Saturday, September 13, 2014

7QT - All the Things!

It has been way too long since I last participated in Seven Quick Takes Friday!

Let me tell you.  I always have grand intentions of all the things I am going to share on the blog.  Half written posts, posts in my head, oodles of pictures taken with a specific post in mind and then...

Life happens and posts don't get written or finished.  And you never get to hear about that trip we took to Disney World almost two years ago.

So, for your reading enjoyment, here are seven quick blog posts I have been planning on writing.

1.  The Princess gets glasses.

In hindsight I should have probably realized she needed them.  She would get so upset when doing her school work that her letters looked wiggly.  I thought she was just being a perfectionist.  That was only part of it though.  Turns out wiggly meant blurry.  Go figure.
I got glasses too.  Not that I really needed them.  My prescription is the lowest one.  But I thought it would encourage her.  Good thing I don't actually need them because I have already managed to lose them.  Which totally makes all my lectures to her about taking care of her glasses and not losing them, a bit hypocritical.
2.  The Princess gets her first haircut.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eyesore Wall Turned Gallery Wall

There is a wall in my house I like to fondly refer to as the problem wall.
This ugly little wall is nicely located right between the front door and the laundry room door.

The designers of this house put a lot of thought into the location of all the eyesores.  Where should we stick all these ugly things?  Doorbell speaker, alarm speaker, thermostat, smoke detector, motion sensor.
We could put them on the wall next to the laundry room.  Tucked away where no one will ever see them.  But you know what would be even easier?  Sort of but not really.  We could put them a few inches away on the wall that is visible from the entryway, and the hallway, and the stairway, and the dining room, and the living room, and you know EVERYWHERE!  Oooh ya, let's do that.

Seriously.

And not only is the stuff not pretty, it's about as ugly as possible.  The alarm speaker and motion sensor are newer.  Yes, we could put this stuff around the corner but this wall already looks ugly.  Let's just add to it.  Ahem.

The smoke alarm is not even functional so I should really remove it.  Even though I know the wires leading to it aren't live, (had them checked) it still makes me nervous to just take it off and have those wires floating in the wall.  So, I will wait until someone who knows what they are doing can remove it.

Let's not even mention the fact that the thermostat is crooked.  Crooked.  For really.

The doorbell is an... antique.  I am not totally in love with the style.
The first thing I did when we moved in was try to eliminate all the brass everywhere.  I did remove the decorative thingy off the front and was considering painting the brown part.  I also removed the side chimes and discovered they are in fact functional so back they went.
After spending much time/energy/angst trying to change it, I decided to just embrace it and work with it.  After all, it is part of the history of the house and would a plain speaker box really be any prettier?

Plus, brass is back in!  Bring back all the gold things we finally managed to get rid of!!!  Right?  I'll never fully understand trends.

At first, I fixated on covering all the uglies but I was worried about the functionality being compromised.  I also worried that covering them would just end up looking like I had covered something up.

Then as I was browsing gallery walls on Pinterest, (I have always had a bit of an obsession with gallery walls) I realized the ones I loved the most had a mixture of frames and other oddities.

So, if I surround the ugly stuff with pretty stuff maybe people will notice the pretties and ignore the uglies?!

Obviously I NEEDED to run right out and start buying stuff to hang on my wall!

Except that wasn't really in the budget.  So, I decided to work with what I had and I could always add to it later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homeschool Curriculum Planning 2014

Ya'll know how much I love the last minute, right?

Nothing motivates me more than the realization that I have literally run out of time.

Here we are.  Time for school to begin again.  My Facebook feed full of pictures of people who have already gone back to school.  The school district here started school on Monday.  Other areas started last week.  Pretty much the entire world is back to school.

But because I like to be contrary and because summer is too short.  "How can summer be over ALREADY??  I don't WANNA go back to school."  I refuse to start school before September.  No matter how hard my kids beg I remain firm in my resolve to wait.  August is my birth month and since there are no recognized holidays during the month, I have declared the entire month a holiday.  Just for me!  I also think it's silly to start school and then take a holiday after only a week or two.  So, I don't start until after Labor Day.  I also end by Memorial Day for the same reason.  It makes it easy to mark the beginning and end of school each year.

Of course, I realized yesterday that I had done exactly zero planning for this year.  I mean I guess I could put it off until Friday, or the weekend, or even early Monday morning for that matter.  It has been known to happen.  But for the sake of a wee bit of "organization" and sanity on my part, I thought I should give myself some idea of what we are doing before we do it.  And maybe a few days for books to be ordered so that maybe they could arrive toward the beginningish of the school year.

Ahem.  BTW if I can do this, anyone can.  Don't tell me YOU are too disorganized to homeschool!!

Yesterday was crisis day.  I spent all day googling and agonizing and researching and changing my mind and changing it again.  When my husband called to check in, I was in the depths of despair.  For some reason, waiting till the last minute ends up feeling stressful and rushed.  What's up with that?

I always get sucked into whatever the "latest greatest" trend is in the homeschooling universe.  Whatever program it is that "everyone" swears by, must be great.  Especially if it costs hundreds of dollars.  For one subject.  Which is way over my budget for all subjects.  But clearly it will be better than the one we are using, which works and we like, but we will obviously love the other one more and it will make my children automagically geniuses with absolutely no effort on my part!!!  So says the internets!

After an entire day of that, I think I have finally decided for absolute really and truly, surely, kinda what we will use this year.  

P.S.  It's pretty much exactly the same things we used last year.  Because when it works, why mess with it??

The Princess is in Kindergarten and the Peanut is in 2nd this year.
Many of our curriculum choices have been inspired by Angelicum Academy.  We started out using their program and have since branched off a bit but as my kids get older I plan on going back to Angelicum Academy for at least some of the subjects.  I really love their great books program.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Old Fashioned - TT

Theme Thursday is back!  And not a moment too soon.

True story.

Here I was hanging out on my computer willing a blog post to just write itself and I could not come up with a single thing to write.  Actually I have been writing something all week but it's just turning into a big old mess (big surprise) so I decided to step away from that one for a bit.

Then I thought I would check Facebook for some inspiration.  Which of course really means get sucked into the social media vortex and never emerge.

Instead, literally (for real) the first thing I saw was a post from Cari announcing the return of Theme Thursday thanks to a hijacking from Madeline at A Dash of Snark.  For which I am eternally grateful!

The theme this week is Old Fashioned.  The theme could not be more perfect.

Yesterday, I had the random impulse to sew something.

Now, in my usual lazy manner, I didn't want anything too difficult.  Just a quick little sewing project.  No real planning, no purchasing any supplies or materials, and most definitely no pattern.

Then I saw a tattered old pillowcase I had thrown into my fabric stash.  I really like the fabric on the pillowcase but it had come apart at the seams.  Literally.  (For real again.)

So, I cleaned off my sewing table.
And by cleaned off, I obviously mean moved the pile of stuff off the sewing table and onto the dining table.
Set up my sewing machine and decided the machine needed a better cover than the plastic one it came with.  What would be cuter than a cover made from an "Old Fashioned" pillowcase??
That plastic cover totally clashes with the "old fashioned" sewing table hand me down and the "old fashioned" crystal lamp from my husband's grandmother.
I cut the pillowcase in half to fit the machine.  All it really needs is a hem.  But that's not a lot of fun.
Much better.

I looked at what was left of the pillowcase.  Just enough for a little skirt for the princess.

Lazy style.

Here is my detailed tutorial.  I am using super technical sewing terms here and didn't bother taking any pictures so try to follow along.

Friday, June 6, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow?

No really, share your secret.  Cause I haven't got a clue.

In the spirit of participating in link-ups I have no business being a part of, (Photography, Fashion) I thought I would jump on the Gardening link-up over at Cari's place.

I have absolutely no ability to make anything grow (other than children) or keep anything alive (other than children, pets and, with your help, one tree) but I do have some kind of obsessive need to kill tiny plants.  It's sick really.  I probably need Gardening therapy or something.

I blame Pinterest.  It fills my head with these ideas of gardening as some kind of grand educational experiment, curb appeal and living off the land.  Sounds great right?

The only plants I can manage to successfully grow are the things I don't even know about.

Check out these Blackberries I discovered growing in our backyard.  
And the enormous mushroom village on this stump.

Here is my garden so far.
I pretty much planted a bunch of varieties of seeds in little pots to see what takes.  Not sure what I will do with them if they should decide to pop up.  Probably give them the exact right amount of water and sun to kill them.  I have a talent for that.

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