Monday, October 26, 2015

Four Months Old

Ana is giggling as she rolls over and waits for me to notice. I flip her back onto her belly and she smiles at her reflection in the mirror. I read in a lot of baby books about how three months is a big timeline, how it takes most of that time for the baby to get used to being outside the womb (“Happiest Baby on the Block”). It is like one long introduction to the rest of your life.

I thought the “newborn baby” thing would be the first three months, but really, it was the first three weeks. After that Ana began to be more than just a lump (sorry, baby lovers). I did enjoy the newborn baby thing more than I thought—I was happy with being done with pregnancy, and starting a new phase. Besides, everything is interesting when it is new. And the whole “so little” thing is ridiculously irresistible.

So from reading all my books, I wasn’t worried about spoiling Ana Sofia, or about getting on some ridged schedule for the first three months. They were about taking it easy and enjoying this new creature and phase of life. And that went well. And Ana slept through the night on her own, and got along well with our normal schedule, and loved going out with us to Living Stones.

Now I am beginning to see changes. Someone has decided she wants to be entertained. I find myself telling her, “If it isn’t a poop, sleep, or eat problem, you are now on your own.” We have a system of while I am working on the computer, she can sit in my lap, tummy time (now rollover practice), bouncy bed thing, or bouncy chair thing (attached to the door frame). She normally cycles through all of these in an hour. By then it is normally time to eat, sleep, or poop.

She cried for the first time when someone else held her. She cried herself to sleep (finally). Her personality is coming out. She laughs, she is ticklish, she complains, she is curious. I started snapchat to record things I am grateful for, and I find they most all revolve around her (add me: rachtheferg).  I am enjoying getting to know her: happy four months, Aninha!

More Creative Help Please

So the card has both pictures on it--one on each side (one side saying "Give Joy," the other "Doe Alegria"which is literally Donate Joy).
Here are the gift tags:
They have the white space to write the name of who it is for, and a tie. I really like the convenience of the elastic tie (top), but it isn't as pretty. What do you think?
I was thinking of having them in packs of 5 or 10, like this. How much should they cost? below are the ornaments--I love the gold and red so much better!
I have the simple red, simple gold, and then twisted together. I was thinking of having them in a pack of three? And then how much should they cost?
Lastly, here is an idea of what they would look like (on presents and on the tree). Any other ideas/options? 
I am getting so excited for the holidays:)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Creative Help Please!

So Living Stones has these awesome cards (thanks to Craig Olson)
With them, we are going to make gift tags and ornaments. This is also going to be the cover and back page of our 2016 Calendar and Informational Booklet 2015 (coming soon!) 

For the gift tags, I am punching the top left corner, cover the bottom left with a strip of white (small blank address label), and putting in gold elastic (rubber band link thing) or red or yellow ribbon. They will be sold in quantities of 5 or 10, in small see-through fabric bags. How much do you think they should cost? Any other suggestions for gift tags?

For the ornaments, I have some first tries:
(plain ribbon)
(two colors twisted...I tried longer and shorter...I think somewhere in the middle would be good)

Which would you like to hang on your tree? Should I try to add green ribbon to make it more Christmas-y? Any other ideas? 

We are going to be putting together a booth to raise funds here in Brazil for Living Stones. Can anyone give me some hot tips for this? We will also make sure to have these available for donations in the USA, 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


I do not identify with being liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat: I find it takes enough time to try to live my life loving others and figuring out what it means to be a Christian and to follow Jesus. The practical implications are astounding. But the government is a tool to use wisely, not to make up for the lack of what you yourself are willing to do. It is a tool to not take lightly- and so I vote when my mom reminds me it is time to vote.

But here is what it comes down to: police are being disrespected, and race is an issue because we the church have failed the black community- we have made Sunday morning the most segregated hour of the week.

Gay marriage is an issue because we the church have failed the gay community. We have not loved them. We have not welcomed them. We have not said that we will stand with them in their successes and failures as they learn what it means to be a Christian.

The Duggars are an issue because we the church have remained too silent on abuse/abusers and porn. Abortion and feminism is an issue because we the church have not stood with women in their hard times and embraced adoption as beautiful. Refugees/Immigration is an issue because we have not opened our homes- would you house a refugee? Healthcare is an issue because we the church have not cared for the sick.

And I know I am preaching to the choir, and perhaps you are offended by these words because they are not true for you. But they have often been true for me. The bottom line isn’t what person will become president, it is will I open my home and my life and be vulnerable and LOVE others. Others defined as the police, people of other races, GLBT, sex offenders, adulterers, abortionists, feminists, refugees, migrants, the sick and smelly: Democrats and Republicans and the rest of us lost somewhere in the middle or on some end.

I am telling myself to do it instead of fighting against the government doing it (conservative end), and I am telling myself to do it instead of making the government do it for me (liberal end).  To my political friends - tell me what you are for, not what you are against. Tell me what you are doing to make the world a better place - not what is sending this world to hell. And no matter how ignorant or rude you think someone who disagrees with you is, that does not give you the right to berate, threaten, or in general be mean to them. Show me you are bigger by loving them.