Fall Colors 2015

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Giving Paint Nite a Try

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When I think about doing things like this it makes me feel anxious. I think there is no way I can paint anything worth looking at. What if people judge me for my painting? I guess most of all feeling like an outcast. That’s why I truly believe in going with someone. I couldnt be more excited when my friend, Katherine asked me to go. She is a really great artist. She has alot of talent. I knew that I would be getting good tips from her along the way. We ended up sitting in the back of the room which was not a good thing at least not for us.( If you are wanting to come home with something that looks kinda like the example I suggest sitting near the front. )They had snacks and water. The bar was nearby to order drink and food. They had mini easels set up with an apron on the chair to prepare you for how you spend your next 2 hours. Once you get your paint, brushes and easel it’s game on. The teacher will start instructing and you will do fine for the first hour or so. I felt pretty confident as I do know how to blend pretty well. The background is the easy part. After you finish the background there was a short break to give everyone’s background a chance to dry. I did not do so well on the second half of instruction. I got lost pretty quickly. The obvious downside to sitting in the back. I fumbled around and after a couple laughs I pulled it back together. We were some of the last people to leave. I insisted on finishing. I really do like to finish projects that I start. I am glad I did. It was a fun night and I hope we can get out yo do another Paint Nite soon. I think I like my painting more each day. Now I just need to convince George to hang it on the wall.

Q&A with Kim from Adventureswithsix

I thought it would be fun to do a little Question & Answer with my friend Crystal. She came up with the questions and gave me time to come up with some really good answers. There are good mixture of questions about different aspects of life.

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Q1. How do your kids benefit from being homeschooled? How do you determine grade level? How are they more advanced than public school kids? A1. Well, the kids benefit in alot of ways. Their favorite is all the great field trips we go on. There is no limit to how many or where we go. A few of my favorite benefits are the ever growing bond between them all and me as well as the opportunity to live our Catholic Faith through all aspects of our lives. I mostly determine grade by age, maturity, and skills mastered. I think the kids may be a little more advanced in some things because I have the opportunity to work with them one on one to help them grow in their skills. I think another part of that has to be that if one way of teaching something doesn’t work I am free to change it until I find something that does work. Example: The girls all used Hooked on Phonics to learn to read while Duke has taken the Easy Peasy route.

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Q2. What educational visuals do you use around your house? A2.We have lots of posters. Sight words, beginning sounds, multiplication table, motivational posters, Liturgical calendar, In the main bathroom is a mini poster that tells the kids how to brush and floss their teeth.

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Q3. Are you planning another video soon? A3. It is a lot of work to do videos. I just haven’t had the time or a blog post I thought was worthy of a video. I will try to plan out a few over the next couple of months. datenight_thumb

Q4. What activities do you suggest for mini at home dates? A4. This is a hard one. Early in our marriage we would come up with themes for our at home Anniversary dinner dates. One time it was Hawaiian and another it was Chinese. Now is a lot harder. Our time at home together consists of us eating breakfast together on Saturday mornings, playing computer games, watching a movie, talking, and once in a while playing a card game or board game. I think the activity doesn’t matter so much as the timelessness you give to your spouse. It really is the little things that count.

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Q5. What do you suggest for stress relief? A5.Stress is something I have always struggled with. I have found some things work better for me than others. So for Christmas George and the kids bought me a 12 pack of farm animal stress balls. No joke. I am suppose to throw at them when I get mad. Not as stress relieving as I thought but it might work for someone else. The thing that I found really works is doing something that make you happy. I gain a lot of peace from praying, Adoration, Confession, reading and crafting. It’s hard to explain the feeling I get from accomplishing a craft project or spending an hour at Adoration but it works. Other things I would suggest are listening to the ocean or your favorite song and singing at the top or your lungs, read a good self improvement book, keep things simple, except help, clear the air by writing a letter or talking it out, and my favorite- DON’T GIVE UP!

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Q6. What are some of the best places to buy craft supplies? Why? A6.My top 4 places to buy craft supplies are Joann’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Tree. Joann’s has some good coupons and they have a military discount. It has mostly fabric. Michael’s has really good sales and coupons. Hobby Lobby is a Christian organization and is very similar to Michael’s. Both of these have a wide array of misc craft supplies. Dollar tree is nice if you aren’t being too specific on colors or you are wanting to save a lot. They have some basics and a variety of storage containers.

