Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little More Handmade Christmas

After pouring through pages of craft books and scouring crafting blogs, Sarah settled on an idea from The Creative Family for Rebekah's Christmas gift - a set of lacing cards.

Here she sews a fabric drawstring bag to keep them in. Below you can see all the wonderful drawing she did. All that is left is to cut them out and punch the holes. She also has to label the bag.

This little knitting project is a secret that she is not sharing. Any guesses?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Handmade Christmas

This weekend brought out the craft books, sewing machines, and an endless parade of craft supplies. The girls and I set off on our journey to create a handmade Christmas.

Fabric was selected out of our scraps stash and laid out for a little princess gift.

Careful to measure twice and cut once. A lesson I learned from my husband, the builder.

All lined up at the sewing machine

A special little princess taking shape.

The little princess fast asleep on her pile of mattresses.

The only things missing - a pea and a bag to keep it all in.

By now I am sure you have guessed what our little princess is getting. If you're not sure or you would like to see where I got the ideas check out Soule Mama and Manda's Esty Shop

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Homeschool Thanksgiving

Our homeschool's group 5th annual Thanksgiving was full of fun, cooking, food, crafting, and of course eating. The kids did a wonderful job preparing the food.

Solana and Hannah mix the crumble topping for the apple crisp. They really enjoyed this task. I think there was more topping than apples this year.

Cade hard at work cutting potatoes to be boiled for the mashed potatoes.

How many teens does it take to make mashed potatoes? We still don't know as these young ladies spent more time talking while the two boys did most of the work.

Cameron was an apple cutting machine. His applesauce was delicious.

Sarah and Tiffany did a great job with the rolls once they figured out how to read the recipe. The roll were a huge hit. Lots of requests for the recipe. It is the 90 minute roll recipe my family loves.

This years craft were these duper cute pumpkins. The kids put their names on the leave and then we used them as place markers.

Here is just some of the yummy food. Turkey, stuffing,mashed potatoes, squash, corn, cornbread, rolls, cranberry sauce, applesauce, and of course pickles and olives.

The desert table was full of pumpkin pie, apple crisp, pumpkin roll and more.

And of course the best part was eating!

Hope you and your family had a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Children's Museum in Portland

Our homeschool group, Homegrown Explorers, headed to Portland for the day. The first stop was the Children's Museum. The museum exhibits are geared for children 10 and under, but even the "big" kids had a a great time.

Rebekah loved the river display. The direction of the flowing water could be changed by moving "wall" pieces. Then the children could float boats, fish and balls through their river.

Hannah spent the entire day with her new friend Chase and her dad. Her the two of them enjoy the rock wall. They also played with magnets, ran the food store, and visited the touch tank.

Sarah tried her hand at building a shelter. I hope she never gets stuck in the woods alone, at least not until she has some more practise.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zig Zag Scarf

At the beginning of October my in-laws came and joined us at the Fryeburg Fair. I love the fair, especially all the handmade crafts. This year I was especially excited to check out the fibre barn. All those beautiful hand spun, hand dyed yarns. How is a girl to choose?

Well, I didn't have to choose. My birthday is a few short weeks after fair and so my in-laws bought me this beautiful wool that came in a kit with this unique scarf pattern and wooden needles. It came from the wonderful people at Rolling Knoll Farm. They also blessed me with a sock kit from Rolling Knoll and a beautiful handmade swift! Boy am I a spoiled girl.

As a newbie knitter, the zig zap pattern took me a minute and a friend to figure out. Once I did it was a breeze. I love the look of this scarf.

I have plans to make another one of these scarfs for Sarah using up some stashed yarn.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fisherman and His Wife

The girls had a great time this past week working with Children's Stage Adventures. This is the fourth play the girls have done with this awesome theater company. However, this was the first time with a group of homeschoolers. There were about 50 homeschoolers from Carrol County that spent a week putting together their version of A Fisherman and His Wife.

Hannah was cast as one of the Mayor's Assistants. Here you see her and a couple of friends back stage before the show. All made up and ready to go. Break a Leg!

Sarah was cast as an angler, one of the old fisherman.

The naughtly little hooks were her children.

The fish costume was so cool.

The entire cast!

Posing for pictures!

Sarah and Annie!

The girls are already talking about the next performance. Hopefully we will be able to bring Children's Stage Adventrues back next year. Who's up for it?

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Introducing Beau!

Our 6 month old Beagle has been here less than a week and already made himself a quite loved member of the family. The girls, especially Rebekah, can't get enough of him - playing, walking, brushing, feeding, loving.

We are all loving having a dog around the house again.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

New Shelves

A big thanks to my friends, Selena, for telling me about these awesome create that our local Shaw's Grocery store is selling. They used to use the create for displays in the store, but are no longer allowed to use them, so they are selling them for ~ get this ~ $1.00 a piece.

They are sturdy, country, green, frugal and oh so useful for so many things.

This shelving unit in our kitchen was just what we needed. We had a half round shelf from Ikea here before. It was cute but way too small. Now we've got room for cookbooks, shoes, soup tureen, biscuit jar, and so much more. I am just loving this. And all for just $9.00!

We have also use them in the pantry and under my desk. Things are so much more organized and look great! So much better than plastic creates and so much more frugal! I think I will be heading back to get some more.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mapping it Out!

One of the disadvantages of living in the sticks is that you have to travel for a lot of things. One of those things is the orthodontist. Sarah had a consultation and the closest orthodontists we could find that took our insurance was over two hours away.

The little kids did a great job - they slept most of the way there and some of the way back. Sarah was excited about the appointment and travels well anyway. So it was Hannah that this was the most difficult for.

The solution - pull out the atlas. Hannah had a great time following our journey on the map, telling us what was coming up next, figuring out mileage and the quickest or alternative routes. Much more fun than those map skills workbooks. She felt useful and productive as she helped me find exits and more. And the best part, at least for me having six kids in the car, was that Hannah enjoyed the trip!

I think she has the job of navigator in the family. And that means she gets the front seat!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

David Sibley Book Signing

This past spring Sarah was introduced to bird watching. It instantly became her passion. She met some wonderful people. One of them was Dixie, who immediately took Sarah under her wing and taught her all about birding. She even gave Sarah her first field guide, The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Sarah was so excited to learn that David Sibley was coming to Tin Mountain Conservation Center to promote his new book, The Sibley Guide to Trees. Of course we had to head over to hear Mr. Sibley and have him sign Sarah's field guide.

It was great for Sarah to meet another author, especially one who shares her passion. We learned a lot about how he writes and illustrates his guides. The bird guide took him 12 years to write and illustrate - the tree guide 7 years. All the illustrations in the guides are paintings done by Mr Sibley. The bird guide illustrations are water colors and the tree guides are painted with only three colors (blue, red, yellow) and white of acrylic paint. That is truly amazing!

Dixie and Lisa were there as well. They just got back from a bird watching trip to Africa. It was great to catch up with them and hear about all the exciting things they saw and did in Africa. We are looking forward to getting together and seeing all the pictures they took.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Weeks Worth of FREEBIES!

The last two weeks have seen lots of FREEBIE! The girls love heading to the post office to find a surprise box and we never know what it will be. Most of the FREEBIES we sign up for are ones we know we will use, can easily donate or are for new product that we would like to try. Two of my favorites are FREE magazines and FREE beauty products. We scored big on both of these. The subscriptions to Better Homes and Gardens, Organic Gardening, Family Fun, and Food & Family were all FREE! The only one that wasn't an Internet sign up was Better Homes and Gardens. That one was a thank for for buying a piece of furniture, Hannah's birthday desk.

The free beauty products this go around were a sample of Burt's Bee Acne Solution. Perfect for the girls who have beautiful skin with a very rare breakout. I keep see $2.00 off coupons for this product so it must cost a little bit. The next beauty item was Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. Now this was a full size jar which must cost more than I would ever spend because the coupons were $10.00 off. And there were the usual shampoo and conditioner samples - Dove and Garnier Fructis. These are great to throw in our bag when we head off to Gramma's or one of the girls head to spend the night at a friends.

And of course there were some food samples. A box of instant potatoes, trail mix bar, and granola as well as a holiday cookbook. Oh and I almost for got the vacuum cleaner freshener. And then there are the coupons.

A few of you have asked me to share where I get the information for FREEBIES! I find them lots of places but the best place for those just starting out that don't want to put to much time into it is Money Saving Mom. She has tons of information about freebie, coupons, special offers, deals at CVS, Walgreen's, and Rite Aid as well as ton of other money saving stuff. You wont be sorry you stop by her site and you will want to check back often.