Saturday, August 31, 2013

My opinion on Breast Cancer "Awareness"

OK, I hope I don't offend anyone, and I'm pretty sure this will take plenty of people out of their comfort zone, but I have something to say about Breast Cancer Awareness. For October, ladies everywhere are hanging their braziers on their front porches, dying their hair pink, wearing explicit messages, or even going topless.
First of all, I cannot imagine for one second that anyone in America doesn't know about Breast Cancer. Like they're going to see a pink ribbon shirt and say "seriously? I had no idea. Tell me more."
Secondly, do you really want everyone who sees your statement to think of a chest? (and most likely yours, at that)
I'm NOT trying to be insensitive to a very real problem that is plaguing women. It's an awful tragedy that has taken too many wonderful women, some whom I have known personally. But if you want to make their lives count, live in their memory by helping others and making a positive difference in the world. If you want to do something about the many who will no doubt get Breast Cancer, invest in science and healthy living.
Empowering women doesn't come from flashing yourself or showcasing your undies. That, my fellow females, is demeaning.
Anyway, that's my opinion. Take it or leave it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Outfit Pics - Name Brand?

What I'm Wearing:

- American Eagle corral t-shirt
- Printed floral scarf
- Candie's denim knee-length skirt
- American Eagle blue printed flats
- Star earring (in cartilage) and green earrings (in lobe)
- Hair - all down
- Minimal Makeup - concealer, foundation, powder, mascara

 The last time I bought clothing new was when Wal-mart had a $3 blow-out sale, and I only bought 2 things. But since I almost exclusively shop at thrift shops, I often get name brand clothing. They aren't new, but still have the tag to prove their origin. I could care less, but it's fun when someone sees the logo on my top and says "Oh, I love Banana Republic! I got that same top at Mall of America." I chuckle and nod, imagining what their face would look like if I told them the same article of clothing they paid $50 for, I got for $3.50.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The reasons I'm schooling Online after a year of hard work after homeschool highschool

I was homeschooled (and yes, I have friends) from kindergarten to 12th grade. I got my first job when I was 13, and have kept it for 5 years. When I graduated at 17, I decided to take a year "off" to work, and decide where God wanted me to go after that. Living at home, being frugal, working hard both at home and at work, I waited to get my driver's license only until I really needed it, and walked, rode my bike, or rode with friends or family to get where I needed to go. I'll be taking courses online through College Plus for my Bachelors in Psychology this fall. (And yes, I'm still living at home.) Everyone who actually knows me is fine with this, and most are rooting for me, but there are severe skeptics, let me tell you! You may even be one of them. But even though I really don't mind if people think ill of me, I would like to share an amusing and inspirational article written by another blogger I found through Facebook (which I didn't have until last year *gasp*). He challenges the unquestioned notion that every educated and ambitious person must attend college. Just for the record, I am not anti-college. I'm simply saying that it is not the only (nor the best) way to acquire useful academic knowledge that will equip you for the "real world."

[By Matt Walsh]

What we're teaching our children

 As you may know, my parents recently adopted three young children, and although they were great parents to start with, they had to learn and adapt a lot to raise two girls and a boy - all under the age of five - who had come from a background that they had no experience with. We love them dearly, and are devoted to raising them well, but it has been a struggle to define exactly what that is. Although each family is different, each child is different, and each situation is different, I believe that I've put together a list of seven principles we live by, and hope that they might benefit anyone who has children, who is thinking about having children, or even works with children on a regular basis.

1. God's Word is Truth - In order to have a logical standard for morality, for the origin of the universe, for our relationship with others, for how we view the nature of humanity, for how we order our day, and for how we grow, one needs a standard for TRUTH. We believe that the Truth is found in the inspired Word of God, the Bible. We encourage prayer, and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but our part is to live out our own relationship with Jesus, and teach them the truth, and hope they choose to do the same.

2. Family is Forever - Even though they may grow up and someday start a family of their own somewhere else, we are still their family. There is nothing they can do to make us leave them, or not be their family anymore. Because my new siblings were adopted, their understanding of "family" is no doubt different than mine. To make a distinction between what "family" they came from, and what family they are in now, (in a gentle and simple way) we say that we are their "Forever Family;" we love them, keep them safe, and will always be there for them.

3. Emotions are okay to have, but they should not control you - Everyone has emotions - happiness, sadness, anger, etc. - and that's perfectly alright. It's what we do when we have those feelings that matters. Trying to give the children a healthy way to process what they're feeling, we often give them a simple response, and some coping skills, when they, for example, make a fist and say they're mad: "It's okay to be mad, sweetheart. What are you going to do?" When they feel like hitting, we encourage them to clap their hands. When they feel like shouting, we ask that they "bbbbbrrrrrr" with their lips until they can talk about it. If they can learn to take control of their actions and process what they're feeling, they will be free of countless limitations most people feel incapable of breaking free from.

