Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas and Crafting

So, my parents got me a kindle for Christmas. I really thought I never would go to a kindle because I am such a book person...love the feel of books in my hands, the smell of books, finding old books at resale stores, I just really love books. BUT, books take up space and can be pricey and in being consistent in wanting to de-clutter our home a bit, more books isn't really keeping along with that theme. Quite honestly, we have enough books since we homeschool. So, I started thinking a kindle would be a neat idea and I am so excited to have one. I have already downloaded lots of free books. I searched pinterest for the perfect kindle sleeve and found this tutorial. I liked it because it used a few different fabrics and I had a fat quarter stack I picked up on clearance at Joann's that I have been wanting to make something for myself with because I so loved it. :) Elizabeth was kind enough to give me some hints on adjusting the size for my smaller kindle and it worked out perfectly! So, here are a few pictures!
This is the front.
 And here is the back! :)
 Another present I received from my sweet daughter, were these Doodle Stitching books! I am so super excited about these and am looking forward to learning embroidery!
 Here is a sample of the outline stitches that I learned last night (using up random bits of embroidery floss, hence all the colors), it was so fun! :)
So, that is what I have been working on. The next thing on my to-do list is to make a bag for Madelynn's leapster that she got for Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I just got my camera back from my parents' house and had to post this picture from Thanksgiving. I am so very thankful for my family. We don't get to be all together often, but I sure do love it when we are! We were all together again for Christmas yesterday, minus my Grandma, she is back in Mississippi. We had a great time watching videos of my nephews wrestling, opening presents and playing cards (with lots of laughs) with the girls while the men tended the kids. :) I love the dynamic my family has when we are together!

AND, I am super excited because my parents got me a kindle! :) I think I've found the perfect kindle case tutorial! I'll have to post pictures after I make it.

(Does anyone notice my little girl in green spoiling our nice picture with her goofy self? Haha!)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Needlebooks With the Bitty

Madelynn has lost SO many needles. She has one left out of all the needles I have bought her. I decided to do a search on pinterest for needlebooks to solve her problem and found one that I thought she could do with just a little help from me. I also found one that I would like to make. Since I am new to sewing myself, I thought it would be fun to do this needlebook that was like a teeny tiny quilt. Today, while the boys (except Logan) were out shooting Carson's birthday present, the Bitty and I made our needlebooks! So, we are both so proud of ourselves and I wanted to post the pictures of them. :)

 Madelynn did a great job! I cut out the felt for her, she sewed the petals on, sewed on the button, backstitched the stem and leaves, sewed the felt button flap and pocket on the inside and then blanket stitched the entire thing! Wow! Not bad for a four year old, huh? :)
 Here is mine! This is the embellished inside which looks so cute thanks to kind of copying how she did it on the tutorial. I'm so glad that other people share their creativity! :) My needles are on the pages behind these.
 Tim's Nana gave me 2 yards of old Holly Hobbie fabric with different pictures on it. I thought this was perfect for a little needlebook! My edges are a bit sloppy, I think if I make another one, I will cut the cover bigger to make sure it gets stitched down.
 The pieced and quilted back. My first time doing that, it was super fun! I got a fat quarter bundle on clearance at Joann's for five bucks and it matched the Holly Hobbie fabric nicely. :) I even used the ribbon that the fat quarters were tied together with for the ribbon ties. Ha!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Small House & Camping

I have been feeling bummed for awhile about still being in a two bedroom house with three kids and no prospective buyers. The other day, the kids and I did a little rearranging in their bedroom to get Logan's toy box in there. It has been taking up space in my laundry room and the toys have been in baskets in my living room. So, it gave me back a lot of space in the house and really didn't take up too much in the kids' bedroom. In fact, they were pretty excited about it and we snapped a picture to send to daddy so he could see how our morning project turned out.
Last night, after we put the kids to bed, I had to smile. Carson was telling Madelynn a story. They lay in there laughing and being goofy and enjoying one another and I had to see how I was blessed by our small home. If we had an extra bedroom, they would never had shared a room and while it may have cut down on a lot of fighting, it has allowed them an opportunity to bond in a way they wouldn't have been able to otherwise. So, I am really feeling happy about our situation right now, even though the logical side of me thinks it is absurd to have three children in one bedroom. Until we are able to add on or buy a new house, I am going to continue focusing on being content with where we are.

Also, we returned from our fall camp trip yesterday! The weekend went by all too quickly and I think we are considering an extra day next year. I enjoyed the peace and quiet and time with my family. I was able to enjoy a quiet time reading while Tim and Carson were out on the canoe, Madelynn was otherwise occupied and Logan was napping.
We are starting this 31 seek series at church. Kind of nice to read about creation while sitting out by the woods and next to the lake. Sigh.... A few more pictures from our fall camping trip for all my family members who look at my blog and enjoy such things. :)

The annual picture on the stump...with a new kid this year! :)
 Our campsite, taken from the popup.
 Taking a walk in the woods with the kids.
 A canoe ride with Daddy...
 ...while Mommy hangs with Logan. :)
 I'm not sure why this picture came up sideways, it was not like that when I loaded it and I can't fix it. Oh well, turn your head and see how cute he is. ;)
 Daddy with his boys.
 Daddy and his kids. :)
 I love this picture. :)
 Now here they are, all in the 'attic' (as Madelynn calls it) and being very goofy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Co-op & Crochet

Our homeschool group's co-op started last month. I had been preparing Madelynn for it for like two months. She was determined that she would not go and would not like it. I was pretty stressed about it. I was able to take her to her class and stay for a few minutes and she did fine! So, we are halfway through and she really does like it! Whew! I have noticed a lot of changes in her lately. She is definitely starting to be more obedient and is a lot more pleasant to be around! It was funny, after the first day of co-op, her behavior was so much better and I commented on it. She said, "I learned about obeying at co-op." I'm thinking, you have got to be kidding me! I'm sure she never learned anything about obedience at home. ;) Haha! I'm thinking that she was very stressed about co-op and was very happy that it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.

That is from the first day of co-op. Carson is taking gym, geology and medieval times. He is really enjoying all of his classes and has a ton of things to tell me about on the way home. I'm helping out in the nursery this time around since I have my little guy with me. This year of homeschooling so far has been going great, with the exception of our sick week last week. I think that the difference is that I am not an exhausted pregnant lady this year. Haha!

I started this owl bag for Madelynn before co-op last year and finished the whole thing with the exception of sewing the felt on and putting it all together. So, it kinda sat around as a ufo for a year and I pulled it out and finished it before her first day this time. It is from the Crochet Today magazine, which I really love.

I will have to post again soon about Madelynn's sewing progress. That little girl is doing great, I'm so proud of her!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our Summer Break

We kicked off our summer break with our second annual camping trip to Holland, MI in June with a couple friends.
It was a very cold kickoff to the summer. Yes, that is a baby snuggled up with me. He pretty much lives in my moby wrap when we are away from home. :)

Tim and Sean, he's cooking us up some yummy chicken, steak and vegetable kabobs. We eat pretty well when we go camping, huh? :)

Hanging out in the camper, look Logan is not in the moby! He did so well for his first camping trip. He went right to sleep every night and I got to hang out around the fire with the adults. It was great!

And here is the oldest boy, smiling nice. Notice the bundling up. This does not mean we didn't go to the beach, we did! Tim and the guys actually went in the frosty water, they are Polar Bears after all. :)

We watched fireworks at our good friends' house. This is the only picture I have because my batteries died.

End of July, we went to Disney World! We stopped in Metropolis on the way down there and here are our super kids.

Our family with Goofy at the company dinner. We had a great time, it was so neat to be able to take the kids to Disney World!

I had the pleasure of taking Madelynn to a friend's surprise birthday party! It was so great to see her and catch up with her! She is expecting her third child in January (I think).

Closing our summer break with a few days at Grandma's house before she goes back to work. We spent a day visiting Aunt Sarah and swimming with cousins!

Carson had a great time with cousin Nathan, looking at all his Army gear. Nathan gave him an airborne patch which is now one of his greatest treasures.

A day at the park with some friends...

Last, but not least, Logan started solids! This is his first feeding, he had avocado.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A New Year of School!

We started school today! I must say, I was rather excited about this year. I set out all the school stuff last night so they would be excited to see their school 'room' this morning when they woke up to eat their back to school breakfast! :)

We tried something new this year. We don't have a lot of room to put workboxes or anything like that. This is what I did....

I put colorful envelopes on the back of our new cabinet doors on the peninsula (that my awesome hubby built :) ) and put an assignment or an activity in each envelope. This worked great! It has forced me to be more prepared and has enabled the kids to work more independently! They also enjoy finding out what their next 'assignment' is going to be and the visual reminder of what they have left has helped them to stay on task. :) I think this is going to be a winner and a great year. So excited!

Carson working on his copywork and Madelynn working on her cross stitch! :)

AND since I have the cutest little guy ever, I HAD to post a picture. :) He'll be six months old in two days.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Crochet Top

I saw this tutorial on craftpassion and thought it was so cute, so I decided to make it for the Bitty. :) It is the first big thing I have crocheted start to finish since the baby was born. I had a hard time finding some yarn and then discovered knitpicks cotlin yarn, very affordable and great color choice! I am pretty excited with how it turned out. Here are some pictures of the little bitty posing for me. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sewing with the Bitty

I got this book for the Itty Bitty awhile back at a library book sale and have been anxious to teach her to sew.

Of course, she was only two at the time. Now she is four. Still probably too early to use the book as intended, but I decided what they heck, we are going to tackle it! She is very excited, her sewing box is stocked and ready to go! She started off tracing her sewing card, working very hard. I tried really hard to keep my hands off and let it reflect her 4 year old abilities, but helped a little so that it would be functional to stitch on when it was finished.

So, here she is, displaying her running stitch! She does it most excellently too! Her first project is to start a bookmark which will display all the stitches that she learns. We have it cut out and ready to go, she can't wait! :)

A couple books I have my eye on for her are Made by Me and Sewing School.