Be A Santa To A Senior is doing so well!!! Gifts are streaming in, and I just love every part of it.
The past few weeks have been so nice. Carly came to visit. I got to spend an entire week with my family, and I even get to go back this weekend to celebrate the shower of my future sister-in-law.
This post is mainly for Carly because she has been bugging me to post.
My darling friend Mel gave me a book that her friend had written. It is called Found Art. I definitely reccomend it and think that it is one of those things that you will want to read and pass along.
Check it out, you will love it!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Be A Santa To A Senior is doing so well!!! Gifts are streaming in, and I just love every part of it.
Posted by Laura at 7:18 AM
Friday, November 6, 2009
Posted by Laura at 7:35 AM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
My life has been so boring over this last month.
Here is what I am doing...
1. Wishing for anything and all things fall! I am trying to pretend that I need big puffy vests, boots, and scarves, but really all I need is a swimsuit.
2. Losing weight! Sharon and I have been doing Weight Watchers since the 16th of September. At my 3 week weigh-in I had lost a total of 6 lbs. We will see how tomorrow goes.
3. Getting ready to Be A Santa To A Senior. www.beasantatoasenior.com Watch the promo video to find out more about it.
4. Preparing for a visit from my darling friend Car and her sweet Libs
5. Missing family and friends everywhere! I always get this way in the fall, because all I want to do is take a walk in the brisk weather, with hot apple cider, and see the gorgeous leaves.
What have you been doing?
Here is a short version of what I have been loving right now...
1. Pink Grapefruit Tic Tacs... I always have them with me, and I am in love with their zesty flavor and they're less than 2 calories per mint!
2. Pumpkin Spice Coffee with cinnamon creamer. Straight pumpkin pie, folks!
3. Apple Jacks with added fiber (1 serving 1 point, baby)
Posted by Laura at 12:32 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
As I sit at my office desk crying, I just had to share this with you... (borrowed from Tom Davis' blog)
September 11, 2009
An Orphan's Faith
We have a great team in Uganda right now, led by Greg McElheny and Vince Giordano. I just received an email from one of our team members, Ben Savage, from Cincinnati Ohio. I had to share it with you. Please join me in prayer for this team as they visit carepoints throughout the Teso Region over the next few days. I hope to update you with more stories as they come to me.
"Today I walked into a world unlike any other that I have experienced.
I arrived two days ago with a team from Children’s HopeChest to visit
orphan communities in the hopes of creating connections between our
world of plenty and their world of want. As we drove through the
towns, I witnessed a bizarre mixture of beauty, despair and hope. The
landscape was truly astounding. There were many imaginative and
hardworking people who had used what little resources that could
muster to create businesses that were showing signs of success. The
next sight I would see would be a child naked, in a ramshackle mud hut
with no one to care for them.
In this strange stew of images we pulled into Rapha Community School,
a community that is sponsored by a church in Florida through
Children’s HopeChest. We were greeted by 150 children in white shirts
and orange smocks. The children were not exactly what I expected.
True, their situation was more dire than any I’ve seen, but the
children shone like the sun. Their smiles were bright and filled with
pride and dignity. The children greeted us individually and thanked
us for coming. I only wish my children acted this respectfully.
After we toured the community, we were escorted to their schoolroom.
The room consisted of a small map of the world, a few old posters and
rough hewn benches.
The children sang a welcome to us. They danced and recited Gods words
to us. I was challenged and changed by all of this. And then there
was Sarah, who read Matthew 6 aloud. Sarah, who, from all earthly
perspectives should be disabled with despair for her future spoke of
faith. She is an orphan who has depended on God to deliver food,
shelter and all other earthly needs. She had suffered loss and pain
that people in my community would have spent countless dollars on
therapy to recover from, but today Sarah spoke to me of faith. She
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will
eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at
the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field
grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon
in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God
clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is
thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of
little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What
shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all
these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But
seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things
will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of
its own.” Matthew 6:25-34
To hear a lovely child of God with a gleaming face recite those words
to me was the high point and most devastating moment for me. The
thought that Sarah, who has good reason to worry about tomorrow would
unassumingly speak those challenging words to us fairly contented and
well fed Americans destroyed me. That we worry more about the news
from Hollywood than the desperation found around the world was nothing
short of life changing. While our culture is so consumed with anxiety
and fear, here was little Sarah exemplifying faith and courage. She
read the words but I could see that she felt them too and that she
felt them deeply.
I have always loved that passage and thought about it as a cute
phrasing of my simple faith. But today I heard it as a life mantra
that was spoken from the core of this small framed girl. It was the
throwing down of the gauntlet. And the question that confronts me now
as I sit in my Ugandan hotel and Sarah sleeps in her mud hut is “What
will I do to respond?” I have been blessed - not so much that I am
rich in my own community necessarily, but I am insanely rich in a
global context. I have also been exposed to enough of the
difficulties that these communities face that I can no longer hide
behind ignorance. Do I truly believe that these children are more
valuable than my cable television? I am the “I want my MTV”
generation. As Africa burns I live in comfort and ease while I CAN
make a difference in the lives of others but will I choose to? What
sacrifice have I been willing to make to help fulfill God’s promise of
care to others? I will live differently from this day forward.
Have mercy on me God, though I truly don’t deserve it. I have for too
long ignored your call to love those who are broken and abused. Help
me capture and hold onto the conviction, sorrow, and joy reflected in
Sarah’s eyes today. And thank you for showing me a picture of your
heart through these broken but not forgotten children in Rapha. I am
devastated and changed. Thank you, sweet Lord."
Posted by Laura at 8:59 AM
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I spelled journey wrong in the title of the previous post... wow
Posted by Laura at 12:46 PM
Friday, August 28, 2009
I am not going to break into song about having another mountain to move, yada yada yada, but I do want to talk about the journey that I am on.
This morning while I was sitting on my counter in the bathroom with my Bible in one hand and hair dryer in the other, I came upon some great Scripture that was a perfect fit for how I have been feeling lately.
The past year has been tough, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel like I am traveling down this path.
One thing that I love about Lombard Street is that it is not very long, but it sure is windy. The distance from start to finish would be so much shorter if we chose a direct path, but I do want you to take note of the glorious beauty along the way.
So much of me, a typical type A person, wants to just get to where I am going. Lately I have been forced to enjoy this crazy journey that I have been on.
It hasn't been easy... that's for sure, but here is the Scripture. I hope that it encourages you as much as it did for me.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
The will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue will shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicket fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there
nor any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Sometimes in our lives, our journey is straight and smooth, other times are full of habitual sin, distance from God, or other difficulties that make our journey rocky and windy. We are all heading somewhere and the most important thing is Who is with us along the way.
I don't know where the long and winding road is leading you, but I do know this: if you remember passing Calvary, you are on the right road. - Patsy Clairmont
Posted by Laura at 7:31 AM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Posted by Laura at 7:49 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Carly Jo Jones. I love you like crazy! You are the best friend anyone could ask for and I am so glad that you get to be mine. I feel bad for people who don't know you, and honestly couldn't imagine my life without you in it!
You are an amazing mother, wife, and friend and I am so thankful that despite the fact that you life more than 14 hours away, we can still stay as close as we are.
Thank you for talking sense into me when I am being ridiculous, for standing by me when I need support, and for listening to me when I gripe!
I was so mad at God when he moved you and Kevin away from us, but I know that God has done amazing things in your life there in Ashland! I can't wait until November when we can see each other again, and pray that someday we can live close enough to grab coffee on a regular basis.
Have the best 21st birthday! ;)
I love you!
Posted by Laura at 8:15 AM
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Check out Bray's pancakes!
Posted by Laura at 6:14 AM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Posted by Laura at 9:52 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
...to tell you that a Mrs. Laura Beth Gillian is hear by put on blog probation for not updating in a really long. This probation comes from knowing that she has just returned home from a long vacation and has wagon loads :) of great pictures from said trip. If you join me in wishing that she would update, please leave her comments encouraging her to do so!
Carly Jo Jones
I post this picture as a metaphor of what it is like to visit Laura's blog, you know, always wanting a bit more, like her face :) or a new post!
Posted by Laura at 6:14 AM
Friday, June 26, 2009
Jordan's thoughts from last night
Posted by Laura at 5:51 AM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Maggie Stinziano, wife of Jordan, and young mother of Sophie, Jack, Jonas, and Owen is very close to meeting her sweet Savior.
Maggie has battled cancer for the past three years, and her days, maybe even her hours are running short.
Since the time that she was diagnosed, she stood strong in the belief that God's grace is sufficient for her, and that His mercies are new every morning. She has been the most wonderful reflection of God's heart to all she has come in contact with, or who have heard her story.
