Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Reynolds Family Christmas Cow

Imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail this week telling us that we could have a chance to win a trip with Compassion to Nicaragua! All we had to do was create a video about our experience with the Gifts of Compassion Christmas catalog gift that we purchased.

Could we do this? I had never created a video for a contest before! After tossing a bunch of ideas around in my head (and not getting a lot of sleep just thinking about this!), I came up with a 'script' and e-mailed it off to my husband at work. He wrote back that he thought it was great!

So we spent the afternoon gathering props and making signs on poster boards. We transformed our living room into a 'filming studio'. I am so glad we have that big tri-pod for my camera!

After dinner, we rehearsed through the script. The video could be no more than 3 minutes long. I wasn't really sure how long the video would be when I wrote up the script, but after one run through, we came in just under 3 minutes! Praise the Lord!

We did 2 takes on the video and we submitted the second take. It is not perfect, but we were all happy with the results.

If you have read through this far, I have a big favor to ask of you! If you are on Facebook, please vote for our video. You can find it on the Compassion International Facebook page under 'My Gift of Compassion Video Contest'. The link is on the left side of the page. Our video title is 'The Reynolds Family Christmas Cow'. You can vote once a day through March 1st.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meet Our Compassion Kids Monday: Victor

Victor is 13 and lives in Ecuador with his parents and two sisters. Victor likes to ride horses and take care of them. His favorite sport is soccer.

This is a picture that Victor drew of the place where he lives. I wonder how tall those mountains are? I will have to remember to ask him in my next letter.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Joy Dare #101-119

Are you following along with The Joy Dare for this year?

101. baby showers
102. daffodils blooming
103. chocolate
104. Valentine Banquet with our church family
105. eight cups of freshly squeezed orange juice ready and in the freezer for Orange Iced Tea
106. thirty-two cups of pasta sauce made and ready for the freezer

107. inexpensive frame, page from 'Persuasion', red heart...quick and easy craft made
108. amazed by His love for me
109. a baby's smile
110. knowing a friend is praying for me

111. collection of raindrops on plants in my garden

112. homemade chocolate chip cookies
113. quiet at the end of the day

114. waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast

115. candlelight dinner at home with my family

116. having all the ingredients at home for a special dessert
117. Matthew arriving home safely after running errands for me
118. Kelsey's flower girl basket
119. evening of knitting with Kelsey

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Projects #7

I got a little behind on my WIP projects postings. Life happens sometimes, and rather than dwell on a missed blog posting, I am choosing to  move on!

In my last WIP project post, I had 3 projects that I was hoping to get done that week. Here is how they turned out:

4. BOM quilt block - since I only had a couple of days to finish this one or pay $5 for the new block, I made sure I finished this block! Now I need to work on the next block, but I will probably wait a week or two to work on the new one.

5. Valentine Banner - I am so happy with the way this project turned out! Since I have many more pages of 'Persuasion' that can be used for other projects, I now will be searching Pinterest for other book page projects!

6. Prayer board - this is hanging on the wall in our hall way so that everyone sees it everytime they walk to their bedroom. It has been a great reminder to be in prayer for everything that is posted on this board.

Now for the new WIP Project! Now that I just posted the baby blanket tutorial and baby wash cloth tutorial, I would really like to have all of these done and ready to go when baby showers come up. So here is what I will be working on:

7. Baby blankets and baby wash cloths - I have three baby blankets that need to be completed and 10 sets of baby wash cloths to finish. This will give me 10 baby shower gifts!

What projects will you be working on?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baby Wash Cloth Tutorial

Last week, I shared with you how to make a flannel baby blanket. If you made the blanket, you know there will be some extra flannel material. I have been using the extra flannel material to make baby washcloths!

The steps are very similar to making a blanket, just a little smaller this time.

Find a coordinating terry cloth material to go with your flannel print. You will not find a lot of choices for terry cloth at the fabric store, so just pick something that will match most of the flannel you have on hand.

I use my quilting tools to cut out 6 inch squares from the flannel print and terry cloth.

With right sides of one flannel print and one terry cloth square pinned together, I take my scissors and slightly round each of the corners.

Time to move to the sewing machine! I use about a 1/4 inch seam on these, but remember to leave an opening to turn these right side out!

Clip each of the corners like you did for the blanket.

Pull in the right side out through the opening you left.

Give each wash cloth a press with the iron.

Back to the sewing maching to zig-zag stitch around.

Time for some thread and a needle to stitch closed that opening.

Ta da! In less than one hour and for less than $5, you can have a really nice homemade baby gift!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meet Our Compassion Kids Monday: Mohammad

When Kelsey asked if she could be a correspondent sponsor to more kids, she was really hoping that she would get someone from a country that we don't really know a lot about. So, she was really excited when she learned that Mohammad was from Bangladesh!

Mohammad is 5 years old and lives with his dad, mom, older brother, and baby sister. He likes to play soccer, sing songs about Jesus, likes vegetables, and the color blue.

In his first letter to Kelsey he wrote that is was starting to get cold where he lives and he wants Kelsey to pray that he stays healthy. He also wants to know what our capital city is. I was thinking it would be fun to put together a map with all the capital cities of the United States for him.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Favorite Photo of the Week

Tonight was taco night. Last week when Kelsey and I were grocery shopping, I was able to purchase one package of corn tortillas and got the second one for free. So I knew we would be making our own taco shells. I wasn't really wanting to fry them in oil tonight, so I looked for a recipe to bake them in the oven. I was so happy when I found this recipe.

