Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sew sweet

"OUCH!" the Hubs screamed from upstairs. I wondered what in the world had happened and when he told me that he stubbed his toe, I must admit, I shrugged it off. Big whoop, everyone has stubbed a toe and it hurts like mess but seriously, it's NO big deal.

Besides I was busy sewing my aprons for unknown people for an unknown purpose and if he wasn't incapacitated, I had mounds of material awaiting construction.

However as the morning lingered, the Hubs continued to complain about his stubbed toe. When he eventually showed it to me, it was ghastly! Dark shades of red and purple melted together on his little middle toe, ew! It didn't look stubbed, it looked mangled! Talk about gee-ross.

So how do you know you married a good man? When your hubs traipses your handmade aprons downtown with a broken toe and tries to sell them at local stores. That's how you know you are loved.

The Hubs has successfully passed many "tests," - last year when I broke my foot, he proved his love for me and then there are scores of other times that are none of your beeswax when he has shown me sacrificial, undeserved love.

How many aprons did he sell? I can hear you wondering. He sold nada. Nothing. Zilch. They didn't kick him, his fractured phalange of the foot along with my aprons out of the stores, thank the Lord! Nor did they say they would never, ever consider selling such rubbish! But did it matter to me? Heck, no!

For me it's the humbling image of a man who believed in me enough in me that despite his discomfort, was willing to limp down the sidewalk with my aprons in hopes that he could sell them for me.

Lemme tell ya, making these aprons has turned into a spiritual endeavor. I have so much to learn and tell, isn't it amazing how God can use the simplest things to teach us?

The idea of my sweet hubs limping through our quaint downtown trying to sell his wife's wares is seriously a better gift than if he had sold every last one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sew blessed

For nearly eight years I had a wonderful part-time job. I poured my soul into the position and treasured every experience, from the funniest moment with a teenager to the most heartbreaking. Talking to young people about sensitive subjects, hearing their own stories often left me with little to give to my own precious family.

This summer the Lord saw it fit to have me step away from that job which came as both a relief and a loss. It was something I was good at and gave me something exciting to do. I stepped into a mission field of sorts and then one day, I didn't.

With a very low desire to step back into the work world and with a hubs who supported me staying at home, I have enjoyed days caring for my family. I have also loved looking at my calendar and seeing that there is nothing I absolutely have to do. That doesn't mean I've been lazy, it just means I haven't had the usual constraints on what, when and how I do certain things.

One of my passions is sewing. And I love cooking. So one day I felt a tug in my heart to combine the two. Here is a simple mathematical equation of my idea. It's a simple math equation because I can't do any complicated math. I'm a word girl, thank you very much.

Cooking + sewing = aprons

About three weeks ago I ran into a friend at the Whole Foods and I told her about me making aprons. She makes adorable Christmas ornaments so it wasn't just a random comment that didn't make sense, as if that has ever stopped me. That's when she suggested I participate in our church's Christmas craft party and try to sell my little aprons. My heart skipped a beat as I rushed through the checkout aisle ready to get home and sew my brains out.

I came home eager to tell the Hubs about this new project. I have a ridiculous amount of fabric accumulating in our room so it wasn't going to be difficult to produce many aprons. I knew he would be happy to see some fabric exiting our house instead of coming into our home Often I have wondered how I was going to get rid of it and if I would ever have the talent to make something people might like enough to buy.

My Project Runway sewing machine has been very busy as I have designed my own aprons not using a pattern but fashioning them based on qualities I have liked in several of my fave aprons I use regularly.

Many times I have spoken with the Lord. While making these aprons for imaginary people, I have confided in Him. "Lord, what if no one wants my aprons? What if I can't sell any?" As I awaited His voice, I heard Him tell me, "Just sew."

Last Sunday was the day of the Christmas craft party. I ironed each one and hung it on a rack. You would have thought I was preparing for a fashion show in New York City! There were moments when I actually felt slightly like a designer but not in an arrogant way, I assure you!

I arrived at the lady's home to get my display arranged. I lugged in a full-length mirror, 20 aprons and several samples of material suggesting other aprons I could make and waited with the other crafty ladies for people to arrive. It is a vulnerable feeling to have people look at your wares. Some walk by with nary a glance, others admire and window shop, it is strange standing in front of something you have made wondering if anyone will like it enough to buy. Like my previous job, I poured my heart out on each little apron. If anyone bought one, they were going to be taking home a little part of me.

And guess what? To my delight I sold 18 aprons! I sold 12 directly at the party and have paid orders for six more. They liked my aprons! As I returned home with more money than when I had left (and that is a rarity, folks!), I remembered the words the Lord had placed in my heart. "Just sew." He told me to leave the results to Him and in my obedience, the Lord blessed my family and me.

I can't wait to tell you more about aprons. Remind me to share with you something about the Hubs, a broken toe and aprons. And remind me to tell you about my mom and aprons, too. Aprons and Soldiers too. Stay tuned, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chuck Norris is in da house!

So basically it was just your typical day at West Point. You know, cadets in ACUs or as-for-class uniforms, cadets correctly addressing each other, cadets jogging by one another or concocting some buffoonery to torment on a fellow cadet. (Oh, how I wish I could blog about that but I can't because a certain cadet would disown me!)

However, there really isn't anything typical about West Point. Many notable people stroll this stately place. Geraldo Rivera, Miss USA and the President of El Salvador (prior to the communist takeover of that beautiful country) have been to WP. The Prince of Orange was at USMA this fall and I'm not ashamed to say this, I had no idea anyone could be the prince of a fruit! Actually it's the Netherlands - DUH!

Recently, Trace Adkins gave a no-holds-barred concert which was resoundingly NOT politically-correct. Yeah, West Point has brought some heavy hitters on post.

But none, and I mean, NONE as cool and awesome and wonderful and every other adjective imaginable ever known to humankind as the man/myth/hero who came by on Tuesday.

The day before Veteran's Day, West Point was ridiculously exciting because...drum roll, please...

Chuck Norris paid a visit to WP!

My son was unable to meet him personally, shucks, but Chuck Norris was announced in the Mess Hall as my OS was running to class from the auditorium. I guess that's a good thing because Nate was worried about getting a roundhouse kick from him! HA! And although Nate didn't meet Chuck, one of his buddies got a high-five from him and another had a photo op with the guy! What luck!

Chuck Norris is the man. He respects and supports the military.

He speaks his mind but with tact and passion. Every time I have seen the guy on tv, he sounds genuine and humble despite all the adulation. I understand that Chuck stayed well past his initial commitment and signed books for well over three hours. Solid.

Today ESPN is reporting from West Point and I am thrilled that the Army is getting some good press.

These last couple of days have been so sad and concerning...

In honor of Chuck's visit to West Point, here are some Chuck Norris jokes for your reading pleasure...

If you spell Chuck Norris in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

Chuck Norris can slam revolving doors.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Check this out!

When my OS were little and I became a stay-at-home mom, I found sanctuary in MOPS. On really rough days, (oh yes, we have had plenty of rough days), I would LIVE for my MOPS day. It meant that I would have time for myself, talk with other moms, hear a great speaker and make a fun craft. My OS would be in a nearby room being cared for by generous ladies and we would all leave happy. They would nap, I would show the Hubs the craft I had made at MOPS when he got home from work. He would lavish praise even if it looked like something I could have made in kindergarten, MOPS will always hold a special place in my heart.

Now I have a sister in MOPS and I live vicariously through her when she goes to MOPS meetings. Quick MOPS story before I write the real reason for my post...

Last year, one day I was over at my sister's house. Our mom was visiting and Denise walked in from the garage and into the kitchen utterly exasperated. She was breathless and clearly overwhelmed and when I asked her what was wrong, she directed me to take a look at my nephew otherwise known as one of my Gooey Guys.

As Jon walked into the kitchen, I noticed something was amiss. Jon trotted in with a shirt, a pull-up and socks. Gone were his pants and his big boy undies...While at MOPS, Jon thought he had "let one go" or as he calls it had a "barking spider" and it soon became disgustingly apparent, that he had more than expelled flatus. My darling nephew had pooped in his pants and I mean really pooped in his pants thus rendering his Thomas the Tank Engine undies completely and irrevocably ruined. I found it hilarious; my sister did not. Oh those were the days, thankfully we are both laughing about that moment!

Ok, so awkward transition...there's no easy way to do it...

I just had to tell you about the most adorable craft the MOPS ladies made today. Check out this Advent Calendar. You can buy comparable Advent Calendars for $75 and up but not like this or at this price. You can have a Advent Calendar created by my friend Darcy for just $50. Darcy will include a personalized name on the top of the calendar if you like at no extra charge.

And for the uber crafty, Darcy is selling a set for you to make the Advent Calendar yourself. She includes a template for alternate ideas. The kit includes a dowel, twine, 25 monogrammed numbers, felt, ribbon and buttons, basically everything needed to create one like this including a picture of the sample. These are only $30 plus shipping and handling. And she'll personalize it for free.

Facebook was abuzz with MOPS moms writing about the nifty craft they made and judging from some of the moms' pictures, they all did a GREAT job! It is so cute to see all the creative ideas circulating! One mom has a husband who is a firefighter so she's making a fire engine. Another mom's son loves trains and she has a new daughter. She's making a train and a ballerina. And if you know me, you know I LOVE penguins! There are penguins on the Advent Calendar !
Darcy is a stay-at-home pastor's wife and mom. She is a tal- ented seamstress with such a servant's heart, I know it would bless her family's holidays if she sold bunches of these. Call Darcy at (919) 676-3159 if you want more info or to place an order. Tell her you heard about this right here! I love bragging about my talented friends!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Redemption para Senor Taco Cabesa (Redemption by Mr. Taco Head)

It's only taken 10 months for there to be redemption in my house. Say what??? I'm talking about coupon redemption, folks; we found redemption of the spiritual sort individually quite some time ago, which by the way, is a VERY good thing!

On my birthday, which happens to be January 27th so be sure to mark it down, my middle OS gave me a coupon for him to make dinner for the family. I read the fine print, "this coupon is a legal voucher for a complete meal on any non-school day. This must be presented to the giver before 3:00 on that day or before that day. The only other rule is that you must enjoy your meal and have a nice time doing whatever it is that you do while you are not cooking." Isn't that cool?

This morning I announced/asked Aaron if he could make dinner tonight. With only a momentary hesitation, he agreed.

Around 6pm, my middle OS began to make turkey tacos. He donned the family chef's hat, tied the apron around his trim waist and set to work. I worked on some sewing projects and snapped pics to capture every moment as he unabashedly posed for the camera not fully realizing the apron he actually had selected. Take a minute and you'll see what I mean...

Aaron was wearing a reversible apron I made in the summer. I chuckled seeing Aaron chopping onions, browning the turkey meat with the girly side of the apron in full view.

I think my OS forgot that the other side of the apron has something much more to his liking. Guitars. Aaron LOVES guitars and music possibly more than fashion. As soon as I pointed out which side he was wearing and he realized I had the pictures to prove it, Aaron reversed to the more manly print.

How interesting it was for me to see Aaron frantically running around the kitchen trying to get everything ready at the same time. HALLO~Welcome to my world! Moms, you know exactly what I'm talking about! Sometimes it's so crazy trying to put food on the table. I believe Aaron had an epiphany tonight and we shall see how long that lasts. The aroma filling the house was quite delicious and although it would make a funnier post to say the meal was a flop, that would be a lie. Y'all, my boy can throw down! Tonight was husband training at its finest. Excuse me while I take a bow...

The true test of a good meal in our home is silence. If people aren't talking while eating, you know it's good. Take, for example, my angel food cake. You could have heard a crumb drop. And if a crumb had dropped, you would have heard someone licking it up! Tonight's turkey tacos produced only the sound of crunching. In other words, we enjoyed mealtime.

I'm so glad I found redemption today and cashed in on my dinner coupon. In between bites, I bestowed upon Aaron a new nickname, thanks to a scrumptious meal, he is now crowned Senor Taco Cabesa!