Monday, May 31, 2010

Healing.....Check! Two Graduations....Check! Time to Relax....YEAH!

A LOT has happened since the last time I posted. I have much more positive things to share in this post than last.

First, let me say that I was overwhelmed with all of your replies to my last post. Wow.....you all are such caring, wonderful people. I appreciate all your kindness, prayers, and love sent through cyberspace to me and my family after Neil's accident. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. :)

I thought you'd like to know that Neil is healing is healing nicely. Here's a progress photo showing what he looked like on Day 5 (which was a huge improvement from Days 2 through 4.....his worst days where no photo was taken.....probably a good thing) and then what he looked like two days ago on Day 13. He has all the stitches out and his eye is mostly open. He'll have lots of scars.....but being a typical man, he thinks that is kind of cool. ;)



He was supposed to have surgery to put his nose back in place this last Thursday, but due to a crazy scenario involving a "lung lesion" found on his CT scan right after he arrived home from the accident, and the anesthesiologist bringing it up just minutes before surgery was to happen.....his surgery was called off. The "lung lesion" was indicative of TB and since he was in Haiti, a third world country, the anesthesiologist was a bit freaked out. However, Neil had NO symptoms of TB and it was pretty obvious that he was not infected. But following protocol required us to go to an infection control doctor that proved that he did NOT have TB. So.....the surgery will be this Thursday. God is good.

Now on to brighter subjects. My two youngest children, Keith & Allison, graduated from high school on Saturday. We had a very full, but very delightful weekend celebrating their accomplishments. Here's a photo of me with my precious girls, Jill & Allison, at the graduation. :)


And here's my two graduating seniors, Keith & Allison. This graduation brings my 18 year career of homeschooling five children to a close. Yippee!!!!


I wanted to do a bunch of special graduation cookies for K&A. I believe I took on more than I should with all the other things that had to be done this last week.....but somehow all the important stuff managed to get done. And boy, am I glad the last few jam-packed days are over!

Here's my monthly church preschool birthday cookies.....I'm doing balloons for them now.


And here's my "manly" and "girly" graduation cookies. lol


Grad profiles......two terrific new cutters from Jill at SweetArtFactory.


Lots of 2010's.


Keith's favorites.......hot dogs......


US Army.....since he is signing up for the Army reserves this week......


and fast cars. They are supposed to look like Toyota Supras......but they don't even come close.


Then Allison's girly cookies......stilettos


and princess crowns.


Keith's graduation cookies......


And Allison's graduation cookies.


Well, I hope didn't overwhelm you with info and photos. I just wanted to catch you up on what is going on in our household.

Things appear to be calming down for now. I have one cookie order this week, so I'll be squeezing it in around Neil's surgery and recovery.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Traumatic Week.......

This week turned out so different than I had planned. Oh my! I'm glad I didn't know about it ahead of time.

My son, Neil, went on a mission trip to Haiti last week sponsored by his college, Hannibal LaGrange College. Their team of 15 had a great week and had accomplished so much, but on Sunday afternoon on their way back from church, as 30+ people stood in the back of a open bed truck with only railings around the sides, the brakes went out as they were going down the mountain. In an effort to avoid going over a cliff at 60 mph, the driver (who was the Haitian missionary that they'd worked with all week) drove the truck up the side of the mountain overturning it, but saving everyone's lives. Most were thrown about 60 feet according to witnesses. All sustained injuries, but miraculously, no one was killed nor was anyone in critical condition. It was obvious that the hand of God was on them all.

Neil called me Monday morning and told me just a few details. He and some of the team were flying home that day as originally scheduled. (A few of the team members had serious enough injuries that they were taken by helicopter to Miami to be hospitalized.) He and nine other team members arrived at the St. Louis airport at 12:15 AM early Tuesday morning. His college had arranged for all of them to go immediately to a local hospital ER to get checked out. All but one of them were treated and released.

