Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Child Is This?

"What Child is This?"
What child IS this?
Or this?
Or this?
What child is this?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back From China

WE ARE BACK!!!!! Taiger and I have returned to America. We are still trying to get over jet-lag, but I wanted to post and let everyone know we are back! I want to post a HUGE THANK YOU to the members of our Sixteen Small Stones board who kept things going while I was gone. It was a rough journey and we had a lot of time where I could not access the internet, and therefore was completely out of touch with everyone in America, including members of our board, our partner homes, etc. I hated being "out of the loop", but I never worried a second that things would be taken care of in my absence. Thank you all for your hard work! You are amazing! Also, THANK YOU to EVERYONE for your positive thoughts and prayers. They were truly felt and appreciated more than you can imagine. There were some really hard times and times when we were in less than safe situations. Your prayers brought strength to push through the hard times, and safety in times of danger. Thank you all so very, very much!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The first update of many

From China, to Me, to You. Hey! It's Bryttan, I'm going to be posting updates for Breclyn until she returns home from her adventure in Chinaland. Sorry, you are going to have to put up with me and my craziness. I don't write nearly as well as Breclyn, nor do I know as much as her, but I'll do my best, and keep you all updated on what she is doing and want's to say. So Sixteen Small Stones followers, Breclyn and Taiger are living near the Hai Nan orphanage and have been going over once a day for hours to help and play with the Children there. She has yet to take pictures, but She has told me that they do take care of the kids, it's just, the china way. Whenever they go over, the kids run over to Breclyn, and wait patiently for their turn to be held by her. Taiger has told me that he loves to play with the kids, but their teachers are mean to them. He has also gone on to tell me that he has told the kids that [I] am very nice and can come take care of them. Thank you Taiger for volunteering me, haha. Wish I could. Glad they couldn't understand what you were telling them. The kids over in that orphanage do not get the attention and care that they need, and Breclyn has told me what goes on inside, and it makes me want to do everything I can to help those kids. I wish I could go over, but someone has to stay here and keep everyone updated I guess. Also, I don't have the money or time unfortunately. The "Aunts" (caregivers/teachers) in the orphanage are trying to take care of so many kids, that they don't have time to be gentle with each child and they change them on a wooden counter top that is very hard. They do not lay the babies down softly, and they cry in pain. Their diapers are cloth, but they are not nice and what they do is tie them around their waists very tightly and it rubs against them. Breclyn said that they all have rashes and bruises. I want to try to do another Fuzzy Bunz type of fundraiser again, only it does not HAVE to be Fuzzy Bunz nor does it have to be called Fuzzy Bunz. I don't know much about cloth diapers, but if anyone out there does, let me know and maybe we can get some nicer softer kinds for these kids. What do you all think?? Next thing, They have a room for the children with disabilities. I did not quite understand, but it sounded like they have many different rooms with a lot of kids in each one. Maybe it's easier for them to take care of the kids this way. I'll try to get more accurate details, I'm sorry. Anyway, it sounds like they only have ONE doll for all the kids (yes, girls AND boys) to share. Breclyn told me that they have to take turns and the little girls especially hate this. They love walking around holding their dolly so much. I am going to sew some dolls to send over, and if anyone else wants to do the same and or send some to me instead of DI, I think they would love it. Breclyn and I have been talking about other things we would like to do, but I'm going to wait to bring that up. We don't actually have permission from the orphanage to do this, but Breclyn said we don't need any. She has been going over and has met with many of the Teachers and She says if we send them, she can just bring them in and they will be happy. The problem is, with me here doing this alone, I don't really know where to start to get money. So, if you do send some dolls, try to make them those softer light you know what kind I am talking about? Just because right now I don't have a lot of money to send a very heavy package. I'm sorry. I need to talk to Breclyn and ask her a lot of questions. I just don't want you all to be lost, or think that Sixteen Small Stones is no more. We're doing what we can with her over there and me here :) Heavenly Father will help us if we have faith that everything will work out. I believe that is true. So, I will keep boring you all with my posts, updating you until I get things worked out and going again. I really think that the diapers and babies are a really good place to start. I'll post her stories from the orphanage a little later, they are so amazing, i want everyone to hear them. I had surgery and have been going through a long recovery. Posting a short blog is about all I can do right now, I apologize. I'll leave you with some pictures that She has sent to me. I know She is doing what She can right now while she is there to help anyone and everyone and still study and take time for her dear sweet Taiger. She is grateful to all of you who support her and have helped 16 Small Stones so much. I know I am as well. Being on this end, I have seen how much help and support you have all given, from money, to prayers, it's all appreciated. It's been amazing. Thank you. Keep praying, and things will all work out for everyone. God blesses us in many ways, we just have to be patient and have faith. Thanks Everyone!! This is their way of transportation. Taiger sits on the back seat and Breclyn peddles. She's going to come home with some super strong calf muscles, haha. Aaaaaand, when you take a 4 year old little boy to China to help the people, he prefers to help the Turtles. Taiger caught this tiny turtle, and is crazy for him :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

God Is Love

Today, I am giving a little, quick lesson in church. I am teaching the song, "God Is Love" and I wanted to give a little lesson about it. The problem is, I don't really understand that phrase, "God Is Love". God is made up of flesh and bone. So, what does it mean that "God IS Love"? For the past few weeks, I have been trying to better understand this concept. I still don't understand it with my mind, but I have started to comprehend it in my HEART. A few experiences I have had these past few weeks have helped me feel this idea that God Is Love. I felt God and was overwhelmed with this realization of how HUGE His love is. I saw beauty in Earth and felt warm inside like a testimony of God's love. I felt Love, and in that love was God. I wish I were an eloquent writer, like Bethany P. Haily, or Gabi Dickinson, or Katie Davis. But I am not. All I have is my testimony and my heart.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Mriacle at the Post Office

Another sale at the Post Office?? Hmmmmm...I think God is up to something. He has some AMAZING work He is preparing some special young women for. :) I sent another box of donations a couple of days ago. This was the SCARY box. I had sorted and resorted. I had down sized again and again, taking out items I thought were not AS necessary as others, etc. In the end, I had a box that was so full I had to put paper on the top to fill in the gap between the folded down leaves on the top. I went to the post office just to weigh it. I had brought the address and some tape JUST IN CASE, but I fully planned to weigh it, find out the price, and come home and downsize AGAIN. I had discussed with Gabi how much it COULD cost. I was estimating around $200.00, but hoping for $150.00...what? I believe in miracles!! I had raised $140.00 at the yard sale. Twenty of that went to sending Renee's package. That meant I would have to use some of the money from my "miracle stash" in Shelley. That was okay. But I was REALLY wanting to use it to either help with the cost of getting to China, or help with the cost of registering SSS as an NGO (a girl can dream!). If it came to more than $200.00, I didn't know WHAT I would take already felt like I wasn't sending nearly enough! I stood nervously in line, trying to guess how much it was going to cost, and trying to picture what I could take out of the box (on that part, I was coming up blank). When it was my turn, I hefted the huge box onto the counter and told the post woman I just wanted to weigh it and find out how much it would cost. She looked at me doubtfully and asked, "Is it going to close?" It was stuffed past closing, but I promised her I could squish it down and it would fit...I was hoping for a miracle for that part. When she read me the price, I think I just gave her this odd, blank stare. The price? $71.00. Blank stare. Not $200.00? Not $100.00? Just seventy-one dollars? For the WHOLE box? To England? Why is it so hard to believe miracles? :) Since I wasn't actually thinking I would be able to afford to mail it at that time, I didn't bring my camera, so you will have to trust me that the box did make it to the post office. :) We have cloth diapers, socks, and clothes en route to England even as we speak! We are praying God will provide Gabi with the two extra suitcases so she can transport all of the donations with her to Africa. (Please join us in prayer if you feel so inclined.) Thank you all for your love and support. God is so, so good. :) :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Side Note

A Side Note Tomorrow, I am going to weigh the box to send Gabi and ask how much it will cost to send. Wouldn't you know, I have been STRESSING ALL DAY about this..."What if it is too much?", "What if I can't afford it?". "What if...", "What if...", "What if...". When will I ever learn?! GOD WILL PROVIDE A WAY.

God Is Good

Some incredible things happened yesterday. I want to share them with you. For the past few days, I have been packing up the donations to Renee (Serving His Children) and Gabi (Racham Ministries). I finished the box for Renee and planned to send it. I lifted the box, and boy! was it heavier than I had thought it would be. Gabi's, too, was big and heavy! I knew I needed to send Renee's box ASAP because she is leaving the states soon, so I made arrangements to mail Renee's box. Then, I started panicking. What if I couldn't afford to send the boxes? I remembered a God who had provided twenty four Fuzzi Bunz diapers against all odds. I also realized God would not have provided the diapers and would not have asked me to send them without providing a way to accomplish what He asked. So...what did I do? I prayed! I prayed with full faith that God would provide a way for the packages to be sent to Renee and Gabi. I absolutely believed that God could provide a way for those boxes to be sent. I envisioned some kind person behind me hearing where the box was going and footing the bill. I imagined a SALE at the post office...I mean, I had never before HEARD of a postal sale, but that wasn't the point. I KNEW God could provide a way. As I was kneeling in my room, my Mom hollered in to me. She said she had just received a notice in the mail that I had a bank account in Shelley that hadn't been used in five years and I needed to do something with the account--either withdraw or deposit--or the money would be given to the government. I smiled. I knew God could find a way. SOME way. A bank account? In Shelley? God had a plan for this moment from the time I opened that account and then forgot about it (I know it seems impossible to forget about money, but to this moment I cannot remember leaving money in an account in Idaho...). He knew this time would come where I would need the money. So, off I trekked to the Post Office, with my box of donations in the back seat.
At the post office, my sister came in with me. As we stood in line, we guessed how much it would cost. Mind you, I had only made 140 dollars at the sale to send these boxes. I thought this box would cost $70.00, my sister guessed $80.00. Either way, if either of our guesses were correct, I would be left without enough to send Gabi's package without spending the money in the mysterious bank account. I was so happy God had revealed that to me before I left so I would not be under great stress at the Post Office, waiting in that line, wondering what the mailing cost would be. When it was our turn, the postman read us the prices. The cheapest price? You will never guess. $21.00 No kidding. A sale at the Post Office?! God is good. Always so, so good. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quick Update!!

What a day! I have spent much of the late hours of last night and most of the day today sorting all of these wonderful donations we have received! It is almost 2:00 and I still have not showered (I know...I sicken myself sometimes). It has been difficult, exciting, fun and humbling to do this work.
Anyway, I wanted to post a few pictures really quickly to give you all a peek into how it's going!
Thank you, to EVERYONE who has donated! We have SO MUCH and it is so exciting to picture little children and young adults around the world receiving their new clothes from your hands to theirs!
I hope you all have a fantastic day!
OH! Please spread the word about Project: 1000 Words...let's get some of these cameras sponsored!!
Love you, all! Remember, you are a child of GOD!
Yes, this really is our living room...I am sure my family just HATES me right now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Story

I am driving through the country-side in Idaho, down back roads, totally lost. Why am I here? I am so glad you asked. :) Several months ago, Renee with Serving His Children let me know that she was in great need of Fuzzi Bunz one-size diapers. I was so excited when she told me that because it seemed like something Sixteen Small Stones could provide for her. We launched Operation: Fuzzi Bunz...and nothing happened. No one donated. I emailed Fuzzi Bunz manufacturers and distributors asking for discounts or donations. I emailed LeLeche League leaders. I told everyone about this project. I prayed that someone would donate! I had FAITH that something would happen...but it never did. Nothing happened. I was worried that Renee would think I let her down. I was worried that she would think Sixteen Small Stones was some dorky thing that some careless flake "put together". I forgot to look at His big picture. I figured I would just buy some Fuzzi Bunz myself and send them to Renee! However, I quickly learned there was NO WAY I could do this, as Fuzzi Bunz are SO expensive! Some people donated cloth diapers, and I was so thankful to them! However, because of the children Renee cares for, I knew these just weren't going to work. I was so sad that things were not working out as I had hoped, and wondered how the end would be. One day, months after I had started Operation: Fuzzi Bunz, and months after I had all but "given up" on this project ever coming to fruition, I received an email from a woman who wanted to donate Fuzzi Bunz! She had FOUR that she wanted to donate! I was so excited, and SO THANKFUL! ("Maybe Renee won't think I am a total looser, after all!", was one of my first thoughts...How shallow I am!) Renee was going to be in the US in June, and I set the diapers up so I could send them to her when she was in America. I was so thankful, and imagined the difference these diapers would make to her and to her children! I prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for this sweet woman. Then, this same woman emailed me and told me she wanted to donate MORE diapers, UP TO TWENTY, but she always looks into the organizations to whom she donates, and she wanted to know more about Sixteen Small Stones...specifically, if we were 501c3 approved. Dang. That little combination of letters and numbers has alluded me for years. Not because we don't qualify, but because I just can't figure out the process of application, etc. Somehow, I just can't wrap my mind around this complicated process. Dang. Dang. Dang. My heart was breaking. If only I could somehow PROVE to her that we are what we say we are, even without those silly numbers. I felt so heartsick for the lost possibility of getting the much needed diapers to Renee. I felt embarrassed that we weren't an official NGO. I felt overwhelmed with desire to provide these diapers to the children. I felt FULL of FAITH that if we were supposed to get these diapers, we would get them...with or without having 501c3 at the end of our name. So, I asked all of our partner homes if we could use their names and send to this woman a list of the places we help. I was so amazingly humbled and grateful when everyone said I could, and I sent this woman an email with information about us. I was ashamed because it looked like we weren't "real". A week or so passed, and one day I opened my email to see a message from her. I was sure she would say she has decided NOT to donate any more...and that she wanted me to send back to her the four she had already donated. "Oh ye of little faith..." This woman said that her friend in Rexburg had twenty diapers to donate. I was overwhelmed with gratitude! With humility! I prayed and thanked GOD for His goodness! TWENTY DIAPERS! Could you imagine? Well, more time passed...another month, and I didn't hear from this woman or her friend. I began to think it wasn't as great as it had sounded. I doubted everything. "I probably won't hear from them again...Even if I do, I bet they don't actually have TWENTY diapers, maybe 5 or 6...But even 5 or 6 would be AMAZING...But I probably won't hear from them again...Why would they want to donate twenty diapers to us?..." And so my doubts continued. In an attempt to make a long story short(ish) I will spare you all the details. But, the real story begins when, this last weekend, I received a phone call from that woman's friend, stating she wanted to meet up with me while I was in Idaho and donate diapers. I was at my cousin's wedding, but left early so I could meet this woman! NOTHING was going to get in the way of getting these diapers, even if it was only ONE more, it was one more, and that would make a difference!!!!! I changed out of my wedding attire. Taiger had fallen asleep and I tucked him in to bed and left the house. I got in the car and considered going back in to get my i-pod, but decided I needed this quite drive more...I needed some quite time with God. So, I drove away. The sun was setting and the sky was beautiful, as it is only in Idaho. Their sunsets are the most amazing I have ever seen anywhere in the world. I spoke with God as I drove through the beautiful, open land and gazed at the many-colored clouds of dusk. I felt so close to my Heavenly Father as I drove and spoke with Him. It was a tender and quiet moment as I thanked God for His miracles and for these diapers. Then, I began to doubt (AGAIN! Oh my gosh, will I EVER learn?!). I thought of Taiger at home. I knew if he woke up, alone in the basement, he would be so frightened. He could cry for a long time before anyone heard him. I knew he would be too afraid to leave the room and go upstairs. I wondered what I was doing...what I was sacrificing to help these other children...complete strangers, really. I was sacrificing my own son for the sake of my desire to serve some children far across the world. WHY?! Would Taiger always resent me? (How the devil puts EVERY doubt in our mind when we are doing good.) I prayed for Taiger, that he would please just stay asleep. Please. I drove for a long time, all the while worrying about Taiger, praying, thinking. I became lost. It was getting late, and I didn't want to leave this woman waiting. We had planned to meet at a specific time...what if I couldn't find this place? And here we pick up where we began. I am driving through the country-side in Idaho, totally lost. I see a gas station up ahead and I decide to stop and ask directions. If you read my post about getting lost with Taiger, you will understand this next fact: I was worried about stopping at the gas station to ask directions. I didn't want them to be angry with me, and I didn't want to bother anyone. Finally, I went into the gas station. I flashed the man at the counter a smile, hoping I could soften him up before he realized I wasn't buying anything and was only taking advantage of the fact he may know the surrounding area. When it was my turn in line, I was so nervous I just blurted out my question without much gentleness or formality. I shut my mouth in shock at how my words had come out. I knew I had blown it. I waited for harsh words to rain back on me. Instead, I was met with a kind smile, and a soft voice. The man I had asked, as well as someone else working with him, took the time to explain how to get where I was going. They leaned on the counter to look in my eyes and point directions on an air map. My heart was again humbled. I left with many a "thank you" pouring from my mouth, and a heart full of humility, gratitude and relief. I found the place and got out of the car to meet the woman. At first sight, I was struck with how KIND she looked! So loving and gentle! I was so relieved and immediately began thanking her for meeting me, for taking the time, etc. She lead me to the back of her suburban and opened the door. There were many things in the back, and I wondered if she was a Relief Society President helping set up for some ward event, or if she was just getting rid of many "old" things...maybe a trip to DI, but they were all so organized it was surprising. She moved some pots (all neatly stacked) and there was a box. Because I had wondered if these were all just old things from her house, I figured she must be donating some old, used diapers (I had thought this from the first), and since no one in their right mind would need TWENTY Fuzzi Bunz on hand, I figured she was going to donate one or two (again, this is what I had already figured from the get-go). Then, she said, "Let me count and make sure there are all twenty". "WHAT?!" I my head, of course! "She REALLY IS going to donate TWENTY?! HOW?!?!?!?!" She opened the box, and inside, all neatly packed, were BRAND NEW FUZZI BUNZ DIAPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My thoughts stuck in my head. She pulled some out and began to count and I caught a glimpse of the tag..."ONE SIZE"...THIS WAS A ONE SIZE FUZZI BUNZ DIAPER! Precisely what Renee needed! She counted out twenty. Yes, twenty. I asked if these were all hers, and she told me that she sold Fuzzi Bunz and her friend (the woman who had donated four to us already) had ordered these twenty from her. I almost fell to my knees. Do you know the sheer price of twenty Fuzzi Bunz?! I will give you an idea: ONE costs about 15 dollars. Yeah, you do the math. But more than the actual cost, I realized the SACRIFICE going on here. The woman asked me a little about where the diapers were going and through conversation I found out she has sent a donation of colored pencil packets to Katie Davis of Amazima Ministries! Again, my jaw dropped (in my mind here is still part of my face, I swear). How good is God?! How His timing and planing is so perfect! I could tell she felt somewhat comforted knowing I knew about Amazima and that Renee was "friends" with Katie. I gave her a Sixteen Small Stones business card and told her she could read more about us at our blog and website. I was overwhelmed as I got in the car. I pulled out one of the diapers...I realized they ALL were "One Size". And I began to laugh and cry at once, all out loud, and then I started praying at the same time. I have never laughed and cried and prayed at the same time before, and it gave me a tummy ache after a while, but I couldn't stop. All the months of being discouraged, God knew these two women were going to donate. All the time I felt nervous and worried about what to do to get Renee these diapers, God was already miles ahead of me, preparing these women. I realized that long before God planted in my heart the idea of Operation: Fuzzi Bunz, God was already preparing for this time. Through a journey I don't even know the story of, he lead this woman to Katie Davis and to making that huge donation of pencils so we could be united to bring diapers to these children in Africa. It all reaches back before time and memory and existence to the the beginning of His plan, which has no beginning or end. I was struck with how BIG God is. How HUGE He perfect and amazing and....BIG! I was struck with how ENORMOUS His love is for those children in Africa....every single one. He is not too big to know each of them know each and every one of them. And then I was humbled that a God so big, with a love for those children that was so GIGANTIC and with a plan so perfect and big would use little, insignificant me to be His hands to bring diapers to those important children...HIS children, who He loves immeasurably. I am sitting here, in the center of His great and eternal plan, with twenty little baby-yellow Fuzzi Bunz diapers, ready to mail them around the world to His precious children in Africa, for whom He has a plan, for whom He is concerned constantly, for whom he LOVES deeply, and for whom He has chosen little Sixteen Small Stones, without 501c3 status, to be HIS hands to deliver twenty yellow Fuzzi Bunz.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Sale: Part II Become as a little child.

So, to continue with the Sale Story... Sorry...this part starts on a bad note...but ends on a good one, so read on! A woman and her husband stopped by. I explained what we were doing and that ALL of the money goes to helping the children in the orphanages. This is our conversation: Woman: Is there an orphanage around here? Me: No, we help homes in Africa, China and Haiti. Woman: I grew up in an orphanage. Me: Oh my word. Isn't that something. Woman: Yeah, it was something. They looked around a moment more. I wanted her story. I wanted to hear if she was ever adopted. I wanted to hear EVERYTHING! But I didn't pry. I felt a gentle tenderness toward her. She was rather closed off and I could tell she didn't want to discuss it. I was thankful she felt she could open up and be honest about being in an orphanage as a youth. I got the impression it wasn't a fact she generally shared with strangers. And then, they left. I am serious! A woman who had herself dealt with life in an institution, had MAYBE felt hungry, had MAYBE felt alone, could MAYBE sympathize with these children, and EMPATHIZE in a way none of US could. And she didn't even drop a nickel in the nickel basket. I was saddened, but also confused. What had I done wrong in setting up and preparing this sale? Where had I failed? A mom and two girls came to the sale. They were such a sweet family and I loved visiting with them. I was amazed at the interest the girls showed in the the pictures and the orphans, and I was truly AMAZED at the fact that these two young women had more compassion than I had seen in many adults that day. They were genuinely interested in everything we were doing. The Mom wants her two girls to go volunteer! Anyway, they bought some things, paying more than the usual garage sale low prices and I was so thankful! After the morning I had had, I was ready to hug them and tell them to take EVERYTHING! I was just so thankful for their good hearts. I really couldn't believe how good-hearted these three women seemed to be. Toward the end of the sale, these same young women returned to the sale! I was so happy to see them, but they had not just come to say HI. They had brought MORE MONEY! Each daughter bought a Sixteen Small Stones shirt, and I could not be more honored to have those two, wonderful girls wearing "our" shirts. Then, they bought a cake with some money that it sounded like their Grandma had given them. I was impressed with the way the whole thing went. I saw the Mom gently guiding the girls. Teaching them without words how to love and how to be compassionate. She stood back as the girls selected their shirts, and offered kind words when they asked her if this color or that one would be better. She was excited to tell them how great the shirts were, and then, again, stood back as they paid and selected a cake. Their mother was allowing them to exercise their own compassion so it could grow and become strong. I thought of how these girl's lives will be so different because of the lessons they learned from their mother about serving others, and caring about others. It really was quite touching to watch this lesson unfold, and it was so glorious to see these young girls follow their mother's example of sacrifice and give their money for the children. Three women on their way to the gym donated money. They didn't want to purchase anything, but one handed me money anyway and offered words of encouragement. I was touched by that. They then returned to their car, but before leaving, another of the women came and said she, too, wanted to donate some and handed me some money. Another woman did the same thing. She handed me some money without purchasing a thing and told me, "This is great work you are doing. Keep up the good work" and left. I was so, so thankful to these women for their sacrifices. They are going to be feeding so many children and I am so grateful to them for giving without a thing in return. A cute, young couple had stopped by the sale early in the day, but had left, saying they didn't have any money on them. I hear that at my job all day. An excuse to get out of having to spend money without having to look someone in the eye and say NO. However, these two surprised me! Later that afternoon, they returned. When I said, "All of the money goes to the children", the man said, "That is why we came back". Hearing that touched my heart. They bought a cake and then saw there were HOMEMADE Snickerdoodles, and wanted some of those. I was going to let them just take some, but a kind woman said, "Here. For mine, and his cookies". She handed me some money and took a bag of cookies for herself. I thanked her profusely and so did the young man. It was sweet to see someone sacrifice for someone here in her neighborhood as well as for people around the world, all in the same moment! What a wonderful experience! Our neighbor from down the street came to the sale. Her little girl came with her. The mom had told her daughter that a single nickel would feed a child. The little girl danced up to the sale and begged her Mom to empty her pocket into the Nickel Basket. Out of her Mom's pocket poured two handfuls of nickels! The little girl was beaming! Those were HER nickels! When the little girl had heard that one would buy a meal, she had gathered ALL of her nickels to donate. My heart burst at this fact! Such a dear little girl. Her heart is so big, and she would give ANYTHING to anyone! The little girl and Taiger played (Taiger LOVES this little girl SO much! I am so thankful Taiger has such a good example for him. She is a bit older than Taiger and Taiger looks up to her so much!) and the mom stayed and helped with the sale. The little girl had brought a whole jar of small stones for people to pain! SO thoughtful! Not many children had come, so she and Taiger painted the rocks, colored with the chalk, blew bubbles, and sorted all of the clothes we are sending to Africa, China and Haiti. This sweet little girl sacrificed everything for others. I gave her a bag of cookies for her generosity, and she immediately gave a cookie to me and one to Taiger. That left her with only two cookies. When two small girls came to the sale a moment later, our neighbor asked her daughter for her last two cookies and gave them to these other two girls. The neighbor girl stood and smiled as she watched her last two cookies being handed to two complete strangers. We hurried to give her a new bag of cookies, thinking she would be sad that she had given away every one of her cookies. Quite the opposite. She looked up at Bryttan and said, "Thank you that I could give my cookies to those girls!" We were shocked! Such a good heart. Her mother had taught her to give and give and give and not think of herself. This little girl had achieved what many adults have not. She has gained an open heart, a giving heart, and a selfless heart. She thanked us for the new bag of cookies. At the end of the day, I was finishing cleaning up after the sale. Everyone else was inside, and I was carrying in boxes of things, tables, etc. A young girl approached apprehensively. She looked to be around eight years old and long, red braids hung loosely over her shoulders. I said, "Hi sweetheart." She came forward and said softly, "I don't actually want anything. I just wanted to give you this." She handed me six dollars. I thanked her and gave and told her how much that would help the little kids. She beamed. Her smile was huge as she walked away with her head high. She realized what she had done. She knew she had sacrificed for others. And she saw that felt good. My favorite story is from a bit earlier in the day. But before that, I need to explain something. When Taiger was little, he LOVED the movie, "Cars". He had seen a toddler bed that was "Cars" themed. He was only about a year old, but he was so tall and so big that it was time to get him his OWN bed. I knew I could never afford this Cars bed! BUT I found a bed with a car on the headboard that I wanted to get him. One day, my mom and sister came home from shopping with this very bed! It had been on sale and they had bought it for me to give my son. I was so, so thankful. I had NO money and being able to give my son this bed meant a lot to me. Taiger LOVED his Car Bed. He slept in it so well right from the first. I had made him a "Cars" blanket and given him a "Cars" pillowcase, so it really looked like a "Cars" bed, and he loved it. Taiger had that bed for years. However, about a year and a half ago, he was past outgrowing it and it was time for a "real" bed. I gave him a twin mattress and box spring from work. He thought it felt nice, but DID NOT want to give up his car bed. I put it in the basement, and he cried for about a week straight. Whenever it was bedtime, he would cry and cry for "his" bed, saying he HATED this new one, and he just wanted his old one back. Sometimes, while we were out for the day, he would suddenly ask if he could PLEASE have his old bed back. It was more than a year before he finally stopped asking for his old bed back. Well, this bed was at the garage sale. I don't know if Taiger realized it was sitting out there to be sold, or if he thought it was just some strange decoration, but when someone drove up and offered me five dollars for it, I immediately looked over where Taiger was writing with chalk. His jaw was dropped and I could see the sorrow in his eyes. I muttered to Michael to go distract him. I was so worried a tantrum would ensue. I must admit, as they began loading the bed, my own heart became heavy. That was my little boy's bed. It was like letting a part of his childhood go. I wasn't ready for him to grow up! I wanted to grab the bed and tell the woman that bed was my baby's bed! I didn't WANT to sacrifice! The orphans could have money from something else! This was my only child's youth I was sending away with complete strangers for a lousy five bucks! I WANTED IT BACK! Then, I heard Taiger's little voice. I don't know what Michael had said to him, but this is what I did hear. "...It is okay, because it is to help the kids in Africa, China and Haiti have food and clothes...". And that is when I realized, my baby wasn't just my baby...he is a child of God and he has a good heart. He is filled with compassion for others. The scriptures say to "become like a little child". I saw example after example of the goodness of youth and children. Sacrificing without hesitation. Having not a thought of themselves, but only of those in need. Giving their money, their cookies, their favorite bed. I thought of the adults. So many sacrificed, but many more did not. They are not "bad people", or "mean people"...they just have forgotten how it feels to be like a little child and give freely without considering the consequences. Without thinking of what they could do for themselves with that nickel. Without thinking how good the cookies would taste if only they kept them for themselves. Without thinking about the fact that they will never again see their favorite bed. Without thinking of what the money could buy them. I only know this because I am this way. I think of myself all the time. I think of what I can do for myself more often than I think of what I can do for others. I think of me all the time. I am slow to part with my possessions and fast to look away from those in need. May we all become more like these children.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Sale: Part 1

I have been anxious to post all about THE SALE. However, ever since the sale, I have been exhausted and have not even had the energy to post! I have slept a ton, and finally yesterday, started feeling sick...for the last few, exhausted days I have been fighting some sickness, and that is why I have been so, so tired. But it has caught up to me. So, I am curled up on the couch with body aches and a sore throat, listening to Taiger talk on and on and on (and on, the way only Taiger does), and have decided to buckle down and post about the sale!
First, I want to say AGAIN how THANKFUL I am to everyone who helped, donated, came, prayed for success, and who helped in any other way imaginable. :)
Although we had been getting ready for this sale for weeks, the REAL "last minuet" preparation began Friday night. Bryttan, Michael and I worked at making the signs for the yard and the signs to place around town. The signs for the yard were AMAZING! I had printed off pictures of FACES of the children we help, and they were beautiful! We mounted them on signs to set up around the sale. The signs for around town were perfect, and Bryttan and Michael even showed off some of their amazing art skills by drawing Africa on some of the signs! I was super impressed (you should have seen my attempt to copy their idea! HA! Africa looked like a limp balloon. It was pathetic.). My Mom had been in Idaho and drove all the way back that night to be home in time for the sale the next morning. My sweet board member, Natalie, had spent the last week or so baking goodies to sell at the sale as a Bake Sale portion (see what I mean about spending the past few weeks getting ready?!). My Mom transported the goodies from Idaho to Utah for us. My Mom stayed up LATE that night, despite being exhausted from the days in Idaho and the LOOONG drive back alone at night, and took care of Taiger while we got ready for the sale. Taiger helped make signs for the Sale. Saturday, I woke with a smile on my face. I knew what day it was, and I was so excited to see what God had planned. The day dawned grey and cloudy. I am NOT a morning person, and I don't know the last time I woke up at 6:00am, so, because of my complete lack of early-morning experience, I kind of thought maybe that grey look was how all days started. I threw on some sweats and my Sixteen Small Stones shirt and raced outside to start setting up. Wouldn't you know it, a few minutes later, my sweet Mom came out and helped set up. What an angel! As soon as things were ready, my Mom drove me around town to put out signs. A light rain began to fall. I knew the donations, the clothes AND the lovely posters and pictures would be ruined, and I prayed...not for the last time that day. When we returned from putting out signs, three men were at the sale! I was THRILLED! One wanted to know how much a table was. I told him it wasn't for sale, only display. Three men, two together and one alone, left the sale...without even dropping a nickel in the Nickel Basket. The rain drizzled on. I was freezing and sat in the car to watch if anyone came. People would drive up and stop, even turn off their engines. They looked at the pictures. They looked at the information signs. But all they SAW was a garage sale with nothing they wanted, and they drove on. After so many "drive bys", my heart broke. I saw the suffering of the children. I saw the hardness of the hearts of people. I went in the house and dropped to my knees. As I stood from my prayer a woman pulled up. She turned off her engine. She looked at everything. I thought this was one of the miracle times, when your prayers are answered immediately, and you feel your testimony grow and your faith in men restore. I pictured (with minor trepidations) this woman burst out of her car in tears and throw thousands of dollars at me to use to help the poor children. Instead, she turned her engine back on and drove away. I went back to the car. My board member Natalie texted me and I burst in to tears. She wanted to know how the sale was going. At first, I didn't want to tell her. She had worked SO HARD baking goodies, and has donated SO much (I joke that she is singly handedly trying to clothe the entire orphan population of Africa!). In the end, I unloaded all of my sadness on her. She was a kind and listening ear, and I appreciated that. Then, someone came! The woman bought some cookies and left! Then another person bought his grandson a toy for a dollar. More people came. More drive by's. More BUYS. Bryttan woke up and then Michael came, and it made a HUGE difference to have some support rather than sitting alone in the pouring rain, watching cold hearted people drive away from the needy. A little later, I was feeling discouraged again. I had been praying all day ("Please let them buy", "Thank Thee, God, for letting someone come", "Please let someone stop", "Thank Thee for sending someone", "Please help me help those in need", and so forth) and just when I was feeling so sad, Jeremy came! I cannot express how thankful and happy I was at that moment. Then, a woman came. She looked at everything. She commented. And she went to leave. I handed her a card and told her she could at least go to the website and learn more about the people we help. She handed it back and said, "I'll remember the name". Let me say that again: SHE HANDED THE CARD BACK! It was in her hand, and she gave it back. Really? Did she REALLY do that? Yes. Yes, she did. I stood there stunned. I felt the hurt coming into my heart. I felt the tears growing, swelling and pushing to come out. I held them in. I didn't want to cry in front of everyone. I don't know if Jeremy could tell I was about to burst or if God just prompted him to say SOMETHING, but he started talking about how nice the sale looked, how well everything was set up, how good the pictures looked. I was more thankful to him than I have ever been (and that is a lot, because I really owe him my life, and that is a TON of gratitude!). We all went inside after that and watched from the window for someone to come. I was still on the brink of tears when Jeremy left.

After the rain, it became very windy. Don't you love my rain-wind treated hair? No wonder no one was stopping or buying anything! They thought the whole thing was being run by a CRAZY woman! HA! They were right, but not because of the hair-'do!

Then, something incredible happened! A woman came. She spoke little English. Her daughter was there to translate. Her husband was with her, but two little kids were in the car, so he went back to the car after a while to wait with them. These people were kind hearted and gentile. They asked the price on some items, and when I said, "Whatever you want to donate," the woman chuckled, I think in disbelieve. She asked on some other things, and I gave her the same answer. Some people had donated some amazing things and some really nice children's clothing. She began gathering all of the nicest things. At first I thought of how poorly this sale was going, and I thought, "If she takes all of the 'good stuff', there will be nothing to LURE people in!" But I stopped those thoughts and figured God had a plan and He had sent this woman and I had better stand back out of His way! So, I watched as she found some good things and started making a pile. When she had all she wanted, she and her daughter walked to the Nickel Basket and began dumping in change! They were speaking in hushed tones to one another. I was overwhelmed with GRATITUDE! Look at all the little ones they were helping! Then, the woman reached in her purse and held out to me five one dollar bills. The daughter translated as she spoke, "My mother says she is sorry, but my Dad is not working and this is all we have." I quickly and sincerely said, "NO, no, no! It is fine! Anything helps! Thank you so, so much!" The woman again had her daughter apologize, and I walked right up to the woman and looked deep in her eyes and said, "NO! It is fine!" Then, I pointed to the pictures and said, "Look at all these children you are helping! Whatever you can give is PERFECT! Thank you so, so much!" At that, she had the daughter translate more. "I have two daughters still in Mexico." And with that, she burst into tears. I hugged her, and the sobs came freely. I asked the daughter how old her sisters were. 15 and 13. They are staying with family. But they cannot see the girls. The mother misses them very much. I felt her Mother Heart. I could tell this Mama loved her children deeply and being away from them was torture for her. She sobbed and sobbed. I held her as she cried. Then, Bryttan held her as she cried. Our hearts were broken for this loving Mother. After she left, my heart felt healed. Somehow, I think we helped least we gave her someone to open up to. When we looked in the basket, we saw she had put in the basket pennies. Isn't this what Sixteen Small Stones is all about? Sixteen SMALL stones. It is not about doing some great, unbelievable things. It is about doing all we can, no matter how small it is, and allowing God to make up for the size. Her pennies were like gold to me. She sacrificed all she had to help others. It didn't matter how little or how much it was. God makes up for that. It was about her giving all she had to help others, even in her own pain and sorrow. TO BE CONTINUED

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The SALE was today. Yes, THAT one! I am so overwhelmed and awestruck. It was a difficult day. Very, very difficult. But, in the end, it was worth it. Not because we made grand amounts of money, but because, after the tears and rain had ended, I saw humanity. I want to tell you all about it, but, quite frankly, I am exhausted and need a rest...I also need to go to the grocery store, because, even though I am asleep on my feet, Taiger is excited after the sale and rambunctious! HOWEVER, I wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who helped with this sale. You know who you are. :) I appreciate those who posted about this event on your blogs and facebook. Thank you to everyone. Thank you, thank you! I only wish (WISH!) you could have all been here today with us. We missed you. I missed every single person from our board and wished we could have all been together. Thank you to Bryttan and Kramer who faced the elements and stood outside with me. Thank you to my Mom, who lifts me as I reach for my dreams, and takes them on as her own. She was up all night (litterally) with Taiger while I was busy getting ready, even though she had driven four hours from Idaho to be home so I could do the sale and she could work at our business. THANK YOU to our friend homes/ministries, Racham Ministries, Serving His Children, Foyer De Sion and Bethel for letting us HELP YOU! Thank you, 60 Feet, for letting us help you! We love you all and appreciate the work you are doing! I want to really thank everyone who came to the sale. You don't know what it meant to us. You don't know what it means to those caring for the children daily. And, above all, you don't know what it means to those children. Thank you, from the deepest part of our hearts. Thank you so, so much. We recognize your sacrifice and appreciate it beyond words. THANK YOU! Finally, THANK YOU, TAIGER, for sacrificing so much. Thank you for being patient while Mommy has been getting ready for this sale. Thank you for selling your favorite bed so others could have food and clothing. Thank you for helping make signs. Thank you for loving all of the orphans. I love you, Taiger! And I am so proud of you. :) Okay, off to the grocery store. Taiger has been BEGGING for apples for the past three days, and we have had none in the house. :) Poor little guy :) :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Please, Monsieur, another note!

I am starting to feel like The Phantom Of The Opera with all of these notes. :) So, it is time for today's note. Sometimes, it is easier to do a major service PROJECT than to do a simple service, like wash the dishes for your mom. When it is a HUGE ordeal, you feel like you have done something great and amazing! Sometimes, the little things take the most sacrifice...because they take so little physical EFFORT. Does that make sense? So, something that is hard to wrap our minds around is that, for a nickel, you can feed a child a meal. A nickel. A nickel is so small, sometimes we don't even think about it. A quarter, we are slower to sacrifice, you know? But a nickel...they get lost in the bottom of our purse, or tossed on the dresser, and we try and figure out ways to "get rid" of them. When something costs a dollar and five cents, we often tell the clerk NOT to get us the change..."Wait! Wait! I KNOW I have a nickel! Please let me get rid of some of this change!" Well, here is your chance to "get rid" of that loose change. Those nickels that are worth so little alone. At least, for us. A volunteer at one of our Friend Homes in Africa told us a child at the school was so hungry, she ate her pencil. Renee with Serving His Children shows us pictures of hungry children. Why are they hungry? Because they don't have a nickel. Yes, one nickel would buy them an entire meal. And we thought the dollar menu was cheap! For the price of your snack wrap at w*endy's, you could buy TWENTY kids a MEAL. (Not saying YOU shouldn't eat...just putting in to perspective how little a nickel is to us, and how MUCH it is to those kids!) our sale we are going to have a Nickel Jar. It is a glass jar you can LOOK at and SEE how many meals will be bought. You can plunk YOUR nickel in the jar and visually SEE it added to the others...add a meal for a child. This sale will: *PROVIDE FOOD FOR HUNGRY CHILDREN.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today's Note

Sometimes, you have to give up what you love for what God loves. His path is greater, and even though our pain right now might be great, it will be dwarfed in the end by our JOY! Okay, so today's note is a little more complex than the usual "clothing and food". I hope this doesn't embarrass any of my readers, but I THINK we are all mature enough to handle to complexities of the human body. We are working with several people and groups who are working with the children and youth living at Mukisa (the prison in Uganda). One of the major issues facing those living there is sanitation for the older girls. During their menstrual periods, the girls are forced to tie banana leaves around them to absorb the blood. I can only imagine the humiliation and discomfort these girls must endure! On top of that, I can only guess at the infections and disease this COULD create, not only for those young women, but also for others living in the prison since there is no disposal system for ANY garbage there. Maybe because I am a girl, but more likely, maybe because I am HUMAN, I feel sicked and saddened at the situation in which these innocent girls are put, where they are having their very pride and modesty compromised. This sale will (hopefully, as we work with other groups to find a solution to this problem): *PROVIDE FEMALE HYGIENE CARE SOLUTIONS FOR THE YOUNG WOMEN AT MUKISA. *

Monday, May 24, 2010


Here it is, LATE at night again, and I am only just getting to my NOTE about our sale. =SIGH= Only 24 hours in a day? Really? AND no naps this week?! =SIGH...again= First of all, GOOD NEWS! President Obama PASSED the LRA DISARMAMENT AND NORTHERN UGANDA RECOVERY ACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has passed. How relieved my heart is. How happy and how LIGHT! Sometimes, when I am overly excited/happy (or sad/upset), I cannot find the words I want to say. The news of this bill passing has put me in to one of those states. You will have to trust me that I am thrilled about this news. :) Okay, so today's note. Ready for it?? This sale will help us... *PROVIDE CLOTHING FOR HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN! And when I say hundreds, I mean HUNDREDS! We have had SO many donations of clothing come in to us! These clothes will be available for you to SPONSOR at the Benefit Sale! The clothes will be going to Haiti, Africa AND China!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Today's Note

For some reason, I kept thinking I had already posted today's note about our sale! SO, once again, you are getting this late. Sorry! I have spent FOUR DAYS making slide shows to have at our sale! :D It has been a lot of work, and NOT the kind of work I am good at OR enjoy. Poor Taiger thinks the computer ate his Mommy. :( I am such a stinky Mommy sometimes. :( Anyway...moving right along (getting off the Mommy Guilt topic), here is our note for today about how our SALE will benefit others! This sale will help... * PROVIDE FOOD, MEDICINE AND OTHER DAILY NECESSITIES FOR 100 FAMILIES IN HAITI LEFT HOMELESS BY THE EARTHQUAKE (as part of Operation: 100 FAMILIES).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How This Sale Will Help, AND UPDATES! :)

Today's update is coming rather late, I know. I am sorry. Better late than never, or so I have heard.
Before I give you today's little note about this great Event and how it will help others, I wanted to give a quick update about SSS!
First, a prayer request. Dear Gabi of Racham Ministries arrived in Uganda, and not more than two days later was at Renee's house (Serving His Children) feeding the thousands of children in the food program. When Gabi had been in Uganda before, she had been in the sun without getting a sunburn. However, this day she served for hours in the heat and at the end had a terrible reaction to the sun, much like a horrible sunburn. I imagine maybe she had before been in Uganda at a different time of year, when the sun was different in the sky, and maybe not so near the Earth. Or maybe her malaria treatment made her skin more sensitive (as it is known to do). My point is, Gabi is wise enough to take care of herself so she can better serve others. Either way, Sweet Gabi now has what are akin to third degree burns over much of her body. Her eyes have been swollen nearly shut. She is in excruciating pain. Through it all, her heart is still so focused on serving that she has thus far refused to leave! She has gone to the hospital and is taking medications and using several different balms and ointments on her blistered and painful skin. Despite all that, however, her pain is still quite severe. Let us lift this sweet sister up in prayer as she deals with the pain, as her burns heal, and pray her spirits will be lifted. God is the great Healer, and can heal Gabi's body if it be His will. Please pray for Gabi!!
On a lighter note, we had ANOTHER bag of donations brought in. By seven o'clock tonight, I had cut my hair (myself! What an adventure THAT was) and had taken a shower so wouldn't be shedding hair clippings all night, like Sasquatch in the Spring. My clothes were COVERED in hair, so when I got out of the shower I decided it was "late enough" (do you ever justify that to yourself??) for pajamas and was wandering around the house taking care of five little boys (my nephews are here visiting! FUN!) when the sweet neighbor down the street came over with a bag FULL of clothing! I was embarrassed that I was in my pajamas so early (what happened to that justification!??!?!?!) and was not much of a gracious hostess (I think my efforts came across more as "kicking him out" then "welcoming him in"! Oh dear!). However, once he left, I was overcome with gratitude! I opened the bag and there inside were BOY'S CLOTHES!!!!!!!!!!! Something we are lacking greatly. I had wanted a few more boy's things to sell at the garage sale, but on top of that, I know there are boys at Mukisa who are in need of clothing and I really wanted to be able to send a few things to them. What a blessing this kind neighbor was! I am only sad that I am more worried about MYSELF and my appearances than about God's work. If only I were more like Gabi, who is so in tune to service that she becomes oblivious to the world around her and SO FOCUSED on service that she doesn't even realize she is getting a sunburn! (NOT, mind you, that I would want to be in her position of suffering so greatly, nor that I would wish that on ANYONE! Also, I realize the importance of looking after yourself so you can physically serve others, as I KNOW Gabi does, too. But the fact still remains that she was so focused on others she forgot herself entirely, and that is admirable.)
The next piece of good news (and when I say "good" I mean, "good as in YUMMY"), is that Natalie shared a little list of a few yummy treats she is baking for our Bake Sale! Let me tell you, folks, you are not going to want to be late to this sale! EVERYTHING will be 100% HOMEMADE! I kid you not. Also, Natalie is a very clean person with no pets, so you will not have to be afraid to eat her goodies! I have TERRIBLE Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (I know, right?! How DO I stand living in countries with lower sanitation than what I have been accustomed to?! I don't know, either, but I DO have faith that, when about God's work, He can make our weaknesses strong! And boy! Am I ever a living testimony of THAT fact!) and I would eat Natalie's food any day! :) So, no worries there. :) Some of the food she mentioned is so far past my repertoire, I didn't even know what it was (hey, if it isn't cheap brownies from a box, you have me stumped!), but they sounded DEVINE! Chocolate Cake, Jell*o cookies, Lemon Bars and Lemon Cake were just a few little names off that list. So, when I say YUMMY, I don't mean cookies from pre-packaged dough you can buy ready-made. I am talking gourmet goodies here!
Okay, and now the moment we have ALL been waiting for...Our little NOTE about how are GOOD (and YUMMY) Benefit Sale will, well, BENEFIT the people we serve!
Because of this sale, Sixteen Small Stones will be able to:

The Point

The Point radio station is going to attend our Open Air Benefit Sale Event! We are SO thankful to them for coming and are excited to have them there. :) We LOVE their station! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another Note!

Here is your friendly note for today about something else our SALE will help! This sale will: *PROVIDE BLANKETS TO CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD (as part of our Operation: WARM BLANKETS)

Bake Sale and Introducing BLAKE and NATALIE!

Thank you, to everyone, who has helped and is helping with the Open Air Benefit Sale!! Thanks to our own Natalie, our sale is now going to have a BAKE SALE area! Don't worry, I am not doing the one likes burned cake, and that's a fact. :) No, Natalie is cooking up some of her special delicacies, and you aren't going to want to miss out on buying these scrumptious treats! Also, thank you to our newest Team Member, Blake! Blake has set up a facebook event for us so people can RSVP in advance to this event! (So, if you are attending, please RSVP on facebook!:)!!!!) Okay, so I realized after I wrote that that you have no idea who Blake and Natalie are! I think some introductions are in order (and I LOVE being able to introduce you all to our new of my favorite things to blog about! :D!!!!)! Natalie and I have been friends for a long time! Although we lost touch for several years, I always have considered her a good friend, and I am so, so happy she is one of Sixteen Small Stones' leaders now! Natalie is an amazing woman with a HUGE heart! Almost weekly, she is sending our way bags of donations for the children. I think she is single-handedly going to clothe the entire country of Uganda! Natalie is always the first one to step up when we introduce a new project at Sixteen Small Stones. She rarely asks, "How can I help?" and instead just jumps in with both feet and starts working without having to be asked or told what to do. She is a mother to three small children and sets an example daily of how to live a Christ-like life. She is loving and kind and she gives and gives without expecting something in return. Natalie is our China Specialist. I am so, so happy she decided to serve in this position and I am so thankful she has joined our team!! I can't wait to see the great things God has planned for Natalie! Blake has been my friend since high school. For years, we were out of touch, but, thanks to facebook, we have reconnected, and I am so, so thankful for that. Blake has a heart of gold! He and his wife are so giving and would sacrifice anything to help someone in need. When the earthquake hit Haiti, their hearts were pulled to serve those most in need at that time. Having small children at home, they realized serving on site in Haiti would not be possible, but they still knew they wanted to help the people of Haiti during that trying time. Blake and his wife reached out to the Haiti people through Sixteen Small Stones, and Blake ended up setting up a short-term group called Hands Helping Haiti to collect supplies to send to Haiti, including toiletries, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. His donated items went to a camp of over 100 families living in make-shift shelters in a church parking lot. Blake has been a huge support to me and to Sixteen Small Stones. He is always one step ahead of me with organizing things for Sixteen Small Stones, such as setting up pages on facebook for our events. :) Whatever Sixteen Small Stones needs, Blake is there to get things done. We are so blessed to have Blake on the Sixteen Small Stones team. He has already helped us so much, and I am so thankful Blake is on the Sixteen Small Stones board!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen! Time for the GREAT GIVEAWAY! That's right, step right up, folks, you don't want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime! (Did it work? Should I apply for a job as a carnival barker?) Okay, so here's how it's going to go. 1.) Tell ALL of your friends to "FOLLOW" this blog. 2.) Your friends click, "follow this blog". 3.) Your friends leave a comment here that says that YOU told them to follow this blog. 4.) Be the one to get the MOST people to follow this blog and YOU WIN THE GRAND PRIZE! (WAY easier than tossing ping-pong balls into fish bowls ANY day...besides, this isn't rigged, as I have always suspected those games are. I don't know HOW, but I am SURE they are! Either that, or I just really stink at tossing ping-pong balls into goldfish bowls. Hmmmm....) OH YEAH! And YOU have to be a "follower" of this blog, too, in order to qualify! No one-time-pop-ins winning! ;) So, whether you have been following this blog without actually clicking "follow", or if this is your first time looking but want to continue to follow, PLEASE click "FOLLOW" so you can qualify to win! Okay, so the prize? Oh boy, are you going to LOOOOOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A TEAM SIXTEEN SMALL STONES SHIRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, really! I am not kidding (WAAAY better than a giant stuffed Tweety Bird, don't you think?!) I wanted to make sure that the shirt would work for ANYONE who won, so it is a men's large. Guys: You can now sport your own Sixteen Small Stones gear and win big with the ladies (we LOVE a guy who serves others!). LADIES: Okay, so it may not be pretty pink, but it is STILL one super cool shirt. It would be PERFECT to sleep in...the fabric is soft!!!! (Shhhh...don't tell the guys! If they ask, tell them it is lined in sawdust!) Okay, so there it is! GOOD LUCK to everyone! :D :D


REMEMBER: Even if you can't make it, you CAN still make a donation! ALSO, even if you cannot be there, PLEASE tell your friends about this sale! THANK YOU!
Here is today's note for how our BIG SALE with lend aid to those who need it!
(Read more about Mukisa at
This little girl at Mukisa is holding a women's skirt around her as clothing because she has no other clothes. Let's send some clothes to this little girl so she can run and play with her friends.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SALE! SALE! Help us get diapers to kids in GREAT NEED!!!!!

SATURDAY, MAY 29 from 7:00am-2:00pm at
REMEMBER: Even if you can't make it, you CAN still make a donation! ALSO, even if you cannot be there, PLEASE tell your friends about this sale! THANK YOU!
SO....At our Open Air Benefit Sale, you can score some REALLY NICE things! We will have children's clothes, adult clothes, and other amazing items!
Each day I am going to tell ONE thing that this sale will do to help the children in our homes. This sale will:

Monday, May 17, 2010

SAVE THE DATE! BENEFIT SALE!!!!!! You DON'T want to miss this!!!!!

We have a date for our fun, exciting, wonderful Sale!
Saturday May 29, 2010 from 7:00am-2:00pm at my house,
1811 South 1800 East Salt Lake City, UT 84108.
This is going to be SUCH a cool event!! Art project for the kids, lots of cool things for sale for YOU to bring home, and items there to buy and donate right then! LOTS of information, pictures, slide show of pictures of the people we help... No set donate what you think is fair and take the item! It is all about helping the children, and EVERY single penny donated goes right to helping the kids. There is also going to be a place to sign up to participate in Project: 1000 WORDS!! Sponsor a camera while you are there for 10 dollars. We will also have our shirts for sale for 20 dollars. Bring your jars of change, grab your kids, and come have some fun while serving others! :D
We do have a facebook event page set up, so feel free to RSVP there AND to use it to invite friends (even if you won't be able to make it). Please spread the word on your facebook and blogs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

PROJECT: 100 Words

Oh boy, oh boy! Am I ever EXCITED! My heart is OVERFLOWING with joy and GRATITUDE and a peaceful SPIRIT. We have a NEW Project starting at Sixteen Small Stones!!!!! And you are going to want to be a part of this one! :) I am going to have you read about it at the website instead of telling ALL about it here...BUT I know if I just post a link to it, you won't take the time to read it. (And you will be SO SAD you didn't when you find out more about it! LOL!) So, here are some "teasers" to get you, um..psyched? * It gives voice to those who have before had none * It will provide a way to see the lives of the children we serve from THEIR EYES * It will bring out the creativity of the children in our Friend Homes/Ministries. * It will most certainly be therapeutic for the children. * YOU will get something back for your donation...In fact, I have a feeling we will all get back MUCH more than we give with this one * It is called PROJECT: 1000 Words

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

THANK YOU! AND A Miracle!!

I want to shout a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the people who run our Friend Homes and Friend Ministries. They are wonderful, amazing, loving people, and I admire them so, so much. I could go on and on (and on) about what incredible people they are. I am so, so blessed to know them and have the opportunity to speak with them. SUCH a blessing! Aside from that, these people have sacrificed something very special for ME! Daily, hourly...every SECOND they are sacrificing themselves for God and to serve His children. But, on top of that, they did something that really blows my mind, and I am over the top thankful for them. To some of you, and maybe even to them, it seems ridiculous that I am SO thankful for what they gave me. But trust me...I REALLY AM "that" thankful. These sweet people allowed me to use their pictures. A picture is priceless and irreplaceable. A picture captures a moment, a memory, a feeling. A picture preserves for us something to which our weak, human minds cannot cling tightly enough. Time robs it from our memories, but the picture holds it for us to keep. Letting someone "use" a picture can often feel frightening. It is like sharing something so private and personal with someone. You know that when you hand this memory over to someone, it is not a memory to is now a story. They will never feel the way you did in that moment picture was taken. Of course, a good photograph attempts to express that feeling, but, in reality, what happens for the photographer is that the picture reminds him of the memory and feeling he already had. When you give someone a picture, you run the risk that the picture did not adequately capture the moment to portray the feeling, but only conjures the feeling for the photographer, who, of course, is only remembering the feeling the real-life situation already produced. (Wow, was that confusing? I am so sorry!) What I am trying to say (and probably really failing sorry!) is that I KNOW that letting someone "use" a picture is, really, an enormous sacrifice. Several people have entrusted me with their memories, their stories, and allowed me to use their pictures on the Sixteen Small Stones blog, website AND facebook. I deeply appreciate them letting me use these pictures, and I wanted to publicly express my gratitude at being offered something so precious and dear. THANK YOU to everyone who has offered for Sixteen Small Stones to use your pictures! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!! ***** I know the little munchkins in these pictures, and in all of the others we post, are SO cute you want to gobble them up and maybe share their pictures on YOUR blog, but PLEASE RESPECT THE PRIVACY OF THESE CHILDREN AND DO NOT REPOST THESE PICTURES OR USE THEM FOR ANYTHING WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THEIR OWNERS. THANK YOU!!***** Okay, are you ready for some good news? Ready to see the HANDS AND FEET of Christ at work? Ready see how God preforms miracles through His servants? Ready to see with your eyes the LOVE of God? Well, get ready to SHOUT praises, too, because this is going to knock your socks off! Remember little Sarah? Renee's sweet angel who helped us get the word out about our first project with Serving His Children in Uganda? Well, some sweet young ladies went to visit Renee and the healing home of Serving His Children. While they were there, they took videos of the work Serving His Children is doing. If you watch the videos that show the babies, you will see shots of Sarah. You ready to witness a miracle? Whoever claims miracles cease to prepared to have your theory seriously debunked. (By the way... It is NEVER too late to donate Fuzzi Bunz diapers!!!!! Notice all these little baby-bums in these videos wearing disposable diapers? Let's work together to get these little tykes into some Fuzzi Bunz! Donations of money can still be sent via paypal from this very page, or can be mailed to the address above. Donated new and GENTLY used Fuzzi Bunz can also be mailed to that same address.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The world is wide, and my arms are so small.

It is difficult when you realize your horizons are endless and you cannot do EVERYTHING. It is hard to see this whole, wide world and not long for all of it. It is a struggle to narrow down your point of view, thus, cutting out breathtaking views of others of God's creations. It is painful to let go of the vast expanses and instead hold dear the things within your reach. "Breclyn, you cannot save the world. You cannot save EVERYONE," she said. "But I will die trying!"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Day We Have ALL Been Waiting For....

BIG NEWS! You ready for this?? OUR SHIRTS ARE DONE! YAAAAAAY! (Could you hear me screaming all the way in Nebraska?!) (Does anyone from Nebraska even read this blog?! I don't know. Just wonderin'.) They look FAN. TAS. TIC! (I played the syllable game in Kindergarten). I was so excited when Michael called to tell me they were in. Here's the story. So, I was SO sick this afternoon that I lay down and fell asleep. (I think Taiger was talking to me as I slept, actually....anyway.) After almost an hour, my phone rings and Taiger shouts, "MOM! YOU GET YOUR PHONE!" What a way to wake up. Bleary-eyed, I see that it is Michael calling. My brain is all fuzzy and I think maybe he is calling because something is wrong (Bryttan and my Mom are out of town, and if they couldn't reach me, they would call least, that is what my half sleeping brain was telling me). I said, "Hello?" The voice on the other end sounded like one of the muppets. It said something about shirts and in. I was still thinking of Bryttan and my Mom and things were pretty confusing for a second there. Then, I realized what he was saying (even though his voice still sounded funny...not so much like a muppet anymore and more like an opera singer...I don't know.) I just remember saying, "THANK YOU! THANK YOU!" (By this time, I was kind of sounding muppetish and it was a little freaky. I don't know how many times I said thank you, but probably as many as my sleeping brain thought a muppet WOULD say Thank You.) He said, "Don't thank me!" At this point he sounded like Michael. Weird. I opera sang to him, "Well, you are the one that delivered the good news, so you get the thank you!" I hung up the phone.
I had told Michael I wouldn't be able to make it in today to pick up the shirts, but with the snapping shut of my cell phone, my brain snapped awake! Suddenly, I was Breclyn again (with Breclyn's voice now, thank you very much!) and was like, "=GASP= OUR SHIRTS ARE IN?!?!?!? They close in 40 minutes?! I GOTTA GO! I NEEEED those shirts! TODAY!" (For no real reason, mind you.) (PAUSE the story. Back up. Taiger would not do ANYTHING today...even get dressed! I tried, okay? One of his morning "chores" was to get dressed (wish MY parents had been so easy...I had to milk a cow at 5:00am! Not really.). If he does his chores, he can play his video game for a while. I believe in natural consequences where possible, and so his consequence was that he didn't get to play Nintendo. Unfortunately, that didn't bother him today. And that is why he was sitting around in his underoos at 5:00 this evening. Okay, un-pause and fast forward.)
I told Taiger who had called and that our shirts were in and asked if he wanted to go with me to get them (REMEMBER: There was no one here to tend, as Bryttan and Mom are gone, but I asked him anyway to make him feel like he was in control. Such a good Mom, eh? Such a liar.) He said he didn't want to go. So, I put on my Mommy voice (intentional voice change this time) and made Taiger put down his Legos and get dressed. He mopped and whined and I went into Speed Racer mode! I ran around getting his clothes and throwing them at him. I dug up his missing shoe, and we ran to the car (NOTE: Something really cool happened during this time, about which I will post later, just so you know). We sped (a figure of speech, I was TOTALLY obeying ALL traffic laws) to the freeway...and what a mistake. Of course. Five o'clock traffic. Blast. We counted the minutes until they closed. I was so scared we wouldn't make it on time! I called Michael to check again what time was the shop's closing time. While stuck at a light, I texted him and asked if he could call the shop and ask them to stay open later for me. We were about three minutes away, and it was already 5:29. BLAST again. Then, I could see it. FAST SIGNS. The shop was in sight...and we were stuck at light. So, what did I do? The only thing a woman in such a state could do. I turned a right...and jumped the curb. Into the neighboring parking lot...luckily, the lots connected. We raced up to the shop, and the lights were off...BUT WAIT! A ray of hope! The open sign was still on! They were closed, but not "really" (okay, they REALLY were...they just hadn't shut off the neon light that said "OPEN", and in my desperate mind, that meant they were OPEN to ME!). I raced in, just in the nick of time! What a blessing!
Taiger and I at Fast Signs...Taiger is wearing his new shirt. Notice my bed-head hair?!
(OH! And my Karamajon necklace? Eh, eh?)
AND....we have the shirts! HOORAY So, I want to SHOUT OUT to FAST SIGNS of Murray, Utah. You are incredible! When they were having to re-open tills for my change, etc. I apologized for coming right at closing time, and they said, "It is fine! We are not like (and they named this really big chain store that I loathe and hate that starts with a wal and ends in a mart), we are not DYING to leave RIGHT at closing time! We want to help you!" I THINK some HOT guy came out of the back at that point and said, "And we love you, and think you are amazing, and BOY does that outfit make you look thin". I THINK that is what happened...but I could have just been blinded by the fact that I now LOVE FAST SIGNS! THANK YOU for your amazing service and how quickly you got the shirts done for us! :D Okay, so now you are all wondering, "HOW DO I ORDER ONE OF THESE SUPER COOL SHIRTS?!" Easy-peasy-rice-and-cheesy (please tell me you have seen, "Meet The Robinson's". If you haven't, go do it. Now. No wait...AFTER you order a shirt!) REMEMBER: THESE SHIRTS WOULD BE GREAT MOTHER'S DAY GIFTS!!!!!!!!!! (Read more at my other blog, To order your shirt, you can use CHECK OR PAYPAL! For check, please fill it out to Breclyn Everett and mail it to the address on the left of this screen. Be sure and email me or include a note with your check that tells your name and what size and color for the shirt. Please also give me your email address and a mailing address. {LEASE also state how many shirts you would like. THANKS! For Paypal, click on the paypal button on the top left corner of this screen. In the comments section of your payment form, please include your name and what size and color shirt you want. Also please let me know your email address and your mailing address. PLEASE also not how many shirts you would like! THANK YOU! THANK YOU, AGAIN!