Sunday, July 25, 2010

Missions Trip to Kansas

Had such a great time travelling with the 5th through 7th graders last week, on our short missions trip to Wichita Kansas. Our Youth Pastor's parents live there, and he goes every year to help out with their church "Kids Week" which is an week long event, every evening, sortof like vacation bible school. There were 7 kids including Matthew.  They led the worship every night along with Mrs. Summer, our youth pastor's wife.  Here they are rehearsing the worship songs --- along with all the hand motions which I could not keep up with!!!

 and here they are in action!

This is Kennedy, the oldest boy, we gave him a special role because he is an AMAZING dancer.  We called him "K.I.Glow" and he did his dance every night with glow-in-the-dark clothes and gloves, and a blacklight.  It was quite awesome!!!  Pastor Josh had ordered a jar of "glow in the dark face cream" which was totally amazing. I was Kennedy's "wardrobe manager" every night -- taping up his pants and shirt with the special glow tape -- and he needed lots of help getting that gloopy Mask on every night!! Such a sweet kid!!

Pastor Josh's dad gave rides to the kids on his Honda motorcycle.  Don't worry Mom -- it was just around the church parking lot, that's why he doesn't have a helmet.

Pastor Josh's dad gave rides to the kids on his big Honda motorcycle!!! 
Don't worry Mom -- it was just around the church parking lot, that's why he doesn't have a helmet

Josh took us on a couple of outings during our "free time", he is so cool.  We went to the Sedgwick County Zoo which is right by his parents' house.  It was the most beautiful zoo I have ever seen, nice and shady and many air conditioned pavillions -- much much nicer than the dallas zoo.  

Matthew and the Meerkat (see it, right above his shoulder?)

It was only 90 degrees, in the shade!
With the wild elephants!

In the Amazon Rainforest exhibit, totally cool!  See the Toucan on the branch behind the kids?

Matthew and ChooChoo (can't pronounce his real name so that's what everyone calls him). 
He is the sweetest child. I wish ChooChoo could teach my son how to SMILE IN A PHOTO omg

Snakes are so disgusting.  Even though God made them.  I used my zoom lens to get this photo from far away.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to Survive in a Recession

Supplies for a Recession

1. Get out of debt ASAP. Right now the best thing to do is diversify. Have one bank for personal checking account and a different bank for savings, yet another for each business account you run. That way a crash doesn't wipe you out.
Obviously, this is a great time to only keep in the bank what you need to pay such as the current bills, and keep the rest either at home, or converted to gold, silver, or euros. With the dollar plunging as fast as it is, the "straddle" will be gone in just a few days.
2. Buy seeds. How will you feed yourself without having to trade for food?
3. Keep your job as long as possible.
4. Buy gold coins and silver coins. If you are going to buy gold or silver coins, avoid "collectible coins" and just go with straight metal. It is easier to get your money back out of investment coins than numismatic ones. Collector's value will decline with the economy, so avoid the fancy ones. Stick with maple leaves, half eagles, krugerands, etc.
5. Think about how you are going to cook.
6. Invest in solar power, or build a windmill We are going to try to build a Vertical Wind Turbine
7. Stock up on nonperishable foods, canned foods, dry milk, sugar, flour, rice and beans.
8. A supply of bottled water.
9. Stock up on personal items. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, insect repellent, candles.
10. A good axe, a few flints, large amount of matches (dip them in melted candle wax to waterproof) store in a few separate containers, and a few lighters. spade, water purification tablets, duct tape.
11. A pair of strong knives for hunting, cutting, etc. Bow and arrows. A fishing pole.
12. Comfortable warm clothing, including hats, gloves, boots, and blankets.
13. A sturdy tent or two, a few big tarpaulins,
14. Basic medical supplies like aspirin, alcohol, first aid kit.
15. A couple of guns and a good supply of ammo.
16. Two-way radios, short wave radios, watches that don't run on batteries, and an LED flashlight. A map and compass. A bicycle.
Basicly, think about this. If the electricity gets shuff off, what will you do? How will you cook and how will you keep warm? Think about no gas at the gas station, which will reduce truck delivery of goods and supplies. The price of food is going to go up bigtime.
Our dollar bills will be worthless. Hopefully the collapse of the banking system will cause the government to be forced to print special money for the duration of the recession. We may wind up unemployed and on food stamps.
I hope they are not going to have to undig all the bomb shelters that they filled in and buried back in the 1960's! Remember those days? I do. I can remember them passing out Government Surplus too after the Cold War ended. It consisted of powdered milk, a block of American Cheese and butter.
So the first thing I'm doing is cleaning out the pantry and taking inventory. Then I bought some storage containers at a Dollar Store. The large container only held about 8 lbs of flour though.
I think the main food that they did not have during the Great Depression was sugar and coffee. So even if you don't use either, you could get them to trade with.
Foods that I've started to stock up on, buying when on sale, and storing in the top shelf of the pantry.
salt, pepper, oil, vinegar
flour, sugar, oatmeal
beans, rice
tea, coffee
dried potatoes, ie hamburger helper mixes
mayonaise, catsup
canned soups
canned meats
canned fruit
canned tuna
dried milk, water
wine, brandy
toothpaste, soap, shampoo
toliet paper, wet wipes
alcohol, peroxide, first aid kit
laundry detergent, bleach
Be encouraged. My grandmother raised 8 children during the depression.
72-Hour Family Emergency Kit from the University of Colorado
Survival Guide from Homeland Security News
Be Ready List on the Homeland Security website - The Ready Campaign has outlined the top 10 items for a basic emergency supply kit: water, food, radio, flashlight, first-aid kit, whistle, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties, wrench or pliers, local maps, and personal items.
How to Prepare for a Financial Apocalypse: 100 Tips and Tools to Secure What's Yours. These tips and tools will help you weather whatever economic storm comes your way.

Informing the Relatives

Here's what my mom said when I asked her if she thought we were heading into a recession, she said, "Oh, they're always saying that." And here's what my daughter said when I told her to get out of debt, she said, "Well, I asked my boss if he thought we were heading toward a recession, and he said, "A recession won't affect the company, people will always need electricity."
Hi Jen, it was good talking to you last night. When I talked to Vlad about the Amero, he said that when Russia fell into a recession that their money was switched too. He said that their government announced that people would have 3 days to go to the bank and switch their money to the new currency, and they were only allowed to switch so much.
He also said that he can remember riding on a bus during the winter, and people had stuck the old money on the frosted windows of the bus. He said it sure was strange. The old currency was worth nothing.
So maybe they will do a switch in the states too. He said all we can do is "stay informed"
Think positive, this 'slow motion train wreck' is good for the U.S.
So it's pretty much up to you whether or not you prepare for a recession, but even as a Girl Scout, when I was younger, the Girl Scout motto was, "Be Prepared."
L. Davis writes: To keep the weevils out of flour, cornmeal, rice, dried beans and spices put some dried bay leaves in the storage container.
My aunt told me there is something in the bay leaves that kills the weevils as they hatch since they're already in so many of the products that we purchase. She came to my house and saw that I stored my flour, cornmeal, etc. in the refrigerator and freezer and told me to get them out of there and stick a bay leaf in the canister and all would be well - I've used this for over 20 years now and haven't had a single problem - except for those times I didn't put a bay leaf in something.
Also, if you do get an infestation sterilize your flour, etc. by pouring the flour (for instance) on a cookie sheet and heating in an oven to 140 degrees, stir while it heats, sift then repackage.
Hope this helps someone.

100 Items to Disappear First

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. of thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 - 12 months to become dried, for home uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice - Beans - Wheat
11. Vegetable Oil (for cooking) Without it food burns/must be boiled etc.,)
12. Charcoal, Lighter Fluid (Will become scarce suddenly)
13. Water Containers (Urgent Item to obtain.) Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY - note - food grade if for drinking.
14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.)
15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)
16. Propane Cylinders (Urgent: Definite shortages will occur.
17. Survival Guide Book.
18. Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.)
19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula. ointments/aspirin, etc.
20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene)
22. Vitamins
23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item)
24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products.
25. Thermal underwear (Tops & Bottoms)
26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
27. Aluminum Foil Reg. & Heavy Duty (Great Cooking and Barter Item)
28. Gasoline Containers (Plastic & Metal)
29. Garbage Bags (Impossible To Have Too Many).
30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Paper Towels
31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake Liquid every 3 to 4 months)
32. Garden Seeds (Non-Hybrid) (A MUST)
33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST)
34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit
35. Tuna Fish (in oil)
36. Fire Extinguishers (or..large box of Baking Soda in every room)
37. First aid kits
38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies
40. Big Dogs (and plenty of dog food)
41. Flour, yeast & salt
42. Matches. {"Strike Anywhere" preferred.) Boxed, wooden matches will go first
43. Writing paper/pads/pencils, solar calculators
44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime.)
45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts
46. Flashlights/LIGHTSTICKS & torches, "No. 76 Dietz" Lanterns
47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (jot down ideas, feelings, experience; Historic Times)
48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels)
49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, etc
50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)
51. Fishing supplies/tools
52. Mosquito coils/repellent, sprays/creams
53. Duct Tape
54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes
55. Candles
56. Laundry Detergent (liquid)
57. Backpacks, Duffel Bags
58. Garden tools & supplies
59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies
60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)
62. Canning supplies, (Jars/lids/wax)
63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc
65. Sleeping Bags & blankets/pillows/mats
66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
67. Board Games, Cards, Dice
68. d-con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets
70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks)
71. Baby wipes, oils, waterless & Antibacterial soap (saves a lot of water)
72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc.
73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels)
75. Soysauce, vinegar, bullions/gravy/soupbase
76. Reading glasses
77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
78. "Survival-in-a-Can"
79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens
80. Boy Scout Handbook, / also Leaders Catalog
81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO)
82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts
84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)
85. Lumber (all types)
86. Wagons & carts (for transport to and from)
87. Cots & Inflatable mattress's
88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
89. Lantern Hangers
90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws,, nuts & bolts
91. Teas
92. Coffee
93. Cigarettes
94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc,)
95. Paraffin wax
96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc.
97. Chewing gum/candies
98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing)
99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs
100. Goats/chickens

From a Sarajevo War Survivor:
Experiencing horrible things that can happen in a war - death of parents and
friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks.

1. Stockpiling helps. but you never no how long trouble will last, so locate
    near renewable food sources.
2. Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.
3. After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war
   quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is greater than gold's.
4. If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to
   do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)
5. Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without
    heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of
    the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs
    enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in
6. Bring some books - escapist ones like romance or mysteries become more
    valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival
    guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll
    have a lot of time on your hands.
7. The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many
    people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of
    toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to
    lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.
8. Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches

New Pages
Everything Made in China? - How is it that everything in my house has a Made in China tag?
Prepare for a Recession? - A list of some things we are going to do to try to prepare for a recession.
We Put Solar Lights in our House - Why not put outdoor solar lights "inside" the house?
Wind Turbine Test - We started thinking about how we could build a wind turbine to generate our own electricity.
Magazines for Toddlers - I wanted to send some magazines to the grandbaby for something to do during winter.

Copied with interest from :

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Academic Award for Hayden!!

I am so proud of my amazing boy!!  His first year at the public school, and he made it a great year!!

In April I rec'd a phone call from the Principal of the school, saying Hayden was invited to be a part of the Awards Ceremony at the school.  WHOA a call from the Principal.  We didn't know what the award was for.  But of course I was there at the ceremony, in my Sunday best, with my camera all charged up and ready!!  

This is the award the principal gave him.  It is an Academic Patch -- he earned it for keeping his grades up above a 3.5 GPA all year.  Actually 3.67 but you know, who's counting brag brag.  Okay actuallyyyyyy ... as of the end of the 2nd semester he was student #116 out of 739 total students in the Freshman class.  And I expect his student ranking to come up even higher at the end of the year because his grades were up even higher in the last semester)   Anyway. Forgive me for boasting on my son.  But I am just so proud of how far he has come in this year -- compared to this time last year at Lakewood. Anyhow, this big puffy patch will get sewn onto his Letter jacket that he will receive as a Junior. 

Hayden's girlfriend Miranda also earned an Academic Patch -- for her high GPA -- as well as a special award for being in Journalism class.  Miranda is just the sweetest girl, I **LOVE** her. They are very sweet together -- they bring out the best in each other-- and encourage each other in their walk with the Lord. 

Here is another pic of Miranda and Hayden:
this photo was taken right after the powder puff football game

I am proud of these kids! Good kids!!!

Nana came to visit

Nana came back since it was Soccer Season -- she can't stay away long, she loves us too much :)

Du rigeur -- is to have game night at least once

we secretly know that Matthew will win -- at any board game -- but we like to have fun trying.  haha

Field Trip to Old City Park

In April, I chaperoned Matthew's class on a field trip to "Old City Park" in downtown Dallas.  They relocated a bunch of very old buildings into this park, so it feels like the original town of Dallas, back in the 1800's.  We had a great time!  There were only 7 kids in Matthew's 4th grade class this year.  I love these kids, each and every one of them.
His teacher this year was Mrs. Houser -- and according to Matthew she is the nicest teacher in the whole school.  I enjoyed being her Room Mom this year, having parties with the kids, doing field trips and such.

Some more photos of Old City Park:

Matthew and Elijah in the "school house" -- very cool!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Goodbye little friend

Last night we said goodbye to our little Alvin.  He was a Winter White hamster, but we named him Alvin the Chipmunk because of his cute stripe down his back. 

We were all so sad to see him go.  But God, rich in mercy, was so very SWEET to call our attention to Alvin's "quietness" last night, so we could have about 20 minutes to say goodbye and pray.   Usually he is scurrying about in his cage, but when we sat down to play a family game, Hayden noticed he was quiet, so we checked on him and he could barely move around.  After watching him struggle for a  while, I finally cried out to God and prayed, "If he is in pain please just let him go"... and then he took a few more deep breaths and let go.

