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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Newest Inspiration

I came across this today while visiting my newest favorite online hangout(SparkPeople) and this woman has inspired me more than anybody else I can think of. If she can look like that and be in that kind of shape at 72, surely I can do the same at 40.

LINK for those having trouble viewing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A HUGE Boost To My Ego!

I recently started my third round of P90X and last round I started seeing those changes I was hoping for. I didn't think anybody else had noticed though. My family hasn't seemed to take any particular interest in what I've been doing all of these months, not many comments have been made one way or another, other than the occasional mocking me when they see me workout at the crack of dawn each morning.

Yesterday though was different. My 13 year old sought out my advice on how to improve his push-ups! He didn't go to Dad, or even older brother, he went to me! I thought that was cool enough, but then he suggested: "Mom, you should join the military so you can show them how to do all of this stuff right, and show them that you can do it as well as all of those young guys."

I of course was/am flattered beyond belief, though I do realize the military will be just fine without me. And while I am getting in great shape, I don't know that I could keep up with the brave young men and women who serve our country. But it was quite a big ego boost to think my son thinks I could!

Not only that, he got up extra early to workout with me today! He only made it about 1/3 of the way through the Legs and

Back routine, but at least he is taking an interest, and I think gained even more respect for what I am capable of doing!

I don't need outside compliments to feel good about what I am doing, I can see and feel the changes, but it is sure nice to get them none the less!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Not The News I Was Hoping For & More

I will start by sharing what I know and don't know about my two sponsored children in Haiti, as I have had many calls and emails about them. I do know for a fact that Islamine, the younger of the girls was indeed in an affected area. I do not know whether her or her family have been injured and how they are doing. I am VERY worried and praying much for them.

I don't know anything about Sarafina. I can't find her location on the MAP provided by Compassion. From what I know about where she lives and with a friends help comparing that on the map, it appears she is either right in the affected area or just slightly out of it, but it is just a semi-educated guess. We are praying for her and her family as well.

Both girls and their families have been struggling with health problems and injuries prior to this, which only adds to the worries.

My thoughts have been all over the place since this event happened. While this is a horrible, tragic crisis, I am hoping that some good can come of it. It seems nearly everyone now knows who Haiti is, and I am hoping more will take an active interest in the ongoing plight of it's people and want to help beyond just these new immediate needs. You'd be surprised how many people I've talked to in the past that didn't even know where Haiti is. I mean it's practically in your back yard if you live in Florida!

I have been pleasantly surprised at the quickness of private agencies as well as governmental agencies in arranging and trying to get help to the desperate people of Haiti. I am disappointed at some of my conservative counter parts and their reactions to President Obama's swiftness in responding to this emergency and in the negative comments I've read online about Former President Clinton's ongoing interest in Haiti, not to mention the cruel, negative comments about Haiti itself.

It's no secret that I am NOT an Obama supporter and it probably wouldn't surprise most of my readers to know that I was not a Clinton supporter either. As far as politics go, there is little I can find to agree on, with either one of these men. But Clinton has slowly earned some of my respect this past year or so as I've learned about his interest in Haiti, and the work he's done there, WITHOUT the cameras. One of his last trips I only knew about thanks to the BBC news, as America's news never reported it. That speak volumes to me! He does what he does for Haiti out of a love of the country not for media attention. Obama in my opinion did what he should have done in this case. Sure, he screwed up on the Fort Hood incident which I wrote about as it happened. I certainly haven't approved of much he has done(or NOT done) since he's been in office, but this isn't the time for me or anyone else to be arguing his politics, this is a time to reach out and help our fellow man.

Last night as I watched Fox News and this morning as I read readers comments on some Fox articles I was just heart sick. The attitude of so many towards reaching out and helping Haiti is just saddening. One of my favorite Fox News commentators lost a lot of respect in my eyes as she said we shouldn't be helping them as they don't want to help themselves and other such comments. Anyone who knows anything about Haiti knows that most Haitians aren't in a position to help themselves, and DO want to learn how to do so, but need help, even before this crisis.

Those who commented nasty things online about Clinton's help to Haiti are just as bad. Using this as an opportunity to bash the former president and saying horrible things about a suffering country. Sure, Haiti is not a pleasant place to live and certainly isn't a island resort where many would willingly travel to, but that makes her people no less lovable or worthy of help. The people there like people everywhere are someones mothers, fathers, and children.

Sure, there are important questions to be asked about some of the politics of this, but LATER, not now. Now is the time to reach out to our fellow man who is in desperate need of help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti(and how YOU can help)

Yesterday Haiti was struck with a 7.0 earthquake. The results appear to be rather devastating, to a country that already struggles just to survive on a daily basis. My heart has been heavy since first hearing the news from a fellow Compassion Advocate yesterday afternoon via email.

As many of you know, two of the precious girls I sponsor through Compassion are in Haiti. I have been wanting to get to Haiti for some time now and have a scheduled trip in March of 2011, which can't come fast enough for me. I wish I could be there now doing something to help all of the people of Haiti, and to be holding and comforting my two small girls, and just to be sure they are okay. I have yet to hear how they are.

I feel so helpless, so far away. I want to do something, NOW! There are several organizations already in the process of getting aid to Haiti. I am going to list the links to two here that I am confident will use the money as they say they will. I know there are many, many others, these are just the ones I have first hand experience with so am confident to send my concerned friends and readers to without any hesitation.

If you can help, please do so, even if it's just a small amount. If you can't send money or food or supplies, please pray. Prayers are powerful, and your prayers are just as welcomed and appreciated as your money.

Please pray also for my girls, Sarafina and Islamine and their families.

Compassion Christian Disaster Relief

Food For the Poor

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Missionaries America??

One of our favorite parts of homeschooling is our read a loud time. We like to read biographies of Christian heroes and missionaries as well as biographies of those who lived and died to help form this great country of ours.

Lately we've been reading a lot of biographies of missionaries to China, as we are studying China right now. We are enjoying them all, and more often than not when read a loud time is done for the day, the kids literally beg for me to read more.

Thursday as we were wrapping our week up early my ten year old made a comment that made me stop and think for a moment: "Why are we worrying about sending all of these missionaries to China? It seems we need missionaries here in America more."

Wow.....from a ten year old. The sad truth is he's right. I was just surprised he was clearly able to see what so many much older than him don't. America is supposedly a Christian nation. At least it was at one time. It is hard to deny that Christianity played a huge role in our founding days. Is it still a Christian nation? I would like to think so, but looking at our media, schools, and government, I think it is reasonable to have some serious doubts about that.

I am thinking my sweet dear ten year old is wise beyond his short years.

"Secret" Family Recipes

I LOVE to cook, I especially love to bake. Baking to me is the ultimate stress reliever, unfortunately, so is tasting my own creations(so there lies the truth in my workout addiction!)! I love to cook and bake for others and I just love compliments and can't think of a better compliment, then being asked for the recipe for the dish I made.

I happily share all my recipes as I enjoy knowing people liked what I made enough that they want to make it themselves. Also, most of my recipes were handed down to me either from friends and family or from magazines, books and even the web!

It seems odd to me that many don't or rather, wont share their recipes with others. Several years ago a very good friend of mine made some chocolate mocha truffles for me as a Christmas gift. These things were heavenly! I had never tasted anything so good, so of course I asked for the recipe. I was shocked when she refused. She said it was her sisters recipe and she has promised not to share it and would honor that promise. For years she refused to share that recipe until one day after being inspired by an act of kindness by someone else, the sister finally called and said my dear friend could share the recipe with me. Funny thing is, grateful as I was, I to this day have never made it.

I thought this was incredibly odd as I never before had been refused a recipe, or ever since. Last Sunday at church I was the refreshment server and made my favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and was delighted to receive many compliments on them! I overheard a few women asking if they thought I'd share the recipe and I was thinking "Of course I will, just ask!" Why wouldn't I?

A little bit later one woman comes and very humbly asks, and while trying to figure out why she seemed almost afraid to ask, I told her I'd bring the recipe the following week. After speaking with her, it turns out she had a very similar experience to mine while asking for a recipe in the past. Then several of the ladies joined in and it seems everyone has at least once experienced a cook who wouldn't share a recipe!

I understand that some recipes are "family" recipes that get passed down through the generations and are special, my Grandmas Chicken Noodles are like that as are my favorite Aunts Carne Secca. But, why not share and let other families enjoy those special meals as well? What good is that "special" recipe if something happens to you and it goes with you to the grave before you passed it on to your loved ones?

As one of the ladies at my church said "sharing your recipes means a part of you continues to live on even after you're long gone."

As mentioned I LOVE sharing my recipes, and do so on my cooking blog. While it doesn't get updated as often as this blog, most all my favorites are there. COOKING SIMPLY.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Homeschool Toolbar?

I've recently received several emails about a homeschool toolbar. Honestly, I've ignored them, haven't even read the whole email as I have way too many toolbars on my computer already. I share my computer with my husband and 4 children and they each have a preference for which toolbar(and browser!) they like to use.

For some unknown reason today, I actually read the email and my interest was perked! So I clicked on the link and visited the site, and next think I knew I was downloading it.

I have to say, it is actually pretty cool! There are pull down links and menus for top homeschooling sites, blogs and more. Go check it out HERE.

How Would I Explain?

Those who have read here for the past couple of years have watched us try to dig our way out of debt and I've shared about the things we've given up to help us reach our financial goals. Things like the Cable TV, my energy drinks I am so fond of, video club memberships and more.

While we still have a large amount of debt we are working on paying off, we have paid off close to half! That's the good news. The bad news is as our finances have improved a little as a result, those "extras" we had given up to help us reach those goals, have managed to sneak their way back into our lives and budget.

While we can afford them and still pay our bills, I can't help but think how much better off we'd be if we hadn't added them back in and kept applying that money to our bills.

Then there's the whole issue of my Haiti trip. I almost was thinking about not going until all my debt is paid and I can more comfortably afford the trip. Then one of my little girls wrote a letter about how she was praying I would come and that "God would sustain her life so she could meet me."

How could I tell this precious little girl that I can't come because I can't afford it, but I COULD afford a $3.00 a day energy drink habit, cable TV, satellite radio and other stupid luxuries I really don't need? How could I ever explain my energy drink habit to a little girl who probably has had to eat mud biscuits just to fill her tummy?

How would I explain to my God how I used the money he provided us with?

Here I spend a crazy amount of money on fitness videos and special supplements to control my weight and look my best and in other countries all over the world, some as close as Haiti people are literally starving from not enough to eat, yet I am buying products to counter the results of my over eating?

I certainly have to get my priorities in order once again! I guess I have more New Years goals than I first thought!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Resolutions?

I typically do not make New Years resolutions, but this year I do have a few.

What about you? Do you have any?

If yours happens to be a fitness or weight loss related goal, maybe we can help each other out. Let me explain. My goals are:

1. To save enough money to make a 2011 Compassion trip to Haiti to meet two of my sponsored children and see the work Compassion is doing in Haiti.

2. To continue to try and learn the Creole language before going.

So, if my goal is to make it to Haiti(which considering my current financial situation is a pretty tall order!) and yours is to lose weight, how can we help each other?

Well, if you would visit my Beachbody Website I can help you pick the program that would be best for you, be your personal coach helping you and cheering you on along your way to reaching your goals, and in return I will use ALL profits to fund my Haiti trip.

You will see that at the top of my blog I have a ticker showing what I need(this amount covers the costs due to Compassion for the trip, I will still need airfare to Miami, my passport and extra funds to buy items to take to the orphanages and centers we will be visiting) As my trip gets funded I will update this ticker so you can see our progress!

Not only will you be helping yourself to a happier and healthier you, but you will be helping make my dream come true and be making two little Haitian girls VERY happy!

Of course details and photos of my trip will be posted here as well so you can see what you helped contribute to!