Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Pricetag" - Video Made in UG

My kids and I love this song. It reminds us so much of our time in Uganda - can't wait to go back, hopefully sooner rather than later!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Let Go, Live Crazy, and Love Big

It's hard to believe we've been home with Asher for 8 months now! We say this all the time but he really has adjusted so well & just seems like he's always been a part of our family. We can't imagine life without him. We finalized his adoption on December 19th and are so thankful and blessed he's officially ours. You can see pics from that day here.

It's so hard to believe he went from this...

To this in just a few short months...

Just a few random shots of our family with Asher. Can you tell we kinda love this guy just a little bit?

All glory to God. He knows best the plans for our lives.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party

Sole Hope is an amazing organization that began in 2010 by a couple from North Carolina who heard about thousands of children in Africa suffering from tiny sand fleas called "jiggers". According to the Sole Hope website, "Female jiggers or sand fleas burrow into humans to lay their eggs creating open sores or wounds, which are prone to parasitic infection. People who do not wear closed toe shoes, such as children, are most commonly affected. When the female is almost fully developed an infestation begins to irritate and itch, causing severe inflammation and ulceration. If the female flea dies in the skin it may cause a secondary infection, which, if ignored, could lead to tetanus, gangrene, and even the loss of a toe."

Sole Hope opened a clinic in Uganda and it's staff and volunteers treat children daily for jiggers and educate them on how to prevent getting them again. After the jiggers are dug out with a small pin one-by-one (a VERY painful process!), the children's feet are cleaned and treated with antibiotics, then they are given a new pair of close-toed shoes.

The shoes actually begin with a donated pair of jeans which is where our family and many of our friends came into this part of the story - and where YOU can come in, too! Our daughter, Mackenzie, recently turned 14 and wanted to have a Shoe Cutting Party to celebrate. So we invited a few of her friends and cut shoe uppers from donated and purchased 2nd hand jeans.

The girls worked hard but we had a lot of jeans left over, so we put a little blurb on facebook to see if anyone would like to help cut shoe uppers to finish off the jeans we had. The response was overwhelming!

So we now have 27 pairs of shoes to donate, and that doesn't include the shoe uppers some of our friends prepared and are going to send in themselves. After the uppers are cut, we send them to the Sole Hope office in North Carolina, then they send them to Uganda where tailors are hired and given the task to make the shoes the kids are given at the clinic. This, in turn, provides people in Africa a sustainable income so they can support their families with food, education, and shelter.

This is such a great cause that I'm hoping whoever reads this will also develop a passion for Sole Hope and want to take action, as well! There are several ways you can do something to help out...

* Host a Shoe Cutting Party - you can order a Shoe Party Kit here

* Visit Uganda and go on a Volunteer Trip - can you imagine how life-changing that would be?! For more info, go here

* Make an online donation here

* Collect items used at the Sole Hope Clinic including: large safety pins, medical gloves, gauze wrap, and stickers for children and send them to their North Carolina office

* Become an advocate for Sole Hope - for more info go here

A HUGE thank you goes out to all of our friends that helped with this endeavor! We're excited it ended up being a community event & are glad others are finding out about Sole Hope, too! Thanks for checking them out & helping us spread the word! ;-)

Paint Night with Friends

A few friends and I recently did a fun Paint Night at The Studio: Art on Main in downtown Collinsville and had so much fun! It was a multi-media painting project because we used acrylic paints, mod podge glue, tissue paper, pages torn from books, scrapbook paper, bubble wrap, and buttons...

LOL - see what I see?!?!

I'm cracking up at the words I'm finding in my snow collage made from pages torn from an old book ;-)

My finished project

So fun and a much needed Mom's Night Out!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Painting Play Date at the Copper Kiln

Owasso, OK

And the finished masterpieces...

Asher and His Hair

Believe it or not, Asher's hair is more high maintenance than mine - lol! We took him to the salon right before Thanksgiving and had these little twists put in. The stylist did such a great job & was so patient with him. And Asher was such a trooper! It took a little over 2 1/2 hours to complete but he survived with the help of suckers, snacks, & the iPad.

So now, even though we have to keep up with it at home, we also take him in once a month to have his stylist make the twists a little tighter. We took him for his first follow up the other day & it also took about 2 hours - although this time didn't hurt. I am amazed that that boy will sit still for that long! He'll hardly sit for half a minute at home to let me put on his shoes or check his teeth after he brushes them!

So here's a few pics of him getting "beautified" - can't let this get to his head! ;-)

Sigh. That boy's a perty sweet kid - think he's a keeper ;-)