Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Honey for a Chid's Heart

"Oh, the beauty and mystery of words! What richness can be conveyed by those who master them!" 

     I love this quote from this book.  I love words too and reading.  I love learning and trying new crafts.  I also love bible studies and being in the Word of God.  I have always wanted to be a writer of amazing words that communicated meaningfully with others.  Mostly, I believe, my words come out a bit jumbled and simple, definitely not worth quoting.  The author of this book, however, is defiantly worthy of quoting and remembering.  I highlighted something on almost every page of this book!  

     This book promotes family reading time and is full of great reading lists.  Board books, early childhood books, Special Occasions, Christianity, poetry, and young adult are just a sample of that list. We need to make time for what is most important in our life, and that is our children, and what better way to show them their importance to us than to read to them.  Parents are the ones who decide the quality of family life their children will have and they decide how much time to invest into their literary world.  There are lots of pressures on parents to be able to provide everything for their children these days and our culture has a lot of influence on the choices we parents make.  But all parents must make that choice on how to raise their children and decide what is best.

"What I am saying is simply this: As parents we are concerned about building whole people--people who are alive emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.  The instruction to train up a child in the way he should go has enormous dimensions. It is to teach a child to think, to influence character, to give high ideals, and to encourage integrity.  It is to proved largeness of thought, creative thinking, imaginative wondering. How large are your goals for your children? Why have a small world when you can walk with God into the larger place that is his domain."  

     The question about how large my goals are for my children really made me think.  How about you? This whole book was very thought provoking for me.  It had me contemplating the types of books we choose to read to our kids every night.  It had me contemplating the books read in school.  There is an amazing world of reading out there and I was beginning to realize we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg.  For example, why do we choose to read the Disney version of Little Mermaid when the original version is so much better?  We read the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson as soon as I found it on my ipad.  There weren't a lot of pictures, but the imagery from the words was breathtaking. We didn't need pictures.  And the story was so much more than Disney ever offered. 

"Underlying all of this discussion is my thesis that parents who read widely together with their children are going to be those who most influence their children, who have the largest worldview, who have an uncommon delight in what is good and true and beautiful--and an uncommon commitment to it. Sharing and feeling and talking together will come naturally. Books shared with each other provide that kind of climate. "

     I hope you get a chance to read this book. If you need a good list of literature for your kids it is a good reference to turn to. I also hope this makes you think, like it did for me, about reading widely together with your children.

(All quotes are by Gladys Hunt from this book)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Old Winter Pants Turned Into New Spring Skirt

     I went through all of my daughters clothes a few weeks ago to bring out the summer stuff and put away the winter.  Quite a few of their pants were full of holes like this one.  They still fit in the waist, but look terrible in the knees.  I thought this year I will try making them into skirts.  And I did it!  It was so easy. Just cut the pants below the pockets and then cut the seems in between the legs.  Use the material from the leg to fill in the open triangle.  Then make some ruffles and add them to the bottom of the skirt.  I added some flowers to dress it up a bit.  Took maybe an hour.  The hardest part was hand sewing the flowers on.

     Earlier this week my daughter, Haley, picked this book out at the library called, "Super Simple Art to Wear."  

     She really wanted to make everything in the book and I agreed if we could go over some of the steps a few times for one of the projects we would make it.  She picked out the felt purse project.  Here are their purses, both of my daughters made one.  We did have to buy the felt and felt glue, but had the ribbon and velcro.  Everything is just glued together so they were both able to do most of this project on their own. However, I don't know how long these purses will last and I may have to go back and sew everything together.  This is a great book and all the crafts are simple enough for young kids to do with a little help.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Twirly Skirits!

Haley's Twirly Skirt!

I took my daughters to the fabric store over the weekend and had them each pick out the fabric they liked most for a new skirt.  Here is what Haley picked.  It actually turned out really cute.  She reminds me of a little Senorita!  

