Sunday, November 30, 2008

Water Party!!!!

**NOTE: You do NOT need to be a member of Geneva to attend this gathering!! Please spread the word. And let me know if you'd like me to send you the word document of the invite through email for you to pass along! More people=more water

What: Water for Christmas fundraiser
When: December 14, 2008 from 4:00-7:00 pm
Where: Geneva Country Club
3100 Bidwell Rd
Muscatine, Iowa 52761
Why: Read the following and you’ll understand why…

“The lack of clean water is the leading cause of death in underdeveloped countries...killing more people than even war and violence.
4500 children die every day from water related illnesses.
And almost within the reach of these children, just below the surface, is the solution—fresh water waiting to be tapped into by the relatively inexpensive and permanent solution of a well.
A well costs just $5000 and will provide clean water to a whole village.
Americans spend 450 billion dollars each year at Christmas. At the same time, experts believe it would cost one third of that to drill enough wells to give the whole world almost immediate access to clean water.”

So join us for appetizers, warm drinks and great music provided by Andrew Landers Project as we band together to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

There will be a silent auction and other opportunities to donate to this amazing cause.
100% of all donations go directly to drilling fresh water wells in Africa…yes 100%!
Check out for more information.
RSVP to Cassie Burback at or leave me a comment here! (we want to make sure there is enough food to go around!)

We're home...

A little tired.
Still very very full.
Lots of driving and last night's road conditions were not great.
We left around 7:30 pm from Paul's parents and got home at 12:30.
The kids slept the whole way and I'm so thankful for that.
It was a great time with family...but Paul's flu made another spectacular appearance and hung around the whole time.
We didn't see much of him.
That was the only bad part.
Ayla still acted sick until almost Saturday...just not herself.
But I am hopeful that we are all on the mend for real this time.
And so so thankful for wonderful family!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have time for one more...

Amy's mom designed these special edition water drop necklaces to sell on Amy's Etsy shop.

There are twelve and twelve only. When they're gone, they're gone.

I have one.

They are beautiful.

A stained glass water droplet on a silver plated (not nickel) 24-inch chain.

And you can find them HERE for $35 (and you better be fast, I just checked back and she's down to 9 left!).


Thanksgiving repeat

In 2006 I posted these stolen Thanksgiving day thoughts on my blog.
I like them and I revisited them today.
I figured it would be appropriate to re-post them this year. I don't know when/if I'll have a chance to blog again before Sunday, so here ya go! Happy Thanksgiving to all...

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God. ~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. ~Erma Bombeck

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? ~Erma Bombeck

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

I think we are all going to live.

I truly think Ayla is finally on the mend.
She played this morning by herself, without whining at all.
She ate breakfast.
She acted spunky instead of like a limp noodle.
And it's been 24 hours since she has had one of her nasty diapers.
Paul is feeling a little better today, too.
The floors are finished.
We are going home this afternoon after the house has aired out a little bit.
We get one night in our house before we head out to Paul's parents for the weekend.
The kids are giddy with excitement, and I'm ready for a little break from reality and anxious to spend some time with my in-laws!
So things are looking up.
And I have some cute pics, but seeing as we are at my mom's and I have no wireless, I'll have to wait to post them.
Off to get this house straightened up before we head home to straighten up that one...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I spoke a little too soon...

Ayla didn't have a great day.
Very very whiny and still seems to have no appetite.
When I try to feed her, she closes her eyes and turns her head.
How's that for communication!
But tonight I did get her to eat a little. And I don't think she's dehydrated. So we'll see how tomorrow goes.
Paul is at the house, finishing up the last of the top coat application between his own flu spells.
Yes, it struck him down today.
Just hoping we are all cleared up by Thursday morning. We certainly don't want to introduce this to NW Iowa!
When things were looking up this morning, I actually took a shower and put on jeans...which I hadn't done in days. Comfy pants have been my standard wardrobe for the past few weeks! :)
So anyway, I read one time if you want to ensure you are not gaining weight, you should put on jeans everyday. Obviously, I should have listened.
They are tight.
I just feel kinda gross.
Thankfully, Paul and I have been planning on doing this 21 day cleanse starting Sunday. It can't come soon enough. There is a ton of cleansing to do with this body!!
And I need a little discipline added to my life as well.
So off to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars....and change into my comfy pants! :)

A new day

It's a new day.
The sun is shining here in Iowa.
And Ayla woke up smiling....and dancing.
She ate breakfast. A full meal. Her first since Friday night.
She's so tiny. I was starting to get worried.
Paul got 2 coats of top coat on the floors last night and he says it looks great.
2 more to go.
BUT he does think he may have what Ayla had.
Let's hope not.
It's a new day.
And I'm putting my new attitude into gear.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I needed that reminder...

Just finished posting how empty I was.
Then I watched this on Kari's (Jody's sister-in-law) blog.
The photos are amazing.
Thanks, Kari.

On empty...

I feel like I'm running on empty here.
I'm not sure I have fully recovered from the flurry of sickness that struck over the weekend. I felt horrible, but you really are not allowed a day off when you have 3 little ones depending on you to take care of them and THEIR sicknesses.
Ayla is still producing diapers full of 100% fluid.
She has no desire to eat.
I'm forcing her to drink.
She is going in about 1 hour increments of sleeping and waking up.
I'm trying to plan my day accordingly, but failing miserably.
Paul started a project this weekend and it's going to be great to have the dining room/hallway floors refinished, but it's turned into chaos.
We just fully absorbed today what it meant to refinish the floors in icy temps and needing to put on a minimum of 4 coats of top coat full of fume. 4 coats at a minimum of 2 hours apart. Plus a full time job and 3 kids. Hmmm. Not ideal. Plus, you are to wait 3 DAYS before resuming regular use of your floors.
We leave for Paul's parents' on Thursday morning. The first coat of top coat is going on tonight. I completely packed for our holiday trip this afternoon before we basically moved out and into MY parents' house for the next couple days. (Fortunately for them, they are in Florida. Hmmm...wonder if that was a last minute decision to leave a day early or not??)
So I'm tired.
Worn out.
And just feeling like a failure on many levels.
Not asking for any sympathy here, just being real.
The kids are in bed and Paul is at the house, working, so I feel like I can let down now.
And that I am...letting down.
Tomorrow will be better, right?

Well #1

On Tuesday of last week we hit our first well!
SO exciting!
We are on our way to #2. Final numbers from money raised last week should be in in a couple days.
That is something.
And I needed it today!


I'd have to say that I think my schedule is booked until January 1.
I'll be keeping myself busy doing things like this....


At least when I am not cleaning up puke, or washing sheets, or running a fever myself!
And really, it feels good. And I am honored to be a part...
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Just one more perspecitve

Ice cream?!?

Never hurts to be reminded again and again.
Food and water. Basic needs...

We were dropping like flies

Paul is the only one who escaped the wrath of this bug.
But I'm pretty sure we're all on the mend.
Feeling much better even since just 8:00 this morning.
Not fun.
And if I were you, I may just stay away from this house for another day or so...just to be sure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another one bites the dust...

Ayla just barfed up her breakfast all over the kitchen table.

Wake-up call

An unexpected early morning wake-up call this morning from a puking Nalani.
Ugh. Not fun.
Bed stripped, shower taken, clean, dry clothes on and she is resting with a puke bucket on the couch.
Last night she and Brigg were getting along exceptionally well, which was very enjoyable at the time,
but now I'm hoping germs were not spread between them.
Off to switch over all the laundry.
Happy weekend to all...
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Game night...

Tonight was game night.
The game was Deal or No Deal.

Ayla was determined to steal all the money before we even started.

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the kids tonight

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The best ripples of all...

I would have to say that this whole Water for Christmas campaign has changed me life in a much bigger way that I ever expected. I think the biggest surprise to me has been the change I have seen in my kids. They truly seem to "get it". When we first started talking about giving up some things at Christmas and about the water crisis in general, they were very responsive. I asked them if they would be willing to give up one of their Christmas gifts in order to donate money to building wells. Brigg's immediate response was, "Why don't we give up ALL our Christmas gifts? We don't need any toys!"

My heart about burst out of my chest.

They get it.

We drove by the local movie store the other day and Lani asked, "Mom, can we stop and rent a movie and a game?"

And Brigg replied with, "No Lani. Don't you remember the wells? We can't spend any extra money until Christmas is over. We need to give it to the wells!"

They get it.

And I keep hearing stories like this over and over.

Today, Amy posted about her 10 year old son, Isaiah, and I teared up reading it. This is where we may just see the biggest impact. The lives of our children. They are our future. They learn by example. They are watching, even when we don't think they are.

They get it.

Here is Amy's blog from today....

Isaiah came upstairs tonight, at 10pm. He said he had finished his poem, that wasn't really a poem, about a place.He was supposed to draw a picture, and then talk about the place, or thing, or whatever, so people would know what or where or who it was.Below is the picture...

Isaiah came upstairs tonight, at 10pm. He said he had finished his poem, that wasn't really a poem, about a place.He was supposed to draw a picture, and then talk about the place, or thing, or whatever, so people would know what or where or who it was.Below is the picture...

And this is what it says, again, completely unedited, just the straight talk of a ten year old boy...

I am a continent.

People give to people who live here.

You can too.

You can make a difference, because distance does not decide who's your brother and who is not.

You can give five dollars and that would be enough to give one person fresh water for five years.

So can't you see?

You can make a difference!

Every 90 seconds someone dies of something dumb like not having enough food or water.

So, if you give, you can save millions of lives.

I want you to think about how many seconds are in a day, and just see how many people die in ME every day.

Isn't that a lot?

And think of an average kid in ME, what they eat and drink in a day, and how much you eat and drink, can you see the difference?

I am not asking you to give one hundred dollars in a donation.

I'm asking if you could give just one dollar for a donation, because one dollar is enough fresh water for one person in ME, for one year.

So once again, you can make a difference.

So, give, give, give to ME....


He is TEN. He gets it. And that is so awesome. Today is another $10 Friday. Let's give. Just $10 today. If we all band together, WE CAN BUILD A WELL IN ONE DAY! And imagine the ripples from that!

Go and donate! Click the red button and give something...even just a dollar...just give something. Change a life. I can honestly say that it may just end up changing yours more than anyone elses..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


There has been a lot of dancing going on at the W4C dancing blog so far, but tomorrow's will be a little different.
A local junior high art teacher, Ms. Sheila M, will not only be dancing, but she will be painting as well!
During her recorded dance, she painted the following 16x20 picture. Acrylic on cavas...

After her dance, she donated it to be auctioned off for water!
Just one more example of passions colliding.
I love to see it.
Teaching, dancing, painting, running, designing, crafting, planning...
all for water.
So the auction begins tomorrow morning on the dancing blog.
Go HERE to bid.
Auction closes at 5pm on Friday.
Go to the dancing blog for more details.
Happy Bidding!
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The rest of her "story"...

It was a good one.
With lots of expression.
And lots of hand motions.
Wish you could have heard it.

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We ate an early dinner last night

in order to accomodate cheerleading and wrestling schedules.
So it was just the kids and I.
They were wild.
And hilarious.
And cute.

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I think she's going to be a story teller...

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Because they were such a hit!

The Water for Christmas ornaments are back up on Amy's Etsy shop for pre-order.
And you better be fast.
The first set sold out in hours.
And she put 80 up for pre-order just a little bit ago and she's already down to 59 left!
So awesome!
So go there and put in your order now!


I often have moments when my heart literally HURTS when I look at my kids.
This is one of those times. heart.
It's not easy having it walk around (or even crawl around) outside of your body!
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Monday, November 17, 2008

So cool.

**UPDATE: ornmanents are SOLD OUT!
Way to go, Barb!! Be watching for more soon!
Amy's mom has caught the bug.
And fortunately for us, she is an artist! :)
She hand crafted these droplets of water ornaments.
They are for sale at Amy's Etsy site for $6.50.
They are beautiful!
Spread the word.

Give Water for Christmas!
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Connectedness and giving...

So after a very fun, refreshing weekend, I woke up in the night again last night and couldn't get back to sleep...for over 2 hours. I was dreaming about water. Seriously.
I'm consumed. Every single time I brush my teeth, take a shower, wash my hands, do a load of laundry, a load of dishes, fill up a glass with ice, I think about those who don't get to do that. Those who would give anything to be drinking that water that I'm flushing down my drain.
It could have been me. It could have been my kids. I do not deserve this water any more than the woman in Africa, I just happened be be born in America.
Bono's quote keeps running through my mind,
"Where you live should no longer determine whether you live."
I've been listening to a podcast series from Mosaic Church. I have quoted McManus several times on this blog and I love so much of what he stands for. Mosaic is his church and I love to listen to their messages.
ANYWAY...the series I have been listening to talks about "What if everyone...". Last week it was What if everyone CONNECTED? What would the world look like? And today I listened to "What if everyon SERVED?" What would the world look like?
I found it so interesting that they first talked about relationships. It has become so obvious to me that movements are built on relationships. We cannot do it alone. We cannot knock out the water crisis single handedly. But suddenly our relationships come into play.
I'm so excited about this. And suddenly my mom is so excited about this...because she loves me and she has felt my excitement through our conversations. And suddenly, Melissa, on the other side of town is excited about it and wondering if she can implement it at her place of employment, and then Jennie gets excited about it and decides maybe we don't need to do that $10 white elephant gift game. And then Kelly from Phoenix emails and says she wants to implement it somehow in her classroom and suddenly the word is spreading to Arizona. And then Lisa sets up a table in her deli in Seattle and Kelly's dad is setting up a table in Nebraska. And Larry's wife in Baltimore "is like an amimal", setting up tables all over town. Courtney in Virginia is selling shirts and Christa, a college student in Missouri, has designed shirts and is selling them and Taylor and Joanna have designed water bottles in Pennsylvania and Jill and Josh from New Zealand set up a facebook group that quickly grows to over 1300 memebers and Naomi and her mother in Colorado set up a gift wrapping station and on and on.
I'm amazed by this. And reminded how important we all are to eachother. And what a difference we can make if we all band together instead of working against eachother.
Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Zealand.
All for water.
We are all connected.
All brothers and sisters.
And it keeps ringing truer and truer in my ear...
"Where you live should no longer determine whether you live."

Sunday, November 16, 2008