Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two Charities to Support in 2011

I have been keeping my eyes open in recent months for charities our family could support, that the kids could get excited about. We don't have much extra cash to begin with, so I was looking for something that could make do with what we had. We already shop at and donate to Goodwill (@goodwillintl), that's a "no brainer" but with the kids being older I've wanted to find things that really touches their hearts.

I haven't watched a whole lot of TV since March outside of news because of "work", so I decided to find an TV show I was interested in that was absolutely non political since the election. Hannah and I enjoy watching Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals, so I decided to set the good ol DVR for the Rachael Ray Show (@RachaelRayShow) that airs daily. (I must say, I am not a "talk show" type personality at all, but I LOVE this show because it involves two of my favorite things: Rachael Ray and Food :) )

As I was catching up on episodes today, there was a mention of RR's non profit organization "Yum-O" teaming up with Gerber. For every "like" Gerber receives on their Facebook page through January 15, 2011, they will donate $1 to Yum-O, up to $500,000!
About Yum-O:
Launched in 2006 by Rachael Ray, Yum-o!® is a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships.

Through our three core work areas of Cook, Feed and Fund, Yum-o! educates kids and their families about food and cooking by offering an interactive website that enables young cooks to get started in the kitchen and try out family-friendly recipes; teams up with partner organizations to feed hungry children; and funds innovative cooking programs in schools and educational opportunities for kids who are interested in pursuing careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. (read more)
I believe this is definitely an organization to watch, and I plan on getting the kids (Hannah, especially) more involved with the website, picking out recipes for them to cook and such. I am especially drawn to this organization's cause because they focus on hunger in the United States specifically. We are the richest country in the world, we need to care for our own people! (Be sure you go to Gerber's page on Facebook and "like" them, right away! This promotion ends January 15, 2011)

The second charity I've recently come across is "Soles 4 Souls" (view an interview with the founder, @Soles4Souls). Basically, this charity collects shoes and distributes them not only through the United States, but around the world. The interview linked above mentions how shoes given to people in Haiti this year, are actually being used for commerce there. I like that. You never know if the shoes you send to Goodwill are going to be good enough for resale, but with this charity, even if they cannot use your shoes, they are promised to be recycled so you at least have the comfort of knowing what will happen in the event they are not used. Recycled = not sitting in a landfill. Hey, I'm a conservative, I strongly believe in conservation! :)

If you live in the Winston Salem, North Carolina area, you can drop off your shoes to the following places:

4 Runners Only
111 H Reynolda Village
Winston-Salem, NC 27106

SAS Comfort Shoes
153 Jonestown Road
Winston Salem, NC 27104

If you do not live in Winston Salem, find out where a donation site is near you. I'm actually excited about this and believe maybe in the Spring I'll organize a shoe drive.

So what charities are you involved with? I would love to hear how others are teaching children about charities and how they're involving them in their lives!

Speaking of shoes: If you live in the Winston Salem area and have soccer shoes, shin guards and socks that your child has outgrown and is sitting around, consider giving them to the Winston Salem Optimist Club. They will give them to the children who are in the league and covered by the "in house scholarship" who cannot afford the fees to play otherwise. Leave them at Soccer Unlimited on Trenwest Drive (Stratford Road area).

Life goal: weight gain?

I believe one would be hard pressed to find something that has offended me more than this woman, and the people who support her. Her goal is to weigh 1000 pounds, and eats a 16,000 calorie a day diet. She broke the Guinness World Record in 2007 for the "world's fattest mother", giving birth at 532 pounds. She has a website where people are paying to watch her eat and walk / move about her house, and send her emails of encouragement, AND more food!!

New Jersey Woman Wants to Be World's Fattest Woman:

Her birth required THIRTY PEOPLE to accomplish her high risk cesarean birth, yet she says she doesn't believe in the health risks associated with obesity? Do the doctors in this woman's life not see that she is not mentally healthy? How was social services not involved at the time of birth three years and 118 pounds ago? How could a MOTHER set such an example to her children? How can a FAMILY support a loved one in such a self destructive habit? How can PEOPLE actually support her behavior through paying to watch her eat, and sending her food? I'm all for capitalism, but what is wrong with these people? When she dies, and she will- from reasons directly attributed to her weight, these very people will have a moral responsibility for her death.

She seems fine, now. She won't be within the next hundred pounds. By the 700 mark, her weight is going to hinder their lives in ways that are now, SO predictable it is not funny. That's what I find so offensive. She seems to be walking around the house fine now, wait until she starts having increasing pain in her back, and in her joints, until her bones will not be able to hold her up.

Wait until:
*it takes her thirty minutes to be able to make it to the bathroom.
*she sweats so badly her children start hesitating to show physical affection- or people have a hard time being in the room with her because of body odor.
*her home becomes a deep freezer to accommodate her always feeling hot.
*rashes and skin infections pop up in all those fat rolls. (Does her husband think it will be so "sexy", then?)
*round the clock fatigue kicks in.

This is just a handful of physical things associated with morbid obesity, and yes, this woman is MORBIDLY obese. Has she made arrangements for her death, yet? She might want to consider that. Can her family afford her death? What about her life? Can we say "Medical coverage"? (Should she be covered?) What kind of insurance does she have? Is it fair that taxpayers might be paying for this self destructive lifestyle this woman is living in the public eye, profiting, no less, from it?

"Well who are you to judge, Wendy?".
I have watched the decline of a morbidly obese loved one's life, and was there with them at the time of death. They weren't trying to gain weight, they just lacked the tools and support they needed to become healthy. So to see someone have such disrespect for their own selves, and their own family, and their own family returning the favor, it disgusts me. It does take a mental disorder for someone to say "Christmas should give you carte blanche to do whatever you want.' (in regards to eating a 30,000 calorie "Christmas" dinner), if you ask me.

Have you ever been affected by extreme obesity? Either yourself or through a loved one?

See: How Obesity Harms A Child's Body


Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas play: Hannah's singing debut

Hannah was SO excited to be chosen as one to sing a special in the Christmas play. As mentioned in Jackson's post, the family was snowed in at a motel, and their Christmas presents had been stolen. The conversation at this point in the play was the four children thinking about everything they were missing not being at grandma's for Christmas.

Hannah is on the left side. At a couple of points in the song she looked at us and was trying VERY hard not to smile because they were supposed to be grumpy and have an attitude. (Actually, the cutie on the right told her mom she was "saving" her attitude for the play, it worked!) All three of them done SO GOOD!
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Christmas play: Jackson's acting debut

The storyline for our Christmas play was a family who were travelling to grandma's, got snowed in at the motel they stopped at for the night. Jackson was one of the theives that broke in their van to steal the family's presents, setting the stage for the whole show :) Jackson was the one who dropped a present on the way out, fulfilling the "bumbling robber" role.
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Christmas play: twos and threes

This is the three year old class I teach every Sunday. They are so sweet, and we've worked so hard on our songs in the past few months! Especially my "partner in crime" who worked with them each week. The twos are on the right side of the stage, threes are the left.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 days of Christmas

We started a new tradition yesterday, the 12 days of Christmas. Each day the kids will receive one small gift. Granted, they won't open as *many* presents on Christmas day, but then again we wouldn't break down the same things on Christmas day that we would for the 12 days presents. (you'll see!)

Hannah was ecstatic about her present yesterday, we love the song "Christmas must be something more".

What kind of traditions do you do with your children?
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Rotisserie style crock pot chicken

I love Stephanie O'Dea, and she doesn't even know it :) She is the author of the blog "A Year of Slow Cooking", the books Make it Fast, Cook it Slow (and Part Two, GREAT gift ideas for yours truly!) and come up with this recipe for Rotisserie Chicken done in the crock pot. I went with her theory of removing the skin off the chicken for not wanting the meat to be swimming in it's own fat for hours on end. It might have worked better if I did not use a cut up chicken instead of a whole chicken. The outer meat of the pieces laying on top was dry (to be cooked in the crock pot). However, if you dipped it in the juices in the crock, it was perfectly fine. The inner meat was perfectly tender, as to be expected from bone in-chicken cooked in the crock pot.

Finale: I'll be using this seasoning blend again. While I love my crock pot chicken, I still love oven roasted chicken and believe this seasoning will work swimmingly either way. I actually have a rotisserie roaster, too that would be great, obviously :) I didn't use all of the seasoning when I done the above linked recipe, so I believe it's safe to say the below combo is good for two to three uses, depending on your personal preference in how much you apply to your meats.

2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

You know this would probably do well on turkey breast, too!

I'm going to be moving, soon. My online home, that is! When the transition is made, you'll see the new link at the top of the right sidebar. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Smooth move, mom!"

So we're on the way to school, on the highway, and the car in front of us was washing their windshield. They were sending a light spray of water onto our windshield in the process. This highlights how dirty our windshield is, so I decide to was ours.

So do you know right offhand what happens when it is freezing outside, you're going 65MPH down the interstate, and you spritz water onto your windshield?