Neil sustained a concussion, badly broken nose, fracture of right orbital bone (cheek bone), fractured transverse process of the lumbar vertebra, many stitches and staples to the face and head, and tons of cuts, scrapes, road rash, and bruises. He received care in Haiti from a US medical team where they stitched him and reset his nose. In St. Louis, they did a CT scan of most of his body and then cleaned all his wounds and bandaged him up. He came home Tuesday morning with lots of healing to do.

We are grateful to God that He preformed the miracle of sparing Neil and his team members lives1 There are still a couple of them in the hospital, so please pray for complete healing for all.

So most of my time this week has been devoted to Neil.....either in giving him care or processing what has happened. He is doing better each day. He's pretty sad about having to have surgery next Thursday to re-set his nose......feeling like it will be a set back in his recovery. Today I reminded him that at least when they fix his nose, he will not have all the other injuries to contend with.....everything else should be mostly healed by then.

Here's a fairly tame pic of Neil arriving at the airport on Tuesday morning. Trust me, he looked a lot worse than this. Poor guy said he couldn't even cry because it would hurt his face too much. He is a TOUGH one, he is! And I'm extremely proud of him.


If you'd like to read a bit more about the accident, check out his college's website article.

Even though I didn't do much but take care of Neil this week, I still had a couple of cookie orders to fulfill. I hoped it would distract me and maybe even be a stress reliever, but instead, for probably the first time, it was a bit of a chore. With all the interruptions and additional things to do, getting the cookies done proved to be a huge challenge. But I did it! And the recipients were very happy. :)

I thought you might like to see the new labels I've started making to add to my boxes or bags. I bought a punch that will allow me to add any color to the background with the logo on top. :)


And here's my random set of cookies for this week.
















This next week proves to be super busy. Neil has doctor's appointments and his surgery. My two youngest, Keith and Allison are graduating next Saturday. We are having out of town company (who have volunteered to stay in a hotel.....of which I'm grateful), and then an graduation open house next Sunday. I have to not think about it all.....because it overwhelms me so much.

I've reserved the week for only doing cookies for Keith & Allison and their graduation.....so no orders to fill this week. Boy I'm glad I set that boundary a few weeks ago! Hopefully I can enjoy the memories and have a great time celebrating this special time of K & A's lives.....but also the completion of 18 years of homeschooling my kids!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bouquet

It's been quite a while since I've done a cookie bouquet. I always thought they would be so cool to receive and I've wanted to make them, but no one ordered them. Whenever I made one up ahead hoping to sell it, I rarely did, so I stopped making them. :(

How cool that Amy ordered one from me for a gift she wanted to give this week. It made me happy to get out my sticks, green foam, containers, and tissue paper to make a creation.

And here's what I came up with.....


Thanks for the order, Amy. I loved making this bouquet. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Random Week

This week was refreshingly calm compared to last week. I only had a few orders of cookies to make.....and most were just small groupings of cookies. It was so nice to relax a bit and take my time. I think I've increased my speed after last week's marathon. lol I was able to do most cookies faster this week. I guess I need to have more marathons so I can build up my speed, because most of the time.....I am slow as a turtle when I decorate. My husband says I'd never make a profit if I had a business because I take way too much time to decorate my cookies.

Here's some sample cookies I did for a friend's boss. We're both hoping he'll make a big order for his company to celebrate a great first quarter. :) (I included the actual logo up on top above the four cookies.)


This set will be a bouquet for someone who is retiring. How did I ever live without that oval scalloped cutter? I love how it brings a group of cookies together.


Another small order........ girly butterflies.


And this last one was an experiment. I had this cookie left over.....so I decided to try a lacy plaid quilt-like cookie. I took this pic, and then tried to add stitches with a marker.....but the icing was too wet and I messed it all up. So I cut it into pieces and shared it with the fam. Jill was walking out the door with a smile on her face and a part of a freshly decorated cookie in her hand. :)

I love the lacy look.....but it sure does take lots of time to add all those little details. :o)


Next week I only have one order. Yippee! I'm excited about taking some time to get all my decorating stuff organized. I've bought a bunch of totes and plastic drawers to put all my cutters in (I have so many, they won't fit in the kitchen cabinet anymore! lol)

Have a great weekend everyone.....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flowers, Bugs, and Babies :)

I had two orders to fill so far this week......they seemed pretty easy after the whole Mothers Day marathon. ;)

One set is for a "bug party"......flowers and bugs. Fun!






I had fun making these pretties....I studies pictures of Monarch butterflies. God really is good at the whole creation thing, you know?!



And then I made some cookies for a boy baby shower. It seems it has been a boy the last several times I've done baby cookies. Hopefully it will be a girl sometime soon so that I can add all the frilly pink stuff. :) (Oh.....and I do NOT recommend the plastic teddy bear cutter from Hobby Lobby. It has tiny ears and the body is shaped funny. I had to improvise to make it look like a bear. The first one I did looked like a cat! I got to eat that one. lol)


I think this is my favorite set of onesies to date....


All the baby cookies together.


I'm so excited. I have about a dozen cookies to do on Friday.....and that is IT for the rest of the week. Yeah! I'm so excited to have some time to do other things......but I must admit that even though I was kind of burned out last week.....it was super fun doing these latest cookies. =)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Exciting FULL Week!

I've wanted to post all week......but I was far too busy to take the time. Thankfully on this pleasant Mothers Day, I'm getting a rest. Boy does it feel good. :)

First of all.....what do you think of my new blog look??? It has been a few months of work with two very talented ladies, but the time has been worth the wait. I found Kimberly Stewart and her incredible scrap kits when I was trying to find "my look" for the blog. When I approached her, she graciously agree to design a cookie scrap kit just for me. What an honor! And she is a gem to work with. Even among several crisis in her family, she took the time to make something for me. If you ever need any great digital scrap kits, check out Kimberly's work!!!!

I also worked with Jessica of the Frilly Coconut to put my blog design together......she's another gem for sure. She has been a sweetheart, even with all the changes that I asked of her over several weeks time. She did everything with such a sweet spirit......and look what she did to my blog! =)

I still have lots of things left that I want to do to my blog, but at least it looks pretty now. hee hee

So here we go........I'm here to tell you about my cookie marathon. It was quite a week. My church asked me to do 300 small flower cookies for a give away they did yesterday for Mothers Day. They paid Cookies With A Mission $1 a piece for each cookie.....and then handed them out to people as they waited at the stop light in front of our church. It was a joy to make these cookies for such a wonderful cause. But THREE HUNDRED.....what was I thinking?! If that is all I had done this week, it would have been one thing, but no.....I was also doing over 15 boxed sets and lots of additional cookies. Can you say "Pam burning two ends of the candle at the same time!"?

Here's a pic showing the "naked" 300 flower cookies on the left and the finished product on the right. Boy was I super glad to get these babies done. Unfortunately, that evening after I finished these, I still had to color icing for Friday's decorating session....AND package 6 boxed sets. I was up until 12:30 PM and then had to get up at 5 AM. Yikes!


And then here's a bunch of random pics of the cookies I've done this week....




The tea cup set has not been my forte......but my daughter says I'm getting better at it. Yay!




Other than the girly cookie sets....this was probably my favorite cookie design in all these Mothers Day sets. :)


And here's more girly cookies......I did LOTS of these. =)


LOVE sanding sugar for making the accessories full of BLING!





And I love these centerpiece cookies too!


This was an order of two dozen pink and black girly cookies. Love them!








It's amazing how BLUE these look....especially the ones on the left side. These were actually a GORGEOUS purple color (my favorite!!!), but the camera will not pick up that pretty purple color. I'm so sad I can't show you the real thing. : /


I'm getting better at my packaging. My boys said it looks professional. They made my day. :)


Karen (Karen's Cookies) sent me some smaller boxes to see what I could come up with. She is hoping to carry these on her site. Oh my.....they are terrific! They are only 1" deep which is PERFECT for cookies. You don't have to fill them with so much shred....saving time and money. And they are so cute with a small number of cookies. Plus, these boxes were so much more sturdier and better quality than the big ones I purchased. SCORE for Karen!


So I get a breather for two whole days and then back to decorating on Tuesday. After last weeks orders, these week is going to seem like a breeze. :)
 
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