Monday, April 29, 2013

Junk shirt to Jumper Dress

So I entered a contest on It's a cool site filled with tutorials. Sometimes It's fun to see the things you can find on there. Anyway because of this I posted my tutorial for today on there. Well actually because of that and also because when I went to upload it here I realized I had 20 pictures to post for it and that's a lot for someone to load on one page. That would mean typing it up in individual steps there and then typing it up divided into two separate posts here and lets face it. That is a lot of work when you have four little people to also take care of. So I'm giving you guys the link to view it over there. I hope you don't mind. Above are the front and back pictures of the finished dress. Below is the before picture of the shirt it once was.

Unfortunately when I found this shirt it was hanging in a thrift store in unwearable condition. Otherwise mama would have probably had a new shirt instead of Nova having a new dress. :-P

Anyway here is the link to the full tutorial. Oh and have no fear if you want to try this with a regular shirt that is not smocked. My tutorial goes over that. Please feel free to vote for me if you like it. Or someone else if you like theirs better. Although I'll be honest I would rather you vote for mine, lol.

Also if you give this a try then I would love to see links. Or send me some pics and I may just post them. :-) 

So have you ever remade something? Did you like how it came out? Would you try it again?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Home schooling! Butterfly lessons

The beginning of home school. We always knew we wanted to home school our children but now that time has finally come. Well technically we don't have to start until fall of 2014 but we are diving in a little early.

I'm hoping this info will be helpful to another home school family. However you will need to pick and choose which parts you think are suitable for your child and where they are at. We've been doing little bits of schooling here and there but nothing formal yet. For the past year I've been having her work on and off in the little $1 workbooks you can pick up from Target or the Dollar Tree. She did one pre-k one in the beginning and then we decided to skip to 1st and 2nd grade math when she sat down for 15 minutes and completed the whole 30 pg. book. It wasn't challenging enough for her and I was worried she would start to lose interest. Reading on the other hand we are still working on. So fast forward to the present... 

We bought a butterfly pavilion. Our caterpillars came in the mail and are now encased in tiny wiggly chrysalis. Did you know the chrysalis wiggle? Yeah I didn't really know that until I read it in the little booklet. It was a little strange moving the little papers they are attached to over to the pavilion when they are wiggling on them. That's what I was doing last night.

So today I decided it was the day to learn about butterflies. We already briefly discussed the life cycle of a butterfly. I drew pictures and then Ember and Nova both draw their interpretation of the life cycle. We reviewed that and then we talked about how butterflies taste with their feet and how yucky that would be when we put our shoes on if we did that. This part really got Nova's attention. We talked about the different body parts of a butterfly. Head, thorax, abdomen, and things like wings, legs, eyes, antenna, ect. We discussed what they eat and how those eating habits help plants. Then we sang a song about butterflies and then both girls colored a picture of a butterfly. Here is the link to the printout. This was great because it allowed us to work on sounding out words which is something Ember needs to really work on. This is still very hands on work for us so Nova just colored as she saw fit. At 3 she still has a while to just play but she does like to feel included. Then we ate mac and cheese bugs for lunch which has little caterpillar and butterfly shapes in it. ;-)

Additionally I also printed out this sheet for Ember. I printed it out at 125% to make it easier to see. This is one she can do mostly by herself until she gets to the part where she needs to read the colors to use.

Here are a couple other resources that maybe helpful if you want to put together a butterfly lesson plan.

butterfly lesson plan - This is where I got a lot of my ideas from and then I expanded from there.
life cycle - I didn't find this until after I drew one.
beginner math - If you are just introducing math then this might be helpful.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The garden is planted!

It's been a few more days then I would like between posts this time. We were super busy last week though. Every free moment pretty much went into getting our garden planted. Our flowers in front of the house finally bloomed and we discovered they were beautiful white daffodils. It was really windy so they kept blowing around as I was trying to take pictures of them, lol.
 I like this one!
 Here is a picture of our humble garden. All the seeds are in the ground except for the poppies and the marigolds which we are planting to attract butterflies and repel dear and rabbits. Did you know there were certain plants you could plant to keep different animals and insects away from your garden? Kind of cool isn't it?
 I call this our humble garden because if we had our way we would probably spend all our time gardening and to heck with work. We actually have 15 decent sizes rows though and truth be told we may have gone a little over board for our first real garden. I think we can totally handle it though. I just hope everything grows and produces well.
I'm anxiously awaiting my canary melons. We planted those on the end so they could vine into the yard and we can try to keep them aimed away from the other plants. :-) 

Now we just need to concur the grape arbor and well be doing well.

So are you gardening this year? What are you planting? Anything unusual and fun? Ever planted purple potatoes or purple carrots?

Friday, April 5, 2013

New fridge and new food

We got a new refrigerator and it's great. We were needing a new one really badly because the door on our old one was bent and didn't seal closed. We were saving up and we were really wanting one with a freezer on the bottom.

So at bunco I let everyone know we had a working but not great refrigerator to donate to anyone who needed one. Well good thing I did because one of the ladies there was selling a very nice fridge. It was everything we wanted in a fridge and then some. One of those super fancy ones we would have never been able to buy. She sold it to us for the amount we had allocated as "new fridge money". So we didn't go over budget at all but now we have a super nice one.

Ok so I told you that story to tell you this one. While the "men folk" moved this monster of a fridge I was watching the kids. This meant our 4 (which I'm used too) plus the two little boys of our friends who were helping move the leviathan. Let me tell you it's a lot of work watching 6 kids. Especially when two of them aren't yours. They aren't bad children. That is not what I'm getting at. It's just that watching someone else's children is different. You don't know their rules, likes, dislikes, what they need help with ect. Plus you don't want to enforce your rules for your children on someone else's kids or let your kids get away with those things when they know better. You get the idea.

Well one thing really stood out to me as different between our kids and the one little boy. I've been thinking about it all week and wondering about it. The one little boy wanted a snack. With no fridge around I only had non-fridge foods which meant no good stuff like fruit. So I offered him goldfish or fig bars. He looked them both over and said "I've never had those before". Referring of course to the fig bars. When I hear that phrase from my children it means that's the one they want. They are all about the adventure of trying new things. So I of course said "oh you want that one then?". Lol, he looked at me kind of funny like maybe I was trying to poison him or something and said "I'll take the goldfish". I was slightly in shock. I'm not used to that sort of response to the offer a new food. Usually such an offer elicits an excited yes, gleeful giggles, and jumps of joy. Then again my kids dream dinner is taranchulas. Nope, I'm not kidding. We saw them on "bizzare foods" and now that has been on Ember's most desired foods list for the past two years.   
So what kind of eaters do you have? Do you have the adventurous type that can't wait to try something new? Or do you have an eater who is more timid around new foods?