Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are You Wearing An Apron?

If you're not wearing an apron or if you'd love to have a new one to spiff up your meal-making and barbeque-in' Make sure you enter the drawing for this WAY COOL Scarlet Threads Apron!

Here are the details on how to WIN!
To win this gorgeous apron:
1 • leave me a comment on this post along with a total number of  entries you qualify for (after reading through the list)


2 • Visit the fundraising site http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com/ and leave The Rippee Family an uplifting comment. (seriously, you can definitely come up with a few positive words of encouragement!)
Not Hard at all!

Here are the OTHER ways to earn extra entries:

3 • Donate to the Chip-In fund on the http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com/ site and you'll earn even MORE entries when you donate!!! (yes, entries here AND there!) 1 entry=$10 & 4 entries=$25

4 • Spread the word! Put our button on your blog, tell your chat group about The Rippee's story or make a special post asking folks to visit our sites. Truly this will only be a success if YOU help. Your hands and voice will be the difference for this little girl!

5 • And a third way to get an extra entry is if you purchase an apron on the Scarlet Threads website for your own giveaway OR purchase one for yourself! (Please email me or leave me a comment that you did this.)

Again, leave me a comment here listing how many entries you qualify for and your contact info OR leave me a comment with the same info on the original give-away post here:

Your kitchen and cooking will be blessed by entering!

Monday, June 28, 2010

HOPE for sale

I came across this email recently. It's called, "Hope For Sale Only $0.39"
and it's about this cool necklace Jenny found on clearance for 39 cents and what a reminder it has become for her. I thought it was a really good post and I wanted to share it with all of you.

We all have hope ... and what JOY that it's something WE could never buy, but rather, it's already been paid for! Check out the original post by clicking on the link.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cool Prizes Great Cause!

I'm not a math whiz, but I think odds are worth checking this out!
Because there will be a winner ... and hopefully it will include you.
Definitely it will include a boy, Michael, and his new family.

Bless them by visiting their site and their fundraiser(s).
There are several prizes in fact, and a couple REALLY caught my 7 year old's eye ... and maybe he's starting to taking a liking to this adoption stuff ... or at least the fundraiser stuff ... or at least the possible fruits he may enjoy from it (ie: a chance a much desired Nintendo DS lite or an ipod touch--he's drooling here over them.)

Surely you could find a use for one of these, as well as gifting another in the process?!
Blessings to this family! And help them spread the word quickly... their auction ends Sunday! (Announced Monday 10am PST)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

To Run the Race

Before I met Jeff ... before I was married ... before I had kids, I used to run.
In fact I used to run a lot.
And bike a lot.
And swim a lot.
Okay, I'm gonna spill the beans. I was a sprint distance triathlete! "Uh-uh!" you say. Well, that's because you know me now, or you knew me before then, when I was a gym-class hatin' kinda girl. It's true, it was rather short lived in it's existence and almost like another lifetime ago, but it's true. (Remember the key word here is SPRINT distance (as in short distance=quarter mile to half mile swim, 25k bike, 5-8k run.)

There was one summer when I participated in 6-7 of these races and I remember LOVING it so much! (Laughable to think about now for me.) But there is something to be said about being prepared for a race. For not only running it, but training and being disciplined and knowing that it is not necessarily how you race against everyone else but mostly about you and your own race. I cannot say that I ever won a race (ha, that makes me giggle to consider) and I don't really know how fast I really was. But I do know that I enjoyed training for those quarter-mile swims, 16-25 mile bike rides and 5k to 8k runs all in succession. And I tried. I did it.
Especially even now as I look back, that is priceless to me to know as I take on new challenges and try running different races.

I've started to run again after a L-O-N-G reprieve. I've always returned to it after the birth of every one of our sons, never doing the triathlon thing, but simply running. After Nolan's arrival it has been more of a difficult return. Blame it on having three little boys or the fact that we had a ton of rain and flooding in 2008 or that we have three kids and only a double jogging stroller if you're a kind soul ... but the truth is, it's just plain ol' hard and it was something I was kinda avoiding. (There is also this issue that I'm continuing to have with my post-gigantic pregnancy belly--belly button that makes running less fun. I think it's herniated and I probably need to have it checked out.) Thank goodness for Mr. Lycra and Mrs. Spandex! I would NOT be here without them. If you've EVER wanted to start running/jogging I will totally tell you to check into the lycra and spandex that is super-supportive. It is a God-send!

