Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new post tomorrow

need sleep.....

asta manana

fell off the blogging wagon - Wednesday


Yah, a few pictures!  Here is Wednesday.....

My maestro took us on a little walk around town.  We went and visited Juarez Park (no pics, I don't want to press my luck!) and these public lavados (where people wash their clothes).  Most people don't use them anymore, because the water is pretty funky.  But there are a few poor who do, like in this picture.  There is a spring that feed the "baths" (cement sinks).  
After I took this picture the lady on the right charged me =).  TIM!



We learned of an interesting Mexican tradition.  It is customary to give the gift of underwear on New Years Eve, to family, co-workers, etc.
Here at the school the teachers and employees drew names (like a secret santa), and all exchanged their "gifts" after class.
It was pretty funny to watch.  I guess different colors have different meanings.  
The girls underwear kept getting smaller and smaller.....


Here I am with some camels.  I'll explain more later.  I'm in bed trying to get a few hours sleep before I have to get up at 3:00am to catch my ride to the airport.  UGH!


Okay, actually I am here with a camel, an elephant, and a horse.  They were guys on stilts representing the 3 Kings.  Apparently Mexicans celebrate another holiday in early January called 3 Kings Day (or something like that).  While they do celebrate Christmas & Christmas Eve, and they do exchange a few gifts, it is this 3 Kings day where they really go crazy with gift giving.  Kind of makes sense, no?


And here we are enjoying New Years Eve at El Jardin (where everything that's anything happens).  There was a band playing for like 45 minutes, with fireworks going off in between songs.  
Genevieve loves these huuuge spaklers.  They were like 3 or 4 feet long metal ones.  It was a fun night although we didn't stay up to midnight to ring in the new year.  It was freezing, we were not dressed-accordingly, and too late for a 6 year old who had school the next day.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday ~ more fun in Mexico

Another great day here in San Miguel de Allende.  Getting up this morning was a bear.  Can't seem to get on the right time zone.  Genevieve is still awake again, and it's almost 10pm (but her body thinks it's 8pm).  You would think getting up at 7:30am (5:30am to our bodies) and all the walking we are doing would just make her pooped at night.  I get her in bed earlier and she just can't seem to sleep.  Unfortunately I am having the same problemo, but mine is no surprise since I have sleep "issues" in my normal life.

I'm not picking up the spanish as quickly as I had hoped.  Too many people know enough english around here that I can get by without making too much of an effort en espanol.  Kind of defeats the purpose, huh?  But when you are stumbling through your spanish and they clarify what you are saying in english, it's not very motivating.  It's not the case everywhere and with everyone, but the people here seem to be well-educated and have varying knowledge of the english language.

The coolest part about San Miguel is El Jardin, which I've mentioned before.  It's the town square where everything happens.  I love it.  On one side of the square is La Peroquia - huge gorgeous catholic church.  Today we got to see the festivities of a quincinerra taking place.  It was literally like a mini - wedding.  Heck, there was nothing mini about it.  There was a full on "bridal" party with girls in matching dresses, boys in tux's, and even a "groom",which I guess was her date.  There was no expense spared, let me tell you.  

I really love Main St in Pleasanton.  But it holds nothing to a town square.  I think every town should have one.  With little cafes and outdoor seating, a bank, a church, some restaurants, a little park in the middle. It's charming.

No real TIM moments today if you can believe that.  We've decided to walk most everywhere instead of the bus.  I didn't realize that the bus was only saving us a few blocks each way.  

More to write later.  I can only get one photo to upload.  It's of La Peroquia (not sure on spelling).  It's gorgeous at night when it's all lit up, as is the rest of El Jardin.

Adios for now!



Monday, December 29, 2008

Lunes- a good day

Can't get my photos uploaded tonight for some unknown reason, so this will be a picture-less post for now.

Our B&B hostess keeps asking what we want for breakfast each evening, but when I make suggestions she says "no".  So then I ask her what she makes and she answers eggs.  And huevos rancheros (um...eggs?).  So eggs it is.  One of the reasons I picked this place was because I read reviews what a phenominal cook she was, so I'm puzzled.  But TIM!

Today we got up at 7:30 (ouch) and got ready for school.  The school is great.  The people who run it are nice, the teachers are nice, they seem to really have it together.  They are definitely my information source for all my questions.  They take the kids on little field trips to the park, market, and so on.  They include field trips in the afternoon for the adults as well - market, walking tour, cooking lessons, dance lessons (um no) all included in the tuition cost.  
Genevieve is in school from 8:30 to 1:15.  I am in class from 9:00 to 11:00.  So that gives me a couple hours to do all the walking and window-shopping I want without boring Genevieve to death.  

