Sunday, January 24, 2010


I haven't blogged about my feelings on the earthquake that took place in Haiti because I've been pretty torn up about it. One of the reasons I avoid the news is due to my sensitive nature. When I heard about the earthquake I immediately put up some very serious prayers and then went on with my blessed life. Then one day at the gym I was on the treadmill and all the TV stations had on a commercial except CNN. That was when I saw a whole piece about babies in orphanages sitting in dirty diapers crying with no one to come help them. My heart broke right there on that treadmill.

I came home and began to research how I could help. I looked very seriously into adoption. After a couple of days of research and prayer and phone calls I was feeling very defeated. It doesn't look like I will be able to adopt one of these poor orphans without some serious work and help. When I realized the obsticles involved I began to wonder if possibly God was sending me a message that I should be looking for other ways to help.

Once I let my OCD like mind-grip on those poor babies loosen up a little, some more solutions made their way into my life. First off a friend of mine who knows a nurse working with the red cross at the airport asked for donations. Many of the refugees from this disaster are being flown into the airport right here near my house. Once they arrive at this airport these poor people are then traveling to family who live further north. Unfortunately the refugees have very little beyond the t-shirt on their backs and since it is winter this will not help them much up north. They were also asking for donations of sippy cups and bottles for the babies and children coming here to our sunny state. So I am proud to say that I put together 2 big boxes of clothes and jackets and sippies and shoes.

These donations did make me feel a little better, but I still keep thinking of the poor people still left in the ravished country. I was happy to hear that my church Moms group, which meets tomorrow, is also collecting donations for the people still in Haiti. I went to Costco this week and with a coupon bought a case of diapers and a case of wipes to bring to the meeting as donations. I also scoured my house for all the soap and shampoo and lotion samples I could find to donate. I also found raisins and nuts in my pantry and put together a nice little trunk full to bring for donations tomorrow.

Along with these donations the church suggested that we get our children involved and teach them about loving one another through this service. Curtis drew a nice picture for an orphan and we attached a few sheets of Spiderman stickers which he thought that a child might enjoy. I am so proud of my son for putting effort into this picture and sticker donation and I used this as an opportunity to teach him how God wants us to show love for one another, especially in times like these. We talked about how as a family we care for each other when one of us is sick and how it is also important to do this for all of God's people. I still don't know how much of this he really understands, but my hope is that I am laying the groundwork for him to have a future of kindness and caring.

And now that I have spent more than a week crying and stressing and researching, I have come to the conclusion that these donations and my heartfelt prayers are all I can offer the people of Haiti right now. I will continue to pray and give at every opportunity I get and I hope you will all do the same.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January in Florida

You just never know what the weather will be like.

I remember this day in the beginning of the month, during the now famous Florida freeze of 2010, when my sons begged me to paint. I don't let them paint indoors, so this meant going into the freezing cold outside world, just to paint. I begged them to consider crayoning inside, but they were both stuck on painting on this day. How ridiculous do they look at bundled up out there with their paint brushes in hand? Here in Florida we aren't really prepared for weather below 50 degree F and this is the best I could do for winter clothing. It's just not worth buying heavy jackets if you're only going to need them for a couple weeks, you know what I mean?

And then of course the days move on and the weather gets warmer and warmer and the sun begins to shine again and I find myself outside with these same two boys, except this time they are begging me to play with the hose.

Let's just hope the real cold doesn't come back to Florida this year, or ever really.

Great Video

I wanted to share this great video from one of my favorite authors.

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Weather

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I really dislike cold weather. This is one of the major reasons why I really love living in Florida. Most of the time it is either hot or warm down here, but unfortunately we have had a bit of a cold spell lately.

Now, I grew up in the north in New Jersey, so I do know real cold, unlike most Florida natives who think it's time to break out the hats and scarfs when it goes below 70 F. The truth is, just because you know cold and have spent the first 16 years of your life in it doesn't mean you have to like it. I just plain old hate being cold. Anything below 50 F makes me miserable.

I learned a little trick for how to deal with things that I just really dislike and it is to change the focus with a list. Over the past few weeks I found myself focusing on all the reasons I hate cold weather. I'd be mumbling in the morning, "I hate getting out of bed when it's cold." or the afternoon "I hate getting in the car when it's cold." or the evening "I hate getting out of the hot shower when it's cold." Overall my attitude was pretty negative and really effecting everything around me. So I decided to try my little trick of making a list of the things I do like about cold weather and focusing on these things instead.

I'm not going to say it was easy. It took me a few days to compile this small list and honestly I still find myself grumbling to myself about being cold now and again, but it's a start, and the truth is, just a little effort in changing my attitude really did go a long way. Now whenever I find myself feeling pissy about the cold weather, I just pull out my list and try to focus on the things that I do like about the cold weather. The fact that this weather is so fleeting for us here in the Subtropics makes this list even more important, since the few things on it will be gone before we know it.

So here it list, with as many photos as I could get. Please feel free to share your favorite things about the cold weather and maybe you will even help add to my list and maybe even cheer me and my cold toes up a little.

1. Hot tea (although I do drink hot tea even when it's hot out, I guess it's more enjoyable in the cold.)

2.Curt's work is always less busy during the cold months, which leaves him more time to spend with me and the boys.

3. Homemade soup is yummy when it's in the 30's but not so much in the 90's.

4. Baking in my old oven warms up the whole house which is much more desirable in this weather than when it's in the 90's.

5. Making hats and scarfs for friends and neighbors.

6. My Christmas cactus is in bloom.

7. Picking fresh oranges from the tree in my yard and juicing them for their tasty juice.

8. Drinking hot cocoa with my boys.

9. Homemade lavender infused heat pads.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Guess who is in his big boy bed?

That's right, my baby is now a big boy! I almost can't believe it. Mostly I can't believe how cute he is in this bed.

The boys now have the bunk beds in the room together but they are separated into two single beds. Eventually we will make them bunk beds again, but we have to wait until Curtis is at least 6 before it's safe for him to sleep on the top.

Clark took a little bit longer to go down for nap and bed the first night but since then he's been fine. They both sleep so well together and go down so easily it makes me so grateful that I have two sons.

I took this photo this morning at 8am. The flash didn't even wake him. It looks like he might take after his Mommy and enjoy sleeping in.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Manifesto

This year I would like to focus on several things. My focus for the year will be divided among improving my feelings of self-worth, my pursuit of further education, various home improvement tasks, and an effort to remain present in life. Through my focus on these various life aspects I will strive to make 2010 a year filled with health, happiness, harmony, prosperity, and fulfillment.

This year I would like to explore and release my own feelings of negative self worth. These feelings extend from the physical to those of my role as wife and mother. I would like to be able to feel good about my physical appearance and be able to remind myself that I am one of God's creations and a beautiful person. I would also like to be able to feel proud of myself in my roles as wife and mother. This will require not only my focus on the special moments in life and my ability to avoid distraction but also learning the ability to truly forgive myself.

I also plan to spend some time in 2010 focusing on education. My number one goal of the year is to begin work on my long desired goal of learning to speak and write Spanish. In addition to this I am open to other paths of learning and further education which should become available to me. Now that my children are older and less needy and reliant on my care, I look forward to spending more time on my life long love of learning.

I have also made a list of decidedly achievable home improvement tasks which I hope to accomplish this year. In the past I have made my home improvement goals a bit lofty thus resulting in early discouragement and abandonment. This year I have purposely chosen tasks which can be completed with little help or money and will still have largely fulfilling results. I hope to complete this list by the end of the year.

One of my spiritual goals this year is to remain more present in my everyday life. In this highly connected and electronic age I find myself seeking escape through various games, social networking sites, message boards, and chat rooms. While I do still see a positive place for these outlets in my life, I desire to rely on them less for human contact or escape from everyday life. I hope to be able to be more present in the precious moments of my wonderful, blessed life.

I am looking forward to every moment of 2010 and I hope that my goals, as set here in this manifesto, will guide me towards a healthy, happy, harmonious, prosperous, and fulfilling year.