Monday, November 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is.....

Every year I ask the girls to make Christmas lists. This year, with the help of my 5th grader and her propensity for lists, the girls have made hysterical, exhaustive lists of all they want for Christmas. As I laughed through them, of course I thought you would enjoy knowing what was on them. I'm going to share them for their humorous value and nothing else (I don't want anyone sending me Pixie Sticks in the mail!!).

I must first share with you that Kt included clip art on her list printout. If you feel the need to make a list of your own and you'd like a Santa up on top and a Christmas tree complete with presents on the bottom, let me know and I'll forward you the document. Just make sure you have 15 things to list, and don't worry, if you have more you can add more spaces, just like my girls did!

Kt's Christmas List

* = I want the most

*1. iPod
*2. Vara Bradly Purse
3. Drums
4. Cell phone
5. Girl spy stuff
*6. chocolate! chocolate! chocolate!
7. lots of Aero shirts
8. a kerioke(?) machiene thing
9. movies
10. Mama Mia CD
11. Carrie Underwood CD
12. lots of clothes
13. candy
14. books
15. some gift cards to like anywhere!
16. and some hair/nal/makeup stuff
17. go on some over seas missons trip

Thank you!!!!!
You're Awesome!!!

Emily's Christmas List

(she has written "I (heart)" above Santa)

* means I want more

*1. iPod
*2. lizard
3. fish
*4. air hockey table
*5. laptop
*6. a miny car
*7. phon
*8. Vera Bradly wallit
9. chocolate
*10. wish I got wat I wish for
11. chocolate and more chocolate
12. shoger
*13. pixe stiks
14. more candy
15. a fun Christmas

Thank you!!!

Now... the air hockey table is very suspicious, as we picked one up (used) to give the girls. I guess we can't surprise them!! I seems that Kt, although told not to peek, did so anyway and is going to try to peg it on her little sister, who admitted to me what happened and begged me not to say anything about it! Stinkers. I'm going to send back that iPod right now! ;-) I'm also thinking of instituting a rule that if you can't spell it, you can't have it! I'm such a mean Santa!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Personally, I'd Like to be Red!

You Should Live in a Purple State

Your preferences are 50% Blue, 50% Red

You may not be a swing voter, but you feel comfortable around moderate people.

You tend to do best in states with a red and blue mix - like Nevada and North Carolina.

You are adaptable. You can converse with a church crowd as easily as with grad students.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Patriot or Loyalist?

We give up!! It's times like these I really wish my dad, the family history buff (and major), were around for some guidance. At the very least, he would have LOVED the challenge of figuring this one out with us. Kt, T and I have been researching all week whether or not her "Catholic Baltimore shipbuilder" during Colonial times was a patriot or loyalist and I believe we are all agreeing to give up. It's quite pathetic of us, but if two adults and one freakishly smart 10 year old can't find the answer anywhere, we just aren't going to find it! I don't believe one actually existed.

So, are you smarter than a fifth grader?? I'm not!


I am really surprised by the number of people in this area trying to cash in on offering up their homes for the inauguration week/weekend. I guess I hadn't thought about it, but I will offer up this advice. If you are coming into this area for the inauguration, keep in mind that it will be impossible to drive into DC even remotely close to where you need to be, and I'm suspecting that there will be little or no parking at the metro stations. The best offer I've seen so far is someone offering a couple bedrooms, breakfast and a ride to the train station and pick up - of course, the pricetag is $800 - a NIGHT!!

We'll be around that weekend since T will be away that Friday night. I'm not offering up our house for rental, but if you have tickets and need a place to crash, and we know you ;-) let us know!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Pill

This is a strange, random post, but I'm thinking if you don't want to read about my experience with birth control, you are forewarned! Stop reading now. =)

I was 24, just about to get married when I started taking the pill. It seemed like the right, responsible thing to do, but the truth is that I knew very little about it. I didn't know, nor was I made aware of, about any of the risks, possibly fatal side effects. I also didn't know that given my familial history of heart disease, I should probably be more careful about possible side effects and what they meant.

Just about every single possible side effect named I experienced. I gained a lot of weight - about 10 pounds the first week!! I had many other issues that should have been big red flags but nobody picked up on. Add on top of that the stress of buying my first house, finishing up a school year and getting married.... It was a whirlwind of craziness. Just after getting married, my health insurance changed and my doctor who had started the craziness was no longer available to me. I actually think she would have corrected many of my issues. Instead, I became subject to an HMO where, although I had chosen a primary care physician, each time I went in I saw a different doctor.

I had a myriad of crazy things going on. I was gaining weight like crazy, I had constant sinus infections and was practically taking back to back prescriptions of Amoxicillen, which ironically negates the effect of being on the pill in the first place!! I had irregular Pap test results, multiple infections and I could no longer bend my knees without being in excruciating pain. Not one single doctor even considered any of these symptoms might be related to birth control pills. At each doctor visit, my blood pressure began to creep up and my heart rate was out the roof. This was typically attributed to "white coat syndrome" or my infection of the day.

Finally, things escalated to the point where, in January, just 7 months after starting the pill, I went in for my 7th sinus infection and my blood pressure was 200/180 - or something along those lines. I had spent probably an hour in the waiting room of the urgent care department of our HMO along with many sick people before hearing the alarming news that I was a "special case" of utmost importance. I can't remember how many doctors were consulted, but I felt lousy and I was there for a very long time before they finally sent me home.

At that time, I was given a beta blocker, which I should never have been given due to having asthma, which made me so dizzy I couldn't drive. I also began having nightmares, which I thought were anxiety related but stopped once they changed my medication (three weeks later!). In those three weeks, I was visiting the doctor's office daily, having some bizarre tests run - all coming back negative, although some with crazy results. At one of my visits, a test returned that led the doctor to believe that I had a brain tumor. After looking into my eyes and having me repeat a few funny motion tests, the alarming look on her face wasn't registering well with me, so I asked her what was going on. She looked me right in the eye and said, "Well, I think you might have a brain tumor, but the on-call doctor doesn't want me to admit you to the hospital. Instead, we are going to give you this little pill. You will either be fine, which means there is no tumor, or you will go into cardiac arrest and we will transport you to the hospital." Seriously, that is what they told me. That was a long doctor's visit!!

Anyway, it only took me about a week to decide on my own to go off birth control pills. Nobody suggested it, nobody was concerned I was on them, but in my heart I just knew they had something to do with all this craziness. Not to mention, will all the antibiotics I was on, they were worthless!! When I told the doctor about my decision, she hit the roof!!! She insisted that the one thing I could not afford was to get pregnant at that time. My response was... well, I won't get into it, but it something to do with how horrible I felt and looked. I am so glad that for once I put my foot down.

As part of the "ruling out everything under the sun" testing, I was subjected to a procedure called a captopryll renalgram. This is typically used to screen for kidney disease, which we had already ruled out. I have amazing kidney function. All my doctor wanted was one good photo of my kidneys to see if I possibly had a genetic defect that caused the veins that feed my kidneys to be too small, leading to high blood pressure. The procedure involved being given a drug via IV, captopryll, which opens up veins/arteries, and then having some radioactive gunk fed through those veins. They took images of this radioactive gunk at 15 minute intervals (I should have told them I have great kidney function!).

The idea is that this gunk was to be injected, then travel to the kidneys and out the bladder. Some of it, in fact, followed the rules of the gunk. Fortunately, we were able to get the one picture my doctor needed to rule out the oddly small veins I didn't have. Unfortunately, the gunk that didn't follow the rules headed straight for my thyroid. The technicians apologized profusely (because they were students and didn't know any better) and I was sent home with the possibility of having to return at some point to repeat this tragedy, which I swore I would never do!!

About two months later, we determined that I had an underactive thyroid, coincidentally after the unnecessary test fried it. I was 25 years old. I now had chronic hypertension and hypothyroidism. It was finally that April, after a former Miss America had just been on Oprah to warn women about the potential of having a stroke as she had from use of birth control pills, that my doctor finally admitted to me that she was concluding that my hypertension was due in part to a familial history of the condition combined with my use of the pill. Had I not made that suggestion myself??

Anyway, I'm not sharing this because I think nobody should use birth control pills. I just want people to be informed so they never have to go through what I went through. I was "lucky" in many senses. I didn't have a stroke, although I was certainly a great candidate for it. I've had many in the medical profession communicate to me in various ways that that kind of blood pressure reading is "not normal" and most likely indicates stroke. I also am almost 39, have had two children naturally and have maintained a reasonable blood pressure. It's not easy. The experience has created it's own kind of "white coat syndrome" for me. There is not a time I visit the doctor without the thought in the back of my mind that they might find something crazy. I have also struggled with weight issues that are difficult to control due to being on two medications for 14 years that each cause weight gain. It's a constant battle for me, and one that I often feel defeated fighting.

This past week, a college student that T knows alerted us to her sister being taken to the hospital having had a stroke.... and I wonder in the back of my mind. Was she taking some medication?? Did she know about the possibility?? Was she informed?? I'm also reminded about how "lucky" I am. While there are many things I can't do - like ride the really crazy roller coasters with my kids that I really WANT to ride - I'm thankful to have the opportunity to be with them. Some day, when they are ready to hear about how, I'll be happy to share all this with them. Until then, I will have to remain that "uncool" mother, who takes appropriate risks seriously, and proceeds with great caution. I may be boring, but I'm here!

The American Way

A couple years ago, we had a missionary couple visit us before our first trip to Hungary. I had always known that Americans were very generous in their giving, but I received a new perspective from this couple, who were both from the UK yet had lived in the US for a bit and did most of their missions fundraising in the US. Their take on US giving? There is great encouragement/incentive for Americans to personally give to charities due to tax breaks, tax cuts that promotes this act. The reason most Europeans do not give? Their taxes are much higher and they depend on the government to do their giving for them. In fact, this couple did receive monies from England for their work. Of course, this makes fundraising in Europe a bit tricky, and they said that for the few friend who DO give to their cause, it's astonishing that they step out of the norm and do that, in any amount.

So, what about Americans giving during a time of economic downturn? If the incentive to give is solely linked to tax breaks/cuts, and not based on any intrinsic urge to help others, we might expect this to happen. However, this appears to not be the case. Historically, Americans have INCREASED their charitable giving during times of economic downturn. Could there be some value in encouraging people, whether with tax breaks, tax cuts or any other type of incentive, to give that actually results in turning on their compassion button?? I've always felt that the act of giving changes a person - almost always for the better. It's reassuring to know that this year this pattern of giving in America hasn't changed one bit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In 2 Hours

Someone posted this on their FB status and I thought it was worth sharing. It reminds me that we don't give high school kids enough credit most of the time. In fact, if we can't help them find purpose in life, we are losing out on a brighter future for us, for them and for our children. If you want to invest in the future, spend some time with a teenager. They might actually teach you something!

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's been a kind of whirlwind last few days with more on the way! Last Thursday, we pulled the girls out of school early and drove out to Salisbury University, where Tony spend a few days with CRU on campus there. Campus Crusade, sadly named that YEARS ago when "crusade" did not have nearly the same connotation that it does today, is a student organization often staffed by full-time, supported adults. At Salisbury, with almost 300 student members, it is run by the students, and I love the organic nature of what they are doing there. Super fun!!

T spoke at their weekly CRU meeting about our individuality within global missions. Then Friday night he ran a Meyers-Briggs personality workshop with a small cross-cultural activity. Saturday morning the group there had planned on culminating their canned food drive with a morning at a soup kitchen, but until around 9 am they had no idea what they would be doing. They decided to just show up at a local soup kitchen and leave their donation and instead we ended up serving about 100 or more people - children, adults of varying ethnicities. It was a great opportunity, especially with our girls, and I think some long-term relationships were initiated there. Very fun!

After that, while it was about 70 degrees outside, we decided to extend our little weekend by one night and we took the girls to Ocean City for fun. They had never been there! At least not a time they remembered. It's not my favorite place to go - a bit run down and a little sketch with small kids in the summer. There's a very dark element to it, but we certainly enjoyed the off-season crowd. We even met a guy who owns George's Lemonade and Fried Dough stand. I thought he was Italian, but he's really Turkish and from a city where some of our friends served, Ankara. Small World!!

Our world was even smaller and we drove up north to Rehobeth to find a hotel for the evening as well as shop. As I was waiting in the car for T to check out prices at one hotel, a friend of ours ran out - they were checking in as well!! Very funny to meet them there, on their way to Atlantic City for their anniversary. We met up with them in the lobby that evening while the girls watched a movie, burned popcorn and whined about sleeping on the sleeper sofa! It was a fun trip.

Now we're back and this week is shaping up to be incredibly busy. Today alone I went to work, grocery shopping (now I'm playing =)), then piano lessons, homework, meeting for that Battle of the Books my daughter signed me up to coach, small group.... the list is crazy. Tomorrow is T's first elder meeting, Wednesday is Girl's Grace Adventure, Thursday is my organizational meeting for the parent tutoring program. I'm going to collapse on Friday! A bunch of our friends are pulling into town this weekend for next week's holiday. Can it really be Thanksgiving already?? Which reminds me... I wanted to get my hair cut, buy something to wear to this 20th high school reunion and do laundry and pack. Craziness!

Here's a funny: just before we left to go last week, I shut my bedroom closet door. We don't normally do that, but we have in the past, like last year when my sister's son actually slept in there in his pack-n-play. I had never noticed before, but the door has a lock on it. The kind the needs a key. And this time, it was locked! I'm not sure how that happened, but it did. Anyway... being the packrat that I am, I knew we had a ring with about 20 keys on it from the previous owners, who had changed out many locking doorknobs they had on various doors in the house. Why? I have no idea!! But they did not change out this doorknob, so it locked! Fortunately, T found a key that worked and we opened it. Glad I saved them, crazy that it's been almost 7 years that we've lived here and that has never happened before!

Tomorrow - Kt has a field trip to Annapolis. Walking trip. And it's only a high of 38 degrees for tomorrow... and she has a little cold. Not a good thing!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Negativity is Contagious

T called today, right as the girls were getting home. He said, "So... what are you doing?" I replied, "Well, I'm waiting for your girls to get home. Once they are home, they will be mad at me for making them do their homework. Then they will complain about the dinner I am going to make them. After that, they will grumble about the packing and cleaning we need to do. Finally, they will whine about having to go to bed after I make them finish their homework, practice the piano/flute and brush their teeth. Then we wake up tomorrow and start the cycle all over again!" He said to me, "I think I know those kids!"

We've had a fairly light week, big decisions but not much going on. We leave tomorrow for a couple days at Salisbury University where T is going to speak to Campus Crusade students Thursday evening, then do some community stuff Friday/Saturday am. It's fun to be able to tag along with the girls. Next week will be unbelievably crazy between work, small group, Battle of the Books meeting (more on that some other time!), T's first elder meeting (yup, I said it), Girls Grace Adventure, Parent Partners meeting.... By the end of the week, I'll be ready for a vacation!! UGH! I thought that since we've lightened the load of things the girls do we'd have easy weeks. Instead, it's looking absolutely insane. What is the deal??

Now, for my little political question of the day: What kind of change do you suppose Obama was hinting at now that he's hiring all these Clinton folks? I'm just wondering.... because I'm seeing "Clinton - Take 3". Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

I am ever so grateful for all those - including my grandfather I never knew, my cousin, my three "little" cousins, my friends from high school and college - who serve me in their commitment to preserve the freedoms we often take for granted here and around the world. May we always be thankful, humbling receiving this great gift that was and is being paid for with a very high price, and support those who graciously serve us, even when it's not the popular thing to do. I salute you. And thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Family Update

This is for the fam, since I've been so delinquent in updating lately.

Kt is one of two from her class of 27 to make it to the Spelling Bee this year. I am assuming it's a small spelling bee since there are only 3 classes and 3 fourth grade classes. Should be interesting. She is completely inspired to win, as she's heard that the national spelling bee pays money. Got that jump rope in hand! LOL

Em has just shared with me that today they watched a video in Health about violence. She is completely horrified that the two boys in the video got into a fight (she demonstrated it for me in slow motion) where one boy broke his wrist. Quite wide-eyed, she said the police had to visit the home of one of the boys. Certainly left an imprint on a 7 year old mind. I asked her if there had ever been a fight like that at school or had she ever seen one on TV, to which she replied, "NEVER two seven year old boys. I've never seen anything like that!" Mental note to self: intergalactic warfare, such as one might witness while watching all 9 Star Wars movies with dad at the ripe age of 5 isn't nearly as impressive as a playground fight between two 7 year olds!

T is in the final stages of making a decision about what to do this year. His mind changes every couple of minutes, so I'm hoping when he comes through the door tonight he will have committed to something! Then again, maybe I like living a life of uncertainty. OK - I don't!

Email vs. Phone Call

I am coordinating this volunteer tutoring program at the girls' school and it's.... not going so well! There have been several delays, many odd uncooperative components, too few volunteers for the need. I've made it known from the inception that I'm not sure I'm the right person for this job, but have been told that they just need someone to do it. Or so it seems. Anyway, what makes me not the right person? I'm a total introvert. I'm not a recruiter. I don't make phone calls. Why?

Take, for example, last night. About a week and half ago I finally received the list of students, time slots the teachers would like filled and could now link that with the volunteers and their available times. Since that was Halloween, and we were leaving the next day, I put this off until last Friday, after my conferences were over. It's like putting together a puzzle, and I must say, I enjoy puzzles. What I don't enjoy is having to verify all the info with everyone. Since I have so far only connected via email (since I've had really nothing to share!), I started calling.

First call yielded a not there person, left a message. Second call was a generic message, and since I don't know this person at all, and I'm not completely sure I have all the correct info other than a correct email, I opted to email. Third call was a non-connected phone number. The fourth call was no answer. Now, let me just explain something to all you extroverts out there. There is this funny phone call rehearsal some of us total introverts do. We have to, before placing a call, go over the entire call in our heads. It's exhausting, it's annoying, it's cumbersome but it must be done. I have now done this four times with negative results. I'm throwing in the towel. I'm back to email.

I understand the drawbacks that email involves, but for me, it's a lifeline. I can honestly say that if there were no email, I would not have ever imagined myself volunteering to do a job like this, or a job like room mother or any other job that involved corralling a group of adults to volunteer time and energy to do something. I just wouldn't. And I made that clear to the people who wanted me to do this job. I'm just really bad at asking people to help me. Period. And some of these people may only get an email from me.

Note to anyone who is planning to call me to ask me to help them - send me an email! =)


I'm totally laughing outloud at one article by Susan Reimer in the Baltimore Sun. Just the title of it is unbelievable.... "From dour Bushes to Fun Obamas". Really? What's so much more fun about the Obamas? All I've been reading during the entire campaign is how boring Obama is. Even Saturday Night Live can't find any material for him, he's so boring. The nation's been cracking up at George W. Bush for 8 years. Hmmm.... why do I have this dreadful feeling that the fun is going to end soon?

Proposed Looting of Vacation

Growing up in New England, I never appreciated the amount of time off school we received. Each year, we would get time off at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter Break in February and Spring Break in April. Of course, we started school after Labor Day and ended at the end of June, leaving two months off for summer. The best part about the weeks off was giving us all a break from the rampant germs that would infest our stuffy schools!

Now that I live here in MD, I'm much more appreciative. We start school before Labor Day, get Thanksgiving and Christmas Breaks, days off here and there, one week for Spring Break and somehow, oddly, we typically still only end school about 5 days before the schools in New England. I'm never really sure how that happens, but 5 days is a week, so I'll take it! Still, it's a long haul from Christmas Break to Spring Break.

I'm completely livid about the fact that the school board just sent out a proposed calendar that includes taking away three days of Spring Break! Are they completely NUTS?? Their rationale behind it is that instructional time after Memorial Day is not valuable - HUH? I've never seen that happen in our elementary schools! That it gives us three days earlier release from school in June - well, if the days after Memorial Day are not valuable, just end all school the Friday before that Holiday! And students who are going to summer school have their grades earlier so they know if they need to go to summer school. Wow - a whole three days will make such a world of difference if you're failing!!! I don't think so. What a dumb idea. If they do this, I'll still be taking my kids away for a full week - because I think we all deserve it. Give me my vacation back!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Growing up, I'm pretty sure I didn't learn much in terms of expectations I should have for my future in-laws. My dad's parents had already passed away before I was born, so I only ever witnessed my father having in-laws. My dad was not really a complainer when it came to in-laws, which might be why it always struck me as funny when I'd hear jokes about mother and father in-laws. It may have to do with my father having a stepmom (who is still alive!) and welcoming having my mom's parents around. Who knows!

My in-laws are not entirely what I'd imagined they would be. Culturally, we are worlds apart and I've made my fair share of bloopers in attempting to get to know them. I didn't realize how important privacy was to them or I would have never asked where they were from or how they'd met. In my family, we had a culture of sharing this type of information freely, romantically, humorously.... so when T didn't know any of these details about his parents, nor had he even ever wondered, that should have been my clue! Instead, I naively pursued this avenue of questioning and was quickly chastened for attempting to obtain such personal information. Hmmmm....

We've now been married for 14 years and were together two years prior to that. My relationship with my in-laws has progressed very little in that time, sadly. I think it's probably due in part to hesitation on both our parts. It probably is also due in part to T's leading, since as an only child to Chinese parents, he occasionally feels smothered by them. I chuckle to myself when I hear him remind his parents how old he is, or that they don't need to tell him that it's going to snow tonight, he can read the news himself. It's amusing as well as perplexing to me because I have such a different relationship with my mom.

I have seen the gamut of in-law relationships, from hostile to overly friendly. I do sometimes wish I had in-laws that I felt closer to, but I know that this was what God had planned for me. I wonder what the future holds for us in this regard, as our parents get older and need more attention, have we fostered enough trust and respect to be available to them? I'm not even sure T's parents would want to be taken care of by us! It's a lot to think about, and if it comes to that it will be a huge lesson in culture for us and the girls.

For now, we just meander through the in-law stuff - phone calls (sometime 4-5 times a day), doctor's visits (on our 4th bout with cancer), changing furnace filters, caulking bathrooms, going out to lunch/dinner to the newest favorite restaurant, receiving unsolicited advice on everything from haircuts to church to travel (or not to travel, that is the persuasion!) - and try not to get ahead of ourselves in the planning. Happen as it may, we realize the time is coming when we'll have to make some decisions about in-laws. Just not sure which ones!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Madagascar 2

We took the girls to see this movie on IMAX tonight, compliments of Wells Fargo. Nice that they can still do something like this (minus some over the top expenditures, like the covered wagon photo op from last year!) and that we were able to go. It's a cute movie, short and sweet. Em had a great time dancing to the beat, Kt enjoyed bringing her friend along. I enjoyed the IMAX - real overkill. Totally American. Crazy.

We Only Have Ourselves to Blame

I have thought about this post for a couple of days, not really sure I want to go there, but then again, feeling like this needs to be said.

My very republican brother sent me this little Howard Stern mp3 about black voters in Harlem. I was going to post it on here, but I personally am not a fan of Howard and would rather not. If you want to listen to it, you can certainly find it in many varieties on YouTube. It's slightly humorous - we have to have a sense of humor, slightly infuriating, but most of all it's embarrassing. Why? Because I had to stop myself from falling into the same old pattern I've been conditioned to believe growing up a white kid in Connecticut next to a very black populated Bridgeport. Am I a racist? As much as I don't want to be, I would have to say that I probably am. Not because I hate anyone, but because my mind reverts to an extremely distorted, ill-informed fear of anything different.

This little snippet from Howard is supposed to prove to us that "most" blacks voted for Obama only because he's black. Sadly, those who participated clearly knew nothing about what Obama stood for other than that he was one of them. They could identify with him, and that is why they were choosing to vote for him. Is this wrong?

Herein lies the tricky part. I would love to believe that every American has had the opportunity to form opinions about the way they believe government should operate in order to make informed decisions about the people they choose to govern them. I understand we won't all agree and I honestly have no argument with those who feel differently than I do for various reasons. I have spent the better part of this election season, however, trying to teach my children that race or age or gender are not reasons why we should be voting for someone. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I made a mistake! If it is, I would have to admit that just because I was excited that McCain chose a women I could relate to, that wasn't enough reason for me to vote for him. I think that identifying with a candidate is a bigger deal than I thought it should be - a huge error on my part.

I would love for Howard Stern to send his croonies out to a red state and try his same experiment on some white folks in reverse. I'd be willing to bet that JUST AS MANY made their decision for McCain based on the fact that he was white, or unfortunately, that he was not black. That, to me, is a much sadder statement of our bigotry, our history and the severe gap in our country in terms of where we need make changes. The world is changing and if we continue to act like we are not all Americans - red, yellow, black and white - entitled to all the same freedoms, the same dreams, the same opportunities and the same positions, then we have a very long way to go.

Listening to that interview really saddened me because I think we have failed miserably. For as many leaps as we've made in healing the racial divide, we must still recognize our biases for what they are: wrong. I don't believe that Mr. Obama wanted to president to prove that our country could put a black man in the White House, but I am glad he did just that. For the sake of our country and for all the "minority" citizens, I pray that God blesses him in his endeavor. While I can't say that I agree with him ideologically, I can say that I am excited to welcome a new culture into government - and one that is in need of representation. For those who think that Obama was only elected because he was black (which couldn't be farther from the truth), I think you only have yourself to blame for that belief. If there is any truth at all in that statement, then we are much better for it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bizarre Searches

I have been checking my sitemeter lately to see how many people come to me from the Christmas Letter site. Yesterday and today I've seen a significant jump - up to almost 80 hits today. One hit, though, stuck out like a sore thumb. Someone did a search on "bed-wetters""RickWarren".... huh? I can't even find anything remotely significant on their search page. It was someone from Singapore. I am curious as to what prompted such a bizarre search. Any ideas?? Is Rick Warren a bedwetter? Ew.... not even going to go there!

Today's Headlines.... and my commentary....

Not that you really care, but here are my thoughts.

Automakers Plead for $25M More

Me: Only if you agree to stop making crappy cars!

Two Years Taken Toll? What is his "true age"?

Me: I guess it's two years more than when he started... unless he can change the way we do math, too!

What Will Be the New Presidential Pooch?

Me: I've got two for him to choose from, both hypoallergenic and they come with expiration dates! ;-)

Ancient Chinese Mysteries Solved by Cave Rocks

Me: Calgon... take me away!

Taxpayers May Pay Fees for Mortgage Execs

Me: That's not all we'll be paying for!!

UN Even More Expensive Than It Looks

Me: Try corrupt.

Dow Plummets Below 9,000

Me: Yup... selling off what you can before the Capital Gains tax goes up to 45%.... ridiculous!

Some Consider Obama World's President

Me: I'd be happy to let them share in our tax hikes! ;-)

Oh, one more just popped up that I can't let pass me by::

Rev. Wright Blames Media for Campaign Controversy

Me: Where to begin.... first, you only have yourself to blame... second, the "media" gave you a get out of jail free card so keep your mouth shut.... finally, Obama won no thanks to you! Does that about cover it?


I like Palin, but I'm placing all my chips on Condi for 2012. She's my girl! ;-)

Summary of my Year

January - nothing.
February - sent T to Florida, stayed home in the cold!
March - 5th Anniversary of my dad's death
April - 4 days in Key West.... Yay! When can we go back?, neighbor's begin building treehouse, I mean deck in our backyard....
May - weird heart condition that drove me crazy for three months, pulling together 6 missions trips and training - so happy T did most of that!
June - Silent Auction - never again!, sign up for grueling swim team with 8:30 am practices - what was I thinking?
July - Hungary missions trip - Yahoo!
August - packed up my house to move into my dream home... never materialized, my basement is still full of boxes... a bit depressing, missions travel agent leaves (and we loved her!)
September - school starts, new job, SPACE ends
October - election mania overtakes my life.... and it shouldn't, but it did
November -

How am I going to turn this into a Christmas letter? Maybe we should skip that this year!

It Finally Happened!

Ever since she was 5, Kt has passionately wanted to go to Africa. She has talked about it non-stop, dreamed about it, written about it, prayed about it and begged us to take her. This past summer she incessantly bugged us to allow her to join the Cameroon team and was indignant about the fact that we refused based on the fact that she was 10 years old, not a teenager like all the other team members. I've never doubted that she will somehow end up going to Africa, I just wasn't prepared for last night.

As we went around our Girls Grace Adventure small group sharing prayer requests it happened. I thought it would happen last year, as we prayed for one of our girls who was moving to Uganda for a year and Kt was intrigued with the opportunity. I thought it would happen when we had our friends from Cameroon come home on furlough with their three children. I even thought it might happen Kt prayed in front of our 100 or so summer missions team members that she hoped God would send her to Africa some day. Instead, it happened last night, in a simple prayer request of a girl just her age. She just went on a trip to Kenya. Reality set in, and Kt now knows that she must go. She came up to me right after, teeth gritting, eyebrows raised and said, "Kaitlin went to Africa!" She's always been determined, she's always been indignant, she's always been passionate - now she's been outdone. At least in her mind. There's no stopping her now. I guess we'll need to keep tabs on her passport!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Will Survive

Well, I made it through the day. Albeit, with half a box of Tagalongs! ;-) I'm warming up to the idea that if our country crumbles, at least I can say that I have no culpability. LOL Actually, I'm excited at the thought of two little girls almost my girls' ages being in the White House. I think that will be exciting for my kids. Other than that... I plead the 5th!


Had my 36,000th blog visitor today. Must be writing a Christmas letter in Sanford, ME!

Our weekend away was fun. We ended up heading up to CT and going to Coco Key Water Resort. It was nice, relaxing, and very, very difficult to come home. Especially with the election. I have to admit, I'm feeling quite a mix of grief and doom today and hoping it will dissipate. I can't say as I didn't expect the outcome, but I really feel in my heart that we are in for some dark days ahead. It's times like these when I worry about living so close to DC, NSA, and various other targets.

I know God is in control, and He's the one who sets kings in rulers in place... it's just not always to receive blessing. I fear that our days of being a blessed nation have come to an end. In fact, I think they may have come to end far before today! Is it a great statement that our country has come far enough to vote in a biracial president? Sure it is. I just hope it's the right person for this job. I am hopeful we didn't choose someone based on race alone.

I'll be scrambling for the next couple of weeks to get a volunteer program off the ground for the girls' school, working, teaching for girls grace adventure and getting ready for Thanksgiving... or going away for it! I'm actually feeling a bit scattered but not having to check for election news will free up some of my time. As for having to deal with the consequences of this election, I'll leave that for future fret (you know, healthcare mess, DoD cuts, tax increases, government takeover of 401ks, morality issues - small stuff!). For now, I have some groceries to purchase with my frozen bank funds!