"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bring on 2010!

I can't believe this year is almost over. It seemed like it went so fast. It definetly was a great year though. I don't think there is any part of the year that I would change.
It started out with us getting settled in our new house.  Having a house is a lot of work.  I had no idea how much work went into fixing up a house. It's been exciting though.  The biggest thing we did this year on the house was new windows.  We saved up the money and got bids from different companies and with the help of some great friends and my dad, Steve put in the new windows. I love them.  The house seems much brighter with the new windows and our electric bill is definitely happier.

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this year in May.  We also made the final payments on our vehicles this Spring. It feels so good knowing the cars are paid for. It's just one less debt to worry about.  The next task is to tackle the student loans. Besides the house, the student loans are all we have left.
This summer, my High School class celebrated our 10 Year Reunion.  Liz traveled up from Tulsa to spend the week with us, so I was happy about that.  It was good to see some friends I hadn't seen in awhile and catch up with others I see all the time.

This summer, Steve, our friend Damian, and I took a road trip to Philadephia to visit Steve's cousin, Meredith.  We spent a day walking around Philly, then we went to the a Phillies baseball game.  We also visited Delaware and spent a day in New York City.  I think in total we visited 5 different states.  The trip was pretty fun.  I rode on a train and a city bus for the first time. I love history, so walking around all the sites in Philly was really exciting.
God blessed us at every turn this year.  It seemed like everytime we felt discouraged or stressed, He had something for us right around the corner.
We are back working a second part time job at Sears for Christmas.  We are both hoping they keep us after the season is over. 

We ended the year with a trip to Chicago with some amazing friends.  It was a bit on the chilly side, but great fun anyway.  These two have been two of my best friends for almost 20 years. I would not trade them for the world.  Our husbands all get along too, so that's great.
I made a New Years Goal last year of reading one non-fiction book a month, for a total of 12.  As of today, I'm working on number 11.  I didn't reach my goal, but I figure 11 books is more than I read last year. 
I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the next year.  Bring it on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 YWCA Christmas

YWCA Wish List

Thank You to Everyone who Donated to the YWCA this Year!
The need continues all year: Become a Women of Vision today!
If you have any questions please call Peggy King at 574-233-9491 or email her at pking@ywcasjc.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Reading Goal: 10 Down, 2 More to Go

I had a goal this year to read one non-fiction books a month, for a total of 12 books, because I heard the average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month.  I just finished my tenth book, so that means I have one month to read the last two.  I'm not sure what books I'm going to read yet.  This was much harder then I though, probably harder than it should have been. 
Proverbs 18:15 (New International Version)
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.

Here is a summary of the books I read so far:
  1. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  2. Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey
  3. Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  4. Bridges Out of Poverty by Phil DeVol
  5. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
  6. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
  7. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki
  8. Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
    1. This was actually the second time I read this book.  I loved it again this time too.  This book is full of little tokins of wisdom.  I recommend it for anyone working with kids, not just in Youth Ministry.
      1. "God is much more concerned by your being than your doing."
      2. "Failure to see the difference between loving God and loving others can result in a ministry-focused life rather than a God-focused life."
      3. "Faithfullness to the first commandment (loving God) results in obedience to the second (loving others).
      4. Accountability: "Be courageous enough to invite a friend to lovingly ask you about your consistency, your desire, and the quality of your times with God."
      5. "God doesn't need you to be a spiritual giant to lead students toward maturity."  God is mostly concerned for your heart.  As you walk on the journey and grow closer to Jesus, drag some students to follow you along the way.
      6. When students start to follow you, it is very important that you are leading them in the right direction though.  Students will follow where you go more than they will ever listen to what you say.  It may feel like a burden, but it's actually a calling.
      7. (1 Corinthians 11:1)  Students are like sponges. They soak up everything you say and do.
      8. "Student leadership can allow them to use their skills of God's kingdom, interact with full-time ministers, and open their eyes to a unique way of spending their vocational lives."
      9. "Effective students leaders advance the church, reach more people, grow in their spiritual journeys, and relieve adult leaders of some of the work load."
      10. "Student leaders will challenge you with their readiness to serve, inspire you with their faith, and convict you with their pure motives...Invite them to serve, and be with them when they face trials in the future." "Most teenagers are dying for an adult to believe in them."
  9. The 21 Irrefuttable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
    1. The ideas in this book are pretty simple.  This is a must-read for anyone that is a leader or plans to become one.
      1. "Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground."
      2. "People listen not necessarily because of the truth being communicated in the message, but because of their respect for the speaker."
      3. "Champions don't become champions in the ring - they are merely recognized there."
      4. "The Law of Sacrifice says you have to give up to go up."
      5. "When the right leader and the right time come together, incredible things happen."
  10. QBQ: The Question Behind the Question by John Miller
    1. "What to really ask yourself to eliminate blame, complaining, and procrastination."  This is a book was a really huge smack in the face.  This is probably the place in my life that I struggle the most.  The lack of personal accountability is a problem. No organization or person can achieve goals or compete in the marketplace without personal accountability.
      1. "Stress is a choice...Yes bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don't follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail, good people leave. But still stress is a choice...we choose are response." We choose to become angry.  We choose to worry.
      2. Blame questions solve nothing. "They create fear, destroy creativity, and build walls."  Instead of brainstorming and working together to get things done, we "blamestorm" and accomplish nothing.
      3. "Ownership: A committment of the head, heart, and hands to fix the problem and never again affix the blame."
      4. "Managers don't change people. They can coach, counsel, teach, and guide, but no one changes another person. Change only comes from inside, as a result of decisions made by the individual."
      5. No matter our role, someone is watching and emulating our behavior. "Modeling is the most powerful of all teachers."
      6. Taking action may seem risky, but doing nothing can be an an even bigger risk. "Action, even when it leads to mistakes, brings learning and growth. Inaction brings stagnation and atrophy."
      7. "Humility is the cornerstone of leadership."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

A. Lincoln

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year has gone by so fast.  I can't believe it almost over already.  I have blessed so much this year.  This has been a tough year for many with job cuts, layoffs and the downward economy. Steve and I were not even immune to it when our Sears closed.  We refused to participate in the Recession though.  We were not going to hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves, as so many have.  We looked to the future.  Sears was supposed to help us pay off our car loan and it did just that. We are now debt free, except for our Student loans and the house. Not much longer after Sears closed, the YWCA decided to bring us both back up to 40 hours, so any income we lost from Sears we got got back from the YWCA.  Praise God!
There have been some tough times for us this year. It wasn't all roses, but everytime I felt discouraged I remember all the things that we do have.  We have so much.  We are so lucky.

