Sunday, October 30, 2011

Old Fashioned Sunday

I know many of you have been waiting for this post and I apologize that it has taken me a week to get it up.  Here are the completed dresses for Old Fashioned Sunday:

My dress has issues.  The bodice just wasn't quite big enough so I added in an extra triangular shaped panel.  In doing that it was big enough to slip over my head (hallelujah!) so I didn't have to put in a zipper, but then it gaped terribly so after I put it on I had Lee safety pin it in a little bit.  My hair and the shawl hide the extra so it really wasn't a big deal.  Would you believe the front of the bodice was to big?  LOL  Good grief! (I used a Simplicity pattern for my dress)

Abby's dress was adorable and I can't wait to make more.  She loved the dress and the bonnet.  You can't see her bloomers in these pictures but she has them on.  Other than having to hand sew in the sleeves I didn't mind doing this dress at all.  I still haven't put the front buttons on though.  LOL (I used a Folkwear pattern for Abby's dress, pinafore and both bonnets. I used a McCall's pj pattern for Abby's bloomers)

We had a wonderful time!  Lots of good food, good singing, good preaching and good game playing.  Everyone (but me, I'm not really a joiner, LOL) bobbed for apples, playing horseshoes, had a wood splitting contest and ended the day with a few games of volleyball.  I look forward to it again next year. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

My crafting talents stop at knitting and sewing.  I can't draw, my color combinations aren't always "compatible" and I don't have a very creative mind.  That does not lend itself well to carving pumpkins.  My poor children.  Anyway, some years we paint the pumpkins.  Some years we carve.  This year was a carving year. 

Lee wished me to focus my picture taking on the pumpkins not him.  He learned to keep his head down :)

Greg is ready to go!

Daddy shows Bear what the task is.  I figured this would be the end of the pumpkin carving for the little ones, but both of them took to it well. 

Daddy helped Bear carve his pumkin (they used a template).

I would like to note that I cleaned out Abby's pumpkin and drew the design on hers - freehand.  Nobody took a picture of that.  LOL

There's Abby working on hers.  She loved the pumpkin goo.....we were putting it in a bucket (the older boys) and a wheelbarrow (the rest of us) and she spent considerable time moving the goo from bucket to little wheelbarrow to big wheelbarrow and back again.  She was covered in pumpkin.

Good job boys!

Moving goo.....

Greg used a very difficult carving template.

Lee chose to draw his freehand.  He carved out all the pieces so that light would shine around them.  We took a picture like that then he popped them all out.  (see below)

A girl and her dog.  Time to rest after moving goo.  Sadie just wanted away from the goo and back in the house.  She isn't very brave.

The finished jack-o-lanterns.  From left to right (Bear, Abby, Greg and Lee)

Welcome Home, Daddy

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved to get mail.  Now, as an adult, it is mainly bills or mundane things but I still encourage my boys to go down to the mailbox and get the mail for me.  I love catalogs, letter and freebies that I request.  I was "extra blessed" last week to recieve this in the mail:

Welcome Home, Daddy by Lorrie Flem is my Gabby Moms review product for October.  Available at Eternal Encouragement for $17.97, this book is packed with ways to make your home special.  I thought that this quote from chapter 12 summed up the whole book fairly well:

Life without the hope of eternal life is like dinner with only food.  By focusing on the objective of eating, without any regard for the other things that make it so much better, we miss something wonderful. (Lorrie Flem)
Lorrie encourages women in so many different ways in this book......mealtime, child training, prayer life, family devotion, family celebrations, family ministry, hospitality, encouraging our husbands......she touches on EVERYTHING that a wife or mother deals with on a daily basis.  Going further than just "doing what we should", Lorrie wants us to do all the little things that make life special and make memories with our families.

