Project Runway....

...only it was in a fabric store and with small children who are attending a sewing class and showing off their creations. And there were no super models or eliminations. Other than that....it was just like Project Runway! ;)

Each student got to walk down the runway 3 times, wearing three of the outfits that they had designed &/or made. Emma modeled her sundress, a pink & brown leopard print top, and Hawaiian shorts....all of which she made entirely on her own (ok, maybe not entirely....)!

The teacher also allowed Lauren to walk the runway....in the clothes that I had made for her. She modeled two different skirts and had a blast! (But I didn't get great pix of her. oops!)

It was such a cute little event and a special time for the kids to be applauded for their creativity! I love seeing Emma's face light up when people ooh and aah over the clothes she's made....and it makes her love doing it all the more! She came home this afternoon so excited and full of ideas for more sewing projects! Looks like we'll be back at F&M this week.....they really need to move that store closer to us! :)

Speaking of F&M.....I made a vintage reversible wrap skirt last night (thanks to Dren for the pattern info) and I love it! It was super-easy to make and turned out just like I had hoped. The only thing is, the denim is really heavy and the colors in the other fabric are not so "summery." Therefore, this will be my new Fall skirt! I can't wait to make a lighter-weight version later this week...


Mr. McGregor would be proud!

This is four heads of lettuce I harvested this morning! Salad anyone?!

The Bible study that we are going to do this summer is....."Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David"!! Yay! Thanks, Kala, for getting the DVDs for us! You can all order your member books now ($12.95)! We are going to start on June 17 (and then also meet the following 5 Wednesdays) here at my house. Please let me know for sure if you are planning on coming so that I can send out e-mails with an exact time and the amount for babysitting after I talk to the babysitters! Looking forward to it!!


Happy Memorial Day

My grandpa, Raymond Meyer was drafted into the army during World War II when my grandma was pregnant with their first child. He cleaned up the beaches of Normandy with a backhoe. He was enlisted as a Heavy Equipment Officer to operate heavy machinery, but at the Battle of the Bulge so many Americans had been killed that he was handed a service weapon and told, "Congratulations. You're an infantryman now. Start shooting." He came home and met for the fist time, my aunt who was now 4 years old. He worked incredibly hard, manual labor jobs (sometimes 2 at a time) his whole life in order to support his family. He could fix absolutely everything and had never even taken his car for an oil change at a shop until he was nearly 85 years old and we made him. He had saved enough to retire at age 50 and travel for many years. He never complained about anything. Ever. He was about 88 years old before he even mentioned that he had been awarded the Medal of Valor while still overseas and before he could return home, the building which housed his files that contained the medal burned down. He never asked for a new one. He died when he was 91 years old and he never missed voting in a single election during his adulthood. He wore an American flag pin on his lapel every single day from September 11, 2001 until the day he died. He loved this country more than anyone I have ever known. And he taught his family that you things because they are the right thing, the responsible thing to do.....not because people are going to thank you for it. Because they may not.

So every year on Memorial Day I take my girls to the cemetery where grandpa is buried. We watch the American Legion put out row after row of flags, we say the pledge of allegiance and listen to them play Taps. We talk about grandpa and how great he was (and we remind Lauren that the Shafter cemetery is not heaven. Only grandpa's body is here. *sigh*) It's our way of saying thank you. We love you and miss you grandpa. And we are so thankful for everything you did!


And the winner is.....

All 7 names went into a bowl....(yes, those are crumbs leftover from dinner on the table...sooo classy!)....
and I chose (without peeking!!)....

My dear friend, Sunny!! Yay!! In case you have never noticed, she has left a comment on every single post I have ever published! It was about time the poor dear won something for it! :-) Love you Sunny and I will bring you your winnings soon!


Bits and Pieces...and a giveaway!

Lots to catch up on....
First of all, Bible study. The latest on that front is: Kala was able to talk to the women's director at her church and they are going to allow us to borrow one of their Beth Moore DVD series which means, each person would only have to purchase the workbook to go along with it. I'm still not sure exactly which one we will do, but I don't think it matters too terribly much....we'll take what they're so graciously willing to let us borrow. :) This will cut the cost for each person considerably....like I said before, the workbooks are around $12 on Amazon. I am also going to ask some of the local babysitters that I use if they would be willing to come to my home and watch our kids in the backyard &/or basement during the Bible study and I figure this will cost about $2/kid per week. I'm thinking Wednesday mornings....
Let me know what you're thinking and if you're still interested!

Secondly, curriculum. I just wanted to tell you about the history book that we used this school year....The Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times. This is the first in a series of four to be completed in the primary grades. It is history in chronological order, starting with the Nomads and ending in the fourth book at present-day. And it is told from a Biblical perspective. Hmm, history must include the Bible in order to accurately explain history? What a novel concept! :-) I read it aloud to the girls and we try to cover about 2 chapters per week (mostly because we didn't start until January and I'd like to be finished by the end of summer so we can start the next book in the fall). I also purchased the Activity Book to go with it (which I did not originally do, but highly recommend!!). Each corresponding chapter in the workbook provides you with listings of corresponding literature suggestions, encyclopedia cross-references, review questions, narration exercises, map work, a coloring page, numerous project suggestions (craft, cooking, &/or activity) and color-in review cards. We love it!! We are learning soooo much and I love the fact that it covers what is happening in every part of the world, at the same time and in chronological order! Emma begs to do history and whenever anyone asks, she always tells them it's her favorite subject. Ask her sometime about the 12 tribes of Israel.....it is one of her favorites! :-)

Thirdly, sewing! I found LibbyDibby's blog via her etsy shop, via someone else's etsy shop, via someone else's blog. Mind you, I know none of these people. My husband thinks I'm a lunatic. However, my stalking paid off recently when I discovered that she was offering free fabric scraps! She makes these great reversible skirts in really gorgeous, coordinating fabrics. So, for the cost of shipping, I received a 10 lb. box of fabric! It is fabulous!! I have made lots of little "pouches" with buttons and zippers and I even made an envelope purse for Disneyland.....the perfect size to carry over my shoulder to hold my wallet and phone, etc. I am having a blast! Also, because she was so generous, it has inspired me to be generous as well. So, I am having my first ever blog giveaway! Just leave a comment on this post, I'll randomly draw a winner and they will receive something I have made from this fabric! It's not a new car or anything, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (grandpa's favorite saying)! :-)

The fabric jackpot!!

Mother's Day gift for my mom......

My Disneyland purse & coordinating wallet......

Finally, my new furniture!! Woo hoo! We picked up our new couch and chairs this past week.....much to my delight and astonishment because they had told us it would be May 29th and let's face it, I was hoping for the end of June! I love them! And they fit so much more nicely in our living room than our previous couch and love seat. Not to mention they are clean and not plaid! Now the ugly green carpet really must go! :-)


Never a dull moment....

Today, Kala and her darlins came out and we went to Insect Lore and lunch. Then the kids went outside to play and Kala and I went to look at the garden.....
We were standing about where I took this picture from when brother started to venture out toward the almond trees. Kala called him back, he smiled over his shoulder and then ran toward the trees. Well, he went over that little ledge about where the fence is and.....

plopped into this disgusting, slimy backwater. Ooops. He screamed and we ran....

and stopped laughing long enough to pull him out. He just kept saying, "Uh-Oh! Yucky!" It's hard to see the mud because it was the same color as his shorts, but he was wet and muddy from the waist down.

A bath, some fruit snacks and a size 3T girl's outfit later and he's a happy camper again. Like the shorts? Hey! We don't have any toddler boy's clothes around here. Just be glad he wasn't wearing a sundress. ; )

(Could he be any cuter?!)



I have been reading certain blogs for quite a while now....Angie, Adrienne, MckMamma. They are really good at expressing their thoughts, sharing their faith and encouraging others who struggle. I am not. When I started to write this post I thought maybe I should just link you to their blogs and say, "Everything they said....that's how I feel." It would have been a lot easier. But the truth is, God is doing great and mighty things through painful situations in my life. It is my desire to bring Him glory through those situations.

So. Here goes.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day we lost (for lack of a better word.....) our son, Nathan. For as long as I can remember being able to remember anything, I have wanted to adopt a child. About two years ago, my husband and I began the process of becoming foster parents with the intention of adopting a child. Not an infant, but one of the "un-adoptables" (DHS's term, not mine....and certainly not God's). Basically, everyone wants infants. In fact, people wait years to adopt an infant. However, older children wait years and never get get a family. We were going to change that. We didn't need an infant. We had two biological children and frankly, we were happy to be out of the infant stage and not looking to go back into it. We decided we would take a boy over the age of ten.

Let me preface this by saying that no one inquires about children this age. We soon realized this when our phone starting ringing off the hook with social workers looking to place an older child with us. Long story short, our paperwork, applications, etc. were put on rush and we had an appointment to meet Nathan two weeks after orientation. Most people wait 6 months to a year after they are fully licensed before receiving placement. It was a whirlwind, to say the least. But, we knew this is what the Lord was calling us to do and that His timing is perfect and so we moved forward, grateful that we would be meeting our son so soon.

I will never forget the day we sat in the lobby waiting to meet Nathan. I was a wreck. My mind was racing with questions like, "What if we aren't what he's looking for in parents? What if he doesn't want to go to church with us? What if he hates me?" Then he walked through the door. I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on him. This sweet, terrified little boy who wouldn't make eye contact, just standing there wringing his hands. I fell in love. Instantly. He was mine and that was that.

Less than two weeks later, Nathan and his social worker came to our house so that we could show him around and introduce him to the girls. The social workers told us that we could start having him on the weekends starting that weekend. He was living in a group home then and so he would be there during the week and then with us on the weekends. This went on for about 2 months until Jacob and I both finished our training classes, our home passed inspection, and our fingerprinting was complete. Then we moved him out of the group home and into our family.

There were so many positive changes that took place while he was with us. His grades. His love for God and zeal for scripture memory. His sense of humor. In so many ways, he was just a regular 11 year old boy who was an absolute joy to be around. But, 7 years in a broken system had not left him unscathed. I'm not going to go into any details about his history or the difficulties that we had with Nathan while he was here. Of course, there are rules and confidentiality policies. But, there is also the fact that he is my son. It is nobody else's business. Just know that it was hard. It was harder than we even knew could be possible. Ultimately, things happened that we knew were deal breakers. Nathan needed parents, but God made it very clear to us that we were not to be those parents.

And I thought I might die from the pain of having to let him go.

I wish I could say that initially I just saw this as God's will and gladly obeyed. I did not. I obeyed, but it was anything but gladly. I fell on the ground. I screamed and cried and pounded my fists. I yelled at everyone who came near me. I shook my fists at God and accused Him of being a really bad planner. And I tried to make deals with Him. Anything but my children. You can do whatever You want, but my children are off limits. That's right, God was allowed to protect my children from harm and accident, He should keep them healthy, He was allowed to convict their hearts, but He was not allowed to take them back. They were mine. That's when it hit me. God doesn't make deals. He requires obedience. This was an area in which I was failing to obey.

It was no accident that we happened to be studying the Minor Prophets at that time in CBS. Specifically, the very week that this was all happening, we were studying Habakkuk. Not exactly one of those popular books that people go running to when they need answers, but that is exactly where I found my answers. I could write an entire post on what I learned from this little book with the weird name, buried at the end of the Old Testament. But, I'll leave that to the pastors and just briefly summarize. Habakkuk doesn't understand why God is doing what He is doing and He feels like God isn't answering his prayers. The truth is, God was answering his prayers (and mine), He just wasn't giving the answer Habakkuk (and I) wanted to hear. This was pivotal for me. I didn't think sending Nathan back to a group home, when he seemed to be flourishing here, could possibly be God's idea of a perfect plan. It seemed anything but perfect to me. However, I'm not God. I can only see right now. He knows and has ordained the past, present and future. He knows His plans for Nathan. I don't, but I know God and sometimes that just has to be enough. And so I join Habakkuk in saying, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat: the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds feet, and He will make me walk upon mine high places." (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

Did God change my circumstances? No. But He never promised that He would. He never said it would be easy. But, He did promise to be right there with me, giving me the strength to bear this trial. And He has been. Even when I questioned His plans. Even when I had tantrums. Even when I lay on my bedroom floor and prayed the ground would just swallow me whole. Especially in those times. "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One has been tempted in all things as we are, yest without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16.

One year later, there is still pain. I still miss him terribly. But there has been healing, too. The Lord is still here. He is still granting mercy and giving me strength. "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10

I am so thankful to those of you who have encouraged us, prayed with us and loved us along the way. God has used you as a powerful vessel of His love in our lives and we are truly blessed because of it. We continue to covet your prayers for our family and especially for Nathan. We don't know what the future holds, but we are confident in the One who holds it!

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