Monday, September 29, 2008

Blog Auction

Please check out the blog auction over here.

Auction #2 has started!!!!

This beautiful painting is an original by Anne Page of Penny Pickles.  It is an 8 x 8 canvas, done with acrylics, sealed and framed with a simple wooden frame.  (click on the picture to see it larger and  get a better feel for the details)

A note from the artist:  
The title of the painting is Noah's Window - the reason I chose this is because I think the sense of hope that the dove gave to Noah and his family is very much the same type of hope that the money generated from this auction will bring.  The hope that IJM brings to so many that are oppressed in our world.  I'd like to think that Noah, although faithful, looked out a window of the ark and saw the dove with the olive branch and exclaimed, "Amen, Praise the Lord, for He is good and He will care for us all!"

A few months ago I bought a custom piece from Annie for Genevieve's room.  I absolutely fell in love with it when I received it.  (The details in her work simply can't be captured with a photo).  Annie follows this blog and when she saw the Justice Giraffe auction, she volunteered to do a piece to auction off as well.  I was thrilled!  

Auction Rules/Details

The auction begins NOW, and ends Thursday 9:00 pm PST.  You place your bid by posting a comment in THIS POST with your bid amount.  Please bid in increments of $5.  Whoever is the highest bid at the time the auction ends (9:00pm - thursday) is the winner. 

Shipping costs are covered to anywhere in the lower 48 states. 

The entire amount of the winning bid will go directly to International Justice Mission (IJM) who does an awesome job at rescuing oppressed peoples - child prostitutes, slaves, widows whose land is stolen, and the list goes on.

Let's start the bidding at $20

Let the bidding begin! 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Freebies! Sort-of...

If you read my LemonAID stand fiasco post, you know I am always looking for ways my children can also do something to help make a difference. A fellow blogger started KidsLake, which has monthly projects for kids to help kids. This month they are raising money for AHope, to feed kiddos in Ethiopia. The cool thing is, AHope is giving a very cute shirt or bracelet to any family who donates $20 or more to them through the month of September (just a couple days left!). The shirts and bracelets are very cute AND you get to feed those precious hungry kids. Check it out!

***I'll post a picture of Dane on here when he receives his very cute brown 5T!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So cute I had to share

Gosh, it's been like 3 months now, but I kept forgetting to share.  I ordered a custom canvas piece for Genevieve's room.  I "met" a gal from an online forum (the Diaper Pin), and when I saw her website I fell in love with her work.  We talked about what I envisioned, and I waited anxiously for the finished product.  I was really nervous because I have never done anything like this before.  Would I like it?  Would it be what I expected?  Would it be good quality?

And all I can say is WOW.  When I opened the box I was blown away.  The details in the artwork are truly amazing.  The piece looks perfect in Genevieve's room above her bed.  Annie from Penny Pickles is truly gifted.  The bummer is that pictures don't do her work justice.  The fine details are what make her work stand out, and a photo just doesn't capture it.

Auction #2 Super Sneak Peak

The second auction to raise money for
IJM will be next week!  The item is done and ready to go, but I wanted to give plenty of heads up so nobody misses it.  The auction will begin next Tuesday and end at 9:00pm PST Thursday night.  

This is just a portion of the beautiful item, just enough to intrigue you - hopefully.
So come back next Tuesday (if not before) so you can have a looksey.

I'm going to be having a give-away to all my Justice Seekers! 
I will have a drawing in 2 weeks - on October 8th.  Item will be revealed as soon as I finish it - hopefully in a couple days.  I was just too excited to wait to post about it.  To enter, all you have to do is click on the "Follow this Blog" link to the right, and sign up as a follower.  I will be drawing a name from one of the Calling For Justice (CFJ) followers.  I may even video-tape the drawing so you know it ain't rigged =)  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How are we making ourselves available

 This weekend we hung out with our friends who served in Kenya for 5 years.  I can't believe none of us had a camera!  It was "good times" (and yes, I think that term is entirely overused, but appropriate this weekend).   So anyway, it was more than your usual just hanging out at the lake kind of day.  It was good conversation, that challenged both Luke and I, and the conversations between us haven't stopped.  Our friend Dave asked us - if we could design God's plan or call in our lives, what would it look like.  At first I gave some lame answer.  Then after more thought I realized that my desire is to be on the front-lines providing food to the hungriest, and medicine to the sickest.  I would like to be the hands giving relief.  Now I have no idea if God will ever call me to fill that role, but Dave brought up some good questions.  Could we go, if we heard Him ask us to?  Or are we so tied down with commitments, obligations, and things, that it would seem impossible to make happen?  Are we setting up our lives to be more secure, and stable here, or in a way that frees us up to be whatever, go wherever God calls us to?  Who knows if God will ever call us to go overseas, but even if he doesn't (which Luke is hoping), we want to be in a place where we can receive His call on our lives, and be obedient.  We realized that our lives are complicated with self-employment, business loans, mortgages, amongst various other ties and commitments.  At any given point we could list off a dozen reasons why we are 'stuck" where we are, and unable to be used in a radical way.  This makes me sad.  I'm not sure how we go about changing that.  We have spent years setting ourselves up with the future in mind, financial security being a main priority.  Not a life of great wealth, but the necessity to plan for a retirement (things you have to think about when you are self-employed).  It's very hard to reconcile the two different schools of thought.  Something we are both processing.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Call + Response movie in theatres in just a few weeks

