Monday, August 30, 2010

What we've all been waiting for..

This day has been long waiting in coming...
After a long haul of ups and downs, travels and misjudging,
we finally know of our next destination.

We are going to...
wait, after all this time you really didn't think that I was just going to say it, did you?

Let's have some fun and see who can guess it...

This place is located in a region where there are extreme temperatures.
Today (Aug. 30th), it is 97F/36C; which is common in the very hot, dry, dusty summer months.
They can go to lows in the winter of -14F/ least, and some snow.
They are 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (U.S. East Coast).
It borders 5 different countries; one of which it was part of until it took
its independence in 1992, when it also changed to its current name.
It is at the mouth of a landlocked Sea and a river separates it's different sides....

Can you guess the city and country?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The title of this post is STUPID
This is not a word that we use in our family. I find it to be a very ugly word and my kids know it.
They try every once in awhile to call the door frame that they ran into stupid, or the bed post that scraped their leg as they ran by, yea, they try to get away with calling it stupid.

But I hate this word. It is very hurtful and derogatory.

So tell me what my kids get when a big brand name comes out with the ad:
Yup, that is exactly what the ad says in BIG, BOLD print.
Then there are the little signs in different parts of the city that are just totally uncalled for, in my humble opinion such as:

There is a picture of a girl on a ladder. She is standing on a high rung of the ladder in front of what looks like a video surveillance camera. She is in high heels, jeans and a white tank top...
that she is pulling up to reveal her bare breasts in front of the camera....
the caption reads:
"Smart has brains, stupid has balls"...
really?, It takes balls to degrade a woman's body by revealing her breasts to some unknown security watchman, or better yet, probably just onto a computer that has recorded it for the whole world to see her breasts?

Well this is one lady that has brains, is smart...and has balls. And I don't have to show my breasts to be considered ball-sy!
I will not be purchasing clothing from this company anymore...

(I'm not sure if I name the company here if that is considered slander, so I won't...but these ads are making me so mad that I at least had to blog about it)

Monday, August 23, 2010

A winning weekend...

It was a great weekend for all my favorite sports teams (read 1, not plural!) and players.
The Steelers won their 2nd preseason game in a row...
off to a good start seeing as we will be without Big Ben for at least 4 weeks, if not 6, due a league suspension.
Roger Federer won the Cincinnati title for the 2nd year in a row...
now on to the US Open in New York.

I like my sports, and I follow my favorites somewhat religiously. I am a huge fan of the Steelers as you know. Tennis is a great sport that I like to play; so I follow that too.
I like to watch hockey and the Penguins at times, though I do not follow them from week to week.

Do you have a favorite sport or team that you follow?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gall Bladder

I am really putting myself out here in blog world...
but I would like to hear if anyone of you, or anyone you know, has had their gall bladder removed. I am considering this surgery.

I am doing this electively I assume since I really have not had problems. Why? you may ask!
Well, I have quite a few gall stones that were discovered during one of my husband's company's marathon, total body, yes EVERYTHING, check-up.

Seeing as we will be moving to a country that is probably not going to have the infrastructure of good hospitals and doctors, (and the thought of being medi-vac-ed to London for emergency surgery), I thought that I'd be proactive and have it "fixed" before a serious problem occurs. It seems that this "serious problem" will occur at some point in my life.
As the surgeon today told me, that could be tonight, tomorrow, in a year, in 5 years, get the point... no one can predict it.
Sounded good and I made an appointment to have it done September 1st.

Well, then I get home and start reading about all the problems people have after their removal...well, it scares me! Now, these people, or at least some of those that I read, are grateful to have their gall bladder out because of the pains and problems they were experiencing with it. But me, I'm having it done so that nothing happens where I may get into an emergency situation and something more dire happens in a place where I can't get immediate attention.

So, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I just feel like talking...

I know that my posts are usually fun filled and exciting...
but today I just feel like talking to a friend.

