Monday, April 30, 2007

A good cause!

Need a cookbook? Know anyone who needs a cookbook? I have some really nice ones that I am selling. All profits go to help the TeenMops group that I coordinate.
Don't know about TeenMops? We are a support group for teenage moms. Every mom needs support, but teen moms have special needs and TeenMOPS meets those needs. We offer a full meal at every meeting to both moms and children. We offer guest speakers and lessons on topics like budgeting, providing nutritional meals on public aid, car seat safety, etc, etc, etc.
All this is done in an atmosphere of fun, our girls return time after time and they love it. We had almost twenty girls at our last meeting where the lesson was about a mother's need for recreation. We provided them with professionals who gave massages, haircuts, pedicures, manicures, and facials. The girls commented over and over again how much they felt like a princess. They left with greater confidence than they came in with. They left with the ability to be a stronger better mom. I love TeenMOPS. I love the teenage mothers that I work with and we can't keep doing what we do without some funding. Every activity we offer is free to the girls and so...
the thing we all hate...

The cookbooks are 9.00 each or 2 for 15.00. I will pay for media shipping and can except paypal.
I think they turned out beautifully and many many of the recipes are from our teen moms. If you would like to support us by purchasing a cookbook, shoot me a comment with your email (or email me) and let me know how many cookbooks you would like. I will take care of the shipping cost (media mail).

Circular reasoning

You know how we are always told, "It's just stuff."? Well, maybe it is, but perhaps it takes finding your "stuff" floating in a lake of crap water to make you realize how much that "stuff" really means to you. Stuff is important. Sometimes stuff makes our hearts beat faster...and softer...and better. It's more than stuff when you lose it.

This morning, I went down to my basement only to find that that level of my home had turned into a cesspool of water and excrement. There on top, was floating a black potfolio, full of all the artwork I have ever done in my life. I am not an artist, I love art, but it is not one of those skills that come naturally from either my fingertips or my heart. Every art project I have ever done has been the source of incredible heartwrenching labor. Every piece, every horrible rotton piece has also been a source of great pride. Every time I have looked through that portfolio, I get this great feeling of joy. Washed away now, and I feel guilty for being sad...cause it's just stuff, you know.
More than stuff.
Way more than stuff.

On the way to pick Dustan up from work (because I can't deal with 2 inches of smelly crud water on my own) Marcus relays to me his biggest fear. That a fire would ravage our house and destroy all HIS artwork. He chokes on his words as he tells me this. My heart aches for his fear because I am living that reality today. He tells me that sometimes he can't sleep because he is worried that he won;t be able to get his precious treasures out. So like his mama is this little boy. Such a little worrier. And I am reminded of my biggest fear. The one that keeps ME up at night. That we would have a fire, or a tornado, or an invasion of horrible bad people, and I will lose what I hold dearest.
One of my childen.
And I am back where I have begun. It's just stuff.
Stuff that means a lot...but it's still stuff.

I isn't what we meant when we were wishing for more time together, but Dustan and I have spent the afternoon cleaning out all the junk from the basement. Wading through really rank water, and scrubbing the floors has been a lot of work. Surprisingly we have laughed, and we have flirted, and we have had a good time. If I have to clean sewage water from a basement, I am glad I have him to do it with. And so, we have lesson number 2 of the day. Life is better when you share it with a man you love... And nasty tasks are made easier with a sense of humor.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Does anyone want a little girl?

Because I have one for sale.

Number one rule of parenting. Never ever ever turn your back on a child. Never take a shower, a poop, or a nap. Ever. If you ever do...this is what happens, and trust me, it will happen right before you are supposed to leave for a birthday party.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Enough about me

Sometimes, even in the midst of my own creativity I happen to miss a bit of magic going on right underneath my nose. I didn't miss it this time. This has taken Marcus several weeks of diligant work to complete. While I ran to my friend Danielle'stoday, for a work party, Marcus stayed home with a very sick daddy, took care of said sick daddy, and finished up this very cool project that I am sure will make his art teacher very proud. He wants me to clarify that this is NOT for sale unlike the art work in THIS POST which he says is STILL for sale, and he is much more willing now to see it go because he is a "much better artist now".

I did actually get some sewing done. I finished the shirt that will be paired with the tea skirt, it turned out lovely and I will post a pretty picture tomorrow. I also helped make a couple dozen nursing pads, some diapers (ahem- I helped by watching), and I did make three very cute knit skirts, two of which are for my good friend Gwen, who happens to be the mother of that new baby I mentioned a few posts down. it was a good day, I am glad it's over. The kids are in bed, my very sick husband is in bed, my dogs are in their beds...and very soon, I will tuck myself in. Hopefully I will not dream of sewing:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I wasn't done yet.

THis was a practice outfit. I will start on the real ones tomorrow. I wish I had cut out a size smaller, but it works and it will still fit her next year. Bonus!
and in case you want to know what my sewing room like after a sewing bliz...

Yes. This IS my third post in one day.

Shut up. It's my blog, and if I want to go a whole month without posting and then post TEN on a single day...I can...if I there! Honestly, I am thinking about changing all the dates to make it look like I was staying caught up.

Anyhow, I needed a place to show the picture of my next sewing project. Dick and Jane fabrics that I keep putting off cutting. I have a yard of each one, and at 8 bucks a yard, I fell shortness of breath at the though of using my scissors on them.
I need to make four skirts that coordinate. What should I do? What should I do? Should I just stick with twirly print each? Who gets which one? Should I make two twirly skirts, maybe mix two fabrics and then make two tiered skirts like what I made for Esther's Easter? Should I use three fabric if I have three tiers? Will everything look too busy? Would the baby be better with a dress? Should I use one or two fabrics on the dress? Maybe I should just make four twirly skirts, one fabric a piece. But Esther and Devonae already have twirly skirts. And I am getting bored of twirly skirts. I need variety. I need help. Someone call the metal institution. This fabric has taken over my brain and turned it into lime jello.

This might be a bit of a sewing blog for a while...

I have a ton of sewing to get done and I have been inspired by entering a contest on one of my favorite boards. I am not playing to win but I wanted to participate because it was the board that inspired me to start sewing in the first place and last year a large group broke off and started another board which is now huge and famous. But I don;t feel comfortable at the new board. It seems big and unfriendly to me, it's hard to get my questions answered, and it just isn't a good fit for me. I missed the old board and there are several people struggling to keep it going. I see their efforts and I am so happy to see that the forum is still chugging along that I want to do my part. So, I joined a contest that grades in sheer volume. The more yardage you sew, the more points you get. The smart people are making quilts. I am making itty bitty little girl outfits because a. I don't plan to win, b. I don't know how to quilt, and c. She looks so cute in all these new clothes.

I got 19 whole points for this outfit which was made because I had accidentally made two left sleeves on her kitty outfit yesterday. I didn't want to waste a sleeve did I? No way! I am glad I didn't because I absolutely love the way this turned out. the tag in the shirt is made of two pieces of scraps. One denim and one polka dot so she knows what bottoms to add it to. I added my normal ribbon tag to the shorts because she can where it with any shirt she wants to! I love mix and match!

Meet Kitty

She is our new pet and named kitty by Esther. I thought Polly would be cute. She said kitty was perfect. Maggie would go so well with Heidi and Sally. But no. Kitty it would have to be. It did make for one interesting conversation. First, you have to know that Dustan's mother despises cats. I have never met someone who hates cats as much as she does, she even hates cute tiny kittens. She is already not happy about us having dogs when the following conversation takes place (on the phone)

Pam: Hi Esther
Esther: I have a new naminal.
Pam: Oh. you have a new aminal?
Esther: My new naminal has a name called Kitty
Pam: YOU HAVE A KITTY?!?!?!?!
Esther: New naminal named kitty
Pam: Ahhh, you see a kitty outside? Do you see a cat outside the window?
Esther: No. My kitty is on the counter

I didn't get to be here for that conversation and had to hear it second hand from Dustan. Dustan is mean and made her sweat it out before letting her know it was a tadpole. Next time we get to play with MY mom. She hates frogs. I mean she REALLY hates them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Warning: This post is full of sweetness (and loads of pictures)

This skirt is part of a swap. I made two. One for Esther and one for a three year old somewhere in the country that I have never met. You gotta love the internet. In return, I will recieve an outfit made by another sewing mama. Gotta love variety. The tea skirt was also a gift for Esther's birthday, only I ran out of time and Esther's skirt is not hemmed, nor does it have that gorgeous ribbon on it. One of these days, Esther's skirt will look as pretty as her little counterpart.

I fell in love with this fabric at Hancock's, it was on sale, it jumped into my basket. It was one of those forced purchases. I promise. It is so sweet on Esther...or maybe it is Esther that makes it look so sweet. I am just happy it is not her Easter skirt that she still tries to wear everyday. Acually, as soon as I was done with the pictures, she begged me to let her put on her "chicken skirt". Ugh, I hate that thing.

I had an idea to make the tags out of the coordinating fabric so that when she dresses herself, she can look at the tags and know what matches.

And one last shot because she is so darn tootin adorable.

I am in love with this child.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Saturday was April 14th

Also known as the birthday of Princess Esther. I would have blogged about it, but I was a little busy helping someone else have his birthday. Welcome to the world baby Oak.

And happy third birthday to the most gorgeous girl in the world!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Day Four

This is Esther's Easter dress. It is not Easter. It is the Thursday after Easter. Yes. She has worn it everyday. At least she is cute. And since mommy made the dress- mommy is very flattered.
The stained glass is fromThe Color Farm. Joy makes gorgeous dyed clothing and her husband makes beautiful glass. Like this one.
Dustan buys me a new peice of art for my birthday every year. When I saw this peice for sale, I new I had to have it. My birthday is not until May- so I got my gift early.
Just wait until I blog about my Mother's Day gift. Dustan has been very generous this year. It makes me feel very loved.

A gift for a Girl

Every girl needs a bit of twirl. I might have overdone it. I made this skirt for my neice, Devonae, and according to her, "It has just TOO much twirl." Said in a good way of course.
I got this fabric from my great grandmother and I love it. I am sad it's all gone, but I am also amused at how much it resembles my kitchen floor that I think is so ugly.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Little Things

My guest bathroom was a really depresing place. It could have been that my boys have horrible aim and have painted walls, floor, and toilet so many times that it is impossible to keep up. It could be the poinsetta dishtowel hanging from the towel rack for a hand towel. It could have been the scummy container of soap on the sink. Of course, it could also have been the 1970's fixtures. Probably it was a bit of all that and more. I decided to make some quick changes and see if I could make it pretty enough for guests.

Hand towels in gold and burgundy 10.00
coordinating rug 5.00
potpourri 7.00
basket free (I already had one)
picture hanging above the toilet ( was hanging somewhere else, I just moved it)
new soap- 1.00
washcloths 5.00
I scrubbed the walls and every fixture with bleach until I thought I would pass out, which was probably a really bad thing, since, if I had passed out, I would have blocked the door and no one could have entered in to save me. Fortunately I survived. And fortunately, the potpourri saved the bathroom from smelling like bleach. For less than thirty dollars I have a room I can be proud of. And the boys have been relegated to an upstairs bathroom.

I bought everything at Target in case anyone wants to know. It was well worth the money, and the other two bathrooms may be getting a makeover very soon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Era of the knock knock joke

It happened somewhere along I55, heading North towards my moms. The dreaded knock knock jokes.
Marcus was first
Knock Knock
Who's there?
R.V who?
R.V there yet?

Okay, now see? That was funny. I forgot the number one rule of motherhood. Never, ever, ever, under no circumstances, ever, should you laugh at any joke. I laughed. And I bear the consequences even today.

Weston heard me laugh and he wants to make me laugh too and so, he takes his turn.
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
R.v who?

Trust me, my life is over. But in a grand attempt to save me from the forever land of RV knock knock jokes, Esther takes her turn.
Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Pee Pee head.
(sigh) Pee Pee head who?

This is met with peals of uncontrollable laughter on the part of all three kids. All three of them have repeated this same trio of jokes all morning, every once in a while throwing in something, equally as ridiculous.
The Era of child joke telling is something akin to torture for a mother. Don't believe me? Today I was expected to laugh at the following:
Why did the chicken shave it's hair? Because he wanted to kill himself.

Why did the horse eat his food? Because he was hungry.

Why did the football player throw a basketball into a cake and pick the cake up to make a touchdown? Because he thought the cake was a ball.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

It is Spring, but the cold is not gone for good.

I hear that the nasty weather men are saying it will get cold again. I hate them and am tempted to toilet paper their houses and egg their cars.
I did something that is unusual for me. I decorated for Spring. Must be some bloggers out there rubbing off on me. Remember when I was having so much trouble with surfaces? How does this one look? I found the wooden letter at Micheal's and painted them sunshiney yellow with pastel polkadots. I found the green ducks at Micheal's too and had to buy them. They are GREEN. Someone painted those ducks green, and it had to have been just for me. Who else would buy green ducks?

Proud mama

Sometimes the way life works out makes for a beautiful story. This is one of those times. My friend Danielle says that my heart is made of stone and that I am dead inside. She says this, because instead of crying when people die in movies, I have an awful habit of laughing. But I am not dead inside. I cry- just not usually for sad things. I cry for the overwhelming happy stories. And here is one.

Marcus just finished playing in a basketball league called Upwards. This is an incredible program that brings Christian values to a competitive sport. I was really worried about Marcus, because, although the child can write beautiful poetry, can beat me in chess, and can do every chore on his list without being reminded, he can not catch a ball for the life of him. On top of inheriting my lack of coordination and awkwardness at sports, Marcus is also autistic. He is gangly when he runs, and in any situation that is overstimulating, he gets confused easily. I was worried.
I should not have worried. God is in control of all things. He sent us to a perfect team, with wonderful coaches. Everyone fell in love with Marcus. Well, how could they not? Marcus is sincere. He is kind. He is lovable, obedient, etc, etc, etc. Marcus also is fragile, and I was still worried.
Practices went by and Marcus was frustrated. He just couldn't shoot the ball anywhere close to high enough to get a basket. All the other kids could do it. But he struggled. And boy did he struggle. And his mommy worried. Marcus decided that if he couldn't shoot, he would be the best defender on the team. He practiced dribbling the ball in our basement. He practiced for hours at a time. And during a game, when he was assigned a boy to guard, that boy never saw the light outside of Marcus arms or fingers.
But he wanted to make a goal. After all the hours of dribbling, his arms must have strengthened, because during practice, he was able to make goals. But only when he started out with the ball. Marcus couldn't catch a basketball for anything. During games, his teammates tried so hard. It was so sweet to watch them. You could almost see there cogs turning inside their heads. They knew that if they passed to another teammate that they would make a goal. But there was Marcus, eager and wanting a goal so very badly. And so, they gave him a chance. They did it over and over again. Never once did they roll their eyes or groan as they watched their passes roll out of bounds, with Marcus just standing open mouthed, and open eyes. Every game they tried. And Marcus kept practicing. And his mommy kept worrying.
It was the second to the last game of the season. Marcus was on his toes more than usual. The whole game, in hindsight of course, seemed more electrified than usual. They make the Pass! MARCUS CATCHES THE BALL! the entire team, coaches, and crowd (even the other team), yells "SHOOT THE BALL!" Marcus Shoots the ball, It goes in! Swish! HE SCORES!!!!!! The crowd was on their feet, screaming. "Did you see that? Did you see that?" Everyone talking and shouting. "Marcus made a goal!!!" Marcus' face shone with pride, and mommy had tears in her eyes. Mommy STILL has tears in her eyes. See? I'm not dead inside.
Marcus stole two balls during that game, had two perfect passes, and an assist. He wants to grow up and be a professional basketball player. Mommy is not sure she will ever stop worrying.

This is the picture that was taken just moments before Marcus caught his first pass, and made his first goal. There he is, with his arms held open, just waiting for his chance. Mommy shouldn't worry so much. This kids will get what he wants in life. He will practice, and he will work hard until he accomplishes his goals. I wish I was more like him.