Right now at my church, there are some hungry kids. Really hungry kids, probably about 20 of them. These kids are participating in a 30 hour fast to help provide clean water for people in Africa.
These are just regular teenagers, just like your kids. Kids who hate to get up early, kids that want to eat everything in sight, kids who seem to only care about their clothes, cell phones, video games, and friends. Yet, these kids agreed to get up a 5:00 this morning to go and have breakfast, walk 3 miles to the church, spend the whole day doing activities to publicize their cause, and go the whole day, the whole night, and part of tomorrow morning without any food, so they can help people they've never met and never will meet. Now, these are some kids who can change the world.
And my son is one of them - sorta. My son plays in a Christian band called Radical Grace that is made up of kids and adults from our church. They aren't part of the Fast, but tonight, they got together with 4 or 5 other groups and put together a benefit concert for this cause. Last I heard, they had raised $300 for this great cause. Pretty cool, I think. Here they are - some of them anyway. It's a pretty big band, so they trade off. Matt is the dark blur on the right. It's a shame I didn't get a better picture, he has a fresh haircut and a great new shirt that his Mom bought for him today! But I just had my camera phone so I didn't get a very good picture.
And these bands were good! Some of the kids were as young as 12 up to adults and I thought they were all just awesome. They did all the flyers, picked all the songs, did all the rehearsals, and set the whole thing up with just a little bit of help from the adults in charge of the venue, which is in the basement of a local church.
The problem that they are trying to solve is pretty serious. We learned that one child dies every 15 seconds from water borne diseases. I did the math and that comes to about 5,000 a day dying from lack of access to clean water in all these Third World countries. I can't even comprehend a number like that. They said it's the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing every day with full fatalities - just imagine that. If that happened here in the US, we'd be up in arms and there we would do something to fix that problem in a very short time. But it's a different thing when it's poor people in a Third World country. Ironically, it takes about $5,000 to build a well that will serve 700 people. Go to LivingWaters.com or OneDollarWater.com for more info or to make a donation.
I think we really underestimate what motivated kids are capable of. Between the concert and the Fast and all the other activities we've been putting together, we are going to provide the funding for 3 different wells and we'll be sending 2 people to training at Living Waters University to learn how to create and install these water systems. That is something that is really going to make a difference in the world, in a big way! All from a little church of about 300 people and a bunch of kids with a big heart.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Right now at my church, there are some hungry kids. Really hungry kids, probably about 20 of them. These kids are participating in a 30 hour fast to help provide clean water for people in Africa.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This week, my son's class had a fun field trip to Jr. Achievement. I always make a point of taking a vacation day or two to help out with his class, so I took the day off to go and help out and I'm so glad I did. This was really a fun experience for both of us.
This was just as cute as it could be. It's part of the Children's Museum and it has 20 different little mini-businesses set up. Everything from banks to utility companies to a radio and TV station and a city hall. The kids have to apply for different jobs and then they get pay checks, check books, and job descriptions. It's really cute and the kids just loved it.
Here is Blake all ready for his first day of "work". He was so excited, he was up and all dressed, tie and all by 7:00. His job was a Safety Inspector at a construction company while I was volunteering at Questar Gas/Rocky Mountain Power.
Here's my "CEO" giving a speech at City Hall. I had 5 boys in my group plus a teenaged helper and they were so cute. In addition to the CEO, I had a CFO and 3 meter readers. It was interesting to see how different they all were and how hard they were trying. Some of them really "got it" and some of them were just clueless, but they were all trying so hard to be such good employees. I felt bad because at one point, one of the boys started to cry. They give them money to buy items from the stores and there was something he wanted and he couldn't afford the thing he wanted. So I went over with him and we worked it out so he could get the toy he wanted.
If I was going to change anything, I think I'd just simplify it a bit. The kids and I were both a little confused over all the things they were supposed to do and even though they'd worked to prepare them, there was so much going on that we didn't get everything done at our business while Blake said that he finished up all his work in the first hour or so and was a bit bored. I think I'd eliminate some of the things they had the kids doing and give them better instructions on how to do the things they needed to do. They had the kids balancing checkbooks and Lord knows that by the time these kids get into the work force, there probably won't even be such a thing. We'll all be using debit and credit cards exclusively by then. But it was sure a fun day!
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 10:33 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
DyFUNctional Mom over at Putting the Fun in DysFUNctional tagged me for this meme. You are supposed to list 10 honest things about yourself and then tag 7 other people. I may not make it to 7 tags, but I'll find a few. In the meantime, here are some honest things about me:
1. I like to think I'm a pretty honest person. I don't like to lie to people and I can honestly say that I've never lied to my husband about anything in 25 years of marriage, which I think it a huge accomplishment.
