Monday, June 11, 2018

Dare to Wear

It's been such a long time since I sat down to really write anything that my fingers feel a little rusty! The kids are out of school now and they all actually ended the school year on positive notes. I had very few mental requests and that was one of them: Can we please start the summer feeling good about school?

Everyone here has been struggling with various levels of anxiety. We're taking a few different approaches to treating it. I've been doing a lot of advocating for my kids and making sure all the bits and pieces are where they're supposed to be.  Frankly, it's exhausting! The good news is that we are making positive progress. Also somewhere in the middle of this I was able to take some steps for self-care.

I've been taking ballet classes for fun and exercise.  No, I don't wear a leotard. No, I don't have a recital. Yes, it is fun and I've enjoyed getting to know my classmates. It gets me out of the house by myself once a week. That's important!

The other thing I finally did was cave in a buy a new power pedal for my sewing machine. Mine got lost in the move and I've been borrowing machines for the times I really had to sew something. But, man, it feels good to be back on my own machine! It feels so good that I bought a bunch of fabric to try out too.

I bought fabric to make a skirt for Frances and one for myself. I also bought fabric to make Henry's birthday shirt. I brought it all home and threw it in the wash so that when I was ready to sew that step wouldn't hold me back.

Memorial Day weekend I ignored some house chores I needed to get done and sat down to plan out my skirt. I didn't really have a pattern, but I had an idea about what I wanted. I decided to just jump right in!

See one of the issues that comes up as a result of the anxiety in my house is that everything has to be planned out to a "T." Anticipation of the unknown is a big trigger here, so days go better when every detail is meticulously plotted out. The problem is that not only is that exhausting; it's not my style. I enjoy "flying by the seat of my pants." I like to go for drives with no destination in mind. I like to jump in feet first and figure things out as I go.

So that's what I did for my skirt. I ironed and cut out the pieces. I pinned them together and I started sewing. I messed up on a few parts, so I had to rip out some seams. NO BIG DEAL! People make mistakes. I got really close to finishing and we had to leave for our Memorial Day trip. I ended up taking it with me just to look at it and critique it. I finished it up when we got home and actually wore it to work the next day.

My skirt didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it to. But I still had Frances' to make so I figured that I would use what I'd learned to make it better. This one had a few snags too, but I turned out much better and my 8th grader actually wore it to school!

I've since made another skirt and started a plan for a costume for VBS this summer. I also sewed Henry's birthday shirt. I didn't realize how much I had missed sewing. I didn't realize how therapeutic it was to sew. I've missed being able to create things and now that I've reminded myself, I'm going to try not to forget again!

3rd skirt
Henry's birthday shirt



















Wanna make a skirt like this?

Here's the "plan."



Pick out 2-3 different fabrics that go well together.  I cut one fabric about 6" wide and the other 3" wide. The length will depend on how long you want your skirt to be. Don't forget to plan for a hem and a waistband.

Sew your strips together, alternating wide and narrow strips. Put enough together that it will fit around your waist only counting the 6 inch strips. (If you have a 30 inch waist, you'll want at least 5 six-inch strips.) Once you have all the strips sewn together, it's time to go back and make the pleats. I think these are called inverted pleats. I made them by folding the 3" fabric in half and sewing about 5" straight down. That means the 3" fabric is hidden at the top and peeks out lower down. I did this all around the skirt before I sewed the two ends together. (That's why you have to make the waist by only accounting for the 6" fabric.)

Once I had the two ends sewn together, I added an elastic waistband and hemmed the bottom. For my skirt, I cut my fabric in the wrong direction and it turned out shorter than I was comfortable with. I ended up adding another strip of fabric around the bottom. It wasn't exactly as I had planned it, but I still like the skirt! Frances' turned out perfectly and she LOVES it!


Here are some other "Truth or Dare" projects to check out!

Karen of Baking in a Tornado has these delicious looking Onion Poppy Bagels.
 


Lydia of Cluttered Genius has some tips on how to survive the beach with kids

 
And Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom has a Blast from the Past vs Present Life




Friday, June 8, 2018

The Letter

"Have you got all your stuff packed?" I asked as I walked past her room. There were clothes and shoes and other items strewn around the room, but that wasn't really a change.

"I'll get it done!" she whined. I won't miss that attitude, that's for sure!

We were a little surprised to get the letter of her acceptance. She is a highly intelligent girl, but doesn't always apply herself. She frequently forgets assignments and loses track of application dates. She's got a lot of potential, but she hasn't harnessed it yet.

I read an article once that teenaged girls whose mother's nag grow up to be wildly successful. I've told her about it to many rolled eyes. Mostly I just remind myself quietly in my head. I'm walking a fine line between wanting to nag constantly and letting her fail and make her own mistakes. This is the part of parenthood they don't tell you about.

I pull out the packing list to double check that we bought all the stuff she'll need. Obviously we can send her stuff if she forgets something really important, but it would be a bit awkward to accomplish and I'd rather she take it all with her.

This is an exciting time for her. A dream come true, really. She'll be able to learn and study with people like her. She's always been a little odd, but secure in it in a way that makes me proud. I'm not sure she knows what "status quo" means. Actually, I'm sure it's come up in a book or six of hers. She just doesn't put any stock in keeping up with pretenses. At one point I thought that she simply marched to the beat of a different drummer. After parenting her for 14 years, I'm pretty sure she doesn't march, and that's not a drum!

I'm intensely proud of her. Some days it takes my breath away to stand back at look at what I've had a hand in creating. I think this will be a good step forward for her. I know she'll love the library. She'll make good friends. She'll have fun. I know she'll make some mistakes. She'll probably get into a bit of trouble now and again. I know I likely would!


To be honest, I'm a bit jealous. I set her on this path. I cleared the way for her. I encouraged her. I guess there are many times when parents have to live out their dreams through their children. Maybe I can hide in her trunk! It's not fair that she got a letter to Hogwarts and I didn't!






This has been a Secret Subject Swap. This week 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
Baking In A Tornado https://www.BakingInATornado.com
The Lieber Family Blog http://thelieberfamily.com
The Bergham Chronicles https://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com
The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com/blog
Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/
Part-Time Working Hockey Mom https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/
Never Ever Give Up Hope https://batteredhope.blogspot.com
My Brand of Crazy https://sarahsbrandcrazy.blogspot.com/
Climaxed https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

My subject is: "If you have children, what would you do if they received their Hogwarts letter? Or if you don't, what would your past self think about receiving your own?"

It was submitted by: https://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

Friday, May 4, 2018

Game On!

You've been tasked with creating a new game, that's fun for the whole family. Tell us about it. Is it a board game? Describe it to us. What are the rules?! How does the winner win?! Share the details.

I love board games. I'm not terribly competitive, but I enjoy playing games and spending time with people. I like card games too. I grew up playing lots of different card games with my brother and other family members. We had a little white plastic table with holes in the top (it was made to look like it was woven) that we played Hearts on. Since there were usually just three of us playing, someone always "dropped" something on the floor to peek at what the extra card was before deciding to take the first trick.

Dominoes always bring back special memories of my grandparents: eating ice cream after dinner to "fill in the holes in your stomach around the food." We played pretty frequently when we went to visit and I can still hear the sound of "shaking and baking" in my head.

My dad is a whiz at Trivial Pursuit! He's a reference librarian (retired), so he knows lots of stuff about lots of things. I remember playing with him once and the question asked about the capital of a certain country. He said it would depend on the copyright date of the game. If it was before such-and-such date then the capital was this, if it was after that date, then the capital was that. *He was correct; we looked it up!

Soccer was my sport as a kid. I played Rec League and then for a girls' travel team and my co-ed high school team when I got older. I don't think I was terribly good at soccer, but I enjoyed it. It was good exercise and exciting to play. I've since enjoyed coaching the boys on their teams.

Sometimes games are too complicated for me. I prefer them as a diversion and having to think too hard kind of negates that for me. I've never been very good at long-term strategy games. Benjamin enjoys playing chess, but I'm no good at it and can never remember all the rules to know whether he's playing it correctly or not!

I also enjoy the process much more than the outcome. Don't get me wrong, winning is more fun that losing, but overall if I've had a good time with fun people, then I don't usually mind a loss too much. I know a lot of people that don't think that way. If you don't win, what's the fun of playing? I think that attitude just sucks all the fun out of everything!

We have two board games at home that are cooperative games: Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island (those are affiliate links). In these games the whole group plays together. You have to work out strategy and advise each other. Everyone wins or everyone loses. It's not a guaranteed win either. We've played a number of times and it's so much fun to win together! It's also fun to lose and immediately try again. They are great games for learning teamwork and perseverance.

If I could create a game it would include all the best pieces of my favorite games. It would take cooperation and teamwork to play. It would require some skill, but not so much as to leave out the younger kiddos. There would be some strategy involved, but not too much. Laughing would be required. Memories would be built. And in the end, we'd all win together.


This has been a Secret Subject Swap. This week 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
The Lieber Family Blog
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm 
The Blogging 911 
Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Cognitive Script
Part-Time Working Hockey Mom 
My Brand of Crazy
Climaxed

Friday, April 6, 2018

My President

I'm not one to talk politics; publicly or privately. It seems like those kinds of conversations never go anywhere good. There's not very many things that people can universally agree on. And, that's okay. It takes all kinds. Well, maybe almost all kinds!

Absolute Requirements

I think there might be a few things we can all agree on. The president should be human. No space aliens allowed. Right?

The president should be a grown up. There could be some wiggle room in the exact age, but I don't think anyone would argue that a toddler should be in charge of anything!

I also think the president should speak English (that rules out toddlers too!). Our country doesn't have an official language, but English is spoken by most people, so the president should definitely be able to communicate that way.

The president should be alive. I know zombies are all the rage in movies and TV right now, but I don't think the undead would make good leaders.

Preferred Qualities

Here's where we might have some disagreement. In my opinion, the president should be intelligent, both academically and emotionally. This person needs to be able to think deep thoughts and understand complex concepts. The president should also be good at reading people, understanding what makes them tick.

The president should be someone who is willing to consider lots of differing viewpoints. I highly respect people who are able to make decisions that are best for the others and not necessarily the best for them personally. It's like when a parent really wants the last cookie, but lets their kid have it instead.

The president should have life experience. Privilege is hard to recognize if everyone around you has had similar experiences and backgrounds. The president should be someone who has interacted with lots of different kinds of people all over the country and all over the world!

The president should have a good moral compass. I won't advocate for any one specific belief system, but I believe that the leader of our country should have a basic respect for life and human dignity. I understand that these concepts themselves can come into conflict from time to time, but if our leader is acting with compassion for people over love of self or money, then I would be okay with that.

Our president should also be humble. It's a high profile job, but I don't think it should be done for the glory of it. I think it should be a job for someone who truly wants to serve and make the country a better place.

Find me this person, and I'll join the campaign team!!


This has been a Secret Subject Swap. This week 9 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Cognitive Script
The Lieber Family Blog
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
The Blogging 911
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Climaxed
My Brand of Crazy

My subject was "Who would you like to see as President of the US and why?" It was submitted by The Blogging 911.
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