Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday’s This & That

August has a way of speeding by, it seems.

It is as if we realize that we only have so many days left to get to the beach or just enjoy blue skies and warm breezes. We sense that gray and rainy Autumn days are closing in on us.

Blogging tends to take a back burner in August and this month was no exception. Hopefully this bullet-pointy post of randomness will make up for a quiet month here on BFTB!

  • We’re raising monarch caterpillars again as a prelude to the kickoff of the homeschool year.  I am amazed at how quickly the little crawlers grow! I was captivated by the changed we observed during this process last year and I am looking forward to a front row seat again now!

(Here is a video I took last year!)

 

  • Our little Luna turned 6 this month. It is bittersweet to have your baby grow up, isn’t it? I had to shake my head and laugh as I was taking birthday portraits, Luna went from flashing a cute smile to posing with the infamous “ducklips”. I don’t know where those came from!

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  • Then within a few days, her whole look changed when her two top teeth came out. Now she sports the classic, adorable six year old look.

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  • I have been so encouraged by the outpouring of support shown by this wonderful blog community. Support has been coming in for the co-sponsorship of both Obwini Stephen and Kwagala Deborah in Uganda.

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(You, too, can join in supporting these Ugandan teens by donating through the widgets found in the right hand sidebar of this blog!)

  • Speaking of Uganda, my husband happened to meet a sweet family at a Bible study last night who is planning on moving to Uganda soon.  He shared their blog with me last night and I loved reading about how the Lord is leading their steps.

  • Speaking of Uganda again, a sweet friend I’ve come to know through this blog and OurCompassion has a generous surprise to share during Compassion’s blog month. I will share more details in a few days, but this amazing offer will bless, not only a new sponsor, but a sweet girl in Uganda as well! Stay tuned!

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  • Yesterday, as we were driving down a lovely country road on our way to horseback riding lessons, we were listening to a Matt Maher CD. I almost had to pull over twice while my girls belted out the words to Christ is Risen. The powerful lyrics were made even more so as sweet voices sang along. Tears streamed down my face and my heart swelled!

 

  • I also wanted to share this great blog post by my friend Jill, of the Compassion Family blog. Whether or not you homeschool, there are so many ways to get your own children involved in the sponsorship experience!
  • Lastly, speaking of blogs, I did not sit down to read many blog posts during the months of June and July.  This week, I attempted to stop by and visit a number of blogs but noticed that I was having a LOT of issues commenting on WordPress and Blogger posts alike.  For Wordpress, I seem to be getting a lot of error messages or it asks me to log in.  For Blogger, it seems that it is getting harder and harder to decipher the “captcha” phrases. If I try twice and get it wrong both times, I just end up moving on. I highly suggest going to settings and making sure you remove that step in the commenting process.

And, that is it for today! As the weather cools and we get into more of a daily rhythm with our homeschooling and activities, I hope to return to posting regularly.

May your day be blessed, friends!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Husband is Awesome

Today I am linking up with Jessica and company over at Bohemian Bowmans.

focus on the good in your husband

Initially, I had planned to do a Tuesday Tidbits post and catch up on little things that have happened over the last month.  Blogging has been placed on the back burner while we enjoy the fleeting days of summer.

But, you know what? My husband IS awesome.  He really is. So, I felt inspired to tell you just a few reasons why.

1. My husband builds amazing stuff.

Jay is a gifted and talented carpenter and builder. And while he doesn’t often have the chance to build lovely things for our family, he is able to bring home the veggie-bacon and provide for us while also sharing his craft with his lucky clients.

abcheader(I love that he designed and drew this barn while our family was living in tents in the woods for a few months.)

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Jay has a passion for old barns and loves to use reclaimed barn wood in his work when he can.

n677535597_774729_6044 One of the things he did build for our family is this beautiful play kitchen.  We will be passing this heirloom piece down to our girls when they have children.

2. My husband is funny.

He makes me laugh. A lot. We have very similar senses of humor and I don’t think a day goes by where we don’t break down laughing a few times.

He also thinks he is a ninja and has a habit of hiding around corners or behind doors, waiting to jump out and scare someone. Sometimes, just sometimes, it is aggravating to have someone scare the bejeebers out of you when you least expect it. Usually, though, my goofy reaction is replayed several times and we get a good laugh out of it.

3. My husband is so good with kids.

He really has such a big heart for children. Not only our own girls, but also the many kids at our church and in our homeschool community. He also loves our 13 Compassion International children as much as I do. Like me, that protective love kicks in the minute I print off the child profile from the computer. I just adore hearing him lead prayers and rattle off a mouthful of names like “Kazihizina” and “Ncheshia” without skipping a beat.

Speaking of that….

4. My husband loves Compassion as much as I do.

One of his favorite things to do on a date night is go and work a Compassion event.

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While I could go on and on about my amazing husband, I’ve got a to-do list to tackle this morning. First I am going to hop over and link up with Jessica.  You should, too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Mail Call *plus* a Prayer Request!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world.

Today, we received a letter from Mkapa in Tanzania.

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Mkapa thanked us for the “good letters” that we sent to him and he really enjoyed the pictures of horses. We’ve been using the online letter writing tool on the Compassion website at least once a month and I love being able to send up to three pictures with each letter.  We told our Compassion children about Kaya and Luna taking horseback riding lessons and included some pictures a few months ago.

May God bless you so much for loving me and for remembering me. My family and I love you so much and we are praying for God to protect you.”

It is such a blessing to have connections like this to families around the world.  Mkapa’s words go right to my heart and I just have to thank the Lord for leading to us to become involved with Compassion International and these wonderful children!

So what about you?  Have you received any letters from your Compassion children lately? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section or by joining our Mail Call link-up below!

Also, if you join in on the Mail Call, please be sure to tell your readers that you’re linking up with Blogging From The Boonies’ Mail Call Monday and link back to this post! You’re free to grab the Mail Call image at the top of this post as well!

Next, I have a special prayer request for my wonderful blog community. 

This morning, I saw something on my Facebook newsfeed that made my heart literally race.

In the month of September, Compassion International will be giving one blogger the chance to join the Compassion Bloggers team on a trip in 2013

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It has been a HUGE dream of mine to be able to travel and visit a Compassion project and see their work first-hand. The thought of possibly being able to win a trip sent me into a fit of giddiness, weepiness and anxiousness.

Now, I know, with a prize like this on the line, there will probably be some bigger bloggers joining in. I am hoping that my passion for Compassion and support from my wonderful friends, family and blog readers, I might just have a chance to win! While this BFTB community may not be as big in numbers, I know that we make up for it with heart!

(Edited to add: I just found out that they will decide who gets the trip based on which blogger has the most sponsorships come through their blog during the month of September.  I realize that many of you are at your limit for new sponsorships but you will be able to help by sharing my posts through social media and email!)

Your prayers are appreciated! When it comes time to share posts from the Compassion Bloggers assignments, your support would be treasured, too!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Co-Sponsorship Opportunity!

While perusing the oldest children available on the Compassion website, the charming smile of a young man kept catching my eye.

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I tried to find a sponsor for Obwini Stephen, but day after day, he remained available for sponsorship. I asked on the Blogging from the Boonies Facebook page and OurCompassion if there was interest in co-sponsoring this young man.

I know how the co-sponsorship of Kwagala Deborah has been such a blessing to all involved.

This fine young man is no longer available on the Compassion website. I would like to offer my readers a chance to be a part of his life and support him as he finishes up his time in the Compassion program.

As a co-sponsor for either Kwagala or Obwini, you can choose to donate monthly or make a one time donation of any amount.  The best way is to do this through the secure ChipIn widgets on my sidebar. (I can also accept cash or checks through the mail but that does make things a little more complicated.)

As the family that heads up these co-sponsorships, I will be doing the writing most of the time, but we also give each child a “card shower” a few times a year and those who wish to may send me cards and small gifts which will sent on in one big bundle.

I will email you any updated photos or letters received by Kwagala or Obwini. Together we will pray for and support these two until they complete the program.

If you would like to join in as a co-sponsor of either Kwagala or Obwini, please click on the ChipIn widgets on the right and make your donation.  I will contact you through email and add you to the email loop for the child you’ve chosen to co-sponsor!

Thank you for your support!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world

Today I found two Compassion envelopes in my mailbox!  Hooray for Mondays!

The first letter I opened was from Precious in Ghana.

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Last November, the twice monthly letters from Precious stopped coming. This was right after my friend JD happened to go and visit Precious and family, so I was eager to hear what Precious thought of the visit.

Sadly, Ghana must have implemented the letter writing changes right around that time and they switched to sending just the form letters every other month or so.  I never did hear Precious’ take on the visit from my friends.

Today’s letter was much of the same. It is a bit of a disappointment to now receive letters from our beloved where I cannot even sense her “voice” through what is shared. This letter, on the topic of My Dreams, had a few boxes checked and nothing written in the Response to Sponsor’s Questions area. Were it not for the familiar drawings of a ball, a clock, a cup and a pencil, drawn by our beautiful Precious, the letter would have left me feeling quite heartbroken.

I look forward to the day when Precious is able to write letters on her own.  I cannot wait to reconnect with her and get to know her all over again!

The second letter was from our Rodrigo in Bolivia!

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I smiled the second I saw his familiar handwriting and stationary.  Rodrigo’s letters are always a joy and the fact that he can write on his own helps us to learn more about him and get a sense of his personality.

Rodrigo thanked us again for the many letters we’ve written to him.

They are valuable for my life.”

He thanked us for our prayers and all of the love we offer him. He told us that he feels so happy to know that God has a purpose for his life, as we have told him in letters we have sent.

Next he tells us that he will study hard and do his best like Owen, referring to a young man we met this spring. As I posted about earlier, Owen was once a sponsored child and his testimony was very powerful. After meeting him, we came home and sponsored another child and I also wrote to each of our Compassion kids to tell them about Owen’s story.

Rodrigo tells us, “I know that God will help me as he did with Owen.”

As always, Rodrigo closes his letter with lots of love and affection and my heart just swells. What a sweet boy he is.  I feel so blessed to be connected with him!

So what about you?  Have you received any letters from your Compassion children lately? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section or by joining our Mail Call link-up below!

Also, if you join in on the Mail Call, please be sure to tell your readers that you’re linking up with Blogging From The Boonies’ Mail Call Monday and link back to this post! You’re free to grab the Mail Call image at the top of this post as well!