Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Like My Big Sisters

Rebekah thought it would be fun to paint her nail just like her big sisters do. Little dis she realize that water color was not the proper medium for finger nails. It really didn't bother her. She was quite proud of her job and a little sad when mommy made her wash it off.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weaving 101

For her Tapestry of Grace week 6 craft project, Hannah decided to try her hand at weaving. We made this cardboard loom out of a box side and butcher's twine.
The over-under pattern wasn't hard to master, but Hannah was shocked how long it took to make such a small blanket. She couldn't imagine having weave all of your family's fabric.
Here is the finished "blanket".
Hannah decided it was the perfect size for her American Girl doll.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly Menu 10/20/2008

Monday: Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Broccoli

Tuesday: Hamburger Stroganoff over Rice, Peas

Wednesday: Burritos, Seven Layer Dip, Mexican Rice

Thursday: Hamburger Steaks with Mushroom Gravy, Green Beans, Fried Potatoes

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Penne with Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Sauce, Garlic Bread, Salad

Sunday: Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, 90 Minute Rolls

Desserts this week: Apple Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, Banana Pudding Parfaits

Another $10.00 Challenge

Today's $10.00 challenge didn't get me as many items as usual, however some these can be big ticket items, especially the cat food and cleaning products. The above items cost a total of $9.61. For the 21 items that averages out to just under $.45 cents a piece. I'd like to do better, but as I said with two bags of cat food and five cleaning products as well as shampoo I really can't complain. Plus I do have a $1.00 rebate on the laundry soap which makes it a little better. Now if I can get rid of the cats, stop cleaning my house, and shave the family's heads . . . just think how far I could stretch a buck. Don't worry I don't think any of those things will be happening soon.
I have had a few friends ask for some tips on stretching their grocery budget, so I am working on putting together a list of hints and websites. So check back if you too would like to know to cut your grocery bill a little.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Fridays are timeline day in our homeschool. The girls look forward to coloring the figures they studied all week long. Then during lunch we discuss each person or event and add them to our timeline in the appropriate place.
The timeline is a large piece of cardboard covered in a stone print contact paper. We then made lines with red ribbon. To figure our the dates for the lines, we took the number of years TOG yr 1 covers and divided it by the number of lines we had on our board. Mom then adjusted the numbers a bit knowing that we would have more on our timeline during the later part of the year. We typed the years on address labels and adhered them to the ribbons.
Here you can see the timeline in our kitchen. It is a good 6 feet tall. Thanks to Homeschool in the Woods for their beautiful timeline figures and the Mystery of History for their sewing board timeline. Our timeline is based on their directions.

The Best Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

This is my adaptation of my cyber friend Molly's recipe. My DH gives these a big thumbs up and that says a lot.

Cream together:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Add the following ingredients to the cream mixture:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups oat (old fashioned works best)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup dries cranberries

Spoon onto lightly greased or parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven. Depending on the size of your scoop, the average size cookie needs to bake for about 7 to 9 minutes.

**Remove from oven when edges are slightly brown and the middle of the cookie does not look quite done. When to remove it from the oven will be the deciding factor on having a good or bad cookie.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

$10 Grocery Challenge

This weeks $10 challenge wasn't quite as good as last weeks. However I think we still did ok. The above 23 items totaled $9.92. So that's just over $.43 an item. Really not bad considering there is the makings of two main pasta dishes and the morning coffee for a couple of weeks.
I am already working on next weeks $10 challenge and I think it is going to be a good one. So don't forget to check back. And I'd love to hear about your success at the store.

Free Quit Give Away

With the cool weather right around the corner, who wouldn't want a new quilt to curl up with next to the wood stove. Well here is your chance to win one. Just follow the link. She has done a beautiful job.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

French Bread

There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread, especially as the air turns a tad bit chillier.

This is the family's favorite french bead recipe. It is really quite simple and all the mixing and kneading can be done in my kitchen aid mixer.

Tonight we are having this with baked spaghetti, tossed salad and brownie sundaes. Yummy!

