Monday, November 23, 2015

Thankful Thanksgiving

This was Mother's Day a few years ago.  Our church had set up a picture booth for families. This picture makes me laugh when I look at it.  Sunday mornings are always the HARDEST part of our entire week.  My kids generally throw fits, They wear school uniforms throughout the week, so they get to express their individual style on weekends - and I have just given up the fight.  What you don't see in the picture are Lily's holes in her leggings...Luke's shirt 5 times too big (it's actually an adult size), Emma is wearing a turtle neck with shorts...and me - time for makeup, hair, or even a shower.  

Thanksgiving break is starting today at 3:30.  Typically, we do a thankful tree every year.  The kids write
things they are thankful for on construction paper leaves, and we place them on branches in a vase.  By Thanksgiving, our tree is full.  But as the years go on and we become busier, I find that sitting down making construction paper leaves doesn't fall really high on the priority list.

But today, at's starting.  I'm getting each kid a journal.  And each day they will write what they are thankful for.  When they argue, I will make them write what they are thankful for about the other person.  When they complain, I will have them write what they are thankful for in their life.  When they ask for something, before I answer them, I will have them write what they are thankful about what they already have.

I look at this picture, and I see a really, really tired mommy who could very easily get lost in how she feels she deserves to look prettier, have more sleep...get a break.  But I also see a happy couple - who despite our trials are strong.  I see 4 children that despite their horrid taste in free dress, are happy and healthy.  I see closeness.  I see love.

And I am thankful.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rulers, Refugees and Religion

Weird title, huh?

We started making our rulers when my husband was very sick.  He had lost the ability to use his leg and was in severe nerve pain.  For months we had no income.  Not one penny.  I remember praying on my knees in the shower for God to provide for our family.  I had faith, but it was beginning to waver.  That day, from different resources, we miraculously were given over 1500 dollars...from strangers.

It was Christmas time and we would have people show up at our home with presents for our kids, food on our porch, money in Christmas cards from anonymous people - and even once, someone I never had seen showed up with a huge gallon jar full of money and gift cards for groceries.  From that moment, we knew we needed to continue giving to others to remember how grateful we were that God provided for us.

So, for the last 4 years we have donated rulers, money, time to organizations that support kids and families that are hurting.  From families whose child had just been diagnosed with Leukemia, to families who were losing their home and were about to lose everything (including their precious measurements on their door frame.)  We have donated to organizations that help at risk teens to ones who give kids with cancer technology to pass the time while getting treatment.  Generosity has changed our life - we want our generosity to help change others.

Now, the refugee crisis.  My kids were made aware of the problem, that there were thousands and thousands of children who were scared and without homes and warm clothes.  My son quickly made a video with my husband's phone and had me post it to FB to ask my friends to donate and we would ship the stuff over to Greece.  Within days, we had the local paper and the news station at our home and my kids school to interview them.  One month later, our basement was full with donations and a shipping company came forward and shipped everything over to Greece for us for free!  Generosity again.

Kids getting interviewed for the news
I don't have all the answers, but I believe I know the ANSWER.  We believe in Jesus.  We believe he said to love Him and love others.  He didn't set parameters on who others were - just others...which makes me believe He meant everyone.  I know that we have to be cautious (which I believe we are) about who we let into our country - but I know there are kids who are hurting.    And since our family, our business has been greatly impacted by other people's generosity, we need to help.  One of my favorite theologians, Mr. Rogers said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping."  I want to be a helper, I want our business to be helpers - I want to raise children who are helpers - who love others.

We celebrated our 4 year business anniversary last week - thank you for supporting our family purchasing almost 5000 rulers!  You have greatly impacted many people from your purchases...we are indebted.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Growing our Business

I'm new to this.
Facebook, Twitter (still don't understand what the point of Twitter is), Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
It's soooo much work - and I'm not quite sure it's yielding any results other than a smaller amount in my bank account.

Any ideas are appreciated.  Really.  I need it.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A little about us

I am Melissa and have been married to Dave for 12 years. We had 4 kids in 3 years (crazy) and haven't fully recovered from the chaos of four babies at the same time. Our kids are Luke and Emma who are 9, Lily who is almost 8 and Will who is 6.

How did you get started?
I was a stay at home mom and my hubby worked very hard to support our family. He had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when our daughter Lily was just born, but it had been held at bay for 4 years. When Lily was turning 4, around Christmas time, he had a horrible attack and had to stop working from that point forward. I had to come up with something to get some money. I saw this idea and made one. I posted it on Facebook and within a couple hours, I had sold 5. That was when Keepsake Rulers was born - and now we have sold nearly 5000!