Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March Craft Day!!

I am SO EXCITED to finally have started something that has been on my heart for  LONG time!!!

On the third Saturday of every month I will be hosting a open craft day at Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship. You DO NOT have to be a member at RHCF to attend, you don't even have to be a believer :-) This is an open time for people who love to craft to come together in a safe place and do what they love!

Our first craft day in March was a small group, but we had a blast and are looking forward to next month!

My dear friend Chris joined us and worked on her painting.
In the background is Sandie, who I just met this day, and she worked on some painting/redecorating too!

Faline and Brianna also joined us, and worked on a whole bunch of different little projects. I think Faline brought half of her craft supply with us because she couldn't decided what to do!!

Take a close look at the cute little basket Chris is painting there.... so sweet! I loved that piece!

I was too tired to dig out any of my current projects to work on (we had Spina Bifida clinic the day before craft day) so I started a new project with some fabric I have had a while and have been dreaming of. A little daring on my part since I knew Faline also adores this fabric, but I am excited to make a new quilt for my bed!

For anyone who would like to join us, the next craft day will be April 16th from noon to 5, and childcare IS available on site!!! Please let me know if you would like to join us!

And I will leave you with this adorable painting, also done by Chris....
Isn't she talented???

What have you been working on? Where do you go to work on your creations?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tee Shirt Makeover!

I decided that we needed some new Saint Patrick's Day tee shirts, but I also wanted us to be able to wear them for more than one day. So the girls and I went shopping and decided on this project:

We started with a couple of cheap tee shirt from Old Navy (they were on sale 2 for $5!), then we got a bit creative with them....
I wanted them to coordinate, but not necessarily match perfectly.
It was fun to get creative and make each shirt a bit different, but using all of the same materials. I also tried my hand at a new flower I had never made before, the rolled fabric flowers. They were fun to make and I think that something with rolled fabric flowers will be making it's way to MY SHOP very soon!

The final step was, of course, wearing them and taking pictures for the blog!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friendship Walk!

Our school had their annual Friendship Walk recently ...

Nathaniel's class was first up out of my kids... and it was a GOOD thing! Nat was JUST out of his wheelchair from his health struggles, so he was very weak, but he REALLY wanted to walk, not wheel, so we made it work with lots of help!
I think these pictures show the true friendship and teamwork in Nathaniel's classroom! See how everyone was so helpful and encouraging to him? Love it!

Nathaniel finished 9 laps, and I thought that was fabulous, all things considered!

Audrey's class was in the next round of walkers, so off I went to support her! And her brother even hung around and watched her! Now that is some Soares Family Teamwork!

 Go Team Soares!!
Audrey did an AMAZING job and rocked out 17 laps!!

Go Audrey!!!

And together my kids raised over $100.00 for the PTA at their school!

All in all it was a great event !

Silly, Goofy Kid Pictures and Stories!

So this post is going to be a collection of the silly kid pictures and stories I have been collecting over the past few weeks. Really, I have THOUGHT about blogging, but haven't found the time! So this cold, wet morning I am curled up in my bed with my computer and a hot cup of coffee and I am going to CATCH UP!


A few weeks ago it was time for our annual PTA fundraiser, the Friendship Walk. During this time of the year the kids collect sponsors for the Walk A Thon at school then the walk. Most people in our life just sponsor the kids a flat rate up front... safer all the way around! Audrey had the dang cutest plea.... ummm, I mean spiel that she said to people and so many people found her irresistible! She got LOTS of sponsors!

One such fool, ummm... I mean generous person was one of our staff members, Reb. Reb sponsored Audrey a flat $5, but he kept showing up to work with $20s. Finally one night I knew Audrey had enough cash in her envelope to break a 20, so I got the change out and we made the exchange....

Little did I know she would FREAK OUT about me give Reb THREE fives, but he only gave me ONE 20... And I mean FREAK OUT!!!

We all tried to explain it to her, show her how counting by 5s worked, everything, but the tantrum continued in full force.

Finally Brianna grabbed Audrey by the hand and drug her (nicely of course) into the bedroom. I seriously thought that she was putting Audrey to bed for throwing such a tantrum.

A few minutes latter I heard giggling coming from the bedroom so I went to investigate.

Brianna, in a moment of pure genius, got out the Monopoly game to SHOW Audrey all the different ways to come up with $20. Then how to make change.

What we tried to explain to her with words over and over didn't make any difference to her, but seeing, holding and counting the Monopoly money made her get it.

Thank goodness for 16 year olds!


