Thursday, April 29, 2010

Winning is SEW FUN!

Ok, what better way to return from a beach vacation than to WIN fabric??? Well, if you are a fabric enthusiast like I am, not much else tops it!!! (maybe winning ORGANIC, not even released to the public yet fabric! yea!!! I'm still pinching myself!)
Before we left, I had participated in a "blog hop" of some of the most amazing fabric designers....ALL of which promote and use organic materials, and they were each, can you believe it, GIVING AWAY some of their fabric to celebrate Earth Day. Fun right?!!! There were 12 in all, and I won one of the giveaways!!!! Not only did I win, I won my most favorite!!!! :) It's from the newest collection offered by Jennifer at Monaluna. Isn't it GORGEOUS!?!!?!!?!!?! Needless to say, I am sooooo excited! I went to sleep imagining what I would make....that is if my daughter allows me to keep any of it for myself since it was her favorite too!
In addition to Monaluna, I learned more about so many amazing designers and discovered several I didn't yet know about. I love that organic fabrics are becoming more available and in so many incredible designs and colorways!

I'll post pics of what I do make....after I stroke it, fold it, stare at it on my cutting table, change my mind multiple times as to what to make, and then finally get up the courage to cut it! :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still Dreamin....

....but about something different now! :)
When I imagine being able to help someone, really help someone, it's not just an immediate "fix" I hope to create, but rather a lasting, ongoing impact. I learned of this motivated organization yesterday who is doing just that and had to share! It's called 3Seams.
They saw a need, 98% of a countries population unemployed. (wow! and we thought the US unemployment rate was bad!) Their Mission, "To reach beyond ourselves through children's clothing, promoting global interaction, and putting faith and love into motion!". How they intend to put feet to this mission....this is my favorite part!!!! This is where sewing and children and the lasting impact come in!!!
"The goal of ‘3seams’ is to have funding for FIVE seamstresses by the 5th of May when we return to Haiti! $500 will get a woman the training and supplies she needs to get started. These women will be sewing children’s clothing that will eventually be available through the ‘3seams’ clothing line (Hopefully by Fall 2010)! Please consider and pray about how you can be a part of this project! $2500 will start 5 women on the road to a new life! You can help make a difference!" (for complete details check their blog here.)

In addition to providing a means of income for these families....yea, that's not all!!!....
"Our company creates opportunities for people to purchase clothing for their children while at the same time supplying a child in need with an identical piece. Each piece of clothing is made in sets of two. One piece goes home with the buyer and one is donated by 3 seams to an organization that ensures a child in need will receive it! Not only does a child somewhere around the world receive a much needed item, but the child here in America knows that there is a child somewhere else in the world wearing the exact same dress… or pants… or shirt…." ...and that their purchase made a difference! GOOD STUFF!!!!

This is the kind of thing that just makes sense to me! So many things being tackled here... poverty, unemployment, the needs of a child - whether that be physical, by providing clothing, or educational by providing the knowledge and opportunity to contribute outside of one's self. Please consider getting to know more, sharing about or supporting the efforts of 3Seams and be blessed!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

What A Day!

What a wonderful day! You know, the kind of day you just soak up, every moment. We spent the whole day outside and it was great! For those who home school, maybe this will offer a reminder of one of your days like this, refreshing and fulfilling....or maybe you even had the same kind of day today! And for those who don't, maybe this will offer a glimpse into our world. Either way, hope it brings a smile! :)

sunshine.... planting dandelions.... reading books.... snack time.... bandaids.... butterfly wings.... bird songs.... bugs, LOTS of bugs!.... dirt.... fresh air.... brothers.... bicycles.... tiny frogs.... squeals.... sticks... compound eyeballs.... camouflage.... cool breeze.... so blessed.... chipmunks.... picnic lunch.... laughter.... bright.... "did you love me when I was in your tummy?".... cat scratches.... sisters.... bare feet.... Junie B. ... building a terrarium.... sand box.... sword fights.... digging.... 3 toed sloths.... tree bark.... baseball bats.... green grass.... pet shops.... crickets.... pirate ships.... hugs.... feathers.... giggles.... egg + sperm = baby.... cushy moss.... thankfulness.... inch worms.... graduation day.... colors.... being together.... sidewalk chalk.... whale talk.... surprises.... sweet neighbors.... mommy's lap.... fun... pictures!.... flowers blooming.... remembering why.... fire truck.... imagination.... Kevin.... memories.... dirty faces.... "Daddy's home!".... dinnertime.... MOVIE NIGHT!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beautiful Mess!!!

I heard this song for the first time yesterday and fell in love! It spoke to my heart so deeply and reminded me that God truly does love me just as I am, a Beautiful Mess. Then, as He would have it, it was the song that the alarm clock woke me with this morning....that's cool! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cambodian Outreach - GOOD STUFF!

I recently shared about Children In Families (CIF) and wanted to link you to their new website. By the grace of God, the Jones family is being used to make a difference and it's very exciting! Check them out when you have the chance, Cambodian Apostolic Ministries, and pray for their efforts and increased support.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Showers of BLESSINGS!!!

MEET SEMPALA!!!!!!!! Isn't she just lovely!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited I can hardly sit still to type this!!! This is our sponsored child through Amazima!!! Their sponsorship program is one of the ways God has allowed our family to tangibly reach out to needs across the world from us. We are so excited and so blessed to "meet" our sweet new friend! Her photo came along with a picture she had drawn and autographed. :) (yes, I did cry!)

In addition, we received our One Girl bracelets this week too!!! We each have our special girl to pray for each day now, Nadmin, Niru, Nalam & Bina.

God is so good! The fact that these simple efforts can bring such blessing to our hearts...amazing! And instantly feeling connected and loving someone I've never even met and overwhelming and wonderful! Thank you Lord for sharing this with us!!!!


Faith Obeys

iPad Giveaway for a GREAT cause!!!

Check out this blog for giveaway details! Really cool!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Laundry Madness!!! (and management)

***No children were harmed in the making of this laundry managing development process***

I've been saying I was going to post this for a while now, so I'm finally getting around to it! :)
One of the biggest things to manage with a large family is the laundry...not complaining, simply stating a fact! I struggled for years at how to simplify the process. My family continued to grow and therefore, so did the laundry! We finally developed a solution that has made the whole thing so much less of a never ending battle for our family and wanted to share. Albeit, we do have a rather large laundry area in the unfinished part of our basement, so for those with less space, you may have to tweak accordingly, but here it is...and yes, I DID wait until it was all caught up and the bins weren't so full they were spilling over into each other to take this picture! :)
We've taken plastic storage bins and labeled them with colored construction paper squares. I also wrote the name of the color on each square so that depending on the age/reading level of each of our children, all can participate and learn....even the 3 year old! These are the "dirty" bins where the clothing gets separated. When full, the whole bin can simply be dumped straight into the washer.
On the opposite side of the room there are plastic storage bins labeled with each family member's name. As the laundry gets removed from the dryer it is placed in it's "owners" bin. The older kids are responsible for folding and putting away their own laundry. The younger ones (and mommy & daddy)....well, let's just say our dressers/closets aren't used as much as before. ;) I do cave and fold it all once it becomes so full I can't find anything anymore! lol!

The only thing that has made the laundry process for our family easier than this has been the over-sized washer and dryer we had to purchase when our old ones kicked the bucket last year. They cost a little extra, but we went with the HE Maytag Bravos series and the capacity is amazing! Really! I can have ALL the bins overflowing and get it all caught up in a single day! (oh yea, and they are both see-through which has provided hours of entertainment for us all! lol!)

So there you have it. One of the sanity saving survival tips of a large family.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Voice of a Child

Had to share this too!!! Wow!

The Voice of a Child

Children In Families

God forbid, if your children were ever orphaned, where would you pray they would go?

Escaping the Greenhouse!

This has become a blog chain of sorts! :) I read it on a friend's blog who read it on another blog...and now I share it with you.

"In a greenhouse, a seed is planted.It is nurtured under the right temperature.It's given the correct amount of light, until a seed cover pops off and a tiny plant emerges....Healthy, strong and growing under the influence of the house it is in.The only problem is the greenhouse has not prepared the plant for adversity.In our community I see so many kids, my own included, that are raised in the greenhouse conditions.Perfect amount of schooling. Perfect amount of socializing. Perfect amount of church. Perfect amount of friends and only "like minded friends".We pay for our kids to go to the best violin teachers, voice teachers, piano teachers.Then they will, Lord willing, get married to someone who has been raised in a greenhouse right down the road under the same perfect conditions.They start their own greenhouse and are happy.Of course, they're happy. Their whole life has been about being comfortable in their greenhouse.My heart breaks when I think about all the trouble we go through raising our kids in the right conditions, teaching them Bible verses, making sure they know all the right truths. BUT...They never feel inclined to make a difference in the world.Sometimes it is lack of passion.Sometimes it is lack of knowledge that there is a lost and dying world right outside their greenhouse. But more often, it is our fault as parents. We are passing down our laziness. We struggle to LIVE out our faith so our kids will struggle. Yes, they will thrive in our greenhouse and most of them will pass on a great greenhouse life to their children, but we have to pass on a love for ALL of God's people. We have to be willing to stand with our children and help a lost world. We have to pass down a passion for the orphans of this world, the homeless and the widows.Yes, we have to grow strong plants for the next generation but we cannot forget the passion of Christ. Teaching our children to love and be keepers of the home is what I am about, but I also want them to be about the orphans and the needy that are NOT growing in a greenhouse. I can only teach that when I come out of the greenhouse and go with my children into the battlefield. It is all in vain if we raise up an army and our army is never sent to the battlefield but only to the greenhouse next door."

Isn't it true? For so many, we think we are doing what's best and what is good, and perhaps in the eyes of our peers or society, we are....but are those the eyes that really matter? It's reminders like this that challenge me more to move beyond my comfort zone, my safe place. To consider more carefully and more deeply the world that extends FAR beyond my front yard. To escape the greenhouse! (and developing the next generation of "greenhouse dwellers"!) Oh to maintain the passion and stamina that will be welcomed with the words of "Well done My good and faithful servant!"! Help me Lord as I try to keep my eyes and my heart fixed on you and your will for my life....that you may be glorified through it all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Proverbs 23:18 Your hope will not be cut off.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More than conquerors!

From Streams in the Desert - "Isn't there something captivating about the sight of a person burdened with many trials, yet who is as lighthearted as the sound of a bell? Isn't there something contagious and valiant in seeing others who are greatly tempted but are "more than conquerors"? Isn't it heartening to see a fellow traveler whose body is broken, yet who retains the splendor of unbroken patience?
What a witness these give to the power of God's gift of grace! ~John Henry Jowett

Wow! It's so true! I can think of individuals and friends who have been this very testimony to me at times. To look at them and their reaction to their situation in awe and completely seeing the face of God through them. Thank you sweet friends who have offered me a glimpse of His desire for us and for continued hope! I am blessed and changed because of you and pray that when faced with my own struggles, I have and will offer the same to others.
It doesn't have to be catastrophic, life altering struggles that allow us this opportunity either, I am learning. But instead, the everyday ones, probably most often witnessed only by our family. It's so much more than just conquering the struggle, but what our actions display while doing so. For my reaction to daily "struggles" to be one that allow my children to witness God through prayer and my joy!!!

Romans 8:37
"In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."