May 28, 2011

Giving back (and receiving)

Hello. :) It is waaaay too late right now for me (11:17), but I've had it on my heart to share with you some things for a couple of days now. I know that we are not anywhere close to a major gift-buying holiday season, but if you are looking for some gift ideas, or even ways to give back through what you purchase, here are some things that I love, love, love.


The Luo Project is an awesome non profit organization headed up by two gorgeous people (inside and out). They provide food, education, and medical needs to children in impoverished areas. You can read about them here

One way you can support them is by purchasing  a painting like the one below:

One painting is $250 dollars, BUT what you are paying for is nutrition, academic education, medical care, and biblical curriculum for one child for one year, AND, each canvas is hand painted by a child from their partnership. The children pick the colors, and sign each canvas with a hand or foot print. How precious is that!? We have one, and we love it. You should have one too. :)

Here is the link to the canvases:    Canvas


If you haven't heard of Toms Shoes by now, well, you are crazy. Just kidding, but really, you should know what Toms Shoes are, and if you've known about them for awhile and haven't purchased a pair of shoes, now is the time. 

These are the ones I want to buy next:

Toms Shoes is another non-profit organization that gives shoes to needy kids. They took the traditional Argentinian shoe and re-modeled it. When you buy a pair, you are actually purchasing two pairs. One for you, and one for them to give away to a child in need. Adam and I both have some Toms and love them. Go here to buy your own:  Toms Shoes


The Plywood People are an "innovative community addressing social needs" based out of Atlanta GA, they do a lot of things, but I wanted to share with you one creative project they have started- recycling old billboards. Crazy right?! They actually make fun small messenger bags out of the recycled billboards, and the money they make goes straight to helping refugees in the area. 

Each bag is unique, depending on what type of billboard it came from. Anyway, we had them at the Orange Conference. Adam and I have a bag, and Adam bought a ton to give away to our students at Walking Wisely Weekend.  To get your own, go here.  

STELLA AND DOT: supporting an adoption

I follow the blog of a girl who I went to high school with. She recently adopted a little girl from Uganda. On her blog she mentioned some friends of hers who are in the process of adopting a little girl as well. To help raise funds for them, they are selling jewelry from Stella and Dot. I'm wanting these two pieces:

When you purchase something, if you enter "Rachel and April" as your hosts when you check out,  100% of the profit goes towards their adoption! Isn't that awesome! Here is the link to the blog post:  Heirs with Christ.

So these are just some of the things I love supporting. Do you have any organizations that you support? Or products you purchase because of what the company does for someone in need? If so, please share!

blessed beyond measure,

May 26, 2011

Makeover, and Jackson's Baby D Video

Hello friends! Can you tell I've done a little 'remodeling' of the blog? The flowers make me happy. :) 

Honestly, I spent an insane amount of time trying to decide on what background I liked, what header I wanted, how to center the header, blah blah blah...seriously I wasted too much time in the blogosphere. 

Anyway, it's changed (for now), and I think I like it. :) We will see. 

I mentioned awhile back that we had Jackson's Baby Dedication at church....well for the event, Adam and I had to listen to 4 talks (on cd), write  a letter to Jackson, decide what traditions and family values were important to us, and record a video. So for your viewing is the video:


May 22, 2011

What I'm loving....

Hello friends! These are some things I'm loving right now.....

These yummy HEALTHY brownies that are only 95 calories, 3 grams of fat and zero cholesterol a brownie, compared to a regular boxed brownie's doubly high calories, nearly quadrupled fat, and 60 milligrams of cholesterol. (If you use an 8x8 pan and cut the brownies in 16ths) 

(Recipe from Good Housekeeping)


      1 teaspoon(s) instant coffee powder or granules
         2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
         1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
         1/2  cup(s) unsweetened cocoa
         1/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
         1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
         1 cup(s) sugar
         1/4 cup(s) trans-fat free vegetable oil spread
         3 large egg whites

             Preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease a 8'' by 8'' metal pan. Dissolve your coffee in the vanilla extract. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a bowl, whisk the sugar, vegetable oil spread, egg whites, and coffee mixture until well mixed. Then mix in the flour mixture. Spread it in the pan, and bake for about 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Eat and enjoy :)

            This recipe makes fairly dense brownies, but they are rich, and chocolatey, healthy and yummy. If you are looking for the chewy, extremely soft brownie...umm...don't make these.  :)

**My tips and changes:

- I used a glass pan, and it worked just fine.
- Also, on a couple of occasions I haven't had instant coffee, so I've used instant cappuccino mix that I had, and I've  used regular strong coffee. Both worked well. The strong coffee worked better. Of course, the instant coffee is the best.
- I used Smart Balance butter spread.
- And if you don't want to wait until the brownies cool to cut them, use a plastic knife. It works like a charm cutting warm brownies.

