A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Craftiness Runs in the Family

 When we moved, a Huge Pile of Fabric ended up in my bedroom.

It's been 7 months.

I finally decided it was time to make the sewing stuff fit into the Sewing Room.
In the process, I remembered that I like to sew.

Summer jammies for Furby

A t-shirt for Hannah from a cute Europe knit from my friend Meg.

Pastel tank (also for Hannah)
The bear was made in December, from leftover fabric from one of Hannah's hoodies.  
It still needs the side seam sewn shut.  
I'll probably end up paying Brianna to do it.
I hate hand sewing.

I made this outfit for Hannah before we even knew who she was.
At the time, we were hoping to fost-adopt a sibling pair.
It's such fun to see her finally wearing the things I made while we were waiting.

I got in on a ribbon co op recently, and bought some really cute ribbon to make Hannah lots of new bows.  She has an embarrassing number of bows now, but I feel better making them than buying them.  

Cat in the Hat ribbon and Cat in the Hat fabric??

She'll have something to wear to kindergarten for Dr. Seuss' birthday in March.
The schools tend to make a Big Deal out of it.
(Can't believe I used to use this pattern to sew for Brianna!)

Last week, Brianna and her friend L made bottle cap necklaces with 
pictures of the two of them inside.

Bri got the crafting bug from me.
Her kindergarten teacher called her artwork "vibrant" and it's still true today.  
My inclinations tend toward sewing, beading, bow-making, scrapbooking, and the occasional bit of quilting.
Brianna, on the other hand, tends toward knitting, crochet, beading, and origami.

But we both love to create.  

Last weekend, I took her to JoAnn's (craft paradise for both of us) and bought her her first latch hook kit.  

She took to it instantly.  I knew she would; she loves all things yarn.  

It's coming along nicely.  But it's not going to take her nearly as long as I had hoped, LOL.

I had an inspiration.  After 14 years of homeschooling, we're changing things up next year.  And one of the things I decided to do is have Brianna do ART as her "elective."  (You know, that whole "train up a child in the way they're inclined" bit?  I catch on slowly.)  I handed her a beading catalog and a pen and told her to mark the stuff she likes.  

The curriculum I've selected for next year will take us around the world in the comfort of our own home.  For each country we learn about, the children will need to do some sort of project to share with the family.  They can choose whatever they want.  I'm foreseeing international crafts, jewelry in the colors of flags, maybe even doll costumes based upon traditional attire.  

For the first time in several years, I'm really looking forward to the start of next school year!

In the meantime, I hope to spend a good bit of time in the sewing room this summer.
My fabric stash is out of control, and needs to be sewn into cute things for the kids.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

We salute you, Zach.

And the brave men and women serving with you.

Even though you're on the other side of the world,
you're never far from our thoughts.

So proud of you, son.
This photo was taken 2 years ago, the first time I got to see my boy after 8 weeks of boot camp.
Yes, he really is that much taller than me.

Linking up with Sunday Snapshot

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Feeling Blue

It's funny.  

I often see families in the Blog World and think, "Oh, how awesome it would be if we could live down the street from them!"

Big families.

Families with a mix of bio & adopted kids.

Multi-racial families.

Some blogs make me think,

"Our family would seem NORMAL if we lived next door to them!"

God gave me an amazing blessing 2 years ago.

Honestly, I couldn't have ordered a more perfect friend.

"Okay, God, I'd like a larger than average, homeschooling, adoptive/bio blend family, with kids similar in age to my kids, and if the mom could sew like me, that would be a bonus."

2 years ago, He brought the M family to town.  

And they've been everything I could have wanted as friends.

And now our time is up.

The army is taking them away.

Way, way, away.

And they're taking a chunk of my heart with them.

My girls and I are going to miss them terribly.

And yet I know 

Somewhere on the other side of the country, another family is going to be hugely blessed by the M family.

Just like we have.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Quite Summer Yet

So what are we doing with Hannah how that preschool is out, but the older kids still have school, you ask? (Okay, maybe you didn't ask. I'm going to share anyway.)

I found these detergent lids in my laundry room and made up an impromptu sorting game with the counting bears and other math manipulatives we have floating around the playroom.  

Colors continue to be a challenge for Hannah, which really surprises me, since she's so bright.

I moved Furby up to the middle size desk and have been having Hannah do some "school work" after she helps me get morning chores done.  

Fortunately, she likes to color and craft.

Eli and Sam do their math on the computer, which means it's rarely available for preschool games, but I hope to get her on here soon for some Jump Start or online coloring or something.

Eli's had enough of the paparazzi.

I was disappointed to discover that although the preschool has been having Hannah trace her name, it appears that they have not gone over proper letter formation.  She's got some bad habits to correct.  

"Mom, can you give me my spelling words without taking my picture?"
Well, I could, but I just love those gorgeous eyes of his.  

Yesterday we got out the Math U See blocks.

I'd made Furby this worksheet with matching colors, so Hannah was able to match the correct number blocks to the numeral by color.  She can count, but she doesn't recognize all the numerals 0-9 yet.  

We worked on counting and matching quite a bit.

Maybe a little too much.  I forgot to stop while it was still fun.  
We've also done dot markers and Wikki Stix and had stories read by older sibs.

But today after handwriting I broke down and put in a Mandarin DVD.  
I'm justifying it by calling it educational.

Let's just say, I remembered why I don't homeschool kindergarten.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The End of a Good Thing

We recently had the last class day of CHILL, our local homeschool co op.

Our lesson was on the artist Monet.

Sadly, CHILL is not going to be resuming in the fall.

(Sam had horrible allergies that morning.)

While we're sad because we're going to miss getting together with our friends every week,

It actually works out well for our family because

Next year Hannah's schedule would have meant we couldn't participate anyway.

Fortunately, we have a great park day group, and we'll be hanging out with those friends each week instead.  

But I have to admit, I'm going to miss CHILL.
Not for the academics, although I know we all (parents included) learned a lot the last couple of years.
And not for the art instruction, although that was a lot of fun.
But for the people.
Because isn't that what it's all about?