Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pampered Chef Fundraiser

Just a few updates.  This is a sticky post so scroll down for newer posts.

Pampered Chef party at my house TODAY  - December 3rd at 7pm.   

Please come and bring a friend if you want!

If you would like to order online, go to this site.  Please make sure that I'm listed as the hostess.  We will close this show on Monday 6 Dec

Thank you for your help!  If you have questions, please ask!



Monday, November 22, 2010


This has been a hard post for me to write.  I've been working on it for days.  I think sometimes I feel like it's not really something I should be talking about - adoption.  Its not like I've adopted, so who am I to talk?  I figure too though that there are probably a lot of people in the same position as me.  Even though I'm not adopting, I can still make a difference.  And so can you!

It's National Adoption Month.  Its being talked about in a lot of places now.  Adoption.  What does the word conjure up for you?  For many it is a word filled with emotion - exciting, frightening and overwhelming.  I think the sheer numbers alone overwhelm us.  147 million orphans.  Can you even wrap your head around that number?  I know I can't.

It hurts my heart to think of so many children without a mom and dad.  With no family.  I can't imagine how hard that must be.  I look at my own life and know how very much my own family has blessed me and helped to shape who I am.  They have given me hope, encouragement, courage and lots of love.  I've always been thankful for my family.  Learning about orphans though has given my thankfulness a whole new dimension.

I have learned recently that some people think we adopted Eliana.  (These are obviously new friends.)  I wasn't sure why until one friend said it was the bumper sticker on my car.  (One for Reece's Rainbow.)  Another friend said it was because I had talked about it.  (I love to advocate for Reece's Rainbow.)  In case anyone reading wonders - she isn't adopted.  As a sweet friends says, she is "home-grown".

Though Eliana isn't adopted, it was her life that opened my eyes to so many things - including the need for parents to adopt special needs kids.

I found Reece's Rainbow after Eliana was born.  We participated in the first Angel Tree the year she turned 1.  That was 3 years ago.  I've seen this ministry grow and flourish in that time.  It's truly exciting.

Still there is such great need.  For many families, money is all that stands in the way of them adopting.  Will you join me in praying for these children and the families working to bring them home?  If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit the Reece's Rainbow website.  Over the next month, I'm advocating for  Anya.  If you would like to donate to her fund, you can do so by clicking on the chip-in button in the right side-bar.  Any gift is tax deductible.

I truly want more people to know the joy of having a child with Down syndrome in their lives.  I remember being so scared of the diagnosis at first.  I wish I had known then what I know now.

I know though that I had to learn it myself - and some of it through great trials.  Her first year was filled with so many challenges.  And yet, the joy is also unmistakable.  I've learned to slow down and to let go.  I've learned to look at things differently.  I know I have much yet to learn.

Her eyes.  It was that feature that first told me that my daughter had Down syndrome.  I didn't know when I first gazed at her eyes, that mine would be changed.  I didn't know all that was in store for me.  I had no way to know of the joy that was to come.

If you want to read a poignant and stirring blog post on adoption, please visit No Greater Joy Mom and her post called Reckless Abandon.

I want these children around the world to know the joy of a home.  Of a family.  Of kisses from a mom as she tucks them in bed.  Of hugs from a Daddy that help them feel secure.  Every child needs to be loved.  Every child has gifts to give.  Every child is a blessing.  Please join me in praying for these children that need a family.



Sunday, November 21, 2010

FIAR Co-op for Clown of God

This co-op was actually a couple of days prior to our Family Event - but here you go for details.  This is our Beyond co-op taking a break from Homer Price so that we could instead focus on a Five in a Row title - Clown of God.  I loved having this time to get our group ready for the event.  As always- it was a ton of fun!  It was a goreous day and we all loved learning and being outside!

We started talking some about the Renaissance period and music.  Check out the beautiful display.

The children were then able to make their own musical instruments from a wide variety of objects - from boxes to metal pieces, from pipe cleaners to rubber bands, from washers to beads and more!

They all loved doing this!

Just the freedom to explore and express themselves was a delight to each of them.

I loved seeing their creations.

A bountiful and delicious snack.

The next part of our morning was spent on drama - and the many facets of it!  From inflection to how you move your body, to use of props and color and more!  Again - what fun!  The children were challenged to work in groups with the colors to see how creative they could be in their display of color.

Next, some of the scenes from the book were embellished.  Or a "missing scene" might have been added.  The children learned how the tone of voice and actions could change the meaning altogether.  For example, when Senora Baptista gives Giovanni soup, does she do it with kindness filling his bowl to the top.  Or does she do it grudgingly and quickly?  Really interesting to ponder.

Each child was given a costume or prop and told to act out a bit of the story to see if by actions the others could guess his or her intent.

I'm not sure what they were supposed to be doing with the colored balls - but they had a great time throwing them at each other.

Like Giovanni in the story, the children had time to experiment with putting on a clown's face.

Some were a little less traditional.

And some a little more traditional.  Didn't she do a great job applying all of this herself?

And then some just do their own thing.  LOL

All in all, it was a wonderfully fun day.  As always, I'm incredibly thankful to be a part of this co-op!  Thanks Lynn and Julie for an awesome day of fun and learning!



