Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Night Thoughts

Yesterday's post was a heavy one. It's hard to know how to follow that. I think for tonight I'm just going to give you a few random thoughts going through my head right now...

Chris took me tonight to this little French restaurant in Old Colorado City. It's actually an old house that's been converted into a restaurant. But it still looks very much like a house. The ambiance was great - very warm with a muted elegance. And the food was fantastic! I'd recommend it to anyone in the Colorado Springs area looking for a nice place for a date.

Tomorrow is the Superbowl. I don't really care about either team, but for Chris' sake I'll root for the Steelers. I always enjoy watching the game ... well, actually what I enjoy is watching all the extra stuff like the Star Spangled Banner, the commercials and the halftime show. What? You never know when the next wardrobe malfunction may occur.

My sister Sara gets married four weeks from today. We're going to New York for her wedding. It will be a blast, I'm sure! (Upstate New York in February? Definitely a blast of arctic wind.) Anyway, I'm excited for her wedding. It's been fun to watch how God worked in her life to bring her to this point. It's still hard to imagine my little Sara a married woman.

Well, that's all for tonight. It's late, my belly's full of French food, my eyes are heavy and my bed is calling my name.


Friday, January 30, 2009

My Broken Heart

I wrote a post on Compassion's blog today about Slumdog Millionaire. I meant everything I wrote in it, but to be honest, I wrote it from an emotionally detached place.

I'd encourage you to go read it before you read the rest of the this post ...

Did you read it?

What do you think about the question at the end? See, I'm really wrestling with this idea of poverty tourism. Where exactly is the line between educating ourselves about poverty and exploiting the poor?

A warning about the following video:
It will break your heart. It will take guts to watch it. I truthfully have never seen a video that broke my heart so completely as this one.

I'm not posting it to be emotionally manipulative. I don't want to evoke your pity or guilt. What I want to do is help you understand what poverty looks like.

You will not see videos or photographs like this from Compassion. I didn't post this as an employee of Compassion. I posted it because it helped me to emotionally connect with the work I do every day.

If during this video your heart was broken for the poor, please don't ignore that.

Do something about it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are You Alive?

Thank you.

Now, if you would all please follow me to my brother's blog.


His post today is BRILLIANT. Very deep and yet so funny at the same time. (Oh and be sure to watch the video.)

Then if you liked the post, leave him a comment. Hopefully this will encourage him to post more often. Because obviously, he's got good stuff to say.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

~Mother Teresa

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Twilight: Blood wasn't the only thing that got sucked in.

I'm sure by now you've heard of the Twilight Series. It is one of those book series that, similar to the Harry Potter series, came from a virtunally unknown author and rocketed to instant fame when it found it's tipping point.

Stephenie Meyer sold 22 million books in 2008! That's more than any other author. So obviously, I had to jump on the bandwagon to see what all the fuss was about.

I got on the waiting list at the library for Twilight knowing little about the book. All I knew was that it was a teen romance involving a vampire. I'm not really much of a fan of science fiction, so obviously I was very skeptical.

Well guess what?

I couldn't put it down. Literally. I took it with me everywhere. I read it while waiting for my carpool buddy. I ready it while I was on the roller beds at the chiropractor's office. I read it on my breaks at work. I read it in the mornings and late into the night.

Here's the weird thing. It's not that great. The writing is very simplistic. The story plays out like a teen drama on the CW. It's fluff. Plus, if I try to reason logically through the story, it makes no sense.

So what's the deal? I obviously got sucked into the story. Shallow writing or not, I had to know what happened. There were moments while I was reading it that I actually felt silly, caring about something so ridiculously implausible as a vampire. And yet, I still found myself enjoying it. This review on Amazon summed my thoughts up well ...
Rather than feeling as though I were trudging through a heavy piece of fantasy fiction, I was able to let my mind relax and float into the story as if I were watching some strangely intoxicating reality show about a clumsy teenage girl and a thoroughly confused vampire. In the end, despite their flaws and not fully understanding their logic or reasoning, I even enjoyed the characters Meyer created.

This is a novel you should pick up when you just want to shut off your brain for a little while and escape reality. Basically, you shouldn't try to read this novel with too serious an eye

There were certainly moments when I got more than a little creeped out. One night, while I was standing in the kitchen reading a very suspenseful scene (the baseball scene, for those who have read it) someone opened the front door and I almost jumped out of my skin.

Reading the last few chapters, I was totally engrossed. The ending is great. Even though it won't win any Oscars, I do, in fact, want to watch the movie. I've put the trailer for you below.

Oh, and for those of you who are fans, did you know that Stephenie Meyer has written the story from Edward's perspective? You can read it on her web site.

So now I'm on the library's waiting list for New Moon, the next book in four-book series. As my brother pointed out, some would consider reading fluff like this a waste of time. But then, isn't that all fiction? It's entertainment, pure and simple, and to that end, it fulfilled it's purpose. I was entertained.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh Hey

Hello, blog friends. How was your weekend? Mine was good. It was snowy and cold here in The CO, so other than some quality dog walking time, I spent most of it indoors.

We did go out on Saturday, though. You know what I think? Sushi and a movie = FUN. Who's with me?

We saw Slumdog Millionaire. It was my second attempt to see it (the first time it was sold out.) Actually, our show was sold out too. Now, with the Best Picture Oscar nomination, I'm sure it will continue to sell out.

I found out this morning that two of the movies we've seen recently are nominated for Best Picture. (Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire. ) While I enjoyed Benjamin Button, if I were Oscar, I'd give it to Slumdog. No question. The story was original. The acting was great. The music was good. They did a fantastic (and heartbreaking) job of showing life in the Indian slums. It was very well done. Have you seen either? Which do you think should win?

Oh, and in other random news, check out this article I read today. Crazy, huh? What did they do ... send a corporate memo: "We are implementing a new, company-wide policy, effective immediately. Go home and do it." How do you think this would go over in the U.S.A.?

Well, that's about it for this Monday morning update. In case you're wondering, I'm still updating my photo blog, although I seem to miss as many days as I post. Taking a picture a day is challenging! I'll try to get better ... promise. If you haven't researched the Freedom of Choice Act, please do it.

Have a super Monday! Toodles.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freedom, My Butt

You see the new widget over there to the right of this post?

Normally I try to stay away from anything remotely political. You know how I feel about politics. I know there are a million different opinions on a million different issues and it is a rare thing when a political discussion doesn't end with blown out tempers and hurt feelings. It's usually easier to avoid the topics altogether. Besides all that, I don't want to get the reputation for having a bunch of crap and ads all over my blog.

But every once in a while I feel so strongly about something that I will make an exception to the rule. This is one of those times.

You might have heard of something called the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). I'd heard the name thrown around, but I always wrote it off as another piece of legislation that will be batted around Congress for years to come. However, with the recent swearing in of our new president, this particular issue suddenly became very important. So I finally looked at it a little closer.

People, it's freakin' SCARY.

Here's how my brother (who has done his homework) puts it ...
FOCA would establish the right to abortion as a fundamental right (like the right to free speech) and wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide.

Also, as stated on the Fight FOCA web site, it would compel taxpayer funding of abortions. Well, this is one taxpayer who is saying that is not okay with me.

But even beyond that, it takes away the right of any doctor to refuse to be party to an abortion. Excuse me?? Since when have doctors been forced to perform a procedure? Is that freedom?

So what can we do?

1. We can pray. We can pray for our nation to stand up for the Truth. We can pray for the members of Congress who will be voting on this issue. We can pray for President Obama to have a change of heart. We can pray for those mamas who will be faced with choosing between life and death for their baby. We can pray for the babies whose lives are on the line.

2. We can stop being ignorant. Seriously, I'll be the first to admit that it seems easier to remain ignorant about this. One can't be held responsible for what one doesn't know, right? Bull. That's the coward's answer. We have been called to a higher purpose. Do your homework. Read the Act for yourself. Visit the Fight FOCA web site.

3. We can speak up. Sign the petition. Post the widget on your blog or Facebook page. Heck, get mad. That's what made me write this post. Take advantage of the fact that we live in a country where we can legally stand up for good - the pure, the lovely, the admirable - in this world. Not everyone has that opportunity.

So what do you think? Can we stop this madness even though it seems inevitable? I think so. In fact ... say it with me altogether now ...

Yes, we can.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This should bother him ...

So we have a new president.

Yesterday certainly was a historic day. As I sat and watched President Obama get sworn into office, I couldn't help but feel patriotic and even a little proud to be an American.

Later, I went back to my desk. As I started my daily routine of scanning the world news online, one small headline caught my eye.

Kenyans hail election of saviour Barack Obama

I read the article and started feeling sick to my stomach. Here are a few quotes ...
“This man is Jesus,” shouted one man, spilling his Guinness as Barack Obama began his inaugural address. “When will he come to Kenya to save us?”

“Now he is president we will get food and jobs,” said Ben Ochieng, as he danced to the traditional music ...

Kenya is a country in need of a saviour. Last year 600,000 people were left homeless by the violence that followed disputed presidential elections.
It is true. Kenya needs a savior. However, they're looking to the wrong man. President Obama is NOT the man who can - or will - save them. They need to look to the Savior who lived, died and rose from the dead 2,000 years ago.

My heart is sad for so many who are looking to our new President as their hope instead of looking to the only true source of hope - Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holy #$%&!

Sometimes I find swearing funny. A well-timed curse word, especially from the mouth of someone who rarely swears, usually cracks me up.

This post about Christians swearing is funny. I especially like the part about Tony Campolo.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Luke was a farmer?!

Remember how on my list of things I've never done is watched Star Wars?

Well after hearing the movie explained, I'm not EVER going to watch them.

Those movies are STUPID.

ht: Suzanne

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hollywood Couldn't Dream This Stuff Up

This story actually gave me the chills.

Just imagine what the world would be like if there were more people like Kris Hogan in it. I think people like him make God smile.

Thanks, Brant, for posting this and starting my morning off right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Problem with Avoiding Sin

My friend Julie and I always have good conversations. Challenging conversations. This morning, in particular.

We've been friends for several years. We first met on a camping trip in Telluride (a.k.a. Best camping trip. EVER.) a couple summers ago. Since then, we've attended the same church and have a lot of mutual friends so it was easy to become friends.

A few months ago she started working at Compassion. Shortly after that we decided to carpool to work to save gas money, slow down the wear and tear on our cars, and do our part to cut back on the traffic congestion. So now we make the 15 mile commute together nearly every day.

I've discovered that I'm a big fan of carpooling. It helps me be more disciplined with my schedule. For an extrovert like me, it's nice to have the company. It allows for some quality talk time. (Also, Julie has a 4WD which is far better than my little Mazda in bad weather. Plus she has seat warmers, which I love. Totally getting those in the next car I buy.) But I digress.

So anyway, we talk a lot. Our conversations range from the trivial, typical girl talk of Hollywood and makeup, to the deep ... things like pain, faith and death.

This morning was one of those deep talks. We are in similar places in life and so we are struggling with some of the same issues. One thing in particular. We decided recently that since we have this regular time together, and we are both dealing with the same thing, we would try to hold each other accountable in this area. So this "issue" has become a pretty regular topic of conversation.

We talked today about how sometimes, in trying to avoid something, we actually end up more focused on it than if we had just ignored it all together. In putting so much effort into staying away from something, we end up completely mired in it. Obsessed with avoiding it, we instead find ourselves obsessed with the thing itself. Does this make sense? Let me give you an example.

It's kind of like when I'm riding my bike and I see a rock on the path in front of me. If I focus on trying NOT to hit the rock, I always end up steering my bike straight toward it. No matter how hard I try not to. Or when I'm driving my car. When I see a pothole in the road, if I concentrate on the pothole - even though I'm trying NOT to hit it - I usually do.

I think sin is like this. Sometimes, if Satan can't get us to sin outright, he actually uses our own efforts to "avoid" it to mess us up. He's twisted like that.

So there's a fine line, I think, between Godly vigilance about something and obsession with it. I'm slowly learning the difference.

What do you think? Have you had a similar experience?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Want Ad

As the economy slows down and more people are looking for work, I would imagine a job like this one would be very popular.

According to the article ...
No formal qualifications are needed but candidates must be willing to swim, snorkel, dive and sail.
And what might you be compensated for this "job"? Well nothing much ...
In return, the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000) for six months and get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.
Australia's tourism department is currently accepting applications. The deadline is February 22, 2009, so you still have time!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas in January

Sorry I've missed a few days. I have a good excuse, though. Remember how sad I was that my sisters weren't here for Christmas? Well ... they were here this weekend!

Micah met Uncle Chris and Aunt Valeen for the first time. He was obviously thrilled.

We had waited to exchange Christmas gifts until everyone was together. It actually felt more like Christmas than it did on December 25th.

Valeen got a shirt with Zach's face on it. Cause who doesn't want one of those?

We also had a shower/reception for The Sach their wedding is in NY. Zach is a sailor and so the theme was sailing. Because of my brilliant idea for a centerpiece, I now am the proud owner of 10 pet goldfish.

Yesterday we celebrated the 26th annual Denver Day. We spent the day at the Denver Zoo and then had dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

At a table for 27.

A good time was had by all.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How can anyone say no to this?

I had a blog post all planned for today, but that's going to have to wait. There is something much more important that I must talk about.

I know I have talked about Compassion a lot lately but this time I can't help it.

And seriously? How can anyone say no to this ...

Thiago is five years old. He lives with his mom.

He needs a sponsor.

His dad isn't around, so what a huge impact a sponsor could have on this little guy! If you've been hesitant to sponsor a child up to this point, the time is now.

Please sponsor Thiago. If you can't, will you help me find someone who can? Send them this post.

Normally I try not to push Compassion on this blog since people might assume that I talk about them simply because I receive a paycheck from them.

But believe me when I tell you in this case, it's not the paycheck. Look at that photo. I just want to squeeze him.

I'm on a mission to find Thiago a sponsor.

Sponsor Thiago now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Life Through My Lens

I've started a new blog. I'm calling it Life Through My Lens. It's my life in one photo a day.

It seems a little crazy, I know, as keeping up with this one already takes a lot of time. When I originally started this blog a couple years ago, it was going to be a photo blog. But it quickly became ... whatever this is ... an online journal? I love doing this one, but the photos have kind of taken a backseat.

This new blog was actually my boyfriend Chris's idea. He said it would be a good way to keep me taking photos and to document my year. He's right. Plus, I have a nice camera. I like to take pictures. I'd love to get better. I have boatloads of pictures and I should probably do something with them other than just take up space on my hard drive.

So I'll probably post every few days, but I'll make sure to post one picture per day. Stop by and let me know what you think!

P.S. I also have a post on Compassion's blog today. Sheesh, I'm like a blogging fool.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wowzas! (As my grandpa likes to say.)

I'm sure you know by now how much I love music. I especially love artists who play their own instruments.

You might understand, then, how videos like this one blow my mind.

Or how about this one?

Yeah ... I know.

ht: Carlos, Alex

Monday, January 5, 2009

SkiDo 2009

The weekend in Frisco was awesome. What a way to start the year.

We stayed in this amazing condo. It was spacious, with gorgeous views out every window. And you want to know the best part? It had heated floors.
We played a lot of games. I introduced everyone to one of my family's favorite games ... Dutch Blitz.
On Saturday John made us a gourmet breakfast of French Toast with Blackberry Syrup. French Toast is my favorite food. Ever.

Then everyone went skiing. (Well, everyone except me.)
We had a delish dinner at the Dam Brewery in Dillon.
Barb had her Nikon and took one billion pictures. This is one of my favorites.
Sunday we went snowshoeing. The day was perfect. One of the best days I've ever spent in the mountains. Seriously ... it doesn't get much better than this.
I claim to hate snow but I think I changed my mind.

Here we are talking to Matt. Matt is VERY tall. Apparently he was saying something very funny.
Awww ...

Chris thought it might be funny to dump me in the snow.

Who's laughing now, Bubs?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hoopin' In the New Year

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday was filled with laughter as mine was.

The night centered around yummy Italian food, raucous games of Twister and, of course, the Wii.

And oh my goodness. Have you ever watched someone doing the Hula Hoop game on the Wii Fit? It's. Flippin. Hilarious.

I'm leaving this afternoon to spend the first weekend of this year in the mountains in beautiful Frisco, Colorado with my boy and some friends. Most people will ski and I'm looking forward to snowshoeing, lots of hours with a good book, quality time in the hot tub and tasty food.

2009 is looking fine ...