Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Police Arrest Suspect in US Soldier Shooting (Led to Paralysis)

SAN BERNARDINO, California (AP) — Police on Monday arrested a suspect in a shooting that critically wounded a soldier at his Southern California homecoming party after he survived a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan.

Police said Ruben Ray Jurado turned himself in to authorities in Chino Hills, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. The 19-year-old had been sought in the attempted murder of 22-year-old Christopher Sullivan.

Authorities allege Jurado shot Sullivan at the party Friday night after getting into an argument with the soldier's brother over football teams.

Jurado, who had played football with Sullivan in high school, punched Sullivan's brother and Sullivan intervened. Jurado then pulled a gun and fired multiple shots, hitting Sullivan in the neck, San Bernardino police Sgt. Gary Robertson said.

Sullivan's relatives said the recipient of the Purple Heart medal — awarded to those wounded in combat — was hit twice by gunfire, which shattered his spine and left him paralyzed.

His mother, Suzanne Sullivan, told the Los Angeles Times that doctors believe her son will be paralyzed from the neck down.

"I don't have any emotions. My emotions are none," she said. "He didn't deserve it. He's an excellent son and an excellent man."

Jurado has been transferred to the custody of the San Bernardino Police Department where he will be booked, officials said Monday.

Police said Jurado had an attorney but officials couldn't immediately provide the lawyer's name. It wasn't immediately possible to locate a number for Jurado.

Sullivan was wounded in a suicide bombing attack last year in Kandahar province while serving with the 101st Infantry Division. He suffered a cracked collarbone and brain damage in the attack and had been recovering in Kentucky, where he is stationed.

He was home on leave when the shooting occurred.

The Times reported that Sullivan joined the military in 2009.

Fabian Salazar, a soldier who served with Sullivan in Afghanistan, said Sullivan rushed back to try to rescue other soldiers after the bomb blast propelled him several feet, leaving him dizzy and disoriented.

"I know he would take a bullet for his brother," Salazar told the newspaper. "And if you asked him again after all this... if he would take a bullet for him again, he would say yes. That's the type of person he is."

"Police Arrest Suspect in US Soldier Shooting." Yahoo! News. 26 Dcember 2011. Web. 28 December 2011.

Teen's Final YouTube Message Inspiring Millions

By the age of 18, Ben Breedlove had survived three heart attacks. The teenager from Austin, Texas had a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but he didn’t let that stop him from living the life he wanted. He even started a YouTube channel offering advice to fellow teens.

But it was the last video he made that has touched so many people.

Ben passed away on Christmas Day. HLN affiliate KXAN reports he and his family had just finished opening presents. Ben's final two-part video was posted a week before he died.

"One of the things I noticed about that video is he was very confident in what he was sharing that day," Shawn Breedlove, Ben’s dad, told KXAN. "And he wasn't sad when he made that video."

In the video, Ben described one of his near-death experiences. He says in it, he saw rapper Kid Cudi standing along side him. When Kid Cudi heard about Ben's death, he said he "broke down."

Gonzalez, Anna. "Teen's Final YouTube Message Inspiring Millions." HLN. 28 December 2011. Web. 28 December 2011.

Visit article to watch video:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finished With Fall 2011 Semester

I am officially finished with my fall semester and college study at Collin College with an end GPA of 3.915. I plan to obtain the remainder of my undergraduate degree in Social Work at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. I have signed up for two classes: Human Diversity for the Helping Professions and Policies, Issues and Programs in Social Welfare. I am sad to leave Collin College because I have been taking classes with them since 2004. I know the buildings, the classrooms, the professors and faculty, and the atmosphere. It feels that a part of me will always remain there.

Maggots Quickly Clean Up Wounds, Study Shows

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The surgeons' scalpel may have new (and wriggling) competition in cleaning troublesome wounds: maggots.

To the uninitiated the treatment may seem strange. But new French research suggests that bagging up live, sterile fly larvae in tightly meshed dressing packs and applying them to open sores can be a quick, safe and effective way to clear away dead tissue.

Actually, "maggot debridement therapy" (MDT) has a long history in medicine. And the new investigation suggests that this approach -- traditionally reserved for more severe wounds -- can be a quick, first-line therapy for less severe lesions.

"Twenty years ago, maggot therapy was performed mostly as a 'last resort' prior to amputation," for the treatment of non-healing wounds, explained Dr. Ronald A. Sherman, a "biotherapeutics" researcher at the University of California, Irvine, and the Los Angeles and Orange County health departments. He was not involved in the new study.

Sherman noted that past studies found that when used as a last resort (after antibiotics and surgery failed), maggot therapy eliminated the need for amputations in an estimated 40 to 60 percent of cases.

The treatment has gained ever-broader acceptance in recent years, with studies touting its safety record and effectiveness in less severe, non-emergency situations.

Mozes, Alan. "Maggots Quickly Clean Up Wounds, Study Shows." Yahoo! News. 20 December 2011. Web. 21 December 2011.

Visit article to read about study with maggots.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Upcoming Speech in December

December 21, 2011 - I will be speaking at the MADD's McKinney Adult Victim Impact Panel located at 1800 N Graves St, McKinney 75069 at 6:00 pm.

Princeton Police Detail Violent Road Rage Incident

My best friend's cousin was a victim of a near fatal road rage incident yesterday in McKinney, Texas. He was shot in the head. He is recovering at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Please keep him in your prayers. Thank you.