As she is drawing close to our Lord, please pray for an extra level of strength and comfort for her body, because in the last update that I heard, she was really overwhelmed with pain. Please pray that God would continue to wrap Jordan in His arms of love. Please pray that Sophie, Jack, Jonas, and Owen will know the legacy that their mom is leaving behind, and remember the amazing love she had for everyone especially them.
Mags, we are so excited for you to be healthy, strong, and to dance on those golden streets, but are so sad for us that you are leaving. You are loved!
Posted by Laura at 3:56 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
So as you may or may not know, Slim and I get to go on vacation with my family, to Syracuse next week. I grew up there, but my Sweet Babe has never been.
Here are some things that he will get to experience for the very first time, while we are there. Now bear with me, because most of it is food, but that is pretty much the best part of the crazy city.
A coney from Heid's Hot dogs. Well, Slim has had a coney cooked at home, but never at Heid's. They serve Hoffman's hot dogs and coneys, and I would bet my life on the fact that they are the best in the entire universe.
These delicious headlight donuts. Well actually pretty much anything that you can get at a real bakery... whether it be these
which by the way are not called 'black and white cookies' rather 'half moon cookies'
I am also excited to bring him to Missio Church to see our darling friends who moved up there to start a branch of Summit Church in my home town.
I am going to also bring him here...
For those of you who think that Publix is the best Supermarket, you obviously have never been to Wegman's. That's all I have to say about that.
Here are some other things that we are going to do during our journey-
-Have dinner with the Joneses
-Stay at the Maple Tree Inn, my uncle's hotel
-Visit with Sarah, Joel, and Owen
-Go to a family reunion
-Visit Heather, Jake, Sydney, and Nathan
-Go to Brant Lake for the weekend
-Visit with Jess Winebrenner on the way home.
By the way, I need vacation more than you could know!
Posted by Laura at 12:09 PM
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Go here to find out all the details. While you are there, support my darling friend Ashley Danielle!
Posted by Laura at 5:35 AM
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Brittani is hosting the first ever apron party, next Thursday in Orlando.
If you live in Orlando and you want to go, hit me up and let me know, and I can get you directions. If you live too far but are interested in aprons or beads that will benefit the people of Uganda 100%, please let me know and I will be able to place your order and bring you back some of these wondeful delights!
Also if you want to host your own Apron's For Africa party, please visit the Apron's blog and let my mom know.
Posted by Laura at 8:10 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
A little girl apron
Butterflies and Strawberries
For the Cat Lover
Brown and aqua
For the cow lover
Tutti Fruiti mommy and me set
Some Red Flowers
Brown with aqua pattern
Traditional black and white
For the pig lover
All aprons are custom made, so if you are interested, hope over to www.apronsforafrica.blogspot.com to find out how to order yours today!
Posted by Laura at 6:27 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One of my best friends, Sarah and her husband Joel just had a new little one.
Check out her new blog, and leave her some love!
Posted by Laura at 4:21 PM
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Please click on the link over at the side to visit April Rose's blog today.
People are sending in messages to "hope in pink" for April's due date.
Encourage them, pray for them, and wear pink for them!
Posted by Laura at 9:45 AM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Ugandan women colorful recycled paper into beautiful bead jewelry, and people who care open their hearts, and buy them. This offers these women opportunity to make a living by paper, a cheap commodity and turning it into a way to provide for their family! I love it!
You are one of those people who care, aren't you!?!?!? Do you want some? I know you do!
Look at these...
Check out these cute models...
All necklaces $10 + $2.50 shipping (for 1) or $3 (for 2), $5 (up to 10), $8 (10+)
If you are interested, please visit Brandi's blog and order some.
I have a multicolored strand, and it matches everything. I wear it all the time, and always get comments on it! So what are you waiting for... go over there and order some beads!
Posted by Laura at 1:41 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
1. Has anyone seen or heard from my friend, Kari Colson? She moved to NC in the summer, and we were in contact until mid-September. The next time that I called her, her phone wasn't receiving calls, and then her number was changed. I have emailed everyone I know who knows her... have tried to contact her family members, etc. but no luck. I am just putting this out there, so in case someone knows a way to get in touch with her, they can let me know.
2. I have debating on whether or not to write about my struggles with conceiving a baby because of the fact that I have had many people tell me that it is a private issue that shouldn't be spread about. I have to say though, that I really feel like I need to share my story, because then you, the readers, can pray for Slim and me, and maybe I can be an encouragement to you as well... so here goes.
Slim and I have been married since September '07.
Because I knew that I had some previous issues, we decided that we were going to try to have children right away. After about 6 months of trying, I saw my gynecologist and he put me on a medicine to regulate my cycles. Well it didn't work the first time (which he had never seen) so he had me take the medicine for another round. It didn't work that time either. He had me come into the office and let me know that he had no answers for me as to why it didn't start a cycle for me. He told me that he couldn't help me any further but recommended that I see a fertility specialist.
In the summer of '08, Slim and I had our first appointment with the fertility doctor. I was excited to find out what they had in store for us. Sadly the time there was cut short when we found out how expensive it would be to have Slim go through the process along side of me. We prayed about it, and decided that we would keep trying on our own because we know that it is totally in God's hands and He can and does work miracles. We tried on our own for the next 6 months, and then I had another gynecologist appointment. At this appointment, my doctor told me that he would let me try a few months of Clomid(a drug to help induce and strengthen ovulation). I am on month 3 of Clomid now and still no babies.
Here are some things that I have learned over the past 20 or so months.
A. People say weird things because they don't know what else to say:
During this time I have had many people say things like
"It will happen when you stop thinking about it." Let me just say that stopping thinking about it is impossible. If you have ever dealt with fertility, you know that not thinking about it doesn't ever happen. You think about it constantly. You think that you are broken. You ache for babies. You feel like everyone besides you is pregnant, etc.
"I found out I was pregnant and I am so mad." I have actually had someone, who knows me well, and has known that I have been trying to get pregnant say this to me. I am sure that she meant no harm, but I still wanted to scream at her. I am not mad at people when they are blessed by being pregnant (I have heard other ladies say that anytime someone else gets pregnant they get jealous and mad) I don't get that way, but if you tell me that you are upset you are pregnant, then I might get mad.
"It will happen when God wants it to." DUH, I am not stupid, but that doesn't mean that patience is easy.
"Can I speak frankly to you? You are pregnant!" I had to go to the emergency room at the end of March because I was having terrible abdominal pain and for some reason the doctor thought that it would appropriate to 'make the joke' that I was pregnant. It was pretty much the worst ever!
B. Just because you cannot get pregnant, doesn't mean that you should adopt.
I truly believe that you need to have a heart for adoption, as the process is rewarding, but is also very difficult. I have heard people say, and have read on people's blogs that if you cannot have kids then you should just adopt. Slim and I totally want to adopt and we know that no matter what, we will begin that process at the beginning of next year. We have decided together that we are going to spend the rest of this year trying, with the Clomid for a few more months (they don't recommend you taking it for more than 6 cycles) and then on our own through December. I am not the type of person that feels like if I never have a baby out of my own womb that I won't be able to be complete, but that doesn't stop me from hoping and praying!
C. Another thing that I have learned is that unless you have experienced it yourself, you cannot understand the pain of month after month realizing you are not pregnant again. There are always going to be people who get pregnant the month they stop preventing, and I don't hold that against them. It is such a blessing that they didn't have to deal with the difficulties of not being able to conceive. My realization is if you haven't had to deal with it, please don't say "I understand."
All of this to say, deal with me if I get moody, let me vent if I need to vent, share your story with me, hope with me, and most of all pray for Slim and me!
Posted by Laura at 7:07 AM
Monday, May 4, 2009
Today is a great day... it is the birthday of my Dear Sweet Babe. The young lad turns a whopping 26 today, even though he can hardly ever rememeber how old he is!
Here is a recent video of him doing what he loves... playing the guitar. For those of you who have never heard him play, this is just a sampling of the abilities of Slimtronic5000.
Be sure to visit his website and wish the young fellow a happy birthday.
Also if you live in the area and are looking for something fun and exciting to do next Monday night (May 11th), come out to Cape Coral to see Jubilee play with This Beautiful Republic. It is a show you won't want to miss. Check out the poster (which my precious Hubs designed- could he be any more talented?)
Posted by Laura at 8:03 AM
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
has happened since the last time I posted.
On the 10th of this month, I became very sick with Bronchitis. I actually went through a round of antibiotics and then had to go back for some more. I am still coughing. It is miserable.
