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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dr. Doolittle??

Austin just seems to have a way with animals, he loves them and they in turn love him. Today I snapped this incredibly cute photo of him and two of his kitty-cats. What is so great about this picture is that the big cat in the photo doesn't like anybody!! Yet he seems to be developing quite a tolerance for little Austin. Had you told me a year or so ago he would ever be letting a two year old lay on top of him, but alone being on the same couch I would have never believed it!! Then the fact he allowed the kitten up there too is nothing short of unbelievable, if I didn't have the photo to prove it, I wouldn't believe it!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Can You Really Say It's The Same?

Since becoming a child sponsor and advocate for Compassion International I have become more educated and aware of the various needs in other parts of the world and try to educate others of those needs as well.

One thing I often hear from people is that "we have poor here in our own backyard, here in America." I won't argue, we do. I grew up poor, I know what it is like to go to bed hungry. But can you really, honestly compare poor here in America to poor in let's say Haiti, only 500 miles from here? Can you really?

At this point most people will still argue that it is the same and we "should be helping our own" I agree, we should first help those in our own homes and families, then spread out into our communities and out into the world. I don't like to place borders though on who my neighbor is. And again, do you really think poor in America is the same as poor in Haiti? Before you answer, watch this slide show; Mercy & Sharing Foundation

Did you watch it? Can you still say it is the same?

Do we have the corpses of children stacked like logs awaiting burial? Are there abandoned babies and children dying daily in our streets? See, here in America we have "Haves and Have-Nots" and hopefully we have some Haves helping our our Have-Nots. Haiti on the other hand is a land of Have-Nots, who's going to help them?

Here in America we have food stamp programs, food pantries and other social service or faith based and governmental programs available. I admit even with these in place we still have hungry children and homelessness, but can you really say it is the same?

Here in America ALL children have the right to a free and appropriate public education and with that education the chance to work their way out of their poverty. Is it easy? No it's not, is it possible? Certainly! Do children in Haiti have that same opportunity?

It's not just Haiti, there are places all over our globe in great need. I use Haiti as a comparison as it is so near to us here in America, 500 short miles, and suffers this great poverty that is almost beyond comprehension.

There is much you can do, help raise awareness, raise money or sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion International. Most importantly do something, anything to end poverty in America and throughout the world. No child should have to go to bed hungry only to awaken to another day of more hunger and suffering.

A Day Of Favorites

Today is Austin's second birthday. With things being a little hectic the day after Thanksgiving and still having out of town guests we kept it low key, but still made sure his day was extra super special!

He had a day of favorites; first was chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast(recipe on my cooking blog) then Kraft Mac & Cheese for lunch, followed by my famous Lemon Cake(will post recipe on cooking blog later) and ice cream sandwiches.

For gifts he got his favorite TV show on DVD(Wonder Pets) so he can watch whenever he feels like it, and a big bag of Mega Blocks(chunky Lego like blocks)

One of his very favorite games to play is to get one of the three cats to chase him while he drags a string or jump rope, once they catch up with him he starts busting up laughing. I am not sure who has more fun; him, the cats or us watching him!

I took this video clip this morning, not one of the more amusing or energetic chase games between Austin and his cat, but at least you'll get the idea.


Ordinary People...

These days we hear so much about famous people doing big and wonderful things, such as Bono and Oprah to name just a few. So many of us have a desire to do good things as well but feel there isn't much we can do. We're not famous, we don't have tons of money, we're just "ordinary." Well, this morning I learned of two ordinary people who have done extraordinary things! What a difference each has made! Because of these ordinary people lots of lives have been touched.

This first one is of a brave little boy who had an extra special, completely unselfish dying wish;

After you're done drying your eyes, here is a touching story of a woman making a difference in her own community freely sharing what she has with those around her;

Woman Serving Thanksgiving for 32 After Craigslist Offer

What wonderful stories proving you don't have to be famous or wealthy to make a difference. All you have to do is have an open heart and a desire to help those around you. Anyone can make a difference, even me & you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. --W.T. Purkiser

Buy Nothing Christmas?

I wonder how many like me are missing a more meaningful, less consumeristic Christmas holiday? Each year it seems the true meaning of Christmas slips just a little further away. It's all over, in school kids can no longer sing favorite carols due to the religious nature, in many stores clerks can no longer say "Merry Christmas", and the list goes on. Don't misunderstand me, I really do try to be respectful of others feelings and beliefs.... I think we can all be respectful of each others feelings and beliefs without taking away free speech! I find that many faiths besides Christians celebrate Christmas in one way or another and enjoy the tradition, family time, the fact that it's the one time of the year when we are all more open to the needs around us.

This is a time of year to be thinking of goodwill and peace for all, but that is far from what it has become! People go mad wild buying, buying and buying more until they find themselves further in debt for gifts that aren't much appreciated several hours after opening!

One thing we do to try and generate a feeling of thankfulness is limit gifts to 3 per child. I will admit there have been years I've strayed from this and always regretted it. Out of those three gifts we try to make one educational(game, puzzle, book, art set, etc..) one something they need(clothing, jacket, etc) and one just for fun, something they really desire. We also try to have each child take turns opening one present at a time and say thank you after opening it. I have seen far too many times children sitting with stacks and piles of gifts in front of them just going wild opening and tossing aside without hardly looking at the gift before moving on to the next! While my plan may not be perfect, it works for us and gives us time to focus on the gifts and each other without chaos.

While searching the web for fresh ideas of making the holidays more meaningful I found this site; Buy Nothing Christmas While I love the idea, I have to admit for me it's a little too extreme to literally buy nothing, but they have a great page for alternative gift giving ideas and I think there are a few really neat ideas we can use to cut back on the gifts we buy and either make something, or be giving of ourselves and our times. Those seem to me to be the gifts that may be cherished rather than just shoved in a closet forgotten about until stumbled upon some time later. There are some ideas listed that I plan on using myself.

What kinds of things do you and your family do to make the holidays more meaningful? I would love to hear about them!

Buy Nothing Day

Are you one of those who loves to take advantage of the after Thanksgiving Day sales? I used to be. I have to admit there are a lot of great bargains to be had. We gave it up though as we had more children, it is a nightmare to take little ones to what these events have become. People literally trample each other all in the name of getting the best deal! Sad. Some idiots actually fight over bargains, and even more worrisome some actually have gotten shot over something as silly as a video game system. Sad, sick...

I much prefer staying snug in my warm bed then risk my life for more "stuff." I already have far too much!

Well, I love this site and the buy nothing campaign. Check it out. You can make a statement, stay in your cozy home and skip all the madness and best yet, save some money!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I found this quite interesting quiz on another blog I frequent this morning and couldn't resist taking it. I have to say I am very surprised by the results. Not what I expected and not very accurate in my opinion. I will share here anyway:

Your Results
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.
Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.
How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our
message boards.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
Orthodox Quaker (91%)
Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (89%)
Jehovah's Witness (88%)
Seventh Day Adventist (82%)
Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (79%)
Eastern Orthodox (74%)
Roman Catholic (74%)
Baha'i Faith (73%)
Orthodox Judaism (71%)
Sikhism (66%)
Liberal Quakers (66%)
Islam (58%)
Reform Judaism (55%)
Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (53%)
Hinduism (53%)
Unitarian Universalism (47%)
Jainism (43%)
Mahayana Buddhism (42%)
Neo-Pagan (42%)
Theravada Buddhism (42%)
New Thought (37%)
New Age (35%)
Secular Humanism (34%)
Taoism (31%)
Scientology (30%)
Nontheist (25%)

I expected # 3 to be #1 as that is the group I most associate myself with. # 4 doesn't surprise me and it wouldn't have surprised me to have it even higher. #'s 1 & 2 were quite shocking....

If you take it and get results that surprise you, let me know. I really am unsure how #1 got there. I love my Mormon friends and neighbors and think they are great, but I am totally unfamiliar with their belief system.

Here's the link if you want to take it yourself! Belief-O-Matic

Advent Conspiracy

I found this video on another blog this morning and thought it went along quite well with the movie I shared on here the other day. This one is much shorter:

I still plan on coming back and sharing some more sites on how to make Christmas more meaningful and less materialistic.

Here is the site that made/promoted this video: Advent Conspiracy It is definitely worth checking out!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Would Jesus Buy?

First off I am not sure He would buy anything, but it is a catchy title for an enlightening film I watched on Google this afternoon: What Would Jesus Buy?

This film features the slightly obnoxious and annoying Reverend Billy from the Church of Stop Shopping. It was made by the same fellow who made Supersize Me.

It is an hour and a half long but definitely worth watching! It touches on several aspects of our over consumerism and lack of knowledge of the effects of this from sweat shop factories, to the loss of Small Town America, and more.

The title is a little misleading because other than the Reverend persona and his impressive choir this film has little to do with Jesus or Christianity, but then again does Christmas anymore, which is the main topic of this film.

The Rev. takes on Walmart, Target and many more large chains, even the Mall of America, but most impressive was Disneyland which actually landed him in jail, which for some odd reason I don't think it was his first(or last!) time there!

As we approach the Christmas season I think this is a great film for all to watch, it really helps put things in perspective. I hope many of you wont let the title or the hokey craziness prevent you from watching. Best of all, on Google it is FREE!!

I will come back in the next day or two and share some sites that I have recently found for making Christmas more meaningful and less consumeristic. Regardless of personal convictions or religious beliefs I think we can all agree the Christmas insanity has gotten out of hand! What ever happened to the thankfulness and joy that came from a few oranges, pennies, and if you were really lucky candy in your stocking? We now have whining, crying even screaming brats if they don't get the latest, greatest XBox, Cell phone, or whatever and I'm not just talking about the kids! Whatever happened to really enjoying spending time with your family around the dinner table, now the main focus is the gift exchange, the bigger and more expensive the better!

You gotta watch this film! If you do, come back let me know what you think Okay?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


My daughter gave birth to a daughter herself last night. Her name is Autumn Nadine Ruth. She weighed 5 lbs 12 oz and was 17 inches long.

I wasn't able to be there, but they did send some small photos from their cell phone:

We are experiencing a wide array of emotions over this birth, for many reasons, some of which are not appropriate to share here. For now we are choosing to rejoice in the new life as we truly believe each new life is a gift from above and should be celebrated as such regardless of circumstances. The rest of things will take care of themselves in their own time. For now we choose to focus on the positives!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Just Can't Seem To Get A Break!(pun NOT intended, honestly!)

Well, it's been an interesting and busy last couple of days! First I got a call yesterday that my daughter(Austin's mother) was in labor.(another subject for another day!) Meanwhile Austin took a little fall, nothing that even caused me any concerned until later that evening when we noticed he was favoring his right arm.

About bedtime last night it became clear SOMETHING was wrong, but by that time it was late and the ER/Urgent Care is close to a two hour drive EACH WAY. So this morning we took off right after breakfast.

Turns out it indeed was broken, on BOTH sides of the bone! He's a trooper just like his uncles as he was still using it quite a bit, and the Dr. said it should be pretty sore.

So we are home now, trying to convince him to leave the splint and sling in place. Hopefully both will hold up till he goes back to the orthopedist for his cast after Thanksgiving. Oh...the joys of having and raising four boys!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Almost Done....I Think

Today was yet another appointment with the plastic surgeon for Daniels burn. I think we are making some good progress as we now only go in once every three weeks! Also promising is the fact that after one more week we can stop the prescription creams and just start using triple antibiotic cream!

He will still need the bandaging at least for the next three weeks. As you can tell by the photo it does appear it is shrinking in size a little. There are lots of little "pits" within the burn area that I am hoping will fill in or close up as the healing continues.

I will update again in three weeks after our next appointment. Maybe next time really will be the last!

Jon and Kate Or The Duggers?? Either?

After months of not having satellite service we recently re-subscribed. I know, I know, I was trying to save money and live a bit simpler of a lifestyle, but I was really going through Miami Ink and Jon and Kate with drawls!

I have yet to see an episode of either, as I realized quickly, I just don't have the time especially with an active toddler in the house now!

But I have caught an episode of the new Dugger Family reality show. Not even sure of the name. But I have to admit to enjoying it which surprises me greatly! When I first met the Duggers via TV, I like many was completely infatuated with them! The perfect family! Dozens of beautiful children, a handsome enough husband and a lovely wife with the sweetest voice ever! The children are all nicely dressed, well behaved and it is said they honestly never fight! So, what's the problem? Well, I have seen many a family try to make their families just like that, at the expense of a healthy marriage and family life! I do believe we should all be kind and soft spoken with one another and I do believe it is quite possible for children to get along, for the most part. But not all families were created to be EXACTLY like the Duggers. To try and force yourself or worse yet, your husband and children to be just like someone you admire whether the Duggers or another lovely family, is just asking for trouble!

Enter Jon and Kate Plus Eight....another large family reality series on TLC. This family is quite the opposite! Kate is bossy and demanding and can at times downright belittle her husband. Jon is far to passive and needs to man up just a little. The kids, well they scream and cry and carry on. They hit each other, take each others toys, they are downright naughty sometimes! Now I don't think my family is quite as out of control, but of course I only have four children in the home right now and there is a pretty big age difference between the youngest and oldest, unlike Kate's kids who are a set of twins and a group of sextuplets. You can't really blame poor Kate for being so grumpy. Imagine the terrible two's with SIX two year olds? No thanks!

But I have always enjoyed Jon and Kate more than the Duggers as I felt they were more "real-life" and of course they made me appreciate my own family just a little bit more. After all, we're not THAT bad!!

But is Jon and Kate REALLY more real-life? How many large families do you know who can afford the lifestyle they maintain on the income they claim to have from only Jon working? They seem to have the nicest and bestest of everything! How realistic is that? They also have had house help, volunteers and more. And Kate is still that cranky? Hmm... There has been much talk and speculation on the web of exactly what is going on there, I wont post it here because as far as I am concerned it is gossip and speculation, but you are free to search for yourself if interested and form your own opinion. Is anybody interested or am I just unusually obsessed with these families?

Back to the Duggers....I have to take back my negative opinions that they had to be fake or too perfect. I searched the web and can't come up with anything negative other than the usual "over-population" arguments. Well, if they want to over-populate with the kind of young men and women they are raising, I say let them! We can certainly use more people in this world who strive to be the best they can be. They are teaching their children to be frugal, debt free, educated, wholesome, and upright. What's wrong with that? They do all of that without assistance from social services or volunteers and outside help.

I gained a whole new respect for them watching the one episode I have seen of their new show. Mrs. Dugger took her kids(all 18 or so of them) shoe the thrift store!! I mean how else can she do it I suppose. I don't think I have ever seen Kate shop second hand, although I have seen her buy extremely expensive dolls for her girls(we're talking approx. 100 bucks a pop!) Now if she can afford it great, but from what I am understanding that isn't the case. Mrs. Dugger also makes her own laundry soap! Something I am trying this week following her recipe! At the thrift store I actually saw one or two of her small boys being slightly mischievous! Maybe they are "normal" and not so perfectly perfect?

I don't strive to be like either family. They are both unique, just as my own is. I think I can learn alot from both, quite different things, but lessons none the less.

Probably a good thing I don't have time to watch more TV, I really spend too much time analyzing what little I do watch!

What Is Wrong With Churches Today? (or What Isn't?)

