Moving moving moving… kittens!! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense)

Sooooo basically this entry is a duo. The first picture is my legit phone/instagram cuteness overload pic:

Mama box cat and the baby box kitties! #cutenessoverload #kittens #boxcat #dawww #sodorable

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If you don’t understand why this screams future, we can’t be friends. Just kidding. We can be friends. It means future to me because it’s new life. These cute babies were born last Thursday (3 days old now) in the freezing cold. My family pulled them from under the porch (while holding Mama Box Cat back) and moved them to the enclosed porch area. Now they have a space heater and everything ;)

Each kitten has an entire life ahead of it. Even the runt, who was pushed out on Thursday night, has a chance to grow up. I sat with it and rubbed its back until it squeaked and followed my finger back to the group. Friday, it was pushed out again, but I did the same thing and Mama Box Cat finally accepted it and now all four of the little babies are in a great big wad :D

This second picture is not my own. It was borrowed from my friend, Amy.

Passport to Kenya!

I don’t know if you have noticed my African Children’s Project (ACP) postings lately, but there have been a lot of them. My friend Amy and her husband Jason have been the main source of ACP excitement. This passport represents sooooo much future since they are relocating to Kenya to oversee administrative things and construction on site. Talk about total life change!! They have to sell their house (for sale here), raise support (support them here, I’m doing it), pack their two small kids up and move halfway across the world, then build a house and learn a language. Ummmm future much? Heck, yes!

I love the story of this future though and I’m sooooooo extremely blessed to have my time, energy, thoughts, money, and hopes tied to it. I just couldn’t help but love the story and people! And so here’s the story I love to share:

My friends, Jason and Amy are moving to Kenya. But they aren’t going to take over and run things for people. They are going to invest in the community and help orphans from the AIDS/HIV epidemic find forever families. When they get to Embu, Kenya, Jason and Amy will begin building a two story house, paying the local construction groups to build it. They first floor will be devoted to the orphan families and the Yons (Jason and Amy) will live on the second. The idea is that they will seek out a couple or a mother that is willing to adopt several children, then move them into the first floor, and help them become adjusted and well blended as a family. Next, when the new family is ready, construction on a new house will begin, using local workers again. This house will be just for that family and when finished, that family will move in, leaving the first floor of the Yon house empty. Then Jason and Amy will seek out a new couple or mother and start the entire process over again.

The goal is that the orphans find a family that will allow them to be children and grow up with a future. They will go to school instead of working to keep their siblings alive. They will be loved instead of lost. They will get an entirely different future. Now that’s worth posting about!!

You might wonder what happens after several families come together on site. I did too. My friend Melanie (founder and director of the ACP) told me this: “Oh my! I would LOVE for us to be there!! When that does happen, my hope is that those families will run the site on their own, and allow us to move to a different area and do this all over again. That’s my goal, man. And praise God, we’ll get there.”

You can read Amy’s story here, if you want. It’s pretty amazing. No, really. I get goosebumps from it.

Oh yeah, and Weekly Photo Challenge rocks. Just sayin’. Now here’s a bonus Mama Box Cat photo. Why? Because I love her.

My daisy kitty :)

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Okay, two bonuses. Sheesh.

Box cat. It's her favorite place to sleep :D #kitteh

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In da hood (aka Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood)

Okay sooooo I don’t live in a hood or the hood or even a neighborhood at all. I live in a house, by the highway, near the woods, beside my grandma. Anyways, these are my phone shots for the weekly challenge. Kittehs and moss count as “neighborhood” right? I hope so.

Let’s step out the back door:

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Ooooooo and squat down to get a good shot:

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That was cool. Maybe a little less brick this time?? Hmmm. Not as good as the one before.

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Now I’m totally distracted by the sunset.

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Yep. Sitting here in the sun is nice :D

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Now for a glimpse of what I see. Oh and my rockin awesome shoes. Yay purple!!

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Distracted again….

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It’s my kitteh!!! She’s fat full of babies! Soon there will be lots of little kitties hopping around everywhere. It will be fantastic!

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More of what I see. Leaves. A whole lot of leaves. But such is winter.

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And this is the kitteh begging for food. She’s extra pitiful, isn’t she? -Meow meow meow- That is kitty for “yes”.

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Ta-da!! This is a day outside with my phone. Not really my neighborhood, but then I don’t really live in one. I don’t have a local coffee shop or a daily run. I have a highway and you can follow me on instagram if you really want to see shots of that haha. Seriously though, I post like one sunrise shot a week from that highway. Gorgeous!

Appreciate the small things (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details)

A few years ago I was living on a different continent, away from home, and a few timezones from my family. I missed seeing them, but was never homesick. I think part of it had to do with all the little things that reminded me of home. Like my photo for this week’s photo challenge:Appreciate the small thingsThis is of a purple hydrangea. I hadn’t seen any outside of my home before. Usually they grow either blue or pink, but it takes a special mix of acidic and base dirt to make one purple. Too much of either and you get the pink extreme or the blue extreme. This little detail is one of many that kept me from being homesick while so far away. I hope you like it (:

Onto Tax Season! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward)

#rain #work #hefe #thankfulforajob #taxseason

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This photo entry in the Weekly Photo Challenge is of my current future: Tax Season. Or specifically my building. Today was raining and cold, but such is the season (: This photo represents future because this is the beginning of my new job. Soooooo many doors are opening up because of it. I’m learning loads about expatriates and individual taxes and just yesterday I realized that I’ll be able to help the ACP with their taxes next year. They are hiring a family to move to Kenya to be the liaison between Embu and the US. SUPER EXCITING!!!!

p.s. Don’t forget to help give hope! Click the hope picture below to find out more :D

Slavery Still Exists: Let’s End It (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved)

New Year’s resolutions, I’ve never made one. But this year is different. I went to a conference in Atlanta called Passion 2013. It was amazing!!! While there, I learned about slavery and that slavery still exists in the United States. I knew about some of the other places in the world, but I had never really thought about it before, never let it sink in deep. This week that changed and I made my resolution. For 4 months I will be involved in spreading awareness about slavery and supporting the End It Movement.

My photo for the weekly challenge is of my friend, Kelsi, and me shining a light on slavery:

Shine a light and let the whole world sing! #passion2013 #enditmovement

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We were also in this video by CNN, shining our lights and shooting a beam into the Atlanta night sky :D

Slavery Still Exists. That just gets all over me, not the numbers, but the pain that men and women, boys and girls can’t escape. Why?? Because no one has stepped in to end it. Let’s do that! Let’s join together and end slavery in the world!

You can sign the pledge to end slavery here.

“Slavery is Wrong. You know it. We know it. As a country, we’ve officially known it since 1863. But here’s something you might not know — Slavery still exists. We want every man, woman and child to know that there are 27 million men, women and children, just like them, living in the shadows. In brothels. In factories. In Quarries. Working as slaves. In 161 countries. Including our own. We are here to shine a light on slavery. No more bondage. No more sex trafficking. No more child laborers. No more, starting now.”

End it! #enditmovement #shine #slavery #purpose #freedom #light

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So here is your challenge: Join me and together we can change the world. I’m not asking you to give any money. All I ask is that you tell someone what you’ve learned. Awareness is action. The more people who know, the more the injustice is brought to light, the more likely it is of being stopped. The End It Movement. One way to share is by using #enditmovement on twitter and instagram pictures saying that you are in it to end it. Let’s do this!

A Dr. Who Christmas (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise)

Yesterday, my friend Katie, my brother and I all exchanged Christmas presents. There were lots of surprises on all sides which is why I thought it would be perfect for today’s photo challenge.

This first photo is of Katie’s present from my brother and me:

You are the only present under our tree @ellokaitlin Curious yet?? #christmas #present #waiting

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I won’t tell you what was in her present quite yet. It will be your Christmas tutorial surprise! I’ll post it later. Her gift bag, wrapping paper, and two of the gifts were made by me :) You’ll just have to wait and see!

This photo is her amazing present to me:

YES!!! That is an exclusive David Tennant bookmark from ElloKaitlin Creations, a sonic screwdriver that writes invisible messages and tickles, AND British chocolate. Oh the amazing surpriseness!! I had no idea what she was making and was completely surprised :D

The rest of our day was spent playing/dying in Spelunky, watching a 2/3 Lord of the Rings Marathon (we didn’t get to see Return of the King because of a funeral), and exploring the woods in the rain. It was a great day full of Christmas surprises and weather surprises. A good day indeed.

Here are some rain shots:

It was raining and we got wet. But @ellokaitlin was happy so that's what counts.

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Nature. Wet nature but still nature.

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This nature was already wet so it didn't care about the rain.

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@ellokaitlin trying to fall off a tree.

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UPDATE 12/25/2012:

These are the links to the Christmas Surprise Tutorials :)

  1. Mustache Wrapping Paper
  2. Ombre Bleach Tee
  3. Mustache Mug
  4. Merry Christmas Gift Bag

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Oh yum, icing! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate)

For today’s challenge post, I captured some tasty gingerbread creations. You might not thing that icing gingerbread cookies is delicate and you are entitled to that opinion, no matter how wrong you may be. The stuff slides, drips, twists, runs, cracks, crunches, and makes a terrible mess if you aren’t super careful. Needless to say, I messed up a few times :)

Here are those tasty cookies:

Yum! #gingerbread #cookie #icing

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#gingerbread #santa #cookie :D

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Kitteh cookie! Like it @ellokaitlin ? #cookie #gingerbread #kitteh

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#mustache #gingerbread #cookie @ellokaitlin :)

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It's my brother :) #gingerbread #house

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My daddy's house :D #gingerbread #house

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As tasty as they look, the smell is even more fantastic. You should make some. Ahhhhhhhhh!

Wonderland of the Snowy Variety (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons)

I live in North Carolina. Occasionally it snows. Mostly it doesn’t. It’s one of the trials in life I’ve come to accept. I love snow. It’s so fluffy and pure. I realize it is also life threatening, but some of the best things in life are. Like flying or eating too much chocolate. Some times life threatening things are good.

Anyways, every time it does finally snow, I go out and take loads of pictures. And I mean LOADS!! This is one of my favorites:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons

It’s also my entry in this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge. I hope you enjoy it!

Mine Brothers (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine)

The Weekly Photo Challenge is on Mine this week. Mine meaning something that is mine or belongs to me. Wellllllllll, technically my brothers DON’T belong to me. However, “mine” is like a term of endearment (or endurement, whichever) that we use for each other. Like for my brothers, I would say that is MINE Adam or MINE Alexander. They are MINE brothers. At one point in time the phrase was actually “my ….,” but somewhere along the way things changed. Now, it is nearly always “mine.” So the photo above and the photos to follow are of mine brothers. I love them :)

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but every one of these pictures was taken in the wind. Random fact that made all of us feel epic while taking them.

It’s a Maize Maze!!! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary)

This week’s challenge is on solitary. Solitary means alone. It also means being at once single and isolated. This other definition is the one I’ve chosen to go with.

My little friend, E, kept running off. She was super excited to be in the maze but when you go around too many turns you become alone, single, isolated. In reality we were only a few cornstalks away, but it didn’t appear that way. She looked alone. She looked lost. She looked isolated. Until we came around the corner. That’s what solitary means to me. Not physically alone, but feeling alone. It is possible to be in a group of many people and yet, by yourself. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to remind myself that I am One Not Alone.

Here are more pictures from the maze!! My favorites are the last three :D Continue reading