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.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On CNN

Click here to see a story about BFPR on CNN's iReport site. If you give it a good rating it will help us out. :) Feel free to share the story with your friends as well.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Takes an Individual to Raise a Villiage

I've spent a good part of the morning organizing the "backpack" room and unpacking packages of pens and pencils. I counted as I went and I can tell you a couple of things.

  1. We have more than enough ... the final count of pencils is 1,480 and the final count of pens is 1,532! These were either donated by people giving us packs of pens or pencils, or money was donated to purchase them.
  2. People who are responsible for designing packaging should really be required to have to unwrap it before their design is decided upon. PaperMate does a fine job by the way. Actually I think they do the best job of packaging pens and pencils. And in case you're wondering what 1,480 pencils and 1,532 pens looks like .....



I can also tell you that none of this would happen if not for individual people who are moved on some level to donate. We do not have big corporate sponsors who donate cases of this stuff. I've looked into that but there are two problems with that:
  1. Big corporations already have their projects and charities that they give to and are not generally open to adding more. At least that has been my experience. We do have businesses who sponsor REZonate which helps to raise money to purchase school supplies for the kids on the Rez, but we get no big donations of materials from anywhere. All of this comes from people like you and me who give anywhere from $5 to $1000 for us to buy the stuff, pack it, haul it out and distribute it. And I'm thinking that's a good thing.
  2. Its a good thing because more people get to discover the joy of giving. If some big corporation donated it they would likely be doing it for a tax write off (nothing wrong with that) and would not get the joy that comes from hands-on giving. When a little old lady walks up to me at church and hands me a bag of pencils or a 3 pack of notebooks, she knows she's helping change lives of kids on the Reservation. When a 6 year old little girl saves up her pennies and brings me her piggy-bank, she's learning a valuable lesson in giving to others.

And so, I kinda prefer doing it the hard way. Not that I would refuse a corporate donation - I most certainly would NOT because then even more kids could be helped, but it is kinda cool to see lots and lots of people getting into it. There's a famous quote that you've probably heard that says "it takes a village to raise a child", that may be true but it also takes individuals to raise a village.

Now its back to work ... I've got a dozen or more individuals coming over next week to fill the backpacks and pack them in boxes. Better go get ready.





They actually were bleeding after unwrapping all those pens and pencils. Everybody say "aawwwww".

And Gunner is getting into the spirit of REZonate and the Bike Run that we HOPE to do.




MRSA is in town

If you work out or are in hospitals (even visiting) here is a good reason to wash your hands.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hammer

I've been thinking about Hammer today. I'm not really sure why, but he's been on my mind. Hammer is, in a word, adorable. He's the kind of kid who can get away with almost anything with me because he's just so darn cute. He doesn't always do what he's supposed to do - which is why he was sent home from VBS one day. BTW, if I had known he was being sent home that day he would have stayed. There's no way I could have taken that kid home. I would have probably had a buddy hanging with me the rest of the day so I could keep any eye on him, but that would have been just fine with me. Last year Hammer had a thing for toads. He constantly had one in hand. I realized how bad that was when I was giving him a piggy-back ride and nearly ate a toad when he grabbed me around the head to hang on tighter and the toad came all too close to being shoved into my mouth.

Its been a tough few weeks. I have two major events coming up this summer and things with both of them are challenging to say the least. It feels like everyday there is a new problem to work out. I guess both sets of problems would be summed up in a single word - money. Or lack of it.

It will all work out. All of it. I don't have the slightest doubt about that, but in the meantime it has certainly added to my pile of work. After all, God is in control but we still have to do out part. So I'm not stressed, just really, really, really mentally drained.

Yesterday I was headed in to Walmart to buy 800 pens and 1300 pencils and met Brian on this way out. When I told him what I was there for he asked if I had an obsession with pens or something. I replied that I had no idea why I did the things I did. Honestly, at times like this I do have difficulty remembering. I guess I do it because I can. And because its what I think I'm supposed to do. And yes, I do it for the kids. Although .... I think I could be very happy just visiting for a week a year and then doing what I wanted the rest of the year.