Adele's new CD. It's AMAZING. She is AMAZING. And you should buy the cd.  My favorite song on it is "Rolling in the Deep", but I'm sure you've already heard that song, so here's my second favorite,  "Set Fire to the Rain". It's mysterious and dark, and her voice is simply stunning. Also, in case you are a google nerd like me and are tempted to look up what the phrase "roll in the deep" actually means, rest assured, it DOESN'T mean anything naughty. It's a nautical term, which apparently supports the nautical theme of the song's lyrics. But that means nothing to me really....I just like the song.  :)

My sweet baby boy after he has had a bath, especially when my sweet husband is playing with him. The two together melt my heart. Since it has been so unbelievably hot lately, we have spent some time at the pool (I'm hoping to post pool pictures soon), playing in the water faucet outside, and playing in our kiddie pool. All of which mean that J-man requires a bath before bed. I love bath time, Jackson, well, not so much. But who can resist a sweet smelling freshly bathed baby! Not me!! (I'm hoping to post pool pictures soon)

Hope you take the time to to count your blessings for the things you love!

May 16, 2011

Walking Wisely, Sick Baby, and other stuff

See this precious baby...(pic taken pre-sickness)

He melts my heart. And he is sick. :(  It started last Thursday with a runny nose. Then Friday morning he woke up with a fever and started throwing up...on his daddy.. 3 times. It was slightly hilarious. Not that Jackson was sick of course, but that he vomited directly on his daddy. So, we took him to the doctor, and as we suspected, he had some kind of bug. After some motrin, and cold medicine, he was feeling better. AND since Adam and I had already called the Grandparents to come into town to keep Jackson while we were apart of a retreat weekend with our students at church, and since Jackson was starting to feel better,  and since it would be my last one with my Senior girls, we decided to still go to the retreat. After all, grandparents are pros at the cuddling, spoiling, taking of care of you stuff when you are sick. :)

So Adam and I left Friday and spent the weekend with teenagers..only to return to a sweet little boy who we thought was on the road to recovery, but apparently is not. As of today, he has no fever, but now he has what we think might be 'viral hives'. Poor poor baby...he is NOT a happy camper! Say a prayer that he gets better soon!

**Now, on to the weekend retreat, Walking Wisely. It was SO very fun!! 

Let me take just one second to say just how amazing Adam is at what he does. He is the Family Pastor at our church, which means that currently, he runs our student ministry, which means he planned and coordinated this weekend retreat. I know I've said this before, but he works so hard at creating irresistible environments for our students to want to come to, and he makes it easy for them to connect with God. I'm so proud of him and what he does. I love you babe!

The weekend started with a mad rush of students checking in....75 to be exact.

Then they were ushered to the "Bust a Move" booth by this guy (who happens to be an elder at our church. Yeah, our church rocks.)

If the students danced in the booth, their name went into a drawing for an Ipad. It was awesome.

The weekend also consisted of our students tackling this mound of donated clothing at the Rescue Mission:

We were so proud of our students. They worked so hard sorting, hanging, and bagging donated clothing.  I think after they were all through, the pile was diminished by at least a 3rd. (It was a HUGE pile).

Part of the weekend consisted of each group getting to pick what we wanted to do as 'fun activity'. And my senior girls picked.....


The place was kind of so great..but we all left with prettier feet.

Then Saturday night we spent 2 hours acting like crazy, mindless, 5 year olds running around dressing up competing in Walking Wisely's Double Dog Dare. Here are some pics of that...

We won 3rd place! So proud of my girls!

Ok...if you will allow me to backtrack for a second...notice how most of the pictures in this post are not good quality. Well that's because my phone has been serving as my camera. BUT NOT FOR LONG!!!!!! 

