ellie’s first trip to haiti

Over spring break we had the opportunity to take our oldest daughter Ellie to Haiti to meet some of our favorite people.

Ellie has done a shoe drive for her birthday the past two years, so we really wanted to give her the opportunity to come and pass out the shoes collected herself.

She loved meeting the people of Haiti. She especially loved spending time with the children at the orphanage. We even had the girls over for a sleepover twice (Ellie’s first time doing a sleepover). She loved the animals of Haiti (she was especially fond of the apartment cat, Meesh Meesh). It was also really fun to spend time with just her. And I have the feeling this will be the first of many trips for El to Haiti.

One of my favorite memories was when we traveled to a town in the mountains. Ellie braved the 3 hour trek, and then worked for several hours straight helping children try on shoes. She was dripping sweat and hungry, but didn’t stop to complain. I couldn’t have been prouder of her selfless attitude. I hope I never forget that moment!

Thank you to everyone who donated shoes for us to bring over. We were able to pass out over 550 pairs!

And to learn more about the orphanage and mission we partner with, please check out their websites below. Amazing people doing incredible things!




giving tuesday

‪#‎GivingTuesday‬, it is a global day dedicated to giving back. People everywhere are invited to be part of the giving chain where giving to something you care about can inspire millions of others to give as well.

If you are looking for a great cause to donate to this year… I wanted to share some of my favorites with you!

First up, Place of Hope.


They provide emergency shelter; family-style foster care; family outreach and intervention; maternity care; safety for domestic minor sexually trafficked victims; transitional housing and support services; traditional foster care and adoption recruitment and support; hope, and healing opportunities for children (and families) who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect throughout our region. The list goes on. This organization is amazing and is truly changing lives everyday.  

You can check out their website here… www.placeofhope.com

And donate here directly…  www.placeofhope.com/portal/donate-now-secure

Next, my dear friends in Haiti at Wholehearted Orphanage.


You can see previous posts here and here from our trips there (and to learn more about this amazing place). It is a family-style orphanage getting ready to expand! So exciting!

You can visit their website at www.wholeheartedorphanage.com

And donate directly here… 

Another great one, First Care Ministries.


Saving unborn children and their moms from the tragedy of abortion is at the heart of what they do at First Care. They provide education, counseling, and women’s medical services.

Website: www.first-care.org

Donate directly here… https://first-care.org/donate.html.

Then, another great place in Haiti. HCM


HCM meets the needs physically, spiritually, and emotionally of those around them. Through schools, food distribution, sports ministries, jobs, etc. The amount of things this place does is incredible. Please go and check it out at http://www.haitianchristianmission.org.

Donate here… www.haitianchristianmission.org/donate

And finally, The Timothy Initiative.


The Timothy Initiative is an international church planting organization which was established with the purpose to train and equip “Timothy’s”. They have planted churches across Asia, Africa, and the Americas. 

Their website: www.ttionline.org

And I am sure there are so many other great places out there (feel free to leave a comment with your favorite charity).

We spend so much time thinking about ourselves and our own family…  what we want this time of year… let’s make it about something bigger than that!

Hope you are enjoying this Holiday season as much as I am!

easy as pie

We just got home from spending some time in Boston. I went up for a few sessions and brought the whole family this time.

We met up with my husband’s family there and had a fun-filled 5 days.

One of the highlights of the trip was going apple picking. It really is one of my favorite fall activities to do!  And since we can’t do that down in Florida, it was special treat this year for my kids.

Not only did we get to pick apples, but the little ones were able to come home and make an apple pie with their Oma (Grandma). It was such an adorable thing to witness.

Here are a few images below from our time… and an easy Apple Pie recipe for you to try at home!

Easy Apple Pie Recipe


1  box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box


6 thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)

3/4  cup sugar

2  tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/2 stick of butter

  • Heat oven to 425°F. Place 1 pie crust in ungreased 9-inch glass pie plate. Press firmly against side and bottom.
  • In large bowl, gently mix filling ingredients; spoon into crust-lined pie plate. Top with second crust. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal; flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust.
  • Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.