Monday, April 26, 2004

MM 4/26/2004

Welcome to a Hot, Hot, Hot Monday!

I love that the weather is warming up and no, 98 was not too hot for me! I love it!

There is so much to tell. I am going to start with the exciting stuff. The Operation New Release drive on Thursday was a HUGE success! We had all the major news stations cover the morning radio live broadcast, and News 10 did 5 bits being sure to run them all day and night. Several stations even ran the story the next day. I have only collected the donations from 4 Starbucks locations and the running total so far is just under 500 DVD's, and somewhere in the vicinity of 2000 CD's! We have 3 other drop-off locations, the radio station is still taking donations and then there is the Tower Records donation. I am supposed to talk to my contact to find out what he means by "two pallets" and the ongoing support of 10 new releases each week. You can go to to see a story that was run today in the paper. There are no pictures and that is too bad, because they used the picture of Dave in his uniform carrying Mason in the Bjorn when we were in Washington. Starbucks also made a donation of 600 lbs of coffee and will be throwing in several grinders as well! There is another $1200 needed for mailing. The coffee is just for Dave's group of about 120 men. SO, here we are with all these wonderful CD's and DVD's and now we have to get them shipped to Iraq. LET THE FUND RAISING BEGIN! We have some plans for a bake sale, just kidding! We are working on doing an auction with the radio station, the newspaper mentioned the need which produced several e-mail offers to help and of course, family is stepping up. Mostly families like me, spouses who have men and women over in Iraq are wanting to send a box or two from their personal finances. I have figured that it costs about $2 per pound to send it first class. If I send it any other way, it more than doubles the delivery time and is only a few cents less per pound. I mailed 200 DVD's today and it cost $110. I made a commitment to this project when I started it and now I need to get behind it and follow it through. Our community came through for our troops and I am not going to let these movies and CD's age in my garage while I try to figure out how to tackle this next hurdle. I will send $100 worth every two weeks until it all gets there. The soldiers are SO excited about this stuff coming, it just warms your heart to here them ask their spouse "Did the movies get sent?", "What movies did you get?", "How many can fit in a box?" So there you go, I would say this has been very successful and I am not shy to say I feel very proud.

This was a very full weekend including a trip to Reno to see Ron White, Mason's first overnight with Christina and I even managed to finagle a work out in there somehow. I hope all is well with you. Write back and tell me what you did this weekend, I love to get replies!

Love to all of you!


Monday, April 19, 2004

MM 4/19/2004

Hi Friends,

This weekend was jam packed with friends and fun.

On Saturday, Christina and I took Mason and our dogs to the Pooch Pageant and Parade here in Auburn. What fun! I entered Riley in the Best Trick, and the Friendliest Face categories. Christina entered her dog Roxy in the Best Body, and Muttiest Mutt contest. Riley suffered from severe stage fright and wouldn't do a single trick. As far as the friendliest face, I think the winner was rightfully chosen, but I have to say, my dog should have been an easy second. We went home empty handed but had fun. Christina on the other hand won the second biggest raffle prize and Roxy took third in the Muttiest Mutt class.

After that, Mason and I came home, had some lunch and a nap, and then headed over to the fairgrounds for a little rodeo action. We were there late and missed the Mutton Busting competition but had fun checking out the vendors and sampling a little kettle corn. Sure wish Dave was with us....just ain't right being at a rodeo without my cowboy!

Sunday, Christina, Mike, and Julie went with us to the Strawberry Festival in Roseville. That was a really fun day and we even stayed most of the day instead of the few hours I thought would be plenty. We ate BBQ, shopped the vendors, had a strawberry covered fudge brownie, and a funnel cake (we all shared the sweets), got free strawberry plants and even did a little wine tasting. We wrapped the day up with a soak in the hot tub and off to bed early.

This week is a big week for Operation New Release. The radio station here in Sacramento (KNCI 105.1) is doing the big DVD/CD/Game drive on Thursday. They will have drop off locations at many Wal Mart stores for people to either bring their donations (in good condition), or purchase and drop in the bin. News 10 will be covering the story and I will be talking to UPN Channel 31, The Sacramento Bee, and the Auburn Journal as well.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to the Coloring book drive. It has been a big success and Dave is chomping at the bit to receive the boxes that have already been mailed. I have asked him to see if he can take a picture of him with a family he has given a book and crayons to so I can pass it along to the people taking the time to purchase and ship these packages off to him. Not to mention it legitimizes the whole project to see the stuff getting where we said it would go. Someone actually queried as to maybe my e-mail was an Internet prank!

Dave has been awesome. He writes sweet cards and calls me often. We really enjoy our time talking, especially when we laugh. If anyone wants to send something personally in a card, AT&T phone cards are MUCH appreciated. They have to be AT&T though. Enough rambling. Take care and drop Dave and e-mail. He really enjoys hearing from you and getting mail. Take care and have a great week!

Monday, April 12, 2004

MM 4/12/2004

At 7:30 PM, it is still officially Monday. I am just getting to my computer because we had a very long night with Mason getting tooth number three, and then an early morning appointment in Sacramento to be on the radio. We were at the radio station (KNCI, 105.1) talking to Pat and Tom about a project I am getting off the ground called Operation New Release. This is to ultimately get the record labels and distribution companies to donate the latest releases of CD's and DVD's to the troops in Iraq. Dave and I are working together to build a library where the soldiers can check out CD's and movies, enjoy them and give them back. So right now it looks like Pat and Tom are planning to do their morning show form a Wal Mart or Target to get people to donate and get the collection started, and then continue working to get corporate sponsors on board to continue the movement for the duration of the war. It is looking like this will go national and could get some big publicity. This is a library that will remain on the base for the rotation of troops for as long as we are there.

On a more local level, Dave has asked that we pull together and send him coloring books and crayons/colored pencils for him to give to the Iraqi children. He has found that he encounters many families and would very much like to give something to the little ones. If you would be willing to contribute you can do one of two things:

A) You can go to your local Dollar Tree (or Dollar store) and purchase the coloring books and crayons and send the package to Dave directly (SSG David Partak, CO-C 1-185 AR, 81st BDE, APO AE 09331).

B) Send me a check (whatever you want to contribute) and I will go get the stuff and send it over. The only thing for me, is the bigger the box I send, the more the postage will cost me. I am willing to do this though if you want to participate but don't have time to shop and go to the post office.

Last but not at all least, our Easter in the Woods Celebration was SPECTACULAR! We had the best group of people, lots of kids, we colored eggs, has awesome food, an egg hunt for the little ones, and then an egg hunt for the grown ups all with great goofy prizes and a brilliant sun shiny day. Who could have asked for more? Mason was a doll taking it all in and by 5:45 last night, he was counting Easter bunnies, little chicks and sheep in the sweetest of Easter dreams! I hope your holiday was as nice. Write back and tell me about it!

Take care and lots of love!


Commit To It

Great accomplishments most often result not from exceptional ability, but from ordinary ability followed through with exceptional commitment. Commitment can elevate even the most ordinary, tedious efforts into truly incredible levels of achievement.

What you're able to do doesn't really matter much unless you actually do it. It is in the doing, the commitment, the effort undertaken with persistence, that greatness results.

You can dream about success, hope for it, make the best of plans, talking about them with zeal and enthusiasm. Follow through with real, sustained action, and that success will come.

The life you experience today is the result of what you've been truly committed to in the past. Your commitments, whatever they may have been, have manifest themselves into your current reality.

You're always committed to something, whether it is watching four hours of television each night or running eight miles each morning. Your true commitments are evidenced by your actions.

What in the world would you truly like to do, to be, to experience, to accomplish? Commit to it, and make it happen.

Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator
with permission

Monday, April 5, 2004

MM 4/5/2004

Hi Guys!

Thank goodness Riley was available to fill in for me last week or there would have been no motivator. Smile! This week was full with ants, colds, coughs, walks, extra sleep (when I could steal it!) and it all wrapped up with really good news.

First things first, last week was Julie's birthday and though Riley knows that, I am sure he was so excited to tell you his turkey story, he just forgot! Happy Birthday Julie! This week is Mary's birthday, Happy Birthday! Gotta love those Aries!

I went in on Saturday to weigh out for the Discovery Channel National Body Challenge and the results were good. Since January 5, I have lost 17 lbs and 18 inches. I have another 18 lbs to go and hope to have that handled by the time Poobah rolls around the 2nd week in June. 2 lbs a week, that's all I ask.

Hotty Roddy's story is "For Sure" in the Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul that Ken and Dahlynn have coming out May 18. If you want, you can buy books directly from them and they will personalize and autograph them for you (and anyone you want to get one for as a gift). Father's Day is just around the corner! Go to and get the contact information. WOW! I am just surrounded by success and happiness.

I am hearing from Dave every 4-5 days. He should be arriving in Iraq today. They drove across the border from Kuwait over the weekend, and are all anxious to get there and set up house. At least having a space to call your own makes even the most desolate place a little more comfortable. His spirits are high but he misses home, family and friends. He is eager to get mail as this is the only contact with what feels like a previous life. I have sent 4 packages and letters everyday since I got his address. Hopefully the mail will start arriving and we can just keep the pipeline full.

So I am off and running this week. Workouts, ants, Doggie School and homework, playing with Mason and enjoying every minute I have to watch him grow. Love to you all. I hope you had a great weekend and a super week! I like this Motivator, it really speaks to me right now. I hope you get something from it too.


Watch yourself

You can sometimes hide your thoughts and actions from others. Yet you cannot hide them from yourself.

The person you are becoming is always watching the person you are right now. The genuine image you have of yourself tomorrow depends on the actions you watch yourself taking today.

The person you will be, is always watching the person you are. And what you sincerely think of yourself, based on what you see, will play a major role in the quality of your life.

The confidence with which you live next month will be based on the integrity of the actions you take this week. Think for a moment what a grand opportunity that represents.

You have the ability, with your thoughts and actions in this very moment, to become precisely the person you most truly want to be. With each little step you take, you're building the future character with which you'll live.

The qualities of your life that matter most are not in any way left to chance. They're yours to develop and strengthen every moment, even now, as you watch yourself grow.
Ralph Marston from The Daily Motivator
with permission