Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Amazima Dolls

Click here to read Katie's blog.

Folks, she is 20 yrs old. If this girl doesn't inspire you, then I'm gonna come over and knock on your door to see if you're heart is still beating.

This local blogger, Shannon, has taken it upon herself to make a difference from this side of the globe. It's so simple and YOU can be a part of it.

Click here if you would like the doll pattern and help make these dolls!

Currently, there are 136 dolls sewn out of 350 dolls needed. The catch is, if there is a need in the ministry, or a donation, then ALL the kiddos in the Amazima ministry get it. So, there cannot be just 5 or 10 dolls handed out to a few. There needs to be 350. Totally doable!

When you finish your dolls, email Shannon at 3901sca @ gmail.com (without the spaces) so they can be posted to the gallery.

Here are some FAQs about the project to answer your questions. Contact Shannon for further details!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

National Foster Care Month

I've taken a break. A long break from blogging, not because I wanted to, but because I was eating, breathing, and literally dreaming work this week. So many kiddos need nurturing, stability and a family to be committed to them forever.

This week, I have dealt with many traumatized children, who make choices that may seem to make poor choices in our eyes, but in reality, it is the only survival skills they know. I also have a youth that just gave birth to a baby girl that was, until today, on the verge of 'failing to thrive'. So tough.

It is National Foster Care month. If you know of a family that provides foster care to youth, whether it be a kinship placement, children with special needs, or what the situation is, encourage them. Love them. Being a part of "the system" is difficult in so many ways, in whatever way you may be involved-as a birth family, a foster parent, a Social Worker.

This weekend is going to be chaulk full of fun as I am taking a loooong weekend and hanging with the fam.....cell phones turned off required.

So I will be back! Refreshed and reorganized and reenergized.....I wish I had tix to FL again. Would that be awesome!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A face only a mother could love


So we just wrapped up a busy day celebrating Ben's 5 yrs on this earth with all of his friends. Collin took it upon himself to have his own special day. Dressing up in various thing he found around the house. This, is my personal favorite.

I have no words.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ugandan kids need YOU!

As I watched my son turn 5 today, I was filled with thankfulness that God has allowed us to have Benjamin for this long. From the many trips to Africa my husband and I have taken together, there is a constant reality in the back of my mind that living to 5 yrs old isn't always a reality in kids' lives.

I am so thankful.

These gals just got back from an amazing trip to Uganda, to identify orphan care points in various regions of the country that desperately need your help. Many of these care points are filled with children caring for their younger siblings, or, "child-headed households".

It is not uncommon for African children to help care for their younger siblings. However, imagine being 9 years old and have lost your mother or father-or both due to AIDS.

Look at your children and think about that.

9 yrs old is too young. Way too young.

Many child-headed households are lead by a child much younger than 9.

As a blogging community, I want to start a wave-I would like each of you to consider sponsoring one child-headed household. For my readers, my goal is to have 10 households sponsored. To provide




spiritual guidance

to all of these children you see in these pictures. Wow, what a gift.

Will you pray about this?

I want you to take a look into the many faces you see here and ask God what you can do.

You can change a life for the same cost as your Starbucks coffee runs each month.

It's that simple.

I am going to try to figure out how you can donate directly from my blog here if that is easier for you. I need to chat with Brandi about that :)

Happy Birthday

To my sweet Benjamin Timothy. Today you are 5! My, how time goes by so quickly. You have brought Mom and Dad so much joy into our lives since you came into our world. We are so proud of you in who you are and who you are growing up to be. We pray for you everyday that you would grow into a man who loves God. You are such a good brother to Collin and so very loved by so many people. We hope today makes you feel as special as you really are!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My hot husband...and weekend adventures

Needless to say, we had a fun and busy weekend. We kicked off the weekend with a spaghetti dinner for friends and neighbors and family running the marathon. We fed ourselves until we could eat no more and had bundles of laughs.

That evening, my hot husband went to the Dome to get his chip for his shoe and other things to prep him for the big race Saturday morning. He ended up being interviewed by our a TV station. If you missed it, you can see it here.
Isn't he just CUTE!?!?!
Saturday morning we all got up early and positioned ourselves to watch him run the big 26.2 miles. These kind of races clearly define our relationship. If TJ doesn't run, he needs to be on meds and seeing a shrink regularly. I, however, am perfectly content setting up my lawn chair, and screaming as loud as possible as he runs by. I'm also content to be the one picking him up at a town 20 miles away in our car after he finishes training for a day.
I am so proud of his time: 3:29 His goal was 3:30:00. Way to go babe!
What is his next mission? Talking me into doing a "partnered" triathalon in Minneapolis in July. Hmmm...I'll get back to him on that one.. :)
Here are some pics from the weekend. We had loads of company, Ben's pre-birthday celebration, marthon, and finally topped off the weekend with some QT (or quality time) with our boys for Mothers Day.

After it was all said and done, clearly Collin had had enough!

For you, Mom

I wish I could tell you, Mom

how much you mean to me....

But there are no words to say

how much I admire you...

how much I appreciate you...

how much I thank you

for everything you've done.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthdays are buzzing!

One of my FAVORITE things to do as a mom is plan my kids' birthday parties. I remember growing up, picking out whatever "themed" cake I wanted and waiting for the masterpiece to be unveiled at my birthday supper with my family. My mom got really creative! I remember many cakes I had growing up that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I have tried to pass down the tradition with my own kids. Ben is finally to the age where he understands what comes with his birthday each year, such as having his bedroom door decorated by the "birthday bonzo" the morning of his birthday and choosing what kind of supper and cake he wants.

This year he wants a pirate theme. Eek!

To be honest I was a little put off. I'm not too crazy with the whole image of a pirate and fighting and skeletons etc etc etc...especially for a 4 yr old. So I am brainstorming how to make it more age appropriate. At least he gave me some diversity! For the past 2 years it has been a "superhero" theme of one character or another.

What I have decided, is to tame his party into more of a 'treasure hunt' feel. I feel like the entire theme was entirely meant to be. I just finished the 'treasure map' invites tonight-thank goodness for GRADUATIONS happening as it has given me a lot of resources and ideas for CHEAP to pull this look together. We will have a treasure chest pinata, a sword fight, of sorts (still thinking on how to safely pull that off) and an idea for a cake...he wants a castle cake...would that flow somehow? Any other creative ideas from YOU would be greatly appreciated!

This treasure hunt theme will incorporate some sort of beach feel...maybe that came from our trip to FL recently. FINE WITH ME! Now if I could be guaranteed 75+ degree weather!

It's going to be a house full of boys in a couple weeks for a few hours one afternoon. I can't wait!!!!

**But seriously Lord, a girl sometime in the next few years WOULD be awesome! I've come too close to dressing Collin up in a little Easter dress...his curls are perfect! **

Monday, May 4, 2009

Full of life!

Don't you just LOVE this!?!?!?

How about this?

The Life to the Full Collection at Dayspring is so neat! It has the word 'life' written in several different languages on some of the dishes along with the verse John 10:10. I think I am going to purchase the platter and have it hung on my wall in my kitchen!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gals in Uganda and fun photos

Orphans. AIDS. Fear. Hunger. Cold. Longing for mama.

Relief. Rescue. Hope. Joy. Food. Warmth. Jesus.

For oodles of pictures of the ongoing trip that these girls are on right now, click here. These photographs are taken by Fargo's local children's photographer, RiaLee.
Also, please read Brandi's post today. These women have had a tough, emotional day. Running out of supplies such as toothbrushes and underwear...or worse...requiring that kids have to choose so there is enough to go around. These are real children guys. Children just like yours and mine that are left to fend for themselves due to their parents' deaths.
Do you want to get involved?

Refreshed and Relaxed!

Wow-so I just returned from the land of sun and sea (Florida) with my soon-to-be 5 yr old, B.

Doesn't time fly with your little people?

Anyways, THIS GIRL is feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on the world-er well, maybe I'm not there quite yet :o)

Here are a few pics from our last minute get away. I had no idea B loved the ocean so much. Fearless I tell you....fearless!

B finding awe in all the sea shells washing ashore

(Anne Marie Island)

B is a-boogie-ing
(New Smyrna Beach)

One of our highlights was a poolside dinner with Shamu!

How graceful these animals are! Ben was just so amazed at them!

I would highly recommend Orlando to anyone this time of year!! Having quality time with B this week was so much fun!!