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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‘ap ‘ap Birthday!

Sung to “Chim Chim Cheree” for my good friend Katie at My Eternal Voyage, in honor of her birthday and love for Mary Poppins. Now if only it had a soundcloud….

‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘ap birthday!
Katie is happy
As a fluffy kitteh!

‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘appily
Be ‘appy too!
It’s ‘er birthday you know
And she’ll dance the day through
Or eat lots of cake
Cause that’s ‘appy too!

Now that she’s older
She’s more than a girl
She’s a llama you see
That can jump, spin, and twirl

Though she spends ‘er time
On skype and pintrest
In this ‘ole wide world
She’s classed with the best

‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘ap birthday!
Katie is happy
As a fluffy kitteh!

‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘appily
Be ‘appy too!
It’s ‘er birthday you know
And she’ll dance the day through

I choose ‘er friendship  with pride
Yes, I do
We enjoy a laugh
And a chortle or two

Up where ‘er thoughts are
All billered and curled
‘Tween waking and dreaming
Is ‘er song writing world

When ‘er guitar’s in ‘and
She strums out a tune
There’s music inside ‘er
Rising like a balloon
On the notes of ‘er fingers
Coo, what a song!

‘ap ‘appily
‘ap ‘appily
‘appy Katie
When you’re with the llama
You’re in glad company

No where is there
A more ‘appier crew
Than them wot sings
“Ap ‘appy birthday to you!”

On your birthday
‘appy birthday
To yoouuuuuuu!

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!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

Video

It’s my birthday and I felt like announcing it. Now you know ;)

I’ll make a real post later. You know, one with words and pictures and interesting stuff. We’re suppose to see Oz today and go shop walking and eat chocolate cake and other yummmmmy foods. Birthdayish things :D

Now for a singing mustache birthday song! Enjoy!!!

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

Share hope!

This picture is for hope. Hope for the future. Hope for love for some kids. Hope for help in reaching my goal. Hope for purpose, family, and tomorrow. What are you hoping for?

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If you want to share some hope click here or on the hope photo at the bottom or side of my blog. Help me give orphans a home!

A Heart Cause: African Children’s Project

The African Children’s Project (ACP) is a cause very close to my heart. I’ve mentioned it before several times. It just means so much to me and we have an event coming up! If you’re in the Charlotte, NC, area like me then come join us on May 11th! We’re having a 5K and Wild Child Fun Run to raise money for the ACP. My friend, Keri, and I are raising money for them in this time before the race. We have 82 days until the race and we need all the help we can get!! Click here to help Keri and here to help me :D

The African Children's Project

Love.

So here’s a bit about why I love this cause :)

1. I love the purpose. Giving orphans a home and a family, not to mention a sense of belonging, value and purpose. Who doesn’t love that???? Actually, I don’t want to know who doesn’t love that. I just want to know if you like that.

2. It’s not some unknown person that might be, sorta maybe doing something. I personally know the founder. She’s my friend Melanie and she went to Kenya last November to oversee getting water to the site. She is doing something. I’ve seen the financials too and the money is going where it should. This is me volunteering last fall:

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Meaning.

Now for the reason behind the fundraising goal of $5924. I like numbers. Being an accountant, some people might go so far as to say I’m a bit obsessed. Well, it’s true. In my crazy obsession, I like my numbers to have meaning. The first 5 is for the month of May. The deadline is May 11 because that’s when the race is. The 924 is for 1 Corinthians 9:24. It says “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” It inspires me to think about the potential every person has, especially the orphans about to have families. The potential to be more than just one of the crowd. To be excellent, to live with purpose, to be more than they ever dreamed possible. -sigh- So much meaning!

The African Children's Project

Purpose.

The African Children's ProjectThe African Children’s Project is about doing just that. Injustice is to be stopped. Now for some specifics:

The Run Wild 5K and Wild Child Fun Run is a race to benefit children who have been orphaned as a direct result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. All proceeds will be used to support and maintain a community based, permanent home in Kenya that provides compassionate, holistic, long-term care for orphans in a family-oriented environment. In this home, children who have been marginalized not only live lives free of exploitation and abuse, but within the context of “family” are enabled to regain a sense of belonging, value, and purpose. Join us for a competitive run or a leisurely walk and positively impact a child’s life in a way you never dreamed possible.

The African Children’s Project is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Click here to visit the race site :) AND click on the side button above to donate! :D Or you can just click this picture:

Donate here!

Now aren’t you ready to help?

If you want to know more about the ACP, you can visit their facebook, twitter, and website. I hope you grow to love them as much as I do!

Here are some photos from last year’s 5K :D

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Melanie handing out an award.

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Getting ready to run!

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Annnnnnnndddd they’re off!

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Together even in the finish :)

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Daddies are more than welcome in the Fun Run :D

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Smiles all around :) :) :) :)

I’m soooo excited to be a part this year!

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!

Called as God’s Chosen Child

If you remember a few weeks back, I wrote a poem for my friend Katie at My Eternal Voyage. We talk a lot and in one of those talkings we discovered something very exciting. Well, exciting for us and I hope you too. She loves to play music and sing. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work, but I love to write. She’s always wanted to put someone else’s words to music and I’ve always wanted someone to put music to my words. This is where I exclaim loudly how amazing God is. God is AWESOME!! Our friendship is a very interesting story anyways, but this has just been an added layer of coolness :D (She actually just posted about this if you want to read about it here. Great minds… what can you say?)

Most of the poems on here were written in high school. A small handful were written after, but not many. I thought for a long while that that phase of my life was over. Then I posted a poem (The Water Test) from back then and Katie asked if she could put music to it. I got really, really excited and promised to write her a song. That’s where Chosen Child came from. Because of her, I’ve been writing more again. It’s kinda like I’ve remembered why I loved to write in the first place. It’s an adventure to find the right words, right beat, and flow to the feeling(s) I wanted to share. I like that adventure, even if the story isn’t always mine.

Now Chosen Child has music, not lame music, but happy upbeat ukulele music!!! Andddd it’s posted for you to hear too :D

Hooray for our first collaboration in music and writing! HUZZAH! -fist pump knuckle touch-