Our First Launch

When your children are little, many older moms always tell you to enjoy the moments you have with your children because the time goes quickly.

My children playing pirates

The days turn into months, and the months turn into years. After all the good times and hard times, you finally arrive at that moment.

You know the one, the moment when your first child is ready to leave home.

Working at the Compassion Mobile Experience

Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to volunteer at many Compassion events. Concerts, conferences, and the Mobile Experience, Matthew has graciously come along side me to be my traveling companion.

Then, an incredible opportunity came about for Matthew. One that would give him an opportunity to travel around the country, and be a part of making a difference in the lives of children waiting for sponsors with Compassion.

Matthew heading to Nashville

On Sunday, we dropped Matthew off at the airport so he could fly out to his new job! He is now employed at Brewco Marketing Group as a Brand Ambassador for Compassion with their Mobile Experience!

I am over the top excited for him, but I have definitely had some weeping moments over the last couple of days. So much of my life has been poured into my children. I am not sure if there is anything that anyone can say or do that makes this any easier.

But I do know one thing...I completely trust in the Lord that this is His plan for Matthew at this point of his life. As much as we will miss him while he is not in our home, we know that he is going to be making a huge difference in the lives of many children around the world.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

Capture Your 365

I have a whole week of photo prompts for you today!

Compassion Mobile Experience
Compassion Mobile Experience

ISO 100, 20mm, f/7.1, 1/640 sec

Day 124 – A Wide Angle: My whole family was able to volunteer for a shift at the Compassion Mobile Experience when they were in our area recently. I knew this was the shot I wanted to take to go along with this prompt. Have you had a chance to visit the experience yet?

strawberry jam
strawberry jam

ISO 100, 44mm, f/5.3, 1/6 sec

Day 125 – Relaxation: that is exactly what I did after making 2 batches of strawberry jam!


ISO 100, 36mm, f/5.0, 1/30 sec

Day 126 – Crayons: Crayons in our home are not used very much any more, but it is amazing to me how many we have! Every now and then we bring them out when we are watching little people, or when we are doing a fun project for our Compassion kids.


ISO 100, 50mm, f/3.5, 1/15 sec

Day 127 – Candy: Can you see my favorite candy there on the top right shelf?

macaroni and cheesse
macaroni and cheesse

ISO 100, 50mm, f/3.5, 1/10 sec

Day 128 – Snacks: Interestingly enough, I don’t really eat a lot of snacks when I am home during the day, so I decided to take a photo of the homemade macaroni and cheese we had for lunch on this day. Yum!


ISO 100, 50mm, f/3.5, 1/40 sec

Day 129 – Animals: This is Kelsey’s bunny, Vinnie. She used to show rabbits while in 4-H years ago, but now she just has two pet rabbits. I can’t believe I didn’t get the very tops of his ears in the picture!


ISO 100, 50mm, f/4.5, 1/15 sec

Day 130 – Framed: I believe it was back on day 68 that I did a photo similar to this one, with just me. This time I decided to have Kelsey join me.

So this wraps up a full week of Capture Your 365 photo prompts for me! Have you started joining in on the fun? Please let me know in the comments so I can visit your post of photos.

Guest Post: The Compassion Mobile Experience

Last week, Kelsey and I were able to visit and volunteer at the Compassion Mobile Experience on one of their stops here in California. I mentioned that it would be fun for her to write a post for my blog and she excitedly said ‘yes!’ I hope you enjoy her post!


Hello! When my mom was explaining at first that she wanted me to write a post for her blog I said yes right away. When we got to the church where the Compassion Experience truck was, I was pretty excited! When we went inside it was really nice. We were greeted and decided to go through Julian's story. We walked into a little room where it had three doors with different fabric covering the doorway to each child’s room. We went into Julian’s room and we found ourselves in her house. It was very small and it only had two chairs for furniture, with one propped up against the the back door and the other in a corner. When listening to the audio, she explained that drunk men would always pass by their house so they kept a chair up against the door to keep them out. The other one was to be slept in. They would take turns sleeping in the chair in the corner. The next little room we went into was the market where Julian sold sweet potatoes. In the audio she told us that they most likely would not make enough money to pay the rent or get food for that night. The next room was the Compassion center. It was amazing! Just all the little things you could touch and look at. Julian talked about how her sponsors loved her very much, they even sent her a birthday card which in Uganda they don’t do because it cost too much money and it was a waste of time. But she kept the card for a very long time and she loved her sponsors. At the very last room (there was a few of them so I can’t describe all of them.) she talked about where she went to college and when she came back to the center to help the children just like her. She had built a house for her mother where it was safe and far away from where she used to live. My mom was crying at the end of Julian’s story. It was very powerful and moving. There was even someone who came out and said we have it so, so, so easy here in the United States.


In Ruben’s first room, we were in his house. It also was very small and only had a few toys on the floor. His dad was sleeping on the only bed. They were going to run away from their house and their dad because he was always drunk and would hurt his mom. So they slipped away quietly. The next room had his new house. He told us that they kept moving around because they could not always pay rent and would stay somewhere until the owner kicked them out. They always had little to eat and they slept on the floor. He worked as a shoe shiner to help get money for the family. He said that a lot of his friends would start sniffing glue and would turn into what his father was. He knew he could never to that to his family. He told us to look inside the box saying that there should be lots of money in it, but there wasn’t. He said one of his friends must have took it because he had not seen his friend for a while. They would not be eating as well as he thought they would be. The story goes on to where he started going to the Compassion center and loved his teacher because she was really nice and would protect the children. When Ruben got older he had a pretty bad fight with his mom and moved with his dad. He also quit the Compassion program. His dad had remarried and his stepmother was not very kind to Ruben. She made him sleep on the floor after a while and would not give him food saying she was feeding her family. When Ruben asked his dad what to eat and his father would just get mad. Ruben still had a letter from his sponsors and kept it with him always. He read it one day and realized that he should forgive his mother. He went back to his home and asked for forgiveness and went back to the Compassion center. His teacher told him that his previous sponsors would keep sponsoring him. He was so happy! He started working again and was able to pay for a dresser and a little red table he was very proud of. When we got to the last room there where some paintings of his and they were amazing. I really liked his story. It was so cool that even when he had left the center he still had a letter from his sponsors.


Brinda lived in India and when we went into her little house it was full of all the Indian gods. She said that she couldn’t smile or even laugh because otherwise the evil eye would get her. They would always try very hard to please the gods. Her mother heard a friend talk about Compassion one day and decided to put Brinda through. When they went to the center they first went to the office, her mother was telling Brinda not to smile but she was having a hard time not smiling. When Compassion told them that Brinda could go through, she was smiling so much and when she looked at her mother, she was beaming. Brinda loved the Compassion program and laughed and smiled all she wanted to. But then one day her grandma was in the hospital and she was dying. Her mother had a Hindu priest come in and pray to the god of healing and some other gods just in case. Her grandmother didn’t get any better. So her mother had someone else come in to pray over her but her grandmother got worse. When the two priests had come in Brinda was trying to get her family to pray to God to heal her grandmother. Her mother agreed and Brinda had her teacher come to the hospital and pray for her grandmother. The next day her grandmother got well and was doing better! They were so happy and when we got to her house again they weren’t worshipping all the different gods anymore. They started worshipping the one true God. Her house had different picture and verses and bibles. At that time her sister still didn’t believe in God. Brinda’s sister was going to finish up her last semester of high school but the family didn’t have enough money to pay for it. Brinda said that they would fast and pray for three days. The first day went by and nothing happen, the same on the second day, but later that evening on the third day someone her mother barely knew came to the door and said that they would pay for the last semester of her sister’s school and they didn’t even know the family needed the money. Her sister then believe in God. I loved that no matter what Brinda kept trusting in God to provide for her family.


These three amazing stories made me want to sponsor another child to help them through whatever they were going through. But you could make a difference and help a child who is waiting. You could help encourage them and send them your love and support. Help them know about Jesus and pray for them. Sponsor a child if you can because it is such an amazing program and you could help a child in need know Jesus. And if you have the time, please go visit the Compassion Mobile Experience. It was amazing, just listen to all the different noises and listening to the story of the child and really feeling like you were there with them. I was speechless afterwards. Life is so easy here in the United States, but for a child in Africa or India or South America, it’s not that easy. It is so hard to survive in poverty. Go to compassion.com to sponsor a child, I am sure there is a child waiting for you! :)

Well, that is the end of my experience story. I hope you learned a lot from it and I hope you enjoyed reading it! Thank you!