Our friends Josh and Cat came over to help make placemat purses for the girls we sponsor. We sponsor a little girl named Mayerli who shares Cora's birthdate, and Josh and Cat sponsor six girls, five of whom can receive small gifts through the mail.
I loved the idea of making and personalizing a bag because it's useful for any age, and a placemat purse seemed like a great option because it's so easy and inexpensive. Plus, this size bag would actually fit in the envelopes allowed by World Vision.
If you've never made (or heard of) a placemat purse, just google it to find plenty of online tutorials and videos. Basically, you take a placemat, fold it in half, stitch up the sides, make a few more stitches to form the bottom of the purse, and add some ribbon handles. It is seriously easy for anyone who can sew a straight line on a sewing machine.
Everyone got in on the action, and it was especially fun watching Jim teach Josh how to iron. :-)
When the bags were stitched together, we used freezer paper stencils and fabric paint to add the girls' names.
Partway through the morning, Jim received an awesome - but crazy - text message:
He recently applied to take some online classes through Dallas Theological Seminary, and this is how he found out he was accepted!! Have times changed, or what? Anyway, he registers this week and starts his first class at the end of August. He is hoping to get a Masters in Christian Education. It will probably take around six years to finish the program because he is only going to take a few classes at a time, but he does hope to eventually finish. Exciting stuff!
Anyway, back to the bags.
Brennan worked on drawing pictures for the kids while I wrote letters and everyone else finished up the bags. In the end, I think they came out super cute.
One of Josh and Cat's bags was still drying, so they just have four here to show off. I think the kids will just love them! And they only cost us about $4.50 each! Rock on!
We joined our friends, the McGregors, at the splash pad in nearby Smyrna. The kids played in the water, and when everyone was worn out, we had a picnic dinner in a beautiful area with perfect weather.
I realized when we got home on Sunday night that Cora is starting to become like one of the "big" kids. She went on a little walk with Alana, Brennan, and me and kept up with all of us, she sat at the picnic table and ate her dinner, and she made her needs known throughout the day. Where has time gone?
We had a lazy day, cooked hot dogs and brats on the grill, and at night Brennan and I drove over to the nearby elementary school to watch the local fireworks. They didn't start until 9:30 PM, and fifteen minutes into the show, Brennan fell asleep. He startled awake at one point and begged me to take him home. I watched the finale through my rearview mirror and had him in bed, sound asleep, while most people were probably fighting to get out of the parking lot.
Since I have no good pictures to share from Monday, I'll show a few pictures of the kids dressed for church on Sunday.
I bought their outfits last year at after-holiday sales, and it was so fun to see them on! Someday I'll probably get most of my money back as I consign them. It will be hard to part with this dress, though. It's just so sweet!
I hope you had a great Independence Day! What did you do to keep busy?