Monday, November 30, 2015

Goal Reached!

Oh yes... I just finished up 50k!  I cannot describe how exhilarating it is.  And I found out what the secret it... FIRE!  I have been in NaNoWriMo for five years, and won every year except one.  That year my trusty electric fireplace bit the dust.  No fire, no muse.  At least it seems so for me.  This fall Dale replaced that little fireplace, and voila!  My muse apparently returned.  I hit 50K, once again find myself with an unfinished novel.  And since this is a continuation from previous 2 years worth of NaNo, you can imagine that it is a bit of a opus.

So, please note the new button on my side bar.


Viva la pluma.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Dale!

Oh yes... it's the big 5-0 for my honey.  Hehehehehehe... of course I planned a birthday even that was classy, and encouraging, and not snarky at all.

Yeah... right.

Birthday cake explanation... there is a saying about having one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.  That is what is on top of the cake.  It was, of course, black, and the little rocks were indicative of the ground, but made of chocolate.  The tall, skinny candles were sparklers.  So much fun!

We invited some friends and we all wore black in honor of Dale's milestone birthday.  We had two HUGE pans of lasagna with sausage (Dale's favorite) with garlic bread, and a salad.

Looks pretty handsome for an old guy, doesn't he?

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Why I Enjoy Home Schooling... warning: Picture Heavy!

There are several philosophical reasons, but some of the simpler ones are:

Playing Uno and/or Scrabble and counting it as Math and English

PJ day!  ( I need to plan one soon I think)

A leisurely first cup of coffee during Bible reading

FLEXIBILITY  (this one is HUGE for me)... I can arrange our schedule as I see fit.  For example, Co-op and Art lessons have been part of our schooling this time around.  

Family Field Trips... like this one to the Corning Glass Museum and the Rockwell Museum

Being home to do things that I was missing while working such as making bread and laundry detergent (I know, I like that stuff... I can't help it, I'm weird!

Another thing I love about home schooling is picking out curriculum.  I'm like a kid in a candy store!
We are using "Romans: A Courtroom Drama" by Thomas Westwood for our morning devotions.  I picked this because it goes hand in hand with what the teenagers are studying for Quiz Team in the Spring.  Quiz Team is a competition in the Talents For Christ activity that we do each year.  This year the Scripture is Romans 1-8.  This book will give us a good background on the verses they are studying.   

Also for devotions we are doing "A Heart of Humility"  which is a study on Philippians chapter 2.  I bought the materials from  Intoxicated on Life.

In the picture to the right is a mere smattering of some of what we are doing this year in home school.  There is a lot with 6 students.  This little pile was one I had with me to check over while the kids were in art class.

Another fun thing we are doing for the month of November is "30 Days of Thankfulness".  I have one of the children each day pick a card I made up out of a container, and it has something to be thankful for.  We hang it on the kitchen wall, and we make sure we thank God for that during the day. There are also some blank cards so if anyone wants to write their own, they can. I got it for free from Currclick.
Besides Co-op, which we added into the schedule this year, is art class.  Now I haven't been clever enough to get any pics of the kids at Co-op yet.  I'll do that soon.  We meet every other week, and all the kids seem to be enjoying it.  I'm not teaching anything this semester, but will be after Christmas.  Don't ask me what... I haven't figured that one out yet!

Esther chose not to do art class, so she, Isaac, myself, and a good friend and her youngest who is seven, goes to the McDonald's nearby to hang out.  I got Esther here working whatever it was she had.  I think she was saying something like, "Mom, what ARE you doing????"

Maybe the management doesn't mind, but I always feel as if I need to buy a little something to warrant taking up some space for customers.  I usually get coffee or hot cocoa.  Isaac is enjoying something overly sweet and delicious here.  :)

Of course, I have to include some pics of the budding artists!

On Labor Day we went to the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.  It was a gorgeous day, and we went with some good friends of ours.  What a fun day that was!  After the hike down to the bottom we played in  the water for a bit, then hiked back up for lunch.  Everyone was starving!

Usually after our art lessons we stop at the Library.  Our library uses the receipt system.  You see here it also serves as a list for me to check when we are packing up the Library bag.  I can make sure we have everything.  I check off the books as I put them in the bag, and whatever isn't there I circle with my super-powered red pen, and tell the kids to go find the books.  

One of the aspects of home schooling is that we can get outside (I have a whole different set of pictures for that!  That will have to be another post.  Honestly, I keep thinking I need to Vlog, and just do some DITL type videos!)  I think Isaac found this dandelion, the very last one in our yard, as far as I could tell.  I know it sounds simple and silly, but I'm so thankful we can literally stop and smell the roses, er, or blow on the last dandelion fluff as it were, instead of being trapped inside and then to much in a hurry and scurry after coming home from school each day to be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of God's creation.

(Okay, that was a MAJOR run-on sentence. )

I love all the fun times, but the kids know that you don't mess with Mama when there is work to be done!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Special Thank You

To All Our Veterans! 

Dear Lord,
Today we honor our veterans,
worthy men and women
who gave their best
when they were called upon
to serve and protect their country.
We pray that you will bless them, Lord,
for their unselfish service
in the continual struggle
to preserve our freedoms, our safety,
and our country’s heritage, for all of us.
Bless them abundantly
for the hardships they faced,
for the sacrifices they made
for their many different contributions
to America’s victories
over tyranny and oppression.
We respect them, we thank them,
we honor them, we are proud of them,
and we pray that you will watch over
these special people
and bless them with peace and happiness.
In Jesus’ name we pray; Amen.

(By Joanna Fuchs)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sew Much Fun!

I've decided to do a quickie post on some of my "recent" projects.  The word "recent" is relative, as some of these span back to graduation time!  I *think* they are all since the May post earlier this year.  If any are repeats, forgive me!  Also included are some bragging rights as Mom from the county Fair this year.

This is a quilt I made for a friend's daughter who graduated this past May.  She loves owls, and though the panel was a little whimsical, I think she still liked it.

Here is a close up of some of the FMQ I did.

Another close up... if you quilt you'll appreciate the fun I had with this quilt!  

Here's another quilt for another friend's daughter who also graduated.  Guess what she likes? (And no, the answer isn't "snow")

Close up of some of the quilting

After we moved, I set up my new sewing area.  I am using a big folding table, which is a little unstable.  It jiggles a bit which can mess up the tension in the machine, so I try not to go full speed which triggers all the said jiggling.  Anyway, I wanted a small ironing area for when I was working on piecing a quilt.  That way I don't have to haul out the ironing board for the small stuff.  I found this at Walmart's, and figured I would give it a try.  it is supposed to go on top of your dryer, but it works fine on a table.

Here I am trying it out.  Works pretty well!  It is on  my left side thought, and I am right handed.  Nice thing is that my chair rolls, so it really isn't a big deal to get myself positioned.  I have my cutting mat and design wall to the right of the machine.  For some reason I haven't taken any pictures of my new sewing area since I got it set up.  I'll have to do that in a future post.  

Oh, my new baby!  It is a Juki.  The throat is extra big for lots of machine quilting.  It works like a dream!  LOVE love love love it!

After we moved I made a new toothbrush holder for the family.  The old one was getting pretty ragged.

Of course we had lots of entries in the county Fair this year!  Below is Caleb's pillowcase.

Esther's entry here is a tailored outfit.  She did a fabulous job on it!  It is lined and everything. 

Jerusha made this skirt for herself. 

Knitted boot socks I made and entered at the last minute.  

This is a twirly skirt I made for Jerusha, but it earned second place.  

These two blouses were made by Esther (left, red ribbon which is second place) and Elizabeth.  The funny thing is that Elizabeth wasn't even going to enter her blouse.  She didn't like how it came out at all and said it probably wouldn't even place.  I convinced her to enter it anyway and she got first place!

Okay... another amusing story behind this.  About two weeks after we moved we had a missionary family come and stay with us for a few days.  They loved my toothbrush holder and asked if I could make another one just like it for their large family.  I did, but entered it into the Fair before I shipped it off.  So, Shellee W., you have a prize-winning toothbrush holder!

Jerusha discovered that she likes to latch hook, and did this little project.  She is currently working on a much bigger project.  

Jerusha made this apron for me in sewing class.  She earned second place for it.

These culottes were made for Esther.  For such a simple, easy pattern, I earned first place.  Not sure how that happened, other than the judges may have been judging home brews before they went to the crafts building. 

Elizabeth made this skirt for herself, and it is lined.

I am a big Lego's fan, and we had some entries that did well this year.  This is Caleb's creations.  Notice the huge ship in the background.  He made that too... it is part of the whole piece.  It is a depiction of the fairgrounds with the rides and booths.

Jerusha did a similar scene (the theme this year was harvesting fun or something like that).  Rides, food booths, lots of good times!

This is a quilt for a young couple that I met working at camp who were married this year.  Congratulations to Lance and Elaine!

Yup... more quilting detail.  Just have to show that!

Okay, that is enough to show that we have been keeping busy.  As if home schooling, Dale pastoring, working a second job, and working on his Masters, and me being in college as well, and Esther and Elizabeth taking dual enrollment, and art lessons, and Co-op wasn't busy enough.  Oh, did I mention I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year too?