Monday, February 25, 2013

Home from Haiti...for now

I got home from Haiti 3 nights ago....honestly, the trip couldn't have gone better. I will be back...sooner than later I hope!

I look forward to sharing some amazing stories with you over the next few weeks. If you are local, you are invited to my house this Thursday at 7pm for a special presentation to hear first hand about what I saw, and what Trades of Hope is doing to better the lives of women (and men!) in Haiti and around the world.

Email me at krystle(dot)bowen(at)gmail.com to get directions. You will also have chance to order product and sign up to be a Compassion Entrepreneur like me!

For now...a few pictures!







Friday, February 15, 2013

Change: In Perspective

I head out tonight for a change of perspective. 


I am heading to Haiti with a group of women from Trades of Hope. We are going to be meeting with some of our amazing artisans and learning their stories, seeing what they do and how our purchases directly impact their lives.

A few years back I would have told you I would never be doing this and yet here I am, and I just know this is the first of many trips like this.

I love to share other's stories and I cannot wait to share with you about these amazing people who are working so hard to make a life for themselves and the privilege we have to help.


You remember that this trip came together in a whirlwind of a week and there is no way I could have manufactured it. This was all HIS doing and I am excited beyond belief to see what He does.

I know there will be more than meets the eye and I am anxious to see what unfolds. 


We all need a change of perspective and when the days are long and full of poopy diapers and crying toddlers and messy dishes...it's good to go someplace where that is the least of their worries.


Trades of Hope is about providing opportunity, not charity and that's what excites me most.


If you don't know about Trades of Hope, click this right here!






Thursday, February 14, 2013

A letter to my boys....

Hi boys,

Mommy is leaving tomorrow  I get to go on an airplane! I am sure going to miss you, but I know your Daddy will take such good care of you and we have so many friends and family that are going to be checking on him to make sure he's okay.

Mommy wants you to know she's a little bit scared. I don't really like flying on airplanes, especially alone. I am scared about how much I will miss you, and worrying that you are safe while I am gone. I sort of joked with Daddy that he just lock the door and not leave the house until I come back. 

You know what though? If we let being scared keep us from doing what God wants us to do, we wouldn't get to do a lot of things! The Jesus who loves me and you asks us to do some scary things sometimes, and really living for Jesus should be unsafe. The world will tell you to play it safe, but I'm not going to tell you that. I'm going to tell you to be brave and dangerous and bold for Him. 

Mommy wants to show you as little boys that listening to Jesus and being brave for Him is what our lives are all about. Mommy and Daddy want you to learn now that your life is not for you, but to serve and love others. 

I am going to meet some wonderful people who don't have the same things you have, life is a harder for them and because we've been blessed with things that they don't have, we are to bless them! Mommy gets to go see how they work hard to make beautiful things to sell to people all over and earn money to take care of their babies and families. They are able to eat food and not be hungry because of the things Mommy helps them sell. 

Someday soon you boys will come with Mommy and Daddy, and we will get to do this together. 
We are excited to teach you at a young age about this adventure of life in Christ. We hope you can remember when you are grown that as long as you can think back, you saw your Mommy and Daddy living out love and that you learned to do the same!

Mommy's biggest prayer to God is that you love Him and love others. Do what you can to help those who need help and love first and foremost. Even if it's scary or even if it's hard. 


I will miss you every moment, but I will be back soon. 

Love,
Mommy



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

*Monthly Update* TWO Years

This monthly update will conclude my series! I figure once they hit two it's just kinda silly to keep posting .... I will find new ways to brag don't you worry!


Camden:

Height: 34 1/2 inches
Weight: 22lbs

Main Things:

Jumps with both feet off the ground
Knows all his shapes
Knows some letters
Knows some numbers
Speaks in full sentences (Mommy and Daddy at home. Jack taking a bath. Mommy, watch! etc)
Sleeps 12 hours at night and 1-2 hours for a nap
At or above all age appropriate skills


Christian:

Height: 34 inches
Weight: 20lbs

Main Things:

All of what Camden does and even more sentences like:

"Mommy, I need more cheese"
"I have Daddy's water bottle"


They are obviously on the slender side, and she isn't concerned because they are growing right on their own curve really well. We are keeping them on whole milk, adding in peanut butter and butter and coconut oil to everything we can and also adding Carnation Instant Breakfast to their milk.


They are really good at doing puzzles, and Camden has done the shape sorter alone for quite awhile. They like to stack and sort and read books and color. Christian especially loves to color. Camden is showing himself to still be left-handed and Christian right-handed.

You just love leaving your Pediatrician's office with them oohing and ahhing over these smart beautiful boys. Proud Mom indeed.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Too Much Noise: Becoming Grace Givers

Too much noise. 

Christian's are too noisy sometimes. We think the noise we cause about certain things is gonna change how things go. We get so caught up in making sure people know our opinions of things like politics, morals, rights etc that we forget to just shut up and love.

