August 17, 2014

I might not post for a while, dear ones.
I lost my wonderful, wonderful, wonderful sister on Thursday.
She jumped off a bridge into a ravine.
There were a million, million reasons why she was so, so, so, so, so, so, so special.
And there were a million ways that I wasn't there for her when she needed me.
And I will never heal from this.

August 12, 2014

Foster Care Update :)

It's been a while since I posted anything about our sweet little guys. Probably because there is very little I can post, haha. Several of you have asked questions on Instagram (@rufflesandstuff) so I thought I'd post an update!

So, we still don't know anything. Haha! For either case.
"Ace" has been with us for almost 14 months now and is starting to stand by himself, yay! He'll be walking in no time, which will be crazy. Two of them walking! Yikes! He says "Mama" and "Dada" and "num". He's happy playing by himself or with other kids, but he's not into physical affection much. I try to respect that, but it's SO HARD! If you could see his cute little face!! He's equal parts charmer and whiney pants and he's very smart. We adore him. :o)

Baby "B" (aka "Curly Fry") is the sweetest little boy in the world. He had such a rough beginning with us and for months he just cried and didn't sleep and just seemed sad. But he has developed into such kind hearted, easy-going kid. If any of the other babies at church cry, "B" will walk over and pat their heads or hand them a toy. It's so sweet! He's very snuggly and affectionate. He does so well, in spite of being unsettled still. His mother is very involved and he sees her a lot, which is wonderful! I am really praying that she is able to be reunited with him. Especially since, if she isn't able to, the chances of us being able to keep him would be very slim. I can't even bring myself to think of him being uprooted and placed with strangers after all this time. If you could say a prayer for his situation and his mother, I would really appreciate it.

Our little family is doing well, though! We love these little guys so much. They are such a blessing to us, even when they make me feel like I'm losing it. :O) It's hard to imagine life without them.

SO! On a totally different note, I wanted to say thank you so much to Steph, from A Silly Pearl (Handmade) for doing a great review post of my book! Click over to see her ADORABLE twin girls modeling her project. (Thanks, Steph!!)
My supply is limited for giving away physical copies of the book, but if any of you have a blog and would like a free copy of the ebook to review/post about, I would be happy to provide that for you! Just shoot me an email.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

August 7, 2014

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you everyone for donating to our Well-drilling project with Healing Hands International to give clean water to a community that needs it.

Here are the two lucky winners who will get a copy of my book!

Ladies, if you could please email me with your physical addresses, I will get those sent right out! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who donated!

Love you!!

August 5, 2014

Last Chance!

Yesterday I was sweeping up cereal (again), singing "Kix on the floor" (to the tune of "Pants on the Ground") and wondering if my home would ever be clean again when I realized something: if I had dirt floors, I wouldn't ever worry about them being...dirty. And I wouldn't have to worry about markers on the wall if my walls were straw. Or if I had no markers. I wouldn't ever dread doing the dishes if I only had one bowl and one cup.

It's not that my children are messy. It's that I am a hoarder of wealth. It's that I treasure things that were never meant to be treasured.

I am rich. And I am grateful for my riches, but I think I am finding out that the blessing isn't in the wealth, but in the opportunity to share wealth with people who truly need it. The opportunity to be generous. The opportunity to be like God in some small way.

Today is the last day to be entered into a giveaway for a copy of my book by donating (any amount) to the Healing Hands International "Well Wishes" project that will build a community well in a third world country. We are almost 4/5 of the way there, thanks in part to you, my generous readers! I can't thank you enough for what has been donated so far. It is going to feel so amazing to get this project finished!! And I can't wait to start on the next project, whatever that might be. I have a few ideas lined up that I'm excited about. :O) I have been thinking about things, and I want to change my life, make it more of a blessing to others in meaningful ways. I don't want to waste the precious time I have here, and my heart is burning to make a difference. It has been for a while now. I keep thinking about when Jesus spoke to the rich young man in the book of Mathew who followed all the commandments, but wanted to be "perfect". Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give to the poor, then follow him. But the man went away sad, because he had great wealth. He went away sad. I just don't want to be that person. I want something better.

Anyway, blah blah blah, :O) If you want to read more, donate, and enter the giveaway, 
And as always, I hope you're having a splendid day, and I love you to death. :O)

July 30, 2014

Crafting with Paige, Drilling a Well, and a Giveaway!

Paige has such a sweet, tender side to her at times.
We recently spent an afternoon together painting and redecorating old metal buttons. She had the time of her like glueing on pompoms and plastic hearts and all manner of tackiness. Each creation was more blingin' and sparkly-fabulous than the last and she was so proud of them! :O) At the end she said she wanted to make more every day and open a shop to sell them to help pay for wells in poor countries.
*heart melted*
And speaking of which, I've wanted for a while now to share something we've been working on here with a few friends. Healing Hands International is an organization that works diligently to show God's love to His people by providing clean water in countries that desperately need it. They have drilled hundreds of community wells in countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, Zambia, India, Honduras and more. They also provide water filtration systems in places where well drilling is not possible, teach agricultural workshops to empower communities to provide for their nutritional needs, have launched a ministry for third world education and many other good works. Check out there website to see everything they're doing!

It takes about $4,800 to drill a community well. And even to this first world, ridiculously blessed girl, that's a lot of money! But my friend Roxanne (along with a few others) started fundraising to build a well with faith filled hearts and I love them for that. And we're getting close! We recently had a yard sale at our house that raised over $1,000 and that was super exciting! We only have about $1,400 left to go!!

I wanted to see if any of you out there might have the heart to help donate to the cause to get the well built! They don't start drilling until the full amount is raised so we are dying to see it fulfilled. The suggested donation on the fundraising page is $10, but you can donate any amount you'd like. You'll just need to sign in, enter your name and address, donation amount, then payment info on their secure site. (They accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and Diner's Club.)

If you're worried about donating to charities and where the money actually goes (and hey, I am, too!) you will be impressed by their financials page, where you can see the perfectly transparent breakdown of their expenses, which is almost 90% program expenses. They also have been rewarded 4 (out of 4) stars by Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator. You can also see the proof of wells built on Google maps. So, long story short, they're legit. ;o)

If any of you want to help out, I would be so very, very grateful! And if you do donate (no matter the amount) leave a comment here and tell me! After a week I'm going to pick two of you to receive a free signed copy of my book. In fact, I think I'll throw in a few goodies from my craft stash as well. You see, I'm bribing you now. :O) You want my car? My firstborn child?? No, you can't have her. You can have the car though, it's a piece of junk, haha.

Thank you in advance if anyone wants to help! I'm guessing there won't be a ton of entries, so that means your chances will be pretty great for winning! Yay for that!

Have a glorious day! And please do take a moment to be grateful for your life. Your water, your food,  your loved ones...your internet. ;o) We are so, so blessed.
:O) Love you!

*Don't forget to leave a comment once you've donated! Chances to enter your name for the book giveaway will end Wednesday, August 6th. Thanks!*

July 21, 2014

Baby Shower Brunch

We had a sweet little brunch at my house last Saturday for a friend at church who recently had a sweet baby boy. Brunches are my favorite! I love breakfast foods because they are basically just dessert, and mini muffins and cupcakes are the cutest things ever.
Besides the food ;o) my favorite part of the shower was the little ABC book we put together for him. Each guest got to decorate a page with a picture that started with the letter on their page and it was so funny and cute to see what people drew! There were some surprisingly good artists and some great senses of humor. (The "P" page was drawn by baby's grandma. I love her!!) And I loved the Koala shaped straw decorations. I designed them and cut them all out by hand with safety scissors at 2am. It was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable showers I've ever hosted, actually, I had a great time. Which is funny because I started preparing and making things at 11pm the night before. I love living on the edge with deadlines!!

Then I left my own party early to sneak off to my very first book signing, where I learned that I am definitely not famous. Haha. (Just kidding, I'm bigger than Miley, I know that.) But seriously, I did meet one wonderful person (literally one) and it was so worth it!! (Hi, Kara! Thanks for coming! You're so lovely.)  And it was fun to sit and talk to the shop owner and his adorable little blonde, curly-haired, 5 year old boy who gave me hug after hug after hug for two hours. I really wanted to take him home with me. My sweet friend also came with me, which made me feel less pathetic, and I sold two books!! ...To...the shop owner. :O)

But I know you guys will all be there when I come to Portland and Seattle! And I can't wait!! Not sure what those dates will be yet, but I'll definitely let you know.

I hope you're having a great Monday!!
I love you very much.


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