Monday, February 28, 2011

Jeans to Skirt

I've been doing by best lately to give my sewing machine a good work out.  I'm sure it was feeling neglected. :)

Most projects I do come out of some perceived necessity.  This is another one of those times.

Our oldest is rather hard on her clothes - at least for a 7 year old girl.  


I'm just not ready, yet, to go out and replace all her jeans.  There's a growth spurt coming.  I can feel it in my bones - and so can she.  

I decided to patch a couple and then make a skirt out of one pair.  No knees to wear out in a skirt, right?   She seems to really like it.
A little ruffle in the back to pretty it up...
 Closer look.
I'm pleased.  :)

Linked to:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Good Book: Part 1

I love to read.  It doesn't have to be anything deep or philosophical - actually better if it's not.  Reading is an escape for me.  An escape from the endless to-do lists and ever demanding life of being a mom.  It's a time for me to relax (usually at the end of a long day) and give my mind a break from dwelling on all that has to be done.

There has been a lot more reading going on the past year since we got a library membership.  Now that I'm not having to pay for a book, I usually have a 'new' one on hand that I'm trying to finish.  I also took advantage of the extra time when dealing with morning sickness and newborn nursing sessions this year.

I'm always on the lookout for something new to read, so I thought I would share some of the books I've read incase some of you are looking for a good book.

I'm sure most everyone has read these, but I thought I would put it on here anyway.  I didn't start reading the series until the last book was published.  I almost put Twilight down after the first couple of chapters, until my sister encouraged me to keep reading.  :)

This is a fun series of books.  Cassandra does a good job with the characters and plot.  A very easy read with a lot of action.

This is another series by Cassandra Clare.  I didn't care for it as well as The Mortal Instruments Series, but I'm still looking forward to reading book 2 when it comes out in December.

This is a fun book.  Very good advice - now to follow it.  :)

This one and the previous book were books that my husband read for work.  Our 'cheese' has been moved several times and this book helped us keep things in perspective and keep a smile through the process.

I'm currently trying to get through this.  It's a deeper read, so it is taking me more than a day or two to read.  It has a LOT of good advice and has 'new' ideas brought forth than most marriage books I've read.

Well.  This is quite the mix, huh?  I'll do another list of books sometime soon, but try to keep each of them short.  Hope there is something that interest some of you out there.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Val, over at until tomorrow, val, sent me a very fun surprise in the form of a Stylish Blogger Award!  Thanks so much!!

The rules are to list 7 facts about yourself.  Here we go:

1.  My favorite smell is fresh cut wood.

2.  My favorite sound is power tools at work.

3.  I am great at starting projects but seem to have a horrible time getting them all finished.

4.  I had 5 kids within 7 years and all by age 31.  (Nope, I don't recommend the same for the faint of heart.)

5.  I detested coffee and lived a very good life without it for 30 years.  I then got pregnant with baby #5 and  haven't been able to stop drinking it since.

6.  There are several plans in the works for built-ins and such that I want to start (and finish).  I just need to find the time and the confidence to do them.

7.  I love summer and all that comes along with it - sunshine, warm weather, swimming, BBQs and outside play!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now to send this award on to a few favorite bloggers out there:

1.  Fussy Monkey Business

2.  mmmcrafts

3.  Unsolicited Advice

4.  Olivia's Observations

I have gained some amazing inspiration and moral support from these ladies and their blogs.  Go check them out!

Have you been awarded? What do you do now??

1. Aknowledge the person who awarded you by linking them back in your post.

2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.

3. Pass the award on to other new found bloggers.

4. Contact each blogger to let them know they’ve received the award; and let the ‘giver’ know you accepted the award.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Executive Skills and Routines

Ever heard of executive skills?  You know- task initiation, emotional control, working memory, organization, flexibility, etc.  Of course I had heard of these things, but not all lumped together in a neat little package.  But, once this concept was brought to my attention, it has made a huge difference in our everyday life.  True.

Here's the story and a little insight into our family.....

We (my husband and I), had been struggling for some time with trying to figure out our oldest child.  Not that she is a bad child - we just realized there were some 'issues' that needed to be handled.  Homeschooling didn't work for us.  It just caused friction and turmoil.  Public school was better, but didn't solve everything for us.  Getting her ready and out the door every morning was a chore.  We still had the same struggles doing homework as we had with homeschooling.  She was also bringing home large packets of papers that were suppose to be done in school incomplete.  (Meaning more work for us to get done at home.)

We muddled through the rest of 1st grade and really enjoyed our summer break from all school work.  

It wasn't long after school started this year that our old problems came back to haunt us once again.  If I didn't follow her around the house and remind her what she needed to do next to get ready of a morning, it wouldn't happen.  Some mornings it would take every minute of of our 80 minutes to get ready with all her distractions.  Homework was horrible.  We would literally spend 2 hours on homework every night. (Still do.)  

I could only take about a month of this before something had to be done.  We started having testing/screening done to see what was going on.  Long story short, we discovered a learning disability (which hinders her processing and therefore reading) and possibly ADD (having that re-screened soon).  We also learned that she is a very visual learner and has trouble retaining verbal directions longer than two tasks.

At some point in the middle of all of this, Kevin ran across a book on one of his trips.  

This book, I think, has helped us the most out of all the information we've gained.  It has some practical help and not just theoretical nonsense.  It helped us to really understand that our child had some major hurdles to overcome and not that she was just being disobedient.  And, it gave some humor to what we were going through, which can be in short supply at times.  

If you look at the book on, it has an excerpt to read that will let you see some of what we go through.  If you want to look at the whole book without purchasing, check your local library.

Are things 100% better?  Not even close!  As I sit here and type, we have been on the same question for the past 20 minutes with the complete answer in front of her to copy on her homework.  We have a total of 6 to get through.  *sigh*  Baby steps, people, baby steps.

One thing that has gotten better, is our routine times during the day.  Why?  Because I now know how to teach her in a way that she can learn.  Getting as much of her life into a visual form to help her see what she needs to do has been one of our biggest helps.  It also allows her to become more and more independent.  Going from 80 minutes to get ready for the day down to 25 or 30 is HUGE!

So.  All of this, to share these with you.

Morning Routine 

 Bedtime Routine

 After School Routine

Cover Cards

Good Job Backing
All of these are free for anyone who would like them.  Just please do not try to sell these or mass produce them.  I compiled these and spent an unreal amount of time getting them in a printable form in between everyday life, illnesses and interruptions.  (Oh, the interruptions....)  Please feel free to share these with anyone who might need them or link back to this post.  

The main reason I made these is for us.  I couldn't find anything like them anywhere on the internet.  I'm even using these with the little(r) kids, just to get a head start and make my life easier in the long run.  It's working, too!

Okay.  So, to print these off, just click on the image you want and it will open up in a new window, then click on 'File' and then 'Print'.

The smiley backing is to print on the back of all the routine cards before cutting.  (Yep - positive reinforcement!)  If you would like to do the same, just remember to turn your routine paper upside down and then backward.

All of the routines are color coded to help keep the set together.  Probably unnecessary, but it has helped us.  

I also added a cover card for each of the routines incase anyone would like them.

When putting ours together, I used an 18x18 inch piece of poster paper and then divided it as needed.  I also printed the routine cards on card stock and covered them in clear contact paper to help them hold up to the everyday wear and tear.  To attach them to the poster, I used Command Hangers to allow them to be turned over when that part of the routine is completed.

Here's what it looks like.

I put another Command Hook on the wall beside the the poster to hang the other Routines when not in use.

I really do hope this helps someone out there.  I know it would have been nice for us to have found something like this months ago.  We could have just gotten started on putting our daily routines into longterm memory so much earlier.

More Routine Cards may be coming as time goes by.  If they do, I'll be sure and share them.  If anyone has any questions or further ideas, please feel free to share them with me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CSN Winner

Are you ready to find out who won?  I know I am!  And the winner is....... (can you hear the dramatic drumroll?)

Entry #2!
Domestic Diva

Congratulations!!  I'll be contacting you soon with the information you'll need to claim your prize.

A big thanks to CSN for sponsoring this giveaway.  I've had fun looking around the stores and doing a little wish list making.  It got very long, very quickly.  :)

Thanks to all of you who entered, too.  It was fun seeing all the different things each of you would get from CSN Stores.  It was hard to choose, huh?

In other news....

I've recently been promoted to snot factory manager along with all my other mommy titles.  Little man started in with something about 10 days ago and has now seen fit to share it with sisters #3 and #4.  We may have to go back in to get them all tested to make sure it's not RSV, but I'm holding out hope that it's not.  We're having to keep a close eye on all of them to make sure it doesn't go into their lungs.  (Wish I had  a stethoscope and knew how to use it.)  

Things aren't horrible, but I'm not getting much time to do the bare minimum - let alone start or finish any projects at this time.  It's just a short leave of absence from the crafting world and then I hope to have a few things to share with you once everything gets back to 'normal'.  (Whatever that is. :))

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.  Stay warm and safe if you received some of the winter weather that  blanketed most of the US.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Giveaway Closing TONIGHT!

Things have been a little off this week.  When you have this

happening outside, the kids home from school and your husband's work called off, things are going to be outta whack.  We have enjoyed the time together, but the kids are starting to feel cooped up and bored.  That means I am now having to find ways new ways to entertain them.  (Which inevitably means a bigger mess after an activity. :)

So........ I'll just give you all a friendly reminder that the CSN Giveaway will be ending tonight at 10 pm central.  If you haven't entered yet, follow this link (or scroll down) and follow the directions there.  I'll post the winner tomorrow!
Hope you all are staying safe and warm!


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