Thursday, June 28, 2012

What to do...what to do?

This morning I found myself in an unusual situation...I was home all by myself! This doesn't happen very often, and at first, I wasn't really sure what I should do!

Well, today's item on our 30 day photography challenge was to take a picture of a bad habit...seriously? How are you suppose to photograph a bad habit? Well, I do have a bad habit that I guess I could photograph...clutter...

 This is an area of my bedroom that has been sorely neglected and has needed to be de-cluttered for quite some time. It is one of those things that is on my mind to clean up, but just doesn't occur during the day since I don't spend a lot of time in my bedroom during the day. After spending about an hour cleaning things up, the area now looks like...

 ...this! Ahh, so much more organized! It is not at all perfect yet, still piles on the shelves that I need to go through, but looks so much more inviting! Looks like Kelsey will be gone again for a few hours one day next week, that will give me a chance to work on another clutter pile somewhere else in the house...of which I have just a few... :o)

 Then I spent the next hour listening to a podcast for our Sunday School lesson. We are going through a book called Fundamentals of the Faith by John MacArthur. Each week we take time during the week to listen to a podcast for the lesson and complete the lesson in the book. Then on Sunday morning, we take time in the group to discuss the lesson. We are about half way through the book...

Pinterest! I will be one of the teachers for the upcoming VBS at our church, so I created a board for some space ideas to use. Here is one that I think will be great to send to our Compassion kids too...

Do you ever have time alone at your home? And what fun things have you found on Pinterest lately?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How many books are you currently reading?

This is my current reading stack...yes, that means I am reading 4 books right now. There is a system to my reading madness which I will share with you.

1. Bible - this is the most important book for me to read. Since becoming a Christian 13 years ago, it has been the book I try to start my day with.

Since starting the Hello Challenge back in January, I have been working on being up before the kids so that I can start each day reading my Bible and soaking in His truth.

Along with my Bible reading, I have been working through a study of 1 Peter this summer. This study has challenged me to not just read His Word, but to observe the truths, promises, and commands are in each passage. Looking up key words in the original language has been my favorite part of this study though.

2. Christian non-fiction - after I finish my Bible reading and study in the morning, if I have time before the kids are up, I like to read at least one chapter in some type of Christian non-fiction book. These have ranged from homeschooling books, marriage books, raising kids books, learning more about extreme poverty books, etc. These are books I like to have in our home library as reference books when I need them.

3. Biography - a few years ago, since my kids are older, we implemented quiet reading time after lunch. Boy has it changed how my afternoons look! During the school year, we are constantly moving from one lesson/activity to the other in the mornings. Then after lunch, there always seemed like we were busy doing something. By taking a break after lunch, this caused all of us to slow down and be quiet for even a half an hour each afternoon.

During this afternoon time, I usually like to read some type of biography. There are so many people that have lived before us that have made great impacts on our world. I feel it is important for us to take the time to learn from them.

4. Classics and fiction - after eveyone has gone to bed for the evening, I love to pick up a classic title or some work of fiction to devour for a while. I usually don't buy many fiction titles since I read through them too quickly, but I do love to add classics to our home library.

Our local library does seem to stock quite a few Christian fiction books, so when our CBD catalog comes in the mail, I look through it to see what titles our library has in the system. A few authors that I enjoy are Francine Rivers, Beverly Lewis, and Karen Kingsbury.

So, how many books are you reading?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Can you survive on $1.25 a day?

Nearly 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty everyday. Have you ever had the chance to experience what it feels like to walk in their shoes?

By playing Survive125, you have the chance to make some of the same decisions that people living in extreme poverty have to make everyday to try to survive. Do you live in the slums or the village? Do you pull your son out of school once every 3 days to get clean water that is a 3 hour round trip walk or drink dirty water? Do you pay thugs that are threatening you or report it to the police? Can you even imagine making these types of decisions as you try to work and provide for your family?

I took the challenge and only made it to day 21. Are you willing to take the challenge? If you take the challenge, be sure to let me know your results in the comments. Share this challenge with your friends!

