Monday, July 13, 2015

Fair Trade Friday

As many of you have noticed, I have been posting on my Facebook site about a ministry called Fair Trade Friday. Or maybe you have seen me wearing these gorgeous earrings:

Image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

The opportunity to become a small part of this organization came to me and I immediately seized it. My little part is simply to blog and share about the wonderful ways that Mercy House Kenya and Fair Trade Friday are empowering women to be able to better their own lives. Just one example of the many women who have been impacted is Pauline.

Image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

This is a small glimpse of her story:

Pauline was only 15 years old when she became pregnant through force. 
When she moved into Rehema House in Kenya, the maternity home 
funded by Mercy House, she was desperate and hopeless. In just a few 
short years, her life has been transformed through the Gospel. Her son, 
Melvin, is thriving. Recently, Pauline graduated from the residence 
program and moved back home. She attends vocational beauty school 5 
days a week, while Melvin is in school because of sponsorship. Every 
Saturday, she goes into the heart of her slum and teaches more than 20 
mothers how to make beautiful product that is then sent to the USA and 
mailed out in air Trade riday boxes. The women in this community 
outreach make around $50 a month from the product and that’s enough 
to pay for rent, provide food and school fees for their children. rom a 
pregnant teen to a mother/teacher, Pauline’s future is bright and she is a 
beautiful example of what God can do. 


You might be asking how you can help those women who are across the world from you. By taking advantage of one if the many options Fair Trade Friday and Mercy House Kenya have available, you will be doing just that, helping.

* Become a member of Fair Trade Friday's monthly club boxes. More information can be found here. There is currently a waiting list, but they are adding more members every month!

Image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

* You could also purchase a one time box.

* Another way of helping is by joining the Earring of the Month Club. Each month, you will receive a fabulous pair if earrings. (Also currently a wait list, but still sign up!)

The Mercy Shop has even more beautiful products awaiting your purchase.

Image courtesy of Fair Trade Friday

Please consider partnering with these ministries in order to empower women all over the world!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Not Enough Time

There isn't much time....

                                        to have enough time for talks.
                                        to get enough hugs and kisses.
                                        to get enough snuggle time.
                                        to watch them grow.
                                        to have enough girl time.
                                        to laugh, celebrate, love on and be with them...

before they leave.

My eyes are filling with tears as I write this. One month from yesterday my brother, sister (she's never really been just my sister-in-law), niece and nephews embark on a new chapter in their lives. They are moving to Africa to go help orphans. About 15 months ago, we started to see just how serious everything was when they gave up their own house to save money to go.

As I have watched and helped at their sales and other things, it didn't quite hit me that they were leaving. Then Natalie had a crafting sale Tuesday night to sell off her craft stuff and that's when it really hit me. My sister loves crafting and wouldn't normally want to sell the stuff just because. So it all must be real if she is selling this stuff, right?

I never had a sister growing up. I was blessed with being the middle child with two protective brothers on one side and another two protective brothers on the other. So when Nat came into the family 11 years ago (and oh how I remember meeting her for the first time and going to dinner at Gelsosomo's Pizza) it was like a breath of fresh air for me even though it may not have seemed like it at the time.

A year later they got married and have 4 beautiful kids!

I so admire their hearts for doing all of this. Leaving their friends and family to go live in a country that is totally different from ours to do God's work. It is absolutely wonderful!

But oh how I am going to miss them....

                      my brother who has this amazing brain for ideas - things to build, make, do etc.
                      my sister who is my best friend and someone I look up to.
                      Mia with her girly ways and loving heart.
                      Asher with his love for knights, fighting and battles and his sensitive nature.
                      Eli with his fearless personality and amazing snuggles and love.
                      Ethan with his "I can do anything the big kids can" attitude and the way his little hand
                                      feels tucked into mine.

I don't feel like there's enough time as I try to imprint all of these things into my mind. I am Auntie K to the older two and Uncle K to the younger two. It started with Eli and leaked to Ethan and others. I love it and thing it's adorable. Little things I don't want to forget.

And the tears start again ....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homeschooling Decision

As most everyone knows, we moved in June from our apartment to a house. With that move, we changed school districts, so Liam was going to have to be in a new school. He was very excited about it and Josh and I were also because we had gotten really burned at our last school. We felt as though the teacher had given up on Liam when we were in the process of figuring out some medical issues with him, which she brought to light.

Josh and I had tossed around the idea of homeschooling from April or May of this year, but were feeling like the best bet was to try the new school and go from there. Well, needless to say, that didn't work out. When we went to register Liam, we were very unimpressed with the school and felt incredibly uncomfortable with him going there. We were new there and no procedures or handbooks were given out to us. I felt very unprepared for Liam to go there.

I called the bus barn in the next few days to find out which bus Liam would be riding and the timing for drop off and pick up. They called me back and informed me that we are in the walking district and there will be no bus for him. So I asked them what families did if they didn't have transportation for their kids. I was told:

"They walk.".

"Even on bad days when it's raining, cold, snowing etc?"