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pampered Chef Fundraiser

I'm going to be hosting a Pampered Chef party as a fundraiser for Anya.  I'll be posting details here soon! 

This would be a great time to do some shopping for Christmas gifts or other gifts.  A neat opportunity to buy something and at the same time help a little girl find a family!

I'll be hosting a physical party on Friday Dec 3rd at my house.  I would LOVE to have you attend - and please feel free to bring friends!  I'll also be taking orders on-line if you aren't close or can't come to the show.

If you would like an evite - please let me know and I'll get one to you.  Thanks for considering this!



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Event 2010 - The Clown of God

This is going to be a long and picture heavy post.  I've tried to cut down the pictures, but there are just so many!!!  I took close to 300 pictures.  :-)  This is our Five in a Row Homeschool group's biggest event of the year.  This is our 9th year hosting this event.  One of the perks of having a big event on a Saturday is that it has allowed many of the Dads to get involved in some of the fun we were having as a group.  Most of the  Dads don't get the opportunity to go to many of our field trips and this is a neat way to include them!

Each year we host our event on a Saturday.  The first year this was held in January and each subsequent year it has been in November.  That is still a lovely time of year here and we have been blessed with great weather.  We hold our event at a local park which graciously allows us to use their site for free!

A group meets in the summer to plan the event.  We choose a theme and plan an outline of what the event will look like.  We have a sign-up and once we know how many families are participating, we divide up the event into jobs.  Each mom/family has a job and I LOVE seeing how this comes together.  It's a great way to see so many of the different gifts within our group.  I love too that the burden of the work is shared and thus not too much on any one person.  Another thing I love is seeing how each person interprets her job.  It often looks very different from the initial vision - and so much better with the collective creativity of the group!

This year our theme was The Clown of God.  (This is a book title in the Five in a Row curriculum.)

We loved the idea of going back to a Renaissance theme.  Our first event was also Renaissance.  One of my friends also pointed out that for our current group of seniors - their first and last event will be of the same time period.  (I'm hoping they may return again next year as this is the first group that has been with us from the beginning to graduate.  I'm really going to miss them!)  One of the fun aspects of the events is dressing to the theme.  The children typically really enjoy coming in costume.

The adults often do too!  (I'll admit it.  It's fun to dress up!)

Everyone arrives early to set up for the day.  The amazing decorating committee comes first to set up their creations.  This year that included a castle, 2 wooden gondolas, racing lanes, colored balls and more!  We also had set up for games, crafts and activities.  A lot of work goes into the day - and it is very much worth it.  Check out this amazing castle made from refrigerator boxes!

We start our day with a welcome and prayer.  Our first activity was a drama of the book.  Two of the students narrated the story while it was acted out by many others.

This part of the story got a good laugh.  In the story, the juggler performs for a prince and a duke.  Can you spot "the Duke"?

The rest of the morning was spent rotating from one activity to the next.  The children were split into smaller groups and visited each station.  One of the stations was a gondola race to the castle.  These boats are beautiful!  They are made from a light wood and even have detailed designs in gold.  The races were a huge hit!

Yeah, I know.  The hat doesn't fit with the time period.  LOL  It goes with him ... everywhere!

Yes, more gondola pictures.  I couldn't resist though!  I thought these captured the competitive spirit in my guys.

And the tender side too!

There was also an art activity.  Each child had a chance to shoot 3 nerf arrows at a picture covered with post-it notes.  There were 5 paintings under the post-its.  They tried to see if they could identify the painting or the artist.

Another station was plate spinning.

The final one was juggling - with your choice of balls or real lemons!

We took a moment before lunch to get some group photos.  We've learned over the years that this is a great time to get them.  Everyone is motivated to eat - and nobody eats until we get our photos.

Here are all of the kids - 18 and under.

The kids and adults in costume.

Kids 12 and under.

Students 13 and up.

Now its time to eat!  We have a potluck lunch with sign-ups in advance.  We aim for period food (or ethnic if our theme is centered around a country or culture).  The food is always plentiful and delicious!!!

Check out this amazing dessert!!!

After lunch we had a variety of activities and the children could choose what they wanted to do including face painting, juggling, and balls in a parachute.

Making masks and/or tamborines


Playing a game of "Defend the Castle" (which is similar to Capture the Flag).  I LOVED seeing the wide range of ages enjoying this one!

There was also a free play area with playdoh, lawn bowling and cornhole.


Not a period activity - but a lot of fun was had playing football too.  My oldest loves to play and at large events, there are always others willing to join him.  It tickles me though to see my two "princesses" being a part of the game.

Whew!  That is a lot of pictures!  I've got many more too!  I've been writing this over a couple of days and trying to load up the pictures.  If I've written something that doesn't make sense (or gotten something wrong), please let me know and I'll fix it.

Thank you to all my friends at the Event.  It was a wonderful day filled with sweet memories.  I think these days will be ones we remember for a long, long time.  I'm so thankful for friends who are willing to work to pull off an event like this.  I look forward to doing it again next year.

Hope you enjoyed seeing our day!