I'm ashamed to say I had Subway for lunch today, but let me explain why.  I a=only had about 45 minutes to catch a bite before I had to go back to get Genevieve.  So I wanted something quick, cheap, and predictable.  I went back to the over-priced La Terazza because it was convenient, and I had seen someone order nachos the day before that looked yummy.  So I ordered the nachos and a drink.  It was 12:30.  However, I am told that they don't have nachos right now, but I can have chips & salsa, chips and guacamole....... so I ask "you have no cheese?", and the waiter answers oh no, they have cheese, but nachos are on the comida (lunch) menu and they are still serving from the desayuno (breakfast) menu, but you can have a quesadilla con queso (which is on the comida menu).  So they have chips.  And they have cheese.  But they can't make me nachos at 12:30pm because they are still serving breakfast.  But I am allowed to order a quesadilla from the lunch menu.  
Again. 
TIM.
So I went and got Subway =).

Genevieve made some friends in her class from Seattle.  The family is staying here for 3 months, taking in the culture and learning the language.  We had a play-date with them this afternoon.  Super nice people.

We came back home for a siesta.  Funny how I really need one here.  I don't sleep, but I do need the rest.  I guess I am doing quite a bit of walking around town.  

Lastly we went to an italiano restaurante for cena.  The food was pretty good, although Genevieve didn't agree (see a pattern here?).  But again she didn't complain, she was just "full" after a few bites.  

We finished the evening with a little shopping and homework.  We got a late start in the evening and it was 10:00 by the time G got to bed - oops.  Need to figure out our schedule a little better.  

Asta!


I'm here, just not HERE.

I'm posting, just over at my other blog.   Mi blog de familia.  Why am I talking en espanol? Because we're in Mexico!  My daughter and I are taking some spanish courses in San Miguel de Allende.  So I will be at the other blog for a little while.  I really need to combine them, don't I?

Asta luego!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday - a new day


We slept in until 11:00am.  Well, I did.  Genevieve got up with the alarm at 9:00, got herself dressed, then realized I wasn't going anywhere and she got back in bed with me.

With a full night's sleep, some daylight, San Miguel was looking much better to me.  

This is the inside or courtyard of where we are staying.  The big wall and metal door on the street is deceptive of what's inside.
I got dressed and we were getting ready to leave for the day.  Then the B&B owner used her key and came into our room without knocking.  Nice.  She apparently needed to get some towels from the closet in our room and thought we were gone.  A simple knock at the door would have told her otherwise.  But This Is Mexico - here on out referred to as "TIM".  

We jump on a bus because Genevieve wanted to ride one ever so badly.  I ask someone at the stop where the bus went, and thought I knew where I was going.  But the bus driver told me to get off somewhere else.  Apparently he didn't go where I thought (or was told) he went.  Our main goal for the day was to find Centro Bilingue -the language school we will attending tomorrow.  Just wanted to find it so we could get there on time at 8:30 monday morning.  
But once again we are starving.  We find a place at the Jardin (the town square) called La Terazza.  I have Genevieve excited about pancakes, but by the time the waiter actually comes to TAKE our order, they are done serving desayuno, and have moved on to the comida menu.   Apparently they stop serving breakfast at 1:00pm.  Who knew.  So we order 1 hamburgessa con queso, 1 order of papas fritas and 1 refresca naranja, (which G was pretty happy with), and the bill is $125 pesos!  That's $10 USD.  CrAzY.  It's freaking Mexico for crying out loud. 

Comida was done, it took like an hour and a half.  Service is slooooooooow here.  Especially for a woman and child.

We went and found the school.  It was closed since it's Sunday but at least we know where it's at.

Now for the fun part.  At the town square (La Jardin. Or El Jardin....I don't know), there was a clown putting on a performance for kids and families.  We sat down to watch.  We didn't understand a thing he was saying but he was apparently quite funny as everyone was laughing.  He had a good audience of about 150 people I would guess.  He then starts asking for volunteers.  4 boys, then 4 girls.  Genevieve (surprised me) and raised her hand and was picked.  As she goes with the clown I call out "no habla espanol!", so he would know.  
The clown lines up 4 pairs by height.  Each pair has a boy and a girl.  He then leads them in a version of "Simon Says". Genevieve doesn't understand his words, but follows her partner and teh ones around her.  He has them put their hand on their partners head.  Then on their partners shoulder.  The he has them go forehead to forehead.  Cheek to cheek.  Everyone is cracking up by now.  Nose to nose.  Chin to chin.  Then he speeds it up and has them do it all over again really fast, and the last thing he says is lips to lips.  Poor Geneveive doesn't even know what he said and gets lips planted on her.  The 2 older pairs balked at the last request, and were dismissed from the game.  The 2 younger pairs were declared the winners and given a prize.  

