It's been a while since I've done an Outgoing Mail post! I just finished putting together a packet I've been working on for about a week, and I'm not quite ready to go to sleep yet, so I thought I'd come upstairs to the computer and write about it. : )
For me, there are a wealth of things to write about in the month of May. My city has the Kentucky Derby and the Derby Festival at the beginning of the month. I have my birthday in the middle, which gives me a chance to tell a fun story about when I was little, or tell a bit about my friends (who come over for dinner around my birthday.) There's also Mother's Day. I shared a little bit about each of these things in my most recent letter to the kids! Here's a sample of what I'm sending out this week- some minor tweaks were made here and there, depending on which kid I was writing to. I'll use Tasya's as an example.
I hope you and your family are doing well. My family and I are fine. I am really happy because I got to see my cousin and his family recently. I haven't seen my cousin Chris since my wedding, which was 4 years ago! Chris, his wife, and their two children came up to visit and go to the horse races that I have told you about. They stayed with my grandparents. While they were at the races, my mom and I took care of their daughter Brooklyn. She is so cute! She just turned 1 year old in April. She is a very sweet baby.
My country has a holiday called Mother's Day, and it is always celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May. This year, that was my birthday! On that day, we saw Brandon's mother at church, and then we had lunch with my family- my mom and my aunt were both there. Mother's Day is a day to honor our moms, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, or other important women in our lives. Tasya, I would love to know your mother's name so I can pray for her. My mom's name is Karen and Brandon's mom is named Denise.
Brandon and I were able to visit the zoo in my city last week, and it was so much fun! It was very busy that day because many schoolchildren were visiting. I always enjoy seeing the animals. This time I really liked seeing the gorillas. My friend Ashley and her son Anell were able to come meet us at the zoo, and we had a good time together! Anell is making a lot of progress since he came home to live with his mommy and daddy last summer. He is getting big and strong- he is taller and he is very good at running! He is also learning to say more words. I love spending time with him! He is a special boy.
Tasya, you know I am praying for you every day. Do you have any prayer requests to share with me? I would like to ask you to pray for my mom, as she is working very hard and has a lot of responsibilities at her job. I hope to get another letter from you soon, Tasya!
Lots of love,
This letter was kind of on the long side of what I usually send- I noticed that when I typed the letters up (the girls' letters were hand-written and then I decided to switch to typing!) that some of them just about reached the bottom of the page. Usually I have a smidgen more room than that. Anyway, I was able to cover quite a bit of ground pretty easily! I shared about my family and my culture, which the kids all respond really well to. I tried to make a connection to them and their families by asking about their moms' names (which is something I want to know, anyway.) In several of the letters, I asked the kids if their country had a holiday like this. I know that Mishel has written about both Mother's Day and Father's Day in Peru! I was also able to work in a fun story, a follow-up to another letter or letters (an update on Anell) and included a prayer request and a prompt for the kids to share a prayer request with me. Pretty sweet! We also have three new correspondence kiddos (more on them in this month's Compassion Joys post!), so those kids got an introductory letter instead of this one. Two of our new kids are from Colombia, and it was nice to write to them that I have a friend who is originally from there! My friend Daniella is Colombian. I shared the name of her hometown and asked the kids if they knew where it is. In my personal experience, the kids are always excited if you know a little bit about their country or culture. I think in a way, it makes them feel important! And known. Being known is a good feeling.
There are lots of fun and exciting goodies going out with these letters! I've put together a list of what I'm sending out, but I forgot to take pictures! Oops! Maybe next time.
*All the kids are getting a photo of me. My four or five newest correspondence kids don't have a photo of me yet, and the other kids have older photos. I wrote on the back that it would be fun if I got a new photo of them soon, too! I know a few of my kids are due for an update! : )
*Three of them (Anahi, Kevenel and Julian) are getting a birthday card, as they have birthdays in June and July.
*Mary and Victor are getting Jesus Calling devotionals. I have been able to send a different Sarah Young devotional to the both of them in the past, and Mary wrote back that she really liked it and read it when she was struggling. I hope she likes this one just as well! It was called "40 Days with Jesus: Celebrating Peace in His Presence."
*Mishel, Patricia, and Sharifa are getting monogrammed journals that I found at Michael's. They're pretty patterns and sit right at 1/4 inch thick, which is perfect! I wish they had more letters for some of the other girls!
*Tasya, Anahi, Brenda, and Michel are getting butterfly-themed paint with water books, which were on clearance at Michael's for 50 cents each! They are usually only a dollar, which is still a great buy!
*Caleb, Prayer, Bonifas, Elisha, and Jayid are getting dinosaur-themed paint with water books, which were also on clearance
*Said, Bonifas, and Elisha are each getting an envelope of photos from our time together in March. I made sure to print some of the photos I have of the kids by themselves- I thought they would enjoy having them!
*Sandier, Julian, and Kevenel are getting safari-themed sticker books
*Eduardo and Carlos are getting postcards from the last time I visited the aquarium, which have cool jellyfish on them!
I'm going to have to head out looking for more boy gifts sometime soon- and come to think of it, with this last batch of letters, I am running a bit low on girl stuff, too! I found a hidden stack of dollar coloring and activity books at Walmart the other night, but most of what was left was Hello Kitty and Dora the Explorer. I was very pleased to find a Batman one in there, which will be great for Caleb because it has some crossword puzzles and other activities in it, and he writes his letters in English!