Yeh, I didn't consider that, either. But ain't it pretty?
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hannah in Bell Choir

Hannah and Jackson both learned how to play the bells when they were four. Hannah still enjoys playing them in the bell choir at church.<3
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first cheer of the season

This clip is if the pee wee squad and Hannah's squad- they cheered together Friday for the first games of the season.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Jasper's adjustment

Well, it looks like he has adjusted quite well, don't you think? This might not go over well with the cats, though. That's their "sunny spot". Speaking of, the cats are doing well with our new arrangement. Actually, they've become a little more attentive to us ;) Timothy is still more guarded than Titus, but he doesn't freak out when Jasper comes in the room anymore.

He should be getting his stitches out SOON, which means the satellite dish on his head will be gone, too. yay!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

My favorites part of fall

I am apparently a very visual type if person. You wouldn't be able to tell by my home decor, but all of my individual projects are based around a lot of colors and patterns. I have TONS of digital scrapkits that are full of vivid colors and textures. Knowing all this leaves it no surprise that my favorite part of fall is the leaves changing, and the colors they change into. Isn't this beautiful?!
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

meet Jasper

He came to us a week ago. He's part Border Collie and part Australian Shepherd. 9 years old. Hannah says he looks like an oreo cookie. I say he looks mighty rotten and comfortable with Jay!
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be a responsible citizen

There are a lot of people who have voted, and probably are voting this year, based on what certain groups say- even with the most honest of intentions. They believe that it is a good thing to follow along with what "GROUP X" says. The problem is, they are not actually able to "own" their vote, if they vote for people because a group says that's their particular picks. Citizens should be able to say "I chose this person because of X, Y, & Z", and that be good enough. I do not need a list of endorsements to justify my choices in this election. You do not, either.

Just because a candidate has a "tag" that seems to fit one's values, or is endorsed by a group with shared values, doesn't mean a person should not check the candidate out personally before voting for them. Vet your own candidates, and have the conversation with others about who you are voting for and why. Have questions for the candidates? They welcome questions. There are a lot more citizens than there are candidates, go to your candidates- don't sit back and expect them to come to you. This is why historically people say "Only rich people can run for office."- because people wait for the candidates to come to them! Talk to others about this election, lift up conservative candidates, and encourage others to get to the polls early.

People shouldn't vote for a candidate because they are supposed to be the "tea party pick" or because the GOP have showed preference for candidates over others ... or even think that a GOP candidate fits their values best verses a libertarian- each candidate must be vetted by each voter. It is not any group's responsibility to tell citizens WHO to vote for. It is the citizen's responsibility to seek out the people who are running to serve them in pubic office. It is the citizen's responsibility to be aware of what is happening in politics on every level, all year long, and not just at election time. This is why our country is in the trouble it is in, to begin with, as far as I am concerned. (I accept dropping the ball as a citizen before 2008, too.)

As for for endorsements: If people are checking out candidates like they should be, group / organization endorsements are not a necessity in elections. Lets not wait for the emotion of Obama in '08, or the excitement of the Tea Party Express rolling through town with Sarah Palin. It should take neither for conservatives in North Carolina to get excited about the fact that for the first time in 100 years we could have a CONSERVATIVE General Assembly, or that NC 7 will see the first Republican hold that seat in 140 years, that we have a chance to have fairly drawn State Senate and House Districts, not to mention, the gerrymandering of NC 12 will be no more!

Now go find your candidates, grab a friend, and GO VOTE! Every single vote counts!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

kids sports: interest vs effort

Jackson has always been interested in soccer. He's realized in the past year that he's very good at it for his age. Hannah started playing because Jackson played. She has never said she did not want to play. However, in recent weeks I wonder WHY she's playing. She refuses to practice with Jackson, although he would love it. She asks to sit out when there's a chance at her games, and during practice she goofs off & "chases butterflies" more than anything. But she's always ready to go to practice, and excited on game days & gives me no grief in getting out if bed at 6am on Saturdays. I just don't get it. She wants to do it, she just doesn't ACTUALLY DO it when its time to play! It doesn't even concern her that her team, as of today, has only won one game in six weeks.

Jackson on the other hand, cherishes his soccer experience. He has put 120% in every practice & every game he has played. There's no doubt both if them want to be here, its just how they act once they arrive at the field. Maybe this is an off season for Hannah. Maybe Spring season will prove better for her.

Basketball is coming up. I've encouraged both to play because it's different & that will help their coordination to play soccer better. Keep them on their toes. Neither are expressing any kind of excitement, and are leaning towards the "I don't wanna" attitude. Maybe they'll both be awesome :o)
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Congrats Dolphins!