Genevieve later told me that she had fun, except at the end.  She said it was like they were getting married, but didn't get to pick who she married.  =)

(she's talking in her sleep as I type this).  

After that we did a lot of walking around.  We discovered Starbucks - which is sooo weird.

And finally hopped on another bus (which didn't really take me where I wanted to go), to come "home". The plan was to take a little rest and grab a late dinner, which is customary here.  But I was too tired to go back out, so we had a seriously healthy dinner of granola bars, cheese-its, and popcorn.  

I finished off the evening with ichatting Luke, and blogging =).

It's now midnight (10:00 CA time), and I need to hit the hay because the alarm will ring at 7:00 for the first day of school.  

Adios!



here we go

Okay, yesterday was a rough one.  Let me start at the beginning.  We had a 12:50am flight from San Francisco.  Yes, you read that right - 12:50 in the middle of the night.  So we get on the plane and someone is sitting in our window seat.  Genevieve says "I want to sit by the window", and Seat Stealer who obviously thinks he is sitting in the right seat, says she can sit there for take-off, but then he needs it back because "he needs to get some sleep".  I'm irritated, but don't say anything because he thinks he is being nice.  THEN, a lady comes down the isle and says we are in HER seat.  So I take out our boarding passes and show her that we are in the right row, and Seat Stealer takes his out and realized he in the wrong ROW.  So we get our window seat, although still didn't get much sleep.

3 hours of flight and we get to the Dallas airport where we are supposed to have a 3 hour lay-over.  It's torturous.  I'm exhausted and there's nowhere to rest.  All seats have arms on them so there is no laying down (think they did that on purpose?).  Comfort is not much better than on the plane.  And Genevieve was on an adrenaline high.  Oh, but it gets better.  The 3 hour layover turns into 5.5 hours, as there was a storm in Dallas, and teh plane we were supposed to take was delayed.  Longest 5 hours of my life.  Especially because they kept saying another 15 min.  or 30 min.  or 45 minutes.  Then we got hungry and didn't have enough time to go get food.  LAME.  

We hop on the next plane - which was a teeny tiny 40 seater.  I didn't know this.  I didn't like this. No sleeping on this 2.5 hour leg either. Ugh.  

Finally get to the airport where we see the transportation service holding our name.  Awesome.  But wait.  We can't leave now because we have to wait for another person coming on another plane in another 40 minutes.  So we go to find some crappy over-priced airport food, and use the ATM.  I accidentally took out 200 pesos (instead of dollars - hey I was tired!), and paid a 75 peso transaction fee to do so.  Then I found out that the airport ATM has bad exchange rates anyways and I should wait.  

We go back to meet our transporter, and find out that the extra passenger we waited for, wasn't there.  Great.  We could now start on our 1.5 hour drive to San Miguel.  I ask the driver if he can take me to an ATM (he doesn't undertsand) so I say "bank".  He tells me that they close at 4:00, and it is already 3:45 because we had to wait for imaginary passenger.  

The drive to San Miguel was uneventful.  Genevieve chose to play her Leapster instead of look out the wimdow.  But in all truth there wasn't much to see.  

We FINALLY get to the B&B on the edge of town a little after 5:00.  Driver unloads our bags and knocks on the door for us.  No answer.  He calls the number for the B&B.  No answer.  Me, almost in tears asks "but what do I do?".  To which driver shrugs and says "I don't know. Wait?" And I realize he is also saying "hey look lady, I got you from point A to point B,  you're not my problem ".  So we sit on the cobblestone sidewalk of a street lined with walls, doors, and garages.  I use every ounce of strength I have to not completely lose it.  The one tear that escaped was quickly brushed away as I tried to hold it together for Genevieve.  

I call Luke.  He's worried, but also helpless.  So we wait.  About 30 very long minutes pass, and just as panic was beginning to set in, a car pulls up and a man gets out.  I ask if he is staying here.  He says it's his mom's place and he let's me in.  Apparently the B&B owner went to the store.  In all fairness I should have called to say our plane was delayed.  But I never would have guessed that nobody would be there.  So we were in.  But not in our room, because the son didn't know which would be ours.

We were exhausted.  And getting hungry.  After we got settled, it was close to 7pm.  We are assured the town is VERY safe, then told of a restaurant in walking distance.  So we go.  And it's dark.  And creepy.  And I'm doing the exact thing I said I wouldn't do.  Out at night alone in the dark.  Tired, hungry, and waiting for the banditos to jump out of the bushes.  However all was uneventful.  Found the restaurant.  Food was pretty good.  Genevieve didn't agree, but didn't whine and complain at least.  Poor kid is going to starve here.

Get back "home" and settle in for the evening.  And just about cry myself to sleep, thinking what have I gotten us into?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

blogging again!

I'm going to be on here a bunch in the next few days. You just wait and see.  
I'm in Mexico.  Just me and Genevieve.  
Details tomorrow.
I'm lonely.  And overwhelmed.  
It's weird not having another adult to rely on.
Trying to get some sleep.
Signing off for now.
Adios!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Still here

I have been MIA a bit lately.  Just wanted you all to know that I am still alive and kicking.  I have been preoccupied with being a parent with some hard decisions to make.   I have to keep reminding myself that while this current issue/opportunity/situation is a big deal, there are so many people in the world that have much bigger decisions to make - like if they should buy food or medicine this day.  Or whether they should continue to raise their child with meager means, or turn them over to an orphanage.  I need to keep it in perspective.  That's my mantra lately - perspective.  Sometimes that's hard to do.  Especially late at night when I can't turn my brain off.

So that's where I've been.  I'll be back soon.  

Friday, December 5, 2008

$10 Friday AGAIN. And next week too!


It's that time again.
Where we all come together to make a difference.
Where there is power in numbers.
Where our own $10 won't change the world, but our $10's collectively will.
So go be part of a bigger something.
Something bigger than yourself.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas~ Like never before


Thanksgiving is over, and now the Christmas shopping has "officially" began.  

But this year is different.  

This year we will not celebrate with overindulgence and  abundance.  

At least not in the traditional paper & bow wrapped  excessive gift-giving sort of way.

But we will give.

A little something for each of our family members, and a lot of something for those in the world who don't even have the basic necessities of life, let alone a list of extravagant Christmas wants.  

I am being very deliberate with my shopping.  No last minute gift cards, no random purchases just to have something to wrap and give.

My goal is to only purchase gifts that will help others.   One way to do this is to make a donation in the name of someone on my gift list.  The list is endless of great organizations & charities we can give to, but on the top of my list are 

Water For Christmas - drilling and providing a life source in villages who don't have access to clean water.

Rohi Childrens Organization (an orphanage & school we support and have visited in Kenya).  They have a gift catalog where you can purchase specific gifts based on your desires and budget - like goats, desks, bicycles, etc.  You can contact them about getting a gift catalog.

If it were just up to me I would probably stop there.  I can be quite extreme sometimes, but my darling  husband helps to keep me a little more balanced.  I think he was picturing our kids on Christmas morning reading a little note about how we built a chicken coop in Rwanda as their Christmas gift.  And as much as they really do seem to be getting it this year, they are still kids.  And gifts are good.  Just not in the excessive, over-indulgent, above-all-else sort of way. 

I'm convinced we can have it both ways.

So we will also be buying some material gifts to give.  I'm still trying make my dollars work extra hard.  There are a lot of places out there that give all proceeds to great causes.   And when that's not an option, I will at least be purchasing fair trade items, knowing that my purchase provided a decent living  wage to someone.

I will not be going to big box stores.  Not once.  That's my goal, anyways!

At the risk of my family members potentially seeing some of their gifts ahead of time, I'm going to list some of the great places I've found for some unique gifts.  

Check out these yummy soaps from Zambia at Samba Naturals

These tiny dolls made by HIV+ women in africa at Little Travellers 
Or how about Tom's Shoes who gives a pair of brand new shoes to someone in need with every pair purchased.

The best part about this kind of shopping?

It's done from the comfort of my home.

On my couch.

In my pajamas.

Doesn't get much better than that!






Monday, December 1, 2008

Winner!

Sheri K for $100!!!

I am so excited for you!
I would love to see this hanging - do you know where you are going to put it?

Contact me so that we can figure out how to get this awesome work of art to you.

Thank you Randy Lipsey for loving the Berry's in this tangible way.  I know they are feeling blessed by so many of you that are helping to bring their kids home forever.




Monday, November 24, 2008

Auction #7 - Gaaaawgeous Painting

This painting is an original by artist Randy Lipsey (a friend of the Berry's). 

It's done with spray paint and has a graffiti style to it. It is 4ft x 4ft (yes, you read that right - 4 FEET by 4 FEET) in size and is on a smooth plywood canvas.  

I LOVE this painting, and think the winning bidder is going to be quite "blecky" (a word my friend and I made up for blessed and lucky =) )


Auction Rules/Details

The auction begins NOW, and ends NEXT Monday (Dec 1st) 9:00 pm PST. 
YES, A 1 WEEK AUCTION!  
I know a lot of people are traveling for Thanksgiving and I want to make sure everyone has a chance to see this cool piece of art.

You place your bid by posting a comment in THIS POST with your bid amount. Please bid in increments of $5 - and higher.  Whoever is the highest bid at the time the auction ends (9:00pm - NEXT Monday) is the winner.

I am not sure what the shipping costs will be, but I'm going to see if the artist has any insight to this.  Will update if/when I get any more info about shipping.

The entire amount of the winning bid will go directly to the

Do I hear $25.....???

***PS*** ~ If you link to this post on your blog, Facebook or your online yahoo group or whatever, you get bonus points......in heaven =)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Water For Christmas

Wouldn't you like one of these beautiful WFC ornaments to hang from your tree this year as a reminder that you chose compassion over consumerism...

Or maybe this is what you'd like to give as gifts.  You can give a beautiful ornament, and maybe even attach a card that says you also gave an additional $20 to WFC as the recipients gift.
I can't think of a gift I'd rather get this year than water.  
You can buy them HERE for $6.50.  All proceeds go to Water For Christmas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You can drink the BlackBerry's home if you please....

I have just heard about an awesome organization called 963 Coffee.  They recognize the fact 
that while we are paying $4 for a cup of joe, coffee farmers around the world aren't even making a living wage.  The middle man is making ALL the money.  

The Project’s purpose is twofold: to provide a fair wage for coffee farmers in poverty-stricken communities, and to allow groups and individuals to use the coffee to raise funds for mission projects and relief initiatives. 

Which brings us back to the BlackBerry's.  963 Coffee is allowing the Berry Adoption Fund to be an affiliate.  Which means that 40% of the money you spend at 963 will go straight to bringing Becky & Billy home. 

How awesome is that? 

You can purchase as you need, or you can set up an order that is automatically delivered on a certain schedule.  

Just go HERE to place your order.

I have set up a button on the right of the blog that will take you to the wesbite anytime you want to purchase.

Now go drink your java AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT!

Update!
I went to place my first order with 963 and was surprised by the $7.50 shipping charge for a $10 coffee order.  I just spoke with Erin from 963 and this is what she said:

Here are a couple tips to beat the shipping cost over load… first if possible ship it to a “commercial address” such as where you work or your church. FedEx and UPS both charge a $2 residential surcharge to ship to a residential address.  Another tip is to order more at one time whether that is for you to keep on hand, or if you get together with friends or neighbors to place one larger order together instead of many small orders. We have seen shipping prices spike along with the cost of oil. Unfortunately the shipping cost has not come down with the cost of oil. The bulk of the charge is basically to ship something to somewhere and then that cost gradually goes up based on how much and where. For example it may be $8 to ship 1lb to you via Fedex but it is probably $10 to ship 10 lbs.  

I checked what she said and she's right.  The shipping only goes up slightly when I order a lot more coffee.  So definitely order in bulk, whether for yourself or combine orders with friends.

I still think this is totally worth it.  Just wanted to give you a heads-up.
Oh and FYI~ the Fundraiser Starter Kit and the DVD don't count towards the 40%, but EVERYTHING ELSE does.

Putting this one off


This is a hard one.  I've been putting off writing this for 2 weeks.  It was a mommy moment I don't care to ever relive.  Although I'm sure I will in some form or fashion.
Zeke burned his hand.  Like really bad.  
The short and the long of it is that our kitchen was a little out of sorts because we had lost 90% of our power the day before.  The coffee pot was moved, the stool was left down, and Zeke was not in our sight.  On Friday morning (Halloween),  I was hanging with the older 2 kids in the living room trying to wake up, and Luke was walking out the front door when we heard the cry.  All mom's know that the pain cry is different than all other cries.  Luke ran back into the kitchen to see Zeke standing on the stool below the coffee pot.  His hand was red, but did not look horrible.  But I knew by the cry that it was bad.  Luke said I think he's going to be okay (nothing against dad's - Lord knows Luke is a great one, but they don't have mama bear instincts).  I grabbed Zeke, grabbed my keys and raced out the door to the urgent care clinic in town.  My poor baby did the pain cry the whole way there.  I did the mom of a baby in pain cry the whole way there too.  The doctors and nurses were great.  They gave him some Tylenol with Codeine for the pain.  I was hoping they would give me something too.  =)
But it didn't stop.
He cried.  I cried.
He cried more, I cried more.  
He didn't want to be in my arms, he didn't want me to put him down.  He couldn't be consoled.  He hurt.  
It was killing me. 
Finally they decided to give him more meds for the pain.  
While there, the redness of the burn got more intense, and then large white streaks appeared where the burn must have been most intense.  And a couple tiny blisters appeared.  By the way, the burn was on the back of his hand.  We think he grabbed the handle and pulled the coffee pot toward him and burned the back of his hand on the glass.
The nurse cleaned the burn and bandaged it up really well.  We got a prescription and went home.  And slept.


While on the pain meds he actually seemed to be doing quite well.  I had pictured Zeke and I having a quiet evening at home that night, but we decided to go ahead and stick with our plans to go to the Candy Zone at the church.

Here is our little stinker bandaged up.




We were given instructions to clean the burn every day and to redress it with fresh bandages.  I wasn't home the next day when Zeke took off his dressings, so Luke did it solo.  I was secretly glad, because I was really dreading looking at it.  Luke said that it didn't look too bad.
But the next day I didn't escape the duties.  
When we took off the dressing, I almost puked and passed out.  It looked awful.  The burn was bright red and the white areas had swollen and filled with what looked like fluid.  It just looked sooooo painful.  
That was the worst of it.  A few days later the swelling went down, and the skin looked melted on top with bits of raw flesh peaking out underneath.
The picture below is at the end of that stage - and not nearly the worst of it.  It was still gross, but looking so much better by then.  Thus the picture.  I couldn't bring myself to take a picture in the earlier stages. 




This last one is nearly 2 weeks later when it was really starting to heal.  You can't tell from the picture, but the new skin was still pretty raw.  It has only been the last 2 days where his skin is actually starting to look good.


Zeke was really a trooper.  After he got those 2 doses of pain meds he was great.  Much better than mommy.  I kept him on those for about 3 days, then he didn't seem to need it anymore.  The dressings hardly bothered him.  He hated that we would tape a plastic bag over his hand while he ate (to keep his bandages clean), but other than that, he acted like his normal self.  He became a "lefty" very quickly, and did just about everything with his left hand with no problem.

I am just so thankful that he is okay, and that the burns weren't worse than they were.  He could have poured scorching coffee all over his body just as easily.  I thank God that he did not.
This is just one more thing that makes me hold him a little tighter, and a little longer each day.
The End.  






Carving Time

The day before the big "H", the kids had fun carving away.  It's actually fun now that the kids can do their own pumpkins for the most part.  


I look at these pictures and I'm so torn.  Halloween is such a fun holiday for the kids.  It holds 3 of the most fun things you can do~
1.  Dressing Up
2.  Collecting candy.  Lot's of candy
3.  Stabbing large squash to create funny faces.  

What's not to love?

And it seems innocent enough.

The problem I have is the history of Halloween, and even what it still means to some today.  
Even though we are not participating in any kind of witch-craft or worshipping of spirits, I know that it is a significant day for people who do.  And just the fact that we are "celebrating" it in any way doesn't set well with me.

This year we went to the Candy Zone at our church.  Kind of a Halloween alternative.  Really a fun time for the kids.  But I still can't escape the fact that we are "celebrating" and partaking in a day laced with evil.  

So why don't we just NOT participate?  Well, part of it is that I don't want to be one of those parents.  And I want my kids to have fun.  And experience the excitement.  And I can't imagine not going to the pumpkin patch every year.

But really, those reasons don't appease my uneasiness.  I know that by even putting this in writing there will be those that think I'm nuts for making such a big deal of this.  And will already think I'm one of those parents.  But I'm just kind of working this out in my head, and using this blog to figure out my thoughts.  Not really sure what I'm going to do with this in the future.  Good thing I have 11 and a half months to figure it out.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Monica Guzman...where are you?


UPDATE:
I've been in contact with Monica and all is well.  The bag goes to her.  Sorry Linda =)

Does anybody know Monica Guzman from Hayward?  She is the winner of the bag, and she hasn't contacted me about it since the auction ended.  

If you know her, tell her to drop me an e-mail.  If I don't hear from her in the next few days I will offer it to the next highest bidder.

Thanks!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Calling all sewers!