My first thought...oh. So in tears, I called Josh and my mom to find out what I could do. You see, I babysit other children out of my home. So I can have anywhere from just my 2 boys in the house to 6 kids in the house - ages ranging from 5 months up to 7 years old. I don't have a vehicle big enough to drive all the kids, nor am I going to try and cart that many kids all the way to the school.

So Josh asked me one question that solved everything.

"Home or school?"


I felt much more comfortable with Liam being home. All of my previous fears about homeschooling were instantly gone because I needed to take care of my son and do whatever was best for my son. So 1 week before public school was suppose start, we chose to homeschool Liam. I have had several talks with Natalie about what she is doing with her kiddos for school (she homeschools my niece and nephews, too!). We found the curriculums that I am using and we have been doing fantastic! We have our days where frustrations are high, but after the first one of those, I found out that I need to have a back up plan for learning. I have packets and other things for Liam to do on his own, while we both cool off.

There are other reasons behind the decision for homeschooling, but that was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

Happy Birthday, Austin!

Our baby is one now!

We had his party, celebrated him, loved on him and enjoyed the company that came. My youngest brother was dearly missed at this celebration because he was still in Japan.

When AJ woke up the morning of his party, he was terrified of balloons. Josh had gone to get him a special 1st birthday balloon and we had to coax him into being ok with it. Now, we can't go anywhere that there is a balloon without him reaching for it and saying the 'B' sound over and over. He loves balloons!

His cupcakes for the party were suppose to be in the shape of a honey pot from Winnie the Pooh. It didn't turn out the way that I had planned in my head, but that's ok. As we sang Happy Birthday to him, he smiled and loved it. The cupcake he wasn't so sure about. Josh tried to cut it up for him, but he just poked it and looked at it.

We got plenty of pictures from that special day - these are just a few :)

 Tears in his eyes because someone took away his balloon :)
 LOVE Balloons!
 Happy Birthday!
 Hmmm...what's this?
 Daddy put some in my mouth!
 Oooo BALLS!!

Happy Birthday, Monkey! We love you!!


Let's back up now a couple of months to some posts that I have not typed up, but had written:

As our baby turns one in just a few days, which totally doesn't seem possible by the way, I have come to the realization that I am in complete denial.

The invitations for his party were sent out later than I would have normally sent out invitations. Shoot, it took me forever to even buy them! Planning his party .... what planning? Buying him presents ...what's that?

Josh looked at me tonight and said "are we actually going to go buy him gifts this weekend?".

I just smiled and said, "no".

Because then it's real and my baby won't be a baby anymore. I know he will always be MY baby but he's not A baby.

This one is hard...and I'm not ready.

Denial ....

First Science Project EVER

As some of you may know, we decided to homeschool Liam. There will be another post explaining some reasoning behind it later - SO busy lately, that I have not been able to type up posts again. However, today - no, this week - has been extremely fun! Thanks to International Homeschool Spirit Week. I am hoping to blog a little bit about each day later in another post.

Every Tuesday and Thursday are science days! And boy has Liam loved to learn about science. Before we went out and bought different curriculums for me to teach, we talked with my sister-in-law about her recommendations. For science, we fell in love with the curriculum by Apologia. He got to choose which subject he wanted to learn about for the whole year. He immediately, without hesitation, chose Astronomy. I am having so much fun reading about everything as well!

So the second chapter in the book is all about the sun. One of the science projects that they do is melting a chocolate bar with a magnifying glass. We didn't have the greatest weather during the days that we were actually learning about the sun to do the experiment, but I kept the chocolate bar (even though there were many times I almost snitched it to eat myself) in the refrigerator - just in case.

Well today (even though it's a bit chilly) was PERFECT. The sun was shining without clouds, so before we even normally sit down to do school, I called to Liam and asked if he wanted to do a science project. At first, he was grumbling because I had already had him do something school related just an hour or two before that. Then he asked if we could do it outside, which is where he was headed anyway, and I said of course! And then he realized WHICH project we were doing and he was thrilled!

So off we trooped to the driveway, magnifying glass, chocolate bar and baby in tow. Austin crawled around on the ground while Liam concentrated the sun's energy onto the chocolate bar. Before we started, I was able to remember to grab my camera - so here are some pictures!

 Just starting out!
 Trying to concentrate and keep still!
 Working a different angle!
Our end result!
We knew that we had done well only because Austin got away from both of us and smashed his fingers into the chocolate before either one of us could stop him! :) Oh well! So this was Liam's first science project EVER! and he LOVED it! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crawling :)

He's crawling! Oh, he's crawling!

My baby is fully mobile now and is so quick, too! It went from rolling to crawling in the blink of an eye! It didn't seem to have any in between.

Austin sure did take his time to crawl. But it was so fun to watch him roll, twist, turn and all around finagle himself to exactly where he wanted to go. Not it's all over and just a waiting game until walking - ugh! Not yet!

We love watching him grow, but boy it sure is hard sometimes. You can't turn back time and it certainly doesn't stop.