Meet Jennifer…She has a story worth sharing

There are so many ways we can change and impact the world for the better so if you happen to be looking for some new ways to get involved check out Project Liberty International, Inc.
I am always very cautious about who and what I donate money to and for good reason. Many “charities” aren’t doing all that they claim with our hard-earned money and are either wasting money we give or even worse.
Project liberty is a small organization compared to some of the worldwide relief organizations, but it is no less important.

Jennifer Jestes Chana started the organization 16 years ago when she moved to Africa at 24 years old with just a heart full of love and a passion to change kids lives.
A couple years before she had gone on a ministry trip to Africa and after returning to the U.S. she quickly realized that Africa had captured her heart. She knew she belonged there, so after much prayer and working  2 jobs for 2 years to save money, Jenn went back.
She traveled and volunteered at orphanages in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and even a few in Mexico. Her goal was to find out what model of orphan care was most successful. And she learned what worked and what didn’t. After feeling like a “family home” was where the kids thrived best she decided to return to Mozambique Africa and rent a house. By the end of the first month she had 15 orphans living with her! She had planned on getting settled and educated in the language and culture and preparing the house for at least a year, but God had other plans.
Clearly, she did not have what she needed to provide for all these kids, but she began a walk of faith! A journey that would change her life.
She spent 5 years being Mom to these orphans, running the home, and living in a local African community. Her goal was to figure out what worked and how to solve the problems these kids faced.
In 2006, Jen made a brief trip back to the U.S. to set up a 501( c) (3) called Project Liberty International, Inc. Some of her goals were things like solving the current problems of orphans in MOZ, creating programs for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. She wanted to address unemployment among the older orphans, the need for education for these children and the basic teaching of life skills. The heart of the project has always been centered on Jesus Christ and sharing the message of his love and salvation to the children, but meeting their basic needs is of course the most important thing that must happen on a daily basis.
All this time Jenn had been doing this amazing work as a single woman in a dangerous city where crime and riots and bombings are a normal part of life. But two years ago, God blessed her with a husband wedding pic of Jenn and Chana

and I can only imagine how thankful she is to have a strong pair of arms to fall into when the work of being Mom to a very large family feels overwhelming.
Since moving to MOZ, Jenn has purchased land and began the long and difficult process of building a permanent orphan home further out away from the city. They can grow food garden at orphan homeand build a school and offer even more to these amazing young people that have faced such devastation in their lives. Currently because of lack of funds the building project is on hold and Jenn and her husband, Chana, have now rented a second home in the city to accommodate the ever-growing family. Jenn and family

As you can imagine the hardships that they face trying to manage on average 20 orphan children ranging from toddlers to young adults, is very difficult and requires involvement from other passionate people.
Currently they are struggling and behind on rent and with a $2000 a month food bill to feed them all things are tight because money is limited to what people are willing to give. food orphan home
Due to the terrible economy in MOZ, the cost of living has experienced a 100% spike. Gas, electricity, food and rent all must be met every month. Monthly rent is $900 along with the $2000 cost for food and their limited donor funds are taking a hard hit. And those are only the very basic survival needs.
Please consider checking out Project Liberty at where you can learn more and make a donation. You can sign up for monthly donations through PAYPAL or make a one time donation. You can also follow them on their Facebook page.
Just $50 a month can literally change a child’s life! That money for us is as simple as maybe giving up the $2 a day fancy coffee or lunch out that we didn’t really need so a child can have 3 meals a day for a month and a safe place to sleep at night!!! Think about that!!!orphan home dinner
Donations can also be sent to Project Liberty PO Box 1025, Bethany, Oklahoma, 73008.
We aren’t all brave enough to move to Africa and take care of orphans, but we all could come up with a little extra money to help feed them.

Despite all of the struggles of life in MOZ, Jenn and Chana strive to keep life as normal and family centered as possible!

liberty 2

These are just some of the precious lives that have been saved and are now in a loving home because one girls passion to do more and because of donors like you and I that keep making it possible for her to be there!


Wrinkled Apple crisp

What do you do when you have just a few half mushy slightly wrinkled apples left? You do what any non-foodie mediocre cook does. (or you do what any stay at home Mom who doesn’t want to waste money does) You look in the panty and find some fairly old (but still not out of date at least I don’t think it was) off brand instant oatmeal packets that the kids never touched.
You know it was during that phase where you were like these kids need to eat healthier and not eat all those processed cereals and, so you bought them sugar laden off brand maple brown sugar oatmeal to give them a “healthy” option.
So, the first step is to peel the wrinkly skin of those old apples and slice them thin. Then because I want those apples soft I’m not a half cooked apple fan (only the top should be crunchy in my crisp), I put them in a steamer basket on my stove top just until they start to soften.
Then (depending on how many maimed apples you found when you were cleaning out the fridge) dump them into a baking dish that they will allow the apples to fully cover the bottom of it. And of course if you are a crunchy apple lover skip the steaming part it makes the crisp even easier to make. Plus old apples are pretty soft already.
While the apples were steaming I took the packs of instant oatmeal. (l use one pack for each apple) I mean why not there was a whole box of them just sitting in there and I like the topping of my apples crisp to be mostly what the apple crisp consists of.
I dump the packets into a mixing bowl and throw some cold butter in there. Then take one of those cool butter cutter things and cut the butter into the oatmeal. When that is all mixed I sprinkle cinnamon over the apples and dump the oatmeal/butter crumble on top and bake it at 350 until it looks crispy on top.
There you have it wrinkled apple crisp! It’s delicious and super easy. I tasted it and thought it was good but that isn’t saying a lot because I will pretty much eat anything sweet. But when my husband and son ate it they said it was delicious. Who knew?!



