Thursday, December 30, 2010

My First Auction Contribution & $1.00 Push

It all came about yesterday.  I got an email from Kari Smith.  She is a WONDERFUL singer/songwriter and I was blessed to meet her a few times AND hear her sing and play guitar all live and in person.  Please, do go check out her blog "Kari Smith Music" and make sure to check out her website to get your hands on her music and check out her touring schedule.  I have two of her CDs and LOVE them both. 

So, anyways...  I got an email from Kari (I'm on her mailing list) and well...  I'm just going to paste it below if you care to read it.  But now, here's the short version.  Rebecca Sauvager, a mother of 4 and wife, has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  The cancer has spread and become more severe over time.  Kari is putting on a benefit show/fundraiser for Rebecca.  As you can imagine, Rebecca and her family have mounting medical bills along with other daily living costs. 

So...  The first words that popped in my heart while reading Kari's email was: "It is well".  You know, from the hymn.  The next words I heard in my heart: "You have to do something."

The hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul" has always been a source of comfort for me in times of sadness, grief, trouble, anxiety, you name it.  Horatio Spafford wrote the words after losing his four daughters to a tragic ship collision.  All four of his daughters drowned.  His wife did survive.  But even before that, he lost a son.  Can you even imagine?  I hear this song and no matter what I'm going through, I'm reminded God has ultimate control. 

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul."

I'm not rich, so I don't have a lot to give, but I will give some.  And I also knew I had to paint something for them to auction. 

Now, I'm not trying to oversell myself here.  I REALLY don't think my work is "good" enough to actually sell at an auction.  Actually, I don't think I could ever make any money ever selling my paintings.  I do love to paint for other people.  So much so, that I've yet to paint something for myself.  But that's OK. 

Christen helped me out and got it packed and in the mail today.  I hope and pray it makes it to VA in time. 

So, here it is:

I pray someone sees it and likes it and wants to buy it so the proceeds can go to Rebecca and her family.  I can't even imagine what they are going through, but I hope in seeing those words, she will be reassured who is in control.  And I pray for her to have peace with whatever happens.  Most of all, I pray for complete healing.     :o)

I urge you to please pray for this family too. 

And here is the email I got from Kari, just in case you want to know more:

Hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas! I know I did! It was a wonderful time with friends, family, and loved ones, and the White Christmas we had here in Virginia was an added bonus! :)

Tonight's show (Wednesday) is at O'Banks Cafe & Grill in Ashland, VA from 6 - 9pm, and my shows this weekend will be at Toby's in Deltaville on Friday (New Years' Eve), and at Brunetti's in Mechanicsville on Saturday, January 1, from 7:30 - 10:30pm.

I have added one additional show that is actually a benefit show / fundraiser for one of my fans, Rebecca Sauvager. It will be held at JJ's Grille in the West End on Wednesday, January 5, from 6 - 9pm. Rebecca was born, raised, and lives in Mechanicsville. She is married and has 4 children, ages 18, 11, 4, and 3. Shortly after her youngest, Seth, was born, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the past 8 months, her cancer has become more severe and has spread, requiring operations to remove tumors from her brain, hip, and wrist. There are other tumors in other parts of her body, and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation twice a week to treat them. As a busy wife and mother, this has obviously taken a physical, emotional, and financial toll on Rebecca and her family.

I first met Rebecca and her children at a show at Coffee Lane in Mechanicsville in March of 2009 when her 4-year old, Victoria (pictured above), stole the show - and everyone’s heart - dancing in front of the stage. Rebecca and her family have been loyal fans ever since then – coming to shows, purchasing CDs and band t-shirts, and assisting me with merchandise sales at shows.

When Rebecca and her husband recently attended a show I played at Marty's Grill in Mechanicsville, I realized how difficult a time Rebecca has had, and I decided to put on this benefit show, and JJ's Grille in the West End (CrossRidge Shopping Center) quickly agreed to sponsor it. JJ's will be donating a portion of their sales that evening to this benefit, and there will be raffles and other opportunities to donate throughout the evening. There will be live music, and all proceeds and cash tips will be donated to this cause. Even though we don’t have a large window of time to prepare for this show, I hope and pray that you will help me make it successful!
If you cannot make this benefit show, but would still like to donate, you may do so through PayPal (donations submitted through email address or by clicking here: If you cannot attend the benefit, but would like to make a cash or check donation, please reply to this email. In addition, if you would like to help facilitate this benefit January 5, or if you are interested or know someone who would be interested in sponsoring this benefit by offering a product or service to be raffled at the fundraiser, please reply to this email as soon as possible, or send a message to

Thank you so much in advance for your generosity and your help making this benefit a success!

All my best -


(Kari & Rebecca)

While you're in a humbled spirit, please go here and find out about the $1 push that is helping an orphan baby boy from Eastern Europe who has down syndrome.  Once you're on the blog, make sure to click this link to read his whole story.  Prayers are also welcome!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crafty Christmas

This Christmas, I made some of the gifts I gave. A couple were right within my comfort zone while another couple were totally outside of my comfort zone. Pictures are always a must. For example, I try to give my mother a calendar with pictures of Christen and Jessica in it. I did that this year and I also made her a photobook, with help from Walgreens, documenting our weekend in Birmingham together. I also made a couple of collages. One that I gave to my Uncles and brother with images from around my Nanny's place. The Tractor Rain gauge that I'm guessing my Granddaddy made, a sun flower, a hook and rope hanging on a fence post and the pond that was built a few years ago:

And one I made for my Nanny:

I love making collages. I just think they look "artsy" and I like artsy.

The other thing I made that was within my element was the giraffe painting for my uncle. You can see it on this post here.

But, I couldn't stay in my comfort zone. Where's the fun in that?? So I also made Fabric Christmas Banners and Mod-podged for the first time ever. I really want to make it known that the fabric banners involve sewing and I've NEVER used the sewing machine before until I started the project. Thankfully, Jon is a patient teacher. Well... at least he was that day! I mod-podged frames for three of my cousins. I framed really neat inspirational quotes. Well... I'm not good at explaining, so here are the pictures:

I mod-podged sheet music to the frame. I purchased an old hymnal from eBay to use for the frame, even paid extra for expedited shipping and the hymnal is YET to come. I hate giving bad reviews, but the seller won't even respond to me, so I'm afraid I will have to leave a bad review. Soooo... thankfully I had a sheet music book with Contemporary Christian songs in it and used it instead.
And now, the fabric banners. I have seen a lot of them on Etsy, and of course, I think: "Well, I could do that!". Never mind the fact that I had never operated a sewing machine before. But I didn't let that stop me. Where the banners perfect? Nope..... But I think they turned out pretty good.

Don't mind the door. It's gotten a little scratched up between hauling our HUGE crate in and out of the bedroom anytime company comes over.

Below was the other style I made. This was before I attached the ribbon.

I believe they went over really well. It's gotten me excited about sewing and learning new techniques. I hope to take sewing lessons soon from a friend from church. And I'm hoping that leads into learning how to make a quilt. Dare to dream!

Christmas Survived

I must admit. Christmas was beginning to look a bit daunting by Wednesday of last week. With everything we committed to, I was wondering if by the end I would actually have to be "committed" to the "looney bin" as my mom used to say.

But of course, everything went great. We had our Christmas breakfast (with 6 added guests) and no huge melt-downs ensued. I was teetering on the edge because I put my breakfast casseroles in a bit late, but all was well and they were GREAT!

Christmas lunch at my Ma's house went better than expected. Ma passed away a year ago today and she spent last Christmas in ICU. It was very odd being there and her not be there. She's like me, not much of a talker. She would rather just sit back and watch everyone. She would notice everything within her eye sight. She did want to be around her grandchildren, especially the babies. I was able to play with my 2 yr old cousin. He surely helped my feelings. Kids can do that to you.

Christmas dinner... well, my nap was unintentionally extended and I was a bit late, but other than that, fun was had by all.

I had just as much to do the next day, but I prayed that something would come up so I could rest and well, God answers prayers! Saturday night, I got sick. Like really, really sick. I will spare the details. So Sunday, I was scared to go anywhere, eat much or basically get off the couch. So all the plans I had made were out the window. I hate I missed it all, I really do. But I really needed that day of rest.

I wasn't able to do some things I wanted to do because of work or time or illness (like the Candle Light Service at my Church, or going to the Church in town to hear the special speaker), but I can't let that get me down.

I hope and pray you had a wonderful Christmas, spent with family and friends.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas from my Christmas Giraffe.

This is what my uncle is getting from me for Christmas. My Aunt requested it. For the first time ever painting a giraffe, I think it will do.
But seriously. I do hope everyone has a Blessed and Merry Christmas. This weekend will be a hectic one for me, but I am trying to keep my mind and heart centered on Christ.
The Birth of Jesus told from the Bible:
Luke 2
The Birth of Jesus 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while
Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Girls Only Weekend!

This past weekend, me, Christen and my niece, Jessica loaded up and headed to Birmingham, AL to visit my Mom. It's a good 5 hour drive from home. The trip there didn't feel like it took too long. I think it's because we gained an hour on the way.

My Mom is an awesome host. She fixed breakfast for us on Saturday morning & Sunday morning. Eggs to order, grits, sausage and biscuits. Yes, Jessica eats ketchup with her sausage. Actually, she eats ketchup with just about everything.

Mom had a great day planned for us Saturday. This is part of our Christmas. It's a 3rd annual deal. The first year, she took the girls to Jacksonville, FL to watch a Christmas Carol play. Last year, she took me along and we all went to my favorite place in the world: The Fox Theatre in Atlanta!! We saw The Nutcracker. This year, we went to her. She got us all tickets to "Scrooge The Musical" at the Virginia Samford Theatre. The play started @ 7:30pm on Saturday, so we had all day to find something fun to do.

Mom found and researched the McWane Science Center. We had so much fun there!! It's a great place for kids (of ALL ages).

The center even had an IMAX theatre. Jessica just happens to LOVE Harry Potter, so Mom treated us to tickets for the 1:30 showing. I'm not much of a Potter fan, but it was a neat experience seeing a movie on the IMAX screen. The popcorn was just what I needed to! AND I found out where I get my tendency of talking and asking questions during a movie. My MOM! As she was asking Jessica about everything to do with the movie, I had to laugh. I do the exact same thing to Jon.

The center had so many hands-on experiences for the girls to try out. The first thing we saw was the bed of nails. Christen and Jessica both said it felt really weird. Uh.. yeah! I would imagine!! You would lay on the bed and while on it, someone would press a button and the nails would come up and before you knew it, you were being held up by nails!

No way could I have done this. You sit in the seat, then pull yourself up. Christen did it with ease of course. Jessica needed a little help...

Here, my Mom and Jessica were playing tug-of-war with Christen. I do believe Christen won!

Yeah, the center even has dinosaurs and other big, scary things...

The girls even had a "Big" experience... get it?? If not, I must be older than you.

Can you tell who Christen missed the most?? Oh to be young and think you're in love....

This picture was just not meant to be. Their heads were blocked by the sleigh and neither of them found it a "cool" thing to do. BUT, they did it! They get credit for that.

This place even had sharks. Baby sharks, young sharks... The ones above are being kept in the incubator. They are alive and still in their egg!! You could see them moving and everything. They had to be the neatest thing that I saw.

Check out their reactions... I have no clue what text message Christen was reading, but it must have been scandalous!! Jessica, however, was looking at this:

They both got to "pet" the sharks. I didn't... I can't remember if Mom tried to or not. Some were quite frisky and would splash you. They also had stingrays.

Both girls tried this. You couldn't have paid me!! But I don't do well w/ heights. Even going up the stairs at the IMAX made me a bit dizzy...

Christen was the only one crazy enough to try the flight simulator. This thing went upside down and did 360s. I would have lost my popcorn in that thing!! Not Christen. Check out that smile:

And of course, we had great food. Now my town needs to get a California Pizza Kitchen. I'm hooked!!

Sunday, we started the day after breakfast by having some "girl" time. Mom painted the girls fingernails. I applied the dots.

And before we went shopping, Mom led us in a Bible study in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 17:7-8 to be exact.

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

I feel pretty blessed to have a mother who feels the call to lead us in Bible study, who recalls scripture to me to guide me and counsel me and who will just call me to tell me of a verse she read and wants to share.

All too soon, we had to head back home. I hated to leave, but Mom will be home for Christmas this weekend. It's nice to get away with just the girls every now and then.