Oh geesh!  I am talking about sewing, not the pipes that carry our "waste" to...wherever it goes.

Anyhow, I have just learned about a sweet act of love that we can participate in.  Tracy from Junk Posse is heading up these Love Blankets that will be going to an orphanage in Africa.  Anyone who can sew a 2'x2' quilt can participate.  The truth of the matter is, I am not a "quilter".  But I can fake my way through this.  If you sew, you probably can too!
It's such a great cause.
And to be honest, it was these yummy fabrics by Joel Dewberry that really made me want to participate.  


Aren't they scrumptious?
Tracy will send you the fabric to make the top of the quilt.  You need to supply the batting and back of the quilt.  

Go here for more info and to contact Tracy.
Did I mention it's a contest too?  She's got some great prizes.  I don't know how you win though.  Best quilt?  Random drawing of participants?  I don't know!

Are you in?

Is this me?

I'm too lazy to post a real post, so instead I'm posting this.






Your Personality Cluster is Introverted Intuition



You are:



You are multilayered and complex. No one can quite understand you.

You are very inspired and driven to achieve your goals.

Whether you know it or not, you are a visionary with a complete life plan.

You are intuitive enough to understand difficult problems, ideas, and people.



Wondering of those who know me if you agree???? Don't be shy, leave a comment. Enquiring minds want to know....

$10 Friday



I can't believe I didn't post this earlier.  I've been caught up in the auction ending thursday and the drawing today, that I forgot to post this.  Although I didn't forget to do it myself.  Nor did I forget to update my status  every couple hours reminding people, thus being really annoying on FB.

I don't want to waste any more time before you see this, so I'm stealing most of the wording below from Cassie's Blog.


$10 Friday
The Water for Christmas facebook group has reached 1000 members. So we were talking that if everyone donated just $10 on Friday, we could fund the drilling of 2 wells.
2 wells in one day...wouldn't that be amazing?!?
So we are naming today $10 Friday. We are encouraging everyone who believes in this cause to go donate. Go to www.water4christmas.com, which will take you
 to the fundraising page. 
Click on the red donate button to be a part of this incredible movement. 
A movement to save lives. 
To bring hope to a community across the ocean during this holiday season.
To say no to consumerism and yes to compassion.
Let's do this!

The winner of the Give-Away.......

Okay, so I've done the drawing.  
Let's just say it didn't exactly go how I had planned.
I thought I could have my 4 year old son draw the winning name.  It would be so cute.  
Instead, this is what I got.

Warning:  this is not at all enjoyable to watch.  Or should I say listen to. 
(you may want to go to the bottom of the blog & turn off the tunes before playing the video) 

I apologize.  I wanted to re-record the drawing, but my husband insisted I post this one. Unfortunately this IS my life.  I mean I love my life.  But unfortunately there is an awful lot of crying from the baby, and an awful lot of non-cooperation from the 4 year old.  Too bad my 6 year old daughter wasn't here to throw a little attitude into the mix.  
It's fun stuff.

Anywho.

The winner is...


I should let you all know that despite Brandi being a rebel and a rule-breaker who entered like 25 times in one day, she only got her name in the basket once.  Yet somehow she still managed to win.  I hope your grandma enjoys washing dishes a little more with her sassy new gloves =)
Send me an e-mail so I can get these in the mail to you!

Thanks everyone!  This was fun.  
Not the crying drawing part.
But the commenting and seeing who's out there reading this blog part.  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monica Monica Bo Bonica...

Fee Fi Fo Fonica...

MONICA!
(a different Monica than last time)

Is the winner!!!!!

Congrats to you!

And a bigger Congrats to Becky & Billy!

You are already so loved here in America, that people are willing to pay some ridiculous prices for a handmade bag from a Nobody, just to get you here!!  

That.

Is.

Awesome.

Thanks y'all for another EXCITING auction!  
And don't be gone long, because there is
MORE TO COME!!!!!

Monica~ You can click the "Donate" button on the right of the blog, OR you can send a check if you want the tax deduction.  Drop me an e-mail to touch base and so that I can get your address to send the bag.  My e-mail is listed in my profile.  Thanks so much for bidding!


oh, and this is totally premature for me to say this, but I'm going to anyway.  It looks like we might be having some real art to bid on in the near future from a guest artist....
a friend of a friend of the Berry's I believe.  
This would be a welcome little gift in this house....as I do believe my husband feels like he is playing second fiddle to some  little blackberrys halfway around the world =)
Hee hee hee.
But, shhhhhhhhhh, I didn't say a word.....


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It was frozen!

If you've been checking this blog, wondering when I was going to update it.  You should know that my blog was frozen in cyber-space.  I accidentally deleted my google account (Bloggers - NEVER do this to yourselves - learn from my mistake), and lost all access to my blogs.  This one stayed up (minus the pictures), but I couldn't access it.  My other blog came down completely.  After much research and agony, I thought they were gone forever.

THANKFULLY some of the Blogger Support Team at Google had mercy on me, and restored my account!  It took a lot of doing, and some persistence on my part, and the help of some friends (& strangers) for my case to get to the right people.  

So here I am.  I'm baaaaack.  And I have a few updates.  But no time right now.  So I will be back soon!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Auction #6

If you're looking for the "Give-Away" post, just scroll down to the next post.  

Up for auction is a custom bag/purse, hand-made by yours-truly.  I knew I wanted to make a bag, but I wasn't sure on the design.  As I was standing in line to get my fabric cut, I noticed the girl in front of me had a really cute purse.  I asked her if I could take a closer look, and I even snapped a photo with my phone.  So this is my rendition of "girl from the fabric store's purse".

It is made with a heavy decorators fabric, with contrasting prints.







On the opposite side of the pockets I stitched a little Africa with a heart for Uganda, to remind you of your sweet donation that helped give 2 precious children a family.





Me holding the purse so you can see it to scale =)



Auction Rules/Details

The auction begins NOW, and ends Thursday 9:00 pm PST. 
YES! THIS IS ANOTHER A 2-DAY AUCTION!!!!
You place your bid by posting a comment in THIS POST with your bid amount. Please bid in increments of $5 - and higher. Let's start it out slow and give everyone a chance to bid. I LOVE my high-roller bidders, but I don't want people to start thinking it's not worth it to try! Whoever is the highest bid at the time the auction ends (9:00pm - thursday) is the winner.

Shipping costs are covered to anywhere in the 50 states.

The entire amount of the winning bid will go directly to the
(If you're just tuning in to this blog, the Berry's have been friends of ours for many many MANY years.  I so believe in what they are doing, that I can't help myself from helping them - even though they never asked!)


The winning bidder can give the donation via the "donate" button on the right side of the blog (if you don't care about a tax deduction).  Otherwise I will give you details of where to send the check.

Let's start the bidding at $15

Let the bidding begin!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give- Away!!!!!! Drawing!!!! Freebie!!!!

This is long over-due!  I promised a give-away quite a while ago, and have had good intentions....
but, well, I got a little side-tracked with 2 adorable Ugandan kiddos, and working on bringing them home =)

What you see here are some fancy-schmancy dish-washing gloves.  If you gotta do the dishes, might as well look pretty while you're doin them!
These are hand-made by me (although they are not an original idea by me).  They are Mr Clean Nyplex Hypo-Allergenic gloves with vin
yl covered cotton fabric on top.  The gloves are size medium.  I have pretty big hands and they fit me great with some room to spare.  


To enter the drawing all you have to do is leave a comment in THIS post.  Here's the cool part.  You can enter more than once.  You can enter once a day until Friday.  Just leave a new comment each time.  You don't need to say anything more than your name and hometown.  Preferably your first name and last initial.  If the hometown thing freaks you out too much, just leave your name.   I will put all entries in a basket, and on Friday 1:00 pm PST I will draw the winner.  If I can, I will even video the drawing and post it on here.  

Just to clarify...
these are free.  A gift.  For anyone reading this blog.  Whether  you check in daily or it's your first time here.  Everyone can enter! (And guys don't be shy.  You can always give them as a gift to your wife, mom, sister).  
Shipping is covered to anywhere in the U.S.
Any questions?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!



WooHoo!

The Winner is Monica at $75!

So exciting.  So so exciting.

THIS was a fun auctio
n to watch.  

I am completely humbled and in awe, that so many of you GET IT.  

Thanks to all who watched and bid on this auction.   Because of you I am SO motivated to keep on going with this.  

Well you, and them =) 


You might have noticed that I have a new little "donate" button on the right.  That is just to make it easier for you to make a donation to the Berry Adoption at the end of the auctions IF, and only IF you don't care about receiving a tax deduction for your donation.  If you want your tax deduction, you need to send your donation via check to 

Calvary Life Fellowship
· Mission: Berry Adoption
· PO Box 1161,
· Brea CA 92822

DO NOT write in the memo of the check who/what the donation is for.  Just a little sticky note will suffice.


Thank You again =)

More to come, so keep checking back!