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

Friday, February 25, 2011


Do you ever come across something that you just can't wait to share? I shared this on facebook when it first came out, then went to look on my blog, and couldn't believe I didn't post it! This was an amazing message and video! What was even more amazing was how they made it. Watch it, and see for yourselves.

David Crowder, from the David Crowder Band blogged about the making of this video. If you wonder how the frog was made, how the leaves were done, how many pegs it actually took for this to work, how many frames were taken...etc. Read about it on his post titled Lite Brites(r) are fun! sort of. well… 
His blog is called "a brave, chivalrous endeavor.."

I found this absolutely fascinating!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our New Mayor

Chicago now has a new mayor,  Rahm Emanuel. Right now, this is all I can really say. Just sharing some thoughts.

City unions guarded about Emanuel's victory

Police officers, firefighters voice concerns about pensions

Martin Ramirez cleans the streets and sidewalks in downtown Chicago Wednesday. Ramirez, a Streets and Sanitation worker for 23 years, says he is uneasy about his job security. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / February 23, 2011)

Leaders of several unions representing city workers weren't ready to take on Rahm Emanuel a day after he was elected mayor, despite his campaign promise to press for benefit reductions because of the city's looming budget crisis.

"I don't think anybody really knows what to expect right now," said Chicago firefighters union president Tom Ryan, who left his congratulations to Emanuel in a voice mail Wednesday. "It's definitely going to be an adjustment period."

Both the firefighters and police unions backed the candidacy of second-place finisher Gery Chico. Ryan said he plans to "proceed with caution" as Emanuel prepares to take office in May, while police union president Mark Donahue promised to work with the new mayor "as diligently as possible."

Donahue said officers are worried they might have to pay more into the pension fund.

"The most important aspect is the integrity of the fund," he said. "We'll do all we can to maintain the integrity of the fund and benefits the officers have earned."

Ryan and other union leaders said Chicago's pension shortfall is the biggest issue facing city employees. Growing pension obligations account for about half of the $1 billion-plus budget hole expected next year.

Emanuel was the only major mayoral candidate who did not rule out cutting pension benefits for existing employees.

Michael Shields, a police pension board member who is also running for union president, said retired officers are concerned their pensions could be "diminished or impaired."

"What I don't like is that retirees are calling and saying, 'Mike, what's going to happen to my fixed income here?'" Shields said.

"We knew when we took this job we weren't going to be rich," one police officer said. "But don't make us poor."

More Artists Announced for Girls Get Away Cruise!

In addition to Lysa TerKeurst, the following amazing ladies were just confirmed. I'm excited to announce:
Chonda Pierce, Shari Braendal, Angela Thomas, and JJ Heller as being special guests sharing with us on the Girls Get Away Cruise! 

See my previous introduction to Lysa and some links to her website here.

Let me start with Chonda Pierce. She is one funny lady! She is a Christian comedian, and is from Tennessee. She has won numerous awards, has several DVD's, and you can see some clips here on her website. I am excited to see her in person. Looks like we're in for a such a good time! I'm extra excited to exercise my stomach muscles when I see her. I fully believe this will count as my work out for the day.   

I'll share a little about Shari Braendal. She sounds like one to see! She is a fashion coach, Christian speaker, and author. She works hard to teach women and girls of all ages to appreciate their beauty as God sees them!  Check out her latest book called, "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad." I would love to see how she can teach me to dress up my jeans more! Jeans are my favorite, I just usually rock the boots during the winter, then the sandals (flip flops) any time I can get away with it! Isn't it funny how before we had kids, we'd spend every last cent on our wardrobe, now I'm just happy to find something clean to wear..even if it means sweatshirt and jeans! I run off to the store, or take kids to and from,  and am completely happy.

Angela Thomas will be another one speaking. She is currently working with Matthew West on a new book project.. She has written several books including her newest, "do you know who i am?" Questions women ask that are real! I will definitely be reading this one! Another thing that excited me about finding her, was her teen magazine called, Wild About You. As the mother of a teen girl, with another one not far behind her, we need all the resources we can get, don't we?

Finally, we have JJ Heller. JJ's album "When I'm With You," and current single "What Love Really Means" reached new levels this week on multiple Billboard Magazine charts. "What Love Really Means" reached #14 after 22 weeks on the Christian Songs Chart.  I love this song! If you haven't heard it, look it up! Or grab her CD. 

Her story really hit me when she told about how she started really being serious about her singing. We have a similar situation where our talented one (in the singing department) sometimes tries her hardest to be amazing at everything, but where she is really amazing, is her singing abilities. When I heard JJ's story, I heard it on KLove radio. I stopped short, turned it up and listened to every word. I just wanted to hug her as it was just what I needed to share with my daughter. God has blessed some people with an amazing gift, and I'm so happy that JJ has a great story of encouragement to tell! What is her story? Find out, here!

