Thursday, June 28, 2012

Born at Christmas

I've never properly finished my Christmas in Haiti series, but today as I sit at my computer, my mind is taken back to that beautiful country filled with hopeful people.  And I'm crying.  We were only there a week so there was not enough time to actually build meaningful relationships.  But even in that short time, I fell in love with people.  However, I felt helpless to offer them anything.  Oh, I could give them some money.  They've long come to expect that from Americans.  But I longed to leave behind something that would last beyond their next meal.

We didn't arrive in Haiti with an agenda.  I knew I would be at Kathy's mercy.  We've known each other a long time and she knows my gifts and my lack there of.  She rightfully steered me to her workshop where she showed me a basket of fabric rosettes the ladies and girls had made and said, "We need to figure out how to make these into something marketable to sell."  Hmmm....ok.  So, I spent a better part of the week fiddling in the workshop, trying to design marketable products.

Raegan with the original bow with rosette
I kind of liked these rosettes with a ruffle behind them.  Kathy was not initially keen on them.  I was rather insistent they were cute.  They're not really Kathy's style.  I persevered anyway and even taught a couple of the Haitian girls how to make the ruffle.  I turned out ten or so different color combinations, attached them to various kinds of clips and left them hanging in the workshop.  Well, I did bring one or two home to give away...just to see the reaction of moms who might buy them for their girls.  I left Haiti not certain I had been a bit of help to Kathy.

Back to my crying this morning.  Facebook greeted me with my top story being "2nd Story Goods is now open online."  Excellent!  What I was unprepared for was my reaction to the product line - most of which I had seen a dozen times.  You see, the rosette bows are now being made by students at the deaf school in Goniaves, Haiti.  And they are among the products for sale.

 Additionally, the burlap headbands were born that week, with Kathy making the first one for her daughter as I sat on the stool next to her.  I encouraged her that the teen crowd would love them.  She knew Benson, the guy who makes journals, could easily help perfect the design.  I think I was wrong.  More ages than teens want to sport a burlap headband.

So, click over to 2nd Story Goods and buy some bows and headbands - well, why not get one or two of everything.  Some of those products were born at Christmas and contain a piece of my heart.

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    The Calm After the Storm

    Sometimes I wonder how I used to get anything done when I had four young kids in activities that required me to taxi them places.  I guess my saving grace was, all three girls were dancing at the same studio so I was only taking them to dance and baseball.  The end is in sight though.  When Hannah starts driving in the fall, my transportation duties will be cut drastically.

    But, for now, I'm still full time taxi driver - except this week.  After a whirlwind few days last week at the 4-H State Horse Show, this week is the opposite.  Completely, almost eerily quiet. Hannah is a teen leader at 4-H Horse School in Perry and Victoria is in Jacksonville staying with her Aunt Cynthia and attending Camp Broadway.
    Hannah had a wonderful show last week with just a few hiccups - one that resulted in Honorable Mention rather than a 5th place finish in Western Pleasure.  But overall she had excellent performances.  Unfortunately, the arena where all the western events take place is dimly lighted and so I have no decent pictures of Hannah's actually rides. 

    Wendy and Hannah after an excellent Western Showmanship pattern

    English Showmanship

    English Showmanship results - Hannah was 9th out of more than 50 exhibitors and Hannah's friend Ann was first.  Aren't they beautiful?

    Hannah's 2nd place in Showmanship, Honorable Mention in Western Pleasure and 7th place in Western Horsemanship landed her 8th place overall in the Stock Seat Senior Division.  A guy whom she has competed against all year in the Saddle club shows was the Stock Seat Champion and Ann (see pic above) was the Reserve Champion.  It's so much fun knowing and competing against such terrific kids.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Graduation 2012

     Graduation for Kevin has come and gone.  Coastal Georgia Home School Association did a terrific job organizing the commencement ceremony and dinner.  Each grad (there were 4 boys) was honored with a video and a charge by their parents.  But I must confess,  I couldn't say a word.  As usual, I let Patrick do the talking.  While no one is happier to graduate students than I am, I do get choked up thinking my little boy is a man and will soon be leaving home.

    Patrick's Charge
    Happy Grads
    I think the girls are smiling because they want Kevin's room
    Such a cute couple