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Friday, January 29, 2010

Tate's New Friends


Tate, Seembah and Yobo
Friends Forever

Tate was very excited about taking a picture this morning with his new friends, Seembah and Yobo.  They've been constant companions for nearly three weeks now.

You mean to tell me you can't see Seembah or Yobo? 

Sigh.

Yes, dear friends, it appears that Tate has developed imaginary friends. 

I'm not concerned.  I was reassured that children with imaginary friends are typically very bright.  And they have very active imaginations. 

Now, if he'd only stop blaming Seembah and Yobo for everything maybe I'd actually befriend them myself.

Peace and Love,
Jenni

PS Amanda, here's a website that explains how to make bows!  Let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One of THOSE Days



It's a good thing I love this face because he's exhausting me today.

Cheers to naptime!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 Craft Goal-projects 3 & 4

Project #3:
Bows!!


I never know what to do with last year's calendar.  It seems like a waste to throw good quality paper with pretty pictures on it away.  So, I found some brads for scrapbooking that I had laying around and made bows with last year's calendar!  I think they are pretty cute, if I do say so myself.  And, they were essentially free to make!  I ended up with 32 bows.

Started: 1/15
Ended: 1/18

***
Project #4
Another Plastic Bag Bag.







I used a new method to make the "yarn" and it's double stranded.  It's much thicker, easier to make and can handle more weight.  I also crocheted the handles "horizontally" instead of "vertically" so they won't stretch as much.  I used the last of my white shopping bags on this!

Started: 1/14
Finished: 1/24

***
Projects Completed: 4
Projects to go: 26

Monday, January 25, 2010

More paperwork



We got the official Homestudy documents from Bethany today.  It's so exciting because it's one step closer to officially being the girls' parents.  However, it's also very overwhelming.  We need to do fingerprints, all of us have to go to the doctor (one of my favorite things to do), we have essays to write, forms to fill out, books to read-tons to do.  Don't get me wrong, I'll do just about anything to get our girls, but the huge stack of papers staring up at me from my desk is pretty overwhelming. 

If I'm MIA a bit in the next few weeks, you'll know why!

...must...finish...paperwork...

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Friday, January 22, 2010

Stanley

This is Stanley.
He's 15.  His birthday is coming up in a couple weeks
(February 3rd).
We miss him.  I think we talk about him every day. 
We really love this kid.
He speaks English, and LOVES chicken.
Because he speaks English, Mark gets along really well with him. 
Stanley is also great with the boys.  He really loves them and treats them like his brothers.
He has a huge heart.
And a very active mind.  He's super smart.
And very loveable.
But, he's not the Champion at Jenga.  I am :)

This picture was taken at church.  Stanley is one of the few kids at Casa Bernabe who can hold either of the boys and they will fall asleep.  They feel completely safe and comfortable with him.  I trust Stanley enough to let him walk around church with my boys even if I'm not there-and that's saying a lot.  The church is big and full of people that I don't know.  He said to me one Sunday when I didn't see Tate,

"Mama, you know that we Posada guys will always take care of our babies."

Yes, I do know that.  And yes, you Posada guys always do.




Stanley also likes to wrestle.


So he picks on Mark


Mercilessly


Gosh, I love that kid. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Justification

Mark and I haven't had a printer hooked up in a year and a half or so.  We wanted one, but we thought it would be best to wait until we were "settled" in a house.  So we waited and waited, until 3 weeks ago.   We bit the bullet and bought an all in one (printer, copier, and scanner) that's wireless. 

I love it. 

LOVE it.

Being the frugalista in training that I am, I have decided to track how much I'm saving because of the new printer.  To do this I keep track of the coupons I print and redeem and keep track of the time that it takes me to do something that normally Mark would need to do at work (I know approximately how much he gets paid per minute, so I multiply that by the number of minutes it takes me to complete a task). 

I'm pretty picky when I decide what coupons to use-I only print ones that I know I will use in the next couple of days.  No sense in wasting ink and paper if we're not going to use a coupon!

Originally we spent $99 on the printer (We bought extra ink, but I'll start that count when we change the cartidge).  With my coupons, rebates and one "task" I completed (it took 5 minutes) I've already got the cost of the printer down to $64!  In three weeks!  How awesome is that?!  I feel pretty good about the purchase, and I'll let you know when I have it completely "paid off" in money saved. 

Happy [almost] Friday!

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20+10 Craft Goal

Project Number 1: 
Maricela's Stocking. 
Started last year, finished this afternoon.



Project Number 2:
Reuseable grocery bag made from plastic grocery bags.
Started last year, finished last week.




***
Projects Completed: 2
Projects to go: 28

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Crafting Goal

I have a ton of crafting supplies.  A TON.  My crafting goal this year is to complete 30 projects.  Yes, 30.  I got that number by adding 20+10.  Random, yes, but it makes sense to me. 

The only 3 projects I have to do are the Christmas stockings for the girls.  The rest is whatever I want.  And, I reserve the right to designate a project however I want.  For instance, a scrapbook page can be one, or just using all of the pictures in a certain group can be one.  I'll use my best judgement.  Another example would be if I undertake a particularly large project (like a blanket) and use up several skeins of yarn in my stash, I may count each skein as a project. 

My goals are to thin my stash and get my creative juices going again.

Some rules: 

1.  I cannot buy more supplies unless I need it to finish the project I am currently working on.

2.  If I have to buy something, it must be on sale or I have to use the 40-50% off coupons for Joann or Michaels.

3.  The ONLY project I am allowing myself to buy all new stuff for is the blanket for "Klancy Barney Nystrom" [Yes Alana, I know you aren't using those names, but I thought it worked better than Baby #4 :) ]

4.  A project is not complete until I take a picture and post it on here. 

That's it.  I'll add more if I think of them!  Wish me luck!!

Peace and love,
Jenni

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding my voice

I've been having a bit of a blog identity crisis lately.  I think it stems from not really knowing how to define my blog.  I have this issue in life as well...I have a hard time knowing what to pursue and what not to pursue.  I have a lot of interests, but I don't particularly excel at any of them.  And I'm ok with that.  I really am, don't think I'm just saying it. 

But it still gets difficult knowing what I want the blog to become.  Do I like it the way it is?  Sure.  Do I think it's an accurage reflection of me?  Well, sometimes. But since I only write about the stuff I feel like sharing, it's not really an accurate representation.  I don't necessarily talk about the days when I vacuum 5 times in one day and I still manage to see dog hair everywhere.  I also don't talk about the days that Tate doesn't put on pants...nor do I mention when we've had three of those days in a row.  Why?  I'm pretty sure I don't have to spell that one out for you.  You can come up with several reasons why I wouldn't be jumping to share something like that.

[Abrutply switching gears] I read a lot of blogs.  I get encouraged, get good ideas, find good deals and generally laugh a lot when I read the blogs I follow.  But most of the blogs are very focused on one or two things: Saving money, cooking, crafting, being a mom, adoption.  Sometimes there's overlap, but not very much. 

I certainly don't really fit into any of these categories exclusively.  I do blog about  adoption and being a mom, but I'd like the blog to be more than just a journal.  I hope that maybe when I post a quote or something, maybe someone gets inspired to do something.  Or if someone is having  a really crap-tacular day, they can read something on my blog that makes them smile (try Tate quotes, for instance).  Mostly though, I hope that in spite of my incessant rambling about myself that you 3 readers can see someone who really loves Jesus.  Someone who really desires to serve him, serve his people and bring glory to his kingdom.  That's really what it's all about, right?  Loving God, sharing his love with others?  I want to encourage people to step outside of what's comfortable and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit-and I'm not saying this because I'm so good at it, I'm saying it because if I know that you're committed to doing it in your life, it's easier for me too.  We're supposed to love each other and encourage each other, and yes, we're supposed to call each other out (in love, mind you) when one of us royally screws up. 

All this to say, well, I don't know.  I don't think I'm going to change anything here really, but I do hope that when you read my blog you feel inspired to do something that the Holy Spirit is asking you to do.  And if you're intimidated by what you're being asked to do, I hope you feel like you're not alone.  I'm totally overwhelmed and intimidated by life a lot.   Sometimes lists just don't solve all your problems!

Anyway, enough rambling for today.  I took some cold medicine and I'm starting to feel a little murky, so I'll sign off for now. 

Peace and Love,
Jenni

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the name of Love

I know you've heard about Haiti.  You've probably agonized over what to do about the situation.  If you're anything like me, you feel completely helpless and overwhelmed by the amount of death and destruction. 

I wish there was some tangible way I could help.  As I watch the videos all I want to do is reach out and hug the hurting people, much as I hug Tate and Theo when they cry.  I would do just about anything to ease the pain and suffering of the Haitian people. 

So what am I doing?  I am praying.  And praying and praying and praying. 

But I don't feel like I'm doing enough.  So when I saw an opportunity to band together and do more, I jumped at the chance.  Crystal over at Money Saving Mom decided to do a blog drive of sorts, and asked her readers to be a part of it.  I have prayed about it and talked to Mark, and we have decided to do it.  What better way to share the love of Jesus Christ than to give?

So here's the deal: I want you to use your blog to inspire others!  Let me hear what you're doing!  I know you're creative-you've got a way with words...so spill it!  Share with me! Let's encourage each other to be generous with what we've been given.  So, link up your blog to mine telling me what you've doneIf you don't have a blog, write a FB note and tag all your friends and put the link here if you're OK with that. 

I want to hear it! 

For every blog/FB page that links up, Mark and I are going to donate $0.50 to a couple and ministry that inspire us, the Livesays in Haiti.  Not much, I know, but it's something.  And if everyone does a little something, mountains can move.

Remember how many people Jesus fed with five loaves of bread and two fish!!

Also, head over to Crystal's blog and see how many people are joining in.

I realize times are tight-we've got a mortgage payment and a rental payment that we're making, but as Americans we are rich, so rich, and the hemisphere's poorest country just lost the little they had.  Please prayerfully consider joining in today. 

Some great options for donating are:
-text "Haiti" to 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross.  This will just show up on your next month's phone bill.  Easy to do and a very reputable organization.
-Go Here to donate to Heartline Ministries (the Livesays)
-To donate to Compassion International, click here.

If you don't have a blog or don't want to link up via FB, please leave me a comment anyway telling me your story about what you're doing.  We'll donate $0.50 for every story without a link. 

I have personally done the Red Cross text donation and posted it as my FB status yesterday.  I was suprised how many people responded by doing the same.  Please, please consider donating.  

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"  Matthew 25:40

Randoms

Tate: Mom, can I get up yet?
Me: No, it's still quiet time.
Tate: Mom, God lives here.  He wants me to get up.  He told me.
**************
Tate:  Mom, let me know when God gets back home.  We're going to jump on my bed.
**************

We're officially in the paperwork part of the adoption process.  We've submitted our "pre" application and just got the go ahead for the "formal" application. 

The difference? 

$550. 

We've been here before, it seems.

It's for a good cause. 

****************



And, just because it's fun (and I just found Picnik about 5 years after everyone else) I'll throw in this picture for good measure.


Come by tomorrow, I'm part of a drive for Haiti and I'd love for you to be a part of it! 

In the meantime, if you're so inclined, if you text "Haiti" to 90999 you can donate $10 to the Red Cross.  It just shows up on your cell phone bill at the end of the month.  It's easy, needed, and a reputable organization.

Love,
Jenni

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sad

I am heartbroken about the Haiti earthquake.

Several "bloggy friends" are adopting/have adopted from Haiti, and I feel somewhat connected to what is going on there.  Even though I've never been there, I've heard that the poverty in Haiti is much like that in Nicaragua and I can relate to this.  There is no 9-1-1.   There are no ambulances.  Everything is in ruins.  They had nothing to begin with-now...I can't begin to fathom what they are going through and how they will make it. 

My heartfelt prayers and tears go out on behalf of the Haitian people. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Whiny Post

I need a mental health day.

Usually this happens about 2-3 days...now...after a drill weekend.  I can keep it together for a couple of days and then it falls apart.  It seems like God knew what he was talking about when he did the whole Sabbath thing.

Really I would just like to have Gus back.  Then the trapped-at-home-without-any-way-to-escape feeling would probably be gone.  He was supposed to be back before the first of the year.  My days are all running together at this point, but I'd venture a guess that it's somewhere in the 10/11/12 of the month and still no Gus. 

