Monday, December 28, 2009


I was busy this Christmas! Every year I intend to make hand-made gifts and resist the buying frenzy from big-box stores. This is the first year I actually got passed the "intention" part of it, and got some real sewing done. Here are a few of the shirts I made.

I'm thinking about opening an etsy shop to sell custom tee's, and save up for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Until then, if anybody wants to buy one, e-mail me at amy . taylor 2 @ (no spaces). I think I will sell them for $15/each for the "letter tees" and $20 for the "Mom" tee (hand-sewing takes more time!). Matching barrette - $2.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Check out PROJECT 320

On December 14th,

We are going to build a well.
You are going to build a well.

Because we can.
Because you can.


Right now sweet, generous, creative and caring women from all over the country are sewing, knitting, painting, shopping, blogging, praying.


Over 100 items.

Handmade and heartfelt happiness.

December 14th
and ending
December 18th

Project 320
will be holding a virtual raffle.

10 prize bundles.

earns one virtual ticket.

You get to choose how many "tickets" to buy
and which prize package you want to win.

On December 21st we will "draw" ten winners.

But most of all,
we will celebrate the victory.

The promise of clean water for a village.


Are you excited?

You should be!!!!

Because it is going to be awesome.
Grab a button.
Spread the word.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My friend is rad

You should check out her blog to see what she's doing with her money...

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm sorry dear blog.  You have been completely neglected for over 2 months. I know there are no readers left, but hopefully some of them will come back.  I have been busy raising money for Pleasanton schools, and while it is a bit different than my normal "charities",  I have gained a lot of experience in how to hold an auction on a much grander scale.  Hopefully those skills will serve me well in the future.  

I have big plans (after I take a little breather).  I want my family to raise enough money to dig a well in Africa.  After concentrating so hard on keeping our schools up to par in an upper-middle class, rich (by the world's standards) city, I am acutely reminded of our brothers and sisters on the other side of the world who don't have clean water, and often spend the majority of their day fetching water from a disease infested water-source.  While my kids have the privilege of good schools, warm meals, new shoes, over-abundance of toys, and 2 parents, there are so many kids who are orphaned, sick, and don't even have a chance at life.  Access to clean water can literally give a person life.  A well, can give a VILLAGE life.  

My deepest desire would be to see my own town of Pleasanton, who has pulled together as a community to help save our schools, to have that same passion to save lives of children they have never met.  I would love to see our school Valley View sponsor a town about the same size of our school community, and build a relationship with them.   Fundraise to improve their living conditions,  provide food for the hungry and medicine for the sick.  I think it would be amazing for our kids to connect with someone across the globe, to help someone with basic human needs.  I'm fully aware that this doesn't solve the bigger problem of why these people are in such desperate poverty, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't help them.  

Right now this will be a family effort.  If you see my family and I on the side of the road selling lemonade you will know why.  Hopefully one day this will be a school effort.  And in my biggest dream of dreams this would be a city-wide effort.  

Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is from my friend Brandi's blog....


Too often we hear heartbreaking stories like this (that I posted on Saturday) and do nothing. We feel helpless. . . and so we move on. Not this time. There are people DYING in Uganda right now. There are children who's bellies are hungry and aching. There are mamas who are too weak to stand and babies begging to be held. There are people trapping termites hoping for food and eating dung in helplessness. DO NOT CAVE TO DESPAIR. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING.
Join us and Children's HopeChest to FEED THE FORGOTTEN!!! (CLICK HERE TO GIVE NOW)
For $0.14, we can (and WILL) feed someone a meal of posho and beans. (posho is cornmeal, which is filling and beans are protein). Take that in for a moment. . .
$0.14 a meal
$2.86 for 20 days
$1 per FAMILY
$20 feed a family for 20 days.
How much was my Chick Fil A yesterday? How much is your Starbucks? The bigger question is how much am I willing to give up SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT EAT?
Remember Jesus story of the Good Samaritan? Remember how his very neighbors walked right by him? They probably looked at him with pity. . .probably thought "oh poor guy, that breaks my heart" but the fact is THEY DID NOTHING.
What will you do? These children are starving. . .
these actual children. . .
will you help? The money raised will feed those precious children. There are 3 - 4 villages that we are targeting (I'm hoping for more after we see how much we can raise!) to bring food relief to asap. These people are literally starving. . and waiting for you to act. Will you help? Even with paypal fees (2-3%) even $1 will feed 6 people! You CAN make a difference.
Spread the word, blog about it, facebook it, twitter it, ask your church or school or business to give, post the blog badge anything. Truly, we are begging you. . .on behalf of these children not to forget this post and move on to the next in your google reader list. Stop, pray, act.
Add "feed the forgotten" in the notes section when you give!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Princess Ball

Our church put on a Daddy-Daughter Dance called the Princess Ball.  They are there right now. I hope she is having a good time with her daddy.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tender Hearted

One of the greatest joys of being a parent is when I get a glimpse of my own child showing compassion for others.  I want my children to have a heart like Jesus, and admittedly there are times when I try to force it into them.  But the truly sweet moments are when they show compassion all on their own.

We have taken our children to Africa.  They have seen the poor, the hungry, the homeless.  They have been to "street church" where we handed out bowls of rice and beans to people wearing filthy rags for clothing.  But it has been 3.5 years and their memories are fading (Dane's are gone, but Genevieve still has some). We talk regularly about those without food, clean water, homes, or even parents to care for them.  I just want them to get it.  I don't want to raise another generation with a sense of entitlement.  With only selfish ambitions.  

So it is mornings like today that give me hope.    

Genevieve had turned the TV on before school in hopes to catch a cartoon before we had to leave.  But instead of Super Why coming right on, the channel was turned to a one of the promos for sponsoring children.  It showed little sick children, with the flies on their faces and bloated bellies.  

In a solemn voice she asked me "mom, are those the poor kids in Africa we talk about?".  I answered that they were.  Then I decided to go about my business getting her lunch made, and let her take it all in.  She sat and watched the program in the other room.  As we were packing up to leave she showed me a container full of change and told me that was the money for the people without food.  She then wanted to know if we had more money we could give them.  I suggested we try to raise some money to send them.  She asked "like a lemon-aid stand?"  She was referring to our failed attempt from last summer.  So I think we are all ready to try doing this again.  And thinking of other ways to raise money too.  

And that my friends, makes a mama's heart swell with pride.  Pride in a good way.  For just a moment I think all will be right in the world if this is what the next generation will be like.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day Tea at the Preschool

Commentary to come....

Multi-Cultural Fair at the school

Commentary to come...

Road Trip Part 3

Commentary to follow....

iphone's could help feed people.

I've had this idea brewing for awhile now.  Have you ever been in a store, put something in your cart that you really didn't need, and thought "I would rather send the $3.99 to buy a mosquito net for someone in a malaria-inflicted region, or medications for an HIV infected person", and put it back ont  the shelf?  But then you get home and you don't actually send off the $3.99 to the charity?  

How cool would it be if there was an iphone application, let's call it "icharity", where you could send any amount of money at the touch of a button (or 2) to your charity of choice?  Where you are driving through the drive through at Starbucks, and at the last minute decide "instead of this $3.85 mint mocha frapucchino, I can buy 22 meals for the hungry in Uganda through Children's Hope Chest".   And you can do it RIGHT THEN.  

I've been dreaming about it this.  So I finally decided to google what it would take to get an application designed.  

And that would be in the neighborhood of $30,000.  =(

Do I think it's worth it?  YES.  Do I think it would encourage people to give up some of our luxurious spending in turn for thoughtful giving?  YES.  Do I have $30,000 to make this happen?  No =(.

But maybe someone out there in the cybersphere will see this blogspot and also happen to be an iphone application designer =).  And they can HAVE this idea free of charge =).

Oh and by the way, do I have an iphone?  No.  I did for about 4 months until it was stolen.  Would I get one again just for this application?  You betcha.

Monday, May 11, 2009

it's heavy

My heart is heavy....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Thinking about mother's today. Mother's who get to spend today with their kids, and mother's who don't. Mostly the mother's who don't. The mother's who don't get to tuck their kids into bed at night or kiss their boo boos all better. 

Because they are dead. 

14 million orphans in Africa alone. Thinking of those mothers today ♥ . Mourning with their children. And thinking about what I can do to help less mother's die.  

All the while hugging my kids and thanking God for allowing me to mother them.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

updating the vacation posts with pictures!

See below.

Still have to post about our last couple of days.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Still CrAzY.