It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks since we decided to come back to Brasil. The kids have been doing great in school, and everything has just slipped back into place.
I am so impressed at how easily my children adapt to different situations. This is one of the many reasons we live the way we do. Some think that we are crazy because we move every few years, but we love it.

My husband and I actually talked about we get tired of a place. We like to move on and see what else is out there. We have such adventurous minds that like to explore and really take hold of different places. It is so amazing to see how different cultures function (or how they don't!).

Today he went to our house. He was coming to see us originally because we should still be there! hahaha, well...
He was able to tie in a trip to see his boss in Venezuela with a short visit to our house. Even though we are not there, it is good that he is getting to go. We have some major projects that are happening that could use to be looked upon!

We are changing the bottom level of our house. Originally we just wanted to put in a driveway and fence. When our contractor went to pull the permits, we weren't allowed due to being out of compliance with FEMA and the strict rules for our particular flood zone area. (all due to hurricanes) So, I guess now I know why I signed a non-conforming enclosure sentence in our contract!
Anyways, no big deal. This has given us some freedom to do a few changes. We are ripping out the whole bottom front of our downstairs. this was the non-conforming enclosure because it was set up like an apartment. I believe the previous owners used it as a guest room. It was not connected through the inside of the house so the county sees it as a possible income property.
So, out it is coming and we are going to pave that with the same pavers as the driveway. We will have a great "outdoor room" once it is all finished!

My son has his first school dance, "middle school social" as it is properly called. They call it this because as the organizers stated: "we will have tables set up and a ping pong table, so that those that choose not to dance feel welcome also!"
I think it's a great idea to have all those extras, because my son has vehemently stated:
"I do not dance."
Really, son? He has so much rhythm inside him...I think it is from him being inside me while I finished my last performances. My final performances were when I was close to 4 months pregnant! Anyways, he is looking forward to going and "socializing"!

Well, there's always more to chat about....but this is getting long now. I know you all don't like them to be too long...but I just felt like chatting today :)
Have a good day

Thursday, August 12, 2010


What is "normal"?
I'm not trying to be philosophical here and questioning what each of us consider "normal".

What I'm questioning is my computer.

Well, here is my dilemma...
I keep getting a message that my Hard Disk is full and to trash any unnecessary files, etc...
I'm trying my best to do that. That is the normal response, right?
Well, I then open my trash bin and try to empty its contents. Normal, right?

Except that another box tells me: "normal" is in use. Well, thank goodness for that. I mean what would I do if "normal" wasn't in use. I'd find myself questioning my abnormalcy.
It says that I can drag "normal" out of trash...which I assume I better do quickly because "normal" is in use....which is what we want in the first place, right?
So, I drag "normal" out of the trash, trying not to exacerbate "normal" feelings of abnormal behavior. Then "normal" sits looking happy amongst my other desktop icons.
It knows that I am acknowledging that "normal" is in use.

So, I open "normal" now that I have dragged it out of the trash. It opens so proudly and shows me...
a blank Word document. Now, I can "add" to it, I can "save it as" (which I wouldn't change saving it as anything other than "normal), "copy" it, and do all those other lovely Word applications you can do to a document...
except delete it.

So, "normal" stays either on my desktop where I can check every once in awhile to make sure that I am still using "normal". Or if I get mad at "normal" which sometimes happens because I've actually never been called "normal" and kinda like that fact...
I rebel against "normal" and drag it into the trash...
until I want to empty the trash and then the process starts again...
and I go back to dragging "normal" out of the trash and onto my desktop again where the circle starts anew

:) Hope you all have enjoyed this post as much as I have had writing it..
and yes, this really is a real problem on my computer.
"Normal"ly, I wouldn't care about emptying my trash except that I have way too much "stuff" on it and have to empty quite a bit every now and then!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Review

"What Difference Do It Make?" by
Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent

This is a follow up to a favorite book of mine called
"Same Kind of Different As Me"
Let me tell you a little bit about this first one: (albeit, this review will be very brief. you MUST read this book for inspiration and hope)

Same...was written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. This was a most unlikely combination of writers that one may ever read. It was a typical fairy tale story, in my opinion...but it really did come true.
Denver was a man that was raised on a modern day slave farm. He just decided to leave one day after much sadness touched his life. He ended up homeless and without a good outlook for his life until two amazing people, Ron and Debbie Hall, came into his life. They decided to stay for good...and he accepted their generosity and their love and decided to give it back to them.

