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Aprons Again


I am thinking about making some simple aprons to go along with some of my “Goodies in a Jar” that I am making for my family for Christmas. I was thinking about printing this poem on some cool paper to include, too! What do you think? I am very open to suggestions!

The History of ‘APRONS’ I don’t think our kids know what an apron is. The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.

It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and… aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

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Well, here it is: The first official day of our school year. I am so ready to get some normalcy back into our lives. I feel like I have slacked off everything this summer, but I am ready to take on the challenge of teaching World History, 9th Grade Science and English, and Sewing I and II. Saxon CDs and text will be teaching Algebra II for me, so the pressure for remembering how to do all those equations is gone. I just have to re-learn parts of it. (Thank you, Babs Utley and Coach Cunningham! Y’all would be surprised at what I remember from your classes!)

I have been asked about curriculum by a couple of other homeschoolers, so I am going to share with you what we are using, and why we chose these specific books.

I feel it is worth mentioning here that we homeschool with IDEA, here in Alaska. It is technically public schooling at home, since we have to follow the state guidelines, and participate in annual testing, but since we get an allotment to help pay for our books and some supplies (such as lab equipment that is turned in when you either graduate or withdraw from the program) I really do appreciate the support. We have the best teacher/counselor, Kathleen Kinney. She is so patient as she reminds me that I am really in charge of how to teach Agnes, not the state. I am so blessed to have been placed under her guidance, and I think that both Agnes and I have grown and learned a lot because of her.

Anyway, here we go.

For Sewing I and II we are going to be using curriculum called Sew Teach Me by Blue Flamingo Designs. I was very impressed with their booth at the curriculum fair, and since they had a flamingo in their name, I had to get it. No… I am kidding, really! They had displays of each level of learning, and Agnes keeps talking about sewing her own clothes, so we jumped on it. They offered a program that allows you to type in your measurements and design choices, print the pattern up on regular computer paper, tape it together, and then use it like a regular pattern. Both Agnes and I thought this was incredibly cool, and a useful skill at that, so we found our elective for the year. Our friend, Miss Teri, is also an accomplishes sewer, and has offered to tutor us, in her home, once a week. I hope this works out. I love doing things with my friend, and if our daughters can learn this skill together with the quality time we will all be spending together, I will be very blessed.

For World History we have chosen to use The Human Record: Sources of Global History. It is really a Sociology textbook for college, but it is our guide line because it uses primary sources, things actually found in archeological sites and written records. We are supplementing this with a lot of historic programs on DVD, black line maps for Agnes to fill out, and a timeline, which Agnes will be creating in Microsoft Excel. The maps and ideas of what to put on our personal time line are coming from two sources.” The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide: A complete Geography Resource for Grades K-12,” by Maggie Hogan and Cindy Wiggers, is just what it says. We will be using this with US History next year as well as the maps and worksheets from “Maps of the World: A Reproducible Workbook and Curriculum Guide” published by The Emerald Book Company. We will be combining this with our English readings and our writing assignments.

For English, I discovered that Agnes needs to become familiar with a lot of different writing styles and create a writing portfolio. We will be using our Social Studies as a guide to studying the literature and poetry from the different cultures and time periods, as well as doing both a Social Studies and a Science research paper.

Did you know that they actually have “note cards” as something I am supposed to teach Agnes how to use for her research? No wonder all the teachers made us use them! In this digital age, I am not sure we will use actual “note cards” for taking notes. We may use a word processing program (which is another thing Agnes is supposed to be “taught” in English this year) to learn how to organize notes from books from the library. We are still waiting to receive out copy of “Write On Research” to see if it will be that helpful, but we do finally have “All Through the Ages: History through Literature Guide” to choose some classic books.

I am interrupting myself here to give this book a plug. “All Through the Ages: History through Literature Guide”, by Christine Miller, was recommended to me at the IDEA Curriculum Fair. I got to glance at it briefly, ant thought it might be helpful. Now that I have been able to really read and digest it, I am so glad I got it. This book would be useful to anyone interested in Classical Education for their child. I wish I had it when I started homeschooling! I do think I did a good job of teaching through unit studies in fifth through eight grade, but I didn’t teach a lot of History other than US History because I am not a fan of the subject. But this approach, reading books on the subject and then discussing them, writing about them, or doing a small project on them, is very attractive to me, and also to Agnes. “All through the Ages” also has a section on ‘History of Science and Mathematics’’ and ‘History of the Visual Arts and Music’ as well as ‘ Great Books of Western Civilization and the Christian Tradition’ which make it a great resource for almost any Christian homeschool.

Ok… plug is done. Agnes is going to be reading books related to the culture we are studying, as well as one personal book every two weeks. There will be a report or project for each book.  In addition, Agnes will have to write on her blog weekly, create a poetry portfolio, and do the dreaded Current Event Article! Du-du-duuuuun! That is because I am supposed to “teach” her how to read a newspaper this year, a skill that she learned in 4th grade, I believe.

Now, on to my FAVORITE, Science! This is a stellar, scientific year for both me and my daughter! We are going to be running the Homeschool room for PWOC again this year, and I am going to be doing Biblical Science with them once a week! Yeah! We are using “Science and the Bible” as our main resource, but I have a plethora (I love that word!) of other Science resources that I will be using to convey Scripture to the kids. I will probably use “Signs and Seasons” from www.classicalastronomy.com because I have now met, through Facebook, the author. I used the multi-age level curriculum two years age, and supplemented it for Alaska skies without even thinking about it.It is designed for students 13 and up, but can be used with younger children with supervision.  So I am going to make notes and send them to the author this Spring, when I can’t see the stars anymore. It will also allow me to relay some feedback from the kids and their moms, too.

At home, we are using some of a lot of resources to cover EVERYTHING a 9th grader should know. We will be doing no less than 3 experiments a week, starting this October. That is when we should finish up the LifePac books we ordered last Christmas. They are the second half of the 8th grade Science year, but we ran out of year since we started them at Christmas. Agnes likes the LifePac series because she can read, work independently, fill in the answers, and have me correct and do an occasional experiment.

This year however, I want to have my own lab at the house, commonly known as the dining room table. We are going to be using part of the Physical Science and part of the Earth Science Lab kits from www.qualitysciencelabs.com . They have lab books for each student, and almost everything you need in each kit. The kits have been designed to work with a variety of popular homeschool Science curriculum, and I would suggest looking into them as a single resource for your lab supplies. I love Science so I am not using traditional texts. The kit is packed in a plastic shoe box bin, and each kit can be a complete high school (or middle school, in some cases) class. I chose them over the other Science suppliers at the IDEA Curriculum Fair because I loved the lab booklet that comes in each kit. Agnes and I love to do experiments, and since she is learning to write different types of styles, I figured the lab report that you write from the documentation of an experiment would be a great way to strengthen that skill. Now I am not going to have her write up a report from each experiment. If we do more than five a week, she wouldn’t have time to do anything else. I am thinking about maybe one a month, as long as she keeps an accurate lab book, and takes notes on each experiment. Most of our studies will be through these main resources this year. If we like the Quality Science Lab Kits this year, we are planning to try out their Biology, AP Micro-Chemistry, and Physics for the next 3 years.

Wow, that looks like a lot of work, but when you spread it out over the course of the year, it really isn’t. I will keep everyone updated on the progress, as well as any points about the curriculum I think need to be made. I hope this was helpful!

God Bless,

Bridgit

How to Macrame a Plant Hanger (via This Year’s Dozen)


Well, this is my craft project for the summer.
I know my mother had macrame EVERYTHING when I was at camp… because I made EVERYTHING I could out of either Macrame or that plastic cord (we called it gimp, but I don’t think that’s the real name). I even tried to learn how to make my own sailor’s knot bracelet.
Well, I want to hang between 6 and 8 plants inside, and a few more outside. The price for the hanging baskets are ridiculous! They are not even what I want, so why should I pay $15-20 for them?
This is my answer…
Agnes and I will make our own plant hangers, and if we get good enough, maybe we can even sell a few of them at a craft store or give them to people for gifts.
Hope you enjoy this post… it is the best instructions I have found, so far.
God Bless!

How to Macrame a Plant Hanger FINISHED LENGTH: approx 4 1/2 ft, from top of ring to bottom tail.  Will hold up to a 9″ diameter basket, container or bowl. MATERIALS USED: 50 yards gray 6mm braided macrame cord 1 –  2″ welded ring (treated, not raw metal) 4 large hole gray marbella beads 16 smaller gray marbella beads for tail cords DIRECTIONS Step 1: Cut 8 cords 6 yards each and 2 cords 1 yard each. Step 2: Use a 1 yard cord to completely cover the 2″ welded ring with continu … Read More

via This Year’s Dozen

The End of the Story… or the Begining?


Ok, I know this request is a bit early, but I am looking for something one of my friends did for her daughter about 3 years ago… for Easter.
It is the Easter story in charms and trinkets that you put in little plastic eggs, in an egg carton.
If ANYONE knows what I am talking about, could you help me find the list. I have the egg cartons, and will be getting the eggs as soon as they go on sale, but I cannot remember what I am supposed to put in each egg, or which Bible verses need to go with each egg.
Thanks in advance for the help!
~Bridgit

Alone in Alaska


Well, I am in day 2 of Agnes being away at camp.

I didn’t know how hard it would be to let her go spend a week away from home. I was pretty good yesterday. Three boxes of notebooks and papers sorted into “trash”, “shred” and “keep. ” I got to visit with the new property manager, and I liked her well enough to talk with her about all kinds of stuff for about 2 hours! I even invited her over to the Yard Sale this Saturday. I was good until about 2am. That’s when Agnes usually pokes her head out at the top of the stairs and either says, “I can’t sleep,” or “Are you going to sleep tonight?” I cried for about an hour. I really miss my baby girl!

Today I cleaned enough room to lay down most of the lumber we bought on the 4th for Agnes loft bed. I finally got most of the sports equipment in one area, and am looking forward to building a set of shelves for all my garden stuff after dinner. The living room is a little disarrayed, but that’s ok. It is my piling system in action! Yard Sale stuff is in the Dining room for now, only until I clear out enough room in the garage to get it all closer to the yard for the yard sale.

I do feel a little guilty, though. Earlier today I got a call from Camp Li-Wa. I saw the caller ID and honestly thought, “My baby needs me!” But it was only to confirm that I am going to be doing the face painting for their 50th anniversary celebration. I don’t mind being alone normally, just not all the time. It makes me not only miss Agnes, but it makes me miss Darren so much more than I normally do. Normally I don’t mind if he can’t talk, or doesn’t have time to e-mail me, but when I didn’t have any kind of message waiting for me this morning… I ached inside. Yeah, I cried this morning, too. But I prayed, and God lifted me up so I could get to work, getting this house in order.

It probably doesn’t help that I am doing a Bible study that is brutal. It is a character examination of the “Mean Girl” inside. It asks you to really examine your life, and I am not enjoying my walk down memory lane. AT ALL! I am so thankful that God has forgiven all of the junk I did!

Tomorrow is Wednesday. Half way until the week is over. YEAH! Three days until the yard sale. I will make it! My house will be clean. I will be comfortable with my home, and my husband will be amazed at how different it is. (I hope.)

Well, I need to eat something, roll up my sleeves, and get back to work.

Later,

B

Saturday Afternoon


Well, today was an interesting day. Agnes and I spent the day doing different things together.

I cleaned up part of the garage. We still have boxes that are not unpacked… from the move to Texas … 5 years ago! I found a lot of lost treasures and a lot of loot for the yard sale. I also found some useful hooks that will be perfect to “hang” the skis and the snowboard! Yeah! More stuff will be off the floor! We will need the room in about a month. My dad is coming to Alaska to help me build a loft for Agnes. Well, actually my mom and dad are coming to see Agnes… and me. Dad just said that he would help me with the loft so I don’t have to try to do it alone. I still don’t think he and Darren are 100% comfortable with me playing with power tools. We are also going to Denali, Anchorage, North Pole, all the typical spots you take visitors to Alaska. I hope I can fit it all in the 7—10 days they will be here.


These are pictures I found on the internet… not sure where they come from, but if these are your pictures let me know! I will investigate and give credit where credit is due.

We saved these to print and bring to furniture stores when we started to look for a pre-made loft to assemble.

Agnes wants a combination of the two. I am insisting on all the safety rails in the picture on the bottom! Agnes wants both a desk and the shelves like the picture on the top. We are going to stain it rather than paint it.

I will publish the site for the loft plans when I can get to the computer where the bookmark is.

But I digress. Agnes spent about 2 hours on the keyboard today. It started with normal practicing from the many lesson books we have, thanks to Agnes piano teacher, my dad and my field trips to the music store. She was playing one of the one hand tunes, and didn’t play it correctly… but it sounded really good!

“What was that? It sounds cool.”

“Uh, I don’t know. It just happened.” She said shyly.

“Well write it down! It was pretty good!”

So Agnes proceeded to not only write down the measures she played, but an entire song. It’s not Beethoven’s Fifth, but for her first song (unfinished, right now) it is really good!

Anyway, we finally sat down to relax after dinner, and the weirdest thing happened…It had been cloudy all day. It was actually getting dark at about 8pm. That should have been our first clue! There was a huge flash, and as I turned to see who was outside, the house shook with the loudest thunder I have heard in a very long time! Still there was no rain. One more lightning and thunder, and the rain came down like someone was emptying a bucket over the house! It lasted about 45 minutes and then stopped as suddenly as it started. Now, three hours later… the street is dry. Wow! If it was hot, like in SC and TX I could see it being dry, but we only got up to 62F today. Go figure!

Oops… It is officially Sunday morning! I need to be up and at church in a few hours. Good Night Everyone!

~ Bridgit


Lunch at Lu Lu’s


Well, I went to the Doctor this afternoon. Nothing big, just my ear has felt like I have been in a plane at take off, and my body has felt like I am on our old sailboat tied to the dock with a trawler kicking up a wake as it passes. Well, he said it was simple allergy ear, and that it makes sense because I haven’t taken any allergy medicine in… gosh… I don’t remember when I last took some. It must have been in March. Anyway, I am now taking Claritin once a day for the next 10 days to see if that dries it out. If it doesn’t, then we try Zyrtec. IF THAT doesn’t work… THEN they will take a closer look at it. I have done all the homeopathic and herbal things, mostly because I was worried about the dizziness. I have had the pressure for about 3 or for years on and off (mostly on) so I am used to it. The Doctor was nice, and he seemed to respect my not wanting to medicate. I was flat out honest that I would take the medicine if I had to, but I really didn’t want to use them. One of his statements when he looked at my ear was, “No infection that I can see so no worries about antibiotics.” Yeah! A medical professional in the Army who understands, doesn’t treat you like a person with jello for brains just because you don’t want antibiotics thrown at a problem, and respects the decision you make. Hooah!

Anyway, we stopped on the way home to mail a letter to Darren and make an appointment for Monte’s oil change and how-ever-many-mile checkup. My Terrific Teen decided that she wanted pizza, and proceeded to edge toward becoming a Terrible Teen when I told her she could make one at home. I was about to tell her I was going to make slop for lunch and dinner when I was struck with an inspired idea.

I have been reading this book about spoken blessings. It talks about blessing those people that hurt you or wrong you or whatever.I pulled the car into Lu Lu’s Bread and Bagels! I love this place! They have everything, and it is all fresh and local! It is what a friend of mine would probably call a “hippy café.” I have wanted to take Agnes there for quite awhile.

So we walk in and it smells amazing! There are fresh loaves of bread, coffee, quiche and all kinds of baking smells to welcome you further inside. We had trouble deciding what to have. When we got our order, it was fresh and warm and lifted both of our moods. We talked, I found some stuff to do when my parents get here in July, and decided that we need to have a once a week “date” at Lu Lu’s.

All in All, what could have been a poopy day has turned into a kind of cool memory for me.

Thank you God for my wonderful family! Bless my daughter with wisdom and strength to see the path you have asked her to follow and say, “Yes, Lord.” Bless my husband with a clear sense of direction and the fortitude to lead this family, no matter where he may be. And finally Lord, bless me with the ability to quiet down and hear the small, still voice that you use to guide me through these little, important things.

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