Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What to Give Wednesday (part 4)

The Shine Project is a wonderful organization working to break the cycle of poverty for at risk youth here in the United States.  Go here, read about The Shine Project that take a look at their two shops: Threads and Shine.

When you shop Threads you are wearing change.  Each of these pieces are made by an at risk youth who wants to change their life.  They are paid fair wages for the bracelets they make and this money provides them the opportunity to pay their way through college.  Each purchase directly impacts a student providing them with financial support and the encouragement that someone believes in them.

The Shine Project (TSP) is about inspiring people and inspiring change.  Volunteers in TSP work with inner city and at-risk youth.  Through service projects and education these students are learning leadership skills and gaining knowledge necessary for them to succeed later in life.  Purchases at the Shine project go towards the Shine Scholarship Project.  This scholarship program helps send the youth participating in TSP to college.

TSP shirt - love it!

Pass it forward cards - waht a great idea!

Another favorite 'store' of mine is Sevenly.   "People Matter" and "One week, one cause" are two of the slogans you will always see on Sevenly's homepage.   Every week Sevenly raises money for a different charity  by selling t-shirts specifically designed for that week.   Some of the recent causes they've raised money for are Forward Edge International, Laura's House, Pencils of Promise, Abolition Intl,  All Girls Allowed and HOPE: Global.  Monies are raised from everything to education in 3rd world countries to battling bullying in the US to fighting cancer and raising money for orphans. 

Their t-shirts are soft and comfy, have cute designs and go to a good cause.  What more could you ask for out of a t-shirt? 

Some of their past t-shirts:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What to Give Wednesday (part 3)

Today's shops are a little different from the previous weeks.  These shops are all owned by fellow adoptive mom's (and dad's) that are fundraising to bring their little ones home. 

The Bayt Boutique offers unique and handmade items for your home.  Did you know the word "bayt" is Amharic for home.   Their boutique is just lovely.  I don't think I could ever pick just one item I love.  You can also check out Jenny's blog for adoption updates and little pictures into their life during the wait.

I love the distressed chalkboards!

Distressed/Antique Toilet Paper Holder - I love this! 
Just wish it would fit in one of our bathrooms

Their most popular item!

If you're looking for cute, unique or even a little bit funky jewelry City Grace is a great place to stop and shop.  The Medlin's are also adopting a little one from Ethiopia and each purchase helps them bring their little one home. 
Lovely necklaces!

Hair pins!  I love hair pins!
For that little super hero in your life, Kelly from Live the Life is selling Super Hero capes.  Gabe is definitely in need of one of these!

Do you love personalized Christmas cards as much as I do.  Ashley from Lifted from the Water is selling amazing looking cards to raise money to bring their little girl home.  Our cards are coming from her! 

Ashley also offers birth and adoption announcements.  And no, I didn't show you the card I've chosen for us!

Teem Keehn offers an array of handmade and unique gifts at their craft shop.  Heather has actually made us 3 decoupage wall pieces depicting Micah 6:8.  I can't wait to hang them on our wall. 

 Now that is a lot of fabulous Christmas presents, don't you think? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Childre's Museum Visit # ??

Gabe loves this place. 
I love watching Gabe explore, play and learn in this place. 
a lot of other people like The Children's Museum of Houston
because it was ranked number one in the nation as the best children's museum. 
Gabe certainly agrees with the assessment. 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Surely Alive

As Gabe's speech continues to grow, so do his singing skills.  There is nothing lovelier than hearing his sweet voice come from the other room or the back seat singing praise music.  I'll admit, I love hearing him sing along to Creedance Coolwater Revival but not nearly as much as when he's singing along to Matt Redman, Casting Crowns or Passion.  I pray that the words he's singing now are being embedded into his soul, working their way into his spirit and will always find a home in his heart. 

One of our favorite songs to sing-along with in the car is God's Not Dead by the Newsboys.

Our favorite verse "my God's not dead, He's surely alive.  He's living on the inside, roaring like a lion." 

Lord, bless his heart, hearing Gabe sing that line while dancing along in his car seat is like a balm to my soul.  Because no matter what is happening here and now; no matter what the media and politicians tell you - God is alive and working here on earth.  I know it, Gabe knows it and I'm pretty sure Gabe is going to let everyone know it one day!

And just so you know, Gabe's sweetness multiplies by a hundred when he roars like a lion after that verse.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's almost that time..

While Labor Day brings the close of our community pool we are fortunate enough to have the Splash Pad around until the end of October. Hopefully we have at least one more visit in store before it closes because the splash pad is fun!  And a great way to wear Gabe out!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I was clearing off our SD card and was quickly scanning through the pictures when this one caught my attention.  This isn't a good picture.  The lighting stinks, the cute little subjects in the photo can't be seen clearly but for a few seconds, this single picture made me pause and think. 

Trying to finish my task at hand I continued skimming through the pictures until I rested on this one.

Again, the quality of the picture isn't great but the picture, it just fills my heart with gratitude, eyes with tears and my soul with hope.  Immense gratitude filled my heart as I look at Gabe with C2 and C3; two typically developing children who don't wonder about their little friend that walks on his knees.  They don't care about his glasses, his knee walking or that his right eye looks like it's winking sometimes. 

Gabe is their friend; nothing more nothing less.  And that friendship includes everything that is beautiful, everything that is good and everything that is right in this world. 

Although they live in Ohio and we live in Texas, I couldn't be more thankful for Gabe and the sweet friendships he has up there. 

With friends by your side, life has a sweetness that can't be ignored and I'm so thankful that Gabe can taste that sweetness... even if it is only a few times a year. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What to Give Wednesday (part 2)

Our hearts long for our little one(s) in Ethiopia and so are the headquarters of fashionABLE.  The scarves sold by fashionABLE are made by women in the "Women at Risk" program.  Due to the extreme poverty and lack of resources, many women in Ethiopia turn to prostitution as a way to provide for themselves and their families.  Women at Risk works to get these women off the streets, provide them the help they need to get on their feet and find them alternative means of income.  The goal of fashionABLE is to enable these women to be healthy, productive members of their community. 

FashionABLE's business model is labeled a transformative cycle.  By purchasing your scarf, not only do you get a beautiful, handmade scarf but you help sustain jobs for women (and men) in Ethiopia.  The profits from these scarves provide life for women but also the means to rehabilitate women in desperate circumstances and job training for other workers. 

There are so many beautiful scarves to choose from, it will be so hard for you to choose just one!
Another non-profit that I love is Noonday Collection.  Noonday Collection was started by adoptive parents who saw the wonderful handmade goods in Uganda and worked with a friend there to sell them as fair trade products to help the Ugandan women and raise funds for their adoption.
Noonday Collection's vision (from their website):
  • Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
  •  Help families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
  • Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention.
Mango Wood Salad Servers

Beaded Statement Bracelet

Nahaula Tray

They also have these awesome arm warmers that I really want.... if only they were back in stock for winter!