Monday, November 14, 2011

Guatemala Coffee Winner! & an Ethiopia link

The winner (drawn by Charis) is

Dana Lohrer, congrats & enjoy the coffee

Thank you for participating...I hope to do more giveaways soon!

I also wanted to report on my recent venture I posted last week about- we got a rough draft done and have begun the long editing process. Praying for continued direction and eventually a publisher-

For now I am sending you on a blog hunt...go to this link,

look for this picture and find this totebag story- God is good!

These are people from a church in our area, I get to teach Tammy's daughter piano.

Don't forget to pray for those organizations you are familiar with that help children.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bags from Guatemala

There are few treasures greater than those from the world market (and I'm not talking about the store we have yet to get in Oklahoma City). From as early as I could remember my dad traveled overseas and would always bring us back things from the country he was in. When I was a junior in high school I finally got to step out of this blessed country myself.
 I learned real fast my life wasn't so hard here in America!

I have since been to
Jamaica and Nepal (stopping in India & Belgium).

Cody has been to Mexico, Jamaica, Philippines & this week to Guatemala.
 (with stops in Japan & Hong Kong)

We are thankful each trip has been to visit other believers in the Kingdom of God.

Mr. Incredible brought his girls these skirts...

They are 5 ft. long with a drawstring, the perfect spinny dress, and so thick we'll never outwear them.

the drawsting was also 5 ft. long and doesn't snap, button or tie- you wrap it around their waists like 4 times and secure.

I had a feeling it would unravel on Charis as active as she is and the poor Sunday school teacher wouldn't know how to reassemble it. Once it's undone there is no keeping it up, it's a one size fits all thing and it's massively big.

This is how she looked after church-

she was using the top "pouch" to put her hands in and store things.

Among other things he brought us this bag...

which held this...

To help support the economy of the Pocomchi People in Guatemala Cody brought back a lot of these. So......

I'd like to give one away to YOU!

So to enter this first ever contest simply comment below in the comment section...
(you can also comment on facebook if you can' figure the comment section below, both are legit)

Have you been out of the country? Yes? No? If so where have you been or would want to go?

Other bags...

Cute small bag

This was right up my ally, my nativity scene came in this. I'll share that at Christmas.

Totally made out of tape and newspaper. Complete with a handles...

Here's the side, not sure how to construct it but will post that if anyone is interested in it!

Use what you have.

That's my motto!

Don't forget to comment....

I have a tea date with those cute girls at the top of the post.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Pee Baby, another toy review

Well we had an addition to our family.

Charis has wanted a baby alive for a year now and I've been able to put her off until now....

This was a birthday gift, it's at Walmart $34

This particular one pees, eats and talks. Has a demo switch, on and off button (can I get an amen!).

Warning she's a little messy...

Or maybe it's the 4 year old mama that's messy....

And warning  while she comes with her own food this is one of those presents that "keeps on costing". You can buy more accessories for her. Like diapers...

She came with one. When this baby gets to peeing and pooping green stuff, one is not enough, we had another on another baby that had been "reused" the girls rigged this one their own.

Hard to tell but not only did they use hilarious duck tape but they put the absorbent side on the outside

So we had "leakage" on the bed, on Charis, it was a mess.

That's when I knew this baby was taking over the house. When you are buying diapers again and cleaning up water pee it just gets odd.

As if this weren't odd enough....

What really surprised me with baby alive aka pee baby was how the almost 10 year old got into her. After a day she'd convinced the 4 year old to be the sister and she was the mom. And she tried to stop the peeing at the source, resourceful? cruelty? so many questions, so many worries about future parenting...

I will say the newest wore off quickly and she may not be worth the investment and continued investment (food and diapers). But be warned it's quit a comical ride with the pee baby. We may just start carrying a diaper bag again.

Can't believe I just posted that picture,

the totegirl

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to pack for a new adventure....

Today I am taking a new adventure.

This feminine heart loves adventure, though the enemy taunts with fear I can not deny my heart beats a little faster with the thought of uncharted territory.

So here's my bag....

My oldest friend and I will take that journal above and her journals and venture back to a season of our lives. A season of intense loss and grief and God's sufficient grace.

We will take the laptop and record the journey for you and future generations and for God to use however he wants.

The tissues are for the journey, cause any good story involves tears.

"In the realms of the divine none of our stories are ours- they are all HIS - laced with redemption and love and sorrow and Hope, this is HIS story and HIS glory revealed"  Opening Line

So I as you finish reading this will you pray for us? That God's glory would be revealed? That  he would give us his mind as we write this weekend? Thank you, you are the best!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Toy Review Just in Time for Christmas Shopping

Ah, the gift bags in a totegirl's life....

These are all filled with 4 year old delights....

 I will be doing another post on the addition of Baby Alive, aka the pee baby to our home. It's been an interesting addition, I mean toy. I really don't know who she is.....more later.....

I want to introduce you to this thing...

Found at Walmart, $20

It's such an upgrade from the clip board, lol.

I have thoughts of using it for teaching when Charis lets me.

I don't know about you but I have come to loathe toys. We lose parts. Or they come with a "more products" brochure with 100 more accessories you need to complete your collection. I get that marketing strategy but geez the greed it produces is so blah...I hate it when after a celebration with presents all think about is getting more instead gratitude for what they've received. I have watched it happen around this age 4-7 in all 3 of my kids. Send helpful comments if you deal with the same thing.

I digress, we try to spend our money wisely and teach our kids the same thing so when it comes to presents they better be able to multitask and go the distance when it comes to time played with them. Legos are well worth the $- Thomas Trains and Cady's Littlest pet shop toys over the years have done just that- caused them to think and create worlds, videos, story lines...

It comes with 8 or so pages that you put in a plastic sleeve then you slide the sleeve in on the side and color on top with dry erase. Genius!

We have also found other uses....

Hehehe....Silas wasn't as happy but we let him do the girls too.

As a teacher and tree hugger I have used a similar method with theory sheets, using dry erase markers and saving paper.

Over all I think it's a cool gift. Could have had more sheets with the product, it boasts "create a 100 pictures" Well maybe so but I was looking for a little more in the box. Charis has been a little rough on the markers themselves so it may be better for kids older than 4, haven't seen any replacement markers yet.

Stay tuned for the baby alive review....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How we spent Orphan Sunday

Nov. 6  is  orphan Sunday.

This day has been anticipated by our church for several weeks. With our pastor overseas doing ministry work we asked to have the whole service.

I regret not having pictures from the day- it was amazing- you just would've had to have been there to know. But here's what we did...

We had everyone wear t-shirts to church supporting the organizations we support. That was cool. Then we had...

Focus on the International Orphan Crisis-
Skyped in Pastor Bishwa in Nepal and the 9 orphans he has taken in.
Heard testimony of a former member of the community who's internationally adopting from Ghana.
Prayed over her & for the international orphans.

Focus on the United States Orphan Crisis-
5 family who've adopted discussion panel
Our most recent adopted kid she did here back in June at our children's camp.

Let me rephrase this....She lead in worship! And there is a difference.
We had a new couple to our faith family speak about Abba's Hands- a local ministry to adoptive and foster families , the kids themselves and government employees.
We had an invitation and rejoice with a teen's recent decision to be adopted into God's family!
Our Choir sang , "Orphans of God"
We took buckets home to start collecting money for orphans around the world.

Then we came home and ate this....

I can't tell you what it is actually, it came in a packet, but it resembles what many orphans around the world eat all the time. It wasn't very tasty. Silas wouldn't touch it. And I am proud I didn't give in, he's 11 and can miss a meal in remembrance of so many who don't have the choice to miss a meal.

Then while Charis and I rest the older kids played with their favorite rescued kids...all 3 adopted!

Yeah, God is good.