     Here is my little Jacob patiently watching and begging for his turn to say cheese.  He is still in his pjs, but still super cute!  It really is only 10 am so it is kind of ok that he is still in his pajamas. :)

      When Kylie came home from school she quickly put her skirt on too.  She has always been great at coordinating color.  She has been dressing herself since she was 2 and has always managed to have everything match and look well together.  Her skirt is a great representation of her matching ability.  She picked this fabric out and put it in this order with no help.  When she sets her mind on something there is not much arguing.  She is becoming such a young lady, she didn't even run around the yard twirling this time.  Kind of made me sad.

     This is one of my favorite skirt patterns.  It is so easy to make and so fun for the girls to wear.  I got this pattern from the book Little Girls, Big Style.  I love this book!  It truly is the only one I use for making clothes for my girls.  I don't have much confidence in my clothes making abilities and this book is written so well I can easily walk myself through any of the patterns.  Definitely a must have book if you are interested in learning how to make clothes or if you already know how and want some more cute patterns!  

Homeschooling Week 2

     This is my second week of homeschooling Haley in Kindergarten.  I am taking this really slow and just working on phonics and writing.  We are using the Veritas Press Phonics Museum curriculum and loving it!  I am also reading lots of books and the bible with her and we are working in the garden together and talking about plants.  I should get a picture of the garden she planted; she planted peppers and tomatos. 

     For the last month I have been reading so many books about homeschooling from the library.  My first favorite book was The Imperfect Homeschooler's Guide to Homeschooling.  I loved reading this book and I think I got through it in 2 days.  It made me feel confident in myself that I could do this and helped me decide on a unit based study.  Out of all the books I read from the library that was written by a homeschooling mom I felt this one was the best.  I definitely recommend it to those who are thinking about homeschooling.  She even talked about how to set up your house and if you are looking to buy a new home what to look for in a house set up for homeschooling.  And that is the exact situation we are in, moving and looking for a good house that will fit our family.

     The next book I read that changed my ideas for homeschooling was The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home.  This book is huge, but full of great information.  It will really change your thoughts toward how you teach your children in the home.  This book I will actually buy because it is a book you can constantly go back to and read again and again.  I then found myself on their website and really interested in giving my children a more classical education.  I went to one of their sites called Peace Hill Press and started shopping!  I have now found myself trying to figure out how I can give my children a classical unit homeschooling education.   

     Which then brought me to another book I must recommend reading: The Core from the Classical Conversations Curriculum.  Another book I think I may have to buy and brought me to the Classical Conversations website in search of more information.  I can't wait to get started homeschooling!  

     In the meantime, I am taking it slow with the 2 I have at home.  I am just trying to figure out how to teach Haley her short lessons while keeping my busy 2 year old Jacob occupied.  Here he is playing with his sensory buckets.  This time he had no trouble touching everything and throwing it around the room.  Progress is being made for him too. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Baked German Pancake

This Sunday my husband and I were really tired.  We really wanted a nap, but instead we decided to have an afternoon cup of coffee.  We don't do this very often.  Then we decided we should have some sort of yummy dessert to go with it.  So we made this delicious German Apple Pancake that tastes more like an apple strudel or maybe a German version of flan.  With ice cream and coffee it is the perfect afternoon pick-me up!

Baked German Apple Pancake

Pancake Batter:
1 cup self-rising flour
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Apple mixture:
4 large apples, peeled and cut into slices
1/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Spray lightly a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray. Place the butter into the pan and put into the oven to melt.  After butter is melted, add the apples to the dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.  
While the apples are baking, combine flour, eggs, milk and salt in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  When the apples are finished baking, pour batter slowly over the top.  Combine cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle over the batter.  Bake for 30 minutes.  
Enjoy with ice cream or plain!  We also reheated this the next morning for breakfast with a little syrup, yum!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Letter A Art

This is Haley's first art project for the letter A.  I thought she did such a good job I framed it.  I said it should be in a museum.  So each time she colors her museum art I will frame it for her in this frame.  This week we are learning about the letter A and the artist Levi Wells Prentice. Here is one of his original paintings framed.  Looks like Haley's don't you think?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Scrappy Star Quilt Finished