PRINCETON (CBSDFW.COM) – Police say Justin Brazile, 24, was sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle on his way home from work when he became the unsuspecting victim of violent road rage Friday night.

According to Princeton Police Chief James Waters, the incident began just a mile outside his town, in McKinney. Waters says 47-year old Bobby Schule, cut-off a vehicle Brazile was riding in. That started a sequence of confrontations that ended in a violent spray of gunfire at about 8:30 p.m.

Waters says the driver of the vehicle and Schule exchanged words, and both parties threw cans at eachother’s vehicles. The confrontaion continued down US Highway 380 East, into Princeton. That’s when, police say, Schule pulled out a handgun and opened fire. Schule admitted to police he shot the victims. Investigators believe no less than seven bullets hit that car.

One struck Brazile in the head.

The young father of four was critically wonded and taken to Parkland Hospital where he is recovering. Brazile is a fullback and linebacker for the newly formed league, The North Texas Lightning . . .

The tough, exuberant player is fighting through his recovery – with his close friends, family and teammates by his side.

“Everyone is just praying for him – that’s all you can do is pray,” Ballew said. “Justin will pull through, he’s a fighter and the doctors say he’s fighting and we know he’s going to pull thru.”

Schule remains jailed in Collin County, charged with aggrevated assault with a deadly weapon.

Hernandez, Selena. "Princeton Police Detail Violent Road Rage Incident." CBS 11 News. 18 December 2011. Web. 19 December 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

God Wired Us to Be on Mission by Rick Warren

"Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” (Mark 8:35 TLB)

Why don’t we feel more fulfilled? Far too many people are asking themselves that question. We’re not happy, we’re not satisfied — in fact, we’re miserable.

Why? In his book Rich, Free, and Miserable, sociologist John Brueggemann shared a great story that illustrated why. Climbing Mount Everest is one of the challenges that inspire people to do something big. Lots of people try, even though nearly 10 percent of the people who do, die in the process. Many of the corpses still line the path up the mountain. Yet people still want to climb the mountain — though it has no real redeeming social value.

A few years back one climber, David Sharp, was clearly in trouble on the mountain. There were 40 climbers who noticed his obvious need but passed him that day. He died on Mount Everest because none of the other climbers were willing to put their personal goal on hold to help him.

That’s us. Our own personal drive to have more, be more, and do more causes us to lose sight of what really matters. But that isn’t how God wired us. Life isn’t about what you make, who you know, or what you do. Life is all about love — loving God and loving others.

Jesus tells us in Mark 8:35, "Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (TLB). God wired you in a way that you’ll never be happy unless you’re giving your life away in his work. You were made for something greater than yourself. The Bible calls this your mission in life. Significance doesn’t come from status, salary, or sex. It comes from service. Only by giving your life away can you feel that your life has significance.

Warren, Rick. "God Wired Us to Be on Mission." Daily Hope. 13 December 2011. Web. 13 December 13.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

James 3 (CEV)

James 3: The Tongue

My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.

By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things.

It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person's entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.

My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn't right. Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? 12Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water?

"James 3 (Contemporary English Version)." 1995. Web. 11 December 2011.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Paralympian, Un-Paralyzed By Crash, Now Eyes Olympics

UTRECHT, The Netherlands - Paralympic silver medalist Monique van der Vorst has miraculously become an able-bodied Olympic hopeful after a crash reversed her paralysis.

Paralyzed from the hip down since she was 13, the 27-year-old handcyclist, who has just signed with the Rabobank women's professional cycling team to compete as a top-class able-bodied athlete, was hit by a bicycle last year while training in her wheelchair for the 2012 London Paralympics.

While recovering from the trauma, van der Vorst's feet started to tingle and miraculously she began to move them again. From that point on she spent months in the hospital and in the rehabilitation centre trying to regain the use of her legs.

When she was 13, van der Vorst — good at tennis and hockey — suffered nerve damage during a routine ankle operation and was paralyzed from the hip down, according to the U.K. Telegraph.

She also sustained a spinal cord injury in 2008, when she was struck by a car while hand cycling through Amsterdam, the Telegraph added.

She told Reuters that when she took her first steps again in July 2010, she felt just like a child learning to walk.

"I wanted to jump in the air for joy," van der Vorst said this week, and recalled how great and surprising it was to look at herself standing in front of a mirror.

Doctors have no explanation for her amazing recovery. Some believe the trauma of her last accident may have jolted her body back into activity.

But the realities of her new-found joy also put an immediate end to a successful athletic career.

"Although walking is the best thing you could do in life, I immediately missed the sport, the people and the challenges," van der Vorst said.

Rehabilitation and physiotherapy with an athletic focus strengthened her and as soon as she sat on a bike she again wanted to give it a try.

"The spirit is in my body," she said.

Despite a near-crash the first time she cautiously climbed aboard a racing bicycle for able-bodied athletes, van der Vorst got back on her bike and carried on to complete a painful and slow 30 km training route and has not looked back since.

Although she is not on the same cycling level as the other women on the Rabobank cycling team, her willpower is enormous and the team is confident van der Vorst will quickly catch up.

When you consider van der Vorst won two silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, was elected Dutch disabled athlete of the year in 2009, was the first handcycle athlete to win the 2009 Ironman world championship in Hawaii, her goal of riding in the 2016 Rio Olympics does not appear unrealistic.

