Justice Pirate

wife, homeschooling mom of 2 sons, photographer, abolitionist to end modern-day slavery/human trafficking, aspiring missionary, vintage fashion wearer

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#HTChallenge – Fighting Sex Trafficking during the Super Bowl

I promised myself I’d post more information about human trafficking and justice issues on my blog, considering I am “The Justice Pirate” to stand up against oppression and the sickening accounts of labor and sexual trafficking and more. I haven’t posted enough about it in a few years, not since I borrowed vintage outfits for several months a few years ago in which for each outfit post I explained various types of trafficking. I really enjoyed doing that but slacked since, though my voice and heart continues to pour out on such matters.

Last year the Super Bowl was in my state of NJ, which is one of the best states in the entire country along with two other states (yes only 3 are this good). There were dozens of arrests of traffickers and rescuing of victims of sexual trafficking that took place on the night of the Super Bowl alone. Unfortunately this year the Super Bowl is in one of the lowest trafficking fighting states in the country, in one of the lowest fighting cities at that. Our hope is that what happened in NJ last year will happen this year in Arizona.

end-it-jn-njcThe problem with sporting events is that where there are groups of people gathered (especially the thousands who celebrate at sports events), there are usually demands for company to celebrate these things with. Many pimps (which are traffickers) tend to be on the look out for new girls to recruit, and many of them are underage, while others are not. These girls often get tricked, kidnapped, coerced, beaten, forced into drug use, or are highly threatened into becoming prostitutes. Out of fear and desperation, they are trained and obey how to act and are made up to look older if they are young (stress and abuse also ages them). They then are hired by those looking for company for a night and are “raped for profit” as Gary Haugen of IJM states. A lot of those girls are abused in various ways rather than just used for sex. If they get caught, usually the prostitute is criminalized, feel they can’t trust police or much of anyone, and a lot of the time these women fall in love with their pimps who have abused them awfully so they don’t escape and will return to them after released because at least they are being fed and clothed by someone even if they are abused by them. The prostitutes adjust and feel they have no where to go so they continue in the work.

The average age of entry into prostitution is 13 years old! Many prostitutes don’t make it to 25 years of age (usually dying from drug abuse, suicide, murder, or HIV/AIDS). It is a terrible situation and many laws in the US have been changing to help them rather than to criminalize them. Also the “Johns” who hire these girls don’t realize that these prostitutes are treated as such and there have been programs made throughout the country to help teach them the truth and to help them with their lust addictions. Many “Johns” get away with their purchases of women, but laws are changing to take matters more seriously. Pimps when caught sometimes get off easily, but over the past year alone I have found dozens of cases where these people have received 25+ years of sentencing rather than up to 6 months as I noted a few years ago.

This Super Bowl we (Justice Network – which I am a part of) and NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking are doing the #HTchallenge  to spread more awareness to those in the nation to fight and raise a voice for the defenseless and disregarded in hopes of ending slavery. You can find what you can tweet here to help you out as well as various Facebook message you can write. There are also images you can share (such as the one I have posted here). I hope you will come along side me to be a “game changer”!

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Bringing Justice with Bars of Soap

Want to know how to live healthier, fight oppression, seek justice, and get yourself clean?
I’ve mentioned to my husband for a few months how badly I wanted to make this blog entry.  Rob has this obsession of sorts with not using shampoos or soaps that have dangerous chemicals in them like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate which are used in many bathroom products but are actually not safe at all, can cause cancer, irritation, hair loss, damages the scalp and skin in general, and more.  It is even in many toothpastes!  It is cheap, so it is put into much of what we use.  Most countries around the world refuse to use these chemicals!barsofsoap1

Although I wanted to be all, “Oh well for you! You’re going to continue using the shampoos I buy for you and the soaps too,” when Rob began his journey of not using them a year ago, I caved and said, “Oh okay.”  I went searching for organic products that didn’t have these chemicals.  It was harder than I thought.  I found out a lot of organic companies also use these chemicals.  Thankfully, we found our body wash: Refresh from Trader Joe’s which is easy for us to find and wasn’t too much money.  We both use it and it lasts us a long time and they don’t have traces of nasty chemicals.  The bottle is made with #2 plastic that is supposed to be more helpful and easier to recycle.  It is also not tested on animals.barsofsoap2