Theo isn't feeling well and is very crabby (whiny).  Tate has started a new thing where he starts whining-crying whenever anyone else is.  And there are weed-whackers or chainsaws (I will go ahead and guess that they are the former because we live in suburbia) going a few houses down and they just add to the noise I associate with whining.

And, since I can't seem to beat them, I think I'll join them.

waaa...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our First Small Group Experience

This past Saturday was our first small group experience here in Oregon.  I was a little nervous about it...I'm always nervous to join a new small group.  You never know if people are going to like you or not, it's strange to show up at someone's house and be 'interviewed'.  At least that's what it feels like sometimes.  Then there's always the child factor...how are my kids going to act?  Are they going to be in a good mood?  Are they going to make a mess?  Add to all of this that the small group is a Spanish/bilingual small group, I was a little ok, a lot nervous.

We got there a few minutes early and waited for our friends to show up.  Luckily we only had to wait for about three minutes.  We got inside, Tate and Theo started playing and I started to relax.  The conversation was good, the people were nice and the kids were doing ok.  Tate was having a hard time sharing, but since he didn't have a nap that day I was expecting this behavior.

After about 30 minutes, Tate ran up to me and said, "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom."   I quickly ushered him into the bathroom and helped him hop up on the potty.  I thought it would be a quick bathroom trip, so I stayed standing up.  Suddenly there was a sound like an explosion and Tate smiled up at me.  "Mom, I tooted.  And I have to go poop.  Will you sit and wait with me?"  Realizing it would probably take a while I sat down with my back to the door.  Tate kept me entertained by singing songs and informing me every time he tooted.  We sat there for about 15 minutes and I started to wonder if Tate was ever going to be done.  I asked Tate, "Buddy, does your tummy hurt?"  "Not anymore, Mom!" he said enthusiastically.

He finally hopped off the toilet and reached to flush.  After I cleaned him up I noticed that the toilet was filling up.  Fast. 

"CRAP!" I said to myself (maybe outloud, too).

Suddenly, disgusting water spills over from the toilet and onto the floor. 

And it keeps coming.  Fast!  Really FAST!

Tate's pants are soaked, I rush him out of the bathroom in only his shirt, underwear and socks (typical Tate attire...think Tom Cruise in Risky Business). 

I explain to Mark that we need a plunger.  "For a 3 year old?  A 3 year old clogged the toilet?  Seriously?" 

"Yes.  Yes he did."

Mark found the plunger and Tate, feeling much better (and about 5 pounds lighter) he began to play wonderfully with the other children.  At one point he was riding around on a tricycle with a straw hat on...in his shirt and underwear.  It was quite a sight!

So, our first small group experience was a "splash", but I think it ended well.  We were invited back so I guess all is well. 

Perhaps next time we'll try and have Tate do his business at home.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Highlights/Lowlights.

+Tate told me I was his best friend yesterday.  Is there anything sweeter than that?

+Theo has been crawling around the house looking for Mark since about 4 this afternoon.  It melts my heart to see this.  Mark missed out on Tate from 7 months to about 15 months, so this is new territory for him.  I love the bond that's forming between him and Theo.

+/-We're attending a bilingual small group tomorrow night.  Kind of nervous about that because I don't know if I truly consider myself bilingual.  Also, it's always awkward to go to a new small group.

-/+I fell up the stairs today while carrying Theo.  Not my brightest or best moment ever.  In my defense I was trying to get over the baby gate that was a step above where I was.  We're both fine, it was scary though.

-We were hoping to head to Nicaragua for a quick trip to go to Danilo's wedding.  The ticket prices are over $1000 per ticket, so we can't go.  It would be an understatement to say I'm disappointed.

+/-Gus the Bus is getting fixed up and pretty.  The inside for now and soon the outside.  We had him at the shop before Christmas and he was supposed to be out before New Years Day.  He's still there.  It will be Monday before we get him back.  I'm starting to feel the littlest bit housebound.

-Tate had a bad dream last night about an animal screaming in his bed.  He was (understandably) upset.

+Because of said bad dream, he spent the rest of the night snuggling in our bed.  When Mark asked him to snuggle Tate said, "Dad, I can't snuggle you!  I'm snuggling with Mommy and she's protecting me!"

-Tate's not a great a notoriously bad bed partner.  He kicks, flails arms, lays on top of you and is generally difficult to sleep with.  Because of this, I didn't sleep from 3-5 am.  This made for a long day.

-/+ I'm up a few pounds from Christmas.  I expected this.  I've lost about a pound of that this week.  I hope to lose the rest next week.

-/+ Mark is playing Navy this weekend.  We like the extra paycheck but do not like having to give up a weekend of resting.

+Theo says, "Hiii!" now in a very sweet and high pitched voice.  It's the cutest thing.
All in all, it's been a great week, but I am looking forward to sleeping tonight.  Oh, dear and precious sleep.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Split Pea Soup recipe

Some friends on FB asked for the Split Pea Soup recipe I used in my first ever attempt at making and tasting split pea soup.  I loved it!  It will become a regular around here, probably for lunches, and maybe even dinner occasionally.

So, in case you ever wanted to try it, here's the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 T vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1 1/2 t salt
7 1/2 cups water
**
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t ground black pepper

Preparation:
1.  In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the oil, onion, bay leaf and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
2.  Add peas, barley, salt and water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
3.  Simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
4.  Add carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley,basil, thyme and pepper.  Simmer for 20-30 more minutes or until the peas and veggies are tender.

So, I didn't add any of the stuff after the **.  It looked good and tasted good to me, so I just had the peas and barley.  Also, my peas were really dense, so I could have added more water.  The soup ended up being the consistancy of creamy mashed potatoes.  Next time I think I will add 8 1/2 cups of water and see what happens.  You can't overcook the soup, if it gets too dry just add more water!

I got this recipe from Susan Gregory and the Daniel Fast e-cookbook here.   The entire book is only $8.95 and she's got great recipes if you're looking to do a Daniel Fast. 

*************
Things are going pretty well here.  Theo's cruising around crawling and walking assisted.  He loves saying "hi!" to us and is very outgoing.  He screams for attention a lot, so we've been ignoring a lot.

Tate got a bunch of awesome toys for Christmas that he's been playing with non stop.  He's doing well with letter recognition and is even putting his own underwear on!!  It's life changing for me, let me tell you.  Sometimes he gets them on backwards or inside out, but I think he comes by it naturally, don't you?

The boys are "napping" so I should go and get some stuff done around here...lots to do, per the usual.

I think the house needs a New Year's Resolution to clean itself.

I hope all is well with you!

Love,
Jenni

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

For your viewing pleasure

Christmas Eve, 2009











And we have about 2 dozen more with various goofy faces/poses.  I'll spare you all of those.

*****************************

And, for the first time ever, here's a Tate and Theo quote!!

Setting: The dining room during lunch.  Tate and I are sitting at the table and Theo is right next to me in his high chair.

Theo: RAAAAAAAAAARR!

Tate:  Moooom, Theo's screaming in the house.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tate Quote

[We were done eating except for Tate, who was eating some peanuts.  The light had been on in the dining room and I shut it off because it was light enough outside and with the kitchen light...we didn't need every light downstairs on.]

Tate: Mom, can you turn the light back on please?
Me: Nope, there's enough light without that one on.
Tate: Mom, my peanuts are very sad that you turned the light off.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Privilege Revoked.

If you remember, I am fairly liberal with the clothing policy around our house. Some might even say that I am a bit too liberal. I wouldn’t have believed it until last week.


Let me start with some background. Pt. Time Lt. Wonderful has been in the navy for 12 years of his life. He has not had to dress himself professionally ever. Every aspect of his wardrobe was chosen for him; save his chonies…unless he was in his summer whites uniform and then even the color of his chonies were chosen for him. Basic white, unless you wanted everyone and their significant other staring, gaping at your nether regions. So, my darling Lt. never had to wake up and decide anything, he just made sure his uniform was ready the night before and went to work. It was easy.

Another tidbit about Lt. Wonderful-he’s super smart. He’d probably never tell you himself, but he graduated from a really good school with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduated top half in all of his post college schooling, and he was a member of the silent service (submarines). They’re a pretty selective group. I felt pretty confident about him finding a job when he got out of the Navy this past June, but I was a little unsure of the transition-suddenly he’d be working with women (there aren’t any on subs), he’d be dealing with civilians, and you have to negotiate for a lot more-pay raises, extra benefits, hours can be changed to suit your schedule-it’s a jungle out there! As the Lt. and I were talking before his first day, I asked him if he was nervous. He said he was.

I was shocked. This man never gets nervous. What, pray tell, could he be nervous about?

His clothes. He was nervous about his clothes. The dress is business casual and he was terrified about business casual. He had hoped to get a job where he could just put on a suit every morning and not have to think about it, but now he has to deal with the ins and outs of business casual. Being the doting wife I am, I helped him pick out his first day outfit, and we went out and bought several nice items that would work well together. I had the utmost confidence in his ability to dress himself, and do it well.

And with very minimal help from me, he was able to dress himself fairly well. I would occasionally make suggestions, and once or twice I did strongly encourage him to not leave the house wearing whatever monstrosity he had on, and he took my advice. But I could see that all of these decisions were wearing on him. I thought dressing himself would get easier with time, but it did not.

Then last Friday happened.

PT Lt. Wonderful woke up, dressed himself in a company polo and jeans and left for work. I was still in bed, feeling quite ill. When I woke up I saw I had missed a call from him, so I called him back immediately.

“Hey Hon, what’s up?” I asked when he picked up his phone.

“Um…so, you know how I have problems dressing myself?” He asked.

“Yes yes. I remember.”

“Weeeeellllllllllllllll, today may have been the worst ever. I got to McDonalds to install the fuel cell and I had to go to the bathroom. I went in and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My shirt looked really odd. I looked closer and realized that I’ve been walking around all morning with my shirt on inside out. And it’s a polo…it’s pretty obvious. So, I went in the bathroom to turn it around and then I had to pee. As I undid my pants, I realized that I put my underwear on backwards too…”

After laughing for about 3 minutes, hours,days, (OK, maybe I'm still laughing, it's really funny)  I agreed that my dear Lt. does need help. So, as a part of his Christmas gift, I have pledged to iron and set out his outfits for work every day, and do an inspection before he leaves the house.

Confidence, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, right?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tate Quote

Mark: Tate, can you tell me what you learned at church today?
Tate: Of course!
Mark:  OK, what did you learn?
Tate: That God's a real nice man. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Resolutions/Hopes

We'll start off with the gimmes...

1.  Honor and submit to Mark with a good attitude.
2.  Faithfully have a quiet time every morning.
3.  Lose the last 8 lbs.
4.  Fully fund our emergency savings account.
5.  Run a long distance race. 
6.  Compost and have a garden.

The last one is a pretty personal thing, but something I've been feeling more and more called to try and implement in my life. I realize you all  nearly everyone will think I'm nuts, but all I can do is follow what the Holy Spirit is calling me to do. Please know that I don't have any judgement for people that don't do this, and I never will.  It's not my job to be your Holy Spirit, any more than it is for you to be mine.  The Holy Spirit puts different things on our hearts, and it's my job to try and embrace what he's given me to do, not judge you according to what you've been called (or not called) to do.

So, this year I am going to make an effort to avoid buying all things made in sweat shops.  Essentially, free trade or American made products are what I will be buying (with the exception of thrift store purchases.  I feel OK about those.  Misguided?  Maybe.  But I'm letting the Holy Spirit be my guide on this and I've been given the go ahead so far).

Why?  Because I feel like there are a lot of companies that take advantage of poor people.  I don't want to encourage them to continue in this.  If I don't buy their products then I am not giving them my money to continue the cycle.  This really hit home when I bought a shirt, got home and went to wash it.  I read the label and said Hecho en Nicaragua.  Made in Nicaragua.  I realize that the people making those shirts may be making a 'living wage' by Nicaraguan standards, and they are probably grateful for work.  But I think that more can be done.  A more realistic wage can and should be earned one that really provides for families, not just working to eat as so many families have to do. 

I will fail at this.  I know I will.  Free trade items are more expensive.  I will have to look harder to find things that meet my needs.  But I am going to try. 

One of the reasons I've hesitated to share this is because I don't want anyone thinking any differently about me.  So, please don't think I've turned into a snob, holier than thou, etc.  I'm the same me-a little odd, very passionate, a little clumsy and disorganized, but well intentioned.   

And there you have it.  Some 2010 goals.  Since it's already almost noon on the 1st, I should get a move on!

Prospero Año Nuevo!