Thursday, September 27, 2007

More Square Peg

Here is a link to the Square Peg blog. You can check out our video here.

If you don't know what Square Peg is then see the post below.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pray for Square Peg

Most everyone who would read my blog is well informed about Square Peg. Most of you are involved with Square Peg. But if you are not then I will give you a very short and condensed version of Square Peg ministries.

My husband and I are partnered with my mil and another faithful friend. The four of us are following a plan that God has laid out in front of us. At Square Peg we are nurturing at risk kids to love and serve Jesus. Our ministry is weekly. We meet on Tuesday afternoons to help kids with their homework. We also meet on Friday afternoons for a bible club to our elementary kids and the evening for fellowship/bible study with middle schoolers. 95% of our kids are Hispanic and know nothing about the Lord. They also struggle with their school work because they do not understand and their parents also do not understand. The parents can't understand what their homework is because they don't speak English. Therefore they get nowhere. We feel that God has shown us that this young Hispanic generation is fitting into the American society and the Body of Christ about as well as a square peg fits into a round hole. God has given us the task to "make them fit." That is our goal. We want these at risk kids to find their place in society but most importantly in the Body of Christ. Here is our new prayer card for Square Peg. Please take some time out of your day to pray for this ministry. God bless you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back to School Today! Hooray!

Yesterday was a sick day but today was back to school! If you don't know already I work at a church preschool (not a MMO) as the music teacher. Nora is in the 3 year old class there. I have worked there in total for 5 years. I love it! It is by far one of the best jobs I have ever had. 2nd place would be my first job at Putt-Putt and Games. I was a party captain there, loved it! 3rd place would have to be working for my mil at our old church when she was the children's pastor there. I learned so very much through that job, no lie. It was just really hard sometimes and not always super fun!

But back to preschool, THIS JOB IS SO FUN!!! I can't lie, it is just too stinking fun! When I walk into the hallway I get this rush in my chest because I know that I can expect it to be a super fun day! The people I work with are great! Of, course I love working with Miss Julie:) and everyone is so nice and fun to be around. Susan my boss is just so kind and giving. She has given me so much in the 5 years I have been there. The year I got married she gave me a surprise shower and had every child in the preschool bring me an Christmas ornament for my first Christmas tree with Jason. It was so sweet. I didn't expect any of it, and every class that came to music one day had ornaments to give me. So, we sat and I opened every ornament one by one and oohed and ahhed. I still put those ornaments on my tree at Christmas. It's like 150 ornaments! My tree is pretty full! Susan gave Jason and I money when we moved to Athens. Then when I returned back, she gave me money for mission trips. She gave me money when I was sick so that I could go to the doctor. She has given items to square peg and wants to make us the Christmas missions project at school this year. The give me a scholarship for Nora. She tells me that I rule. She has given so much to me and my family. I am so thankful for this place of work God has provided me. It is perfect!

The other fun thing is the KIDS of course. Each day I teach 6 different classes starting with the 4 year olds, then some 2 year olds and end with the 3 year olds. The kids are star struck when it comes to Miss Brandy. I can barely walk through the halls without the kids screaming my name. When I am leaving in the afternoon kids hangout their windows to tell me goodbye. It is crazy. Sometimes the parents just look at me like "why does my child like you so much". Most parents tell me "My child love music, it is all they talk about at home." One little boy asked me today," Does your girl get sick a lot"? Meaning: are you going to be gone a lot. They just crack me up!

The best part about doing music is that I get to know all the kids in the school (140 kids) and I get to teach them the foundations of God, Jesus and the Bible through music. I know for me this is the number one way that things stick with me. If I just read it or hear it then chances are I will not remember it the way I would if it would have had some rhythm and melody to it. The kids learn so much about the Lord through music. Music is such an awesome tool that God has given us!

So in short, it was a good day back! You would never know that Nora even had an ear infection. I could tell that she was happy to see her friends! So happy that her and her best friend Natalie had to leave music today because they wouldn't stop tickling and rolling on the floor. They are trouble together. I hated to send them back to their room but they were totally ignoring me. Got to get their attention somehow. Hopefully they will participate better tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sick Day

So last night Nora woke up around 12AM complaining that her ear was hurting. I gave her some Tylenol and she went back to bed. I knew she had been going in and out of a cold for a couple of weeks and her eyes were starting there usual oozing thing. Whenever Nora gets a cold it heads straight for her eyes. They water and ooze white stuff and the even swell a bit. So I decided that we were not going to school in the morning but we were going to the doctor. Nora has never complained of her ear hurting so I knew she was serious.

So this morning of course she was acting fine, like nothing was hurting her but she is usually like that when she is sick. She has never been real cuddly when she is sick, she just tries to keep on going. I made an appointment at a new Pediatrics this morning. We had never been there before but I wanted to try a place closer to home. From the minute we walked through the door we loved it! It was bright and fun inside for the kids and the staff was so nice. They played with Nora and talked to her so friendly. Nora didn't really want to leave when we did. The doctor said that she does have a ear infection behind the ear drum and she is not contagious. She gave us a prescription for an antibiotic and sent us on our way. So even though Nora looks pitiful you would never know it by the way she is acting. We will be back at school tomorrow. Sick days can be nice sometimes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More about Elizer

Here is the latest email I got from Dorothy in Burkina. She attached a note from Joseph, Elizer's father.