There are many who believe that the poor will always be with us. I don't believe that is so. Through the work of Compassion, I believe we can help to make a difference in the lives of children living in extreme poverty. Take the time to watch this video and be challenged to believe that we can make a difference!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Drawing and Photo Challenge

On a morning perusal of Pinterest this morning, I found a couple of pins that I thought would be fun to do with Kelsey. The first one was a 30 Day Photo Challenge. I love to take pictures and Kelsey has been having fun taking pictures with her iPod, so we got started right away this morning on the first assignment...Day 1 - Self Portrait:

This was hard for me to do because I am not the type of person who takes pictures of myself with my own camera, in fact, I don't think I have ever done this! :o)

Kelsey, trying to find the 'right lighting', where do these kids get these ideas? :o), decided to get on top of her playhouse to get 'just the right picture'... :o)

Kelsey really likes to draw, so another pin that I found is for a 30 day drawing challenge. Day 1 drawing is a drawing of yourself. An artist I am not, so here is my best attempt at drawing myself holding a camera and a book.

I thought it would be nice at the end of the thirty days to have something nice to keep all our photos and drawings in, kind of a way to remember this fun project in the future. So while we were at Hobby Lobby today, we found these sketch books. We will probably add doodles and other embellishments to the pages as we work through these 30 day challenges.

Want to join us for the challenges?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Monday at Home

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” - Jane Austen

Monday is usually a home day for us. Not really sure why, but it has just always seemed to work out that way. After a busy weekend, Monday just has always been a day to get the laundry done and stay close to home.

Matthew started his orchard job today, so we won't be seeing him at home most of the day for the next few weeks. He drives a tractor during the apricot harvest. They start early in the morning (about 5:30am!) and are usually done around 2pm. He is usually pretty hot and tired by the time he gets home.

So today, Kelsey and I stayed home and were able to do a few fun things together...

Making and spending more money than we will ever see

Homemade Snickerdoodles...yum!

It is Monday, so there was laundry to be done

No sense of baking all the cookie dough, so we flash froze some to be baked later

Letter from Lina arrived!

We started taking all the pictures off of the project boards from Matthew's graduation...

...and started adding them to the album for him to keep

This letter was an extra surprise today! There was a letter addressed to Kevin from Compassion. There was nothing on the front of the letter indicating that it might be a letter from his correspondent child, Murimi, from Kenya. Back in November, we put some items together for Murimi and sent them to Kenya with our friends who are over there this year working with Agape Children's Ministry. They dropped the package off at the Compassion country office to be delivered to Murimi.

Along with a nice long letter, we received these 3 photographs of Murimi! The first picture shows Murimi holding the gallon size ziploc bag of items we sent over. The next picture shows Murimi wearing the t-shirt and shorts we bought for him and he is holding the 2 Hot Wheels cars that were in the package. The last picture at the bottom shows Murimi holding the snowman picture the my husband made for Murimi as well as the paper snowflakes on his head! What a special treat this was!

Did anything special happen on your Monday?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Be a Blessing

One of the best things about being an advocate with Compassion International is the opportunity I have to help find sponsors for children living in extreme poverty.

Right now, I have 4 children who would love to be blessed by someone who will sponsor them, pray for them, and write to them regularly. Would you like to be that person for one of these children?

 Kornelius is 9 years old and lives in Indonesia. He lives with his mother and helps her by washing clothes. He enjoys playing with cars and telling stories.

 Dede is from Ghana, and she lives at home with her parents, as well as one sibling. Her household chores are running errands and cleaning. Dede likes to play house, run, and play group games.

 Yancy lives with her mother and one sibling in El Salvador. For fun, Yancy enjoys art, playing with dolls, and running. She helps at home with gardening, making beds, and running errands

Nithin lives in India with his parents and one sibling. He helps at home by carrying water, washing clothes, and making beds. His favorite activities are ping pong, volleyball, and singing. Nithin has also been waiting 7 months for a sponsor.

If you would like to sponsor one of these children, please reply to this post or send me an e-mail at kymk99 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

So happy to find!

Last week was our local homeschool curriculum swap. If I had planned it a little better, I could have boxed up some items and been out there selling some things that I don't need anymore. But the kids and I headed over and as I was looking around, I found a couple of things I was really excited about!

My first find was 'Before Five in a Row' by Jane Claire Lambert. Now you might be thinking, why did she need to purchase this book when she just graduated her first student and her other student is 12? Good question! I went through this book with Kelsey when she was little and I really loved the format. However, I loaned the book to someone years ago and have never seen it come back.

One of the reasons I want to keep this book on hand is in the hopes of one day having grandchildren and being able to spend time with them like my friend, Copperswife. I love that she is able to spend an afternoon each week with her grandchildren, teaching them some fun lessons and spending time together.  What a blessing that must be for her, her daughter, and her grandchildren.

This book was a great bargain! The person was selling it for $2! Now I already have this book, but I have the older edition. This new edition has over 100 new pages included of new material! I may give my older edition to one of the young moms at church who are considering homeschooling.

I like to read homeschooling books like this one over the summer. Like Clay and Sally say in the preface, "This book is designed to give you, a Christian parent and home educator, greater confidence in the stewardship of your children." My homeschool journey is not over. Kelsey and I will be spending the next 5 to 6 years together. Even though I have one homeschool graduate under my belt, there is still room for me to learn and improve so that I can continue to 'train up my children in the way they should go'.

What homeschool books are your favorites?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Compassion Letter Writing Fingerpaint Project

Last night we held our monthly Compassion Sponsor Letter Writing Night. We were hoping to work on this project for each one of our kids:

However, we soon found out that painter's tape doesn't come off of fingerpaint paper very well:

The original project was done on canvas, and we know we can't send canvas to our Compassion kids so we used fingerpaint paper instead. The paper started to rip in some places, so we decided to still use the fingerpainting, but in a couple of different ways.

I went ahead and fingerpainted a page for each one of our sponsored kids and my correspondent kids

Then, I drew out the letters of their names that could be cut out and glued to the fingerpaint page

Here is the one for Xiomara

One for Abner

My husband decided to cut the letters out of the fingerpainted paper.

I love how these turned out and can't wait for all the kids to receive them!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Today, the kids and I were able to head out for a day trip with some friends of ours. Our first stop was the $1 movie at our local Regal theater.

Today, we saw the Kit Kittredge movie. Everyone really enjoyed it!

Then we drove over to the blueberry place! After a picnic lunch, we found our buckets and worked our way over to the blueberry bushes.

They look ready to work!

After 90 to 100 degree weather over the weekend, then cooler and rain yesterday, today was a perfect day for picking blueberries!

We ended up with 10.5 pounds of blueberries, one pound more than last year... :o)

After we get home, I start sorting through them all. We usually end up with some green ones and squishy ones that need to be tossed.

I line a cookie sheet with wax paper and fill the tray with a layer of good berries.

Once the tray is full, the tray goes in the freezer for a couple of hours.

After the berries are frozen, I put one cup of berries in a snack size bag. These bags go into a larger freezer bag and are stored in the freezer. This is a great way to have 'fresh' berries all year long for muffins, smoothies, etc.

Have you done any fun summer things yet?

First Peter Bible Study

When I was in school, I never really cared for those English classes where you were assigned a book to read and then you had to interpret it. I loved to read, just never really liked having to figure out what the author was trying to tell you, trying to figure out the plot, the characters, and all that other stuff teachers liked to torture you with.

Since becoming a Christian almost 13 years ago, I have read through the Bible a few times now and have spent many hours of group study with other ladies at our church. But study the Bible on my own? Too intimidating for me!

However, I know that in order for me to continue to grow in my relationship with Christ, I really need to start taking the time to study the Bible on a more consistent basis. I was so glad to get an e-mail this week with a link for a new Bible study on 1 Peter that is starting up tomorrow.

The Bible study will be a six week study that will cover 6 passages from 1 Peter, rather than the whole book of 1 Peter. Now, this sounds like something I can do! Want to join me?