Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Snowfall

I've always been one of those mommies who loves being a part of my kids' firsts. With Tariku it's especially exciting because his firsts are when he's old enough to really react and enjoy (thus making it more fun for mommy). Today it was snow.

My day to wake up and I hear on Dailah's monitor (she's taken a liking since we left to just walk right into the boys' room when she wakes up) Tariku screaming "It's snowing! It's a snow day!"

So I go downstairs, excited to see his reaction to the flakes and it was worth it. He burst out of his room when he heard me making coffee (hey, I have priorities) and yelled, "Mom come see this, you need to, you need to see this RIGHT NOW!". So we looked out the boys' room and watched it for awhile. It was just awesome.

When we were getting into the car, Tariku said, "Mom, I decided, I love snow."

So after naps we had him really check it out. And this is what we got with all three of them.


So rare that we capture this kid's loving personality, I think Zach got it here.



Tariku and his best friend, Abe.



How much do you love this picture and this kid? He said, "Mom, there was no snow in Ethiopia!" As he came in and was derobing all his snow equipment, he said, "Mom I never knew snow was so cold!"



And how I like playing in the snow.



Doozie was out for approximately 2 minutes, but it was a really cute 2 minutes.



Trysten dedicated his time to snowman making, it ended up perfect. With a head, carrot and arms.



Is there anything more infections than kids' laughter? Me thinks no.

Restaurant

Came across this article today. It describes Ethiopian food in one of my favorite ways I've read. I envy those of you who live in Louisville, Kentucky. Make sure you check out this restaurant! And for those who don't, read it anyway and tell me your mouth doesn't water.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Water for Christmas

I told you I had good news about Water for Christmas, right?

Well I do. We have a total as of Wednesday. You ready? Drumroll please.

$10,000.

Did you read that?

$10,000. Or, 2 wells. Or 2 villages in Liberia. Or hundreds of people, kids, brothers, sisters moms and dads.

You've saved them, and you should be very proud of yourselves.

I am so thankful, so, so thankful for you all.

Good work so far, we still have work to do. Just one more month and I think we're only scratching the surface, you in?

Gracias, mucho, mucho, gracias.

Ms. Janet



I am a child of the '80s. I came of age when U2's Bono was waiving his white flag onstage at Live Aid, the 1985 worldwide effort for famine relief in Ethiopia. That effort and others throughout the '80s were so big that people eventually tuned out. Instinctively, Bono knew that, and his efforts grew quieter and even more effective.

I was lucky enough to ask Bono himself about this change in the tone of his activism when I interviewed him in 2002 at Davenport Central High School in Davenport, Iowa. He told me that people get tired of listening when you scream at them. And that's what is so wonderful about this grassroots effort to bring clean drinking water to people who have no access to this most basic of human needs. I think Bono would approve of the goofy hook of dancing. It gets people excited about a huge problem without screaming at them.

With my intense love of U2's music, you'd think that I would have picked one of their songs to dance to. But, being a child of the '80s, I chose one of my favorite one-hit wonders, Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance." Anything by U2 would have required actual dance moves, but "The Safety Dance" was, well, safe. But I still did it because I believe this effort is important and needed.

"You are more powerful than you think, and we can be even more powerful together," Bono said during his Davenport visit. He is right, so I will dance.

Editor's note: Janet is awesome. I've known her for over a year now and she, like a fine wine, just gets better with age. :) We originally posted this on the dancing blog but I didn't get a chance to on my own but she's definitely worth it. I think you can see her awesomeness through this dance. If not, just take my word for it.

Pictures!

So as I mentioned in the last post, we had an amazing time in Mexico. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we truly couldn't have asked for a better time. So here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:


The view from our back patio.



Our room




One of the 3 pools.



Zach and myself at the wedding.




Leslie and hotflawedmama.



The Klipsch sisters, now complete.



All of the Klipschs (side from my 3 beauties).



The bride (Emily) and groom (Frank).



Just my brothers and me in a tiny little space.



Zach and I got to take a little excursion where we swam with dolphins, sharks and sting rays. We also snorkeled, zip lined, and had way too much fun. The boat that brought us to "The Island of fertility" is behind me.



I love him.



The view from the Island.



We considered this our honeymoon since we didn't get one over 6 years ago. So we have A LOT of pictures of just the two of us.



See...and here we are in the gift shop. :)




In Mexico, they pronounced my name "Desy" as you can see from my Starbucks at the airport. Zach was "Sack", Frank was "Fronk" and Jake was "Jacques". It was awesome. Zach will forever be Sack as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Baaaack!

We're back. It was a fantastic trip, there will be more details to come.

I had good intentions of blogging a few times while gone and taping a few dancers in Mexico. But I didn't. I reconnected with my hubby, relaxed to the point of boredom and swam with dolphins.

Thanksgiving didn't feel like thanksgiving in Mexico (though they did make turkey, which is something). But with a life like mine, one doesn't need a day to remind them to be thankful. I'd be lying if I said I had a horrible time in Mexico but I'd also be lying if I said I didn't get choked up when I saw the kids asleep in their beds tonight.

So thankful for both blessings. Time with the man who makes my heart beat and our fantastic babies to kiss at night.

Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. Stay tuned for more pictures and GREAT WATER NEWS this weekend. Much, much love.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 Cousins from Iowa

I read about this project in our local newspaper, and it just made me cry! Right away I knew I wanted to do a dance with my grandchildren to help raise money for children who have so little. We have SO MUCH to be grateful for. We hope everyone will enjoy our "dance" and laugh and have as much fun as we did. Be thankful! We are richly blessed!


hotflawedmama note: This video was super exciting because this incredible woman just wrote us an email with the video youtube site. She saw the article and was inspired. Inspired to donate, and to teach her young grandchildren about their blessings and the happiness that can come with living outside of yourself by giving to people you've never met. We are so very grateful and can't wait to see more people like her.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Going To Miss Them





Mexico Bound

So tomorrow Zach and I head to Mexico (with a quick stop in Chicago). Without kids. My bro-in-law is getting married in Mexico so all of Zach's side of the family is going. So are we, without kids (did I already mention that?)

My parents and sister will be watching the kids. At the house. They are so wonderful and amazing. You cannot have them, they are mine and terrific.

We are getting excited over here. It kind of reminds me of when we were about to head to Ethiopia (except not THAT exciting). So much to do, not enough time. Don't want to clean when I won't be able to kiss and hug those precious faces every day next week.

So I'm not going to. I can clean when I get home. (sorry mom, dad and Kara) Laundry must be done as well as packing but other than that, it's just going to be 24 hours of intense kid time. I will love every minute.

What, oh what, did I do to deserve kids like these?

Friday, November 21, 2008

You Got $10 On You?

Remember, it's $10 Friday!!! Everyone donate $10 over where it says "donate" on my blog. We can change the world. Little people doing something big. If not you then who?

Love you, love this. Love life.

This Morning

Went to go get Trysten's clothes out for the day and there was a mouse sitting on his hangers. I screamed, threw the pair of undies I had in my hand and ran to the corner, Trysten followed. Zach had to get up about an hour before his usual awake time and "take care of it". I did help him with my fair share of screams and diving onto the boys' beds but he seemed more annoyed than thankful for my presence. Needless to say my irrational fear of mouse paws crawling on my arms and legs were less than thrilling for my whole family this morning at 7am.

On a lighter note, I received farm-fresh eggs delivered by Leslie but raised by Kathy(ie) yesterday. I sat down to my 2-egg breakfast this morning and was overjoyed at the sight of those little eggs sitting in their basket. Upon further research (meaning, I ate them) I must say farm-fresh eggs from animals that had a good life before death taste ever so yummy. It's kind of like a party in my mouth if there was Kanye West playing, my hubby dancing and lots of good food at that party. That kind of party, it was as good as that. I could actually taste the happiness in those eggs. Man I love farm-fresh goodness. Thank you to those wonderful local farmers who are changing the tides for we foodies who take pleasure in life's simplest joy!

Hope your day started out as well as mine (but not as well as Zach's!)

P.S. Speaking of local...don't forget about the auction happening over at the dancing blog! It goes until 5pm today. Yay for local artists!

Erin, Emily, & Tracy



I learned about giving Water for Christmas from a girl in my English class. She showed me the video she made and this website and I was really impressed. This is such a good idea to spread awareness and I wanted to be apart of it.

I can’t imagine not having clean water. When I learned about all of the people dying in Africa because of their dirty water, I wanted to do something about it and this was my opportunity to help. And as a bonus, my friends and I had so much fun dancing around for such a good cause.

So please take time and think about what a great gift clean water would be and how this is an opportunity for you to help too.

--Erin

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Artist's Words



As I walk this path I discover more about myself in relationship to God and this world that I live in. Some of it is about my relationships with people that I love, live with, work with, or pass daily. And some of it is about people that I will never meet, yet how I live my live does have an impact on them either directly or indirectly. I could pass up this opportunity to dance and never acknowledge the water project. But how could I face myself in the mirror when I brush my teeth…or when I meet my Savior.

Sheila Mesick

hotflawedmama note: Remember to go over to www.dancingforwater.blogspot.com to bid on the painting in this picture. It's 16x20 on canvas and absolutely sublime! Remember, big things take action...so GO!

Sheila and An Auction

So tomorrow's dance just got bigger. And it's awesome and I'm so excited. Tomorrow, as I promised, is an art teacher from a junior high school here in Davenport. In the dance she is also painting. It's a painting dance! And the painting is truly beautiful. So we asked her if she'd let us auction it off and she said yes.

Tomorrow over at www.dancingforwater.blogspot.com we'll hold the auction. It will begin tomorrow once Sheila's rain dance is posted and go until Friday at 5 p.m. This gives you all who wait until after work time to bid. Now, if you REALLY want this and are afraid you might lose on an auction, feel free to email dancingforwater@gmail.com and give us your maximum bid; then we can bid for you. (Kind of like ebay but way better)

This is original. Your entire donation will go to Water for Christmas. So bid and bid high. Because it's beautiful and every dollar counts. And...she's worth it.

For some reason it's not letting me upload pictures so go over to Leslie's to see pictures and here her talk about it much better than myself. Thanks for your support. Your passion is so thick I can feel it here. You are such blessings to me!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kelsie's Thoughts



So...I'm one of those crazy water lovers. I pretty much drink only water (without lemon). I don't drink pop, or coffee, or juice. I have a glass of milk with my dinner every once in a while but that's about it. I especially love water on those hot summer days when you've been outside for a while and you can't wait to get inside for your big glass of ice cold water.

I can't imagine if that water wasn't there! I mean I don't just have clean water to drink....I use clean water for quite a few things!! I wash the dishes with clean water, I do laundry with clean water, I brush my teeth with clean water, and I bathe in clean water!!! I guess I don't think about it very often because I was born in a very blessed and prosperous nation and this is what I'm used to. It blows my mind thinking that there are millions of people in this world without an essential thing like clean water!

So when my cousin, Tesi, asked me to dance for water how could I say no?? Let's just cut one Christmas gift out and give WATER this year to those who are in need! Thanks!

Frank and Terre




38 years ago, Frank and I became husband and wife. Glory be to God, our lives have been blessed with freedom, love, and clean water, and food. We have suffered nothing compared to what the rest of the world suffers.

As a mother of 4, I cannot imagine how it feels to watch my babies drink filthy, contaminated water. Please donate now to Water for Christmas. Just $10 and 100% of your donation...100%......goes to developing wells and digging for fresh, clean, water for folks who need so much. Won't you please dig deep in your pockets so that wells can be dug deep to provide for others?

Shirley Chisholm, congresswoman in the US House, once said "Service is the rent you pay for room on this planet." Please help us serve others.

God bless you for your time, your efforts, and your donation.
Grace and peace, Frank and Terre

Monday, November 17, 2008

WFC Ornaments

So in true Christmas spirit, Amy's mom is making Water for Christmas ornaments. And they're not the kind you will find at the garage sales. Oh no, these are beautiful, hand crafted and awesome. Seriously awesome. You just have to go here and buy them, they're only $6.50 and EVERYTHING goes to Water for Christmas, so I'd probably buy tens of hundreds if I were you. Okay, okay here they are.




Tomorrow my in-laws are exposed...with regards to dancing anyway. I think you'll fall in love with them. It's fairly easy to do. I did the first time I heard Zach call them "mommy" and "daddy" (and he was a sophomore in college). It's only strengthened in the last 7 years of knowing them. Seriously, you might cry and want to jump through the screen to hug them.

Then on Wednesday look for someone in Alabama. Thursday is an art teacher from a local junior high dancing as she paints. Friday...well that one's a surprise!

I hope you're enjoying the dancing. I've never seen so many people become so crazy about water after doing something as simple as dance. Joy begets donating begets telling everyone you know begets fresh, clean water. I heart the word begets.

TorreyBeth and Jeff



I ate crackers and cheese in bed last night. The crackers are called "Fire Crackers", a recent gift from a friend's wedding. The crackers set my mouth on fire. So I gulped down a glass and a half of water. Icy, cold, delicious water. And I thought about the little video that Jeff and I shot on Saturday night.

Why dance for water? Why give money to this cause and not any of the other million good causes out there?

Well, why not? It doesn’t have to be a lot. It could be the $5 you don’t spend on a bagel and coffee this morning. These people don’t have water; they probably don’t have a lot to eat either. I bet you won’t miss this one breakfast.

This cause speaks to me. Water is life; water is sustenance. I’ve been worrying about this planet running out of drinkable water for years. And if there is still drinkable water to drink, why should 1.1 billion people lack access to it?

So, I danced. I danced in my Halloween costume and I’m sending my money to buy some people who need water access to Water for Christmas. What do you want for Christmas this year? I bet it’s a want, not a need. Not something that sustains life. So, give water.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Allie (Central High School)



WHY NOT?
Hello, My name is Allie Corbin and I am a senior at Davenport Central. I have been pretty fortunate in my life...clothes on my back, a roof over my head, an education and most of all I have CLEAN WATER EVERYDAY! Did you know 1 and 6 people dont have clean water? Here in the US most people do not have this problem. In fact, I bet most people don't even think about it being a problem. In the United States people spend over 400 billion dollars on Christmas presents and all we need is a fraction of that to provide wells for everyone in Africa to have clean water. When I hear that we spend that much money for presents my mouth drops! We are spending that much money on stuff that is not needed when children are dying in Africa because that dont have clean water that is NEEDED for survival.

I did this project because it is SO easy. I love to dance! While I'm going through my senior year I am trying to figure out what college I want to go to in a year. College. I'm thinking of college while children in Africa just want water and they will be the happiest kids. I think about all the times I have been disappointed because I didn't get something I wanted and I feel GUILTY! When my friend Leslie told me about this project a million things were going through my mind about how easy it was and how fun it will be.

All you have to do is dance! I know that my friends and I dance all the time in the car, at school, in the park, and we even made music videos! If you think about it you can help raise money and awareness just by dancing. How much easier does it get? If you don't want to dance alone then grab a friend. I hope when you read this in your head you're thinking 'thats it', because yep that is it! All you have to do is dance! So do it!!! DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE DANCE!!! And DONATE as well :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Picture Time

Dailah got to stay up a little late tonight because the boys were having "issues" with listening to their parents today. Oddly enough our 2-year-old remained attentive and vigilant with regards to our requests; which was a notable difference from most days.

She and I played catch with a balloon and I can honestly say I was laughing so hard my belly hurt. The girl has mad comedic timing, it truly petrifies me to think how she'll shape that in the future. I have no doubts a gal like me could become quite a good charicature for a comic. Terrifying to think what she could say about me, plenty of good material.

We met last week to chat about Water for Christmas. This was Zeke and Kora's reaction when Jody pulled out the computer. It's a testament to her passion that she's getting it all done.



Amy and her baby boy who was the calmest of the bunch. She did mention that "normal" to her is having a foot in a bag that she was sewing an Africa on...so that should tell you something.



This was Dailah's face the vast majority of our time spent at Cassie's. Cassie also had a youngster clinging to her...suffice it to say the kids might feel a bit neglected. For the cause, right?



Come on




Precious.



Look at those pants. Perfect!

$3200

That's how much you all have donated so far to Water for Christmas. That's awesome.

I admit, when I first heard the tally I was a bit disappointed. I went to bed last night dreaming of a well being built already. But its not my timing, none of this is my timing or my desires. This is definitely God-inspired and it's so exciting to watch.

$3200 is a big deal, in just over a week $3200 is a really big deal. If you all are anything like me, you're probably researching charity: water, praying and looking at your finances. Then you'll donate. I trust you'll do it when you're convinced this needs to be done. Studies show the amount donated increases the longer people wait to make their donation. So I'll run with that.

Had the pleasure of taping the Central High School students who recently danced for water. I love that idea...high schoolers taking literal and metaphorical action. You should've seen how excited they all were about water. It might not translate into big donations and that's okay. Because I truly believe those high school students will be huge advocates for the world and those who are hurting as they get older. In 5, 10 years you all might know them by name and perhaps it started because they saw how simple it was to get involved in something like this. That's pretty powerful in the gospel according to Tesi. If we can raise their generation up to live their life with their eyes wide open and their hearts soft then imagine what they could be capable of!

I've had the opportunity to reflect on myself quite a bit in the last couple of days. I've realized I really love having a purpose in life besides that of wife, mother, daughter, sister, in-law, aunt, cousin, etc. This water for Christmas campaign will last longer than Christmas for me. It's stuck, I'm not sure I'll be able to stop until everyone has the vital stuff I enjoy so much. So just be prepared for that. We'll push hard for the next few weeks and after that don't be completely surprised if you all get presents of water from me ALL THE TIME. I doubt I'll ever be able to go to bed or wake up in the morning without dreaming dreams of water. We'll see.

Such a relaxed Saturday for the family. Must post pictures soon. Oh, and the Quad City Times article on Water for Christmas was on the front page paper today. You can read it here. The thought of thousands more hearing about Water for Christmas is enough to make me cry...but you all know I do that too easily so that's not saying much. Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happ Happy Friday

Man, the days and weeks are flying by here at hotflawedmama. I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is in another 2 weeks. Could it be true?

Our social worker came yesterday to do her final post-placement report. 6 months. Since this was the last one she'll do (we are responsible for a new one every year until Tariku turns 18) I thought perhaps there'd be more pop and jazz. But there wasn't. We raved about how well he's doing (because he is) and she sat and listened. She left with a quick "good luck" and I offered to plan, organize and run any Ethiopian adoption weekend we might want to have in the state of Iowa. I hope that comes to fruition.

I've been missing Ethiopia more and more lately. My brother and sister-in-law are officially waiting for their referral and it makes me so very jealous to know they'll be in that beautiful land before I will. I'm missing Ethiopia, and thinking about it and completely upset with myself at how little we're doing to bring Tariku's culture here. We dance to Ethiopian music every day and have been to an ET restaurant a few times. It's just not enough.

Blah. In other news...Water for Christmas makes it's print debut tomorrow. Stay tuned for that dealy-o posted tomorrow.

Oh and then there's another dance. Made by high school students here locally. High school students dancing for water. They're awesome and are refusing to hold their enthusiasm for "Water for Christmas" in anymore. Who can blame them?

Kara




My sister (hotflawedmama), with her friends, has been sponsoring projects that give aide to those in need of help. If you, like me, are an avid follower of her blog, she is passionate about the needs of others, but this need is big! Huge! GINORMOUS! (Merriam Webster approved!)

Water is a necessity of life, and to sit back and question what my life would be without access to a healthy supply…it’s just unimaginable. So when my sister was brainstorming about ways to help raise money to build wells in Africa, (since, like me, she is not so good at the crafty stuff) she came up with dancing! I thought, “Yeah sure I would pay to see you dance, love the idea!!” Then she says, “Oh and by the way you will be dancing too.”

Hmmmm…What wait a minute I typically only dance for my dog, but people?!? Talk about coming out of my comfort zone, because let me tell you, I do not like getting up in front of people and doing anything (I’m the shy one, by the way). But this is what this is all about right?!? Getting just a little uncomfortable? I am not even feeling a fraction of what these people feel every day when they aren’t getting any water. So I hope you enjoy the little dance, and Hunter thanks for joining me!

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” –Winston Churchill

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Got $10 On You?

Good...then donate it to Water for Christmas tomorrow. So I'm sure most of you have heard of this little thing they call Facebook, right? Well someone started a "WFC" group on Facebook. That group is now up to 1000 members. By doing a little math (and I was never great at that anyway) one can figure out that if everyone donates $10 every Friday, we'll build 2 wells. We have 6 more Fridays which would mean 12 wells and countless families.

Should you join us and donate $10 (at least!) tomorrow, who knows how many wells we can build. 42 million? I think that sounds good. So do it, seriously, check the couch cushions and do it. You're bound to have it in the coats you haven't worn since last winter. Check it out and then give it to WFC.

I was asked the other day what makes one choose to do something like this. It's really quite simple for me and many other women and men around the world. Once you've been to Africa or held a baby in your arms who was/would've been affected by this; you don't go back. You just don't. You can't, you won't and you don't want to.

4500 kids die every day because of lack of clean water. That is my Tariku. For all intents and purposes, he should be one of those statistics. But you can't look at him and see that. Even if you haven't been to Africa, you know a brother or a sister. Father or a mother. Son or a daughter. That is who these people are. They are a somebody to somebody.

So be a somebody to them. $20 saves an African for life. What does that $20 do for you?

That's all I know.

Sarah




Here, at Winona State University we have recently finished reading the Blue Death by Robert Morris. It is a book discussing the harmful water that, even here in America, we have. But to think that water in the United States is considered “dirty” when thousands of people die everyday because of dirty water in Africa, is crazy. So when my cousin Leslie told me about an opportunity to spread the awareness by dancing, how could I have said no?

So a week later, my friends and I gathered to gather to Shake It! We had such a fun time dancing ALL over Winona State University while explaining to people why we were dancing. So join in the Dance Party and Dance for Water!!

Dan "Dancing in the Streets"-Donate first!



To dance is to celebrate life! We hear the song and feel the beat, much like our own hearts, driving us to move in ways that we haven't moved before. The movement is sometimes beautiful, sometimes not. Yet we move, dance, feel and celebrate nonetheless because we are called to dance. And every dance should be celebrated, whether it be the slightest toe tap or the most glorious ballet.

And every life should be celebrated too, whether it be with dance, with love or with a simple, yet vital, gift of water.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Referralvarsary!

1 year ago…

So today is kind of a big day around here. Today marks the one-year anniversary of our referral for Mr. Tariku Asamo Abiyu. You can read how it happened here. It’s baffling to think that was a year ago. When I think about that time my belly gets the butterflies it had then and my tears run down my cheeks like they did then. It was not so long ago that he came into my heart and settled there.

We obviously were not expecting it so soon. Just days after we turned in our dossier we were still hunkered down for a winter’s worth of waiting. We got that, though we were waiting for paperwork to go through and various other court issues that seemed to stall out the process to traveling. We originally had hopes of traveling to Ethiopia just after Christmas. Then it turned into Valentine’s Day. Soon after it was Easter. When Easter came and went we shot for my brother’s birthday (April 11) and that’s what we got. We traveled April 2nd and got back April 11th. One week, to the day, short of a year we went through the process.

When I talk to other adoptive moms who have brought their kiddos home about how much of a change we went through in that time no one can really believe it. One year, in most lives, can come and go with not much change. I can say this year was the biggest change hotflawedmama has seen in all my years. Including becoming an unmarried, pregnant college student all at one time. That was nothing compared to the last year I’ve had!

What a year, what a blessing, what a miracle. From the moment I heard Cindy’s voice on that phone I knew he was my son. I saw that picture of a scared little boy with little hope and knew we could give each other something we might not have believed in before. Hope, love of another country, of another child/mother, faith, miracles and a bond that is unexplainable yet so real.

I think about this day with mixed emotions, as I undoubtedly will on all of Tariku’s big days. I think of his Ethiopian family with love and humbling gratitude. One year ago, just a few weeks after they made the excruciating decision to give him a different life, all of our lives changed. It was official, for all of us. We would share him. Today marks the day where Ethiopian Asamos and American Klipschs united in prayer for this one baby boy who is a blessing to us both.

A real, true blessing. Happy referralvarsary my sweet boy Tariku!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dancing for Water

So you all have enjoyed the dancing (what is up with the emails but no comments? Our dancers would love some feedback...positive of course!) This has prompted the making of another blog...a dancing blog. We have enough interest from friends of friends of friends that this way we can just post them as we go. YOU CAN TOO! You can dance, and you can spread the word, quite easily by the way. So just email/comment if you're interested.

It's been awesome to see the change in our dancers. They said yes as a favor to me, mostly. Then they dance and they felt it. They felt Water for Christmas take over their lives. They have emailed people they haven't talked to in years; the professor they had in undergrad or the girl who kind of made their life really horrible for a time. And people like it. They like everything about "Water for Christmas" and how could they not?

Go to www.dancingforwater.blogspot.com. Soon enough you'll see people from all over the country dancing for water. Tapping their toes and watching it ripple.

www.dancingforwater.blogspot.com it's where dancing, and water, collide.

In other news...there are now t-shirts for sale! Go to www.w4ctees.blogspot.com to see them and place an order. Christa is a college student at University of Missouri in the Graphic Design program. She's doing this for free, for water. She is awesome and talented and I love her now. So check it out and order them.

Jake on "Dancing in the Sky".




I started saying the word globalization a few years ago because it was not a mainstream word yet and I thought it would make me sound smart. Today, it’s nearly impossible to open a newspaper or turn on the television without a form of that word being used. Most of us have our own definition of globalization. To me, it means we are all connected and that every one of our actions has a rippling, exponential impact on the entire world.

Should we fear this change? Well, first of all it’s not really a change as much as us finally realizing what has always been true. Ignorance is indeed bliss, and we’ve enjoyed our bliss. But mass communication is erasing our ability to be ignorant. Ignorance is no longer a product of passivity, but is now an active choice. It’s difficult to escape the pictures, videos, and stories of injustice around the world. We cannot escape the fact that there are injustices that exist because we allow them to exist.

Lack of clean water is an unnecessary injustice.

If my neighbor across the street was dying because of a lack of clean water, would I do something? Most definitely. What about a person that lived a mile away from me? I hope so. 10 miles away? In another state? In another country? On another continent? When would I start making excuses?

When does a person stop being my neighbor? Globalization is teaching us that the answer is never.

Give water to your neighbor on another continent or tell your neighbor across the street about what is going on. And if you really want to raise awareness and have some fun, go to the Skybridge in Davenport, Iowa at 11:00pm on a Saturday night and have a dance party with random high school age kids (all of whom were intrigued by the idea of dancing for water and wanted to know about the wells being dug and what they could do to help. Hopefully, we’ll see their Dancing for Water video soon). I have to apologize to the pregnant girl who allowed me to rub her belly for the camera. We just couldn’t find a way to make it fit into the video.

“Can our prizing of each human life weaken with the square of the distance between us, as gravity does?” -Annie Dillard

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Tired?

You tired of the "Water for Christmas" posts yet? If you are...too bad. Slightly kidding.

Thought I'd post a few pictures of the kiddos and peeps to appease you crazies who haven't drank the WFC juice yet. :)

Happy Sunday. Thanks for reading. Thanks for loving me despite (or because of) my uncontrollable passions. These are a few of them.

The kids watching their mom/aunt dance on the TV and trying it themselves.



My "Abie baby" as we say. Isn't he beeeeautiful?



I forgot to tell you hotfawedmama (the blog) and (the person) got a new look. :)



This is just my entourage I run with...all the Klipschs and family who went to watch Andy play last night.



And the other Water for Christmas people who spoke to hearts last night. And moved people to donate a pretty good amount of money for the few hours we were there. It's catching. Like wildfire. Like wildfire that changes and saves lives. It's so rad.

Kait on Dancing



As a social work major at a liberal, social justice-oriented university in Chicago, good causes and issues are never difficult for me to come by. But I think the difficulty really comes down to making these issues a part of our everyday lives, as opposed to something we read about in the BBC news and reply, "How sad..." I think that dancing for a cause like Water for Christmas is a beautiful idea not only in the fact that ANYone can do it, but it's incredibly fun as well.

Helping our fellow human beings does not always have to be back-breaking, sacrificial work (although sometimes it does). At times it can be an hour of dancing around Chicago and talking to people, all the while reinforcing the fact that every decision we make--the clothes we wear, the coffee or soda we drink, and the food we eat, is so very connected to people on the other side of the earth. As is discussed by Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu, this is a term called Ubuntu, which means that everyone's humanity is wrapped up in everyone else's humanity, and until we realize this, there will be no true peace.

It was an honor to dance for Water for Christmas, and I hope people will not only donate, but begin bringing it and other issues into their everyday lives.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Tools

Since my hubby (isn't he amazing?) gave me my soapbox back I'll call attention to a few more tools we have.

One is this:



It's one of those really great water bottles. If you'd like one, go over to Jody's and pre-order then we'll ship it to you and all of that.

The other is shirts. No image yet but imagine the coolest shirt you've ever seen...well, it's better than that. Bias aside they are really cool and even better, they were created by a college student who drank the "Water for Christmas" juice and can't get enough. A college student, don't we all wish we would've found something like this at that age when we were full of passion, no money but lots of friends? I think we should all support her (and the cause) and buy shirts too. There will be adult shirts as well as children's and the kid's shirts might just motivate you to adopt/procreate had you not done so before.

Here is a picture of the cards we have for you. The ones that either say "I gave Water for Christmas" or "I want Water for Christmas". Remember, if you want the pdf file for these cards just email me (tesileagh@hotmail.com) and you can consider it yours.



This is a picture of those bracelets (although they will come in bracelet form, not all like this) I was talking about. Didn't Amy do a great job? Recycled glass from Ghana? Seriously great. Only $5 which is a steal by any standards. Go to her etsy shop for those. With each one of those you get an "I gave WFC" card so that the person you gave it to knows what in the world you're talking about.



Now consider yourself equipped. Own this. Make it yours. Take credit for it, we don't care. Just do it. And make everyone you know do it. Believe me, the first few times you bring it up casually in conversation is awkward. Then you do it more and more and it starts to get comfortable. Then, if you're like me, you talk about Water for Christmas more than you talk about your kids and people start to look at you weird.

But really, that's what we're talking about. My kids. Our kids. Our brothers and sisters. GAS.

P.S. For those local folks, Andy Landers (a.k.a. Jody's husband) and Ellis Kell are playing at the Redstone Room tonight at 8. We will be there talking about Water for Christmas and enjoying the great music. Meet us there...drinks on you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Why Justin Timberlake vs. Ninja?



I wish I could say there was some cinematic reason for JT and a ninja but unfortunately for those cinema majors, Tesi, there is not. I had a hat that looked like JT's hat and Nick, the ninja, had a full jump suit that looked like a ninja and thus, Justin Timberlake and the ninja were born.

I wish I was as eloquent as any of the women in my life so I could write something that would touch the heart strings of the readers of this blog. I am however, just a simple man who loves his wife which is why I danced for her in the middle of a YMCA Camp in 40 degree weather. I would like to thank Nick for his participation as the ninja in our "Break Off." I could not have done it without him.

Now comes the time when I stand on my wife's soap box and discuss why I believe in this cause. I sure hope I do not need to tell you why this is important. I think it may be hard for some to get behind it because as lucky, blessed, blind Americans we have a tough time imagining it any other way. Let me paint a quick picture of another way for those that have not seen it before.

Imagine driving down a stretch of highway with nothing around you but horizon. It is a beautiful sight to see to say the least. As you drive down this highway you notice up ahead something on the road. As you pull up closer you notice it is a donkey, not the type you would see driving down an American highway in the midwest, but rather a donkey that weighs less than the average American man. You can count ribs, both scapulas, vertebrae, hips, and knee joints. You move quick to grab your phone to call the humane society to see if someone can come arrest this person who has treated this animal so badly but then you remember that you are in the middle of Africa and the idea of animal rights here is comical. Animals have the right to serve humans' needs, not the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as in your home town. You slow down next to this poor, disheveled looking animal and see that hanging off of the back of skinny old eeyore are two large yellow jugs. You can't tell what is in the jugs but by the way the animal is carrying them, they must be full of something. Behind the donkey you now see the most shocking sight, the 5 year old child who is tending to the donkey to make sure it gets home. A 5 year old child who should be reading books and playing in a front yard or taking naps in a comfortable bed or just hugging their mom and dad is hitting this donkey on the right side and the left side, not hard mind you, but enough to let the donkey know to move over so it doesn't get hit by the Land Rover that the white people are driving. As you pass and look at the child and donkey walk away from you in the rear view mirror of the Land Rover you start to imagine your oldest son Trysten, 5, leading a donkey down the highway carrying two large jugs on its back. I will repeat that so it hits home, YOUR 5 YEAR OLD IS WALKING DOWN THE HIGHWAY LEADING LIVESTOCK. Then you remember that the last time you saw any type of hut, home or person was probably 5 miles back. That five year old is walking livestock down the highway for five miles at the minimum. Then it hits you harder because you realize for that child to be where he is he had to walk there in the first place which means that that little 5 year old child with that 175 pound donkey will be walking 10 miles just to get these jugs. As you find yourself waking from this daydream of math about how far this child has walked, you see hundreds of people gathered on the side of the road ahead. As you drive past in your land rover with air-conditioning and leather seats you realize they are all huddled around one well pulling water out to fill up their 5 gallon jugs. Most of the people huddled around are children. Getting water for their families for the day, week, month? That is why Justin Timberlake had to break off the ninja.

I now step down off of my wife's soapbox. Before I leave you, I want to give you one more challenge; tomorrow morning when you wake up and go to the bathroom, don't flush; when you try to brush your teeth, don't wash your toothbrush off, don't take a shower, don't drink coffee, don't shave, don't give the dog water, don't do anything until you send your 5 year old child down the highway to get water for the day. When that child gets back after the 10 mile hike down the highway where Land Rovers are flying by driven by people that looking nothing like your 5 year old, then you can flush the toilet, brush your teeth, drink your buna (coffee in Ethiopia), shave to look nice and of course give water to the dog that is a part of the family. But remember, you only have about 10 gallons of water for the day, so use it wisely.

Please give water for Christmas, don't get comfortable in the blessings you have been giving. Make yourself so uncomfortable that giving money to this cause seems like the least you can do.

Soap box is now officially turned back over to my wife.

Did You Know...

hotflawedmama interviewed Barack Obama?

It's true, all true. About 4ish years ago I worked at our local NBC affiliated TV station. I was an intern that moved to production assistant, etc. Anyhow, when I was an intern in the reporting department a press release came in that an Illinois senator was stumping his health care plan across the river (Illinois is about 3 minutes from the Davenport TV station's office). So...since it was before his multiple books and before his tremendous ability to make the nation swoon, they sent the intern.

I watched him give his schpeel and then he came to the few reporters to be asked questions. Well the others just sat there but I had genuine questions on his healthcare plan so I asked them. He looked at me the whole time he answered (which is actually rare, if you watch many men closely...when a woman asks a question of a man, he'll answer and look at a male in the room even if it's the camera guy).

So anyhow, I told my family about it then but it wasn't nearly as cool as now (obviously).

So the point of all of that is that you guys should probably start thinking I might be the coolest person you know...and spread the word.

Crafting

I am soooo not a crafter. Not a scrapbooker, not a sewer, not a anything like that the mother's should be. So imagine my excitement when the Water for Christmas team decided to have a craft night last night. But I made it. :) No really, there was a lot of hard work...and wine and beer...done last night. Bracelets, Africas traced and cut, posters made, ribbons sewn...all for the greater good. But I am seriously not cut out for a life like that. That's how much I love you people and how much I believe in what we're doing.

Because you miss them, here's a cute picture of 2 of my kids.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Democracy

So...this isn't a political post at all. I've stayed away from politics purposely on hotflawedmama because political views never translate well on blogs (nor do a lot of other emotions quite frankly). Anywho, so this post is all politics aside.

Today Tariku pointed at the TV and said, "Barack Obama, Ethiopia?" I almost cried. He recognized the face as familiar. He had a representation of himself right in front of him and that person happens to be the next president of the United States. Now I don't think that should've been THE reason to vote for him; but I can see how people were perhaps more interested in what he had to say because of the possibility. All I know is that, in a few months, there will be pictures in the white house like there are pictures in my house. Of a white mommy and a black baby. A boy with direct ties to Africa and a mommy from the heartland of the United States. Representations of the multiple colors and cultures in families now. It justifies something a lot of us adoptive mommy's didn't know needed justified.

Last night I also saw hope in a lot of people's eyes who perhaps did not have it before. Whether or not I believe in what he stands for I recognize that. It seemed for the first time people realized what a single person could do. What I'm hoping is that it sticks. That the attitude of "my vote doesn't count" or "I don't matter" becomes a thing of the past. Because I do believe in the power of one. Even more powerful than the power of one? The power of one uniting to become the power of many (which you saw last night, obviously!)

Coming together to do things like, say...give clean water to everyone in the world. So are you in? Do you want to continue being a part of something that we've been told is not possible in our lifetimes? Whether you voted for Obama or McCain last night, are you still hungry to support a cause that could change the course of history and reunite a world that hasn't yet realized where we were born holds no bearing on the fact that we are all brothers and sisters?

Sweet...then give WATER FOR CHRISTMAS!

ETA: I just saw this video and I doubt it's a coincidence. Watch it, even if you're not a fan of Daughtry (like myself).

From Leslie



Water. I just danced for water.

I have been listening to Tesi’s heart brim with passion for months as her plans to raise 10 billion dollars and give the world clean water has occupied many of our conversations. When you see such passion brim, it’s hard not to want to be a part of it. That’s why I was thrilled when she asked me to dance for water. Thrilled, nervous, and completely intimidated.

Give a former cinema major a camera and a vision and before you know it, you’ll be standing in a near empty swimming pool in the middle of Iowa. That’s where I found myself this morning.

I love music. I love poetry. I love God. I love humankind. I believe we are here to endure God’s beams of love. And shine them everywhere we go. And to the places we don’t go, or haven’t gone yet.

Water and ripples and water and ripples.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Kinda Sweet

To be an American at a time like this. I almost cried when I went to vote. To be able to vote with relatively little hassle is quite amazing. Especially after reading about places like Zimbabwe and the like...getting shot for voting for the wrong person, etc. It really makes you thankful we get a voice at all.

So I used mine. I brought my kids so they could see it all and take it all in. It was pretty awesome. Here are a few pics of that.

Me after I voted and received my free cup of Starbucks (picture taken by Trysten).



The kids before we went to vote. And apparently the bunny ears start happening at 5. Sweeeet.



Happy democracy!

Monday, November 03, 2008

On Dancing



So that was fun, right? You excited to see more?

I wanted to make a few comments. One: Did you guys notice the thought behind this video? (Mad props to my hubby who cast a vision). $10 Billion dollars (OR, clean water for everyone in the world, as the case may be) for the person(s) who noticed that I was doing a "rain" dance. And me moving around all the time? That was me dancing all over the world. I'm dancing so that it will literally rain, rain as well as rain money so we can build some wells! Remember how I told you once I was a cinema major? Yeah, mom and dad, all your hard earned money went into that 2 minute video.

Two: So you know how I talked lots about getting uncomfortable in the last couple posts? I was thinking about what that actually means. Because, truly, some people could give LOTS of money and still not really be uncomfortable. For some people it's not about the giving money. So what is my big hiccup? In full disclosure I struggle with the issue of pride. So if I'm being honest, that video was kind of hard to do. I talked a big game but when it came down to it, I was a bit nervous at you all seeing me in my small black shorts and uuber white legs dancing to a horribly inappropriate song (sorry mom).

Still two: So what are we supposed to let go of (in both the secular and non secular world)? Well the things we hold onto most. I have a few people in my inner circle (you know who you are) who are holding onto their pride, or their image, or whatever in this game. And it's not about that is it? Because in all honesty it's ridiculously easy to cut out one present for each child at Christmas or cut out a dead bird or something similar. Much more difficult to really let go of the thing you keep close to the chest.

Three: Do that. If you're kind of shy, try going up to people in your workplace or at your church and ask if they want to be involved in this project. You a really bad dancer? Send me your video so we can all enjoy your letting go. No seriously, really let go. Send out a mass email even though you usually talk behind the backs of mass emailers. Or...call your local radio show when they're taking callers and instead of requesting a song talk about Water for Christmas...(hey, I worked in Marketing, I could go on here people.)

Didn't it look fun for me? That could be you (and I'm not just talking about dancing here kids). Get uncomfortable and tell me how you're doing it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Tools: GAS, Part 2

So these are the tools YOU can use in your local community/blogworld to help the cause as well (if you're totally lost, see the previous post). These are the tools we are using and ones we’d be happy to have you use at your disposal. My email (tesileagh@hotmail.com) can be used if you have any questions and don’t want to put them in the comments field, feel free to email me!


1. Jody had the great foresight to buy the website: http://www.water4christmas.com. So send people there, it will automatically take you to the information/donation page.

2. If you or someone you know is leery of internet payments go ahead and have them write checks payable to CHARITY GLOBAL with "water for christmas" in the memo line and mailed to:

Charity Global, Inc.
150 Varick St. 5th floor
New York, NY 10013

If you’re using this option, please send the checks as you collect them. Every week we will be getting an update from Charity Global on how much we’ve raised so far and would love that to be as accurate as possible!

3. All online donations generate a tax-deductable receipt at time of transaction. Receipts for all other forms of payment will be mailed. So make sure you make people aware of that as well!

4. Amy has created the coolest bracelets for sale for $5. They make great stocking stuffers! If you are interested, go to Amy's etsy shop at here.

This is also a good thing to buy in bulk and have your kids sell at school! Wear them anywhere and everywhere and generate conversation. The blue beads represent the water we are “buying”. They were made from recycled glass from Ghana. And we come full circle.

5. If you'd like to add the blog button from my sidebar, click on "share" right below it. Copy and paste the HTML in your own sidebar. It’s not just easy, it’s beautiful too!

6. Quite possibly the only way we’ll build multiple wells (which is our goal) is to have you take this into your community, your church, your families, your home. One way we’re doing that is by setting up tables in front of places like Hy-Vee and Wal Mart, to start the conversation. Here is an example of the table we will be using in our area.



7. If you would like to hand out cards saying "I want Water for Christmas" or "I gave Water for Christmas", you can email me and I will send you a PDF file so you can have them printed out. We also have PDF files we can email so you can print out large posters if you choose to set up a table of your own.

8. As most of you know…I love dancing. So when Jody started delegating tasks and ran out when she got to me she asked me what I wanted to do and I said, “Dance”. Kidding at first, it got me thinking, which is never a great idea. And this came out of it.

I will be hosting "Dancing for Water" on hotflawedmama. I have recruited people to dance a short dance and will post it on my blog through youtube. Now, donations are on an honor system so give as much as you can give when viewing the videos. Just click on the “I want Water for Christmas button” and you’ll be directed where to give. They will be coming as often as I can get them (HINT, HINT, If you will dance, send me your video! Time to get uncomfortable, right?) So keep checking.

The idea is to generate more eyes to the cause. Youtube is full of people who love watching crazy videos. It’s also full of people who are not in the blogworld like you and I so we’re hoping to target that audience as well.

Oh, and if you feel like emailing Ellen DeGeneres and telling her about our deal, please do. I’ve sent one email and will send a few more to see if she’ll dance for Water for Christmas! Email her here.

9. Feel free to link or copy and paste anything from our blogs! We want to do our best to get the word out near and far. If everyone we know just gave a small amount (for instance, everyone who visited Jody’s blog donated $5), we can change the lives of many. MANY THANKS!!

It’s on you…now GAS.

The Mission: GAS, Part 1

Hang with me here. I’ve been thinking and dreaming about this blog for months so excuse me for my lengthiness and overall verbal vomit. But this is how I process and this is how I express passion over the blog world. I hope you catch it. I hope you read until the end.

When Jody and I were brainstorming on our various monthly projects a few months ago one kept coming back to us as one we will do “soon”. It is obviously essential to everyone, and after looking into it we realized it’s doable. It’s within our reach. It’s one life-changing thing that could easily be eradicated in a few days, weeks, months, certainly in our generation.

We originally got negative feedback about doing something this big before/during the holiday season. People are using all of their discretionary income on Christmas presents; people are too wrapped up in family dinners and turkeys, chickens and decorations. We heard them all and though they are probably valid we know it’s the perfect time.

Because we aren’t called to do and to give when it’s convenient or when we have lots of money left after the end of the month. We aren't even called to give from our discretionary income (thank goodness, because who has any of that laying around anymore?) We are called to get uncomfortable and truly sacrifice. Trust God that He will take care of you and will make the payments happen. Give joyfully and to a cause that is above and beyond the “me-ness” that has captivated the world.

So what is the project? Well, without further ado...It’s

WATER FOR CHRISTMAS!

What? Well we’re digging wells in Liberia. We’re digging wells because people all over the world have no idea what a clean drink of water tastes like. We're digging wells because, as mothers, we refuse to stand by and let other mothers watch their child die from drinking water from a tainted source. We're digging wells.

The reason this blog is difficult is because I have no idea what gets you readers fired up. There is no way to explain what and why people get passionate about certain subjects. So I’ll try to address a few here.

You the statistical type?

 The United States spends $450 BILLION on Christmas A YEAR.
 It would take just $10 BILLION for EVERYONE IN THE WORLD to have access to clean water.
 Every day 4500 children die of water borne illnesses due to no access to clean water. In a week, 42,000 people die; 90% of those are children under 5.
 Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kills more people every year than all forms of violence, INCLUDING WAR.
 1.1 BILLION people on our planet lack access to safe, clean drinking water. That is ONE in SIX of us.
$20 can give a person in Africa clean, safe drinking water for 20 YEARS.

Statistics not for you? How about God and/or Christianity and/or needing to tithe and don’t know where to put it?

 Re-read this post.
Stop being okay with what is happening to our brothers and sisters across the world. DO something about it. Something big.
 Take what you learn in your Bible studies and your church services to the world. Stop talking amongst yourselves about how awesome Jesus was; SHOW the world how awesome He IS.
 I can talk to you all like this because I am one of you crazies.

Not a Christian? Totally turned off by my Christianese?

 You’re human right? This is not a Christian or non-Christian thing we’re doing. It’s a human thing.
 This is what Jody wrote about “us” (the orphan ministry) and why we’re doing it: “We are people. Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters. United by the desire to keep our eyes and hearts open. To increasingly live for things bigger than ourselves. So this Christmas season, we’re going to give up something. Big somethings. Little somethings. Going without so the people in Liberian villages can have access to clean water. The Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters.” This mission is humanity’s mission; not specific to one group of people.


If you don’t fall into any of those categories than I apologize. Zach told me not to guilt you all into this (I think that comes from his Catholic roots…kidding, kidding). So I won’t. Maybe try Jody, Cassie or Amy.

But we’ve been trying to figure out a name to call our ministry for awhile. When her sister and brother-in-law asked Jody what she wanted people to know or do; she answered simply “Give a shit”.

So that’s what we’re asking you to do. (If Jody can cuss, and she’s a pastor’s wife, than surely I can too). A perhaps nicer way to say it is to “Go and serve”. Either way…

What I want from all of you is to donate (obviously). But perhaps more importantly just open your eyes. The next time you take a drink of water imagine the mom with children on her hips and a water jug on her head walking miles to get to a water hole that will one day kill her or her children. Get seriously disturbed with how the world is and how easily we can change it.

I get it, you’re sick of being asked to care aren’t you? I’m with you there. There are millions of things, good things, to get behind especially during the holiday season. So we’re not trying to say our mission is better or more appropriate than any other. We’re asking you to give to them all. ☺

Cut out 1 present for each child and give him/her WATER FOR CHRISTMAS. Stop exchanging gifts with your significant other and give them WATER FOR CHRISTMAS.
You know those parents who constantly remind you they need nothing? Give them WATER FOR CHRISTMAS.

Just do it (thanks, Nike) give WATER FOR CHRISTMAS.

More on the “how” later. Thanks for hanging in.

Donovan McNabb

Zach took the kids outside to run around with it being so nice and all. He comes in and says, "You have got to see this."

What was he talking about you ask?

Tariku throws a perfect spiral 100% of the time. Right to the chest. I almost cried (if Zach's being honest, he'll tell you he did actually cry).

Zach said he was going to call him Michael Vick (with his speed and whatnot) but thought it might be inappropriate. Especially considering how much Tariku loves dogs and all.

But you should seriously see this kid. It's pretty rad.

Setting Up

I used to play volleyball. For those that don't know there is a "move" in volleyball called set/spike. Well, tomorrow is my "spike". Tomorrow we launch our new monthly mission and get you fired up. Today, I'm doing my "set". Because I was kind of "set" today by our church service. It totally prepared me for the ace I will deliver tomorrow.

Okay, enough of the redonkuless analogies.

We watched a video today, you want to see it (which you should) go here.

The basic premise is unifying the Church. The pastor says his one prayer would be "God, make us one". I liked the idea. No more competition, just uniting to actually DO what God called us to DO!

He pointed to a few spots in the Bible:
--Ephesians 4: 2-4 "Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves UNITED in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with PEACE."

--Acts 4: 32 "All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had."

The pastor showed a video of him going around the city to ask if people thought Christians were divided or united. Most said divided. One guy in particular said this, "Christianity today makes people TURN AWAY from organized religion."

Even though it made me horribly sad to hear, I was completely with him on that. Shoot, I'm a Christian and there are some I run into that make me want to turn and run the other way.

So I'm ending this post with a few questions I've been percolating on...

1) How will people in the world know we love Jesus? By our hate or our love?

2) What would happen if we stopped hoarding and started giving?

3) What would happen if the people of the world stopped HEARING about Jesus and started SEEING His plan play out?

4) If the Church really would unite, how quickly will the message spread once: poverty is history; everyone has access to clean water; there are no more orphans; etc, etc.

And the words to the song in worship today that brought it all home for me:

"Mighty to Save" by Hillsong

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations


Saviour
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave


So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender


Shine Your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen King

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Let's See...

Lots of stuff going down in hotflawedmama land these past few days. What do I speak of? Oh, you have your 90 minute massage (thanks honey for the gift certificate!), your various parties and festivities celebrating dead people (seriously, what?). It's been a good, but busy couple of days.

I've been mad at the female species lately. I hear of women who don't use the voice they've been given by women who have broken through glass ceiling after glass ceiling and it makes me mad. I don't know what it is about women that makes us feel like our voices are somehow second class or not worth as much weight as men's. But surely we must realize that our silence speaks volumes to the men (mostly) that we answer to in the professional (and sometimes personal) worlds. Silence, to me, is unacceptable. We don't get the same amount of opportunities as men so we must embrace the ones we do get. Be prepared, be heard, be you and powerful and awesome. We're women, that's just who we are.

And vote. But for God's sake please know for whom you are voting and for which kind of country you are casting a vote. And if you're one of those people who are always "Republican/Democrat" because you've always been that way and because, well you have no idea...then perhaps just leave your thoughts to yourself. Slightly kidding but anyone else annoyed with people who don't know much about politics going on and on about nonsense? It's crazy business, all of it. And *hopefully* it will be done within a few short days.

Hmmm what else? Oh there's the ridiculous consumption of sweets...which could be blamed for the previous tirade. Not enough exercise (due to the sore teeth). And then there's our new monthly project that we're launching on Monday that has taken up more of my thoughts than I care to admit. Did I mention you should be excited about that?

Then it's just mostly motherhood and wifehood and leading people to their fitness goals. If you didn't like the written walk through of my last couple days, here's a (mostly) sightseeing tour. Enjoy.

Made it to Trysten's school parade and party. Hotflawedmama and her Batman.



Batman's class (he's the one clear to the right)



Redonkuless cuteness.



Ditto (would you put a period after "Ditto"?)



My babies.



Kinda one of the reasons I love them.



This is the only picture I could get of all 3 of them in their Halloween shirts for my mom. Holding their crab apples, or as we in the "sticks" like to call them "spider traps".



Kids playing with play doh...if you look closely; I'm such a neat freak I had them play in the entryway because the dogs had just walked in with their dirty feet and I was going to clean it anyway. What a weirdo I am.



Today was our Bodystep launch. It's kind of a big deal and our theme this time was (obviously) football. Good stuff.



Carving pumpkins (he's smiling because he's been begging us for a good 2 weeks).



I think he liked the goo more than he let on.



Dailah 2 seconds after she started and 32 seconds before she finished. (She quit because I took the Sharpie from her and stuck her with a highlighter which apparently gets the same reaction as shutting her fingers in the door or falling off the bed, which is interesting).



The 2 finished pumpkins. Trysten's jack-o-lantern and Tariku's 3 out of 5 initials (he doesn't know about the other 2 yet, some day...some day)