International Women’s Day – March 8

Women of all ages make up one of the most vulnerable populations in the world. They face violence, discrimination, lack of basic rights, lack of education and more. -FH

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day and we have signed up for the Walk to Empower Women. It is organized by Food for the Hungry and is this Sunday in Phoenix.

If you are in the Phoenix area and wish to join us we are team “Running with Scissors” (Meg I just had to borrow your blog title).

If you wish to support any of us, here’s our links:

Ezra’s page

Noah’s page

Stephanie’s page

Matt’s page

This was totally a last minute sign-up and we would thought it would be a fun family activity. Any monetary support is just icing on the cake. Thanks!

Small Business Saturday

Today is small business saturday and I know of a few wonderful small business having sales today in honor of it. I also have a few links in the sidebar to some of my favorite shops. If you are a small business and are having a sale today, please post a link in the comment section.

A Stitch of Mine is offering 20% off today with the coupon code HOMEMADE. Her products are wonderfully made.

2 Chicks Cakery is offering 20% off all orders placed this weekend. My sister-in-law Michelle is following her passion and baking yummy cupcakes!

Stop Traffic[k] is having a three day sale on their t-shirts. They are determined to help abolish slavery.

400 boxes in 45 days

Chances for Children is trying to gather 400 boxes of food for Haiti in 45 days.  I am sure you are aware that Haiti needs some love and hope right now and maybe you were wondering what you could do.  The box drive is something that is easy and tangible!  Even toddlers can join in and help out.

The boys were very helpful and I just had to rearrange a little to get everything to fit. 😉

The last day to ship is December 15, 2010 so you have plenty of time!

Red Tent Project

“So ladies….think about the last time you were on your period. Which newspaper did you use as a tampon? Did you dig through your garage or trash to find a rag to use as a pad?” – Jill C.

A wonderful online friend, Angie, has started a new project to provide reusable sanitary pads for girls in Ethiopia. She is starting with girls at her agency’s transition home first, 30 girls, and would like to send them June 15 with a traveling family. After that she wants to work with her agencies sponsorship program and provide them to even more girls. You can read all about it here and here.

If you are interested in the info please email me.

One Day *Edited

Ez and my toes
Noah and my toes

Today we went barefoot all day. We did it for One Day Without Shoes. Sadly we didn’t have any plans and I didn’t feel like making any so we just went barefoot around the neighborhood. We went for a walk, did our chores, and played outside. I tried my best to avoid walking across the rocks, but had to do it a few times.

Here’s some facts on why we went barefoot to raise awareness:

  • In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to school, clean water and to seek medical help.
  • Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
  • Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
  • In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
  • Podoconiosis is 100% preventable with basic foot hygiene and wearing shoes.

I decided to count my pairs of shoes in honor of the day and confess how many I had, 26 pairs.  Made me sad I had so many shoes and so many in the world have none.  So I gave away a few more pairs, 8 and am down to 18.  I would still like to give more away, but I am a former shoe addict and I did the best I could today.  I am pledging that from now on whenever I buy a pair of shoes, whether new or used, I will donate the exact same amount to a charity that gives shoes to those who need them.  It will help me think about how much I really “need” those shoes and it will help a few people who need some shoes.

*Thanks to Melissa for her comment, here is a charity some might be interested in: If you know of any others please feel free to add them in the comments.


I couldn’t bring myself to do a Wordless Wednesday post.  My heart is breaking for the people of Haiti today.  I pray that the estimates of 100,000 dead are wrong.  I pray for all those living in chaos right now, with no where to go because their city is flattened.  Praying is not enough though, so I encourage you to act, donate, volunteer, or whatever you can do, just do it, and if all you can do is pray then please do.  CNN has a page set up with organizations that are looking for donations or volunteers, its not a complete list, but it is a start for those who don’t know where to look.

Gift Giving

I thought I should follow-up my last post with saying that we are not against gift giving/getting. We do love to give and get thoughtful gifts. I think one of the points of advent conspiracy is to give less and give better. Right after I posted my last post, I was thrilled to read Gretchen’s most recent post.

It isn’t about feeling guilty….or sticking it to “the man”…..but it IS exciting to think about how our Christmases might be transformed from empty gift-giving to a thoughtful exchange of gifts for not only our friends and family, but our brothers around the world!

Well put Gretchen!

I would also add if you cannot find a fair trade gift that is a thoughtful gift for someone you know, please shop local. Buying from a local artist, craft person, or store owner does so much more for you community than a big box store.


The season of Advent begins tomorrow.  It is a season of anticipation of the Second Coming and celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Advent Conspiracy has served as a good reminder to me about the focus of this season, about God’s love for us and the hope that He offers.

Matt and I are continuing to learn what we should focus on during this season and what changes we can make to teach Noah and Ezra what its really all about.  We don’t have it all figured out just yet and maybe we never will, but I have hope that we can find more ways to show them what the season is about.

Last year I shared Advent Conspiracy’s video with you and linked to some charities that provide clean water to those who need it.  I encourage you again this year to give clean water.  If you would rather give locally then please do!  You could do something as simple as forgo one side dish at your Christmas dinner (we know we all have more than enough) and give that portion to your local food bank.

I have started a campaign through charity water to raise just 10% of a new well in an area that desperately needs it.  Please feel free to help us reach or better yet blow away our goal of $500. The campaign ends 12.27.09.

Valentine's Day

Matt and I were recently discussing Valentine’s Day and I was saying I didn’t need a gift. In fact neither of us remembered if we exchanged gifts last year, so clearly it is a very sentimental day around here. Matt and I are more the types to just give gifts randomly at any time to show our love and thoughtfulness. So I said no gift, no card, nothing. Well honey I have changed my mind! Angel Mission and Charity Water have ways to show your love by providing clean water to people who currently do not have clean water. With Charity Water your recipient receives an e-card and is able to choose the country the clean water is going to. Angel Mission let’s you give as little as $5 to show your love, which means you can share love with more people if you are on a tight budget.

Mocha Club

I started a Mocha Club team in Tom and Jerry’s names today to support education in Uganda and Kenya. Please join our team and provide education for only $7 a month.

What to buy

What do you buy for the person that has everything, is impossible to buy for, is an eco-dork, or the consummate philanthropist? How about buying them gifts that keep on giving?

The World Wildlife Fund has tons of animals you can adopt and your recipient will receive a gift also. Some adorable examples are the frogs, giraffe, or penguins.

Sustainable Harvest has gift options that improves the standard of living for families and preserves the environment.

Heifer International has gifts to help families become more self-reliant. You can give goats, bees, ducks, and trees and many other items.

You could buy them shoes:

Or you can give the simple gift of water for Christmas.

Shopping for Fair Trade items is always a possibility. Check out Global Exchange or Serrv International.

Those are just a few of the gift ideas I have to share. Please feel free to share any you have.


Yes I know it is October and is a bit early to bring the subject up, but I saw this video today and wanted to share some thoughts.

Matt and I want to raise Tom and Jerry to truly appreciate the meaning of the Christmas season. We don’t want them growing up thinking that it is all about the presents. We haven’t fully figured out how it will all work, all we know is we want it to be about time spent together, the fun had, and love shared. The things I remember most about Christmas past are the fun times, the baking, and just being together.

I saw the video above on our church’s blog and was shocked to find out Americans spend 450 billion every year on Christmas. Wow that is a lot of money! I am sure some of that is spent on travel to see loved ones, but a decent chunk of it is spent on presents that most Americans quickly forget about and that no longer satisfy. I was also shocked to find out it is estimated that we only 10 billion of that to provide clean, safe drinking water to EVERYONE. Churches have been encouraging people the last few years to give the gift of presence over presents and have begun raising funds to provide fresh water wells to those who need them. I personally could not imagine not having clean water to drink, or to give to my children.

I encourage everyone to focus more on the gift of presence this year and help provide clean water to the world. You don’t have to go to church to participate and if you do go to church and your church isn’t interested, YOU can still do something. Talk to your friends and family encourage them to donate to charities that provide clean water to people who need instead of giving gifts this holiday season. Here are some charities to get you started:


Blood:Water Mission

Living Water International

I am not saying don’t give gifts, you can give gifts, please just make them meaningful gifts instead of something that is just going to get thrown away, put up on a shelf to be forgotten, or re-gifted.