Friday, December 26, 2014

The Covering House

Have you heard of The Covering HouseThe Covering House is a St. Louis organization that seeks to provide a place of refuge and restoration for girls who have experienced sexual trafficking or sexual exploitation. Until this past year, I don't think I realized how big of a problem this is in the U.S. It is heartbreaking! I encourage you to visit their website and read the facts and to see how they are helping these young girls after they have been rescued.

For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the girls who are living in the long-term therapeutic home were able to learn about a different character trait each day. Some of the included character traits were love, joy, peace, bravery, and finishing on Christmas day with forgiveness. I had the great privilege of speaking with the girls about bravery. 

What's kind of ironic about the situation is that I was scared to death to speak. And I was supposed to be sharing about bravery. For me, speaking in front of a group generally means shaking, sweating, nausea, and watery eyes. But I wanted so badly to try to encourage these girls so I tried to get over those feelings. 

I was asked to share about my history with cancer and what made me feel brave during those times. But as I was trying to rehearse what I was going to say, I realized that looking back, I didn't really feel so brave. But how would that be an encouragement to these girls who are also struggling? So instead of telling them what made me feel brave, I told them what I felt made me brave. On the days that I felt like giving up, that meant relying on the ones who cared about me to help me not give up. Pushing through each day. Surviving. Ultimately I know God is the one who healed me and He is the one who got me through each and every day. I pray that these girls will also know this truth one day.
I honestly don't know if the girls took away anything from what I said to them. But I know the Lord can use anything, even if I was a nervous wreck and spilled out 2 years worth of words in 3 minutes. 

After I was done with what I had to say, Maggi and I took some pictures of them that they will be able to have printed and put in their life books that they received this week. Spending the afternoon with the girls was great, but also so sad. Sad that there is a need for a home like this. Sad that there are so many hurdles for organizations to help the girls. Sad that this is still a problem that people either don't know about or don't acknowledge. And sad that there are so many who are still out there, needing to be rescued or just needing the help that is very needed after coming out of something so horrible. The girls are so sweet and such normal kids. They have had a piece of their childhood stolen away from them. But there is ways we can help improve their future. We can let them know that they are brave, they are special, and they are loved. I still look back at those years with cancer with such positive memories because of all the selfless people who invested their time and money to help my days feel a little bit brighter. 

As I said at the beginning, please visit their website to learn more information. You can make a monetary donation, find a way to volunteer, or donate something from their list of constant needs (included below, just to help you out.) Please get the word out and help this great cause!

·         Toilet Paper
·         Tissues
·         Hand Soap
·         Paper Towels
·         Dish Soap
·         Laundry Detergent
·         Dishwasher Detergent
·         Copy Paper
·         Large Trash-Bags
·         Small Trash-Bags
·         Tampons/Pads
·         Cocoa Butter
·         Pomegranate Seed Oil for hair
·         A moisturizing shampoo, like Ojon's Ultra Hydrating Shampoo,
·         A moisturizing deep-conditioning treatment, like Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment
·         A moisturizing styling product, like Tresemmes Anti-Frizz Secret Smoothing Cream
·         A moisturizing hair dress to replenish hair daily, like Biosilk's Silk Therapy Serum
·         Canvases (different sizes)
·         Paint (Acrylic Paints)
·         Bleach
·         Cascade dishwasher tablets
·         Air Freshener
·         Gallon Size Freezer Bags
·         Saran Wrap
·         Aluminum Foil

Friday, December 19, 2014

gold!

It's been over two weeks since I last posted anything here. December just always seems so busy. After adding in the shorter daylight hours (which becomes depressing) and 1st trimester exhaustion, I have pretty much been avoiding it. I have also had an ongoing headache for almost two weeks now. Tylenol does not do a thing--but I keep taking it to feel like I'm doing something. I've also been using peppermint oil with no success. I think essential oils only work for people who are not skeptical. So if anyone has any advice or a great (low priced) chiropractor to recommend, let me know!

Anyway, on to more fun stuff! For many months, a few of us girls have talked about getting together to play around with some studio lighting in our friend Rachel's basement. She picked up some gold sequin fabric a couple of weeks ago so we finally got a chance to snap a few pictures. All four of us took turns taking pictures on the same memory card so I can't be sure who took which picture.




glitter always makes everything a lot more fun




My friends are the best!
Happy Christmas break!

Monday, December 1, 2014

November iphone photos and "kids say"

November was a good month, even though I had pneumonia during most of it. We celebrated a few birthdays, a couple of new Rockport babies, hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time, and so much good food and dessert!

Bonfire season is always the best. I can never say no to a s'more.

the Lovings surprised me with delicious chocolate chip scones on my birthday


3+ weeks of pneumonia calls for Full House marathons

the first snow of the season--with Rachel :)

two(!!) donut cakes for Kingston's birthday


We haven't put up Christmas decorations for years. This year we put up a small pink tree. It works for now but I'm holding out for a big white or colored tree!

#nomakeupnoproblem!

Thanksgiving pie

this makes me happy

Maggi and I saw "Mockingjay." By the way---great movie! 

This next picture has kind of a strange story. I have always been a dreamer. Like, I have crazy, vivid, intense dreams pretty much every night. I spend the rest of the day thinking about the dream I had the night before (or the ones I've had years ago.) But the other night, I had one long, not exciting dream. For what seemed like many hours-worth of dream time, I took my time picking out colored pencils, sharpening them, and arranging them in a heart shape so I could take a picture for Instagram. I had a vision. It had to be fulfilled. So the next day, I blistered my fingers just so I could take this picture. And there's your daily dose of weirdness.




And this "kids say" post should pretty much just be called "kai says" because he's the one who contributed to all but one of these. 

"Kingston, do you love tickles?",
"no", 
"what do you love?",
"uhmmm... punching",
"what else do you love?",
"uhmmm...flowers",
"what else do you love?",
"princess leia"

Don had just played "Happy" by Pharrell on his guitar
Don--"So did that sound like "Happy?""
Kai--"Yeah, but your face isn't the same color as his." (Pharrell's)

Me--"I love you guys so, so much."
Kai--"Oh! So does that mean we get candy now?"

Kai--"Mommy, I love you more than cake."

Kai--"Does everyone in the world have boogers, except God?"

Kai--"Eww, what smells so stinky?"
Liam--"Maybe it's daddy's breath."
Kai--"It smells like a stinky diaper."

Kai was complaining that his dance moves weren't as silly anymore because he was just "getting too good" at dancing. 


Happy December!
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