As for shampoo, I found this great baby shampoo in CVS that was created by a widow in Sierra Leone who started to create it from coco butter and such to create her own business.  I loved her story and bought it.  I was using if for a while (Rob still does) but it made my hair more oily as I don’t wash my hair every day as Rob usually does.  HOWEVER, next time I buy shampoo, they have a men’s one made with shea butter, avacado, and mango as well as a few for women (I’ll be getting the Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo).  The boys will soon be using the Mango and Carrot shampoo!  When you buy from this company, you are giving right back. Read all that this company helps out with.barsofsoap3

My semi-new fascination: bars of soap!  I used to use Irish Spring growing up and my mom was always using Dove bars to wash her face with.  I hated how the bars would get stuck or would slip around and make me fall or it would slide out of my hands, so I didn’t take the time to appreciate how long they last for!  I bought a couple bars of soap to use for washing hands for Rob from Trader Joes in the spring time (one still is unopened and pictured: the Lavendar one). The one we used lasted for about 6 months or more! I saw these soaps were safer, lasted longer, and saved me money.  I bought all these bars of soap shown here on sale for 40% off, mostly through Ten Thousand Villages (a Mennonite non-profit organization that sells artisan products and helps give jobs to the oppressed and poverty stricken). These bars last me about 4-6 months each. The ones shown here will last me a few years.  Simple as that.  I’d spend $1.50-$2.50 every month on liquid soap for our whole family to use and goodness it went so fast and adds up to costing me more than $20 per year. So yes, I have saved money even if these bars cost $5 each (pictured large bars are Mint, Neem, and Sandalwood) – though they had a soap sale when I bought them so I spent even less.  Since buying my Ten Thousand Villages soaps in September, I have only used one SMALL bar of soap and just opened my second small bar (shown on the soap tray – it was a 3 in one package that came in that cute bag all for $2.50).  1 bar lasted 3-4 months.  I love smelling these soaps. SO GOOD!!!  In buying these soaps from Ten Thousand Villages which are made in Tamil Nadu, India, you can help Palam Rural Centre Artisans break down their caste walls of poverty and give opportunity for jobs for those who live in slums.barsofsoap4

Have products you use that you want to share with me that I can possibly talk about here in the future? Let me know in a comment!

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Movie Suggestion Post #100

Movie Ratings are on a scale of 1-5.  I tend to start at a 5 star rating and deduct things based on content, plot, photography/direction, and acting.  Anything rated over 3 stars and is in bold, which means I enjoyed it and would probably recommend it or watch it again.  (5 star ratings are very rare with me)! –  Content is listed for those who are careful about what they or their children view (or what to be aware of)]

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty  2013 (w/ Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn, Adam Scott) – 4.5 stars – I will say that when I saw that this film was in the making, I was angry.  Why? Because I am a huge fan of the original film with Danny Kaye & Virginia Mayo.  It is actually my brother’s favorite film so my family saw it dozens of times and we can quote it to one another.  I recently listened to the audio book as well wich is only 15 minutes long and narrated by Ben Stiller. I listened to it again after seeing this new version of the movie.  Neither movie is exactly as the short story is, but both capture it in their own way.  Back to the new version of the film. This was one of the prettiest movies I have EVER seen. The art of photography amazed me.  The story was beautiful.  There were little things throughout it giving homage to the original movie too.  Walter Mitty is a man who daydreams on a regular basis of being someone amazing and adventurous.  Unfortunately he is one who just takes cares of his mom and works and doesn’t do much else.  There is a woman at his job who has caught his attention and he wants to get to know her more.  Throughout the movie you see a great character built up!  It had a great soundtrack with it as well.  More films should be made like this one (well not exactly since that wouldn’t be original, but where they are pretty much clean).
content: a man is shown drinking and is drunk in a scene and mentions cheating on a woman, a man gets mocked regularly because he zones out, a statue of a man is holding a statue of a woman that is not dressed modestly, a fight scene (not intense though – more like wrestling), it is mentioned that “horny” men are on their way to a strip club, the word “erection” is said but it is not said sexually at all, heroin is mentioned, language: (“s” word 1x, Jesus’ name used as an exclamation 1x, kick-“a” used 1x, “hell” used incorrectly 2x)thesecretlifeofwaltermitty

