Friday, April 16, 2010

A special Mother's Day...

And this is what I'm asking for.....

An organization that we strongly support as a family, Children's Hopechest, is partnering with Adoption Fathers to bring us these beautiful and unique necklaces for Mother's Day this year.  Proceeds will go to help stop sex trafficking in Moldova.  Here is the info I just got in my inbox from Tom Davis, the director of Children's Hopechest : 

I'm on my way home from Russia after various flight cancellations and re-routes due to this volcanic ash cloud. Hopefully by the time you get this I'll be headed toward US soil.

While on this trip, I heard a powerful story that is weighing on my heart to share with you. It is an encouragement and a strong reminder that girls absolutely MUST be protected from sex trafficking. Not optional. Here's the story.

This week, I met with "Masha," a bright young lady who visits our Ministry Center in Kostroma.

She told me about the day some professional women came to her technical school in Kostroma and promised her a new job with lots of money, clothes, and jewelry.

Instead, they trapped her in a rundown apartment, beat her when she asked questions, and forced her to work in a strip club.

Scared and alone, Masha was terrified at what came next. "You'll have sex with 10 men each day," they told her. But before that, some men would come to her apartment to "teach her" what to do.

Masha managed to escape the apartment and ran to the HopeChest Ministry Center for help. Our staff immediately called the authorities, and brought her to a safe place to live.

Fortunately, Masha avoided a life of forced prostitution and stolen dignity, thanks to the intervention of the HopeChest Ministry Center in Kostroma.

My wife and I have seven children-including two daughters from Russia-and the thought of them being raped makes me extremely angry. When I heard Masha's story I wanted to do something to protect her, like I would protect my own children.

Today, you also have a unique opportunity to help protect and defend girls like Masha. Buying a Mother's Day Gift from HopeChest is just one way to join the fight against sex trafficking and forced prostitution and provide a safe haven for orphaned girls in their time of greatest need.

When you buy this necklace for your mother, wife, sister, or daughter, proceeds will go directly to support young women like Masha, and other girls who benefit from programs at the Ministry Centers. Each necklace provides one of the following:

2 weeks of direct assistance for a women in our Young Mothers Program

Nearly 1 month of mentorship, counseling, and discipleship at our Ministry Center
I encourage you to check this out!  We have been supporting this ministry for a few years now and have adopted a child in Swaziland through them.  For the past two years we have sent teams of people from our church who have actually spent time in our little guy's home and held him on their lap!  The came back with funny stories of him and we've been able to send personal photo albums and letters to him hand delivered by our friends here.  This is a worth while organization I can assure you!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pampers Dry Max...

As you all know, I'm a huge cloth diaper advocate.  I love them and plan to use them for the remainder of my diapering days.  I personally think they are the best, safest way to go when it comes to my kids.  It took a mindshift when we first converted, but my hubby jumped on board and we just went for it.  I guess maybe it's the crunchy side of me that I just can't shake!  Anyway, I always had a feeling that the disposables that I had purchased at the local SUPERmarket didn't just start out bright white and it's just not natural for paper, or plastic or whatever they're made of to absorb a bladder full of pee.  Not to mention that smell, the baby powder oder or whatever they smell like.  It's like they're trying to redefine the 'baby smell' people always naustalgically mention when they see an infant. 

So I just read on a blog that I follow (Dirty Diaper Laundry) about the newest addition to the Pampers arsenal, Dry Max Cruisers.  Apparently they are causing a ton of problems for the little bums that they chemical burn type rashes.  Yikes!  This particular blog showed a picture of one such bum (I will spare you the graphic proof) and it was horrible looking.  Now I myself have battled diaper rash with my second son Noah.  He's got really sensitive skin, it's the redhead thing I think.  Anyway, he would bleed and be so sore that I was afraid to even wipe him when he had a poopy diaper.  With all that said, we saw relief when we switched to fitteds without a cover or with a breathable wool cover.  That's the main reason I made the change from pockets to fitteds.  Anyway, I also relied on Bag Balm of all things to take away the rash.  It did wonders...who knows what's in it...but it did the trick.  After trying things like olive oil and milk.  Anyway, be warned!  Those of you who use disposables even part time, don't fall for the flier in the mail with the coupons!  If you must buy disposables (which I understand, and I confess I have a few on hand) get the unbleached kind like Seventh Generation!  I know I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist today...but hey, we all want the best for our little ones and ourselves so if this is at least thought provoking then I'll be satisfied. 
I am not an animal rights activist.  I love to eat meat and can't imagine a diet without it.  Lately though, I've been reading up on where it comes from and even watched 'Food Inc.' a couple of weeks ago (I would totally recommend it if you haven't seen it!).  Anyway, I just read an article from Mother Earth News that reminded me of some of the reasons I've started reading labels a little closer.  It's just scary to me to think that we don't actually know everything that is in our food, especially meat.  When I buy a package of meat, say ground beef, I expect it to be ground beef and nothing else.  But, I'm learning that there are things in it that aren't specified even on the label.  Recently I've started noticing that the ground beef that I buy at Costco doesn't smell good while I'm browning kind of smelled sour.  I even returned it once because I was convinced it had gone bad (even though I had come straight home and put it in the freezer)!  Anyway, after watching 'Food Inc.' I decided to start buying the organic ground beef at Costco and I've noticed a remarkable difference in the smell while I'm cooking it.  Ok, maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm not the only one who noticed that smell.  We had guests over that time when I cooked some that I ended up returning and I had to change what I served them for dinner becuase we were all grossed out by the sour smell!  Who knows, maybe that was a bad batch, no one was brave enough to taste it, but I'm sticking by my new convictions anyway.  I don't trust the FDA and their labeling omissions.  They don't make it mandatory for meat packers to tell us what is in the meat they sell so I just won't buy it!  I have a right to know what I put into my body thank you very much.  Not to mention what I offer my kids! 

So, I just had to rant about this.  Read for yourself and make your own educated choice.  I know that organic food (meat AND produce) is usually much more expensive, at times twice as much...but then I realize too that we have an abundance of food in our culture and maybe my family doesn't even need to consume quite so much.  I've started cooking with a lot more legumes and rice and making things from scratch too and the kids love that.  Maybe it's time we get back to a more earth reliant diet...someday we might see some change at the top if demand becomes higher.  Read that article and pass it on!