For those that don't know, Steve and I back working at Sears again after taking the Summer off.  We are now just Christmas help, but they may keep us on afterwards. We will just have to wait and see.   If anyone is having out at the mall at Oh-dark Early, I will be at Sears from 3:45am to 4pm.  I'll be in the Hardware Department. Pray for me!  It will be a long day.
Thanksgiving is just a day to day eat way to much food and watch football. It's a day to think about what you are thankful for.  It's about family and friends.

1. First, I am thankful for a God that is patient. We serve an amazing God and I think sometimes I forget that. He has done so much for me that I know I will never be able to thank him enough. He blesses us at every turn. Even when I don't feel like He is there, He is.

2. Second, I am thankful for a husband that is patient. I have the greatest husband ever. He is such a hard-worker. He was even willing to work two jobs this year to help us reach our goal of car debt-freedom. I know some nights he was really tired, but he stuck to the schedule. On top of that, he did work on the house. We got new windows and they are gorgeous. Steve, with the help of friends (Thank you Dad and Bobby and Josh), they installed the windows themselves.

3. Third, I am thankful for my family. My parents are just great. They have been married for 29 years and after all these years they still love to hang out together. With so many marriages ended in Divorce, it is nice to have such a strong example to follow.

4. Fourth, I am thankful for my friends. I have the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for. Some of the best friends that I have right now have been my best friends since Elementary school. We have been through so much together. I truly am thankful for you guys. I hope you know that I would not be who am today without you. We have laughed together, prayed together, and cried together. I am thankful that my friends are forgiving and patient. Sometimes I don't I deserve to have as awesome friends as I do. I can count on them and I hope they can count on me.

5. I have a job that I absolutely love. How many people can say that they actually enjoy going to work everyday? Sometimes it's not all fun and games. It's a lot of work sometimes, but I believe in the mission of the YWCA. I don't see my job as just paperwork and data entry, I am helping victims of Domestic Violence by making sure we have the data for grant billings and reports. My bosses (yes I have two Supervisors now) are supportive, encouraging, and just great to work with.

6. I have a warm place to live. We bought our first house at the end of last year. Maintaining and fixing up a house is hard work, but it been a fun adventure.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Getting Cold Outside!

The YWCA is currently in need of winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves for both women and children.
Warm twin-sized blankets and comforters are also needed.

Any donations can be dropped off at the YWCA at 1102 S. Fellows, South Bend, Indiana, 46601.
You can also make monetary donations at http://www.ywcasjc.org/. Thank You!

TLC Cooking: 10 Meals That Are Proven to Make You Happier

10 Meals That Are Proven to Make You Happier
by Alia Hoyt

  • 1. Macaroni and Cheese
    • The dairy products standard in this recipe (milk and cheese) contain high levels of vitamin B, which has been shown to heavily impact the brain.
  • 2. Fish and Brown Rice
    • Multiple studies have linked depression to imbalances in omega-3 fatty acids, found abundantly in fish [source: Melone].
  • 3. Scrambled eggs and Oatmeal
    • Remember those helpful B vitamins found in dairy products? Eggs are also rife with the critical substance.
  • 4. Spaghetti with Meatballs
    • We've already spelled out the benefits of whole-wheat pasta: It's high in folic acid and helps increase serotonin levels.
  • 5. Mashed Potatoes and Turkey
    • Turkey and mashed potatoes need not be reserved for Thanksgiving, thanks to the mood-boosting vitamins and minerals this main dish and savory starch contain.
  • 6. Banana Split
    • This is my favorite of the list. Yum! The two main components -- ice cream and bananas -- are both rich in B vitamins, which are effective depression-thwarters [source: Carper].
  • 7. Chili and Cornbread
    • Beans are a terrific vehicle for ingesting selenium and increasing levels of magnesium, a deficiency of which has been linked to depression [sources: Magee, Melone]. 
    •   The perfect complement to this wintertime favorite is cornbread, which contains gluten, known for its ability to stimulate endorphin production [source: Cohen].

  • 8. Sweet Potato
    • Complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, are packed full of energy and mood-boosting vitamins and minerals.
  • 9. Beef Stew with Veggies and Potatoes
    • Lean red meat is an excellent source of tryptophan and protein, both of which are critical to mood regulation. Dial down the unhealthiness quotient by trimming any excess fat before putting the meat in the Dutch oven or slow cooker.
  • 10. Anything Chocolate
    • Multiple studies have revealed that chocolate (gasp!) is actually healthy in moderation. Although it's still high in calories, chocolate contains a myriad of beneficial nutrients that help regulate mood. The sugar that gives chocolate its rich taste helps increase serotonin levels, while the fat content releases mood-elevating endorphins [source: Carper].
Yum. I think I'm going to be putting these foods in my menus.

Friday, November 6, 2009

America Again by Carmen Written in 1993

American Again by Carmen

Listen to the song here
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
Samuel Adams, First Chief Justice John Jay
Names synonymous with the spirit of our country
Founding fathers of the U.S.A.

