Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Noonday Collections, New Hat for Me

In January of 2015 I volunteered to host a Noonday Collection trunk show for a friend because she lived in Seattle and I knew this meant she would come to my house and I would get to see her after more than 15 years.  Honestly, it was just a yes because I wanted to see my friend and do her a favor.  But what actually happened was I fell in love with the collection, with the artisan stories, with the heart this company has for adoption and for the impact they are having for vulnerable communities in the world.  That Sunday afternoon in January I did get to see and visit with my friend, but my perspective shifted. They jewelry was really amazing.  The handbags and other accessories too.  But the fact that every piece shared a story of a life changed somewhere out there was really incredible.  

I started my new love for this collection by purchasing gifts for friends or just sharing the goodness on my facebook page when there was a good story or a sale. But it was always in the back of my mind that I would join and actually also become a Noonday ambassador myself.  It nagged as I weighed my ability to commit and balance the work with my other commitments, most important of which is homeschooling my children.  So I waited and learned and studied and then I hosted another party, again so that I could make my friend visit my home.  You know what I realized?  All women love to be reminded that we are connected.  They love to see these artisan pieces and to hear the stories of lives changed.  A common thread in the artisan stories is that families get to stay together.  Parents who were not able to have a job before are now able to have the means to keep their children home instead of sending them to adoption.  These women (and men) somewhere out there are jumping to this opportunity because it means everything to them as mothers and fathers.  Aren't we all the same? It just began to really resonate with me that I can actually be a part of solving something.

At some point it became a simple choice for me.  Women at church assumed that I already was an ambassador.  People were interested in my jewelry and my bag and I found myself sharing the stories and directing my friends who were interested to make a purchase that would fill their heart with the satisfaction of keeping another mother able to provide for her family.  Without partnerships such as the one they have with Noonday Collection, many of these artisan would not have an interested buyer for their truly unique pieces. Yes, it was time for me to pick up the baton and own a greater responsibility to these efforts.  So I joined.  I don't know why I waited so long.  Several friends have already scheduled their trunk shows with me.  They have all been to my trunk shows and know and love the collection and are ready to help as a hostess (and earn some awesome rewards at the same time)  Check out the image below to see what my awesome May Hostesses are eligible for. 
And I just have to let you know about the awesome special Noonday is offering for those who want to join in May.  Have you seen this bag?  It is lovely and versatile.  I mean you could wear it as a purse or it could be the cutest laptop bag ever. Made with LoVe in India of cotton ikat and leather with a cotton lining, zip closure and three interior pockets, this bag also includes the sweetest little  mirror tassel.  Anyone who joins as an ambassador in May gets this bag along with their samples for free!  If you really love this bag, and aren't sure about joining, get in touch with me so I can tell you about other upcoming specials.

Anyway, that's it.  I am so excited to have finally turned this new page.  Thank you to the amazing women who have always been my biggest fans for stepping in so quickly with their purchases or plans to host.  As a team we have only begun to make our impact.  I can't wait to see what happens as the pages keep on turning. If you are interested to see more of what Noonday brings the feel free to shop my website at your leisure.  Each item includes a description of where it was made and what materials.  Happy Shopping and know your purchase really makes a difference.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May is for My Mom and other Mothers too!

        My Mom, Ivy Louise Prewitt, just celebrated another birthday yesterday.  Her birthday is sneaky there at the beginning of the month.  I imagine that for much of her life having a May birthday was fine, normal.    Now her birthday is usually about a week away from Mother's Day with regularity.  I wonder if that has been for her like December babies at Christmas.
Emaleigh and I got to travel to France with Mima; This was Emmy's first plane ride

If my daughter were writing Birthday wishes, she would certainly include an acrostic poem.
 Ivy: I is for Intelligent.  V is for veracious.  Y is for Youthful.
Mom retired early as a Librarian.  she was working at a community College Library when dad moved the two of them to Indonesia for his job.  She was passionate about her work and was truly a reluctant retiree.  She remains a walking reference and information central. It seems there is not much that she doesn't know well or atleast a little. She is a voracious reader and we often share books.  She even sometimes joins me at my bookclub which I love.

