Sending Hope and Love

We live a privileged life.

I have always had a roof over my head, clothes to wear and food to eat. Although, like others, we struggle with finances at times, we are not suffering. Truth be told, we probably have too much stuff. The book stores and libraries are filled with books on how to declutter and store all of our ‘stuff’. Yes, despite our desire to always have more, we definitely have enough.

I have a family who loves me and cares for me and is there when I need them. I am so thankful to have them in my life. They add a richness to my life that nothing else can replace. I have good friends, many who feel like an extension of our family. I am so blessed.

Tonight, while looking for some papers, I came across our folders of children we had sponsored in the past. Three children – two boys and one girl.

DSCN9315

It was so heartwarming to see their pictures and read over the old letters. I always loved writing to them and waiting anxiously for a return letter to come.

We chose to sponsor through PLAN Canada (formerly Foster Parents Plan), but I know there are a lot of other wonderful organizations as well that offer child sponsorship.

There are so many ways that we can help others. Child sponsorship is only one way. And we don’t even have to go half way across the world to help others – help is even needed right in our own communities.

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a project through Craft Hope. Together with a friend, we mailed 15 bibs to Craft Hope for their Project 20: Hope for China. It was such a pleasure to know that I could use my sewing skills to make something that would help someone (or a bunch of little someones!) in need.

I hope to find more time for charitable work this year.  I’d love to do something for Atin Afrika.  There are some amazing people there bringing hope to the children of Uganda.  I want to do something special for those kids.. now I just need to figure out exactly what I want to do and how to make that happen.

I would love to hear about the ways you give!  Let’s share our stories and maybe get some great ideas along the way.

Posted in Charity, Children / Family Life, Misc..., Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Garden

There is something so satisfying about growing your own food. Every year I look forward to the planting season. My kids love helping to pick what we will plant and when the harvest is ready, they eat way more vegetables than they eat the rest of the year!

Last year, I decided to try my hand at having a Fall garden. Much to my dismay, nothing grew.

And then Spring came and I got this wonderful surprise!

Lettuce

Lettuce

DSCN9225

Parsnips and Kale

 

I have now planted this years seeds (or most of them) and have radishes that are ready to eat now too.

DSCN9227

Do you have a garden? What are your favourite things to plant? Do you have a Fall garden? Any tips for me?

Posted in Gardening | Tagged | 2 Comments

Even Girls Like Airplanes

I love being able to make special custom outfits!

I recently was asked to make a custom onesie set in girly fabric, with an airplane applique.  I gather that baby’s Daddy loves airplanes and this was to be a special gift  for Father’s Day.  It’s okay.. I’m allowed to post it here.  Mom was so excited she gave it to him early! LOL!

Image

I’m really happy with how it turned out! 

 

 

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Our New Addition

As some of you may know, a week before Christmas we had to say goodbye to our family’s dog of 11 years.  She was a lovely dog and one that can never be replaced.  It was a very sad time for us.

A month ago, we came across an ad for an adorable puppy.  It was the eyes that first got me.  Those adorable, droopy little eyes.  Who can resist those puppy eyes, anyway?!

And so we welcomed this sweet boy into our home.

DSCN9148

The first couple of weeks were absolutely crazy around here!  The puppy was jumping on the children and nipping at them (trying to get them to play).  There were all the accidents on the floor that needed to be cleaned.  And being a puppy, everything was getting chewed.

“No, puppy! No, Puppy! NO!!!!!”

But then things started to get better.  He has learnt that he has to sit to greet people (not jump on them).  He has learnt that children are not puppies and he is not allowed to play with them that way.  He has learnt that the whole world is not his chew toy (although he still thinks half of it is!).  He has learnt to ring a bell to go outside and we are now having almost no accidents in the house.  Phew!

There hasn’t been a whole lot of sewing going on in this house lately because of this little guy, but goodness do we love him.  He is so sweet and cuddly.  He loves to be close to us.  He is really growing to be such a good dog.  We are so pleased!

And when things like this happen….

DSCN9222

(This was a library book)

…all we have to do is look into those sweet puppy eyes… and all is forgiven.

DSCN9223

Do you have a special pet?  I would love to hear about him/her!

Posted in Children / Family Life | 2 Comments

New in the Shop – Appliqued Onesies!

One of the best parts about  being able to sew, is making unique one-of-a-kind outfits.

Recently, I’ve been having so much fun making onesies.

Don’t you just love this giraffe onesie?  Perfect for a boy or a girl!

DSCN9079

And who doesn’t love a cupcake?!

DSCN9105

Or a tie?!?!

DSCN9101

I had a lot of fun making this custom order – the outfit is based on the parents’ jobs – one parent works in computers and the other for a diamond mine.

DSCN9059

I love making onesies!  If you have an idea for a onesie, or would like something I’ve made in a different colour or size, I am more than happy to take custom orders!  My contact info is at the top of the page.

Want to win a free onesie?  This week, you can stop by my Facebook page to enter to win one.  All you have to do is like my page and share it!

Now, would anyone like some tea?

DSCN9114

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love – Advice for New Moms (and Dads)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  Today is one of my very favourite days! 

On this day of love, I want to share with you a message I recently sent to a friend of mine.

My dear friend recently had her first baby.  Like myself, I know my friend is a bit of a perfectionist who will put a lot of pressure on herself to do everything right.

I remembered back to when I had my first daughter.  I read book after book after book.  I listened to the advice of others.  I became incredibly overwhelmed and unsure as to what was right and what was wrong.  One book would say one thing, another book would say the opposite and then a friend would say something completely different!  How on earth is a new mom supposed to navigate this?!  I was so stressed out!

After a few months of trying to do everything right, I became exhausted.  I stopped reading the books.  I listened politely to the advice from others and kept it in mind… but I stopped feeling like I needed to practice it.

A friend of mine once told me, ” I may not be able to give my child everything, but at least I will be able to give them love.”  The more I thought about this, the more I thought she was right.  Her advice was the best advice I ever received.  Ever.

The beautiful, precious, perfect baby needed me to love her.  So I took care of her needs.  And I loved her.  I let my heart tell me how to raise her.  And do you know what?  Life got easier.

Here is some of the letter I wrote to my friend –

Read the books, listen to the advice of others… but then do what feels right for you. No friend or expert knows your child better than YOU! What works for one child may or may not work for yours. There’s a lot of good ideas out there and a lot of good advice (bad advice too), but just because you read it or hear it does not make it right for your child. I was SOOO stressed out with my first until I decided to stop feeling like I should be doing all those things or I was failing my child. When it comes down to it, you know what is best.

The most important thing your child needs in life is love. Feeling loved and accepted for who they are is the best gift you can give your child…

You are NOT a bad parent if you use disposable diapers instead of cloth, bottle feed instead of breastfeed, use a soother (instead of ‘natural’ soothing), let your kid watch TV sometimes, etc… etc… etc… Your choices are exactly that… YOUR CHOICES… and it really is no one elses business how you choose to parent/raise your child.

Sometimes you will screw up. You will. Without question. It’s part of being a parent. Apologize when necessary. Learn from your mistakes and move on…

Loving a baby and raising that beautiful child is all about LOVE and doing what you know and feel is right for your family. And you might feel uncertain at first, but you will do a GREAT JOB!”

I said a lot more in that letter to my friend.  The main message though was about love.

So if you have been feeling like you are not the perfect parent (that we all want to be!), I want you to stop where you are.  Take a deep breath. 

Now go hug your child.  Tell them you love them. 

I do this to my 11-year-old all the time.  She shrugs away.  She never says ‘I love you’ back.  But I know she hears me.  And I know that she knows she is loved.  And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Children / Family Life | Leave a comment

Random Acts of Kindness Week

This week is Random Acts of Kindness week. 

(photo via Pinterest)

(photo via Pinterest)

It is a wonderful and amazing feeling to do something nice for someone else and see the way it can change their day.  You can have them know it is you, or you can choose to be anonymous.

A random act of kindness can be as simple as smiling at others, paying a compliment or thanking someone for all they do.  Want to do even more? Buy someone a coffee, make a meal for a neighbor or some new parents, leave a wrapped gift in a public place for someone to find with a note saying it is for them!

Need more ideas?  Here are some great places to look –

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/29-ways-to-carry-out-random-acts-of-kindness-every-day.html

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/acts-of-kindness

http://www.helpothers.org/ideas.php

Wishing you all a wonderful week!!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment