Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Items...

Knit for my cousin's little girl, due to arrive in about 6 weeks!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feel the "Love Without Boundaries"

This US-based charity has been one of my favourite charities for a few years now.

Like several other groups working in China on a fairly large scale, LWB has made such a big impact on the lives of children living in Chinese Social Welfare Institutes. They have developed excellent programming to address needs that simply were not being met, and so many kids have benefited as a result of their work.

Yet, the group is run mostly by parent volunteers, most with children adopted from China, and the scope of their work has not caused them to lose their "personal touch". Here's an example: Recently, Holly, one of the moms of a child adopted from our son's SWI, mounted a fund-raising campaign for the SWI through LWB. Now, this SWI is relatively small and relatively poor, and has not been involved with any of the international charities serving Chinese children. When Holly contacted LWB, she was immediately put in touch with the volunteer who coordinates the Orphanage Assistance Program. This woman was able to contact the SWI and ask the Director what they most needed for the children. It turns out that they needed diapers for the babies and clothing, especially for the older children. All of the funds donated from our families went directly for this- and within a few weeks of having made the donation on-line, we were e-mailed several photos of beautiful children posing in their new clothes, standing next to the hugest pile of diapers I have ever seen! On top of that, we received at least 2 e-mailed and 2 hand-written Thank You cards from different program coordinators at LWB (and, believe me, the donation was not all that large!).

One mom I know who recently returned to China on a homeland visit commented that she was amazed at how much China had changed in the 5 years since she had last been there. She also said that she thought charities like LWB and Half the Sky seem rather out-of-place in this new modern and ever-changing China.

I think she's right on one count, there are many cities and regions of China experiencing a growing wealth and, with that, more means to address basic needs- like life-saving surgeries- for children. But, the fact that these charities are still operating on the ground, providing significant services to children who otherwise would not be helped, tells me that the charitable work there is not finished. Not by a long shot.

Read LWB's May Newsletter on-line by clicking HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kindergarten Celebration

Our little guy had his Kindergarten concert and celebration this morning! He's off to Grade One next year. How time flies...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

This or That?

I'm sure that most everyone finds themselves making decisions about how to spend time that isn't already allocated to something else - like a job, or doing course work, or bringing the kids to activities that you've spent half a fortune on! I mean, there are things that HAVE to be done, for sure: groceries have to be bought, meals cooked, dishwashers loaded and run, laundry done, cat litter pans cleaned... but then there are the "more optional" activities. In my house, this includes making beds, dusting, and regularly washing the floors- LOL!! Because, let's face it, there are only so many hours in the day (at least for those of us that need 8 hours sleep) and there are only so many things you can do without feeling spread thin enough to evaporate.

Even so, I struggle with guilt about spending time on my "hobbies" - which doesn't seem an adequate word, in fact. The things I love to do, like knitting, sewing/quilting, making scrapbook pages, are more than hobbies- they're outlets for creative energy and they're my "play-time" activities! Having a project (or 2 or 3) always on the back-burner gives me a sense of reassurance that I'll always have something interesting and productive to do. Not that washing the floor is unproductive, of course...

Anyways, it doesn't seem that I'll be acquiring a maid service in the near future, so I guess the internal struggle will continue- not that you'd ever guess by coming into my house.

Do I feel bad about unwashed floors?


How bad do I have to feel to finally wash them?

I guess it depends on what projects I have in the works!