Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photo Comparison




Do you think they look alike?

Button Tutorials

OK...so I finally figured out how to create a button and allow you to grab it and post it on your page! Here  and here are the pages that helped me.  Hope this helps you too if you desire to create a button for your blog.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blog Button...Help!

Can anyone help me be able to let others grab my button.  My present
link isn't working.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We are enjoying life with this new, little addition to our family.  It is such a blessing to have two girls so close in age.  My sister and I are about ten years apart and although we have grown closer through the years; when we were younger she would want to follow me around and do everything I was doing; but I wouldn't let her.  I am looking forward to rearing these girls to be best friends!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ME?!?

This week the strangest thing happened.  My husband sent me into the hospital room to visit one of the members of our church.  I never dreamed the Lord would use me in such a way.  I am a horrible comforter!!!  I don't cry very often and I am maybe the least sentimental woman I know; nevertheless the Lord was there.

This dear lady is in her early thirties and her kidneys have failed so she is on dialysis and will be for the rest of her life.  Well, her catheter got infected and it nearly killed her.  I almost titled this post "thank the Lord for cucumbers" because if it wasn't for her mother-in-law coming over to get some cucumbers from our garden, we might not have known she was in the hospital.  This family is very quiet and they keep to themselves.

We woke up extra early, packed up the family, and drove to to Batesville to visit her in the hospital (At this point I didn't know I was going into the room alone).  On the way there my husband told me for modesty sake and a few other reasons he would stay downstairs in the lobby with the girls and I would go alone.  I started praying.  What should I say?  What should I do?  What should I read?  What should I pray?

When I stepped into the room her dear husband was holding a bucket up to her mouth so she could catch what was coming out.  She heaved for about five minutes.  All I could do was stand there and watch as she heaved and cried...silently.  Tears streaming down her face.  Once again I prayed...

Finally I asked her how she was doing - dumb question - to which she replied OK.  She went back to heaving and I began to talk to her husband and ask him questions.  Finally the nurse came in and gave her some medication for nausea and then we were able to talk. 

In the end, the Lord led me to read Psalm 40 and just pray a simple prayer for her and her loved ones.  Mainly I prayed for their hearts to be comforted and for them to remember the Lord and for all of us to remember that our lives and health are precious. 

Psalm 40:1-3 are my favorite verses; but there are some really precious verses in the latter end that I think both she and her husband needed to hear.  Psalm 40 reads as follows:

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cassidy's Birth Story - Part Two

Well, as many of you know my heart's desire was to have a water birth.  It didn't happen.  When Cassidy decided to come the water was at 91 degrees and needed to be at 100; so we had to forgo the birthing pool.  No problem because Daddy and Aaliyah enjoyed having their own hot tub for about two weeks! 

Friday morning at about 2:00a.m. I woke up and had to use the restroom.  Not unusual; but it was a little strange when I woke up at 2:15 and had to go again.  After that restroom break I couldn't go back to sleep.  It was then that I realized I was having contractions.  I timed them for about thirty minutes, then I woke up my hubby and told him this was it  (He believed me this time and woke right up to go and get the pool ready!); then I called my midwife, Tressia.  She said to try and get some sleep; but if I couldn't to call back.  Well, I couldn't sleep so I called her back and she headed my way. 

Meanwhile downstairs...My husband found that there was a leak in the restroom connected to the room with the birthing pool in it; so he had to get out the wet vacuum, pull up all the plastic from the floor, and vacuum the water up.  After that was done he put the plastic back and began to fill the pool. 

I continued to have contractions about five minutes apart and then Tressia arrived.  Normally she just has one assistant; but there was a young lady in training who also accompanied her in all our visits and was able to come to the birth as well.  This worked out great because I really wanted Aaliyah to be there; but not in the way.  They were fast friends once Aaliyah woke up.  They read and played together while I was "contracting" and when the real thing happened Aaliyah was able to see it. 

As I said, my contractions started at about two in the morning.  They continued at about five minutes apart, then three minutes apart until about ten; then they became severe and close together.  They were really bad for a while and I was fully dilated and everything; but Cassidy just didn't want to come.  I looked over at Tressia and asked her, "What is taking it so long!?!"   She suggested we change positions, called Raymond into the room, and Cassidy was born about 10 minutes later.  Maybe she was waiting for her Daddy, or maybe she was busy sucking her fingers and didn't want to be bothered until she was done.  Tressia said her arm being up could have stopped her from coming sooner. 

Anyway...When it was all said and done I had a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  No meds, No complication, and a bunch of fun fellowshipping with two other Christian ladies.  I had a great time apart form the contractions!

View our birth photos here.

Excerpt from my book


curly niki.com...One of my hair heroes
I am in the final stages of writing my book before it goes to publishing.  I haven't found a publisher yet, but I am praying about it and viewing my options.  If you have any ideas please let me know.  Below are a few interesting facts about Black hair.
Chapter One: A Brief History


Our Roots
Initially I intended to spend a lot of time studying the history of our hair from Africa to America today. Thankfully it has been done very well. In my research I found a book written by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps entitled: Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.” I found this book to be very educational. The following time line is based on information that was found in it. I will make a few comments about specific issues; but if you want to know more, read their book.

Timeline



1444: Europeans trade on the West Coast of Africa with people wearing elaborate hairstyles, including locks, plaits and twists.

1619: First slaves brought to Jamestown; African language, culture and grooming traditions begin to disappear.

1700s: Calling black hair "wool," many whites dehumanize slaves. The more elaborate African hairstyles cannot be retained.

1800s: Without the combs and herbal treatments used in Africa, slaves rely on bacon grease, butter and kerosene as hair conditioners and cleaners. Lighter-skinned, straight-haired slaves command higher prices at auctions than darker, more kinky-haired ones. Internalizing color consciousness, blacks promote the idea that blacks with dark skin and kinky hairs are less attractive and worth less.

1865: Slavery ends, but whites look upon black women who style their hair like white women as well-adjusted. "Good" hair becomes a prerequisite for entering certain schools, churches, social groups and business networks.

1880: Metal hot combs, invented in 1845 by the French, are readily available in the United States. The comb is heated and used to press and temporarily straighten kinky hair.

1900s: Madame C.J. Walker develops a range of hair-care products for black hair. She popularizes the press-and-curl style. Some criticize her for encouraging black women to look white.

1910: Walker is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the first American female self-made millionaire.

1920s: Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist, urges followers to embrace their natural hair and reclaim an African aesthetic.

1954: George E. Johnson launches the Johnson Products Company with Ultra Wave Hair Culture, a "permanent" hair straightener for men that can be applied at home. A women's chemical straightener follows.

1963: Actress Cicely Tyson wears Cornrows on the television drama "East Side/West Side."

1966: Model Pat Evans defies both black and white standards of beauty and shaves her head.

1968: Actress Diahann Carroll is the first black woman to star in a television network series, "Julia." She is a darker version of the all-American girl, with straightened, curled hair.

1970: Angela Davis becomes an icon of Black Power with her large Afro.

1971: Melba Tolliver is fired from the ABC affiliate in New York for wearing an Afro while covering Tricia Nixon's wedding.

1977: The Jheri curl explodes on the black hair scene. Billed as a curly perm for blacks, the ultra moist hairstyle lasts through the 1980s. Considered by some as the best way to have “good” hair.

1979: Braids and beads cross the color line when Bo Derek appears with cornrows in the movie "10."

1980: Model-actress Grace Jones sports her trademark flattop fade.

1984: Michael Jackson’s hair caught on fire, some blame Jheri curl.

1988: Spike Lee exposes the good hair/bad hair light-skinned/dark-skinned schism in black America in his movie "School Daze."

1990: "Sisters love the weave," Essence magazine declares. A variety of natural styles and locks also become more accepted.

1997: Singer Erykah Badu poses on the cover of her debut album "Baduizm" with her head wrapped, ushering in an eclectic brand of Afrocentrism.

1998: Carson Inc., creator of Dark & Lovely and Magic Shave for black men, acquires black-owned beauty company Johnson Products of Chicago in 1998 from Johnson’s ex-wife. L'Oreal purchases Carson two years later and merges it with Soft Sheen.

1999: People magazine names lock-topped Grammy award-winning artist Lauryn Hill one of its 50 Most Beautiful People.

2001: Rapper Lil' Kim wears a platinum blonde weave, while singer Macy Gray sports a new-school Afro. Some black women perm, some press, others go with natural twists, braids and locks.

2006: Black hair care is a billion-dollar industry.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Birth Story - Part 1

Where do I start!?!  When I was pregnant with Aaliyah, I didn't know the first thing about having or raising a baby; so I got online and studied.  That is typical of me.  My mother says you can tell me until I am blue in teh face; but until I read it, I won't believe it.  Well, I don't know if I'm that bad; but I do like to have a second opinion (smile).  Back to the subject at hand... I also watched a video highly recommended to me by my friend Mary entitled The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake ( I am not endorsing her; but the video was an eye opener for me).  I also watched a lot of parenting videos at the pregnancy center in our neighborhood.  The information I gathered led me to enquire about a home - and possibly- water birth; but there were no services like that in our imediate area.  The day before I was due I was scheduled by my doctor to be induced; but my husband and I didn't feel comfortable with that idea (I felt even more uncomfortable after I went on a tour of the hospital.  The nurse I talked with - Amanda - "advised" me ever so carefully to reconsider being induced, especially since I didn't want to take any pain medication) so we never showed up.  The next night (Wednesday) I had my first contraction just after 3:00 p.m. after shampooing the carpets in the house, cleaning the couches, and doing a three mile walk - I was going for four; but I didn't make it.   My husband got home from work at 5:30p. and I told him I thought this was it; but I don't think he believed me because he dropped me off at church and ran the bus route.  So there I was at the piano having contractions; then I was at the back of the church having contractions; then I called the hospital and Amanda answered the phone!  (I had prayed that Amanda would be there for my delivery; but I guess I wasn't specific enough because two Amandas work in that dept. and this was a different Amanda.  She did do a great job though.)  She told me not to come in until I was having contractions four minutes apart.  BUMMER!!!  After church we drove to the hospital and walked around the track until my contractions were four minutes apart.  I  was checked in at 10:00p.m. and I did ok until about two in the morning.  All of a sudden I felt like someone was trying to kill me, there was a bright light in my face, and two women were arguing about which was was best to take my blood.  One said something about my veins collapsing... Comforting right!?!  Well, my veins didn't collapse and Aaliyah was born at 2:59a.m.  The doctor showed up just in time to watch my husband cut Aaliyah's imbellical cord.

I would love to tell you that I grabbed my newborn, loved on her, and nursed her; but I would be lying.  The nurse cleaned her up and handed her to me.  I smiled for the picture, then handed her to her father and said I wanted to go to sleep!  After I got some rest, I woke up at about four in the morning to an older woman holding my baby and telling me she needed to eat.  Then I loved on her and nursed her...Now I was in love and I didn' t want anyone to take her away. 

Overall I think I had a pretty good experience; but Cassidy's birth story is totally different and I loved it...as much as you can love having a baby!  Stay tuned for her story!

THANKS FOR VISITING!

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