Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crafting for a Cause

Every year on the first Tuesday of November our church has a holiday boutique that is put on by the women's ministry, Women In Touch.  Who is the backbone of Women In Touch you might ask?  None other than my wonderful mother in law!  She would blush and tell you it's not true, but really, it is.  She works hard monthly to coordinate their luncheons, the speakers they have, hand makes hundreds of favors a month to set at the ladies' place settings... she's the real deal.  To see this big boutique come together year after year under her direction is pretty inspiring.  So many people give of their time and talents to provide home made goodies to sell for the boutique, with all of the proceeds going to missions.  They even sell some goods from underground churches we support in China and Vietnam - really incredible!

Well, every year AFTER the boutique has happened I tell myself that I will craft a couple of items a month and put them away so I won't have to cram everything in last minute.  So far, that hasn't happened.  The cramming and jamming seems to be where it's at for me right now.  But honestly, I enjoy participating and offering something to sell, so I don't really mind.  It's just that I know I could produce a lot more to sell if I wasn't up against the clock at the end.  In years past, I've given embroidered onsies.  But I didn't have any purchased, washed and ready to go.  I was feeling the time crunch and was having a lack of inspiration.  Then I was reading this lady's blog (which I do quite a lot) and something caught my eye.  She was wearing a fabulous headband that was decorated with yo-yos.  I started to get excited.  About a year ago I came across an online tutorial on how to make yo-yos so I already had some in a baggie stashed amongst my crafting supplies.  I hadn't been sure what to do with them - it was MEANT TO BE!!  I grabbed my glue gun and went to town.

They were so easy!  And I loved how they turned out!  Don't all the colors just make you smile?

I ended up making ten which seemed like a very small, insignificant drop in the bucket.   But that's not what it is about.  And it really motivated me to get it together for next year.  And to make one for myself. 

Boo to You

Round these parts Halloween is pretty fun.  It's my Gramps's birthday, so it has always been a celebration.  Not into the gory stuff, just a extra fun day to celebrate, dress up and what not.  As a kid I loved the dressing up (mostly because that meant I got to wear makeup! and eat candy! and stay up late! all the normally forbidden things when you're 8).  Also, if I'm reminiscing about Halloweens of days past I need to include my elementary schools AWESOME carnival, called the Shriek-o-Rama which was soooo much fun - oh, fond, fond memories!!  Now, it's just fun to be the grown up in my own home and decorate and prepare for it. Last year was the first year in our house and we were shocked at the number of trick or treaters we had.  Apparently, our street is the place to be.  And I guess I understand the appeal.  It's a cute flat street (in a very hilly little valley) and our neighbors decorate with lights and jack o' lanterns and spider webs.  But we didn't feel like celebrating.  We had just gotten Gabe's diagnosis and pretty much wanted to keep to ourselves.  Handing out candy was the only thing we did.  THIS year though, we were prepared and ready to join in the festivities!!

Blitz got in on it too.  Joe stuck him in his old EMT jumpsuit, and to our amazement he kept it on all night.  It was quite the hit with my family and the kids who came to the porch.

So I invited my folks and my Granny and Gramps over to help me since Joe had to work that night, and I knew it would be busy with kids and thought they would get a kick out of seeing everything since anymore their streets are VERY quite on Halloween.  What I didn't know was that since it was the night before Daylight Savings was to end, Joe got to start work an hour late.  It was great to have him there too.  We carved our pumpkins, got to visit with everyone, and played some rounds of Quiddler (a really fun word making card game), and manned the door.  We mostly let my mom have candy duty, which she loved.  We live in the same district of the elementary school that she works at, so to see the kids' reactions when they saw her at the door was hysterical.  You know, that feeling of weirdness and shock you would have if you ever ran into one of your teachers outside of their classroom in a real place, like the grocery store or gas station?  That's what was all over their faces.  "Mrs. L?  YOU live here?!?!"  Then you could hear them muttering to themselves after they had gotten their candy the mind-blowing fact that Mrs. L had given them Halloween candy.

This was the first year that my Gramps didn't carve a jack 'o lantern for himself on his birthday.  He just thought that all the carving and scraping would be too much for his hands this year - I wish I knew how to work the scanner, because there are some really cute pictures of him at around 4 with his birthday pumpkin that are priceless.  I just love my Granny and Gramps.  There is no one like them!!  I'll have to do a post some day just about them - they have a very romantic story (well, I think so anyway) complete with a blind date meeting and a war wedding.  This past July they celebrated their 67th anniversary.  I want to be like them. 

So we had about two and a half hours of a solid stream of people, and the grand total of trick or treaters was 168.  We had 6 big bags of candy that I had gotten, my mom brought 3 and Granny brought 1 and we still had to send dad out for a candy run to Safeway before the night was over. 

Aaaaaand Blitz helped himself to his own treat at the very end of the night.  When things died down at the end, I pulled the pumpkins in so they wouldn't get smashed in the street overnight and placed them on the hearth for safekeeping.  Ha!!  I was in the kitchen cleaning up, and when I walked back into the living room, that's the sight that greeted me.  Who knew dogs liked pumpkin?