Sewing Up A Storm

*All professional photos in this post were taken by the very talented Brandi Hoffman Photography.

I haven’t been sewing up a storm, per say, but I have been busy sewing. And now that it is the Christmas season my sewing list just got longer. I did manage, however, to sew a dress for the Doll Face for our family pictures.  The last family pictures we had done where when I was pregnant with her, so it was long over due. I really wanted to make something special for all the kids, but time was not my friend and Doll Face was in desperate need of a wintery dress so she won out.

Earlier this summer Violette Field Threads released the Matilda Dress and the Rosemary Pinafore and I knew immediately that I needed to make one for Doll Face. It is not in my usual style of dress, but there was something vintage about it that I absolutely loved!

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I thought I was going to make a mustard yellow polka dot dress with a navy blue pinafore but found this gray damask in my stash and knew that was it. It took me forever to decide on the lace trim though. Should I add it, should I not. I couldn’t decide. I had never sewn with it before and I had a hard time visualizing it with the damask, but once I bit the bullet and bought the whole spool (yikes!) I knew there was no turning back.  The directions for both the dress and the pinafore were easy to follow and I adore how it turned out. And I’m happy to say that I am not as afraid of lace as I had been.

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Here is our whole family, including the Honey Bear. Don’t ask how we managed to get everyone looking at the camera because it was no easy task, especially with those hay bales temping my little dare devils. The top I’m wearing is the Parisian Top by Go To Patterns. I made it last winter and it has become a quick favorite. I used a thick knit I found at Hancock’s so it is nice and warm. I’m not a huge fan of 3/4 length sleeves, and I don’t know why I made this top knowing this was the sleeve length, but I really like the way this looks on me. I may just start wearing more 3/4 length sleeves.

Currently, I am making lots of angel and shepherd costumes for our kids program at church, then it is back to my Christmas sewing and a coat for our oldest, Buddy Bear. If I manage to get all my Christmas sewing done in a reasonable time, I will be sharing a tutorial for this fox dress I made early this fall. If not, be on the look out before the new year!

Foxy Dress

Until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mama Bear

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June Been Gone For A Long Time

Oh, there you are!  I told you June was going to be busy!  We had a great little vacation to the beach, then we had VBS,  Goldilocks was dedicated, and then we went to a family reunion.  We also went on a camping trip with some very missed friends.  On top of all that I have been doing some sewing!

We went to the beach with the Bear’s parents, Ma Maw & Pa Paw.  It was a great way start to the summer.  The first afternoon there, we go down to the beach so the boys can see the water and play in the sand.  Happy is a big chicken.  He got knocked down by the first wave and would not go near the water again.  He would get as far as the beach chairs and umbrellas and stop.  All he wanted to do was play in the sand with his construction site which was fine by me.  One less kid to watch near the water.  Huggy was the opposite.  He got knocked down by the first wave, got up, and started to charge the next one.  All the kids wanted to do all weekend was play in the sand or in the pool.  That makes for a great relaxing-ish vacation. Oh, and the Bear and I got to celebrate our birthdays while we were there.  Thank you Ma maw & Pa paw for giving us a night out!!

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The day after we got back from the beach VBS started.  This was an amazing week.  It was fun.  It was a blessing.  It was transformative.  I cannot thank our children’s minister enough for asking me to help out.  She does an awesome job of making things fun and interesting for the kids, like crazy hair day.  She made the act of the offering a challenge, too.  Who could give more, boys or girls.  Everyday during the class rotation, the kids would learn about missions.  This year, instead of each day focusing on a different missionary around the world, they were told about a specific mission that the offering would be going to help.  Haiti’s Eden.  I think this made it personal for the kids because by the end of day three, these fantastic kids gave more than had ever been given in any one VBS.  The boys lagged all week but pulled it out on Friday to win.  In all, these kids donated over $2000 for Haiti’s Eden.  Two-Thousand Dollars y’all!!!  On top of this, there were 49 kids who asked God into their hearts.  I almost cried like a baby.  Like a said, this was an amazing week.

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After VBS was over, we finally had Goldilocks dedicated.  Here she is with her Ma maw.  The dress she is wearing was made by a lady they go to church with.  She did all this by hand.  Smocking included.  Gorgeous dress!

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The following weekend we went to a family reunion.  My FIL is the youngest of 9 and they all try to get together every year or so.  I thinks it’s been a few years since the last one so it was really nice to see them again.  When Honey Bear and I first started dating, I went to his family reunion with him.  It was there, in the bathroom, that his Aunt Ann tells me that I was the answer to her prayers.  I was so confused.  All I could eek out was a meek little “oh, ok, thanks”.  She was a beautiful woman and I am so glad she prayed for me and that I got to know her while she was on this earth.  This is our little branch of the family.  The Bear’s sister also has four kids, three boys then one girl, just not as close in age as ours.

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Lastly, we had a really nice time camping with some friends.  We went to Raccoon Mountain Campgrounds in Chattanooga, TN.  A couple of friends brought their pop-up camper and we stayed in one of the cabins.  I guess you could say we went “glamping”.  It worked out great though with all the bitty ones.  We always wanted to do something like this and always talked about doing it, but we actually did it this time!! We may need to make this a yearly thing.  One of our friends has a son Buddy’s age and another has a daughter Goldilocks age.  The camp sites were next to the playground and pool so the kids had all the play time they could possibly ask for and more!  Thankfully the weather was great and getting to see many of our friends again was wonderful!  This is our friend getting a dental exam from his daughter.  I think she found a cavity in there some where. 😛

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 Yeah, I told you June was going to be busy.  I did do lots of sewing too but that will have to be another post.  I am so thankful that I got to experience everything I did in June.  July started out busy with the forth and all, but it should be an uneventful month.  I need to rest up before school starts in August!

The Orange Rhino

The other day I came home from the store.  As I was unpacking the groceries, I heard Honey Bear and Happy in the bathroom.  Happy was getting in trouble.  It was not a very happy sound.  In fact, it kind of made me sick.  It wasn’t that Happy was getting in trouble for whatever it was that he had done. He’s only 2 1/2 so you can imagine what kinds of things he could be doing in the bathroom other than using the potty.  Maybe he was unrolling the toilet paper, or splashing in the sink, or even singing into the toilet.  Maybe he decided to paint the counter with the soap again or put lotion in his hair.  At least he smelled good when he did that!    The fact of the matter is, whatever he was getting in trouble for was not what made me sick.

It was the sound.

The sound that came from that room made my stomach sink.  That sound made me feel sorry for poor Happy.  That sound made me want to leave the house.  That sound made me hate myself.  That sound was yelling.  We yell.  Sometimes we yell a lot.  There, I said it.  We are all yellers.  The whole lot of us.  We both know that we don’t like it.  We both know that the kids don’t like getting yelled at.  They don’t listen when we yell.  That only makes us yell more.  And by then the kids are too confused with the jumbled up words coming from our mouth to know what to do.  And the kids yell at each other.  I don’t like that one bit.  Sometimes the yelling is out of pure frustration.  Sometimes it is out of exhaustion.  Sometimes we yell just to be heard.  We both know that it has to stop.

The other day I was browsing Pinterest in the Kids category when one of the pins caught my eye.  It was a picture of two little boys.  One of the boys was standing on a shelf of a refrigerator trying to get something from the top shelf while the other boy watched.  I decided to click on the pin to see why this kid was in the fridge.  The blog I stumbled upon was The Orange Rhino.  What I found there is amazing.  This pin took me to a blog about a woman and what she learned when she stopped yelling at her family.  She did this for an entire year.  365 days.  No yelling.  Ever.  I knew immediately that God had directed me to this blog.  I knew that I needed to be a better mommy and a better wife.

Needless to say, when God puts something in your hands, it would be disastrous to not follow.  So now Honey Bear and I are doing the challenge.  We are on day 3.  I have already noticed how much better the little bears listen.  The calmer I am, the sooner the situation is over.  I have also noticed that many times, when the kids didn’t do what we asked, it was because we didn’t get off our lazy duff to make them.  That first day was so exhausting.  Lunch time was tough.  Huggy usually decides that he needs to put his food in his hair and say “hat” over and over until I tell him to stop.  That or he sticks his food in his ear.  And Happy jabbers on about something, asks me the same question 12 times, or plays with his spoon and won’t eat.  He likes to take his time.  So I’m constantly saying “get that off your head”, “eat your lunch”, “don’t put that in your ear”, “turn around and eat please!”  All this while I’m attempting to feed Goldilocks peas or something.  It is frustrating!  I decided to sing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” to distract us all.  It worked wonders!  Instantly the kids are listening to me and asking me to do it again.  It made lunch time fun too.  I felt so much better at the end of the day knowing that I didn’t yell at the kids once.  Not once!  Woo hoo!!  Go me!  The next day was easier since I only had the baby for most of the day.  Today was trying my patients.  I’m constantly reminding myself to not yell.  I did catch myself a few times today when I almost yelled.  The first word out of my mouth that is raised and I have to quickly change my tone.  I have to keep saying to myself that I love my kids more than I love yelling.  It’s not easy when you are trying to change a habit.

I think my favorite point on her list of things she’s learned is that not yelling feels awesome, and boy does it!  This is going to be a lot of work and I will probably have to restart a time or two.  I’m not expecting an overnight change in any of us.  It’s going to be a rough transition, but we aren’t doing this alone.  We have an Almighty Creator who loves us more than we can ever possibly know and he is always with us, guiding us even when we don’t listen too well.

Yelling is ugly and God doesn’t deserve an ugly heart.