2. That said, when I do choose to lie, I am a VERY good liar. I can't remember the last time anyone caught me in a lie. It's all about keeping your voice normal and adding just one good detail.
3. Fortunately, the rest of my family are terrible liars! They do tend to lie to me on occasion, but I catch them every time. At least I think I do.
4. I'm a pretty lazy person - honestly. I'm way too fond of naps and not very fond of exercise or housework. I think that might have some bearing on my weight problem, 'cuz I don't eat a whole lot - really I don't.
5. I admit I am in serious need of more girlfriends. My last best friend Maxine sadly died a few years back and I just haven't connected with anyone in that way since then. Here she is with Blake on the day he was born. I really miss her, we could just talk for hours and hours.
6. I am fascinated by body language and my new favorite show is Lie to Me. I Tivo it and watch it over and over again trying to memorize all the tips he gives. I just have this immense desire to know what is going on inside people's heads.
7. After about 25 years of coloring my hair, I am trying to be honest with my haircolor, but I sure hate the growing out process. I'd like to just wake up in the morning and let it just be grey. Then I can decide if I like it or not, but I guess I have to go through the whole zebra head thing for a couple more months. Then I'll probably hate it and go right back to coloring it.
8. I really like blogging, but I get discouraged sometimes when I don't get many followers or many comments, while other people seem to get tons. I do the pity party thing sometimes. But then again, when I was doing my Top 10 post, I was surprised at how few really good posts I found in the 425 posts I've put on here, so maybe that's the problem. How's that for honest?
9. I don't think I'm very pretty. I never have. But I think my kids and my grandkids are extremely good looking. That's probably why I take so many pictures of them.
10. I'm a little crazy about money. Too frugal in some ways and too over the top in others. I think about money a lot. Probably more than I should.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 9:06 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I just got an invitation to go camping this summer with our church group and I am kind of freaking out. Camping? Me? Yikes!
I am seriously such an INDOOR girl, just the thought of camping is enough to give me poison ivy! What a wuss! I actually like the peace and solitude of the outdoors, but the thought of dealing with dirt and heat, and bugs and worst of all, no toilets or running water is just icky. And then dealing with trying to sleep on the ground, cook food on God only knows what kind of apparatus, and then trying to keep everything reasonably clean and keep Blake from running off and hurting himself or getting ourselves lost just freaks me out.
I think I'm just a control freak. I like being indoors with all my stuff around me and being able to control the temperature with the flick of a button. I've got cable and internet, and hot running water 24 X 7. The outdoors is just a total crapshoot. It might rain, there might be bears, you might find poison ivy, you might get hurt, who know what could happen? All my pioneer ancestors are probably rolling over in their graves and condemning me for a lily-livered coward, whatever that is.
And besides, it's so much work! You have to figure out all the gear you need, all the food you need, all the stuff you need to cook it with, all the clothes and firewood, and bug spray and everything else. Then you drag it all outside, cram it all in the car, drive all the way to where the heck ever, then drag it all out, try to survive with it for a couple of days, then drag it all back home, clean it all off and put it all away. Oh my heck! That is just too much effort to go up and commune with a bunch of squirrels.
Why do people like to do this? Seriously. Most people I know simply LOVE camping! The lady who was planning this for us made it sound like it was just left of heaven to be able to go up and do this for a weekend and here I am thinking it would be so much more fun to go out and shoot myself in the foot or something. I just. don't. get. it.
Isn't this terrible? Here I live in this great state of Utah that is renowned for it's hiking, fishing, camping, and skiing, and I don't do any of it. I feel like I am wasting the entire state for Pete's sake!
I guess it's just because I've never grown up with this kind of stuff and sadly, now I've passed that legacy onto my kids. Here I've got these three fabulous boys and I think we've gone camping maybe twice in our entire 25 year marriage. And both times were at a KOA-type setup, so that doesn't even really count for real camping. And that's even two times more than I ever went camping in my entire childhood.
I had a single Mom who was as much of a city girl as I am. And my Dad, well I know he was big into Boy Scouts when he was a kid, but he was old by the time I came on the scene and I don't ever remember him stepping foot outside unless he had a golf club in his hand.
Now if we had one of those fancy motor home dealies with all the comforts of home, I might consider it. Something with a toilet and a shower and real beds and stuff. But then again, those things cost almost as much as my house and then you have to find somewhere to park it and winterize it and stuff. I don't know, maybe we could rent one or something. I know the boys would just love it, and probably Tony too, but me - I'd probably be running around the woods with my laptop trying to find a wi-fi hotspot!
Yep, the last of the pioneers - that's me all over!
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 12:35 AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
OK, this is where I get all gushy and grandmothery. Hey, what are ya going to do when you only get to see your grandkids a couple of times a year. You gotta take what you can get and these are some darn cute pictures my son sent us.
Here's Tams and baby Ella. Looks like it must have been around Christmas, but I can already see where she's grown a lot just since Thanksgiving. The baby, not Tammy!
This one is my favorite one. I call it Super Dad! I gotta get this one framed!
This is their New Year's Eve toast. Looks like root beer - yum!
Boy, are they in trouble now! Did you notice that they pierced her ears? I can't believe they poked holes in our baby! Poor little thing, I'll bet she cried and cried. I could never do that to one of my babies. I could barely stand to have them get their shots. Oh well, I guess it's done now and it does look cute.
Isn't that a pretty smile? She is such a cute girl and really has a sweet personality too. She does love the camera too. Maybe she'll be a model someday...
Looks like Kika got a haircut. Very cute, but it makes her look so much more grown up. Makes me sad to see them growing up so fast.
Merry Christmas baby! Looks like she's not a bit afraid of Santa. At least not this year. Next year will probably be a different story!
Isn't this a cute picture! I never think to put the kids in fun poses like this.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 11:11 PM
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Welcome to my office - my home away from home. It's funny, even though I've spent a LOT of time here over the years, most of my family has never seen my office. It's a secured building, so so I guess there's just never been a time when anyone needed to be here, except for my boys. I used to bring them to work with me pretty frequently, so everyone there knows them. I used to pay Matt to do all my filing and Blake liked to open and stamp my mail for me.
I don't talk about my work on my blog much. It's one my few concessions to internet privacy, so I don't reveal the name of the company where I work. But it's a large, nationwide company and you would definitely recognize the name. I've been there for 18 years and I love it. I've been in a kind of accounting function for the last 8-10 years, so it does get a little routine - month in, month out, get the bills paid. But I have a great boss and a really nice group of people that I work with, so to me it's worth it even if I get a little bored sometimes.
Here's the main part of my office. My other wall has some company stuff, so I didn't take pictures of that. Here is my computer and my phone. As you can see, I've got a picture of my cute granddaughter on my screen. I'm on conference calls a lot, so I've got my headset there, and my drinks and stuff. As you can see, I've got LOTS of stuff on my walls - inspirational sayings, pictures of nice scenes I've taken from magazines and calendars.
Here's a close-up of my keyboard. Fortunately, I'm scheduled to get a new computer soon, which is great because all of my keyboards look like this, including the one I'm using. I have long fingernails and it wears the letters off the keys all the time. It's a good thing I learned to touch type so I can remember where the letters are.
I added this organizer a couple of months ago. I originally got it to hold craft supplies, but I decided this was a better use for it. See the heart-shaped rock? Matt found that for me years ago on a camping trip. It's a natural rock, perfectly heart shaped.
This is my bulletin board. As you can see, I have WAY too many pictures! I looked around my office and counted them. I have 42 of them, including pictures of my parents, dogs, cats, and friends of ours. Do you like my little pink flamingo Beanie Baby? Cute stuff! PS: My inbox NEVER looks this empty, but I just did my filing for the month. Usually I have a ton of stuff in there.
This is my pen holder. I made it probably 25 years ago, but I just love it. That red sucker was from the Olympics. I was one of the Olympic Mascots performing at events around town (yes, I really was), so it has a lot of fond memories for me.
This is Frankie. I made him years ago too, but I think he's just darn cute. You have to take his head off to get to the candy. He lives in my drawer for most of the year, but I always take him out at Halloween. Then I keep a special vase in my drawer for Spring time - we have a huge bed of daffodils along the back of the building and I snitch a few every spring to brighten up my desk.
Well, that's my office. I'll be seeing it again in about six hours.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 11:52 PM
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Remember this post? Well, after four months on there, I finally "get" what Facebook is all about! Now I'm loving it.
I've been finding all my assorted relatives from the four corners of the US, and I've been finding some of my High School friends. I finally figured out that you can click on someone and view their friends. I've found some of my High School friends that way. It's also a good way to verify who someone is if you don't remember them. If you see a familiar looking name, you can scan through their friends and if you see a bunch of your other friends in their list, you'll know who they are.
And I figured out that you can just click ignore on all those annoying, I'm sending you a ____ (fill in the blank) to save the ______ (fill in the blank) requests. I don't believe for one minute that these companies are doing diddly squat to save anything, I think they're just trying to get access to everyone's information so they can market stuff to them. Yes, I am very cynical about advertising...
By the by, did you know that you really need to look carefully at your privacy settings? The default settings are pretty loose. Because I belonged to the Salt Lake network, it was set up so that anyone in the SL Network could view my whole profile - ugh! So I adjusted my setting so that only my actual friends would be authorized to see any of my information.
My friends circle is expanding and I'm really enjoying reconnecting with relatives and friends that I haven't seen in many, many years. Sadly though, I found out that one of my closest friends from High School has passed away. I haven't heard all the details yet, but I found his sister and she confirmed it. That makes me sad because he was a great guy and a very talented actor.
Now, like everyone else, I've just got to figure out how to not waste so much time on there!
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 10:54 PM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I've always been really interested in what makes people tick. I think I probably should have majored in Psychology instead of Computer Science. So with the success of books like "Freakonomics", there has been a rash of interesting books on quirky people. One of the ones I've read lately (well, listened to the tape) is Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It's so fascinating and this guy has the COOLEST job! He just goes around and does all these experiments and watches how people react. How fun!
One experiment that really fascinated me was the power of FREE. He did all these experiments where he tested the lengths people will go to to get something for free, even if it's something that's totally useless to them, or at least not worth the trouble and expense they go through to get it. For instance, just this morning my son stood in line for nearly an hour out in the cold to get a free Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's. Now if he'd spent that hour working instead, he would have earned enough money to probably buy two breakfasts. But I guess that wouldn't have tasted as good as the FREE breakfast.
He did another set of experiments about cheating that led to an interesting conclusion. First he did a series of tests with different groups of college students. He told them right up front that they would be grading their own tests and then shredding them, which gave them ample opportunity to cheat as much as they chose to and he offered them different rewards based on the number of questions they got right. The students with no reward only cheated a tiny bit. The students with a small monetary reward, say a nickel for every correct answer, cheated a bit more, but not as much as you'd think. They'd only fudge 2-4 answers per test, which would earn them an extra .20 or so. But when the researchers changed the reward to plastic chips, the cheating went way up - some even gave themselves a perfect score. Interesting....
He did another kind of follow-up experiment to expand on this idea. He went into the dorms and snuck some extra things into the fridges on every floor. He put a six-pack of Coke and a plate with a bunch of dollar bills in each fridge. What would you think a bunch of cash-poor college kids would do in this case?
When he came back in about three days, without exception - ALL of the sodas were gone and NONE of the dollar bills had been touched! Isn't that weird? It seems like people consider taking actual money as real honest-to-God stealing, but taking non-monetary things like the sodas or the plastic tokens, or office supplies, or things are aren't actual money as OK to take. Kind of makes sense why identity theft, embezzlement, and other kinds of non-monetary crimes are going up so fast because we've divorced ourselves from real money. It just doesn't seem as much like stealing when you're just dealing with computers and plastic. It doesn't feel as much like "real" spending either and that's how the credit card companies get all our money from us.
There you go - something to make you go hmmmm.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 10:06 PM
Sunday, February 1, 2009
OK, change of pace people! I've been posting really serious stuff this week, so I thought I'd post a little funny that my semi-retired sister sent me. I thought it was pretty funny!
Question: How many days in a week?
Answer: 6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday
Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Answer: Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch. (Hmm, this sounds like my husband!)
Question: How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day.
Question: What's the biggest gripe of retirees?
Answer: There is not enough time to get everything done.
Question: Why don't retirees mind being called Seniors?
Answer: The term comes with a 10% percent discount.
Question: Among retirees what is considered formal attire?
Answer: Tied shoes.
Question: Why do retirees count pennies?
Answer: They are the only ones who have the time. (and these days, they need to!)
Question: What is the common term for someone who enjoys work and refuses to retire?
Question: Why are retirees so slow to clean out the basement, attic or garage?
Answer: They know that as soon as they do, one of their adult kids will want to store stuff there.
Question: What do retirees call a long lunch?
Question: What is the best way to describe retirement?
Answer: The never ending Coffee Break.
Question: Why does a retiree often say he doesn't miss work, but misses the people he used to work with?
Answer: He is too polite to tell the whole truth.
Question: What do you do all week?
Answer: Mon to Fri. Nothing. Sat & Sun I rest!
My favorite one:
Question: What's the biggest advantage of going back to school as a retiree?
Answer: If you cut classes, no one calls your parents.
Posted by Adrian's Crazy Life at 11:35 PM