Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Colorful Train Quilt for Buirlen

   We are so blessed to have a bunch of little people in our family right now. In my side of the family (the ones we live near) there had been a break in the arrival of grand-kids for several years but in the last 2 years there are now 5 more. It is wonderful! Just recently we celebrated the 1st birthday of Buirlen. Megan and I decided to make a quilt for his birthday gift. 

   I had been thinking about making it for a month but I was finishing up some other gifts and projects and so I didn't end up getting to it until the day before his party. But with Megan's good help and even a little assistance from Aaron and Mara at the end we got it done.
 I was just going to have a bunch of colorful squares but Megan wanted some pinwheel blocks too. I thought that would be pretty appropriate since pin-wheels had been a big thing and Buirlen's parents wedding (you can see my post about it here). So we made three pin-wheel squares to go in the middle of the quilt. Then we just had a bunch of blocks. After those we sewed together I stiched a railroad track (using thread and ribbon) all around the quilt. Then we put two trains made of jean pockets on the track.
 I had wanted to make finger puppets to go in the trains but I didn't have time but Megan got it done. They turned out pretty cute. Buirlen thought they were fun to play with.

 This is the train on the other side.
 Megan made a really cut engineer to go in one of the engines.
 It ended up being a really fun project. The jean pockets I had been saving as I cut up strips for rugs and wanting to find something to do with them. They were the inspiration for this quilt. I still have a bunch more however so I am going to need to do something else with them too. The blocks all came from scraps of fabric that we had around. For the back of the quilt I used a piece of flannel that I had bought years ago on a sale. The lining was an old mattress cover that my neighbor had given me to make something with. It was amazing how perfectly it fit the quilt without any pre-planning on my part. God certainly blessed as we made it. We only had limited time to work on it and everything went together super smoothly. I was so thankful.

 By the way Buirlen's Mama has a neat blog that you might enjoy checking out.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Learning about Medieval Classes at Co-op

 This year our theme at our homeschool co-op has been Medieval Times. I have long loved history but hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to that time period before this year. I have truly loved learning a lot more about it.

  At this month's co-op gathering we talked about the class system and touched on Feudalism and Manorialism. It was a bit of work but pretty fun too. There were 5 different parents in charge of this month and then we also pulled in our highschoolers (9 of them) to help us as well. I was in charge of the Nobility and then we also had Royalty, Church (Catholic Church), Peasants (both the serfs and the freemen were put together) and City Folk (Merchants and Tradesmen).

  We all decorated a station for our different groups and the parent leaders and the highschoolers all dressed in costume. Here are a bunch of pictures from our day....

The one above shows the great hall that we created for our nobility station. We decided to portray the Sir Henry Percy Family of Warkworth castle. Josh (one of the teenagers in my station) had suggested that and researched them quite a bit. I had a blast learning more about them as well. Now I really want to go to England and visit the castle ruins.
 Annie was the other highschooler helping me. She was teaching the girls how to curtsy.
We also had the girls help us work on an embroidered tapestry that we were making for our home (it is creating a picture of Warkworth castle on it).
You might notice my lovely hat. Megan created it for me for the occasion. I didn't feel like I could be a true Lady without a proper hat.
 As the day began at co-op we had the kids all randomly draw some slips of paper (from their parent to show that they class that they were depended upon how they were born generally) that showed what class they belonged to. Then each class started their day by going to their home station. We had 3 young men that were nobles. After we told them about being nobles then all the groups rotated around and we would tell a different group and also explain how we would interact with them. So we told the peasants about the jobs we had for them, talked to the merchants about buying cloth and spices from them and so forth. Then after each group had been to each station they came back to their home station to eat lunch. We Nobles ate our lunch together and the other groups did as well. We served them food that went with their station.

  We nobles had a first course of chicken soup, 2nd course was roast, carrots, peas, bread, butter and honey and dessert was grapes and cheese.
 Here you can see the peasants coming and bowing to the King and Queen.
 The castle servant had made flowers that the peasants could give to the king and queen.
 This was the super cool draw bridge that the royalty had at their station.

 For their lunch they also had a first course of chicken soup. 2nd course was venison roast with carrots and peas and we stuck peacock feathers into the roast for some extra glamour. They had some really fancy bread, butter, jam, olives, grapes, cheese and grape juice. They also had cookies for dessert.
Here is the royal table.
 The peasants had a fun diorama to look at and learn from. They also learned about grinding grain.

 There was a fun sounding game of keeping the birds (balloons) off of the crops.

For their lunch time they sat on the floor and used low benches for their table. They had pottage (made from yellow split peas, barley, onions, garlic, cabbage and salt), dark bread and apples to eat. Nobody got forks to use as they weren't yet invented then.

 At the City folk's station the kids got to hear from Will the blacksmith, Jonathan the Carpenter and Lyndi the cloth merchant and general explainer of the City Folk.

Lyndi was able to wear the wool dress that Mara sewed by hand this winter which is made in an appropriate medieval style (Mara has been researching it a lot). I had fun helping Lyndi out with her head gear as well. I guess some queen in the 1300's was concerned about her sagging chin so she started wearing a band that went under her chin to make it so it wouldn't sag. She also wore one around the forehead as well. Pretty soon that was the style all over.

The City folk had roast, carrots, peas and bread for lunch.

 Jackie, Mara and Angel were nuns and portrayed having a place where sick people could go. They also talked about pilgrimages that were made in those days and others various Catholic teachings and history. They spoke in Latin a little bit so the kids would get to hear that.

The Clergy ate Pottage, brown bread and boiled eggs for lunch.

 Over all it was a really fun day. I hope the kids learned a lot and will remember it.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Needing Jesus

Life can get overwhelming sometimes. Whether it is a spiritual struggle (sometimes I wonder where that nasty attitude in me came from!) or a physical struggle (and there have been those lately) it is Jesus that I need to help me through. I am so very thankful!

 This song just kept playing over and over in my head last week as our family dealt with Influenza and while we were very tired, feverish and weak I also did flowers for a wedding and we watched my 2 year old nephew while his baby brother was being born. I saw God giving the strength to go on and the grace that we needed so many times. We are blessed beyond measure. This song has been a blessing to me I pray it might be for you as well.


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