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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Front Porch Friend

This week we got some sad news...

Clark was the guy who would sit on his front porch, and would holler out a hearty "hello." He cared about his neighbors, and he knew them all by name.

Let's backtrack.. Our family moved into the neighborhood when the kids were very small. My oldest were out selling lemonade the summer we moved in, and Clark came from kitty corner just to throw some money in their bowl and say hello. He called them both by name. I asked, "How do you know their names?" He answered, "Because, mom, I hear you calling after them every day!" (insert big old smile and laugh) 

The years went by, and he would sit on his green chair, wave at the neighbors and offer a friendly conversation whenever you had time to stop by. He loved the Cubs, talking about his kids and grandkids, but had plenty of time to ask about each of our kids.

Most recent years, I've dropped my kids off like a taxi cab driver, grab another and take them where they need to go. With sports, friend's houses, youth group.. constant running. I'd look over at Clark, and he'd give me his big, hearty laugh, paw the air with one big swoop, and tell me I ran too much! He also loved to tease me when I didn't come to a complete stop at the intersection. I'd be so proud when I gave him an exaggerated stop, wave, then pull up in front of my house. 

Clark was our neighborhood staple. Nobody sits out on porches anymore just to watch the cars go by,  everyone is busy in their own little way. 

This week, Clark passed away at age 62. Way too young, and left a hole in our hearts as we drive by and see his green chair. I will miss his smile, his wave, his laugh and quick conversations.

Enjoy your family this Christmas. But, please remember those that have a little bit of interaction in your life, but have such a huge impact! We will miss you, Clark!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CFD Commissioner Speaks Out Against Fewer Firefighers Per Truck

There are some things you don't skimp on. It's not worth buying the cheap dish washing detergent, cheap toilet paper, and.. oh yeah, SAFETY!

Commissioner rips idea of fewer firefighters per truck

Clout Street 

2:06 p.m. CDT, October 25, 2011

Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff today said fire deaths would increase if the city lowers the number of firefighters on a truck to save money, an idea mentioned as one potential cost-saving option in a recent report by the city’s inspector general.
Hoff said he is “adamant” in his opposition to the idea of lowering the minimum staffing on all trucks to four, instead of the five-person minimum now in place on most trucks and engines.
“Number one, it affects our performance,” Hoff said, explaining his opposition to the change. “And number two, it (affects) the lives of firefighters and paramedics and the people that we serve. Our fire deaths will go up.”
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said lowering the standard would save about $57 million a year — while also noting such a reduction could pose a safety hazard in an urban area like Chicago.
Nevertheless, the idea has been thrown around with about eight months left on the contract for rank-and-file city firefighters. The current contract spells out the current staffing levels.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel kept Hoff on as fire commissioner. Former Mayor Richard Daley appointed Hoff, a decorated Fire Department veteran, in June 2010.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Feds Fault Dept in Deaths of Two Chicago Firefighters

My husband was there all day this horrible day for the department. I was at a show my daughter was in, and got a frantic call from him just saying, "Just so you know, I'm okay!" Then said, "I gotta go!" I was so thankful for that call, but it was a tough day watching the news and seeing this going on. They were there all day long, and reports were coming in about 2 fallen firefighters. Very sad. God bless those that run into harm's way for us!

Feds fault department in deaths of two Chicago firefighters


Chicago firefighters watch as others dig to rescue their trapped comrades in a Dec. 22 fire in a vacant South Side building. Two firefighters died in the blaze. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / September 23, 2011)
Poor communications and an insufficient number of radios were among shortcomings within the Chicago Fire Department that contributed to the deaths of two firefighters in a fire at an abandoned South Side laundry last December, according to a federal report.

The report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also pointed to the lack of a system to alert the Fire Department to hazardous buildings as among the "contributing factors" that cumulatively put firefighters at risk.

The report said few of the firefighters who were sent into the vacant, dilapidated building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street on Dec. 22 had radios and that supervisors outside the building had no idea what the firefighters inside were seeing: flames crawling up wooden beams to the ceiling.

