Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bead for Life

This is a follow up to my post about the lovely tea I attended last week. As I mentioned before I actually won a prize which was very exciting! What was even more exciting was the gift itself and what it represented.

The beautiful beaded bracelet was a perfect fit and it was made in Uganda, Africa. After I got home I did some research and learned some things about the bracelet and the women who make them. First off, the beads are hand made one by one with recycled newspaper. How cool is that? It must require a lot of patience to hand roll such tiny pieces of paper one at a time.

The process of making these beads and the jewelry interests me because my little girl makes jewelry using beads. I introduced her to beading months ago and she really loves it. She has made pretty pieces and given them as gifts. The time we make jewelry together is our mommy time and she loves to be creative.

The women in Uganda, for the most part are poor and making beaded jewelry is one of the ways they make a living and dig themselves out of poverty. Through beading they put their children through school (school is not free in Uganda) and put food on the table. These women are to be admired, which is why I'm blogging about them. They bead for and with a purpose. 

This whole experience about beading has caused me to create a study around Uganda, Africa for next school year. I brought a nice big map of Africa and laminated it for our African studies but was not sure where to start but now I am focused. 

There are many ways to help support the women in Uganda through purchasing beads as well as beaded jewelry. I hope to host a "party with a purpose" in the very near future. In the meantime I'm spreading the word through blogging and sharing. After all, the jewelry is just gorgeous and there is so much to choose from as well as there is a purpose for wearing it!

This is the beautiful bracelet I won!

Please check out their website by clicking the link below.

Let me know what you think and by all means help spread the word!

everyday talk....   

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tea Time anyone!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a ladies tea. It's been more than twenty years since I've been to one. It was lovely to say the least. The food and the fellowship were phenomenal. I enjoyed every aspect of this tea. There had to be three hundred women in that big beautiful room.

At amazes me that there is so much work that goes into putting on something of this magnitude and everything and I mean everything was beautiful. There hand-painted crafts, linen table cloths and napkins, beautiful flowers, beautiful music and the list goes on and on. Why, oh why didn't I bring my camera?

We heard touching stories and testimonies with encouraging words for ladies today! The theme for the tea was "Let your light shine" and truly you could lights shining all around the room, through smiles, laughter, hugs and even a few tears.

As soon as you walked into the room the décor enveloped you. Every table was decorated in a special way. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE tea pots and tea cups, I collect them. I was greeted with such warmth as each lady signed me in, gave me a name card, gave me a program and told me where my table was.

One of the things I most enjoyed was the opportunity to connect with a member of my church that was there. We always see each other at church but rarely do we get a chance to engage each other in conversation. We arrived at the tea at the same time and as it turns out we were seated next to each other. Throughout the afternoon and even after the tea we connected and found out how much we really have in common. It's funny how well you can connect with someone over a simple tea, it was simply delightful!

During the tea we were encouraged to let our lights shine, hence the little candle above. Not only did we get these beautiful little lights but on each light was a persons name and with this we were encouraged to pray for this person daily. Most of these ladies are missionaries located in other countries while others were still in the USA. They are letting their lights shine and in turn we are praying for them.

At this tea there was a gift drawing. Now I hardly ever win when it comes to any type of drawing but this time my number was picked and I won this beaded bracelet. I won! Really I won in more ways than one when I read the story behind these beads. You see these beads were hand-made by women in Uganda, Africa. I had heard a little about these ladies and how they fight poverty but I never saw the beads in person, nor did I know the full story.

When I got home I read through the website, looked at the pictures and realized that this was a very special bracelet. Again each of these beads are hand-made with newspaper. The ladies sell these to help feed their families as well as send their children to school. 

In my house, this bracelet has started a movement. I home school and I'm planning my African study curriculum, now we will start with Uganda. Also I will host a bead party for the ladies in Uganda this spring to help fight poverty. It's a small part but it can make a difference. This will also go along with teaching my children about compassion and making a difference in the lives of others.

I am very excited because this small bracelet from this tea will be a gift that keeps on giving. I had no idea that my life would be so inspired after one afternoon tea.

Here is the link if you want to learn more about this organization:

everyday talk....

Monday, March 17, 2014

Flower power!

Hello to all! It's been way too long since I posted last. I think I'm still catching up with life. My little ones found this science project fun and interesting. I loved it because it was very simple and pretty cheap. It's amazing what you can find on YouTube!

So we purchased some white or cream colored roses and some food coloring. I used recycled jars, they always come in handy for science. Can you guess what we did with this stuff? See the pictures below!

Four roses and four jars

Add food coloring to each jar


Gradually the flowers changed the color of the water

The children enjoyed this experiment and looked forward to checking the flowers as they changed colors. By seeing this simple project they understand that flowers drink from the stems in order to stay alive. They also understand specifically that the flowers drink from the bottom of the stem where it is cut. This is why the flower changed the same color as the colored water. Hmm, proves the theory, you are what you drink? 

Everyday talk...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Listening for the nail

Recently I was taking down some décor from my walls, the last of the Christmas garland. I know it's ridiculous but I just love Christmas decorations. As I was pulling out a little nail from the wall, it dropped. Seeing that I was standing on a ladder, I knew it would be hard to see where the tiny nail was falling so instinctively I closed my eyes, listening for the direction the nail would fall in.

I heard it fall to the right side of where I was standing on the ladder. I got down and picked the nail right up.

As I finished up my project, this thought came to me. Sometimes when we are in a challenging situation, we try to see the situation instead of listening to or listening for God. Perhaps we need to close our eyes to what we see (the circumstances) and listen for the direction of the voice of God.

