Thursday, February 21, 2013

Laughter from Above

God has a sense of humor.

After years of quiet isolation, I decided to venture into a "small group" at our very large church.  As much as I enjoy sitting at home being judged only by my granddaughter, it seemed like it was time to get out of the house and allow a few other people to form their own negative opinions about me.  I might not make much of a mark in this world, but I'm good for helping other people feel better about themselves.

My husband and I have tried a small group in the past, but with children in tow it never seemed to work out the way we needed.  The meetings were held in members' homes, and often lasted past the girls' bedtime.  Also, I hated dealing with my kids constantly coming into the room interrupting our conversation.  After a few months it started to feel like a chore instead of a time to connect with other adults and grow closer to God.  When I'm yelling at the kids and using bad language while driving home from Bible study, it's not a good sign.

Fast forward a few years.  My now-teenage granddaughter had been asked to help with childcare for a small group on Wednesday night.  My husband received an email from another small group leader asking if we'd be interested in joining them on Wednesday nights at the church.   And childcare for the youngest granddaughter would be provided in the church gym.  It seemed like a perfect fit.

Trying to mask my social phobia, I slapped on my best smile and walked into the room with  my husband.  Only a handful of people had arrived before us.  After a few introductions, we took our seats and watched as everyone slowly trickled in.  A disturbing pattern began to emerge.  These people were young.   My granddaughters are older than most of their children.  Heck, strictly from a biological standpoint I could be a great-grandmother.  (Note to the Princess:  If you ever want to kill me, making that happen in the next few years would be an effective method.) 

All these attractive young people were as nice as can be.   But we're at very different stages in our lives.  I've been at this for 35 years, and I've grown weary.  They can't yet accept that someday far in the future their little ones will actually leave for college.  I'm happily counting down, in single digits, the years left until I can kick my second set out of the nest.  Right now their parenting problems revolve around toddlers who are just starting to test the word "NO!", while I'm dealing with a teenager who knows everything and imparts her wisdom with a side of attitude.  I don't want to be the bitter old lady who laughs and says, "You just think you have problems now."   I also don't want to be in a group where I'm described as "the older lady".  As my husband astutely observed, putting me in a situation where I'm the oldest person in the room isn't good for anybody.

There was a real effort by several people at the end of the session to make this old couple feel welcome.  As I was chatting with one nice young lady, I mentioned that my granddaughter was babysitting at another group meeting.  "Oh, if you don't mind I'd love to get her name!  My babysitter is leaving for college soon!"  Reality hit like an asteroid.  My granddaughter is old enough to babysitter her children

I picked up my reading glasses and got out of there as fast as my old-lady legs could take me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Simple Birthday Card

The base of this card is kraft paper, one of my favorites when I don't want my card to look too girly.  Presents and balloons were cut using the Cricut cartridge Martha Stewart Birthday Cake Art.  The banner was a ready-made embellishment from my stash.  I added more jute along the side to coordinate with the banner.  I actually did a little stitching around the edges of this one to help justify the purchase of my rarely-used mini sewing machine (I have a long way to go with that).
Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Grandson's 1st birthday card

My grandson recently celebrated his first birthday.  Since his daddy calls him "little monkey", he's inundated with monkey-themed papercrafts from me.   (Yes, I'm creatively challenged.  Give me a theme and I'll work it to death.)

I started with the monkey from the Cricut cartridge Birthday Bash (page 36 in my handbook).  Since he looks like he's either swinging at a pinata or about to get some street justice with his baseball bat, I decided alterations were in order. 
The monkey base before alteration

After removal of his weapon

I carefully cut the bat away and replaced it with heart-shaped balloons from the same cartridge (Kangaroo, layer 2, page 49 in my handbook).  I ditched the blindfold/facemask, too.  No longer wielding his weapon, it seemed out of place.  (BTW--Who decided it was a good idea to put a group of eager children in a circle around another blindfolded child who's swinging a big stick at a box of candy???)
Sorry for the hazy photo

The sentiment "Happy Birthday little Guy" and the number "1" are also from Birthday Bash (page 61, Squirrel key).

This is definitely one of my favorite cartridges.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine Card for my granddaughters

I made two of these cards last Valentine's Day for my granddaughters.  (FYI:  It's always a good idea to make identical items for competitive children.  They'll still complain that something about theirs isn't quite as good as the other.  You can't win.) 

The ladybug is from the Cricut cartridge Simply Charmed.  The inside sentiment is from the Cricut cartridge Holiday Cakes. (I've bought several of the Cake cartridges primarily for the wealth of sentiments they contain.)  For the life of me I can't remember where I got the small hearts on the inside, but they were probably left over from another project.  Waste not, want not.  Just be prepared for the clutter.

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Miss You" Card for Teresa

When I buy Cricut cartridges I like to make sure they work before I forget I have them.  One that I recently bought was Birthday Bash, which had caught my attention because of this adorable roller-skating giraffe.  My sister, Teresa, collected giraffe figurines for many years, and I try to send her cards (usually with a giraffe image) as often as possible to let her know I'm thinking of her.   Since I had several new cartridges to test, it seemed like the perfect excuse to make a card for my sister.
In addition to the giraffe from Birthday Bash, I used Martha Stewart Elegant Cake Art for the sentiment "Miss You" and the clouds are from the lite cartridge Dino Play.
 Thanks for looking!