Anyway, our family all went on a run last night together. Brayden on his bike, Jeff pushing the jogging stroller with N and E in it (E sometimes hopping out to run a bit,) and me trailing behind like a flag in the wind. (can you envision us all strung out like a thread in the wind on this country gravel road? It was just beautiful and kinda funny!)

When we reached the lake a mile and a smidge away, we stopped to toss in some rocks and splash with some sticks (necessary for all boys when around water) and then turned around to go home again. (I would like to add here the detail that this is the lake where I had my VERY FIRST triathlon the summer BEFORE meeting Jeff. Crazy that I now live only a mile and a smidge away from that spot and run to it nearly every time I'm out for a jog!) So when we turned around, in gentleman fashion, Jeff let me get a head start while he buckled the boys into the stroller (remember the post a couple days ago on Easton jumping out of said stroller?) I was actually in the lead, brief as it was. Of course it wasn't long when I heard the zzzz-zzz-zzz whirrling of bike tires and the pounding of feet behind me as the rest of the family caught up and Brayden didn't miss the opportunity to pass me (and let me know it!) It was then that I remembered how during triathlons when someone passes you or you're passing someone else, you yell out something like, "Lookin' good! Way to go! Finish strong!" as an encouragement to them. But it always was an encouragement to yourself as well whether you were the one passing OR the one being passed! Instead of getting that notion in your head that, "shoot someone else is passin' me, I'm falling behind," you heard a voice that said something different and you remembered the goal and believed that you could do this! You would do this! You remembered to press on. You dug deeper and pushed just a little bit harder ... or kept pushing harder even if you had a side ache and thought you were re going to keel over (ha!)

I guess yesterday was the day of giving encouraging words for me, as only a few hours prior to this, Easton was getting dressed for his hockey practice and he was having a hard time finding any motivation. Which has been the case since he started in April. It's been an uphill battle for this little guy. He's 4 and following in the footsteps of his super-aggressive, sports-minded brother. Those are some big shoes to fill and Easton takes it so seriously and so often thinks he should be at the same level as his 7 year old brother! He really wanted his dad there to get him on the ice, to skate with him, to coddle him ... but his dad was at work, he needed to practice with the coaches, he needed to just t-r-y. So I dug deep. I pulled out the tough-love mom card. I got him dressed, I used humor, I ignored the negative comments or him going limp while I tied on his breezers. I let him help out getting the straps tightened and the pads on. But let me tell ya, he is a tough cookie and he was not liking it much at all. So I had to ask nose to nose (through the hockey helmet)--what are you scared of Easton? What's wrong with just trying?
Silence from him along with a big-lip.
"How old are you?" I asked (in a tone like I really didn't know anymore.)
"4," he answered
"Just plain ol' four?" I questioned and kinda taunted?
"No, just plain ol' four and a half," he fired back at me in aggitation.
"Well, Mr. just plain ol' four and a half, what's going to happen to you out there?"
"They're going to ask me to do Really. Hard. Things.," he replied in disgust and annoyance.
And I said, "Okay, it's going to be really hard, what's going happen then?" "Are you gonna try to do them?"
"Yes," he said in that tone all mother's know will someday be followed by a "no duh mom," comment, but thankfully now was just coupled with a little roll of the eyes.
"Well then, what's gonna happen if you don't do it?" "What are they going to do?"
Silence ... and a smile from Easton as he realized something new. They couldn't do anything. It was all up to him if he did or didn't do it.
"Well, Mr. just plain ol'-four and a half," I said, "You go out there and you Try ... and you give it your all and if you don't do what they ask what are they going to do about it? You just go out there and try and give it everything you've got in you and show 'em what 4 and a half is all about and when we're done we'll go have some ice cream. OKAY?! Okay.!"

At this point he's laughing because I am sounding like some kind of a wacky drill coach and not his mom and he has the promise of ice cream in his heart. And you know what? He had the best skate of his life and was SO happy when he was done! He did it. And he did it like no other 4 and a half your old could do. It was so cool. He is so cool. And that ice cream was SOooo good!! (dollar cone at Cold Stone)

And I hope to remember this moment in all the "really hard stuff" that I'm asked to take on or that I take on myself and find myself neck deep in. I'm not just (insert age here), I'm (insert age here) and I'm going to show everyone what (insert age here) is all about. I may not be the best, but I'm gonna go out there and try. And that's where success is. In trying.

In a side note, you may have noticed that the end-date for the fund-raiser on "Blessings a Hundred Fold" has been moved back until around Labor Day. (Please go read the wonderful post by Rita explaining things if you haven't yet!) With summer keeping everyone SO busy and not checking blogs as often, along with the anticipated arrival of The Rippee's Pre-Approval coming at some point very soon after all the delays in paperwork, we decided that we'd like the opportunity to extend the timeline. With Pre-Approval comes the introduction of their daughter with photos, name and information.  And hopefully some added excitement over this family and hopefully excitement over the drawing. PLEASE spread the news of this fundraiser via your FB or blog or email ... I know we can raise more than 126 dollars for this family. (AND THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE WHO HAS ALREADY GIVEN!!! We are SO blessed and thankful!) I know you all can leave an encouraging word for Rita, I know you are all lifting them up in prayer! Please keep doing that! The reward you will feel when you see the joy in this little girls' eyes knowing she has her FOEVER mom and dad is incredibly deep! And we are so close to enjoying that part of the sweet reward. But there is an even sweeter reward ... an eternal prize even beyond any success here on earth. For that I will keep striving and I know you will too.

Go out there and be your best today, Show 'em what (insert age here) is all about!
Run the race as you've never run it before!

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? 
So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. 
They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize
So I run with purpose in every step. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Art for the Heart-Some LWB Auction Results

Remember This?  (if not click on the words to find out more about it.)
(Ruffle Bug Twirly-Girl Skirt by Ruffled Feathers ... my new little company)

It has now become a part of a picture of this: Health, Happiness & Hope.

This is Todd (shown here with his foster father.) He received two heart surgeries that were quite expensive recently.  However, Love Without Boundaries was able to fund both of his surgeries  – and essentially save Todd’s life — through generous donations given towards his care by their International Children’s Day “Sponsor a Child” program as well as funds raised through LWB’s annual “Born In My Heart” Art Auction (where the above skirt along with 2 more and a table runner donated by me along with SO many other beautiful items from talented and generous people were all donated and auctioned off on ebay in April.)  Many of us love the thrill of finding and competing for treasures during this annual art auction, but it’s even more thrilling to see tangible evidence of a life completely changed through the auction’s profits. 

Thank you to each and every one of you who prayed, bid, won or contributed, in one way or another to this year's auction —and to healing Todd’s heart!
I cannot wait for next year's Art Auction to come around. Plan now and mark your calendars to donate something to next year's auction in April and to bid on some beautiful things that are rich with beautiful tomorrows.

And if you are curious about getting your own Ruffle-bug skirt (like the one above or any of the other skirts in previous posts,) email me or post a comment to the most recent post to let me know what you are wishing for. I am currently making skirts and apron dresses and hoping to have something blog-wise set up at some point this summer or early Fall.
To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist. ~Schumann
You can read more of Todd's story HERE on LWB blog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Photo Flashback Tuesday

While looking for photos for my husband's birthday post last week, I remembered a CD I had made when we got married 10 (TEN!) years ago--(I had made a little slideshow for our wedding reception of him growing up ... and of me growing up ... and US together ... aaawwweeeee--sooooo sweet!)

Anyway, I came across these photos I felt were post-worthy and I would share with you all.
When Jeff was in his 2's (not sure when exactly ... but the edge of one photo is printed August, so I'm guessing he was about Nolan's age when he did this!) he "jumped" out of the swing his mom was pushing him in. Now ... I guess this was before they had baby-safe swings (gulp!) and his mom must have trusted his 2-year old decision making ability. (Which, since just this week our almost FIVE year old jumped out of a jogging stroller WHILE we were jogging I can no longer be overly critical! (ack) I'm now seeing a family trait appear. hah! (Easton was not hurt in the stroller jumping incident by the way, outside of a skinned knee ... thank goodness we are SLOW joggers--ha!)

Anyway ... this was not such a good move by Jeff when he was two. He did learn a big lesson in consequences though! He broke his leg and was in the hospital in traction for over 6 weeks (as a two year old!) and that was when ALL visitor's had to leave for the night at the end of "visiting hours!" Oh my goodness. I cannot imagine a child in the hospital without their parents at that age. I'm so glad they have changed that "rule" here in most hospitals and pray that they would do it elsewhere in the world too.)

His mom did say he was SO happy with all the attention his mom and grandma gave him during the hours that they doted on him every day all day during visiting hours!!! Lots of toys I hear too. (although he claims not to have had many toys ... hmmm.)

When he was released from the hospital he had a series of full body casts and had to learn to re-walk!
Anyway, I thought these photos ... although painful in so many ways are just too cute not to share! He looks like such a happy child! Even despite the unhappy situation! I am sure it had an impact on his patience and ability to adapt to new situations and struggles. Something we all can find value in when we look at our own questioning, stuggles and need for patience and relearning. I find it amazing how all of our life experiences shape us for things even far later in life and unexpected to us that God has been preparing us for all along.

(Remember to buckle those swings and strollers!)

Also, Did you see the post by Stefanie at NiHaoYall? You just have to leave a (or several) comment(s) on her blog and she will donate $1 per comment to An Orphan's Wish. 
WOW! Have you ever known your comments to be SO FREE to you and yet so valuable to a little someone who needs you so? Celebrate her blogging anniversary and check it out HERE! 

An Orphan'sWish

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bringing Hudson Samuel Home!

Incredible families are not uncommon in the adoption world, it is true ... perhaps you know one or two ... But this family has been incredible THREE times, as they yet again reach out their arms in love to grow their family one more time to include another son.

I have a friend who shared with me the saying, "If there is room in the heart, there is room in the house." Oh how true!-- Love does not divide but grows when shared.--What a blessing this family is to each other and to so many of us who have gotten to know them through their journey through everyday life!  They are an inspiration just by being real and sharing it with others.

Right now their family is waiting to bring home their sixth child, four year old Hudson Samuel, who is currently living in Wenzhou, Zheiang China. He is as cute as a button and will add yet another spark of energy to this family!

They are currently holding a fundraiser to generate some of the fees for the adoption process. The fundraiser prizes are very SWEET! You really need to check them out. It would be a blessing to them to have you lend a hand in giving this boy a forever family! If you hurry and are one of the first 20 folks to comment, post and put their button on your blog or facebook you'll even get a a free entry to their drawing the ends July 20th!


Scarlet Threads Apron Give-Away!

Recently I was the lucky winner of a contest held by Scarlet Threads, a boutique, specializing in unique products designed and produced by talented seamstresses in rural Asia, with this photo of my boys representing our state (Iowa) while wearing a Scarlet Threads Apron.
(We're from Iowa, the corn had JUST been planted and hadn't sprouted yet ... so the tractor and 2 of the cutest Iowa boys was a good alternative.) 

How sweet to win the contest. It was by chance that I took the photo of Nolan on the tractor and thought to throw the Phoebe Apron in too--(doesn't he look handsome EVEN in the ruffles?!?) ... and Easton just happened to sneak into the photo too after I had my husband take what I thought was the "real" photo of me in the apron! Too funny.)

So, to bring some needed attention to a fundraiser that is dear to me, http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com, I'm passing on this blessing TO YOU! This beautiful apron (valued at 25.00) can be yours! It would be perfect in your kitchen or on the patio next to the barbeque ... and as an owner of a Scarlet Threads apron myself, I will vouch for the fact that things just turn out better while wearing it! Prove me wrong.
Here are the details on how to WIN!

To win this gorgeous apron:
1 • leave me a comment on this post (maybe with the name of your favorite recipe.)
2 • Visit the fundraising site http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com/ and leave The Rippee Family an uplifting comment. (seriously, you can definitely come up with a few positive words of encouragement!)

But that's not all ... there are also several MORE ways to earn MORE entries too.
3 • Donate to the Chip-In fund on the http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com/ site and you'll earn even MORE entries when you donate!!! (yes, entries here AND there!) 1 entry=$10 & 4 entries=$25

4 • Spread the word! Put our button on your blog, tell your chat group about The Rippee's story or make a special post asking folks to visit our sites. Truly this will only be a success if YOU help. Your hands and voice will be the difference for this little girl!

5 • And a third way to get an extra entry is if you purchase an apron on the Scarlet Threads website for your own giveaway OR purchase one for yourself! (please leave me a comment to let me know you did!)

Here's a brief description of the apron from Scarlet Threads:

Functional yet fun, this apron is perfect for kneading the sweetest dough. Combining retro flowers with a geometric pattern, the dark blue fabric is a perfect blend of funky and feminine. The eye-catching button on the adjustable neck-strap makes this apron a perfect fit for any woman!  A favorite among many of our testers, this apron is up to your toughest kitchen tasks. We know you'll love it; just promise to share the cookies!

The give-away fundraiser for The Rippee Family on http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com/ ends soon. I am praying that we can reach $2,000 by then so the next set of fees are covered for The Rippees to proceed full-steam ahead once they receive their next approval. By donating not only are you granting a huge blessing on this family and this precious child, but you will be registered for this apron AND also that HUMONGOUS list of prizes on the "blessings a hundred fold" site! (May 23rd and June 9th posts)
Check it out!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Snapshot--Happy Father's Day!

Thank you Dad, for listening to me, for believing in me and for encouraging me everyday we shared together here on earth. So much of what I am and what I continue to strive to do is drawn from the love you showered over me. I have missed you everyday for the past ten years. I look forward to seeing you again in Heaven!

Happy Father's Day to you too Jeff. You are such a deeply loving Father and Husband! Thank you for your love to me and the boys! You encourage me with your love and words and when I saw this card I wanted to get it so much for you! (Of course every time I read it I can't help but cry. Thanks for appreciating my thriftiness in making my version of it and not spending $5 for it.)

I Love You! Happy Father's Day!

Please see the post HERE (http://almyfamilyjournal.blogspot.com/2010/06/scarlet-threads-apron-give-away.html) and enter THAT drawing ... and also be inspired and encouraged to support The Rippee Fundraiser at:

What a blessing to be a part of building another father-daughter bond through adoption!

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Happy Birthday Jeff!
(yes, this is actually a photo of Jeff's first birthday!)

And here he is in a softer moment with mom.
(Doesn't he remind you of Easton and Nolan?)

What a lil' trooper--even as a lil' guy. 
Sa-lute! to you too!
love you SO much.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

For Isabella

I finally ordered my Isabella Bracelet! I cannot wait for it to come (and I ordered it like 5 minutes ago ... so I better practice a little patience!) Listen to this description:

Natural wooden beads nestled in yummy fabrics... Hand sewn snug as a bug in a rug...
Shabby chic slightly frayed ends stay tied together. Simply slip your bracelet on and off... fits like a bangle.

Ahhh! I cannot wait for it to arrive! AND it's for such a good WONDERFUL cause!
Won't you join in?! Hop on over to her site and peruse the many, many fabric choices. You're bound to find one (if not more) to fill your basket and bangle your wrists!

Each bracelet ordered between 5/31/10 and 6/30/10 gives you an entry to win this adorable BellaBlush Designs LuLu Collection. 
Take a look at this prize package!:

Do a post linking to this site on your blog or Facebook about the Bracelet fundraiser and Giveaway, leave a comment with your link and receive an entry. This collection is packed with LOTS of goodies that are all professionally printed.
Winner will be selected via Random.org.
The more bracelets you by the more entries you get and you are helping our precious child to be Orphaned NO More!
We need to raise over $4,000 in approx. 4-6 weeks. We could be matched with our Isabella any day. We have several large fees to our agency, CIS, etc. coming due in the next few weeks in order to send our Dossier to China. 
Thank you so much everyone for making a difference in a precious child's life.
May God bless you,

I cannot wait for the drawing and to see how many bracelets come off the countdown to 3,000 bracelets sold!
Mine were numbers 1,944 , 1,943, 1,942
SO 1,059 SOLD and ONLY 1,941 LEFT to go!

P.S. And don't you wish you were my secret sister at church? She'll be getting #1944 and 1943! Ahhh, the blessings just keep a-flowing! Speaking of which, have you checked out the Blessings a Hundred Fold site lately? Daleea has donated TWO beautiful boxed sets of notecards to this fundraiser for The Rippee Family's Adoption AND another sweet person donated one of her Isabella bracelets!! 
The blessings are swirling around us! Take hold and enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Snapshot--Buddies

Nolan and his pal Bella, whom he met at a baseball game this week.
No, not his puppy, but they sure could easily be good friends!

Ni Hao Y'all

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dare to Dream--A New Skirting revealed

Dare to Dream

This light cotton ruffle skirt is perfect for summer--or cooler temperatures if paired with leggings or tights. To be honest, I fell in LOVE with this material the moment I saw it ... I only hesitated to buy it because I wasn't sure if I could do it justice ... it is such a beautiful China Blue and white--the color of my rice bowls

I know I'm probably putting the cart before the horse here ... but I just had to share this beautiful fabric even before I get the elastic completely sewn! Want one? Leave me a comment.

When I got the idea for starting "Ruffled Feathers"--the name I'm using for my low-brow company/skirt-making fundraiser--I ran to the store hoping this fabric was still there--and it was ... in limited quantities! 
So, why the name "Ruffled Feathers" you ask? Well, I have ruffled more than a few feathers with my passion of orphans, my blogging and my sewing! Especially in this house of ALL boys. (Thank goodness those feathers can be smoothed now and again and reassured that yes, they come first. Silliness to think otherwise! But ruffled they do become at times.) And poor Nolan ... he does have a great sense of humor donning this for me. I promised him I wouldn't show all of him and that I'd get a girl model soon. Thanks Nolan for being so secure with your manhood to put up with this mom's request!  :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Look Who is TWO today!

Happy Birthday Nolan!
He's the sweetest blessing imaginable and an incredible answer to prayer.
Ever sweet, ever funny and forever-easy-going.
You love tractors, your monkeys and zamboni's and we look so forward to every day with you as you learn and grow to be a man after God's own heart.
We are so blessed to have you in our family!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Black and White Wednesday--"The Skirtings" Taking Shape

But ya gotta see it in color ...
The background is a blush peach, the flags and flowers have a delicate coloring and an antique feel, the blue is a refreshing periwinkle sea with a swirling paisley pattern.

I am so excited to sew this together ... unfortunately my husband has fixed the lawn mower (for the third time already this summer--he's so handy! And NO! I have not been sabotaging it ... we're just exceptionally hard on it I think.) And the lawn is SO LONG after being away for a week that I have to give my attention to that first today.

However, I decided to give you all a peek (and relieve some of this creative excitement that I have.)  Hopefully someone finds this as cute as I do. I'm also considering a version in a twirly girl skirt. I would love to read any feedback, positive or negative, that you may have ... especially helpful criticism! I'm debating whether to sew the straps onto the back or whether to put two more knots ... or maybe I should consider buttons. Anybody have one of these knot dresses and have experience what you like and don't like about the strap-system? Also ... what would be a reasonable price for something like this (you can email me that if you don't want to leave that as a comment. hee hee) If you haven't read yesterday's post on this crazy idea I have and where the $$ from these will be going, please read yesterday's post on "The Skirtings and a Crazy Idea."

And to quell your fears that this is going to be a bikini top dress ... this is what it will potentially look like once it is sewn together (without that gap in the middle.)

Did I mention that the Fourth of July is on a Sunday this year?! Your little firecracker will look SO SWEET in this gem!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The "Skirting" and a Crazy Idea

I made a skirt last month for a fundraiser for a blog-friend Tanya's trip to China. It was a wonderful success of a fundraiser and she is now back from the adventure of a lifetime with her new daughter and her new family of five! When I made the Lil' Umbrella Twirl Skirt for the fundraiser I had a sweet little girl in mind the entire time I sewed it ... oh how sweet when her mom actually WON the drawing for it! And to sweeten the fun a little more, before I sent it off I made an identical one for her "sister" who came from the same orphanage in China only months later. It was so fun to surprise them both with the skirts ... Georgia's came on the 9 month anniversary of the open-heart surgery that saved her life! What a blessing! And Ashlyn's was a complete surprise as the mailman was super-efficient in getting that package out to them before I got the chance to shoot them an email about the "skirting" that was about to take place.

I have to say, it is SO fun to surprise someone with a little blessing! :-)
And from them ... well, actually even before that, I've been toying with the idea of making some skirts or apron-knot dresses for raising funds. One reason is for the adoption fund-raiser for the Rippee Family at http://blessingsahundredfold.blogspot.com  another reason is for raising some funds for our church that is redoing their basement after some severe and ongoing flooding issues. It's kinda like waiting for that perfect time to jump into a jump rope ... waiting ... waiting ... knowing that you want to do it ... but scared that the rope is going to hit ya in the nose.
So ... I'm just going to jump in with both feet.
Please check back soon for some photos of some creations I would love to have you support ...
For a little girl and the family who is praying for a way to bring her into their forever home,
For a church and all the people who will use that church basement for years to come ... and also
For me who needs a creative outlet and also has a love to donate to other people's fundraisers ... but needs the means to do so. It'll be a three way split and a win-win-win. And a win for you too. I'll try to keep the prices low but the cuteness value high! I have a super SWEET idea for a 4th of July dress that will just be SO COOL especially with the Fourth of July on a Sunday this year! If anyone comments on the dress you can share with them about the Rippee Fundraiser, the fact that it is helping a church and also your love of helping orphans and mine. All that AND a cute skirt!
Check back ... and let the "skirtings" begin!

The family

The family