Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mosaic for Niger

Our friends Donnie and Allison are moving to Niger Africa to work with the native peoples there. They had a silent auction fund raiser to help raise money for their trip last night and had asked me to donate one of my mosaics for the cause. I haven't done any mosaic work since Justin was born really - like I have the time, ha! But, I managed to get this one done miraculously! I think it will make a cute candy dish or decor piece to brighten up the holidays. This picture is clickable, so you can see the details.

It's That Time Of Year Again!

It's that time of year again! I get the chance to work on the production crew for Sarah's ballet performances. Right now I'm working on the "T'was the Night Before Christmas" production. I love that I get to create and paint props, design and sew costumes and be my creative self! My first project was to hand sew a beaded applique onto the prima ballerina's leotard. Since the lace had to be sewed onto the bodice while the bodice was stretched I found the perfect model in Mr. Monkey. I stuffed his chest with a pillow falsie and he was the perfect model! Isn't he adorable?

"T'was the Night Before Christmas" shows at the Van Duzer December 14th at 4 and 6. It is an amazing professional production and kids love it because most of the performers are kids. This year Ron and I are making a cameo appearance, so you don't want to miss it!

A Visit From Old Friends

Some of our best friends came into town for a visit this weekend! Adam and Melia are good friends we've known for quite a while, probably around 7 years or so. The live in Sacramento now, so we don't get to see them too often. Adam used to be our neighbor and he and Ron were going to school around the same time. It was soooo great to see them! Here are some cute pics of them with the kids:

Justin, Sarah, Melia and a friend. Justin was not so happy at the moment...

Adam and Sarah being their crazy selves.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Father's Sorrow

The other day I was at my pharmacy picking up a prescription. The line was long and I had been waiting for a while. I got to the counter and the lady asked me for my last name then checked to see if my prescription was there. Justin was with me and he kept sneaking away, investigating the store like kids do. I kept having to look every few seconds to make sure he hadn't darted down an isle out of my sight. "Justin, stay by mama please!" I kept repeating. "What was your last name again?" the lady asked. I told her and she looked again. "I'm sorry, we're really behind so it's going to be about an hour before it's done" she said. Justin and I headed off and as we rounded the corner to go down an isle a man standing with a teen aged boy stopped me: "What is your husband's last name?" he asked. It's common for people to ask about Ron in our town. He knows at least half of the town from working at the coffee shop so he knows a lot of people. I assumed he was asking about him most likely. I told him his name, expecting him to mention that he was a customer. "Oh, I was just asking because I lost my two sons in 1973, and they had your last name...." It took me a minute to figure out what he was trying to tell me, I think I probably looked a bit confused. He continued, "I was in choir at church when it happened. All of a sudden there were police cars everywhere, I didn't know what was going on. I had custody of them, and she took them. I've never been able to find them." At this point his eyes teared up. I could tell he was over come with emotion. "Oh, I'm so sorry", I said. "They were three and four years old at the time, so they would be 38 and 39 now." "My husband is 37 I said, so I can see why you asked." I said. "I've even hired a private investigator", he said, "but I've never been able to find them." "I hope you find them, " I said. "Oh I will, I will he said." "Yes, you seem determined, so I'm sure you will find them someday", I said. Justin darted down an isle again, and I said, "Justin, get back here!" The man asked what his name was and I told him. It turns out his sons names started with J's as well. As I walked away he said, "I hope I didn't catch you off guard." "No, it's okay," I said. Then I said, "I have a common last name, so I get asked about it a lot." "Yeah", he said, looking sad. Then I felt stupid for saying that because it must be even harder for him to find his sons with a common name, but most likely they had a name change I figured which would make it near impossible to find them.

After I left the store I suddenly felt so sad inside. I couldn't even imagine how a parent must feel when they lose a child like that. Even 35 years later the sorrow is still present, right at the surface. This man is so desperate to find his sons still that he is willing to stop a total stranger in a store and ask her who her husband is, in hopes that it could be his son...after 35 years. I wonder if he feels it was his fault somehow...maybe if he hadn't sung in the choir that day...maybe if he had done something different they would still be with him. The sorrow of that blame must be indescribable. It made me appreciate my kids all the more, realizing what an incredible blessing they are to me. I can't imagine them being gone, stolen, lost. I prayed for this man, that he would find his sons...that his sorrow would end.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Espresso Machine!

One of Ron's co-workers gave him an awesome espresso machine! Can you tell I'm excited? Tonight Ron worked his magic and made delicious mochas for the whole family - lucky us! Our entire family loves coffee drinks of any kind, (but most of you probably already know that by now!) and they're one of our family "hobbies." Now we can have yummy espressos, lattes, mochas, and hot chocolates whenever we want! So if you want a Ron made coffee drink let me know and we will have you over for coffee!

Dad showing son the tools of the trade

Ron loves red....and coffee!

Sarah loves hot chocolate!

Justin drinking his "hot chocat"

Danger...mocha addiction eminent!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thirteen Years Of Wedded Bliss

Today is our thirteenth wedding anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been that long; time flies when you're having fun! So much has happened in the past 13 years, from having 2 kids to graduating from college...starting and running a successful coffee shop, to being youth pastors...and the list goes on! Here is a list of some of the many reasons I'm grateful to be married to Ron:

He loves God with all his heart.

He is a good provider and very hard worker.

He is an amazing and very involved father to our two kids.

He has a way of finding the good out of life and hanging on to it, no matter what.

He has deep character.

He is tenacious, has over come a lot in his life, and has made something of himself and that is no small feat! (i.e. he's my hero!)

He'll tell me the truth even when it hurts him, but he does it in love.

He is intelligent and innovative - some have called him a Renaissance man.

He brings change for the better wherever he goes.

He isn't a people pleaser - I love that.

He has a gift for making people feel special and unique.

He is genuine, you see what you get.

He loves me for who I am and doesn't try to change me.

He knows how to make me laugh, (and laugh, and laugh, and laugh...) and can get me out of my tree when needed.

He is good at helping me change, look at things differently, and be the best person I can be.

He encourages me to fulfill my dreams, and helps make them a reality.

He is willing to sacrifice for me, (for example he was willing to have another kid even though at first he felt one was he admits now that Justin has won his heart.)

He still finds ways to surprise me in unexpected ways.

He is a superb cook, (that's one of the reasons he stole my heart!)

He is a wonderful and talented gardener and brings beauty to our yard all seasons of the year.

Happy Anniversary Honey!! I LOVE YOU!! XOXO ~ April

Taken by Ron at Trinidad Beach

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Love This Man!!

Some of you may have read my post about the major appliance break down we had a while back...and the pioneer living...anyway, as of today all of the appliances are officially fixed! A repair guy came out and fixed the dryer a few weeks ago, to the tune of around $200, ugh. Then he diagnosed the dish washer with an electrical problem due to the cord which he couldn't fix. We didn't think it was the cord though since half of the cycle worked and then the rinse cycle didn't for some odd reason and the water didn't drain, (lovely.) Yesterday Ron got a new plug and installed it, and wala - it works!! I can't tell you how ecstatic I am to have both appliances working now! Plus the fact that I don't have to put out a few hundred more dollars to have the dish washer fixed, phew! I'm so happy to be married to a guy who can fix most anything, and who is willing to do it even if it's a pain! Thanks honey!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"Orange Blossom"

Here is my latest creation! I used some cute retro vintage pieces, scraps and a fat quarter - I love how you can make kids' clothes out of such tiny pieces of fabric. My favorite part of this dress is the button loop - love those! The great thing about these little skirts is that they can be layered with tights or even pants for the cooler weather. Look for this one down at Shipwreck soon! I'm planning to make more cords (for girls and boys), so look for these soon too.

"Orange Blossom" Size 2T Made from repro. vintage prints and vintage button.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Great Truths

I ran across this poem from a blog on another friend's blog list and I felt it was so profound I wanted to share it. I love it when I come across something like this that speaks truth to my soul, confirming what God has been showing me.

Great truths are dearly bought,
the common truths,
Such as we give and take from day to day,
Come in the walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.

Great truths are greatly won,
not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of our soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.
But in the day of conflict, fear, and grief,

When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Plows up the subsoil of our stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.
Wrung from the troubled spirit,
in hard hours Of weakness, solitude, and times of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field,
And our soul feels it has not wept in vain.

From Streams in the Desert

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

April Diane Designs Are In Shipwreck!

Just a quick note to say that I took my kids' clothes down to Shipwreck today! They took 8 of the 10 items, so get 'em while they're there! :) I hope to add more clothes in the next few weeks or so: more cords and warmish clothes for chilly weather. So keep checking back in for new designs for the wee ones!
A pic of Shipwreck

Monday, November 3, 2008

Caps to Cap Hatien Project

Today I ran across an amazing opportunity posted one of the blogs I follow, Soulemama. The writer of the blog is partnering with a US agency called Konbit Sande who is working to save lives and improve health care in Northern Haiti. Here are some statistics from this area:

Just 1 in 5 women receives skilled medical care during childbirth.
Haiti has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the Western Hemisphere.
1 in 40 women will die as a result of pregnancy complications, unsafe abortion, or obstetrical emergency.
Twelve percent of children die before the age of 5.

Konbit Sande is assembling safe birthing kits to be donated to birthing women in this area. These kits - consisting of plastic sheeting, hand sanitizer, a sterile piece of string and razor blade, and these newborn baby caps - have the potential to reduce infant and maternal mortality, and give babies a safer, healthier start.
So how can we as crafters help? If you go to this site you can down load a tutorial to sew a simple knit baby cap for these kits. From what I know babies who have low temperatures at birth are at a higher risk for sickness and even death. Making and giving these babies caps could save lives! What an incredible way to use the gift of craft for helping others who are less fortunate than us.
So this crafter is going to do some sewing in the next few weeks for the cause of global justice! Let's use our gift of craft to change the world - one cap at a time!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Fence!

We're really enjoying the new fence our land lord installed today! Here is Ron taking a peek out from behind it. Ron trimmed the cannas in the area and is getting the garden ready for winter.

The Princess and Her Triceratops

The kids had a fabulous Halloween this year. Sarah was a beautiful princess, and Justin was a triceratops. He refused to wear his dinosaur hat, but Ron had a stroke of genius and told him that he would get candy if he wore it...he quickly put it on and didn't take it off all night! Here are some cute pics of them: