Sunday, February 28, 2010

Open Your Eyes!

Today my heart was broken. You might expect this in some far off place, but right here in America, little girls are sold into slavery. How can this be possible? I like to pretend our world is safe, just, and kind...but in reality there is so much injustice that it makes me feel overwhelmed...physically sick to my stomach.

Our church continues this week in the series called
"The Ripple Effect."
A process of letting our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God. Then showing us how to reach out, love, and make a difference. I was unable to link to the short video we watched today, but found this one on Youtube. This video is difficult to watch...but the message and images SHOULD make every mother, father, and human being on this planet angry!

Today we were challenged to take action through a movement called "Not For Sale". In Cambodia this group is...
*Rescuing women and children from human trafficking.
*Providing them a safe-house with medical and emotional care.
*They are taught how to be seamstresses.
*A factory is being built to give them jobs.
*They get stock in this industry.
*They are taught how to save the money, and helped when it is time to buy their own home.
*The recording artists...Third Day...has just contracted them to make all of their clothing to sell in stores and concerts.

So as we sat in the pews we each pulled out our cell phones and sent the following text to donate $10 to help "Not For Sale" continue with their mission to end slavery. 30 seconds of your time reaches out to the hurting. Here are the steps.
*Get your phone and open up a new text window.
*In the "To" section type 90999
*In the "text" section type Respond
*A message will come right back to you. Type in response to this "YES".
*Another message will come back to you. You can select yes or no as a response.
*Your phone bill will show a $10 charge.

That's it! I will learn in church next week how much was collected, and I'll update our blog so you can see how you were a part of this movement to help others in need. If this is a topic you want to research more I would highly recommend going to the International Justice Mission site.

I opened my eyes today. It was painful...but I have a 12 year old daughter.
I couldn't listen and fail to respond to the plea of little girls everywhere begging us to make a change in our world.
How will you respond?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Staying Connected...

Remember holding that baby in your arms? There was no choice but to be connected. The needs were demanding...but simple.

The first moment I held my little Andy. So overwhelmed with emotion!

As a child grows, staying connected gets increasingly more difficult. Another child enters the picture. Work, household chores, school, church, sports, all encroach on that precious time together.

Connecting takes some thought. It is an expression of who you are individually and as a family. This topic is so close to my heart particularly now as I see my twelve year old slowly moving into her own world. She doesn't share everything with me anymore. I miss the little girl that talked 24 hours a day about every little thing she thought.

Hannah age 2.

I just try to be where she is. Hang out with her. I tell her about things I remember from being 12. Boys, friends, music, dancing, going to the roller rink. I try to say yes as often as I my no's will mean something. I ask her opinion on things. She is dependable, inclusive, a fabulous student, a great athlete, and incredibly diverse in her interests. The other day I spent just a couple of minutes telling her, "It's normal for you to want your space, to have private thoughts and experiences. Just know that you are a super important part of my life. I always want to be an important part of yours too. Whenever you need me...I'll happily be there!"

My beautiful Hannah age 12.

First thing every morning I wake Ben and tell him that my day won't be great until I get his magic hug. Luckily he still enthusiastically gives it to me. His smile lights up my heart...something I often tell him too. Sometimes I tease him that if I was in 4th grade I would stare at him from across the room and think about how dreamy he is. I whisper in his ear how I love having an amazing helper. My "go to kid" when it comes to getting something done.

Little chubby baby sweetness. Ben at 5 months.

I tell them about their positive traits. Ben has a soft heart, loving, honest, a good friend, funny, a terrific athlete, and extremely generous.

Holding our chihuahua Nacho...Ben age 10.

Andy is 6 so he still needs tons of cuddles. Loving him means watching all of the amazing things that he does moment by moment. Connecting with him means understanding how creative he is and affirming that his love for color, texture, art, and beauty in the world...makes him just as much a boy as his sport loving brother. He still needs me to help him with things which also makes time with him more of a natural expression of my day.

In the evenings we have dinner together at the table. We always ask each other about the day. Often we cuddle on the couch and watch something everyone likes. That's when the holding hands, snuggling under blankets, and laughter fills the house.

At bedtime each child gets tucked in with their own special prayer. My arms surround them as I whisper in their ear. It is part of our private time. They tell me if there is something specific they have concerns about. I pray with them so that they can hear my hearts desire to raise them with Godly wisdom. To be the mom each of them needs. And some expression of how thankful I am that God gave me this job to do. The finale is the lotion I put on their arms and pillow. Sometimes lavender, sometimes vanilla...often it is what I wore during the day. A little bit of mom that stays with them as they fall asleep.

Sometimes we take them alone out on a date. There have been father & daughter dances. Mom and son walks. But, it's the day to day that I think holds the most impact. Finding one of them walking through the house and stealing them away to our bedroom where my husband and I lay on the bed and tell them all of the amazing qualities they have, and why we love them so.

My hope is that the seeds of love that have been planted in each of them grows into a beautiful garden that they will one day share with their spouses and children. There is so much that I get wrong everyday...writing this helps me put life in perspective and remember why this is such a treasured time to embrace.

