Thursday, January 31, 2008


So I have been 'sick' since last Monday. I just have not been able to shake this bug. I have heard that there are a lot of people sick (half the people in the office, or someone in their family) and that it takes a while to get rid of it (up to a month in some cases). With this cold, it has been really messing with my sleeping. Last week I was going through this stretch of time that I would go to sleep by about 7 or 8 (since my body was tired) and then I would wake up between 11pm and 1am and could not go back to sleep. I have been able to sleep a little better this week, but only with the aid of some Tylenol PM. This morning I woke up with his achey neck (either I slept wrong on it or my body is still just achey from this bug). I am hoping I can sleep A LOT tonight and tomorrow night and that by Saturday I will feel better, because Ryan and I have a wedding to go to up in Laguna Nigel (or at least I think that's where it is at). Well, I guess rest and liquids will have to do for now :) [I know, I know, stubborn me won't go to the doctor]


I ran across this website (ZenHabits) off of a friend's blog and this was the first article that was on it... Must be meant for me :) It is a list of 30 Things to Do to Keep From Getting Bored Out of Your Skull at Work. I can't wait to read through it and see if any of the suggestions are something I would like to start up (or already do, hehe).

There Will Be Blood

I forgot that I hadn't blogged about this movie yet and thought I should probably do it before I totally forget. Ryan and I went to see There Will Be Blood on Saturday. I didn't know much about it before I went (I thought it was going to be some sort of western), but it was really good. I have heard that it is up for a bunch of awards, which is fitting seeing as it is a riviting film (like those big words?). It is a fairly gruesome and bloody movie (but with BLOOD in the title I actually was expecting a little more gore than ended up on the screen).

Here is a small plot synopsis:
There Will Be Blood is a 2007 film inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! (1927). It stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, and was written, produced and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) begins as a silver prospector in 1898, when he discovers oil in one of his silver claims. He soon earns enough money to build a small drilling company. One of his workers is killed in an on-site accident, and his infant son is left an orphan. Plainview takes the child as his own, and begins a much larger enterprise, using the boy, whom he names H.W. (Dillon Freasier), as his nominal "partner" to project his status as a family man and a family businessman. By 1911, he is one of the most successful oil men in California.

43 Date-Night Ideas

Check out this article for some new date ideas.

43 Date-Night Ideas

But dating for long-term couples comes with its own new his-and-her matching set of pressures, especially when kids are in the picture. You no longer have the time to make sure you have five minutes together without interruption, let alone set aside an entire evening to dote on each other. So when the stars are finally aligned — you've cleared your calendars, you've found someone not featured on America's Most Wanted to look after the kids — you want the evening to be perfect, which practically begs for a Murphy's law moment.

Don't sweat it. You can lay the foundation for lots of fun nights out (or in) by following these simple save-the-date guidelines. First, make sure that at least every other date gets you out of the house and away from your daily life. Second, be clear about who is doing what planning-wise, or you may end up doing nothing. Finally, take turns organizing your dates. So what if he has no clue which restaurant got the best review? This isn't about planning the perfect evening; it's about having time with the person you love so you can rediscover, talk, laugh, and enjoy each other.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Background

What are your thoughts on Branch Out And Love?

Funny Survey

Funny little survey here, telling you how many five year olds you could take in a fight... I can take on 23, what about you??

Cool Animation

I got this through an email and thought it was pretty cool animation so I thought I would post it for all you to see. I have no idea how this is done. The email says that it took the animator about three months. It takes a second or two to start. Just move your pointer out of the way and wait. May have to arrow down a little. Click here to view Animator vs. Animation.

Amazing Shots

I don't know if you click on my links to other blogs, but if you haven't checked out the SmithGallery link in a day or so, you need to. Emily went to Haiti with CrossRoads as part of a mission trip (to hand out eye glasses and perform eye exams) and she took some AMAZING pictures. Check them out here. Also, check out Mark Cryderman's blog here to read about the trip more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

AFSP and ads

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention was featured in the USA Today. Check out the article in its entirety here.

Advocacy groups keep advertisers on their toes

The day after last year's Super Bowl, Gebbia arrived at work to find a flood of phone messages and e-mails complaining about a General Motors (GM) ad with a suicidal robot. As executive director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, he figured he'd better go online and check it out.

He didn't like what he saw. He was insulted by the ad — featuring a robot that has a nightmare about losing its assembly-line job — because he thought it turned suicide into a comic punch line.

The next day, Gebbia sent a sharply worded letter to GM demanding that the ad be yanked. A day later, he e-mailed a press release to newspapers. Within three days, GM altered the ending and dropped the original ad from TV and its website.

Talk about power. Gebbia's tiny organization has an ad budget of zero, a workforce of 31 and an annual budget of $9 million. GM has a $3.3 billion U.S. ad budget, a worldwide workforce of 280,000 and net sales in 2006 of $207 billion.


Wide Open Hearts has made its FIRST SALE!! WHOO HOO!! Okay, it was Ryan that made the purchase, but it is okay, it is still funds to charity. If you go to the website you will see that the title of the piece has now changed and it says SOLD after it. This is how I will alert potential buyers of the status of the piece (another one is 'On Hold' for someone). The charity that Ryan has decided to contribute towards is World Vision.

You know you want to join the Wide Open Hearts Club!!

Save Water

I found this list of 25 ways to save water at home and thought I would post it. Here are a few easy ones. Check out the rest of the list here.

Take shorter showers.
One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

Rinse your razor in the sink
Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful.


Suddenly the shoreline north of Sydney were transformed into the Cappuccino Coast. Foam swallowed an entire beach and half the nearby buildings, including the local lifeguards' centre, in a freak display of nature at Yamba in New South Wales. One minute a group of teenage surfers were waiting to catch a wave, the next they were swallowed up in a giant bubble bath. The foam was so light that they could puff it out of their hands and watch it float away.

Boy in the bubble bath: Tom Woods, 12, emerges from the clouds of foam after deciding that surfing was not an option. It stretched for 30 miles out into the Pacific in a phenomenon not seen at the beach for more than three decades. Scientists explain that the foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed. All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles. These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.. As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam. The foam 'surfs' towards shore until the wave 'crashes', tossing the foam into the air.

Whitewash: The foam was so thick it came all the way up to the surf club. 'It's the same effect you get when you whip up a milk shake in a blender,' explains a marine expert. 'The more powerful the swirl, the more foam you create on the surface and the lighter it becomes. In this case, storms off the New South Wales Coast and further north off Queensland had created a huge disturbance in the ocean, hitting a stretch of water where there was a particularly high amount of the substances which form into bubbles. As for 12-year-old beach goer Tom Woods, who has been surfing since he was two, riding a wave was out of the question. 'Me and my mates just spent the afternoon leaping about in that stuff,' he said. 'It was quite cool to touch and it was really weird. It was like clouds of air - you could hardly feel it.'

Children play among all the foam which was been whipped up by cyclonic conditions.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shameless Plug

Have you checked out Wide Open Hearts lately? Nothing new is up, but just thought maybe you would want to check out the inventory. :)

Wide Open Hearts is an idea that I had that combines my creativity with my heart for others. It started with Mod Podging a few empty glass jars that I had, and hopefully will evolve into something much bigger. The funds raised through the sale of my pieces will be funneled directly into charities (and the buyer even gets to choose which of the accepted charities their purchase will go toward). When I began I was simply making pieces that I loved, but I am totally open to special orders (i.e. specific colors you would like, size of the piece, etc). My mind is wide open to the possibilities that will come my way and I hope that this is one avenue that will help you to have a wide open heart.


Check out this article about Tayshaun Prince. I think it is a great article. I am extremely happy he is a DETROIT PISTON!! Here is a little of the article:

And for his efforts, Prince, universally regarded as one of the most diversely skilled small forwards, will not be selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the sixth straight year.

"I am never going to be recognized as an All-Star player unless I put up numbers," Prince said after practice Sunday. "In this league, they won't say that, but you have to put up numbers to be an All-Star. If there was ever a situation where you didn't have to put up numbers to make an All-Star team, I would have already been on one a long time ago."

Matt Costa

Ryan and I went to Lou's Records on Saturday for a 'free' concert by Matt Costa. It was originally scheduled to be an outdoor concert and it would be free, but because of all the rains, they had to move it inside the store and they were having people buy the CD to get admission (which was still cheaper than an actual show ticket). I took a bunch of pictures, check them out here. I was playing with the colors, if you couldn't tell.
The show was good, although we waited for 2 hours for them to actually play, but it was okay. They didn't play any of their old stuff, just the songs from the new CD, but it was still cool. Ryan and I were right up by the stage so the pictures are real close. Check out some of his music here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Only LA

Check out this CBS New Story:

A vending machine for medical marijuana and other prescriptions is making its debut in Los Angeles. Soon the cannabis dispensers will be available throughout California. Jennifer Sabih reports.

Vegan Athletes

Check out this article. Ryan sent it to me. It is about Tony Gonzalez, a tight-end for the Kansas City Chiefs going vegan. There are also a few facts about other athletes (mixed martial arts fighters and basketball players in there).

The protein-rich bounty of the football training table is supposed to grow the biggest and strongest athletes in professional sports. Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez was afraid it was going to kill him. "It's the Catch-22," says Mr. Gonzalez, 31. "Am I going to be unhealthy and play football? Or be healthy and get out of the league?"

Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez
So last year, on the eve of the biggest season of his career, Mr. Gonzalez embarked on a diet resolution that smacked head-on with gridiron gospel as old as the leather helmet. He decided to try going vegan.

Subtext and DC

Check out this gallery of shoes that Ryan and I are going to go look at tonight.

DC Shoes has teamed up with Subtext to bring you Kicks, an art show featuring custom painted shoes by 17 different artists from around the world. Each artist was given a pair of DC “Gatsby” Canvas shoes to create their own original version, and the shoes will be availble for purchase from January 25th - February 17th. Subtext & DC Shoes will be donating 25% of the sales to the American Red Cross to help the Southern California wild fire relief fund.

The Canvas:
DC “Gatsby” Canvas Shoes

"Winter" Weather

Maybe my mood is because of the crazy Southern California weather :) Check out the story on AOL that I found about it.

POINT MUGU Calif. (Jan. 25) - A powerful winter storm that unleashed a thick blanket of mountain snow, heavy rain and at least one tornado pounded Southern California for a fifth straight day Friday.

Some areas Thursday received more rain than they did the entire year before, National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Meier said, though experts said the moisture would do little to improve local water supplies.

By Friday morning, Long Beach had received 2.43 inches of rain, compared to 2.1 over the previous 12 months, Meier said. Downtown Los Angeles had received 2.25 inches and Santa Barbara was drenched with 5.4 inches.

Higher up, Mountain High ski resort received 18 inches of snow, but was forced to close its slopes Thursday due to high winds. The resort said on its Web site it would reopen Friday.

The rest of the story and more pictures here.


Sorry about the boring and lack of posts lately. Maybe it's the weather, who knows... Just haven't felt like I have had much to share as of late... Hopefully the posts perk up soon :) HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Don't these look like paper flowers?!

Daily Creed

Daily Creed

Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more.
Let me be, when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cheery;
Let me serve a little better
those that I am striving for.

Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver;
Let me strive a little harder to be all
that I should be.
Let me be a little meeker
With the brother that is weaker,
Let me think more of my neighbour
And a little less of me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Christmas Cards

I know that Christmas is probably one of the lower priorities on your list right now, but in case you are like me and like a bargain (and like to be prepared), then boy do I have a deal for you (NO, I am not an infomercial, but I just thought this was a good deal, hehe).

Check out these (red) Christmas Cards from Hallmark. They are on sale for 75% off. The purchase of these holiday boxed cards support the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa through (PRODUCT) RED™. Also, if you purchase them before the end of the month, you can use the Code: FB2007 and receive an additional 20% off your order.

Learn more about (RED) here.

Thanks Police!!

I wanted to just take a couple seconds and THANK ALL OF THE POLICE MEN AND WOMEN!! They have extremely hard jobs and put their lives on the line every time they go out on a call. People are quick to judge and criticize police for their work, but it seems those same people are slow to thank the work that the police do to keep us safe. I don't think I would ever have the courage to do something as courageous as they do, and for their sacrifice I would like to THANK THEM ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!

Wife Swapping

Here's a little background to why I am posting this story. My dad's local, Local 671, has an annual Christmas party. I have been too old to attend for the last couple years, hehe, but my mom and dad are still involved in it. Normally my dad books a magician for the kids, so that the kids don't get too rambunctious while waiting for Santa. For the last 2 years they have used the same guy, a guy that lives in Bedford. Low and behold, this magician is going to be on Wife Swap tonight. Here is part of the article from the Monroe Evening News:

Bedford High School graduate Andrew Portala's dream of being on national television will come true Wednesday night.

His family will appear on ABC's "Wife Swap."

Mr. Portala, 45, is a 1980 Bedford graduate and a magician by trade. His stage name is Andrew Martin. Along with his wife, Melissa Portala, 44, and his two children, Eli, 10, and Emma, 8, he lives in Toledo.

"Wife Swap" features two families with different values who are chosen to participate in a two-week challenge. The wives from the two families switch lives in order to discover what it's like to live another woman's life.

The couple was first notified in October, 2006, that they were candidates to appear on the show. ABC was looking for a "magical" family and after many interviews and trips to the family's home, the Portalas were selected for the show.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Padres Fans

I heard about this on the radio and thought I would pass along the info in case any Padres Fans read this blog.

Celebrate the start of the 2008 baseball season at the Padres 2008 FriarFest! Tickets are available now online at for this two day event, which will be held on Saturday, January 26 and Sunday, January 27 from 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at PETCO Park. Come kick off the 2008 Season with Padres players, coaching staff and front office executives and enjoy autographs, clubhouse tours, the Padres Annual Garage Sale, interactive displays and much more. Tickets are only $5 and children five and younger will be admitted free. Don't miss it!

Check out the website here to get more info or to buy tickets.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger Found Dead in NYC at Age 28

NEW YORK (AP) — Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence, and police said drugs may have been a factor. He was 28. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let him know the masseuse had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.

The rest of the story here.

American Idol

I normally don't watch American Idol, but I think tonight (if I am not asleep from the NyQuil) I will try and catch it. The reason tonight is different, you may ask. This season is the first time that they casted from San Diego, and tonight is the airing of that casting. I won't know anyone on there, but I still think it might be interesting.

Do you watch American Idol?

Whole Foods

Way to go Whole Foods!! They are planning on eliminating disposable plastic grocery bags by Earth Day of 2008. Check out their site here.

We’re going all out for reusable!

“Paper or plastic?” is soon to be a question of the past at our stores. When you come to shop, bring any bags you have on hand. Really, any bag will do – old, new, paper, plastic, fabric, even backpacks or woven baskets! You’ll feel good about helping our environment and we’ll even give you a refund of at least 5 cents per bag.

We make it easy by offering a wide selection of reusable bags for sale at our stores — check out our “Better Bag” — only 99 cents and it’s made from recycled plastic bottles. Helping the environment in two ways!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birthdate of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15. It is one of four United States federal holidays to commemorate an individual person.

King was the chief spokesman of the nonviolent civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. He was assassinated in 1968.

The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.


I can feel it... I'm getting sick... BUMMER!! I am hoping it is just the change in weather and cold air that is giving me this achey throat, but who knows. It seems to feel 'burny' when I swallow, so I am drinking a lot of liquids (Green Machine - Naked Juice is the key) and sucking on some Vitamin C drops... Let's hope I can attack it and conquer it before it goes full fledged.

Save Trestles

Tell the California Coastal Commission to Save Trestles

San Onofre State Beach and the famed surf at Trestles are under threat by the proposed Foothill-South toll road. The California Coastal Commission has an opportunity to protect these precious open spaces and coastal resources in October. Let them know that it is unacceptable to allow destruction of a State Park for an unnecessary highway project.

The proposed Foothill-South toll road in Orange and San Diego Counties is one of the most environmentally destructive transportation projects in California history. By running 4 miles down the length of San Onofre State Beach, the road would effectively destroy the interior of the park and close the San Mateo Campground. All while threatening the world-class surf at Trestles and driving numerous endangered species towards extinction.

YOU CAN HELP!! Go to this link and you can send your own letter to the commission. They will not spam you or sell your name to anyone. This is important! Send your letter TODAY! It only takes a minute and the impact could last a lifetime.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Peyton Manning & Tom Brady, after living full lives, died and went to heaven.

God was showing them around. They came to two modest little houses, one with a faded Colts flag in the window and one with a faded Patriots flag in the window.

'These houses are yours for eternity, Peyton and Tom,' said God. 'These are very special; not everyone gets a house up here.'

Peyton and Tom felt very special, indeed, and walked up to their homes.

On their way up the porch, they noticed another house just around the corner.

It was a 3-story mansion with a powder blue and gold sidewalk, a 50 foot tall flagpole with an enormous Chargers flag, and in every window, a lightning bolt.

Peyton and Tom looked at God and said, 'God, we're not trying to be ungrateful, but we have a question. We were all-pro quarterbacks, and we won many Super Bowls, and we even went to the Hall of Fame.'

God said, 'So what do you want to know?'

'Well, why does LaDainian Tomlinson get a better house than us?'

God chuckled and said, 'Peyton and Tom, that's not LT's house.'

'It's mine.'

GO CHARGERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Few Bills Under A Paper Napkin

Few Bills Under A Paper Napkin

He almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson."

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knucklesa time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, "And think of me."

He waited until she started her car and drove off disappearing into the twilight. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan ..

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: "You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you."

Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard.

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson."

Animal Rescue

Hi, all you animal lovers. This is pretty simple. The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on the purple box "fund food for animals" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

Korean Baseball Fight?

A friend of mine emailed this to me... I got a chuckle out of it, so I thought I would pass it along... Happy FRIDAY!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Special Time 8:30/7:30c
01.17.2008 | (TV-PG)
Ryan returns to the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin to bring the company into the digital age. Dwight hoped to make things better with Angela by giving her Garbage, the feral cat he captured in his barnyard. She was still grieving the death of Sprinkles, the cat Dwight had put out of misery in her freezer, the week before.

Make sure that you note the TIME CHANGE!!

It's a BIG world after all

Disneyland’s Small World set for big rehab
This holiday weekend marks your last chance to ride It’s a Small World at Disneyland before the beloved boat ride undergoes a major overhaul.

The classic attraction goes down for a 10-month rehab starting Jan. 22, 2008, to replace the original flume and fleet of boats used at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, where the ride debuted.

Disney Imagineers are still trying to decide what — if any — changes and additions to make to the characters and scenes in the 14-minute show. The new Small World ride at Hong Kong Disneyland adds 30 Disney characters to the attraction (including Mulan, Peter Pan and Aladdin).

The Anaheim ride’s long hibernation is scheduled to end Nov. 28, 2008, according to Disney officials.

The Mouse still insists the Small World overhaul has absolutely nothing to do with the ever-increasing waistlines of Americans.

Greetings from Malawi

I have a friend that is over in Africa right now and I wanted to post an update she sent to us about the trip. Pray for Jessica and Lisamarie on their trip...

With a free moment to sit and think about all that has transpired in the past month, I sit and write sending you all warm greeting from Malawi! What a month is has been! As fond memories of my sisters recent wedding are still fresh in my memory, so are the lyrics of the ultimate Bon Jovi wedding song... "living on a prayer..." which has really become a motto and way of living here in Africa. Months ago we prayed and here we are... living on that prayer...

Malawi has been a wonderful experience in which we have been given the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends who have taught here in Lilongwe for the past 3 years! It has been a blessing to see the work that they have done and to help them in their classrooms as much as possible. And yet while, teaching in Malawi is not much different then teaching in the states, outside the walls of the classroom the reality of Africa can be difficult to understand.

While visiting orphanages, feeding babies at a nursery, and walking through villages can be an eye opening experience, there is always the lingering question, why?. Why is Malawi mostly orphans? Why are certain children blessed with food and and ability to attend school while in another village orphans wander the streets? What is God ultimately doing and how can our efforts really help? Does anyone really need our help? When we talk about wanting change and wishing more for people, do we just desire them to have the comforts we are used to?

I wish I had the time to share story after story of all the things that we have been doing here in Africa in more detail... maybe, if time allows, it can happen in Mozambique...

Please continue to pray for safe travels as we are leaving for Mozambique today! Continue to pray for the eyes to see all that God has to show us and for the continued ability to wrestle with all of these thoughts!

Missing you all!


Attached pictures are from doing Laundry in Kenya and with children at a village in Malawi

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


University of Michigan is ranked #14 in the 2008 poll of Top 100 Public Colleges. Check out some of the other top runners here.

Nice Guy

What a nice guy Johnny Depp is:

Johnny Depp has donated $2 million to the British hospital that treated his daughter when she was sick last year with kidney failure. Last week, Depp invited doctors and nurses from the hospital to the London premiere of Sweeney Todd. And, back in November, Johnny spent four hours at the hospital telling bedtime stories to patients dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow after having his Pirates of the Caribbean costume flown over from Los Angeles. Depp's daughter mysteriously got E.coli poisoning last year. She's doing well now.

I am sure it just made those kids' day... probably year to hear pirate stories told by 'Jack Sparrow'.

World Wildlife Fund

Check out this World Wildlife Fund ad that I ran across on

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Poster Child?!

Ryan sent this article to me and I just had to pass it along.

Pregnant Spears inadvertently becomes PETA poster girl

The pregnancy scandal revolving around Britney Spears' teenage sister, Jamie-Lynn, is being used as part of a campaign to urge pet owners to spay and neuter dogs and cats.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are hoping pet lovers get the link between a hard-hitting new Internet video and young Spears.

In the film, which has been posted on PETA's website, a 16 year-old girl is encouraged to become sexually active.

When the horrified girl asks, "What if I get pregnant?" the parents urge her to "pop out all the kids you can."

The ad concludes, "Parents shouldn't act this way. Neither should people with dogs and cats. Always spay or neuter."

PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk insists the ad was filmed before Spears announced she was pregnant last month, but she hopes people make the connection.

She says, "Just as (Jamie-Lynn's mother) Lynne Spears is under scrutiny because of her underage daughter's pregnancy, people who fail to spay and neuter their animals should also be feeling the heat."

"No one should be bringing more animals into the world when millions of deserving, wonderful dogs and cats are dying for good homes."

And to make sure those close to pregnant Spears get the message, PETA bosses have arranged to air the ad on Jamie-Lynn's local ABC affiliate in her native Louisiana, TV network WGNO.

Better Than

I have been streaming The Coffeehouse radio station on for the past couple months. It always seems to put me in a good mood. Anyway, today I was listening to John Butler Trio's Better Than and the words just really hit me. I looked up the lyrics, because I thought they were really powerful and wanted to post them so that everyone could read them. I also found the video on YouTube and wanted to post it (especially since most people probably aren't familiar with JBT's music). I hope you take the 3 and a half minutes to watch the video and read through the lyrics.

John Butler Trio - Better Than lyrics
Artist: John Butler Trio
Album: Grand National
Year: 2007
Title: Better Than

All you want is
What you can't have
And if ya' just look around, man
You'll see you got magic

So just sit back and relax
Enjoy it while you still have it
Don't look back on life, man
And only see tragedy 'cause

You can be better than that
Let it get the better of you
What could be better than that?
Life's not about what's better than

You can be better than that
Let it get the better of you
What could be better than that?
Life's not about what's better

All the time while ya' lookin' away
There are things you can do, man
There's things you can say
Undo the, the ones you regret
When you're spending today
Get your gaze out tomorrow
And come what may, because


Oh, I know, sometimes
Things can get hard
But you should know, by now
They come and they go so fast
Oh, I do, why
Look to the other side 'cause I know
The grass is greener,
But just as hard to grow

So all you want is
What you can't have
And if ya' just look around, man
You'll see you got magic

So just sit back and relax
Enjoy it while you still have it
Don't look back on life, man
And only see tragedy 'cause



So on top of the Gilmore Girls DVDs that Ryan got me for Christmas, I also asked for a tattoo. I had him draw up a bunch of ideas and I narrowed it down to the top 4 designs and then from there I picked the winner. I got the newest of my tattoos (#4)on Saturday. I thought I would post a couple pictures of the tattoo.

I wanted an 'open heart' (one not filled in) so that it reminded me daily to love those around me and have an open hearts towards everyone. I wanted it on my wrist because I thought that would be a great place so that I would see it often. Also, it is a reminder of I am able to love those around me because Jesus first loved me. The tattoo is also where Jesus was pierced to be crucified for my (and your) sins. I really like the design, especially because it has my initials in it (CP), and as my mom says, it's very feminine. The other 3 tattoos that I have are also all black ink, it holds up better over time and I think that they look crisper. Anyway, hope you enjoy my new ink, I know I sure do :).

Easy to be...

It seems as though it is very easy to be a Patriot fan these days, an undefeated season is something easy to jump on the bandwagon for, huh? I guess what is getting under all of the Chargers feathers is the fact that the Chargers are getting NO CREDIT! No one thought they would get this far. I understand, San Diego may not win this weekend, but come on, can't you give them a little credit for doing what everyone else thought was impossible up to this point. No one thought we would be able to go into Indy and take down the Colts when we were at 100% health and we beat them (and probably would have beat them with a higher score if the refs weren't so... um.... blind to put it nicely) with some of our key players sitting on the sidelines. Don't get me wrong, the Patriots are a good team, they have to be to have gone this far undefeated, but GIVE US SOME CREDIT, at least give us the chance to go in and fight till the end... It will be OH SO GREAT if all these sportscasters will have to eat their words on Monday, I guess we will just have to see, but come on, GIVE IT UP FOR THE CHARGERS FOR MAKING IT THIS FAR!!