secretlifeofwaltermitty3Guardians of the Galaxy (w/ Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Karen Gillan, voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel) – 3 stars – I can’t help but shake my head in disappointment after seeing this movie.  When it was in theatres, everyone was talking about this film and how great it was.  I know someone who saw it four times in a row while it was still on the big screen.  Now that I have seen it, I am thankful I did not go to see it in that way.  This movie was “Cheeze Ball” and hyped far too much.  The graphics were AMAZING, but that is where it ends.  I was so confused in the first 20 minutes of this film, not understanding the plot.  I asked my husband if he understood it yet, but he didn’t get it either.  Finally things started to get into place for us, but the costumes and a lot of the acting was pretty poorly done.  Basically, you have a boy who gets abducted by an alien (which the 1988 sequence scene shown was like ET and Flight of the Navigator for me – both 80s movies).  Years later we get to see what life is like for that boy who seems to be a space pirate of sorts who runs into a bunch of mishaps that get teamed together.  I felt like I was watching Star Wars a few times, and then I thought it was Rocketeer and Blade Runner and Dune and the original Total Recall put all together.  I get that the main character was basically stuck in the 1980s, but all I can say is, “Howard the Duck” was a terrible movie and they had to put a whole scene using him?  Ugh. The things I read about content in this didn’t make it seem like there’d be half naked girls throughout it either, which irritates me.  I don’t know the actual story/comic for this, so perhaps that is the problem.  Rocket reminds me of Starfox or whatever that game was from the early 1990s by the way.  I don’t know what to say.  I really had high hopes for this movie and was thinking I’d be giving out a 4 or 5 star rating.  I almost allowed my sons to watch this, but now I am so very happy that I did not. It is not kid friendly. Read content for more.
content: A girl is shown sitting down in what appears to be her underwear (you see the color of them and her full legs exposed – and it seems that she was there from a one night stand), immodesty throughout (tight fit outfits on women and midriff and cleavage shown, people shown wearing bikini tops, women shown standing outside as if they are prostitutes – they are not dressed modestly), people punching and hitting and kicking and shooting and stabbing throughout this, people threatening to kill others. people killed (no gore), a hint to sexual activity in a ship and how to find out if it happened, talk about peeing, slavery shown, woman shown with her face and body coming apart and then blowing up purple-like, things blow up, creatures eating other creatures, language: (the middle finger shown slowly, large “b” word used, “s” word used. “hell” used incorrectly 2x, a guy about to say the “f” word but he just says “ffffff”, calling people donkeys, talking about calling people “dick”, calling a woman “whore”)

Eden of the East: The King of Eden & Eden of the East: Paradise Lost  2009 & 2010 (anime) – 2.5 stars – These are two movies to conclude the anime series Eden of the East.  I hadn’t seen the series for a long time so I was a little lost for a bit but then memories kicked in.  I had really enjoyed this anime.  The movies were a bit slow and weren’t bad, but I am a little disappointed with the ending.  It was sad.  Basically, Saki goes to the US trying to find “Taki” as she calls him.  He has lost his memories since the anime series and she is hopeful that she’ll find him at their special place.  There are rumors going about that he is a terrorist and an illegitimate son of the prime minister.  Good story and very unique.  We learn about what this “game” is about and why the players have special phones.
content: guns shown, a “super deformed” drawing of a woman in a bikini, immodesty (woman in a robe that shows cleavage, a woman in a tube top dress that is hanging pretty low on her breasts, a woman is in the shower though they only show her face and steam covers the rest of her, 2 streakers shown in the credits very briefly and only partially shown though enough to see lots of skin), woman shown on a bed where you see her naked backside and her underwear worn, kissing,  (language: “f” word, “s” word, small “b” word, “d” word, small “a” word)

The Doctor Takes a Wife  1940 (w/ Loretta Young, Ray Milland) – 3.25 stars – A woman writes a book about how women can overtake a man and be business minded rather than doing the usual housekeeping that wives did typically in that time.  She comes in touch with a doctor who works as a teacher.  After certain people see them together and assume they are married, they realize that there could be a benefit in them being married rather than single, though they aren’t really married nor do they live as if they are.  This is a romantic comedy and I liked it a lot.  It was short but good.  I think it was strange though how quickly the mind of the woman changed when she seemed so anti-marriage.  Ray Milland looks like a cross of my two favorite actors (Jimmy Stewart and Carey Grant)  which is so strange to me.
content: people are semi-living together but in separate rooms and beds, someone makes it seem like there is a pregnancy when there is no marriage or sex at all but they imply that it had happened even though it didn’t, kissing, people assuming that married people are kissing other people, smoking, drinking (drunkenness shown)thedoctortakesawife1thedoctortakesawife2

