Cooking & Sewing

July 31, 2006 at 8:04 pm (Uncategorized)

The last few weeks I have been up to my ears in sewing.  I love to sew,
and frequently I volunteer to do sewing projects for other people. 
Well, somehow all those promises seem to have come due all at the same
time!  LOL  So I have been sewing, sewing, sewing.  While I have been
sewing my 11 year old son has been cooking.  How wonderful this has
been!  He has taken over kitchen duty more or less.  Here are the
things he can cook completely on his own:

Bake a loaf of bread
fried eggs
egg sandwiches
grilled cheese
Ramen Noodles

Add a few carrot sticks, apples and some juice and you have a meal for about anytime of day! 

It's funny but I never really ever thought about how great it would be
when the kids could start doing some of the cooking.  I guess I thought
I would be doing it all for the rest of my life.  This is a very
pleasant little surprise!


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Where Have I Been?

July 29, 2006 at 11:00 am (Uncategorized)

Here is a cool site where you can make a map of all the States you have visited.

<a href=””>create your own visited states map</a>
 or <a href=””>check out these Google Hacks.</a>

I absoultley LOVE to
travel!  Thankfully so does my husband and children.  I
really need to explore the East Coast!  It is my dream to visit
every State in the USA.  We are hoping sometime druing the next
year to drive to Virginia to visit friends who moved their a few years
ago.  While we are there we will visit Pennsylvania and Washington
DC.  Can't wait to get some more red on my map!  (Don't ask
me how I have managed to be everywhere in the West except Idaho….Huh,
we re going to have to fix that!)

Thank you to Wired Wisdom for posting this!

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Mama Kitty

July 29, 2006 at 10:55 am (Uncategorized)

Our cat Natomas is also known as Mama
Kitty around here.  Not because she is the Mama to our other cat
Pearl, but because she acts like a Mother to our children.  This
cat is the most maternal being I have even known.  She was a
birthday gift to my oldest son on his 5th birthday.  A year and a
half later our daughter was born.  From the moment I got pregnant
the cat seemed to know.  She slept on my stomach and laid on my
stomach as much as she could anytime I sat down.  She would take
he paws and knead my stomach all the way through the pregnancy. 
When my daughter was born the cat was never more than a few inches from
her.  When she would cry the cat would walk around her nervously
and then frantically lick the tears off her face!  (It was the
sweetest thing I have ever seen!)  If I took what the cat deemed
as too long to tend to the crying baby the cat would come find me and
meow loudly and the bite me on the back of my legs until I went and
made the baby happy.  Our babies slept in our bed, our cat slept
in the bassinet!  We did put the baby in the bassinet sometimes
during the day and when we did the cat would curl up next to her and
keep her warm.  When our 3rd baby came along she went through the
same routine.  This cat LOVES babies!

I am remebering all
this because yesterday our neighbor brought over a bassinet mattress
and bumper pad she wants me to recover for her new grandbaby.  The
minute it came into the house Natomas was attached to it.  I put
it on my sewing table and she has been draped across it ever
since.  It is funny to watch her, it's like she is drunk on baby
scent!  My husband said last night.  “You know Natomas thinks
we are having another baby?”  I told him I knew and I feel bad
that the bassinet mattress is leaving in a couple days.  I am
seriously thinking about going to the thrift strore and buying her a
used baby scented bassinet to sleep in!

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Don't worry, the cover she is sleeping
on will not be used for the new baby.  The mattress is covered in
plastic and I will wipe it down good before I give it back.

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Old Mom vs. Young Mom

July 28, 2006 at 10:17 am (Uncategorized)

Okay, I admit it I am having  moment….

I realized a few days ago that 2 1/2 years ago when I had my last child
I was the same age as my Mother was when I moved out at the age of

I never dreamed growing up that I would be an OLD
Mom!  My Mom was married at 18, had my sister at 19 and me at
21.  When she was 39 I moved out on my own and she and my Dad had
an empty  nest.  I however had a very FULL nest at 39! 
I had a 9 yo, 2yo and a newborn.  All my growing up years I
remember my Mom lamenting every time she heard of anyone passed the age
of 25 having a baby “I'm so glad it's her and not me!”  I guess I
grew to believe that the “right” way to have children was to have them
young!  But, I didn't have them young.  After many years of
infertility my 1st (And at the time I believed ONLY!) was born when I
was 29.  I became a Mom at the age my Mom still claimed to be!  
God's timing, my lesson!  I always told myself we would try for
number 2 until my 35th birthday.  I just couldn't imagine having a
baby passed 35!  My 2nd was born 4 days after my 36th
birthday!  God's timing, another lesson for me. At this point I
knew we were done.  I mean I REALLY wanted more kids, but I was
too old, right?  Plus I had been blessed beyond measure with a BOY
and a GIRL.  All American's know that you only try for number 3 if
you have 2 of the same sex!  Right?  Well, fast forward 2
years 9 months….I joyfully gave birth to number 3, 6 weeks before I
turned 39!  God's timing, lesson #3 for me! 

I am 2 1/2 years later and for the first time in my adult life I am not
yearning to have another child!  I adore the 3 I have and am so
glad for the lessons God taught me, but I actually feel DONE! 
Wow, all this thinking I believe is spurred by the cleaning out of the
last of my baby items.  This week I gave away my cloth diapers and
nursing tops.  My 2 1/2 year old weaned 6 months ago and
unfortunaltey a cloth diaper has never touched his cute little
bottom!  (The price you pay for being # 3! LOL)  This week a
young new Mom I met online came to pick them up.  I don't know how
old she is for sure, but she is VERY young compared to me!  Her 3
week old daughter is beautiful and she seems like an good Mom. 
But, I couldn't get over how young she is.  You know what kept
going through my mind?  “I'm so glad it's her and not me!” 

So the lesson I continue to learn is God's timing is perfect!  For
my Mom having babies at 19 and 21 worked, but for me I am glad things
worked out the way they did.  Even if I am an old Mom!

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Cheap School Supplies

July 26, 2006 at 7:26 pm (Uncategorized)

I just thought I would mention that
Target hs there school supplies on sale for next to nothing this
week.  After many years of homeschooling I finally realized last
year that I could save A LOT of money if I stocked up during the

Last night I bought:

120 spiral notebooks for .10 cents each ($12.00) 
6 packages of washable markers for $1.00 each
4 pairs of scissors for $2.00
40 pencils for $1.00
5 bottles of Elmers School glue for $1.00
40 glue sticks for $4.00
3 storage boxes for $1.00
30 papermate pens for $1.20  (Black, blue and red.)

The only thing I still need to get is color pencils which they have for
.10 cents a package.  I am hoping to pick up 20 packages. 
The Target near me was out, but I am hoping another one will have

Last year was the 1st year I had bought this
huge stash of school supplies.  I wondered if I was getting too
many spiral notebooks, but a few weeks ago the kids announced we were
out of notebooks!  So I guess 120 is the right number! 
LOL  My kids LOVE to draw and write so each of them always have a
notebook with their name written on the front.  When they fill one
they can go get another.  The cheapest I can ever find these
notebookd the rest of the year is .79 cents each.  If my
calculations are correct I saved almost $83.00 just on the spiral
notebooks!  Hooray for me!!!

Click here to view the Target ad online.

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Mentoring – Your Opinon Please

July 26, 2006 at 8:32 am (Uncategorized)

Men·tor (mntôr, -tr)

n. A wise and trusted counselor or teacher.

I have accepted the Mentoring Coordinator position with our homeschool
group for next Fall.  I have a meeting tomorrow with Leadership
about what I envision this position to be.  (It's a new
position.)  So here is my question…

If you are new to homeschooling what would you like to have in mentoring relationship?

If you have homeschooled awhile what type of mentoring have you done and what have you done that you feel is worthwhile?

So far the only thing I know for sure is that I will be available for
mentoring 1 hour before the monthly meeting each month. (Bring your
questions and I'll do my best to answer them.)

Some other ideas I have are:

1.  Monthly park days for additional mentoring time. 

2. A website with local laws, resources, ideas and links to useful websites.

3.  One on one mentoring matches.  Seasoned homeschool Mom's
would sign up to be a mentor to new homeschooling Mom who wants a one
on one mentor.

4.  Curriculum Talks.  Occasional meetings where people would
bring in curriculum and resources they enjoy using and present them to
new homeschoolers who are interested.

5.  Email or telephone contact with me or other mentoring
volunteers. (Possibly monthly calls from me or another volunteer to
homeschoolers who are in their 1st year?)

6.  Lending Library of homeschooling books.

That's all I have off the top of my head.  I would love to hear any input!  Thanks in advance.

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July 25, 2006 at 11:01 am (Uncategorized)

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is pretty much what my kids have been doing ever since we got back from
our vacation.  Our neighbor across the street, who I have mentioned before
have been out of town for a month. (They are in France at their 2nd
home.  I told you they are our polar opposites!  LOL)  
They are letting us use their pool while they are gone.   We
are having a BLAST! 

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Making The Most of Museums Visits

July 24, 2006 at 10:46 am (Uncategorized)

Last month I was asked to write the Tip
Of The Day for the Company Front Porch.  Due to a busy weekend and
no time to write my Monday post I thought I would re-run one of my tips
on my own blog. 

Is that cheating?  LOL

Making The Most of Museum Visits

absoultley LOVE Art Museums!  This means my kids have been taken
to see Fine Art from a very young age.  They have seen Rembrandts,
Picassos, Degas, Warhols and many, many more.  So how do I get my
kids interested in art and through and Art Museum? 

1.  Share your excitement with them!  They know this is
something I love and they feel my excitement over taking them with

2.  Don't wait to introduce them to art at
the Museum.  Study works of art at home.  Here are 2 of my
favorite art books to get you started…..  The Usborne Book of Art   &  The Children's Book of Art. 
After they your children have learned about different Artist let them
experiement with creating their own works of art in the style of
different Artists. 

3.  When it is finally time to visit the Art Museum here are a few things I do to help things go smoothly. 

a.  Visit the gift shop as soon as you arrive at the Museum and
buy 5 or 6 post cards of the most famous works in the museum. 
Once the kids have their card, the hunt is on!  We make it a
treasure hunt.  Everyone tries to be the 1st one to find the works
we are looking for.  Meanwhile we talk about the Artists and the
time periods and we try to find as many other works that fit this
criteria as possible. (This allows me to look around without rushing
through the Museum.)  

b.  We decide
before  go in 1 item per person to hunt for.  So I may be
apples, my oldest son horse and the younger 2 trees.  Then we keep
track as we go through the museum how many of each item we can
find.  (Of course if it's a Degas exhibit everyone wants to be the
one to look for Ballerinas!  LOL)  Anyway, this really get's
the kids looking at the pictures and keeps their interest. 

c.  Ask when you enter the Museum if they have any kind of
activity packs for kids.  A lot of museums do.  These are
usually activities that go along with the exhibit that you can borrow
to use during your visit.  We have had  lot of fun with
these.  Some Art Museums even have a special hands on sections for
kids.  So be sure to ask.

d.  If the Museum allows
photography (And a suprising number of them do.)  let the kids
take lots of pictures.  This can be great for continuing your
studies later.  (Scrapbooking, lapbooking, Make up a game where
they match a picture to the artist, etc.)

4.  Talk about
expected behavior before you go.  This has saved me many
headaches.  Simple things like “You cannot touch.” need to be
covered at home.  Kids don't know what we don't tell them. 
If they go with the expectation that they can run and touch things it
will be much harder to corral them than if they know in advance what
behaviour will be expected of them.

5.  Don't go during
peak visitor times if you can avoid it. If you can go on a weekday
there will be a lot less people around.  This will make it a lot
less stressful for eveyone.

6.  Take lots of breaks and
don't stay too long.   A lot of museums are set up with
courtyards and gardens you can escape too for a break.  Take
advantage of them.  Leave before your kids are done.  Having
a melt down in a public museum is not fun.  They are kids after

Have Fun!

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Quilt Progress

July 21, 2006 at 10:23 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, I got started on the quilts for
my nieces yesterday.  I didn't get as much as I wanted done, but
at least I got started.  I ran out of the fusable interfacing I
was using to stabilize the stretchy knit.  But here is what I got
done on the 1st quilt.

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Here is the other blocks/fabric I will be adding when I get more
interfacing. The little peek of yellow is what I am putting on the the
back of this quilt.
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When I started digging through the boxes of clothing I realized they
had sent me both knits and wovens.  Since I can't use both in the
girls quilts I decided to make small pillows for my
sister-in-law/cousins  sisters and Mom and Dad.  (My cousins
& Aunt and Uncle.)  Here are the tops of the pillows I got
done.  The ones with words were all from a scarf she had. 
The other fabrics are cut from pant legs.  Since I only had 3
panels with words I just did a 9 patch for my Aunt and Uncles
pillow.  I hope they like them.

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Hopefully I will get more done tommorrow!

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Creative Boy

July 21, 2006 at 1:01 am (Uncategorized)

My 2 yo took this ziploc bag box out of the
trash and took it to the table and started decorating it.  I
wonder if he is going to be creative like Mom?

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