Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sewing the Seed

     I am very excited to share with you about a ministry that a friend and I have started.  For awhile God had been prodding me about this ministry opportunity and once I finally took the step to move forward, He has been faithful.

     Eight years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, Victoria, my husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. Both of my grandmothers were great seamstresses, but I had never taken the time to learn myself.  I have many memories of them making things for me and also for my dolls.  So, as a new stay-at-home mom, I wanted to learn.  After getting my sewing machine, my mom and I purchased a lot of cute fleece and cute ribbons to make taggies (if you don't know what a taggie is, google it).  My mom, my sister-in-laws, and I made taggies for our babies and for our friends' babies.  The taggies were super cute, but once our kids started getting older, we didn't have time to sew, and all the materials got stored away.
  I ran across that tub of fleece in my garage awhile back and thought it would be a great idea to create a home-based business making taggies to bring in some extra income.  My friend, Nitzia, who has her own sewing business gave me some pointers, but then I learned that taggie has a strict patent.  I realized that if I was going to use that fleece to make taggies, then they could only be gifts or I could donate them.  That is when the lightbulb went off and God began to give me the vision for this ministry.  Wouldn't it be great to get ladies from the church together to sew and spend time together  with a common goal of producing pieces to be donated to people who are in need?
 After several months of throwing that idea around in my head, I sent an email out to my Sunday school class to see if anybody else would be interested in being apart.  My friend, Nitzia (who had given me some pointers before and even allowed me to help her with her booth at a craft show), immediately emailed me back.  And the coolest thing was that I could tell that she was just as excited about this as I was.  She commented that this was something that she had been wanting to do for quite some time.  I just knew that God had called us both to this.....we became a team with a common goal. 
     We began talking about specifics and what the ministry would look like and where we felt like God was leading us.  We began researching needs and possible people and places to help.  Before we had even advertised the ministry,  a lady who knew that Nitzia sewed came up to her at church and told her that she had tons of fabric that she would like to donate to Nitzia if she had anything that she could do with it!!  Isn't that amazing??!!  God is always faithful.  Someone else also donated money, so that we were able to purchase some other supplies that we needed.  We talked to the women's director at our church and she was very supportive.  So, a lot of background info to say that:  this past Saturday was our first meeting!!!!

     We had eight ladies that got to come and partcipicate in the first work day!  Since it was Memorial Day weekend, there were several more that wanted to be a part, but were either out of town or with family. 

Here are some pictures of our time together:
Ashley measuring and cutting fleece for one of the blankets that will be
given to a child who lives at the orphanage in Peru.

Nitzia helping Mary Katherine cut fabric for one of the pillows that will be donated to
Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Pam cutting fabric for a pillow.  She didn't last long on this and decided
she preferred to stuff the pillows with the batting.  Ha!

Nitzia helping Erica measure more fleece for the blankets.

Pam cutting fabric.  She is so much fun, I smile just looking at this picture.

Our faithful seamstresses:  Kacey and Sue (or Granny Sue, as she says she prefers to be called)

There's Pam, stuffing away!!!

Sweet ladies posing for a picture.

Erica cutting fringe around a finished blanket.

Ellen and Nitzia

Yeah!!!!  This is documentation of the first finished blanket. 
Here's the whole crew from Saturday!!  We were able to complete eight fleece blankets and ten pillows
during our time together.  Plus we had tons of fun doing it! 
One neat thing is that two of the girls who are volunteering their time to help with this ministry are going with our church to Peru this summer.  So, they will get to hand deliver the blankets for us!!

Sewing the Seed:
Our mission statement:  Sewing the Seed is a mission opportunity for ladies in the church to spend time together sewing and creating things to donate to children who are in need.  The purpose is to meet a child's needs with tangible love and comfort, so that they might experience and know the ultimate love and comfort that only God can give.    The possible projects that can be completed through this ministry are endless.  We want to reach children in foster care, orphanages, extended hospital stays, poorer nations. 

Our mission verses:  2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Our prayer is that through our sewing, we will be planting and sowing seeds in people that will someday result in their salvation.  Each piece that is donated will have a tag attached that will include our logo and a note explaining that the piece was handmade by someone who cares and that the recipient has been prayed for specifically. 

I thought the day went perfect.  There was a lot of working, but also a lot of laughing and enjoying each other's company.  It was fun working together towards a common goal.  I loved seeing how these women have a heart for missions just as much as Nitzia and I do.  I also love that the group ranges in age and as the group hopefully continues to grow, I look forward to getting to know more ladies that I would otherwise not get to spend a lot of time with.  And God is being faithful with providing supplies and bringing different projects to our attention.  Right now we are working on finishing enough fleece blankets for every child at the orphanage in Peru and the pillows to be donated to AR children's hosptial, but there are already other projects that we are looking to work on in the future. 

We are just normal women, but because of our obedience, God can do some extraordinary things through us.  Can't wait to see what He has planned!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Zoo Trip

I'm wondering if anybody else has had any problems with blogger lately.  For two or three days it has not let me login to my blog and post anything.  I could type in my blog address and view it, but it wouldn't let me sign-in to my account.  I was starting to get nervous, but then today, thankfully, it worked!

All the first grade classes from Tori's school took a field to the zoo yesterday!  Carson had to miss his zoo trip with his preschool, so I let him skip school and go along with us.  The weather was perfect yesterday for being outside at the zoo. 

As my kids get older, the zoo experience becomes more enjoyable.  When they were small they would get hungry, hot, and tired quickly which would turn into whining and grumpiness.  I was always exhausted by the time we had walked the whole zoo and fought Carson to stay in the stroller and/or carried him.  I would wonder why I put myself through such misery. 

Yesterday they just excitedly ran from exhibit to exhibit and never complained about anything.  Well, Carson may have had a slight meltdown when we were leaving, because I didn't buy him any cotton candy.  He had done so good the whole trip, I gave him a little slack.....anyway, the cotton candy did look good!!  :)

This is Tori with her teacher, Mrs. Broadway.  She has learned a lot this year in 1st grade!

Carson at the new penguin exhibit.

You may notice in these pics that Carson got his big cast off, so now he can bend his arm.  He has to wear this small one for three weeks!  Wish I had taken a picture of his face when they were sawing his green cast off.  He thought it was so cool! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Ball Player

I know I've already posted pictures of Carson playing ball, but he is just so darn cute I can't resist posting some more!   Once he broke his arm we weren't sure if he was going to be able to still play, but it hasn't slowed him down.  It has been raining a lot, so some of their practices and games have been canceled, but he has had a great time and has made some good friends.


Carson with his sissy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tori's Dance Recital

This was Tori's second year to take dance lessons; she takes tap, ballet, and gymnastics.  I love the dance studio that she goes to because the owner is a Christian and not only is she a great dancer, but she is an awesome person and great role model for the girls.  She is so sweet and patient with the girls, it is really unbelieveable.  There is no doubt in my mind that God has given her the talent of not only dancing, but of being a dance teacher.  I feel so blessed that Tori is getting a positive experience with dance. 

Her dance recital was last Friday night.  She did a great job!  I was so proud of her.

This is Tori with her friend, Emma, at the dress rehearsal.

Here's Tori in the dressing room right before showtime!
Last year I danced in the adult group and I was more nervous this year, then I was then.  I guess I had more time on my hands this year to be nervous for her.  She did great!!!!

This girl knew how to shake a maraca!  :)  I was so glad her dance this year was tap, because they just make for a more exciting performance.  Last year her class did a ballet routine and it was sweet, but not near as much fun.

Mini Vacation in the Middle of the Week

Last week Robert had to go out of town for a meeting and so the kids and I went along.  We had the best time being lazy, watching TV, sleeping in and then playing in the pool and hot tub while he was at his meeting.  The elevator in the hotel was glass, so you could watch the people standing on the elevator as they went up.  Our kids thought that was the coolest thing ever and we may or may not have ridden the elevator all the way to the top floor and down again several times in order to enjoy the view of the lobby from up high!  :)  Our kids had so much fun you would have thought they were at Disney World!!  Guess it doesn't take much to impress them!

They loved their bed with all the big fluffy pillows.  They also enjoyed being able to watch TV in bed, because they do not have TVs in their bedrooms at home.

This is us enjoying our very nice complimentary all-you-can eat buffet and made to order breakfast!

There was a pretty waterfall in the middle of the lobby that the kids loved!
We also took pictures of us swimming, but my camera deleted them or something.  Carson looked hilarious, because we covered his cast with a trash bag and he walked around in the water with his arm raised up above his head.  It takes more than a broken arm to slow him down and ruin his fun!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Carson is 5!!!

Carson turned 5 years old last Wednesday!!  I can't believe my little man is so big!  Since our kids' actually birthdays usually fall on a weekday, we have started doing something special that day just as a family.  Then the following weekend they get to have a birthday party where we live to celebrate with their friends and then we go to our hometown the last part of the weekend and have a family birthday party with Robert's family and mine.  This has worked well the past few birthdays, so I think we're going to stick to this plan.  :)

This is Carson and Tori Wednesday morning before we took Tori to school.

He got to open one small present at breakfast time.

I made him his favorite type of muffins.  Tori and I sang "Happy Birthday."

Carson got to pick somewhere to eat out for his birthday lunch, so he picked McDonalds.  His daddy met us to eat, which made it extra special!
( This next picture is out of order, but I can't figure out how to delete it without erasing over half of my post, so just ignore it.)
Ice cream.......yum!!!

He got to open his big present from us on Wednesday night after church!

Carson is all about some Batman right now!!
We have a tradition that on their birthday they get to measure themselves to see how much they have grown.  When our kids were very young Robert was in the process of taking several promotions, so we knew that where we were living was not a permanent home for us.  Because of this, I didn't want to chart their growth on a wall or closet door, because I knew that when we moved it would be lost.  I got the idea of taking a roll of art paper and measuring off about six feet worth and laminating it.  This way no matter where we went, I could always have their growth history with us.  We also chart their weight, their hand size, and how well they can write their name.  They stay rolled up in the top of their closets, so they hardly take up any room to store.

Here is Carson getting measured on his.

This is Carson's without him on it.  :)  It's hard to read because of the glare.

Here's Tori getting measured.

You can't really read this, but I have matched up their charts so that we could tell who was taller when they turned five years old.

Then on Friday night, Carson had a Spiderman party in our backyard!

Here's Carson and Tori right before the party got started!

Carson and one of his sweet friends.  This was the first year that Carson had a real opinion about who he wanted to invite.  It's neat to see the friendships that he is creating through church and preschool.

Here's the whole crew!  We felt very safe, with there being so many superheros close by!! Ha!
Before they ate, we played some games.  This is during the scavenger hunt.  There were three spidermen all dressed exactly the same!  It was hard to tell them apart! ha!  They also got to spray villains with silly string and went through an obstacle course.
PIZZA for dinner!  In one of the Spiderman movies, Peter Parker is a pizza delivery boy, so we called it:
The birthday boy loved having all of his friends at his house all at the same time to play! 
Spiderman Cupcakes!  I was trying to not spend tons of money, so I made the cupcakes myself.  They were very easy and I thought they turned out cute enough.

The party ended with a pinata! 
Then on Sunday, amongst all the Mother's Day festivities, we had a family birthday party for Carson.  This is Carson with all of his first cousins except one (Wyatt had to leave for baseball practice).
After presents, we had more Spiderman cupcakes and ice cream! :)

Played outside in Nana's backyard

And yes, another pinata!  :)
I know this was a super long post, but I want my kids to be able to look back and remember these special times in their life.  I'm beginning to sense the urgency of documenting their childhood, because I realize in a blink it will be gone.  Little man, I love you so much.  I'm so glad that God entrusted you to me and your dad.