Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stuffed Giraffe

I wrote a few days ago about the "Fun with Elmo" book I made for my two-year-old grandson in a desperate attempt to gain his favor.  I needed to earn a spot in the heart of his adorable little sister, too, so I had to think of something I could make for a not-quite-one-year-old.  Since giraffes have a special significance in my family, I found a pattern online to make a small stuffed giraffe just right for tiny little hands.

I used some patterned fleece I already had and strategically cut it to give the giraffe a little more color and interest.  I braided some thin ribbon to create the tail, which I stitched into the seam, and "embroidered" (term used loosely) the eyes with plain black thread.  Stuffing the giraffe was quite the challenge, but I succeeded (eventually) and hand-stitched the opening as tightly as possible.

It isn't perfect, but toddlers aren't terribly discerning when it comes to concepts such as quality and durability.  It's soft, it's colorful, and I'm pretty sure that's good enough for now.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fun With Elmo Toddler Book

I don't see my youngest grandchildren nearly often enough.  Before my most recent visit, I decided to make a small bribe gift for each of them so they might remember me fondly (the other two granddaughters live with me, so they already don't like me).

My two-year-old grandson loves Elmo, and since I have the Cricut cartridges "Sesame Street Friends" and "Sesame Street Seasons" I thought a small book would be fun to make for him.  I decided to include very simple words to help him learn to read (and also to keep the project easy for me; yeah, I'm a tired grandmother--see note above mentioning the two who live with me).

I kept the backgrounds simple since I wanted to laminate the pages, and as you can see from the photos, multiple layers don't laminate well.  (Also, I'm a little lazy.) After laminating the pages and trimming the excess, I put it together using my Bind-it-All.  My favorite page is "Run, Elmo, run!" because I thought I was actually clever for once.  (If you aren't impressed, neither was anybody else.)

Overall, it was a fun, easy project.  And I got to make something for one of my favorite people!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Every Day God Gives Me a Do-over, and For That I am Truly Thankful

First, I hope my neighbors didn't observe my meltdown last night.  Second, I'm sorry my family did.

I'm falling apart.  Years of relentless stress have taken their toll.  I just don't have the energy it takes to go on.  But go on I must.  There are children to be raised and a home to make.

I've written before about the difficulties I've faced trying to raise my granddaughters without benefit of a healthy childhood to prepare me for life.  I'm not sure why, but God keeps picking me up and blessing me in spite of myself.  God is good that way.

Life isn't perfect.  We're still digging ourselves out of the financial hole we fell into when the economy tanked.  I'm struggling to be a mother to two beautiful, wonderful children who deserve so much better than what I have to give.  But we still have our home, crumbling though it is after two decades.  My husband has a job, and it seems it might finally start to pay enough that we can stop draining our home equity and retirement accounts (since we've pretty much depleted them by now). And we are relatively healthy for a couple of old folks.  But most of all, God watches over us.  And that brings me more joy than I can ever express.

I was reading a blog today about a woman who is losing her husband to cancer.  I can't imagine how a person gets through such an experience.  I've grieved when I lost loved ones, but my husband is my best friend.  Even when I want to strangle him, I know my life would be so empty without him in it. I pray God will give us both many more years so we can finally experience each other without the constant strain of raising a family.  I want to travel with him.  I want to walk on the beach with him...and only him.  Heck, I just want to have dinner alone with him.

I pray God will give me the strength to be a better person and help me appreciate all I've been given. But most of all, I pray He will guide my path so that I can honor Him.  It's the least I can do.