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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Jen helped Perspectives and her self by telling her story


Jennifer, a past resident of Perspectives Inc Housing Program
One of the great blessings I have as Director of Volunteers at Perspectives Inc is keeping it real.  This holiday season I was honored for the second year in a row to coordinate and execute an adopt a family program at the human service agency I work for. All 52 of the homeless families this year, were adopted by Cargill employees. I led this holiday program not knowing how it would all work out.  One great result is that all of our families recieved gifts this year by amazing human beings at Cargill. Val from Cargill and I match donors to our families and cross our fingers that every mom and child in our housing program will get adopted. We have 150 children as well as the 52 moms. This is what the season is all about and I love being at the helm on this labour of love.

As I stepped  into the Cargill  lobby to pick up my last load of gifts by all the generous givers at Cargill  in Hopkins, MN, I  noticed many of the donors standing  in front of me with their bags of wrapped gifts.   Usually, Val Carver the lead coordinator for the adopt a family program interfaces with me, as we both load up the Perspectives Inc bus.

I had undertaken an extra job this season,  to get a  story that the Star Tribune wanted to run on our Adopt a Family Program.  They had asked me to find a Cargill family that donated to our Program.  I thanked the employees for making such an impact on our families and let them know how very much we appreciated their giving hearts.  I also knew that this was my moment to find a Cargill family for the Star Tribune story that Kristen Tillotson of the paper wanted to do on Christmas day.   Our deadline was long over due and I knew that all the leads I had looked at previously, were not going to surface.  I felt good about asking one of the Cargill employees to be photographed and a story written of them in their role as donor.  The star tribune wanted to do a photo shoot that very night and I was wary as to I if this would happen or not. I saw the value in this endeavor, yet found it harder to find the cargill person to do it.

As I took gifts out to our Perspectives bus and loaded in the toys with Cargill, I wondered if I could produce this story with the star.  It had been a very busy and exciting week with all my paper work I had to finish before going on vacation, and all the donors I greeted every day.  My hours were long but quite worth it, as I knew all our families would have a fabulous Christmas holiday.  I felt proud of the work I had done since my goal was to give each child a gift, and I knew we had done it. I shouted out to all the Cargill folks, " I wanted you all to know that the Star and Tribune would like to do a story on one of you for donating to Perspectives Inc Adopt a Family".  I heard a small voice say quite softly, " I will do it".  I said well, there are other details I would like to share with you before you make your decision.

This lovely person was Jennifer.  She and I met at my office as she helped bring some of the gifts over to our agency. She had volunteered to bring some loads over so we could organize them.   We talked about the segment and what it would entail.  Yes, she said, I would really like to give back and do this story since Perspectives helped me five years ago. 

One of the many gifts of the season was happening right here in this moment.  Jennifer explained to me that she not only was a donor from Cargill, and her family helped her gift giving,  but she also was  a past resident of Perspectives housing program.  Wow, pinch me now, because this is amazing.  Sometimes things are just meant to be said Jennifer Montillino.  When she heard me ask, she did not hesitate for a moment to answer. Things do happen for a reason, and I am a big believer in what you give out comes back. 

As I walked into my busy office with one more bag of gifts, the phone was ringing off the hook.  I looked at the receptionist and said " if that is Kristin from the Star and Tribune, please hand me the phone. The receptionist had been commenting on the volume of calls I had that week because of the gift giving programs I was heading up.  The next moment had me a phone in hand.  I said, " This is Laura, Hi Laura, this is Kristin.  I asked her if she could hold on one moment as the woman from Cargill the story was about, was right here with me.  This is no fish tale, perhaps a Christmas tale, a pretty darn good one at that I must admit.  And so the story goes.... Jen and her family were photographed that very night and she was interviewed right there on the phone in my office.

Jen wanted to openly talk of the hard times she had and how Perspectives Inc helped her find her way.  Perspectives gave her the tools but it was Jennifer that did the hard work.   She even told the reporter that she had been the recipient of this good will when she was staying at perspectives getting her life back together after her battle with addiction.  Jen said " I want to return the favor to Perspectives for helping me, so go ahead, ask your next question. 

I hope you will read the story of Jennifer that the paper did on Christmas day. I will have the link here for your enjoyment.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just Another Minnesota Snow Storm

You have to see the picture on this link above of our metrodome collapsing. Winter in Minnesota can be pretty crazy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Muddy Paws Cheesecake Donates Toys to Perspectives Inc Families













Tami, a guest chef for Perspectives Inc, owns a cheesecake business called Muddy Paws. Each year she has a holiday bazaar highlighting her most excellent cheesecake and has many vendors there selling perfect holiday gifts.  Tami has many local products, services, and yummy treats by: Bramblewood Cottage Shortbread, Mrs Kelly's Tea, The Spirited Baker Books/Signing, Traveling Photo Booth, attagirl by kedrin, John Michael Lerma -Author/Chef, Lacey Sue Z. Cookies, The Depot Coffee House, HealthGlen's Kitchen & Organic Farm, Amy Lauria, Pampered Pooch Playground, Top Line Canine, Aromi Hand Blended Fragrances, Special T's Gourmet Snack Mix, Bumblebee Personal Assistants, Handmade Purses & Bags by Lisa, Tom Forkery Jewelry Art, Henna Artists, and Muddy Paws Cheesecake (of course!) and free massages which I took advantage of after a long week.


 Highlighted music on this festive day was, Lin Mulhern, Brian Peterson, and Paul & Adam, Matt Muller and more!  What a great atmosphere here at Muddy Paws.  I love this festive event.



Perspectives Inc is one of a few local non profits that receive the unwrapped toys that are donated by the guests on that night. This year Muddy paws dropped off over 100 toys from this special night for our Giving Tree Gift Program at Perspectives. Our Parenting time families will be receiving the gifts for their children while they attend their parent sessions.  Each child will receive at least one toy perhaps two, depending on how many donations come in. Tami and Muddy Paws is ever so generous.  They are always busy thinking of the next way they can help those in need. 


Tami, we at Perspectives Inc treasure your passion for our mission. Please see Muddy Paws Cheesecakes web. 

http://www.muddypawscheesecake.com/





 

I feel Like an elf

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Great Gratitude Ditty from one of my writer buddies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waYUzxK8TYA-    A must listen song on gratitude.
Dave Price has a way with words.  You must check out this link on thanksgiving. He really sums up very poignantly, how we can take the normal, mundane, common everyday, and make it into the moments of gratitude.  I love the quote he uses.  You just have to check it out.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter, atmosphere and tradition

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl8iYAo90pE&feature=channel - Please listen first

Many of us grow up with deeply ingrained, powerful  tradition during the holidays. No matter our religion, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.  What is it that your family shares for the holiday as it relates to  tradition?  As a mom, I see how very important tradition is for my own children as it relates to structure and family importance and fond memories.  I remember that it was so important for me as a child.  I looked forward to that same thing year after year. It made me feel part of a community and I knew what I  could look forward to.

I think it is worthwhile to reflect on what traditions we have for our families.  I remember when I was in a group one time speaking about food and how this group denied the importance of food traditions. Let us not in any way deny our children the joy they recieve by the religious or traditional buffets we serve on holidays.  I want you to know as a psychotherapist in the field of psychology how our children crave this familiar traditional and most structured family events.  This is emotionally healthy for them.

I work with at -risk families.  The number one hope for kids whether they say it or not, is to be able to sit at a dinner table with family on holidays like they see and witness in the movies. I want us all to reflect on how children yearn to have an intact family they can share traditions and dinner with.  Please do not ever punish children for the parents issues. Every child needs to be loved in the community and did not ask to be judged.

 This wish is not complicated.  Every child deserves this simple wish. Please know that their are children in your own neighborhood that you have no idea, need your help. I remember as a child that because my parents had issues, I was labeled. I am pleading with all of you to see that children do not deserve to be judged.  Please open up your heart and see that young children are ONLY in need of love and support.  Please listen to my joyous video by Enya to relax you.  Do Not ever judge a child because of the parents.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Laura's Ultimate Meatloaf

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds hamburger
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Italian Bread Crumbs
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece bread
  • 10-15 pieces of Cubed Cheddar Cheese
  • Lawry's salt
  • BBQ Sauce- 3 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic Salt
  • Milk
 Combine hamburger and all ingredients together in a Tupperware bowl. After combined, add more bbq sauce on top. 

Bake at 350 for  one hour. 

You will be so happy you tried this.  Please let me know if you cook it ok?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thunder Snow in Minnesota

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGRC2LYmHfU   click on this link


I must share with you a funny little Minnesota winter story. We heard on the news last night that we were in for a winter snow storm.  This would be our first storm of the winter.  In fact, more or less, the first snow, period.


I woke up this morning to white on white. I  saw my youngest off to a basketball game in Prior lake and hoped she would make it there safe. My son came down the stairs at this early time of the morning, 7:00 A.M. to be exact. We both looked out the windows in utter Minnesota wonder. The trees hung low with the weight of the snow covering them. The road outside my home looked more like a field of snow. My son exclaimed that he saw the neighbors tree literally crack off it's base and fall to the ground covering part of the road.




Now this was a Minnesota winter weekend, the kind I was used to as a child.  My son and I just had to go out and adventure, even though the weather men and women were advising us against it.  We thought it might be fun to go to our local Caribou.  This is one of the special outings that I share in with my kids.


I drove down our beautiful culdesac, down Foxgate Road.  Wow, my Jeep was kicking butt on these snow piled roads.  It looked as if the snow plows had not been here yet.  How could that be?  It was now around 9:00 A.M.  As Jacob and I headed down the next crossroad, we could not believe our eyes.  There right in front of us was a tree, hanging down from high above as if it had given up.  The weight of the snow had won this match. 


We got ourselves out of the car and just stood there gazing, as if we had seen a ghost. Giddy, as if we were on a snow day, my son ran out to the middle of the private neighborhood road and jumped up onto the thick tree branch. He sat on that tree and it made me think somehow that this was a scene from the book of Tom Sawyer.  It made me giggle with delight.  My son now fourteen, still loves the pure, natural, good old fun things in life.  How beautiful and humorous nature and god's wonder could be.


I took out my camera, as I knew this was a perfect photo opportunity.  I took pictures of that tree branch and more Minnesota winter beauty. As, Jacob and I headed home, we hit yet another adventure.  One more tree down in the middle of the road, but this time I think I was the one  playing snow day fun.  Yes, I still have much of the child in me, I took my fourteen year old son's challenge.  I tried  to see if I could fit the car and I under the tree, which did remind me of London bridge.  Jacob stood outside the Jeep and pleaded, "mom, please, I think the car will fit under the tree, it would be so cool".  He watched as his single silly momma took on this adventure.
I bet you are wondering what happened.  What did become of this mom as she indulged her son in his most sinister challenge?  Check out my picture.  I won't leave you hanging.  I made it under that tree with only one branch in the front passenger car door.






This is winter fun in Minnesota.  What a great time with my son.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Letter One of my Online Writers Wrote To Educate Us All

I had to share this link with all of you for many reasons.  All of us as human beings falter.  We are not perfect nor are we perfect parents.  This woman put it all out there for us to learn so many lessons.  Read the link above, but please chew on these facts:
  1. We all make mistakes
  2. We all need boundaries
  3. As parents, we have to set boundaries lest we produce little sociopaths in the world
  4. We must build up our children and each other
  5. We need to have a sense of humor in our failings 
  6. We must be able to apologize to each other and our children
  7. Most of us can forgive, we just don't forget
  8. Structure is healthy
  9. We need to model positive behavior for our children
  10. It is what we do, not what we say that affects our children the most- researchers agree to this
  11. Tell your kids how much you love them and why:  How nice to hear specifics on what it is you love most about them. 
  12. Praise your children for "Just Who They Are"- Again, tell them when you praise their artwork, what you like about it.  Ex:  I like how you had the red color mixed with the orange on your pumpkin. I like how you drew it, the face was so crazy.  " I noticed you picked up your room without me asking", Great job. "
13. Just listen to each other and your kids
14.  Think about your commitment as a parent and what it is you would like to work on as a parent. Perhaps it is to listen better. Maybe you want to spend more quality time and not quantity time with your children. Perhaps you want to work on apologizing or being able to negotiate with your child.

From one writer to another

Laura, Mom

My Cheesy Chicken Recipe

I have two children twelve and fourteen years old. They are such picky eaters.  I will add my cheesy chicken recipe here for you if you have the same issue with your children.  Winter is coming as well, and we need as many great warm meals to serve our kids as we can, atleast ones they will eat.

Last night, I served this dish. I heard right away from my daughter " Mom, you know I hate chicken, I won't eat it. "  I told her it was the cheesy chicken dish she loved.  Once I said that, my children were going up over and over for more servings.  This is so kid friendly.


Ingredients
  • 7 or 8 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • colby jack cheese
  • cream of mushroom or broccoli
Wash and pat dry chicken breasts and lay in glass casserole dish
put one cheese slice on each chicken breast
add one can of cream of mushroom on top
add one can  cream of chicken or broccoli on top
sprinkle Italian bread crumbs across the top of the dish
sprinkle the melted butter on top

Bake on 350 for one hours
This dish is great served with baked potatoes







From my home to yours
Mom

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween history- Secular holiday with a psychotherapists spin




In many American households, halloween is seen as a family bonding opportunity.  Kids and parents carve pumpkins that turn into jackolanterns that light up the Halloween sky.  Some kids trick or treat, while others attend halloween parties.  Halloween is now one of the most popular secular holidays in american culture.  Recent research suggests that most families spend $60 or more for this holiday.

As a psychotherapist by trade, I must put on my therapy hat for just a moment.  As an admirer of Carl Jung, the swiss psychologist, he has an intriguing philosophy on the subject of dressing up for Halloween.  He believes that we all have a hidden part of us that lay in our unconscious dying to be noticed.  What we show people on the outside and what lay hidden on the inside can be quite a contrast. It is fun to dress up into a character that you may find intriguing.

 Jung describes this unknown part of us as the shadow.  On halloween night in my Jungian class, we were given the opportunity to dress up as one aspect of our shadow.  Now  that is a fun party theme and a fun interesting  concept to think about.  What about you is so hidden to others that you may want to show others?  I encourage you to think about this and just for fun, think of what you would dress up as to show this piece of you or your shadow.   Analytical psychology uncovers that piece or pieces of our psyche, so that we can become more aware of what lay hidden.  That is the fun of halloween.  It is also quite healthy for our mental state.

My  family sees halloween as a opportunity to stay with tradition.  Every year we carve our pumpkins on halloweeen eve or day and cook the pumpkin seeds.   These baked pumpkin seeds are a fun  way to hold tradition and are quite  delicious.  We also trick or treat each year. 

Recipe for Pumpkin Seeds
  • Rinse pumpkin seeds in strainer in sink
  • Add salt to water with pumpkin seeds atleast four hours
  • Take out of water and rinse
  • Place pumpkin seeds on olive oil greased pan
  • Bake pumpkin seeds till golden brown
  • Bake at 400 degrees
  • Salt to Taste
I would like to close  with a childhood memory.  In my catholic school they taught us this  Halloween song.  My kids have loved this song since they were quite small. ........

Witches, pumpkin heads, and black cats, scary spooks and black bats, oh its Halloween. 
Witches, pumpkin heads, and black cats, scary spooks and black bats, oh it's Halloween
Halloween night is the night where fearful things are seen
LOOK OUT  LOOK OUT
LOOK OUT LOOK OUT
HALLOWEEN SONG I LEARNED AS CHILD
LOOK OUT IT'S HALLOWEEN

           

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mark - The Cousin I Loved and Hopes Journey

 Hopes Journey nonprofit agency is an amazing haven of love and healing.  I welcome you to peruse the website on the link I have left here.  So the story goes.......Our Story


Hopes Journey began as one man’s dream to build a home filled with love, laughter, family

and friends. Kerry Lund was a Christian man comitted to helping those in need. Before

Kerry passed away in the summer of 2008, he built his dream, however it is still a work in

progress. Since then, a small group of friends, all touched by cancer in some form or

fashion, decided to join forces to ensure Kerry’s dream would live on.

The dream blossomed into what is ‘Hopes Journey,’ a retreat catering to those who have
survived or are currently fighting a life-threatening disease. The grand opening is to be in June 2011, however they need desperately funds to finish all the dreams they have for this haven of love and healing.  They need to finish a
lower level massage therapy room, library, multi-purpose room, craft room, third
bedroom, and sauna, as well as landscape the outdoor area and construct a serenity
garden and pathway.
Hopes Journey will be open to everyone, yet its main purpose will be to provide a respite
for the special women in our lives who may be finding life even more challenging after
becoming afflicted with a life-threatening illness. The struggle to maintain enough
energy to fight cancer and juggle regular routines and responsibilities can be
insurmountable.
Hopes Journey is a place where they can put reality on hold-even if just for a few days-to
be pampered and surrounded by the peace and serenity of nature.
It is our hope that the fear, anxiety, and pain cancer patients are forced to bear, will be
replaced with a renewed spirit, inspired to persevere on life’s journey. With your help
and support, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

This haven is my cousin Marks' wifes vision ,that she is making a reality. Read on......

I love my cousin Mark. He is one of those people in my lifetime, that taught me so much about love of family and life. He is my older cousin.  My family of origin, spent a lot of time with Mark and his whole family as young kids. Our cousins had eight kids in their family. A good old catholic family.  They lived out in Minneapolis in a modest  home with an alley in back.  Us lake kids from Lake Minnetonka, thought these alleys were really neat.  We would play fun alley games with both families. Oh, the good times us Rogers' and Sandwiggies had.   Our familes had eight and five kids respectively.   Lets see if I can count them here:  Joe, Tom, Ann, Mary, Mark, John, Dick,  and Eddy.  For my family:  Dan, Shelly, David, Linda and Laura.  Can you imagine this whole group getting together. What a blast.  A child's dream.  We loved to go to our cousins house for visits. 

One Christmas, we spent the entire holiday at our cousins home.  It was the most memorable holiday I can ever remember as a kid.  My mother had just passed away and my dad had us go to our Aunt Philly and Uncle Dicks loving home for a long visit.  We were nurtured and loved over that painful  holiday vacation.  This, I will never forget. 

My cousin Mark was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He was so young and we all hoped, believed he would make it and kick that cancers' xxx.  He passed away and a huge void was left in my families hearts.

When Mark passed away, he left a beautiful wife Lori and fantastic kids.  They had a cabin up north that was a slice of heaven.  This is where Marks death resurrected and Lori his wife began a non-profit for cancer stricken families to heal and find serenity.  Marks' memory lives on in this special place. 

They will be having an event in November.  Please let others know about this place, that will give so many families respite from the ills of cancer.  Perhaps you can tell others to go check this place out. Perhaps you may want to volunteer or give financially to this great cause.

 This picture is the trip my family took to Mark and Lori's cabin shortly before he passed away.   Left to right: Laura,Linda, Mark, Aric, My kids Jacob& Ellie and Missy the Dog

 This article was written in honor of my beautiful cousin Mark

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Teen Years Parent Tips

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dine for Hope at Burger Jones is Today- Help a Great Cause- 10/19/2010

Davis Weinmann, four years old is big in heart. This great young boy helps fight hunger. How you ask? Davis  is our front cover young man on our professional blog. Great job Davis for letting Perspectives Inc highlight your good deeds today.  Davis helps feed homeless at risk youth and families by eating a burger, fries and dessert. See the link.

Davis is also lucky since his mom is a guest chef for our at-risk youth, right here in St. Louis Park in our Kids cafe.  To see more on our mission check out http://perspectivesperspective.blogspot.com/

Tami Cabrera owns Muddy Paws Cheesecake also in St. Louis Park, MN. Check her out online. She also has a great big heart that cares for kids.  Tami is a guest chef that donates her time to teach our at-risk youth how to cook cheesecake. You must try the Pumpkin Cheesecake. My fave. You can find her at Muddy Paws in St. Louis Park, MN.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oreo Extravaganza Recipe for Families

Ellie& Moms Oreo Extravaganza




Eight scoops of vanilla Bean Ice Cream

4 Oreo cookies (double stuff is our fave)

1/4 Cup milk

Light Whipped Cream

Blend all ingredients except the whipped cream until creamy to your liking. Add whipped cream in malt cup. Sit back and enjoy. Tell em Ellie and mom sent you.



http:///stoopinitinthesuburbs.blogspot.com/

A Walk in the Park With Family

 I want you to experience family time on this blog article. Please go down to the bottom and play the video from Ziggy Marley called " Family Time".  Read the blog article first and at the end, treat yourself to the happy sounds of Marley.

 I love nature. God has created such a master piece in nature during autumn. It almost looks fake. The paint brush splashes on so much color and atmosphere in the fall. My family and I love the fall weather. 

Here it is, October 12th in Minnesota, and it is 78 degrees. My family took advantage of the weather and took a walk in the park. The colors were so spectacular. We had to stop at the ice cream shop, better known as Ben and Jerry's in Wayzata.  I would love you to view my pictures from today.

We sat on the benches overlooking Wayzata Bay. The water glistened as we took in God's canvas. The reflection of the trees over the lake was moving.

I took pictures of my family and we had fun feeding our dogs ice cream.  This is rare that we feed our dogs people food. 


We left feeling happy and filled up by the autumn beauty.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB8mZMEo_6k

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Dear Lord, Why?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lets Make the World A Better Place

“A TASTE OF NEPAL” – Fundraiser to Stop Human Trafficking




Help raise money for a sewing room for women rescued from the sex trade in Nepal. Join us at the Highland Grill in St. Paul to enjoy a traditional Nepali meal prepared by none other than the Curry Diva, Heather Jansz. Pay $25/plate with 100% of proceed going to Peace Rehabilitation Center and the sewing room PLAY it Forward will build during our October PIF-Nepal adventure. It’s also 1/2 price bottle of wine night so bring a date… and all your friends!



Tuesday, September 28



5:00-9:00pm



Highland Grill, 771 Cleveland Ave Sout, St. Paul, MN



$25 per plate with 100% of proceeds benefiting Peace Rehabilitation Center.



Reservations are not accepted, but you may call ahead a half hour before you arrive: 612.690.1183



Thank you to Highland Grill and Curry Diva for making this event possible!

The Curry Diva is a great Foodie Friend of mine.  Her and I are involved  in a food networking organization together, called Women Who Really Cook. She also volunteers her time teaching kids how to cook at my place of work.  Please help her help the women in Nepal. Heather, better known as the curry Diva can be reached at this email address.  currydiva@gmail.com

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Family is Dear

Laura's first time belly dancing
I wanted to write tonight in gratitude for my amazing family.  Last night my relatives and I met for dinner.  We went to a restaurant called the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe.  Unfortunately, some relatives were in town because my godmother or aunt is struggling with pancreatic cancer.  I love her so much.  She is one of the most generous, loving women I have ever had the priveledge to meet and love.  I will never forget all she has done for the family.  She helped my family in every way possible when my mom had died when I was only nine. My Aunt Philly would come over from Minneapolis to our Lake Minnetonka home and do all the laundry for us five kids.  There were loads and loads of laundry.  I felt so guility even as a kid.  My aunt was tiny and here she was going up and down the stairs doing our laundry because my dad was struggling with chemical dependency issues. 

What a beautiful night of connection with family.  There were around fifty of us in our own private room at this Mediterrean restaurant.  My beautiful Aunt Muggs and Aunt Franny, 89 and 83 respectively, were dancing like crazy with the belly dancer that performed.

The love that was in this room was palpable.  My family, though I am deeply partial because I think I am the luckiest woman in the world with a family like mine.  You could say that we are a deeply spiritual group, so get us together and it is a love fest.  I also danced with the belly dancer, and actually was the first in the family to do so.

I am just sitting here feeling so grateful for the love in my family.  Please enjoy my pictures.

Rockin Recipe for Country Apple Crisp

Country Apple Crisp

Ingredients


•4 Cups sliced apples in a buttered baking dish- Very thin slices. Peel first.

•1tsp Cinnamon

•1/2 tsp Salt

•1/4 Cup Water

•3/4 C. Flour

•1 C Sugar

•1/3 C. butter or margarine

Spread butter, partly melted in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples with the salt & water.


In a mixer or by hand, mix the flour, sugar and butter. Drop this mixture over apples and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.


You may double the recipe if you wish.


Lovingly,


From my family to yours

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Perspectives: Letter From Perspectives Teen Resident

New Perspectives: Letter From Perspectives Teen Resident: "Living the “good life” has not always held true for this one. I have seen and heard things by the age of 18 that most young adults cannot ev..."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Stoopin It" In the Suburbs: Politics Shmoliticks

"Stoopin It" In the Suburbs: Politics Shmoliticks

Politics Shmoliticks

I am exasperated about our current political arena. Do not our politicians know that to watch them act like little children is not at all impressive.  I do not like to talk often of politics but I am so tired of listening to everyone blame our now president. I am also tired of watching our local news and observing the ever so child like behavior of one politician to another.  I do not intend to sway anyone about their political stance, but I am here just to vent my opinion.

Why is it that this president who has done more than any president is getting so bogged down by the "blame game".  I ask my friends and peers this question?

How can you complain of the president of doing nothing and making things worse when:

You recieved an  appliance at a great cost reduction because of his energy plan
You kept your home out of foreclosure due to the Hamp program by the president
You bought a car that you would not have otherwise been able to afford because of the rebate program from our president.......

I am challenging all of us to just stop running on automatic and think about the words we are using. Please see that in all the years of whining about politics, it has never helped.  Lets make a paradime shift and teach our children that we can act like adults. Let us show we do not need to see negative ads, but want more education and heart. Let us be critical thinkers in this world.  Let us blend our head and heart together and make a better tommorrow.

It is written " watch what you speaketh"

Emphatically tired of all the backlash

Laura

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Whisper That Became a Roar

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MtqU20lWqM&feature=fvsrMy - Listen While You Read- I did not make this video.  This was my empowerment song.

My life with you was stagnant and sad




Seeing your anger, most everything made you mad



The evil energy in the house one could cut with a knife



Living with you was so oppressive devoid of any light



I tried to hide it from the children, but to no avail



They saw your violence, and watched your spit sail



You held them captive so I would go mad



You coward, somehow you rationalized it would not make our kids sad



Your yelling was penetrating, we thought it would never end



Through the roof, our nerves you would send



Your words were so confusing, I got dizzy and felt like I was in hell,



You would follow me around the house, I finally fell



The letter of our demise shown to our kids



I only found it accidentally and hid



You were planning at christmas to blow us away



Our daughter only three told me in dismay



Mom, why does dad say we'll die on Christmas and then all come back?



I slept in their rooms, both of my kids, for weeks on my back



I tried ever so hard to act calm for you



When your older, you'll understand why mom felt so blue



Once the judge ordered him out it got worse



He would creep up behind me and suddenly lurch



Why are you afraid he would say with a grin?



You have fear issues and why are you so paranoid, and lift up my chin



He would trance like, hypnotize the kids and put them on the table



His eyes would glass over, and to move they were not able



Till I told him I would film him and show a judge for to see



He'd say I had skeletons in the closet and the judge would take them from me



I acted calm as if I were not afraid, of the one thing I could not lose



My beautiful children, the best thing I have ever done



My treasured daughter and my son



I can't believe I used to love this monster, who was he?



The judge moved him out of the house, But we had paid a grand fee



Remember when you'd follow me on the steps of our room, you would tell and pronounce to me, I had chest pain, that I was having a heart attack, God I had to leave



You kept coming at me till I had to run out of the house just to breathe



My God I believed you, You scared the life out of me,



I could not talk, nor think straight, My legs felt like they would fall from underneath,like spaghetti,



You used to seem beautiful, not ugly and even your face,



My therapist claimed, this is the worst classic case



I am not bitter



I am free



I am so happy



My life right now is for my kids, not me



You taught me a lot



What to look out for



My soft whisper has now become a roar



A wolf in sheeps clothing, but now I have my life back,



God has healed us, our lives are on track



Freedom oh sweet freedom, I do so love you



Thanks to all those that helped me through this, you were my strength and my glue,



I have my life back now, I thank you for loving me



Life is a gift, peace is what we now see



Thank you God for letting me have the courage to leave the strife



Not much can bother me now, I feel so grateful, and the world is our oyster, This is our new life!!!



You taught me a lot



What to look out for



My once soft whisper, Is forever a loud roar



WeeeeHeeeeeeeeeeee

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Storms a Coming




I grew up on Lake Minnetonka. I love storms. When I was growing up, I loved to watch the storms come in from the lake, from my sliding glass door. As ferocious as a storm can be, I loved the atmosphere of excitement that came with it. We would watch the storm rattle our glass door off our deck. I still dream of storms coming in exactly like that.



Tonight as I sit here and hub, a severe thunderstorm warning is a coming. I love it. My son is laying on the couch next to me and the rest of my family is up in their rooms sleeping. I am awaiting the storm. I love to hear the news buzzing about the weather and all that goes with it.



My dear father, John Anthony Rogers was an airline pilot for NorthWest airlines. He knew so much about clouds since he had to fly through them. Let me define the types of clouds that are in our sky.



Cumulonimbus Clouds- Again, my darling dad would teach us kids that cumulonimbus were the thunder clouds. These are the dense and puffy dark clouds that are in the sky before a severe storm. My dad would say " Kids, remember these cumulonimbus by saying this " Cumulonimbus, bumpus o lot us." How could we forget that? These clouds were mean and in the airplane they bumped us around a lot.

Cirrus Clouds- Cirrus clouds are thin and whispy like. Sometimes they are referred to as the "mares tail." They all connect together and at times look like one big thin cloud. I refer to these clouds as my " angel clouds".

Stratus Clouds- Stratus clouds are low lying clouds. These clouds are the ones that sprinkle rain or mist. Fog is a low lying stratus cloud.

There is something so mysterious, so awe inspiring about a good storm. I think it is that cozy feeling I get when my family is safe in our home and the storms a brewing.



Dark you may be, and safe are we



Your mystery envelops me, you are so complex



Natures paint brush, goes black,green,yellow



God has me in awe, what now,



It went from fierce to mellow



Wind whips fast,furious then slow,



where are you now, where did you go



Pop up storms how tricky are thee



Branches down, roofs fly, the birds, they flee



Brew dirty storm throwing all debree



When you are done, the rays peek through



Rainbows and hope, Natures beauty is free

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tips for Family Violence


Violence in relationships are a common scenario and sky rocketing in this tough economy. I teach and train women in the community on violence and how to name abuse and how to get help. Men as well as women are abused, but we know more women go seek help. There are many forms of violence. Let me name a few:



Sexual Violence



Emotional Violence



Psychological Violence



Verbal Abuse



Financial Abuse



Physical Abuse



Social Abuse



Violence toward Property or Pets



Many of us do not realize that abuse is not ONLY physical. Researchers state that men and women that are in abusive relationships say that they would rather have the physical abuse occur because physical abuse heals. The wounds from verbal, psychological, or emotional can stay with us for years to come. One must seek counsel in some form or another to heal the trauma.



I teach the women that I train on violence, there is hope to end this cycle of abuse. In order for the cycle to continue, there are two main fuels to keep it going.



•Power

•Control

Please see the violence wheel above. You will see that in the middle, what keeps the cycle going, is power and control. At the outside of the wheel is the different forms of abuse. Inside, are the dynamics and how they play out in the relationship. For example: One of the triangles talks about isolation. Many women in abusive relationships are kept away from their loved ones. Many times women as well as men, will keep this a secret because of the shame and guilt they feel.



There are some red flags that can help you identify if you are in a abusive relationship.





•Is your partner telling you what you can and cannot wear?

•Is your partner jealous or asking where you are often?

•Are you financially equal in your relationship- Example: Do you have to ask for money, even if your the bread winner? Is your partner controlling the money?

•Are you able to voice your opinion on issues- A healthy relationship is based on equality.

•Are you getting texted, emailed, called, via phone where you feel uncomfortable?

•Are you able to work and/ or follow your bliss, or does your partner feel insecure and escalate when your doing what you enjoy?

•Is your partner telling you who you can be with and even telling you what to say to your family and friends?

•Are you able to be with people you love without scorn from your partner?

It takes only six months to see the cycle of violence occur in your relationship.



Do not ignore the signs or red flags of abuse, it could cost you your life. We give women safety plans that help keep them safe.



Statistics



The Boston Bar Journal states that battered women are often severely injured.-( 22-35% of women) who visit medical emergency rooms are there for injuries related to ongoing partner abuse.



Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay as stated by the National Coalition against domestic violence.



Two out of three female victims of violence knew their attacker and a woman is beaten every 15 seconds according to the bureau of justice.



Articles in battered womens journals, indicate that women of all cultures,races, occupations,income levels and ages are battered.



I just facilitated a training in my community on Wednesday. I trained for one hour, gave the women a break, and by the time we came back for one more hour, I learned one of the women had been beaten when she went to pick up her things from her abuser. She did everything right. She took an advocate and staff member with her, from a nonprofit, that helps support women in abuse. She was pulled in her old apartment by her ex- boyfriend. The moment her ex- boy friend saw her, he pulled her in, locked the door and brutally beat her. The police were called and she is now unrecognizable to her friends and family.



" To have one's individuality completely ignored is like being pushed quite out of life. Like being blown out as one blows out a light." Evelyn Scott



I have trained for fifteen years in the area of violence/perpetration and hope. I would not take this heavy issue or cause on, if I did not believe there is hope. My hope is that you will befriend those that share with you their secret of abuse . Let them know every community has a crisis line and they can receive support.



Please commit your lives to nonviolence, as violence starts within each of us if we choose to let it. Please choose peace. Go out in the world and exude peace. May peace be with each of you. Know that no one deserves to be put down, hurt physically, or emotionally. Know you did not cause the abuse. One chooses to abuse and one can choose to stay or leave an abusive relationship.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Golf Fundraiser- Volunteerism and The Human Spirit

I am a director of volunteers at a human service agency. I am so proud of the fact that in my position, I see each and every day, in the people I interview, human beings that want to help better the world, themselves and our at risk families.




I research and network with many different volunteer management organizations. I have learned that the state of Minnesota is highly ranked for community and volunteering. I am proud of this and am proud as I read that most states are very knowledgeable about the fact that giving back helps all of us. I believe we are all connected whether we live in different states, have different religious backgrounds, come from different races. I love diversity. Diversity is what makes us learn who we are and see their are different perspectives.



We did a golf fundraiser last week for our at risk families. It is the fourth one our agency has put on. Talk about a fun day and great cause to see all these golfers out there on the holes to help the homeless.



I can honestly say that I have seen a part of the human spirit that has touched me as a director of volunteers and as a person. You must see the link here on volunteering.



I hope that my simple hub has helped you feel better about the human heart as well as encourage you to volunteer.



"Volunteers make the world go round"



Laura Arne



Perspectives Inc



www.volunteeringinamerica.gov

Blogging & Writing- Feeling Grateful

I am writing this story to share my gratitude to my followers.  I have not been blogging for very long, but I feel as if it is part of me. The community, the caring, the great online relationships, the fantastic support. Do any of you feel like I do, like writing and the support of followers has breathed life into you? I feel grateful that this opportunity exists here for me.



I have always loved to write, but after many crisis' in life which is just part of the design, It was hard for me to just sit down and write. There was a part of me, that creative part that had been stagnant for too long. I see now that no matter what is happening in my life I need to write as it is my healing.



You have all made me feel so confident here about my writing and gave me support when I felt that my blog was not good enough. I have learned the do's and don'ts of blogging of which I learned from all of you. You have enlightened me in many ways here.



A friend of mine yesterday shared a story with me about the value of writing and how we need to keep our creative juices flowing to survive. Her friend is a young woman around 43 with two kids and a husband. She came to my buddy telling her that the only reason she was not going to take her life, which she felt was useless, was because she is so stubborn.



My friend told her about the power of writing and how healing it would be for her. Now this woman just laughed and said something to the effect of " Ya, right, like writing could save my life".



Well, my buddy knew she needed a solid plan so her friend could see through the blackness and the pain that was telling her to take her life. She had been reading a book that she could not put down called " The Artists Way". I am sure many of you know the book. It not only is a great read but has you participating in writing activities to inspire healing.



The link is http://www.theartistsway.com/ I am no expert on this book believe me since I have only looked at it bits at a time online. My point is, that writing is an incredible experience, a process that opens up our energy in ways we cannot fathom.



I know your all wondering what happened to my buddies friend. She said this book, the process of writing has cleared her head again and she has hope. Yes, you heard me right fellow writers. She is so happy again and her family has witnessed the light back in her eyes, the excitement of life, the product of the creative process.



I guess I just wanted you all know that I am grateful too. I have a different perception of my life now that I am writing everyday. Yes, my kids wish I wasn't writing everyday, but I know it role models to them that mom has her own passions too. Writing has been so healing for me and speaking as a psychotherapist in trade I can say, yes, there are many forms of healing, not just counseling and talk therapy. Ha.



I hope my blog has you feeling grateful too for this gift, the alchemist process that writing is. I hope you have a great day and feel the gratitude that comes from writing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Values- What Values do You Hold Dear?- Are you judgemental-Find Out Now


I am fascinated by values. Values we all hold dear to us. If we were to prioritize our top three values what would yours be? Do you hold these values but not live them? Try to sit down with pen and paper. Write down your top three values in your life. Do your values show up in your real life?




How long will it take you? For some of us, we can jot it down quickly, but some of us are very frustrated by this excersize. Ask your self why it was easy or hard. That is where I want your heart right now.



Why is it important to look at our values?



Let me give an example here of values and what we think of others or how we judge.



Lets say your in line at a grocery store. It is an upper end grocery store. You see in front of you a woman with a child, a small child. This woman is dressed in very fine clothes. The child is dressed very nice. The woman puts her food down on the grocery counter. You notice she has nice steaks, lobster, fruits, vegetables, and candy and donuts. She looks up at the cashier and pays him with food stamps.



I am asking you to be very honest with yourself here. First of all, was it hard to write down three of your most top values? Perhaps it was easy for you. Why?



Let us be brutally honest with ourselves. How do we judge or put value judgements on this woman at the grocery counter? Maybe you thought it was good that she had some quality food such as steak and lobster, or you felt pangs of envy that she could afford them, or you judged her for buying such food.



What did you think or value on the clothes she and the child wore as you noticed they were on welfare? This is where I want your mind to go. What do you really think of this scenario.



I put on a training this past weekend for our new clinical interns that will be working with our homeless families. I had these students really dig deep into their hearts to find out how they put values or judgements on others. I showed these students pictures of certain people and had them rate them on how they looked. I had one picture of a woman and a baby dressed very nice and sitting on a bench. I told the students that this woman was a homeless woman who lived on the streets.



It is important that we look at how we percieve others. We may be assuming they are something that they are not. Lets us not judge others by what they wear, how they look, perhaps you would feel different if you knew their story.



I showed another picture of a man in jeans in my power point. Most of the students rated him low. I told all of them that this man was a billionaire and very generous with his money. He had a generous heart. Does it matter if he has a lot of money. How do you value money. Perhaps it is the human heart you value. I encourage you to critically think about this question.



I hope this hub can help you look at your self and the people who you deal with in your life and ask yourself if your judging a book by its cover. "To err is human" But to look within is Wise"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blue Jean Clouds- Come Blog with me


I fly in and out of my washed out blue Jean clouds

Blogger pages flys with me

We glide so free, Come on bloggers fly with me

My blog pages world makes my tummy tickle

I feel supported by creative blog page friends

They do not mind if my blogs are fickle

We learn to let go and feel so at ease

The happiness from writing, it's a good disease

The world becomes a rainbow of ideas in mind

A buffet of storys, poems, and images float on this line

The smorgasboard of life so tasty indeed

We all realize its a blessing and we need to take heed

What variety of dishes on your table will thee serve?

Writings' inspiration, a blessing, accolades and healing we deserve

Keep on writing in bloggland for all to see

Head in the clouds, pot of gold sets you free

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guitar Man-The Brother I Loved

Dave is pictured on the bottom row in the middle, making a funny face

Back several years ago, my father was dating a very nice woman named Audrey. My mother had passed years earlier and dad met this kind- hearted nurse in the hospital. The relationship did not last long since my father was an alcoholic, but I will never forget her. Thoughtfully, she invited my sister and I over for a slumber party to get to know us better. And so the story goes.......


Audrey knew I was eyeing her beautiful, wooden,folk guitar. She was right, It seemed to call my name. She picked up the guitar and soon we were all singing along. I knew the guitar was something I should try since music runs in my family. It was such a touching moment as Audrey handed off her precious guitar into my arms.

The morning I returned home from the slumber party I started practicing the guitar. It became evident to me right away that this was not a gift I possessed. I can sing and write quite well, but the folk guitar had a different suiter in mind. God had always meant this to be in the hands of my brother David.

Wow, talk about raw talent. My older brother David is one year older than my twin sister and I. One day, David asked me if he could play around with the guitar and jam on it. I of course thought, why not? In just days, he could play almost anything. David was what I like to call a "musical genius ." Talk about humility on my end.

No matter instrument, voice, charm, or the comic in him, Dave is a prize. He has played bongos, drums, piano, ukulele, been lead singer and guitarist in bands, I think you have an idea of the God given talent he was blessed with.

When David was in the room, there was nothing else. He pulled you in with his charm, wit and talent. Every time my twin sister and I would bring a date home in our early twenties, Dave would have them totally transfixed & laughing at his jokes. Linda and I would not see our boy friends for hours. Dave would then become their buddy and they were forever friends. This was a frustratiion for us, especially when we would bring our girl pals over. Guess what, they usually ended up hanging out with him and not us. Eventually, he would end up dating them. Uggggh!!!

Dave and his guitar were eternally bonded. Our entire family used to joke around that the guitar was just another appendage on David's body. Whether Dave was sad, happy or just looking for love, he'd just pick up his old friend, the guitar.

Family and friends would tell you that David, Linda and I looked and acted the most alike in our family of five. It was pretty commonplace to see Dave, Linda, and I, singing for fundraisers, weddings and funerals. David would often invite his two younger sisters up to the stage to sing harmony with him and the band.

On this December day, as I decorated my foyer with fresh Pine branches for the Christmas holiday, I turned my attention to the breaking news story. My then husband, screamed for me to come see what was on the tv set. I knew from the serious tone in his voice, this was not good.

It is still very difficult to talk about and even harder to write.If I write this story,then it must be true, right? There he was, my beautiful brother on the nine o'clock news. The headline went like this:
" Local Northwest airlines baggage employee, caught stealing luggage."
"Oh my God, I exclaimed!" What more suffering can alcohol cause in this family."  Understand, I was not saying this because of feelings of shame seeing Dave on the news, I was saying it because addiction had already wreaked havoc to too many of those I loved. I also saw death in my dear brothers eyes.
As I looked at my brothers' haggard image on the tv screen, looking back at me, I had a feeling of foreboading. I could sense that he was at the end stages of alcoholism. I just sobbed. Then the dreams....

I remember one dream I had soon after the news story aired. This dream was so vivid, I believed it to be real upon wakening. I dreamdt my brother was in the ground grabbing and clawing at the soil and reaching out for me. He was caged in a dark like tomb, and could see me, but couldn't get out. I surmised that this dream was symbolic of David's dark disease of alcoholism. David was having a very difficult time breaking the shackles of addiction. This same disease took our mother from us twenty nine years earlier. David was struggling with the shackles , that was his addiction. David tried to crawl out of that dark tomb of addiction and went throught treatment several times, unfortunately the power of his addiciton was too strong.

Sadly, the addiction to drugs and alcohol, killed my beautiful brother in 2002. He was found dead in his apartment. They called it an accidental death. They had found large amounts of pain killers and alcohol in his body, which shut down his respiritory system.

Please, if there is anything my family has learned through this, it is that there is hope and help for anyone struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. Noone has to die from this debilitating disease. Let the senseless loss of our brother, help others, so David's death is not in vain.  My brother died way too young.  He died at the same age my mom died from her alcoholism. They both died at the young age of 39.  I hope my story can help someone out there you know, fighting for their life over this disease.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spinach dip to live for


Food has and always has been a great connection for families. I know it has for my family. Every big holiday we just have to make our infamous recipe of spinach dip with veggies. Food and the social aspect of food is so dynamic. Researchers state that food, cooking and eating brings people together. Their is so much exciting research on food and how we all talk more and much more comfortably at the dinner table. We relax around food and it helpful for social interaction.




I teach at-risk kids at my place of work how to BE around food. How to talk about food, manners, how to prep and clean up food. I have always loved food. I am a foodie and belong to a foodie network organization where I learn so much about food, the prep, and all that goes with it.



In my state of Minnesota, Sue Zelickson a local food critic from WCCO radio is one of the founders of our kids cafe'. She and I bring on many guest chefs who cook and teach our kids how to cook. They also teach our kids how to handle food safety and prep as well as clean up. Sue is a food celebrity in Minnesota and we are so lucky to have her help us teach others how to cook, how to celebrate food in a way that even at risk kids can succumb to the love of it. We have kids who have graduated and then on to a culinary school. Gives you goosebumps doesn't it? I love my career. To see these darling kids who have had so much trauma and then to see them in the kitchen and excel in it is divine.



I want to give you a recipe that I hope my children's children can make for their families and so on since it brings family together. When I bring or have the party, the one thing I can count on is the spinach dip being gone by the end of the family celebration.



Ingredients



Sour Dough or Rustic Italian bread bowl



2- 32 ounces of sour cream



3 frozen chopped spinach dip boxes-less if not a huge fan of spinach, it is up to you



3 bags of Knorr Swiss vegetable soup mix without the hard veggies- I do not like the texture with the veggies in it, but if you like hard veggies in your dip then go for it.



You can double, triple this recipe depending on how many you will be serving.



Instructions



Sift the Knorr swiss veggie soup mix into a large bowl from the dried veggies- Keep the soup mix and save the veggies for the next time you make a homeade soup.



add the soup mix, sour cream and spinach and mix



Once you have mixed the dip, know that your in for quite a treat. Easy to make, delicious and kid friendly. You heard me right. My kids who don't even like veggies and dips love this and beg for it.



Prep and cut whatever veggies of your desire



Put dip in bread bowl with veggies around it



Presentation is everything, remember to keep your veggies on a plate mixed in color around the plate for color and beauty.



Knorr swiss is the best soup mix for this easy to make spinach dip, trust me as I have made all of them and none is as taste quality as Knorr Swiss



I hope you and yours will try this recipe since it is easy and soooo delicious. Like I said, it is a family tradition at my house for celebrations.



From my family to yours, enjoy

Snack of the Year


My daughter and I have a favorite snack that takes just minutes, cream cheese wontons. All you need are wonton wraps, cream cheese, a little bit of butter, and a nack for a good snack!




Ingredients:



•Wonton wraps

•Cream cheese

•Table spoon butter

•Olive oil

You can find wonton wraps at any grocer's Deli.



Instructions:



First heat 3 cups oil in a wok, keep tempurature at 5.



Take a tsp of cream cheese and place in the middle of wonton wrap.



Put a dab of butter on one of the sides of the wrap. (the butter holds the wonton together)



Now were going to do some oragami! Fold the square in a triangle keeping the cream cheese in the middle.



Add another dab of butter on each of the three ends.



Fold the two side ends inward.



Lastly, if you choose, fold the last end down.



(It's easier than it sounds)



Now the oil should be hot and you're ready to cook your wontons!



(keep children away from stove because hot oil can spit and burn)



Carefully place wontons in wok. (it is easier to do one at a time but you can do up to ten)



Wontons will quickly turn brown so keep turning them.



When wontons are brown and crispy, use a spatula to remove from wok.



Dab wontons with paper towel to remove all oil.



Now your ready to eat your wontons.Enjoy and remember that wontons are perfect for a snack and a meal. My daughter and I love them with a stir fry.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Ode to Mom & Dick

Let me share with you a story of love and hope. We were blessed early in our life to meet Lisa.  Lisa is and has been a special and true friend since  my twin sister and I  were in fourth grade. The cute story goes like this: 
My brother David knew he needed to introduce Linda and I to Lisa.  He knew we would be kindred spirits.  Lisa met my  darling and most charming brother David.  She was asked to come over, off the bus by him one day when she was in seventh grade.  He had such a crush on her.  Once Lisa came over off the school bus to be with our brother David, she met me and my twin Linda.  They never made it as a young couple. Lisa, Linda and I were never the same.  We girls never stopped talking and the rest  was history.  Tonight, Linda, Lisa,  her mom & step dad Dick met out at the Fletchers Wharf where we had been many times in our lives.  Lisa's parents,  mom and step dad Dick as you will see are our second set of parents.
My twin sister Linda and I lost our mom at age 9.  It was this very year that our brother brought over a gal off the bus that he believed would get along well. He was right we ended up being kindred spirits and love eachother so deeply in this life.  
Linda and I today brought this poem to Lisa's mom and step dad Dick to let them know how much they mean to us and have since we knew them since we  were in fourth grade.  Today our brother David has since passed.


ODE TO MOM & DICK--------------------------------------------------

You were always there for us when twinners needed you
Your our special adopted mom & dad and dad Dick threw our shoes

Isn't it funny how life tends to go,when our kids are naughty, their shoes we throw

We always knew you both had our backs
Whether our day was bright or our world was black

You helped us get through good days and pain
You loved us through struggles, it was never in vain

You mean more to us than you'll ever know

You showed us Christs' love and helped us to grow

Through fires, houseboat, Dugells and more, our memories stay with us, especially of Lore.
With much Love
                                                           Laura and Linda

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Open Closet Night

What a blessed night for our homeless women in recovery. At my place of work, we put on an open closet night twice a year for the women that live in our housing program. Lastnight was such a hit. From 4-9:00 P.M. we opened our doors for a styled life for our women.




These women walk in the door in sweats and walk out dressed up smart and classy. They will be going out in the community for interviews for jobs/colleges. The transformation of these women is awe inspiring. Here are two men that own a high fashion store and donate their time and energy to serving our women. They dress our women for success. http://www.styledlife.com/ The women are so beautiful and know it when they walk out the door. It is amazing how much better we all feel when we are dressed smart. Kevin Quinn, the founder of Styled Life says that what he does with his entire staff is more about what they don't do, than what they do. They are wardrobe experts, they do not sell clothes because they want to educate the public on how to dress with the clothes they have.



I am priviliged to work with our at-risk families. I am also blessed to work and partner with those in the community like Tim Creagan and Kevin Quinn who care so much about our women in our housing. They are such great role models about how to give back in the community. Tim and Kevin want the women in our housing program to look and feel like every other woman out in the community. These men are so generous with their time and their donations of clothes. I would never be exposed to this kind of generosity if I did not have a career at Perspectives Inc. They also hold a health and wellness group here at Perpsectives for our women so they can see that self care is a daily, minute by minute choice.



We are a family center that serves the forgotten and the toughest part of all of us. We need to remember that we all have our wounds. We are all broken in some way, shape or form. I am just reminded of this day in and day out because of the work I do with this homeless population. Trust me, I am the better for it. We all have issues and it is what it is. To have community and people you care about you helping support you in those times of trouble is what makes us humans so amazing. That is why you must check out Styled look website.



Please know that the homeless and families in poverty live right next to you. They are not some population out there. They are your neighbors, your friends, your relatives.



Why not get out there and volunteer or donate now to your favorite cause. We all need eachother. We are all a family in this world and are much more alike than we are different. Please, just watch and learn from Kevin Quinn, founder of a thriving business about using the clothes and accessories you already have. See that to give back is sometimes greater than being given to.