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Help. Hope. HUSA. Online Charity Auction 2013!!!





Welcome to our fourth annual online charity auction!!! We are again putting our hearts, our help, and most importantly our HOPE into raising funds for HUSA House, an orphanage and outreach centre in Kimamba, Tanzania.  HUSA is close to our hearts for reasons too numerous to count. It connects our little family with 55 children across the world.  HUSA was brought into our lives by a family friend, Canadian director Sarah Pollock, and we are immeasurably grateful.   Together with our family, friends, and extended community, we continue to work together to support the program to achieve sustainability, to provide daily needs, and to reach education goals.   It’s time to shop again in the name of a most worthy cause, children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty, and homelessness.  Here’s how it works:

There are over 60 items listed below. All items have a reserve bid or open bid, the lowest bid that can be offered.   You can offer any amount matching or above the reserve bid.  If you spy something that strikes your fancy and want to place a bid, simply email your bid with the item # noted in the subject line to You will receive a confirmation email when your bid has been received – and outbid! I will be checking all bids hourly or so (I try my best). If your bid doesn’t appear immediately, that is OKAY. I am keeping track and will let you know. Remember to refresh your screen to see the most recent bids and check your email for updates!! You can email me back as soon as you have been outbid, all bids have a time stamp so I know who is who and what goes where.

The auction will close on Saturday August 10th at 6 p.m. You will be advised via email of your winning bid by the following day. Canadian Charitable tax receipts will be issued to item DONORS (as per CRA standards) with the exception of a bid exceeding fair market value – receipt in the amount of the difference will be issued to the BIDDER.  Within a couple days of the auction closing, you will be forwarded a request for payment which can be completed online or by cash or cheque directly through me. It’s easy peasy. 

Please know that 100% of all donations go directly to HUSA.  If you have a quick minute or so, watch this video from 2012 and this video from 2011 to see how and what our efforts have worked towards in past years .  They are AMAZING and show real and tangible goals being achieved.  I think we’ve watched them with the boys about a million times.

You will notice that as we start the auction off, there are a few gaps in my descriptions – please bear with me! I am finishing up in the wee hours of the morning and will get everything online asap.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have donated items and time to help us make the auction a success.  You are so dear to us, truly.


P.S.  Some of you may notice that the 2012 and 2011 auctions are no longer visible, I have taken them down temporarily to avoid confusion between years and items.  They will show up again at the end of the auction! 

1.  The Pretty Purse.  It seemed fitting we started the auction off with this red bag donated by the one and only Canadian Director of HUSA, Sarah Pollock.  Red is for passion and heart and Sarah has an abundance of both.  It is also the colour of the HIV/AIDs ribbon that reminds us that we need to fight for those vulnerable and affected . . . the children of HUSA.  The purse is synthetic material and has an additional shoulder strap inside, the handle gently magnet closes for easy use!

BID:  Alex – $50

2.  A signed Edmonton Oilers jersey from the 2011-2012 season.  WOW.  Also donated by Sarah, this is an awesome item.  The signatures include Eberle, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Smyth,  and more.  The jersey is an official Reebok licensed NHL jersey, sized M.  No name bar on the back, original price tag for unsigned jersey attached at $134.99.  Hockey fans, this one is for you.

BID – Adam $410

3.  Five Fantastic Frames.  Design a stunning display of your loved ones in these brushed silver 4×6 frames.  Donated by Jenny’s most wonderful Mom, Jan.

BID – Lindsay C. – $30

4.  Book Bundle One.  Last year the book bundles were a hit so you will see several across the auction – we aim to please!  This bundle comes with a large ceramic mug and complimentary pink plate.  Start or end your day with a cozy warm drink and a daily dose of a “Mother’s Day-votion”.  Or cuddle up and visit “Emma” by Jane Austen.   Also included is a stamped silver paper weight/coaster.  Keep it for yourself or give is as a gift, Book Bundle One is so pretty in pink.

BID – Jan G – $30

5.  Book Bundle Two.  Any Twi-hards out there?  This bundle includes a hard covered copy of Stephanie Meyer’s first post-Twilight novel, The Host.  Accompanied by a gorgeous deep blue and chocolate mug and a stamped “twilight” silver paper weight/coaster, this bundle is for the fans.

BID – Evonne – $25

6.  Book Bundle Three.  A lovely combination of an oversized white ceramic mug and matching plate (Portugal) and a hardcovered copy of “A Craft A Day” and a soft covered “Rumi’s Daybook.”  Have a sip, pause for thought, and make a craft with this fun bundle.

BID -  Kari $20


7.  Book Bundle Four.  I love this combo.  An oversized mug with scripted with tea flavours, a hard-covered coffee table book filled with found pictures of hearts, a desktop calendar that tells us all to “Keep Calm and Carry On” and a stamped silver paperweight or coaster.  This would be a wicked gift for someone you love.

BID – Nicole $25

8.  And the Bundles continue.  Book Bundle five features a beautiful white and aqua oversized  mug and bowl set, a Pier One 4×6 punched metal frame, and the book “The Necklace”, an inspiring true story about a group of friends who took turns wearing a stunning diamond necklace only to learn that it is the journey that is priceless.  I would give this to one of my gal pals as a ‘just because’.

BID – Jan G -  $45

9.  A little birdie told me that these items are up for bid!  A pairing of a pretty ceramic blackbird and a GLAM compact mirror.  I love to give these little mirrors for teachers and birthday gifts and have my very own.  Compact case measures approximately 4×4 inches.  Love love love.

BID – Liesel – $40

10.  Glam Bird Two is a little more black and white.  She is telling you to bid on such a pretty mirror for your purse.

BID – Nadia – $50

11.  These items start a little section of our auction brought to you from India.  A friend of Sarah’s came back from her travels in India with these items and Sarah has in turn shared them with us.  The earrings and necklace are made of Ruby Teracotta, and the scarf is shades of cream, chocolate and caramel.

BID:  Brenda D $25

12.  India Earrings.  These post-backed earrings are by Laquerware and were handcrafted by an artisan in rural Karnataka, India.  Donated by Sarah, I think these are cute as a button!

BID -  Lindsay H – $15

13.  India Photographic Print.  This stunning image was captured by my dear friend, Dana Pugh of Short and Sweet Photography.  The image was taken for a personal project that documented the life of a school boy who lived in a slum in Dehradun, India. It was very early one January morning. Thanks to a storm the evening before, they were without power or heat. His mother prepares breakfast on the floor of their hut while his younger brother struggles to keep warm. These boys were students in a grassroots, nonprofit organization that offered tutoring to low income families in the hopes of providing their children with greater opportunities in their university years and beyond. You can see more of Dana’s images from India here   Winning bidder will receive a 12×18 image printed on Metallic Photographic paper and mounted on foam core ready to be framed. 

BID:  Alisha – $70

14.  Book Trio.  Hardcover copies of Oliver Jeffer’s “Stuck” and “The Incredible Book Eating Boy” paired with “Fandango Stew” by David Davis.  Beautifully written and illustrated.  Instant favourites.

BID:  Monique – $50

15.  Book Trio Two.  These little mini books are filled with big advice and important information.  A must have for any parent, “How to Con Your Kid”, “How to Find Your Own Parenting Style”, and most importantly, “Poop”.  These would be great fun to gift.

BID:  Femmy $15

16.  Golden Book Bundle.  Featuring the classic titles “Scuffy the Tugboat”, “The Lion’s Paw”, “The Happy Man and His Dump Truck”, “The Jolly Barnyard”, “Tootle”, and “A Day at the Seashore.”

BID:  Jan $20

17.  Beginning Reader Bundle.  Six soft covered beginning readers, Level One.

BID:  Audrey $10

18.  Culinary Christmas.  It’s beginning to feel alot like Christmas . . . . well, it will if you throw on this apron and oven mitt.  Why not get started early this year?  Whip up some Christmas treats in the stacking Santa bowl set, write a list of presents to pick up, and your Christmas will be filled with memories fit for the Instant Hallmark Christmas Album!  I am wishing I took a picture of inside the album as it is an instant scrapbook with 20 fully embellished pages.   It is ADORABLE.  And you will be too if you take this ensemble home to your kitchen.

BID:  Jennifer – $40

19.  Blue Christmas.  Christmas too far away?  Don’t be blue!  Get ready early with this festive blue, white and silver package.  “Believe” in the magic of Christmas as you fill your three stacking snowflake tins with Christmas treats.  Do your Melissa & Doug wooden reindeer puzzle or read a Christmas story by the fire.  Don’t forget to stuff your polar bear sock!

BID:  Audrey $20

20.  A Peace of Christmas could be yours early this year.  Three stackable poinsetta tins, a set of six festive placemats, a sign of the season and a Christmas lift the flap book all make this little package merry and bright.

BID:  Judy $20

21.  A Night of Romance could be all yours with these items up for bid!  So many to list . . . dine by candlelight with these stunning black glass candle holders.  Open the bottle of 2011 Millyaroo Merlot with your new electric “Vertical Rabbit” corkscrew.  Have a little cheese with your wine served on the stone cutting/cheeseboard or switch it up to be used as a Hot Stone Set.  “Romance” will surely be in the air.  Donated by H&J Mason and S&K Todd.  Thank you, you hopeless romantics, you!

BID:  Patty – $55

22.  BBQ Buddy.  Woncha be my BBQ buddy?  Everyone will be yours if you have these handy dandy tools on  your grill.  Cook up some mean veg or stirfry in your new Mr. BarBQ Mesh Grilling Skillet.  Mr. BarBQ also serves up a mean stuffed burger with this Stuffed Burger Press.  Or, you could try out your new Wood Chip Smoker Box . . . top it all off with Jim Beam Hot Sauce and you will be King – or Queen – of the BBQ.

BID:  Scott – $2523.  Nexgrill Portable Stainless Steel Gas Grill.  Huge thanks to my father in law Bill who is throwing in this BBQ up for bid!  Item details listed on the box.  I saw these flying out of Costco earlier this summer.  Great for the RV, trailer, or balcony grill.

BID:  Faye – $65

24.  From my sweet Savannah at Lotus Hair Design Studio, she spoils us with something new every year!  I need this set, I truly do.  My hair blower, well, blows.  This is a Zazen blower and diffuser paired with a beauty bag filled with Osis Session Extreme Hold Spray 300 ml, and Osis Dust it Mattifying Powder 10g.

BID:  Carolyn – $75

25.  Also from Savvy, a trio of Hempz Couture Hair Products.  Firm Hold Finishing Spray 300 ml, Volumizing Root Lifter 213 g, and Color Protect Shine Spray 150 ml.  Go see one of  the talented staff at Lotus Hair Design Studio.  Go now!

BID:  Marnie – $40

26.  From the generous folks at the County of Leduc – a lunch kit that all the cool kids at your lunch table will drool over.  Your awesome mini-duffle will hold your to-go cup with infuser, your snack container with pop-lid, and your salad-to-go container with cooler pack lid, separate storage to keep those croutons crispy and perfect sized dressing container.

BID:  Evonne – $38


27.  Little Boy Blue.  A bunch of baby blues for a new little boy in your life.  The little lion onesie is sized 0-3 months.  “Special Delivery” Taggie brand blankie, baby’s first bowl and cup set, and one of my favourite all time going to bed books, “It’s Time to Sleep, My Love” by Nancy Tillman.  A beautiful gift package.

BID:  Amanda $20

28.  Some more blue Baby Love.  How can you tell I have a little boy on my mind when I am out shopping?  A Jelly Cat soft pony stuffie, a Carter’s three piece little layette size 6 months, and Tillman’s hardcover “It’s Time to Sleep, My Love.”  Sigh.  They grow so fast.

BID:  Kristin – $20

29.  The Pooh Pack.  All things Winnie.  Hardcover “Winnie the Pooh Essential Guide” book, “Surprise Tails” board book, 24 piece Pooh Puzzle and a Disney Baby original Pooh Bear to love.  Oh, bother.  Please do.

BID:  Jay – $25

30.  Don’t get caught Lion Around, bid on these items today!!  An adorable Lion stuffie with chime belly and two Richard Scarry books – a sticker and activity book and hardcover ABC.  I need to send a shout out to my gal pal Heidi and her bevvy of boys for the donation of many of the books you see at auction.  Thank you Clements!!

BID:  Kirstin – $20

31.  We all need to Monkey Around a little more.  This package is from me – two of my all time favourite books (if you ask nice, I will sing Snuggle Puppy to you and Press Here always has the little ones so intrigued!).  The Monkeez monkey is soft and squeezable and the socks are cozy warm for little tootsies – brilliant, by the way to sell two pairs with an extra, all mismatched but together all the same.  Love them – they say size 6 months but they would easily fit 6 months – 2/3 years.

BID:  Monique  $30

32.  Here Kitty, Kitty.  Two hardcover Meeow books and a stuffed Ty kitty named Shadow.  Ben has his eye on this kitty cat and if I don’t keep a keen eye, Shadow is snuck under someone’s pudgy little arm awfully quickly!

BID:  Brenda – $30

33.  This one’s For the Birds.  Hardcover Little Hoot by Amy Rosenthal (one of my all time fave children’s authors, so funny) and a Duck & Goose big board book.  Throw in stuffed chicken – who doesn’t need a stuffed chicken? and I’m all a twitter.  A tweet.  A twit?  A ta-whoo!

BID:  Tammy – $35

34.  Peekaboo Bunny.  We sure do like to Pat the Bunny over at my house.  I think Pat has been patted over 5000 times between three little boys.  These items are Pat the Bunny companions – a little Pat stuffie, a Golden Book “May I Help You Pat the Bunny”, and a Peekaboo Bunny board book.  Paul and Judy are always up to such fun with Pat!!!

BID:  Femmy – $25

35.  Pat the (Big) Bunny.   And here is a big ole Pat with the original touch and feel “Pat the Bunny” book . . . always suspenseful.  Will Pat play peekaboo?  Will Paul put his finger through Mommy’s ring?  Edge of the seat reading.  Also paired with the Pat the Bunny Goldenbook “May I Help You” and board book “Peekaboo Bunny.”  This would be a GREAT gift set.

BID:  Jennifer – $30

36.  Knuffle Bunny Book Bundle.  Do you say Nuffle bunny (silent K), or Kah-nuffle Bunny?  We are the latter at our house.  I adore Mo Willems and all of his tales.  Trixie was one of Will’s faves when he was little  . . . Jack often said “Aggle Flabble Snurp” and Ben, oh Ben goes boneless.  These are soft covers of “Knuffle Bunny” and “Knuffle Bunny Two”.  They come with an adorable little bunny and a gorgeous hardcover version of “Brown Rabbit in the City”.  Another gorgeous gift set.

BID:  Tammy – 60

37.  Measure Up.  You will certainly measure up in your kitchen with this bright culinary combination!  Kitchen Aid silicon spatula, measuring spoons and cups come with a set of four SOHO cloth napkins in the colours of the season. 

BID:  Lisa  – $45

38.  Culinary Cutie.  Well won’t you be darling in the kitchen in this ensemble!!  This is a Delilah Sweetheart Neckline Apron paired with Core Kitchen utencils from the Silicon Collection.  Throw in the orange Norpro “My Favorite Handy Peeler” and you will be all set.  This would look great in my kitchen.  On Kevin.  Just saying.

BID:  Lindsay C.- $70

39.  Janelle’s Incredible Cookies.  These might just be my favourite item in the auction this year.  Offered by an incredible and inspirational lady who happens not only to be one of our family’s favourite people on the planet, but also a huge supporter of HUSA, and a baker-extraordinaire, these are customizable cookies – one dozen baked just for you!!  You can pick from Reese’s Butter Cup (pictured), Grandpa’s Lunch Box (Oatmeal Raisin), Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chipper, Triple Chocolate, or Ginger Snap.  Bid on one dozen, or all five!!  Let me tell you, these cookies are AMAZING.  Almost as amazing as Janelle is.

A.  BID:   Nicole W -  $35

B.  BID:  Nicole B – $35

C.  BID :  Marhea – $40

D.  BID:  Justin – $35

E.  BID:  Robin  $30

40.  Enjoy Centre gift certificate in the amount of $40.  Straight up!  Not valid at all stores in the Enjoy Centre but does include Amaranth Whole Foods Market, Floral Studio, Prairie Baker, Sandyview Farms, and Hole’s.

BID:  Alex  – $31

41.  Offered by yogini Heidi Mason, a block of 7 Hatha style Yoga classes.  This is awesome. 

Through physical postures and breath work, these Hatha style classes will provide you with the opportunity to enliven and connect with your body.  Develop stamina, balanced strength & flexibility, endurance, mental calm, stress & pain management, body awareness, balance and injury & illness prevention.  In a relaxed, supportive environment, through quality instruction, we will move through postures based on safe alignment principles tailored to all students. 

*Appropriate for all skill levels, and beginners are absolutely welcome and encouraged!

Session 1:  Tuesdays –Sept 17-Oct 29, 6:00-7:15pm OR 7:30-8:45pm  Wednesdays Sept 11-Oct 23, 930-1045am  Thursdays Sept 12-Oct 24, 930-1045am Fridays- Sept 13-Oct 25, 7:00-8:15pm     Sundays Sept 15-Oct27, 930-1045am 

Session 2:  Tuesdays –Nov 5-Dec17, 6:00-7:15pm OR 7:30-8:45pm  Wednesdays Oct30-Dec11, 930-1045am Thursdays Oct31-Dec12, 930-1045amFridays-Nov 1-Dec13, 7:00-8:15pm     Sundays Nov 3-Dec15, 930-1045am 

**Classes will run provided sufficient registration, so please tell a friend!!


WHERE:  Morinville @ Rooke School of Karate (above Integra Tire 103st and 100ave)  **Blocks and straps will be provided.  Please bring your own mat and wear comfortable, flexible clothing**

WHO:  Heidi Mason RYT, Brandy Roy RYT, Tara Leigh RYT 


BID:  Cori – $60

42.  Boys Rule.

BID:  Cori – $40

43.  Rad Raccoon PackSuper duper cute.  A Crocodile Creek back pack filled with purple surprises!  “Rascal” Raccoon is by Monkeez and Friends and the Solmate  socks are sized 2- 5 years, a kids pair with a spare.  Add in an Usbourne Big Doodle book and a Golden “Princess and the Pea” tale and you have yourself one happy little lady.

BID:  Cori – $40

44.  Jack Pack.  Disclaimer:  I named this the Jack Pack because I know he will bid on it.  NOT because I expect you not to because he is my son :)  Lol.  Jack has been all about Knights and Star Wars . . . well actually, light sabres . . . well actually, WEAPONS for ever.   For EVER.  Try as I may to avoid it . . . limit it . . . pretend that swords are in fact meant for cutting trees and vines in the forest during adventures, or that water”guns” are called water”sprayers”, or that green peppers are for eating and not for using to shoot your brother at the dinner table, he sleeps and breathes anything that can make the sound “ssshhhhhingggg” or “thhhhwacckkk”   or even “hiiiiii-yahhh”!  He is my own little adventure hero.

BID:  Jack – $17

45.  Pump, Pump it Up.

BID:  Kari – $35

46.  Roxx Trixx Stadium and Case.  This set truly roxx.  You can collect things.  You can trade things.  You can LAUNCH things.  In a boy’s world, it can’t get any better.  Well, it could.  If it glowed in the dark.  Or had a lock and a key.  Or exploded.   But this, thankfully, does not.  It includes a Holographic Stadium with Bounce Pad and Inner Target, 2 Ramps, 10 Trixx Cards, 10 Exclusive Stadium Roxx, and a handy dandy Roxx carrying case.

BID:  Will – $25

47.  Leapster Explorer and Princess and the Frog Learning Game.  Donated by my darling Mindy.  Leap into Learning with the Leapster Explorer!!  Wahoo!

BID:  Faye – $45

48.  Pizza Party.  Who wouldn’t invite pizza to a party?  This would be an incredible birthday gift for a little boy . . a crazy stuffie, power rangers 2 in 1 mega-blocks set, coral reef and bugs activity books, and SILLY PUTTY??  Everyone loves silly putty . . .

BID:  Linda – $15

49.  Sorting Blocks and Books.  A hardcovered Clifford Collection, soft-covered Learn to Draw Faces and a neato Shape Sequence Sorting Set by Melissa and Doug.  This is a rainy day dream package.

BID:  Kirstin – $30

50.  Truck & T-Rex Set.  Three Golden books – “I’m a Truck”, “I’m a T-Rex” and “I’m a Monster Truck.”  Together with a Melissa & Doug set of 20 magnetic dinosaurs and a Duplo carrying truck, this will make some little tyke suuuuuuper happy.

BID:  Jan – $20

51.  Sanuk Size 9 Pink Trippy Toes.  Donated by my fabulous (and stylish) neighbour Kari, I soooooo wish that these were in my size.  Sanuk shoes are crazy comfy.  Retail at $55.

  • New Soft Slim EVA Sock liner
  • Super Flexible, Lightweight Low Profile Rubber Outsole
  • Unique Woven Textile Upper and Liner
  • Vegan and Vegetarian
  • Easy to Roll up in Your Purse and Go!

BID:  Michelle B – $70

52.  Garnet Hill Double Tree House Sheets & hardcover “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstien.  These were also generously donated by Janelle.  I think the sheets would be very awesome on my bed – Tree House – get it? – but alas, I have a queen.  The Giving Tree is one of my favourite stories evah.  I always cry by the time she is a stump.  A stump!!  And still, she gives the boy just what he needs.  Wahhhhh!

BID:  Jenny – $25

53.  Hand Knit Hat.  Kari, my neighbour, is talented too!  She knits!  This is a gorgeous hand knit 100% baby alpaca hat.  Wear as a beret or more of a toque, it’s gorgeous either way.  Hand wash.  Lay flat to dry.

BID:  Hailey – $25

54.  Angel.  Made by Sarah’s extremely creative mother, Audrey Pollock.  This beauty measures approximately 18 inches from star tip to tippy toes.  She is delicate and delightful.  I love her.

BID:  Kirstin – $30

55.  Antique Door Picture frame.  A shabby chic cupboard door conversion by Audrey Pollock!  This is beautiful.  Put in three of your own pictures to customize the piece.  Measures 17×34 inches and comes ready to hang. Thank you Audrey!

BID:  Janelle – $100

56.  Hand Painted Cupboard.  Painted by a friend of Audrey’s, this smoke-blue painted cupboard is 45 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 8 inches deep.  Three shelves inside.  The detail work on the front and sides is pure country folk art. Lovely.

BID:  Femmy – $25


57.  Birthday Card Jar.  I LOVE THESE!  Not only are they beautiful, they are brilliant.  Just like my sister-in-law, Marnie, who created them.  How often do you need that little note, that little card, to pop on a gift?  24 unique, hand-crafted mini-cards come in a decorative jar.  With mini-envelopes, people!  Love love love love love these.  Would be an incredible gift but will be hard to give away!

BID:  Marhea – $90

58.  Purple Card Jar.

BID:  Nicole W. – $35

59.  Flower Card Jar.  Flowers for any occasion.

BID:  Patty – $40

60. Extreme Effects Craft Pack.   Write-On has done it again!  Mark and Marhea have sent us incredible craft packs for every possible craft or stationary addict in your life.  This Extreme Effects pack includes: a Crayola Extreme Coloring package, a Digital Tools Effects Pack for the iPad, a Crayola Metallic Extreme Coloring package, Crayola metallic pencil crayons and so much more!

BID:  Cori -  $45

61.  Studio Art Pack.  Right on, Write-On.  Package includes:

BID:  Nicole B  – $60

62.  Write-On Stationary Preschool Pack.

BID:  Judy  – $23

63.  Glitter Gal Pack.  Write On has supported our auction every year.  We couldn’t be more grateful for incredible businesses – made up of incredible people – who make change for children in the world.  It’s all good.  Highlights of this pack include:  Crayola 3D sidewalk chalk, a mini stapler, Crayola glitter crayons, Crayola twistable erasable colored pencils, Crayola fabric markers, PopArt Pixies Window Clings, Crayola Barbie Coloring & Activity pad . . . . and more!

BID:  Cori 50



Are you looking for the 2013 online charity auction?? We have news. We have SO MUCH hope, SO MUCH heart, and SO MUCH help, our auction is even bigger and better than we could have imagined this year. We need one more day to make it all come together. Keep your hearts full and your hats on . . . and get ready to bid in the names of 55 little persons who deserve everything we can give them and more. Meet us back here tomorrow, Thursday August 8th, at 10 AM. All proceeds go directly to HUSA Centre.

Much love — The Drakes

Raise the Roof : 2011 HUSA charity campaign!!

husaWe are SO excited to share with you that this summer, Jack and Will are heading up another hill to raise funds to help finish and fill a home for the children of the Human Sympathy Association – HUSA!

Last year, our family hosted the Jack and Will Went Up the Hill charity:water campaign. It was 90 days of awesomeness and with the help of so many, three water projects are now being completed to bring clean drinking water to 875 people in . . . Ethiopia! It was one of the most incredible experiences our family has ever had – we were inspired by so many who were so willing to help make a real and lasting difference. Thank you.

AND This year, our inspiration and excitement has continued as we have recently become aware of the work that HUSA is completing in rural Tanzania, Africa (the village of Kimamba, to be exact). Partnered with the Ainembabazi Children’s Project, a Canadian charitable organization, a small group of community members is working to care for 49 children aged 3-16 who have been orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. It is heartfelt and much needed effort, one that has been joined by Canadian Director Sarah Pollock – a young and incredible woman from Devon (who happens to be our family friend), who has returned year after year to help establish and maintain meal, youth and school programming.

From the Ainembabazi Children’s Project : “HUSA center was started in response to an overwhelming growth of orphans in Kimamba to support these children through their difficult situation and help plan for their futures. HUSA’s main goal is to support these children with care and also develop their life skills, promoting their abilities and talents. The center aims to allow the children to grow up in a safe haven, complete school to at least a high school level, and provide the children with life skills to ensure they are successful in the future. The HUSA parents try to reach the children before their parents die so as to assist the family in making decisions for their children.”


Over the past few years, HUSA has become a registered Tanzanian orphanage. And right now, the HUSA family is building a MUCH needed new house for the kids – a big project that has had many big obstacles to overcome (to say the least). To finish the house and fill it to the rafters with all that the children need, HUSA simply needs help. Right now.

So in a sudden but awesome turn of events around here, we are hosting our second annual ONLINE CHARITY AUCTION August 3 – 5th. Last year, it was an absolute blast and we had so many incredible donations and bidders, we jumped around as it all went down. And, as soon as they heard that there are children in Kimamba without a ROOF for their house (!!) Will and Jack offered to host their second CHARITY BOTTLE DRIVE on August 14th. Y’all rocked our socks off with support last year and we are hoping we can pick up all those summer empties to help RAISE THE ROOF for HUSA. Let’s help them finish their home.

Sarah is great at keeping updates and pictures on the website (link above) and you can see, brick by brick, where the project is at. In reading the stories and seeing the faces, we have again been reminded of the simplest needs that our children have met, that others don’t. And as before, we are so very grateful to stand behind a project where we will our support in action as HUSA has committed to sharing updates, photos, and stories as the house is being finished and becomes a home.



Sooooo . . . if you would like to join us, please tune in at 9 a.m. on August 3rd for the auction (right here). And, SAVE THOSE BOTTLES. Email us either through the contact link above or at if you would like to be added to the bottle drive pick-up list and we will be there on August 14th!

Hope all are having a fantastic summer right along with us, much love,

Jenny, Kevin, Will & Jack

work is love made visible

~ work is love made visible ~ mark warren jacques

this quote is actually the title of a piece of art by mark warren jacques. i linked to his amazing breadth of work through another site recently (can’t remember how i got there, if i find the source link again i will absolutely include, it may have been through the free people blog). anyway, i found his words STUNNING.

in photography, this is why i do what i do. i work to make visible the love that is in the eyes of parents and children.

in my work at my playschool, this is why i do what i do. my work makes visible the love i have for helping children and families grow and shine.

love THAT.

AND i am officially opening my summer session schedule for the months of june, july and august. i will be taking limited sessions and will have pricing available shortly. please contact me if you are all about making YOUR love visible.




be still my beating uterus.


the hair. the lips. the eyelashes. the teesny toes and fingernails. i haven’t yet recovered from this session. neither has my uterus.

precious girl o was my sleepiest subject EVER and in fact did not get the coveted open eyes shot that all grandparents love. she did, however, zen out for the entire session and let her momma and i tromp her all over the house and put her in all varieties of outfits (or lack thereof). what fun! i am realizing that i didn’t post one of her stunning parents – goes to show that o stole the show.




oh my, sweet baby ‘a’ melted my heart a little. oh, okay. a lot.
she made an early arrival and has been working on growing growing growing over these last few weeks. she was four weeks old on the day of our session. four weeks of little pink toes, baby grunts and sighs, and powder soft hair. this session was a gift from a couple of very adoring grammas. aww.
thank you to frank & micheline for sharing their beautiful daughter with me. it was wonderful meeting all of you.
my goodness. she’s gorgeous. congratulations new family!!

p.s. these are some sneak peeks for all those up north who just might be missing this little one!! gee, do you think?


a quick summertime update. i have so much going on around here and i know i haven’t been big on the sharesies.

what have i been up to? watching my biggest boy finish kindergarten. watching my littlest boy turn three. i can’t believe it.

i’ve taken two e-courses (love) and will hopefully be embarking on one more in august. i’m going to be doing a fun summer picture a-day-project for the month of july (except i won’t post until next week so stay tuned).

i got an iphone.

i’m moving.

i’m starting a new job.

i’m embarking on a new little business venture. and a big one.

i’m loving life.

and with that . . . . i’m off on vacation!! i will be available by email for the next week, but if i am tardy in my replies it is because i am sunning myself. please be understanding of my solar needs ;)

i am booked for july and august. i am doing limited sessions in the fall so if you are interested, please let me know asap and we can chat!

not even an image to share today as i’m putting on my flip flops and flying out the door. check back a week from now because then i will have so much to share you won’t be able to shut me up!



mama to be.

i have a confession to make. i love mama to be bellies. if you know me at all, this isn’t a shock. and now you’ll see why . . .

look at this beautiful couple. in their new home. awaiting their new arrival. sigh.

i have to say that i love this image. i think it is delish.


and here is mama-to-be and baby-in-belly. she was sweet and unassuming and darling throughout our shoot. she is going to be a great new mama. i think it’s a girl.


thank you both for a fun and easy session. you made me remember why i love what i do. AND i get to go back to meet the babe next month – can’t wait!

on being.

oh, i have had this family on my heart for quite some time. and they have been so incredibly patient waiting for their images.

sometimes, even when – no, especially when – our plates are full, we need to take on a little more when our hearts allow. that is what this session was for me. a heart session. i feel quite emotional sharing it with you, but so excited!

there are times in all of our lives when something makes us stop and focus. on being.

being together. being happy, being sad. being silly and teary and heartfelt. on just being there. in that moment. and cherishing it. it is a hard and a wonderful and a difficult thing to do.


dear family, to all of you. still sending you love and thoughts of happiness and healing. let me tell you, you are one strong family. a force to be reckoned with. thank YOU for allowing my heart to share in this afternoon with you. you are awesome.



i am about to share a beautiful family with you. they are a tapestry. they are complete.

look at these stunning girls – miss a is still hanging on to her baby softness while miss b is inching towards those teen years. don’t these images make you feel that if you held them close enough, you could physically feel them growing. oh, my.


and welcome to baby brother who makes three. i chose to include these images of mom because she is radiant. and because mr. g gave me about as many smiles that day as his sock monkey ;) just kidding, laura. but really – you can see the new love in this family in mom’s eyes. how he fills up her heart, again, for the third time. new mama love.


twirl around swirl around little girl hair. makes me happy.


together. complete. happy. loved.