Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Adventureland

This morning Nolan and I had cheese and crackers for a snack ... which of course led to a pretty crumbly mess on his lap!
And for simplicity sake instead of brushing him off and then sweeping the floor ...
I thought I'd "save time" and just carry his chair with him in it to the deck and have him simply stand up and brush off outside.
But remember this post of my deck adventures earlier this summer?
Yup ...
It happened again.
The door apparently slammed behind me as my hands were carrying Nolan in his chair ... and we were both once again stuck outside on the deck, 12+ feet in the air, 10am in the morning ... and wait, it gets better, since I was working on finishing some sewing and a church logo and about 3 other things I was still in my jammies ... and bare foot!

UG!

So after I threw my little tantrum and while pounding on the door (no doubt amusing Nolan quite a bit) I hoisted myself down over the side of the railing once again, totally NOT feeling quite as confident this time and wondering if I would fall and end up in worse shape than Jeff! But I did make it down and around the house to unlatch the stuck door.
"Funny" how this happened just BEFORE school was out in the spring (therefore the older boys were not home to help) and now it happens again AFTER school is back in session and the older boys are not here once again.

Fitting title, eh?

But, aside from that we also went to Adventureland Amusement Park in Des Moines about 2 weeks ago and I am finally getting around to sharing some photos of our fun.

Bumper Cars

 Brayden, Easton and Jeff braved the Log Ride!
While Nolan and I checked out the Speed Boats.
My Favorite ride by far! The Raging River--
After waiting what seemed like eternity in line ... we got SO drenched!
Just for the record I am not a roller coaster loving girl. Swings are a real stretch for me. Luckily ... I have one child, Nolan, who shares those same genes. (Bummer for him.)
Notice his death grip on his dad's shirt and his terrified face?
Don't worry, he was never in danger ... I'm the biggest scary-cat and look at my smile.
And they totally noticed that it was a raft FULL of boys and set the River on "FULL SOAK" I swear! Thankfully I was not there to impress anyone, so looking a bit wet was just fine.

Jeff convinced Nolan and I to go on the Ferris Wheel. (Both of our first times!) Nolan's look of concern was nothing short of the look of apprehension on my face I'm sure.


The train ride at the end of the day was Nolan's favorite he said although I think it was the boats that he drove first ... he was just in shock after the BIG rides and he was clinging to what he knew best!
And it was the perfect day to wear the handmade bracelet Brayden made me for my birthday!
The day in the big amusement park was topped off just perfectly (for me anyway) as we stopped in a small town on the way home just STARVING and had the best Chinese dinner in a family run Chinese restaurant! (Thanks Jeff!) 
Poor Easton however had to make due with another ham sandwich left over from our noon "sack-lunch" in the car (boy are we cheap economical) on the car ride home as he not only dislikes rice but he claims most Chinese dishes. Go figure--I think he thinks it all tastes like my lousy attempts at making it. Poor boy. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What happens when you have several boys ...


Twenty years ago ... no ... even ten years ago ... if you would have told me that I would someday be the mom to THREE very, very, very active and sports-loving boys and no girly-girls I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have believed you.

You see, I'm an artist, a quilter, a sewer, a pianist ... I like dresses and little girl stuff, LOVE stuffed animals and dolls, should I go on? If you would have told me that in 2011 I would be spending my days separating boys from wrestling matches in the living room, shuttling boys to hockey, baseball, football ... running to see the latest toad that was caught ... hmmm ... that would have been a bit of a shock to me. But then again ... I did spend a lot of time with my brother and dad while growing up ... and I do have a long love of camouflage ... and Batman and matchbox cars that goes WAY back.
I was reminded so sweetly this week that, "God doesn't call the equipped, but equips those He calls." Yes, He was preparing me for this job as momma to this houseful of boys long, long ago ... even while I was loving the girlier things that most girls love.

But this week has been one of THOSE weeks in our household. Easton broke out in massive unexplained hives on Saturday and Sunday of last week. School started in full-force for our two oldest boys. Hockey tryouts for Brayden were Tuesday and Thursday, as well as baseball tryouts on Saturday. And right in the middle of it all ... while I was helping Brayden with his math homework at the hockey arena ... Easton decided to try hitting a "home-run" with his little brother's hockey stick. Problem was ... his little brother was right in front of him!

