Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Patch Insulated Carhartt Bib Overalls

We're finally getting the snow we've been waiting for and that means the Carhartt bibs were dragged out.  Last winter Nick spearheaded a campout which ended up being the coldest couple days of the entire winter.  Night temps were -10 F.  Day temps weren't much better.  In an attempt to keep warm the boys huddled around a giant fire they built in an old silo base.  Nick didn't realize just how close he was until someone pointed out that his bibs were burnt to a crisp.  It seemed every time the bibs were dry I didn't have time to repair the damage so here we are a year later and I finally took time to patch the burn holes.

I've made patches this way before and they're working well and holding up to the demands of boys.  Last year I patched the knees of Sam's Carhartt bibs - he loves the patches.  In case you find yourself in need of patching insulated bibs, here's my method for heavy duty, long lasting quilted patches.

This is what I had to work with.

First I measured the damaged area.  Then I added a couple of inches to my measurements.

I chose a heavyweight twill because I want these patches to be tough.  I cut a piece twice the width needed.  Then I cut a piece of batting and laid it inside the patch fabric.

I made a fabric/batting/fabric sandwich.

Using a long straight stitch, I quilted the patch in straight rows about 1 inch apart.

This is the quilted patch.  

I like patches to have rounded edges, so I folded the patch lengthwise and rounded the edge with sharp shears.

Then I laid it out to make sure it was going to work well.

I pinned it in place and used a heavy duty trade show clip to secure the bottom.  Since the bottom of overalls take a beating, I planned on folding the patch over the hem, but once I started sewing, I found it was just too thick.  I made an adjustment by trimming the bottom of the patch even with the hemline.  I double stitched along the lower edge and I think it turned out great.

Once pinned in place, set your machine to a wide zigzag, medium stitch length and stitch the patch in place, sewing about a 1/4 inch from the edge of patch.  This was kind of tricky because of the bulk of the overalls, but working slowly and pushing the extra pant leg through the sewing machine throat I was able to get it done.

Stitch a 2nd time all the way around the patch making sure the needle comes down right at the edge of the fabric.  Stitch a 3rd time along the bottom edge/hemline.  Trim any loose threads and you're done.....if your son only burned one leg, which mine didn't.  He burned them both so I did this process again making a quilted patch for the other leg.
Happy Patching!  And now he's ready for some serious sledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, whatever the winter brings.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

December Happenings

Here's a little peek into our December.  

Some pictures don't lend themselves to their own post so for those of you interested in what we do other than grow cranberries and homeschool, here you are, a pile of pictures.

Amber danced to Michael Buble's "Jingle Bells".

We celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary.

Sam played Christmas songs at Walmart with his Suzuki group.

Emily played, too.  This is her last time playing this gig; it's bittersweet.

Peter celebrated #4 with chocolate, chocolate cupcakes.

It was time for a new, clean, indoor ride-on toy and this has turned out to be a real winner.  Even Joseph at 7 can comfortably ride.
This activity was born from the famous saying, "necessity is the mother of invention".  Any normal year you'd find the kids pulling sleds behind the 4-wheeler or snowmobile, but this isn't a normal year.  Far from it.  Amber and Emily decided it was high time Pearl learn to pull.  And it had to be something that if destructed didn't matter.  Amber scrounged up this pallet and the fun began.  PALLET PULLING has become the newest outdoor fun.

Strolling through the rotary lights has become a tradition for us.  

Christmas is for kids.........and husbands.

Cookie baking has begun and Amber spearheaded most of it.  Maria "helped" me with the Brown Sugar Cut-outs (because I'm passionate about involving kids in the kitchen).  We used the star cookie cutter I bought on our trip to Pepin.  It was fun to reminisce a bit about that trip and the sunny, warm weather and the fact that it was just WARREN AND ME.

Happy Monday to you all!  And to all a good night.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Our Christmas Gift and Wrapping Tradition...(still going strong)

Having 7 kids in the house makes for a wild, exciting, exhausting, yet fun Christmas Eve.  For years we've followed the same tradition of 3 packages to unwrap on Christmas Eve and a stocking Christmas morning.  Back in 2010 I shared the details of how we choose gifts, wrap presents, and how we keep track of whose is whose without name tags.  It's really a lot of fun and the teenagers still enjoy the tradition.  The only thing that's changed since then is we've added two more kids to the clan and now most of the presents are on top of the TV cabinet instead of under the tree.

Actually, just last night I placed a few of the larger gifts under the tree (just to see if the little kids would leave them alone).  It didn't take long before I heard the sound of ripping paper.  Joseph was the culprit; I taped it back together while Peter scolded him and so far so good, no more unwrapping.

What Christmas traditions do you have? 
Please share in the comments.

*just a note about the pictures in the 2010 blog post, for some reason they are turned and blogger will not let me rotate them to an upright position, sorry for the disruption

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Homemade Musical Instruments.....(on the cheap)

I've been using the Mother Goose Time pre-school curriculum for two years now.  It's really a fun program; sometime mid-month FedEx delivers a school bus box filled with 20 days worth of pre-school materials.  Each day is bagged and ready for use.  Specific items not always found in the junk/art closet are included in the package.  Other supplies like:  markers, scissors, glue.....the basics need to be provided by you.  Detailed lesson plans with objectives are provided; however, I follow the teacher plans very loosely.  I've found that some of the activities are best done with larger groups of children.  Anyway, December's theme is Sights and Sounds of Winter and today's bag contained cardboard pieces and yarn to make a paper violin, which was a real hit around here seeing that three of us play violin.  Then I played A Classical Kids Christmas cd and Peter and Maria took turns (and if taking turns means screaming at one another and grabbing at the paper violin, then that's what they did) playing the violin to the beat of the music.

Playing along to O Come Little Children.
 I had to think fast because Maria WAS NOT happy one bit that Peter had this cool violin and she had nothing.  Looking around I saw a pile of X-large rubberbands and knew that would do the trick.  I grabbed a small box from the basement and stretched the rubberbands around the box.  Voila!  A second instrument for her.  And this one actually makes music when strummed.  It was a hit!  So easy, so cheap and fun to play with.

Once she started strumming away, Peter was more than happy to trade off the paper violin.  This activity kept them busy for quite some time, which gave me an opportunity to read with Joseph.

After the rubberband box did its time as an instrument, I found these two using it as a zoo cage for their small stuffed animals.  What do you get two kids for Christmas whose favorite "toys" are plastic bags, rubberbands, and boxes?

*Amazon links are affiliate links.  If you click through, add anything to your cart and purchase within 24 hours, I receive a small commission, which I am so thankful for.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

How I'm Teaching Joseph to Read and All About Reading Level 1 Review

When I'm researching a new teaching method or curriculum I love getting a glimpse into a real family using the method or curriculum.  Especially, when I have questions in regards to Joseph and Down syndrome I turn to the internet for insight.  And it's most helpful to find a blog sharing the nitty gritty details.  Today I'll be sharing the details of teaching Joseph to read.  He's not a reader in the sense that he can pick up a book and read; however, he can read three letter CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and the word the.  He's on his way, albeit very s.....l.....o.....w.....l.....y.  I'll take it though.

Joseph learned his ABC's in the typical fashion:  singing, alphabet puzzles, dvd's, ABC poster (not the exact one we have)

Joseph learned the letter sounds primarily from Leap Frog:  Letter Factory.  I reinforced by using the All About Reading - Pre-Reading Level.  Once that was complete it was time to take the leap to blending sounds and reading words.  And that's where we are now.

I've found the best way to entice new readers is to teach them to read their name.  Name crafts and games are fun.  One thing I've done with Joe is write each letter of his first name on a milk jug cap.  Then trace the caps on a piece of paper.  Write each letter of his name in a traced cap.  Then let him match the milk jug caps to the paper.  This reinforces letter placement and helps them read their name from left to right.  We also make name signs for his bedroom door.  Whenever we go into his room together I point, slide my finger under the letters and say his name.  If I see his name in print somewhere else I point it out.  Maybe it's the author of a book we're reading, or the cashiers name at the store, I point it out to him.  Since we just put up our Christmas tree yesterday, I think this tree name craft will be fun for Joseph (and Peter and Maria, too).

Once they can identify their name consistently, it's time to start putting CVC words together and attempt reading.

Again, Joseph is so visual that DVD's really help.  Another Leap Frog dvd we like is Leap Frog:  Talking Words Factory.  I'm also following the All About Reading - Level 1 program.  

A series of pictures during one of our reading lessons will show best what exactly we do.  The Level 1 reading lessons are too long to complete in one sitting with Joseph.  I also like to review the material heavily before moving on.  Initially, I planned on two short reading sessions a day, but for reasons I can't account for (yeah right) we can only get in one session a day.  At our current rate we'll finish up Level 1 around Joe's 11th birthday (at present he's 7).  I think we better pick up the pace a bit.  I'll narrate the following pictures to give you an idea of how a reading sessions goes.

Amber begins taking pictures as we start on a Fluency Practice sheet.  These are all short (a) words. We only read one line a day, about 7 words.  At the time of these pictures, one line took about 25 minutes to read.  Notice my proximity to Joe as the lesson progresses.  

As you can see, he's a bit distracted by my arm.  I decide to clear away the counter clutter, hoping his focus will improve.

 He pointed, but also got distracted by the camera.

 Lost it again.  Completely into the camera.  I'm getting somewhat annoyed at this point.

 He's sliding his finger, he's sounding out the word, we're on a roll.

I can actually see his mouth making the (a) sound.  I'm pleased again.

Oh no!  He's looking away again.  I'm getting a little closer to him.  My voice is bit stronger, too.  

I can't take it.  I had to intervene and grab his finger to help him with the pointing.  We're still reading the first word.

Now I get out the word viewer.  It's a little laminated card with an open rectangle in the middle.  It isolates the word or phrase they are reading.  Again, we're trying to eliminate any possible distractions.  Is it working?

That camera young lady must be quite entertaining.

Yes!  He just read tap.  I like to relate each word to something tangible if possible.  In this case he's tapping the counter with his pointer finger.  While he taps, I say "tap, tap".  Then I point to the word again and say tap.

Moving on to the next word.  I'm moving even closer to him because, you know, the closer you are to a new reader, the better they read.  

He just read dad, which happens to be his favorite person in the world.

If we know the sign, we sign it for reinforcement.  He's signing dad.

 Moving in even closer.  He was signing all done and trying to get down.  We still have more words to read.

He read tag so I'm letting him look at the tag in my shirt.  Again, for reinforcement.  With Joe it's not just reading the words, but making sure he understands that these words have meaning.

It's official.  He's done!  See his slumped shoulders and hands down low.  That's his signal that no way, no how is going to read another word.  So we wrap up the reading session and take it up the next day.  I always let him put a sticker at the end of the row he just read.

This is just one portion of the All About Reading Level 1 program.  It also includes practicing phonograms, rhyming words, identifying consonants and vowels, word families, and more we haven't even gotten to yet.  I love this program.  It's laid out in an easy step-by-step fashion allowing a busy mom like me to grab the bag and get to work.  There are many other great reading programs on the market; I've even used some of them.  However, the All About Reading programs have worked well for me now that I'm homeschooling kids in so many grades because the teacher prep is so minimal.  And it works, too.

For those of you that stuck with me to the end....WOW!  that was a long post.

If you would like to visit the All About Learning Website, please click on my affiliate link below.  Thanks a bunch!

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