My daughter Audrey WILL NOT eat eggs.

She HATES them.

She throws a MAJOR FIT when I cook them.

But eggs are FREE and a great source of protein, much cheaper than meat!
There MUST be a way to make her eat them with giving me a head ache with her tantrum...

Enter 16 year old logic again.

Bri: "Audrey, who is your favorite author?"
Audrey: "Dr Seuss"
Bri: "Wanna a read a Dr Seuss book with me?"
Audrey: "Sure"

Bri goes to the bookshelf and grabs Green Eggs and Ham and they sit down and start reading. At the end of the book:

Bri: "Wouldn't it be fun if mommy made us green eggs and sausage for dinner?" (she already knew I wanted to make scrambled eggs and sausage for dinner)
Audrey: "YES!!!"
Bri: "You would EAT green eggs right?"
Audrey: "Yes, green eggs are NOTHING like eggs!"

So this is what we had for dinner.....

And they ALL ate EVERY BITE of it!

Now we have Green Eggs all the time, because they are NOTHING like regular eggs you know.....


This story has to base facts to it.

First, sometimes Nat just does NOT want to move as quickly as life needs him too.

Second, Audrey REALLY DOES pay attention when the In Homes work with Nat, whether we think she is listening or not!

So the other night we didn't have a staff member on (she was sick) and Nat was giving me hell. This is what happened next:

Me: "Why won't you do ANYTHING for me Nat?"
Nat: "I need a In Home tonight."
Me: "She is sick, we have to do this without an In Home."

Enter Audrey.
Audrey: "Nat. can I be your In Home tonight?"
(Now remember, Audrey is 2 1/2 years younger than Nat and only 8!)
Nat: "Yes, sure."
Audrey: "Okay Nat, there are two space ships racing towards each other, but your nose is in the way! You have to get your PJ'S on and your night routine done BEFORE the spaceships crash into your nose and blow your head up."
At this point Audrey sticks two stickers on Nat's face and tells him "Go!"

I am sitting there shaking my head, thinking "This is not going to be good" But was too tired to intervene.

Every time Nat dilly dallied Audrey would move the spaceships closer together, and when he was on task she was cheering him on. A few minutes latter they were giggling together and getting the routine done. Less than 15 minutes latter they were all done.

I am VERY HAPPY to report that Nathaniel diverted the spaceships and they did not crash into his nose and blow up his head!


On another night, I was in the bathroom helping Nat when I realized I forgot to restock the diapers in the bathroom and needed a new bag out of the top of the closet. Since Bri was here that night, I asked her to grab a bag and bring it to me. A few seconds latter she told me the shelf was too high and she couldn't reach.

"Um.... aren't you 16 Bri? Problem solve child!" as the response she got from me.

A few seconds latter I heard Audrey squealing and making TONS of noise so I went to investigate.

I found that instead of grabbing a step stool to reach the high shelf, Brianna threw Audrey up on her shoulders and made Audrey reach the bag of diapers down! Silly child... a step stool would have been MUCH quieter... But then again, knowing Brianna she would have fallen off of the step stool and broke something else! (notice the cast on the arm??)


It is well known in my house that I HATE loose teeth!!!

They are SO GROSS!!!!!

Nathaniel has had a VERY loose molar for weeks, but I have REFUSED to do anything about it, so the other night he complained to one of our staff about the tooth.

I think Katie is worth her weight in gold since she pulled out that danged tooth for us!!!

Way to go Katie!!


And I think that catches me up on the random pictures I have floating around... there are still sets from Friendship Walk, St Patty's Day and Craft Day, but those are sets that need edited still :)

Hope you enjoyed a bit of randomness today on this post :)

Wetern Bonanza!

A few weeks ago is was time for Bonanza...
Western Bonanza that is!

Western Bonanza is a local livestock jackpot show put on by the Ag students at Cal Poly (the State University located about 15 miles from our home) and Brianna loves to show in this show!

It was a VERY wet and rainy weekend (it ALWAYS is with Bonanza!) and I was tempted to pass on this show, I was even PLANNING not to go (Nathaniel was in the midst of his most recent health battles, I was tired, and it was COLD!) but then I found out that my grandparents were going to be there. Ugh, if the OLD folks can brave the elements I guess I could too, right? Plus it had been a few months since the kids and I saw my grandparents so we bundled up and headed north to the fair grounds.

We had GREAT timing.

