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August 2011
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October 2011

9 entries from September 2011

A Conversation On Recess

When I was a child, my favorite portion of the day was not recess.  It was, instead, reading.  I would have preferred to stay in the school library than go out to the playground where other girls skillfully jump-roped while I pretended to perpetually tie my shoe.  What I loved most about recess was hearing the bell sound for school to begin again.   

Now that I'm a homeschooling mom, recess is my favorite 'subject'.  Although it's good enough to let the kids stretch, visit, and soak in Vitamin D, we'll often linger outside, so I'll mix a little bit of nature study or biology class or p.e. class into it.  As the Co-Chief in Charge of All Familial Things, I can make recess what I want:  always fun, always an adventure, and never ever including jump rope.  The photo above is of our children enjoying recess the way we like to enjoy it.

Sadly, schools are decreasing the amount of time children spend on recess.  In the past twenty years, children have lost an average of 8 hours of recess a week. Danimals Rally for Recess is a national initiative designed to create healthy competition, pitting school against school. Go to Danimals Rally for Recess for a chance to win $20,000 for your  Elementary school playground. Plus each day Danimals is giving recess-related prizes to keep kids healthy and active. Share your Recess memories below and go to Rally for Recess for more information on how your school can win! 

p.s. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Danimals. The opinions, text and photo are all mine. Contest Rules.

Her Protector

Our children were born in a boy, girl, boy, girl order, which is rather convenient in many ways.  As I'm sure any birth order is convenient - or not - but since it's all we have, we might as well like it.  One of the reasons I like the one I've been given is that it sets a boy older than a girl.  We have our oldest boy, our ballerina daughter, and then these two:  

From the moment she was born, when he was a toddling three-year-old, he has been told, "You are her protector.  God made you for many reasons, and one of those is to be your little sister's protector."

And so he takes his job seriously.  Quite. Independent thing that she is, she is not always happy about it. 

Being a Protector can sometimes mean Being a Pain, since he wants to continually stop her from doing something she really wants to do.  So they don't always get along.  There are occasional screams, and sometimes frustration. 

But every now and then, she lets him be what he wants to be.

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When Facebook is (Frustrating, Depressing, &OtherThings), there is Always Pinterest

I'm finding so much inspiration lately at a new site called Pinterest.  I know, I know, who needs another site to visit?  But - for me - a little less Facebook, and a lot more Pinterest is helping me find myself again.  That sounds pitifully dramatic, but it's the honest truth.  

On Facebook, I tend to think everything always goes so perfectly for everyone else, while my Calamity Jane (old, falling-apart van) made it home within feet of giving up, and everyday all the people in my house use half a dozen glasses each...and so the pity party is thrown.


On Pinterest, I don't think at all, really, but just click "pin it" when something looks pretty to me, or when a quote resonates with me, or when I want to remember an idea.  The pins go onto my bulletin boards, where the images inspire me yet again, and where I can click to tutorials.  Here are some of my pretty bulletin boards:



In other words, where Facebook depresses, Pinterest decompresses.  And that is why it's worth it. 


p.s. If you find yourself tempted by Pinterest, connect with me so I can follow your boards, too!

Follow Me on Pinterest

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Two Lists

Yesterday, I made a list of What Makes Me Happy....

WordlewhatiwantAnd then I made a list of What Does Not Make Me Happy, starting with "go, go, go..."


I've been mostly going.   Going from this kid's activity to that kid's activity, and while waiting, I'm wasting time.   I can't quit those activities -- we're committed to them, and they are good things like dance lessons, instrument lessons, drama, chemistry class --- but while I'm there,  I can grab something from the Happy List to do.  

It's all a matter of choice, like most things.  

And when I'm not go, go, going, I can do the non-portable things on the Happy List:  kayak, go to the beach, visit my girls (chickens!).  

You know what will happen?  The more I fill myself up with my Happy List, the more I have to give to others.  Which then makes me happier, and so on it goes....


p.s.  I'd love to see your Happy List, too.  If you make one (I used Wordle), let us know so we can peek at it!

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Book Review: Sewing for Boys

Sewing for Boys is the book I wish I had when my fellows were little.  I had to make do with Simplicity patterns of rompers, when what I really wanted to sew was a fisherman hat, a gentleman's suit, a hoodie with a secret pocket....Those are a few of the patterns in this new book by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage.  


Sewing for Boys includes 24 patterns for boys ages newborn to 7 years old.  The patterns include:

  • A collared shirt & pants
  • A romper
  • Fishing hat
  • Linen shirt and sweat pants
  • Short or long-sleeved tee & pants 
  • Swim trunks
  • Out-on-the-town jacket & suit pants
  • Pullover
  • Suspender shorts
  • Treasure pocket pants and hoodie with secret pocket
  • Two-in-one jacket (pictured below)
  • Flannel robe
  • Pajamas
  • Race car playmat
  • An art project carry all
  • A Lego carry all
  • Belt
  • "T-shirt triage" (repurposing a favorite t-shirt)
  • A bag
  • Patchwork Blanket


I'm glad I have a nephew due next month!  

Bottom Line: I really do like this book!  Favorite features:

  • The book is spiral-bound, so lies flat
  • Patterns are included in a little box at the front of the book (so no photocopying or tearing them out of the book!)
  • There are a lot of photos and illustrations for us visual types 

Would I Buy It?  I know craft patterns can be found online for free, but to save myself from the hassle of finding them, to hold a pretty book in my sewing room, and to have those handy patterns, and since Amazon has it on sale for $15.18 (39% off the cover price), yep, I'd buy it.  


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I was given a book for this review, but not otherwise compensated.  I only post reviews of products I actually like.  If you purchase through my link to Amazon, I get a little referral commission (thanks!), but please don't feel like you have to purchase it there or through my link.  

A Crooked Self-Portrait

It's easy to think I have it all together, since you only see what I blog. But I don't.  Have it all together, I mean.  I don't.  

There are quite a few things I'm trying to change in my life right now:  being a bit too relaxed with our schedule, not exercising, perfectionism in certain areas (certainly not all areas, or I'd be perfect!), control freaking in certain many areas, making snippy comments to my husband when I'm grumpy, a dislike of being in front of the camera.  

So, here you go, I took a crooked self-portrait with my glasses on in a messy spot in my little craft room.....

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See there?  I'm just a normal girl with a whole lot of fixing to do.    I perceive you as perfect, too, but if you're not....

What are you working on in your life right now? 

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How to Make Lavender Dryer Sachets

I made lavender dryer sachets a couple weeks ago.  We're smelling lavendery these days, and now I cannot breathe deeply enough to satisfy my nose.  I love the smell of lavender!  

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The dryer sachets last through several (or more) dryer loads.  I just use them over and over until they run out of scent.  And then I place the sachet in our linen closet just in case it has any lavenderness left.  I do love the smell of lavender (as I said).  Just in case you do, too, here is how to make your own Lavender Dryer Sachets:

1.  Put a scoop of lavender into a drawstring muslin bag (I'm linking to the place where I purchased my products, but by all means, let us know where you'd suggest buying them, too!). 

2.  Add a cotton ball to help keep the lavender from floating around your dryer and onto your clothes.  I, personally, don't mind having lavender cling to me, but my family members are not so appreciative. Lavender buds do look like little bugs, I suppose.  

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3.  Draw up that drawstring.  I double knot it.  

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And that is how ridiculously easy it can be to have your clothes and towels smelling like lavender, too!

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On Similarities

I took a photo of our teen lying in a box on the ground (no.  I do not know why) at our homeschool field day, and it flashed in my mind that I had taken a photo of something oh-so-similar just a month before on a field trip to the New Orleans Audubon Zoo.  'Nuff said.  Let the photos show the proof.

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This explains my last post, right?

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