Saturday, October 28, 2017

Visiting In Peru

One of the items on our agenda was to visit Grace House and Hogar de Niños. We've been to both places before, but again, seeing it through the eyes of people who haven't been to either before is so neat! Our first stop was Grace House.

Grace House has 50 young ladies who are there of their own accord to find healing. They're healing from things such as addiction, abuse, eating disorders, and the like. It's a safe place for them to recover and graduate from. They have a ceremony when the time comes for the ladies to head home and they write a note that makes it's way to the wall.

We walked through what I would call a "compound" to see how they live. There is a main house, a kitchen/dining hall, and a counseling office. The main house is stunningly beautiful. On the main floor is a wide open entry that is shared with a living room. There are three "guest" bathrooms, a library, a sitting room, and a classroom on the main floor as well. When you go upstairs, they have all of their bedrooms and a lounging room.

Their schedules are very regimented so they learn how to live a healthy life. They get up at a certain time, eat a specific times, have recreation during the day, and go to bed at a designated time. They also go to church at Surco on nights when it's part of the schedule. Until coming to Grace House many of these young ladies haven't known what it's like to live with rules and healthy boundaries. What a blessing Grace House is.

Next we headed to Hogar de niños. We've been here several times before and it's always so fun! One of the things I have to remember, and I've put into my list for next time, is that there are teen boys (and girls) who aren't interested in childish things such as Play-doh and coloring books. I asked and next year I'm hoping to bring Nerf and water guns. I'm not sure what I'd bring for the teen girls, but somehow the teen guys are always jilted.

This summer my sister-in-law and her family gave me some of their leftover Disney activity packs. I opened them up to show the girls about playing with them, and guess what?! They were in English, Spanish, and French! It was incredibly cool!

I realized as I sat there with the girls that a couple of the kids (including the older boys) looked familiar. Ariana is a little girl who hung out with me for quite some time last year. This year we spent a little bit of time know teen girls. hahaha As always, the guys end up in the yard with the teen guys at the house playing pick up soccer. Our team always ends up exhausted where the guys who live there haven't even broken a sweat. It's pretty funny!

We found out that Milagro was having her 16th birthday. A couple of the ladies who run the house ran to the store to get a cake and candy so we could celebrate with her. Now, when I say they "ran" to get it, it probably took them an hour or more. Nothing is done quickly in Peru. We sang happy birthday to her in English and Spanish.

Our day wasn't full of work, but it was a full day. Both Hogar de niño and Grace House are quite a distance from La Victoria, where we were staying. After we were done at the children's home we headed back to Alcance and chilled out for the rest of the evening.

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Fourth Year To Peru

On October 6th, we took a team of 8 people back to Lima, Peru! This was my fourth time to fly down to do some mission work for a week. There's so much I'm trying to wrap my brain around still from this trip. We had 5 new people on our trip and one woman who came with us for the second time in a row. Funny thing is, we didn't know the other people AT ALL. In fact, one gal who was going with us met Fred at a conference in another state two years ago. How cool is that?

We flew in Friday night and stayed at the Dream Center, Alcance Camino de Vida. This was our first time staying here and had no idea what to expect. Well, it was wonderful! We had 5 women and 3 men on the trip. In our room there were 6 sets of bunk beds and our own bathroom with showers. I think it was the same in the guys room. I never looked in. lol I think we were all rather surprised at how cold it was! Several of us grabbed extra blankets and wore sweatshirts to bed. Lima is just starting spring in October.

In the morning we found out we were going to paint the Dream Center because someone had put graffiti on it the day before. The only other time the walls have been painted was when we did it two years ago. The Center is used for so many things, including three church services on Sunday morning. So, we got out there and got the graffiti covered up. We walked down the street to a market for people to have a pop and it was so fun to see all of the fresh food...and chicken parts which I'm sparing you from. lol

I also had to (yes HAD to) go talk to the lady across the street because I wanted to pet her dogs. That super fuzzy one did NOT want me petting the other one, with is the one I wanted to pet. He would enthusiastically jump around so he was the only one in my vision. hahaha

We hopped into our bus and we headed to Miraflores to have dinner at Tanta's. Paige and Stalin ordered a family style meal and we all indulged in some delicious Peruvian food. It was fun watching everyone try the food for the first time.

Sunday was pretty relaxing, too. I think the rest of the team was surprised that we weren't getting down and dirty on the very first days of being on the mission trip. Mission trips are different everywhere you go and every time you go. Our work was going to be during the week because that's just how the schedule played out. Actually, our schedule ended up changing quite a few times while we were down there, and we just rolled with it.

We went to church at Alcance for their third service. During the second service we had the chance to hear from 3 of the new interns who are serving in Lima. Loved hearing their stories. After church we headed back to Miraflores for lunch. We exchanged our money and ate at Papachos. It's one of our favorite burger places to eat at. Since it was almost Stalin's birthday, I made sure to surprise him with some singing and dessert. He'll thank me later!

After lunch we headed to the Indian Market to do some shopping. We went to the same one we visited our first year. It's the biggest one, and the one I enjoy most. I always feel like I never go home with enough. hahahaha It's incredible how much you can get with so little money though. Then we got to visit one of the grocery stores. It's fun to pick up some of our favorite cookies and candies.


Our evening had us going to Camino de Vida - Surco for church. I love going to church there. It's such an amazing experience. We get to see friends we've made in past years, and that's one of the things I cherish most. In the past, to understand the sermon, the church used these really bad hand radios that would broadcast the translator and music, which made it impossible to know what was being said. Now they have an app that we were able to use. Well, except that it was cutting out so much we couldn't understand still. hahaha Oh well. Nothing's perfect, right?

To end our Sunday, we went to Palachinke. The fun piece about eating there is the astonishment on the team's faces when they see how huge the crepes are. I think the guy who either owns the restaurant or runs it remembers me from last year. He welcomes me up to watch them make their crepes, even had one of the cooks stop and pose for me. Sadly I didn't realize at the time that the photo turned out blurry. Then he'd come over and present the food to me so I could take a picture. Cracked me up. When we left I told him we'd see him next October.

I told the team (well, at least the ladies) to buckle down because the work week was about to get started! I was totally ready!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Nightmare Before Christmas In Theaters Halloween Weekend

One of the first movies my youngest son showed real interest in is The Nightmare Before Christmas. When he said he wanted to be Jack Skellington for Halloween one year, I was shocked. I had no idea he even knew of the movie. That's what's making me so excited! I'm sure he'll want to see it on the big screen this weekend!

Friday, October 27th – Tuesday, October 31st, you can celebrate the Halloween holiday with Jack Skellington, Sally, Oogie Boogie and more as Disney’s beloved classic THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS returns for a limited engagement exclusively in over 300 Regal cinemas locations nationwide!

Tickets are now on sale at select Regal theaters. Participating theaters include locations in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

For tickets and information, visit:

Additionally, members of Regal Crown Club and Disney Movie Rewards loyalty programs can get rewarded for seeing Disney movies at Regal theaters when they link their accounts. Members will receive 25 Disney Movie Rewards bonus points for linking. Join Regal Crown Club and Disney Movie Rewards today to get all the benefits of seeing Disney movies! For information on Disney Movie Rewards linking with Regal Crown Club loyalty program visit

Monday, October 23, 2017

Be A Super Prepared Family With First Alert

October is an important month for a lot of reasons. One of the most important is Fire Prevention. October 8-14th is Fire Prevention Week, but we were in Peru that week on our mission trip. I had reached out to our small fire station to see if we could have them come talk to our little neighborhood, but I think they're so small it wasn't possible. I did get to work with First Alert to help spread awareness about home fire safety.

Fire prevention is important no matter where you live or the kind of house you live in. I don't know about you, but I was taught to change the batteries every time we start or end Daylight Savings. Did you know that you should be doing a weekly test of your smoke detectors?! I had NO clue. That is, I didn't until I read the instructions that came along with our First Alert Fire Prevention Kit.

This weekend, Fred and I switched out a couple of our basic smoke detectors that came with the house for the new ones we received from First Alert. It's incredibly important to be a Super Prepared Family! One of my biggest concerns is having a third story bedroom. It's incredibly high up and I worry that with my son living up there he would have a hard time escaping if he didn't have enough notice. One of the purchases that I want to make is for a Three Story Escape Ladder. That will give me a bit of a peace of mind.

Until then, we started off by installing the 10-Year Atom Smoke & Fire Alarm. This was installed at the bottom of the 3rd floor stares right above my overflowing bookshelves. Ok, tell me I'm not alone when I thought all smoke detectors were big and round?! This Atom is a micro-design with a ten year battery. TEN year, people! Can you believe we've been in this house and already had our alarms going off at 3am! SO miserable, especially when you can't figure out where the heck the chirp is coming from. "This unit has an advanced smoke entry system with a photoelectric sensor that will detect regular and slow, smoldering fires and reduce false alarms that result from cooking and shower steam."

We also switched out the master bedroom and living room detectors. In the living room, because it's next to the kitchen, we added the 10-Year Dual Sensor Smoke & Fire Alarm. What really grabbed me, because I really don't grasp how quick fire can spread, is reading "Fast flaming fires spread quickly and leave minutes; maybe seconds; to react. Slow smoldering fires burn long and can unknowingly fill the home with smoke causing smoke inhalation." I think we always have this sense that we'll have plenty of time to get out if there's a fire. This is a good location for our home because it detects slow smoldering and fast flaming fires.

The one in our bedroom is the 10-Year Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. While smoke & fire are something that are always a concern, carbon monoxide freaks me out. It's an odorless killer. I remember when I had a house build in Minnesota years ago. Our friends gave us a Carbon Monoxide detector as a house warming gift! I felt like having one of these in the bedroom was the best option. We put the 10-Year Alarm Life Carbon Monoxide Alarm on the main floor, and having this combo in our bedroom gave me an added level of security.

Speaking of the carbon monoxide alarm, I decided that instead of attaching it to the wall (for now) I'd put it on our entryway table. It's really such a small, versatile detector you really don't even realize it's there. I like that it gives the reading of the room temperature that it's in. All of these detectors can go for 10 yrs without needing a battery change! Gotta love that feature. When any of them come to the end of the life, an alarm signals for it to be replaced.

It's incredibly important for every family to be a Super Prepared Family! We're doing that by talking with the boys about escape routes from the house and where we should meet if we ever have an emergency. You can also use fun activity sheets and watch these videos to help your family!

Be sure you take some time before the end of the month to check your detectors batteries and if it's time, replace those with one of the detectors you've read about here! Be safe out there.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Small Book About A Big Problem By Edward T. Welch

A Small Book About a Big Problem
by Edward T. Welch
Publisher: New Growth Press
ISBN: 978-1945270130

So, I may have an issue with anger, patience, and peace. I'm not alone am I? I know all three of those are things I've struggled with. That's why when I saw that I could review A Small Book About a Big Problem that dealt with those topics, I figured there was a reason.

How many times today have you been irritated? Frustrated?
While you might not think about it often, if you look closely at any day most everyone can find anger in their actions and attitudes. Something spills or goes missing, we get stuck in traffic or someone cuts us off on the road, or we feel like the people we live and work with are only making our lives more difficult. And while no one wants to get angry, what happens when our irritations and frustrations rise yet again?
Anger is so common-yet it also hurts. It not only leaves a mark on us, but it also leaves a marks on others. The wounds we inflict on ourselves and others because of anger-loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships-give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in peace and patience.
But if you, like many others, have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone truly find peace? The answer is yes, but you will need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a fifty-day journey that unpacks anger while encouraging and teaching readers to respond with patience to life's difficulties. Readers will also be introduced to Jesus, the key to any plan for change. Known as the Prince of Peace, he is the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.

Welch pin1
My Review:
I felt like A Small Book About a Big Problem started off rather basic the first couple of days. I know that it takes about 90 days to break a habit, and the first couple of days just had me thinking, "Ok." From there the book takes off! The author really turns our eyes on the Lord and how we live our lives. Mr. Welch doesn't tiptoe through what anger looks like. I really appreciate his straightforwardness. He makes the reader look at anger in the face and take it for what it is. Then he turns us to God and what His Word says.
Each day's reading is quick and to the point. It's an easy read so that we can keep on track and take it in easy-to-digest readings. You have to be ready for the brutal honesty for what anger is and how it's such a devastating sin.

I like how you can take bits and pieces and carry them with you. You can find ways to put this book into action when anger feels like it's creeping up. I know sometimes it comes out of left field (like it does for me so often), and it's something that we need the Holy Spirit to make a change in. Jesus definitely can help us conquer this big problem!
About the Author:
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.
Find out more about Edward at

Thursday, October 19, 2017

THOR: RAGNAROK New Featurettes

I don't know about your family, but mine can't stop talking about the movies that are coming out starting next month. We're basically going to live through the holidays watching new releases! The first one on our list is THOR: RAGNAROK.

Of course I don't want to keep all of the good stuff to myself so here are a couple of featurettes for you to feast on! The first is Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Director Taika Waititi as they talk about the movie and offer glimpses of what’s to come!

Next is a featurette with Cate Blanchett, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female villain—Hela. She's such a diverse actress, I can't wait to see her in this role.

Like THOR: RAGNAROK on Facebook:  

Follow THOR: RAGNAROK on Twitter:

Follow Marvel on Instagram:  

THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd

Teaching Kids To Make An Investment

The first time I thought about my kids learning about finances was when my oldest daughter was heading to high school. I remember going through her class options and was excited to see one that taught about finances, how to fix things in your home, etc. Practical things. When she signed up for classes, she found out they were cutting out that class. UGH! I was terrible at finances and didn't want my kids to follow in my footsteps.

Spring forward 8 yrs later and my oldest son started talking to me yesterday about how he can't wait until he can start investing his money in stocks. I was so excited to have this talk with him because a) I'm partnering with BusyKid and b) my boys need to start NOW!

Both of my boys have jobs, yes even my 14 yr old, and I want them to be money smart! I don't want them to ever live paycheck to paycheck or worry about what retirement will look like I do. It's not surprising that nearly 80% of millennials aren't invested in the stock market. Also that 3 in 4 young women, versus 60 percent of young men, said investing was confusing. I can confirm that it's incredibly confusing.

It's important to teach our kids! The lack of financial education in schools are the major reason young Americans aren’t prepared to invest in their futures. I was never taught it in school, and neither were my kids. I would really encourage parents to give stock instead of gifts! With the holidays coming up, it's a fun way to get them started!

- Price is now $14.95 for the entire family
- They are introducing the BusyKid Spend Card, a reloadable Visa® prepaid card, where kids can move their allowance in order to spend in stores or online
- For a limited time, 2 kids of each new family will receive a free $10 stock. We want kids to learn how to invest so we decided to give them their first experience in dealing with the stock market.

Here are 5 Tips For Young Investors

Learn The Game - Investing can be a risky game. However the best time to learn how to play is when you are young. The amounts you invest are generally smaller and if you make mistakes, you have plenty of time to make up for them. There is no lack of information available on how to invest in stocks, so read up!

Earn Your Stock - Let your children earn money to invest by completing chores around the house. By using BusyKid, your children can automatically turn their allowance into investments.

Don’t Fear Mistakes - It’s bound to happen. You pick the wrong stock, pull out too soon or too late. Maybe you lose all you invested. Don’t sweat it. You’re not the first to do it and you won’t be the last. The good news is you are young and able to rebound from whatever happened. Just don’t quit!

Have Fun - Investing can be fun because unlike having your money in a bank account, you can watch your money live in the market. Follow your investments weekly to see if they go up or down. Then when you think the time is right, sell the stock and start all over again.

Family Affair - Make investing a family affair or contest. Let each family member the ability to but two or three stocks, then over a month, have a contest to see who does better. You can even spend time each night at dinner discussing how the market did and who is winning.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Staycation With The Mazda6 Grand Touring

Recently, Fred and I had a "first." We left my oldest son at home to be with my youngest son overnight. OVER-NIGHT! BY. HIMSELF! Holy cow!!

Yes, Fred and I have gone on trips without the kids, but this was the first time we weren't having someone come and stay with the boys. And by "someone" I mean an adult, which, Buddy is technically an adult at 18. Heck, I was living on my own (very badly quite honestly) at 18!

When I found out I was going to get to drive the 2017.5 Mazda6 Grand Touring for a review, I was thrilled...and then I went into planning mode. Where were we going to enjoy our ride for the week? I really tried to reach out to as many places as I could, but sakes alive, it's not always easy trying to find a place to visit on short notice. What I really wanted to do was see the changing of the leaves. Unfortunately, the leaves aren't really changing down here yet.

Let me introduce you to Lola! Isn't she a beauty? She came to me with just over 300 miles on her. I've never had the privilege of driving a vehicle with so few miles. I was in for a treat! I can't wait to share about our experience on our short little road trip in the Mazda6.

I looked into going to PA and WV. Turns out there's a lot to do, but so much of it was booked in advance by others, our options were limited. This summer friends of ours went to Harper's Ferry, WV, and I loved the photos so much, I decided we had a destination.

As nervous as I was to head out (sheesh we were only an hour and a half away) I was really excited. Just me and the hubs. No agenda. Friday night all we had to do was get to our hotel and grab something to eat along the way. When we started out, I was driving, but at some point I just got too sleepy and I asked Fred to take over.

It was kind of fun being a passenger in the new car. I got to play with the buttons. Let's start by talking about the little things. It's nice (as a driver) to have the plug in power source in an accessible place in the car as opposed to  being almost hidden on the passenger side in the CX-9. We've always got something plugged in. We didn't have the boys with us, but if we did and they needed charges, thankfully there were also two USB ports in the arm rest.

And the color...Soul Red Metallic on the outside and Parchment Leather on the inside. The Active Driving Display is fantastic! Instead of information being displayed on the windshield, this display unfolds when the car starts. There did seem to be times when it worked to show the road signs and other times when it didn't.

Once again, my favorite feature is the Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring. It was kind of funny when it chimed the first time. Fred was like, "What was that ringing noise?" I didn't know what he was talking about because he asked too long after the chime had sounded. When it did it again, I realized what he was talking about. Honestly, you can't beat the notifications you get when there's a car in your blind spot. The chime, the light indicator on your side mirrors, and the notification on the Active Driving Display, it's something I hate living without in my car.

Our drive into West Virginia was a pretty relaxing drive. We checked into our hotel and relaxed for the rest of the night. A gal could get used to this! We're always go, go, go so to have nothing planned the next day was delightful!

Saturday morning had us packing back up into the Mazda 6 and going on the hunt for coffee. Fred found a coffee place called Big Dog which was outside of town, but had good ratings. It was a fun coffee place that had a lot of homemade items for sale. Right next to it was a cute little market where we had to get some fall items!

Thank goodness we had no agenda because as we were heading into Harper's Ferry we drove by a flea market and Fred whipped a u-turn. He knew without really having to ask that I wanted to go. It was a great stop! I found old books for my daughter's wedding and this hat...can you even believe I didn't come home with it?!

We drove through the main section of Harper's Ferry a couple of times trying to get our bearings. Since we hadn't been there before we weren't exactly sure where to park or where to start. What was an awesome bonus, it was free parking for September 30: National Public Lands Day! Score, right? Well, we ended up not parking where it was free, but ended up going to the other side of the town and paying to park. Don't ask...

It was a delightful place to visit. So much history to learn about. I had no idea it was such sought after piece of land between the Union and the Confederates. We went into the buildings soaking up the history of what happened in the town. I have to admit, some of it was extremely hard to read. We had lunch at a cute little restaurant, and then continued to explore the rest of the town.

I'm so glad we decided to take Lola on a staycation. She is what inspired our first night away and leaving the boys at home. Did I mention we told both of our neighbors we were going to be gone? Not because we were "worried" about the boys, but because I wanted them to be aware if anything seemed suspicious in the middle of the night.

Our drive home was just as relaxed. I decided that I hadn't gotten to drive as much as I wanted since I was sharing the driving this time. I kicked Fred out of the driver's seat and took over again. The 6 was a nice car to drive. You can definitely tell it's a 4-cylinder, but kicking it into Sport mode when necessary gave it a stronger feel. Since I don't have a moonroof, I kept playing with that because it's such a fun accessory.

We had some weird issues with the HD on the radio so Fred used his Amazon Music to entertain us for the rest of the ride home. I didn't want to program radio stations since we only had Lola for a week. It would've probably been easier though as I look back.

It's incredible how much the weather can change. Friday when we headed on our trip is was in the 70s and we were using the A/C. Monday on my way to my Bible Study I had the seat warmer on as well as the steering wheel heater. Oh my gosh...that steering wheel heater. Dreamy I tell ya! And who doesn't want a warm tooshie on a cold day?

There was also the opportunity to find out the capacity of the trunk, which turned out to be much larger than I expected. We picked up three suitcases for our mission trip. I thought we'd have to lay one of the seats down, but thankfully didn't have to. Laying down the seats would've been easy (I checked later) had we needed them. It's incredible to me how much room you can get out of a sedan these days!

I wasn't quite ready for our weekend to be over, so I asked Fred if we could check out some country roads on our way back. I also wanted to go down to Annapolis to get some pictures by the Bay. Of course he agreed. He's always such a trooper. It was fun trying to find a spot to grab some action shots with the car. It's a skill I need to work on, but was fun to try out.


It was so beautiful exploring the West Virginia country roads. You could easily spend the day driving and driving just seeing beautiful landscape. On the way home I asked Mr. Easy Going if he'd be ok stopping by Annapolis because I wanted to take Lola down by the water. Of course he agreed. I really had wanted to stop at Sofie's Crepes because it's one of my favorite places to eat at, but we'd had smoothies about an hour before we got there and I was super full.

It was a fantastic weekend and I was so thankful to have that alone time with my hubby. I'm already looking forward to exploring more through the fall. I think we'll have to head up to PA next.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.