Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rachel Stolle: Waco Child Care Examiner


I, Rachel Jeanette Hall Stolle, am now the Waco Child Care Examiner for Examiner.com. Examiner.com is the fastest-growing local content network in the U.S., powered by the largest pool of knowledgeable contributors in the world. Our Examiners are passionate about a variety of topics and deliver thousands of articles to readers in 240 markets in North America.
They are on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Examinercom and online at simply Examiner.com.

Here is some of the information that I received in my invitation email after my application was processed.

Who are Examiners?

Examiners are local insiders who are passionate about their topic and prolific in sharing information about it. Their credibility is real and varied, based on education, experience and insider enthusiasm. Each Examiner has a page on Examiner.com dedicated to one specific topic in their local edition. Examiners are independent contractors, not employees, of Examiner.com.

What do successful Examiners produce?

Examiner articles are short, clear, and polished. Articles should be informative, on-topic, timely, factual, locally focused and helpful. Examiners produce how-to, newsy, or advice-oriented pieces as opposed to blog/journal entries. Some examples include:

* “Best” guides to restaurants, services, venues, stores, and more
* Insider tips and local “secrets”
* “Did you know?” info that locals may take for granted, but which is helpful to visitors and newcomers
* Holiday guides to the best local shops, gifts, and charities
* Timely events and happenings of all kinds, including sporting events or concerts
* Resource links to helpful places on the Web, specific to the Examiner’s topic
* Profiles of local people and places
* Insightful analysis & commentary on “hot” issues and themes relating to the Examiner’s topic
* Resource guides about local government and officials, and detailed election information

Use these story ideas to get your creative juices flowing, but remember to always stay on topic.

What do we expect from you?

* Examiners’ pages should be current and fresh. Their headlines should be straightforward and informative, not simply clever, to help Web users find them more easily. We find that frequent posting of articles will tend to generate the most traffic to your page. As a guideline, we suggest posting two to three articles per week.
* Examiners utilize easy social networking sites and tools like Facebook.com, Twitter.com and StumbleUpon.com to help promote their articles and gain loyal readership. We will provide you with basic information on how to do this through tutorials and walk-throughs within our Examiner Support Center.
* As an Examiner, you retain the copyright to your content, so you can use it elsewhere (subject to the terms of the Examiners Independent Contractor Agreement and License); content you've published elsewhere can be used on your Examiner.com page (provided the other site allows such use), and Examiner.com (and its related entities) also has the right to use and distribute your content on our websites and elsewhere.
* Professionalism and maturity are requirements for all Examiners. As a standard reminder to all new Examiners, we have editorial requirements that forbid obscene language and explicit photos and links.
* All Examiners are required to be 18 years or older.
* Examiners are required to use their legal names rather than a pen name or pseudonym. This establishes credibility for you as an Examiner, as well as accountability for our website. For this same reason, avatars cannot be used for your profile photo.
* Please use the same e-mail address in all Examiner.com-related correspondence.
* There are no long-term commitments; you're only an Examiner as long as you want to be. Examiner.com also reserves the right to end the relationship with any Examiner who violates the Terms of Use Agreement .

What’s in it for you?

* Within the framework of your topic, you may write about what you want, when you want. We do not make editorial assignments (but we do share topic ideas regularly) – you are in control.
* You have the chance to be a part of a huge nationwide network of local Examiners, as well as an opportunity to expose your content to publishers and editors, other writers, product manufacturers, and a worldwide audience.
* Examiner.com works very hard behind the scenes to make sure your pages and content are exposed to people looking for information on your topic. Because of these efforts, Examiners often appear at the top of search results.
* On top of the unlimited exposure and widespread promotion, the training and the credibility associated with writing for Examiner.com are valuable. As an Examiner, you can earn money generated by your articles! Our rate of pay is competitive and very much in your control, based on the size of your audience. You also can participate in our referral bonus programs that offer a $50 bonus each for every Examiner you help bring on board or local business you refer that advertises on Examiner.com.
* You can participate in weekly conference calls that offer technical support and social networking advice as well as create a forum where Examiners can interact.

How much can you make?

Examiner.com is committed to paying a competitive rate for Examiner-generated content. Examiner pay is in U.S. Dollars and is based on a rating that considers a number of factors, including advertising revenue and the quality of your audience, which includes things like frequency of publishing, page view traffic and session length. Pay may fluctuate depending on any of these and other factors. Examiner.com makes no guarantees as to minimum payment. Focusing on providing robust, useful, topic-specific content that grows your readership and encourages your readers to want to read more than one article is the surest way to maximize your earnings. Because your title is local, your articles will be eligible for our local incentives program. Payments are processed monthly. As we work to reward Examiners in more ways, we are continuing to offer a referral bonus program, which pays $50 to an Examiner each time one of their friends is selected to be an Examiner. The details and rules of the program are available in our Examiner Support Center, which you will have access to once I have created your page. Only Examiners who have posted their first article and have been activated qualify to participate.

I am very excited about this new opportunity and I look forward to upcoming research and articles.
If you too are interested in writing for Examiner.com please add me as your referral!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Jewel that is Talitha Koum

On the corner of Clay and 13th in downtown Waco, Texas lies a diamond in the ruff, a jewel uncommonly seen by those of us busily bustling around, absorbed in our own little routine lives.
Today I had the pleasure to meet face-to-face with one of the true angels blazing the path for this powerful mission. Mrs. Nan Holmes. It is such a small, funny world that we live in. I met Nan 10-11 years ago via phone call to the small christian clothing boutique that I worked in through HS and some early college years on seasonal breaks. Nan had visited Jefferson before and had fallen in love iwth AMAZING GRACE. It was a cute little store in the busy tourist town. I loved my job. And all the customers LOVED the prices. Amazing Grace was one of the most reasonable store in town and also the matriarch of both the family and the store had a true gift at choosing appropriate and 'hot' inventory. Nan was in love with the clothing side. Amazing Grace could sell quality, trendy professional clothing at a rock bottom price. If you've ever been to a Dressing Gaudy--I've been told Amazing Grace had them beat (ten fold). It was just a fun environment for both shoppers and employees alike. After a few of our long-distance phone conversations trying to work out her latest mail order clothing I realized that her husband had been, and whould be again, my professor (3 times over).
After leaving Amazing Grace and moving to Waco full time after my marriage and then my Baylor graduation soon following I lost contact with Nan and Walter Holmes. But no so now!
I was watching children for pay at a local church when my husband came out of service all excited about a new program here in Waco. It was Talitha Koum. As he described the guest speaker and told me a bit about the message I said "gimme that program!". And there she was, Mrs. Nan Holmes! HAHA! Crazy world we live in. Well, we got back in contact. She reviewed my first book, "Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou? for me and invited me to take a tour of TK. What a beautiful idea.
So that is what I did...

The mission of Talitha Koum is to improve outcomes for at-risk children and their families from the Kate Ross government housing neighborhood of South Waco through an intensive care program. Beginning with a mental health Therapeutic Nursery for birth to six year olds and comprehensive support for each child’s family, [Talitha Koum] will grow to support our children through High School graduation.
This facility is the only one of its kind in the south, and one of only a handful in the nation.
According the the Talitha Koum website at http://www.talithakoum.org/nursery.html
"Most children in the Kate Ross neighborhood of South Waco are subjected to more than extreme poverty. They also often face violence, unstable living situations, and fear of abandonment. The desperate tasks of surviving poverty leave many families in physical and emotional chaos. It is around this chaos that the mind of an infant creates its reality; literally the brain constructs around chaos. It is the role of our therapeutic nursery to shape each child’s day with consistency of loving care, sensitivity to their individuality, and opportunities for self-expression.
Some of our toddlers receive weekly visits from a play therapist in our specially equipped play therapy room (thanks to a dedicated gift by a special friend, Kiwanians’ renovations and therapy toys donated by our skilled therapists, Dr. Keith Warren and Dr. Helen Benedict). This delicate form of therapy uses symbolic play and expressive art approaches to help children connect with their feelings and experiences.
Primary to our time with infants and toddlers in the classroom is our growing psychological understanding of each child. Our teachers have weekly consultations with the Nurture Center’s clinical director, Dr. Warren, giving opportunity to discuss special needs.
Besides love and affirmation, our Nurture Center provides a proven cognitive development curriculum. Research shows that this approach works. The High/Scope® curriculum has been longitudinally studied with the same group of subjects from age infant to 40. The results are astonishing, and support the kind of intervention we are doing in children’s lives. (Click here to view some of the research results http://www.talithakoum.org/nurserysubpage.html.)
The Nurture Center is wholly dependent upon outside donations, grants, and limited government funding to survive. We also need volunteers to come and spend time with the children in our baby-mentoring program. We ask that you will come by our building at 1311 Clay Avenue in Waco, and prayerfully consider how you might help us to say to these little ones, “My child, get up!” "
They offer several ground-breaking programs designed around some very cutting edge, ground breaking research.
The Therapeutic Nursery at Talitha Koum provides birth-to-five year old care with clinical focus on mental health alongside cognitive learning through High/Scope curriculum Naomi’s LAP (loving attentive participation).
The organization also offers family assistance counseling
*Learning Disability testing & remediation
* Parenting classes
* Enrichment opportunities
Guidance & assistance w/:
* Education
* Job training
* Employment
* Addiction recovery
* Life skills
(Loving Attentive Participation)
You can read an additional article in Waco Today about Talitha Koum at this site: http://www.talithakoum.org/wacotoday1.html
This program is changing lives and breaking family dynamics cycles in the downtown Waco area.
What a beautiful thing to say “My child, get up!”.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Year's Resolution 2011

There are 1,000,001 different things that I need to resolve to change in this new year; my weight, my activity level, the amount of time I spend engaging my children, my coupon divaness, staying on top of my chores, being a better wife...but ONE truly seemed to trump the rest this year. My relationship with God, and the leadership of my husband and me in leading our children towards a healthy relationship with Him.
So this is it. This is MY resolution.
Every evening before dinner prayer, we sit as a family at our dining room table and I randomly choose a scripture for that evening. I read the passage, and then my husband talks to the girls a bit about what that scripture means, we pray and then we enjoy a family dinner. (Well 'enjoy' might be an overstatement with a 2 yr old and a 4 yr old picky eater--but we do...eat.)
I chose this as my resolution because I felt led be an example of a Godly woman for my two girls. I would NOT call myself a feminist. I will probably take some flack for this, but I do believe there is a biblical role for a woman in the family. It is scriptural and you cannot deny that it really does work when you submit yourself to a godly husband. With that being said...those of you who know me personally know that I am a very strong, determined, vocal woman. I do NOT feel that as women it is our destiny to sit on the pew in church and nod as the male leaders of the Church interact with and in the ceremony. What I think, what I beleive, and how the spirit leads me, are all important to God. He does not want what He places on my heart to be silent--or He wouldn't place it there. That is MY belief. It doens't have to be yours. But I feel women can, and should be ministers, and church leaders. And even be allowed to *gasp* collect the offering on Sunday morning with the rest of the good 'ole boys.
So I want to raise up empowered young women who aren't afraid to be an active part of any, and all , aspects of worship services in all capacities.
Ok, I will get off my soap box now and back to my point.
We have been doing this nightly with our girls and what has taken place blesses my heart beyond measure. My four year old little sweetie WILL NOT let us forget to read from God's book. As we set the table she runs to get my message translation of the bible and places it at my chair. She waits, smiling, ready for me to read. As soon as I am done her gaze shifts to her wonderful daddy who then explains it to her and then we pray:
God our father
God our father
We thank you
We thank you
For our many blessings
For our many blessing
Amen
Amen.

I am so blessed. And I praise God for laying this resolution on my heart!
A paticular passage that continues to randomly arise:

10-12 "Now listen, daughter, don't miss a word:
forget your country, put your home behind you.
Be here—the king is wild for you.
Since he's your lord, adore him.
Wedding gifts pour in from Tyre;
rich guests shower you with presents."

Psalm 45 (the Message)
HOW FITTING!
I LOVE YOU LORD!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Attempted Kidnapping turned carjacking Oct 2001

My account of that day as it appears on auntloubooks.weebly.com:

It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma. I think the short period of time between the terrorist attacks and my personal attack ingrained the emotions and images of both into my memory even more vividly.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot off of Myers Lane in Bellmead, headed to school. The details that I remember are minute and crisp. I distinctly remember that I was going to wear navy blue addidas athletic shorts to school that day, but I melted the material with the clothes iron (should have been a sign). So I changed. I also remember that outfit in detail--Tommy Hillfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and addidas tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct. Ladies, always pay attention to that little voice. You never know what it may be trying to protect you from.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to and inside of my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door of my Ford Escort, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my route 44 backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
Then all of the sudden, the weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand—at the time I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man weilding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE! At this point he was actually partially seated next to me in the driver’s side seat still assaulting me with the ‘knife’ and pushing with all his strength to get me over to the passenger side. Luckily enough my car had bucket seat and a rather tall console. I was wedged between my assailant and the console and FULL OF RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped—right then that meant NOTHING! It was like it had all had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out angry at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and my attacker and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason. Tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry expression.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door that he was currently blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me. For an instant, I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I just let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where nor how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING!".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my side.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing, and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Boobieisms

grump-a-lump
grumpy-gus
pestersome
frump-a-lump
lurky
to be continued......

The East Texas Excursion 2011

SIX am came far too early Saturday January 7th of 2011. We rushed to get us and the girlies dressed, bags loaded, dogs kennelled, and off on our way. Shipleys Donut's sign shown brightly in the early morning central Texas sky, and 3 big earl with cheese kolachees later, we were on the road headed to see the G. GG that is. My mom. She lives in Gray, Texas which is a TINY town on the outskirts of Jefferson, Texas and actually closer to Vivian, LA.
Five hours of potty breaks, snack grabs, and diaper changes later, and we finally made our way down G's long gravel driveway. The girls were screaming with delight from the back seat. They did so very good on such a long trip, and they didn't even know we would be making the trip til the day before. I just didn't have the patience for a whole week of are we leaving today, are we leaving now, are we leaving after nap time....so I just waited til the day before. And even then, it got a bit pestersome. ;)
Once we jumped out and shared all the squeals and hugs, Jason and I took in a deep breath of what we thought was good ole fireplace smoke filled air. We both said, "Ohhh, I LOVE that smell". Little did we know what had taken place at my mom's house just a few hours earlier.
The night before we arrived my mom's two indoor dogs would not stop sounding off at the front door. It started with the Chihuahua, Idgy. Mom just kept going to the peep hole in the front door to see if anyone was out there. It seemed that Idgy thought she was hearing a person. Nothing was there. This happened three or four times before mom's larger dog, Dingo, joined in with Idgy. This caught mom's attention. It is one thing for a nervous Chihuahua to bark incessantly at the front door, but it is all together different for a large breed mix like Dingo to get so very involved and affected. He was barking, hair was standing on end from tail to neck...he was angry!
So mom went to look out the side window of the house to see if there was a car in the driveway or something like that. She never expected what she found. No car other than hers. but what she DID see was MUCH, MUCH WORSE!
The woods next to her house were whipping, and flashing with flames. The trees were being consumed by fire from the ground to the tip tops of the branches, and it was spreading fast in her direction.
Luckily enough the first phone number to come to her mind was that of an area first responder, named Nancy, who could rally the volunteer FD together very quickly.
The wind was gusting, the trees were swaying, one even fell, and 2 more fire trucks (now a total of 3) made their way to my mom's property. They stayed though the night, until 5am, dropping water on the fire and keeping their eyes on hot spots.
This all happened the night before our arrival to G's. That wonderful smell Jason and I were enjoying was anything but a peaceful fireplace smoke...It was an actual wildfire (granted a small one) but a wildfire none-the-less.
Upon hearing her story from the nite before, we all curiously rushed over to scope out the damage.
Scarily enough, even after the FD had revisited the site just minutes before we went to look at it, and had dropped some 700 gallons on the site--this scorched ground was still smouldering. We looked around at it a bit in awe, and thankful for the dog's intuition, and then continued on on our lawnmower led wagon ride around the property.
Jason is a watcher. He watched the neighborhood we used to live in. He watched who was new to and who had left the street. He knew what cars were supposed to be on what street and may even be able to tell you at what times those cars should and should not have been present---HE IS A WATCHER!!!
Thankfully this evening was no different. Jason had poked his head out of the front door a few times to 'watch' the embers smoulder. Close to dark he said, 'I am gonna go out here on last time and just check to be sure everything is ok'. In just a few short minutes the house phone rang. It was Jason. There were 5 hot spots and 1 active spot of burning fire. We all rush out to take a look. The area that had begun to burn again was on a rotten tree that the fire fell the night before. It was small enough that SUPER JASON casually just stomped it out brandishing only his sketcher work shoes, cargo jeans and BRAND NEW BRIGHT WHITE WACO IT DEPT POLO tee...very interesting and comical image that will stay with me for a while.
Needless to say we all decided to give a call back in to the Gray Volunteer Fire Department, and they rushed over with more water.
Basically the fire had burned long enough and hot enough to get into the root system and could pop back up over there at any time. That was kinda worrisome for all of us but the very next morning, just a few hours after the fire shot back up, the winter storm moved into that part of East Texas. If the fire wasn't extinguished by the last visit of the GVFD it DEFINITELY was by good ole Mother Nature.
Sleet
Ice
Rain
Snow
under 30 degree temp
for 2 days.
No more fire...now ICE, that is another matter. :)


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Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 great interviews coming in January 2011

On January 12 I will be interviewing via blog talk radio for the second-time with Vic White of Poetic monthly magazine. We will discuss my newest children's book and my writings with POetic Monthly Magazine.
Then on or around January 26 I have plans to participate in an interview with Proclaiming you Destiny Intl. Ministry.
Proclaiming Your Destiny Int'l Ministries main purpose and main focus and goal is to build the kingdom of God. We provide many fellowship opportunities to worship with us and to fellowship with us. Such as weekly Bible Study, Monthly Womens Fellowship, Youth Fellowship, Mens Fellowship and weekly Sunday Services for those that do not have a church or ministry home. We are an outreach Ministry that reaches out to the community to help and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ an at the same time offer an helping hand to those that are in need and to those that want to know about God. To contact the ministry you may email us at ministryinfo@clear.net or contact our 24hr Voice Message system at 641.715.3900 ext.53123

The links will come soon to both interviews. You can listen live or you can use the links to listen to the archived interviews at your convenience.
God's Blessings are great and I am in awe of the opportunities He keeps sending my way. In Him my story is made beautiful. I pray that someway--somehow what I have to say and share will help someone out there that God has waiting to hear this beautiful story that He has created in spite of me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My FAVORITE new cross









I have been collection wall crosses for years now, I have about 30 in many different sizes, shapes, materials, and col

ors. I love the symbolism of them, and I just find them aesthetically beautiful. They also seem to give me a sense of peace, and safety in my home. I am always getting them as gifts, and I sometimes even splurge and get myself one if it catches my eye.
Well, Today I recieved my most cherished cross thus far.
Reese and Raeleigh have Jason's old leggo set from when he was a kid and it is one of their favorite things to play with. Reese builds boats, and towers, dinosaurs and churchs. Today Raeleigh told me that what she had built and was buzzing around the living room with was an airplane. The creativity and hands on skills these leggos give my girls is just amazing.
But today it made a jump in such a sweet, caring direction that I could have never anticiated.
My livingroom at the parsonage is slowly but surely turning into a home for us. Last week I finally got all my crosses back up on the wall in our main living area. I half-joking made mention to Jason that I needed more crosses so that I could cover a second wall.
It was maybe 30 minutes to an hour later and Reese came out of her bedroom smiling from ear to ear. She said, "Mommy, I have a present for you". Her hands were behind her back as she was hiding this special item from me. We play this game alot. She likes to wrap up her toys and 'suprise' you with them. I figured that was what was taking place this time too.
I smiled and said, "Well thank you baby, what is it?". Reese slowly pulled her hands from behind her back and uncurled her precisous little fingers...and there it was.
My FAVORITE new cross!
Reese on her own accord, set out to find 2 leggos that she liked and she made me a cross to put on the wall. Oh how my heart melted. So thoughtful, so innocent, so sweet. I will treasure it FOREVER!