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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where is there a Good Samaritin?

Ever had one of those days? You know the type I mean where things are going great and BAM!! You are blindsided by a Series of Unfortunate Events. Today had a bit of that in it, way too much for my taste but I have survived to write about it.

First of all, Audrey had left the oven on all night after she was baking the clay food creations from our students at All Saints School's Summer Fun in the Sun Day Camp. So when I got up and found it on but the stuff was not even baked...well I got a bit irritated. Next, someone left no hot water for my shower so Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Than my check engine light came on in my car and I need to get a smog check this month so I knew I was going to have to deal with that this week also.

However, a nice trip to Coffee Mia in Marina before going in to teach class helped me so much. Horace makes the absolute best breakfast panini's in the Known Universe. Plus a cheerful good morning from Horace and his lovely daughter could turn any soul's mood around.

Class was busy today, with the 8 girls needing to stay very focused in order to get all their projects ready for the last day of camp's Show and Tell program. Teaching 8 girls ages 6-9 to sew skirts for themselves and their American Girl Dolls has been challenging this week. But I think it will be worth it. They are all so excited to work each day and we have been able to do several projects each day.
 Our biggest problem is lost needles. Each week we assign a hand sewing needle to each student and ask her to keep track of it all week. Usually one or maybe two go astray and we search and search until they are found. But this week, we not only lost most of the original eight needles but the entire package of spare needles was emptied out and we could only find about half of them. One nice mom came in this morning and searched around until she found two for us. I can't stand needles to be lost because if you ever are the person that "finds" it with your barefeet, it is not a fun event.
Tiny felt purses with a "bead button" closure were sewing by hand and a cute ribbon was attached for a strap.  These are two of the girls dolls with their little purses that the girls made themselves. Audrey taught this section of class all on her own . The doll on the bottom photo is also wearing her skirt made by the student, although it is not hemmed yet.
The next venture into making clay food was another project that I left Audrey to teach while I stayed close to supervise the handing out of clay, help mix colors,etc...She is much more artistic than I am so it suits her to work with them on this kind of project. Part of the instructions included creating a tiny object to go inside a little 8mm size glass bottle with a cork and to make the same item much bigger to go into the girls 24mm size matching bottle.This is super fun for the girls because those miniature doll sized bottles had to be ordered from China and are not something they can just go buy locally. This was a special project.

 These creations were added to the bottles along with micro-beads and glitter. A tiny eye screw was put into the cork and the bottles were hung from colored ball chain necklaces. We even found tiny 1mm sized ball chains for the dolls while the girls had the traditional 3mm size ball chains. It is so much fun to make the doll and girl stuff that matches.

 Students worked on tiny fruit tarts and even had little fimo clay fruit slices to add after the pink raspberry filling was created. Audrey taught the girls her technique for fluting the edges of the pastry shell.
                              All the girls also had a chance to make hamburgers, potato chips and a chocolate chip    cookie for their doll's picnic food. We pre-baked the clay chocolate chips and they are mixed into the cookie dough and textured with a toothbrush.
               Some of the students set up their dolls for a few photos. Those dolls were hamming it up for the camera, all hoping to be in this blog so that every could see them on the Internet. I love the group shot they took although the window light made it a bit dark.
 Work on the skirts continued in the classroom, two students at a time usually. Here, I am shown working with the very first girl to make her own skirt. She did really well and it got everyone else motivated to focus so they could have their turn making their own skirt next.
 Working on the sewing machines is really so incredible to watch with these young seamstresses. These girls are 6-9 years old yet they sew away like pros after only a few hours of instruction. No fear at all of the machine in front of them. They even enjoy learning about the parts of the machine and how it works to create the stitches.

 I had stayed up last night until quite late making little knit doll tank tops for all the girls to decorate for their dolls wardrobe. The time put in to it paid off for me today when I saw how happy the girls were to decorate them for their dolls. Here a couple of the examples. Love this cute turtle on this one!

                                               Another photo of two of the dolls taken by the girls.

So after a very busy day of sewing with the girls, decorating with paint, finishing the clay projects and also their headbands and purses, we headed out to the car to leave. THE BATTERY WAS DEAD!!!

I really don't know how but my lights were on and I sure don't remember turning them on this sunshine bright morning but there we were and AAA said it would be up to four hours for anyone to get to us in the Valley. So I went searching for someone inside the school to help us get a jump start since I had cables but no one was willing to help us. I was feeling really frustrated and reminded of a time that I was stuck in Salinas with a newborn Audrey with a dead battery at the McDonald's and no one would give us a jump that morning either. I had to have my husband come from an hour away to save us because after asking about 20 people, not one was willing to help a stranded mother and her four children get her car started.

But Audrey spotted an angel in a big SUV, about the leave the parking lot and asked her for help. This wonderful lady was very willing to lend a hand but she was driving her employer's car and had no idea how to pop the hood. Pretty soon one of her friends came over, but she could not find the lever for the hood. I could not find it and neither could Audrey. The car had tons of fancy little buttons but not one did any hood work. Not to give up, while searching for a manual on the car, I tried to call my son Lane who is a mechanic but he was at work and did not answer. Figures huh? Pay thousands of dollars to put him through school and my car is always in need of repairs.

But out of the sunny horizon came a big handsome man in a dark blue uniform. "Ladies" he said with a smile, "Looks like you need a bit of help" and after a brief explanation and some magic from "Big Earl", he found the means to get the hood open, helped us with the cables and got my car started. What an Angel!!! Not to mention the two sweet women who stepped in to help us.

I decided to count my blessings instead of feeling upset at the loss of an hours time. There are some really good people out there that help others. Before the kind woman left, I gave her my card and told her if she ever needs some sewing done to please call me because I really owed her one. She told me that she really believes in helping others and that God gives us these chances to make someone else's life better. She told me to do something nice for someone else and pass it on instead.

The rest of my day did indeed go better and I felt like the blessings heaped on me were the reason. I will watch for future opportunities to keep the Spirit of Kindness in my heart and help someone else the way I was helped today. Maybe this means we will find all the lost needles in our classroom tomorrow!

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