Saturday, January 31, 2015

January in Review

I can't believe it is the end of January already. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was thinking and writing down my goals for the year. Since it is the end of the month, I will just review what I have done towards those goals.

We had two different people over for meals this month. One is a family that has befriended us since arriving. I had promised their daughter I would make enchiladas and so we had a fun Mexican feast night. I tried two new recipes and both of them were keepers -- one was Mexican rice and the other refried beans. We also had a couple over that are in the small group. It was fun to have them here. We also have Bible study here once a week though the past two weeks have been leaders meetings. I did bake cookies for them last night.

We took an outing this month to the Museum of Science and Industry. Now I want to think about what we will do next month. The snow and cold has make it a bit difficult.

I worked on my Unfinished Projects and finished two projects this month and worked on a third. I didn't even begin a new one.

I finished my Walk in the Garden quilt. This was made with homespun fabric. I finished the quilting and then sewed the binding on. I had quilted this so maybe that is why it took me so long. One reason to finish projects when you begin them and not 12 years later is you won't risk losing fabric. I couldn't find any of the plaids or stripe fabric for the binding so I just used a navy. It works and looks nice.

This is a square quilt and really thin. I think it is because it has cotton batting/wadding. I think I originally made it to be a wall hanging. Right now it is just on the pile of quilts.

I finished my jean quilt. This was made from old jeans that I have collected. It was all sewn together and even had the backing and batting pinned. I had started to quilt it and had issues with my machine. I spent a few days ripping out some of that old quilting and then quilted it. I just wrapped the backing around and made that the binding. I am sure there is some technical name for what I did.

This quilt just cost me the batting. The denim were saved from old jeans that we had worn out. The backing is the last of my fabric from my days working overseas in manufacturing. I was able to get sample yardage from the vendors at times and that is where I got this. I love the quilt. It is nice and heavy because of the denim which feels good on the cold mornings.

I also did a number of shares for the I Spy quilt. I am having fun with that one.

I am continuing to blog regularly. What do you want to see or hear about? Tell me otherwise I will just keep posting what I can think of but I wold enjoy some ideas.

I am tracking what I purchase and bring into the house as well as how I use things. This is all part of my goal to have less things in the house at the end of the year. I think I got rid of over 100 items this month.

I did pick up my knitting one time and knit one row but then ripped what I had done. I can't say that I knitted this month. That is okay. I had other things happening.

We didn't go on a hike this month unless you count putting on our boots and going up the sledging hill. That might just count as we had two snowfalls that were enough for sledging.

I am learning to flex and give myself goals that I can achieve. Not everything for the year can be done in a month.

February is a short month but I should be able to get some things done in these areas. I am also working on some goals that were not on my original list. (I didn't share my whole list.)

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review 30 January 2015

We are at the end of January. It is hard to believe that it is the end of January already. I think it was just yesterday that I was remembering to write 2015 though I did write the date on one of Miss K's pages as 2013. Oops.

Our days are beginning to be a bit longer -- the sun is coming up before 8:00. I was enjoying my quiet time this morning and saw this outside the window.

We continue to do Bible, History, Geography, and Latin together. We hit a point in Latin that we needed to just pause and review which we did yesterday and then today J and I played a bit of charades with the vocabulary words. I think he is getting stuck on the conjugations and since I am learning it as well we needed to pause.

We finished the 1st semester of Mystery of History. Shakespeare is coming up in the next few weeks. We might have to pause and study him.

We did have an outing this week to the Museum of Science and Industry. I don't think I really prepped the kids for the outing -- in the sense of talking about what we would see and how it fit with what we were studying. I am sure that there will be things that we will go back and review as we continue in our studies.

We had a snow day this week though we did do school. The part of the city where we live had about 10 inches. I talked with someone today who lives in another part of the city and they only had 5 inches. We bought the last snow shovel at the hardware store.

You heard of Mary had a Little Lamb, well today it was Miss K who had a little lamb and brought her lamb to school. Actually she just tied the lamb outside the classroom.

Both children are taking piano lessons. Miss K works best when she can sing along with the songs that she is playing. I had enjoyed Miss K's songs and seeing some of the culture differences. One of the songs that she is playing is Bears

Bears, bears in their cages. Black bear, how he rages,
Hear him growl, see him scowl, he wants his tea, like you and me.

Telephone. It's for me. Grandma's asking us to tea.
We'll have chips, we'll have cake, Well have ice cream on a plate.

Tonight we were working on one piece and had to explain what mum means.

I think that about wraps up our week.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Therapy Thursday #3

Welcome to another week of Therapy Thursday. This is a place where we share ideas, resources and activities that we have done relating to therapy for your homeschooler. It might be physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or another therapy that you are using to help your child reach their potential.

There were some good ideas like week like the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding. As parents of special needs kids, sometimes it is encouraging to read books written specifically for this. Thank you, Wendy, for the book recommendation. I enjoyed reading the little ways we are able to include therapy in our day.

Link up your therapy related posts this week.

A few things to know before linking up:
  • Please link up to a specific post on your blog, not the main page of your blog.
  • The specific blog post linked needs to be related to therapy. Please note if the post is not therapy related it might be deleted. 
  • By including your blog on this link you are giving permission to have your post linked to other social media and graphics used in featured posts. 

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015


One of my goals for 2015 is to get out and do and see things here. I am feeling confident in driving so I feel like I can take the kids places. I have learned the trains so that is an option as well. I have stack of brochures of places to visit. On the list was the Museum of Science and Industry. We took the train and it was just a short walk from the station. It was windy and cold a bit more than I thought it would be.

As we walked in, we saw "Baby" which was the world's first stored-program. It doesn't take much to realise how far technology has come the last 70 years or so. It was first tested in 1948.

This was one of the textile places of the Industrial Revolution. There were a number of old machines there. Fabric printing is something that I have always enjoyed since my days of working in Asia and going to the fabric printing factories.

J has talked about wanting an old typewriter. He did find an electric one at the thrift store recently which we did buy. I remember my dad having one similar to this one. He told me I could use it but I had to learn to type. I think that was my first typing lessons. It was fun to see this. Remember how if you typed too fast the keys would get stuck?

There was an area that had some science and hands-on things. It is always interesting to see what things they might have. J was enjoying making music on the pipes.

Miss K is peddling a bicycle and the skeleton there is showing what bones are moving. She enjoyed that.

Gears make so many things easy including being able to raise and lower a mini. J did it.

There was a building with steam engines. It was fun to just watch the wheels turn and the engines work.

"Gutenberg prints the Bible" It is always fun when we see something that go with our CC Timeline cards. There was a printing press similar to Gutenberg's.

Miss K was excited to see Bob the Builder. I confess I didn't realise that Bob the Builder was British maybe because all that I have seen have been from the US and have the US accent. I did learn that it was dubbed using the US accent for there.

There were five buildings full of various displays of science and industry. There was an underground area where we could see parts of the underground including sewers. I realise how much things have changed even in my lifetime. I look at the old cell phones and realise I used to have one like that or the fax machine and remember how many faxes I sent my work days. 

One thing I have found is that most museums seem to have an area where you can eat your lunch that you bring. We generally pack our lunch. 

We enjoyed our day and made it back home before the snow. 
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Tools for Therapy at Home

I thought I would share some of the resources and places that I have found things for therapy. It is helpful to have various things that help as we work to help our children to reach their potential.

1. Make it yourself - Depending on how creative you are you can make various things for use with therapy. It can be as simple as cutting out photos from magazines for speech or sewing beanbags or other things. So when you see an idea for therapy, consider if you can make it yourself.

2. Thrift stores - I have found all kinds of things in thrift stores. It will not necessarily be marked "therapy" but consider how you can use it for therapy. I found the Bungee Jumper there as well as games such as Topple and Perfection.

3. Birthday and Christmas gifts - some therapy items are fun and giving some items for gifts might be a way to stretch the therapy money. Miss K has received some items for birthday and Christmas gifts.

4. Buying online - sign up for sale notification with various therapy stores and when things are on sale and you have the funds buy some things. I bought a number of speech things from Super Duper when their kits were on sale.

Where are some of your favourite place to get therapy items?


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How big is your God?

Years ago I lived in Taiwan I went back and forth between Taipei and Bangkok, Thailand for work. I remember one particular flight boarding the plane along with a group of Buddhists on a trip to Bangkok. They came on the plane carrying their god. He was about 18 inches tall and carved out of wood.  The leader of the group proudly carried him down the aisle.  Then the leader placed him in the overhead compartment.  I remember sitting there thinking and comparing that idol god with the living God. That idol god was not a very big god. I need a big God not one who fits in the overhead compartment. I need a God that can handle the big problems in my life. I didn't want my god to be stuck in the overhead compartment but rather to be right there with me.

How big is your God? The God who created the universe and yet he knows the number of hairs on your head. That shows his power and his concern for each of us. I need a God who is with me in all things. Do I live like God is big enough to handle things or do I worry that my problems are too much for God?

I am thankful that I know and serve the living God who is the creator of the universe and yet cares about the small details of my life. He is with me at all times. He hears and answers when I call to him.

So tell me ways that you are thankful for a God who is big enough for our problems.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Scenes - Ah, Lord God!

"'Ah, Lord God
It is you who have made the heavens and the earth 
by your great power and by your outstretched arm! 
Nothing is too hard for you.'" 
Jeremiah 32:17

This is a verse that the children and I have been memorising this week. The praise chorus has been going through my head as well. When I pause and think about this knowing that God has made the heavens and the earth by his great power and his outstretched arm then my problems are nothing that he can handle. My problems are not too difficult. He can handle them. I need to keep looking to him and remember what he has done and will continue to do.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week in Review - 24 January 2015

It is Saturday afternoon. We made it through the week. Now I am trying to remember what we did.

Monday - I think it was a normal school day. I could pull out the plan book and see what we did but I will go with it was a normal school day.

Tuesday I go to Bible study and the kids take some work along with them. Since there are four HE mums that go to Bible study we decided to get together in the afternoon for a bit of a co-op. There are 17 kids all together so we have a nice little group. We all watch a French documentary hoping to improve our French. Then we break up into older and younger -- I am doing come composer study with the older all boys and the youngers are doing some geography. I am thankful for friends here and the opportunity to do this. I hope it is an encouragement to the other mums.

Wednesday we woke up to snow and so doing school was difficult when the hill was calling out to go sledging. That word still sounds funny to me but we got our sledges and went sledging after doing a bit of school.

Thursday began with a rough start as one child was not feeling well and I think also stayed up too late reading. It was one of those mornings that I needed God's strength. I made it through the morning and was exhausted that afternoon.

Friday morning started a bit better than Thursday but not the best. I continue to look for strength for each day and each moment of the day. We made it through the week. The snow and ice were on the football field so there was no football. My husband arrived home at dinner time and then it was a meeting for the new Bible study beginning in 2 weeks.

God is faithful and I made it through the week. I don't have many photos. That is my week.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Therapy Thursday #2

Welcome to another week of Therapy Thursday. This is a place where we share ideas, resources and activities that we have done relating to therapy for your homeschooler. It might be physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or another therapy that you are using to help your child reach their potential.

Thank you to those who joined last week. It was some excellent ideas on different therapies used and the fact that some therapy doesn't end, it might just change the way it looks.

We did a bit of fine motor therapy -- hiding things in Theraputty. Some of the therapy activities tend to look a bit like playing and so the kids want to pull it out and play.

This morning Miss K got out the Bungee Jumper. It is great for gross motor skills. You need to pull the bungee while jumping.

Here she goes, she is ready to jump.

 I think she was laughing and jumping but at the same time she was excited because she was able to do it.

Then the kids pulled out the Zoom Ball. This was something that she had used in therapy and I decided it was fun and something to include in our box of things. It is good for eye hand coordination as well as upper body strength.

It requires a bit of space both for you to start away from the other person and also space to move your arms. If you have not seen a Zoom Ball there are two string inside a ball and by moving your hands and thus the string to zoom the ball to the other person and then they zoom the ball back to you. After Miss K had a turn, J and I did it for a few minutes. It does give your arms a workout.

A few things to know before linking up:

  • Please link up to a specific post on your blog, not the main page of your blog.
  • The specific blog post linked needs to be related to therapy. Please note if the post is not therapy related it might be deleted. 
  • By including your blog on this link you are giving permission to have your post linked to other social media and graphics used in featured posts. 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Snow Day

I remember as a child listening to the radio in the morning for school cancellations. That was how we did it back in the days before texting, automatic calls, or internet. We would get up in the morning and listen or I think we let me mom get up and listen and then if she didn't wake us up we knew it was a snow day. Some times it was a delay and some times it was a cancellation.

The snow started here last evening around 9:00. It was supposed to snow all night and I think it did. We woke up this morning to about 4 inches and it was still snowing.

Here is the view out our bedroom window.

We did a bit of school but it was hard watching the snow fall and knowing we will missing all the fun. So we decided to go out to the sledging hill.

It was a beautiful walk with snow falling. It is always so quiet when the snow is on the ground.

We were getting close to the sledging hill. Here is the view across the field.

I think it snowed most of the day and the sun never came out. For some time you couldn't tell the sky from the snow on the rooftops.

The sledging hill is down the hill from where we live. It takes about 10-15 minutes to walk there. Maybe a bit longer if Miss K is walking thought today her brother pulled her on the sledge.

We climbed the stile and were in the field where we sledge. Here is a winter tree along the way.

The kids climbed to the top and then it is time to go to the bottom. Miss K just sat in the snow for a long time.

One of the fun things of where we live is the fact that so many people in our area go to the same church so on the hill today there were about 50 people and most of them were people we know from church. It was a fun sledging event.

The snow was great for snowballs and there were quite a number of snowballs thrown. Miss K built some snowmen with the help of a girl from church.

Miss K did her first solo sledge run and enjoyed it. I was going to ride with her but she took off before I could get on. She did fine.

We came home and made snow ice cream. It has been a long time since I have made that.

1 gallon of clean snow
2 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Stir. It will melt a bit but it really does taste like snow. I remember my mom making this for us when I was growing up.

It was a fun snow day. I am glad that we were able to go out and join the others.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Theraputty - Fine Motor Skills

Therapy is a great tool for giving hand and wrist muscles a good workout. We had it out the other day. It can be hard work to get it soft so you can pull it. That is all part of the workout. 

One of our favourite things to do is to hide little things in the theraputty. I have some little plastic things that I bought at a thrift store once -- whale, starfish, lobster, and other things.

I  hide them and then she has to work the putty to get find the things.

She will pull and twist until she finds them.

If you have not used theraputty it is a fun thing to have for various activities. I will give you a word of caution it does not dry like Play-doh so you do need to avoid getting it in clothing or carpet. It forever stays moist. I know one of our theraputties is at over five years old and it is still as good as when it was given to us.

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