Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ghoulish Delights

The little monsters and I cooked up some hauntingly delicious treats this week. We started with butter cookies ever......they are egg free so you can eat all the raw dough you want.

Next we made breadstick bones with a side of bloody marinara. We used this breadstick recipe. The kids were amazed by the bread making process. It also provided and opportunity to talk about micro-organisms. We had a great discussion about yeast and it's role in making leavened bread. To form the bones roll dough into 12-15 inch long sticks, next snip the ends of each stick down the middle into two equal pieces 1-2 inches long. Next, roll the snips down towards the long side of the bone. Bake as directed. Finally we made ghostly grilled muenster cheese sandwiches.
I'm not sure who had more fun...but I'd be willing to bet it was probably me;) I love Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Fest 2009!

We visited the Fall Fest today and had a blast! This place had it all: Corn mazes, giant slides, tractor races, soybean pit, hay bale castle, pumpkin painting and duck races. Whew! What a great way to spend the afternoon. Days like today make me realize how blessed I am, with cuties like these what more could I ask for? My point was so eloquently posted on a chalkboard today in the ladies restroom "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" -Abe Lincoln.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Playing with my food.....

We have a birthday party to attend in the near future and I have been "practicing" making the gifts. This is my trial run for the holidays. I plan on attempting to handmake everyone's gifts this year. It's my simple way of reining in the out of control consumer train our family is riding on. With the exception of one or two gifts, I don't expect to "buy" anything for the children. I hope my extended family won't mind their lovingly handmade will be quite a deviation from the usually! We are short on funds and the world is short on resources....most of my materials will come from repurposed items and thrift store finds. Wish me luck it's sure to be an adventure. This cupcake is so cute and calorie free! Directions can be found here at Rachael Rabbit.

Thanks to felt, strawberries are now local and in season all year! I found the tutorial for this strawberry at Mr. Monkeysuit. I'm planning on making a few dozen more:)

Perhaps I can challenge you all to a handmade holiday season. Please follow the link on my blog to Etsy and browse the thousand of handmade treasure waiting for you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sew Knot Impressive ......

Well, my second adventure in sewing did not go as smoothly......Many of the projects flat out failed and the completed ones were quite"wonky". However I'm fairly certain my 5 month old will not judge me to harshly. I know it will take time and practice to be able to sew at the caliber I desire....but I'm so impatient. Here are two of the imperfectly adorable projects I attempted. First up a scrappy earthworm who has been bequeathed with the name Sherman the worman.
Next my attempt at a tag blanket...not a "Taggie" blanket because that would be copyright infringement:) The seams are terrible but E still loves it!

While I've have been practicing my skills so has miss O. I took all my felt scraps and cut small slits into the middles. Next I gave O one of my large embroidery needles and had her string them together. Once completed I basted them on to a strip of 1/2 elastic and.......Viola a rocking wrist cuff!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Can You Smell It.....

This weekend fall was in the air and I had to have something warm and spicy immediately...luckily I have the perfect dairy free pumpkin muffin recipe....25 minutes later I was one happy woman.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/3 cup of water

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 3/4 cup of AP flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 12 cup muffin tin. In a medium size bowl combine the wet ingredients plus the sugar and mix until evenly distributed. In a large bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and quickly mix until just incorporated, do not over mix. Dish into muffin tin and bake 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of muffin.

For the dairy eating part of the fam I whipped up my world famous scones...this version was chocolate chip. Personally, I prefer blueberry lemon scones but shock and children wanted the chocolate ones.....Hmmmmm

I am an avid baker and having to go dairy free is really putting a damper on things for me..oh well my thighs aren't complaining:) I wonder if I can find a dairy free pumpkin cheesecake recipe for Thanksgiving...I can't skip this tradition, the family might revolt.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly School Report

It has been a busy week here at the academy for wayward children:) The kiddos have a yucky virus so we were unable to do our weekly nature walk....but we were able to keep up with the rest of our studies. Here are a few of our projects.

T is studying the circulatory system and this week we focused on blood composition. To illustrate the various components we made a blood model. We used Karo syrup to depict the plasma, red lentils for red blood cells, dried garbanzo beans for white blood cells and blue dyed rice for platelets. This lab was really cool...and sticky!

In history this week we are focusing on the Babylonians. We studied up on Hammurabi's code of laws and T decided to make his own code of laws for his room. The drawing is a depiction of him issuing his decrees.

We also covered Babylonian architecture specifically ziggurats which are terraced pyramids of successively receding stories. T made a replica of a ziggurat using some recyclables and painted it reddish brown to resemble mud bricks. He of course had to add a Lego Indian Jones and a golden idol for authenticity. The ideas for these projects came from our Story of The World Activity Guide.

All in all considering how sick we were I think it was a very successful week....I really was hoping to call in a substitute this week but apparently that's not an option for homeschoolers;)

Where Does It Go?

Well, little E is 5 months old today...hard to believe. Someone once told me "the days are long but the years are short" so true. E is such a calm, contented, joy of a child...he must get that from me:) Seriously though he really is such a sweet soul....

This is supposed to be the last baby for us...I am trying to enjoy every moment and stop thinking this is the last of the baby first. But come on, we make such cute kids it would be a tragedy if we stopped now......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oak and Acorn Crafts

After our mighty oak nature walk we had a thousand leaves and acorns to dispose of. So we decided to get crafty.

Here are our water colored oak leaves. First we traced them onto coffee filters, then we cut them out and painted them. They look so beautiful in the playroom window.

Next up is O's acorn fairy. She collected all of the embellishments from our yard. She was very pleased with herself. Mama helped with the hot glue:)

Finally our acorn pumpkins. The kids loved this one. O helped me paint all the acorns and Tyler helped me decorate them.

This is just the best of the can bet with the "crafty" girl I've got there are a ton of glittered acorns adorning my home!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Ode to Cheese

Cheese...cheese how I love thee. E is apparently intolerant to dairy so I have performed the ultimate sacrifice and given up my beloved cheese for going on 7 weeks. I have dreams of gooey greasy pizza...the kind that you have to fold in half to contain it's goodness.... I can almost taste it. To honor my departed I have compiled an ABC of cheese. Hopefully this will help quell my cravings.....

Please...please go eat some cheese for me.....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick stir crazy three year day in pictures

Fabric Scrap Journal

Cardboard Weaving

Thumbprint Pumpkin Patch
Acorn Pumpkins

Glittered Acorn Cardbard Frame

Thursday, October 15, 2009


My dream in life is to grow up and be a master seamstress......I have had a sewing machine for 10 years and have desperately tried to learn to sew. Well, after a million ripped seams, countless jams and yards upon yards of ruined fabric I am on my way! I found a wonderful twirly skirt tutorial on the house on hill road website. I can proudly say I was able to sew this on the first try with no mistakes.....this is a true small miracle. Usually my projects result in me sweating and cursing surrounded by a mountain of loose threads and shredded fabric. My sewing machine has at times caused me to loathe all appliances and ascribe to the lifestyle of a Luddite. Until today...when the clouds parted and the sun shone down on my beautiful twirly skirt. I hope to share many more of my sewing victories in the to fondle more fabric.....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

History Report

"A generation which ignores history has no past and no future." Robert Heinlein

T seems to be following in his Mama's footsteps and is thoroughly engrossed in ancient history. We are using The Story of the World Vol.1 with Activity Guide this year and so far we are all enjoying it. Ancient Egypt is by far T's favorite subject matter to date. We are in the process of mummifying a potato...will post pics upon completion. After studying Sumer we made cuneiform tablets of our initials.
We also created Sumerian seals after studying the first Sumerian dictator Sargon. In ancient Sumer very few people knew how to write their names. Instead, they made special seals they embossed into wet clay. T used a Lego (of course) to make his seal.
I am looking forward to creating more of these art projects throughout the year. T loves to see his completed is really inspiring him!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm a little acorn round.....

Outdoor Hour Challenge Autumn Series-Oaks and Acorns

This week for our outdoor hour challenge the children and I studied Oaks and acorns. There are a variety of Oaks growing in our neighborhood and 2 Oak trees in our own backyard. We were able to identify the Oaks in our backyard as Eastern White Oak trees, we also found Scarlett Oaks and a suspected Northern Red Oak. We did a bark rubbings of the Eastern Oaks in the back yard.

Here is a picture of O holding her collection of Scarlet Oak leaves.

The children are really enjoying this fall nature series and it is wonderful to see them be able to identify trees on their own with no prompting from me. We are going to do a variety of craft projects with our leaves and acorns I will post our masterpieces later.