"Paralympian, Un-Paralyzed By Crash, Now Eyes Olympics." NBC Sports. 8 December 2011. Web. 9 December 2011.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top-ranked North Carolina Wrestler Paralyzed During Match

Luke Hampton knew he was taking a risk every time he stepped on the wrestling mat. However, the Alleghany (N.C.) High senior, who was the top-ranked Class 1A wrestler in the state, never thought the sport he loved would leave him paralyzed.

As the Winston-Salem Journal and other news outlets throughout the state of North Carolina reported, Hampton's match on Saturday took a horrible turn when he tried to charge his opponent and take him to the mat. In the midst of going for the pin, Hampton lost his grip and went head-first into a padded wall.

"When I saw it, I thought maybe a concussion or he just hit his head," Alleghany High wrestling coach Derrick Calloway told the Winston-Salem Journal. "Right when I got to him, I knew immediately it wasn't good."

The sheer force of the collision broke Calloway's C5 and C6 vertebrae. After being rushed rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, it was confirmed that Calloway's injuries had left him paralyzed from the neck down.

The entire Alleghany community has rallied around Hampton following his injuries, holding prayer vigils and setting up a fund to help the family pay for medical costs. As the Associated Press reported, the goal is for the Alleghany High senior to increase his strength before heading to Shepherd Center, a hospital located in Atlanta, Ga., that specializes in spinal cord injuries.

The hope is that the hospital in Atlanta will give Hampton the best possible chance to regain full movement. Despite the awful situation, Calloway said Hampton's strong work ethic makes him believe he will walk again.

"You don't tell that to anybody in Alleghany or around here because we all know he's going to walk again," Calloway told the Winston-Salem Journal. "Just because they told him he can't do it, he'll do it."

Hopefully he's right. Despite the advancements in injury prevention on the field, wrestling remains one of the few sports that hasn't changed much in the last 20-plus years. While injuries can occur, what happened to Hampton is a rarity in the sport.

You just hope and pray that, like Calloway said, Luke Hampton works hard and finds a way to walk in the future. Based on what coaches and members of the community said about him in recent articles, it sounds like he has a great chance to defy the odds.

Wall, Johnathan. "Top-ranked North Carolina Wrestler Paralyzed During Match
." Yahoo! 8 December 2011. Web. 8 December 2011.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rick Warren's Daily Devotional

“Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn't find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, ‘Friend, I forgive your sins.’” (Luke 5:18-20 MSG)

You must believe God can work through you to reach people for Jesus.

No one is hopeless. When the four friends looked at the paralytic’s condition, they could have responded in doubt: What could Jesus do? Instead, they believed God could heal him — they had faith. The Bible said the paralytic’s sins were forgiven when Jesus saw the faith of the four friends.

There are people all around us who are paralyzed this Christmas season — not necessarily physically paralyzed, but a paralyzed faith. Whether they’re paralyzed by doubts, loneliness, fear, or anything else, the result is the same: They need the faith of the others.

Warren, Rick. "Your Faith Will Bring Them to Jesus." Daily Hope. 6 December 2011. Web. 6 December 2011.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wintley Phipps Sings Amazing Grace and Teaches

Wintley Phipps sings Amazing Grace and teaches that "all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano." This is very inspiring and brought tears to my eyes. Please watch.

Video from KarmaTube

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kabul suicide bomb kills 13 U.S. troops - Today

"Excluding aircraft crashes, it was the deadliest single incident for foreign troops since the war began in 2001."

Shalizi, Hamid. "Kabul suicide bomb kills 13 U.S. troops." Yahoo! News. 29 October 2011. Web. 29 October 2011.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anniversary #9

Tuesday was mine and my boyfriend Billy's 9th anniversary! We planned on going to dinner and a movie Friday night until the Rangers decided not to win Game 6. We decided to eat at Texas Roadhouse and then come home to watch Game 7 (Rangers vs. Cardinals). I really thought the Rangers could pull it out this year but I guess not. On a happy note, our meals at Texas Roadhouse were AMAZING! I ordered the salmon (and tartar sauce), seasoned rice, and garden salad and Billy ordered the 11 oz steak, loaded mashed potatoes, and garden salad! I also highly recommend the caramel marshmellow sweet potato! Roadhouse is my mother-in-law's favorite restaurant. Now I see why!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Sister & Her Boyfriend Are In Town From Chicago

My sister and her boyfriend came in town this week from Chicago! I haven't seen her since July and this was my first time meeting her boyfriend. I have been praying for a couple of years that she'd be blessed with "the one" so maybe he is an answered prayer!? I enjoyed spending time with them but hate to see them go. He is the lead singer for a band and came into town because his brother is headed overseas to fight in the war with Afghanistan and Joey was performing a "going away" gig at the Dirty Rooster (last night). It was fun. A bit smoky, but definitely fun. It was nice to see all of our family friends that came out.

Good luck to you Brian! You remain in my prayers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Social Security recipients to get 3.6 percent COLA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009, the government announced Wednesday.

The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Wednesday morning.

About 8 million people who receive Supplemental Security Income will also receive the 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, meaning the announcement will affect about one in five U.S. residents.

There was no COLA in 2010 or 2011 because inflation was too low. Those were the first two years without a COLA since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

Monthly Social Security payments average $1,082, or about $13,000 a year. A 3.6 percent increase will amount to about $39 a month, or just over $467 a year, on average.

Advocates for seniors said the raise will provide a much-needed boost to the millions of retirees and disabled people who have seen retirement accounts dwindle and home values drop during the economic downturn. Economists say the increase should provide a modest boost to consumer spending, which should help the economy.

Still, many seniors feel like they have been falling behind.

Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, said she is pleased Social Security recipients will get a raise next year. But, she added, "The COLA is still not enough to keep up with health care costs."

"Despite the absence of a Social Security COLA, over the last two years out-of-pocket health care costs rose 14.1 percent for seniors and people with disabilities, effectively reducing the value of Social Security benefits," Altman said.

Some of the increase in January will be lost to higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments. Medicare Part B premiums for 2012 are expected to be announced next week, and the trustees who oversee the program are projecting an increase.

Most retirees rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, according to the Social Security Administration. Many rely on it for more than 90 percent of their income.

"For people at that income level every dollar makes a difference, particularly coming in this economic downtown," said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. "None of them feel as if their cost of living was not increasing in the last couple of years."

Federal law requires the program to base annual payment increases on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Officials compare inflation in the third quarter of each year — the months of July, August and September — with the same months in the previous year.

If consumer prices increase from year to year, Social Security recipients automatically get higher payments, starting the following January. If price changes are negative, the payments stay unchanged.

Social Security payments increased by 5.8 percent in 2009, the largest increase in 27 years, after energy prices spiked in 2008. But energy prices quickly dropped and home prices became soft in markets across the country, contributing to lower inflation in the past two years.

As a result, Social Security recipients got an increase that was far larger than actual overall inflation. However, they can't get another increase until consumer prices exceed the levels measured in 2008. Wednesday's announcement shows that prices have exceeded those measured in 2008, said Polina Vlasenko, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, based in Great Barrington, Mass.

Associated Press reporter Chris Rugaber contributed to this report.
Social Security Administration's COLA site:

Ohlemacher, Stephen. "Social Security recipients to get 3.6 percent COLA." Yahoo! News. 19 October 2011. Associated Press. Web. 19 October 2011.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The 5 Most Important Supplements

1. A high-quality multi-vitamin

2. A quality omega-3 supplement

3. Co-enzyme Q-10

4. Magnesium citrate

5. Sunshine vitamin D

Healthy, Jim. "The 5 Most Important Supplements." Shine from Yahoo! 29 September 2011. Web. 2 October 2011.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Can't Sleep? 7 Eats to Avoid.

1. Aged Cheese (Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, and other hard cheeses). The high levels of the amino acid tyramine are known to keep you up.

2. Milk Chocolate. It contains tyrosine, which is converted into dopamine, a stimulate which causes alertness and restlessness, which can keep you up at night.

3. Spicy Foods can cause heartburn.

4. Tomato-based Sauces can cause heartburn and acid reflux.

5. Soy has a high amount of tyramine.

6. Ginseng Tea. Herbal teas have been shown to act as stimulants.

7. Processed or Smoked Meats contain high levels of tyramine and makes the brain release a chemical that makes us feel alert. "Can't Sleep? 7 Eats to Avoid." Shine from Yahoo! 30 September 2011. Web. 30 September 2011.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Upcoming Speeches

October 18, 2011: Plano Teen VIP located at 900 E 15th Street, Plano, TX 75074 from 6:30-8:00 pm

October 23-29 is Red Ribbon Week

October 23, 2011: Ector High School from 11:00-12:00 pm

October 26, 2011: Kennedy Middle School in Grand Prarie, TX from 10:00-10:30 am, Sam Houston High School in Arlington, TX from 11:35-12:35 pm, and Hunter's Glen Church (Youth Group) located at 4001 Custer Road, Plano, TX 75023 from 6:00-7:30 pm *RESCHEDULED*

November 2, 2011: Collin College's Central Park Campus located at 2200 W. University Drive, McKinney, TX 75071 from 11:30-12:30 pm

November (TBA): Armstrong Middle School in Plano, TX

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dad Got A Job!!! Praise God!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, & Holy Ghost! :D My Dad got a job, the one he interviewed for, and a salary increase! 6 months of rest with severance pay he well deserved. I'm so happy that I'm crying! Thank you everyone for all your prayers. God does work and is always at work. God rewards faithful prayers. Never doubt it or grow weary of praying because "he will take charge of sending the rain at the right time” (Deut. 11:14).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tony Romo’s broken rib and punctured lung need time to heal

Romo fractured his rib and punctured a lung on Sept. 18 during his third-down pass attempt. Although he missed practice on Sept. 22, coach Jason Garrett decided to put him back into the game on Sept. 26 against the Washington Redskins.

The Injuries
A CT scan on Sept. 22 revealed that Tony Romo's fractured rib and punctured lung were beginning to heal. The puncture appears to be small, and only one fracture has been found in his ribs. However, these are still serious injuries that need a sufficient amount of time to completely heal.

Fractured Rib
A fractured rib is essentially a break in the bone. It is a common NFL injury. Although Tony Romo's fractured rib does not appear to be severe, he is probably still experiencing the most common symptoms of pain, difficulty breathing and bruising. Romo admitted that it was "hard to breathe" in the Sept. 18 game.

One of the most common treatments in the NFL for rib injuries is painkiller shots. The injections allow the players to continue participating through the pain, but they are only temporary solutions. Tony Romo was probably in the game on Sept. 26 because of help from high doses of painkillers. However, painkillers only mask the problem and can quickly become addictive. In addition, they have to be administered to the chest and can cause another lung puncture. Painkillers can be dangerous because the player loses the ability to evaluate his pain threshold and risks creating a greater injury. Rest is necessary for the ribs to heal.

Punctured Lung
The CT scan revealed Romo's pneumothorax and lung puncture. A pneumothorax is characterized by air accumulating around the lung and is often associated with a rib fracture. Chest pain, difficulty breathing and fatigue are the most common symptoms.

Tony Romo's puncture is small, so it may not require surgery or extensive intervention to heal. However, rest is crucial for recovery because of the risk of complications. They include shock and respiratory failure. A permanent air leak in the lungs is also a common problem that would require surgery.

Returning to the Game
Even simple rib fractures and punctured lungs may require up to four weeks to heal completely. Putting Tony Romo back into a game so soon can cause complications and more injuries. Although pain killers can temporarily dull the pain, the coach is taking a large risk with Tony's health.

Bandoim, Lana. "Tony Romo’s broken rib and punctured lung need time to heal." Yahoo! 27 September 2011. Web. 27 September 2011.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rick Perry stands by calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme

In spite of warnings from his fellow Republicans that calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" would be polarizing in the presidential contest, presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday stood by his remarks.

"You cannot keep the status quo in place and call it anything other than a Ponzi scheme," Perry said at a Republican debate in California. Acknowledging that several have called his remarks controversial, he added, "Maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country."

Perry called the popular federal program a Ponzi scheme in his 2010 book "Fed Up!" and his views have come under scrutiny since he entered the presidential race last month. Most recently, Republican strategist Karl Rove said Perry's take on Social Security will prove "toxic" in the 2012 election. Former Vice President Dick Cheney also said recently it was inaccurate to call the program a Ponzi scheme.

The Texas governor pushed back against both Bush administration officials.

"You know, Karl has been over the top for a long time in some of his remarks, so I'm not responsible for Karl," he said. He added, "If Vice President Cheney or anyone else says the program we have in place today [is sound]... that is just a lie."

Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was ready to attack Perry's stance, issuing a release to the media with a list of statements from Perry criticizing Social Security.

"Our nominee has to be someone who isn't committed to abolishing Social Security but to saving Social Security," Romney said in the debate. "We keep the program and we make it financially secure... Under no circumstances would I ever stay by any measure it's a failure. We've got to keep it working."

Condon, Stephanie. "Rick Perry stands by calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme." CBS News: Political Hotsheet. 7 September 2011. Web. 10 September 2011.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fall 2011

The Fall 2011 semester began this week at Collin County Community College. After much contemplation, I decided to stay at CCCC one more semester and wait til the spring to transfer to UNT. I am taking two classes this semester: Intro to Social Work and Social Problems. I am excited!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My 24th Birthday

Yesterday was my 24th birthday! Thursday, we went over to Billy's Mom's house and she made chicken alfredo. Friday, Billy took me to Applebee's and we rented the movie "Takers." Saturday, I had fun at Posados with my girls. And yesterday, we went to the 11 AM church service at the Covenant Church in McKinney, enjoyed lunch at Rockfish with my parents, Billy, and the Nelsons; and then enjoyed dinner (chicken fried chicken and pork, mixed vegetables, and macaroni) at Billy's brother's house. Yum Yum Yum!

At church, I learned that God calls those who are weak, not noble, not mighty, and not wise SO THAT if they chose to answer and obey their callings, HE can make them strong, noble, mighty, and wise.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (GNT) - Now remember what you were, my friends, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing. God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. This means that no one can boast in God's presence. But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God's holy people and are set free. So then, as the scripture says, Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.

I feel so happy and blessed beyond words. God saved me on June 16, 2005 and since then has blessed me with 7 birthdays, revealed the areas of my life that needed corrected, opened my heart to forgiveness, and allowed me to see just how much my parents, sister, and boyfriend love me. Thank you God. I love you Mom, Dad, Tacha, and Billy so much. AND God has answered 4 of my prayers this week in my favor. Thank you God. When we obey God, even in small ways, “we find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” (Romans 5:2 MSG)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Parents!

This past weekend, my parents (whose birthdays are five days apart) celebrated their birthdays at a Lake Lavon camp site. My sister flew in for five days to help take care of me while our parents enjoyed some alone time. We went out to the camp site on our Dad's birthday (July 16th) with presents in hand. My boyfriend Billy and I gave my Dad a new pair of dress shoes while my sister gave my Dad a Racetrac gift card!

We grilled bratwursts and turkey dogs to perfection! The scorching heat was the only down side. Ever since my accident, my body does not sweat and therefore does not regulate temperature. When I get real hot or cold, it takes several hours for my body to cool off or warm up. When we were at the camp site, I had to constantly pour water on my head and neck. It was a bit overwhelming.

Last night, we had a shrimp fest! After my Dad peeled shrimp, My Mom beer-battered and deep-fried them and then made mashed potatoes and corn-on-the-cob while my sister boiled shrimp and sauteed a veggie mixture! Then, we presented my Dad with a chocolate pie and my Mom with a red velvet cake. Birthday celebrations always taste so wonderful! I am so thankful that God has blessed me with an amazing family, a land rich in food and clean water, and finances to purchase what we have and use. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Berry Children From Texas Paralyzed In Car Crash, Parents Killed: How You Can Help

A family tragedy has prompted Houston residents to open up their hearts to help three children orphaned in a West Texas car accident.

The children's parents, Joshua and Robin Berry, were killed when an SUV veered into their lane and crashed head-on into their van, confirmed by family friend Allen Deutsch.

Nine-year-old Peter Berry, and 8-year-old Aaron Berry were airlifted from Covenant Health System's Women's and Children's Hospital in Lubbock to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital last Wednesday night after sustaining serious spinal cord injuries. They are both paralyzed below the waist.

Six-year-old Willa was less seriously injured and is recovering at a family friend's home.

The SUV passenger, 28-year-old Colleen Doyle, also died. The driver, 31-year-old Michael Scott Doyle, was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock in critical condition, according to the Associated Press. A hospital spokesperson told the Huffington Post that Doyle is not currently registered there.

The Doyle's 1-year-old daughter was in the car as well but was unharmed, authorities say . . .

To make a contribution to the Berrys that will help fund all of the children's ongoing needs, including medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, psychological support and education, visit

McCormack, Simon. "Berry Children From Texas Paralyzed In Car Crash, Parents Killed: How You Can Help." The Huffington Post. 12 July 2011. Web. 13 July 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Top College Degree Salaries

1. Petroleum Engineering ($90,000 salary stating pay/$160,000 mid-career pay)
2. Other Engineering Degrees - Aerospace, chemical, electrical and nuclear engineering ($60,000 salary starting pay/$100,000 mid-career pay)
3. Math and Sciences - Applied mathematics, physics and economics ($48,000-$56,000 salary starting pay/$100,000 mid-career pay)
4. Government, computer information systems, geology, chemistry and accounting ($40,000 salary starting pay/$87,000 mid-career pay)
5. Liberal Arts and Business ($70,000 mid-career pay)

Mueller, Annie. "The College Degrees You Should Have Gotten." Yahoo! Finance. Investopedia, 6 July 2011. Web. 8 July 2011.

5 Foods That Keep You Thin

1. Apples

Apples are a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber not only contributes to a healthy digestive system and reduced cholesterol, but it also benefits smart eaters by yielding no calories while keeping them satisfied.

And there's something else about the fruit that might help you feel full. A study in the journal "Appetite" found that when women added either three apples or three pears to their daily meals, they lost more weight than people who added three oat cookies to their diets -- even though the fruit and the cookies contained the exact same amount of dietary fiber.

Although the reason behind this finding may be a mystery, there is something to be said for the findings. According to Alan Aragon, a nutritionist and author of "Girth Control: The Science of Fat Loss & Muscle Gain," crunchy foods in particular can trick a person into feeling fuller. The act of chewing may send satiety signals to your body, he says, making you think you've eaten more than you really have and keeping hunger at bay.

2. Almonds

If you're looking for a tasty midday snack, a handful of almonds are a well-regarded option. A study in 2009 in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that women who ate nuts at least two times a week were more successful at keeping weight off than those who didn't eat this food.

One particular favorite among some nutritionists is almonds, says Aragon. One ounce of this food contains only 167 calories, plus it packs roughly 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber, both nutrients that can make you feel full. Furthermore, like apples, almonds are crunchy and require a lot of chewing, so they, too, can make you feel like you've eaten more than you actually did and keep you fuller longer.

3. Salmon

If you're uncertain about fish, there's no need to fear. Seafood can be part of a healthy diet. And there's some evidence that the fat in foods such as salmon can boost satiety levels, says Aragon. For example, a study published in the "International Journal of Obesity" found that when dieters ate salmon a few times a week, they lost about two more pounds than those who didn't include seafood in their meals.

And in spite of the mention of salmon's fat content, the food is relatively low in calories. One 3-oz. serving has just 175 calories. Salmon is a good source of protein as well.

4. Eggs

There's no doubt that protein, like fiber, has impressive satiating powers. And while eggs seem to have a bad reputation in some circles, there can be no contesting their ability to help keep your weight in check.

Research has shown that eating eggs at breakfast can help you fight weight gain all day long. A study reported in 2008 in the "International Journal of Obesity" found that when dieters ate two eggs for breakfast for five days out of the week, they lost 65 percent more weight than dieters who consumed a bagel in the morning. Although protein is likely to fill you up whenever you eat it, some scientists suspect that having more in the morning can keep you feeling fuller all day long.

5. Tomatoes

It's true that most veggies make for great diet fare. Non-starchy vegetables in particular, such as carrots, celery and spinach, are filled with fiber. Like other foods high in fiber, they can help keep you feeling satiated.

Plus, they're pretty self-regulating, says Aragon. You can't really overeat with nonstarchy vegetables. After all, how many baby carrots can a person eat without needing to dunk them in some ranch dressing?

So while there are many veggies that can help you stay slim, tomatoes might be a particularly good option because they're so tasty. And, besides, with that whole a-tomato-is-a-vegetable-no-it's-a-fruit argument, you might have forgotten all about eating them. One cup of cooked, red tomatoes contains just 43 calories, but tastes just as delicious as any number of high-calorie foods.

And that's at least half the secret, finding foods that are both healthy and tasty. The good thing is, they do exist. Over time, you'll discover what wholesome, filling foods you prefer, expanding your choices while shrinking your waistline.

McGrath, Kristin. "5 Foods That Keep You Thin." Shine., 5 July 2011. Web. 8 July 2011.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hebrews 12:1-12 (CEV)

Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up. None of you have yet been hurt in your battle against sin.

But you have forgotten that the Scriptures say to God's children, "When the Lord punishes you, don't make light of it, and when he corrects you, don't be discouraged. The Lord corrects the people he loves and disciplines those he calls his own."

Be patient when you are being corrected! This is how God treats his children. Don't all parents correct their children? God corrects all of his children, and if he doesn't correct you, then you don't really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn't it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us?

Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will do right and live at peace.

Now stand up straight! Stop your knees from shaking and walk a straight path. Then lame people will be HEALED, instead of getting worse.

"Hebrews 12 (Contemporary English Version)." Web. 26 June 2011.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oregano Gold - Where Ancient China Meets Modern Science

Organo Gold sells top-of-the-line products that are tasty and have health benefits. Products range from beverages such as Gourmet Black Coffee, Mocha, Latte, Hot Chocolate, Green Tea; neutraceuticals such as Ganoderma, Mycelium, and Grapeseed Extract; and even skin care. Visit for more information. My sister is an Organo Gold representative and will be happy to answer any questions and assist with purchases. All proceeds will go to my trust fund as we are raising money for van modifications (so that I can drive) and for a MotoMed (motorized bicycle). We appreciate your support!


Ganoderma Lucidum
100 Percent Certified Organic Ganoderma Lucidum has been revered for 5000 years as the world's number one "Superior" herb. It also, scientifically proven worldwide as nature's most potent health booster and overall conditioner. It is associated with longevity, youthfulness, vitality and vitality.

Ganoderma Lucidum Mycellium
100 Percent Certified Ganoderma Lucidum Mycellium is an 18-day-old Ganoderma Lucidum Mushroom with high concentration of organic germanium and polysaccharides. It is an immune system enhancer.

Grape Seed Oil Extract
Grape seed oil extract has phyto-chemicals which have been known for their inflammatory action, free radical protection and also known to improve skin tone. Contains significant amounts of resveratrol, another substance that acts as an anti-inflammaotry agent. It has flavanoids or oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), which are known to have 50 times more potent antioxidant protection than either Vitamin C or Vitamin E.

"Neutraceuticals." Organo Gold. Web. 22 June 2011.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Frontier forces quadriplegic man off plane

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – A quadriplegic Colorado man says he was humiliated after he was forced off a Frontier Airlines plane because a pilot said it wasn't safe for him to fly.

John Morris and his family were trying to board a flight in Dallas on Sunday to return home to Fort Collins.

The 24-year-old Colorado State University student says he has flown Frontier in the past, using an airline seat-belt extension to secure his chest and legs to the seat. But this time the pilot refused to take off.

Frontier spokesman Peter Kowalchuk told KMGH-TV the pilot was concerned for Morris' safety and uncertain whether the seat-belt extension could be used to restrain his legs and torso.
Kowalchuk says federal rules are unclear on whether the extension can be used to restrain disabled passengers.

Frontier eventually arranged for Morris and his family to take the next flight, and the pilot on that plane had no issues with transporting him.

"Frontier forces quadriplegic man off plane." Yahoo! News. Associated Press, 20 June 2011. Web. 21 June 2011.

Monday, June 20, 2011

10 Job Search Mistakes of New College Grads

"Organizations are very interested in hiring young people because they have a lot of energy and are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done," Chan says.

But no matter how well-positioned these young people are, they -- and all job seekers -- will have a better chance of success if they avoid these common job hunting mistakes:

Not Being Proactive Enough - "This isn't the time to sit back and be casual in your approach," says Emily Bennington, co-author of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job. "Create a hit list of five to 10 target companies, and really utilize your network to locate an 'in' at each."

Relying Solely on the Internet - In a Yahoo! HotJobs poll, 57 percent of respondents said networking was a factor in landing their current or most recent job. Brad Karsh, president of JobBound, says, "When thousands of candidates are applying to the same jobs online and posting their resume to the same job boards, candidates need to stand out by making connections and networking their way into a company." Job boards are an important tool, but Karsh says new grads also need to focus energy on networking.

Not Creating Wide Networks - Career expert Liz Ryan agrees that your parents', grandparents' and friends' networks can help you in your postgraduation job search. "Don't be shy -- reach out to any long-ago Scoutmaster, choir director, or babysitting or leaf-raking boss," she says. "There's no statute of limitations on networking."

Not Creating Customized Resumes - "Don't send out any resumes that simply list your courses, the degree you've earned, and your part-time and summer jobs," Ryan says. "Use this opportunity to make a stronger statement about what you want to do with your adult life." And according to Jay Block, author of 101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times, younger job seekers often haven't thought about what they have to offer an employer (as opposed to what they want to get from one). With this mindset, they create resumes that are "boring biographies" instead of effective marketing tools.

Misusing the Internet - Tory Johnson, CEO of Women For Hire and author of Fired to Hired, says, "New grads don't use LinkedIn -- it's not sexy like Facebook or Twitter -- but it's the best resource for getting names and building a professional identity. Don't overlook it."

Failing to Follow Up - It's not enough to send resumes and pray the phone rings, Johnson says. She cautions job seekers not to expect their resumes to be discovered in that big black online hole. "Hustle to follow up," she says.

Setting Expectations Too High - Johnson says new graduates too often focus on looking for the perfect job, instead of a first job. "Especially in this economy, the first job should be about finding a position where you'll learn a great deal, you'll be super busy and you'll be surrounded by lots of people," she says.

Appearing Unprofessional - Make sure you're ready for employers' scrutiny, says Tim McIntyre, president and CEO of The Executive Search Group. That means you should "sanitize your MySpace page -- right now. It will be checked," he says. He notes that many college students will need to change off-color voicemail greetings. Ryan adds, "Don't assume that Facebook's privacy settings will keep your youthful antics away from curious eyes. Rid your profile page of any photos of the 'three Bs' (beer, bongs and bikinis)."

Not Taking the Job Interview Seriously - Even when you're applying for an unpaid internship, you need to adhere to common standards of professionalism. McIntyre says those standards include demonstrating you've researched the company and dressing appropriately. Block adds that new grads are often unprepared for tough but common interview questions, such as "Where do you see yourself in three years?" and "What are your weaknesses?"

Not Using the College's Career Office - "A career office can help [students] identify networking contacts, learn important job search skills, and significantly improve their resume and cover letter," says Wake Forest University's Chan. Ryan agrees, but adds that this is just a first step. The career office's job is to "to prepare you for your job search, not to conduct it for you," she says. "Use LinkedIn, reach out to everyone you can and begin researching employers who'd be likely targets for your job search."

Purdy, Charles. "10 Job Search Mistakes of New College Grads." Monster. Yahoo! HotJobs, 2011. Web. 20 June 2011.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

8 healthy salad toppings you've never tried

Fennel - This often overlooked veggie (sometimes referred to in supermarkets as anise) is related to dill, coriander, and parsley. It adds vitamin C, fiber, and folate to your salad, plus a cool, subtle licorice flavor. It also blends well with citrus fruits and tomatoes. Secret natural ingredient: Fennel

Salsa - Add an extra serving of fruits or veggies—and tons of flavor—by spooning up to a half cup of savory tomato salsa over a bed of mixed greens. With around 200 mg per serving, it's lower in sodium than other dressings, and most jarred varieties don't contain added fat.

Whole grains - Whole-wheat couscous, barley, or quinoa are high-fiber toppings that also add some protein to your salad. Toss them over greens with a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice; it's a great way to use up that leftover side dish from last night's dinner. Fill up on fiber

Artichokes - These low-cal and low-carb veggies make a filling addition to salads—and they placed fourth in a 2006 study ranking the top 50 antioxidant-rich foods. Just be wary of jarred artichokes, which are often marinated in oil.

Beans - When it comes to beans, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your buck. One half cup will cost you between 100 and 150 calories but will bring in 6 to 7 grams of fiber and protein. And not only will beans fill you up, but their mild taste will also complement almost any type of salad.

Edamame - These legumes (baby soybeans sold in the pod) pack as much protein as most animal products, without the unwanted saturated fat. They're filling and refreshing, and studies indicate that when soy consumption goes up, weight goes down. Buy edamame frozen to save on costs and keep it from going bad too quickly. The truth about soy foods

Seeds - If you love the savory taste of nuts, seeds are a great alternative. Though both nuts and seeds contain a similar amount of fat and calories, you get more seeds in a two-tablespoon serving—and that means more satisfying crunch in every bite. Plus they have higher levels of zinc, and pumpkin seeds contain more than 4 grams of iron per serving.

Citrus fruit - Oranges and grapefruit make tangy salad toppings. Not only do they bring a burst of citrusy flavor, but they are also low calorie and packed with vitamin C. Or opt for kiwi: Though not technically a citrus fruit, this little powerhouse has more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of an orange, and research suggests that its antioxidant capacity helps protect DNA from damaging free radicals. Easy ways to add a splash of citrus

Dressings - Sick of oil and vinegar? Though the traditional combo is full of good fat and free from preservatives, there's no reason you can't branch out and still stay healthy. Yogurt and honey, for example, add flavor and texture to homemade dressings without unwanted chemicals. And the antioxidants in honey can protect the quality of salad dressing for up to nine months, according to a 2008 study. Make your own salad dressing

Betsch, Mara. "8 healthy salad toppings you've never tried." Shine., 17 June 2011. Web. 18 June 2011.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New NBA Champions - The DALLAS Mavericks!

Last night, the hard-working Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Championship! Congratulations to them and especially to Dirk, the MVP!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

✰✰✰✰✰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰ I Am Proud To Be An American! This
✰✰✰✰✰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰ Flag Is Waved In Honor Of The Fallen
✰✰✰✰✰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰ Men And Women Who Serve Our Country
✰✰✰✰✰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰ And For Those Who Are Still Fighting

This Memorial Day, we had three celebrations! On Saturday, we went out to eat Tex-Mex with Billy's Mom and siblings at San Miguel's Grill in McKinney, Texas. On Sunday, Billy's Dad and siblings came over and we ate grilled steak, chicken, and shrimp kebabs, baked potatoes, and broccoli n' cheese! And on Monday, my parents came over and we barbecued ribs, sautéed fresh squash, and also cooked my favorite vegetable -- butter beans! It was so good but now we are broke!!!

If you have served our country in any form of the military, THANK YOU! You are appreciated!