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.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hardest Physical Challenge I've Ever Done

In April of this year I started running with the hope of being able to do a 5k. There have been many, many, MANY times I thought I must be crazy to take up running at age 48. I ran in my 30's but, trust me, it was a whole different thing then. If you happen to read this and your in your 30's and run - don't stop. Its WAAAYYY harder when you're older.

Running is hard. Some make it look so easy but training for the 5k is the hardest physical thing I've ever done in my life. I've gone to bed with ice packs more times than I can count & I've ran more discouraging runs than I can remember. It has seemed like 3 steps forward, 2 steps back all year long. But I'm happy to say that I ran my first 5k this morning! My time was 36 min. 10 seconds. That's slow for a runner but for me, its great! I'm not worried about time - the thing was to just do it.

It's been a long haul. A normal person is supposed to be able to go from being a couch potato to running a 5k in just 6 weeks. HA! Its taken me 7 months. Oh well, I never claimed to be normal. Clearly, I'm not very good at it. But I'm not about to stop. Not for a minute.

Thanks to Brian Whitlock for the pics!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eli & Owen's First Halloween

Eli and Owen's first Halloween. Owen is the lion and Eli the elephant.

Logan with the boys

At the church Harvest Party

Fred holding Owen

Grandpa and Eli

Eli has a habit of sticking his tongue out - just like someone else we know

Thanks to our friend Judy for taking these pics

Monday, October 11, 2010

All About the Nike+

Three weeks from today I will have finished my first 5k. I will have finished it either by running all of it, running part of it and walking the rest, or running it partway and being carried off on a stretcher. Anyway I do it, I'm going to do it SLOW. I'm looking forward to it with a sense of both excitement and fear. Those four hills in the course have me worried. If it weren't for them, I think I could do this thing.

I was really, REALLY discouraged last week. I've been running (see my stats from the Daily Mile site at the side of this blog) and I thought I'd been running further than I had. I mapped it out with my Jeep and thought that from my driveway to the main road and back was a mile. Since I'd been running that twice I thought I had been running 2 miles. Last week I went on google maps and found that according to them, it was more like 1.5 miles. UGH! I'd been nearly killing myself for a mile and a half??? On Saturday though I felt much, MUCH better when I ran it 3 times. That was nearly 2.75 miles no matter how you count it and further than I've ran before (this decade anyway).

SO yesterday I bought the Nike+ system. Now let me be clear I do not like Nike. Sure they have cool stuff but they also have one of the worst reputations for child labor and sweat shop practices. I just HATE to support that. But no one else makes a system like this. It comes with a little chip thingy that you put on your shoe. Nike shoes have a special pocket inside the shoe for it - way cool BUT I do not like Nike and it CAN be used with other shoes. Then you plug the other part of the gadget into your iPod nano, iPod Touch or iPhone and you can not only hear your favorite music while you run but you can also hear feedback from your run so you know your distance, time, pace, calories burned, etc. Very cool right? But there's more.

If you're lucky enough to have the iPhone you can also get an app that allows you to post on Facebook when you go out for a run and your friends can cheer you on by posting a comment on your Facebook status. You will hear these comments through your iPhone while you are running. Crazy huh?

And if you have a 5th generation iPod nano there is the "Power Song" feature. If there is one song that really gets you going and motivates you you simply press on the center button when you are running and starting to feel a bit draggy and it'll play your power song for you.

I don't have either the iPhone or the 5th generation nano but its good enough for me to get feedback about distance/time/etc.

Crazy stuff.

So why am I doing this "commercial" for a company I hate so much? Well ... because to be fair, Nike HAS recently done a bit better - at least they have teamed up with the One Campaign to make Product RED shoe laces and a shoe that will go toward fighting AIDS in Africa. AND they do make the LiveStrong products that benefit cancer research. They could do a lot more but I've gotta give them credit for doing what they are doing.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hard To Get

You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
Who are afraid of being left by those we love
And who get hardened by the hurt
Do you remember when You lived down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread
Did You forget about us after You had flown away
Well I memorized every word You said
Still I'm so scared, I'm holding my breath
While You're up there just playing hard to get

You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
We have a love that's not as patient as Yours was
Still we do love now and then
Did You ever know loneliness
Did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don't see the blood that's running in Your sweat
Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You're up there just playing hard to get?

And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained
And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this, somehow
All I really need to know
Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time
We can't see what's ahead
And we can not get free of what we've left behind
I'm reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret
I can't see how You're leading me unless You've led me here
Where I'm lost enough to let myself be led

And so You've been here all along
I guess
It's just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

~ Rich Mullins

How We Spend Money

I found this visual about how the average American spends their money. Do you agree? Does this represent you or those you know? If so, what does that say about us? If the graphic is too small you can see a larger view here


Saturday, October 02, 2010