School Assemblies

Wow just got back from an 18 day tour. It was awesome seeing those little kiddo’s eyes light up! I love my job. I get to be with my best friend and awaken peoples Hearts to their true potential and it’s always great when you get the teachers coming up to you after the program and say wow I’ve never seen my kids so well behaved. And that’s when I say it’s easy when you are in the moment and show them respect and have fun. Just be spontaneous and your kids will listen to every word you say. I guess people forget to smile, laugh and play and that’s my wish for you – take the time to nurture yourself. If you don’t give to yourself, who will? Start thinking outside of the box. Life is to serious to be serious, break free from the humdrum habits that you have formed and maybe it’s time to create a new plan. One that includes you on the top of your list. Whatever you do, do it for you. OK? OK! Now go have some fun.


For more info on our programs go to http://www.thetalltrees.com


Present Moment

“Every single person on the planet and every single Consciousness in the Universe has the same experience of being here and having a desire to be there. In other words, it is the promise of this eternal Universe… You’re always, always, always going to be on your way to something more—always. And when you relax and accept that, and stop beating up on yourself for not being someplace that you’re not, and instead, start embracing where you are while you keep your eye on where you’re going—now life becomes really, really, really fun.” ~ Unknown

Crying For Peace

Yesterday Megan, our booking agent sent us this video of a 7-year old autistic girl named Gina Marie Incandela singing the national anthem at an Orlando Magic game during their playoff series against the Boston Celtics. Talk about inspiration. This little girl has such a powerful voice, you would expect it to be coming out of someone at least 3 times her age, and about 3 times her body weight!

Just before the age of 2 Gina Marie was diagnosed with autism. She could not even speak until she was 3 years old. Now she’s 7 and she is singing the National Anthem at professional sports games and concerts across the country. Her parents sent her to a school for kids with special needs because when she tried to speak she had trouble forming words. Her teachers at the school used music to help her with her language skills. Who could have known what a gift Gina had?


We Are All One

As spring takes over from winter, there are many celebrations across Native America. From the Hopi kachina dances in Arizona, to the Cherokee corn planting ceremonies, traditional Native people are celebrating the new growing season. Different tribes have different customs depending on what type of climate they live in and if they are nomadic or sedentary.

Buffalo hunters would tear down their winter camps and set out for their summer hunting grounds. The buffalo hunters would often have ceremonies and offerings of food or sacred herbs that would ‘call’ the buffalo to them, in hopes of a plentiful hunt, and if it was successful, they would have more ceremonies and celebrations to thank the Creator and the buffalo for their gifts of food and clothing.

Fishing people would have been repairing their fishing gear over the winter, and they would also have ceremonies and offerings for the Creator and the fish. Many sedentary tribes existed solely on agriculture. This caused many tribes to have complex religions and ceremonies. Because agriculture depended on the sun, moon and season, the ceremonies would coincide with the sun, moon and seasons changes. The Hopi for instance have one of the most complex religious systems in the world – everything has a ceremony for it. The life giving corn, beans and squash are regarded as sacred beings and are treated as such.

The Ojibwe and the Iroquois have similar complex ceremonies and religious traditions, the corn, beans and squash are called the “Three Sisters,” since when planted together the three plants nourish each other and support each others growth and health.

There are so many aspects to an agricultural society that dozens and dozens of books have been written just about the subject and many more incredible things are still being discovered about Native American religious traditions. The thing with these traditions, is that they are alive, they are still passed down today from one generation to the next. Native Americans know that this is a vital part of who we are as a human being, a people, a tribe and a clan, to remember these traditions and beliefs and keep them strong and pass them down for future generations. Our family respects, practices and takes to heart these traditions.

There is an old saying that goes, “We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we are merely borrowing it from our children.” This philosophy is respected and practiced everyday.

Love Your Mother

Mother’s Day is upon us and we feel the need to send out our love in a tangible way. Many of us long for the good old days of making her a special gift, like the tracing of our little hand in the shape of a bouquet of flowers or a colored macaroni necklace.

Some of us have lost our mothers, but this in no way diminishes our desire to continue to express our love and affection for her. Maybe if we didn’t have a mother or weren’t close to our mothers, we have a mother-figure in our lives. We still have the feeling of that strong tie to ‘mother.’

In many indigenous cultures Mother Nature/Mother Earth is the ultimate of all mothers, and many of those cultures continue to celebrate Mother Earth with numerous ceremonies and celebrations. In this blog we would like to share other ways to celebrate all mothers, those who give and sustain life and who are our first teachers. Please take the time to look around you and see what difference you can make in the life of a mother or celebrate Mother Earth. Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Friend of the IRC,
My name is Trisha Gourley. Every day I work with new refugee mothers in Salt Lake City as they complete an arduous journey – the journey from harm to home.
When war and violence erupt and refugee families are forced to flee for their lives to the safety of a new home in America, motherhood does not simply pause and wait.
That’s where I come in.
In my work at the International Rescue Committee, I help expectant refugee mothers receive quality pre and post-natal care. I work to ensure their children are healthy and have proper medical checks. I give them information on how to provide adequate nutrition for their families and protect and provide for their children.
I am fortunate in being able to help refugees experience the joys and learning of motherhood in the safety of a new home. And this Mother’s Day, I hope you will consider giving new refugee mothers – like the ones with whom I work – an IRC gift basket.
For every basket you give, you can send a gorgeous card or e-card to honor a special mother or woman in your life.

Not only will your support assist the mothers I work with every day, but it will also help the IRC ensure the safe delivery of babies to mothers all over the world.
Fifteen percent of all pregnancies require surgical or medical intervention – a luxury we take for granted, but women in conflict and disaster zones do not. Most women in areas of unrest deliver their babies without electricity and clean water with no doctor present.
You can help the IRC protect and champion new mothers by giving a gift basket filled with quality prenatal care, blankets, emergency services, and other critical supplies like diapers, bottles, and baby clothing.
The mothers I am honored to help know that life in a new home in America with a new child will be full of challenges. But they always share a common sentiment – how relieved they are to raise their child in safety – without fear.
Your support will give a new mother the health, strength, and confidence to raise a family.
• A gift basket of $25 can provide ten mothers with blankets to keep their babies warm in IRC’s international programs.

• A gift basket of $50 can provide a car seat for a refugee family here in the U.S.

• A gift basket of $100 can cover the cost of a safe delivery of a child born abroad.

• A gift basket of $1,000 can provide English classes, job training, and placement for three newly resettled refugee mothers in America.

In this season of celebrating motherhood, make a meaningful gift by providing help and hope to a refugee mother. Send an IRC gift basket today.
Thank you for your time and your generosity.

Trisha Gourley
Maternal and Child Health/Wellness Caseworker, IRC Salt Lake City

Food for thought from Alternet.com:

“Around the world, refugees are forced to flee their war-torn countries and find a new home in America. Many of these refugees are expectant mothers, alone in a foreign country, without proper medical care. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides pre and post-natal care, ensuring that these children are born healthy. This Mother’s Day, support IRC and give a gift basket to an expectant mother. Blankets, car seats and other essentials for raising a child are among the elements of the baskets. Celebrate motherhood and consider making a gift today.”

Don Hazen
Executive Editor, AlterNet.org

New Mommy

McCormick Cafe

Every time we get to Billings, Montana we make it a point to visit our favorite cafe there. The McCormick Cafe goes on our list of “great places.” You can find it in the historic district at 2419 Montana Avenue. The food is fantastic, the staff is gracious and we always find it a welcome relief when we’re on tour. Stop in and say hi to Kevin for us!