do good with the funds they receive. Baldman particularly liked that they have a Gift Catalog. That way, like the candle/toy/kitchen product parties, you actually get to choose what gift your money is going to buy. Very fun, trust me.

But come no matter what. Even if you don’t have a penny to give, or aren’t sure that this is what you want to do with the pennies you do have. This is about being with friends, sharing a great time, being thankful for all that we have, and gaining information and opportunity to allow these same joys into the lives of others.

This is another reason that I’m thankful for that. Now that we’re free from the debt, we get to choose where our extra goes. I love it.

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Wow, I’m a slacker. This post was meant to be written earlier in the month, but here we are now, anyway!!!

April is, in fact, National Autism Month, which I know because my SIL said, “Hey, it’s Autism Month! Don’t be such a slacker and get the word out, chickie!”

Okay, so she didn’t say that, but that was the spirit of the message, if not the actual…um….words.

Why does it matter to me? Because my nephew (hey there, cutie 😉 ) has been diagnosed with a very high functioning Autism (basically Asperger’s Syndrome). He is a bright kid, gets good grades, loves studying sea animals (he’s even been able to get in the water with the animals at Sea World!), and has a normal pre-teen fascination with Harry Potter. He’s does so well, in part, because the autism was diagnosed early and he was able to receive the therapies that help him to live a normal life.

My sister-in-law, his mom, has been working hard to establish a support group in her community for families living with autism. She would want people to know this about kids with autism:

Sometimes it’s hard for others to understand that autistic kids are bright……they just think differently and don’t always have the social skills they need but that with therapies, they can function well like you and me.

Did you know that 1 in 150 people is diagnosed with autism? You can click over Autismspeaks to find the signs of autism.

Two blogs that I come back to are written by moms of children with Autism. First, find community, education, and discussion on living with Autism at the b5media blog, Autism Vox written by Kristina Chew, Ph.D. Second, take a peek into the lessons taught and learned from a homeschooling mum of a child with Asperger’s.

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Baldman and I are sitting here watching The Real Wedding Crashers. Man, we wish this show would’ve been around when we got married! That would’ve been sooooo fun….

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…that kid who, when we were growing up, came up with great ideas of how to rally the other kids and start a small business or organize a community project or some such thing. No, that wasn’t me. I was the one content to sit in my room and read for hours on end. No need to lead or organize or motivate or revolutionize our neighborhood. Not at all.

I think my oldest may have a bit of that kid in her, though.

One day a few weeks ago, Samantha and I were looking at her new calendar and she noticed that tomorrow, Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day.

“Mom, what’s Earth Day?”

“Welllll (thinking…thinking…thinking…), it’s a day for us to remember to be thankful for the earth God gave us, to appreciate all of the things that we get from the earth, and to remember the things that we need to do to take care of it and leave it better than we found it.”

She thinks for a second and asks, “So, what are we going to do for Earth Day?” Because, of course, if there’s a special day for it and all, that must mean that some action is required of us. Obviously.

The original plan was for us to invite some of her friends to join us to help clean up the park near our home. I dropped the ball, we forgot to invite anyone along. However, she has still been counting down the days until we get out and clean things up. And she is SO. EXCITED. Seriously, I think only Christmas and her birthday have trumped the anticipation of this approaching event.

She’s even started talking about special trash bag harness things that we could use to carry the trash bags around to make it all easier. I’m sure by next year, she’ll have the business plan in place for it, and have convinced some neighborhood kid (or one of her brothers) to build the prototype for her.

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Not Citibank! Or Discover….or Visa…or anything else that’s gonna gleefully lend me money at the bargain-basement rate of 19% a month.

And even better? We just made the last payment on our last credit card. Oh yeah, baby.

Yes, we have been here at other points in our marriage, but the difference now is that we also only used the card once in over a year. Seriously. And now we’re done with it.

I just wanted to share that because:

1. It feels great!

2. I’m proud that Baldman and I finally accomplished something that we set a goal to do.

3. I know there are some of you looking at the debt you’ve accrued and wonder if you’ll ever be able to pull yourself out of it. And I want to be a source of evidence and hope that, yes, you can do it. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do. It required a change in habits. It required sacrifices, more and different than I initially realized it might. But it was worth every bit of it.

We basically followed Dave Ramsey‘s initial plans for getting out of debt. (Not that I’m saying you shouldn’t, but we didn’t buy anything, just went with the plan.) Baldman took the lead on this one, and laid out the plans, and showed when we would reach our goals and such. Seeing it as a possibility is what really motivated us, I think. And listening to a few Dave Ramsey podcasts as well.

It’s very freeing, and exciting, and I don’t ever want to be back in debt like that.

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I haven’t written about the weightloss stuff for a while. There’s good reason for that….as I’m finishing off a piece of German chocolate cake for breakfast (I told you guys to take that home with you!!!).