When I pulled out the nail and then dropped it, I did not have my glasses on and I knew I could not see which way it was going. By listening, being still and closing my eyes, I was able to follow the sound of the nail in terms of where it hit the floor. It all happened in the matter of a second or two but it was still a powerful lesson. 

There are times God may require that of us. Instead of looking at our surroundings, He may want us to listen for His voice as we close our eyes in prayer. Then He will lead us right to where He is.

everyday talk ....

Monday, February 10, 2014

A family mission statement

So my husband and I have been talking about some future goals in terms of our family and our focus. In all of our planning I realized that in the past few years of talking we never wrote anything down. Maybe that's why we have missed some of our goals.

When you think about it, most companies, ministries and non-profit organizations have mission statements. They set goals and then make a plan on how they will carry them out. They have a vision and implementation.

Why not incorporate this strategy in our families? Here is a simple plan we have started and put into writing. Just the beginning works of a plan in action.

As we continue to talk we will add goals such as: raise our children to be respectful, responsible and resourceful adults.

It seems that putting our family mission/vision into writing is already bringing a sense of clarity and focus. There is a saying that "if you fail to plan-you plan to fail". Not sure where this quote is from but it makes lots of sense and plays out in real life! 

Our family focus whether short term or long term is important and with that said, it's worth taking the time to write it out and re-visit it.

Why not sit down and talk about your family's dreams and goals and bring clarity by writing them down. It may be a small beginning but it can bring about BIG results!

everyday talk....

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Broken glass/clean floors...

Last week I experienced a great object lesson with the children. We were eating breakfast and I had to step away for a minute. I gave them very clear instructions to sit and finish their cereal and that I would be right back in a few minutes. At the time we were eating from our pretty glass bowls.

While in the back I heard a big crash and I knew there was broken glass. As a general rule, we are to always stay seated while eating, especially if I have to step away for a moment. When I came out there was glass all over the floor. I looked at the mess and immediately ushered the children out so I could get up the glass. Of course I asked what happened and who was playing at the table.  After getting the details from the offenders, I told them to go sit on their beds and not make a sound.

As I was getting up the broken glass I looked and saw that the floor was in need of a good scrubbing, something I'd rather not do. I had to move the table and all six of the chairs out of the dining room, I vacuumed and swept up the glass along with the cereal and then began to get on my hands and knees to scrub the floor. 

When I got up I was rather pleased at the results. I had a very clean floor, something I had not seen in quite a while. So I thought to myself, had I not been forced to move the table and chairs and get down here to get this glass up, I may not have seen how much this floor really needed to be mopped.

By this time I was able to talk to the children in a calmer voice and I called them into the living room. I explained that I was very upset because they were disobedient. I told them that they knew they were to stay in their seats and not get up and play around like they did and hence cause an accident. I also reminded them that some one could have been hurt if glass had cut them.

Then I began to talk about God and our disobedience to Him and how He shows us grace. I told them that He still loves us even when we mess up and that when we are sorry about disobeying Him that He is able to turn things around for good.

I told them that I had not realized how much the floor needed to be scrubbed because the table and chairs were always there covering those parts of the floor and that sometimes in our disobedience other things are uncovered that need attention.

I explained to them that this accident caused me to see what I needed to do and that as a result what was a bad situation turned out for the good. I showed them the clean floor and the box with the broken glass. If not for the broken glass I told them I may not have cleaned the floor the way it needed to be cleaned. I assured them that it was OK and that I forgave them for their disobedience and stressed grace. I told them that no matter what God and  I are always on their side.

Now I am not an advocate for being disobedient but this taught me that sometimes in God's grace a good thing can come from our making mistakes. God can uncover deeper issues in us and turn things around for us.

This weeks object lesson.

everyday talk.....

Saturday, February 8, 2014

In love again...

Many years ago I gave  birth to a beautiful baby girl and now my baby girl has given birth to a beautiful baby girl of her own. It's official, I'm a grandmother! 

I'm thankful to be alive to be a grandmother. My daughter is even more beautiful than ever.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Building in 2014

What do you think of when you hear the word "building"? Do you think of building bigger buildings, ministries, businesses, money portfolios or bank accounts?  If so, you are in the majority. Some how our families are falling though the cracks. You may ask "what do you mean?" 

 What about our families? Have we focused so much on external things that our internal family structure is falling by the way side? What would happen if we switched our focus to building families? Isn't it true that our families are what make strong communities and strong countries? So why not build them up starting from the inside, first?

In order for any building to stand, it must have a firm or solid foundation to build upon. So how do we build a firm foundation with our families? TIME. It's our biggest most important investment ever. It's not the material goods and trinkets that build a foundation. It's the time we put into our families that count. I once heard a family radio show that asked a question that went like this. "What's the most important thing a family can do to keep their kids from drugs and prisons?" The answer was simple and yet profound. "Eat dinner together" that's it. According to their many years of study and statistics this was and is still a major factor. Sounds like a stretch but maybe not!

Perhaps this can be translated to building our families. How often does the average family eat at least one meal a day together? Do we talk with each other? Is demonstrating love and forgiveness the norm? Are we connecting on any level other than running past each other? Or have we let outside forces and the current culture build our families leaving them vulnerable? Something to think about... 

While I don't claim to have all the answers and I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I know that we can do better. Information is plenteous as there are toms of books, blogs,  and radio shows that talk about and guide parents in the art of building strong families. Again the families are what make communities and countries great.

So as the New Year is here, let us begin again and build them up.

Happy New Year!