Monday

Santa delivers from UK

This is just a sample of what my Secret Santa Kim sent me from the UK. The group of artists that I frequently refer to here in my blog, Mixed Media Collage Artists did a Secret Santa swap and I was lucky to have Kim receive my name. I received this small package in the mail that weighed a ton! I cut the tape and the top literally popped up and little individually wrapped packages starting falling out. I don't know how Kim got all she did in that little box. I took each package and carefully opened it to find something special. There were beautiful hand-dyed silk fibers, One Penny Rubber Sheet from Paper Artsy, watch parts, tags, stamps, a magnet, Christmas ornament, the cutest bendable Santa, soldered art and so much more.

I don't know which I enjoyed the most. . .The anticipation of not knowing who had my name and anxiously awaiting a surprise package to arrive and then to see what cool things I received or receiving and gathering things for my Secret Santa and the anticipation of her package being delivered. All I do know is that I can't wait to do this again next year.

Until next time. . . .Enjoy the last few days of the year with your friends and family.

Debbie

Wednesday

More Surprises Received

I can honestly say this is the only time of the year that I actually watch for the mailman to come. I just love getting Christmas cards and packages.

Monday I found an envelope among the bills from the one and only Becky Christian. Inside were 3 of Becky's famous ATC's to add to my BC collection, a Vintage photo of a very distinguished gentleman and the cutest handmade holiday card.



Today I was totally surprised when I found a little padded envelope among the Christmas cards. I am now the proud owner of an Deryn Mentock Original Altered Cab Card. I admire Deryn's art so much and had hoped to someday own a piece.

Becky and Deryn, thank you so much for my wonderful surprises.

Today is Wednesday and I know I still have one more surprise coming my way from my Secret Santa, that is unless my surprise is I'm not getting anything because they think I've been naughty!

Until next time. . . .I'm off to get a few last minute things finished up so I can sit and watch for the mailman. Sure wish he looked like the UPS guy, cute as a button.

Happy Holidays
Debbie

More Christmas Surprises

I just love it when someone surprises me with a little gift in the mail. Over the past week I have received gifts from some very special friends I have made through my art.

First I received a beautiful 2006 Calendar from Reiny Rizzi. Reiny has been creating these wonder calendar girls and sharing them with all of us on MMCA. Little did we know she was creating calendars for some of us. I just love mine! Here is the cover and a few months that are my favorites.




A few days later as Steve and I were working on the MMCA website and forum another package arrived. Cece Grimes had sent me one of her beautiful bottlecap pins which she named "Queen" and a box of Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles for Steve. I felt just like a Queen as I worked that day and have had many compliments on her since. I would love to share with you the chocolates, but I have to confess they were to die for!


Some of the girls in MMCA participated in a Secret Santa exchange and I am anxiously awaiting my surprise. Everyday I listen for my mailman to drop things in my basket and quickly run to see if I have gotten my Secret Santa package. I am sure the mailman is wondering by now why I am practically running over him everyday, but it is just so exciting to see what he has brought.

Reiny and Cece thank you both for your part in making this a wonderful holiday season.

Until next time. . . .Happy Holidays

Debbie

Monday

Christmas Surprises

This could have been me a few days ago.


As I was preparing dinner I heard the UPS truck stop in front of our home as he has done daily for the past two weeks to deliver packages to our neighbors across the street. Only this time I was surprised when I heard him knocking on my carport door. I opened the door as he was running back to his truck waving and there before me was a huge brown box. I yelled, Santa has started delivering. Funny how everyone comes out of their room when they hear "Santa" and "delivering." Here I am trying to carry this huge box in and everyone else is watching asking "who is it for?, who sent it? do you get to open it now?" and the list goes on. Dinner was put on hold and I opened the box to find gifts packed amongest peanuts just as tightly as possible. As I pulled out each gift one by one I would find more.

Do you remember running into the living room on Christmas morning and just standing there looking at all the presents and not knowing which one to open first? That was me!!

I wish I had thought to grab the camera to get a picture of the box before I starting pulling things out, you would not have believed it. Santa delieved this package all the way from Cody, WY!!! Yes my best friend Deb Trotter is an Angel on Earth.

Inside I found a Fold-Out Garland of Children Riding Animals, 6 Candy Striped Jingles Ornaments, A book "All I Want for Christmas" of Antique Dolls and Toys in Vintage Photographs 1890 - 1920, Miniature Porcelain Tea Set, Mini Scrabble Set with Magnetic Tiles, Dick and Jane Magnet, fun Reindeers for Steve to wear when working on the technical side of MMCA, the cutest Snowman Tote Bag for Kaycee, an Original Mixed Media Collage "Buttons and Lace" created by Deb and the most gorgeous Norma DeCamp Original Santa.

Here are several pictures which do not do justice.

Original Mixed Media Collage by Artist Deb Trotter

"Buttons and Lace"

Mini Scrabble Set

Miniature Porcelain Tea Set

More Fun Things

Close up of Santa's face and the things he is holding.

Santa in ALL his glory.

There are no words and THANK YOU seems so small for all the wonderful treasures Deb has shared with me not only this Christmas but all year.

I wish for each of you a wonderful holiday and may you too have such a Friend as I have in Deb.

Until Next Time. . . .Happy Holidays!!!!

Debbie



Wednesday

It's a Journal

I love journals and have kept one on and off for years. Journals are a place for your special thoughts, your everyday life or anything you want it to be for. Here are a few that I recently made, some were for gifts, some are for sell. Each journal is one of a kind and created by combining my collected vintage ephemera and other elements. These journals are approximately 10" x 7.5" with 200 pages of wide ruled paper. Not only has the front been collaged, but the back and inside covers have been given a special touch.

"Dreams"

"Thoughts" "Questions" "Time Alone" "My Favorite Things"

These make wonderful Christmas gifts for friends, family or yourself. I am happy to create one similar to any one of these if the original is not available, but please remember each journal is a one of a kind therefore no two will ever be alike.

Last day to order for Christmas Delivery is December 11th.

Until next time. . . .Enjoy the holidays!!

Debbie


Tuesday

Creative Day

What a day!!! I have blisters and cuts on my fingers from all of the wire, hot glue and tinsel I worked with today, but I must say I am very pleased with my accomplishments.

Here are samples of some of the Christmas Ornaments that have kept me busy. Wish I had time to make a few of these for my own tree. I received a call today asking if I could make 24 of these before next Tuesday. She is having a party and would like to send each guest home with an ornament.

A manicure will certainly be needed after the holiday orders are all created, packaged and delivered.



Until next time. . . .Ho Ho Ho

Debbie

RAK: Random Act of Kindness

If you have ever received a RAK, then you know the excitement you feel when you find a package waiting for you in your mailbox. A couple weeks ago I received a surprise package from Luxembourg. Reiny, a very special friend I met this past year via my art group, Mixed Media Collage Artist had sent me a RAK. I was thrilled to find not one, but two pieces of Reiny's artwork. During some stressful times, Reiny found the time to create not for herself, but for others.


Reiny shared a page from her art journal to our art group and I just loved this image. Now I have it hanging on my inspiration board.

Is this not the sweetest little angel cowgirl you have ever seen? I just love those boots!

If you would like to see more of Reiny's artwork visit her picturetrail and blog.

I have a few RAK's I am working on that will go out this week. If you have never RAK'd someone, you really should try it. It does wonders for the heart.

Until next time. . . .Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Wednesday

Monday

Weekend Finds

I love short road trips especially when I can make stops along the way to do a little shopping. I'm not talking about the cute little shop on the corner or the boutique in the mall. I brake for Antique Shops and Flea Markets!!

Saturday Steve had to go just south of Natchez, Mississippi on business and I joined him with the understanding that I would go and even drive as long as when I came upon a place to stop he would either sit in the vehicle or go in with me and not say a word about how long it took. Heading south from Crossett you go through lots of little towns, I mean if you blink you miss it. As we made our drive south I was keeping a mental note of the places I saw that I could stop on our way back. We stopped for a late breakfast in Natchez before his meeting, so I knew once we started towards home I could make several stops before stopping for a bite to eat.

The first little town had two shops if you were brave enough to go into one of them. I parked right in front and got out. Steve just sat there looking at me as though I had lost my mind or I had suddenly grown two heads. Finally after shaking his head he joins me saying "if you don't find anything else in here, I'm sure we will find some fleas!!!!

This Southern girl was not actually dressed for this shop, but in my starched jeans, white shirt and loafers we entered into what turned out to be a lucky spot for me. We made our way through digging in boxes and going through stacks of things. Just as I finally had decided this was a wasted stop, I spotted a book hiding. I pulled it out and you would have thought I had found a diamond. As I flipped though the book, a Scofield Reference Bible there were notes penciled in the margins. In the back someone had made several notations and dated it 12-17-1921. Right there in my hands was a Bible from 1921!!! At this point, Steve had not seen the price on the front and I could see it in his face, he was thinking how much is this book!! I headed to the check out counter and I thought he was going to die when the lady said that will be one twent eight!!! Yes that priceless treasure that no one else had wanted I got for a $1.28

Next stop was not quite as bad and I came away with a Children's Story Book with wonderful line drawings and great text, an old cloth measuring tape and a really old yard stick. $3.25 later I am heading out the door with some more treasures.



We headed to the next town and found a little cafe where we had one of the best hamburgers and onion rings we have ever had. After a nice lunch and lots of talk about the other places I wanted to stop we started north. Thinking the first place was bad I thought it couldn't get any worse.

Well let me tell you. . .Steve set in the vehicle and I went in. I have never in my life seen so much junk in one place. I started digging in boxing and baskets and sacks. Climbing over things sitting in the floor and by this time my allergies had really kicked in. I could not breathe, my skin was itching and my throat had just about closed off, but something kept telling me to tough it out. Steve came in after 45 minutes to check on me and I was reluctantly leaving with nothing. That is until he saw this really old worn velvet photo album. He pulled it out from a stack of books and said you won't believe want I just found. Inside the old album were pages after pages of old cabinet photo cards. Most of them were of children. If you have purchased any cabinet cards lately you know some of them can be rather pricey. In this old worn album there were 28 cab cards with only 2 or 3 that had actually seen better days. Since Steve had found it I said what do you think and he thought I had inhaled way too much dust to think straight if I was asking him. Can you believe $28 and I got 28 cab cards!!!!

Is this baby not precious?

At the end of the day I had spent a grand total of $32.53 and had an armful of wonderful treasures to use in my art. Next time you go through a little town that has nothing but a flea market that you are sure is filled with fleas, roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and start digging.

Until next time. . . .Create and Have Fun!

Debbie

Thursday

Ladies In Pink


This is a little 3.5 x 4.25 mini notebook. Just think how cool you would look pulling this little charmer out of your purse to jot down a quick note. My friend Deb Trotter was telling me about these little books and after seeing hers, I just had to make one for myself. They are just like the potato chips, you can't stop at just one, so I have several more in the works. Will share as soon as I finish them.

Until next time. . . .Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Friday

Recipe Sharing

Looking for something new or different to carry to your next pot luck? Want your friends and family to rave about the dessert you brought? Me too!!!

Here's a Yummy recipe my sister recently shared with me. Hope you enjoy it.

Pumpkin Gooey Bars

Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1-15 oz can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1-16 oz box powder sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Pre heat oven 350

Combine the cake mix, eggs, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking pan.

Filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-45 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream!!

Until next time. . .Enjoy your dessert, create and have FUN.

Debbie



Wednesday

Flying into Fall


To me November 1st is Fall even though I have had my pumpkins out and the leaves have been turning red, orange & golden for weeks. They now fall gracefully to the ground covering our lawn.

As we Fly into Fall I thought this collage I did a while back seemed appropriate. Up and Away. . . . Flying into Fall.

Did you notice I also did a little changing of the seasons here on the blog? I love the richness of fall colors and wanted you to feel warm and cozy while here reading. So put on your jammies, grab a cup of Hot Chocolate and catch up with me.

I will be adding some of my favorite blogs and website links in the next few days, so do check back for some great places to visit. I have a few orders to work on and need to do a little housekeeping to my websites.

Until next time. . . Enjoy the cooler weather, create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Monday

TAGGED Again

Oh no!!! I was tagged again! There I am taking a little time to read some of my favorite blogs and come across my name, Debbie O. Sharon of Cut-Up-Paper TAGGED me to list 5 women that have inspired me.

As I have thought about this there are so many that I could list, but I tried to stick to the game rules at least this time.

My 5, in no particular order are
Sally Jean, Jill Haddaway, Deb Trotter, Karenann Young and my Mom.

Almost 5 years ago when I was new to collage, I had tons of questions and Sally Jean, Jill and Karenann were all so generous with their answers to all of my questions. Thanks to many emails and even art supplies they shared with me I was on my way.


Just this past year Deb T and I crossed paths and it is as though we have known each others all our life.

My Mom has always encouraged me to follow my heart and reach for my dreams. She has given me the tools to move forward each time I wanted to try something new and she is always on the look out for Vintage Books, Photos, Postcards and more.

My turn. . . .TAG you're it. . .
Abby, Delila, Jo, Katie & Amy.

Until next time. . . .Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Wednesday

Vintage Swap


I recently signed up to participate in a Vintage Swap. Names were drawn two at a time for partners. Each was to buy a regular Manila envelope 8 x 10, or something close to that. Fill it with vintage treasures of all kinds, such as postcards,buttons, tea towels, fabric, ribbon, jewelry, hankies, stationary, small books, and anything else that you could stuff in your envelope.
You and your partner were to email each other sharing a little about yourself and the things you collect or like. It was so much fun putting together my package for my partner, Abby.
The real fun came today when I received a package in the mail filled with the most awesome treasures. There were pink and brown buttons attached to Manila tags, vintage ribbons in green and red strip, some really cool postcards and pictures, two beautiful hand embroidered table runners, a children's story book, a wooden hand-carved stamp of a car, a pink and brown bag, and lace, trims and more buttons.
My biggest surprise was when I unwrapped a little book with yellowed pages, for as I turned the pages I discovered it was Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 1924.
Thank you Abby for making my experience with the Vintage Swap one I will remember for many years.
Until next time. . . .Create and have Fun!
Debbie

Friday

Surprise Package

Is this not the most precious looking little girl?

Don't you just love it when you receive a surprise? I opened my door to find a box from my very dear friend, Deb Trotter. You know the Cowgirl Artist of Cowboy's Sweetheart. Well she is a real Sweetheart. I opened a box full of those little peanuts that go everywhere, then stick to any and everything, and days later you are still finding them! Peanuts going every where didn't slow me down. I pull out a package carefully wrapped in bubble and started unwrapping it. There in my hands was the most precious Bethany Lowe Designs little Halloween girl.
There was still more, further down in all those peanuts Deb had shared some of her duplicate rubber stamps, and sent Kaycee and I, Glow in the Dark Earrings!! I can't wait to use the stamps which will be perfect for some of the projects I am working on. As for the Earrings, I will have to let you know how that goes, but I know Kaycee is going to love them. I probably won't even get to try them out after she sees them.
If you have a Friend like Deb, send them a note or give them a call to let them know how thankful you are to call them your Friend.
Until next time. . . Create and have FUN!!!!
Debbie


Color Of Hope

As you have heard, there is strength in numbers. Lynn Perrella has emailed her friends asking everyone to help spread the word about this unique collaborative work of art.

Color of Hope

This wall hanging is presently up for Auction on EBAY to benefit the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.

Collaberating artists include: Nina Bagley, Keely Barham, Caryn Crimmel, Shirley Ende-Saxe, Sarah Fishburn, Lisa Hoffman, Marylinn Kelly, Karen Michel, Teesha Moore, Lynne Perrella, Lisa Renner, Judi Riesch, Monica Riffe, and Michelle Ward.

Click on image to go directly to the auction for more details.

Debbie

I've Been Tagged!!!

It finally happened to me. . .I have been tagged by Amy of Inspire Company. If you have never visited Amy, you are missing a wonderful place to shop.

Five random things about me:

1. I love Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough! Sometime we will make a batch and eat it with spoons while watching a movie.

2. My first car was a 1974 Blue Ford Mustang. I got it for my 16th Christmas. I wish I would have kept that car. My dad has a 1965 Red Mustang and I would love to have it someday.

3. I grew up on a cotton farm and could drive a tractor before I drove a vehicle! It even had air conditioning and a radio!

4. I was a Radiologic Technologist in my 20's and early 30's, and gave it up to stay home with my children. Some days I miss it, especially the excitement of the ER and Surgery.

5. Love to read and visit the library often, but I try to check out the Large Print books. I can read them so much faster! It's an embarrassment to my children. Of course it would be they are teenagers!

Now it's my turn to tag some one and I choose
Deb T, Deryn, Delila, Dawn and Sonja.

Tuesday

Mixed Media Collage Artists


For months I have been working day and night on a project that I couldn't tell anyone about as I wanted it to be a surprise and boy was it. Last night I announced to my Yahoo Group Mixed Media Artists that we had a new full featured Website and Forum, Mixed Media Collage Artists. Within minutes I was receiving emails with excitement and one by one members were logging in to look around.

We are a rather small group in number, but we are very active. So much so that Yahoo could not keep up with our uploading of images. When I started the MMA group my dream was to one day have a full featured website and forum and now that dream has been reached.

The talent found in MMCA is extremely high. We have members that are regularly featured in Somerset Studio, Cloth Paper Scissors and many other great art magazines, many are instructors of art, some work full time and create at night or on the weekends and some create all day, but we all have something in common-we all love our art!

The inspiration I have received through these girls is beyond words. The creation of the Website/Forum has been the labor of love for both my artwork and my fellow members.

I have to admit I did have tons of help, Steve known as the technical assistant was right there with me all the way. I designed the website and he did the forum. I had 100's of templates to use for the forum, but not one was what I wanted. So the work began for a custom build forum. He worked countless hours at night and on the weekends until he had everything just like I wanted.

We would love to have you visit us, enjoy the Gallery which is just the beginning of the talent we have and don't miss the Featured Artist. If you are interested, please submit an application for membership. If you have any questions, please email me or contact me through the website.

Until next time. . . .Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Friday

It's Fall in Arkansas

It is finally here....That is Fall in Arkansas at least today. Who knows what tomorrow will be but today I am enjoying upper 60's with a breeze. I hung my fall wreath on the front door, set out a few pumpkins, changed my flag and planted a pot of Pansy's this morning.

Seth and Kaycee brought home their pictures taken last Friday night at the Homecoming Dance which was decorated for fall, so I knew it was time for a change of seasons here.

My friend, Deb T started something awhile back on her blog! She shared pics of her family and my kids having been asking me if I have shared any of them with all of you. So here you go.


~ Seth & Robbin ~
Homecoming Dance 2005


Seth is 17, a Senior this year and our middle son. He plays the Trumpet in the Concert and Marching Band. He also does a duet during all performances on the Fugel Horn. He's an Honor Roll student taking all Pre-AP or Honors classes, member of the Robotics Team, National Honor society, Beta, Chess and Science Clubs. Loves the History, Discovery and Food Network Channels. He's wonderful in the kitchen, a very caring person and considerate of others. He is very active in church and community activities. He plans to go on to college, not sure where yet and major in Engineering.






~ Kaycee & Ray ~
Homecoming Dance 2005

Kaycee is 16 and a Junior this year. She is our baby! She's an Honor Student taking all Pre-AP or Honors Classes. She is a member of the Beta, Chess and Science Clubs and a member of Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematic Club. She takes dance which includes Jazz, Ballet, Clogging and Tap. This is her 13th year of dancing. She also student teaches dance to 3 & 4 year olds. She loves Elvis and watching all the old shows we grew up with, I Love Lucy, Leave It to Beaver, Andy Griffin, Doris Day, Gidget and I know I am leaving out many. She is also very active in church and community activities and plans to go to collage.






~ Colby & Daniell ~

Our oldest is Colby, 22. He is a computer wiz owning and running his own business "Boot-Up Computer" since graduating from High School. If it can be done, he can do it when it comes to computers. He designs software with his most recent job being a program that is being used in Radiology offices and hospitals in 6 states. He started flying with his Papa at the age of 2 and was hooked. He began taking flying lessons at 13 and on his 16th Birthday I got to watch him solo. So at 16 when most kids were driving everywhere, he was flying any and everyplace he could since Papa owned the aviation school and service. I watched him leave the airport for a 3 hour cross-country by himself and the next day he turned 17 and took his Private Pilot test and passed with flying colors. When he's not flying you will catch him in a little black Crossfire traveling around the state with his business. He recently moved into his own apartment 3 hrs from Mom. He is doing great and Mom & Steve are adjusting!



And to think all of this started here. . . .


Until next time. . . Create, Enjoy your kids and have FUN!!

Debbie

Doodle vs Stress

Several weeks ago during a phone conversation with a friend, she ask how did I keep up with everything I do. It is quite simple, I have a calendar that anything and everything goes into. It is always within reach, so while we were chatting I opened it up and there right in front of me was a month full of activities, reminders, to do's and doodles!!! Yes I doodle when I am on the phone and most of the time it is in my calendar. Looking back through this year, I realized the more stress I am under the more I doodle.

I use my calendar for business, family and church activities. You will find menus, library due dates, birthdays, holidays, get togethers, orders shipped, phone calls to make, kids club meetings, sports, band, dance, orders placed, to do list, grocery list and more. Most things are written in pencil to easily make changes if necesary, but I will often write over past activities in color pencils or markers while doodling. I draw, okay I try to draw things. This reminds me I need to stick to collaging with papers & found objects and leave the drawing to others!

Here's my April calendar. You can see it was not too stressful for me as the doodles are light and only here and there.

September has been another story. . .tons of things going on. Getting kids back into the swing of school, schedules and routines. Maybe it was me that was having to get back in the routine that was stressful, as they seem to have done quite well.

I have had part of this post saved as a draft for several weeks. A couple days ago I had someone request to join my art group and while viewing some of her art work she had included her calendar page while she was on vacation. I was so excited to see someone else was a doodler.

Do you doodle? It is mindlessly done? When do you doodle?

Since today is the last day of September, I am thinking I will try to post my calendar at the end of each month for you to see. Need to go add this to my calendar, so I don't forget!

Until next time. . .Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Wednesday

Rolling Pin or Brayer

When most artists hear the word "Brayer" they think of a roller used to apply color to their art, usually for backgrounds. Some are acrylic, some are foam and some are rubber and come in hard or soft. Here is a typical brayer used by artists.

Brayers are also great for burnishing - to make smooth. Recently I was having problmes with air bubbles after gluing my images to my background. The advice I was given was to use a brayer, well not having one I improvised.

Who needs a rolling pin when Phillsbury Doughboy makes the best Pie Crust already rolled and ready to use! I pulled out my little rolling pin that I have had for over 20 years and honestly I can't think of one time I actually used it. It is no longer kept in my kitchen. It is perfect to run across my artwork and make sure all the air bubbles are out and works great to seal all the edges. Here's my Brayer.

Do you have any tools or supplies that you use that others would consider "Outside the Box?"

Until next time. . . Create and have Fun!!!

Debbie

Thursday

Seeing first hand what Katrina has done

Here in south Arkansas we are seeing first hand what Katrina has done to so many innocent people. Many that were able to leave before she hit are now in our little town of 16,000. Everywhere you go you see Louisiana and Mississippi vehicle tags.

Once again our town has pulled together, businesses helping each other, churches working together, school children preparing for new students to enroll over the next few days, donations are coming in by individuals, organizations, churches, businesses, and school children.

You over hear mothers having to tell their children they can't afford to buy a little bag of candy, you hear babies crying they are tired and want their beds and you hear men and women saying Thank You for everything you are doing to help.

My kids and I delivered bags of goodies that included coloring books, crayons, candy, Teddy Grahams, cars and stuffed animals to the National Guard Armory this afternoon. While there one of the guardsman shared a story with us.

A family had come in earlier. He had shown them to the cold drinks and snacks, telling them to help themselves to anything they wanted. They could also take anything they needed such as diapers, toothbrushes, socks, and etc. As they were leaving they stopped by the office to thank him. The little boy around 5 yrs old looked up to the 6'4, 250 lb man and said, "Mr. Soldier, I Love You." As he was telling the story tears were falling down his face.

Today I experienced the joy of helping one of these families and I want to share it with all of you.

This morning I went to the Dollar Store to pick up cleaning supplies and parked beside a car from Louisiana. A man, women, little boy and a baby girl got out. I followed them toward the store.

The little boy asked his daddy if he could get a toy. Well let me tell you the tears started following. The man stopped and bent down to him and said, "Ryan don't forget what we talked about before we got out of the car. We can't get any toys today. We have to buy baby diapers and clothes for you and Gracie." He whined a little and held his daddy's hand and walked in like a big boy.

I couldn't stand it. They went straight for the diapers and clothes. I walked over and began talking with them. I asked if they were from down in LA. I was told yes. They had been here for three days and had been staying at one of our local hotels for free, but had to find shelter elsewhere today as the hotel would only allow you 2 free nights and then they would help you find shelter. This was so that everyone coming in could atleast have a night or two of rest in a bed and have hot showers. During the conversation I learned they had lost their home and everything they had. The little boy was 3 and the baby was 2 weeks. He worked in downtown New Orleans. They had left with what little they could grab and put into their tiny vehicle which I assume didn't have air as they had their windows down. Now it was in the upper 90's today and no one would drive around with their windows down if they had air conditioning.

I asked if I could take the little boy to the toys to pick out something. The woman grabbed me and hugged me like she had known me all of her life and the man grabbed my hand and I didn't think he was going to let go.They handed the little boy over to me and he grabbed my hand grinning from ear to ear.

We went back to the toys and out of all the toys he picked up this one little match box car and said this is what I want. So I picked out another one, then I said let's go get a book to read, he wanted to get the baby one too, so we did. Then we got a coloring book and a box of jumbo crayons. Up to the candy and he picked up suckers and a package of gummy bears. I took him to the check out and the girl checking and me just stood there and cried while he was smiling.

I tied the bag so he wouldn't loose anything and told him not to open it until he got back in his car. As I was taking him back to his parents he saw them and started running, yelling "I got a car and a book and candy." They could not thank me enough and all I could think of was I just spent less than $8 and they couldn't have been happier.

So remember the little things count more than some of us will ever know.

Debbie

Monday

More Art Sharing






Until next time. . . Create and have Fun!!
Debbie

Art Sharing Day





These are just a few of the pieces of art I have created over the past few days. Hope you enjoy them.

More to come.

Debbie