Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WIP Wednesday

This adorable little bunny is some of the Easter crafting going on. This was so easy to make following Betz White's tutorial here. The body is made from a merino wool sweater that was free from one of the local church thrift stores. I felted it in the washing machine. The fabric in the ears is scraps left over from Rebekah's birthday banner. The buttons came out of the button basket, a collection of extra and rescued buttons from everywhere. The pom pom is cotton made using this tutorial. The yarn was left from another project.

I love making things for family and friends, especially the kids. And it is always a plus when I can repurpose items and create frugally.

What are you crafting this Spring? I'd love to hear. And don't forget to include your tips for repuropsing materials. I am always on the look out for new ideas.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

4H Sewing Class

Hannah and her friend James along with six other kids had their first 4H sewing class today. They seemed to have a great time and already started their first project, a bag. I couldn't get many details because it is going to be a surprise. What I do know is it is denim fabric with straps. They should finish the bag at next weeks class.

They have 5 classes and then the teachers of the class hope to start a 4H sewing club. The kids are so excited. Hannah has always been crafty and sewing is something she has dabbled in a bit. We just always seem to run out of time. Well, anyway, after one class she is already planning to ask for a sewing machine for Christmas. Seems she liked the purple and white one she got to use in class.

Stay tuned. Hopefully I will have pictures of the secret bag next week.

Homeschool Skating!

We are right in the middle of a month of homeschool skating at the local ice rink. It has been an awesome time - lots of friends and exercise to boot. This past week we had over 40 homeschoolers on the ice. I wish I had gotten them all in the picture.

A few the kids are just learning, and doing great! I just love all the little ones in the picture below.

The teen pack!

We ended the day with the Zamboni! Boy is there a lot more to that machine then I realized. Next week we are going to get a tour of the refrigeration rooms! Too cool!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekly Menu Plan: March 29 - April 4

It has been a while since I posted our weekly menu plan. We have been busy and out of the house lately. And that has played havoc with our menu plan. Not to mention getting used to Doug's new schedule with his new job. It is all good. With the change of seasons I am feeling the need to get back to a plan. So here goes.

Breakfast: Poached Eggs on Honey Wheat Toast and Cantaloupe
Lunch: Grilled Cheese and Pears
Dinner: Spaghetti, Lettuce Wedges, and Garlic Bread

Breakfast: Yogurt and Granola
Lunch: Tuna Wraps and Pineapple
Dinner: Sloppy Joes and Ranch Potatoes Wedges

Breakfast: Oatmeal Bar
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches and Cucumber Sticks
Dinner: Pork Roast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Mac & Cheese and Apple Slices
Dinner: Baked Chicken, Brown Rice, and Carrots

Breakfast: Crepes with Ricotta Filling and Fruit
Lunch: Orzo with Pesto and Tomatoes
Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Breakfast: Pancakes and Bacon
Lunch: Left Overs
Dinner: Gramma's House

Easter Sunday
We will be at Gramma's house for the day!

Need some more inspiration for your weekly menu? Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for hundreds of menus.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

4H County Activities Day

I posted earlier that the girls have joined a local 4H group. We are still learning the ins and out of 4H and having a grand time doing it.

This Saturday was County Activities Day. The girls didn't really know what it was all about and were hesitant to enter. Sarah finally got up the nerve and enter two photographs she had taken. One last summer - a tree with the sun streaming through it. One this winter - a view of the icy river from a bridge. You'll hear more about the photos later.

The action exhibits were a lot of fun. the kids above are playing a livestock trivia game, much like jeopardy. Of course this city girl didn't know the answer to any of the questions. I did lean a lot though.

Hannah had a great time learning how to clean an English saddle, another one of the action exhibits.

Mary is making slime. This was a big hit with all the kids.

But for Rebekah, the best part was the cows. She is convinced that she can have a cow if these kids can. She thinks we need a papa, mama and six little cows. I think cows would be great too. But I don't think anyone else is on board.

The day ended with the awards. Sarah received two blue ribbons and an invitation to State Activities Day for her photo of the the River in Winter. So I guess we will be heading to UNH in June. She was so excited and we were so proud.

International Night

It's that time of year again! International Night! This has always been one of the girls high lights of their school year. This year we decided to participate in not one but two International Nights. This is the first one hosted by the homeschool group in Wolfboro.

Sarah and Hannah chose to study Peru. Their display came out awesome! They worked hard and learned a lot.

There were over twenty countries represented by 27 or so families.

Most of the families had a connection to the country they studied. The family that chose Afghanistan has a brother stationed there with the military.

Everyone made a food from their country. The chocolate moose from France was really good. Just look at Becky's face. You can almost hear her 'MMMMMMMM"

Students had the chance to present something about their country. Can you guess who these children are? A Degas ballerina and Napoleon. Very cool!
Well done everyone! It was a ton of fun and educational too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fun with Fondant

Almost two years ago our homeschool group had a cake decorating class - the frosting and tips kind. It was such a huge success and Hannah was hooked on cake decorating. For Christmas she even got her own cake decorating kit full of tips, bags, frosting colors, spatulas, pans and more.

This year we had a family offer to teach another cake decorating class. This time decorating with fondant. Fondant is something Hannah has wanted to work with for a while, but to me it was a little intimidating and didn't taste all that great. So this class was just what we needed.

Here all are the wonderful spring colors of fondant. Fourteen batches in all! It was a lot of fondant.

