Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Word for Wednesday #1

When I started this blog, I looked at it as a ministry to encourage women through crafts, recipes and the simple joys of my life. I feel like I have veered from this goal, and I have failed to share my greatest joy, Jesus Christ. I will be starting a series every Wednesday, calling it A Word for Wednesday. I will share a scripture that has been encouraging to me and hopefully be able to encourage you with a few words. I hope you enjoy this new series, it has already been a blessing for me and this is the first one! I can’t wait to read your comments.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.
1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

So simple, yet so profound!  Pray without ceasing.  Hmmm, how many of us can say that we do that?  I’ve had these verses written on my white board for at least a year, but I haven't really looked at them for quite a while.  This weekend, I heard a message that challenged me to invite the Lord into my everyday life.  I need to invite him into my cleaning time, homeschool time, meal times, and fun times.  He wants to be part of everything!  Our special speaker said this: 

“We need to bring him into every part of our lives, instead of waiting until we’re done with everything instead”

Wow!  I have often been guilty of telling God I would pray after I finished a certain task, only to find another task to do after that one!  I have made a decision to pray during my entire day.  Notice, I said during my entire day, not for the entire day!  I still have responsibilities, but I can keep my mind on God as I take a few seconds to pray for my kids as I’m fixing them lunch, or pray for the recipient of a sewing project as I’m sewing it.  I can pray for the people in the cars next to me on the highway, or the people in line ahead of me at the grocery store.  I can sing a worship song with my kids and thank Him out loud for a beautiful day.  This is how I can pray with out ceasing and give thanks in everything.  Now, I challenge you to pray without ceasing and see what happens!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Odds and Ends

I've been checking things off the "sewing to do" list.  Above is a shirt that someone gave Rebekah, but she didn't like that it had a hole in it!  A small piece of knit sewn behind the hole fixed it perfectly!

And remember my Van Orgainizer?  Well, the straps were too short, so the velcro couldn't get a good grip. That meant every time my kids brushed against it, it fell down.  Quite annoying after a few weeks!  So, I just made two connector pieces.  It's just a tube of fabric with velcro on both ends to enlarge the original straps.  Now it fits perfectly and it hasn't fallen down since I added this.

And a silly picture of all the kids!  Joshua is such fun to have around!  I am a blessed momma!

Below is a Google Affiliate Ad.  I will make money if you click on the link and actually buy the product.  You may see a few of these on some of my future posts, but I will try and only advertise products I actually recommend or want myself!  I thought this cart was cute, and I needed something to test Google out with!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Long Jean Skirt - Perfect for Winter

I love this skirt!  I wish it was for me, but it was actually for a lady in my church.  It started out as a pair of pants from the thrift store and an old skirt that didn't fit right.  The embroidery on the pockets was silver thread, which was really pretty.  I also did another one for the same lady, but forgot to take pictures.  As the center piece of that skirt, she found a pair of jeans with brown velvet flowers along the bottom of the legs, which made the bottom of the skirt very unique.  You can find such great stuff at the thrift store!  If you'd like to make one for yourself, see my tutorial here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Days 36-53 MFW 1st Grade

Wow, it seems like a long time since I've posted about school.  I was having issues with my computer, and ended up buying a new laptop.  Today I just found the SD card reader!  Now I can get the pictures off of my camera easily!  Here's what we've been up to:

Bible:  Above, you can see the timeline we set up in our hallway.  So far, we only have a picture of creation on one end, and a picture of the kids on the other.  We'll be learning a lot of bible stories this year, which will be put on the timeline as we study them.  This month we learned the hymns: The Old Rugged Cross and Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.  Our Proverbs were 12:18, 12:22, 13:1, 14:30, and today we started 19:17.  I'm still amazed at how easily they seem to memorize these, much easier than me!

Science:  Above is a picture of a beach scene that Caleb drew.  We spent some time talking about the beach and waves, then things under the sea.  Somehow, I skipped the Exploration Day (#45), so we never did the experiments...  I guess we'll add them to next weeks Exploration Day.  This past week we learned about the Sun and Moon, and today we read our first chapter about Volcano's, which is Caleb's favorite!  

Reading:  Reading has been coming along nicely.  Today I was really proud of Caleb.  He read 2 1/2 pages in his bible reader with minimal crying and complaining!  We've been playing a lot of reading games, and I also was able to participate in Pizza Hut's Book It program.  Caleb's goal for October is to read one book per day, we're a little behind though.  Above is his complete Bible Notebook page.  I also started my own bible notebook in a plain lined notebook (so he can copy my drawings if he needs too).

Math:  We've spent the last month working on addition!  Above, he is using pretzels as his manipulative to figure out his problems.  He is very motivated by food!  Below are a couple of the pages he's completed.  He knows how to do addition when he's counting something, but now we really need to work on memorizing the addition facts!  Fortunately, daddy helps with that!  I've also let him play a few math games online, free ones of course!

As part of our addition practice, the kids had a restaurant, in which they had to figure out our bill.  We also played store.  Below is my store, set up on the table.  They could buy snacks or toys, ranging from 1 cent to 9 cents, then Caleb had to add up his bill (and help Rebekah).  I made a rule that he had to buy two things each time (otherwise he wanted to use zero as his second number...

Here is Caleb looking at how much money he has.

And Rebekah buying some grapes.

While I was setting up my store upstairs, they were setting up their own store downstairs.  Of course, I had to go shopping at least 8 times!  But is was fun, and it was a way to see how well Caleb understood addition without him getting upset.

Lastly, this picture was from today.  We started learning more about place value, so he used beans as his manipulative.  I cut apart an egg carton and he used the cups to hold 10 beans.  Rebekah is doing the alphabet puzzle from MFWK.  She's been doing great with her Rod and Staff Preschool books.

That's been our last month.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into our school.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Army Vest - Dress Up Play

This was Caleb's birthday present.  He loves to play dress up, and had been asking for an army outfit since this past Christmas.  I finally made him one!  I bought a yard of camo fabric and this neat package of buttons from JoAnn's.  The buttons are: boots, a round one that says courage and honor, an army tank, and one that says United States.  The dog tag also came with the buttons.  I used a key ring to attach it to the zipper as a zipper pull.  

I did not use a tutorial, I was making it up as I went.  I had to rip out several seams... but I'm happy with the end result.  Caleb was too embarrassed to even try it on at first, but then he decided he liked it, and even wore it to the bowling alley.  Caleb and Rebekah both loved bowling, we had so much fun!

The picture below shows the inside.  It's all lined.  The brown fabric is just something I had on hand, I did not have a big enough piece of camo left.  There is a loop of fabric on one shoulder that he can hook something too, and then another loop at the bottom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Yellow Girl's Dress Was Featured

Remember this dress I made for Rebekah?  Threading My Way featured it today, along with 9 other dresses that are made from up-cycled clothes.  Here is my original tutorial.  I just loved this dress!

Go take a look at the other 9 dresses!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Construction Birthday Cake

Caleb recently turned 6!  This is a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!  I found a package of construction toys at Walmart for $5.88, which I thought was worth it for this cake.  It's a 10 inch round cake.  I cut the top off to make it flat, and then used that to make the ramp.  The rest of the cake top was crumbled (by Rebekah) for dirt.  Lastly, I dug a few bites out to make the hole that the digger was "digging".  (Rebekah and I had to taste test, of course!)

Yes, this the cake on top of the dryer!  I was trying to hide it from Caleb.  Wouldn't you know, that the only time he actually goes into the laundry room to put away his dirty socks is the one night I didn't want him in there!  So he saw it early, but at least he loved it!  Soon I'll post pictures of his birthday present...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Too Small Dress Makeover and Decorating a Plain Shirt

Isn't she cute?  She loves wearing fancy clothes!

She was given this beautiful church dress, but it was much too small already!  I think it was a size 4, which still fits her around the waist, but it was much too short for her.  It was meant to be an empire waist dress.  Here's what I did:  I cut the dress right under the arms, leaving 3-4 inches of black velvet.  I zig zag stitched around the raw edge, then folded the velvet in half and sewed a straight stitch, leaving a couple inches open.  This became the casing for a piece of 1/2 inch elastic.  I thread the elastic in, sewed the seam up, and it was finished.  Quick and easy! 

I just happened to have some cream colored rosebuds in my stash that made a nice addition to a boring black shirt.  Rebekah told me how she wanted them sewn onto the shirt, then she was so excited to wear it!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sunshine Cafe - Restaurant Run by Kids

Welcome to the Sunshine Cafe!  The waiters, cooks, cashiers, and cleaners are Caleb and Rebekah!  Having our own restaurant was one of the activities recommended in our curriculum (My Father's World First Grade).  They did some art to create the place mats and some writing to prepare the menu's, as well as some lessons in planning.  They learned how to cook everything on our menu, which included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal!  Then there was addition and counting money when it was time to pay!  And we can't forget the instruction they got on good manners (and to not lick the peanut butter knife...).

Above are the menus.  The one on the right was all the lunch choices.  Caleb didn't want to trace it with marker, so it's a little difficult to read in the picture.

Once all our planning was complete, we invited daddy to come home from work to have lunch at the Sunshine Cafe.  I was fortunate to dine with him!  I had a ham and cheese sandwich, yogurt, lemonade, a brownie, and a piece of licorice.  It cost me 18 cents!  We had a lot of fun watching the kids be grown ups!

Here they are at their posts!  I think they are trying to figure out our bill in this picture.  The picture below is of our bills.  I was able to copy them from our curriculum.

Being able to do something fun like this for school is one of the reasons I love homeschooling!  In a week or two we'll be having our own store too, just to practice adding and counting money.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baby Boy Nursing Cover

I just love this jungle themed baby print, perfect for a nursing cover.  I made this for a friend to give as a baby shower gift.  Nursing covers make awesome baby gifts if you know the mother wants to give nursing a try.  If you'd like to purchase one, I'd love to make you one!  Send me an email at simplejoycrafting AT gmail DOT com.  If you'd like to make one for yourself, click here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Days 26 - 35, MFW 1st Grade

I have been very happy with how school has been going.  Rebekah has been doing a great job on her Rod and Staff workbooks.  She finished the A book and is more than half way through the C book (I call it her math book), which she does along with the others.  She was excited to start the next book, so she's already a quarter of the way through the D one!  (For reference they go A through I).

Bible: We've learned Proverbs 16:24, 29:11, and 12:18.  We learned about the clothes that they wore back in bible times, but they didn't want to dress up that day.  We also made a bible lands map and talked about the languages that the bible was written in, Hebrew and Greek.  I found an app for my iPod that translates for you, so we were able to hear our bible verses is Greek.  We also played around with other languages and made up silly sentences to hear in the different languages, it was fun!

Science:  Our topics were Thunder and Lightening, Rain, and Rivers.  Above is our "lake".  We learned about the water cycle, how water evaporates, turns into a cloud, and then rains.  Below is our rain gauge.  Unfortunately, it's only rained once in the last couple weeks, and that was barely 1/4 inch.

Later, our "lake" turned into a sediment pond.  When learning about rivers, we talked about how sand, rocks, and dirt get carried along with the water.  We learned how that water can be cleaned so we can drink it.  First, we made a filter in a bottle, using rocks and sand.  We poured muddy water through it, and ended up with less muddy water, with no chunks!  Then we let it sit in the sediment pond over night, and were able to pour almost clear water off the top.  (We didn't drink it...)

Reading and writing has been going fairly well too.  I have seen the importance of playing reading games for practice.  One day when we didn't have as much time to do school, I just did reading games and we skipped the curriculum.  The favorite game in our house is hide and seek.  I hide the words (or letter for my daughter) all over the living room and kitchen, and then they come and find them.  They have to read the word before going to find the next one. 

Some of the sounds have been difficult for Caleb to master, especially oo like in book, and all the vowels when they sound like a short u, like in was or come.  But we'll keep playing reading games to help make practice more fun.  I think I'll let him play on this week too.

This was a game we played too.  Caleb had to find the word and erase it after he read it.  Then he wrote a few words for me to read and erase too!

And look who's standing!!!  He is getting so big!  He just loves this toy, especially when we put Cheerios in the bowl!  I'm thankful that he's been taking a nap during part of our school time every day.  If he's not sleeping, he's playing and eating Cheerios, his favorite thing!

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