Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank you Veterans - A Tribute for Memorial Day

My son Jason and his finace Erica included. Jason spent time in Iraq and they both have given their lives so that we can have the freedoms that we have. Many people complain about how things are being run in the government or about how this senator did this or blah blah blah . . . . . .

But the bottom line is, we have men and women who are willing to go to war - which is very ugly - in order to insure that we keep our fundamental rights as a nation.

Memorial Day is a time when we can, and SHOULD, recognize and THANK these men and women.

I personally know two very important people who have sacrificed and to them I say


Here is a beautiful poem that my mom sent me.

It is the
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the
salutes the Flag,

It is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag.

And, in closing, is a picture of a a man - maybe a vetern. Can you see what it says on the picture? If not, it says:

"The only person standing .... is the man in a wheelchair.

Upgraded Camping!

I read an article titled "The Not-So-Wild Outdoors". It definetly spoke to me - those who like to camp but maybe prefer something between what my family used to sleep in - a SMALL tent with visqueen underneath to keep out the damp - and a nice hotel room! We used to camp quite a bit when the kids were little. It was so very uncomfortable because you could never find even ground. So part of your body was on smooth ground and the other part was on some formation of tree roots. It seems like it would always rain during the night, and even if you had the visqueen underneath and over the top of the tent, you still got wet. When we were first married and out for any type of adventure, this scenario was fine. We had a blast. Then kids came along and they didn't appreciate getting wet. Adventure turned into madness.

ANYWAY . . . this sounds like something I would really like. I really do like to camp but I think I'm to old to stay in the tents that we used to stay in. So I'm thinking that this would be a really nice alternative.

This particular place is called the Falling Water Adventure Resort and is in Bryson City, NC. My mom and step-dad have a home in Franklin, NC which is just a bit south of Bryson City. It is beautiful countryside. I think this would be a great vacation! Some of the activities they offer are whitewater rafting and mountain biking. This may go on my bucket list.

The name of the "tents" that you sleep in are called Yurts. Here's the information.

The Yurts were inspired by the Mongol's ancient design, but that's where the similarity ends. A finished tongue and groove pine floor provides the base for the walls and roof. These circular recreational structures have weatherproof fabric wrapped around a Douglas Fir lattice wall. With wooden French doors, three large windows and a ceiling fan, the mountain breezes keep these tastefully decorated rooms cool and comfortable in summer. The insulated walls and space heaters keep them warm and cozy in the Spring and Fall.

Each Yurt sleeps two in a queen-size bed and all Yurts have futons for additional visitors. During the day, guests can relax on the private decks overlooking Fontana Lake or our ponds. At night, recline in the bed and gaze through the domed skylight at the stars. All Yurts have small refrigerators, AM-FM/cassette/ CD players, and coffee makers for the convenience of our guests. Amenities include water to each site, drink machines, laundry and picnic area with grills. All Yurts are non-smoking.

This resort features private, but shared, lockable bathrooms. These facilities are tiled and wallpapered with a stall shower as well as a vanity and toilet. The bathhouse and laundry are located a short distance from the Yurts. One Yurt and one bathroom are handicap accessible.

Prices: $84 + 10.75% Lodging Tax per room

Pigtails At Last!!!!!!

Leah's hair is finally long enough for pigtails! ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thought for the Day . . . . .

"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it."

God Can Use Us All!!!

God can employ just about anything for good. In Him a child can slay a giant; a whale can transport an unwilling prophet, a carpenter’s son can be king of the universe, and a persecutor may come to preach salvation to others.

There is no situation too far-fetched to be beyond possibility for God to be at work. There is no one so wrong that God can’t use their story for good. Not even me. Not even you. Not even that person who bugs the daylights out of you.

So what’s your story? Who do you sometimes dismiss in your daily life? How will you look for God there this week? What in yourself do you dismiss as not useful to God, giving you an excuse to not reach out to others?

When we worship Our Lord Jesus Christ...we follow His loving ways of compassion for the least...and forgiveness of others...then we see the ‘image and likeness’ of Our Lord Jesus Christ in all the good deeds we do for the least of all people…

Lord open our eyes to recognize your instruments. Open our hearts to do your will, no matter of our past.

Cuteness to the 100th Degree!

She is just so cute!!!!!!! And she is getting such a unique personality. Here she is playing in the "kitchen" at her Great Aunt Wendy's house. Having fun!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Free Range Chicken Poop Lip Balm - NO JOKE

I could not believe this when I saw it!

I have started getting my prescriptions through MedCo because my Purdue insurance works very nicely with them - I'm saving quite a bit of money every month. I got an email today that offered $10.00 0f any order of $40.00. When I checked further into their offerings I found that they offer products far and above RX prescriptions. They basically have everything a drug store would have. You can save on vitamins, memory enhancers, diabetes supplies, bandages, makeup. The list goes on and on. I was intrigued!!!! I thought what more, that I need, can I save on?!?!?!?!?!?!? So, since I'm a believer in natural products, a.k.a. herbal products, I chose that category first. I was amazed at what I could get. As you know when you start surfing around, many times you have no idea how you got to what you got to. Such is the case with this product. This find provided a good laugh in my office. But in reality, maybe it REALLY is a GREAT product. I'm seriously thinking of trying it out. Anyway, please read on and form your own opinion.

Chicken Poop Lip Balm Product Details

Fix chapped lips with this funnily-named, popular product. No nonsense, just 100% pure moisturizing relief.

.100% Pure. No gmo.

This product contains no poop!

The Legend of the Poop

The Name....Chicken Poop comes from Jamie's goofy grandpa replying to her complaint of having chapped lips. He'd say, "I know how to fix those chapped lips, I'll rub some chicken poop on `em so you won't be lickin` 'em." Brilliant, don't you think?

A brief history. . . How it all began: Jamie Faith Tabor Schmidt began making Chicken Poop Lip balm after her best friend Claudia took her to Sephora, a cosmetic store lined from floor to ceiling with all kinds of make-up goodness. She decided then and there she would have a product line by the age of 25. Good gravy, a hair pomade, was the first product she came up with. Requests came flying in for a lip balm. So, in 2000 Jamie developed Chicken Poop. She has seven other products in the making. The next to market will be Kill It Dead, a natural spray deodorant.

Put it anywhere.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Strength of a Tornado

We've probably all seen some pictures of the wreckage left behind from the tornado in Joplin, MO. The trees, if they are still standing, have been stripped bear of their newly blooming leaves. Buildings have been leveled to the ground. People's belongings scattered about for miles. But when I saw this picture it reminded me of the absolute strength a tornado brings with it.

This car, although you can't REALLY tell that it was ever really a car, is wrapped around a little tree. It would not have been so mind boggling for me if it was a big tree, I've seen pictures of that before. The tree, as small as it is, should have been ripped from the ground long before a car was thrown around it. This must just happen so fast. Amazing.

Please keep all the people of Joplin as well as the people in other communities affected by the recent tornadoes in your thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine what it must be like to loose the security you had in your home.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Shiba Inu Puppies

If you have been following my blog you know that I have been following a litter of Shiba Inu puppies. The breeder, whoever he is, is fantastic! He has the best - that I've seen - live webcam and he is so, so very attentive to the puppies. If I were going to spend a lot of money on a puppy (which I have a feeling these puppies fall into that category) I would feel very comfortable buying a puppy from him. My co-worker and I call him "Hans" (for hands) because at the beginning all you would see were these hands reach down and pick each puppy up. As they have grown we now see the feet of "Hans" so now he is sometimes Mr. Feet and other times Hans. You can tell when he is coming because they all jump up and run over to the gate.

Anyway, to catch you up, the first time I saw these puppies they were 1 week old. I instantly fell in love with Charlotte. What is interesting is that ALL the puppies are named a Chinese name EXCEPT for Charlotte. I have looked at all the postings to try to learn how Charlotte was named but have found nothing. So here are the names:

Chozen - aka Zen (Independent)
Chame (Playful)
Chisaki - aka Saki (A Thousand Blooms)
Chiyoko - aka Yo Yo (Child of 1000 Generation)
Chikara (Powerful)

However, before I knew the names or any other information, I chose Charlotte as my favorite simply because the way she moved her head reminded me of one of my favorite song artists, Stevie Wonder. If she would have sunglasses on . . . . well, anyway. It has been so much fun watching them grow and I feel as if Charlotte is MY puppy. They are now going on six weeks old and I know that very soon they will be going home to their new families. It will be a very melancholy experience for me. I know that soon they will be leaving, but I'm so glad that I was able to see them grow and know that they were well taken care of.

If you have not checked them out yet, you still have time!!!! The link is:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Antioch Youth Retreat


This past weekend Katelyn was on the team of teens putting on the Antioch Retreat held at St. Lawrence. Antioch is designed to bring teens closer to our faith and each other. She attended the retreat last year and decided that she wanted to work to put it on for others this year. The team spent months preparing talks and activities. They ALL did a fantastic job. We are especially VERY proud of Katelyn for doing this. I know it has brought her blessings as well as enabled her to bless others. This retreat is open to all high school students in the parish (as well as invited students from other parishes) and is organized and run by high school students under the direction and leadership of our very own Father Shocklee! He is such a huge blessing to both St. Lawrence and St. Mary's.

Katelyn and her friend Drew were instrumental in designing the logo for the t-shirts and the banner. I think they did an awesome job. They are both so very artistically talented.

Front of shirt

Back of shirt

Friday, May 20, 2011

All American Week at Ft. Bragg!

This past week my future daughter-in-law!!! Erica Dillon, took part in the All American Week at Ft. Bragg. It was a HUGE event because it is the first time since 2006 that all members of the Brigade were there to participate. Last year it was cancelled because there were so many soldiers deployed. My son Jason was one of those.
Jason took some awesome pictures which I'm posting here. I think the most awesome one is of Erica shaking hands with someone - a commanding officer??? Anyway, I think she should be nominated and win the "Most Beautiful 82nd Airborne Soldier Award". If they don't officially have that award I'm now officially making it a yearly, highly distinguished award.

Anyway, here is one of the many newspaper articles about the event and some awesome pictures of the men and women who are putting their lives on hold to protect our country.

Here's the article that was published in the newspapers:

FORT BRAGG -- For the first time since 2006, all brigade combat teams will be home for All American Week at Fort Bragg.

The event kicks off Monday and runs through Friday.

All members of the brigade combat teams in the All-American Division, the 82nd Airborne, will be able to celebrate All American Week this year. The event was canceled last year because too many service members were overseas.

This year’s theme of "Living the Legacy - Back to Basics" will give active paratroopers a chance to honor and meet veterans.

The week will kick-off with a division-wide four-mile run with other sporting events to follow.

On Thursday, more than 22,000 paratroopers will assemble for the division review. The week-long ceremony will conclude with the annual division memorial ceremony to honor fallen soldiers.

Erica is the one holding the small green flag!

A sea of red hats. That would have neat to see in person!

Space Shuttle Photos from Airplane

It would be SO AWESOME to see this. Definetly a once in a lifetime chance.

Spectators on the ground got a stunted view of space shuttle Endeavour's final launch Monday (May 16) when it vanished into a ceiling of clouds shortly after liftoff. However, some lucky passengers who happened to be in the air at the time saw the fantastic sight of the shuttle streaking its way to orbit.

Stefanie Gordon of Hoboken, N.J., was flying from La Guardia Airport in New York to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida to visit her parents. Gordon had been sleeping for most of her flight but woke up in time for Endeavour's 8:56 a.m. EDT (1256 GMT) liftoff when the pilot of her Delta airlines plane made an announcement that the spectacle would be visible. [See Gordon's spectacular launch photos through airplane window]

Through the plane's window, Gordon managed to capture pictures on her iPhone of the amazing sight of shuttle Endeavour climbing high into the clear sky above a low shelf of clouds.

Judge Doesn’t Block Indiana Law De-funding Planned Parenthood

I know that this news is at least a week old, but anyway . . . . . .

A federal judge has declined a request by the Planned Parenthood abortion business to issue a temporary restraining order blocking a new state law Governor Mitch Daniels signed that yanks its taxpayer funding.

The legislation would cut off anywhere from $2 million to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds via the Indiana government through Medicaid. It also bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on fetal pain.

Planned Parenthood is of course fighting the decision, but Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter called Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s action to seek a restraining order “an attempt to use the courts to force Indiana to continue subsidizing its abortion operations.”

“This is a delay tactic intended to keep public funding flowing to Indiana’s largest abortion business as long as possible,” he told “We are confident that Indiana will successfully defend this statute and that all state-directed funding will eventually be ended for Planned Parenthood and all other abortion businesses in Indiana.”

Let's all do the VICTORY dance!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lake Freeman in Outer Space

Definetly not as warm as the one in Indiana, but Lake Freeman in Monticello, Ind., now has a namesake more than 800 million miles away on Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

The International Astronomical Union recently approved the name suggested by Robert Brown, a Purdue University alumnus and Lafayette native who leads the science team that runs the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Brown's team discovered the approximately 12-mile-long methane lake while taking measurements and observing the moon in January. He proposed the name Lake Freeman after the Indiana lake where his family often vacationed during his childhood.

But the lake found on Titan -- Saturn's largest of 62 moons and the solar system's second largest moon -- is unlike anything on Earth. The 12-mile-long lake is a body of liquid methane, meaning it's at least 288 degrees below zero.

"Titan has a lot of superficial similarities to Earth in that it has lakes, seas, rivers, riverbeds, sand dunes and rainstorms," Brown said. "But the big difference is when it rains on Titan, it rains liquid natural gas."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We Are Not Strong Enough

Tonight at RCIA, as we always do at the end of the meeting, we made a large circle, held hands and offered prayer intentions before praying the Our Father together. Some nights there may be only one prayer intention, some nights there are none. Tonight there were quite a few and the more that were prayed for the heavier my heart became. There were prayers for a family who just lost their 23 year old son to cancer, prayers for a friend who just lost her husband at 51 years of age, prayers for two young children whose father is dying, prayers for a man who suffered a stroke. So much. Too much. I'm also praying for a woman I know who is fighting the battle with cancer and for a family who is in distress. So much. Too much.

On my way home I was listening to K-LOVE and the perfect song came on. Of course it did. God always speaks to me through music. The song is "Strong Enough" by Matthew West and is so very perfect. I've posted the music video here and I hope you will listen to it and be as moved by the words as I was.

I firmly believe that God does not give you more than He knows you can handle. Sometimes I think He pushes it pretty close to the edge, but He always knows where to stop. He wants you to call to Him. As the lyrics say:

Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

A Great Father's Day Gift

I think that Bob should get me this ring for Father's Day. Afterall, without me he would not be the father of our children!!!!

2.1 total carat weight. 18K white gold. Main diamond is 1.8 carats, VS2, good color, european cut round.

And . . . . . it's only $22,000.00! Bargain I think.

40 Days for Life Update

Shawn Carney shared, on the webcast last Tuesday,
the many blessings and answered prayers that God
has provided surrounding this spring's 40 Days for Life campaign:

* 80,000 participants

* 247 cities across the United States, Canada,
Australia, England, Ireland, Spain, Belize,
Armenia and Georgia.

* 714 lives spared from abortion

* 10 abortion workers quit their jobs

* And 3 more abortion facilities shut down and
went out of business!

Just think what we can accomplish if instead of 247 cities we had 1000 cities participate!

God tells us to do what we can and He will do the rest. He has come through on that promise in big ways!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Evening in the Luggage Department

We kept Leah for the night on Friday and besides the fact that she is SO, SO much fun, she reminds me to slow down and smell the roses. Children have a way of doing this.

We had to run to Kohls and so we put her in her stroller. She was fine with that until I took her out to see if a shirt would fit her. She then remembered freedom and no longer wanted back in the stroller. In fact, she wanted to push it herself. So, it took us a LONG time to get around the store. But you know, so what???????? We were in no hurry and it gave us a chance to look around and notice the things around us. I noticed some very, very cute purses!!!!!!

We then got to the luggage department and you would think she saw the ultimate playground. She at once stopped pushing the stroller and started unzipping all the suitcases. Sorry Kohls employees!

Purdue Graduation & the Purdue Compliment Guys

On Sunday I helped check-in and line up Purdue students who were graduating from the College of Health and Human Sciences. I have never done this before so did not know what to expect. WOW, there were a lot of black robes and hats in one place!!!!!!!! It was a really neat experience to see close to 1000 capped and gowned students in one place. I've not been in my job with Student Services for very long, but I have gotten to know a few of the students who have been in. Seeing them there on Sunday, ready to "get on with their lives" was a really neat feeling. I put myself in their place and could feel how exciting it must be to FINALLY be graduating from college and starting a new phase of life. It also struck me that all those students, plus those from the other 4 graduation ceremonies (more than 6,600 students were candidates to receive degrees in five weekend ceremonies at the West Lafayette campus) have been and are looking for jobs! Multiple that by all the colleges in Indiana and then multiply that by all the colleges in the United States and you have A LOT of people looking for a job in an economy that does not have a whole lot of jobs to offer. Tough odds.

Also graduating was one of the two "Purdue Compliment Guys". I've been following their story for the past couple of months and it is a really great story. These two students, for the past three years, have stood outside on the sidewalk and given compliments to people who pass by. Kudos to them!!!! More people should do this.

I learned that Purdue has a name for the sidewalks that go across the Memorial Mall - the Hello Walk! Originally one winding walkway from the main entrance to University Hall, the Hello Walk now includes all the sidewalks that cross the Memorial Mall. As indicated by the name, people are encouraged to smile and say hello to everyone they meet along the way. I love this concept!!!Instead of looking down when you walk, look up and look AT people and smile. It really does make a difference in your life and in the life of the person that you acknowledge, just by simply smiling. Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile!

Here is the article about the Compliment Guys:

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Compliment Guy Cameron Brown will make his last appearance as a Purdue student on the Elliott Hall of Music stage during Purdue's last spring 2011 commencement ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Sunday (May 15).

University President France A. Córdova invited him to take part in the ceremony at which Brown, of Toledo, Ohio, will receive his bachelor's degree in management. Córdova invited Brown when she visited the guys during their final free compliments session on campus.

Together with friend Brett Westcott of Des Plains, Ill., Brown has been delivering free compliments each week to all passersby for three years from their post at the center of campus. Their unique example of goodwill and perseverance earned them international notoriety and invitations to appear on national TV shows, including "Oprah Winfrey," "Good Morning America," "Fox & Friends" and "Today."

After the national fanfare that included a popular YouTube video the Compliment Guys spent a summer on a Kodak-sponsored tour to deliver compliments and prompt smiles from New Orleans to New York.

"We just wanted to brighten people's days," Brown said. "People could have assumed we were insincere, but we have been here for three years doing what we love to do. It's been awesome."

Westcott hatched the free compliments idea, but Brown insisted on joining him the next week and every week that followed. Brown has begun interviewing for jobs, but Westcott will return in the fall for his final year of civil engineering studies.

"I'm glad we stuck with it. It's made a difference. You don't see people walking by here without a smile," said Westcott, who will not continue dishing out compliments without Brown. "All along it has been the Compliment Guyssss, not Compliment Guy, and I just can't go on without Cam."

The Purdue Compliment Guys have spurred imitators around the nation including at Purdue, Washington University and University of California at Los Angeles. It even prompted a Florida middle school to launch an anti-bullying campaign built on giving free compliments.

"If other people want to do it, I'm a hundred percent supportive," Brown said. "It's great."

LOL Tip #7 for Living Healthy on a Healthy Planet

Not to sure about this one, but here it is . . . . .

Stick a Fork In Your Pocket

Plastic utensils can be handy at a picnic or salad bar, but they're a classic example of single-use plastic that provide only brief utility before ending up in the trash or littering a roadside or beach. Help lighten our planet's plastic load—and avoid chemicals that might leach out of plastic and into your food—by packing some reusable utensils in your purse, backpack, briefcase or pocket so you'll be prepared (most of us got used to carrying a cell phone, which takes up about the same amount of space). You can even find compact, lightweight utensil sets made for this purpose.

BUT . . . . . you know sometimes you are not wearing something that has pockets. In those times, I've found some great jewlery that can help out.

You're welcome!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

This made me laugh . . . . .

I am on a daily emailing list for both LivingSocial & Groupon deals. If you don't know about either of these, you should check into it. I have picked up a deal worth $60.00 at Shutterfly for $30.00. I have picked up $20.00 gift cards to Barnes & Noble for $10.00. Usually their deals are half price. The problem is that a lot of the deals are for Indianapolis based businesses. Lafayette doesn't, that I'm aware of, have one of these online deal sites. So, anyway, the deal I received today made me laugh. It was a deal for half off a romantic gondola ride. When I think of a romantic gondola ride, I, of course, think of beautiful Venice, Italy.

*DISCLAIMER - I have never been there but have been told and seen through pictures that it is indeed beautiful.**

So anyway, I thought they were talking about gondola rides in Italy and wondered if they were giving half off on airfare also when I realized that NO, the "romantic" gondola rides were in INDIANPOLIS. I looked up the location, which is right on a river in downtown Indy, and LAUGHED! LOL!!!!!

Another DISCLAIMER: I love Indianapolis. I have been there many, many times and have always had a great time. It is a beautiful city with a lot of great things to do. I'm just saying, as far as romantic gondola rides go . . . . . . 'nough said.

Here is the picture that goes along with the ad

Here's the ad:

Old World Gondoliers

30-Minute Public Gondola Ride for Two ($30) or 30-Minute Private Gondola Ride for Up to Eight People ($75)

O Sole Mio! It's a beautiful day to be transported to old-world Italy with this dreamy deal from Old World Gondoliers. Set the scene for an experience straight out of Venice: For $30, enjoy a 30-minute public gondola ride for two people, and glide down the Central Canal as you're serenaded with Italian love songs. Or, pay $75 for some private canal canoodling with your beau -- or go as a group of up to eight people (a $150 value). If you haven't yet made your amore official, this could be the perfect opportunity: Old World Gondoliers is among the top Indy destinations for proposals. This half-off deal will hook your honey with your quixotic (Webster Dictionary definition: extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable)
creativity and savings savvy.


From the map it looks like you go past exotic places such as Clarian Pathology Lab and the Emerging Technologies Center.

I don't know about you, but I'm not to sure that ranks on my "romantic" sites list.

Here are some photos of Venice, Italy to use for comparison. I think I may have to put this on my bucket list as somewhere to visit. And definitely go on a "romantic gondola ride" !!!!!!!!!

The chuckles didn't stop there. Included as a side note as another "FUN" adventure is to invite Snake Head Ed to your party. Snake Head will come to your party to entertain. His motto? "Have Snakes Will Travel". Um . . . . . . . NO. Sorry Ed. *LAST DISCLAIMER* - I'm sure Snake Head is a really nice guy. I mean no disrespect Head, but it's just not for me!!!!