Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In Honor of Sensory Awareness Month

When I heard snores coming from behind me, I turned around and saw
Faith up-side-down in the hammock swing.
I'm sure it was filling some sort of sensory need.

Friday, October 2, 2015


The other week I met my aunts at a local Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) warehouse and we made diapers and baby blankets.
When my mom first told me about this, I was a little confused, "Why would you need to MAKE 
diapers?" They are available all neatly packaged in plastic already sewn and folded.
(Yeah, I know they also come in "disposable" too but you can't re-use them)

CAM has a program where you can put together a "layette bundle", it includes 
a few items of baby clothes, 6 cloth diapers, a receiving blanket (lightweight) and a heavier blanket.
All items are to be new, it says that on the literature.

I used to be a little bit annoyed about the "all new" idea, thinking "if it would be good enough for my baby, why isn't it good enough for their babies?"

I found out the reason, it has to do with shipping regulations, CAM has to say what is in each shipment going to a country and they have to be honest.

AND it costs the same to ship new items as it does used ones, so why not get the most out of each dollar.

These bundles are quite fun to put together, you get to shop for baby clothes!
They are also quite fun to hand to a new mother, according to my niece who helped to hand these packages to new mothers in Liberia.

The reason my mom and aunts spent a day making diapers and blankets is because  well-intentioned  donors in an effort to save money are giving un-shippable products.

Each bundle is examined before it is shipped and a quality control person checks that the correct number of diapers, clothing items, and blankets are included.

Diapers that are very thin are worthless to send and end up needing to be replaced 

Baby blankets that have skull and cross bones on are.... also replaced
It is such a shame to let good quality fabric go to waste, but before you go to the work to craft a baby blanket for someone, take a look at the print on the fabric.          
...bones are probably not a good idea
strange looking cartoon characters with or without x-ray images,
strange looking beat up women, or zombie fabrics are just not cool.
(The zombie fabric is the only one that has actually not shown up...yet)

I know there are enough of CAM donors that read this that it is worth sticking my neck out. I guess through this I learned that it is important to follow the directions of any organization when you give this type of donation, they have reasons for their "rules".

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Slow Learner

Me that is....

This year Shekinah started kindergarten, she loves it. I was a bit concerned whether her physical differences would cause any problems at school, but it seems that she isn't hearing too much from others. She did say that one little boy asked, "what happened to your hands?" and another little girl spoke up and said "she was born that way."  Shekinah seemed to be OK with it, but she did bring up the "I want hands like yours." the other day. I think we will hear that for a few years, hopefully we can support her and assure her with the proper words and actions.

Just this last week tho, I asked her about her "cards". It seems as if the teacher has a discipline/reward  plan in place for the classroom, if the child needs reprimanded she takes one of his 3 Popsicle sticks and if 3 sticks are taken, she then takes a card. I'm unclear about when the prize comes...at the end of each day or at the end of the week. But anyway, it seems as if my precious little girls has a tad bit of trouble remembering the rules. Y'know, the "raise your hand", "stay seated", and "be quiet"...those pesky rules. (Anyone that watches her in church could probably see how that might be a challenge). I had hopes that this last little one of ours would magically turn into one of those angelic children when she walks into the hallowed halls of learning, but not this one.

So we had a little chat on Thursday morning, I thought we could "practice" , I had some school papers that were not quite finished and we "might even have a prize in our cupboard".  So I set the timer and we made our goal 10 minutes. She did pretty good and when the timer went off, she was wanting to finish a paper, so I added another five minutes. We then moved to the chalk board and she drew huge sweeping letters (not those tiny ones that have to fit between those little lines). Her timer rang, but she kept drawing, I got distracted by a sound from the computer and she joined to read messages.

I really don't know what set her off, but suddenly she was crying and reaching for one of the upper cupboards in the kitchen, she stuck her little foot in the drawer pulls on one side and some door handles on the other side and was crawling the cabinets. I pulled her down and said "use your words, what do you need?" (Perfect K. Purvis wasn't it?)  More crying, more animal-like noises, certainly no "quiet hands and eyes" even though I crouched down to below eye level. I walked out of the room for a time, I came back and tried again...it went through my mind that she wants candy, but "that isn't how you ask for candy".  After about an hour, of trying to hold her, trying to talk to her, taking a video (it crossed my mind that if she hurts herself, I want proof that she really gets like this), and finally asking some leading questions.  Do you want balloons (we keep them there) and the child that I thought was beyond hearing , screamed "NO THEY'RE ALL GONE!"  I stood there trying to think and she screamed "STOP IT" by that time I had tears too and a sudden light bulb. Her crying had been reminding me of the day I met her, it was frantic and fearful....and I had promised a "prize" if she did well on her "practice" and I HAD FORGOTTEN!   She apparently had suddenly remembered.