As the firefighters fought the blaze from the inside, others were on the roof, spraying water and cutting holes to vent smoke right up until the roof collapsed. Two firefighters inside the building, Edward Stringer, 47, and Corey Ankum, 34, were killed, and 19 other firefighters were injured.

Tim Merinar, who led the federal agency's investigation, said Fire Department supervisors should have taken a more defensive approach and ordered more firefighters out of the building once it was clear that no one was trapped inside, as firefighters had feared when they arrived at the early morning blaze.

The Fire Department received the report in July and has already implemented some of the agency's recommendations, department spokesman Larry Langford said Thursday.

The Fire Department now requires that firefighters inside a building provide more details to commanders about the situation, Langford said.

The department has also begun hanging tags on each firetruck that identify every firefighter assigned to the vehicle, in response to the report's recommendation that the department improve its ability to account for all firefighters working at a specific incident.

But one major recommendation — putting radios in the hands of every firefighter — won't be implemented until sometime in 2012, when the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communication says a much-delayed digital radio system will be operational.

The department currently provides a radio to one member of each team of two or three firefighters, Langford said.

Only five of the 13 firefighters who were in the building when the roof collapsed had radios, and none of those firefighters provided supervisors outside the building with a description of the conditions inside, the report said.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"My Note" posted on the Girls Get Away Blog

I am excited to be a featured blogger for the Girls Get Away Cruise. Just the other day they asked if I would write a devotion for their blog. This is the devotion I wrote, I pray that it blesses you this week. Click on this link and it will take you to their blog and website. It was modified a bit for their blog, but I thought I'd add the entire thing here. 

And, come and join us on the cruise! Book under my name and save $ (See bottom of post)


Doesn’t it seem like chaos is all around? From floods to famine, hurricanes and earthquakes.. it almost seems like we’ve stepped right out in older Biblical times.  Some of what our favorite people in the Bible went through, we are also experiencing.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9
We all know someone who’s lost their job and had to move as a result, we’ve all experienced a tightening of our belts when it comes to spending. What is this? Where are we supposed to be?
My husband is a firefighter for the city of Chicago, and for the last four years we have homeschooled at one point or another, all three of our children. I am a stay at home mom, starting up a photography business, and also continuously run these kids from point A to point B. Our oldest is a junior at a Christian high school nearby, and just this year we have signed up our youngest two for 8th and 4th grade at the local public school. Lately, for my family, it seems like the rug has just been completely pulled out from under us. Almost every corner we turn, it seems like that’s not where we are supposed to be.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
I’m reading about Job in my personal devotions, with it I’m also reading a J. Vernon McGee commentary. He points out how wealthy this man was. He had everything from livestock that lined the horizon, to property that didn’t seem to end. He was the Bill Gates or Donald Trump of his time. Yet in a heartbeat, God allowed Satan to wipe him out. A little at a time, or should I say a LOT at a time.  Job continued to praise God.  Sure, he went through a time of complaining, wanting to take his life and suffering, but in the end he still trusted that God was in control. After his suffering, Job was given twice as much as he once had.