So, maybe this could be a "comment discussion" about the meaningful ways you show love in your family. I'm always looking for new ideas. Please share...

Welcome Friday Follow Participants!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going To McDonalds - Outtakes from "Lunch On The Go"

Our "Lunch On The Go" video got a great response. Here, we put together the outtakes we liked but couldn't use the first time around. Hope it makes you laugh today.

Leave a comment. Tell a friend about our blog. Have a great day!
Holly & Charisse

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stop, Look, Listen, Respond

"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world."
Anonymous quote

Once while entering a local juice bar with my son...a homeless man said he was hungry and asked me for one of the items on the menu. Happily I ordered what he requested...and together my son and I delivered the smoothie. As I reached out to shake his hand, I asked him what his name was. He looked at me and said, "Robert." My son asked him several questions and thoughtfully he answered them. As we turned to go he said, "Thank you for asking me my one ever does that."

"I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything but I can do something. I won't let what I can't do stop me from doing what I can."
quote by Edward Everett Hale

I have to force myself to Stop, Look, Listen, and Respond. I see laundry, dirty dishes, unmade beds, groceries to buy, errands to run. Things that are undone and need to be made right again every day. Bigger more complicated life issues like injustice, hunger, and poverty feels beyond my reach. My joy in helping Robert was that he had a specific request, a simple need I could act on immediately. It wouldn't change his lot in life but maybe the act of kindness would fill his belly and give him an ounce of hope that the world still contained some compassion. As it so often changed me probably far more than it helped him.

I don't have to look very hard to see people in my path that long for a loving touch, a kind word, a helping hand. What I've learned is that responding to the need is always far more fulfilling than continuing on with my scheduled list. A year from now I won't remember the soccer practice that was missed, but forever I'll have the memory of listening to the mom that was feeling so overwhelmed with life, and asking her if I could pray. Hopefully, the few times I do get it right, my kids will learn from my actions to value people more than the other distractions of life.

"Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God."
Bob Pierce

Here are a few ideas of things you can do today to make a difference.
*Look for people in your path today that need encouragement.
*Talk to your kids about seeing the needs of others.
*Take a few minutes to think about what breaks your heart and Google search to learn more.
*For $6 you can purchase a bed net online to protect families against malaria. 1 million people die of this disease each year. Learn more
*Visit a nursing home.
*Instead of looking away...say hello to the homeless.
*If you love hospitality, offer to cook a meal for someone in need.
*Set up a lemonade stand with the kids and donate the money to a worthy organization.
*Think about how you are gifted and use them.

*The church I attend, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, is doing a series called "The Ripple Effect". Opening our eyes to the pain of the world and responding to those needs. Our pastor is John Ortberg who is a nationally known author and speaker. If interested, click here...The Ripple see the first talk in the series. It might just start something stirring in your heart.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lunch On The Go For Busy Moms

Friday Follow

Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch is our hostess for Tablescape Thursday.
Friday Follow is hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades.

Charisse and I are totally new to this...but we gave it our unique Life Laugh Latte spin. We actually created and edited this vlog today. So hot off of the press you'll burn yourself. This is some of our best work. It's worth the extra time to watch it...I promise you! So sit back and learn a thing or two from the minivan masters. Enjoy!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Breathe...

Stop for a moment and take a deep breath!
So many things need to be done, but your worth is not measured by this.
You are valuable because you live and breathe.
God created each precious detail of who you are...and He delights in you.
So, in this moment rest in the knowledge that you are loved...and alive for a special purpose.

Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments.
quote by Michael Vance

They listen, care, call, pray, cry, laugh, celebrate...treasured friends.

We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
quote by Mitsugi Saotome

Family...they give and take love, forgiveness, time,
a listening ear, encouragement, and they are a reflection of your inner beauty.

Give thanks for the moments you laughed until you peed your pants.

Moments to be creative, silly, and fun.

Life is a blessing. Take a moment to be grateful.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Private Moments...Celebrating The Spirit Of Aloha

Charisse and I really embraced the spirit of Hawaii on our vacation. Here we celebrate tradition, nature, and sea creatures in our own special way.

In case you would like to sing along with Charisse, here are the lyrics.
Little Crab by Charisse
"Little crab did you lose your mommy? With your pretty bobble eyeballs. Little crab where's your daddy. I love you. Now you're not so itchy anymore...little crab."

We hope you didn't miss out on the first two installments of our Aloha series. If you did, go check out Wordless Wednesday...From A Remote Location & MIA...Aloha

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...From A Remote Location

Lots of blogs have "Wordless Wednesday". Not easy to create a wordless vlog...but here we go.

You won't want to miss our MIA...Aloha vlog from yesterday. More fun to come!
Hope it put a little hop, skip, and a jump into your day! Love, Holly & Charisse

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Wondering where we have been? Saddle up...because we are taking you with us on our big adventure.

Leave a comment...tell a friend! Peace out...Holly & Charisse