Thursday, February 23, 2012

"I had a dream that everything was normal again."

 “As with any disaster there is invariably an attempt to fix blame. If blame can be fixed, then people may start to believe that the impossible, out-of-control, insane, unbelievable, chaotic, and unfathomable event can be contained, made sense of as to the reasons it occurred, and a sense of control regained as to what went wrong and how it can be made right next time.”
Tonight in my crisis intervention class we discussed disaster relief and while it is expected rightly or wrongly, that there will be disasters in other countries, we Americans often live with the “cannot happen” in our country mentality. We pride ourselves in “controlling” our destiny. Despite our determination, significant disasters have happened and continue to happen, the despairing aftermath of such events continue to have ever-lasting effects on various systems (individuals, families, schools, churches, neighborhoods, mental health agencies, state and national agencies, dept. of homeland security, national professional organizations, and international professional organizations) throughout the United States.
This is not an exposition about who’s to blame or what’s to blame, but after watching a documentary titled Katrina’s Children, which reveals that life is still not back to normal for many children several years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, our nation must do better. After media coverage ends and time moves forward into the next years, we often assume the crisis has been solved. When in reality the slow recovery continues to leave many people, particularly children behind.

The stories, drawings, animations, perceptions, and insightfulness of the beautiful children throughout the film help us to understand the tragic ramifications in a small intimate way. If you have the opportunity, take a look at their empowering stories. They're sure to inspire you.  

“KATRINA'S CHILDREN is a feature-length documentary about nineteen children from different neighborhoods of New Orleans. Told entirely from the children's point of view, the film explores the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives. Aching with sadness, yet grounded in hope, KATRINA'S CHILDREN is ultimately a celebration of children's extraordinary resilience and a tribute to New Orleans' unique and indomitable spirit.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

That powerful little word called, HOPE!

Kans for Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting children in Barton County, Kansas, who are living with cancer. The project was developed in October 1994 by 11-year-old Sarah and 8-year-old Shane Reif of Hoisington, Kansas, to help with the medical expenses of their 10-month-old cousin, Katie.
In March of 1996, the Reifs continued their effort and became known as Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation. Since its inception, this project has raised over $300,000 by recycling aluminum cans, as well as from memorials, fund raisers, and cash donations, while assisting many children living with cancer.

This touching video features the Kans for Kids Foundation. Each summer, I have the pleasure of spending a fun-filled week with several of the beautiful, resilient, and inspirational children mentioned. A number of the kids presented in this video are Camp Hope campers. 

When life deals others unexpected circumstances, may I respond as the Reif children once did, with compassion, vigor, strength, and prayer. That powerful little word called, HOPE!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The bond you have with your dog begins the moment he comes into your life and never stops growing…love at first lick.

This past Thursday, I had the privilege of attending the “2012 Kansans for Life” banquet.
The pro-life banquet featured a delicious dinner, several keynote speakers, awards, and both live and silent auctions.
Perhaps I have been watching one too many episodes of Storage Wars recently, as a result of my eagerness to participate in the live auction, I am now a proud owner of another ‘mutt’. Yup!
That’s right folks, this “high bidder” is officially a two-dog parent.
Please help me welcome my newest “Sugar-Plum.”
10 weeks old, ¾ Lab-¼ Pyrenees, loveable, energetic, little Rodgers.
Rodgers was nameless for the first few days, as I searched for the perfect name.
I brought him to school with me on Friday to ask for the children’s support in naming him.
And although Diamond Sparkle, Date, Blackie-Fur, George, and Claudia (named by a child at my school named Claudia) are adorable…I named him after the beloved Aaron Rodgers. What a joy it was to witness children at such a young age, who possess a nurturing demeanor. Their kind, puppy handling tactics were the sweetest to watch. By the end of the day, Rodgers had slept in several laps, licked a number of faces, and chased/was chased by a stampede of little bodies around the playground.   
His playful personality had a stirring effect on the children at school, yet surprisingly a subduing effect on my fast-paced Nellie-girl. He and Nellie were friends instantaneously.
Although he’s howled the night away these last few nights, has snuck in and shredded more than a few sticks from the yard, and has already managed to obtain a cozy spot on my bed, his merry disposition and adorable face is well worth the trying moments of puppyhood.   
If I raise him right, the work will lessen over time, but until then I have no doubt that he will keep me very busy. Thank goodness, Nellie has a positive influence on him and it can be used to my advantage. Round of applause to Nellie, I swear the new pup is already potty-trained.
The bond you have with your dog begins the moment he comes into your life and never stops growing…love at first lick.
I’m smitten about this little “heart beat at my feet.” All are welcome to come visit the little guy.   
P.S. The pink collar is tempoary.  

Nellie Girl and Rodgers

There's already a liking of my bed. Here he's sleeping on HIS dog bed...thank goodness!