For mother's day, I was able to pick out one of these .....

Ok, so maybe not that exact camera, but we are both researching what a great camera (for our price) would be. I'm beyond excited!

And finally, to wrap up this post, I've been reading lots of blogs that are inspirational to me...and these two happen to be top of my list right now. Check them out:

I Take Joy - Sally Clarkson who authored 'Mission for Motherhood' blogs about her faith, and being a mother. Her blog is my very favorite right now.

The NieNie Dialogues - Stephanie Nielson has been blogging since 2006 about her marriage, being a mom etc., but in 2008 she and her husband were in a terrible plane crash. 30% of his body was burned. She was burned on 80% of her body. After her miracle recovery, she started blogging again, and now has a HUGE following. Although she is mormon (and I am a Christian), it has been inspirational to watch her still find joy in each new day even though her world was completely changed by the accident. 

Hope you enjoy the blogs! And hope your week is filled with sweet moments with the ones you love. :0)


May 10, 2011

The Orange Conference

I have the privilege of working part-time at home for an extraordinary company,
 Orange: The reThink Group. You can snoop around on the website and learn a little bit about what we do, but in a nutshell, we promote a ministry strategy, through church curriculum,  that we believe revolutionizes the way people approach children and student ministries.  

Our strategy is "thinking orange". By combining the critical influences of the light of the church (yellow) and the love of the family (red) the Orange Strategy shows a generation who God is more effectively than either could alone. Our hope is that  church leaders and parents would synchronize their efforts to fuel wonder, discovery and passion in the next generation.

Anyhoo, I work directly with the preschool curriculum. I am considered an "Orange Specialist" for First Look (the curriculum), which means I walk alongside Pre-school leaders, helping them implement the curriculum, and orange strategy at their church. 

Two weeks ago our company held our annual Orange Conference. Over 4,000 ministry leaders across the world gathered in Atlanta to learn more about the Orange Strategy. 

 My friend, who also works with First Look, rode up to Atlanta with me, and our husbands who volunteered for the conference, came up later in the week. Here are some snapshots of our adventure...

Mel and I on our way to Atlanta...

The night before the conference actually started, we had what was called a "Meet and Greet". All of us Orange Specialists, were set up at different stations, and church leaders who we have talked with on the phone and emailed with came through, and we were able to meet them and talk with them. It was such a sweet night! I loved getting to put faces with names of people who I've been talking with.  (unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the actual event once it got started....oh well!)

Getting the centerpiece ready for the Meet and Greet...

Some of the other Orange these ladies..

Rolling t-shirts, prepping for the conference...

One of the stores (we spent hours setting up), as people start to trickle in...

Two great ladies...Gina and Stephanie. I've known Gina for awhile now, and I met Stephanie for the first time this week. What a joy they are!

My hubby and his friend rocking their shoes... 

Watching the band get prepped and ready to go for the first session.... The girl singing in this picture sang an opener...She is 15, and Elton John wants to sign her!  To say she was inspiring is an understatement! You can hear her sing the opener, here. Also, one night, a 13 year old boy led us in worship for one song, with his mom singing background vocals. You can watch that, here.

Now would be a good time to mention that since it is called the 'orange' conference, and we are crazy about the 'orange strategy', everything about the conference is, well,  orange. And almost everyone you see wears something orange on them at all times. It's quirky and fun, and it means that someone will always wear something crazy. 

Here's me and my hubby, and my orange flower. :)


Possibly one of the greatest highlights of the of the guys who always does some kind of funny skit during the sessions was in need of some volunteers who would be willing to do something crazy (in front of 4500 people)...and I knew the perfect guy...

Yes, that is my husband on the far right.... :) It was hysterical. I thought about trying to type up what exactly the skit was like, but after one attempt to explain via blog, I decided you really just had to be there. Wish you were! It was great!

I was so blessed that week to meet and be surrounded by literally thousands of people who truly are revolutionizing the way we do church, and I was equally blessed to have been able to have my husband with me as well. :)

And we were both PUMPED to return home to this little guy.....

Be back later with more updates on what we have been up to at the Roberson household!


May 2, 2011

You make beautiful things out of the dust.

In the chaos and devastation that has completely destroyed the lives of so many this past week, we can rest in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. 

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Listen to the song here.