But do I give her candy NOW!? After all that!? This was more than a whole hour wasted, more than a whole hour making her little voice into her classic Shekinah rasp.  I asked, "did mama forget your prize?"  Then I got a response, the quivery lip and the little nod. I gave her a choice of three miniature peanut butter cups or  three sour gummies. She chose the chocolate...I was wishing for some too. She sat on my lap and silently stacked those candies and re-stacked them, then slowly ate them. I hugged her and told her that I was sorry I forgot, but if I ever forget something like that she can use words to tell me. I asked her if it bothers her when she doesn't get a prize at school. I asked if she is the only one that doesn't get a prize. She told me that  it does not bother her, and other people don't get a prize.

But somehow....unless I am totally off base here, it mattered very much that day if mama remembered the prize.
Later on, she gave me a hug and said "I'm sorry mama."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Some Progress

It seemed that I could finish nothing this summer. I have quilt orders quietly lying in 
their boxes and bags waiting. A beautiful crazy quilt with its silks and wools and all sorts
of embroidery to be added, a red and white star quilt begging me with its simplicity, a 
simple but tedious quilt to be made from a mother's (not mine) left-over scraps.
Then there are charity projects, little dresses, sturdy soft diapers, and thick fluffy comforters.

Two orders that are to be Christmas gifts for some lucky people,
got my nose to the needle
and I finished them.

The compass design is a miracle to tell....
My boss ( an Amish lady who owns a shop) gave me a computer printed copy 
of a wall hanging I made years ago. "Can you make this again?"
"Sure" I said, hoping that I could find the pattern I'd used.
I fully expected to need to re-draft the pattern and reluctantly cleared my cutting table 
and the floor around my sewing machine.
"What is this rolled up sheet of freezer paper doing under the wheels of my chair?"
A corner of the sheet unrolled enough to show me a slightly familiar design...
Could I wish?
Surely not!
Yes it was...the original design that I drafted to make the design the first time...
the cut out pattern pieces still stuck together with their little rolls of scotch tape.

OK, you might not think that is much of a miracle
those of you who have seen my sewing room will KNOW that that was a miracle!

This one needed to be figured out and CAREFULLY planned because I did not have the luxury of extra fabric in case I mis-cut something.
Tomorrow I will satisfy my curiosity about making diapers for a charitable project then I need to finish another quilt.

This was the work of a slightly fidgety daughter on the first night of revivals.
The amazing thing is that the braid stayed in her hair overnight and was not un-raveling in the AM when I needed to comb her hair.

This past weekend we took a flying road trip to a nephew's wedding in Illinois. We took Shekinah because we felt it would probably be best for her security. Tho I wasn't sure what she would do on a trip that long. We drove 9 hours to Indianapolis and then 3- 1/2 hrs to the wedding the next morning.
Five hours later we reversed the process. 
I think we pushed her to her limits but she did amazing. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Wise Words

This morning we were the host family at church, this means we need to get there early and stand by the door and greet the worshipers. As we were getting ready Faith was getting things out of the refrigerator, "oh, you know what? We could give each person a piece of cheese as they walk in the door."   (good protein snack?)
Shekinah added, " we can take the water squirt bottle and wash out their ears so they can hear the preacher better."

The other day I was reviewing some Karyn Purvis DVD's and Shekinah joined me in watching part of it.  Later I was giving orders to the children and a little voice piped up, "mom, are you asking or telling?"

Life is not boring around here.

Monday, September 7, 2015

New Things

Zeke is trying out a new hobby, glass melting/shaping.
Found out that the melting part is easy, keeping it from shattering when cooling is not so easy.

He is also trying out a "home office". We converted a closet to 
an office so he can hopefully get a few extra hours in at work without driving there after school.
Since he can bring his siblings home instead of going to their office, it will save me gas, time and money. I figured it was a small price to pay to clean out the closet and paint it. (Now to find a place for the "stuff" I took out of the closet.)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Little Girls

Today I was prepping the room to paint and Shekinah was "fixing" a chair, after awhile
I heard her laughing, cackling actually. "Mama look, I took the back off!"
Sure enough, she had taken the 5 screws out of the back and was very pleased with herself.

I told her to put it back together again, and she did.
Then I had a worrisome thought, she watched the garage change the van's tires today...
better keep the power tools out of reach.

On the agenda for the weekend, finish painting and re-assembling this room.

Friday, August 28, 2015

First Day of School

First Day of School   2015-2016
Earlier in the week, we tackled 7 baskets of tomatoes

The tomatoes almost won

I shall go on record to say that I love my new Bayou cooker, even with the breezy day I didn't have to relight in at all.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Random Pictures

Cheezy smile, I think from having her cheeks full of candy from Grandma.

A Shekinah salad plate

Zeke waiting "patiently" for his turn in the OR.

Grandpa was honored to read the classic to Parker,

Friday, August 21, 2015


Why would someone actually need one of these? :) 

Today was one of those days...Zeke got a bone spur removed from his leg.
It has been increasingly annoying for the past 3 years and the doctor
agreed it is time to remove it. Recovery seems to be a breeze so far.
Full weight bearing and little pain. Oh and what does Zeke do to recover from anesthesia?

   "I can't remember, what is the 30th digit of pi?"

So now the remaining days of summer should be EZ. Ben is off to Thailand and Zeke's surgery is over....oh but I still need to do another run to Philly sometime for Joe's legs. Just love that town.