Friday, October 15, 2010

H2 Oh No!

This post is inspired by 2010 Blog Action Day. This year's topic is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.

If you're a veteran visitor to the Blondes, Poop & Mascara blog, you know how big of a deal this has been to us in the past. In particular the Well Water Project comes to mind. A campaign our local church body ran from Easter to Christmas to raise enough monies to give to Horizon International to build two clean water wells in Zimbabwe, Africa. We succeeded too! It was actually this fund raising project that inspired the beginnings of what has become Fashionthropic. A non-profit T-shirt company that gives away 100% of it's proceeds. Zero capital means you can give it all away! The Quench Thirst. Give Life. shirt continues to be one of the best sellers in the store.

In the last decade, there have come to be SO many wonderful organizations dedicated to helping provide the world's lesser of these clean safe drinking water. There are several larger wonderful organizations like World Vision, Oxfam and we've already mentioned Horizon International that help, but here is our short round up of orgs that specifically exist to combat this issue...

Blood: Water Mission

Wine to Water

Charity Water

If you didn't know, now you do. Use your voice. Post. Blog. Tweet. Raise awareness. Support one of the organizations listed above. Don't take for granted the clean water you have. Educate your children. Don't do nothing. We leave you with this short video from Blog Action Day...

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

school is now in session

As if we don't have enough milestones & transitions in these Blondes, Poop & Mascara parts these days, we hit another joyous one 3 weeks ago. LA's first day of pre-school. Ask him and he'll tell you it's "school not pre-school!"

We've all been excited about this for such a long time. He'd been wearing his backpack every day for the better part of two weeks in preparation.

Though our little 4-year-old has spent some of his life with other people and in other groups (Sunday Church gatherings, house church, sports teams, etc) he'd never spent hours on end under the care of someone we weren't related to or know really well. So, there lies the struggle for me the Momma. He will be under the influence of two wonderful teachers from 9am-2pm, two days a week. This is a lot for this hormonal Momma. I know it is SO good for LA and he already LOVES it. There is still a little piece of me that just wants to keep him a bubble at home. I know with the arrival of the twins it is a much needed break for me and him twice a week!

What would back to school time be without some new kicks?! We received another pair of adorable and very practical shoes from Pediped in trade for an honest review of their product. LA loves his new Jake shoes from the flex line! What could be better than a pair of super cool casual brown shoes that function as a gym shoe. The soles are so comfy for gym class and sturdy enough for the playground. And, they wash up quite well! Trust me, we know. His favorite part of his playground at school is the sand area. Well, there or anywhere his little girlfriend Clair goes. Though according to him, "She follows me anywhere I go."

This is our second pair of shoes from the Flex line. We love them just as much as the first pair. The Flex line comes with insoles that can be removed as your child's feet grow. So, you get a long wear from these shoes.

As I have mentioned in all my other Pediped reviews, I love that Pediped says their shoes are "the next best thing to bare feet."

Check out Pediped collections and especially their new Grip n Go collection. I am excited to try a pair in the future!

If you are a fan of Pediped like me be sure to check out Kinderbliss. A new catalog and online shopping destination with beautiful and unique items for children from the founder of Pediped,

fragility and magnificence

It's been so impactful. So tiring. So wonderful. So exhausting we're just getting around to talking about it in this cyber place.

September 2010 marks the most dramatic month in existence for us. We already knew it was going to be incredibly awesome and life-changing anticipating the birth of the twins. Little did we know, the birth of Trey and Quatro were but the tip of a glorious and painful iceberg that plummeted well below the surface of the status quo.

Somewhere around a week and a half prior to doubling the amount of sons in our family, something quite unexpected happened to me (Mr. Blonde) in my company. After a turbulent last year and a half where leaning out and cuts were taken to mortally anorexic extremes, I found myself honored as the recipient of a promotion. I often see things coming my way. Surprises aren't incredibly common in my life. This surprised me. Bigtime. I enjoy what I do, how I do it and who I do it with. I'm incredibly blessed in that way. And, if you're not an IZOD IndyCar Series fan, you should be. Check out a 2010 highlights reel I recently put together. How can that not be entertaining to you? Even Cubs fans could like it (Go White Sox!).

THEN, came our welcoming Trey & Quatro into the family. If you're just catching up. Their birth announcement is here. Their birth story is here. We continue to be amazed by them. I'm certain they feel the same way about their big brothers and their parents as well.

Less than one week after they were born, we got a call from Nana (Mrs. Blonde's Mom) at 6 in the morning. Anytime a phone is ringing that early in our house, it's typically going to be followed by bad news. This was no exception. Hearts raced with panic as we learned while working on an extension ladder at his job in downtown Indy, Papa (Mrs. Blonde's Dad) had fallen 10 feet to the ground. He lay there in a pool of blood caused by the gash on his face. Unable to move in almost any direction due to a busted hip and shoulder, he laid there fully conscious wondering how bad it really was. We're SO thankful for the lady prepping for a women's prayer meeting that saw the accident, for quickly responding medics and the staff at St Vincent Hospital for their immediate response to his situation. Two surgeries, a long stay in the hospital and extended stay in rehab later, he's progressing extremely well. In fact, he just got permission to leave his wheelchair last Friday. Keep at it, Papa! You'll be tossing around grandsons again before you know it!

A couple years removed from a toxic marriage, Mrs. Blonde's best friend Nicole and her new-ish boyfriend Steve stopped by unannounced one afternoon while Mr. Blonde was still on his paternal vacation. It was abundantly clear through their gitty squeals what was affirmed when she showed us the gorgeous gem on her left ring finger. Her: a divorcee with two toddlers. Him: a widow with four children of his own. Their story is 100% unconventional and even more beautiful. They wed on New Year's Day with Mrs. Blonde as the maid of honor. We are oh so excited for them and their families to be unified!

The month ended on the lowest note of all. Another early morning phone call. This time it was a call from Grandma (Mr. Blonde's Mom). Again, heart racing, it was so hard to understand her through the desperate sobbing. Uncle Greg had died suddenly at the age of 50. He and Aunt Donna (Grandma's sister) were less than a month into being empty nesters as they'd just seen their youngest daughter off to college. He'd just taken a fantastic job after struggling through the economic decline as an I.T. guy. And, while in Scotland on business, having been Skyping with his family (even his Mom) the night before, died in his sleep as a result of his Type I diabetes.

A few truly magnificent things to take away from Greg's life here:

* He lived his life 100% in the ways of Jesus. Not just because he looked forward to Heaven, but because it's a better way to live here and now.

* The man had influence. Consistent, powerful influence. Never arrogant, often comedic, but always sure of who he was, who his family was, who his friends were and who his God was.

* Despite his health problems the man did not complain. Seemingly ever. This was a familiar theme throughout all of his services and celebrations.

* His wife adored him! His children wouldn't hesitate to claim him as their hero. In short, he's everything I (Mr. Blonde) could dream to be.

At his funeral Greg's youngest brother Keith shared the best short story about his oldest brother. Keith had run into Greg and a friend over their lunch hour. Keith walked up and said hello to his brother. Greg said hello in return, introduced the gentlemen sitting with him to his younger brother, then turned back to the man he was dining with and asked, "And, your name is?"

In addition to all of that, as you already know, LA recently started pre-school and Mrs. Blonde's business, Beauty by Crystal, won on the A-list again.

See. It's. A. Lot!

It's cliche. And, it's true. This life isn't predictable. Live it now. Things happen in a flash and you canNOT control most of them. Couples find out they're having twins and have no idea how that's going to work. Men fall off ladders and survive when statistics indicate otherwise. Teenage daughters play moving 10-minute piano medleys at their Dad's funerals. Marriages go bad when husbands break promises leaving ex-wives and children in the painful wake of their selfishness...only to find the perfect man with his own story of loss.

Dwell on yesterday...fixate on tomorrow...and you'll miss out on living today.

To SO many amazing friends and family...Thank you! Thank you for meals. Thank you for doing dishes. Thank you for phone calls and texts and emails and stopping by. And, babysitting. Going to see Mrs. Blonde's Dad while he was in the hospital. For understanding why we couldn't make the gatherings we typically do. Without all of your support, we wouldn't be experiencing God like we are in lives. We're richer because of you!