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  2014 (w/ Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Danny Woodburn, Tohoru Masamune, voices of Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub) – 3 stars – I will say that I am not a huge TMNT fan, so if you are, don’t take my review to heart.  Yes the show was around when I was a kid and was hugely popular but I didn’t watch it.  Yes, I have seen the original movies.  No I didn’t see the last movie that came out a few years back though.  Now that I got the history over with, let me explain the movie.  April O’Neal is a newscaster but she wants to truly do something of more worth rather than to show her pretty face.  She misses her father who had died a while back.  Her father’s work was important to her as well since she helped him out with it.  There are people called the Foot Clan (what a weird name) who are causing issues about.  Vigilantes are doing something about it and April O’Neal seems to be the only one who is following their lead.  She of course finds something much more than she realized.  I think this story explained things well and tied in the story in more of a realistic sense too, even though it is completely fiction.  The movie was a little cheesy (not just because of the pizza in it), but it wasn’t annoying.  I did not allow my sons to watch this though which I am glad of considering the content and amount of violence (no thanks, don’t feel like seeing my sons trying to do ninja and karate moves).
content:  a woman’s very tight pants on her bum are shown up close in one scene as a man lusts after her, immodesty (cleavage and tight clothes, a billboard shown of a Victoria’s Secret bra ad right after the movie that was unnecessary), a turtle talks about his “shell tightening” as he checks out a “hot” girl, much violence throughout the movie of people kicking or punching or more, fighting with various weapons, a woman is dragged by her hair, language: “s” word, small “a” word, God’s name used blasphemously

Gilmore Girls 2000-2007 (TV show – all seasons) – 2.5 stars – I liked the first three seasons of this show. Afterwards it was just frustrating and annoying.  Basically you have Lorelaiwho is the single mother of her teenage daughter Rory (their last name is Gilmore).  The story surrounds how they live, how they interact with Lorelai’s parents, the town they are living in, and the loves they find.  It was pretty clean until the fourth season and then it sometimes was a little raunchy (yeah, I understand not in comparison to today’s shows, but it still was too much).  Once they made it seem like it was okay to be in love with an ex who was married now and lose their virginity to them through an affair especially, I was just mad – granted at least the character was told it was wrong in one scene but then it seemed like it didn’t matter anymore.  There was only one couple who actually were pure in marriage that was admirable but of course they made it seem like their honeymoon intimacy was terrible as if married sex is not as fun as unmarried sex. Ugh. Drives me nutty!  Why is Lorelai so fickle throughout this show too? It is frustrating.  I was just annoyed most episodes because things were repetitive too.  I only watched all the seasons to find out what the outcome of the story ended up being like.
content: talk about sex throughout as well as pre-marital sex several times (not shown) and affairs and cheating throughout, people kiss, people shown kissing on top of one another in beds, people shown in lingerie, language throughout of various words, drinking (and drunkenness), fighting (punching), smoking shown, immodesty throughout, people name calling or mocking people throughout the show, trouble making a couple times

Secret Garden  2010 (Korean TV show) – 3.25 stars – I have been meaning to watch this show for a couple of years when my in-laws told me about it (yes they and I watch Korean drama).  Netflix put it on instant play and I was thrilled about that!  I was blown away by the first episode and it took me a while to watch the next one, but once I got going I couldn’t stop (and these are hour long episodes. . .20 episodes for this show).  Now to get to the plot.  The poor girl who plays a stunt woman for TV shows somehow meets a rich CEO of a mall.  She can’t stand how he shows up or is always around her and he can’t stand that he cant’s stop thinking about her all the time.  She is not his type of woman.  She is just not interested in him at all anyway.  She has a thing for a big pop star.  The pop star is the CEO’s cousin!  Unfortunately, due to crazy circumstances that happen, she can’t get rid of the CEO and is pretty much in need of him often that she starts to just get used to him being around.  The story seemed crazy to me by episode 6, as if it didn’t make sense anymore, but as it went on I was amazed and needed more and more and more!  It was so good!  I loved how they tied things together to make you go “A ha!”.  Really awesome sets throughout this show by the way.  I don’t understand the Korean culture quite too much, but I guess it is common for them to grab women by the wrist and make it seem like they have to go with them? That part is strange to me.  This was a romantic comedy and was totally great. Also, it is rare to see shows these days where the lead couple don’t have sex at all before they wed!  What a breath of fresh air.  So much crying is shown throughout the show and they do it so well! ahh!
content: kissing (including about 2 scenes of people kissing on top of each other fully dressed), language throughout (“s” word, long “b” word, “hell” used incorrectly, God’s named used blasphemously), talk of sleeping with people, talk about seeing parts of someone’s body (and being angry if they did), fighting (punching/sword fighting/shooting. . . she’s a stunt woman, remember), talk about people dying, immodesty (cleavage, tight outfits, short skirts)secretgarden

secretgarden2Jim Thorpe, All American  1951 (w/ Burt Lancaster, Phyllis Thaxter) – 2.75 stars – Of course an old movie gets the whole racial aspect of Jim Thorpe wrong when they did the mistake of casting a white man instead of a half white half Native American man for the part.  This film shows how Jim Thorpe started when he was in college and picked up easily on sports.  It also is the love story of his first wife. . .but they don’t tell the whole story correctly, and that’s the problem. They want to show the sweet Olympian and they didn’t really express his hardships enough, though they did express a few of the hardships, but barely.  I think this is a film they need to redo so they can get it right and cast an actual Native American too, please.  It wasn’t bad though, but is typical for a 1951 film.
content: racism and mockery of a Native American, kissing, talk about death

A Night to Remember  1942 (w/ Loretta Young, Brian Aherne, Gale Sondergaard, Jeff Donnell) – 3 stars – Nancy decides to rent a basement apartment for her husband as inspiration to write his next mystery novel.  Little did they realize the place had a history of mystery in itself with “stiffs” (dead bodies) showing up regularly.  They want to figure out what is going on and who is trying to scare people away or murder those in the complex.  The thing that is interesting is that this is a comedy, so there is slapstick throughout serious situations.  It was alright.  I had a double feature DVD of Loretta Young and this was the second film and lesser liked one by me.  Throughout the film you figure out what is going on and the main characters don’t which is frustrating and makes it interesting!
content: a woman has pictures shown displayed in a room with some immodest clothing worn, shooting, dead bodies talked about/shown, punching/hitting people with objects, smoking, drinking, kissing, women shown throughout wearing nightgowns (very modest by our standards today)

How to Train Your Dragon 2   2014 (animated w/ voices of Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Kit Harington, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Djimon Hounsou, Craig Ferguson) – 3.5 stars – We watched this movie as a family.  Leto has read the first book (which he said this movie was more based off of) and the boys love to draw dragons.  There was a sad scene in this movie and our Leto cried and was sad about what happened.  It picks up from the first movie.  Hiccup is exploring with his dragon Toothless to see what is beyond their village.  He hears about a man who is trying to steal all the dragons and take control over all the villages.  Something has to be done!  What a beautifully made movie and I loved the animation throughout it. So amazing!  This was a very good story.  I don’t know if I like this or the first one more, but they were both so good and I can see watching them back to back.
content: death, possible scary imagery with how the dragons look or act or how the bad guy acts, a woman character checks out guys often in this (based on their strength – she likes their muscles in their arms), kissing, fighting (swords and arrows and such)howtotrainyourdragon2again howtotrainyourdragon2


5 Practical “Resolutions” for This Year

I don’t tend to ever make resolutions.  I do have a stubborn streak where I am so determined that I work hard for the end goal of something because I do like a good challenge.  Then I also have a lazy streak too.  I say I want to do something but sometimes it just doesn’t happen, not because I don’t try to, but because I see that realistically, it can’t be done (I make some crazy goals for myself sometimes).

Taken during a walk I took with my husband in November.

Taken during a walk I took with my husband in November.

I figured this year I would make 5 practical and good goals to work towards.  If I make it, that would be great.  If I don’t, I hope that I at least got much done towards it.

1. Go on Breakfast, Brunch, or Lunch dates once a month with my sons
Now that my husband has a new better paying job, I might be able to afford to take the boys out to a diner or something every once in a while.  In my childhood, my mom would take me to the local diner regularly maybe one Saturday a month for a cheese omelette, home fries, and chocolate milk (my mom would get the same food but with a tea or water).  It was always nice to talk to her and hear what she had to say too while we’d sit and eat.  I really treasure that.  She didn’t have much money, but she always made time to do this.  I would love my sons to share such memories with me as they grow.

