Friday, November 25, 2011

I Am Thankful for YOU! {Hope For Stephen Results}

First off, just let me say WOW. I have so much to be thankful for this year, and at the top of my list is YOU. Would you like to know the results from the Hope for Stephen nest necklace fundraiser? Get ready....

Yes, that's right! We raised almost $1,000 for Stephen and his family! Can you believe it? I can't! I was completely blown away at how fast the news spread about Stephen and the chance to help him. I made new friends and met some amazing people through it. I was only expecting about $100 in orders...if even! And they kept coming, and coming, and coming...I couldn't believe it!

And, even more amazing than the money is the amount of people who I know are praying for him right now. I know several who have even gotten groups together to make special packages and things for him to send for Christmas....*tearing up* :)

Thank you, THANK YOU for your generosity and your prayers.

And, if you HAVEN'T received your necklace order yet and I haven't contacted you PLEASE let me know! All of the paid orders have been shipped accept for one and I've been in contact with her, so if you ordered and paid with your custom Paypal link on my All Things Natsprat blog they should have reached you by now.

If you want to find your link, click on the image below and look through the blog archives, it will have your name on it.

And, if you are interested in following Stephen's journey battling brain cancer, his parents have set up a Caring Journal blog and they update daily. It is a hard journey they are all facing. The cancer is spreading and is causing him a lot of pain and nausea. Please keep praying for him, his battle has only just begun.

and to end's some GOOD news! :)

(Little Stephen is now famous! :) He was the smiling face that everyone saw on November 18th when they logged into AOL!)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stephen The Comedian and Pre-Op Artist {so cute}

For those of you following along with Stephen's story, you'll enjoy this! He was drawing this picture right before his dry run of radiation treatment. I love the part where the anesthesia kicked in! Hahah!

Then, Amber went to stay in a special housing place for the families of patients called the Grizzly House. (Yaaaay, she got to sleep in a REAL bed and have a much needed break!)

Brent came to stay with Stephen and said, "Mommy's gone, now the boys can party!"

Stephen replied, "Now we can fart awlllll the time!" Gave his Dad a hug and added, "And burp." :)

He is SUCH a boy! Man, I love that kid! It's amazing how he can keep his sense of humor through all of this! He's a cute little trooper, that's for sure.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Update on Stephen {Not Good News *sniff sniff*}

I was really hoping to do a happy post today, but instead I just can't stop crying. We just got an update on Stephen.

(Stephen and Brent at St. Jude's...he adores his Daddy)

(Movie night at St. Jude's...he LOOOOVED that popcorn! The nurses adore him and even brought him bags of popcorn from home!)

Deep breath...grab some Kleenex.

They did a spinal tap on Stephen a few days ago because in his latest MRI parts of the brain are lighting up that aren't supposed to. Which could mean two things, the cancer is spreading OR there is an infection going on. There is some sort of bacteria growing in the culture from Stephen's spinal tap. The bacteria has taken a long time to grow, so it isn't your normal meningitis. AND they have found that numerous tumor cells have spread, so both of their fears have come true. :(

Because the cancer is spreading, Stephen has now been classified as a high risk patient and will receive the higher doses of radiation and chemotherapy. However, they had wanted to wait to start treatments until AFTER he is feeling a little better and stronger....but with this new mystery bacteria they're not sure what to do.

He still is in a lot of pain where they did the spinal tap and they don't know why. Plus, the IV site in his hand went bad and his hand is all swollen. So, they took out the I.V. and he is now in surgery to put in a central line into his chest for all of the long term blood draws, medicines and other things he will have to endure now until the end of his stay at St. Jude's.

I swear, my heart is just breaking. It's so confusing and frustrating! After the first surgery we were all praising God that it was a miracle. That the tumor just delivered itself to the doctors and all was well. THEN, we find out they didn't get nearly as much of the tumor as they thought, AND that it is spreading. I am trying to not take back all of my praises to God for that miracle, which didn't end up being a miracle at all. :( I can't take them back because we still need Him. We need a miracle...a REAL one.

It breaks my heart that he is in so much pain. He has been so strong and brave through it all, so when he shows he is in pain, he is REALLY in pain. It breaks my heart that there are so many unanswered questions. It breaks my heart to think of his parents, what they must be feeling. They are emotionally and physically exhausted, and sick to death of sleeping on vinyl couches. And it feels as if there is no end in sight. And if there IS an end, it's not a happy ending...ugh. I don't even want to think about it.

As I sit here making each of your nest necklaces for the Hope for Stephen fund, I think of you and these precious children that each of these eggs represent. As my fingers hurt from making them I think of the pain that little Stephen must endure. As I add requested special white pearl eggs or angel wing charms to necklaces for each of the children who have died I cry for the parents who lost their children and thank God that I have 3 healthy, beautiful children here on Earth with me. Then I cry even harder hoping that I don't have to eventually add a white pearl egg or pair of angel wings to Amber's necklace. (UGH, need more Kleenex!) And as I put them in the mail I pray that they will all make it to you safely, just as I pray that Stephen will make it through this journey safely.

And now, I just ask that you continue to pray for little Stephen...pray that the doctors will know how to help him. Pray that he will be comfortable, pray that Brent and Amber will have the strength to keep trudging through this hard journey, pray that we won't lose faith in God and His miracles. Please put him in your prayer circles, or Temple prayer rolls, and as you say your personal prayers, say a special one for him. Heck, even if you don't believe in God, focus your positive energies on him or whatever! ;)

I'll keep you updated as I hear more. Thank you all, if I could find you I would give you each a huge hug!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Felt Monster Plush {tutorial}


I am SO excited to be doing a craft tutorial again! Thank you for being so patient with my absence! My little fingers have been busy making over 100 or your nest necklaces for the Hope For Stephen fund! I'll do a special post on all of that soon! I am still just in awe at all of your kindness...WOW. You guys ROCK!!!

Now, onto the next matter of business...

With the holidays fast approaching lots of people are already on the lookout for things to make as Christmas presents. Want to see what I have planned for some of the special little men in my life? Felt monster plushies! *rawr* These are so versatile, you can make it so many different ways! Add horns, a tail, give it eyelashes if it's in girl colors, change the teeth...whatever you want! I've included a basic pattern, but you can change it up however you like!

These take around an hour to make, so they are super fast and easy AND most importantly, super cute. (Yes, that's a lot of super.)

Heeere we go!



Monster Plush Parts page (save, fit to 8x11 page, print! If you want your plush to be bigger, then just scale the image larger)

1 full sheet of felt (main body)
white felt (teeth and eyes)
pink or red felt (tongue)
black felt (mouth)
coordinating embroidery thread
sewing needle
glue gun (optional)
2 buttons for eyes


Step 1: Trace all of the pieces and cut them out. Remember, you'll need 2 of the body and 2 of the eyes.


Now, you'll start stitching on the pieces. Now, if you don't want to sew them on, you can just use your glue gun to glue them on!


Now, stitch on the eyes. Move them around and see how you like them!


Now, you're going to start stitching at the top. Start above the middle of the eye and stitch all the way around. Again, if you don't want to stitch, you can just glue it together with your glue gun! See the felt owl plush tutorial for the directions on how to do that. ;)


Now, stop when you get to the middle of the other eye.


And get some practice for Thanksgiving and stuff it! Make sure to get it down into the legs and arms. Use a marker or something to get it in.


Now, finish stitching the top closed. A little tip: to make sure the end of the string doesn't hang out, after you knot the end, bring the needle through lower on the plush, pull it tight and snip it. The end of the thread will pop back into the plush so you can't see it!


Now, pose him artistically in your kitchen and make him make cute sounds. You're all done! :)


Linked up to

Someday Crafts
Trendy Treehouse
Thrifty Decorating
Tatertots and Jello
Family Ever After
Sew Country Chick
I Heart Naptime
DIY Home Sweet Home
The Girl Creative
Vintage Wanna Bee
Oops I Craft My Pants

{personal} Whitney's Baptism

My sweet Whitney was baptized last weekend! I can't believe she is already makes me feel so old! She has been SOOOOO excited to be baptized, literally...she has counted down the days for MONTHS. I swear, she just about dove into the water.

She has a cousin who is just a few weeks apart from her in age. Whitney came late and Jenna came early! So, they were able to be baptized on the same day, which made it extra special. They are the best of buds . :)

The baptism was wonderful! Everything I dreamed it would be...accept for the part where Aaron got his head stuck in the chair. It fit through the hole just fine, but getting it back out was another story for some reason. That made the baptism memorable in more way than one.

Whitney and Jenna even did a special musical number. They sang a song from the Primary Song Book called "When I Am Baptized". It was so pretty, they did a great job!

When I am Baptized
I like to look for rainbows
Whenever there is rain
And ponder at the beauty of an Earth made clean again
I want my life to be as clean as Earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can
And live with God again.

I know when I am baptized
My sins are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can
And live with God again.


Such sweet lyrics! :)

I am so proud of her, and so INCREDIBLY blessed to have her as a daughter!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Update on Stephen: {Surgery Round Two}

Just wanted to update that Stephen's second brain surgery went well! The doctors found that they didn't get as much of the tumor out as originally thought, and they needed to get back in quickly as his cancer seems to be aggressive. It was very nerve-wrecking because the part of the brain that would be operated on is the part that controls his sight, speech, and other fine motor functions of his left side. Since he was born without his right hand and he is right handed, one slip there would be a very bad thing.

He was transferred to St. Jude in Memphis where he is in VERY good hands! They had quite the Halloween party in the hospital, I've never seen anything like it! It was just awesome.

They were able to get more tumor out, about the size of a pool ball! (!?!) How did that all fit in there!?! First there was the part the size of a large orange, and now a pool ball!?! No wonder he felt so miserable. :'( The doctors think they were able to get pretty much all of it out this time. *crossing fingers* And so far there are NO signs of paralysis.

He has been such a little trooper! Yesterday his parents put up a cute video clip of him playing in the toy room at the hospital. They asked him what the doctors were going to do and he said something along the lines of "they are going to open my brain up and take all of the owies out." It was so cute and sad at the same time.

So, thank you for your continued prayers and happy thoughts! I know they are being heard! :)

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten all of my craft friends out there! I've got a felt monster plush tutorial coming soon! :) (If you liked the felt owl plush, you'll LOVE this one, too! )