Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sew Easy

Lily recently decided that she wanted to try her hand at a little sewing. I had her try a couple of buttons first just to give the needle and thread a whirl. We then ventured to the local library and found a book or two for her to peruse. We stumbled upon a simple and easy one for beginners that included a few patterns as well. It's all hand sewing, but right up her alley and ideal for her age level and just starting out.

She started with a basic pillow using some fabric and filler I had leftover at home. She'd been making her list on which future projects she wanted to advance to as well. We finally went to JoAnn's the other day to purchase the needed fabric for a hat for herself and a version for Gianna. Lily had already decided that a lightweight fleece that the pattern required probably wasn't enough for our Minnesota winter. Instead she thought it would be suitable and just right for our crisp fall weather and I agreed.

She worked hard the other day trying to perfectly space her stitches and she's been working hard on threading her needle and knots too.

Lily was quite pleased with the final product and I think it turned out quite well for her first official sewing endeavor. Note that the stitching does show on the top. If you are like my husband who quietly asked me privately later whether the hat was suppose to be that way or not...the answer is yes. The book never indicated for the student to turn it inside out so as not to show the stitching. Struck me as odd later on, but I think it's cute either way. I may try to gently guide her to maybe try it the other way for future hats.

Isn't it cute? I'm so proud of her for her diligence and patience in her first project.

I've already renewed the library book once, but may have to again. Plus, she doesn't know it yet, but I did already buy the book from Amazon for her birthday too.

We'll see what future products she can whip up and how long it holds her interest. I think it's a good skill to learn and master to some degree and I'd love to see her keep on creating.

Who knows, maybe there will be a seamstress in this household after all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boy Wonders

The other day I overheard my son out of the blue talking to my husband about babies.

"Dad, I guess when my wife has babies I'll finally find out where babies come out. You know because you go with mommy to the hospital when she has us. So, when my wife goes to the hospital I'll finally know the answer."

Deep down, I think my husband breathed a sigh of relief that our son hadn't asked any questions and just figured out his own answer this time around.

Who cares if he's 25 before he finds his answer? He's fine with waiting.


Yesterday, while driving in the van with my boy and my baby, we were chatting about seating arrangements in the van. I reminded him that when the new baby arrives, he or she will be in the first row with Gianna.

He excitedly asked, 'Then Lily will be in the back with me ALL the time?'

'Yup, all the time. That way the little ones will be closer to me up front.'

He then questioned, 'But when we have another baby what are we going to drive? We won't all fit in here.'

I replied with my new answer (because I've been looking in to this sort of thing), 'Ooohhh....then mommy can get a Swagger Wagon.'

He stopped and thought. Then randomly, 'How old are you?'

I told him and he thought some more.

And then, 'That's A LOT of years before you're forty! You'll still have a lot of chances to have more kids!'

Once again a new pregnancy has brought about a new batch of childhood questions and wonders. It's so fun to hear how their minds work.

And apparently a reference I made once to women being childbearing until age forty has made an indelible mark in my children's memories and they think it's a magical cut-off point.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday

There are always so many wonderful things to be thankful for because we truly are abundantly blessed with so much.

But this week I'm especially thankful for Gianna who turned 6 months old yesterday! What joy and love this little girl has brought to our home. I'm so thankful for her good health and disposition, along with being able to adapt really well to whatever else is going on.

For baby girls in flowers and headbands

For taking-it-easy and relaxing baby

For sleeping beauty

For bright, blue eyed girl

For fuzzy haired, growing up too fast baby girl

We can't imagine how much we were missing before you came in to our lives. We love you Little Lady!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's The Little Things

My latest indulgences:

Now before you comment letting me know the dangers of both of these carbonated soda beverages, realize that I know that a pregnant woman probably shouldn't give in to such indulgences. Also, rest assured that I only have either of these once or MAYBE twice a week. I get one or the other in me and it sustains my need craving until the next time I see a refreshing bottle at the checkout counter or their logo on a pop machine somewhere.

Sometimes a girl just can't resist!

But sometimes the little things that make life a little sweeter don't come in the form of treats and beverages.

Sometimes they come via a simple download on the computer.

Another little thing adding to my giddiness this past week has been Homeschool Tracker. I went with the FREE basic edition since it suits my current needs and it's perfect. I almost have all the lesson plans finished up until February, which is as far out as I'm planning for now. We'll see how well I like it and how it works out once school actually begins, but I think it will be quite beneficial for this obsessively organized geek chic homeschooling mom.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pilgrims On A Journey

When we became pregnant after four years, sustained the pregnancy and gave birth to a perfect and precious little girl, we were grateful beyond all telling.

Prior to Gianna's pregnancy, Reed and I sought the intercession of St. Gianna. You may remember our encounter with her and the pilgrimage we took two years ago to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. During Gianna's pregnancy we continued to seek St. Gianna's guidance both for ourselves and also for my physician as we went through a few rough patches along the way. We knew that a return trip, a pilgrimage of thanksgiving, needed to be made to the Shrine.

When we surprisingly were blessed again and found out this summer that a new little one will be joining the family, it became evident that we indeed needed to express our gratitude. We made plans to make the trip as a family and also invited my parents again (they went along last time) and also my in-laws this time too (they had not been there before).

Last week we ventured out for a few days to enjoy our summertime trip. Everything went off without a hitch. The weather cooperated, the kids had good behavior, Gianna endured the lengthy van ride and all of the other additions to the trip (besides the Shrine itself) were perfect.

I thought I'd catch up and share some photos for those of you who may not have been to the La Crosse area or the Shrine.

Along the way we had to make a pit stop and chose a small town named Zumbrota, which also happened to be the home of the only original covered bridge left in Minnesota.

The next morning we headed to the Shrine to spend most of the day. The weather was overcast, so it helped keep the temps. down and we were able to enjoy all of the walking around the grounds.

The beautiful Votive Chapel where I had them light a candle for 30 days for my readers' intentions.

Lily with her patron, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks.

A sculpture of St. Joseph the Workman, along with Cardinal Burke and the couple who donated the land for the shrine.

At the top of the hill sits the church, memorial for the unborn, stations of the cross and rosary walk. It is so serene and beautiful to behold.

As last time, I had to get a photo by the painting of St. Gianna. Except this time, I was holding my 'Gianna baby' (as babies conceived through the intercession of St. Gianna are called) and my hidden baby too.

Our trip included many of the same stops as last time, including lunch at the shrine restaurant,Culina Mariana. I cannot rave about their food enough! I was eager to once again dine there because I enjoyed it so much last time. Again, they did not disappoint. If you ever visit the shrine, you've got to stop there for a meal.

We also made another stop at Rudy's Drive-In where you eat in your vehicle and the waitresses come out on rollerskates. The kids requested we go there again this time because they loved it so much last time. A good meal for your buck too!!

Before heading out of La Crosse, we visited the Children's Museum again too and let the kids run around. Or in Gianna's case, enjoy the many sights and sounds from the stroller.

Along the route home we stopped in Pepin, Wisconsin at an ice cream shop and the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum (it's the town of her birth).

We also made an overnight stop in Red Wing, Minnesota where the Red Wing boot factory is located. It's also the home of the world's largest boot, which we stopped to see.

What an enjoyable and memorable trip to share with both sets of grandparents and our family. It was a lot of fun and I think everyone had a really good time. These last photos were taken near the end of the trip. See? The kids still are in good moods!

*More information on the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe can be found on their website.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Online Curriculum Blog Hop!

I'm finally jumping in on Shower of Roses Curriculum Blog Hop (great idea, Jessica!) in hopes to get rid of a few excess items around the school room.

These items all come from a pet-free, smoke-free home and are in excellent condition. Most all of them have barely been cracked open and are just taking up space on the shelves. Hopefully you'll find something you can use or pass on to a friend.

Shipping costs will be $3.50 for 1-2 items and $5.oo for 3-6 items to cover the cost of packaging and Media Rate shipping inside the United States.

Feel free to email me (see sidebar) with any questions. Or just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to see these books get put to better use by another family and to clear my shelves for the new curriculum for the year.

* The Usborne First Book of Art (including projects); spiral bound; Asking $10

* Lessons in Responsibility for Boys & Lessons in Responsibility for Girls; Asking $9 eachSOLD!


* Christian Crafts book for Preschool-Kindergarten (Bible story simple crafts); Asking $3

* Seton Pre-Kindergarten Activities Book; Asking $3SOLD!

* Character Education Workbooks for Kindergarten (Cooperation, Honesty, Respect(2); Asking $1 eachSOLD!

* Who Am I? Teacher's Manual for Preschool/Kindergarten (Image of God series); Asking $6

* My Fun With Words (A-K and L-Z hardcover dictionaries); Asking $18 for both


* My Word Book, My Color Book, My Shape Book & My Number Book; hardcover, brand new; encourage your child to read and recognize words both in English and Spanish; Asking $10 each or $35 for all four


* The Mass Book for Children & Little Acts of Grace; Asking $1 eachSOLD!

* Leading the Little Ones to Mary; Asking $1 SOLD!

Be sure and check out other great curriculum deals while they last over at the Online Curriculum Blog Hop!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just When I Thought I Had It All Figured Out...

God chuckled and said, "SURPRISE!!"

Baby says, "Hello Readers!"

'Baby Gem' this week at 13 weeks and due to arrive February 9, 2012.

I guess God has a sense of humor after all. And I'm so glad He's got everything under control and taken care of.*

*I can say this now after getting over the initial shock that lasted several

**The name 'Baby Gem' came from a text I received from a friend when I shared the news. She reminded me that God had this wonderful gem in mind for me all along and everything was going to be just fine.

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