Check One Off

summer sewingToday I sewed a skirt for my youngest daughter which was one of my goals for this summer. A skirt for Rebekah was not one of my explicit goals. However, my husband recently decided one of his shirts was no longer wearable. I really struggle with throwing clothes away even when they are no longer any good to the person who owned them. So I started thinking, and I thought I could make a skirt out of this shirt.  When my girls were smaller I made summer nighties and dresses for them from my husband’s shirts. The fact that he is 6′ 7″ and has larger shirts helps. 🙂

It would work better if Rebekah was a little younger/smaller, but as you will see I made it work.

First, I cut off the sleeves.

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Then I trimmed the shirt off  at just below the underarms and trimmed the bottom. I liked the idea of the buttons on the shirt running down the front of the skirt. As it turns out I was right – it’s cute.

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Since I needed more length I made a casing for the elastic which I sewed to the top. Then I sewed a piece of fabric to the bottom to add length and to make it prettier.

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This project cost me nothing because I had all of the materials. The fabric was something I had had in my stash for years. I always buy big spools of black and white thread so I have lots of that. The elastic was also something in my things.

My daughter is thrilled with her new skirt. I had a lot of fun with this one.

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Victoria Day

On the Monday before May 25th Canadians celebrate “Victoria Day”. It is the unofficial beginning of summer; the day a lot of us plant our gardens (We didn’t today – hopefully this weekend). We set off fireworks, have barbecues and enjoy family. Check out this article for a history of Victoria Day – a uniquely Canadian holiday.

Who was Queen Victoria? She is the queen for whom the Victorian Era is named for her. During her long reign of over sixty-three and a half years the world changed a lot and became much smaller. Industry grew expotentially with so many new inventions that made life easier. People were on the move. Education and living standards were improved. Amazing scientific discoveries were made.England reached its zenith as a Christian nation. Scores of missionaries left England for all parts of the world.

It is said that Queen Victoria once said that “m”  was her favourite letter in the alphabet. Without the letter “m” the Bible would say that not any rich are saved. With the letter “m” it says that not many rich are saved. I have hopes that we will one day see Queen Victoria in heaven.

Pictures of Queen Victoria show her as a small woman but she certainly had a large influence on her country and the world. I am a “small” woman in this world, but through my children I can have a large influence on the world. A sobering thought. I pray often for wisdom and strength as I try to teach our children how to be a light in this dark world.

enjoying Victoria Day as a family

enjoying Victoria Day as a family

My Summer Sewing List

Soon school will be over and I’ll have more time to do one of my favourite things – sew.

I thought I would put a list up of what I hope to accomplish before school starts up again. I’m hoping to accomplish two things by this. First, I LOVE lists to organize myself, and second, having it out there for everyone to see will keep me motivated to get these projects done. Some I’ve had in mind for quite a while. So without further ado here is my list in no special order…

quilts for my nieces in Illinois (you did NOT just read that Joy 🙂 )

a package of homemade gifts for my sister’s family in Wyoming – I’m really excited about the projects I’ve chosen for them

finish the quilt I have started for my oldest son

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start a quilt for my second son

a jumper for my youngest daughter for Canada Day with some fun fabric I bought about a month ago

a skirt or two for my oldest daughter

a skirt for my middle daughter

a table runner for my dining room table

something for my mom for Mother’s Day and my dad for Father’s Day

a gift for a friend who is due with a baby in June

a StoryBook (this link will take you to my mom’s site for selling the Creative Memories software I will be using for this gift) for my brother-in-law who is graduating from the Army Reserves

boxers for my two little boys

a clothespin bag

From time to time I will update this list and tell you how I’m doing. I will also let you know how much each project costs me. I love to raid my stash for making gifts.

What are your plans for this summer?

All Dressed Up

I’m not sure what your favourite accessory is but one of mine is my babies.

I first saw a sling in 1993 when I was still single, and I thought that it did not look comfortable or safe for putting a baby in. Then in 1998 when my first baby was born I started attending La Leche League meetings (a breastfeeding support group). Lots of moms there had slings or other carriers and talked about how much they loved them. I started to do some research (in the days of dial-up) and decided I wouldn’t mind trying one out. So when my daughter was 9 months old I took the plunge and bought an Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. As they say – the rest is history. I now have no idea why I waited so long or what I would do without mine.

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a little scared of a cannon that just went off, but feeling safe with Mommy

I used that sling for about three years. Now I was attending a different La Leche League group and hearing about a different brand of slings. This was a Heart 2 Heart sling. I discovered I like this sling better because the pouch has more fabric making it easier to nurse a baby in. I used my new sling until it wore out several babies later. Then I was given another Heart 2 Heart. Sadly I lost that one after just a few months. We bought a Jolly Jumper sling at a resale shop. This is an okay sling – it works – but my favourite of the three is the Heart 2 Heart.

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big sister taking a turn

Then I had baby #7. I thought I had motherhood down, but Ethan taught me differently. He cried about everything from the time he was born. Back I went to research what would help since I was logging hours pacing my floors to keep Ethan happy. He was too small to put in the sling comfortably but I needed help to hold him – even a tiny baby gets heavy after a couple of hours. Everyone I talked to started to tell me a wrap would be great with Ethan. Years before I had watched my husband’s brother-in-law put a wrap on so he could hold one of his twins. At the time I thought it looked complicated, but I started to look into this option. When Ethan was four weeks old we bought a wrap similiar to a Moby Wrap. The relief for Ethan and I was almost immediate. He loved snuggling against me. He ended up being fourteen months before I could get him to try a stroller for even a few minutes. With Ethan it’s all about human contact. 🙂

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We were so happy to get this sling. What a relief!

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That hike was quite the workout for me.

I use the sling and wrap according to the circumstances and what I feel like. I enjoy the ease of slipping the sling on and off quickly so I usually use it in a store, at church, anytime I just need to be able to quickly put the baby in. The wrap I use for long-term holding like walks or working around the house. If I could only have one I would probably choose a sling because I feel like it’s a little more versatile. It’s also a little easier for my older children to use. However, I do love my wrap. I feel like it supports the baby’s weight better making it easier for me to carry the baby for longer periods. Whichever I use I love the way it enables me to give my baby the secure feeling of being held close next to Mommy, but still leaves my hands free to take care of my other children.

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very safe feeling for a newborn – listening to Mommy’s heart

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still so tiny

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growing up too fast and sporting the new camo sling I made for him

Did or do you use some method of baby wearing? What is your favourite?

Tomato Soup Goodness

 A few years ago I discovered homemade tomato soup. Let’s just say that we have never bought another can of Campbell’s since. This soup is so good and so simple. It’s so simple that even my nine-year-old daughter can make it with a little supervision and help. It really doesn’t take much longer than opening a can, emptying it, and adding milk or water to it, but the taste is about one hundred times better. Plus as an added bonus, I know what’s in this soup – every ingredient is pronouncable and no MSG. So here is how we do it.

First, you open a large can of tomatoe pieces. For us that is one of the jars we canned last summer. You dump it in your soup pot and mash the tomatoes up. We use a stick blender, but anything that mashes them will work. Sometimes there is still some little chunks, but that’s okay.

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my lovely assistant

blended tomatoes

blended tomatoes

Then we add chicken stock. Mine is usually frozen because I forget to  take it out in time, but it melts. 🙂 Next  we add water, a small can of tomato paste, honey, parsley and dill weed.

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frozen chicken stock

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adding honey

Now you can add milk with flour mixed in to thicken the soup or as we did today just cream. I left out the flour because I was keeping this THM diet-friendly. Next comes butter and salt. As soon as it’s all heated through you’re ready. Like I said simple, simple, simple. When you taste it though, it is so delicious you will never want to buy canned tomato soup again.

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lovely, delicious goodness

soup

So Many BOOKS!

My husband bought me 97 books today! I am so excited, and I haven’t even looked at them all yet. How is this possible? Seventy-five bloggers have come together with 97 of their books. They are worth $640 but this package is being sold for $29.97. As well, there are five e-courses and $140 worth of bonus materials and offers. The topics cover everything from beauty to budgeting to homeschooling to motherhood to recipes to health and fitness and more. If you’re frugal this is an outstanding offer.

I have spent my day downloading books, changing diapers, downloading books, checking schoolwork, downloading books, fixing meals, downloading books…I think you get the picture. I am so excited. I can hardly pick which book to start with – they all look so good.

Here are some of my favourite titles so far…Easy Peasy Chores (please if anything can help with chores, sign me up), Healthy Homemaking – One Step at a Time, iPhone Photography (I’m really curious about this one), Just Making Ice Cream, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert, Pursuit of Proverbs 31 and Not a DIY Diva. These are just a few that I can hardly wait to start reading.

There are several blogs where you can buy this bundle from. I’m going to link the blog that I purchased from. This blog is also having a giveaway for a Kindle Fire. The sale is only until May 4th so don’t hesitate. Check it out and then get a bundle for yourself. You will not regret it.