4. Real Strength is having self-control and helping others - Lack of control is hard for children with tough backgrounds. Wanting to prove themselves, and exerting their power over other children is prevalent, and makes them feel like they have that control. But that kind of "strength" is only giving into their wants, and doing what they feel like, which is easy to do. Real strength is doing the right thing, even when it's the hardest thing to do. The Bible teaches that the strong have a moral obligation to help those who are weaker. We want to instill in them that their strengths are a gift to be used in the right way.

5. "I love you the same, even when you're behavior makes me sad" - Even though raucous
behavior abounds, the fear factor of "what if they will stop loving me if I don't make them happy?" is present in many children's minds who have faced rejection and/or abuse in the past. Nothing they could say or do could ever make their family love them any less or more. That will never change! But when their actions are negative it makes us sad. It's not a guilt trip, it's simply saying that we want the best for them, and that their decisions always effect those around them.

6. Rules keep us safe - If you've ever been around children (or anyone, for that matter,) you've heard that one word over and over again: "Why?" While most of the time simply inquisitive, people don't like being told what to do, and challenge that. Sometimes with an indignant "why" and sometimes with a bold "no." We often respond with "because I love you," and "because I want to keep you safe." We all know that [good] rules are made to keep us within the boundaries of safety.

7. Real life, real consequences - One does not need to be creative to come up with an appropriate punishment for disobedience. One must only be logical. If the child has a hard time listening to Mommy during the day, he/she won't be able to take a bike ride with Daddy after supper, because "it is very important to listen right away and all the time when riding bikes, because we cross streets. I need to make sure you are going to be safe! If you show Mom tomorrow that you are a good listener, then you might be able to come."  If a child is too rough with his/her toys, then perhaps their brother and sister will get a new toy, but not them. If they have a problem with hitting and kicking, perhaps Mom has to cancel their play-date with their friend, in order to "keep their friend safe." It is really very simple! This will prepare them for real life, when the scenarios go from "if I'm unkind to that person, they won't want to be kind to me," to "if I spend this money on wants rather than needs, I might go hungry," or "if I disrespect my boss, I'll lose my job."

I'm sure there are many basic principles of good child-rearing, and more that we do practice, but these are just seven that I put together that I think are pretty important. Remember that God blesses those who bless the life of a child!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Small milestones

One of last year's Graduation pictures

 They say you're not really living if you're just standing still, but sometimes the meaningful advances in live are the product of many small steps. From day to day, not much seems to change, but look back over the year, and you'll be amazed at how far you've come! That has been my experience for 2013, even though it isn't over yet. (I can only hope that the rest of it holds great progress as well!) Let me share with you a few things that have happened to me - or my family - in order to encourage you.
  • Promotion at work (rank, hours, and wage)
  • Got my Driver's License
  • My Parents adopted three children (I'm a big sister again!)
  • Ran 4 miles at a good pace
  • Furnished my new room
  • Took Theology classes (via video)
  • Planted a garden
  • Applied to CollegePlus for my Bachelors is Psychology
 I don't mean to brag - I'm sure you've accomplished much more throughout your summer - but it goes to show that when little things are done with all your heart for the glory of God, good things happen. It won't always be easy, but anything good is worth fighting for.

Colossians 3:33-34 -
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hilarious names for paint colors!

These are a few of my favorite funny names for paint colors! Wall Paint and Nail Polish names can be hilarious! And to think people are paid to come up with these names... Tell me, do you think any of these names got them fired?
What I did here is tried to redeem the color names from my very own imagination. (Yes, some of them are meant to be humorous and ironic, also.) The original name will be to the left, and my name will be in green to the right. Tell me what you think, and what funny titles you've seen.

Out-of-the-blue and random:

Adopt a dog - Toupee
Big Foot's Delight - Natural Selection
Alice in Freezeland - Early Frost
Very Expensive Wool - Grandpa's sweater
In Your House - Girl Next Door
Certain Frogs - Catching Tadpoles
Ask Google - Techie Boyfriend
Not a banana! - Fruit Bowl
Midgets Hate Farts - Epiphany
Another Lie of Rat - Scoundrel

Names that make me never want to eat again:

American Teeth - Pearly Whites
Don't Eat the Snow - Chandelier
Dead Beetle - Garden Loam
Watermelon Guts - Pink Frost
Wasabi KitKat - Mint Chip Ice Cream
Allergic to Lobster - Lipstick Stain
Purge - Happy Thoughts
Milky Blood - Sunset Inspiration
Alien Fart Mist - Wicked-Cool

Names that would gross me out if I knew I painted my wall that color:

Flu - Porch Swing
Creep - Bunny Slippers
Go and Buy a Soul - In Love
Monster in My House - Avocado
Cute but Psycho - Polka-Dotted Hair Bow
Oh, That's Just Blood... - From the Depth of my Heart

At least spell it right!

