Friday, January 28, 2011

Something Nice to Start Your Weekend


I have three or four posts started, but none quite ready to put up yet. As we've just passed the day of the March for Life, I would like to share a quote that my mom gave me around the time that I left home for the Navy. I happened back across this little gem while cleaning the bedroom today. She said (if I recall correctly) that she wanted this little scrap of paper back sometime, so I will duly share it here and then return it.


Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of love.

~ Maureen Hawkins


I hope being reminded of a mother's love helps start your weekend off in a good way, as it has mine.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Cheating" Your Way Through the Kitchen...

Tips and Tricks When You Have to "Do Without"

A couple of notes on measuring ingredients while cooking...


It is best to use a wet measuring cup for liquid ingredients - milk, juice, water, etc. - and get down at the level of the measuring device to make sure your measurement is accurate to help avoid the mix coming out wet, which will then take longer to cook inside.








And use a spoon handle to level off a dry measuring cup for all other items that take more than a few Tablespoons - flour, sugar, dried fruit, etc. Or gently shake it down to make the item more-or-less even with the top of the measuring cup.







** "Cheating" Your Way Through The Kitchen **

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Home Made Doughnuts - Yum!


Recently, Smeagol and Maestro decided to earn some extra money by selling home made muffins and doughnuts. The math and methods for selling are in this post. I posted about it on Facebook and have had a request or two for the recipe. Here is the recipe - remember that you can use the food processor to make them quickly and easily for a good Saturday-morning treat!

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Flight - Video Review

My mom works in a small shop in Tacoma, Wa, called Chirp & Co. When we visited at Thanksgiving, the boys did all kinds of cool home school stuff. They made their own walking sticks, helped with stocking and customers, painted their own birdhouses, etc. There were actually several more workshops upcoming that we would have loved to attend, but alas, the vacation ended and we were pulled back to "real" life back in Maryland.

BUT one of the last things Mom gave me to pack and take home was a lovely little video sold in her shop called First Flight: A Mother Hummingbird's Story by Noriko and Don Carroll. We didn't get around to watching it until just this past Tuesday. What was just a 45-minute video for me, turned into an impromptu science and art lesson that lasted several days! First, here is a brief synopsis from the back of the video box:




Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: Wild Things

I am not usually impressed by parenting books - not any more. I've had too many children and seen too much in life to put any real stock in their advice. But every now and again I come across one that is easy to read in my very limited free time, that seems worth completing and that has some useful words of wisdom. Not only that, but in a house with several hundred books already on the shelves, space is at a premium for books I intend to keep around!

The book Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas is a book I am only about 1/4 of the way finished with and am willing already to recommend it to every parent of boys that I know.

Whether your boy is a toddler or a teen, you are likely to find something of value in this book.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Overcoming Frustration


What to do with a six-year-old who is frustrated from learning to tie his shoes? Make him do it again. Grit and Grin and tie it again. And again. And again. OR end up tying shoes for a 30-year-old man (???) Yeah. No.


Each of my three older children are different in this way. Maestro has had a lot of experience at things coming relatively easy for him. With music, he has never had to really press through frustration because he "gets it" on the first or second try. It's just his thing. Smeagol, on the other hand, has long had to work for every. single. step.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who's Your Mama?


An early effort at writing - this one was on his own

I am a huge fan of the opinion pages and blogs on the Wall Street Journal site. I haven't visited them much, but I tend to enjoy the articles I read there. A recent "Saturday Essay" in the Journal was entitled Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. In the article, Amy Chua, a 2nd-generation Chinese-American, describes her parenting methods, and more briefly those of her own parents. She makes a distinction between "Chinese Mothers" and "Western Parents," the difference being not so much race-related as parenting-style related. I've put links to a few other thought-provoking articles at the end of this post.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Raking in the Dough with Doughnuts!

After the dust had settled, we're all still here!

Smeagol and Maestro decided to try their hands at making home made doughnuts and muffins to sell to the neighbors. Rotten home schooling Mom that I am, we turned it into a week-long project! There were many steps involved, but I'll try to condense things a bit.

First Smeagol had to learn to look the recipe up using the index in the cookbook. That took a little more time than you might imagine, but he did manage it in the end. He has done this once before, and simply made a batch then took them door-to-door to sell them. This time, we discussed ways to increase his sales numbers.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Meeting on Common Ground


We sleep in a queen-size bed. Given that we've been married for twelve years, I know this is not a shock to anyone. Buttercup is transitioning out of the queen-sized bed. That might be somewhat more of a shock, but we keep a family-bed concept going for the first couple of years and then move them to their own space (or more likely, space that they enjoy sharing with a sibling.) Most nights, the queen-size bed is fairly comfortable for the three of us: all have enough room and covers; we're cozy and warm without being crowded.
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