the heart of our family

“Oh How I Need You” by All Sons & Daughters from happyrichellephant on Vimeo.

My baby sister has always been the heart of our (Navales) family and she is leaving us for 11 months to go serve 11 different nations by serving people and sharing the gospel that Jesus is risen. I’ve known many people to go on some sort of missionary trip and this is definitely different. Sure, traveling sounds amazing, but she’s not staying in some fancy resort or will even have the comfort of a basic motel. On the contrary, she is going with one big backpack, a light backpack, and a one man tent. She is part of a World Race team will be totally relying on God as they embark on this journey to help the homeless, orphans, churches, and those sold to sex slavery in these various countries.

I’m always hesitant to share these kinds of needs because you expect your life to somewhat be watched (and critiqued) more carefully when asking for some sort of support. She has $16,000 to raise for her trip and has received about $4,000 thus far. Most of the money she has raised thus far, has been her own money from savings and working part-time, while she goes to school full-time. She’s cut back on her extra expenses (hasn’t even made a trip to the thrift store in ages!) since God had placed this trip on her heart, and everything she’s been doing has been going towards the money she needs to raise.

I know she needs a lot of prayer the most, as this will be all new for her and her faith will be stretched in ways unimaginable. If your heart is led to even give $1 (or more!), I know it is much appreciated (seriously, even a buck helps!). Every penny makes a difference and helps her meet her goal (If 12,000 people gave a dollar, the goal would be achieved!). Even if you don’t believe in God, I’m sure you believe in the good done in servings others, and she is going to be doing plenty of that. That’s what her life will be all about for the next few months. She’s going to have to die to self, give up all the comforts she used to, and love and serve other people she’s never even met (this world could use more people like my sister!). Heck, if for some reason you just need a tax break, supporting her is a good way to get it.

Just watching my video you see the joy she has. She’s like that all the time (well, not first thing in the morning because it takes her a bit of time to wake up)! You meet her and you know she’s different. It’s all because of God! And she wants to share that joy with others. I’ve seriously watched the video a ton of times and cry every single time. I’m so, so, so proud of the godly lady she has become. Joy and life just exudes from her. She’s not your average 22 year old and her life is definitely creating ripple effects in this world. I’m going to miss her so much (and oh my gosh I know my parents will be sooooo sad without her) and when she comes back True will be 9!

You can read more about her story here, follow along with her journey here, and if you want to help support her, you can do that here.

Most of all, please pray for her and our family, especially my parents because the baby is leaving the nest! And really, how amazing is that video?! My sister truly is the heart of the family, and my parents are so fun and loving, that you totally see where she gets it from!

 

 

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diy: ombré wooden bead garland

wooden bead garland
Ombré Wooden Bead Garland

Supplies:
1″ wood beads
Approximately 2 yards of suede cording per strand
Paint colors of your choice (and white paint to lighten the color)
Paint brush
Scissors

Directions:
Separate your beads into three equal groups. Each of my strands were about 18-21 wooden beads per strand. Paint one group the original paint color, then add a bit of white to the paint to lighten it up to paint the second group of beads. For the last group of beads, add more white paint to the original color and paint that color onto the beads. The progression should be from dark to light to achieve the ombré effect. You could also pick 3 different shades of the same color (as seen with the blue strand pictured) and get your gradient colors that way. I painted each wooden bead with 2 coats of color and allowed it to dry completely between each coat.

Tie a knot about 10″ – 12″ away from the end and insert one wooden bead, create a knot after the bead, and insert another wooden bead, create another knot after, and insert another wooden bead. Continue this until all the beads from the same color are on strung on the cording. Remember to insert it from lightest to darkest (or vice versa) to get the ombré effect. Once the last bead is on the strand, knot it one last time, and cut any excess cording. Continue this for each strand per color. Once all the strands are complete,  gather all the ends together and knot, and repeat for the opposite end.

ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
ombre bead garland
wooden bead garland
wooden bead garland
This would definitely be fun if you wanted to make a whole ombré rainbow, but that would take a lot of wooden beads. If you happen to have a lot stashed away (or a lot of time), I say go for it! I’m sure it would be one stunning garland.

This one is our springtime garland! It’s fun to make one every season to hang on our mantle or over the girls bed. I have another one I want to make with them soon, so we will probably end up with two springtime garlands.