I found this today while searching the web on church related issues. I have to admit, although I am a Christian I have quite a bone to pick with churches today. Few if any seem to resemble what I feel church was meant to be. Either they all want to be big, huge "mega" churches and go to extremes to get that way, often at the cost of twisting Gods word to fit their own agendas or keep people feeling good about themselves so they'll keep coming back. Or many have become small "clicks" or social clubs. Outsiders aren't often welcome and are made to feel terribly uncomfortable if they try to stay and fit in. Many cater only to themselves. They talk about outreach, but don't do much more than give it lip service. They want the numbers but only to get the monetary numbers that come along with it. They claim they want to attract more different kinds of people and be welcoming to all, yet they just don't seem to be willing to change meeting times or come up with new ideas or activities to reach out and keep those people. It can all be quite self-serving which is the exact opposite of what the Bible preaches.

Anyway, enough of my rant for now, you'll get a chance to hear more later I am sure, but for now you gotta watch this video. If it weren't so sadly true it would be hilarious. This more fits the big mega church mentality which I don't have a lot of experience with, but this is quite what I picture it to be like!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Perhaps I Am Not Meant To Watch This Film??

Either I really am not meant to watch this movie or I did something to really piss off my mailman! See, after waiting weeks for a particular film in my queue, it arrives, broken in half! No problem, I report the issue to Netflix and they send a replacement.(I just love Netflix!)

So yesterday the replacement arrives and I could feel through the envelope that this one too is broken! I tell my son I think Netflix messed up and sent us the same broken disc. Nope, as both son and I remember that the previous disc was broke in half right down the center. This one is broke like this:

So, I report the problem once again to Netflix, but this time I don't order a replacement. I figure to take it as a sign that either I am not meant to watch it, or I really need to bake some cookies and leave them in my box in an attempt to befriend my postmaster!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Either Way, He's Got a Servants Heart!

For about the past year or so my youngest has insisted he is going to be a Pastor when he grows up. That of course made me quite happy as I have secretly(Okay, maybe not so secretly) hoped one of my boys would grow up to be in the ministry either as a pastor or missionary.

Then, after he got burned and the paramedic "saved" him, he became obsessed with becoming a paramedic himself. I was only slightly disappointed, but never let on. I support all of my children and their desires whether they wish to be missionaries or mercenaries(oh yeah! I've got one of those too!)

Last night though, as they were singing their Christmas songs(just a bit early for me!) My youngest dug our his "pastor gear" and set to giving church services once again(if you come visit, watch out, you may get Holy Water thrown your way!!)

So, now the plan is to be a paramedic and ask for Sundays off so he can do his pastoring duties. Little does he know pastoring is more than a full-time job in itself!

Either way, it seems he has a servants heart!

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

I guess the Christmas Spirit has hit our home a bit early this year! I am kind of a humbug when it comes to the holiday. I wait till well after Thanksgiving to put up the tree, and am anxious the day after Christmas to get rid of the thing.

Don't get me wrong, I love the meaning and message of Christmas, I really do. I love celebrating Advent, I love that everybody is in the kind of mood they should be in year round.

I just hate the work, mess and all to pull of a spectacular holiday for all.

Last night though, the spirit hit the house and has yet to leave. In the kitchen I had my 17 year old doing dishes singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, while the little ones were in the living room bellowing out Hark The Herold Angels Sing!

As if that weren't enough, being the nerds and geeks we are we had to search out O Come, O Come in Latin as well as English! It just sounds way cooler in Latin.

I thought perhaps it was just the mood for some reason last night, but no, they woke up in the morning still singing their songs and searching out yet more versions of O Come, O Come.

I am not complaining, it does my soul good to hear my kids singing songs dear to me, just so long as they don't start asking for the tree and all yet!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Poor Kids

I guess I am in desperate need of tutors for Science and Art, because according to this quiz I have serious gaps. What kind of homeschooling mother am I?

How about you? Do you have any gaps? Take this fun quiz to find out.

There Are 2 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:



Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:






Saturday, November 8, 2008

Austins First Haircut....Done by Grandma!

We all love Austins beautiful red curls, but they were starting to get a bit crazy and wild. Austin really can't stand to be touched by anyone outside of the family, truth be told he FREAKS out! So, taking him to the barber wasn't really an option.

So, grandma played hairstylist for the day. I suppose I could have done worse;

BEFORE: kind of wild and crazy, although quite cute!

AFTER: Looking more like a little boy than a baby! Handsome none the less!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cat's Out of The Bag!

Or in this case, IN the bag! Isn't she a cutie? This is the ferocious wild kitten I caught last month. She just couldn't resist Austins Trick or Treat bag!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Worst Thing You Can Do

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing,the worst thing you can do is nothing."
Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What If Your Church Closed It's Doors?

I am currently reading Life's Interruptions God's Opportunities by Larry Jones(of Feed the Children) I am really enjoying it. It is full of little thought provoking quotes, questions and inspirations all based from the story of the Good Samaritian.
One of these questions is really causing me to think(if you know me, you know how dangerous a thing this can be!) It is this:
"What if your church closed it's doors?"
What would the impact on your community be? Would any one even notice?(besides the members?) If no one would notice beyond the members maybe your church really needs to do a self evaluation!
Does your church provide an outreach or service to the community around it that would greatly be missed if the doors closed? I think sadly the answer in many churches these days may be no. Just a little food for thought.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trying To Keep Things In Perspective

I have to admit I am feeling a little like a spoiled child this morning and feeling a bit ashamed of it...

I had what to me was a terrible day yesterday. First my oven finally went kaput on me. It has been dying a slow death for some time now. It takes about 40 minutes to cook a batch of cookies that should take no more than 10. Every once in a while it will literally shoot out flames at innocent victims walking by. Lately it has even been so powerful the oven door opens during the process. Why I continue to use it when it is obviously dangerous, I don't know, other than I don't have any other way to bake meals and treats.

Yesterday after two hours of baking a loaf of bread, the dough in the middle was still raw and it became apparent the oven is at least temporarily out of service.

While my husband drove to the local hardware store to try and buy some items in hopes of fixing the exploding oven, our water pump went out!! He came home and quickly fixed it, only to have it break again several hours later. I don't know whether it is fixable or not.

These are big problems, lack of water and lack of a way to bake food. A bigger problem is we don't have the money to replace either or do repairs that will cost more than a few bucks. We are struggling to pay our bills and often are a month behind on several of them, so something like this is a big deal!

I was in near tears would I prepare Thanksgiving Day Dinner? How would I bathe my children, especially the one whose burn requires the up most care to prevent infection?

Then my husband brings in the days mail. More frustration as I open bill after bill that we can't pay right now. Then........a letter from one of the little girls we sponsor through Compassion International.

She writes how she and her family pray for us daily and tells me a bit about her days at home and school, her wishes and dreams for the future and I realize how spoiled and fortunate I really am. See, for me my water and oven problems are for the most part temporary. For a child like Betty living in Uganda that is just the daily realities for her and her family. If they are like many families they don't have running water in the home and daily carry large containers, some times long distances to provide the family with the days water. I don't know whether or not they have an oven, but I doubt it from what I've read about Uganda.

Yet, in Betty's letters there is no complaining, no feeling sorry for herself, only hope and dreams of a better future, and offers of prayer for MY family!

I've written about Betty here before and how often she helps me keep my own problems in perspective. She and her family are thankful for our sponsorship of her and often tell us so. I am sure it has blessed and helped them in many ways. But it has also blessed and helped us in many. I think we have all learned to be thankful for what we do have, and to be more aware and concerned of the needs of others around us and in far away places like Africa.

I know times are hard for almost all of us these days, and may get worse before it gets any better. But I can assure you no matter how bad things are, someone somewhere else is doing much worse. Maybe even here in America, but I am fairly confident that I can say that our bad days and tough times are no where near as bad as the people, especially the young children living in parts of Africa, Asia and other developing areas. Our problems are most likely temporary. For me I can still cook in my crock pot and bread machine, and I actually have food to cook in them! In developing countries they often don't even have the food to cook but alone options on how to cook it.

There have been times I have considered giving up my sponsorship due to our own financial struggles. I haven't and Lord willing wont, as for me the cost per day to sponsor two girls is less than the cost of one of my Monster Energy Drinks I love so much, and probably shouldn't have anyway. For the cost of one of these silly drinks a day I can sponsor two children, helping provide them with education, food and perhaps clothing.

If you are a homeschooling family this is a great opportunity to really reach out and help someone else and makes great opportunity for learning. We are currently studying Africa for school and in hopes of learning more about Betty's world. My children can now name and locate most of Africa's 54 countries. They are learning about the customs, languages and struggles of Africa.

Perhaps as a Christmas gift you could consider sponsoring a child? This would certainly be a gift to the sponsored child, but also a gift for your own children. Mine love getting letters from the girls we sponsor, it is like having a pen pal! We were told to expect 3 or so letter exchanges a year, which may be common, but we get an average of one a month from each child! Compassion
is more than just sending your money in and hoping it goes to where it is promised. The money actually benefits the children and you will have regular contact and build a relationship with the child.

If you just can't commit to regular monthly sponsorship perhaps you and your children could make a one time donation to one of the special funds such as the Global Food Crisis Fund.

In many public schools out of 12 years of education children spend about 9 of those years learning about US History, and only 2-3 about other parts of the world. Even then it is usually Ancient History. There are 6 other continents in the world all rich with history and culture and as homeschooling parents we have the privilege to teach our children about them. Compassion is a great opportunity to do just that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month! If you google "National Adoption Month" you will find tons of information about it.

Those who know me or have read here long enough know it is one of my deepest desires to adopt a little girl. We have investigated adopting from China, Haiti and the US.

Most likely will will do foster to adopt here in the US. There are so many kids that need permanent loving homes. The only thing stopping us from doing it now is the size of our home and our temporary financial issues.

I also have such a heart for the older teens who are about to adopt out of the system. There are so many teens nearing 18 years of age who have never found their "forever families." It just breaks my heart. Where will they go each year for Thanksgiving and Christmas? Who will they mark as "Next of Kin" on their medical forms or military entrance forms? Who will they call for support and love in during a crisis in their lives? I wish I could adopt them all!

It seems everyone wants a cute little baby and so many of the older kids get over looked and left behind. I must be odd because I have no desire to do the baby thing all over again. I am looking for an older child. I am sure those who have never had a baby really want that experience and I wouldn't want to take that from them, but I wish they'd at least consider an older child. They need love as much as the babies do, and they can give it back to you hundreds of times over.

While I know it is National Adoption Month, we shouldn't overlook foster care either(which has it's own month, I believe in May) Some children may not be in a situation where their parents rights are going to be permanently terminated, yet they will need loving, caring homes until their family situations are resolved. Many of these children bounce from foster home to foster home. I have to give lots of kudos to the foster parents that play mom and dad temporarily until the families can be reunited. It has got to be incredibly hard to offer all of your love and compassion that these children so desperately need, knowing it wont last forever. To make matters even more difficult, you may have to return a child you have grown to love as your own to a less than ideal situation. If you are or have been a foster parent, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you know an adoptive or foster family wont you take the time to encourage them and offer them some support? Perhaps offer to babysit or help out with a meal or two. Maybe just be there to listen and be a friend. While you may not be able to or want to adopt or care for a child just now, you can support someone who is, not just in November in honor of National Adoption Month, but all year long!

Drive-Through Church?

Saw this on another blog the other day, and just had to share. I am not sure whether to think this is funny....or sad?? Both perhaps?


Here are my little goblins all dressed up and ready to go collect some loot!
Scary Ninja!

Ferocious Dino!

Heroic Paramedic!

They had a great time! We live in a rural area with little to no trick or treating. But there is the most adorable little quaint town about 15 miles away that all the businesses get together and pass out treats for the trick or treaters. They have a little carnival of sorts as well. Other nearby larger towns offer full blown carnivals, but my kids always pick Idyllwild.

Austin didn't really "get" the whole trick or treat deal, but he sure knew that his bag was full of the good stuff and couldn't wait to break into it all!