Families Again
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Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Thursday's Child - My Kids Are Getting It!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Compassion International

Somi from Indonesia

So, it's not Thursday. Any day is special when it has to do with helping kids in need.

Our youngest, four year old Jacob, was watching me put the final touches on some things that I'm going to send out to our Compassion kids. He noticed a little sticker book with construction pictures that I had picked out for Somi and asked me about it. Here is our dialogue.

"That's for Somi. Do you think he'll like it?"


"Somi doesn't have a lot of toys to play with because he doesn't have a lot of money to spend on toys."

"Can we send him some money?"

"Well, someone else is sending him some money to help him out, and we are writing to him and sending him some things to play with."

"I can send him one of my cars." (Now that just got to me, because Jacob loves his Hot Wheels cars. Our midde son is mildly autistic, and Jacob is being tested as well. If you anything about autism, you know that they focus on things. Once they get focused on something that's all that they talk or think about until something else catches their fancy-if anything else ever does. Right now Jacob's is Hot Wheels.)

"Well, honey, we can't send it to him now, Maybe later." (Trying to put him off because Compassion only allows flat things to be sent and, of course, they won't accept a Hot Wheels car in the package.)

So, my kids are getting it little by little. We'll have to go out looking for some Hot Wheel's stickers or coloring book or something like that.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child with Compassion International, just click here. You won't regret it!


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Posted by tink38570 at 3:31 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 May 2010 4:47 PM CDT
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Monday, 3 May 2010
Have You Ever Dreamed of Just Getting Away?
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: General


I have been twitter friends (is that what you call it?) with a family who has been bike touring in South America. I don't even remember how I became friends with them. I think they befriended me first, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I have followed their travels haphazardly, reading their tweets from time to time. Tonight, however, something caught my eye. It was a tweet that invited you to click on a particular site if you wanted to know how to travel on bikes with kids.

Okay. Are you ready? Little known fact about me number three (or four or five, I've lost count). I used to be an avid cyclist. No, not motorcycle (could you only imagine Surprised?) but bicycle. Touring bike to be exact. I have been on four bike tours in my lifetime. Nothing big, but more than the average person rides. Two of them were "Bike 150's" for Multiple Sclerosis. You take pledges and then bike 150 miles in two days. They are a lot of fun. The other two were tours for Cedar Lake Camp. Yes, many moons ago, they had "Bike Camps". We used to ride from Livingston, TN to the Smokies in about four or five days. It was a lot of fun!

Every once in a while I will dream of doing a bike tour with the kids. That seems like kind of a remote idea, though, with all of the therapies etc. that we have for Joshua and Jacob. I'm not sure I could even ride very far these days. I need to get the ol' bike out and try it. 

Anyway, back to this family. After I clicked on the site, I found out that they had a journal that chronicled their journeys. When I clicked on this journal, though, I found out what this journey was all about, and found out that this was not their first journey. This first trip that they undertook with their kids was a year long tour of the United States when their twin boys were only eight years old! They bought a triple bike (yes, I said triple!) and attached a bike trailer onto the back for dad and the boys. Mom had her own bike with her own bike trailer attached. Finished the school year, and off they went. I'm only on page sixteen of their journal, but it is amazing. You can read about it by clicking here

I know what you are thinking, "but you said that they were touring South America". Well, that's where their second trip comes in (at least I think it's their second trip. Like I said, I'm only on page 16). But, I was wrong on one thing. Their second trip isn't a tour of South America, it's a tour from Alaska to Argentina! And they are doing it for charity. An orphanage in Ethiopia that is for kids whose parent's died of AIDS. How cool is that? Of course, now their boys are around 12 years old, and I don't think that they have the triple bike anymore. And, I love it, because they have been homeschooled this entire time. You have got to read their journal. It is a real testimony of how God truly does provide!

Don't forget to click here to go to their journal. Their last name is Vogel and they truly are amazing. Ah, to dream. Well, maybe someday. You never know what the Lord might do or where He might lead Laughing!



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Posted by tink38570 at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 4 May 2010 12:26 AM CDT
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Sunday, 2 May 2010
A New Way of Eating Healthy! Sue Gregg!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review


We have been so blessed with items this year on the TOS Homeschool Crew that have to do with a healthy lifestyle. When all is said and done, when I am finished with all of my reviews, I might write a big, final review that highlights all of these products. One of the main products that totally changed our eating habits for the better was the Sue Gregg Cookbook - Introducing Whole Foods Cooking for Health and Hospitality by Sue Gregg and her husband Rich.

Probably the main thing that I liked about Sue Gregg's way of eating was that she doesn't expect us to totally change our eating habits all at once. Sarah and I have tried other healthy lifestyle plans that asked us to totally clean out our cupboards, clear our refrigerators, throw away our cookbooks and start fresh with their eating plan...and sometimes their expensive products. Sue Gregg has no food products to buy, she suggests no expensive products, she doesn't expect us to clean out or throw away anything, she just wants us to, little by little, change some of our eating habits and change the way we cook our recipes. 

Let me give you an example of what she suggests that we do. Say you make a recipe with two cups of sour cream. Sue suggests that you use two cups of plain yogurt as an alternative. Instead of using lots of salt, lets replace the salt with other, healthier, spices.

She also suggests different ways of doing things that are actually more healthy using most of the same things that you normally have around the house. Who ever heard if partially mixing up a batch of waffles in the blender, then putting the top on it and leaving it sitting on your counter overnight? Yuck Tongue out! Actually not yuck! It really is delicious and brings out more of the healthy nutrients.

Another great aspect of this cookbook (not really a cookbook but a healthy way of eating) is that she teaches you how to prepare foods to be used in a recipe. One example is the way she suggests cooking dry beans and peas before using them in a recipe in order to make the whole recipe healthier.

So you see, it's not changing your lifestyle, it's just making your lifestyle better. She explains the hows and the whys and, since she is a Christian, even the Biblical aspect of eating healthy. There are plenty of recipes, menus, and even a Bible study that involves food in the Bible - I love it!

She even includes a CD with all of the recipes in a step by step power point format with pictures (the power point viewer is even included!) and other gems like "Food Allergy Alternatives", "Grain Identification" for cooking with whole grains, and even how to make foods like "Almond Milk", and a "Flax-seed Egg Substitute". The extras aren't required to use the recipes in the book, but they are there for those who may want to take their healthy eating habits a step further. 

I am going to reiterate again how much I love Introducing Whole Foods Cooking for Health and Hospitality. It has really changed our way of eating for the better. Because of all of the problems that our kids have been having, we haven't been able to actually use any of the recipes for a long time, but we constantly find ourselves eating healthier because we have learned to cook healthier.

I feel that "Whole Foods Cooking" is a must for anyone who wants to improve the way they eat. And it's a lot cheaper than some of those expensive eating plans. Not only do you not have to buy special food, you don't have to buy an expensive cookbook or plan. Her collection of cookbooks include Main Dishes, Meals in Minutes, Soups and Muffins, and Lunches and Snacks, among others. Introducing Whole Foods Cooking is the most expensive cookbook on her website at just $23.00. 

Not totally convinced? I wasn't either at first. Her website is fantastic with a wealth of information on it's own. It has many of the same recipes and much of the same information as the cookbooks have. Obviously not all is there, but enough to whet your appetite. You can get to her website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Sue is also more than happy to answer any questions that you might have. She corresponded with me by email many times and was very helpful.  Many of the TOS Crew Members reviewed other books that she has to offer. To find out more about them, click here. Happy Eating!

As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Sue Gregg's "Whole Food Cooking" to try out and review on my blog.

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Posted by tink38570 at 11:07 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 2 May 2010 11:08 PM CDT
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Saturday, 1 May 2010
I'm Just A Bit Upset!
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Men's Monday Meme

I'm just a little bit put out right now! I am not a member of Mr. Linky. If I were a member, then all of the Mr. Linky's for all of my Men's Monday Meme's would stay active. Instead, whenever I post a new Linky, the previous one that was open shuts down. However, there was always a link you could press that would bring up the links to all of the people that posted on that particular Men's Monday Meme. Well, today I was checking one of those links and found that it wasn't working. I am just a bit upset. I value the bloggers that contribute to my Linky and want them to get credit. So, here's what I'm going to do! I'm going to make a special section over to the left of this blog for all that have ever contributed to my Men's Monday Meme. When someone new contributes, I'll add them to my "Men's Monday Meme Hall of Fame"! If they never contribute again, then so be it. They will still be added. Even though meme's are fun,  one reason folks join meme's is for blog exposure. They want people to hop over to their blogs. I want to respect that and give folks a special thank you as well. I am kind of trying to do this by memory, so, if I happen to miss your name, please forgive me and just comment below so that I can add you. I am going to shoot off an email to the Mr. Linky people to see what the matter is, but until then, please except my apology.

Thanks for all of your support of the Men's Monday Meme,


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:02 PM CDT
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Friday, 30 April 2010
Men's Monday Meme - I had a friend write to me and...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Men's Monday Meme

Actually, it was an old friend...and he didn't write to me, he Facebooked me...and it was very short. Here's what happened.

If you don't know that we are supporters of Compassion International by now, you are either very new to my blog or you have had your head stuck in the sand. We presently are the financial supporters for one child, Marcelo, from Bolivia and we are correspondence sponsors for three other children ~ Feyber from Colombia, Somi from Indonesia and Emmanuel from Tanzania. We love Compassion almost as much as we love our own mission, BCM International, and are always trying to get folks involved in either ministry.

The other day, a Compassion friend of mine...actually the man that got me started with Compassion...invited me to join the Facebook group "Help the poor in Bolivia". Since we sponsor Marcelo from Bolivia, I thought it would be a neat group to join.

Almost immediately I got a response from an old childhood friend of mine. First let me give you some background as to this friend. He was a couple of years younger than me and we went to church together and hung out a little bit together. Emphases on little bit. A couple of years ago I reconnected with him through facebook. We may have posted something on each others wall maybe once or twice and that has been the extent of it.

So, what did this old friend write? Nothing spectacular, just the phrase "Let's help the poor in the United States first!" That was it. At first I thought it was amusing. I didn't take offense at all...until...I went to respond to his comment and found that he had unfriended me! After finding that out, I though, "Wow! He must really be serious.!"

I went through a series of emotions. At first I was bewildered. Then I soon became a little angry. Obviously he hadn't done his research regarding what Sarah and I do. We spend much more money on the poor here where we live than what we would ever spend supporting Compassion kids. Then I became a little angrier. I mean, how dare him criticize me whether he knows what I do for a living or not. It is my business how I spend my money.

Don't get me wrong, obviously I think it is important to take care of our own first, then branch out from there. I am probably using this verse very much out of context, but I ascribe by this verse found in Acts 1:8b:

...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

I try to begin at home, then to the US in general then around the world. We have our ministry here. We occasionally will minister or send our money to help others around the United States. Then we minister abroad.

So, that brings me to this weeks Men's Monday Meme question...actually you know me...it's a series of questions.

What do you think? Should we only help those here at home and forget those abroad? Have those abroad "gotten themselves into their own mess", and we need to clean up our own "messes"? Is it anyone's business what we do with our time and money? Please give me your thoughts on this topic.

Here are the rules:

  1. This is a man's meme, so the answers must be the answers from a man. Either the man can answer on his blog, or a wife can interview her husband for her blog. However, if the wife puts it on her blog, she must stay true to what her husband said.
  2. You are encouraged to put one of the Men's Monday Meme buttons found to the left on your blog. Just copy the code below the button of your choice. The more folks who link, the more readers you may have to visit your blog.
  3. You may answer the question any time during the week up through next Monday. After you answer the question, add the address to your post to the Mr.Linky below. If you could, please only add the direct link to the post to make it easier for readers to find the entry.
  4. My answer along with a new question will be posted next Monday. The new Mr. Linky will be added at midnight Monday night or sometime within the next couple of days after that Wink.

And here's the new Mr. Linky:


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Posted by tink38570 at 9:44 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 30 April 2010 9:59 PM CDT
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