Friday, December 4, 2015

The Picky Eater

Do you have a picky eater at your house? I did. I remember being very worried about him. When he was a toddler he seemed to not be interested in eating much. I'd offer him food and he'd play around and put just  little of it in his mouth. I was certain he was going to get sick or worse, shrivel to a size that would make him look like he should be on a poster with the words, "Send your dollars here."

Then in a timely moment I read an article by a renowned pediatrician at the time, Dr. William Sears, who wrote that if all your toddler eats is a hard boiled egg, a piece of bread, a little juice, and a multi-vitamin every day he will survive.

What a relief! I could at least get that much in him! And he was right - Ben did survive childhood and entered the middle school years with the typical bottomless pit for a stomach.

So, after raising four children with various appetites, allergies, sensitivities, etc. I've learned a few things and would like to pass on some dos and don'ts concerning children and food.

DO NOT become a restaurant by taking orders and making special food for your picky eater. Your child should be offered what everyone else is eating (unless he's allergic to it, of course). If he refuses to eat it, he does not get dessert. He sits at the table quietly until everyone is done and if he hasn't eaten enough, put his food in the refrigerator and when he is hungry later THAT is what he can eat.

DO introduce your young children to a variety of vegetables, fruits and meats. The wider the palette the less of a complainer you'll have.

DO make meal times pleasant times. There should be lively conversation with the whole family. Children who eat alone of course will act up and refuse to eat. They want to get down and be with the rest of the family! I've said it before and I'll say it again... dinner absolutely should be sacred family time!

DO be creative with your food! You can totally make sandwiches into faces by placing carrots on top of bologna  as a mouth, cherries for eyes, chips for hair. Pretend to be giants eating trees when there is broccoli on the plate!

DO NOT use food as punishment. Never say a child can eat or not eat when they've misbehaved. Time outs are way more effective. However, keeping desserts from children is an okay punishment and granting desserts to well behaved, obedient children who have eaten most of their dinner, is fine.

DO NOT expect your children to lick their plates clean. I personally do not think children should have to eat everything on their plate. I do think they can be taught to only take what they think they can eat, and to be encouraged to not waste food. Children should always take a "no thank you" bite of food they think they won't like. Often they discover they like it! And if they don't, they don't have to finish but they should simply and politely say they don't like it but thank you for offering.

DO NOT put up with complaints. Under no circumstances should children complain. If they complain freely to you then they will complain to grandparents, friends, teachers, restaurants, etc. Instead, aim to raise children with hearts of gratitude. And a big strategy for getting there is to say grace, a prayer to the Heavenly Father, who gives us many blessings including good food and good health.

Lastly, I would suggest including your children in food preparation. You can tell them what each ingredient does. They can chop vegetables, mix dough, place food on platters, etc. We always had a garden and the kids enjoyed pulling beets, digging potatoes, picking peas, etc. And when they were old enough they loved having their own corner of the garden to plant. Have fun!

And now for a refashion...

I hung on to another puffy sleeved dress from the early nineties that my mother had sewn for me. But twenty five years is a long time to hang on to a dress that's been out of style for a decade or two.

A refashion is in order!  I decided to cut off the bottom and make a skirt.

I folded down the waist to make a waistband, pinned it and sewed it right up. I had removed the zipper added 2 snaps for closure. I shortened the hem slightly.

And here's the finished look. Done in one morning before I left for work.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to Teach Your Child Respect - Part 2

Much of my "regailing" is a result of learning the hard way. And while I credit the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and my parents for giving me wisdom in child rearing, I have also learned by making mistakes. I was realizing just how much I was letting my children call the shots and take center stage the day I took them to the eye doctor.

One of the kids was getting a check-up, but since all four were too young to leave at home I took all of them to the appointment. The five of us crowded in the examination room, and while the kids were very quiet, they immediately took to the only available chair in the room. The "patient" of course was seated in the exam chair, the doctor took the back-less doctor seat, and two of the kids sat in the guest chair. One just quietly sat on the floor. That left me standing. I didn't even give it a thought. I was just glad they were all so quiet!

The doctor, however, made a pointed comment. "Why do kids sit in the chair and don't think to give their mother the better seat?"

Ooo. I was convicted. He was right! I was inadvertently reinforcing selfishness. I guess I thought I was modeling selflessness by letting them take the seat, but I wasn't teaching them how to show respect. I began to examine other areas where I was letting them take center stage... and the dinner table was one of them.

Dinner was always a lively occasion. My husband and I were committed to having dinner together regularly. It would be an unusual circumstance for us to not have dinner together. But I realized that our conversations were driven by the kids' yackety yack. So after we read aloud the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books, we implemented once-a-week "Little House on the Prarie" rule for dinner conversation. And if you haven't read those books I HIGHLY recommend you do. That rule is: KIDS DON'T TALK UNLESS SPOKEN TO. Now we didn't do this all the time - just once a week or occasionally. The experiment was golden! Steve and I could actually have a conversation! The noise level went waaaay down and I think everyone become more aware of what it means to respect your elders.

And now for a refashion...

I finished the T-shirt quilt! Or I should say, "quilts". I actually made 2 of them. After sewing the rows together (see precious posts for instructions on making the squares), I cut a piece of quilt batting to fit the quilt, as well as a piece of fabric for the back. I put the 3 layers together like a sandwich and began to stitch. I'm not a fancy quilter at all - I just sewed straight lines down the length, using the largest stitch size on my machine. Then I finished it off with quilt binding to hide the exposed edges.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to Teach Your Children Respect - Part 1

You're having a conversation with another adult. Your daughter comes up and wants something. So she interrupts... rather loudly. You try to at least finish your sentence but the moment is gone because the interruptor is now jumping up and down and yelling. You can't ignore it and so you turn away from the conversation, giving in to the demands of Little Capone.

Little Capone learns that this technique is rather effective in getting what she wants. So she does it again the next time her brother takes away her toy and your attention is elsewhere. By barging in, she knows she has the upper hand. A few tears and a shrill voice are her weapons of threat. Very quickly you do whatever Little Capone requests so you can get back to whatever you were doing. You are unaware that Capone has just stolen respect from you. It was just a little demand. She'll eventually learn, you tell yourself. But over time, there is no respect left. The Character Bank Account is empty. You are left poor, with no inheritance to pass on to your kids. And they, in turn, have nothing to give their children.

Children must learn to respect their parents, and adults in general. They are not the center of the universe. Like a warm, inviting fire in the fireplace into which everyone sitting around it gazes, so a toddler takes center stage, with family members gazing in adoration. But soon that toddler learns he is the king of the household.

So how do you teach a child to respect his/her elders? First of all, children can be taught to not interrupt. A signal from you that you see them should be all that's necessary until you are done talking. They should quietly wait next to you, perhaps a touch on your arm, but should never say anything until you can politely and properly break away from your conversation. You tell them the rule before you head out the door. And then you reinforce their good behavior by turning to them and giving them your full attention when it is an appropriate moment. You also discourage bad behavior by ignoring the interruptor. You do not give her eye contact but hold up a finger to signal you see her and she must wait and then go ahead a finish your conversation. If Capone is ignoring your signal, then stop the conversation by politely excusing yourself, and then put her in time out. She must think about how to politely get her parent's attention. After a minute or two, you can ask her what she thought about, and only after she has verbally repeated the proper way to wait for your attention, can she tell you want she wanted to say.

And now for a refashion...

I am currently working on a T-shirt quilt. My last post showed the steps of cutting out the squares from old but favorite T-shirts and then ironing the fusible interfacing onto the backs. Next, I sewed the squares together, doing a row at a time. Then I'll sew the rows together.


Friday, November 13, 2015


Did your mom ever have proverbs or sayings that she would say in a sort of sing-song voice to get a repeated point across? My mom did. I still remember them. In fact I would say them to my own kids.

Everything has place.

Fork on the left, knife on the right.

Never talk back to your elders.

God loves you more than I do, which is a WHOLE WHOLE lot!

Mable, Mable, strong and able, get your elbows off the table!

Remember your please and thank you!

You know. Ditties stick in your head. Repeat them. Repeat them often. Your kids will remember their manners, and will remember how to behave because your voice sticks in their heads. And then they'll teach their children to do the same.

What are the ditties your mother told you?

And now for a refashion... or shall I say a refashion in progress.

I have saved some favorite T-shirts to make a quilt (I won't say for whom since that person might read this blog and have a surprise spoiled.)

Using a cardboard template I cut out 2 squares from each T-shirt.

 Arranging the squares as I go helps me to visualize the end product. I just don't have enough squares to make the quilt as big as I'd like so I will purchase some fabric (perhaps a flannel material) to add around these T-shirt squares as well as to be the backing.

The next step is to stabilize the T-shirt squares with iron-on interfacing.

To be continued...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Shepherding a Child's Heart

"That's mine!"  "No! It's mine!" "No!" "Yes!"

Ugh. Sound familiar? The selfishness buried in all of us comes out so evidently from our children. Our first impulse as parents, when we have to deal with scenarios like this one, is to referee the situation by being fair.

"Who had it first? Alright, then, you get it first and then we'll take turns."

Hmmm... but does this solution really deal with the heart of the issue... that both children are selfish and not putting the other before himself/ herself?

Ted Tripp, in his book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, opened my eyes to the ineffectiveness to this way of parenting. Remember, we're all about proactive parenting, and if we want to raise generous, selfless children who consider others before themselves then we must get to the heart of the matter. And by doing that, you are dealing with future issues as well!

The child who takes a toy his brother is playing with is selfish. The brother who refuses to let his sibling have it is selfish. They're both selfish. The selfishness of both children must be addressed.

The parent in the above scenario certainly should hear out both sides of the argument but separately speak to each child during a time out. The first sibling may not just grab a toy someone else is playing with. "You are only thinking of yourself here. You did not think about your brother at all. You should ask him politely and say, 'When you're done with that, may I have it, please?' " The second sibling must also be thinking of the other child. "Sure, you may play with this toy. And when you're done, I'd like it back, please."

I tried this out with my kids one day when they were fighting over who would get which seat in the van. "I want to sit here!" "No! I am sitting here!" "I want the good seat!" "No!" "Yes!"  Ugh. "Children," I said, "Stop. You're all being selfish. You're only thinking of yourselves here. You should be arguing, "You sit here in the nice seat." "Oh no, I insist, you have it today." "Oh, please, you have it first and I'll have it on the return trip."  Well, they laughed at this and it certainly diffused the situation and got the point across. Often after this I rewarded the child who selflessly put the other sibling before himself/ herself.

And now for a refashion...

I spent $17 on this top from a store in the mall just 1 year ago and accidentally threw it in the dryer. Yikes! I still tried to wear it because I love the color, by putting it underneath a jacket but it wasn't a pretty sight! And honestly, the elastic was very uncomfortable. Should I just send it to the thrift store?

What does a refashioner say?  Nooo! You just cut off the elastic and add a piece of fabric from your scrap box!

At least my dog liked it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


The first time my first baby had snot coming out of his nose I thought, "Dang, my baby's not perfect!" Isn't that a ridiculous thought? I confess I thought it. My baby was producing junk from the nose and other unmentionable places. His teeny tiny body had already succumbed to the ill effects of the environment and the sin nature he was born with. My children would not be perfect because I was far from it.

As I am sharing tidbits of parenting advice with all of you out there I thought I should put out a disclaimer. I was not a perfect parent. My children were not perfect. Nor did they turn into perfect adults. I was a sinner raising sinners and turning them into sinners.

It is important that I tell you this. I don't want to uphold my kids as super examples of the results of great parenting. That's too much pressure. My kids are PKs - pastor's kids and that was enough pressure as they were growing up. People have illusions that PKs are proper examples of good behavior.

The truth is I didn't raise them perfectly. I can look back (I'm in my 3rd year of the empty nest) and see where my flaws have shown up in their adult weaknesses, where I didn't say something that I should have said, where I said something that I should not have said, where my behavior negatively influences them, and where I blew opportunities. They have also made sinful choices in their adulthood that had nothing to do with my parenting at all. They are sinners in their own right.

This is why I need Jesus. I need him so much! "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3: 22-23).  God wants us to trust Him to fill in the gaps of our bad parenting and to enjoy the fruits of our good parenting, and to praise Him for His work in our children that have nothing to do with our parenting at all! God is at work. Alleluia!

So as I "regail" you with my "wisdom", it's out of experience both positive and negative. And that "wisdom" might not be the wisest course for you! So please accept it as an offering of suggestions born out of trial and error and tested on four unsuspecting guinea pigs. But let me just tell you that in spite of our flaws, I think my kids are pretty awesome.

And now for a refashion...

This is a hand-me-down from my sister. I have no idea how old it was before she gave it to me about 10 years ago, but the boxy bodice, shoulder pads, and shin-length tells me it probably goes back to the 80s or early 90s. I wore it many times but finally realized it was out of style.

I cut off the sleeves and shortened it by about 8 inches. Easy peasy.  A new dress that cost me nothing but an hour or two of time.

The total reason I've kept this dress for so long is the back! I just love the criss-cross back.

Friday, October 9, 2015

How to Get Your Kids to do Chores

Chores. They're a necessary part of life and should be a necessary part of childhood, but how do you motivate your kids to do chores?  Remember my post on the number one task of parents with children under the age of 12? Yep. The obedience thing. You start 'em young, that's how.

Very young children can help put away toys. And when they're 5 or 6 they're actually helpful! That means when they're 1, 2, 3, or 4 they aren't very helpful but think they are. And so you want to make sure you keep the delusion going by affirming their efforts!

I am certain I'm not the only parent that once thought, "Ugh. It would be easier if I just did it myself!" Although that's certainly true, you want to keep a team spirit going by saying things like, "That's teamwork for ya!" and "Good job, Joey! Let's keep doing this! We're almost done!" Chores should be a regular habit... not something you ask of your kids when you're in the mood or when company is coming. They should be doing their chores every single day.  Habits are best learned when children are very young.  And although it takes much longer to coach and supervise the work it ends up a blessing in the long run when your teenager offers to do the dishes without being told!

Here's a list of ideas that worked for us:
* Keep a small bowl handy and every time you see good work happening you drop a marble in the bowl. When it's full the child gets something special (go out for ice cream, breakfast out with daddy, etc.)  Remember - children learn by reward!

* Play "Mary and Martha". Tell the kids the story of Jesus' friends named Mary and Martha. Martha was the woman who worked hard preparing the meal and cleaning the house while her sister Mary sat at Jesus' feet listening to him. Call out "Martha!" and the children scramble to put away the toys. Call out "Mary!" and the children sit down and listen to Jesus for a moment. Then call out "Martha!" again and the kids scramble to clean, etc. (This worked great until my daughter had a friend visiting and the two of them trashed the bedroom just so they could play "Mary and Martha".)

* Draw sticks. With a marker write one chore on a stick. Have enough sticks for all the kids. The kids take turns drawing sticks and reading what the chore is they must tackle. We did this with after-supper chores (clear table, load dishwasher, wash dishes, wipe counter and table, etc.). Everyone around the table had to draw a stick. We even had a stick that said, "Help Anna" who was the youngest and too little to put dishes away, etc. Whoever drew that stick had to help her with whatever job she picked, and if Anna drew the "Help Anna" stick she could help anyone of her choice. We did this everyday and it was a routine.

I'm sure you have brilliant ideas that have worked for you! Please share your ideas!

And now for a refashion...

I went through my material stash and picked out remnants that I thought might make a fun dress.

I had seen a dress in a magazine that I thought I could make with my scraps. I cut out 2 rectangles and cut 1 foot length lines from the bottom edge, with the plan to sew godets (triangular contrasting pieces that flair out) inside each slit.  By the time I was done it looked hideous. So I made a refashion out of my refashion....

I cut off the bottom (godets and all) and made a top. It is sort of a peasant style. Sometimes things don't quite work out the way you expect! But I was pleased with the final result.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Number One Task for Parents With Kids Over 12

The last blog was about the number one task for parents with kids under 12 and that was to teach them to obey. But by the time they are 12 they should no longer require punishment for bad behavior... because in theory they are obeying you! However, they still need discipline, communication skills, love, a listening ear, quality and quantity time, and encouragement.

James Dobson, in his book Dare to Discipline wisely said, "Children learn by reward, adults learn by information, but teens learn by relationship." How true! Teens who have a strong bond with their family will face life with security and stability. And how do you develop a strong bond? By spending lots of time together! And certainly that means limiting outside activities and crazy scheduling and instead choosing family time. The biggest recommendation I have is to ALWAYS have dinner together. Guard that time as much as possible. This is where conversation happens, dreams are expressed, ideas are brainstormed, plans are made, problems are discussed, etc. Another idea is to take your teens out individually where they are free to communicate with you openly.  These are precious years.... once they hit high school it's a slippery slope out the door! Enjoy every day! And laugh your way through the teen years. Teenagers are soooooo funny!

So the number one task for parents with kids over 12 .... is to relate!

And now for a refashion....

This was actually a long, loosely fitted maxi-dress from the nineties (came down to my shins). So I cut the bottom to make a high-low top and added lace. It looks nice with leggings.

If you're curious about the necklace I'm wearing then check out this close-up shot.

Yes, that's a real fish. When I was in Florida back in March, it washed up on shore among a bunch of shells. So I took it, dried it out with salt (yes, it was already dead) and then placed inside a shell with liquid resin. I added a fake pearl from an old necklace and the resin dried to a clear solid. Then I drilled a hole at the top and added a chain. When I wear this to school all my kids love to see the fish!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Number One Task for a Parent of a Child Under 12

After parenting four children, all of whom are now college age or above, and after teaching in the classroom and talking with other parents and teachers I've concluded that the number one task for a parent with a child under twelve is....

to teach them to obey!

From infancy children are loved and cared for by their parents, learning to respect and trust their caregiver. In toddlerhood, children learn that mom and dad mean what they say and are consistently reminded of the boundaries. In early to middle childhood children are trained to be respectful to others and to become responsible for their work.

Unfortunately parents are too often leaving the training of their children to the schools, or to the "village" or even to the church. But the Scriptures are clear: Train up a child in the way he should go.
Solomon, in his book of Proverbs, was not talking to school teachers but parents. When teachers have to spend time teaching manners and etiquette, or to discipline children because they are not listening they are hindering the learning process for all the other children as well. A child should do exactly what the adult says WHEN the adult says it. I used to tell my children they were not obeying if they didn't respond immediately.

There was an unfortunate occasion when I dropped my daughter off for a piano lesson. As she got out of the car and went around the back of the car towards the building I saw another car pull in - headed straight for my daughter. I quickly yelled, "STOP!!" She immediately froze in place... just in time. I hate to think what would have happened if she did not respond to me so fast.

So how do you teach your child to obey? You make rules and you keep them. It's that simple. This requires that you stay tuned in to what your child is doing and where he is at all times. And it also requires a disciplinary action when children choose to not obey...and I always made it clear that obeying is their choice. That sounds weird, doesn't it? They're being forced to obey... so how is it a choice? Because a good choice is right and a bad one is wrong. It's still a choice.

When it came time for my toddler son to move into a "big boy bed" my husband and I had to camp outside of his bedroom door for a couple of nights to plop him back in bed each time he tried to climb out. He probably tried to get out twenty times. But his mom and dad put him right back in bed those twenty times. And you know what? He didn't try it ever again.

Our ultimate goal in parenting is to teach our children submit to Jesus, as their Savior. But how will they learn to submit to Christ when they haven't learned to submit to us, their parents?

So please....and now I'm speaking as a classroom teacher...teach your children to OBEY! We'd like to be able to teach content not spend so much time training behavior.

And now for a refashion...

Here is a dress that my mom made for me... about 25 years ago (yes I still have it... mom died 20 years ago and I never could part with it. But the pilgrim collar, padded shoulders, and puffy sleeves from the 80s just have to go!

So I cut off the collar, the sleeves, and believe it or not, I took off about 6 inches from the bottom. I just added eyelet lace to replace the collar and walah!

So fun! ---Blessings!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Parental Team

When we think of parenting we usually are talking about the relationship between  a mom or dad and his/ her kids. But becoming a strong parental team means the relationship between mom AND dad is the most important one, and KEY to parenting!

Marriage must come first. That means mom and dad must communicate with each other and decide together what disciplinary actions will be taken when. And when a situation comes up you don't say, "Just wait until your father (or mother) comes home!" You will have already agreed how to deal with stuff and so you manage it right then and there. Never make one parent the bad guy. Kids should know that if one parent says, "No", that they can't go to the other one to ask for what they want. And if you're not sure how to deal with something you tell the child, "When your dad (or mom) comes home we will discuss it and decide how to answer you."

Children feel most secure when they know mom and dad are.a strong team. So take some time out for each other! That means to continue to date. With four kids and a pastor's budget (one income stream) we didn't have extraneous money for many dates, especially when you have to pay for a babysitter - so going out to a movie and dinner, for example, was rare (maybe 3 times a year?) But we often did special cheap dates. After the kids went to bed, Steve would go out and buy desserts and bring them home. Oh what happy memories sitting on the couch eating chocolate mousse cake and talking about whatever was on our minds!

Another thing we would do regularly is that we would have "mommy and daddy time" after dinner. We would send the kids into the living room to play and Steve and I would linger at the table for another 30 minutes or so, usually with a hot drink, discussing our day. Some couples go for walks in the evening. Anyway, you get the idea that you have to make the time to communicate and enjoy one another. The kids NEED to see you as a team.

And now to "regail" you with a refashion....

Here is a man's cotton shirt that I bought at "Sally Ann's" (aka Salvation Army) for $2.

I made a skirt out of it. I lined the skirt out of another man's shirt, changed the buttons, and added daisy-lace around the waist. This skirt happened to match a top that was way too big for me (a hand-me-down from some generous soul) that I cropped to fit me better. Now I have a new outfit! I wore this on my first day of school this year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Being Right With God

Let's get back to the basics. At the very foundation of proactive parenting should be an active devotional life. For me this meant getting up early to have a quiet time when I read my Bible and prayed, committing the day to the Lord. I usually (and still do, by the way!) grabbed a cup of tea and sat in my favorite spot with my Bible, my journal, a pen, and my calendar/plan book. Before I read my Bible I looked at my calendar to see what was going on that day. Then I turned to the To-Do page to list my chores I needed to tackle. This helped get stuff off my mind before I came to the Lord. My journal helped to keep me focused as I recorded what I was reading in the Scripture and what I felt it was saying to me about God's character and what my response should be.
This special half hour each morning was transformative for me. It got me ahead of the kids. I was ready to face the day!

And now for a refashion...

A purse out of an old pair of jeans! I simply cut off the legs, added fabric to create a bottom, used my embroidery setting to decorate the edge, and then added buttons! Buttons are "a few of my favorite things!"

And another purse... this time I used just one leg of a jean and created a flap. I sewed on a pocket from the jeans. The handle is made of braided strips of denim and fabric. And of course I had to add lots of amazing buttons!

Monday, August 24, 2015

I "Regail" you with...Thinking Proactively

Proactive parenting means thinking ahead before your children reach a certain age. So before you have children think about what approach you will use for discipline. Before an infant comes on the scene think about how you will manage your time. Before you have a toddler think about safety in the home. Before they're school age think about their education. Before they're teens think about how much outside activity you will allow. Before they go to college think about what you want them to know about dating. Etc. Etc. Etc. Thinking ahead, reading, discussing with your spouse, seeking advice from people you admire, will help form your goals as an effective parent.

The opposite of proactive parenting is reactive parenting. Reactive parenting is letting life take you where it will. You wait until you're at that stage and there is a situation you weren't expecting and then you scramble to find answers. 

An extreme example is the teenager who gains weight but never realizes she's pregnant until one day she has terrible cramps and goes to the bathroom and out comes a baby! Yes, I knew a gal that experienced that exact situation! Alright... most of us aren't that bad... but are you prepared for the next stage? When my firstborn was just a baby I began to think about his schooling. Some of my friends were exploring homeschooling and that intrigued me. How could a mom teach her own child at home? So I took baby Ben in his little car seat and the two of us sat in a corner of my friend's living room to watch homeschooling in action. What I saw totally amazed me.

My friend knew her son had ADD. So she set up a little trampoline there in the living room and allowed him to jump up and down while reciting his math facts. This showed me that parents really do know their children better than "experts". Parents are the experts of their own children. 

That set me on a research project to read everything I could on homeschooling. My husband and I had a few years to think and pray about that and explore other options so the decision to homeschool, which we ultimately made when he was 5, was a well thought out and prayed over decision.

Now for a refashion...

Here is the man's shirt I bought for $2 at our local thrift store:

And here is what I did to it...

I am submitting my shirt refashion to the Refashioners Challenge contest. Such fun!

The Refashioners 2015 - Grab a Button

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Regailing Defined

To "regale" is to entertain lavishly, or to feast or delight. Since my name is "Gail" I've chosen to call my blog "Regailing" as I aim to offer a feast of parenting advice as well as to share my hobby of sewing and refashioning.

More about me... I am a mother of 4, happily married to Steve, pastor of Christ Chapel ( I love Jesus! And so we have raised our children from a Christian worldview. Our four amazing kids are all grown (almost out of the house) - our oldest is an archaeologist, our second is a nurse, our third recently married and manages a clothing boutique and our 4th is still in college). I homeschooled all 4 all the way through (K through 12) and with the empty nest staring at me in the face I returned to the classroom and currently teach at Covenant Love Community School (

My first bit of parenting advice is to engage in PROACTIVE PARENTING. I call it that because the training of children is most effective when decisions on how you plan to discipline, communicate, educate, etc. is done BEFORE you are actually at that particular stage of life. Too often parents engage in REACTIVE PARENTING and wait until something negative is upon them before they decide how they should deal with it. The risk is a rash or emotional response that confuses or abuses a child. For example, you walk into your child's room and see it's a mess so you yell, "What a mess! Clean this up now!" The child sees you are angry and cleans up to keep peace. The child learns he doesn't need to clean up until he sees you angry. Now, imagine how much more effective it would be to establish early on that you expect your child to pick up his room each evening. You say, "Each night before we go to bed you will put everything back into its place.This is a good habit." The expectation is stated and then when the child obeys and you see his efforts you will praise him, reinforcing the good habit. If he doesn't obey, you must stand in the room and encourage him until he does. The motivation this time is to develop a good habit rather than cleaning to avoid your bad reaction.

And now for a refashion...

Here is a long dress (from the sixties) that I found at a thrift store. Before I took the picture I had already started to take off the daisy lace.

And next is the dress after I refashioned it. I shortened it, replaced the lace with a fresher looking lace around the waist. I wore this on Easter. Here is a pic of our fam on Easter Sunday after church and a lavish meal with graduate students. Now THAT's regailing!