Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back Packing It!

Our youngest monkey girl with her first backpack many years ago...sniff!

Remember getting ready for back to school when you were a kid?  I sure do.  It was such an exciting time full of anticipation and yet bittersweet because the beloved summer break was coming to an end.

Growing up in a single income family meant that we had to make our school supplies and new school clothes last.  We didn't have fancy clothes or name brands, but we had a mom who choose to stay home with us and a dad who worked his tail off to provide for us and that was worth more than Guess jeans or Izod shirts in my opinion.

As I look around today at what is going on in our country, I realize how much my siblings and I did have.  We never went to school without the supplies that we needed to participate in class.  We had gym shoes for gym class.  We had lunch money for the reduced lunch program.  Mom sent us off with breakfast in our bellies each morning.  Yet today in America, there are kids who are dreading the first day of school because they will not have the basic supplies that they need.  Kids who will not be able to participate in gym class because they only have flip flops to wear.  Kids who somehow do not quite qualify for free or reduced lunch, yet they do not have enough food to eat on a daily basis at home.

Our church meets at a local middle school on Sunday mornings and each year we are able to help pack backpacks full of supplies for the kids in need who attend the school.  Last year, the principal gave us a list of 14 students who needed help.  They each received a backpack full of the long list of supplies that each grade requires.  It was awesome!  This year when the principal was asked how many kids needed backpacks with supplies she said 72!  I was shocked!  These kids are from families who are really struggling with basic needs like food and shelter.  To them, school supplies are a luxury.

As a community, we reached out and helped with the needed backpacks and supplies.  It makes me smile when I think about a student who I may never meet, sitting in a classroom on the first day of school with all of the school supplies that they need to start the school year off right.

If we look around us, we can find open doors of opportunities to help others.  It may be a backpack with supplies, a new pair of shoes, a meal, etc.  Sometimes it is the little acts of kindness that make the most impact.

How will we continue to impact our communities, friends?



There's a Hurricane A'brewin'!!! Bracing for a Baby!!! - Part 1

One of the "perks" of living in Florida is the lovely year round weather.  Most days, its blue skies, sunshine, and smiles, but with all of those beautiful days there is a price to pay to live here.  That price comes in the form of tropical storms and hurricanes.  As I type, we are keeping our eyes on the radar and listening to our weather radio.  We are currently under a tropical storm warning, which means that within the next 24 - 48 hours we will be experiencing high winds, heavy rain, and possible tornados.

It is already very windy and rainy here in Central Florida.  I took a screen shot of the most recent weather radar and I swear the approaching afternoon thunderstorm looks like the head of a fire breathing dragon.  What do you think?

Back in 2004, we had a serious run of hurricanes in Florida in late August and September. At that time, I was very pregnant with our youngest daughter.  My due date was September 21.  When the first hurricane hit us in late August, we were stunned by the destruction.  Hurricane Charlie was a fast and furious storm that devastated large parts of Southwest Florida, before it swept east across the middle of the state and pounded Central Florida with high winds.  I remember watching our large swing set lift off the ground and split in two.  The force of the wind was terrifying!

A couple of weeks after Hurricane Charlie left an ugly scar across our state, we found ourselves bracing for Hurricane Francis another beast of a storm.  Francis decided to stay awhile and dumped massive amounts of rain on Central Florida.  There was widespread flooding and many people experienced water damage in their homes due to leaking.

Two weeks after Francis, we were bracing for yet another hurricane!  Hurricane Jeanne was forecast to make landfall in Florida on September 25.  By that time, I would be 4 days past my due date.  My mind began to race with all of the "what if" scenarios.  Like, what if I go into labor during the hurricane and we can not drive to the hospital?  What if I have to have the baby at home?  What if, what if, what if...

To be continued...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Heard it Through the Grape Vine

Remember waaaaaaay back in June, when I auditioned for the Orlando REP?  It was a such a cool experience all around.  I really enjoyed preparing for it and the actual audition was so fun!  Then it was done, and I did not hear a word until a few days ago...

A really reliable source told me that the REP is in the process of call backs.  They have had callbacks for the first three shows with three or four left to go.  I have to admit that I am a little bit excited that I still have a chance.  Maybe.  



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

American Gothic - Well, Sort Of...

Sometimes life mimics art...



It's Almost Dinner Time...UGH!!!

photo credit:
I seriously think that dinner is the most overrated meal.  I mean really, life would just be so much easier if dinner just disappeared.  Think about all the time and money you could save if it wasn't for darn dinner. But monkeys get hungry and hungry monkeys are not so nice, so we cook.

Sometimes, I get into a food rut when it comes to cooking dinner.  Spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...!  And folks, I can only pull off the breakfast for dinner thing so many times before the monkeys get suspicious.

So, what's a girl to do?  Well, I was hoping for some inspiration from YOU.  Have any dinner recipes / ideas that you want to share?  Do tell!

By the way, if this food truck were in Orlando, I would be so happy and probably have really high cholesterol.  Chili cheese fries....yum...drool...gross...sorry.