Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quick Pre-Portugal Update

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped with our trip- sending money, bringing food, praying... it wouldn't be possible without you!

Just wanted to give you a quick update before we leave... this afternoon!!!

 We collected a bunch of food to take then divided it into 5 piles so we could each take some food.  If we put it all together it would have been too heavy for the 50 lb weight limit per bag. 

Here's the bottom of my bag.  Lots of sweet potatoes and some marshmallows!

Just in case you are curious- here's some of the things we are cooking:
Turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls, sweet potatoes, stuffing, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, ambrosia, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, salad, brownies, cookies, apple pie, carrots, green beans... i can't even remember the rest!

Here's how you can pray when we are gone- copied from Cristi's facebook post this morning:
1. the team as they take off today and leave children and jobs and worries for a week. Pray that it will be a wonderful week for them here in Portugal.
2. Our friends here that we are passing out invitations to...pray that they'd be able to attend the meal.
3. Relationships to be deepened and/or formed and for opportunities to share the gospel with them over this long weekend...

Thurs. Night-dinner with our café inglês group
Fri. Night-dinner with our Bible study peeps and a few other random families we're inviting
Sat.-6 families from Calvin's class
Sun.-5 families from Lily's class
Mon. night-dinner with neighbors

Pray that by Monday night we'll still be able to force Turkey and Cranberry sauce down our throats 
 I will try and post updates along the way.  Hopefully we will have time to stop for a minute- I may be too tired at the end of the day!
 Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mission Trip to Portugal!

I'm excited to be going back to Portugal this year on a mission trip.  I went two years ago on a similar trip but this time Mike is going too as well as 3 cother people from our church.  We are leaving in just two weeks and staying a week and a half!  For some reason I feel much more behind this time.  We will be cooking 5 thanksgiving dinners for about 20 people each night!  At the dinners we get to visit with the guests and learn more about their culture and talk to them about ours.  Since it's Thanksgiving... we pray together and talk about what we are thankful for.  

We have to take some of the food with us because they don't have all the American Thanksgiving food there.  Pumpkin, cranberry sauce, chocolate chip cookies- these are things they don't have.  

This is one of the suitcases we were trying to pack two years ago.  Suitcases have to be 50 lbs are less and that can be hard when you have a bunch of canned food.  
Here's some of the wonderful food we prepared.  

We got to tour the city a little bit.  It was incredible.

 More beautiful food.  Does it look like a traditional Thanksgiving?

And here's one view of the beautiful city.  

We still need some help.  Help covering trip expenses and also help with the groceries we are taking and craft supplies for the kids.  If you want to help- we could use money for the trip as well as grocery gift cards or cash to purchase some of our groceries before we go.  We also purchase lots of groceries when we get there and money would help with that as well.  If you feel like shopping for a particular item- contact me and I can give you a list of what we still need to get.  

Here are some of the fun people we do this for.  There are lots of different areas of ministry going on in Coimbra right now with the Gereckes.  One is a college ministry where they get together with college students and help them practice speaking English.  They also have a small bible study they are getting started, they invite families into their home weekly from the kids schools and their neighborhood.  They are constantly looking for people to minister to and create community. 

If I could I would go on mission trips all the time.  I love learning about different cultures and sharing The Lord with others.  If you feel led to help out financially it would be a huge blessing.  This trip would not be possible without help from others and

Please send checks or gift cards made out to First Colleyville to:
5405 Pleasant Run
Colleyville, TX 76034

Please indicate "Portugal missions" in the memo line of the check and specify in a note if you would like the money to be used for grocery purchases or my personal trip expenses. 

We would also love your prayers!  Pray for the people of Portugal, that it will be easy to get the word out about the dinners and that everyone will be able to come, for trip safety and safety of our kids that we are leaving here, that there will be opportunities to talk about God and what He has done in our lives, for our energy and cooking skills... just about anything!
Our team is Michelle, Josh, Tracy, Mike & Catherine and we are meeting missionaries Michael and Cristi when we get there.  We will be traveling Nov. 5-13th.  Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life of a Foster Parent

I thought I would take this moment to put off cleaning a bit longer, and give you a glimpse into our life as foster parents.  This is just a part about our monthly visitors.

So every month- we have approx 5 different people coming over to the house to visit baby J.  Therapist (times 2), CASA worker, CPS caseworker and foster agency caseworker.  Oh, and someone comes by twice a month to pick her up for a visit with bio parents.

Mostly everyone comes in to play with J  and stays in one room or a couple of rooms.  Once a quarter we get to have someone come over and inspect all the rooms for safety and to make sure our kitchen soap is not sitting out.  Wouldn't want someone to drink it and then poop bubbles or something :-)

So I've kind of gotten over having my house clean for every visitor- I mean- who has time to clean their house 5 times a month?  Not going to happen.  But I do feel like I should have it clean for our quarterly inspection.  And that's today.  So I officially have 5 hours to clean.  For a normal person that would probably be perfectly acceptable.  However, I am very bad at cleaning. 

Maybe I will take a before an after picture.  And if I'm not too embarrassed I will post it. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Painting Tips for Painting Your Own Artwork

Don't get your hopes up.  If you have ever taken art before, even if it was in jr. high, you probably know more about painting than me.  I do a lot of creative things but I'm not a great artist.  However, I believe anyone can make their own artwork and can paint beautiful things if they want to.  So here are a few easy tips to help.

 1) Pick your paints.  They don't have to be expensive or even from a special art store.  I usually use the apple barrel paints from Hobby Lobby that are like .50 a jar.  Today, I'm using some paint from Target that I got for Cason but I love it so much (because it shimmers) that I wanted to use it for this project.

 2) Pick your colors.  Paint your whole background.  
Don't try and paint detail and background at the same time.  
I choose 2 colors of blue for the background with a hint of green.
So that's part of tip 2.  Pick up more than one color of paint with your brush and use big strokes.  Solid even color- not good... at least not for this!

3) Once that dries.  Use chalk to draw your main image.  It doesn't have to be this simple but simple is easy!  Also, off center is better.  It is easier because you don't have to be perfect- plus it looks like you put extra thought into it.  You thought so much about it that you made it off center to make other people think more.  Awesome.

 4) Paint your main image- again using 2 different colors on your paintbrush at a time.  It really helps make the art look dimensional.  When it's dry you can wipe the chalk off as if it never existed.

5) I wanted to add another layer to the painting- text.  Text is hard because it's hard to get a smooth line with paint.  I wrote the words in chalk and used a tiny paintbrush and carefully wrote everything in.  It's not perfect but it's real.

And here's the finished piece.  It's personal and it's homemade and you can do it too!  
So if you make awesome things please pass on this tutorial.  Hopefully, it will inspire you just a little to start making your own artwork and saving a little $$ in the process.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of Pre-K

 Here's our first day of school picture.  I think I'm the only person in America that didn't use a chalkboard or a cute printable to mark the occasion- which is kind of funny because that's the sort of thing I would make with my business but we barely made it to school on time- plus I don't make a lot of graphics for myself- I guess I have enough working on them for others.

This boy was in a silly mood because he looks like a goober in all of these but it's a good display of his personality!


I have back to school pictures for my other baby but I can't show them online :-(  hopefully soon.  You will just have to imagine how adorable she is!

Monday, August 26, 2013

What A Year!

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last blogged!  A lot has happened- though that's not really an excuse.

So lets rewind a year and I will give you a quick overview and then we can move on.

My sister got married at the beginning of September, two days later, we got our first foster kids!  We took in a 2 year old boy and a 9 month old girl bringing my total to a 3, 2, and almost one year old.  It was chaos almost instantly!  Having kids that close together is hard for almost anyone- at least I'm assuming- and having kids that have been raised in another home for a few years and then moved to ours made it extra challenging.  A challenge that comes with foster care and one of the reasons they need good foster homes!

These kids stayed with us for 4 months and then ended up going back home.  It was a hard 4 months.  Being foster parents can be fun and rewarding and challenging and frustrating and exhausting.  Sometimes all at the same time.

A few months later- we got a call for a little girl!  She came to us in March and we still have her.  She's a doll and a great addition to the family.

Unfortunately with foster care I can't give many details and can't show any pictures.  Trust me, she's cute!

Meanwhile I've been working hard building a business of Everything Design.  It's been a fun journey and I have seen so much growth this year- growth that I can't take much credit for because I haven't had time to advertise.  The Lord has helped me grow.

I really want to start writing about some changes we have been making in the family to our food and cleaning and just trying to live healthier overall.  So my goal is to add some tips and tricks to help you if you are looking to baby step your home to natural living!

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