There Will Be a Response

Africa is beautiful. When people ask me about my trip, my reply is, “It was heartbreaking and hopeful.”

Wild animals roam freely (like the baboon that jumped out of the tree and stole a sugar packet from the breakfast table at our hotel!) The Compassion Kenya staff laughed at us when we asked them to pull the van off the road, so we could photograph a herd of wild zebras. (They laughed harder when I squealed and pointed like a girl at the zoo).

One of the most amazing sites was a herd of elephants near the road.


We were told by one of our Kenyan friends that elephants love each other deeply. If one of their own dies, the other elephants mourn the loss. They grieve and can be heard crying for miles. Mother elephants are distraught over the deaths of their babies. They honor the dead by trying to bury the body with branches and leaves, so it won’t be destroyed by other animals.


Elephants seek out the lost and even in death, they honor them by collecting the bones of the dead and place them in an elephant graveyard. Each year, around the same time, the elephants travel back to this place to mourn.


Simply put, they remember…. so they won’t forget.

They remember the death and the time of pain. They weep for the lost. Then they carry on, but they do not forget.

This week has been a time of remembering for me. I have been reading the posts from the Compassion Guatemala Blogger Team and so much of what I felt and experienced has come back in soulful rush of emotion. I have wept for the lost and rejoiced with those found.

Ann has one line in this amazing post that rocked me to the core: “Once we have seen [poverty], we are responsible–we will respond. One way or the other.”

I’ve been out of Africa for six months. My response is coming Monday (Love Mercy). I pray you will take this prophetic word and respond with me. One way or the other.

I did more than snap pictures of wild animals in Africa; I learned from these great beautiful beasts.

I want to remember…..


so I don’t forget.

I’m a Mom

When I first started birthing babes, I was shocked at how hard it was to juggle everything.
I’m not just talking about play dates, housework and school projects.
I mean literally, juggling a diaper bag, a 100-pound baby carrier, not including a baby who’s thighs resemble a small Sumo wrestler, a purse, all while trying to keep your two year old from scraping gum off the concrete.
I’ve always thought that with the title Mother, we should also grow an extra appendage or two. Because, seriously, an extra arm would come in handy when I’m stirring dinner, loading the dishwasher, calling out multiplication facts, stepping over the mock kitchen my toddler has created underfoot, and paying bills online-simultaneously.
In one day, I accomplish more than some small companies. Heck, I am a small company.
I’ve spent a combined total of nearly 40 hours in labor, delivering more than 20 pounds of human.
And I’ll be honest, when someone has the nerve to ask me in a tone, “What do you do all day?”
I’ve decided this will be my forever answer:
“I’m a Mom. What’s your superpower?”
Mothering is a labor of love!
(Tell me how much time in labor and combined birth weights you’ve had in the comment section)

What to do When Your Pants Rip

I hurried and dressed quickly to get to the church early. I couldn’t afford to run late since I was leading the children’s program that morning. I quickly grabbed a pair of pants off the top of a stack, not remembering that the pile was supposed to go to the cleaner’s weeks before for repair.

That was my first mistake.
I got there just in time to open the classrooms and double check the list of workers. Kids filled the classrooms and I remembered I’d left my notebook in the worship pastor’s office. I slipped in quietly while he was on the phone and pointed to my pile of stuff. He nodded and I squatted to get my things.
That was my second mistake.
My pants ripped from front to back, leaving me exposed, literally. . .
Read the rest of this very embarrassing story and what I learned from it over at (in)courage

Introducing LucyDoo {Giveaway}

*UPDATED with Winners* Congrats to Paisley Place and Mel’s Coffee Break!
My dear friend is having her Grand Re-Opening today of her awesome beaded and silver jewelry shop!
Please meet LucyDoo (formerly A Touch of Silver).
I love LucyDoo jewelry because it’s colorful, fun and inexpensive. I wear it all the time!
And did I mention it doesn’t cost a lot?
Where else can you get a quality set as cute at this for $18?
This jewelry makes the perfect gift for yourself or others! Or yourself! Can you tell I really like it?
Okay. Just checking.
Go visit my friend LucyDoo and tell me your favorite pieces as your entry. Today, I’m giving away TWO $25 gift certificates!
This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Date Night

We went to Chick Fil A, sipped on sweet tea and played Farkle for an hour.


