Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Last Week of September

What happened to September??

We sort of took last week off from doing anything formal. Not that we do much formal learning anyway, but my husband was home all week so we did absolutely nothing and did it as a family. It was lovely.

We started this week with a trip to the library. We usually go to the library on Mondays. The kids are done learning about dinosaurs, reptiles and amphibians and done studying animal habitats. They haven't expressed an interest in anything particular so we're going to learn about our wonderful state. Maeve is also interested in learning how to sew so we brought home crafting books too.

Today the kids labeled a map of our state and Maeve wrote down the biggest cities and located them. We talked about the state flower, rock, tree, bird, flag and motto and the kids colored various pages relating to all of it. I read a lot of interesting facts, but I think all the kids heard was "wah, wah wah.." Ah well.

Tomorrow we are going to visit a very hands on learning center about the history of our state. Thursday Maeve has art class and Friday I think we'll try to get to the state museum. Depending on the interest level, I might have the kids do lap books.

I've been a lot more relaxed lately about learning. I've been going with the flow and planning according to what the kinds are interested in at the time. I think it's working well, although there are some days that the kids require a bit more structure than I've planned for that day. This is definitely a learning process for all of us, but we're having fun and the kids are retaining information which is really my only goal for the year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bedtime Bags

 This was a two part project and the kids had a lot of fun.

First, I cut an old pillowcase in half and cut all but one of the seams. I watered down acrylic paints and let my kids paint their piece of fabric.

After the paint was dry, I lined the bag and added a pocket to the front. I still need to make a handle.

This bedtime bag will be at home on my son's bedroom door knob. The pocket is for the bedtime book of his choosing and the bag will hold his pajamas. This will be wrapped and given to him for Christmas. Unfortunately, he already found the almost completed bag and was really excited about it. I'm hoping he forgets about it and will be just as excited when he sees it filled with new books and pajamas.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What We've Been Doing

The weather is cooler (finally!!) so we've been spending a lot of time outside. We've been bull frogging which consists of walking to the pond by our house, getting out a small bucket and toy fishing pole, spotting bull frogs and sticking the fishing pole in the water to see if a frog will bite it. Of course we don't have a real hook or a container for the frog so I am always happy to say "oops, he got away again". 

We have been on several walks collecting various things that remind us of fall. The kids have gathered a lot of seeds, a pumpkin, a squash, pine cones and a basket full of acorns. They put all of their found objects on our seasonal shelf and enjoy touching everything throughout the day. 

I cut up a white sheet and diluted acrylic paint so the kids could paint on the pieces of fabric. Some of the pieces were turned into skirts and some of the pieces were made into bedtime bags. The bedtime bags have a pocket on the front, handles and will be filled with new pjs and books and be given to the kids for Christmas. Finn actually got into this painting project and worked very hard on his fabric. I can't wait to have him see his completed bag. 

We've been studying reptiles and learning about various habitats. We've covered every reptile except the turtle. We've played Go Fish using reptile cards I printed on card stock. We made a dinosaur timeline and a dinosaur play dough village. We created a habitat for our new lizard and have learned about what he eats. Maeve noticed that Lizard Lemon shed his skin today and that was neat to have seen. 

Finn has loved playing games lately. We've played Sorry several times, have done puzzles (he did at least half of a 100 piece puzzle by himself!), played Go Fish with regular cards and have played some other games that I can't recall this moment. 

Oren has been Oren. He has learned how quickly the dog will take food out of his hand when it's offered, how many pieces of dog food he can shove into his mouth before I notice, how high he can climb before it's not funny anymore and that even if he holds his breath and turns purple I'm still not going to pick him up when I have a scalding hot pan in my hand. On the flip side, he has also learned that I will always come to his rescue, I know what he means when he says "ma" very seriously and that I love him enough to attack him with kisses several times a day. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Technical Difficulties

My beloved laptop has been out of commission for the last two weeks. The cord died and the computer battery is useless. My new cord should arrive sometime soon so I'm hoping to get caught up. I tried very hard to justify a new Macbook, but responsibility won and I settled for a new cord.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken and Noodles

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday.

Chicken and noodles is a favorite around here. It's not the healthiest thing, but it is comfort for the soul. And tasty.

For the stock:
I put a whole chicken in a stock pot or dutch oven, fill will water, cover and bake for about three hours. I take the meat off the bone and then put the bones and skin back into the pot, fill with water and bake for another three hours. This usually produces 6+ quarts of broth.

For the noodles:
Generally speaking, I use one egg per person. We love leftovers so I always use seven eggs for my family of 5 (one nursling). Crack your eggs into a large bowl or mixer bowl. I use my Kitchen Aid for this, however, it is completely uneccessary. Add flour until you can't add anymore. Plop dough onto floured surface. Continue to mix in flour until you can't add anymore. Now it's time to roll.

Roll dough into desired thickness. I like thin noodles so I usually divide my dough in half and roll out one half at a time. When the dough has been rolled out, roll it up like you would with cinnamon rolls. Cut and unroll. Add to boiling broth and cook for 20 minutes. Or you can place uncooked noodles on a cookie sheet and freeze them. When frozen put in a freezer bag and save for soup, beef and noodles, chicken and noodles, etc.

Rolled out dough. This is only two eggs and is very thin. 
Dough rolled cinnamon style and ready for cutting.
This is everyone's favorite part of noodle making.

This is chicken and noodle soup. Yum.