Hey Pumpkin!


If there is any time of year that things are looking “merry and bright” it’s mid November.

Fall is quickly fading and the holidays are right around the corner. The colored leaves and pumpkins will be replaced with colored lights and Christmas greens and the busyness and craziness begins.

Family, food, parties and gifts, it’s all a whirlwind of fun from thanksgiving to Christmas and New Years.

Then we are just left with that mid January “after party crash”. All the family and friends are gone along with our extra cash. And with the short dark winter days it can be easy to feel a little blue.

This year be one step ahead of the after holiday, winter blues. Plan now for some fun inexpensive (since you won’t have any money left after the holidays) things to do. But make it things you will look forward to and enjoy. Depending on where you live maybe you want to drive to the mountains and enjoy some snowy scenes or maybe you live in the mountains and want a day in the city. If you live where it’s bitter cold maybe you want to catch a cheap flight to somewhere warm for a few days. And for even easier things try a local play or concert, try a new restaurant every weekend. Try making a new recipe together with someone you love once a week. Take a class, get involved in something new in your community.

I know I am being a pessimist by talking about “after the holidays” when they are just getting started but you will thank me later when you are enjoying that weekend getaway hiking the snowy mountain trails or sitting in a fancy coffee shop in the city instead of sitting at home in the dark at 5pm sulking. Your welcome!



Meet Sam…

You know that saying we all wear many hats, well for Sam it’s more like coats. On any given day you might see Sam in his beekeeper’s jacket tending a hive only to receive a call on his pager that he is needed at the scene of an accident. So, a quick change into his EMT gear and he is off to save a life.
Sam grew up in a big family and learned to work hard at a young age. When he was only 11 Sam’s father began teaching him the art of beekeeping. How to handle the bees, how to build frames and boxes, waxing and wiring them. And of course, how to extract and package the honey in its raw form as to preserve all the wonderful benefits it has to offer. By the time Sam was 15 he was helping transport over 400 hives to Florida to pollinate the orange groves then back to PA again to pollinate the apples trees in the spring.
Beekeeping brings with it the sting of hard work but pays in sweet rewards. Sam learned all about work ethic caring for bees. Things like how to market a product, how to study weather patterns which directly affect the bees and knowledge of plants and trees.
Beekeeping isn’t just a fun hobby it’s a very worthy cause. We need honey bees in order to continue enjoying many of the delicious foods that we eat every day. Things like apples, berries, avocados and coffee, just to name a few. And I don’t know about you, but I do not want to live in a world without coffee. These little pollinators make our world a better place and if you think you might be interested in hosting some in your back yard contact a local bee keeper and get in on the buzz. The honey bee population continues to decline, and we should do all we can to help them survive.
Learning how to work hard and care about our world as a child shaped Sam into a young man who wanted to do more.
At age 17 Sam had an experience that changed his life. While at the park one-day Sam came upon a man who had collapsed and was unresponsive. He began to try to find someone to help but there was no one. No cell phones and no 911 made it even more difficult to get help in those days but at some point, someone did call and get an ambulance to come but by the time they arrived it was too late.
That experience drove Sam to want to get more educated about how to help in these situations and led him to take a first aid and CPR course. The instructor told Sam he had a gift and his caring and concern for others would make him an excellent EMT. There was a shortage of them at the time, so Sam went for it. After months of learning and studying Sam passed the state exam and at 17 years old became an EMT.
Since then he has found himself in all types of situations. He has had the amazing experience of delivering new life into this world and felt the sadness of comforting others as they leave it.
Sam’s grandmother told him God gives us gifts and if we don’t use them we will lose them. Sam decided to use his gifts of loving and caring to help others and has been doing so since 1982. His motto is “put your trust in your training and your faith in God”. No two calls are ever the same and a first responder never knows what they are getting into.
Sam has also had the incredible experience of being part of several strike team deployments to other states. He was part of a deployment to New Jersey after super storm sandy. It’s during those times that first responders miss their families and even a hot meal as they spend days rescuing people in need of emergency care. Risking their own lives and health to ensure someone else’s.
There are risks and consequences that go along with the job and Sam has faced them. Some of the injuries he has sustained during rescues have been minor and some have been so major that they will affect him the rest of his life. But he chooses to continue helping others.
We all have gifts and can and should use those gifts in whatever way we can to change the world for the better. Rather it’s helping one person at a time or one tiny honey bee at a time, find your gift and give it  to the world.