It was perfect.
Do you celebrate date nights with your kids? How?
P.S. He’s eight today and still the sweetest boy I know. Happy Birthday, son!

WFMW: Internet Safety Software/Apps

I love the Internet. We have a great relationship. It’s completely taken the place of TV in my life -I probably watch about 30 minutes of Television a week. (There’s just not much on that’s good anymore!) I read all my news and keep current by getting online (yo, Twitter).

But, the Internet is not a safe place. It makes me sick, SICK to think of all the evil things online. And it makes me mad that the pornography sites not only want my attention, they go after it. They even try to entice my children.
If you don’t have safety software, parental guidelines and restrictions or your computer in a high traffic place, you’re being foolish. It’s just a matter of time for this filth to invade your home and your child’s mind.
Thank you for joining me for WFMW! {You can read the guidelines here.} Have a Works-For-Me Wednesday tip you’d like to share? I’d love for you to join us!

  1. Smockity Frocks-The Buddy System For Large Familie
  2. Baseball Treats
  3. Leslie (1 hour beans- no soak!)
  4. FishMama (Build a Diaper Basket)
  5. Coffee with Me (The Best of WFMW)
  6. How to Submit Your Site to Google, BloggingWithAmy
  7. The Meanest Momma (Summer Fun w/Little Ones in DC)
  8. Home renovation (ilovemy5kids)
  9. How to Buy Kids Clothes For Less Using eBay
  10. Getting Freedom (Cleaning Soap Scum)
  11. Delighting In His Richness — quick sheet change
  12. Gen X Moms (Sting-Free wipes GIVEAWAY!)
  13. Lynns Kitchen Adventures (how to separate eggs)
  14. Julie From Inmates (Quick Dessert)
  15. Nikki (baby wipes in five minutes)
  16. Save Your Electronics @ Moneyless Mommas
  17. How to Save 50% off Dining Out in Chicagoland
  18. Raising Arrows {Color Coded Children}
  19. Heavenly Homemakers (Healthy Lemon Cupcakes!)
  20. The Diaper Diaries (Blogging Tip)
  21. Dress it up with a Scarf @ FashionCentsforMom
  22. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet (No Travel Messes)
  23. My Secret Energy Boost from Amy @ Day in the Life
  24. Build a Better Budget: He Said, She Said
  25. Betty Homeschool Workboxes into Study Binders
  26. It Feels Like Chaos (recover patio cushions)
  27. Saving Dollars and Sense (Couponing & GIVEAWAY)!
  28. Impress Your Kids {Creative Organization for Kids}
  29. Kitchen Stewardship (CHEAP, non-toxic dishes!)
  30. Disney Pin Trading Tips
  31. Lifestyle Logic- restaurant. com
  32. TheFrugalGirls. com {How to Make Easy Freezer Jam!}
  33. FREE accent balls
  34. Tasty Garlicky Guacamole
  35. ElizabethG (Online Tools for the Disorganized)
  36. TheFrugalGirls. com {Homemade Maple Syrup Recipe!!}
  37. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect (guest posting)
  38. ENHANCED WASTEBASKET- a little bit of everything
  39. My own personal Food Revolution
  40. Growing Up Gabel (Cleaning Plastic Storage Bags)
  41. Curlformers (Best hair tool) @ Amy Day in the Life
  42. momstheword (Easy Furniture repair tip)
  43. 7 Blogging Tips
  44. Simply Practical (help for a runny nose)
  45. easy FIRE stand @ dollar store
  46. skeleton key wall art
  47. mini dresser for ORBd
  48. monogrammed plate tutorial
  49. Cool and Creative TEACHER GIFTS @ MarytheKay
  50. How to Make Gluten-Free Pizza/Pie (Frugal Granola)
  51. Sandra @ A Lot of Savings(Ordering Bugs w/habitat)
  52. Cash only budget without the cash (Mama Says)
  53. Teacher Appreciation Week
  54. Easy Gum Removal
  55. Weird, Unsocialized HSers (Top Picks 7&8 grades)
  56. Rebecca at Turned Loose (Planning for Summer)
  57. Such The Spot – Age Appropriate Chores
  58. How to Set Summer Goals with Kids (FREE chart)
