Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop- Day in the Life

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This is the last week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Heart of the Matter. This week is Day-in-the-Life

This is our first week back into schooling, so there is no real normal yet. This is my schedule for Squirt who is using Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory.

Squirt's Week Day Schedule

Quiet Time (30 Minutes)

Independent History Study (30 Minutes)

History Project (20 Minutes)


Brush Teeth & Wash Up

Math (30 minutes)

Science Exploration (30 Minutes)

Rod & Staff English (15 Minutes)

Dictation with Mom (5 Minutes)

Poetry with Mom (5 Minutes)

          During lunch, if possible, Mom will do Reading About History

Bible Study with Mom (after Bubba is down for nap)

Reading About History with Mom (if not read at lunch)

Geography/ Research/ Timeline (15 Minutes)

DITHOR with Mom/ Poetry Creative Writing/ Project (30 minutes)

 Save one page to read out loud to Mom every day.

If you finish early and have had Mom check everything then you may play.

We are finishing up the 36 week course we started last January. She is an early riser, so I scheduled her day to start when she is fresh on her own (and Mom is NOT). I am not a morning person no matter how many children I have and how early they wake me. Coffee would be my friend IF I drank it, but since I don't, I simply don't speak much until breakfast begins. My kids learn to stay out of the kitchen until Mom has fully woken up, brutally honest as that is.

Squirt works in her room at her desk for independent work and then moves to the school room for work with me.

Buddy is a later riser than the rest of the kiddos. So he is fresher later in the day. I try to work with him in the afternoon while Bubba is napping. We don't have a schedule yet for that. I am trying some things out and still have yet to figure out the best way to do things with him. I probably will do Little Hands to Heaven reading, bible and music with him and Bubba after breakfast while Squirt works independently. Then in the afternoon (while little Bubba sleeps) do the seat work that would have to exclude Bubba.

I work with the boys in Buddy's room or in the school room at the little table or on the futon.

I have also been trying to include more regular chores in our day. I have instituted some of Jessica's ideas of  Our Family For His Glory for having "helpers" doing Mom's chores. Bubba and Buddy have been helping me with the laundry. Each one gets to take a turn for the day. Buddy (5yrs) brings the kids laundry basket to me and separates out the clothes into the laundry bins. Bubba (2 yrs) helps put the clothes in the washing machine and into the dryer. Buddy does a great job folding his and little brothers clothes and putting them away in the drawers. They often help me do the laundry first thing in the morning. I try and get a load in the washer and in the dryer first thing. That way I can keep ahead of it.

The other thing that takes more time from my over sight of homeschooling is meal prep. Right now we are instituting a new special diet for Buddy and it is very time consuming to create meals for him (imagine lots of complicated multi-ingredient dishes, multiple pot dishes, and lots of dirty dishes to then wash). BUT it is worth it because we ARE seeing improvement in his health and that is really what matters!!! (Even though Mom is falling over from fatigue and brain fried)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Special Birthday cake

I made a special Coconut Flour Orange Birthday cake for Buddy this weekend. If you want to know more about it go to my other blog here. Being on a special diet doesn't mean it is impossible to still have special food on those special days!

Buddy has multiple food allergies. We have started him on a new diet protocol called Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet aka GAPS Diet. You can read further about what we are doing with him here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Buddy's Doorway Puppet Theater

I just had to post a few more pictures of the kids enjoying the puppet theater. Squirt welcomed her brother into his room with our surprise. She sang Happy Birthday to him as the puppet from behind his new Puppet Theater.

Here is his sweet giggly smile as he watches.

Squirt gave him the sock puppets she made and then they did a show together! Best 20 bucks we spent in a long time. (That is what it costs for the materials for me to make the theater.)

Isn't it great having kids!

Doorway Puppet Theater

This is Buddy's Birthday Present- a doorway puppet theater!

I used the project idea and instructions from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. I loved the ideas, and the projects are super cute. The instructions were horrible and I hate the elementary pencil line drawings that are in this book. This took me way longer than I expected due to the badly written instructions.

I made the case to go with it and that was the only easy part of the project.

But here it is!! I am really pleased with it and can't wait to see Buddy's reaction tonight when we give it to him. Squirt also made some handmade puppets to give him along side it. Happy 5th Birthday Buddy!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop- Student Photo Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

It is the 3rd week of the Not Back to School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. Here is our family:

Squirt our 5th Grader (I can't believe I'm even saying that!! Time flies!)

Buddy the preschooler soon to be Kindergartner

Bubba the effervescent 2 year old.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop- School Room Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This week is School Room Week in the Not Back to School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. Here are pictures of our School Room.

We are blessed to have an extra bedroom which we use as a School Room. It does also double as our guest room. So we have this futon in there which is lovely for reading together on.

Squirt works at her desk or on her bed in her room. We were given this secretary desk and it works so wonderfully in that little spot. She can close it when she is not working and keep the little guys hands out of her stuff. And when it is open she has lots of space to work.

Buddy and Bubba work at this little table.

All our school books and supplies are kept on the shelves or in the closet.
Of course you never seem to have enough shelf space when you homeschool!

These are the main bulk of Squirt's school books and supplies for 2011-2012

The closet also houses other items for Hubby and I's use such as sewing supplies etc. But we have a visitor so I am not taking a picture of that. Just in vision messy organization (oxymoron that it is).

We have a couple of computers and about three more desks in the school room.
This wooden one was Squirt's since her 1st grade year. It is waiting to be used next by Buddy.

We use every inch of wall space in our school room! Display everything we can and build our timeline.

And there it is in all it's humbleness.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Not Back to School Blog Hop- Curriculum Week

Not Back to School Blog Hop

So it is once again time for the Not Back to School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter. This week is Curriculum Week, so I get to share with you what we will be using for the 2011-2012 school year.

We will be picking up where we left off in May with the same curriculum. We started a new curriculum midyear last year, so we will continue on with it until finished (probably around January also) and then go to the next Program in their series.

I will be using Heart of Dakota's Little Hands to Heaven for my almost five year old and then continue on with their next Program- Little Hearts for His Glory  using the Kindergarten package in the new year of 2012.

You can read about the specifics of Little Hands to Heaven in my post here

For this year we will be using Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory program for Squirt, my 5th grader. It includes everything I need to teach her. Here is my original post with the specs for what is known in Heart of Dakota shorthand as PHFHG.

or Heart of Dakota's Preparing Hearts for His Glory.
This is a program designed for students ages 8-10 with other added books which can extend that up to 11 or 12 (we are doing the expected 8-10 age group books). This year's study will give a broad overview of world history starting with Creation and ending in the late 1900's. (We stopped in May at Christ's Resurrection.)

Preparing Hearts for His Glory Guide (PHFHG)  is not just a Teacher's Manual. It is designed to be shared between the student and the teacher. It has Independent Work instructions written directly to the student as well as instructions to the teacher.

This guide includes History, Poetry, Dictation, Spelling, Literature, Bible Study, & Science. It has schedules for recommended Language and Math which are Rod & Staff English, Heart of Dakota's Drawn Into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) & Singapore Math.

The full list of all the books that come in the program you can find in my post here. Squirt has completed about 19 weeks already of the 36 week program of PHFHG. She will use Rod and Staff English 2 and 3 this year and Singapore Math 4A & 4B. 

You can read about our experiences with Heart of Dakota in my posts tagged HOD, PHFHG, or LHTH


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Newest Happenings in My House

This summer is flying by! I can't believe August is almost here!!!

If you have been wondering about what we have been doing (other than sewing), here is a little update.

I have been spending my summer learning about cooking and implementing a new diet protocol for our middle son. He has multiple complex food and environmental allergies. I posted about it on my other blog here.

So for now, because of how much time, money, and learning it is requiring me (and it is ALLLOTT!), we will probably be starting our school year after Labor Day this year. This has been the first year in about two years that I have not schooled through the summer. But after having such a challenging year emotionally, spiritually, and physically, Mom (ME!) needed a break. I have been making my brain hurt learning about this new diet. But I trust that it is where the Lord is directing our family next. And I pray that it might be part of the path that the Lord uses to bring complete healing of our little Buddy. 

So if you don't see me around much... just know I am off learning a whole lot, cooking long hours in my kitchen, sewing an occasional project, and whole heartedly crying out to God for direction and assistance.

Until later,

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nursing Covers now for sale!

I am now offering handmade nursing covers for sale. 
To read about the details go to my newest page Purchase One of My Handmade Nursing Covers.

Below is a reprint of the page. 
(But I will not be updating this post in the future. For updates see the actual page link listed above.)

These nursing covers are easy to tuck into a diaper bag; made out of cute easy-to-clean cotton and mean no more tugging down blankets and fighting with little fingers trying to flip the blanket off. Easy privacy and coverage for feeding your little one! They have an adjustable cloth strap and boning at the neck that holds away from your throat to allow air flow and visibility of your baby for you, while providing privacy. I know I wish I had found these back when my little ones were still infants!

I've had a number of friends and family members who liked these nursing covers enough that they suggested I offer them for sale to others. More pictures to come, as I update this page

I am gathering a stock of fabric and now have enough supplies to offer these nursing covers for sale. Fabric swatches are listed below and I will continue to update this page as my cloth stock changes. I will be making them to order. They are 20 U.S. dollars each plus shipping. Shipping first class mail in the continental U.S. is usually around three dollars. If you are interested in purchasing one from me drop me an email at I will be accepting paypal dollars, check or money order. All covers are made out of 100% cotton and are machine washable on delicate. 

Fabric currently available-
Brown Striped Nursing  Cover

Blue flower on brown background (Robert Kaufman Fabric)

Purple Batik (has a slight washed crumpled look similar to a light tie-dye or acid wash)

Red Print

Black and White Three Stooges  Print

I will be updating this as my fabrics change in the future.

For an additional cost: You may also go to your local Hancock Fabrics or their website and choose a cotton fabric. I will check my local Hancock Fabrics and let you know if it is available for purchase in my local store. The additional fee will vary depending on the fabric that you choose. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Newest Sewing Project

Today I spent some time making two nursing cover ups. I found the tutorial here. For one cover up, it took a yard of nice cotton fabric, one package of D rings, 16" of boning and matching thread. Here is what I came up with. I love this fabric! (Kind of wish I had bought more than two yards of it.) I can't believe they sell these things for around 40 dollars! It cost one fourth that to make. It was not very hard, even for a beginner like me.

Here is a close up of the fabric. 

Here are a couple other projects I completed this week.

And this one that I did Chicken Scratch embroidery on the bottom. I used these stitch ideas and created my own design. I embroidered on cotton gingham cloth with embroidery floss, employing the use of an embroidery hoop.

Here is a close up of the bottom of the apron.

Squirt also embroidered an apron. I made the apron and she embroidered the hem and the waistband.

Here is a close up of her waistband.

And a close up of her hem.

Now off to try my hand at baby bibs and burp cloths! (Can you tell many of my friends are having or just had babies?)

Monday, June 27, 2011

My first successful sewing project!

This past week I was blessed with five whole days to spend away at my dear friends home along with my dear daughter. My sweet husband held down the fort with the boys while Squirt and I drove 4 1/2 hours south to stay with friends. She had a great week of worship dance camp and playing with friends; while I was blessed by great fellowship, encouragement, prayer, sharing, and sewing lessons! I learned so much this week and my friend V is a great teacher and encourager!! Here is one of the two items of clothing I completed this past week. And as she encouraged me to say "I am well pleased!"

I learned that next to a sewing machine and good scissors the iron is a seamstress' best friend. I learned about finishing seams, ironing everything (including the pattern), pinning fabric, copying patterns, reading patterns, gathering, topstitching, darts, and so much more. I am so thankful for all that I learned and so excited to do more in the future. I also made a cute pair of flat front shorts for Squirt, but no picture yet. 

I was given The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing. It is incredibly helpful for this visual learner. This is a great resource but I am learning to use it more as an encyclopedia to reference, otherwise you can get overwhelmed by the information in it. There is so much terminology in sewing that I  felt incredibly daunting at first. But you have to learn everything one step at a time. So I am eating my elephant one bite at a time and starting to really enjoy it, thanks to many sweet friends and much encouragement.

I am enjoying my summer projects and a little break from homeschooling. We will start again before I know it!

Happy Summer!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


This songs speaks volumes

Adventures in Sewing

For one of my summer projects I have decided to embark on learning to sew. I spent Memorial Day weekend with our sweet friends in another city and had fun hanging at the local Hancock's Fabric buying patterns, material and scissors. Got home and pulled out the 1 Hour Easy Pattern from McCall's. Now mind you, I had bought 8 yards of 3 Stooges fabric for 50 cents a yard to practice on. Of course, it is appropriate for my first project; because when I was done with the so-called shorts this is what they looked like!

Anyone else the see the problems? They were wide enough to fit me, and long enough for me, but the rear could have fit my 4 1/2 year old, and the pattern that I was following was suppose to be for a children's 7-8!! 

I felt ready to thrown in the towel and say I was not meant to sew. I felt dejected and overwhelmed. But I picked up the phone and called my sweet friend for advice. She wisely told me to look at a pair of my favorite shorts, turn them inside out and look at how they fit together. So I did that and still felt dumbfounded! Then I prayed. I said, "God show me!" And all of a sudden I could see what I had done wrong. I had put the pieces together upside down. I had sown the legs together for the body and the body for the legs. 

My point in all this is, God cares about even the little details of our lives and wants to be involved. All we have to do is ask. The Bible says that all wisdom comes from Him. So if I need wisdom, then it makes sense to ask the one who has ALL Wisdom.

So here is the finished project. And guess what? It looks like a pair of shorts should.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I am remembering our sweet Chloe Marie our first child and first daughter born September 7 many years ago. She was born with ARPKD and lived for an hour. The videos below are 3 parts of a video that shares Todd & Angie Smith's story of their Audrey Caroline born and died April 7, 2008. She was born with the same kidney disease that our daughter was born with.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

In all things God will orchestrate so He will get the glory!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dancing With Joy

Our daughter has been dancing since she could move her little feet. This is her fifth year of ballet and each year is a new experience for her and for us. Here is our dear sweet girl in her most recent ballet production- Snow White. She was a Squirrel. We are very proud of you Squirt!!