Over 200 years ago they shook off the chains of tyranny from Great Britain
By divine call
Citing 27 biblical violations they wrote the Declaration of Independence With liberty and justice for all
But something happened since Jefferson called the Bible the cornerstone
For American liberty then put it in our schools as a light
Or since "Give me liberty, or give me death," Patrick Henry said
Our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ
We eliminated God from the equation of American life
Thus eliminating the reason this nation first began
From beyond the grave I hear the voices of our founding fathers plead
You need God in America again
Of the 55 men who formed the Constitution
Fifty-two were active members of their church
Founding fathers like Noah Webster who wrote the first dictionary
Could literally quote the Bible chapter and verse
James Madison said, "We've staked our future on our ability to follow
The Ten Commandments with all our heart"
These men believed you couldn't even call yourself an American
If you subvert the Word of God
In his farewell address, Washington said, "You can't have national morality apart from religious principle," and it's true
'Cause right now we have nearly 150,000 kids carrying guns
To these war zones we call public schools
In the '40's and '50's student problems were chewing gum and talking
In the '90's, rape and murder are the trend
The only way this nation can even hope to last this decade
Is put God in America again
The only hope for America is Jesus
The only hope for our country is Him
If we repent of our ways stand firm and say
We need God in America again
Abe Lincoln said, "The philosophy of the classroom in one generation
Will be the philosophy of government of the next"
So when you eliminate the Word of God from the classroom and politics
You eliminate the nation that Word protects
America is now number one in teen pregnancy and violent crime
Number one in illiteracy, drug use, and divorce
Everyday a new holocaust of 5,000 unborn die
While pornography floods our streets like open sewers
America's dead and dying hand is on the threshold of the Church
While the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah vex us all
When it gets to the point where people would rather
Come out of the closet than clean it
It's a sign that the judgment of God is gonna fall
If there's ever been a time to rise up Church, it's now
And as the blood bought saints of the living God proclaim
That it's time to sound the alarm from the Church house to the White House
And say, "We want God in America again"
I believe it's time for America to stand up and proclaim
That one nation under God is our demand
And send this evil lifestyle back to Satan where it came from
And let the Word of God revive our dying land
For Jesus Christ is coming back again in all His glory
And every eye shall see Him on that day
That's why a new anointing of God's power's coming on us
To boldly tell the world you must be saved
Because astrology won't save you, your horoscope won't save you
The Bible says these things are all a farce
If you're born again, you don't need to look to the stars for your answers
'Cause you can look to the very One who made those stars
History tells us time and time again
To live like there's no God makes you a fool
If you want to see kids live right
Stop handing out condoms and start handing out the Word of God in schools
The only hope for America is Jesus
The only hope for our country is Him
If we repent of our ways
Stand firm and say
We need God in America again

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guess Who's DEBT FREE!!!

If you guessed the YWCA, you would be right!!! I love my job. I sent this email to the Dave Ramsey Show and he actually read it on the air.

Hi Dave,

I work for the YWCA of St. Joe County in South Bend, Indiana. We are a non-profit organization that serves about 1300 women and children every year escaping Domestic Violence and going through Chemical Dependency Treatment. We are one of only a few organizations in Indiana that allow women to bring their children with them during Residential Chemical Dependency Treatment. We also have Transitional Housing for women and children and Permanent Housing for women with disabilities. WE ARE DEBT FREE!!! Even on the building. I love my job and I’m so proud.

My husband and I have been working your plan and we are credit debt free. All we have left is student loans and our house. Thank you for all you do.
Go to this link to listen to the call.  Listen to the November 4th show. You will have to listen to about 20 - 25 minutes of the show before he reads the email on the air.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

YWCA Christmas Wish List 2009

YWCA Holiday Wish List 2009

For Children
Toys for all ages


Watches, hand held videogames, batteries for toys if required, young ladies toiletry items, hats and scarves, hair accessories, age appropriate art supplies, portable CD players, MP3 players, gift cards, books.

Children Ages 4 – 12

Legos and other building sets, cars and trucks, dolls and accessories, inexpensive handheld video games, art kits, educational games, board games, puzzles.
School uniforms in all sizes always needed.

Infants and young toddlers

Baby action toys, stuffed animals, baby CD’s, early age videos, hats, mittens, and scarves.Diapers, cribs, pack & plays always needed
For Adults
Robes, slippers, pajamas, throws, alarm clocks, portable cd players, CDs-variety of music, cameras, watches, costume jewelry, calendars, organizers/day planners, hoodies, perfume, bath/body lotions, hair accessories, hat/gloves and scarves.
Note: It will be most appreciated if all gifts are non-violent in nature and, if possible, delivered to the YWCA by December 14th.
If you have any questions please call Peggy King at 574-233-9491 or email her at pking@ywcasjc.org.

If you want to give a monetary donation go to: ywcasjc.org
Thank you in advance you for your generosity.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Changing the World

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered that the world would not change so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it too seemed immovable

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last attempt, I settled for changing only my family; those closest to me. But alas, they would have none of it.

And now, as age has caught up with me and soon I will leave this world, I suddenly realize that if I had only changed my life first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would have been able to better my country. And who knows, I might have even changed the world.
- The words inscribed on the tomb of an Anglican bishop in Westminster Abby (1100 A.D.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paint the Town Purple: Another Women


Another Women

Today another woman died
and not on a foreign field
and not with a rifle strapped to her back,
and not with a large defense of tanks
rumbling and rolling behind her.
She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.

The target was her precious flesh
that was once composed like music
in her mother’s body and sung
in the anthem of birth.

The target was this life
that had lived its own dear wildness,
had been loved and not loved,
had danced and not danced.

A life like yours or mine
that had stumbled up
from a beginning
and had learned to walk
and had learned to read.
and had learned to sing.

Another woman died today.
not far from where you live;
Just there, next door where the tall light
falls across the pavement.

Just there, a few steps away
where you’ve often heard shouting,
Another woman died today.

She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.
The same baby her parents
walked in the night with
and listened and listened and listened
For her cries even while they slept.

And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.

-Carol Geneya Kaplan

Friday, October 9, 2009

Michael Moore on the Sean Hannity Show

Michael Moore went on the Sean Hannity Show to discuss his new movie.
"I report, you decide."

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Domestic Violence Awareness: Why Purple?

Why Purple?
Purple was Lisa Bianco's favorite color.
Who is Lisa Bianco?
Lisa Bianco married Alan Matheny in 1977. They lived in Mishawaka, Indiana in St. Joseph County. Lisa divorced Alan in 1985 after enduring eight years of very serious abuse. Shortly after the divorce was finalized, Alan kidnapped their two daughters and fled out of state. Lisa agreed to not press charges if he brought the girls back home.

In 1987, Alan was charged with seriously beating and raping Lisa. He plea bargained to a single felony charge of battery and was sentenced to the Pendleton Reformatory for eight years, with three years suspended. Lisa began to make a new life for herself. She attended a northern campus of Indiana University. She went to work at the Elkhart Shelter for victims of domestic violence. She told everyone she would have to leave the community when Alan was released from prison. She knew better than anyone how dangerous a man Alan Matheny was. On March 04, 1989, after serving two years of his sentence, Alan was granted an 8-hour furlough for a trip to Indianapolis. He headed straight for St. Joseph County and parked two doors from Lisa’s home. He kicked in the back door. Lisa fled through the front door. Alan pursued her throughout the neighborhood. When he caught her, he bludgeoned her to death with a shotgun he had stolen from a friend’s home. He hit her so hard, the handle of the shotgun shattered. Lisa’s brutal death took place in front of their six and ten year old daughters.

