Archive for Dec 2009

December 5, 2009 Please touch

One of my favourite Christmas decorations we have is a Little People nativity set when the girls were toddlers. Our girls LOVED Little People and would play with them for hours. So to have a nativity set of Little People…. perfect! Each Christmas we dig it out and they sit there and tell the Christmas story over and over. They interact with the characters, and suddenly the story becomes more alive.

I love nativity sets so much – and am always looking for interesting ones. My other favourite one, shown below, is an African one I picked up at a fundraiser. The one thing I avoid is ones that are breakable – I want the girls to touch. To play. To imagine what it was like all those years ago in a stable, in a manger that first Christmas.

This is one of my favourite Christmas memories and I had to share…..

aaContactSheet 001 Please touch

Eden with the African set with a blanket she made Jesus.

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Celebrating life and love,

Krista

December 5, 2009 Don't say cheese

[Remember: from December 1-7 any comment made on any blog post here, is a can of food I will donate!]

As a parent – I want to remember everything about my girl’s childhood. I’m hugely sentimental and love traditions and relationships. Every year we have a couple traditions I really love celebrating each season. One is the annual “Goodson-Jefferyear” Christmas bash. Every year we get together with our very good friends, the Goodyear family, and their 3 kids. They are like family and we look forward to this annual get together of games, food and gifts. And lots of laughs.

We wanted to get a photo of all the 5 kids together. Sam (their daughter and the responsible one of the bunch) took my girls upstairs and tried to get them out of their crazy clothes and into something semi-matching. One nice photo was all we hoped for. Look at these two photos here – look at my Eden and Madi. So cooperative.

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Just one nice photo. Please – all we ask of you. One photo.

Finally frustrated, we let the kids “off the hook”. Without any prompting from adults or us saying “please just one nice picture for mom I BEG you!”…. they all sat under the Christmas tree, threw their arms around each other and sang Christmas carols.

IMG 9631 Don't say cheese

IMG 9633 Don't say cheese

And I was reminded of an important part of my style of photography at Edison. You don’t hear me saying to kids “sit still and say cheese.” That’s not kids style. Or mine. Instead you will hear me encouraging them to run, laugh and play. Interact. Be silly. Be a kid!

So, I wonder why I force my kids to do that? When I look at the photos above – the first ones are “fine” but the one of the kids under the Christmas tree… I get choked up because this captures what I want to remember. I want to remember when five kids spontaneously threw their arms around each other and sang out in celebration. I want to remember this moment.

This Christmas, as you take photos of your own family memories – although you need a couple photos of the kids in front of the tree in their Christmas dress or PJ’s…. try to refrain from stopping the moments of your festivities to get them to look at the camera and say “cheese”. To me, that’s like stopping a beautiful moment in a movie to get the actor to stop and smile at the audience. The moment is lost. Instead… look for the moments that make your heart beat a little faster.. .and capture these.

They fight like siblings, and love each other like family too. So thankful for the Goodyears in my life!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

Earlier I announced “cans for comments” (leave a blog comment in the next week – I’ll donate a can of food to the food bank) – time for the next announcement kicking off December 1st.

Let’s start by me just saying I love my Madi. Madison’s name means “Gift from God” and this kid could not be more appropriately named. She teaches me so much and is such a gift.

Madison has always had a compassionate heart. At age 4 she was so moved by the fact our World Vision child did not have clean water – she began selling bottled water to raise money and awareness. Madi sees a need and she wants to step into action. I often hear “we HAVE to do something”.

On Friday, I kept Madi home for a “mental health” day. She had been tired and just needing a break. I was outside doing some yard work and I heard hollering from inside. “Mom!!! Get in here! Come quick!!!!’

I came running inside expecting a bleeding, dying Madi. Instead she met me at the door with the phone in hand. “Mom!! Quick – call now. Kids are dying. We have to call and sponsor a child!!” I was a little confused what she was talking about… until I realized she had been inside watching World Vision on the TV.

She was dialing the number and panicked that we had to hurry.

I sat her down and explained we have as many kids as we can afford to sponsor – but we tried to brainstorm other ways to help.

“We can have a lemonade stand!”

It’s November.

“We can have a hot chocolate stand at the end of our driveway!”

We live in the country – no one drives past our house.

“We can sell hot chocolate at the Santa Clause parade!”

That’s tomorrow – I don’t think we could organize it that fast.

…and on and on and on it went. My heart was swelling with pride that my daughter was so passionate about something so important. And my heart was breaking that it sounded to her 7 year old ears that mom was not “letting her” do something to help these children in Africa she was hearing about.

Finally, her last idea was perfect.

She decided to draw and sell her pictures to raise money. She drew and coloured all afternoon. We’ve chosen one picture that I think captures the whole essence of Madi’s heart.

It is Madi and “Saudi” (nickname of our World Vision girl). They are both smiling. There is love. And she wrote one word: “Remember”.

Remember…. more than 13,000 children under five die from causes related to malnutrition every day. Today. December 1st… 13, 000 children.

Remember…. that there is food in your cupboards, fridge, freezer, purse, backpack….

Remember…. in Africa over 76 million people are without a home. Based on an average family of 5, Africa is in need of 15.3 million homes.

Remember…. you have a roof over your head and walls around you.

Remember…. Africa has more than 40 million children, almost half the school-age child population, receiving no schooling. Two-thirds of these are girls.

Remember…. you have the free gift of education as a male or female.

Remember…. around the world today there are over 900 million people who do not have access to clean water.

Remember…. you can go into your kitchen, and turn on the tap and pour yourself a glass of water.

Remember.

For the month of December, Madi will be selling her “Remember” picture with ALL profits going to World Vision. You can buy this as a magnet, unframed, framed or as a set of 5 gift cards. It’s nothing fancy, or extremely artistic… but to me it is a masterpiece. And just think of the conversations it will start if you add this to someone’s Christmas gift or hang it on your fridge or wall. (Orders by December 15th will be shipped in time for Christmas…. after that we can’t guarantee delivery but you’re always welcome to come by and pick up!). Purchase HERE.

madiafricaweb Food for Thought Part # 2

Before you leave here, let me add one more “Remember”….

Remember there is always something you can do to make our world a better place. The choice is yours. Start by a “click” of the button and feed a child HERE.

And now a couple words from Madi herself…

And I have to include this also… how funny are her “nasty clothes” comments – ha ha ha

Celebrating life, love and my gift from God,

Krista

I have two things to announce as of today – December 1st….. both to do with food and giving back. The second one is a big one – so it deserves a post of it’s own.

The first is “Cans for comments”…. we did this last year and loved it. For the next week (December 1-7) I will donate a canned good to our local food bank for every comment made on this blog. Feedback is always appreciated here in blog land…. intimidating I know. I stalk so many blogs… but I rarely ever comment. So I feel your pain. But I will if you will. Deal? Time for me to dust off my commenting side of my brain and share some love as so many others are also doing “cans for comments” also.

And while you’re at it… take a moment and stop and encourage someone else. In the chaos of December we often forget the meaning of the season is Love. Today and each day, take time to stop and share some joy. That is a gift that will last much longer than the ones under the tree.

Feeling mushy and sentimental today (my next blog post will explain why) – so I best stop now before I start blubbering my love to each and every one of you blog readers. Let me just say this – thank you. Thank you for taking the time to visit here and encourage me.

A post needs a photo. So… let’s add a couple I took one foggy morning recently as I ran around my yard freezing in my PJ’s….

IMG 0111 Food for Thought Part # 1

IMG 0109 Food for Thought Part # 1

IMG 0112 Food for Thought Part # 1

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

Earlier I announced “cans for comments” – time for the next announcement kicking off December 1st.

Let’s start by me just saying I love my Madi. Madison’s name means “Gift from God” and this kid could not be more appropriately named. She teaches me so much and is such a gift.

Madison has always had a compassionate heart. At age 4 she was so moved by the fact our World Vision child did not have clean water – she began selling bottled water to raise money and awareness. Madi sees a need and she wants to step into action. I often hear “we HAVE to do something”.

On Friday, I kept Madi home for a “mental health” day. She had been tired and just needing a break. I was outside doing some yard work and I heard hollering from inside. “Mom!!! Get in here! Come quick!!!!’

I came running inside expecting a bleeding, dying Madi. Instead she met me at the door with the phone in hand. “Mom!! Quick – call now. Kids are dying. We have to call and sponsor a child!!” I was a little confused what she was talking about… until I realized she had been inside watching World Vision on the TV.

She was dialing the number and panicked that we had to hurry.

I sat her down and explained we have as many kids as we can afford to sponsor – but we tried to brainstorm other ways to help.

“We can have a lemonade stand!”

It’s November.

“We can have a hot chocolate stand at the end of our driveway!”

We live in the country – no one drives past our house.

“We can sell hot chocolate at the Santa Clause parade!”

That’s tomorrow – I don’t think we could organize it that fast.

…and on and on and on it went. My heart was swelling with pride that my daughter was so passionate about something so important. And my heart was breaking that it sounded to her 7 year old ears that mom was not “letting her” do something to help these children in Africa she was hearing about.

Finally, her last idea was perfect.

She decided to draw and sell her pictures to raise money. She drew and coloured all afternoon. We’ve chosen one picture that I think captures the whole essence of Madi’s heart.

It is Madi and “Saudi” (nickname of our World Vision girl). They are both smiling. There is love. And she wrote one word: “Remember”.

Remember…. more than 13,000 children under five die from causes related to malnutrition every day. Today. December 1st… 13, 000 children.

Remember…. that there is food in your cupboards, fridge, freezer, purse, backpack….

Remember…. in Africa over 76 million people are without a home. Based on an average family of 5, Africa is in need of 15.3 million homes.

Remember…. you have a roof over your head and walls around you.

Remember…. Africa has more than 40 million children, almost half the school-age child population, receiving no schooling. Two-thirds of these are girls.

Remember…. you have the free gift of education as a male or female.

Remember…. around the world today there are over 900 million people who do not have access to clean water.

Remember…. you can go into your kitchen, and turn on the tap and pour yourself a glass of water.

Remember.

For the month of December, Madi will be selling her “Remember” picture with ALL profits going to World Vision. You can buy this as a magnet, unframed, framed or as a set of 5 gift cards. It’s nothing fancy, or extremely artistic… but to me it is a masterpiece. And just think of the conversations it will start if you add this to someone’s Christmas gift or hang it on your fridge or wall. (Orders by December 15th will be shipped in time for Christmas…. after that we can’t guarantee delivery but you’re always welcome to come by and pick up!). Purchase HERE.

madiafricaweb Food for Thought Part # 2

Before you leave here, let me add one more “Remember”….

Remember there is always something you can do to make our world a better place. The choice is yours. Start by a “click” of the button and feed a child HERE.

And now a couple words from Madi herself…

And I have to include this also… how funny are her “nasty clothes” comments – ha ha ha

Celebrating life, love and my gift from God,

Krista