Thursday, October 30, 2008

Little things can make a big difference

November 6th, 2008 marks the third anniversary that an F3 tornado traveled 41 miles through Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties in Southwestern Indiana, killing 25 people. Alongside several hundred other volunteers, I helped to clean up the devastation left in it's wake. For those that survived that fateful night but lost a child or loved one, the pain is still very much there.

The Remembering November 6th Committee is reaching out to help others in need this year by refurbishing The Goodwill Family Shelter in our city. We have several rooms sponsored so far and the donations continue to exceed our expectations. If anyone is interested in helping please email me:

We have spread the word and several kind-hearted businesses in town are rallying the troops! Several organizations are giving of both their time and money. We are encouraged to have support and are looking forward to helping preserve the mememories of those that were lost while honoring them on November 6th with the work we are doing at the shelter.

I will be posting pictures of our progress at the shelter and as usual will be giving the play by play on twitter!

November 6, 2005

I was watching it all on TV, waiting for my husband to get home so that I could go check on my grandmother who lived a block east of Angel Mounds. Angel Mounds is a stone's throw from the mobile home park that was nearly completely destroyed. They had said it was headed straight for her. My husband came home from work around 2:30 am, and went to check on her (he would not let me go!) Our son was almost 2, and sleeping soundly at that time of the morning.

It took several hours to reach her but my Grandma was ok. She had slept through the entire storm. Houses were completely destroyed just blocks away.

The next morning I felt so helpless...I just knew I had to do something, anything to help. I fully expected to hear from the non-profit I was working for at the time but they never called. Instead, I called two girlfriends and we hopped in my husbands truck. Cell phones and phone books in hand we just started calling businesses and they were more than willing to help. We called Papa Johns in Village Commons (truck load of pizza), McDonalds on Main Street(truck load of cheeseburgers), and we filled up the back of the truck with warm food for the relief workers several times over. Panera Bread on Burkhart kept the coffee flowing and donated untold gallons. Walmart on Burkhardt loaded the back of our truck with as much water and snacks as it could hold several times. We distributed the food to the Eastbrooke mobile home park and to the CVS in Newburgh, where the firefighters and rescue workers went for breaks. I actually hauled Firefighters in my truck form the mobile home park to various relief stations.

Here is the special section of the local paper dedicated to the victims of the tornado:
I just wanted to share my memories and to let others know these businesses are remarkable, they said "How fast can you get here," "We'll make as many as we can," others said "Please come and get whatever you need." I am proud to have these businesses in my community.

I read something at the holocaust museum in Washington DC while in college that changed my life: Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Meade

Never feel too small, little things can make a difference.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Doing our part for the planet

My friend Beth over at Coming Up For Air is having a contest for a free book from ECOBRAIN - go check it out! Meanwhile, here is what we are doing as a family to help mother earth.

I was green before it was cool, you can ask my husband. I was dragging reusable bags to the stores a long time before the stores started selling them. Drove him crazy. Still does, but we have learned to compromise over the years.

We are fortunate to have curbside pickup for our recycling. But I have noticed a huge reduction in our garbage since we can almost recycle everything now. Mainly because if it can't be recycled, I try not to buy it.

We buy less. We buy less harmful cleaning products. Less packaging, less chemicals = easy choice. We buy more concentrated earth friendly cleaners or make our own. But overall, we buy less and we buy more natural things when we do buy. Everything from our clothing to our bedding and furniture have consequences on the environment.

At the office we are printing less and recycling more. Additionally, we have minimized our use of paper towels by placing towel hooks near the sinks and bringing in our own towels.

I have also cancelled my magazine subscriptions and try (IN VAIN) to get off the mailing lists for catalogs.

What to do with all of those pre-school projects

I used 8 nails, food twine and $1.00 worth of clothespins from the dollar tree. We let Jet choose which one comes down and every so often we send one to a relative that doesn't live nearby. We have a minimum of 4 projects a week from school, 1 project from sunday school. This was my answer for taming the pile of projects on my kitchen table.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's just hair!!

Can you mourn hair? I had my son's hair cut and now I'm sad, five months later. I miss it. Will it still be curly if he grows it out again?

Earlier this year, shortly after this photo was taken we had his hair cut. We were pressured, bullied even, to cut my son's hair. Why the delayed reaction? What took me so long to miss his hair?

PRIDE...wanting to think I hadn't bowed down to the wishes of other people who think little boys shouldn't sport long hair. Well mine did and I MISS IT!! All because other people think little boys should have crew cuts.

Not that short hair is bad or that it looks funny, it is still cute. I just miss his curls. His father has short hair and is the most beautiful guy I've ever laid eyes on.

The bottom two photos are now a year old. Now Jet's hair is short and Nick's hair is long.

My hair is almost EXACTLY the same as it was a year ago. But I am growing it out, which is code for really too busy (lazy) to keep it any certain style right now. I can't possibly get my hair cut every two to three weeks, I'm just not that frilly!

It's just hair!

Monday, October 13, 2008

TAG! I'm it...

Thanks to my twitter buddy @feelslikehome I've been tagged!

I am supposed to write about six or seven things you wouldn't know about me from reading my blog.

1. I raced BMX Bikes when I was little. I was pretty good at it. I got more than 20 stitches when I was 4 from doing it.
2. I own an insurance agency with my best friend.
3. My husband is a musician (a darned good one!)
4. I had a rooster for a babysitter when I was a youngster, it kept me at bay on top of my swingset for hours. SERIOUSLY.
6. I have trouble reading text that has been highlighted or text that is in bold or italicized print, I will probably just skip it altogether.

Then, you're supposed to tag six or seven people to do the same on their blogs. I tag

Saturday, October 11, 2008

{{Waving & Smiling}} experiment

In an effort to pass the time while volunteering at the Chamber Ambassador parking lot fundraiser at the fall festival earlier today I decided to make it interesting by conducting a study. A study whereby I enthusiastically smiled and waved at each vehicle that passed by. It actually evoked laughter - mostly because it was so ridiculous but also because smiling actually does make you happy!

Who smiled and waved back:
Teenage girls (sarcastically, of course)
Truck Drivers
People in company cars/trucks
Men alone in cars/Trucks
Happy people
Middle-aged couples

Who absolutely wouldn't budge, these people are whole-heartedly committed to their grumpiness:
Young couples
Women alone in cars
People on the phone (I was going to count but it turned out to be easier to count those who weren't on the phone, either way I was too busy smiling and waving at people)
Mean People

It was a great way to spend three hours, and at least no one called me a name this time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thank God for Great Teachers

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

I learned the poem "IF" by Rudyard Kiping in the 4th GRADE - remarkable what some "goldfish motivation" will do! I had the best teacher of all time. She also had us reading the C.S. Lewis Series - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Wow - what a great time!

Thank you Mrs. (Shelton) Theiring!

Your 1986 Fourth Grade Class

Monday, October 6, 2008

soul food

Cathedral Basilica - a must see while in St. Louis regardless of denomination.

Just returned from annual trek to Joyce Meyer Ministries "Relentless" Women's Conference - 40,000 sisters = POWERFUL!