05 December 2011

shop well

Are you like me and not yet done Christmas shopping? Here's an important thought and then some shopping ideas to get things moving.

"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
(Anne Lappe) 

This is true for food, office supplies, toys, and more. And it's complicated. There are so many factors to consider. You can make yourself crazy analyzing your purchases. I've been there and done that many times.

As you prepare for Christmas, don't overanalyze, but consider making at least a purchase or two that will cast a vote for a better world. Here are some cool options, and I'd love to see more ideas in the comments if you have them.

Hearts for Hearts Girls: buy a doll and help girls around the world

Made by Survivors: an organization that is fighting slavery around the world and selling all kinds of products

Gobena Coffee: organic, fair trade, fresh roasted coffee that supports orphans in Ethiopia...and it's really good

Roma Boots and Toms Shoes: buy a pair, and they donate a pair to someone in need somewhere in the world

Sari Bari: bags, blankets, pillow, scarves, and baby gear made from recycled Indian saris and marked with the name of the woman who made it, a woman who has been freed from Kolkata's sex industry (Keep checking back if you don't see anything available that you like. They restock somewhere around the 10th of each month.)

And if you haven't found something on the list so far, you can peruse this Ethical Holiday Shopping Guide for other ideas or go to the store and buy some fair trade chocolate to stuff in stockings.

Happy shopping!

01 December 2011

day 5 of advent

Well, we're 5 days into Advent, and I still haven't gotten my act together. I know that Christmas is more meaningful for me and for our family when we prepare for it, but it snuck up on me this year. So, I have a choice. I can give up and try again next year or I can jump in a few days late and make the most of it. I'm going to choose the latter. If you want to join our family in celebrating Advent, here are some great resources:

a great 2 minute video to introduce advent

a family-friendly advent devotional guide

a fun website for learning about Christmas around the world

As I find more ideas, I'll share. The important point though is that it's never too late to prepare for the birth of Jesus. Happy Advent to you!

16 November 2011

a great reminder from a 10 year old

I just heard Joshua tell his daddy, "Some people think Christmas is just for presents. That's not what Christmas is for."

I'm so thankful that he's beginning to understand how true that statement is, even if he'll still be present-crazed a month from now. I'm thankful that my kids appreciate the opportunity to give as well as receive, the opportunity to spend time together and do special activities, and the opportunity to remember a little baby who changed the world.

15 October 2011

I write you blog posts by the hundreds in my thoughts

Really, I do. While I'm in the car or cooking dinner or walking down the street. They just never make it here for a lot of reasons. Someday soon they might. Or not. It's hard to say. But there is so much I could share. So much going on in our lives and our ministry and our family and our dreams. Happy things and stressful things and in between things. Please don't think I've forgotten you. I'm just overwhelmed and easily distracted these days. I'll be back.

07 September 2011

the conversation in my living room

Garty is really into dressing up in pretty dresses. He just decided he was going to be a flower girl in the current imaginary wedding. Patience informed him that he can't be a flower girl because he's not a girl. Then she added, "You can be a flower boy."

26 July 2011

a challenging blessing

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

(A Four-Fold Franciscan Blessing)

26 May 2011

cast your vote

I've been informed that numerous people are frustrated by my slowness in choosing a business name, and I apologize. Sometimes life just happens, and I need to change plans. Life definitely happened this past week, and I'm trying to get back on track.

So without further ado, I believe this is a complete and uncensored list of all the names I received. If a name you suggested is missing, please let me know immediately. It was an error and not a judgment on your suggestion. I do reserve the right to veto a name on the final vote if I feel a strong reason to do so, but that's not likely to happen.

Some of these names have very intriguing derivations and thoughts behind them, but I decided to only list the name that will go on the business card. No matter how interesting the back story is, customers will react to the name when they hear it. I can't fit the whole story on the card, though it might end up in the "about us" on the website.

Please read the names carefully and choose your favorite five. Then send me the names by private facebook message or an email to peterandbecky @ hotmail . com (with spaces removed). Please do not leave your votes as a comment.

I will leave the initial voting open until Friday at noon, which gives you 26 hours to see this post and make your decision.

The Creperie
Convenient Crepes
Crepes a go-go
Crepes, Cakes, & Bakes (Catering)
The Traveling Crepe (Catering)
Holy Crepe Catering
“I Crepe You” Catering
Got Crepe?
The Great Crepe Escape
Crepe-mates Catering
La Chandeleur Catering
Liberty Catering/Caterers
Monkey Crepes
Oh Crepe
Crepes on a Stick
Bonjour Crepe
The Crepe Lady
Crepes a la Carte
The Skinny Crepe
Rebecca's Crepes and More
The Galloping Crepe
Divine Catering
Crepes, Etc. or Crepes Et Cetera
Hors d'oeuvres, Crepes, & Such
Crepes & Such
Crepes & Stuff
Catering Crepe Lady
Rebecca Bowersox Catering/Caterers
Cosmopolitan Catering
Norristown Catering
Becky's Baking & More Catering
Becky's Bountiful Catering Co.
The French Confection
Let Them Eat Crepes
Flavor of Paris
Taste of Paris
Paris at your Door
Crepe Expectations
Crepes Rebecq (Catering)
West End Catering
The Crepe Escape
Rebecca Bowersox : Crepe Lady

17 May 2011

business naming contest

You all amaze me. I've been overwhelmed with ideas for the past 48 hours, and I've decided that I don't want to rush this decision. I'm going to wait until tomorrow at noon to see if any more ideas come in. After that, I'll put all the names together, post them, and let everyone vote on their 5 favorite names. I'll use the first vote to narrow the field, and then we'll do a final vote toward the end of the week.

This is fun! Friday I'll be meeting with the owner of the kitchen I'm expecting to rent. If all goes well at the meeting, I'll be putting in my application at the health department immediately.

If you want, you can check out the selection of savory and sweet crepes that I'll be listing on my website when things get up and running.

15 May 2011

help needed

We officially determined a few months ago that one of us needs to get a part time job in order to stay afloat financially for the long haul. We've considered numerous options. Catering was one of them. I've actually considered it on and off for years, but I didn't want to do it unless I could go through the process of becoming a "real" caterer with access to a commercial kitchen and health department approval. Those two obstacles were always deal breakers for me since I only wanted to cater on the side. In January, I finally decided that I was going to give up the idea of catering permanently. I was really at peace about the decision, and I knew I would still have chances to handle the food for friends' parties and ACPPA Community Art Center from time to time.

It felt good to move on, and I was happy... until I started getting a steady stream of requests for my services from a variety of different connections. I even carefully explained to a few people that I'm not a "real" caterer, but they didn't want to settle for my answer. So... the past week things have very suddenly come together, and we're about 98% certain that I will soon be a "real" caterer, specializing in made to order crepes and cocktail style parties. It will be a very part time venture, as we don't want to take a lot of time away from our work at the Norristown Community House or Montgomery County Community College.

I'm super excited about it all. The only part I'm not excited about is coming up with a name for my business. That's not my strength. It's evidently not Peter's either, since he was in favor of Crepes N'at... a name that might work in Pittsburgh but would be disastrous on the Main Line. So I need your help. I need to you to comment or email me (peterandbecky @ hotmail . com - Just take out the spaces) with your idea for a name. Please remember that crepe catering will be my niche, but I don't want a name that makes it sound like I only do crepes. At this point, I still want the flexibility of doing other small parties as well until I see what direction the business goes.

I'll collect suggestions until Tuesday at noon and then I'll put them out for a vote. It's not a long time, but I'm doing food for a friend's event on Thursday, and I'm hoping to get enough good name ideas that we can choose and run a temporary set of business cards to hand out. Peter and I reserve the right to veto any name, but we're not likely to do that since we're desperate for all your ideas and opinions. The creator of the winning name will receive a $10 gift card to his or her choice of locations: Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Panera, Cold Stone Creamery, or Dairy Queen.

So will you help a desperate, soon to be famous, very part time caterer? Please?

13 April 2011


The kids were discussing Toy Story 3 while getting ready for bed.  One of the younger kids evidently couldn't remember Buzz's full name, so Joshua enthusiastically announced to all of us that it's "Buzz Light Beer."

It's possible that they're still struggling with English phonetics.

09 April 2011

4 years?!!

Today we celebrated our 4th Gotcha Day.  4 years ago we met our kids in Liberia.  4 years ago our lives changed forever.  What an adventure it's been so far!  Look how far we've come.



And now...

30 March 2011

this should be good

I have a few random things I need to use up, so I was thinking about trying to concoct some kind of soup.  Then I remembered that several people have told me how much they love the ingredient function on allrecipes.com.  I clicked over, plugged in the ingredients I have, and it gave me the results.  Choice number one?  Homemade dog food.  We evidently have a great meal ahead of us.

29 March 2011

world water day final update

This article shares all the details of a successful World Water Day campaign.  The Prem Rawat Foundation even surprised everyone by matching the entire $11,390 that was raised by midnight, though they had only committed to match $10,000.  People are still donating to the fund, so the total raised is currently $12,305, bringing the combined total to $23,695.  I'm so excited and so thankful.

23 March 2011

we did it!

A hearty thank you to those who helped make World Water Day an amazing 24 hours! Our combined contributions will help train more well mechanics throughout India, providing clean water, jobs, and dignity to many. With the generous match from the Prem Rawat Foundation, we raised $22,125!

I'm thankful for the team at The Adventure Project who provided a simple way for us to be part of something much bigger than ourselves. I'm also thankful for all who made a small sacrifice to accomplish a huge goal. 

true story

Our kids seldom make special food requests.  They like just about everything.  They definitely don't whine for food because they know it won't work.  This morning, however, was an exception.

Joshua [in a slightly whiney, pleading voice]:  Can we have some of this with our fried eggs?
Mommy:  I guess so.
Joshua:  Yes!

Followed by many exclamations of excitement from all 3 children.

The cause of the joy?  The last of Aunt Katie's fresh homemade sauerkraut that had been buried in the fridge.

I resisted the urge to laugh at them because I don't want them to know how weird they are.

I'll have an update on yesterday's fundraising campaign later today.  Right now I'm headed out the door.

22 March 2011

don't miss this

I must start by apologizing to those of you who thought I was pregnant based on my previous post title. I evidently created quite a stir. I'm quite amused by the situation, but that's not what I'm blogging about today. 

Many of you know that I'm super enthusiastic about opportunities to impact the world.  I get especially excited when I find simple ways to make a huge impact.  Today I want to share with you one of those opportunities.

Today is World Water Day!  I'm passionate about the world water crisis because it's a tragedy that doesn't have to be.  The statistics are staggering.

1 in 8 people throughout the world has no access to clean water.  
4,000 children die each day as a result.
1/3 of the wells built in the last 20 year are broken.

I'm totally in favor of digging new wells.  In fact, we make a monthly donation toward well digging in Liberia, a place that we're particularly in love with because of our 3 kids.  But what about all those broken wells?

Meet  Ram Rati.  She's not your typical Indian woman.  She's a handpump mechanic with WaterAid India.  She and her team are doing something about all the broken wells there.  In just 2 years, they've already repaired 300 handpumps, turning water back on for 30,000 people in India.  She's a superhero where you wouldn't expect to find one.

 Watch her story, and you'll see what I mean.

The Adventure Project - World Water Day 2011 from The Adventure Project on Vimeo.

Isn't that exciting?  Now do you want to join me for an adventure?

Today I'm joining 100+ bloggers for an exciting day of fundraising that has the potential to bring clean water to 3,600 new people in India over the next year. What makes it even more exciting is that it's a sustainable program that creates jobs and preserves dignity.

My job is to inspire 10 readers to give $20 toward the cause today.

I know money is tight for many of us. I know there are plenty of good causes asking for your donation. But I also know that most of us can quickly spend $20 without blinking an eye, and I'm willing to give up one of those $20 purchases to be part of a truly epic campaign like this. What about you?

If all 100+ bloggers reach the goal, we'll raise $10,000 in one day. And if that happens, the Prem Rawat Foundation has promised to match our total, doubling our impact!

Imagine that... sacrificing $20 so $20,000 could change the lives of people in India. Very cool. I hope you'll join me!  You can donate here.  I'll update you on our progress and on the results of the project. 

If you want to learn more about The Adventure Project's work in India, you can check out the project on their website.  It's innovative, and it's effective.  I love it!  I can't wait to learn about the impact of today's campaign.

21 March 2011

don't pass out

I don't want to freak anyone out too badly, so I thought I'd give fair warning: I'm going to put up a real blog post tomorrow. I know it's shocking. I know you thought I'd never blog again. It's been hard for me to focus on blogging this year with so incredibly much going on, but I have a really good reason for tomorrow's post. It's something I'm super excited about, so I'm going to make time to share it with you. I hope you'll check in and be excited with me. It's super cool. I promise.

Just don't get so excited that you don't sleep tonight. I've had a few nights without much sleep the last few days, and I don't recommend it.

28 February 2011

rare disease day

I just learned that today is Rare Disease Day, as approved by the 112th Congress of the US. I didn't know it existed until I was notified by the ARPKD/CHF Alliance, a group that supports families dealing with the disease our boys have.

In honor of Rare Disease Day (and the fact that I actually managed to compose one blog post in February), please consider saying a prayer for Joshua, Garty, and their kidneys and livers. Their bodies are functioning quite well compared to many who share their diagnosis, but they have a long road ahead of them on the health front.

More from me in March. I haven't forgotten those of you who check this blog regularly. I've just had to prioritize other things recently.

29 January 2011


I was recently inspired by a former student who had committed to reading 52 books in 52 weeks during 2010. (She completed the challenge, though I think she only blogged 50 of the books.) I love to read, but these days I have difficulty finding a quiet time to sit and read without falling asleep. I'm told it's just this stage of life, but it's frustrating. I decided I need a challenge to keep me reading, though I'm not ambitious enough to go for a book a week. Instead, I'm going to try for 2 books a month, for a total of 24 in 2011. If you read a lot, that goal won't sound very ambitious to you, but it's a challenge for me.

In honor of my new goal, I revamped our reading list on the sidebar. I separated my reading list from Peter's and added some of our favorite books. I'm already annoyed because Peter's 2011 list is twice as long as mine. I must remember that this is a personal challenge and not a competition.

The most fun part is that I've started reading the Chronicles of Narnia to the kids, and they love the books. Though I'm only going to count the series as one book for my personal challenge, it's been great fun. I remember sitting and listening to my Daddy read Narnia to me, and I'm excited to continue the tradition.

27 January 2011

snow day

Every night at dinner we each say our favorite part of the day. Tonight 3 kids in succession said, "My favorite part of the day was the whole day." And why wouldn't it be? Lots of friends at our house for many hours and a great sledding trip with Daddy and a few friends late in the afternoon. I think they'll sleep well tonight.

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25 January 2011

another adoption post

Yes, we're still alive. I'm just trying to balance exciting but crazy ministry stuff with times to sit back and breathe and enjoy my family. It's a struggle, but I'm feeling more at peace now than I did most of last year. I do have some things I hope to share here later this week, but I'm not making any promises.

I just took a minute to read this post about adoption, and I completely connected with it. I thought I'd share it, since I know many of you appreciated the post I shared in December.