Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Matter Unorganized :)

Our whole family likes to be artsy-fartsy and a lot of the time we spend together is artsy type stuff.:) My husband is much more professionally artsy-fartsy than I am, but I still find much joy in it even if I'm not a professional artist. :) I just put some of his "lunch bag" art work up on our family blog here. Anyway, few things give me greater pleasure than to create something out of a mess. :) I really relate to the words of this talk by Pres. Uchtdorf: "Happiness, Your Heritage". I love to look at an empty canvas or a pile of fabric and wonder what life is inside of it and will emerge as I play with it. I have bags of felt scraps and on Saturday I threw them all over my table and stared at them wondering what they would turn into and at the end of the day I had this...

My sister and I made these huge calendars a few years ago to give as Christmas presents to family and I realized I had enough stuff to make a small one. It's about a 1/3 of the size. I looked at the one that I made a few years ago for reference, but decided to make a bunch of new pockets. It was so fun to see all my scraps before me and start cutting and gluing and creating each individual pocket.

This particular calendar I made for the missionaries serving in our area. My husband is always making fun of me for wanting to be such a mom to them. I know they are adults, but they are still 19-21 year old boys, who are away from family, learning about themselves and the world, and trying to share what they love most with others- the message of Christ. So maybe I'm a dork, but I made this for them. I put little slips of paper in each pocket with assignments for them to do each day (i.e. make the ugliest Christmas ornament they can out of paper, read a certain section in the scriptures, write letters to their family, do something secret and nice for their companion, call us on Penelope's birthday and sing "Happy Birthday", drink hot cocoa, build a snowman -on P. day of course :), etc.) A lot of families have these types of traditions in this season. I just thought that this time of year could be a hard time to be away from family. I wanted to help them stay focused on their work, but know that they are loved as well.

If you look closely you can see that I made two penguins (like the other calendars), but they have name badges- just like the missionaries. haha

The 13th has an angel on it because that's Pip's birthday. We actually had the elders over for Thanksgiving dinner and we had a surprise from one of the elders. He had been in contact with the other elder's family secretly and they had sent a letter from them for us to read aloud at the table. The letter was in a card that had three beautiful little angels on the front of it with each angel representing one of our girls and they were named. The mom had written "your angels"- so that's why I put an angel pocket for Pip's bday. :) The parents thanked us for reaching out to their son and his companion and told us it gave them comfort to know they would be eating a good meal even though they weren't together. Then the mom quoted lines that her son had written about our family in her letter. He had described each one of us individually and why he loves us. I bawled, of course. :) Between that, having Seth's sister and her family over, and our buddies the Falconbridges visiting us for Thanksgiving it was one of the most special Thanksgivings that I can remember.

Instead of Santa on the 25th like my other calendars I put the baby Jesus (and Santa on the 24th) :). I didn't have my sister's embroidery machine so I hand stitched all the numbers. I added extra touches too like the blanket stitch around the tree, trunk, and star. This little calendar turned out so sweet and was so fun to make. I've been scared to made another one for a while because I got really burnt out that year I made Christmas calendars and all those Halloween calendars and sold them. It is much more fun to make them as gifts. :) It makes me much more happy than making a few extra bucks.

Just for fun here's a picture I took on Thanksgiving of the two elders. We are thankful for their service and sacrifice. For those of you who may read this and not know- when a someone chooses to go on a mission they don't get paid for it. In fact, they pay for the cost of the mission themselves. They put a few years of college (and dating- haha) on hold to go out and serve. How could you not love someone willing to do that? :) Whatever all our differences and beliefs are it is a respectable thing to see anyone follow their heart and convictions like that.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and do things that bring you joy and remind you of why this time of year is so special and fills your heart. :) Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story! We have a few elders in our apartment building we've been meaning to have over for dinner. You're inspiring me to clean up so we can fulfill that offer.

Also, I understand what you mean by being burnt out when mass making things for selling. It is so much more rewarding to make gifts. After making many things for a craft show, I'm excited to start on Christmas gifts!

Have a blessed day!

JeanneJ said...

I love your ideas and the fact that you so generously share your creativity. Having two sons of my own serving missions makes me so happy that people like you help the elders out!

Penelope Crackers said...

Thanks ladies. :) Annette- you don't have to clean up too much to have elders over. haha- at least we don't. One time we had them over when we had fake cobwebs across the whole ceiling and had to duck at all times to be able to sit in the family room. They are happy to eat your food and enjoy your company and fill your home with their awesomeness. :) It will bless them, but even more- bless you. :) Promise! Our family always feels happier after they've been around. Wish we could feed them once a week.

Kristen said...

I have to admit I hate you just a tiny bit for being able to pul that together in one day.

big sigh.

Tami Hajje said...

Hello Hippins!!!!!(favorite family) we got the greatest email from our son Elder Hajje. Your family is what every mother prays for...for her missionary. Elder Hajje loved being in your home for Thanksgiving...there were details of the decorations, the beautiful table-new dishes, the food, the salad, the punch....what a blessing y'all have been for him. We have looked at this blog 20 times since wednesday... Thank you for reading the letter when he was there with you. I love the pictures on your blog especially of those two wonderful Elders. Thank you again for all the kind things you have done for our son, you can not imagine what it means to his family. Please tell your beautiful daughters howdy from Texas. That calendar is amazing....so fun for everyone, the 13th is my favorite.;) and the penguins!! Have a beautiful December and may God Bless you forever! Br. and Sis. Hajje

Penelope Crackers said...

Hooray! Hi Tami!!! I'm so excited to meet you (via the internet):) We love Elder Hajje and Elder Huang! They are wonderful and so sweet to our girls. I wrote you a letter that I want to send to you and your husband. Your letter was so special to me. I've read it several times. Thank you for sending that. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Tami Hajje said...

Hi Sister Hippin!!! Thank you for inviting our son Elder Hajje to your home for Christmas!!!!He was so happy. I need a favor :) do you have your Bishop phone number? I want to do a little surprise for Elder Hajje. Thanks a million for all you do. We love you already. Also Can you please send me your address. Thanks a bunch.
Tami Hajje

Chrystal said...

Love your advent tree! WOW! You're an inspiration! xoxo Merry Christmas!