Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Personal Heroes - Eleanor & Aleisha

Yesterday I watched a video that somebody posted on Facebook.  It was incredibly disturbing.  I can't get it out of my mind.  Here it is.

This video is upsetting on so many levels.  The whole interview is not available to view but apparently Ms Ironside, throughout the course of the interview, lumps "the fatherless", and "the disabled" into the category of unwanted children.  In her pro-choice worldview, this is all it takes to deem a child unqualified to live.

I hardly even know where to begin with this and I have to admit, I had to pause and take a moment to breathe and reflect so I could prayerfully respond to this woman's foolish remarks.  Instead of spending my time pointing out how (deeply) flawed her reasoning is, I thought I would, instead, draw a contrast and use this as an opportunity to highlight a couple of my personal heroes.

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
       maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Psalm 82:3 (NIV)

I have had the great privilege of knowing many disabled and special needs people throughout my life.  They are a constant source of inspiration as they meet life's challenges with a sense of joy and wonder and overcome the obstacles of everyday living.  Behind the scenes, tirelessly cheering them on, is a team of parents, teachers, and caregivers who are devoted to caring for these precious souls.  One of these was Eleanor Prime.

Eleanor was a force to be reckoned with.  She devoted her life to caring for the developmentally disabled and worked as a special education teacher in Orange County schools for over thirty years.  When she retired she came to her pastor, my dad, and asked what she could do to help serve in the church.   They discussed the great need for a ministry geared toward developmentally disabled adults.  At the time, no such ministry existed in a church in Orange County and Eleanor knew how desperately the families of these precious people would benefit from such a program.

The call went out from "Mrs. Prime" and before long former students and their families were gathering together on Sunday mornings and throughout the week for various social events.  We never imagined how much these incredible people would impact our congregation and they became vital, integrated members of the church body.

As an extension of this ministry, Eleanor wanted to build a group home to house these adult children in the event of the death of their parents.  So many of these parents had expressed their fears to her over the fate of their children as they were aging.  With tireless determination, the Eleanor Prime Group Home became a reality.

There are some people who you expect will live forever.  Eleanor Prime was such a person.  Her sudden illness and death left a gaping hole in the lives and hearts of those who loved her and knew her best.  Personally, she helped me navigate the maze of 504's and IEPS's within the public school system.  She was someone I could always count on for sound advice, a helping hand and a warm hug.

Mrs. Prime is with her heavenly Father, but she lives on in the Eleanor Prime Group Home and the sweet group of ladies who reside there.  When we are privileged to have them join us at church on Sunday, I see the legacy of my dear friend living on.

We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:3

My other personal hero is my niece Aleisha.  She is a non-stop OMG on-fire ball of energy~ LOL!  She doesn't answer a question in single syllable responses - ever, but in rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness dialogue.  BTW, she is beautiful, sweet and generous, to a fault.

Aleisha is an Educational Assistant (EA), and works with kids who have special needs or learning disabilities.  She is also a respite caregiver to one very special boy.  His name is Caleb and he is my nephew and her cousin.

Caleb is autistic and Aleisha is the angel who provides Nadine and Randy with the much-needed breaks that every parent of an autistic child so desperately needs.

Aleisha is a miracle child.  She beat the odds when she was born severely premature and despite the doctor's dire predictions for her health and her life, is a living, breathing testimony of God's answered prayers.  She should not have survived her mother's traumatic pregnancy.  She was not supposed to survive the first days of her life.  I remember her tiny little body in the hospital and how we all prayed every day that she would make it through one more night.

Clearly, Aleisha made it through.  She's a fighter and now she is fighting for those with special needs and the disabled.  She's an Eleanor Prime in the making.  

The contrast is clear between my two incredible heroes and someone like Virginia Ironside.  She is to be pitied and to be prayed for.  She lives her life with hopeless resignation and fatalism.  My heroes have lived and are living their lives with faith in the One who gives life, with determination to make others lives better and make every life count.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 
John 10:10 (NAS)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A letter to Facebook

Dear Facebook,

I love you.  These are the reasons why

~ It is really nice staying connected to childhood friends and reminiscing now and then.

~ Who doesn't like getting dozens of birthday greetings?

~ If you wasn't for you, I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with my in-laws.  You know I'm a terrible correspondent.  I wouldn't have pictures of my nieces and nephews.  I wouldn't be able to spy on their daily lives or send them quick hellos.

~ Because of you, dear Facebook, my kids can see how cool their grandparents really are.

~ I love you because I can chat with my husband and kids and send them sweet little notes and somehow it means more when it's posted on their wall for the whole wide world to see.

~ I miss my extended family and you help me feel connected to the people I'm related to. 

I love seeing pictures and hearing the details of all the weddings and celebrations.

If you weren't around my in-laws and second cousins and once-removeds wouldn't even know who I am.  It's nice to put faces to names.

~ Facebook, I really love you, because you reconfirmed what I already knew.  My sister really is quite crazy.  She proved this to me when she posted that indecipherable status on her wall sending everyone into a frenzy.

Dear Facebook,

I hate you.  Here are the reasons why

~ You are a mind-numbing waste of time!  You suck me in to your web of 'friend-ing', 'like-ing' 'poke-ing' 'chat-ting' mayhem until I've wasted hours of my life - and for what?

~ I hate you for the days it seems like everybody's life is way more fun than mine.  I'm stuck at home and everyone, I mean everyone has posted a status about their trip to Rome/Bali/Dubai/Africa/Australia/Hong Kong/Paris.   Puhleeze.  It was a struggle for me to get to the hardware store for pantry moth traps and everybody's posting  pictures of  themselves beside one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  It's so not fair.

~ If it wasn't for you Facebook, 505 of my closest friends would never have seen that embarrassing picture of me from my awkward phase.

~ I would never have married my husband if I had known he wanted to be a farmer.  Now he wastes his time on you, Facebook, begging people to help him plant lima beans and tomatoes!
Okay Facebook.  I can forgive you for all of the above things based on this one single video.

It's the video that brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.  This is a video is of my nephew Caleb.  He is twelve years old and he is autistic.  Until a few weeks ago he hated water.  He couldn't stand to have it splashed in his eyes but this summer he learned to swim all on his own.  I couldn't be there, but when this video was posted on Facebook I watched it over and over and over.  It's really short, but it's oh, so sweet.

I love you Facebook.

I love you Caleb.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let's Make A Deal!

I have a great new contest!  It's actually an experiment - something I've been wanting to try.

I've been reading a lot about bartering lately, trading goods or services without involving cash.  There are loads of barter sites, some that charge a fee to join and others that are available at no cost.  Craigslist has a barter section and it is growing exponentially as  people find themselves strapped for cash and looking for new and creative ways to get the things they want or need.  I have used Swaptree to trade old books, games and DVD's for titles I want.  It works great!

Since I know that many of you (I'm including me) are 'strapped for cash', I am offering you a deal!

Tell me what you will give me, in exchange for something that tickles your fancy, floats your boat or rattles your cage in either of my etsy shops -  Jenny and Pearl (selling vintage items) and Jenny and Pearl Too (selling handmade jewelry).

I have plenty of things listed, big and small, and will be listing more over the next couple days, so you are sure to find something that you want for yourself or to give as a gift.

You can offer items you want to get rid of, things you have made or, if you live in Orange County, services you can provide.  Keep it family friendly and make it worth my while!

Follow these simple steps to participate

~ You must be a follower of this blog, OR a friend on my Facebook page OR have chosen one of my shops on etsy as a favorite.

~ Visit my etsy shops Jenny and Pearl (vintage) and Jenny and Pearl Too (jewelry)

~ Pick an item or items you would love to have!

~ Tell me what you will give in exchange in the comments section below.  Let me know how you are following Jenny and Pearl (I'm obsessed about being followed.  It's like my own private band of stalkers!)  Make sure I have some way of contacting you!

~ Contest ends Tuesday, August 3 at midnight PT.

I may accept all or one of the barters offered.  If everyone is trying to pawn off ugly acrylic neon sweaters from the 80's, I will have to politely decline.

Here are some tips.  If you barter the following, I can pretty well guarantee I will accept

  1. a trip to Tahiti (or Toledo, for that matter - I need a vacation!)
  2. a professional massage (emphasis on professional)
  3. a scholarship to Yale for my children (come on Sweet T, I'm counting on you!)
  4. the thighs I had when I was 25 (liposuction, anyone?)
I will not, repeat, will not accept trades involving the following
  1. your children (period)
  2. your husband (unless he's an electrician, handyman or carpet cleaner - if so, send him over!)
  3. Richard Simmon's exercise videos 
Make it fun and remember, coffee and baked goods are part of my love language!

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    If It's Free, It's For Me!

    I don't know about you, but I love to get a deal.  I inherited this from my mom, who always made a beeline for the sales rack in every store, before we looked at anything else.  "For $12.00, you can't go wrong!", right mom?  I'm always looking for a way to make a dollar stretch further and when I get a really good 'steal', I make sure I let others know about it.

    I have decided to offer a great deal to you by christening this my first "Jenny and Pearl Giveaway".  One lucky winner will receive a $25.00 credit towards anything in my Etsy store.  I have lots of fun finds priced $25 and under, and I am listing new things continually, so you may find a couple things that tickle your fancy.


    You have until midnight PT on Monday, to enter .  At that time I will randomly draw a name and inform the lucky winner next Tuesday.  They will pick their item(s) and receive a lovely package in the mail.  If you are local and would like to put the shipping cost toward more stuff, we can arrange to get it to you personally!  Sounds good?  I knew it would!

    There are several ways to get your name into the drawing.  There is no limit to how many times you can enter.

    1.  Browse my etsy store, Jenny and Pearl and leave a comment here on any item that you like.  Every time you leave a comment, another entry!  Be sure to leave your name, nickname or initials to identify yourself!

    2.  If you have a website or a blog, add this blog as a link.  Let me know you've done it and, voila! - three entries.  For those of you who have already done this (Barb, Norb, Doneanne and others), I will give you credit!

    3.  Sign up as a follower through Google, another entry (those already signed up will get credit).

    4.  Post a link to or the jenny and pearl etsy store on your Facebook page - one entry.

    5.  If you have an etsy account, mark my store or an item as a favorite and let me know - one entry.

    As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enter.  Remember, midnight PT on Monday is when the contest ends and email me when you have completed any item.  Any questions, contact me.  Good luck!

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Coffee First!


    Coffee is the elixir of life.

    Okay, so you get the point, I like coffee. But there is more to the 'Coffee First' mindset than just java. The phrase came from my a dear friend of my mother. She is Finnish and as a good Finn, liked her coffee. The Finns have the highest per capita coffee consumption of ANY country in the world - they are #1. The United States, by comparison is a lowly #26.

    In Finnish it's "kahvi ensimmäinen" - coffee first (hope I got the right translation). My mother said her dear friend Mrs. Lindholm was fond of this phrase. I am half Finnish so I feel it is my ethnic duty! What it REALLY means is, let's stop for a minute and visit. Let's take time out of our busy day to spend time with each other. Everything else can wait.

    I know that it seems unrealistic in our busy, hectic lives to say "coffee first". But I tried it today. I met some friends at Panera (sorry Nat and Adrian - Peet's is still my fav!) and came home refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

    Facebook is fine, texting is good, tweeting and email connect us to a degree, but nothing compares to sitting in the company of friends, laughing, sharing, eating and drinking, and sometimes even crying.

    Take the time to call someone you have been meaning to meet and if you can't think of anybody to call - I'm always ready for a cup of Joe!

    "But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!" 1 John 4:12 The Message

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Welcome to the 21st Century

    Well...since my last entry I have finally entered the 21st century! For Mother's Day, my prayers were answered, and I received a Mini Mac from my sweet kids. NOTHING could have made me happier, as I have been battling for some time with an antiquated machine.

    I am selling said machine, pictured above, on Craigslist. So...if you like things 'old school' click on the link to go to the listing. that isn't REALLY my old machine, mine was a tad bit newer than that, but there were days I am sure, that old typewriter would have been faster.

    Well, now that my computer is working at hyper-speed, I will finally be able to get caught up on my listings, postings, Facebook, etc. I feel like a new woman!

    Even though I missed posting on Mother's Day, (I was busy being spoiled) I will have a special entry later this week, to honor the beautiful women in my life.