Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nickels For Nets Grand Total!

At the beginning of February I posted about joining my friends, Amanda and Erin, in collecting "Nickels for Nets."  Go here to learn all about the mission and the non-profit that helps provide mosquito nets for orphans.

At first I was a little hesitant how it all would work, and if we could even get enough for one net.  One net costs $8...that's a lot of nickels!  Amanda so graciously sent us a box which helped a ton when asking people for a donation.  Especially because the box had all the info on it, so if Molly forgot an answer she could show people the box and they could read it for themselves.

Sweet Sleep has a lot of info on their website and seems like such a wonderful organization!  I am so glad we were able to learn more about them.

So Molly has been collecting nickels for a little over 2 weeks now.  We waited till we got the box to actually start collecting them.  It has been awesome as a parent to watch Molly ask people for the donation, and be able to explain to them what it is all about.  In the past month she has learned about orphans, malaria, orphanages, and how God loves us no matter what type of family we have or don't have.  Molly will ask us questions about orphans and mosquitoes.  She genuinely seems interested in learning more, and learning how to help.   

The moment you all have been waiting the last 2 + weeks, Molly has collected a grand total of...

Hello!!  WOW!!!  $40.00...all thanks to our generous family, friends, and people at church!!  Did you know that $40.00 is enough to provide 5 nets, yes, 5!

We are totally blown away by everyone's generosity, and truthfully I didn't even think we would collect enough for 1 net, let alone enough for 5!  

This experience is less about the money, which trust me the amount is awesome!  But more about Molly {and me} learning and living this...
 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: 
to look after orphans and widows in their distress 
and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Our Father's Eyes

On Saturday morning, Eric and Molly, got up early to go sledding.  They planned to go Friday, but plans changed, so instead Eric surprised Molly by getting up early, taking her out to breakfast, and then sledding.  Lucy and I were left to play at home by ourselves.

Shortly after Eric and Molly left, I saw Eric posted this picture on Facebook...

My first reaction was "oh my word!"  All I could think was her hair looks like a rats nest, when was the last time she brushed her teeth, and so on, and so on.  I am a great mom, right.  Not great, just truthful. 

Molly's picture got me thinking about how God sees his children.  Most days my hair is a mess, I have acne like a 12 year old, sometimes before I go to bed I forget to brush my teeth, and I sometimes {okay more than some} say not so nice things.  I am big mess, really, I am.  But God doesn't see any of that, he sees me as the child he created, the one who should mirror his image, and reflect him all the time.  He doesn't see my acne scared face, or flipped out hair, he sees a daughter, a one of a kind Kate.

"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."" ~1 Samuel 16:7 NLT

I am striving to see the inside, not so much the outside. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Reflection of 29 Years

Today I turn 29.  I feel old, yet young at the same time.  I started noticing how I am no longer the youngest in the room, or how people younger than me have more kids, or have been married the same amount of time as me.  I grew up the youngest and truthfully felt like the youngest in every situation I have encountered.  It didn't really hit me that I was old until I realized Molly's teacher was younger than me.

I feel like for being 29 I should have some really profound things to say or share, some really important life lessons to embark on you all, or a lot of wisdom to guide you through your next stage of life.  But if there's one thing that I keep learning over and over again, it's that you never stop learning.  You will never have enough life experience, and you will never have a plethora of wisdom.  You just never stop learning.

Life is a funny thing in a non-comical way.  Just when you think you have figured this life thing out, something happens, and you are back at square one.  But when you go back to square one for the tenth time, you have a little bit more weight in your boots, you know a little bit more, and you aren't afraid to try again.  Because that's what life is made of, hits and second chances.

In 29 years I have probably experience a lot more than other 29 year olds.  That statement is not said with pride, truthfully, I am humbled by what I have gone through, and I have learned a lot.  I have hurt and been hurt, I have screwed up countless times, and have been on the other end of someone else's screw up, too.  

But I am better for it.  See, I don't believe in coincidences, I believe in things happening for a reason and you may not know what that reason is, but it still happened.  I believe God has made "for such a time as this" and I don't always live that way, but I believe that way.  What I am facing today might not be for me, but rather for you.  We may not know the reasons behind the situations, but we trust the one who placed the situation before us.

In 29 years I have also realized I am not a fun person.  I get stressed super easy, I take things rather seriously, and I want everything to be perfect.  Life as we all know does not cater to these unrealistic ideas I have.  So I am bound and determined to make the next 29 years a little more fun, to relax, take a deep breath, and enjoy what God has given me.  Life truly is a gift.  The good, bad, ugly, and not so much fun times are a gift.  At least you get to experience something everyday.  


So as I turn 29 on this day I would like to reflect on how very thankful I am for the gifts God has bestowed upon me: Eric, Molly, Lucy, friends, family, health...overall a pretty darn good life. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Miscellany Monday

Its' that time...
1. We had a great time celebrating Valentine's Day last week!  It started off with oatmeal chocolate chip pancakes for the girls, a heart shaped peanut butter sandwich for Molly and a heart note in her lunch box.  Little gifts and picking my parents up from the airport.  It was such a fun, love filled day!

2. We celebrated my birthday {early} on Saturday with my parents.  We ate at a great Mexican place where they sang to me while I wore a huge sombrero on my head, thankfully my husband has no technique when it comes to a camera, so there are no pictures of this event.  Nor did he prove to be any more successful when using the video camera on his phone.  You don't even see me in the video, but you do hear them call me "the big one."  They thought it was Molly's birthday so I totally let them put the hat on her, until my step-dad promptly told them "no, it's the big one!"  So then all the waiters and waitresses repeatedly kept saying "oh the big one" over and over.  Yes, I am the big one.

3. My mom and step-dad took Molly to the mall to get a cake for me.  I love cookie cakes, so it was a no brainer on what type of cake to get me, but for what it would say on it Molly picked that out all be herself.  Molly asked the cookie place to write "Happy Birthday February Girl" on my cake.  She even chose pink, white, and blue icing.  She was so proud of her selections, and so was I.  I love that Molly loves birthdays just as much as I do! 

4. My mom got me Melanie Shankle's {Big Mama} book for my birthday, and it was so good!  I am not a reader and I started around 9pm on Saturday night, read until I kept falling asleep and then finished it during nap time on Sunday!  It seriously was one of the best books I have ever read!  You will laugh, you will cry, you will laugh till you cry, seriously, so so so good!
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Miscellany Tuesday

Okay, okay, so normally I do miscellany Monday, but it was a little crazy yesterday, so we'll start again today...

1. We woke up yesterday to headless snowman!  Poor guy is melting, although I find it odd the rest of his body is still intact, and our neighbor's snowman is also missing his head...hmmm.  Lucy kept pointing and saying "our snowman broken, our snowman broken!"  Since everyone passes our house to get to school, I am thinking I should just finish the snowman off so we don't scar any poor kids going by.

2. On Saturday I got to meet my spiritual hero...Jen Hatmaker!  I can not even begin to tell you how much this woman has changed my perspective on God, Jesus, the church, and it's people.  She is amazing, and I am so thankful to learn from her and her experiences.  When I met her I was a hott mess.  I tried playing over and over in my head what I was going to say...I get up there, say hi, and then it was ALL down hill from there!  I am normally not one to make a big deal about celebrities and such.  Like if I saw someone famous in an airport I would be so embarrassed to be like can I take your picture...but all rules went out the window for some reason when it came to Jen.  All I can remember is mumbling a lot, repeating over and over "I love you" and "thank you", and maybe something about church in there.  Then at the end I followed it up with see you in Florida.  Yes, yes, see you in Florida, well, I will see her in Florida, from a distance.  We are going to be at the same conference there, but I am sure by now I have been black listed with "weirdo" written on my forehead.  Oh my!  She was seriously so nice and probably thinking "this chick has issues, but I am so southern and polite I will just smile till she leaves."  Thankfully she took a picture with me.  We took the picture after we both cried our make up off...right before that she shared with us her gotcha video of her and her husband meeting their 2 adopted kids for the first time.  Not a dry eye in the place, oh my word.  So anyways, hit Jen Hatmaker up on her website, read her books, do her studies, seriously you will be so blessed. 

