Friday, January 26, 2007

Family Portrait

I have been busy making monkeys. I love making Not So Sock Monkeys. My children have tried to request colors and fabrics but I have to tell them no. The monkeys choose what colors they will be and then claim their owners.
Here are all the monkeys I have made this month so far.
Monkey Family Portrait
I have found that making them from fleece is much easier to work with but I love the look and feel of the cotton monkeys. The little one in the middle is the newest.
His name is Ivan.
Ivan 2
His name is Ivan, not because he is terrible, but because he was born during the terrible Ice Storm of 2007. He is made 100% by hand from 100% felted wool and is stuffed with hand washed, hand carded raw wool I cleaned myself. Joe helped card it for me. He is 100% hand stitched with pearl cotton. I love him. I made him for my etsy shop but I don't know. How can you sell one of your babies? I made him by candle light when I could snatch a few moments to myself between keeping fires going, cooking, and trying to keep my family warm. Jeddie loves the baby monkey. That makes it hard to part with him too.
I have thoughts of making him a sister out of red wool felt that is just calling my name to be made into a little monkey. He is only about 5 inches tall and can sit in your hand.
Here are some others that joined our family.
Sammy
This little guy is on his way to California for little Sammy's 2nd birthday. He is so snuggley. I just love to squeeze him. His ears are made from Michael Miller fabric too. My favorite fabric designer.
These are two sister monkeys.
Fizzy & Fuzzy
They are very small and are for Sarah and Caroline. They like the fact that their monkeys are definitely girly and that they are so small. I have been hearing baby money noises all week. I cut these out before the storm but didn't get them sewn up until the power was back on.

National Soup Swap Day

I missed it. January 23 was National Soup Swap Day. You are supposed to get together with your girlfriends, exchange packages of soup and recipes while munching and visiting. Too much fun. You get to go home with about 6 or more soups to go right in your freezer and share the recipes with your friends.
I don't have time to organize things like that (although I am dieing to). So, I will share two soup recipes with you here that we had this week and just love. I am trying really hard to bring some order to the chaos I call a life. As a result, I am trying to plan my meals out at least 2 weeks in advance if not a whole month. To simplify this task I have assigned some nights with certain dish types and Tuesday is soup night. This is working pretty well so far. It made the choice of "What's for Dinner?" so much easier.
Here are the recipes I have to share with you.
South of the Border Soup (found on Kiddley)
Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 can of beans
1 can of chicken broth
1 small can of corn
Pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of dried basil
Slices of avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, squeeze of lemon and tortilla chips (about one cut up per person) or you can just cut up corn tortillas like noodles and add them to the soup near the end.
Method
Fry the onion, garlic, celery and spices gently in the oil or butter until onion is soft. Add the tin of tomatoes and cook until bubbling. Add the can of beans and the can of corn. Cook until nice and bubbly and then blend with a hand blender. Add chicken stock and let it heat through.
Serve in big bowls with slices of avocado, cheese, cream and tortilla chips floating on top. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, but lime would been better.
You could add some bite sized bits of chicken for extra deliciousness but it really isn't missed. Bryan didn't miss the meat. By blending all the ingredients, no one could recognize things they don't like. Bryan hates corn in anything so I didn't tell him it was there. :o) I love hand blenders.

Soup #2
Better than Olive Garden's Sausage and Potato Soup
This in not lo-cal but it is very good. Bryan ordered this yesterday at OG and then said he wanted to fix it for dinner (Thursday is crock pot, casserole, or Bryan fix dinners). My mom has made this and greatly improved the Olive Garden original.
Ingredients
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 onion chipped
1 slice of bacon diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon ( I used more water, so I used more like 6 tsp)
4 cups water (I used a lot more like 2 1/2 qt)
2-3 potatoes, cubed
2 cups kale, rinsed and julienned
1/2 cup heavy cream or a can of Evap milk
1/2 large package Velveeta style cheese cubed

Cook up your sausage. If it is in links, slice them (mom does it that way) or just crumble up whole sausage and brown.
In a large pot, boil water, bouillon, potatoes, and sausage. Saute the onion with the bacon in a frying pan for a bout 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook. Add this to your pot and bring back to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes.
Add the cream (or milk) and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat off and add the cheese and stir until it is all melted and incorporated.
Serve with good crusty bread. This soup is very thin but silky because of the cheese.
We LOVE it!
Enjoy!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

January Apron - Smock Apron - Child or Adult

Here is the tutorial (?maybe) for my first apron. It is so quick and easy and so comfortable. I made this first for me but as it makes me look even fatter, I will not be posting the photos of me in mine. You get to see the lovely miss Hannah model this smock this month. I assume you have some basic sewing knowledge but not tons. If you have questions, ask me and I will happily clarify my poor instructions. This apron is open in the back but you can close it if you want.

Pattern pieces - Cut these out of paper if you need that or use a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and quilting ruler to measure the fabric itself.
Cut it out
Body of Apron - measure around your chest just under your armpits and add half again to that number for the width of your smock skirt. (For example a 36" bust + 18 = 54") The length of the top is however long you want it. You could take this to the floor if you want. I wanted mine to come just past my hips so I made mine 18"
For Hannah's smock I wanted to use one of those embroidered dishtowels so found one wide enough to go around her with room to spare and cut it in half to make one for her and one for another lucky little girl. (not sure who yet)
Contrasting band at the top of the apron - Measure around your bust again and add about 2-4 inches. Test this measurement on you and make sure it isn't too snug or too loose. I made mine loose and I like that but Hannah's is a bit snug and it won't fit her long unless I make an alteration ( I have a plan and if I get a snap press I will let you know what that is). This strip needs to be 3 1/2 inches wide (for example 36" bust + 4"= 40" x 3 1/2"). You need to cut out 2 of these one of which is your facing. You can line this with interfacing you choose but I didn't I really hate working with that stuff and never remember to have any on hand or can't find it when I need it.
Shoulder Straps - Find a comfortable length from your front to your back over your shoulder. This is easier to measure on someone else than yourself. My straps are too big and keep flopping of my shoulder but Hannah's fit perfectly. I will have to take mine in. They drive me nuts. A good average length is 14" and the straps need to be cut at 4 1/5". You need 2 of these.
Pocket - This is optional. Cut out two squares the size you want (4x6"). Place them together and curve to bottom if you like or leave it straight. It's your pocket, do what you like. :o)

Sewing order:
Shoulder straps - Fold the fabric in half with right sides together and sew each strap with a 1/4" seam.
Sew Straps
Turn the straps to the outside and press them as you like. The seam can go to one side or you and slip it to the back if you want to be fancy. It is your strap, do as you like. :o)
Contrasting band - For the piece that will be on the inside, fold the bottom edge under ( to the wrong side) 1/4". I just eyeball that. (I really hate fussy measurements).
Quarter inch hem
Now you need to pin your straps in place. To do this I folded the outside band in half and marked that then I measured out about 3 to 5 inches and placed the strap end on each side of the front. (I know this sounds confusing but if you will place it out in fornt of you, I promise it will make sense.) Next do the same from the middle back of the the band (this is where it will close in back and overlap) measure back on each side about 3-5 inches and pin the other end of each strap on each side. MAKE SURE you are pinning them to the top of your band so that your straps go over your shoulders and not under your boobs. :o) For better instructions go here. She has a tutorial for a smock shirt and has descent drawings. They helped me get the idea.
Now that you have your straps pinned in place, place your lining fabric on top, right sides together and stitch all the way around, encasing the straps inside with 1/4" seams.
Set in Strap 2
Now for your skirt. Because I used a dishtowel for Hannah's smock I didn't need to finish the edges but if you use yardage then you will want to make a narrow hem on the sides and bottom of your piece. At the top you need to make a gathering seam by sewing the whole length with the widest stitch your machine will make near the edge of your fabric. Once will do, however, twice is more stable. (this is one way of doing things, you can also make tucks or pleats all the way across, it's your apron, do as you wish). Now pin this to the bottom of the front piece of your contrasting band. When I did this I didn't go right to the ends and left about and inch or so of band on each end for putting buttons or snaps or whatever there. Now sew that with a 1/4" seam.
Attach the apron skirt
Now tuck the seams to the inside of the band and pin the front and back together with wrong sides together and top stitch around the whole thing to finish off the lining seam ( this is why you folded the lining side up 1/4 inch). You could stitch this by hand but who has time for that. :o) This works for me. You can see in the photo here the inside of the apron.
Top stitch top
Pocket - Take your two pieces of pocket fabric and place them together with right sides facing and sew them all the way around the outside edge, leaving and opening for turning. Use a 1/4" seam.
Sew Pocket
Turn to the outside and press. You can whip stitch the open shut but I just made sure my opening was on the side and took care of it when I top stitched the sides and bottom of the pocket to sew it in place. So now top stitch the top of the pocket and place the pocket where you want it and pin it in place. Top stitch around the sides and bottom.
Attach pocket
Now you are done! This is actually the one that I am going to give away I like it BUT....
Smock Finished
I really like this one better that I made for my Hannah baby Chicky.
Hanna's Smock
I hope this wasn't too confusing. I may come in and fix this all. I don't do well with directions. I promise I will do better next month. Maybe if I write it on paper as I go. Who knows. You will just have to wait until Feb. to get the next one. I have several in mind and will just have to choose one.

Apron Challenge

I love aprons. You can't have too many of them. The collection I have is special to me and I can tell you when I got each of them, who they came from and where I was in life when I got them.
Aprons are so symbolic. They are the official uniform of mothers. They represent our stand to serve and protect our families. I am afraid I do get a little emotional when I think about them. Most of my happiest childhood memories involve someone in an apron. My mother used to make aprons for each of her married daughters and daughters-in-law for Christmas. She quit the tradition before I got married but I did manage to get 2 of them and they are my favorites. I intend to copy them sometime.
In my rambling searching of the Internet I found Tie on and loved the idea. I don't know if I will follow her challenge but the thought of making a new apron for myself or for loved ones just thrilled me. SOOOOoooo. This year, 2007, I have set the goal to make a new apron every month and post the pattern or tutorial here so that others can make them if they like. I love finding patterns that only need directions and no pattern pieces so we will see what we can do. I don't want to have to go out and buy someones pattern and don't want to make anyone else do that either.
I was working on this when the power blinked out over a week ago with the Great Freeze of 2007 here in SW Missouri. I was just up loading my pictures when the power went out and we were thrust into the dark and sub freezing temperatures of the worst Ice Storm we have had for about 20 years. I will post about that next. :o)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

We Survived

We survived the terrible ice storm of January 2007.
Friday the 12th it started to rain and then to sleet. I ran out and did my shopping and left Bryan with the babies, Hannah 4 and Jeddie 14 mos. and with the kids I was babysitting, (Ana 4, Gwenny 2, Tata 14 mos, Ryu 5, and Toshi 3). The stores were packed. It took me 2 hours to get my shopping done and get back home. Bryan was banging his head on the wall when I got back and said "NEVER AGAIN". I thought that it was funny that I function under conditions like that all the time and it isn't ever considered something special. Interesting. :o)
The ice storm hit hard and fast. The power started to flicker by 7 p.m. and went out. It was so bad the Bryan opted not to go into town to work and I am so glad that he didn't. We we woke up in the morning there was an inch of ice on everything.
The trees
It was so beautiful in the morning but got scary fast when the house started getting colder and colder.
All night we could hear creaking and groaning of all the trees in our woods. Every now and then you would hear a loud crack and then the crashing of the trees as they fell. That went on for days. I got hit in the shoulder by a small branch at my mom's house next door and it hurt pretty bad. The ice made that small branch pretty heavy. We lost 4 trees in our yard. My mom and dad lost several. We were all very lucky that none of them fell on our houses.
Here are some more pictures from our yard.
Branch close-up
This is after the first morning. The second day it was twice as thick.
Cloths line
Do you know how long it takes to dry cloths by a fire?
24 hours. Jeddie wears cloth diapers and goes through about 5-6 per day. I had to hand wash them and hang them to dry at my mom's house by her wood stove. That got old fast. I love my cloth diapers but not that much. By day 3, Bryan was able to make it back into town to work and brought me back a package of disposable diapers. I was very thankful.
Day 1 we just sat around eating and expecting the power to come back on any time. By the second day it started to sink in that we might be in trouble. Bryan worked all day getting things going for me and getting the cars open. He drove down our dirt road and discovered how much trouble we and our neighbors were in. The transformer at the pole at the end of our road was sideways and there were 2 poles on the ground and our electric lines were in the road. The power wasn't coming on anytime soon. When he finally made it into town he said it looked like a bomb had gone off and flattened most of the countryside. There were hundreds of trees down and many poles. He came home so depressed. The reports first came that we wouldn't get power for 4-5 days, then a week, then weeks to a month. I felt like crying. It was SO cold. The day temps by Monday were in the high teens and at night it was almost down to Zero. I had to fight to keep my family safe and warm. Our home is all electric so we had no lights, no heat and no water. We needed a plan.
Bryan went right out and got started working on heat. He scavenged cinder blocks from around our place and build me a make shift fireplace on our front porch.
Make-shift fire place
I put a grate in there and was able to heat water all day long. I put that hot water in the sinks in the kitchen for washing dishes and it helped heat the rooms up just a little. It also worked well to boiled soup on.
You can see wood all around the fire place. That is frozen wood from my yard that Bryan cut up for me that I am thawing by the fire so I can burn it the next day. That was an all day job.
I also got out or BBQ grill and used that too cook meals. It was slow but it worked. I never did get a boil off it but the pancakes were great! So was the bacon.
Cooking arrangements
Here I was making hot cocoa. We drank a lot of that during the week.
Here's the recipe:
Hot cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
Boil this together and add:
4-5 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
What helped us survive this was Water. You don't realize just how much you depend on it until you can't get any. For Several years Bryan and I have been storing water in our food storage. We are told to have 72 hours water per family member and we had just that. We have been filling bleach bottles with water as we empty them and gallon juice bottles too. These are not drinkable but they will do for washing and flushing toilets. A MUST!
Water
Good friends came to our aid with the water. My father -in-law let Bryan stop by and helped him re-fill jugs while the water supply lasted in Neosho. Their water mains burst and they were without water for a couple of days. Our friends Dan and Brenda showed up with BBQ, soup and water for us and our animals. We can't thank them enough! Another friend Diana invited us to come and refill during the week too as she had water but still no power. One friend had power through the whole thing and she, Jill, invited me and the kids to come and clean up and do a load of wash on Thursday. It was so wonderful to feel clean again. Good friends really came to our aid and touched me with their kindness. My best friend, Vea, called several times and kept my spirits up and got hold of her brother David and had him bring us a propane camp stove. This was so wonderful. I could cook indoors (for limited times due to carbon monoxide worries) and heat the house a little at the same time. That was wonderful.
On Day 5 we got hold of some extra batteries that just happened to fit the CD player. We were able to hook up the mp3 player to that and listen to some of our favorite books on CD. It was so wonderful to have some technology back. The kids were so happy to listen to their favorite stories at night.
Technology
My biggest worry was keeping Jeddie warm and safe. He started the whole ordeal with a cold. He is teething and getting in his molars and had a tough time with that. At night I could bundle him in close to me and hold him to keep him warm but during the day it was hard to keep him warm. I layered him in a turtleneck onsie, Sleeper PJ's, a fleece jacket and pants. I tried to keep a hat on him but he kept pulling it off and hiding it. I didn't give up but it was off more than it was on. He would sit with his sisters Sarah and Caroline while they read his favorite books. I wish I had taken a picture of that but missed it. Here he is reading with Sarah while eating some Fruit Loops that Dan and Brenda brought him. Notice the Fruit Loop book. That helped keep keep Sarah interested in what he was doing. :o)
Keeping Jeddie warm
To keep the kids warm at night I came up with a very clever idea. (or at least I thought so.) I remembered heating large round river rocks when I lived with my brother Joe and putting them in my bed at night during the cold Utah winter when I was going to college. I don't have nice round rocks here but I was able to find some old bricks in my mom's yard. I heated them each evening, wrapped them in old dish towels and placed them at the foot of the beds. I doubled kids up in the beds to try to conserve their body heat. I also found some old emergency reflector blankets and put them in their beds. This worked. The beds were warm when they got in and the bricks helped keep things warm from about 7:00 p.m. too 2:00 a.m. each night. By then their little bodies had generated enough heat to keep them warm till morning. I bundled them in as many quilts and wool blankets as I could get my hands on. I did the same on my bed. I was worried because Bryan works nights and I didn't know if I could keep Jeddie warm enough but with the bricks I did. I scorched my dishtowels though and will have to get some new ones. Oh well. We were warm and I didn't scorch the sheet or the kids. :o)
On Saturday Bryan met some line men in our road and talked to them and found out they were coming to fix our lines. He said if they did he would kiss them. They fixed our lines anyway. :o) I kissed Bryan instead. When the power finally came on again the kids all cheered and I just about cried. I felt so relieved. I realized just how strained I had been worrying all day and night that everyone was safe and warm. I feel sad though today, 3 days later as there are still many families in our area without power. It is still bitter cold outside and I wonder how they are making it. The ones that I know have access to heat and water. I am glad to hear that.
We learned several lessons this past week.
We are not prepared enough. You never know when it will be your turn to have trouble. When it hits, if you are prepared, you are much less scared.
The advice I would give to other is this:
1. Store water. You can't have too much of it. Others near you might need some too and it feels so wonderful to be together enough to actually help someone else in a crisis.
2. Have an alternate heat source and make sure it is safe. Make sure you have adequate blankets and clothing.
3. Store some quick fix food to take the stress off where easy.
I would recommend a 72 hour kit of food, clothing, water, and fuel.
4. Store extra candles, flashlights, and batteries. We found that candles do put out a few BTU's and that you can warm your hands by one. Also the highly scented container candle wax is great. We found that they burned much longer than the other candles and because they were in glass they gave better light. The glass amplified the light.
The list could go on and on. We are so thankful that we made it and that we have power now. We won't be taking that for granted again. Every flicker of the lights stops my heart. Bryan will also never complain about my storing water in odd jugs in weird places. It all came in handy. :O)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Pita Bread - Illustrated

I don't know if I have the patience or focus to do a real tutorial but I can illustrate some directions. :o) This is an adaptation of the Pita Bread recipe that my sister Mary gave me a while back. We love it and it is really good for you.
All Done
I bake this bread in very hot oven, 450* F. on a baking stone. I got mine when I was a Pampered Chef dealer. I highly recomend theirs. I love mine!

Pita Bread
2 3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
6 to 8 cups whole wheat flour
Preheat the oven to 450 degres F. with your baking stone in there.

Mix the water, oil, honey, salt, yeast flaxseed, wheat germ and 3 cups whole wheat flour. This will be very soupy. Let it rise about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of four and mix in well. If the dough seems really sicky then add more flour about 1/2 cup at a time. The dough is done when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. You do want it a little sticky. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Quick lesson about wheat while you let that rise. The bran and germ of the wheat kernal take a long time to absorb water but when they do they really hold onto it. That is why they are so good for you. When making bread with them, they can play tricks on the begginer. If you kneed your flour until you have a nice tight dough and then let it rise, your beautiful dough will become stiff and hard and will make a very dense and dry loaf of bread. This isn't just what you are looking for. However, if you leave your dough just lightly sticky, as the dough rises the bran will contuinue to absorb water and your sticky dough will end up to be a very wonderful, elastic dough, making a beautiful loaf of bread. I have read somewehre that some people soak their wheat flour in their liquid the night before and add their yeast in the morning and a little extra flour to tighten the dough up. I haven't tried that yet but may try it. I think they skoaked their wheat in milk. Well back to the recipe.
Now that your dough has risen you need to divide it into 4 pieces to work with. Divide each of the 4 pieces into 8 balls of dough (one ball at a time).
Divide Dough
Now take and work the balls of dough one at a time in plenty of flour. Like this.
Plenty Flour
Then roll out the dough into your pita shape. The thickness of your dough is up to you. I shoot for 1/4". Here is Hannah the Chief Pita roller at work. She is also explaining the process.
Roll it out
Next you want to put them in the oven on the baking stone. If you don't have one, you can use a cookie sheet but your results may varry.
Bake the pitas for 3 minutes on one side then flip them over and bake for 2 minutes on the other side. (I actually skip that and just do 5-6 minutes on one side only because I like having eyebrows).
Bake it
When you take them out of the oven, wrap them in a dishtowel to keep the moisture in. This will help them keep soft while cooling off.
With Jam With Honey
Hannah likes her's with fresh strawberry jam. I like mine with butter and honey.
For dinner on Monday, we had fresh pitas right from the oven with Garbonzo Bean Dip. Even Bryan likes this one and that is amazing.
Garbonzo Bean Dip
Here is the recipe for that too.
Curried Garbonzo Bean Dip
2 - cans garbonzo beans - drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
In a food processor, blend everything except the cilantro until smooth. Add the chopped cilantro and blend until it is pretty unifor in texture.
Serve with Pita bread, pretzels, veggie sticks, crackers ..... etc.... . I love this in a veggie sandwitch with sliced cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, and avacado and if I have it I add a slice for fresh parmasean cheese.
Also, if you don't have cilantro or if you are like me and think it tastes like dish soap, you can use parsley. Bryan in now a cilantro nut so I add it and hide the fact that it has curry because he HATES curry in all forms. It has enough other flavor (namely curry) which hide the cilantro enough for me that it doesn't bother me in this recipe.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A New Friend

I had to make another one! I can't get enough of monkeys right now. I want to play and play and play with them. All my kids want me to make them one. I love the idea of playing with different materials. I even have other animals popping into my head.
new friend
This big red guy is made out of polar fleece and is so soft and cuddly. He was so much easier to sew up because the fleece gives so much better when you sew it than the heavy cotton I made the purple one out of.
Meet Red
I do love them both. So do JEB and Hannah. Hannah had them talking to each other and played so many grand games with them today. She says they need baby monkeys though. I will have to see what I can do. :o)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Not So Sock Monkey

I made a monkey. A "Not So" Sock Monkey.
Not So Sock Monkey
I do have a pair of sock monkey socks BUT I am chicken to cut into them. I saw a cloth sock monkey somewhere and loved it. Please be kind when you see her original compared to my poor little monkey.
I made him with Hannah in mind but Jeddie was the only one awake when I finished it. He was crying most broken heartedly and was very taken by the purple monkey. You can still see little tears in his eyes. He needed a snuggle with his mum and his monkey.
A snuggle with mum and the monkey
Here are some more of JEB's "Love a Monkey" If we say that to him he will grab it and hug it.
Love A Monkey 2
JEB and his Monkey
All the kids love the monkey and want me to make them each one. They like the possibilities for tie-dye color combos. I dyed the fabric to make him.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Homeschooling Jump

My husband and I took the homeschooling jump this week and took our oldest son out of the public school system. Our two oldest daughters are still in public school. Our son just needed some time at home were there are less distractions. He is very bright and rather ADD and works very well one on one.
We had fun today working out our schedule and starting in on our "class work".
I have searched the Internet for months, trying to find information on homeschooling and curriculum and have been very frustrated. I have a degree in early childhood and elementary education (don't ever look at my spelling though) so I have never doubted my teaching ability. I just don't trust my self discipline to keep up with a program.
In searching the web I found it frustrating that I couldn't find what I wanted. The curriculum's were either incredibly expensive or so far off the deep end that there wasn't much usable info in them. I know there must be good programs out there but they really are hard to find and you have to take their word for it. I also found that the religious based curriculum, while doing a pretty good job of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the children, they were very soft on other subject matter. I already work on teaching my children the Gospel, I want help in teaching math, reading, social studies, and science.
I got some good advice from my mom. She told me to go talk to the principal so I did. I am so glad that I did. I called her in advance and let her know what my plan was and that I wanted to come in and talk to her. That gave her time to collect her ideas and be prepared to give me ideas. When I got there, she had gathered all of my son's text books together and and gone into her own resources and found some others that are really fantastic. She let me check these out for the remainder of the year. She also let me know that he is welcome to come back to the school for special classes if we want to, such as art, PE, music, library and computers. He can also attend the after school program which is a lot of fun.
I felt so much better about things after talking to her. I am a little ADD myself and get overwhelmed when faced with too many things to think about and decide all at once. Now I have a plan that we can follow and can deviate from without upsetting the apple cart. He can work on special projects as the mood strikes which is something you need to be able to do with and ADD child. They have an incredible ability to hyper-focus on things that interest them which is to your advantage if you can direct it and help them harness that drive.
We are so excited. He has already found a pet project. I will have to post more about that as it develops. I might have to let him create his own Homeschooling Blog about his adventures and his conservationist projects.
I hope I am not just typing this to fill space out there in cyberspace and that someone can actually get some ideas from this. I started the week feeling good about this decision but very stressed. Now I feel good about the decision and very excited about the plan that we have to accomplish it. I think the whole having a plan thing is what is going to help me.
This homeschooling thing is forcing me to organize a few pockets of my chaos that I call a life and home.
One of my son's great comments today was that now he gets an afternoon recess EVERY day. The poor kid has been missing them for several years because he had detention for behavior (talks way too much) or because he hadn't finished is work (couldn't stand another worksheet).
Well that was long but it has been an eternity of a week here at our house.
I am excited to be looking at the start of a new week soon with so many new projects to get into.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Baby Shoes

I did it! I did it!
I have loved the leather baby shoes I have seen all over the interenet but they are so expensive.
Alisa told me about stardust shoes and I love them. I downloaded her insteructions and made my baby some really great shoes.
I used the very last scraps of his big brother's dinosaur fabric. This is a great way to showcase your favorite novelty prints.
Dino Shoes
Here is the link to the blog with directions to make your own.
http://stardustshoes.blogspot.com/2006/10/cloth-shoe-pattern.html

Here is a pair I made for my niece Claire.
Monkey feet
I love the sock monkey fabric out there. Bryan just found some in Yellow. I am going to have to get some of that!
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