Thursday, September 29, 2011

Joe's latest

Its been busy around here as we have been falling into our new school year routine. Every week Joe goes to developmental preschool four days a week where he gets PT, OT and speech therapy. Then he also has physical therapy and vision therapy outside of school weekly. Joe was switched from the morning to the afternoon preschool and that included a change in teachers - and the adjustment of learning to go without naps. We just had Joe's parent-teacher conference last week and they say he is doing well.
His teacher and therapists report:
- he is expressing more of an opinion about things - he is seeming more aware of his surroundings and what is going on around him, and better eye contact - he is doing a better job of purposefully releasing objects and toys - enjoys the sensory room, especially the slide and ball pit - doing better separating his legs when working on walking and returning to sitting when standing
Some things that are being worked on are:
- encouraging Joe with pushing buttons to activate toys, hit a drum, etc - continuing to work on getting Joe to return his drink to the table instead of allowing him to toss it
Joe has been receiving vision therapy and we have been seeing positive results from that. Again, we have noticed an increase in his eye contact. And while we are still working on getting him to keep his glasses on, he seems to see better with them on and is tolerating them a little better every day.
My sister-in-law has started doing cranio sacral therapy with Joe. Its still early so we cannot say for sure what kind of results we are having but we are cautiously hopeful that this therapy will help Joe.
Joe can be pretty moody lately. Sometimes it is because he doesn't like what we are having for dinner, others it is out of the blue. (The pix to the left is of Joe throwing a fit at Nate's football game. I think he was mad because his snack was gone.) Also, it seems like he has had a delay in his reaction to Christine. I expected him to get jealous when she was first born and I had to nurse her constantly, etc. But he was fine until recently. Christine does still nurse a few times a day and Joe gets very unhappy when I sit down with her. He will scream and pull on her and me. If at all possible I try to nurse at times when Joe is either gone or occupied elsewhere and won't notice. Its been very tiring.
He also is getting more and more curious about all that is around him at home. He loves getting into cabinets and doors. There is not a safe surface in the house anymore, he can reach the desk top and the table, the edge of the counters in the kitchen... I wish I could say that this has motivated me to keep the house cleaner but alas, I cannot. I just move piles around as he gets into them. Is that sad?
New skill: high 5's! Joe just learned to give high 5's over the weekend. Its so fun! Anything we can get him to do to genuinely interact is always good!
Anyway, that is about all for now I guess. Continued prayers are appreciated.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Heritage Festival and Craft Booth

Over the past few months a few girls and I have been working on crafts together and we decided to brave a craft booth together. It seemed like a good idea to get a more people so that the investment would be less. But as you might imagine it got complicated the more people we got involved. None of us has any experience doing a craft booth before... so we're all learning as we go.

We all worked really hard making what we decided to call "Frugal Fashions". We wanted cute accessories for girls and moms that were inexpensive. We all pitched in and everything came together very nicely. We were all proud of how nice both our merchandise and the booth looked.
The weather threatened rain all day. I think it might have scared some people away. We had a steady trickle of customers most of the day, but not a huge amount of sales. While we each made a little bit of money in the end, I doubt anyone even covered their expenses. We all have a lot of merchandise left. Some will be donated to Operation Christmas Child and some will be listed on my Etsy store.

Here we all are at the end of the long day... It was fun doing it together... but it may be awhile before we do another. It was a lot of work for not much money. I think we may have to scope out some craft fairs this year and see which ones people really go to buy. Anyway, thanks for all your hard work, girls! I love ya!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Busy Bag Swap X 2

Recently I participated in an online busy bag swap with 30 families participating and then shortly after I did a swap with some friends from our church and homeschool group. Wow! I kind of wish I would have spaced them out a little bit... but I'm glad we did it and Nate and I are really enjoying the activities together, though we have yet to try them all.
Below is a pix of the 30 busy bags that came with our online swap. Wow! Lots to do!

This is a great time telling game.
And this is one of Nate's favorites so far: Art dice. Its fun to see what he comes up with!

As you can tell I have been in busy bag heaven!

Money Saving Mom has some busy bag tutorials and printables on her website. And Unsolicited Advice is where I got hooked up with the online swap - she has tons of busy bag ideas and tutorials on her blog.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Best Baby Shower Game EVER!

I have been a part of many showers... and I have come to be kind of particular about the things I like and don't like about them. Sometimes there are too many games, sometimes things just seem to drag on... So when I am helping to throw a baby shower one game I always like to use is the baby shower binge.
The guests fill out the spaces with items that they think the mom-to-be will receive as a gift. As the mommy opens her presents the guests get to mark off spaces as the items are revealed, until someone gets a bingo. Its a great way to keep people involved during what can be a lengthy part of the shower.
Anyway, here is the bingo sheet that I use. Feel free to copy and paste it and print it off. I usually do two on one regular sheet of paper. Let me know if you enjoy it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

I will always remember where I was on 9-11-01. I was going from one class to another at Vincennes University. I thought surely it couldn't be what everyone was saying it was. Even as we watched the news footage I thought it might have been an accident and not a terrorist attack. Sadly I was wrong.

Today as we remember all the lives lost in the 9-11 attacks our prayers go out to their families who still hold their memories dear. Thank you to all the men and women who serve our country to keep us safe and free.

Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the hornof my salvation, my stronghold.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Homeschool Group Lesson Plans

I'm excited and nervous about teaching a class for our homeschool group this year. I'll be doing a papercrafting class for eighteen K-1st graders (I think I'll have one or two adult helpers). I've taught Sunday school before, and I teach Nate all the time but this time I was on my own to come up with the projects and create the lesson plans and supply lists, etc. Here are a few projects that I am considering doing with the kiddos:

Soulful First Aid kit by Family Fun

cards and bookmarks using PageMaps for layout ideas

Paper Pumpkins by Craftaholics Anonymous

Stained Glass window with contact paper and tissue pieces - by Frills Fluff and Trucks

Kids' Recipe Book by Mommy D's Kitchen Fun

Paper Fall Banner by MyBlessedLife

Alphabet Art by The Letter 4

So, what do you think? Good choices? Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

My Memories review and giveaway!

Recently I was given the opportunity to review a digital scrapbooking software: My Memories Suite 2.0.
I am a traditional scrapbooker at heart but I also love photo editing and creating collages with my digital photos so I was immediately interested in trying it out.
My hubby installed it for me a couple days ago and I have been playing around with it during naptime. Its the only time I can get anything done!
I was honestly impressed with some of the layouts. Some had a lot of depth and really cute embellishments much like what I would use on a traditional scrapbook page. Then there were also some pages that were a little too simplistic for my taste but I'm sure there are people who like that style. There is the option to auto-fill the pages to make an album or you can personally choose each photo and place it into the album on your own and customize the captions and embellishments on the pages.
In addition to the templates and papers that come with the software download there are lots of extras available on the My Memories website. Some kits cost but there are also some add-ons available for free. I don't know about you but I like free!
I went ahead and "bought" some of the free extras that I really liked. I had a little trouble accessing them once downloaded (I had to have my computer guru hubby help me navigate). But once we went to the FAQ page of the website we were able to make it work.
All in all both my husband and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much we like the My Memories software. While I'm committed to continuing to scrapbook the old fashioned way for now... I do believe I will be using the MyMemories software to design our Christmas cards!
Here is one of the sample cards I've created. This uses the Spring Symphony Frame that is a free download from My Memories and the background is an image I already had on my computer. I love this collage and hope to use it as our Christmas card this year!

Now on to the good part!! My Memories has graciously offered a free download of their software to one lucky Wani's World reader! To enter this giveaway you must to 1) follow my blog. 2) Visit and choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, then comment here telling me which ones you chose and also leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. The winner will be chosen on September 19th. Its my half birthday ;-) So hurry up and get signed up for the giveaway!!

** WINNER - Jenn from Chronicles of a Real Homeschooling Mom!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Well, I didn't get a huge response on the apron giveaway, but I guess I'll take that to mean that everyone loved my apron tutorial enough that they decided to make their own! So, Marianne and Mandarina were the only two who commented on the giveaway post but neither left contact info. So... whichever responds to this post will be the winner.

AND... the winner is Mandarina!! I'll be getting her info and sending her the apron shortly!

Lollipop T-shirt TaDa!

Awhile ago I found this great tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff for these super cute Lollipop T-shirts. Last week I finally got around to giving it a go! What do you think? The purple one was my first attempt...
I liked the purple one but I was a little happier with the orange one. Originally I intended to give them away but I may not be able to part with the orange one! ;-)
So cute!

I'm linking up with Vintage WannaBee's Talent Tuesday! Check it out!

Labor Day Fun!

Here are a few snapshots from our fun weekend at the lakehouse. Great time with friends and family. Good weather, good food, great people!! God is good!!