Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Can't Aunt Sarah Stay Just One More Day"

A couple of weeks ago Sarah posted about a weekend trip we were thinking of taking and wondering where we should go. Well, Sarah decided to come here so that she could show off her cute baby to those of us who hadn't met him yet

and so that we could attend the Craft Fair. We fit in as much as we could over our 3 and 1/2 days. Sarah came Friday afternoon and got her Swiss Chalet fix. Saturday we were up early to make breakfast for our other guests and so we could go to the Farmer's Market, which I think is the coolest thing to do in Halifax. I love it there! I got a few groceries, Sarah got a new handmade belt, and then we were off to Brunch at Epicurious Morsels. Lovely food, service not so great. Then we headed to the Craft Fair, which was one of the best I have ever been to. Wonderful crafts and wonderful people. We headed to Club Monaco so Sarah could get a new shirt and then to Costco to refill Doug's wine gum supply. Hot chocolate and cookies at a favorite coffee shop and then we rushed home to get ready for an adult only dinner (plus the baby, of course) to MacAskill's. We enjoyed the dinner and the company. After dinner, we headed home to put kids to bed and then we went to see Dan in Real Life. We missed the first ten minutes because of bedtime battles, but both enjoyed it!

On Sunday we had a full day of Church - Joshua had his first primary program, he was so excited and looked great. He had his part memorized for the past few weeks (Jesus loved little children and blessed them) and he had his Dad sit up on the stand with him for some extra support, he walked right down to the podium when it was his turn but then wasn't so sure about the whole thing. He told me after that he said his line, he just didn't want anyone to hear him.

After church we went visiting Grandparents,

and then for a yummy family dinner at Grandpa Bill's, also celebrating my famous brother's 35th birthday (35 doesn't seem so old anymore!).

On Monday our Dad took us out to breakfast at Cora's - bad service, so-so food, it was still fun to be out together. And then we had lunch at Cafe Michele with a friend and I was officially stuffed. After not eating out for so long and eating out so many times while my sister was here I have decided I am definitely a food snob. I guess that's what happens when you grow up in the restaurant business. I know what to expect and when I don't get it, I'm disappointed. I haven't found customer service to be that great around here as a general rule. So maybe I should stop expecting it. Or just stay home to eat!

After lunch we headed right out to the airport. Joshua didn't want to see her go, "can't Aunt Sarah stay just one more day?" We loved having Sarah come for a visit. We wish Texas was closer!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Save the Children

I wrote this plea today to my grandfather's charitable foundation. I don't imagine that they will support my desires because it is really outside of the scope of the foundation. But I thought I could share it here with you and maybe it could have some impact for good. Thanks for reading!

For as long as I can remember I have felt a special place in my heart for the children of Africa. I recall when I was a young girl I watched a presentation on the television calling for donations for children in Africa. These children were dying because they did not have access to everyday needs we take for granted such as clean drinking water, adequate food, and vaccinations. I asked my father if I could sponsor a child for my Christmas gift, and he told me that I could, but because of the expense I would not be able to receive any other gifts that year. Out of childish selfishness, I chose not to sponsor a child that year and it has been one of my great regrets.

I recognize the mission of the foundation is to primarily serve the community of Nova Scotia. I am grateful for the Foundation and the good it is able to do. But I cannot ignore the fact that impoverished children outside of our province are needlessly dying. In the immortal words of Mother Theresa, "It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." We have been blessed with an over-abundance in North America. It is our responsibility to not only serve our community, but go beyond where we can literally save children's lives.

It has been easy for me in the past to ignore problems happening around the world in these far off countries because they are so far removed from us. But after researching and studying the atrocities happening in these countries, I cannot ignore the problems any more. It is common to hear parents say to their children “you better eat all of that food on your plate, don't you know that there are children starving in Africa?” What many parents do not realize, however, is that there are ways to directly and meaningfully change that situation. We can end starvation for individual children in Africa, and they will be grateful for the rest of their healthy lives. It is not enough to think about the horrible things going on in the world, we must act now.

Efforts to end hunger and worldwide poverty would be a great use of the Foundation's money. With comparatively small donations we can effect real change in the lives of individual children, directly relieving their suffering and giving them a chance at life. Martin Luther King, Jr. has said, “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization.... The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty."

Contrary to what my father believed those many years ago, it is not that expensive to provide basic life-saving needs to children who will otherwise die. In Africa there are currently 150,000 children dying each month of malaria. For the cost of $5 per child, insecticide-treated mosquito nets can be bought from the Red Cross. Goats, pigs, or chickens can be bought so that communities in need are able to sustain themselves. It is also possible to make one time purchases of seeds and tools at a cost of $40 per family, so that they are able to use these to tools to provide for themselves.

I do understand that third world countries are out of the current scope of the Foundation, but I believe that we can have a bigger impact with our dollars in these countries than may be possible in Nova Scotia.

There is also the Coady Institute, a local organization, that Gary mentioned to me that might be more in harmony with the mission of the Foundation. Established by St. Francis Xavier University in 1959, the Coady International Institute works with innovative people and organizations to create effective and practical solutions to reduce global poverty and injustice. The Coady Institute accomplishes this through leadership education, action partnerships, and initiatives to help young Canadians become active global citizens. I believe the benefits of supporting the Coady Institute would bring long lasting changes to the communities I am desiring to help.

Thank you for your time and your commitment to our family and the willingness to examine the causes that I believe in.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Recap

Delia was a bunny rabbit. If we put the hood up she couldn't see, so it stayed down most of the night! When we went trick-or-treating everyone wanted to give Delia more candy because she was so cute. They would tell her to take more from the bowl or pick out whatever she liked. I thought it was pretty funny because she's not even two and she ended up with more candy than her brother!

The Frank Family cousins, minus the Roberts - San Antonio Division, trick-or-treating at Grandpa's to begin the evening!

This was the candy the kids came home with. I couldn't believe it! We went to a neighborhood across the street and everyone was so generous. We went trick-or-treating with our neighbors and they knew all the right houses to go to! If I would've taken the kids on my own I think we would have gone to five houses, but the kids were having such a good time they didn't want to go home!

So today we had to decide what to do with all the candy. I couldn't keep it all because Delia would scream every second of every day for candy! So we offered to trade for the candy. The kids could pick what they wanted from some choices we gave them:
  1. money for candy
  2. go bowling (Joshua's choice)
  3. pizza and movie night (Delia's choice)
  4. go to the bookstore and pick out a new book
They got to pick out their three favorite pieces of candy and we are taking the rest to the soup kitchen.

When I was at the soup kitchen today we had a Mom and daughter drop off a ton of non-perishable items. When they had gone trick-or-treating last night they asked for food instead of candy for the food bank. I thought that was a great idea!
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