throwback thursday {31 days}

It’s October and that means it’s time for the blog-worlds big hosting of 31 days of…
I’ve participated on and off through the years and both times it’s been a craft related adventure.

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he first year time was back in 2011 where I attempted to do a project of some sort everyday. I’m telling you it was crazy stressful and I won’t be repeating that again. You can find all my attempts at projects here.

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The second year was in 2012 when I decided to challenge myself to a different embroidery stitch every day. It’s probably been one of my most popular pins on pinterest and I learned a lot!

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This year I am back joining in with the 31 dayers, but I’m not crafting with materials, but rather with words. I’ve reopened my journal/writing blog and I’m challenging myself to write everyday. Those writing muscles that used to be so loose and free are super tensed up and I’m ready to let loose.

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on why I refuse to have a Pinterest summer

Usually about this time I put up this amazing post with amazing charts, a link to my pinterest board filled with fabulous ideas for summer and other ridiculous things that
we.never.do.
In 2011 we tried these jars. Fail. It was exciting for about a week and then it wasn’t.
In 2012 we had great summer schooling plans and implemented these technology punch cards. The schooling never really happened, but the cards were somewhat of a success. It still didn’t curb our drive to go straight to tech when we are bored (mom included) and honestly I got tired of always punching the cards. I also tried to implement this amazingly complicated chore chart. Beautiful yes. Practical no.
Last summer I chilled out a little bit and I really don’t think I even attempted a chore chart. We did have some sort of a schedule and I did have intentions of doing some summer schooling (which never happened) and tech time was loose in the sense that you got an hour after lunch giving us tech free mornings which typically help curb off the grumpies first thing in the morning.

This year, I don’t know if it’s because I’m so burnt out from a busy and overwhelming spring, because my kids are older, because of this post or what. But I started out with some minor ideas including this post-it chore chart. I bought the post-it’s, wrote it all out and even printed the actual post-its. Then reality set in and I realized I didn’t want to keep up with this.

And I gave up on the idea of having a pinterest-worthy summer. I gave up on the idea of filling our summer days up with checklists, calendars, activities pinned from the web and a stack of enrichment activity books. I decided that this year I was going to do what works for us and our family. I wasn’t going to make up all these crazy ideas and force us to be something that we are not. Giving up on the idea of a “pinterest worthy” summer means that you are living your life and what works for you. This is what works for us…

Summer 2014

Yes, it’s still a chart, but honestly it’s a loose one. I’ve got one child who likes to check boxes and another who just likes to have a list to go by. It’s really just a guide for what we need to accomplish during our day. It’s a way for me to hold them accountable to doing a few things before they veg out in front of a screen or a box of Legos.

We are doing some summer enrichment “schooling” and more than likely these will carry over into our after-schooling homework that we do during the school year. (Our schools don’t really do homework, giving us the freedom to do some extra enrichment stuff at home after school). The boy wanted to learn Latin so I splurged on part of a Latin curriculum and for the chick we are working through a simple language workbook.

We are horrible about chores in this house. Really it’s just expected that you will put up your laundry after it’s folded, that you will take the dog out to the bathroom or that you will help empty the dishwasher. It’s just a natural thing we all do in the house. But for the summer I’m trying out assigning each child a dinner chore. One child will feed the dog and the other will set the table and wash it after dinner. We’ll rotate back and forth throughout the summer.

 

Summer 2014

The husband and I rethought our house rules and consequences and condensed them down to two main house rules. Being a peacemaker and following first request. These are our two biggest issues in our house and something we decided to really had to crack down on. We revamped our consequences and so far so good. Before we just sent them to their rooms, but this time they have to write a note of apology to the offended person before they can come out of their room. Remember those post-it’s? It’s a short note, more than just I’m sorry, but no longer than a post it. They aren’t too happy about the consequences, but I think that’s the point.

We had a family meeting after dinner one night and each of use got some tiny post-its to share some items to add to our summer bucket list. It was fun to see what everyone came up with.

In the world of technology, my goal all along as been to figure out how to encourage my kids not to go to tech the first instant they are bored. I’ve tried this in a million different ways and honestly it really comes more from my example. But this summer we are handling it this way. Every year when we do our well child check ups I always have to share how much technology my children get in a day. I always reply around 2 hours. I don’t know if that’s totally sure, but it’s what we strive for. So this summer, each day a child gets 2 hours of screen time to “spend” however and whenever they want. I’m encouraging them to keep up with the math (obviously I am too) and if they want to watch a show or a movie they have to figure out how much they might have left, if any. So far it’s been working great. When the 2 hours is gone, you are done with screens. End of story.

Ultimately I’m trying to create freedom in our days. I agree so much with the article from The Gospel Coalition that with this world of pinterest and blogs and facebook we are honestly living such visible lives that we are wearing ourselves out as mothers. We are engaging with our children just to have a photo-op.  I’m all for schedules and lists, but there’s a point where it’s all just for looks and nothing more. I’m hoping to make a change. I’m longing for a peaceful and fun summer.  And one where we just live life and not life lived through a lens.

Here’s hoping this is the summer.

fantastic friday

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On Fridays (except for the weeks I forget…sorry about that), I recap some fantastic finds from around the web.

great Fabric: I’m not 100% sure what I would do with this collection by Quilting Treasures, but it sure brings back memories growing up. We had a huge collection of these Little Golden Books and these fabrics are adorable.

to whet your Appetite: Valentine’s Day is next week and I’m making this snack mix to add as a Valentine’s Day surprise to their lunchboxes.

be Natural and Neat (as in organized):  My original white board idea from my 31days isn’t really working out, I wonder if this might work better?

a Tutorial to do: I pulled out another tee yesterday that is really in need of a facelift. This might be a good tutorial to make that transformation happen

on Aimee’s to do list (that’s me by the way): really, the list is too long.  February is almost over though and I still haven’t started on my February Stitch Along via the feeling stitchy blog. I think I finally figured out my design…just have to get started now!

something to Sew: this week I really need to get these ottomans covered (at least one of them)

oh, to Travel: where we are spending our next Friday afternoon learning about salamanders

Inspirational: oh Pinterest…if there is anything I love it is all the wonderful quotes you can find. This one is on my to stitch asap list.

Cute: some days I wish I could just doodle and draw up stuff like this…so cute

fantastic friday

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Welcome back to Fantastic Fridays!

On Friday’s I round out the week sharing fantastic things I’ve come across on the web.

great Fabric: I’ve got 3 collections I would love to order: 1. rashida colemanJessica Swift, and Sparky & Marie, but what I really want is this pack from Aneela Hoey. It would make the most awesome quilt!

to whet your Appetite: a few things I have on the docket to try next week: pita bread from the bread machine, crumpets and these muffins.

be Natural: our favorite place lately…Tremont. If you live anywhere around the Smokies, this is a fabulous place to get involved. I’m forever amazed and impressed at the work they do and the work they do in educating youngsters about the great outdoors.

a Tutorial to do: I made a little rag doll for a friend this week and this is the tutorial I used for the yarn hair. It was super easy. More on the doll next week.

on Aimee’s to do list (that’s me by the way): Organizing my fabric and craft area…ugg! I would LOVE to make these baskets!

something to Sew: on the table right now is this embroidery for a client…always fun, but always daunting

oh, to Travel: we are celebrating our 15th this year and hoping to spend it here

Inspirational: the book my mom keeps getting me to read

Cute: a fishy hairbow tutorial. If only my daughter would actually wear them, I would try to make them. Alas…

31 days: the beginning of a yarn wreath

Welcome 31 dayers!

Today is Day 4 and I am starting to make a yarn wreath. I knew going into this one that it would take me at least 3 days to get this wreath done and after working for about thirty minutes this morning I realized that was gonna be true!

These wreaths are popping up all over Pinterest and I just fell in love with them. I used to be the person who had the perfect seasonal wreath for her front door, fit with dried/fake flowers and all sort of little trinkets. At some point, I just stopped making them and honestly have this great wrath for fake flowers now. But when I saw these wreaths on Pinterest I got back into the wreath making mood again.

Here’s a few of my favorites via Pinterest:

Source: etsy.com via aimee on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via aimee on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via aimee on Pinterest

and this one is my ultimate inspiration:

Source: etsy.com via aimee on Pinterest

After scouring the walls of Hobby Lobby, I finally settled on at least 3 different yarns to use. After I got back home, I remember my own stash of yarn from when I thought I might be a knitter (ha!) and found a couple of other yarns to add.

After trying to figure out a quick way to wind (which there isn’t, I’m convinced) and spending about twenty minutes winding I stopped and saw my great progress…not! This is going to take some patience!

I think I’m going to have to find some good t.v. tonight or some good music this afternoon to get me going again!
Here’s hoping I get it wound the rest of the way today, so we can work on some felt flowers tomorrow!

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