I have been following several bloggers on their trip to Uganda. The idea (which is brilliant) was to send bloggers who have a large audience on a Compassion mission trip. They all went to Uganda together and blogged or posted about the experience. That truly is a stroke of genius. It was almost like you went on a little mission trip yourself without even leaving home. And two of the participants (Boo Mama & Rocks in My Dryer) that went are blog authors that I read a lot, and it turned out that I personally know two others (Randy & Chris Elrod). He was minister of music and helped out with the youth at the church my family attended when I was a child; now they live in Nashville, but they are long time family friends. So, that was fun to get to see them and also, it gave a sense of credibility as well. Anyway, if ya'll have an inkling to, go over and read some of the "Blog Compassion" posts. They are heart wrenching and thought provoking and convicting (in a non-condemning) kind of way. And, suprisingly some of them were quite funny too.
But, in an attempt to be a good steward of what our family has been given, I decided to sponsor a child. Now, please, don't start thinking that I'm blowing my own horn here, because I'm totally not. I could give you a list of my failures and shortcomings a mile long, and the first one would be always worrying what people think about me. So, you should know that I thought about not doing this post at all, because I can't stand the thought of someone thinking that I'm being self righteous. But, I got over it quickly; because, the fact is, there are kids across the world; no, make that ALL over the world who need us. That's right, Us the ones who dwell in the land of plenty. And, if reading all the "blog compassion" posts helped me to realize it, then, maybe, just maybe, reading them will speak to you too.
Quite frankly, I could almost kick myself for not blogging about it during the actual trip itself, because it truly was cool to get to go along with them. But, I'm slow folks, and I didn't decide to sponsor a child until the trip was over. But, that's the cool thing about blogs, you can still read all of the posts. And, it was so neat to see all the different ways the same message was presented. I don't remember how many people went on the trip, but there were stay at home moms, working moms, christian music artists, writers, photographers, worship leaders, etc. A few of them actually got to meet the specific child they had been sponsoring. Towards the end of the trip the entire group had communion on the Nile River. What an experience that must have been.
Anyway, I would like to introduce Ken, the 14 year old we just sponsored. He lives with his mom and five siblings in Uganda in an area that is highly infected with HIV/AIDS. At times, his family finds work farming. I so wish I could show you his picture, and maybe I will in the future, if I can make my scanner work. I chose him because he is older and I figured, an older child has less time and the need is a little more eminent.
My parents taught me a valuable lesson growing up. They said, "You can't out-give God." I've seen it first hand, personally growing up through the life of my parents. I know that statement is true just like I know that the law of gravity is true. I know, that somehow, the blessing will be mine. And, if God can take 5 loaves and 2 fishes and feed 5000, just think what He can do - no, just look at what He is doing with $32/month for all these kids, all over the world. If you can spare it, join me!!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Posted by Brad and Shana at 11:18 PM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
OK Folks, I am so excited; and after you read this post, the old addage, "it's just the small things" will never ring more true. But, I am so excited that I'm doing my Fun Fact early this week, because I have myself a fact that is too important to follow the normal rules and 'day of the week' stipulations. This fact, my friend, truly follows the almanac definition of useful; because I know who my friends are, and better yet, I know who my friend's children are.....and I'd be willing to bet, you just might find this little fact handy!!!
The Fact Is: Your handy-dandy fingernail polish remover (good 'ole acetone) WILL, in fact, remove ink from a silver SHARPIE off of your (relatively new) FLAT SCREEN computer monitor. That's right folks, the Sharpie, she ain't so permanent after all.
This Fun Fact was brought to you today direct from Sara Kate, the menace to all that is good and orderly. Despite, repeated instructions to the contrary....did I mention REPEATED instructions to the contrary, she decided to 'color' on the computer monitor with a SILVER Sharpie. Never mind, that because of her 'artistic flair' we bought her an art easle for her birthday that has a chalkboard, dry erase board, and the ability to clip paper to either side. Did you hear that people? She has 3 different possibilities with which to express herself to her obedient delight, not to mention that she has paint, crayons, colored pencils and markers at her disposal. But, no, she chooses to get the silver sharpie off of mommy's desk and go to town on the monitor. The only thing to say about that is, "Bless her heart!"
Anyway, special thanks must be made to my new friends at Wikipedia for being thorough in their information about what will remove the permanent ink. And, many shout-outs go to the makers of Finger Nail Polish Remover world wide. With out you, I'd have to read every email through......a silver lining.
But, since I mentioned it, there actually is a silver lining to this post. It is that I now know what might actually take the Blue Sharpie stains off of my kitchen table that were put there by the same culprit many months ago. Yes, folks, this was not her first attempt with the Sharpie medium. Apparently, my stern discussion about what can and can not be drawn on were not taken to heart. Anyway, I must go now, and test my theory.
It's a good thing she's cute!!!
I posted this picture to remind myself, that just because she looks like an angel, doesn't mean she acts like one!!!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I kind of have another hodge podge on my hands; and while that makes my heart just a little giddy I can almost hear the collective moans, because even a few topics of conversation can keep me talking way too long, but the prospect of 'many things' may just keep you here for eternity.....or until you get bored and decide it's finally time to unload the dishwasher. Anyway.....
First up, I have some saint-hood nominations to pass along. So, hear ye, hear ye I now declare that my parents are indeed Saints. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a family girl. My family and I are very close....all of us, my parents, my brother, and my sister and her family.....and I've stated more than once that, I'm a momma's & a daddy's girl. Always have been, always will be.
But ya'll, my parents really are saints.....for SO many reasons. I wouldn't have the time to list all of the reasons, but the reason I'm writing today is that they are wholly devoted to and supportive of their children and grandchildren (probably more so to the grandchildren, but that's their right isn't it?) Anytime, I (or any of us) have some endeavor, mom & dad always help out. No matter what it is.
I remember back a few years ago, when I wanted to make my own purse. I had purchased one from a seamstress that made them, and it was kind of expensive, and I knew mom & dad could make them. So, that year, Brad got me a sewing machine for Christmas...and the entire weekend after Christmas, my sister, Mom & Dad made pocketbooks. Dad had taken apart (literally) the purse that I bought, and had made a template or pattern and he even figured out how to line it with a very thin plastic. Mom helped us with the cutting out, and actual sewing. And Shelley and I ended up with some beautiful home-made pocketbooks of our own. It has just never occured to my parents that they couldn't do something. They are amazing!
More recently, I needed to make A LOT of prailine popcorn. Naturally, I went to mom and dads, and they helped me crank it out in an assembly line manner. Now, don't get me wrong, it still took the better part of 5 hours, but we got it done....all 18 gallons.
And, I can't even begin to scratch the surface with their devotion to the kids. GDaddy & Granda have hand-made special beds and all kinds of things. But, it's not just the things, it's the time. And they spend lots of time with them. Lots.
So, thanks mom & dad, for all you do and for loving us with every ounce that is in you. I wish I could do so much more than a phony nomination on a blog that is read by you and 3 other people. But, I love you and I appreciate you and I wanted to be sure you knew that!!
Next up, My Fun Fact of the day (I know you thought I forgot didn't you...) is about Tres Dias. The FACT is, Tres Dias really is a "must" experience. It is an entire weekend where you can focus totally and completely on your relationship with Christ. How many times in your life can you honestly say, "I spent the weekend, the entire weekend with my savior?" If you're like me, not so many. But, I have spent a full weekend with my King and I am the better for it. Each Tres Dias weekend is different. Different in many ways in fact, but one thing remains the same: God absolutely convinces you that He LOVES you UNCONDITIONALY. If you are remotely interested, please comment or email me. Brad & I would love to sponsor you. Tres Dias: The fact is, it's fun!! And, more than fun, your spiritual walk will strengthen to boot!!
Well, there was/is so much more to say. But, alas, it is 11:42 p.m., and if I actually want to get my Fun Fact in on a Friday this time, it has to be now or never. So, I'll save my other ramblings for other days. But, just to quickly (if that's possible) give you a preview, I'll be posting soon on my Love/Hate relationship to Lowe's and our new fence that we (dad & Brad) are building. That should be for some entertainment......or at least it's better than doing the dishes.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
On Valentine's Day, our church sponsored a banquet. The idea was to have ladies "host" a table. As a host, you were responsible for having your table filled with guests, decorating your table, and helping to serve your table guests. The dinner was catered and the entertainment of the evening was Nichol Sponberg who was formerly with the group Selah. She and her husband shared the coolest story of how they met. She (and her family) were performing at Moody Bible Institute where He (Greg) was completing his Masters. He somehow met her dad and also got to meet her for like 5 minutes. Later that week, he actually emailed her dad to ask for her contact information. Long story short, they began corresponding, met and eloped in something like 10 weeks. Wow!! That story really appealed to the "hopeless romantic" side of me. So, that was fun to hear and her music was incredible!! I really loved Resurrection, check it out if you haven't heard it. Anyway, it was a really fun event. One that will hopefully become an annual occasion.
Now, I'm no decorator, but I have fun trying ...and I have some creative friends that can take my ideas (read nonsense) and make sense out of them decoratively and/or creatively. Plus, Brad & I have been married for almost 8 years, and I have never used my fine china; so I was happy to have an excuse to get to use it. My table didn't really have a theme. I used silver table accents because my china has a platinum edge and I had a big, white cross in the center of the table. I also made Almond Joy Balls for favors. I won't go into depths describing it, because you will be able to see it for yourself, right here.
The cross that is in the centerpiece was something that I purchased as a decoration for my home when we moved in this past April. When I saw it at TJ Maxx,(don't you love the Maxx) I was drawn to it, I just really thought it was pretty, and when I turned it over to see how much......BONUS. It was on clearance. It was like $5. And, it has come to be very special to me because I also used it for the first Tres Dias weekend that I worked. Tres Dias is a great ministry that I'm involved with. If this piques your interest, please email me or comment, I would love to tell you about it. Maybe I'll have to post about it next.....oooh, do I feel a Fun Fact Friday coming on????
Anyway, here is my friend, Tammy's. She had a theme, which was a stroke of genius. Her centerpiece was gift wrapped packages. And the verse, was from James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above." She had handmade some goodies too, and the gift boxes had that verse stamped on it. Very clever!!
Here are a couple of other tables that friends hosted. They are gorgeous! It was really fun to see all the tables and how they were so different, and all so pretty.
And now a little business..... please, let me apologize for the absence that was Fun Fact Friday. Thursday night after the lovely banquet you just read about, and in the middle of a lovely REM cycle, Sara Kate woke up with a fever. So, she joined us in our bed, and we medicated, and then....she promptly threw up; which for some reason got her in to a talkative state and we had to turn on Noggin at 5 am. So, on Friday morning I had to get Bryce off to school, wash 8 place settings of my china and make an appointment for Katie-Bell. The Diagnosis? Strep. But, we must have caught it kind of early and the antibiotics worked quickly. But, needless to say I was busy. So, my Fun Fact is again, not-so-fun. But, it must live up to at least one requirement, and Strep is not Fun and That's a Fact. However, in the interest of equality; amoxicillin is the berries!!
Ya'll have a Fabulous week!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The kids and I have been busy this week making their Valentine's, and I thought we would show you a little glimpse of our craftiness........ We used store bought pixy stick valentine's for church because there were so many (my craftiness & patience only go so far), and we hand made the valentine's for Bryce's pre-k class (cause he only needed 12).
Punching out the hearts for our Pixy stick Valentines...
Bryce filling bags with candy
The Finished Product.....I know you can't make it out very well. I tried several picture attempts, but the flash kept making it one big shiny blob, and my technical skills go the way of patience and craftiness........they have their limits. So, alas, you'll just have to imagine what they look like, but let me just say, "they're stinkin' cute".
Happy Valentine's Day everybody!!
Friday, February 8, 2008
Ya'll, what in the world was I thinking??? I can't come up with a new Fun Fact every week. Oh the stress and pressure I've placed willingly on my shoulders. Since I pretty much 'got' nothing,....... because really ya'll I'm not that much fun afterall, I thought I would share with you the fun blogs I read when I get a chance. So here goes.
There are three blogs that I came across from the comments on Beth Moore's blog, that I try to read weekly. All three of them are regular moms, but they've kind of made a name for themselves in the blogging world. Probably because they're funny, or at least I think so, but a few of them do fun giveaways and idea sharing posts from time to time; and I always think it is fun to read the ideas (about anything and everything) that work for other moms. So, if you find yourself with a few minutes of down time, head on over too:
The Rocksinmydryer site hosts Works for me Wednesdays which is an interesting read. I never have the time or patience to sit and read each link, but there are some neat ideas out there from other moms. And it's easy to pick and choose what you want to read. She also does a lot of giveaways, which is designed to bring traffic to other blogs used for business.
I like the boomama site because she just has a fun sense of humor. Its kind of like a blog about nothing......it has a strange resemblance to a Seinfeld episode.
The bigmama site is just a fun read also. She is a stay at home mom, and blogs about family life.
So there you go folks......thats all I have. Maybe next week I'll have some Fabulous Fact that will make up for the lack luster one you just read.
Until next time
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I think the pictures say it all, but ya'll know I'm NEVER completely speechless. So, can I just say that these pictures just make my heart happy. I'm sure it will yours too........
Then: Bryce & Maddie on Bryce's real 'birth'day.
Then: Bryce & Maddie around 5 months????
(Tammy correct me if need be, its been so long)
Why do they both look frightened? Trust me, by then they were very accustomed to camera flashes and picture taking. They look like they've just seen a ghost, but come to think of it, I was the one behind the camera.....
Now: Bryce & Maddie at age 5
Pardon me, while I momentarily panic...UUUGH! ...Breathe...
Luckily the calendar is still on our side, they really are just 5, we've got 8 more years! But, if it weren't for the Barbie laptop, I would almost swear that they were 10 or so.
Now, aren't these little posts fun. Stay tuned for more Then & Now's.....you just never know who you might find!
Friday, February 1, 2008
It's Friday, so it's time for our Fun Fact. I know ya'll have been anticipating this moment for a whole week now, so without further ado, here it is. And, just because ya'll have been waiting so long, I'm going to throw in a bonus for you. I know, I know, what a happy day!! (I do hope you're reading this with the appropriate amount of sarcasm)
#1- Ya'll probably know that I participate in a children's consignment sale twice a year. Well, it's that time of year again, so its coming up. If you want the information, you can find it here . One word (scratch that...one paragraph) of disclaimer: sometimes the sale is really good, sometimes not so much. It's kind of like shopping for antiques, you just have to go and see whats there. And, here are a few tips I've learned along the way. First, if you consign you get to shop before it opens to the public, this has proven to be helpful because the first day is CRAZY. I haven't decided if I'm consigning this year or not. But, to give you an idea I would usually make around $100 (I only sale Bryce's because I'm saving Sara Kate's for Malley) which would just be used to offset my purchases. Second, whenever you go, its best to take a laundry basket or something to help carry your selections. Third, it seems that the selection and quality is better the smaller size needed. I've found that it doesn't seem like there is as good of a selection for older kids sizes. That is especially true for BOYS. In fact, the older my kids get the more likely I will stop shopping at the sale. Fourth, you really need to inspect the clothes. Lets face it, they are used. I've found some great deals and good clothes, but I've also gotten home and found some flaws too. It usually is still worth it because I pay so little for the clothes, that even if I use them for play clothes it pays off. You don't need brand new clothes to go out, play in, and get dirty. Also, if its play clothes you need/want, you might want to consider waiting until the last day when almost everything goes half price. Sometimes, I go back on the last day just to get play clothes. So there it is, I'm not sure how much Fun this Fact was, but maybe this time it will serve as practical or useful.
#2- Again, maybe not so fun, but some would consider it a lifesaver. Here goes: A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, told me about this wonderful product. This wonderful, life saving product. It is for all of the "Sweaters" in the world.....and I don't mean the fashionable knit or wool article of clothing.....I mean those of us who sweat like, well, like.....um A LOT! If you're like me, it's an issue of the most unfortunate kind. Anyway, for your persnickity pits, I present to you......drumroll please.......Secret Clinical Strength. It is a wonder deodorant if I've ever seen one. As well it should be, 'cause one tube is almost $8, yes I said, $8. I only use it the days that I'm going somewhere due to said exorbitant price. But it does work. This ain't your momma's deodorant, you put it on at night.....don't ask me why, consult the directions....it's something about body temperature. But, anyway, it says it will remain even if you shower the next morning. I'll let you be the guinea pig there, 'cause I always apply in the morning. So, if you have the same delicate problem, heres the answer for you.......try it out, and let me know.
Until next time.....