I have highlighted in my copy many things that I am going to go back and ponder on and try to implement in my family.  Here are some of the things you will find:

Since we are each allotted the same amount of time, the differences are in how we spend it, what we choose to spend it on, and what we have to show for our time investment.  Even though God never gives us more than 24 hours in a day, we can certainly choose how we spend the hours He does give us.  (Lorrie Flem, chapter 4)

As the mother, we have the distinct honor and responsibility of setting the tone of our home. (Lorrie Flem, chapter 3)

No matter what you may be waiting on God for, it can seem like He takes a very long time.  We have to realize that if we have a spirit of resistance, we really can't wait properly.  We often don't understand that God is in the waiting.  He is waiting alongside us.  That is a wonderful, calming, and quieting principle in our lives.  (Lorrie Flem, chapter 9)

This is a wonderful book for new wives, older mothers and everyone in between.  If you want to see what others have said about it, be sure to check out The Gabby Moms website or

Also, would YOU like to be a Gabby Mom?  You can sign up for the 2012 group HERE

***I received this book free for a fair and honest review as part of the Gabby Moms review program. ***

Monday, October 24, 2011

Some Pictures

I've got tons of pictures on my phone that have been taken the last few days.  I have a weird phone.  It won't send the pictures straight to facebook for me.  Very frustrating!  Anyway, so I have to send them to my email, save them to the computer and then upload them to either here or facebook.  If I send them here I can journal along with it and then post this to facebook (in case some of you were wondering why the pictures weren't going straight to fb).

All that to get to the pictures.  LOL

This is Abby riding the "rocking horse" at the park in T-Town.  We were waiting for the games to start Saturday morning. 

These 2 pictures were taken on the trails at Ballard Nature Center.  We started off with the group (honest we did!) but then Bear and Abby ran ahead and rather than disrupt the group with 2 little ones my dear friend, Mary Lemay, and I just kept walking with the babies.  We let Bear choose which way to go when we would come to a fork in the road.  We went over a Troll Bride (paying the toll along the way) and then things went terribly wrong.  We had already been walking a considerable distance (for Abby a quarter mile is a considerable distance!) when Bear decides we will go down this Wetland Trail.  The sign says it is 1.4 miles.  I incorrectly assume that at some point we will find another fork in the road and we will meander our way back to the nature center.  I was wrong.  No more forks in the road.  We trudged along about halfway before the babies started to protest.  So Mary and I would carry them to the next curve or the next bench and then they would walk a bit more.  Suffice it to say that we were getting very tired, very quickly.  I sent Greg and Jeffrey (Mary's grandson) a text telling them to get the stroller and come meet us but I couldn't tell them really where we were.  So we continued on like that for what seemed like forever (but was really maybe an hour total walking time maybe an hour and a half).  Finally we reached a fork in the road and a sign.  I immediately sent the trail name to Greg and we continued walking.  By the time Greg and Jeffrey got the stroller and a map of the trails and found us we were almost back to the Nature Center.  I was never so happy to see a stroller in my life - there towards the end we were mainly just carrying babies and Abby had fallen asleep on my shoulder.  You can see how tired Bear and Abby were in that picture.  Poor little things probably though they would have to walk forever.  LOL

There's my babies!  Again at the park in T-Town before Saturday's soccer tournament.

About the tournament, we lost both games but played their hearts out.  We finished up the afternoon with lunch at McDonald's and a leisurely stroll through Walmart.  It was a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Goals for Oct. 23 through Oct. 29th

1. Read Matthew 25-Luke 4
2. Journal thoughts and prayers daily
3. Pray without ceasing!

1. Stretch 7 days

1. Complete 90% of MM daily chores and most others

1. Supervise Greg's work
2. School 3 days with Bear

1. Finish whatever ball of yarn I just started (I think #5) on L's Christmas gift
2. Make list of what else needs done before Christmas (not making the list isn't making the projects go away!)
3. Make Abby's Smurfette dress
4. Make my Smurfette dress
5. Make 1 red and 4 white smurf hats

1. Send cards of encouragement to friends
2. Write review of Welcome Home Daddy by Lorrie Flem
I'm sure you'll notice that I took my weekly walking goal off the list for this week.  Soccer is over, therefore I won't be in town on any set schedule anymore.  I won't walk here and we haven't moved.  So I don't know when I will be able to walk.  I do have a walking video and may try to get in the habit of doing that.  Please pray that I will.  Also please pray about the house we are looking at.  My heart has been burdened greatly this week.  I hesitate to say that I want to be moved before Thanksgiving because I wanted to be moved before school was out last spring and before school started this summer, yet here we are.  Its in God's hands and it is His will!  Please pray that His will be done!

