Monday, April 30, 2007

a word of encouragement

a week or so ago, i came across a blog i really like. it's written by a christian woman who is a wonderful writer and writes about things that are close to my heart, too. i really like this quote she posted. it's exactly how i feel on the subject.

if you want to make a difference in someone’s life, you won’t have to go far. just step into someone else’s world for a moment. in the ordinary moments of life, encouragers will often step in and leave their mark. don’t worry about overdoing encouragement. there is a real shortage of encouragers. far too many of us are so preoccupied with our own lives that we really don’t pay attention to other people. many people rarely, if ever, hear a word of encouragement. -jim martin

i especially like the last two sentences. i think it's very easy for us to get preoccupied with our own lives - to be so focused on our own agenda(s) that we don't see those hurting around us. there are a lot of hurting people out there. and as hard as it is to believe, many people don't hear encouraging words or experience gestures of kindness and encouragement.

so i challenge you (whether i personally know you or not) to take a moment and think upon who in your life might benefit (greatly) by an encouraging word or deed from you. and then DO IT. you might be surprised how much you actually get out of it. and if everyone thought more this way, the world would be a better place.

link of the day:

Sunday, April 29, 2007

dreams are a wish your heart makes

so yesterday, i wrote about this little coffee shop that jake's band has played at a couple of times now. it's an interesting place, in a cool way. not only are they a coffee shop, with a menu full of food and drinks, and have the two stages for bands and comedy, but they are a non-profit christian organization.

their walls are filled with scripture, they have a large area of wall space where people can leave prayer requests, they have mid-week bible studies, and a sunday worship service. when we were there last night, they had a group going out onto the streets and passing out a little booklet about easter. i wanted to give you an idea of what this place is like because i don't know if there are a lot of these types of establishments out there or not.

and i mention all of this here as a introduction to a dream don and i have had for some time now. actually it's been more of don's dream but if the circumstances were right, i'd be on board. we want to open some place like the one described above but more on a teen level. we think it would be so cool to have a venue where kids could come and hang out.

we would definitely want part of it to be a place where bands could come and perform. but the place would also have pool, ping pong, and foosball tables as well as food and drinks. to us, this would be the best for all involved. we would get to hang out with kids, kids would have a place to hang out that has a positive atmosphere, and bands (mostly young and upcoming) would have a venue to play at.

it's a dream. no telling if it will ever come true. but we can still dream.

link of the day:

Saturday, April 28, 2007


another night out with the band. tonight they played for the second time at a place called JC's GROUND. it's a christian coffee shop located in the heart of downtown. it's a cool little place that has two stages, one upstairs and a second one down in the basement.

i think they have bands performing on both stages 5-6 nights a week with a comedy night to complete the week. some of the groups are strictly christian but they will book any band as long as their lyrics are clean. it has a comfy atmosphere and they have a complete menu full of coffee and tea drinks as well as soups, sandwiches, pizza, etc.

in the midst of the band's set, jake took the mike and said a short speech about positive influence in people's lives (this on the heel of a song with such lyrics) and then how his girlfriend has been one of those positive influences. he then said, "hollee, will you go to prom with me?" as he handed her a bouquet of roses. it was all very sweet. of course, she said yes.

i have more to say about the coffee shop but i'll have to write about it tomorrow.

link of the day:

Thursday, April 26, 2007


"our life is full of brokenness--broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. how can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God's faithful presence in our lives. " -henri nouwen

i really like this quote. it is so true. i wish i could impart these words, and all they mean, to teenagers i know. even some adults i know. i'll just have to persoanally tuck these words into my heart so i will know what needs to be done in my own brokeness. only then can i help others with theirs.

link of the day:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

the wag of the tail

i heard an interesting story today. you can read it and see a video by following the link of the day.

it reports that italian researchers are claiming that they can tell if a dog is happy or not by the way he/she wags his/her tail. it goes on to say that they measured the angle of the dog's wag and if it favored the left, then the dog wasn't happy with what it was seeing. but if the angle favors the right, then the dog is happy.

i can agree with the fact that the dog isn't always happy and that it even may wag his/her tail when he/she isn't happy. but what i have a problem with is; what makes the researchers think that they would know what makes the dog happy or not happy? i want to know how they would know this.

so, all night, i've been watching brody's tail wag. i can't tell which side he is favoring. and i'm thinking that when he's wagging, he's happy. he just looks happy. he's a happy dog :)

link of the day:

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

springtime weather

do you know what this is? it's SNOW! and boy, did it snow... ALL DAY LONG! it's hard to accept these early springtime snow storms. we've had so many warm days. trees are budding and flower are blooming. and then it snows. we got about 6 inches.

