Category Archives: Uncategorized

Yummy Bake Sales are Out of the Question!


As deadlines loom overhead for this trip to Swaziland, I keep racking my brain for ideas to raise money for the trip. If you know me, you know I don’t like to cook or bake so yummy bake sales are out of the question (unless you want to tackle a rock hard brownie and still give me a donation) 🙂 I have been banned from running and zumba (Thank you doctors! Sarcastically, of course) so a 5k or zumbathon is a no go. I have posted my donation letter and am truly thankful for the support I have received but I struggle with the notion of asking for money. Yes, it is a pride thing and I’m working on it!

After much consideration, I have decided to open a new shop on Etsy. I have perused Etsy shops for a few years but had not considered putting my artwork up yet, I just didn’t feel ready until now. I’m not going to lie, I am nervous about putting my heart out there but there just isn’t a better time or reason than now for Swaziland.

If you are interested, you can find my shop at If you feel lead to purchase something, all sales until June 30th will go directly towards our trip to Swaziland. I will be adding more prints over the next few days and weeks as I finish up some projects so please check back. If purchasing is not an option, you can Pin it on Pinterest to generate some traffic to the items. This would be greatly appreciated since our shop is a little needle in a digital haystack of images and shops.

Thank you again for all your support! Click on the banner below to take you to my Etsy Shop!

etsy banner 1


Swaziland, Africa 2014



My Story
Three years ago I listened to the voice inside my head that kept whispering, “Africa, Africa.” and took the leap of faith that landed me in Swaziland, Africa. My heart had been yearning to go for years and it was time. I packed up, kissed the family good-bye and boarded the huge plane that would take me on my adventure. I had no idea what I was in store for me.
To say that it changed my life would not give it enough importance. Many of the things I do today are because of that trip: selling handmade purses and totes for the women of Timbali Crafts (a missionary founded business for the women of Swazi to produce their own income), selling my artwork to raise awareness and donations for multiple care points, and praying for the individuals I met and continue to be in relationship with. Swaziland has helped shape me into who I am today.
This year I will be going with Mountain Springs Church ( and a ministry called Beyond Survival ( from July 5th to 17th in order to invest in the lives of these orphaned children and the women that provide for them. This time, I will be bringing my daughter, Hailey with me. She has helped me with selling for Timbali Crafts (visit at and has had a desire to go ever since I returned. I can’t wait to see how God moves in her heart as I know He will.

Rick's pic<About Swaziland

Never before has there been such a great need for the lives of children and families in Swaziland, Africa. HIV and AIDS are ravaging an entire generation leaving families devastated and children alone. Approximately 46% of Swaziland’s total population is infected with HIV (population is 1.2 million- that is 552,000 people). Because of HIV/AIDS there are over 150,000 orphans and vulnerable children living in Swaziland. Most people are dying at home. Children are attempting to take care of their parents. An entire generation will disappear in the next 5-7 years. The result is a generation of orphans. But we believe God is moving in a remnant of His people and I have an opportunity to partner with them.

2011 06 11 Day 5 Swaziland Tuesday 019 I, along with a team from Beyond Survival, and other churches, will have the opportunity to build a new legacy with your help. We will offer medical clinics, work on needed construction projects, work with an abandoned baby center, provide teacher training and leadership development to the leaders and children there in Swaziland. We will visit and share hope and help with children in other areas and ministries. And that’s just the beginning. The real beauty is in the life-long relationships and real life changes that we are building through a mission trip of this kind.

How you can help

Without you, this mission cannot be successful. I need your support in one or more of following ways. Please give me the opportunity to share with you about the needs in Swaziland and see if this is something you would like to be a part of. Pray for us as we go on this trip. Please consider giving resources or supplies towards this new endeavor or consider supporting me through a financial donation.

For Hailey and I to go we need to raise approximately $3,650 by April 13th and a total of $7,700 by June 29th to cover our land & air costs.

If you would like to partner with me, please make checks payable to ‘Mountain Springs Church’ with Swaziland and my name in the memo, and mail to 4623 Fencer Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80911. If you would prefer, you can now give a donation directly through the church website. Please go to and click on giving, click on one-time gift, choose Woodmen campus and my name is listed on the drop down menu. This will directly go towards my trip expenses. All donations go directly to pay for our trip. Please prayerfully consider giving to invest in the lives of children in Swaziland.


Rick's pic5

Art School


This has been such an exciting last month. I have always wanted to take art classes, for as long as I can remember, but the situation was never quite right…until now. Bemis School of Art, a non-profit organization, offers an overwhelming variety of art classes covering everything from ceramics to watercolor. The teachers are fantastic, coming from the professional art industry and teaching backgrounds.
I was giddy as I looked through the schedule of classes, wanting to jump into them all but eventually deciding on a colored pencil technique class and an Anime class.
The colored pencil class has proved challenging. Who knew “coloring” could be so difficult? Well, it is an extremely involved art form, requiring much patience and forethought…raising kids has helped me there. 🙂 There is so much to learn and I am literally in colored pencil kindergarten, scribbling away on the paper. I have learned that I am a “tight” artist, needing to see every detail through to the end before being OK with it. Tight artistry = many, many erasers. 🙂 My challenge with colored pencils is erasers are not used as in drawing so you have to learn to work with what you have already laid on the paper. Ugh! Hence, the forethought. I can see this as the beginning of a lifelong journey.
The Anime class is almost the exact opposite, free flowing drawing and a “loose” attack on the paper. “There are no mistakes in art, only creative opportunities.” This is our teachers favorite phrase and it allows so much freedom. The instructor has created a positive-only environment, allowing us as artists to explore without fear. I am taking this class with Hailey, who is very interested in this style of drawing also and we have both seen improvement in our drawing technique through our “creative opportunities”. Unfortunately, this is a short class and we are coming to the end of it but I will definitely be signing up for another 🙂
Here are some of our adventures in drawing:
These are some of the Monster High dolls that the girls love right now. The pictures of them make great practice for us.

My pics
2013 02 Valentines (5)
MH Holt
MH Abbey
MH Operetta

Hailey’s Pics
MH Abbey Hailey

MH Clawdeen

MH Robecca

MH Rochelle

Brownies and Ice Skating


Day One and the morning of cooking worked really well. I was only able to finish the Pesto Lasagne and the Enchilada casserole because I ran out of ingredients (still not the most efficient shopper I guess).  I look forward to trying it again next week.

Sidney spent last Saturday with her Brownie troop caroling around Old Colorado City and then went ice skating for the first time. It was a joy to see her doing her own thing, without the siblings around. She grasped on to skating much better than I thought, must be my old roller skating skills coming through 🙂 Yes, I was going to be a professional roller skater, or a Solid Gold dancer.

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I wish…


   I wish I would have been more diligent in writing all my experiences down from my trip to Swaziland. The fatigue and adjustment back took a bigger toll than I thought it would and now I am left with an unfinished journal of my trip and a memory that is struggling to pull the pieces together. I did put some key words on each page when I set them up so I will be trying to recall my experiences and get them on the blog. My year will not feel complete until I document it for myself, wrapping it into a nice written package and topping it with a bow of resolve.

   In the interim, I will resume posting random entries and getting this blog back on track. Thank you followers for being so patient 🙂

Crazy little thing called Life


That dastardly thing called “life” has been holding me captive and the availability to write on my blog has been limited. As a lot of writers gear up for NaNoWriMo in the month of November, I am going to use the challenge as a time to bring my blog up to date. I look forward to sharing some of the amazing experiences that have re-defined my life this year and some of the fun stuff I got to do along the way.
More posts to come…

The Butterfly


     A man found a small coccoon while out on his morning walk. “An interesting trinket,” he thought and he decided to bring it home and observe it. There was a small hole on one side and he saw what was to become a butterfly begin to push its way through. The process took hours but the man was insistent on watching it all. As the sun was getting ready to set, the butterfly became still. It looked as if it was stuck and could not push any further through the hole. The man waited and waited but the butterfly was perfectly still. He could not wait any longer and decided to help the butterfly by snipping a little piece of the coccoon, widening the hole to make it easier to come out. The butterfly looked peculiar, after emerging from the coccoon, he had a swollen body and tiny wings. The man waited for the wings to expand and display their beautiful colors but they never did.

     The butterfly spent its entire life wobbling around, unable to fly. What the man didn’t know was that the struggle to emerge was essential for the butterfly to become what it was supposed to be. The struggle to emerge pushes the fluid from the body and into the wings, creating the capability for flight.

   Our struggles are necessary for us to grow and become who we are supposed to be. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through life with no struggle, it would cripple us and we would never be able to fly. 

Taken from Jaque Shank, The Struggle to Understand, Visionwriter’s International

     I loved this story and it brought up not only my personal struggles when I have been the butterfly but also the times when I have been the kind man, trying to take the struggle away from another to “help” them. I especially thought of it as a parent because we never want to see our kids struggle but some struggles are essential for them to grow. Good food for thought…