Monday, August 31, 2009

[ Fun in the Son ]

We took it easy this weekend and didn't do a whole lot. I got a bit of work done and I also got to sew! yeah me!!! Something that I so enjoy doing and I've decided this year (well, the last few months at least) that if I don't take some time for me and the things I enjoy in life I'm going to be so burned out on my work that it won't be a pleasure for me anymore. I finished a lap quilt top and a couple of little girl dresses. :) Fun fun!!! Saturday was a relaxing day at home with the family. Dad mowed the yard, the kids played and slept in, I got to sew and hang out in my sweats all day! It just doesn't get any better!!! I cooked too.. homemade bread again, and I tried a new pepper steak dish from my Paula Dean cookbook. Yum!!! I was going to take pictures and share, but hey.... it was my weekend remember? I was too lazy to do that! Sunday morning started out making breakfast for my boys (and Tucker) ;) Tyler had a friend stay over and the boys were up bright and early eating homemade biscuits and cereal. Taylor always sleeps in as long as she can so she rarely catches breakfast before church. Dad didn't feel good so he stayed home in bed, and was still snoring away when we got home at 1:30! Talk about catching up on your sleep! lol It was 'Fun in the Son' day this week at church. We skipped all Sunday school classes and our church gathers together to play games and fellowship and have lunch together. It was such a beautiful day to play and enjoy the food and friendships. Nail driving contests, egg toss (which my son and I won in the adult group!), water races, sack races and lots of fun games for the little kids too.

After lots of fun we went home to rest for the afternoon. Sundays are our 'lazy days'. After church and Sunday school we enjoy dinner with our family and then we take it easy. Dad was already snoozin' because he didn't feel so well, the kids lounge around watching tv and movies together or reading a book, and I took another 4 (yes, count 'em, f-o-u-r) hour nap. I woke up around 5:30 and we went to the local pizza place for dinner for Taylor's birthday. Even though her birthday was 4 days earlier we still hadn't celebrated with mamaw and papaw yet. So we met up and chowed down on the buffet, the kids played video games in the arcade area and we visited for at least an hour or more before we decided to head home. Taylor didn't get much of a party this year or any special recognition and fancy presents. She got a vehicle to drive again! lol (makes her deliriously happy! plus....bonus for me....I don't have to drive her around everywhere!!!). Daddy fixed up the pick up, got her a new headlight installed, we paid the taxes and new license and she's rollin' on her own again! This was present enough for her. Thank goodness for us she's a very appreciative child and knows the value of what we had to do for her to be able to drive again and she was more than pleased with that for her gift.

Surprisingly enough....after my 4 hour nap, I didn't feel wide awake into the wee hours. I managed to crash around 9:30 or 10 and slept like a baby. Ahhhh..... I love Sundays. :) I don't know that we served Him in much of a way today other than worshiping at church and thanking Him for the funnel cake I had during Fun in the Son, but I think He appreciates when we take a day to enjoy the sunshine and fellowship with other Christians. That's how we served today. How bout you?

(maybe I'll add pictures later.... blogger won't load them tonight). :(

Saturday, August 29, 2009

[ Friday Freebie! ]

Okay, so it's Saturday night, but I'm playing catch up and of course we can't miss FREE stuff!! Of all days to skip blogging! Pah-leez! I'm crazy over my pet this week. Don't ask me why because he's a huge pain in the butt, however he steals my heart with his ugly little face and attitude and how he plays with my kids and my hubby. He's an english bulldog. That should explain the ugly little face. So, I went searching for freebies for Tater this week. After all, he received a birthday card in the mail this week from Petsmart! His birthday is the day before mine (if that's not crazy!). September 23, 2007 little Tater was born. We brought him home less than 5 months later and have been in love with ever since. Well, it's a love/hate relationship, but more love than hate. He definitely has his days that he makes me doubt what I was thinking when I decided I needed him; but that's another story for another time.
and Tater loves them. I guess he deserves a little treat from time to time....after all, he puts up with all of us on a daily basis. :)

Freebies this week are Greenies dog chew treats (which are awesome, we've had them before),

Click on the picture to go to the site and claim your goodies! :) And don't be chewing on them before the dog. lol! Okay, I'm tired and delirious....will post more tomorrow when I'm not half asleep and nodding my head while typing. I was a busy girl today and it's catching up with me!!! I made a quilt (okay the top at least), baked homemade bread (it was past bread making day and my family was tired of the store bought bread), and I tried a new pepper steak recipe with rice and veggies today (total YUMMY!). So, see, I deserve a break and I think I'll go to bed early for a change. Tomorrow if Fun in the Son at church and I'm looking forward to some relaxation and rejoicing on a Sunday. My favorite day of the week!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

[ Thankful Thursday ♥ My Baby Turns 17! ]

Today is Thankful Thursday and I have so much to be thankful for! Today is my baby's 17th birthday. It seems like those 17 years went by in the blink of an eye and now I have this beautiful young woman living in my house. She's mostly someone I consider to be one of my best friends, and some days she makes me wonder why hormone replacement therapy isn't started at puberty. :) I can't imagine what my life would have been like without her. From the first moment I found out she existed till today I have loved her with all my heart.

I knew she 'existed' before anyone else would believe me. I'd had two separate pregnancy tests ran at the local health department where we lived and they still kept telling me I wasn't pregnant. I argued that their tests must be outdated. They continued to try and 'explain' to me that I had fooled my body into thinking I was pregnant because I wanted to be so badly. I had tricked myself into skipping periods, having swollen breasts, peeing constantly and being so exhausted I was falling asleep at my desk at work. Yep.... it was all in my head. NOT! By the time I had a real doctor confirm my dreams come true I was about 2 months pregnant. And of course by that time I was being lectured as to why I hadn't come to the doctor sooner and wasn't on prenatal vitamins and caring for myself better. Geez.... I wonder why?!

Most people say they can remember the day their children were born. But how vividly can you remember? Little things can trigger those memories. I have things come back to my mind like they are happening now, or I'm living those moments. The smell of the hospital room, the sound of monitors and beeping noises, (and here's a gross one for you....) even the smell of TUCKS. Yep, those medicated pads they give you to sooth those nice episiotomies. (did I even spell that right?) Who cares, we all know what I'm talking about.

Now when she washes her hair and I still get to tuck her in at night, I can smell the clean scent of her shampoo and it reminds me of the baby shampoo and lotion when she was tiny. She always smelled so yummy. How did she grow up on me? On August 27, 1992 I gave birth to a beautiful, 9 wopping pound baby girl. She was perfect. She was CHUBBY! She was perfect.

Okay, so maybe her dad and I were the only ones to think she was the most beautiful princess on the planet. ;) Her papaw says she was a funny looking baby. So chubby her eyes were just little slits. Did I mention I thought she was perfect? ;) lol
So it took her a few months and she began to grow into her bulge. Chubby babies are so much cuter to me than skinny babies. They're just so loveable and squeezable! She became more and more beautiful with each passing day. And, lucky for her sincer her momma became a photographer....she enjoyed having her picture taken!
Okay, so she liked pictures, but had her limits. We had pictures taken together on this day and she had tons taken alone. When she turned around and "Mommy, go peez" and gave me a big kiss I knew it was time to leave. Lucky for me, the lovely KMart photographer (aka...the college kid they taught to click a remote button) was on his toes that day. Because of course, this was the one shot momma couldn't live without. I'll never forget that moment. And did I mention she still lets me tuck her in every night and give her goodnight kisses? She's the best daughter anyone could ever ask for.
This was her very first birthday party. She began walking on her own the day before. Her roley poley little legs wobbled all over the park that day. She was so happy to see so many people there just for her. And you mean they brought me presents too?! She was so overwhelmed. It was a wonderful day. And if you know my daughter now, it's hard to believe that very first birthday cake was pink and had Minnie Mouse in a dress with a little pink car. She definitely outgrew the girlie stage VERY quickly. :)
And became my tomboy, aggie. I never dreamed when I had her that the time would go so quickly. One minute you're wondering when they'll talk and walk, and the next minute you're taking them for their driver's test.
Today I'm thankful for my Taylor. One of my best friends. God blessed me with a daughter that has made me so very proud and I hope I have raised her the way He would want and in a way that makes Him as proud of her as I am.
Along with growing up, comes spreading your wings and it's hard to let go and share her with everyone else in the world. She left for school this morning at 6:30 and I sent her a balloon and some candy to school from her dad and I and her brothers. She managed to come home long enough to change clothes for a 'Back-to-School Bash' for ag class around 5:30 and was gone again before 6. It's 9:15 and I'm still sitting here wondering where the day went (not to mention the last 17 years!), because I want to hear all about her day and tell her how much I love her.
Thank you God....for another awesome day on your earth. Thank you God.... for my precious gift of Taylor Renae. I don't deserve her, but I'm so very glad you entrusted me with her. I pray everyday for her to grow in your spirit Lord, and to become a woman that is pleasing to you. I pray for her to find friends and a mate in life that holds her only second to you Father. To share a Christian life with and love with and make you proud.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blog Hop ♥ Time to Laugh

What a coincidence that this would be the blog hop for the week. It's been a rotten couple of days starting back to this week (hence my absence), and when I saw the blog hop "Time to Laugh", the first thing that came to my mind was sometimes you just have to laugh or you might cry. As all of us women know (and if you're a man reading this I'm sure you don't know but you've seen it), sometimes you just have to cry for no reason. Everything just overwhelms you, things pile on, someone says the smallest thing that wasn't intended to hurt your feelings but it cuts to the very core of who you are. I've had a few of those days.

So, today I choose to laugh. The last thing I can really remember laughing so hard at and doing was when we were in Haiti and my daughter learned a song she sang with two of our friends from the Mission... Roberto and Alex. We miss them so. We miss Haiti. But I can hear the sound of my daughter's voice singing and laughing like never before while they acted out the motions to their song. It warmed my heart, it touched my soul. It made me laugh like I never expected. I'll try to link the video here, but if it doesn't work then please forgive me and picture if you will a young, American girl (i.e. white) lol, with corn rows in her long blonde hair, singing a traditional song "Welcome to my house my brother", with two grown (although childlike at heart) Haitian (i.e. black--like you couldn't figure that one out) lol, men standing up, sitting down and laughing....ha ha haaa ha haaaaaaaaa.... :) It makes me smile just thinking about it.

Please, take the time to stop and laugh today. It's the best medicine, it prevents wrinkles, it warms your heart. And besides all makes people wonder what the heck you're up to!!! LOL

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
Ecclesiastes 3:1,

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, August 23, 2009

[ Relaxing Weekend ]

My weekend was pretty uneventful. I had to work on Saturday (which is still fun because I love what I do!). I had two senior sessions. Both girls and they were such beautiful girls and so fun, it made my day pretty easy.

After working I took the kids and we made a Wal Mart run to finish getting school supplies and gym shoes, plus a few goodies for momma! =] I found some things I wanted to sew and try my hand at for fund raisers and gifts. So I was in need of some new material and found some awesome new little bundles of fat quarters in the sewing department. We're lucky that our Waldo World is one of the last few stores that the material and sewing notions haven't been yanked from the shelves. I'm convinced that's only because we live in the middle of nowhere and there's no other options to find the things we need. Okay, so they have some material, but nothing like making a trip to JoAnn's or Hancocks. Ho hum...the perils of living in rural America.

I've got lots of fun ideas in mind for these cute patterns. Some are hid from the picture! ;) hmmm... wonder if I planned it that way? lol

So here's the first attempt at a pattern I found for burpies on Susan Weinroth's blog. She links to the Fiskars website where she posted instructions and they are SUPER uber easy! Plus they were actually a lot of fun to make. I'm an instant gratification kinda' girl so these were a cinch to put out and very fast. I was so proud! lol =] I'm going to start making these and using them for fundraisers for our next mission trip. A portion of the proceeds will go to our mission travel fund, and a portion will go to the Life Connection Mission directly to help fund various needs for the people in Montrious, Haiti. I'm so excited! Something I can do in my spare time (like I've got much of it), to help us save money and donate to the mission.

So, here's the second thing I started. More burpies, but a matching set with one just using applique and an aplique newborn t-shirt for baby to match. How stinkin' cute is that?! I had a certain little baby girl in mind when I made these! I wonder if her momma will see this picture before she sees the shower gift. ;)

I cut the strips to make the burpies with just my quilting cutting mat and ruler with a rotary cutter, and the applique patterns (the P and the flower) I cut using my Cricut machine! Love that sucker! So, these were really quick!

I can't wait till the baby shower. :) Besides, when everyone sees how stinkin' cute they are, well.... I'll just have to offer up my services to make and sell them to raise funds for the mission! I got the idea for some of these great things from Pitter Patter Art (which is another bloggy friend you can find her link in my sidebar) that is designing and doing lots of cool stuff for her mission and adoption programs. Awesome goodness!
Got my worship goin' on at church this morning and shared my 'dreams' with Pastor Doug. Our congregation was challenged to write down our dreams for our lives and our dreams for our church. What direction we feel that God is leading us to. Liberating in a way, scarey in another. Voicing those dreams outloud and wondering who will think you're really nuts for coming up with them, and wondering if it just crushes them and douses them out like a campfire because they've been voiced. My Big Fat Hairy Audacious Dream for myself (and our family ultimately) is adoption. It may be only a dream that I feel led to and I wonder if it's really what God has planned for us on some days (today was one of those days), and other days I know it's where He's leading us. I just have to be patient and wait for His divine timing. I pray for His will in our lives daily and pray for our family to have hearts that are changed and seek to adopt and care for His children as He commands us to do. So, after church this morning I took my Sunday afternoon nap.... aaaahhhh. Nothing better than a nice nap in the cool afternoon breeze, stretched out on my bed in front of that big window with fresh air wrapping me up, dreaming those dreams.
I pray today for peace for our family, as well as my friends and other families (and anyone else who's reading!) that you will find the guidance God has for your lives. He's calling you, if you just take the time to listen. He's right there, waiting to walk with you, inspire you and make you whole just when you need it.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 11:29
Hope you all had a terrific weekend and an awesome Sunday! I'm off to bed (I knew I shouldn't have had that nap earlier.....). ♥ Blessings,

Friday, August 21, 2009

[ Friday Freebie! ]

I'm all about getting *FREE STUFF* and today I'm sharing a couple of goodies. =] Since the kids started school this past week of course all that paperwork came home that we have to fill out. One of the things in our Kindergarten pack was a note saying the kids are encouraged to bring water bottles to school labeled with their name. This helps to prevent sharing of germs at the water fountain and the kids bottles are sent home each night to be washed. If they need they filled during the day the teacher takes them and fills them. Does make sense, and rather than buying bottled water over and over (because I'm not one of those people that thinks my kid can't handle tap water...please, we eat mud pies as kids, water from a tap is not toxic), I'll send my kid with a refillable jug. A *FREE* Juicy Juice jug! How cool?! All you have to do is go to this site and fill out the form with your name and address and your free jug is on it's way! Besides...I ♥ Lime Green! If he ever misplaces it or gets tired of it, that sucker's mine! lol

And did you remember to fill out your form last week for the *FREE* chocolate?! I got my coupon this week and enjoyed a full sized 3 Musketeers yesterday! Just when I needed it, at the end of a hectic day when I was ready to pull my hair out. I stopped at the Shell station, got my 50cent Dr. Pepper and a chocolate fix. I tell you, it's like valuum. Aaaaaahhhhh.... Don't forget to click every Friday to get your chocolate!
So, for some reason this week I'm on a junk food kick. Go ahead, admit it. We all fall prey to the 'Fat in a Sack' as my 5 year old calls it. You know you want it and there's not another fry on the planet that can compare to Ronald's. =] We already have one of these coupons but I'm headed for another... click here to get a free LG order of fries and a drink if you try one of the new Angus burgers at Mickey D's. I think I might actually indulge today for lunch while the kids are at school so I don't have to share! Yes, I'm selfish that way. Shoot me. =] lol

So, now after I eat my fat-in-a-sack, have my Dr. Pepper and favorite candy bar I'll sit back and wait for my juice jug to come in the mail. Yep, it's shaping up to be a lazy Friday. Did I mention the weather is still awesome today? Cool with a slight breeze, overcast but not dark and gloomy cloudy. It's a nice day to curl up with a good book. Maybe at least for an hour or so. I do have work to do and want to look like I accomplished something when my hubby gets home (besides just cleaning the coffee table and dining room table off and throwing away a week's worth of junk mail).
So, along those lines of thinking (cleaning that is...hey, I did a little bit) here's my verse for the day:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10
He's renewing my steadfast spirit today as I rejoice in the awesome weather we're having and a sense of accomplishment by the work I have gotten done the last couple of days. It's going to be a good weekend. Now...go get your FREE STUFF!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

[ Thankful Thursday ]

It's a beautiful morning! This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! I'm thankful today for the beautiful cool weather with a wonderful breeze because it allows me to open the windows to my house and let the fresh air in! My favorite season is fall and I can tell it's coming. Summer is great for the kids and the time we spend together, they get to go swimming and camping is great (if you have a/c) ;) But to me, nothing compares to fall. The smell of the leaves and even the piles that people are burning. The crackle and crunch when you walk on them in the park. Being able to wear a sweatshirt or sweater with my jeans while watching a football game. The breathtaking colors as the leaves change on the trees. The bright yellows and orange and deep rich reds. This is what I love.

*SIDEBAR* (this is where my mind wanders in the middle of something important) Speaking of football reminds me of Tanner last night. My 5 year old comes into the living room sweating like a greased pig and with his hands on his hips proclaims that he's done with his workout! lol =] What workout? He tells me he's been outside doing his sit ups and jumping jacks and push ups so he can practice for football for when he's older and they will let him play. It's terrible being 17 and trapped in a little 5 yr old body don't you know. Then he proceeds to show me and do them all over again in the living room floor so I know he's actually telling the truth. And he's doing them right! The little stinker can do more push ups than I can! Then he takes a few more minutes to explain to me the proper way to throw a football so it spirals.... "like this mom." Once he's completed his 'workout' before leaving the room he informs me, "and I'm good ya know?!" "I'm gonna love it when they let me play mom, and I'm gonna be the toughest one!" Oh how I look forward to the days when he plays.... I'll be the mom on the sidelines wearing the oversized jersey with my sons name and snapping pictures while he's breaking records. Just wait and see.

Now...back to our regularly scheduled program.

Today, I'm thankful for my senses. The ability to see these colors, to smell the fresh air, take it into my body and know that God is with me wherever I go. He loves to share his creation with me and I think when we appreciate it He revels in making something so magnificent.

I think each part of God's earth is beautiful in it's own way. I'm thankful that He placed me right where I am. Where I can enjoy the green grass tickling between my toes, the shade of the trees, and the sound of the birds. Just as I'm sure those who live in other parts of the world are right now thanking Him for the sound of the ocean, the smell of the salt or the feel of the warm sand between their toes. I'm thankful today that God has placed me right where He wants me to be, and has made me who I am.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

[ Caramel Apple Sticky Buns ]

Total yumminess!!! I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman (find her blog link in the sidebar). Her pictures always look so good and completely edible, right off the screen! It just makes me drool. So, I decided to try this one out and take a few of my own pictures. And guess what?! It totally looked like it, and definitely tasted YUMMY! I used a different dough recipe for my rolls and ended up with double what I expected. Which in the end was terrific because they were so great we ate one whole pan last night! I made these as a treat for the kids' first day back to school and we ate sticky buns while we talked about everything from their day and filled out all those nasty back-to-school forms. We have one more pan to, where can I hide them? lol :)

Cinnamon Roll Dough:
1 Cup warm water
2 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1 Cup hot water
3 egs, beaten
1/2 Cup butter flour
3/4 Cup sugar

Mix the first 3 ingredients and set aside. Dissolve the next 4 ingredients and then add eggs. Add enough flour to make a soft batter, then add yeast mixture and beat well. Add more flour so that you can stir it with a spoon. Let rise, work down, and let rise again. Roll out on floured counter top. Add your butter, sugar, cinnamon, roll 'em up and slice 'em!

Yep... yeast and dough look really eewwy! ;(

Okay... now for the good part!!!

Homemade Caramel:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/2 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp dark corn syrup
2 Tbsp heavy cream

In a heavy skillet melt butter on low heat. Don't get in a big hurry, we'll indulge soon enough! :) While your butter is melting add brown sugar. You don't need to stir right away, just let it melt down. It's starting to smell gooey and yummy!

Then add in corn syrup and cream. Stir it all together, still keeping your heat low. When it starts to bubble and simmer you've got your caramel! Poor half the mixture in a round greased pan (a 9-10 inch cake pan works great). You've got enough for too pans or if you really like TONS of caramel poor it all in one pan. :)

Take one green apple, peel and dice into tiny chunks. Scatter your apple in the bottom of the pan on your caramel mixture. Place your cut up chunks of cinnamon roll in the pan and let them rise for about 20 minutes.

Now it's time to bake your goodies! Keep them loosely covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, uncover and cook for about another 10 minutes or until rolls are done. When you take them from the oven find a serving tray (even a large dinner plate works fine), cover your pan of rolls and quickly flip! Use a butter knife if necessary to raise the pan and voila! You've got warm, yummy, gooey sticky buns! Which unfortunately if you eat enough of these, will be how you describe your own buns! lol :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

[ First Day of School ]

Well, it finally arrived. The day I knew was inevitable. The first day of school 2009. It's been quite a roller coaster of emotions today. My daughter started her senior year! I can't believe it. Watching her get ready for school and jumping out of the car (yes, she had to be driven today... for shame!), it all comes flooding back. The day she was born, watching her learn to walk, her first day of grade school in her little polka-dot dress and her new backpack. Watching her learn to ride a bike and begging her daddy to not let go, seeing her fall off of her horse for the first time, watching her graduate 8th grade, her first day of high school, her first prom date, getting her driver's license.....and now this. :) Everything went by so quickly!!! I have 9 short months to learn how to let her be herself. To let her go and be okay with the decisions she makes for her life, weather I agree with them or not. I hope these next few months creep by slowly. I love her so.

I'm a senior momma!!! :) Oh please....

Makes a beautiful young woman if I do say so myself. ;) I don't know where she gets it from.

And then, there's my boys. Tyler will graduate 8th grade this year. As hard as I try to believe he is one of the 'big' kids in the school he still seems like he just started grade school. How is it possible he'll be ready for high school so soon?! My little boy who mimicked everything his sister did (yes, everything.... he loved her dance shoes when he was little! lol), he tried so hard to stay out of the mudholes when he was little even when momma told him to be extra careful but boys will be boys. His favorite thing to do when he was in about 2nd grade was lock us out of the car before school. I've always been the 'school bus' for my kids and he would pretend to take his back pack to the car and lock the doors with my keys inside. When I'd discover what he'd done he always acted so innocent when he'd say, "I guess Cathy has to come drive us to school now!" He used to love one of my girlfriends from work and would find any excuse to get her to come to our house to see him. lol Little terd. And now look at him. He's going to be the big brother at school, watching out for his little brother, teaching him the ropes, and probably being too bossy in the process. It never seemed possible that he would be so big so fast. Where's Elmo when you need him?

My boys' first day of school. Sissy was already off to her high school responsibilities before the boys were out of bed. :( Tater just couldn't understand why he couldn't go with us this morning. Where is everyone off too?

This is how we were greeted as soon as we pulled up in front of school. I talked to Daddy tonight and told him, "This is why we send our kids to R6." It hit me like a ton of bricks when we got out of the car. All of Tyler's classmates (all 6 of them!) were waiting on the sidewalk for him. Hurry up! You're the last one here! We've been waiting for you! They are the 'seniors' of our little school. All seven of them, making their presence known as the 8th graders this year. They had their little chat before school started with their favorite teacher, brought snacks for one another and Tyler even baked a 'welcome back' cake. Just for his friends. They are an incredible group of kids and I'm excited to see what the year holds for us. :)
See... like a little family. Could it get any better?! Some of our friends know what we've been up against lately with 'school decisions' and these are the reasons we choose R6. Not the school board, not because we think our kids are 'better'. But because the kids and the teachers care. Period.

See.... the caring. :) "Miss Olmstead" (aka Heather!) was Tanner's first babysitter after he was born. She was hired as a new teacher this year, so Tanner and Heather get to grow in their new journey through R6 together. He was happy to see her and I think she was a little happy to see him and give him some extra special help this morning. We love you Heather!
Tanner and his awesome teacher Mrs. Sager
Last but not least.... my baby. How is it possible that he can start Kindergarten already?! We just got the news of our surprise not too long ago! That he was going to be our third baby! Wow. It just seems like yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital and nicknamed him glow worm because of his bili blanket. Watching him learn to walk and grow strong, having his big sister baby him and take him for his first horsie ride. Seeing Tyler teaching him all the tricks on the Wii and PS2. Finding the joy in having him around day in and day out as I was lucky enough to get to stay home with him the last three years. What a blessing. When I ask him this morning what I was going to do all day without my assistant he simply said, "Gee Mom, school doesn't last all day. I'll be home pretty soon." :) So simple. So real. Letting me know that he doesn't always need mom as much as mom needs him. I'm so proud of him for being so brave all the time and being so grown up. When you have two teenage siblings it's not a hard thing to learn. We had many mixed feelings and challenges with him starting school and I'm glad that our story had a happy ending. He began his first year at R6. Just like Taylor, just like Tyler.
And, yes, I need to learn to slowly let go of this one too. I was still peering through the classroom door watching the kids take their seats. Finding their names on their tables. Thinking to myself, "Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten."

The Lord has truly blessed us with these children. We've done what we always felt was best for them and was pleasing to God. He guides us daily. I know that He is ever present wherever they are. Today marked a milestone for me as a mother, as a parent. I've done my job, and feel I've done it well (with a little help from Daddy and of course the good Lord), and now it's the kids' turn to go to work. I pray that they will always be mindful of their actions and their words and not only strive to make mom and dad proud but to make their Heavenly Father proud.
I hope everyone's first day of school was as happy and blessed as ours. We're also pooped from filling out new year paperwork, medical forms, etc., and a busy first day. Everyone is already down for the night and snoring away. See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 17, 2009

[ Movie Monday ]

Okay, so there's more than one 'M' word to go with Mondays. :) Matchmaker Monday is VERY important and I blogged on that this morning. I'm making Movie Mondays too! I'm a movie junkie!!! SERIOUS movie junkie! It's rubbed off on my kids even.

I just saw this trailer today and I think I have to mark my calendar, schedule it in my blackberry, put post-it's on my fridge... When November rolls around you'll find my butt in a movie seat soaking in Sandra Bullock's latest: The Blindside

Extra Bonus! I found a new video link through the ABBA fund for books on adoption! I'm off to Amazon to find the latest great reads! Stay tuned for reviews!

[ Matchmaker Monday ]

Time to see another adorable face. A face of another child of God, looking for someone to sponsor them so they can enjoy the simple privilege of school. :) But I get to share the awesome story of finding a match first. :) Meet Claudia and her sister Lynda. Through the Mission website they appear to be two very different and somewhat shy little girls. They are sisters. Sisters who I'm sure depend on one another for so much. Lynda being the younger sister might have even had to depend on her big sister Claudia to teach her all about school. You see, when you are the oldest child in the family (which is normally the one attending school) you get to come home and teach all your siblings about what you learn while you're in school. Imagine the excitement of one day a group of people showing up at your house to tell you the good news of getting a sponsor. Claudia was very shy, hiding her smile with her hands. Her sister Lynda was more than excited to see sponsors coming to share the good news.

Boy, don't they both look so thrilled to be holding a little white sign with their name? NOT!
I'm sure there are certain things about school that are very similar to what our kids experience. After all, who wants to stand in line to hold a sign up with your name like everyone else, when you could be playing at recess, eating lunch or playing with new books? I'm sure the school photos are not a popular activity. :) lol
Now, picture these same two girls in their home environment. Only theirs is not what we would consider typical. In Haiti, yes it's very typical. In America, we wonder how people can live in such poverty. The girls were more than happy to share their home and let us see where they live. Or should I say how they live. And it crossed my mind more than once wondering if the shame I feel over my house being a cluttered mess is such a silly thing. What if Claudia's mom was thinking the same thing, or perhaps thinking if these Americans can see how we live they will be anxious to give even more. Everyone has their pride, I just wonder how deeply it goes for some. Or how we may hold onto our pride senselessly when we realize how privileged we really are.

Would you be more apt to sponsor a child knowing this is how some of them live? This one little room is home to Claudia, Lynda and 7 other siblings. What's the first thing you notice when looking at this photo? The clothes in the corner, the dirt floor, or how dirty the girls seem to be? the first thing I noticed after walking in was that they have a table and dishes! Yep, you read that right. Some of the places and the homes we visited, they didn't even have table service to eat with. Some would look at the kids and their unkept condition and think these families need so much more than a sponsorship for school. But bear in mind, this is a lifestyle. A lifestyle the Haitian people have become accustomed to. It's no different than our children running around the house playing in diapers and getting dirty from a mud fight. Because look....

This is Lynda and Claudia and their mother the next day when they walked all the way to our house to visit. To show Kelsey how much they appreciated her sponsorship and how proud they were of the new things she had left for them. A new dress and new hair bands. They walked probably 5 miles to show their gratitude. They were cleaned and bathed and wearing their new and clean clothes. Just imagine how much their life changed in just one day. Because one family cared enough to share what they've been blessed with to help another family. Thank you to the Donohue family and Kelsey for sponsoring these girls. I know they will be anxious to send you updates and let you know what's going on in their lives at school. And here's the happy ending we see when they left our house at the mission that day. Claudia was skipping and Lynda was running alongside her mother hugging her. I can only imagine what was going through their minds. Or, as a mother myself, the relief and joy that was going through their mother's mind knowing she would be able to send two of her girls to school.
So, now we meet Jeff Henry. :) While we were out walking through the village one day meeting families and children we met Jeff Henry's uncle. He saw us speaking to other families and adults and wanted to know about finding sponsors for his boys. Our mission guide Roberto ask him to bring the boys by the house the next day to meet us and take some current photos. We go from seeing a picture of this young boy on the website to.....

this young boy (much like my own 13-yr-old son), who came to our home with his uncle to meet us. Giggling, joking with his friend, punching around and just being a happy-go-lucky teenager. of course, most boys don't like their picture taken so we have to put on the tough-guy, macho face for new photos. :) I can't tell you what a difference it makes to see these kids, meeting them brings out so much more than just their school photo tells.

And I'm sure, if Jeff Henry's uncle is anything like mine he got the speech about minding his manners and being polite to make a good impression in front of these strangers. ;) lol But he still couldn't help but laugh and joke, hiding his face with his hands. Typical teenager. :) Or is he? I don't know how many 13-yr-old boys are attending the 5th grade. My son is the same age as Jeff Henry and he'll be in 8th grade. Because it's the law here. Because we are required to educate our children and it's neglect if we don't. But for Jeff Henry it's a privilege. A privilege bestowed upon him by finding a sponsor. My son's dreams of growing up to become a chef and own his own restaurant can be a reality, because he will study and is given this right. I wonder what Jeff Henry aspires to be? Maybe even a doctor or a teacher, but those dreams can only become a reality with help of sponsorship and caring families. Will God place it on your heart to be Jeff Henry's sponsor? You can fill out the sponsorship form here and be sure and include Jeff Henry's student number 5400.

What will your heart be led to today? Even if it's not sponsorship of a child through Life Connection, or another country even, let it be to works that are pleasing to our Lord above. Find your own mission in life, your own way to be of service to Him by helping his people, wherever they are in need.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." --Matthew 25:40

Sunday, August 16, 2009

[ Did You Serve? ]

It's Sunday evening and I'm wondering where my day went. It's always 'customary' around our house to relax on Sundays. We get up and go to church and Sunday School and then come home and enjoy our family time together. Wether it's watching a football game, a movie, taking a nap together or finding something to do outside. But it's a day of togetherness and a day of worship. But, as I sit here tonight I'm wondering what I did today to Serve Him. Sometimes I feel like my day is wasted. I want to make my Lord proud in all things that I do, my actions should be for his glory and to honor him. But I've felt so not-myself lately that today went by before I knew it was gone and I felt as though I had let Him down.

Sure, I got up went to church but this morning it wasn't something I looked forward to or even felt as if it was a chore. It just was. What happened to excitement and thrill of hearing a new message or feeling moved by the music or others' words of inspiration? We skipped Sunday School and came home. I made lunch (homemade pizza! Yep...again), and then spent my afternoon wanting to be left alone. I ate my lunch alone while watching the tail end of a movie that didn't impress me (least of all inspire me), I didn't encourage my kids in anything this afternoon. Taylor left with a friend to go to evening service at their church, Tyler has one again felt like the loner being the middle child and never knowing what's going on or feeling left out. Tanner spent his time with Dad and they went to the skate park this afternoon late to spend some time just getting out of the house I suppose. So, voila.... I was ultimately left alone. Just like I wanted, right? Wow... I guess I didn't want to really be alone after all. I began thinking of when i was my daughter's age, looking forward to going to church on Sundays with my boyriend (now my kids daddy), it was actually something I looked forward to and I could have been more encouraging to her. I remember having the 'only child' syndrome in my house and knowing how Tyler feels being left out of everything. It stinks. And, then I remembered what it was like feeling like a single parent in a two-parent household once upon a time. That really BITES. And, here I'd left Eric to feel like that single parent today. Yesterday went down the pooper and today wasn't any better for me.

So, while I'm sitting here alone I think of what I can do to serve today. To make Him proud and not feel like I wasted one of his glorious days for me. I decided to make my family dinner. Not just a coldcut sandwich and chips with dip. I love to cook and haven't done a really big meal in a while. So, I head to the kitchen. I love my kitchen. I wish it were bigger and brighter and had a freakin' window!, but I love it. :) Hmmm, what to cook. T-Bones, fresh corn on the cob, garlic oven fries, fresh cucumbers.....yep, that'll do it. A bit starchy but what the heck. Some of my family's favorite things. So, while I'm cooking started thinking of what these things remind me of. My all-time favorite cooking magazines are Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen. Awesome recipes and the pages and pictures make me think of my Pappy's house and how Mammie used to cook. I don't remember her, but I remember him and the house and the retro furniture and the big giant coffee can full of crayons they kept for us in the living room and the red velvet curtains in the house. I miss that.

These magazines are from the same parent company I believe and the same editors. Check out their websites and get a free issue (actually several free issues!) of different cooking magazines. They're awesome and you'll love them!

Eric's favorite recipe from my magazines is Garlicky Oven Fries. He's been hooked since the first time I made them, and I've learned to modify recipes to suit our tastes. Or at least his.... he's not as much of a garlic fan as I am. ;) lol These are super simple and yummy! You can see the ingredients if you click on the pic. My simple solution. I nuke my 'taters for about 5 minutes to get them somewhat cooked around the edges and then cut them into chunks about a 1/4". I put the corn starch, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a plastic bag, toss the 'taters in and shake it up till they are all coated. Oil my pan, spread them out and bake away! :) It makes it much quicker and less garlicky than using real garlic minced. That's totally yummy, but not Eric's fav. I'm hoping he'll be a little excited when he gets home. Or at least in a better mood after eating that we can enjoy our evening together.

Throw in some home-grown corn on the cob and what could be better? Did I mention I love my kitchen? I love some of my antique pots and pans and bowls too. This pan makes me think of my grandad, and the 70's. :) How he used to cook in his kitchen with a dish towel thrown over his shoulder, one tied around his waste for an apron and the whistle of the pressure cooker while he sliced up raw turnips for us to eat together. How can a pot provoke such memories?

Well, did I make you hungry? I've got my family home again, they ate and we're spending our evening together. We're watching the food network. lol :) The cake challenge show. Tyler is designing a cake to make next week and we'll do it together. My hubby has his belly full and in a better mood. I'm hoping that in some way I've served Him by serving my family. There are so many more things I could have done today. So many more ways I could have served Him. Just worshiping and praising my Lord doesn't seem like enough at times. I'm hoping tomorrow I do more to share Him with others. Hopefully today I shared Him with my family by serving them.

Still trying to get used to my new glasses and those annoying little blue pills. Maybe that's why I'm feeling out of sorts today. That's at the top of my prayer list. To somehow figure out this dizziness in my head and the headaches that seem to linger.

Tell me, what did you do today to serve Him? I hope your Sunday was better than mine.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

[ blah blah blah ]

That's just how I feel today. We had such big plans, and you know what they say about the best laid plans. Well, ours flopped too. We didn't get headed out to KC as soon as we had hoped. Taylor had worked all night and didn't get home until around 1 a.m. (thank goodness her dad went after her because I was out like a light!), we weren't quite sure if the boys would go on our trip to the city or not. I had told Taylor we'd spend the day together as just us girls and doing some of her senior pics. She had forgotten that we'd set today aside just for her, and unfortunately my little episode with vertigo has left me depending on everyone else to drive me around. I'm okay to head to town for groceries etc., but long trips have me a little leery. Dad agreed to go with us (reluctantly) and the boys of course couldn't stay home that long without killing one another. They were going to go to the show while sissy and I played.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Eric hates to leave to go anywhere without having a schedule to follow and he's definitely not a spontaneous person. He wanted to leave early this morning so we could be back early this afternoon. We left around 1-ish and got home around 8 p.m. Which to me, isn't bad at all! Taylor wasn't ready to go any sooner, she's a later riser. Long story short, our trip didn't start out pretty, and ended fairly quiet. We kicked the guys out at the movie (G-Force) decided our fun was spoiled so we postponed senior pics yet again. :( I think that was more disappointing for me than Taylor. We went to get my new glasses at Lenscrafters and decided to go clothes shopping for the one-hour wait. She got a few new things for school (and pictures--if we ever get them done), got the boys a couple of shirts for school. Old Navy took part of our dough and we found a new store...Delia's! Very cute stuff! Plus we got $10 off just for trying on a pair of jeans! I don't know if that is just for this weekend or if it lasts until the sale is over on September 9th, but it's worth checking out! Hey, ten bucks is ten bucks! Just as we got to the bookstore (our favorite place on planet earth) Daddy called and the movie was over and they were ready to be picked up. So there went our day. We stopped to eat at Olive Garden on the way home. No one in our family (except me) had ever eaten there. They agreed it was worth a second return visit someday.

So, now I'm just surfin' the net (with my new glasses), curled up in my sweats and a fuzzy blankie (it rained okay... too much rain and a/c makes me chilly!),

I'm ready for some fall football weather! Tanner is rockin' the house with some major hip hop moves ;) lol, Daddy is watching pre-season football and the older kids went to hideout in their rooms. Aahhhh Teenagers. :)

Tanner has been begging since he saw the previews to go see G-Force and today he got his wish. I've heard "get your face out of my butt" so many times I swear he could memorize the entire movie. That and "poop in his hand! poop in his hand!" Oiy... and Kindergarten starts in two days?! I hope he learns how to control his sense of humor and his little mouth before school starts. I think the 'cuteness' wore off about a year ago...

So, while I'm surfin the web, I come across this little jewel I think Tanner needs. Looks like a great shirt for a 5-yr-old wouldn't you agree?Seriously have to find some more goodness at their website: Chasing Fireflies
I came across their site from another bloggie friend who ordered a halloween costume for her daughter. MAJOR cuteness! Seriously! I wish I had small kids again just to shop for some of their useless stuff! I *big puffy heart* this stuff! Yep...I'm feeling the need to do something domestic! Do I torture the Cricut Machine or the sewing machine?

Friday, August 14, 2009

[ Friday Freebie! ]

Wow... how did it get to be Friday already?! Oh yeah, I lost a day or so in there with sleep and an ER visit. lol Today has been a long day. My dizzy spells are coming and going, but today has been the worst day since Tuesday evening. I accidentally got zinged in the head with a volleyball doing school pictures so it sent me reeling again after we left the school and I had to sit down and get my bearings. This is going to drive me crazy. I hope it goes away soon. So, there is a prayer request for the day, weekend, next week, month.... whatever it takes. I've had plenty of prayers already and we are to pray without ceasing. My prayer today is that this thing called vertigo will leave me alone or at least the good Lord will teach me how to cope with it. Because I don't like it. Sometimes it's minor and other times it feels like I'm just being spun around like a giant top! AAaahhhh!!! (today is shaping up to be one of those days!)

So, onward and upward to better things! It's Friday Freebie! Did you know that Wal-Mart online has a page for just freebies?! Free samples and free trial offers. They change constantly! Bookmark THIS PAGE and go back to visit often! There are tons of freebies. Maybe something that interests you, or maybe your neighbor or a friend. This week, I think I'm going for the Nicorete Gum and I'm going to send it to my sister. :) I quit smoking over 2 years ago, wow... almost 2 1/2 years ago! And I'm so glad I did. She's tried lots of times, and even if the Nicorete doesn't work, it will be my way of saying, "What the heck are you doing? Would you QUIT already?!" lol She may hate the gum and never chew it, but she'll try to quit one more time. Who knows. The gum may work....and it's FREE! :)

(This is where I'd love to throw in a beautiful scripture verse that would be so fitting for my sister to quit smoking and for my vertigo to go away. But, that would require more reading and my head is throbbing so listen for the Lord's voice and say your own prayer for our needs. I've had enough jumbled letters and words for one day. I think I'll turn in early).
But first, I'll leave you with this little cutie. :) Remember we were going to do some of Taylor's senior pictures at the fair? She's such a goofy kid. I love that she can make me laugh at the drop of a hat. I'll share more of her good shots later. But today, I'm liking the big blue elephant. (He kinda goes with my little blue pills! lol)

Today has been a long day, lots of memory mate pics for school (which I'm having a blast doing....if I hadn't gotten beaned in the head with a volleyball!) lol. Tomorrow I'm heading to the city to the eye doctor to get new glasses and maybe if I'm feeling up to it, we're going to start on Taylor's senior pictures. Kansas City is called the City of Fountains and Taylor is looking forward to playing in them! Wish us luck! If you see someone on the 6 o'clock news laying in the middle of the crown center fountain display, it's just me.... waiting for the world to stop spinning! lol :) See you in the funny papers!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

[ Thankful Thursday ]

Today is a day that I can truly say I'm thankful for so many blessings. More than I realize, and not just the simple things we take for granted. I've had quite an eventful week, attending a school board meeting (which I hate public speaking of any kind!), a trip to the ER, an overnight hospital stay, and 'drugs' that are seriously kicking my butt! lol :)

Today I'm thankful that my (our--mine and my husband's) voice was heard at the school board meeting. My youngest son will attend school where his siblings have always gone. Small victory yes, but the battle isn't over. Long story short, his class size was increased rather than the enrollment policy being modified. My work is not finished there...

Today I'm thankful that my favorite doctor (Hi Dr. J!) was on-call at the ER when I arrived. Hubby was worried after a nasty dizzy episode that I might have been having a stroke so he rushed me to the ER. Dr. J participates and practices medicine with Life Connection Mission. His heart shares the same love for a people that have become so important to me. I know his soul and heart better because of his mission work. (Plus he was my family doctor as a child too! I'm kinda partial! But since he's retired I don't have the luxury of his expertise on a regular basis.) lol

I'm thankful that the good Lord listens to prayer. For those who earnestly seek him you'll find him when you seek him with all your heart. :)

Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
--Jeremiah 29:12-13
I'm one of those paranoid nuts that if anything should happen to go wrong (when it rarely does) I always assume the worst. My thoughts of anurisms and other conditions swoop through my mind and are put to rest with a cat scan and a clean bill of health from the doc. However I'm 'cursed' with vertigo. What the heck?! Talk about dizzy! I've never felt so out of sorts in my life! Imagine driving down the road (thank the Lord I wasn't driving) and all of a sudden you wreck, your car flips out of control like a demolition derby and your sent reeling down the road in all different directions....and it won't stop! That's the feeling I had Tuesday night. My mind just kept sending me in flips over and over, AND OVER. Well, about an hour later, some valum, and a little blue pill and I'm feeling fine. :) (insert BIG smiley face). Apparently this is something that my mother has suffered from and my father is cursed with too... to the extreme degree that he has to lay down in the floor and not move because it becomes so out of control. I could claim "what a curse". Instead, I am thankful to my Lord that it's only 'dizzy spells' that can be controled. I'm healthy as a horse. yeah God!

Then, yesterday, it was a trip to the eye doctor. I haven't had a real eye exam in probably close to 20 years. The over-the-counter reading glasses from the local waldo world aren't cutting it anymore. So, yes, old age is starting to creep up on me...I have been prescribed real glasses. (insert rolling eyes smiley face here). lol I'm thankful that I live in a world where modern technology can diagnose so many things and there are remedies to help us be comfortable in this world. I can live with glasses. Maybe i'll start wearing my hair in one of those tight buns and people will think I'm some freaky genius girl! lol I'm just glad I will be able to see what I'm eating, and read what I'm seeing. That was my funny for the week. I told the doctor when he ask that "I wear eating glasses". Honest... serious slip of the tongue. Then I explained I have to wear my reading glasses to eat because my plate is blurry and it gives me a headache. lol So, I wear my reading glasses to eat, and my eating glasses to read. Okay, maybe too much valum and little blue pills. lol But I'm thankful that they give me comfort and relief for my current symptoms of the week.

My most awesome and incredible thing I'm thankful for today is a loving husband who cares for me like no other. God's command for the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church is truly what he strives for on a daily basis.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her...
--Ephesians 5:25

(Okay, so I spooked him a tad bit), He rushed me to the doctor, babied me by taking care of my clothes and jewelry, and filling out all the nasty paperwork that I was surprised he knew answers to questions I thought he wouldn't. lol He never left my side. He even sacrificed and slept in the awful (uncomfortable) hospital bed next to mine. I can't remember the last time he was so attentive, not even during childbirth! lol :) He took me to the eye doctor (so I didn't have to drive the one hour round trip...not a good idea when the road doesn't go straight in my mind this week!), and he's taken every opportunity to hold my hand when I least expect it. He fixed me breakfast this morning and brought me yummy warm pancakes dripping in syrup and has stayed home with me for the last two days. I love him more than he could ever begin to realize and I am so very thankful to my Lord for giving me such a wonderful gift to care for me and share all my days on this earth with. I love you Eric!

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

[ BlogHop Favorite Photo ]

Oh yeah! Today's bloghop is your favorite photo. I have tons of those but these are my favorites of late. I just want to share so much the love of new friends and a peace in my heart. These pictures share that love lately. And I come back to look at them VERY frequently.

During our trip to Haiti we met Olivia. A missionary family currently living in Haiti is in the process of adopting this precious little girl. She was a joy to see and play with and this one picture just makes me think of looking to Heaven to thank our Lord for the blessings we are so abundantly surrounded by. The simple things in life....sunshine, trees, birds, water. The things that are new through a child's eyes. :)

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
--Matthew 18:3

I'm a sucker for feet. Especially kid feet. :) This is my son and my best friends' little boy. Two people in my life who bring much joy and smiles. It's funny to see them or hear them on occasion. I'm taller than you, I'm faster than doesn't matter if your black or white. God loves us all.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God"
--1 Peter 2:9-10

And precious Kristi. Beautiful little Kristi. Surrounded by so many people who aren't like her, wanting to have a tiny little nose, straight blonde hair, different colored eyes. She can't see the beautiful person yet that we all discovered long ago. God made her perfect just like she is. This picture was actually taken before she had her hair straightened. I told her I was going to miss her 'fro braids and fuzzy 'fro hair so she let me take pictures before she had her dream of straight hair fulfilled. Someday she will see just how beautiful she really is. We love her just the way God made her.

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in that you are not lacking in any gift.
--1 Corinthians 1:4-5,7

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, August 10, 2009

[ matchmaker Monday ]

Okay, so it's almost Tuesday...sue me! :) But after talking to my friend Diane yesterday evening I had an idea. Well, talking to her and reading a bloggie friend's Monday post. Diane was able to speak to members of the First Christian Church and it looks as though they may decide to sponsor another child through the mission. There are so many kids waiting for sponsors, hoping and dreaming of just being able to go to school. The mission is about so much more than just educating the children in Haiti but teaching them about God and showing His love to the people in Montrious. It became a personal goal to tell as many people as I could about the change Haiti made in my life. Finding support for the mission, finding sponsors for the many children. Some of which I had the fortune to meet.

So, I came up with the idea of Matchmaker Monday for my blog! I can feature waiting children looking for sponsorships and maybe in some way, someone who reads the blog will be touched or led to sponsor someone. You never know what one person will see in the eyes of a child. I had a few ideas in mind for sponsoring a child, and then somehow God had a few ideas in mind for me.

I went from seeing this photo on a website and hearing information about a child, her family size, her age, you know... basic facts.

To, knowing this child through her smiles and a loving touch that melted my heart. I know not everyone will ever be able to meet the child they choose to sponsor, but I can't begin to tell you how it can change their lives.... or yours.

Seeing strange faces (not to mention strange new white faces) show up at your home can make one a bit nervous and shy. But after being explained through the translator the reason for our visit, we instantly became a cherished friend. Someone who loved and cared enough to share what God has blessed us with to help one of His children in need. Not only are you just 'sponsoring' a child by sending your money, you are teaching them the love of Christ and spreading his light and love to people in the world. The mission is very strong in teaching the Christian faith through the school and to the children.
Yet another 'face in the crowd' as seen through our sponsorship page. Yet, getting to know the people behind the pictures would tell you....

...that Evaline is one heck of a 'cosmetologist' (of sorts). Trying to earn extra money for her family she takes time to come to the mission house when teams visit to see if anyone would like their hair done, Haitian style. ;o) She graced us with her beautiful smile and personality one evening and we paid her to braid the girls' hair.

I guess to me, seeing who the faces of Haiti really are shows so much more than a face with a name card against a school wall. Evaline is still in need of a sponsor to help her attend school. At the age of 20, being in the 8th grade is quite an accomplishment. You see, in Haiti the grade you're in doesn't depend on your age and simply passing to the next don't go to school unless you can pay for it. So making it to a jr. high or high school level is awesome. But also, difficult.

It's not just about picking out the one with the cutest smile or saddest face. It's about who the children and the people are. Today, I'm sharing just Evaline, giving you an idea of what's to come. I want to share who the children are and hopefully match them with loving, supportive sponsors who want to share the love of Christ with them.

To sponsor Evaline you can click on the sponsor link in the right sidebar or leave a comment to this post, or feel free to e-mail me directly at and I'll make sure you are linked up with Evaline, or another child of your choice. There's more to come! Watch next week for new faces.