Monday, December 12, 2011

The Eyeglass Project

In a world where we have access to all kinds of luxuries, it is hard to imaging living life without access to something as simple as sight. If we can’t see the newspaper, we buy a pair of readers. If our world is blurry, we get a new glasses prescription.

The large majority us have some sort of refractive error that requires a simple pair of glasses to enable us to see clearly. The same is true all over the world. The difference for people that are less fortunate is that many have no access to a pair of glasses.

So there are people walking around legally blind, that require no heroic intervention to give them sight, other than a simple pair of glasses. It seems like a pretty wonderful opportunity to change people’s lives!

We started a charity called The Eyeglass Project. I know it seems ironic, a LASIK practice working to get people in glasses. 3D LASIK is amazing. I personally am a big fan of it. It provides an end to the inconvenience of glasses. But then what’s left? A pile of glasses that have lost their purpose.

Hunter Vision is partnering with TIME Ministries to bring those used eyeglasses (and any others we can get) to those who need them. We will be collecting eyeglasses beginning December 10th and will have drop boxes at two locations, Hunter Vision (located in the RDV Sportsplex), and Northland, A Church Distributed.

In 2012, a team from Hunter Vision will take used eyeglasses donations to the Dominican Republic to bring clear vision to those who don’t have access to it. But we can’t do it without your help. The donation of your used eyeglasses, something so seemingly simple, could give sight to the blind.

What do you think of being a part of this? How about telling your friends too? It doesn’t require money, just a pair of glasses that you don’t use anymore. At each of our drop locations, we will have tags for your glasses that give you the option of sharing your information with us. The purpose of getting your info is to let you see the difference that your glasses made. Our hope is to be able to send you a picture of a very happy person in glasses that were once your own. What fun!

Drop your donation in one of these at Hunter Vision or at Northland Church

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Domain and a New Blog

I realize I rarely update this blog. So little in fact that I recently typed in www.joelandlizzy.com to realize that our domain had been purchased out from underneath us and is now a splash page for some sort of medicinal remedy/practical joke. Anyway, we are now the proud owners of www.lizzyandjoel.com which is the current address of this blog. If you follow us or link to us, it might be a good idea to switch this out in order to save face.

I believe our last blog was an update on our house being broken into. They never found the intruder. He (or she) did make out with our iPad (meaning steal not kiss excessively). Also, since the event, I regularly think people are breaking into our home. Yesterday I heard a noise coming from the kitchen and charged toward the window yelling unitelligably about how our house already got robbed and about how he (or she) already took the good stuff and about how I find his (or her) actions very off-putting, in an effort to thwart what I believed to be intruder #2. Then I heard the sound again and realized it was coming from the freezer. I sheepishly apologized to said non-intruder and went back about my business.

Finally, I'm not sure if you have heard but we (Becky, Rhonda, Lisa and I) wrote a book! It is called Why Her? You, Your Mother/Daughter -in-law and the Big Picture and is available on Amazon in both hard cover and Kindle versions. In addition we have started a corresponding blog at www.whyher.org. It is a resource to help mothers and daughters -in-law in their relationships and will also feature any news or upcoming events regarding the book. Come check it out and spread the word!







Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's that noise?

Today was a day that started like any other. I woke Luke up, gave him breakfast, and got him ready for his swim lesson. We left in a rush because I'm always running late. Had I known how many people would be traipsing through my house in the next couple of hours, I would have made an effort to straighten up before I left.

I left the house at 9:40am and arrived home at 11am. Luke was almost asleep when I pulled into the garage and I scooped him out of his seat with every intention of running upstairs to lie him down for a nap.

I stepped through the door and walked through the laundry room. As soon as I had stepped through the laundry room door into the house, I heard a familiar sound. The sound of someone walking upstairs. Then I heard the sound of something being dropped. I found it odd that I had left our house completely empty and now I came home to what sounded like a person wandering around upstairs. I paused for a moment to see if it happened again. I did. It sounded like someone playing hopscotch upstairs. Whimsical yet disconcerting.

I ran through possible explanations for the sound in my head since it most certainly wouldn't be an intruder at 11am. Burglars only come into homes durning the witching hour as I've learned from watching commercials for security systems.

Could Joel be home? No, he has a job. Could we have mice? No, mice large enough to create that sound can only be found training turtles in the martial arts in sewer tunnels in cartoons in 1992. Our dryer sort of makes a sound like that when it's on because it's not quite level. Could it be...? Clearly I was in denial at this point since I was standing next to the dryer which is downstairs and was in the off mode. I should get Luke somewhere safe just in case.

I went back into the garage and put Luke in his seat. I backed out into the driveway and put the car in park. Now what? I'm just sitting in a car in my driveway. I have a lot to do but it requires being in my house. I decided to call Joel for advice.

Fortunately I caught him in between patients so I could propose my ridiculous plan. Joel answered, "Hey Honey!"
"Hey! I just wanted to call because I came home from Luke's lesson and went inside and heard something like someone dropping something upstairs. I waited for a second and then I heard what sounded like someone walking upstairs. I have Luke in the car with me now in the driveway but I wanted to go check upstairs and see what it was. Can you tell me where our handgun is?"
"What? No! I think you should call the police."
"I don't need to call the police. I'm sure it's nothing. I don't want to make the police come for no reason because I think I heard a noise upstairs. Just tell me where it is and I'll run in and check really quick."
"I am not going to tell you where our gun is. You should call the police. They won't mind. They do this all the time."
"Okay, but is there a number I can call that's not 911 because I don't think this is a real emergency."
"Just call 911. That's what it's for."

I did and an officer promptly pulled up to our home and got out of his car. I apologetically told him how I'm sure it's nothing but I think I heard someone upstairs. I have my son with me you see, otherwise I wouldn't have called but my husband advised me to do this instead of checking myself. Essentially I was saying, "I'm not scared. I would go up there and kill the sound that's not an intruder myself if my husband hadn't not told me where the gun is that I don't know how to use."

He was upbeat and kind about the whole situation and asked me a few standard questions before checking all the front entrances. They all seemed secure. He walked around to the back. He was gone ten seconds and rushed back to my car window. His demeanor had changed.

"I want to you pull your car down the street and park it in front of mine. Keep it running. When was the last time you were in the house?"
"About three minutes before you came."
"I called for another officer to come. Stay in your car."

One more officer came. Then I heard sirens. Then 4 more cars with their sirens and lights on spun into the neighborhood and parked in front of my house. I saw an officer with what appeared to be some sort of sniper rifle, cocked and aimed, march into the house ready for battle. I saw a German Shepherd jump out of one car with two K-9 unit officers. One walked to my car and said, "If we find someone in your house, will you press charges?"
"Yes."

There was someone in our house. This is when I started to shake. I imagined a shoot out happening in our bedroom. I imagined injury or worse. Blood everywhere! My finest linens destroyed by gunfire!

After about 10 minutes of commotion, the officer who had entered with a rifle came up to my car and said, "You may want to come look around."
"So someone broke in?"
"You'll want to look around and see if you notice anything missing. You see, you don't seem like the kind of lady that would leave her house in disarray but the house is in disarray."
"Well I don't know. I have been out of town. (partial truth)"
"Not this kind of disarray. Disarray."

I walked into my house that looked very similar to what I had left and blamed every bit of mess on the intruder. "The nerve! Can you believe this?! The scamp! This shower is filthy! I can't believe how he dirtied these countertops! Some people! And he didn't even bother to put his dishes in the dishwasher! I am aghast! And to think he took our clothes out of the dirty clothes hamper and threw them on the floor while pillaging for spoils....etc..."

In the end, the scoundrel got away. He entered and exited through our tiny kitchen window above the sink. He stole our iPad. Nothing else.

I feel like God intervened many times today. I'm glad my boy and every officer who helped us remained safe. Oh, and the dog. I'm glad he was safe too. He was adorable. I'm glad I didn't try to go upstairs. Especially with an unloaded pistol that I was going to pretend was loaded. Or worse yet, a loaded pistol. I'm not mad at said scoundrel. He must have had a lot of rough things happen in his life to make him feel the need to break into a stranger's house to steal things and to cause such disarray/be a scapegoat for such disarray. From now on we are always going to arm our alarm system. I also learned that I should always keep up with laundry in case an invader climbs in our window and lots of police have to walk through our house.


Friday, May 13, 2011

A Whirlwind Trip to DC

Luke and Ella playing in front of the Capitol

Over the past week, our family had the opportunity to do something pretty amazing. We happen to have the good fortune of sharing the last name with a couple of incredible people (Mom and Pop Hunter) and this week they were kind enough to allow us to ride their coat tails. To the White House. To shake hands with a very important man. (Here's the disclaimer: Please refrain from snarky comments. If you think them, keep them there. In your head. So we can still like each other. Thank you in advance.) This week we met President Obama. It was surreal to say the least. It is still a bit of a blur to me but of those moments that are vivid, I can only be thankful that Luke and I didn't get escorted out by secret service due to some of his antics. Although I'm pretty sure his name is now on a list somewhere.

Led in by Pop, we were introduced to the President in the Oval Office. Crazy. It can't overstate what an honor it was for him to take the time to meet our family. He is a busy man to put it mildly. The President shook the adults' hands and spent a significant amount of time chatting with the kiddos and Noah (he's in an age bracket of his own). They were all very articulate and well mannered. Luke was bashful and Lincoln was extremely entertaining. I'd go into more detail but I could only dilute the experience. Rumor has it that Bon Jovi was next in line to meet the President that afternoon. I also notice that he was in Orlando playing a show last night. Coincidence? Probably, but I'm still going to check all of our closets before I go to bed tonight. If he is in one, I am going to ask him how he never ages. Then I am going to scream. Then I am going to tell him how I sometimes get him confused with Bryan Adams.

Highlights/things I remember from our trip:
1. Chuck Todd. He and I were inches from each other outside the White House. I wanted to tell him I was a fan but one, it would be hard to do without sounding like I was hitting on him and two, he was on the phone.
2. Luke tried to prank call the Secret Service from the West Wing lobby. Not a highlight but very memorable.
3. Catching Luke moments before he bumrushed the Cabinet Room during, "Something important" as the receptionist put it. White House Security is very attentive even with toddlers. I felt the room getting smaller as I tried to chase him down.
4. Standing outside the situation room during our tour. Ten days out from such an historic event, I felt humbled to be standing in that place. Luke was more taken by the elevator adjacent to it but in his defense, it did have very shiny buttons.
5. Family time. I love all of these people dearly and they are the reason it was such a fun trip. This should have been number one. This list is in reverse order.

Luke's favorite part of the trip-riding the elevator

Post POTUS meeting

Family shot in front of the West Wing

If you are still reading this, I do want to mention one more thing. As amazing as this whirlwind family trip was, there was never a moment when we weren't acutely aware that our entire family wasn't present. Ava's absence was palpable through every moment. There were subtle reminders of her throughout both days, from a horse wearing a purple (her signature color) bridle in the park to a huge bouquet of purple roses greeting us as we entered the west wing lobby. With her quick wit and larger than life personality, I'm sure she would have been charming and funny and all things Ava had she been with us. But as we were shaking hands with the President of the United States, she was resting in the arms of the King of Kings. She definitely wins.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Update

So, it's been a while. I am bad at remembering to blog. Actually, I remember but don't usually have time to allot to blogging.

Much has happened since my last blog in....late October was it? I can't remember. For starters, Luke grew a homeless man amount of hair on his head. Ironically, that is what he was for Halloween. Only I prefer the term, "hobo." It's more PC. When I have Joel proof read this, he is surely going to ask me to omit this section.

Luke also learned to walk, run, and talk back. I could have done without that last one but hopefully he's just getting it out early. Come early teens he'll be a gem. My sister-in-law is pregnant and expecting a little boy in July. Little Antoine Ariza. My brother Josh is engaged! He's getting married to a wonderful gal named Lauren. Lauren Roberta. So far I think I've only named about five or so things.....oh! Here'a a big one... Our dog is moving to Chicago this week so we'll have less tumble weeds made out of fur in our house. Welp, see ya!

Halloween 2010

Then we cut his hair like Hilary Swank

Now he looks like this...a young Phil Spector