We post things on Facebook and don't really think about how that comes across to someone who doesn't share our opinion.

I know I've wounded some. Without intention. Feeling I needed to voice my opinion on a matter and instead of looking like a crusader for a cause I looked like a jerk. I've had to ask for forgiveness and I know I will again. I'm learning to just be silent.

What are we supposed to do? Love God and Love Others. We are to love others. No matter if they call themselves a Christian or don't believe in Christ at all, whether they are gay or straight or whether they believe in pro-life or pro-choice.

Love first and let God handle the rest.

It's so hard for us, we feel we need to get in there and state our cause loud and clear and in the midst of it all we just look noisy and in the noise these people who may not believe the same we do only see judgement and condemnation. They don't see love, they don't see Jesus and it's heartbreaking.

Can we believe what we believe but choose not to inundate Facebook with it? Can we not type that response and just love and pray? Can we be slow to speak?

Many a wounded woman there are that have aborted babies years ago and been tossed aside by the noise we "Christ-followers" throw at them. Jesus gives grace to all and so should we.

We may vote differently than our friends, but do we need to engage in political arguments online? What about a heart to heart over coffee where you can see the heart and understand where your friend is coming from?

Let's slow down. Let's think and pray before we type out words that wound souls. Let's think about who is seeing those posts we share before we do it.

Let's let ourselves be invisible for a bit and let us be known by our actions of love and grace rather than our words.

 So let's quiet down and stop the noise and just love. And give grace.


We are all in the same boat, and we all need grace. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Birthday Party Train Style




Playing with Daddy's train that his Grampa made him when he turned 1!!

Such a ham!


My bear


The amazing train cake made by my Mom! So yummy!

Jack got the boys flashlights and they love them!

Add caption


Honestly guys...I mean. Come on.

Notice the righty and the lefty!? GG are you proud??



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Camden & Christian!

Two years ago I was nervous and excited, not a first time parent, but recognizing that twins were a completely different ball game and having really no idea what was coming- brought a mix of emotions.

As my wonderful OB pulled each boy from his home for 36 weeks 4 days and I heard their cries and subsequent "they are just great!" I never could have imagined what two years from that moment would bring.

They brought to our word a new level of exhaustion and love. A dynamic so different that you will never understand unless you have twins. A beautiful crazy life that leaves us utterly worn and desperately in love at the end of each day.

The fascination that comes with watching your children and their different personalities is only intensified when they are the exact same age.

One is social and never stops moving, saying hi to everyone and physically beyond his age in skill, yet on the tiny end of the spectrum. Small and fierce his grin and laugh are infectious. He has personality bigger than life.

The other, reserved and quiet unless he is with people he knows are safe, yet cunning and smarter than a whip. Inquisitive and caring, his deep blue eyes look into your soul and his smile is always just what I need.

Each love to be held, and watch their big brother...mimicking his every move.

The first year was really such a blur, but feels so far ago....this last year has flown and I cannot believe we are celebrating their turning two. It hardly seems possible.

I am looking forward to this next year. I love the different things with each age, but from 2 1/2 on with Jack has been a blast and so much more fun!


Happy Birthday Camden. Happy Birthday Christian,

Your lives are a testimony to God's faithfulness and healing. I love you so deeply sometimes it aches. We never call you the twins,  in fact we hardly use the term at all when talking about you. You are in fact twins, but most of all you are brothers and you are ours, lent to us by a gracious God who has more in store for you than we could possibly imagine. We pray that you love Him first and you love others, and that you know your life is not your own.
Mommy and Daddy










Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beat the Bug!

This week has been super tough. Jack started getting sick Sunday, by Tuesday evening Trevor was feeling it and on Wednesday the twins and I got sick.

Trevor tested positive for influenza, and who the heck knows what the rest of us have had. Trev was basically quarantined in the bedroom until 24 hours after his fever broke (without meds) because there was no way I wanted to expose the kids or I.

Dealing with 3 sick kids, while sick and while your hubby is stuck in the room as miserable as you've ever seen him...just sucks.

We are still dealing with coughs and yucky noses 11 days later and our valley here is being infested with sickness. I am afraid to leave my house. Croup, RSV, the flu and on and on. 11 kids in Jack's preschool class were out last week and the hospital is full of little ones and younger adults alike with this stuff.

In other areas of the country things are getting better in terms of flu and such, but it looks like Oregon is still rising.

I've been impatient and cranky all week, and so have my kids. We need fresh air (it's been freezing cold and raining) and a break from this stuff!

On another note....I have my MRI on Friday for my ankle/foot thing to see what is going on AND the twins turn TWO on Sunday and I leave for Haiti a week from Friday.

Whew.

We need to get healthy. We need to beat the bug!

Would love your prayers.