Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Check this out! I love this girl - loved her from her audition on American Idol & rooted for her until voted off. What a message. Five Minutes for Mom is giving away 5 of Ayiesha's sophmore album, Love Like This. I've got my name in the hat, but not sure I can wait to see if I won. This one will sway the Vue indeed. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mindful Moms

Check this out
Lots of great giveaways at the launch of Mindful Moms with tips on budeting, travel, healthy/beauty, living green, etc.
The Mindful Moms Launch Giveaway

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Passing the Torch

Olympic fever has invaded our home. Grace & I have been diligently watching the games, rejoicing in the victories of Team USA & enjoying the best of us compete in Beijing. It was really cool to watch the women's marathon as the runners passed familiar landmarks from my missions trip to China in 2002. You know what they say - "God sure loves the Chinese people. That's why He made so many of them." :o)

Up until June of this year, Grace was determined to be a choo-choo girl (Gracie-speak for engineer who makes sure kids don't pick the flowers by the train in Dollywood). In June, we celebrated the graduation of one of Gracie's sitters who has a sister in gymnastics. Mandi was teaching the kids all sorts of tumbling moves. Since then, Grace has declared a new professional goal: "I want to be a 'gymnastic' when I grow up." Ok, fine. Well, NOW the girl knows she is born to be a gymnastic after watching & cheering Team USA gymnasts, both men & women.

We watched gynastics & diving along with track & field tonight, admiring the best of us in their respective sports. Zoom zoom. Grace is quite the cheerleader & comes by it honestly. I have been fascinated by the Olympics as long as I can remember. I think my first recollection were the games in Munich 1972 with the likes of unstoppable Mark Spitz who swept 7 gold medals & broke 7 world records in swimming. We've heard his name again recently as the world watched Michael Phelps assume the podium as the perhaps the new greatest Olympian in history with his 8 gold medals. Also a recognizable name from those games is Olga Korbut, gymnast from the USSR.

While I don't have any specific memories of Black September, the Olympic history pages read this way: The 11 days of these Games were perhaps the greatest Olympic festival ever. However, on the morning of 5 September, the Games were interrupted when eight Arab terrorists, representing the militant group "Black September" entered the Olympic Village, took hostage and then killed 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team- all this only 20km from Dachau... The Olympic Games were suspended for 34 hours and a mass was held in the main stadium to commemorate the victims. The flags of all the countries were flown at half-mast. But the Games continued at the insistence of the IOC President Avery Brundage, who famously said "The Games must go on !"

And they did. Fast forward to 1996. I had been living in Chicagoland for about 4 years. I read a little blurb in the Daily Southtown about the Olympic torch run through Chicago. Small town USA me was definitely going to catch a glimpse of history as it passed through big city USA. I made my way downtown...not even sure now how I got down there - by car or train maybe. Regardless, I scouted around Grant Park trying to find a good spot to see the torch ceremony. Noticing a gate ajar by a not so official barricade, I walked in like I knew where I was going. Hmmm...just in time to see the torch pass down a row of handlers to the awaiting runner right in front of me. In fact, my pictures weren't that great because I was so close & shaking in my shoes with all the REAL cameras in that PRESS only area. I can almost remember the heat of the flame as the torch was passed. Oh, the places you'll go & things you'll see if you walk confidently.

I can't remember if I was so stoked about going to the Olympics because I'd seen the torch up close & personal or the other way around - I think I was so excited because I was going to the games in Atlanta with friends, Renee & Bob (as in Bob's your uncle). We had a blast at the games with too many stories for this blog entry. But this one thing: if ever separated from your party in a massive - millions massive - amount of at the car & don't call your friend's mom either to see if she by chance "checked in". Hee, hee! What a time! Wish I could find pictures. No doubt, they are buried in my 1st attempts at scrapbooking.

Then there were the winter games in Salt Lake City. Nae had a baby so she backed out & in comes Randy (as in Randy's your uncle). He joined Bob, myself, & good good friend, Kelly. Whoo hooo! Oh, the stories! Oh, the stories of sleeping arrangements, rituals & then just the not sleeping stories. We had a great time at the games & I actually skied for the 1st time without killing (or really embarrassing) myself. We watched hockey, speed skating - let me say WOW - I had front row seats at the ice dancing competition - thanks to Randy's near fatal fear of heights. Everyone else watched ski jumping or something like that while I spent my day on the floor of the bathroom. oooh, I haven't been sick like that in a long time.

We've all got great pictures from that trip. I've posted one of my favorites - it was handy right there in the frame. :o)

I'm sleepy now. This post has taken a long time as I wandered down memory lane. I haven't even mentioned Athens 2004 yet....Have a good one!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Georges Sada, General to Saddam, speaking in Tinley Park, IL

An invitation from Christian Life Center, Tinley Park

What’s really happening in Iraq?

As our presidential election approaches, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama are focused on a few issues, with the economy, energy/fuel prices, and Iraq being at the top of the list. Every pundit seems to have opinions as to what went wrong there, what’s happening now, and when we need to get out. But how many of them really know from an insider’s perspective what’s happening there?
This weekend, August 23-24, you and your friends will have an opportunity to hear this important topic from a true insider: a man who was intimately involved with Saddam’s murderous reign as one of his top military advisers, was on the ground when U.S. forces brought liberation, and who has been a part of the rebuilding of that nation, now serving as a spokesman for the Iraqi prime minister: General Georges Sada.

General Sada has been a guest of Hannity & Colmes as well as numerous other newscasts; he was recently on the Daystar network’s Celebration; he’ll be a featured guest on the Sandy Rios show this week (details to follow); and this weekend he’ll be on our stage at CLC Tinley Park campus. We have invited local mayors, council members and even Senator Barack Obama to join us - now I’m inviting you.

Here’s the cool thing: if you have a question about Iraq that you’d like the General to answer, you can submit it here any time this week until Friday, and we’ll get those questions to him, hopefully to address in one of the services this weekend. We announced this offer at South Bend and Shorewood yesterday, but it’s also good for anyone else reading this blog: submit your question now, or just leave it in the comments below.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dinosaur Soup

Well, it's here & I'm delighted! Gracie's now-published recipe is on page 123!

Here's a lil sampling of Dinosaur Soup (And Other Dubious Recipes Written By Children)

Thanks for asking about Gracie's recipe. I'll post it here, but as Dinosaur's disclaimer reads "These recipes contain partially cooked, completely uncooked, totally overcooked, an/or readily unavailable or non-existent ingredients. Preparation as directed is not advised and as shown will almost certainly result in inedible meals and food-borne illnesses. Recipes feature are for entertainment purposes only. In short, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!"

Gracie's Chocolate Chip Cookies
cookie dough- yellow
little chocolates

Put the chocolates in and bake it in the oven and in 30 more minutes it's done. So then we get chocolate chip cookies.

And Bob's your uncle~ EDIT: or it could just as easily be "and Randy's your uncle" :o)

Now, if this looks like your kind of recipe or recipe book, let me know...I have an inside track on purchasing. :o) Sources also tell me Bob's Your Uncle is soon opening a retail section on their website where you can purchase super cool stuff like Dinosaur Soup.

Happy Day to you & yours from delighted me & mine~

EDIT: I submitted Gracie's recipe in response to a call for kid's recipes - unedited & fresh from the kids' mouth! How fun & what an honor to be included!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympics 2008 Opening Ceremony

The reconciling of opposites~ Mesmerizing! Stunning!

I didn't catch the opening ceremonies live, but was wowed viewing it online today. I was in absolute awe at the presentation in Beijing. Oh, to have seen it in person~

Check here for a superb peek into the spectacular ceremony & artistry. I've embedded a video, it's not as good as the NBC piece which could not be embedded.

2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony

Friday, August 01, 2008

Good news!

Hey, I just got an email from Martin at Bob's Your Uncle announcing the release of their new book, Dinosaur Soup, which features Gracie's recipe for making cookies. Can't wait to see it & share it with ya'll!
Bob's Your Uncle is a Boston, Massachusetts based paper goods company founded by Martin & Michele Yeeles in 2001. Originally from England, they moved to the States in 1993 “just for a year or two” and have been in Boston ever since. Martin is a graphic designer, Michele a former shoe designer.

Just so you know...“Bob's your uncle” is a British expression used to indicate that a given task is very simple. Possibly inspired by Victorian Prime Minister, Robert Cecil, who appointed his nephew to a ministerial post, therefore to have Bob as your uncle has a guarantee of success. It is often used immediately following a set of simple instructions and roughly carries the same meaning as the phrase "and there you have it." For example, "Simply put a piece of ham between two slices of bread, and Bam! Bob’s your uncle!”.

Too funny, huh? It's so nice to have an Uncle Bob~

Catching up & confidence

We're home again. Back at work with less than 12 hours to transition from vacation to the real world. We did indeed have a delightful time over the last couple of weeks. I'll share the details over the days to come...just not today. :o) I'm about caught up on laundry - whoo hooo, but today we are preparing to go to the water park/pool with some friends...actually, Gracie has declared she will marry this little friend when she "gets 30". :o)

I'll leave this one picture & thought from a book I've just begun reading, "Parenting Isn't for Cowards" by Dr. James Dobson.

I'm reminded of a photograph in my files of an elegantly dressed woman who is holding a cupo of coffee. Her little finger is cocked ever so daintlily to the side and her face reveals utter self-assurance. Unfortunately, this woman does not yet know that her slip has collapsed around her feet. The caption reads, "Confidence is what you have before you understand the situation." Indeed!