Thursday, June 30, 2011

DIY - Cute Icepack Cover

This is my first attempt at DIY instruction, but Kenzie and I made this and it was so easy and useful I had to share.  I apologize in advance if someone else came up with this particular design, but we thought of this one all by ourselves.  The purpose of this little cover is to provide a permanent cloth cover for those refreezable ice packs you can find in any drug store.  I always end up wrapping it in a dishcloth when we use it, so this allows us to use it right out of the freezer.

You need stretch knit & ice pack.
Measure length & width.  Ours was 7"x 5"
Double the width measurement for the fabric so you can fold it in half, then add 1 1/2 inches to the length and width. 
Icepack length = 7"
Fabric length = 8 1/2"
If the length of the ice pack is 7", the fabric length should be 8 1/2"; if the width is 5", the fabric "width" should be 11 1/2".  (Remember, you are going to fold it in half later so for now the "width" is longer than the "length".)  The extra material will allow you 5/8" allowance on every side.   

Turn the fabric under 5/8", press and sew VERY CLOSE to the edge
Now all four sides should be turned under 5/8".  You might want to use a contrasting color thread as all seams will be visible.  Next, fold the fabric in half, which should make it look closer to the finished width of 5".    

Stitch 5/8" from edge of fold.
Pick a decorative stitch - we chose a flower stitch.
Sew the decorative stitch BETWEEN the seam and the edge of the fold on 3 sides (two lengthwise sides and one of the short sides).  That will close three of the four sides.

Proof my 8 year old operates a sewing machine!
Insert the ice pack in opening

Sew remaining decorative stitch on open side.
A finished permanent cloth ice pack!

It feels so good on your boo boos! 

If you liked this, leave me a comment.  If you think the directions were difficult or confusing PLEASE leave me a comment.  If you are having trouble leaving a comment on Networkedblogs because it is asking you for your URL or other blog platform (and you don't have one), don't worry.  Just don't fill in that field and you can still leave your comment.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Girl's Spa Night

Tonight was supposed to be a daddy/daughter night at the Diamondbacks game.  I was going to spend a quiet night at home with my son.  That likely meant that CJ would play on the computer and I would work on some craft project.  I have to admit I was looking forward to it.

When I arrived home from work, Kenzie let me know that she wasn't going to the ball game because she wanted a "Girl's Night Out."  She told me she wanted to go get avocado so we could rub it all over our faces and put cucumbers over our eyes.  I talked her down from the avocado, pulled out some lotions and found a cucumber.

I ended up with a mini-facial, conditioned feet and a massage courtesy of Kenzie.  A good time was had by all.

So much better than another night of crafting.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scraping the Fairies

Yes, you read that right - scraping, that is to SCRAPE.  We are in a transition around here where the kids want to redecorate their rooms.  That means Kenzie is ready to move from her Tinker Belle green room with fairies and castles to a slightly more mature purple room with a mosquito net canopy over her bed :)  This is going to be a slow process, because the castles and fairies I put up with my sister Peg need to come off.  They do peel with water applied, but it isn't quick.

I'm doing pretty well at adjusting to the emotional side of it.  After all, my little girl is getting older and she's ready to move on to bigger and better things.  This morning we woke up to the sounds of Kenzie singing (knowing every word) to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep".  Yep, I think she's ready for the fairies to go.

Stay tuned as we transform her room and then move on to CJ's.  It may only take until Christmas.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Chats with God

Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear; all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

I can get really stressed out sometimes trying to find a "solution" to life's problems.  The "problems" I'm speaking about are just my own (being effective at work, getting the kids to eat right or brush their teeth, house repairs, etc).  I can't imagine what it would be like to worry about the bigger picture (world peace, climate change, terrorism, the economy).  As a lawyer, I tend to think that I can find solutions to life's problems if I try hard enough.  That, in turn, just makes me stress even more.

The other day I was listening to Selah on my IPod and heard "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," and the words quoted above.  It really struck a chord with me.  How much time do I spend laying my problems down and taking them to my friend Jesus?  Now He may not "solve" my problems the way I think He should - my kids won't suddenly start brushing their teeth - but I have found that just having the conversation and giving up my worries to Him has an immediate impact in reducing my stress.  It also reminds me that I am not (and don't have to be) in control of every aspect of my life.  I just wish I had the conversations with God more frequently. 

To quote an overused 70's phrase: "Let go and let God."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Ones That Got Away

For Father's Day I had some pictures taken of the kids.  It's been about 5 years since they had their pictures professionally taken.

Why did we wait? 

I have no idea, because they are stinkin' cute . . .


and so mature looking!

There were so many good pictures and it was hard to decide.

Can you believe these are the ones we didn't pick?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Last night Kentster was looking at Facebook and showed me a picture my sister posted of her and my dad in 1984.  It startled me to see my dad's face on a computer screen.  He died in 1984, when I was 19.  I think of him every Father's Day, but mostly focus on Kentster and my kids as they celebrate their dads.  Today, I want to celebrate my dad.