Don’t worry, I was not irresponsibly modeling to my kids bad food habits. I had my backed turned to them so that they would not see me consuming dessert for breakfast while they sat munching on their PopTarts.

Now I feel ill.

I’ve been a bit stressed and a little depressed recently, but hadn’t really been able to pinpoint why. I’m just starting to figure out the reason. But, in the meantime, I’ve gone back to coping with food. Consuming, hating myself for it, hating to see the loss that I worked so hard for just start to dwindle away, or—more accurately—resume it’s natural place on various parts of my body.

I’d love to say that it stops right now. That I’ll immediately jump back on Calorie King and get myself in order. I’d love to say it, and I’d love for it to be true. I don’t think it is, yet. Not giving up, though. I’ve had a few really good eating/exercising weeks recently. Just gotta get more of them strung together. 🙂

I promise, I have more upbeat posts coming soon. One that cracks me up every time I start to read it, though it doesn’t always take that much to crack me up. 😛

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1 to 4,793

I do believe that’s the current score. Baldman up by 4,792. I’ve got much catching up to do.

I have very little going for me in the spacial relations department. Whenever I travel somewhere new, I almost always begin the journey back home the wrong way. Even at intersections that I cross through almost daily, coming at them from a different angle will send my head spinning.

But Saturday, Baldman and I went to a new area for a restaurant (and the coldest friggin’ soccer game I’ve ever sat through!!!!–will blog that later. 🙂 ), and I—YES I—remembered which direction we’d approached the area from when he didn’t.

Yeah, this is exciting me a little too much, I know. But this may just be a once in a lifetime event. 😛

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So many titles were fighting for choosing for this post. Here are the top candidates:

  • Don’t Ever Ask Me to Help
  • If I Ever Offer to Help, Run Far, Far Away
  • To do: Stick Elbow Through Plate-Glass Window….Check!
  • Somebody Call Pella, Stat!
  • Getting the picture here?

    So, I went to a friend’s house tonight to lend a hand. She’s moving and is getting her house cleaned up and ready for sale. I offered several times to help out, and she finally gave in and said sure. That wasn’t easy for her to let me come help. I doubt this experience will give anyone else a fighting chance of lending her a hand anytime in the near future.

    Anyway, we found a time I could come help without the kids. The first hour was good and we were getting lots done. I was really bummed because I’d planned on brining mom’s digital to take a few photos of some of the woodwork in her house. The house was built sometime between 1900 and 1915 and, like ours, has wood floors and trim throughout the house. Unlike ours, however, her’s is still unpainted and just beautiful. Ah well, I forgot.

    So, I’m moving toward the stairs to do come cleaning there. What I’d forgotten was that a grate over one of the vents had been removed for cleaning. Not a big deal in any house newly built, but for those of us with older homes (ours was built in 1925), the vents are a significant size. This opening without the grate was probably 1×2 feet?

    Now, I’m not known for my observations skills. Actually, I’m known for how very bad my observations skills are. So, the fact that I’d noticed this grate missing earlier was quite a feat in and of itself. That knowledge, however, did not carry over into the moment when I went near the stairs and turned to say something to my friend and stuck my foot into the hole and caught myself by putting my elbow through her window.

    Yes, through her window.

    Embarrassed? Yes.
    Feeling stupid? Very.
    Feeling guilty? Oh yeah.

    Good thing for me was that I’d gotten a little chilly early in the day and had thrown on a sweatshirt. I got out of that whole experience with only a very small cut to my hand. My pride? Well, that’s gonna scar a bit. 😉

    My friend was very gracious. I’m still very sorry. I promise to try and not offer to help anymore. If I do, you all have permission to run very quickly away from me. I’d strongly recommend it.

    And the worst part (other than the obvious “did more harm than help” for my friend)? I didn’t even have the camera with me to show you a photo of my handiwork. 😛

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    Idol ‘do…


    Jack must be on the cutting edge of fashion, I think. This is what she did to my oldest son’s hair back in February, a full month or more before what’s his name had it on that idol show.

    And why did I let her do this to him? Well, after 20 years, I think she’s worn me down to acquiesce to her crazy ways. That, or she was keeping the kids quiet so I just didn’t care. 😛

    Happy 20 year friendship, Jackie. I love ya much.

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    Go me!

    Okay, just a couple of things to be proud of myself for today:

    1) I finally got a “Have you no shame?” comment on a post! Okay, so it wasn’t actually posted in the comments, it was just uttered to me in disbelief. Alright, alright, so it was my mother. Still, I think that must mean I must be doing something right, yes? Honestly, I really was sure either this, this, this, or this post would have earned me that query much earlier, but apparently actually presenting a photo of my dirty laundry is what it really takes to lose my reign as the good child. I’ll take it. Now I just have to figure out how to rock the boat next. Any ideas?

    2) Hosted my first big blog carnival today at Play Library. Over 50 posts! That was utter craziness. If you’re interested in some fun family related posts, go check it out.

    Real posts on their way soon….

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