She is a truth teller.  She has not the ability to lie or even hide what is true. She is like an open book (Ha! get it? The librarian is an open book!) She is also a passionate student of the Word of God and freely shares when God makes his word personal for her.

And she is youthful.  My dad often refers to the book by Oscar Wilde "The Picture of Dorian Gray" in which the protagonist does not age and rather a painting by him ages for him.  I think it is her smile and her joy that keep her young.  She wears her multicolored grey like an intentional fashionista.  I think she's the most beautiful woman on the planet.

Mom with Grandma Prewitt at the Prewitt reunion 2015
 Other words that I would use to describe my moma that don't fit into that Addie style acrostic are Strong and gentle, giving, caring, astute, wise, teacher, AWESOME, friend, grandmother, fighter, sweet, adventurer, BRAVE.
Mom and I at another family get together, 2011
Mom and dad are currently in the middle of a move from New Orleans to southern Colorado where they will finally retire together.  They have some big plans and I love that they are headed into this next phase of life with a begin again vigor for what lies ahead.  I can't wait to send the grandkids to them for extended visits while I head to the beach with Kevin to do nothing.  Wait, just kidding.  I know they'd be down for it, but more likely they would have to take me along with the grandkids.  Sorry mom.

Mom, thanksgiving 2015
 Happy May Mother, Mom, Moma!  Happy Birthday youngin"  Happy Mother's Day too!  Thanks for being an example for me of how to love, of what sweetness looks like and of how to fight for my family even if it sometimes seems like I am alone.  You are so appreciated and seen and loved for who you are. I am so spoiled to get to be your daughter.
Grandparents with the Force kids Thanksgiving 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Simpson Performance Products Field Trip

Today the Force kids and I headed to New Braunfels for a homeschool field trip to Simpson Performance Products. 

I enjoyed the trip so much it inspired me to once again awaken the blog from the dead so that I could share. The big kids each wrote their own posts and you can check them out too.

Addie's - Sunshine Lemonade Blog

Lucas's - Life with Lucas Blog

Simpson Performance Products began with the introduction of the first drag racing parachute in 1959 and continued to add flare and safety elements to the racing sports such as the Firesuit in 1964 and the pre-air breathing hood in 1965. In 1958, the 18 year old Simpson broke both arms in a drag racing crash. Simpson said later, "Until then, I was like most drivers. The only time I thought about safety was after I'd been hurt. This time, I was hurt bad enough to do a lot of thinking."   

Simpson is headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas and has been in since the construction of their 
80k SF manufacturing facility in 1997.  Today the New Braunfels facility is responsible for construction of drag racing parachutes, seatbelts and other safety harnesses, the HANS device for head and neck protection, custom gloves for a few drivers and helmets.  They are also a storage facility for racing items manufactured in California  and North Carolina and home of a good sales team.

Our guide today was Shane, manager of Simpson Engineering and responsible considerably for helmet design.
On our way to Simpson Performance Products!
A drag racing parachute
Our tour began in the front of the facility where parachutes and parachute packs are constructed for drag racers. The ladies were busy today making yellow and black parachutes for racer, John Force (no relation :)) I was impressed and somehow surprised to see how much of this place was dedicated to little women at a sewing machine.  So much sewing in racing!!

Matthew trying the race harness system

After parachutes we moved onto safety restraints. Shane used our buddy, Matthew to show how the drivers are basically in the standard 5 point harness system our kids all love to grow out of around age 6.  Yea they are restrained basically like the best car seat ever.  One exception is that with one tug of that red strap all links are broken.  This safety feature is included for the case that the driver needs to exit the car very quickly.  Like if the car is on fire.
In this photo Shane is showing us the cam type latch for the safety belts.

After safety belts, we learned about the HANS device for head and neck protection.  Each child got to try them on.  The HANS device (Head and Neck Support device) is a safety item compulsory in many car racing sports. It reduces the likelihood of head and/or neck injuries in the event of a crash. They are made of carbon fiber, or plastic.  The carbon fiber model is tremendously light.  The kids took turns trying them on.

Several carbon fiber HANS devices ready to be shipped.

Addie in the HANS device.

Hey Look!!! Simpson also makes car seats.  Well actually the seats are made by GRACO but branded by SIMPSON.  So your little tike can practice race restraint.
The remainder of the tour covered the helmets. Shane first took us to an intro area where he showed the kids the helmet shell and each of the fibers, together with a resin, that it is comprised of along with the psf (styrofoam portion) and the fabric liner. We spent about ten minutes learning about the construction of the helmet itself before moving on to learn about painting and customization.
Addie in the outer shell only

Lucas in the PSF lined with fabric.

Simpson also makes road approved motorcycle helmets.  Shane says the primary buyer of a helmet like this is a race fan that wants to ride with a helmet that is similar to what the racers wear. 

 We learned about motorcycle racer, Angie Smith.  Simpson makes a custom helmet for her called the Bulldog for her.  Angie Smith shares at birthday with Addie Belle (not the same year obviously) This helemt Shane is holding with the pink is hers.

In our family we are fans of the show Arrow.  Addie called these the Slade Wilson helmets.

testing device for impact.
The last technical part of our tour walked the group into a tiny room where the helmets are impact tested.  Impact testing (similar to the creation of the HANS device) was initiated by friends of a driver who sufferred a Brain injury in a racing accident. The testing process was created by the Snell Memorial foundation. Our guide showed us a helmet that had already been tested.  There are markings on the top to show the results of the two drops.  The side of the helmet is delineated with lines to show the critical area of focus to prevent brain injury.  As Shane said,, "this test is designed to ensure the worst that can happen is mild concussion".  I wonder if that is comforting to the mother of a racer.

Our  tour was pretty much done after we pried ourselves out of the tiny room of impact testing.  As we headed back to the front of the facility.  Shane showed Emmy a comfy front lining for the helmets.  We also got to hear a great story about Bill Simpson's fire suit.  See the photo of guy on fire.  To prove his confidence in his product, he doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.  The suit is not fire proof, but fire retardant.  After the driver uses that fast escape with one latch from the seat-belt, he gets out of the on fire car and his crew can extinguish the flame.  All in 5 seconds.  Again I am wondering what those mothers feel like.

And that's a wrap. We ended by the Tony Stewart banner flag.  Tony Races with Simpson Performance products and wears the name on his shoulder and car as well.

New Year, Renewed Attempt

Isn't it funny that at the beginning of the year I thought I would give blogging another go.  Oh yes there are so many breaks and inconsistencies in my blogging habit.  Many things get in the way.  Like school, kids evening and other extracurricular activities, and family time.  All good things.  
So at the years start I found this book (again). Published in 1980, The big Book of Amazing Facts was Kevin's when he was in grade school.  It does really have many interesting, if trivial, amazing facts.  
So again I have to say I do not promise consistency.  I started this post in January and am just getting to finish it now because I want to write a separate post about today's field trip with my homeschool kids. But If I were making promises, I would say that once a week I will share something I find interesting from the Big book of Amazing Facts, 1980 version.  That's before lists on the internet and Buzzfeed people.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Photo Post from Palm Sunday Weekend

Lucas and Caleb, Caleb said make a funny face. He looks pained in this picture but these boys were happy to see each other and definitely having fun. This was at Milano's Birthday party on Friday night. The girls and I went too. They got to bowl, play video games, play laser tag and also eat plenty of oizza and birthday cake. Lucas was happy to get a chance to hang out with his buddies from his SA united soccer team.

Emaleigh and Sadie
Addie and Rahlynn playing air hockey.
Lucas was playing opposite of Raylynn.

