Teaching kids to sew

A video taken a few weeks ago of my little girl making her first pillow.

Pretty darn cute isn’t she? I think she is on her way to being one good seamstress…then again I am just one proud Momma! As you already know I  have strong passion for sewing and seeing my kids show interest in it is pretty special. My kids are ages 3, 5 & 6 and they really are the perfect age to start learning. My three year old can be a little tough behind the machine at times but she is learning and that is what it’s all about. Heck I am still learning.

Don’t know where to start? Well Hayley from Welcome to the Mouse House and Jenn from A Jennuine Life have started their own sewing series centered around teaching kids how to sew.

Kids Can Sew by Welcome to the Mouse House
Welcome to the Mouse Houseand

Tiny Sewists by A Jennuine Life

I am really looking forward to following along both of these series and hope you will too. Let’s get our kids loving to sew just as much as we do!

Catching fireflies

My kiddos are obsessed with insects, bugs, spiders or anything else that crawls, flies or stings right now. So a few weeks ago we started collecting all those stinging little creatures and began making a specimen chart. It has been a lot of fun for the kiddos and even I am starting to enjoy it too. The more I learn about these little creatures the more I am appreciating them. Of course with it being summer their latest obsession has been with fireflies. So after a quick google search I found a bunch of fun and educational activities for the kiddos to do. I printed off the following from teachwithme.com. This firefly info sheet is amazing and we all learned so much from it. You must read it…seriously! The firefly fan book was also a fun coloring and tracing activity.

We spent the day learning about fireflies while we waited impatiently for dark to arrive.fireflies 001Once it was dark, we grabbed our nets and headed outside. It didn’t take long before we had a jar full and I am pretty sure that we could have spent all night out there if it wasn’t for the thunderstorm that was rolling in. Although the kiddos did love that we were catching lightning bugs when it was lightning outside. They still think that the lightning bugs caused the lightning storm to start.  fireflies 015 My sweet little girl wanted to sleep with the jar beside her bed that night. Tears and all she convinced me, but only if she agree to let them go early in the morning. fireflies 017She stuck to her promise and the next morning we all watched as they were set free…tears and all.
pattern weights 001 It was just as fun to watch the kiddos let them go as it was to watch them catch them.pattern weights 003 They really are amazing little beetles.pattern weights 004Have you caught fireflies this summer yet? And please tell me we are not the only ones collecting bugs this summer!

The Kid’s Playroom

I cant even begin to tell you how much I love having a playroom. Seeing toys all over the house just drives me crazy. I guess I just need order to stay sane. Yes in the past I was unable to do anything about it, but now every toy has its own place and if need be, I can just slide one of those doors shut…love that!

The room is pretty small. It measures about 7′ x 8′, but really that is plenty of room to store all of their toys. My first plan was to buy new storage for the area, but once I started putting all of their toys and our old storage bins in there I realized we didn’t need any new storage. The hardest part I had when designing the layout for this space was the lack of walls to work with. There is only one wall to store anything on. Two of the other walls have windows on them and the last wall isn’t much of a wall due to the doorway. Plus the little wall on the left side of the doorways is off limits to hanging anything since that is where the hubby ran the drain pipes from the upstairs bathroom. That is one wall I will NEVER be sinking a hole into.
The larger storage bin was something I bought about 7 years ago from The Christmas Tree Shop and the little bin was something we got as a wedding gift for our bathroom. It is actually a large hamper, but it didn’t fit into the bathroom so I decided to take the top off and use it for storage. The large white cushion was a fun clearance find from Home Goods.
In our old playroom I hung the bags and plastic buckets on hooks to store all of their mega blocks and other small toys. I thought that the corners would be a good place to hang them. They are a little too high for the kids to reach on purpose. This way they have to ask for help and its a great way of keeping things from just being dump out for no reason. Funny how kids love to dump out baskets but hate to fill them back up. To hang the bags and plastic buckets I just bought a few of those heavy duty hangers at Walmart that are actually used to hang bikes on. They are super cheap and can hold a lot of weight.
With such a small space, I wanted to make sure I kept as much stuff off the floor as possible. And by hanging the bags and buckets it gives the kids the extra space they need to play on as well as keeping it all organized.
I ended up using the same shelves we had in our old playroom to store some of their art supplies and little toys that I want out of their reach. Eventually I want to find some old cabinets to line this wall with, but until then these shelves work fine.

The walls are painted Sunflower from Glidden paints. I like the color even though it is super bright. I have walked over to this room many a times to shut off the light just to find out that the light is not on and it is just the walls shining brightly.
I have to say, the kids love this little room but they still prefer playing with their toys under my feet. I guess even a new playroom doesn’t change some things.
And lastly how fun is this view…the playroom, living room and kitchen and all its bright colors?!
And just because I love seeing the before and after pictures. Here is what the playroom used to look like. It was a bit smaller then what the playroom is now and it was being used as a closet. It was also where the staircase was heading upstairs. (And sorry to the person in the picture…don’t worry you will remain anonymous. But I think some of you can guess who she is.)

embrace the camera {a winter’s day at the beach}

A few weeks ago we had some unseasonably warm weather, so I decided to take advantage of it by taking the kiddos to our favorite beach. It was a bit windy and chilly once we got there and definitely not as warm as I had first thought.
We brought some bread to feed the ducks, but they were no where to be found. They did find a lot of these cute little pine cones though.
Sadly our trip to the beach was a quick one as we all ran to the car as fast as we could.
On the way home we took a little pit stop at a campground to play on their wooden train.
The kids have been begging me to stop there and I can’t blame them, it does look like a lot of fun.

They played on the train for over an hour while I shivered the whole time. I so wished that I was smaller and could have played on it myself, but I’m pretty sure I would have gotten stuck inside some of those carts.
Ok…maybe I actually did get stuck in one of them.
It was worth it and we all got a good laugh. My little girl laughed and told me I was “too big”. Gee THANKS!

So I guess our winter’s day at the beach ended up being a winter’s day on the train.

Catapillar to a monarch butterfly.

This year I was determined to document a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful monarch butterfly with pictures. It is something I have wanted to do for a few years, but never seemed to follow through with it from start to finish. This year things were different, the kiddo’s were so interested in watching our caterpillar transform into a monarch butterfly that we spent a lot of time each day looking into the jar. For those of you that have never raised a monarch before, you really should. It really is amazing to watch, plus it is a great way to teach the kiddo’s about metamorphosis. I bought this book a few years ago and read it everyday to the kiddo’s while we watched the caterpillar transform.

Caterpillar to a Monarch Butterfly (our unscientific observations):

Day 1: Today we found our caterpillar eating some milkweed and gave her a new home…in a canning jar of course.

Day 4: Our little caterpillar attached herself to the side of the canning jar with her head hanging down.
Then the chrysalis starts to form.

And within a short period of time the chrysalis is complete.

Day 16: The chrysalis is becoming transparent and we begin to see the monarch butterfly on the inside.
Day 19: We can really see that little monarch butterfly inside of the chrysalis and it looks like it is ready to come out.
Within minutes of showing the kiddo’s the chrysalis our butterfly emerged from the chrysalis.

We all sat there in amazement watching our butterfly wiggle and become bigger. Her wings became larger and straighter while her abdomen became smaller.
Then she slowly opened and closed her wings.

A few hours later she started climbing out of the jar.

Unfortunately the kiddo’s were sleeping and didn’t get to see her fly away.
But this momma was determined to take a video of her flying away for the kiddo’s and spent close to an hour watching her before she decided to fly away. And yes, this momma was able to catch her flying away for the kiddo’s.
The hubby says I was using the kiddo’s as an excuse to watch the butterfly fly away and maybe he was right. No matter how many times I watch a caterpillar transform into a butterfly I am always amazed at how nature works and does it so beautifully.

So there you have it, our totally unscientific observations of how our caterpillar turned into a beautiful monarch caterpillar.

"mo pees peesz?"

I love capturing the simple moments in life. The ones where you can watch their sweet little movements and expressions. Watching the kiddo’s eat straight from the garden for the first time is always the funnest thing to do. They are so curious and unsure.

But it doesn’t take them long before they know exactly how to get to the goodies.

I love watching those little nibbles.

And those chubby little fingers.

And how they know just where to go to pick more.

These past few months have made me appreciate these moments even more. And in all reality, made me slow down and take the time to enjoy these moments.

Because these babies of mine are growing up way too fast.

Our little family of 5 is complete, but I can’t help but think maybe there is room for one more.

Because I just love watching those little babies grow.

But I have also loved sleeping and wearing a normal bra again…so maybe I will just make the garden bigger next year…and watch that grow from seed.

**Unrelated note…We had a super productive weekend! I did some sewing and Im almost finished my gift for that sweet little baby niece of mine. I just keep adding more goodies to the mix…I just need to stop! Plus we (mostly the hubby) worked non-stop all weekend on the house. We finally have walls up and the rooms are actually looking like rooms. Maybe we will have it finished by Christmas!**