Check out the Call + Response website to see where the documentary is playing.  THEN, invite EVERYONE you know to go see it with you.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Heads up!

Just wanted to let you know I have another auction in the works!  A beautiful piece by a very talented artist......
and no, it's not me!  I would never describe myself that way!  
Stay posted my faithful reader (ha ha), details will follow soon!

Our little walker

Please ignore my annoying high-pitched voice =)

Not sure what to do now.

In searching for the answer of where to send my "stuff" (see previous post: Uncomfortable in my own house), I found this article.   It explains what happens to the clothes we *think* we are donating to charities.  VERY eye opening.  And once again I got to see how western culture, (i.e. America) is ruining the African economy & culture.   My sending my stuff there only feeds into the problem, yet there are people who NEED it.  Read the article and you'll know what I'm talking about.  It's rather long, but interesting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A new skirt

I decided to take some of my material scraps and make G a new skirt. No real pattern involved, just a brown paper bag I cut in the shape of the panels, some scissors, and an idea! I made it like a rag quilt, with the seams on the outside that I cut into fringe. 

She loved that it was so colorful, and that it was unique to her!

Two blogs, too many?

I'm trying to keep 2 blogs going - this one and my "family" one.  I originally thought they were too separate to combine, and would have two different audiences (or readers).  But now I'm feeling like it's getting harder and harder to keep them separate, because they are both me.  And my life and thoughts really aren't separate.  
So what to do!?
I want your opinions!
Do I keep separate?  Or do I combine?
If I combine, anyone know the best way to do that?

Twain Harte with the Fam

Fun times at Twain Harte Lake
Zeke is getting to be such a big boy.  
Our little blondie.  This summer Dane's hair got really blonde since we didn't cut it.
Genevieve & Dane playing on a makeshift wooden surfboard.
Zeke & Uncle Scott.  Scott moved back to CA from NY a few months ago.  We look forward to spending more time with him on fun weekends like these.

Why I keep keeping on

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it..., but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question." ~ Anonymous

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Lesson

Yesterday I was pretty heartbroken.  Over a lemon-aid stand gone awry no less.  Really, it was about making the effort to "do something", and have it fail miserably.  But my sweet husband prayed with me, and reminded me that not all our efforts will be successful.  Not everything I do is going to be a giraffe.  But that doesn't mean I should give up.  It was a speed-bump in the road, not a stop-sign.  
Off to figure out what I'm going to do next!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worship Night at the Church

Cornerstone held a Worship Night tonight.  It was a time of praise, and also a time for some organizations to give 2-3 minute snippets of what they are doing in terms of Justice, and what we could do in turn.  

Representatives from World Vision ,
Trade As One, &  The Sold Project were all there.
It was inspiring to see so many people from the church all sharing the same vision.  God's vision.
***And it helped me feel a little less horrible about the lemon-AID stand =)

Lemon-Aid Stand Today = Huge Failure =(

I spent the whole morning loading the truck with all the necessary supplies: tablecloth, chairs ice chest, cups, ice, lemons, wet wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer, umbrella, umbrella stand, huge glass lemonade container, camera, sunglasses, jar for donations, sharpie, & tape. I made about 5 gallons (I was ambitious) of Country Time with fresh lemons for aesthetics. I made the big Lemon-AID sign. I sliced a dozen lemons to put on the side of the cups. I was well-prepared. Loaded up my 3 helpers, and down to First Street we went. We didn't do the stand at our house because we are probably one of the least travelled roads in our town. So we went to our downtown green area near Main Street to set-up (oh yes, I did), BUT found out that there was a little fair going on put on the Old Firehouse. Unfortunately we could not set-up because there were concession stands there that we would be competing with. So we had to go with Plan B - which was driving all over town looking for another prime location. Or any location that would get a decent amount of traffic, AND have a place cars could safely pull over. And we struck out. I wasn't willing to put for the set-up effort and spend a couple hours sitting there for just a few patrons. So we came home. I told the kids I would take them to the little carnival air that we saw - but by the time we got back there it was being torn down. I didn't have the heart to go back and get the lemonade stuff at this point.

The point of the Lemon-Aid stand was to raise money for clean water in African villages. We have been talking with the kids a lot about this, and they were ready to take some action. I thought this was a tangible thing THEY could do. I'm sure I was more disappointed than they were in the failure of the day. However Genevieve did say she was 'sad about not raising money for the people without water, especially the kids, because they weren't ready to die.' That was touching. She really is getting it in her little 6 year old mind.

Friday, September 12, 2008


A weeding or pruning has been happening in my life lately. One by one certain people and circumstances have been plucked out of my life. Some of these plucks have been more painful than others. They are all things that have "anchored" me here, to some degree. Certain schools, programs, friendships, and ideals of what I thought my life here would be like....gone. This pruning is necessary though. They are all things that hindered me from letting God REALLY use me. They were my comfortable and predictable. And letting God work in me entails being open to the uncomfortable and unpredictable. Easier said than done. But that's where I'm at. Again, an answer to prayer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I am a carpool reject.  Nobody wants me =(

I'm sure if I wasn't pms-ing it wouldn't be a big deal.  But I am, and I want to cry.  How lame is that?


Uncomfortable in my own house

A woman's home is supposed to be her pride.  But the truth of the matter is I am a horrible homemaker/housekeeper.  What's that saying about 'a home for everything' or 'each thing has it's place'?  Well my home is the complete opposite of that.  Nothing has a home, so I can't find anything, and there is way too much of everything.  I was not blessed with the "organizational gene", and to naturally organized people, they don't understand how it is not "common sense".  But let me tell you, people - it's not.  There are some of us, who it just does not come naturally.  I'm guessing it comes with the territory of being highly distractible, so tasks often get interrupted for long periods of time.  Some people are creative, some people are organized, and some people are blessed with both.  It's the latter that I am jealous of.  I've tried FlyLady, I've tried systems, and much to my husbands dismay, nothing works long term.  I fall back into my chaotic, barely keeping my-head-above-water ways.  

I realize that part of the problem with "order" in my house is having too much stuff.  But I have been stuck with what to do.  Sending it off to goodwill is frustrating, it's like a feel-good garbage bin. Our whole country has too much.  The poor in America still have "stuff". ' There seems to be no shortage of stuff.  I want to give my stuff to someone who NEEDS it.  Who will appreciate it.  Who it will bless.  It is very hard to find that in this country.  The poor here just want "new" stuff.  The Giving Trees here at church and schools who ask that we buy things for the less fortunate in our communities, ask for nicer items than my own kids have.

So I have been struggling with this.   I am tired of living in my house full of stuff, when there are so many people in the world who don't have enough.  Not only do they not have shelter or food, but no luxuries, nothing extra.  So I'm going to send them my stuff.  I know that in a lot of ways it doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint.  The money I will spend on shipping could have bought waaaay more things purchased in country.  But this makes sense to me.  I have stuff and others don't.  I will give them mine.  And it's the first time in a long time that I feel truly motivated to go through our stuff and get some order in our house.
Now my next challenge is finding a place where I can send myself.  
More on that journey later.
Off to pick up a preschooler!

****I just went back and reread my post and caught this error~ "Now my next challenge is finding a place where I can send myself" error, or is it a Freudian slip?

********Oh, and not exactly sure what this has to do with "justice", but still wanted to share =)

*************And...I was going to post a picture of my chaotic house (in humility of course), but then I thought - "I better clean up first" - and that would defeat the purpose.  So I guess I'm not ready to be completely transparent =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Losing Momentum....

and complacency setting in.   My heart isn't complacent, but my will to 'keep doing' is struggling.  The daily rigors of life with 3 kids makes thinking globally a real challenge.  

How do I keep my heart soft for the oppressed, and my will on fire to make change?  Not sure yet. Trying to figure it out. Right now my plan of action is to keep praying and keep educating myself.  And sometimes I go back and look at my pictures from our trips to Kenya.  I look at pictures of the kids living on the streets, and of those that are now in the Rohi Children's Home we support.  That is a reminder to me of how we can be used to change lives if we are willing.  I love those kids.

These are our Kenyan sons that we support.  We feel so blessed that we have gotten to meet them and spend time with them TWICE!  Dane was 19 months and Genevieve was 3.5 years.  She still remembers the trip, and the boys, but I want to take them back before they forget (Dane has no memories of the trip). Oh how I wish I could bring these boys home to live with us.  But they are taken well care of at the home.  And I pray that they will grow up to be great leaders in their own country.  

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dane's first day of Pre-K

Ms Kristen ~ isn't she darling?  And she's single guys... 

Benefit Dinner and stuff

Next month is the IJM Benefit Dinner.  One thing I am NOT going to do (which I might have done in the past) is buy something new to wear to the event.  It would be counter-productive.  I want to live a more responsible life, being less of a consumer so that I have more to give.  I want to encourage anyone going to the IJM Benefit to not buy anything new.  Wear what you have or borrow from a friend.  

