December 3, 2014

Our Thanksgiving 2014

We got to have two Thanksgivings this year! Just one perk of having both of our families close. Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving day, and our early Thanksgiving with my parents..

November 30, 2014

A Second Chance

The girls were playing dress-up the other day and put on their Halloween costumes. Since I didn't get many pictures of their costumes on Halloween, I was excited to get a second chance. Never mind the fact that they're wearing each others costumes! As you can see, they both got into character..
I bet you can guess what she's singing :)

November 14, 2014

Our Halloween

A few weeks late, but I'm finally getting around to blogging about our Halloween. I had spent a few weeks planning and getting the kids' costumes made, and was very happy with the outcome. I think they were too!! As you can see, we had snow for Halloween. That was a shock! We didn't get much, but it was freezing. We were all in a hurry to keep moving and stay warm, so I didn't get many great pictures. As soon as I got this one of them all looking and semi-smiling, I was satisfied.

Mollie decided early on that she wanted to be a witch. I wasn't really expecting that, but I love that she chose something so classic, and it was a lot of fun to put together. I used this pattern that I found on Etsy. For the top layer of the skirt I alternated two sheer fabrics, one with embroidered bats, and one with spider webs. The underskirt and bodice was a taffeta type fabric with velvet spiderwebs.

It was hard to decide what Lincoln was going to be. I loved the idea of dressing as a book character, so I settled on Corduroy the bear. I just used a Simplicity pattern that had a bunch of basic baby clothing patterns, and altered them a little bit to work for the costume.

Delia of course wanted to be Elsa! I used the Simplicity pattern. It was fun to pick out the fabrics for her dress since I've never sewn anything so fancy. She loved it!
I had to steal a picture from my dad since I never ended up getting any full length pictures of it. She got tired of the wig pretty quick. This was taken after she'd had enough of the cold and came to warm up at Grammie's.
 We had a costume wedding to go to after trick-or-treating, so Stu and I had to dress up too!

I felt the same way Dede :)

Mollie braved the cold and went to a few more houses with Pappy. We didn't trick-or-treat (get as much candy) as we'd hoped, but we had fun with family and that's what's most important.

October 24, 2014

Halloween Sewing: Quilted Table Runner

Thinking back on my childhood, I love that my mom always decorated for each season/holiday. I think it added some anticipation and excitement that made looking forward to each holiday even more fun. Now that I have my own kids and get to experience holidays through the eyes of a kid again, I'm trying to do a little more seasonal decorating! 
I was so happy that I had enough of the fabric I used for the kids' trick-or-treat bags left to make a table runner. 

I found this table runner on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect. I wanted something that would show off the larger scale fabrics, like the cats. Sadly there was no pattern or tutorial, but I searched for a Dresden plate template and was able to figure it out.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and love having something festive on our table!

October 10, 2014

Halloween Sewing: Trick-or-Treat Bags

As soon as I saw this picture that The Cottage Mama posted on Instagram, I knew I had to make some trick-or-treat bags for the kids this year!! Have I mentioned the fact that I love Halloween in Michigan?! Even though I sewed costumes for the girls in Alaska, we never took the kids trick-or-treating. The idea of walking around the neighborhood in the dark and snow, probably wearing coats over the costumes I'd worked so hard on, didn't sound so appealing, so we stuck with the library storytime Halloween party. Halloween in Michigan, however, is perfection!!
I followed The Cottage Mama's tutorial, found here, and used a fat quarter bundle of Spooktacular by Maude Asbury with plenty to spare for other fun Halloween sewing projects.

Mollie chose the fabrics for her bag to match her Halloween costume. Can you guess what she's going to be?!

I convinced Delia to let me use the cat fabric for her bag, and she chose the spider web fabric.

Here's Mollie modeling Lincoln's bag since he was asleep when I took these photos. Hopefully he will be walking around by the end of the month so he can join the fun!

September 30, 2014

Apple Tasting

Yesterday we did an apple tasting as part of our apple unit study that we're doing this month. I picked out one of almost every kind of apple that our grocery store had, and added in one of the McIntosh apples that we picked at the orchard a few weeks ago. In all, we tasted McIntosh, Red Delicious, Jazz, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples. 

I found a great free printable to use to help the girls record their results. It's from the blog Gift of Curiosity, and you can find the printable here.

Delia predicted that she'd like the Jazz apple best, and Mollie thought she'd like the Red Delicious.

It was funny to see the girls' reactions to the Granny Smith apple. That thing was sour!

In the end, Delia and I both preferred the Fuji, while Mollie couldn't decide between the Red Delicious and Granny Smith.

 When we were all done, we peeled and cut up the rest of the apples to make apple sauce in the slow cooker! We used this recipe. It only took a few hours and turned out delicious. I like my apple sauce super cinnamon-y so I doubled the cinnamon in the recipe, and then ended up adding more after I dished it out, along with some brown sugar :) It was like eating apple pie filling, yum!

September 25, 2014

What Homeschool Looks Like: Apple Unit Study

In addition to our math and reading curriculum, we've been studying apples in our home school this month!

We did an "apple investigation" using our five senses, and recorded our findings in a mini-book:

The book Dede's looking at is called "The Life & Times of the Apple", which I found at Goodwill. It's a great resource and the illustrations are very nice.

We made apple spice play-dough. Just use your favorite home-made playdough recipe and add apple pie spice and food coloring.

 It smells so good!! Dede has had a hard time not tasting it..

Mollie's creation lol..
We read about the history, life-cycle, and uses of apples in "Apples"...

 ..then went apple picking at local orchard and farm, something I've always wanted to do! Just one of the many perks of moving to Michigan :)

We rolled our playdough into "apples" to use with a math game..

 They each took turns rolling the dice, and putting the corresponding number of "apples" onto the game board. We didn't have any real dice, but "there's an app for that " :) The first person to fill up the board wins. They both loved this, and played it over and over again.

We made Apple Crisp with this recipe, using the apples we picked at the orchard. This stuff was amazing and will most definitely become a fall tradition. We will probably end up making it again this year. I had to get a picture before it disappearing last night..

 Teacher's Pay Teachers has been a great resource in finding hands-on activities that go with a particular theme. I printed this out real quick when the girls wanted an "apple lesson" right before bed and I had nothing planned.

I hope to do a few more things before the end of the month, like make crock-pot applesauce, and compare and contrast the different types of apples we can find at the grocery store...and maybe bake another batch of apple crisp :)