Hannah's team finally won a game. "We finally won & it was two to one!" Until today her team had not won, and Jackson's team has won all. I asked Jackson if his team was going to lose and he looked at me like I had a third eye.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Funny for the day

Hannah's reading a report she's working on "When the mommy penguin lays an egg the daddy penguin sits on it, is that a fact?" Jackson: "Yes, it takes a real man to sit on an egg" ... okie dokie then!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 91310

I love recipes. Cookbooks are my favorite books to read. I recently started re-reading a Cooking Light Annual Recipes cookbook ... the 1999 edition. It's just awesome. It's not uncommon for me to attempt to plan out our meals for the week, then I scaled myself down because I was so disorganized that after shopping for a week's worth of meals, I would fall behind and the produce would be less than desirable come time to use it. I seriously need to get organized or I will never make it to November 2 ... I won't or my family won't, that is ;o) So I'm trying something semi different: I'm planning a week's worth of meals. but I've broken my grocery shopping down into two and three day increments. This week I'm going to only focus on dinners, maybe next week I'll start planning my lunches, and so forth.

I figure if I post my meal plans, this will make it official. I'll post the recipes if they turn out to be hits with the family.

Seasoned Chicken & carrot sticks for the kids, grilled chicken salad for myself (chicken sandwich for Jay if he's hungry- we think he had a tad of food poisoning this weekend)

Beef Stew in the crock pot.
Tuesdays are a big day for us because I'm generally not at home, and since mom has been home from the hospital I've been trying to take a meal or two over for them. So I'm going to double up on this and see how that works. I'm using the recipe from Lost Recipes. I LOVE this book!

Dessert: caramel apple cupcakes. These are going to be fun.

Shepherd's Pie made with deer sausage; corn pudding (from Lost Recipes)

White Bean & Apple Chili, cornbread

Tomato Soup, black bean quesadillas for me and Jackson, grilled cheese sammies for Hannah & Jay

Saturday we'll clean out the fridge ....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9-11 Remembrance service

Hannah and I attended a 9-11 Remembrance service last night. It was a very nice service, and the key note speaker, NC State House Representative Dale Folwell gave a lovely speech.
This thought keeps running through my mind:

Daily we remember Jesus died for our sins.
Daily we must remember that our Military die for our freedom.
Daily we must remember that First Responders die for our safety.

Never Forget.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First day of fall soccer

Today is the first day of the fall soccer season. For the past two years, the kids have been playing with the YMCA league. Jackson took a huge step forward this year in skills, and Hannah showed marked improvement, as well. Towards the end of Spring soccer Jackson mentioned interest in travel soccer. Happy to see him interested, I checked on it but we were too late for tryouts. On the same note, I must say I was relieved as well, because travel ball would cause a huge conflict in our schedule this fall. The main soccer league in the city was recommended to us as a good bridge for Jackson. It was said this league was more "by the book" and would be more challenging for both kids. that by the end of fall season Jackson would be better prepared for travel ball tryouts.

So far I have been impressed. I tried to get their practices on the same night, but it was not possible with our availability. Jackson's group practices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Hannah's practices on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We have church on Wednesday nights. So the family schedule is: visitation on Mondays, Jackson's practice on Tuesdays, church on Wednesdays, and Hannah's practice on Thursdays. In the middle of all this I also have three to four events each month that need to occur between Monday and Thursday. God is good and we can work it out!

The kid's first games are today. Hannah has already played. Her team lost 6-0. Jackson is just beside himself. He has begged Hannah all week to practice with him, and she wouldn't. Then in 2nd quarter she was goalie and the ball rolled right by her twice. Her attitude was awesome. She realizes what happened, but didn't let it bother her. Jackson was mortified. We're gong to have to sit down and explain to him that most people don't know she's his sister, and the ones who do don't care that she plays ... like an eight year old girl!

His game starts in 45 minutes. It's going to be interesting to see the difference in his age group. I know they try to make a point to keep the same kids on the teams from season to season. You can really tell, too, because even with Hannah's age group, there's a difference in teamwork (more) and skill level. Those girls are doing things with the ball that Jackson only learned this Spring! It's going to be a great season.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Where's Wendy?

Hi there! I've missed blogging! Man where has 2010 went? I was thinking that the other day and I started reflecting on where I was a year ago, to where I am now. All I can say is God is good ... ALL the time. If you seek Him, you will find him. If you seek His Will, He will show it to you ... in due time. But you have to wait on Him! I'm so thankful I did.

It's really funny, a year ago I bought my domain, and started working on a new website of my own. God obviously had other plans for me ... because a year later that site is not even closed to being finished, and it's time to renew my domain again! That's okay, I've learned a lot of new things pertaining to web design while doing web work for other people. I believe I'm on the road to mastering that thing called "social media"- well, coming to a greater understanding of it's many uses, that is.

