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Posts Tagged ‘skills’

        For those of you who have never heard of Operation Smile it is a great not-for-profit organization that organizes volunteers who team up to medically improve the lives of children who were born with facial deformities.  The non profit was begun by Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. who is a plastic surgeon and his wife.  

         Together he and his wife Kathleen S. Magee, who is a nurse and clinical social worker, put their skills into practice since 1982, working towards helping improve the life conditions of children who have been impacted by cleft palates and other facial deformities.  For a relatively low cost of approximately $240.00 a child’s life can be radically changed.  The impact of this life changing operation can not be praised enough.  Improving a child or young adult’s self esteem is invaluable to the quality of life they will have.  Many people who are born with facial deformities endure physical and emotional hardships due to the mistreatment from others.  Building up children and their families by bringing this kind of health services to them that they could not possibly afford on their own is a major humanitarian contribution.

           Operation Smile has grown to include a large volume of volunteers who labor to bring health and happiness to those who receive the benefit of it’s services.  At this point, over 26 countries are considered partner countries who are actively working with Operation Smile.  Their headquarters are located in Norfolk, Virginia.  They have offices around the world to educate and bring awareness of their cause and in those offices they work to raise funds to pay for the charitable works that they do.

        If you are interested in donating either your medical skills, your time, or fundraising abilities or even donating money here is the number to call 1-888-OPSMILE (888-677-6453) .  In Norfolk they also bring children to America to receive care on scholarships that they might not be able to receive in their own country for the more complicated surgeries.  Training is also provided for those with medical skills who wish to advance their specialized skills for work in the area of facial deformities.

         Cindy McCain, a philanthropist and businesswoman has been on Operation Smile’s board of directors for some time.  She has worked with this organization since 2001; long before her husband, Senator John McCain became a Republican presidential hopeful for the 2008 election.

          If her husband’s run for the presidency brings some attention and focus on her work with Operation Smile; I don’t think that Cincy McCain will mind.  That focus may bring more medically skilled volunteers as well as donations of money that will help Operation Smile to continue bringing, hope and help to those in need.  http://www.operationsmile.org/   Is there a willingness in your heart to help or to donate to this great organization?  https://www.operationsmile.org/help/donate/

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       I was thinking on the idea of generosity last night.  I believe the spirit of generosity comes from a person’s value system.  At the very basis of who they are, comes a willingness to give; and to share their gifts, talents,knowledge, and resources with others.  It is a beautiful thing to give without thought of getting something in return.  And yet, giving without some thought of balance can be destructive.  A person who has truly mastered the gift of generosity of spirit, gives in ways that are healthy for both the giver, and the receiver.

       To know the difference between giving, and enabeling.  Having boundaries on both sides is a tricky thing; so that, one person is not doing all of the giving and inspiring while the other is doing all of the taking.   Having clear boundaries and expectations helps each side to know what is required to maintain that balance.   

          That when when giving and receiving are mixed together it can inspire others when they have the opportunity to do the same.    That is the balance that i am talking about…giving can incorporate time, skill sets, energy, knowledge, or material things.  It isn’t even really that important what you give…what is important, is being aware of the needs of others around you; and, being willing to sacrifice a little of what you have been blessed with to benefit others.   Do you know someone who can benefit from what you have to offer?  I would love to hear about your thoughts on generosity!

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      Tonight, there will be a trio of contestants to remember, on dancing with the stars.  Kristi Yamagucchi and her partner Mark will go head- to- head (or feet- to- feet, as the case may be) with Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta  &  Christian de la Fuente and his partner Cheryl.

       This finale will be something to see.  Jason and Christian are new life-long friends according to all of the media buzz.  Kristi says it is time for another female celebrity winner to claim the trophy.  Tonight, they will compete for the final time.  Who will take away the trophy?

        Kristi barring any catastrophe is far and away the most skilled.  However, Jason has a huge following and is looking pretty smooth out there; but, Christian is strong in well-wishers because of his arm injury, weeks ago during competition.  He is scheduled to finally have the surgery on Friday for the ruptured tendon in the bicep. 

         Will Christian have the sympathy votes to get him the trophy?  He has definately stepped up his skill set in the last couple of weeks…and, has definately earned the right to be in the finale.  They all have.

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       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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       Do you ever watch the news and hear about all of the tragedies around the world and think; what can I do, I am just one person?  You watch it and are moved, yet, you think…someone should DO SOMETHING ?  It is a helpless feeling, not knowing exactly what to do; isn’t it ?   What if you are the SOMEONE who SHOULD DO SOMETHING ?   Your inner voice is telling you to take some action.  You don’t want to waste time or energy; you want to make the biggest impact whatever you do.

