Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Asking God...

We don't always see where God is "going" when He plops circumstances into our lives. I am never quite sure why He can't orchestrate the day's happenings so that the phone doesn't ring at the same time that I am fishing a "blanky" out of the toilet which was dropped there when the dog barked because the UPS guy was delivering a package that had to be signed for...ALL while my original intent in opening the bathroom door was so that I could USE the bathroom! Sometimes I just KNOW, my God has a HUGE sense of humor. I can't explain my passion for Cancer Kids...I can much more easily explain Mimi's, Haley's, and Peggy's. All I know is that God is laying BIG things on my heart and I pray He is SURE I am the one He wants to do this because it is growing every single day! The cards are selling on CafePress, the NAMESAKES sold amazingly well and in our drive to the airport, Mimi and I had a thousand other ideas. Things that we will need a TEAM to do. You are my team! Heather and Marcy have offered to sell some of their wares on my NEW website/blog (which still needs a DESIGNER! I may be artistic but I cannot "HTML" to save my life!) and donate 50% of their proceeds to the kids! On the way to the airport the Heavens opened and DUMPED a plethora of ideas right into my van! Mimi and I were struggling to not interrupt each other as the ideas were flowing from our mouths like .... um, ideas flowing from our mouths! You thought I was going to say, "vomit!" I was telling her about a book I had written long before I met her or had a blog that is called, "Look What We Can Do..." and is a craft book for kids that shows them how to put their creativity to work and blessing those around them with it. A Philanthropy 101 course for the creative child, if you will. The second part of that series is called, "...When We Put Our Heads Together!" and would be vignettes of the children/scouting groups/schools that used the book to raise money for someone in their community or for a larger organization. Problem is...publishers and agents tell me that because there isn't a "philanthropic" shelf in most children's sections of the big book stores, they do not think it would sell well. I NEED A PUBLISHER FOR THIS PROJECT! Mimi and I were also talking about designing a line of ChemoPals...small beanie-type boy and girl dolls that would accompany children to treatments. The doll would have various hairstyles and colors to match any child but would be removable. The top of the head would turn inside out to reveal a bald head while the child goes through treatment. And it would have a velcro closure that could be reversed to show hair again as the child's hair grows back after treatment. We were thinking that the nurses could poke and prod the ChemoPal as well, to give the child a partner when most feel very alone. Christie, Mikayla VanWey's mom from the carepages said Mikayla asked her at bedtime, "Mommy, when you were 4 and had cancer did you have to take chemo?" It's all they know and it breaks my heart! Mimi has a passion for having pre-packed backpacks for the hospitals to give out when what started as an appointment for testing turns into an immediate and lengthy hospital stay. There would be a change of clothes for a parent, magazine, toiletries to get you through a couple days and some miscellaneous items that would help a scared child's mom not HAVE to leave his side during the scariest time of his life! And - eBay (it's where it all started!!) I currently have an auction of a NAMESAKE that I am hoping will make TONS of $$ because I am donating 100% of the proceeds for this one!! Of course, children's book ideas pop into my head throughout the day but lately I have had images of Julian, Coleman, Bailey, Mikayla, Haley and many others being the subjects of these books. I was thinking about going the self-publishing route and having these kids (ANY kids) tell THEIR story and illustrate it as a means to heal but also to share their story with someone who is about to jump into the same boat. Can you just imagine the stories that are hidden inside these babies? (Sorry, Hales, you are not a baby!) Just imagine the lives they could touch with their words and their pictures. The cancer cards will continue to be a focus as I have talked with some cancer moms who are willing to share their child's artwork with me as the designs and the child's photo and type of cancer on the back. Haley and Mimi continue to help me come up with phrasing ideas for things that NEED to be said but no card company has had the nerve to print. I have been working my artwork into some chemo cards as well. The philanthropic gene must run in the family because as Mimi packed up her stuff this morning and the little ones played, I got my big kids breakfast on the table and my oldest's mind was obviously elsewhere as he sat writing on a piece of notebook paper. "Whatcha doin', bud?" I asked. He said, "Making an order form." "For what?" "I am going to ask Mimi if I can sell Juju's bracelets here and send her the orders." I am one PROUD MAMA! I ask that you PLEASE fwd this post to everyone you know. Those of you with blogs, I ask that you link back to it. I ask that you spread the word like wildfire so that God can orchestrate this new venture through you by making some that we could not make alone. Pray for 4 the kids! It is exploding and Mimi and I will never sleep again if we have to do it all by ourselves!! Give us a Hip Hip Hooray in the comments as we are feeling a bit overwhelmed. I feel blessed by your readership!

21 comments:

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i looked and double looked and i dont see the link... Count me in ... some how some way as I too want to do something but am not sure yet where I am being led.
hugs and prayers
Laura

Anonymous said...

Yeah I am so excited for you! I can't wait to see this all enfold.

I want to tell you how proud of you I am! I feel that God gives us all talents to use and not to waste, I'm so very happy that you have found yours.

I'm still trying to drum up the courage for what I feel is my talents that God gave me. Taking care of elderly people seems to be my passion. One of these days I will put that talent to good use.

Lori H

Peggy said...

Oh you and Mimi brainstorming- wish I could have had an audio of that! TWO CREATIVE MASTERMINDS being led by the man upstairs...Poof* magical!

You know I will help in ANY way I can, as this is a passion I share- completely, Michelle.

Your story of your son making an order form melted my heart...yes, BE PROUD of him, what a caring boy, and a gift to your mommy heart!

Okay, I will be working at ideas here on my end. THANK YOU Michelle for giving YOUR talent, YOUR soul to the cause. Looking at sweet Julian's face to the side here- how could people NOT want to help?
This monster needs to be destroyed! I'm willing to be there on the lines with you all, so count me in!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

ok come see its up but i am not positive how to link it to you so I put your url in the title spot...
lemmie know what you think or if you know another way :D

Christina said...

I will help in anyway I can..you just let me know what you need me to do :)

Christie said...

I would love to help any way I can. So many ideas, you are amazing.

Your son is great too, but I can see where he gets it. He learned it by watching you!

Let me know what I can do.

Christie VanWey

Becca "Gatermom" said...

So I am now a big fan (thanks to Dawn and Mimi) and wanted to let you know that I blogged about you and the girls today (Lessons from My Lemons: http://lessonsfrommylemons.blogspot.com/).

Love what you are doing... Keep it up!

Manic Mom said...

You guys are soooo amazing!!!!

Remind me again next week after this upcoming contest and I will post about it and your artwork!!!

I CAN TOTALLY ENVISION THE DOLLS!

Julie said...

I'm in, and will help however I can. I'll put a link on my post as well.

Let me know what else I can do to help.

Also, I would like to order at least 2, maybe 4 Namesakes the next time you have a sale on them, I just didn't have the extra $$ lying around this time. :-(

Debbie Yost said...

My head is spinning just reading all that! I actually will have a link to you in my post for tomorrow so I hope you will drop by because I will have a little something extra for you.

On the dolls, do you remember those dolls that had a head on both ends? The had a long skirt and that covered up on end and then you flipped it over for another doll. Does that make sense? You could have one head with hair and one without. Just another thought on another version.

Alabaster Weathergirl said...

Again, you ladies have amazed me! What awesome ideas!!

Michelle, I have been wanting to get more involved with helping kids with cancer. In just 4 months, we will be having our 3rd child and I will be staying home with them, going back to school after Christmas to get my RN. Please, let me know what I can do to help.
I was so touched by Mimi's family and Julian, Coleman, John Eric and sweet Haley that I understand the passion you have. Email me if you will. weathergirl1@gmail.com
Stephanie Honeycutt

AlaneM said...

Michelle I love your ideas...God gave you a gift girl & it's inspiring to see you using it! The dolls sound so sweet, I think the kids would appriciate them so much. I wish I had a way to help you...but I can blog & I'll do that in the next day or 2 & link to you. And I'm interested in that graphic but I'm not sure how to put it on my blog...would that be just one of those HTML copy/paste things?
Anyway...you are awesome!!

Shellie said...

This is so great, Michelle, i am excited! I know just how it feels when you are being guided to do something. I told Mimi that I felt that God must be guiding her and Ken to do something with all this and it is exciting to see things starting to happen. I love the dolls and backpacks ideas! You know, when my boy went to the hospital for an operation, they gave him a blank doll out of a burlap like material with a gown. They were made by youth volunteers but it didn't have much personality. He absolutely adored Spiderman at the time, so I painted it with fabric paint to be Spiderman. He loved having Spiderman go through the whole stay with him. What about having either doll kits for crafty kids or parents or customizing even further than just matching hair and eye color for those who want to order something special? I think maybe the self publishing thing is a great idea, as well as the auctions to raise funds for everything. I'd love to help in whatever way I can. I finally figured out how to do the link so it is up on my blog. E-mail me if there is anything else I can do for you. I feel like the blog and the people I am meeting through it are for a reason, or more than one reason, truly and I just don't know what exactly all of the reasons are yet, so maybe at some point I will fit into this design to help these kids.

The Journey Begins Here said...

Hey Michelle,
The backpack and doll idea is fantastic. I have something from the ACS that can be implemented in to your school. You can customize it so it will go to another charity if you like (brain tumors). Just email me and I'll send you the package. We have a saying over here at fundraising central "Work smart not hard". I love your ideas and will definitely refer people back to you on my blog.
I am glad you and Mimi had a great visit.
Love you, Theresa

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

Love the ideas....keep em' flowing your minds work JUST like mine. All the time and at random intervals. I am thinking Haley's Cancer Sucks and High Five...Your Alive wording would make fabulous card text. I LOVE the ideas about the ChemoPals dolls. That is AWESOME, I see BIG THINGS for this one. I also have two friends with little one's who have/had cancer who I am sure would love to tell their story for your book. I just know the Lord is going to honor your dedication and zeal for helping out cancer kids. Don't stop. Keep on cranking out the ideas. I know your readership is going to strike a cord with the right publisher, etc....someone who can be your go to guy or gal. In the meantime, I'm thinking up a really cool necklace that I will contribute to the cause. 100% of the profits can go to your cause. I mean this one will be big, HUGE. Something you've not seen before from me. Stay tuned....already have the idea wheels turning. Love you all and know that God is smiling down upon us. JuJu too. Heather

I am Heather...creator of all things crafty! said...

I have a chemopals idea for you. I'll email ya.

Michelle said...

Love the ideas! You and Mimi have a terrific thing going! Keep it up!

I've got an idea for your book problem...I'm emailing it for you to check out.

Karen said...

I've been following your cookie crumbs for the last couple of weeks.

Did someone say they need a designer? Designer?

How does FREE sound? That's my offer. Up to you.

Anonymous said...

IF YOU POST YOUR EMAIL I CAN DESIGN YOUR WEB PAGE...FREE EVEN

LB

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle (by the way love the name), I found your site from Dawn's. I have tears in my eyes now. I wish I could give you and Dawn big hugs. My now 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was just three years old. I also had a 15 month old and 3 week old at home (three other children but they were for the most part grown and out of the house). Ours lives changed in an instant when we heard those horriable words "your child has cancer!!!!!!!" Needless to say we will never be the same. I thank God that my daughter is a long term survivor. Many others (like MeMe) are not as lucky. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bring awareness to childhood cancer.

Mom to 6 kids, Elizabeth is my hero.

www.caringbridge.org/al/elizabethhope

Deb said...

Michelle - I have followed carepages for three years now. Ever since my friend had pancreatic cancer. Thought about Chemo Pals... I sew you design I would be happy to try creating some chemo pals for you if you could design say a boy model and a girl model. The velcro idea is good but typically all hair doesn't fall out at the same time so I can see velcro dots so the hair comes off in places and then I can see the inside out be bald. Just a few ideas. Size wise I can see them about the size of Bunny Foo Foo (Coleman's friend). I think you know who I mean if not Mimi will. From I care too.