Everyone was able to choose a color of fondant to cover their cake. The cookie cutters were used to cut shapes out of the left over fondant to decorated the cake.

Ethan has finished rolling out his fondant. Shannon helps him lift it over to his cake. You can see that his cakes had been frosted with a thin layer of buttercream. This gives acts as glue.

Here Sarah smooths her fondant.

The fondant is similar to play dough. You can mold it, shape it, cut it into anything your imagination can dream up. Above you can see some wavy stripes Hannah cut for her cake.

She attached them to the sides.

Here are the girls finished cakes.

If you want to give fondant a try here is the recipe we used. It was a lot of fun and really was easy.

1/3 cup soft butter
1/3 light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb confectionery sugar

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your mixer and mix until well blended. Knead briefly and wrapped tightly in saran wrap and chill.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Look Who's 10!

It is hard to believe that Hannah is 10! WOW! Double digits! Hannah wanted to have a skating party at the local skating rink. As many of you know Hannah discovered skating this winter and is hooked.

Six of Hannah's friends met us at the ice rink for a couple of hours of skating and snacking.

A few of the girls caught in action.

Sarah and Brynn

Bekah had a great time riding the creates instead of skating with them. Here it is Mary's turn to push her for a while.

The whole gang at the end of the skating. We headed back to the house for pizza and a movie, Ice Princess. (As if there wasn't enough skating already)

Even the cake had a skate theme.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

4H Pinewood Derby

There's a new 4H group in the area and the girls were lucky enough to be asked to be part of it. Oh of the first event was a Pinewood Derby. The girls had a great time designing and building their cars.

Sarah was very creative and made her car to look like a pencil. She was hoping that the aerodynamics would help her speed. Hannah made a limo!

In the first race the girls had to race each other!

Then there were more heats . . . and race offs until finally there were winners in three age groups.

Here are a few more of the cars waiting to be weighed in before the start.
You can see more of the fun and some of the winners at the Kelley Family blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010


A few days ago I posted a link to a video clip about making your own seed pots. And since then we have been busy at work rolling pots. I even sat in the lodge while the kids were skiing one day and rolled pots. Talk about a conversation starter.

Here is Rebekah rolling one of her pots. If she looks a little under dressed she is. She wont take off her new bathing suit.

Hannah caught on the fastest turning out pot quickly. Which was a good thing because we needed lots of pots.

Slowly the pile of pots is growing.

Then it was time to fill . . .

. . . and plant.

We were able to get green beans, Roma tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, and basil planted. Not a bad start. We will be adding more tomatoes, a variety of peppers and more.

There is still snow on the garden, but we are hoping for an early spring! So what are you planning to plant in your garden?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WIP - Work in Progress Wednesday

A quick peek at a few more goodies in the works.

These crazy bug prints just scream spring. Don't you think? Perfect for a little ones Easter basket.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

$10.00 Challenge - Well a little over

It has been a while since I posted a $10 challenge. But I thought this one was worth sharing.

These 22 items plus a bag of skittles (eaten by my little helpers on the way home) cost a total of $13.99! A little over my $10 challenge but I think this was worth every penny. Usually the solid white tuna is over $1.00 a can, and I purchased 10 cans on this trip. We were out of Cheerios, my girls favorite cereal so to grab a couple of boxes for $.49 was a good deal.

As you can see I really did spend only $13.99 and saved $40.88. I can't imagine spending over $53.00 for these items. I really hope there aren't people out there spending that. If there are many I should offer to shop for them and keep half the savings as my payment. They'd save money and I'd make money. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quote - How much love

"In my life there is an infinite supply of love, it is in exhaustible, I can never use it all in this lifetime so I don't have to be sparing with it!"
Louise Hay

Whether you agree with Louise Hay's philosophy or not doesn't matter. This quote is so true and applies to all of us. And it really hit home for me today, a day when things weren't going quite the way I wanted. The kids weren't doing quite what I wanted. Man, even the house wasn't cooperating and cleaning itself. Then I received this quote from a friend and realized I was the issue, not the kids, not the house, but me and my thinking. A little adjustment, a little love and you know what the day is not going great!

We all have an infinite supply of love. The questions is whether or not we are sharing it, spreading it, showing it, or letting other things get in the way.

How much love are you sharing today?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Soap! A Simple Joy

I have been wanting to make soap for a while now, but every time the few people I knew who made it kept telling me how dangerous it was because of the lye. They didn't want to do it with kids around and that just doesn't work for me. Their warnings scared me enough to not want to try it on my own so I was out of luck. That was until I overheard another friend say she was making soap, and she has lots of kids and pets too. So of course I mentioned joining her the next time she made soap and hoped she would remember.

Jump forward a couple of weeks and joy! She remembered and I could even bring all my kids plus a few more. Armed with my camera we headed down for the afternoon to make soap. I had visions of all these fabulous steps to photograph and later blog about.

However, I was in for a surprise. There are only a couple of steps to making soap and they are quick and easy. So much so that the whole process was over before I even got my camera out. I was disappointed about the pictures, but thrilled that soap is so easy to make. I figured I would make it at home and photograph it.

To my surprise, my soap was delivered today! Yes she gave me the batch I mixed up! This is such a blessing. So now I have a self in my pantry with 18 bars of soap curing!

Aren't they pretty?

I still plan to make my own, but now it will be a while so you will have to stop back it you want to learn just how quick and easy it is to make your own soap.