Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I don't typically blog about things other than my family. However, this subject (or rather, the "spirit" of this subject) got me thinking. This is not written towards any one person or any one comment so please don't take offense or send me hate mail. You have expressed your opinion, now I wish to express mine.

Many people are complaining that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is "stupid", "does not raise any awareness", "is not raising any money", "people are not donating",  etc....

Let me offer you this ... This time last year the ALS Association received $1.9 million in donations (July 29-Aug. 19). During this same time frame THIS YEAR the ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations. It seems to me that A LOT of people are not just dumping a bucket of ice over their heads. Furthermore, this increase in donation money has come from both current donors and 453,210 new donors. Again, seems like there is some awareness being raised here.

To take this one step further, let me give you the example from my own family.

One of my children was challenged by a friend in a different state via Facebook. Yes, I had to take a WHOLE 30 seconds out of my life to show him the video. Of course he didn't have a clue what ALS was, stood for or why dumping a bucket of ice over your head would help anyone. So, we went to that glorious tool called the internet. Last night both of my children learned about ALS. They learned that it affects the nerve cells in your brain and impairs your ability to control your muscles which eventually renders your muscles useless to the point of paralysis. They learned that after diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 2-5 years. They learned that ALS is not contagious. They learned that ALS does not discriminate.

Awareness and understanding. 

The entire lesson took about 5 minutes. However, it was not a lesson that I was planning on teaching that night. In fact, it had never ever crossed my mind to teach my kids about ALS. For that matter, I have probably heard the term and explanation of ALS more in the last two days than I have in the last two decades.

Awareness and understanding.

Before you throw your ice bucket to the curb and say there is no logical correlation between a bucket of ice and raising awareness, let me ask you a few questions.

Is there a correlation between raising awareness for breast cancer and a bunch of people getting together and drinking beer? No? Google Beer 4 Boobs.

What about Poker Tournaments and raising awareness of pancreatic cancer? No? Google All In For A Cure.

Have you ever seen a person wear purple to raise awareness for autism? Some might even post a photo on Facebook.

Then there's always the not so popular colon cancer campaign where you were supposed to post  picture of your booty to raise awareness.

Also the ever popular, what color is your bra? campaign for breast cancer.

Don't forget golf outings, silent auctions, bake sales, gofundme sights, races, bike rides, walks, selling t shirts, car stickers, car washes, galas....

These are all challenges in one way or another. Give more. Do more. Raise more awareness. Is it such a bad thing to have a little fun in the process?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer 2014 - Time Freedom

Every summer we make a Summer Bucket List. Some things are "big ticket" items that we already have planned (trip to Florida).  Some things are smaller ticket items that we look forward to doing as a family (Great Wolf Lodge). Other things are free (Deanna Rose) and we do them just because we love to! These are the places we've gone and things we've done this summer. I'm so EXTREMELY blessed to have this time freedom. My husband works hard so that I can stay home with our boys. It's summer days like yesterday (spending 12!!! hours at Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun with friends) that makes my heart so full.  I can't believe I get to stay home and give these two amazing summer memories with their friends and family.

My family is my WHY. I absolutely enjoy spending these summer days with the boys. Steve takes off work for our big vacations. But how amazing will it be when he has the time freedom to be able to spend these days with our boys too??

I'm working in the pockets of my life to do just that. I still get the joy (insert sarcasm here) of doing the mundane day-to-day of a house wife (laundry, cooking, cleaning, errands, etc...). But look at all the COOL things I get to do while I'm working!! While I'm out with my kids, I talk to people. That's it. That's my job. Talking to people. Sharing with them about how I intend to bring my husband into the time freedom loving life. Sharing with them about getting healthy, staying healthy and having enough energy to make all these fun memories!  In case you haven't noticed, it takes A LOT of energy to keep up with a 10 year old and an 8 year old.

We took a week long trip to Florida.

Went to Lawrence for the day.

We volunteered at the Humane Society.

Boated and boated and boated some more with great friends! 

We had lots of campfires and smores.

We went to Worlds of Fun with friends from Colorado.

And Oceans of Fun too!

Planted a garden and enjoyed peaches from our trees.

We spent a hot afternoon at the spray ground.

We spent a hot morning at the Ropes Park.

We made stepping stones for the garden.

Cam took his first sewing camp (with all these girls) and loved it!
We spent hours and hours at the pool with friends!


More hours.....

More smores!

Finished out a great baseball season!

Cam enjoyed going to the skate park.


More boating!

We went to the orchard to pick peaches and blackberries.

We spent a cool morning at Deanna Rose Farmstead.

We headed to Lego Discovery with Colorado friends!

And got to spend 3 days with them!!

Both boys attended overnight Scout Camp.

Both boys also took a computer programming camp.

We couldn't miss 7-11 FREE slushie day!

And bowling with friends.

Colin took a cooking class.

More bowling.

Visited with my Dad on July 4th!

Spent a great 4th of July with our cousins!

Went to a 4th of July Parade.

Took up slack lining.

Spent a rainy afternoon at the Nelson Art Museum.

Jumped on the trampoline!

Went to a few Royals games.

Walked around the Overland Park Arboretum.


Visited some gnomes and fairies.

Played some board games.

Went to the zoo.

Kayaked around Africa (at the zoo :-).

Completely chilled out.

Went fishing.

Went camping.

We went to Great Wolf Lodge.

What you don't see... movies, home made popscicles, firefly catching, flashlight tag, night swimming, ice cream sundaes, creating a chalk city in the driveway, going to the park, visiting Moon Marble Company, playing video games, building forts, making houses for the cat, lego building, nerf gun wars, slip n slide with friends, art camp, physics camp, baseball in the backyard...... We've had a GREAT summer!!!