He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being His hands and feet

One of the most memorable VBS years for me was that of when Kathryn was in 3rd or 4th grade. She and her friends were the sweetest, most energetic little group, and I knew they would be on to great things in life. The beauty of working with children, is to see them bloom and grow before your very eyes. Kathryn is one of those that have grown up with a heart for those walking and living in darkness.
Here is her latest post, as she's in a world outreach group in Cape Town, South Africa. Please read this. She is doing what we all should hope to do with someone out there, someone close to home, or someone we have not yet met.
Read her blog, then continue to the comments. About 4 down, is from her brother, Taylor. The most inspiring words, and such loving thoughts reach out to her from afar. Just touching!
May we be His hands and feet...

She writes in her blog:

The Abortion Ward

I went to the hospital today to start doing post abortion counseling.
It was more like during-abortion counseling.  I’m actually at a loss for words.  It was one of  the most graphic, saddening, awful experiences i’ve ever had.  And yes, i may continue doing it. And yes, I had some good conversations with some of the women there. But it was…I don’t even know the word.
(click here to continue)

Monday, November 22, 2010

That Good Friend

"If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky." - S.E. Hinton

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendship. I'm so thankful for the friends that I have in my life. Some have been around for just a couple years or so, and others since I was little. I also love social networks, because they have kept us all connected. It doesn't matter that we haven't seen each other for years. I just like knowing she cleaned out her clothes closet today, or stepped in a mud puddle.. it makes me still feel close to them. 

My youngest had a friend over the other day. It was freezing outside! They were so excited to see each other (after all, it had been a day or so..) and were going to stay inside, but they had a brainstorm and decided to bundle up and go outside. I heard them laughing and having a great time with what they had found to do. Wash my garage windows! Yep - and the water they used? Well, none other than the garden wagon itself. Someone was nice enough to leave it out so it could collect rain for the last several days!

I pray that each of my kids have friends that are an encouragement to them. I also pray that they are the same to others.  
Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Proverbs 18:24
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
 Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 

The reason I'm loving this day, is because when you have that really good friend who just "gets" you, it doesn't really matter what you do. You have a great time just being together. I am so thankful for their friendship. It makes me miss the days I would call my friends and we would find something to do. Didn't really matter what, but these two rarely complain that there is nothing to do. There's always something to do when you're with that one good friend!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

UW study reveals MRSA bacteria in local fire stations

UW study reveals MRSA bacteria in local fire stations



Posted on November 17, 2010 at 6:29 PM

EVERETT, WA. -- It started with one curious Snohomish County firefighter, but what he learned may end up exposing a dangerous threat to firefighters everywhere.

A study by the University of Washington, the first of its kind on a large scale, revealed MRSA, the drug resistant strain of staph infection, living in fires trucks, aid cars, station houses and in firefighters themselves.

Snohomish County Fire District One firefighter and paramedic Kevin Fetter suspected his crews were exposed to MRSA by sick patients, at accident scenes and in hospitals. But he didn't expect it would be transmitted right into the fire station living quarters.

"We found a little over four percent of the surfaces we tested were positive for MRSA," said UW Professor Marilyn Roberts, an expert in MRSA research.

Roberts said the surprise was that the bacteria had found its way from the garage to the living quarters. Tests revealed the station kitchen tables were as bad as any of the aid cars where the patients ride. But things got even more interesting when nose swabs revealed MRSA levels in firefighters ten times higher than the general public average.

Roberts emphasized the firefighters are not sick or a risk to patients, but do need to protect themselves and each other by even more vigorous hand scrubbing and equipment cleaning.

Following the study, the Snohomish County Fire District immediately changed rules on what can be brought from the garage into the station. Crews who already stripped off fire gear before entering the house were instructed to bring no equipment of any kind from the garage to the living quarters. Sanitation stations were set up everywhere around the house and all fire clothing was to be washed after every call.

"We don't want to take this home to our families," said Fetter, who added, "we have to do this job for 20, 30 years."

Other departments are adopting similar measures and agreeing to be part of a greatly expanded study by the UW.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All in a Week's Work..

This past week seemed to just fly by. We were running around with family schedules like crazy. But looking back at my pictures, it looks like we had fun! Do you ever race through life then look at your photos later to relive them and enjoy the moment? I seem to do that a lot! Here are some highlights of the week. My husband worked a lot, got 3 fires, currently conditioning with a football team, and we are all tired!

 We went downtown and visited where our oldest spent a lot of time. At the new American Girl Place, Chicago where she played "Kirsten/Kit/Julie" in the American Girls Revue for 3 years. Sadly, they don't have the shows at any of the stores anymore. 10 years and now it's gone. Stores sometimes just don't know a good thing when they've got it. Now it's just another (beautiful) retail store.
Our middle one playing football after a downtown school session with some of the kids and his last year's teacher. Pretty cool for a teacher to get out there to hang out with the kids.

This little guy got chased up onto my kitchen windowsill by our dog. I was wondering why the cat was up on my counter when I came back downstairs! There he was.. I decided to reward him with peanuts and almonds.

  It's not fall until you have a picture of kids in trees. After the Feed My Starving Children packing party, the kids let loose some more energy before we went home. What a great opportunity to see kids help. Schedule a packing party with your church or kids group..etc. We loved it and are going back again very soon! The kids wound up packing enough boxes to feed 25 children for 1 year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lots of Fires Lately!

Just a sad day when there's just nothing you can do. Prayers for the family who lost a child, and those injured. There seems to be a lot of fires lately. My husband has had one, each of the last 3 days he has been working this week! 

Boy killed, 4 hurt in Near West Side fire

| No Comments | UPDATED STORY
With their 3-year-old relative dead and two others hospitalized after a fire destroyed their multi-story apartment building in the Pilsen neighborhood today, members of an extended family wondered where they will live as they mourn.
Jose Lopez was called at a mall and rushed home when he learned of the fire. Be he was unable to save his 3-year-old nephew, Michael Cruz, who died in the blaze that also injured the boy's sister, father and two firefighters.
"I wish I was (home), then I would've been able to help them," said Lopez, 30, who lives with his wife and their seven children on the third floor of the apartment building.
Now, he said, the family has no place else to go.
A member of the Chicago Fire Department battling flames at 1752 W. Cullerton St. Saturday. (Tribune / Nuccio DiNuzzo)
While battling the flames, firefighters found the child in the back bedroom of the second floor of the apartment building, said Chicago Fire Department District Chief Thomas Kennedy.
The boy was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. at St. Anthony Hospital, said a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Of the four survivors, two of them were firefighters. The firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Richard Rosado, adding that one suffered a back injury while the other suffered a shoulder injury.
The two civilians who were injured suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken in serious-to-critical condition to area hospitals, Rosado said.
Among those survivors were the 3-year-old boy's 1 ½-year-old sister and their father, also named Michael Cruz, 33, said Yolanda Cruz, the grandmother of the two children.
Shortly after 4 p.m., firefighters responded to the four-story apartment building at 1752 W. Cullerton St. in the Pilsen neighborhood. Flames ended up damaging the second, third and fourth floors of the building, and spread to a rear coach house, said Kennedy.
Officials did not know how many people where in the buildings when the fire broke out, but Kennedy said everyone who survived the blaze was outdoors by the time firefighters arrived. Three dogs also died in the fire, but two others survived, he said.
The fire was believed to have started somewhere in the rear of the apartment building, but Kennedy could not say what caused it to erupt. Working smoke detectors were found in the hallway area of the apartment building, Kennedy said, but he did not know if there were alarms in the individual units.
The fire was brought under control by about 5:25 p.m.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago said they would be providing aid, such as food, clothing and shelter, to 20 people affected by the fire.
Kristy Mendoza was watching the fire from her building nearby and said she saw a child wheeled out on a stretcher covered in soot and put into an ambulance. She also saw firefighters attending to a man, lying him out on the sidewalk.
Fire officials said this evening the cause of the blaze was being investigated.
--Jeremy Gorner

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Girls Get Away Cruise update!

Well, girls.. I've got my button for booking the cruise under my name. There will be prizes and contests!
January 12-16, 2012 - From Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Cozumel, Mexico! Traveling on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas!
But for now, a link from my site to theirs. More to come soon.....

Join Kara on the Girl's Get-a-way 2012

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

48 hour shift - Mine!

Well, I think I actually almost made it through my 48 hour shift. Oh ya, my fireman worked those kind of hours too! We made it through 3 kid's crazy schedules! Homeschooled, gymnastics, youth grouped, one's theater rehearsals, another's funny scheming dance preparations, a good friend picking another up at the bus,...and I fed them too!! All this to start again tomorrow, but with some help! :) If you've single mommed it for the last 48 hours, hats off to you! I'm exhausted! Thank goodness for my son (my "date") today getting Starbucks, getting randomly interviewed complete with photos (who doesn't love that when you're running) and hanging out.
Check out what Tim Hawkins has to say about parenting. He's so funny! If you have some time, check out his other stuff on youtube or his website Tim Hawkins.
And hey, if you read this blog... give a shout out! I'd love to hear from you and visit your blogs as well!