Tag Archive: blankets

While doing my morning skim of newspaper headlines and reading of any stories on interest, chances are I am going to be sucked into links of other stories.

One day last week I clicked onto Hospital Gives Newborns Handmade Blankets – Made by Prisoners! written by a Mary Fisher. The writer wanted to let us know that she felt this was the most disgusting idea to ever be hatched.

Imagine having prisoners do something useful, productive, that could benefit the community. This writer could only think in terms of how this was disgusting.

   “How cute and sweet do those blankets sound now? The idea of    wrapping your perfect little bundle of joy in something that   was created by a criminal is incredibly creepy. Newborn babies are the epitome of innocence, so the fact that they are being given something that was touched by prison inmates really kind of contradicts the whole birth experience.”

That’s right, we can rehabilitate those prisoners just so long as it never touches anyone. What about when Martha Stewart came out of her prison experience with a poncho made by a fellow prisoner? That set off a crafting craze as people wanted the pattern and exact yarn used to make Martha’s exit-wear.

So these prison inmates are crocheting blankets and hats and other items for newborns. Some of these families receiving these items may have nothing at all, others might be well equipped for a new baby. But learning a craft helps give a person focus. Combine that with knowing that the items are going to real people who will appreciate the items.

If that is not a powerful feeling for a person, I do not know what is.

According to The Republic  newspaper of Columbus, Indiana, there is one person to thank. Sister Dorothy Rasche of Connecting Link in West Terre Haute saw a need and was able to get donations of yarn to make the program possible. Some of the inmates are in for life while others have a limited sentence. I can only imagine what learning a simple craft can mean to someone. I cannot imagine how someone cannot see the good in it.

So I am wondering if Sister Dorothy needs more yarn for the project? I realize that there will always be people like Mary Fisher who sees this program as unseemly. But Jesus taught us that the least will be first and the first will be least. How wonderful that people who are the least in our society can help others.

How do you feel about a prison inmate making blankets, hats and toys for newborns?


Making the Trip Bearable

Our family just got back from going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  It was a 450-mile trip in our small sedan with three kids in the back seat.

 You can ask if we are crazy, you can wonder how much alcohol was consumed by the end of the trip. But as a parent who has done this many times over the years, I can tell you there are a few tricks to get this mode of transportation with kids to be successful.

Picture by Bethliebee

 1. Always have an activity bag with books and toys for each kid. Double check it to make sure the items are good for the car. My oldest plays his game boy, the youngest has stuffed animals and action figures. My daughter likes to read.

2. Bring along blankets for sleeping. I have a large number of baby quilts and those are the best size for in the car. You can always roll them up to be a pillow if the car is too warm to use a blanket.

 3. Have songs in your head when things are looking a little dicey. We were singing Christmas carols and Frère Jacques on the way down. At some point I had to ban Jingle Bells after the millionth time but the point is we focus on something besides the overwhelming length of the drive.

 4. Be ready with an “ABC” game of some sort. Maybe it is naming what you see or saying a word that starts with that letter or coming up with a word starting with the last letter of the last word said (i.e. “elephant” leads to “train”). This took up 30 minutes driving through one big town. The “last letter” game is a good one to play when it is dark out and the sites cannot be seen as readily.

 5. Have a kid-friendly restaurant planned for one stop. If you are driving several hours as we did, one blessing can be that fast food place that is a little different or has a play area. This time around we hit Cozy Drive-In that is located in Springfield, Illinois. They state they invented the corn dog. I can attest that the cozy dogs and hamburgers are very tasty. So was the bottled Route 66 Root beer.

Picture by Karpati

6. You might have to make other rest stops along the way. Pack in a Frisbee or, if you have space, a soccer ball or football. These are good ways to stretch those muscles and work off excess energy.

This is what works for my family. What works for yours?