Thankfully, although it immediately looked super-nasty and I was super-not-happy, it was just a cut and bruise to his tender eyelid and did not hurt his sight or eyeball! Thank you God! And, now Sunday, it is almost healed (minus some really cool eye-shadow-ish shades that still are on the eyelid.) Wednesday morning (when this photo was taken) he could barely open his right eye. UG!
(Easton did feel really, really bad by the way that he had done this.)

Brayden also bent his thumb all the way backwards for the second or third time this summer while practicing for his postition in the NFL playing football with his dad, the horse had to see the horse chiropractor (I kid you not) and Jeff fell to his knees in the barn yesterday afternoon when his back gave out with a "POP" while lifting some heavy farm equipment!!
Did I forget anything in there? Oh yeah, my back hurt a bit from that earlier injury during the boating trip over the 4th of July that for some reason resurfaced out of the blue while vacuuming but really, who had time to worry about that?!

Thankfully again, the hives were nothing we can figure out and they are gone, the thumb is healing, the eyelid is looking much, much better, my back is feeling better and Jeff ... well ... the doctor said that it is a muscular injury and not skeletal ... so he should be feeling better in, um, six weeks or so. (gulp.)

But amid all the trauma and drama some really cool things have happened this week as well. And I'm just bursting at the seams to share, but don't know how much info I should share as it isn't my story to tell in full.
However, I am asking you to please lift up this little one in prayer
as well as the forever family who is pursuing her with the deepest love!! I have no doubt that it will bring God so much glory as it unfolds!!
She has unexplainably been on my heart so big this week ... sure, I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe she was our daughter?! Hmmm ... no, Jeff has not come to me with a green light on that topic ... but I'm Hopeful always. And there was something about this girl ... Hope. And through a series of clicks and prayer can you believe that I ended up unexpectedly on the site of the family who hopes like mad to be her family someday soon!!! I cannot explain enough what an answer to prayer this is because that has been one of my prayers lately--that her God-appointed forever family was being prepared for her. And when I first was looking at her hopeful forever-family's blog (that at the time I didn't know if they were even interesting in pursuing her or if they were just drawn to pray for her too,) I quietly said, "God, if I should bother this family with an email to ask more, please give me some sort of sign ... because I don't want to go where you don't want me to be."
Seriously ... it was barely off my tongue and as I scrolled down a few posts from earlier this month I saw this ...

In case you may not know ... my maiden name begins with the letter "P" and my married last name ...
is "Almquist"
What are the chances of this?!
It's not like my last name is something common like Smith or Jones.
And can God be THIS literal?! THIS immediate?! THIS hilarious?!
Well ... in case you are curious, no this is NOT their last name, neither is Almquist, but it is one of their family members' new-to-be last names through marriage and this mamma was throwing a shower for her and had this photo on her site earlier in the month--perhaps when I first began feeling this pang about Hope ...
God-incidence for sure.
God hears our every prayer and longs for us to talk with him and have a relationship with him.
I just know that he heard my heart, just as he knows this family's heart right now.
They are headed into some crucial moments right now in their adoption process and are asking for prayer--you don't need to know who they are of course (I'll check to see if I can pass that info along) because God knows them.

Please pray that the file for this little one is ready in China right now!
That this family pursuing her can get their paperwork in order quickly and can lock her file.
That their hearts would be open to God's leading if this is not their child ... but that ... HOPEfully she IS!
They are so perfectly prepared for her exact SN.
I don't know why I have been drawn to pray for Hope ... but I am so glad that God has allowed me to do so and feel included in her journey and that you will be praying for her too.
Blessings!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Little Poof and Swirl for Yourself

Instead of blogging about my youngest son's black eye (induced by my second son and a hockey stick that was used as a baseball bat tonight at my oldest son's hockey tryouts--it was an accident of course ...please explain that to my gray hairs that are spouting by the dozen) OR the first day of school for B and E and the photos they humored me with OR the ba-jillion other things that have simply kept me running like a chicken with my head cut off for the last 2 weeks ... 

I'd like to remind you of a little poof and swirl for yourself. 

Because if you're like me ... getting the family back to school and packing away "summer" is no small undertaking and maybe you need a little pampering too about now.
Don't ya love this little set?!
What a pick-me-up.
I have the PERFECT fabric to make a matching little girl outfit to match this Vera Bradley purse set  too... and guess what?
Both could be YOURS!
Okay, not everybody has a need for a little girl skirt (however if you do, check out my sewing site
www.ruffledfeatherscompany.blogspot.com )... BUT I'm gonna guess that 99% of my readers (if not more) carry a purse of some sort. And if it's like mine ... well ... it could use an update and maybe a download of a few matchbox cars, a toy cell phone, 6 half eaten snacks, some "special" gravel rocks, blown in kleenex and maybe 16 pens/crayons/pencils.

The coolest part about this purse ... and about 10 other sets in all ... is that they are helping to bring home a young lady named Kelia to her family.
Click on over to THIS POST to see the entire collection that is available and the HOW TO'S in getting a chance at one of these hanging off your shoulder.
The fundraiser is drawing to a close so don't miss out!!! It ends August 26th and there is still plenty of room for your participation, in fact they are praying for it. This is not the first journey of adoption for this family ... but it has been their hardest.
And just think of the conversation you could kick up when somebody comments on your Lovely Purse!
I'm thinking that they would definitely hold an ice pack super-well ... ya know ... just in case.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday--More Ruffles

Oooooo-how could I not share these other wonderful photos from the Ruffled Feathers Tea Party! 
Enjoy!

Krisha: Beauty in bloom!

Cora patiently waiting ...
 

... to twirl ...
 

Khloe: A China doll!

What a princess!
 
The key to any outfit is to accessorize! And Lucy Kate's hair bobbles match perfectly!
 
 
Yes, you are an angel!
 
I did not make these next two dresses ... but have waiting patiently for 9 years to see a little girl in them! (they were from my baby closet) And they wear them beautifully.
 
 
 

Determined not to be left out ... even if the skirt was a wee bit big :-) SO sweet!
 

And a little help from a friend to get it just right ...
 

Angela ... You are my sunshine ...

Ahhhh, Eliana snagged the dots skirt and shines with a bright smile!
 
 
Beautiful Claire
 

Wasn't that fun!
AND as sprinkles on top of this already special treat ...
I just found out that my birthday wish CAME TRUE!
Sweet Jade (scroll down to Aug. 5th for the photo and story) has a family of her own.
Even before her 6th birthday--it is sure to be a special year for her.
(Wow--I should have made a few birthday wishes I guess!)
What an incredible week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Khloe: More Pink Seeds

Two posts in one day?
--oh my--

Recently I had the pleasure of making a sponsorship button for one of my FAVORITE ND sweeties who just happens to be on "my list" of kids whose monthly updates to sponsors I help edit. Oh my goodness--what a CUTIE-PIE! Can someone actually be so cute that it hurts? Apparently so!
I'm pretty sure I remember catching my breath when I saw her photo for the first time on the ND site. I know ... I shouldn't have favorites ... but then again ... why not.

And can you believe that 3 of "my" children from the original Updates Kids list I received have already been adopted and another 4 on my current list are *spoken for and 2 of those already joined their forever families this past week!--woooo whooo!
Only Rosie and Renee remain on my list without an * by their name ... (the * denotes adoption pending.) I will be so excited when their forever families are called to them and they finally have the * too. They are such treasured rubies I am sure! What joy they will bring in filling the empty spot that waits especially for them.
These are "my kiddos" 
who are on my fridge to remind me to pray for them.
Just last week I had the joy of running across two forever families that are waiting for their children who are currently at New Day. One of them even happened to be the family of one of the children on my list!--Sweet Khloe's forever family (see her, upper left?!)... What a blessing to know that they are traveling for her VERY SOON after a very, very long wait! They are  in the final stages of fundraising for their trip in a month. Their fundraiser can be found HERE. (password: Khloe2011) 

It was a blessing to be able drop her a note right before Khloe's 4th birthday last week and have the opportunity to include a Ruffled Feathers Company gift certificate in the prize list of this last give-away fundraiser for her! God's perfect timing once again.

Some of the other SaWeeT! prizes include: 2 key fobs from Kelly at Keys to China and a gift certificate donated by Tina to Baby Be Blessed and a tee shirt from BrickOven Tee AND the biggie-prize is a color NOOK from Barnes and Noble. Check it out  HERE to see all the wonderful prizes and how you can be eligible for winning them!

**Wendy, Khloe's mom notes: Just a $5 Donation would be such a HUGE help in bringing Khloe home and will give you a couple of entries into the Gift Item of your choice!**

Also, if you would like to help bring Khloe home, there is a link to their CHIP-IN on my sidebar right by the other CHIP-IN for New Day's surgery fund that has a MATCHING FUNDS challenge. 

Did you all see that one over there?! It's having a bit of a SLOW start ... but I just have a feeling that it will take off soon with your help. I just LOVE the idea of doubling the giving amount!

Both are great opportunities to make a big difference in a little one's life. Someone you may never meet ... but who will be forever grateful.

AND If you are a sponsor of a New Day child I would be happy to make you a button of your special child for your blog. Just send me an email ... I try to get them done quickly ... sometimes they are a wee-bit delayed and with school starting I may be creating them while dabbing my tear-filled eyes with Kleenex ... but I always love to create them! And if you already have a button and would like it "refreshed" with a newer photo, just send me a request for that as well.

whew! 
I've never done 2 posts in one day.
Guess I couldn't help but to share.

Happy Birthday Easton!

Happy Birthday to our sweet six year old!
We love you so much Easton. XXOOXXOO
You are such a gift to us with your lovable character, wise thoughtfulness and deep, deep heart.
Thank you God for this precious son!
What a gift you have entrusted to us!
Love,
Mom and Dad
Easton with his first Crappie fish at the cabin

Easton with the tree he transplanted 
from Minnesota to Iowa this summer

Friday, August 12, 2011

Full

I guess I've actually reached the max capacity given out for "free" on images for my blog (probably because I run Ruffled Feathers together with our family blog??)

SO, I'm trying to decide if I should print a blog book and delete past posts to make more room ... or just delete photos from past posts. Or pay a little bit for more room. Ug.

Has anyone had this problem? And does anyone have any good recommendations on who they may have used to capture and record their blogs? I did trial run one (I can't remember the name, but I didn't commit to it yet.) It looked very cool. Just not sure if it was $145.00 cool, ya know.

But one thing is for sure ... my little guys have grown SO MUCH! I can't believe it going back and looking at some of those photos in the old posts! As if I needed any more help being sentimental! Especially this time of year. Oh my.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thankful Tuesday and an Opportunity

FINALLY the severely oppressive humidity that has been lingering here in the MidWest most of the summer (I kid you not) has lifted! And as a person who likes hot weather, I gotta say, even I was sick of it! We've had the air conditioning off and our windows open for nearly 26 hours now and to hear the crickets and the locusts singing ... as well as the boys playing outside (and lets be real here ... fighting at times ... but working through that fighting without my help) is music to my ears!

But I'm bummed that the summer is almost gone.
School starts ... NEXT WEEK!!
The summer always goes too quick and the first 2 weeks of summer when we were just trying to set the schedule of being all together all day long seem like a distant memory. I'm jealous for my kids already who soon will be stolen away for most of their days by the public school system to learn and grow and reach their educational potential.

I love school and I'm so thankful that they have the opportunity to learn so much. It's just that they are growing up so fast ... and when I have them next summer they won't be THIS age any more. And that is a bummer. I'm sure next year will be fun with the perks of a 9, 7 and 4 year old ... but right now I simply want MORE of my 8, 6 and 3 year old.

But time marches on regardless of my wishes doesn't it.

As I was filling out all the school registration forms for this upcoming year (thankful that I can do most of it online before going to the actual registration where I simply write out the big check instead of doing all the paperwork there on the spot with 3 kids in tow in a hot, sticky, fly-bothering gym like my mom used to have to struggle through with the long process) I literally paused while breezing through the medical forms ...

What a blessing that I can check the NO box on all the medical issues for my boys--and to see their shots record full of dates and immunizations ... wow.
I am so thankful that their lives haven't been threatened by ALL those scary things like Polio or Measles, Mumps, Ruebella ... and that God chose to form them without any life-threatening issues.

I found myself reading about heart defects in infants the other night.
Ya, maybe not the light reading on the night of my birthday while Jeff prepared his Sunday School lesson that I normally would have chosen. And I'm not sure why I was drawn to it ... but I so much suddenly wanted to learn about PFO and ASD and VSD for once instead of just reading the letters.--I didn't understand it all of course, but to read through the process of the formation of the heart during gestation and then also how the chambers begin working at birth, closing and flowing blood for the first time is SO AMAZING! What a miracle it all is and again I am so thankful that the chambers fully closed for each of our boys (to our knowledge.) The heart is a scary subject for me as heart problems later in life tends to genetically run in our family ... and well "later-in-life" actually included my father who had his first heart attack at age 37. That seems SO young!
Because here I am at 41.

I love it when I'm called to pause and be thankful over things that I know I take for granted way too often. I am so thankful. So very, very thankful for so much.

So when I left filling out the forms yesterday and went back to the computer I noticed a wonderful opportunity to bless the medical fund at New Day one more time!
Oh man, and that's when I knew God had been walking with me and preparing my heart to see how my thankfulness could meet being His hands and feet! He had my attention and He was going to show me something in a new way.

Did you notice the new Chip-In button on the top of the sidebar?
I think this is the third Matching Funds opportunity that I've seen this summer and it is so crazy cool! An anonymous generous heart has laid out there a challenge. For EVERY DOLLAR pledged through their Chip-In button toward the New Day Medical/Surgery fund THEY WILL MATCH IT!
Up to $5000!
Which if met, would give New Day $10,000 to help children with medical needs!

Now, this is the cool part. You are not being asked to give a huge impossible amount. Even a little adds up ... and adds up quickly as it is doubled!
I know that the summer started off with a similar challenge by someone else and it was met so quickly that I totally missed the boat to give! How cool was that! But I was bummed, I wanted my little gift to be doubled.
And luckily, I caught the next giving opportunity and it happened we got to be a part of helping to heal sweet Roy's heart as well as a few other children's Special Needs too! Maybe you saw one of these earlier challenges and missed them too or maybe you were blessed by being a part of them.
And here's one more chance for you to be a part of something so much bigger!

It comes at a really good time because ND has taken in several heart babies recently to fill the places of the sweeties who have left to go home with their forever families! Some have "smaller" heart issues ... some have more "major" issues. But regardless of the severity, to know that a procedure is available to help cure or alleviate their condition it really calls to OUR hearts to reach out and help if possible.

I know that this may be a tough time to give with all the back-to-school bills ... however ... there are also a good deal of sales out there and perhaps the money you intended to spend, but saved ... could be in part pledged to make such a difference in the lives of these children who wait for their forever families. Even if it's simply $5 or 10--because, hey, that actually becomes $10 or 20!
Thanks ... and be mindful of all the overlooked blessings in your life--God uses them sometimes when you least expect it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sowing Pink Flowers and Jade

My birthday is tomorrow and since I'm probably not going to take time to blog I thought I'd make this post today. I will be 41. 
(funny how I always thought I'd have life "figured out" by the time I was 32 ... I didn't even have kids by that age! HA! Age is so much MORE than a number.)

Glad I'm having a birthday--not so thrilled about the "number" of course ... but I guess that just means that I'd like to savor things a bit longer. Perhaps that's a testament to how blessed I am. If things were bad I'd want to fast forward instead of linger here, right?

I have been pondering things lately--trying to get an idea of what direction I'm headed--of course no answers abound in long format. But that keeps things interesting. If I knew too much where would the anticipation in that be? And I'm sure I'd find plenty to complain about with how "I" think it should really unfold. 

The less fortunate of the world continue to be on my heart--especially orphans. It just hurts to think that a child looks forward into their day without the promise of love of a family or a mom or dad or even food or safety that is guaranteed. It breaks my heart that the abundance that I take so for granted is not something that I can necessarily share in the way that I envision. 
But there are things that can be done--and most importantly that draws me closer to God and what can be more beautiful than that? He can get things done--even the seemingly most impossible. "He Has the Whole World In His Hands" was a song I used to sing and sing and sing as a child--I need to remember those words more often.

So I bought a birthday present for myself yesterday and I encourage YOU to visit this etsy site too if you haven't already. The jewelry is gorgeous and the cause is HEARTFUL!
*Sales benefit The Sparrow Fund, a nonprofit committed to encouraging and supporting families as they prepare for the adventure of adoption.*
My choice was instantaneous when I saw it ...
Instantaneous.


Sowing Pink Flowers in Kenya Wrap Bracelet 

Seed Pod Bracelet to Benefit Adoption

And as another birthday present to myself I cannot help but post about one of the sweetpeas that has crossed my blogging path lately--and there have been many, oh my! 

I have to admit that I find myself looking into their faces and asking those deep questions: "Could you be my child? Could I be your mom? Could I possibly fill part of the void that you long to fill? Could our family grow each of our hearts to make room for one more? Would I even begin to take on the challenge of seeing your pain and trying to help those wounds heal? Am I strong enough or wise enough or compassionate enough? Would the shortness to which I surely would fall still be enough?"--and they are questions that remain unanswered because they are not the easy or obvious choices and certainly not ones our society leans toward making. And certainly not ones that make for easy family discussions or happy husbands who are stressed enough with plain ol' work or tired moms who really would like 5 minutes alone to go to the bathroom solo or a trip to the mall by herself!
So we wait and think and think that really this must not be God's will for us. It must be someone else. Someone who is wiser, more patient, more faithful ... more of where we wish we were I guess.

And so with thinking we miss so much. Not that I am against thinking! I just believe that when there isn't praying along with the thinking so many opportunities for what God could have for us are missed.

So this birthday, I have a birthday wish.
But my birthday wish isn't for me ... but for her.
Because I bet it's her birthday wish as well.
For a family to call HER OWN.
This is Jade. 
And when I look into her beautiful eyes and imagine her soft cheek snuggling up against my arm for a book to be read, I cannot help but to see a GEM waiting to be discovered! She is 5 and was abandoned due to the lack of pigmentation in her skin/hair/eyes. She has a condition called Albinism. And isn't she simply beautiful!! 

So this birthday I am praying that whatever family God has in mind to set this child into, that it will happen soon.
She waits.
and soon she will be 6 (Oct.),
and then 7,
and her hope will begin to fade.
Her file states that she is "developmentally delayed," but her caregivers say, "she is bright and catching up with her peers." 
Many orphanages often lack adequate stimulation for children and they fall behind in many areas and even more so for children with SN whom may not get the most attention. Her file also states that, "she is verbal and asks questions when she is comfortable. BUT, that she is shy and timid. Maybe even stubborn." It's possible those three things worked against her when her IQ test was administered.
It is possible they did not.

It's hard to know what the truth is, but I wonder if the truth really needs to be known for her to find a family who will love her.
I remember my 6th birthday as being one of my very, very favorites. I hope her sixth birthday in a few months is for her too! Hopefully she will have a family in pursuit of her by then.

Please, spread the word about darling Jade. She deserves to be more than a diagnosis. She deserves to be a daughter, a sister. Loved. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Storybook Pixie Knot Dress FINISHED!

Remember when I posted about a fabric that I instantly fell in love with?!?!
This was before the whole New Day Tea Party dress fest that took over our dining room table for about a week. I think it may have actually been the "fuel" to kick me into the right "sewing gear" to make the Ruffled Feathers Tea Party come together!

Well, I received a very special request for a dress and doll dress out of this fabric soon after I posted about it ... and the fabric arrived the DAY before leaving for vacation ... so it was set aside in the rush to pack.
And after the storm hit and made such a mess of things right after our return I didn't get to this for longer than I had hoped ... thankfully I had a long deadline.

BUT when I did start sewing on it ... I couldn't stop!
It was SUCH SWEETNESS!
It actually came together amazingly quickly and turned out even cuter than I had imagined!
I found the PERFECT buttons.
(YES, I can sew on buttons if you don't like the "knot" look!)
Click on any photo to see it larger

The project was for a sweet lil' girl's 4th birthday present and for her start to preschool in the fall!


And the most exciting part was having the opportunity to work on a matching BittyBaby/Bitty Twin outfit! I've been dreaming of this for over a year dabbling in it a bit for a few give-aways, but now I think I have it down and it really turned out great.

Sweetness

The velcro is an easy closure for little hands in the back
And likewise on the BACK of the straps, so the knot on the front stays looking pretty.

And as icing on the cake, when I delivered the dresses last week, I came to find that the little girl's parents both attended the same small, close-knit Lutheran college, Luther College, that I did! 
(albeit, several years AFTER I graduated.)
God is so in the details.

And ... because there really is no end to the neat fabrics out there ...
I've already found a few more that I just love (sigh)

This one I have on hand and it reminds me so much of some fabric that MY mom hand-made 
a special kindergarten dress for me out of. I wonder if she still has that dress somewhere? 
I am just looking for a project for this. Let me know if you are having a hard time resisting it ;-)
(The colors are pink, purple and white on a cocoa brown background.)

And this one I'm having a hard time locating ... 
but since I really, really like it I will hunt it down!
Email me if you would like something special sewn for someone special in your life :-)

The family

The family