Saturday, November 30, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 12-1-2013

Well, I haven't posted anything all week due to being busy with my new job and the holiday....but my mom always makes sure I remember to link up to Scavenger Hunt Sunday. (Thanks Mom!) Here are my interpretations this week.

1. Starts with S
Scrubs...this is what I wore to work tonight.

 2. Texture
Texture of the floor mat in the bathroom.

3. Blessing(s)

The two greatest blessings in my life!

 4. Warmth
Gas logs in the fireplace...I really like the texture here too!

 5. I Went...

 I went... "Oh WOW!" when I noticed how similar my two children look as babies...the pictures really don't even do the similarities justice IMO. Wish I had pics of them posed the same in the same outfit...

Here is a recent(ish) one of them together to round it out.

Linking to Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 11-24-2013

Ok, so I am a day late with my post, but here goes anyway!

1. Horizon
Snapped this shot the other morning when I had to be up before sunrise...

2. Sharp
The points on this dinosaur hat I made are "sharp" (archive)

3. Leather
The motorcycle seat munchkin is sitting on is leather. (Another Archive photo...she is 7 now)

 4. Blue
The sled munchkin is riding on is blue (Archive again)

 5. Diagonal Lines
Diagonal lines of clouds in the sky one evening this last week. (I noticed later the cars are parked diagonal also!)

Hope you enjoyed my interpretations! Linking to Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Climb Out of Your Home-Schooling Rut

Even as home-schoolers, sometimes we get stuck in a rut. We do the same lessons, in the same place, in the same order even, day after day. Moms who are normally loving and patient become mean, evil school-marms who get frustrated when their child asks for the hundredth time how to spell (fill in the blank).

This happened to my family last week--here is how I dealt with it. We decided to have an unconventional school day and teach Munchkin how to ride her bike sans training wheels. Some might consider this an off day, but Munchkin needs LOTS of encouragement to try new things...particularly when she might fall and get hurt. I had to remind her that since we were in "school," she was required to keep trying...if it had been a fun day, she probably would have given up trying. Here is a short video of her displaying her newly-learned skill.

The video is actually from the second day we tried...I was not able to let go long enough to get a video the first day. Looking back on the day, she learned so much more than how to ride a bike. She learned balance of course, and proper weight distribution, but she also learned about trusting me, trusting herself, self-confidence, and a little bit of independence. In my eyes, she learned several important lessons today, and it was well worth pushing back the "paperwork" for a day. (Not to mention, it gave us both a chance to get outside on a nice day, and we set into the paperwork a bit easier the next morning.)

What do you do to get out of the rut? I would love some feedback in the comments section!

Check out my link party page to see where I'm linking.

10 Ways to Teach Children the True Spirit of Christmas

In this world of consumerism and blatant disregard for others feelings, wants, needs, and happiness, I think it is time to take a step back an look at what we are teaching the future generation. ( I am guilty also--I'm certainly not pointing fingers.) Knowing many of you out there are facing this same dilemma, I created a list of activities you can do with your children to keep the true Spirit of Christmas alive.

1.  Bake cookies to take to your local nursing home, (some nursing homes may not allow this--you could also knit, crochet, or sew a small gift or ornament, or just go and visit with the residents   there).
They may not be pretty but the kids had a blast making these cookies.

2.  Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen if your children are old enough (or maybe a food pantry if you have younger children). Or take toys and games to a local Children's hospital and stay to visit and play with the children who have to be in the hospital this time of year. (Please don't take a sick child to the hospital to play with other sick children...we don't want to spread germs around. There are plenty of children in the hospital though who are not contagious--I would definitely call ahead for this one though).

3.  Adopt an Angel from the Angel Tree and let your child help with the shopping. (If you need to answer Santa questions, remind your child of the gifts he or she gets from parents, siblings etc and that these moms and dads also want to be able to give their child something). There are other options here as well, such as Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots etc.

4.  If you have the means, adopt a whole Christmas family! They may need everything from tree and trimmings to food for Christmas dinner as well as gifts for under the tree.

5.  Make secret gift baskets for your neighbors. When you deliver the basket, ring their doorbell and run (the kids will love the "secret" part of this one.

6.  Encourage your children to part with gently used books and toys they no longer play with. Explain that you will take them to a store where parents who can't afford new toys can buy them for their children. (Personally, I shop second-hand stores even when I have the means to purchase new...I find excellent deals on books especially).

7.  Have a homemade Christmas where none of the gifts are store-bought. (Or you can allow your child to ask for only one or two special gifts and have the rest be homemade).

I made this "Rapunzel" hat for Munchkin last Christmas.

8.  Shop local businesses instead of big box stores so that area merchants can have a good Christmas too. (Chances are, those gifts are of higher quality as well). Explain to your children why you are shopping local vendors. (I frequently order cupcakes or cookies from a local bakery even though I enjoy making those things for keeps my money in the community).

9.  Make a big deal of it when your child does something to help someone else. Tell them how proud you are...they are more likely to do it again if you notice and praise them for it.

10.  Take your children to church, not just at Christmas, but year-round. Pray for them and with them, remembering those less fortunate in your prayers. Opportunities to volunteer abound in churches...volunteer! Keep the spirit of giving alive all year. (If you don't like the church you previously attended or visited, keep looking...find the church God is leading you to.)

I hope this list gives you some ideas on how to keep the Christmas spirit alive in your family. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section, and stay tuned for more Christmas posts and tutorials for hand-made gifts.

Check out my link party page to see where I am linking.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 11-17-13

Here are my interpretations for Scavenger Hunt Sunday this week.

1. Pattern
Using patterns I found here (flower) and here (hat), which I modified slightly to fit my needs, I made this hat.

2. Sunglasses
Sunglasses aren't really needed in this picture...which is good because mine are broken. :( 

3. Round
Well, these cookies were round...until we dropped them on the oven door. We called them our thankful cookies...because we were thankful they didn't hit the floor!

 4: Looking In (I couldn't chose between them, so there are 2).
Looking in on my Little Man in his pack and play.

Munchkin looking in the tent I made her using this tutorial. (Tent)

5. Crunchy
Little Man's newest toy sounds crunchy.

I hope you enjoyed my interpretations. Check out my link party page to see where I am linking.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Crochet Hats

No tutorial this time, just some pictures for inspiration. I do occasionally have these for sale. If you are interested, you can check out my Facebook page and send me a message.

Owl hats!

Cabbage Patch Doll hair hat!

Monster's Inc!

Penguin hat!

Monster hat!

Christmas Owl hat and scarf set.

Thomas the Train hat.

All of these hats were made by me mostly without a pattern...the one I did use a pattern on was Thomas, and I actually modified it so much it really doesn't count...I ended up only using the pattern for making the number 1 on the side of the hat.

I hope that you enjoyed the pictures and are inspired to make some of your own. I have a very limited selection of hats already made and ready to ship. I will try to get pictures on my Facebook page in the next day or so. 

Check out my link party page to see where I am linking.

Cooking Lesson - Tuna Salad

Hmm...Ok, so do you actually have to turn on the oven or stove to have a cooking lesson? Technically I did turn on the stove to boil the eggs, but that was before Munchkin got involved. Oh well, I am calling this a cooking lesson anyway.

Ingredients for tuna salad (onion not pictured because...well, I forgot).

Munchkin scrapes our tuna into the bowl.

Adds a few crumbled crackers.

Mayonnaise and relish. 

Eggs (and onion!) And mix it all up.

Then ya get to spread it on a piece of bread and eat it...that's the best part!

Since we were in the kitchen with Mayo, Relish, and Eggs, Munchkin decided she needed a deviled egg. (She has been able to make deviled eggs fairly independently for a couple of years now.) 

Her finished plate...loving the fine china here, aren't ya?

I have kindly omitted the "after" picture here where she stuffs an entire deviled egg half into her mouth!

Tuna salad sandwiches can be a bit messy if you don't hold them just right...I managed to not drop the camera, while reaching over to hold her sandwich together.

When cooking, I have a tendency to not measure anything unless I am baking or following a new recipe...this is both a blessing and a curse. I can make things more quickly and it tastes good each time, but I have trouble sharing my recipes! For teaching Munchkin, I am going to have to start measuring at least some stuff...and writing down my recipes while I am at it!

Check out my link party page to see where I am linking.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Can We Learn on Vacation?

What can you learn on vacation? Anything you want! Today I will be sharing pictures of some of our many trips to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. (I am not being compensated for sharing my opinion.) SDC is my favorite theme park because it has something for the whole family, and so many opportunities to learn as well!

This picture was taken inside Marvel Cave at SDC. The cave can be used to teach Geology, Stalactite/Stalagmite formation, Early exploration (especially if you take the Lantern Light Tour), Rock Layers, Temperature differences on and beneath the Earth's surface, animals found in caves, etc. There are many possibilities here for learning.

Map Reading and Navigation skills can be taught with minimal planning. Let your child lead, and help him reorient himself if he gets lost. Or, you lead, while pointing out landmarks and then see if your child can trace the route you took while looking at a map.

You may have to teach a little democracy as well. With more than one child, it is always interesting to see how they deal with the problem of what to ride first.

You could teach a lesson on flowers and plants, which are native, and which are not. Teach names of flowers, what types of soil are necessary to make flowers grow...or, in the case of these Hydrangeas, you can even work in a lesson on acids and bases, and what makes which color flower. 

Learn about how candy was made at Brown's Candy Factory (don't forget to try a sample while you are there!)

Learn about the old west, and uses for things like the stage coach. (Munchkin is dressed up here for a costume contest).

Learn about pulleys and gravity.

Learn about other countries culture and customs.

These pictures were taken during various times of the year, so not all things pictured are available year round. Many coincide with the festivals and events throughout the year at Silver Dollar City. There are many things to do besides what I have pictured. Visit the homestead and learn about the animals there, visit the schoolhouse for a history lesson, or the Wilderness Church for a Gospel Sing Along (Music and Music Appreciation). You can dip your own candles at Carries Candles, or make your own rag doll with Wagon Train Dolls. Watch a bladesmith fashion a blade, or a blacksmith make a horseshoe.

We also use vacations to learn about money. Leading up to vacation we list extra chores which can be done to earn spending money, and at the park we remind them to make wise choices, and to not spend all of their money on the first day. We remind them how long it took or how hard they worked to earn whatever amount they are thinking of spending on a potential purchase, then they decide if it is worth it to them. Wherever you go, remember that learning does not have to be done at the kitchen table!

I want to thank Crystal's Tiny Treasures for featuring this post I did about learning about money.

Crystal's Tiny Treasures Featured Me On Mom's Library

Check out my link party page to see where I am linking.