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Q7. How do you get your picky eaters to eat? A7.Bubbles is our resident picky eater. She tends to have the most issues with eating vegetables. Sometimes she will sit at the table up to an hour after everyone else has finished. There are a few ways I get her to eat veggies. The easiest is veggie pasta. We eat quite a bit of pasta so making the switch wasn’t a big deal. She really loves pasta. Another way is to have her help me cook dinner. She picks veggies or helps me make the soup, stew, or casserole. If she sees how its cooked she is alot more likely to eat it without complaint. The last way I haven’t used much recently but hiding veggies in food is a sneaky but efficient way to do it. I would make corn bread or tuna patties and put veggies in. Blending up the veggies and adding them to a sauce like spaghetti sauce could totally work. Bubbles has gotten alot better over the past few years by using these techniques

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Q8. What do you do to get the kids to exercise during the winter? A8. Physical Education is a required subject here, so we made an investment a couple of years ago. We bought a WiiU. The only reason I agreed to it was because we could get the fitness games. Wii Fit and Nickelodeon Fit. The kids love a little competition. The other things we do are indoor games. A few we play are dance statues, head shoulders, knees, and toes as well as hide n seek and simon says. Here is a video I found on You Tube. Justbfit You can also find other great videos with a quick search on You Tube. Q9. Do you have any great storage/organization ideas as far as clothes, toys, and books? A9. I have decided not to try and reinvent the wheel. The picture above is one of the main ways we organize the kids toys.  Here are a few pages I have found that have some really great ideas. Kidsactivityblog has some ways to organize toys. Diyncrafts has dollar store storage ideas. Diyhshp has some great tips and tricks for organizing. My last pick is Thriftynorthwestmom has some great tips to organize kids bedrooms

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Q10. I am planning my sons’ 12&13 Birthday Party in June. A band has agreed to play at the party. As far as the decorations and other entertainment I am stuck. Do you have any suggestions? A10. I know you didn’t ask this but I found an easy Guitar cake. You could make some of these Mini guitars to hang up.You could also make some music notes using balloons and foam paper.  Aside from the band the kids could do karaoke. Here are a few games the kids might enjoy : Head bangMini marshmallow shooters, And The donut game. I hope these ideas help make your boys’ birthday party fun. If you are interested in doing a Q&A with me, the kids, or my husband please send an email to Adventureswithsix@gmail.com.

*** Make sure to check out my guest post on Only Passionate Curiosity: Rocket ship craft ***

Beading, a new craft

IMG_0863 I am always up for trying a new craft. Beading. Making earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. When a friend gave me all the goodies needed to get started I knew it was going to be interesting. I looked through everything when I got it but didn’t have time to start anything. So when my friend Katherine asked me what I wanted to do one Friday night I was like we should do some beading. Katherine just seems to do alot of different crafts really well so I knew she would help me making something. I brought all of my beading supplies. There were a few magazines so we looked through those first. Then we looked through the beads to try and pick some that would look nice together. It was fun learning how to make nice patterns and match the beads together. The hardest part so far is the clasp or closure on each side. Well, and those tiny beads are really hard to work with. I don’t think this is a craft I can do long term. It’s defiantly a labor of love and the product is worth the pain. I have made 3 by myself since the first one Katherine helped me make. I have also helped Jem and Pippi each make a necklace for friends. I hope to make a few more necklaces and some cute pairs of earrings. Have any of you tried beading? Do you have any tips to share for a beginner?

**This was suppose to go out last Wednesday. **

Sewing Maybe?

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The girls asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first. Then I pondered over the thought of longer skirts and a useful hobby. The girls just wanted to learn the basics but I couldn’t let things stop there. A friend of mine gave us a sewing machine that needed a small tune up. It works perfectly. Then we went on a spending spree at Joanns to buy, fabric, buttons, patterns and anything and everything we would need to make our first skirts. It seriously had to have been the most money I have ever spent in one place. But being that it was a craft store that does seem to be where I would rather spend my husbands hard earned dollars. Did I forget to mention that my skills go back to making an apron in middle school and another in High school. Yep, not so great at cutting a straight line or following patterns. I like coming up with my own thing and the little imperfections just mean its homemade. Our first project was a simple purse for Mom. The girls were happy to take turns using the machine and putting in pins. We have made a few others things as well. The girls were happy to take their turns sewing something simple. Future projects for us include: skirts, purses, dresses, and I think we might even start a few special wedding present projects. You can also check me out on Pinterest Crafteekim for some fun sewing projects to try.