Monday, November 28, 2011

Thrifty Lego ornaments :)

The boys saw these in the Lego magazine we get for free in the mail.

I thought they would be cute on the tree they always have in there room but was no way going to spend 8$ for them. So I grabbed some plastic bulbs at Michaels for about 50 cents each on sale and we dug through the boys Legos to fill them. It's a win, win situation. We get some fun new ornaments for a bargain price and until Christmas the boys will have a few less Legos to clutter the floor with. hehehehe

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ballenger Family Nov 2011

So here we are, November already. Life has been busy and full in a blessed way. I have not been able to post as much as I intended too.
Justin is still prayerfully seeking employment. I am working part time at Michaels craft store.
Justin is covering homeschooling on the mornings that I work, often all 5 days. This has been a bit of a crazy adjustment but we are settling into it pretty well.
Thanksgiving is next week and this year has been so full of an overabundance of things to be Thankful for. God is so good to us.

I am Thankful for my Husband and the Love for the Lord that I see growing in him more and more each day.
I am Thankful for my children who grow more beautiful and teach me new things each day.
I am Thankful for amazing family and friends.
I am Thankful for coffee on cold mornings and Sweaters.
I am Thankful that no matter what happens Gods provision is so much more than we need.
I am Thankful that I get to work at a craft store. (Love crafts)
I am Thankful for our small group and the encouragement we share each week.
I am Thankful for MOPS and the opportunities it has given me to come out of my shell and share my love of crafting with others.

Happy Thanksgiving

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sewing Together Pocket Pillowcase

I had a group of mommas over again today and we sewed some Pocket Pillowcases together. I love that the kids get to run and play while we socialize and do a bit of sewing too. :) We have a mix of beginners and longtime sewers, we all help each other out.

Today I taught the girls how to make Pocket Pillowcases. The tutorial is from Vermillion Rules!

We added a felt letter to the pocket which I think gives them some extra charm. :)

Here are the cutting measurements for any of you girls who remember how to assemble and just want the measurements, Or go to the above link for the full instructions.

Cutting instructions:
  • Cut two pieces, each 26" x 21" from the main fabric. These will be your main pillowcase pieces.(These can be a tad smaller if your fabric is narrower.)
  • From the coordinating fabric, cut two pieces each 21" x 5 1/2" for the side border. ( Make these the same as the main piece- so if the main piece is smaller these need to match)
  • Also from the coordinating fabric, cut a 11" x 9" piece for the pocket and two pieces for the flap each 11" x 4".
Here are a few pics of the ones I made for my littles.

If any of you out there try and sew one we would love to see pics. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up 10/13/2011

God answered a prayer this week and I will be starting a Seasonal Position at Michaels Craft Store on Monday. During my shifts Justin will be covering the school hours until I get home. When God gives Justin a job we will have to see what happens schedule wise.

The past few weeks of school have gone well. Not perfectly but very well. We cut Evangeline down to half time because her days were simply taking too long. This seems to really be helping although we are still working through some perfectionism issues. She is doing so well with her scripture memorization and it seems to be one of her favorite things.

This week we had a meal on the ground like the Hebrew Shepherds. Whenever an activity involves food we all get involved. :)
Timothy is really improving in reading ability. He has now finished 5 of the emergent readers and I can see huge improvement. He even says he will read a book with a girl as the main character next. (Big step for him)
He is loving cursive and breezing through math. Everything else in Bigger seems to be a perfect challenge for him and his attitude is improving daily.

Caleb and Haven are still loving Little Hearts, we really are doing this at about half time. We prob do 3 - 4 days a week right now.  They are remembering the letters they learn and even have read some small words I wrote using just the 4 letters they have learned so far.

Here is the wall of Art from the year so far. Soon we will have to make some more room. hehehe

Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Early Autumn Day

Outside my window... Rain and a peak of sunshine

I am thinking... That if I get the job at Michaels I will need to be extra motivated with the kids school prep each week.

I am thankful for... My beautiful daughter she is far too big and I am having a hard time remembering that she is 10. :)

From the learning rooms... We are now doing HOD half time since it was taking too long each day. I hope to work into full time in the next 2 months.

From the kitchen... 2 chickens in the slow cooker

I am wearing... Jeans that are actally pretty new, black tanktop with a blue tie dye look shirt over top, and my thrashed brown boots.

I am going... To town later today to get a few groceries and to buy Graph paper to help my girl with her math.

I am reading... I am supposed to be reading Anna Karenina for a book club I should get back to that soon.

I am hoping... That the Lord blesses Justin with a job soon and that I will continue to trust in the Lord to take care of us just as he always has..

I am hearing... The washing machine fill with water, and the boys watching a Leap Frog video quietly

I am Creating... Some Pillowcases for the kids room. I have some ladies coming next week to sew some with me so I need to get these examples done today. :)

Around the house... A bit of cleaning to do, I also want to do something fallish soon for decor.

One of my favorite things... Hot chocolate on an Autumn morning, and Party Planning. (I was doing both this morning)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Waiting on a call about a job, finish some sewing, do some more cleaning, school with the kids, finish grocery shopping, and maybe start reorganizing my room.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The boys new Lego Room

We decided to decorate the boys room in a Lego theme late last year. I Love the browns the walls were already painted so we stuck with those and just added touches of Primary colors. The bedding was from Target early this year in the Back to College section. I Love it because it is thin and holds up to many washings. (It has been washed at least once a week since January.)

I got the boys the car carpet for Easter last year. I Love how the bright colors add to the room plus they can use it for play time. :)

We were blessed to find a projector last year at a yard sale for 5 dollars. We projected Lego men on the walls and traced them in pencil.
Then Justin painted them.
Here is our boombox man. (I also replaced the doors on the closet with a curtain which I love) The doors always broke off and they were hard for them to open and close.
Here you see the Spaceman and The Police officer.
Here is the Hopscotch boy in the back and to the left you see the framed board my Dad made for me. I glued base plates to it so they have a vertical building area. They are loving this so far. I made sure to place a Lego over each gap as they dried so that the spacing would be correct.
Here are some fun initials Auntie Amy made for the boys last Christmas. We finally found them the right home.

The boys love there new room and are having a blast showing it to all of our recent guests.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sewing Together Half Apron

So I have started a small sewing group with a few momma friends. We had our first get together today and the plan is to meet once a month for a simple sewing project.

Today went so well and we had such a great time. It was such a blessing to visit and let the kids visit while we all got to sew a little something to use or save for A future gift.

Here is a picture tutorial of what we made today. Maybe some of you will sew some up and save them for Christmas gifts.

1- You will need 2 coordinating fat quarters. Or 2 pieces of fabric that measure 18" by 22" for each apron.
 This is how a fabric quarter may be packaged. (sometimes the are available in bundles or rolled up)
 Now you will cut each fabric quarter in half shortways. The fabric you choose for the pocket and straps will need to have one of the halves cut in half as well. So in this picture the cherry fabric will be the apron body and the gingham will be the pocket and straps.
 Fold each small piece in half wrong side out and sew along the side seam.
 Then turn them right side out.
Iron the straps flat with the seam centered.

 Tuck in and sew one end of each strap

Fold the fabric that matches the straps in half. (If you wish to add lace ribbons, ect now is the time to stitch it along the folded side.
Now we make a sandwich. Place one of the main body pieces down - right side facing up. Place the folded in half pocket piece at the bottom - folded side toward the top. Place one strap on each side about an inch down from top (Not even with the top like in this pic sorry- you need enough space above them to sew and turn the fabric) The straps will be seam up and I fold them in a bit and pin them on the ends and in the middle so they won't slide around and get caught as I sew.
Next place the other main body piece on top of the sandwich right side facing down. Pin all around. Make sure all the pins are far enough in that you can sew around the edges without hitting them.

Leaving a 4" opening in the middle of the top side sew all around the edges. Making sure to catch the straps and the pocket all around.
Remove the pins, I leave the opening big enough that I can reach inside and get the pins out. Then reach inside and reverse the entire apron through the opening you left.
Push out the corners and iron it flat making sure to tuck in the opening as you iron so you can close it in the next step.
Top stitch close to the edge all around.
Add a straight line down just the front pocket to make divisions. You can add as many lines as you want. 2 or 3 pockets seems just about right for this apron.
Trim your threads and tie the apron on someone. Then make them smile and take a picture. hehehehe

If this is confusing just let me know in the comments.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Wrap up - 9/4/2011

Teaching the 2 little boys Little Hands to Heaven has been such a blessing. They are so excited each day and ready and willing to do there work. :) It makes my heart happy.

Here is an art project that they did making rainbows.

Timothy is doing very well this year and we are finally getting through the work each day. I had to change a few things for him. First I took an index card and cute a small window just large enough for one line of text in a book, this is really helping him at reading time to concentrate and keep his spot. I also ordered him a table top book holder for when he is doing copywork ect. at his desk. He was having a hard time tracking his sentences and keeping his spot with the books laying flat next to what he was writing. It is really helping him so far. He adores the Science, Hymn study, and Art especially and is even reminding me that he needs to do math. Wowser
This Saturday we headed to Bandon to meet Grandma and Grandpa. They were camping and let us join in for a day. :)
Playing with some fun bubble makers
Watching a critter collect nuts and stash them in a tree.
Found a fun balloon man at a yard sale.
Attempted to use an old overgrown path to the beach.
Decided is was far to steep and muddy after a bit. hehehe
Decided to use the stairs.
Ahhhh the Beach
Playing at the park with Cousin Kaylin
Kaylin and her Timmy
Grandma leading the way on the worlds least slippery slide.

Evangeline is also doing well on her curriculum. We are working through some perfectionism so she can get her work done in a timely manner. I will be sure to snap a pic or 2 of her this week.

Monday, August 29, 2011

At the river

A little trip to the river.

Exploring and attempting to catch living creatures of any kind.
I do not need shoes daddy, you can carry me.
This boy is fearless
Happy to be dirty and wet.
Beautiful girl

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simply Me in August

Outside my window... Sunshine and roses

I am thinking... That I need prayer and guidance as we start our new school year.

I am thankful... To have a quiet morning with just Timmy and I to do some school.

From the learning rooms... Started using Heart of Dakota curriculum this year and it has been so wonderful thus far. A schedule to follow that is totally understandable yet flexible, and completely Christ centered.

In the kitchen... A few dishes to wash as always and yummy coffee my hubby brewed for us this morning.

I am wearing... A blue shirt with a white shirt underneath, blue Jeans, and brown sandles, and my wedding band.

I am creating... A small cross stitch a bit at a time. I was inspired recently by Karen over at Mother Culture.

I am going... To be home most of the day, unless I run to the store for milk and one more last school supply for Timmy. (seems I keep running into last school supplies I need to get LOL)

I am wondering... In what way the Lord will show Himself to us today.

I am reading... The Hobbit to the kids as a read aloud and just about to start reading Homestead: A Memoir myself.

I am hoping... That we can clearly see what God has planned for us when it comes to Justin's future Job plans.

I am looking forward to... Christmas- Yep I said it. I have this excitement to start handcrafting for family. Also MOPS this year where I get to teach crafts to moms. Love it!

I am hearing... My husband whistling a worship song. :)

Around the house... Just keeping busy, too many projects started at once. I need to complete something soon.

One of my favorite things... Having Justin home

A few plans for the rest of the week: I plan to seek God, Teach my children, Enjoy my family. :)

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Justin doing the Mento/ Diet Coke experiment with the kids. :)