Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Veterans Day

After a long hiatus I am finding myself with tons of extra time to start posting our missions again : )  The kids actually asked me to make videos of them and I said lets start with pictures!  So they inspired me to start taking pictures and documenting our missions again.  They have been on a much smaller scale lately, but they make a big impact on those we serve and in our hearts.  So I begin again with Veterans Day!  The truth about Veterans Day is that I didn't remember it was Veterans Day until after lunch.  Once I remembered I knew it had to be something simple, but I knew it was necessary for both mine and the children's sake that we recognize and honor the men and women that have and currently do serve.  So we have a neighbor and a married couple we know that is near by that are veterans.  We pulled out our butcher paper and markers and made extra large thank you cards for them.  Super simple but it made a huge impact.  The kids came up with everything you see on the sign.  The pictures of them walking to our neighbors they were marching in a line pretending they were soldiers delivering the card.  Unfortunately our neighbor was not home and we had to go back later and I forgot the camera :)  BUT we still have the initial attempt to deliver captured!  The sign is hanging up in their house now.  It meant so much to Mr. G!  He took Branden and the kids up to a room where he had his medals displayed and explained how each one was earned.  He was so excited to share!  The visit ended with hugs and thank you's to Mr. G for serving our country.  We then drove to the next house where both the husband and wife served.  We presented them with a sign (I forgot the camera again).  They were so thankful!  They had the kids help them tape the sign on a wall in their garage.  I am sure it will be there for a long time!  It was a spur of the moment mission, but it turned out so amazingly well! 

These pictures were funny to me after looking at them on the computer because I noticed the drastic clothing difference between the kids.  So who was wearing the appropriate clothing?  I actually don't remember the weather that day, but I do know Annaliese and Finnian are both immuned to cold weather.  Shorts, t-shirts and bare feet.  They are quite content that way! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Women and Children's Shelter: Day of Pampering and Fun

 This was a wonderful mission!  Twelve families came together to serve the impoverished women and children of Nashville. 
Upon arriving to the mission Branden dropped me off to get all the details worked out and find out where we were going to set up before bringing in our whole slew of children.  Walking in threw the metal detector and waiting on the doors to be unlocked I got the initial impression of how these women and children are living.   I got shuffled around until finally they decided we would be on one of the dormitory levels.  Branden and I got off the elevator first to see the area we had to work with .  We had a hallway and a dormitory room filled with cots and bunk beds.  We both looked at each other and silently thought the same are we going to make this happen in this space and make it special!  Well as you all probably know God has all the details worked out.  As all the volunteers arrived the space slowly transformed.  The women's pampering area turned into a beautiful oasis of rest and relaxation that smelled incredible!  The kids area transformed with some colorful balloons, table cloths, snacks, games and crafts! 
The goal was to pamper the women while entertaining the children.  We had two professional massage therapists volunteer their time, talent and products to serve these women.  In the pampering room we also had volunteers to do nails and tend to all the ladies needs!  The women from the shelter had a wonderful day!  Several of them as you will see in the video said they were made to feel like a million bucks and they didn't want to leave! 
The rest of the families spent their time with the children! We had a professional face painter, several games with prizes, crafts, snacks and a pinata.  All the families pitched in to fill all the needs from babysitting, to finding more chairs, to running the games and handing out prizes! 
It was an amazing day filled with lots of smiles!

Check out the video below...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Everyday Giving

So I am finding God has allowed us many opportunities to give in our every day life.  So often it is easy to compartmentalize areas of life and for us that includes giving.  

We were walking into a local mexican restaurant to eat lunch after Mass one day and sitting on the bench outside of the restaurant was an elderly man who was dressed in rags and looked very dirty.  My three year old has one of the biggest hearts and does not let the way someone looks keep him from giving hugs.  So we say hi to him and our little guy offers a big dimpled smile accompanied with a bear hug as he would call it.  My husband walks up behind us and sees this happening and invites the man to come in and eat with us.  I continued into the restaurant with the kids as I see my husband sit down on the bench with him.   Five minutes later he walks in with only his socks on his feet.  We get to the table and I wondered why the man wasn't with him and what happened to his shoes.  The story goes the old man was going to be heading to church and could not stay long enough to eat or wait for a to go meal.  My husband then looked down at his feet and saw all of the holes in his shoes and asked him what size shoe he wore.  It happened to be the same size as my husbands!  So my husband proceeds to take off his shoes.  The mans hands were having trouble taking off his own shoes so my husband gets down and takes off his shoes for him and then puts his shoes on the man.    The man walked off in his new shoes and my husband came into eat with just his socks.  I took the picture below!

I had been wanting to share this story for a month or so, but I think it makes it even a better story now that I can say my husband still has not purchased new shoes.  The shoes that he gave away he loved and had just recently bought.  We ourselves don't buy shoes very often.  It really was a big sacrifice for him, but he didn't think twice.  On top of that we don't eat out often because it costs quite a bit for our family to eat out and when we do we are always trying to cut corners and without hesitation my husband offers to pay for another person to eat.  He inspires me!  Being the provider of our family I can see how it would be easy to be more stingy and cautious with money, but my husband he is an inspiration because we don't have a lot to give financially speaking, but he is always stretching us and listening as the Holy Spirit guides him in his generosity.   

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Smiles for the Elderly

This past Sunday October 28th we dressed the kids up in their Halloween costumes, brought bags of goodies and took them to the nursing home with several other families.  We visited many of the residents in the home and had a wonderful time.  The longer the kids were in there the more comfortable they were giving hugs and talking to the residents.  We will definitely be going back on a more regular basis.  The smiles the kids brought to many of their faces were priceless.  They told us before coming and upon arriving that they LOVE kids and what a treat it is for kids to come because they see so few of them.  Being able to share our children with these people was amazing for them and even more so for us.  Watch the video below to see how it went!  One of the highlights was meeting a 105 year old woman that is a resident at the home.  In the video she is wearing a striped shirt and the kids are crowded around her.  She is filled with so much life.  She was so animated she was capturing everyone's attention.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October Mission of The Month

October 28TH from 2-4pm at Grace Healthcare (1287 West Main Street Franklin, TN 37064)
We will bring smiles to the faces of the residents with our children dressed in costumes! If you feel called please bring treat bags for the residents filled with toiletries and/or have your children make cards for the residents! Please let me know if you have teenagers who would want to participate in the thrilling bingo game! Teenagers are also welcome to come around and make room visits greeting people.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What's Mine is Yours Event

On September 30th Mission Family went to a mobile home community here in Franklin with truck loads of stuff!  Families arrived and set up all of the items on tables as the Franklin Estates community gathered to shop!  The What's Mine is Yours Event was a huge success!  Families gathered items from their homes and asked others to donate to the mission and then we gave it all away at the event to families in need.  Check out the article link below for more on the story and check out the pics below.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Creating Opportunities for Giving in your Everyday Life

Annaliese (6) said "mom because you changed baby doctors (we would drive into downtown Nashville the past two pregnancies, but now we are going to a doctor 10 minutes from our house) will we take food to people on the streets" and I said why wouldn't we take food to them and Annaliese said "because they are not on the way to the doctors anymore."  It occurred to me in that moment we have to make it something along our path especially when we are busy with life.  If it is not something along our path and built into our lives we forget about it.    During my pregnancies and anytime we go down town we fill the front seat with water bottles, bananas, crackers, and any other food we have in our house to pass out to all the homeless people we pass on our journey to our destination.  Driving into Nashville you see some and if you open your eyes and are looking for them you see a lot!  We found when we started packing food the people began to multiply, but really the people didn't change it was our hearts.  We were searching for them and made time for them.  My goal is to now figure out a way we work this into our lives again.  I love my new doctor and it works for our family, but I have to figure out a way to make going downtown a regular part of our lives.