Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More About Clark

After I re-read my post from yesterday I realized that I wanted to say more about Clark and his condition. For those of you who don't know Cerebral Palsy just keeps getting worse as one gets older. In addition, there is no cure for it.

One of the things that I constantly struggle with is "getting right" with CP and things I cannot change or fix. As a parent you want the best for your child, in all things, and when they grow up and move away, as in the natural order of life, you still worry. But you know that they are an adult now and can take care of themselves. That is not so with Clark, I will always worry about him! Is he warm enough, are his teeth clean, when is he going to have to have a G-tube replacement (I hope it doesn't happen while we are away), etc., etc. I think the best way I can help you understand is if you have every had a parent or grandparent in a nursing home.

You walk in to see them, maybe (depending on their condition and the nursing home staff's attentiveness) you smell urine or feces, maybe you see them in not enough clothes or too many, maybe they did not get their nails clipped or hair combed today. Your first instinct is to "fix" whatever is not right. It is like that for me....always. Part of me wants to turn that off but, part of me can't...because if I stop caring for him (even in the smallest way) who will?

It has been a constant struggle and fight for his nearly 20 years. But, I do not give up hope!

Now he is in a State run home, this was only to be a temporary placement...he has been there for a year and a half. We have been working with an agency to find him his own home. Just last week, we found out that this agency, while they haven't given up on finding something, has hit some road blocks. So, we have to start exploring another agency.....that was 5 months of nothing! Meanwhile, Clark is getting older....when he turns 21 school will be over for him and he should go into a day program out in the community. But, because he lives at a state run facility, they have to provide everything for him. They cannot because while he has physical needs that they can take care of, they can't meet his social needs very well. If he ends up staying there, we will have to find some $$$ somewhere to get him out into the community.....we will cross it when we, if we, get there.

As far as his physical body and travel.....he had a spinal fusion (rods and pins from T2 to the Sacrum) due to scoliosis about 3 years ago...saved his life! He also has had a Femoral Osteotomy about 2 years ago due to his legs windsweeping to the sides and causing one of the hip joints to come nearly out of the socket. Because of those surgeries, he cannot get in a comfortable position for a long period of time....his power wheelchair helps with tilt and recline features. And because of the power wheelchair we cannot get him into many homes....including Grandma and Grandpa's. Not to mention monitoring the meds, feeding, dressing and toileting....well, I think you get it.

So, Wayne and I make the best effort we can to provide him with the best life we can. Clark always has a smile and an "I love you, mama" for me and a fist bump for Dad no matter how he feels. He is a gift from God and we are grateful!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mojo75 Challenge and Family Weekend

We had a very busy weekend after a very busy week. My husband's parents came in for the weekend from Wisconsin. They generally come a couple of times a year depending on what is going on at their farm. Right now they are waiting the arrival of baby goats. My In-Laws milk goats, show goats and sell goats....in addition to doing other things on their farm.

We had a short but nice visit and spent sometime with our son, Clark, too. They brought him an early birthday gift. It always makes him sad that
he cannot go visit them anymore....due to his physical condition.

On Sunday, after they left to return home, we went to my parent's for Dad's 76th birthday. Right now he is feeling a bit better....he has been struggling with lung cancer for over 2 years now....but, he is still so much thinner than he should be. I am so grateful that he is stil with us!! The doctors only gave him a few months a little over a year ago.

Wayne left in the early afternoon for Phoenix. He will be there for another week at least. So, I went downstairs to make this card. It took me much too long to make!! I found it on Dannie's Designs Blog and inspiration from Mojo Monday Blog. I hope you like it!
Delightful 5-Petal Flower Card
  • Stamps - SU Just for You
  • Paper - SU Cameo Coral, Mellow Moss, Whisper White and Simply Scrappin' Just Delightful Kit
  • Inks - SU So Saffron, Basic Black, Cameo Coral, Mellow Moss, More Mustard
  • Accessories - 5-Petal Flower Punch, Small Oval Punch, Boho Blossoms Punch, Fiskars Punch, Hole Punch, Brads, Dimensionals

I really appreciate you coming to see my stuff, it makes me feel good! Leave a comment if you wish.

Happy Crafting!!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Cards To De-stress By

Howdy! A couple of days ago I was feeling stressed over the things in my life that are taking precedence... my Son's situation, hubby's stress, In-Laws coming to visit this weekend and getting ready for our vacation next Friday. So, I decided that everything could wait while I made a few cards and zoned out!!

This one is my attempt at Mojo74. For my Dad's 76th birthday today....but, we will celebrate on Sunday after the In-Laws leave. I turned it on the side...could have used a smaller card base as this one is 5x7. Details at the end of this post.

I needed some masculine cards for upcoming birthdays and a thank you. I have to say that I CASED both of these from texasjodylynn on SCS. She did such a nice job. On the Wanted card, I wanted to make the embossed paper look like suede and I stitched with embroidery floss around Wanted. I am planning on sending this to Wayne's brother for his birthday and I will put something cute inside like... wanted for another birthday, loosing more hair but gaining more friends, etc. I have a couple of days before I have to send it. Any ideas??

This stamp set is one of my all time favorites for so many reasons...mainly guy cards. And as you can see I am using up old DP and CS. For some reason I have 2 rolls of hemp twine and I don't know how that happened...regardless I have to use them. Rather than put Happy Birthday on everything, I like 'celebrate life' because we should!

This is a photo of a case for my Iris cases that my super sweet husband made me. He found a photo in a woodworking magazine and then adapted it. The only problem now is I have so many cases that are not filled I have to figure out what to put in them! Ha!

But, seriously I finally feel that I have worked sufficently on my stamping space that I can work now and find (and use) everything!!

Happy Heart Mojo74
  • Stamps - SU Happy Heart Day, Everyday Flexible Phrases, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Sanded BG, Weathered BG, Short & Sweet, A Little Birdie Told Me
  • Paper - SU Old Olive, Ruby Red and Very Vanilla, Daisy D's DP
  • Ink - SU Old Olive, Ruby Red, Creamy Caramel, Basic Gray, Basic Black
  • Accessories - Prismacolor Pencils, Blending Pens, Unknown Fiber, Dimensionals


  • Stamps - SU Wanted, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
  • Paper - SU Always Artichoke, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
  • Inks - SU Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke, Ranger Vintage Photo Distress Ink
  • Accessories - Cuttlebug, Dimensionals, Making Memories Brads and metal thingy, SU Chocolate Chip Grograin Ribbon, Unknown Ribbon, DMC floss, SU Chipboard

Memories Wanted

  • Stamps - SU Wanted, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Sanded and Tres Chic BG
  • Paper - Baroque DP, Always Artichoke, River Rock, Chocolate Chip and Naturals Ivory
  • Inks - Whisper White Craft, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Ranger Vintage Photo Distress Ink
  • Accessories - Making Memories Brad, SU Chipboard, Distressing tool, Dimensionals

Celebrate Tree

  • Stamps - Lovely as a Tree, So Many Sayings
  • Paper - SU Buckaroo Blue, Kahki, Confetti White, SU Retired DP
  • Inks - Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories - Hemp Twine, Old Olive, Always Artichoke and Chocolate Chip Markers

Thanks for looking, hope you have a great weekend....I know we will with our family. Maybe I will post some photos of our family for you Monday!

Happy Crafting!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Humble Gratitude

This has been one of the best weekends with my hubby. He got home on Thursday night, Friday he had to work from home, I ran errands and then we went out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Not a real expensive place just a comfy, good italian food.....where we know most of the wait staff....says a lot doesn't it?

We had the staff in an uproar this time. We are into history and trivia so, we wanted to pass the time waiting for our food by trying to remember the placement of each state in relation to all the other states and the capitals. We started writing on our place mats.....got all the states in the right order but, were stumped on some of the capitals. So we asked our waitress and busser if they knew.....they didn't. But then they started asking some of the other staff...we were stumped on Montana, West Virginia and South Carolina's capitals. I know what they are now....see if you know them. We made our waitress laugh and she made the comment that we made her week!

For Valentine's Day we had a very relaxed one....hung around the house, took a nap, exchanged cards (he gave me a mushy one that made me cry), fixed some Kansas City Strip Steaks for dinner and watched a movie....Iron Man. Normally he gets me a funny one, so it was a nice change. Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day too.

Now to the card....this is a SFYTT Jan 10 challenge. My SCS friend, Michelle from western Indiana, turned me on to it. I liked the layout because it did challenge me to do something I would not normally do....that is design with more. Hope you like it!

  • Stamps - SU Sidekick Sayings
  • Paper - SU Kahki, Wild Wasabi and Really Rust CS,
  • Ink - SU Chocolate Chip, SU Retired DSP
  • Accessories - Assorted Buttons, Hemp Twine, SU Ivory Taffeta Ribbon, SU Old Olive Marker and White Gel Pen

Thanks for looking, always am grateful for your comments.

Happy Crafting!!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's...a Day early!

Wayne came home from Phoenix last night late. He works as a consultant in the IT field and is contracted for a while in that city. He decided to stay there last weekend and visit an old college roommate who was also best man at our wedding. His 2 weeks away was tough on both of us...he missed me, our bed and life at home....notice I said me first? That is what he said when he walked in the door and gave me a HUGE hug.

But, get this....I asked him to get a box of See's Candy (for those of you who have never had it, you are missing the freshest, best tasting candy West of the Mississippi!) for my parents for Valentine's Day. You would think he would have been able to get one for me as well?! After all tomorrow is one of the biggest days to give Chocolate! Nope, unless he is keeping it a secret until tomorrow, I will be without. Oh, but wait.......he is going back to Phoenix next week!! I guess I will just have to drool thinking about it until next Thursday! I love the Dark Chocolate and anything nuts and chews.....drooling now!!!

This morning I went to Clark's school early to meet him when he got off the bus so he could give Brittany her Valentine gift. He had the biggest smile when I handed him the bag...it brings me much joy to see him happy, especially so early in the morning!!

I went to a meeting last night at his school to talk to agencies from our community that work for or provide for the disabled, in some form. And as much as I knew it already, hearing last night that Clark will not be able to be supported in a work setting just broke my heart.....I nearly cried. He has so many things physically that prohibit him from working at a job...feeding tube, wheelchair, communication device and needing help with incontinence. I guess I always hoped that there would be some way around those factors. But, after talking with Wayne this morning, I decided not to give up.....there just has to be a way to give him his dream. I may have to fight for what Clark needs but isn't that what parents do.....I know I am sounding like a broken record! LOL!!

Wayne and I are having a really nice dinner at home tomorrow night.....steaks, twice-baked potatoes, salad and then probably off to Ted Drew's Frozen Custard for dessert. Never heard of that? A St. Louis tradition dating back to the 1920's....to die for!! No gifts this year and we are both okay with that. The card above is for him...simple and easy.

  • Stamps - SU Around and About and Happy Hearts
  • Paper - SU Kahki, Basic Black and Whisper White CS
  • Ink - SU Real Red Classic and Basic Black
  • Accessories - SU Dimensionals, Making Memories Metal Love Tags (this one says Hugs and Kisses) and Creative Impressions Rub-Ons

Happy Valentine's Day and have a wonderful weekend! Happy Crafting!!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blog Candy

No not me but, Jean over Here has some DGS stamps to give away. She also has some really cool cards to check out too.

Valentine's Tin For Brittany

I have finally finished the gift Clark is giving to Brittany...I had to get his approval yesterday. I filled it with shades of Pink nail polish, chocolates and a stretchy valentine's bracelet. Because Clark lives in a group home and I can not trust that this will get to school in one piece (or even get to school at all)...I will take it tomorrow myself. Meeting Clark at his school when he gets off the bus allows him the opportunity to carry it into school on his own.

All the extra work can be frustrating at times, but
what am I supposed to do? As much as I would
like to yell at the folks at his home, I can not or
otherwise I am afraid that they will take out their
possible anger at me on Clark.

I have learned, through much experience and time, that I have to pick and choose my battles. Better yet, I measure everything on the "On a scale of 10..." or "In 6 months will this really matter?" Guess we all do that in some manner or another.

I guess the bottom line is...Clark is worth the extra effort!! Dissapointments, frustrations and all.

So, now you know what I have been working on, crafty wise, the past few days. In addition, I am getting ready for my In-Laws visit next weekend and preparing to go on vacation the following weekend. I have been shopping for the trip...in Orlando...and cleaning like a crazy woman.

Oh yeah, I am still organizing downstairs in the evenings too. I think I am more busy since I quit work than before!!! Why is that? Let me know if you come up with something. LOL!

Ok, I have rambled enough...here is all the details on the tin - In the close-up of the heart on the front of the tin, I cut paper flowers in thirds and glued them to the back of the heart, doodled around the edge of the heart, added stamped hearts and dots of Stickles. Kept wanting to put some type of word there but stopped to keep it simple.

  • Paper - Scrappy Cat
  • Stamps - SU Short & Sweet, Rubber Paper Tapestry, Happy Heart Day
  • Ink - SU Whisper White Craft Ink and Pixie Pink Classic Ink
  • Accessories - Rusty Pickle Chipboard Heart, Paper Flowers, Assorted SU and Non-SU ribbons, Large and Small Tag Punches, Foam Tape, Modpodge - Matte and Glitter

Thanks for looking and Happy Crafting!!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Confetti Hearts

I don't remember where I found this inspiration....it wasn't the colors but the layout I suppose. My sewing machine has been in storage since the beginning of December when I was sewing Magic Pillowcases and Hawaiian Shirts for gifts. It was time to dig it out.....looks like I need to practice more as the stitches are not laying so well. And I appologize for the color....our scanner program has been sick so, I have to find another way to get better pics. C'est la vie!
I have to tell you about the great sales I picked up on yesterday. Oh you know, the stuff you could live without but, would rather not. One of the places I stopped was Michael's the 40% off coupon was burning a hole in my pocket! They have put in a Dollar Deals (I am not sure if that is the name....it was more seasonal stuff) section towards the back of the store....not the one they usually have towards the front. Anyway, for a $1 I found chipboard (feeding the addiction) house, heart, flower, splat, star shape books. I picked up the houses and stars....thinking ahead for July 4th with a "Liberty" garland.
Also for a dollar I picked up a organdy bag (about 5x7) that can be 'dressed' up with stamping.....ooooo....better yet....how about putting those jars of Denise's Lotion in (the jars came in Thursday and I bought the things needed to make a batch yesterday)? There were some cools glittered stickers in flower, butterfly and star shapes (July 4th banner??) Well, I think you get the idea here....some really great ideas came flowing when I did not have to rush about yesterday. Now I just have to get busy and get crafting!!
  • Stamps - Inkadinkado, SU Short & Sweet, Rubber Stamp Tapestry (tiny heart)
  • Ink - SU Real Red, Basic Black
  • Paper - SU Kraft, Basic Black and Whisper White
  • Accessories - Brads, Sewing Machine, Dimensionals, SU Stampin' Pastels, Blender Pen

Hope you have a great Sunday with family and friends!

Happy Crafting!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Loaded with Valentine Love

Good Morning crafters!! I wanted to post this one this morning as a tribute to my brother, Chris, who is in car sales in California. Like nearly everyone else, he is struggling right now with the crappy economy. I wanted to cheer him up and send a Valentine too.

For the longest time, until I told him one day on the phone, he did not know that the cards were handmade. So, he was throwing them away. And for a while, that bothered me. But, then I had to tell myself that I did my part in sending a the creation, what he did with it afterwards is up to him. He's just not a saver.

Well, I am off to run errands and hit my LSS, they are having a big sale today to get ready for all the new things from CHA. Have a great Saturday....I hope to post a couple more Valentine cards later.

Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

She Lights Up His Life!

This is the card I made last night for my son to give his best girl, Brittany, for Valentine's Day. Clark, our son, and Brittany go to the same school. This is his 2nd year at this particular school for the disabled in St. Louis. We chose it because the regular high school could not meet his needs or they were going to place him in classes that would be of no use to him. So, we chose a Special School District not too far from where he lives. It has been a wonderful decision!

When Clark arrived at Southview School, Brittany, liked him right away and told him so. She invited him to Prom last year, visits him at the group home he lives in and just wants to be close to him. Isn't that what typical teenagers do? Brittany is also in a wheelchair, though she can write and speak clearly.....things Clark cannot do without devices and tools.

Anyway, when it comes to getting gifts and cards for anyone, we always give Clark choices.....since we cannot take him to stores to get them (a story for another day). I had found a sheet of postage stamp looking valentine's by K & Co. He looked them over and picked this one. When I asked him why that one? He said, "because she makes me so happy." Isn't that what we want for our children? Life for Clark is certainly not very easy so why not make it as happy for him as I can.

  • Stamps - None
  • Inks - None
  • Paper - Bazzill, Basic Grey, K & Co, SU Confetti White
  • Ribbon, Brads, Fruit Punch Stickles, Chipboard, dimensionals

I hope that you have someone or something in your life that "lights" you up too!

Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Love Garland...again

Thought I would show you some close ups since I don't think you can get a good enough look at the garland the way it is.....HTH!!

Love Garland

Hello! Well, I finished the first item for Valentine's Day.
You know I was cleaning and organizing things downstairs and one of the items I said I had a lot of was chipboard. Well, the big heart with the scallops was in a pkg. of assorted hearts from Rusty Pickle. I think I bought it last year at my LSS....experience has taught me that I need to buy things when I see them because they will either run out before I decide whether I want it or not or I will have to look all over H--l and creation trying to find it because then I have to have it.

I traced it 4x from thin chipboard in my stash that I have gotten from the packs of paper that my LSS gets in. Fixed designer paper to front and back....and because I am not too handy with a craft knife, I sand the edges. I would have liked to find some really cool way to hang them like a cool strand of beads but, the twine will have to do for this year. I will keep my eyes open for something neater.

  • Paper - SU! Loves Me DP, Close to Cocoa DSP, Kraft
  • Ink - Vintage Photo Ranger Distressed Ink, SU Chocolate Chip
  • Twine, assorted ribbon, dimensionals, bling, SU Chipboard flowers and some asst. bits of wedding lace with sequins, beads and pearls, ribbon roses, Grungeboard Alphas, asst. charms.

Happy Crafting!!