I’m heading to The Relevant Blogging Conference early Thursday morning and spending the weekend there.

If I could be anything in this online world and in my real life, it would be this: relevant: bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; pertinent

What makes a person connected, pertinent?

Tell me.

I want to be that.

WFMW: A Shoebox Tip

My tip for an empty shoebox: fill it with toys, toothpaste, and tiny things and give it to a child for Christmas!

It’s easy! Follow these simple steps:

HOW TO PACK A SHOE BOX (from Operation Christmas Child)


Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.


Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.


Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.


Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our EZGIVE option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.


Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest youduring our collection week November 15 – 22.

Operation Christmas Child delivers thousands and thousands of filled shoeboxes at Christmas to underprivileged children all over the world.

It’s a wonderful idea to do with your children! It works for us!

Have you ever participated?

Mimi’s Babies {Giveaway}

*Updated with Random Winners* Congrats to Sarah of Letters 2  My Sister and Karrie of 5 Happy Campers!

MiMi's Babies

Some things just make me happy. Visiting Mimi’s Babies Shop is one of those things. This creative momma donated some DARLING things to benefit The Mercy House and this item sold five times in a row:

I love this.

And this literally makes my womb ache:

Oh, and please, how cute:

Today, Mimi’s Babies is giving away a BOY and a GIRL Monkey Hat-TWO winners!!

Product details: What a cute and funky crochet monkey beanie! This monkey beanie would be a great addition to your child’s wardrobe. Or the perfect prop for your next photo session.

These monkey beanies have been handmade using crochet and cotton yarn. The cotton yarn is soft and wears well. It is a natural fiber and feels great on baby (or big kid) skin.

The beanie is pictured in 2T – 4T, but the following sizes are also available (newborn all the way to preteen)

If you’d like the cutie in your life to be EVEN CUTER, this giveaway is for you. Go visit the shop and tell me what makes your womb shutter.

This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Different is Good

Twice in the past month, we’ve found ourselves at a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean specialty food market about an hour from  home.

The first time was a whim.

The second time was a good idea.

The strong smells, bright colors, burqa-clad women and the whole experience was so different.

But different can be good:

We ate a lot of one of these:

Lunch was inexpensive and unbelievably delicious: tabula, hummus, kabobs, hot pita bread

What have you tried lately that is different for you (food or not)?

Was it good?

P.S.  I thought my kids might be leery, but they keep asking to go back!

The Unlikely Jewelry Shop

Our garage is a hammering workshop:

Our kitchen table is a beading hub for friends, family and neighbors (love you guys!):

We have become an unlikely jewelry shop:

We have some VERY EXCITING! NEWS concerning the jewelry we make to benefit The Mercy House.

Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

P.S. See my cute headband in the photo? It’s called a Mercy Band-for days when your hair could use a little mercy. I will have 50 of them (all different prints) for sale at the Relevant Conference for $10 each!! I altered the pattern for our Mercy Bands from Tacky headbands. If you want to buy one online, you can here from Because Every Mother Matters. 100% of their profit goes to moms all over the world.

(This is a perfect excuse to ask you to shop mercy).


*I heard a story about a woman who had a dream: She was in a vast stadium filled with thousands and thousands of people. The crowd was focused on the field.

There were people bringing children out, one at a time, and they were looking for homes for them…just giving the kids away. The kids were beautiful and as each one was on display, people in the crowd vied for the child.

It happened over and over.

Then another child was brought out. But this time the child was ugly. Hideous. It was hard to look upon her face without turning away. No one stepped forward for this child. The crowd was silent. There was no tug-of-war for this child like the others.

But then, a man stepped forward. He lovingly took the child in his arms. He scooped her up like she already belonged to him.

It was Jesus.

When the dreaming woman looked closer she recognized the child and her gestures.

She stared intently and recognized  her own face.

She was the unattractive child.

I used to think the word adopted was reserved for orphans from third-world countries or the lucky kids rescued out of the foster care system.

Until Jesus came and chose me in my ugly sin. He took my orphaned spirit and became my father.

Jesus adopted me and grafted me into His family.

Adoption isn’t just a word splashed on fundraiser t-shirts or reserved for those who are following God by bringing an orphan into their home.

Adoption is a part of my story, too.

Is it a part of yours?


Knowing that according to the United Nations latest results, there are more than 160 million orphans in our world today, I would be bereft if I didn’t mention a day I’d like you to champion: Nov. 7 is Orphan Sunday. You can read about it here. Would you consider talking to your church about praying for the orphans of the world on this day?

After all, adoption is a part of all our story, isn’t it?

Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

*as told by JD Greear at the Together for Adoption Conference

WFMW: Grill Tip (that might just save your life)

We like to grill a lot in the Fall because of the (mostly) cooler temps.

My hubby is Lord of the Grill. I am not. I don’t know much about it.

But, oh, have I learned an important tip! Thus, this post.

After defrosting and marinating some thick steaks from my father-in-law’s beef (which my toddler affectionately call’s Papa’s Cow Chicken), I impatiently waited for my hubby to get home, so he could fire up the grill.

He called and said he was going to be late. So, I decided I could heat the grill up to 5 or 600 degrees and sear them like he usually does, since he was on the phone to talk me thru it.

To make a long story short, I did everything he told me to do. Except open the lid to the grill (which technically, he did not mention. Although who forgets to open the lid before pumping said grill full of propane??? That would be me).

So when I hit the “ignite” button and then opened the lid, a BALL OF FIRE knocked me back 3 feet, my phone flew into the yard, my wrist got burned and the left side of my hair sizzled. I saw my life flash before me. (On a positive note: I saw a lot of sweet tea in my future).

Anywho, my tip? OPEN THE GRILL. As a matter of fact, I suggest YOU NEVER CLOSE THE LID TO THE GRILL. I know I won’t. Ever again. The end.

What’s your tip? Ready, set, go.