“A moment lasts all of a second, but the memory lives on forever.”

August and Everything After September 2, 2011

Filed under: Fairchild Family Fun,Jennifer,Jenuine Memories,Tradition — memorykeepersisters @ 5:12 pm

I haven’t written in a while because I have been too darn busy! Which is a shame because I do enjoy detailing the minutia of my everyday life. Let me recap August, I had an awesome birthday celebration with my family in Little Rock, we went to the painted pig, ate at U.S. Pizza, then had a Fairchild Family auto curse, it was great. School started up and I love it. Being a teacher is so rewarding, nothing compares to it.

And then the month of August ended with my church dedication.  My church First Baptist Church of Hicks (Hicks is a community located just outside of Ashdown almost near Wilton, if you aren’t familiar with Ashdown, then none of this makes sense), recently rebuilt our sanctuary. Our preacher no longer has to be blinded by the sun when he preaches.  Our carpeting is no longer blood red, it’s a beautiful blue. Our pews don’t have child scribbles anymore (although I found that cute). Everything is new and wonderful. Its bigger, it looks nice, but best of all, its debt free and in this economy that’s  saying something. I started going to church here in 2007 and it’s been a wonderful experience for me.  I feel a sense of community and family that I haven’t felt in a long time.

My parents didn’t go to church until I was 4. My mother  was invited to church by her supervisor at the Highway Department, Sam Huckabee.  He is still a great example of the Christian faith to me. He went to a church named Oak Grove United Methodist Church in a little community outside of Hope (If you aren’t familiar with Hope, well then…) .  It was a new experience for me. My mother didn’t grow up in the church. She was very well educated in the Bible and went to churches on occasion growing up but my Pepaw and Granny didn’t attend church. When Pepaw was young he was  involved in his Methodist church but something happened and it soured him off organized religion. He read his Bible, he watched preachers on TV and he read from Bible dictionaries and books.  My granny didn’t go to church, her parents were busy with their restaurant and there was no day of rest for her.  In my opinion she was very spiritual. She believed that if you did good things, good things would happen. She often shared with me that God did things that were beyond our understanding and that God had a plan for her and for me.  After we started attending church, my Granny was baptized and later became involved in a Methodist church in Texarkana.

I often think about this, Sam Huckabee’s one act of kindness to my mother saved my entire family.  I was baptized at 5 and later again at 32. My brother and sister were raised in church. My granny was baptized when my little brother was baptized.  My sister was the first baptism in St. John’s United Methodist Church. Our family was able to endure all of the heartache of losing our grandparents, and later our mother because we had faith in God.  And we may have never known this had we never been invited to church.

My preacher Bro.Bobby Fischer made this very clear at our dedication. The church is not the building.  The church is the people. And it doesn’t matter where your church is, or what it looks like. The important thing is that you are a community of believers all striving for the same goal: To bring others to Jesus.  I don’t know what you believe but if you are looking for something to help you and you have tried everything else, look for a church. The people inside aren’t perfect, in fact they are broken just like you and me. And if you find a church that believes in love for  ALL people, then you will have peace.

I hope you had a great August. I can’t believe its September already! Woo Pig Sooie!



Who am I? August 1, 2011

Filed under: A little bit crazy,Jennifer,Jenuine Memories,Tradition — memorykeepersisters @ 5:45 pm

This post is going to be kind of weird….so bear with me.

Sometimes I feel as though I have no ethnic identity. I have no country of origin. My people and me come from nowhere.  Some people have coat of arms in their living room. They wear kiss me “I’m Irish” buttons, they refer to themselves as Dutch. But for me and my family we were just white people.  Maybe it was a failure on my grandparents to educate me. My grandparents did not live in the past. My Pepaw loved new technology and things.  He would try to repair things to save a dime, but if he knew there was something out there better, he wanted to get it. Color tvs, microwaves, and gadgets , he was a big fan of newer and better. He didn’t live in the past. My granny would occasionally talk about the days when her and her parents (she was an only child) were living on the oil field. And she told me she was born in a tent in Oklahoma, but other than that, I have no idea where I am from.

When you grow up in Arkansas, just being from Arkansas is your identity.  Back in the days when the internet was just sprouting, I remember telling people from other countries that I was in Arkansas and immediately they would spout off something along the lines of “you wear shoes?” or “Are you a hill billy?” Arkansan is an ethnic identity in itself and one I have never been ashamed of.  But I wish I were something more. I wish I had special holidays or ate special foods.

