Jude Landry Store

Monday, January 31, 2011

Meet Jill.

She's pretty funny. As you can see.

She calls me Alisha Pie, or Pie for short. I like that.
And I like her a lot, too. She was one of my roommates in college (shout-out to Sara, too!) and a bridesmaid in my wedding. 

You probably have a friend like her. You know - one that you can call up after it's been way too long and talk like you saw them yesterday. One that you can borrow clothes from. One that people ask, "Are y'all sisters?" whenever you're out. One that you can pray with, have long talks with, and cry with. One that fasts with you for forty days (long story) and then at midnight on the last night you binge eat with. What? You don't have anyone in your life that you did that with? Oh. 

Well, Jill (I really like to call her Jeej, but she doesn't like that), this little tribute is not just to tell people about your new Etsy store online right here (that's right, go check it out everyone!), it's to tell people about how awesome you are and how blessed I am to have spent such a pivotal time in my life with you. Thank you for teaching me so much about myself and for letting me learn from you!

So, Jill, for all the trips to Salvation Army, 
all the Papa John's bacon pizzas we shared, 
all the space you gave me in the pew at Common Ground, 
all the nights I was actually in bed by 9pm, 
all the "What happened to Y2K?" buttons we made,
all the trips to Monroe,
all the 25¢ cones from Sonic,
all the times we watched The Wedding Singer, 
all the chocolate milks we consumed,
all the times we listened to Shane&Shane or Jolly Napier,
Thank You!

But seriously people, go check out her store because she makes amazing stuff!

And if you find them, I want those shorts back...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snake Tutorial

I've had a few people ask me to do a tutorial (I don't know why, they sew better than I do...) on the snake I made. For whatever reason, probably yet another lesson in humility and patience (which coordinates nicely with today's Mass readings), my machine was really finicky. But I'll take you all the way through, mistakes and all, so you can see how I salvaged it.

Start with cutting 3"x5" (roughly) scraps of old t-shirt or jersey fabric. I think I used 7 or 8 different colors and I cut out 4 scraps of each color.

I create a pattern that I like and separate the scraps into two piles that will end up being two long panels sewn together. And I always start with a cola. Every good project does.

Using a regular straight stitch, sew two scraps together on one end. 

Open that up so that the seam is down on the table. Grab the next color and place it on top of the second scrap. Sew another stitch along the outer edge, open it up and repeat the process until you make one long panel to your desired length.

Then do it again to create 2 long panels.

Lay the panels on top of each other, making sure that you can see the rough edges of both sides. I loosely pin them together, marking where the shorter scrap's edge is.

Use chalk to outline the snake's body and sew the two panels together, making sure to leave the mouth part open.

I've recently been introduced to the stretch stitch on my machine that I used for the t-shirt scarves, and I'm obsessed. It seems to be more forgiving and allows the fabric to stretch (obviously) better. But you could probably just use the normal stitch the whole time.

Cut out the edges of the snake so it's easier to turn right side up and keep the scraps for the tongue and eyes. Leave extra fabric by the mouth so that you can fold it in and sew the seam closed.

Turn it right side up and stuff it with batting. I just got the cheapest thing they had at Wal-Mart. I like my snakes stuffed loosely so that they bend and move easily.

Ok, here's where it turned sour. I folded the mouth in and placed the tongue where I wanted it and used pins to keep it all in place. Then, using the stretch stitch, I tried to sew it shut.

The machine freaked out and left me with a wad of thread underneath the mouth and all tangled up in the bobbin area.

Sooo, I cut off what I could from underneath and went back to a normal stitch length.

And after trying again, my seam was all over the place. 

So I just ran with that. I kept going over the same areas a bunch to create a thicker seam so that my mistakes would be less noticeable. And the great thing about jersey is it doesn't fray, so I just cut off what I wanted - carefully cutting around the tongue and it came out fine.

Then I folded up pieces of scraps for the eyes and hand stitched them in using some thicker denim thread (but you could use whatever), then trimmed off what I didn't want.

I knotted him up, slapped on a little snake tag that Joan helped me with and he's ready for Oliver's birthday party next week. I think next time I'll do what I did before and use dark thread the whole time because after the stuffing, a bit of the white thread peeps through in certain spots. But I think he's pretty cute!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

St. Gerard, Pray for me.

So, I mentioned in my last post that I'm not pregnant. Not yet anyways...

And there's a really good discussion going on over at Bonnie's blog that started as a response to my last post about not being ready for another child. You should check it out and read all of the comments.

So, if I'm not pregnant and not ready to be so (I'm trusting that God believes this, too, as my fertility hasn't even returned yet.), why St. Gerard? (other than to freak me out a little...)

Did you know that he was accused (but later cleared) of a really horrible crime, improper relations with a young girl? Nope, I haven't had that happen, but I have been dealt a set of crappy circumstances that most people won't ever have to go through. And like St. Gerard those circumstances are the source of understandable burden and grief.

But unlike St. Gerard, I complain, groan, lament, whine, (and any other word you'd find in the thesaurus for the word grumble), about our plight. And unlike St. Gerard, I defend, explain, justify, excuse, yack, yack, and yack about my reactions to it. In fact, my penance for confession Tuesday was to reread 1 Corinthians 13, a well known passage about love that's easy to gloss over. But the "love... does not brood over injury" part? Well, ouch.

He was silent. He was as Christ was before Pilate. He did not clear his name or refute the accusations. He trusted in God's provision to clear him and his reputation. And if God willed that he die with a tainted name, he was willing to walk that path and do so without complaint, like Christ bore His cross.

For fear of her own judgement at the time of her death, the accuser retracted what she'd said. And this was written about St. Gerard as he heard of his exoneration,

"Gerard himself was the least affected by the news. To quote Tannoia: 'As he had not been cast down by the calumny, so he showed no elation when he saw that his character was cleared.' He took everything—sweet and bitter—from the hands of God, from those hands which, as he put it in his first resolution, "shower down on me the precious gems of the divine will."

Wow. To have this man praying for me in the midst of all of this house stuff, I am so fortunate, so blessed.

St. Gerard's life strikes me profoundly in two ways. First, he carries the burdens of life with a Christ-like strength. And secondly, he worries not what others think of him, even under the worst scrutiny. I am lacking in both of these ways.

I am a wuss. I must ask for the grace and strength to live and move through life's trials in a way that glorifies God and brings encouragement to my neighbor.

And I am overly concerned with how I appear as a Catholic wife, mother, woman. And I want to justify or explain every action I take, to preserve my name. But what name have I, unless given by God Himself? My every action, thought, word, or deed is accountable to Him alone. What a relief! What a challenge!

I believe St. Gerard was chosen for me because, simply, I needed him. Pregnant or not.

St. Gerard, friend and advocate of all, 

yes, even expectant mothers, pray for me. 
Plead to God on my behalf
that He grant me the same grace 
given to you during the darkest moments of your life,
that I may confidently follow the will of God
with joy and peace.
And oh, if I get pregnant, 
please pray for me more.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Can I be honest?

I mentioned in an earlier post that the patron saint chosen for me for 2011 was St. Gerard Majella, widely known as the Saint of Motherhood. But I left a few details out.

You see, he's probably more known for his intercessory work for women trying to conceive, women who are currently pregnant, or women who are in labor (difficult or life-threatening labors included).

I was scared.

I thought it was a sign that I might be pregnant or that I would be getting pregnant this year.

I was scared.

I'm not ready for a pregnancy. I'm not ready for labor. I'm not ready for delivery. I'm not ready for another newborn. I'm not ready. And readiness for me branches off into physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I'm not ready and I don't want God to think that I am.

That's honest.

Now, I know that I can still request prayers from St. Gerard regarding motherhood and look to his life as an example for my own, but come on - the patron of expectant mothers?!

Bonnie had this post about how God set the table for her and prepared her for the birth of James. And when I read it and was given a saint at random a month later, I was scared. (Which had little to do with James's difficulties at birth, even a safe and healthy pregnancy/delivery for momma and baby is scary to me right now.)

Do I feel like God is calling us to have another child this year? No. But if He up and decided that this year would be a good one, He would seriously have to set my table a little nicer because I'm not ready to eat that dinner right now. I'm actually still full from the one I just ate.

And because I was a little scared about why St. Gerard was in fact chosen for me (because most of my other friends got saints that I had never even heard of...), I've been searching the web for more clues or answers. And I think I stumbled upon one. (No, I'm not pregnant right now...).

But you'll have to wait for it, because it deserves a little more prayer, discernment, and discretion. Sorry, that's ambiguous, I know.

Now, go eat your dinner.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

From the Archives

I don't like the feeling of my last post hanging over my blog's head (even though it landed me many of your prayers and a night out alone with my hubby!). And because I don't feel like making a new post that says, "Everything's gonna be fine," I will default to my archives and gather some of the cutest footage ever taken.

Do I expect you to watch them all? Maybe not, but they're not really for you. They're for me - to remind me that even though that stupid house has been a nightmare the last 2 years, it was once a source of laughter and cheer, and I'm grateful for the precious moments captured there...

There are 16 videos in all, so you may have to wait for some to load.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If you wanna know, just count...

I'll have had 2 or 3 cokes.
1 hour's worth of crying.
5-6 hours of sleep.
2 helpings of dinner.
Anywhere from 4-10 zits.
5 bursts of I'm done.
4 movies for the girls to watch.
2 baths plus a shower.
4 failed phone calls to "experts."
10 laments, Please, God.
1 smile big enough to hide behind.

Like I said, if you wanna know, just count.
Yes, I'm stressed out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Alisha Thrifty Landry

(Does that make sense? Thrifty is my middle name...)

Being in the financial situation we've been in since, well, August 2009 (you know, having a rent house and a mortgage), we've learned a lot about how to be frugal and creative. I'm really proud of my latest endeavors in thriftiness: giving homemade gifts.

This Christmas we knew we weren't going to be able to buy for everyone - so we made stuff instead. Not only was it cheap, but it was also really gratifying. Even though this year we had significantly less than we've ever had, there was a greater desire to give in us than ever before. I guess generosity really does spring forth from poverty, humility, and simplicity. We only have to look at the lives of the saints and present-day religious to see this. Now, I'm not comparing myself to the saints - God knows I have a long way to go, but at the same time, it's good for me to reflect on the spiritual blessings God's given us during this really tough time, and generosity is one of them.

At the same time, I've really needed to own something, to have my name stamped on it - stay at home moms understand what I'm talking about. I needed a hobby, an interest, something singular to me only - something besides the daily routine. Part of that has been fulfilled in this blog but I also needed something tangible, something to show for. So, I took out my sewing machine. And here's what I've been doing.

I made these pillows for my nieces (but Jude still had to screen print their names for me)

I made several of these scarves for different people, but in different colors. I think the maroon and navy blue one came out the best. (I hope you like it, Kaitlin!) And I got this idea from my friend Lisa - you should check out her blog because she's got fun stuff going on over there, too.

And I particularly love these snakes I made for two of Joan's friends' birthdays.

And here's an illustration of the Nativity and Holy Family that Jude made 
for our parents this Christmas.

Did you know that they're for sale right here? (Hey, just because we're thrifty doesn't mean that we don't enjoy earning an extra buck or two, right?)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Well, this took forever.

Our snow day was this past Monday and I'm just now getting around to putting our pics up from it. We've been really busy here lately, baby showers, annual reports, homemade birthday gifts, in addition to researching our options for dealing with our house in IL. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. It looks like every option is a bad one, and we're just hoping to make the least damaging one. I have felt your prayers at times during this week, and I'm so grateful for your diligence. Thank you and may God send you His peace, too.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011


More news about our house in IL: The tenant wants out because of the mice infestation. Apparently the new extermination is working but the dead mice smell in the walls is too much to bear. Please pray with us,

Lord God, You hear our cries and know our needs, please send us your Spirit this day. May it guide us and lead us to the best possible decisions concerning our house. Send people into our lives that will educate us and advocate for us. Keep us from all evil, especially those wanting to take advantage of our state. We lift this burden up to Your holy Son's cross and may it bring us closer to everlasting life. Amen.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I love being Catholic. Even though I still have a lot to learn about my own faith, I am reminded today on the Feast of Jesus' Baptism that I am part of a beautiful family of believers, united in baptism.

I have really been enjoying our family's celebrations of different feast days - something we've never done before last year. It fills in the gaps where my own spirituality is lacking. I suppose that's why the Church holds such an eventful liturgical calendar filled with celebration and penance, because sometimes (or most of the time) we need guidance in how to spend our time and energy.

Would we ever remember to sacrifice and unite our suffering with Christ if there wasn't a Lent? Or would we remember to prepare and await for Christ's second coming if there wasn't an Advent? Or would we rejoice in Christ's resurrection and the future of our own without an Easter season? I probably wouldn't remember to do so in between my cycles of laundry and grocery shopping.

And that's also the beauty in our traditional prayers (you know what I'm talking about, Our Father who art in Heaven...). They teach us to pray when our own wills aren't able to do so and when I'm so tired of paying bills and cleaning up spit up and I've got no more words left, I'm thankful for a Hail Mary.

And you could say the same for all of the signs and symbols we use, like holy water, oil, the use of color, candles, ashes, palms, the crucifix, images or statues of Mary and the saints - because seeing, touching, smelling, and feeling can only enhance our faith and make it more real for us. Dang. It's pretty great being Catholic.

So, I'm not sure why I went off on such a tangent. But I'm glad I reminded myself of everything from above. I really just wanted to post a video and photo of our kids with their sacramentals and gifts from their baptism while we all renewed our baptismal vows (I found a guide here). First I was going to just light both of their candles but then I found all of their gifts and pictures on the same shelf so I just set it all up and reminded Joan what the different things were (as though I had been planning this for a while). It was a sweet little ceremony and something I look forward to doing again.