Thanks so much for what you have done! He is not the same little boy that you saw-our heart just went out to him so much but now if he’s not wearing his brace he just has a slight limp and he would not be noticed as being different at all-quite the story from when you were here. God is so Good; He has done a miracle and you have had such a great part in this miracle. Thanks and to God be the Glory! (Dorothy's words)

Here is Joseph’s note:

Greetings to you!

March 16th Elizer and I went to Ouaga to see his doctor. After taking more tests and x-rays the doctor told us that the head of the hipbone now has life in it and this is a miracle! They changed his brace because he is growing and he must wear it so that the hipbone becomes solid.

If you were here to see Elizer you would be amazed because he walks, sits and plays soccer without any difficulties even though his two feet are not the same length (there is a difference of 2 cm.).

We still need to see the doctor every three months for x-rays and tests and the money that you sent has just been used up. Each visit costs us at least CFA 40.000 or $87.15 Canadian.

Thanks so much for all that you have done for us!

Elizer’s father, Joseph

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Elizer lives in Burkina Faso. Burkina is in east Africa. I had the privilege of meeting Elizer when I visited Burkina almost 2 years ago. He is such a sweet boy and was so polite when we met him. He had been waiting for our arrival and he greeted us with a big smile. As we walked the path to Dorthy's house(the missionary we were staying with) he followed us. I noticed that he was limping a lot as he followed us. After he had left Dorothy told us that he was 8 years old and out of nowhere developed a limp. She also said that the limp seemed to get worse and worse and had been causing him a great deal of pain. He didn't sleep most night because the pain was so great and he couldn't do anything that the boys and girls his age could do because of this limp. Later that day we met his father Joseph. Joseph is a school teacher and he was also attending the bible college that Dorthy runs in Leo, Burkina Faso. Joseph was such a kind man, and I could see where his son had got his charm from. Joseph told us that he had to take Elizer to get shot for the pain every month and it cost him about $20 a shot. Now that is only in US $ but in Burkina it is a lot more. I truly can't remember how much it was for them but something outrageous! This was something that they could not afford. Joseph wife and Elizer's mother had just passed away from Typhoid fever, so they were also dealing with the her loss. My heart just broke for this family. Joseph also said that they didn't know what was wrong with Elizer's leg because they couldn't afford to take him to a doctor in the city. That is where he needed to go so they could look at his let better. As I heard this story I felt God moving in my heart. I felt that He was directing my heart to them and that he wanted me to figure out a way to give them what they needed to fix Elizer's problem. While I was there I gave them some money for the shots that Elizer needed but when I returned home I sat down and emailed Dorthy to see how I could help more. She told me how much they needed for the doctor visit so we started there. I knew that I was no rich person either and that there are a lot of times I can't even afford to take myself to the doctor but also knew that God had provided for me in times like that . I knew I had to do something. So I sent out support letters and begin to ask for people to send money to help get Elizer to the doctor. Well, people gave and I was able to send the money and Elizer went to the doctor. He found out that some other time when he had a shot, that the shot had went to far and hit a nerve or bone and his leg was becoming unusable. The doctor said he should not even be sitting anymore. He was almost paralyzed and should have been doing nothing but laying around. 8 years old, and almost paralyzed and didn't even know why. With the money they were able to begin the treatments. They put him in a brace, and gave him some medicine for some infection and got him a bicycle as physical therapy. Now he has to go back every month to replace the brace and get treatments. The doctor says his leg should be normal by the time he is 21 if he continues to wear the brace and get the treatments. I feel that God wants me to continue to support Joseph and Elizer this way. Elizer is almost 10 now and he is like a different kid. I have a picture on my fridge of him in his brace playing badminton with his dad. This is a big accomplishment for him. Now he can play soccer too! It is amazing what God can do through his people isn't it. It is not some great thing that I accomplished on my own, it is what God is doing through me. God wants me to speak for Elizer so that others will see his need and give to change his life. There is hope for Elizer now, he is not going to grow up a begger the rest of his life. He will be able to finish school and work for a living. And most importantly Elizer will see how God cares about him and how God loves him. I am praying that Elizer's story will touch your heart today and that you would want to join me in giving to him. If that is you then email me and I will contact you on where to send your support. Thank you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The profile of a ballerina

Saturday was the day we had all been waiting for at our house! Nora's first dance class the 3 year old ballet class. We took Nora early last week to pick out her leotard and tights. Below is what she picked out. She looked so big when we put it on. As you can imagine it was very funny to see all the other 3 year old girls dressed in their ballet attire. There was about 6 girls in Nora's class and 4 of them were little blond girls. Nora went straight in to her class all by herself as usual. Parents could stand outside and watch through the windows. I think this was one of the funniest things I have ever watched. Jason and I were laughing a lot! The girls were so serious. The class had a big mirror and all the girls would dance for themselves in front of the mirror. As we watched we could tell that each girl thought that they were the best ballerina. The girls danced with bean bags, hula hoops, rhythm sticks, fun noodles and they even did the ballet bar. I think Nora had a big girl time! As we left the class Jason and I both commented on how we had moved up that day. We are now in the little girl stage of Nora, no longer the baby stuff and it hit us pretty hard on Saturday. It is so fun but at the same time so sad. How has she grown up so fast? Do I even really remember her as a baby? Why does it go so fast? Some how I have got to slow it down! Here are some pictures and video. (there is a lot of random noise on the videos, sorry)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy/Honey

Today is my husband's birthday! Nora was so excited about her daddy's birthday as well as I. Every time I asked her what she wanted to get her daddy for his birthday she would tell me "Captain Hook,daddy likes Captain Hook. I don't like Captain Hook but daddy likes Captain Hook." We searched for something Captain Hook but we were not very successful. So instead she got him something black, she says "daddy likes black." She picked out 2 black cast iron tea cups from Teavana. They are very cool. She knew her daddy was going to love them! This morning she was dragging his presents down the hall. She just couldn't wait for him to open them. Then she made him a pretend birthday cake out of candy corn and she made us sing happy birthday together. We all had to eat some of the candy corn and I love candy corn but not at 7AM. I was so excited for Jason to open his presents because I had gotten him tickets to see STOMP at the fox this week!!! He is super excited and we also get to go to Cafe Intermezzo. After we opened presents we got ready and headed off to church. Jason and I taught Nora's three year old class together. As we walked down the hall Nora told everyone, "My daddy is going to be my teacher." The three of us had such a fun morning at church together. And of coarse the other kids in our group are totally cute! They loved Mr.Jason! The boys were practically sitting on top of him. Then after church we meet Jason's family and friends for a birthday lunch. It was yummy Japaneses food and fun company. Of course Jason got some more awesome gifts! Then we came home and had a great German chocolate cake!(Publix) Now he is taking a nap. I hope today has been a great one for him. Nora and I love him so very much and we are so thankful that he is part of our life! God has blessed us by giving him to us and we pray that this next year would be a blessing for him. Check out OHAMANDA for more about Jason's birthday!

Yes, these are some pictures of Nora going to ballet yesterday. Don't worry, I have got more pictures and video coming soon!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Favorite

Your blogs! Even though I have been in a slum lately, one of my favorite things of my day is to read your blogs. I love how I can catch up with friends and family as well as learn about new people I have never met. It is crazy how many people are out there in the blogging world who are so much like myself. I guess that could be kinda scary! Blogging is such a great way to network with new and old people. I have gotten so many ideas and just encouraging words from so many bloggers I don't know. It's funny how you can feel like you totally know someone just because you read their blog often. So keep up the good work on your blogs because they are my fav!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blogging Slum

Ok, I know it has been 5 whole days and nothing new. I hate it too. I just haven't really been in the mood to blog. I know it's crazy but I am totally in a blogging slum. I think it's getting back into a work, family and ministry routine that has wiped me out. I just don't feel very creative at all. In fact, most mornings I think...I would love to sleep this entire day. Yea, right...that will NEVER happen. At least this is a step up from yesterday. Although it is not very interesting. Who knows maybe I will have some great break through tomorrow!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy/Papa!

Today is my dad's birthday, so here is a video just for you daddy. Wish we could be eating birthday cake with you!!! We love you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wordless Wednesday...kinda

Were back in school again! Nora Tuesday morning ready for her 3 year old class! She is very proud of her new lunch box!

Nora finding here name before she enters the classroom. She's checking out the name Cindy.
Picture of mommy and Nora at the end of the day. Great picture right?!
Here are two videos of before and after school.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tap, Tap, Tap

We signed Nora up for 3 year old dance on Saturday! She is so excited! She starts in a couple of weeks. She will be learning ballet and tap. Here are some videos to show you how ready she is.

Toady was our first day back to school! I have video of that too! Stayed tuned!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ok, I know this isn't good. I really don't drink coffee all day long. Just one or maybe 2 a day. Anyway, I answered some questions and this is what the test said I am. How did it know?!

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high (my sil) posted about loving books today. I thought I would answer the same questions she did...

What are you reading right now? A.D. Chronicles Second Touch by Bodie and Brock Thoene and Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? The next A.D. Chronicles and Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now? None. But I do like the Joyce Meyer magazine.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read? All my school books!

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? The truth is, I have not always enjoyed reading. Reading is a new found experience for me, so I think it would have to be A.D. Chronicles. And if anyone has a child then I would recommend Shepherding a Child's Heart.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they? They do not, but Nora and I went to the library a lot this summer and we actually have a couple of books that are a little late.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all? ????????

Do you read books while you do other things? I could never do that. It has to be quite for me to understand what I am reading. If it is not, then I have to read it over and over again.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits? NO WAY! I didn't read so they couldn't tease me. My brother was always a BIG reader but not myself.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? A.D. Chronicles First Light. As I got deeper into the book I just couldn't read it fast enough!!!

Check out ohamanda if you haven't already:)