pocket frogs 2


\\Dig Deep in Chuko

lilly pie

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Christmas 2009, St George Island, FL

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings

so thankful for my sisters. . .
so thankful for my brother-in-law Aric who adopted my 2 nieces and is a wonderful husband to my sister Wendy.
Thankful for Parker and the fun, kind young man he is
Thankful for Aunties
Thankful for the big surprise Aunt Josie gave us all when she surprised us the day before Thanksgiving. We hadn't seen her in over a year.
So thankful for my mom. She cried tears and tears of joy when she saw her baby (Josie)
Thankful for the promise of Christmas to come. The best gift the world has ever been given, JESUS!
So very thankful for the most wonderful gifts I have ever been given. . . my husband and best friend and my 4 children.

Thankful for the memories we have from the last 14 years at the Kansas City Zoo! If you haven't been to meet this guy, the polar bear, he is a CUTIE!
Thankful for animals

Thankful for nature. So many reasons to be thankful this year. My family, my friends, my church family, CLEAN WATER to drink and bathe in and cook with and so much more. The twins are up and ready to eat so I will have to cut this short. God bless you and yours!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let the Digging Deep begin!

I am so excited that we have officially raised the funds to begin phase I of our water project!! What does this mean? The project is underway and out for the bidding process. This phase will entail all the labor and rigging necessary to drill the actual 500-meter shaft to where the water is! The shaft will be encased all the way down with steel. What an exciting moment it will be to experience clean water bursting forth out of ground that has been barren and dry for so long!!
So this Christmas season, we invite you to join with us as we "DIG DEEP" in order to change the lives of those who cannot enjoy something we take for granted every day. Clean Water...what a concept. It is amazing to know that we are able to play a part in reaching "the least of these."

For more information, see www.ourglimmerofhope.org/digdeep.

This is a copy of a post from Julie's blog! We are so excited to join them in their efforts to bring water our brothers and sisters in Chuko, Ethiopia. It is so exciting to know the project is in trusted and capable hands with our friends at A Glimmer of Hope. Can not wait to see this water. May the Lord multiply our efforts and to Him be all glory and honor!

Don't forget to purchase your Christmas gifts here! Dig Deep t-shirts, hats, to go cups, stainless steel water bottles and donation cards sent to your loved one is the gift that keeps on giving for eternity! Honor the person who has everything with a donation to our Dig Deep project, it is our favorite gift we will be giving this year! Haven't you heard it's one of OPRAHS "favorite things", . . . well I am sure if she knew about it, it would be ;.) If anyone has any connections please hook Dig Deep up!! EVERYONE DESERVES CLEAN WATER. Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Remembering them. . . .

Estimate: 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. For the ones still waiting for their forever family,
147 Million Orphans in the world. . . . You are not forgotten. He is coming to bring you home
Never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst --- Revelation 7:16
We are Dig Deep. My soul thirsts for YOU . . . in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from "Our Street" to yours!
ELMO aka Phisher
Ernie aka Parker and Big Bird aka Paeton
C is for Cookie, Cookie Monster aka Phelix

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dig Deep | Our Glimmer of Hope

Well, it is officially, official! I am so excited to announce the DIG DEEP well fundraising page with A Glimmer of Hope is up and running. Please click on the link below to read how God put this DIG DEEP project on Rob and Julie's hearts. As you know, the Lord reconnected Julie and I this summer after we graduated from college 18 years ago. I never could have dreamed that she and I would both have adopted 2 boys from rural, southern Ethiopia. As a new college grad with the world by the tail this was just not in my plan. But that is why this is so special to me, it is not about me and my plans, it is about HIM and HIS plans for my life. Oh, how He has changed me, and oh how I have been resistant and not at all a good student at times. But even when it must seem impossible to HIM that I will give up my control and yield to His ways he never gives up on me. I am so thankful that my family has fully embraced DIG DEEP. We are committed to serve right along side the Neal family to see clean life-giving water provided for our brothers and sisters in Chukko. When I am using the gifts He has provided to me and caring for 'the least of these', it is there that He meets me. Together with my King is where I want to be. Won't you join us? Come serve Him and meet Him. . . DIG DEEP! Dig Deep | Our Glimmer of Hope

Sunday, October 10, 2010

and the winner is . . . . .

DIG DEEP fundraiser, Friday October 8, 2010. La Croix Church, THE PORCH
Preparing for Build a Bear Adoption
Omni Peace, DIG DEEP and Africa table. Juicy Couture purse table behind.
Hair bows and head bands by Paeton
HOW? jewelry and Heart for Africa Missionary, Karen Ward
Lovely purse models: Brittany, Josie, Rachael, Paeton and Riley!
This is the live video footage of volunteer extraordinaire, Chrisy, drawing for the winners of the purse raffle. The first purse drawn for was donated by my fabulous friends who own "RESALE ROW", Nationally Recognized Designer Resale. They have 4 stores you MUST visit if you are not already a preferred customer, so you can become one! Women's Closet Exchange, Clique for teen and young adults, PURPLE COW a high end children's and maternity boutique and last but not least, The Exchange, St Louis' largest and finest consignment furniture store. They are located at 11575 Gravois.

The first purse we drew for was a new Marc Jacobs purse, pink leather, with the Nieman Marcus price tag still attached, retail price, $750! and the winner is. . . Jennifer Harris! Congratulations Jennifer!

As you already know, the next purse we drew for was for the white leather, Salvatore Ferragamo purse donated and signed by Angelina Jolie. and the winner is. . . Laura Sparkman!
Congratulations Laura!

Finally, the drawing you have all been waiting for. . . the black python/leather GUCCI purse donated and signed "with love Angelina Jolie". . . and the winner is. . . Pam Benn!!! Congratulations Pam! What happened next is truly amazing. Pam decided immediately that she wanted this gift to continue giving and bless others. She will donate her Gucci purse to Heart for Africa at the Celebrate Hope event February 2011.

God truly blessed and multiplied our efforts for the well project. Over $10,000 was raised and more hearts were touched by Him for His children in Africa. Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Thank you to all who came out to our event. Thank you to everyone who supported DIG DEEP with your gifts, talents, finances, and your time. Special thanks to Faune Riggin and KZIM River Radio, and to David and Mo at KHIS local Christian Radio for promoting DIG DEEP and helping us to bring about awareness to the 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water. Thank you to all who donated a purse, a build a bear, shared our passion with others and prayed for God to bless this event. He brought many hands together to accomplish His will. A very special thank you to our families, for your love and support and extra help this last week while we were preparing for the fundraiser. An extra special thank you to Ms Nancy, the best foster Grandma who stepped in and lovingly cared for the little p's so I could take off my MOM hat and put 110% into this event. And Chrisy, you truly are "Volunteer Extraordinaire"! Julie and I thank you for helping us research purses, price them and for your merchandizing skills. You kept us organized, took care of accounting details, customer service and handled the drawing details. Thank you everyone. To our Savior and King, thank you for allowing us to serve along side of you. We are blessed and humbled to be used to further Your kingdom.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Make a Difference and DIG DEEP!

Last night these fellas came to town and put on a rockin concert! I can tell you it was incredible! It was amazing to witness these three Christian groups collaborating together to "Make a Difference" in the lives of the poor and orphans around the world. Add in Max and his powerful testimony and prayers, it will be a night I never forget. There were several thousand people worshiping the Lord last night and on two occasions we prayed collectively as a group for HIS children around the world who were hungry, hurting, alone, sick and in need of clean water.

Max Lucado led us in this scripture, Matthew 25:31-40
" When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

I just love those words that Jesus spoke. They are so real and He just breaks it down so simply for us. We are saved by faith alone, not by our works. But because we are saved, because our goal is to be more like HIM everyday we start to act like Jesus and when we meet a need for the least of these, we meet His need.

Max Lucado said, "every 6 seconds a child in our world dies from lack of CLEAN WATER". You know I think the Lord was speaking through Max right to my ears. I believe He is pleased with all of us who have answered His call to help the least of these. I believe He is pleased with all of us He will bring together for the fundraiser this friday to bring clean water to the least of these in southern, rural Ethiopia. Please join us, let us all come together and make a difference! Only 50 raffle tickets are left for the fabulous purses donated and signed by the lovely, compassionate and generous Angelina Jolie.

Make a Difference . . . DIG DEEP!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

DIG DEEP purse raffle

ANGELINA JOLIE has a heart for orphans, global poverty, the 1.1 billion people in the world that do not have access to clean water and even more causes that she is passionate about. This mom has a huge heart for all injustice in our world. We are excited she has come along side us with DIG DEEP! As you already know the generous, Angelina, autographed and donated 2 designer purses to raise awareness and money to bring safe, clean, accessible water to rural, southern Ethiopia.

The DIG DEEP fundraising committee decided to sell 100 chances at $100 per chance to win one of her FABULOUS purses! It is getting exciting! As you can see below many have already purchased their chance. We bought 2 decks of cards, threw away the 4 Jokers and there you have your 100 chances. When you purchase a chance card (raffle ticket) we write your name on a card and it will be entered into the live drawing to be held at the fundraiser on October 8th.

To increase your chances of winning we will ONLY sell 100 chances. AND even better there are 2 purses, 2 FABULOUS purses to be given away! Winners need not be present to win. You will be notified by phone or email. The first card/name drawn will win white purse. The second card/name drawn will win black purse. Both purses signed and donated by Angelina Jolie. All donations will be sent to A Glimmer of HOPE. All donations are tax deductible.

Now, don't you think it is time you bought your chance to win a purse signed by Angelina Jolie? Less than 2 weeks to go and only 70 chances left! Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to DIG DEEP and bring safe, clean water to our brothers and sisters in rural, southern Ethiopia! Leave me a comment or email me at joutman@charter.net if you have any further questions.! You can donate through paypal on Julie's blog .

Don't forget to join us for our adopt a Build-a-Bear, hair bows and headbands, and over 100 purses for sale at the DIG DEEP fundraiser.
Friday night, October 8th
La Croix Church, in THE PORCH
5:00-9:00 pm Please Join US! It will be a family fun event where together we can make a lasting positive impact on the lives of our brothers and sisters in rural, southern, Ethiopia!

Monday, September 13, 2010


FRIENDS, FAMILY, and HEARTS for AFRICA use our paypal button to purchase your raffle ticket now!
This lovely mom, Angelina Jolie (pictured above) donated 2 of her designer purses and signed both to help us raise money to build a well in Ethiopia. Julie, my partner in well building happens to be Brad Pitt's little sister. Is this totally FABULOUS or what?!
This is a photo of the Salvatore Ferragamo, white leather purse - retail value $1,500
Here is the autograph inside the black purse!
This photo is of the black leather/python Gucci purse - retail value $5,000.

Raffle tickets are $100 each. ONLY 100 tickets will be sold. Your chances of winning are greater because we have 2 purses as prizes. The first ticket drawn will win the WHITE purse. The second ticket drawn will win the BLACK purse.

Drawing to be held October 8, 2010, 9:00 pm at the Dig Deep Fundraiser being held at La Croix Church The Porch in Cape Girardeau from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. All money will be donated to A Glimmer Of Hope to build a well in southern Ethiopia. Winners will be notified by phone or e-mail. To purchase tickets, please e-mail either joutman@charter.net or jujuneal@gmail.com. They are going quick. 6 tickets have already been sold - hurry and get yours!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Drilling for Clean Water

Live Drill - No water for our birthday in Central African Republic from charity: water on Vimeo.

Live Drill Day 2 - We Hit Water! from charity: water on Vimeo.

This is the reality of drilling for water. Julie and I know in the southern region of Ethiopia drilling the well will be a huge project, not unlike this one. Unfortunately, the area we want to bring clean water does not have a clean, strong source we can tap into. The closest water source is 45 min walk and it is contaminated water. The well we will dig will look similar to this project in the video. The well we dig will be very expensive. It is true, sometimes it only cost $5,000 to build a well. Some wells have even been hand dug. That is not the reality we are facing. It is a huge project on many levels but that is why it is so necessary.

Did you ever think getting water, clean, drinking water could be so difficult. I didn't either. In America it is just not a reality we deal with. But to 1 billion people around the world it is reality!

You may be asking, "Michelle, clean water, is it really that big of a deal?" read on. . .

*1 Billion people around the world do not have access to clean water.

*Water related diseases claim 5 million lives per year.

In rural (southern) Ethiopia the statistics are even worse

*only 1 person in 10 has access to clean water.

*1 Ethiopian child in 10 dies before their fifth birthday, 1/2 of those die of diarrhea.

*a baby's chance of dying from diarrhea is 520 times greater that if they were born in Europe or the US

*women and children walk hours a day to collect water from polluted sources.

*their loads can weigh upwards of 60 lbs.

So I now ask you this question, is this okay with you? Do you think this is a big deal now? Please join us in our effort to make clean water a reality for southern Ethiopia. Spread the news and bring awareness, tell others about our fundraiser, donate to our well project, there are many ways to help. Let us be used by the Lord to bring the Good News to southern Ethiopia, let us bring them life = clean water.

Thank you Julie for encouraging me today. We will have tough days but you are right, we have been called by HIM and He does not call the equipped. He EQUIPS the CALLED!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

Fall arrived in the Cape! When we woke up this morning it was 47*. We packed up the BIG and little p's and headed north for the St Louis Zoo! What a great day. We have a photograph of Parker and Paeton in this Hippo's mouth from about 10 years ago. I'll try to find it and scan it in so we can all see the big change!
Phisher, where otter you?
The Children's museum is featuring amphibians. The orange and blue frog outside were by far the most fun.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hair Bows for CLEAN WATER

The fall collection, closer up!
The flower collection!
Colors, patterns, stripes, polka spots oh my!
The fabulous head band with hand made bow and vintage coat button.
You love orphans, you love them not, you love them! www.147million.org
Pretty in pink floral with fab vintage button!
Boo! Halloween headband.

We are adding these handmade hair bows and headbands to our SECOND ANNUAL Fundraiser to benefit A Glimmer of Hope and Heart for Africa. 100% of proceeds donated!

Totally fabulous headbands with handmade bow. $15
These colorful handmade hair bows come in all colors. They are so fun, each a unique design! $ 6.00 each
These flower bows also come with an alligator clip attached so it easily attaches to head band, hat, bag or outfit! Only $ 6.00 each!
This is the fall collection! Pumpkins, scarecrows, candy corn, ghosts, and more on festive fabric! These must have accessories for fall are selling fast! Hair bow or head bands $ 6.00 ea

Paeton and I have been hard at work creating these FABULOUS, handmade bows. They have an alligator clip on the back so that you can easily attach them to your favorite head band. The stretchy head bands work best and also the smaller thin plastic head bands work great too. Another fun way to wear them is to safety pin them to your favorite outfit, purse, backpac, etc.