Then Job replied to the LORD: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. Job 42:1-3
If we lost a little of our earthly treasures, or a lot, would we still trust and believe that God is in control? When it comes to our families, our homes and our livelihood?
When I was just out of high school, I had three jobs. I worked for my dad who was a contractor, I was a lifeguard/swim instructor, and also babysat once a week. My parents taught me how to work hard, and learn how to spend my money. They helped me purchase a condo, and taught me how to maintain it and take care of my renter.  All was good, right?
One morning some friends (youth leaders) and I drove about 180 miles (4 hours) to Leavenworth, WA. We were checking out a campsite for a possible youth group retreat. A friend and I led the way as a few others were in the car behind us. After about 3 hours, I got pretty tired. No doubt as a result of being young and watching movies the whole night before then thinking this was a smart thing to do the next day. So my friend drove instead, and I went to sleep. We were almost up the Cascade Mountains, and we hit the embankment on the mountain side. We flipped and skidded to a halt. I was pinned underneath my truck. The cliffs had huge boulders that fell from time to time, and somehow God let my head rest on a perfect sandy area. My sunroof also molded around my head, and for some reason, God spared my friend’s and my life. 
Even though I thought I had everything under control, everything changed in a heartbeat. People have told me that I must have something big to do, I’m still not sure. I still don’t have that huge moment or a sign that’s told me “This. This is why you’re still on this earth!” I used to wait for “that moment,” but then I’ve come to really appreciate this wonderful verse.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
THIS is why I am still here. I will do my best even when it’s not easy. Do I fail sometimes? Yes, miserably. But I know that Jesus’ sacrifice, and his loving grace allow me to stay on the right road. I will persevere, because He has given me the tools to do “this.”
I hope to see you on the Girl’s Get Away Cruise! I will be a group leader for the very first time this year, and it will also be my first cruise! You’re welcome to join me. I can’t wait to meet up and visit with you. I plan to bring my oldest with me, please stop by and say hello!


 here is the link to their blog on Girls Get Away Cruise!

A Note from a Girls Get Away Small Group Leader

Kara is a group leader on the upcoming Girl’s Get Away Cruise. If you wold like to be in Kara's group send her an email theschoenles [at] yahoo.com.  Be sure to comment your thoughts on this blog as well as look out for her and her oldest on the cruise!

If you'd like to join my group, all you have to do is click on this banner that says, "Kara's Group" and book your cruise! Or, call premier cruises 1-800-889-5265 and speak with an agent and tell them you want to be booked under "Kara's Group." 

Are you going? Let me know! See you soon, only 4 months away!

There is also fun prize being offered for my group only. A mini photo shoot to be drawn on the ship for those who book under my name. If I get 20 people booked under me, I will draw for the photo shoot. How fun would that be to get your pictures taken on the cruise, a mom and daughter..or best friends, maybe just a quick portrait shoot of yourself.. 

Here's a little shot of the water to get you longing for that sand and surf!

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

Only 4 more months! Book today and save $100! Join my group by clicking on this link AND get the savings! We'll have so much fun! We set sail to Cozumel Jan 12-16 2012

Saturday, August 27, 2011

At least 3 firefighters injured at Southside fire

Stay safe, everyone! 

A Chicago firefighter aids a comrade as they battled a 2 1/2 story frame structure fire on the 6900 block of South Ada Street on Saturday. (Eric Clark, for the Chicago Tribune / August 27, 2011)

At least 3 firefighters injured at South Side fire

Three Chicago firefighters were hospitalized for heat-related issues as they fought a fire on the South Side this afternoon, officials said.

The three men were battling the fire at a 2 1/2 story frame structure on the 6900 block of South Ada Street which began at about 1 p.m. and was under control about an hour later, said Quention Curtis, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

Two of the firefighters were taken to a hospital in serious-to-critical condition, and another firefighter was taken in fair-to-serious condition, according to Curtis.

Initial information indicates the injuries were heat exhaustion-related and appeared to be non-life-threatening, according to media affairs.

Friday, August 26, 2011

4 Firefighters Hurt in Attic Fire - Chicago

More firefighters hurt in Chicago. It is quite a dangerous job. Be safe out there, we're thankful for what you do!

4 firefighters hurt in attic fire: 'Things went bad. They called mayday'

An injured firefighter is rushed to a waiting ambulance as Chicago firefighters battle a house fire in the 7000 block of South Justine Street. (Eric Clark, for the Chicago Tribune / August 25, 2011)

Four firefighters were injured when an attic fire "lit up" as they worked to ventilate the roof of a burning West Englewood home, fire officials said.
"Things went bad," said Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff. "They were attacking the fire. They were moving in on the fire."
Hoff said other firefighters quickly moved in to rescue them. "They called mayday. As soon as they called for help, they were both removed outside.”
The fire broke out shortly before 7 p.m. at a 1½-story frame house on the 7000 block of South Justine Street, officials said.

