Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Ambition: To Sew

The last time I sat down to sew something it was the 2nd time I'd sat down to sew anything, with any real intention.

I grew up in a house where the constant background noise was a sewing machine. My mother wasn't really able to work a 40 hour week due to her health, but she did everything she could to make money for the family. Dad would make shelves out of wood and mom would sew clown dolls, carousel horse door stops and giant frogs on roller skates.  The doll and the frogs had beautiful hand embroidered faces and were around 3 1/2 feet tall when finished.  She'd pour her all into each of them, with her Southern Gospel music playing behind her, and when she was finished dad would take them out to find them families.  He would leave with van full of creatures and come back with food for the table.
I remember one day, in Alabama, I decided it probably wasn't really that hard and sat down at her machine for a lesson.

I nearly died that day...
and the court would have exonerated my mother of all charges because I. Would. Have. Deserved. It.

I was roughly my daughter's age now, so 11-13 and I was around 24 when I felt I had lived far enough past that brush with death that I would dare to tempt fate again.  This time I was ready - this time I chained my mother to a chair bolted to the floor, I wrapped her in barbed wire, I dug a moat and filled it with crocodiles, I....

Just kidding :).

My second attempt went a bit better.  Perhaps it was because I had a plan.  Perhaps because I knew that a needle going through my finger would have traumatized 11 year old me due to pain, but 24 year old me had gone through childbirth twice...I could handle a needle to the finger.
What did I make in this second attempt?  A dress for my daughter?  A pillow?

Um...I made a 13th century monk's hood for the SCA :)  You can see a bit of it below.

I created it to compete in the Queen's Prize. I didn't win the big prize, but I did win an amazing little bottle of homemade Meade :D.
My follow-up run with the machine was a success as well - though a small one.  I made a tiny plaid bag with a ribbon draw-string to hang from my belt and a plaid tote bag to carry our dinner things or whatever embroidery I was working on at the time.  All, of course, for the SCA.

Its been some time since I've sat at a machine - 10 years now (wow....I can't believe its been that long).  My motivation is different now, but better, I think.  We live in a world where your value is based on your size and how well your clothing fits and, sadly, my daughter is a victim to that.  A family of 5 with 1 income can make the purse strings a big tight and buying new clothes, even at Walmart prices, can be a luxury.  Not to mention that buying a M or XL ONLY means that the shirt is longer....not wider and she is forced to feel like everything is just too tight.  She thinks she has to lose weight to have cute which I say Nay Nay!!

I have ideas for a couple of dresses and a really cute coat.  I tried making a little version of the coat the other day and realized that perhaps I need to crawl before I try to enter  a marathon.  With that in mind, Lylli and I picked out some cute material and I'm going to make some little drawstring bags - perhaps one with a button closure if I'm feeling particularly lucky.  In the first image I posted here, you can see Lylli's material with the cute little elephants and mine with the bicycles.

I'll have her stylin' in no time!!

My model and Muse :)
Pray for me! :D

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Hope

I have to say, hearing my daughter's resolutions struck me tonight. She wishes the family Hope for 2016. Hope that Lars and I can have a baby, Hope that Lars gets his Green Card, Hope that we can be in a house and have a yard, Hope that we can replace our terrifying car with a reliable one.  Did I mention that she is 11?  What a beautiful girl to have Hope for the family as a whole, rather than sputter out a slew of wish-list items that will be forgotten, like the resolutions of others, in a week's time. She has inspired me to set aside my own list and focus instead on what I truly hope 2016 brings.

My Hope for her is that she finds friends that will survive the tests of childhood and high school, that she finds that she can have a voice that doesn't need to bellow or demand - there is power in a whisper too, my dear Lylli, and that she finds comfort in her own skin despite how uncomfortable the world will try to convince her that she is.

My Hope for Isaac is that he finds that person that he can share his thoughts, hopes and dreams with - the person who will not seek to hurt or change him and will instead SHARE in his weirdness.  I Hope 15 treats him kindly. I Hope he finds peace in his heart and God mends the brokenness. 

My Hope for Lars is that his creativity soars when he is finally able to put chisel to wood . My Hope is that the path to his Green Card is easier to walk and we can finally begin our future.  I Hope that God blesses him and his walk with Him grows and fills him with Hope.

My Hope for my sister is true freedom. I Hope for her to be who I know she desperately wants to be.

My Hope for my mother is peace and strength.  My Hope for her are many more years to annoy me come.

My Hope for my family not mentioned here, even though you are sincerely more important to me than I have ever really shown you, is that YOU find HOPE this year.  I Hope and Pray that you are safe and blessed this year.  I Hope that prayers are answered, doors are opened, hearts are filled, needs are met.

My Hope for the world is that eyes are opened and God has mercy. My Hope is that Christians take a stand against the darkness - do not turn away - face it head on and Praise God in the midst of it.  My Hope for the world is that IT HAS HOPE.

God, protect my family and friends this year. Guide us and have mercy on us.  Show us your love and your grace. In our darkest moments, fill us with Hope. Amen.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Guitars Available to Good Home

They've had their shots.  They are mostly house-broken.

Just kidding :) (Keep reading, or scroll to the bottom, for info on the 2 guitars for sell)

Some of you know, and some of you don't, that Lars is currently working on getting his paperwork completed for his immigration.  As we currently are, he can't work, he can't drive and filing my taxes is an absolute nightmare.

It is NOT like they show in the movies.  No, its not all "Poof, he can stay and everyone is happy" just because we are married.  Its "file this", mail it off, recieve new letter or email stating "file this and pay this", mail it off, receive new letter or email stating "file this and pay this"....its endless.
We talked to an immigration lawyer who said, "if you expect it to take 6 months, expect 6 years...if you expect 1000 bucks, expect 5000 bucks"...and then I cried all the way home.

Its emotionally and financially draining.  I'm always aware of the deadline - if we aren't able to turn in paperwork within a year then we have to start over.  IF we had been smarter this all could have been done by now - at least where it comes to all the financial part of things.  We still would have to get affidavits, and Dutch Conduct reports, translated birth and marriage records, file our individual statements, and statements from our family and friends, stating that we are a valid relationship.  We would still have to wait stupid amounts of time...BUT it would be moving forward.  Right now we are moving at a snail's pace.  We also have the immediate deadline of October 27th for his passport that we need to renew.  To renew it requires him appear in person for biometric scans and fingerprints.  That's travel to Chicago/Atlanta/Washington D.C., hotel room depending on what time the cheapest flight arrives, the cost of the passport itself (around 150), and a cab ride to his appointment.  If he no longer has a current passport, all progress comes to an abrupt stop as this is only possible IF he has a valid passport.

Lars and I live with the kids and my mother, who is disabled.  I am the only person working and trying to pay all of our standard needs PLUS this is becoming more and more impossible.  We see things pile up and its starts to feel so overwhelming :(.  I live in fear, every day, that time will run out and he will have to leave us - none of us feel that is an option :(.

SO, Lars made the decision to sell 2 of his guitars -

1st is a 7 string Ibanez RG7620, basswood body, maple neck, rosewood fretboard with jumbo frets, made in Japan, custom 7 pickups. The guitar is all original. Guitar comes with case.  Sounds beautiful.  Lars would like $750, or best offer.

2nd we have  the B.C. Rich Mockingbird nj series, neck thru body. This guitar is so beautiful in person :).  Comes with Coffin Case in immaculate condition.  (Lars babies is guitars)  $1500 or best offer for this beauty.

You can contact us via email at, on facebook Kendra's page or Lars' page. He can better answer your questions regarding anything technical.  

If you made it this far, thank you for reading :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015


I have to be honest. Holiday's are hard for me.

Sharing custody 50/50 means there are half of the remainder of my holidays that will be spent without my kids. 

It sucks.

When I was a kid, my parents always made holidays special.  Every Easter there were personal baskets, every Valentine's day there was a stuffed animal, chocolates and a card...and Christmas was out of this world! I woke up to presents that I had asked for during the year, sometimes I had forgotten all about them.  One year, in Alabama, I had said something about wishing I had a birthstone ring.  A girl I knew had one I thought it was so crazy special and cool.  It was way too fancy for my 11-ish year old fantastic to have a real ring with an emerald in it?!

I also, that same year, would run to a specific jewelry case in K-Mart to look at this beautiful cross necklace. It was silver and had an amethyst in the center.  It reminded me of a medieval cross and I just needed it so bad. My dad would laugh and say that maybe someday I could have one like it. I kept hoping that if I looked at it enough times, he would buy it for me and I would wear it out of the store.  One day we went in and it was gone.  I was heartbroken.

Guess what I got in my stocking that year?  I opened this tiny present that had been hiding in my stocking amid candy...and there was my necklace.  I thought I was just going to die!  Not long after that gift, I opened one that had this sweet little emerald ring - all mine and it fit perfectly. 

After that things kinda went 'south' on holiday's.  The next year it was just a home movie of me sitting alone on the couch on one side of the room and my parents on the other. I opened my presents alone and that was it.  I can't remember why my siblings weren't there that year....maybe my brother was fighting in Desert Storm that Christmas.  Then my dad got sick and money was tight, we moved back to Missouri and I watched my mom struggle to make me an afghan for Christmas that year.

When my ex and I got married, I wanted every holiday for my kids to be special like it was for me.  NO matter what struggle, holidays were important. Family around us, cookouts, surprise gifts...

Dad died.  Divorce happens. 

Holiday's suck now.

I'm home on the 4th of July. Sitting behind my computer. 

I see images of my kids having fun with their dad at SDC and I'm so happy for them. 

I'm sad because I'm not with them.  I'm sad that those memories aren't with me in them.  Sometimes I feel like I'm an outsider on their lives.

I don't go to cookouts anymore, no grand family get togethers or outings.  I miss holidays.  I miss when they meant crazy family and fun days.

Now they just into another. 

I work, I sleep, I work, I sleep...I stare at computer screens....

There has to be more than this.....