         You see a need somewhere; and maybe you have an idea, a product, or maybe a service that you could utilize, to help change things for the better.  Can YOU make a difference ?  You bet you can!!!  Your inner voice is trying to motivate you.  If you only knew HOW to make an IMPACT on things, to make a difference; things would be different.  Maybe, you could motivate other people to take action as well. 

         All you have to do is, get noticed by enough people; and, things could change.  I have the answer you have been searching for, whether it is for your business, personal goals, or maybe, it is a humanitarian intervention that is calling out to you. 

          What you need is the book, The Impact Factor: How to Get Noticed, Motivate Millions, and Make a Difference In A Noisy World!  

          Ken McArthur is a successful business man, an entrepreneur, an author, a business mentor; and, an all around NICE GUY with lots of integrity.  Ken recognizes the power of IMPACT on both a business and a personal level.  Ken is committed to communicating the power of Impacting the world in a positive way. 

           You see, we all leave a legacy of Impact in our everyday choices, in our areas of expertise; just by living our lives.  Why not harness the power of impact to be as effective as we can be by making a choice to positively Impact the world ?  Our areas of impact could be education, the environment, business, humanitarian aid, adoption, poverty, diseases/illnesses, finance,health, fashion, entertainment, spiritual enlightenment, crime, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, sports, elder care….the list goes on and on.  You know your heart and your skills; how do you want to change the world ?  What is your passion ? 

          Go to Ken’s free website and pick up lots of videos and audio recordings that will help you make an Impact in many areas of your life, and the lives of those around you.  Then, do yourself a favor and purchase his book.  You won’t regret it.  This book could change your life; who knows, it may change the world if you put the message of the book behind everything that you do! 

       

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        Oh man, i saw a poll today where people vote on who should go home on Dancing With The Stars.  The result showed what i was fearing…the couple i have been rooting for, Marissa and Tony.  I really, really like the two of them together.  Sure, she didn’t start out with any great kind of dancing skills…but she has improved, immensely.  Tonight is the results show; don’t let Marissa go home. 

        However, from that one poll…it looks like she could actually be the one to go home as it was from viewer’s opinion.  That fact, plus the fact that the judges scored their two dances in a way that they ended up at the bottom of the four couples dance scores.  Bummer…i was hoping she would make it at least to the semi-finals… I know that she doesn’t have the technical skills of Kristi, or the flare of Christian, or the grace of Jason….but, she has personality, joy, and style of her own that is unparrelled.  Best of luck Tony and Marissa.   update:  Tony and Marissa were the ones to leave.  I for one will miss them.  So, next week the competitors will be Christian and Cheryl, Edyta and Jason, Kristi and Mark.  The semi-finals ….awesome season of dancing with the stars!

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        It depends on what time of the day you were able to catch up on the news today.  Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo; then it doesn’t.  In an ever winding path, Microsoft has been trying to purchase Yahoo.  Those on the board keep rejecting the bids. The bid has been raised and still…Yahoo board members have turned their backs on the idea. 

         There have been rumors that Microsoft will take the next step to try to force the purchase with a hostile takeover by trying to get the board members replaced by 10 friendlier members who would be more “open” to the takeover idea.

        This evening, word is that Microsoft has withdrawn it’s bid.  So,  does this mean that the world of, behind the scenes, business manuevering will take over to try to create a more effective environment for purchasing?  You have to wonder if that is even wise; the workers who are still on the job, if and, when a takeover happens will not necessarily be the most accomodating employees. 

           Fear takes over in those types of situations and employees get a little jumpy. They start to feel a sense of divided loyalties.   What if Yahoo’s crucial employees, who have the skills that Microsoft is looking for in their attempt to become more competitive with Google, decide to head for a more stable work environment?  It is a bit of a gamble to pick up a hostile company to add to your companies holdings.

       What about the customers…how will we benefit; or, suffer if they merge two mega internet superstars?  Each company is successful in it’s own right.   What will they have to offer us, the potential customers by joining together.    Will we start to see better services and more creativity?  Or will we be held hostage to a monopoly of providers?   The power that they would wield over the internet, as we know it, would be mindboggling.   What do you think about this?

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       Wow, last night’s Dances with the Stars was good.  It is never a dull show.  From Adam Carolla’s interesting display of a paso doble in a cape an performed in the beginning on a unicycle.  Hmmm…entertaining yes, dancing…not so much.  I know he has a following and he is funny…up to a point..usually at the point where he crossing the line into uncomfortable…and then…well…it is his night to leave i should think!  So Sorry Julianne Hough…i do love to see you dance…but…you don’t have much to work with this season, i am afraid.

        Priscilla Pressley was beautiful and graceful.  However, she was spotted by Len and Carrie Ann as doing a “lift”.  Although…it didn’t seem to hurt her score overmuch a 22 out of posssible 30.  Carrie Ann also complimented Priscilla on her facial expressions…some people definately disagree with that assessment.

          Mario, partnered with Karina, i thought did a decent job…i see him improving a bit each week.  He seems to definately have a desire to conquer the challenges put before him.  His scores weren’t impressive but they were improved over his scores of a week ago.

          Jason Taylor the football player is large but his footwork is improving.  He seems to be Trying to be graceful with his hands..however…at times it seems awkward.  But i have to say…wow…is there chemistry between him and Edyta.  Their dance, besides a stumble and awkward hand motions by Jason…seemed so filled with passion and attraction that it was almost hypnotic.  I sense something brewing here.

         Shannon Elizabeth did a great job for not being able to have much practice time with Dereck.  He is such a smooth dancer…i think he makes his partners shine.  However, Dereck was injured last week and had to be taken to the hospital because of a neck injury.  So Shannon had to practice with Jonathon…who i also adore.  But, still when it comes time to actually perform…it had to be difficult to transition from one partner to another.  Shannon looked beautiful and did a nice job.

          Christian de la Fuente who is Cheryl Burke’s dancing parnter was awesome.  He did a nice job.  Seems to be a bit of ego though going on between him and Cheryl about who needs to listen to who.  Both strong partners..if they can find a good working pattern they could be very high on the list of scores.

            Marissa Janet Winokur i loved watching perform.  No she isn’t a size 4 and watching her practice getting tossed around by Tony was almost painful.  But, she put all of that aside and tackled the practices with gusto.  Her performance was very good indeed.  However, i do wish the costume department would put a little more time and effort into “presenting” her costumes in a lovely way.  Her outfit this week looked like someone didn’t spend a lot of time trying to make her look good.  Marissa has the potential of becoming one of the better dancers strictly because of  her relationship with Tony.  She is like a sponge…he says it and she focusses her attention on attaining that goal.  I like her energy and her excitement when she is able to do what he throws at her.   Out of all of the seasons…i am truly enjoying watching Tony taking pride in Marissa.  He seems to be loving working with her.  Some of his other partners seemed to irritate him….he was all smiles last night with her.

          Marlee Matland is a marvel at what she has been able to accomplish.  When she said that she was having trouble with her balance last night during the turns…i could see that it was definately throwing her off.  There were some genuine oddities during her dance.  I love that she puts herself out there and for the most part has been a positive role model in reaching out and doing something just because she can.  She doesn’t let her deafness define who she is.  Balance is truly controlled in a large part by the inner ear…so i dont know how she will be able to fair throughout the whole competition if and when they get to dances that require many spins and turns…i hope she can find a way to counteract her off balance feeling.

          Kristi Yamaguchi is a dance machine.  She is very precise in her steps and for some reason seems to have to work hard at connecting to the judges on an emotional level.  I think she has been doing very well…in fact she got a 29 on her scores in spite of those criticisms of her lack of ability to conveyher emotional character in dance.  When she is able to do this to the judges approval she will have a perfect score…but it does seem that her dancing skills are being judged at a higher level than the other contestants.  She came out from the start with very good skills…but they are using her performances to compare the other dancers to her level of skill. 

          It will be getting harder on out from this point…because i think after tonight…those with lessor skills will be starting to leave the show.  The bar will keep being raised each week demanding improvement in all areas.

       

        

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        I remember as a teenager being told by my “elders” that the older  I would get, the faster it would seem like “Life was Flying By”.  Well, i hate to admit it but they were right.

        It seems like things are just moving so fast and there is so little time that it is a little bit creepy.  Things that are big news items one day, are not even remembered the next day because there are so many other items that are bigger, better, splashier and more exploitable each and every, new day.

         The other day i wrote here about the spy satellite with the poisionous gas that is about to enter the earth’s atmophere.  The US military plans to shoot it down this week.  They were waiting for the space shuttle to land before attempting to eliminate the threat that the satellite poses to the earth’s population. 

          The shuttle is scheduled to land tomorrow.  This is good, they will not be in firing range.  What i can’t believe is that no one is hyping the threats posed from the satellite.  No, no…the news is covered in things like Lindsey Lohan’s re-creation of a photo shoot that Marilyn Monroe shot way back in the 60’s.  Who could get through the day without having that little morsel pasted into their memory banks?

          Scandal is the name of the game.  Lord knows, if the people of earth could be in danger from the satellite….well…they must be up-to-date on the latest and greatest scandal in the news such as which particular baseball hero of the day used steriods or not, or whether Britney Spear’s dad is out on the partying circuit with Britney’s hangers on crowd, or perhaps, if a famous boxer really does dress up in fish net stockings in his private time!  These are important issues of today are they not?

          I mean who needs to know if there is some unknown government official who could be passing inspections of meat that goes into our school children’s school lunch programs, or the whole reason Fidel Castro is giving up his historical rein of power in Cuba, or how to put an end to all of these public, mass shootings, or why the economy in the US is on the verge of collapse between the mortgage nightmares…the high cost of gas and oil…the bondage of individuals and families who are ensared in a credit card debt web that they will never get out of without filing for bankruptsy…or, how to stop the exporting of jobs to other countries who can afford to pay their workers much less than US employees? 

           We each are “gifted” with such a short time here on earth that we really have to make the most of each and every day.  There is a constant demand for our attention with radio, television, newspapers and cell phones and computers…there isn’t a moment to just stop and realize how much time is wasted on things that really have no major importance.

           For each scandal that comes and goes…yes, the consequences are important.  To the people that it directly involves. 

          We have become a nation of observers of other people’s pain and misery.  When did it become a spectator sport?  If we invest time and energy to watch it…are we not morally challenged to do something about those very situations?  At the very least to pray or send good thoughts and wishes in those directions?

          Every moment of everyday…there are tragedies happening around us both in big and small ways.  There are wars, there are diseases, there are accidents, there are injustices, there are crimes of violence passed among our communities, deaths, and the list goes on.  Let us challenge ourselves not to get caught up in things that we can do nothing about. 

         If we were to focus our time and attention on reaching out to those around us and make a choice to improve our little corners of the world and make it a better place for those we meet everyday maybe “life wouldn’t fly by” so fast. 

          Helping those struggling around us often doesn’t take boat loads of money…sometimes it just takes a listening ear, or a sacrifice of a little of our time, or energy. 

           If we can wrap our minds around the concept of “spending time”/ in other words, using up what time we have alloted to us in our lives; maybe there would be a whole lot less people willing to “waste time” doing things that are un-important; or worse, damaging to ourselves and to the others around us. 

           We each have valuable talents and skills.  It is easy to get caught up in feeling depressed,sad, lost, lonely, or angry.  All of those emotions are negative and they snowball into negative actions.  Refocus and dig deep to find one positive thing to put your energy into. 

            Today it is easier than ever to get involved in positive things.  We can connect to others easily.  Find a group or organization to use what talents or skills you have.   Find a need and fill it, look for opportunities.   Be a role model to those around you.  Get involved in positive things and you will be amazed at how much happier you are.

          

          

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        Ok, I am a little scared…how about you?  I feel a bit like Chicken Little….the (objects from ) the sky is falling, the sky is falling!  The very, top secret, spy satellite that was put up in space less than two years ago quit working and it is now falling to the Earth’s atmosphere.

        The US Military has plans to blow it up with a missile.  Sounds a bit like the Hollywood movie entitled, Armageddon.  Now the problem is that our space shuttle is still up there flying around and they need to wait for that to land here on Earth before they try to blow this bus sized satellite to smithereens.

        The space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to land on the 20th of February.  The military could actually try to blow it up starting on this sunday the 17th; however, from what we hear on the news reports, this satellite has toxic/poisonous gas on it that could kill alot of people should it hit the Earth in a populated area. 

         I am sure they are waiting for the shuttle to land so as to not expose the astronaughts to the danger of the gas and debris. 

         The military has a total of three missiles ready to be launched at the satellite.  There is a very narrow window to shoot and hit this bus sized object.  What happens if for some reason, all three missiles miss? 

         So, what does the American public do?  Should we prepare our homes and our families as if we were being targeted by terrorists?  Plastic wrap the windows of our homes, stock up on batteries and water, and basic necessities? 

        All i know is, when that thing hits even if it is blown up …there will be remenants of the satellite that will still not burn up in the atmosphere…so i hope that missile busts it up good so that any remaining parts burn up good and proper.  I dont want poisonous gas anywhere inside of the ozone layer where we are all exposed to who knows what.

        There are those who say…hooey…it is only being blown up because it is a spy satellite and the government doesn’t want it’s secrets available to any other government.  That is probably somewhat of a valid argument also. I sure dont want other governments to have access to our military secrets either.

         However, on the chance that both ideas have merit…i sure hope that the people in charge of aiming and firing those missiles are of the highest caliber of skills and knowledge.

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