On the next morning, Saturday, we took the kids early to Morgan's Wonderland for their Easter Eggstravaganza event. The park is specially designed for special needs children with special assessinity and extra sensory stuff. There were several egg hunts divided by kids ages but we just hung out and played until the soccer games started at the fields just next door. Emaleighninsisted to dress up and therefore had to change to soccer clothes in a flash. The other two were dressed for work. Lucas was in his soccer clothes and Addie was dressed for the TCC fundraiser that we all participated in after soccer.
Emmy and Lucas's games were at the same time and I actually didn't get any pictures of their games on Saturday. Our friends, the Stacey's showed up to watch with us. 
We headed after the game for a quick lunch at Sonic and then to Wal Mart to sell goodies to raise funds for the TCC. The whole family dressed in their Storming Normandy Tshirts. I only got a photo of Lucas while we were there. They all did great. Addie and Lucas each got several $20 donations from passers by that thought they were cute, interesting or knowledgeable. Addie holds a sign that says "Ask me about D-Day"  When people ask she gives them a quick history lesson.  Many people are shocked that she actually knows her stuff here.  One of the first times she forgot what she was goingto say next and fell into tears.  This was another Saturday over a month ago.  The history teacher she was talking to was still impressed and dropped back by our table on the way out and handed Addie a $20 bill. Even though she started in tears, she was so encouraged by this interaction she has answered the question since then with much more confidnece.  Lucas just tells everyone that passes in a cowboys shirt or a soccer jersey that he likes his shirt and they usually head straight to the table to stock up on chocolate.
Saturday evening we got to host our Stacey girls for a sleepover so mom, dad and baby could have a date night.  It has been since the weekend that baby brother was born in December that we got to have them here so everyone was so excited.  They played hard until the sun went down then we ate some pizza, watched a movie with popcorn and then settled into bed for the night.  They are awesome fun girls to have for a sleepover.  We all went to church the next day and headed after to a picnic/ Easter Egg hunt. 

The Boys (minus Kevin)  Hudson likes to be held facing out and when you talk to whoever is holding him he looks into your eyes and nods ,like he is listening. Austin serves the US military in the army at San Antonio Military Medical Center.  He is a heart cath technician and had alot of knowledge and encouragement when mom was in the hospital with he heart bypass surgery.
Addie and Lucas took the opportunity after church to hop rides into the Stacey's truck.  All their girls wanted to ride with us in the van.  The also seized the opportunity to be super silly with Easter baskets on their heads.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Addie Belle's Choral Milestones

Addie is in her second year now with the Texas Children's Choir. This has been the first thing to open up an incredible and dutiful passion for our oldest child. I have mentioned it before, but I just love how she has grown personally and socially I think because of her involvement with this just amazing group of kiddos. 
The choir practices twice a week for an hour and a half each day and one Saturday each month is dedicated to additional study.

  Along with these group rehearsals, Dr, Hardaway has also given the children self directed opportunities for further study. One of those is music theory by completing exercises in the book series Young Series Journey. There are five books total min the set. Once a singer completes the first two books and they are reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Hardaway then he has a special recognition and award. Particularly they receive special prism shaped color pencils to be used going forward for making special marks on their music. Addie hit the two book milestone in January and is shown here with her certificate and her director.
Today she was also recognized for finishing the third and fourth books. It is at this point that a Texas Children's Choir singer earns the designation as Choral Scholar. As a choral Scholar, her name is added to the choir's plaqu, she gets her own personal plaque and she will be denoted in performance programs to reflect this designation as well.
She has poured herself into the choir and this designation is a permanent representation of her work. We are proud of the intensity with which she has committed to the choir. Somehow this band geek and the guy who only learned to play guitar after college have produced quite the singer and actually quite the well rounded musician. 
Addie with Dr. Hardaway and her Choral Scholar Plaque.

Addie enjoying breaktime with her buddy Hannah.  They think TCC is all that and a bag of chips!