Compassion's Gift Catalog

Each Christmas, as we pull out the Christmas ornaments for our tree, I remember back when we earned money to purchase a cow from Compassion's Gift Catalog

Kelsey with our Cow ornament, December 2011

Kelsey with our Cow ornament, December 2011

But I am not sure if I have ever shared the video we put together!

Cows are currently not available from the gift catalog, but there are many other items available to bless a family this Christmas.

What one gift will you and your family choose this year?

National Cookie Day

I usually don't need an excuse to bake cookies, but when I found out that today is National Cookie Day, I just knew I should bake up a batch of homemade Snickerdoodles.

Snickerdoodles are a big favorite around our home. As much as I love homemade chocolate chip cookies, there are times when nothing satisfies like one of these homemade Snickerdoodles.

homemade snickerdoodles

I have had the recipe for these cookies for quite some time, not even really sure where I first found it. But there are some important things I do each time I make these cookies. 

snickerdoodle recipe

Unsalted butter is a must, as well as Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus seasoning. The Cinnamon Plus seasoning is what I use in place of regular cinnamon. The additional spices in this seasoning mix make a big difference in the way the cookies taste.

homemade snickerdoodles

One last important step, which I do with most cookies that I bake, is to underbake them just a bit. Once I pull the pan from the oven, I let these cookies set on the cookie pan for a few minutes before removing them to cool. 

These cookies end up being lightly crisp on the outside and a bit chewy in the middle. Oh yum!

What cookie recipe is your favorite?

Give Babies a Strong Start on #GivingTuesday

After the rush of sales and deals over the past few days, each one of us has the opportunity to make a difference by giving a bit that will last a lifetime. And this year, for Giving Tuesday, Compassion is looking to do something absolutely amazing

Giving Tuesday Compassion CSP

Children born into poverty have no guarantees of making it to their first birthday. And In India, nearly 1 in 3 newborn deaths occur in India. To help give new moms and their newborn babies a fighting chance, Compassion has a big goal on this Giving Tuesday! The goal? Raise $25,000 to open a new Child Survival Program in Gujarat, India.

So what exactly is a Child Survival Program? Like the Child Development Program, the Child Survival Program (CSP) works through the local church with pregnant and new mothers to ensure they receive proper medical care, nutrition, training to care for their new babies, and sharing with them the hope of Jesus. This program is helping over 30,000 mothers and babies in over 700 centers. Babies are being born healthy because of this program, and over 4,000 mothers came to know Christ in the past year through the Child Survival Program!

So what do you say? Can you give $5, $10, $25, or more to help build this new center in Gujarat, India? Let's help give babies a strong start on this Giving Tuesday!

November Compassion Share & Tell

Last month, since I sent my Compassion kids handwritten notes and a few extras, I decided to do online letters for each of them this month. I had just been to Yosemite again, so I knew I wanted to share with them a photo from my most recent trip. Here is what I wrote to each of the kids:

Compassion letter

I loved this fall template so much, that I used it for each of my kids this month since it went perfectly with the fall photo of the deer we saw in Yosemite.

Have you taken the time to write to your child lately? If you are still new to letter writing to your Compassion child, you can follow the tips I shared on the Compassion blog this month

Books + Photography = Instagram Fun

Last month, I decided to join in an Instagram photo challenge put on by Fat Mum Slim. For October, the prompts were each letter of the alphabet, one letter per day. Rather than just randomly try to find something each day that began with that letter to photograph, I decided to do a book theme. Some letters were very easy to find books for, others, well...I am sure you can imagine how interesting it would be to find book titles that begin with Q or X. And because this was a photography challenge, I wanted to take photos of books we have in our home, some of them in very creative ways.

So what were some of my favorites?

books starting with the letter 'C'

Books starting with the letter 'C' formed into a letter 'C'.

Emma and a cup of tea

'Emma' should be enjoyed with a cup of tea...any Jane Austen book for that matter...

Harold and the Purple Crayon

'Harold and the Purple Crayon', just love his imagination!

Just me books by Mercer Mayer

Just Me books by Mercer Mayer, we have just a few of these...

Math books plus chocolate

Math plus chocolate, yes!

Nancy Drew books

Nancy Drew...yes, I read quite a few of these as a young girl.

And my favorite...

Yosemite guides

Yosemite, of course!!

Do you have an Instagram account? I would love for you to join in the fun! You can follow my account here.

What book titles would you choose for your favorite letter of the alphabet?