Thursday, May 27, 2010

Little things CAN make a difference

I love when simple opportunities come up for me to actually do something to help others, and the We Are THAT Family blog is a great place to find those opportunities.

This week, Kristen from We Are THAT Family is organizing an effort to make pillow case dresses for girls in Africa, where she recently went on a trip with the Compassion organization. I can't sew, but I can donate pillow cases and other sewing items and more for other people to make the dresses. How easy is that?!? Read Kristen's post to find out about the effort and what you can do!

I sponsor two boys through Compassion, both of whom are around R's age - one lives in Uganda, the other in Haiti. (Please pray for both of them!) I've received two photos of one of my boys - in both pictures, he was wearing new clothes that he was very happy and proud of and that he wrote to me about. One of the outfits he bought with his money for Christmas, along with a goat for his family, some soap, a cake, and a soda. But in both pictures, he's wearing girls' shoes. Maybe he doesn't know or maybe he does and it doesn't bother him - I don't know. But that just broke my heart. Especially when I think about how much I spend on R's shoes. Or, how much teasing a boy would endure here for wearing pink girls sneakers. So, helping with the pillow case dresses is a connection for me to my "son" in Uganda, to children in Africa, a small, yet powerful way that I can help.

If you know of other projects like this, please share!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just beachy

We've been so lucky with the weather recently! On Sunday, we headed up to Gloucester to check out another beach with some friends. It was perfectly sunny, warm, and breezy. The beach was absolutely beautiful. Clean, sparkly sand, big rocks for climbing on, and WARM water. We waded in the ocean almost the whole time. Unbelievable for May in New England!

R played and ran and splashed and climbed non-stop. He and his friend had so much fun together. It made me happy and relieved. R has been having some bad episodes recently where he can't control his frustration - usually because of schoolwork or disagreements with friends. So, giving him the opportunity to run and be free and get dirty and wet and explore to his heart's content gives my heart peace.

Because we've been going up to Gloucester so much, we decided to spend a week of our summer vacation there. I found a beautiful carriage house for rent that's steps away from the ocean, with tons of room (including bunk beds for R and friends), a fireplace, Weber grill and patio, and a jacuzzi tub. So it'll be a fun way to end the summer after R's camp is over and before school begins. We can hit the beaches, go on a whale watch, go hiking and rockhounding, and check out the shops and antique stores in Rockport. I can't wait!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend adventures

Last weekend was so nice! It was darn hot around here (in the 90s!), so after soccer and swimming lessons and a bit of weeding and mulching, my boys and I headed up to Gloucester for some rock-climbing, beachcombing, sea glass-hunting, and dinner-eating by the water. We've been doing that a lot recently, even during the wintertime. We really love it up there. It makes me happy to see R have so much freedom to climb and run and explore. (Although we did have to give him a time out for leaping from rock to rock and running way ahead of us on the cliffs.) I found tons of sea glass, as well as some beautiful beach rocks that I brought home to place in my garden.

My boys on the cliffs - see how R is scampering ahead?

R throws rocks into the ocean

The sun was very bright :-)

Sunday was my trip to Salvage Chic with my friend, Brenda. Oh boy, that shop had me written all over it. I could have spent hours browsing and re-browsing through every nook and cranny. I have to go back with A. Brenda was very patient and helped talk me through a few potential purchases, but her decorative and furniture taste is really more modern, so she didn't buy anything for herself. She kept cracking up, though, at the number of items in the shop that she had had in her house growing up.

I went in there looking for some little table or shelves that I could use in my microscopic bathroom. I ended up getting two sunny yellow shelves, a white tool tray, and a tiny box of magnets (for R).

Unfortunately, when I got everything home, I discovered that the shelves are too long for where I wanted to put them. But I'll find another place. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to use the tool tray (any suggestions?), although it will probably become a Lego organizer like pretty much every other storage item in our house.

This weekend, my boys are heading out for some Mother's Day shopping, which means I'll have the house to myself for a few hours. Normally I would watch some HGTV or Pride & Prejudice and take a much-needed nap, but my house is such a mess that I'm going to spend the time cleaning. That will make me so happy. On Sunday, we're going out for brunch and then we're going to work in the yard if the weather cooperates.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends and family! God bless you for all you do!