Friday, November 16, 2012

From my heart to yours....

Hi Friends! Long time no post! I had to share something with y'all that's been on my mind. As we approach the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week, I wanted to tell you about three organizations that are close to my heart. I know every year we all get bombarded by different organizations, local and international, for donations. So, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring early in an effort to catch you before you're all tapped out!! :) 

Many of you know that I sponsor a child through Compassion International. So, what is Compassion? Well to answer that I am copying info from their website! 

Compassion began in the heart of one man moved by Korean War orphans in 1952. The Rev. Everett Swanson was on a successful preaching tour in South Korea when he encountered the bitter poverty of Korea's unwanted children. He knew he had to do something.
Upon his return to the United States, Everett established a program that allowed caring people to provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for Korean orphans. That program was, and remains, the foundation and core of Compassion International. The hallmark of Compassion's work is one-to-one child sponsorship. A sponsor is someone who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. Through sponsorship, children are able to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits that range from educational opportunities to health care.

This is me with my sponsored child Julienne in Rwanda last year. So, if you're wondering if the sponsorship is truly "one-to-one" I want to tell you that YES it is! One person/family/group that feels led to change the life of one child/family/community FOREVER! I say it this way because you can sponsor as a family, as an individual, or a group, such as a Sunday school class and your monthly donation of $38 supports one child of a family in need. This doesn't really seem like it would be such a big deal, but I am here to tell you, not only is the child forever changed by knowing there is a person/family/group across the world loving and praying for them, but also the whole family is given hope! I met Julienne's family on my visit and her mother showed me the cow they purchased from my donation. I didn't get to meet Julienne's dad because he was away at a doctor's appointment, which wouldn't have been possible before Julienne's sponsorship. And, during our visit, the entire COMMUNITY came over to Julienne's house to meet us. You see, Julienne's family lives in a very poor community. When I say that they are poor I mean, homes made of mud with dirt floors - no doors or windows; clothes that don't fit b/c they are hand me downs within the family for years - they are dirty, torn and threadbare; "outhouses" with a hole in the ground for facilities; "mattresses" that are so thin I wouldn't really call them that, on the floor for the children to sleep on, if they have that at all; no electricity, no water for miles, and very little food. And, this isn't just in Julienne's community, it's throughout the entire country for miles and miles and miles. So, when the neighbors came to meet us, Julienne, her sister Josiane and the rest of her family immediately started sharing the snacks I had brought to the family. The giving spills over and even though Julienne's family has so little, they still give to those who are less fortunate than they are - those kids who aren't sponsored yet. When you realize that for $38 a month you can literally CHANGE THE WORLD that these people live in, it doesn't seem like that much of an expense after all. To sponsor a child or make a one-time donation to children in urgent need, or just to find more info, visit, or click on the link in the upper right corner of this blog!!

The next organization I want to share with y'all is CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children. This past January through March I participated in a training class to become a child advocate for Cullman County CASA.

 This is me with my hand on the Bible (held by my handsome pop, Billy!) swearing to work for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Cullman County.

 What is CASA? (From the website)

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Independent research has demonstrated that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care and less likely to reenter care. 

CASA is a not-for-profit and receives funding from the US Government to function. However, due to the current economic conditions, funding for CASA has been cut nationwide. This means that the program will depend on receiving donations from people like you and me! If you feel led to give to an organization more local, please consider making a donation to your local CASA! In Cullman, CASA is in the Cullman Caring for Kids family and donations can be made at the food bank to Cullman County CASA. Click on the link below to go to the National CASA website to learn more.

Join our movement

Thanks for sticking with me guys!! The last group I want to tell you about is called Love Without Boundaries.  Love Without Boundaries began in the year 2003 after a group of adoptive parents came together to help save the life of one tiny boy in China. Following his successful heart surgery, they realized that people with a pure love for helping children can truly make a difference.