Two of the injured firefighters suffered burns to their hands and faces. One of them also suffered burns to his respiratory system and a breathing tube had to be inserted, officials said.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God Bless our Military and Families!!

Photo: Associate Press

Please pray for our troops and their families. Thank you from our family to yours for sending your loved ones off to fight for all of us. We are deeply sad about all of the sacrifices made, but are forever grateful to you and your families!


Afghan president: 31 Americans killed in crash

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A military helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos, the country's president said Saturday. An American official said it was apparently shot down, in the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.
The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene.
NATO confirmed the overnight crash took place and that there "was enemy activity in the area." But it said it was still investigating the cause and conducting a recovery operation at the site. It did not release details or casualty figures.
"We are in the process of accessing the facts," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman.
But a senior U.S. administration official in Washington said it was apparently shot down. by insurgents. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash is still being investigated.
The toll would surpass the worst single day loss of life for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001 — the June 28, 2005 downing of a military helicopter in eastern Kunar province. In that incident, 16 Navy SEALs and Army special operations troops were killed when their craft was shot down while on a mission to rescue four SEALs under attack by the Taliban. Three of the SEALs being rescued were also killed and the fourth wounded. It was the highest one-day death toll for the Navy Special Warfare personnel since World War II.
With its steep mountain ranges, providing shelter for militants armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, eastern Afghanistan is hazardous terrain for military aircraft. Large, slow-moving air transport carriers like the CH-47 Chinook are particularly vulnerable, often forced to ease their way through sheer valleys where insurgents can achieve more level lines of fire from mountainsides.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday gave the first public word of the new crash, saying in a statement that "a NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province" and that 31 American special operations troops were killed. He expressed his condolences to President Barack Obama.
The helicopter was a twin-rotor Chinook, said an official at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was receiving his information from an Afghan officer in Kabul.
The crash took place in the Sayd Abad district of Wardak province, said a provincial government spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid. The volatile region borders the province of Kabul where the Afghan capital is located and is known for its strong Taliban presence.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How About Those Midwest Storms?

These have come through twice now in the last few weeks knocking out power all over the city. It cost our electric company over 80 million dollars to fix what an hour storm did a few weeks ago. Last night another tore through here, thankfully, with a lot less damage. 

Here are some high"lights!"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Things to Remember on the Cruise - from Mary of Premier Cruises

I just had to share. This looks great! Have you ever been on a cruise? If you want to join me and my group, save $100.00 and book under my name! Group Kara!

Join us as we will sail from Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Cozumel MEXICO Jan 12-16, 2012! If you click on this square banner, you will be connected to my group. Or if you want to call the cruise line, remember to mention Group Kara. And, if you are a part of my group, and I get 20 cabins booked, you could win my drawing on the ship of a mini-photography session for you or you and your group of ladies!

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

Things to Remember When You Cruise

Things to Remember When You Cruise
Only seven months until we head out on the Girl’s Get-A-Way cruise – I can’t wait!  I know many of you are working on your cruise packing plan and your ‘what to do’ on board.  I love a girl who plans.  I thought I’d share some cruising tips that I’ve gathered from past GGA cruisers, the Premier Christian Cruises staff, and my own trial and error experiences.  Hope this help you along the way.
1.     It’s ALL in your name—is your name spelled right?  How about your birth date? Double check your documents when they arrive (about 6 weeks prior to the cruise) to insure that everything is correct.  If you find an error contact Premier Christian Cruises at 800-889-5265 to make changes.
2.     Paper or Plastic (packing)  – use tissue paper or dry cleaning bags as you fold and pack.  You’ll love how it cuts down on the wrinkles. Also, you’ll have extra space when you toss this out – and extra luggage space is great for all those fun souvenirs you’ll find along the way.
3.     Tag your Bag – make sure to attach a luggage tag to your bag and include your information on the inside, too – just in case.
4.     Keep Your documents handy – don’t pack your passport or birth certificate.  Keep it in your bag or carryon.   You’ll need it as you head into the port.
5.     No Irons allowed – that’s right.  No irons are allowed in your stateroom, but there is a laundry area onboard where you’ll find ironing boards and irons.  Or you can opt for tip number 3.
6.     Wrinkle Release --  bring along a bottle of wrinkle release (look for a travel size). Hang your clothes, give them a good spray and wait.  You’ll love the way this works.  And relax – you’re on vacation, a few wrinkles are allowed.
7.     Power strip – most cruise ship staterooms have only one outlet and if you’re anything like me that just won’t do.  I bring along a power strip so I have a place to plug in all my necessary stuff like battery charger, flat iron, hair dryer, and my phone (which I use for an alarm clock)
8.     Cell Phones at Sea – okay girls, turn off that cell phone or put it on airplane mode (which means it’s not receiving a signal) or you may find yourself facing high priced roaming charges.)   You can access the internet while we're sailing.
9.     Wake Up – if you don’t want to miss an early morning devotional, pack an alarm clock or use your cell phone (in airplane mode).  Cruise ship staterooms aren’t equipped with clocks.
10.  Night Light – if you booked an inside stateroom you may want to pack a nightlight as the room can be very dark.  (Great for sleeping in, but not so great for waking up.)
11.  Try something new – order a dish you’ve never tasted, sit in on a speaker you’ve never heard, or listen to a musician you don’t know.  You’ll discover some great treasures.
12.  Open Heart – ask God to guide you as you meet new people and interact with the crew.  Open your heart and eyes to see that person who needs encouragement or friendship.
13.  Jump on in – not overboard, but into the FUN!  Join in on the contests and events. You’ll have a blast and meet new people.
14.  Say hello – don’t forget to find me and all the Premier Christian Cruises staff and say hello.  We love meeting each of you and it’s fun to put a face with a name!
See you on the Cruise!!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Josh Hamilton and Shannon Stone

"My faith in the Lord and my relationship with Jesus Christ on a daily basis helps me handle life," Hamilton said while in Phoenix for the All-Star Game. "And this is life. There are tragedies, there are things that happen that you have no control over. And you don’t understand them and will never understand them until you can understand them in front of your maker." - Josh Hamilton

By now you've heard the story (and here). Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers through a ball into the stands, and Shannon Stone reached for it, but lost his balance and fell to the deck below, and later died from his injuries. 

I cannot get this story out of my head. It hits home for us for so many different reasons.
My husband is a fireman, so was Shannon Stone. We are such a baseball family, so are both of these families. My husband would do anything to grab a ball for his son, or his daughters, so did Shannon Stone. 

I've thought about this so much, I just don't know why things like this happen. It just makes me sick to my stomach. I have heard on the news and such that Josh Hamilton is having a hard time with this. I cannot imagine the pain that the Stones are also going through. My heart goes out to both families. I pray that the Stones will be encouraged by all of us who are praying for them. I pray that something good comes out of all of this. 

I do know that God does not make mistakes. Things happen, and Josh Hamilton put it into words so much better in the quote above. I also heard that Josh will eventually get to speak to this family.  I am encouraged that he will get to share his faith

Please pray for both these families. Feeling the loss of a father must be hard, and being someone involved in a freak accident like this would be tough to live with as well.  Pray that the Lord will give Josh Hamilton the right words to say, that the family will be open to hear what he has to say, and that our Lord Jesus Christ's name will be praised in all of this.

by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


Saturday, June 25, 2011


I've been a bit quiet on here, but sometimes it's just tough as it gets a little further from when I last posted, to figure out what's worthy of posting, and what's not. So, I get in a rut, and post nothing. Hmm.. 

We've been getting our oldest ready for her missions trip to Uganda in 6 days! It's happening awful soon, and I've been a little panicked about her raising enough money. But guess what? For some reason she's been able to get this far, and I just remembered the other night, that this is how God works. He makes us completely turn it all over to him, so that we understand that we cannot do this alone! We've been so busy "grabbing those reigns" and trying to do it all ourselves, that we just get overwhelmed. So, I am settling down a bit. I do believe she will get her funds in time. I'm praying about it, and have turned it over to Him, and I know His name will be praised in all of this!

Uganda. Sounds a little scary to those of us who haven't been out of the country. Well, if Tijuana, Mexico and the borders of Canada count.. I guess I have, but I really haven't seen much of the world! I would love to! Someday, right? Someday. Well, this little country sounds amazing! Working in orphanages with abandoned children that were left out on the streets, helping construct more buildings for them, trying to be a light in a world that seems a little dim, this is what they will be doing. Please pray that they will be used according to what God has planned for them, that they will listen and learn, pray for their safety, and for the wisdom and guidance of the leaders. This will be much appreciated!

I cannot wait to hear the stories, see the photos, and see how God uses and speaks to everyone involved. I'm wondering who will be the most ministered to.. 

remember the movie, The Blind Side? When the friend commented, "You're changing his life, sweetie!" the mother (Sandra Bullock) answers with tears in her eyes, "No, he's changing mine!"

Okay, this is hardly a flower from Africa, but it reminded me of the beauty that they will get to experience in a country they've never been to. It won't be the normal everyday type terrain they are used to, the flowers won't be the same, everything will be different. Just like this flower.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just for fun - Wave at the Bus!

Wouldn't it be great to do something fun to send your kids off to school? 

What about a great breakfast, a fun note, a happy song to sing as they walk out the door. What traditions do you have to send your kids off in a fun way? How many kids don't get a happy send off? How many kids walk themselves to the bus and make their own lunches? 

Some may have to.... but not this school bus of children... they all get to participate every day in a "have a good day!" wave. This is something I'm sure they will never forget!

(click to see their blog)

Rain Price will never forget the first day of his sophomore year of high school. On the bus, packed with classmates from his suburban Utah school, Rain peered out the window, mortified. 

"The school bus for the first time ever came down our street this year," explains Rain’s dad, Dale, to Utah’s Daily Herald. "This was [my son’s] first year on the bus. My wife came running in the room and suggested we go wave at him to embarrass him.”

And so began Dale’s hazing ritual that continued every day for the rest of his son's
school year. The first day may have been the most shocking for Rain, but in the days to follow, the surprises kept coming.  

Since the fall, Dale has waved at his son in 180 different outlandish costumes. The second day of school he wore a football helmet and jersey, and in the months that followed he opened the front door dressed as a blushing bride, a superhero, a Star Trek fan, Michael Jackson, and a giant chicken.  One day he even lugged an old toilet bowl onto the street and sat on it reading a newspaper, stopping to wave as the bus rolled by.

Over time, Rain's most humbling moment became his most anticipated. "The first day of high school...it was really embarrassing," 
Rain tells the Herald.  "But the last couple of months it has turned into more entertainment."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Still thinking about it?

What fun it will be, right? 

Are you thinking about it?

Keep thinking, planning, hoping.. 

I am!
  Girls Get Away Cruise ... we're next!

Remember, you could win a mini- photoshoot with your family and/or friends!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Parental Confusion!

Just when we think that parents can't get any more obnoxious, (i.e. Pageant Mom gave her 8 yr old Botox!) some other parent elbows another out of the way. Here we have a baby that needs to choose for "it"self what he/she wants to become one day. Parents will not allow the world to tell their baby what sex he/she was born, they want they baby to decide on it's own!


For you formed my inward parts; 

you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 

Psalm 139:13

We wonder why our children grow up to be so confused? Why don't we embrace who they are.. who God formed them to be? Encourage them to be the best Boy or Girl they can possibly be! 

There are so many great books out there for just this. Bringing Up Boys, Raising a Modern Day Knight, and one of my favorites, Wild at Heart! These are all amazing books, but something has stood out to me in Wild at Heart that talks about letting a boy be a boy. How society is trying to feminize our boys as they "sit still, don't climb, don't do this, don't do that.." they are BOYS! Yes, there is a time and a place, but let them be boys! 

Books for girls would be Raising a Modern Day Princess, Bringing Up Girls, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. All of these could only strengthen our call to raise up our girls to be proud of who they are, and be confident!

This following article just bugged me so bad, I had to stop everything and blog a little. I haven't had time to just sit and add to my blog, there are a lot of things going on out there in the world I could talk about, but this is something I felt like I needed to say! :)

Parents keep child’s gender under wraps

When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: "Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!")
But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. "We've decided not to share Storm's sex for now--a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime (a more progressive place? ...)," it said.
There's nothing ambiguous about the baby's genitals. But as Stocker puts it: "If you really want to get to know someone, you don't ask what's between their legs." So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.
Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. "What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It's obnoxious," adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.
They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender. "We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share," says Witterick.
"In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, 'Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!." she wrote in an email.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Last minute giveaway!

Lysa Terkeurst is giving away her 6 week teaching series on What Happens When Women Say YES to GOD.

She will be a speaker on the Girls Get Away Cruise and I love her blog!
All you have to do is read her blog for today and comment. Write about how the post spoke to you, and you're entered into a drawing. That's it! 

Today's post was very encouraging. Satan is really doing all he can to take our confidence, our thoughts.. twist them around and make us feel abandoned. Of course, I hope I win, but I also wanted someone else to get the chance. It really looks that good. If anyone from my blog wins, let me know how you like it! I am excited to hear..

The Seduction of Satisfaction

Temptation of any kind is Satan’s invitation to get our needs met outside the will of God. 
One of the subtle ways he does this to plant the hesitant thought in our mind that that God will not meet our needs — that God is not enough. Satan wants us to feel alone and abandoned, so that we turn to his offerings instead.  It’s the seduction of satisfaction.
Often the script that plays in our head is, “I need __________ so I can be satisfied.” 

Tell me how this blog post encouraged you today and I’ll enter you in a drawing I’m doing for my new 6 week DVD teaching series, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.”  It’s my 6 favorite 30 minute messages all in one package.  Plus, I’ll also give you the accompanying Bible study workbook too.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Win a mini - photography session on the Girls Get Away Cruise!

Hello ladies! We have about 7 more months left until we set sail for bluer skies and warmer temperatures on the Girls Get Away Cruise 2012! Ready for Cozumel?

When I book 20 cabins or more, I will draw the name of someone from my group, Group Kara, to win a mini-photography session aboard the ship! You can either use it to get some great pictures of yourself, the group you came with, you and your mother, you and your sister, you and your daughter.. you get the picture. *wink*
This includes a 1/2 hour session with me and my camera. You walk away 8-10 great photos on your own CD. You will own the right to these photos, and I can also use them for advertisement. This includes my time editing them and sending to you.

How often do you take the time to document yourself having a great vacation? If you're like me, you are taking all the photos, get home and realize that you are not in a single one. Reflections in a window or eyeball do not count.

Take advantage of this, and book with me!

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

Book today and save $100! Come join my group by clicking on this link to get the savings! Set sail Jan 12-16 2012

Are you excited? Have you been "traveling" on google earth like I have? So much fun! Even more fun in person, I'm sure. Let's go, girls!   
Find more information if you click on this Girls Get Away Cruise link, or this link that accesses each post I've written about it since the beginning. Just scroll your way down and find out what it's all about!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Believe!

It's been a while since I've posted! We have been through a whirlwind of kid's games, schedules with church, plays, dr appts.. you name it! Lately, if it's not on the calendar, we're going to miss it! Or.. in my case I've been missing things that *are* actually on the calendar!
I just had to share this really quickly before I run out....again! I love this. It's reminded me of what we as a family are going through, and hopefully be some encouragement to you as well! I received this in my email from Dayspring. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don't. This one I want to read over and over. I didn't actually realize this was his blog. It's great!
Thank you, Jesus, for your promises to us! 

In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed. In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling. Exodus 15:13 NIV
I believe my life is in God's hands and keeping. I believe He has a plan and purpose for my life and that He is leading me in a path that will fulfill that plan and purpose. I believe it is a good plan, a right plan, and the best plan. I believe there is not a better, higher, or wiser way for me to live or way for me to follow. I believe God knows exactly what He is doing and that He will bring things into my life at the exact time they are needed. I believe He wants me to follow Him with praise on my lips for who He is, with thanks in my heart for what He does, and with obedience in my steps for what He asks me to do.
-Roy Lessin, DaySpring co-founder and writer

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Who Do You Follow?

Happy Resurrection Sunday! The sun is shining down on us all so gloriously! It is a beautiful Sunday, and I pray that all of you have a blessed time together celebrating the reason we live. 

I also couldn't help but throw a very fun backyard find photo in for the season.

My cousin posted this on facebook this morning. I think it's very thought provoking.


He is risen, indeed!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Downhere and Rush of Fools!

I won tickets..again! From KLove radio station. Here in Chicago it's 94.3FM. This time it was for Downhere and Rush of Fools.

I was excited about Downhere, because a friend of ours from church moved away, and he now drives the bus on some occasions for the band, Downhere. I started listening to some more of their music, and really liked it! I also heard songs like "Here I Am" and "How Many Kings"

Rush of Fools I had only heard on the radio, but we loved hearing them as well. A song you may have heard would be "Undo". It was the only one I knew, but a lot of fun to hear their other songs. 

This time, it was my youngest turn to go to a concert with me. She had a blast and even found a little friend to giggle and plug her ears with. They told me "it sounds normal when you do this!" 

After listening to them, hearing their hearts, and being ministered to by their music, we got to meet them! They patiently signed autographs and talked with people. Even more patiently signed for my daughter as she went through the line again after buying a t-shirt. :)

They also showed a slideshow of their recent trip to the Dominican Republic and passed out some photos of children that needed sponsoring through World Vision. A fun story about my mom, she has sponsored a child from there for many many years. He was just a small child when she grabbed his name. He just graduated from medical school this year! He is on his way back to the Dominican Republic to work. Love it!

We had a great night, I enjoyed watching the smile on my daughter's face while she got her shirt signed, and sprinted through the church to catch up to "the one I missed". Yep.. she got it. More importantly, I want our kids to experience music that glorifies the Lord. She is just as thrilled going to a Christian concert, as she would be any others. I appreciate these groups sacrificing family time and play to minister to our hearts, and giving our kids someone to look up to that can share God's love and truth with them.

I also got to talk with the area promotions manager, Jennifer, from KLove. I explained how guilty I felt being a winner.. again. But she said, it's pulled at random, and I must be on a lucky streak! Yay! I enjoyed her stories of traveling with some bands, telling about the hard work it is and having to "wait" (if you know what I mean) until the next stop to go... that was hours and hours away.  While we talked about how awesome it was to hear the bands speak, and to clearly see where their hearts were, she told me about the Rush of Fools recent bus breakdown. How people came to their rescue, but at first hit a few "bumps in the road" as far as travel arrangements. This band didn't waver, stayed steadfast, and kept on going when it looked pretty bleak. Their faces radiate their faith, their voices sing God's promises, and our hearts were blessed as a result. 

Blurry picture with some of Downhere
another blurry one with some of Rush of Fools
I did try to take a good photo of the bands, but I realized afterwards, I had it set my camera to manual focus (ugh!), and it didn't do so well when I tried to focus in a hurry as people were in line. Story of my life! hah I really think I need glasses. No, honestly. I will schedule an appt. this month! Stay tuned.. ;)