Handmade Sundresses Enroute to Honduras


Thirty-five dresses along with some craft supplies are on their way to Honduras. Mom had the opportunity to send an extra suitcase along with my uncle Paul, who will be doing some handyman missions work in the Central American country.

To learn more about the missions organization that will receive the dresses, take a look at their website:

Rancho Oasis for Youth

17 Pounds of Supplies Headed to Orphans in India


Thanks to the packing brilliance of Chris Bass, we fit more in this box than I thought possible. With every square centimeter of air space filled, the box came in three pounds under the international flat-rate limit.

The goodies in the Indian-orphanage-bound package include: toothpaste, toothbrushes, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, antibiotic ointment, hard candy, pencils, pens, crayons and soap.


Cutting, Sewing, Pinning, Ironing



Last night a group of lovely people joined me at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Huxley to work on dresses, label some shorts and work on getting a box  of school supplies and toiletries ready to send to India. In 2 1/2 hours we completed 7 dresses and have a several more cut and ready to be sewn.

It was so nice to have people change some of my piles of fabric into dresses.

Now if you all could come to my house and change some of the food in my freezer and pantry into meals, life would be perfect 🙂


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Choosing What Matters

Choosing What Matters

I am a  freelance writer and an avid reader.

Those of you who aren’t in love with words like me may find what I am about to say very weird. When I read a book, I highlight all the phrases, sentences and paragraphs that give me pause or that say something I’ve heard a million times, but say it in such a way that I am struck by how a very old thought feels new. (Okay, so that’s not really out of the ordinary, but you might find me weird are after reading the next sentence.)

When I’m done with the book, I type up all those things and save them in my writing resources folder. Then I go back and read them over and over and over, trying to learn from them how to write phrases, sentences and paragraphs that will make an old idea feel new to someone else.

What does this have to do with 500 Dresses? Nothing really. Except that the above quote from The Secret Life of Bees got me thinking about how I make choices and how often I don’t choose what matters.

Giving to others matters. Doing what is best for someone else instead of myself matters. I know that through this whole crazy dress thing, God has given mom and me many opportunities to choose what matters, and I hope it is providing others opportunities  to choose what matters as well.

Mercy and Grace Orphanage – India

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Do you remember the parable of the persistent widow from the book of Luke? This lady repeatedly came before the judge with the same plea, and eventually she annoyed him enough that he gave in and gave her the justice she was longing for.

Though I definitely wouldn’t call Madhava from Mercy and Grace Orphanage annoying, he does remind me a little bit of that widow. When he first contacted me last summer requesting dresses and shorts for his orphanage, I looked into the cost of shipping, found that it was crazy expensive and decided to let him down gently.

But he was persistent. And I knew he struggled to provide for the needs of the 107 orphans in his care. So mom and I decided to break from our norm of sending clothing, and we shipped a small box of supplies to the orphanage. Dresses and shorts take up a lot of space, but things like school supplies and toiletries are small and relatively easy to ship.

To tell you the truth, when I sent the package I wasn’t 100% confident it would even reach the orphanage. I know very little about India and the postal service in that country. But it did make it, and it took less than three weeks for arrive.

I assured Madhava that if we could come up with an economical way to send clothes, we would do it. So far that hasn’t happened. Mom and I have decided however, that we would like to send another care package their way.

Our plan is to send a large flat-rate box via the USPS for approximately $80 (we’ll do more boxes if we can fill them.)

The following is a list of their needs –

Pencils, pens, crayons, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Children’s Ibuprofen, Children’s Tylenol (chewable NOT liquid please), hard candies.

If you are interested in donating any of these items, please send them or drop them off at my home by February 23.

We have some money set aside for shipping, but we welcome any cash donations as well; especially if we end up sending multiple boxes.

Thanks in advance for any way you choose to take part in this endeavor.

An Ocean of Distraction




I’ve been MIA around here for a while, and I blame the sweet state of Florida and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. I don’t normally post personal photos on this page, but bear with me this one time 🙂

There is NOTHING in this world like watching your kids experience the ocean for the very first time. It’s one of those life events I wish I could have captured and tucked into my pocket to wrap my fist around when I need a little reminder of the sweetest things in life.

The air temp was only about 70 as was the water temp, but that did not keep these Iowa boys out of the waves (though it did keep their mama out).

We’re back to Iowa and snow, and I’m slowly coming to the realization that I have to hop back into real-life. And along with that will come new 500 Dresses info.

So don’t give up on me. We’ll have some updates here soon 🙂

Jeremiah 31:35

Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for light by day And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name