Have a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The "Get Dressed" Challenge

Hello!  It is a brisk fall morning here in south-central IL.  The day is progressing along nicely.  I even had time to read some blogs and found one I have never been to before.  Sarah Mae also blogs at Raising Homemakers so I've read her stuff before but had missed this challenge.  I love it!  As nice as it is to snuggle in some sweats (or better yet, pjs!) it is so much better on our self-esteem and the image we portray if we get dressed in the morning.  Yes, I may never leave the house today but why can't I look nice for my family?  Dirty chores to do?  That's why we have aprons ladies!!!!! 

Anyway, for those of you who know me in real life, you know I wear a lot of dresses, skirts, jumpers.  Not necessarily for any religious reason (although I do believe, no matter what we are wearing, we should strive to look "female") but because I love to look like a girl.  Even on the days you find me in yoga or track pants or shorts there will be no doubt in your mind that I am a woman :)  Twirly skirts, delicate underthings, beautiful falling hair....those things make me smile.  Life is too short to not smile!

I have no doubt that I will not post daily or even weekly about this topic.  Just isn't going to happen.  So when I remember I will share what I've been wearing lately and maybe I will have some pictures.  Maybe.  Here is this week - no pictures:

Sunday - Black twill skirt, red long sleeved t-shirt, orange and red plaid zip front jacket - in the morning I had on black tights and black mary janes, in the afternoon I had on socks and tennis shoes (I'm practical)

Monday - I don't have any idea.  I went to town.  I know I had a dress on.  At least I wasn't naked.....I hope.  - As I read through this again before posting I think I remember what I had on.....a green leafy long sleeved shirt over a black jumper.  I think that was it.  Don't remember what shoes, maybe socks and the slip on brown clogs, that would make sense, kinda.

Tuesday - pink long sleeved t-shirt and rose print flannel jumper I made several years ago

Wednesday - I yoga pants and a sweatshirt with holes in it - I threw the sweatshirt away after I took it off

Thursday - repeat of Sunday (I loved that outfit) with the tights and mary janes

Friday - TODAY - denim skirt, black tights, house slippers, white tank top, pink sweater - I'll be wearing the mary janes when we leave in a few mins. 

I may wear this skirt again tomorrow or I may wear the black one.....I tend to get in a rut.  I may throw on a hoodie over it as we will be at soccer games outside all day.  Probably tennis shoes.  Sunday is old fashioned Sunday at our church and our dresses are done.  I promise, promise, promise pictures next week!

Have a wonderful day and weekend ladies! (and gents if any read!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goals for Oct. 16-22 and a Picture

1.  I don't have the list in front of my but I think that this week's reading is all in Matthew.
2.  Journal prayer requests and thoughts
3.  Pray without ceasing!

1.  Walk 4.8 miles
2.  Stretch 7 days

1. Supervise Greg's work
2. Trip to Ballard Nature Center (I had to get that in there somewhere otherwise it wasn't going to happen!)

1. Do 90% of MM daily chores and most of others

1. Finish Abby's dress/pinafore/bonnet
2. cut out/sew my dress and bonnet
3. knit ball 4 and 5 of L's Christmas gift

The MAIN goal this week is the sewing.  I am a terrible procrastinator  so I am having to work quickly.  Thankfully I have Abby's stuff done.  I got my dress cut out and the bodice doesn't fit right so I'm going to have to alter it tomorrow.  I hate that.  I haven't decided how to do the back closer as I don't want to deal with a zipper.  Anyway.......

Here is a picture of Abby in her dress.  In this picture the buttons for the top of the dress aren't on (they still aren't) and the hem isn't done on the pinafore (it is now)......she loves the dress!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Last Week in Pictures

These are the bloomers that I made for Abby last week.  The top pair are made out of muslin, the 2nd out of white cotton.  I was using a pj pants pattern and forgot that the kids patterns run big.  So the white pair are a size 2 and the muslin pair are a size 1.  I don't know why the picture of the muslin pair is fuzzy, I couldn't get it to take clear.

Watch out world!  She's driving :)  Only backwards for now.

Bear is sitting on top of Abby's car.  I don't know why.  I don't know why he does anything that he does.  I love him anyway.

Here is Abby after her first painting experience.  She painted herself and Bear painted her.  Abby also painted on me.

And Bear painted himself and the slide.  See the paper on the ground behind him?  They did not pain the paper.  I don't know why I bothered. The dog stayed in the house.  Sometimes she is a smart dog.

We are really enjoying the wonderful warm weather we have been having.  The weather man said on the radio yesterday that it will probably cool off this week.  I suppose it is time.  We really need to get some pumpkins.  Maybe this weekend I will remember to do that.  I also heard on the radio that "someone" - I never pay any attention to the who I usually just get the what - is predicting a cold, stormy winter this year.  Didn't we have a cold, stormy winter last year?  Hmmmm.  Not looking forward to that. 

Well, I guess that's all for now.  I hope that you enjoyed the pictures and have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goals for Oct. 9-15

Here are my goals for this week (late is better than never!):

1. Read Zephaniah 1 through Malachi 4
2. Journal my thoughts and prayer requests
3. Pray daily (without ceasing!!!!)

1. Complete 90% of daily MM chores and most other chores
2. Take inventory of winter necessities (socks, hates, gloves, scarves)

1. Supervise Greg's work
2. Preschool with Bear 3 times this week
3. Nature study

1. Make my petticoat
2. Find material for a cut out my prairie style dress
3. If Abby's pattern comes in - cut out and begin sewing her prairie style dress
4. Finish ball 4 and 5 of yarn on L's Christmas gift
5. Make a dishcloth of 2 as a wedding gift for a friend

1. Send cards of thanks and encouragement to friends

1. walk 4.8 miles this week
2. stretch 7 days

I think that's it.  If I think of more I will add to it later.  Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Skeet Savage and Persimmon Cookies

I just finished taking persimmon cookies out of the oven.  So yummy!  Another fantastic thing to love about fall.

I had the pleasure, blessing of meeting Skeet Savage (and her wonderful daughter Sony) last night. 

When I started this homeschooling journey there were a few women that I really clung to and learned from......Lorrie Flem, Cindy Rushton, Teri Maxwell and Skeet Savage.  NOW, I've met 2 of them (Teri Maxwell being the other). 

Skeet spoke from the heart and really touched on some issues that I've been needing to deal with.  I think that God was speaking through her to me.  Very humbling.  I'm still working through her words and soaking up scripture.  I just might be getting ready for an adventure (Isn't it always an adventure when God works in your life???)

Anyway, I'm soaking up some sunshine and loving fall.  Dh did soccer duty today so other than a short trip to a nearby yard sale, I've been home cleaning, baking, praying and playing with the 2 little ones.  I hope for some time to knit tonight but I think we are getting ready to head back outside now. 

Have a wonderful day friends!

Friday, October 07, 2011

It seems like I have been chasing my tail all week.  On Sunday, I was relieved to see that the week didn't hold much in the way of outside activities but by Monday afternoon it sure did fill up!  And then my dear friend, Mary, lost her husband so we have been helping out where we can there and will finish the weekend with the funeral and such.

I feel like I haven't accomplished anything.  I did manage to sew Abby 2 pairs of bloomers (pictures later) and I did manage to do a little knitting.  I just finished ordering almost everything we will need to make our Halloween costumes this year.  I'm tired.  I look around and there is so much to do!  I don't even want to find the list I made or make another one because I know it will be so long.  Some days it is too much to ask that I get the housework stuff done let alone anything else.  At the longest we have about 3 months here so I am dreading the final packing and moving (but looking forward to getting the rest of our stuff out of the various storage locations we have commandeered for the last year).  Please pray that the home we desire will be available.  It is a heavy burden on our hearts right now.

I guess the pity party is over.  No more!  I've got much to be thankful for and there is too much to do for me to be sitting here whining.  LOL  I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Classes They Should Have Taught in High School

This is the 2nd part to a 2-part post about the uselessness of some information taught in school these days.  You can scroll down to see the other one.

Grocery Shopping 101
Otherwise known as, "how to keep your sanity while shopping at 5 p.m. on a Friday night with 4 hungry kids and the rest of the insane town of Effingham"......or better yet, how to plan so you don't have to. 

Producing Your Own Food
Not just gardening or raising livestock, but what to do with it afterwards.....canning, freezing, drying.  How to make your own convenience foods.  How to grow and preserve your own herbs.  Where the different cuts of meat come from and the best way to prepare them for eating.

Even if you don't ever have children of your own, you will at sometime be exposed to them.  Learning how to deal with the little buggers for extended periods of time in stressful/enclosed situations is priceless information.  Paper airplane making, shadow puppets. obscure storytelling.
Also included in this class would be: how to type one handed because Abby is on your lap, to convince Abby to speak - at this point I don't even care if it is to stop Bear from talking to complete strangers (they aren't strangers, mom, they are friends) to juggle the social demands of a teenager and preteen while occupying 2 preschoolers.......In fact, it might be more useful to just send 2 or 3 students each day to my house and they can get some hands-on experience.  Probably won't need that sex-ed class afterwards either.  LOL

Money Management
How to adapt to rising cost of healthcare, gas, food and number of children on a paycheck that gets taxed a little more every week.  Otherwise known as couponing, sales watching and resale shopping 101

Hazardous Driving 101
Techniques taught should include driving while ice is still on the window because you were to cold/lazy/late to scrape the windshield, driving while breaking up fist fights in the back seat, driving while digging cell phone out of bottomless diaper bag, driving while trying to hand sippy-cup to baby sitting behind you, driving home late on only 3 hours of sleep, driving while reading the owners manual to find out what that odd warning light is.........basically multitasking

Topics could include: what do different colors of snot mean, proper administration of cold/fever reducing medication to small children at 3 a.m., differentiation between rashes, spots and bruises........learn how to play "name that cough".  Classes should be taught during the same semester as Childcare classes because you can guarantee at some point to be waiting in an empty ER waiting room for 4 hours to be sent home with a screaming child and no medication or pain relief. 

Childless Adulthood 101
For those who are paying attention to the sex-ed classes and chose not to have children this class could give all those tips and pointers for how to avoid those who do.........childless eating establishments, proper shopping times, etc.  Also a course on giving unwanted advice.  Required for graduation: Childcare class.....lets face it, you can't avoid them so you might as well learn how to entertain them.  Their parents will be eternally grateful.

Time Management 101
Showers for 6 people in one bathroom in 15 mins, dealing with last minute notes from school, overdue library books, work assignments, coaching schedules, church obligations and more. 

Maybe its just me.  If they would have taught this stuff in high school then maybe I wouldn't have had to take so much on-the-job training.  I love my children dearly and wouldn't trade a minute of my life for anything else but it is chaos!  I hope that all of you have a wonderful day :)

Monday, October 03, 2011

You Will Need to Know This When You Grow Up

Remember when all the teachers told you that?  Let's see how I am using the information that they crammed into my poor brain all those years ago......

I am a history fanatic.  Was a college history major.  Still read history books, biographies and practically live on the history channel.......the only use I can see for all that information is Jeopardy :)  I am capable of coming up with the most obscure bits of history at the most wonderful times and awe my family at my brilliance (not really, they just roll their eyes!).

Algebra:  I am so thankful that I learned that so that I could help my son with his.  If they hadn't taught it to me, then WHO would help him?????  (Why are they teaching it again?????)

Geometry:  Even worse, because I still can't do it.  Beyond knowing shapes and using basic design for quilts I have no idea what all those theorums were or what they mean.  Next year will be torture for both me and my son.

Basic/Life Math:  Balancing a checkbook, figuring stitches per inch, yardage per size, miles per gallon......that is useful information.  To bad I learned it all in 6th grade :(

If you plant things in a sunny area and water them regularly they grow.  Basic health information is used regularly.  Please don't ask me latin names for anything, and I don't care to explain laws of gravity.  I think that they should have spent more time on growing things because I sometimes have a black thumb.  Herbal medicine would have been useful.  The science of cooking would have been practical. 

Foreign Languages
After 2 years of Spanish and a semester of French I still can't figure out what the Hispanic lady is screaming at her son on the soccer field.  I'm kinda glad I don't know what he is saying to my son.  I have a feeling it isn't appropriate for polite company.  If I would have paid attention to Mrs. Pickens then maybe I could evesdrop on the conversation of the Hispanic males at Walmart. 

All the proper English and good writing techniques I learned in 4 years of English class doesn't carry over well to texting and facebook.  I doubt that my blog readers care so much about subject/verb agreement or prepositional phrases.  And Abigail still isn't talking at all so English isn't helping her one little bit.

Driver's Ed
Everything I ever needed to know about driving I learned in a corn field.

Yes, we play dodgeball almost daily.  (No, not really. In case you haven't figured it out I'm being sarcastic.  LOL)  I wish that they would have paid more attention to soccer would help when I yell at the referres during the games if I actually knew the rules (I don't really yell, but maybe then I would understand all the penalty kicks).  And I wouldn't have to sit next to David Miller every home football game if someone would have explained all the rules about football.  But I like hanging out with David and Susan so that's ok.

Sex ed.  I think eventually I would have figured that out on my own....just saying.

As long as tomorrow isn't a horrible-no-good-day I am going to post a list of classes I really wish that they would have had at high know, the actually useful stuff.

Last Week in Pictures

We spent some time at the playground Saturday after Greg's soccer game.  Lee is a referee for other games so we wait around for him to get done. 

Sadie doesn't really like to be on a leash.  BUT she is programmed to follow Abby around where ever she goes in case Abby drops food so she followed her around on the leash.  Abby was pretty proud of herself.  At the time they were helping Bear find Greg in an outdoor game of hide-and-go-seek.  Bear said that Sadie was the hound dog.  Sadie is not a hound dog.  Actually, Sadie wanted to go back in the house, but she was attatched to that stinky leash.  LOL  Eventually I rescued her.

Abby stole Bear's polar pop.  And drank most of it.....spilled the rest.  Bear was not very proud of her.  I had to buy him another polar pop.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Goals for the Week of Oct. 2nd

Here are the goals for this week.  If you would like to see how I did last week you can see that below.

1. Read Amos 8 through Habakkuk 3
2. Pray daily and journal thoughts from God
3. Send cards of encouragement to those that need it

1. Stretch 7 days
2. Walk 4.8 miles

1. Supervise Greg's work
2. Preschool with Bear 3 times this week
3. Nature study at least one day - maybe a CIPS or Sam Parr
4. Start memory work for all of us :)

1. Complete 90% of Daily chores and Most of other chores on Motivated Moms planner
2. Take inventory of hat/glove/tights/socks needs for winter

1. Finish ball 4 and 5 of yarn on L.'s Christmas gift
2. make list of other projects that need completed for Christmas and assign done-by goal dates
3. make petticoats for me and Abby for Old-Fashioned Sunday
4. make 2 sets of bloomers for Abby
5. make Smurf jumper for me and Abby

1. order Smurf costume items
2. find Gargamel costume or something that will work

I think that's it.  Lots of sewing to do.  I have a tendency to put things off till the last minute.  LOL

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Perfect Fall Saturday!

I was homecoming week here in our little town.  Yesterday was a fun filled day of parade, park-visiting and football - complete with a JC porkburger!!!!!  Our team lost but played their hearts out and in the end that is what matters the most.  I just have to say that I think the Newton Eagles Marching Band's routine this year is the best that I have seen in a long time.  Every time I see it I think it is better!  I LOVE the drumline :)

We spent the morning in town playing soccer, walking and playing at the playground.  I exceeded my walking goal of 6 miles this week, walking a total of 8.2 miles.  I think that is pretty fantastic!  You can scroll down to Sunday's post and see what else got marked off my weekly goals list.  I still have some Halloween shopping to do, lots of sewing and knitting.......

I've got pictures to post,  but they aren't on the computer yet so it will have to wait. 
Have a wonderful weekend!