Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Field Trip on the Tulsa Transit Bus

Our homeschool co-op took a fun and unique field trip today. The kids received coupons to ride the city bus in Tulsa for the Summer Reading Program so we took the bus...

to Woodward Park! We learned about the Tulsa Transit bus system, ate a picnic lunch, fed the squirrels and toured the Linnaeus Gardens.

It was fun riding the bus with friends and something I don't know that I would have ventured out to do on our own ;-)

Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City

Our family just spent a fun day at Silver Dollar City in Branson this past weekend. I love going this time of year because they are having their Harvest Festival and everything was decorated for Fall. Our little Miss Abby has become quite the daredevil so Steve and I had to take turns riding all the "fast and scary" rides with her. Mackenzie is more into the "atmosphere" and shopping ;-)  We had a great time and look forward to going in November for their "Old Time Christmas" celebration!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kids Inspiring Kids

About a year and a half ago, my girls started a ministry called Girly Me Missions. They did this totally on their own and out of their passion for helping orphans in Uganda.  Girly Me Missions has grown to be a group of ten girls who craft and make things, then sell their items at local events. All their proceeds go to Project Hope Worldwide, a non-profit organization that has built an orphanage in Lira, Uganda.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by an Event Producer with Lifeway Christian Resources who said that she heard about the girl's story. (I think she heard a news clip that was played on Air 1 and K-LOVE this past summer. You can hear it here.) She told me how Lifeway puts on fun summer camps for kids, called CentriKid Camps, which are held mostly in southeast United States. Their website says, "CentriKid is a five day, four night camp for 3rd–6th graders to experience the time of their lives and learn more about the message of Jesus Christ! From the future sports star to the young scientist to the rising chef, every kid gets to participate in exciting activities of their choice. Church groups bring kids to camp where they’ll take part in Bible study, recreation, track times, and worship." She went on to tell me that for next summer's camp, they would like to feature a different kid or kid ministry that is making a difference in this world and they have chosen Girly Me Missions to be one of the ministries they feature! We were so excited because sometimes the best way to reach parents is through kids and this could bring some much needed attention to the dire need of orphans in Uganda.

Soooo... Lifeway is sending out a film crew in October to take some footage of the girls. They will arrive on a Friday and film them having a meeting and crafting at our house. Then they will come back the next day and visit them at a vendor booth they are going to have at the Owasso Harvest Festival and Chili Cook-Off! I am so proud of these girls and their sweet hearts. None of them are doing this for their own attention or personal gain. They are sincerely a part of this ministry because of a passion they have and they have found a way to make a difference. I am so amazed by them because when I was their age, being a part of a ministry like this was probably the farthest thing from my mind. I started taking care of my family when I was young, but I don't think I ever paid attention to what was going on outside of our own home.

Over the years, it has become very important to my husband and me to focus on building godly character traits in our girls. While we mess up continually and we have MANY areas to improve upon (well, I have many areas that need improvements, anyway!), we try to make it a priority to focus on others. One way we do this is every morning when we pray together, we ask God to show us ways that we can be helpful to others. It's funny how we have found that when we are looking for ways to serve, it often times brings us so much joy that we forget about our own problems - or at least it reminds us that our own difficult times are nothing compared to what other families are going through.

It makes my heart smile to hear of other families and kid ministries that are reaching out to others - like my girl's sweet friend, Makenzie, who has a ministry called "Punky Monkey Missions". She also crafts and sells her things and her monies are donated to charities, as well. And my amazing friend, Katie, who has a ministry, called ELEOS. Her family actually goes out into her small community and seeks out needs and finds ways to meet those needs. They are currently feeding over 30 families a week and meeting other physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of these people, as well. Simply amazing!

Apparently, Girly Me Missions is inspiring other kids to find ways to serve, as well. Recently, a friend told me her girls were now making bracelets and raising money for the orphans in Uganda. She said, "The girls woke up this morning going straight to 'work'. They're taking great pride and have BIG plans for them." And another friend recently told me, "I have had a heaviness on my heart lately on doing more volunteer work or something I could do with my daughter." She is now actively seeking out ways that their family can serve others and I know that whatever they end up doing is going to be a blessing to many. Kids inspiring kids. I love it!!!

For ideas on teaching your kids about caring, sharing, and giving, visit the Project Hope Worldwide blog. Look for the article entitled, "Teaching Children About Philanthropy" and you'll find lots of links and resources to help your family get involved in your community and beyond.

Here's a few of our favorite songs that talk about serving others ;-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brush Creek Bazaar 2011

One of our very favorite things to do every Fall is to go to the Brush Creek Bazaar in South Tulsa. We love to see the beautiful grounds and shop for new fall decorations. The girls conspired with Steve and talked him into taking off work and surprising me at the Bazaar. Now that's true love to put up with us three girls at a craft fair. The things he does for us! ;-)

Our favorite booths this year were Riley Kate Designs (she's a friend of mine that makes hand-crafted jewelry and frames - you have to check her out), CC Couture (super cute clothes for women), and Backwoods (my girls favorite because she sold adorable doll clothes at great prices).

Shopping was hard work so we had to take some time to swing on the BIG tree swing. And yes, I took a turn, too. The girls "made" me ;-)

Here's a few pics from our fun day...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Quick Jaunt to Stillwater

Our family recently took a quick road trip to mine and Steve's alma mater, Stillwater, and had dinner at Eskimo Joe's...

The clothing store added a new addition to it...

The girls wanted these shot glasses for their American Girls.
"But Mom, they are the perfect size!"  :-)

We opted for cute Joe's bags instead ;-)

Then we took a walk around the campus. As my friend and old roommate, Karin, says, "You can never start indoctrinating too soon!" ;-)

It was a fun day & we look forward to going back for homecoming this Fall! :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Watch Party for "The Pioneer Woman"

My sweet friend, Kathy, recently hosted a small watch party for the premier of Ree Drumond's new show on Food Network, The Pioneer Woman.

Check out the yummy food we ate for our brunch...

Mini Blueberry Muffins

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

Crackers & Cream Cheese Topped with
Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Monkey Bread

Apple & Egg Casserole
(Sorry, I don't remember the "official" name for it!)

Gluten-Free Taco Salad

Poppyseed Salad
Here's a clip of The Pioneer Woman's first show...

I enjoyed the first episode but I just can not cook like her. I think I probably gained 10 pounds just watching her bake with all that butter and grease. It was still entertaining and I will probably try some of her recipes for "special" occasions.

Thanks for hosting, Kathy! You're the hostest with the mostest. I loved seeing your new house and if your entry way bench seems to have gone missing one day, it wasn't me ;-)