Sunday, May 29, 2011


Tree Pollen - photo by Mara
 Tomorrow is Memorial Day. I think it is very fitting that we have a day set aside to remember all those who have suffered and died for our country. I am very grateful for what they have done. It is good to remember them.

  In our remembering there is another that is even more important to remember. He also suffered and died for our cause. His suffering was way beyond what we can ever understand but we do need to remember him!

  Take note of these verses:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes."

 Jesus asks us to remember what He went through for us. He was willing to give His life for us, are we willing to remember Him?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saving money at the biking!

Did you know that May is National Bike Month? That may not be on your calendar, but it is nevertheless.

  This year I have been watching the gas prices rising and rising and decided that once the weather was warm enough I wanted to see how long we could go without filling the tank on the van (which is our family vehicle and I drive it the most while Ken drives the car to work). I thought it would be fun to challenge myself and had contemplated challenging you all too and seeing if you wanted to join me for a race of sorts (How long can your tank of gas last?) on my blog. I didn't get around to blogging about it but I still thought it would be fun to try ourselves.

  I knew I had a lengthy drive early this month to get the bees and our wheat so I decided to start my challenge after that was over. That happened the first week in May so we officially started on our challenge on May 8th (Mother's Day).

  That first day of biking for the season ended up a little eventful! Ken had blown the tires up before we left but it ended up that a couple of them were blown up to much and they popped! Thankfully we had made it to church okay but we discovered them popped when we were headed home. We had some interesting times of trying to change tires, it starting to rain, wishing I hadn't forgotten my cell phone at home and then Ken having to rescue us with the van. I don't think we saved much in gas but it was a day to remember anyway.

That week we just stayed home all week except for church (I think that the 3 church services were are only outing anyway) and we had fun. I loved how relaxing it was to stay home! Ken had ordered more inter tubes for the bikes (because we ended up popping the spare for the trailer too) but they didn't come until the end of the week.
 The following Sunday we rode to church again and then we rode home for lunch and then rode our bikes to a special biking event. We were able to get some new helmets (very economically!) there for some of us, get our bikes tuned up and the kids got to make a smoothie with a bike that had a blender hooked up to the back of it. It was a free community event and we had fun at it.

On Tuesday we started to ride to our homeschool event but discovered that there was a nail in the trailer tire. I think maybe we should buy stock in the inter tube company! We ended up driving instead.

So far we have rode our bikes to church on an average of 2 out of every 3 times. We have also rode our bikes to our baseball games and out a couple of other times. Mostly we just aren't going a lot. We did make some rather long drives in our van that I hadn't anticipated when I started this challenge. We were invited to a birthday party, a graduation party and I was asked to play at a funeral all of which where quite a ways from our place and to far to bike in an afternoon.

  Our biggest biking adventure so far this month was a day of errands and shopping in town. (I had basically put everything off and tried to avoid stores but we were needing to get some things done so I planned a day of it.) We had lots of fun and I took pictures so I thought I would share our day with you. I am hoping it will also make others realize just how much can be done on bikes.

We left home at about 10 am after the boys had done most of their schoolwork (Mara is already done for the year).  We rode the 3 miles into town.

Our first stop was the post office where I mailed a letter and a package.

Second stop was the library. We had hauled our 30-40 books in that needed to be returned. We checked out around that many again. I had decided it might not be the best (both because of weight and because I didn't want them to get stolen) to haul them around town so instead we just hauled them over to where Ken parks his car while he is at work and put them in there for Ken to bring home that evening. We stopped in at Ken's office to drop something off as well and say hello.

Next stop was the eyeglass place as Mara's glasses needed to be adjusted. That was a quick stop. The cool bike stand above was just outside the eye doctors.

  We also went across the street to a used book store. I had brought 4 books to trade in. We found 5 books we wanted and with the value of our trade in we had to only pay 50 cents. I think I like that used book store!

  Next we rode to Ben Franklin where I hoped to find ribbon for an upcoming wedding. Unfortunately no success.

 Then we went across the street to Good Will. We were very excited to find tennis shoes for Jonathan that looked brand new and they were just his size. He really needed new ones and his old ones had holes in them. Megan also found some new looking "Hello Kitty" dress shoes and so we got them too.

 We rode on to another 2nd hand store where I found a salad master steamer for $1. I was looking for camping cooking pots and that won't work for that but I think it might come in handy. It looked brand new.

Then we rode across town to the bread store. We got bread and then also splurged on crackers and some sweet treats to add to our picnic lunch. We were able to put what we bought there in Mara's pannier bags, I hauled pretty much everything else in the trailer.
 Next stop was the park for a picnic lunch of PB and J sandwiches, oranges and the aforementioned treats.
 The crackers that we got were scrabble cheese crackers so Megan was trying to spell her name with them.
Here Jonathan was having fun with the cable bridge.
 Aaron and Mara climbed up high on a "rock". This park had all new equipment and so the kids had never played on it before. We had a fun time there.

After that we headed to the grocery store where I got a few things including a heavy watermelon and muskmelon and some pansy plants that weren't the easiest things to haul on a bike. We managed however!

 Next stop was Target where we did find some new running shoes for Aaron (but no church shoes for Mara- we can't seem to see any anywhere that we like) and I picked up some dressing and Mayo that were on sale and I had coupons for. Those weren't exactly light things to add to our load but oh well. We also had fun looking over the bikes. Both Jonathan and I are dreaming of getting new ones but we want to be careful this time. When Ken and Mara got new ones a couple of years ago we got cheap ones and we have not been impressed with how they work. I want to read up on whatever type of bike we buy next.

We ended up getting home around 3:30. It was a pretty full day of errands but we had fun and it worked to go on our bikes so it was fun to have that success. We were all pretty hot and tired by the time we made it home but we were ready to ride to baseball at 6 pm and the kids had fun playing that evening.

 Mara commented that she really liked doing our errands on bikes and getting to picnic as well. I love getting the exercise plus getting to really see things as we go by. We had such fun looking at all the flowers we passed. A day like that certainly isn't the most time efficient but it was fun and there were several benefits:
  • We saved money on gas.
  • I had a memorable time with my children.
  • We got some good fresh air and exercise.
This weekend we hope to get some more bike riding in though it won't save us gas as we are planning on driving to try out a new section of trail where we haven't ridden before. It should be fun.

 Do you like to ride bikes? Are you doing anything to make it so you spend less on gas? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Taking care of those runny noses!

 We seem to be having some Spring allergy problems or maybe some colds bothering us a bit around here. It isn't bad but we have had some need to wipe our noses. I have been trying to use less and less of things that just get thrown away (like tissues) and have been trying to convert over to handkerchiefs more and more. The kids have started using them fairly well but we were having a hard time having enough ready and clean all the time so then we would resort to throwaway tissues.

 I decided to try to remedy that problem. Today I found a pair of old flannel pajama pants that we had around here. I had already cut a little off them to use for another project last winter but I decided to turn the rest of the pair into handkerchiefs. I was able to cut 10 handkerchiefs from the pair, mostly around 8 inch square. We do not like huge handkerchiefs as they are to big for our pockets and who really needs that much blowing space (or if you have used part of it do you really want to continue to use it until it is all used up?!).

I quickly and easily hemmed them on my machine and now they are ready for use.
The boys kindly "Modeled" them for me. Sorry the picture is bad but I found it humorous so I decided to include it anyway.
Now hopefully we won't run out of handkerchiefs so fast- and if we still do I'll just sew up some more. We have other absorbent fabrics that would work and they are very fast to make. We keep them in one of our handmade baskets in a easy to find spot next to the phone.

  I know some (maybe many) people find handkerchiefs gross but I guess I don't see it that way and I would prefer not to spend a lot of money on something that just goes to the dump. (Though I did recently read that you can compost Kleenex- so if you do use it please at least compost them!)

 That is something I have been fixing up this week. What have you been working on?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to make a Quiet time with God set.

 To those coming over from Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew!, The giveaway is over HERE. If you would like ideas on how to make the set that I am giving away then stick around at this post.

I recently made this set of stuff to help in your devotions time to give away. Since not everybody will get to win I thought I would share some links to tutorials so that you could make your own if you like.

  • To make the journal I simple covered the front of a regular notebook with fabric and then decorated it. Here is the link to instructions where I actually made a journal and then decorated it similarly to the one above.
  • For the memory verse cards I simply cut out card stock rectangles (you could use index cards) and then using my heart shaped paper punch I cut a bunch of hearts from colored paper or card stock. I then glued them on to look like a flower. In the center of the flower I glued a piece of yellow or green paper that had been punched out with my snowflake punch. (It made a really nice stamen look I thought.)
  • For the bookmark I simply threaded a bunch of beads on some thin wire and formed it in the shape of a flower. Then I attached the ribbon.
  • For the bag I made it following this basic tutorial (but not doing the folded flower pocket). I then made one of these melted fabric flowers and sewed it on the pocket.

The set was very fun and not that hard to make. I hope you enjoy making it too if you give it a try!
The basic tote bag pattern is one I have made over and over again- do you have any favorite patterns that you repeat over and over? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Remember if you want to enter the giveaway for the set picture above to go over HERE.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A time for growing things!

Oh, I am so thankful to God for the seasons! It is so fun to be able to plant in the Spring and then enjoy the growth and harvest all Summer, appreciate the fruits of our labor throughout Fall and Winter as well as enjoying the time of rest. I just love the variety of life that we can enjoy and I am certainly thankful for the season we are in right now.

We are enjoying the planting season right now- here is what we have been doing:

 We had planted strawberries a few years ago. They grew very well and spread like crazy but we have gotten pretty much no crop because the chipmunks have quickly eaten them (before they are ripe) instead. We have tried trapping and scaring (with a plastic owl and ourselves) them but so far it hasn't worked.

  This year we decided to try something new. We decided to put them in a raised bed and then we will put netting over them. The strawberries were getting to crowded and weedy anyway so a change for them is a good thing. I dug up a bunch of plants, trying to choose some of the newest ones. Ken tilled up the ground where they had been and then got boards to make a bed with. I helped him put the frame together and then the kids helped me fill it in with dirt.

Then I planted 50 plants in 4 rows. I also put some in a pot to put on our deck, a few in a flower bed and gave a bunch of plants to my parents. Now I am in the process of mulching all around them. I am really hoping this works as we would truly love to be able to harvest our own strawberries!

 We also started on the process of planting our garden. Each child has their own plot figured out and the boys put sticks all around theirs. We planted cold weather things like carrots, peas, onions, lettuce, spinach and radishes.
Jonathan looking his plot over.

Megan working in her garden.
Aaron and Mara also worked in their gardens but I didn't good very good pictures that day as it was very hot and sunny.

 We are also excited about all the fruit trees/bushes blooming. Above is a few of the blooms that our two cherry trees have on them. Our largest apple tree is starting to bloom too, our strawberries are beginning and our plum (that we just planted this year so we will pluck the little fruit off) bloomed too. We are also loving to see all the wild things like blueberries, juneberries and cherries bloom in our woods. It looks like the bees are being very busy pollinating so I hope we will have bunches of fruit this year!

There are so many exciting things going on!
Today while I was busy with a bridal consultation the boys came in with the news that the bees were swarming. It made me a little nervous but I kind of doubted that they were right and thankfully they weren't. The bees were very active today however. I need to check them again soon and am eager to see how they are doing!
How are things going at your place?
I am linking up to Homestead Revival.

Don't miss my current giveaways:
~Handmade Quiet Time with God set
~Flax Seed

A Giveaway! {A Handmade Quiet Time Set}

It is giveaway day at "Sew, Mama, Sew"! "Sew, Mama, Sew!" is a neat site that has lots of fun ideas. They are also great at spotlighting blogs that have the neatest sewing projects. It is a very fun place to visit. Anyway.... I thought it would be fun to join in on the giveaway fun and offer a giveaway here at my blog. If you are visiting for the first time thanks to "Sew, Mama, Sew!" Welcome! If you are here because you visit my blog regularly than I hope you know you are always very welcome too!
I have been loving all the flowers that are now blooming around here! (Like the apple blossoms that I took a picture of today at the church building.) Spring is really here! Because I am enjoying the flowers so much they are showing up in my crafting as well. I have made a couple of floral inspired sets lately and I am going to give one away here today. I hope you like it!

My Giveaway is a Quiet Time Set. I love having my quiet time alone with God every morning and I want to encourage all of you to grow in your relationship with God as well. So I made this set with that in mind.

The set includes:
  • A notebook- it is simply a regular notebook that I decorated the front cover of. I like to use a notebook to journal my prayers in. It helps me to stay focused and it is fun to look back and see how God answers prayer.
  • 12 floral cards to write your memory verses on. Memorizing is such a wonderful way to keep God's word with you and helping you throughout the day!
  • A bookmark. Made with beads and ribbon and it will look so pretty marking your place in your Bible.
  • A Bag to keep everything in.

    The Bible is not included - I hope you have one of your own- If you don't I really recommend getting one!
Obviously you could use all these items for things other than a quiet time but that is what I had in mind when I made them. I hope they are a blessing to whomever wins them!


To Enter the Giveaway
Leave a comment telling me your favorite (or one you really like) flower of Spring.

Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you -either an e-mail address or make sure there is an e-mail address in your profile. If you prefer not to have your e-mail available for others to see you can leave a comment here and then e-mail me your e-mail address separately.

This giveaway is open to those living in the U.S.A.  The giveaway will close on May 25th.
I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Tropical Traditions Golden Flax Seed {Review and Giveaway}

This past week I had the pleasure of receiving a box in the mail (don't you just love boxes in the mail!?) containing Whole Golden Flax Seed from Tropical Traditions. This, like everything I have ever received from Tropical Traditions, is a high quality product. It is packaged in a nice reclosable bag and the flax seeds are of great quality. 

 I have used flax seeds for quite a number of years for several reasons:
  • Flaxseed oil is one of the richest sources of OMEGA-3 fatty acid, Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an ESSENTIAL FATTY ACID (EFA). This fatty acid is considered essential, meaning that your body cannot make it but requires it and so must derive all of it from the diet. The average American diet is lacking in this fat. Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One serving of Organic Whole Flaxseed provides 9 grams of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Golden Flaxseed is unique in that 48% of its total fat content is omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Flaxseed contains very high amounts of DIETARY FIBER, both SOLUBLE and INSOLUBLE. Golden Flaxseed is 28%-35% fiber, 1/3 of which is soluble, and the other 2/3 insoluble. Soluble fiber also plays an important role in maintaining the “good bacteria” in our bowel, like Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. Insoluble fiber increases the bulk of stools.
  • Flaxseed is an outstanding source of many essential nutrients, including: proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, folate, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, iron, thiamine, copper, zinc, calcium and phosphorus.

The way that I have found to be the easiest in using flaxseed is simply to add it to all of my baked goods. We I grind my grains I simply grind my flaxseed as well. It is also commonly added to smoothies or to top your  morning cereal. It is recommended that you have around 2 tablespoons a day. We don't always get that much but at least we do have it on a regular basis. 
   Here is a recipe that I made last week using Tropical Traditions Golden Flaxseed:
Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars
1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
8 oz. cream cheese OR homemade ricotta cheese (I used the homemade ricotta as we have lots of extra milk just now and to use it I added just a bit of milk and then blended it until smooth)
1/2 cup sugar (you might prefer 3/4 cup but we try to use as little as possible.)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup rhubarb, cut into small pieces
CRUST: Combine all ingredients and mix until crumbly. Pat half of the mixture into ungreased 9x9 inch cake pan.
FILLING: Combine cheese, sugar, egg and cinnamon, beat until smooth . Add rhubarb and stir to blend .
Pour over crust, top with remaining crust crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Eat warm or cool. Store in the refrigerator.
Would you like to buy Golden Flaxseed? You can find it here. It is currently priced at $10.30 for the 1 lb. package.
One person also has the opportunity to win a package!
If you would like to try to win please leave a comment on this post. Leave a relevant comment and please don't just say "I would love to win". :-) I would love to hear how you like to use flaxseed or how you have made your diet healthier or something like that.
Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you should you win! (If there is not contact information then you cannot win.)
~If you would like an additional chance to win please "Like" Tropical Traditions on facebook. Leave another comment letting me know that you did that. Thanks!

~For another chance to win you can subscribe to Tropical Traditions e-mail newsletter. Again leave me another comment letting me know that you did that.

This giveaway will end on June 2nd. so be sure to comment before then.

Book Review and a Giveaway

Disclaimer: I recieved this book free of charge from KCWC for purposes of reviewing. I was not required to write a positive review.

This is one of the posts that I would prefer not to write....
 Every so often I am asked or see the opportunity to review a book or some other item. I enjoy doing that as it allows me to enjoy a free product and I often get to host a giveaway as well so one of you can try something new too. I try to only review items that I think my family and I and you my readers will like. I thought that this book would fit that category. It was billed as a book especially for young male readers and they said it was a good read for Christians. I am always on the lookout for good books for my book worms (Mara and Jonathan) and so was excited about adding this book to the shelves for their enjoyment. Well this book won't make it on to our shelves. I don't like the idea of doing a negative review but since I said I would review it- I will.

I will let you read what the publishers say about the book and then I will give you my take.

Book Summary

RICKY BRADSHAW has never sailed the Caribbean Sea, searched for buried treasure or battled pirates on the deck of a Spanish Galleon. He’s never fallen through the floor of Davy Jones’ locker or watched an old fisherman morph into a porpoise. All Ricky knows is his lonely life with his widowed mom in a tiny apartment overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. But all that changes on a snowy Christmas Eve when Ricky’s apartment building burns down and he suffers a seizure, falling into the chilly waters. Suddenly Ricky finds himself thrust into a world where there is surprising beauty on every island, danger around every corner and great honor and glory ahead of him—if only Ricky can summon the courage to survive the curse of Captain LaFoote.
Author Bio
Eddie Jones

EDDIE JONES has authored four non-fiction books, one young adult novel, and written over a hundred articles that have appeared in over 20 different publications. He is co-founder of Christian Devotions Ministries and a contributing writer for,, Common Ground Christian News, The Ocracoke Observer, and Living Aboard Magazine. He’s a three-time winner of the Delaware Christian Writers Conference and a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Boating Writers International. Eddie sails, surfs and writes in North Carolina. For more information see:

It's me, Abbi, again...

I will agree that Eddie Jones is an entertaining writer. I do think it would capture the attention of many boys. However the book doesn't fit the standards for what I want my children to be reading. Perhaps I shelter them but I think that is the purpose of a parent- to do some sheltering. In the book the main character is a teenage boy. There is quite a bit of talk of a crush he has on a fellow schoolmate as well as some of the yucky pranks teenage boys pull in school (One of the reasons I am glad we homeschool!). I expect that sort of stuff in Young adult fiction written by secular writers but I had hoped to not have to deal with that from a christian writer. Also as it speaks of the boys widowed mother he throws in the information that sometimes her boyfriend spends the night. I have no idea why that was added to the book but again I would hope not to find that in "christian" books. There were quite a few other things that bothered me as well but I guess I have told enough for this post.

 This books was supposed to teach various lessons but I had a hard time seeing them in the book. There was pretty much nothing in it to make me think that it was written by a christian author. Anyway I was pretty disappointed in this book and would not recommend it.

If you would like you can leave a comment and that will enter you in for the Grand Prize Giveaway that is listed below. I will draw one name from the commenters and then that will be entered in to win the grand prize drawing (25 bloggers will each get to put one name in for the prize). I will draw the name on May 29th.

Grand Prize Giveaway

All you need for a PIRATE PARY!

• 8 invitations

• 8 - 9" party plates

• 8 - 9-oz. cups

• 16 luncheon napkins

• 16 pc. blue cutlery set

• 1 red plastic table cover

• 2 rolls of streamers, 1 blue and 1 red

• 12 each of blue and red balloons

• 2 pkgs. of confetti, 1 blue and 1 orange

• 4 yds. deluxe creepy cloth

• 12 pirate swords with eye patch

• 72 pirate tattoos

• 8 dessert plates

• 16 beverage napkins

• 8 treasure chest-shaped filled treat boxes

• 1 10 ft. pennant

• 12 child-size pirate hats

• 1 photo door banner

• 1 piƱata and toy & candy asst.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What will we pursue?

"He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,
But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense."
Proverbs 12:11

I really appreciate the Proverbs. They words in there don't mess around, the message comes out plain and simple. I love this simple reminder to work hard and don't waste time on useless things! This is a message that I need reminding on every once and a while and I am sure others do to. There are so many, many worthless ways to occupy our time if we let them. Let's not go there! Let's concentrate on the activities that are productive either physically, mentally or spiritually.

A busy but very fun week of homeschool activities

 Wow! This has been a full week. We spent time with other homeschoolers every other day! We had some very good times too but I am glad we stay home more on normal weeks. Here is some of the fun we had this week with fellow homeschoolers:

On Sunday afternoon we went to a birthday party for a boy that we have known since birth. They had invited quite a few homeschool families and the kids had lots of fun playing old fashioned games like the tug of war pictured above.

On Tuesday morning we had our normal monthly homeschool get-together. We got ready for a program which we held today (Saturday).
 On Thursday evening we had our first baseball game of the year. We had a good response and had 18 kids this first week. 7 other families have also expressed interest so we might have a big group this year!
The kids seemed to really enjoy baseball and the snacks that we had afterwards!
 Tonight we had an end of year program for our little group of homeschoolers that have been meeting monthly. Some weren't able to make it but we did have 15 kids there tonight.

The younger ones performed "6 little Ducks". It was quite fun!
 All of the kids had a band thanks to the idea of one of them. They didn't get a lot of practice in but "Twinkle Twinkle" sounded pretty good. "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" was a little rough but we appreciated their enthusiasm. :-)
 Some of the younger ones had stars to twinkle and ribbons to twirl.
 Each child was also offered the opportunity to present something on their own. Not all of them did but most did. Mara dramatically read a poem, Jonathan demonstrated his geography skills and Aaron dressed up like a revolutionary soldier and asked some trivia questions.
 The older children did a readers theater production.
And then we ended the evening with a spelling bee. Aaron was the first one up and he didn't get his word (I haven't worked on spelling much with him yet- next year I will!) but there were several pretty good spellers. Our older two did decently but didn't win.

All in all we have had some fun times!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fix it up Friday

 One fun thing about having a little girl is getting to sew things for her and then take pictures of her wearing them. It is quite amusing to have a very creative model. Megan is wearing a jumper that I put together for her using a tank top and then adding some fabric for the skirt. Here is some pictures of our "photo shoot".

My "sleeping" girl
This "fix-up" worked very well for us as we don't wear tank tops around here but Megan loves having girly dresses to wear. It was also very simple to put together and so we like it for that.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Getting schoolwork done fast!

I don't know about you all but at our house we are kind of ready for the school year to be over. There are so many fun things to do outside that we would rather not spend to much time inside doing bookwork. We have a problem however- the kids aren't quite done with their books (though Mara will be this week) and maybe I'm weird but I like them to finish them. Other years we have been done by the end of April but it didn't work out this year so we are still working.

 Jonathan not only has workbooks left to finish but he also was having a very hard time focusing on his work so we needed to find a solution. I did some brainstorming with my Mom and between our ideas this is the solution that has worked:

 My kids are racing to get their schoolwork done each day. Each morning we start out with Jonathan and Mara reading through their Math lesson and doing their practice problems while Aaron reads aloud to me. For that we do not race. But then they all come to the living room and I say "On your Mark get set, GO!" and off they race to their desk and Jonathan does 10 Math problems (1/3 of his lesson), Mara does 12 problems (1/2 of her lesson) and Aaron does one page.  Whoever gets done first can have 5 chocolate or butterscotch chips. We continue to race through the rest of their work.

I have divided their work into pretty short sections so the races go pretty fast. They do have to correct any problems they get wrong so they aren't hurrying to the point of not doing a good job. The races have simply helped them (Jonathan especially- the other two generally already did a pretty good job) to stay focused and concentrate.

We have all loved the result as now we are all done with schoolwork (except our fun read aloud learning books which we do year round after lunch) anytime from 10:30-11:30 and we are starting our workbook time around 9:15-9:30 (after we pray, sing, memorize and read a little). That really frees us up for the rest of the day to get other stuff done. We have always tried to get done before lunch (which can sometimes be at 1:30 pm) but this extra hour or two of time is very nice!

Anyway- for now racing with our schoolwork is working very well for us!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another baby sweater set

 This month I made yet another baby sweater set (with a sweater rather like this one). I am having so much fun turning my odds and ends of leftover yarn to make cute stuff for babies with. I used up every little scrap of this particular type of white yarn on this set. I had used up all the peach too and thought I didn't have enough yarn when Mara produced from her room another ball of the peach yarn.

 I love the touch that the flowers add to the simple sweater and hat. This is the link to the basic pattern that I used. I just did a little changing on it to make it a bit more special. This sweater set I donated to a fundraiser silent auction. I hope to make another one soon to have to give away friends that have babies.
I am linking this to:


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