Nah ... probably not.









Sunday, March 22, 2009

Walmart Hoax

In recent days I've been told by a few people not to shop at Walmart because there is a rumor that there is a gang initiation going on there in which the new gang member has to kill women at Walmart. When my delirious husband first informed me about it Thursday night I figured it was a hoax. In fact, I seem to recall hearing something like this a year or more ago and didn't figure any respectable gang would allow such information to leak out anyway. So, I ignored it. Even if it were true I'm not going to let some punk kid keep me from grocery shopping. If they kill me, they kill me. I'm ready to go so its all good. I might however be mad enough to take one of them with me.

Tonight I decided to check it out and yes, it is a hoax. Click here

I don't get too alarmed about things like this anyway. Life is dangerous and we're surrounded by incredibly evil people all the time so its not really news. Happy shopping everybody.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Professional Hoop Jumper

Just some updates for anyone bored enough to read. :)


  • My dad. My dad did not have a chemo treatment in March. The neuropathy was so bad that the doctor was afraid he would not be able to walk if he had it, so they 've put that off. Next week he'll get another PSA to see if they will do the next treatment or wait a while longer. On top of everything else - he now has shingles.

  • Brian - is still sick. And he's such a baby when he's sick. He definitely has a "man cold" ... or in this case bronchitis.

  • REZonate. Its coming along. I've been putting in some really long days getting things set up so we can promote the event. We now have 1300+ local "friends" on the REZonate Myspace page. That is SOOO time consuming but its like handing 1300+ people a flyer and its FREE, so its worth it... I guess. We're adding about 100 people a week so I figure by the time August gets here .... we'll have quite a few local folks to start getting the word out to.

  • I met with the radio station on Wednesday. I was disappointed in the results of that meeting but let's just say that I'm not giving up easily and they've not heard the last of me yet. I'll keep you posted. :)
  • I'm working through what seems like a few hundred snags we've run into with the Bike Run. I'm sure it will all work out and I hope to have some really good news to share soon. Everything takes SOOOO long and there are SOOO many hoops to jump through. I"m about to decide that's what I am - a professional hoop jumper.

  • Be sure your sins will find you out. I went to see Crue Fest at the Rave theater last night. I went alone.... didn't think anyone else I knew would be even mildly interested in that. I must say it was good to see one of my favs Sixx A.M. on the big screen. I could have well done without Buckcherry though .. Sheesh... that was like leaning over and seeing something out of the pit of hell. They managed to make Motley look like church choir boys. Funny - they were the band that actually joined hands and prayed before they went on stage.

  • While I was there - the above mentioned radio station was there promoting the event. And first in line at the movie was one of the guys in one of the bands that are playing at REZonate. The above mentioned radio station had us all come down to the front to have our picture taken for their web site. Somehow I ended up next to the guy from the band that will be playing. He didn't know me of course since we've only "talked" via email. I should have introduced myself because he would have known my name, but being shy (yes, I really am shy), I didn't. Anyway ... I try to sneak out and go to a rock show without telling anyone and of course, I end up on their web site.

  • Cody is off taking a group from Cru (a different crue than previously mentioned in this post) to Panama City for Spring Break

  • Logan is getting ready to see his best friend off to the Marines on Monday. They went muddin' the other night and got stuck for 5 hours. Funny thing - they had to call a girl to rescue them. :)

  • We got pics back ... I'll only post this one of the dogs. Everyone will have to wait to see the others.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not THAT Station

A couple people have sent emails asking if the rock station I referred to in my earlier post is that one station that has a reptile associated with it. No, it is not that station. Although ... I doubt very much if they knew that FROG means Fully Relying on God. :)

*I'm not a big fan of those little Christian sayings and such, but I simply couldn't resist that one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rock On!

Things are starting to happen. Sometimes so quickly I can't keep up. It seems like January and February I knock on a lot of doors and wait, wait, wait for people to get back. It seems like I beat my head against the wall and nothing happens.

Then ... suddenly, it all starts to fall into place.

Unfortunately, I can't let the cat out of the bag yet but I hope to have some really cool announcements later this week. I will say that this week we are:

  • Talking with a MAJOR Rock station in Cincy who appears to have a strong interest in being a media partner with us.
  • Talking to a bike club that has a strong interest (they've already decided to do it but we're working out the details) in making Rezonate their event of the year! That means a bike run that would draw bikers from all over the tri-state area and a raffle that would benefit the kids on the Rez. I'll be going to speak to them at their meeting in April.
  • Another Christian bike club will be there handing out free coffee and water and will be helping to promote the event
  • A Web TV station may be broadcasting it on their web tv site. That's good for sponsors, good for bands, good for the kids on the Reservation and ultimately a good opportunity for the world to see the body of Christ acting like Jesus would.

So yeah, a lot of good things are happening. I really believe its a "God thing". None of us really know what we're doing. Well, maybe this year we know a little bit more, but really, none of us have the means or expertise to make this happen. And yet it does. And I marvel at it all.

Friday, March 13, 2009

People Ask What I Do - Here is What I've Done This Week

email businesses about sponsorship talk to Rock Stations check in with parents to see how they're doing clean up dog pee make up budgets cook talk to restaurant owners talk to biker clubs sleep talk to missionaries clean up dog pee rework budgets pray write devotional for crew book hang out with husband and son teach Sunday School listen to bands to see if they are good eat write report for meeting email Pine Ridge crew email REZonate team talk to bands about performing @ REZonate go to meetings get ideas talk to reporters talk to journalism students build up contact list to promote REZonate clean up dog pee talk to friends grocery shopping blog go to a wedding read drink a lot of coffee connected with an old friend from high school

I think that's all ... for now.

Run For Their Freedom


This is something my oldest son Cody is involved with.

Human Trafficking has become a global enterprise as a multi-billion dollar industry. With over a million women and children trafficked each year, many for sexual exploitation facing horrors of untold injustice, the problem of what is can take on an overwhelming and faceless problem that seems distant from each of us.
However, the faceless millions each have a story, a name, a life, and -if others step into their need- a hope.

The Aruna 5K run in Cincinnati is one way to help. If you can run or walk the 3.1 mile route, you can help. You can register online.

So Exactly How Does Prayer Work?

One thing I get really, really tired of is seeing people who come crying in the middle of a crisis ignore wise counsel and keep on doing the same old thing thinking that "this time it will be different". Of course, things are not different, in fact, they only get in deeper and then wonder why their lives never quite work out. I can think of countless situations where I've seen that happen and usually it gets ugly - really ugly, because it usually ends up involving innocent children.

Right now there are at least three situations like that I'm thinking about. Situations where the person is bent on continuing a very destructive behavior, and yes, children are involved and will be affected in the most negative way. Drugs, sex, and not wanting to stand up to abusive behavior, is more important than doing what's in the best interest of their children. These children don't stand a chance for anything like a happy life. I know these folks think they're hurting now and they're doing whatever they can to numb their pain. I also know they have no idea how those children will be able to break their hearts and cause them to feel more pain than they can imagine in the future.

With 1000+ people who will call a pastor when their life is coming apart at the seams, I see this stuff and am sometimes involved in it all the time. I'd say of all of those maybe 2% of the people really want to do what they need to do to make their lives better.

SO ...

All I can do is pray. And that so often doesn't seem enough. I'd rather shake their teeth out.

I know that prayer is enough. Quite enough. I know that from experience. But maybe it doesn't seem enough because I know that God will not override someone's free will. He will not step in and force someone to do something they are not willing to do. He invites. He does not force Himself.

And yet ...

I wonder about that too. Years ago I was volunteering at a Pregnancy Care Center when a young girl walked in for a pregnancy test. I did the test and talked with her for a while. She was a very sweet girl who already had one child and was sure her parents would never in a million years understand how she could do this twice. She was adamant about having an abortion. Nothing would change her mind. She left to make plans to ride a bus to another city in another state and get an abortion later that week. I left the center that day, came home and prayed for her. You know how when you're really upset about something you just pray and say whatever comes to mind not bothering to think it through? Well, as I prayed I said, "Well God, just take all of her money away!". I knew that she wouldn't get an abortion with out cold hard cash. As soon as I said it I felt stupid. I can't ask God to steal her money! Scratch that God.

A week later, when I knew she would be back home, I called her to see how she was doing. I was expecting a young girl who was devastated. To my surprise she told me that she was still pregnant. She had not gotten the abortion because when she was getting off the bus some guy stole her purse and took all of her money. Needless to say, I was shocked. She went on to give birth to a beautiful baby girl and I got to watch the little girl grow up.

So all of that leaves me wondering just how this prayer thing works. Trust me, the above story had nothing to do with "faith".

I imagine this is one of the "mysteries" about God that we humans will never figure out. No wonder the Native Americans call God "The Great Mystery". I can't think of a better name for him.

So what are your thoughts about this?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quote

"Love is a virtue and not a feeling. It is fed and fired by God - not by the favorable response of the beloved. Even when it doesn't' seem to make a dime's worth of difference to the ones on whom it is lavished, it is still the most prized of all virtues because it is at the heart of the very character of God"
~ Rich Mullins

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

Laminate flooring. Just a bit of advice here about laminate flooring. DON'T BUY IT! Its horrible. After a while it gets a really ugly cloudy/streaky mess on it and seems to have some sort of residue on it that will not come off unless you scrub hard for a long, long time. With my bad knees, that isn't going to happen. Especially when the next day it will be back to looking awful again. I wish he had put in hardwood floors.


I'm a bit late in posting this, but I did pick up the new U2 cd No Line on the Horizon. I love it. It took me a few listens to really get into it, but now I'm as crazy about it as all of their past albums. The bad news is - they announced their tour dates and they will not be anywhere near Cincy unless they announce more dates later. That is more than a little disappointing because I've never been to a U2 concert and was planning on making this one. The closest city is Chicago which is not all that close - and Brian has a wedding on that day. :/




I went shopping the other day. I ended up buying one of those short tops/jackets that make me wonder what the fashion designers were thinking. I mean really, do these really flatter anybody? OK, maybe if you're a size 1 they might work, but most of us are not a size 1 so we just end up looking short and squat in them. On the positive side, they are full and you can hide a lot in them, but the short length just cuts you in two at the WRONG place. Isn't the idea to appear longer and leaner? I always thought you wanted to dress in a way that elongates your body. These just make you look ... short and squat. .



There was something I noticed on Myspace the other day... you can put your friends into categories. Actually, I've used that feature on the Backpacks myspace because it makes it easier to find bands, businesses, etc. But I was recently put into a category of a "Church friend", which made me start wondering what the difference is between a "church friend" and a friend? I would really like to think that I was just a regular friend ... somehow saying "church friend" just implies something that doesn't seem right to me in some way. Maybe it just that I dislike having lines drawn between the church and the rest of the world. Not that I'm saying that there shouldn't be a difference in how we behave (even though there is often not much of a difference at all), its just that I have a strong aversion to the way a lot of Church try to separate themselves into holy huddles that only make them ineffective.


While I'm talking about such things, let me just say that I really don't like being introduced to someone as a "Pastor's wife". What the heck is a pastor's wife anyway? I'm just someone who happens to be married to a pastor but that is not my identity. Never mind that it brings to mind a picture that is SO NOT ME. Introducing me as a pastor's wife just makes it that much harder to ever really connect with the person you're introducing me too - because now they have an image of someone else stuck in their head and it takes a lot to get past that. I MUCH prefer to be introduced as your friend. Unless I'm not your friend ... and sometimes I wonder if I really have any friends or if I really am just "the pastor's wife". So you wont find me wearing this t-shirt. I'll either be wearing a U2 t-shirt or my new short and squat jacket.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Text From my Son

I just got a text from my youngest son ....

"Dad has the Dropkick Murphys blasting in the sanctuary"

Oh my ....

Let me explain ...

This afternoon a really sweet couple from our church is getting married. Brian is doing the ceremony BUT unlike most other weddings, he has no clue what he's doing with this one. He's probably really stressed - hence the Dropkick Murphys.

The couple is from Cameroon, Africa and the wedding will be a traditional Cameroom ceremony - NOT something Brian is familiar with.

Despite a long rehearsal last night in which the wedding party decided to go out to eat just as the rehearsal was supposed to start, and despite the best man never showing up, and despite the bride sending Brian instructions in GREEK, Brian is doing his best. Good thing he's fairly used to functioning in different cultures. :)

This should be fun! I'm on my way now. :)

*Update*

I'm back. Wow, that was fun, different, fun, long, and fun.

Everything went off without a hitch - once the bride arrived. The African pastor who preached was really good - and funny. It was beautiful and I think its safe to say everybody had a good time.

I've never seen Brian dance like that before.

I'm EXCITED

Check out the Backpacks for Pine Ridge blog to see a few of the bands that will be playing REZonate this year!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Celtic Punk

While I'm sitting here waiting to get into my backyard (long story) so that I can begin some spring yard work I'll blog about the concert Brian and I went to the other night. I am now fully recovered by the way. I'm really too old for these late nights followed by an early morning. I think it was somewhere between midnight and 1am when we got home and got to bed and that wonderful invention the alarm clock went off at 5am.
It was an interesting night. The music was tolerable with the exception of the second warm up band who resembled a bunch of high school boys who thew a band together. I was almost bored into a coma before they finally left the stage. The Dropkick Murphys were good - even for me, and I'm not all that fond of them. Definitely better live, as are most bands. There were lots of mohawks, tattoos, and guys in skirts, or make that kilts. Surprisingly, we were not the oldest people there but I'd guess the average age to be around 25 years old. I wasn't sure what to expect since I'm not familiar with the band and its been years since I went to a major rock concert - lots of years.
Brian enjoyed it! Can you believe my gray haired, conservative, preacher husband enjoyed being there? He did however keep asking if they had popcorn. He's such a rock concert virgin.
He'll get used to it ... U2 is about to tour.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

On My Mind

Ever head of Wordle? It's pretty cool. I typed in the URL of this blog to see what's been on my mind. Here is the result. http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/618171/On_my_mind

Wordle: On my mind

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Music

Bet this wasn't the image you expected to see on this post eh? :) Especially considering that the new U2 CD is out as of yesterday.

Can you believe that I've not bought the new U2 CD yet?

I've also not seen them on Letterman on either of the past two nights??

What's wrong with me?

I was tired, that's what was wrong. Monday night I really tried to stay up to see them on Letterman. I even suffered through Katie Couric only to fall asleep just before they were on. I woke up on the couch the next morning wondering why I didn't have some sense of their performance and realized that I'd fallen asleep before I saw them. I did see them shoveling snow though ... or should I say I saw Bono, Edge and Adam shoveling snow while Larry smoked a cigarette and watched them.

Last night, I just gave up early and went to bed.

I wont see them tonight either...

Brian and I are going to see the Dropkick Murphys in Indianapolis. WHAT??? Who??

Yeah, a few months ago Brian came home and had me listen to a clip from a song he had heard on the Internet that he loved. I thought he was joking. They're pretty horrible if you ask me, but he loves their strange blend of Celtic and Punk. So ... for Valentines Day I bought him tickets to see them tonight. I think this is his first ever big rock concert and I'm wondering exactly how long we'll stay. :)

Me ... I'm thinking I need to pick up that new U2 CD today to listen to it on the way to Indy. And thank God for Youtube so I can catch them on Letterman anytime of the day.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Everything is Amazing Right Now and No One is Happy

Saw this on another web site (sorry can't remember where) and laughed until I cried.