It was POURING when we got to the grounds, but the guy working the gate saw my handicap plaque and parked us RIGHT next to the barns. I was able to unload Nat and his chair under the overhang and then we made a mad dash for the arena... and didn't get too wet! (Even if we had to walk in circles until we found a wheelchair gate, silly Poly student heard about that from my kids!  :) )

We got to the arena and seated about 5 minutes before Brianna walked into the show ring. For anyone who deals with livestock shows, you probably know what a MIRACLE that is.... livestock shows are often and exercise in sitting around and waiting!

Bri and her new show pig

Hanging out in front of the judge is always a good place to be :)

 One of the funny stories of the day was the rain. It was flat pouring most of the time. But on a couple of different occasions I looked out one end of the show arena and it was raining so hard, but then you looked out the opposite end and it was barely drizzling.... so funny the difference a few feet made!

I may be weird, but I thought this was a cute shot of all the booties!

Bri did well showing, even though her new pig is TINY and was always the smallest one in the ring!

Audrey LOVES the pig too! 
 So she was VERY excited to watch Bri show and meet the new show pig!

 Answering the judges questions and chatting with him is a big part of her score.

Bri didn't place high, but the experience was good and I think she had fun!

Another bonus of the quick day trip is that we got to see Grady!!
And I snuck a picture of him (he is not big on cameras...)
We hadn't seen Grady since Christmas, so it was good to spend some time with him!

And OF COURSE I had to take a few pictures of the kids....

And the kids with their GREAT Grandparents!

Although it was wet, and we were very rushed, it was fun to go and I am glad we decided to at the last second!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Boo vs. Hooray!

It has been a while since I have gotten to sit down and write again.... life just seems to be getting crazier and crazier, but in mostly good ways. I am hoping that I can write a quick post to bring life mostly up to date! We will see if that can happen... and in the name of quickness it is going to be a Boo vs Hooray post!

Boo .....
To a very sick little boy who fought and fought to overcome all his body was throwing at him, including but not limited to a TRIPLE Staph infection, a UTI, drug interaction that caused liver function problems (read liver failure), general lethargy and lack of any get up and go and lots of vomiting.... Poor boy!

To FABULOUS Doctors and a great care team helping us out while Nathaniel was so sick.

To MANY missed days of school (for Nat) and work (for mommy).

Hooray ....
To the freedom to have coffee dates with my little man (while TRYING to convince him to eat ANYTHING to get calories in him!) and beach prayer walks (to lay it all back a the foot of the cross) while deep in this battle.

To battling for health and EVERYTHING else falling behind. Cooking, cleaning, bills, laundry, letter writing, EVERYTHING.

To a DEAR friend who took her precious mommy free time to come over and help me clean my house when I was so far behind. Nothing like clean floors and pick up piles to make even the most stressful situation a little more bearable! ANd horray to us getting to go sit at the bay and talk after wards!

To living so financially challenged that something as simple as buying Gatorade for my sick boy can bring me to COMPLETE dependence on the Lord and unstoppable tears.

Hooray ....
To the AMAZING way He provides for us. Please allow me to share a story here.

 One afternoon, after days and days of a sick boy, I was on the phone with the doctor. My son's wonderful doctor was telling me to go to the grocery store and buy him ANYTHING that he would eat because he had to get SOMETHING in him. He was also telling me that Gatorade would be the BEST thing for him to be drinking right then as he was loosing so much with the vomiting. I was trying SO HARD not to cry on the phone with the doctor because I knew that I had less than $3.00 to my name and it would take a MIRACLE to be able to buy what Nathaniel needed that night. I was actually on the land line (which happens SO SELDOM in my world!) and when my cell beeped that an email came in I decided to look at it, hoping it would distract me from the despair taking me over right that second. When I opened the email it said "Notification from Pay Pal, Donation received". At that point I could NOT stop the tears... God had lead someone RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT to make a GENEROUS donation to my family and I was able to hang up the phone and take my Pay Pal debit card and go right to the market and buy what Nathaniel needed. God is SO GOOD! And my family is SO BLESSED by those who surround us in love!

To this thing that is called Spina Bifida and LOVES to throw curve balls at us!

To our Lord who is WAY BIGGER than ANYTHING, including Spina Bifida!

Double Hooray....
To a healed and healthy little boy now!

To my yard that was OUT OF CONTROL with weeds, and my complete lack of being able to take care of it.

Hooray ....
To a generous someone from my Small Group. When I asked if anyone had a lawn mower I could use to tame the out of control yard, this man responded.... and a BIG way! He GAVE me a great lawn mower which I will be able to use over and over to meet this need of my family! How generous of him, and what a blessing to our family!

To car maintenance in the middle of everything else. Last week and this week I had to have tons of work done to my car, both regular maintenance and some special work. And I had to get it all done before we leave for clinic in San Francisco on Thursday.

To extended warranties which SUBSTANTIALLY reduced the amount I had to spend to get the car fixed.

To a growing boy who needs a bigger wheelchair, and what that bigger wheelchair does to this mamma's back as I lift it in and out of the car. Since I don't want my boy to stop growing and thriving, I think it is time to seriously consider a van with a wheel chair lift..... Double Boo to that expense!

To a Lord who I KNOW will meet our needs and the ability to lay the need for a chair lift van at the foot of his cross. I WILL NOT stress myself out over this. I will do my homework, and research all the options out there, and at the same time I will lay this need down before the Lord. Through these actions I know that the PERFECT thing for our family will be made know to us!

To father's who don't fulfill their callings to take care of their children.

To new adventures in which my family is striving to meet our financial needs without mommy have to work OUTSIDE of our home. I can not wait to show you all what we have been working on... SO EXCITING!!!

To agency things taking 2-3 times longer than ANYONE thinks that they should!!


To the funding in place for our new care team, which will NOT be run through an agency, but through our family!

To saying goodbye in the next couple of weeks to some KEY players on our care team. Reb, Jenn and Jenny will all leave BIG HOLES when they leave us soon, and we will miss all of them so much.

To FINALLY having all of our positions filled on our new care team!!! As much as we will miss Reb, Jenny and Jenn, I am excited for the new members of the team. I think that they will all fit in great with our family (and THAT is a bit of a challenge when looking for people to hire!)

To it being THAT time of the year where we all have so much work to do in filing these tax papers! So much work.... makes me crazy every year!

To the government giving me back all of the money it borrowed from me against my wishes! (not really borrowed.... since I get don't pay in anything and yet get credits back every year, but I am not sure what else to call it in a positive light! Some days I would REALLY like that extra couple hundred each month, but that is not how it works, so I will take it now :) ) I am looking forward to paying down some big bills and setting a bit aside for those rainy days.

To this SILLY day light savings change! Man is it wrecking havoc in my household!!!!

To spring on it's way! I am ready for some warm weather!

To missing so many of my friends right now. I have not been able to regularly read blogs, one of my dearest friends moved to a village where there is no Internet access, and most of my local friends are just busy with life right now.

To the few growing friendships I have. Looking forward to welcoming new people into our life and renewing some old.

To the never ending stresses of being a single mom with NO help from the children's father.

To a scheduling MIRACLE that had BOTH of my kids at supervised activities on Saturday and allowed me 2 short hours to myself! I decided to take BIG advantage of it and go get a pedicure with a dear friend!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Take THAT Spina Bifida!

Ok... so SOME DAY I will learn to hold the camera correctly when videoing.... But this was too good not to post, even sideways!

Nathaniel jumping rope for the first time....
He taught himself by watching his sister :)

So TAKE THAT Spina Bifida!

{Fun Foto Friday}

 Beautiful Children Sharing the Love on Valentine's Day.....

Many Blessings on Your Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!!!

Audrey's Project....

Audrey is in the second grade and her class project recently has been writing a report about a night animal. She chose to write about fire flies and did the whole report at school, but the teacher sent home the "art" portion of the report as homework last week.

These "art reports" make me crazy.

 Usually with Nathaniel the fight is to DO the report, as he HATES art. With Audrey I had the opposite problem, she wanted to do TOO MUCH art.... Never easy is it?

Anyways, we googled "fire flies" to see what they looked like and Audrey found this image on yahoo images:

And wanted to recreate this scene.

A little ambitious for a second grader?

But here is her attempt.....

First we spray painted an old Ergo box all black
(mommy HEAVILY assisted with this step!)

Second she cut out a bunch of leaves from black construction paper with glitter in it.
Then she attached the leaves to the box (a little help here) and drew a moon in the sky.

Next she wrote the title on the flap of the box.... in gold gel ink so it was "night sky ish" in her words.

Now, at this point she deemed she was done, but I had a problem.... there were no fireflies!

So we got the modeling clay out and I told her to make fireflies!

The I helped her attach one so it looked like it was flying in the sky...

And we glued the other one onto a leaf....

I might be a bit partial (since this is my favorite artist and all...) but I think it came out pretty awesome!

And the cool thing is that she chose it and created it mostly herself!