Monday, November 16, 2009

water water everywhere... um... no, not really.

So, I know I am almost always blogging about some crazy happening at the casa de fingerprint here, but occasionally, I like to drag out the proverbial soap box. Here is one such post. If you do not care about orphans, clean water, or amass-too-much-itis... you may want to stop reading now.

Ok, if you stopped there, I hope you get camel hair for Christmas. Camel hair with fleas.

To all the nice people who are still here reading, hang on... I tend to err on the side of, well, MEAN when I am worked up about an issue.
I was typing up a long post about why and how this issue has become near and dear to my heart. Now I think I am just going to hit the backspace and erase what is below and be blunt, bold, and to the point.

**You and I have too much crap.

**Some people have NOTHING.

**Clean water is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

**You do not need more crap this year for Christmas, neither do your kids.

**If you feel the need to buy, at least buy smart.

Ok, now a little explaining...
about our overcrappage. (yes, new wordage there) I am not trying to say no one should ever buy anything. I am not trying to say if you have a collection of antique gum wrappers or some such kitschy thing, you are a bad person. I am just saying... what if you stopped, just for a minute to ask... Do I really need MORE??? Believe me, this is hitting me right between the eyes too. I have so much crap it is organized in labeled bins. (Crap I think I need. Crap I might need. Crap I may someday use. Crap I have never used but paid too much for to get rid of.)

About some people with nothing...
When I say this, I am not talking about a child sent to school without breakfast. Though I think that is sad, and needs to be fixed as well, I am talking... N O T H I N G. Read this book...

You will start, in small ways to see what nothing looks and feels like. I dare say, you will never utter the words, "I am starving" again without remorse. You may also start to reconsider the idea of adoption. It is doable, I have a friend who prayed her dream to reality... (yes jena, that's you!)

About clean water...
Did you know 4,500 children will die today from water related diseases.

In Africa, 2 in 5 children will die before they reach the age of 5.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation causes 80% of all disease related deaths. It kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

Did you further realize that for a mere $230 you can help buy a filteration system that will provide a clean and safe 50,000 gallons of water? (replacement filters are $30.)

Think about that next time you pay $2.00 for that sweet tea or soda at a restaurant. Seriously... if you gave up that ONE luxury, and yes I am calling sweet tea a luxury, how much would you save in one year??? Ouch ouch ouch... are your toes hurting yet? Mine are. Alot.

About Christmas...
I am not Scrooge. I will buy my kids a few Christmas presents. A few is literal. There will be a toy or two. A book, perhaps. A movie, and a cheap wii game, probably. I know my kids want nerf guns, they run about $20 or so. And here is the thing, if I give them that, and then spend at least one hour playing nerf gun battle with them on Christmas morning, guess what? THEY WILL NOT WORRY ABOUT PRESENTS THEY DID NOT GET! This is where it costs me a little something... my kids are usually so busy playing with the too many toys we didn't mean to even buy, that I sit and leisurely drink my coffee whilst they play. This year, I will put that coffee down and actually, oh I don't know... ENGAGE my kids. It is what they really want anyway, and you know it is true. LESS IS MORE!!!

Looky here... It is what put me over the edge in my plight to make our holiday more meaningful. I mean, I dare say, it is CHRISTmas, and nothing about me charging $300 worth of toys says I am so glad Jesus was born. Ouch, there go those toes again. (especially when you consider applying that principle to daily life and purchases.)

I know there are still some people you want and need to buy gifts for, so how about making those gifts that count?

Look here:



Now, I must give credit to my dear, dear, dear friend Jena, and her husband Keith. I love them. They are a driving force behind bringing these issues to my heart and mind, and are doing so within our church and community. I stole all these sites, and the video from her blog. Golly, I guess that makes me a lazy soap boxer... for shame, I know.

I am not trying to say you should not enjoy Christmas, or give gifts. I just want myself, and others to think... This concept does not come easily to me, but my faith compels me to change. At the end of my life, do I want someone to say, "She sure drank alot of sweet teas and had the nicest collection of crap... good crap too..."

Um... No.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Halloween Thoughts

Say what you will about Halloween.
Choose to celebrate or not.
Carve a pumpkin, or don't.
I really don't care, I just know that I am fond of a Holiday that gives me as a mom of boys a chance to

A) play dress up with them

B) take copious amounts of photos

C) steal candy out of aforementioned children's plastic pumpkin totes.

In reality, A is not as fun when it involves skulls and swords. I admit it, pink feathers and high heels are more fun to play dress up with. BUT, laugh all you want now, moms of girls. When all our kids are in the teenage years, I will be sporting some new delicious shoes with all the money I save not buying tampons.

B is kind of a lie too. I take loads of photos all the time, its just that once my children are in skull clad, sword bearing costumes, they are more willing to pose.

C? C is 100% total fact. Just yesterday I stole a mini milky way from Emerson's pumpkin, and then, to be fair, one from Lincoln's. I am not a big chocolate fan though, so I am sad that the skittles are gone. Keep your stinking milky ways I say! Why can't people pass out salt n vinegar chips???

So, anyway. Halloween. It was October 31st this year.
We went trick or treating with my friend Sarah and her young lad, Isaac. Poor Alden had to stay home with Daddy... fever struck and it was raining. :(

We braved the rain, and hit up a church down the road from Sarah's house for their indoor trunk or treat. As we hopped in the car Sarah and I decided it was best to remove the bumper magnet with OUR church's name on it. It would be akin to wearing your Burger King uniform at a McDonald's, or seeing a registered nurse at the CVS minute clinic... so remove it we did.
That was fun, the boys were thrilled with the free cotton candy and hot dogs.

The rain abated and we did indeed head out into Sarah's neighborhood. Now you will hear why we are too redneck to ever live in an actual neighborhood. It is the first house we go to, Sarah's neighbors - who are very into things like pressure washing the house, cleaning out gutters, and general over maintenance of their lawn- Emerson rings the bell and belts out that lovely Halloween chant of old... "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear." The sheer joy he got from saying the word "underwear" in public was immeasurable. The neighbor did not find it as funny, and I hung in the back hoping he would think it was some older child of Sarah's that she had been hiding in the basement.

Trick or Treating went well, but here are some observations:

1. If you are over the age of say, 11. Just go take your dang allowance money and buy a bag of candy.

2. If you are wearing a football jersey, you cannot just say, "Oh, I am dressed up as a football player" and request candy from strangers. There is such a thing as Halloween costume pride, and I think at least 15 minutes should be spent in costume prep for it to be a legitimate costume.

3. If you are a female, over the age of, well... ok, ANY age... You should NOT, I repeat, NOT wear anything that involves fishnet stockings, silk attire, gaudy lipstick and large jewelry... you can call yourself whatever you want, you look like you are dressed as a hooker. Yes, I said it... You may think you are Hannah Montana. You are not. You are a cast member from Girls Next Door.

4. Under no circumstance should a girl of 14, dressed in above mentioned attire, and her FATHER dressed in normal clothes still be trick or treating at 9pm. It is especially freakish if aforementioned father, he comes to the door with a cute little patchwork quilted bag asking for candy too. I have never chucked a pack of smarties so fast in my life.

5. If it were my house, and it was not, it was Sarah's, I really would consider slamming the door in the face of snotty little children who ring the bell and then stand there. Looking at you. Not even saying trick or treat. Just looking, as if to say... You know the drill. I admit it, I gave those kids the gobstoppers. Sweet confectionery revenge...

So, all in all Halloween was good. Wet, but good. Here are some pics...
I may even try and blog again tomorrow, although, now that I said that I won't. Probably. Maybe. We'll see...