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family meals: week 67

family meals
family meals
Korean Fried ChickenYes! Soooo good! Obviously, we love Korean dishes and spicy food, so it’s no surprise that we loved this dish. I made this two weeks in a row since I had leftover sauce, and the girls got a batch without all the spice. I changed up the recipe to give the meat some breading, but while it looks fried, it totally isn’t. Oven fried chicken is bomb I tell you. You totally won’t even miss real fried chicken! Promise.

family meals
family meals
Black Bean with Corn Salsa Rice Bowl. While I share a lot of meat dishes here, actually, we only eat it about twice a week, maybe three times. Most other days are seafood or straight up vegetarian. This was another good meal to make for a big group on our Dinner Club Thursdays. Put giant dollops of fresh salsa in and you’re good to go!

Week of 3/31 – 4/4
Monday: Shrimp Tacos
Tuesday: Pad Kee Mao (I want to try my hand at Thai cooking!)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: White Bean Chili
Friday: Sushi/pizza night

Since we put in an official weekly grocery budget in place, we’ve done so good at not wasting food. We don’t have excess, but just enough, and we really think through our grocery purchases. Budgeting, as painful as it feels sometimes, is so great!

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huzzah!

the girls and the book
These girls look so grown in this picture (and their long legs!). This was a very special moment and I’m glad to have caught it. I’m so proud of them!

This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

This was the best mail day ever.

Love this dress, not the price tag so much, but maybe the quality is really good. Anyone know? No splurge purchases until Ben’s car is fixed.

I want to make these teeny cakes.

The BFF is leaving for a spring break trip to Korea and she is kind enough to lend us her car for a week! Thankful for her generosity!

Life throws so many good and bad curve balls and every one of them grows us. Thankful for the growing pains.

Some random tidbits about me in this ABM staff post.

We are so excited that Ben’s cousin’s show got picked up on Nickelodeon! He’s such a talented writer and it’s great to see his work recognized. Get ready to watch Bella and the Bullfrogs this coming fall. I’ve read the pilot and it’s so clever.

I love this bag from Topphouse (it hasn’t been put in their shop yet), which is a collaboration between artists David Jien and Andrew Ho.

This weekend’s very full! I’m working on a shoot with Family Fun Magazine Saturday morning, then my own personal creative project in the afternoon, and Sunday I will be attending the calligraphy workshop. It’s a weekend full of creative things, so I’m sure it’s gonna be good!

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focus: our days are full

home
home
home
home
home life
home life
home
Our days have been so full. We are down to one car for the time being (Ben’s needs a new engine), so we are making do with sharing. Though with this sharing business, 2 hours of my day, with the girls in tow, is spent taking Ben to work and picking him up. While time already feels like it’s in short supply, it’s been feeling really depleted these past couple weeks with having to spend more time on the road than normal.

We’ve been trekking on with school and I think we will be done with most of our curriculum well before the school year ends. The only one we always seem to be playing catch up with is math. Oh math! It’s never been my strongest suit and I admit that I’m probably not helping my girls love it either. Nevertheless, the kids must study it because otherwise one day they might find themselves way in over their head in credit card debt and it might be because they won’t know have the math knowledge to prevent them from spending money they don’t have. Let’s hope they don’t get there though, so for now, I’ll keep chugging along with math and Ben will keep doing Dave Ramsey Junior lessons with them.

Anyway, I love the flexibility we have in homeschool. If we get really focused in the beginning of the week, we can charge through my lesson plans and then Fridays can sometimes be a light project day. I love that! Sometimes though, it does cross my mind that if I sent the kids to school, I would get all this free time and it might be glorious! But then I remember why I homeschool, and well that’s that. I have to keep our bigger picture in mind rather than some peace and quiet, I’ll have plenty of time for that later. These days are long and time is short thing is really true. They’ll all be out of the house before you know it!

Despite feeling really overwhelmed, more like crazy, yesterday was a good day. I had been waiting for something for a very long time and it finally came! It kinda lightened up the load I was feeling and made things slightly less stressful. I also think I’ve been stressed because I’m working on a little project (can’t wait to share!!!), but I have some sort of creative block and I’m stuck on ideas for this project. It’s frustrating and my ideas about it just feel so scattered. I hope I get it together soon because well, I’ve got no choice but to get it done. Focus, Ruby, focus. 

Oh and that picture above has been my daily uniform of late. These Aladdin-like pants from Old Navy and this super comfy top from Gusta are so good together, and if I have to leave the house, I just slip on my leopard sneakers (it was Ben’s love day gift to me from here). Maybe once the craziness in my brain clears up (will it ever?), I’ll be in the mood to throw on a dress again or maybe sewing up a new one will get me in the mood too. I think sewing up a new one should do the trick, now only if I can find more time. Anyone know where I can get more of that?!

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