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Welcome! You've found the home blog of Janine Wiggins. Let's encourage each other in the faith, swap tricks and tips as busy working moms, and champion each other in attaining financial freedom. Feel free to email me anytime!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 28 September 2013 - 15:11:11

Now you can order Overcome Inertia in both print and Kindle format (Nook and iBookstore coming soon).

To order the Kindle Version, click HERE.
To order the print book Overcome Inertia on Amazon, click HERE.
To order the matching Journal, please click HERE to visit the Overcome Inertia Gear Store. We are in the process of sourcing a cheaper version of the journal.

What is Inertia?

Inertia is that invisible force stopping you from living life to the fullest! To “Overcome Inertia” we must take ACTION!

Minister Janine Wiggins presents a soul-baring summary of how the Lord helped her through the worst times of her life, equipping the reader with the simple yet POWERFUL solution that worked for her.

It’s not just enough to KNOW what to do. We have to take ACTION in our lives. With the leading of the Holy Spirit, the principles outlined in this book can help you take ACTION and regain CONTROL over your life. You CAN overcome inertia. You CAN live a vibrant, fulfilling, and abundant life!

Buy Overcome Inertia TODAY on AMAZON!

This is not SPAM. You are receiving this message because you registered at www.JanineWiggins.com and opted in to receiving notifications. To unsubscribe, send an email to janine@janienwiggins.com.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 24 June 2013 - 13:05:13
To order the book Overcome Inertia on Amazon, click HERE. To order the matching Journal, please click HERE to visit the Overcome Inertia Gear Store. We are in the process of sourcing a cheaper version of the journal.

What is Inertia?

Inertia is that invisible force stopping you from living life to the fullest! To “Overcome Inertia” we must take ACTION!

Minister Janine Wiggins presents a soul-baring summary of how the Lord helped her through the worst times of her life, equipping the reader with the simple yet POWERFUL solution that worked for her.

It’s not just enough to KNOW what to do. We have to take ACTION in our lives. With the leading of the Holy Spirit, the principles outlined in this book can help you take ACTION and regain CONTROL over your life. You CAN overcome inertia. You CAN live a vibrant, fulfilling, and abundant life!

Buy Overcome Inertia TODAY on AMAZON!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 13 May 2013 - 02:07:16
Last year was a year I skipped my annual Mother’s day post. I was moving in a hurry (landlord sold the house) and traveling a lot for the job and, honestly, there is very little I remember about Mother’s Day last year. I remember that the lady who rang up my mother’s day card laughed at me for sending out so many cards. I don’t remember who all I sent cards to last year, but I do remember her laughing that most of those folks I was buying for probably don’t give me a second thought and she wondered if I was just wasting my money.


That was rude.

I was too busy to care about her words at the time. I didn’t let it affect me. I was finally climbing out of the biggest financial hole I’d ever seen and I wasn’t gonna have this lady rain on my parade.

But this year I thought about it.

You see, the Lord has been dealing with me about giving Him the lame, the sick, the worst part of me. He especially caught me the other night when I was about to play Angry Birds after telling myself I was too tired to study my Word beyond the 10 minutes I’d put in. Over in Malachi 1:7-14 God upbraids Israel for giving him their sick and lame animals for offering. Not only did they offer God the worst animals from their flock, but then they had the nerve to dog out the church for only having ratty stuff.

How often do we, as parents, give our child (and our spouse) the leftovers of our lives? How often do we give ALL of ourselves to our jobs, or the ladies from church, or the millions of things we volunteer for but then have nothing left to give those closest to us? How often do we make a big show of mailing out cards and gifts and such but never actually connect with those closest to us??

Instead of giving those closest to us the BEST of us, we give them our tiredness, our irritability after a long day, our crankiness because we’re all SPENT UP giving and doing for others. My son already saw this in his workaholic mother and pointed it out to me unaware of the profound words he was speaking. I had picked him up from daycare at 6pm (the last kid, as usual) and told him we needed to go back to work so mommy could finish some things (as usual). He asked me, quite matter-of-factly, “Why Mommy? Why do we have to go to your work? Why didn’t you get your work done during work time?”

It was like he punched me in the gut. Why, indeed? His bedtime was 8:30. Why must I insist on giving all of his daylight hours to my job? Why not take him home, cook for him play with him, and love on him like he deserves. Wasn’t I the one who cried out in prayer to God for this kid for 8 years and through 3 miscarriages??? Yet I couldn’t spend 2 hours on him each night?? Who (or what) was getting my strength? Certainly not the little bundle of joy God blessed me with.

We do this to our families… and then as our children grow we wonder why they don’t want us anymore. Why they don’t appreciate us. Why they don’t seem to love us and acknowledge how hard we worked to take care of them. We don’t see that from their perspective everyone else got the best side of mom or dad. We don’t see that from their perspective, all they got was the dregs. When I made up my mind to start giving my son the best of me, not the dregs, I was rewarded improved behavior at school (14 months of no calls by the school principle) and a happy, on fire for God kid.

And we do the same thing to God. We give our best strength to other things and other people all day long. Then we fall into bed at night, say a hasty prayer and hope God’s grace will sufficiently cover and bless us the next day. And we, like the Israelites, grumble and complain that this church life is going nowhere when all we look around and see are sick and lame offerings.

I want to encourage all the supermoms out there to put the best of their time and the best of their energy to those things which matter most. To prioritize your life and then ask if what you’re about to do is the best use of your energy in achieving those priorities. To all you moms who are working hard to balance life, work, and family, my hats (all 20 of ‘em) are off to you.

Happy Mother’s Day Supermom!

Previous "Mothers Day for the SuperMom" posts:
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom, 2011
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom, 2009
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom, 2008
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom (the original, 2007)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 22 February 2013 - 20:53:10
I have created youth lessons and a game corresponding the Christian Education Outline "I Beseech You By the Mercies of God Supplement #1."

To download the lesson plan and game, click HERE to visit the youth lessons menu.



Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 23 May 2011 - 00:03:04
Went to a friend's church today, since all the saints were up at the Arkansas Pre-Jurisdictional Meeting. Afterward, we went to dinner.

When I got home, I discovered my stove burner was on.

And, since I hadn't cooked in a few days, I had all kinds of paper, groceries, supplies, on top of the stove (basically using the flat cooktop as a counter-top). The paper on that burner was singed, but nothing was on fire.

I don't know how it got turned on. I don't know how long it had been on. I was gone for 6+ hours, so it was at least that. So I really should be saying my house burnt down today.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 09 May 2011 - 03:18:57
Wow! What a day today was! I thoroughly enjoyed Mother’s Day today. I was on time, knew my parts, and actually looked good this morning. I’d had a great weekend, tried out some new things, met new friends, and flexed my schedule when Peanut got sick with no anger, frustration, or resentment. My house, though not spotless, is ok enough for guests (we’re all family here- just ignore that pile of laundry on the chair we never use). My vegetable garden is coming along nicely. And I sent my mother’s day cards out a week ago, so I’m even on top of that.

This is in stark contrast to last mother’s day. I didn’t do my annual Mother’s Day post last year. It’s ok if you didn’t notice. We’re all so busy, how could I expect you to? I don’t go to your website nearly enough unless you send me a link, lol!

It’s really too bad, because I had lots of great material, mostly centered on my son’s discovery of his new friend, “pee-pee,” and I had written it a million times in my head. I couldn’t wait to get home from church and type it all up. My readers were going to LOVE such anecdotes as the first time I heard, “Mommy! Come look my pee-pee is bigger…and it tickles” They were especially going to get a kick over my response the time he called out, “Mommy! I’ve got something to show you!” What is it honey? “My pee-pee. It’s not a pee-pee anymore. It’s a surprise.” I answered (without thinking), “That’s what they all say, honey. And a smart girl won’t fall for that!”

Yep. It was gonna be awesome. I was going to write it after the mother’s day breakfast at my church, so I could include some heartwarming nugget about how the Peanut served me breakfast. But I left both the breakfast and the accompanying church service in tears. I was the only single mom at the minister’s table, and at that breakfast I learned stuff about my ex that I wish I hadn’t. Stuff that confirmed I was right to leave, but still stuff that hurt. And, later, when my pastor preached on how men should cherish and honor the saintly women who put up with them, run their households, and rear their children, rather than appreciating his wisdom (wish more men would teach that), I was overcome with feeling that I was unappreciated, not cherished, not loved, not fought for, not protected. Not wanted. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be single. Of course, that’s not true, but you ladies have all been there hurting and you know how the devil comes in and twists the knife through whatever lies he can get you to believe.

But today was a great day. Low stress, lots of laugh, and great folks. We honored our Sunday School teacher (and I’m really going to miss her now that Triumphant Life is about to start Sunday School), had a great time praising the Lord together, and I was even treated to dinner: the group let me pick where to eat, and one of the guys picked up my check.

And it’s not just that today, Mother’s Day, was great, but I realized that this last year I’ve strung together days and weeks of great times, punctuated by a little heartache here and there, but over all life is good. Sure, there was some serious financial shock at the end of last year, but I regrouped, altered my lifestyle to adjust to the new reality, and am even happier. I’ve divested almost all of my extracurricular and volunteer activities. I’m focusing on “us” right now. You know what’s funny? All of those organizations (and people) found someone else to do the job. All those websites I used to run? Mostly hired out. The world didn’t stop just because I decided o take a breather. Ok, I’ll admit that hurt just a tiny bit to discover I was so, uh, dispensable. But not enough to negate the awesomeness of being at T-Ball with my son, not worried about the 20 other things I’d have to sacrifice to watch him because, now-a-days I only have one or two things on my plate each night. And it’s usually something with him.
There are times I feel a pull to give more money, give more time, but you know what? When I check the Spirit on this, He typically isn’t the one pulling me. Rather, He more often urges me to scale back. Scale back that gift, scale back that donation, scale back how much you’ll volunteer to help at that event. Right now you need to take care of business. And business #1 is your son.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think I’m doing a great job, but I still have a fair amount of “Mom guilt.” This is especially evident when I look at mommy-and-me school projects. My projects with the Peanut are typically hastily done in contrast to the intricate concoctions his classmates bring in. I cringe when I see all the energy and time other parents put into their kids, wearing home-made matching family shirts to cheer on their little sports star, running to a multitude of lessons, buying them all kinds of cool toys, stuff like that. But the guilt is still there.

But I console myself knowing that I rarely see other kids launch into a public mommy kiss fest, and I don’t hear other moms talk about how their baby wrote them a song, “Mommy is my best friend.” If the worst frustration I have about my son his habit of hugging and kissing me profusely at the most inappropriate times, then well, I must be doing ok. Another year like this, and I may just have to ditch these “Mother’s Day for the SuperMom” posts… because I’ll no longer qualify! And that’s the way it SHOULD be!

Previous "Mothers Day for the SuperMom" posts:
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom, 2009
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom, 2008
Mother’s Day for the SuperMom (the original, 2007)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 08 May 2011 - 07:11:13
It's not that I don't like to have fun. I *LOVE* a good time. It's just also happen to *LOVE* being anointed. And I don't see the two as mutually exclusive: because what I like to do for fun does not erode my anointing. Well, most of the time, lol!

Why is it that when people go off about "tolerance," it always means I have to tolerate their sin... I don't have a problem with you wanting to sin...that's cool, you live your life and I'll live mine...I just prefer to minimize sin, cuz, well, you know, I just kind of like that, but hey the Bible says work out your own souls salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord... you can do that your way, and I"ll do it mine...Why can't tolerance mean you also tolerate my desire to live holy so I can continue being a blessing in other peoples lives? So I can do what God called me to do and what genuinely brings me joy?

And why is it that people who say, "There's no love in that church" either are the chief haters or they're the scammers who really mean, "I did them like a dirty dog and while they turned the other cheek they still locked up their pocketbooks"

And finally, why is it that "come as you are" doesn't really MEAN come as you are? It means come as all the cool people are. You know, the cool people who ditch the suits, sag their jeans and know how to have a goooooood time even in church. Well what if "as I am" really means in a sequined suit with a big feather hat and rhinestoned shoes. It's not, lol, now that I'm no longer the assistant pastors wife (I do happen to look waaaay better in skirt suits than I do in pant suits, cuz pants never fit right). But what if that's what someone really likes? They can't show up to your church because by "coming as I am" then they're not fitting in. And you'd really rather they leave. Cuz that big hat makes you uncomfortable. And you can't see around it. NO, what you really mean is, "come as I am cuz that's how we should all be" no less than you think the people in the stuffy-suit* churches feel about you.

I really haven't seen any stuffy-suit churches out here in Shreveport/Bossier, but next weekend CLGI here in Shreveport will open up. So if you like stuffy suits, big hats, hand-clappin foot-stompin, tongue-talkin, fire-from-heaven, souls-getting-filled-with the Holy Ghost, bodies bein' healed kind of church, come on out. I guarantee you that you can "come as you are."

We'll tolerate you. We'll love you. Even in our stuffy suits and our big fat hats.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 03 May 2011 - 07:43:19
So... tonight at 318Live, my little Peanut was a bit wild. Translation: overtired. He was whirling around, flapping his arms, and exhibiting autistic traits I hadn't seen in awhile in this extremely sociable, usually well behaved little man. I was a bit frustrated at first because I really liked the praise and worship songs they were singing this time, and wanted to get into it. But since he was overtired I knew my best bet was to jump in the water with him, calm him down, and help him get to sleep.

As he alternated between pressing my hands hard to his ears and giving my hands an abundance of kisses, I reflected back on how he was over 2 years old before he purposely gave me a hug. Over 4 years old before he actually said "I love you" without it being a mimicked my response to my having said so.

As I began to thank God for his over-the-top displays of love (which sometimes drives me crazy now, lol!) I realized that for every time I have to take him to a back corner, so he can whirl around and flap his arms, I have 20+ times of awesome behavior that always garners compliments like, "my, how very well behaved your son is."

Finally, I remembered how I cried out for 8 years to the Lord to heal my body so that I could have a child. This is always where the Spirit takes me back to, when I get overwhelmed with parenting ;-)

I left 318 that night, not only with a heart for the mission we raised funds for (HelloSomebody), but also with a heart full of gratitude for the great God who gave me a wonderful, bright, intelligent, loving little boy.

My baby boy loves me! And I love him!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 02 May 2011 - 07:44:52
Saints, I will no longer be uploading the official notes to this site. You can download all notes from here on out at CLGI.org.

God Bless,
Minister Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 24 April 2011 - 08:47:45
Well, here it is. Another Easter* Sunday. Or, Resurrection Sunday, whichever you prefer. As I sit here looking at my son’s Easter basket (filled to the brim with goodies from Grammy and yesterday’s egg hunt), I’m filled with bittersweet feelings.

So many people have been talking about the Resurrection. And that’s good. And I’m pleasantly surprised to report that I’ve heard more about Jesus from “non-churched” this week than even during Christmastime. And that’s good.

But maybe I'm weird: I celebrate the Resurrection every day. The Resurrection is not like my birthday: something I only think about a couple times each year (usually when one of the girls at 318Live calls me “ma’am” and reminds me how old I’m getting!). Celebrating the Resurrection is not a block I check, an obligation I fulfill, a one day offering to appease my mother, my boss, or my friends.

Every day I thank Him for shedding His blood that I might have abundant life, be free from the power of sin, and have an opportunity to inherit the Kingdom. So putting out candy to celebrate the Resurrection almost seems strange to me. Like I should separate the two events into “Super Candy Saturday” and “Resurrection Sunday.” After all, it’s not as easy to connect gorging ourselves on chocolate and jelly beans with the Resurrection as it is to connect the giftgiving at Christmas (Oh, honey, we’re giving gifts to each other like we would give to Jesus if we were at His birthday party).

In any event, I’m glad for the candy (thanks Mom). I’m glad for the egg hunts and the joy on my baby’s face. I’m glad for these kinds of "happenings" that break up the monotony of life and give us something to look forward to. And I’m especially, eternally, glad for the blood that was shed on Calvary, and how the One whose blood was spilt then rose up from the grave. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

Praise the Lord! He is risen!

- JJ

* Ok, this paragraph is for my purist friends: Today, as the mother of a little man, I can enjoy the pageantry of Easter- the egg hunts, the chocolate, the 20-pound bunnies that no one should eat in a year, let alone in a day. But I remember 10, maybe 11, years ago when I was stationed in Florida and my pastor asked me to research the meaning and origin of Easter. Now, before I continue: this is NOT where I say “all y’all gon’ burn in haa-eeeeelllll” for decorating eggs. Not at all. So, this pastor put me in charge of that year’s egg hunt, baskets, and picnic. Well, the more I researched, the less I liked the holiday, in spite of the fact that growing up Easter was one of my favorites. And when the weekend arrived, I really had a hard time being enthusiastic for the kids. I gave my seminar with a heavy heart, trying to gloss over the Pagan aspect of it all, and set the kids loose to hunt eggs looking like I hated life. It took a long time for me to reconcile the modern version of the holiday with its roots. I look at kids hunting eggs now much the same way as I look at women wearing charm bracelets. Some charms really mean something. Most, in our culture, don’t. Ask the next East-Asian trying to sell you some tourist trinket charm bracelet. They will quickly tell you, “oh, these aren’t real.” And that’s how I feel about the pageantry of Easter. For the kids, and most of their parents, it’s not real…it’s just fun. We don’t do the Easter Bunny (though we’ll eat one, lol) and we focus on the fact that Easter is a celebration of life- not only the resurrected Savior, but also the new life we obtain through faith in him. God bless you!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 10 April 2011 - 15:09:15
In Dallas, about to run a the Big D Half Marathon.

I'm dedicating today’s race to the memory of 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo, who lost his life February 20, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, due to wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using a makeshift bomb.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 11 March 2011 - 07:08:35


The HBCU STEM Fellowship Program is offered to students who have graduated from a HBCU. Applicants accepted into the program will receive up to $77,000 for tuition, fees, and living expenses for a two-year STEM masters program. Applicants must gain admission into Masters’ level programs in STEM areas of study at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware or Washington, DC. However, it does not include majors linked to direct patient care.

In addition to financial support we monitor the progress of the students, to nurture the next generation of scientists, researchers and engineers.

Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

The Fellowship Program is administered by the Educational Advancement Alliance (EAA) and sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration, a U.S. Department of Energy agency.

Our website has changed. Please visit us now at, www.gradopps.org (we added an “s”), for an application and additional information.

The application should be completed and received by March 19, 2011. The remaining required documentation can be sent in later. Applications can be sent by fax, email or mail.

Once again, all the supporting documents are not needed to file the application.

EAA also has a National Minority STEM Fellowship Program which also provides funding up to $77,000.00 for a two-year program. Applicants must be residents of New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia or Maryland. Deadline for this program is April 15, 2011.You can find additional information on the National Program at www.NMSFP.org. Information on other EAA programs can be found at www.eaalliance.org.

Donald A. Redmond
HBCU STEM Fellowship Program
5828 B Market Street, 1st Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19139

Phone: 215-471-7170
Fax: 215-471-9003
Email: dredmond@gradopps.org

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 19 February 2011 - 11:25:41
Hello everyone... This post is for members of my church who use Bishop White's unofficial notes: please note, until the notes are approved by Bishop White himself, I am not authorized to load them on clgi.org. However, I am trying to get together a good archive of all of them here. The only issue with that is, unlike the other stuff on my site, all must log in to download the notes.

I've had a lot of military travel over the last two years, and I just discovered some from last year that were never posted. You can see which notes I currently have on this site by viewing this download link: http://www.janinewiggins.com/download.php

If you know of some that I am missing, please email them to me.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 10 January 2011 - 03:13:42
Friday, I took vacation time to work on CLGI.org as well as tour a couple schools where I think I may move to. One of the schools uses a sight-word technique called "Popcorn words" where the students learn a new word each week. This school also teaches phonics. When the students get a new lesson, they use a highlighter to "butter" the popcorn words that they already know, and then use phonics to sound out the remaining words.

Inspired, I created a "popcorn words" lesson to add to our upper and lowercase letters practice for tonight. It was successful, though I initially thought he'd recognize more words. He didn't, other than his name, so we did his name "I" "a" and "cat." Next time we'll add on. He loved "buttering" the words with the highlighter, but the first highlighter we had smudged the ink! Oops!

You can download "Popcorn Words" to use with your child at this link: http://www.janinewiggins.com/download.php?view.76

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 November 2010 - 08:39:20
Just pausing to honor of our veterans today.

Yeah, I know technically I'm a "vet" too, but I don't think I've earned the title quite the way that my grandfather did, or the way that my peers in the sandbox are currently doing.

I really wanted to write some phenomenally profound statement about today and the military which forms the backbone of our nation...but I couldn't do justice the memory of so many vets I know that have passed this year, including some original Tuskegee Airmen I was honored to work with while stationed in DC and in Montgomery.

Rest in peace.
I appreciate your sacrifice.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 26 October 2010 - 20:26:51
Time for me to run my very first MARATHON!! Yeah Baby! I am headed to DC to run the Marine Corps Marathon Oct 31 (Halloween). I am SO excited for this race, and really hope you can be a part of my "victory weekend." If you're in town that day, perhaps you would like to come out and support me and 30K other marathoners?? Your smiling face is definitely a motivator, and supportive cheers are welcomed by the runners, even if they don't know you.

If you're in the area let me know. I'm on a fairly tight schedule but I still gotta eat! Join me at one of my faves...Old Ebbitt, Teaism, Ben's and ...wait for it... Five Guys. Would LOVE to catch up with you!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 08 October 2010 - 06:33:10
Well, this is kinda awkward because, as most of you know, the term "Divorce" is one I NEVER wanted to apply to my life... but turns out I've been quoted in an Huffington Post article about an online group called DivorceCandy.

Basically, I took something Bishop White had said about the Consecration, and applied it to my situation. He said, "When you feel like you are just going to die, crawl into your bed and just die." I used that to encourage others recovering from divorce, "Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put one foot in front the other and keep moving forward as best you can. Even if it's two steps back for every step forward, you can do it! Life stinks right now, but if you keep going it WILL get better. A year of healing has passed and my life is BETTER than EVER!"

I don't know whether to be happy that they thought my comment worthy of including in the article, or bummed that I had to be in the situation in the first place, but hopefully the Lord is using this for good.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 21 September 2010 - 05:29:12
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz

Keynote address at the Air Force Association Conference and Technology Exposition, National Harbor Center at Oxon Hill, Md., Sept. 14, 2010

"Indeed, Airmen have always been the foundation of our strength—the lifeblood of our Service. Names like Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Doolittle, Hap Arnold, Bennie Schriever, and those of other aerospace visionaries and technological innovators, are joined on the distinguished slate of Air Force heroes by legendary pioneers like Benjamin Davis, Chappie James, Lee Archer, and Jeanne Holm, who pushed boundaries other than physical and technological, to help vanquish inequity in our institution. To them, we owe our gratitude for rich and meaningful diversity, albeit still incomplete—diversity that is a critical source of the strength and vitality of our Air Force. In bygone eras, factors such as race, creed, ethnicity, gender, and station were perhaps disqualifiers. Today, we know that these very same attributes bring vital different perspectives to bear on increasingly complex challenges. A diverse military environment is, in my mind, a military necessity, as it better prepares our people and our institution to engage in a dynamic, multi-faceted, and nuanced world. So, we must encourage the conditions for greater meaningful diversity—that which truly enhances our effectiveness."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 17 September 2010 - 17:07:11
Getting ready to run the AF Half-Marathon tomorrow (Sat). This run is dedicated to the memory of SrA. James A. Hansen, who died Wed (15 Sept) of wounds suffered during a controlled detonation at JB Balad, Iraq. He was an airfield management operations coordinator with the 46th Operations Support Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla. I also tip my hat to 3 former running buddies who are now overseas risking their lives for this nation: Amy Sitze, Carmen Sowers, and Rebecca Emerson. Miss you all.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 11 September 2010 - 06:37:27
The other day, an older lady in a huge pickup truck with one of those Dixie flag cut me off and gave me a “look.” I thought to myself, “Thanks lady- bet you’re glad I wear this uniform so you can have the right to display that flag and look down your nose at me.”

I usually don’t get so snippy at other people’s ignorance, but I had just finished watching part of a news report on how most US citizens don’t even think about 9-11 anymore. They don’t realize the danger our nation faces. And they can’t comprehend what the troops go through trying to maintain our security in spite of constant budget and personnel cuts. And now I live in an area of the country where the very people whose freedom I’ve pledged my life to protect would just as soon wipe me off the face of the earth. Well, I guess that’s a bit of an exaggeration. After all, someone has to do the menial jobs.

Don’t worry, this isn’t another “black girl in the South” rant. This is about the sacrifice our troops are making. Their deployments are getting longer. The jobs are getting tougher. Budget cuts are driving personnel and equipment cuts. We are losing our ability to fund the security our systems need. Basically our military is coming apart at the seams. All to protect the rights of a people whose lifestyles, opinions, and decisions are in stark contradiction to the culture of the majority of military members themselves.

But most of us who wear the uniform love this country. Yes, the nation has some blemishes. Some warts. Some skeletons in the closet. Some out of the closet. But overall THIS IS the BEST nation on earth, and I thank God for allowing me to be born in the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”

Please do not forget that we are a nation at war. I don’t care what our elected officials say on TV. The bottom line is that MANY of my friends and coworkers are over there risking their lives that you and I might have our freedoms. We have a lot to be thankful for. And a lot to remember. So please visit the following links to join me in honoring the immediate victims of 9-11.

List of All Victims
Complete List of Victims

Lists broken down by flight/building:
World Trade Center
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
Pentagon (view bios on DefendAmerica)
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Stories of Survivors

Previous 9-11 posts:
2009: Reflections on 9-11-01
2008: We Remember- 9-11-01

Please note that comments are turned off. If you would like to comment on this post, send me an email at janine@janinewiggins.comPrevious 9-11 posts:
2009: Reflections on 9-11-01
2008: We Remember- 9-11-01

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 24 August 2010 - 04:03:25
Saw this on a a forum I frequent- was originally posted on Investopedia

It really struck me because a few of my single friends are on the "Millionaire Plan" for retirement. Not familiar with that plan? It's the "I'll marry a millionaire one day, so and I'll be taken care of" plan.

Funny thing is, some of these gals judge a man's wealth by his flashiness: trips, cars, clothes. But mos of the people who are financially independent (or close to being so) are actually the opposite of flashy! They're the ones in the old, beat up honda so well described in The Millionaire Next Door, one of my favorite books!

Millionaire Myths:

We all have are preconceptions about millionaires: they're tax evaders who just inherited their money from rich Aunt Flo, and they hang around the golf course all day with their snobby, elitist friends. So what's the average millionaire really like? Here are seven millionaire myths, and the real facts about the ones who seem to have it all.

1. Millionaires Don't Pay Their Taxes
Fact: It is estimated that millionaires, those in the top 1% of earners, pay about 40 percent of all taxes. Current tax regulation shifts may change these numbers to make this even larger than that -- so think twice before accusing the millionaires in America of not paying taxes.

2. Millionaires Just Inherited Their Money
According to Thomas J. Stanley's book, "The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy," only 20% of millionaires inherited their riches. The other 80% are what you'd call nouveau riche: first-generation millionaires who earned their cash on their own. Many millionaires simply worked, saved, and lived within their means to generate their wealth -- think accountants and managers: regular people going to work every day. Most millionaires didn't get their riches overnight when a rich relative died -- they worked for the money.

3. Millionaires Feel Rich
From the outside looking in, you would think that millionaires feel rich and secure, but that's not so. Most millionaires worry about retirement, their kids' college fund and the mortgage just like the rest of us. Those worries are greatest among new millionaires, the people who just recently acquired their wealth.

4. Millionaires Have High-Paying Jobs
It certainly doesn't hurt to be gainfully employed, but half of all millionaires are self-employed or own a business. It does help to have a college degree, as about 80 percent are college graduates, though only 18% have master's degrees.

5. Millionaires All Drive Fancy Cars
You can get that idea of the rich guy in a fancy German car out of your head when you think of a millionaire: They actually drive a Ford, with the carmaker topping the millionaire preferred car list at 9.4 percent. Cadillacs run second on the millionaires' favorite car list, and Lincolns third according to on moneymaking.com.
Car payments are an investment with little return, which is why someone looking to grow wealth avoids high-priced vehicles in favor of a more economical set of wheels.

6. Millionaires Hang Around the Golf Course All Day
Those millionaires are all retired, with nothing else to do but hang around the golf course, right? Wrong. Only 20 percent of millionaires are retirees, with a full 80 percent still going to work. It's not as glamorous or fun, but millionaires go to work just like you do; it's how the money gets in the bank.

7. Millionaires Are Elitists
We've already established that most millionaires earned their money and not inherited it, still go to work, drive a Ford, and worry about their kids' college expenses. Sounds a lot like the rest of America, right? Millionaires come in all shapes and sizes -- some may be elitists, but most are just regular Joes who successfully managed their money.

The Bottom Line
Maybe you see a pattern here: Today's millionaires are people who live within their means, budget and spend wisely, and focus on financial independence first. These are habits that take discipline, but ones we can all adopt to begin growing wealth. If these facts prove anything, it's that every one of us can strive to become a millionaire -- you can start by driving your old car with pride.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 21 August 2010 - 16:31:38
Just ran (almost) 15 miles in 3 hours. I can't believe it! If you had told me 5 years ago if I would have been training for a marathon, I'd have said you were crazy. It wa 4 years ago when I ran my first Army Ten-Miler. I had dropped out of training, so up to the race I had only run 6 miles at one time before that. The next year, I did another 10 miler. The year after that, my first Half Marathon (the AF). Last year I did a couple halfs, and this year decided to make the leap to full.

But I just couldn't get past 13-14 miles. Something about hitting that two-and--half hour mark and my body just said forget it. Actually, my body was fine. My MIND said forget it. Until today. I broke the mental barrier, and I'm looking forward to continued success!

I don't know what hurts my feet more... the running or the ice bath I'm now subjecting my feet to!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 17 August 2010 - 07:14:02
In the aftermath of the Dr Laura hullaballoo, someone's link sent me to this site.


To prevent myself from getting on a soapbox, I will make just one little comment: If you look at some of the dates in these lynching postcards (YES, postcards!), the kids that were witnessing the lynchings (on some of the postcards) are contemporaries of our grandparents and parents.

My, how times have changed.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 24 July 2010 - 18:52:41
Saw this on Jeff Galloway's website today... echos something I remember from Joyce Vedral's workout books I used in college. Basically, because of how we ladies store fat, it seems like "poof" we suddenly expand for no reason.

But not so!

What's REALLY happened is that over time, our insides began to store fat and once that transformation was complete, THEN we see the fat appear to explode. But it's not really exploding- it was growing under the surface all that time.

It's like roaches - you never really see them until they've gotten bad (all my grammarian friend are cringing right now). And when you see one roach, you KNOW there's a huge roach problem under the surface. Likewise, when we see the fat begin to pile on, we've got a huge fat problem under the surface.

I think, and have no scientific proof on this, that's why we can work out like a dog for months and see very little improvement but if we stick with it all the sudden the fat just starts melting away!

Men tend to store fat on the surface of the body, often on the outside of the stomach area. Most females store fat internally at first. Thousands of areas between muscle cells are filled up first. Many young women feel that some dramatic change has occurred around the age of 30 when they suddenly start showing fat accumulation on the outside of their bodies, while maintaining the same diet and level of exercise. They've actually been storing fat inside for many years. Once the inner areas are filled, women notice a dramatic change on the outside of their thighs or stomachs, often in less than a year.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 19 June 2010 - 10:41:38
I PROMISE! My phone is on SILENT!

This is what I kept saying in choir rehearsal as my phone went off every 5 or so minutes. Yes, I could have turned it off, but I was trying to record the songs. That was my last choir rehearsal in Montgomery, and I just HAD to capture the songs.

You see, my niece sent me a cute picture with a voice text attached...and... I'm not sure how this happened, but from the moment I opened the message, my phone played "Hi Auntie Nina" every time I closed out of a menu, saved a file, or got a calender notice... EVEN IN SILENT MODE!

I set my phone to silent. And then to "all alerts off." Still got it.

I powered off and restarted, but no dice.

I even deleted the file. Still got it. And, even worse, it chimed "Hi Auntie Nina" as I exited the deletion screen.

I gave up and elected to annoy those nearby me with my phone so I could record choir rehearsal. After all, it was quieter than the chatter of the teenagers, and no one ever tells them to stop gabbing. Of course, I forgot that I use my phone for everything and had almost a million reminders and pop-up alerts going off during the last three songs. Only the people nearby heard it but, oh, those people would include my pastor.

Don't do this. Please.

If you get stuck with a cell-phone ringer attack like this, take it as a sign that you are not to record that choir rehearsal. It's just not meant to be. Take the spiritual high road and turn the phone off. You'll see why I say it's not a sound SPIRITUAL decision, because if you decide to record the rehearsal, guess what will playing through your recordings? LOL LOL LOL!!!

It *WAS* very cute, though, and it made me smile each time (even though it was VERY annoying those around me), LOL!

FWIW, I finally did fix it by removing the battery and letting the phone cool off for a bit.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 10 June 2010 - 21:54:27
Just read this in Dr Ben Kim's most recent newsletter. WOW!

And one final topic for today. It's on neuroplasticity,
which is the term used to describe your brain's ability to
form new neural connections as you go through different
life experiences.

Neuroplasticity is of special interest to physicians and
scientists that study ways to decrease risk of Alzheimer's
and other forms of dementia.

Of all of the life experiences that affect neuroplasticity
and your ability to ward off dementia, the very latest
studies are indicating that no factor is more powerful in
preventing dementia than BEING SOCIALLY ACTIVE.

More-so than drinking from engaging literature, playing high
level sports, or using your brain to do crosswords or sudoku,
to be the single most important way to keep your brain

Intuitively, this makes sense, since being social often
requires multiple layers of thinking and communicating, with
surprises around every corner.

And no, updating, liking, and commenting on our facebook
pages doesn't stimulate our brains the way that live,
face-to-face-type social situations do. :)

Interesting stuff, right? If you have family members or
friends who live like hermits but might shake things up if
they had this info in their melons, maybe pass this bit along.

What I love most about this, along with most of the healthy-living things I've come across lately, is that it is practically free to get involved with others. Of course, what you're doing *WHILE* being social may cost a little, but it doesn't have to be exorbitant :-)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 09 June 2010 - 23:32:31
Check out this article about Grace Groner, a woman who lived frugally and then surprised everyone by donating $7 Million to her alma mater.

The tried-and-true tips featured in the article include:

1. Live below your means

Groner lived in a tiny one-bedroom cottage she inherited from a friend. She didn’t own a car and bought her clothes at rummage sales. Mr. Buffett lives in the same Omaha, Neb., home he purchased in 1958 for $31,500.

2. Let it ride

Groner let her investment – three shares of Abbott stock – grow untouched, a strategy of investing often touted by Buffett. While most stocks won’t see the type of returns that Groner saw, “value investing” – which Buffett has come to define as “finding an outstanding company at a sensible price" ­– and reinvesting the dividends will let you take advantage of the power of compound interest.

3. Discretion

Groner was more circumspect than the megabillionaire. While Buffett’s wealth is well known due to the public nature of his position, only Groner’s attorney knew about her vast reserves until she passed away recently, giving her $7 million estate to her alma mater.

As Thomas Stanley and William Danko write in The Millionaire Next Door:

Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and you spend it all, you are not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.

I highly recommend both "The Millionaire Next Door" and "Your Money or Your Life." "Your Money or Your Life" is really great for illustrating the point called "Enough" (as in, I have ENOUGH money to live the life I want to live. It teaches you how to get there and how to devote your life to what really matters... in my case, serving the LORD! I'm not sure about their specific investment recommendations, but this book changed my mindset on money a few years ago. "The Millionaire Next Door" amazed me and let me know that "I can do it!" I hope it will encourage you too.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 09 June 2010 - 23:18:50
Loved this article by Dr. Wayne Willis called "Amazing Grace." I found it while trying to research Grace Groner, a secret millionaire Elder Johnson mentioned during his sermon Sunday morning. I'm not sure I would have left quite that much (I LOVE to shop) but I do hope to stay on that path of becoming a "secret millionaire" one day.

Maybe no one ever called her that in her first 100 years. Orphaned at 12, taken in by family and friends until she was adopted, Grace Groner worked as a secretary for 43 years. She bought her clothes at rummage sales, never owned a car and lived alone in a one-bedroom cottage. Today, 1,300 Lake Forest (Ill.) College students who will have scholarships, internships and studies abroad because of her call her "Amazing Grace."