Curiouser and Curiouser - Show me Your Heart
Blomb - Bloom


Totally out of creativity:

Some Kind of Mint - After-Dinner Mint
White-ish - Whicker Rocker
Another Grey - Burnt to a Crisp
Um... - Tickled Pink
Orange (The Fruit) - Autumn Joy
Try Not to Look - Wrapping Presents


Completely NOT that color the name described:

Coffee (describing a lime green) - Poison Ivy
Black Velvet (medium purple) - Ripe Plumb
Puppy Orange (yellow/white) - Colonial Pantry
Anna Banana (electric blue) - Sky Diving
Cornered by Blues (deep black) - Velvet Mocha

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big Sister! (and outfit pictures)

My three "newest" siblings! We fostered them for about a year and a half, and recently the adoption was finalized!
From left to right: Tabitha Kate (2), William Andrew (5), and Janessa Karis (3).
Tabby's full name means "graceful, kind, and generous." Janessa's means "precious gift from God," and Will's means "strong protector."
Pray that God would bless them with a heart to know and love Him, and that our family would be able to provide every possible benefit to help them learn and grow.
I became an elder sister at two years old when my sister was born. Now at eighteen I am a big sis of four! What a blessing!
Here are the kids all dressed for church on Sunday morning.
What I'm wearing:
- blue knit top
- brown/white floral skirt
- brown sequined wedge heels
- blue heart earrings (not visible in picture)
- hair: half back
- makeup: foundation, highlighter, navy blue eyeliner and mascara

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Protein Powder Reviews

Nearly any Supermarket you walk in to will have some type of concentrated protein, usually in the form of a powder, shake, or bars. The reasons abound for getting plenty of protein, and it's the satisfying factor in our diet. But not many people take the time to look at the ingredients, or if they do scan the small-print, do they know what words like "isolated whey" or "sucralose" or "ribose" mean. But little does the protein-sucking-public know is that even "100% pure whey" does NOT insure quality. Growth hormones and low-grade milk abound! Even vegetarian protein powders can be laden with GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms). So where can you look to get a protein mix that isn't murky with questionable ingredients? I've compiled a short list here that many health stores stock, or might be interested in carrying.

Genuine Health Vegan Proteins Plus, strawberry banana - One of the first vegan protein powders to include GMO-free sprouted greens in their formula, sporting a full amino-acid profile. Sweetened with stevia and natural flavors, I enjoyed a smoothie that curbed my afternoon craving and refueled my protein needs. Good, natural flavor, but a slight alfalfa-like aftertaste. Vegan, Gluten-free, GMO-free, sprouted, stevia-sweet, animo-acids.

Garden of Life RAW Protein, vanilla chai - the farther I read on the organic, vegan, GMO-free, sprouted, allergen-free nutrition label, the bigger my eyes (and stomach) seemed to grow. One scoop provides more delicious nutrition than most people get in a few days time. Easy on the stomach, raw probiotics help ensure you are utilizing everything in your shake. Truthfully, it is the only product of its kind on the market. Great flavor blend, but a little bit "powdery," quickly remedied by adding to a smoothie of fruit and almond milk. Raw, Organic, GMO-free, Vega, Gluten-free, Probiotics, stevia-sweet, amino-acids.

Vega Performance Protein, chocolate - Formulated for those looking to take their protein consumption - and athletic performance - to the next level. Vegan winner of multiple triathlons, iron-man competitions, and Ultra Marathons, Brendan Brazier, couldn't find a protein good enough for him... so he made his own. Plant-based and complete with replenishing minerals and electrolytes, I'd recommend the very "chocolatey" chocolate to anyone serious about their dietary protein. Vegan, Athletic-grade, GMO-free, Gluten-free, amino-acids, minerals.

Tera's Whey, organic coffee - If you are like most coffee-lovers, a bad brew is sacrilegious. But this organic whey blend stays true to it's name, with a hint of sugar-free sweetness (stevia, of course). In fact, everything about this is pure, not to mention rGBH-free and from grass-fed cattle. Seriously one of the best whey sources I've seen, and oh-so-delicious! Try blended cold with ice and organic milk, or mix with warm milk and a dash of cocoa. Organic, RGBH-free, grass-fed origins, Gluten-free, stevia-sweet, digestive enzymes, amino-acids.

Natural Factors Whey Factors, French vanilla - Did you know that America has virtually no standard for the quality of their whey? Scary, huh? Well, Canadian whey to the rescue! This ultra-clean protein is considered "gold" for anyone looking for a basic protein supplement, with full-spectrum amino acids naturally occurring. My guess is that you'll love the stevia-sweetened French vanilla enough to add it to water or milk. GMO-free, Gluten-free, amino acids, stevia-sweet, high-quality, reasonable price.

Nutiva Hemp Protein Plus Fiber - Hemp is the vegan break-through seed for acquiring essential omegas for your brain, heart, nerves, and skin. It is also high in fiber and protein. Nutiva makes sure its products are organic, GMO-free, and pure. Unsweetened, add stevia to your shake, or enjoy the nutty, earthy flavor as-is with almond or hemp milk. Excellent for satisfying hunger. Organic, vegan, non-GMO, unsweetened, Gluten-free, fiber.