Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, dear Katherine!

Our Katherine in Nicaragua is 10 today!

 We are praying for her today and hoping that she will have received the card that we mailed over 2 months ago in the hopes that she would receive it today.

We started sponsoring Katherine in December of last year.  We were blessed to attend Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God concert in Richmond.  I pretty much informed Super-Awesome that we would be sponsoring a fifth child that night (We already had Maria, Andres Camilo, Allan, & Tania).  I usually don't try to tell things to Super-Awesome this way, I usually ask, we discuss, but this was something that I was adamant about.  We had been to BtLoG twice before (driving down from Ontario to NY & CT) and I knew they were strong supporters of Compassion.  I had heard Bebo Norman share very eloquently twice before about Compassion and their work, but it hadn't been the right time for us.  It was the right time this night.  Bebo was no longer on the tour, so Andrew Peterson shared about Compassion.  At intermission we headed (or rather, I dragged Super-Awesome) to the Compassion table, manned by one of the tour members, Gabe Scott, a very talented multi-instrumentalist.  Gabe and his family are very involved with Compassion.  His wife, Keely, is one of the photographers that accompanies bloggers and sponsors on their trips to visit their sponsored children.  Her photos are breathtaking!

Back to Katherine...  I surveyed the table and scanned the faces and dates.  I definitely felt that the Lord wanted us to stick to Central and South America.  None of the dates were specific to anyone in our family, no one's birthday, anniversary, etc.  Three things did jump out at me about Katherine and these made me pick up her packet, fill out the information and commit to sponsoring her.

First was her name:  Katherine.   Super-Awesome and I have had numerous discussions about baby names in the past on our many drives everywhere.  (You can ask him... it was the number one topic of discussion before we had kids... maybe even before we got married).  Catherine was/is our choice for a second daughter if that should ever happen.

Second was her sad face and eyes.  Some of the photos do feature happy looking kids, but Katherine was not one of these.   Michelle, over at Blogging from the Boonies has a post about why the children in the packet photos often don't look happy.  Click here to read about it and see a video that Kees Boer had taken on one of his trips to Bolivia.

Third was a blue box on the packet (below her name, birthdate, and country) that said: 


Those three things sealed the deal for me.  This was the child that the LORD intended for us to sponsor.  I later learned from Compassion that Katherine had already had two sponsors and had been dropped by them.  So, while the usual photo difficulties can account for some of the sad faces, this was not the case for Katherine.  I believe her sadness, beyond the poverty that she lived in, came from having had not one but two sponsors who had to discontinue their support of her.  After I learned that information, I (again) told Super-Awesome (really, it's not my usual style) that if our finances changed and we had to stop supporting any of our children, she would be the absolute last one to go, I would find someway to get the $38 a month. 

Happy Birthday, dear Katherine!  I pray for blessings from God in your life!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Free Printables to send to your Sponsored Children

With limitations on what we can send in the mail to our children, I am always looking for printable papers that will fall under the guidelines put in place by Compassion:

"Regrettably packages cannot be sent. Because of strict mailing and customs regulations in our various countries, letters that are not flat, are not made of paper, or are larger than 8-1/2" x 11" and 1/4" thick can delay an entire shipment of sponsor correspondence in customs for weeks. View a list of items you may send your child.  Please remember to include your sponsor number and your sponsored child's name and number on any item you send."

I linked to this site in my last post, but you need to know more about them!

Calvary Curriculum is my favorite Bible/Sunday School lesson site and it has an updated webpage with lessons in English and in Spanish.  There are coloring pages, word searches, true and false questions and much more!  There are 325 lessons going from Genesis to Revelation in pdf format.  They have new 2yr-Kindergarten pages as well as the Grades 1-6 that they've had for years.  Excellent resource!

I found this next one just the other day.

Frecklebox, a company that sells great personalized products (Super-Beautiful's Lunchbox came from them with the help of Groupon), also has free customizable coloring pages where you can insert the name of your child.  They're geared to younger children and some of them do include English text that you can't customize, but there are lots to choose from.  I'm planning to send my younger girls the mermaids and boys the rockets.  There's just something about having your name right there as part of the page!

There is a world of free printables out there, and I'd highly recommend you check out Michelle's blog, Blogging from the Boonies where she has several letter writing posts and a great list of items her family has sent to their sponsored children.

Happy writing!!!