About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Watermelon, Watermelon, Watermelon

Well after 6 months of planning and getting the team prepared, its almost time to hit the road. I've been swamped with last minute details the past few days. One rather big last minute detail was watermelons. That's right, watermelons. I am just back from purchasing 24 of 'em. You should see the looks you get at Walmart when you buy that many watermelons.

Next Friday is party day at the mission. We will have around 150 kids, give or take a few, we will feed them lunch, have potato sack races, play tug-of-war, cornhole, play with a giant parachute, shoot hoops, and have a watermelon eating contest (any excuse to tie them up for a few minutes). We'll also get all the kids sno-cones from a Lakota lady on the Rez who sells them in remembrance of the American Indian Code Talkers with the proceeds going to the following Native organizations: The Olowan Dale Adam Scholarship Fund, The Lakota Song and Dance Club, The Future American Indians of Business. Its kind of a cool thing to treat the kids to sno-cones on a hot summer day and support the local business/educational imitative. And after all of that ..... we'll top it off with a water fight! Gotta hose 'em down somehow. That evening I think we're all going to relax and enjoy the beautiful American Indian dancers at the Pine Ridge PowWow.

A few of my prized purchases riding in the back of my Jeep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet the Crew: Kris

Kristen is a WELCOME and last minute addition to our crew. We are all thrilled to have Kris join us. She is getting to be a "pro" on these trips and the kids there love her. I've got the pics to prove it. :) Kristen is a hard worker and very self-less in her giving. She is always ready to go whatever is needed. She is always up for a giggle-fest in the late hours of the evening as well. Don't let her sweet smile and shy personality mislead you - she's devious when it comes to pranks.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This will be my fourth yr.

What is something specific people can pray for you about?

That i do what i need to do while I'm out there the other people and not doing things just for me

What about the trips has changed you and/or makes you want to go back?

I have been able to come out of my shell a little more dealing with the kids and stuff.. and the kids are what you mostly wanna go back for
*Note* In case there is some confusion about last minute additions to the crew when I make a big deal about deadlines, here is the explanation. Although there are firm deadlines for signing up for the trips to Pine Ridge, occasionally we have a crew member that has to drop out for various reasons. When that happens a spot becomes available - I normally reserve those last minute spots for folks who are familiar with the trips due to the need to be as spiritually, emotionally, physically, and culturally prepared as possible.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Banking on a Fortune Cookie

Life's been crazy lately. I've put in 12 - 14 hour days and at the end of the day, everything on my
"to do" list, still isn't done.

In the next month I have two major events - a mission trip with a crew of 20, and then, right on the heels of that is Rezonate '08.

So much to do and not nearly enough time to do it in. Add to that, Brian has had his own craziness in getting ready for his trip to Haiti.

My house is a mess and all those flowers that I so lovingly planted this Spring ... well, I assume there still there. I've not been out to check on them in a while. Good thing they're all drought tolerant.

I'm not complaining mind you. I don't mind hard work as long as it's worth it. Rezonate has indeed been hard work and there is an entire team of very hard-working, very giving people who can attest to that. I can't even begin to list all the sacrifices made by these folks. They have dealt with rude people, judgmental people who question the "rightness" of what we're attempting, band drama, long grueling meetings, and have missed out on time with family to see this happen because they believe that Jesus would want us to be a light in a dark world. And there is more hard work ahead. We're looking at a horrendously hard weekend the weekend of the concert. Maybe we'll all get to sleep again when its finally over.

Sometimes I wonder if it will be worth it. I'm tempted to think that the measure of "success" will be how many people attend. But I know better. Regardless of how many people attend the event, it will be good. It already has been. Its been good just to see God at work. Its amazing what can happen when you let God run wild. He's crazy like that. Insane things happen when you set out to try to follow Jesus. Things no one could plan. Things no one would even think to plan. Things that still boggle my mind to think about. I'm not sure of much with this event but I am absolutely certain of one thing - this event is a God thing. There is no other way to explain it.

There has been mission trip craziness too. We have an entirely different team than we did a month ago. We've yet to have meeting with every person going in attendance. I've reworked and reworked the schedule and plans. Things have changed faster than I can think of what to do about them. That's a good thing too. It means I'm not in control, that I have no idea what's going on but its clear to me that God knows exactly what is going on - that He's reworking plans according to His will, which is what we all want anyway.

And then there's daily life craziness. As if I didn't have 500 other things to think about and do this week, my son bought a car. He's going to be driving to Dayton to school every day and his truck gets such bad gas mileage that he simply can't afford the gas to go to school. He bought a Honda Civic to take care of that problem. And he sold his truck. Today. As soon as it went on the market, it sold. And that creates a lot of other problems. He was at work and called home just as I was getting out of the shower to tell me that someone was at the house to look at the truck and could I go out and give them the key. Sure, just as soon as I get some clothes on. It was suggested that I just slip it through the door. Wow, am I not allowed to get dressed now?? They bought it. Only problem is - I don't know where the title is. I thought it was probably in the safe deposit box at the bank but wanted to check with Brain to be sure. I called the hotel in Miami only to hear they don't have him registered. Neither do they have the trip leader registered ... or the group registered either for that matter. As I'm trying to sort through this mess both of my phones kept ringing. Turns out the title is in the safe deposit box at the bank. And the bank is closed until Monday. Thank goodness. At least I don't have to drop what I'm doing and deal with that today.

About that fortune cookie ... sometimes funny things happen. Last night Brian and I went out for Chinese food for his last meal at home. My fortune cookie read, "You emerge victorious from the maze you've been traveling in". Does God speak through fortune cookies? I don't know. Sometimes I think He just might. And sometimes I think He just has a sick sense of humor - which is actually one of the things I like about Him.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Meet the Crew: Charles

About Charles:

Saint Charles, Always does the right thing, Honest, Hard-working, Never Complains, LOVES those kids, Trustworthy, Dependable. And he’s a great mechanic.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This will be my 3rd year

What is something specific people can pray for you about?


What is it about the trip that has changed you and makes you want to go back?

It makes me appreciate what I’ve got more and makes me wish I could do more for the people and Barry and Shelly
* No picture of Charles was available HOWEVER, the kids on the Rez always call him "Papa Smurf" so ...

Meet the Crew: Chrissie

*Sorry - no picture of Chrissie available. Even after all the years she has gone with us I do not have a close-up of her. I have several pics that were taken from a distance but no close-ups. :/ That will change this year Chrissie!!

About Chrissie
Chrissie is a pleasure to have along on the trips. She quietly goes about doing what she’s there to do without complaining and gives her best at all times. Her love for the kids there is evident to anyone who has traveled to the Rez with her.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This will be my 4th trip.

What is something specific people can pray for you about?

I have sciatic nerve problems so it can make traveling in the van for long periods of time hard on me.

For those of you who have gone before - what is the thing about it that has changed you and made you want to go back?

My priorities have changed…things that may have seemed important before don’t always seem so important now.
The major thing that keeps me wanting to go back each year is the kids. When you aren’t there you think of them, I miss them and wonder what they are doing and how they are. Are they cold or hungry…are they happy or sad. It truly is a week where you put all your needs and wants aside and put all the focus on them. For one week you know the kids had fun and felt loved and by the end of the week you realize you did too. When it’s time to say goodbye, the cycle starts over and my heart aches to return again.

Meet the Crew: Jeff

*Sorry - no picure of Jeff available

About Jeff
Jeff is willing to do whatever it takes, Good Attitude, Team player, Hard-working, Funny, Dependable, Adventurous, Fun

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This will be my first year.

What is something specific people can pray for you about?

I need prayer so God will soften my heart with some personal situations I am going through. Seems I have gotten Bitter in my "older" years with certain situations. Almost to the point of hatred!

Why do you want to go on this trip?

I need to meet more people, I feel I have something to give, just don't really understand what it is I have. I have seen the pictures and heard Chrissie talk about all the people there and it seems like it would be beneficial for me and them. I know God has something spectacular in store for me! Just wish he would show me what it is..............

Meet the Crew: Darlene

*Sorry - no picture of Darlene available.

About DarleneLoyal, Hardworking, willing to do whatever is needed, thinks of others before herself, very committed to the team. Makes a good strawberry pie!

How many times have you been to the Rez with us?

This is my first year.

What is something specific people can pray for me about?

Strength to do what I feel the Lord has called me to do

Why do you want to go on the trip?

Because I love to help people and I think it will be a good experience.

Meet the Crew: Dennis

About Dennis:
Honorable, Man of intgrity. Hard-working, Trustworthy, Funny, Funny, Funny. Never Complains - or at least in all the time of traveling with him to the Rez I've never heard him complain. Great teacher. Great musician. Does his best at all times.

This will be the 3rd trip to the Rez for Dennis.

He did not get his responses turned in but has many issues that need prayer and I’m pretty sure he keeps going back because he has a heart for people and believes strongly in missions. Now if we could just get him to pay attention. ;)

Meet the Crew: Bev

About Bev
Bev is one of those people who strives to do her best at whatever task she is at. She is a hard worker who always seeks to give Jesus her best.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

I have been four times.

What is something specific people can pray for you about?

That I will be prepared and sensitive to the Holy Spirit each day that I am there and will follow His leading.

What is it about the trips that has changed you and makes you want to go back?

I love the Native people and seeing them in the conditions they are in today breaks my heart.

*Bev has more to share but I do not want to misrepresent her by misinterpreting her words. I am sure she will gladly share with you if you ask her. My memory just isn't good enough to remember what she said word for word.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Need A Wife

I am feeling really overwhelmed today. I'm not really stressed about things working out because that's a given, but there is just SO much to do. I wake up everyday feeling overwhelmed with all that I have to do and sometimes get paralyzed wondering where to even begin. I usually just start thinking "just doing something" and that will be something to cross off the list. And then there's the house. I'm getting buried in doggie hair and can't seem to find time to get to the groc store not to mention figuring out what to do about dinner every night. And then there's the dust that is about an inch thick on my furniture which I can live with but its annoying. I need a wife. Now I understand the scripture "he who finds a wife finds a good thing". Proverbs 18:22

Americas Next Top Pastor

I got this from my friend Justin.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Introducing "Gunner"

We didn't plan this, but we have a new baby. The puppy has moved in despite anyone's opinion. He's been in the back yard for a few days now so I guess he's found a home. Logan wanted to name him "Gunner" and he looks like a Gunner and acts like a Gunner, so Gunner it is.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Meet the Crew: Daniel

Daniel is a young man with a heart for God. He is a talented musician and has a desire to be used by God. He also talks in his sleep. You can learn a lot of you listen to him when he’s sleeping.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This is going to be my third year going to the reservation.

What is something specific that people can pray for you about?

Pray that I have a servants heart, and not care about my needs, but the needs of others.

What about the trips have changed you and made you want to go back?

The trips for me are really life changing. It ,makes you realize how good we have it here in America. And the kids and the people are why I keep going back. Praying that one day they all will come to the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Meet the Crew: Jean

Jean has been a part of our crew since the first trip and has been a blessing to have along. She truly has a servant’s heart and is willing to do whatever needs doing with little or no regard for her own personal wishes. Her self-less efforts on the trips have helped her to build some special relationships with some of the kids.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?


What is something specific people can pray for you about?

That I am able to go, and that my husband gets rid of his cancer, or at least begins to feel better.

What is the thing about the trips that has changed you and made you want to go back?

I have learned that it's not about me. And I want to go back because I feel like I have family there, and I miss them.

* Jean and her husband are currently at Mayo Clinic in MN. Her husband had undergone extensive surgery to remove a tumor from his spine and has one more very intense surgery ahead of him. Jean also suffered a heart attack in March of this year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Day Two with Puppy

The puppy slept on the back porch last night and has not left the back yard all day except to follow me to the mail box and help me water the flowers. At this minute, Taser and Jazz are in the house and the puppy is on the back porch. Taser and the puppy are crying at each other through the door. Obviously this puppy thinks he lives here. He's really cute and LOVES people and is very smart. If I can find him a good home it would be great. I really don't want to take him to the pound. This is definitely a people dog. He lives to be held.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Now How Did THIS Happen??

I have a puppy.

I came home from running errands and found this little guy in the back yard with my other two dogs.

I have no idea how he got in the fenced yard but he's here. He's cute and looks well fed and healthy. Anybody want a cute puppy??

Just Who Does She Think She Is??

'Tis the season. I have officially started shopping for the trip to the Rez. Hard to believe we leave in 25 days!

I've shopped already and have the boxes in my dining room to prove it, but ... now begins the real shopping. Now is the time I spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars - none of which belong to me. Well, some of the dollars might, but not many. Its not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Its actually a bit stressful.

So, I go to a certain food distributor today to buy plates, napkins, cups, plastic knives, and SPORKS! (Gotta love those sporks.) We feed anywhere from 60 - 150 kids a hot lunch every day that we're on the Rez plus our crew so we buy a LOT of stuff. Today I bought 2000 cups, and 1200 or so plates. The plates were not in cases so when I went to the check out I told the cashier that I needed 2 cases of the plates. She informed me that they do not have any cases of them but that I can take them in the small bags off of the shelf. HELLO... I know that already but I want them in cases because they're going to South Dakota. And besides, they're a wholesale food distributor who sells in bulk so what does she mean she doesn't' have any cases?? Of course, I don't bother to explain all of that to her. Instead I take them off the shelf knowing that it'll just be a bit more work to pack them. No bother, I've done it before and no doubt will do it again.

Besides this particular place always has boxes .... lots of boxes... lots of empty boxes .. piled up at the front of the store and in the past they have always been kind and let me have as many as I need. So after being told that she has no cases of plates, I politely ask the cashier if I can take some of the boxes. To my utter amazement she says, 'You may have up to three". THREE?? Three? Did she really say three? She did. I looked at her dumbfounded and then I explained that one reason I asked for the plates to be in boxes was because they were going across the country. I got a blank look in reply before she turned away from me and to the next customer.

OK, lady, I'll show you... I'll take the three biggest boxes you've got. And I did.

I mean really ... who does she think she is telling me I can only have three lousy boxes. She obviously don't know that we spend a LOT of money there each year. She obviously doesn't know that our church spends even more money there than we do. And most importantly, she obviously doesn't know about my history with boxes. If she did, she wouldn't come between me and a box. Not in June, July or August she wouldn't'. Three boxes! The nerve!

(some of you "get this" because you remember the story of "the box" from a couple of years ago. )

Meet the Crew: Fred

What can I say about Fred? Fred is awesome. Fred is amazing. Fred is LOVED by everybody on the team. And in spite of all of that, Fred is humble. One of the sweetest guys you’ll ever meet and a hard worker who always puts Jesus first and has a true servant’s heart.

How many years have you gone to the Rez with us?

This will be my 2nd year.

What is something specific people can be praying for you about?

That I would be obedient to God, to be tender to the Holy Spirit, step up when I should, step back when I need to and the wisdom to know the difference.

What is the thing about the trip that has changed you and makes you want to go back?

I think about the children at Pine Ridge all the time, especially when I see the children at church or my grandchildren and I've grown closer to my brothers and sisters in Christ that I traveled to Pine Ridge with.
What makes me want to go back?
If I can encourage or help one person to know Christ and change their life, that would be awesome.