Day 5 (Tuesday).  Packed up at the Pismo RV Resort Campground in the morning.  While I showered and packed, Luke took the kids to the campground mini golf, but it sucked and the kids were fighting.  We pulled out of camp around 12:00, and drove about 20 minutes before we realized neither of us packed the stroller.
  Turned around and went back for it, to discover Zeke had pushed it to a neighboring campsite, and parked it at the door of a really nice motorhome. Maybe he was trying to upgrade?  Sorry dude, you're stuck with us and the old, seen-better-days trailer.
   We drove to LA, hoping to spend a little time with our friends Monica & Trevor who had a new baby boy 6 weeks ago.  
Visit was nice, we spent a good amount of time trying to figure out where we could park the trailer close to Knott's Berry Farm so we could be close in the morning.  In the end we decided to just stay parked in front of their house and drive the hour in the morning.

Day 6 (Wednesday).  
KBF didn't open until 10:00am, and we were told we would hit less traffic if we left between 9:00 and 9:30.  We were pretty on schedule with only a slight hold-up when Zeke got locked in the trailer bathroom.  After trying to stick some pointy objects into the lock, Luke finally decided to remove the handle on the door.  Zeke was freed, and we were on the road. 
 We circled the park a bit trying to find the RV parking, and finally got in the gates at about 11:00.  Right off the bat Luke & Dane hit a roller coaster (the only one Dane was tall enough to ride - but a real roller coaster none-the-less).
 Genevieve, Zeke and I went off to explore (for what turned out to be about an hour) while we waited.  Zeke was having tantrum after tantrum, and was being a little hellion to tell the truth.  By the time we met back up with Luke & Dane, I was about done for the day.  Zeke is definitely a 2-parent kid.
  We had a good day, the highlight being the log ride.  The kids loved it.  Zeke tolerated it the first 3 times or so, then was pissed the last 2. 

 The big surprise of the day was when we were eating dinner.  Genevieve saw another roller coaster.  A big one.  The kind that goes upside down about 4 times.  I would say similat to the Demon at Great America.  She said she wanted to ride it.  I told her she wasn't tall enough.  She ran over and measured herself, and she was an inch or 2 too short.  She insisted that she was tall enough.  
Finally I told her, she could wait in line and see what the ride operator said.  Luke was off buying food during all this, and I had the 2 boys, so I couldn't go with her.  About 10 minutes pass, and she still wasn't back.  Luke came back so I ran up the exit to see where she was.  Well she was in front of the line, ready to go.  I couldn't believe it.  This tiny little 6 year old about to ride her first real roller coaster (and a doozy at that!), and she was going to do it by herself.  I still can't believe the confidence she had.  So I took off running to join her.  I enjoy roller coasters less the older I get, and I had no desire to do this one.  But I couldn't let her do this by herself.  So we did it together.  And she was hooked.  We've got ourselves a little adrenalin junkie.   

The last couple hours at the park there were virtually no lines, so we got to ride a bunch of rides.  Minus the outrageously over-priced food, I think the park is a good bang for your buck for a family like ours.  We didn't budget for Disneyland, and you can't do Disney in one day.  KBF was a great fit.  I'm sure it was a highlight of our vacation for our kids.

After we left the park at almost 10pm, we drove a couple hours south to park at our friends (the Berry's)  house in San Diego.  

Day 6 (Wednesday).  We woke at the Berry's, and enjoyed a leisurely morning catching up.  As leisurely as it can be with 8 kids running around.  Yes eight.  You might remember the Berry's from my other blog, where I explained how they were adopting 5 year old Ugandan twins.  So the Berry's had their (now) 5 kids, and us with our 3.  Actually for 8 kids, it wasn't that chaotic.  We all went to Coronado beach, where it was altogether too windy and not nearly warm enough for a beach day.  Somehow we still manage to get burned.  I was a bad bad mommy who brought, but completely forgot to apply the sunblock.  

We came back, showered, and unsuccessfully tried to get Zeke to take a nap.  We had plans with to get together with a friend of mine form college for dinner, but she completely flaked on me.  So we yet again imposed on the Berry's and they were gracious enough to feed us =).  It was a sweet time that I'm glad we didn't miss.  We got to look at some photo books that Brian made from their 2 trips to Uganda, and Becky & Billy (the twins) were right there getting so excited about the pictures.  They have been here 2 months, and know soooo much english.  Apparently they came over with quite a bit, and are picking up the rest at a rapid rate.  In fact, we couldn't get them to speak Lugandan to us at all.   Anyhow, all the Berry kids are absolutely adorable, and we are really enjoying our time with the whole family.  Tomorrow we are going to the San Diego Zoo, and it will be the twins first time.  Should be exciting! 

