Archive - 2011

1
A Gift
2
It’s Time
3
A Convoluted Tale
4
Winner!
5
Give-Away Extended
6
Post-Nutcracker Glow
7
Introducing…
8
Q is for
9
Small Mercies
10
Send Help!

A Gift

Eight years ago we received a gift – baby number 3, a little girl.

My mother flew all the way to Korea to be with us and help with the older children when I went to the hospital.  When she received the call that the baby had arrived and we were both doing well, she headed up to tell Boo and Pumpkin Girl about their new sibling.

Pumpkin Girl, with her not-quite-three year old, bossy self stood at the stop of the stair case and demanded, “So, what came out of my mama’s belly?”

My mother replied, “A little girl.  And they named her Rebecca.”

To which five year old Boo wailed, “Oooohh!  I wanted to name her Rosie!!”

For a long time we called her Rebecca Maria Rosie Banana.  The “banana” came later and is a story for another time.

Today we celebrate her with love and happiness.  It was truly a blessing to have loved and been loved by her.

It’s Time

Have you seen the movie “Tangled.”  If not, I’m sure you at least know the basic story of Rapunzel.  In the Disney movie, the princess Rapunzel is stolen and lives in the tower until her 18th birthday.  Her parents, the king and queen, mourn the loss of their princess.  Every year on her birthday they lead their kingdom in lighting lanterns to honor her.  For her whole life Rapunzel actually sees these lights of hope, rising in the night sky.  Little does she know that those lanterns are symbols of love and loss and hope…for her.

I cry every time I see “Tangled”.  The animators did an outstanding job of capturing the king right before he goes to light the lanterns.   The queen comes to him, straightens his clothing, gently cups his cheek in her hand.  He tilts his head into her hand and a look of utter grief comes over his face.  He sighs as a tear rolls down his face.

Their beautiful princess is gone, but the love they have for her is eternal.  They hope, beyond reason, that they will find her again.  And so to honor her, they  gather their strength and light the lantern.

It is time again to light our lanterns.

This Sunday, December 11 is the annual Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting.  To honor the children who have died, I ask that you join my family and countless others around the world in lighting a candle at 7 PM in your own time zone.  For the lost princesses and princes who have left us and for the families that will grieve for the rest of their lives.  Please pray for the families, especially for those whose grief is new this year and also for those who do not have a faith to fall back on.  Our family lives with the hope that someday we will be reunited with our lost princess, Rebecca. But many live with the hopelessness of not knowing.  I can only imagine the added pain.

God willing, our children will also see the lights but they will know what they are.  They will know that they are loved and missed, but not forgotten.

A Convoluted Tale

…of How I Won Yarn.

Perhaps I should call it a yarn, not a tale.  Either way, it’s pretty convoluted, so stick with me.

I happen to have a fondness for variegated yarns.  Lorna’s Laces, in particular.  I may or may not have quite the stash of their sock yarn.  I’m admitting nothing.  And this little yarn store called Jimmy Bean’s Wool happily keeps me supplied in all the Lorna’s Laces I can use or stash. Jimmy Beans Wool (JBW) also has a Limited Edition of Lorna’s Laces dyed just for them every month.  It should come as no shock to you that I am a member for the JBW Lorna’s Laces Limited Edition Fan Club.

Way back in October they announced a little contest on their Facebook page to name their upcoming December yarn.  I was one of the first ten people to suggest a name, and the first person to come up with “Ribbon Candy.”  A few hours later someone else suggested the same name.  Six *days* later, yet a third person also suggested it.

The deadline for name suggestions passed and they announced their top three choices which would be put to the vote.  Choice B was “Lisa’s: Ribbon Candy”.  WHAT?  Lisa?  Who’s Lisa?  I’ve been called “Laura” before, and I’ve had my named misspelled more often than not, but no one has ever mistaken me for a “Lisa.”

I pondered this situation for a while.  I might have let it go (ok, not really) except that there was actual yarn on the line.  The winner of the naming contest would get the yarn as a prize.  So I sent JBW a very nice email, pointing out that I had actually suggested Ribbon Candy about 5 hours earlier than Lisa did.  I heard back from them right away.  They apologized and acknowledged that I was indeed the person who first submitted the name Ribbon Candy.  They were unable to amend the post, but in the comments they corrected themselves. They assured me that if my name won, they would address the confusion again and I would be the winner.

So…voting closed and they left us hanging until December 1st.  Ribbon Candy was the winner!  Yippee!  So I just sat back and waited for my prize.  Later in the day the JBW December Newsletter arrived, announcing the new limited edition yarn.  Imagine how far my jaw dropped when I read this line:

A huge thank you goes out to Shirley and her brilliant stroke of insight on the perfect name for this colorway – Ribbon Candy!

Why thank you very  much.  But stop calling me Shirley.

Shirley? Shirley?!? Surely you jest.  What in the world was this all about? To quote Charlie Brown’s little sister Salley, “All I want is what I… I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.”

Turns out that Shirley was the person who suggested the name 6 days after both Lisa and I did.

After I got over my sputtering indignation I sent another email to JBW.  It took them a few hours to respond this time.  Meanwhile on their Facebook page, they’d already mentioned that someone would be getting their December yarn prize that day.  Then the email came that said my prize yarn was on its way, one hank of each weight.  I got a shipping notice shortly afterwards.

I’m guessing that Shirley got a huge surprise on December 1 because my yarn just arrived yesterday.  I’m thinking that poor Lisa got nothing.

So I named a yarn and got no credit, but I did get my yarn.  Here it is, the December Lorna’s Laces Limited Edition color: Ribbon Candy.

  You can get some for yourself, before it runs out,here: Ribbon Candy.

 

 

 

Winner!

We have a winner! (Please note that comments #1 and #2 weren’t entries into the give-away.)  Comment #6 – midwestmom!  You may choose any item at Pumpkin Girl Designs.  I do have some new flowers that I need to add, but we lost power last night and I couldn’t get to it.

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared on Facebook.  Everything on our site except the ribbon sculptures will be on sale until Friday, so now is a good time to place an order. And speaking of Facebook, when I have coupon codes to offer, I will be posting them to our Facebook page.  That’s also where I’ll preview our new items.  So if you aren’t already a fan, you should head over to our page and “like” us: Pumpkin Girl Designs on Facebook.

Give-Away Extended

I decided to extend my Pumpkin Girl designs give-away through the weekend.  The new deadline is Sunday, December 4.  The winner gets to choose anything on our website, including the new items that I’ll be adding in the next few days.  More flowers, cute little felt appliques on hair clips and, if my supplies get here in time, bottle cap necklaces, key chains and magnets!

Details are here: Introducing Pumpkin Girl Designs

Post-Nutcracker Glow

So we say goodbye to another successful Nutcracker production. It was a wonderful weekend, but not without drama.

As I mentioned earlier, Philip got sick the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was the stomach flu that seems to be going around. It wasn’t the worst virus ever, but it wasn’t any fun at all. Are viruses ever fun, really? He took 2 days off work and was feeling better the same day I started getting sick. At first I was in denial. My stomach was hurting because of the fettucine alfredo that I’d eaten without a Lactaid the night before. Yeah, that’s what it was! And that chill I was feeling, that’s because the house was a little cold. Right? No. I was getting sick, too.

I’m not a good sick person. I whine and moan and wonder (aloud) why no one will help me already. So that’s what I did with my Saturday. Sunday I was much better, but not enough to go to church. Boo stayed home, too, because his stomach hurt and he was chilled. That’s about as much as he got and was up and about by late afternoon.

So that made 3 down, 3 more to go and Nutcracker costume fittings and blocking just 3 days away. I set everyone I knew to praying for Pumpkin Girl, praying that she would be able to dance. I worried and fretted and just refused to give it up to God. I don’t do that very well, especially when it involves my children. I just kept imagining me holding her while she cried her heart out over being too sick to dance. All that hard work, all those hours of rehearsal…ah, just too much for a mother to handle! So I fretted and worried and asked for more prayers.

Wednesday came and her stomach started to hurt. She wasn’t very hungry. Nerves? Gas? Something else? Who knew! She got ready for the costume fitting and Philip drove her there. He called me from the theater to tell me that she’d gone off to the bathroom and thrown up, but felt better. I cried. I shook my fist at the sky. Why, Lord? WHY? Couldn’t she have been sick on Monday?

When she came home she was nauseated and uncomfortable, but not feverish. Her first show was in 48 hours so we still had time for her to recover. And recover she did. We postponed Thanksgiving dinner in order to let her stomach completely rest and recover. Friday she had 2 rehearsals and opening night. Philip watched the dress rehearsal so he could stay home with Pipsqueak who, at 13 months old, is not a good theater companion.

Seriously, when will I just learn to let God be God? I do know that things don’t work out according to MY plans, but that everything really is ok in the end. And sometimes, my plans work out, too. And that’s what happened here.

I’m sure that the rest of the party scene was wonderful, but I only had eyes for Pumpkin Girl. She had a chance to do quite a bit of acting in this production and I really enjoyed watching her. She had a whole new on-stage family, parents and two sisters. She interacted with them all, ooo’ed and ah’ed over the life-size “dolls”, performed a dance with the other party children, got hypnotized by Drosselmeyer and cried when the Nutcracker got hurt. She and her sisters allowed their parents to take their sleepy selves home and on the way out of the party, she got a huge stack of presents dropped in her arms. I couldn’t have been happier for her.

At the cast party on Sunday, she was busy collected autographs from her friends and the professional company members. We got a picture of her with her parents.

I won’t miss the Sunday rehearsals, but I am sad that this Nutcracker is over. There is yet one more production to go, though! Her ballet company is doing a set of shows on December 20th. They sell DVDs of that one, so we’ll get to relive it as often as we’d like.

Introducing…

Pumpkin Girl Designs

Just in time for Cyber Monday, Pumpkin Girl and I have launched our new website. We are selling hand-crafted hair accessories…and more. It all started when I made Pumpkin Girl an elastic headband with silk flowers to match her ballet uniform leotard. Each level at her studio has a different color uniform, so while the girls are dressed exactly alike, they express their personality in their hair ornaments. They are allowed, and encouraged, to use a headband to keep the little wispy hairs off their face. And so an idea was formed and a business launched. We’ve got elastic headbands with three silk flowers like this one below, available in three colors of elastic and several flower choices. We’ve got flowers on clips in lots of different colors. Pumpkin Girl sticks them right next to her bun for class and tucked over her ear when her hair is down. We’ve even got some ribbon sculptures like this Nutcracker.

Within the week we’ll have the cutest little felt figures attached to snap clips. I can’t wait to share! And of course, you can’t have your own blog and your own internet business without having a give-away!! Go check out Pumpkin Girl Designs and take a look around. Come back here and leave a comment and tell me which item we carry is your favorite. One lucky person will win the item of their choice! Follow the link to our Facebook page and “like” it, return here and tell me you did for an extra entry. Want more chances to win? Blog about our grand opening and leave me a link in the comments. Comments will close at 8 PM MST on Sunday, December 4. Winner will be announced on December 5.

*Comments are now closed.*

Small Mercies

Most days I am caught up in the swirl of family life. Ballet, scouts, soccer, school, cooking, cleaning, lather, rinse, repeat. I try not to focus too much on feeling overwhelmed, but honestly, I find myself falling behind on *life*.

An unusual Thursday rehearsal was called for the Nutcracker battle scene, thus requiring Pumpkin Girl and some of her classmates to stay until 8:15 PM. Thursday is my regular carpool day – and when I say “my”, I mean Phil’s. It wasn’t a really big deal, except on Wednesday night Philip got sick. The kind of sick that takes you completely out of the game and into bed.

Still, not a big deal. It would be tricky picking the girls up at the very time Pipsqueak would be wanting to nurse himself to sleep, but we’d manage. That is, until I attempted to get him to nap a bit earlier than normal in order to get him up in time to pick up all the girls and get them to class. He slept all of 40 minutes, thus setting him up to be extra crabby just when I needed to be heading back out to pick them all up again. Oh well, can’t be helped.

And then as I was picking up one of the girls, her mom came out to talk to me. She said, “I know you have little ones, would you like me to pick up the girls tonight?” Yes, yes I would! I know I could have asked for help earlier, but I hate to be flaky. I don’t like saying, oh I know I made a point of saying I could still drive after rehearsal, but now I can’t. It sure was nice to have that off my plate.

Then on the way home from running the Ballet Express, I was sitting first in line waiting for the left turn arrow to turn green. I was looking off to the side, kind of day dreaming. I was looking at the Walgreens on the corner, thinking about all the things I needed to get there. I snapped out of it and turned my head back to the front to see the light had turned green. And in the small bit of time that it took me to react, someone in the cross-traffic – in the lane closest to me – ran the red light.

Note that sequence. Daydreaming, notice light already green, car runs red. Had I been paying attention and had started moving my car a moment earlier, I would have been t-boned by the car screaming across the 4 lane intersection. At best, he would have clipped the nose of my car. At worst, my door would have taken the full brunt of it.

Somedays you are caught up in the details that make up your life. You chug along, hoping for a break. Other days, God shows you small mercies, letting you know that He’s got you covered.

Send Help!

I’ve been sucked into the Nutcracker Rehearsal Vortex!

Pumpkin Girl is at the ballet studio 5 days a week and has learned the joy and comfort of an epsom salt soak.

In other, non-ballet related news, my life is also dominated by soccer and scouts.  Soccer practices, soccer games, snack schedules and equipment.  I decipher the schedule and note it all on the calendar so we know where and when each game is being played and in which uniform.  Then there are scout uniforms, scout meetings, scout popcorn sales, merit badge colleges, go-see-its, camping trips…It’s a wonder my head hasn’t exploded yet.

The good news is that soccer season ends this Saturday.  Actually, I enjoy soccer season but this year Boo’s practices are 25 minutes away, twice a week.  So I’m glad practices are over, but I’ll miss the games.  And now that it’s November (November!!!), Nutcracker 1 is on the h0rizon.

And just to keep things interesting, Pumpkin Girl and I have decided to open our own business.  Gives us something to do in all our spare time.  More details later.

Seriously, send help.  Or at least egg nog.

 

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