Home is Where Your Story Begins

February 5, 2012

Operation One Dollar

Filed under: Focusing on Others,Life,Uncategorized — my3daughters @ 12:27 am

I recently learned of a military family in need.  I understand that there are many families in need today, not just this one.  But God has laid it on my heart to help this is a family.

I’d love to send them a huge check to cover all they require, but I just don’t have the funds to spare.  While I only have a tiny bit of extra money, I have an abundance of something that is even better than money—I have friends!  Now, most of my friends are like me, with very little unused money, but they know lots of people. So I’m sitting here crocheting and talking to God and here’s what we came up with.

All of us have at least One Dollar in change in the bottom of our purse, in the console of our car or between the cushions of our couch.  If everyone we know gave that One Dollar, we’d collect several hundred in a hurry.

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So I am asking each of my friends to become an Operation One Dollar Chairperson.  What this means is that you ask all your friends, co-workers, and neighbors to donate One Dollar to the cause.  Then you as Chairperson would take the collected funds, get a gift card for a national store–Target, Kmart, WalMart, Babies R Us (they are expecting a baby girl in May), etc—and send it to me.  I’ll get the gift cards to the family.

Now, if someone wants to donate more than One Dollar, fantastic!  But all I am asking for is One Dollar.  This is so simple that even the kids I count as friends can do it.  And if someone can only give 50 cents, take it.  It all adds up.

The Good Angel on my shoulder is jumping up and down, excited because she believes that each and every one of my friends will accept the challenge to collect for Operation One Dollar.  The Bad Angel on my other shoulder is sitting there, arms and legs crossed, rolling her eyes and saying, “Are you serious? No one is going to do it.  No one ever does anything unless they benefit from it.”  Who are you going to prove right—the Good Angel or the Bad Angel?

Let’s see how much my friends can raise in the next three weeks.  My band kids stood in the cold for two hours at a time for three days last weekend and collected $4950.43, most of it in change (in other words, One Dollar at a time).  Surely in three weeks we can come up with even a fraction of what they made in three days.  If you can get one person a day to donate One Dollar, you will have $20 by the time Operation One Dollar ends.

Operation One Dollar starts now, Sunday, February 5.  Please have all gift cards in the mail to me by Saturday, February 25.  My address is PO Box 380662, Clinton Township, MI  48038.  (if you are local, you don’t have to mail the gift cards).

I’ve been on the receiving end of the generosity of others and I’ll bet you have been too.  This is our chance to “pay it forward.”  Plus, this isn’t just any family in need; this is a military family in need.  They give of themselves so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do, so that we can sleep at night without fear.  One Dollar of your money and a little bit of your time—is that too much to ask when they give 365 days of their year and years of their life, and sometimes their life, for you?

Thank you in advance for your generosity and your compassion.

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February 3, 2012

Kelly Kindle Kozy

Filed under: Crafts,Crochet — my3daughters @ 4:57 pm

I recently received a Kindle Fire as a gift (see my Signpost blog for that story).  I couldn’t afford a fancy cover right away so I decided to crochet one.  I’m pretty happy with the results.  Here’s the pattern if you want to try it for yourself.

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Hook:  I

Yarn:  I used worsted weight yarn because that’s what I had.  If you use a different yarn, just make sure the foundation chain is approximately 6” long and then adjust the stitch count accordingly.

blo = back loop only

ch = chain

dc = double crochet

dc2tog = double crochet 2 together

flo = front loop only

hdc = half double crochet

hdc2tog = half double crochet 2 together

sc = single crochet

sc2tog = single crochet 2 together

ss = slip stitch

 

Kozy is worked in rounds and then back and forth once you start the flap.

 

Foundation: ch 20, sc in second chain from hook and across to end, add 2 extra stitches to the last stitch, working opposite side of chain, sc across to last stitch, slip stitch into first sc.  (40 sc)

Row 1: ch 1 and sc in blo around, join to 1st sc (40 sc)

Row 2:  ch 2, hdc around, join to 1st hdc (40 hdc)

Row 3:  ch 2 , dc around, join to 1st dc (40 dc)

Row 4 – 21:  Repeat rows 1 – 3 six times.

The Flap

Row 22: ch 1, sc in blo of next 20 stitches (20 sc), ch 2 & turn

Row 23:  hdc in 2nd sc, hdc in next 15 stitches, hdc2tog (18 hdc), ch 2 & turn

Row 24:  dc2tog, dc in next 16 stitches (17 dc), ch 1 & turn

Row 25:  sc in flo in next 15 stitches, sc2tog (16 sc), ch 2 & turn

Row 26:  hdc2tog, hdc in next 14 stitches (15 hdc), ch 2 & turn

Row 27:  dc in next 13 stitches, dc2tog (14 dc), ch 1 & turn

Row 28:  sc2tog in blo, sc in next 12 stitches, (13 sc) ch 2 & turn

Row 29:  hdc in next 5 stitches, ss in next 2 stitches, hdc in next 4 stitches, hdc2tog (5 hdc, 2 ss), ch 2 & turn

Row 30:  dc2tog, dc in next 3 stitches, ch 2, skip next 2 stitches, dc in next 5 stitches (9 dc, 2 ch), ch 1 & turn

Row 31:  sc in flo in next 5 stitches, sc in next 2 ch, sc in flo in next 2 stitches, sc2tog (10 sc).  Finish Off.

Sew a button on the body to line up with the button hole you made.  Slip in your Kindle or Kindle Fire and enjoy!

Variations:  You could change yarns every time you repeat rows 1-3 for a striped look.  Also, you can adjust this pattern for any size electronic device.  Just make the beginning chain a bit longer than the device and then repeat until it’s tall enough.  To adjust the flap work to two stitches and do a decrease, start the next row with a decrease, etc.

This pattern has not be tested.  If you find an errors, please let me know.  I have been crocheting for years but this is the first pattern I’ve written and shared.

 

 

February 2, 2012

Sign Posts

Filed under: Life — my3daughters @ 12:51 pm

Some times it seems to me as if the Bad Guys are winning.  I tried to be a Bad Guy—selfish, self-centered, stomping on others in my quest to get ahead.  But I’m just not made that way.  So I argued with God; I yelled at God; I demanded a sign from God.  I wanted to know that I was on the right road.  This taking it day by day with no map to outline the journey is tough for a planner like me.  So I wanted some sign posts to guide me, damn it, and I wanted them NOW!  And despite the fact that I was being a whiny little brat, God gave me a sign.  In fact, He gave me several.  I can just picture it now:

 God (in an incredulous voice) “You want a sign? I’ll give you a sign!  I’ll give you four signs in less than two weeks.  Do you think you’ll get the message then? Do you?”

THE FIRST SIGN POST

It was Monday evening and I’d just dropped the girls off at their Dad’s after winterguard practice.  I was tired and discouraged and cold and broke.  I just wanted to go home and sleep for forever.  Then I got a message from a friend, “Did you check your mail today? I sent you something.”  This perked me up.  Seriously, who doesn’t like to get presents in the mail?  When I got to the post office, all that was in my box was junk mail.  Darn, maybe it didn’t get here yet.  Then a key fell out of the wad of flyers, a key for a parcel box, parcel box #7, lucky #7!  And what did I find in the parcel box?  A package with the Amazon smile on it.  Inside the package was a Kindle Fire!  My friend, now known as my Fairy Godmother, sent me a Kindle Fire!

I put a Kindle Fire on my Wants List at Thanksgiving time.  But my Needs List items kept taking priority and I knew the Kindle Fire would have to wait, and wait, and wait.

After jumping up and down and yelling “I got a Kindle Fire” in the post office parking lot, I headed home (fortunately no one called the cops on the crazy lady).  I called my youngest (most likely to answer her phone) and got voice mail.  Darn.  I called my middle child (rarely even has the ringer on) and got voice mail.  Darn.  I called my oldest (who answered), and after I woke her up by screaming in her ear “I got a Kindle Fire”, I proceeded to calm down long enough to tell her what my youngest now calls “The Story.” (Notice that, even while highly excited, I did not text and drive.  Texting and driving is wrong.  DO NOT do it.)

Fast forward over an hour to when I was finally calm again and getting ready for bed.  In the quiet I heard God tell me, “You asked for a sign.  The Kindle Fire is your sign.  Keep on doing what you are doing; keep on being the way you are.  I promised to provide all your needs according to my riches.  Your needs will be met, so I’ve moved on to your wants.”

THE SECOND SIGN POST

It’s Friday night, a weekend when I had my girls.  I was broke.  I had enough gas to get us where we needed to go for the weekend but what about job hunting next week?  I wasn’t sure exactly what we were going to be eating all weekend, there was no money to buy groceries.  Then a friend gave me three big bags of groceries.  That worry was handled.  A friend pulled me aside, placed folded up money in my hand and said “Don’t argue.  I’m just paying it forward.”  Pride told me to refuse but practicality won out.  Again, God was telling me “I promised to provide all your needs.”

THE THIRD SIGN POST

It’s Wednesday and my car insurance was past due.  I’m sure there’s a grace period in there somewhere but I didn’t even bother to ask how long it was.  I had no money coming in, no prospect of money coming in.  Someone handed me a folded up bill and said “Here’s a little something for you.”  This was the third time I’ve gotten money from this person, someone that I barely know.  Each time the money was the exact amount I needed at the exact time I needed it.  This time it was enough to pay my car insurance.  Before God could say anything, I said “I know, you are providing for my needs.  Thank you.”

THE FOURTH SIGN POST

It’s Thursday and again I just wanted to curl up in my warm cocoon of blankets and sleep.  But I needed to keep up the job search.  I found a free app for my Kindle Fire that gives me another source for jobs.  I also found a free book to download called “The Resume is Dead” by Nelson Wang.  It’s a great how to book on using “new media to land your dream job.”  I’d started reading it but I wasn’t sure that I could be that bold, be that brave.  Then this quote appeared in my Facebook news feed:

 Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.—Thomas Jefferson

Again, I felt that this was God telling me that I am on the right track even though I haven’t really “heard” from Him.  Probably because I got so excited that I started typing this blog and haven’t taken the time to be quiet.  But this fits in with my comment to Him earlier last month when I said “show me a sign that I’m going the right way or at least throw up road blocks if I’m going the wrong way.”

So, yes, I got the signs—all of them.  I got the message.  And now I’m passing the message on to you in case you need to hear it to0.  Your God will supply all your needs.  You just have to trust Him.  You just have to have faith.

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