it's good because we can always use the moisture. some areas in the mountains got up to two feet. some parts of the city didn't get snow but just a lot of rain. it was a weird storm.

link of the day:

Monday, April 23, 2007

i now have a technorati account

as much as i'm on the internet, there are still things that are a mystery to me. like the technical end of the internet.

for example, i've been looking into how to get more traffic to this blog and one thing that is strongly suggested is that i have a technorati account. somehow this web site can be used as a referral site as well as ranking blogs that have accounts there. i really don't know what i'm doing but i signed up for an account. we'll see how it goes.

if you know about such stuff, feel free to try to explain it to me.

link of the day:
Technorati Profile

Sunday, April 22, 2007

be a positive presence

there's been a few situations lately that has confirmed one of my core beliefs when it comes to working with teenagers. and that is that any adult can be a "positive presence" in a kid's life. it's actually a lot easier than you might think.

for a lot of adults, the teenagers of today are scary and thought to be avoided. but what many don't know is that teenagers are actually craving adults in their lives. especially as they move towards the end of their high school years and into adulthood.

it seems as we move from one generation to the next, the teenagers have less and less interaction with adults. our communities get smaller, families are more fractured, and more adults are concerned more with their own agendas. the result of all this is that teenagers feel abandoned and therefore close ranks and give the illusion that they don't care what the adult world thinks of them and doesn't want them around.

but that's really not what's going on (for the most part). as teens grow older, they know they need to fit into society as an adult. but a lot of them are unsure of how to do this or are afraid they won't fit in. so, even tho they can't articulate this, they want and need adults around to teach them and to let them know that they're doing ok.

so the next time you have the chance to be around a teenager, don't think of them as some kind of alien to your world. look at them as a young learner - eager to soak up your knowledge and wisdom. i say that a little hesitantly because it's also very important in how you present that knowledge and wisdom. it should be done in a caring way through some kind of easy-going relationship. maybe i'll write more about that later.

just remember the words, "positive presence." just by being that in a young person's life will teach them more than either of you can imagine.

link of the day:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

explanation of God

hope you enjoy this as much as i did. we should listen to the children more.

this was written by an 8-year-old named danny dutton, who lives in chula vista, california. he wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God." i wonder if any of us could have done as well?

"one of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies. i think because they are smaller and easier to make. that way He doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."

"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. an awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or tv because of this. because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off."

"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. so you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."

"atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in chula vista. at least there aren't any who come to our church."

"Jesus is God's son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him but he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."

"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so He told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. so He did. and now He helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. like a secretary, only more important."

"you can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."

"you should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. this is wrong. and besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway."

"if you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. it is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."

" shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. i figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases. and...that's why i believe in God."

link of the day:

Friday, April 20, 2007

happy earth day

i did something today that i don't usually do....
i went to two different movies in the same day.

my two movie buddies and i saw in the land of women this morning. we try to go to a movie, or at least lunch, every friday. we look forward to fridays. the movie was good, but just in an okay kind of good. the acting carried it because there wasn't much of a story. but still good.

then dani talked me into seeing disturbia tonight. that was quite an experience. it played in a large theater and 99% of it was filled with teenagers. remind me to never go to a pg-13 movie that is attractive to teenagers on a friday night again. if you don't know what disturbia is about, it's a remake of the old classic hitchcock thriller, rear window. every few minutes there would be situation that gave the audience the opportunity to scream if they so desired. and this audience of young people took every opportunity - and more. it was a good movie but the viewing experience was compromised and took away from the movie itself. oh well.

oh, by the way.... happy earth day everybody :)

link of the day:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

walking the dog

i'm constantly surfing the web. i love reading other blogs and i love some of the pictures i come across. i'm sure i'll be posting some of the strange and unusual pictures i find as well as the ones that just touch me somehow.

this one made me laugh because we actually have a lady in our neighborhood who walks her dog this way. the first time dani and i saw it, we cracked up the rest of the way home. it makes you wonder if people who do this are just lazy or maybe there's some other reason they can't use their legs to walk their dog. what do you think?

speaking of good pictures, my brother's blog is awesome. he finds the most amazing photos and then writes something (he's a great writer, too) that relates to the picture. you can check it out for yourself by following the link of the day.

link of the day:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

the blame game

it was inevitable. i knew it was coming. and it did. the blame game.

it seems like after any kind of tragedy, people start blaming or criticising different parties involved in the situation. what gets me the most is that a lot of these people aren't even a part of the situation. i guess it's just a part of human nature. especially if the tragedy gets a lot of air time. then everyone (okay, not everyone) becomes an expert on the subject and feels like they have to share their opinion to anyone who would listen. i heard it in the sandwich shop, the grocery store, and the gas station.