It is LWB's vision to provide the most loving and compassionate help possible to orphaned and impoverished children in China, and to show the world that every child, regardless of his or her needs, deserves to experience love and be treated with dignity and care. (from their website) 

I have always had a special place in my heart for orphans, and I became familiar with Love Without Boundaries when they were featured on the t-shirt website I started following them on Facebook and since then, the photos of these kids have tugged at my heart! Because China doesn't have regulations on pollution and rules regarding working conditions, in some of the poorest parts of rural China the birth defect rate is 85%. In addition, with China's strict child laws, many people simply abandon these children in dumpsters or orphanages causing a large number of children with special needs and no one to take care of them. That is where LWB comes in. They help children like this little guy.

 This is George Bradford. I know strange name for this little guy but the volunteers usually have to name the abandoned children and this is what he got. lol. He had a cleft palate and because of LWB had his lip repaired. He is now growing and is in foster care awaiting a forever home. To read his story please go here:

To donate to Love Without Boundaries or find out more information, click the link in the upper right corner of this blog!

Thanks friends! I hope you will consider donating to one of these organizations, or to another organization of your choice this holiday season! Above all else, please pray for the children in impoverished countries like Rwanda and China, and for the abused and neglected children here in our on back yards. 

Love you guys!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear guy....

Friends, I know I'm a terrible blogger. But, I absolutely have to get something off of my chest and well, since I only have like 2 followers anyways it won't be too rude I guess for me to do it here lol. This post is something I'd like to call "Dear guy..."

Dear guy.....
  • I set the top of my age range at 38 for a reason. If you are over 38 and definitely old enough to be my dad..don't message me. I promise, you won't be the 60 yr old that changes my mind about that being creepy. 
  • I put detail into my profile to show what I'm looking for so if you answered "i'll tell you later" to more than one, maybe two of your questions then no, you won't tell me later b/c you're just vague enough to make me think you must have a lot to hide...which won't include my body should you turn out to be a serial killer since you've given me no evidence to prove the contrary.
  • Posting a photo of yourself is critical. I won't be responding to anyone without a photo because if I can be brave enough to show you what I look like you better be too. If you do post a picture consider the following:
    • posting 10 photos of yourself wearing a hat and sunglasses from 100 ft away doesn't count.
    • posting a photo that you took of yourself, in the bathroom with your shirt off is not sexy. It's kinda awkward that you're holding your cellphone in front of the mirror trying to get a pic of yourself. If you must post a pic like this, ask a friend to help.
    • posting any kind of photo of yourself that you're taking in the mirror with your cellphone is not advisable. No one is attractive next to a toilet. Trust me on this one.
    • posting photos with girls in your photo is sketchy. Are these your dates? Are you actually a pimp? Is this your ex and you just didn't know how to crop her out? it's confusing. Please don't do it.
    • photos of yourself where you aren't smiling and you look angry are scary. 
    • if you are older than 18, 19...then don't post your high school graduation photo. Most girls can do the math. You're 50 but clearly are in the generic high school tux. We don't believe you still look like that. 
    • don't only post photos of you and 10 friends...we have no idea which one you are and if you do put the caption that tells us that you're the 3rd from the left, just make sure the first 2 from the left aren't better looking than you are because otherwise we will think "oh....wonder if THAT guy is single?" i know it's shallow, but we're looking at photos on a dating site..this is feels a little like online shopping and we can't help but think this. I guarantee you won't find a woman posting a photo of herself next to her much thinner, younger, attractive friends. It just won't happen.
    • Photos that are GREAT! - Pics with your dog, grandma, mom - all show you have a sensitive side. Pics doing something fun, volunteering, just by yourself acting natural not doing anything awkward are all +++! This isn't that hard, I promise. But, a girl can't "unsee" that suspicious photo that waves a red flag.
  • Usernames are also important. If yours says  "richandsmooth," "itsmrbubbles" "luvmycat" "bigmarklips" "daddyick" you get the idea. All of these are actual usernames except one. seriously.
  • Don't start off by saying "i never thought i'd be on a dating website..." or "this isn't my ideal way to meet someone.." everyone says this and we're all on here so we all have accepted that we're trying. 
  • If you message me, don't say "hey want to go out tonight and have some fun?" because if that is what i was looking for i wouldn't take the time to answer the 1,000 questions on here and pay the fee. I'd be out tonight...having some fun aka hooking up with someone else.
  • In your "about me" don't say that you're looking for a girl that doesn't lie all the time and then cheat on you, someone who won't treat you bad and then steal your stuff, anything like this that shows that some other girl has broke your heart and you're not over that yet so you're going to be sure to let everyone know that's not what you're looking for in the future.
  • Spell check! trust me on this your going to make a better imprsion if you spel you're words write and take the time too spel cheek before you hit save.
Ok I think I will stop here.  I know that this is a two way street and i'm SURE that there are lots of things girls do on their profiles that irritate the opposite sex just like my list above. But, since i only see the guy profiles I don't know what they are. Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now. Obviously I really don't have much room to talk considering my profile has some kind of quality (or just me in general) like the movie "the Ring" in that after you look at it, message me and I respond a blackhole suddenly appears and sucks you right off the face of the Earth. It's one of my life's greatest mysteries. Hopefully after you read my blog this won't happen to you.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 11, 2012


