Sunflowers!

We came home to sunflowers!

I knew when we left that they may bloom while we were gone. And they did! I love seeing them every time we come home. It makes me smile each time.

It’s so cool that a couple of seeds planted a few years ago have grown into more and more sunflowers. I know they’re a bit out of the ordinary, but I love having them at the front of our house.

(Pictured with our kiddo for a height comparison)

Flowers at lunch

Today we ate at the hotel’s restaurant for lunch and met Mario from the Amazon. He was carrying palm fronds to create flowers. 

I’d seen him or someone else doing the same thing earlier in the day on the beach but had no idea what they were doing with the palm. He didn’t have a sample of a finished one, just a stack of long flat ones that he offered to me.  

We watched him make a flower for another couple in the restaurant and decided it’d be cool to get one too. We figured it’s nice to support someone making cool things. 

So, we nodded him over and started chatting. (He had helped send away another guy selling some figures made out of some type of clay). So that earlier help plus his bit of English scored some points with us. So we said yes to a flower. It ended up pretty cool.

We love these pens!

(Joanna wanted to make sure that you know her picture isn’t finished yet, it’s the one with the candle. Mine isn’t done yet, either)

We bought some gel pens to take to our FriendsCamp in Natal, Brazil and we’re testing them out to make sure they work. These pens are AWESOME!

There are 108 different ones. Some even have glitter in them -glitter that makes your coloring shiny but doesn’t get all over the place. Amazing! And, the neon ones are super bright, like catch your eye across the room bright. We are really enjoying working with them.

I think we’re about to buy another set so that we have one for us to keep. Or, I may just wait till Joanna’s birthday. But, that’s a couple months away yet so we’ll see 🙂

Here’s a picture of the pens in case you want some too (or in case you want to send Joanna a set).

If you click on the picture it will take you to the Amazon link so you can take a look for yourself.

 

We found a gluten free boxed mac and cheese we like!

This one is the winner! The one adjustment​ was that we used 2 tablespoons of milk instead of 3. And, we all 3 liked it. 

With several of the others the kiddo is the only one really enjoying it, when she asks for more I just give her whatever is in my plate because I don’t really want it. Not when this one, I ate my serving and got her seconds from the pan. Yay!

Excited about growth


See all that green? Good things seem to be happening out here!

We have had varying levels of “success” each summer with our garden. So far this year is looking good. There are even lots of green beans on that plant (hmm, that made me realize I don’t know how to know when they’re ready to pick – guess it’s time for some research)

In addition to enjoying the yummy food, I love that the garden is a family project. My dad helped shop and plant the plants, Joanna got to plant a few things and she prayed over it all, asking God to bless us with lots of good stuff to share. Morgan gets to help with the watering. And we all enjoy the produce!

Here’s hoping the weather and pests cooperate and the plants yield lots of good stuff to share. 

Still loving CFA!

I know, I’ve shared a lot in the past about reasons we love Chick-fil-A at 33rd & Broadway in Edmond. We have another one to add to the list -they have contributed towards our fundraising for our LST project to Natal Brazil.

Last week they hosted a fundraising spirit night for us. We had a great time inviting friends and were really looking forward to a fun, packed night at the restaurant. And then Oklahoma Spring weather hit. Lots of rain and storms all around meant it was quiet in there…quieter than I’ve ever seen in an evening.

We considered trying to reschedule, but we didn’t really have a way to tell everyone that we’d invited about a new plan. We’d handed out flyers to Joanna’s classmates, 3 adult classes, and everywhere else we could think of. So we went ahead with the original plan in spite of the forecast and dark skies.

As luck would have it there were some bags of cookies available. Since it was Treat Thursday, people who ordered for curbside delivery received a free 6 count cookie as a treat. Due to the weather there were way less curbside delivery orders than usual so there were extra cookies. The marketing manager offered them to us at a discount to sell. We figured it was worth a try, after all they are pretty good cookies. And, it worked, a Facebook post and blog post resulted in people claiming all the bags. When they delivered them to me so we could deliver them I found out that we could keep everything we collected for them, they gave them as a donation!! Joanna and I had a great time Friday delivering them to lots of friends all around Edmond.

And, then last night we were given 10 more bags to use for fundraising.

These 3 events together resulted in $273.21! What a great blessing to us!!

In case you’re still reading and wondering, we’re scheduled to fly to Natal one month from today and we need $2,212.83 to finish up our fundraising. If you’re able to help with that, you can give online.

There’s still time to join us!

We started planning for this in the fall, and it’s almost time!

Estes Family LST

There’s still time to join us in 3 important ways!

  1. Pray with us for this work. We’re asking God to bless the reading of His Word so that the people we’re meeting with learn more about Him.
  2. Go with us. There’s still time to train and go with us to Natal.
  3. Make a contribution towards our fundraising commitment.

We sent out a few more requests for funds this past week. If you didn’t get one and you’d like one, please let me know, I’ll be glad to send one your way.

You can also give online.

We are looking forward to this project! We’re starting to communicate with our teammates and we’re working through our training materials. We’ve even been using the duolingo app a bit to try to pick up a bit of Portugese before we get there. And, every time we see a world map or a…

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For our Go Mission

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Joanna sorted her money so that she had some “special ones to keep” and some for “our Go Mission”.

After hearing about Go Mission at church, inviting others to join us in Natal, Brazil, and seeing me prepare another round of letters to go out she got busy with her money.

She gathered up all her money and was really excited “Mama, I have A LOT of money” (she’s thinking in quantity, not value). And then she told me that the pile on the right is for our Go Mission and the pile on the left includes her rare and special ones to keep. When I asked for clarification she said it’s for our tickets to Natal, Brazil.

My heart was touched! This sweet 5 1/2 year old gathered up all her money and divided it up with some to keep and some to support the mission trip. What a great lesson!

Her not quite $3.00 may not seem like a lot when we’re needing about $4,000 more. But, oh, how sweet. I love that she is already learning to give in order to make the work possible. I hope that she continues this habit throughout her life.

Thankful!

It’s so cool to see our kiddo excited about breakfast. These are the 2 eggs she picked this morning. 

She loves looking at all the choices and then telling me why she picked the one she did. 

Today it was all about the beauty. She selected these “because they were beautiful!”

I’m so thankful for our friends that share these eggs. We really appreciate it. Thank you!!

They’re yummy too 😋

Threads of Compassion OKC, LuLa Roe Kari Littlejohn, and the OKC YWCA are all working together this month

Last fall I was introduced to LuLa Roe clothing when a friend in Texas started selling it. I purchased a fun pair of leggings and shirt to see what it was all about. I was totally surprised by how comfortable the leggings are. My kiddo was too, she kept wanting to feel them 🙂

Then in February this year a friend who lives just around the corner started her own LuLa Roe business. Shortly after that she shared that she wanted to use her business to give back to the community in some way. So we talked about maybe doing something during April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. She visited with staff at the YWCA and came up with a great plan!

This month we can purchase a pair of leggings and then purchase a 2nd pair at a discount to be donated. The donated ones will be delivered to the YWCA to be distributed to survivors.

So, if you’ve been thinking about checking out what all the excitement is about, maybe this could be a good time for you. Not only can you get yourself a pair, but you can make one available to someone who could really be blessed by it.

You can shop for leggings online. This “shop” is open until the end of April.