i try to put myself in the shoes of parents who had children attending virginia tech. would i question the school on how fast they notified students that there had been a shooting of two students? would i question the campus police on why they didn't do a campus lock-down? would i question why the school didn't do something about the warning signs this student exhibited for at least a year prior? would i even question the state of virginia for their gun laws or the fact that citizens can buy guns even if they've been committed to a hospital for mental incompetency and suicidal tendencies after stalking female students at a school?

i can't say for sure, but i don't think so. i guess it's not in my nature. maybe i'm wrong. maybe i'm too trusting. but i do trust that people and agencies do their best in any given situation. and if something was done grossly wrong, then corrections can and should be made. i don't believe in blaming and criticising. that's just who i am.

link of the day:

Monday, April 16, 2007

33 dead, dozens injured

i hate hearing about school shootings. i'm sure most people do. it just hits me on so many levels.

first, it brings back all the memories of columbine. that tragedy affected all of us, who lived here during that time, pretty deeply. whenever a new school shooting occurs, it's hard not to relive that awful day.

i start thinking about the kids involved. not just the ones who are tragically killed, but the survivors and bystanders, too. how will their lives be forever changed because of one fateful day?

and then i think about my own kids as they are on a school campus most of the week. because of columbine, most high school campuses in this area have better security and more safeguards in place. of course, these do not guarantee the stop of a fatal rampage, but it does give students and parents a better sense of safety.

but the mass shootings that occurred on viginia tech's campus today made me think about my daughter as she is away at college. i'm sure that most students feel safe and secure as they live, play, study, and attend classes all in the same place. it's their home and the last thing you would think that could happen would be that someone would come in and start shooting people.

my daughter did call tonight and she was a little freaked out, asking what if it happens on her campus. it didn't help that a local news crew came in and interviewed some students, asking them such questions as, "what would you do if it happened here?" and "do you feel safe?" all i could do was to try to relieve her fears and let her know that the chances of it happening to her school were pretty slim. i also told her that now would be a good time to think about what she and her roommates would do if something like this happened.

that's that's not actually all i can do. there will be more prayers lifted up with a focus on the safety of not just my kids, but all kids, when they're away from home and attending school.

by the way, this week marks the eighth anniversary of the columbine massacre.

link of the day:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

good clean dirty fun

i'm not going to write much. i'm really tired. it's been a long day.

the day ended with us just getting home from watching jake's band, good clean dirty fun, play in the semi-finals of a battle of the bands. they played in a club downtown and had a lot of their friends there to cheer them on. the band played great... in fact, they seem to get better with every show. we don't know how they did as far as the voting or if they've made it to the finals or not. we might know by tomorrow. will keep you updated.

you can learn more about the band and hear their music by following the link of the day.

link of the day:

Saturday, April 14, 2007

a day at the track meet

we went to jake's track meet today. it ended up being a beautiful day and we all got a little sunburned. jake ran his usual races and did well. we also enjoyed watching his girlfriend, hollee, do her thing... which is pole vaulting. she's really good and is trying to break the school's record this season. when you watch pole vaulting up close, you're amazed at how the kids can lift themselves up and over that bar.

another exciting part of the day was that we spent a lot of time sitting in the infield of the track. you definitely get a different perspective of the meet and the athletes by being down on the field as opposed to sitting up in the stands. today, it was one of the best places to watch the pole vaulting. normally, you're not allowed in the infield. it's reserved for the athletes, officials, and photographers. maybe they thought i was a photographer since i had a camera with a long lens.

haha. i don't think so.

link of the day:

Friday, April 13, 2007

i love snowflakes

well, we didn't get the storm they predicted for us, which was 6-12 inches of snow. in fact, we didn't get ANY snow that stuck to the ground. it did snow for a while today but i guess the ground is too warm.

while i was driving in my car today, i noticed the snow falling on my windshield. it fell lightly in the smallest of flakes. i've lived here nearly 17 years now and i've seen the snow fall in many different ways. but the way it floated from the sky today is my favorite. why? because if you look close enough, you can actually see the individual flakes for a moment or two, with their lacy spikes and perfect symmetry, before they melt into droplets of water.

i love snowflakes. i think they're beautiful. i like the fact that no two are alike. just like people. God made each one of us unique and special. and just like a snowflake, we are all beautiful works of art. try to remember that the next time you see the snow fall, or if you have the awe-filled opportunity to see the flakes in their individual form.

the link of the day is a site where you can make your own flakes. the above flake is one of my creations. i go to this site often to create my own flakes. it's theraputic for me. i invite you to give it a try.

link of the day:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

i am, therefore, i blog

some of you may be wondering why i have another blog. some of you may not know that i have any other blog other than this one. well, i'll let you all in on my secret. i actually have a total of seven blogs (at the moment) and that includes the one on my myspace profile and now, this one. i can hear you gasping. does it sound worse if i tell you i had three more that i started but didn't post to them for more than a day or so? i was just trying out some other blogging sites but decided i didn't really like them.

so now i feel like i have to explain why i have so many...

+ i don't know if my web journal at bravenet is my oldest, but it could be. i set it up and still use it as a diary of sorts. it keeps family members updated on our family life as well as a way for me to keep a timeline of events and happenings. i will still be using this one.

+ i think the second oldest blog is one i wanted to be able to just write about anything, but yet kept it secret so i could rant without anyone i knew reading it. i stopped writing in it some time ago.

+ i have a blog that is strictly for the youthworker in me. i wanted a place to write about my experiences with kids and wanting to inform the uninformed. i haven't written in it for a while. it got kinda depressing.

+ i started a blog on wordpress because my brother likes wordpress so much. i decided that i would use it to keep in contact with the youth in our youth group, and their parents. i posted a couple of times and still think i'll use it at some point.

+ since i have a profile on myspace, i automatically have blogging capabilities there. i use it occasionally but it's geared for my "friends" there on myspace.... which is mostly teenagers.

+ connected to this blog (the one you're reading now) is what i called, "the wonderful world of the world wide web." i would post about different websites that i would come across and found interesting. it's still there. you can go to it by clicking on view my whole profile. it has some cool links but i don't think i'll be adding to it. i'll use the link of the day here on this page to share all my discoveries with you.

+ and now, this one. so why did i start this one? there's a couple of reasons. one, i wanted one place to write instead of a bunch of different ones that ran along a certain theme. i may not be able to rant here knowing that it could be read by someone i know, but that's okay. that's the only con i can think of and there are so many pros. the second reason is that i want to try to write every day and, therefore, want all those posts in one place. writing every day is a challenge i've given myself. i know i'll miss a day here and there, but i'm committed to try this.

so there you go. now you know all my blogging secrets. i'll try not to keep anything from you again. atleast as it pertains to blogging. and by the way, thanks for reading this blog. i hope you continue to do so.

link of the day:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

i wanna go for a walk

last friday i went out and bought myself a new pair of walking shoes. i even went to a specialized athletic shoe store so they could take a good look at my feet and then how i walk so they can recommend the best shoe for me. i actually ended up with a running shoe because they said the best walking shoe is actually a running shoe. the other thing that i didn't know was that your shoe should be a half to a full size bigger than your normal size. after trying a couple of pairs on, and walking both inside the store and out, i came home with a comfortable pair.

even though i was anxious to try them out on a real walk, i knew i probably wouldn't have the chance during the weekend. and i didn't. but i knew i would try to find a time on monday to take a walk. and i did.

it was a beautiful evening and don and i walked up to blimpie, bought sandwiches, and returned home. even though there were some major hills, i have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable walks i've ever taken - because the shoes were so darn comfortable. i wanted to keep going. so i was looking forward to walking again the next day.

but the next day it was cold and windy. and today it's been cold and windy. and, tomorrow, we're bracing ourselves for a big storm that's supposed to dump 6-12 inches of snow on us.

so i sit here looking at my beautiful, and comfortable, new pair of shoes and i want to go for a walk. i've never been motivated much to exercise and now that i'm motivated, the weather won't cooperate. i may have to break down and go walk on a treadmill at the rec center. yuk.

link of the day:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


my mom wrote today, in her web journal, about a memory she had of making cookies with her her mother-in-law, which would be my grandmother. it got me to thinking about my grandparents and some of the memories i have of them.

what makes our grandparents so memorable? why are the memories we have of them so special? of course, i'm going to generalize here because i know not everyone has good memories of their grandparents. some may not have any at all. so i guess i'll just speak from my own experience.

i have a lot of fond memories of the times i spent with my grandparents as a child. going to visit g-ma and g-pa was like taking a mini-vacation. it was getting away from home and going someplace fun, yet comfortable. it was getting away from the daily routine and whatever "issues" were going on at home. they usually had some kind of activity or event to take part in. or, atleast, they would try to make your visit fun. and they did their fair share of spoiling me and my siblings.

and yet, there's still something special about grandparents that i can't seem to find the words for. part of it, but not all, is the unconditional love that is impossible to paint with mere words. so i guess i'll just have to leave it at that.

then i was thinking, "why did my grandparents treat us this way? why did they spoil us? why did they want to spend time with us?" i started thinking about the future - when my kids will have their own children and i will be the grandma. how will i feel about my grandchildren?

i realized that i can't wait until i have grandchildren. i can't wait to spoil them and take them to fun places and make special memories. why? because they will be my family. because i will love them just like my own children. and then it hit me... this must be some of the same feelings my own grandparents had. that's why they wanted to spend time with us. that makes my heart smile :D

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudolph Giuliani

link of the day:

Monday, April 9, 2007

the misguided doctor

i came across this article a week or so ago and i haven't been able to stop thinking about it. it's about a doctor who refused to treat a young girl with an ear infection because her mother had tattoos. it goes on to say that he had office policies in place that don't allow patients to have such things as tattoos, body piercings, etc.

what's disturbing is that this doctor says he is a christian and that his policies stem from his personal beliefs on christianity and wanting to make his patients "comfortable." beyond the fact that these policies probably go against the hippocratic oath he took when he became a doctor, i believe his views on christianity are a little (ok, a lot) screwed up.

God's top two commandments to us is; to love Him (with all your heart, soul, and mind) and then to love our neighbors as ourselves (matthew 22:37-40). it's the type of person with tattoos and body piercings that Jesus personally gravitated towards and ministered to.

i also believe that this doctor's actions do more harm than good. non-christians use these kinds of situations as evidence that christians are hypocritical and, therefore, likely to turn away from christianity.

another way to look at it is; if this doctor's attitude and methods were more like Christ's, he could actually witness to non-believers and bring them to Christ. i wonder if he ever thought of that?

link of the day:

Saturday, April 7, 2007

want vs. need

i came across this today and like it. so i'm sharing it with all of you. it's something we should all reflect upon.

when i asked God for strength
He gave me difficult situations to face

when i asked God for brain & braun
He gave me puzzles in life to solve

when i asked God for happiness
He showed me some unhappy people

when i asked God for wealth
He showed me how to work hard

when i asked God for favors
He showed me opportunities to work hard

when i asked God for peace
He showed me how to help others

God gave me nothing i wanted
He gave me everything i needed

-Swami Vivekanand

may He give you everything you need.

Friday, April 6, 2007

good friday

so today is good friday. i've reflected on this day in Jesus' life. i know why it's called "good." it was good for us here on earth that have (or will) give our lives to Jesus Christ. but it wasn't good for Jesus as he was made to endure incredible pain and finally put to death in a horrible fashion. it's good to reminded of the sacrifice He made for us.

and that is what lent is all about... Jesus' sacrifice. for 40 days, right before easter, the tradition is to give up something that would truly be a sacrifice. for as long as i can remember, each year, everyone in my family gives up something. it's been a variety of things, such as; french fries, chicken nuggets, cookies, chocolate, etc.

this is how it was for us this year; husband-ice cream, daughter-sodas, son-myspace and aim. and for me - i also gave up sodas (like my daughter) and, boy-howdee, it's been hard. it's been a real sacrifice. not only do i love my diet cokes but i'm really getting sick of drinking water with so many of my meals. everytime i open my refrigerator, i see our well stocked soda shelf and crave the carbonated elixir of my dreams.
so, when i opened my fridge this morning, i thought, it truly is good friday - i get to drink sodas in two days! :D

link of the day:

Thursday, April 5, 2007

sunshine in my life

 position= i'm what you could call a "sun" person. i love the brightness of the sun and the warmth it emits. as a child, i remember laying in the grass, watching the clouds travel overhead and enjoying the heat from the sun's rays. i was known to curl up and take a nap where the sun shone through the window, just like a cat. and of course, i spent too many hours worshipping the sun with the goal of getting tanner.

it wasn't until i was a young adult that the sun took on a different meaning for me. i somehow started associating the sun with God. on a sunny day, i could feeling His presence with me. i can turn my face to the sun and it actually feels like He is looking down on me... and i feel happy and content.

so ever since i can remember, i've loved the john denver's song, sunshine on my shoulders. if i replace the word "sun" and replace it with "God," the song takes on a new meaning - atleast for me. here are the lyrics:

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you
I'd give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I'd sing a song to make you feel this way


If I had a tale that I could tell you
I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I'd make a wish for sunshine all the while


most of my days here in colorado are sunny. i like the feeling that He is all around me and that i can just turn my face towards the sky and know he's smiling down at me. even on the cloudy days, i know He's there. clouds are a reminder that it's ME that puts things between Him and me. it helps me work through things to bring back the sun in my life.

link of the day: