Friday, July 29, 2011

The Truck

We just finished up our 2nd week of school here in our house. This past week we started the writing course, Writing Strands 2. This lesson was about describing something and using adjectives. For someone who struggles with this subject Ian did pretty well for his first try and he wanted to show it off to all of you!

The Truck
I have a green, small truck.
It is a fire truck made by Tonka.
I got it at a store.
The End.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Update

How are you all doing out there in blog land? I've been super busy with my boys and have been too exhausted to do much blogging.

School is going OK but it's a lot of work and I'm not sure I'm doing the best at it. The subjects I'm teaching Ian aren't bad, it's the constant battles or the same question asked again in 10 different ways to see if I'll give in or give a different answer. And the funny thing is, he doesn't act like that in everyday life just with school work. The only thing I can really say is that I've got a few more weeks of a trial period before the public school starts and then we'll see.

Here are a couple things Ian (and I) made: No sew fleece blanket and pillow (for the couch in the basement, it can be chilly down there even in the summer!)

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Things are going pretty slow in the sewing room. I've done a couple small projects and a couple big ones. The small ones are a set of 5" travel sized cloth wipes for my car and a drawstring bag for our Math-U-See blocks.

The 2 big projects I finished are 2 aprons for my shop, Heather's Custom Sewing.

And I've been doing a little bit of hand sewing here and there on my hexigon charm quilt. So far it's about 15x18 inches.

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Also, I'd like to remind everyone of the sales I've got going on right now.

Heather's Custom Sewing and Hen and Chick Cloth are having a Christmas in July Sale. 25% off all items, use coupon code XMASNJULY at check out.

The Sewing Stash is in it's last week of the going out of business sale. 75% off all items, use coupon code SOLONG75 at check out.

Both of these sales will end this Friday or Saturday or whenever I have the time to go in and turn off the coupon codes. :) Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1st Day of School!

Welcome to Harper's Academy!

Monday; July 18, 2011 was our 1st day of school!

Ian is entering the 3rd grade age level this year. As a homeschooler it is hard to pin-point the exact grade he's in as he's on different levels academically in different subjects. That's one thing I really like about homeschooling- I can teach to his level! If he's struggling in an area we can take the time until he gets it or run full force through an easy for him subject.

This year I'll be teaching Ian all the required subjects (language arts, reading, math, science, and social studies) plus a few extras (Bible, sewing, typing, & paper folding). He was very excited to get started and could care less that he only got 4 weeks of summer vacation. He was getting bored and, well, when he gets bored he's very ornery. ;) I really like our year-round school schedule!

Here's a run down of the subjects we'll be learning this year for those who are interested:

Language Arts
  • Explode the Code Books 4 thru 6- teaches phonics. These books we are using range from 2nd to 3rd grades but this is a tougher subject for Ian so he's a little behind
  • Writing Strands Level 2- teaches creative writing. This is technically at a 2nd grade level but Ian struggles with this subject so I'm giving him extra time to 'get it' at his own pace
  • Handwriting- Ian still needs practice printing so we'll be doing that again. I decided to push cursive off to next year 
  • I'll finish reading the last 3 books of the Chronicles of Narnia to the boys. After that we'll just find whatever we want at the library but I was thinking of reading the Boxcar Children or the Hardy Boys next.
  • Ian enjoys non-fiction books which he finds at the library. He also enjoys the Nate the Great Series, the Black Lagoon series and all of the Diary of a Whimpy Kid books.

Math-U-See- we really like this as it's a hands-on approach (great for Ian!)
  • Beta- double digit addition and subtraction- he will complete this whole book this year
  • Gamma- Multiplication- he will do only the beginning part of this at the end of the year then the rest of it next school year

  • Apoligia's Exploring Creation through Botany- comprehensive whole approach to science, doesn't dumb it down for the age and is creation/biblical oriented (Thanks, Sis, for letting us borrow your textbook. I also go the notebooking journal which is very much worth it!)
Social Studies

Bible- I haven't taught Bible yet and have no idea how to go about doing it and these lessons seem very simple and easy to follow

Sewing- Level 3- (first half of the year) we are looking forward to this plus a quilt we plan to create

Paper Folding- (second half of the year) very neat and fun to create projects, we'll be doing the 2nd level this year

Typing- I wanted to teach Ian to type this year since he seems to have so many troubles with his handwriting
So that's all for now. Another day I'll probably tell you about our daily schedule and how a day goes in our house! :)

And here are a few more pictures with an uncooperative toddler!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

I've said it before and I'll say it again… being a grown up sucks sometimes!

Today is the final day I've got to make some decisions about things going on in my life. I'm out of time and the dead-line is here whether I like it or not!

I've realized that I've got to suck it up and move on in a few areas of my life.

I want to homeschool, I like it, it works for us, my son is doing better, even though it is hard and challenging. I realized that I can't do it alone, like I have been, because I will go crazy, which I may already be. ;) No, just kidding! Anyways, I'm at a crossroads and I finally feel like I'm seeing things clearly for once. I've told many people that I'm quitting homeschooling. It isn't the homeschooling that stresses me out per se but the lack of support from my main supporter. And, yesterday morning, as I was stressing over it yet again, I got a nice little wake up call from God. 'Hello, Heather'… He said… 'I'm your #1 supporter, not the this other person, so cut it out and lay all your cares upon me.' So I did.

And now here I am, telling you the other decisions that I made that were easy to make once I did that. I'm going to find a church to go to. I haven’t been in years. And I'm going to keep homeschooling.

But to do that well I'm going to make it easier on myself by not accepting anymore custom orders. I know, bad for business, and I'm trying to suck it up. :) I decided to make the days go better for me then I need to take the custom order stress factor out of the equation. Everything in my shops are ready to ship, which is so much easier on me.

About my shops… I've decided to shut 2 of them down.

Heather's Doll Shop already has it's doors closed. The dolls will be moved to Heather's Custom Sewing as I have time. They will still be for sale since they are ready to ship items.

The Sewing Stash is currently in a going out of business sale. 75% off everything! Use coupon code SOLONG75 at check out. I would appreciate the word being spread around. I would like to get that shop cleared out and the doors closed for good in about 2 weeks.

So that leaves my last 2 main shops which will stay as is. :)
My blog will also probably not get as much attention as it used to since I'm throwing my blog schedule out the window and just letting things go with the flow for right now. If you don't hear from me for awhile, I'm probably knee deep in some school or art project with my boys.

You know how relieved you feel after making big decisions? That's how I feel right now! It's all going to work out!

And in closing I'll leave you with this poem I read this morning...

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

~Russell Kelfer

Marcia's 'Marcia Top'!

Marcia of Crafty Sewing & Quilting ordered a shirt from me last month. She loved it so much that she ordered another! I finished it yesterday & I'm sure she'll love it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Been awhile...


Did you hear that?

That would be God, applying the breaks to my life, figuratively speaking.

I've been forced to stop and contemplate things for awhile, hence no blogging lately for me. It's been painful, tiring, stressful, yet freeing. It's just the beginning but I know I'm not alone. Things will get better in the end.

In the mean time I've been trying to focus on my talents and gifts: sewing and creating things.

I've finished and shipped off this wholesale order of 16 wetbags.

I've created Aqua Marine, who is now available in one of my Etsy shops.

And I'm nearly done with a new top for Marcia… no pictures yet!

Thanks for bearing with me!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sewing Saturday: WIPs

Today I thought I'd show you my current works in progress (WIPs). I have promised myself to not start on a new project until I get the old one finished. It's a really hard promise. I think I might have sewing ADHD or something. :) But I know I need to simplify and focus and pull some of those irons out of the fire.

So, here you go...

At my sewing machine: This week I've been sewing on a wetbag wholesale order. I have 16 bags ordered and I'm 75% done! 4 more to go, which I hope to get to this weekend and have the bags shipped out on Monday.

Handwork: I started a hexagon charm quilt at the beginning of the month. I'm not exactly sure how big this quilt will be or how long it's going to take me but it's nice to have something to take along with me or work on while I'm in bed (or when the little one HAS to sit on my lap). I just love the color-way! I got 2 packs of 5" squares precut from Walmart when they were trying to clear out old stock.

 Both projects are coming right along and hopefully I can stay focused on them!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fitness Friday: Check-In

Since posting a bit ago about my current health concerns. I thought I'd better do better on my Fitness Friday posts! These keep me accountable and give me something to look back at.

It's official that I've officially restarted my diet and exercise plan as of 6/25/11, 2 weeks ago today.

In those 2 weeks I've worked hard at getting some stuff out of my diet. It's been hard! I don't even have sweets or snacks for the boys. Instead, there are lots of fresh fruits and veggies. There are still a few things holding me back in the diet and meal preparation area because I just can't justify tossing out or wasting things and money. I am slowly but surly getting there though. Then we had a holiday weekend tossed in there with lots of BBQ and yummy things to eat.

Speaking of diets. Has anyone ever heard or tried to No S Diet? I think I might give it a go. I especially need to work on getting most, if not all, sugar out of my diet and getting portions under control.

Exercise is a challenge too. I'm working at getting it into my schedule and making it a daily habit. It's been suggested to me, by numerous people, to take the boys out on a walk. That would be ideal if the weather would cooperate or not be deathly hot or my boys wouldn't be so dang cranky at night. For now, that is out the window. Instead I'm using nap time to walk on the treadmill and will be adding in yoga and playing on our Wii fitness for variety.

Last but not least here are my numbers:
Height: 5'4"
Weight: 153 lbs (none lost since 6/25/11- but none gained! Target weight 130 lbs)
BMI: 26.3 (target BMI around 22)

WebMD has the best BMI calculator!

I hope by this time next week I can have lost at least 1 lb!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New Enthusiast

Last week I bought Ian his own sewing machine. He'll be taking some sewing lessons during this up-coming school year from me and I thought it was time to get him his own machine. Granted, I did this more for me, so he couldn't ruin my good sewing machine. I found the machine, on sale, at Walmart. It's a Brother LX-3125 for those who are interested. It's a very basic machine but will get the job done. Ian can't wait for the projects I've got planned but for now he's just happy to sew together scraps of fabric!

He's also been learning to use the iron. He asks me if I have anything that needs ironed now. How can I refuse that?

Even if he never touches the sewing machine and iron as an adult he has at least been taught how to use them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Unplugged: July's Schedule

Sorry this is a bit late, but better then never!

During July I'll be unplugging on Sunday's. I hope you can join me! If not, pick a day that works for you!
  • Sunday, July 10
  • Sunday, July 17
  • Sunday, July 24
  • Sunday, July 31

Not sure about 'unplugging'? Read about it: HERE!

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