I've learned a lot about politics in the past year. The most important thing I have learned, above all else, is that we ALL should be concerned with what is going on in politics! The days of letting other people do the worrying while we sit at home reading a favorite book, watching our favorite TV shows, baking, cooking, even doing laundry, are over. I so desperately resent all of those years I said "I don't watch the news ... it's too depressing". Know why it was depressing? Because there were a million other people like me out there, not being engaged in their own communities, letting other people take over our own country! For those who have been around this blog a while, you know the 2008 election totally sucked me in. That year was a turning point for me. The day when America voted and John McCain was deemed "the best" conservative choice, I knew there was a problem. You know what the problem was? Not enough people were doing their civic duty and paying attention to what was going on. The penalty for our civic apathy now is we must work double time to restore our country back to something we recognize for our children, and it cannot wait. Conservatives, and in my own opinion- Christians, must be more engaged than ever THIS year, for THIS November. THIS is the year history must be made.

I've learned a lot about "people" in general. That's been an interesting feat. I've always considered myself a "people" person. Being around more of them has given me a great insight into understanding where "people" might be coming from. I've learned ... that we all need to see "people" as if we were looking through God's eyes first ... then understanding comes a lot easier.

I've learned that while the appearance of humanly perfection might be attainable, it's better to acknowledge our own faults, and fight the fights that truly need fighting within us. Even if it's the urge to appear "all together" and be "bright & shiny". Balance, is the key.

So what to look forward to in CalvaryGirl's near future?
You'll see a lot more of me.

I'm going back to the basics of posting regular devotions. Food, food and more food, in all styles, shapes and forms (from the good for you to the bad for you!). Politics ... but it won't be posted with food ;) and reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed reading reviews last year and wanted to get more regular in posting them. I've tried lots of new things this year and have thought "wow, this would be a good review on the blog ..." and that's as far as it's gotten. Who knows, maybe there will be a giveaway in the future? We'll have to wait and see.
All the better? I'm gonna have some new bright & shiny websites for you to visit these topics under. So while we may not agree on politics, we will indeed have the ability to connect and agree on the best low-fat high-taste -crock pot recipe!

So how are you?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cuts in education?

There has been a lot of buzz going around North Carolina lately about proposed cuts to the public schools from the state level. I'll be upfront in not understanding for one second why between Forsyth County and North Carolina, the WS/FC school system is budgeted at $7000 per child, when our small private school accomplishes more on an academic level at a fraction of that cost. Nevertheless, I pay attention. Cuts in the state budget for the '09-10 school year led to 3000 teachers losing their jobs. (1) If we lost 3000 teachers, who is teaching the children? Obviously there was not a mass exodus of students from the public school system, they are still there, but they have no one to teach them now because of a supposed "budget crunch". I thought we had an educational lottery to help cover the expense of the school systems?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education, public education revenue is drawn from three sources of government: federal, state, and local. In 2004- 2005, state government provided the largest share of public education revenues: 46.9 percent. Local governments provided 44.0 percent, and the federal government provided 9.2 percent.(2) Based on that, I wonder what North Carolina as a state, and Forsyth County is doing to ensure our children receive the best education possible. From what I am seeing now, the state is looking to cut even more from our children's educational experience through teacher furloughs, cuts in local salary supplements (and other ways) in order to save another $5.2 million for 2010-11. Is this what our children deserve? Isn't there another way?

Today, the N.C. Association of Educators will release its report cards for state legislators, giving them grades according to how well they support education issues. This will be interesting, and I wonder if the results will be published online. However, there is something else I am wondering. Who else can bring our public school system funds to cover the expenses required to help our children succeed academically in this economic climate? We know that the federal government is only responsible for 9%, the state government is 46%, but who do we look to in the local government? The School Board? They are not responsible for the financial end, right? Taxes? Goodness knows that cannot be the only answer.

What got me thinking about this was the role the Clerk of Superior Court plays in local education. In past elections I have seen the signs. I even voted I believe. But who did I vote for? I don't even remember. I do remember wondering what that position was about, and have been learning little by little recently about it. Did you know that any bond forfeitures goes straight back to the county and city school systems? I didn't. What this means, is, when someone is arrested, they are allowed to call a bondsman, and that bondsman will come make bail for them upon the agreed terms of their bail and of course that they will show up for their court date. If they do not show up for their court date, the bondsman is responsible for paying the bond in full. Apparently a bondsman can file a motion with the courts to set aside final forfeiture based on the idea that an order for arrest has been made for the person who skipped their court date. Apparently, this motion can be granted, and the person who skipped bail could be in hiding for however long, and no bond or fines are paid to the county at all.

EXCEPT ... if your Clerk of Superior Court steps in, like Brian Shipwash (3) did a few years ago in a case with two illegal aliens who skipped out on a two hundred thousand dollar bond. In this particular case, the bondsman filed the motion, and under normal circumstances it would had been allowed, forfeiture would have been delayed and the bondsman would have been allowed to continue writing bonds for others, except for the Clerk of Superior Court of Davidson County. In a September 28, 2006 Press release (4), it is said:

"Shipwash ordered that the Insurance Company be restricted from writing bonds in Davidson County, on the basis that the order for arrest had not been served. After meeting with Perry Mastromichalis, Attorney hired by Holeman, the Attorney stated they would be withdrawing the motion to set aside.

Today, Shipwash received $200,000 to go to the Davidson County Schools. Shipwash has collected more than 1.8 million dollars in his 7 ½ years as Clerk. Especially notable, Shipwash has collected more in the last 3 years than was collected in the previous 15."

I believe Forsyth could use a windfall like that. Who is our Clerk of Superior Court, anyway? I had to do some digging, but I was able to find a website of the appointee who is currently running, but that's about it. That makes me wonder if there's much to brag about accomplishment-wise in Forsyth County. Brian Shipwash (who is NOT an attorney, but an administrator) of Davidson County has a lot to brag about on his website and rightly so! I do know that this office is up for re-election every four years, and this year is election year for that position.

Who will be the best person to serve the citizens of Forsyth County in the position of Clerk of Superior Court? If they have the ambition and administrative skills to accomplish things like bringing millions of dollars back into the Winston Salem / Forsyth County School system, they are worthy of our attention, AND our vote.

- Wendy Wood
Facebook: Wendy Wood
Twitter: @CalvaryGirl

(1) Educators face tough climate

(2) Does Spending More on Education Improve Academic Achievement?

(3) Brian Shipwash :

(4) Shipwash Protects School Systems - Nets $200,000.00

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stamp Malfunction

Stamp Malfunction:
The Postal service created a new stamp with a picture of President Obama on it. The Postal service noticed that the stamp was not sticking to envelopes. This enraged the President, who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing and 1.73 million in Congressional spending, a special Presidential commission presented the following findings:

1. The stamp was in perfect order.
2. There is nothing wrong with the glue.
3. People were spitting on the wrong side.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book review: George's Marvelous Medicine

9/5/11: Welcome to my blog! I welcome you to join me on the homepage, and lets start to get to know each other from there! :) Lets connect on Twitter, and on Facebook, too!


Since there is no way to link to individual reviews on, I wanted to share one here. Overall, the reviews seem innocent enough claiming the book as a "wacky" book that should be obvious enough to children that it was not a story that should be mirrored in real life. However, with the limited instruction time that teachers already have when it comes to teaching literature in school, it would seem a wiser choice could have been made. A choice that could build up family values instead of tearing it down. The common theme in all of the reviews I read was that the grandmother was this "horrible" woman, and that the boy "hated" his grandmother. The only reason I found, in one review, was that the grandmother told the boy stories he didn't like.

In this self centered age, I believe we need to be careful of the message we send our children, especially in public schools. Kids need to hear of a life where families love each other, not hate each other. This one "kid review" really struck my eye and it seems to me that this kid was in middle school possibly. They leave some good points about what message the book sends (the emphasis' are mine.):

George's Marvelous Medicine, March 19, 2006
A Kid's Review
George's Marvelous Medicine
By: Roald Dahl
Reviewed By: S. Kim
Period: 1

George's Marvelous Medicine is about how a little boy who hates his grandmother. When it is time for him to feed his grandmother his medicine, he makes a concoction of different things. Although he was late in giving his grandmother his medicine, his grandmother still took it. You may be thinking, oh where are his parents or his guardian. Well, they left for an errand and left George's grandmother in charge. That was a bad idea, but nobody knew that George was thinking of a way to destroy his grandmother. He gave the medicine to his grandmother and something odd happened. His grandmother turned very long and tall. Her head broke up into the ceiling. She was literally taller then the house!

Then George knew there was something odd about his medicine that he put together. So he decided to try it on a hen, a pig, bullocks, sheep, a gray pony, and finally a goat. One thing that he realized in all animals was that the medicine made it get bigger in size. Obviously his parents were outraged, and needed a place where grandma can sleep, and the only place was the barn, so she slept there for a while. George and his father needed something so that it would make his grandmother smaller. So they came up with another concoction. They gave the new medicine to George's grandmother and when they did she became smaller and smaller. She was so small that you can barely hear her scream or talk. Then some how George's grandmother became smaller and then disappeared into thin air. This was a good thing for George, but at first his mother going crazy. Then after a while she said that her mom disappearing was okay.

