Happy Birthday Knox ~ 4 Gifts Given and Received

Happy Birthday to my little son in Paradise.  Knox would be 4 years old today.

I think the hardest part is not being able to say “I love you”; not being able to hold him.

He’s been gone 5 and a half months.  I miss him terribly.

Giving gifts of love, in honor of Knox’s birthday, was the only way I could think of to say “I love you”.

First, I went to the store and picked out what I would’ve bought him if he was here.  I associate baby turtles with Knoxy because of a painting I made for him that hung above his crib.

I’m sending these clothes to a precious little boy with severe CS here in the USA,  and another identical set to a little boy with CS in England.  I love you, Knox.

Then I painted a bright turtle for a little girl with CS, also here in America.  I’ll include the process photos and finished piece in the next post. I hope she likes it!

Next, I made a new set of cards and listed them in Knox’s Etsy shop. I’ll continue to make and sell butterfly cards and other original art pieces online to support Amy and Friends CS Support in the UK.  Please visit the shop and pass on the link.  All proceeds are donated. I made a donation last week of $150 from card sales. Thank you to everyone who buys the butterfly cards!

I donated the recent proceeds from Knox’s shop to CS research through Amy and Friend’s “JustGiving” site. If you’d like to make a donation in honor of Knox’s 4th Birthday, please leave a note in the message box so I can thank you.  <3

Finally, I made a donation of books to Dell Children’s Hospital.  Knox loved books!  It’s so nice to have good books to borrow while you’re in the hospital.  I wish I was in the hospital reading a book to Knox now.

I have been given four gifts, as well. I received this gorgeous bracelet from another CS mom right here in Texas.  I absolutely love it!


A young artist friend of mine presented me with an amazing graphite drawing of Knox.  I loved it so much I posted it on my FB page. I know how difficult portraits are and how much time it takes to make an accurate likeness.  Thank you so much Miss E. J.! See her wonderful drawing of Knox here.  What a special gift!

Third, a friend sent me a poem he wrote about Knox.  The day it was sent to me, I had been asking the very same question presented in the title:

How Has the World Not Stopped?                                                        (2/11/14)
But I now know
that nothing
escapes a black hole.
That gravity pulls,
slowly at first,
then faster and faster
until the frail shell protecting us
and air
no longer
surrounds us
and we are crushed.
Within the heart
of this heaviness
time ceases to exist.
The normal flow of life
is torn on the tiniest snag of circumstance
into spirals of endless repeating memories.
Eventually we’ll be spit out
into an alternate universe,
that expects us to live
as if you no longer exist
and only pities us
when we cling
to the warmth
of your presence.
The strangest part
that for those whose path arcs
from your massive absence,
seems unchanged.
for a sense of relief
at barely
(c) 2014  Elwood Fischer

Thank you for this gift, Elwood.  The words are meaningful and I’m blessed.

And the fourth gift was a video.  Knox’s grandmother sent me a video she found on her iPhone of Knox’s first few moments of life. I was struck to the heart with sorrow to see Knox as a newborn again and to hear his cry.  I remember thinking how beautiful he was, and at the same time, there was a feeling of incongruity in the room that I remember, as well.  It didn’t feel like there was anything specifically wrong with Knox in that moment, but something suddenly seemed wrong with life itself.  I still don’t understand it.   The video is hard to watch but it’s a gift I wouldn’t trade.

Happy Birthday my sweet angel ~ I hope you and your Great-Grandmother are enjoying your shared birthday together today and having a wonderful time.


Knox,  we love you!

Martilena Handmade Bags

Don’t you love diaper bags that don’t LOOK like diaper bags?

Here is my lovely diaper bag I ordered from Martilena in a gorgeous jewel-toned paisley fabric.

Martilena lets you choose the style and size of the bag you want, and then comes the fun part.  You pick your favorite fabric from thousands of choices and then your bag is custom-made for you. Very cool.

Love, love, love my bag.

Clean lines and a great, compact size.

Lots of attention to detail. 

I especially love this front pocket which is the perfect size for my little sketch book I carry everywhere.

Love this easy to fasten magnetic clasp–I can do it one-handed.

It’s sturdily constructed and made with high quality materials.

Yep, it’s pretty much the best diaper bag I’ve EVER had.

Martilena Handmade Bags offers a variety of bags and accessories custom-made using the fabric of your choice!

You will absolutely love their new camera bags. I particularly want the first one on the page.  :)

Much thanks to my talented friend, Alida, owner of Martilena, for this awesome bag.


NCFCA Regional Tournament, 2010

Once in a while I have to break with the “art+photo” theme of this blog and use it for a family update. 

The NCFCA Regional Speech and Debate tournament came and went this last week.  It was a great tournament, but exhausting.

The competition was held at the new Concordia University campus, which is surrounded by a nature preserve and has all the beauty of the Texas hill-country.

The duo team of Adams/Clay did incredible! I was so proud of them both.  Ms. Adams can play one mean gestapo-like step-mother, and Ms. Clay was a very convincing cannibalistic witch.  :)  (Their duo was “Hansel and Gretel” )  They made it to semi-finals and had a great time!

And then there was the IO.  I had my doubts going into the week, but the kid did good.  She snagged a slot to NATS by the skin of her teeth.  Only FOUR slots for NATS in IO? Wow.   Most events had at least 5 or 6 slots available, some up to 10.  We’re extremely proud of course, but this little lady in the red sailor dress…

…was the one who amazed us!  She participated in her first junior tournament, just having turned 8 last week to meet the age requirement for registration. 

  I wondered, “Will she cry?”, “Will she freeze up?”


She marched right into her rooms in front of the judges (6 times!) and gave her speeches  just like she had practiced at home. After the 3rd round she said, “I wish the tournament lasted longer!” 

She wound up getting a 2nd place medal  for her interpretation and now she’s hooked.  The NCFCA knows how to draw them in early! :)

Speaking of early….nothing was early at this tournament.  It ran approx. 4 hours behind on Saturday evening. 

So we waited….and waited….

Awards started around 11:45 p.m.  It was a bit challenging with the little kids, but we managed.

Because the ceremony began so late, there were no photo ops of the finalists like last year, so we just snapped some pics in the yard. 

Here is Ms. Clay with her unusual disc-like award.

I was wondering if they had a clearance sale on these at the local trophy house?  :) Oh, I don’t mean to downplay the achievement they represent, of course, but it’s just…kinda ugly.  Oh well, the experience is what counts.

The National Championship will be held at Regent University in Virginia next month.  Last year, my daughter learned some valuable character lessons at the National Championship.  I’m thankful she will have the opportunity to participate again.  More in June!

Hatching Day!

Just a quick post to show you that our baby birds on the porch hatched! We happened to check on them at just the right time. 

It looks like only 3 out of 5 made it, but it was very exciting for the kids to see them hatching.

I know these pics aren’t the best, but I felt a little intrusive  :) I’ll try and get some better shots when they can hold their heads up.

Happy Wednesday!