Friday, November 9, 2018

Hooray for Holidays: Veterans Day for Children

I'm excited to welcome my dear friend, author Peggy Cunningham, to my blog today. She's had five books published this year, and I loved them so much, I had to share them. One of the books, Hooray for Holidays Book 4, has a story about Veterans Day, which happens to be this Sunday, November 11.

Peggy Cunningham and her husband Chuck have served as missionaries in Bolivia, South America, since 1981. They work with the Quechua people and have a children's ministry. She is the author of the Really Rare Rabbits series of picture books for children (you'll find all three on her Amazon author page), and two devotionals for adults, Shape Your Soul and Dancing Like Bees.

Peggy, I love the idea that you're teaching kids about holidays in your new series, Hooray for Holidays. How did the story idea come about?

I’d written number of animal stories for a book I was working on when I found an adorable flag sweater for our Shih Tzu, Kelsey. After taking countless photos of her in that sweater, I thought about writing a Fourth of July story for my blog featuring Kelsey. 

Then an idea sparked my brain. Why not incorporate a holiday into each animal story I’d written? So I not only wrote animal stories with a Bible principle, but I also incorporated a holiday theme with a bit of its history to each story. And, I guess you could say Kelsey’s sweater inspired my idea.

I notice you have a mixture of holidays - not just the holidays we celebrate in the U.S. - but you also include some of the holidays you celebrate in Bolivia, too. Tell our readers a bit about those holidays.

In Hooray for Holidays Book 3, I included Bolivia’s Independence Day, which is August 6th. I thought a Bolivian holiday would expand the minds of children beyond their borders and encourage them to learn more of other countries and their cultures. 

The story explains a bit of Bolivian history, what a school holiday program is like in Bolivia, and a fun look at the Bolivian National bird, the condor. 

In my Really Rare Rabbits series Book 3, I write of another Bolivian holiday, UrkupiƱa. It’s about a legend of a small girl who meets a mysterious lady on a mountain who gives her five stones. Upon returning home, she pulls them out of her pocket to find they are no longer little rocks but gems instead. At that point of the story, my rare rabbits, who are visiting this legendary mountain on this holiday, tell the story of another Rock, Jesus, to their grandfather who meets them on this mountain.

I love the adventures of those really rare rabbits. Such imaginative, fun, and memorable stories. Out of the four Hooray for Holidays books, do you have a favorite story? If so, why is it your favorite?

Yes, I do for sure. It would have to be the first story in Hooray for Holidays Book 4: Veterans Day Special Needs Cat, Thanksgiving Blue Mouse, and Christmas Andes Llama that just released. 

Not only do I love celebrating Veterans Day because I’m married to a veteran, but I also have a special needs cat that I love. His name is Quasimodo and yes, his name personifies him. We adopted him from our vet when he was a baby. He’d fallen off a roof and couldn’t walk but our vet wouldn’t give up on him. The vet worked with Quasi for a few months, and he eventually could walk but still with difficulty and dragging his leg. 

After bringing him home with us, I saw how determined he was to do everything our deaf cat, Gypsy could do (she’s our other special needs cat). Then I knew I had to write his story. 

I hope kids will learn from Quasimodo to never give up and always be determined to reach their goals like Quasimodo. His story honors veterans who sometimes face difficulties because of their time in the military.

I love that you've honored veterans in such a special way to help younger generations understand and appreciate the sacrifice that all veterans and their families make.

Any upcoming releases you want to tell us about?

After five new releases last year, I’m taking a break and just working on one book this year––at least so far. Smile! It’s a book about my white curtains. They have traveled with me from Pennsylvania to Bolivia and have many stories to tell. 

My friends joke that if the Rapture happens I’ll fly away with my white curtains under my arm. But I may have to leave some behind because they are frayed from so many ups and downs on the many windows they have adorned.

I look forward to reading about those white curtains! Thank you for joining us today, Peggy. May the Lord continue to use you and Chuck and your ministry.  

 



 


Connect with Peggy Cunningham on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Read her latest updates on her blog at www.PeggyCunningham.com
Be sure to read her latest posts about Veterans Day:



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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Guest Blogger Anna Beck on a Mission

Today, I want to introduce you to Anna Beck, a young lady I met through an introduction by her mom. Anna is on mission, so I asked her to share her story with our readers here.

Anna, welcome! Tell us what you're doing and how we can help.

Hey guys! My name is Anna Beck, and I am a campus missionary for H2O Church on Western Michigan University's campus. I grew up in a Christian home where my parents have been in many different ministry roles from volunteering to being missionaries in Belize to my dad currently pastoring a church.

Because of this, when I entered my freshman year of college at the University of Michigan, I knew that I wanted to find a church on campus to get involved in. The church that I found was just off-campus, and because it was focused on the campus, the majority of attendees were college students. 

My first Sunday felt so surreal and exactly what I wanted as I was surrounded by hundreds of students who wanted to be at church, wanted to be in community with one another. I quickly got plugged into a small group that met in my dorm, and I found women who were passionate about their faith and about doing life together. 

Throughout my freshman year, because of campus missionaries and upperclassmen who devoted their time to doing ministry in the dorms, I understood God's grace on a deeper level than I had before.

I had grand plans to get a degree in microbiology, but my career desires quickly changed when I realized I did not enjoy science like I originally thought, and I had this deeper sense that the Lord was calling me into full-time ministry with college students. 

I changed my major to psychology and started pouring my time into the Bible and into discipleship personally and with incoming freshman students. The church I was attending decided to send another church plant out. As leaders were determining where the Lord was calling them, I felt like God put Western Michigan University on my heart. Much to my delight, church leaders decided Western was the next location! 

Over the next year, the church prepared to send a team to Western, and I worked on graduating/applying to Reliant (more about them later) to become a missionary!

In the summer of 2018, we, the church plant team, all moved from Ann Arbor to Kalamazoo. Our team is about 30 people, including all the children. Eight of us work for the church (two are pastors), and some are married or married with families. In addition, two families and a couple of other people moved with us and found new jobs, so they could help support H2O! 


We had our first services in September, and we have been blown away by the ways we have seen God work in these short few months. One of our hopes for H2O - WMU is to see students become fully devoted followers of Christ whether they have heard about Jesus their entire life or they are just hearing about Him. Some of the ways we hope to see this goal be realized is through having Sunday services, by having small Bible studies throughout the week, being intentional in building relationships/discipleship, and by going to the campus and reaching out/befriending students we have never met before.

In order to do this, all our staff including me are support-based missionaries. I am currently raising my support, so I can be doing this work on-campus full-time. Reliant Mission is our sending agency, and they are a registered 501c3 non-profit who not only employs us, but also, they handle all the legal logistics such as taxes and insurance. 

I would love to ask you all to be in prayer that I raise my support and for the church plant. Also, if you would like to help support me, I would greatly appreciate it! 

For more information about our church, visit h2okzoo.com

For more information about Reliant, visit reliant.org.

If you want to give online to my account, visit reliant.org/anna.beck

If you have any thoughts/questions/just want to say hi - feel free to email me at anna.beck@h2okzoo.com. Thank you so very much!!



Thanks for sharing your mission, Anna. May God bless your efforts as you serve Him.



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Monday, November 5, 2018

Week One November Pattern Stories

I continue to have great fun with patterns and then sharing them here with you. In last week's post, I promised some Christmas patterns so we'll start with some of those this week.

My favorite color combination is green and pink - a wide variety of shades to create so many different looks. My blog banner at the top of this page is one of my favorite combinations, so I started toying with patterns and came up with two that I love and put them on pillows, table runners, wrapping paper, and even neck ties!


One of Tim's favorite Christmas decorations over the years (okay, it's actually his very favorite of all time!) was a blow-up Santa on a motorcycle with a snowman in the sidecar.

Unfortunately, leaves got under the blower motor one year and burned it up. All we have left is this photo:



This year, I brought it back to life through art. Because the photo is old and small, I couldn't use it as is, so I gave it a fun paint effect. Then I turned that image into several patterns to use on wrapping paper and gift bags.




I liked the Santa patterns and colors so much, I'll be adding them to more products this week. 

A few months ago, I took a picture of some roses that had passed their prime but their colors were magnificent and I wanted to capture that. 


From that photo, I created this pattern and used it in designs for t-shirts, socks, and even a box of chocolates for an anniversary!



This pattern making can be addictive, but I'm trying to put them to good use. I'll be adding new products each week, so bookmark my TMPixArt store and drop by often!

While you're Christmas shopping, please explore my collections! You may find just the perfect gift for someone.

A Few of My Collections:



  



Recent posts:





Come visit my TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.