Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reminded of how fortunate we are...

And to think we just turn on the faucet...
Here are the facts about the water crisis from Every day, thousands of people die from lack of access to clean water. The safe water issue is intimately linked to hygiene education and proper sanitation, which is why we take an integrated approach to bringing safe water to the world’s poor.

3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease.

43% of water-related deaths are due to diarrhea.

84% of water-related deaths are in children ages 0 – 14.

98% of water-related deaths occur in the developing world.

884 million people, lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people.

The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.

At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from a water-related disease.

Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.

An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.

About a third of people without access to an improved water source live on less than $1 a day. More than two thirds of people without an improved water source live on less than $2 a day.

Poor people living in the slums often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city.

Without food a person can live for weeks, but without water you can expect to live only a few days.

The daily requirement for sanitation, bathing, and cooking needs, as well as for assuring survival, is about 13.2 gallons per person.

Over 50 percent of all water projects fail and less than five percent of projects are visited, and far less than one percent have any longer-term monitoring.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dear Sweet Owen:
My how the time has flown by and I am constantly in awe of your courage in new situations. The week before your fifth birthday you begged to attend Camp Manitoulin with your brothers and it was tough to deny you a week of fun. You were eager to catch the bus early in the morning and seemed to show very little fear when it came to the bus and venturing to a new place all day without parents in site. Now of course I have the luxury of knowing that your brothers take excellent care of you, but it is tough to see you so stoic and so eager to leave my side. The moment you jump onto the bus, backpack all zipped up tight, is bitter sweet. As Mothers we hope to raise children who will slowly sprout wings and become capable of entering new situations with excitement. So far so good as far as you are concerned. I certainly miss all three of you today, but I sit and smile as I think of your days filled with new experiences and new friends. You Owen, are so precious to watch. You are wise beyond your years. You are filled with curious energy and wild humor.I can't wait to hear all about today's adventures from your almost five perspective. These are the days which you will look back on so fondly. Me too!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So here I sit at my office, the coffee spot nearby, with so many thoughts swirling in my head. I am amazed how full my life is! I could fill absolutely every minute with gratitude for all that I have been given. I have an amazing husband who is the steadiest and most trustworthy person I know. I have three beautiful and very different little boys who rule my heart. Recently at family camp over the weekend i was so filled with awe as I watched them listen, learn and grow. God has given them such amazing smiles, such curious minds, healthy and strong bodies and kind hearts. They continue to ground me when I am feeling a bit lost in this great bog world of opportunity. I never knew I could want so much for another human being. I just wish them challenged, spirited and interesting lives. Happy- nah! Happiness is often a choice and not everything we do is supposed to make us happy. Instead we are stretched and changed by that that sometimes causes our days of less than happy thoughts. I thank God for the rich signs I continue to see as I seek to know Him more. Pray without ceasing. Wow what an impact living in prayer is having on my life. Each day I feel a bit closer to knowing that I need to help others. I need to seek justice, help those who have not, guide and serve the lost and the lonely and work towards a greater good in the world. I do not exactly know what that roadmap looks like quite yet but I am sure I am on my way... Right now my day to day is taking the best care of my family that I possibly can. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The tree

Not a tear was shed this year while picking out the tree. We certainly were close a couple if times but if you feed children enough marshmallows they simply do not cry! We made our way to Lenderinks on Friday afternoon. What a place! It has been a long while since our first visit and I had forgotten just how cool a place it is. "I mean they just have so much free stuff," remarked Hayden as we headed for the car. They had hot cocoa, marshmallows for roasting a hot bonfire, saws, greens and twine all for the taking until your heart's content. A far cry from the Klackle orchards of the world where there is a charge for everything. It was a fun hour at the tree farm and easy to find a favorite blue spruce. Hayden was such a bog help this year so once we made it home I found myself venturing into the kitchen to make a pie instead of holding the tree in place with Bob. We had a nice dinner, read the Christmas story out of two different bibles, donned new Christmas pajamas and reminisced about the meaning of our unique ornament collection. Bring on December. The Strobel tree is ready!
The other day I told someone that I have stuff I need to say. What exactly is that all about?
As I am rapidly approaching 40 (two week countdown) I am realizing that there is so much inside of me screaming to be said. Yet when I sit down to write my thoughts on paper, or computer, they often disappear as if they were stolen away in the night. 

I find my life to be so amazing and I am grateful everyday for the gratitude I feel about all the many blessings I have been given. I have an amazing and I mean amazing husband who is so unconditional, fun, real, smart, funny and the best role model to our children. I have three darling little men who are growing like weeds and require so much nurturing. The nurturing and teaching keeps me on top of my game and ever mindful of my responsibilities and duties as a citizen of the world. I am grateful for sisters, three, who are all so different than me. They crack me up, challenge me, make me proud and sometimes freak me right out all in one short conversation. I am reminded of my Dad and in-laws who are so selfless in their approach to being there when we need them. I am mindful of friends, so many, but a special handful who share with me, trust in me and listen to me. So I ask myself who could ask for more?

Life is just so funny. At forty (well almost) I have a house to keep (and unfortunately I do feel somewhat compelled to vacuum almost daily), children to deliver, chase and train, a husband to speak to at least on the weekends :) and so many projects that tempt me. I have irons in the fire to adopt a daughter from Nepal and so many places I want to see. I have creative stuff churning inside.  I have a strong pull to do more in the philanthropy department and on and on I could go. I can't help but wonder how I will fit it all in? There is so much left to do and I hope I am around many more years to continue trying to do my part. Like I said... I have things I need to say. 

I am so fortunate to feel blessed, supported, loved and respected. I hope that I can continue to pay it forward when it comes to service to others. Life certainly is what you make it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

out of the mouths of babes

a few recent quotes:
Hayden- "Mom I know who the democrat is. It's Obama and the republican is McCain."
Me- Good Hayden. "Now do you know when the election is?" 
Hayden- "Ahh I would say September or November."
Me: "It's November 4th, just one week before your birthday."
Hayden- "Oh good! That way Obama can make it to my party!"

Owen during his almost out for the night sleepy state, "Mommy, I love you all the way to Disney World and back." Then I heard a snore.