Friday, October 30, 2009

Dancin' Machine

I think Micah may have inherited my In-Brain Stereo System with Optional Be-Bop Body.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mama's Sewing Cabinet

So here are my handy-men, working hard together. The constructing actually took place on Boxer Day, which I find some-how appropriate (easy to do when you make up your own holidays:). Levi helped a ton, Daddy was super patient, and really taught him a ton (he showed him the diagram and had Levi referring to it and then finding the right pieces). Both boys got to help with the nails, and of course they got a kick out of actually being asked to bang on something!

And what was all that constructing for? They were building a sewing cabinet for Mama! My very own little room (without all that carpet to clean!)!!! I can work on a project here and there, leaving everything just where I want it and shutting the doors to keep both little hands and little crafts safe.

As you can see, I haven't fully moved in, but I'm already using it! Children flying past before my camera shutter can barely blink? No problem - just shut the doors and everything's out of the way! This was such a great idea, and it came straight from the pages of a book my Moma sent me called Weekend Sewing. Love it!

Thanks to my boys (all three of you). You really are so very sweet to me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Quiltmaker's Gift

We checked out an amazing book this week, called The Quiltmaker's Gift. The story is about a greedy (and unhappy) king who wants the quiltmaker to give him one of his quilts. His problem? She only gives them to the poor and needy! He tries to force her, under pain of death, but he's not able to go through with his punishments. The story ends with the king finding real happiness, by helping others.
Not only is it a great story, but the illustrations are pure magic! Levi has practically ignored the rest of this week's book pile, instead returning to this one over and over. Needless to say he was really, really thrilled about this week's Sunday School project. They made crowns and talked about Josiah, the boy king. He colored his yellow (yep, the whole thing) and stuck on plenty of jewels. He wore it around the house, and then out into the yard...

Once outside, he made a bear cave, and filled it with rocks, just like in the book (this is one of the ways the greedy king tries to execute the quiltmaker). Then he made a little bear pillow by folding up some grass & leaves into a washcloth, just like the quiltmaker did for her bear...
He even drew a great picture of the king, which is most definately going into our reading folder (it's kind of a portfolio of our book-related learning)! I am amazed by the creativity one little book can encourage, and will most definately be looking to get my hands on a family copy to grace our shelves.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Micah's Boxer Day

We had so much fun celebrating Micah's Boxer Day! It was our own holiday to mark his official switch to boxers (and pull-ups for sleeping). What did we do? Oh, special presents, cake, candles, singing - the whole shuh-bang!
Here are his new boxers... Just a little proud of himself!

His next present was pull-ups for sleeping in. We had been building up this little holiday for so long, that he was even excited about those!

Of course our Boxer Day had a little something to encourage big brother, since it's his job to encourage Micah with the whole potty thing, and that's a pretty big responsibility. He was thrilled about the tiny little knight I had made for him...

And as a grand finale, Micah received his own pirate, because he's a big boy now. We named him Pirate Will (we have a Pirate Jack, and I thought Will would be easy to remember... Will as in Captain William Turner. It goes rather nicely with Jack, and is much easier to say than Barbosa! Not that they know who any of those people are!). Micah was sooooooo excited!

To add to the excitement, Nana called, just to wish Micah a Happy Boxer Day!

After that we had little, polka dot, boxer-shaped cakes, and even sang Happy Boxer Day to You!

It was such a happy day! And it seems to have achieved the milestone-effect I was hoping for! Don't you love those genius, parental ideas that work out? Happy Boxer Day to all!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures in Your Head

We've been reading Little House on the Prairie together. Ma and Pa were building the log cabin when one of the logs fell on Ma's ankle (it didn't smash her foot because of a "Providential divet" that was just under her foot). After that Pa started using skids to roll the logs up to the top of the walls.
Reading all this, I have to wonder how much Levi's picking up. When the little family camped out under the stars, we drew a picture of that, and from then on, I've been telling him to try and make pictures in his head of what he hears me read.
Apparently this is working. Paul (that book totally makes me want to start calling him Pa - I love that character!) and I woke up to this:
Notice the skids running up to the house? And the little guy with the pile of logs ready to be rolled up them?

As I write this, there is laughter and giggles coming from that room, where a pair of brothers anxiously await my arrival (of course, it is entirely possibly that they've forgotten that completely!).

Friday, October 23, 2009

any thoughts?

All right. Today I could use a little help. I'm looking for a new backdrop for my dolls. Right now I use a beautiful sheet of pure, white linen. I like the texture, but I have to fiddle with the photos quite a bunch, plus the linen gets into a wrinkly mess, so it's not very convenient (I can't just whip it out and click up a few photos).
What I would like to do is staple some cool fabric to cardboard. This would keep it nice and flat, not to mention ready-to-go. I pulled out some fabrics that looked interesting (and some not so interesting). Of course everything looks way different on the computer screen, so this is where I could use some opinions.
Note: These pics are undoctored, and were all taken in the same light.
A. Denim
B. Odd-Green. It looks green in real life, and not at all appealing, but on screen it's a kind of gray. There are two pics of this one, so you can see it with different fabrics.
C. White Textured. I threw a fluffy scrap under her bum, but I think it makes her look like I've left her on the floor. Er, try to ignore that, if you can.

So that's what I have lying around. I actually have a very strong dislike for one of them, and am totally at a loss between the other two.

So let me know what you think: Denim, Odd-Green, or the Textured White.

I'll leave you with a picture Levi drew, based off of a book we read this week called Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile.

Oh, and for those of you photo-whizzes out there wondering why I don't just get a light box, here's why: 1. I'd love a fancy, fold-up and easily stored, free light box. If you know where those are located, please let me know. 2. I could totally make one, but I'd need a pretty big box for my dolls to fit in, and it wouldn't fold, nor would it fit through the trap door into the attic. Since there's no where to put such a monstrosity, that's out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jack and the Beanstalk

I am becoming convinced that there is nothing Levi can't build, when he puts his mind to it. The acorn is Jack's house, and beside it is the giant beanstalk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Levi's car

See the box behind the little man (who happens to be named J.T.)? It's even got miniature things in it, like a map, and more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Did You Make That update!

I've finished another batch of dolls and some items for the Wardrobe. I will be listing a new item every other day now through November, so be sure to check the shop often!

a naptime project

I had a blast making my own version of the Mama's Bag, from Handmade Home, by Amanda Soule. I put the boys down for their rest and then got out some things I wanted to upcycle - an old denim skirt, a vintage pillowcase, and a pair of jeans that changed hands three times by the time I got a hold of them.
I got to work taking the skirt apart from the seams, and then went to sewing, with my own twists on SouleMama's pattern. I didn't make my box pleats as big as I would have liked, since the skirt already had some shaping.

I really got a kick out of turning some old things that have been lying around into something useful! Here's the new bag, all ready for Tuesday church. On Tuesdays my regular little bag just doesn't cut it, because I need to tote along my Bible study book, and then whatever artwork the boys come up with in their groups. It's not a lot, but it's awkward holding hands through the parking lot with all that stuff!
Here's a good shot of the vintage lining...
And now I'm going to toss in my stuff, and head off to Tuesday church!

Monday, October 19, 2009

a visit from Gramma and Grampa

Yay! Gramma and Grampa came to see us! In honor of their visit we cooked up a pumpkin pie - from real pumpkin in the garden!
Here are the boys playing with Gramma (after the whirl-wind tour they gave her)...
The next morning the boys woke up ready to play some more, and Grampa got the BIG morning hug from Micah!

...and then Micah helped me make cinnamon rolls!

Gramma and Grampa even helped paint the leaves for our new, fall mobile!

As you can see, the boys had a great time! We love you Gramma and Grampa!