***By the way, I am also NOT wearing a red-carpet gown.  The picture is just meant to be fun. :) 

Playground kisses and puking

I picked up Genevieve from school today (1st grade), and this is how our conversation went.

Genevieve:  I kissed Isaiah, and he kissed me back.  

Me:  Oh really? (cut me some slack, I wasn't sure how to respond yet)

Genevieve:  Yah, and we want to marry each other.  I like him so so so much.

Me:  Is that right?  (profound words of wisdom, I know)

Genevieve:  Isaiah and I were thinking we should have a playdate, because we really love each other.

I don't know who this Isaiah kid is, but I think I need to have a talking to his parents, and tell them to keep their sons paws OFF MY DAUGHTER!!!!!

When we pulled into the driveway, Dane began puking all over himself, the seatbelt, and the booster seat.  Today was Dane's first day of preschool as a pre-K kid.  What a way to ring in the new school year.  Sorry in advance Ms Kristen and the rest of the Monkey Class =(.

And now I'm starting to feel queezy.  Because that's what I do when my family is sick.  What is it called?  Power of suggestion?  I know it's in my head.  But I still can't help it.  Yuck.

Friday, September 5, 2008

More tangibles....

Another tangible thing (that is underestimated) is educating ourselves.  I finished Shane Claiborne's Irresistible Revolution.  
The book really made me think.  I ended up agreeing with him much more than I thought I would.  And while I don't agree with EVERYTHING he says (but heck, who agrees with anyone 100% of the time right?), I definitely recommend the book because it's a thinker.  It makes you self-examine and want to let go of things that you didn't realize you even needed to (but you do).   It also really brought out my compassionate side, and helped me to see "the least of these" in a different way.  The way Jesus sees them.  Now, I have no plans to live in the inner-city and join a "community", there is still a lot of applicable stuff that I took away from the book.  So go read it!  (If you want to borrow it, just let me know)

Now I am moving on to Gary Haugen's 'Just Courage'.  
Again, I'm only just starting the book, so it's too early too review, but so far so good!  Will add more when I get further.  In fact, if anybody else wants to read it with me....we can get together and talk about it!   And if you don't live near me, we can chat via blogs and e-mails.  So what are you waiting for?  Go get the book!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The winner is...

Drumroll please.....
Michelle for $500!!!!!!!

I am completely in awe, and so thankful for everyone who watched the auction.  Of course the winning bid completely exceeded my expectations.  

Yeah for IJM!  I'm so excited they will receive this money.  

Michelle, once you donate the $ to IJM (I'm guessing you will do this through their website), send me a copy of the receipt and I will deliver the giraffe!

I am planning to hold more auctions in the future (although not likely another giraffe).  I have had a couple offers from people to donate some of their items for an auction, and I'm really excited about that.  So check back in so you don't miss out.  I'm going to continue my usual postings in the meantime.  Still love to here your comments.... =)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blown Away

Let's just say I am completely blown away by how generous all of you are!  I know that the auction price is unattainable to many of you at this point, but I am thankful to all who have bid so far, and those who wanted to.
One more time God has shown me that He can take our small steps of obedience and do GREAT things with them.  Imagine what He could do if we trusted him COMPLETELY, and gave our whole selves to do His will.  

Monday, September 1, 2008

Auction #1 - Justice Giraffe

Well here is my "very cute something" that I have been working on.    I'm calling it Justice Giraffe (double click on the picture to see it bigger and view the details). Perfect for the little girl in your life ~ daughter, grand-daughter, niece, or friend.  Sorry it it is gender specific, but I fell in love with this fabric.  The giraffe is hand-made by me, and stands approximately 18" tall.  

Auction Rules/Details

The auction begins NOW, and ends Thursday 9:00 pm  PST.  You place your bid by posting a comment in THIS POST with your bid amount.  Please bid in increments of $5.  Whoever is the highest bid at the time the auction ends (9:00pm - thursday) is the winner.  

I am covering the shipping costs to anywhere in the lower 48 states.  

The entire amount of the winning bid will go directly to International Justice Mission (IJM) who does an awesome job at rescuing oppressed peoples - child prostitutes, slaves, widows whose land is stolen, and the list goes on.

I will keep this post at the top of the blog, although I plan to keep blogging while the auction is on.  Just scroll down a bit to see new blog entries.

Let's start the bidding at $5
Let the bidding begin!  

Clear Lake County Fair - Labor Day Weekend

We spent the holiday weekend at Clear Lake with Luke's fam. It's tradition to go to the County Fair. This year for $5, you could ride in the back of a monster truck. Luke, his dad, and Dane all took a spin. Dane LOVED it.

Don't mind the obnoxious parents talking in the background.  It IS ClearLake after all.....