Monday, October 31, 2011

Memorial Box Monday - Anonymous Blessings

Linny at A Place Called Simplicity started Memorial Box Mondays.
"In Joshua 4 Almighty God tells the Isrealites to collect stones and set them as a Memorial to remind them of God's power and provision. He then tells the Isrealites to use those stones as a memorial; that every time they see them to tell their children and their children's children the stories over and over again, continually reminding them of God's faithfulness."

To read the full idea and an introduction to Memorial Box Mondays
go here and read Linny's "How about Memorial Box Mondays?
aka We will remember..." post.

So last week we did a few speaking events. The first was at another campus of our church and the second was with a group of kids at CHF. We love sharing God's story and how he uses us to do his work to encourage others, hence the blog... so we had fun!

After a few times of sharing with people we get used to getting asked questions, and even one lady had said that she read our blog during the Food Pak challenge! But last week we were blessed with something that has never really happened before. And we hope that the person doesn't mind us sharing this (we don't actually know who it was). But last week we got a call from our friend Jesse at CHF asking if we were around the office because he had something for us that someone dropped off. Since we live in San Antonio now, it is a lot easier to just hop on over to the the warehouse. :)

When we got there we got to see some of our friends- Char, Paul, and Jesse- a blessing in itself! Then Jesse made us work just a bit...pppsshh typical Jesse. But when we left we got a sweet card, no name signed, but in it was a hundred dollar bill! Someone who was volunteering at CHF when we shared our story was just really blessed and wanted to share their heart with us.

As an unemployed couple this is a huge blessing! But not as a means to pay bills or anything... During the time we were raising money for the well last year we opened up a savings account to keep the money in. After we met our goal we left this account open and continued to put extra money in it creating a "Projects Fund". We did this so no matter what was going on in our lives we would always have money to do the things we love. Like help sponsor someone's mission trip, or donate to an adoption, or buy $200 in toys to hand out for Christmas... just little things like that. ;) But after 6 months of no income that fund has been long depleted.

But now with the opening of our LOVE shop and a sweet $100 blessing, we can start creating some of our ideas for products to help more people- like the hungry, the sick, the orphaned, and the enslaved as well as continuing our LOVE shirts for the thirsty- all in time for Christmas! We are so excited to use this blessing to keep sharing God's love and to continue living to love others!

This is what the card read: The Lord has touched the lives of so many through your service. As you give of your time so lovingly, it's easy to see His light shining through you. May God bless you as you continue to impact lives and light the way to Him.
"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16 (The same verse we shared in our last MBM post!)

Into our Memorial Box will go a $100 bill! Ha, ha, not the real one - that's gonna be put to use! So thankful for God's blessings lately and to be able to continue to serve Him with our lives.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


We had a great time tailgating this morning at church and celebrating team spirit! :D Breakfast was complete with sausage wraps, kolaches, tacos, donuts, and yummy muffins! It was nice to be able to just hang out for a while and enjoy the beautiful weather on the church patio. We love our church family!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am so excited!!! Look what we got in the mail today...

We won!!! I sent in pictures of Brogan and Teddi with a huge Yellow M&M Frankenstein at the Commissary on base, and we won! So cool!!!

So thankful that the Lord is blessing us with the means to bless others when our funds are limited.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dun duh duhhh...

We purposely skipped our last blog post... yeah, on purpose... cause we wanted to build suspense... ha, ha. (Oops again.)

Ready for the update?! The 10 Days project so far has raised $62,260!!! How amazing is that?!??!?!? That's enough to fund 6 new wells in Rwanda!!! (Plus, they are leaving the giving line open for one more week so that everyone has time to get all their monies in.)

Visit their website at

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10 Days!

Teddi and I just finished drinking water for 10 days along with 100s of others across 50 college campuses! We raised money by not buying other drinks throughout the 10 days and donated it toward Living Water's efforts in Rwanda! Their goal was to drill 10 new wells after these 10 days and they are releasing their update tomorrow!!!

Watch the video.

Be challenged.

10.10.11 from Living Water International on Vimeo.

Stay tuned for the update!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2 months 'til Christmas!

The holidays are near! (With Texas and it's trickery weather, you would never know it!) Thanksgiving is next month then Christmas! I know we just posted about it, but now really is the time to start planning! Before all the hustle and bustle - you know what I'm talking about... Frankie is asleep so we aren't actually planning right this second, but it's on our to-do list!

What are you going to do for Christmas this year? How bout Thanksgiving?

Any special celebrations? Trips? Relatives coming in?

What will you choose to let your holidays look like? feel like? be about?

Our mission to fund a well last year touched the hearts of our family in Michigan who decided to do family projects to help us raise funds as well as all together, forgo less gifts and instead put usually gifting monies toward the water project! This year, the project is food!!! Talks are we may be having a contest to collect non-perishables and build sculptures...

We'll keep you posted for sure! But in the mean time... start brainstorming!

"Christmas can [still] change the world!"

Annnd... enjoy this picture! :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Caroline's Thank You

We got a thank you note today! Back in September charity:water sent out thank you notes and made videos and sent emails thanking people who donated in the first 5 years (How thoughtful!)... because we moved, ours came late. Thought we should share it with you. :)

We Walk Because We Can - Chita's Angel's

We had a great time walking this weekend at the ALS Walk to Defeat ALS!
Take a look at the group shot from the day.

Thanks to everyone who donated to Taylor's page!  She met her goal three times!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Books for Bloggers

We just entered a contest!

Blake Mycoskie, came out with a book earlier this year called "Do Something That Matters". And as a promotion they are hosting a contest for bloggers. Winner receives 2 copies of the book...

One to read and review.

One to giveaway on their blog!

For those of you who don't know, Blake is the founder of TOMS! And if you are a reader you know how much we love TOMS so we are super excited to be entered into a chance to get to read his book for free.

We will keep you posted when we find anything out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drumroll Please!!!

Introducting my first ever batch of rainbow cupcakes! They are for the Walk to Defeat ALS tomorrow and our team is Fiesta themed. Making these was so stinkin fun. I couldn't help but take a picture of every beautiful step!
mixing the batter


this reminds me of something
but I can't quite figure out what...but it's so pretty!

tada!!! amazing!!!

and dying the frosting!

Aren't they gorgeous?! Golly, I almost can't stand it!!
We'll have to post an updated pic of the insides with our walk update tomorrow after someone takes a bite!! Stay tuned!! lol!!
Oh...and these just may have to be the next baking adventure...

cookie bowls!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


So last week we went to the premier of the 58: The Film.
For those of you who don't know what 58 is, it's a global initiative to end extreme poverty through acts of true fasting (Isaiah 58).

Isaiah 58

1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The movie featured different stories of families from Ethiopia, Brazil, India, and Kenya. Each one telling of the daily struggles they face to survive.

One lady with four children lived in a part of the world that hasn't had rain in five years. She lives in a hut that is so bad that her husband left because he couldn't live there anymore. She collects sticks along with her oldest daughter to sell to have money for water and food. But as they collect more and more wood she has to travel farther and farther away from home, all while being 7 months pregnant.

Another story told of a man who works in a stone quarry. He works there to pay off a loan he took from the quarry owner. He is paid very little and when he is ill and cannot come to work his wife and children have to take his place. The physical work is making him sick, but to rest and heal he would get into more debt. He knows that he will die paying off his debt and so will his children and his children's children, all for the $600 that he owes.

Another story of a women who brings home discarded produce from a dumpster that she cleans and sells for money and what is not fit to sell she feeds to her own family. And another of children that are so far from hope that they have even given up on expressing their dreams because they know they will never come true.

Story after story of heartache and extreme poverty, but in the midst of all of these stories there is some good news.

Some 58 Facts

Think ending extreme poverty is impossible? Think again. Consider the following facts:
  • Over the past eight years, the number of kids dying from measles has declined by 78 percent.
  • Twenty-two countries have cut their malaria rate in half in only six years.
  • In the 1990’s the number of children dying from preventable causes dropped from 40,000 to 33,000 per day. In 2008, that number decreased to 24,000. Today, it is 21,000. In one generation, we’ve cut the number of children dying from preventable diseases almost in half!
  • The number of children dying before their fifth birthday has also decreased even while the number of overall births is increasing.
  • In less than ten years, a third of children who couldn’t afford to go to school now can. And literacy rates are rising worldwide.
  • The spread of HIV has been curbed. New HIV infections have been cut 16 percent globally.
  • Two hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was about 30 years. Today, many of us have a life expectancy of 75 to 80 years.
  • In the same 200 years, we’ve gone from over 90 percent of the world’s population living in extreme poverty to about 1.4 billion people there as of 2005 (the latest census numbers). That’s still way too many people. But here’s the good news: In 1981 52 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 2005, that number was cut in half down to 26 percent: All in one generation!

How can you help? What is 58 doing?
You can give yourself. Fast one thing. Make a change in your life to make a change in the life of someone else. Live Isaiah 58...

1) Pray. Align your heart with God’s over the suffering of the poor and seek His vision for the unique possibilities of our time.
2) Choose your fast. Commit to go hungry. You might simply forgo a meal, commit to a regular fast, or choose to give up something other than food. There are countless ideas and options.
3) Invite friends to join you or join an existing group to fast together. Grow your church, your fellowship group or other group of friends by fasting together. Sharing this experience with others will be valuable on many levels.
4) Offer whatever you have fasted for the benefit of the poor. If you saved $10 by not eating a meal, give it to help end extreme poverty. If you fasted from television, give that time to advance the cause or learn more.

What 58 does is they partner with organizations like Living Water, Compassion, Hope International, and many more. They ask you to pick your fast, pick your cause, and make a difference.

Here is the preview for the movie that we saw. Please visit the 58 website and read more about what they are doing. Global poverty is curable and it can happen now.

58: THE FILM Trailer from LIVE58NOW on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twitter Tuesday and a Video!

Ooops...we missed one. Only 5 days in and we missed one. Does is help that we spend our Mondays volunteering?! ;)

So tonight we have a Twitter Tuesday to share and a newly released video!

Twitter is a constant encouragement to us. We follow writers, pastors, friends, and organizations. There are many tweets weekly that really inspire us. Here is what is on our minds today.

@: Love all. Spend less. Give more. This is how the story gets told:

It seems like stores start marketing Christmas earlier and earlier every year... so Advent Conspiracy is at it, too! They work to advocate on behalf of the real celebration of Christmas - our Savior born in a stable, who came to Earth out of love for sinners. And for His birthday we usually buy a bunch of pretty meaningless gifts. AC tells the story of what Jesus might really want for his birthday. Watch the video to get a hint! :)

Introducing, Advent Conspiracy's all new (err...updated...) Promo 2011!

[AC] Promo 2011 from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

Time to start thinking about how we can Spend less. Give more. Love all. Worship fully. this Christmas season.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Story Time!

Today we got to visit the Oak Hills Church, North Central Campus!

We were asked to share a little bit of our story with the church to prepare for their Project FoodPak. It was fun seeing a few friends and meeting some new people!

We were nervous (blogging is so much easier then speaking in public) but we are always so happy to share about the amazing way that God works in our lives. It's so important to always be telling His story to bring glory to His name!

Also, it was really good for us to read old blog posts and remember all the things that God did in us as we lived for Him.

Thank you Oak Hills North Central for having us! It was good to see you. :)

Happy Sunday!

Sunny Saturday - Breakfast and Jell-o!

Today was a lot of fun! 
I had some friends coming into town so we made plans to have breakfast.  I have always wanted to go to the Guenther House for their breakfast so the gang met there at 10!

The Guenther House is a historic house that was built in San Antonio.  
The Guenthers founded Pioneer Flour.
The house is now available for tours and there is a restaurant in the basement!

We had an hour to kill before our table would be ready so we toured the house and shopped a bit.

It was a beautiful day outside so we took advantage of it and ate in the outdoors dining room.

After an hour wait the food was so good!

Glad to be able to see my two best friends Fal and Daisy.  :)

Back at the house Taylor and Brogan were having some fun...

Really cool looking snacks and pretty tasty!

Later on in the evening we headed to my Grandma's 75 birthday party (actually her first birthday party)

It was good to see family too!

Hope you Saturday was sunny and fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good to be Home

It's been near six months that we have been back in San Antonio and it's been pretty great. Great to be near family, friends, We know people here. They know us. We get to run in to them at the grocery store, have an impromptu lunch, or help out family any day of the week.

This hit us the other day-
After having lunch with some old friends passing through town, we went to another friend's store to get some new TOMS, where we ran into another family friend who was so excited to run into us! Friends x3. In one day.
The next day we went to the premiere of 58: (a brand new, must see about ending poverty)
and it just so happened our buds from church were going, too! We were sitting chatting together when another friend walked in! So fun! Good thing too, because we ended up waiting about an hour so we had some cool people to chat with! ;)
And today we got to go to Devine to just chill and eat lunch with family.

This is good stuff.

I think it happened once in Houston...some San Antonio friends were in town and we ran into them at the mall! But now we get to see their beautiful faces every Sunday! :)

It's good to be home!

Oh yeah... and we get to see these awesome people everyday...

trick-or-treating at SeaWorld! so fun!

It's been such a blessing to live with my family during our transition time! So very thankful.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

World Sight Day 2011

With so many wrong things in the world that we can't always change, there is one thing that we can do now. World Sight Day is a day to recognize and share the importance of vision in day to day lives. It is a tool that we use to do our jobs, to support our families, and to enjoy God's greatest creations. Right now, 284 million people are visually impaired and it doesn't have to be this way.

Earlier this year we shared with you the movement that TOMS started- they went from being a shoe company to a one for one company. That means when you buy a product from them, they donate similar products to those in need! If you buy a pair of TOMS sunglasses another person receives eye care via prescription glasses, life-saving surgeries, or simple medication. That means they can continue living life without the help of caretakers and stay in the working force to provided food for their family.

TOMS World Sight Day page touches on just a few of the stories of lives they have changed. They also have features for you to see what visual impairment looks like firsthand.
I don't need that feature because I wake up to it everyday. :)
I am fortunate to be able to have glasses to correct my vision.
Being a designer and artist I don't know how I would manage without my sight, though I have often wondered.

Take time today and think about what your sight means to you and know that it can mean the same to so many others. We can change the way someone sees the world!

Happy World Sight Day!

Let it Shine

Today while I was eating lunch I heard this record on in the background.
I'm hooked.

Emily Riddle - Let it Shine

You can listen to the rest of her tracks here.

Fun Fact:
Emily Riddle is the cousin of one of our readers, Lexie Gager!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 days of blogging

Hello readers!

We have been distant, not on purpose but life is really scattered right now and it's hard to finish a complete thought. We have videos that need to be edited, photos that need to be loaded, but again it is hard to find a spot to just sit down and work. So with these 30 days of blogging we hope to get back into the habit of blogging.

Some of it will be fun, other days we may just be rambling, but we think that the end result will be worth it. So stay tuned and wish us luck (this will be the longest job we have had in 6 months!)

Adventure is out there!
Taylor and Frankie