Friday, April 17, 2015

Kendall-isms #2

Kendall: Gracie {our Great Dane}, you can't come outside to wash the car because you don't have your bathing suit on!

Kendall: I had a racy dream last night.

Joe: You better not have! 
Kendall: You know Dad, it was about people racing.

Kendall: You know how come I fell asleep? My eyes were blinking and my ears closed. I was tired.

Me: Kendall, you know who decides when you watch a movie again {meaning me}...

Kendall: Yeah, Dad.

Kendall: Mom, let's go swimming in that water fountain! 
Me: Fun to think about, not to do. We'd probably be arrested...
Kendall: Well, we could run when they come. I'm pretty sure I'd make it!

Me: Kendall, I'm so hungry I could eat you up!

Kendall: Don't eat me! Lets eat Grandma!
Me: We can't eat Grandma she doesn't have any meat on her bones.
Kendall: Yeah, cuz she's old.

Kendall: Mom, I totally look better than you!

Kendall: Mom, did you see that guy smoking? I held my breath when we walked past him, because I didn't want to get drunk.

Kendall: Mom, you're the boss because your hair is the curliest!

Kendall: I wish they made Lucky Charms with only marshmallows. 

Me: They do for special people. 
Kendall: Who says I'm not special?

Kendall: It's unbeliebable!

So this morning Kendall made blueberry muffins and I helped her. 

Me: Kendall, you did a great job! 
Kendall: Yeah, and my outfit is awesome! 

(We were watching Kendall's caterpillars make a cocoon.)

Kendall: Oh no! The caterpillars butt just fell off!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shelfie: Nobody's Cuter than You by Melanie Shankle

Book Description: There is nothing as precious in life as a friend who knows you and loves you in spite of yourself. Yet over the last couple of decades, we’ve substituted the joy of real friendship with cheap imitations. We settle for “community” on Facebook and Twitter and a series of text messages that allow us to communicate with someone without the commitment. We like each other’s beautifully filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have a community. But real friendship requires effort. It’s showing up, laughing loud, and crying hard. It’s forgiving and loving and giving the benefit of the doubt. It’s making a casserole, doing a carpool pickup, and making sure she knows those cute shoes are 50 percent off. Written in the same comedic style as the New York Times bestsellers Sparkly Green Earrings and The Antelope in the Living RoomNobody’s Cuter than You is a laugh-out-loud look at the special bond that exists between friends and a poignant celebration of all the extraordinary people God had the good sense to bring into our lives at exactly the right moments. From the friendships we develop over a lifetime to the ones that wounded us and the ones that taught us to love better, Melanie Shankle reveals the influence our friends have on who we were, who we are, and who we will become. And on a day when our jeans feel too tight, our chins have decided to embrace hormone-related acne reminiscent of our teen years, and our kids have tested the limits of our sanity, they are the ones who will look at us and say, “Nobody’s cuter than you!”

Book review: It's true that we live in culture where we can get by exchanging "likes" and "emojis" on social media and text messages and be "friends". It's weak and shallow. We have no commitment and no accountability that way. This synthetic type of friendship can't hold a candle to real friendship. Melanie's book is a memoir about the beauty of friendship. You get to read about how Melanie's friendships have shaped her life. We all need those people who love us in spite of ourselves, and to some we are those people. I loved this book about the beauty of friendship and faith. People who add to your life and can speak into it because you've done life together. People who have a front row seat to your life and you to theirs. People who you've been vulnerable with and can point you back to God when you need it. 

I have a new favorite book! If you're a female and have friends you need this book! I laughed and cried my way through this book. You get to follow along Melanie's life reminiscing her friendships all the while remembering your own. There were multiple times that my husband or daughter came into the room where I was reading to ask me what was so funny! I would not recommend reading this book in public. It may result in people seeing the ugly face you make when you cry. Maybe you're into that sort of thing- I'm not. Don't forget your tissues! My one regret about this book is that after such a descriptive narration of their hair for Tiff's wedding there was no picture. I'm just saying...

Reader’s Note: I received this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for this honest review.

Friday, April 10, 2015

FTF #7: April

"FTF exists as an avenue for women to empower women. We are tackling poverty through job opportunity and empowerment rather than enablement. 100% of the proceeds support the artisans, 
more than 500 women and their children from all over the world. FTF is a ministry of Mercy House Kenya, a non-profit organization." 
-Fair Trade Friday 

If you are interested in signing up for a fair trade Friday you can do that here. They also have a new earring of the month you should check out!

"Your box employed approximately 7 women this month."
{I still love seeing that part each month!}

This scarf is from JOYN! They're really pretty! You find one for yourself hereJOYN takes artisans living in poverty and joins them with the thriving fashion world. Each step of our process is done by hand—creating more jobs, bringing more joy, and connecting more artisans with YOU.

Organic English Breakfast tea from Equal ExchangeTheir Fair Trade and organic teas come from their small farmer partners in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Most teas on the shelf - even Fair Trade teas - come from plantations, where tea workers have little say. Join them in supporting a tea model in which farmers control their futures.

This crotched flower Mother's Day card is from The Refugee Project in Houston, Texas. All the items are handmade by refugee women of Burma, Bhutan and Nepal who have been relocated to Houston, Texas by the United Nations for religious and ethnic persecution. By purchasing an item, you are empowering women by helping them meet some of their basic needs.

This is the "Foldover Clutch" from TukulaTukula (meaning "we grow") is an accessories line based in Jinja, Uganda. We hire young women who are trained as seamstresses but aren't able to find consistent work.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Here we go...

Gearing up to go, again! 

Tambo, Ecuador and Hope of Life, Guatemala

 Hi friends and family! We've had a busy start to our 2015! Joe's still in school full-time and keeping straight A's! Jenn and Kendall continue to homeschool. We've had many speaking engagements about our time on the mission field since coming home in August! Including one on Thursday {4/9} so if you would join us in prayer for that we would be so grateful! Here's a few of the other things we've been up to!

So far this year we've continued to develop the Children's Ministry at Crosswalk Community
Church. Doing lessons with the kids on Sunday and teaching missions on Tuesday nights. We've had so much fun! We even did a bake sale for The Mercy House {a maternity home} in Africa! They raised $350! {Picture of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cheesecake!}

We also went down to Port Canaveral and took part in Walk for Bibles! We love that ministry! {Picture of us in front of First Baptist Church of Cape Canaveral}

This past Sunday we did a 5 station Walk with Jesus with the kids at church for Easter. It was a blast! We took them from Jesus being falsely accused to the Empty Tomb. {Picture of Joe with the Cross}
The other picture is of Kendall wearing a chitenge from Zambia to hold her "baby" while she plays! 

In June, we are planning to go to Ecuador. It will be June 26th- July 6th. We are going to try to bring Kendall this time. We will be ministering to the same people as we got to minister in October of last year. While there we will be teaching {Old Testament}, working on infrastructure projects, and reaching rural villages. The amount we still need for our family of three for this trip is $3,500.00. This includes everything that we are going to need: airfare, lodging, food, equipment, materials, and most importantly the vessels to carry the message of the Cross.

In October, Jenn will be heading to Guatemala with World Help. World Help is a faith-based humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. She will be there from October 19th- October 25th. While there the team will care for malnourished children at the Operation Baby Rescue center, visit remote Guatemalan communities and perform medical clinics for the villagers and pass out shoes, work at St. Luke's Hospital and Kelly's House, interact with with orphans at the Hope of Life children's home in Zacapa, as well as visit the Feeding Center at a community based around a trash dump. She will need about $2,000 for this trip. This includes all in-country transportation, lodging, meals, international medical insurance, and airport fees.

We’re once again honored to ask that you take a part in these trips and the furthering of the Gospel and to expand the Kingdom of Heaven. The ways to take part in these trips is to pray and when we ask pray, nothing is going to be accomplished in our own strength, we need the Power and Voice of God. Another way to partner is if God lays it on your heart after praying is to donate. All donations are tax exempt and taken through Crosswalk Community Church. Their address is 77 N. Carpenter Rd. Titusville, Fl 32796. Please put Hennis Family Mission Trips in the memo line. If God leads you to give could you send us an email that you did so for our records? We would REALLY appreciate it! We thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to hearing from you!

In His Love, 
Joe, Jenn, and Kendall

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


When we first came home from Africa we got a call from someone in our church to go and minister to a possible sex trafficking victim. I had heard of sex trafficking before and friends had even done a couple fashion shows to raise awareness, but I never realized how big the problem was. Since that day, I became more involved in my own area.

Then, one day scrolling through Instagram I came across a company called Elegantees. Have you ever heard of them? They provide a bright future to victims of sex trafficking through sewing work. It's a positive source of income that reinforces independence, healthy self-image, and restores confidence one elegant tee at a time!

Elegantees has their design center in New York. However, their sewing center is in Nepal where they employ survivors of sex trafficking. Nepal is a kingdom between China and India that ranks high for sex trafficking. The best ways to reduce vulnerability is with opportunity. Right now there are less than 10 sewers on the sewing team appropriately dubbed "Kingdom Hope". The sewing center in Nepal is where Elegantees aims to employ hundreds of sewers. All the sewers are paid well and fairly for their work.

Some of the sewers love the designs SO much that they also wear Elegantees themselves. Which is taken as a huge compliment! 

Everyone who works for Elegantees in the US is so passionate about what they do that they all volunteer. You heard me. No one gets paid except the sewing team. That way all the profits are invested back into the company so that the sewers have consistent employment. Elegantees have low prices for what they do, and any profits are used to start the next line of clothing. 

Elegantees gives a positive source of income that gives hope and freedom and reinforces independence and confidence.

Do you want to see some of the things they make?

Take a look at these tops!

Okay so, I had a little bit of a hard time picking out just a few favorite tops...

They also have dresses and skirts!


Gorgeous right? So where do you come in? I want to help Elegantees hire more women who are waiting to have employment and earn a fair wage. If you check out their website, you can use my code "HOPE" to receive free shipping when you order. It won't expire so you can use that code every time!

So what are you waiting for? Go check them out! Then come back and tell me what your favorite is! 

Monday, March 23, 2015


This girl. 

I can tell you a million things about her. 

I love all of them. Even the ones that drive me crazy. Most likely because I see her daddy and I in those habits.

She sees things in rainbow colors and not just in black in white. She sees beauty in people that many times I overlook simply going about my day to day tasks. 

She stops me to look at the "flowers" {weeds} in our yard. She stares at them and makes remarks about their shapes and colors. She notices the details and the small things. 

She keeps us laughing. We've dubbed them Kendall-isms. I don't know where she gets it, but it totally makes sense to her. Here are a few of the ones she's used lately

{Joe and Kendall were looking for shells at the beach.}
Joe: Don't pick up that shell Kendall, it's ugly.
Kendall: Daddy, don't call God's creation ugly!

Kendall: Mom, can you make me a PB&J sandwich? I would but I'm a bad steward of the jelly! Last time, it was on me and the floor. It was not good!

Kendall: Mom, can you stop getting older? I won't like you older. I like you now while you're gooey and snuggly.

Kendall is reading to me today and all the sudden stops. 
Me: Kendall? Where are you girl? 
Kendall: I'm thinkin about movies and Cadbury eggs...

Kendall: My face is sticky because I poured my face into it. {Cadbury egg}

Kendall: Mom, you're eating carrots and hummus again?
Me: Yes.
Kendall: Well, I like carrots. Especially sweet ones. They help you grow! Does hummus make you grow?
Me: Yes.
Kendall: What's in hummus?
Me: Mostly garbanzo beans.
Kendall: I don't want to grow that much.

Kendall: Man, that guy looks old! He looks like he could be Vice President or something!!

One day in school we learned about Turkey. In Turkey you can buy a drink called an Ayran (eye-ran), which they can buy at McDonald's, is 2 tbsp. of plain or Greek yogurt in a glass of cold water. So we made it. 
Kendall tried it. 
Kendall: "Give me a break. That's disgusting!"

We ran into a little boy and his family that Kendall sometimes plays with. He was struggling to remember her name and gave his mom several variations which included "Candle". 
Kendall: "I don't know how it's hard to remember my name. I've remembered it my whole life!"

Kendall: Don't worry Mom! I brought extra clothes in case I need to be more fashionable.

Kendall: Hey Mom, when I'm older do you want to go hunting with me?
{Kendall LOVES animals...}
Me: You know you will kill animals when you go hunting right?
Kendall: Mother, I was not talkin about that kind of hunting. I don't want to kill God's creation. I was talkin about treasure hunting. I think there's treasure at Bruster's...

My favorite though is when she says, "Mom, I'm so boring!" I always get a good chuckle when  I hear her say it. What she means is that she's bored. I've tried to explain to her the right way to say it, but she doesn't get it yet. So for now, it's just funny!