J.E. Milford Hendricks was born on April 1, 1921 in Hickman, Kentucky, the son of Jesse Elam Hendricks and Lovie DePriest Hendricks.  He was the middle child, named after his father.  Within the first three years of his life, my dad lost his two infant brothers and his father.  From that time on, it was just him, his mother, aunts and grandmother.  He didn't have much in the way of male role models.  When he was about 5, his name was changed because an insurance company didn't accept initials only.  J.E. became James Edward, and Milford just disappeared.

Life wasn't too easy for my dad as a kid.  He used to tell stories of killing crows to eat and climbing trees in Cairo, Illinois to cut down mistletoe to sell at Christmas. (Who knows if that was true or not.)  World War II came after high school so he joined the Radio Corps and went to train in Kentucky.  He was stationed at Scofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii during the war, but never saw any real action.  He liked to scare his mom by sending home pictures of himself holding little Hawaiian children.  His friends began calling him "Chink" because of the way his eyes became slits when he smiled.  It was a name that stuck with him throughout his life.

After the War, he came home and met Mary Wilbourn, a young "soda jerk".  They married right after her 18th birthday.  He was 25.  Over the next 18 years, he and mom had 5 kids and worked hard to support them all.  He loved working with kids, first at the local youth center and swimming pool and later as a probation officer.  He had a way of talking to teens, especially ones in trouble and I can remember more than one occasion when parents called my dad to come talk to their kid.

Dad taught us to respect authority and follow the rules.  He knew how important it was to be a good role model for us.  After a comment from his young children reading a milk carton that said "The family that prays together stays together," he began instruction to join the Catholic Church.  He seldom missed mass and made it a priority for all of us, but he seldom received Holy Communion because he didn't really feel worthy.  He was a "hands on" dad, a great teacher and could nag with the best of them.  He could be a bit of a "stick in the mud," especially on busy vacations and in crowds.  His favorite place was sitting in a lawn chair camping by a lake.  He valued education as a way to a better life and insisted all of us get a college degree.  We didn't know how good a dad we had until he was gone.  I still miss him.

Today I have my own kids and get to see my dad's expressions, features and mannerisms in my son CJ.  Sometimes I joke that CJ is "channeling" my dad when he says something funny, nags his sister or would rather hang close to home instead of going out.  Today I reminded CJ how much he is like the grandfather he never knew and for the first time I heard him brag to his sister, dad and grandparents how he was like my dad.  It made me smile.  I hope that some day my kids or my nieces and nephews might read this, think about their Grandpa Chink and how much he loves each one of them.  Thanks Dad.  I love you.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Last Night - Oxford, Mississippi

It's been a lovely week in Mississippi.  I met some nice lawyers from around the country and learned more than I wanted to know about cyber-security.  But I'm about ready to give up my super-curly hair and humidity and get on home to my chickadees.  Tomorrow will probably be a long day - at Ole Miss Law School all day and then travel through Memphis and Houston getting back to Phoenix late.  Before settling in this evening, I couldn't resist one more walk out to the square.

I saw the cutest hometown children's bookstore:

Shouldn't every kid get rocked in an old wooden rocker?

Or play in the tiny kitchen with Mom sitting close by?

But I couldn't resist a couple final pictures of Oxford City Hall and the old white courthouse:

The people of Oxford have been so hospitable and welcoming - thank you!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oxford, Mississippi Day 2

After one day of this Cyber-security conference, I'm ready to change all my passwords, delete most of my phone apps and change my privacy settings on Facebook.  I already cancelled Foursquare :)  Seriously, it's pretty scary seeing how all this works.  However, I couldn't ask for a better location than the brand new University of Mississippi Law School building, including the gorgeous Grisham Law Library (think John Grisham).

After a busy day of cyber-frightening, I took a little walk down the historic Lamar Street to see the beautiful homes.

Every home in Oxford (even the non-historic ones) has an open porch (most wrap-around) and the obligatory wooden rocking chairs on the porch.  Many also have porch swings - AHHH.

I've also discovered why Mississippi has the highest percentage of obese people.  Last night we went to Ajax Diner, famous for southern cooking.  I had chicken & dumplings, rolled out with shredded chicken just the way Grandma made!  The entree came with two vegetable sides - sweet potato casserole and fried eggplant were my choices.  (Who knew there was such a variety of veggies??)  Two more days to enjoy Southern hospitality . . .


Monday, June 13, 2011

Business Trip - Oxford, Mississippi

I don't get to go on many business trips.  This one is a conference sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General.  It's all about cyber-security.  I'm not sure why an environmental lawyer (me) is at a conference for prosecutors, but hey, I got a great trip to a beautiful place and I might even learn something!

This conference is in Oxford, Mississippi, the home of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).  I came in this evening and we're staying in downtown Oxford, the prettiest little town square you ever want to see.  Here's the courthouse:

There are great little shops that I'm dying to explore.  Best of all is the scenery.  Large trees with moss:


these cute flowers that I can't remember the name:

and best of all - MAGNOLIAS!

Oh, I really like this business trip!  More to come . . .


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Church!

Happy birthday Church!  Did you know that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church?  The birth of Christianity is celebrated this day - the day voices of all races and languages came together and heard each other with one voice.  Acts 2: 1-11.  So let's party!  The Holy Spirit is the guest of honor and will blow out the candles.  St. Peter set the table and St. Paul brought the guests.  But this is no ordinary birthday party.  We are guests, but the guest of honor is bringing the gifts. The Holy Spirit brings wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.  Isaiah 11:2-3.  Everything is set at the table and the party is ready to begin.  Will we be there?

The most important thing I need to remember is to accept the gifts that God gives us through the Holy Spirit.  He is the guiding force in our lives, in everything we do, but only if we accept the gifts given freely.  I need to live in Him, walk beside Him and love through Him (the Holy Spirit), with Him (Jesus Christ) and in Him (God the Father).  I personally choose to stay close to the Church because I know it will survive all trials and the gates of Hell shall not prevail over it.  Matthew 16: 17-19.  And there are trials - both for the Church and for each of us personally.  Hold onto the Rock and wait for the day when we will all speak with one voice -  just like the first Pentecost.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday - Time to Get to Work!

I look forward to every weekend because that's when I can really get down to work.  Work on my passion that is - crafting.  This weekend I'm working on a patchwork dress for my Kenzie.  It's been a labor of love for a while now - I stitched lots and lots of 4x2" pieces together to make "fabric" so I could cut the skirt out of a pattern.  Then I decided I didn't like the top of the dress on that pattern, so I'm trying to improvise by matching it to another pattern's top.  This better work!!  If it does, I'll be sure to post a picture - when I get a camera.

We've promised redecorated rooms to both Kenzie and CJ, which includes something I HATE to do - paint.  Don't get me wrong - I love the results, especially when they coincide with the picture in my head, but gosh, I just hate painting.  Kenzie also wants a canopy over her bed, which I want to make, but I may get myself in over my head (no pun intended :).  The problem with promising Kenzie something is that she is going to hold you to it, so maybe we'll get started on that this weekend too.

See what I mean about work?  It's my passion to make beautiful things, but it is time consuming.  Today I saw a blog entry on Stitch Steal's "Feature You Friday".  It's about a woman named Anabela who makes beautiful crochet hats.  Even more beautiful than her hats are the words she uses to describe how she feels about making things and her children.  You can check out Stitch Steal's blog entry about Anabela here, and see Anabela's work at Hats for QTs.

Happy Friday - let the work begin!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Gotta Stop Looking in the Rear View Mirror

Tonight I was going through the photos on our Mac and managed to do a quick trip down memory lane with pictures of my kids.  Kenzie is now 8 and CJ is 10 {sigh}.  While I looked at pictures from infancy to elementary school, I remembered the times when each one was taken and what I was thinking then.  By the time Kenzie was 2 and CJ was 4, I remember thinking that they were such big kids and I missed their "babyness".  Now I look at pictures of them at those ages and wish I could reach back in time and smack myself.  Didn't I see how adorable they were?  I also think how "busy" I was (or at least I thought I was) when I was a SAHM.  Some of the cutest pictures were taken while I was trying to take pictures of items to sell on Ebay.  I had to stop and take pictures of them because they wanted to spend time with me.

Today I look at them and still catch myself thinking how their "childhood" is almost gone.  How ridiculous is that??  They still have plenty of "kid time" and I need to enjoy it NOW.  Sure, they were cute back then, but they are still cute now.  Kenzie asked me tonight if I would pay for college for her :)  CJ kept asking me why I couldn't be on "The Voice".  They are still so innocent and I'm trying to stay in the present to savor every minute.  I wish I had a device to record all the funny things they say.

You know, when you try to drive while constantly looking in the rear view mirror, you are bound to crash into something in front of you - the future.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Great Camera Search

Blogs without pictures are boring.  I don't own a camera (unless you count my cell phone, which I don't).  I have owned several cameras, but I have a unique knack for losing them.  Needless to say, Kentster (read "husband") doesn't buy me cameras anymore. (Sung to the tune "You Don't Bring Me Flowers").  I am trying to balance price with quality.  I have had really crappy cameras, and I hate cameras that only have LCD displays (can't see anything outside).  I'm not a trained photographer, so it would be hard to justify a "fancy" camera.  I've been looking online at Target and Best Buy, but I don't think I understand the terms I'm looking at.  Is it better to have a camera with more megapixels, or a greater optical zoom?  Is it possible to get a decent camera for less than $200.00??  Decisions are tough.  I would love some comments, although I doubt anyone is reading this because it's only my second entry :)  If you are reading this (because you are hopelessly lost in Blog World), feel free to chime in with suggestions on cameras or features.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Straddling the Gap ???

I am a working mom of two with a wonderful husband and an altogether blessed life.  Like so many moms, I'm straddling the gap between home and work.  I've been an attorney, then a mom, then an attorney, and those are just my day jobs.  I'm also straddling the gap of my creative interests.  Creating beautiful things is a gift from God and I guess I've been blessed with many creative gifts to explore.  Cross stitch, scrapbooking, mosaics, crochet, sewing and quilting are just a few of the ways I have exercised my creative desires.  But I'm still straddling the gap between those varied interests.  Whether I land or whether I fall into the gap is my story of every day, but it sure is an adventure!