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I have 3 teenagers now...

My baby girl turned 13 last weekend. I now have 3 teenagers in my house. So far I have enjoyed having teens in my home and it's not as traumatic as many people tell me. It is a beautiful thing to watch them grow into young adults and begin to spread their wings. Honestly it's really fun to just hang out with them and their friends. And no matter what anyone else says, I think teens need their parents more. It's a different kind of need though from when they were little kids. I am really enjoying this stage in our lives and treasure each moment with them. Before I know it they will grown and on their own. My prayer for each of them is that they continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus and that they will live for Him every day as He guides them into His purpose for their lives.
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Beric the Briton--A Rose Academy Review

This is actually our first experience with Heirloom Audio Productions. My kids love audio dramas and audio books, so they have also enjoyed listening to Beric the Briton. This adventure sure takes some concentration while listening so you can follow the story and really understand what is going on. Set during the time period of ancient Rome and Emperor Nero, there is enough action and adventure to keep the listeners engaged and entertained for several hours. We listed to the first half of the adventure while on a short road trip. 
Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review


Summer of Sewing--Soleil Dress

I'm back today with my favorite dress pattern to sew for summer. And modeling it is my adorable niece. Her measurements were just under the recommended measurements for the Soleil Dress pattern for size 12 months, but since that was the smallest size available in the pattern, I went ahead and made it for her. So she has a little bit of room to grow into it, and maybe it will fit her next summer as a little tunic. 

(This post contains affiliate links. When you use my affiliate links, I get a small commission. Thanks for supporting my efforts!)
My very favorite detail in this dress is the back opening. I love that little surprise. An option for a closed back is also included in the pattern if you wish for that instead.
My second favorite detail in this dress is the pockets. They are so adorable in size 12 months, but you can see in my previous post that they are just as fun in the larger sizes.
This dress calls for knit fabric and ribbing for the bindings. You could also substitute fold over elastic (FOE) if you prefer that look. I like working with FOE but it is a bit tricky to really get the hang of it. The best tip I can give is to stretch the FOE slightly while applying and be sure not to stretch the fabric at all. But truthfully it just takes practice. My first few attempts at FOE ended up in the trash can. #truestory
I also really love how the gathers in the front of the dress are all bunched together at the center. This helps the pockets to be shaped well. In fact this pattern is the first one that I have ever made and bound pockets in this way, so it took me a minute to wrap my mind around the construction. If you have never sewn with knit, this would be a great dress to try it out on--especially if you choose the solid back option. Normally I like to sew knits with my serger, but lately I've been finding that I really love my standard sewing machine for knits by using the knit stitch. If you don't have a special knit stitch, just use a short zig zag stitch.
I love patterns by Lauren at Baste and Gather. You can purchase all of her patterns at (affiliate link) UpCraft Club. If you are a member, you can even purchase them with your monthly credit too. 
Who will you be making a Soleil Dress for?

101 Ways to Have Fun--A Rose Academy Review

101 Ways to Have Fun is just that...a TON of ways to have fun. These ideas are compiled into one full color book compiled from the editors of Faithgirlz and Girls' Life magazine. This soft cover book has ways to have fun alone or with your friends. My 13 year old enjoyed reading this book and came up with some awesome ideas for her and her friends to do. She even followed one of the ideas and set up a rummage sale with her siblings to earn a little bit of spending money for camp.


Color Code Bible--A Rose Academy Review

 The Color Code Bible is a hard cover full text Bible, New King James Version translation, that has different verses highlighted by a specific color code. Each color stands for a different topic or theme in the Bible. These seven topics help teach kids spiritual concepts and help them to easily recognize the promises and truths of scripture.

ArtAchieve--A Rose Academy Review

It is absolutely no secret that I love art curriculum. So when I received the opportunity to use ArtAchieve, we were really excited. Since my children are ages 11 and up and have had lots of exposure to art, I chose for us to start with the entire Level 2 set of lessons. The lessons in level 2 also looked interesting and something that all of us would enjoy.