Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christmas in July!

Each year, the youth department heads up our Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child campaign. Each year we try to fill a few more boxes with than we did the last and each year we have been doing just that! The shoeboxes are filled with gifts that the children might enjoy and with hygiene items that they may need.

This year I decided I wanted to use some of our Wednesday nights through to summer to help promote the boxes and work on some crafts that would be a fun addition to the gifts! A Christmas in July kickoff seemed like the perfect idea! 
With all the Sharpie love I have going right now, we took plain white washcloths and let each youth draw to their hearts content on them. Then if they wanted to, they could use the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and make the colors run a bit to give it the tie-dyed look.
We had a lot of fun with this project and I love all the creativity the kids displayed!

I will wash and dry all the washcloths and then put them away until we pack the boxes in November. If you are interested in donating to the Operation Christmas Child, and are not local, click the link! There are many ways in which you can help.
If you are local, contact me at joyfullychas AT gmail DOT com! We'd be happy to pick up any items to help grow these boxes and give many more gifts to some needy children at Christmastime! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nicaragua, Part 1

Sunday morning, I woke up very aware of the day we had ahead of us. One of excitement, of nervousness, of anticipation, and a big mixture of happy and sadness rolled into one big ole ball. 

Last summer, Bro Dave Walton came to our church for revival. Bro Dave often talks about his mission trips to Nicaragua and the work that is being done there. Building homes, churches, taking supplies and most of all giving it all to these dear people with the sweet love of Jesus and teaching them about the hope that only He can bring. Bro Dave has been coming to our church for a number of years now, always telling us of the latest work being done there in Nicaragua and always encouraging us to 'Brag on Jesus'.  Knowing my husband the way I do, I knew what was coming next, but it still gave me a moment of concern when he went up to Dave at the end of the week and said, "I'm gonna go with you when you go next year."  I knew the trip was not going be easy. I knew the trip was not going to be cheap. I knew the trip was going be WAY out of all of our comfort zones. 
I thought, this world is a crazy place right now! I don't know if it is a good idea to go out of the country?
 But for once, Chas didn't get in the way, I didn't complain or say anything negative, or start fretting. I just said, "Ok, we need to start praying" 
And we did. 
Shannon's resolve to go did not waiver. He was passionate about it. He wanted to get out letters to ask for anyone to help with the trip. Either with monies, or supplies, or prayers. 
Over the course of several months an outpouring of love came through. It is amazing how God works and I stand in awe of Him. 
Well, around Christmastime Cameo began to speak of wanting to go with her Daddy on this trip. Again, my thoughts were, "No! That's too far away!" "She's a pretty young lady, someone will try to take her" I've seen the movie Taken and it scared me to death! But... I stopped being fearful and added it to my prayers and trusted that if God was calling them both to go,  He would protect them, He would equip them. With everything. 

And here we are... They left Sunday afternoon.
Neither had been to an airport before. Neither had ever been on a plane. Neither had been out of the country. And now they are 1500+ miles away, working in a foreign land. 
As they send me pictures, my heart breaks. I'm aware of just how selfish I can be. How I take too much for granted. Oh, dear Lord, how I needed these reminders. How easy it is to forget the things that matter. 
I miss them terribly, but I am SO proud of them. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I know they will forever be changed.
There are 16 in the group that Shannon and Cameo are with this week. They are split into 3 different teams. Their team went out and began to minister to some of the locals. To invite them to church, to tell them about Jesus and to bring them supplies. 
6 sweet souls accepted the Lord as their Savior yesterday! And that was only in their group! My soul is stirred and I can't help but shout, "Hallelujah!" "Praise be to God!"
The structure below is the beginning of a house that the team is beginning to build. It's not big by any means. It's probably smaller than a standard American bedroom. But it will be strong. It will keep them safe during rainy season they are in right now. And to them, it will be almost like a dream come true. 

Please help me pray for my family and for the teams there this week. Help me pray that lives will be touched and changed by the work they are doing and many more souls will come to know Jesus. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

My Blue Million Shoes

Sharpie markers + a little rubbing alcohol on something white makes colors run. Did you know that? It gives it a somewhat tie-dyed effect. And since I love me some tie-dye, I had to give it a shot on some canvas shoes. 

By the way, just a little over $5 for these shoes at Walmart, and if you know me in real life, you know the only shoes I ever wear are flip-flops and these type of shoes. So woot-woot! New pair of shoes for Moma under $6!  Woohoo!
I had made mention on instagram how I had a blue-million things to do yesterday, but I really wanted to take a little time and make the shoes! That got me to thinking, does anyone else out there say *blue-million*? I had a couple of responses that said YES! One was from West Virginia, and I am not sure where the other was from. But one lady said she had never even heard of the term. To me, blue million means too many to count. You are swamped. Over your head or overwhelmed. 
If you use it in a different form, or at all, I'd love to hear where you are from! :)
Anyhow, back to the shoes. I started both shoes with different patterns, but basically the same. I wanted to see which effect worked best and give you some pointers before you try your own shoes! 
Basically, I didn't want a "pattern" per say, I just wanted a fade from one color to the next kinda thing. Since because with shoes you can't band a section off and saturate with color like you do when you tie-dye, you just have to color your sections in. 
The above shoe was a good idea, but the colors were not close enough together. You want the colors to be close enough to run. It was my first shoe and  my first try, so now you know. I did go back in and color it up some more after seeing it wasn't working in the fashion I wanted.
This is the second shoe. I colored waves of color, progressing outward like a ripple. Much closer together. 
I used rubbing alcohol and a little pipette to distribute the alcohol to the shoe without completely saturating it. You can begin to see how the colors are running.
I even got an old toothbrush and helped muddle the colors a bit.

I am completely smitten. I think they are AWESOME!
Carlie made her own pair too. Very cute and summer-y! 
Cameo has a pair to make as well, and I'll update a pic with hers once she gets them made. 

It was super easy and a lot of fun!  Even when you do have a blue-million things to do, take a little time to have fun with your kids. You might end up with some wonderful memories and some great shoes. ;) 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Shark Week.. Whoo Haa Haa

You may or may not know this about me, but when I was younger, I thought I was going to be a Marine Biologist. I loved the ocean and everything about it. I read books, watched documentaries, and just studied as much as I could about the ocean and the creatures within. And true to any kid with a passion, my room looked like an underwater cavern with dolphins, whales, manatees and coral.
I don't know exactly when my deep love started, but I think it may have stemmed from back in 1988 when "Shark Week" began.  
For my family, Shark Week was a wonderful tradition. We made special plans to be able to watch it every night. And we LOVED it! Every year it was an anticipated event. And if perhaps we were at the beach when it was on, it was just like God had given us special favor for a moment. Yeah, we were that excited about it!

When I got married I found out that not every family made this week special in their lives. Ha. It was amusing for me to find out that the NFL draft was a big holiday in the life of my husbands family.  I had no idea that late April had such a treasured date. I learned soon enough. 
Compromise... ;)

It's no wonder with my great love of the ocean, that it passed along to my children. Since we don't have regular television, we make a short trek to my Mom's house each night. We sometimes pop popcorn. I drink coffee and we watch "Shark Week". 

The kids have obviously learned a little from their old Mom and with just a little prompting, we decided to sit down and draw some sharks. Eli asked to do a little online research of shark stats. We watched some episodes of "The Blue Planet" on Netflix.  We also pulled out some of my old oceanography books and perused their pages searching for information!  
My kids art skills are pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

And when Carlie's 12th!!! birthday rolled around yesterday, I couldn't help myself but to want to take them to see "Finding Dory". I was totally captivated the beautiful ocean scenery in this movie. All the ocean life looked real, it was a sweet, humorous movie and we all enjoyed the movie very much. 

Today, I am not a marine biologist. I don't live close to the sea. But I still have a deep love of the ocean, I enjoy learning about marine life and I do my best to pass along that love to my children through our learning and our life. 

Have a wonderful day, friends! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Summer Fun- Slime

There are a lot of opportunities for fun to be had, if you just seize the moment and go for it. A little pre-planning can make for a good long time of creative fun for all ages! 

This project is easy, it's a little messy, so work somewhere that it will be easy to clean up. Our school table is the perfect place for that. I'll give you directions on exactly how WE made our slime. There are a lot of variations out there.  I recommend you keep this toy away from furniture and nice clothes, just in case. It will clean up, but it is a bit of a mess. Avoid the mess by keeping it in a designated play area!

1 bottle of clear glue (5 oz)
2 tubes of glitter glue (you can leave this out or use a small amount of glitter instead)
food color (optional)
1/4 cup of liquid starch 
2 bowls
spoons to stir mixture

Here's what we did.

We separated (just eyeball it) the clear glue into two bowls.
Add one tube of your color or glitter to one bowl and the other to your other bowl.  That is if you want to make two separate colors. If you want to make one color, you will only need one bowl for everything! It's all up to you!

Mix the glitter glue and ONE drop of food colors to your bowl. 
Then add your liquid starch between each bowl, eyeballing so each gets about half. 
Stir, stir, stir.
Once congealed enough you can work the slime with your hands. It starts out VERY sticky, but if you will knead it for a bit, the stickiness will go away enough to be able to play with it without the slime sticking to everything. 
Slimy fun!

After you have kneaded it til pliable you can take both colors and mix it together!
Be forewarned that if you do mix the colors, they do not stay separate. They will mesh together, but that's fun too!

Abe added a nickel inside his. 
Carlie decided to blow hers like a bubble by laying it over her mouth and blowing. She did NOT put this in her mouth. Just making sure everyone knows that. 

Store your slime in a ziplock bag or in a small tupperware to keep moist. It will dry out if you leave it out. We played with ours well over an hour. Great fun on a super hot summer day!