May the peace of the Lord be with you always. (And also with me!)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm a simple girl.

I don't need diamonds or fur. Just a good non-stick frying pan. Thank you, Jude, for this birthday gift, I use it everyday. Twice. And I think of you.

 Isn't this omelet just beautiful?

And how about my pair of fried eggs? Yep, two - together!

And speaking of simple girls, all Joan needs is a few bowls, some water, and food coloring to keep her happy.

And Charlotte, well she's finally loving the exersaucer, so I guess she's starting to be easy to please, too. 

And these are just randoms that I want to throw in. Joan actually drew the images on the right after I drew the pictures on the left. It must be in her blood (the part that came from Jude...)

Wondering about Jude? Well if the Saints can't win and STATE can't win, just give him a guys' poker night and he's happy. But I don't think he'd appreciate a photo op right now. That would kind of mess with his mojo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's officially over

Before I begin, thank you for your prayers from yesterday's post. I'm feeling a bit better now and might even have a quick witted post below. 

Am I the only one who still has their tree up? Sure, you can call it lazy if you want, but I think it sounds better if you call it, "living liturgical..."

Honestly, I had no real plans to leave the tree up until the 12th day after Christmas, or traditionally the Feast of the Epiphany, but now that it's still up I can tie its removal in with our other festivities. I know we celebrated it this past Sunday at Mass, but we were still out of town. Today has been a much better day to talk about what the Epiphany is to Joan and though I don't expect her to get everything, I know she's listening - she named the three little pieces of rice on the table "the three wise men" and a bean "baby Jesus."

It's still too complicated to explain the whole revelation of God as man in Christ Jesus to a two year old, so we're sticking with bringing gifts to baby Jesus because He's special...

I kept trying to come up with some sort of tradition for the Epiphany. I know of others who get their little ones another gift or special treat, but I just thought mine didn't really need anything else. So we've decided to have them pick out toys from their own room to donate. This also helped to make room for all of the new toys they got for Christmas through the generosity of our family (so let your hearts be at rest - Charlotte received actual toys this season in addition to the gifts of medicine and teething accessories from us...).

Joan actually had a fun time picking out what was going and she kept saying, "This is for the poor kids..." She coined this phrase when we'd stop to give change to the bell ringers outside of grocery stores. I'm not sure if she really understood that she wasn't getting them back, but she didn't fight me or cry when we dropped them off at the United Way for their disaster relief victims. I was explaining who they were going to and what happened to them and she just kept asking to see the "broken house."

As you can see, she was quite proud to give them away. A nice new little tradition, I think. And yes, even little Charlotte has a pile of donations - it's never too early to be charitable.

And tonight we plan to bless our home using these traditional prayers.

Impressed? Don't be. Half of this was decluttering and laziness (still having the tree up) and the other half was good intentions. But in our two weeks in LA, my enthusiasm for celebrating Advent and Christmas more liturgically faded. I thought with more help with the girls, I might be more inclined to do extra stuff but I ended up being less productive. I still have a stack of Christmas cards that didn't get mailed or handed out... Oh well, I sure enjoyed the break. I'm kind of looking forward to a time when we can just stay at our home and finish our family traditions without interruptions of travel. Come on UL, give Jude a job!

Jesus our Lord, revealer of truth and divinity, we thank you for presenting Yourself to us, both then as a baby and now in the Blessed Sacrament as bread and wine. May these revelations bring us closer to You for all eternity.      Amen.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prayer Request

If you're reading this, will you pray for us?

Finding out that our mortgage and health insurance are both increasing $100 every month is not sitting well with me. Add to it another repair that needs to be made to our house in IL... Anxiety, worry, doubt, frustration, anger, and exhaustion are circling around us and all we long for is peace. Thank you.

On the bright side, because praise God there always is one, Charlotte was good today.

Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress; 
    with grief my eyes are wasted, my soul and body spent.

But I trust in you, Lord; 
    I say, "You are my God." 
My times are in your hands; 
Let your face shine on your servant; 
    save me in your kindness.

Psalm 31:10, 15-17

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Christmas Post

Da da da daaa! Here are the Christmas time photos and videos that you've all been waiting for! We did so much during the last two weeks, so I'll spare you a lengthly post and just get right to the good stuff - I know that's why you check my blog anyway...

These are from our first week in Sulphur which include visits with our friends from college and their adorable children and a Guilbeaux side Christmas party.

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These are from our week in New Iberia which include the LaBauve family Christmas party and impromptu dancing competition, and the Children's Discovery Museum in Lafayette.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer