Saturday, March 9, 2013

My Treasured Old Bible Made New

I debated a few weeks ago on getting a new leather Bible. It's not like I need a new one. I have almost every Bible I've ever owned since I was a young child.  This one is probably my favorite.

I only have  two problems with my old Bible.  It's softcover/paperback.  And a few pages in the back (the maps) are falling out.  But I have so many notes I've added and verses I've underlined. There is no way I'd be able to transfer all my notes to a new Bible in any reasonable amount of time.

When I bought it, I'd resolved that I'd put it in a Bible case, so I wouldn't need the added expense of a leather cover, and I wouldn't feel bad about writing in it. I am strangely OCD about writing in Bibles... but that is a post for another day. I only write in pencil. Erasing my goofs is important to me.

Fast forward 15 years.  When it was time to open my Bible case, I'd cringe when it was time to unzip that cover at church.  It's noisy. So much that I have been carrying a small compact Bible in my purse on Sunday mornings. It was nice because it was in my purse at all times, but it got a real beating, because I leave it in my purse when I get home. I also don't write in it like I do in my study Bible.

So, as I am approaching 40 and my eyesight is getting worse my compact Bible started falling apart, I decided to go onto some booksellers and get a new leather study Bible to use all the time. I almost began the checkout online, but then all that transcribing I'd have to do from my old softcover popped into my head, and I'd clear my shopping cart.

I really wanted my old Bible with a new cover.  A cover that didn't zip, and one that would mask my beat-up soft cover that is bent and rather unattractive.

I looked on bookbinding sites. No luck. I talked to a friend who had a hobby in bookbinding who even prints some rare Bible translations.  No luck there either, because I have a cheaply-made softcover with a glued spine (not stitched). It would be costly to have it stitched and rebound, and I'd lose some margins (i.e., the notes I'd written) where the stitching would have to go, and the presently-glued spine would have to be cut.

I decided I could not be an orthodox bookbinder, nor give up my margins by paying someone else to do it.  So I applied the same concept as the altered journals that are all over Pinterest and art websites.

I was thankful my sweet mother-in-law had given me some fabric scraps that she'd purchased at a great fabric store that sells slightly irregular pieces of fabric. I was looking through my craft stash and trying to decide just what I could do with my treasured Bible.  I found a wonderful piece of fabric that resembled leather, and had the thickness of leather.  It's probably (p)leather vinyl, but I really don't care. The newer "Italian Duo Tone" leather Bibles are actually imitation leather anyway.  This fabric is a nice chocolate brown. No worrying about dirt showing.

So, I grabbed my Bible, traced about an inch around all its edges on the wrong side of the fabric (which is a nice fuzzy cream color).  Then I cut around my lines.

I grabbed my trusty Elmer's Spray Adhesive (no Mod Podge here--I don't want my flexible cover getting stiff).  I sprayed the wrong (fuzzy) side liberally (with some craft paper underneath... I can get spray adhesive everywhere if I am not careful).  Then I carefully placed my Bible back on the fuzzy size with glue and wrapped it all tightly over the old soft cover.

After an hour of drying, I trimmed the excess fabric from the edges with a pair of scissors, leaving about 1/16" all around.

I could kick myself for not taking pictures of the process, but my desk was a wreck, so I was working in the floor. So here's the finished product.


I can't wait to take it to church now.  It's not perfect (I could have used an Exacto knife instead of scissors for straighter edges), but I think that is why I like it so much. It's a bit rustic looking now, so that reflects a bit of its years of use (the stained edges of the pages show its age as well). 

The dark black cross on the front is black contact paper (from Home Depot) that I cut with my Cricut and Sure Cuts A Lot software.  The back has a dove with an olive branch.  If they don't stay (I've noticed some wrinkling with the black vinyl when I open the Bible), I'm okay with that. Maybe I'll decide to stencil something with paint later, but I like the freedom of changing the design that the vinyl allows.  I love that the vinyl has the same texture as the fabric (not planned by me, I just got blessed with the coincidence).

There is a wrinkle on the front cover (you can see it clearly in the top picture on the right).  I tried to iron it out before I started the glue step, but the vinyl is not fond of much heat. I decided to live with it. The wrinkle gives it character.

There have been a few places where the spray adhesive loosened around the edges, so I grabbed my Alene's Tacky Glue to give it a stronger bond where necessary.

I may add a ribbon bookmark later on from the spine with a little Alene's as well, but for now, I'm pleased with what I have. (By the way, the Alene's glue is what I used to get my map pages back in place. They are holding up tremendously well.)

So for this project:
Cost: $0 (I had all the items I needed on hand, but if I'd had to purchase everything including fabric, glue, and vinyl--less than $20.)
Value: PRICELESS (My notes remain, no transcribing, and it's one-of-a-kind!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adventures in Speech Therapy, Part 3: Graduation Time

If you have missed the other parts of this series, you can click the links below.

I have nothing but good things to say about our experience with the private firm we are using in our town. My daughter's speech therapist, Claire, says my daughter has shown some of the fastest improvement she's ever seen. As far as the speech and enunciation part of the sessions, my daughter has graduated and no longer needs that therapy. I almost take hearing her speak correctly for granted now. I can't remember the last time she "slipped up" and said an "r" sound incorrectly. A couple of weeks ago, she suggested because of a vocabulary game they were playing that we start a new focus with our sessions--communication and comprehension skills.

I knew the trouble Claire was seeing in her session with my daughter is part of the Auditory Processing delay my child was diagnosed with a few years ago. Sometimes, my daughter has a different way of describing than the way most people would typically verbalize. As an English teacher and writer, I see it as both a blessing and a curse. I choose to look at the blessing side. Writers are applauded for originality and being unique. The curse comes in when people try to conform you to a prescribed way of descriptions and vocabulary. My daughter sometimes sees the world through a set of tinted glasses that I believe would make the world a better place if more people saw the world the way she does.

I am completely in favor of increasing my daughter's vocabulary. Claire had some great suggestions about what to do to work on it. Games like Taboo and other word association games are helpful, along with analogies and "Which word doesn't belong?" exercises are great for increasing them. All these are skills we can work on at home, though, and I am grateful that I have resources at home which allow us to work on improving these skills.


Ultimately, I arrived at this conclusion: we will be completing our final week of private therapy this week. It has been wonderful, and though I am grateful our insurance has paid for a large chunk of it, our weekly charge can be used at home to purchase skills books to work on the same things she is working on with her therapist. I will be sad that we won't see Claire and her bright personality each week, but I know that my daughter has graduated from her speech needs. I anticipate that we may be visiting Claire again with my son, so our paths may cross again in the future.

Do you have any questions about our experience? Please leave them in the comments below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Review: Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, by Todd Wilson

After a recommendation from my cousin and friend several months ago to read this humorous and encouraging book by Todd Wilson, I finally picked up the Kindle version on Amazon. It’s a bargain at just $4.99, and I was able to use some of the Amazon credit I’d earned on Swagbucks. I only wish I’d read it sooner!

This book is laced with cartoons that both new and seasoned homeschoolers will appreciate. Wilson’s main message spoke to me loud and clear–God gave YOU your kids. Don’t compare them or your family to Suzy Homeschooler and her clan down the street. Don’t fall into the “keeping up with the Joneses” trap when it comes to shepherding your children.

God doesn’t make mistakes. You know best about your children–their likes, bends, and abilities, as well as their struggles and weaknesses. Just because “little Alice” down the street is a master on the piano and violin (and six other instruments by the age of 10) doesn’t mean your children are failures because they can’t play one. Your children have bends and abilities that those children do not. The idea of “training up a child in the way he should go” can be interpreted as being a way to help your child enhance the inclinations he/she already possesses.

God’s timing really is perfect. After reading this book, my husband and I were discussing our kids, and he said to me, “God chose our kids for us.” I was moved to tears, because the night before, I had read this in Wilson’s book. Not only does Wilson dispel the lies that homeschool moms buy, he replaces them with truths that we can adopt.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Your children will become exactly what God has created them to be, NOT because of your efforts, but IN SPITE off your efforts."

"...teaching your own children is nothing like teaching someone else's children."

"You are God's 'Plan A' for your children."

"Sometimes the reason your children don't 'get it' is because they weren't created to get it...easily."

"God gave your children exactly the mother they needed."

While I am an advocate for doing your best and striving to do better, we must remember as loving parents to know what expectations are reasonable for our children. Wilson’s book embraces this idea. I highly recommend this read for all homeschool moms who feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe is available at Amazon right now for $4.99 for the Kindle version.  It's worth every penny!

If you read and enjoy this book, I also highly recommend another book: Nurture by Nature: Understand Your Child's Personality Type - And Become a Better Parent. (Watch my blog for a review of this book as well.

Here's a list of the books I recommend for any beginning homeschooler's bookshelf:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adventures in Speech Therapy, Part 2 (Or, Life Lessons in Speech Therapy)

As you may have read in my previous post, I am taking my 8-year-old to speech therapy at a private firm in my town. It has been a great experience so far, and my husband and I can see not only changes in her articulation, but as a result, we’re also seeing some of her shyness disappear, as she is more likely to speak up. The fear of being picked on about her speech by those who don’t know her is starting to disappear.

Here are some lessons that I’ve learned as she is going through speech therapy. Some of these lessons can be applied to life in general.

1. Proper speech and articulation involve forming a habit. This can be applied to not only how you say something, but also what you say (and with what attitude). When my daughter gets upset or overly excited, the poor articulation has a way of sneaking back in. Using proper language helps you keep your cool, and think about what you say before the words escape your mouth.

2. Have your child tested by a professional whose opinion you value. Trust your instincts when you think something doesn’t seem right about an evaluation. After all, you are your child’s only advocate if you are a homeschooler. Remember, free (i.e., public school services) is not always better.

3. Trying to help your child on your own doesn’t always work if there is a physical problem. Sometimes, the problem is bigger than you are. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.

4. Finally, if you use private speech services, make sure your therapist knows how to work with your insurance company. Because my daughter was tongue-tied and needed a frenectomy (a condition that was present at birth), our insurance covers part of her therapy. It’s greatly reduced our cost.

Read Part 1 of this post to see why we chose private speech therapy services instead of using the public school system.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Speech Therapy (Or, Why Private Sessions are Better than Free Public School Services)

My 8-year-old has always had trouble saying her Rs properly.  I had read helpful books from the library and watched YouTube videos by speech therapists to try to help her on my own.  Still, she couldn't get the sound out right.  I felt a little like a failure, and I didn't like the idea of my daughter growing up with a stigma (as she was becoming more conscience of her problem).

I took her to the local school district for testing and services just over a year ago.  When I took her, she was still 7, and the therapists there said she did not qualify for needing their services.  It seems that the R sound, in their book of standards, is not a required milestone until you are 8.  So, with limited funds and not a lot of options in the area where we lived at the time, I resolved I'd take her back in a year to be tested again. 

Fast forward one year, and now we've moved to a different area.  I knew it was time to get professional help.  I called the local school system and was told that there was a two month waiting list for testing. That would put us well into summer, after schools are out, so speech classes likely wouldn't be available until the fall.

I called a local private speech therapist who had good online ratings.  She was able to test her within a week.  She said after her testing that my daughter was ready for immediate assistance.

She didn't just listen to her speak and test her hearing, though.  She did a thorough inspection of tongue movements, and she recommended a frenectomy based on her findings.  She had me get another referral from our orthodontist.  He looked at her as well and came to the same conclusion.  My daughter needed the frenectomy.  She had lived her 8 years on this earth being somewhat tongue-tied.  Now, there was a medical reason (ankyloglossia) for her inability to properly articulate her Rs.

An oral surgeon removed the extra tissue underneath her tongue, and within minutes, I could already tell a difference in her speech.  She can even now roll her tongue (something only she and my husband can do so far in our family).  No, the frenectomy didn't solve all her problems.  However, without the procedure, any speech therapy would have been ineffective in treating her problem. 

So far, we've now been to 4 private speech sessions, and I can tell a noticable difference in her speech. She hasn't "graduated" yet, and there is still work to be done, but we are well on our way to solving the "R" problem.

As a summary, here's my conclusion of why private services are better than government services (and this probably applies to more areas than just speech therapy):

1. Testing: The testing in the private practice was more inclusive than what the school district had provided.  Not only was her speech tested in the private firm, but her hearing was evaluated (twice), and her eating/drinking habits were observed.  I got a detailed 5-page report from the private firm, explaining her test and her mastery levels on the tasks.  The school district gave me a one page report saying she didn't qualify and could come back in a year to be tested (and some verbal advice to not let my daughter use drinking straws).

2.  Therapy: I can only speak for the private side of the actual therapy, but our experience so far has been stellar.  After each 30-45 minute private 1-on-1 session my daughter has with her therapist, I also get to speak 1-on-1 with her to get a recap of the session, as well as homework for the next week and tips to help my daughter reach mastery of the next goal/task.  (If I were using services inside a public school, I am not sure my daughter would get as much 1-on-1 time, and the time the parent gets with the therapist I am assuming would be minimal.)

I know not all school districts are the same, but I can say as for our experience, free is not always better.  Private speech therapy is money well-spent.

Check my blog tomorrow for Part 2 to our "Adventures in Speech Therapy," where I'll share with you the lessons I've learned as a parent.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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