  59. Blog design/layout tips
  60. Tip for Packing a Compact and Organized Suitcase
  61. Rockin Deals
  62. Faux custom Bookshelf
  63. Safe, green, HOMEMADE deodorant
  64. Vintage Baby Shoe Pincushion giveaway
  65. Fun, easy, and inexpensive family birthday party
  66. Kayren {Storing Decorative Flags}
  67. Twin tips for moms of multiples. . . getting a shower
  68. How To Save Money On Your Ebay Listings
  69. Janna – Learning to Pray about Childrens Talents
  70. Amy @ Gospel Homemaking (clean up tips)
  71. GROCERY CART CHALLENGE (reuse wax milk cartons)
  72. Mama Jenn ~ No More Thumb-sucking!!!
  73. Tangled Zen – DIY foaming handsoap
  74. Wiping my babys bottom
  75. “padding-right:2px;”>Easy Composting Bin – Gretchen @ Second Blooming
  76. Financial Update April. A Whole Lot Of Nothin
  77. watercolor pencils, NEAT! (Empty Handed)
  78. Kingdom First Mom (Getting inspired to cook!)
  79. Grateful for Grace(half off great stuff!)
  80. Crazy Adventures in Parenting
  81. Molly Green(Virtual Vendor Halls)
  82. Hair Bow Tutorial
  83. Encouragement for the Difficult Days
  84. STEALING (or being inspired by) THINGS!
  85. DrKim @ FamilyNatural (assigned dinner helpers)
  86. Persnickety Peacocks Garden Markers
  87. Getting ready to start school
  88. Menu Planning in Season (3 free downloads!)
  89. Family Stamping FOOD (How to cut Brownies)
  90. Natural Acne Cure (Melissa @ CI)
  91. How to Draw A ROSE
  92. A Busy Mom of Two (Decision Making)
  93. Annie Kate(Frugal Celebrations Including Weddings)
  94. Catching Cancellations @ the DR . . .
  95. Tara @ Feels Like Home (sausage nachos)
  96. Mari (making good use of your dishwasher)
  97. Like a Bubbling Brook {Feeling Overwhelmed}
  98. Easy-Peel Boiled Eggs (Cardamoms Pod)
  99. Parenting Miracles (shredded cheese)
  100. Painted Ceiling Fan @ Dittle Dattle
  101. Its come 2 this . . . (keeping a clean car)
  102. Stephanie (Menu Planning Simplified)
  103. Samples Anyone? @ Fiskerelli Bellies
  104. Stain Fighting Frugally- Penniless Parenting
  105. Penniless Parenting- Frugal Dates
  106. Alicias Homemaking–Quick Schedule
  107. Making the most of recipes gone wrong!
  108. Jenny @ Just Jennifer
  109. NeverBored – Freezing grapes (or leftovers)
  110. Jenny 867-5309 (Muffins old ladies want!)
  111. Does Your Home Have A Family Office Manager?
  112. Shelley @ MAHM (Seasonal Monthly Menu Planning)
  113. Tips for kids birthday parties that save money!
  114. How to make colorful frosting swirls for cupcakes!
  1. Song Of The Sagebrush: Convenient Wet/Dry Erase
  2. I Want to Get Out of Debt – NOW WHAT?
  3. Raising Olives – Be a Yes Mom
  4. Laundry tip for large family
  5. pennypinchinmomma(making a weekly plan)
  6. Ginny @ makeadiff21 (Wallpaper Woes-HELP!)
  7. The Frugal Frontier-Organizing RSS Feeds in Reader
  8. Adding vegetables to desserts!
  9. 144 Balloons @ HowDoesShe?
  10. Twinkilicious
  11. Photo Tips for Bloggers
  12. Please Knock. . . @ HowDoesShe?
  13. Eden @ MothersWhoKnow (Easy Mothers Day)
  14. Se7ens Great Australian Round-Up for Kids
  15. Getting Ahead (Using up leftovers)
  16. Homemade Baking Powder – Homemade Mamas
  17. Brain Cake – Homemade Mamas
  18. Health Home and Happiness (Challah and Sabbath)
  19. Super Easy Childs Apron
  20. OLbD- Blender Fail and smoothie recipe
  21. Compost Bin @ Newby At Home
  22. Easy plants for children to grow
  23. Staci @ teaching money to kids (skip counting)
  24. Homeschooling Hearts&Minds-; Lighthouse Cake Tute
  25. Lindas Lunacy (Storing Fresh Beets)
  26. A Slob Comes Clean – Setting Up Your Garage Sale
  27. Feeding Four – free products
  28. ~~Easy & Cheap Jar Full Of Love Gift~~
  29. Michelle (Overnight Vegetable Stock)
