Friday, August 19, 2016

What to Do When Mom and Dad are Both Sick

I just had surgery this last week and then an infection and then a reaction to the antibiotics. Yeah. Miserable. There's no other word for it. But the bright side of my personal trial was my dear lovies who attended me. My hubby and daughters made meals, ran errands, rubbed my feet, made me tea. I am truly blessed. It brought me back to a memory of when all four kids were at home and both Steve and I were out for the count.

Now when kids are little little there is no way both parents can be sick. That's all there is to it. One of you has to tend to the babies. I guess you take turns, or call a parent or a friend. But there was one occasion when my kids were between the ages of 12 and 4 and we knew the older ones would look after the younger ones so both Steve and I could be sick at the same time.

When it became apparent that both of us needed to stay in bed that morning we called our four to the bedroom. I said to them, "Both Daddy and I have been up all night and feel lousy. We are both sick and need to stay in bed. You are on your own to do school your own way today. At the end of the day I will be very interested to see what you come up with."

Oh my goodness. What busy beavers they were! I was shocked to discover what they decided to do that day. The four of them sat down and wrote out a script for a movie and then gathered costumes and filmed themselves. And what a hilarious result!

You see, this is a result of proactive parenting. By doing the work ahead of time, laying the groundwork of obedience and discipline, it never entered their minds they could get into mischief. The older ones rose to the occasion. They knew we trusted their judgment. There are times, like getting sick, that you don't expect or plan for, but you have actually prepared kids all along with your consistent routine. And what blessings follow!

And now.... my big reveal.... this is my entry for the 2016 Refashioner's Challenge:
 The challenge was to make something out of old jeans. I created a jacket out of 5 pairs of old jeans.

 I added a lining on the inside to make it comfortable to wear. Although it is a heavy jacket it will be perfect for those frigid days in my chilly classroom!

As you can see it is a sort of raggedy quilt layout.


If you're interested in reading about how I did this click here. Blessings!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dinnertime Fun and a Refashion Preview

Those of you who have followed me for awhile know that I am an advocate of the Family Dinner. Whatever it takes to be together at dinnertime is worth the sacrifice. The Family Dinner is a time to connect and should be a non-negotiable coveted time of the day's schedule. Working parents should plan ahead to be home at a reasonable hour and meals can be planned ahead to simplify the supper hour into a daily routine.

Dinnertime can be the climax of a family's day. As the kids help put away toys, as older kids finish up homework and help mom (or dad) make dinner, there is anticipation for that special hour. Everyone looks forward to coming together. Here are some ideas to make that time special:

* Take the time to prepare real wholesome food that isn't a pre-prepared fast-food (although there are days when boxed mac-n-cheese is the difference between eating together or not) and involve your kids in the cooking.
* Light a candle, use the china (save paper plates for company), set the table properly (take advantage of the time to teach etiquette!).
* Play a game during dinner (we loved Settlers of Catan and would just put the game board in the middle of the table).
* Bring a current event article to the table or ask everyone to find a fun fact to share to spur conversation.
* Bad Manners Night - this is when all rules are eliminated. The idea is to demonstrate why you need rules! (Warning - this almost always descends to a food fight - yeah, we've done it and it's a blast!)
* Crazy Hat Night - everyone wears a funny hat to dinner.
* Guest Night - the dinner table is a great time to do hospitality. Invite interesting people from your church and community. One of the many people we had over for dinner was a 70 year old woman who had led expeditions to the South Pole. She shared such fascinating stories with us but also expressed amazement that our kids were even interested (we had read many stories of penquins, and the race to the South Pole, etc. and learned a little about Antarctica before we had her over so the kids pumped her with questions.)
* Saying grace before partaking teaches the children gratefulness, patience, and opens the door to further discussion on God.
* Initiate teamwork by insisting the family work together to help with clean up afterwards! 

And now for a peek at what I'm doing for the Refashioner's Challenge...

The Challenge is to make something from old jeans. So I decided to make a jacket. This is the pattern I will use:

And here are the jeans. 

As it turned out, I needed 3 more pairs. So 5 jeans altogether! The 2 above I bought for $5 at the thrift store, but I used 3 old ones laying around the house (2 had been used for painting and one was outgrown).

So here is a sneak peek as to what it will look like. It's still a work in progress. I have until the end of September to submit it for the contest.

In the meantime, I had fun playing around with the waistband of the biggest pair. I cut it off and made a belt for myself!

I glued a daisy lace (cut off from a refashioned gown - see here). And then I sewed a vintage metal button on each daisy.

I just added snaps so it would fit around my waist.

And here it is!