I didn't realize until last night (in my desperate internet search for hamster care) that the small dwarf hamster lifespan is only 1 or 2 years.  And that's about how long we've had him -- since Christmas of 2008. 

He was a sweet little friend, always busy and fun.  He was very sweet natured, even though he would sometimes accidentally take a little finger nibble.  I know we will see him (and Hopper, and Chippy) again someday in Heaven. All pets go to Heaven, I just know it. 

Farewell sweet Alvin.  We loved taking care of your little body, and having you in our family.  Take your rest in hamster Heaven ... you will live forever in our hearts.   

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I want to share one of my very favorite movies ever.  It is called The Miracle Maker and it is the story of Jesus.

To watch the entire movie -- free of charge! -- click on this link below:

Sunday, February 28, 2010



On Sunday, Hayden's basketball team went to the SVAA Tournament and took FIRST PLACE!!!  At the semi-final game they won 55 - 49.  And for the Championship Game -- a very exciting game! -- they won by 52 - 44!!   

Each player got a cool trophy for being the best team in the league!!!  This was Hayden's first time to play with this team.  They were called the Lions-- and they have had an amazing season -- I think they won 10 out of 12 games.  It was such a fun season!!  

Now we will start off-season Spring basketball -- the practices start next week and games will go through the end of May.  This spring team will be coached by Hayden's old coach from Lakewood Presbyterian, and 5 of the players are his friends from the JV team he used to play with at that school.  The other 3 players are NEW friends that he has met this year.  Coach Matt is a great coach and a great guy --Hayden is excited to play for him again and be with all his friends. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010


On Saturday, Matthew had his last basketball game of the season with Upward.  Upward Basketball is a Christian league that emphasizes friendly sportsmanship while teaching Bible verses to young students -- it is only for kids in grades Kindergarten through 6th grade.  

His team this year was called the Razorbacks.  We had 8 cute little boys on our team -- just playing their hearts out --  we didn't do so well since we had 4 players on our team who were brand new to basketball, but they improved a lot by the time the season was over.  We did win ONE game, and that was a big day of celebration!!!!  

Matthew got lots of action this season, and mostly played Low Post, since he is so much taller than the other kids.  I wish you could see him play!!  I call him the Rebound King  -- he has some cool moves and is very fun to watch.  He was a great asset to his team this year!

I have a video that shows him in action.  I will try to post it here if I can figure out how to do it!  

Friday, February 26, 2010


On Friday, Matthew represented his school in the Dallas Regional "Math Olympics."  He had to win in 2 other competitions before he got here -- first at the school level-- then another test at the District level.  At this big Regional competition, there were over 30 different schools participating from Dallas/Ft. Worth and other surrounding areas -- probably 200 kids or more?  Here he is with the other 4th graders from other schools that he was competing against.   
Only 9 students from our school actually made it to this Regional level, so we were very proud of them!! They got to skip school for the day and spend the whole day at Prestonwood Baptist Church -- a church here in Dallas that is so huge it is sometimes affectionately called "Fort God"!!   He earned a blue Excellent Ribbon, and had a really fun day with the other FCA MATHLETES!! 


It is such a blessing that we can still compete in events like this, since we are still going to FCA part time.  On March 8th Matty will be representing FCA again -- in the Fine Arts competition.  He will be playing 2 piano solos -- both songs are from Charlie Brown movies.  I will try to take a video of his performance that day, and post it here next week!   


Thursday, February 25, 2010


On Thursday, Hayden got his braces off!  Finally after 2 years in braces, we get to see his Pearly Whites!  

I was proud of how careful he was to take care of his teeth during that time.  He was like a toothbrushing fanatic for 2 years-- he was so afraid of getting the "braces stains" that kids sometimes get, if they don't brush their teeth enough.  

And finally the big day came!!  I took some "before" and "after" photos so you could see.  I gave him some Crest Whitestrips to celebrate this momentous occasion, and make his pearly whites more pearly :)  What a fun day for him.    

Monday, February 1, 2010



The great Dallas Blizzard of 2010!!  WOW we have never seen so much snow in Dallas.  Snowflakes the size of half-dollars, floating down gently for an entire day. All around the neighborhood, the trees looked like white crocheted lace -- and the bushes and trees were like puffy marshmallows.  It was so beautiful and magical, the whole town stayed home to make snowmen and play in the snow.  



A few days later, as it started to melt, Matthew and I went out and played in it again.  We broke up the remaining ice chunks into smaller pieces, and played Ice Sports!  We batted some of the chunks with a baseball bat.  Hit some chunks like golfballs.  Threw some of them at a bucket as if we were playing basketball (not our best game).  And we peeled up the flat pieces off the grass and threw them like frisbees.  FUN!  We just wanted to celebrate every minute of this lovely snow God had sent to us!! 





Fun times!! Thank you Lord for snow!!