Wednesday, November 9, 2011

American Girl Doll Giveaway

My friends Eric and Kelsey are in the process of adopting a child from EXCITING!!!! They have been raising funds for the past few months to go toward the cost of the adoption, and as part of their final fundraising efforts, they are having a drawing for an American Girl. For more information, visit their website HERE. They also have other ways to donate to their adoption fund if an American Girl doll isn't your thing. For a list of ways to help, click HERE.

Eric and Kelsey are already phenomenal parents to sweet Lila, and I'm so excited for them as they walk in faith throughout this adoption process. If you have questions for them or the giveaway, or simply want to encourage them in their process, you can find their contact information (as well as information about them!) HERE.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thoughts from a Child

One of my groups of students I work with are made up of 6 very active, very lively first graders. Recently, while working on a writing/coloring activity, they began talking among themselves about being old. One student asked me if you always die when you turn 100. After explaining that age doesn't always determine when you die, one student looked at the other and said "yeah, it's God's choice when you die." To which the other student replied, "yeah, did you know that God is everything?" He proceeded to hold up his crayon and continued "see this crayon? This is God." While it was humorous, it also spoke volumes to me about the innocence of children - their abilities to see God as a crayon, and to know (and maybe understand) that He really IS in all things and everywhere.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Place

You'll thank me later for THIS.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Never Enough...

So I look each day at my list of blogging friends, in high hopes that someone has blogged something for me to read. I know that everyone is busy, has their own lives going on, but sometimes, a sister just needs something new to read...

With that said, you are looking at the date of my last post, no doubt. I know, I know, I'm not one to talk, considering my last post was a week ago. The thing is, my life is boring. Everyone else's out there MUST be more intriguing than mine...right?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bragging Rights

I definitely have bragging rights on my half baked niece. Dressed in these, she's going to be the cutest gal ever! (Okay, she'll be the cutest regardless of what she's dressed in, but you know...)

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Little Perspective

I borrowed this from The Lysser, who borrowed it from someone else. Definitely worth the repost.

And That's What It's All About
I stole this opinion column from the Minneapolis' StarTribune. I've flown with the author; he looks like Minnesota. He also made me tear up with this:

The radio crackled in my headset as we passed over a tranquil Lake Calhoun. Downtown Minneapolis drifted outside the cockpit window. The landing gear was down.

Everything was as it should be. Outside, the skies were clear and the air was refreshingly less humid than it had been the previous month. I briefly looked down at the passing homes and schools of south Minneapolis.

School was back in session, and bright-yellow buses were busy transporting children, as they would on any other Tuesday morning. But this wasn't any other Tuesday morning. This was Sept. 11, 2001.

As I was completing what would be another uneventful flight, there were four other airplanes whose final destiny would be anything but normal.

That day has forever changed our lives, whether because of enhanced screening at the airport or, heaven forbid, the loss of a friend or family member in the attacks on domestic soil. We all have stories about what we were doing on 9/11.

Most, like mine, aren't anything to write home about, but everyone remembers where they were when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the World Trade Center's North Tower, and what happened afterward is something to write about.

It's what we did after 9/11 that changed America and its people.

Maybe you watched the television with disbelief. Maybe you cried for the loss of fellow Americans. Maybe you called your parents and told them you loved them. Maybe you held your children extra long before they went to bed that night. Maybe you thanked a police officer or firefighter. Maybe you bought a traveling soldier dinner before your flight home.

But what did you do two years afterward? What did you do eight years after 9/11? I don't think people will ever forget that dreadful day, but it has definitely slipped into the back of our memory bank.

For someone like me, an airline pilot who is constantly dealing with airport security and working with federal air marshals, I am reminded of our post-9/11 world on a regular basis.

But for the insurance salesman driving around Kansas or the schoolteacher struggling with a lack of funds, telling your kids you love them one more time before they go to bed or thanking the police officer for what he does after he just wrote you a citation may not be the first thing on your mind.

This past week, just seven days short of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, I was sitting in Terminal B at Newark's Liberty Airport, waiting for my flight home. I noticed a group of TSA officers wearing honor guard regalia.

With them was a U.S. Army master sergeant. I learned that the master sergeant was escorting a fallen soldier on a final flight home. I didn't ask for the soldier's name, or even if the soldier was male or female. I honestly didn't know what to say.

After the airplane arrived, the honor guard and master sergeant went outside. I stood at the window, along with many other passengers, watching in silence as the honor guard stood at attention while the fallen soldier was loaded on to the airplane.

Through the tears in my eyes, I looked out at the New York City skyline, and it all hit me. Ten years ago, when I was flying over that school, where kids were playing outside -- maybe, just maybe, one of those kids was this soldier who gave everything for our country.

So, when you see a soldier at your regular lunch spot, tell the manager that you'll take care of his or her bill. Call your parents and tell them you love them.

Thank police officers for all that they do. And when you come home from work today, hold your kids for a few extra seconds. As a matter of fact, that was the first thing I did when I got home from that trip. I forgot about the bills, forgot about the oil change the car needed. I held my little daughter in my arms for as long as she'd let me.

After today, we each have one day less. Make the most of it.

* * *

Paul Holte, of Rosemount, is a Boeing 757/767 first officer for a major airline.