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!

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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.

Time to train for the 5K/Kiddie K?

I just realized that the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K is just about a month away. So, is that enough time to get ready to run the Kiddie K with my kiddo?

Hmm, I don’t know. Running has never been my favorite thing…way back in high school I decided to be a manager for the tennis team instead of trying out for the softball team when I realized how much they had to run 🙂 Now, that ended up great, lots of my friends were on the tennis team, the coach was great, and I learned a lot about the sport. But the decision was definitely motivated by a desire to not have to run.

After the high school experience came a a college PE class. It was the required one that included running, swimming, and aerobics. The first day of class when we ran around the track and then checked in with the teacher for a heart rate check I was told “when we run the dorm loop you’ll want to be sure to walk some”. Yep, the PE teacher told me to plan on walking. Not long after that I was lapped by a celebrity who was out running on the track during our class. I was at not quite half way around the track when he passed me. So, as you can see, running has just never been my thing.

Last year one of our friends ran the Kiddie K with her before doing her own 5K. Since she’s actually a runner that wasn’t all that big of a deal for her. But, for me, running the Kiddie K would be kind of monumental, because, well, I don’t run. I just don’t.

And, right now it feels like my 5-year old’s legs are almost as long as mine. She has tons more energy and lots less weight, so I’m not sure trying to run the whole thing together is a great or very fair plan.

But, I know that she’d think it was cool if mom ran with her. So, I’m considering it. Like, if I made it over to the Y 3 times a week and started out with walking and ellipticalling (that’s a word, right?) I could work up to being able to “run”with her, maybe?

So, no commitments yet, but I’ll plan on hitting the Y tomorrow and see how it goes from there.

And, you can join us! You can sign up to do the 5K, you can register a kiddo for the Kiddie K, or you can join our team and Snooze for SAAM (that’s the option I really want to do) -you just pay the $20, get a t-shirt and advertise that you were part of the event.

Prayers of a 5 year old

Today in Bible class the preschoolers had a lesson about prayer based on a book called Praying in Color.

As you’d imagine, some of the kids were more into the activity than others. The idea was that instead of talking out loud to God they can doodle. As they create a shape and decorate it they’re thinking about the person they write in the middle and those thoughts become the prayers as their pencil does the drawing.

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It was so cool to see Joanna share her prayer with Morgan tonight before bed. She worked on it the whole time she was at the table. First she asked how to spell Kelly, as we went to her funeral last week so Joanna wanted to pray for her and those who are missing her. Then she asked how to spell Uncle Ben, I just gave her the letters for Ben and that was good enough. She prayed that he’ll quit smoking and make good choices. The blue letters going up on the right spell Grandpa -she’s praying that he’s healthy because he had a fever today. Next she moved on to people she’s thankful for and did Mom and Dad all on her own on the bottom. She finished it up with the blue and orange, spelling Uncle Tom. She has lots of aunts and uncles but he was on her mind today.

While the kids worked on their own pages I did one too. It was a surprisingly good experience for me. I’m thinking that today’s lesson may inspire on a new habit for me and Joanna. We could spend some time together working on our own booklet of prayers, taking a bit of time each day to doodle and pray. I love that it’s something that we can do individually and together at the same time.

Planning for the YWCA 5K

I just finished registering for the YWCA’s 2 Minute 5K and creating our Threads of Compassion OKC team.

This is an event that we’ve participated in since 2010. Some years Morgan and I and Joanna have walked the whole thing together, some years we’ve hung out and visited while others ran and walked, and last year Joanna ran the Kiddie K with a friend.

Though it’s usually windy and often cool, this is an event that I look forward to each year. It’s so encouraging to see so many people gather together to support survivors of sexual assault. We get to visit with people that stop by our booth to say hi, and to say thanks. Each year ladies stop by to let us know that the scarves we are providing are making a difference for survivors. They are an encouragement to them at a traumatic time.

So, if you’re in the OKC area please think about joining our team and hanging out with us the morning of April 22nd. If you’re not in the OKC area, you can still be part of our team -simply choose the “Snooze for SAAM” option on the registration.

If you’re interested in a bit more information, check out the Threads of Compassion OKC site for the info we shared there.