Easy Peasy Baby Bib.. a tutorial

Oh, the joys of feeding a baby! Brown banana bits clinging to her hair. Bright orange carrots dangling from her ears. Chunks of applesauce stuck up her nose. Lovely. Roo is a very neat eater as long as she is being fed by someone. Give her the food and… watch out. So she needed some bibs. I don’t like rubbery, plastic bibs. Even though they can be wiped down easily, they always seem to be uncomfortable to wear. And I don’t like the velcro closure bibs either because they seem itchy on the neck and they get stuck in her hair. So I guess you could say I’m a little picky about bibs. Roo’s Grandma made her a bib for her birthday and it turned out so cute that I asked her to show me how! And turns out, that it’s quick, easy and adorable. Thanks for teaching me, Grandma S! Check this out…Find some cute dish towels at the store. I spent about $7 on 3 towels. Bring them home, wash them and cut them in half. Next, cut a half circle out of the edge that you cut. IMG_6014This is the opening for the neck. Then you will need to hem the straight cut edges of the towel. Simply fold over and stich. No need to hem the circular neck edge.IMG_6016 Now, you will all wish you were textile hoarders like me….raid your stash of twill tape, binding and rick-rack. Or just go to the fabric store and spend a couple dollars on some double fold bias tape. This is a strip of fabric, cut on the bias, that is a bit stretchy and pressed flat towards the center. IMG_6015Each bib will need approximately 2 feet of bias tape. Fold the tape in half, length-wise to find the center. Then roughly approximate the center of the neck edge of the bib/towel. Open up the bias tape and tuck the center of the raw edge of the bib into it and pin in place. Continue tucking the raw edge into the bial tape, pinning as you go.IMG_6018 Pinning will make it all nice and neat. But I confess, I am not a pinner. So after this picture I ceased and desisted. And I had to force myself to communicate these nice clear steps to you instead of telling you to “eye-ball it”, or “kinda like this”, or “guestimate”. Yeah, I’m not really a perfectionist type seamstress. But, back to the bias tape! Once it is all pinned in place, or not, sew down using a zig-zag stich, making sure to catch the back side of the tape underneath the bib. Then use a straight running stitch, quickly sew the ends of the tape down. These will be the “strings” to tie it around your little one’s neck. Got it? Good. Viola! 6 new bibs. Under an hour. You can do it! IMG_6023

The Third

IMG_6234It was freezing. But that didn’t stop them. I saw bare feet. Must’ve been my kids. The fire reached sky high, literally. The cops didn’t come again, thankfully. Over 80 bodies in our double-wide trailer.IMG_6249 February 13th was the night of our “Schultz Shindig”. Our third annual celebration of life down south. We had some new faces this year. And we missed some old regulars. Nobody had a brush with death. No ears were blown off during the fireworks demonstration. No frostbitten toes playing GaGa ball barefoot.IMG_6245 There was uproarious singing on the hayride. Even some fabulous duets, I hear. We had special guests from the Deep South here with us tonight. Fun games, that everyone participated in. There were babies everywhere you turned. None so small as Ruthie was last year, though (2 weeks!). Some fantatstic food… homemade gnocci anyone??!! Too much cocoa, too much candy, just enough loudness, just enough laughter.IMG_6229 The kids didn’t get to bed til after 1. Mom and Dad much later. These are the nights you can’t sleep, despite the weariness. The kids regaled me with tales of who said what, what happened to whom… I love these times of enjoying the kids. We can laugh and giggle together. Sometimes it sounds more like shrieking and howling, holding our bellies so the laughter doesn’t break us in two!IMG_6224 We are so blessed that God answered our prayer so generously when we asked Him to grant us a warm, body of believers to fellowship with when we moved down here.IMG_6221

Getting soft

It was an innocent question. She truly wondered..”will you be ok, all by yourself..with no one to help you?” I was getting ready to take just the baby out. I was quite taken aback by my daughter’s question! Will I be ok? At first I huffed and haughtily told her that long before she was a big helper I used to drag 6 kids, 8 and under, all around town all by myself, thank you very much. But then, when I reflected for a moment, I thought it was a valid question. Long gone are the days when I buckle little ones into car seats.  Usually siblings fight over who will get to hold the baby through the store, no more buckling her onto my back. And sometimes, when I have a really quick stop, big sister stays in the car with the littles and I am free to run an errand solo. So, yes, I am quite dependent upon my troop of helpers. But I am still quite capable of taking a baby out for the day and we will both survive. Since that innocent question, I’ve made a distinct effort to take just the  youngest children out every now and then. So I don’t forget how the car seat buckles work. So I remember to count heads at the grocery store. So the littles can learn to stick by my side, just as their older sibs had to do once upon a time. Not every time I leave the house, but every now and then because, yeah, I’m not as tough as I used to be.EASTER-2007 007

DIY ACV

If you’ve been around the “health food” world for any amount of time you have heard all about raw apple cider vinegar and how miraculous it is! Improve digestion! Boost metabolism! Regulate blood sugar! Balance your skin’s PH! Knock out parasites! The list of miracles goes on and on. We have been taking ACV for years and giving it to the animals as well. Usually we buy Bragg’s, an organic, raw vinegar. But lately I’ve been making my own and it is easy as (apple) pie. Save peelings, cores or apples past their prime. I had some that accidentally got frozen, so I used those and some cores. Fill a gallon jar 1/2 full with apple chunks no smaller than 1 inch. Add 1 cup honey or raw sugar. I used raw, organic sugar because I thought if we are trying to culture something with beneficial bacteria, honey which an anti-bacterial, wouldn’t be a good choice. Then fill the jar to the top with filtered water. Cover with a coffee filter or paper towel and rubber band. Let it sit for one week, stirring once a day. If it develops any moldy spots simply spoon them off. It’s no big deal. After 7 days, strain the apple pieces out and recover with a breathable top, like a filter or paper towel. Let it sit and ferment for another 6 weeks. It will develop a “mother” on top and may develop stringy things floating around. These are the good bacteria! A SCOBY, if you will.  Now your raw apple cider vinegar is ready for use. Add it to your animal water for increased health. Take a couple tablespoons before each meal to aid digestion. Make a tea with it to ward off the dreaded cold or flu. Enjoy!IMG_5815

I Spy with my Little Eye

IMG_5822We play this game often. But usually the object in question is within 100 feet of us. And sometimes we still have trouble spotting it! Keeping that in mind, it was amazing to learn that hawks, owls and eagles can see a mouse from a mile away.Unbelievable.IMG_5838 Our creator is awesome! We enjoyed learning about these birds of prey at a KY Parks workshop last week. The children were fascinated to see a bald eagle, barred owl and red tail hawk up close. The teacher was so engaging for the children, keeping their intense interest for over an hour.IMG_5823 And as I saw all the mamas wearing their babies, and watching their littles, my heart was warmed. I was encouraged and reminded of why I love participating in homeschooling events. There is such a sense of fellowship and likeness.IMG_5958 It was a beautiful day, so after the presentation we hiked a few trails, rolled down a few hills, and explored. These “science lessons” that always point the finger to an awesome Creator and loving God are priceless. IMG_5886

And so the pendulum swings

Blast from the Past!! Egyptian night!

Blast from the Past!! Egyptian night!

As all of you know, I am a relaxed homeschooler. I have been told if I were any more relaxed, I would be dead. Back when I was on the student end of the equation, I did a more organized fashion of studies. Abeka, Saxon, Latin, Bob Jones. I appreciate having had that experience. It’s just not how I roll. Neither one is right or wrong. Just different. So imagine my surprise when I hear  my children saying things like, “I hope to finish Algebra 2 in 3 months!” Or  “I am doing extra pages so I can finish early and start the next book!”. Is it ironic that I tell my children that math will always be there….to go outside and ride the horses because sunny days should be taken advantage of…to stop doing “school” and spend time with the family?

Experiment regarding "radar"

Experiment regarding “radar”

It seems that children all have to find their own way of doing things. My children, at least some of them, may have preferred to have been homeschooled by the generation before myself. And that’s ok. My “relaxedness” may drive some of them crazy. I have students who thrive with a set schedule, while I resist that with everything in me. But I try to work with their personalities. I work out a schedule for the ones that like that sort of extreme torture. I excuse the ones that are more free-spirited to set their own pace, plan their own play school activities. While I shake my head in bewilderment at the child that requests an ACT prep book, I can appreciate all that determination and diligence. Just as I can marvel at the astute questions put forth by my littles ones who sometimes spend most of the day outside, chasing frogs and fishing.

Susie fitting in a little school work in the middle of a dress up session.

Susie fitting in a little school work in the middle of a dress up session.

God must know I get bored easily, so He gave me such diversity to enjoy, puzzle upon, and nurture. I just wonder if my relaxed children will, in the next generation, have little ones that thrive on structure and if my structured students will have children that long for a more relaxed approach?

Charlotte "reading" to Jimmy

Charlotte “reading” to Jimmy

 

The best gift of all

IMG_5802The night of Tommy’s birthday a beautiful gentle snow began to fall. You may not agree that was the best gift, but we all thought it was! So the next morning saw all the children out in snow gear making snowmen and being pulled around on the 4-wheeler. It was great excitement…over logs, down the hill towards the pond, up hills, down into valleys, cows chasing them, into poles.IMG_5796 The kids weren’t screaming for nothing! Fun and frightening. Daring and dangerous. Exciting and electrifying. Merry but menacing. Enough already. A fun time was had by all.IMG_5805