pocket frogs 2


\\Dig Deep in Chuko

lilly pie

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Christmas 2009, St George Island, FL

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.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rob Bell, RICH

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First day of school

8/2008 Parker 6 th grade Paeton 4 th grade

8/2007 Parker 5 th grade Paeton 3 rd grade

8/2006 Parker 4 th grade Paeton 2 nd grade

8/2004 Parker 2 nd grade Paeton Kindergarden

8/2005 Parker 3 rd grade Paeton 1 st grade
8/2009 Parker 7 th grade Paeton 5 th grade

8/2010 Parker 8 th grade Paeton 6 th grade

Parker and Paeton started back to school August 18 th. Parker is top dog this year in the 8 th grade. Paeton joins him in the junior high entering 6 th grade. Every first day of school Jamie has managed to come home and take their picture. This was the first time he missed it so I had the responsibility.
Can you believe how much difference one year makes?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Julie in Ethiopia with clean water!

Celebrating in Dawro from A Glimmer of Hope on Vimeo.

In this video you'll see my friend, my rock star friend, Julie. She traveled back to Ethiopia this summer to research A Glimmer of Hope and the work they are doing providing clean water to people in Southern Ethiopia, near where her two sons, and my two sons are from. She's amazing and we are excited to partner with she and her family in raising the funds to build a deep well that will provide clean water for years to thousands!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Clean Water and Hope for Africa

These photos were from last years fundraiser. The BIG P's raised over $1,000 at their adopt a Build-a-Bear fundraiser. I asked friends to donate 10% of the profit they made from selling their purse last year and $350 was collected. I added my amount raised to the kids fundraiser and we had over $1400 that we donated to Sele Enat orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is the same orphanage where we adopted the twins. If you are a math wiz you have already figured out we sold $3500 worth of purses at the Designer purse sale last year. I decided to switch it up a bit this year and ask friends to completely donate a purse so that all of the money raised will benefit Africa. We have already started to collect fabulous purses for this years event. Brands include, Vera Bradley, The SAK, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Lucky, Dooney and Bourke, JUICY, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Brighton, and many more! Please get in touch with me if you have donations or any questions. I can not wait to see what the Lord will accomplish through this event! Please pray for many $ to be raised as there is great need in Swaziland and Ethiopia.


Adopt a Build-a-Bear and


{new/like new/gently used}

Friday night, October 8, 2010 5:00-9:00 pm

La Croix Church, The Porch

100% proceeds to benefit charity work in Africa.

First $1,000 raised will benefit missionary work in Swaziland, Africa through Heart for Africa.

The rest will be donated to Glimmer of Hope to build a deep water well that will provide clean drinking water to thousands of people in southern Ethiopia.

How can you help?

Donate a Build-a-Bear or designer purse in new, like new condition. Tell all of your friends, family and people you


See you at the sale. Best selection of Build-a-Bears and DESIGNER PURSES in Cape!

for more information go to: www.heartforafrica.org


The greatest complaint with overseas aid is that so little of it reaches the people in need. At times, less than half of a donor's dollars reaches the target communities with the remainder being gobbled up by administrative fees and fundraising costs.

We believe that's unacceptable - 100% of donor money needs to get to the projects - and that's what we offer here at A Glimmer of Hope.

Because we pay all of our operating expenses through our endowment, we are able to offer you a unique opportunity to help some of the poorest people in the world, one that sees every dollar you donate get to where it is needed.

Your donation will go directly to our country office in Addis Ababa which is staffed by experienced Ethiopian professionals who monitor the progress of our projects. That office also sees to it that your dollar is stretched as far as it will go once it reaches Ethiopia because of the familiarity they have with doing business in the country.

Heart for Africa is a faith-based not-for-profit 501(c)3 public charity. Working with our partners in Africa, we support and encourage self-sustainable homes for orphans and vulnerable children through long term programs and short term service trips that deliver quality care, shelter, food, water, clothing, health care, social work, mentoring and education. We currently serve in two countries in Africa; Kenya and Swaziland.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Slumdog Tourism, MUST READ!
I have copied this article from another Ethiopian adoptive moms blog. This was published in the New York Times last week. It is a powerful, real life account of what happens when many visit third world countries and see how MOST of HIS people live life. Praise God for stirring the hearts of christians who have responded to His call to do something about poverty, lack of education, famine, unclean, unsanitary, diseased and contaminated drinking water. My prayer is that HE raises up mighty warriors to support our clean water team. Will you be one to come along side our family and friends (the Neals, www.ethiopianjournies.blogspot.com ), is HE calling you?

August 9, 2010
Slumdog Tourism
Nairobi, Kenya

SLUM tourism has a long history — during the late 1800s, lines of wealthy New Yorkers snaked along the Bowery and through the Lower East Side to see “how the other half lives.”

But with urban populations in the developing world expanding rapidly, the opportunity and demand to observe poverty firsthand have never been greater. The hot spots are Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai — thanks to “Slumdog Millionaire,” the film that started a thousand tours — and my home, Kibera, a Nairobi slum that is perhaps the largest in Africa.

Slum tourism has its advocates, who say it promotes social awareness. And it’s good money, which helps the local economy.

But it’s not worth it. Slum tourism turns poverty into entertainment, something that can be momentarily experienced and then escaped from. People think they’ve really “seen” something — and then go back to their lives and leave me, my family and my community right where we were before.

I was 16 when I first saw a slum tour. I was outside my 100-square-foot house washing dishes, looking at the utensils with longing because I hadn’t eaten in two days. Suddenly a white woman was taking my picture. I felt like a tiger in a cage. Before I could say anything, she had moved on.

When I was 18, I founded an organization that provides education, health and economic services for Kibera residents. A documentary filmmaker from Greece was interviewing me about my work. As we made our way through the streets, we passed an old man defecating in public. The woman took out her video camera and said to her assistant, “Oh, look at that.”

For a moment I saw my home through her eyes: feces, rats, starvation, houses so close together that no one can breathe. I realized I didn’t want her to see it, didn’t want to give her the opportunity to judge my community for its poverty — a condition that few tourists, no matter how well intentioned, could ever understand.

Other Kibera residents have taken a different path. A former schoolmate of mine started a tourism business. I once saw him take a group into the home of a young woman giving birth. They stood and watched as she screamed. Eventually the group continued on its tour, cameras loaded with images of a woman in pain. What did they learn? And did the woman gain anything from the experience?

To be fair, many foreigners come to the slums wanting to understand poverty, and they leave with what they believe is a better grasp of our desperately poor conditions. The expectation, among the visitors and the tour organizers, is that the experience may lead the tourists to action once they get home.

But it’s just as likely that a tour will come to nothing. After all, looking at conditions like those in Kibera is overwhelming, and I imagine many visitors think that merely bearing witness to such poverty is enough.

Nor do the visitors really interact with us. Aside from the occasional comment, there is no dialogue established, no conversation begun. Slum tourism is a one-way street: They get photos; we lose a piece of our dignity.

Slums will not go away because a few dozen Americans or Europeans spent a morning walking around them. There are solutions to our problems — but they won’t come about through tours.

Kennedy Odede, the executive director of Shining Hope for Communities, a social services organization, is a junior at Wesleyan University.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ordinary Hero

Ordinary Hero~ A day in the trash dump in Ethiopia from Kelly Putty on Vimeo.

This is a trash dump, a huge trash dump outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. People, young and old, live here, eat and drink here every day. In my previous post I mentioned we are in the process of raising $50K to donate to Glimmer of Hope to put several wells and provide clean water to thousands of people in southern, Ethiopia. We are researching fundraising opportunities now and will share soon!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kanakuk Kamp fun!

Parker was at K-West this year. Kamp for Parker just keeps getting better and better. Every year we come to pick him up, it has been the best kamp experience ever! Can't beat that. He bunked with his best buddy Cole (friends since 2yr old) and 2 guys from the Ecuador mission trip were at Kamp the same term. He was also able to hook up with Sparky and a few of his favorite past counselors, Wes, Matt, Mickey at K-Kountry and serve one evening as a junior counselor for the Around the World party. He was with Wes in Africa, dressed up and speaking Amharic! Wish I had a video of that!

Parker and Paeton were at kamp for the last 2 weeks of July. Paeton was at K-Kountry, it was her last year on the country side as it is for kampers 7-11 yrs old. She made it into "The Real Deal" aka Barn 12. This is special for the kampers who have attended kamp the longest. She was also honored and chosen as the Kickapoo mini-princess and she won the medal for best all around Kayaker, she chose to Kayak for her sport.

After we picked up the BIG P's from Kamp we headed to the laundry mat in Springfield, MO. After throwing away what was not salvageable (kamp laundry. . . YUCK!) I managed to fit the rest into 8 washers/dryers and we then drove south to Branson, MO once again. Now we arrived at Kanakuk's family Kamp, K- Kauai for the first week in August. Jamie has served 3 kamps for 3 years as their Kamp Dr. We stay at K-Kauai as a family while he serves. This was the twins 2nd year and the BIG P's 1st at family Kamp. We usually serve the 2nd week the BIG P's are at kamp but this year they stayed the full 2 weeks at kamp w/o seeing us and then we all got to experience family kamp together. We had a blast! The big's and Jamie did the Diamond Head ropes course, zip line, screamer (a swing you are harnessed into and drops) and this death drop free fall (again harness and you fall 4 stories straight down and just before the second you die, splattered all over the pavement, a small fan-like devise stops you on your feet). I chose not to participate in these exciting activities but joined in pool side and for the canoe trip down the Taneycommo River. Not the family bonding experience we were paddling after, but we made it safe and sound back to dry shore 3 miles later.

Kanakuk is an amazing place, the kamp staff just pour the love and promises of the Lord into your kids while at kamp, the amazing staff are so cool and on fire for the Lord your kids just want to follow hard after the example of these cool kids and they reinforce the values we have spent a lifetime teaching them. Family kamp is a blast, it is a terrific family vacation where you all grow closer together and to the Lord. If you have not been you have to try it out!

I met an AMAZING and driven mom there who is my new friend and partner in bringing clean water to villages in Ethiopia. Julie, has 2 adopted sons from Ethiopia, the southern Sidama region. We have both been researching maps and believe our boys were from areas less that 50 miles away from eachother. She has recently returned from Ethiopia where she and other AMAZING, driven aka makin' things happen mommas were researching clean water projects, medical missions, and visiting with family and friends in Ethiopia just waiting for the Lord to reveal His plan to them. Please visit www.teamalexander.blogspot.com to learn all about the amazing experiences God gave them.

So Julie and her family are at Kauai for the week and we get to talking and she reveals her heart for bringing clean water (safe drinking water, you know the kind we take for granted) to the village one of her sons Grandmother lives in. She committed to raising $50K for Glimmer of Hope who does the incredible job of hiring local village men/WOMEN (don't you love that part) to manage the water project after they have done the work to tap into the source. The reason I believe with all of my heart God ordained this meeting is because my prayer for the last 6 months has been, Lord where do you want me to serve? Lord, what do you want me to do? Use me, send me. I knew it was in Africa, there are so many worthy and desperate cause, my heart is in Ethiopia where 2 loves of my life were born and don't you know, my Jesus, my best friend introduced me to Julie, whom He'd made a plan with. He just opened the doors for me and made this path illuminate so I could not miss this opportunity to join Him and Julie in His work. At the top of this page you will find a video from Glimmer of Hope, please watch it, I will be posting more about His plan to provide clean water for Ethiopia.

Long post. . . so much good, or should I say God stuff to share. I will leave you with a few pictures from family kamp..

Parker was voted the best dressed "Techie" aka Geek. We were so proud!

Phisher loved the pool at K-Kauai!
Phelix had a blast playing in the small water fountains!

Saturday, August 7, 2010