Thursday, February 9, 2012

Inspirational Service

Two falls ago I attended a retreat put on by Power of Moms.  I loved it. I met friends I will have for life during those few fast days.  One of the mothers I met I just instantly felt a connection to.  (I know, that sounds like a quote from that super queer Bachelor show! Ick, sorry.)  Her name was Allyson and she was this vibrant, energetic, confident, beautiful (no I am no exaggerating) mother of six.  I didn't have enough time to ask her the 150 questions I wanted to, but I knew if I had that chance, we could talk forever.  I pretty much felt like that with everyone I met that weekend.

Anyways, Allyson sent me the link to her blog soon after we left and although she is not a consistent blogger by any means, within two posts suddenly her and her entire family was in Thailand, volunteering every day, all day in orphanages.  I wasn't a bit surprised either.  She seemed like the type of girl that when she sets her mind to something-watch out.  She chronicled her entire trip there and the photos and stories were wonderful.

I read every post with envy.  And awe.  Awe at her bravery.  Awe at the fact that she didn't just talk about wanting to do some incredible service project with her family, that she didn't do what I think is easy-find every excuse NOT to go-(because you can always find excuses for just about anything can't you?) but she DID it.  All the planning, the money, the inconvenience, the medical stuff, the passports, the long flights, the car travel, the time change, the children's ages....all the hurdles...she did it.

I think she posted twice in the year since her family was back at home and then I found this in my email box last week:

Dear friends and family,
      Sorry I am late sending this out to everyone!  Lots of you have been so kind to wish us well and ask for the blog.  Here it is .  We are 10 days into our 4 month adventure.  To fill in some of you who may not know the details, we have checked our kids out of school for the rest of the year to do some humanitarian work. Let me tell you, I have a whole new appreciation for mom's who home school :)  Let's just say we are still in the "adjusting" phase.  We are traveling with the --- family who has 5 children, so we are quite the spectacle traveling around with 11 children and 4 adults!
      We are in Cambodia right now helping in an orphanage.  We are in the middle of building them chicken coops so they have a way to get more protein in their diet with the meat and the eggs.  Man can not live on rice alone :)  It has been truly amazing to be here.  The Cambodians have captured my heart.
       We then are going to Thailand to go back to the 2 orphanages we helped with last year for a month.  Their website is Sam is doing his Eagle Project there, helping them build a new type of greenhouse because the rain continually washes out their gardens.  Thanks to all who contributed funds to that!  He was able to raise the money needed.  We are so grateful to all of you.  Then we are on to India to volunteer at a boarding school for children whose parents have leprosy.  It is called Rising Star Outreach.  The parents have all been cured of leprosy, they just have residual problems from the disease.  We will be helping their parents as well as the children in the school.  To finish the trip off we go to a small village in Spain to help in an impoverished elderly community.  Hopefully we will all survive each other!!  Anyway, we love you all and hope life is being good to you!   
 XOXO, Allyson and crew

You can read Allyson's blog here-I pretty much cry at every blog post she writes.  There are some pretty profound things she says in there...I can't help myself.  

Don't forget you have a chance to create and enter your own recipe into Chef Boyardee's Make It Boyardeelicious Recipe Contest ending March 11, 2011.


  1. My goodness! That is a huge thing to do. Bless her.

  2. ally is one of my best friends i met while on study abroad in israel. you figured her out pretty quickly. she is amazing. her determination is a key reason we decided not to put off taking our kids this summer on a service trip to the Dominican Republic. thanks for highlighting her and what she is doing on your blog!

  3. talk about loud actions, small words!

  4. What fabulous things they are doing, and such a leap of faith.

  5. Allyson is fantastic in a superhero kind of way. But I love reading her blog because I am reminded of my first interactions with her--she was so warm and kind. And how about her spunk?!

    I'm so glad you're mentioning her on your blog. Just yesterday I was thinking "OK, how can we get the word out that there are 28 more kids who could be sponsored for $150 a month?"

  6. we had an amazing group of moms that weekend didn't we?? Allyson and her family are doing fabulous things..she is so inspirational!

  7. Wow - thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to reading her updates. She is truly inspiring for so, so many reasons.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this! So very inspiring and I loved reading about their experiences so far.
    Beautiful family, inside and out!

  9. On the main Thrity One Page they asked what blogs we like to read. I gave you a shout out so maybe you'll get some new readers/subscribers. I love reading your entries and think that you're an inspiration being a mom of 5 and always seem to give and share so much.
    Stacy Colella

  10. wow.
    she is amazing.
    it made me rethink....i have always thought "never" about taking our family together to a faraway place.
    we could!
    we should!
    i want to.
    or....i want to want to. :)
    because would be hard!

    thank you for sharing.

  11. As I read her post, I had to remind myself to breathe. It makes my own "problems" seem rather silly in comparison. What a beautiful family.

  12. Thanks for sharing this, beautiful Allyson will be spotlighted on next week! So glad you pointed more there!

  13. Just catching up on your blog Sarah - it's been too long - and was excited to come across this. Ever since I got that same email from Allyson, I've been itching to take Allyson's lead and head on out to somewhere wildly interesting. Someday it'll happen. But for now, Ashton and I get to head to Australia to do two Power of Moms Retreats over there - we leave next Tuesday. Should be quite an adventure and I can't wait to meet all the wonderful moms who'll be at those Retreats.