Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quilting Bee #19

Hello happy to see you here today. I thought given the theme today, I would make things simple. I have set out at least eight kinds of muffins today. Let see...lemon poppy seed, apple cinnamon, blueberry, banana nut, almond, bran with raisin and without and maple with delicious frosting. There is also a bounty of fruit today. Delicious apples, oranges, red and green grapes, apricots and melons of every kind. Ohh and the most delicious peaches you have ever tasted..with whip cream if you would like. There is peach iced tea and Kona coffee. Yummmm!!

I have racked a quilt full of back to school items. So very glad you have joined me again today. You means the world to me to find you here!! Please pull up a chair and join us!!

We spent most of Saturday back to school shopping. We rented a car and hit at least five stores to get the very best prices on the items on the lists. Because my two youngest attend a magnet school with uniforms required, it was very expensive. As a teacher I understand the need to have tools in the classroom and how very much they spend out of their own pockets. Even as a preschool teacher I spend a good chunk of cash to provide the experience in learning that I want to provide for my students. As a parent the cost of supplies and uniforms this year nearly made me choke!! There was a moment that I seriously considered homeschooling again. Not that homeschooling is cheap..but I never in all the years I home schooled spent that much up front in August for simple supplies and clothing!!!??

Given the age of my children, the oldest being 28 and Nonni being five I remember the first time I was asked by a school district to bring supplies. It seems to me that each year that list grows and grows. The last couple of years we have been able to absorb the cost, this year it is a challenge to eat $300.00. Yup with two in school this year, the cost not only doubled for one but now we have two going. I had budgeted half of that and am now robbing Peter to pay Paul for the next month or so. From what I am hearing from lots of folks around me..most of us are this year. Whether we have children in school, a mortgage or rent to pay, food bills climbing, jobs cutting hours or cutting jobs all together we are all stretched thin. least I have Peter to rob and we will catch up..a huge blessing!

Three years ago there is no way we could have provided our children with what was expected this year. I struggle each Fall with what other families not as fortunate as we are, are going through. I know that horrid moment that you know you will not be able to send your child to school with all the things on the list and that he or she will stick out. That you will have to call the community group, or food bank or other agency to ask for supplies. I know how humbling and pride sucking it is to stand in line with dozens of other parents for free giveaways. Feeling that somehow you have failed your child.

So I'm going to offer up an observation here and perhaps something that we might all think about as the school year approaches. If you give, please give the same quality of items you buy for your own children. Spend that little extra on name brand supplies. You will never know what it means to that parent who receives your gift to find that the calculator works, or the markers are Crayola not some brand from who knows where. The cheap stuff is tempting as you will not see the child who has to use it..but I am asking you to ask your own children - what would they prefer. Maybe involve them in this opportunity to have a giving heart. Try to imagine yourself in that parents would you feel? What would you wish for your child on that magical first day of school? Please give that to the less fortunate children too!!

I had the joy today of sitting with Fox and Nonni and organizing their new supplies into their backpacks..last years backpacks. They labeled and oooed and ahhhed over what fun stuff they had. We have the power to offer this up to others who really need the help this year. As one of those Moms who has stood in that line, sucked up her pride and thankfully took what was offered..I thank you with my whole heart for giving. Let's make some back to school magic for some kids out there!!!

Ok...I am stepping off my soapbox now and I am going to grab a banana muffing and a hot cup of Kona coffee with cream and sugar. Won't you grab a plate and dig in?
Before I go today..would you do me a favor. Please pop by Renee's blog and give her a hug. She and her family and going through such deep heartache right now. It would mean the world to me and her. Please keep them all in your hearts and prayers. Have a wonderful week and know your presence here is a blessing to me!! Namaste, Sarah


Snap said...

There are several groups here who collect going back to school supplies for children. I love school supplies and have such fun buying! I toss in an extra box of the super-box of crayolas for myself!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a loving, gracious, generous post. It seems like such a simple request - easy for many of us to do - such a good reminder that it really matters to little ones that they have what the others have.

Being raised by a single Mom, I recall how tight money was for school supplies. I don't know how she did it, but every year she made sure I had what I needed to walk into the classroom feeling equal to everyone else. It meant so much.

This is a really important post!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Sarah, what a wonderful post - as usual. You are so right. Sometimes the smallest gestures (buying Crayola over the slightly cheaper brand) have the biggest impact. And I love how you presented the idea of "walk a mile in someone elses shoes" in relation to the childs experience at school. This post will be an excellent reminder to me and to everyone else - you never know when you may be the one in need. Act with kindness NOW! Lovely.

Yes, I have popped over to dear Renee's. My heart is breaking for her and her family.

I have missed you so much. Thank you for the lovely email! It was very much appreciated.
Love and hugs,

Debra She Who Seeks said...

A lovely and important post, thank you!

Emmy said...

I keep asking what Lucas needs for kindergarten and have been told, oh if he needs anything we'll let you know.

So either I am not going to have to buy anything, or I am going to find out everything he needs the day before school at his orientation!

Sherry Byrum said...

Oh Sarah, this is a wonderful post! I've been wondering if there might be a child Ron and I could donate supplies for. We don't have children at home anymore. I suppose the best way to find out is contact the school. I really don't know how they address that in my town. I think I'll just find out!

Now I'm off to Renee's blog!
Your are a wonderful soul Sarah!

Barbara said...

Sarah, Great post and wonderful idea. When my kids went to a school where uniforms were mandatory, one of the moms organized a used uniforms sale at the beginning of each year. They grow so fast and the uniforms were so expensive. It was a huge success and happened every year. People donated their old things or traded up to new sizes whichever they needed. Whichever way it happens, thinking about those who really are struggling now is a good thing. Thanks for the nudge.
Hugs, Barbara

Dede said...

Thank you Sarah for all that you do and continue to do! You are a blessing!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Such a great post and one from the heart. I know I have been in those shoes as have my children. Not wanting to stand out the first week of school was crucial to them...set their little minds to rest to learn and not be branded. Our kids also attended a private school where uniforms were mandatory and we did a program similar to what Barbara mentioned. I can't tell you the smiles that were had by both parents & kids. What goes around will come around...a great philosophy to live by. Always enjoy quilting with you, dear Sarah!

clairedulalune said...

This post lifted my heart when I read this. You are so thoughtful. My dad brought us all up and it may seem like a little thing, but you always remember that feeling of standing out. Thank you. Now, pass me one of those maples with icing please, ohh, I'm getting a bit teary and it is the only thing that will do! Alright, a piece of water melon too.

Renee said...


I have been waiting for the horse and cart for over an hour.

How come you can't walk over, is that because Jim has been putting you through basic training?

Love you.

Renee xoxo

Christine said...

Everyone needs help of some kind now and then. Thanks for the reminder to give our best!

I've caught up on your posts and enjoyed each one. I'm soooo glad the wedding is over and turned out great!


Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Yup, this one hits close to home. I only have one child, but he is going to a school in another part of town this year, and there is no bus. So, part of our back-to-school shopping included buying a second car! And honestly, it was time to get another car, but it was hard to wrap our minds around it, and I'm still not entirely sure how we're going to make the payments, but we'll manage. I am SO grateful that he gets to attend this school -- the universe always provides what we need. I've already donated some school supplies to our local drive, but I think I'll be getting some more.... Thanks for the suggestion! Namaste.qq

Renee said...

Soup is on so come and get it. Tell Jim to come too.

Just grab the bread from my side door and bring it on your way in.

Love Renee xoxo