2. Make a quilt for each of my family members (our family, in-laws, siblings, and nieces)
I just started to learn how to quilt and can already see that this goal can work out.  I even hope that I can make many more throughout the year if I finish this goal.  This means I will have to make 10 quilts (I am making one per couple to cuddle under together).  I already have 2 that will be completed hopefully within the week and have another two that I am working hard on at the moment.  That will be our family taken care of and then another.

3. Have a Weekend Camp-Out
The only time we went camping as a family (actually with our youth group at that time), Micah was too young to remember it.  Then again, I don’t think Leto remembers it either.  I used to go camping every single year in the summer for several weeks at a time and have longed to do so again.  I think Rob is tired of hearing me every year beg him to do this.  Now that he has every Saturday off, I think it would be great to have a Saturday into Sunday camping weekend to just hang out in the wilderness together and praise and worship God as a family outside.  Not sure where we’d do it or how much it would cost, but hopefully we can do this. We have the tent and sleeping bags!  If it comes down to it, we might just invade someone’s backyard to do it like Rob and I did on our honeymoon one night (so watch your yards).

4. Pay off a loan
Rob’s school loan has taken chunks of money from us for years. He went to a technical mechanic school the month after we were married (I was 20, he was 21) so we paid for it all ourselves.  We have most all of it paid off and have two small portions left.  I am hoping that we can pay one if not both off this year!  That would be amazing and take a load off of us that we’ve had for over 10 years now.

5.  Go On Walks or Bike Rides
Rob is protective of me going out on walks definitely alone, and even with the boys at times, simply because I get cat-called and have had cars stop and follow me over the years, so I barely ever go on walks.  I used to go on walks constantly (even in the winter) with my brothers and mom (mainly individually with each of them, never as a group).  Once I became a teenager I would take my dog on walks because my mom didn’t like me going off alone.  I used to ride a bike to one of my jobs our first couple years of marriage.  I loved it.  I would walk in sweating heavily only to sweat even more with working with an oven all day.  I’m in my early thirties now, so it is good for me to maintain some sort of exercise, and I get none.  That worries me. Now that Rob has his Saturdays off, I want to go on walks as a family together or bike rides (Rob and I don’t own bikes though).  My best memories with my brothers as a child involve walking adventures, so I suppose it holds a special place in my heart.  I’d rather bike or walk than drive.

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Happy Deer (Outfit Post)

Decemberoutfit3thumbOutfit: All Modcloth (though each piece were bought 2-4 years ago)

The other night my husband heard a loud noise as if something got hit outside of our house.  I had been in the bathroom and did not hear it.  Someone had hit a deer with their car.  The man who hit it pulled over to the side of the road a little ways down across from our house to inspect the damage done to his vehicle.  We were trying to see out of our window to figure out what he had hit (if it were a person or an animal).  In the driveway next to ours, I spotted an adult doe sitting and attempting to get up.  We assume that its feet were hurt or possibly broken because it didn’t seem to have the ability to get up from the front.  So it sat.  While I was watching it, I saw two baby deer jump across the road.  They were her babies.  I know they are just animals, but my heart ached and I was thinking, “These babies are going to die without their mother.”

I started to head down the stairs towards the door.  Our landlord was also about to go outside.  He said he called the cops to “take care of the deer” and to check up on the man who got his car hit.  It did not seem like his car was in too bad of shape, but that there was a dent and he looked mad.  He didn’t even go searching to see what he had hit.  I told my landlord that I didn’t want the cops to shoot the deer, as they had done another time in our own driveway a couple of years ago when the same thing had happened (though that one was in much worse condition).  I went back inside and started to pray for the deer to be able to have her limbs fixed and that she could reunite with her babies so that they could be taken care of.

I know that people would think that praying for animals that normally get hit all the time by cars is not so trivial to them, but we are told to care for the animals and God’s earth that He made for our enjoyment.  I went to bed a bit sad and the deer and her babies were the last thing I prayed for as I fell into my slumber.

The following afternoon my phone rang.  It is not often my landlord calls me, so I answered it.
He said, “I thought you’d like to know that last night before the cops were about to check up on the deer (the policeman was checking on the man’s car first), she got up and ran into our backyard.  I put on our lights and saw her two babies were waiting for her.  They then all jumped down into the yard behind ours.”  I told him, “How wonderful! I had prayed for such a thing to happen!”

If God answers prayers about animals, I wonder how many of the prayers I pray for the persecuted church, the oppressed, the hungry, the orphans, the widows, and the slaves do get answered positively.  It was a nice reassurance that God does really care.Decemberoutfit2thumb Decemberoutfit1thumbDecemberoutfit5thumb


Yearly Book Review #7

Ah, the post that is in draft mode on my blog throughout the year that I constantly update has finally been completed!  I think I enjoyed reading this year more than I ever have before, for I have never read this many books before in a year, nor enjoyed this many as well.  Just to explain why I have so many books from the “Love Finds You” series. . .I had a huge stack of them in my pile extended from the previous year (or two) and wanted to get the majority of them done. I only have two more left that will carry on into the coming year, so next year’s list won’t have as many of them at all.  I have now read nearly all of them, so I apologize that this list has a flood of them, however, I did enjoy a few of them so much!  I always make sure to read up on human trafficking as usual over all these years, I have a lot of book series that I’ve begun and hope to complete over the next year, though there are some that I won’t be continuing in.  I do try to read variety, but you can tell which types I get drawn towards the most.
Anything with a 4 or 5 star rating is pictured or in bold. Anything under 3 stars means I didn’t really enjoy the book. The list below is in the order of when I read each book. Click the links of each book title to see my individual reviews of them through Goodreads!

Past review posts: Year 1 (lost) |  Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6 |readsof2014

1. Dating Like Airplanes by Caleb Breakey – 4 stars
2. Allegiant (Divergent book #3) by Veronica Roth – 3 stars
3. Gateway to the Jungle by Gloria Graham – 3 stars
4. The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl – 3 stars
5. Lucky Child: A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind by Loung Ung
6. Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson – 4 stars
7. Priceless: A Novel on the Edge of the World by Tom Davis – 3.25 stars
8. The 100 by Kass Morgan – 4 stars
9. What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert – 2.5 stars
10. Esio Trot by Roald Dahl – 3 stars
11. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – 5 stars!!!
12. Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman – 2.5 stars
13. The Parting (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher book #1) by Beverly Lewis – 3 stars
14. Jesus > Religion: Why He is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke – 4 Stars
15. The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus book #3) by Rick Riordan – 4 stars
16. Love Finds You in Hope, Kansas by Pamela Griffin – 4 Stars
17. God’s Story, Our Story: Exploring Christian Faith & Life by Michele Hershberger – 3 stars
18. Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo – 3 stars
19. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – 3 stars
20. Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio by Annalisa Daughtey – 3 stars
21. Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon by Melody Carlson – 3 stars
22. Love Finds You in Calico, California by Elizabeth Ludwig – 2 stars
23. Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio by Serena B. Miller – 3 stars
24. Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada by Susan Page Davis – 2 stars
25. Love Without Walls: Learning to Be a Church in the World for the World by Laurie Beshore – 3 stars
26. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer book #1) by Michelle Hodkin – 4 stars
27. The Forbidden (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher book #2) by Beverly Lewis – 3.5 stars
28. The Merciful Scar by Rebecca St. James & Nancy Rue – 3 stars
29. Snatched From the Dragon by Megan Gabriel Lanham – 3.5 stars
30. Torches of Joy: International Adventures by John Dekker & Lois Neely – 3.25 stars
31. All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry – 4 stars
32. The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence by Gary A. Haugen & Victor Boutros – 3.25 stars
33. The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl – 3 stars
34. Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin – 4 stars
35. Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craid Groeschel – 3 stars
36. Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr. – 3 stars
37. The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy book #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen – 3.5 stars
38. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn – 2.5 stars
39. The Longing ( The Courtship of Nellie Fisher book #3) by Beverly Lewis – 3 stars
40. When Will This Cruel War Be Over?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia 1864 by Barry Denenberg –  2 stars
41. Living More with Less: 30th Anniversary Edition by Doris Janzen Longacre – 3 stars
42.  When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him – 3 stars
43. Ellie (Ellie’s People book #1) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 2 stars
44. Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley – 3.5 stars
45.Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith by The Voice of the Martyrs – 3.5 stars
46. Report For Duty by Lily A. Bear – 3 stars
47. Love Finds You in Lahaina, Hawaii by Bodie Thoene – 4 stars
48. A Full Reward: Reformation Through Family-Run Christian Schools by Aaron M. Slack – 2 stars
49. Rebecca (Ellie’s People book #2) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 3.5 stars
50. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey From War to Peace by Le Ly Hayslip – 3 stars
51. Circle of Love by Romaine Stauffer – 3 stars
52. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl – 2 stars
53. Bold As Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does by  Bob Roberts Jr. – 3 stars
54. But I Love Him by Amanda Grace – 2.5 stars
55. Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff – 4 stars 
56. Love Finds You in Caramel-By-The-Sea, California by Sandra D. Bricker – 2 stars
57. Rachel (Ellie’s People book #3) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 2 stars
58. The Capture (Guardians of Ga’Hoole book #1) by Kathryn Lasky – 4 stars
59. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – 3.25 stars
60. Even Donkeys Speak: And Other Stories of God’s Miracles in Asia by Mary Ann McDonald – 4 stars
61. Godspeed: Making Christ’s Mission Your Own by Britt Merrick – 3 stars
62. Pirate of My Heart by Jamie Carie – 2.75 stars
63. The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus book #4) by Rick Riordan – 3 stars
64. The Road to Reality: Coming Home to Jesus From the Unreal World by K.P. Yohannan – 3 stars
65. Daniel (Ellie’s People book #4) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 4 stars
66. Love Finds You in Maiden, North Carolina by Tamela Hancock Murray – 4 stars
67. For God and Country (In That Order): Faith and Service For Ordinary Radicals by Logan Mehl-Laituri – 3 stars
68. Rueben (Ellie’s People book #5) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 2 stars
69. The Mysterious Passover Visitors by Ann Bixby Herold – 3 stars
70. Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said? by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo –  3 stars
71. The Exodus Road by Laura L. Parker – 3 stars
72. Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy book #1) by Sally Green – 2.25 stars
73. The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes by John Prendergast & Don Cheadle – 3 stars
74. A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson – 3 stars
75. Reflecting His Image: The Beauty of Following Christ Intimately by K.P. Yohannan – 4 stars
76. Eve (The Eve Trilogy book #1) by Anna Carey – 3 stars
77. Miss American Pie: A Diary of Love, Secrets and Growing Up in the 1970s by Margaret Sartor – 3.75 stars
78. Andy (Ellie’s People book #6) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 3 stars
79. The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home & in the World by Helen Lee – 3 stars
80. Candle in the Darkness (Refiner’s Fire book #1) by Lynn Austin – 5 stars!!!
81. Panic by Lauren Oliver – 3 stars
82. Beyond the Shame by David & Beth Grant – 4 stars
83. Polly (Ellie’s People book #7) by Mary Christner Borntrager – 2 stars
84. A Daughter’s Worth: A Bible Study for Teenaged Girls by Ava Sturgeon – 3 stars
85. Love Finds You in Deadwood, South Dakota by Tracey Cross – 3.5 stars
86. First Date (The Dating Games book #1) by Melody Carlson – 3 stars
87. Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters book #1) by Alethea Kontis – 3.25 stars
88. Let The Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper – 3.5 stars
89. Love Finds You in Bethlehem, New Hampshire by Lauralee Bliss – 3.25 stars
90. The Boy Who Met Jesus: Segatashya of Kibeho by Immaculee Ilibagiza – 2.75 stars

Audio Books (I listen to them while I quilt)
1. Plain Perfect (Daughters of Promise book #1) by Beth Wiseman – 3 stars

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Our Family in Weekly Photos (2014) – 52 of 52

Grinformemylovethumbitshisbirthdayage6thumbSundayWorshipthumb f1racersthumb1. This man and I talk for hours and hours sometimes.  I love hanging out with him.  After knowing him for nearly 15 years, it never gets boring or old.
2. Micah is 6 years old now! Of course he got LEGOs for his birthday.  He seemed to have a great day!
3. What I wore when I led worship songs on Sunday at church. . . the full outfit will be posted in time.  Of course I have owned the outfit for a few years anyway but never wore these pieces together. I’ve been learning to remix things a bit better instead of always wearing the same shirts with the same skirts as I habitually do.
4. The back of Leto’s head. . .and he is playing F1 Race Stars with his brother (it’s a modern-day Mario Kart game).  We have to often tell them to not jump up and down so much while playing video games. I don’t know why they do it.


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