Friday, October 29, 2010

Song Dedications for my children

I've dedicated these songs to my children. Every time I hear them I'm reminded that this is my wish for my children.

For my girls:

For my boys:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fair Trade

I'm a big advocate for Fair Trade.  My other blog - The Anti-Slavery Project - is about combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children.  It's a huge issue in the United States (and globally, of course) but it doesn't stop there.  Another big issue is fair trade.  That is, slave labor.

Think it doesn't exist in the US?  Please, think again!  But, what is fair trade, you might be asking.  Fair trade creates a platform where producers receive fair wages and good working conditions.  It is assuring that the products you buy are made by workers who are not slaves to their employers.  In case you aren't aware, there is a full Fair Trade Movement going on!

Slave labor doesn't just mean "adults".  Many of the slaves are children.

Fair Trade principles include:

  • Fair price
  • Fair labor conditions
  • Direct trade
  • Democratic and transparent organizations
  • Community development
  • Environmental sustainability
Some of the products that are an issue for fair trade include:
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Spices and herbs
  • Plants
  • Nuts
  • Sugar
  • Cotton
  • Soybeans
  • Quinoa
  • Wine
  • Sportsballs
See anything that looks familiar to you?  Chances are, the food you're eating, the shoes you're wearing, or the soccer ball your kids play with were picked and/or assembled by slave children.

My challenge to you - my PLEA to you - is to shop smart this holiday season!  And then, learn to shop smart after the holidays are over.  STOP buying products unless the company is Fair Trade certified!

Here are some links to help you out:

And by the way, October is Fair Trade Month!

Foursquare Schoolhouse: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF 2010

Click the picture above if you wanna join the party!!

Foursquare Schoolhouse: Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010


The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan

I've been saying for a while that it's time I got in shape. I'm carrying around ___ pounds of extra weight (ha! did you really think I would tell?) for the last thirteen years. So, my husband and I have decided that we're going to do it together. There's nothing like having a partner to help you stay motivated.

I discovered this running program several months ago through a church friend and thought, "There is NO way I could do that!" I've had a history of heart problems for a long time and this past May I had open heart surgery. But, finally, I've gotten up the courage to begin my journey.

It started this morning at 5am when my husband's alarm went off. Scared the bee-jeez out of me! I rolled over to slap it off and hit his nose instead. Poor thing. That's what he gets, I guess, for dragging me out of bed at the witching hour - or whatever hour that is!

But, I dragged my overweight butt out of bed, threw on my PT clothes and....yep, I successfully completed my first day of Couch-to-5k! It dang hard, I tell ya! I know why they say to take a day of rest between runs! My body felt beat all to heck! But, like the moron I am, I felt great!

Tomorrow, I get my day of rest. Wednesday, it's Day 2 (or as they say it in the program - W1D2)!

Looking forward to a thinner more energized me!

Cool Running | The Couch-to-5K � Running Plan

'Star Wars (John Williams Is The Man)' a cappella tribute medley - Corey...

Call Response

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic – After several days of going hungry, Maria said she surrendered to sexual propositions made by several men in the park where she begged in this resort town in the south of the Dominican Republic.

Maria, 12, said she had sex with “many” of those men, sometimes for a dollar, while her cousins, 13 and 10, begged European and American tourists for coins.

“I was hungry, I lost everything; we didn’t know what to do,” said Maria, explaining her decision to sell her body on the streets of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.

The three children told reporters from El Nuevo Herald and The Miami Herald that they left Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with the help of a smuggler after the January earthquake devastated the city.

Today, the children sell boiled eggs for 10 cents all day, walking in the sun along Duarte Avenue, a bustling runway for juvenile prostitution in the heart of Boca Chica, where newly arrived Haitian girls sashay, offering their bodies to gray-haired tourists.

The story of Maria and her cousins has become commonplace: Since the earthquake more than 7,300 boys and girls have been smuggled out of their homeland to the Dominican Republic by traffickers profiting on the hunger and desperation of Haitian children and their families. In 2009, the figure was 950, according to one human rights group that monitors child trafficking at 10 border points.

Several smugglers told the newspaper that they operate in cahoots with crooked officers in both countries — their versions verified by a UNICEF report and child advocates on both sides of the border.

“All the officials know who the traffickers are, but don’t report them. It is a problem that is not going to end because the authorities’ sources of income would dry up,” said Regino Martinez, a Jesuit priest and director of the Border Solidarity Foundation in Dajabon, a Dominican border town.

Martinez has denounced the problem from the pulpit, to community groups and to the heads of CESFRONT, the Dominican Republic’s Specialized Corps for Borderland Security.

Leaders in both nations, following the catastrophic earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people, pledged to protect children from predatory smuggling, a historic problem.

But the newspaper found that the trafficking of children remains, with reporters witnessing smugglers carrying children across a river, handing them to other adults, who put the kids on motorcycles and speed off to shantytowns. Border guards, charged with preventing this very operation, witnessed the incidents and never reacted, the reporters found.

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive acknowledged there has been a lack of political will to tighten the porous 370-kilometre border between both nations, which he called a “no man’s land and an opening for bigger trafficking.”

Read more:

Call Response

Friday, October 22, 2010

Main Dish Menu Planner

Printable Meal Planner
I thought this was worth repeating. I'm always on the lookout for neat ideas to help keep me organized.

If you plan meals {or even if you don’t!} and are looking for a cute way to organize your favorite meals and recipes, be sure to check out my Main Dish Menu Planner that I posted on our family blog ~ and the best news is, you can fill it in and save it on your computer!!

I also shared how I use the meal planner andplan out our meals a month at a time. This handy page has helped me save so much time when it comes to planning!

Thanks Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations

Main Dish Menu Planner

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back in the Swing

I think I've figured out that once blogging is in your blood....well, it's your blood.  I've been away for a while and I MISS it.

However, some changes need to be made so I'm thinking of a new blog title and will change the look also.  I have so many things I like to talk about and that I'm interested in, I need something a little more "all-encompassing"!  Maybe you can help.  Got any ideas?  Leave me a comment....(I know, sneaky, right?)  ;)