When I was younger I wanted to be something more than just a “white person” . I would often look at the stars and pretend that one of them was my true homeland and that someday I would return. But now as an adult, I figure I just might as well create an ethnicity. I don’t plan on having kids, so what if I am a weird old lady who thinks she is from a star.

So I have decided that since my last name is Fairchild, I have British/Anglo-Saxon roots on my father’s side. And on my mother’s side I am Bohemian. I am using that term because one time my mother used it to refer to her favorite Aunt. She said that she was an artist, that she was “Bohemian”.  I think she probably meant “like a hippie” or just an “artistic type” but that image stuck in my mind.(She loved her great-aunt and said I was like her but that is a different post for a different day.)  And my Granny would always say that her parents were “oil field gypsies” before they got into the restaurant biz. So maybe that is what I am!

It would explain a lot! For some reason I am attracted to old things, and I absolutely adore old blankets and all my walls are covered with every type of art imaginable. I love the UK and Liverpool, and Wales, and princes and princesses. And the Beatles! And have you seen my earring collection!  I love cheap jewelry and I can’t resist the dollar store. And gypsy tricks, I have pulled a few. I used to trick my sister into doing housework all the time growing up! So maybe that would also explain some of my recent cards:

Victorian Mixed Media

France Mixed Media Butterflies

I just like the way it looks, old, yet regal.  It reminds me of my mother’s “people”, (a collection of plates featuring the same relaxing couple).  And it reminds me of the elegance of the people of old Britain and France. And its different. And maybe that is what I am Different. Not Caucasian, or Dutch or French or British. Just Different.


Calling all Fans of the Sock Monkey! July 19, 2011

Ok, recently on Facebook and Twitter, I put out a request asking for ideas for adventures for my beloved Sock Monkeys. Let me explain. My shop Jenuine Memories has three monkeys who currently run rampant in my shop. They wreak havock and have tons of awesome adventures. So far Reginald, Eduardo and Jim have had an awesome summer. Reginald got his degree in Experimental Philosophy. He plans on being a waiter for a few years, backpacking throughout Arkansas and perhaps getting his Masters. He’s well educated and just a bit stuffy. Eduardo, is everyone’s Latin Lover. He enjoys grilling, dressing up in outfits, and dancing. His accent is amazing and when he is around the party can be found. Jim Sockmonkey is like a member of the family. He is reliable, dependable, remembers birthdays, Christmases and Father’s Day. He likes the grill too, but dressing up in funny outfits just isn’t his style. He’s well educated, but not the least bit stuffy. All three got to go the Etsy Little Rock craft fair and enjoyed all the attention!

Jim Sockmonkey!

Reginald Sockmonkey!

I am looking for adventures for the three and perhaps some girls to join the monkeys on their escapades. So far I have two excellent ideas for adventures. One submitted by my friend Rose Marie is to have Sock Monkey see a real monkey. Not only would this have funny repurcussions but also think of the self-reflection that Sock Monkey would have. Seeing his mortal likeness. I think I may make this into a serious card. And another great idea submitted by my friend Dillon Hamm is to have the monkeys rescue the ShoeLion. I am still debating if that is a lion wearing shoes or a lion made of shoes. I still need more ideas so keep em coming!

Etsy Craft Fair Fun!! July 14, 2011

Filed under: A little bit crazy,Fun with friends,Jennifer,Jenuine Memories,Style — memorykeepersisters @ 6:05 pm

I meant to write this sooner, but, I have been extremely lazy. That is the story of my life.

I had an awesome time at the Etsy Little Rock Indie Arts and Music Fesitval. It was so much fun. I had heard about the event in the planning stages, in May and I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. I was extremely nervous in the weeks leading up to it. I kept making cards at my normal pace and I worried that people would not be receptive to my cards, or would worse, think I was insane.  But as the weeks went by, I became more comfortable with the thought of sharing my work in person. Truth be told, its easy to share work on the internet. The person doesn’t have to look at me, also they don’t get the chance to judge me and my artwork at the same time. I am 36 years old, I look like a little old lady school teacher, but inside I feel 20ish and I am an artist making art, not a crafter making crafts. And I know that my work is not the same as the other “artists” there. But to me it is art, so I worried that people would look at me, see old lady school teacher and wouldn’t see artist. But I did get more comfortable with everyone, I didn’t feel that the Etsy Little Rock group were as judgmental as I was being to myself.  Especially since I was receiving updating emails,I felt like I knew the people I would be around, so I got less fearful.  I over prepared, and got everything ready in my home. Almost the same way I prepare at work. I had each scenario planned for and ready to go (or so I thought). By Saturday, I was in a calm space and was ready to share my art.

Little did I know that I passed all my worry on to Jo. She was more nervous than me!  Sure enough as I was meeting the people that I only saw online, I realized that they were very kind and very sweet. I am used to being in the public selling cakes and raising money so talking to strangers is not as scary as talking to other artists, but I felt that I did okay. I was seated next to Tea Party Whimsy and across from Little Anu and The Autumn Rose.     I was very surprised at the level of artistry of their products and how much they respected their work. It was a great experience.

As people came in I was able to tell them about the adventures of my Sock Monkeys and show them my robot and owl cards. A lot of interest was shown to my French cards and I plan on making more of those in different styles and putting them online.  I was surprised at how many people actually bought my cards and I hope that they are able to mail them off to their family and friends. I am willing to sell in public again, but I am going to wait until the weather is cooler!]

Our Brother Jamie and his wife Brandi came to visit!

So did the delightful Mrs. Rachael Swaty!

I could write an entire blog post about the heat and how much I sweated on that day. I truly believe I lost about 10lbs of sweat and I took a long shower when I got back to Jodie’s but I since I felt wet all day, it was just water onto water! It was so gross.

But let me tell you, I could not have done any of this without my sister. She supported me mentally in the weeks leading up to the event. She drove me by the Town Pump so I could get an idea of the space. She loaded up her car with all my stuff. She helped me set it out and sat with me in the heat. She was a great cheerleader and without her I would not have been able to do any of my art or sell it out there. I am so blessed to have her as my sister and my friend.


Ode to Daddy June 19, 2011

Filed under: Fairchild Family Fun,Jennifer,Jodie,Tradition — memorykeepersisters @ 1:56 am

It’s Father’s day and like I tell everyone, my dad is pretty awesome.  While most folks out there are buying their dad monstrous hardware like drills and hammers, or letting their dad lounge on the couch and drink beer, our dad is content just being with us. Not to say we didn’t get him ANYTHING but, our dad has always been our Dad. Our dad never went out with the guys or spent early mornings in deer stands. Our dad put his family first. Our dad didn’t spend evenings working late in the office. Our dad worked hard, but he also worked hard to get home and stay with us. Not that we appreciated it at the time. We were typical kids. Looking back though, I realize what a sacrifice he made to take care of us and to make sure that we had everything that we needed, and wanted for that matter. Our dad spoiled us rotten!!!  (And he still does) Here is my list of ways that dad spoiled me (This is not an exhaustive list, that would fill a book here are just a few ways):

1. Susprise

2. Laundry (well into my mid twenties and out of college)

3.  Driving to Arkadelphia to fix my “broken” car, (out of gas)

4. Making another trip to Arkadelphia to fix my “broken” car (parked on slope)

5. Cleaning my room for most of the time that I lived at home.

Happy Father’s day Daddy, I hope you know that we love and appreciate you! -Jen

“Pop”, “Poppa Diddy Pop”, and “Daddy”. I have many nicknames for my father but as of late I am able to add “biggest supporter” and “greatest fan”. Being the baby of the family has its perks and just like Big Sister, I too, have a list of ways my dad has spoiled me:

1.Susprises. For those of you that aren’t aware, a “susprise” is something you get from the store that wasn’t on the original list. It’s a special treat, it’s a susprise!

2. I swear I didn’t clean my own room until I was in high school. It was awesome!

3. Getting to call him and say “hey, my car makes a “wherrush roorrrhhh” noise, what is it and can you fix it?” and he always knows and helps me fix it!

4. I come home to visit at least once  a month and it’s great because I know that at least one morning, if not both, I get to wake up to a home made breakfast. (the older two don’t get to experience this often so I rub it in as much as I can!)

5. Showing me his humor. It may seem strange to read that as something he has done to “spoil” me but he is a funny guy and it’s great to joke around with him.

Happy Fathers day big guy! We love you!!




Ode to Bubba June 6, 2011

Some children are born into families and can’t recall a time of ever being truly alone. Older brothers and sisters were a routine pest and a necessary bane to existence. Some born so close together they scarce can remember the days of solitude or life without their kindred souls.  Not for me though, I was almost seven before my baby brother entered my life.  And life hasn’t been the same ever and I am truly grateful for that.

Now at 6, I was blessed to not know the mechanics of how my brother got into my mother’s belly. But I knew enough to know that it was a magical time. In October of 1981, we went to Shreveport’s Red River Revel, an annual arts and crafts fair and in a pharmacy there my mother purchased a pregnancy kit. The November before a couple in my church and close friends of my parents (Bryon and Janice Mann) had a baby boy. And my dad told my mother in church that he wanted one of those. So just like any other toy or thing that I wanted I assumed my parents went and got him for me.  So I announced to the entire first grade the Monday after that weekend that my parents went to Shreveport and got me a baby brother.

I think I must have tormented my poor first grade teacher and looking back I now realize why she kept telling me not to declare that I was having a brother, that it easily could be a sister. And that my brother would be born in the summer and NOT anytime soon. Although I was insistent from October on that it would be just any day now and I would not be an only child. And that no matter what anyone said, I was having a brother. At my mother’s shower I recall telling people that we would have no need for anything pink.  “Just throw it in the trash mama! You are having a boy!”

Jamie’s due date was June 4. His name was Jamie, you would think short for James,  but nope! He was named after Jamie Frame, a very handsome character from the soap opera Another World. From the end of May until June 3, I watched Jamie Frame and mother’s swollen belly hoping soon that at least one Jamie would be in my house.  And on June 3 we ate Mexican food and drove over every railroad track in town. After all we were hoping that he would arrive on time.

The Fairchild Kids, September 1988

Sure enough I can remember this as plain as if it were yesterday and not 29 years ago. The next day Mama was straightening the bed in the bedroom and I was getting ready to ride with Ms. Dena to go to Vacation Bible school. Mama told me that today was the day I would be getting a baby brother and sure enough I did.  He was one of the best presents my parents ever gave me.  After that day I was never alone. I had someone out there to be my little brother. Someone for me to love, protect and care for. He grew up to be one of the few people that I can honestly trust.  He’s not my baby anymore, he’s got his own life and wife now. But secretly I am hoping soon that maybe they will head to Shreveport, and get me a niece or nephew.  Come on, I am not getting any younger!


Being the youngest of three children, I can truly say I was blessed with two siblings that I could look up to. Most of my childhood was spent acting like a tough little tomboy because I wanted to be just like my big brother. I spent hours on my bike riding around with Jamie and his friends and I loved every minute of it. Even as we grew older, I still found myself emulating my older brother; he’s funny and smart and genuinely one of the nicest people i’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  On Saturday we had a birthday cookout at his house and looking around the table seeing his friends and family and his beautiful home and wife, I couldn’t be more proud of him. Love you bubba! Happy Birthday!



Trend Alert! May 31, 2011

Filed under: A little bit crazy,Jennifer,Jenuine Memories,Style — memorykeepersisters @ 6:41 pm

Now, I am not saying that I am wearing big glasses and wearing bell bottoms, but…I am not very trendy. But for a time there, I was very cutting edge. And that time, was by pure accident. You see it was the 1990’s and a new wave of fashion was sweeping the nation. It was born in the cold wet of Seattle and slowly it made its way to Arkansas. It was “Grunge”.  And I was great at grunge.

I was never good at teasing my hair up into the Aqua net crimps of the latest 80’s styles or wearing hot pink make up and painting my fingernails. But crawling out of bed, and throwing on a flannel shirt and a tee, that was my style.  I am not about to lay claim to being the first grunge person in Hope, Arkansas. But I have to admit, I was pretty good at it. I perfected the look by wearing floppy old shoes, knock off Converses, blue jeans that were a little baggy, and t-shirts that really showed my  “I don’t care” attitude. Boys clothes had more room for my bulging body.  Apathy and a total disregard for anyone authority or otherwise, you can place a big check mark on that too.

But one trend I think I did start, maybe not, but people sure started copying me, was carrying around old toys as a fashion statement. I bought myself a Thomas the Tank portfolio as a joke (portfolio meaning something one might keep in a Trapper Keeper, yes I am THAT old) and I carried it around with me. I then started carrying around an old lunch box to keep my pencils in and to double as a purse. I also used little kid pencils and erasers, wore little kids socks, and pretty soon, other people started doing that. By the time I got to college in 93, people were dressing like little kids, carrying around toy back packs, and being just plain weird.  It was a great time for me. For once I was in style.

Then everything started to change and I couldn’t keep up anymore. I had to get a “real” job, I had to start resembling an adult. Now, I dress for comfort. I try not to look too old, but honestly if I do, I don’t care. That is one of the great things about sliding head first out of your 30s and into your 40s. You don’t have to be trendy unless you want to.  Personally I can’t stand women who try to dress like their daughters, its just silly. I feel so sorry for the daughters in that situation too. It’s just weird.

When it comes to my “art” I try to be myself and experiment. But I recently read a trend report that said the two hottest colors in paper crafts were gray and yellow, and the new hottest motif was bicycles. So I thought I would make a card using those colors and just see what people thought of it. If it was cool or hip, so be it.  Here’s a look at it: