ABC - not quite

I found this ABC piece whilst in Penang and thought it was kinda cute. It was bright too. just added some bright borders and taa - dah!

Measurement : 40.5"W x 50.5"L
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM100
Status : SOLD!

Sail Boat & By The Sea-Side done!

Its done! Remember this one? A friend sent over the fabric with small pictures of the boats & sea-side. I've cut them up and put in some cream, green & ocean blue to surround it. Seems like its in the sea. I like the effect ;-) The striped border was such a perfect match.

Measurement : 38"W x 48"L
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM100
Status : SOLD!

Loving Learning

This is a picture of my 3 youngest recently.
We have been enjoying school SO MUCH! One of my biggest goals is not that I will have taught my kids everything there is to know (I Can't!), but rather that I will have taught them how fun learning can be. It has been so much fun for me lately as they have all been wanting and asking to learn. They have practically been begging!
I had Jonathan doing 1st grade math which had adding, subtracting, times, money etc. That was going fine for him but he decided he really wanted to do division and multiplying. He quickly worked through the easy book so that I would give him new harder pages. Jonathan has also fallen in love with reading which I always love to see. If a child loves reading then the world is open to them.
I hadn't started Aaron on schoolwork yet (he turned 5 in Oct. and I am not into rushing a child into schoolwork) but lately he has decided he wants to do schoolwork. He has really been enjoying oral math (As he explains, "I understand now how it works") and has been amazing us with how well he is grasping it. He has also started asking for papers to work on. He also wants to read and has made a little progress.
Of course Megan can't miss out on all the fun. She has to do "schoolwork" too when everybody else is. She is learning to color in the lines which is fun.
Now of course not everything is perfect, there are still times they would rather play but I am excited because I have 4 children who are asking to learn, wanting more and sharing in my excitement of putting more information in our brains. If that keeps up I will be very satisfied with out homeschool experience!

Petal baskets for flower girls

As many of you know I have a wedding flower business. I decided it would be fun to make petal baskets to sell too and did a little experimenting and came up with one that was pretty easy to make and has sold well too.

It is a pretty simple fabric covered basket. (this one also has some extra details of pearl beads) It is pretty quick and simple to make and I will attempt to do a tutorial for you.
To make the basket I started with a (I was making two baskets so many pictures show 2) a 32 ounce yogurt container (or cottage cheese container or anything the you think is a good size for a basket) and I cut the top off to make it a little shorter. I also took a handle from an ice cream pail. The other item shown is quilt batting.I cut out fairly round fabric that is big enough to cover the bottom and all sides and a little ways over the sides on the yogurt container. For this basket I hand sewed a bunch of pearls on but that is not a necessary step.
I hot glued (watch out this can be very hot!) batting around the handle. Then I used a paper punch and punched a hole on either side of the top of the container (about 1/2 inch down) and then snap the handle in. Hot glue the fabric down on the ends so that the handle will stand upright. I cut a strip of fabric around 3 inches wide and about 1 1/2 times as long as the handle. Fold the strip in half (length wise) with the right sides together and make a 1/2 inch seam. Turn so it is right side out and slip over the handle.
Then set the basket in the middle of the wrong side of the circle. Hot glue as shown on the middle of the front and the back. Glue the fabric down all the way around, pleating it up as you go. The using some fabric sew a little bag that you can glue inside for the lining.

That is the last step, You now have a pretty little basket! I am doing this tutorial when I am rather sleepy and I know it is not very detailed. If you have any questions feel very free to ask in the comment section!

Do Hard Things!

I recently read the book "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris and I really enjoyed it! When they wrote this (2008) they were teenagers that were starting "a teenage rebellion against low expectations". They call it the Rebelution. There book is so refreshing because in an era of teenagers being thought of as hard to deal with, lazy, you can't expect much from them, wild, un-disciplined....the list can go on and on, they show clearly that it doesn't have to be that way. There are teenagers out there (and I personally am pleased to know quite a few!) that aren't that way AND no teenager needs to be that way.

Our day in age however has given teenagers for the most part very low expectations and so they live up to them. This needs to change and it can change little by little in each home as either (and hopefully both) parents and kids decide that the teenage years can be great years for accomplishing things, learning and truly launching out on a lifetime of living for God.

Reading the book made me really excited about my kids reaching their teen years (though I am happy to have them at the age they are currently!!). I don't think we need to be scared but as we train them now we can also work to inspire them to want to be all that they can be and never give in to mediocrity!

The book also made me think of my own teen years. I was super blessed to be raised by wonderful christian parents in a christian home. In view of the book I can look at my own teenage years without regret. I grew up without a TV or computer to distract me (though I know teenagers can be raised well with both of those around as well), I was taught to love learning and working and during my teen years I was able to be a worker in the church, a worker in the home, work outside the home, go on a mission trip and help out at christian camps and I also was able to really pursue some of my interests like music. I have no regrets at all but I realize now that I could have even done more. But it is never to late to do stuff and I want to do as much as I can for God now too.

I do recommend this book, as with pretty much every book I read I didn't agree with everything 100% but that is why we all need to be comparing whatever we read, anywhere with what God says in his word!

Have you read this book? What did you think?


Isaiah 48:17
"By the power of his Spirit the Lord God has sent me with this message:
People of Israel, I am the holy Lord God,
the one who rescues you.
For your own good, I teach you, and lead you along the right path."

Aren't we blessed to have a heavenly Father who is always wanting what is best for us and who is willing to teach us and guide us in the right ways?! I know I feel very, very blessed!

Getting rid of some clutter!

As I had mentioned a week ago, this week was one of getting rid of things at our house! It was so nice to go through stuff and down size. Though I don't know that you want to see all our stuff that headed out the door, I do have pictures of a lot of it.

My main ways to get rid of stuff were:

  • Return everything that belonged to someone else.

  • Give stuff away to someone else that might enjoy it.

  • Throw stuff away and recycle stuff.

  • Box stuff up for a garage sale or giveaway.

The top pictures was my Sunday stuff. Returning some stuff, taking a magazine to my parents to read and a newspaper to our international student because her picture was in it.

On Monday we did some major going through in both kid's rooms. I don't have any pictures but we came up with a huge tote full of stuff, as well as a bunch of trash and paper to recycle.

On Tuesday I gave away some Maple syrup and gave a (good) book to somebody else to read.

This is a whole box of stuff is stuff I lent to a student friend who was wanting some props for her pictures. A bunch of stuff to go back to Mom and Dad's and also some cleaning stuff for the church building.
I find fun Magazines hard to get rid of, especially when they have neat tips that I might want to use later. I really enjoy both of these magazines (Martha Steward Living and Family Fun) but decided if I needed anything in either of them I could find it later online. I gave them to a friend and my sister and hope that they have as much fun looking through them as I did (and then they can pass them on or recycle them).
It is amazing to me how fast we can get a bunch of stuff to be recycled. It was so nice to get all of this out of the house!
Library books are ready to go back! Part of my cleaning spurt was actually inspired because I had gotten an e-mail saying I had a book over due. It was called "Spirit of the Northwoods" and I thought it was a kid's book. We totally went through the kid's rooms and pretty much everywhere else upstairs but now success! Finally I found it in my office, on my desk. Turns out it was a quilt book! Some stuff to return to a friend as well as some thank-you gifts and card.
Well I can't say these were causing to much clutter but we did have fun getting them ready to send out. I also enjoy thinking about how happy others might be to get a letter. This week we also had fun getting some presents ready and delivered. It is so much fun to share with others! The kids really enjoy it too.

Is your house ready for summer? What have you been up to lately?

where did the warm weather disappear to

ah ha!!! my Rhubarb plant survived the cold cold winter we had in Victoria. Not sure what the name of the plant at the rear centre is called but it's looking okay...
Started cleaning my deck ONE day when it was very warm...will wait for another warm day to continue.....
I think I'll do tomato plants etc. in the now empty flowerpots...

Almost time to Garden!

The time is coming soon when we will be able to get out and work in the garden! I am getting pretty excited. I love being out and the fresh air, having some exercise by doing something useful and dreaming of all the fresh produce we will get to eat!
Meanwhile we have been getting stuff ready......
Early on this month a passionate gardening friend sweetly gave me a bunch of little tomato, pepper, herb, lettuce, cabbage and flower plants. The kids and I also started a bunch of seeds of our own. We have them be the southern window in my office and they have been growing very well!

It is a jungle in there now! Starting your own plants from seeds is pretty frugal. I use recycled containers to start them in (my most often used container is cutting the bottom off of milk jugs) and then you just have to get dirt and seeds, neither one has to be very expensive if you watch for sales.

The other thing I have been doing to get ready for gardening is working to improve our garden soil. This is just our 3rd year of having a garden at this house and the previous owners didn't have a garden so we started from scratch. In fact I think some time ago it was a dumping area because when Ken tills each spring I have to follow behind picking up all sorts of trash that the tiller digs up. We also have very sandy soil so it needs amending for that as well.
Lately I have been getting goat manure from my parents farm to put on the garden. I don't have a truck to haul it with so I take 3 5 gallon buckets and get that much at a time. It isn't a lot but I figure even a little helps and over time it will be a lot. Composting is also part of our lifestyle and we are able to get quite a lot of beautiful nutrient rich dirt each year from that.

How is your garden going? (Probably many of you can work outside in it already!) What are your favorite Thrifty and green gardening tips?

Pink Hearts

12 bright pink hearts hand-sewn onto white blocks. Enjoyed doing this. Simple & straightforward. 

Measurement : 38"w x 47"L
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM100
Status : SOLD!

Transport Quilt

It's finally done! My transport quilt. Kinda big - it fits my 10 year old. Up for grabs! 
Measurement : 46"W x 57"L
Price : RM150
Status : SOLD!

Fun for my little ones

We recently checked out "Moose, Cookies and More the treasury" by Laura Numeroff out from the Library and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It has the well known "If you give a mouse a cookie" and "If you give a Pig a Pancake" and two others. It also has recipes, songs and a CD that has the stories and songs on it. It was so cute and all the kids but especially my younger two, had a great time listening to it. That works for me!

Actually we like story CD's over all. We have some that their grandparents made for them (with Bible stories and original stories on them), we have some classics, some simple ones and some that teach through music and stories about some great composers. My kids love standing around the CD player or sitting quietly in the living room just listening. Simple fun for my children Works for Me!

For more Works for me Wednesday posts visit We Are THAT Family.

I would love to hear what CDs your children enjoy.

Blog Interupted

Asalam Alaikum,
This will probably be my last blog post for a while as we are headed for Pakistan tomorrow, inshAllah. We will mostly likely be gone for about 3 months, because that is the length of time that they said my visa will be good for.

So here are some random pictures.
Riding a Ghora(Horse) in the park

Feeding the cocos(chickens, but he calls all birds cocos)

The boys napping-

Daddy's Shoes

Just Exhausted-

New Bears added

Name : Blue & Red Transport bear
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM45
Status : SOLD!

Name : Red & Blue hearts
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM45
Status : SOLD!

Suzy Zoo collection

Lovely soothing colour from the Suzy Zoo collection. Good for a baby boy or a girl. Simply added a matching border. BTW, that's my lil' Maya (top most pic) [trying to kiss the giraffe in the quilt. Didn't realize she was in the picture until taken ;-)

Measurement : 41"W x 51"L
Made of 100% American cotton
Price : RM100
Status : SOLD!