Alan Matheny was executed Wednesday, September 28, 2005 for Lisa’s murder. Lisa’s death brought about much change in Indiana and the nation. We now have victim notification laws—where victims are notified when the perpetrator is being released and the “furlough” policy was revisited. We also have the purple ribbon—the symbol representing domestic violence awareness—so that we will not forget Lisa. Purple was Lisa’s favorite color and her family and friends tied purple ribbons throughout St. Joseph
County as they mourned her tragic and violent death.
Today, the purple ribbon continues to be the symbol for domestic violence.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Girls Night Out Project

This is the project I made at Pottery Schmottery during our Girls Night Out. It turned out pretty good, I think. It's a football shaped snack bowl.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paint the Town Purple: Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed every October across the country. National, state, and community organizations for violence prevention and victim services, businesses, health care providers, and others mark the month with educational programs, recognition and memorial ceremonies.

To find out about local awareness events click on the purple ribbon.
Domestic Violence Hurts Everyone-Here are some ways to help put a stop to it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girls Night Out and Windows Weekend

This weekend was fun and busy. On Friday, Shere, Tabby, my sister, and I got together for our Girls Night Out. We went to Pottery Schmottery in Elkhart. I am so not talented when it comes to crafts, but it was really fun. I think my project turned out pretty good actually. We pick them up next Friday, so I will post a picture when I get it back. After created our masterpieces, we went to an Italian restaurant called Lucchese's Italian Restaurant in Elkhart. Yummy!

We got our windows this weekend. Steve started to project on Thursday created the rough opening for the big window in the front of the house. The orginal window went almost all the way to the ground and the new window was going to be not as tall. That meant that Steve had to create a new opening and put new siding on the outside. Our friend Bobby came over to help him on Thursday. Thursday we also had Mighty Ducts come over and clean our ducts out.

On Friday, Pella came and installed the big window in the front. Since it was so big, we decided to have them install it and Steve installed the rest. When I came home from work on Thursday, I came home to a big whole in our house. I was excited when I came home from the Girls Night Out on Friday to a new window. :o)

On Saturday, my dad, our friend Bobby, and our friend Josh came over to help Steve do the rest of the windows. Steve originally thought that we would have to take the drywall off the walls to make them fit. The side frames of the window on our house are part of the stud of the house, so he thought he might have to create the rough opening. It turned out that after some discussion and testing of some things that we did not have to take off the drywall. Unfortunetly, they decided this after we had already removed the drywall in the middle room and part way in the back room. :o( Oh well. Steve is going to keep the old insullation and put it in the attic and put new insullation in the two rooms, so I guess something good is going to come out of it.
My mom and I worked on the drywall removal and the cleaning up of the insullation and dust that came from all that. Of course, we had the Ohio State and Notre Dame games on while all the work was being done. OSU pulled a huge win and Notre Dame won but it was close.

Thank you so much to my parents, Bobby Athey, and Josh Gulledge for all your hard work to help us put in our new windows. We appreciate you guys a ton.

Sunday, we got up for church and then came back home to finish the job. My dad came back over to help Steve put back on the siding and my mom and I cleaned some more. It was a busy weekend. I was so tired Sunday night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Fun: Date Night, Stripping Wallpaper, Ohio State

Steve and I decided to go on a long overdue date night on Friday. I can't even remember the last movie we saw in the theater. We received a gift card to Olive Garden for a gift, so we decided to go there. We also has a coupon for Olive Garden, so that kinda sealed the decision. We both had the Never Ending Pasta Bowls. They were very tasty. I love that resturant, but we don't get to go out very often. After dinner, we went to the Dollar Theater and saw the movie UP. That movie was so cute. It actually started out really sad. The whole movie is about the man's desire to keep a promise he made to his wife. A little Wilderness Scout goes with him along for the journey. I won't spoil the ending for you, in case you haven't seen it, but it's so worth going to see. Very fun! I give it 2 Thumbs WAY UP! haha. No pun intended, of course.

On Saturday, Steve had to go into work and clean the carpets. When he got home, we finished stripping the wallpaper in the "Ohio State Room." The wallpaper has completely removed from the wall. Now we just have to prime and paint the walls. I can't wait to be done with the room. Hopefully, we get it done before the season is over. I think Steve wants to be able to watch a game while sitting in the "Ohio State Room."
While we were we working on the room, we were listening the Michigan/Notre Dame game on the radio. Michigan won in the last few minutes. We were both very happy.

The Ohio State game ended, unfortunetly, just about the same way. Last year, USC killed Ohio State so it was nice to Ohio State ahead for a good part of the game. Both teams fought very hard, but unfortunetly OSU lost in the last few minutes when USC got a touchdown and managed to win by 3 points. I was hoping OSU would be able to get back within field goal range and tie it up...but they didn't. :o(

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book 7: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I just finished reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I must say that I was a bit disapointed in it. It came highly recommended. For the most part, I liked the book. He compared his real dad, who he called Poor Dad, to his friend's dad, who he called Rich Dad. His Poor Dad was highly educated and had a government job and his Rich Dad was uneducated and was self-Employed.

My main dislike of the book is that he seemed to discount the value of education. To me, it seemed like he didn't see the value of education and he thought the only way to be successful was the own your own business. His plan seemed like a get-rich-quick plan, but hardly works for most people. According to the other books I have read this year, I have learned that financial success takes time, effort, and a "crock pot" mentality. Wealth building takes time.

He tells the story about how he made all his money in Real Estate. Real Estate is a really great investment, but it does come with risks. He said he took a $500 weekend seminar and learned how to flip Spec Houses. It's a good idea but it doesn't always work and to suggest that it does, is wrong. Houses don't always go up in value. Sometimes markets bubbles burst and if you have a bunch of debt piled in Spec houses, you will get foreclosed on (ie. Our House). The man who owned our house watched the weekend seminar, drank the kool-aid, and bought a bunch of rentals and now my dad's bank owns most of them. If you want to invest in Real Estate pay cash for it.