The thing that I disliked from this book was how George didn't like his grandmother at all. There is a quote about that talks about George not liking his grandmother and it is, "He really hated that horrid old witchy woman." How can you hate your grandmother so much that you think that she is horrid and somewhat like a witch? I love my grandmother very much and would never hate her even if she did something annoying, mean, and bad. Another thing that I didn't like about the book was that George's mother didn't think it was a big deal that her mother just disappeared. In the last page of the book it says, "Ah well, I suppose it's all or the best, really. She was a bit of a nuisance around the house, wasn't she?" If it were to be my mom that disappeared I would be crying my eyes out, and every time I would think about my mom I would be sad and depressed.

The part I liked in this book was how George tried it on all the animals and they all turned into a different size. The book says, "George gave a spoonful of the medicine to the pig. The pig blew smoke from its nose and jumped about all over the place. Then it grew and grew." The pig grew so big that it was big as an elephant. The pig was already big by itself and now it just got bigger. That was a hilarious part in the book. Another part that was funny was how George mixed up everything to make replace his grandmother's medicine. It says, "A handful of grease- to grease her creaking joints." When George was picking the ingredients he was very smart about picking each one the correct way.

My favorite part of the book was how George had taken so long just to replace his grandmother's medicine. Another thing that I couldn't believe was that his grandmother believed and trusted George for the medicine, even if he was late on giving it to her. I guess she is very gullible. I think George is a very smart boy, but he uses it for evil planning. Maybe that's why it's called his marvelous medicine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Frozen Chosin

I saw a segment on Fox and Friends this morning about this new documentary coming out named "The Frozen Chosin". It is about the US's involvement in the Korean war, interviewing men who fought in that war. Not really knowing a whole lot about this particular war, but having a growing interest in all things American, including our battles, I found myself rewinding to listen closer to what the creators of the film were saying in the interview. I found it particularly interesting that the creators of the film were Iraq war veterans, themselves. This film not only covers the perspective of Korean war veterans, but it is projected in the film from a vantage point of understanding and truth that could only come from someone who has been in such a similar position. This film is definite on my list of must-sees.

"As fellow Marines and combat veterans, we forged a unique connection with the men who shared their stories with us. We were proud to give them a gift 60 years overdue: an environment where they could feel comfortable unburdening themselves of the intimately sad, horrific, funny, and triumphant moments they experienced during the most defining experience of their lives. The story of Chosin goes beyond the history and enters a realm of mutual remembrance and healing."
View the trailer (and grab a tissue):

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are death threats acceptable if online?

Twitter has a new account, and it is dedicated to rewarding its followers with the assassination of radio / Fox News TV Host Glenn Beck.

The internet has reached an all new low. Really, society has. I am waiting for the liberal sect of America to condemn such a heinous act. What's even worse, are the people who are not only following this account, but ReTweeting the original message! I believe they have just as much responsibility as the one who created this account. Cyber crimes however, I do not believe are treated as severely as "in real life" crimes. It would already be on the news if some sicko posted a community bulletin somewhere for a meeting that says "If 10,000 people show up in support of my cause, I will kill this person". Perhaps it is time to raise the standards of behavior expected on social networking sites and the web, and the consequences of one's behavior. Death threats are not acceptable when put on paper, why should it be different online?

I know Megan Meier's parents would like to see laws more stringent towards the behavior of people behind online profiles...

This goes beyond free speech, as this new twisted Twitter sicko claims:

Any reasonable person can acknowledge this is wrong and unacceptable. There should be a bi partisan effort to condemn such acts of BIGOTRY.

As of 4:45pm ET, Twitter has removed the profile. I say Thank God. This still begs the question, will the person be back under another name? What about the people following that person? When will there be an outrage and the standards be the same for left and right wing? If there was an account that threatened anyone I disagreed with politically, I would still condemn the actions. I don't care what your political views are, right is right and wrong is wrong. There are still moral absolutes in this world, and those are things we can still come together to agree on.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Palin takes on Fox News

Watch out world!

Sarah Palin, ...will return to her broadcast roots and take her conservative message to Fox News as a regular commentator, the cable channel announced Monday.

"I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News," Palin said in a statement posted on the network's Web site. "It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

Fox said that according to the multiyear deal, Palin will offer political commentary and analysis on the cable channel, as well as Fox's Web site, radio network and business cable channel.

I believe this is wonderful. Of course, I love her. Next week for spirit week, they are having "Superhero Day", and we just decided last night that Hannah could be Sarah Palin- the TRUE super-hero, that day. She thought it was a hoot.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Don't mess with my burger!

Some McDonalds employees caught themselves in a pickle when this woman entered their store one day. She brought her sandwich back unhappy with the way it was made, and becomes, story goes irate, after the employees would not give her a refund, causing some $3000 in damages.