French Bread

  • 1 TBS yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 cup less 1 Tbs warm water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (I use sea)
  • 2 Tbs butter (softened)
  • 2 stiffly beaten egg whites
  • egg yolk and sesame seeds for top

Place yeast and pinch of sugar in the bowl of mixer. Cover with warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast proofs (starts to bubble). Add the next four ingredients and mix with dough hook attachment on medium speed while you beat the egg whites. Add egg whites and mix until incorporated. Let mixer knead dough for about 12-15 minutes. Remove to a oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and break into three equal sections. Roll each section into a rope and braid the three together, tucking the ends under. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Bush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Baking in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cylinder Seals

The girls are at it again with another hands on history craft project. Today they are making cylinder seals similar to the ones found through out ancient Mesopotamia.

Carving the desired shapes and letters into the clay was not an easy task. It gave all us a greater appreciation of the ancient artists who crafted the cylinders we viewed on museum web sites. They are beautifully detailed.

Earlier in the week we used a picture of a cylinder seal from the Royal Tomb of Ur for our weekly Charlotte Mason style picture study. The girls have really enjoyed these studies. The addition of art history and appreciation to our curriculum this year has been extremely beneficial. Thank you Tapestry of Grace!

Above is the impression Sarah's seal made in play dough. Below is Hannah's. Nice job girls!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Royal Game of Ur

BubbleShare: Share photos - Craft Instructions

The girls had such a wonderful time playing Senet at our Egyptian feast. They were excited to learn about the Royal Game of Ur. We searched for a printable version of the game, but couldn't find one. That was a big disappointment. So they decided to make their own.

You can see a picture of the game found in the Royal Tombs of Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley here
I think their game is a very good representation of the original.

We found directions to play the game here

The project was a lot of fun to make and play. Here is the supplies we used, but you could substitute whatever you have on hand.
  • Black Card stock (scrapbooking paper)
  • Light Brown Card stock (scrapbooking paper)
  • Cream Card Stock (scrapbooking paper)
  • Square Punch from Creative Memories
  • Cocoa Stamp Pad
  • Acrylic Stamps from Close to My Hear
  • Adhesive
  • Circle Cutter from Creative Memories
  • 3D Foam Mounting Circles (to make the pawns 3D)
  • Black Stamp Pad
  • White Colored Pencil (used to make the dots on the black pawns)
  • Pencil with Eraser (used the eraser to make the dots on the pawns)
  • Paper Cutter
  • Air Drying Clay for the Pyramidal Dice

If anyone would like more detailed directions let me know, I would be happy to help you out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Apple Picking at Hatch's Orchard

We headed to the apple orchard with our local homeschool group this past Friday. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a good turn out. Mrs. Hatch gave the group a lesson on apple trees. We found it interesting that next year's blossoms are already on the tree and that if you aren't careful when you pick you can actually break them off.

Here Hannah weighs the basket before picking. Then it was off to pick. The orchard was full of beautiful apples, and a few bees. We picked a great mix of macs, cortlands, empire and northern spy, forty pounds total. Hopefully that will give us quite a bit of apple sauce for the pantry and pie filling for the freezer

And of course we had to give them a try. Rebekah thought apple eating was the best homeschool field trip we have been on in a long time. I lost count of the number of apples she ate.

Then we hiked up to the field above the orchard and had a picnic. The view was breathtaking as you can see.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Comics in School!

We just finished up week 5 in Tapestry of Grace year 1 which included studying the Tower of Bable. Sarah created this cartoon as a picture narration of the Biblical account. It is the first time she ever created a cartoon. She truly enjoyed the assignment and showed her understanding of the event. The cartoon blocks are from a template I downloaded from
If you are not familiar with Donna Young you will want to take some time to peruse her site. She has tons of wonderful forms to download for FREE!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Water Play!

This is Rebekah's new favorite pastime. She can spend hours pouring water from one cup to another. She does a good job keeping the water in the cups, too. It is still easier to put a towel down just in case. Makes clean up a breeze.

Oh, and she has to have ice too! I think she likes the way you can get it out of the fridge door.

Look at that face. She is concentrating so hard. I love to sit back and watch her explore. She is growing and learning so much.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Homemade Oatmeal Wheat Bread

Today was bread baking day. It has been a little while since I baked homemade bread. Quite a few of my routines were disrupted this summer. Boy did I forget how good the house smells when bread is in the over.

Here is our family's favorite recipe. It is a personal adaptation of Crystal Miller's and Catherine Statt's recipes.

Oatmeal Wheat Bread
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 T yeast
  • Pinch raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 T gluten
  • 3 T wheat germ
  • 2 t sea salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal (whirl this in the blender or food processor)
  • 3 cup wheat flour
  • 3 cups bread flour

In my stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and raw sugar. Let proof for about five minutes until it is bubbly. Add the honey, oil, gluten, wheat germ, salt, and oatmeal. Mix on low until combined. Add three cups of the flour alternating between wheat and bread. I allow the mixer to knead the dough adding more flour a 1/4 cup at a time until the dough does not stick to the side of the bowl and does not feel sticky to the touch. Knead in the mixer or by hand for another 7-9 minutes.

When you have finished kneading the dough, place in a greased bowl and place in a warm place until it doubles in size. Punch the dough down. Divide into two pieces and shape into loaves and put into bread pans that have been greased (I like to use "pan-ease"). Let the loaves rise until they are about 1 inch above the side of the pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

This freezes well, but it is so good that two loaves wont last you long.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Look What $10.00 Can Buy!

Hannah, Rebekah and I made a dash to the store on Saturday to snatch up a few bargains. This is what we refer to as a triple play. Every item was on sale. I had a coupon for every item. And on top of that I could use two store flyer coupons worth $5.00 each. So all and all, all these groceries only came to $9.16. Not bad for 27 items. That's about $.33 each. Now I know I can't feed my family on what I bought, but with the rising cost of everything, especially groceries, every little bit helps. I love shopping trips like these.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting caught up!

As a result of requests from my darling husband a wonderful friends I am going to give this blogging thing another try. It's not that I didn't enjoy or want to keep up with the family blog, it was truly a matter of time or lack there of. As most of you know our youngest is not the best sleeper. Her night owl tendencies have drastically cut into my time for planning, computer, reading, scrapbooking, orgainizing and all the other things crazy women like myslef enjoy doing when most are asleep. We are trying to but the little one on a better scedule and keep her in her own crib. Hopefully this will go smoothly and I will be back on track soon. Anyway, I am going to try and post highlights from the last year as there were some big ones. So you will have to look closely to know when things actually happened.


Making Papyrus

Sarah received this kit as a gift a while back. It was perfect for your Tapestry of Grace year 1 studies about Egypt. We had hoped to have this made by our Egyptian Feast, however, it takes a lot longer to make than we anticipated. Above the reeds are soaking, this step lasted over a week and we had to change the water frequently.
After the reeds finished soaking, the girls laid them in sheets, overlapping the edges slightly. The reeds were quite waterlogged and fragile.
Next, we rolled the reeds between two pieces of cloth. The amount of water that gushed out of them was amazing. We placed the reed mat between layers of newspaper and piled a bunch of books on top. It sat this way for a couple of days, moved only to change the newspaper when it was too wet.
Here is what the mat looked like after drying for about a day. Unfortunately, mom moved the mat into the living room by the wood stove to speed up the process and all the reeds shrunk. Needless to say that was the end of the nice mat that the girls were going to decorate with hieroglyphics. We did get a pretty good idea of the texture the "paper" would have been as we did have a small section of reeds that had adhered. All in all it was a great project for the girls. The effort and time it took to make sure left an impression on them. Hopefully, they will think twice before emptying mom's printer tray for their daily sketch session.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Horses for Hannah

Hannah just finished up a two week unit on horses. In order to end things on a high note we went to visit friends of our who have a horse and a pony as well as a few new boarders. Their teenage daughter gave us a tour of the barn, indoor riding ring, and took us to see the horses out in the pasture.
The highlight of the visit was grooming their pony. Hannah was an old pro after her weeks at camp these last two years. What surprised everyone was how comfortable Rebekah was around the horses and pony. She was not going to be out done by her big sister. Just look at her groom that pony!
Watch out Mr. D! We could be in for TWO horses in the near future!