Thursday, July 30, 2009

coolest thing EVER

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them." Proverbs 3:27

Oh my gosh! I just found the best website ever! Kiva - a microlending website! I just made a loan to an entrepreneur named Madeleine Diatta in Senegal, a mother of 8, with 4 additional dependants, who wants to use this loan to bolster her business fattening pigs, selling beverages, and running a small business to provide for her family.
  • 100% of my loan will be sent to the local kiva partner who will disburse my loan
  • I'll receive periodic updates showing the impact of my loan
  • When I receive a repayment, I can withdraw the funds or sponsor a new entrepreneur
She still needs another $475.00 to complete her loan request of $675.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). You can click on the link below to make a loan to Madeleine Diatta too:

You can go to Kiva's website and lend to someone across the globe who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the entrepreneur is going.

The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

It's a small thing for me to do, but a huge thing for her. I'm not just giving a hand out - I'm actually providing long term change for her and her family. How cool is that? I'm an international financier! :)

Check it out - we can change the world...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


sorry. i don't want to be a bummer, and spew my crap all over the blogosphere... sorry.

let's try this instead.... it's the story of my life...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

being honest for a second

i don't feel like a happy jungle monkey, playing in the vines and munching banana's. i feel isolated, and worried, overly busy with nothing of significance to do. i'm not looking for sympathy, mind you, i'm just trying to figure out how i feel. maybe if i name it, i can figure out how to move beyond it?

net or gross?

and now the aftermath:

girls overtired.
the playroom a mess.


friendships sealed.
trouble overcome.
the playroom well played in.

all in all, a net positive. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

gift of life

the halcyon days of summer...

after having some of our people over last night, when the last couple left, we tiptoed upstairs to find the girls both awake, if barely, in kyra's room - meg in a carefully made bed of sheets and blankies - a sister slumber party.

woke up this morning to fort building and anticipation of molly's arrival, which will include not only a sleepover, but also an afternoon at pool and no end of girlish secrets and games.

kyra working happily on her summer homework project: inventing her own country and it's accompanying details... needless to say, it's an "all green, all the time", recycle-heavy island of preservation and conservation.

and holidae, my guinea pig cat, spread out on the desk in front of me right now, purring and lolling across the mouse and getting hair in my coffee.

all is right with the world.

Friday, July 24, 2009

watermelon update!

here is a looong overdue watermelon update ... prompted by a watermelon travesty!

meg's melon's, much to our joyful surprise, are growing! the tender shoots were not eaten by deer! the juicy flower buds were not nibbled by bunnies! the vines grew long and leafy across most of lawn, rebelliously ignoring the area we had cleared for them. every day we inspected them, finding wee melons the size of grapes, up to the biggest one, similar in size to a large grapefruit.

and then, ALAS!

this morning, no less than FOUR of her largest and juiciest melons were GONE! not even a smidge of rind left to account for them! the best we can figure, it was probably a raccoon - the vines weren't pulled or disturbed... just the watermelon's neatly nipped off!

so this afternoon meg and i paid a visit to true value hardward, to find critter repellent. and we sprayed her melon vines, in hopes of keeping the watermelon thieves at bay. but now we both REEK. R.E.E.K. even though we've repeatedly washed our hands/arms, and meg had a whole shower. the whole backyard smells repulsive.

but maybe her melons will have a chance.... here's hoping!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

it's not what you know, it's who you know...

probably 3 years ago now, an older man used The Girls as "models" for one of the paintings he was working on. curtis signed a privacy waiver, and we promptly forgot all about it. :)

until today...

when he showed up a the office with the *original* painting as a gift for us - something that he would sell for a couple thousand dollars! you can totally even recognize The Girls! i guess we're gonna have to frame this in something better than a target frame...

we'll just forgive the fact that Jesus wasn't a white guy.... :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

wednesday night

i am home alone for the first night in i can't even remember how long.

this should be mandatory.

the only thing better would be if there was some of the food here that they are cooking on hell's kitchen.... that show makes me so hungry...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

queen of sheba

we walked in the door, and the first words out of the (beautiful!) waitresses mouth were, "would you like a table or a basket?"

curtis and i answered simultaneously, "basket!"

turns out i love Ethiopian food! and i love eating bent over a basket of fragrant smells and spicy foods, scooping it up with my fingers and the crepe-like bread... the queen of sheba is my new favorite restaurant!

you should go there - or we could meet there for lunch! it's in the tymberline plaza, by the foodlion ... it was amazing... and i highly recommend the basket over the table. you can eat at a table any old time!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

call & reponse

did you know there is more slavery right now than at any time in human history?

call & response ...

"There is a sea of change happening in human rights activism. The world’s issues cannot be solved alone by governments and non-profits, but require community-based participation. As a feature film, CALL+RESPONSE has the unique position of being not only a ground-breaking genre-bending film, but due to the fact that this project was funded completely through donations, it operates as a powerful movement with 100% of profits going to fund global field projects on the front lines of this issue.

CALL+RESPONSE is creating interactive field projects for each aspect of human slavery: sex slavery, labor slavery, child soldiers and child slavery. All profits from the use of the film, dvd, soundtrack, itunes downloads will be directed, by the viewers, to these projects with clear start and finish points (ie a landrover for a child soldier rehab camp, sewing machines for a after-care training facility). Our goal is to fund and celebrate completed projects together in community. We are closing the loop by allowing viewers to become participants in the solution."

Friday, July 17, 2009

weekend updates

by the way - chips is still swimming in his bowl. he's the terminator of goldfish.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


walking with the crowds
carried along by the pressing forward.
each one eager to get ahead
but each starting the same:
born as a baby, and from then on, struggling towards
meaning, power and influence.
be someone
be remembered
make a big impression.
leave some indelible mark in your 3 score years
and 10.

from birth, a struggle to find eternity, to burst
through life with such dazzling intensity, that
everyone will remember forever.
but walking the other way, picking out a route
against the crowds, a solitary figure passes me......
passes all of us - all straining away innocence, to
be someone,
and he passes us, a quiet chaos in the crowd.

Christ, eternal, omnicient, creator, beyond time,
source of wisdom and beyond petty claims of very nature God, slips into reverse
and walks back past us - away from Kingship,
away from power, away from influence, away from
eternity, away from wisdom...toward infancy.
calmly stepping into the body of a tiny child.

and even as this baby grows, figuring out how to control
the body he himself designed, he still walks
the other way, realizing that life cannot be found in the
struggle for permanence, but in giving it up.

this Great Reversal subverts me. tired of pressing forward, i realise i need to turn, for what i have been searching for has just walked past me the other way.

(from 'signs of emergence' - VX22. emphasis mine)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

slow down, baby

wednesday. middle of the week. grey skies and girls on the couch watching nicole c. mullen on dvd. nothing is shaking the earth here today... for the first time in a long time. how can summer, the laid back season, be so busy & stressful? the idea of a day with nothing and no one is luxury.

there's not enough going slowly in our world. not enough couch sitting. not enough reading. not enough front porch-ing with friends. so when life surprises you by slowing down for a minute, pay attention and slow down with it. there's a gift somewhere in the quiet moment, if you don't march right on past it...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

don't give up on me yet, baby!

many of know, or have heard of, the good "colonel reverend doctor captain chips" - our fantail goldfish. "chips", as we call him, has been swimming on my counter top for 3 1/2 years! i don't need your goldfish anecdotes - i know they can live for ages - but, really? 3 1/2 years? in a little bowl? needless to say, this is about 3 1/4 years longer than i anticipated him living...

so last night, when he was belly up, tail down - nothing twitching but an eyeball - i figured, "ah, well, chips. it's your time." and decided to leave him in peace over night so the girls could participate in his funeral today.


when i got up this morning, who was swimming around his bowl, all chipper and coming up to the top to eat his breakfast!?!? THE COLONEL! honestly! i think the cats are rubbing off, cause chips seems to have 9 lives...

Monday, July 13, 2009

beautiful monday

(did you hear the thunder last night? it shook me in my bed.... i woke to pouring rain & cool, grey skies... beautiful. i hope it pours all day.)

if you're looking for something to read, here's a little list of what i'm reading right now...

signs of emergence - it's interesting, not what i expected. it's not about the "emergent church movement" .... but i'm not sure what it is about! i'm not far into it, but the first chapter is all about waiting - how we need to wait & let God form us slowly. so you know it's speaking to me!

cost of discipleship - bonhoeffer is a bit like reading romans to me... the arguments fold back onto each other, and require diligent attention. the book is rich and full, and even the parts i'm not sure i agree with make me think. he helped me understand the idea of costly grace for the first time.

velvet elvis - i am not a rob bell devotee, but i do like him. most of you have probably already read this one, so i'll leave it at that.

job - well, i'm not so much reading job as i am reading the OT, and happen to be in job. i usually skim along to the good part - i like it when God shows up - but i am trying to read slowly this time, and give it my full attention... oh, and i'm sprinkling in a few psalms here and there.

Friday, July 10, 2009


TGIF, faithful readers!

my week came like all weeks do - with good news and bad news, great disappointment & huge joys. here's hoping all of our weekends are more full of the good than the bad!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

yes, God. that.

"Lord, you will do everything you have planned for me.
Lord, your faithful love continues forever.
You have done so much for us. Don't stop now."
Psalm 138:8

Monday, July 06, 2009

longest wait ever.

ok - i confess. i am feeling anxiety about our greencards. not that we won't get them, but just that i want them NOW. patience is not one of my juiciest fruits, if you know what i mean. waiting is *so* hard... i feel like my life is at the mercy of how much effort a stranger feels like putting into their day - based on whether or not they got the donut they wanted from the cafeteria or if they had a nice date the night before! ack!

basically, i think i'm just tired of wading through the red tape and forms and fees. it hangs over my head, nagging in the back of my mind behind every other thought. i weigh every future possibility - even family vacations - against whether or not we will finally have our permanent resident status "by then"....

i am praying hard, and trying to wait patiently. but ... *sigh*

summer haiku

lazy sunshine, pool
daddy is home, life is sweet -
friends and laughing days.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

waiting game


in an odd combination of relief and anxiety, our final "proofs" and medical paperwork for immigration went into the mail yesterday. off they go to mesquite, tx - Godspeed, paperwork. may you land on the desk of someone wildly efficient.

and happy 4th of july to all my american peeps!

Friday, July 03, 2009

in honor of canada day...

canada day, i know, is 2 days passed... but in it's honor, i post this, part of an article of 11 canadians who tell what they miss most about canada. this one is close to my heart! and for the record, the kroger on 54 sells coffee crisps in it's british section, if you want to see what all the fuss is about! (and the rest of the article is here.)

The gourmets say there isn’t a native Canadian food worth remembering after you’ve left the country. The gourmets have never bitten into a Coffee Crisp.

A Coffee Crisp tastes like Canada to anybody who grew up gnawing on that confection, a memorably crisp blend of coffee cream, cookie wafers and milk chocolate as wholesome and satisfying as the Canadian national anthem. It was a square-edged rectangle, like a brick, wrapped in a yellow-going-to-gold paper that seemed to elevate its value above all rival confections. It was unlike other chocolate bars.

I say “was” because no sooner had I left Canada than its originator, Rowntree’s, was absorbed into the giant international food conglomerate Nestlé. Soon enough, factors beyond the ken of the layman led its new owners to “improve on” the faultless original. Coffee Crisps were reshaped to be longer and slimmer and, as the infallible taste buds quickly revealed, reformulated to be less crisp and less coffee-flavored. Nestlé next undertook to expand the brand: Coffee Crisp Orange, Coffee Crisp Raspberry, Coffee Crisp Café Caramel, even Coffee Crisp White and, God save us, Coffee Crisp Yogurt.

But even in its diminished form, the classic Coffee Crisp still ranked superior to all the sticky-sweet American “candy bar” alternatives. I’d snaffle up half a dozen on a Canadian visit and wolf down a couple right away, just to make sure it wasn’t all just nostalgie du chocolat. It wasn’t. Taste memory never fades.

The demands of homesick Canadian expatriates were finally answered, circa 2006, when Coffee Crisp made its debut south of the border. But Nestlé’s efforts at carving a niche in the United States, alas, seemed half-hearted. I never saw an ad, and found only one seedy neighborhood hole-in-the-wall that even sold Coffee Crisps; the single box was all but hidden down on the bottom row of the candy display rack near the dust kittens and lottery-ticket stubs.

A month later the box was still there, its contents by now grayish and moldy and stale with age when the wrapper was torn away. In another month the box was gone. Coffee Crisps slunk back out of the American market in 2008, as quietly as they’d entered.

I suppose the Coffee Crisp debacle proves yet again that Canadian products — with the notable exceptions of Bombardier jets and half the comedians in Hollywood — just can’t compete in the American big time. But all visiting Canadian relatives and friends arrive at my door with pockets mysteriously bulging, or they won’t be let in.

— BRUCE McCALL, a writer and illustrator

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

how do you even get TB??

what if i have TB?

this is the lingering question from our immigration medical exam this morning. our blood is drawn for HIV & various & sundry STD's, we got our tetnus boosters, and we go back friday to have our injection site examined. after that, we're all paperwork done and in the envelope!

but ... what if i have TB?

ha! :)