"I call them my little butterflies. They flew in just long enough to steal a part of my heart, and then flew away to Heaven."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Grandma's Promise in South Africa!!!

Meet Tertia in South Africa!!!!  Who would have ever thought that in less than two months time, Grandma's Promise would be at work, and going strong in a place far, far away from Owego, New York..... all the way in South Africa!!!  Once again, another confirmation that God's plans are much bigger than my own!

Tertia contacted me with a desire to help and make items for donations to Grandma's Promise.  She is able to knit some of the most adorable items. 

Rather than her go to the expense of shipping items to the states, it just made more sense for her to make items to donate to her local hospital NICU. 

Tertia is now our very first official representative for Grandma's Promise in South Africa. 

She recently wrote:  I know a paediatric surgeon in the Red Cross Hospital. He takes the articles to the NICU directly! I have sent the first batch ( in die photograph) already. And added the Grandma`s Promise note as well.
Lots of love

Thank you Tertia for so beautifully representing Grandma's Promise in your own corner of the world!

Theresa (Grandma)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Assembly Line Sewing

Wow, I sure wish I had thought of this little trick sooner!  Sewing the gowns that are a part of the Angel Ensembles is fairly easy and quick....except for finishing the pesky neck opening.  I had gotten to the point that I dreaded having to do that one little, itty, bitty seam UNTIL I had a "duh moment" at the fabric store. 

Looky, looky what I found in the "notions" section:

Yes, I admit that I SHOULD have thought of this earlier, but to be completely honest, I didn't realize I could purchase such small (1/4") double fold bias tape.  My goodness....this stuff has been a life saver!  I was able to purchase it in several colors (light pink, lavender, yellow, white, beige, navy blue, green).  The only color that I need but couldn't find was light blue. :(

I can't believe how much easier and FASTER it was to finish the neck opening for these tiny gowns.  What had always taken me a good 15 minutes (on a good sewing day), can now be accomplished in a couple of minutes literally!!! 

Just look at how neat everything looks now.  GOODBYE to puckers, ripples and cally-whompus seams.  No more pulling my hair out or beating my head against the sewing machine!!! 

1/4" double fold bias tape is my new best friend!!!! :)

In fact, because of this wonderful find, I actually had the nerve to cut out 12 angel gowns and sew them up "assembly line" method.

Hummm, I wonder what other little time-savers are yet to be discovered?  Remember, I never claimed to be a seamstress....I'm learning as I go!

Theresa (Grandma)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Days are Hard!

Do you know how you feel after you've set a goal, worked endlessly to see it accomplished, excitedly experienced the final product.....then the adrenaline subsides and "the blahs" arrive full force?  :)  To some extent, that's how I was feeling after the first box of donations was mailed off to the hospital NICU over a week ago.  I was wondering if I had the energy (emotional and physical) to keep it up, to do it all over again. 

Then, pair this feeling with the fact that I was just having a few hard days when I grieved the loss of Morgan and Meghan more than normal.  Don't get me wrong....a day doesn't go by when I don't think of them and miss their presence in our lives.....but some days are easier to handle....and some days aren't!!!

As that first box of donated preemie items was being prepared to ship off, an unexpected box arrived on my door step.  As I slowly peeled back all the packing papers, a beautiful Silver Willow figurine of a praying angel on her knees emerged....and to make it extra special, there was also a base to set the angel on that had been personalized with the names of my grand-babies...Morgan and Meghan. 

Isn't it funny how God knows exactly when we need a little boost, that extra "something" that lets us know that we haven't been forgotten, that others understand our pain and loss?  I have placed this angel where I see it constantly as I continue to work on preemie items for the next donation.  It is a reminder of my promise to my grandchildren and it gives me strength to continue this ministry created in their honor and memory.

I hope these next few words will come out right....

It's not always easy to make the items needed for Grandma's Promise

Let me try to explain myself.  It's "easy on the heart" of crafters to make hats and booties for premature babies that need them on a daily basis to help keep their core body temperatures warm while they grow and thrive.  These types of items are needed and used, and our hearts can smile as we use our talents to create the tiny items.....knowing that what we've made is helping that baby grow healthy enough to leave the hospital and go home with their families.

On the other hand, it can be "hard on the hearts" of each crafter who creates the items to be used in an Angel Ensemble.  It takes a special heart to be willing to create these sets, to make them as beautiful as possible, knowing that the family of the infant who will receive our gifts will be crying tears of sorrow rather than tears of joy. 

I'm just so thankful to all the crafters who have already contributed and will continue to do so as their schedules allow.  I'm also very humbled to see new crafters step forward and volunteer to help this ministry grow.

Just a few days ago, a box arrived from a group of crafters in Texas.  Imagine my surprise when the box literally burst open when I removed the packing tape!  I couldn't believe my eyes....all of the items that they had been able to stuff into this one box!  Just look.....

24 pair of booties, 12 hats, 12 bonnets, 1 crocheted gown, 5 afghans, 9 butterflies
My energy has been renewed and I'm anxious to sew gowns to pair with these afghans, hats and booties for more Angel Ensembles.  I continue to be humbled by the generosity of others.  The past few days have also brought support from those wishing to fund supplies for those who can continue to do the actual crafting.

If you would like to help, don't be shy! :)  You don't have to know how to do and make EVERYTHING in order to be a part of this ministry.  For example, if you want to make bonnets only (or booties, or afghan, etc.)....please make them and we will pair them with items that others have made to complete a set. 

The happenings of the last few days has only confirmed that Grandma's Promise was meant to be and that it is meant to continue.  This could not be possible without the support and hard work of all the crafters who have "jumped in the boat" with me and the overall generosity of others.

Forever humbled,
Theresa (Grandma)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

First Official Donation on it's way to NICU!

With the wonderful help of others, the first box of donations from Grandma's Promise is on it's way to bless premature babies and their families in the Johnson City Medical Center NICU in Johnson City, TN!!!!  My hope and sincere desire is that new items will be delivered on a monthly basis.

Because of your encouragement and support, I humbly announce that this first official donation consists of 90 items!!!!  Yes....90 items!!!! (And I'm not even counting the butterflies in the total!)
Bagged up and ready to go!
This first donation consists of:
     8 Angel Gowns
     8 Angel Afghans/Quilts
     8 Angel Bonnets/Hats
     8 pair of Angel Booties
     58 individual hats for daily use

Yesterday was a very busy day as we prepared everything for shipment.  The last step was to create a card insert that will be given to the parents of the precious little ones that receive any of our Angel Ensembles.  The crocheted butterfly is placed inside the card for the grieving mother.

It's hard to comprehend just how much has been accomplished in a short amount of time.  I am so thankful to all of you!  Almost two months ago, Morgan and Meghan were born and two days later went to Heaven.  Less than one month ago, the decision was made to create this blog in order to allow others to know my heart's desire to begin this ministry in memory of Morgan and Meghan.  In fact, the very first blog post was posted April 9, 2012.

A picture is worth a thousand words....so take a look at everything that is included in this first donation.  Information under each photo shares the name of the crafter or name of someone who donated financially to purchase supplies.
Entire Angel Ensemble handcrafted and donated by Marianne
Entire Angel Ensemble handcrafted and donated by Marianne

Afghan, Hat and Booties crocheted and donated by Candy
Gown supplies funded by Shirley

Afghan, Hat and Booties crocheted and donated by Candy
Gown supplies funded by Shirley

Funds for all supplies donated by Marie

Funds for all supplies donated by Marie
Funds for all supplies donated by Marie
The very first Angel Ensemble I made for Grandma's Promise
Sampling of the 58 individual hats donated
Crafted by Candy, Marianne, Theresa
Crocheted Butterflies are included in each Angel Ensemble
as a small gift to the child's parents

I know that people are helping without any expectation of recognition, but I had to share with you the giving hearts of others.....from actually handcrafting the items to monetary donations to purchase supplies.

I'm also excited to share that others are busy making items to be included in future donations.  Just let me know if you'd like to help!  We can use everyone!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see crafters from all over the world become representatives of Grandma's Promise?  Wouldn't it be great to see the list of NICU units receiving donations grow!  Anything is possible....one day at a time!

Again, I want to thank ALL of you for helping me honor my promise to Morgan and Meghan.  I believe in my heart that they are happy to see the good that is being accomplished in their memory.

Theresa (Grandma)
Boxed up!