Monday, November 29, 2010

Advent Challenge.

In my current efforts to raise water for Living Water International, I came across a fantastic video.  The video has an amazing theme of buying less gifts and giving more presence.  Well...the past few days I have not been able to get this video out of my head....and I have been inspired to create my own advent challenge.  The challenge being:

Give my children 24 days of Advent presence.

Yes.  This year I am challenging, vowing, and committing myself to buying less gifts and giving more presence.  After all, what is Christmas really all about?  It's not about shopping all the best sales.  It's not about decorating the house from top to bottom with the teeny tiny possibility that Martha just may show up and see how perfect your decor is and pat you on the shoulder.  It's not about big.  Shiny.  Expensive.  It's about the birth of Christ.  Duuuuuh. 

But maybe we have forgotten this?  Maybe, just maybe we get too caught up in all the commercialism, consumerism and other isms this holiday season brings?

Enter Advent Challenge.

Everyday, from December 1st to December 24th I will spend quality time with my children focusing on Christmas.  We will bake (and I will let them get super messy).  We will make gifts for others (and I will let them get super messy).  We will sit and read 10 books at one time.  We will enjoy the season.  Together.

And maybe when Christmas morning comes and they see less gifts (eeeeek!!!) they will not care...because they know what Christmas is all about...and they will have already received lots of Christmas presence.

Do you wanna join me?  Even if you don't have kids (or kids at home) you can still be part of the challenge.  Give the gift of Advent presence to your spouse, yourself...or a different person everyday!

Oh...and check out the awesome video.  (Scroll over to the right and turn off the music.)

Disclaimer:  I know advent started last Sunday...but my challenge starts December 1st!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Things I'm Thankful For...

Family.  Good health.  Friends.  Caffeine.  Pets (usually).  Music.  A safe home.  Rain.  Sunshine.  Jesus.  Being happy.  Food.  Water.  Education.  Our jobs.  Dr Pepper.  Pilates.  People with big hearts.  Clean air.  Technology.  Hugs and kisses.  Forgiveness.  Pumpkins.  Knowing we can change this world.  Prayer.  Fettucini Alfredo.  Flowers.  Hikes.  Children (mine in particular).   A strong marriage (also mine in particular).   Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet.   Pictures.  Memories.  Birthdays.  Today.  You.  Laughter.  Barefeet in the sand.  Nature.  Snow.  God.  Heat and air conditioning.  Babies.  Books.  Old comfy sweaters.  Yoga pants.  Wine.  Lightening bugs.  Time.  Snuggling.  Bandaids on scraped knees.  Being called "Mama,"  "Mommy,"  "Mom,"...even "Moooooommmmmeeeeeeeeeee!!!!".  Crayons.  Quiet time.  Naps.  Shoes.  Love.  Snickers.  Smiles.

What are you thankful for??

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In the past few weeks, there is one question that I've been asked quite often. I'm pretty sure you have been asked it, too. "What do you want for Christmas?"  This is a typical question this time of year. In fact, most of us are quite used to this question.  We make Christmas lists, shop the best sales, and stuff our homes with gifts for those we love. But you know what? This year is different.

This year I'm over it.

I'm done.

I'm not caving to consumerism.

This year I'm awake. Awakened. I've realized that we are rich. Okay...not "rich" in the American sense of the term. But good grief, we are rich! We are blessed with a wonderful family, friends, a safe home, a good school system, good health, food, clothing, pets, and water. I could go on and on. And truth be told...I bet you could, too.

I bet you also know that many people are not "rich."  Many people are far from it.  Many people are homeless. Hungry. Thirsty. And this is where the answer to that seasonal question lies for me this year. "What do you want for Christmas?"  My answer....


Water? Yes. Water.

Did you know that 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water? This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population.

Did you know that the average North American uses 400 liters of water a day? And the average person in the developing world uses only 10 liters of water every day?

Did you know that households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task?

These facts are difficult for me to grasp. If I want water, I turn on the sink. If I want water, I buy a bottle of it at the store. It I want a hot bath, I fill the tub! I just can't imagine not having clean water...can you?

So this Christmas season, I am teaming up with Living Water International and joining their Advent Conspiracy. They believe "Christmas can {still} change the world." And you know do I.

So, if you are one of those people who have asked me what I want for Christmas...and I said "nothing" or "I don't know" or "I really, really want an iPad"...well...I've changed my mind.

I want water. Won't you help me give it??

Please take 2 minutes and watch this video.  (Don't forget to scroll over and pause the blog music.)

212 Days from Living Water International on Vimeo.

And please help me give the gift of water. Even if you can't donate...please say a prayer for those who are thirsty.

Have I convinced you to help?  Please visit my fundraising page and donate now.

And if you're not comfortable donating worries.  Contact me and I'll tell you how to send a check.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post.  If you think this is good stuff...please email the info to your friends, post it on Facebook, tweet it....whatever!  Just help me spread the word.

You all rock!!!!

Photo courtesy of Living Water International.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Trick or Treat.

Of course I have to post the annual Halloween pics, right?  But instead of just posting this year's pics, I thought I'd spice it up with some memories from Halloween's past.

Here is Jackson back when we lived in Chicago.  Halloween 2005...he was one!

Halloween 2006.  Jackson was 2...just 2 weeks before Sawyer was born:

Halloween 2007.  Jackson is 3 and Sawyer is almost 1.

Halloween 2008.  Jackson is 4.  Sawyer is almost 2.

Halloween 2009.  Jackson is 5.  Sawyer is almost 3.

And drum roll please for Halloween 2010!!

Alright.  So they are the same outfits as last year, but you know what they say.  If the costume fits...

Oh yeah...and we had a little addition to last year's costumes.
Hope you had a good Halloween.  We did! the words of Jackson:  "It was the best Halloween ever!"