Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting "It"

Back when Laynie was alive, I would wake up early, and my mind would become infused with words, and I would come to the computer and I would write stuff I didn't even know where it came from.  It was spiritual.  It was amazing.  I read back on some of that stuff and I am just filled with awe, because it came from a sacred place inside of me.

Lately, I have written about my friends, my tv addiction, my "stuff", but most of it wasn't from that "Voice" in my head. 

At my lifegroup, I tried to describe that voice, and one woman told me "It makes you sound crazy".  Oh, cool, then I must be on to something.

I've been pretty open about reading my bible this year.  I've told you about it, I've told my lifegroup about it, I've told just about anyone I talk to about it.   Usually, because sometimes it is WAY over my head, and I'm looking for someone to give me some help (zoinks), but mainly, it's to say,  "Hey this sinner is doing it, so can you". 

I just finished Luke last night.  I used to think that I knew the first 5 books of the New Testament, Matthew Mark Luke and John and Acts.  "It's Jesus' story".  

This year I have learned it is SO much  more than that.

It tells the same thing over and over (at least 3 times so far), so hardheaded sinnin' grandmas can GET IT.

I watched a miracle happen, and my faith grew a hundredfold.  I've watched my oldest daughter go through fire and grow into a magnificent (even more of one) Christian giant.  I'm watching my middle daughter leave everything she knows and walk into the unknown to spread her love of Christ.  I watch my youngest daughter ask her friends to know Jesus, like she does, because she is so filled with the spirit.  It's amazing.  Because we witnessed something we "cannot be silent about".

It talks over and over about the miracles Jesus performed when he walked the earth as a man.  He healed the sick, he gave sight to the blind, he raised the dead.  You hear it, you read it, but it doesn't sink in.  I don't feel bad that it never sunk in before, because the stinkin disciples were RIGHT there, and they didn't get it.  They watched all those miracles first hand, and still questioned everything about Jesus.  

In the boat, Jesus sleeping, the waves start rolling in and even though they just spent the day watching Him healing people and feeding people, they get frightened and say "Teacher, we are going to drown in this is a bad storm".... and He wakes up (and I imagine, sighing, saying, these PEOPLE, what do I have to do???), gets OUT OF THE Boat, and walks on water....telling Peter to follow him.  "Peter, come on in, you can do this, have I let you down yet?"  and Peter walks on water.....then almost as fast as he believes, he starts to sink, because, DUH, WHO WALKS ON WATER?   Jesus tells Peter, "You have to believe". 

I remember Ketric Newell jumping up and down in our hospital room when we were told that Laynie had no brain.  He passionately cried out to us 'YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE... GOD IS BIGGER THAN THIS DIAGNOSIS.  HE CAN DO ANYTHING".   and we started to "Get it".  And our baby responded, and smiled, and laughed, and LIVED for 30 months.  "YOU JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE".

I've believed, and I have watched God take complete care of my family, and I'm finally giving credit to the one that credit is due.   God is magnificent.  Now that I know and I read and learn more, I'm filled with more awe than I can find words for.  All that I have, and all that I know and all that I do, is for and through God. 

As I read for the third time last night, how a rich man was so filled with God's love and asked Jesus,  "What do I do to follow you?" and Jesus tells him,  "You must leave all you have behind and follow me", and the bible says the man was filled with sadness, because he had a lot of money, and that was something he couldn't do.   And the bible was very succinct in saying that a camel has an easier time going through an eye of a needle, than a rich man getting into heaven.    That made my heart pound.

That doesn't mean you have to be poor.  It means you have to be generous.  It is a true fact, the more money I made, the less I tithed.  Now that I make less money, I tithe more than ever.  None of this life is about me, it's about what I can do for HIM, through ME.... and I find myself wanting to be more generous with my time, with all I have. It's not about EARTHLY's about riches beyond our understanding.   I find myself wanting to share His goodness through this blog, and when we talk.  I am becoming weirder by the day.   And WEIRD is good.  I am understanding, even more than ever before, through Him, all things are ABSOLUTELY possible.  

It's not just something to quote now, it's something to live. 

Tattoo it in your heart

Monday, October 24, 2011

Change Is in the Air

All I know for certain, are that few things are ever certain.

I'm usually flexible as a slinky.  Someone wants to go somewhere, I'm there.  Someone needs something, I'm all over it.  Change..... no problem.

But, lately... change is all around me. 

Sometimes change can happen so slowly, you hardly see it. 

Then change can happen in a blink, and it leaves you stunned, and reeling.

Change can leave you refreshed, and feeling like you have a new beginning...

or it can feel like the breath has left your body, and that no way, no how, is life ever going to be the same.

I talk a lot about staying to the course, and staying in the boat, and walking by faith.  I think I get all those statements, because of the amount of CHANGE that happens all around me, all the time.

Life is chaos, life is messy, life is wrought with change and turmoil.  It's just how it is.

The best way to understand and embrace that chaos is to have a firm foundation in who you are, and WHOSE you are....

God never said life was going to be easy, but He did say He would never leave your side. 

So no matter how much change, how much chaos.... He is there. 

And that makes all the difference.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Living the Dream

It hit me as I was watching tonight's X-factor, rooting for Oklahoma's Brennin Hunt, that reality shows and their importance, have taken "reality" out of the picture.  So many great people on that much despair this evening. 

I watched Brennin's first "Promo" (if you will) on the show a few weeks ago, and it portrayed him as a cocky, arrogant guy.  Knowing his parents, that was hard to imagine.  But the show's ability to edit, and put any spin on any material that they want, can make "reality" not so real.  But, hearing him sing, and knowing he had "Real" talent... I felt sure he would go the distance.

So I prayed for him.  I prayed that God direct him, and give him all the guidance he needs as he walks a path of celebrity.  That path is rocky and very few come out of it unscathed. 

I listened to all the finalists talking tonight, and I was struck how they all said, "This is it for me, if I don't attain this, I'll go back to ....flipping burgers......wearing an apron.......singing at weddings....." you know the drill.  All I know is what these people are feeling that they are limited to, might be a "Dream" to some people.  And even flipping burgers, you should never give up on your dream. 

I know.  I tried out for Survivor.  But God knew I would get on that show, and my tape got delayed and I didn't get in.  I was unhappy for a time, but I got over it, because I know, now,  for sure I wasn't ready to be a celebrity, and heaven knows, the world wasn't ready for me, either.  Plus, I would have had to drink blood that season, and truly, I would have been peace out, both in consciousness, and in being voted out, because that's just something I could not, would not do.... but this blog isn't about me.

It's about LIVING THE DREAM.  One guy said tonight that he would go back to his job, which was just a "Job", but wasn't his dream.   Just last night I was reading in Luke, and Jesus told the people to be "Content with your job" or it may have been "Be content with your money"... (my short term memory is ridiculous)..... BUT what I am trying to say, is.........  Your life SHOULD be your dream.  If you flip burgers, flip them the very best you can.  If you want to golly, SING.  Go to church and sing, go to a karaoke and sing, SING.  Cut an album and sing.  If you want to speak.... figure out a way to do a Youtube video and by golly, SPEAK.    Don't limit yourself. 

It's so hard for me to listen to 14 year olds say on a tv show that "This is my lifelong dream".   Uhm, You're stinking 14.  You may still pee the bed.    Now that my friend's son is out of the show  (and I do believe God answered my prayer, because he needs to be a Christian artist, he would be HUGE), I will root for the Over-40's.  Those 4 don't pee the bed anymore (well, Dexter, just may) and they have walked the walk.

What I learned from this experience is.. I'm not a big believer of "Reality TV" anymore. 

I hope that people won't value themselves from a stupid tv show.  I hope they take into account what they DO have.  They have huge talent, and family and friends that love and adore them, and choices and TIME. 

Brennin, you will never read this, but your statement tonight about being out of the business when you get to be 30 is just crazy.  At 30, you will just be getting "it".  Your talent isn't going to go ANYWHERE but where you take it, whether you are  26, 56 or 76.     Don't give up on  your dreams.  And I'm not kidding about being a Christian artist.  Oh my cow.  You will be HUGE, and you will make a difference for the right reasons.  I believe in you. 

Perspective.    Living the dream doesn't mean having the Big House, the Big Contract, the Big Big.  Living the dream means doing what you love, with people you love and making a difference.   I just THOUGHT I was living the dream a few years ago.  And then I got a giant wake up call in the form of a little tiny girl, and she changed me.  Living the dream is loving what you are doing and appreciating everything you have, and believing that what you have right this second is having it all.  That's the real dream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where's Your Seed??

I can honestly say that I am so thrilled to finally be to the New Testament in my quest to "READ MY BIBLE THROUGH IN A YEAR".  I have read bits and pieces my whole life, but have never commited to reading the whole thing. 

It's changed me.

I had always found a reason for not reading.  Too tired, too boring, too ...too.  Always an excuse...

Now after walking through the fire the past year and a half, I needed more than I had.  I needed something I couldn't find shopping in stores, looking online, watching  tv.  I needed a Savior. 

I found Him, in the pages of my new favorite book.  He's been patiently laying beside my book for years, waiting for me to take the reins and dig in.  I've started it 100 times, and never got much farther than Deuteronomy.  Too hard, too depressing.  I always found an excuse. 

This year, I had no excuses.  I had nothing, and I needed a Savior.  (I can't say it enough)

Now I'm in Mark, and I can't quit smiling over the sense it all makes.  And last night as I was pouring over Chapter 4 of Mark, I couldn't help but see my entire life in Jesus' parable that he taught to the people. 

The farmer went to plant some seed.   ....some seed fell on the footpath and the birds ate it.   This is the perfect example of my life before I had a relationship with Christ... I had some "church" thrown at me, but I didn't even hear it.... "the birds ate it".

Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock.  The plant sprang up quickly, but it soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no noursihment in the shallow soil.    This was me, when I was a new Christian.  I'd be pumped up with the best intention, and quickly get distracted because I had no knowledge of who I was in Christ, I had no foundation, no understanding, and people questioning "Ooh, you're a Christian now??" I didn't want to be different, WEIRD....

so i wilted

Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades so that it produced no grain.    This is the worse one for me, because here I was a christian, and it's so easy skip church (It's my only day off to see so and so..blah blah blah), to not read your bible (I don't get it anyway), to live beyond your means  (You only live once, right?), ..  fall right back into the trappings of an UnChristian life....

Still other seed fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted.  Praise God, I am finally HERE.. representing those who hear and accept God's message and produce a huge harvest.... and share the word. 

It goes on to say in about Chapter 24...  And be sure to pay attention to what you hear.  The more you do this, the more you will understand, and even more, besides.  To those who are OPEN to my teaching, more understanding will be given.  But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.

This was a hard lesson to learn for me.  How many times have we told our kids something and they NEVER LISTEN??  And you think to yourself.... "If those stinking hardheaded knuckleheads would JUST LISTEN TO ME!"   "I could save them from SO MUCH grief".      Hellooooooooo. 

Stressed?  Sad?  Disheartened?  Lonely?  Frustrated?  Discouraged?  Sick?   Defeated??  Get the answers from your FATHER who loves you and cares for you and HAS ALL THE ANSWERS.

Pick. Up. Your. Bible. 

Praise God, I'll never miss another day, and I've never had so much peace. 

My seed is planted in the fertile soil, and I will reap harvest of 30, 60, and even  a hundred times.  Where's your seed planted ?? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Must See TV- Thursdays

Thursday mornings around our house are greeted with a "IT's THURSDAY" scream from the teenager's room, because of one thing.....

Thursdays of the past year would be pizza, popcorn, all my daughters and the vampire diaries.  I didn't like this show when it started.  It was gross, vampire-y, and well, bloody.  Kip and Hal just love it.  Screaming, shhhh'ing, more screaming, and dark rooms were my Thursday evenings.   Well, with Kip being gone this year, and Lacey deciding she is "Over" vampires, it's just down to me and Hal.  I have to be pretty loud and creepy to live up to our last year Thursday nights.  We have found a gentler way to watch Vampire Diaries.  Lights on, and full volume.  All still good.

 I like it for one very big reason..

Forget good boy Stefan... let crybaby Elena have him.... Damon....if I were 20, uh, 30 years younger....meow.   Kip feels the same way, and really.... I wouldn't mind a vampire in the family at all.  Oh my goodness, I am a dork.... I can't believe anyone reads my stuff.

So moving on..... Secret Circle is new (after Vampire Diaries) and I am still on the fence for this one.  I love love love the little girl that is the star (she was in life unexpected, another failed CW show that I enjoyed) but they are all witches.   It's a bit over the top for me  (Like Vampire diaries isn't???) and I don't have a definite like or dislike yet.   It has possibilities.... let's just go with that. 

I have to tell you, the series premiere just wore me out.  Another sink hole, another leg to ampute while the ground is shaky... holy moly.  It's time for this show to live happily ever after and every play nice and wrap it up.  Let's let Gray and McDreamy have their marriage and their baby (instead of McDreamy being McDreary and so stuffed shirt this season), Christina have the perfect surgery, for the love of pete let Little Gray and Sloan get together for once and all.  Cutey patootie Avery can become chief to get over the loss of little grey and every one will be happily ever after.  That show has drained me of every emotion I ever thought possible.  When Izzy had cancer, and George died and all the drama with the shooter, because, I just became a fan about Season 5.  For the love.  Enough's enough.  Let's live in Anatomy happily ever after.  (I'm still recording it, though...such a dweeb)

I just started watching this little gem last year.  It's another show that catches me by surprise and makes me laugh.  I like that.  Rob Lowe is another draw, though he is such an uptight geek in this show it's almost painful.  Another sitcom that falls into my "must see's"   Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) leads this team and holy moly, chaos is close behind.  Funny Funny stuff.  There are some very risque things on this show, so I don't recommend it for everyone, but it just hits my funny bone right where I like it.   Weird and funny.

My guilty pleasure is Private Practice.  That's hard to admit, because it borders on porn.  I guess the first step to recovery is admitting guilt.  Hi, I'm Laura, and I'm addicted to the Private Practice. 
I need to take my mom to the meetings with me, because she is equally addicted.  What can I say?

 Then my dvr is whirling on the other me some Patrick Jayne....
Hallie insisted I watch this show.  It seemed too weird for me, and I was a Private Practice girl, so I dvr'd it for her and then one weekend, didn't have anything to do, and watched several weeks and got hooked.  It's weird, his uncanny knack to "nose" out the villain, and his relationship with "Lizbet?" (with the names) always keeps me coming back for more.  Simon Baker isn't too undelicious either, so it's just treats all around. 

It's "Big Brother" feel, and political overtones turns me off, but Jim Cameraholdinghottie (again with the names), has always been a fav of mine, all the way back when he played Jesus and carried the cross.  The premise of this show is just too weird to even try to explain, but in a nutshell, a really rich guy helped make this machine that shows the government terrorist people of interest, and in a weird back door, it also shows people that are in danger, or might be ready to do something to someone (I told you it wouldn't be easy to explain) and Jim is an ex CIA that helps richie rich find these targeted people.  It's weird, and interesting and political, so I don't know how long it will last, but for now, I'm intrigued and watching with "INTEREST".  (pun intended)

Thursdays are for vampires and doctors that should retire...... get those dvr's going.....

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Under Pressure

And I'm not talking about the song by Queen.

Tonight at church, worship was so intense before the service even started, I can't begin to tell you how moved I was.  Hallie wrapped it up great, on the way home, saying, "Mom, I know when worship is good, when I feel the butterflies".   Worship was so great, I felt eagles.  Thank you Aranda, for being God filled servants and, especially Dameon Aranda for bringing us the incredible worship sets, week after week.

Tonight's message was why God tests us.  Now, this subject always sets me on fire, because I hear all the time  "How do you keep believing in a good God because how could a Good God have put me/us/them through this"... and usually I can only answer... "By faith I believe God is good, and God is in control"..  Never really giving a good solid answer. 

So tonight, I got insight, again, from a delightful Dr. James MacDonald, from Chicago on the incredible verse

What the crap??  What could that possibly mean, "Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials?"  How could that even be possible??

When I'm in the middle of a trial, I want to jump out of the boat.  I want to run to another state.  I want to crawl under my bed and suck my thumb.  In other words, I want the problem that is happening to be as far away from me as I can possibly get it.  Just get it away from me.  Change the subject.  Charter the boat on another course.  Code for:  Let me take the easy way out.   And Joy??  in the midst of a trial??  Forget about it. 

But the bible promises us that "Count it JOY my brother (my sister, my friend, my family member, my co-worker) when you meet TRIALS.  For you know that the testing of your FAITH produces steadfastness.

Now, what is this steadfast business, and how is that going to bring me JOY that is promised???   Dr. MacDonald used a Greek word that simply put means  "Remain Under".   When I'm in the financial worry, and it feels like everything is falling apart around me, instead of just freaking out and being "my usual" self, I'm going to "Remain Under" the pressure.  I'm not going to buckle, or fold, or run, because God is in control. 

I love how he said to get a 3 x 5 index card and write down the answers to 3 very specific questions.
#1-  What happened to me?  and be specific,for example, right now.. I am struggling trying to find financial ground.  I found myself without my job about a year ago, and I have had to go deep to find what God's plan was for me.  I have to be patient with the path He has clearly set for me, and let HIM guide me through.  Even on my limited income, He has provided EVERY SINGLE THING.  It is awesome, and I just have to share the magnitude of His care of me.

#2- Why am I here on earth?     For example, I am here to raise my children to be Godly women, and I am here to talk to people about God and do the best possible job at my work to make a difference.  (That's quite a mission statement)

#3- How can what's happening to me advance the purpose for why I'm still here?  The best example I can give for this is Laynie.  All that we experienced with Laynie, from the beginning to the end, until now, is helping me advance God's purpose.  He brought us to it, and led us through it, and we didn't buckle under the pressure, we didn't run, we didn't wail and gnash our teeth and say "WHY US?"... we stayed in the boat and loved our baby, and LOOKED TO GOD FOR ALL THINGS, and he gave us 30 months.  He made the impossible possible. 

Now there are 3 very important questions you must remember to answer too...

1-  Do you believe that God is in control??  Now this is tough for me, because I have been known to be an A-#1 control freak of the largest magnitude.  Under "Control" in the dictionary is a picture of me.  It's nothing I'm proud of, but it is something I have had to really focus on.  God gave me Laynie to help me understand that I don't control ONE thing.  NOTHING.  The only thing I control is the remote during tv time.  That is IT.  God has it and when I try to take control of a situation, especially something very funky going on in my life, that is me getting between the hammer and the work.  And the consequences of that, is getting...well... pounded by the hammer.   So give it to God and let HIM lead you through it.

2-  Do you believe God is good??   Someone that has lost someone grapples with this.  How, if God is SOO good, could he take my loved one from me?  What is the purpose of that??  Why did they have to go??  WHY US?   Because my dear friends, nothing is random and out of control.  God HAS it all.  He knows every hair on our head... he knew our plan while we were still inside our mothers.  He USES trials to BUILD you..... because

3-  Are you willing to wait by faith until you see it?   I was so lost after Laynie died.  Even having the supernatural peace of His presence around me... I was so lost.  But I never doubted His plan, and then suddenly it was revealed to me.  All the puzzle pieces brought together.  We didn't get all the answers with Laynie EVER before anything happened.  Because all that would have done would have been to cause us stress!   What if we had known.... "Well, she will die on July 10, 2010, so you have until then."   Would we have had the incredible June we had?  Would we have danced and sang and lived full out, no fear?  God gives us trials and when you WAIT for faith to understand the REASONING WHY?  is when your character is built.

Remaining UNDER is the true test in all this.  Letting God have total control of the OUT OF CONTROL situation, truly giving it to Him, and sitting in the boat and NOT GIVING UP, NOT RUNNING AWAY, NOT Exiting stage left, because something gets hard.    STAY IN THE BOAT,  because when you truly feel the trials on your shoulders you look UP and not out.  Then a whole other way of living takes place.

Your joy comes from different things.  Your joy comes from family, and love for other people, and a compassion that goes beyond understanding.  Your joy becomes limitless, because you faced the fire, and you let God change you.

"And let steadfastness have its full effect, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, ASK GOD, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to you".

In other words, let the trials come, you stand up to them fully, and if you don't understand why they are there, go to God in prayer, and ask Him for wisdom.  People wonder why their prayers don't get answered, they are probably asking for some pretty dumb things.  Asking for wisdom to understand why you are in a trial, seems like a pretty smart idea.... and our loving God will give it to you... generously. 

Nothing is the same for me anymore.  God, Family, Love and Kindness are the important things.  Praise God, I am changed through his mercy.

Because God is good... all the time.

Mission Trips and Safety Pins

Most of you know that Kip is gone for an 11 month/11 country mission trip called The World Race.  She has just today completed her first month in the Phillipines.  To say I'm insanely proud of her is an understatement of vast proportion.   To say my heart races a bit, when I think of her so far away, is total truth.  Though, as we have been able to skype this past month usually once a week,

that has helped this "Mother hen that likes her chicks near" a bunch....I always love seeing this face pop up on my screen.

The beautiful thing is watching her heart being tranformed into an even greater source of love and compassion.  She's always been amazing in giving her time and heart to God's plan for her, but this takes it to a whole new level.   The best way to show you is through some pictures she has posted these past few weeks. 

I've been stalking all the world racers blogs on their pages, and the one thing that stuck out to me was what they refer to as  "The Feedings".  The teams bring food and distribute it to anyone with a cup, a bowl, whatever, until it is gone.  Kip's friend, Kathryn, talked about running out of rice and the line of children still so long. Kathryn also wrote "How can my God of the USA, be the same God of the Phillipines.. there is such a vast difference"...  These world racers hearts will never be the same. 
She has been working at an orphanage with 2 teams, and I believe other than the overnight shifts with cockroaches and poop..  You have to read her blog on this, just the funniest thing ever( ), she has had a wonderful time.

On one of their rare days off, they toured the Chiquita plant.
I bet those kids loved "Ate Kip" reading a book to them.  I bet she used different voices.  She's weird that way. 

She ran a 5k for someone while she was there, so she's keeping in shape.  :)

Sampling some pineapple from the Chiquita factory, camera is hand, ready to capture the moment.  Just a shout out to whoever takes pics of KIP and tags her and posts them on her facebook page... THANK YOU!   She's not so great at taking pictures of herself.  and Mom likes to see her!   (Imagine that)

The girl loves her "No bake" cookies and whipped some up for the kids and staff, so they could have a very special treat.  Yum.

 I won't even tell you what they are doing here.  Just too nasty for me to describe.  Let's just say it's a Filipino delicacy and leave it at that.   Blek. 

She's made some lifelong friends.  Look at those beautiful mountains.  Almost as pretty as the girls in the picture. 

They are going to start a girl rock band when they get back and this will be their album cover.

But mainly, for my girl, it's been all about the kids........

They loved her sunglasses so much, and wore them all the time, finally breaking them, so she

had to buy a new pair.... and see who is wearing them....

I love my Kip.  We are still fundraising for her to stay the entire 11 months.  The whole trip costs almost $15000 for the year.  We have almost $9000 raised.  (That's amazing)   We got the bright idea that consigning children's clothes to the JBF Sale here in Norman would be a great thing to do.  Then we started getting donations of clothes, and my house felt like the Sorceror's apprentice, when the buckets of cherries show up.  I have never sorted through so many clothes and pinned and tagged and sized and sorted, did I mentioned PINNED?  Every thing you consign has to be pinned not only to the hanger, but the tag you place on it has to have 2 pins.  I'm just rubbing my finger tips thinking of the millions of pin pricks I recieved over the last 3 months  (We've been preparing for a long time)  Here was the results of those hours yesterday, when Lacey and I dropped off almost 400 !! items..  Thanks and love to all of you who donated !!  We'll be doing it again in the SPRING (when my fingers completely heal) so start cleaning out your kids closets!

Lacey kept saying all day "Man, we love Kip".  Not only did we drop off and hang and place all the items, we worked a 4 hour volunteer (code: slave labor) shift EACH to help increase the percentage earned.  Lacey was OVER working in the clothes, so my OCD daughter went into the game and puzzle room (which is usually a DISASTER area) and organized (probably alphabetically by company) ALL the puzzles and games.  I rolled on the floor.... only Lacey could handle that job.

It looks like a library.
 I personally touched and looked at all 10,000 pieces of Preemie-6 months clothes.  I'm not exaggerating, I have never seen so many cute tiny clothes.  I was sweating and my arms were twitching from holding them in the air, moving those hangars, but I did it.  And wow, if you have kids newborn to size 16, and you don't go check out the JBF Sale, you are seriously whacked.  That is the best place to outfit your kids EVER.  Even if you aren't on a budget.  Cutest stuff ever... made me almost want to have another baby..... ok, that's pushing it... but I envisioned little Filipino faces in some of those clothes... I really did.  

How can someone look that great in a rice field doing manual labor??  Is that even possible??

This is probably one of my favorite pics so far.  It's so "Kip". 
 She always finds the best pics, the best shots, the best angles, the best use of color in her pics, and this one touched my heart....

Those world racers are leaving footprints...  footprints that will change lives.  One no-bake cookie at a time.

You can support KIP by going to her website at and getting the address from the SUPPORT ME tab.  It's better to send a check (Totally tax deductible) than to send by credit card, because of the processing fees. Help her leave a footprint.  If you can't support her financially, please support her with prayer as the squad enters into a "Closed Country" this month.  We will have no contact with them this month, as it is too dangerous for their contact in that country, to write about them on the internet.  So pray for the entire squad, that they stay safe and their families don't have weak hearts.  Thanks friends, I can always count on you!