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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Call of Trades of Hope!

My party ends today.  Here's one more message from my friend Melissa:


JOIN - You can join Trades of Hope like I did and become a Compassionate Entrepreneur. You too can be in the business of employing women in impoverished situations while earning an income for yourself. The online training is excellent, and the sisterhood of women, local and online through Facebook is fabulous! Please comment or private message me if you would like more information.

HOST - Hostesses are the lifeblood of this missional business! As a party plan company, our hostesses allow this business to continue - providing continued employment for impoverished women and employment for women here in the US - a ripple effect of women helping women, helping women. Hosting can take on many forms - a home party, a Facebook party, a few women gathering in a cafe, a fund-raising event, etc. If this business has touched your heart, please say "yes" to hosting. We will discuss the details and determine what type of party would be best for you. It's my job to make it as easy for you as possible.

SHOP - Well,, that is easy! Amy's shopping link is : 

If you want more information about hosting or becoming a Compassionate  Entrepreneur, leave a comment below (it will be sent to me even if it doesn't show up immediately), and I will put you in touch with Melissa.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trades of Hope

Have you heard of Trades of Hope?  If not, here's the scoop:

Trades of Hope was founded in 2010 by 4 incredible women, mother/daughter duos Holly & Chelsie and Gretchen & Elisabeth, who believe that all women should be empowered and have a chance to create a better life for themselves and their families regardless of their circumstances. By creating jobs and sustainable, income-generating businesses, our artisans are able break the cycle of poverty, feed and take care of their families, and send their children to school.

This is not a charity—this is an opportunity to help women (and men) earn a living and also earn dignity and respect in their community!

The artisans, who hand craft our jewelry, scarves and home d├ęcor items are paid FIRST, at their FULL ASKING price. YES, 100% of what they need to earn a LIVING WAGE in their country. Through Fair Trade principles, they make an average of 4-6 times more selling their products through us than they would in their own country.

Trades of Hope products are sold as a home-show business, allowing them to provide self-employment for women in the U.S. as well.  Here's what my dear friend Melissa, a Trades of Hope Compassion Entrepreneur, has to say:

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this missional business. I employ women in impoverished circumstances, and they employ me!

When you Shop, Host, or Join, YOU are a part of TOH, too!

That's Melissa above wearing the Kayla ToH necklace and the Inverted Capiz earrings.

So, I'm doing a Trades of Hope online party until August 30th-you only have a few days!!!  Please, take a look at their gifts with a purpose.  Even if you aren't a big accessory person, they have some decor goods (and holiday items) AND their wares make beautiful, unique, meaningful gifts that benefit the receiver and the one who made them as well.  The link to my party is:

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

August! How'd We Get to August?

Oy!  I had intended to blog every day this month, but then life happened.  I'm not sure where to start, so I think this will be very stream of consciousness sort of stuff.

1)  This is our first week back to school.  Sari's in 5th grade, TJ's in 9th, and Mimi's in 10th.  He got a bump up when we moved to NC because they drew the "cut off date line" in a different place the year he was born than FL did, so we'll see how it goes as the year goes by, but I think he'll be fine.

2) Mimi has her learner's permit, but has spent about 20 minutes behind the wheel of my car total because the van intimidates her...that has to change.  We live in the car, by now, she should have enough hours logged to drive to the moon and back!    Where is good, positive peer pressure when you need it?

3)  Scott has a job coach who is meant to be helping him find a job, but that's a super-slow process.  They have filled out a few applications, but apparently I flubbed the first call for an interview by not understanding how the whole process was supposed to work, so he has no leads yet.  That's okay, because to be frank, they are barking up the wrong tree with the jobs they applied to.  His old job coach is currently in grad school, and the new one is still figuring things out, so in the process, we're in the weeds a bit (which is how I didn't know what to do when they called and how the interview got flubbed, but since it's for a job that wouldn't be a good fit for him anyway, I'm not too worried).

4) My garden is totally a bust (again) this year.  We got 2 meals worth of dragon's tongue beans, and maybe 3 pea pods before the heat just burned them up, but my tomatoes may or may not ever yield anything worth eating.  Sigh.  I think until we are out of this house, a garden is just a dream.  The only area in the back yard that is flat enough for a garden just doesn't get enough light to allow plants to mature at any sort of normal rate.

5)  I had a kidney stone.  They seem quite (un)popular right now among people I know. Mine took 3 weeks to pass, and so I lost 3 weeks of my summer to lying around in pain.  On the plus side, I did get some pleasure reading done ;).   Two weeks in, during a period of intense pain (I had 4 kids naturally-one at home- I'm talking serious pain here) I went to the ER just to be sure it really WAS a kidney stone and it was the size that could indeed come out on its own and that I wasn't just putting on a brave face for nothing.  SOOOO glad that is over.  I think I got it from taking Airborne on my trip to Scotland.  I read high doses of Vitamin C can cause them, especially if you aren't drinking enough.  I drink more water than most elephants, but while traveling it's hard to stay hydrated, so I think it was a one-two punch.  Lesson learned!

6)  Scotland was fabulous and I do have pictures to post, I promise.

7)  For the first time ever, about half of what my older kids are learning this year I will not be teaching them.  It will be a HUGE adjustment for them, but good for them and for me, I think.  I need to work more with Sari one on one.

8) Sari has some sort of learning issue.  Her evaluator thinks it's an eye tracking issue.  Either way, though she's made huge strides in reading, she still reads below grade level, and fluency-wise (speed wise) is equal to a kindergartner.  That has to change, so this year we will focus on some intensive therapies for her...I'm just not sure what that looks like yet.  First up is an eye appt.

9)  Em is playing volleyball right now.  She has practice 3-4 times a week.  Right at dinner time :).  Tonight is 5:30-8.  But really 5:15-8 because they need to get there early to set up.  So that's another reason she needs to get cracking on this driving thing.

10)  TJ's soccer will start soon too.  Just to add to the crazy.

I have other things I'm sure, but I'll stop there.  This listing thing makes everything seem kind of like a downer, but it's not really.  It's just busy, and crazy, and, I think, pretty normal for just about everyone I know.  I'll leave you with two pictures from last week's service project at church.  We were packing bags (care packages) for our missions team to take to India with them.  Mimi and TJ are at the far left below, and Scott is in the bottom picture making a card.  Each bag had a personal card that said something like, "You are special" or "God loves you" or something like that.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Patterns of Exidence-Exodus (A FlyBy Review and Giveaway)

I'm a total history nerd.  And a Bible nerd.  So combine history and the Bible?  I'm in.  ALL in.  Patterns of Evidence Exodus was everything I love and more.

About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:
For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world's most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible's account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, "Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?"  He decides to tackle this issue wit a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary's goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.
 The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres

I enjoyed this DVD immensely, although it's not the kind of movie young children would enjoy.  It's more of a documentary that explains the evidence that exists for the proof of the Exodus as a real historical occurrence. My kids and I are going through Genesis right now and when we get to Exodus, I'm looking forward to watching this with them.  I want them to understand that while we take the Bible as truth on faith, there is real evidence that supports Biblical truth as well, and they can use that truth to defend their faith when it is challenged.

Patterns of Evidence Exodus was released today, and is available from the Patterns of Evidence website.  It's 119 minutes long and not rated (although there was no objectionable material that I remember).

If you'd like a chance to win a copy, and you live in the U.S. or Canada, please enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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