After reading the reviews, I decided not to place them directly on the oven racks to bake them. So with a little creativity, I came up with the idea in the above picture to bake them properly. I probably could have baked them just a little bit longer, but everyone really liked them!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Joy Dare #81 - 100

81. Valentine's Day decorations
82. "Jesus didn't come to make sure we wouldn't be hungry - He came to make sure we were hungry for the right things." - Scott Todd from '58:Fast Living'
83. sunshine
84. hope
85. being a homemaker
86. letter in the mail from Eduardo's pastor
87. windows and doors open to air out the house
88. knitted dishcloths
89. California poppies
90. bright moon light
91. warm socks
92. big pot of pinto beans made today and ready for the freezer
93. talking to Matthew on the phone tonight after his first day of work at the Fatula's

94. finishing letters and packets to send to our Compassion kids
95. Kelsey made waffles for breakfast
96. finishing a handmade gift
97. picking up Matthew!
98. watching the colorful sunrise as we left the house early this morning
99. seeing snow capped mountains in the distance
100. 24 children sponsored today!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feeling a little hungry

Have you ever been hungry? I am not talking about the 'I don't have time to eat' kind of hungry, or 'I forgot to pack myself some food' hungry. I am talking about truly, truly hungry.

No refrigerator and cupboards packed with food. No fast food place close by and money in your pocket to purchase the food. No grocery store on the way to where ever you are going.

I have never been that hungry. And because God allowed me to be born in this country, I probably never will ever be that hungry.

But tonight, I am a little bit hungry. All we had for dinner was rice and beans. Not a lot, but it was dinner.

Our family has decided to take on a challenge. A challenge to make a difference. In his book, "A Place at the Table", Chris Seay says 'as Christians who are called to love the least of these, we need to realize that poverty is not just a problem, it is our problem.'  Chris Seay is challenging those who read his book to a fast of 40 days. Not just any fast, but where you take what you would have spent on food for your own family and give it to help those in extreme poverty.

After a family discussion, we have made a pledge to eat rice and beans once a week for dinner. Nothing fancy, just rice and beans. With the money we would have spent on additional food for this dinner, we will be purchasing Water of Life systems from Compassion.

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.' " - Matthew 25:37 - 40 (The Message)

Will we be making a big difference? Maybe, maybe not. But it will be a big difference for each one of those families who will be able to provide their family with clean, safe drinking water. This is something I can definitely be thankful to God for.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flannel Baby Blanket Tutorial

The day after Thanksgiving, you can usually find me out at JoAnn's buying flannel for $1.49 a yard. I often buy 10 yards or more of print and solid color flannel to make baby blankets for baby showers. Since I was making one today, I took pictures along the way for this tutorial.

After you have washed and dried the material, I cut a 30 inch square from one print and a matching solid. Place the materials so that the right sides are facing each other.

Then I take some sort of round object (plate, bowl, etc.) and round out the corners.

To keep the material from shifting while sewing, I do pin the material all the way around the blanket.

Take the material to your sewing machine and sew almost all the way around the blanket. I usually use about a half an inch seam.

Be sure to leave an opening wide enough for your hand to get in and pull out the right side of the blanket.

Before pulling the right side of the blanket out, I clip the corner seams. This helps the blanket to lay down nicely.

Pull the right side of the blanket out through the opening.

Take the blanket and press the seams all the way around the blanket.

Change your sewing machine to a zig zag stitch and stitch all the way around the blanket about 1/2 - 5/8" from the edge.

Then thread a needle with similar color thread and stitch the opening closed.

Give the blanket a once over with the iron and you now have a homemade baby blanket for the next baby shower you are invited to.

Next week, I will show you what I do with some of the scrap material for another baby shower gift idea.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meet Our Compassion Kids Monday: Abner

This week I would like to introduce you to Abner. He is my second correspondent child. Abner lives in Colombia with both of his parents as well as 4 sisters and 1 brother. He loves to play soccer, loves horses, and likes the color green.

In his first letter to us, he told us about his parrot Rebeca. He says she is 'so fun and I love her a lot.' I asked him to draw me a picture of Rebeca. The verse he shared with me was 1 Timothy 4:12 - "Always act in a manner pleasing to God and you may win people over to believe in Christ."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Favorite Photo of the Week

When I became an advocate with Compassion this past fall, I made it a goal to set up a Compassion Sunday at another church in town. Because we live in somewhat of a small town still, I know a couple of pastors at other churches and have friends who attend still other churches.

After working through the details, we set up this past Sunday for me to do my first Compassion presentation outside of my own church. I was so nervous and excited! I used the presentation builder which is available for free on the Compassion Sunday web site. I modified it a little bit and showed the 'Grace Finds Hope' video during the presentation. The week before the presentation, I read about each of the 10 children whose packets I had on hand. I prayed for them each day.

Matthew came with me and help me set up the table before the presentation. I had just found a blue tablecloth at Target the night before on clearance which fit the table beautifully. After the service was over, God provided sponsors for 7 of the children!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Joy Dare #64 - 80

64. first bulbs blooming
65. smelling homemade apple pie baking in the oven
66. hand stitching a quilt binding
67. listening to worship songs during my walk
68. musical sounds of wind chimes
69. willing clean up crew after my afternoon of baking
70. sharing about Compassion at another church in town
71. seven more children sponsored through Compassion!
72. popcorn and a movie at home with my family
73. sending welcome letters to new Compassion sponsors
74. making paper beads from an old catalog with my kids
75. knowing that I have enough

76. box of freshly picked oranges from a neighbor
77.being able to visit with a friend
78. found out a letter from Lina is on its way here!
79. Compassion magazine in the mail
80. lazy day at home