Added January 7th:
She threw a water cooler, a wet floor sign, grabbed things off the counter and threw them at the employees. There was a video, but this is from the local Sheriff's blog:
We have received numerous tips since posting this video. Thank you. Detectives are following up on leads now and have requested the video be taken down while we investigate.
Of course there are holes in this story as in:
  • Did she refuse a new, perfectly made, fresh burger (but they're all "fresh" now, right?)
  • what exactly was wrong with the burger? (haven't we all received a double cheese with one patty off the side of the bun and the cheese melted on the other side)
  • where was the manager?
  • why wouldn't they give her a refund? (could it be a manager was not present, and that was why? after all, employees cannot give refunds!)
Despite the holes in the story, there is no reason for this kind of behavior. I don't care if there was a band aid in the middle of my burger, acting like a lunatic is not the way to go. Somewhere out there, there's a McDonalds cashier filing a worker's compensation claim for emotional damage from having a water cooler thrown at him/her for something that was surly beyond their control.

Friday, January 1, 2010

No resolutions for ten

I started blogging more regularly about this time last year. Needless to say the past few months I have not been very active but I promise dear readers I plan to change that. Not that blogging more regularly is a New Year's Resolution. That was last year's resolution. I succeeded until about October- with that resolution and a couple other ones. Then I have partially felt awful about not 'completing' the year, and I wonder why I'm allowing myself to feel such guilt. Typically, guilt is associated with conviction for me, but I know the Lord isn't convicting me of not posting more to the blog ... right? Of course not. I believe the guilt is more aligned with the typically "mommy guilt", guilt of not being able to do it all.

So, for 2010, in an effort to banish an attempt for mommy guilt to set in, I refuse to make New Year's Resolutions. Merriam-Webster refers to resolution as the "act of resolving"- or "to reach a firm decision about". Most anything you read on goals says to break your goal up into smaller goals, and work your way up. That is much more attainable, don't you think? Don't be surprised if you see posts from me referring to monthly goals. One thing '09 taught me, is to aim low and if you reach higher, then "yay!". In 2010, I shall have smaller goals each month, and by the end of the year, we'll talk about how they all laid the foundation for the more further out, higher end goal I see in the horizon of my mind.

With that, I realize what a blessed woman I truly am. I have seen numerous references about what a bad year '09 was, and I don't see it for us. 2008? oh yeh, that was bad. Jordan died in April, and I don't think I got out of bed much until July. We made the heart wrenching decision to pull the kids from our beloved private school and put them in a public / charter school (financial reasons only). We went through that heart wrenching transition, but God is good, even when your kids are not in the preferred school. We watched them struggle, but God is good, even when we struggle. He provided a way for us to get them back in private school by the end of the school year. The next month, Jay was demoted and the school funds were blown out. I spent the summer wondering how we were going to pay for school, but right as school was ready to start, Jay was offered a new job with a pay increase that covered the school bill. He took the job, and it has been the challenge of his career, but God is good. He carries us through.

He gives grace, where grace is needed. While I would never recommend public school to anyone if they have an option like ours, the trial we went through with our children was a "necessary trial" that I know God led us to- because we learned so much about our children. We ended school year '09 with a deeper relationship with our kids that we might not otherwise have had, if we had not worked through the trial together as a family.

My migraines have been more intense and frequent this year, but I have not seen that as a major issue necessarily- grace. This Christmas, our kids said it was the "best Christmas ever". Jackson doesn't like singing in children's choir, but his favorite day of the week is Monday night visitation when he goes out with a couple of early 20-something "preacher boys". I could not be more proud in that regard! Not only that, but for some reason he has busted out of his desire to dress casually for church, and is wanting to dress up now. While I realize it is the condition of the inside that is more important when it comes to worship, to see my soon-to-be preteen boy decide on his own now, that he wants to dress nice on Sundays is a HUGE blessing for me. (Now people will see we do buy him nice clothes!) The grief issues Hannah was experiencing regarding Jordan have passed. In '08 she was not able to hear his name much less see a picture of him without crying. In '09, she has worked through that. In '10, I plan to put his pictures on the wall. (That's big for her and me.)

2009 has presented its own challenges, but the blessings have far outweighed them. We've both done our own fair share of soul searching and pondering; there have been circumstances that, while it would not be big to others, was big enough for us- but we have been able to adjust to with the Lord's guidance. I believe 2009 has been a year of trust. For me, I have begun learning that if we trust the Lord first, and move forward second, life's trials are ten times more bearable. In my church-notebook (the diary sized journal I keep in my bible bag to take notes in Sunday School and during services...), last January I made my 2009 "theme verse":
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God" -- Psalm 20:7

I don't know what my '10 theme verse will, be, but I do know, if I continue to remember the name of the Lord MY God, 2010 will be just fine.