They each wanted a long summer dress so we set out to Joanns to pick out fabric.  We had our cart full of choices. Fun fabrics, like shopkins and emoji prints,  a little bit pricey, but so cute. But Aria spotted her choice long before we reached it, and her mama and I looked at each other, wide-eyed, and we each understood what the other was thinking.


Yes, you guessed it. Red and white checked tablecloth fabric. We tried everything to persuade her to change her mind but she wasn’t having it. She was set on this fabric. We even offered more expensive fabric, but she would not budge.

The fabric not only looked like an unlikely dress, it felt bad. It was stiff and rough to the touch, which we pointed out to her. But no!

So finally, we relented and she got the fabric.

I came home with the choices and set out to find the pattern. I chose several long dress patterns and sent her a picture and she picked out her favorite.


She requested that I make it without sleeves, so view 4, minus the sleeves.

I began cutting the fabric with the attitude, “this is not going to look good, but it’s what she wants.” So I worked on.


As the dress began to come together I began to see it. It was totally her own style and it started to look like her, and I really liked it.


Even the feel of the fabric came together with this pattern, it gave the dress some body and it didn’t seem as rough once it was put together.

As soon as she saw it, she started squealing and laughing, she loved it so much! And I was one happy mammy.


Mommy said she wore it for three days straight!


Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.   Psalm 47:1

This year the Survival Skills day camp moved to a new location, Wise County Park at Bridgeport Lake. 002-IMG_4311

The campsite/park is located between Bridgeport and Chico, and just three minutes from my house-a super plus!001-IMG_4310017-IMG_4369

This day had been covered in prayer and it turned out to be a perfect day. The weather was perfect and the ever blowing wind was down.

Just as planned our day started at 8:00 am.

Starting the fire is always first on our list of setting up camp. We at least try to start the fire without using a lighter, and this year the Survival Skills class started the fire with dried grass, twigs that they gathered from around the camp and a flint-with some help from one of our chaperones, Jason.

They set up the tent, which was a group effort, while the fire built up enough to start breakfast.

Just in time! The fire is ready to start the pancakes and hot cocoa.


After breakfast they had a few hours of free time. They had the options of fishing, hiking, or kayaking. They all chose kayaking and spent the whole entire time on the water.

Several students had their own kayaks and were experts. Others needed about a ten minute crash course and they were ready to go.


This campsite actually turned out to be pretty perfect. There was a slough that ran just behind our camp. It was big enough for all the kayaks to fit, but not too big. It ran into the main body of the lake, but they stayed in the slough.


It didn’t take long for them to ditch the kayaks and jump into the water.

We did have a couple of fishermen.


Lunch time came too soon for our kayaking crew.

We had our usual hot dogs and chips, with cactus on the side.



Don’t you just LOVE a good ole American hot dog?

It is our custom to finish our day camp off with s’mores. Perfect finish!

This year the Survival Skills teacher forgot to bring the roasting sticks, so the students had to actually kick into Survival Skills mode and get creative. So we did it the old fashion way and cut sticks off of the trees and trimmed the tops to a point.


Back into the water and kayaks one last  time!072-IMG_4573

A big round of applause to our amazing parents! They sacrificed their Saturday to bring their children to the camp, bright and early. They supplied food, drinks and supervised the camp. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of parents!

But I have to give kudos for the little heroes of the day. The little ones who very patiently sat at the shore and watched, with no hope whatsoever of participating in the water fun, but didn’t seem to mind just watching.

Who stood by ready to lend a helping hand.

Who made new friends.

Who found whatever way they could to pass the time.

Who practiced their survival skills.

Yes, this was the perfect day, everything about it was in our favor, a gift from our Lord.

But . . .

*Note to self: Don’t forget the insect repellent next year-Chiggers are out earlier than originally thought!


This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.    Psalm 118:24



Christmas Outfit

Each year it gets harder and harder for me to make the girl’s Christmas outfits. At the last-minute, I am rushing around trying to figure out what I am going to do, and it ends up being stressful. But it’s important to them, and honestly it is to me also, so I at least make the effort.

Aria’s outfit this year has an interesting story. I saw some velvet pants on the internet, at an outrageous price that I could not afford. I kept going back to them until it finally hit me that I have fabric just like that!

I found a vintage pattern with the pants style I wanted to use, purchased at Etsy.


I did some adjusting; the pants on this pattern had a super high waist, even for Aria, so I had to cut that down. I also cut it a little slimmer than the pattern, since I wanted the pants to be more like leggings.


I also made the length longer that the pattern, although they probably should have been even longer.

13-img_2681The super soft crushed velvet fabric was purchased at Bowie Trade Days in one of my favorite booths of all time, for $2 a yard. 03-img_2641

Now that I had half the outfit, what to do for the top.

Turns out that I bought several patterns at a garage sale years ago, and one of the patterns had a red T-shirt already cut out, tucked inside the pattern jacket.  Just so happens that it was sitting on my sewing table about to be thrown out.

I discarded the sleeves and replaced them with lace and dressed up the plain red  T-shirt.


A ruffled lace and tulle collar, topped off with a jeweled button, scraps left over from a Christmas dress a few years ago.


The whole outfit cost me about $3!


The shoes were an early Christmas present that worked out perfectly.


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 1:8-14




Merry CHRIST~mas from our home to yours!

May you have exceedingly great joy and delight in celebrating our Lord and Savior this Christmas!


Behind the scenes of our photo shoot~just for fun.


While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:6-7

Nutcracker Time

It’s Nutcracker time and there is a little “rat” scurrying around under my Christmas tree.


The best of times!


“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

Painting is one of Aniyah’s loves. So during our day together we did a guided watercolor painting together.


I found the perfect picture for her to paint during this wonderful Christ~mas season.


She painted the background of sky and land.


As it was drying, she watched a Christmas movie. Then mammy put on the finishing touches, defining lines and adding in details.

She was so proud of her artwork, and so was mammy!


While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Matthew 2:6-7


CHRIST~mas Fun

Aniyah and I finally got to spend the day together and we did all things CHRIST~mas! Christmas music, Christmas books, Christmas food, Christmas movies, and Christmas crafts.


We started the day with donuts, then moved right into the fun stuff.

She worked on The Christmas Story workbook, coloring activities and stickers while I read the miraculous story of our Lord Jesus’ birth to her.


We read book, after book, after book . . . (one our favorite things to do together)


We paused long enough for hot cocoa and Christmas cookies.


Then it was back to work on the workbook.


She watched one of our favorite Christmas movies, Toot and Puddle, while sitting cozy in front of the warm fire and mammy made a little lunch.


Maggie enjoyed her place in front of the tree.


We worked on a painting project together also, but that’s for another post.

We ended with doing a couple of Christmas math pages.

It was truly a wonderful day with my girl!


Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9


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