Friday, March 14, 2014

Homemade gift for Little Nephew

One of my little nephews was the happy recipient of a homemade fort kit this past Christmas. My forays into Pinterest have been relatively mind boggling in their success. He loved it, so that proves it.
Here's what I did.
I used a cloth Christmas gift bag with a tie to double as a storage bag and a gift bag.
 Bought two inexpensive twin sized flat sheets, and sewed loop of cord on each corner and one halfway down each side. Then I added a loop to the center of the sheet in case there was some way to suspend it.
 I included extra cord,
  an inexpensive flashlight , glo sticks,
and Clothespins and clips for reinforcements.
 Lastly, I made a scrappy label for the bag and added  directions and the contents.
It was a fun project and easy as pie. Aunt Jen Jen is a big fan of imaginative play and gifts that are different than anything else they get. I heard it was a huge hit. Success!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Accomplishments Lately

Here are some videos of the kid's latest achievements. Alana is working hard on her voice lessons. I totally forgot the video recorder but had my ipod with me, so her video seems small, but the sound came out pretty good.  Nate is enjoying playing trumpet for the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestra. These videos are of his latest concert. It was so good! I think these orchestra kids are amazing!
Mikayla was excited to land a small part in Cyrano at BJU. This video is a promotional video, but it will be streaming live if you're interested. Here is a link to see Mikayla in the promo for Cyrano de Bergerac. She's hard to see, but she is in act one and act five.  She shows up a few times very briefly. It's fun to try and find her. Can't wait to see the whole play! Here is a link for the live streaming.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Learning to be Quiet

One thing I am so glad that I took the time to teach my three children is to be quiet. To play quietly, to sit quietly, to quietly listen. It took quite a bit of time to instill in them, but starting around age 18 months (give or take) I began having them sit quietly for just a bit with an activity or a story. We worked on whispering, which was so humorous at times. The sawmill whisper of a two year old is so cute. We worked on sitting and listening to a story. Very easy to do with Mikayla. Moderately easy with Nathanael. Difficult with Alana.

 Mikayla could listen to an entire story as long as she got to go back and tell you all about what she remembered and add her own tidbits of knowledge.

 Nate had a hard time keeping quiet through the whole thing. He had so much on his mind to add, so I started by saying, you have to wait until I finish this page and then you can talk.

 Alana had trouble focusing for more than five minutes, so we just worked on it little by little. A whole sentence at a time. Then a paragraph. I think it took until she was at least three before she would finish an entire page. The more I did it with her, the better she got at it.

 Out of necessity, my children had to learn to be quiet. In our little ministry there was not always someone to stay in the nursery with them during a church service and sometimes Mama had responsibilities like playing the piano, and Papa was preaching.  So, they would have to sit with someone. I didn't want them to be any trouble for these adopted Grammies, Grampies, Aunts and Uncles, so I worked on it at home.

 After they got a little bigger, they had to sit quietly and listen while Papa read a Bible story during our family time. Later, when one child began to do schooling at home, the younger had to play quietly sometimes and I had to be sure that they were engaged before I felt like I could give the best of my attention to the school age child.
 Enter Quiet time books. My children had photo album renditions that kept them looking and interested and I added some skills to them here and there. Little clear contact covered pieces that moved. They loved what I came up with. So,  when I saw that Quiet Books were getting a lot of rave reviews on places such as Etsy and Pinterest, I was happy to hear it and had to take a look. Turns out, these were wonderful homemade gems made of soft materials with loads of activity built in. Not only was it quiet when they dropped a piece or turned a page, it worked on little finger skills, too. Fine motor things like buttons, snaps, clips, tying. I just loved them.  I  decided that I could make one of these for my youngest niece who is not quite three. There are a multitude of times when you have small children, that you need for them to be quiet. They may need to play quietly while waiting in the Doctor's office or hospital waiting room. You may need them to be quiet in the car for a bit. You may need them to quietly play while doing homework with an older sibling or while rocking a younger sibling. I could go on. Being quiet is one of those skills that make the older people love your children. "My, your children are so well behaved." haha. It also sets them up for success when it's time to start school. I found some mommy blogs with ideas, Etsy shops, Pinterest, and freebie templates and went to work. There were bits of felt and thread all over my house for weeks.  Here is what I came up with. I hope she likes it and that it helps with her quiet skills as well as her motor skills.
My pictures loaded from the end of the book to the beginning. So, if you want to scroll down to the bottom and work your way up, the words will make better sense. :) 
Wipe off coloring. I need to add the crayons and a little cloth to the pocket that I sewed to the inside back cover.



 ABC matching

 Sock matching. All the little socks have magnets in them and fit inside the dryer.

Dress up with clothes pin clips on a clothesline, and tying. Loralie is just starting ballet, so toe shoes it is.

 Buttoning on planets. Yes, Pluto is missing, the poor little dear, but the asteroid belt is pretty awesome. I found little stone beads to use.

Pockets, flaps, and finger puppets. 

 Velco and snaps

The first pages are little snippets of the Creation story.
 The cover was my nemesis. Not sure why it was so hard for me. Mostly it was figuring out how to bind it all together. I ended up using rings. I used iron on letters for her name.
It was a fun project. Have fun, Loralei. It's coming your way for Christmas. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ministering to the Minister

This gal wrote my thoughts so well. I'm always so thankful when someone else, more articulate than I, writes my thoughts so excellently. Enjoy. Learn.  Be encouraged. Go thou and do likewise.   :)

A tiny peek into a Pastor's wife's life.