Okay, done for now.  The only new trailer news is that when Luke plugged us into the Berry's extension cord, he got shocked when he touched the outside of the trailer.  We were plugged in all night, and he got a pretty big shock this morning.  That one is much scarier than a leaky roof or even a flat tire.  So um, yah, say a little prayer that we don't get electrocuted in this heap.  =)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yep, we're certifiably cRaZy.

We're on a road trip.  All 5 of us.  9 days.  One truck.  One trailer.  Tight quarters.  

But we're trying to build memories on a budget, so this is what it looks like.
When we pulled Grandpa Bob's trailer out of the storage lot last week we got a flat tire 1 block from the yard.  Luke put on the spare, then later that week took the tire in for replacement.  That's when we found out that while the tires didn't look too bad, they were in fact 13 years old.  So we replaced them all.  Except the spare.  

The day before our departure it rained.  That's when we discovered that the back of the trailer had a leak.  When Luke got up there to caulk the "spot", he discovered there was actually a huge rotting "portion" of the roof.  Thanks to Luke and his dad the roof was repaired, and all was well.

Day 1 (Friday).  We thought we would head out of town around noon on  Friday, catch the Good Friday service at church, and get on the road.  I think we actually pulled out of town at 5:00pm.  No service at church, and Jack in the Box on the road, just trying to put on a few miles.  We ended up at Big Sur Campground.  Did I mention we didn't make reservations anywhere?  Yes, we know it's a holiday week.  But we're like that.  Sometimes.  Fly by the seat of our trailer. Luckily we got a spot - although a little pricier than we had hoped.  
Luke took the kids for a little hike in the morning and let me sleep in.  I hadn't slept very well the night before.  Maybe it was the bed.  Oh yeah, this is funny.  The last time we used the trailer we were a family of 4.  Genevieve was about 3, and Dane was 15 months or so.  Luke and I took the full-size bed in the"bedroom" (I use that term loosely), and we put Genevieve on the couch with a little bed rail, and set up a pack'n play next to her for Dane.  That whole trip we apparently never pulled out the couch into an actual bed.  So we didn't know that it was actually what Luke calls a "California Twin"  Maybe a hair wider than a twin.  I'm pretty sure it is the same width as a twin, only shorter, so it appears it's wider.  Anyhow, we assumed the bed made into a full, and only discovered the teeny tiny bed after we had  tucked all 3 kiddos into the full-size bed in the "bedroom".  
So we laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed some more.  Then we each hugged our corner of the bed, and tried to get some sleep.

Day 2 (Saturday).  Only a few miles out of Big Sur, we hear a clunk - clunk - clunk..... outside.  Luke pulls over to find that all 4 (5?) lugnuts on one of the new tires on the trailer are tearing up the rim.  So he jacks it up and puts the spare on (you know, the one tire we didn't replace).  And we spend the rest of the day looking for a tire shop.  Nobody has that rim in stock, so we have them take the new tire off the ruined rim, and put it on the rim of the spare (old) tire.  

Following this?  We are on our way, however we don't have a spare now, and we still have to find someone who carries that rim.

Along the coast we see a beach with tons of sea lions on shore. The kids really enjoyed watching them, but it was super duper windy, so we didn't stay long.

After being told there's "no room at the inn" at a couple campgrounds, we end up at Morro Strand State Beach Campground in Morro Bay.  Picture an asphault parking lot 'sort-of' on the beach - with no hookups, or campground showers =).  We have a shower, but don't know how fast our holding tank will fill up.  This place was kind of depressing.  But the kids were tired of being in the truck, and we told them we weren't going to move for a whole day.  So we dyed some eggs and called it a night.  

Day 3.  (Easter Sunday)  The Easter Bunny came.  The kids were thrilled with their meager easter baskets,

and we broke the news to them that we were in fact "moving" that day.  We hid eggs, and while they were hunting, we quickly got the trailer hooked up and ready to move.  

We promised we were just driving a tiny bit.  We ended up at Pismo Beach at a nice campground, and to the kids delight we snagged a campsite next door to a little playground.  

The campground is on the beach, but unfortunately when we got over there it was crazy windy and chilly.  We were told it is like this every afternoon.    Later we walked downtown, watched the surfers from the pier,  

ate at a  yummy BBQ joint (can' t remember the name), and finished off the evening with some self-serve yogurt & toppings.  

Zeke was seriously delirious as he only had about a 20 minute nap for the whole day (not from lack of trying).  Luke and I retired to our teeny tiny bed, only to have Zeke come paddling out of his room and insist on sleeping with us.  Yes, that meant that Genevieve and Dane were living large in the full-size bed, while the 3 of us were all cozy in our "California Twin".  I finally got up and slept with Genevieve and Dane with my feet hanging off the bed (we had put them in the bed sideways so they would all fit).  Another night of less than average sleep.  

Do I sound negative?  I don't mean to.  We are having a good time.  It's just been somewhat of a comedy of errors.  And this trailer has proven too small (and too old!) for our family of 5.  

Day 4 (Monday).  Are we already on day 4?  Wow.  We are still at Pismo Beach.

 We decided to have a day where we are not moving.  Although the beach is much to be desired here, the kids seem to enjoy being here (they love the playground and meeting all the kids who come to frequent it all day long).  Right now Zeke is going on a 3 1/2 hour nap (hallelujah!).  The kids are starting to complain that they're bored.  We are heading south tomorrow, although not sure where.  We're thinking of doing Knott's Berry Farm (because it's relatively inexpensive, and can be done in one day).   But camping/RV options don't look great in LA, so we'll see.    Would love to find a nice campground with a great beach.  Have spent quite sometime looking for that, and have come up dry.  I can find nice campground/poor beach access, great beach/parking lot campground.  And nothing is close to KBF.  We are willing to skip KBF if we can find a great beach destination.  But between here and San Diego nothing looks great.  Can you believe that?  I had no idea.  

Okay, off to get ready to do something when the baby wakes up.  And yes, at 21 months he's still my baby.  And probably always will be.

******Unfortunately no pictures until we return =(.  I grabbed the wrong cord for my camera.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's not only a name

For those of you that thought "Taylor Trash" was just a cute little 'play on words' with our name....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Using the Force here at Taylor Trash

Our little Dane Luke is turning 5, and wants to ring in his birthday Star Wars style.
So we are knee-deep in Darth Vadar, r2d2, light sabers, and jedi training prep.   Should be a yoda fun. Get it? Yoda, instead of loada, or load of....
I crack myself up.


My homemade stand-up in progress.  In this picture I haven't attached it to the cardboard yet.  I have to say I think it turned out really cool.  It's probably 6 ft tall.  I found a program that lets you turn any high res picture into a poster that you can print out in 8.5 X 11 sheets and put together like a puzzle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the lonely

"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows, this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy." Psalm 68:5&6

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The American not God's dream

Feeling restless tonight.  Once again I am all-consumed with the purpose of my life. 
In a nutshell, I am not okay with being a Christian living the "American Dream".  The words of the Bible are becoming more real and more literal to me every day.  My compassion for God's people, especially "the least of these" is growing at a rapid rate.  

As Christians I think we often sit back and admire others that have been called to do great things in the name of Christ.  I have often thought "if He called me to do that (insert any number of radical sacrifices), would I obey?" And it has only recently occurred to me that we have already been called.  We don't have to have an "ah-ha moment", or a "divine intervention" to follow what He has already asked us to do in His Word.  

Lately, I have literally been kept up at night thinking of the millions of orphans in the world.  I have been resting in the peace that we have not yet been "called" to adopt.  I assumed that God would hit me over the head with something tangible, showing me (us) that this was something we were to pursue.  

But if I truly want to be Christ-like, then my heart needs to bleed like His.  And my actions should reflect that.  

What more does He need to do than to write...

'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.' (James 1:27)

"But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (I John 3:17-18)

I am acutely aware of how blessed I am to be an American.   I realize that my life is a life of luxury to much of the world.  That my "humble" 1400 square foot house and the amenities within would be considered a vacation for millions.  And that is why I cannot shake this verse:

"To whom much is given, of him much will be required.” (Luke 12:38)

Because I have been given so much, I am expected to give much.  Sacrificially.  

My heart hurts.  I have not given much.  Not when thousands are dying daily for lack of clean water and food.  Not when millions of children are without a family to call their own.  

So where do I begin?  

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." (Mother Teresa)

So I will start with just one.  

And as my passion grows I will try to remember.....

“It is not our job to convict the world, but to live as a convicted person.” (John Piper)

Monday, March 23, 2009

She's our star

But she also happened to be star of the week last week in her first grade class.  
We didn't have much direction on what to do.  I'm assuming the teacher sent something home at the beginning of the year, but since we're new to the class we didn't get it.  
Anyhow, we made a poster.  Okay, technically I made the poster, but Genevieve helped by filling in the little questionaires I made about her "favorites". 
***Hint- if you click on the pictures you can see them in more detail =)