Sewing Bee and Getting Fit

Joining Julia at Happiness Comes for this weeks sewing bee.

This week I created these pillowcases for the little girls for part of their valentines gift.

And these headbands as well.

The pillowcases weren’t hard but when you don’t have a proper space to cut fabric your measurements can be a bit off. We live in a small house that offers no extra space for my sewing. I have to take out and put back everything I use between projects. Well, I should, but it doesn’t always happen. Here is a little tour of the space I create while sewing.

Ta Da! That’s it! One end of the table that is in the kitchen. I have a nice cosy space for the iron and ironing board right next to the wall organizer for all the pots and pans. It’s not much but it’s all I’ve got…for now. One day though I want a sewing room all my own. A room where I can have my fabric out on shelves and all my notions in mason jars displayed in cool ways.

Now for the health part of the title. It all starts back in 2007 when I lost my dad to cancer. I went home to be with him hoping that I would leave with him on the path to beating the evil disease. Instead I wound up having to shop for clothes for a funeral while I was there. Prior to coming home my husband and I had been walking two miles every night. We only had two littles at the time. One went in a backpack with my husband and the other in a stroller that I pushed. We didn’t own a scale so I wasn’t watching the numbers and while I new my clothes were looser I had not gone out to buy any.

So while out shopping for pants to wear for the wake and funeral I discovered that I was a size 8. Then I got back home and promptly got pregnant with our 5th daughter. So long size 8 hello size……..13. 

So I have somewhere between 30-40 lbs to lose.

We are walking at night again. Just my husband and I so we can move at a fast pace. We did 1mile last night and are working back up to the 2 that we used to do. I am also doing the Walk at Home DVD with Leslie Sansone. It’s the Walk Slim one. I did two miles this morning. My goal is to walk 3 miles everyday for a week. Then I will evaluate where I am and add more. Oh and I am doing an 8min. ab workout that is on our on demand exercise channel. Nothing too intense but a good solid 8min. Got to start somewhere!

I have five children to keep up with and if I don’t do something to get fit now I know I never will.

I’m off to down some water and shower. Be glad we don’t have the ability to insert smell into blogs. 😉

Have an awesome Thursday!!


Yarn Along

Joining Ginny at small things for today’s yarn along.


I am almost finished with this hat for Emi. She requested a new hat in blue and purple. I was afraid I was going to have to buy two different colors to fulfill her request. Fortunately this yarn from “I love this Yarn” at Hobby Lobby was sitting on the shelf waiting for me. I’m typically a yarn snob and prefer to knit with natural fibers but this yarn does not have that harsh feeling like some acrylics do. A bonus is this is completely machine washable. No special care instructions for me to remember!

I am not currently reading anything. I often choose to knit instead of read. There never seems to be enough time to do all the things I want to do! I did make a long list of books to look for at the library yesterday. I took my oldest two to the mall to spend some gift cards they had and we wound up in Barnes and Nobles for over an hour. I made a list of all the interesting books I picked up and thumbed through. There were some interesting ones on the bargain table but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money. I can get them from the library. If it is one that I want on my shelf then I will probably buy it. I am not a rereader of books unless they are really good. And even then I have to have had a lot of time pass since the last time I read it before reading it again. Yeah, I have issues! LOL

Oh and the scarf that never ends is FINISHED and on it’s way to it’s new owner. It should arrive today or tomorrow.

I am looking forward to sitting here tonight with my hot tea and browsing through the links to see what everyone is knitting and reading!


Happy Valentines Day

I hope your family had a wonderful Valentines Day.

We crafted yesterday.

I sewed into the wee hours of the morning. I used this tutorial and this one as well.
These are the results.

There were more decorations.

Cupcakes were baked and consumed

(that is her big sister’s make up on her face.)

And over the last two days there has been OUTSIDE TIME!!! Precious wonderful outside time.

Yarn Along

I love the yarn along! Joining Ginny over at Small Things  to share what I am knitting and reading.

I don’t actually have anything on the needles. Ok well, the scarf that never ends is just a block and a half from being done but I didn’t want to post that picture again. 😉 This pink Cascade 220 is going to be the fourth and final bowl in the set of  felted nesting bowls I am making for Z for easter. It will knit up quickly and I should have plenty left over to knit Ace a hat. Pink is her favorite color.

The book is about the authors safari adventures. It is full of great photographs, stories and facts about the animals he has encountered. Emi really enjoys it and I hope to add it to her birthday gifts this year.

I am a yeller. A talk through clenched teeth, tense my entire body, way too easily frustrated , go all cowboy talk mom. I don’t want to be that way. I have prayed about, talked about it with my kids, my husband, close friends. I can handle stressful situations outside my home with grace and calm. Why do I struggle so much inside my home where in all honesty, it matters the most? Where my kids are watching me and as much as I don’t like to admit it, are learning how to do the exact same thing.

I have seen the word breathe a lot on line lately. In people’s status on face book, in blogs, in articles, places I can’t even recall but know I read it. And then tonight I was catching up on some blogs that I follow and came across this post.

It was an ah ha moment. I am not a scientific person in the least. But something about the 90 seconds, the chemical reactions, the short cuts, the habits of our brains. It all just clicked and made sense.

I just have to wait 90seconds. A minute and a half. Half the time it takes to cook a package of ramen noodles(organic minded friends just forget you read that), the time it takes to warm water in the microwave for tea.

 90 short seconds to collect myself, BREATHE and be successful. 90 seconds to wait and show my girls how to be kind, gentle and dare I say it patient?

90 seconds…..I can do that. I can.

Math Naturally


Friday night a creative bug hit the house and all of us were doing various things. You can see what was created in this post.  One of the creations was this drawing done by Emi.

It is a house that has a path leading up to it and there is a person walking up that path to the house. If you look closely you will see that there is a pattern in the path.  Red, blue, red, blue etc. When she showed me the picture and was telling me about it she said “See my pattern mom?” I had seen it, it was the first thing I noticed because patterns are something that she has recently begun to notice and create in her play.

I have watched her pattern play develop naturally out of her  fascination with putting things into groups.  I first saw the grouping happen when she had a bag of skittles. She was about 4 maybe and she dumped the entire bag out on the table and grouped them together by color. I don’t recall if we ever talked about groups before that day. I do know we had never sat down at the table with work sheets to learn about putting things into groups.  One day, after  I gave her a jar of seashells I found her in our room seperating them into like groups.  I have seen her do this with blocks, beads and other colored candies. It is just something she does and it is fun for her. She has no idea that it is math and I haven’t told her that it is. That doesn’t mean that it won’t come up and that I won’t give this as an example of math at a later date…maybe. I just don’t see a need to tell her right now that it is anything other than something she likes to do.


Inspiration Struck

Last night we got a creative streak and here are the results:

A picture with a pattern…details for another post. 😉

After searching, with no results,  for finger paints that I am sure the girls received for Christmas I decided to just make our own. Here is what you need.

2cups of water
1/4 cornstarch
food coloring

Mix water and cornstarch together in a pot. Heat on the stove until boiling and mixture becomes thick. Be sure to keep stirring. You can add food coloring now. If you want multiple colors  divide the thick mixture into different bowls and add your choice of colors. Let it cool and voila! you have finger paint. The recipe is not mine. I found it online somewhere and can’t for the life of me remember where or I would give them credit.

The girls wanted multiple colors

SiSi was even bitten by the creative bug. She found directions online for duct tape flowers and made four of them. One is displayed below.

I have been wanting to make some draw string bags for a while now. I find that with a small house floor space is at a premium. Our living room doubles as a playroom so I am trying to use the walls for storage as much as possible. I found a tutorial at The Purl Bee After completing one for our wayward puzzle pieces I fell in love! It is easy and it sews up so quickly.

The one on the left is Emi’s. She wanted me to make a bag for her flower fairies but when she saw the size she decided it would be better suited for a bunch of these.  The other one on the right is the one holding the puzzle pieces.

(and yes, I created a backdrop for photographing the bags. lol)

I am trying very hard to make projects from my fabric stash. I have a decent fabric stash thanks to a great garage sale find last year, my mom who buys boxes at estate sales and sends it to me, my friend Carol who does the same and others who have thinned their stashes and donated to mine! I think it would be a cool challenge to see if I can make all my projects from what I already have. I think the only thing I would really need to buy would be thread. I don’t have a big thread stash just yet.

Oh and next week Thursday is the official kick off of the Sewing Bee with Juls here. If you are sewing something share what you are doing with others! I think it will be a lot of fun to see what others are up to.

An oldy but a goody

*****This is a note from my facebook page. I am sharing it here just so I can have it archived in my blog since it contains so many of my favorite quotes. I just want to say that I no longer feel the same intense emotions I did when I first wrote this. It is water under the bridge.

I have spent the last couple of days stewing,fuming, and stressing over a negative comment about how we homeschool. It was made by some man(I use that term loosely) I don’t even know. Not only do I not know him, he does not know my family and yet some how, according to his statement, because we unschool our children are foolish. If I didn’t think I would deck him I would invite him to meet my girls and spend time with them. Instead I am going through quotes that speak to why we unschool. I don’t give a rats you know what if anyone agrees with me. My husband and I have not just jumped into this without thought and prayer. We do not pass judgement on those that do things differently. We do this because it works for OUR family. We don’t do it because we think we are better than anyone else. And unschooling doesn’t make us irresponsible heathen parents with children that run around with utter disregard for the world and people around them. I like my kids, I think they are pretty cool PEOPLE.  I take that back I don’t think, I know they ARE cool PEOPLE. They make me a better person everyday and I will never be able to thank them enough.



” Q. Will they have the opportunity to overcome or do things that they think they don’t want to do?


 A. I’m not sure what this question means. If it means, will unschooled children know what it is to have to do difficult and demanding things in order to reach goals they have set for themselves, I would say, yes, life is full of such requirements. But this is not at all the same thing as doing something, and in the case of school usually something stupid and boring, simply because someone else tells you you’ll be punished if you don’t. Whether children resist such demands or yield to them, it is bad for them. Struggling with inherent difficulties of a chosen or inescapable task builds character; merely submitting to superior force destroys it.” ~John Holt~ Teach Your Own


“Of course, a child may not know what he may need to know in ten years (who does?), but he knows, and much better than anyone else, what he wants and needs to know right now, what his mind is ready and hungry for. If we help him, or just allow him, to learn that, he will remember it, use it, build on it. If we try to make him learn something else, that we think is more important, the chances are that he won’t learn it, or will learn very little of it, that he will soon forget most of what he learned, and what is worst of all, will before long lose most of his appetite for learning anything.” ~John Holt~ Teach Your Own


“Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don’t always know what it is. ” ~John Holt ~ in a letter to Joan Pitkin, October 22, 1971From: “A Life Worth Living, Selected Letters of John Holt”,Edited by Susannah Sheffer


“Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them” ~John Holt~, (1923-1985) American Educator, How Children Fail


Unschooling is *much* harder than school at home because it takes a great deal of self examination and change in ourselves to help our kids and not get in their way! —Joyce Fetteroll


The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Education happens as side effect. —Joyce Fetteroll


Let your kids be WHO THEY ARE, not who someone thinks they should be. Throw away the mold and let your kids LIVE. ** —Lyle Perry


“Unschooling has had an incredibly positive impact on our lives, and not only in an educational aspect, but in everything we do. It’s changed the way we live, the way we think, and the way we look at the world in general.” ** —Lyle Perry


Unschooling, in a very real sense, IS a mindfulness practice.:) Being in the moment with our children, trusting the flow of life, seeing our connections to them and to all of the universe etc… ** —Ren Allen


If you want to measure, measure generously. If you want to give, give generously. If you want to unschool, or be a mindful parent, give, give, give. You’ll find after a few years that you still have everything you thought you had given away, and more. — Sandra Dodd **

Yarn Along

I am still working on the Harry Potter scarf. In my head I sing “this is the scarf that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends.” There is an end in sight. Only umm 3 more sections to go. Then begins the weaving end. <groan> The only thing that keeps me going is that I know that I know that I know that the recipient of this scarf is going to be over the moon excited to get it.

I am on the third book of the Percy Jackson series. SiSi(pronounced CC for those that are new here) has already finished it. She flew through it. I think I will cozy down with the book tonight after I finish one section of the scarf. Looking forward to surfing the links for today’s yarn along later today, while drinking a hot cup of tea.