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Home School & Toddlers: Get Help!

15 Aug

via Home School & Toddlers: Get Help!

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Home Schooling and Twin Toddlers

18 Jul

Home Schooling with toddler twins is extra hard. Find out my tips!!

Small and Simple Home School

TWINS (2)If you are a home schooling mother with twins or multiple toddlers, I want to share with you the things I tried that worked for us.

But first, the background story:

I have twin boys who are almost 3.

The year that the twins were 1-year-old, was a pretty good year, school-wise.  It was our first year home schooling, so I gave myself permission to not be perfect.

The twins were happy to sit by me on the couch, drinking their milk, while we did sort of an extended morning time version of home school.  I read aloud and my students narrated.  It was a beautiful time.  By May, as the twins reached 18 months and demanded more attention, school got harder and harder.   With a sigh of relief, we took summer break, and I reassured myself that school would be easier in the fall.  After all, I…

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Is Motherhood a waste of brains?

12 May

via Is Motherhood a Waste of Brains?

I made it: HP 1205

20 Feb

In January, I took a day to sew something for myself.

HotPatterns 1205 the Genius T.

I love it.

19 Random Facts about Me

28 Oct

1. Do you make your bed everyday?

Yes, (well no, because my husband usually makes it in the morning. But if he doesn’t, then I make it–right before I climb into it at night.)
2. Favorite number?

27 Except for that number, I prefer even numbers. Odd numbers make me feel unsettled.
3. Dream job?

Teaching and writing

4. If you could, would you parallel park?

I avoid this whenever possible. However, if I drove a compact car, I’m sure I could do it.

6. Name a job you had which people would be shocked you had:

I had my securities license and sold insurance and mutual funds.

7. Do you think aliens are real?

Yes, but I think they look like us.

8. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes

9. Guilty pleasure? Project Runway and Regency Romance Novels

10. Tattoo? No. I found out they hurt when you get one.

11. Favorite color? Emerald Green (so jealous of people with May birthdays)

12. Things people do that drive you insane?

When they say they “thought really hard before coming to this decision” almost every time someone says that, it is in defense of a pretty dumb/mean choice or action. Sorry friends, “thinking really hard” about something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

13. Fear? Lake dwelling brain-eating amoebas

14. Favorite childhood game? Rook and Masterpiece

15. Do you talk to yourself?

Pretty much all the time. Sometimes I narrate my life in 3rd person to myself as it happens. When I ask myself questions and answer sarcastically, I start to get worried that I’m losing it–usually I decide I just need more sleep.

16. Do you like doing puzzles? Yes. Especially with others.

17. Favorite music?

For what? music has reasons.

Sewing & Happy Days: Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven, Sigur Ross, Showtunes

Fixing bad days: Hymns, Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Road Trips: Beatles, Neil Diamond, show tunes, Group Love, Peter Paul & Mary, John Denver

Angry Days: Melissa Etheridge, Pink, Madonna

Cleaning the house: The Proclaimers, Billy Joel, Elton John, Barry Mannilow

Make myself do something I don’t want to: Rocky Soundtrack
18. Tea or Coffee? Herbal tea if I’m sick or have insomnia

19. First thing you remember you wanted to be when you were growing up?

A teacher

Loving the Sunshine

20 Feb

 We are having warmer days. The daffodil shoots are up and the skunks are out of hibernation. Our dog got herself sprayed this week. 
For Homeschool I have been making the girls grade their own math. I discovered that Cherry Pie  was missing 10 of 30 problems and instead of asking for help, just going on to the next lesson like it was fine.  I’ve already changed her math book once this year because she was struggling so much. So now I have to figure out what to do. I think I’m going to have to personally teach her math lessons and we are going to have to start over yet again with algebra 1. Normally the big girls do math on their own and I help Key Lime Pie.   I haven’t exactly figured out how to schedule more “me as the teacher” time, but never fear, I will figure it out.  

My big homeschool weakness is that when the girls complain about not wanting to do work, I often totally cave and let them do something else or make the assignment easier. I have to come up with some strategies to keep myself from letting them be lazy bums.  I’m too soft.


Friday night and Saturday, my sister-in-law Amy kept all 6 girls and the Skooter Pies, and I spent the day sewing a shirt for myself. It was pretty fun to finish a project. The house was weirdly quiet though. I kept catching myself listening for babies to wake up.  I finally turned on some music.  

This was my beta test  or my “muslin”.  I used an old piece of fabric that has been acting as a tablecloth for several years and was ready to be retired.  After measuring myself and the pattern, I cut a size 12 neck and shoulders, graded it out to a 14 on the sides and put a size 18 sleeve in.  

( Trying to figure out what size pattern to make from my measurements makes me feel a bit like Frankenstein’s monster–such a hodge podge of mismatched parts!).   

My muslin took until noon to create, and then went into the trash because the sleeves were too tight, the neckline was too tight across my chest, and the neckband gaped in back.  

For Try #2, I decided to trust the pattern maker a bit more.  I made a straight size 16 bodice, but I needed a size 24 sleeve because my upper arm is just big compared to the rest of me.  So  I learned how to alter a sleeve skye to fit a larger sleeve. Thank you, you tube.  I also took about a 1/2 inch out of the back neckband to hopefully fix the gap problem.  

I lucked out and the shirt fit me very well, and the neckband lay flat. Perhaps I may have been able to get away with a size 14 bodice–I think it would fit through the shoulders better-I have narrow shoulders compared to the rest of me.  Also I’d like to raise the neckline an inch, but I couldn’t figure out how to Saturday.  This morning I had an idea of how to do that and keep the pretty pleats.  Next chance I get, I’ll try it. 


The nice thing is that once  I have my pattern perfected, I’ll be able to crank out a beautiful top in a couple of hours.  My trusty dusty 20 year old Bernina 1008 is still going strong and handled this slub knit very well.  I used the overlock stitch (#12) and a needle for stretch fabrics.  

This pattern is from Hotpatterns.com, a little inde pattern company run by a husband and wife.  The wife designs and the husband does all the printing/folding/shipping.   I ❤ her patterns, all of which are graded from size 6 up to size 26.  Unheard of elsewhere! Also, she starts with a size 14 and grades up & down from there, so the patterns begin by being closer to what a real person is shaped like than the big 4 pattern companies’ patterns. That really helps if you are a Frankenstein monster or a human who has been pregnant a few times.  

 This top is called “Everybody loves the Sunshine” HP1193. It’s very forgiving and so comfortable! I need at least 3 more !

Memorial Day Thoughts

30 May


Today we specially remember those who served the United States during war, especially those who gave their lives.  War is terrible.  

The way to spread peace through this world is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we share the message of His love and change our own hearts to be more like Him, hate will die out and brotherhood with all will grow. The pure love of Jesus Christ will change the world. Nothing else can. But we who call ourselves Christian must do better. We must live what we profess to believe.

I believe we can remember and honor our Heros without holding onto malice and hate.  I believe we can even admit the mistakes of our leaders without dishonoring the brave soldiers who followed orders and loved their country.
My Grandfather’s brother, Peter Nelson Hansen, was stationed at Del Monte Field in Manilla in 1941.  On the morning of December 8, he heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor over the radio.  That evening, Japanese fighter planes attacked Del Monte Field.  

Mothers Day 1942, he and the other American soldiers there were taken prisoners of war. He was a prisoner for 3 ½ years. He was given only rice and water to eat during that time and suffered from beriberi because of malnutrition. He was tortured. When the Marines rescued him on September 9, 1945, he weighed only 120 pounds, about half his normal weight. His legs were shriveled like dry sticks. The doctors told him he would probably never walk again. However, he was eventually able to walk with the use of a cane.  My father described to me how Uncle Pete’s finger tips were disfigured because the Japanese guards had driven bamboo slivers under his fingernails when they tortured him.  

After the end of the war, Peter Hansen was freed from the Japanses prison and spent several months recovering in the hospital.  One week after he was discharged from the army hospital, he left on a mission for the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) to the Central Pacific Mission.  
He said,

“Yes I have seen the inhumane treatment by the Japanese in their prison camps. It was torturing alright. But, fundamentally, the Japanese people are not bad. They have been brought up wrongly in an atmosphere of regimentation. They need democracy. They need Christianity. They need the restored gospel of the Master as revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Then they will be alright.  

A great work lies ahead. I have not hate in my heart towards the Japanese. My desire is to help them. I want to lift them up to the heights I found in that little Japanese Sunday School I visited in Hawaii before the war.”    

Peter Nelson Hansen served 28 months teaching the gospel to Japanese people living in Hawaii in the Central Pacific Mission. Returning home in March 1949, he bore a simple testimony stating his readiness to accept another mission call. Soon after, he was called on another mission, the Far East mission, and served in Japan itself.