  30. A Spindle Lamp Revamp. . . spraypaint!
  31. {Canvas Dropcloth Curtains}
  32. Sweet Surprises & I NEED YOUR IDEAS! {bakeat350}
  33. Saving Bits and Pieces – Pork Loin or Pork Chops
  34. Frugal Frontier–Things to do before going to bed
  35. Once A Month Mom (HELP! Pressure Cookers)
  36. My Daily Round: hand towels for little ones
  37. Elena @ My Domestic Church- coping with pain.
  38. Macaroni Improv: Chicken Bouillon for Quick Meals
  39. BlingedOutCupcakePicks @ SimplyRed
  40. Freeze Your Cheese! Frugality in the Hudson Valley
  41. Training Happy Hearts(new attitude & home org. )
  42. How to make *free* phone calls
  43. Recipes for Moms (20 Ways to Raise a Veggie Lover)
  44. Llama Momma (end of year teacher gifts)
  45. Menu Planning
  46. How To Dye Leather (furniture, shoes, belts)
  47. Homemade laundry soap(Moms got a glue gun)
  48. Under the Big Oak Tree (Garanimals Blocks)
  49. Bitterroot Mama (Family Traditions Book)
  50. Make waffles ahead for the week!
  51. Autumnfawn Lane (Out of Face Wash?)
  52. How to Line a Round Cake Pan (perfectly)
  53. BEST potluck salad, empty bowl every time!
  54. Happy Little Homemaker – Morning Sickness!
  55. Homemade Potato Chips in the MICROWAVE!
  56. DIY Floor Runner
  57. Sandwiched (Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, OH)
  58. Remember When? (Smart Money Mom)
  59. SoHelpMe (KLOVE: Christian Radio Nationwide)
  60. The Gaines Gang {Doilie Tote How too}
  61. Avoiding the Fashion Police (Unintended Housewife)
  62. Kirstin: Cleaning Stainless steel pans
  63. Teaching the birds and the bees
  64. From The Trenches Of Motherhood – WhenLifeIsHard
  65. Breakfast theme idea: Elvis Waffles!
  66. Lisa @ Extraordinary Life (Swiffer Wet Cloths)
  67. DIY bookshelf @ Casa Haus
  68. The Fifth Street Palace Pop Bottle Watering System
  69. Dresser Before and After @ Black Kats Design
  70. Repurposing #7 Plastic Food Containers
  71. Marsha @ Taste and See (homemade brown sugar)
  72. OhThePlacesYoullGo – Cupcake/cake/cookie carrier
  73. Abbi @ Proverbs 31 Living (Childbirth)
  74. Planter @ junkblossoms
  75. Amyswandering (Printable Menu Planners)
  76. The Pickens @ frugalcrunchychristy
  77. Tami (cook once / serve twice works for me!)
  78. DIY furniture refinishing
  79. Live, Laugh, Love~ Mopping Floors
  81. Chocolate and flowers in one vase!
  82. Melissa @ To China and Back – Budget
  83. Mary Anns House(Bible Reading Plan)
  84. The Big Challenge @ My Dear Trash
  85. My Frugal Lifestyle {Make a Gardening Journal}
  86. annies home – unclog drain using household items
  87. The Crunchy Kitchen with Lentil Sloppy Joes
  88. Tips for The Girls, yep those girls
  89. Finding time to read @ 1crazyjourney. com
  90. Dark & Dreary to Bright & Beachy @ The Thriftress
  91. Just Say YES!
  92. make your own baby legs
  93. Odd Mom (Making Sushi with the Kids)
  94. Lori @ The Davidson Den: Baked Oatmeal Recipe
  95. Quitting Sugar: A personal journey
  96. Fun with Corrugated Cardboard squares
  97. Simply Sweet Home (spring wreath)
  98. PeacefulHome (dealing with picky eaters)
  99. Jill @ findfaithful/ Joining a Community Garden
  100. RedemptionUnlimited (Gift Ideas via Library Books)
  101. BackToBasics: Cornstarch @ con-tain-it
  102. GroovieMom – (FREE Summer Movies)
  103. Annie Kate (Free Virtual Homeschool Vendor Hall)
  104. Kim (Making the dishes fun. . . an App for that)
  105. Sassy Dress Shirt @ Potholes and Pantyhose
  106. Taras Faves – Why I give.
  107. Settee Makeover @ la maison LaFortune
  108. Surviving Vacation: PACKING TIPS!
  109. Jennifer @ McQuill-land (Fighting Kids Boredom!)
  110. 5 Days of Freeze-Ahead Lunches
  111. Homemade Butter – Learning to Live on Homemade!
  112. This linky list is now closed.

