Nicaragua, Not Ireland


I’ve wanted to travel to Ireland ever since I was a kid. Something about the green, rolling hills, stone castles and friendly people just seemed to call to me.

I knew my ancestors came from Ireland, and I was always told my red hair came from there, too. I knew that one day, I would go there.

So last month as I waited for passport photos with my sons, it occurred to me that my first trip out of the country would not in fact be to my beloved Ireland. Apparently God has other plans for me, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

In fact, I am so incredibly excited about the first time I will use this passport that I’m not sure how I will survive the wait.

This October, my 14-year-old son Aidan and I will travel to Nicaragua with Compassion International. We will visit Compassion’s main office in Managua the first day, then we’ll see some of Compassion’s projects during the next two days of our tour.

Finally, on the fourth day, we will meet our two sponsor children and spend the day with them. We’ll have a translator with us, so we can really get to know these boys in person.

By the time we meet them, we will have sponsored Esteban, 8, for almost four years, and Jose, 11, for one year.

I’m already collecting items to bring to my boys. I have teddy bears, Uno games and children’s Bibles in Spanish so far. And I have a list of other gift ideas that continues to grow.

So the countdown is on. In just seven months and a few days, I will hug my Nicaraguan boys tight, my son and I will shower them with love, and all of us will share wonderful memories of being together.

I may not be headed to Ireland yet, but I can’t think of any place besides Nicaragua that I’d rather visit this year.

Five Beautiful Children

As a Child Ambassador for World Vision, I have five children for whom I am advocating right now. Please take a look and see if any of them touches your heart. Maybe one shares a birthday with you or a family member. Maybe you share a hobby with one or are particularly interested in their country. If you see a child you would like to sponsor, please contact me. You can make a difference in the life of one of these children.


Ganesh is a 5-year-old boy living with his parents and one sister in an Indian slum. His father is a driver and struggles to meet the family’s needs. Ganesh likes to play ball games.


Elder Aroldo, 8, lives with his parents, two brothers and four sisters in Guatemala. His father is a farm laborer. Elder Aroldo is in primary school, helps at home by gathering firewood and likes to play with toys.


Nuredin is a 10-year-old boy living in Ethiopia with his parents and one brother. His father is a farmer. Nuredin helps at home by caring for animals. He likes to play basketball and enjoys drawing.


Seraphine, 12, lives with her parents, two brothers and three sisters in Rwanda. She helps at home by gathering firewood, and she likes to play ball games. Seraphine is in primary school, where she enjoys learning a foreign language.


Mariney is a 13-year-old girl living in Colombia with her mother and extended family. In primary school, Mariney enjoys art. She helps at home by sweeping floors, and she likes to play hide and seek.

World Vision Gift


Mihai with his sister and mother in Romania

A beautiful family photo isn’t the only reward for sending your World Vision sponsor child a family gift, but it is a pretty great one. Of course there’s also the great feeling you get knowing you helped someone out.

But the most important aspect of sending that family gift? It’s this: “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – Hebrews 13:16

It pleases God.

In verse after verse in the Bible, God commands us to share our blessings and care for the poor, and in my experience as a sponsor, He always has rewarded me many times over when I have been faithful to Him.

With just $100, Mihai and his family in Romania were able to purchase warm winter clothing and boots for both Mihai and his sister. His mother wrote that this was much appreciated because this winter would be a very cold one for them.

They also purchased school supplies for both children, a large blanket, shoes and toys.

Looks like money well spent to me.

Art Spotlight: Colombia

In continuing my “Art Spotlight” series, these are some drawings from 8-year-old Paula in Colombia. She always takes the time to fill the drawing space in her letters and to color everything neatly. I especially love it when she adds a “te quiero” (I love you) to her drawings, as she did in the fourth one.


October 2013


September 2013


June 2013


May 2013


September 2012