"Studies show that 100% of the foreclosures happen on homes with a Mortgage." - Dave Ramsey
He did have some good points where he says too many people let their money control their lives. That they go through life working for money and never really making it, instead of letting their money work for them.

"Many great financial problems are caused by going along with the crowd and trying to keep up with the Jones." (If you remember the information from The Millionaire Next Door most of the "Jones" are broke.)

Roberts doesn't like to pay taxes...and I don't think I know anyone that does. He made some interesting observations about them though. At one time, Americans were anti-taxes. It wasnt until 1913 that an Income tax became permanent in America. Before that the only taxes collected were temporary to pay for wars.

"It is the idea of Robin Hood, or taking from the rich to give to the poor that has caused the most pain for the poor and the middle class. The reason the middle class is so heavily taxes is because of the Robin Hood ideal. The real reality is that the rich are not taxed. It's the middle class who pays for the poor, especially the educated upper-income middle class...The idea of taxes was made popular, and accepted by the majority, by telling the poor and the middle class that taxes were created only to punish the rich...Although it was intended to punish the rich, in reality it would up punishing the very people who voted for it, the poor and middle class."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book 6: The Millionaire Next Door

I loved this book. I love statistics and numbers and this book is just full of them.
The Millionaire Next Door was written by Thomas Stanley and William Danko in 1996. They began studying how people became wealthy. They started by surveying upscale neighborhoods and soon realized something odd. Many people who live in expensive houses do not actually have much wealth. Then they discovered many people that do have a great deal of wealth did not live in the upscale neighborhoods. When most people try to picture people of great wealth, they often picture expensive large house, new luxury vehicles, large flashy jewelry, and such. What they discovered in their 20 year long survey is people with great wealth most often do not fit that picture. Also, they discovered that most of the people that were wealthy did not inherit wealth or have flashy high degrees. Wealth is rarely gained through Lottery, in sports, or from a TV show. Wealth was more often the result of hard work, perseverance, planning, and self-discipline.

Usually the wealthy person is a business owner who has lived in the same town his whole life. He is married once and remained married. There kids are educated. He lives in upper middle class or middle class neighborhood next to people with a fraction of his wealth. Most of the time the neighbors have no idea their neighbors are wealthy.

  • 80% of American Millionaires are first generation rich.
  • About half the wives do not work. Of the wives that work, the number 1 occupation is teacher.
  • 97% are homeowners living in houses with the average value of $320,000.
  • They wear inexpensive suits and American made cars. Only a minority drive the current-model-year car. Only a minority ever lease a vehicle.
  • As a group, they believe education is very important.
  • About 2/3 work between 45-55 hours per week.

During the investigation, they discovered seven things that were common among those successful millionaires.

  1. They live below their means.
  2. They allocate their time, energy, and money efficiently, in ways conductive to building wealth.
  3. They believe that financial independence in more important than displaying high social status.
  4. Their parents did not provide them with economic outpatient care.

    They are generally frugal when it comes to their own consumption, but not nearly as frugal when it comes to gifts for their children and grandchildren. Children of the wealthy are not guaranteed to be as success as their parents. They often conclude that children could not maintain a middle class lifestyle without help from them. Giving those gifts often creates more spending, not saving because the recipients start to depend on it and budget their lifestyle accordingly. Not all economic help is harmful, but it must be done after the children are already responsible and do not NEED the money. It is only then that they will use the money to prosper.
    According to the survey, Millionaire parents all too often weaken the weak. All too often parents are more willing to give large sums to money to their underachieving children. For example, lets suppose a couple has two children. One is a college graduate; very successful with handling money, with a full time job and the other child is a High school graduate, living at home, with no income. The parents desire to give a gift of 20,000 to their children. Do they divide is down the middle and give both 10,000? No. According to the survey, most parents in this situation would give the underachiever 15,000 because they feel this child needs the money more and give the successful child only 5,000. These well-meaning parents feel like they are helping the underachieving child, but in reality, according to the survey, the actually cripple the child further by making them more reliant on outside assistance. This can also cause conflict and jealousy because the high achievers will start to resent the gifts.
  5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient.
  6. They are proficient in targeting market opportunities.
  7. They chose the right occupation.

Being frugal is corner stone to wealth building. Often when you see people spending big money on television (like celebrities and sports players), those people may have a large income but most have little investments and little wealth. They spend all they have. They may technically me Millionaires but when compared to other people in their income range, they are actually very poor.
Rules for Affluent Parents and Productive Children
The affluent who have successful adult children gave them these guidelines on how they raised their children.
1. Never tell your children that parent’s are wealthy.

Children that grow up in wealthy families that have high consumption tend to want to maintain that level of spending even after the move out. All too often though they do not have the income to support their lifestyle, so they have to rely on parent’s assistance and credit.

2. No matter how wealthy you are, teach your children discipline and frugality.
3. Assure that your children won’t realize you’re affluent until after they have established a mature, disciplined, and adult lifestyles and profession.
4. Minimize discussions of the items that each child and grandchild will inherit or receive as gifts.
a. Because you may forget what you said…and they probably will not.
5. Never give cash or other significant gifts to your adult children as a part of a negotiation strategy.
6. Stay out of your adult children’s family matters
7. Don’t try to compete with your children
8. Always remember that you children are individuals.
9. Emphasize achievements no matter how small.

Teach children to achieve not just consume. Earning money just so you can spend
it should not be your ultimate goal. People are not impressed by what you own,
but by what you’ve accomplished.

10. Tell your children that there are a lot things more valuable them money.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Raising Awareness Through Competition: South Bend Tribune

YWCA's 25th annual Run, Jane, Run stays strong despite economy.
To register, visit http://www.ywcasjc.org/ or call (574) 233-9491.
Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — What was supposed to be a brief stop before lunch turned into a 25-year commitment for Sally Derengoski.

“I kind of fell into this by accident,” said Derengoski of her leadership role in Run, Jane, Run, the annual YWCA of St. Joseph County athletic competition for women.

The 25th event returns this weekend, with the run/walk Saturday at St. Patrick's County Park, the bicycling Sunday at Bendix Woods County Park and the golf tournament Monday at Morris Park Country Club. Over the years, Run, Jane, Run has raised almost $750,000 for the YWCA's domestic violence program, more than Derengoski could have imagined back in 1984.

That's when Derengoski, director of recreational sports at the University of Notre Dame, accepted a lunch invitation from then ND assistant athletic director Sharon Petro.

“She said we had to make one quick stop first,” Derengoski said.

That stop was the YWCA, where Derengoski found herself in a planning meeting for the first Run, Jane, Run with such folks as the late Dora Reynolds, then the executive director of the YWCA; Mikki Dobski, currently an assistant to South Bend Mayor Stephen Luecke; and Marzy Bauer, a South Bend resident active with charities.

Derengoski remembers the original purpose of Run, Jane, Run was twofold.

“First, we wanted to create an avenue in which women could participate in their own sporting events — where they wouldn't be first in the women's division. They would just be first.

“The second purpose was to raise funds for the YWCA.”

Over the years, she said, a third purpose evolved: To create awareness for the issues affecting women and children, and for the role played by the YWCA.

YWCA Executive Director Linda Baechle, in a news release, said Run, Jane, Run has “stayed true to that mission.”

She said the thousands of women who have participated have raised “critical funds to help women and children escape violent relationships and homes.”

Run, Jane, Run started big. The first year, women could participate in 10 events, ranging from tennis to equestrian. Later, it became a golf-only event until recent years when running then biking were added. Derengoski has remained the chair of the golf tourney throughout.

“One reason I've stayed with it is because I believe in the service that the YWCA offers our community. The second is purely selfish — it's nice to have our own women's golf tourney.”

She calls the golf outing “unofficially the largest women's charity golf tourney in the state.”

The tourney typically draws from 150 to 200 golfers. After playing at Juday Creek Golf Course the past dozen or so years, the event moves to Morris Park Country Club this year.

She said numbers remain strong despite the economy.

“I just want to thank this community for its support — the people and businesses have really stepped up,” Derengoski said.
Staff writer Kirby Sprouls: ksprouls@sbtinfo.com (574) 235-6233

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pella Windows

Steve and I finally had out meeting with Dave the Pella guy last night. Our windows are officially ordered. I'm excited to finally be getting this project done, but I'm also a bit nervous because they are not going to be cheap. We shopped around to several different companies, so we are pretty sure we are getting the best deal. Dave the Pella guy is also a Christian and a Financial Peace grad, so he didn't even pressure us to use credit. The other companies we had out to give us quotes all looked at us funny when they asked if we wanted to sign for payments and we said, "No, we will be paying in cash." It was actually kind of fun to see the blank stare from them. :0)
Dave the Pella guy hooked us up with some good windows and he made sure they would qualify for the tax-credit. He was very knowledgeable too. He answered all out questions and explained exactly what was going on.
Pella is going to install the big window in the front and Steve is going to install the rest himself, with the help of some good buddies. I am very happy with our choice to go with Pella and I can't wait to have our new windows in.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Philadephia Vacation Pictures

Philadephia Vacation 2009

Click on the picture to view more pictures

Currently Reading: Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander

While on vacation, I had some time to relax and read. I finished number 5 of my goal of 12 non-fiction books in a year. I know I need to start reading a little faster. Dave Ramsey requires all of his employees to read four different books; The Total Money Makeover, Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson, Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander, and QBQ - The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller. I also started my next book on the way home, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley. I will blog about it when I finish it.

I already read the first two that Dave requires and when I was looking through Steve’s cousin Meredith books in the room we were staying in, she had Rhinoceros Success. So I grabbed the book off the shelf and started reading it. It was really good reading material to bring with me on the hour and half train ride to New York City. I hadn't planned to read those 4 books first but I guess it's sorted happened that way so far. The only one I have left it QBQ, which i own but haven't read yet.

Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
In this world, there are cows and then there are rhinos. The cows graze in the pasture with the other cows, unwilling to take a chance at success, thinking that success only comes to those who are lucky, or that they just aren't cut out to be successful. Many live out their lives in fear, thinking they can never accomplish anything, so they never try.

The rhinos, on the other hand, take charge. Focused and unafraid, thick-skinned and unstoppable, they take massive action toward accomplishing their dreams and goals. They understand that success is there for the taking, if only one brings to bear the right training, mindset and work ethic.

It was a really short fun book, about 200 pages. The basic premise of the book was to be a “go-getter.” Don’t just let life happen to you, but happen to it. I know I have trouble with that sometimes. I know I have skills, but sometimes I am afraid to step out of my comfort zone because I am too afraid that I will fail. Fear of failure is probably one of my biggest weaknesses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2009 Philadephia Vacation

We have returned home from our vacation. Steve, Damian, and I left for Philadephia on Wednesday last week. We drove the 12 hour drive because it was alot cheaper to drive than to fly. I love road trips too. I actually slept most of the way down there. It was a little cramped in the car because we didnt get the car we wanted. Steve reserved a Luxury car at Enterprise but when he went to pick it up they didnt have any in stock. Needless to say, Steve was not very happy. They ended up giving us a Full Size Chevy Impala at 50% off. We wanted to leave around 8:30 or 9, but we didnt end of leaving until around noon because of all the car issues. We got to Philadephia around 1am. We stayed with Steve's cousin, Meredith, who lives with her husband in Springfield that is just outside Philadephia.
We basically hopped on 80/90 and took 80 all the way to PA. Pennsylvania must really like road construction because there was more road construction on 80 in PA than non-road construction. It was nuts.
I had a lot of firsts on this vacation...first train ride, first city-bus ride, first major league baseball game, not to mention the first trip to PA, NYC, and Delaware. It was a very relaxing vacation.

Thursday: On Thursday, we spent to day in Philadephia. We hoped on the Septa, which is the train that takes the people in the suburbs into the city. We visited all the historic sites, such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Constitution Hall. We went to the African African Museum which is right across the street from the Federal Reserve, where Meredith works. We walked everywhere. It was hot out, but still felt really good. After work, she met us and we took a city bus to the Museum of Art. Apparently that is where Rocky ran up the stairs in the movies, so naturally Steve and Damian had to dramatically run up the stairs. Other than raining a little bit while we were at the Museum of Art the weather was warm but perfect. The rain cooled things and actually felt really good.

Friday: On Friday, We drove to Delaware since we were so close. We stopped in Wilmington and did some site seeing there. There wasn't much there but there was a cool River Walk. At the resturant we stopped for lunch, the host told us that we should visit Newark, pronounced NEW ARK, not NEWERK, like New Jersey :o). Apparently that is where the University of Delaware is. We searched for the University of Delaware Book Store so Damian could a T-Shirt and then headed back to Philly, so we could meet Steve's cousin-in-law, Mike to drive to the Philly game. On the way home from Delaware to PA, we entered Maryland for about a mile, so we could add that state to our list too, unfortunetly it does count because I didnt get a spoon from there, so we will have to go back. Meredith met us there via train. We also met Damian's friend, Erin, that lives in Philadephia for the game. It was a Phillies against the Cardinals. At the very beginning of the game, we had a rain delay. It poured for awhile then stopped and it was cool the rest of the game. The Cardinals won 8 to 1.

Saturday: On Saturday, we drove to Trenton, New Jersey and met with Erin, Damian's friend that met us at the game. Steve, Damian, Erin, and I then caught a train in Trenton and took it to New York City. It was an hour and a half train ride. I had never been on a train before except for the little Septa train, so I was nervous at first. Steve assurred me that everything would be A-Ok though. It wasn't so bad and actually kind of fun. New York City was awesome. I dont know if I could live there because there is just so much noise and so many people, so visiting was fun. The atmosphere and the lights were exciting. There were street venders everywhere trying to sell up stuff. The visited Time Square and saw the New Years Ball that drops every year. We walked everywhere around NYC city. In the middle iof Times Square there was a toy store with a Ferris Wheel inside. We got quite a bit of exercise on this trip. We did take another train to Ground Zero because it was too far to walk. There was so much construction around there that it was hard to see anything. It was still interesting to see though. From Ground Zero, we walked to the Stanton Island Ferry and road that past the Statue of Liberty. That was gorgeous and very relaxing. We drove right past the Statue of Liberty and I got some cool pictures of it. We also drove right past Ellis Island. It was a pretty full day. I was pretty tired and a bit dehyrated by the end of the day.

Sunday: On Sunday, We did a "College Tour." Damian really likes to collect T-Shirts from College Universities, so we went to a tour of all the colleges in and around Philadephia with Steve's cousins. Before the "College Tour", we met Erin again and Steve's cousins brought us Jim's for a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. She said that's where to the people who live there go for a good Cheese Steak. OHHHH!!! It was really good. We went to Temple, Drexel, University of Pennsylvania, and St. Joseph University and Vilanova. Vilanova's campus was absolutely beautiful. The stone buildings and architechure was very nice. On the Univerisity of Pennsylvania was the only school that had their bookstore open, so we just walked around and took pictures at the other school.

Monday: Monday was our last day. We got up really early at hit the road, back through the construction. We stopped by Penn State on the way home. That campus was really beautiful. On the way home, we also stopped in Toledo, OH to see Steve's Grandma. We finally got home at about 11pm on Monday night. I went straight to sleep because we had to work Tuesday morning. Overall, it was a very great vacation.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MHS 10 Year Reunion: Class of '99

I can't believe it's actually been 10 years since I graduated from High School. Wow...it's been a crazy bunch of years. Some friends have changed and some never will. I have moved several times all over Mishawaka and South Bend since graduation. I hope I have changed for the better in the last 10 years.
Our Reunion was this weekend and it was a blast. I will admit I was a little nervous at first. I'm not sure why but I guess it's just because at MHS their was somewhat of a "class system." It was really interesting to see at the reunion all the different groups all hanging out together. I guess after high school the "class" you were in high school doesn't really matter. I hope my friends that are in High School currently read sentence a few times!!!
The reunion was at the Eberhart Grill in Mishawaka, right along the river. The view of the river from the deck of the location was gorgeous. I don't think the team could have picked a better place to have the reunion. I don't think the weather could have been better either. It was a bit cold in the morning, so we a bit worried but it turned out to be a beautiful night.
The food at reunion was simple but good. I really enjoyed having a chance to relax and catch up with friends.
Thank you so much to Jason, Stephani, Sam, and Jessica for planning the great event.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Want to Scream...

...I'M DEBT FREE. I'm listening to the Dave Ramsey Radio show right now. Fridays is Debt Free Friday. It is when people call in and tell their stories and SCREAM over the radio. I love listening to the stories because they are inspiring and they make me so excited and pumped. They also make me so mad at my debt. I'm so ready to be done with. We are working really hard and we are making good progress. It just feels like it's taking so long.

All we have left in Baby Step 2 is our Student Loans. Things were moving really well while we had our second job, but we don't those jobs anymore so things are going to be moving more slowly. I know we can get other jobs, but the job market is so tight right now. The YWCA did move me back up to 40 hours, from only 36, so that is going to help us. Steve and I now both have the opportunity to work overtime, but it is generally encouraged that we don't.
After the summer is over, we will probably start looking again for other part time jobs. So many people right now are laid off looking for their only full or part time job, so part of me feels bad if I go in and take a job from someone who needs it more than I do.

Anyone else going through this process have encouragement for us as we go on the journey?

Therefore encourage one another and build eachother up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonions 5:11 NIV

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bowling Fun

Steve and I went bowling last night with Damian and my sister, Erin. It's probably been at least a year since any of had been bowling, so it was great fun. None of us did very well. I did finally break 100 in the 3rd game. Steve started to get tired during the third game. Damian got three strikes in a row during the third game! It was exciting.

We should really do this more often. It didn't break the budget either. Chippewa has a special deal on Wednesday nights where shoes are only $1.30 each, and games are $1.30 per game per person. I'm actually not as sore today as I thought I would be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

3 Day Weekend Fun

:-)Tommorrow is a paid Holiday for Steve and I.
Her parents and brother will be visiting our house tommorrow. That means I will be cleaning like crazy tonight. Look at that precious sleeping face. Don't you just want to kiss her little cheeks? Hopefully, Steve will have our new sink and dishwasher set up tonight.
Love always, Bridget

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Friday, June 19, 2009

YWCA of St. Joseph County Wish List

The YWCA serves women and children that are victim's of Domestic Violence, Chemically Dependant, and living in our Transitional and Permanent Housing programs. Most of our clients are young single moms that enter the shelter with nothing but their kids and the clothes on their backs.

Current YWCA Wish List

Due to Indiana Health Laws, we cannot accept used Stuffed Animals

Food Related: Canned & Boxed Foods of all kinds, Non-Perishable items, Food Storage Containers, metal teaspoons, plastic forks/knives, Plastic bowls/cups, Juice, Cereal

Personal Care Products: Deodarant, Conditioner, Lotions, Shower gels, Hand Sanitizer, Combs, Toothbrushes (adult and children), Toothpaste (small and large), Disposal razors, Kleenex, Feminine Care products, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper

Infant Care: Baby bottles, Disposable Diapers (all sizes), Baby Wipes, Baby Shampoo, Baby Lotion, Baby Powder, Baby Food and formula, Sippy Cups, Baby monitors, Strollers, Toddler and Preschool Car Seats

Over the Counter Medicines and First-Aid: Aspirin, Tylenol, Midol, Advil, Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Non-Alcohol Cold medicines, First Aid tape

Household Items: Shower curtains, Wash Cloths, Towels, Crib sheets, Twin-Sized Blankets and Sheets, Bed Pillows, Elevated toilet seats, Space Bags for storage, Laundry Detergent, Small Alarm Clocks, Microwave Ovens, Small Kitchen Appliances.

Clothing: Plus Sized Women, Baby Clothes
Miscellaneous Items: Pre-paid Phone Cards, Bus Passes, Wheel Chairs, Office Supplies, Blank Journals, Reading Glasses, Luggage, Heavy Duty Snow Blower, Leaf Blower, Drill Dress, Gas Fryer, Heat Lamp for Kitchen, Commericial Washers and Dryers

Almost anything you use in your household is needed at the YWCA.
Items can be delivered to the front desk between 8-5 Monday through Thursday and 8-2 on Friday.
YWCA of St. Joe County
1102 S. Fellows
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone Number: 574-233-9491
Crisis Line: 574-232-9558

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Domestic violence cases up during recession

Posted: 6:19 PM Jun 17, 2009
Last Updated: 6:33 PM Jun 17, 2009
Reporter: Stephanie Stang
Email Address: stephanie.stang@wndu.com

It's a sad by-product of the slumping economy.

Domestic violence is on the rise across the nation and in Michiana.

In St. Joseph County, the number of domestic violence cases spiked last year when the recession hit.

The St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit recorded roughly one hundred more domestic violence battery cases in 2008 compared to 2009 from January to May.

At the YWCA in South Bend they are slightly over capacity right now but won't turn away women and children in need.

Experts say although the economy doesn't create violence it can be a trigger during an existing cycle.

“For men that are prone to batter, it’s a convenient excuse… that they would have never beaten her up, but for the fact that they lost their job,” explains Y.W.C.A. Executive Director Linda Baechle.

Experts also say victims may have fewer resources to leave an abusive situation when there's a slow down in the economy. They may not have a job or the money to find another place to live.

Recently the Family Justice Center of St. Joseph County started weekly informational sessions during the noon lunch hour. Anyone can stop by and ask questions about the center and domestic violence.

The meetings are every Monday from noon to one. The center is at 711 Colfax Avenue in South Bend.

For more information call (574) 234-6900.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dave Ramsey: Town Hall For Hope

The Town Hall for Hope has finally been uploaded to Hulu.com. I went and saw it "live" via simulcast with my friend, Stacey. It was pretty inspiring. It is about 90 minutes long, but totally worth the time. Watch it over and over again with friends. Dave is hilarious, yet insightful.

There is hope out there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Redistribution of Wealth

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. The class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich… a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment then on whether socialism makes for good economic policy.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.

Could it be any simpler than that?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Anne Murray:Little Good News

Anne Murray:Little Good News

I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin' news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin' 'bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin' 'bout the bad economy
It's gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy

There's a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story's one more than I can stand
Just once how I'd like to see the headline say
"Not much to print today, can't find nothin' bad to say", because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single buildin' down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I'll come home this evenin'
I'll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care
Whoa, tell me

Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single buildin' down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Something to Ponder

I brought this question to my students!
A father and his, one and only, son love each other very much. The two are nearly inseparable. One day, the son asks his father if he can join him at the bridge. The bridge is where his father works as an operator - raising a drawbridge when a boat must pass and lowering it when the train arrives.
On the one day that his son joins his father at work, a train arrives early and the bridge is up. His son tries to alert his father the train is coming, but his father cannot hear him. So, the boy rushes to the base of the bridge to throw the switch manually, enabling the drawbridge to drop and let the train safely pass. But, as he tries, he falls into the drawbridge wheel and pulley mechanism. At that moment, from the tower, his father sees his son fall and the train coming toward the bridge at full steam. He has only a moment to decide. He must do one of two things .

a. Save his son and let the train wreck with hundreds of passengers on board (who will surely die when it plunges hundreds of feet into the icy waters below).
b. Save the train by pulling the lever at the tower that will lower the bridge, but will cause his son to be crushed.

1. You're the father, what would you do if those were your only two options?
My girls thought the knew the "right" answer. I had to convince them that was no "right" answer. I try to get them to think outside the christian box. The "right" answer would be to save the people on the train and let your son die because that would segway nicely into the crucifiction comparison. I brought it in a little different direction. I asked my girls to ponder what they would really do. I don't have kids yet so i can't know for sure what I would do, but I so have friends that have kids. If it was my best friend's daugher, Kariana or one of my friend Chrissy's kids I dont think i would even hesitate. I have known these kids since they were born. They aren't my children but I would risk my life for these kids. Would watching Kariana die be worth saving 100 people that i don't know...I don't think it would be.
I know if I would be willing to save someone else's child that I would definetly save my own. When God looked down at his son dieing for all of us he could have stopped it but he didn't. God had all the power in the world to stop the crucifiction but he loved us so much that he let his son die. Aren't you glad that God isn't like us. Knowing that I couldnt watch my child die makes what God did so much more special. I can't even imagine how hard it must of have been for God to watch his son die.
I had my girls read John 3:16 and think about what that really meant. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son so that who ever believed in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

2. What if you were the son? How would you feel?
Would you understand what your father was doing or would you be thinking about self-preservation? Even Jesus asked God to change his mind about what was going to happen to him, but he was willing to do God's will. He understood why he had to die.

Psalm 23:1-6 -- The Lord is Our Comfort

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD