October 21, 2014

Blogging with Friends - DIY Anna Cape (Frozen)

Welcome to another edition of Blog with Friends! 
We have some GREAT stuff for you this month! Tons of Halloween goodness! 

For my part, I am going to show you how to make a super easy, super warm Anna cape. You still have plenty of time to whip this up. (It would also make a great present.)


About 5 yards of fleece 
4 yards of trim
1 frog enclosure
Small piece of black fleece


I used my go to pattern piece (made from one of Cailey's shirts) to cut the back of the cape. 

I just sort of free handed the shape towards the bottom.  It goes out and the bottom has a slight curve to it. 

I added 27" to the pattern for the length. 

Cut 1 on the fold.


I cut 2 pieces for the front. 

This picture shows the curve of the front pieces. 


This is where you'll cut a circle for the top of the cape. I was scared of this at first but it was actually very easy!!

Fold the remaining fleece into fourths.


Measure from your child's neck to where you want this part to fall. For Cailey it was 17".

Place your measuring tape about a 2" from the corner and start marking a curve 17" down. 

Cut a curve at the top and cut the big curve at the bottom.


Open it up and cut straight down the middle to the neck.


Pin the shoulders and sides together and sew the seams.


Now, the neck line was very large but that's good! I made a big pleat in the back and top stitched it down.

Why was that good? It gives the back a lot of volume while pulling the front and giving it even more of a curve. 


Lay the circle part on top of the main cape, wrong side to right side. Pin it in place and sew them together.


I forgot to take pictures of how I cut the collar.

I cut 2 pink pieces and one smaller black piece.

Sew the pink pieces together and turn right side out.

Top stitch the black piece in place.

Cailey's collar was about 17" long and 3" wide.


Now, pin the collar to the cape, right sides together.

Sew in place.

This is how it looks when you're done.

You can always go back and stitch in the ditch if you like.


Next, I pinned the trim to the right side of the top of the cape, just along the curve. You can go all the way up the sides to the neck if you like, I just didn't buy enough trim. LOL I never would have thought that i would need more than 4 yards!!!! 


Remove the cat from your work area and sew the trim in place!! 



Pin the frog in place and sew the loops down with a zigzag stitch. 


Well, you can go back and hem the cape if you'd like but fleece won't fray. ;)

Cailey absolutely loves it and asked if she could wear it all the time once Halloween is over. LOL

NOW! It's time to check out all the Halloween awesomeness from my friends! ;)

I LOVE THESE SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!! They are Bloody Buddies from Karen at Baking in a Tornado. So stinkin' cute!!!!

Check out this gorgeous Nevermore Wreath from Someone Else's GeniusLOVE IT!!!!

This is the cutest thing!! A Halloween Gate from Shellybean at Follow Me Home.

I need to make this for my mantle!

Lydia at Cluttered Genius shows us how to decorate on the cheap!! I am allll for that!!! ;)

Melissa from Home on Deranged will show you how to have a VERY fun, Not So Spooky Halloween!! FUN!!

                   HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

October 20, 2014

Teach Your Child to Read

When you first start thinking that you might homeschool your kids you are immediately afraid of the thought of teaching them to read. SCARY!!!!! 

I worried and worried and worried myself to death over it. HOW??? WHEN???? HOW???? LOL

With Cailey it was a breeze. She was ready to start at 5. We did a lot of word family activities, mostly found at St. Aiden's and other sites,  and went from there. She picked up sight words easily. 

I started patting myself on the back!!! I was awesome! Look at me teaching my child to read! 

Oh, I should have known better. I have 5 kids. They are all as different as night and day. What on earth made me think it was going to be that easy with Colin? LOL

I started trying to teach him at 5. We struggled. There were tears and frustration, and not just mine. 

So, I backed off and tried again about 6 months later. 

Nope. Same deal.

Then the doom and gloom came. OMG! He's never going to learn to read!! I am a failure!!! What'll I do??

Every 6 months I would try again. We had some luck with Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. But it was like pulling teeth. He just wasn't really getting it. So I dropped it. 

A friend of mine (Eileen's Perpetually Busy) kept telling me about this book that her friend used to teach her kids how to read, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I broke down at the end of this summer and bought it.

Colin had shown some interest as we went through Easy Peasy but it just wasn't his thing, y'know? 

Well, this book has been a HUGE hit with him. He is finally learning to read. I think we finally have the right mix - he is ready and this is the learning style that reaches him. 

With Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons they break it down into quick and easy lessons. Some days we do 2 at a time. 

The letters are called by the sounds they make. No sight words!! The kids sound the words out. SO MUCH better for Colin. 

No matter which way you choose, the main thing is that the child is ready. Nothing will work without that. 

Don't push it. Don't make it a battle. Step back, relax. It will happen. You might have to change up styles and try a few different things but IT WILL HAPPEN!!! Sort of like potty training (that's a whole different post)! ;)

Learning is a lifetime event. It's not a race. Not a competition. Each and every child is different and that is a wonderful, beautiful thing. 

I was NOT asked to do this post, nor have I been compensated in any way, shape or form. This is just my experience and my opinion. 

October 17, 2014

Fly on the Wall - October 2014


Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com                          Baking In A Tornado
http://www.therowdybaker.com                                  The Rowdy Baker
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/                                Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com                                          The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com                                   The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://followmehome.shellybean.com                          Follow me home
 http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                 Stacy Sews and Schools
http://www.menopausalmom.com/                          Menopausal Mother
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                             Battered Hope
http://dinoheromommy.com/                         Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                 Someone Else’s Genius
http://www.crumpetsandbollocks.com               Crumpets and Bollocks

At some point I had a list for this month. I swear I did!!! But it has gone missing. ARGH!!! This may be a short post......


Cailey - I saw a rake, a baseball bat and a shovel... Not sure what those people were doing.


Deanna and I were in Kroger last week. I pointed out the pumpkin muffins to her. 
She makes this loud, shrill, intake of breath sound.
The guy stocking the dairy section turns around with a very concerned look on his very twitchy face.
I assure him that she is OK. Everything is OK. Really. 


Deanna and I were sitting in the van in the driveway after the Kroger incident and we were discussing Cailey's comment from last month where we were reminded of QWOP. 
Deanna starts QWOPing in the front seat. 
We are laughing hysterically when we look up (at the same time) and realize that there's a man in a truck across the street staring at us.


Cailey - Everything has a heart except zombies, jellyfish and lawyers. 


Deanna accidentally bumps into Colin, knocking him down.
Deanna - I'm so sorry.
Colin - It's OK. It's not your fault you have a big butt.


Deanna - I'm not going to need numbers! I'm going to be a psychologist!

Cailey - Oh, yeah??? Ms. B, I have a fear of numbers!


Cailey watching a cartoon - Well, that was anti-climatic. 


Crazy Cailey!

I've started my Halloween baking! Brownie coffins with candy skeletons

                        Monster cupcakes!!!!

             My most recent fabric purchases!!! 

Well, that's it folks.... Nothing else to see! ;)

Check out all the other bloggers and see what's been going on with them! Bound to be MUCH more exciting than around here! 

October 14, 2014

DIY Mug Rug

So Karen, from Baking in a Tornado, and I decided to do another post together! YIPPEE!!! Her post is about birthdays and a DELICIOUS Cream Cheese Toffee Cake

Anyway, I was trying to think of something to link into birthdays. Hey! What about a DIY gift??? And mug rugs seem to be all over the place these days. Perfect!!! Only, most of those mug rugs look kinda hard to make. Well, maybe not if you're a quilter (and I am not). Soooo, this is MY version of a mug rug, the quick and easy, non-quilter method. No cutting a thousand little bitty pieces (I don't know how quilters do it). All you need is a zigzag stitch! ;)

What I Used :

Some big scrap pieces 
Some smaller scrap pieces
An acorn pattern that I drew and cut out
Ribbon (from BB Crafts

Step 1 

These pieces are your main body. 

They are about 7" by 10".

You will need 2 for the front and 1 for the back.

Step 2 -

This is the pattern that I drew and cut out. You are welcome to save and print it. If you blog about it or sell anything please remember to mention this blog. ;)

Step 3

I cut out the acorns in complimenting fabrics. 

I made 2 mug rugs so I cut out 2 acorns. 

Step 4 

Now, pin your acorns to BOTH of the front pieces.

This gives it a little more stability and strength. 

Some people use stabilizer but *I* don't think it's always necessary. In other words, I have never used it when appliqueing and I haven't had any problems. 

Step 5 

Set your zigzag stitch to the closest setting and stitch all around both pieces of the acorn. 

I used a bar stitch and added a stem to this one. I forgot to do it to the other one. :/ 

Step 6 

With right sides together, pin the front and back.

Sew just the short ends together!

Step 7

Turn right side out and press.

Zigzag the long ends.

Now, top stitch the short ends. 

Step 8 

Fold your ribbon over the zigzagged edges. 

Pin in place and sew along the edge, attaching it to the main body.

                           ALL DONE!!!!!!!!!

Now you have a beautiful mug rug to give as a birthday present (or maybe to just enjoy for yourself). 

Let me know what you think!

If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask!

Don't forget to check out Baking in a Tornado's AWESOME Cream Cheese Toffee Cake. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!!!! 

                        HAVE FUN SEWING!!!

October 13, 2014

Earth Science Week Resources

Science is one of my favorite subjects to with my kids. I LOVE IT and they do, too. I know a lot of people are a little afraid of science but as long as you keep it hands on and fun, there's nothing to worry about. Kids are natural scientists! How many times have you heard your child ask WHY???? See?? Natural scientist! ;)

In honor of Earth Science Week, I thought I would throw together some resources to help you out. 

If you're new to my blog let me explain a few things. I hate text books. BLECK BLECK BLECK!!!! And I am not too crazy about boxed curriculum, either. More BLECK!!! I like to use "living books", hands on activities, games, web sites, videos, movies, etc. to help my kids learn. 

I always try to provide resources for a variety of ages. 

All the books should be easily found on Amazon, Paperback Swap or at your local library. 

All printables are free unless they are under the $$$.

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Coloring Pages - Crayola

Coloring Pages - Science Kids

Coloring Pages and Notebooking Pages - A to Z Teacher's Stuff

Coloring Pages and More - Home Training Tools

Games, Labs and More - Share My Lesson

Mini Books and More - HS Launch (type Earth Science in the search box)

Notebooking Pages - Homeschool Helper Online

Posters and Activities - Globe.gov

Worksheets - Education.com

Worksheets - Have Fun Teaching

Worksheets and More - EZ School

Worksheets and More - Student Handouts

Worksheets and More - TLS Books



Teachers Pay Teachers  - Some FREE!!!!!!

Activities - Education.com

Activities - Hub Pages

Activities and Ideas - Earth Sci Week

Games, Videos and More - Science Kids

Info - Ducksters

Info - Geography for Kids

Lessons - Hub Pages

Links to Info and More - Kids.USA.Gov

Projects - All Science Fair Projects

Projects - Fact Monster

Projects - Science Fair Adventures

My Resources for Individual Topics

Coral Reef Resources

Dinosaur Resources 

               HAVE FUN WITH SCIENCE!!!!!!!