It's been a long time! I have been MIA. I got derailed from the blog by my obsession with Instagram. Which, in itself is kinda a picture blog of sorts. But, I've been thinking of posting lately. I wanted to share something that I heard this week that stuck with me. On the way home one night last week I was listening to NPR and the TED Radio hour which if you have time, check out. But the broadcast that night was an old one from a TED 2011 talk by Eric Whitacre. Eric Whitacre is a composer and he got the idea to start a "virtual choir" on you tube. You guys might have seen his videos. I had not, but listening to his idea on the way home it sounded pretty awesome. He posted the music to a new song he composed online and then people from all over the world performed their parts - tenor, soprano, alto, etc. in their homes and recorded it and sent it to him. Then with his team, they put all the voices together and made a virtual choir. There are over 2,000 voices from all over the world. Now, ignore the strange "new age" type vibe going on here lol. I think it's amazing!

During his talk about this project, he said he thinks that what makes people really react to this is that during it all, the people who submitted their parts and were a part of this really felt a connection with the others involved. They felt like they were a part of something and it was exciting. It got me to thinking; i mean isn't this what "social networking" is kinda about? Making connections with people? I know this is why i love Instagram! I follow folks (mostly dogs) from all over the world and am invited into their world in 2inx2in photos. And, when you think about it, it seems a little silly to be posting photos of my dog 24/7, but it's more than that. It's a little community in which I play a part and connect with others around the world...even if it's in tiny 2inx2in frames. I look forward to seeing what happens in the lives of @poppysausage, @ginny_jrt both in the UK; @krisbsix in South Korea - who just had her first child and we all got to follow along as her fluffbaby Bunja met him for the first time! (ADORDABLE!) And, I love the drama of Acquolina and Burton, the JRT's in Italy posted by @justelle. Closer to home, I started following pups named Murphy with @kourtneyfromks, Charger in Wisconsin with @sweetsugar37 and three little furry friends Zoie, Bailey and Sophie with @tofuwarrior.  It's a little odd because I don't really know any of these folks that I connect with every day in the sense that we've been able to hang out or see each other except through our photos, but it's connections with people that count I think.

But, when I was thinking about all of this, I got to many connections with people am I missing every day because I'm not looking around? I connect with IGers because I tap into my app every day. But, then get on the elevator with people and don't give a smile or a nod or even a hello because I guess I forgot that they are people too. I guess I'm just saying that we social network online but then "offline" just keep our heads down and don't show any kindness because we don't "know" those people. I just wonder why it's hard for us to connect with people every day in our daily lives. Most days the only interactions with people we remember are the bad ones! The people who cut us off in traffic or someone being rude, and it's actually surprising when someone is just genuinely nice or helpful.

So, in thinking about the virtual choir and instagram and how it's the connections with others that make these things awesome, I'm gonna try to do a better job of smiling at people, being friendly and not acting like they are irritating me to death on the elevator. I'm gonna try to make connections with people i see every day instead of just keeping my head down. Maybe just saying something nice to one person a day could be a start and it might not mean anything to anyone, but then again it might make a difference.

 I'll let you know how it goes lol! (and this doesn't mean i'm giving up my Instagram addiction! no way! i'll just have more to post!)