My Forever Child {Giveaway}

*UPDATED* Thank you for sharing your stories of loss and hope. This is so much more than a contest for jewelry and I appreciate your comments. I started a thread in my BlogFrog community about our forever children. Please feel free to continue to encourage each other. The random winner is ~Alison~ Under the Big Oak Tree.

My Forever Child is graciously offering a 10% discount on their special jewelry to my readers who use the code THATFAMILY until May 31.

I tried to get pregnant with my first child for three long years.

I had a miscarriage.

I hated Mother’s Day for many years.

I know the pain of infertility and loss.

That’s why when My Forever Child contacted me about their unique ministry to Moms who have known loss, I knew I needed to share it with you.

Click to see full size image

My Forever Child creates personalized jewelry from the heart, rich with symbolism and meaning. Specializing in tangible reminders to honor and acknowledge our loved ones, while celebrating their life and the love they have bestowed to us. We believe that jewelry should tell a story and be meaningful for the wearer. Our personalized keepsakes are handcrafted upon order in our studio and customized to your specifications. Treasured memories will always be in your heart forever.

~Most of the pieces are handcrafted by Susan Mosquera, jewelry artisan and mother of 4 young children and 1 stillborn baby boy. Her journey of grief, healing, and hope was the inspiration for My Forever Child. Susan’s passion is to be able to help other’s through their life’s journeys with jewelry pieces meaningful for them.

Product Lines:

~Custom engraved handprint jewelry and footprint jewelry from your child’s actual prints. This is a special and unique way to celebrate your child`s life, and to carry with you a treasured keepsake made from their creation!

~Personalized Remembrance and Memorial Jewelry to honor your lost loved ones and keep their memories close to your heart.

Click to see full size image

~Memorial Jewelry for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Pregnancy and Infant Loss to honor the tiny souls that touch and change your life, but gone too soon.

~Pregnancy and Fertility Jewelry with genuine gemstones and symbolic charms.

~Hand Stamped and professionally engraved unique Mother’s Jewelry, Family Jewelry, and Men’s pieces to honor ALL your children, both on earth and in Heaven.

In honor of My Forever Child‘s 5th Anniversary, they are offering one random reader a $50 gift certificate. Please leave a comment for yourself or someone you know that has suffered a loss and that will be your entry. This giveaway ends on Thursday.

Boob Alert

This is a family blog.

So. I thought I should give y’all FAIR WARNING, that while the new BABIES movie is delightful and educational and oh-so-good, there are a lot, A LOT of native boobies in the documentary.

And while they aren’t displayed in a sexual manner AT ALL, they are still breasts on the big screen with your seven year old son sitting next to you.
On Mother’s Day.
Because that’s where you asked your family to take you. After church.
[I’m a big fan of breast feeding. My kids are aware of it and we all support it. But this was like making dinner, braiding hair, living without a shirt on in the background with the babies crawling around. Because that’s what they do in Africa. I just wasn’t really prepared for it and I spent a lot of time keeping my hands over my son’s eyes during the hour documentary-not during the breast feeding parts, just the walking around parts.]
I LOVED the film, loved it! In the future, I’d just like to keep all boob exposure to a minimum, especially on Mother’s Day. (I do think a PG rating isn’t appropriate and there should be some kind of disclaimer).

Would this have bothered you? Would you have taken your kids out? Or is this not an issue for you/family? We just chalked it up to an educational experience and talked a lot about it afterwards!