Last night I finished putting on the binding of my Queen Scrappy Star Quilt.  I have been working on this quilt for 4 years.  I started it when I was living with my parents for a summer in Arizona.  All the fabric is a mixture from my stash I brought with me, my mom's and my Grandma's.  When I look at all the different fabrics memories come to me about what I made using those fabrics originally or who they came from.  Yes, I do know who or where I got all those little squares of fabric from.  My Grandma let me choose from her very old stash that she is quickly trying to use up.  My mom's fabric is more on the large floral yellow and blue side.  Mine is the bright stuff with mostly pinks and purples, at this time I was sewing for baby girls.  This is a special quilt to me.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kindergarten Day 1

Here is my Kindergartener!  She is only 4, but I know she is ready.  She finished the preschool curriculum I made up for her using some ideas from Sonlight.  Haley has her own style of dressing and I love it.  Every day she comes downstairs it is a surprise.  She also loves to color with lots of color which just fits her personality perfectly.  We are using the Veritas Press Phonics Museum to teach her to read.  I am loving it so far and so is she.  Great material!  When my older two join us for homeschooling I will then include her in their curriculum for all the other subjects.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My New Adventure of Homeschooling

     We are making a huge life changing choice for our family.  We have decided to homeschool.  There are so many reasons why we came to this conclusion, but the number one reason was because I know God put it into my heart and moved me to this choice.  It is all very personal to me.  I then told my family that I felt that God was leading me to this decision.  My husband has never been on board for this idea and he asked me why I thought God was leading me to this idea and not my own desires.  There are many reasons someone would never want to homeschool if it was about own desires.  I will be loosing my free time, my quilting time, my gym time, my clean house, possibly my sanity...homeschooling is not something someone chooses for selfish reasons.  We discussed all of my reasons and I asked him to just pray about it and think about it.  I knew that if this is what God was calling us to then only He could change my husband's heart and mind.
     A few days later my husband prayed during family prayer that he was thankful that homeschooling was put on my heart!  I couldn't believe it!  I never thought I would hear him say those words.  He said I could research it all and ask around about it.  After I read every book from the library on homeschooling I started to come up with my ideas on how I wanted homeschooling to look for our family.  This is going to be an adventure!  It is a whole new world!  And it is all a bit overwhelming.
     We picked out a curriculum from Alpha and Omega called The Weaver Curriculum.  I love the idea of unit studies and including all the kids in the learning.  I am letting the kids finish school here until we move.  I still don't know when we will be moving, only God does.  Maybe now that I have our homeschooling stuff in place and we are prepared to start schooling any time our house will sell.  Maybe...
     Last night I started to think about my blog.  I named it Oh Sew Nice because I wanted it to be all about my sewing and hopefully to get into a business of it.  Then my life started to change because of the health and speech issues of Jacob.  I have put my sewing aside.  I still love to sew.  I still think about all I could be sewing and creating, but it can wait.  It will still be there when my children are grown.  My children are more important to me and they come before me and my sewing!  I hope I will still be able to sew here and there, but this blog can no longer be only and all about sewing.  This blog is going to have to be about crafting with my children.  About teaching my children.  Life changes and I hope blogs can too.  I was thinking about the name saying Oh Sew Nice:  Sewing together a family with the threads God gives us.  Or...  Oh Sew Nice:  Sewing up family bonds through learning.  Just some ideas.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter 2013

This was a very relaxed Easter for me this year.  I did not sew any dresses, purses, skirts, or make any baskets.  I haven't actually been sewing at all again.  I really don't know why I go through these spurts...anyways. Our Easter was a very special day for our family and I hope it was for yours too.

Here is my beautiful daughter, Kylie.  She got a bible study in her Easter basket and went right to working on it.  She wants to sit right next to me while I do my bible studies.  I hope she always has a hunger to learn more about God and grow a relationship with Him.

My little Haley is growing up so fast!  I feel the toddler in her fading very fast!

Such sweet sisters and friends!

My boys!  I don't think Jacob's hair will ever behave...fits his personality completely! 

The Easter Egg Hunt:
Had to be indoors because of rain, but it was still lots of fun.