Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Bro is Amazing

"When judge someone based on a diagnosis, you miss out on their uniqueness, abilities, & beauty."    #cutestlittlebrotherintheworld


This kid has taught me more in the 6 years I've known him than most adults will ever know in their lifetime. He is special, unique, funny, and naughty. ;) I love him to the moon and back. I don't care that he has Down Syndrome. I don't care he can't communicate like a normal 9 yr old. I don't care he can't do what an average boy can do. He is beautiful to me and I wouldn't have him any other way! Happy late World Down Syndrome Day! <3

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gracie.

Blogs are where you can share your heart. So I am sharing my heart with you. 

This girl. I can't imagine my life without this girl. I met her once. Spent a grand total of less than three hours with her. Will probably never hold her again. Gracie was in my arms most of the afternoon. We laughed and we 'talked'. We had a language barrier but that didn't stop us from having a wonderful time with each other. We ran around pointing at everyone on our team saying "Blan!", (The creole word for white) laughing. Once I had to put her down to go paint a bench. When I came back, I saw her walking home with her brother. I felt an instant ache. Then I almost cried when she pulled away from him and despite his yelling, ran back to me when she glanced behind her and saw me. I held her tight as the team packed up. Everyone was getting on the tap taps and I was called to join them. I had to put her down. I had to let go. I handed her to her brother with an aching feeling. I laid my hands on her, kissed her and told her that Jezi (Jesus) loves her as I reluctantly turned away. As we started down the driveway, she waved and then I really cried because I probably will never see my little angel again. I love you Gracie. I will never, ever forget you. You have stolen a piece of my heart and I will see on the other side of eternity someday. Always remember that Jezi loves you. He will always love you. And I will always love you.

Monday, March 13, 2017

An Open Letter to Special Needs Siblings

An Open Letter to Anyone with Siblings that have Special needs

Hey you. Yes you, the person trying so hard to keep it together for your parents and for your siblings. Life is hard and it's ok to say it is. You don't have to hide your feelings. Living with your sibling with special needs is hard. It has good days and bad days. You experience both. When your friends talk about all these family vacations they go on, you just sit there quietly and pretend like your family can do the same. Because you can seriously take your brother who loves to run and not listen to the Grand Canyon. Or your sister in a wheelchair with CP up the mountains on a hike. It just doesn't happen. I don't know, maybe you have siblings who can do everything with you like a normal sibling. But for does of you who don't have a 'normal' sibling, it's ok. Because you just have to find your way of fun. Different than most but unique in your own special way. Having a sibling with special needs is hard, but it is so amazing at the same time! You have a whole different perspective on life than most of the world, and you have a more openness to the people around you who might look or act a little different. But like I said, you have mixed emotions all the time. Some days you may not feel heard. You may not feel important. Or even loved. But you will be heard! Just find the right people to listen! You are important!! Your life matters so, so, so much!!! God put you in the place you are at right now to be who you are. He gave you your siblings with special needs. He doesn't make mistakes. He gave you the siblings you have because they need you. You need them. It can really frustrating at times when they can't do what you want them to. They can't do the same things as you. Trust me, I know. But even in those hard moments of realization, realize that you just have to do what they can do. It may not be as fun, but if you truly love your sibling, you are going to do whatever they can do so you can spend time with them. Also know, it's ok if you need space. Just go somewhere and take time for yourself. Nobody expects you to be the perfect sibling who does everything with your brother or sister. Your life matters too. So many people need YOU! Don't ever give up because you are doing a great job right now, at this moment, being an awesome special needs sibling! And you know what? Your parents love you. Even though it may not seem like it at times. When they are too busy to spend time with you, they love you just as much as your siblings. They just might need some extra care. One last thing, always know that no matter what happens, what you feel, or what you are going through, you aren't alone! Most of the time, someone else is going through exactly what you feel right now. We special needs siblings, need to stick together and support one another. Cause our life is hard but beautiful! Now go, be the sister, be the brother your sibling needs. They need you and they love you. Always.
Love,
A fellow special needs sibling

P.S. Don't punch those people glaring at your siblings. It's not nice. :) Even though they deserve it, it is not setting a good example to anyone. ;) Just punch them in your head. Twice because they need some sense knocked into them.

Monday, February 20, 2017

30 Day Writing Challenge!

Hey friends! Today I am starting a 30 Day Writing Challenge. I will blog every day. (hopefully ;)) But I am just going to add to this post. By doing this, I hope you can get to know me a little better. Besides just a person on a screen! :) So come back every day to see this updated post.
Day 1: Write 10 things that make you really happy.
1.Jesus time  2.Baking and cooking  3.Children  4.My small group and youth group 
5.Using Snapchat filters with my siblings  6.Haiti. Period.  7.Smiley faces :)
8.Hanging out and laughing with friends  9.Doing acts of kindness/serving
10.Shopping with my sister 
Day 2: Write something someone told you about yourself that you never forgot.
"You continuously blow me away and inspire me to love others with a greater capacity! Never stop being YOU for you reflect the love of Jesus in such a special way!"
Day 3: List your top 3 pet peeves 
1. When someone says "Down Syndrome Kid" or "Downs kids" instead of "Child with Down Syndrome" 2. When a recipe says baking time is 1 hour and it ends up not being done till 1 hour and 40 minutes. 3. When recipe says "Makes 5 dozen cookies" and it only makes 2 dozen.
Day 4: Write about someone who inspires you
Mother Teresa. Period. The way she gave up her life and lived it for others and God is truly inspiring. She loved others with such a great love. Every time I think about her or read one of her quotes, I get inspired all over again. She was amazing and is such an incredible role model!!! <3
Day 5: List 5 places you want to visit
1.Ukraine  2.Africa  3.India  4.Columbia  5.Indonesia *I'm not counting Haiti because I have already been there. But if I am counting any country, Haiti would most certainly be on the top of my list! :)
Day 6: Your Favorite Comfort Foods
Anything cheesy or casserole like. Mac and cheese, tater tot casserole, etc.
Day 7: Your top 5 favorite songs right now.
1."If We're Honest" by Francesca Battistelli  2."One Drop" by Plumb  3."Home" by Phillips Phillips  4."Okay" by The Piano Guys  5."Let the Waters Rise" Mikeschair
Day 8: What you eat on a normal day
Breakfast: Eggs, smoothie, or on a special occasion, my mom makes baked oatmeal
Lunch: Smoothie, eggs (if I didn't have one for breakfast) or leftovers from supper the night before
Supper: Usual meal is spaghetti, taco, or soup. Sometimes my mom or I make something unusal.
Day 9: What you wear to bed
T-shirt and pajama pants. Each night. Every Night.
Day 10: If you had to live off of one food and one drink what would it be?
The drink would be water and the food would be cheesy potatoes.
Day 11: What is your favorite quote
"A life not lived for others is not a life" - Mother Teresa
Day 12: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Acts of kindness, service projects, and crafts.
Day 13: What are you currently looking forward to?
I'm going back to Haiti in April!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm not at all excited ;))
Day 14: Movies you never get tired of watching
Sound of Music---Fiddler on the Roof---Pride and Prejudice---Elf
Day 15: 3 Celebrities you want to marry if you could
Tom Hiddleston---David Tennant---Chris Evans
Day 16: Your Siblings and one thing about them
Sarah (18) is going to college to be a nurse. She wants to be a medical missionary.
Isaac (12) is currently loving archery and has been competing in local competitions.
Grace (12) loves animals and was adopted from Ukraine when she was 9
Rebekah (10) loves crafts and is going to be in a musical of Fiddler on the Roof
Elijah (9) is super adorable and super naughty at the same time! ;) He was adopted at age 3
Rachel (7) enjoys anything her sisters do and she came home from the hospital on Rebekah's birthday
Jonathan (6) is my little "baby" and loves kindergarten! Did I mention he is super stinkin cute?!?
Day 17: How I waste time
Pinterest. I love wasting time on Pinterest! :)
Day 18: Something you miss from when you were young
When my brother and I were like 4 and 2, every morning we would get up, go into my mom's room and climb into bed with her. She went downstairs, got us milk in a sippy cup, and then we would watch Sesame Street in her bed while she took a shower. <3
Day 19: What you wore today
T-shirt and pajama pants till I had to change to go to youth group. Then, jeans and shirt. Basic huh?
Day 20: Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Driving, married, have at least one kid. :)
Day 21: What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate....
Day 22: What book are you reading right now?
"I am Malala"
Day 23: Your favorite book from when you were little
"Bear snores on" and "The Little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear"
Day 24: What are you currently learning?
ASL - American Sign Language
Day 25: Something you are currently obsessed with doing
Signing the song "Tremble" by Mosaic MSC. Just ask me sometime, I will show you. ;)
Day 26: Something you sleep with every night
My fuzzy purple blanket and either my puppy or teddy bear. #imnotashamed
Day 27: Your first love
No it's not a boy. It's a little Haitian girl by the name of Nadie who I fell in love with. She stole a piece of my heart and I will never, ever forget her. And I pray almost daily that we meet again.
Day 28: Your most valued childhood friend
Her name is Maggie. I have known her all my life. And I love her. <3
Day 29: Your favorite midnight snack
Chocolate
Day 30: Favorite holiday
Christmas. I mean who doesn't love Christmas? Unless you are Scrooge.

This has been lots of fun!! I hope you learned at least one new thing about me! :)
An

Friday, February 17, 2017

National Random Act of Kindness Day!!

Today is National Random Act of Kindness Day. On one of these last days of RAK week, let's all try to be a little extra kind. Although, you shouldn't have to have a national day to do something kind, you should be kind no matter what the day, week, or year! Be kind! Don't be afraid to show God's love! Acts 1:8 is a website helping Christians share the  gospel through kindness! Go check it out! There are so many other websites too that just focus on kindness. Go Google some!

"If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that" - Unknown
"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you are going to make" - Jane Goodall 
"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see" - Mark Twain
"No act of kindness is ever wasted" - Aesop
"Spread kindness to one person each day. Imagine the amount of happiness you would dispense in a lifetime!" - Unknown
"How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it" - George Elliston 
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible" - Dalai Lama
"Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always." - Unknown
"You don't need a reason to help people." - Unknown

Thursday, February 16, 2017

RAK Week Day 4!!!!

So today, (again, yesterday) I did two things but didn't get pictures of either. Ha I'm so good! ;) But I'll tell you anyways. With or without pictures. :)
#1: I gave a babysitting kit to a friend who wants to start babysitting! :) She loved all the fun stuff I included for her to bring with her babysitting. 
#2: Went to Culver's and gave away two free scoops of ice cream! :)
There you go. My beautiful post without pictures. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RAK Week Day 3!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!! Today also happens to be day 3 of Random Act of Kindness Week. ;) So today called for a little bit extra of love. <3 So I made these adorable heart shaped brownies and brought them to a V-Day I went to.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

RAK Week Day 2, Day Late!!!!!

Today (well yesterday cause today is really day 3 but...) was day 2 of Random Act of Kindness week!! Have you shown any love and kindness yet? If not, I encourage you to do so!! :)
I babysat for a Grandma for free so she could go get her hair cut. 
I also bought these two balloons then headed to a local nursing home. I picked out two tired looking nurses, walked over, and brighten their day! :)

It brightened my day just as much as it did theirs!! I strongly encourage you to go out of your way to do something nice for someone. Do more than hold the door for someone (although that is awesome if you do!). Buy flowers or balloons for someone not expecting it! That's what makes it random! :) Pay for the person behind you at Starbucks. Bring in donuts for your co-workers. There are MILLIONS of ways you can celebrate RAK week. Just pick one. I challenge you to just do one act of kindness this week. Just one. Please help make this world a better place. <3

Sunday, February 12, 2017

RAK Week, Day One!!!

For kick-off of RAK week, I made cookie bars for my small group and made a gift basket for my firefighter youth leader!! :)
As you can tell, I am one of those awesome bloggers who takes pictures of everything. NOT!! Haha, here is a picture of the plate the bars were on ;) Hey, they were good!

And the basket that I also took a picture of. NOT! His wife sent these to me from their house cause I forgot to take a picture. Haha I'm the worst! :)



But aren't those rubber duckies ADORABLE?!? <3
Well that's all for today. Planning tomorrow though! :)
You have plans for random acts of kindness this week?

RAK Week 2017!!!!

Hey friends! February 12th-18th is National Random Acts of Kindness week!!! Are you ready to spread some love and kindness in this world? Make you sure come back to check up with what I am doing to celebrate this awesome week!! <3 For now, check out these articles!!

http://abc7chicago.com/society/high-school-athletes-kick-off-random-acts-of-kindness-week/1748171/

http://www.nwherald.com/2017/02/10/high-school-girls-soccer-local-teams-kick-off-random-acts-of-kindness-week-as-boys-teams-did-in-fall/afvraoh/

http://www.theherald-news.com/2017/02/11/students-join-in-random-acts-of-kindness/a21mucr/

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sponsor a child?

On my trip, I fell in love with the country of Haiti. Especially the children. 


On one of our last nights in Haiti, I volunteered to find sponsors for five children. For as little as $1.16 a day you can provide a child with:
*Christian Education
*School Uniform material each year
*Three new schools books each grade
*Hot meal Monday-Friday, year round
*Vacation Bible school the entire summer
*Upkeep and improvements to school property
*Medical care at the Mission E4 clinic

When I choose my sponsored child Nadie online, she was just a picture. Then I met her.


:) And I saw her at her school. :)

She WAS getting an education. She WAS getting a meal. 
(Her school)
For just a little more than a dollar a day you can give another child a chance at a better life. One of our translators was saying that in Haiti, education is a child'd ONLY chance. You can give a child a chance at a better life. :) If you are interested or want to learn more, email me at 432craftygirl@gmail.com or comment below. I can show you pictures of children that I am finding sponsors for as well as some personal information of theirs. It takes so little to change a life. <3 Thank you!

Haiti.

Haiti is a beautiful place with beautiful people and I want to go back. :) Here are some pictures I took during my trip. Enjoy! (I'm not a very good photographer... Have grace :)) 


























Monday, January 23, 2017

Poverty is Real.

I just got back from a week in Haiti. It was honestly the most meaningful week of my life by far. This country stole my heart. I am in love with every part of Haiti. Especially the children. <3 This past week has inspired and changed me in so many ways. I'm going to say that the most eye opening part was the bus ride from the airport in Port Au Prince to the Mission E4 Campus where we stayed. The poverty I had heard about and seen in pictures was coming to life. It was there. All my life I have heard about the "poverty in some far away country". But here I was, in this bus, and I was seeing it. It was real. It IS real. We are here in America not having to worry about where our next meal is coming from. We have running water and flushing toilets. So many things that we take for granted. We can just go to Kohls and buy a $40 shirt or go to some fancy restaurant and spend $60 on food. We just do it. We don't even have to think. We just do. I never spent more than $15 on a pair of jeans but I wouldn't feel guilty buying a $5 coffee at Starbucks. But like I said, this trip changed me for the better. Yesterday, the day after we got back, we went out to eat. Between me and my two grandparents, we spent $22. Now for some people, that doesn't sound like much. But for me, after just getting back from Haiti, I felt guilty. Like really guilty. It is $35 a month to sponsor a child. $22 is over half of that... Why didn't we just eat at home and spend that money on someone who actually needs it? This trip opened my eyes. That bus ride opened my eyes. Our walks through the villages opened my eyes. It all opened my eyes to see that there is a world in need. The small part of a small country that I saw, changed me. I am changed. This one week trip to Haiti, changed me and opened my eyes to see the poverty all around me. Not just material poverty but spiritual poverty as well. I ask one thing of you, next you turn on your faucet, pull a snack out of the fridge, or even take a shower with hot, running water, think about all those who can't. And say a prayer. Pray that God would use you in ways you can't even think of. That is all I have to say right now. But I will be back. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Slow and Steady

"Slow and steady wins the race" Isn't that how that famous saying goes? As of Dec. 23, only 9 acts of kindness for law enforcement have been completed. 270 to go. It sure is going slow. I try not to get frustrated. I try to be positive and remember "slow and steady wins the race". I'm not sure what race we are in, but we will get there. WE will get to 279 acts of kindness for law enforcement officers. We may not see the finish line, but that is okay. Because this is not a race. This is a project that a small 14 year old girl from a small town that was once forgotten on the map started. She may of had big dreams when she started, but now she has come to realize that she has to be patient and trust in God's timing. He has this all worked out. This girl has now decided to take it one day at a time. Focus on TODAY and what she can accomplish. Tomorrow will worry about itself. This girl still has dreams but she learned is still learning to be patient and remember that slow and steady wins the race.

Please, will you help this girl see the finish line by completing an act of kindness for a law enforcement officer with project "279 Acts for Heroes"? Or to make it easier you can do an act of kindness in honor/memory of police officer shot or killed. Here are some ideas for acts of kindness for law enforcement officers. I'm sure you know someone who is either a law enforcement officer or a family member of one. Please, I am begging asking you to do something. It is not that hard. It can be so simple and you don't even have to spend money... A simple thank you card works wonderfully! If you do complete an act, please comment below or email me HERE so I can add it to the list. THANK YOU from the girl who will be patient. <3

Friday, December 2, 2016

New Way to Help "279 Acts for Heroes"

I was trying to think of a way that I could get more people to help with "279 Acts for Heroes". It wasn't till I was browsing HERE on www.gunviolencearchive.org this morning that I thought of it. I was looking at the incidents involving officers shot or killed, I saw names of the officers shot or killed. So from now on, you can either do an act of kindness directly for a law enforcement officer, or you can do an act of kindness for anyone and include the name of an officer you chose off the website (tag provided below) and have the act be in honor of him/her! :) Sound good? Here is how to get to the names of officers to choose for an act of kindness.

Go to www.gunviolencearchive.org.

Scroll down and click on "Officer shot or killed" under its map

Then click on "View incident" (not all incidents have names)

Here you have your names!! :) 

Print the tag below, add the name of who you are honoring with your kindness, do an act of kindness with that tag, and then email me, telling me what you did (with pictures!) and I will add it to the list! Or you can still stick with doing an act of kindness directly for an Officer. Either way, it will make many people smile including me!! :) THANK YOU if you choose to participate!!!