Basically this first book is a story of hope for those that are without it, unconditional love given freely by Ron and Debbie and a true want to change attitude that was adopted by Denver.

I was so inspired by this book. It showed me personally, that you can make a difference in someone's life, especially those that are less fortunate than me. I felt that it was a call to action for myself. I have always been the one who donates clothes and toys, gives to the shelter...
but not the one to delve right in and present myself for the help. I have decided that this must change. I want to make a difference in someone's life who is without hope, without joy and without the belief in themselves that I am trying to instill into my children!

The second book, aptly named by Denver, "What Difference Do It Make?" is a continuation of their story. It delved further into the lives of Ron and Denver and certain aspects of what made them the way they were/are. It gave anecdotes from others that were inspired by their story, just as I was, but those others have gone on to do something positive...which is what I inspire to do.

There are a few sections that truly hit me in my heart, such as:
(and I hope that I am allowed to quote the book like this! please let me know if I am not!)

Denver saying to Ron: " gon' have to learn how to serve these people without judgin 'em. Let the judgin be up to God."
This is so true in our lives...
how many times a day do you say or want to say..
"where did that person learn how to drive?"
"what makes her think she is so much better than me?"
"why doesn't she/he just get up off their lazy butt and find some work?"

But what we have to realize is that it is not our right to judge anyone except ourself. We have to let others find their way, be it easy or hard, or be it what we feel they should do..because it is their life and they must find their own way. If there is a chance to help them, why not take that chance...but only if it is what you are called to do. I can not be stingy in this world. I hope that I inspire people enough to not be stingy either, but I can't make anyone do something they do not want to do.
Not everyone is made out to be the Denver Hall's of life...
but I certainly hope that I can incorporate his type of unconditional love into my life!
God is present in me and in my life...and as Ron, Debbie and Denver continue to serve faithfully to Him, I hope that I can do the same.

I have included a chapter insert(below) and book cover, graciously offered to me by Jodi Hughes of Thomas Nelson. Thank you Jodi for the book, and the chance to continue to enjoy this amazing life story...or as Ron calls it..
"A love story"...
Please read Ron's note below...


Hello again.

If you’re reading this book, it might be because you already have read Same Kind of Different as Me, a true story about my wife, Deborah, and the man who changed our lives, Denver Moore. If you haven’t, don’t worry—we’ve included enough of the story to catch you up. (The “catch up” sections from Same Kind of Different as Me are in italics.)

Since June 2006, when Same Kind of Different as Me snuck first onto bookstore shelves, then onto the New York Times bestsellers list, Denver and I have traveled thousands of miles back and forth across America. We’ve spoken at hundreds of venues, from local book clubs filled with sweet little old ladies to the Bethesda, Maryland, symphony hall. (We were in Bethesda as guests of Doro Bush Kock and her mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, who quite possibly is Denver’s biggest fan.) Throughout that time, we have seen thousands of lives changed—homeless shelters started and millions of dollars raised for the homeless, yes, but also astonishing changes in the lives of everyday Americans that we never could’ve imagined or predicted.

That’s why we wrote this book, to tell you just a few of the stories of hope and redemption that God continues to write in the lives of so many—and in our own.

One day in the spring of 2009, as we were writing, I was in the kitchen at the Murchison estate, where Denver and I live, on a conference call with executives at Thomas Nelson, our publisher. During the call, Denver walked in.

