Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shutterfly Winners!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway!

I wrote down the names of everyone who entered and drew three names!

 

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Winners, please contact me through the contact form on the right and I will get your Shutterfly codes to you!  If I don’t hear from you by Saturday, I will pick another winner!

Congratulations to those who won, and for those that didn’t, I will give you the consolation prize of a glimpse of our little bit of the boonies right now.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One By One…

…the days are counting down until my friends, JD and Debra, get on a jet and head to Ghana.

When I first heard about their plans, November seemed so far away. Now, their trip begins in less than two weeks.

In the last few months, I have cheered my friends on as I have watched God do amazing things to make this trip come to pass. (Amen.)  Proof that, when God is in it, seemingly gigantic tasks can become manageable.

My heart and prayers have been with the children of Lake Volta.  Children made to work in fishing boats, or worse.

When I look at this young boy, probably the age of our sweet Luna Blue, my heart literally aches. Tears well up into my eyes to think of what his reality must be like.

And, I am thankful for men like Mr. George Achibra, who works so hard to bring freedom to these children.

In less than two weeks, my friends will start the building of more classroom space at the Village of Life. Currently, they could use some more donations toward their various travel costs.  I would like to ask if you could possibly donate even just a few dollars to help them in their journey. (You can donate via credit/debit card or Paypal through the link provided.)

Just like our sweet homeschool community discovered, pennies make dollars. Every little bit helps when added together for one big cause.

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Even if you can’t donate, please join me in praying for travel mercies for the group going to Ghana, as well as successful building and ministering to the children of Village of Life and for those children who are still working long, dangerous hours on Lake Volta.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, Monday….

And you know what that means!  Mail Call!

Last week, we received another letter from our Rodrigo in Bolivia.

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Is seems as if, over the last 6 months, we have been blessed to receive more and more letters from this sweet boy.

Rodrigo says:

Thank you for the letter and picture to color. (We had sent hummingbird coloring sheets in the spring.) My brother likes riding on the skate and I like playing soccer. My sister likes riding the bicycle. (I had asked about their favorite outdoor activities.)

In my country, it is cold. I also went to the town of Cantapa and I stayed there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I helped with things of the house. (I believe that his grandmother lives in Cantapa.)

Here in Bolivia, in the city of La Paz, there aren’t any animals of this kind (hummingbirds), it is a dry and cold place.

In the Center, I’ve learned about sin and that Jesus carried on the cross the sins of the whole world and suffered a lot. We read the Bible in 1 John 2:2.

In this time, the weather is colder and windy.  I have just been in Winter vacations and I enjoyed a lot of soccer with my siblings.

I say goodbye with lots of love,

Rodrigo”

We also heard from Kwagala Deborah, the young lady from Uganda that is co-sponsored by our family and many other generous Blogging From The Boonies readers.

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In her second letter to us, Kwagala Deborah tells us a bit more about the Capstone Children’s home where she and her youngest sister live. While it is heartbreaking that her family situation has her living in a children’s home, it does seem like the place where she is staying is decent.  They pray, read the Bible as well as play games like volleyball and netball and also play music. 

This year, KD hopes to do well in grade 7 so that she will progress to Senior One next year.  With her dream to become a teacher, I have been trying to encourage her and our family also prays that she does well with her education. 

Kwagala closes the letter with Proverbs 11:30. As I read that, I wonder if she has been enjoying the Bible that was purchased for her by our group and was delivered by my friend Sherry.

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While Mondays almost always bring a Happy Dance at the mailbox, today’s walk out there resulted in wet hair, thanks to the rain, and a few catalogs. 

Have you heard from any of your sponsored children recently? 

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Praise

I know I have posted this song be fore a la David Crowder, but my husband found this video yesterday and it really moved us.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

A few random things to mention as well.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I posted yesterday! You could win 25 free photo cards from Shutterfly!

Also, I created a Compassion Bloggers group on Facebook, where we will have various assignments/challenges to post about some of the different aspects of Compassion. Join us here!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shutterfly Giveaway!

Some of you may remember that last year I posted about the cool photo cards available at Shutterfly.com. (By blogging about Shutterfly, we receive 50 free cards!)

Kaya drew a sweet nativity scene, which I scanned in and we used that as the front of the Christmas cards we sent out.

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Inside, we added pictures of the three girls and also had a lot of space to share some information about the prophesies that were fulfilled by the birth of Christ.

Shutterfly has a wide assortment of wonderful items on their website, such as Christmas cards, greeting cards and photo books!

Now, do you want to enter for a chance to win 25 free photo cards from Shutterfly?  I have three codes for 25 free cards available to give away! Who doesn’t love free?  You could make Christmas cards or even greeting cards to send to your Compassion International sponsored children!

Each person will be able to enter one time and can choose from the following ways to enter.

  1. “Like” the Blogging From The Boonies Facebook page and post a message on the wall there.
  2. Join OurCompassion and post a Journal introducing yourself.
  3. Go to the CompassionCan blog and make a donation of any amount towards the travel expenses of JD’s upcoming trip to Ghana. (The “Donate” button is located on the upper right hand side of the page.)
  4. Make a donation of any amount to One Meal One Day, which is a Compassion initiative that is helping with nutritional assistance to those in need.
  5. Share the link to Blogging From the Boonies or any specific BFTB post through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email.

Whichever way you choose to enter, be sure to come back and leave a comment to tell me the details!  When you comment here, I will add your name to the big ol’ giveaway jar! I will be drawing three winners on Thursday, October 27th, so be sure to stop back and see if you’ve won!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Another Precious Boy

Through the course of the last year and a half, I have been sharing any Compassion International children I happen to find from Precious’ project in Ghana. GH220 is just a wonderful CDC, with a read dedication to writing reciprocally and sending photos for every financial gift that is sent.

More than a dozen Precious Connection children are now sponsored by some of my wonderful blog readers.

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This week, I happened to find this adorable young man on the US Compassion website.

emmanuelHis name is Emmanuel Righteous (what a name!) and he is looking for a sponsor!

If you’d like to learn more and see his bio page, click here.

Please join me in praying that he finds a sponsor! (It appears that Judith and Matate, that were featured earlier, have been sponsored! Praise the Lord!)

As a side note, if you are on Facebook, please take a minute to “like” The Blogging From the Boonies Facebook page!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Isn’t My Child Smiling?

When it comes to the pictures featured on Compassion packets and on the child profiles online, many people comment on the solemn and serious expressions on the face of the children.

Sometimes, the looks are caused by hunger, tiredness or illness.

Sometimes, the lack of a smile is a cultural thing.  In some cultures, it is considered a sign of respect to look serious for photographs.

In some cases, the child has been cleaned up, dressed up, and has travelled up to a half an hour by foot to be ushered into a situation in which they are unsure and possibly a bit scared.

But, on OurCompassion, Kees Boer shared a video and description of a photo session in Bolivia.

Hi, this is my friend Delicia taking a photo of Jose (that cutest boy we found a sponsor for on OC last March or so)  Well, Jose is quite the character when it comes to having his photo taken.
But there are things involved. Compassion has rules when it comes to these photos, so no other children or a dog or something else can really be in the background. Thus when Delicia gets the lists of children to photograph every month, she has to be sure that the children don't get in the way of the one child getting a photo taken.
So, I went with Delicia and the children about 1/2 mile away from the student center. It was a nice little walk. She has the ring thing with her, that she will put in front of the child with the child number with it. This all makes it so much easier to organize these photos. Then comes the hard part, getting that child to stand still for the photo just right and at the same time watching the other children that they don't get into trouble. (like being run over by a car, or falling into something) 
It's not particularly easy. Watch Delicia as she takes the photo of Jose and what happened around that time.

Wow, quite a bit of commotion going on! 

(By the way, if you have a child in Bolivia, you will not want to miss all of the great videos Kees has posted! Click the video above and look at the others he has!)

This post on the Compassion blog also shares some insight into picture day!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Mail Call (and Praises!)

Before I get to today’s Mail Call, I‘d just like to share a praise report about sweet Jemima, the little girl I featured here on Saturday.

Last night, I turned on the computer and saw this wonderful message in my inbox.

“Michelle, I've been thinking about sponsoring a child and as I decided to do that, I found your post about Jemima. As soon as I saw her I knew she was mine! We even share the same birthday! :) So I just wanted to stop by here and thank you for connecting me with little Jemima and I thank our Lord Jesus Christ for amazingly blessing my life to be able to help this precious little girl. God is good!! :) Many blessings to you and your family my dear friend!
With gratitude and joy,
~ Katia “

God is certainly in the details! This is another instance where I have seen Him use something like a shared birthday or name to help draw a sponsor to a child. Let us rejoice for Jemima and her new sponsor Katia!  Thank you so much Katia!

Now, on to the Mail Call!

Last week, we heard from our Precious in Ghana!

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We learned that her new baby sister is named Gloria.  Precious asked about the types of games we like to play and tells us, with the help of a project worker, that she is learning to read.  As usual, Precious says that she continues to pray for Jay’s business and she also shared John 3:16 with us.

We also recently received our first letter from beautiful Kwagala Deborah.

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As you may remember, this is the young lady that is co-sponsored by our family and many faithful blog readers. (You can read more or contribute here.)

The introductory letter didn’t share much information that we didn’t already know.  A few weeks after sponsoring KD, a friend went to Uganda and met her and also brought gifts.  My wonderful friend took lots of notes when visiting and she gave us a wonderful collection of info about our beautiful girl. 

Sweet Kwagala has had a hard start in life, but she is looking forward to a future of being a teacher.  From the gentle and wise countenance that shows on her face, I think she will be a fantastic teacher.

Did you receive any letters recently?

(Remember to put the name of the blog post in the “Name” box!)

Lastly today, I have two sweet girls that I would like to share with all of you.  Like Jemima, these girls pull at my heart with their gaunt faces and ratty clothes.

matate Little Matate, with her thin build, holey clothing and bare feet, could use someone to step up and show her that she is special, loved and that she matters.

Click here to see her profile on the Compassion website.

Next is Judith, also called Kakra.

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Such a skinny little six year old she is!  She also shows an orange tinge to her hair and distended belly. See Judith’s profile here.

Will you join me in praying for these two and sharing their information with others?

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little Jemima

I was looking through the Compassion International website and came across a sight that breaks my heart.

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In Africans, an orange tinge to the hair is a sign on severe malnutrition. Jemima’s distended belly also is a sign that she has gone without food more than she should.

While she is now receiving food when at the CI project, I would guess that the family is still struggling to provide for necessities.

I have been praying for Jemima and feel led to share her with all of you, in case any of you have room in your family for one more.  She is pulling at my heart. (If you do sponsor her, I could contribute a little towards a Family Gift!)

You can find more info about Jemima here.

Even if you can’t sponsor, can you please join me in praying that she finds a sponsor soon?

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Photo Friday

As I mentioned last week, I took on this October Photo Challenge in an attempt to spark some creativity and push my photography skills a bit.  I have really enjoyed the inspiration to get out there and take photographs!

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Last week I shared days one through five.  Today I’ll share photos from the last few days.

Day 6 – Straw

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(Yes, I know.  Technically this is *hay*!)

Day 7 – Water

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Day 8 – Peekaboo

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Day 9 – Something Purple

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Day 10 – A Light in the Dark

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Day 11 – Laughter

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Day 12 – Candy

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Day 13 – 13

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Now, I know that this seems to be turning into a bit of a photo blog these days.  I am just having a lot of fun with this new hobby!  Lately, whenever I am driving and I find myself hitting the brakes and slowing down, my girls automatically think I am pulling over to take a picture! Ha!

Well, today is Friday which means we are kicking off the weekend!  I sure hope it is a wonderful one!  God bless you, friends!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday’s This & That

Outside of the window… the wind is tossing colored leaves around and it looks like an orange gold rain is falling.  This past week flaunted brilliant foliage, but now the leaves are falling at a rapid pace.

This is what our area looked like recently.

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Simply beautiful!

Around the house… our favorite Christian radio station is playing One True God while Kaya works on a story she is writing and Luna draws some pictures.  Jay isn’t home from work yet.

Week in review…  A few days ago, one of our fish died after a short sickness.  We kind of knew it was coming, but little Luna still wanted to take a look at Night’s lifeless body and say goodbye. Her chin quivered and her eyes started to tear up, but suddenly she took a deep breath and said, “Well we might as well feed him to our cats! They like fish!”  I snorted before I could stop myself.  Kids say the darndest things!

Jay started work on a cottage on the lake and I started up a blog to track his progress. Like the project itself, the site is under construction, but he liked what I came up with so far! Anchor Beam Construction

This morning, we went shopping for some goodies for Precious and her family.  As I shared before, my friend JD is going to Ghana next month! Not only will she be meeting her sponsored children and building a school for children rescued from slavery on Lake Volta, she will also be meeting our beloved Precious!  I get so excited even thinking about it!

We picked out lots of goodies for Precious along with her parents, grandmother and siblings.

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While it is a blessing to be able to send some gifts to our family in Ghana, it is tough deciding exactly what to get!  In the end, I think they will enjoy these items! Now, to repackage and efficiently pack everything and get it to the group heading to Ghana!

I am praying mightily for JD and company as they finish up last minute details of this upcoming trip.  I cannot wait to see the pictures and read the reports of this incredible journey!

Today, I received a package with the free mini business cards I was able to order through Moo.com. 

IMG_8807Aren’t they neat?  The free offer was through Klout which is connected (somehow?) to Twitter.  We also received a free $25 code for EcoMom and got a three pack of Piggy Paint non-toxic nail polish. If you’re on Twitter, you should join Klout and take advantage of some freebies!

As the sun is setting on this day, it is time to get bath and shower time rolling for my girls and start our bedtime routine.  It has been a great day and a wonderful week!

I hope the same is true for you!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Worth a Hop

I don’t know the exact statistics, but I do know that people rarely follow links from one blog to another. If I had to make a rough guess based on info from my blog traffic counter, I’d say anywhere from 5% to 10% of my readers take the time to click through.

I get it, too.  I do the same thing when I read blogs.  As I scroll through my Google Reader, if one of my favorite bloggers is guest blogging somewhere, chances are, I don’t follow and check it out.  Maybe it is because I already follow close to 200 blogs and my morning blogroll is almost always hovering close to 90+ posts to read through.

Anyway, all this is to say, if you DO click through to read one post today, I hope it is this one from my friend JD.

I don’t doubt that my God is mighty or able to do amazing things. Yet, when I read stories like the one unfolding in her life (as well as the children she is aiming to serve) I find myself in awe. 

So, please, take a minute and click the link above.  Be reminded of what an amazing God we have.

And, if you are so inclined, click the ChipIn button on her site to help with that final 4%.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bloggers Unite

Last night I was thinking about all of the wonderful bloggers I have come to know out in the blogosphere.  Inspirational, encouraging posts have made me think and pushed me to grow.

Today, I’d love to have some of you share your links below!

Click the InLinkz button and remember to put the name of your blog in the “Name” box!

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Breath-taking Beauty

Autumn in this region of New York can be brilliantly beautiful.  We get our fair share of blustery and chilly October days, but we’ve been graced with a run of sunshine and blue skies.

We’ve taken full advantage of the amazing weather this week.  We’ve hiked and explored for hours. I can’t tell you how many times I have uttered the word, “Wow!”

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I am thankful for the gorgeous days and beautiful place we call home. Time to get out and soak up some sun while we have it! 

Hoping you have a blessed weekend!

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