Do you have a story about any of these artists that you could share? I'd love to hear what you have to say about your experience listening to songs, or attending a conference where one of them spoke. Have any of them spoke to your hearts in any way? Do tell!

Again, if you want to book this cruise, click on the link below, and save $100.00 just by booking under my name!

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

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meet and Greet!

 Okay, it's your turn to post. Is there something you would like to share? Something you've come across that you think my readers would enjoy? The spotlight is on you!

Please leave a comment, let me know if you've been here before, and why you've come back. A little bit about yourself? Something like...

"I'm a mom of __ live near ___ I enjoy ____ Maybe also a little of.. 

Why do you go to blogs? 
What is your favorite thing to see? 
Have any ideas you'd like me to cover?
What makes you come back? 
Do you like to comment on things you like or just take it in, and move along? 

This is a chance for me to see who my readers are! I would love to follow you over to your blog and see what you've been up to. Would you please leave a comment and your blog address? Pretty please? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Interview - Annette: A repeat "Girls Get Away Cruise" girl!

I wanted to interview someone who had been on the Girls Getaway Cruise before. And look, I found someone! I also found out she's a fellow Pacific Northwest girl, like me! Meet Annette, she has been on this cruise several times! I look forward to meeting her in January, and other ladies to connect with along the way. Thank you, Annette, for being willing to answer my questions! 

If you are interested in this cruise, click on the Group KARA  button at the top of my site (if you come back later) or right here to find out more information and to save $100! Or you need to mention the name of the group you are affiliated with if you speak with someone.

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


Name: Annette Gulliford Camp

A little about yourself: I've been married 34 1/2 years and have two grown sons. I work as a Finance Manager.

My profile picture is taken in Cozumel.

What made you decide to go on the first cruise? I went on the first cruise because I found out about it from Karen Kingsbury, our hometown gal! I've have been on four Girl's Get-A-Way cruises and looking forward to number five next January!

Favorite thing to pack...summer clothes in winter!!

I wish I had not packed...so much clothes...too much!

I wish I would have packed...hmmm...can't think of anything.

What did you expect to get out of it? A renewed and refreshed spirit.

What did you take from it?  A renewed and refreshed spirit as well as new friends from around the country...future cabinmates!

Who was your favorite speaker and why? Favorites are Karen Kingsbury for her inspirational stories and Tanya Crevier for her bright light and enthusiasm for the Lord.

Anything that surprised you? The biggest suprise last October was the switch to Royal Caribbean from Carnival. There is no comparison...Royal Caribbean is the best!

What ages do you think really will benefit? (I am taking my 15 yr old, and hoping she will fit in somewhere) I think teens to adults are the best ages as there are programs and get togethers mostly for those ages.

Is there time to have fun? (other than what is planned) There is plenty of free time and plenty to do...you can do as little or as much as you like.

What was your favorite meal? All meals were great. The breakfast and lunch buffets have a tremendous variety of foods. The evening dinners were fantastic too, and such decadent desserts!

What was your favorite thing to do on Cozumel? So far I have shopped and done snorkeling in Cozumel. Not a big fan of shopping. The snorkeling was great and highly recommended if you have never done it. I went for the first time this past October and loved it. Probably won't do it again, only because I want to keep trying new things.
I think the thing I need to do better is pace myself. It's easy to do too much and not take time to relax...I keep trying to learn that...I did get a nice nap in Sunday afternoon this past cruise.

Favorite thing to do  on the ship? The evening programs are always inspirational and funny too, like the "No Talent" show...you never laughed so hard!!
The best part ever, though, truly is worshiping and interacting with so many other Christian women and making friends from all over the country and Canada too. Our last cruise was only partially chartered and the other half of the ship was open to the public. I was first not thrilled with that prospect as previous cruises were fully chartered. But, the opportunity to shine for the Lord and be an example of his patience and love is unmeasurable. There were people taking notice and asking questions. Praise the Lord!!

So, does this look good to you? Are you ready? I AM! I cannot wait to "get away" on a Royal Caribbean Cruise! 


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

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Anyone doing the Siesta Scripture Memory Team?

I am doing the Beth Moore Scripture Memory Team on her blog which is Living Proof Ministries, or the LPM Blog. I must admit, I haven't posted my verses each couple weeks, but I have followed along. I have written down my verses in my cute little Siesta scripture team index booklet. I'm sure it defeats *a* purpose by not posting (yet), I will this next week. But in the meantime, I believe the *main* purpose is to memorize it.
Even if you don't do this, read some of these! You might just be encouraged, refreshed, and inspired to start your own! I like how she wants us to pick verses that meet us where we are. Not to grab hers, or your best friend's, but your own. No pressure, just great to memorize something, a verse, if nothing else.

Here are my 3 verses so far. Just to encourage you to find something that speaks to you for the next couple weeks!

Verse #1 - Jan 1st, 2011 

Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.
- Philippians 1:6

Verse #2  - Jan 15th, 2011

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols 
on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, 
talking about them when you sit at home and when 
you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 
- Deuteronomy 11:18-19

Verse #3 - Feb 1st, 2011

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, 
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7 

Let me know if you are doing this, too! God bless you and your little hearts as you begin to look through His word and find what you need this week! :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

After The Storm - Chicago Blizzard 2011

Well, we made it! Thank the Lord we didn't lose power, only some hours of sleep as the wind howled and beat against our house. We supposedly have 18-20 inches of snow, but who could tell as it turned into mostly huge drifts due to high winds. They said they were up to about 45mph. The downfall of that is the cars are burried on the street. The wind packed them pretty high and tight! 

Dear hubby went off to work at 6:30 a.m. and made it to the end of the block. Stuck! Some neighbors helped push, but had to resort to walking home, getting the snow shovel, and hoof it back to unbury the car. Finally got it off the street, and into a parking spot that also had to be shoveled out. Some really nice kid picked him up after his 3rd attempt to get to work. He had a 4x4 truck and got him there swift and sound! The firehouse has a snowmobile, so that will help add to the transportation woes. 
It's looking like the plows are getting the streets back in order. Lake Shore Drive was completely shut down last night. People were waiting in their cars for hours to get through. Here's an article talking about the 900 cars stranded for up to 12 hours long! Here is a little clip of an interview. Another example of people taking care of people. There are genuinely nice people out there!

“It was a fascinating experience,” he said. “You saw everything from firefighters on snowmobiles and a cross country skier in the southbound lanes. One woman knocked on my door. She had granola bars and bottled water, and she was just trying to give them away to people stuck in their cars.”

Something else pretty shocking, was that CPS closed it's schools. They haven't done this in over 12 years! Didn't matter to us, we aren't leaving the house!

Oh, and if today wasn't enough, we're now in for a  Deep Freeze!  Anywhere from -5 to -20 temperatures coming our way. YAY! *sarcasm* Hey, if we lived near a mountain (or at least a HILL) I would be elated with this weather. But sadly, the land is flat. No place to ski...

Stay warm, my friends! Don't drive anywhere.. it's not worth it!

(editors note: I am placing watermarks on photos now due to someone stealing them from websites. Although these are not the best photos in all the world, they are mine.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Good job, Gracie!!

Good job, Gracie! Check out this quick thinking 3 yr old! Click on the link under the photo to see the video. Grace Goss Gardnerville helped save her mom as she had a seizure. See what happens when we teach our kids how to react in an emergency?

Chicago issuing blunt warnings: Storm imminent!

Chicago warned: Brace yourself

Snowy commute
Commuters trudge to work through a dusting of snow on Wells Street in Chicago this morning. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Tribune)

 "Every Chicago resident should brace for a storm that will be remembered for a long time," said Jose Santiago, head of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "There is no reason to believe, at this point, that the storm will miss the city."

The blizzard warning for Tuesday and Wednesday forecasts up to 20 inches of snow. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph will create whiteout conditions, making travel nearly impossible, possibly flooding stretches of the lakefront and knocking down power lines.

The snow is expected to hit between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. today, falling  at 1 to 2 inches per hour. The worst is expected to come between 9 p.m. today and 5 a.m. Wednesday with a snowfall rate of 3 to 4 inches per hour, Santiago said. Lake effect snow could add an additional 6 inches.

Winds are expected to reach 50 mph inland and 60 mph near the lake, where authorities have issued a lake shore flood watch from noon today until Wednesday afternoon.

Waves at the shoreline are expected to reach up to 25 feet, Santiago said.

The Chicago OEMC was to open its emergency control center at noon. The multi-agency center will be located on the third floor of OEMC's office building on Madison. From there, authorities will monitor conditions around the city through street cameras, Santiago said.

Santiago reminded drivers they must yield to emergency vehicles and should not drive unless absolutely necessary.

Landlords must also remember that heat must be kept at 68 degrees during the day and 66 degrees at night, he said.

Residents in need of shelter can head to local warming shelters, libraries, and police and fire stations, Santiago said.

"This storm will task the cities resources and test the patience of Chicago residents," Santiago said.

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation will utilize its full flee of 274 trucks plus 120 garbage trucks with quick hitch plows to clear main routes and Lake Shore Drive.

Department head Tom Byrne reminded residents that cars parked on streets with a 2-inch snow ban will be towed. "We will relocate cars if necessary," Byrne said. "This is a matter of public safety."

Byrne also said that snow cleared from cars should be put on parkways instead of the street.

The Streets and Sanitation Department will be receiving assistance Wednesday morning from the Department of Water and Transportation to help dig out critical areas around the city.

The Chicago Transit Authority plans to run longer trains more often to keep tracks clear of snow and the third rail, which powers the trains, from icing over.....