“Hey, Denver,” I said, putting the call on speaker. “We’re talking about titles for the new book. Got any ideas?”

“Title for the new book?” he said, screwing his eyelids down into his famous hard squint. “What difference do it make?”

“What Difference Do It Make?” I said. “That’s it!”

Denver shrugged and walked off, shaking his head.

It was the perfect title. Since Same Kind came out, over and over, like the needle stuck in the groove of an old vinyl record, we’ve repeated a single message: one person can make a difference. My wife, Deborah Hall, is proof of that.

As many of you know, God took Deborah in 2001. Cancer. But if she were here today, she would tell you she was nobody special. If you had come to our house, she would have made you fresh coffee or tea and invited you to sit down at the kitchen table and tell her about yourself. And you would have felt loved. Because that was Deborah’s gift. She loved God and, because of her intimate walk with Him, loved people. Her whole life was about forgiveness and unconditional love, two qualities that most of us find difficult to master on a regular basis.

It really was that simple. Deborah’s life showed that kind of love is attainable for anyone willing to put in the time on their knees, then overcome their fear and go out and get their hands a little dirty. And I have talked to literally hundreds of people who told me that Deborah’s story inspired them to do just that. Through the difference her life made, others are now making a difference, and that’s in part what this book is about. It’s packed full with stories folks have shared with us about how Deborah’s example inspired them to do more, both in their own homes and in their communities.

A lady named Ann, for example, wrote to us from Vivian, a small Louisiana town just north of Shreveport—not too far from Red River Parish, where Denver worked the plantations. Ann wrote of how she loaned Same Kind of Different as Me to about twenty different friends. Every friend who brings it back has a very different story about how the story affected him or her.

“One person notices the friendship Denver and Ron share,” Ann wrote. “Another feels shame over the way her grandparents treated the ‘Denvers’ in their lives.”

One woman surprised Ann by telling her that the portion of the book that dealt with Deborah’s cancer battle stirred her to go and have a colonoscopy she’d been putting off!

Like Ann, we’ve been struck by the amazing variety of stories people tell us about how Debbie’s story affected them. Here we thought we were writing a book about one woman’s determination to make a difference for the homeless, and we started getting letters about marriages restored, friendships renewed, ministries begun, even babies adopted!

In Fort Worth, a high school teacher named Carin told us that, “unbelievably,” she’d been able to get the school administration to approve our book to be read by her entire mental-health class. “The students have learned how so many issues affect our mental health,” Carin wrote. “I have also used the book to help relay to them the importance of community involvement, passion, and what it means to be a servant to others.”

Shortly after Deborah died, her best friend, Mary Ellen, told me that God had whispered to her during prayer that Deborah was like the kernel of wheat Jesus refers to in the gospel of John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Mary Ellen told me she thought that maybe Deborah’s death would be like that—fruitful. I cannot even express how much I absolutely did not want to hear that at the time. But it appears that Mary Ellen was right, more right than even she knew.

She told me about the wheat kernel just a couple of days before the dedication of the Deborah L. Hall Memorial Chapel, the new worship facility built at the Union Gospel Mission in my wife’s honor and funded by donations that poured in after local folks heard Denver’s story at her memorial service. At the time, we thought the chapel, along with the new care facilities for the homeless, were the fruit God would bring from my wife’s death. I had no idea that the Union Gospel Mission was just the first fruit in what would become a cornucopia of blessing.

Take Detra, for example. Detra, who lives in Austin, Texas, wrote to tell us that after reading Deborah’s story, she decided to start carrying food and socks and blankets in her car so that she can bless the homeless. Also, her church had a picnic in an Austin park and had so much food that they began feeding hungry people who were in the park that day.

One little girl asked Detra, “When are you coming back?”

After that, the church made the picnic a monthly event where church members sit down and break bread with the homeless.

Would I take back blessings like that one and those you are about to read about in this book? If I could rewind time like a video and create a cancer story with a happy ending, would I?

I’m sorry to say there’s a big part of me that says, “Yes! I want my wife back!”

But I can tell you without reservation that Deborah would say, “No, Ron. I’ll see you soon.”

And so the story goes on—men and women all over the country inspired by the story of Denver and Deborah to make a difference in other people’s lives. Over the past three years, I thought I was making a difference too—traveling and speaking all over the country, “carrying Miss Debbie’s torch,” as Denver calls it. And I suppose I was.

But in 2009, I learned that sometimes the most difficult difference to make is the one that’s closest to home.

– Ron Hall

Dallas, Texas

July 2009

Monday, August 9, 2010


That is how I feel since I've came back to my old haunts...
I feel as if I am living in my body but in a place where I'm not supposed to be.
I know it sounds strange...
everything is where I left it, friends continue to call and we keep engaging in the same activities...
yet, why am I doing all this again?

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind being back. In fact, it is nice to be back to familiar friends, familiar school, familiar places.
I don't have to go through the adjustment of a new place, new friends, new routine, new language, new culture...that all comes with moving locations.

I just have to get used to the idea that I really am back.
The tears I shed...the goodbyes I said..
I should write a Country song about this one ;)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Airport Adventures

Remember, it is rare for me to have no airport adventure to report of !
Hence, I give you:

The Dogs in Heat

No, not that kind of heat...the temperature of the surrounding air type of heat!

We arrive at the airport in Miami yesterday around 4:30 in the afternoon.
The weather page says it is 86 degrees. According to an incredibly friendly American Airlines agent, the weather had to be 84. Really, this lady was the tops! I wish I would have written her name down to write a comment on her to the company. I couldn't have been more lucky to get her!

So, she comforted me by saying that I still had 3 hours technically, before I had to check in...and that by then the temp should go down.
She did all my paperwork and got me into the system and practically ready to "fly" (excuse the pun) should the temps drop.
Well, my Parents, Sister and Nephew were traveling the following day and staying in the airport there until their they took the kids while I stayed with the dogs and suitcases waiting and waiting for the temperature to drop.
Around 5 it 87! NNNOOOOO, the temps were going up! WRONG WAY HEATED AIR!

But, she smiled and assured me that most likely it would go down. Granted, it didn't help that there was a guy sitting there with his dog that had been coming to the airport two days in a row waiting for the right temperature.

But our prayers were 6:30 or so, the temp was down to 84...I had been checking it constantly on my Iphone and screamed when it went down! I jumped up and ran to the lady who was smiling with me from ear to ear!

Good story, huh?
Oh, you thought it was over?!

We get to the gate with plenty of time. Boarding was supposed to start around 7:30, right when we got there. It was delayed as usual, but everything was smooth, until...
"Mrs. BG, please see an agent at the counter"
So, I go up and he tells me I have to go back out to security to open up the dog cages for them to check...WHAT? Are you kidding me?

So, the agent assured me I had plenty of time. I left my kids with the carry-ons and duty free bag (this bag is important in the story later)...went running through the security looking for my two dogs. I asked another TSA agent where to go and he sent me out through the construction area to the security on the other side where I had originally left the smiling lady. She was waiting for me with a security guy and said, "Boy, you've had a heck of a trip!"
They took me behind the TSA security tape, which I thought we were to never cross, and had me open both cages. I had to take the dogs out and lift them so they could see their bellies.
Now, I also thought they were not permitted to open cages? Whatever...
I go running back to the gate and get on the plane with my kids. I had plenty of time because the boarding was delayed about half an hour...but I was so sweaty it was awful!

Then, that duty free purchase I made?
Well, I left it at my seat and didn't realize it until we were down collecting our luggage. So, I went right up to an AA agent, maybe 10-15 minutes, at most, of being off the plane, and he called the plane. There was nothing where my bag was :(

At least getting the dogs into Rio was much easier than expected!