About Victoria T.

I am a Christian wife and stay-at-home mother. I blog about life, marriage, crafts, and now, motherhood.

Social Media

I have branched out a little on social media. I do not post daily, or anything, but definitely share more day to day pictures, plans, and happenings elsewhere.

You can find my page on Facebook by searching for “Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl Blog” or by following this link.

You can find me on Instagram as @belovedbrowneyesblog.

I hope to see you around those places, sometime. 🙂

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She Stitches: Butterfly & Flowers

I don’t remember the backstory on this one. I just know I started it ages and ages ago, it languished in my WIP basket because cross-stitching is difficult with toddlers afoot.

Then, Nate took a new job a long distance away. He started in June, but we still had to sell our house and find a new one. So he stayed with a very kind friend during the weekdays and came back home every weekend, while I prepared the house for sale and all of that.

I had weeknights to myself once the kids were in bed, so I took the opportunity to finish up this cross-stitch design.

Progression Info
Started – May 21, 2016
Completed – July 12, 2017
Duration – 417 days = 59.6 weeks

It definitely was not that much actual stitching time. 🙂 Probably only 2-3 weeks of that.

Pattern Info
Dimensions Butterfly & Daisies
design by Rosemary Millette

I don’t remember when I bought this kit — I buy them on clearance from time to time. It’s a nice one, though the fabric is quite stiff.

She Crochets: Bouncy Ball Blanket

I made this as a baby gift for my sister’s friend, to accompany the Yoda lovey.

Progression Info
Started – July 12
Completed – July 19
Duration – 7 days = 1 week

I was surprised how quickly this came together. I worked on it the week we were moving out of our old house. I finished the seaming the night we “camped out” in our old house, after the movers had taken all our furniture. A nice and interesting memory connected to this present.

Pattern Info
Bouncy Ball Baby Blanket by Debbie Smith
Ravelry

This is a great pattern. It can be knit in such a variety of colors to produce all kinds of fun, unique looks. I used colors from the Yoda lovey (brown, green, cream), plus some burgandy and gray.

Yarn Info
Red Heart Super Saver Heather & Solids
100% acrylic
Colorways – gray heather, burgandy, aran, coffee, medium thyme
3.02 skeins = 1,100 yds used

Once again, this is an estimate of the yarn I used.

Photos

She Crochets: Yoda Lovey

My sister sent me this pattern and asked me to make it for her friend’s new baby. My sister doesn’t ask for much, and the friend adores every. single. thing I make, so of course, I was happy to oblige. 🙂 Said friend is a Star Wars lover.

Progression Info
Started – July 4
Completed – July 9
Duration – 5 days = 0.7 weeks

These little “lovey” blankets are so quick to crochet.

Pattern Info
Little Yoda Baby Blanket by Alu ka
Ravelry

My only modification was that I did not use a single crochet border. I did a reverse single crochet (aka crab stitch) border, which I think looks much more polished. I love crab stitch for blanket edgings, especially for boy-ish things.

Yarn Info
Red Heart Super Saver Solids
100% acrylic
Colorways – aran, medium thyme, coffee
0.69 skeins = 250 yds used

This is the perfect project for this yarn. It can be machine washed when baby inevitably spits up on it, and it will look good as new for years and years and years…

The yardage estimate is a complete guess. I have a lot of this yarn and generally make small things like this without measuring what I’ve used.

Photos

Homeschooling: Trying Something New

I wrote about my easy-going preschool at home approach with Sprout. The method worked and Sprout was happy to “do school” most days until she got through the first of the dollar store workbooks she was using. That book was all about shapes and colors. The other three books were about numbers, letters, and handwriting… and were basically all writing practice. That’s where we hit a wall.

Sprout can write several letters on her own, but she struggles writing in a confined space. She doesn’t have the fine motor skills for that just yet. She became frustrated having to write on every single page, and began to protest school.

Curriculum Change

That was my clue to evaluate what we were doing and make a change. I bought an “official” preschool curriculum for 3-4 year olds. I knew it would begin with pages she could complete very easily, but I wanted the slow skill-building that such a curriculum offers. The dollar store workbook approach had no progression of skills.

We intend to use this publisher for most of our kids’ schooling (of course, being mindful if things aren’t going well or if it doesn’t suit a particular child), so it was the logical choice for preschool. There is a kindergarten (preschool for 4-5 year olds), and then it begins with first grade. According to current education laws in my state, Sprout will need to start kindergarten at age 5, which will be in 2019. So, I’m kind of starting her a year “early,” but I’m doing so with the plan to stop and evaluate with each set of books she completes. Maybe at 5 she will be ready for first grade work. Or maybe she will need another year of kindergarten work. I’m comfortable with either option and am in no rush to get her beginning first grade early.

Other Changes

Since we would begin a new curriculum, I considered it a great time to implement some other changes, too.

More Structure

I have always let Sprout decide whether we would do any school work each day. That works great when the school work is fun, but less so when it is challenging or new. My goal is to complete at least 3 pages per day, 3 days per week.

Also, we will begin our school time with prayer. I introduced Sprout to a simple prayer structure some time ago, which we will use for school time. I ask her to think of one thing she is thankful to God for and one thing for God to help her with. I sometimes feed her ideas, if she is struggling to think of something.

Bible Memory

I have wanted to introduce Bible memory work to Sprout for a long time. She has, like most children, an excellent memory. She remembers scripts from entire cartoon episodes, and she knows several kids’ songs and hymns. I know she is capable. It seemed natural to use before-school-time to work on this.

Then, I wasn’t sure where in the Bible to start. She doesn’t have the comprehension skills to memorize single verses of a broader story — it wouldn’t make any sense to her. Where can one find short, 1-2 verse sentences that are mostly single ideas? Proverbs, of course! So we are beginning in Proverbs. For now, I’m going to see if she can memorize one verse per week.

Record Keeping

Record keeping isn’t required in my state, for now, and especially not at this point when her schooling is optional. However, I considered it would be a good habit to begin. I will keep her daily records until she learns to read and write, then she can keep her own. This also provides us with some accountability to Nate and makes recalling our school day much easier.

I chose a small day planner. In each daily box, I write her praise and prayer request, which Bible verse we worked on, and which workbook pages she completed. On the monthly overview page, she puts a sticker on the day we have done school work.


Occupying Myself

Finally, I needed an occupation for myself during her schooling. I can’t work on house chores because she needs frequent assistance; and don’t want to work on house chores because the kids enjoy helping me. I found that being unoccupied while helping her with school caused me to over-praise her and to hover over her, giving too many reminders.

My solution is to do my own studying of the Bible during that time. I can be near her and ready to help when she needs me, but while she works on each page, I can read and busy my own mind. It worked wonderfully today, kept us all happy and calm, and I’m looking forward to the study time.


Fun Activities

Doing school work 3 days per week leaves one day for grocery shopping and, eventually, a library visit, and one day for something fun. I want to use our fun day for crafts or even some low-gear science “projects.” Having the time built into our schedule should help me feel less overwhelmed, I think.

Final Thoughts

This was our first day with this new approach, but I feel very encouraged by how well things went. I will try to give a progress report in a few weeks and let you know how it is working out!