Monday, June 29, 2009

Better to Serve than to be Served

We are part of a small group at our church which meets once a week to do bible study together and overall just learn more about Christ and help each other become better followers of Him. Along with meeting with each other every week we try do a community service project every quarter. In the bible it says "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." As Christians we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. So for this reason we implemented our community service projects every quarter.

This quarter we visited the Boy's and Girl's Harbor in LaPorte. This is a quote from their website with a short piece of their mission statement.

"For children who are experiencing family hardship, neglect, abandonment or abuse, the Harbor provides a family environment in a home setting. Through its programs, the Harbor strives to help children learn to overcome self-destructive patterns, break cycles of abuse, develop social skills, learn responsibility, and work towards becoming healthy, happy and productive members of society."

In essence the Harbor is a combination of homes with host families that take in troubled children or who have gone through crisis. Our project leader organized for us to restripe one of thier parking lots. For more info on this great organization please visit their website:

It was hot let me tell you! We joked about hiring some help at the local Home Depot but didn't think that's what Jesus had in mind.LOL! Overall, we had a great time and got it accomplished. It felt great! Every time we complete a project it gives us a great sense that can't be described. It just feels good to work together for something good and be able to bless others. It gives whole new meaning to "It's better to serve than to be served!" Take a look at the fruits of our labor! I'll try to post pics of our serving adventure for next quarter!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cancun Mx. 2009

Johnny and I just got back from an awesome trip to Cancun. Atianna stayed behind with my parents and we set out on a romantic little getaway! We love to travel, but since Atianna was born we have had a little halt on our traveling adventures. Well we dusted off our passports and finally felt ready to leave the nest, even if it was for a short while. We definitely have re energized and refueled ourselves. We spent many a days relaxing with a good mixture of fun activities sprinkled in to keep busy during the day. We had both been to Cancun once before. Crazy thing is we were both there at the same time but never once saw each other while there. We were there for our senior trip celebrating our exit from High School and welcoming ourselves into the real world. We were both traveling with our own group of friends and needless to say never got a chance to explore Cancun during the day. I can't speak for him but during my senior trip my friends and I spent our nights partying like rock stars. Those nights ended in me having to carry my friends back to the hotel room and nursing them back to health the next day. This pattern carried on for the entire week. I remember going out in the mornings by myself to the beach since my girlfriends either spent the night in the bathroom or were still passed out somewhere in the lobby of the hotel. I would venture out my myself and just gaze at the beauty of the ocean and wondering what my life was going to look like after graduation. Those are my memories of Cancun. Eleven years ago!! Wow! So much has changed!

This time we wanted to explore Cancun for the city it is and learn about it's culture and appreciate it's beauty. We did that during the day and just hung up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on our door once the sun went down. ;) We won't go into any more details on that. But what I will tell you are some of our daytime highlights! It sounds like we did so much but we spaced it out pretty well with our lay outs by the beach and pool.

We visited Xel-Ha. It's kinda like an amusement park but all natural. A river runs through it that meets with the ocean. You can snorkel the whole river and there are cliffs you can jump from throughout the journey. We also rode bikes through the jungle, which had a sidewalk built throughout. There were restaurants all over the park, in which the coolest thing was the entry fee was all inclusive! So free food and drinks all throughout the day! Loved that! Wonder how come our amusement parks haven't adopted that idea?

We also visited Tulum. Which is an archaeological site with Mayan ruins. The neatest thing about this site is that it's right on the ocean. We learned alot about Mayan history which I will be using in the classroom and got great pictures.

Oh, and the most exhilarating and scariest excursion we did was ZipLine! Hanging from a harness on a rope between trees is not my idea of relaxation but we had heard so many good things about it we decided to give it a try. Scary let me tell you. After zipping for about 5 lines you get used to it. We even zipped upside down! Yup! Our legs up in the air and our heads facing the ground miles up in the sky. I so wished we could have taken pictures so I could have proof but something about safety procedures and policy. For whatever reason we weren't allowed to take cameras so as to make our hands free in order to hold on to our harness and brake on the zipline. I almost sneaked my camera in, but figured my life was worth more.

In a nutshell we had an awesome time! We do come back with a message for you! Everyone we met down there who was a local asked us to come back and tell everyone that there is NO SWINEFLU IN CANCUN!! This so called epidemic has affected tourism greatly there and their local economy is in great jeopardy. While we were there the whole island was nearly empty. The hotels and resorts were practically close to empty and some were even closed down temporarily due to tourism being so low. Needless to say we were treated like royalty. We managed to get an upgrade to our room for a very nominal fee that went towards the hotel clerk and her family I'am sure as she only took cash after our negotiating tactics. We managed to also get free breakfast during our stay there. was so good. Overall, our trip was a steal and great bargain! They are trying to stimulate tourism in Cancun and are offering great deals to travel there. That's how we got to go. Our cost for 4.5 star resort including flight for a week was just about $750 for the two of us!!

Interesting thing is not once did we see people with face masks on. Actually the only ones wearing them were employees who were in direct contact with food. Like cooks and such. We don't even see that here in the U.S!

Enjoy our photo album! You can click on each picture to maximize for better viewing.

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Cancun, MX. 2009
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Projects!

Summer is here! This is my first year since graduating from college that I actually have a whole summer to enjoy without having to work. feels great! After the school year was over I promised myself that this summer would be a productive one. I didn't want it to just go by with nothing to show for it. So needless to say I made myself a list of things that I've always wanted to do but just didn't have the time for or just made excuses for. I've already crossed one project off my list and it feels great! This little endeavor of mine was one that had been getting on my nerves for a while and I knew it was gonna take alot out of me once I set my mind,body and soul to tackling it.
So this little project felt like a war between me and grime,mildew and mold. Yup, I said mold. Just the word itself makes me just feel sick. I'am embarrased to admit that my shower stall suffered from these pesky watchamacallits. It was so embarrassing that if you would have come over and it just so happen that my guest bathroom was broken and you needed to use the bathroom I would have escorted you to the backyard to handle your business. My master bath was locked with a deadbolt. I know I'am painting a very bad picture, but I KNOW my shower stall is not the only one with this impairment!! After doing research, yes I researched! I found out that this pesky problem is very common in households. I set out to once and for all solve this problem and get rid of it the correct way and do everything possible for it not to ever happen again. My knees can't handle that kind of labor anymore. I learned so much I figured I would share with the you all on my blog!
I remember the last time I had cleaned my shower stall I literally almost fainted or was near death from all the chemical fumes that I produced with my concoctions. I used bleach and whatever else I could find under my kitchen sink that said DANGER on it thinking that it would kill whatever took hold of my shower stall. In my effort to becoming more '"Green" I just had to find out a much better way to handle this situation without having to call the ambulance to come get me and my intoxicated family out of the house. If it was up to me I would have just demolished the whole thing and just take showers in my backyard with a good garden hose. Getting rid of it just seemed to be the perfect solution, but unfortunatly Johnny didn't agree. Whatever.
So, I learned that bleach is not the answer to mold and mildew growing in wet environments such as the shower stall. Apparantly, all that bleach does is change the color of the mold but does not actually kill it. After time it just comes back to it's regular color. I found out that vinegar is the solution. Who knew!! If you did, just spare me. Indulge me for a little bit here.
If the areas that are affected are in the caulking which is where mine was your best bet is to decaulk and then recaulk. This was a process that took several days. I got this nifty little tool from Lowe's that took the blasted caulk off very easily and had to wait a couple of days for it to completely air dry. After that I recaulked and let sit a couple more days to set and dry. I am happy to say that my shower is shiny, happy, and looks like new! Okay, so I'am glad I didn't tear it down.
The most important part of this whole lesson is the secret to avoiding that yucky stuff to ever grow back. My favorite part!! This is what we are doing in our house to keep a happy, shiny, and clean shower stall.
Lesson #1- Mildew and Mold grow in areas that are humid, wet and closed in. The number one trick is to let some air in!! Leave the door open after taking a shower! If I only knew back then what I know now! If you have a window that opens even better! Or just open the blinds to let some sun in to help in the drying process.
Lesson#2- Turn on the bathroom fan when taking a shower. This helps with air circulation.
Lesson#3- While in the shower, after you have washed your hair and body. Take a brush (mine is hanging in the shower stall) pour just a little bit of body wash on it and scrub the corners and sides of your stall and door. This only takes under a minute to do. I timed it, to convince Johnny to do while he is in there. It also helped that I threatened that he would be the one on his knees to clean the stall once I saw one ounce of mold in the stall. He quickly agreed and signed on the dotted line.
Lesson#4- This was not in my research but figured it wouldn't hurt. I bought one of those nifty sprayer machines by Scubber Bubbles that sprays the shower down with cleaning agent after taking a shower. It's supposed to help in the anti-mold dept. Who knows if it's true. But once I run out of that expensive solution that goes in the bottle, guess what I'am going to refill it with? Yup!! Vinegar! The natural Mold killer!! Praise God for vinegar! We spray down only after the last shower of the day.
Seems like a lot, but at the end of the day, I'll do anything at this point to not ever have to do what I did or put up with whatever decided to grow in my shower stall. It's supposed to be a sanctuary for relaxation for goodness sake! Not a breeding ground for spores! Just gives me the shivers just thinking about it. I couldn't go without taking pics of this little adventure. Enjoy!
I'll be posting about some more summer projects later! Until then, we are off to Cancun this week! Just me and my hubby! I will be inspecting the shower/tub at the resort and hope it meets my expectations cause we'll be spending some time enjoying it after our long days on the beach!
All the products I was armed with

I was prepared for battle!

Ati thought this was a some kind of dress up game.

While I cleaned the stall she wanted to help with the sink

Yes, there are more cleaning products than actual body and hair products. But at least I'am protected!

The finished product! Ahhhh, no more off limits!