Thanksgiving Isn’t All About You, You Turkey!

Each year, my family tries to carve out time in the month of November and/or December to honor our elders.  The bible is clear that life is important and that includes the older generations.  One of my goals as a mother is to make sure that my kids know those who have gone before us are to be honored and respected.

One of the ways we do this is to periodically visit a nursing and/or retirement home to spend time with those who live there.  Typically we also take along crafts we have made to hopefully put a smile on their faces.  Check out our evening of preparations!

Jackson is drawing circles for Peyton to cut out.  He is SUCH a good big brother.

Jackson is drawing circles for Peyton to cut out. He is SUCH a good big brother.

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Peyton is cutting the white simi-circles which will become the feathers of the turkeys! He is getting pretty good with scissors.

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Gage just finished cutting out the bigger brown circles which will be the turkey bodies.

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Jackson is coloring the feathers for the turkeys.

 

Peyton is gluing the turkey parts together.

Peyton is gluing the turkey parts together.

All three boys working their tail feathers off to make turkeys!

All three boys working their tail feathers off to make turkeys!

After we got this far, we put WOW! Kid’s CD in and spent some time dancing around to get some wiggles out and to get our creative juices flowing for the next part of our project.

Oh yea!  Watch out "America's Got Talent!"  Here we come!

Oh yea! Watch out “America’s Got Talent!” Here we come!

They've got moves!

They’ve got moves!

We took the turkeys that we made and glued them onto half sheets of paper, folded in half to create a card.

All of the completed turkeys waiting to be attached to the cards.

All of the completed turkeys waiting to be attached to the cards.

It's glue time!

It’s glue time!

While the kiddos got the turkeys glued I made a batch of peppermint hot cocoa.  Its a family favorite for sure.  I only wish I had some whole milk on hand.  It is so much creamer made that way than with 2%, but don’t be mistaken. The whole pot was consumed!

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Yeah, you thought I’d miss out on the action? HA!

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In true Gage fashion, he sipped his nice and slow…enjoying every sip.

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I decided to put two ice cubes in his. Bad move…he sucked it down in less than a minute and was asking for more. Next time, maybe a half an ice cube!

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On his second cup, he is rocking out to the music still playing.

The last step was to design the insides and sign the cards.

"Coloring [his] name" on one of the cards.

“Coloring [his] name” on one of the cards.

 I guess I didn’t get pictures of the older boys decorating theirs.  I will make a follow up post tomorrow with pictures in the home and them with their cards though.

All in all we spent about three hours on this project.  We did some of the preparation work beforehand but this evening we worked for three hours.  The boys had fun, memories were made, great conversation was had.  We talked about why we were doing these crafts.  We talked about the fact that we need to reach out to the people who may or may not have family to visit them.  We have to take care of the  people who feel forgotten.  We have an obligation to make sure they feel loved, special and cared about.  I asked them how they would feel if they were in the hospital, let’s say, and nobody came to see them.  Then I asked how it would feel if they were in the hospital around Thanksgiving and nobody came to see them.  They have big hearts anyway so they totally saw the need of spending a few hours at the home tomorrow.

We also talked about Saeed Abendini, a pastor being held in Iran in a prison for his faith in the One True God.  We talked about how his family would have to be without him, and he without his family on Thursday.  I asked them if they thought it would be hard to be thankful in a situation like that.  I don’t remember which one it was, but one of the big boys said, “Yea it would be hard, but at least they know God is with the other one, even if Saeed is in jail and they are in the United States.”    Even in a situation like the Abendini family is in, there are things to be thankful for.  Our God is so amazing, He can be the glue that connects a family even in a situation like theirs.  He is so big and mighty that He can span an ocean, and circumstance, to bring hope to both parties.  Yet He is simple enough that my little boys can understand and relate to him.  We have an awesome God, amen?

I hope as this Thanksgiving season surrounds us, you can find things to be thankful for, outside of yourself.  Sure, I am thankful for my family, my house, my job, my ability to walk, talk and run.  But I am also thankful for missionaries who are around the globe, apart from their families, spreading the Word of God.  I am thankful for a reality that I can have a personal relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of life.  Thankful doesn’t come close to scratching the surface that my family is alive and well and that God has chooses imperfect people (my husband and I) to go into the international mission field to do His work.  I am thankful that He is powerful enough to soften hearts, cultivate compassion for others in those hearts and a love for all walks of life.  I find myself standing amazed and who He is this Thanksgiving season in more ways than I can put into words.

What are you thankful for?

Cheers,
Andrea

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KIMBO’SWISH First Annual Fall Festival Recap

In my last blog post I made mention of the vendor event that I was getting ready for which was on Saturday, October 18th.  I heard about this even through the 50 Cent Auction group on Facebook that I have talked about several times.  One Sunday afternoon, a woman by the  name of Christen came to pick up her items that she won from me on the auction and handed me a flyer for an event she was planning.  I asked if she had vendor booth spaces still available because if she did I’d like to bring my paper bead jewelry.

Coil bracelet which was on sale last night at the Trunk Show.

Coil bracelet  made with glass beads, metal beads and paper beads.

After a couple of weeks, things were settled and her event was put on my calendar.  I was super excited because her goal was to raise support for her soon to be non-profit for the middle Tennessee area.  Basically, KIMBO’SWISH is an organization who gives young kids with terminal illnesses their wish of meeting their favorite character.  At the event, for example, Elmo and Anna and Elsa from Frozen made an appearance. My son was in HEAVEN!  More about that later.  This event was specifically put together to finish raising the needed fees to obtain her non-profit status with Uncle Sam.  Anything raised after that would go to help a little boy’s parents with travel expenses, I believe, so he can get his next cancer treatment. The night before the event, I was talking to a teammate about my situation and she agreed to work my booth with me.  At vendor events a person needs two people at the booths so that there is someone to cover restroom and lunch breaks. I was so relieved that Nancy would be helping me. Especially when I woke up the next morning an hour before I was supposed to be at the church to set up! I still had to shower, get around, get my 3 year old up and get him around, get a few things at Wal-Mart and breakfast for both of us. Did I mention my son had a caugh that wouldn’t stop? Not a good morning. I called Nancy and thankfully she was running absolutely on time so she was able to get our spot and tell the organizers what was going on. When I pulled in, she was standing there and I couldn’t help but throw my arms around her and get choked up. She was my strength and stability in that moment that I absolutely needed. If not for her, I don’t think I could have made it through the day. What a blessing she was to me. We hauled in all of our things and got settled in. Acutally first, Nancy saved the day again by going to the drugstore to get some cough medicine for Peyton. That REALLY helped him.

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Everyone wave to Nancy!  I’m pretty sure she was listening to Joseph Pope’s second song.  More on that later.

My next hero(s) was Keri. Years ago when I started childcare in my home, her kids were my first ones to come to me fulltime. My goodness how they have grown. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw them. She also brought her teenager, Devin, and his girlfriend. They helped me so much by taking Peyton to the park to play, to play games at the event and even to get his face painted. Keri has done such a good job with her kids. She has SO much to be proud of, that’s for sure. At this event there were vendors, as I have said, but there was also live music, games for the kids, a silent auction, face painting and of course special appearances by popular characters! The first live musician to take the stand was a boy by the name of Joseph Pope. I believe I am getting it right by saying he is 12 years old and just a few months ago, he taught himself how to play the saxophone! This kid was AWESOME! His first number was “I’m Glad You Came,” by The Wanted. Wow…I literally stood there with tears in my eyes. The kid was awesome! His second number was “Happy.” Again he absolutely rocked the house! I wish there was a YouTube video or something of his performance because I know you would be as impressed as I was. An hour or so into the event, an announcement was made that Elmo would be joining the event soon. I didn’t tell Peyton about it until he was walking in the front door of the gymnasium. When he walked in and was being announced, I turned him around so he could see him and his eyes lit up so bright! He was in awe that Elmo was actually there! He wasn’t really sure what to do with himself other than to open his eyes and mouth as wide as they could go. I asked if he wanted to go see him and he took off running full speed across the gym to him. When I say running, I mean knees high, arms pumping, the whole nine yards. When I got over to him and pulled my phone out to take a picture, this is what I captured:

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When Elmo made it over to our booth, he wrapped his arms around him for another huge hug!

Sorry its blurry!

Sorry its blurry!

He had such a great time. You would not believe the people God had in store for me to meet. One of the first people to come up to my booth was a woman who was in town from Alabama. She was helping her daughter with her booth or was volunteering or something. I told her about our mission trip and our long term plans. I also told her about Loft 218, the non-profit that the children’s home and life skills training center will be built under. She shared with me that her church is very missions minded and gave me a card with her pastor’s contact information on it. She encouraged us to call him to see if we could speak there one Sunday to gain support and prayers for what God has called us to do. Wow…I was so blown away that an event I almost didn’t make it to, God had this big of an appointment waiting for me. There were other people who came up and spoke to me about my jewelry, asked questions on how I got into it, what we would be doing in Rajasthan and such. I was so encouraged by the words of affirmation and encouragement I got from that crowd. One woman sat down and talked to me for probably 20 minutes about how God will direct my hands when making jewelry and my feet during the vision trip. How encouraging! I have said all along, financial support is obviously important where mission trips are concerned, but sometimes moral and emotional support are even more important. God proved this to me again at that event. An hour or so after Elmo came out, an announcement was made that Elsa and Anna were on their way to spend time with the kids and take pictures, too! Peyton, at the time, was at the playground with the teenagers so he didn’t get to see them walk in. As he was walking through the doors from playing, Keri was walking out of the restrooms and saw him. Because we had talked earlier about how excited he will be when they come out, she knelt down and turned him so he could see who was there. Oh he was over the moon excited to see them. He went and stood in line to meet them. I, again, walked over there with my phone to capture the moment. Soooo sweet. He was actually a little bashful to walk up to them but with my help he was good to go.

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By the end of the day, I was so filled up and encouraged and blown away by all of the provisions God had given me that day. Between Friday and Saturday, I was pretty sure things couldn’t get much better! That evening, an update came up on the KIMBO’SWISH page on facebook:

WE DID IT!!!! We reached our goal of $1200 today! We made $1000 at the benefit and the remaining $200 was donated this evening! GOD IS GREAT & FULL OF SURPRISES…. AMEN. Thank you to ALL that cam out and volunteered their time, energy and patients today. What a true blessing you were! A SPECIAL THANK YOU GOES OUT TO JOSEPH POPE, TONY FROST & BRENDA LYNN ALLEN FOR THE AMAZING MUSIC…WOW! It was all wonderful!!!!

Not only did God provide me with serious encouragement, but he provided in a big way for KIMBO’SWISH! That is just awesome, isn’t it! Monday she was able to meet with her attorney to get the ball rolling for her official non-profit status! Go God! At one point, Christen brought attention to a table with a tree in the middle of it. Around the tree, there were framed pictures and stories of the kids KIMBO’SWISH has help in the last nine months. She highlighted each child and encouraged people to read each one at their leisure. How exciting! One of the boys represented on the table was at the event and was said to be in TOTAL REMISSION! Go GOD!  His name is Hunter.  I actually just talked to his mom on facebook and she said that he is almost ready to hit the TWO YEAR MARK!!  You can follow his progress here!

Here Hunter is with Elmo!  November 7th will be his remission anniversary!

Here Hunter is with Elmo! November 7th will be his remission anniversary!

Before I go, I want to draw your attention to one of the little girls who will be getting help from this awesome organization. Her name is Zoey and the boys and I have been praying for her for a couple weeks now. She was born with several birth defects, one which affects her little sweet heart. She has already had three surgeries on it and is in need of a fourth one. This surgery needs to be done in Boston. The cost associated with this surgery and the travel expenses thereof are pretty hefty. If you feel lead to donate any amount to her medical expenses, her family has set up a GoFundMe account for this purpose. On that page, you can also read more about her there. Stay tuned for my blog about my time at the 50 Cent Auction.  Even more God appointed moments!

Cheers,
Andrea

On a Mission: Rajasthan, India Fundraiser Update August Through October

Liz caught me hanging up a wreath to be silent auctioned at the Captain's Dinner on Sept 19.

Liz caught me hanging up a wreath to be silent auctioned at the Captain’s Dinner on Sept 19.

 

This month has been a BUSY month for fundraising.  As a team we all pitched in and organized a captain’s dinner and fishing tournament.  When all was said and done, we have around 200 items donated from area businesses, more than 20 sponsors and 17 boats registered for the tournament!  One of the winners at the fishing tournament returned his portion of the prize money back to LofT218 which is the umbrella which our children’s home will fall under once non-profit status is obtained!  Go God!  All proceeds were split over the families going on the trip to India and we still each earned around $1,400!  Isn’t that amazing!  Unfortunately I really don’t have any pictures of the event except for this one that my friend took while we were setting up at the captain’s dinner last Friday night.

Let me back up to August.  I was busy that month too, I guess!

It started with a Bunco! party on the 15th.  I had a total of 4 tables of people who played that night and we had a blast!  I even had a player who was almost a total loser (meaning she almost lost ALL rounds of ALL games!). She finished the night out with one single win which absolutely meant she got the boobie prize.  As far as pictures go, Jackson took most of the pictures on his camera and then lost his cord so I don’t have pictures of the winners with their goodies but everyone made out like bandits at this get together too!

Donated prizes for my August Bunco! Fundraiser.

Donated prizes for my August Bunco! Fundraiser.

Jewelry set up at my Bunco which was held August 15th.

Jewelry set up at my Bunco which was held August 15th.

We were approached by a man in our church early in August about smoking pork shoulders/Boston Butts as a fundraiser.  He has a very large smoker and said he would do the work of smoking the meat if we would buy it, bring it to his house and prepare it (season and wrap it) and then come back in the morning after it smoked for 12 hours and take it off of the smoker to deliver it all.  We priced the meant and decided that was a really good idea because we could have them delivered for the Labor Day weekend.  We ended up doing well on it considering the local football teams were also selling Boston Butts at the same time!

Pulling Boston Butts off of the smoker on August 29th.

Pulling Boston Butts off of the smoker on August 29th.  Josh is up top pulling off meat and Mr. Long is observing to make sure things were going the right way!

Pouring the excess grease off of the smoked pork meat.  Oh my goodness if you could just smell that meat...

Pouring the excess grease off of the smoked pork meat. Oh my goodness if you could just smell that meat…

Our next fundraiser was the next day and it was my cloth diapering seminar.  On my facebook event and by word of mouth confirmations, I was expecting between 10 and 15 women of all ages.  When it came down to it, four women showed up.  A month earlier I had one a private seminar for a couple who just had their baby a week ago yesterday (on the 18th!  Congrats Walkers!)  I had gotten so many corporate donations that each of the women went away with a load of gifts!  Two of the women there are pregnant and have never cloth diapered before, one woman had her baby there who hadn’t cloth diapered before and the fourth woman had just started cloth diapering about a month earlier but heard about all of the amazing prizes I had to give away so she came and helped give the other girls another perspective of cloth diapering.

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Fruit tray set up at my Cloth Diapering Seminar which was held on August 30.

Fruit tray set up at my Cloth Diapering Seminar which was held on August 30.

Cotton Babies, Snapies, Charlie's Soap and other diapering companies totally came through with donated items for my seminar.

Cotton Babies, Snapies, Charlie’s Soap and other diapering companies totally came through with donated items for my seminar.

My attendees.  I had 10 people who said they would be there but 4 showed up.  Each woman went home with so many gifts it looked like Christmas!

My attendees. I had 10 people who said they would be there but 4 showed up. Each woman went home with so many gifts it looked like Christmas!

 

That got us through August.  Then came September.  I mentioned above about the fishing tournament and the only other fundraiser we had for September was last night (the 24th).  My friend invited me into her home to share my testimony and showcase my paper bead jewelry and it went really really well.  There were five women there and the hostess.  Between all of those ladies purchasing Christmas gifts and gifts for themselves, I raised $310!  I came home and cried to myself after being so showered with support both financially and morally.  My goodness, they really warmed my heart.  Michelle took pictures of last night but I don’t have them yet.  I will update this entry when I get them.

This necklace sold last night to my friend, Lisa!  She also wants a bracelet made to match as she picked up the earrings but the matching bracelet walked out in someone else's hand!

This necklace sold last night to my friend, Lisa! She also wants a bracelet made to match as she picked up the earrings but the matching bracelet walked out in someone else’s hand!

Coil bracelet which was on sale last night at the Trunk Show.

Coil bracelet which was on sale last night at the Trunk Show.

I need to pause a minute to make a HUGE shout out though.  When I first posted this blog post about my projected fundraising events, several people spoke up and asked how they could help.  Three women in particular haven’t stopped since the day the offered.  Mrs. Barbara began helping me with cakes several months ago and then helped me finish 42 cloth diapers.  In the  middle of all of that she took the time to learn how to make paper beads and has been on it nonstop since.

Then there’s Granny (Josh’s grandmother) and Aunt Kate (I think she’s actually Josh’s grandfather’s cousin?).  I am pretty sure there are wires under their skin..those women are machines.  I have yet to take them too many paper strips.  I honestly am not sure how to pump out as many paper beads as they do.  Barbara and I have decided they have an underground women’s club who come over at night and helps.  It seems impossible the work they do, just the two of them.  They have said they aren’t young enough to “go” anymore, but this is something they can do and feel like they are contributing.  My word, they are contributing in HUGE ways.  Look at this picture:

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They have done this quantity for me twice!  One time they did it over the weekend.  If you have never made paper beads you don’t know that they work up really quick but take forever to do. It’s a oxymoron I realize but it’s absolutely the truth.  In the hours Mrs. Barbara and I have spent working on beads, together we have never been able to turn out a whole ziplock bag before.  God is working through those hands of theirs.  It’s truly God’s economy of time and favor for sure.  Their help has allowed me to focus on creating pieces of jewelry instead of making beads AND making jewelry.  I can work much fasting knowing I have a workforce behind me.  I wish there was some way to replay all three of these women.  I mean I have so much gratitude for them…they are just priceless.  There’s nothing I can do to repay their kindness and support. It’s like God’s grace.  I don’t deserve their help or God’s grace.  But there they both are.  I am blessed far more than I deserve.

This next weekend, I am setting up at Old Timer’s Day on the town’s square.  It’s basically a community festival which celebrates the heritage of the community.  There’s a parade, food, vendors, church groups who do face paintings, games for the kids and so on.   I will be there with my paper bead jewelry and cannot wait!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about it though.  It is just uncharted territory for me.  That will be October 3rd and 4th though the booth will only be open on the 4th.

Saturday, October 4th, on the square in Manchester!

Saturday, October 4th, on the square in Manchester!

Looking forward past that, Michelle has asked me to speak at her scrapbooking retreat on October 5th at a bed and breakfast called Petticoat Junction about 30 minutes from here.  There will be 10 women there whom I have never gotten to speak with before so I am very excited about that opportunity.

I get to rest until the 18th which is when I will set up at Kimbos Wish fall festival.  Kimbos Wish is a group who helps make dreams and wishes come true for local kids with severe illnesses.  They are having a fall festival at Grace Baptist Church in Tullahoma complete with music entertainment, food, games, vendors, you name it.  They are having door prizes and all kinds of cool things to check out.  It’s a family friendly environment that you should consider attending for sure!  My paper bead jewelry will be there and I’m also donating a few items for a door prize.

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On the 24th of October, I will be traveling to Murfreesboro to work a Bunco! night for my friend Tina who has offered to invite her friends on my behalf!  Do you see the types of friends I have?  Generous, loving…  My goodness God blesses me more than I deserve more times than not.  We are accepting vendors there.  Cover to play is $20.  If you would like to set up, it’s $20 and I will waive the cover for all vendors and you still get to play Bunco!  All I ask is that you donate an item to be used as a prize at the end of the night.  No percentage of sales is being requested.  If you are interested in either option, contact me via my facebook page, or if you know Tina, get with her.  Vendors are on a first come first serve basis, no double businesses allowed and we are reserving the right to limit product time (IE: jewelry, crocheted goods, etc).   Space is limited so please RSVP, ASAP!

October 24th, Murfreesboro!

October 24th, Murfreesboro!

The very next day, I will be the vendor at a team member’s Bunco which will be held here in our town.  I will be playing and selling that night.  She is having BBQ catered in and lots and lots of door prizes, just like I will have!  Nobody leaves empty handed.  Liz and her family are going to India but they are paying for THREE people to go.  Just when I thought we had a big bill to pay, shew!

I believe that’s it for October as of now.  If you need a speaker at a women’s event in the month of November or December, let me know now before those months fill up.  I’d be happy to give my testimony about how I experienced God back in March regarding India and bring my paper bead jewelry along as well.  If you would like for me to share with your friends in your home like Michelle did, I would be absolutely happy to do that as well.

I appreciate all supporters so much.  Each word of encouragement and each financial support just fills my cup more than you know.  It’s not easy following God’s calling some days.  Some days it’s downright hard and discouraging if you want me to be completely honest.  Some days I don’t think I can do it for another day.  And then I get a phone call, Facebook message or text from someone which spurs me on.  God tells us in the word that we are to build each other up with encouragement.  I believe it’s in Matthew but don’t quote me on that.  All I know is that each of you are so special to me.  Thank you for everything.

Cheers,
Andrea

 

Clay Beads of Knowledge in the Big Woods

So week two is supposed to be wrapping up today but unfortunately and fortunately we had to take some detours in our schooling this week.  That’s ok, it just means we will school Saturday, also.  No big deal.  That’s another beauty of home education.

So Monday, we picked up our Little House in the Big Woods book at chapter 5.  That chapter talks about the difference between today’s practice of a Sunday Sabbath and how it was practiced back in the late 1800’s.  There’s definitely a big difference, especially where kids are concerned.  We spent time learning how to use a dictionary.  That seems maybe a bit easy, but they didn’t know what the following were, or maybe I should say they couldn’t point it out where to find these in the dictionary on any given word.  Let’s be fair, they could point out some but not all of them.

Guide words, entry words, forms of the word, dictionary respelling, parts of speech, definition and example sentence.

We practiced cause and effect scenarios based on one of the stories Pa told about his grandfather as a boy.  He got in trouble on a Sunday for taking his freshly made sled for a ride while his father was sleeping in the living room.  There were definitely effects the next day, for sure!

They were also asked to make a comic strip of the sledding event to practice recalling a story in sequence.

In our bible lesson, we talked about mercy.  During that activity the boys picked one form of poetry to explain the word.  We were also challenged to memorize Psalm 91 throughout the Big Woods book.  Today we memorized Psalm 91:1.

  • The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High GOd
    will be kept safe by the Might One.

We are going to recite what we have memorized each time we sit down to eat, before we pray.  That gives us three times to say it together.  They will have all the rest of the day to practice it on their own.

Along with the poem, we did another writing activity which involved the boys thinking about their favorite memory with one of their grandparents.  The did a sequence of events paper on what happened first, second, third, etc and then rewrote the event in paragraph form. We took that paragraph and used our proofreading skills to make sure everything looked like it was supposed to, then they turned it into a letter to the grandparent in the paragraph.  Included in the letter was their poem on mercy.  Now that I think about it, Gage still has to finish his.  Once he does, we will get those sent out in the mail.  Papa Lanny and Great Grandma Neva should be on the lookout for a special delivery next week.

As always the boys finished up their math for the day.

On Tuesday, we got started late and spent the next three days getting caught up on our core studies.  Throughout the day, Josh and I were working on fundraising donations for our India Mission Trip.  The boys were able to work on their independent work while we were doing that like math and silent reading, but they we didn’t get EVERYTHING done.  At the end of the day I was so overwhelmed by God’s provision that we simply rested the rest of the day.  We did manage to read chapters 6 and part of 7 as well as a few other things though.  We practiced our dictionary skills again and completed the review questions for the parts of the chapters we finished.

We did a demonstration experiment on how trees “drink” from the water in the ground.  First we took a soda of Gage’s choice (Fresca) and poured it into a glass.  I gave him one straw and asked him to drink some.  He did it with ease.  Over the course of the next 20 minutes we taped one straw at a time to the end of the previous straw.  He tried to take a drink again after each straw was added.  He found that as the straw got longer, it was harder to get any drink out of the straw.  We talked about how when a tree gets older and taller, it requires more fluids and more effort from the tree to get it’s nutrients up to the tip top of the tree to it’s leaves.

We talked about to composition of sap, what sap is and does for the tree, what “snow sugar” is, and how one goes about harvesting sap to make maple syrup.  We talked about osmosis also through an experiment with a potato.  It showed how vital the water in the ground is to a big tree and it’s ability to get that sap all the way up through the tree.  Here’s how we did it:

They each skinned a potato, cut it in half and then cut the rounded ends off also.  Next, they took a spoon and made a crater in each one.

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In both sides of their potatoes, colored water was put in to about the half way mark.  Gage used green Jackson used blue.

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Jackson’s potatoes in the 1/2 inch of water.

Haha I just realized those are the same colors they used for their frosting last week!  In one of each of their halves, they put 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.  Both pieces were put in a bowl with 1/2 inch of water then covered.  When we checked Gage’s the next day,  the side with the sugar had filled itself up while the other one was basically the same as we left it the day before.

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Jackson did his at another time so it will need to be checked Saturday afternoon.

Because the maple trees can grow up to 150 feet tall, the sap inside helps to get the water up to the very top of the tree.  They were able to see that happen and understood the concept much better than when I just tried to explain it.

We had gone to Wal-Mart Wednesday morning to get paint supplies for a project and then fundraising called again.  We spent a couple of hours at a friend’s house taking pictures of items we  were given to  sell online. When we got home it was lunch time.  The boys did their independent work and that was about it.

Thursday we woke up early and went to the parsonage at the church to pick pears.  My friend, Jennifer, went with us.  She and Jackson were up in the tree so we could get some bigger pears up high.  I think they did a great job!IMG_20140807_090047_351

We gathered enough to make two quarts of pear sauce and a pan of baked pears.

pear collage

Oh my goodness our house smelled amazing.  I think we are going to go to Josh’s family’s land about 20 minutes away to pick some more this weekend.  I want to make cinnamon pears like we used to get at school, does anyone remember those?  With the Red Hots in them?  Mmmm!

When I got home, we blended art and English.  Last week you might remember we talked about using strong descriptive words to paint a picture of a scene in your reader’s mind.  Well this week, we took a passage off of page 117 in the Big Woods book where Laura is describing her father.  You could get a sense for how she felt about him and how he looked because of the words she used.  We studied composition painting and the making of Whistler’s Mother or as the artist James McNeill Whistler named it, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.

We found out that, first, he came up with the emotion and idea that he wanted to convey and then created the painting around those ideas.  We talked about how color and the angle of the objects in a piece convey different things.  The all famous Mona Lisa is a painting which is said to be a close comparison on how realistic and “photo-like” they are.  The interesting thing with that is that the artist of Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 is an American born artist.  It is said that he is one of  the few American artists who has gotten that kind of notoriety.   Upon further study, we found out that this painting was completed in the same time period as the book we are reading, 1871.

Gage and Jackson were to close their eyes and think about their dad.  After a few minutes they wrote down three words each that described Josh.  With each of those words, they were asked to write a descriptive sentence describing him during a time he displayed the trait they wrote down.  They used that exercise as a spring board to start sketching out their portrait of their dad.  Then they were able to get the paints out and go to town.

Jackson sketching, Jackson starting to paint.

Gage sketching, Jackson starting to paint.

Jackson's is on the left, Gage's on the right.

Jackson’s is on the left, Gage’s on the right.

 

We talked about what the colors they picked might make people feel or think about him.  The finished up their pieces on Friday explaining why they did what they did in their piece of art.

He didn't want to be left out!  I got the watercolors out for him!

He didn’t want to be left out! I got the watercolors out for him!

On Friday, they spent time doing their independent work. I  guess I haven’t explained what they are reading for their silent reading.  It’s hard to find books on Jackson’s reading level, because he is so advanced, that are appropriate for him.  Right now he is reading Happy Happy Happy Phil Robertson.  He started to read it one other time but never finished.  That book will meet the requirement for his reading log.  Gage is reading book one of the Sugar Creek Gag called The Killer Bear by Paul Hutchens.

At 1:00, Josh took both boys to Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park for a program on tracking.  Originally, I thought they were going to be going out to the trails to try to find and identify the tracks, however it ended up being an inside program.  I was bummed but Josh seemed to be impressed.  Each participant was given the chance to pick an animal print they wanted to make.  Gage picked a mountain lion, or as he remembered from last year it’s also called a cougar and Jackson picked a beaver.

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Jackson’s print is on the left, Gage’s is on the right.

The park ranger in charge of the program gave each of them a huge chunk of clay to press the paw print into.  Then they poured Plaster of Paris into the created print.  Instructions were given for them to wait a day before removing the print from the mold. They will be pulled out  of the clay tomorrow!

The last thing we did was to use real maple syrup on pancakes for dinner!

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We were supposed to make Hasty Pudding this week too, but I only have cornmeal mix, not pure cornmeal so I wasn’t sure if it would turn out.  As to not waste ingredients, I opted out of that project.  No worries.  We will probably get to make it another time.

Saturday we went to back to Old Stone Fort Archeological Park and participated in their clay bead making workshop. The lady who is in charge of these programs for kids had to go home earlier in the day due to being sick so the ranger on duty got the supplies out for us and let us do our own thing.  There was a second part of the workshop two hours later where we could paint the beads that we made.  Unfortunately Peyton was past his naptime and wasn’t making the workshop enjoyable for those attending so we opted to take our beads home to paint them in our spare time.

Thanks for checking in on our second week of school.  My collage maker online isn’t working very well.  Sorry for the gaps in pictures.  I hope you enjoyed being a fly on the wall.  I hope you have a great week!

 

Cheers,
Andrea

On a Mission: Paper Bead Workshop Recap

Oh man, we had fun!   You might remember some time ago I posted that I was having a paper bead workshop in my home for people who wanted to learn how to make paper bead jewelry.  Eight women showed up the day of the event and each of them made something unique and beautiful!

Before I go any further though, I have to say thanks to my two friends, Liz and Barb, for helping me facilitate the event.  I had taught them how to paper bead some time before the workshop so they already knew the ins and outs of the skill.  They were able to help demonstrate and answer questions that my guests may have had.  There were times when several people needed help at the same time and I was thankful to have a couple clones.  I couldn’t have done it without you two.

As with any event, the day starts the night before for the hostess.  I set up all of my card tables so that the supplies needed would be within arms reach.  I tried my best to divide out the colors evenly through the trays of beads which were on each table.  The skewers were set up that night too, which involved slicing the flat end about an inch or so and then slipping a small fold of paper into the slit down about 3/4 of an inch.  Because I struggle with knowing what goes with what, I figured my guests might like to have a color wheel and a color suggestion sheet to help her match her paper beads to glass beads.  I’m not sure if anyone used them or not, but it made me feel better that I provided it.

The night before the event, I set up card tables complete with a tray of glass beads, color wheel, color suggestions and paper bead sticks, aka bamboo skewers.

The night before the event, I set up card tables complete with a tray of glass beads, color wheel, color suggestions and paper bead sticks, aka bamboo skewers.

I had gotten some fruit and cut it up in a divided container which served as part of the snacks for the event.  The morning of the event, Barb brought muffins of different types to share as well.  That was much appreciated.  We had coffee and a cooler sodas for refreshments.

After everyone arrived, I shared my testimony of how I believe God has called us to India to serve the orphan and sex trafficking population.  I also shared my testimony about how I came to learn the paper bead skill.  Naturally I couldn’t make it through the first sentence without getting emotional.  God is so good.  He has moved in my family so much and I can’t help but be overwhelmed by emotion with how good he truly is.  When I finished, the invitation was put out to everyone to pick out approximately 20 precut pieces of paper and return to their seats.

Afterward I demonstrated how to make the beads.  From that point through the end of the event there was a buzz of busy work all through my home.  I loved some of the comments that people said.

  • “I can’t believe that that slip of paper made this bead!”
  • “Oooohhh!  Look at this one!  It’s so pretty!”
  • “This is so easy!”

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Here are some of the beads people made:

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Once people started to finish up their beads I passed out the necklace lengths and we helped everyone pick a color scheme and pattern.  A hush came over the place once this started.  People were serious about their bead projects!

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Let me tell you though it paid off!

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Kelsey’s masterpiece!

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She is so excited about her pretty necklace that she made! She also picked up a handmade paper bead headband from my display table while she was there!

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Misty’s necklace. I believe it was her necklace that has a bit more of a close up picture above. It is so pretty!

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Kathy’s UT (University of Tennessee, lest you confuse it with another) and the earrings I made specially for her!

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Nancy’s necklace. She ended up finding a pair of earrings on the display table also. I have seen her several times since the workshop and each time she is wearing something different and each time her necklace matched perfectly!

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Kimberly made hers with the school colors at which she teaches. She was excited to get to wear it the first day she reported!

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Mrs. Linda’s necklace. She took a no-pattern-pattern approach and it looked amazing. She coordinated the colors but didn’t get overwhelmed by things being exactly strung the same in a pattern. I love it!

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Gina’s necklace was truly a labor of love! She worked hard on it to get it to look just the way she wanted it to look. I just really love the way it turned out.

The only problem I have with the workshop is that the pictures don’t do the pieces justice at ALL!  They are just really beautiful.  It is hard to see here but if you know one of these ladies, I encourage you to ask to see their piece in person.  They are naturally beautiful…just the way the beads roll up and end up looking completely different than you think it will just by looking at the piece of paper.

I am having another workshop on September 27th here at my house.  If you would like to attend let me know via facebook or by calling or texting.  My promise to you is that you will leave with a pretty piece.  If you don’t care for the one you make, you are welcome to trade it in for something that is on my display board that you like!  Either way you will have a great time!

Once you have learned to make beads, you are welcome to come to work days for India, yourself or me.  Ok let me explain because it sounds like I am recruiting for my own sweatshop.  No.  I am not.  We may be putting together kids to give to women currently being ministered to in India who are using small skills like this to better their families lives.  It will include several pieces worth of glass and paper beads for them to create with.  You can help us build those kits.  If you have projects you are working on,  you are welcome to just come and talk and work.  Or, if you want to make them to help me raise money for mine and my husband’s trip, I will gladly accept donations in that way as well!  Mrs. Nancy brought me a BEAUTIFUL set of teal and pink beads just this week!  I was thrilled to get them!

Cheers!
Andrea

On a Mission: Rajasthan, India – Fundraising Update and Outlook

In one of my last posts, I mentioned that God provided BIG through obedient people who gave VERY generously to help us meet the deadline for our deposit for this trip.  I cannot even begin to tell how encouraging this was for my husband and me.  It has been full steam ahead since then to come up with creative ideas to include all of the different personalities and interests of our friends, coworkers, family and church family for the remaining balance of our trip.  So many have voiced that they want to help so we are making ways for them to do so.

Here’s a heads up on tentative events we plan to use for this purpose:

JULY

4th of July Cake Sales:

Seeing as it’s the morning of July 5th this will be a recap.  8 cakes, 8 orders of cake truffles and a few chocolate covered strawberries were made this week.  Some still have to be baked and picked up this following week, one actually won’t be delivered until August.  A friend of mine came over to help me on the two big baking days.  She nearly completely took my stress level away.  She was such a big help and I couldn’t possibly thank her for all she did for me.

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On July 19th, I will be hosting a Knitting 101 Workshop where I will be teaching  the basics of knitting.  If you’d like to check out specifics on that fundraiser, you can visit the facebook event dedicated to that.  Cost for this event is $25 and includes your needles, yarn, pattern and instruction as well as food and drink while you are there.

AUGUST

I have a Bunco Night planned.  There will be finger foods, desserts, door prizes, magazine bead jewelry on display and lots of laughing and cutting up with each other.  The cost for this this event is $20.  There will be cash and carry handmade magazine bead jewelry there as well.  If you’d like to RSVP for this event, head over to facebook and do so there!  Cost for this event is $20.  Prices for jewelry will vary.  August isn’t too soon to be thinking about Christmas gifts!

SEPTEMBER

Labor Day Cake Sales:  I will be taking orders for cakes, truffles and possibly other goodies for your Labor Day camping trips, parties and/or just because.  Who needs an excuse to indulge in cake anyway?  If you know you want to order a cake for that event, feel free to contact me now so I can pencil you in.  Space will be limited so I don’t get overwhelmed and rushed.  I want each person to get an amazing cake!

I will be setting up a table at the local Wal-Mart to do a Bake Sale.  For this event I will need folks who enjoy baking to donate items to put on my table.  I will be making and selling items that I just shared above.  If you are a local and would like to set up a table on my behalf at the Wal-Mart in Tullahoma, contact me and we can make that happen.

Trunk Shows:  I am really excited about this!  I am asking people who love to host events to rally their friends and host me for an evening.  I will speak about the calling on my life to travel to India to help plan a children’s home and life skills training center for women of sex trafficking.  I will also speak about how God lead me to learn the art of magazine bead jewelry.  Your guests will then be able to browse my handmade jewelry to purchase their favorite pieces for themselves or as Christmas gifts, after all it will only be a few months away by that time!

OCTOBER

October is my birthday month.  I will be having a Pampered Chef Cooking Show Fundraiser with all of my friends online and in person.  If you would like to help me celebrate, please plan to do so by purchasing items for yourself (or early Christmas gifts)  through my representative, Michelle DiPasquale, or donating to our fund in lieu of gifts.    All I want for my birthday is to make our trip budget.  Michelle will be setting up a fundraiser online so that I can earn money instead of product from my cooking show.  She has also agreed to donate 5% of her personal earnings to go toward our trip.

Trunk Shows:  I am really excited about this!  I am asking people who love to host events to rally their friends and host me for an evening.  I will speak about the calling on my life to travel to India to help plan a children’s home and life skills training center for women of sex trafficking.  I will also speak about how God lead me to learn the art of magazine bead jewelry.  Your guests will then be able to browse my handmade jewelry to purchase their favorite pieces for themselves or as Christmas gifts, after all it will only be a few months away by that time!

Fall/Halloween Cakes:  Are you a teacher who needs treats for your class or a room mother who has to provide snacks for a party?  Are you planning to give out special treats to special trick-or-treaters who come to your door?  I can help!  I plan to do cakes, cupcakes, truffles and possibly decorated sugar cookie pops  for this month.  This month, I will also be offering special coffee cakes!  If you came to my knitting 101 fundraiser workshop for Haiti, you were privileged to get to sample my recipe.  If you KNOW you want to get treats, please contact me now so I can pencil you in.  I will only be able to take a certain number of orders.

NOVEMBER

Dinner and Desserts Date Night.  We will be serving grilled chicken, rice and a steamed veggie (tentatively) and traditional American and Indian desserts.  I will be speaking during the event about the calling God has placed on my life to travel to India to help with the planning of a future children’s home and life skills center for women of sex trafficking.  I will also have one other speaker about their experience regarding missions to India.  A silent auction will also accompany this event.   If you cannot attend the event but would love to help with it, I will need donations for the silent auction, people to help with center piece design and individuals to help me sell tickets to the event.  If you want to attend the event as a volunteer, I will need servers, kitchen staff, greeters, set up and take down crews and decorations gurus!  Ticket price is still being decided but childcare will be on site and by donation.

Trunk Shows:  I am really excited about this!  I am asking people who love to host events to rally their friends and host me for an evening.  I will speak about the calling on my life to travel to India to help plan a children’s home and life skills training center for women of sex trafficking.  I will also speak about how God lead me to learn the art of magazine bead jewelry.  Your guests will then be able to browse my handmade jewelry to purchase their favorite pieces for themselves or as Christmas gifts, after all it will only be a few months away by that time!

Thanksgiving Cakes and Treats:  For November I will be offering slightly different baked goods.  I will still have the truffles and possibly coffee cakes, but I will be changing the cake flavors a bit.  Two layer spice cakes with cream cheese frosting as well as decorated sugar cookies will be the main attractions this month.  The sugar cookies can be for desserts, parties, the office just because or as name cards for your thanksgiving table.  Plan ahead to be sure you get in on this deal.  Space will be limited on my schedule book due to the amount of time all of these treats require of me.

Ornaments for India:  I will be creating a special Christmas tree ornament which can be purchased.  India will be the theme of the ornament.  It will serve as a reminder to always pray for the lost in India and for the missionaries serving there for the advancement of His Kingdom.

DECEMBER

I plan to set up at the local mall to offer Gift Wrapping.  For this event I need rolls of wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, scissors and tags donated as soon as possible.  The amount of donations I get for these items will determine how many days and shifts I will be able to provide.  I will also need volunteers to man the tables when my husband and I cannot and/or along side of us.

Cake Truffles: These are a perfect item to take to a Christmas party!  Small enough that they don’t take up too much room, yet tasty enough to get the crowd singing your praises for bringing them!  These will only be available the first two weeks of December.  Call me ahead of time to order yours so I have enough time to make them beautiful!

Trunk Shows:  I am really excited about this!  I am asking people who love to host events to rally their friends and host me for an evening.  I will speak about the calling on my life to travel to India to help plan a children’s home and life skills training center for women of sex trafficking.  I will also speak about how God lead me to learn the art of magazine bead jewelry.  Your guests will then be able to browse my handmade jewelry to purchase their favorite pieces for themselves or as Christmas gifts, after all it will only be a few months away by that time!

Ornaments for India:  I will be creating a special Christmas tree ornament which can be purchased.  India will be the theme of the ornament.  It will serve as a reminder to always pray for the lost in India and for the missionaries serving there for the advancement of His Kingdom.

In Honor Of:  If you don’t know what to get that hard to shop for person, make a donation to our trip in honor of him or her and I will give you a certificate to present them with to know they helped us answer God’s calling.  An investment in the Kingdom…that’s an amazing gift idea!

There are many different ways to get involved.  I appreciate those who already have gotten involved.  Please feel free to share this blog for those of you who are local.  I appreciate your support (all types) and your prayers.  Thank you to those of you who offer words of encouragement and believe in us.  This mission trip is a GOD SIZED task.  But the One True God can do more than we could ever expect, and exceedingly more than we can do in our own power and strength.  I praise Him everyday or what he has brought us through so far in this journey.  I thank him for trusting us to do his bidding.  My word, I feel so unqualified sometimes.

Cheers,
Andrea

On a Mission: Haiti/DR Recap

My goodness, from my last post to today, it has been a whirlwind, that’s for sure!  Let me briefly recap what happened between day 5 and 7.

After I signed off from writing my day 4 recap, I went to bed and was awakened several hours later because one of our team members fell sick.  She was having abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.  The bunk room she was staying in housed….9 bunk beds I think and a single bed.  The room was rather large.  I don’t think I had mentioned it before this time but in the DR, they randomly decide to cut electricity.  Some days we had it for several hours in a row, other times we had it for a minute here, 10 minutes there.  We all were advised to pack flashlights so we could see around at night.  Boy  I am glad I didn’t skip that line item.  That was just as important of extra changes of underwear!  It’s HOT there!  Going back to the lack of electricity, without it there’s no air conditioning.  The room I was staying in was much smaller with 3 bunks and 1 single bed.  Needless to say it was MUCH easier to regulate our temperature.  When the power was on, we made sure the windows were closed as well as our door so we could keep as much of the cool air in as possible.  When she woke up sick, she was moved to our room where it was cooler in hopes of making her feel better.  Unfortunately that wasn’t enough and she stayed sick until well after we got home.  Between that day and today, she had gotten several IV therapies with medication and vitamins, checked in to two ER’s one of which was in Santo Domingo.  She was given several antibiotics and several anti-parasite medications.  They determined that she did in fact have parasites that she probably picked up from the DR.  She wasn’t the only one who was laid out there.  We had another team there from Florida and several of them were sick, one of which was hooked up to IV therapy as well.    Once she fell sick the rest of the trip was a bit of a blur to say the least.

That was early Wednesday morning.  Wednesday day, several of us went into Jimani, the town the children’s home is located, to get supplies for the June Fiesta!  Every month the children’s home has a big birthday party with cake, ice cream, soda, decorations, side show and games to celebrate all of the birthday’s that take place that month.  This month, John and Melissa, the full-time missionaries, were the only ones with birthdays so they celebrated then because the next day they were leaving with us to go to Santo Domingo to catch a flight back to the states.  It was time for their annual sabbatical.  We took the pick up truck into town with several of the Florida team members and Nana, John’s mom who also lives down there.

Goats, goats, goats!  They are everywhere there.

Goats, goats, goats! They are everywhere there.

You know, El Shaddai is even in Jimani, Dominican Republic.  This was outside of one of the Colmados (convenient store).

You know, El Shaddai is even in Jimani, Dominican Republic. This was outside of one of the Colmados (convenient store).

Look!  More GOATS!  This time on top of a house!  Cracks me up!  They walked up the stairs and were hanging out on the roof!

Look! More GOATS! This time on top of a house! Cracks me up! They walked up the stairs and were hanging out on the roof!

I LOVE seeing palm trees.

I LOVE seeing palm trees.

Right before we got back to the children’s home compound, Nana took a different turn than she normally did and hit one of the speed bumps (they are big people, like your family dog kind of big) FULL SPEED.  It’s a miracle I am here to tell the story.  Most of us were sitting in the back of the truck so when she hit the speed bump we all flew up in the air and toward the cab, landing on each other and screaming.  My hat flew off and landed several feet from the truck, Jennifer’s finger is still on her hand by the grace of God.  It was squished between the cab and the frame work of the seating in the bed of the truck.  She said she fully expected to pull up her hand and have fingers missing.  We were all freaking out.  Meanwhile, stage right a  local man was laughing his butt off at our misfortune.  I guess from the outside looking in it was pretty funny, but being in the middle of it, not so much.  Nana felt so bad though.  We got over it quickly.  Fact is, we are all fine and nobody got hurt.  It makes for a great story though.

That afternoon, several of us went down to the children’s home to spend time with the kids.  We provided a bible study to the teens about how we plant seeds in others and how others plant seeds in our lives.  We talked about how we are responsible, as Christians, to water each other’s seeds and how God is the sunlight that makes the growth happen.  We gave them a visual of this whole process by giving each one a Dixie style cup, potting soil and grass seed. We had them water the seeds to start and then encouraged them to put their cups out in the sun and water them everyday to watch the grass grow.  We talked about how grass in soil helps the soil to stay in place, to not be swept away when it rains hard.  We talked about those parallels to our lives as well.

After that we prepared snack and left it in the missionary home for use later that day.  We then killed time by making friendship bracelets in the common area.

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The little kids were at the river that we went to a different day with the teens.  It was a good time of mindless fellowship with some of the ladies in our team.

We also decorated a tad bit for the party that was to take place that night.  The wind made it nearly impossible to get anything to stick with standard tape.  I think this picture says it best:

Party Decor

Around 4:00pm, our team provided snack to the kiddos.  By that time, we were back up at team housing checking on our patient.  We actually sent a different team member down to hand it out.  We used left over little cups and filled them with gummy worms, gummy sharks, Starbursts, and flavored Twizzlers.  Melissa told someone that mission teams are like grandparents when they come in.  They provide a break for them, hype them up and then they have to reprogram the kids after they leave.  I truly felt guilty filling up those cups, especially because I knew they were getting cake and other treats later on in the evening.  At any rate, that’s what was for snack.

After dinner, a few of us made our way down to the Fiesta.  I helped hand out the cake/ice cream plates after John and Melissa cut and scooped it out.  My goodness, I have never seen that many pieces of cake disappear so quickly.  I’m pretty sure we served up 60+ plates!

The ice cream melted almost instantly.  The plates were part of the supplies the Florida team provided.

The ice cream melted almost instantly. The plates were part of the supplies the Florida team provided.

I excused myself early from the party because it was my oldest son’s birthday and I had hoped to Skype with him before bed.  Unfortunately, the electricity was out so there was no WiFi either.  😦  I was happy to see everyone celebrating birthdays because in a way, I was celebrating his, but it made me sat at the same time to realize he was celebrating without us.  I had planned the whole time to have the kids decorate a banner for him which read “Happy Birthday Jackson” and have them hold it for a picture so he knew I was thinking about him.  I completely forgot but my sweet friend, Jennifer, didn’t.

Jacksons Birthday Sign

Unfortunately since the electricity was out, I wasn’t able to share it with him until we got home.  Our hearts were in the right place.

The next morning we got up and loaded our things in the truck and left around 10 am.  I think with all of the sickness and such we were all ready to head home though we knew we had a LONG road head.

We spent four and a half hours on a bus from Jimani to Santo Domingo where we check into a really nice hotel.

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View from our room window.  Josh took this one:

View from Hotel

We walked to a square down the road where we ate at a restaurant which overlooked it.  My goodness.  We were so exhausted by that point.  We had Kate with us.  She’s the missionary couple’s daughter, and I might add fluent in Spanish.  Praise the Lord.  I felt so bad for her though…she couldn’t hardly look at the menu without someone asking for help ordering.  She earned jewels in her crown that night for sure.  The patience and kindness she had was remarkable.   She is the one in the middle with her cheeks poofed out.

Dinner in Santo Domingo
The funny thing was, the name of the restaurant was “Harry’s.”  Harry’s.  In Santo Domingo.  Does anyone else find it funny that their restaurant had an American name?  Ok I guess it’s just me then.  I asked Josh to take this picture to capture the name of the place:

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statue on the square

Josh and I went shopping for a few minutes to find a special, Dominian Republic authentic, birthday gift for Jackson.  Across the street from our hotel was a shop perfect for what we needed.

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Do understand that I love my husband dearly.  But when you’re tired, ready to be home and a night’s sleep is the only thing that separates you and your husband wants to bang on your son’s birthday gift…I thought I might have to bury both of them in the sea before bedtime.  Just saying!  From the above picture, you can see at least one of them made it home.  😉  I love you Josh.  Rest your soul.  Just kidding, just kidding.  Nobody call the cops.  He’s fine.

Oh, before leaving the children’s home, I met with one of the missionaries and purchased two small tree of life charms from her.  She is in charge of selling items the kids make to help cover costs of the facility.  I definitely knew I wanted to support them in some way so that’s how I did that.   I had planned to sit with the kids again to make magazine beads that I would make a necklace with as my take home souvenir.  Things didn’t work out that way so I brought the charms home and made my own necklace.

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My hope is that, now that the kids know how to make the beads, they can make something similar for their support table.  Variety is good!  And my heart would be so happy to know that I was able to contribute to the children’s home in a bigger way than just visiting for a week.  That would make it all worth it.

I think that’s it.  Sorry for the winded post but I had to get all of the last details in before I forgot them.  I know several of you have said how you have looked forward to my posts while I was gone so I didn’t want to leave you hanging.

I love you all and appreciate your prayer and financial support to make this trip possible.  I appreciate you all more than I can express.  I will post at another time my “take aways” from this trip.  When it’s up I will probably come back to this post and link it up.  If you see a link, lucky you!  If you don’t, keep checking back!

Cheers,
Andrea