3. Last Thursday Lucy and I went to the library for story hour.  It's a fun 6 week session for kids ages 1 & 2.  I was nervous to say the least.  Lucy is not my compliant, sit still child.  She wasn't the worst one there, so that was good.  I think she will like it, plus, it gives us something to do and it's only for 6 weeks.

4.  I started reading this book...
A friend of mine recommended it, and I have to say it's intriguing.  Moving to Milwaukee completely changed the way I approached Christianity, Jesus, and people.  Living here has challenged everything I thought I knew, so I guess I don't consider myself "overly religious" per se.  But it has been a good read so far.  The author said to read one chapter a day, like a devotional, but I feel like it will take me forever to get through it that way.  So I have been doing 2 chapters a day, it is chalked full of stuff, so I do need some time to digest what I just read.  I will let you know when I finish what I thought. 

Well, that's all for this Tuesday...time to go to Target and the gym.  Have a great day, friends!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's Not You, It's Me

Did you ever get one of those letters, or be told it's not you, it's me?  If you haven't, today is your lucky day, you're getting that excuse.  Seriously friends, it's not you, it's me.  Sometimes when God is working something big inside of me I lack creativity, and energy.  I don't say any of that to sound super spiritual, because we all know that's not the case for me!  But I say that to be absolutely truthful.  I have millions of ideas swirling around in my head, but none come together to post, so I guess when God is working in me, I also suffer from writer's block.

So honestly, that's where I am at.  Also, to fess up, after I bragged about remembering to fill the mailboxes each day, I have forgot to do it every night this week, like every.single.night.  Boo Valentine Mommy Cupid!  The heartbreak on Molly's face each morning is almost so painful to not let me forget, but I still do.  So today I made up for it by giving her candy, yes, mother of the year, or at least the hour today :)

So nothing bad, great, or whatever going on, just life, just living life, and building snowmen with my kids and husband. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Miscellany Monday

It's Monday...not sure yet if it's maniac, marvelous, or mmmhpp...

Here we go...
1. We cleaned out our junk exciting right?!  Well, it was amazing to see how much "junk" was in there.  We literally threw almost all of it away, all those I will use that coupon next time, all those we might need this miscellaneous items like screws, nails, paper clips, etc.  It was liberating and now I don't want to put anything in that drawer again.  Well, until next week, next week I will need a place to store my crap!

2. The Just One conference is back again this week...go here for details!  I was so encouraged last week, and I am sure this week will be no different!

3. Molly lost her second tooth at church yesterday!  You know the one that was barely hanging on, all it needed was a day old Panera bagel and it was out.  Thankfully the tooth fairy remembered to visit last night.

4. Our Valentine's mailboxes have been going great!  I have actually remembered to put something in them every night, this is huge for me.  Molly loves reading her note or coupon that is left for her.  On Saturday she got a coupon for a movie night...she redeemed it that night.  We watched 101 Dalmatians and popped popcorn.  Eric even took her up the road to get a slushy at the Speedway.  {Wow, I just sounded really redneck there}  She enjoyed the slushy, popcorn, and movie!  It was a lot of fun.

5. Today Amanda over at OhAmanda is kicking off a monthly mission series with my wonderful friend, Erin, from Home With The Boys!  Please click over to read all about it.  It's a great way to encourage your child and yourself to get involved in missions and helping people around the world and in their backyard.  This month we are collecting nickels for mosquito nets.  Please, please click over and read more about it!  And if you want to send my girls nickels, we will gladly accept them! 

6. So remember a couple weeks ago when I told you all I had a lot of crafting to do with Molly's half birthday celebration at school, Vday gifts for the class, and Vday gifts for the teachers...yea I have done zero!  I need to get motivated...pray for motivation, and that I am not last minute Mary on all of that!

7. I am starting to think my word for 2013 should have been Faith instead of Loving, but when I think about 1 Corinthians 13, I am again reminded why I chose Loving...yet, I am really working on the whole Faith thing, too!