Friday, August 31, 2012

Homeschool Ready

I had three major hurdles to getting ready to homeschool this year:
1) Clean the house (because everything is better when the house is clean)
2) Pick a curriculum (talk about a daunting task)
3) Figure out where to begin (easier said than done)

Having leaped over the last of the three hurdles this week, I am ready to go. Thankfully my husband cleaned a large majority of the house while I was on vacation with the kids...yay! The curriculum research took several weeks, but after much debate and thought I narrowed it down. Figuring out where to begin however is even more challenging. Thankfully after meeting with homeschool moms three times this week, I am ready to go.

And now I can't wait. I face this new challenge like a full time job (which is good, because full time work is what I know). I have goals to complete and a boss to please (not a boss...she's more like a tiny partner). I can't wait for our books to arrive, but until then we will review the core basics from the previous year, and the rest will be an unschool approach (based on what drives her interests that day). The first few weeks I expect we'll just be feeling out our new schedule, and deciding what we like (and what we don't). Thankfully I am well suited to playing-it-by-ear, so no worries.

We will officially be starting on Thursday (when Luke leaves for preschool), so the official countdown has begun. I know I'm ready because I feel at peace with everything. I love when things work out the way they should at the right time, and then you just know it's right.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wide Striped Curtains from Walmart Sheets

It seems like wide-striped curtains are all the rage on Pinterest, and while I didn't love it at first, it grew on me. But the dramatic navy/cream and black/white stipe combos were too much for my mostly earth-tone living room. I started to envision a tone-on-tone neutral stripe combination. But here in Alaska (and anywhere) to buy enough fabric for 4 full curtain panels is expensive.

What to do, what to do.

After some contemplating I remembered that Walmart sold their sheets in separates, so I could buy just the flat they offer a lot of color choices. And the sheets are $5! So 4 twin sheets later (2 tan, 2 brown) I had what I needed to curtain my entire living room.

I went with pretty wide stripes, cutting each sheet evenly into 4 strips and then combining them into 4 piles of strips to be put back together. Plus I used the pre-sewn hems to my advantage. The heights of the sheet was basically correct, so I just went with it. However, the sheet was too wide, so I eyeballed it and cut off about 18", leaving me with enough scrap to recover the rest of my couch pillows. Nice, huh?

Last but not least, I used the cheap white curtains that were already hanging on the curtain rod as lining. Since the width was different between the two (and because I'm lazy) I just centered the panel when sewing the top hem and sewed it inside the hem. It gives such a nice, heavy appearance, I think it made all the difference. (plus here in Alaska it made it nearly light-proof...perfect for those nights that should be dark but aren't...cause it's Alaska)

1) Make sure to match the sheets on the same window. I used the top edge of both tan sheets to make both top panels for one window, and I used the bottom edge of the tan sheet for the other panel tops. (this way they automatically match without any additional measuring)
2) When sewing the strips together use the finished hem on one side and match up perfectly, once sewn together you can hem the other side so they both look even.
3) Pay attention when cutting and sewing so that everything ends up straight. Because I used the sheets natural length and hems I didn't really have to pay attention...but if I had paid a little better attention the strip on one of the panels might be a little more straight. But hey, I'm not a perfect gal, so it works for me, and you'd have to KNOW it wasn't straight to notice...I think.

Next time you're at the Walmart (necessary evil for me), walk through the sheets and see what I fabric in a variety of colors. I'm actually going to buy two more and make a couple of quick quilts for the kids that coordinate with the curtains and kids love to snuggle up on the couch, and with fall weather coming soon, it's the perfect time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kids of Summer

Truly this might have been the busiest vacation ever. But within the craziness there were many moments that seemed like time stood still. The kids had a blast, and only complained that it all went by too quickly. (whereas the 40 hours of driving for mom and dad seemed to go on FOREVER)

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