Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Living Water

Many of you know that I went on a mission trip to Kenya in September. I have not blogged about the trip yet for a few reasons. First, I feel like my words can't possibly do it justice. There is no way I can possibly describe the life changing impact it has had on me in a few paragraphs on this blog. Second, I feel like once I open the floodgates, I may never be able to close them. So you'll have to forgive me if I now blog about Kenya on a regular basis and if those blogs are more than a paragraph or two which I highly anticipate this one turning out to be. There are just so many things.

So the post I will break my silence with is titled "Living Water" because I want to talk about water. One of the most amazing things we were able to do in Kenya was to go to water well sites in very remote villages and meet the communities of people these wells were going to help. First let's put things into perspective. Here is a quote from the Living Water International Website:

Water, the stuff of life and a basic human right, is at the heart of a daily crisis faced by more than ONE BILLION of the world's most vulnerable people - a crisis that threatens life and consigns large segments of humanity to chronic disease, poverty, and insecurity. Water-related disease is the single largest killer of infants in developing countries - diarrhea alone causes 1.8 million child deaths each year - and access to safe water is the most important factor in the survival of children under the age of five. Nearly HALF of all people in developing countries are suffering from water-related health problems. The annual number of deaths from water-related diseases is six times greater than the number of deaths from armed violence.
One third of all deaths in developing nations are children under the age of five, compared to less than 1% in developed nations. The leading cause? The 5 billion cases of diarrhea suffered by children in underprivileged countries. Some 1.8 million of these children die each year as a direct result of chronic diarrhea - that's 4,900 every day.

All of those things are a direct result of having unsafe water. Water - it's definitely something we take for granted. We have it to: fill our bath tubs, water our grass, swim in, brush our teeth, make ice so our drinks can be cold, wash our pets, flush our toilets, clean our dishes, fill our washing machines so our clothes can be clean, and of course, to drink. The list could go on and on. I think you get the picture. I once saw an ad that said "1.1 billion people's drinking water looks like this." It had a picture of some semi-brown liquid in a water bottle. I get the point, but I don't believe it. I don't believe it, because I've seen what the water so many are forced to drink looks like and it doesn't look like that...it's WORSE. It's not even the consistency of water...think milkshake. It's muddy and thick and has all kinds of waste in it. I watched people digging holes 6 and 7 feet deep in dry river beds hoping that maybe they would be "lucky" enough to find water like I described. Needless to say, seeing this all first hand has changed the way I think about water. The other day we set up a water slide in our yard for my girls to enjoy. It's one where you hook up the hose to it, so it has a continuous flow of water going down. I certainly enjoyed watching them have fun on it, but not without thinking of how the water we had running out of that hose so my kids could have fun would impact an entire community of people in Kenya and probably save some children's lives. I am changed. I don't know that I will ever be able to brush my teeth or take a long shower without thinking of the millions of people who will NEVER have those same luxuries. Not only that, but children who will not live to be older than my five year old because they have no clean water to drink.

The slide show I have added to this post is all pictures I took of two water well sites in Kenya and the people those wells are going to help. We had the privilege of being there with the community when the water was pumped out of that well for the very first time. I never knew seeing running water could be so emotional. It was so symbolic. As soon as the water started to flow, so did my tears. I was overwhelmed. These people I was standing in the midst of had never seen running water in their lives. What we were all witnessing was not just water running out of a pipe. It was LIFE. There was one boy in particular who really drove the point home for me. As soon as the water began to flow, he ran over to it and began just throwing it on himself. He was washing his feet in it, throwing it all over his body, and drinking it as fast as he could. It was as if he could not get the water on his body fast enough. You will see many pictures of him in the slide show.

I truly could go on and on, but I better stop myself before you stop reading. So, I'll leave you with this: Next time you brush your teeth or jump into a refreshing pool, take a relaxing bath or drink an ice cold glass of water, maybe take a moment to think about all of the people who have no water to speak of and if you have time, say a prayer for them. I know it's a mountain of a problem, that we feel like we have no chance at fixing. But just to change our thinking is empowering. To stop taking the millions and millions of gallons of water we use for granted is a start in the right direction. There are tons of great organizations that are focused on getting this problem under control and hopefully one day, solving it. I pray that day comes soon. If you would like more information on Living Water International click here.

*make sure your sound is turned on

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Drive-In Movie

Last night we took the girls to their first Drive-In Movie (it was my first too). First let me say, we are HOOKED! It was SO much fun. Marty and I couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces all night long just watching the girls experience this. A few things about the evening, then I'll get to some pictures:

We got there at 6:30, right when the gates opened, so we could get a great spot and we did! We were in the second row right in the middle. The girls ran around and played on the field in front of the screen and took turns pushing each other on the swings. We waited until the movie was about to begin and got our food. Our dinner menu for the evening included the following:
* Popcorn
* Twizzlers
* M&M's
* Sour Gummy Worms
* Nachos
* Cotton Candy
* Cokes
* Cherry Slushees

Needless to say the girls were in "Hog Heaven" quite literally! The movie started right when the sun went down. We saw Indiana Jones and it was a great movie to see on the gigantic screen (40' x 80' to be exact). It was a perfectly clear night, so we literally watched a movie out under the stars. It was magical. We WILL be going back and probably quite frequently. Thank you to those who blogged about this place, so we could find out about it. We are officially addicted!

Fun before the movie

Check out the size of this thing!


I love my "sissy!"

Those eyes

Getting Ready To Start


Check this out....Indiana Jones' Expression...
.....Matching Expression from Reagan

We are having a blast!

Two VERY tired girls at the end of the night.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We Love Our Neighborhood Friends!

The other day we took out the water slide and set it up in the front yard. We started out with just MacKenzie & Reagan, and before we knew it the whole neighborhood was in our yard having a blast. We really love our neighborhood and all of the kids that hang out with us!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"Fancy" Dinner

There's a book Mackenzie & Reagan love for me to read to them. It's called "Fancy Nancy." It's about a little girl who is very "fancy" and everything she says and does is "fancy." In the book she convinces her not so "fancy" family to dress up and go out for a "fancy" dinner. They wear dresses, and boas, jewelry, & hats. Last night we took the girls to their own "fancy" dinner. They picked out what they wanted to wear. They wore dress up things, jewelry, and shoes. We took them to Macaroni Grill because that was the most kid-friendly restaurant we could think of that would still seem very fancy to them. (We weren't about to take them into Perry's or some place like that!) Anyway, we had a great dinner and they got lots of ooh's and aah's in the restaurant, "fancy" desserts and curb-side pick up from the restaurant thanks to "Prince Daddy." They really got a kick when all the prom people starting coming into the restaurant. They thought it was a Princess night out for everyone! Wow, we couldn't have timed that better! Here are a few pictures from their "fancy" evening.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back Seat Prayer

This afternoon I was driving the girls home from school and just outside our neighborhood something happened that prompted MacKenzie to start praying in the back seat. I'll let her prayer tell you the story. This is what I heard from the back seat:

"God, please help the little bird that my Mom just ran over on accident, because she couldn't see it, because it was so small. I pray that you will make it feel better and heal it...Amen."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give an update on how everything went on HSN. First I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement and your prayers. They are appreciated more than you know. 

The HSN appearance went really well! It went by in a flash of a second it seemed, and I was not as nervous as I thought I would be (definitely prayers at work there). We did not sell out of our product, but we sold almost 2/3 of it, and with only a few short minutes for people to purchase it, that's actually pretty good. We talked with some people after the show was over and they said the whole hour was "soft" which means they did not get the numbers they were expecting for any of the products in that hour. All of the products on the show did about half of what they projected. So the good news is that we measured up to the standard of all of the other products on the show. Whether we will be asked back to HSN is yet to be known, but even if we don't, the experience was really great and so worth it. We know there are so many people out there who try for years and years to get their product exposed on that kind of level and never get there. Who knows where that kind of exposure can lead. So we are so appreciative and thankful for the opportunity to be on HSN. Thanks again for all of your support. If you didn't get a chance to catch the appearance, you can watch it at the HSN website. Click here, then click on the video clip down by all of the thumbnail images. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quick HSN update

Just a quick update. For those who do not know, we will be on HSN (Home Shopping Network) on Monday, May 12th at 1:00 CST. We will be on live all over the nation, so if you do not live in Central Time Zone, just adjust the time to what it would be in your time zone. The show we are featured in is called "Pool Party." It is a one hour show, and we will have a short segment within that hour, I believe about halfway through or so. Hope you get a chance to catch it!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Sign...

...that you have a lot of girls living in one household.......

.....my dryer lint collector!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Can someone explain this phenomenon to me?

The "phenomenon" I am referring to is that of driving at a speed that is LESS than the speed limit. Now, I am not on a rant or anything of the sort...I truly am baffled and confused as to what motivates someone to drive LESS than the speed limit. When I get in my car (even with as much as I love my car), my goal is to get from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time as possible. I usually am pretty good about obeying traffic laws and speed limits, so I am not advocating driving over the speed limit. If the speed limit is 45 and you are in front of me going 45, we are all good. It's the people driving in front of me that are driving 34 in the 45 mph zone that I just don't get. Now this may be because they enjoy the time spent in their car, sunroof open, their favorite music blaring, breeze in their face. While the time spent in my car is listening to The Backyardigans and my children screaming (not singing) the words to the songs, smelling old french fries and possibly an ancient sippy cup with milk in it that we can't seem to find under one of the seats, referreeing the fights in the back seat over the cheap McDonald's Happy Meal toy, all the while trying to dodge getting hit with Goldfish or a shoe. So maybe I just answered my own question and it's possible I just figured out why it is that my goal is to get from one point to the next as quickly as possible and we don't share that common goal, so maybe what I'm trying to say is if you're one of the people that participate in the "phenomenon" I am speaking of it would be so kind of you to snap out of your happy, zen place for one short moment to get over to the right and let me go around you so that I can get to my destination in the shortest time possible. Trust me, this small act of kindness would be so greatly appreciated by the drivers that don't happen to be enjoying their car time as fully as you do.

...so maybe I ranted a little.....hey, isn't this what a blog is all about?