Sunday, June 26, 2011

donating hair

Quite some time ago I donated my hair to be made into a wig for cancer patients.  My hair had gotten quite long and I really wanted to cut it but realized if I hung in there just a bit longer it would be enough to donate.  It was a very simple process of simply having the hairdresser make sure it was cut with an acceptable length to donate.  (Donated hair must be a minimum of 8 inches long - measure hair from just above the elastic band of the ponytail to the ends).  The hair was held together with an elastic at each end and placed in a ziploc bag and mailed in.  Creating a real-hair wig requires at least six ponytails to make so every bit helps.   It was no trouble at all and yet something that will help someone else.

As the hot days of summer come along, consider resisting the urge to chop your hair off and see if you can let it grow long enough to donate.   

What kind of causes do you support?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

currently reading

As always, I have a number of books on the go...

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts (Chapman) - we're discussing this in our Moms & Tots group at church

Keeping Our Children's Hearts: Our Vital Priority (Maxwell) - got this at the homeschool convention and have just started it.

Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating BoysRaising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Young) - got this at the homeschool convention and am working my way through it.  Enjoyable as it reads the way the couple speaks when they do their talks.
Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family (Maxwell) - got this one at last year's homeschool convention and am still reading it in snippets. 
Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today's Families (Anthony) - haven't started this one yet.

Readers Advisory Service in the Public Library (Saricks) - because I've been on maternity leave for almost two years and need to keep current with my job!

What about you?  What are you reading right now?

on cancer and indulging in pink...


That one word conjures up so many emotions for people.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada, with two in 5 Canadians developing some form of cancer in their lifetime.

My family has been very blessed not to really have been personally affected by cancer.   I remember as a child around age 11 hearing that my great-grandfather had passed away from cancer.  Then about 5 years ago I heard that one of my uncles had to undergo chemotherapy.  Thankfully he responded well to it.

By far the most difficult encounter I have had with cancer in my life has been witnessing a friend lose her precious oldest daughter to it at age 7.  Through all of this my friend truly lived out her faith in God – indeed, she and her husband walked through this valley of the shadow of death with God’s help.   This past mother’s day this same friend took part in a special fundraising walk and raised over $1,000 to raise awareness!

I was researching other ways of generating awareness about cancers and found some nice breast cancer awareness merchandise – seems like a great way to raise awareness and support a “girly” pink purchase :-) For fun I like to sort the products from high to low price to see what’s at the top end.  How about a case of 250 chocolate coins in Pink Foil for $99.99?  If that’s too rich for you, request a free sample of the pink, peel-and-stick embroidered ribbon.  Sorting by customer review, I have to agree, the Awareness Duffel Bag really is lovely and will only set you back $14.95.

July, August, and December are the only months where the Canadian Cancer Society hasn’t selected a specific type of cancer to focus on.  But give it more than a passing thought… and when breast cancer awareness month rolls around in October you’ll have some ideas of how to raise awareness (and possibly even indulge in some pink)! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bat Barakah ~ Blessing

Blessing my niece on her 13th birthday
We recently had the opportunity to bless my niece, the 2nd oldest of my parents' 13 grandchildren, in anticipation of her 13th birthday.

The whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-grandma!) all got together for dinner at my sister's house.  It included the usual birthday cake and song and gifts.  But more importantly, it included being blessed by each family as we celebrated her moving from childhood into womanhood.

The idea is taken from the Jewish tradition of bar mitzvah (bat mitzvah for girls), which means "son of the law".  Christians are creating a new tradition of bar/bat barakahs, which means "son of the blessing".  In a culture where grown men stay single and live in their parents' basement playing video games, it's an important transition to adulthood.  It's a signal to all that this person is no longer a child, they are someone who is growing into a new role and responsibility.  By blessing them we acknowledge that and come around them to support them.  (You can read more about Bar Barakah in Craig Hill's book by the same name)

So for my niece's party, each person prepared a blessing to speak over her - observations about her giftings and character, wishes and prayers for her future, and special verses from the Bible.

Grandpa and the uncles had an especially important part to play.  Because almost two years ago we lost her dad in a tragic motorcycle accident.  The men in her life once again affirmed that they were there for her.  To try to fill in for her dad wherever they could.

My niece receives a blessing prayer from the men in her life.  

We are so very proud of our dear "Juba" and bless her with every good gift from above.

What about you?  What traditions do you have for special birthdays?