Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jeans quilts

This week I made two quilts out of old jeans I'd been saving. I tried to piece large pieces so they would go together quickly. 

 

The second one is nearly done. I'll tie it with embroidery thread and sew the binding and it will be finished. 

 

I backed both of them with fleece to make a soft, heavy, sturdy blanket. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

End of School!

Another school year is done!

 

Miss Curly finished fifth grade and will move on to middle school. 

 

 

Her sweet teacher held a "transition party" for the kids. 

Curly got straight A's on her report card too. I'm really proud of how hard she has worked this year. 

 

Little Mister finished third grade by age. I'm having him take a practice ISAT test to see where his skills are right now. I know he's still miles ahead in math, average in general knowledge and reading, and behind in writing and sports. My out-of-the-box kid. I adore him. 

 

Abi-Lou is done with second grade. She handled the mid-year transition to homeschooling really well. Her strengths are reading and creative writing. I think her biggest weakness is her tendency to get into a rut and just operate on auto-pilot. It's one of her coping mechanisms. But she has progressed wonderfully in reading this year. I'm proud of her. 

 

Bean, my little Kindergarten graduate, has plowed through Reading Eggs and Mathseeds online this year. They are super introductory reading programs and he has worked hard. He is more gifted athletically, although he is plenty smart. But he does have to work at learning, and I am pleased with his progress this year. Next year, he wants to go to the Charter school with his big sister. 

Kindergarten Graduation for Bean



 

 

 

Super silly Bean. Love him so much!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Toasty's Great Adventure

The baby bunny, Squeak, didn't make it, as bottle bunnies are famous for doing (or not doing). I was sad and missed holding his little furry self in my hand, so Hubby bought me a dwarf hamster as consolation. 

 

The kids and I named him Toasted Marshmallow after cabin shenanigans this weekend, and we call him Toasty for short. 

He still needs some taming, but he sure is cute. :)

 

The first thing he did was escape from his cage and manage to get down into the furnace air intake. Despite the eight foot fall, he didn't seem any the worse for wear, and Hubby and I team-retrieved him with Bean's butterfly net. 

Such is the calm, quiet life I lead. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Threading A Needle With Low Vision

Seth has discovered a passion for creating video game characters out of fabric he buys in the remnant bin at the fabric store. 

 

Like me, though, he has a vision impairment that makes threading a needle visually almost impossible. He was using a needle threader, until it got lost. 

So, I taught him a good non-visual way to thread a needle used by blind crafters and anyone who thinks its a good idea. Here's how it works:

1. Hold the thread between finger and thumb with the end barely or not visible. 

 

2. Find the hole of the needle by feeling which end is wider and flat. 

 

3. Jam the flat end of the needle between finger and thumb so the hole goes over the end of the thread. 

 

4. Continue until you can grab the thread end and pull it through. 

 

That's it! Easy way for my blind and low-vision kids (and me) to thread a needle. 

 

More video game stuffies coming our way. 

 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Seth's ride

 

Because of Seth's low vision, he has trouble with balance. He can ride a regular bike but it's uncomfortable and scary for him. We brainstormed what might work and ended up getting a Mobo Triton three wheeler. It arrived today, and he absolutely loves it! 

Watching a kid transform instantly from a hesitant, fearful, unwilling rider to one who is excited, eager to go, and winning races is worth every single penny. 



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spring Pianos

 

I didn't get a pic of Abi at all. But she played three small pieces and did fine. Seth too. 

 

Afterward, JAMMS! :)

Seth is rejoicing because he gets the summer off now. In contrast, Abi is ready to dive into learning guitar. 

Bottle Bunnies

Our doe rabbits were supposed to have their babies in the doe box. We bred them in a rotation and marked the calendar. 

It turns out one of the does was actually a buck. The result was a nest in the big cage on May 9, and six of the eight babies died. 

In an effort to save the last two, I brought them in and tried again to bottle feed. 

May 10. Day 2. I called them Nibble and Squeak. 

 

May 11. Day 3.

 

May 12. Day 4.

 

May 13. Day 5. 

 

I fed them Kitten Milk Replacer mixed with half n half or heavy whipping cream, and warmed. A medicine dropper and goat nipple with only a pin hole in the tip made a good bottle. 

 

May 14. Day 6. 

 

It was at this point we lost Nibble. She got chilled in the car when she wasn't on their heating pad for a while and she didn't make it. 

May 15. Day 7. 

 

May 16. Day 8. 

 

May 17. Day 9. 

 

May 18. Day 10. 

 

At this point Squeak was getting much more mobile and eating a bit more. We expected him to open his eyes any day. 

May 19. Day 11. 

 

 

To keep him safe from the house cats, I keep his little box in an unused bird cage. 

May 20. Day 12. 

 

I took Squeak with me to our church's Women's Retreat. This time, I took the car power converter and plugged in the heating pad the whole time so his cardboard incubator stayed warm. 

May 21. Day 13. 

 

May 22. Day 14. 

 

May 23. Day 15. 

It was at this point that we decided Squeak must have an infection preventing him from opening his eyes. We applied antibiotic ointment and gently massaged his eyes open. 

 

May 24. Day 16. 

 

So far, Squeak is doing really well. He survived the car trip, and is eating like a champ. This week, I'll crumble some adult rabbit droppings in his box since kits start solids with those to build the proper bacteria. 

I'm crossing my fingers that this guy makes it!

Updated. 

May 25. Day 17. 

 

Adult rabbit droppings, aka processed hay. With good gut bacteria. 

Soccer Bean

 

 

This is Bean's second soccer season. He's on a team with friends from church and he loves it!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Snapshot: Trail Gator

 

This is a perfect solution for a blind kid on family bike rides!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mother's Day Project Weekend

For Mother's Day, I wanted to have time at the cabin to work on projects. Specifically, I wanted to build an outhouse. 

 

 

I bought a bunch of recycled lumber at our local Habitat store. Then I drew plans and did a lot of math to design the structure. 

 

Before we got going on the outhouse, hubby and I worked on building two swings for the kids. We finished one, and decided to do the other one tomorrow. 

 

For lunch, we built a campfire in the new fire ring and grilled burgers. Those sure hit the spot during a day of hard work!

 

Hubby and I spent the rest of the afternoon deep in construction. This was by far the largest project I've tackled myself, and Hubby hasn't done a lot of construction work. 

 

 

Once the frame was finished, we turned the kids loose with paint. They did a great job painting the outhouse!

 

We installed the roof and hung the door. Inside, a reinforced platform with a real toilet seat makes things comfy. 

Tomorrow, we'll finish installing the roof and do a few finish details. 

I know it sounds weird that I'm absolutely thrilled to build an outhouse for Mother's Day, but that's just me. I love to make things, and I love our cabin.