Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sewing projects

I'm no expert seamstress. As a matter of fact, all I know about sewing, I taught myself - which isn't much. So most of the time, I feel as though I am just feeling my way through. I can put a buttonhole or a zipper on a dress, but I'm really not very good at it.

With that said, I really enjoy sewing clothes. When my girls were little, I made dresses for them all the time. Dresses are easy and I loved finding fabrics that matched an occasion or their personality.

At my daughters' requests, here are my latest projects. This time, they will make as much of the dresses as possible. I believe Charlotte Mason would consider sewing a handicraft. It's certainly a skill in which they are making something useful.

Here are the fabrics and patterns they have chosen. It's wonderful how we can still find fabrics to match their personalities. I've always told them that when I make them a dress, it's a "One-of-Kind". When these dresses are complete, I believe we will not find other dresses just like them either.

This is for my 10 year old girly-girl.

This is for my soon to be 12 year old tomboy who LOVES horses.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Blast

I like "festivals". You know what I'm talking about - The Strawberry Festival, The Apple Blossom Festival, the Maple Syrup Festival, Dutch Days Festival, and so on and so on. My husband teases me and says they are all the same. They all have funnel cakes and Italian sausage and booths with games and vendors. Okay, I like the funnel cakes and Italian sausage - so shoot me! I also like to find the festivals that stick to their theme. Those are the kind that hold some educational value. With that said, I feel that these festivals are part of the American experience. It's part of our culture.

Our local state park, Codourus, hosted their annual Summer Blast Event this weekend. It could also be called a "Summer Festival". It's an event our family looks forward to each year. The rangers at the park set up a tent with all sorts of native live animals and display animals that can be observed and touched. Other highlights include Dock Dogs, Civil War encampment, live music, crafters, vendors and food (Italian sausages and funnel cakes - my favorite). This year, they added carnival rides. The weather was perfect and as I watched the fireworks, I just had a deep appreciation for the opportunity to do this with my kids. The pictures here only scratch the surface of all we did and saw at this event. In my opinion, it was a good homeschool day.

Raymond had a chance to "shoot" a canon.

Funnel Cakes!!!!!!

Lucy looking for the Chicken BBQ.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yard Sale Finds

I was able to get up bright and early this morning and hit the local yard sales. I am thrilled with what I found and must share it.

First, I had this ugly file cabinet in my dining room that I have been wanting to replace for a while. It doesn't hold files for whatever reason. The files just fall down and lay in the back of the drawers. When I went to move it, I notice the whole back side was dented in. I'm not sure how that happened. Oh, and the rust. I went to clear the pile of books off this cabinet once recently and the top is rusty. I decided the look of the books on top of the cabinet was better. The way the light is reflecting, it's hard to see the lovely rust in this picture. Notice it's in the back of hubby's pick up truck to go in the dumpster tomorrow.

I found this cabinet for $10 this morning. Much prettier in my opinion and it has the rods for hanging files so nothing will fall down.

I found these books for a quarter a piece...
this cutting board for $2...
(Yes! It's VanGogh's Starry Night. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!)
and this computer game for $2.

When I found the computer game, I asked if it used batteries or if it plugged in. The lady gave me a universal adapter for it. I saw that it had a calculator function on it and thought DD10 would love to play with it. Turns out, it has typing exercises on it and lots of games. She has been playing with it all day.

Total spent this morning = $15!!!! I am soooo happy because I found things that we can use, are pretty and it totaled less than a new file cabinet!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Well, another year of VBS is over and it was so much fun. The title was Truth Trek and it was great because they showed a quick video each night and all the videos were actually filmed in the holy lands. So each segment focused on a different geographic site. There was the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, Masada, and the Tomb of Jesus (or at least what they believe to be the tomb).

It's also fun to see the kids getting excited about Jesus. The songs are very cool and the kids continue to sing them when they come home.
In my opinion, these days can be counted toward the 180 that the state of Pennsylvania requires. They will definitely remember the stuff they learned and subject areas include (but are not limited to) geography, history, art, language arts, and music & movement.

DD11 felt she was too old to participate. I kind of agreed because I could see her getting bored with the activities last year. So this year she went as a helper. She seems to be well liked by the kids for her ability to give piggy-back rides.

Little man had his 5th birthday on the first day of VBS. He received a Spiderman costume that he didn't want to part with that day, so he wore it to VBS. I figure these people deal with kids and they understand.

DD10 in the striped shirt putting her all into the motions of the song. She is a performer.

Different day - DD10 is in the brown skirt. These are two of her best friends.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cowan's Gap 2009

Our annual trip to Cowan's Gap is never dissappointing. Every year has been different, but each has been so much fun. This year the swimming was okay for the first couple of days, but then it got cold and rainy and we actually came home one day early. Some friends came to visit us one day while we were there. I'm just glad they came before the rain did.

It is so nice to be out there with no cell phone signal and no computer.

This is a prime location for nature study. Let's start with the dead fish.

I love how children are so unihibited.

Then there was the trail around the lake that showcased a variety of trees. Each section of the trail seemed like a different "room".

These two pictures were taken about 200 yards away from each other on the same trail.

Then DD11, my nature photographer, delighted with all the flowers she found.

Of course, we engaged ourselves in typical camping activities.

I am also relieved that we were well protected on this trip.