Even though I was sick, I spent Easter with my family. It is always good to be together with them!
On the 22nd I went to Omaha for Home Instead Senior Care's annual convention. I don't have any pictures from that, but trust me, it was a fabulous time!
I am going to be better about blogging... I promise!
Posted by Laura at 8:10 AM
Thursday, April 9, 2009
So I made a mistake, the lotion I have from Lush is actually called "Sensitivity for the Skin". Whoops, but it is awesome!
Also, this morning I used my solid shampoo and conditioner, and I am in love. You have to try it. I couldn't believe the lather that I got from the shampoo, I think the thing is going to last forever, because it doesn't take much, and my whole head was covered. Go here and buy yours today!
Posted by Laura at 6:49 AM
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
so here is what I am loving right now.
1. Sinful Clothing.
Well I have loved Sinful for a while, but as of late, I have decided that it is all that I want to wear when I am not in work. Sadly it is way too expensive, but I did get this exact shirt from Marshall's and it was only $24. On the official website was $66. Hooray for sales! Now you may think it is weird that I would wear a shirt that said "sinful" on it, but it has actually been a great conversation started to share Christ with people, ya know, since "all have sinned..."
2. Soda Water and Blackberry
I had this for the first time at Chili's and it was awesome, and now I have had it twice at Macaroni Grill. It is delicious and refreshing!
The last post pretty much explained this, but seriously, how awesome is this lady? This past week she turned peeps into peep-achus. I mean come on!
If you aren't familiar with Lush, you should be. They make and sell bath and beauty products that are 100% vegetarian, made by hand and never tested on animals. Not only that, but they have really cool marketing ideas and you truly feel that they care about you. Everything that they send you is personalized by the person who made and packaged it. Slim's birth father and his wife sent me a gift card to Lush, for Christmas, and above are the items that I purchased. A solid shampoo and Conditioner. They just came yesterday, so I will let you know how I feel about them soon.
5. Dream Cream from Lush
This stuff was given to me by my wonderful brother-in-law. It has changed my skin and my life. I don't think that I will ever use another body cream. Not only is it super creamy and smooth, but it also smells of Cocoa Butter, and who doesn't love that? (If you live in SW Florida, there is a Lush in Edison Mall!!!)
6. Mary Hines Cake Balls
Um, the idea came from Bakerella, but the delightful taste came from Mary Hines. Oh my gosh, are they good!!! I had them at the Grand Opening of the Red Box/ Ashley Brockinton studio.
7. Ashley Allbee's nature work
If you know my friend Ashley, then you know that she loves a few thing... her hubby, tea, photography, and nature. (I am sure that she loves more than that, but those stick out to me) If you are looking for some really cool nature art, please contact her, and I am sure that she would be willing to sell you some.
8. The Love Alliance
You might be familiar with a tv show on MTV called Engaged and Underage. Well their first couple, Lauren and David Ranzino, started a foundation called "The Love Alliance." The Love Alliance is a non-profit association that does their best to eliminate social injustices. I love what they are doing, and love that they are making a difference! (Random piece of info- Jubilee and co are doing a Raw TV spot today with Lauren and David, and we are really excited to be linking up with them to make a difference)
9. Babybel cheese
Random I know, but it is simply delish!
10. My pandora bracelet
Now this one isn't exactly mine, but I am hoping that one day, mine will be filled to the brim with charms that represent things that are important to me. The amazing ladies at my work started this bracelet for my birthday, and since then I have 3 beads. A pink glass one with polka dots (for the ladies who I work with), a tulip (for Home Instead Senior Care), and a heart (for God, Slim, and love in general). So if you are looking to get me a gift (haha) I would love some more beads!
Posted by Laura at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I am absolutely obsessed with a blog that I found. This women could be the most amazing baker that I have ever see. She has the neatest ideas and I cannot wait to have a day off to try to make some of these. Maybe I will do it on Friday so that I can have some Easter cupcake pops for Easter Sunday. You can click on the link for each one to get the recipe for what she did to make these masterpieces.
Some Easter Bunnies
Some Easter Chicks
Some cute lambs
My all time favorite: The cupcake pops
Here is Hello Kitty.
And last but not least... something that has nothing to do with cupcakes or pops, but a 14 layer cake!!!
Check out her blog to find out the other crazy creative things that she is up to these days!
Posted by Laura at 10:38 AM