Y’all. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And I’m so sad that it’s so weird this year. No pumpkin patch, no trick or treating, ugh. It sucks. BUT!!! I decided that I had to find a way to make it fun for the kids anyway.
I felt like a massive slacker, but I didn’t have it in me to make costumes this year. My plan was for the kids to just dress up from their dress up bin, but then earlier this week that made me really sad so I ordered some costumes as a surprise for the twins. They were huge hits with my Frozen obsessed Mia and ninja obsessed Xander. 🙂 Kate didn’t want to dress up until this morning, lol, but luckily she was able to dig out last year’s costume.
I was looking through my pinterest board to see if anything looked fun and I found this pumpkin balloon activity I had pinned years ago. Luckily, RaptorDad is ever indulgent with my crazy ideas so he tracked down some balloons and helped me make this.
We shoved a piece of candy in each balloon as we were blowing them up and then taped them together into a pumpkin shape. Then the kids took turns popping the balloons and finding the candy. It was a ton of fun. 🙂
You guys! I finished a quilt! I kept seeing this amazing pixilated heart quilt on Instagram and I figured, how hard can it be?
So I printed off some graph paper and sketched out a plan. To make it manageable, I drew lines to show where the 4 patches would be. That told me how many low volume squares I needed and where each of the different color squares went.
Here’s a big pile of low volume deliciousness. I love low volume prints! Especially ones that I can fussy cut!
I was starting to think that I had this machine sewing thing down, but then my bobbin put me in my place. lol.
I had to make use of my “design floor” to keep track of it. Seeing as how this is also my living room floor, I was motivated to finish it quickly!
Once I had all of the 4 patches together, I laid them all out and sewed them into 16 patches.
Then into rows and finally an actual quilt top!
This is quite a long post already, so check back in a few days and I’ll try to put up a separate post about quilting it. 🙂
Barely, but we made it. lol. And we’ve made it through 3 weeks of virtual schooling. It’s been, um, an adventure. Maybe I should make that a separate blog post. lol.
Let’s take a look at the August goals.
Project Life. Well. I did manage to finish July Project Life, but I’ve only managed to get 1/2 of August done. I’m hoping to put some time in on this this weekend.
Scrapbooking. Same as Project Life. I managed to finish July, but I’ve done very little on August. I did make some background pages though, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finish August quickly once I start.
10K steps a day. hahahahahahahaha. I did good for about a week before I gave up.
Caterpillar Quilt. Sort of a situation of 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I did get the grapes done, and I even managed to trim down and assemble all but the last row. But, well, more about this in the butterfly quilt update.
I got all of the embroidery done, trimmed down all of the blocks and got them all sewn together. Then I started really looking at it and it’s much closer to a square than a bed shape. lol. So I did some more sketches and decided to add some more rows. I’ll do a post with pics this week, but the Reader’s Digest version is that I still have a long way to go. lol.
Montessori Trays. Since Mis is my main consumer of the trays and she’s also got calls pretty much all day, I’ve decided to hold off for now. I might make up some new trays once a month, but not every week.
Virtual school systems. We’re getting there. I ordered How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I’m planning to work through this book with Xander while Mia is on her extra calls. I’ve also got a pretty good spot set up to hold all of their supplies and stuff.
Quilt Pixilated Heart Quilt. Done! And I got the binding done! (Read: my grandmother made the binding for me. lol.) I even got the binding sewn on, but now I’m stuck on how to connect the two ends. lol.
Weekly Adventure. Does taking Mia for a Covid test count? ::sigh:: She’s having minor surgery and had to have a Covid test before hand. As for fun adventures, we did try school outside one day with mixed results. We were able to access the free city wifi, but the landscaping crew arrived right after us and it was loud. Then Kate ran out of battery for her laptop. Still, it was a good experience and we learned a lot! We will for sure try it again, especially if it every ends up cooling down around here.
Maintain Sanity. hahahahahahaha.
I decided to dust off my staff development spreadsheet and see where I stood. Um, it’s not good. I have something like 120 hours left to earn by March. ::sigh:: So this month, I’d like to try to earn 30 hours.
Project Life. Sounds like a broken record, but I’d like to complete August and keep up with September.
Scrapbook. See Project Life. lol.
Caterpillar Quilt. I’d like to applique the navy caterpillars and figure out a plan for the teal and navy fruit.
Butterfly Quilt. I’d like to applique the butterflies and finish up the 9 patches.
Bind and Label Pixilated Heart. I’m so close!
Journal with Kate. Kate and I decided to start a Bible Journaling project, but we only made it 2 days. lol. I’d like to make this a daily activity with her.
Drink more water. I want to start tracking this again.
I can’t believe that it’s already August. This summer has seemed to fly by and crawl by all at the same time. July update time!
Windchime block number 8. Not only did I get 8 done, I also got 9 done! And then I liked the way it looked so much that I decided to trim down and sew together the 9 blocks and call it good. 🙂 I still need to add the applique flowers at the intersections, but I’m super thrilled with the progress I made!
2. Hexagons. I didn’t finish 4 more blocks, but I did finish 1. Progress not perfection.
3. Keep current on Project Life. ::sigh:: I fell behind on this one, but I plan to catch up today. I did close up the 2020 gap though, so now I’m just need to finish up the past few months of 2019 and I will be totally caught up!
4. Keep current on scrapbook. Well, I fell behind on this one as well, but I did order the year 11 binders so I’m cautiously optimistic that I can get back on track this week.
5. I didn’t end up ordering the print package, but I did work a bit more on editing. While I was doing Feb 2020 Project Life, I went ahead and edited the pics I want to scrap and added them to my Print Order Folder.
6. Get rid of crap! I actually took a trunk load of toys and clothes to Goodwill! I was so sad to be getting rid of the babies’ doll house, but I finally had to admit that they didn’t ever play with it anymore.
7. Homeschool plans. We did K is for Kite, L is for Lava, M is for Moon, and N is for Nocturnal Animals. Mia has really been enjoying the Montessori trays!
8. Order school stuff. Done! Turns out that they actually don’t need uniforms for the first few weeks of school while everyone is distance learning, but I know we’ll need them eventually so I went ahead and ordered them.
9. Swim. This one hasn’t happened so much. We need to air the pool back up, but with RaptorDad’s broken finger that just hasn’t happened.
10. Maintain Sanity. Jury is still out!
Project Life. Do July 2020 and then stay current with August 2020.
Scrapbooking. Do July 2020 and then stay current with August 2020. lol.
10K steps a day. I’m writing this on the 2nd and I already failed yesterday, but I want to start trying to get 10K steps a day again. It’s hard because here on the surface of the sun it’s way too hot to walk outside, but I’m going to try to get the steps in anyway.
Caterpillar Quilt. I finally got the olives done! Now I just need to do the grape block and then 2 more blue blocks. I really want to finish these blocks this month.
Butterfly Quilt. I need to get the embroidery done once and for all!
Montessori Trays. I really want to keep making these.
Virtual School systems. The kids officially start school on the 10th, and my the end of the month I’d like to have a good schedule/ organizational strategy in place.
Quilt Pixilated Heart quilt. I finally got this bad boy basted! Now I just need to figure out how to put on the walking foot and actually quilt it.
Weekly adventure. I want to make time for at least one weekly adventure with the kids.
Maintain sanity. Keeping this one around a bit longer. lol.
It’s back to school time! Of course, for us this is pretty much more of the same since we’ll be doing virtual school this year. After talking with the kids’ pediatrician and Mia’s cardiologist, we decided that virtual school was the safest choice for our family at this time. Luckily, the school that we’re at seems to be really on top of things so I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be ok.
I’ve been brainstorming ways to make this ok for the kids. Kate was really looking forward to decorating a locker, having lunch with her friends, and being more independent with her school work. To facilitate independence, she decided to move her main work area from the office to her room. She currently has a lofted bed with her desk underneath, so I let her decorate her desk with some fun new desk organizer stuff, and she clipped a sheet to hang off of her bed and give her a fun background for her zoom calls. Here she is trying the set up out during a week of virtual girl scout camp.
As for lunch, I think the plan is for her to have a zoom lunch chat with her 2 besties a few times a week. All 3 of them opted for virtual school. 🙂
I’m curious to see what kindergarten will look like for the twins. And by curious, I mean terrified. lol. I do not feel at all confident about teaching them. But, it’s all going to be ok. For the first week, I’m going to go ahead and prep the letter a week/ Montessori trays for them and then I’ll see how it goes. Maybe it’s awesome and they get used during downtime. Maybe we stick with each letter for 2 or 3 weeks instead of 1. Maybe we chuck it out the window. I’m trying to cultivate my inner (currently nonexistent) flexible persona. lol.
No, it’s not perfect, but we’re all practicing making the best out of our limited options. That said, I’m anxious to see how the first week goes. One awesome thing is that the kids all still get early release days on Wednesdays so we went ahead and sprung for the Garey Park membership. Who knows, once we find out how long Kate really has to be logged on for every day, we might bust out my phone’s hotspot and try school from the park. lol.
I realized that it’s July and thought it might be fun to see how I was doing on my 20x20in2020 project!
20 months of Project Life. I thought this was the least likely goal to have made any progress on, but to date I’ve actually gotten 9 months of Project Life done! And I’m still making progress. This goal is actually almost on track and I figure I have a good shot at completing it. 🙂 I’m working on February 2020 today (2 weeks to go!) and then I just need to fill in the October-December 2019 gap.
20 months of scrapbooking. I actually have 7 months done! I’ve done March 2020 to the present in real time and I’ve also gone back and done August-October of 2018. Currently I’m working on editing photos for a massive planned print order then I’ll try to knock out a bunch more. I’ve been doing huge batches of mixed media backgrounds which makes it much easier to complete a layout when I have a few minutes. I’m also giving myself permission to scrap fewer pages.
20 nights of hexies. Done and then some! And in fact, I have finished my last super hexie and have gotten fully half of the quilt assembled! I’m still plugging away on it. I spend so much time on zoom calls now, and it’s an easy mindless project to work on. 🙂
20 new adventures with my kids. Not gonna lie, quarantine has thrown a wrench in this plan. But, I sat down with my instagram and actually came up with 13 things that could legit be called an adventure! So I’m ahead of schedule! <3
20 new Montessori Trays. This is a case of “be careful what you wish for” lol. But with Corona Academy in full swing over here I’ve actually already made more than 20.
20 activities with my Girl Scouts. ::whomp whomp:: We had such a fun spring planned and it was cut short. 🙁 But even with that, I managed to get 8 activities done with the whole troop.
20 blocks for my Texas Forever Quilt. I actually just sat down and did a little quilt inventory (which is what prompted this post) and discovered that I’ve gotten 9 more blocks done! Which brings my total up to 30 of the 63 and puts me pretty close to on track for this goal.
20 new blog posts. This post brings my grand total to 18!
20 new recipes. I’m failing pretty spectacularly on this one. I’ve only tried 2 new recipes. But it looks like we’ll still be in quarantine for Thanksgiving so I imagine I’ll be trying out some new things. 🙁
20 Liturgical Living activities. We’ve actually done 6 things, but I would like to put more of an effort into these going forward.
20 home projects. We’ve managed to do 9! I was shocked when I went and added it up. We still have a loooooong way to go, but we’re making progress!
20 butterflies/ caterpillars/ fruit. Well, April has come and gone again without me finishing this quilt, but I have made some progress! I have all 32 butterflies appliqued and ready for embroidery. I also have all 9 caterpillars appliqued and ready for embroidery. And I’ve gotten 9/14 fruit blocks done! I still need to do 2 olive blocks, 1 grape block, and 2 blueberry blocks. 🙂
20 nine patches done. All of the nine patches are done! Honestly I had forgotten about the pinwheels. lol. Perhaps I should start work on those?
20 date nights. Well. we actually managed to go out on one REAL date night this year before quarantine hit. It was so exciting. 🙂 We were to a restaurant and everything. I’m glad that I set a goal for at home date nights since obviously now we go nowhere. lol. Michael ended up getting me a “murder mystery” and we had so much fun solving it together! So we’ve actually gotten a few more and they are so much fun for a date night. 🙂 I figure we’ve gotten a good 7 date nights in? #winning
20 plants from seed. Well, we haven’t had great luck with seeds, but we have had loads of fun with our garden this year! We’ve got 2 massive cherry tomato plants so we’ve been having fresh tomatoes for our morning snack almost every day. And we did get quite a few things to sprout even if they ended up dying in the heat as soon as we transplanted them outside. So I’m calling this a success! But I think that we might give it another go this fall? Now taking suggestions on what might live!
20 hours of staff development. Whoops. I’ve done a big fat zero on this. I should probably take stock of how many hours I have and figure out how many more I need.
20 new books. I haven’t been reading much this year, but I think I’ve read about 12 books? Nothing spectacular, just some mindless romances which is exactly what I need right now.
20 bags of trash gone. Well, I haven’t kept track, but I figure I’ve gotten rid of about 10 bags of trash? Still loads to go.
20 boxes to the caring place. I just took a huge load of stuff to donate which brings my total up to about 8 boxes? Felt great to get rid of stuff, but as always there is still so much more to go.
20 pounds gone. Ugh. I gained 15 corona pounds. Then I worked really hard in June and lost like 12 pounds only to gain almost all of it back when Michael broke his finger.
And my beautiful first born turned 11 on July first! Is seems like she was born just yesterday so it’s kind of blowing my mind that she will be in middle school next year. It’s also kind of blowing my mind that we will be doing 6th grade and kindergarten x2 at home next year! ::sigh:: Homeschool tips welcome?
Let’s take a look at the June goals.
Glow forge. I didn’t get the name puzzles cut out, but I did cut out lots of other fun things! Lots of fun acrylic keychains! I’m kind of addicted to the acrylic. <3
2. Keep current on Project Life. Well, I still need to do last week, but this week isn’t over yet so I’m still calling this a win!
3. September/ October Project Life. Nope.
4. EPP Diamonds. I got one border sewn on so that’s something. Then I got bored with that so I sorted my hexies into blocks for round 3!
5. Scrap May 2020 and June 2020. May is done! And all I have left to do for June is the calendar. Hoping to get that done by the end of the weekend. 🙂
6. Homeschool plans. This has been going surprisingly well! We’ve had a few times where we’ve skipped a day, but overall it’s going really well. The past 2 weeks, I’ve even added in 4 Montessori trays a week. The first week the twins weren’t too sure what to make of it, but this week they’ve been a huge hit! Especially with Mia. Might need a whole blog post for this one. 🙂
7. Caterpillar Quilt. I didn’t get the olives done, but I did get the limes done!
8. Low volume quilt. I got 3 more blocks done bringing the total to 6! I think I probably need 24? Unsure.
9. Track food each day. I did really good for the first half of the month and then I fell off the wagon hard. Between my anniversary, Kate’s birthday, and RaptorDad breaking his finger, there’s been a lot of special occasion treats and comfort foods. Need to try to find the motivation to get back on track.
10. Maintain sanity. Hmm.. I’d give myself about a 6.5 out of 10? I wouldn’t say that I’m looking forward to virtual school next year, but I think it is 100% the right decision for our family and I’m incredibly grateful that we are in a position to be able to do it with minimal disruptions to our lives. And I’m just glad that we’ve made a decision.
Other fun things I got done: 2 1/2 hexie blocks and 1 1/2 windchime blocks! Also, 8 Montessori trays! And a giant bag of trash out of the art room to clear space for Kate to have a desk in here. She has her own desk in her room, but this way we can work on projects together.
Goals for July?
Windchime Block number 8. I’m toying with the idea of making this a smaller wall hanging that is only 4×4 instead of the larger 5×5. That would mean that I’m almost halfway done!
Hexagons. I’d like to finish 4 more blocks. One is almost done, and then 3 more. I think it’s possible? Maybe?
Keep current on Project Life. This is my favorite goal. 🙂 I’d also like to do at least 2 catch up layouts?
Keep current on Scrapbook. This is working so well! I love working on this each weekend.
Edit prints for scrapbook catch up. I’m pretty sure that my favorite print shop will be having a 4th of July sale, so I’d like to have 200 prints ready to order. I’m not sure how many months that translates into, but I currently have 65 prints ready to go which represent November and December of 2018 and January 2019. I’m not going to try to print pics for the whole gap because that would be 1. super intimidating 2. super expensive, but their print packages come in sets of 200 and I think I can probably do that. I’m hoping so slowly chip away at this so that by the time quarantine is over and our lives go back to normal I’ll have the gaps closed and have good systems in place to avoid getting overwhelmed and behind again. Current systems are working perfectly, so I just need to close that gap!
Get rid of more crap! I am so overwhelmed by the amount of crap that I have! I think I need to be realistic about letting some projects go so that I have more space for the things I actually want to work on. Also, I need to let go of so many of the twins’ toys! They have tons of toys that they don’t play with anymore, but I don’t want to let them go because *I* think they are cool toys. Newsflash! Just because I think the wooden doll house is awesome does not mean that they do!
Homeschool plans. We did G is for Giraffe, H is for Heart, I is for Island, and J is for Jalapeno! We didn’t do much of anything for H is for Heart which is ironic because I actually have a ton of Valentine’s Day Montessori stuff already made up! But the other weeks were great. Now trying to decide on K. Koala? Kangaroo? Kabob?
Order school stuff. I think Kate needs a monogramed uniform shirt even though we’re doing distance learning? Not sure. Probably need to get a few polos for Xander too if they have kinder zoom calls?
We are finally figuring out this homeschooling thing! I’ve decided that since we’re stuck at home anyway, we might as well continue the schooling this summer. The twins actually need to work on some stuff before kindergarten, and Kate would be bored to tears if she didn’t have any kind of structure this summer. So homeschool it is!
I’m running two different themes concurrently: a letter a week theme for the twins and a Harry Potter theme for Kate. They are all 3 working out of workbooks. (They each have a summer bridge book. Additionally, Kate has a math workbook since she’s hoping to test into advanced math, and the twins have a kindergarten workbook since I figured it would be good for them to preview some things for next year.) I won’t bore you with the details of that, although if there is interest in our daily routine/ schedule, I’m happy to post more about it.
Let’s focus on the frogs first. I dug out my old F is for Frog Montessori trays. I’m also trying to have a sensory activity for them each week. This week is was water beads in the water table along with some frogs and lili pads to make a little pond. They loved it!
We also painted with our frogs one day. I put out a rainbow of paint (since we had been talking about the color wheel) and a couple of frogs.
My thought was that they would stamp the frog feet through the paint, but they ended up asking for brushes. Still, super fun!
Even Kate joined in!
And, of course, how could we have a frog theme without looking for tadpoles! We can’t go to the pools right now, so this was a fun treat. I’m even thinking of making it a weekly field trip!
Anyone else feel like May was 2 years long? Just me? Let’s check in on those goals.
End of year pics/ Interviews. Done! The pics may still be on my camera, but I took them. lol. This remains my favorite scrapbook.
Keep current on Project Life. Amazingly, yes! I almost can’t believe it. It makes me want to catch up even more because doing Project Life in real time is so amazing.I think I have low level stress/ guilt over how behind I am.
Edit/ order prints for Project Life gap. Big fat nope on that front.
Finish EPP quilt top. Well, I finished the diamonds. I still need to add the border and then I think I’m going to applique some bees overtop since some of my seems are crap. lol.
Scrap April 2020. Yes! And it feels so good to be doing current things! I don’t even want to think about my scrapping gap…
Homeschool schedule. Yes! So much yes! I’ve even made some printables for myself. lol. I’m going to try to share some more on the blog later, but short version is that (after much trial and error) I think I finally have a good system worked out. It went well today anyway. lol.
Letter a week crafts. We’ve done one every week! And they are so cute. Even Kate makes one with us which is super fun.
Add in sensory activity. Didn’t do awesome on this in May, but we’ve already done one for this week! And now that I have a better schedule, I think I’ll be able to keep up with it going forward.
Low volume quilt. I only got one additional block done, but hey! It’s one more than I had in April. lol.
Maintain sanity. I’m about a 5/10 currently. lol.
Glow Forge. Y’all! We got a glow forge! And it is super awesome!!! I need to make some name puzzles that my grandmother wants to give as baby presents.
Keep current on Project Life. Love doing this in real time! My ultimate quarantine goal is to bridge my Project Life gap so that going forward I can do it in real time. Stretch goal is to close the scrapbook gap! lol.
September/ October 2019 Project Life. I finished September today so I have faith that it can be done!
EPP Quilt. Get the borders sewn on and design something for the bees.
Scrap May 2020 and June 2020. I loved doing Project Life in real time so much that I’ve started doing the same with the scrapbooks. I only have 4 more layouts to go for May! And I’d like to do June weekly.
Homeschool. Keep up with the homeschool plans!
Caterpillar Quilt. Must dig this back out! I’ve just about convinced RaptorDad to redo the babies’ room into a big kid room so I have to finish their quilts! At bare minimum I need to design the olives for applique.
Low Volume quilt. Maybe one more block?
Track food each day. Um, the Covid Quarantine has not been kind to my waist line. I started today. Wish me luck.