Category Archives: giving

They Showed Us Up

Saturday hubby and I stepped way out of our comfort zone.  We volunteered to decorate our trunk and pass out candy at our churches’ inaugural trunk or treat.

We pulled out the girls stuffed animals and made a jungle.  I bought three big bags of candy.  Certainly that would be enough.

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Alas, it was not.  We, and the church, ran out of candy in the first 20 minutes.  People from the planning team were immediately sent to get more candy, but what to do with the kids there now?

The girls had gone around to the trunks at the beginning of the trunk or treat and ended up with lots of candy.  As you know, candy is a precious commodity for kids, but ours pulled out the candy they had collected and gave it away as we waited for candy reinforcements.

2015-10-31 15.07.58 2015-10-31 15.08.01Talk about being proud of my girls!  I knew they were amazing but they really showed it Saturday.  I was so proud of them.  I still am.  I told some sweet neighbors down the street, and yesterday, they showed up with this.

2015-11-02 10.21.40They were touched by our girls too and wanted to gift them with this to show when we bless God, He blesses us.

Now, do we need all that candy?  Heavens no, trust me, I’ve already eaten too much of it, but the message behind it is worth every last piece.

A Few More Days

Yes, the Climb Out of the Darkness is a few days past, but that doesn’t mean fundraising is done for Postpartum Progress.

Many of the climbers are still seeing donations, grants and matching gifts come in.  I also still have a few fundraisers.

Tomorrow is our Dine Out at Noodles & Co. in Downtown Royal Oak.  For everyone who brings in a flier or mentions, Postpartum Progress, we will get 25% of those sales.  This means we better get the word out!!

Monday, the girls and I rolled and rubber banded 300 fliers.

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Then, in between rain storms, we started going door to door.

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Patrice had stomped in a few puddles, and somehow, no idea how, had gotten her shoe full of water.

And, as a little FYI, there are no stealth missions with a three year old.  I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to people yesterday and explain the mission, I’m a little tapped out.  My goal was to get the fliers on door handles and get out…Patrice had a commentary at every door.  Thankfully, all by 3 ignored it or weren’t home.  We got about half passed out.  Today, the weather should be better so we will head to Royal Oak to pass them out closer to the restraunt.  As part of the fundraiser, we are asked to bring in an additional 100 people.  Our family covers 95–would you come out and help us with the remainder?

You can print this out.



Or just make sure to mention Postpartum Progress. Noodles is very generous and gives 25% of dine in meals and take out.  I will be doing a craft their for the kids.  Please come join us!!!!

You can also ask me about more info for the online Jewelry party I am having or give via Crowdrise.

Thank you for all your help and patience as I post over and over about Climb Out of the Darkness.


Lending a Helping Hand–Blessing Bags

Recently the girls and I did a project.  I have been preparing for it for quite a while and was very excited to put it together, but I wasn’t sure if I should crow about it on my blog.  The Bible says if we brag about what we do we will see all of our reward here on earth, not in heaven.  And, honestly, I’d rather get my reward in Glory!

But I have seen some discussions about Blessing Bags on Facebook and wanted to share what we put in ours and how I got the items for the bags.

First, a bit of background.  Blessing Bags are prepared to be given to those who do not have a place to live and are homeless.  Some people make them and hand them out to people they see on the street.  I am pretty oblivious to much beyond driving when in my car so knew that was not a good option for us.  I chose to contact Grace Centers of Hope to see if they wanted the bags.  I’m well aware, the situation there may be such they do not need the items in bags, but it might also be nice for people there to have a bag of items that are just theirs.  I e-mailed with the donations coordinator and got a very enthusiastic response.  They would love to have them.

We packed: toilet paper, kleenex, toothbrushes and tooth paste, gloves, soap, chapstick, shampoo, a washcloth and edible item.  I got most of the items in the trial size area of our grocery store and the dollar store.

I packed 2 to show the girls what we had and how to put them together.  I marked the two that had peanut items in them.  The girls packed the rest.

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The girls had fun putting them together and I was thrilled to be giving back.  I bought most of the items on sale.  It took me about two months to find everything I wanted, but it was worth it when I dropped them off Saturday.

Helping as a Family–Gleaners Food Bank

I grew up in a rural area.  There was no place for people to be begging.  I was in my 30s before I saw my first beggar.  I was out for a girls’ night when I was several months pregnant with Sue.  The group of us had gone to dinner and were walking around the city area.  Everybody decided to get some ice cream.  I didn’t really want any, but I got a small dish.  Baby said there was no room for it.  So I started to throw it away.  I had taken 1-2 bites.  A guy, grabbed it as it fell and said “can I have it?”  I stuttered yes and was changed forever.

I have always been a giver when it comes to food drives, toy drives, book drives.  You name it.  I grew up very poor.  We benefited from people’s generosity more than once.  But the ice cream experience was different.  How do I get truly involved now?

Hubby and I talked about it more than once.  I wish for anything I could go back to that night and take the guy to get a real meal rather than eating my leftovers.  I’ve known since that day our family would be getting involved.  We just had to wait a bit for the girls to get old enough.

I volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank right before Christmas for a few hours through work.  I talked to the volunteer coordinator and found ot my girls were now old enough.  She has worked with kids as young as 20 months!

This last week we made up fliers for the neighborhood asking for food donations to take with us.  The girls were thrilled to find a few bags for us to take.

Yesterday we loaded them up and off we went.

Miss Sarah taught us that food insecurity affects 1 in 5 people. And that the people aren’t all on the street. They can look just like us. Last year Gleaners distributed 40,000 million pounds of food to food banks, schools, senior centers, soup kitchens.

The 943 bags we packed will go to kids throughout the metro area who are food insecure. The box of cereal, cans of veggies, fruit and ravioli will go home with them so they can eat when school isn’t in session.

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity contact Sarah Blight at at the Gleaners Oakland Distribution Center.

Sue really loved her job!

Coziness of a kitchen and thankfulness 226-233

I am standing in my warm kitchen with my hubby and three kids. Caitlyn in playing with play dough. Sue and Daddy are making salads and Patrice is watching all the activity while playing with a toy.

Caitlyn couldn’t be left out of the salad fun!

We are blessed beyond measure. We have food, clothing, our needs are met.  Do we wish we had more?  Yes.  Do we have needs that we wish were more met?  Yes.  But all in all, we are very, very blessed.

This is a knowledge we need to pass on to our children.  I wonder often how to do this.  Christmas gives us so many opportunities, but what will the understand, what will they grasp?

Over the last many years, I have gotten involved in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child by packing shoe boxes for them to give to children all over the world.  This year it is time to have the girls help me pack the boxes.  I am going to take them to the dollar store to pick out items to go in a box.  I want each of the girls, well okay, Caitlyn and Sue, to do one and pray for the child who will open the treasure box.  And this is the week. 

This is National Collection Week.  Won’t you consider getting involved?  You can search for a collection point, suggested items to give and all necessary instructions on Samaritan’s Purse.

So thankful for:

226.  love in my kitchen

227.  coziness and warmth as fall settles in

228.  support and encouragement of my husband

229.  amazing generosity of my family to my girls

230.  accessibility to health care

231,  abundance allowing me to give gifts

232.  possibilities

233.  listening to my hubby teach my girls

234.  days off work

235.  piles of laundry to be folded because it means we have clothes to wear

For what are you thankful?   

This attitude of gratitude also works in well with this weeks Self Care Challenge.  It is to find 3 three things every morning you are thankful for, and doing the same every evening.  Head over to Real Mom Experts.

Postpartum Progress

I have been in treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety for over a year now.  It has been a long year.  It has been good in so many ways.  I have loved every minute with our three girls and I have met some amazing people because of the postpartum depression.  One of the resources I found was Postpartum Progress.

It is an amazing website I have talked about many times.  It has explanations for postpartum depression in “Plain Mama English”, amazing articles addressing so many facets of this illness, stories of other women who have walked through this and survived!!!

It is an amazing site.  I wish there were a way to get her info into the packets of information they send home with mamas after they have the baby.

And there is more than just that site.  Katherine is a passionate advocate, writing and speaking about postpartum mood disorders.  She walked through it and is there to help others do the same.

She has done it without making a single penny.  She reinvests what she gets back into Postpartum Progress.  Recently, she applied for, and received 501c3 status.  I am excited to see what she can do with Postpartum Progress with ability to get funding for the work.

This week she kicked off the first fundraising effort for Postpartum Progress.  She calls it Strong Start Day.  Won’t you visit her site and donate?  Do it in honor of those mamas who have walked this road, do it so this resource is available for you when you have children, or your daughters have children.  Postpartum Mood Disorders hit far and wide.  Katherine hits back with help, information and support.

She helps mamas like me.

You can donate via paypal or by credit card.  You can remain anonymous if you like.  Help us get to the goal of $30,000.

A Merciful Link

I have previously talked about this ministry that I have fallen in love with.  They have been doing lots of creative fundraising to get the home funded.  On the third of the month they ask people consider a donation of just $3.  They have an Etsy shop

Tomorrow they are doing an on-line silent auction.  You can preview some of the items here.

Please check it out.  You won’t  be sorry.

Trying Something New

I did some searching today and found some cute Thanksgiving Day crafts and printables for the letter T.  So Tuesday we will Try Something New.  We’re going to make turkeys.  I got construction paper, glue sticks and a couple cute templates.

I’ve also been trying some new sewing patterns.  I made two skirts, a stethescope cover and a onesie dress this last week.  I finally figured out what I have been doing wrong when I make skirts.  Ummm, yeah.  It only took me doing 4 wrong to see what I needed to be doing instead.  Good thing.  I got some great fabric for Thanksgiving skirts and am excited to finally make them look the way I envision.

Soon I am going to try another new sewing project.  I am going to make a couple dresses that will be taken to Kenya for pregnant girls at the Mercy House.  Please take a few moments to read more about this amazing ministry that is in the beginning stages.  I don’t feel even remotely capable of doing this project. I do not personally know the women/family starting this, but it resonates with me.  So much so I have volunteered to help with a few projects.  This family has undertaken a God size mission.  Please join me in praying for them as they raise funds, gather supplies, undertake many lifechanging activities.  I will be making a nursing cover for them to sell in the Etsy shop to support this home.  There are already tons of cute things listed in their shop.

That’s what I am doing to Try Something New lately.  What are you doing?  I would love to hear about it!

Kids and Paint, Not Always a Disaster

One day this week we were at a local store getting items to put in our boxes for Samaritans Purse to distribute to kids all around the world through Operation Christmas Child.  This week is collection week.  If you are interested in filling a shoebox, get on over to their site and check it out.  The girls loved deciding to do one for a boy and one for a girl.  We chose items for kids ages 2-4 and the girls selected little things they would enjoy.  It was a good opportunity to talk to them about how blessed they are with all they have and teaching them to give to others.

Along the way, we found a craft project to bring home and do.  I braved paint…

Sue never did really “finish” hers.  She was happy to add layer after layer of paint.  But she had a blast!

Not sure where to go from here…maybe Kenya?

So, I think one of the valuable things about blogging is the ability to connect us to each other for the spreading of the Lord’s work.  Sometimes that is encouraging and sometimes that is uncomfortable and oft times, it is a bit of both.  That is where I find myself as I read about MckMama’s experiences in Kenya

The above link is just one of several days of blogging she has done from some very desolate areas in Kenya.  I see her pictures of children and her pleas to have us join her in helping the children of Kenya by sponsorship through Compassion International.  And so far I don’t know what my role is.

I have used my twitter and facebook accounts to retweet her updates on how many Kenyan children Compassion still needs sponsors for, and I am thrilled to see that number decreasing (most recent update was 750 children).  But am I supposed to help that number decrease through signing up to support one of them?  I don’t know.

I am no stranger to sponsorship.  I sponsored a girl in China through World Vision for several years until she moved out of the program area.  Before that I sponsored a children through Children International.  I have also given many times to Feed the Children.  And several other ministries.

But what about right now?  What is my duty?  What is the Lord asking me to do?  I have NO idea.  I really don’t.  Is what we are giving to our church right now, the amount the Lord wants us to give?  Are the occassional gifts we are giving what He is asking of us right now?  Are the gifts in kind we give what He has in mind right now?  Again, I have no idea. 

I am scared to give more right now.  I work in the auto industry.  So far so good for me, but wow, the gloom there is just starting to lift, well maybe not even lift, maybe just thin.  How do I take my eyes off that to see what else the Lord wants me to give?  How do I teach my girls to be generous when I am too afraid to increase my own giving?  I have no answers, just lots of questions that I ask myself on a daily basis. Am I hiding behind my questions?  Maybe.  Is asking them my way of claiming some action in my inaction?  Maybe.

So for now, I continue to ask my questions, while asking you to visit MckMama’s blog to see even more what what she is sharing.  Take a peak at the desolation and the hope.  Please consider your role, whether it is in your own neighborhood or somewhere across the globe.  And maybe together we will find our time and place to jump from doubt to action.