When she died in January at age 100, Groner left $7 million to her alma mater, Lake Forest College. She never sold the three shares of Abbott Laboratories stock she bought in 1935 for $180. When she died, after many stock splits and dividends reinvested, her initial investment had grown into a $7 million fortune.

Last week, I listened to a professor sound off about "this generation," meaning his college students. He stereotyped them as addicts to "instant gratification and instant communication." His caricature would be one of his students wolfing down a Big Mac (instant food paid for with instant — plastic — money), text-messaging with the other hand ("im chewing bm now") while steering the car with his knees.

John McPhee, 79-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Princeton professor and author of 25 books, claims he hardly ever has written more than one single-spaced page a day. "If you put an ounce in a bucket every day," he explained, "before you know it, you have a quart."

Aesop's ancient story about the turtle and the hare may be truer in our times than ever. There's still something to be said for eschewing immediate pleasure for taking a longer view of things; something to be said for the discipline and perseverance of the turtle. Or John McPhee. Or Amazing Grace.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 31 May 2010 - 05:32:40
The other day I received an email that seemed strange because it appeared to be from one of our pastors, but a) it was asking for money b) bad spelling and c) the email address was similar to the elder's but not exactly (changed one of the letters).

From: FirstName LastName [mailto:XXXXchosen1@aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:45 AM
Cc: recipient list not shown:

How are you doing ? hope all is well with you and family,i am sorry that i didn't inform you about my traveling to England for a seminal. I need your urgent help, I misplaced my wallet on my way to the hotel where my money and credit cards are kept. I urgently need a loan of $3,400 from you to sort-out my hotel bills and get myself back home.
I will appreciate whatever you can afford and i'll pay you back as soon as i return.Let me know if you can send the money?so that I can get the details across to you soon.
Your help will be greatly appreciated.

I wouldn't have sent money anyway (the Lord delivered me of giving handouts long ago so even if I HAD it, I wouldn't have sent it) but what surprised me is that the email address XXXXchosen1@aol.com was VERY similar to this individual's real email. Only one letter was changed (m for an n) and if you weren't paying attention, I might have emailed this person to express sympathy for their situation, not realizing I wasn't REALLY emailing the person I thought.

This is similar to the scam with Elder Russell's email last year. I wish I still had that email so I could check and see if it was actually her email address or a close counterfeit. Either way, someone is either hacking into these accounts, or there's a very sophisticated scam-bot operating out there.

If you get this email (or the email/phone-call about someone whose car broke down and they're on the way to visit your church) it's a scam, so please do not pay! If you want to contact the person you think it's from, to make sure they're ok, please contact them by a way OTHER than email.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 02 May 2010 - 01:51:04
Came across a new show on the radio today (Living With Joy) and LOVED what I heard from their guest speaker:

There's two skills required of a pastor, and only two skills. There are a lot of character qualities that are required, but only two skills. No. 1, he must be able to teach. No. 2, he must manage his household well. Our churches are filled with biblically disqualified pastors.

Titus Chapter 1 makes it clear. If you do not have faithful children, and if your children are accused of rebellion or dissipation, you are disqualified biblically, and you hear that - and I know we hear that and we go, "Oh, brother, that's harsh. Nobody's perfect." Listen to me. The same passage says - and here's what boggles my mind, same passage, same paragraph - must not be addicted to wine.

That says he must not be a drunkard. He must not drink in excess. We say he can't drink at all. Listen to me. I'm not a drinker. I'm not promoting drinking. I've never had a drink, but this is what I want you to hear tonight. Not drinking is easy for me, and it's easy for most of you, 'cause most of you never drink, and you stick your chest out and pop your collar 'cause you don't drink. It means nothing to you unless you've been an alcoholic. It is not hard for you to do.

Discipling your family is a different story, and it amazes me that in the same paragraph we take one of those requirements and raise it and the other one and lower it. You wanna know why our families are in turmoil? 'Cause most of you, when you got hired at the church that you're at right now, they never even met your family.

They heard you preach and voted on you, when the Bible says if you're not discipling
your children in an exemplary fashion, you're not worthy of being called a pastor. From the top down, we are wrong on the family, and we are losing the culture war one family at a time, and we have gotten so pathetic that now there's a euphemism in our culture called a PK.

Why do we use that term as a euphemism? Because pastors' kids who live like they were raised by the devil has almost become the norm. If the church is a corporation, that's completely acceptable, because all you have to do is stand at the top of a machine and make sure that people go in one side of it and out the other and that there's more of 'em going through the machine next year than this year. But, if the
church is a family of families and if God is serious about families being expected and equipped to disciple their children, then the people who stand at the helm had better be exemplary husbands and exemplary fathers. Until we believe that, we'll continue to lose the culture war one family at a time.

It's like my ice-cream and chocolate analogy to sin. It's really easy to thump your chest about being thin when you don't like ice-cream and chocolate. It's so easy to wag your finger in the face of your plump brethren and say, it's so easy not to eat it! Just stop eating it! BUT you really haven't overcome ice cream and chocolate. You just never liked it. To the one who LOVES ice-cream and chocolate, and eats them in moderation (and not at all) that weight loss victory is WAY more precious. It MEANS something when they pass up the ice cream. It's a sign of strength!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 26 April 2010 - 07:31:41
This story is one of the most memorable from my childhood. It's available freely online, so I've pasted it here for posterity. Happy reading!

All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury

"Do the scientists really know? Will it happen today, will it?"
"Look, look; see for yourself!"
The children pressed to each other like so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed, peering out for a look at the hidden sun.
It rained.
It had been raining for seven years; thousand upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers and the concussion of storms so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands. A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again. And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus, and this was the schoolroom of the children of the rocket men and women who had come to a raining world to set up civilization and live out their lives.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 12 April 2010 - 04:38:59
I came across this post while moving over the old blog posts. I thiink it bears repeating, so click this link to read how we originally got out of debt: http://www.janinewiggins.com/news.php?item.24.7

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 01 April 2010 - 07:13:41
Interesting viewpoint. I suppose he doesn't think any African-Americans are republican? I really don't do C-Span, so I have no reference point on this... What do you think?

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 25 March 2010 - 03:51:24
Was surprised Friday when a military troop handed me a prayer card after the civilian gate guard waved me on base. Surprised because a) we were both in uniform, b) he appeared to be a cop not a chaplain, and cb) well, it's a Christian prayer card. And we all know that you can pretty much proselytize any other belief or lack therof, but Christianity? unheard of.

Here's what it said:

O my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry. Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to your name while withstanding the burden of its weight. Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering. I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be at my side every step of the way. Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross. I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed, but I trust that your grace is sufficient. Change my heart's troubled cry of - "How long, O Lord?", into words of trust: "However long, O Lord." May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion. Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials a way to greater virtue, a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone. Permit me not to waste my pain, but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others. Lord, when I am weary and I fall, exhausted under the weight of this cross, please give me the courage to press on as you did. Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross, as a share in your own. By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory. I abandon myself totally to your will. Christ Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

This has been a tough year for me, but in the great scheme of things, the crosses I bear are nothing compared to what others around me are going through. Lord, help me to remember that! I thank you for your grace, mercy, and loving kindness.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 18 March 2010 - 06:38:20
Lately, the Peanut has been adding things to his prayers. Little things like, Lord bless Johnny and help him be good in school. But yesterday and today he blew my mind:

1. Yesterday, during prayer service, he went to sit by a friend. The friend's mother wasn't allowing her son to play, but insisted they both prayed. My Peanut reported to me that he had prayed for the Lord to save his trains (he has almost every Thomas train known to man). He wanted the Lord to save them from the lion who wanted to eat them up.

2. Tonight, during bedtime prayer, he decided to name almost every train and replay their escapades and asking the Lord to help them be better. "Lord help Gordon be more gentle with his passengers and not bump them around so much like he did. Lord bless James because he was gentle with his passengers. Lord help Spencer not be so mean," etc. Then, he went through his favorite movie characters. "Lord bless Johnny (the race car from Auto B Good). Lord bless McQueen (from Cars). Lord bless that other car. And those other cars with McQueen." It was cute... for about 20 minutes... then as he began praying for each of his toys, my knees began to hurt and I said, "and Lord bless ALL the toys Amen."

I'm pretty sure it was an attempt to delay bedtime, but it was cute and amazing that his little mind STORED all that knowledge!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 06 February 2010 - 08:05:03
"Dream Big. Work Hard. All things are possible"
- Ursula M. Burns, CEO Xerox
(first black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 26 January 2010 - 06:39:21
I have received official notification that I am moving to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana in July. I will probably depart Montgomery the week following the General Assembly. Please spread the word, and keep us in continued prayer. Thank you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 16 January 2010 - 02:25:22
Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems that always sound good but
never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises
that actually speak of True Friendship. You WON'T see cutesy little smiley
faces; just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad, I will jump on the person who made you sad like a
spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!

2. When you are blue, I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile, I will know you are plotting something that I must be
involved in.

4. When you're scared, we will high-tail it out of here together.

5. When you are worried, I will tell you horrible stories about how much
worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!

6. When you are confused, I will use little words.

7. When you are sick, stay away from me until you are well again. I don't
want whatever you have.

8. When you fall, I'll pick you up and dust you off-- After I laugh till my side hurts!

This is my oath. I pledge it to the end.
'Why?' you may ask; because you're my FRIEND!

(Remember, "Friendship is like wetting your pants. Everyone can see it, but
only YOU can feel the true warmth")

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 24 December 2009 - 06:55:14
After 4 days of travel delays, I finally made it home. Since I’m flying right back out tomorrow afternoon, I decided to get take-out rather than cook. I didn’t realize how generously sized the portions would be, and was surprised when the waitress brought out two large cases of food. I pondered how to balance two cases of food, two large styrofoam cups, a sleepy toddler, and a “you fiend” purse, and had decided to make two trips (and hope I didn’t get robbed), when a white teenage boy offered to carry both cases to the car for me. I glanced at his southern belle of a mom, who further surprised me by nodding her approval, and thanked him heartily as he grabbed the cases for me, opened the door for me, then carried my dinner down to my little red bug at the far end of the parking lot.

This event surprised me for two reasons:

1. My girlfriends and I had just been whining about how the more self-sufficient a woman is, the less likely anyone is to offer her help. It’s a vicious cycle: because you have confidence to do things yourself, you get offered less help, b/c you get offered less help, you have to learn to do more things for yourself. So I was not expecting an offer of help.

2. I’m back home in the Gump, and, well, when was the last time any of you readers saw a white boy offer to help a black woman (unless she was paying him)? Race issues have been heavy on my mind for a while now, and this is the angle I’ll take with the rest of this post.

My thinking about race began a couple days ago when I went to dinner with a friend. I love to try new restaurants, so was excited to go. However, from the moment I walked in, something didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right when the hostess pointed me to the ladies room, and the feeling didn’t lift when I returned to the foyer at the same time that my friend arrived. The feeling grew worse when we were seated at the worst table and requested to be moved. My friend was rightfully irritated because the place was practically empty and the other two parties were comfortably seated in the far corner. The feeling so colored my perceptions that when my friend discussed “those people” in the white house, I was horrified; having misinterpreted “those people” to mean blacks, not liberals (as was intended, and quickly explained).

The feeling left me a poor dinner partner, I suspect, because it so occupied my mind that I was rendered useless in holding up my end of what should have been a spirited political debate. With few exceptions, I shrugged off each topic with, “you’ve got a good point,” and returned, inwardly, to my reflection of how different it is living as a black person, even in the most powerful nation in the world.

Before I continue, let me say up front that being black in today’s America is NOTHING like it was 50, 40, or even 20 years ago. My struggles pale in comparison to what previous generations had to endure. I am ever so grateful that they kept on keeping on, that they fought the good fight of faith, and that they persevered so I can be where I am today. Praise God for your sacrifices! I am truly thankful.

As I munched on my stale bread and picked out the mushrooms I had asked them not to include in my salad, I thought how different life was for me and my Caucasian friend. I won’t go so far as to accuse the restaurant of seating us by the kitchen to slight us, because we weren’t in the deep south, but I’ve been in many places where there was “meaning” behind giving my group the worst seats in the house, behind getting our order wrong, and behind serving us poor quality food. My friend requested a new seat, but I was caught off guard by the request because I’m quite used to it by now. Not only have I stopped asking to be reseated, but I don’t even notice it anymore. I would never have complained about the stale bread and requested more because I’m used to it. Again, I’m not accusing that restaurant of being racist (this was after a bad blizzard, and it’s far more likely their supply trucks hadn’t come through) but it got me thinking about all the times when such incidences WERE on purpose.

When did I stop insisting on proper treatment? When did I stop noticing? When did I get used to being a second class citizen? When did I switch from outrage at not being served in a store (“uh, no I’ll take the guy behind you”), to acceptance (that’s just the way it is-go along to get along, don’t rock the boat, don’t make life harder for the rest of us)? How did I go from arriving in the USA as a 16 yr old, ready to experience the melting pot, the rainbow, and the land of the free, being shocked at the “isolated” incidences of bigotry I observed that first summer, to the young woman who doesn’t bat an eye when informed of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, or told “your son will never attend this school so stop trying.” Perhaps it happened when I moved to a city that has “Cradle of the Confederacy” smack dab in the middle of its city seal.

I tell of my experiences with a smile on my face. It’s a funny aberration of an otherwise great nation. I joke about the “white door” and “black door” some establishments still have (not labeled, of course, but you learn to pay attention after the first time of walking in the wrong door). Why smile, why joke, when it’s really not funny? Because it covers up some of the pain and dissipates some of the anger at not being able to DO anything about it. I tell myself to fight it with my conduct, for as Lt Col Herb Carter (an original Tuskegee Airman) says, “the antidote to racism is excellence in performance.” I try to fool myself by saying it’s a compliment when locals discus, “those people,” or, “the blacks” and qualify their statements with, “but we’re not talking about you.” That is a compliment, right? Right? Yeah. Right.

I thought about a lot more during that dinner, things that I would not feel comfortable printing here, and things I certainly wasn’t going to discuss with my Caucasian friend: experiences with which my civilian, military, and spiritual mentors have held me spellbound, stories they have told us behind closed doors, advice and warnings they have provided that, while contrary to my optimistic, glass-half-full mentality, has always served me well.

In spite of this, I look at how our nation has changed in just a few decades: A friend was telling us how as a teenager she couldn’t go into the restaurants and stores of her home town, but now, in her 60s, she can turn on the TV and look upon a (half) black president. The walls are coming down, the glass ceilings are slowly being broken. I’m not sure things will ever truly be equal, but I do know that my son can aspire to be whatever he wants to be. It may not be easy, but all things are possible. If a young white boy, in the “Cradle of the Confederacy,” is willing to carry a black woman’s packages to her car, and the leader of the free world has some color to his skin, our nation has indeed seen change… change we can actually believe in.

Please remember that I've disabled comments on this site. If you would like to comment on this post, please email me and I'll post your comment.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 23 December 2009 - 16:10:36
Ari Ne'eman has always impressed me. From the time I first watched him, as a high-schooler, create a national-level organization to support those with ASDs, to the time he somehow got me (who had never been involved in government and was quaking in my shoes) to testify before the MD House in Annapolis. This kid is a dynamo.

Now, President Obama has nominated him as a member of the Council on Disability. This, I hear, makes Ari the youngest (21) nominee of Obama's administration. Ari will bring a unique perspective to the Council. I will admit to being a bit concerned about his lack of real world life experience (or for youse-guys, "street-cred") and his occasional lapses in understanding/appreciation for those on the lower end of the spectrum. Nonetheless, Ari is a great example to our Autistic youth- he has shown that one can learn what it takes to overcome the social and sensory difficulties associated w/autism, and rise up to do great things.

Way to go, Ari! You Da Man! But remember: use your superpowers for good, not evil, LOL! Remember those on the far end of the spectrum who not only need the respect and dignity for which you advocate, but also need a little more assistance than you and other HFAs you work with.

Here's the link to the official announcement: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts-121609

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 26 November 2009 - 08:55:09
I'm thankful for so many things this weekend...

First of all, believe it or not, I can truly say I am thankful for all the crazy life changes that have happened over the last two years- especially the last 4 months. It's been a whirlwind, and many of my prayers have been something along the line of "Lord, what on EARTH are You doing?? Is this really YOU? It can't possibly be!!" but somehow things are settling down and I can truly say that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

I'm thankful for my family who, in spite of my oddness and occasional detached-ed-ness, love me, care for me, support me, and have been there for me. They haven't given up on me, and I love them dearly.

I'm thankful for my little Peanut (who is rapidly turning into a cashew). He is all boy, all smiles, too-smart-for-his-own-good, and keeps me on my toes. He's fiercely independent, but still insists on mommy snuggles before going to bed. He's a charmer- too much so, sometimes, scaring me by making conversation with perfect strangers. He has a knack for picking out the people in the crowd who most need cheering up and giving them their smile for the day. Every once in awhile, caring for him by myself gets overwhelming, but I remind myself that I cried out in prayer for 8 years that the Lord would open my womb. And as much of a handful as the Peanut can be, I wouldn't have him any other way.

I'm also thankful for my friends who've stood by me for years, patiently supporting me through life's ups and downs. I'm thankful for new friends, who normally would have run from someone going through all I faced this year, but instead, saw something deeper and stayed by my side. I am amazed at the people God has sent in my life- each placed carefully at the time they are most needed, as the scripture says, "like apples of gold in pictures of silver." You all are treasures, and I wouldn't have made it without you.

I'm thankful for the material blessings in my life- a great job, cool car, things like that. Life is usually pleasant, and I remember a time when it was not so.. I'm even thankful for the things that aren't so great (those who know...) b/c they serve as a reminder of why I must life each day to the fullest, and not let others hold me down.

I'm thankful for my health! Though I'm currently overcoming the worst flu I've ever experienced, I consider it a blessing to have typed this letter, drive a car, be healthy, run several half-marathons this year, do 50 pushups the other day. Why am I so thankful? Because 7 years ago I couldn't even button my clothing. I couldn't drive. I couldn't work out. I couldn't cook. I couldn't garden. There were nights I couldn't even eat without assistance. And I was about to lose my job. But now I can do all that and then some. Lord, I thank you.

Finally, and this really should have been first, I'm thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the grace which He metes out on my life each and every day. I'm thankful for that Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who has wiped my tears and given me hope when I felt low. I most CERTAINLY don't deserve His grace, His love, His blessings b/c I'm far from, but I love Him and appreciate His presence in my life.

Take Care, and My God Richly Bless You,

Min. Janine Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 23 October 2009 - 18:51:20
Thank you for such a wonderful birthday party for my Peanut. We had a wonderful time, and he loves ALL his toys. I praise God for sending such great people in my life to help me be a good mom to him and to be good friends to him.

Take Care,
God Bless you!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 20 October 2009 - 06:51:39
You are warmly invited to celebrate my Peanut's birthday, this Wed the 21st of Oct starting at 7 pm. If you are available, please contact me directly for the location and directions.

Don't worry about bringing a gift, but should you desire to do so he likes:
Trains (especially Thomas)
Cars/Truck/Airplanes, etc
Anything artistic
Anything hands-on-creative (play dough, tactile balls, etc)
And, yes, the boy STILL loves CLOTHES!
(he has even taken to letting me know when something I'm wearing doesn't match!!!)

Whether or not you can make it, thanks again for all the love and support you've shown my little man. I really appreciate it, and pray God blesses you according to Mt 10:42, for your care and concern for him are like a drop of cool water in this dry and weary land.

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. - Mt 10:42

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 28 September 2009 - 02:03:37


This sign was prominently displayed in the window of a business in Whiting, Indiana . You are probably outraged at the thought of such an inflammatory statement. However, we are a society which holds Freedom of Speech as perhaps our greatest liberty.

And after all, it is just a sign.
You may ask what kind of business would dare post such a sign.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 12 September 2009 - 08:15:38
It's been a long day, and I was really in a grumpy mood when I finally got home. But, after sitting at home, checking email on my wireless, eating some caramel cremes, in my luxury apartment filled with old books and pretty decor I am struck by how blessed I truly am.

  1. Some people don't have email. Some countries don't have wireless.
  2. I bet the folks in Afghanistan don't have caramel cremes- unless some American GI provided them with a few.
  3. My luxury is white crown railing, a duck pond with fountain, and valet trash. In other countries, luxury is an extra pair of shoes, more than one horse, knowing where your next meal comes from, and not worrying about getting caught in crossfire.
  4. Old books? In some countries, people don't have TIME for such useless things has books- they are too busy trying to stay alive. I know, because I've visited them on the missions field.

I can sit here, reflecting on 9-11, knowing that my one little "war story" involved no real combat, and talking to my peers, it now pales in comparison of the killing they did. I thank God, praise God, that my mind has not been ravaged by the insanity of war, that my limbs are intact, and that my Peanut still has a mother.

Rather than complain about the job, I'm thankful I have a job to go to.
Rather than complain that my feet hurt, I'm thankful that I have feet capable of running for an hour and then moving boxes all day.
Rather than gripe at my son having a meltdown, I'm thankful that he exists. That I'm not a mother whose child disappeared that fateful day when a terrorist took out the Pentagon Child Development Center.

We have a lot to be thankful for. And a lot to remember. So please visit the following links to join me in honoring the immediate victims of 9-11. Please also never forget that we are a nation at war, and many are making the ultimate sacrifice every day that you and I might have our freedoms:

List of All Victims
Complete List of Victims

Lists broken down by flight/building:
World Trade Center
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
Pentagon (view bios on DefendAmerica)
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Stories of Survivors

Please note that comments are turned off. If you would like to comment on this post, send me an email at janine@janinewiggins.com

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 08 September 2009 - 05:14:18
As I prepare for the Consecration, here is my list of reminders:

1. Don't forget to make "the list." Fully expect the Lord to move, with POWER, for everything on that list!
2. Soup first. Soup first. Soup first. Girl, don't break your fast on chips and pirouettes!
3. Be extra nice to your students. Let this be the first class during the fast to NOT give you the feedback, "No More Fasting."
4. And don't do THIS EVER AGAIN!!!

Saints, I pray that the Lord bless you mightily as we begin this series of fasts. May it be even as Isaiah 58:6-11

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 04 September 2009 - 21:32:10
The Preacher finished the service one morning by saying,
"Next Sunday, I am going to preach on the subject of liars.
As a preparation for my sermon, I would like you all to read Mark 17."
On the following Sunday, the preacher rose to begin.
Looking out at the congregation he said:

"Last week I asked you all to read Mark 17.
If you have read the chapter, please raise your hand."
Nearly every hand in the congregation went up.
Smiling, the preacher said, "You are the very people I want to talk to.

Mark has only 16 chapters

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 03 September 2009 - 23:58:57
This just in:

Another type of repayment assistance (again, not a cancellation) is available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP). This program will help repay student loans for registered nurses in exchange for their service in eligible facilities located in areas experiencing a shortage of nurses. All NELRP participants must enter into a contract agreeing to provide full-time employment in an approved eligible health facility (EHF) for 2 or 3 years. In return, the NELRP will pay 60 percent of the participant's total qualifying loan balance for two years or 85 percent of the participant's total qualifying loan balance for three years. For more information, call NELRP, toll-free, at 1-866-813-3753 or visit www.bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/loanrepay.htm.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 25 August 2009 - 14:02:48
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
- Stephen Covey, author

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 22 August 2009 - 02:58:02
“When something hard happens to you, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You can either get bitter, or you get better. I chose to get better. It’s made all the difference.”

~ Josh Shipp, quoted in Donald Miller's new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 20 August 2009 - 01:39:18
I’ll be the first to admit, I am ALL about using cash/debit and leaving credit cards alone. Check out the below response to someone who wrote Grandpa Terry to espouse the benefits of credit cards after reading his article, “Give up on Credit Cards.” From my vantage point, I much prefer debit BUT there’s several things you need to watch out for:
  1. It can take the bank up to a week to actually run the charge. So, you might think the money is already gone from your account by time you get home, but it’s not. Be aware of this so you don’t overdraft
  2. You have some protection with a debit card that uses the MC/Visa logo, but not as much with an actual credit card. And besides, even if you get protection (and ultimately get your money back) in the meantime that’s cash gone from your account.
  3. So I do prefer credit cards for that reason- but remember YOU MUST pay them off in full each month. If you can’t do that, then you are spending beyond your means.

Here's Kaytee's message to Grandpa Terry:
I know you meant your message for those who tend to carry a balance and not for us who pay off in full every month (per your first sentence), but there are advantages to credit cards over cash.

The major one for me-- if I lose a credit card, or somebody takes it, I can cancel it with no financial loss. When cash is gone-- it's gone, and nobody is going to send you new cash to replace it.

A card provides me a statement of what I spent, where. Cash-- when it's gone, it's gone... and sometimes I don't remember for what or where. Yes, I probably SHOULD write such things down, but I don't, and receipts tend to stray.

No ATM/teller lines to deal with.

Can't buy gas at CostCo with cash-- and it's up to 20 cents/gal cheaper there than regular local stations, plus a 3% rebate if the CostCo AmEx is used.

Other purchases made with the AmEx get a 1% rebate-- which is "real" for me, since I do pay off monthly and thus am not paying interest to Am Ex. It's not a whole lot-- less than $100/year, but the check they send can be used "like cash" at Cost Co, and pays for a weekly shopping trip plus enough cash back to go to the Food Court and buy a pizza for dinner (they only take cash in the Food Court...).


And his response back:

Hi Kaytee,

You are absolutely right that credit cards can do all of those things and save you a bundle, be more secure than cash and help you track your spending. But, this can only pay off if you don't carry a balance. Many of these benefits can also be accomplished with a debit card with a credit card logo.

With the average credit card balance being carried by consumers of $8,000 with an interest rate of around 15% their average interest per month is $100. There are no rewards programs, rebates or any other benefit that will add up to that much. Some of the folks I work with are paying $200 to $500 per month just in credit card interest.

You have put yourself in a position to reap the rewards of your credit cards through responsible use. Others have to learn this and are paying the price for over using their credit cards.

Thanks for giving me a comparison to put in the newsletter.

All the best,

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 17 August 2009 - 21:52:58
The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win. - Sir Roger Bannister, first man to break the four minute mile

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 16 August 2009 - 23:42:43
I was at a saints' house one time and their child had the Rock Band setup with drums, guitar, microphone, etc. According to his parents, it was excellent for helping him learn his drum beats. For those who are unfamiliar with this style of game, it can handle up to four players trying to play the guitar, bass, drum, and vocals of a song. The software calculates your score based on how well you follow its prompting, and if one of the players does too poorly, they "die" and the turn is over.

So there I am watching this boy play. Being an only child, I suspect that he never paid attention to the words of the song, just the beats, but on this particular occasion there were several other children playing with him, and one was struggling with the microphone. He was yelling at her to sing so the song wouldn't end. She was looking around in confusion at the words she was supposed to sing- something sexual in nature, I forget what.

On one hand I wondered if she would have sung it had an adult not entered in the room, but on the other hand I thought what a shame someone didn't have a gospel version of the game- and too bad I didn't have the money to develop one myself!

Well, someone has. Not exactly the "Gospel" genre per se, but "Christian." It runs on your computer, but can be fed to the TV with a special cable. With artists like TobyMac and song titles like "Backsliding Blues," this isn't exactly Holy-Ghost-Filled music, but it's a step in the right direction. Right now it's just guitar, but hopefully soon they'll be able to add in drums and other goodies to the system.

Have you tried it? If so, let me know what you think (via email, please- comments are disabled on this site)!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 12 August 2009 - 08:39:02
Here's the book I was telling you about:

I really got a lot out of this book. It helped me understand a lot of family dynamics and how they impact me as an adult. There's some touchy-feely stuff in there, but for the most part I highly recommend this book. I have the yellow 1989 version, so I can't vouch for the new versions.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 August 2009 - 06:40:37
You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.
- Gatorade ad

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 09 August 2009 - 08:29:50
A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
- Steve Prefontaine

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 05 August 2009 - 16:01:04
From: http://bdpa.groupsite.com/discussion/topic/show/212982

The University of Pennsylvania is launching an 18-month Academy here at
focused on preparing Black males for admission to Ph.D. programs in
education immediately upon completion of their undergraduate studies.
They will begin the Academy this fall with 10 Black males who are in
their junior year of college. Check it out here:

Each Academy participant will receive a 4-day all-expense paid visit to
Philadelphia this fall; opportunities for meaningful engagement with the
dean, faculty, graduate students, and Black male alumni; free enrollment
in a 3-month Kaplan GRE Prep Course (for which Penn is paying $1,200 per
participant); a current Black male Ph.D. student who will mentor him
through the application process; and an application fee waiver when he
applies for Fall 2011 admission to Penn (valued at $85).

Most importantly, those who are admitted to our Ph.D. Programs two years from now will be fully funded for their entire 3-4 years of doctoral study. Please forward this information to Black male undergraduates you know
and encourage them to submit applications by August 21st. The Academy is
only for Black men who are starting their junior year this fall and
planning to graduate in Spring 2011.

Official Website: http://www.gse.upenn.edu/grad_prep

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 03 August 2009 - 15:23:42
Below is link where you can find info on all the current energy, education, mortgage and sales tax deductions. Thanks to Grandpa Terry for the link, and this commentary:

The difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit is enormous. A tax deduction is an amount that you can deduct from your income before you compute how much tax you owe.

A tax credit can save much more because this is an amount deducted directly from the taxes you owe. An example of this is the Child Tax Credit. Currently it's $1000 per child. If you owe $2000 in taxes after all of your deductions and have 1 qualified child you can reduce that so that you only owe $1000. Normally, you can't take a Tax Credit for more than the amount of taxes you owe.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 02 August 2009 - 15:17:11
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application:

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Think before you continue reading

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 01 August 2009 - 15:13:26
"To Win Victory Is Easy; To Preserve Its Fruits, Difficult."
Sun Tzu

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 31 July 2009 - 23:49:44
Well, after about a year of no home phone, I've gone ahead and set up Knology bundle. I dream about actually having time to watch the cable channels (yeah, right!), but am still bummed that I do not have a home phone. Don't click read the rest unless your interested in my venting!

Why am I angry at Knology right now? Because I can't use my phone, fax, etc! AND my email won't send out! Erg!

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 30 July 2009 - 00:56:57
I've enjoyed teaching the Thursday Night Light Teleconference Bible Study, but due to my move and family issues to be resolved it's been put on hold. I'll let you know once we're ready to start back up. Thanks for your support and patience!

God Bless YOU,

Min. Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 23 July 2009 - 08:12:26
Hey everyone,

This 6 month TDY is over. I'm packed and ready to depart for "home" tomorrow. I won't have internet for about a week, so text or chat if you're trying to get ahold of me. Otherwise, you might think I've disappeared. If you don't have my number, use the boutique 800#.

May God Bless and Keep You,

Min. Janine Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 22 July 2009 - 06:37:00
I don't like Dr. Laura's bedside manner, but I occasionally visit her site and enjoyed today's posting of an overweight woman who cracked the code on losing weight. Eat less, move more. It's tough to do- especially if you're like me and eat when you are stressed or bored. But we can do it!

An Obese Woman Responds
July 21, 2009 on 6:00 am | In Health, Obesity, Personal Responsibility Email This Post Email This Post

My recent comments about obesity as both a health issue and an overall economic issue generated quite a number of responses. Some people wrote, detailing medical histories that made it impossible for them to get down to a normal weight. While there are always exceptions, I wanted to share with you a seemingly “impossible” situation faced by a woman who weighed over 400 pounds. She knew that losing weight was going to be very difficult, but she made the changes in her life that kept her on the path to good health, and she’s a real inspiration to us all (I’ve not included her name, for reasons of privacy):

Dear Dr. Laura:

I am an obese person. Two years ago, my sister asked me to have surgery. I did not want to have it, because I was afraid of the risk. I did not know how heavy I was, because my doctor’s scale limit is 400 pounds. I promised my sister I would change my behavior, but not go on a diet.

I went to the doctor and got some information and a health exam. Then I began to make plans on changing my behavior. [In the past], I was not eating breakfast or lunch. I was so hungry when I got home, I would eat easy fast food instead of taking the time to prepare food. I would also binge late at night. The doctor suggested I no longer skip meals.

First change: I eat breakfast and lunch.

Second change: Drink before eating. I drink water, and, for flavor, sometimes Crystal Light. I learned that when the body needs something, it is not specific. It just says “I need,” and “stomach feels empty.”

Third change: Choose better foods. If heart tells brain “I need nutrients,” and stomach tells brain “I am full of garbage,” the brain sends the message “empty stomach.”

Fourth change: Thinking of food in a different way. It’s neither my entertainment nor my entitlement. Better food will get me up the stairs at work. At 200+ pounds overweight, life becomes stationary. Nutrition can replace that.

Fifth change: Reduce the amount of food. The doctor suggested that I keep a log of my food and drink. I wrote down everything for two weeks. I was eating more than I thought. Over time, I reduced my starch in half and then in half again. Today…I do not plan food or write it down. For me, I would be thinking of food too much. I eat set breakfast and lunch meals. Dinner is now something that can be made in 30 minutes.

Sixth change: Move more. Your nagging worked. The doctor suggested low impact exercise over a long period of time. No jack rabbit starts and stops. I can’t sustain walking out of water, so I walk 1 hour in water and backstroke 1 hour, six times a week. I get stares. I stare back. I am not ashamed. I have changed.

There is no diet for me to break from. The only thing left is to feel the frustration. It renews my dedication to my life change. The first two years, I lost 70 pounds. It’s the first time in 15 years I have not gained weight. I have been exercising for a month.

Thank you, Dr. Laura, for all your nagging. I wish I would have started earlier. The last two years made it possible. It gave me a foundation of nutrition that sustains me while I move. I now move more and eat less. I can hardly wait until next year.

Thanks again for the kick in the butt.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 21 July 2009 - 09:43:26
Tough times don't last but tough people do.
- A.C. Green, Retired NBA Basketball Player

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 20 July 2009 - 06:06:51
This week's "Secret Offer" from Grandpa Terry is a free book on Financial Independence. It's nothing you don't already know if you came to the finance and credit classes I used to teach in MD (and the same stuff you hear on Clark Howard, MoneyLife, or Dave Ramsey). But it's a good, quick, read so feel free to download and pass it on to your friends.

His secret offer changes out frequently, so go to his website and download it now:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 17 July 2009 - 05:50:16
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

- Plato

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 16 July 2009 - 03:10:47
I shamelessly admit to stealing this from the SavedAspie blog. Check it out today!

Here is a story from Healing is a Choice by Steve Arterburn. I've entitled the story, The Aspie Macrobiologist, because (while Dr Arterburn does not say so) I think many Aspies can identify with him.

This man has a very high IQ and is a microbiologist and nuclear physicist -or at least he has the degree and the experience to be one. He is, however, a postal worker who drives his route alone in a truck, comes home to an empty house without even a pet, watches television, goes to bed, and starts the whole process all over again the next day.

He suffers from social anxiety. People drive him away or up the wall. He is uncomfortable every moment he is around others. This discomfort often leads to inappropriate interactions, which have caused him to lose job after job. Following his last job fiasco, he saw a newspaper ad about joining the postal workforce and has been able to hold down a job as a traveling postal worker for a few years. He has been able to earn a consistent paycheck, but he is miserable.

It is difficult to show up day after day and do a good job as a postal worker if you are called to be a microbiologist. Many of our listeners are postal workers...and they love their jobs...they are energized by the job. It would be a very difficult job, however, if you believe that everything in you was designed for microbiology. Postal delivery would be a very tough job if you have memories of wanting to know details about how things work and spent hours as a boy looking at leaves and seawater and anything else you could fit under your microscope.

I asked this man with an IQ far beyond mine, how has the ability to study and focus far beyond my ability, "What have you done to help yourself feel more comfortable around other people?" He had done nothing. He had never sought any help for himself. He had never Googled "anxiety" or searched the yellow pages to find a counselor...he held on to the notion that he would one day figure out the answer and help himself live the life he wanted. At his age, however, the rut he was living in was growing deeper and deeper. Perhaps talking to me was the first step toward helping his life.
***Read the rest at The SavedAspie blog***

Interested in the book? Read the Amazon reviews (you'll learn a lot just from the reviews), then get it from the library!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 15 July 2009 - 02:32:40
The other day I responded to someone who closed their post with "Blessings." In my closing was careful to say, "May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Bless You and Yours." I wanted to make sure this individual clearly understood from which God I was sending blessings her way. ;-)

You see, "Blessings" by itself, is not a uniquely Christian term, and I find it more often used by those who want to "blend in" since it commonly used as a closing in a variety of religions, including Wicca/Paganism.

What got me started on this kick is a regular poster to an online forum I frequent. She always signed her posts "Bright Blessings." I thought that was kinda neat, and I was going to adopt that as my sig since it was something religious but yet non-confrontational, you know? Well, for some reason, I never did. Imagine my surprise to discover that "Bright Blessings" is actually a Wiccan greeting.


How would that have looked, for Pentecostal-Holiness Minster Wiggins to be signing her posts with a Wiccan greeting? I wasn't able to actually find the meaning behind "Bright Blessings," so who knows what others might think I was invoking. Few would have cared, I'm sure. But some babes in Christ might have been confused. Or may have started using it themselves and wonder at the consequences.

My lesson from this? When that still, small Voice says, don't do it: Listen. You never know what He might be protecting you from.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 15 July 2009 - 02:32:25
On this post at "A Room of Mama's Own" blogger Mary P Jones outlines her day as a mom of two (one autistic). I burst out laughing at this excerpt:

Number of times that (between kids and pets) I picked the same blanket up off the floor, folded it and put it away or supervised while the offending party did: 5

Number of minutes I spent considering where else to move the blanket so it wouldn’t end up on the floor so often: 2.

Number of seconds before I decided that wouldn’t work because the blanket would be next to my father-in-law’s ashes and that would be too creepy: 1.

Number of minutes it would probably take me to clear out another space for the blanket that’s not near my late father-in-law: 20.

Number of minutes that space would remain clear when blanket was in use before being filled by my husband with something other than the blanket: less than one.

Number of years I have resigned myself to picking up or supervising the pickup of said blanket: 10.

Is that true or what? If you need a little bit of laughter, check out the REST of the list on her blog.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 24 June 2009 - 02:27:04
Office of the Press Secretary
June 22, 2009

President Obama Commemorates Anniversary of Olmstead and Announces New
Initiatives to Assist Americans with Disabilities

On the 10th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in the
case of Olmstead v. L.C., President Barack Obama today celebrated that
anniversary and launched "The Year of Community Living," a new effort to
assist Americans with disabilities.

Specifically, the President has directed Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Shaun Donovan to work together to identify ways to improve access to
housing, community supports, and independent living arrangements. As
part of this effort, later today, Secretaries Sebelius and Donovan will
announce several new initiatives including details about increased
numbers of Section 8 vouchers and enhanced interagency coordination to
address this critical civil rights issue. The initiative also will
include listening sessions conducted by HHS across the country to hear
the voices and stories of Americans and to keep the President's pledge
to be as open and transparent as possible.

"The Olmstead ruling was a critical step forward for our nation,
articulating one of the most fundamental rights of Americans with
disabilities: Having the choice to live independently," said President
Obama. "I am proud to launch this initiative to reaffirm my
Administration's commitment to vigorous enforcement of civil rights for
Americans with disabilities and to ensuring the fullest inclusion of all
people in the life of our nation."

In the Olmstead case, the Court held that the unjustified institutional
isolation of people with disabilities is a form of unlawful
discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since that
time, progress has been made. Many individuals have successfully
transitioned to community settings, but waiting lists for community
services have grown considerably and many individuals who would like to
receive community services are not able to obtain them.

To help remedy that problem, the Obama Administration provided over $140
million in the Recovery Act funding for independent living centers
across the country. The Administration acknowledges that strides have
been made, and knows and accepts that there is much work to do in order
to maximize the choices and opportunities for individuals to receive
long-term services and supports in institutional and community settings.

The President noted that his Administration looks forward to continued
engagement with the disability community to achieve these goals.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 21 June 2009 - 16:31:20
Here are a couple of links to help your student prepare for their "summer job" of finding scholarships. Look at it this way: 2 months of summer = 60 days. If the student finds and applies for 10-20 scholarships a day (that's one or two per hour, with plenty of time to hang out with friends in the evening), they should be able to cover most of next year's expenses. A paying job is good too, but not always feasible.

And you can always fundraise. The strategies in my book on fundraising for small churches would help the student fundraise as well.

Bankrate.com: Minimizing college tuition
Bank of America's Loans, Grants, etc Overview
Bankrate's page on loans, 529 plans and career advice
Clark Howard's Prepping for College Page
Focused, Effective, Fundraising (shameless plug)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 21 June 2009 - 16:22:09
By "Grandpa" Terry Rigg

With record bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures and prices skyrocketing, it's more important now than ever before to properly and effectively manage your personal finances.

Statistics show that most people could manage very well on the income they have now if they were able to keep their bills and expenses within their income. Sadly, too many people do not understand how to do this or how to recover once they have overextended themselves.

Personal Money Management is not a one step process. Simply having a budget in place or keeping up with your checking account isn't enough. You need to follow a set process that covers several aspects of money management. Here are the basics of this process:

#1 Set Your Goals
Most people think of setting goals as strictly long-term like retirement and college for the kids. While these are very important goals they are just the beginning. You need to decide what you and your family want your future to be and make all financial decisions with that in mind. This could include things like setting aside money for an annual vacation, replacing your car or home repairs.

#2 Find Out Where You Stand Now
It's absolutely necessary that you know what you have coming in and what you have going out. While a pre-set budget form is best to accomplish this you can do it on a piece of notebook paper. Just write down your bills and expenses in one column and your income in another. Then add them up and subtract your expenses from your income. You will know at a glace if you have money problems.

#3 Develop A Budget You Can Live With
There are literally thousands of budget sample forms available and most are very effective. However, many have as many as 50 categories of expense items you must keep up with to make it work. This requires entirely too much time and effort and are usually abandoned within a few days or weeks. Find a simple budget with very few categories and once set up only requires your attention for a few minutes on payday.

#4 Cut Expense In Every Budget Category You Can
There are thousands of ways to cut your expenses and not change the way you live. As an example, the current trend that is saving a lot of money is to eliminate your land line and use your cell phone as your primary phone. It's a fact that most people could cut their monthly expenses by 10% or more leaving that money to be used for more important purposes. The internet is the best place to get tips that you can use.

#5 Set Up A Debt Repayment Plan
Consumer debt is robbing people of hundreds of dollars each month in interest charges and late and over limit fees. Your goal should be to eliminate all of your debt as soon as possible. There is a simple process called snowballing that will allow you to pay off your debt much earlier and save you possible tens of thousands of dollars in interest charges.

Basically, snowballing is where you add up all of your minimum payments and choose one bill to add extra money to the payment until it is paid in full. Then you take the extra money and the payment you were making on bill 1 and add it to the next bill and so on. The extra money you add doesn't have to be much. Just adding $25 will pay down your bills much faster because the amount of money you have allotted for bills remains the same until all of your bills are paid off.

#6 Know Your Credit
Your credit rating, or credit score, is very important when obtaining a loan. As an example according to Myfico.com, show that for a $300, 000 loan, an individual with a credit score of 760-850 would pay $1745 and an individual with a credit score of 500-579 would pay $2676 per month.

The only way to really know what your credit looks like to lenders is to obtain a copy of your credit report regularly. Residents of the US can obtain a free copy of their credit report from the three credit reporting agencies each year. I urge you to get your free copies by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

#7 Look For More Sources Of Income
If your paycheck doesn't stretch far enough to cover all of your bills and expenses you may need to look for additional sources of money to cover everything. I would employ the expense cutting method mentioned above first but if you still can't make it then more money would help.

Each of us have our own specific talents. Trying to come up with a one size fits all method of generating more income is next to impossible. But, if you take the time to really look at the talents you have you will probably find that you could use them to provide a product or service that people are willing to pay for.
Like I said, these are just the basics. There are other areas of personal finances that are just as important like investing and building your personal wealth, but those are topics that you can concentrate on when you have the basics covered.

If you aren't aware of where you stand financially you may be a victim of what I call "Financial Complacency". That is simply defined as not being willing to put in the time and effort necessary to control all aspects of your personal finances. Normally, this is a result of being confused about your money and how it should work because you were never taught the right way.

Simply by making a concerted effort to properly manage your money will go a long way toward solving any problems you may have. You may be surprised at how easy the solution can be.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 18 June 2009 - 05:50:49
I tried to post instructions and an application for this, but the PDF form is incompatible with my website. If you are interested, email me and I'll send it to you. Click "read the rest" below to read the instructions.

You can win one of 5 full scholarships to University of Phoenix (either on campus or online) for those who graduated high school (or getting their GED) in 2007 or later. This could be an excellent opportunity for those overlooked by more traditional scholarships, so please forward to all interested parties

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 14 June 2009 - 03:52:45
While packing up items for my husband to cart home, I discovered this article from Nov 2008 Glamour entitled "10 Things Every Woman Should Have Engraved On Her Brain." Here's an excerpt:

First rent, then shoes
You have much better friends than Ben and Jerry.
You can't change a bad boy. Only he can change himself.
Do it now, deal with the fear later.
It's not a sin to win.

and my favorite:

Don't get even. Get even better.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 June 2009 - 04:42:39
Why does this surprise me so much??? If you have comments, email them to me- the comment feature is disabled.

By Tech. Sgt. Amaani Lyle

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, (AFPN) – In a 2009 survey, U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine recently named the Air Force among the "Top Supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities."

USBE & IT magazine and the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Science at Howard University, Washington, D.C., saluted top corporate and government agencies at a recognition luncheon during the HBCU Response and Professional Connections conference May 29.

Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III accepted the award on behalf of the Air Force while joining fellow Top Supporter award recipients and other conference attendees.

"The Air Force is extremely proud of its outstanding relationship with Historically Black Colleges and Universities," General Newton said. "Engineering and technology skills are a top priority; the Air Force will continue to tap into the incredible talent that these fine institutions yield."

Deans from 11 Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited HBCU and minority-serving engineering programs recognized the Air Force's stalwart commitment to diversity and will recognize the service in the May 2009 edition of USBE & IT magazine.

"The Air Force has long been in the forefront of embracing diversity," said Rose Gault, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for diversity. "This award speaks to the fact that diverse perspectives are not only valued and accepted, but absolutely critical to our service's overall mission accomplishment."

General Newton said the Air Force's long-standing alliances with HBCUs enable the service to keep recruiting and retaining diverse talent as a top service priority.

"The commitment to diversity and equal opportunity is mission-critical to the Air Force and is essential in allowing each Airman to reach his or her potential," General Newton said.

According to a USBE & IT press release, survey participants considered among other factors support for infrastructure modernization and enhancement, research, scholarships, advisory council involvement and career opportunities.

The virtues of tapping diverse talent extend well beyond individual organizations, but to the nation as a whole, said Diane T. Jones, a USBE & IT spokesperson.

"America's future in the market place depends heavily on the development of students from minority-serving institutions, which are dedicated to producing the best scientists, technologists, mathematicians and engineers," Ms. Jones said. "We applaud the effort of the 2009 top supporters, who remain committed to minority-serving institutions."

Ms. Gault concluded that "all Airmen will be treated with respect and dignity without exception because Airmen who work in a diverse environment learn to maximize individual strengths and combine individual abilities and perspectives for the good of the mission."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 21 May 2009 - 06:39:54
Here's the book I was telling you about.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 16 May 2009 - 17:00:40
This just in:

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Donovan's remarks came in an address to several thousand Realtors gathered this morning at The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy, a special daylong session at the Realtors Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo here
Secretary Donovan said that important changes, which the National Association of Realtors ? has been calling for, will help consumers purchase a home. "We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment," Donovan said. According to Donovan, the FHA's approved lenders will be permitted to "monetize" the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table

This is great news, but be sure to read the fine print- they are allowing you to MONETIZE the tax credit, which means you're taking out a loan based on the fact that this tax credit is coming. You are not really spending your tax credit in advance, you are taking a loan with the anticipation that you will later get the money to pay it back. Y'all know I don't like debt. And by now, you know I especially hate such schemes because you never really know what's going to happen in the future: you may get that money or you may not. But times are tough, and if you calculate the costs wisely, this may actually help you out.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 10 May 2009 - 00:30:28
Right before I went away for my 6 month military trip to Washington DC, my hard drive crashed. And not just the hard drive, but also the backup drive my husband bought me the last time this happened. I was in the process of backing up all my files to one of those portable hard drives (so I could take everything with me), but had not completed the download. I had saved my boutique files, my pictures (thank God), and the files from my job.
I lost everything else.

  1. All the Jasper Web Host files- clients websites, passwords, maintenance, etc: Gone
  2. All my CLGI research, files, website committee meetings: Gone
  3. My books (including working updates of the two already published, and the manuscript for one I did not publish due to discovering a problem with the pen name I had selected): Gone
  4. My course on getting out of debt through money management and investing in real estate: Gone

I am thankful that a lot of my personal writings were already archived on my personal website. And most of (but not all) the CLGI.org files were archived online. But you can’t begin to imagine the immense feeling of loss I experienced to learn that both my hard drive and backup drive were gone. Forever. Yes, I know that there are “data recovery” services, but unfortunately for me: my husband, practical computer programmer as he is, re-installed, re-formatted, re-did-something so he could use it while I was gone and he doesn’t even know what happened to my backup drive. Sigh.

But I realized some curious things as a result!
  1. Losing all the web hosting files spurred me to hand most of the sites to others within those organizations. Those others are doing a better job then I was, since and what limited free time I had would get spent on CLGI.org, with little effort being applied to these other ventures. Besides, most of those organizations I volunteered for really didn’t need me specifically.
  2. Reflecting on the loss of my book updates, I realized that they weren’t really necessary. The books don’t sell much anymore, so I’m really not making any money. Why was I re-doing them anyway? For God’s glory or to satisfy my perfectionism?
  3. The loss of my course really hit me hard- since I had written the course over the time period of about 6 months where I was teaching a credit-management and investment course at my church. We started with getting out of debt, then looked into ways a newbie can get involved in real estate. My goal was to package this as a course and sell it, but for some reason I never could muster the interest in combining all those seminars into a packaged course. In other words, it was something I was always “gonna do” and never got around to “doing.”

Most of the files I lost represent something in those categories:
  1. Things I was doing to please others, but not doing well because I had too much on my plate,
  2. Things I was doing out of pride (with no real value to others),
  3. Things on a loooong list of stuff I’m “gonna finish one day.”

Before I went on this trip, I barely had a few minutes to play with my son at the end of the day as it was. I kept writing in my annual “Mother’s Day for the SuperMom” posts (see 2007 and 2008) how I’m going to cut out all this extraneous busywork and just LIVE. But somehow, each year, I find myself in the same boat: overworked, unappreciated, and not enough time spent on the things that are really important.

This year, the Lord did it for me. With all those files gone, I have no choice but to stop working all those projects. And any new project I pick up is my own conscious decision. I can’t blame anyone but my own inability to say no. And I’ve gotten much better at saying NO, these days, because it means when I get back to Alabama I'll be able to say YES to the little Peanut who cries, “Mommy, let’s play,” knowing that one day he’ll be too old (and too independent) to want Mommy.

So my promise to myself this year is to more carefully choose what projects (and people) I’ll allow in my life. I will enjoy every moment I can with the Peanut (who is rapidly becoming a cashew! I just blink and he’s grown an inch!!). And I will take inventory of the things I want to do, and ask myself whether there’s enough lasting value to justify the sacrifice.
Oh, and by the way, not only did I mail Mother’s Day Cards on time this year, but some folks even got GIFTS, LOL!

Til Next Year,

Recovering SuperMom

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 07 May 2009 - 07:49:20
I've been gone quite a bit- traveling to various places even during this six month trip- but here and there I've had the opportunity to write little notes. Here's what I wrote to a group of newbiess in one of the online MaryKay forums I frequent. The feedback I received was great! For example:

"Wow! that is actually the BEST way I've seen it put in the last 20yrs of being a consultant and previously a director."

So I thought I would post my three tips here, since the advice applies to any of these network-marketing / at-home business you get involved in, not just Mary Kay:

I sell MK. I love the product, but not the business end of the company. I have never lost money in this business, except one time when I forgot to charge sales tax when offering my clients a sale :-). I offer three tips:

1. Attend meetings to learn, but RESIST the urge to get emotional. I attend some unit meetings because I learn a lot. I learn more about the products, get to play with the new items without paying first, and get to ask questions about problems my clients have. I get annoyed with the "Get Excited" comments and the use of emotion to spur action (which often benefits the upline/director but not really the consultant). They use emotion to convince you to buy inventory more than you need, or spend 30 hours and $X00 trying to "win" a $5 prize.

2. RESIST the urge to buy inventory unless you can afford to lose the money. As one who has had my own clothing boutique for going on 7 years, I already knew to avoid the MK inventory trap. No matter how much inventory you keep, someone will want an item you don't have. And inventory eventually goes stale (or the packaging changes, or something else happens where you really can't use it all). Don't waste your money. Only buy as much inventory as you can afford to, have room for, and realistically think you can sell.

3. When you get an order, but aren't active (and don't have enough to meet the $200 wholesale minimum), ask your family and friends to help you out by offering them a 50% discount. I did this my first order, and was mobbed by the ladies of my church- ended up with $1000+ retail on my first order, and then followed it with a $250 retail order the very next day.

Hope that helps someone


Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 05 May 2009 - 03:53:00
I just finished an fascinating book about a physicist who comes to terms with his past. When I first heard of the book, I was struck that someone would write a fiction book about a physicist. Don't get me wrong, I love physicists and happen to be one. It's just that well, as fiction goes, we tend to be pretty boring. But this book was far from boring.

You know your family history is pretty colorful when the "secrets" revealed in the book don't faze you, but even so I found the plot quite intriguing and the physics fairly accurate. Not that there was a lot of physics, mind you, but just enough of the good stuff to catch your attention. I really enjoyed the storyline (physicist faces his inner demons, finds religion and falls in love), and even came away with some favorite quotes from the book:

"But quantum physics and human beings are very different things. To assume the same rules apply to both is, at the very least, inelegant."

"When I taught, I teased and mocked and joked and wheedled and did every sort of tension-reducing trick I could think of. Because I knew that if physics students were anything at all, they were tense. And if they continued to be tense, they could never open themselves up to entertaining the nonsensical, crazy, counter-intuitive ideas that were the key to theoretical thought."

"Physics, after all, isn't about what made sense. Especially quantum physics. Rather, it is about whether a theory, no matter how absurd, agreed with experiment. The theory may not be 'philosophically delightful', to use Feynman's words. It may even seem ridiculous. But, if the numbers worked, they worked. And my numbers worked."

"I also knew that it didn't matter why. The why was something no one could ever really explain. All physicists understood and accepted that fact. Only the how was important..."

This was a good book, but I will admit that I almost didn't finish it. Not because of the storyline, mind you, but because the language was a bit strong for my taste. And there was one grievous comment about the Lord that almost made me put the book down (note to self: never promise someone you'll read something). I can put up with a lot, but not during my "private cozy time," thank you very much.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 02 April 2009 - 06:35:02
Congratulations, Will Gunn! Well Deserved!

A recipient of the American Bar Association’s Outstanding Career Military Lawyer Award, Will A. Gunn is an attorney who represents military members and veterans in private practice in Northern Virginia. He retired from the Air Force in 2005, where he served as a Colonel in the Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps. He is also a former White House Fellow. In 2003, Gunn was named the first-ever Chief Defense Counsel in the Department of Defense Office of Military Commissions. Gunn built a defense team and supervised all defense activities for detainees selected for trial before military commissions. His efforts earned respect and admiration for his principled leadership and commitment to ensuring that detainees received effective representation. A native of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Gunn is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was elected President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the nation’s oldest student run legal services organization. He also has a Masters of Laws degree in Environmental Law from the George Washington University School of Law and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Gunn is active in the civic life of his community. He chairs the American Bar Association’s Commission on Youth at Risk and serves on the board of Christian Service Charities. In 2005 Gunn was named President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. He has been featured in The New Yorker magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Gunn has also received many awards and honors including the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

Will is a member of the USAF Academy Way of Life Alumni Group Board of Directors
Join me in wishing our friend Will Gunn the very best.

Richard P. Hall

USAF Academy Way of Life Alumni Group

I've been working with Will for a few years now on USAFA WOL issues, and just have to say, I'm proud to be associated with such a quality individual!

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 28 March 2009 - 18:52:31
As many of you know, I'm training for my first marathon- which will be the Marine Corps Marathon in Oct. Today, I ran for the first time with Potomac Runners, a free running group here in DC. They have great camaraderie, great views (Mt. Vernon Trail), and great water stops... including a devilish one at the 4 miles featuring Samoas, my favorite Girl Scout Cookie (challenged only by Thin Mints).

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 27 March 2009 - 02:12:40
You know, I get home so late sometimes, I hadn't even realized that I didn't read the newspaper until just before bed. I came home, turned on my computer, researched the Geithner quote I had heard in the car, posted about it, read my Bible, and glanced at the paper on my way to bed. I 'bout kicked myself because there, on the front page, was President Obama saying the same thing (that government needs more power to take over troubled financial institutions that are not banks).

Wow. What a better blog post that would have been. But I was too tired to change what I had written.

As unsure as I am about that policy (still haven't made up my mind yet), I did LIKE something he ELSE said in the same article, and that was:

"We can't afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who tries to make a profit."

Now, he was talking about bank and corporation stockholders mainly, but can you remember back a year or two ago? What a contrast to the previous administration, which cast a dismal light upon real estate investors who were hit by the hard economic times. Everyone is getting hit hard, and as a moonlighting real estate professional, I think ... actually, I just decided not to write what I think, and I'm going to get off the soapbox before I get on it ;-)

Anyhoooo... we'll see what the president does and see how things turn out. I may not be thrilled about all the changes that the president is making, but I am glad for that quote. This nation is built, and runs, on profit, and hopefully hard working, honest Americans will be able to continue earning profit even while our government reels in those who've been less than honorable.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 26 March 2009 - 02:31:07
I realize the economy is bad, and times are tough, but I could hardly believe what I heard on the radio yesterday. The snippet was supposedly of Tim Geithner saying the Government needed the authority to seize control of firms that were failing.

Wow. I can paint quite a slippery slope doomsday argument with that one.

Below are some links to the actual story. I don't have the transcript to see who exactly said what, but basically, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke went before Congress (during the AIG hearing) looking for more authority to sweep in and take over companies like AIG before they threaten our economy.

After doing some research, I can kinda see where they are coming from. ... but are we opening a pandora's box with these kinds of policies? I've got visions of Proopaganda City floating in my head...

I'd be curious to know the thoughts of those who were informed, working adults through the 70s and 80s economic hits (Mom, Dad)...?

Some news reports for you on this topic:

Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
USA Today
New York Times
US News

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 24 March 2009 - 05:33:45
Well, I joined Facebook tonight. Off and on over the years I've received invitations to join (now I need to go search for all those friends) but have been resistant since it's too close to the myspace thing from which the IYYAD instructed our youth to close their accounts (most haven't, according to what their parents have told me, but that's another story). Facebook appears to be more for "grownups" but we'll see. I think what pushed me over the edge was getting an invitation from 3 former students and one of my main boutique suppliers. Anyway, I signed up, posted some pix and a short bio but I don't really like it. There's too much going on and it won't let me post more than one or two sentences for each blog posting. Maybe I'm spoiled by having my own site ;-)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 22 March 2009 - 06:01:22
My TDY-within-a-TDY was (mostly) fun. While I didn't enjoy multitude of delays on both ends of my trip to Utah, it did give me time to reflect.

Did you know I created a whole organization (looooong time ago) devoted to airport walking? It's defunct now, but click here to read all about it...

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 20 March 2009 - 04:09:08
Earlier in the week, I was listening to a radio show where someone described himself as "an Agnostic, or depending on how you look at it, a weak Atheist."

That got me wondering.

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Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 11 March 2009 - 05:10:12
This came in today...thanks everyone for sending stuff to keep my site active while I'm away on my trip... JJ

If you know of a family earning less than $60,000 a year with an honor
> student graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants to
> pay the tuition.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 10 March 2009 - 04:50:28
The below post is from Transparent Christian magazine (NO I haven't read enough of this website to have an opinion- just giving credit where credit is due)

I'm posting it because it reminds me greatly of what my post, "More Thankfulness," about my son's trip to the hospital.

Faces of Love, by Jason Elkins

My friend Leslie Face is a single mother of two autistic children. She recently opened a facility to offer hope and support to parents of special needs children, and offer programs and therapy for their kids. I wanted to share a piece of a conversation that we had the other day.

Before her children were born, Leslie was a paramedic. Dealing with death on a regular basis gave her a real appreciation for life. If she was helping with a fatality, she would often think about the final words this person spoke to their loved ones. She said “Jason, I’m sure that person didn’t think, oh, I’m going to get in a car accident and die at lunch today so I better tell my family I love them one more time”. Leslie admitted that it was kind of a morbid thought but these mental exercises helped her manage these tough moments. Then she said something that stopped my breath.

“I was thinking about some of the odd blessings of autism, and there’s not that many. (She Smiled). If I happen to be one of those people IN that car accident, my kids and I have already said everything that needs to be said.”

You see… Leslie’s youngest son doesn’t talk (at all) and her oldest has a limited vocabulary. As a family, they have to say everything, even I love you by their actions.

This conversation was a great reminder for me to show my family how much I care about them. 1 John 3:18 says Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

May you be reminded too.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 08 March 2009 - 04:46:41
For those who didn't hear my testimony in church Friday night:

They took my son to the emergency room Thursday night with a violent allergic reaction to something (we don't yet know what- he eats EVERYTHING). When I got there, he looked horrible, all swollen with hives and looking like a raisin, yet all who were present agreed that he was 200x worse when originally admitted. I started thanking the Lord for all the blessings He'd given us and how He keeps us. For health in my body. For strength in my mind. For our marriage. For the miracle baby. For salvation. For a good paying gummint job. :-) For being happy with wherever I am. For taking two minutes out to play with my son at lunch that day when I dropped off the milk that day. Ok, it was more like 50 minutes (he really milked me!).

You know, I felt so torn about playing with him at lunch that day because I had a lot of work to do, and I'm on a special trip... they're paying me to work... not play. My staying to play at lunch resulted in staying late at work, which resulted in not being there at dinner when they whisked him off to the emergency room. As I drove to the hospital, I remember thinking to myself- if he dies (yes, I know this is typical mother overreacting but that's what I thought), at least I won't feel guilty about not playing with him. Those occasional moments I'd spent with him this week instead of working seemed more important than the job (and in case my bosses are reading this, yes, I put in all my time and then some to make up for it... :-))

It kind of reminds me of how I felt when my grandma died. Less than two weeks prior to her passing, I had the urge to call her. I argued with myself about calling her b/c I didn't have time and didn't really know what to say, but was also fighting the sinking feeling that she wasn't going to be around much longer. I originally decided to call her back at some unspecified "later." After all, it was Grandpa who was not doing well. Grandma was just fine. But I felt the gentle nudging of the Spirit, and actually called her that night. We had a wonderful conversation in which she related how proud she was of my missions work. When she passed, I was shocked. And glad I had called her.

You know, we shouldn't wait until our loved ones come close to death (or actually die) to express our love. I'm not the greatest about showing people I love them, but I certainly will try. Hope you will too.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 06 March 2009 - 04:32:15
From The NY Times column: Motherlode
By Lisa Belkin

Mary P. Jones is the mother of two children, one of whom has been diagnosed with autism. She writes about helping her boy navigate through his challenges on her blog, A Room of Mama’s Own, and she does so anonymously (Mary Jones is her pseudonym) to protect her son (and the rest of her family, as you will see if you visit her blog.) Her goal is to shield the boy from prying eyes, not subject him to them. Because, as she writes in today’s guest blog, Mary knows a lot more than she would like about the stares of strangers.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 03 March 2009 - 06:30:57
I can't find the article, but for probably a year now I've been meaning to post excerpts from the article in Parents or Child or some mommy mag about "Why I love your husband." I even brought the article with me on my military trip and somehow lost it. Anyhow, my cousin sent me one of those forward emails about being thankful (if you get a lot of those "forward to the world" emails, you HAVE to read THIS POST) . And I thought I'd share some of the things I'm thankful for when it comes to my husband.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 03 March 2009 - 06:15:47
I just, today, stumbled across the blog of career guru Penelope Trunk, who, about two years ago had a very controversial post entitled Don't Report Sexual Harassment In Most Cases. She says that "unless your safety is at risk, you're usually best off handling the harasser yourself rather than reporting him to human resources."

She gave some very good reasons, including...
  • After you've filed a report, human resources will protect the company, not you
  • The law is set up to encourage a company to take proscribed steps to protect itself from liability rather than to protect your emotional stability
  • The ensuing retaliation which "is usually subtle: fewer invitations to lunch, a cubicle that isolates you from office networks, and project assignments that are boring...." which "effectively holds back your career without standing up in court."

And then provides some strategies for how to deal with it...
  • Negotiate (having your goals firmly in the back of your mind)
  • Assess your power versus his
  • Find a new job and leave the offending company–in that order–because it's always easier to find a job when you have a job, even if you hate the job you have

One thing of note, is that the very first comment on her post says:

I am rather disappointed to read advice like this, particularly from someone who has thought so much about many issues affecting our work and lives.

If a black person (of either gender) encountered racism at work, would you offer this same advice? If not, would it be worth addressing why not? This perspective is focused solely on the individual. Will that harasser only harrass one woman? What about trying to find out who else has been affected and tackling the situation with others. What about the men you say don't work well in this environment?

To be honest, I couldn't offer any better advice if the harassment was due to race and not sexual in nature. I could offer the story of one mentor (a colonel) who told me what he did when his new boss (a general) obviously didn't like him for no reason other than being black: He confronted him head on and said (my paraphrase) we're going to have to work together, so what are you going to do about it.

Unfortunately, if you read the YEARS worth of comments, you'll find several from a military girl who is being harassed by one of her leaders. This reminds me of one of my students who suffered horrible harassment while on active duty. Everyone knew it, but no one did anything about it. The military has come a long way, but when I see blog comments like that, I realize we can't rest on our laurels- there's still much to be done.

I'm curious as to what experience you readers have had with both types of harassment. Feel free to email me offline... (janine at this site)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 28 February 2009 - 08:44:40
This week, in addition to the regular Tues prayer requests, I'm praying for:

Sis C, who is one of very few young ladies I know who joined the church as a teenager, went through college without backsliding, and is now on fire for the Lord. I love what few opportunities I've had to hang out or go shopping with her (though I feel kinda old) because she's got such a sweet spirit. I'm praying that the Lord keeps her and never lets the world distract her, deceive her, or choke out the Word.

I'm also praying for this little church in Tooele Utah. When I was out at Dugway for a bio test, I went to a variety of churches, trying to find a good ministry.. No success, though I enjoyed talking with the army chaplain there at Dugway. He felt the Lord was revealing to him that the gifts of the Spirit, his congregation just didn't have the right "feel" to me. I did not care for the chapel's "Holy Ghost Filled Service" but on reflection, that may have been because I got rebuked for not jumping on their bandwagon (you all know me- I'm very cautious about anyone saying they're of the Spirit or they're evangelist so and so). Regardless of his congregations attitude towards me, in talking to him, I sensed sincerity and a genuine desire to follow the Lord's will. So I guess I'll pray for the chaplain who used to be at Dugway too.

Ok, back to the church.... After a few weeks of not finding a church, I was getting discouraged b/c the ones I found a) didn't want "me" b) were not "Holy Ghost Filled" or c) were all about unity across all faiths. Then I stumbled across this little church (Yikes, I forgot the name- it's back home in Alabama). The pastor and her husband welcomed me warmly, as did the membership. They believed in the Bible, and believed that the promise of the Father (that is, the Holy Ghost) is for us today and prayed fervently for His healings, miracles, and blessings to be manifest. How rare it is for churches today to believe in the baptism of the Holy Ghost and gifts of the Spirit!!! I hope the Lord blesses and keeps that little church, and sends them a revival like in the Bible days!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 26 February 2009 - 06:16:47
Declaraciones del Presidente Barack Obama – Versión Preparada Para Su Emisión
Discurso ante Sesión Conjunta del Congreso
Martes, 24 de febrero, 2009

Señora Presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes, Sr. Vicepresidente, miembros del Congreso:

Estoy aquí esta noche no sólo para dirigirme a las distinguidas damas y caballeros en este gran recinto, sino para hablar directa y francamente con los hombres y mujeres que nos trajeron aquí.

Sé que para muchos estadounidenses que nos observan en este momento, el estado de nuestra economía es una inquietud mayor que todas las demás. Y con toda razón. Si no han sido afectados personalmente por esta recesión, probablemente conocen a alguien que ha sido afectado: un amigo, un vecino, un miembro de su familia. No necesitan escuchar otra lista de datos para saber que nuestra economía se encuentra en crisis, porque la viven todos los días. Es la preocupación con la que se despiertan y motivo de desvelo de noche. Es el empleo que pensaron que tendrían hasta jubilarse, pero que ahora han perdido; el negocio con el que soñaron y que ahora pende de un hilo; la carta de aceptación a la universidad que su hijo tuvo que volver a guardar en el sobre. El impacto de esta recesión es real y está por todas partes.

Pero a pesar de que nuestra economía se haya debilitado y nuestra confianza se vea afectada; a pesar de que estamos viviendo en tiempos difíciles e inciertos, esta noche quiero que todo estadounidense sepa lo siguiente:

Reconstruiremos, nos recuperaremos, y Estados Unidos saldrá de esto más fuerte que nunca.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 26 February 2009 - 06:15:25
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
Address to Joint Session of Congress
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and the First Lady of the United States:

I’ve come here tonight not only to address the distinguished men and women in this great chamber, but to speak frankly and directly to the men and women who sent us here.

I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others. And rightly so. If you haven’t been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has – a friend; a neighbor; a member of your family. You don’t need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It’s the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It’s the job you thought you’d retire from but now have lost; the business you built your dreams upon that’s now hanging by a thread; the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope. The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this:

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 22 February 2009 - 08:48:41
This week, in addition to the regular Tues prayer requests, I'm praying for:

LOTS of my students- too many to list by name or initial. I've learned a lot from them (more than I think they learned from me!!) both about life, leadership, and officership, and some of them have really been a blessing to me spiritually. They may not have realized it, and in fact, were I to list everyone who's affected me over the last 8 months, over half would be very surprised because their impact wasn't always made in a personal interaction.

I pray that God's Gen 12:3 promise to Abraham would hold true in my life as well, "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee..." I'm especially asking the Lord's blessing on those who have taken the time and effort to connect with me (NOT an easy thing to do) whether through prayer, song, appointment, or telling me about myself (formal "eval" or informal discussion). That He would encourage and comfort those who have laughed with me, cried with me, swapped toddler stories with me, vented about real estate with me and even a few who vented about ME with me.

I pray the Lord makes the work of their hands fruitful, especially those who are starting their own businesses while still in the military. Those who aren't saved I hope the Lord touches their hearts, and those with health issues I pray for His healing touch.

May God bless you and may heaven smile upon you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 22 February 2009 - 06:05:50
A dear friend recently asked my opinion on leasing to own a home. Lease-to-own is a great investment strategy (for the property owner) and can, in the right situation, be a blessing to the person who is doing the leasing. If you would like to talk about using lease-options as an investement strategy, I'll be happy to walk you through it. And if you cannot qualify for a loan, I can step you through how to find a home to lease-to-own without getting taken advantage of. However, I know the person who wrote me can be a candidate for a traditional loan with very little effort. Here's what I wrote in response (for my real estate colleagues, note that I tried to keep it somewhat basic and left out some of the finer details):

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 22 February 2009 - 03:45:31
Incredible Story

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moment.
Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter's legs and slammed his stupid self against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

This is for all of my friends who send me those heart-warming stories.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 21 February 2009 - 05:05:00
Discovered this series on a colleagues blog today...thought it might be useful for my Aspie readers. Then again, some of us just have to learn from experience ;-)

Part 1. Introduction
Part 2. Stopping Bullies
Part 3. When Not In Rome
Part 4. Shadow Dancing
Part 5. Animal Planet

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 21 February 2009 - 04:01:52
Today I was reviewing some of my favorite autism blogs (a hobby I haven't had time for in MONTHS) and came across this segment of an interview on self defense for Aspies:

Q: Interesting indeed! Does ADD/ADHD mean that you have difficulty learning the general unwritten rules, difficulty spotting situational cues or both?

A: Actually it's more of a kind of "Why?" problem. When you are surrounded by people who when they come to a hallway intersection -- [NTs] automatically "turn left." When you ask "why" they best answer you can get is something along the lines of "because there is no other way to go." It is a kind of mental blindness. It isn't just that they can't explain why, but they can't see the three other ways you can go.

Whereas a person with ADD sees not only the left turn, but that he can go straight, turn right or go back. But there is no automatic sense of the left turn is the "best" way. (Which incidentally ISN'T what the [NTs] have, they really don't realize there are other ways to go.) So the person with ADD, tends to go down the other hallways to see what's down there.

This tends to get people who believe the left is the only way to go...a wee bit upset with us.

While they're talking about ADD in this snippet, this difference in thinking can be a fundamental problem for Aspies- NTs know instinctively to turn left (or, if they don't know, they observe everyone else turning and don't question, just follow...). For many Aspie that I work with, it doesn't make sense to turn left without having examined the options. It's frustrating to just do something because everyone else is, or for some "unwritten" reason the Aspie can't fathom. Even if the ultimate answer is, "I'm going to turn left because that's the way everyone is going and I'd prefer to travel with the group rather than take the more direct route of going right, then up the stairs, then back down again," there is satisfaction in having researched the issue and applying sound logic. And an Aspie who would expect that those turning left would have already done such research, might be genuinely surprised that the NT hasn't stopped to consider the other options, and then baffled at the NTs frustration at his desire to do so. Just something to think about.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 21 February 2009 - 03:45:15

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 19 February 2009 - 07:26:20
Bellow is an excerpt from an email I received. I encourage everyone to hold our new president accountable for the promises made by tracking recovery package progress on the site below.

The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy.

It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right.

I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you.

That's why my administration has created Recovery.gov, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and questions.

Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:


Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus on every day as President.

With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 16 February 2009 - 07:02:30
Alumni, Parents and Friends,

This message is being sent by the U. S. Naval Academy Alumni Association to request your assistance in publicizing the start of the U. S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar 2009 online application process.

Do you know a High School Junior who has the potential to be a good Naval Officer?
Please let them know about the Naval Academy Summer Seminar Program.

Naval Academy Summer Seminar

Applications opened on February 1st, 2009.
For More Information and
To Apply Online
Go to www.usna.edu and click Admissions and go to Summer Seminar

2009 Seminar Dates:
Session One: May 30 - June 4
Session Two: June 6 - 11
Session Three: June 13 - 18

The United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar is a fast-paced, six-day experience for high achievers who have completed their junior year in high school. The Summer Seminar teaches you about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics, and professional training play equally important roles in developing our nation's leaders. If you think that you may be interested in pursuing an appointment to one of the nation's service academies and serving your country as an officer, you should seriously consider attending the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar.

Midshipmen run Summer Seminar with oversight by active duty Navy and Marine Corps officers. Over 2,250 students from around the world attended this fast paced program last year. If you want a summer challenge, the opportunity to sample university level academics at a first-rate institution, discover whether the Naval Academy will help you achieve your goals, and get a jump start on the admissions process, then this program is for you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 15 February 2009 - 08:36:00
Would you believe I found the lady from Colorado's card? She does indeed work at a bank (Wells Fargo). I hope that she and her husband have drawn closer to the Lord and that she is able, once again, to attend a church where the Holy Spirit confirms the Word with wonders, miracles, and signs!

I also found an oooooooooold prayer list, so this week I'm praying for the people on that list. Most notably Min PC's father in Arkansas, the J children, and the work at one of our previous bases.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 10 February 2009 - 05:22:19
Wow Wow Wow!

Tonight I experienced one of those wonderful moments when you "make do" only to end up with something better: When I came home from work, I surveyed the contents of my fridge to see what could be an easy fix for dinner.

The main star was grassfed beef sauted in REAL butter. Not just butter, but REAL butter- the kind made from whole cow's milk- straight from the cow (also known as "raw milk"). No pasteurization. The kind of milk you have to shake before pouring because all the cream floats to the top. My tastebuds are THRILLED that I've returned northeast on a 6 month special trip because my fridge is stocked with raw milk, raw milk cheese, raw milk butter, raw milk yogurt, AND that beef (some sauteed in generous amounts of raw-milk butter as an experiment, and some done with minimal amounts of olive oil, my usual). If you've never had meat fried in raw-milk butter, you've GOT to try it! Those beef chunks are SO good... made my hotel room smell really bad though... but I digress...

So, my eyes happened upon the scrumptious beef as well as the cucumbers I had chopped earlier and the quart of raw-milk yogurt. I decided to do gyros. Never mind the fact that I didn't have any pitas (tortillas would work) and I didn't have my usual ingredients for Tzatziki sauce (I would make do). Well, the sauce (and thus the wrap) was fabulous! Here's what I did:

1/2 big cucumber deseeded* and chopped finely
1 cup raw-milk yogurt (it's more runny than regular storebought yogurt)
1 packet of True Lemon (like I said, I was making do)
Couple shakes of Montreal Steak Seasoning (ditto)

Mix sauce together. Place beef, then big handful of salad greens, then sauce on top of tortilla. Wrap and eat. YUMMY! I forgot the cheese, but didn't need it!

*to deseed the cucumburs you can cut in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 08 February 2009 - 08:48:05
This week, in addition to the regular Tues prayer requests, I'm praying for:

JB and his son JB. I was going through my text messages and realized I hadn't prayed for little JB in awhile. May the Lord bless and heal him!

And for Sis. J who is such a blessing. May the Lord keep her always!!

Me. Yep, I'm selfish this week. I need prayer. Pray for me.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 07 February 2009 - 18:47:53
Well... it's for real. Confirmed by NASA and several amateur observers.


The first Iranian satellite was launched into orbit on Feb 2 at around
1835 UTC +/- 10 min on a southeastern trajectory from an unidentified launch site in Iran. Two objects are in orbits of 245 × 378 km x 55.51 deg and 245 × 439 × 55.6 deg; one is presumably the Omid payload and the other the Safir rocket final stage, but it’s not clear yet which is which. The first object’s orbit is close to the announced plan of a 250-350 km altitude. The Iranian Students News Agency calls the launch vehicle Safir-2; it’s not clear if this is represents a different vehicle type from Safir-1, or just a serial number. Pictures of the launch show “Safir – Omid (2) IRILV” painted on the side of the rocket.

The satellite may have a mass of 25 kg.

I honestly didn't believe they were successful- especially since
1) I'd been "through this" once before
2) The video cuts off early in the trajectory
3) Just cause.

Extensive discussion of this on Arms Control Wonk... go check it out! Here's the video again, in case you missed my original post:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 07 February 2009 - 18:25:32
Saw this in USA Today and almost fell out...

A black state senator's bill that would require South Carolina municipalities to match state holidays and give workers a paid day off for Confederate Memorial Day on May 10 or lose millions in state funds was approved by a state Senate subcommittee. Democratic Sen. Robert Ford said he also supports Martin Luther King Jr. Day in his effort to help people understand the civil rights movement and the Confederacy. Lonnie Randolph, head of the state conference of NAACP branches, objected: "You can't make dishonor honorable. It's impossible."

I was floored, and decided to look this up... here's a few snippets I found...

Author Brian Cisco is a California native, born in Montebello, but his Southern roots run deep in his veins.

Cisco, whose mother was born in South Carolina, remembers singing “Dixie” while in elementary school. He later came to Dixie to receive his education at the University of South Carolina in the 1960s.

It was at that time – during the Civil War Centennial – when Cisco became fascinated with the history of that conflict.

Since then, he has written five books, all related to the Civil War period, and plans to again observe the state’s seventh annual Confederate Memorial Day holiday today.

“The War for Southern Independence is a defined event in our history,” Cisco said, noting that about 14,000 of the 70,000 South Carolinians who fought in the war died. “These men, black and white, were fighting for the liberty that was passed down from the founding fathers of America and were fighting in defense of their home.

“That is a worthy cause and is something that needs to remembered and celebrated.”


May 10 is the anniversary of the death of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. It is also the anniversary of the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

So in South Carolina it is Confederate Day, a state-mandated holiday. In 2000, it was created by state Senator Robert Ford, who is African American, in a compromise measure that established a permanent holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We live in the South. Those people who died have descendants. For us to say to them they don't have a right to respect their descendants, that's just crazy," said Ford, who is black. "The whole thing's about history and understanding."

Ford hopes the two holidays will help South Carolinians learn about and respect each other more. But for Lonnie Randolph, president of the state branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Confederacy had nothing to do with respecting people.

"I don't need a holiday to respect people," he said. "I don't have any reason to get happy and say I'm overjoyed for this holiday because it has nothing to do positive in the lives of people who look like I do."

Comments from this blog post include:

It's amazing to me that so many years later a compromise measure had to be instituted in order to have a MLK holiday. I had relatives who fought during the Civil War. One great grandfather switched sides in the middle. They were all dirt poor and owned no slaves. Usually you are proud of relatives for standing up and fighting for their country, but with the Civil War the pride factor is vastly different. They took a stand, but for what? I have no primary sources to tell me why they fought. Was it slavery? Was it state's rights? Was it an objection to the economic disparity between the north and south? Could it just have been that the armies were paying, especially the north, and my great-great grandad was trying to make a buck? It's a real slippery-slope. If you revere Confederate soldiers you can be accused of being a racist. It's kind of a no win situation. I respect your opinion. What do you think?

I don't think there should need to be a compromise to get a MLK holiday.

I feel uncomfortable with the Confederate Day holiday. Are we to take pride in the Confederate service of our ancestors? I am proud of my ancestry, but I do not think that the Confederate cause was right. No matter what other reasons were operant, the root cause of the war was protection of the rights of slaveholders. My ancestors, too, did not own any themselves, being also of the dirt-poor variety. I honor their memory, but I believe they took part in not just a lost cause, but an indefensible cause.

I am not sure that economic disparity caused the war, either, since both section had their wealthy classes, and the South was set up to reinforce the aristocracy. An aristocracy is only powerful if it is exclusive. Therefore, I have always understood the society of the Southern states to reinforce the tendency toward a large underclass and a very small group of economic elite. (Unfortunately, my subfield of study has been on the Civil War in the West.)

And a post more abut the slavery issue than the Confederate Day iteself...

Went to lunch with some co-workers today, and we started talking about the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue, which is quite large and depicts him on a horse, and stands in the eponymous city park. Earlier this year there were some people trying to get that statue, and the bodies of him and his wife, moved back to historic Elmwood Cemetary where they originally were. There were demonstrations, and counter-demonstrations by the Sons of Confederate Veterans or some such, and in the end the park was unchanged.

We had quite a lively discussion about that statue. My contention is that it needs to be moved yesterday, and that park renamed. Why? Because Forrest was (a) an army general in a country (C.S.A.) that was at war with my country (U.S.A.) from its conception to its demise; (b) a founding member of the KKK; and (c) a slave trader. Not just owner, trader; he made his fortune from buying and selling black folks. And possibly (d) a war criminal too, depending on your take of the Fort Pillow massacre. One of my coworkers argued that slave trading wasn't different from slaveholding (I disagree) and that if we get rid of the Forrest statue we have to go after the Washington Monument next. My answer was, tell me something positive that Forrest contributed to the world, that means he needs to be honored by the City of Memphis. The statue's been there 100 years, isn't that enough? And further, white folks like to tell black folks to quit griping about the legacy of slavery, 400 years of oppression, Jim Crow, and so forth; let go of the past and get with the program. If I were black, all I would have to do in response is point to that statue and ask why black people have to let go of the bad old days when white people clearly refuse to.

I feel the same way about the Confederate flag. When Ole Miss banned the waving of that flag at football games many years ago, I thought that they were throwing away an old tradition. Turns out that flag only started being waved when Ole Miss was desegregated. That puts a totally different spin on the whole thing, and it's what started me down the path of disliking displays of those things.

If people want to have the Confederate flag displayed in their home or business, I wouldn't stop them. I think it has no place as part of a state flag, or flying on government property (except military parks like Shiloh).

And I consider myself a Southerner, yes, I do. Those years from 1861 to 1865 do not define the South. I've lived here all my life and I never want to live anywhere else. "American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God"; I feel that way, and I'd wear the shirt if I could get one without that cottonpickin' flag.

So why do so many white Southerners insist on holding on to that stuff? And why does racism persist so? C.S. Lewis wrote that people have trouble forgiving people they have wronged. If that sounds backwards, it's not. I think being a white person who is not a racist means not sharing the guilt of those who were responsible for slavery, Jim Crow, and so forth. That doesn't mean defensively saying "I didn't enslave anybody!" It means letting go of all that old c---- and not identifying with it anymore. Slavery was and is an evil thing. Horrible and wretched. There's no excuse for it and there never has been. I refuse to defend it.

There's plenty other commentary (some not suitable for my younger readers) including such gems as the nation would be better off if "we" were all shipped off to Liberia and one who quipped that the "Confederate Day" proposal is just like a black man- always looking for a way to get paid for not working. Wow. Do a Google Search, or just look at mine.

I'm still disabling all comments, so if you want to make a comment just email it to me.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 07 February 2009 - 17:53:40
Below is a link to all of the peanut butter product that have been recalled so far. Check your products... better safe than sorry!


Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 03 February 2009 - 18:38:06
Stories like this make me wish I was back at my old job...

Supposedly Iran has launched it's first satellite. Even if they accompany their announcement with video footage. I wonder if it's for real... You know, they reported this once when I was "on duty" so I'm pretty doubtful. The video doesn't show the whole trip, but it doesn't look fake to me. Maybe they've actually done it! I'll have to run the video by some of my launch friends...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 01 February 2009 - 08:29:29
On my prayer list this week (in addition to the usual Tues prayer list notes) is:

A lady I met while TDY to Colorado Springs for a month... I lost her card, but I think she works in a bank, husband was army, and she really needed (as of last year) a healing. Every few months she comes to my mind and I pray for her.

I'm also praying for the lady I met when TDY to Barksdale years ago who picked me up for church. She ran a christian bookstore, and her husband was the pastor. It was my first visit to a southern baptist church, and he preached an AWESOME sermon on how no matter how society or laws (even the laws governing the church) change we must stick with the Bible. This was 2000-2001 timeframe and, you might remember, a lot of churches were changing their doctrines to condone homosexuality. Anyway, I really appreciate the kindness of this women because I had gone walking to check out several churches near my hotel and got a rude awakening. Including one pastor who flat out told me I wasn't welcome in his church. So I was rather surprised and thankful when this older white woman at the bookstore treats me kindly and invites me to her church. I hope the Lord blesses her. Mightily.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 31 January 2009 - 08:37:00
What do you all think of this? On one hand, I was shocked that someone would pray such a prayer over a high position of government, since he mentioned "And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you." YEAH! While he actually used the name of Jesus (double YEAH) my respect for that couldn't overcome the shock that he used the Muslim form Isa.


I don't have anything against Muslims (many are nice people, and many live holier than most Christians), but I DO have something against all of anyone who insists we all are serving the same God. My God has a Son named Jesus. And a Holy Spirit poured out on all who will receive Him. As John the Baptist said, John baptized in water, but Jesus baptize in the Holy Ghost. Both Jesus and the Spirit are thoroughly prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and mentioned as beings separate from the Father. I understand, from scripture, that God will have mercy on His chosen Israel who is still looking for the Messiah, not realizing Jesus fulfilled that promise. However, my various translations of scripture are all very clear against blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which could be inclusive of Islam's equation of the Holy Spirit with the angel Gabriel.

I must admit, I was also slightly irritated with the calling out of the first African-American president. Yes, that's an accomplishment for us as a race, and yes, in spite of "progress" I never expected to see that in my lifetime... but that's not the only reason Pres. Obama was elected. Maybe because most of my life I've been the only/first af-am, stuff like that always sounds token-y to me.... or maybe that's a personal issue I need to work on :-)***

Here's the prayer... email me what you think...

Let us pray.

Rick Warren's Inaugural Invocation

Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you. It all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory.

History is your story. The Scripture tells us, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God. The Lord is One.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now, today, we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hingepoint of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the cabinet, and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all. May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you. We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

***Ha, the personal issue thing would make a great discussion for my current SOS class, were I still with them (and not TDY), since they've discovered as many of my personal issues as I have of theirs!! Y'all email me after your graded work is done and let me know what you think...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 31 January 2009 - 08:34:35
by Debbie Mandel

If you want to manage your stress and generate happy feelings, you cannot give away your power to professionals. Educators, doctors and therapists can reign in your spirit and inhibit your natural ability to come up with creative solutions. For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association cites that doctors are bribed by pharmaceutical salesmen who do not know much science, but are well-versed in marketing strategies. Some of the bribes are hefty and luxurious, like vacations, tickets to shows and dinners, and others are small gestures, free samples and pens. Nevertheless, a doctor overtly or subtly feels obligated to prescribe a particular medicine and you become the guinea pig. Bowing your head to authorities began at school where you learned the text and received a grade to ensure you performed according to standardized testing – one size fits all. However when you reflect on it, the more educated you became, the less creative your thinking, the less likely you could improvise and invent. Why? Because your mind had been confined by limited associations, shaped to conform.

I remember in graduate school many of my classmates suffered from Bright’s Disease, or in other words, Straight A Idiocy. They would speak and write in as many syllables as possible to sound intelligent. However, often the communication was incomprehensible and could have simply been summed up in a sentence – if they really understood what they were saying. As for me, I learned what not to do! And perhaps, that is the key when you are stuck and have lost control: To approach a thing from its opposite perspective.

To manage your daily stress and feel reasonably happier you need to broaden your associations and liberate your mind from the blind respect you have given teachers, parents and professionals – people pleasing. Try to cross over to the opposite side and break with your original assumption to see it from another perspective. For example, a typical assumption might be that your doctor is doing the right thing to lower your cholesterol with a statin. Now look at this assumption from the other side. Your doctor is prescribing a statin to generate income because you will have to take blood tests and come in for frequent checkups. He is insuring a future cash flow. However, a healthy meal plan with lean protein, fruits and vegetables, plenty of fiber along with daily exercise does not generate any frequent doctor visits and more income, so statins are prescribed instead of a healthy lifestyle.

Be aware that there are so many miserable, divorced therapists telling you what to do to improve your relationship with your spouse; so many diet books out there to telling you what to eat and when to eat, yet Americans are fatter than ever. Everyone is trying to take charge of your mind and your money! How do you sort it all out?

* Start reading life! Learn by listening and observing. Life is filled with inconsistencies and absurdities. These inconsistencies will help you understand the whole picture or at least know that there are other options to pursue.
* Be aware of body language as well as what is said and not being said to you. Pay attention and keep asking questions about all the options. Don’t feel intimidated by a lab coat or a degree.
* Expose yourself to other places, people and cultures. Step out of your narrow context to learn new information and new ways of thinking. At some point you might intersect. For example, Americans are enamored with herbs and meditations from the Far East. The Far East is enamored with our radiation treatments and capitalism. An exchange of ideas can intersect and breed new possibilities like complementary medicine.
* Take responsibility for your mind and body. You know how you feel and what you need to heal. Don’t let doctors objectify you, decide for you and rush you out the door. Partner your own healing. Read about your symptoms. Let the doctor know what is going on in your life. Emotions can make you sick and tired. Get other medical opinions. Listen and make the decision that feels right to you in your gut. If it isn’t working, get another opinion and do more reading; try something else. Most doctors admit that medicine is an art. Become an artist.
* Keep in mind that people love to give other people advice because it gives them power and dominance, but these “sages” rarely take their own advice. This can only mean that the advice is suspect, or works in theory, but not in reality. Take back your power. You know what is right for you! Do you really need a nutritionist to tell you not to eat all those French Fries, a bucket of fried chicken and an ice-cream sundae in one meal, or do you know what to do? Do you need a marriage counselor to tell you not to always bring up the past every time you argue with your husband?

Get creative and use your imagination to find a personal, tailor-made solution to your specific problem. The answer might be counterintuitive or surprisingly simple.

About the Author
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WHLI 1100AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit her site.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 31 January 2009 - 08:31:55
[No author listed, but it's from Chet Day's website so it was probably written by him or his son, Josh]

Are you trying to eat more healthily? Good for you! The first step in eating more healthily is choosing good foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, cheeses and nuts over bad foods like frozen pizzas and fast food. However, not all foods which appear to be healthy are all that great for you, because many have hidden dangers like high sugar content, or more fat than is necessary.

The following is a guide for choosing good options when it comes to healthy snacks and foods, to ensure that you truly are eating healthy, rather than simply being deceived!

This is a great snack, because yogurt is generally very high in calcium. What many people do not realize however, is that many yogurt brands pack a lot more sugar in their yogurt cups than you really need. Sugar-laden yogurt cups are missing many of the nutritional value that you believe that you are getting. Make sure to read the labels, and look for yogurt cups which are low in fat and sugar. You can always opt for the non fat plain yogurt, then add your own fruit to give yourself more control over the content of your snack.

Fruit is available with many different choices, ranging from fresh, to water-packed pre-cut, to canned. Fresh fruit is always going to be your best choice, because canned fruit is boiled before it is canned. Canned fruit is processed with heavy syrup which adds significantly to the sugar content of the fruit. If you cannot acquire fresh fruit for some reason, your second choice should be frozen fruit. You may lose some of the nutritional value by buying frozen, but fresh and frozen fruit is much healthier and more nutritious than canned varieties.

Fresh vegetables, or vegetables which have been pre-washed and cut and have been packaged in water are much more nutritious than canned vegetables, which like fruit have been processed and canned. The water in cans of vegetables typically contains more sodium than you really need to consume, so avoid canned vegetables if you can. Frozen vegetables are also an option, but nutrients are generally lost in the process. Also, try to cook your vegetables as little as possible because much of the nutritional value of the vegetable is lost while it cooks.

Fruit Juices
Make sure that any juice you purchase is 100-percent juice, because many juice brands only actually offer 30 to 40-percent juice, which means that the rest of the bottle is filled with sugar, water and corn syrup. Sugar fruit juices actually work to dehydrate rather than to hydrate, which makes them practically worthless to drink. Make sure to read every juice label before you purchase anything.

So-Called Healthy Boxed or Frozen Meals
Although these meals may seem like a quick and easy fix, they tend to be high in both salt and calories. You can prepare many of these same meals on your own to save yourself and your family a lot of calories, and the real deal tends to taste a great deal better than what comes in a box or a bag.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 25 January 2009 - 08:22:48
I just arrived in DC for 6 months (yes, it suprised me too- just found out a week and a half ago). I had hoped to catch evening service, but they were done by time I got there.

On my prayer list this week (in addition to the usual Tues prayer list notes) is:

Mother H, who used to drive an hour each way to pick me up when I came TDY (a LOT- some months I was more at her church than my own!). I am also praying for the lady in Oak Ridge who took me to her church. She was talking ab out a juice fast, and I think I disappointed her when she mentioned Heb 13:2 "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares," and I told her I was no angel. I do believe the Lord has blessed them both for their kindness, and pray his continued blessings.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 24 January 2009 - 04:24:00
I hate to just plagarize a blog post, but I can't say it any better than Bev and those who commented on her blog post already did. Click HERE to read the original article that started this chain of thought.

Why can't we face the truth? Having an autistic child wrecks your life. The title of Carol Sarler's article in today's Mail Online pretty much tells the story. It has all the drama you would expect from the title--a child who "screams like a banshee," moments of "everyday terror," parents who will never work full time again, an entire family ruined by the presence of an autistic child. Even the grandparents are starting to have disagreements over finances!

Sarler concludes her sad tale with her unsolicited opinion (it would be "impertinent," you see, to bring this up to the mother, yet not so much to broadcast it to all of cyberspace) that life would have been better for this family, for all concerned, had "Tom" never been born.

Yes, seriously.

I scrolled through the story as quickly as possible, reaching for the comments section where surely these hateful statements would be soundly refuted. There were some comments rejecting Sarler's conclusion, but quite a few agreed with her completely. I didn't get far before I found these:

I have no doubt that Tom is, through no fault of this own, a tremendous burden.
Oooh, you're going to have all the dogooders at your throat, but yes, his life should have been one unlived, sad but true.

Amen, no one is brave enough to say it but we all think it. What misery for all involved.
This is a very brave article. And very true. My twelve year old nephew is severely autistic. Needless to say, my sister and brother-in-law have a miserable marriage

Finally, someone with the spine to state the obvious. Thank you Carol Sarler.

Madam, you are very right. Something else, probably never thought of - the poor neighbours suffer as well.. their quality of life is also changed for the worse if they have the misfortune to live above, below or next to a family with such a child.

A very moving and thought-provoking article. I think many more people than are willing to let on would abort an autistic child if they knew.

Yes, there are more, feel free to look it up if you feel like taking a few punches to the gut.

Yes, I know that the Daily Mail is not to be taken seriously as a newspaper. But the number of people writing in agreement with Sarler is hard to take.

I have surrounded myself with people who agree that disability is not a tragedy, parents who treasure their autistic children. People who don't assign ultimate value based on what someone can or cannot do. Some call this "burying one's head in the sand," I suppose. I see it as a necessity. The will to go on can be fragile.

Do these commenters not even stop to think how this reporting of wrecked lives might affect their autistic family members? Or do they seriously believe that autistics are not aware of their openly expressed opinions?

Yet of the three generations, it is Tom who suffers most. And he's getting worse. As Helen [Tom's grandmother] said, only last week: 'We used to have a little autistic boy who was often happy. Now we have one who never is.'

Some of the more interesting comments:

"I note she describes Tom screaming and running away from her as a sure sign of autism. I would describe it as insightful."

It's so sad. Life as, or with, or both an autistic is different than everyone elses (NT) lives. Not better, not worse, just different. We don't have Norman Rockwell, but then either to very many NTs.

It is what it is. It's just sad that NT parents and family can't give the spectrum person the space to be who they are.

OK, it's not easy, or ideal, but instead of criticizing the family and making the generally uneducated Mail readers decide that autistic people should be put-down, maybe her writing skills would have been better used in raising funds to make life a bit easier for families with these sorts of problem?

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 22 January 2009 - 09:16:24
Pulled from WashingtonPost.com

OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you.

CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation...


... as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

OBAMA: The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

OBAMA: So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.

Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

OBAMA: These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.


On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

OBAMA: On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.


In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

OBAMA: It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

OBAMA: For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

OBAMA: Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.


For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.

The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality...


... and lower its costs.

OBAMA: We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.

OBAMA: The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.

OBAMA: But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.


As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

OBAMA: Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

OBAMA: They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.

OBAMA: With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.

And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."


For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

OBAMA: To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those...


To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.


OBAMA: To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.

OBAMA: And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.

OBAMA: These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

OBAMA: This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.


So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.

In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river.

OBAMA: The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you.


And God bless the United States of America.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 22 January 2009 - 09:15:10
Who's at fault here, President Obama, Chief Justice Roberts, or both? I don't know... I'm just glad I'm not the one throwing the new president off on national TV on the most historic day of my lifetime.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 20 January 2009 - 18:51:47
WOW! Guess what... remember my SAC will be back post? Well, I was just told today I am heading back to Washington DC to help them stand up the new "Global Strike Command." How cool is that? I leave next weekend, and will be gone for at least 6 months. Will keep you posted, if I can.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 12 January 2009 - 03:10:10
Florida A & M University is providing an outstanding opportunity for
Black women entering college in the fall of 2009. It is designed to
address their absence in the field of computer technology. Dr. Jason
Black is the Principal Investigator of a recently awarded $552,000 NSF
Grant entitled African -American Women in Computer Science. The grant
provides scholarships from $4000 to $10,000 per year for female African
American students.

We need your help to get the word out about this great opportunity to
build back up the enrollment of women in the CIS Department. Pass this
information along to high school or community college students, their
parents, and to guidance counselors you may know. The full text of the
press release can be found at


Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 10 January 2009 - 09:46:56
Y'all know I don't like these "forward to everyone and the kitchen sink" emails, especially since the stories typically aren't true, but this was a good read:

The Old Man

I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, when I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.

The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me. One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name....... 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence.

¡Remember, old men like him gave you FREEDOM for America '

America is not at war.

The U.S. Military is at war.

America is at the Mall.

If you do not stand behind our troops, please feel free to stand in front of them!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If it is in English, thank a member of our U.S. Military and/or a U.S. Veteran.

God Bless America

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 05 January 2009 - 03:11:33
I don't agree with some of their viewpoints, but I think Kristina Chew and Dora Raymaker highlight some serious issues fought on both sides of the ASD world. Here are their ten controversies and snippits of what they say. To read the whole article (and some of the reader comments), hit "read the rest" or click here to view their original post.

1. Personhood vs. stereotypes."
Changeling. Trapped. Suffering. Better off dead" vs "Genius. Savant! Mysterious and awe-inspiring... Just like Einstein"

2. Recovery from autism.
Who wants the cure? Parents or the individual with ASD? "Kristina writes more on this controversy in Once Upon a Time, I Tried to Recover My Son From Autism."

3. Support vs. cure.
The idea of "cure" is tied to the medical model of disability which holds that a person with a disability is "sick" and needs to be "cured;" some internal flaw has "caused" the disability...In contrast, the socio-ecological...perspective rejects the idea of "cure" as nonsensical (and in some ways offensive) as it does not view disability as a flaw that resides solely within an individual. Instead, this perspective asks, what needs to be done to bring the individual and their environment into better alignment?

4. Advocates vs. Advocates.

" 'Autism advocate' is a tricky term, as people who label themselves as such may have diametrically opposing perspectives on disability, autistic rights, and which issues are critical to address....There is a misconception that any autistic person who advocates for support and acceptance instead of cure must be 'high functioning' (see Controversy 5.) and not actually be disabled by their autism. "

5. The "autism spectrum."

"How can both a "high-functioning" college student with Asperger's Syndrome and a "low-functioning," non-verbal child with self-injurious behaviors both be on the autism spectrum?"

6. The so-called epidemic of autism.

7. Genes vs. environment.

"More and more scientific evidence points to genetics as the cause of autism, though scientists note that it's likely there is no single cause....In the end, focusing on what causes autism diverts attention away from considering issues of pressing concern to actual autistic persons and their families today, such as housing, employment and long-term supports for individuals who will need such. "

8. Fear of vaccines.
If there's no valid scientific evidence to support a link between vaccines and autism, why is there so much talk about such a link?
Wig's Note: For my own personal story of vaccinations, and why I think they play a part in activiating, if not causing, some forms of autism, call or email me. I do not agree with the authors on this point...

9. Social programs in theory vs. effectiveness in practice.
"There are a number of social service programs available for people with an autism...In theory, this sounds great, but in practice, such services are often wrought with controversy. "

10. Who can represent autistics?
"...many autism-related organizations do not include individuals with an autism spectrum diagnosis in their administration or policy. Some common arguments against inclusion are that autistic people wouldn't be mentally capable of representing their own interests, that any autistic person who would be capable must not be "really" autistic, or that it's not possible to find an autistic person who has the "right" ideology for the organization. "

What do you think?

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 02 January 2009 - 09:31:49
She and I were stationed together at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. If you know Bena, please let her know I'm thinking of her and direct her to this site. I had her address at one time but have since lost it.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 30 December 2008 - 06:17:40
I hope the title doesn't offend anyone, especially since Chick-Fil-A is one of my FAVORITE fast food places!!!

You've got to admit, though, that this ad is just a tad deceiving...It beckons you to participate in the great "Breakfast Giveaway"- a free chicken biscuit!! Whoo-Hoo, I will be there Jan 1 to get mine... but wait... it's not a free breakfast today... it's a coupon for a free breakfast on another day. *Sigh*

Hafta admit, though, that's pretty slick. You KNOW Chick-Fil-A will be packed with people who don't realize that it's not free (they'll end up buying anyway) and it's not like they're hiding the fact... and it's not their fault most people don't read :-)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 29 December 2008 - 20:51:41
My mom forwarded this to me, and I find it interesting because I actually like aprons. I'm not one for knick-knacks, but I do collect aprons from the countries we've ministered in. I love the feeling of pulling one out for baking and cooking, making pasta, stuff like that. Reminds me of childhood- of making ravioli and pepper cookies with my Mom. But I guess before my time they were used for a lot more... read on:

The History of APRONS

I don't think our kids or grandkids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath. Because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

  • It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
  • From the chicken coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
  • When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
  • And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
  • Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
  • Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
  • From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
  • In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
  • When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
  • When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
  • It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
  • Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool, now her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw after taking them from the freezer.

Some people today would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron....... I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron though........but love!!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 22 December 2008 - 18:34:59
I agree wholeheartedly with the individual who sent this to me:

Whatever your political opinion, Barack Obama is about to become President of us all. So the Obama/Biden Plan is worth a look. Among other things, President-elect Obama champions the ADA Restoration Act and more employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities.

Just posted the PDF version of the Obama/Biden "Plan to Empower Americans with Disabilities." You don't have to log in to download this document, just go to: http://www.janinewiggins.com/e107_files/downloads/disabilityplanfactsheet.pdf

Also, you can visit Obama's site to watch his video announcement on this topic: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 16 December 2008 - 03:47:58
The Papa Johns Bowl will kick off at 1400 hours on Monday, the 29th of December in Birmingham, AL at Legion Field and will feature North Carolina State versus Rutgers. They are allowing Military personnel in for free. Also, up to three additional tickets for accompanying family members will be available for free (normally $20.00 each). There will be a pre-game ceremony starting at 1330 hours recognizing all Veterans in attendance by having all Service Members walk out on the field during their respective Service Medley.

The game ball will be parachuted in by the 101st's Jump Team and they also hope to recognize a local veteran who survived the Bataan Death March.

They are still in need of additional volunteers to assist with getting the Veterans to their designated sitting area and prepositioned on the field prior to the Veteran's recognition ceremony.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 15 December 2008 - 02:50:50
Note: This is Montgomery Co (DC area) not Montgomery AL... I've heard goods and bads on both sides of the inclusion issue, including those who feel it's good for the student as WELL as for "normal" students (who then get an opportunity to learn how to interact with and hold proper respect for those who are a little "different"). Not sure how *I* feel about it, though...

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 17, 2008; B01

Victoria Miresso cannot button a shirt, match a sock or tell one school bus from another. Yet at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown, she is expected to function much like any other sixth-grader, coping with class changes, algebra quizzes and lunchroom bullies.

Victoria's parents say she is a victim of inclusion: a trend, in Montgomery County and across the nation, toward shutting down traditional special education classes and placing special-needs students in regular
classrooms at neighborhood schools.

"At this point, we're about halfway through the school year, and she hasn't learned anything," said Laura Johnson, her mother. "It's not fair for her to go to school and sit there and be teased because she doesn't
understand what they're teaching her."

Montgomery school officials say Victoria is no victim. She is, however, one of the first generation of students who cannot attend secondary learning centers, a network of self-contained classrooms open to special education students at eight middle and high schools in the county since the 1970s. Montgomery school leaders decided in 2006 to phase out the centers, part of an ongoing shift of special-ed students and teachers out of separate classrooms and into the general school population.

It ranks among the most controversial decisions made by Montgomery Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, who has run the 138,000-student system since 1999. A hundred parents picketed the school board in the dead of winter to protest the closure. They argued that the small, sheltered classes were the only setting that worked for their children. Weast and the school board maintained that students in the centers weren't learning and deserved the same rigorous lessons offered to everyone else.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 December 2008 - 18:06:00
Well... I've done it again. I've broken another of my "Cardinal Rules of Parenting."

This time it's rule #7: "My kids will never bring the lamest game to the party." Last weekend, I took my son to his first birthday party, for a young man at church. I was thrilled to actually have some time to do birthday gift shopping and went through the store trying to pick gifts. I wanted something educational, imaginative, that could be played alone or with others (since he was an only child). I narrowed it down to puzzles or play-doh (though glow in the dark planets caught my eye too- he wouldn't be able to play those with others. You kinda just set them up once and that's it, so I crossed those off my list). So I settled on play-doh. In fact, I was going to get my son some play-doh too. It would be his first time playings with the stuff. I was thrilled.

But let me tell you!

The thrill wore off quickly when the young man started opening up gifts! Almost every gift was a Star Wars figurine, except for a cool game system from his parents. And of course, thy would have to open my son's gift up at the end. If they had opened ours first, it wouldn't have been so bad, you know? I was pretty embarrassed but what could I do? I thought all those Star Wars GI joe and stuff were for older boys. I didn't even look down those aisles in the store. What do I know? Good thing Peanut isn't old enough to care (all he cared about was the cake and playing video games). In the future, I'll let him pick out the toys so I don't continue to break that rule :-)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 December 2008 - 05:05:54

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 05 December 2008 - 07:58:53
From Bruce Norton:

It is with deep sorrow that I announce the death of James Richard Booth on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 from a heart attack. Not only was Jim a good student of mine, but it turns out he taught me as well. I considered him a friend and will mourn his passing. Jim was 61.

I was one of Jim's first students, and he taught me and my husband a LOT about real estate, foreclosures, and being a decent human being in business matters. About this time last year, he suffered some health problems and realized that our time is short. He cautioned me not to folllow his workaholic path but instead to work hard AND play hard- spending time NOW with the people you care about. We say we're investing so that we can live the dream- traveling with our family and being there for them. It's all to easy to push our families aside while building our business. Please, please, please remember to take time out for thsoe you love TODAY, including the LORD. We never know how much time we have left.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 02 December 2008 - 07:11:59
Elder Alston sent me this Scholarship. It appears her niece is involved with the comapny:

2008 Students for Change Essay Writing Contest

Do you know a high school senior or college student that needs a college scholarship? NLS Publishing will be awarding at least three (3) $1,000 scholarships to the winners of an essay writing contest. Students enter the contest by submitting a 1000 to 2000 word essay describing, “what the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American President means to you and your family.” Essays are due by January 20, 2009. If you know anyone that may be interested, please forward him or her the link below:


Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 27 November 2008 - 01:42:41
Gifted and challenged: When enlightening has to strike twice
*By SARAH LEMAGIE,* Star Tribune

November 23, 2008

Tyler Lehmann could read "Harry Potter" books before he started first grade, yet an anxiety disorder left him unable to speak to his teacher and all but one of his classmates in Woodbury. Simon Fink attends a school for gifted students in St. Paul, but Asperger's syndrome can make it hard for him to interact with peers and focus on lessons.

School can be tough for kids with challenges ranging from emotional disorders to ADHD or dyslexia. For gifted students, too, it's not always a cakewalk, between boredom and the sense of isolation that can result from being a "brainiac."

Then there are students such as Tyler and Simon, who fall into both categories.

Raising children with learning barriers is a task in itself, "but when they're bright and gifted and have a high IQ, it's even more frustrating, because the teachers just don't understand how to work with these kids," said Bloomington parent Chelle Woolley, whose 17-year-old son, Matt, was in fifth grade when he tested out for both giftedness and attention deficit disorder.

A growing awareness of so-called "twice-exceptional" or "2X" students, many of whom qualify for both gifted and special education services, is prompting some researchers to take a closer look at their needs. This fall, educators at the University of St. Thomas and four metro-area school districts are using a $490,000 federal grant to launch a five-year project aimed at developing better ways to teach 2X children, helping schools identify them and training teachers to work with them.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 21 November 2008 - 04:16:55
Am tempted to submit a proposal, but now that I'm teaching at Air University, I already know I currently have neither the time to write a suitable proposal nor complete the work should I be chosen... so I'm sharing with you, seeing as many of my AS friends are quite literary...

CDC Seeks Contributors to Children's Book
Thursday, November 20, 2008
By: Robin Gurley

Deadline is November 25

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign is seeking authors and illustrators to develop content, storyline and illustrations for a children’s book to increase parental awareness of childhood developmental milestones.

CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign was launched in 2004 to educate parents of children ages 4 and younger about the milestones that mark a child’s development. Research for the campaign revealed that many parents are very aware of physical development (e.g., height, weight, first words, first steps), but are not aware of milestones that mark social, emotional and cognitive development. Some of these, such as pointing, babbling and excitement when seeing other children, are also important indicators of a child’s development. As part of this campaign, this book will educate parents about the importance of the less familiar social, emotional and cognitive milestones and encourage them to monitor their child’s development.

With this book CDC hopes to engage parents in a key developmental activity—reading with their child. The campaign, through its contract with Porter Novelli, seeks to collaborate with an author/illustrator to produce a book that would interest a young child, while serving to educate the parent about child development at the same time.

Authors and illustrators interested in collaborating with Porter Novelli and CDC in the development of this book are encouraged to submit a brief proposal that highlights their interest, proposed approach, experience and personality. The submission should be no longer than 5 pages (not including budget). For more information about submission criteria, see the submission form.

Submissions must be received by Tuesday, November 25, 2008. Please send electronic submissions to Kristina Heuman at kristina.heuman@porternovelli.com. Hard copies may be sent to Kristina Heuman at 3500 Lenox Rd., Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326. Project awards will be made by December 17, 2008.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 19 November 2008 - 05:31:36
My boss sent this out... interesting...

Burn more calories than you eat and you'll lose fat, right? Is it really that simple? The truth is that the actual "number" of calories you consume is not the only factor that affects your fat-loss efforts.

1- The thermic effect of the food you eat

The thermic effect of food (TEF) measures the amount of energy that is required to support the processes of digesting, absorbing and assimilating food nutrients as well as the energy expended as a result of the central nervous system's stimulatory effect on metabolism when food is ingested. Of the three macronutrients, protein carries the highest thermic effect. Eat more protein ; burn more calories.

2- The fiber content of the food you eat
Due to its chemical makeup, fiber is classified as a carbohydrate; however, it is unlike other carbohydrates in that it is an indigestible nutrient. Even though each gram of fiber contains four calories, these calories will remain undigested and will not be absorbed. Therefore, if you were to consume 300 calories of red beans (a food in which nearly 1/3 of the caloric content is from fiber), approximately 100 of these calories would pass through your intestinal tract undigested.

3- The glycemic and insulin indices of the food you eat

The glycemic and insulin indices are scaled numbers that refer to how quickly a particular carbohydrate source enters the bloodstream as sugar and how much insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream, respectively. Generally speaking, there is a positive relationship between the two; the quicker sugar enters the bloodstream, the more insulin is needed to rid that sugar from the bloodstream. When high levels of insulin are present within the blood, fat burning is brought to a screeching halt, which is anything but desirable for those whose goal it is to obtain a lean, muscular physique. Don't let this be an overlooked fat loss factor.

4- The different macronutrients present in the food you eat

Although insulin's primary function is to shuttle glucose (sugar) into skeletal muscle, it also carries many other nutrients to their respective storage sites -- this includes lipids (fat). Since carbohydrate ingestion stimulates a large insulin response and fat ingestion gives rise to blood lipid levels, when the two are consumed together, they promote the greatest fat storage.

5- The size, frequency and time of the meals you eat

Large, infrequent meals tend to promote storage of the ingested nutrients, as the body is unsure as to when the next feeding will take place. Conversely, consuming smaller, more frequent meals will result in an increase in metabolism and utilization of the
ingested nutrients. Also, ingesting a large amount of carbohydrates before bed spikes insulin, deters nocturnal thermogenesis and increases fat storage during sleep. On the contrary, consuming a great deal of calories early in the day does not bring about this problem; rather, these calories are likely to be used as energy to support daily activities.

Fight the Fat

As you can see, someone could be eating a relatively small amount of calories daily, but at the same time be promoting a great deal of fat storage by: 1) Making poor food choices; 2) Combining macronutrients in a nonproductive fashion and; 3) Consuming food infrequently and at inopportune times...

By now, it should be obvious that fat loss isn't just a matter of calories in, calories out. And while it's a little more complex than that, you can easily use the tips in this article to ensure you're getting the most from your dieting efforts.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 16 November 2008 - 05:26:14
Below are some excerpts from an interesting article on About.com:

Over the past few years, a number of studies have been published linking differences in brain structure and function to autism spectrum disorders. For example… scientists have noted that:
  • At a certain point in post-natal development, autistic brains are larger.
  • Testosterone may be linked to autism.
  • Certain portions of the brain, such as the amygdala, may be enlarged in autistic brains.
  • Certain parts of the brain may function differently in autistic people.
  • "Minicolumns" in the brain may be formed differently and be more numerous in autistic brains.
  • The entire brain may function differently in autistic people.

What all of these brain findings have in common, Dr. Minshew explains, is that they point to autism as a disorder of the cortex. The cortex is the
proverbial "gray matter": the part of the brain which is largely responsible for higher brain functions, including sensation, voluntary muscle movement, thought, reasoning, and memory.

In many autistic people, the brain develops too quickly beginning at about 12 months. By age ten, their brains are at a normal size, but "wired"
atypically. "The brain is most complex thing on the planet," says Dr. Minshew. "So its wiring has to be very complex and intricate. With autism
there's accelerated growth at the wrong time, and that creates havoc. The consequences, in terms of disturbing early development, include problems within the cortex and from the cortex to other regions of the cortex in ways that compromise language and reasoning abilities."

The Down Side of Unique Wiring

If autistic brains are wired differently across the board, is it a problem? Of course, for many people -- and in many ways -- the answer is "yes."

Says Dr. Minshew, "Autism really impacts behavioral function in the brain very broadly. It effects sensory, motor, memory, and postural control --
anything that requires a high degree of integration of information. The symptoms are most prominent in social interaction and problem solving
because they require highest degree of interaction." In fact, she continues, "They're socially/emotionally far more delayed than anyone ever thought, even if they have a high IQ. Temple Grandin, a well-known speaker and writer with autism, says she's emotionally about 7 - 10 years old."

The Up Side of Unique Wiring

While social and communication skills may be compromised by unique wiring in the brain, other abilities are actually enhanced. For example, says Dr. Minshew, "Autistic people have a really stellar ability to use the visual parts of the right side of the brain to compensate for problems with
language processing. This may be the basis for detail-oriented processing -- and may be a decided advantage!" In fact, as she describes it, "Control
children can't find Waldo. Autistic children can."

What Brain Differences Mean to You

To start with, it provides an understanding of what's going on in an autistic person's mind. Says Minshew: "They think differently becaue their brain is wired differently. They think logically and predictably, but differently. It's as if they're colorblind. You wonder why someone doesn't stop at a red sign -- and it's because they can't see it. Teachers need to be taught this. When the teacher says "ok close your books and hop over to the door" and the child hops, the teacher feels mocked. She hasn't been mocked; she's been obeyed."

JW's note: The article doesn't really discuss the testosterone issue, but I've heard it postulated that autism is a wiring toward "extreme maleness," much like some theorize that effeminism is wiring toward "extreme femininity." Would love your thoughts on the subject. Just email me.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 15 November 2008 - 03:45:41
Just so you don’t think I’m providing, in this observation, an excuse for husbands to avoid buying their wives chocolate, please remember that for the bulk of the human population, chemicals in chocolate have been found to increase happiness, energy, and general health. So buy it. And enjoy it, because I can’t. I discovered today that chocolate makes me angry. What an evil trick of the enemy (especially given when many of us are likely to crave chocolate…). I shared this discovery with my husband who politely reminded me (in that calm, sensitive way that can only be Steven) that we’d already had this discussion several times. Yet I persist in experimenting to see if it’s true. :-) If you’re in the mood for TMI, click “Read the Rest” and I’ll illustrate with a story. If not, just tune in tomorrow for more serious discussion…

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 14 November 2008 - 06:34:49
I hate "forward this" emails, but I LOVE psych tests...even fake ones... here's a little funny my sister sent me today:

If all of the eight desserts listed below were sitting in front of you, which would you choose (sorry, you can only pick one)! Trust me...this is very accurate. Pick your dessert, and then look to see what psychiatrists think about you.

REMEMBER - No Cheating. Make your choice before you check the meaning.

Here are your choices:

1. Angel Food Cake
2. Brownies
3. Lemon Meringue Pie
4. Vanilla Cake With Chocolate Icing (My Sister)
5. Strawberry Shortcake (My first choice)
6. Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing (Would have been my first- but it depends on who made it! I’m picky about my chocolate cake)
7. Ice Cream
8. Carrot Cake

No, you can't change your mind once you see the results, so think carefully about what your choice will be. OK - Now that you've made your choice, click “Read the Rest” to find out what “the researchers” say about you:

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 12 November 2008 - 04:21:46
Our Commandant sent out this wonderful tribute in honor of Veterans Day:

Commentary by Col Steve Tanous
Commandant, Squadron Officer College

Even as we wind down from the frantic pace of a long political season culminating in a historic election, and celebrate an event that demonstrates why America is truly the beacon of democracy in our world, we prepare to remember those that have served and made such a day and
the success of our Nation for over 232 years possible. Perhaps no one
understands the purpose of Veterans Day better then a member who has worn our Nation's military uniform to defend the freedoms we are so blessed to have.

In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns fighting in World War I fell silent. President Woodrow Wilson, called it "the war to end all wars," and ordered that the Armistice be commemorated in succeeding years. After the Korean War, President Dwight Eisenhower renamed the holiday "Veterans Day," to salute all veterans, no matter when or where they served.

Today we use Veterans Day to remember the sacrifices of those who died in our Nation's defense and to honor those who survived the bitter struggles to keep our Nation strong and free.

I know I'm preaching to the choir when I tell you we owe so much to our veterans; it's a debt we can never truly repay. Their stories are our history, because America rose to greatness on their shoulders. We owe them our very way of life, our freedom to live, work and raise our families in the Nation we love.

Our veterans are often this nation's unsung heroes. Their families and friends may have been the only ones who knew the sacrifices they made to serve our great country. In peacetime, it was easy to forget that these men and women were on duty in lonely outposts around the world. Our veterans missed the births of their children, wedding anniversaries and graduations. They have spent holidays in soggy rice paddies in Vietnam, amid the sands of the Iraqi desert, and in the cold and rugged mountains of Afghanistan. And they did it as you continue today out of a loyalty to our Constitution, our freedoms and the American dream that all people should be allowed to live in freedom.

Many American military members died on foreign soil, defending the cause of freedom around the world. They gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers, wives and mothers. They gave up everything for their country, and for us.

Service isn't just about long hours and sacrifices, it's about our values. Our veterans are the epitome of what it means to be good citizens. They have given us a lifetime of service, and the country has been enriched by their contributions, both in and out of uniform.

Parades, ceremonies and memorials are planned throughout the country over the Veteran's Day weekend. I know many of you will be attending
ceremonies here in the River Region to show your appreciation. As
always, dedicated Airmen selflessly giving your time to your communities call for support.

To all veterans, past and present, I thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices, for your sense of duty, and for your service. Our nation salutes you and I salute you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 09 November 2008 - 04:01:02
Below are some great offers for veterans offers including free dinner from Sunday through Tuesday:

Sun: Free Entree at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood - Birmingham (205) 871-5171 (entrees are $30-$50)
Mon: Free Buffet at Golden Corral 5 pm to 9 pm
Tues: Free Entree at Applebees (only Taylor Road 274-0009)

Home Depot 10% off
Lowes 10% off
Knotts Berry Farm Free Admission

(Click "Read the Rest" to see the terms of the offers)

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 05 November 2008 - 14:13:49
Newsday.com: Text of Obama's speech
The Associated Press
1:09 AM EST, November 5, 2008

OBAMA: Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain.

Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton ... and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years ... the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady ... Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia ... I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us ...to the new White House.

And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe ... the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best -- the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod ... who's been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics ... you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy ... who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

OBAMA: There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those -- to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons -- because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America -- the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

AUDIENCE: Yes we can.

OBAMA: America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 05 November 2008 - 14:11:16
Text of McCain's concession speech
By The Associated Press

Text of Republican John McCain's concession speech Tuesday in Phoenix, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions.

MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.

My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.



To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now ... Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.


MCCAIN: I am so...


MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.


MCCAIN: The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother ... my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign.

I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign.

All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also — I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen ... one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength ... her husband Todd and their five beautiful children ... for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign.

We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know — I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.


Please. Please.

I would not — I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.


MCCAIN: Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 04 November 2008 - 13:52:55
Just a note to all my young, beautiful, saved and sanctified DIVA first-time voters out there: Please go vote. You’ve been talking about this election for weeks! DON’T let anything stop you from making it to the polls. I let one thing after another cheat me out of my first possible chance to vote. Don’t let that happen to you! Not with THIS election! Just think, 10 years ago many of you were splashing in my pool or playing Barbies in my front room. Now you are old enough to CHANGE the direction of our NATION!!

I don’t care who you vote for (wait, let me repent- yes I do) as long as you VOTE! No matter who wins, you will be a part of HISTORY! So get out there and do it. This year, I dropped my absentee ballot in the mail with plenty of time to make it in, because I don’t want to miss my chance to make my mark on this great country. I want you to make your mark too… You CAN make a DIFFERENCE! Please, don't let anything STOP YOU from voting TODAY!

God Bless and Keep You,

Min. J Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 04 November 2008 - 06:36:19
By Chris Chase (as posted on Yahoo Sports)

For the Redskins' entire history in Washington, D.C., the result of the team's final home game before the presidential election held the key to the result of electoral college. If the Redskins won, the incumbent party would retain the White House. If the Redskins lost, new blood would take over.

On the eve of Election Day, the Redskins will play at home tonight against the Piittsburgh Steelers. It's the first time the 'Skins will have a home Monday nighter prior to an election in 24 years. Could what goes down tonight at FedEx Field have a course in altering American history?

Below are the results from the last Redskins home game before each election since the team relocated from Boston to the Nation's Capital and the subsequent outcome of the corresponding election. (Candidate representing the incumbent party is listed in bold.)

1940 - W (Pirates) -- Roosevelt d. Willkie

1944 - W (Brown) -- Roosevelt d. Dewey

1948 - W (Yanks) -- Truman d. Dewey

1952 - L (Steelers) -- Eisenhower d. Stephenson

1956 - W (Cardinals) -- Eisenhower d. Stephenson

1960 - L (Browns) -- Kennedy d. Nixon

1964 - W (Eagles) -- Johnson d. Goldwater

1968 - L (Eagles) -- Nixon d. Humphrey

1972 - W (Jets) -- Nixon d. McGovern

1976 - L (Cowboys) -- Carter d. Ford

1980 - L (Vikings) -- Reagan d. Carter

1984 - W (Falcons) -- Reagan d. Mondale

1988 - W (Saints) -- Bush d. Dukakis

1992 - L (Giants) -- Clinton d. Bush

1996 - W (Colts) -- Clinton d. Dole

2000 - L (Titans) - Bush d. Gore

From the 16 elections from 1940 to 2000, the Redskins predictor held true.

It's easy to dismiss fabricated statistics like this as frivolous and the natural result of looking for things that aren't there. (Comb through enough info, they say, and something will randomly turned up.) And, it's true that what the Redskins do on a football field has nothing to do with who wins a presidential election. But that doesn't mean the correlation isn't impressive. The odds of two independent events lining up 16 times in a row is 1 in 65,356.

You'll notice that 2004 isn't included on that list, as the streak was snapped four years ago. The Redskins lost on Halloween to the Packers in 2004, which gave Kerry-supporting Green Bay fans a double-dose of happiness. But, the prediction finally failed the following Tuesday when George W. Bush won reelection.

Since then, Steve Hirdt of Elias Sports Bureau has changed the wording of the stat so that it looks at the winner of the popular vote in the previous election, not the incumbent party. This little trick allows the Redskins Rule to keep its 100% batting average, since Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, thus making Kerry the "incumbent" in 2004. We think that's cheating a bit, as nobody ever mentioned the popular vote until after the Redskins Rule was rendered meaningless. But, since Hirdt is the guy who came up with the original stat in the first place (back in 2000 while doing research for a Monday Night game in Washington), we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. (Knowing that Hirdt discovered the rule in 2000 makes this clip from Mad Men an anachronism, though.)

While you will undoubtedly hear about the Redskins election predictor tonight (odds of Kornheiser bringing it up by the third commercial break: 2-1), remember that its best days are well behind it, to the years of Eisenhower and Sammy Baugh. So, Obama-loving Redskins fans and McCain-backing Steelers fans, don't fret; feel free to pull for your teams tonight. But root for a definitive outcome. If they tie, we're stuck with Ralph Nader.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 01 November 2008 - 20:38:35
Talk given by Dr Temple Grandin, amazing autistic woman and author of outstanding books on autism such as:

Emergence: Labeled Autistic
The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's
Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism
The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 30 October 2008 - 01:11:08
Florida A & M University is providing an outstanding opportunity for Black
women entering college in the fall of 2009. It is designed to address their
absence in the field of computer technology. Dr. Jason Black is the Principal
Investigator of a recently awarded $552,000 NSF Grant entitled African-American
Women in Computer Science. The grant provides scholarships from $4000 to
$10,000 per year for female African American students.
You can also contact Dr. Black by email at

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 25 October 2008 - 02:56:25
A friend sent me this link to a site where you can insert peoples names into "news reports." He inserted my name into one about what happened if I was the one lone voter who didn't show up that day. Funny! There is a section that may e offensive to some, but it's bleeped out. And no, I'm still not revealing who I'm voting for, regardless of the video.

Here's the link:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 24 October 2008 - 07:23:18
I type this blog entry with sore tummy, having over-indulged in my favorite “Sweet Heat” potatoes chips (plus a huge handful of the candy bought for Peanut’s B-Day Goody Bags). Having no one to blame but myself for how raggedy I feel, I am reminded of a conversation I had the other day about the dearth of personal responsibility observed in our present culture.

Consider, first, this friend-of-a-friend’s profile:

The thing is, about , is he will call anyone on anything. If he thinks you have broken your own moral code or are being hypocrital he will hound you about it until you die. He's really not a comfortable person to have around.

He's also perfectly comfortable admitting his own hypocrisies. He has no illusions about mankind's perfection, but is unreasonably irritated when people refuse to face it in themselves.

This also makes him uncomfortable to be around.

He's comfortable with his own hypocrisy. If you said to him, ", what you are doing is hypocritical" he would say, "Yup."

He has no delusions or illusions about himself. No grand ideas of who he is.

It makes him pretty frustrating because he basically doesn't care what we think, but we, apparently, care what he thinks.

I love this! One thing I am still learning to understand about people (and myself) is our inability to take responsibility for our own inadequacies and failures. It reminds me of what one of my students told me while we were discussing religion: As a youth, he researched the Bible, found that it didn't align with his own personal beliefs, and decided church wasn't for him. While I certainly hope he changes his mind one day,* I've got to give him and the above friend-of-a-friend props for being REAL.

Usually, people will give all kinds of excuses for not serving the Lord. The preachers are hypocritical. The people are hypocritical. There’s no love in the church. I went to XYZ church 20 years ago and it was horrible. I don’t have anything to wear. My father /auntie /brother /granddaddy is a pastor at another church (funny how they never go to that church). My hoopty’s broke. I don’t have anything to put in the offering. I have to wash my hair. I have to work 3 days from now. The list goes on and on, b/c no one ever wants to say, I just don’t want to go. We don’t want to look bad in front of other people.

But serving the Lord is not about other people. It’s about YOU.
YOUR relationship with the Creator

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God Eph 2:8
YOUR relationship with His Son, the Savior
…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Jn 14:6
Whether or not you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in YOUR soul
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom 8:9

“So WHAT” about other people and their failings? If we were all perfect, there would have been no need for Jesus to have died for us. We'd have no need for salvation.

So let's 'fess up to the fact that we're not perfect, and come humbly to the one who can make us so! If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chr 7:14). The closer we grow to the Lord, the more we discover our imperfections. Even so, the great thing about being crucified with Christ is that, just as He rose from the grave to walk in his immortal body, we too can leave our imperfections in the grave and walk in newness of life. We can indeed “reckon” ourselves to be “dead indeed unto sin,” and thus walk free from sin (Rom 6:3-14). All it takes is faith, plus honesty, and a little personal responsibility.

May God Bless and Keep You,

Min. J Wiggins

* I hate the thought of decent people burning for all eternity… Unfortunately, Hell will be full of good, decent people… people I like and respect… many of which will be sitting in somebody’s church on Sunday. Even worse, some of them will be PREACHING on Sunday! Mt 7:21-23: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 24 October 2008 - 07:05:09
By Charlotte Moore, 21 Sept 08

Why do women make up only one in four of those diagnosed as autistic? Could it be that they are simply better at pretending not to be? Charlotte Moore meets a group of women for whom 'normal' is an alien language that they battle to learn.

A colleague forwarded this link from the UK's Telegraph . You can click "Telegraph " for the full article, but here are some key points that stood out to me.

"...among those with the most severe autistic symptoms the ratio of men to women is four to one, rising to 15 to one among those with Asperger's syndrome (a variant in which autistic behaviours are less extreme and verbal ability is higher). But she goes on to speculate, 'It is worth considering whether girls are less likely to be detected… Girls are often considered to be more verbal and more compliant than boys in educational settings, and therefore might show better compensatory learning.' "

Simon Baron-Cohen, the director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge, has pioneered the theory that autism is caused by a testosterone surge in pregnancy, affecting the child's brain development, leading it to be born with an 'extreme' male brain - strong on systemising, weak on empathy. This, he believes, can affect both males and females. Autistic girls, he has said, often have 'tomboy' traits, and feel 'more compatibility with typical [not autistic] males simply because typical males may be more willing to adhere to the linear, step-by-step form of thinking and conversation. This is echoed by the internet group: 'We may have more in common with [non-autistic] men than we do with [non-autistic] women, for it is women who are more often the social gatekeepers, who scrutinise our manners, care more for them than for our minds, and want to keep us out of the club.'

All four women agree it is harder for a woman with autism than for a man, though they can't explain exactly why. This is one of the difficulties of talking to autistic people: they find it easier to talk about concrete realities - bus routes, football, a broken clothes-horse - than about issues or theories.

The women have few conventionally feminine interests....a set of characteristics that in the past would have been dismissed as 'weird', and relieved to understand why they have had to struggle so hard to conform to normal social expectations of female behaviour.

Interesting stuff... email me what you think...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 19 October 2008 - 04:37:16
I know this is tacky... but with the ORI going on I'm really unable to return all the phone calls and emails, so here you go:

We will be celebrating the Peanut's 3rd birthday Friday night after church. The schedule has been jam packed, so I don't want to take up everyone's only free Sat in a while. We'll have the usual cake and ice cream and other junk he normally doesn't get to eat. I know times are tough for everyone, so please do not feel obligated to bring a gift.

That said, if you want (and are able) to bring a gift, here's the kind of stuff he likes:

Anything "Thomas the Tank Engine"
Learning stuff (ABCs)
Writing stuff (he LOVES writing his letters)
Books (for my sake, short ones)
Animal figurines
Oh, and he's approaching size 3T

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 17 October 2008 - 04:31:12
Apparently, my political views are 73% like him, whoever he is... I found this interesting political quiz on my old friend Jenni's site. I'll have to write later about how we reconnected this week- we were best friends in high school before I moved from Germany.

73% Tom Tancredo
68% Fred Thompson
65% Mitt Romney
64% John McCain
64% Mike Huckabee
56% Rudy Giuliani
49% Hillary Clinton
46% John Edwards
45% Barack Obama
45% Joe Biden
43% Chris Dodd
42% Bill Richardson
35% Ron Paul
33% Mike Gravel
26% Dennis Kucinich

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Sad part is, a quick Google on Representative Tancredo turned up such gems as, "Tom Tancredo is now a professional politician best known for braying about illegal immigration without accomplishing much of anything." Perhpas I should take the test again so I can change my results :-) I'm pretty tough-minded on illegal immigration (Yes, I HAVE lived in SoCal, and believe I fully understand the complexities), but I can't stand people who are all talk and no results. Unless they've saved and sanctified (can put up with most anyone who has the Holy Ghost :-) )

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 16 October 2008 - 05:45:57
The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a
mammogram' -- for free (pink window in the middle). This does not cost
you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Please pass it along to people you know.


Clicking the below link will bring up advertiser links. The advertisers pay the Breast Cancer Site for showing the links, and 100% of sponsor income (so they say) go towards charity.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 07 October 2008 - 14:18:36
If you can't see the video, use this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WqBvNiZlDc

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 28 September 2008 - 05:56:17
For those who ran the AF Half-Marathon with me, here's that song I was talking about:

I Love the Lord
From Richard Smallwood's Praise and Worship CD...

I love the Lord,
He heard my cry
and pitied every groan.
Long as I live
and troubles rise,
I'll hasten to His throne.

I love the Lord,
He heard my cry
and pitied every groan
O let my heart
no more despair
while I have breath to pray.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 18 September 2008 - 14:02:12
Strength, Honor
Courage, Grace
Rock, Anchor

My Friend, My Love
And So Much More
Proverbs 5:19
Psalms 23:4

To Have And To Hold
For Better For Worse
For Richer For Poorer
In Sickness And In Health
Comfort And Honor
Love And Obey
Forsaking All Others
Till Death Us Do Part

Eph 5:33

Happy Birthday,
I Love You!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 September 2008 - 15:04:10
Rushing off to work, but pausing first to remember and honor those whose lives were stolen on 9-11-01, a day that changed our nation forever. I know 9-11 changed my life forever. One experience that I will share with you: Immediately after 9-11, my base at the time shipped most of its security forces (SF) off to the desert. I volunteered to be part of the "READY force," which is non-SF trained to fill in for SF while they are deployed. At that time, many of my peers lived with blinders on- sure, we were in the military, but we military scientists would always fight from home. When someone threatened to overrun my post, I had to come face to face with the fact that if this man did not turn around I was going to have to kill him. I made my decision, trained my weapon on him, and thankfully he left. Along with him left all my concerns about possibly deploying. After all, someone has to lead the troops out, and it might as well be someone like me (who will get the job done). Sometimes we never know how we will respond until placed in the situation, and in this instance, I'm pleased with my response.

So please visit the following links to join me in honoring the immediate victims of 9-11. Please also never forget that we are a nation at war, and many are making the ultimate sacrifice every day that you and I might have our freedoms:

List of All Victims
Complete List of Victims

Lists broken down by flight/building:
World Trade Center
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
Pentagon (view bios on DefendAmerica)
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Stories of Survivors

Please note that comments are turned off. If you would like to comment on this post, send me an email at janine@janinewiggins.com

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 10 September 2008 - 07:33:52
New seminar posted and can be found in the downloads section (or by clicking here: http://www.janinewiggins.com/download.php?view.44

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 09 September 2008 - 05:30:23
New Chief Aims To Restore Air Force's Reputation
by Tom Bowman
(original article on npr)

The Air Force has a new top officer - Gen. Norton Schwartz - who says he plans to focus on getting more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to Iraq, and on improving the handling of nuclear weapons.

Schwartz, a 56-year-old officer from small town New Jersey, replaces Gen. Michael "Buzz" Moseley, who was fired by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June for Air Force mishaps involving the handling of nuclear weapons - and amid complaints that the Air Force wasn't doing enough to help ground forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Schwartz says he may set up a new nuclear command, like the defunct Strategic Air Command, or place a more senior officer in charge.

Click "original article" above to read the whole article or "Read the Rest" below to read the remainder of the article plus an interview with Gen Schwartz.

It's high time we do something about our nuclear arsenal. Design, management, deployment, policies, the whole enchilada. To whom much is given, much is required. I’m not going to get started here on this blog (not today – but catch me after the Consecration), but I will say that our nation holds such immense power in its hands, yet in taking that strength for granted we are watching it crumble. I hope our leadership will lead a drive to look, not only how the Air Force manages these weapons, but also how we (as a nation) employ them, and what we (as a nation) can do to preserve the knowledge that can only be gained by working with these materials. Knowledge that is dying off as we speak. It’s not that I want to nuke the world. But if the world is going to have nukes, I want to have the best. And be able to use them. Well, I said I wasn’t going to get started, and I feel the “old man” rising up. So let me “crucify him,” hit the sack, and we’ll take up this discussion after the Fast.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 05 September 2008 - 08:36:29
Found some great pix, thought I'd post some. This is one of my favorite photos of me and Steve, taken on our first (and only) cruise.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 05 September 2008 - 08:00:00
For those who haven't been following the election, Governor Sarah Palin, Senator McCain's choice for VP candidate, touched on special needs during her speech at the Republican National Convention. She said, “To the families of special needs children all across this country, I have a message for you. For years you’ve sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters and I pledge to you that if we’re elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House”.

I've received so many Autism-related emails in the past week it's not funny.
  • Outreach agencies excited about the promise of money.
  • Parents excited about a platform that might (really) seek to make their lives easier.
  • Adult autistics (and literate teens) who are irritated because they're left out, as if autism goes away once you turn 18.

My personal take on this is that, while media and governmental attention is good, what's really valuable is taking a young person with ASD and teaching them what they need to know to have the kind of life they want to have. Things like: It's ok to be the expert on decapod crustaceans. If you want friends, it may not be ok to tell them everything you know each time you hang out. It's ok if you like soft fuzzies, especially if you're stressed. If you're trying to hold a good job, you may want to tone it down in public.

Problem is, the people with the money are typically parents (or parent-led grops) looking for a "one pill fits all" cure, never stopping to realize that their son can possibly be happy without being the popular jock. Or that their daughter is just fine, even if she isn't pert and bubbly with a long string of callers. Actually, autism aside, I would hate for my child (or future children) to fall in either catagory, but if they do, I will love them just the same :-)

Add to the mix that the individual affected by autism may not know enough about him/her self to know WHAT they need for success. S/He may not even be able to process that the lack of social graces prevents the very friendships s/he craves- a realization requried to maximze the effectiveness of behavior modification. Deeper into the spectrum, we may find the individual with ASD does not realize the extent of his/her behavior, thus not acknowledging the need for medication and firmer controls.

It's all so complicated. Tell me what you think via email as I turned comments off until I can solve the spam problem.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 03 September 2008 - 08:33:00
Someone caught the irony between the last post, "Being Who You Are," and the fact that I am never one to really "let loose" on the job. Or at church. Or out shopping. After all, that's what home and hubby are for, right?

To each, his own. Especially if you're a geek.

Stay tuned for some interesting discussion on whether a teenager with Autism should "try to be normal." I'm compiling the emails and should have the finer points of the discussion out soon.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 02 September 2008 - 19:23:49
By Dan Coulter

Lots of kids aren’t happy being who they are.

Particularly if they have neurobiological conditions that make them tend to act different from other kids. Conditions like Asperger Syndrome, Higher Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder and others.

This can be hard on parents, too. When your child doesn’t easily fit in, it’s sometimes difficult to know when to keep him away from a situation that might make him feel worse about himself – or when it’s best to keep him in a situation so he learns to deal with the world.

Being rejected is hard. That’s when it’s tempting for a kid to wish he was someone else – or at least wish he could be more like other kids. A new neighborhood, a new classroom, a new group of kids may seem like a chance to be someone else. He may think if he doesn’t tell kids he meets about his condition, they won’t notice.

Too often, of course, they notice – and tend to avoid him. Partly because they don’t know the reason for his “different” behavior and don’t know what they’d be getting into by associating with him.

So how can parents help bridge the gap?

By giving our kids reasons to be confident.

Confidence is magic. Have you ever noticed how people who are confident are social magnets? We tend to appreciate someone who is confident and who can demonstrate an ability we respect. Of course, being confident doesn’t mean bragging or monopolizing a conversation. Projecting confidence without going overboard is an important social skill for our kids to learn.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 02 September 2008 - 19:19:07
Came across this article on one of the groups I subscribe to. I really miss my raw milk and raw milk products (cheese, yogurt, etc) that I had while assigned to the Pentagon. You would not believe how healthy I was drinking and eating that stuff! In PA it's legal to sell for human consumption, but illegal in most states. I gained about 12 pounds when I moved here, and am struggling to get it off. But when eating the raw milk yogurt and generous helpings of raw milk cheese, I was actually losing weight from the last bad pregnency. I'm tempted to fly back east just to pick some up, and am trying to contact the farmer to see if he'll overnight me a package of meat, cheese, and milk. It will keep. There are other places in the US you can get raw milk, but I prefer to stick with someone whose farm and animals I know are clean and regulated.

IT'S half a century since TV and print adverts urged us to 'drinka
pinta milka day' and the sound of a whistling milkman on his round is
also fast becoming a fading memory as more and more people turn to the
supermarket. A family-run Hailsham firm however is bucking the trend and
reviving the sound of glass milk bottles clinking on the doorstep.

But there's a twist to the milk sold by Longleys Farm — it's come
straight from the cow.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 02 September 2008 - 06:35:48
I was rearching the work of a colleague, and was suprised to find my thesis available online. I know everything is online these days, but I don't even HAVE a softcopy of the work- that's how long ago this was. I suppose the gov't scanned it in. Some of what I wrote reads like a "dumb Lt trick," but that's a discussion for another day... curious? Check it out:

Optimization of a Multilayer Photothermal Sensor for Infrared Spectroscopy

Abstract: Tri-layer thermal diffusion modeling was applied to the optimization of a multi-layer reed sensor for use in a photothermal infrared detector. The multi-layer reed sensor deflects in response to increased temperature. Deflection, of angstroms or larger, is measured using an atomic force microscope. A newly developed thermal diffusion model for three layer reeds was combined with an existing two-layer cantilever model, in order to explore the effects of length, operating frequency, and layer thickness on signal to noise ratio. Model behavior is presented, and compared to laboratory results. See full document.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 30 August 2008 - 18:51:00
Author's Note: (30 Aug 08). I've decided to start porting all the articles from the below site over to this one, but that's going to take awhile. If you're subscribed to this group, please forgive me in advance for all the "new article" announcements you're going to get this week.

Well, we're moving. Which means I'll no longer be able to continue running MarylandAutism.org. I tried to get someone to take it over, but the government agencies don't care and the self-advocacy folks are really involved with Autreat planning, legislative outreach, and other more important (in my opinion) projects, so I haven't pushed the issue. I'm going to switch it to a "links only" website, and see what happens from there. On one hand, since we shifted towards more of a self-advocacy role, there's no profit or fundraising potential that would make it attractive to "agencies," so in a sense, I'd rather let it fizzle out than be converted to that purpose. On the other hand, though, it's really a shame, though, because so many people thanked me for starting this. MD is so poor at reaching out to familes affected by ASD.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 30 August 2008 - 18:41:55
FYI – Great opportunity for this weekend!

*Just print out the attached form for your free VIP pass to Madame Tussauds Washington DC. Madame Tussauds is located in the heart of our nation’s capital 1025 F Street, NW (corner of 10th and F) just steps away from the historic Ford’s Theatre. This full sensory attraction also pays homage to some of the most influential and important political figures in U.S. history from Presidents to activists and assassins to First Ladies. This interactive attraction features “Behind the Scenes,” where visitors learn about the trade secrets used <> to create wax figures. The attraction also shows off its glitzy side in signature celebrity style with a “Glamour” area that allows guests to rub elbows with A-list celebrities. Do this and so much more…


Restrictions: Open to all service members serving on active duty service.
Web Site: www.madametussaudsdc.com
Offer Expires: 10/31/2008
free VIP pass to Madame Tussauds Washington DC

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 29 August 2008 - 05:12:43
Today we got to sing the potty song!!!!

Yay Peanut!
Yay Peanut!
Pee-pee on the Potty!
Poo-Poo on the Potty!

Praise the Lord!

After six weeks of "no more diapers" we finally had a breakthrough. Last week was the first week where he had days of coming home from daycare dry (and in the same clothes we sent him in). Tonight will make the first night he's come home and done the potty (several times) all by himself and with no accidents!

That's worth 2 episodes of Blues Clues :-)

My childless readers probably wonder why this is so significant. Fellow parents share my pain and my jubilation.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 27 August 2008 - 07:23:58
FYI from one of my coworkers:

Just found out about this today at the eye doc. Go to the website below to get Oakley eyewear, prescription and non-prescription, for 50% off original price.

usstandardissue.com (without www.)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 21 August 2008 - 05:29:10
Check me out. Actually, this google video is really of Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald Winter as he discussed "The Physics Trained Mind" at the 2008 Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists.

This is the second year in a row that I spoke at (both years on alternative careers for Physicsts, and last year on the "Women in Physics" panel) but I don't have the video for either one. Below, you can see me introducing Dr. Winter.

If it doesn't come up, try clicking this link:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 21 August 2008 - 04:12:15
I was researching Soft Clothing , a new line for children with sensory sensitivity, when I came across an article on the Autism Self-Advocacy/Neurodiversity movement and saw that it mentions a dynamo of a college student named Ari Ne'eman. I know Ari personally (in fact, we testified on the same set of bills to the MD State House) and am very proud of him. You'd be amazed at how much he has done for the autisic community (he is still in college, folks!), but what really caught my attention was a response to the post. In the response, a parent highlights the struggle between finding a cure for those with Autism and accepting them the way that they are. I typically find that most parents want a cure- they want their child to be "normal." But listen to what this parent says- wow:

I have a son with high functioning ASD. My mother-in-law is a medical professional and looking for a cure. For her, it is a constant search for normal. I am a teacher and looking for ways to help my son find his purpose in the world. I build on his strengths and compensate for his weakness. The same way I do for my "normal" son. Would I like a cure, no. Not even on the bad days and they happen all too often. I love my son as he is and have learned to see the world from a new point of view. At the same time, I worry about the lack of understanding and acceptance outside my own home. The world is not as accomindating and I want to protect him from it (what parent wouldn't). I don't think people will ever stop looking for a cure. I cannot blame them. I know the frustration of just wanting to know what your child wants and to give it to them. I cannot imagine a child that cannot communicate with me. I am blessed with an education, a support system and resources. I believe if I did not have them, I too would be looking for a cure. I believe the cure is education. God makes the world diverse with all different points of view and ways to view it. If seeing black and white was normal (like our dogs)we would miss the rainbows that God had made for us to see. Maybe children with autism see rainbows. When we all are so social, we miss the world that we live in. My son sees the world and not always the people in it. But the world he sees has lots of rainbows and sometimes he shows them to me...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 20 August 2008 - 02:29:04
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
Why the early bird gets the worm;
Life isn't always fair;
Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple sound financial policies:
Don't spend more than you can earn.

And reliable strategies:
Adults, not children, are in charge.

His health began to deteriorate when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when it became punishable for you to defend yourself from a burglar in your own home but the burglar could sue you for assault. He began to lose ground rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his Daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 19 August 2008 - 09:13:42
Diversity Military Job Fair - DC Metro Area, October 3rd

Looking for your next employment opportunity? Then attend the Diversity Military Job Fair at the Gaylord National Hotel on Friday, October 3 in National Harbor, MD. Job fair hours are 10 am to 3 pm. Especially for diverse transitioning and former military with varied backgrounds, but open to all! Don't miss this opportunity to meet face-to-face with a large number of diversity-friendly employers looking to hire talented and motivated individuals. Free to all job seekers. Pre-registration for both job seekers and employers is through www.DiversityMilitaryWorldExpo.org.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 11 August 2008 - 02:20:48
By Dan Coulter

Who’s in your family?

It may be larger than you think.

My wife, Julie, and I recently went to her annual “Johnson family reunion.” We showed a video there that we’d produced about several generations of family history using interviews and old photographs. We included a story about great-grandfather Rommie trying to drive his new Model T Ford for the first time. When it abruptly started forward and he couldn’t remember how to stop it, he clung to the steering wheel yelling, “Whoa! Gee! Gee! Haw!” as if he was driving one of his mules. His oldest son jumped up on the car’s running board and got it stopped.

The older members of Julie’s family grew up together. As children, her father and his cousins spent their summers together working on family members’ farms. They love telling tales about the work, play and shenanigans they shared. It makes some of them wistful when younger members of the family, who didn’t grow up with their cousins and don’t feel the same sense of kinship, don’t put as high a priority on attending family reunions.

This is probably an inevitable result of a mobile population, in which extended families can live great distances away and rarely see each other. The older members of my wife’s family are close because they understand one another. They speak the same language. And they’re always ready to help and support each other.

If you’re lucky enough to be close to your extended kinfolk, that’s great. But you don’t have to be related to people to feel a sense of family. Parents with children who have special needs such as Asperger Syndrome or autism can feel very alone. Especially if their extended family lives far away and may not recognize what they’re dealing with on a daily basis.

This is when contact with others dealing with similar situations can be a lifesaver.

Like the mother I know of who rescued another mother taking her developmentally delayed autistic son to a “Thomas the Tank Engine” exhibit at a transportation museum. In the museum’s gift shop, 11 year old, 150 pound Aaron flopped down on the floor and threw a tantrum in the midst of the other, mostly two and three year-old, Thomas fans.

Desperately trying to deal with the situation and purchase the new “Thomas” DVD her son had picked out, Aaron’s mom, Lynn, felt someone grab her shoulder. She thought to herself, “If you say one word I’ll…!”

But she turned to find a woman who said, “Give me your stuff and give me your money and I’ll pay for it. I’ll meet you in the parking lot. I have a son with autism.”

Lynn managed, with a struggle, to get her son to her car. A short while later, the woman and her daughter appeared to deliver the DVD and Lynn’s change. The rescuer gave Lynn a hug and said, “Sometimes this is all we can do.”

Then the daughter said, “You should have seen my mom.”

“What did she do?”

“The security guard was having a problem and said ‘they shouldn’t let kids like that in places like this.’ And she looked him straight in the eye and said ‘If you’ve got a typical child, you go home tonight and pray to God you never have to go through anything like this.’”

Lynn said it touched her deeply that someone else knew what she was going through.

Those of us with children on the autism spectrum are sometimes in the best position to give each other the help and support we need. We know what it feels like. We speak each other’s language.

We’re family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dan Coulter is the producer of the videos, “Understanding Brothers and Sisters with Asperger Syndrome” and “Understanding Brothers and Sisters on the Autism Spectrum.” You can read more articles on his website: www.coultervideo.com

Copyright 2008 Dan Coulter Used By Permission All Rights Reserved

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 08 August 2008 - 02:23:33
Bloomberg.com, August 6, 2008
By Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News

Cyber attacks originating within China have exposed vulnerabilities in U.S. military computer systems that "increase the urgency" for improvements, according to a top Pentagon official.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, in a 70-page request sent to Congress July 11, asked to shift $1.8 billion in approved spending to other programs, including computer security.

"Recent attacks from China on Department of Defense networks and systems increase the urgency to construct cyber systems" that can't be penetrated, England said.

England said the Pentagon must develop its own technology. Building effective, secure systems for military command-and- control and sharing sensitive information between the military services and allies are requirements that "cannot be met with current commercial products," he said.

Analysts said England's statement is the Pentagon's clearest public admission that its computers have been penetrated by China.

"They have been very reluctant to attribute" the origin of hacker attacks, saying "`we can't be sure it's China.' But in this case, they were clear," said Larry Wortzel, chairman of the congressionally mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

It's "an admission of subversion" and is significant because it means "an adversary is getting into the system to bring it down, manipulate, change or control it," Wortzel said.

Pentagon officials last year declined to confirm a Financial Times story based on unnamed sources that China was responsible for a June 2007 attack on the e-mail system of 1,500 workers who support the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The Pentagon's latest annual report on China's military stopped short of saying attacks on U.S. military systems originated in China, saying that in 2007 "numerous computer networks, including those owned by the U.S. government, were subject to intrusions that appear to have originated within" China.

England did not identify the source of the attacks, such as the Chinese military or civilian agencies, an analyst said. "The question is whether we can pinpoint the cyber-attacks as originating" from the government or the army, said Shirley Kan, who analyzes China's military for the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.

Tom Ehrhard, a specialist on China's military with the non- partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said England's statement "is the clearest, most unambiguous public statement that suggests -- only hints at, really -- the magnitude and depth of the problem."

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, Wang Baodong, had no immediate comment. Pentagon spokesman Stewart Upton declined to comment directly on England's request but said "the department has been aware of and responded to malicious cyber activity over the past few years.

"We continue to remain concerned that this activity is growing more sophisticated, more targeted, and more prevalent," Upton said. "We have seen attempts by a variety of state and non-state sponsored organizations to gain unauthorized access to, or otherwise degrade U.S. information systems."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 08 August 2008 - 01:35:00
This is the COOLEST! The No Sin Shop.

By wearing some of these "No Sin" shirts, you can stop Trouble BEFORE it comes over to ask for your phone number :-)

Ordered some stuff for my Missions Convention next month. You know, many of the young kids I counsel tell me they have trouble staying away from sin, but I tell them if you make it obvious that "that's not your thing" then the invitations will drop off greatly. Whether it's parties, fornication, clubs, whatever. If you REALLY don't want to do it, it shows, and the people who want to have a good time aren't going to drag you along (because you'll spoil the fun). On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who won't do it because you know it's not safe, but you REALLY WANT TO... well... they can pick up on that too and guess what? Everyone will do whatever it takes to help you "get over your inhibitions."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 28 July 2008 - 04:44:09
Thanks to cousin Corina for alerting me to the free box link:



Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 25 July 2008 - 23:11:54
07/24/2008 - OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFPN) -- James T. Price, a former Tuskegee Airman and mentor to residents of the Songtan area for decades, passed away July 19 here after succumbing to injuries suffered in an accidental fall several weeks ago.

Called J.P. by his close friends, Mr. Price joined the Army on Dec. 7, 1942. After serving in Tennessee, Texas, France, Germany and Belgium, he became one of the youngest members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen in 1945. He served with the all-black unit as a B-25 aerial gunman until the military became fully integrated in 1949.

"He lived a long hard life, especially back in those days," said Laurence Lyons, the Veterans of Foreign Wars commander in the Pacific Area. "He would joke, 'We were negroes back then, we weren't even colored back then.' He really set the foot forward for African Americans."

After a successful career including tours in the U.S., England and Korea, Mr. Price retired from the Air Force in 1966 as a master sergeant, the highest enlisted rank at the time.

His final year was spent serving at Osan as the first manager of the brand-new Challenger Club. He also married his wife, Sok Kyun, who would remain with him for the rest of his life.

He decided to enter civilian life but remained in the Songtan area, continuing work at Osan AB.

Mr. Price eventually established his own insurance company, Jim Price Insurance, which he used to help Airmen and local community members.

"He was just an all-around good guy for so many of us," said Clarence Taylor, fellow Air Force retiree and long-time friend of Mr. Price. "He would take people under his wing and just be there if you needed him."

A few years after retiring, Mr. Price discovered a baby crying in a stairwell, abandoned.

"He took care of anyone that needed help," said George Urban, who knew J.P. for 40 years. "He took that baby in and raised him as his own, and that man is now the president of a bank in Seattle. Everything he ever did was sincere."

Jerry Kroening, a retired master sergeant and friend of J.P. for 32 years, remembers meeting Mr. Price in 1976.

"I was a young staff sergeant back then, and he was one of the few people you could actually sit down and talk to," he said. "He grew up through hard times and he remembered what that was like. He wanted nobody else to come through that, so he did whatever he could to make sure people went in the right direction. That's the way he treated all people -- he didn't care whether you were Korean, American, or whatever. He took care of people because he believed in that."

"There's lot of people in Songtan and around Korea that call him halabugi -- grandfather," Mr. Taylor said. "The military community he helped so much is just scratching the surface of Jim's impact on this area."

As he grew older, Mr. Price took his role as a mentor and military celebrity more and more seriously, often appearing at a variety of events to speak about his experiences.

"He had a fantastic memory," Mr. Taylor said. "He was always willing to talk to young people about [the war], people who never heard of the Tuskegee Airmen. He was often invited to Black History Month and other festivities all over the peninsula."

J.P. is survived by his wife, Sok Kyun, and his son, Steven.

"You just can't name the things he's done," Mr. Urban said. "He would never, ever, turn anybody down, no matter what the circumstances were. You wanted it, you got it. That was Jim Price."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 20 July 2008 - 06:59:20
If someone approaches you with a spiel like this, you would know to run, right?

Hey everyone, I just wanted to say that I used to think all MLMs were
bad. That was yesterday. Then I got introduced to a new kind of
business opportunity by a complete stranger. And boy I'm glad I did.
This one's different. They really care about people. And they have
great products -- products that are literally 10,000 times better than
anything else out there. Unscientific tests prove it. AND you make
lots of money. Yesterday I was living in an apartment. Today, I own
a 5 million dollar home -- AND my own business of course. This is
what happens when you get involved with the RIGHT MLM. Your life
changes in one day. Think about this when you generalize and say all
MLMs are bad.

This was posted on an anti-MLM forum I am a member of. On one hand, we laugh at such things, but it's amazing how few of us sit down and seriously count the costs of joining these "opportunities." I'm on an MLM kick this month, because after people found out I sold Avon and Mary Kay, TONS of folks have come out of the woodwork offering me their business opportunities. Unfortunately, I do my math. I calculated a positive impact on my budget for signing up with each of the companies I have signed up with (because I really like the products, and was paying full price for them through my reps). I wish more people would do that. I'll give an example in my next post, but for now, just stay away from anything that appears to make BIG MONEY with NO WORK. The two don't go together!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 12 July 2008 - 22:10:49
I've been getting a lot of emails and phone calls as to this so-called MLM Madness, so let me give you the straight scoop:

About two-three years ago, I discovered that Mary Kay's Classic Cleansing System, formula 1, really helped clear up my face. This is after years of websites, books, and even Mary Kay Ladies always insisting that if I had zits, then my skin must be oily and I'd better use those harsh, drying, formulas if I wanted to be cured. After trying MANY acne products out there, including Proactiv, I bought some Mary Kay from a friend, and chose the set my mom used to use (because I was going to give it to her). Well, something happened- I ran out of soap, I dont know.... and I had to use it. And it didn't irritate my skin. So I kept using it (I'm cheap and didn't want to buy soap if I didn't have to). And my skin got better. The only time I've used another face soap since was when I went on an extended "job trip" to a very dry location. I had to purchase a more hydrating formula by Paula's Choice. Both are fabulous. Of course, Paula raised her prices, so I've gone back to Mary Kay. And for the past 5 years, my 2 lipsticks have been 3 shades: one Mary Kay and two Avon. So when a friend started selling Avon, I jumped at the opportunity to answer the burning question: With all this lipstick I buy, can I save big bucks if I sell it myself? Like i said, I'm cheap. And it only costs $10 to start selling Avon.

Please, please, please, don't take these Avon and Mary Kay announcements to mean I recommend them for you to make money. I'm only letting you know because it's really hard to find a rep who isn't always pressuring you to sign up. And I'll never do that. And PLEASE don’t jump into any “business opportunities” without talking to me, because most of the time you are not making money- you're spending it! Just because *I* sell it, doesn’t mean *YOU* should. I "sell" several products because I wear/use them, including Jeunique and Discovery Toys. But these are not moneymakers for me. I keep "selling" them because I really love the products, and I almost hate to admit it, but I am really my own customer!

If you're thinking about signing up for something, call me. You know I'll give you straight, unbiased advice about any business opportunity you want. I made FAR mor emoeney in real estate than I ever did from the boutique or any of the "network marketing" companies. And I make a LOT more money with MUCH easier work on my day job. Thing is, many network companies are not upfront about how much things really cost or how much of a profit you really make after you've paid for shipping, buz cards, running around town, giving catalogs/hosting partiesand all that. Then you find out that you really don’t get much discount if you don’t make a lot of sales or have a lot of people in your "downline."

So what should you do if you buy a lot of products from such a company? My advice to people is typically either be a hostess (they get great freebies) to go onto one of those MLM wholesale sites where reps who have quit the business sell their products for the same discount as you would have had if you signed up. Email me for my favorite such site.

I feel so much better now, for having gotten that off my chest!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 12 July 2008 - 22:10:37
Yep, I've been bitten by the MLM bug. Well, actually, longtime subscribers to my mailing list before it became a blog know I was wanting to sign up with Avon for a while. I found out at the General Assembly that a friend was selling it, so signed up with her. So, if you are interested in buying Avon, please visit my Avon website. All online orders will be entered to win a monthly gift certificate- this month is to Outback Steakhouse!!

PS: If you or a friend have EVER thought about selling Mary Kay, Avon, or other such brands, PLEASE talk to me first. I PROMISE I will not pressure you to sign up under me. I've sold several of these "home party" businesses, and all were products that I use (and most still use). I do it ONLY to get the discount, but I have discovered that sometimes it's cheaper in the long run to buy from someone else.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 10 July 2008 - 09:29:08
Free food from Chick-Fil-A... All you have to do is (click here to find out).

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 04 July 2008 - 03:17:37
You have GOT to be kidding me, right?

No, not kidding. Yes: I've been thinking about it for awhile and decided to give it a try. It helped clear up my acne, and if nothing else the starter kit is a good deal for the money. So, if you are interested in buying Mary Kay products, please visit my Mary Kay website. All online orders will be entered to win a monthly gift certificate- this month is to Outback Steakhouse!!

PS: If you or a friend have EVER thought about selling Mary Kay, Avon, or other such brands, PLEASE talk to me first. I PROMISE I will not pressure you to sign up under me. I've sold several of these "home party" businesses, and all were products that I use (and most still use). I do it ONLY to get the discount, but I have discovered that sometimes it's cheaper in the long run to buy from someone else.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 25 June 2008 - 00:26:44
KidsWealth Money Kit
Anyone out there tried the KidsWealth program? I'm thinking about trying this with the youth at our new church. After I get settled, of course. Let me know what you think. Due to spam, I've disabled comments on the site, but feel free to email me directly janine at this site dot com. If you have a comment you'd like to post publicly, let me know and I'll add it.

Here's the ad copy from their site:

Worn-out by your kids asking for things every time you go shopping? Discouraged with allowance and chore systems that don’t work? Get started today with our KidsWealth Money Kit — a simple, fun and easy way for parents to teach their 4-12 year olds the value of money and build smart money habits!

Developed over a period of years by parents, educators, and financial experts, our hands-on program blends easily into your everyday life and uses real money to provide ongoing learning for your children in the development of responsible money skills.

It’s Easy To Get Started!
The KidsWealth Money Program takes 30 minutes to set-up and requires less than 15 minutes a month to keep going.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 09 June 2008 - 16:19:02
Someone posted this on the Raw Milk forum, and I thought it was hilarious:

Never Argue with a Woman

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?''Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.''Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.''For reading a book?' she replies.'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her again.'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.''Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.''If you do that, I'll have to charge you with Sexual Assault,' says the woman.'But I haven't even touched you,' says the game warden.'That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.''Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 04 June 2008 - 18:49:32
Made a nice card with candy with this poem and this scripture for a dear friend struggling to start a home-based business. Having had a home-based boutique for 6 years now, I can empathize with the ups and (mostly) downs of the first few years.

Don't Quit Poem
by Edgar A. Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must; but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow;
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit;
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.


Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee – Deu 31:6

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. -Jos 1:9

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. – 1 Cor 16:13

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. - Eph 6:10

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. – 2 Tim 2:1

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. – 1 Tim 6:12

And a final note:

Save this one for when your business makes you rich:

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. – 1 Tim 6:17-19

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 30 May 2008 - 17:45:20
Hi everyone, this is Janine- we've finally moved into our new place. I can't wait to let you all know about what Steve and I are working, but will save that for later... For now, I'm writing to discuss Alan Cowgill's materials.

We get a lot of emails about how we found funding for our deals and whether or not Alan Cowgill's materials are any good. Although Alan's stuff is geared toward residential, not commercial, we think the course is excellent. My husband bought the bootcamp package last year, but we actually never attended. If nothing else, you can use the private lender luncheons as a way to establish a "business relationship" which then *legally* allows you to approach your private lenders about partnering (ie syndicate) in commercial deals. The key is you have to do it. Just get out there and do it. Do one for practice and one for real and see what happens! For more info, you can visit Alan's main website or click directly on the products you want:

Beginner's Kit
Where to get the Money Bootcamp

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 17 May 2008 - 03:20:00
14 Tips for Starting and Sticking With It
Stop Failure Before it Starts
-- By Julie Isphording, former Olympian

For some of us out there, if we could just convince ourselves that there is enough time in the day to exercise, we could be on track to a great fitness program. For others, we get started but quickly lose momentum and give up. To help get started and stay on track, here are a few tips:

  1. Throw away the bathing suit you wore in high school… and the memory too. It’s normal to have a mental image of yourself when you last exercised like a fiend. But if that image is from high school, you could be in big trouble. Even if it’s from last year, forget it. Remember as little as possible of what you used to look like. Starting today, make new memories.

  2. Prepare. We already know you don’t have the time, so write it down like an appointment every day. You wouldn’t cancel an appointment, why would you cancel on yourself? Aren’t you important too?

  3. Start slowly. Do much less than what you’re capable of. Take a 20-minute walk if you’re returning to exercise. You might feel like it’s not enough, but it’s a good start.

  4. Get the family involved. Run while your daughter rides her bike. Go to a local track and let the kids play their own games. Run with your spouse. Sign up for a local 10K. Walk with your son. Celebrate with a little something special after every activity.

  5. Where are your friends? Four words, four reasons – motivation, inspiration, determination, conversation. Surround yourself with friends who think positive and live large.

  6. Put the pain in perspective. When the going gets tough, remember that you have survived 600 carpools, 540 loads of laundry (this month), 41 baseball games, 230 dinners and one family vacation. What’s the big deal?

  7. Allow yourself to slow down. You’re driving this bus! For the first time today, you are in control.

  8. Sign up for a race. It’s a goal to strive for and adds a little meaning to your everyday workout. (nina note: this is why I do those 5-10 mile races even though I HATE running... there's nothing like that feeling of accomplishment... next goal: half-marathon)

  9. Run/walk in public. Be proud of your accomplishment. Take in all the sites and be an inspiration to others.

  10. Just show up. Go to the gym, class, or the park. Once you’re there, it’s hard to say no. 98% of life is showing up.

  11. Eat. Follow a healthy eating pattern. If you limit your calorie intake, you will not have enough energy to work out and your metabolism will slow down.

  12. Understand your energy cycle. There are peaks during our days. Even during the week. Try to complete your workout when you feel good about yourself.

  13. Wallow in your greatness. You can exercise to become a better exerciser, or you can exercise to become a better mother, a better father, doctor, teacher, or a better friend – or you can exercise to become BETTER. Be proud of that accomplishment.

  14. Have fun. Where’s your childlike spirit? When you can make workouts "playouts," you’ve got it made.

(nina note: this should be #15) Don’t give up on yourself. After all, it’s never too late to be that healthy person you might have been.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 10 May 2008 - 01:00:58
Picture it! Monday before Mother’s day. I’m feeling SO good about getting ready to buy and mail my Mother’s Day cards and gifts. A whole week to get them there. Not just on time, but actually early! Nothing’s been on time since the Peanut was born…

Related: The ORIGINAL Mother's Day for the Supermom post

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 26 February 2008 - 06:54:46
Testimony Before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee

In Support of House Bill 546
Local Boards of Education - Harassment and Intimidation in Schools

Presented Feb 20, 2008
Annapolis, Maryland

By Janine Wiggins
Concerned Mother and Witness to Bullying-Induced Suicide

Thank you for this opportunity to share my views on House Bill 546, Local Boards of Education - Harassment and Intimidation in Schools. I am here today as a concerned mother and youth worker who has witnessed firsthand the devastating results of prolonged bullying, which is why I support this and the other bills put forth to attack the bullying problem.

In my testimony today, I would like to highlight just two points, each illustrated by real-life examples:

1. That bullying, as a problem, is growing in severity and must be addressed
2. That bullying has long term, negative effects- not just for the victims and perpetrators, but also the witnesses

First, I'd like to highlight the severity of bullying today. Although bullying has never been right, many of us grew up with bullies in our midst, and considered it somewhat of a "rite of passage." We were taught by our parents how to carry ourselves in order to minimize the problem, and there is certainly value in rearing children who are confident, well-adjusted, and able to read (and respond to) social situations. However, over the years of working with youth in my community, I've noted some extreme forms of aggression encountered by today's children, and the helplessness of their caretakers (and parents) to take protective action. For example, just two weeks ago, one of my charges suffered weeks of harassment at school, culminating when the bully told her he was going to bring a gun to school the next day and shoot her. The school was unable to take action, and in fact, was rather dismayed when the father of said student escorted her throughout classes the next day. These children are only 10.

Secondly, I submit to you that bullying has long term, sometimes permanent, negative effects- not just for the victims of such abuse, but also for the third parties who witness the bullying and/or the victims retaliation to the bully. We do need to protect those who are targets of bullies- those who may be perceived as weak, or are, in some way, different from other children; and we do need to provide help for the bully as well, for the safety of all on school grounds. But we also bear a responsibility to the third-party bystander: the witness who struggles with the conflict caused by being unable to report without retaliation. On one hand, they don't want to make themselves the next object of bullying, but on the other, they may the fear for the life of their classmate or be concerned that their school may be the next Columbine. This I have experienced firsthand:

You see, my classmates and I stood helplessly by as we lost one of our own to bullying. This young man was a football player, and originally well liked. Somehow he crossed the wrong group of individuals and was subjected to intense bullying over the course of a school year. I remember originally thinking that it was too bad, but that he was strong, and would probably get over it. As time went on, we all knew that this needed to stop, but felt powerless to do anything. After all, were we to intervene, the wrath of these individuals would be directed our way. We couldn't risk getting involved.

He took his life: in a violent manner, in front of us, on school grounds. Though I am thankful that he didn't lash out against anyone else, as has happened in several school shootings, the image of his death remains with me to this day. I can't help but think that a strong anti-bullying policy combined with a concrete, holistic, and measurable action plan to provide all parties the help they need, would have prevented this needless loss.

Thus I urge you to pass House Bill 546 and the other bills discussed here tonight, which I expect will foster a safe environment to report harassment and bullying, and provide needed care to both the victims and those perpetrating the harassment. I conclude by applauding the sponsors of House Bill 546 and the other anti-bullying bills under consideration, for being proactive in protecting our children and their future. Thank you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 21 February 2008 - 07:02:55
Wow! What a day! First, talking to students at John Tyler Elementary about science, gettiong out early enough to catch the opening briefing of the Physics Diversity Summit at the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill, then rushing to the Maryland House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee to give testimony on some bullying laws (will post on that soon), getting caught (withOUT a jacket!) in a HUGE snowstorm, barely getting back in time to kiss the Peanut and fall in bed. Well, and get on the computer for a few minutes.

I'm very excited about the Physics thing, though, because I liked what I heard during the Summit (what part I was able to catch- I had to rush to Annapolis while they were eating). It seemed to me an honest acknowlwedgment of why we had poor minority represenation in the scientific and technical fields, and yet didn't over-promise inroads that couldn't be delivered. I shall discuss this more later, if there's time, but for now, check out our conference website HERE (yes, that's me on one of the screens- from the panel we did last year).

The diversity summit was the kickoff to the Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. This year's event takes place here (actually started tonight but I got back to late to be driving in downtown DC!!!) and I'll be addressing the group on alternative careers as well as helping with the mini-conference. FUN FUN FUN!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 15 February 2008 - 06:43:49
I received one of those "forward to everyone" emails from my cousin that talked about boycotting gas stations who sold gas imported from the middle east. The thought was, let's stop filling their coffers and set aside a day a week to hit them where it hurts. I've heard this suggestion as a way to help lower prices as well. Interestingly, the list of "non middle east importing" gas stations happens to include many that are supporting dictators and other people not friendly to the us from other countries. So my question is, where CAN you buy gas without in some way building up our enemies?

It reminds me vaguely of loving my beetle-car until I discovered they were designed by Porche for Hitler. I was ready to sell it. But then, what of the major car manufacturers doesn't have some sort of scandal...?

Just something to think about...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 13 February 2008 - 06:13:26
(excerpt from the original email- you know I hate those forward-to-everyone emails, but this was good)

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year - old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.' So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?' Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. ' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 12 February 2008 - 06:31:47
NBA Law Camp - NBA Gives Back!

Participants must be between 14 and 17 year of age, entering the 9th and through 11th grade. Tuition for the Camp will vary depending upon family income and covers transportation to and from Washington, DC; housing; meals; educational materials; and expenses for field trips. Campers will be housed on the campus of Howard University and live in a protected campus environment. The camp provides students with an exciting academic and social agenda, which includes field trips in the Washington, DC area. The competitive highlight of the camp is the Evett L. Simmons Mock Trial Competition.

FYI - this is NBA, the National Bar Association, not basketball. The NBA consists of mostly African American lawyers.

Click "Read the Rest" for Full Article:

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Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 02 February 2008 - 06:02:40
You haven't heard from me in awhile... I went away on an extended trip after Thanksgiving and wasn't home real good until after New Years. Then, during the consecration (Jan) the LAST thing I wanted to do was blog. I think my priorities when we weren't fasting were 1. Eat and 2. Sleep :-)

I have plenty in the blog fodder bin though... it's just a matter of a few minutes to post them all... stay tuned...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 22 November 2007 - 19:19:52
On Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to
  • - God the Father for His grace and His mercy
  • - Jesus, the Son, who gave his life that I might be free from sin
  • - The precious Holy Spirit, who dwells in my heart and leads me (as I allow myself to be led)
  • - My husband- the most wonderful man alive
  • - My extended family (Mom, Dad, Brian, all of them) for loving me, encouraging me, being proud of me, and most of all: putting up with me
  • - My friends- who add spice to my life
  • - My network of colleagues, mentors, and fellow investors
  • - And to you

I'd like to leave you with this video entitled, "Remember Me." It's a poignant reminder that someone is shivering on the ground so that we can sleep cozy under our blankets (warning: secular music).

God Bless You All!

- Janine

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 22 November 2007 - 08:09:50
Well, the Peanut is two. Actually, he's been two for a little over a month now. Why is that on my mind tonight? Well, it's on my mind because I had to decide what to do with the party favors I never handed out for the party he never had.

Well... that's not quite true... Click "read the rest" if you want to hear me whine about my baby's birthday parties, or lack thereof. Otherwise, just tune in tomorrow when I talk about what I have to be thankful for!

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Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 16 November 2007 - 17:18:43
During a meeting break, I had a conversation with a young man in which I uttered the phrase, "You don't WANT your troops to think- you want them to react instinctively in the way they were trained." Which was followed quickly by, "Well, that didn't come out quite right!"

I proceeded to try and explain how in the heat of battle you want troops that are so well trained for every contingency that they don't freeze up from the shock of the moment but know how to react but everything I said (including my one and only little battle story of turning away an intruder way back when I did that sort of thing) only proceeded to solidify his perception that people like me are precisely what's wrong with our nation’s military. Of course, he was too polite to say such a thing, and the conversation peacefully fizzled out.

But it got me thinking…

Of COURSE you want your troops to think. Anyone who has endured any type of training (military, real-estate, parenting ha ha) knows that much of what you are taught doesn’t apply in the real world. You’ve got to be sharp and adapt your response to every situation. But on the other hand, how often are you faced with a new circumstance, don’t know how to react, and that split second of hesitation and uncertainness cost you the deal, your safety, your money, the negotiation, etc. And it’s even worse in battle! Back when I was filling in as security forces (right after 9-11), I saw a group of us who never expected to fight suddenly thrust into the world of base defense: there WERE people who infiltrated our base and there WERE troops who froze up and almost got themselves killed. And that wasn’t in battle, but at home. No shells coming over every 5 minutes. No bomb shelters. Plenty of sleep, food, and a warm snuggly bed at night. Just imagine how impaired their judgment would be if they were in Iraq right now, living in austere conditions and with constant threat of being blown up or shot.

What do you think?

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 16 November 2007 - 17:03:44
Last night I went shopping during my dinner break and found a perfectly fitting suit on clearance for $20. As I was putting it in the buggy, I noticed that the skirt was priced separately, but both peices said "2 piece outfit." Well, I didn't want to pay more than $20, because I had just returned $23 worth of merchandise and you all know me- I believe in sticking to my budget. On the other hand, the jacket was perfectly tailored to my shape and that's REALLY hard to find. I felt the tugging of the Spirit on this issue, so I knew I was going to have to pay up. Side note: Yes, I'm the kind of person who gets home, discovers I didn't pay for something, and goes back to the store to pay for it. Hasn't happened in a long time, though.

Anyway: so I get to the counter, and the guy doesn't even look at the skirt. I try to point it out to him. Not because I'm a Super-Saint or anything, but because I didn't want to jeapordize my annointing.

In his best "Im not trying to make you feel dumb but you are" voice he patiently explained to me that they were a set and that the skirt was not priced. I pointed it out to him again and even as he was holding the price tag for the skirt, with a different price on it, he repeated, this time in a "look, woman, are you crazy" voice that they were not priced separately. I took my blessing and rolled on! He didn't have to twist my arm. Thank you Lord for my little shopping blessing!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 12 November 2007 - 07:45:24
I was searching for some financial articles the other day and came across this post on “Five Cent Nickel” entitled, Dave Ramsey is Bad At Math. He compares the debt-relief techniques of two "gurus" and finds that neither of their techniques saves you the most money when paying off of your debts. To pay off your debt in the fastest amount of time (and with the least amount of money) you need to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first.

Of course, saving a few cents here and there is not the most important thing! The most important thing is paying off those debts!

There are many people selling get-out-of-debt courses, including the above mentioned Dave Ramsey (who's course I just bought on eBay to evaluate for my church).

Let’s take a look at the two major schools of thought on debt-elimination:

A. Debts now, wealth later
  1. This strategy typically has you use ALL available money to pay off debts, then invest the money you were paying towards debts to accelerate your wealth building. Some, such as Dave Ramsey, will encourage you to get a small emergency fund set up first. Others will say just pay the debt first. We will debate the emergency fund in another post (which will be linked when written). Real quick, I’ll say that if you can save $500-$1000 in an emergency fund and not touch it, then do it. I couldn’t- I would always spend it!
  2. The thought is, you’re earning a solid rate of return on your money right now, and then when you pay off your debts have so much extra money you can invest like crazy and build wealth. How are you earning a return now? Well, if your credit card charges you 18% interest rate and you pay it off, it’s like “earning” that 18% on your money used to pay it off because now you don’t have to pay that extra interest. If you put it in the stock market, you’re not likely going to get 18%
  3. I personally like this approach, even though I don’t really like any of the “gurus” teaching it right now, something else we can discuss later. ;-)

B. All in Tandem
  1. This approach says you should take a portion of each paycheck and farm it to multiple streams, including emergency fund, long-term savings, shorter-term investments, and retirement accounts. Oh, and to your bills too.
  2. The thought is, investments work best when you can compound interest over time. You can never get time back, and the $25 you put into your retirement account today will be worth WAY more than the $100 you put into it 10 years from now when you pay off your debts.
  3. The only time I recommend this is when you have a spouse who doesn’t see the need to pay off debts. One client’s spouse would run the cards back up as soon as he paid them down. Over “emergencies.” You know, emergencies like the kids needed the newest Gymbo outfit or they were just going to DIE of embarrassment. His solution? Keep the cards high until the items of value (car, house) were paid off because his wife couldn’t run those back up, and then address the card issue later. It’s amazing what constitutes an emergency until you absolutely have NO money left to spend.

Wow, that was long! Well, I have more to say on this topic but it will have to wait until tomorrow. By the way, if you haven’t done so yet, you may want to subscribe to the new and improved CreditPreacher newsletter. Just email me to sign up.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 08 November 2007 - 06:59:35
When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please consider including the following:

A Recovering American soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

I didn't see anything on Snopes to indicate this was invalid, so I will definately be sending fellow vetrans a Christmas card this year!!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 23 October 2007 - 08:32:26
Thought you might like this "5 Fingered Prayer" that came through the email...

1. Your thumb is nearest you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. They are the easiest to remember. To pray for our loved ones is, as C. S. Lewis once said, a "sweet duty."

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God's guidance. Note: A commenter told me this finger's prayer ought to be for those who irritate/frustrate you :-) They need God's guidance too...

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger Sur prising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger, as any piano teacher will testify. It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger - the smallest finger of all which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, yo ur own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 October 2007 - 07:15:29

Well, another Army Ten-Miler has come and gone. I wasn't going to run, because of job committments, but at the last minute everything fell through and so I figured, why not? I did great- ran my own personal record of 1:50:21 even though (read on for the rest)

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 08 October 2007 - 16:45:13
Saw this list on one of those natural doctor's websites. Though I think the first entry should be "Serve the Lord" and the secnond should be "Pray and Study His Word" I think it's a good list...

There are certain basic tenets of optimal health (and healthy weight) that have always remained permanent truths, regardless of what marvels modern science comes up with next:

  1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)
  2. Drink plenty of clean water
  3. Manage your stress
  4. Exercise
  5. Sunlight
  6. Limit toxin exposure
  7. Consume healthy fat
  8. Eat plenty of raw food
  9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels
  10. Get plenty of sleep

My first thought was, "That's It? It's that Simple?" But then I really started thinking about it. I've been training for the Army Ten Miler (10-miler race) for two months (yes even during the 3-day fast) and haven't lost a drop of weight. I've also been heavy in real estate classes, so many of our meals have been the bagged or frozen "heat n eat" variety, and I've had to skip many means (yes, even between fasts) to get to class in time. So why did I not lose any weight? Could it possibly be the food? Before we moved to the DC area, everything we ate was from scratch. Now with approx 3-4 hours spent in the car commuting every day, our food quality has suffered and there's definately LITTLE time for "from scratch" meals.

I don't konw enough about toxins and leptins, but for the next month I'm going to try a few things, and I encourage all of you to join in with me:

My list:

  1. Eat a healthy-er diet)
  2. Drink plenty of water (at least 8 cups)
  3. Manage your stress (more prayer and Bible study helps me in this area)
  4. Exercise at least 30 min a day (my previous was at least 10 min a day)
  5. Sunlight (well, maybe on this one)
  6. Eat at least 1 cup of raw food (veggies) per day (think salad or baby carrots)
  7. Get plenty of sleep (go to bed after Peanut goes to bed)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 03 October 2007 - 09:25:04
Don't know if you all have seen this one, but I recently set up my Long & Foster website. Check it out by clicking HERE. Also, I keep changing the look and feel of this one. Guess I can't make up my mind what I want to do... If you have a favorite look for the site, let me know.

PS: Dr White seminar notes coming soon... keep your eyes peeled... though most of you are already getting them...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 25 September 2007 - 16:48:45
I sent this email to the MD District on Tuesday, 25 Sept:

I can't believe I made such a big mistake... Word to the wise when fasting... check your calendar before any huge endeavors... I just ran for an hour and a half. I need to drive the course to see the distance, but I think it's about 7.5 miles. Of course, NOW I'm huuuuungry. And you know what? I thought today was WED!!! Imagine how I felt realizing it was only Tuesday! My Lord, My Lord! I know He will strengthen me, anoint me, and fill me even the more through this fast. He'll strengthen you too, so just HOLD ON no matter what the devil throws at you (life, how you feel, and your co-workers donuts). You can make it, and you'll break forth as pure gold!!!

Sis. Wiggins

Ps 31:24
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Isa 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

1Pe 5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 20 September 2007 - 08:54:49
Today was a rough driving day- no matter how careful I was, it seemed like I was always on the verge of getting into an accident (and frustrating the drivers around me!). I had the Peanut in the car and you KNOW I wasn't trying to speed or cut anyone off. But the commutes here are terrible, and I guess some days are like that. So when I saw the following in my overstuffed email box, it tugged my heart. I hate those "forward to everyone and your brother" emails, but this one had an interesting perspective:

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?

When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.

Bob? Bob from Church?

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 16 September 2007 - 07:55:12
Copyright Barbara Beccari
Used with permission from EzineArticles.com.
All rights reserved.

As parents, we are our children's very earliest teacher -- a very important role -- so we need to model for our children the kinds of behaviors that we wish them to follow. Creating a relationship based on respect for each other, appreciating them as they are and encouraging them towards responsibility and independence are important goals for parents in nurturing their young child.

Here are seven tips to being an inspiring first teacher for your child and to having a loving and close relationship with them:

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 12 September 2007 - 07:58:50
I'm constantly amazed at the things Peanut can do... and the weird ways I discover them... for example, the other night I discovered he knew how to pull his pants down. Unfortunately, so did the rest of the church, because I was talking and everyone else noticed before I did! Needless to say, we didn't make it to the potty.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:40:00
Expand this entry to read the list of names of those whose lives were stolen on 9-11-01:

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Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:35:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of United Airlines Flight 93 victiims.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:33:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of American Airlines Flight 77 victims.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:32:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of Pentagon victims. You may also view their bios by visiting this site: http://www.defendamerica.mil/remember/remember_a.html

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:29:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of United Airlines Flight 175 victims.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:27:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of American Airlines Flight 11 victims.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 11 September 2007 - 14:26:00
Honoring those whose lives were taken from them on 9-11-01. Expand this entry to read the list of names of World Trade Center victims.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 07 September 2007 - 16:31:04
Here’s To Your Success

By James C. Johnson

February 1, 2007--Turning a small startup into a multimillion-dollar enterprise is an entrepreneur’s dream come true. But what are the secrets to growing a successful company? Business growth expert and speaker Steven S. Little (www.stevenslittle.com) provides some answers -- which he says most experts will agree with -- on how to achieve "profitable growth."

"Most entrepreneurs have a growth plan in their head," explains Little. "But to sustain an effective growth strategy, that plan needs to be written down, well communicated, and regularly updated." In his book, The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth (John Wiley & Sons; $18.95), Little outlines his effective principles for sustained small business growth and success.


  • Establish and maintain a strong sense of purpose. Start by answering these questions: Why are you doing what you are doing? What is your company trying to accomplish? Honing your overall purpose is the first step toward growth.
  • Thoroughly understand the marketplace. To grow a business, you need to recognize what customers are looking for and respond to it. Gain a better understanding of your market by reading industry magazines and trade journals. Join associations and trade groups to stay informed and share information.
  • Build an effective growth planning system. Tap into employees, managers, and outside observers to help develop a good growth plan. Prioritize growth planning every day.
  • Develop customer-driven processes. Define everything that you do from a customer’s perspective, and then look for ways to improve that every single day. Look for ways in which technology can improve your customer acquisition and retention.
  • Put the power of technology to work. Educate yourself and become an expert on how technology will impact your business and industry. Identify technology experts who can propose ways to save you money and automate your business processes.
  • Attract and keep the best and the brightest. A small business owner needs to continually find, train, and retain superior people to achieve sustainable growth. Recognize the importance of purpose for your employees.
  • See the future more clearly. Find ways to record and measure signs of change within your organization. Gather information about emerging issues and consider the importance of these trends to your business. Finally, develop an action plan to respond to these forces of change.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 04 September 2007 - 16:47:55
This is BIG- this is the first major online retailer I've seen to massively endorse the online payment processor "PayPal."

I like PayPal well enough- they started out with a few blips (I know people who lost ALL of the money in their checking account in the early days of PayPal) but they appear to have overcome those issues and are now the payments processor of choice for many small businesses. I use PayPal exclusively for my webhosting buisness, Jasper Web Services, and for many of my real estate transactions. I've maintained a "traditional" credit card processor for Precious and Pleasant, but since this costs 10$ a month above the processing fees, I've been eagerly awaiting the day when services like PayPal become more mainstream. Use PayPal to pay for your Barnes and Noble order and enter code D9U3D3W to get $10 off.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 23 August 2007 - 15:24:50
Interesting take on MLMs came through one of my discussion groups today. It never occured to me that one of the strong pulls of such things is the freedom to ignore real life problems because the materials you purchase brainwash you into thinking as long as you follow the program, you'll get rich and everything will be alright... Now, lest you think I'm anti-MLM, I do stock products in my boutique from two Network Marketing companies: Discovery Toys and Jeunique Figurewear. Jeunique has a couple of WONDERFUL products that practically sell themselves, and the company itself is not "pushy." Discovery Toys has a horrible business model, and you really can't make money without recruiting. I stya in it because they have great toys (which are no more expensive than the local shops when they go on sale 2x a year).

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 20 August 2007 - 00:39:11
This is TOO funny. You know, we really should stay free from sin. Not only because of 1 Pet 1:16 and the whole book of Romans, but because of the mess we have to clean up later...

For several years, a man was having an affair with an Italian woman. One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant.

Not wanting to ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money so she would go to Italy to secretly have the child. If she stayed in Italy to raise the child, he would also provide child support until the child turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write “Spaghetti” on the back. He would then arrange for the child support payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife. “Honey,” she said, “you received a very strange post card today.” “Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it later,” he said. The wife did, and watched as her husband read the card, turned white and fainted. On the card it was written:

“Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti. Three with meatballs, two without. Send extra sauce.”

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 17 August 2007 - 16:18:10
As I bag up the 12 and 18mo clothes for ladies of the church, my heart is tugged by how fast my little Peanut is growing. My husband says he's turning into a Cashew.

Such is Motherhood, I suppose. I treasure every moment I spend with him, knowing that I can never get it back.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 16 August 2007 - 05:48:41
I'm not a huge fan of Dave Ramsey's personality, but I do enjoy his money-saving newsletter. Here's one article showing why I've been warning and warning my friends about all this refinancing.

Huge Interest Payments
By Tiffany in GA

We consolidated our mortgage to pay off a couple of credit cards. We were told the interest rate would be 10% for the first year. If we kept our credit good, they would refinance the mortgage with no closing costs after the first year and lower the interest rate.

We had the salesman sign on company letterhead that statement so we would have documentation to hold the company to their word.

After the first year was up, we tried to contact the salesman, and surprise! He just happened not to work there. We could not get out of the mortgage because he wrote it for 125% of the value!

All in all, it took us 4 years to find a company to work with us to get our interest rate lowered. We paid $39,000 in interest over 3 years and only brought the principal down $2,000 over those 3 years.

We definitely learned our lesson!

Unfortunately, many of my friends are getting stung now that the bottom has dropped out on the sub-prime market and their ARMS are beggining to climb. Even worse are those who are doing the "minimum" interest-only payment and will soon discover that neither their pay check nor the equity in their home will keep pace with the soon-to-increase mortgage payment. I hope you're not one of them, but if you are, I will be praying for you!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 14 August 2007 - 14:55:56
Water on Mars? Wow, I couldn't BELIEVE this until I saw it with my own eyes!

Click "Continue Reading" to see what I'm talking about...

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 02 August 2007 - 01:24:24
Some one liners from emails sent by my cousin Corinna:

1. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry.
2. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
3. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
4. Don't waste your time on a man / woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.
5. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful
6. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened
7. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 15 July 2007 - 15:49:05
Note: I absolutely hate getting a bunch of those "FW" emailes... but I LOVE posting that stuff on the blog :-)

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans. Saint Peter addresses this guy, "Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?" The guy replies, "I'm Joe Cohen, taxi driver, of Noo Yawk City." Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi driver, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven." The taxi driver goes into Heaven with his robe and staff, and it's the minister's turn.

He stands erect and booms out, "I am Joseph Snow, pastor of Saint Mary's for the last forty-three years." Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven." "Just a minute," says the minister. "That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?"

"Up here, we work by results," says Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 14 July 2007 - 08:19:04
I know you've seen this a million times, but it's still good:

1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8. Whatever: Is a women's way of saying, Go Fly A Kite!

9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman'sresponse refer to #3.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 08 July 2007 - 10:09:00
I just discovered a stash of extra Peanut Photos from birth through 14 months. Let me know if you want any pictures and I'll mail them out. So that means send your address too!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 20 June 2007 - 13:37:27
By Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.com Editor

It takes anywhere from three to 15 months to find the right job -- yet just days or weeks to lose it. Here are 10 traits that are career poison:

1. Possessing Poor People Skills
2. Not Being a Team Player
3. Missing Deadlines
4. Conducting Personal Business on Company Time
5. Isolating Yourself
6. Starting an Office Romance
7. Fearing Risk or Failure
8. Having No Goals
9. Neglecting Your Image
10. Being Indiscreet

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 15 June 2007 - 14:29:19
Hello Ladies,

I wrote this little essay to my Mom and other moms I regularly send something for mother’s day, but forgot to this year. I thought you would enjoy knowing you’re not the only ones in the world with a million things to do and no time to do it. If you feel like you’re putting “50% effort into 20 different things” consider Earl Nightingale’s suggestion of writing down what you want to become, and reflecting on it every day. Since I’ve started doing that the past few weeks, it’s made my decisions a little easier. “Hmmm, will this thing I’m about to watch/listen to/buy/commit to help me to make it to Heaven, be full of power of the Holy Ghost, be financially independent, and be a good wife and mother? No? NEXT! “

Hi Mom, and other women in my life, who just happen to be moms too…

This is a very late note to say Happy Mother’s Day. I’m sorry you didn’t get your card yet- it hasn’t left my kitchen table. I’m not sure it ever will, because that table is like a black hole.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 09 June 2007 - 14:38:00
Received this through the military moms network:


How many of us would have done this? My first thought was, if it had been most of us (no shame, no blame, just tellin' it like it is) we would have sped past the crash before the assistance came and caused a traffic jam. Or to avoid being called in court as a witness. Even the nosy amoung us probably wouldn't have done what this guy did. My hat's off to Sergeant Payne. Not only is he a hero for this action, but he's also caused me to rethink my own actions, and who knows- that might just save another life down the road!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 08 June 2007 - 14:42:05
Ok... not my daughter but I'm proud of her none-the-less!

Ms. D'Ambria B. Williams, a student at Travelers Rest High School, has been selected to attend the 2007 Leadership University sponsored by LeadAmerica, at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Leadership University is a college accredited invitational leadership program for academically talented and promising young leaders from across the United States and internationally. Exceptional high school students with a record of academic achievement and extracurricular or community involvement, are invited to participate.

Leadership University is an in-depth, intensive leadership development conference for young leaders who want to challenge themselves to excel and realize their full potential. By engaging in interactive workshops and activities, students learn and develop vital leadership skills, including effective communication, conflict resolution, team building and time management.
View Original Article

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 05 June 2007 - 14:47:03
Saw this slideshow on DaveRamsey.com. He's not my favorite financial "guru" but does occasionally have good stuff. The premise is that you can take the money youw ould have put into a new car, buy a used car, then invest the rest. Even if you step up the new car every year, you'll eventually have enough in the bank that you never need make a car payment again. Cool!


Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 22 May 2007 - 03:36:29
Well, the Lord has done it again! He always has me teaching Bible Study in the place I least expect. This time it's in a Starbucks. The Skyline Target Starbucks, to be exact. It's not your normal Starbucks. They have public tables often occupied by people who are eating meals from the pizza place inside the Target or the little cafe down the hall. There's no music playing, great visability, and all it costs is a froo-froo cappuccino. Or hot chocolate. Or steamed milk. Wonderful excuse to splurge, since, "It's for the sake of the gospel!!" Here's the flyer, if you're interested.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 22 May 2007 - 03:07:37
Here is the reading list from the 21-Day Real Estate Course my husband bought me. He suggested, rather than both of us butting heads on the same thing, that I branch off into a "We Buy Houses" kind of business. I'm calling it Punch Bug Properties, and am waiting for the official "LLC" formation. Cheap as I am, I'm going through one of those formation companies because I'm not a MD resident, so I can't form an MD company by myself. If you're looking to start, or enhance, a Real Estate Investing business, I recommend you take a look at the books on this list:

1. What Matters Most : The Power of Living Your Values

2. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs

3. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Businesses

4. Trump Strategies for Real Estate: Billionaire Lessons for the Small Investor

5. Cash Flow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom

6. Make It BIG!: 49 Secrets for Building a Life of Extreme Success

7. Frank McKinney's Maverick Approach to Real Estate Success: How You can Go From a $50,000 Fixer Upper to a $100 Million Mansion

8. Your Road Map for Success: You Can Get There from Here

If those aren't enough for you, check out two of my earlier posts: My Top 5 Books For Financial Independence and Updated Financial Health Reading List. Enjoy!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 05 May 2007 - 02:01:28
I just received notice that Child magazine is no more, and that I'll be receiving Parents in it's place. Not sure why I chose Child over Parents in the first place, but there was some reason. You know, I'm glad it was one of those "subscribe for 1 year and get 2 free" deals because if I had paid, then I would be upset. Funny thing is, I just got a "subscribe for 1 year and get 2 free" offer from Parents, too. I hope they're not about to go belly up as well. SO... if you know anything about Child magazine, email me or comment. Thanks!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 30 April 2007 - 07:51:16
Well, as much as I love Sam's Club, I have to tell you: Don't buy their printer ink. Or maybe it's just the one down here in Waldorf. I needed some black ink about 2-3 months ago and since I was there, bought a color cartridge as well. I finally opened the cartridge, and it was completely dry! Empty! This is the 2nd time that's happened.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 19 April 2007 - 03:49:46
From Child Magazine:

1. Start and end each day with, "I love you." You may show your kids through actions- but kids need to be told, too.
2. Babyproof the house - always stay one step ahead
3. Set your child's sleep routine. By 3 months, your baby should be sleeping where you want her to be at 1 year.
4. Double-check your car seat. Improperly installed car seats are a major cause of injury.
5. Sleep when your baby sleeps. So you stay refreshed
6. Don’t be a slave to milestones. He’ll let you know when he’s ready to crawl, walk, talk, etc.
7. Put your baby down while she’s awake- learning to self-soothe will help her sleep through the night.
8. Be romantic with baby around. It’s OK to kiss Daddy and tell him, “I love you,” in front of the kids
9. Don’t be overprotective. Don’t shield them from all disappointments- they need to learn how to handle life’s challenges
10. Make memories for a lifetime. Read books together, ride bikes, play board games.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 04 April 2007 - 14:08:26
My next monthly Financial Strength Seminar is tomorrow. You are always welcome to join me and my consulting clients, if you have time. The topic is Easy Credit Repair. I will talk about why it’s important to have good credit (can mean $800+ difference PER MONTH in your house payment!) and what it takes to go from bad credit today to top credit next year, even if you can’t pay off all your bills by then. The tips below are "free" but there are credit cleanup companies out there. Contact me for reputable ones, because most are scams.

Click "Continue Reading" below to read the seminar notes, or go to the downloads section to download the article as a pdf (Login required).

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 07 March 2007 - 18:16:00
I rediscovered this list the other day. Yeesh. This is what happens when someone who's never had kids comes up with what kind of mom they're going to be. I guess the problem is, you never realize how exhausting parenting is until you become one! I started this list a few years ago when I watched my friend by pom-poms for her girls so they could pretend to be cheerleaders. We had JUST had a discussion about how she had been saying no for months on this because she (like me) didn't agree with cheer leading as an activity for her holy little girls. After all what are most cheerleaders but a "good time" for the football team...? What kinds of moves do they make and what kinds of signals do they send out... But her girls had worn her down. And now that I'm a mom, I realize that you just get tired of fighting. Well, I am still working on most of these, but a few have long since gone out the window...

  1. My kids will be taught to serve the Lord and eschew things that are not pleasing to Him. Enough with this "let them choose" stuff... SOMEBODY is teaching our children how to live, and if it's not us it will be the world. My kids are more than welcome to choose whatever life they want and serve whatever god they want or don't want... once they move out, get a job, and buy their own toilet paper!
  2. My kids will learn how to be still in church, not get in grown folks business, and know their place, even if it means incorporating unpopular parenting methods. Lord deliver me from all these parenting gurus who's kids haven't even graduated from high school. And all these people whose kids ARE graduating, are strung out on drugs, taking advantage of their parents, and making everyone miserable yet they feel compelled to tell me how they did it. I'm not interested in raising a gang-banging baby-momma wayward, thank you very much.
  3. My kids will learn about other cultures and I will do my best to ensure they have an appreciation for the blessings we have here in the USA. One of the greatest shocks of moving to the United States as a high school junior (my parents were military brats) was how arrogant and rude my peers were. They took so much for granted and did not appreciate our freedoms and conveniences. I guess going to elementary school in a country where stores are only open from 7am-11am and then from 1 pm til 6pm has an effect on you. And listening to high school and college peers who think nothing of running up their parents credit cards "oh, they'll find a way to pay it off," made me realize that I don't want my kids growing up with the "traditional American mindset." Though my career does not let itself to rearing my kids overseas, I will certainly put them in contact with those less fortunate to (hopefully) generate in them an appreciation for how the Lord has blessed us.
  4. My kids will not be slaves to fashion and labels, but I will keep them good looking and teach them what flatters their individual bodies This may apply more if I have girls than if I have boys, but still... my mom was always very fashionable. I never really cared. Now I know it's more important than I realized growing up. And I've also discovered that everyone's shape interacts differently with the popular styles so I intend to teach my children how to flatter themselves when choosing outfits... And enforcing proper outfits should I be stuck with a dud like me who doesn't care (thanks mom).
  5. My kids will never wear logo-wear from characters/tv/books/etc that are ungodly or are inconsistent with my values. I refuse to fund unrighteousness... never minding the fact that everything we do nowadays ultimately funds unrighteousness... but I'm not going to consciously make that decision.
  6. My kids will be independent and able to take care of themselves upon graduation, just like my Mom taught me.Of course, they'll be welcome to stay at home as long as they abide by the rules. But if they're anything like me and my husband, be too eager to leave :-)
  7. My kids will never bring the lamest game to the party Yes I have a complex about this. No, it is not my mom's fault. Maybe if I had told her about the parties, she would have helped me get an appropriate gift. I always forgot to tell her and then scrambled at the last minute while she was at work to make or come up with something.
  8. My kids will not temper-tantrum me into giving them their way in public (at the store, restaurant, etc). I will not buy them something just to keep them quite.I hate to see this: Stop crying and I'll give you a candy bar... I refuse to reward bad behavior, and wish society would allow a firm pat on the behind instead of forcing parents into bribery mode!
  9. My kids will not guilt trip me into letting them do something because "everyone else does."Everyone else doesn't live here. I don't pay everyone else's bills. Everyone else has a miserable life, and I don't want that for you. Besides, I couldn't do what everyone else did, and I'm doing a lot better than most of my friends.
  10. It's OUR way or the highway.I may not say "18 and out the door" like my parents did, but I'm not going to tolerate live-in adult children who refuse to respect my household. And not only that, I hated when my mom used to say this but I now believe it's true (hence the emphasis on OUR): My husband, not my kids, is my first priority. He'll be with me when the kids are grown and gone. Therefore, I will side with him before the kids. And if they don't like it, they can see rule #1.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 25 February 2007 - 06:40:17
Well, I guess I should be happy... the Glory! blog is getting too popular, and it's slowing down the servers at Precious and Pleasant Boutiuqe. So, I'm slowly moving the blog to janinewiggins.com, because I can't afford to have my boutique website go down. I will eventually move all of the old posts over, but for now here's the old Glory! blog . Once I get the posts migrated, I think I'm going to change the focus of this site from sales to general blog (with a link in the menu to shop). I know I have more readers than registered members, so drop me an email to let me know what you think. Or, simply log in and comment on this post.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 25 February 2007 - 01:09:26
Well, most of you don't comment anyway (most of you just email me), but I've finally had to turn the comments off if you aren't logged in. this is because I'm getting 5-10 spam comments every day. Sorry. If you want to comment, please log in.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 22 February 2007 - 15:08:26
Well, I thought it was going to publish this month. But there was a glitch. Actually, not a glitch but a push. A push to market the book in conjunction with the 40 Days of Lent. While I think the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the perfect culmination as sugh an adventure as "40 Days of Fervor," I didn't like being pressured to be connected with practice of Lent as typically observed in our nation. Well, okay, so it's the day before Lent that really bothered me :-) Hindsight being what it is, I probably should have just rolled with it. After all, many Christian people all around the world are depriving themselves in an attempt to please God. But while I debated this, a legal issue came up with one of the churches attended by one of my ladies. I thought I was very careful to edit out any personally identifying information, but I guess people remember me when I travel. All monies have been refunded to those who pre-ordered, and no new orders will be processed. I will still take orders, because that helps me guage interest, but you won't be charged until the book actually comes in. And next year, you can expect to see my 40 Days be heavily marketed in conjunction with Lent, ha ha ha.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 19 February 2007 - 19:38:00
“Don’t forget about me,” Danette heckled from the back of the crowd as Cropp talked. Danette, 36, is only 5-foot-2, but her voice, gravelly after years of smoking, projected like a cannonball. “What about my children? We got no place to live.”

Surrounded by cameras, Cropp rushed over to Danette, who broke down in tears while telling her story. Cropp, who later lost the mayoral primary to Democratic rival Adrian Fenty, shook Danette’s hand and asked a nearby staff member to help her.

Over the next two months, Danette called one of Cropp’s aides three or four times. She didn’t hear back from him. Eventually, she gave up on the aide and called Cropp’s D.C. Council office. Danette didn’t really think Cropp or any other mayoral candidate could solve her problem. But she didn’t want to let city officials off the hook.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 17 February 2007 - 20:27:55
For once I can feel young again… has anyone ever watched this show? I’m trying to purchase quality DVDs for when I have the youth over, and this WW2 show was recommended to me as good for the young adults. Tell me what you think…

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 17 February 2007 - 07:00:09
Thanks to those of you who came to my first ever foreclosure scams seminar. My husband and I talked it over, and we decided to change the focus from foreclosures to general financial planning. That's because no one wants to come to a seminar on foreclosures, but everyone wants to get rich. Or at least have enough to go to the mall and not worry about every penny. So we're going to call them "Financial Strength Seminars" and every month will cover a different topic. Hope to see you there! For more information, or to sign up, visit my husband's consulting website.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 12 February 2007 - 15:08:26
I can't believe I'm really going to have my very first foreclosure scams seminar! my husband told me the other day that I had been wanting to teach on finances ever since we got out of debt (debt that was foolishly racked up while in college, I might add). He asked me why I didn't just go do it. And so at church, I asked Pastor Richardson about renting the church for an ongoing seminar and he said yes. I guess that takes away all excuses! So we're going to have a practice seminar this Thursday, and from now on they'll be the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:45 PM. The presentations will be kept short- just half an hour- with 15 minutes for questions. I'll probably bring snacks or something. And so we're starting this seminar AND our lunchtime Bible Study. Wow. God is Good!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 04 February 2007 - 15:08:26
Hi Everyone! We had new pictures taken of The Peanut. He's really growing. I think I'm going to use one of hte one sin a suit for my boutique, Precious and Pleasant, but I'm not sure. Everyone around here is scared to death to have their kids on the web because of predators, kidnappers, and illicit activities that can occur using your child's picture. Did you get his picture in the email? If not, let me know! You can't go online anymore because I've taken both picture sites down.


So, if I did not email you the pictures already, please email me and I'll send them right out! And forgive me, it's a mistake of the head and not of the heart. In fact, I was intending to send my Mom an Easter package with all these pictures and it's been sitting on my table for 3 weeks!!! So lame! I know.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 01 February 2007 - 23:29:00
Another Joke From The Potomac Runners Newsletter:

A young boy entered a barber shop, and the barber whispered to his customer, "This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you." The barber put a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then called the boy over and asked, "Which do you want, son?" The boy took the quarters and left. "What did I tell you?" said the barber. "That kid never learns!" Later, when the customer left, he saw the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. "Hey, son. May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?" The boy licked his cone and replied, "Because the day I take the dollar, the game's over."

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 01 February 2007 - 01:11:17
A joke from my run club newsletter (Potomac Runners):

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss his use of the family car. His father took him into his study and said, "I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study the Bible a little, get your haircut and then we'll talk about it." After about a month, the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss his use of the car. They again went into the father's study where the father said, "Son, I've been very proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied the Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut." The young man waited a moment and then replied, "You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair." The Minister smiled and said, "Yes, and everywhere they went, they walked.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 30 January 2007 - 23:32:00
Watch out, and protect yourself as much as you can:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr23tpWX8lMThis was ported over from the old blog, and actually had two comments:

Betty Thompson Says:

February 3rd, 2007 at 9:56 pm e

It’s interesting when sites like http://www.bumpkey.us have been selling these products for a very long time. This news report strikes close to home as many of my locks appear to be easily bumped…. Thanks!

J Says:

February 3rd, 2007 at 11:20 pm e

I don’t know if this is a real comment or spam for their site, but it amazes me that such a site actually exists so I let it go. I just can’t believe someone hasn’t shut them down- they even say on their site that these keys are used for illegal purposes and their forum shows many posts from people who are glad to have a way to get these bump keys without being a locksmith or apprentice. I almost want to order one just to check my locks.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 29 January 2007 - 01:16:07
Know the tune, but can't remember the words? Try this site- you can hum (or sing) a few bars and it will try to find the song for you. Not much gospel though, but you can sing into their system, and be listed as one of their performers. Fun!


Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 28 January 2007 - 01:17:04
This one's been around, but bears repeating:
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "Master Card". The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card Which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we Will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a Fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?" Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers". ; There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security Numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These
Are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say No, the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.
You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they
Will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of Master Card" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.
Please watch out for this scam!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 27 January 2007 - 01:26:17
I don't know how "new" it is, but B-File is new to me! You can go online, enter your sales, and pay your sales tax with your checking account information.

This is SO much more convenient than the Oklahoma Online Filing system that still required me to mail in payment (I understand it now accepts credit cards too). Fortunately for me, aside from myself, I rarely had Oklahoma customers, and in Oklahoma out-of-state sales did not require payment of state sales tax.

Here's the link:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 26 January 2007 - 01:06:34
Recently, Peanut's new school had a "Parent Teacher Conference." We thought it was a parent meeting for all parents at the same time, and were dismayed when the traffic made us a little late. Imagine our suprise when we got there to find that the parents were doing 1-on-1 counseling on the progress of their babies. Yes, babies, as in 12-24 months for Peanut's class. I couldn't believe it! I didn't know anyone even DID parent-teacher conferences at this age. His teachers really knew his strengths, likes, and dislikes. He really likes his caregivers, too. This is amazing to me, because he's only been going to this care center for 4 days, and he's been in home day care up til now. If you are looking for a good school/daycare, I highly recommend the Happy Home Child Learning Center in Alexandria VA. We are at the Seminary Rd location, which is a little more cramped than I like, but it's only 5 minutes from my job and is more convenient to us than the more spacious and modern Duke St location. Plus the manager (who I think is actually the assistant director), Ms. Perkins, really put me at ease. The director (and owner), Ms Tillman, reminds me a lot of our church's district superintendent, Dr. Crystal Lucky.

Just don't get too much sticker shock when you go to price the uniforms :-) Ouch.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 25 January 2007 - 01:27:05
Check out Rip-Off Report. This site is slow, and full of extra junk, but some good info. Good place to check into a company before doing business. I'm still thinking about selling Avon, and was suprised at what I saw. Of course, I just want the Avon at a discount, not to make money. I tell you what, if I could get a few friends to give me guaranteed orders (about $20/month between all of them), I would sign up today. :-)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 22 January 2007 - 01:28:41
5 pages of scholarships, internships, and summer programs for "us."

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 21 January 2007 - 01:31:42
Great article from the Washington Post:

Sunday, December 31, 2006;

Background: Washington is single with no children. She is a recent graduate of Howard University and works as a concierge, assisting new apartment residents with settling in. She lives in the District with her mother.

Financial situation: Washington earns about $32,000 a year. She has about $1,200 in savings. Her debts include a Bally's account, which is in collections, and for which she owes $1,284; a Macy's account, also in collections, for which she owes $425; about $4,800 on a Visa credit card, which is now closed and also in collections.

New Year's resolution: To pay off all her debts and begin saving for a home. The plan: To get out of debt, Washington first needed to find out exactly what she owes. You would think this was easy, right? However, Washington had thrown away most of her account statements. So I had her pull her credit reports from all three bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. (Go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.) Initially, Washington asked me if she should get a consolidation loan to pay off the debts.

"So you want to use debt to pay off debt?" I said.

Once Washington had her credit reports, I asked her to call the listed creditors and find out how much she really owes. "I was scared to call them to work something out," she said.

After going over her income and expenses, I nixed getting a consolidation loan. Instead, I had Washington create a budget so she could see how much money could be devoted to her debts. Because she doesn't pay rent, doesn't have a car payment and her expenses are low, most of her net pay can go to paying off her credit accounts. Following my plan, she should be out of debt in less than six months.

I recommended she pay off the smallest debt first. To some it might make more sense to pay more on the debt with the highest interest rate. However, paying off the smallest debt gives you a sense of accomplishment. If you are not delinquent on your accounts, make the minimum payment on the higher interest debts while using any extra money to pay off the debt with the lowest balance. Once that's paid off, apply the cash to the next lowest debt.

After calling the collection agency for Macy's, she found out the company is willing to accept $319 to consider the account paid in full. I told her to use part of the $1,200 she's managed to save and pay off the account. The next step is to see if she can get a payment plan for the other two delinquent accounts.

Tough love: Amazingly, Washington told me she was planning a trip to Las Vegas in February.

"Not a chance," I said.

"But I'm paying with cash," she pleaded.

"You're paying with money that belongs to your creditors," I told her.

Washington agreed to cancel the trip.

I gave her a high-five. This is how you begin to change your attitude about your finances. You aren't entitled to a vacation if you are behind on any of your bills or if you're carrying a credit-card balance.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 20 January 2007 - 23:51:00
A friend just asked me how we got out of debt. Here was my response:

Regarding debt, we got out of debt through a budget. And holding to that budget, no matter how many times someone tried to guilt trip us about being officers and making more than everyone else (so we should pay their way on trips, give more in the offering, etc). We gave tithes and offerings, and only ate out during meetings (unless someone else offered to take us out). Lots of beans, potatoes, and homemade pasta. All money above bills and church went to the debt for 2 years. I had quite a racket at the base thrift store to earn extra spending cash (I would scour yard sales and freebie bins for stuff, then turn around and sell them cheap at the thrift store). That’s it. Seriously.
I suppose I should have told her that for the first 6 months my husband had no intention of getting out of debt. After all, he and his friends would say, "Jesus could come back tonight and I would have wasted all that money paying off debts when I could have enjoyed it." Then, the Lord heard my prayer and his pastor at the time (Elder Charles Robinson) began preaching heavily about a budget. So for the next year and a half or so, we both put our money into paying off the debt. And by the time we finally got stationed together, we were completely out of debt.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 19 January 2007 - 01:37:16
Ladies, I will need you to hold me to this!

I am determined to get rid of this last bit of baby weight. I was SO glad when I lost a few pounds when we began weaning Philip. Breastfeeding helps some people lose weight, but for me, it just kept it on. But now I've stagnated again. In spite of my workouts 4-5 days a week. So I decided not to eat any candy until Valentines day. The only exceptions will be mints and candy-like medicines (cold-eze, cough drops, etc) if needed. And no sweet-treats, unless they are homemade (from scratch- not the box, bag, or pull-apart).

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me- Phil 4:13

PS: I know, I know, the big candy heart I will use to reward myself is really defeating the purpose... I may rethink that. Or I may not.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 17 January 2007 - 01:41:59
I discovered today one of the GREAT things about fasting, at least for the ladies:
Your husband is practically BEGGING you to wear baggy t-shirts and sweats.

ha ha ha.... don't roll your eyes too hard!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 16 January 2007 - 01:43:34
Well, it's time to move The Peanut out of his crib. I came in one day, and he had almost hefted himself (by jumping) over the edge of the crib. I rearranged his room, and nestled his mattress in the corner, with Beary and his blankie. I figure it will take some time for him to get used to the mattress, and then I can get him one of those toddler beds with the drawers underneath (it's a small room).

Tonight I counted 7 thumps in a row. Thump. He fell off the mattress. Thump. He fell off again! Thump. Well, he must be getting back on or he couldn't keep falling off. Thump. Is that hurting him? He's not crying. Thump. Is he even waking up? Will he be tired and cranky tomorrow? Thump. Should I get him and bring him into our bed? I will if he starts crying. Thump. Hey, this would make a great blog entry!

While I outlined this post, I counted 2 more thumps. I am hesitant to go to bed, thinking he will wake up screaming "enough is enough" just as I finally drift off.

My little Peanut is growing up!!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 12 January 2007 - 22:17:07
Hello Everyone! I am offering a free book (Fundraising or 40 days) to all who complete the excerpt and send it back to me filled out and with permission to use your story in the next edition. I will change out the excerpt from time to time, but may also use this material for a future workbook. To participate in this offer, simply mail your filled-out excerpt and release form to (attached and in the downloads section):

Free Book Offer!
c/o Janine Wiggins
8787 Branch Ave # 111
Clinton MD 20735

Free means just that. No Shipping. No Spam. You get one of my books. Please note that 40 Days is currently in publication and probably won't ship til next month.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 11 January 2007 - 00:04:00
A friend sent this email:

Here's a little something to help you break the fast!!
http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5Don't break it early!!!

I posted it on our church website (with other time zones).

It was quickly followed by this response:

Saints we can do it!!! The Godhead is on our side!!! Only a few more minutes and we can give God some more glory and praise…I need you to press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in God…You know what…I’m gonna praise God know for yall….:o)

Which was followed by this response:

Uh oh, I feel a praise break!!! Thank God for the Elder who just built us up!!! Power!! Power!!! Power Lord!!!

Which was followed by MY response:

Power!! Power!!! Power Lord!!! And Power to Still Come to Choir Rehearsal, Lord!

It's almost 4pm... are you ready to eat?

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 10 January 2007 - 00:06:00

Good Evening Everyone… I have two small blessings for you, in honor of our second day of fasting:

  1. Excellent article below about how ordinary people paid off HUGE debts
  2. I found a stash of Larry Burkett’s “Debt Free Living” for sale at a used bookstore for only 25 cents each. I love this book- it’s written from a Biblical perspective on why it’s better to get out of debt and offers practical tips for doing so. I’m going to order a copy, and will order one for each of you who reply back to me by Thursday AM. But I’m going to place the order Thursday, and I need to know you want one by then. It’s free for you. The shipping costs me the same anyway. If you really don’t like taking free stuff, you can just put a quarter into the youth fund. Oh, and these are used books, not new, so there may be some wear (but I’ve never had a problem).

Here’s the article (click here)

Posted by J. Wiggins on Monday 08 January 2007 - 01:49:00
I wrote this post on my niece and nephew's website, and thought you all would enjoy it:

1. You control your life by controlling your time. So don't let others waste your time or your life.

2. Your governing values are the foundation of personal fulfillment. Base your values (what's right and wrong, and important to you) on something solid, like the Bible

3. When your daily activities reflect your governing values, you experience inner peace. What are you doing all day? Is it making you feel bad? If so, it's probably because you're not doing what you value to be right and good.

4. To reach any significant goal, you must leave your comfort zone. Take a risk. It's okay if you fail, or get your feelings hurt. All successful people do sometimes. If they say they don't, they're lying so you won't find out :-)

5. Daily planning leverages time through increased focus. If you feel stressed, overwhelemed, and unprepared, then you probably have too much going on. Plan your days best you can, and don't try to do too many things at once.

6. Your behavior is a reflection of what you truly believe. Actions speak louder than words. Don't tell him/her you care about them- show them. Don't tell me God is first in your life, show me.

7. You satisfy needs when your beliefs are line with reality. This means if your beliefs are realistic, you will be happy. For example, it is unrealistic to belive that one day you are going to turn into a unicorn. I'm sorry, but that's not going to happen. It may be fun to pretend about, but it's not going to happen, so don't let that be a strong belief for you.

8. Negative behaviors are overcome by changing incorrect beliefs. In my opinion, anything that conflicts with the Bible is an incorrect belief. I can't begin to tell you how many things they taught me in school that aren't true in the real world. Yet the Bible has never failed me!

9. Your self-esteem must ultimately come from within. You have to learn to love yourself, in spite of your faults. All of us have faults. Some of us are just better at pretending we don't.

10. Give more, and you'll have more. Especailly if you are giving to the Lord. And I don't mean to all those preachers on TV (even the starving children ones use most of the money for themselves).

This list is from a book called 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by a guy named Hyrum Smith. The comments below are from Aunt Janine :-) I'm not a living expert... but I have a great life and I'm HAPPY!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 07 January 2007 - 02:07:44
Well, I'm finally doing it. I'm pulling the plug on the Discovery Toys website. Why?

Simply put, I am not making money from the website. Another product opportunity (Avon) has opened up and I've wanted to sell it for a long time. In fact, every base 'til now my church and/or neighborhood has already had someone firmly established in selling Avon. But since I've been here in MD, not one Avon lady has made herself known to me. And when I gave out Avon for Christmas to my friends, several said, "Oh, you're selling Avon now? Good! I need a reliable Avon lady." And I hated to tell them I don't sell Avon. I will probably start Avon in Feb. Whenever my card is no longer charged for the DT site.

So... I am going to put the DT website money into Avon's monthly catalog requirement and possibly their website. I will still sell Discovery Toys, just not through their website. Most of the DT I’ve sold has been through in-house catalogs or family parties. I didn’t intend for DT to be a “business.” I already have one, and it’s called Precious and Pleasant Boutique. :-) I simply wanted to get the toys at a discount for my son. Their sale prices are cheaper than regular toy prices in my local area (admittedly, one of the most expensive areas in the nation).

Let me just clear one thing up: It's not that the toys aren't great. It's that the buisiness itself is not that great. I think DT has WONDERFUL toys! I have several toys in stock, and even more in my son’s room :-) Since I am still going to be a consultant, I would be more than happy to order their toys for you. Just call me at 301-782-7810 or email me to order.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 03 January 2007 - 08:06:41
Must be Logged In To Read. Log in, then click here: http://www.janinewiggins.com/page.php?6

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 03 January 2007 - 00:32:00
Just a short note to all of you who never have time to workout, to study your Bibles, to clean the house, etc. I often feel like I "never have time" to do any of those things, let alone spend time with my family (showing them I care). If you feel my pain, I would encourage you to take a look, I mean a good hard look, at how you are spending your time. I know, I know. You don't watch TV (no time), you don't shop anymore (no time), and you don't go driving through the countryside looking at the changing leaves (no time, and even if you had time, you're already commuting 4 hours a day- who wants to get back in the car!!). Yesterday I heard someone say, "Keep an hour journal. Write down everything you are doing for the next 24 hrs." Who has time for THAT?!

Anyway, I am home from work today, and have a pretty aggressive schedule for fixing up some things around the house and working on some of my web-projects. Then I happened across a new post on our new MarylandAutism.org and spent the next half hour visiting my Asbergers/Autism forums! That's only 1/2 an hour, but how many times a day do I get distracted and spend "just a 1/2 hour" doing something else? How many times do YOU do that?

There's nothing wrong with keeping up on the latest AS/ASD news, but I had plans to get a significant amount of work done this morning. And you know how it is: You HATE to get to the end of your morning without having accomplished your goals... all because you got distracted. I think it sneaks up on us- an email sent here, a phone call there, a watercooler "meeting" over here, and a Starbucks "meeting" over there. A quick minute to surf the net, and another quick minute (which turns into 10) to post on the blog. Those minutes add up! And we wonder why we're not as productive as we had been in the past. I've had that happen all too often!

Well, I'm going to combat Distraction this year. You are more than welcome to join me.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 29 December 2006 - 02:10:12
Everyone, I think this may be a scam (but I haven't made up my mind yet). I hear rumors that others have made money with this site, but the Glory! Blog was not accepted into their program. They didn't give me any reason why, simply said, "To be accepted into ReviewMe, a blog must meet a minimum number of citations, subscribers, and traffic. If your blog is rejected, you may want to return in a few months' time and submit again." I can't find what these minimums are, but obviously, we don't meet them. It's too bad, because if this was viable, it would be a great way for you who like to write to earn a little side-cash. Maybe I should advertise Glory! to more than just our Precoius and Pleasant customers. Or maybe they should just relax the standards :-). Anyway, be wary of sites like this that don't tell you what qualifies up front, that make you go through a lot of effort (typing) and it ends up being for naught.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 28 December 2006 - 20:26:21
Here are 6 of the most popular job scams. Remember… if it sounds too good to be true… it usually is!

1. Nigerian Check Cashing Scam
2. Reshipping
3. Envelope Stuffing Scams
4. Medical Billing
5. Work-at-Home Job Lists
6. Phishing

Read on for an explanation of each...

[ Read the rest ... ]

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 20 December 2006 - 02:15:02
I made the committment to reading all these magazines that have piled up all over the house. What doesn't get read will get tossed... I found this wonderful gem.. in the FEB 2006 (!) edition of BabyTalk. Feb. As in almost a year this magazine has been sitting around. And it's at the top of the stack!!

5 Ways to... Mom Confidence

1. First timer? Get thee to a Mommy & Me class, or just the local playground. YOu need new-mom friends so you can see that nobody knows what she's doing, but somehow we all wind up doing fine.

2. So your friend's baby was toilet trained at 6 months and soon after could sing the ABC's? Remember, one mom's wonder-child is another's "WhatEVER."

3. Listen to all the astonishingly bad advice you get from relatives and strangers and realize that if you followed it, the baby would not live to see another sun.

4. Do whatever it takes to get more sleep- 99% of your insecurity is coming from fatigue.

5. Okay, so the baby fell down (again). Or hasn't had a vegetable in three days (weeks?). Look into her giggly face and see those eyes shining with love for you. What other proof will you ever need that you're a perfect mom?

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 15 December 2006 - 03:08:22
TRICARE will create a plan under theExtended Care Health Option (ECHO) to provide services for military dependent children with autism. TRICARE is seeking assistance from affected military families to participate in the plan's development. Any affected military family may e-mail comments to ChildrenWithAutism@tma.osd.mil. TRICARE will accept comments until Jan. 31, 2007. PLEASE participate if this applies to you! Official story pasted below and is at http://www.tricare.mil/pressroom/news.aspx?fid=246

TRICARE Seeks Input to Improve Autism BenefitDecember 01, 2006

FALLS CHURCH, Va.—TRICARE will create a plan under the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) to provide services for military dependent children with autism. The 2007 National Defense Authorization Act calls for this plan to include the following: 1. Education, training and supervision requirements for individuals providing services to military dependent children with autism;
2. Standards to identify and measure the availability, distribution and training of individuals (with various levels of expertise) to provide such services; and
3. Procedures to make sure such children receive these services in addition to other publicly-provided services.

TRICARE seeks assistance from affected military families to participate in the plan’s development. Any affected military family may e-mail comments to ChildrenWithAutism@tma.osd.mil; TRICARE will accept comments until Jan. 31, 2007.

“It is vital we learn about affected beneficiaries and their personal experiences, so TRICARE may better meet their needs,” said Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, deputy director, TRICARE Management Activity. “We look forward to expanding available treatment options and access to care for beneficiaries with autism.”

Currently, there are a number of treatments available for children with autism, including Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). TRICARE shares the cost of ABA for an active duty family member only if a certified provider administers services. It will not cover non-certified individuals—even if a certified ABA provider indirectly supervises the individual.

In the meantime, TRICARE continues to share the cost of certified provider hands-on ABA therapy, under ECHO. The TRICARE maximum allowable charge for all ECHO services is up to $2500 per month.

Even when an active duty family member sees a certified provider several hours each week, an ABA-trained family member may increase the therapy’s success. To encourage family member involvement, TRICARE may cost share family members’ ABA training, if a certified provider trains them.

About TRICARE Management Activity TRICARE Management Activity, the Defense Department agency that administers the health care plan for the uniformed services, retirees and their families, serves more than 9.2 million eligible beneficiaries worldwide.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 15 December 2006 - 02:17:03
I never realized what an impact my little Autism webpage would have in my local area. No, I'm not decieved- this isn's some epic, monumentous, mind-boggling, change-the-world autism website, but I'm suprised at how many people have thanked me! Several told me how they were so happy to have all of those links in one place. That original page was here: Precious and Pleasant Autism Page.

Now, here's the news! Because of the popularity of that page since I posted it in early Oct, I've purchased and set up a new site called MarylandAutism.org. This site already has more features than my little Precious and Pleasant Autism page. Hope you enjoy it! People outside of MD can still use the page, as there's quite a few national links, but it's mainly for those in MD. Please spread the word!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 14 December 2006 - 03:09:20

I received this e-mail from a friend, so please pass it on to any 11th grade African American student interested in engineering.

Subject: Summer Camp

Hello everyone. I am writing to you because I need your help in getting students in a FREE engineering camp. I need students that are currently in the 11th grade to attend a FREE engineering camp at the University of Houston. We need more African-American students. Please give the attached application to your student body and have them to mail it in on Monday at the address listed on the brochure.

If you need further information please contact John Matthews, 713-743-4226. This is camp is coed. I am the Head Counselor. Students in this camp have been known to get summer jobs for college just for being in this camp. Help students help themselves. As you may recall, my son attended this camp and look at his career. This camp helps students develop good study habits and learn about the various facts of engineering careers. I apologize that seems last minute, but I just returned from a conference in DC and learned that we were short of African-American students. We need at least 15 more students or we will lose funding for next year's camp. Please help us keep this camp alive.

Students are welcome from anywhere in the United States. Transportation is not provided, the camp is free. We will pick and return out of town students to the bus station, train station or airport for free. Contact your relatives. Thank you for your help.

http://www.egr.uh.edu/promes/ - choose camps or summer camps http://www.egr.uh.edu/promes/pubs/meset2006.pdf"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.." - Will Rogers
Keith J. Moore
Process Improvement Integrator, ASW-3P
FAA Southwest Region
2601 Meacham Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76137
ph: 817-222-5789 fax: 817-222-5042
email: Keith.J.Moore@faa.gov

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 13 December 2006 - 01:31:00
See bottom for note on this post!

Ever get fired up over email, and spend an hour drafting something only to realize you probably shouldn’t send it? I did, and didn’t want to waste the work, so I’ll post it here. No, I’m not flaming anyone, but for all my friends who are looking for get-rich quick schemes, please consider my point of view:

A lot of us have been talking about money, starting our own businesses, getting out of debt, etc. The Lord has truly blessed us with an abundance of self-starters and that’s wonderful. I’m writing this note because I’ve been approached with 3 different “financial opportunities” in the past month. They probably work if the steps are followed all the way, but there’s nothing that compares (financially) with getting out of debt, fixing the problem that caused the debt, long term investing, and then short term wealth-making ventures with what money is left.

Think about it: We’ve been playing these money games for years, and no one is financially independent yet. I’m not hating on your business opportunity. You can still invite me, and if it’s something I can use I may even join. I’m just giving everyone a FREE way to get out of debt and secure their financial future. In fact, I suspect that most of us have been digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt trying each new thing. Again, I’m not saying these programs don’t work, but I’m saying that they may not have been working for *us* who have a busy life and church commitments that most of those people don’t have.

I’m not qualified to judge everyone’s situation (especially since I still have to work for a living), but I really feel a burden for the saints who now are where I was 9 years ago ($20/month for food, only entertainment and clothes budget was the $2 bag at the base thrift store on Fridays, eating at the Pastor’s house all the time, car falling apart but grateful to have a car). Following Pastor Robinson’s guidelines, my husband and I were out of debt in 2 years- even though he was in VA and I in OH. The month we moved to FL, I paid my last debt. This is without owning/refinancing a home, no “breakthrough business,” no gimmicks and “no monthly fees” to be part of this “exclusive group.”

Being debt free brings good credit and the ability to give and invest. And that’s what we need to buy a church. Next year, when the Lord reveals our building, don’t YOU want to be in the position to help buy it? Wouldn’t YOU like to give offerings at the GA and not have to hold checks and move money around (rob Peter to pay Paul)? Wouldn’t YOU like to not be grieved that we need money for “all these anniversaries?” Then let’s do the things that are going to make that happen!

If you want more information on budgeting and investing, please just talk to me. I won’t sell you anything (you all should know by now I’m not serious about businesses- I only do them to save money on my clothes and Philips toys) and I won’t talk about your financial situation with anyone. I’ll simply show you how we got out of debt and how we are structuring our financial future to be like Bishop White. He worked for Westinghouse 20 years, earned his retirement, lived within his means, and invested wisely. And I’ll give you a copy of a tape from Elder Sewell that really stresses financial management and PRAYER. Yes, my husband and I are about to try this real-estate thing with Pastor Mitchell. But it’s with “extra money,” and if it doesn’t work, then our long term plan will still get us where we want by time we retire. I’d really like for each and every one of you to be able to say that for yourself. I know that was long, so thanks for reading it all! - Min. Janine Wiggins

Note: This originally was posted as "Let's Buy a Church" but I think some people who should read it did not because of that title. So, I'm re-posting it with a new title.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 07 December 2006 - 16:27:26
Janine Wiggins newest book, 40 Days of Fervor, has just been released! Order now, or download the FREE excerpt (login required).

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 06 December 2006 - 20:05:52
Thanks to all of you who supported the old "Sis. Wiggins Files" website. It wasn't pretty, but it was the fastest way to get you this information. Now we have a new website, janinewiggins.com. You'll still have access to all the free downloads, but now you need to log in. This helps all of us in the long run. Thanks again, and God Bless You!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 06 December 2006 - 03:19:04
*** Warning, Girlie Post. Guys, Skip This One ***

I don't know how it happened... But somehow I'm still nursing Peanut. He's been sick for the past 3 weeks (indeed, we both have) and for some reason all he wants is me.
I shouldn't say "for some reason," because the variety of mother's sites (http://www.kellymom.com, La Leche League Forums, etc) suggest that his clingyness and increased need for nursing is a comfort to him and helps him cope not only with this mystery sickness but also the myriad of changes he is going through as his world expands and he becomes more aware of it. The problem is, when we were weaning, I felt much better and had begun losing weight.


In fact, I was reluctant to wean but circumstances forced it upon us. When I felt started feeling great and losing some weight, I was convinced that was the best for us. But now he's sick, nursing, building up my supply (glad to know it still works) and I've gained back all the weight I lost and have a much taller Peanut trying to scramble into my lap. I'm concerned that nursing much longer is going to have detrimental effects on Philip's personality. Does he really need to nurse, or is he just proving that he can get his way? That said, I want to do what's best for him. So that begs the question...

Is extended nursing best for babies? I suppose EN doesn't really apply here, because if I understand it correctly it means nursing past two years. A quick internet search yields many, many women saying "YES! Breastfeed as long as the baby wants!" But here's the kicker... few of them have adult children (that I can tell). Rather, most still had young children or children in their early teens. Has anyone noticed that many of the "modern parenting" books fall into the same catagory- written by people who have no grown children (ie, they never had kids or their children are still young).

What I need is a "been there, done that" story from someone who nursed their child past one year, and now has a healthy adult child who is a productive member of society. Someone like my Mom who, while she has supported my decision to nurse since the beginning, is quick to remind me that I was her only excluisvely formula-fed baby, and I turned out fine. I want to know what effect your nursing (or lack thereof) had on your son's confidence, terrible-twos, need for "security objects," and anything else you think is affected by nursing.


Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 25 November 2006 - 03:20:54
Readers, you don't know how much this bothers me- normally I don't care what others think of me. They don't pay my bills, nor do they tuck me in at night.

But last night I was logging into my autism forum and decided to venture out into other forums. I found one called No More Debt, and was going to tell you good things about it today. They advocate getting completely out of debt, and follow the teachings of Dave Ramsey.

I advertised the free Christmas toy giveaway, like I do on ALL web forums. After all, the more toys and dresses I sell, the more I can buy w/o affecting our finances :-). I was immediately labeled a spammer. Me. Who hates spam. Doesn't even email her customers as often as she could to avoid the appearance of spam. Me. Who often tells her friends to "stop forwarding that junk" and "stay away from that so-called-opportunity." They labled my contest spam because I have the Discovery Toys business verbiage on the page. That is such a shame. DT allows me to get free toys for my son, and P&P funds my fancy hat and suit habit, both for very little effort. This in turn allows us to focus our salaries on the long term plan for financial independance.

All in all, I think those of us who can enjoy life and serve the Lord without running up debt are far better off than those who pinch pennies but can never enjoy their savings. And ask my mom: I pinch pennies with the best of them :-) So if you're looking for a good frugal site, go ahead and try it out. I would just be leery of posting any links until they get to know you.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 24 November 2006 - 01:40:00
Prov 23:4-5 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

Now, do I take this to mean the Lord does not want us to prosper? That He condemns being rich? Of course not. See Gen 13:2 (The Lord gave Abram these riches) Luke 19:1-10 (The Lord didn't require Zacchaeus to become poor, though he did voluntarily give away half of his goods) and Matt 27: 57-66 (If the man hadn't been rich, perhaps he wouldn't have had such a nice grave in which to lay Jesus' body. That's my supposition, but whether or not that's the case, the Bible records him as being rich without negative connotation). So, what does this really mean? Putting it together, I think it is a reminder that no matter how much we prosper in this world, the acquisition and protection of material wealth should not be the focus of our existence. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, make sure you work hard at what you do, and let the Lord bless you! When He does, don't be highminded or put your trust in it, but continue to trust in God. And be ready to spread that wealth in blessing others.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 23 November 2006 - 03:26:24
Have you ever wanted to open up your own Christian bookstore? Well now you can. While the prices aren't as good as Amazon, you can sign up with this company and incorporate search boxes into your existing website. Don't have a website? Well, they'll give you one. And it's free for ministers!

Click here to visit the StoreClick here to learn about the businessThe free account (for ministries and non-profits) pays 5% commission on all sales. The regular account costs is $99 to set up and $19.95 per year after the first year. With this account, you make 10% of all books sold, 10% of all books sold by your first level downline and 5% of books sold by your second level downline.

So what's the downside? Well... for starters you and your customers are going to pay a LOT more for those books than if you went through Amazon. And the person who is making the most money off of the books is the company, not you. However, if you have a church with people who don't look at price, and want to incorporate customized Christian products into your web presence, then this can be profitable.

Got a great buisness idea? Send it to me!

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 22 November 2006 - 03:29:43
Can you belive this? Reminds me of a nursng mom story... Only she didn't get kicked off the plane. Instead, she did what was best for her son (and for fellow passengers!) and her biggest critic (me) eventually got an education...

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 21 November 2006 - 03:31:06
Hey, do you sell Avon? Tell us about it. The good, the bad, the ugly. Is it a scam? And if you don't sell Avon, check out Avon's TOP 10 Best Sellers. I love their lipsticks, and their bubble bath, but that's about it.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 17 November 2006 - 01:58:00
I love getting something for nothing! Follow the link and subscribe to over 200 Free Business Magazines.

Yes, they are free. These magazines make money off of the advertising and expected renewals.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Wednesday 15 November 2006 - 02:04:00
Those of you who don't know me well will laugh: Every year I try to get everyone a similar gift. It makes it a LOT easier to shop, and I don't have to remember 5 years of gifts to avoid buying the same thing- which I have done in the past!!. I only have to remember the overarching catagory. Last year I did all gift cards. The year before that, I think I did gift baskets (I can't remember). One year I did all Hickory Farms. One year all Harry and David (costly). I'm thinking about magazine gift subscriptions this year, but that's only b/c I've wasted time and haven't gone shopping yet. I hate shopping after Thanksgiving. The bad part about magazine subscriptions is that unless you communicate with your family very often, you really don't know what they like. I would hate to get them something they don't like. So if you're family reading this, now's the time to start dropping hints ha ha ha. And if anyone is thinking of buying magazine subscriptions, you can get $5 OFF Gift Subscriptions from Magazines.com . Here are a few of my favorites:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 12 November 2006 - 12:01:20
My cousin sent me this wonderful little story. While I don’t think I have what it takes to be a work-at-home Mom, I truly admire those who make the sacrifice to give their children the best of themselves. And I thoroughly rebuke the greater portion of American society for trying to make those women feel like they are not doing important enough work. My mother worked, and I turned out just fine. But I suspect we’d have a lot less troubled youth were their mothers “Work at home mothers.” Read on…

A woman, renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. “What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job or are you just a……?” “Of course I have a job,” snapped the woman. “I’m a Mom.”

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation, ‘housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically. I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.” “What is your occupation?” she probed.

What made me say it?? I do not know. The words simply popped out. “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?” Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).? But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door. As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.”
Motherhood! What a glorious career!? Especially when there’s a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers “Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations” and great grandmothers “Executive Senior Research Associates” I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts “Associate Research Assistants.”

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 12 November 2006 - 01:51:00
You might remember My Top 5 Books For Financial Independence post. Well, here's an expanded list of all the books I would buy if I couldn't get them from the library. Some I've got from the library, some I received as gifts, and some can be purchased online through these links:

1. Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom

2. The Millionaire Next Door

3. How to Make a Fortune Today-Starting from Scratch...

4. Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace

5. Debt Free Living

6. The Complete Guide to Managing Your Money- This is 3 Volumes, including "Your Finances in Changing Times," "Using Your Money Wisely," and the above-mentioned, "Debt-Free Living"

7. Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace

8. Building Wealth One House at a Time: Making it Big on Little Deals

9. Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence

10. The Sound Mind Investing Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Your Money from a Biblical Perspective

11. John T Reed's Books and Website (at least #2, these are expensive)

12. How I Turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time. I would LOVE to purchase my own copy of this, and will once I get my first RE deal, but it is $100+. Don't be fooled by sellers with a cheaper price- usually they are really selling you the earlier "into 3 million" or "into 1 million" editions.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Thursday 09 November 2006 - 12:05:02
I’ve had a lot of business/money posts lately, so let me throw in this personal note: Philip had a FIT at Choir Rehersal today. Why? Because he wanted to nurse. We’ve been weaning him, and that particular feeding was the first to go. But he didn’t want cheerios. No milk sippy cup. No YoBaby yogurt. Just mom. That’s what he wanted. Breastfeeding has been a wonderful experience- but weaning makes me realize how someone can end up nursing for years! He had been so interested in food lately, that I really didn’t expect this much resistance to weaning.

Later, as he was snuggled in my lap after the bedtime feed, I realized he was bigger than the child of the first lady who I ever saw breastfeeding. I was rather disgusted, to be honest, b/c the child was walking and saying a few words. It was on an airplane, and she nursed him during takeoff and landing. And I kept thinking, what’s wrong with her, feeding that big boy? And here I am, feeding my big boy. And the last time I fed him in public, so many people came up to us to inform me there was a bathroon where I could nurse him (on the other side of the mall, of course), that my husband got upset with me, though I was covered. It’s just that Philip rarely eats quietly. I guess we really do reap what we sow. What goes around, comes around.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 07 November 2006 - 03:14:53
Ever get fired up over email, and spend an hour drafting something only to realize you probably shouldn't send it? I did, and didn't want to waste the work, so I'll post it here. No, I'm not flaming anyone, but for all my friends who are looking for get-rich quick schemes, please consider my point of view:

Saints, A lot of us have been talking about money, starting our own businesses, getting out of debt, etc. The Lord has truly blessed us with an abundance of self-starters and that's wonderful. I'm writing this note because I've been approached with 3 different "financial opportunities" in the past month. They probably work if the steps are followed all the way, but there's nothing that compares (financially) with getting out of debt, fixing the problem that caused the debt, long term investing, and then short term wealth-making ventures with what money is left.

Think about it: We've been playing these money games for years, and no one is financially independent yet. I'm not hating on your business opportunity. You can still invite me, and if it's something I can use I may even join. I'm just giving everyone a FREE way to get out of debt and secure their financial future. In fact, I suspect that most of us have been digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt trying each new thing. Again, I'm not saying these programs don't work, but I'm saying that they may not have been working for *us* who have a busy life and church commitments that most of those people don't have.

I'm not qualified to judge everyone's situation (especially since I still have to work for a living), but I really feel a burden for the saints who now are where I was 9 years ago ($20/month for food, only entertainment and clothes budget was the $2 bag at the base thrift store on Fridays, eating at the Pastor's house all the time, car falling apart but grateful to have a car). Following Pastor Robinson's guidelines, my husband and I were out of debt in 2 years- even though he was in VA and I in OH. The month we moved to FL, I paid my last debt. This is without owning/refinancing a home, no "breakthrough business," no gimmicks and "no monthly fees" to be part of this "exclusive group."

Being debt free brings good credit and the ability to give and invest. And that's what we need to buy a church. Next year, when the Lord reveals our building, don't YOU want to be in the position to help buy it? Wouldn't YOU like to give offerings at the GA and not have to hold checks and move money around (rob Peter to pay Paul)? Wouldn't YOU like to not be grieved that we need money for "all these anniversaries?" Then let's do the things that are going to make that happen!

If you want more information on budgeting and investing, please just talk to me. I won't sell you anything (you all should know by now I'm not serious about businesses- I only do them to save money on my clothes and Philips toys) and I won't talk about your financial situation with anyone. I'll simply show you how we got out of debt and how we are structuring our financial future to be like Bishop White. He worked for Westinghouse 20 years, earned his retirement, lived within his means, and invested wisely. And I'll give you a copy of a tape from Elder Sewell that really stresses financial management and PRAYER. Yes, my husband and I are about to try this real-estate thing with Pastor Mitchell. But it's with "extra money," and if it doesn't work, then our long term plan will still get us where we want by time we retire. I'd really like for each and every one of you to be able to say that for yourself. I know that was long, so thanks for reading it all!

Min. Janine Wiggins

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 05 November 2006 - 03:34:25
Want to start your own business? Invest in Real Estate? Retire financially independent? Then I recommend you read the following books BEFORE you put one more dime into that next great idea. You can get them from the library or click the title to get them from Amazon. I really think you should read #2 first, but #1 is an easier read. Only thing is, towards the end of #1, Kiyosaki pooh-poohs living below your means (which contradicts his earlier statement) and says instead you shoud increase your means. This could work if we actually increased our income along with our lifestyles, but people normally interpret his statement to mean we should live above our means. And then they get worse in debt. Ok, enough soapbox, here's the list:

1. Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom

2. The Millionaire Next Door

3. How to Make a Fortune Today-Starting from Scratch...

4. Business By The Book: Complete Guide of Biblical Principles for the Workplace

5. Debt Free Living

If anyone wants to get together to discuss these topics, please let me know. I'm thinking of asking my Pastor if we can do a class at the church. Your interest would help me decide.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Friday 03 November 2006 - 12:06:36
* Warning: Girlie Post Ahead *
Some babies will do ANYTHING to get out of weaning! You (nursing mothers) know how when your baby is sick s/he nurses less? WELL! Philip came down sick Tuesday (temp 105), and the only way he would eat is via nursing! So now (by the end of the week) I’m full again, gained 5 pounds just that quick, and tasted my first temper tantrum because it took half an hour to figure out that he wanted to nurse. He was so cute, wriggling on the floor in anger! It was all I coud do to be stern and not laugh out loud! I’m sure that behavior won’t stay cute for long! As for weaning, I’m not going to offer, but I won’t refuse him just yet. At least until he’s over this sickness. So long sodas. So long caffeine. So long chocolate. It was nice having you, if only for a little bit.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 24 October 2006 - 12:12:52
Note: This is a girlie-post. If you’re squeamish about lady-issues, just skip this one.

Wow. Peanut is a year old, as of today. I can’t believe my little man is a year. Time really flies. Since my job has been rather busy, he and Steve have spent a lot of time together and I’ve received my first lesson in letting go: Steve has told me how grown Peanut is when I’m not around. It’s as if my babying him causes him to be more babyish and less boy-ish. So I’m trying hard not to react when he falls, and to make him do things for himself and you know what? He really is a tough little boy! And a smart one! And far more capable of doing things for himself than I would have realized had I not stepped back and let Peanut begin to grow up.
You’re probably wondering what that has to do with the title... a few weeks ago, I suddenly realized Peanut would soon be a year old and would have to be weaned. I wasn’t ready! This is another one of those “let him grow up” things. It’s funny, because I had initially planned on nursing him only while on maternity leave, then decided to try for 3 months. Then I pushed that back to 6, 9, and finally 12 months. And all the sudden, 12 months was knocking on the door. I encouraged myself by planning a “weaning basket” (chocolate, mountain dew, ice cream, candy, all the good stuff I haven’t had much of since finding out I was pregnant). And somehow, my mindset totally changed. I made a conscious effort to cut some of our nursing sessions (my crazy job situation helped!) and discovered an amazing side benefit: I’ve dropped 9 pounds since that 10-mile run. 50 pounds down, 9 more to go! I had heard that some people didn’t lose all of their weight until they weaned their babies… I think there’s some measure of truth to that! So to Peanut I say, “It’s weaning time, baby!”

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 22 October 2006 - 12:19:25
Allow me to gush for just a moment… I just loaded new pictures of Peanut. I can’t believe he’s almost a year old. This day, a year ago, I started having regular growing labor pains. 2.5 days later, he was born. And yes, if you’re curious, I really did win the “Dumb Things Said During Labor” award: “Oh, it’s a real baby! It’s really a baby!” And Peanut won the ”Welcome to the World” award: As they pulled him out, he was tinkling, and sprinkled most of the staff.

NOTE: I removed the pictures. If you want pictures, email me and I'll add you to my picture mailing list. I send them out whenever we get good new ones.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Tuesday 17 October 2006 - 02:00:00
Have you begun Christmas Shopping? Check out Lillian Vernon SALE - Save up to 80%. I usually like to have my gifts taken care of by now but have had NO time to think abou tit. I do have all of Peanut's gifts but it seems like every day I come across something else I would love to get him. I have to tell myself, "Look, you have a huge bag of Discovery Toys downstairs, and another big bag of Walmart/BX toys upstairs. You can get him everything else next year!"

For the first time yesterday, he stacked something (rather than just knocking it down) so I went in search of big blocks... and what did I find? The Lillian Vernon website. If you've never seen this site, go check it out. Although I think I could easily make those blocks (yes, I'm that cheap) the rest of the site has some amazing products. Take a look:

Posted by J. Wiggins on Saturday 07 October 2006 - 20:07:12
You may now download the Fundraising Book for FREE! Just log in (it's free to register) and visit the downloads section. You may still purchase the physical book at any time.

Posted by J. Wiggins on Sunday 03 September 2006 - 20:10:00
I've had many requests for the Trustee Book so that others can use it as a baseline for their own church financial prodecures. I'm so far behind in burning disks that I decided to make it available to you online. Just login (it's free) and click the "Downloads" button.

PLEASE! Read the "Readme.1st." I really don't think you need to make such a big book for your department and the readme explains why.

Dec 06 Update: We now offer a printed version of this book for sale. It is home-published and bound with a plastic claw binding. Shipping is free, so click "Shop" to buy it now!

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