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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Uncle Gardner

I just got the call that I've been expecting for a while. My uncle Gardner passed away. Even though its been a long time since I've seen him, I will miss him. Just knowing that he won't be there when I go back to my hometown will seem odd. Gardner suffered for a long time and I'm glad that he's no longer in that kind of pain and agony. I will always remember him as my uncle who was always joking and loved to make people laugh. Make us laugh he did when he was teaching my son Logan how to ride a 4-wheeler ATV. Logan sat on the 4-wheeler as Gardner showed him how to operate it. Unknown to either of them, Gardner's shorts were caught on a part of the 4-wheeler so when Logan took off - so did Gardner's shorts. Ripped 'em right off. We've never stopped laughing about that, and never will.

I'm not sure if I'll get to go back home for the funeral or not. I want to, but its a busy week and I figured he would pass about the same time that Brian's sister who we rarely get to see would be coming for a visit. That seems to be the case. I'll wait to hear when the funeral will be and then will decide if I can make the trip or not. In either case, I'll be there in my thoughts.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More Good News and Another BUSY Week

We got good, no make that great news yesterday. Eliot Sloan will be back for REZonate this year. Last year he just blew everybody away. What a voice! After he sang "Light in Your Eyes" everyone was pretty much speechless. And he's SO sweet and kind, and HUMBLE. He is truly a "star" with 8 #1 songs and his music is played in lots of movies and TV shows including Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, but he was so sweet. Just a truly humble guy who was willing to come to a benefit and play until 10:30 in the evening when he had to be in Falls Church, VA the next day for a show with Blessid Union of Souls. I can tell ya I've talked to far lesser known people who had nothing but demands for special treatment. I have to fight the urge to remind them that nobody knows them.

Karyn Williams will be back too. Her dad is the senior vice president of the Orlando Magic and father of 19 multi-cultural children. She's a singer/songwriter with a beautiful voice. What the heck, SHE'S beautiful - a former Miss University of Fla. and runner up in the Miss Fla. Pageant. She has a brand new book out with her dad called The Takeaway. Its very inspirational book that talks about the life-lessons she learned (took away) from her relationship with her father. Look for her on Good Morning America, the 700 Club, and the Delilah Radio Show soon!

Yesterday I did a presentation about our work project on the Rez this year. It was cool. I've always believed that people really do care and really do want to help other people if they just know what is needed. Yesterday proved that. The first picture of Melda's place came up on the screen and you could hear the collective "gasp" across the congregation. We've had lots of response too. One that was particularly touching was a man who has been without work for some time offered some electrical cable. He said he had it in his basement and was thinking of stripping it and selling it for the copper but he thought this would be a better use for it. I know this family has been struggling to make ends meet and probably could really use the money from that copper themselves. Michelle is another friend was inspired to have a shower for Melda - what's a new kitchen without new pots and pans and kitchen stuff?? :)

Last week Ameridian Specialty Services donated all of the roofing and siding to us for the project. The thing is - they already are in the very top level of sponsorship for REZonate and now they came to me and volunteered to give even more for Melda's place.

The generosity of people never fails to just blow me away.

The week was not without its problems. In fact, if you're the praying kind, then your prayers would be especially appreciated for a situation that cannot be named here for the sake of the safety of those involved. Yes, it could be serious.

This week looks to be just as busy. Along with the hectic pace of all things Pine Ridge, we have word that my uncle will probably pass away in the next few days. He's a good man but has suffered for a long time. I will post about a special memory of him soon.

On a happier note, I'm looking forward to a visit from Brian's sister who we've not seen in a long time and rarely ever get to see.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tough Old Guys and Pirates

Anybody noticed that some hard-to-believe movie plots are actually becoming a reality? Brian and I saw Clint Eastwood's Grand Torino when it came out. Not a bad movie, but not really believable that an old guy like Clint Eastwood could take out a bunch of gang bangers. Granted, it was Clint Eastwood, but still it seemed far-fetched ... or so I thought until I saw this story about an 84 year old guy who beat up some would be car thieves in Tacoma, WA.

And then there's the pirate story. Its been over a century since the U.S. has brought piracy charges against anyone. Long enough for us to forget how downright mean they were/are and fall in love with the likes of Captain Hook and Captain Jack Sparrow who were the harmless, funny kind of pirate. Long enough for pirates to be the most often picked Halloween costume by both kids and adults. But now here we are dealing with real live pirates again. My nephew is over there fighting them even. Who'd have thunk my nephew would grow up to fight pirates??

Crazier things have happened I guess.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Why Go To Church?

Found this on Dave's blog at holy heteroclite

"I come to lowly church halls and lofty cathedrals for what purpose? I search the Scriptures to what end? To check my head? My heart? No, my soul. For me these meditations are like a plumb line dropped by a master builder — to see if the walls are straight or crooked."-Bono, NY Times

“Moment of Surrender” tells the tale of a lost soul, borrowing an Alcoholics Anonymous term for the moment an addict admits helplessness. “The character in the song is a junkie, so that’s where I got it,” says Bono, who has written about heroin addiction before, most famously on “Bad” from The Unforgettable Fire. “I’ve been surrounded a lot in my personal life by addiction — in the last few years, in particular,” Bono says. “I know a lot of people — not least the bass player in the band — who has had to deal with their demons in courageous ways.” (In the Nineties — around the time he was engaged to Naomi Campbell — [bass player Adam] Clayton grappled with alcoholism, and went to AA himself.) “And maybe there’s a part of me that thinks, ‘Wow, I’m just an inch away’,” Bono continues. “There’s no doubt about the fact that I have a wild streak and I’d be very capable of setting fire to myself. So, you know, I don’t go to church for the view.” -Bono, Rolling Stone

Busy Times

I have lots to say (surprise) but not time to say it. Life is good. I'm exhausted but in a good way. I'll post when I get a chance.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

100 Harleys

I'm pretty much blown away. The past two days have been long, busy, and utterly amazing.

Yesterday afternoon I was invited along with another guy from our team (Jeff) to do a presentation about Pine Ridge/REZonate to the Cincinnati Teamsters Motorcycle Association. Our hope is to do a bike run in conjunction with REZonate this year. We went, we gave the presentation and they voted to do it. Jeff said that he was hoping for 100 bikes. They replied that getting 100 would be easy - they could do better than that. We still have to get insurance for this event and I've been waiting for more than 2 weeks just to get a quote.

Can you imagine 100 Harleys thundering in to the concert?

There are other good things in the works as well. Wish I was at liberty to say what. Not being able to share it is killing me. :)

The more I am involved with this the more I am convinced that I have very little to do with it. I get the distinct feeling that this (and by this I mean all Pine Ridge stuff) is just a God thing. I don't want to over-simplify it but there are just too many things that happen that are completely out of my control. It leaves me with the awareness that God is a big God and I am pretty small in insignificant. In fact, I don't think I'm necessary at all. I'm not saying that to sound humble because I'm not sure I'd list humility as one of my strengths. I say it because it's simply the way it is. And I'm just grateful to have a great view as I watch it all happen.

Friday, April 17, 2009


It never ceases to amaze me... I got a message from someone on Facebook ... they are from France and want to donate to Backpacks For Pine Ridge. How crazy is that?? We have received donations from the U.S., Germany, England, and France.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

They Say Life Comes at You Fast ... No Kidding

Things happen fast sometimes. We're in the middle of pulling together materials we will need for the trip to the Rez this summer. It seems like a long way off, but we only have 2 more crew meeting before we leave and there's plenty to do. Now is when we start buying supplies and wrapping up final plans.

I'm really excited about our work project his year. We're building an addition on to an elderly lady's house. Her "kitchen" is a lean-to that has holes in the ceiling, floor and walls and no door. We'll be tearing that off and rebuilding a 12'x16' room in its place and trying to get water into her home. Dennis is in charge of the project and yesterday he gave me the list of materials we will need. I posted it and within a few hours I had an email from someone with quite a few of the items listed. And then my mom got on Craig's List and found a lot of the lumber we will need for about half the price of what we would pay at a store. SO ... in about an hour I'll be heading to Lebanon with my dad and Dennis to buy lumber for her house!

I've been walking around Target buying a few things for the prizes for the games the kids will play while trading phone calls with different people trying to work this all out. Today has been one of those days that I'm taking things hour by hour. Its fun. And btw, I couldn't resist buying some water balloons. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dogs & Husbands ... Gotta Love 'em

Midnight last night - I went to bed.

3:00 AM - I awake to our dog Gunner pounding insanely on his crate, obviously wanting out.

3:10 AM - Deciding that there was no chance of sleep until I let the dog out I got up to see about him

3:11 AM - Immediately upon letting the dog out he peed. A lot. Looking at me the the whole time as if to say, "Sorry, I just couldn't hold it till I got outside". He continuied peeing for a long time. I was unaware that dogs could hold that much pee.

3:15 AM - Once he was finished I got a towel and cleaned up the mess and put him back in his crate

3:20 AM - Now that I'm fully awake I crash on the couch and hope for sleep to return.

3:55 AM - Still trying to get back to sleep

4:00 AM - Brian comes downstairs to make coffee - Are you kidding, WHO gets up at 4Am??

4:05 AM - Deciding that there was no chance for sleep on the couch I return upstairs to bed

4:40 AM - Still trying to get back to sleep

5:00 AM - Brian comes into the bedroom, opens the bathroom door turns on all the lights and starts the shower to let the water get hot. He then walks around the bedroom taking his vitamins and making as much noise as possible.

5:03 AM - I yell, "Can you at least shut the door??" He replies, "OH, you're in here!"

5:30 AM - Still waiting for Brian to finish his morning routine so I can have a chance of getting back to sleep

5:40 AM - He finishes and leaves the bedroom - finally. He leaves the bathroom door open and the light on. Arrrgghhhh!!

5:42 AM - I decide not to go to the trouble of getting out of bed to turn the light off. I pull the covers up over my head and try to go back to sleep.

5:45 AM - I hear it. The infamous pounding coming from downstairs. I assume its the dog - again.

5:47 AM - Knowing I have no chance for sleep until I deal with the dog I get up and tromp downstairs only to find that the noise is my husband cracking boiled eggs that he made the other day. He cheerily greets me with a "Good morning! Can I have a kiss?" I think I growled at him. I might have kissed him. I don't remember.

5:50 AM - Taking no chances I let the dog out of his crate and me and the dog both go back upstairs crawl in bed and FINALLY go back to sleep.

9:00 AM - I awake to a dog trying to lick my face off.

Its gonna be a good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Dare You

That's right, you. I dare you.

I dare you to listen to this and be sorry you did.

*click the download button on the Sunday's Coming message.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Think We Need to Discover a Woman Cold

On second thought, maybe nothing would ever get done if there were a "woman cold". I have a cold. A nasty one. Can barely do anything without sneezing my head off. My eyes water all the time too. In a nutshell, I'm miserable. BUT it's Easter weekend so there are eggs to devil and a ham to bake, a wedding to attend, a Sunday School class to prepare for, and Easter services to attend. And you know what ... my husband never for a second doubted that I'd do all of those things. He just assumed that I would. Now I can't be absolutely sure, but I'd be willing to bet that if he had a cold he would be on the couch snoozing and asking for Ginger Ale all weekend.

*If you have no idea what I'm talking about see this

Friday, April 10, 2009

OK, I Might Actually Be Bored

I shouldn't be bored. Its not like there aren't things I need to be doing, but I have a cold and don't want to do any of it. I am baking a carrot cake for Easter/Brian's birthday. He loves carrot cake and since we're all getting together for Easter we may as well make it his birthday celebration too. Its very hard to get our kids all together these days and will probably only get harder.

I've also been buying waterguns. :) You might want to check here to see why ... and to see what other fun we have going on.

And now I'm off to shop for hotel bargains for the trip.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Some Recent Observations

  • I am at Walmart waaayyyy too often. When you recognize the employee's rides and know when they're having surgery, when their family members are having surgery and their shift, its a sure sign that you're spending too much time there.
  • People are generally unaware that other people exist. Speaking of Walmart, or any other store, I am always amazed at how many people walk down the center of the isle taking up all of the space. Not to mention the motorized carts that people ride. I was behind a guy on one of those tonight who went happily about taking up all of the space and seemingly unaware of it. He was happy though. In fact he was singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah at the top of his lungs.
  • More people read my blog when I don't post anything.
  • There are some true "stars" who are very humble and gracious and some not-so-well known celebs who think everyone should cater to their every wish. I always want to remind them that no one in Nebraska knows who the heck they are but I keep my mouth shut.
  • My Jeep is made to go about anywhere but it is not made to go anywhere fast.
  • The magnolias in my yard are really beautiful this time of year
  • Amazingly only a few flowers in my rock garden died out over the winter. Everything else is coming up very nicely.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Record Has Been Set

Click here to see how it went last night at the Backpack Packing Party!

Friday, April 03, 2009

I Hate To Sweat

I've been slamming busy this week. Monday and Tues I was sick so Wednesday I got crackin' and worked 6 hours on a project on my computer - only to lose it. Insufficient memory to save. I know, I know, I should always save as I work. But I didn't so there. I lost it all and had to start the project all over. And since there is a deadline, I missed church to try to catch up. I had an ox in the ditch that needed tending to.

Tonight a bunch of folks are coming over to help fill and pack 500 backpacks that will go to the Rez. Maybe I'll video tape it and post it. Should be fun.

SO ... I normally don't clean house a lot. I do the essential stuff every week but there's a lot of gunk that builds up. But since people are coming over tonight I've spent the last two days cleaning. No, my house is still not perfectly clean. In fact, I've not even made it upstairs yet. It's reasonably clean. I used to be a perfectionist but gave it up because it drove me crazy. And so, as I clean I remember how much I hate it. I sweat a lot when I clean. I hate to sweat. I dn't exercise because I don't like to sweat. As I type this I'm sitting at my desk with all the windows open to cool off for a bit before I hit it again. Its 46 degrees out and it feels pretty good from where I'm sitting. I'm glad I don't clean house a lot. I mean, it's just a house right? It will one day be a pile of dust. My goal is to outlive it. I do envy people who have really clean houses but God bless 'em if they have to work this hard to keep it that way. I can think of better things to do with my time.

OK, back to work. Then its off to shower so I can work up a sweat again tonight. And I'm betting by Sunday the house is a mess again. Crazy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Drinking on the AU Campus

Here is a story about a protest some Anderson University students recently pulled off. For those who may not know, Anderson University is the First Church of God university in Anderson, IN.

What are your thoughts?

I only have a few thoughts ...

1. How can the school monitor what students do when they are off campus or away on breaks?? As someone who attended AU for a while back in the early 80's I happen to know that students in fact do drink when they're off campus so it really seems like a non-issue to me. (No, it wasn't me.)

2. I wonder if C.S. Lewis would have been disciplined for drinking if he were on the AU campus?

3. These kids knew what the rules were before they chose to attend there so why agree to abide by the rules and then whine about it. Anderson is a pretty high priced school so I'm sure there were other educational options for these kids - cheaper ones at that.

4. Surely these students could find something more important to protest. Considering all the true injustice in the world, not being able to drink would be pretty far down on my list of things to cry out about.

5. It seems funny to me that they arranged the march to the bar at 10 am and then couldn't bring themselves to drink at that hour. :) I wonder what the people who ran the bar thought?