Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mama Loves (Looking Back)

This was about one year ago.  It goes so fast!
Looking back at old blog posts ... (from 2012)

I love that Lila, at age 7, still wants me to sing to her at bedtime.

I love how Mara likes to tell me all the details of her days.

I love when Cody pats me and says "Mommy" in that reassuring way to himself and when he says, "Hugga," and squeezes me tight.

I love when Kyle says "Hugga" too - which he does.

I love squeals of delight over the simplest things like silly faces or noises, seeing construction vehicles, daddy coming home from work, saying goodnight to the moon, a favorite song or rhyme.

I love when Lila wants me to watch her dance routine.

I love the homemade & spontaneous notes of love from Lila.

I love the thoughtful help around the house from Mara when she sees I'm having a hard day.

I love that Kyle likes to tell all his plans and dreams for his life, and that he wants me to watch his new favorite tv show with him.

I love that the kids know my favorite songs and will call me in to listen to them when the songs are playing.

I love baby feet.

I love seeing who each one is growing to be - the special talents and gifts that God has given them.  And how God put us together to grow us into who he made us to be.

I love how they gently encourage me in ways I need to grow.

I thank God every day for making me their mama!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ten Favorite Summer Reading (repost)

1.  Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco (One of my favorite authors)

2.  Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse

3.  The Summer Night by Charlotte Zolotow - this is one of my favorite since I was a little girl, and I read it to my kids every summer.  It's hard to find now.

4.  God's Quiet Things by Nancy Sweetland

5.  Night Driving by John Coy

6.  Oregon's Journey by Rascal

7.  Blueberries for Sal (and Make Way for Ducklings) by Robert McCloskey

8.  Fairy Houses by Tracy Kane

9.  Hide and Seek Fog by Alvin Tresselt

10.  Wind Says Goodnight by Katy Rydell

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Trades of Hope in Haiti

In 2007, a woman named Shelley Clay went to Haiti to adopt a little girl. When she and her husband arrived, they discovered that the child’s parents were living and still wanted her, but they simply could not afford to care for her. She was a relinquished child. As Shelley investigated further, she found that every child in the orphanage was in the same situation – their parents were so desperate that t...hey felt their only choice was to give their babies to an orphanage so they could have a chance.
Shelley and her family moved to Haiti and started a group called the Apparent Project. In 2007, she started with 4 women, teaching them to make jewelry and sell it so they could afford to keep their families intact. Shelley now has more than 200 employees. Trades of Hope was their first wholesale partner, and we continue to be a huge part of the change for Haitians and the crisis of relinquished children. All of the Haiti Signature products are made by this group, which is nicknamed the “Unorphanage.”
The Haiti jewelry shown here is made of recycled cereal boxes! Half of the beads are clay, half are recycled cereal boxes made into beads.
Watch this video from Shelley at the Apparent Project (two of our founders make an appearance at the end!): www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCctTpYedpw  For more information or videos, see Sara's Trades of Hope

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Step into My Shoes

Here's a fun summer idea ...

We are sponsors with Compassion.  So I love ways for my kids to feel more a part of what that means to be a sponsor and learn about children around the world.  Compassion has a family toolkit that they are offering right now.  It comes with a DVD about Pastor Tom and his family in Uganda, a map of Uganda, a journey guide, prayer shoelaces, and the Compassion Explorer magazine.

"Step Into My Shoes delivers a peek into the daily life of Ugandan Pastor Tom, his wife Nancy and their 12 children, as they gather water, prepare food, find safety when they sleep, go to school, and enjoy time together."

Would you like to go on the journey too?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trades of Hope Countries

I am so excited to be working with Trades of Hope (as I shared before).  I believe empowering women and children around the world changes so many lives and brings so much hope!  I thought I would share on my blog once a week some of the artisan stories from Trades of Hope.  These stories can change our lives too.  Stay tuned for the first story soon!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fasting: Habits of a Child's Heart

Another habit:  Fasting from  Habits of a Child's Heart:  Raising your kids with the Spiritual Disciplines by Valerie Hess and Marti Watson Garlett.

I have fasted for brief times in my life.  I have seen a peace in it and how it is a way to humble ourselves before God in worship.  I would like to try to do this with more intention.  Fasting is typically done by giving up food for a period of time.  Of course we can fast in other ways.  Fasting from Facebook is one that I see people doing today or maybe it's giving up caffeine.  The interesting thing about fasting from food is that so many of us do use food as a replacement for something lacking in our lives or a way to deal with stress.  By fasting from food (for a short period) - something that we do need (we don't need Facebook) we have to look to God when we would normally just eat.  If we are stressed, instead of eating  ice cream we can pray - a much better response to stress anyway. 

Now I love tea, but I don't need tea.  It is my little "sereni-tea" during the day among family chaos.  I could fast from tea, and I have at times.  But I also like the idea of having my cup of tea in a quiet time with my prayer journal.  I usually pray and ask God if he is asking me to fast before I do.

Anyway, there were several ideas in this chapter of how to share this discipline with your children. 

Maybe you can give up sweets or snacks for a day or two or more.  I like the idea of putting some Bible verses in a cookie jar in your kitchen and when you are feeling like you need a little sweet treat, pull out a card from the cookie jar of Bible verses and see what sweet truth God may have for you.

I like the idea of fasting (if you can call it that) from complaining.  Every time we feel like we want to complain we give it to God and replace it with a blessing.

Have you fasted with your family?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wear One Share One (Mercy House)

This is a great family service project.  I think we are going to make these as a family and sell them at our neighborhood garage sale along with a Mercy House Bake Sale to raise.  You get a kit to make a bracelet to wear and one to share to pray for the mothers and babies at Mercy House.

What is Mercy House?  Mercy House "exists to raise funds to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in education, nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible study, counseling and job skills for sustainable living." 

Our family has been supporting Mercy House for years, and we just love to see all that God is doing there.  We always like to join Him where we see Him working!  You can learn more about Mercy House with the links above or at We Are That Family.

If you would like to order a kit to help support Mercy House, click Wear One, Share One.