Sunday, January 31, 2010

New bread recipe

My sister-in-law loaned me her mixer for awhile...and I don't think I can ever go back to being mixer-less. I've celebrated with a lot of chocolate chocolate chip cookies, and this week I made whole wheat bread with a mixer. It was SO EASY and so much better than the whole wheat 90 minute bread. I didn't even have to use gluten or dough enhancer.

My mixer isn't big enough for a whole batch, and I don't have that many bread pans anyway. But the recipe halves very nicely.
Here's a pic from Safely Gathered In. Doesn't it make you want to run to your kitchen and make some??

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A new Christmas project already!

Lisa linked me to this great new site (well, new to me). And Jamie pointed out this fantastic project. I decided to make the girls one for Christmas that will fit over our card table. I will have a nice long time to get it done, and there are so many little things to make for it that I think it will keep my attention. Go visit her blog to see more pictures.

I've already started making some of the leaves and fruit. Hobby Lobby sells small pieces of felt 4 for $1 that are the perfect size for the leaves, fruit and flowers. Felt is so much fun.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A guest post by J

We watch so much "Up," we are turning into the characters. Kitty screams like Kevin (the large bird), and am I the only one seeing the resemblance?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nothing like a three year old

So last night we had a family talk about using nice words to each other (prompted by a day of "STOP SCREAMING KITTY!" from Boo). Then we practiced. I said some nice things, then it was Boo's turn. She turned to Kitty and said, "Kitty, if you keep crying like that, Mom's going to put you straight to bed!" followed by, "Kitty, the next time you go to the doctor, you are going to get shots and they are going to HURT!"

Well. We had a rough day. Kitty had gotten her shots that morning and had been especially loud. Still, I think I need to evaluate my teaching skills.

Boo has also been especially creative lately. Sunday morning I was so tired, so I took a little nap while Kitty slept and Boo was "watching" something. I woke up to a markered loft wall. I stood there staring, slack-jawed, and Boo patiently explained that it was the water spout for the itsy bitsy spider. Was it ever.

And because I didn't learn my she drew a beautiful marker picture on my laptop wrist pad.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baked Oatmeal Update

So I tried the baked oatmeal again. I doubled the recipe for my 6 quart crockpot and only cooked it for 2 hours on low, and then let it set for an hour (lid off). It turned out much much better. I would probably cook it even a tad less. Yum.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

Two things:

First. I bought a 25 pound bag of oats. It was SO CHEAP. I had to. So now I also have to find things to do with oats.

Second. We were eating cold cereal for breakfast every morning. That had to stop. Boo's favorite is Chex, and she proudly announces to J, "I had sex this morning!" (darn that difficult 'ch' sound). So now cold cereal mornings are interspersed with oatmeal and egg mornings, and she says those fine.

I've been roaming the internet looking for something to spice up our oatmeal. And I found Baked Oatmeal for the crockpot. This picture is from the recipe site. And it looks like a no-bake cookie. Who wouldn't want that for breakfast?

Mine did not look like that. After I fished it out and cut it up, it was more like a dense cake. I've been eating it in the mornings with my peppermint tea and I love it. BUT I still really want that fake no-bake cookie for breakfast.

So I learned that crock pots really only cook the way they are supposed to if they are mostly full. So I'm guessing my baked oatmeal (that only filled the crockpot halfway) got way overcooked. And my crockpot cooks pretty fast anyway.

So if you try this, use a 4 quart crockpot. Since I am 4 quart crockpot-less, I'm going to double the recipe and try it again today.

Also: I would add more raisins and more cinnamon. But then I'm a cinnamon junkie. You should see my big mama cinnamon jar.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Granola

I love to make granola. It makes my house smell so nice. And I love to eat it.
Here is the recipe I've been using lately. I've modified it some, so here is what I do:

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweeteened or sweetened
1/2 cup toasted nuts (I usually use sliced almonds, but lately have used chopped pecans)
2+ teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Add dried fruit (raisins) after it is done baking.

We tend to go through this pretty fast, so I usually make a quadruple batch so I only have to make it every couple of weeks. I keep it in a plastic cereal storage container and it keeps great.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Boo started attending the Sunbeam class at church with the new year. I wondered how it would go, but she has taken the change like a champ. All of the new Sunbeams got to stand in front of the primary and the primary sang a welcome song (which consists of a lot of "Hello!"s). Boo waved and shouted back, "Hello!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Children's Museum

On Saturday afternoon we decided to take a quick trip to the Children's Museum. We arrived about an hour before closing, so I thought most people would already be gone. I was wrong about that on the 4th Level. It was a madhouse. So Kitty and I left J and Boo to ride the carousel and have tea with the three bears while we went to Playscape. It was much quieter there. This was Kitty's first time in the Babyscape, and she had a great time.

She looked like a boy in her Colts jersey, so she wore pink socks to girl her up a bit.

She loved the rocking horse.

Boo showed up at Playscape and hopped right into the baby area. She loves the squishy mats, every time we go to the museum I have to chase her out of the baby areas.

She did find some flowers to pick and a climbing area to keep her busy until closing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Day

We had a great Christmas Day.

Boo had two things on her Christmas list: sparkly princess stickers and candy. While we didn't come through with the candy (we meant to, just never got around to it), I found her (so I thought) the cutest sparkly princess stickers. When she pulled them out of her stocking, she hung her head and a little tear dripped down and she cried that they were, in fact, not the right princess sparkly stickers (i.e., not the ones she had seen at Target). But she got over that soon enough and enjoyed them all the same.

My brother sent Boo a Disney Princess Chutes and Ladders game. It is darn cute, and it's fun to teach her to play board games. She can follow the rules, but usually gets tired of the game before we make it to the castle at the end. Soon all the princesses are out of the box sliding down slides and climbing ladders willy-nilly.

Kitty had a ball with the wrapping paper and her new toys (which mostly were Boo's old toys that I just wrapped up...clever, no?). My mom sent her the cutest cloth books.

The aftermath.
Immediately after Christmas and New Years, Boo was talking about Halloween. We started talking about Valentine's Day...and now not a day goes by that she doesn't bring up the "Valentines Day party that all my friends are coming to. And we're going to dance and eat strawberries." Whaaaaaat??

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I suppose it's a shame that Merry Christmas Sheldon was up for so long, and it's taken me weeks to get a Merry Christmas of my girls up.

Here they are, all dressed up on Christmas Eve in their beautiful Christmas dresses from Grandma Hall.

Kitty loved playing with the wrapped gifts. She even managed to rip through a few.

"Are you kidding me, Mom? A Santa outfit??"

There's a smile.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Day At The Beach

We decided we had had enough of the perma-gray weather we had been having, so one afternoon we had a day at the beach. I dug the swimsuits out and we got dressed up...and turned up the heat.

We spread out a blue blanket for our 'ocean'. I found three (only three!) stuffed animals that could plausibly live in the ocean and we tossed them on the blanket.

We spread out our beach towels, put on our sunnies and soaked up the sun. (Notice we brought all the dogs and cats to the beach.)
And we built sand castles. (See my sunshine in the background?)

And we even had a beach picnic for dinner.

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Snow

These pictures are actually from last month, when we had our first snow. Boo was so excited to go out and play in the snow. I think most of the excitement came from just being out of the house.

The snow was a little dry to build a snowman, but they tried. They got the carrot nose in and then the head exploded when they tried to put in the eyes.
But once J started a snowball fight, Boo put the bottom half of the snowman to good use.
Boo chased J all around the yard.
Boo decided that snowballs were better for eating than throwing.
Except for throwing one at me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maybe my greatest find ever

Happy New Year! I have found maybe the greatest blog ever. And it is just getting started.

Here it is:

Random Acts of Reading

Last month I observed a Montessori classroom and fell in love with their lesson materials. I have been scouring the internet for resources to make some of my own. Thanks to my cousin's blog, Walk Beside Me, that got me started and led me to My Montessori Journey. Random Acts of Reading is her new blog adventure. Each post is about a selection from children's lit, with accompanying activities and LINKS to make the activities.

So far she has posted Goodnight Moon and The Missing Mitten Mystery.

The only problem I can foresee is spending a lot on color ink and cardstock.