Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kindergarten is... (plus awesome hair)

I have had a couple people ask how Havah feels about kindergarten now that she's a month in.
Well she loves it! It is not academically challenging in any way shape or form at this point, (every day she comes home and I ask a series of questions something like this, "Tell me something interesting your teacher told you today?", "What activities did you do at school today?" "Did you learn anything you didn't know before?" The only things she has named are, songs, facts about her teacher's two year old, and rules.)
But since there are kids in her class who don't even know their colors, and she is happy, we are going with, "Poor teacher... how to cover such a spectrum of kids!" 
 She loves P.E. music and library and doing projects in class. She does not get to go to lunch recess very often because she eats so slowly. I think she's come to accept that about herself and it doesn't really bother her anymore. She makes it out about 1/3 of the time.
 As we expected, most of her education is social. She is learning how to make friends, and how to be brave and introduce herself to new kids she wants to play with. She comes home every day to tell me about someone new she met at school, but she seems to be developing a little core of people she really likes, Johanna, Sophia, Carson and... oh I forgot the other one... Anyway, it's fun to hear about their 'games'.

Final judgement- Kindergarten is not as boring as is first appeared. :) Glad we dodged that bullet!

Like her hair? It's one continuous Italian braid. We're getting this braiding thing down... now I just need to work on clean parts. I'm not very good at that. Lilly also asked to have her hair braided, so I put it in milkmaids, we'll see how her straight silky hair does over night.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mud Pies

They spent hours in the garden this morning decorating themselves in mud. I think next time I am going to go out with them. They had a lot of fun without me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dangerous Photography

What I look like from the cup holder's vantage point.
This is a picture I accidentally took of myself yesterday while driving all over creation, and trying to get my Bluetooth to connect to the stereo so my screaming, yelling, sobbing, poking, pulling, singing, (did I already say screaming?) children would BE QUIET!!! AHHH!!

What a day. Riki-Tiki did nothing for us.... but blessings on Wendy's Value Menu chicken burgers! So glad the car is not on the agenda for today!
Things we did before the nuclear melt downs began...

Havah and Lilly on the Tire swing with
new park friends Gabby and Ethan
Gid wishing he was big enough to ride on the tire swing
These two year old boys were Lilly's "Team", she was the "chief", they followed her all over the place for over an hour!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Three little monkey's swingin' in the tree...

Teasin' Mr. Alligator, "Can't catch me!"
"You can't catch me!"

Along comes Mr. Alligator quiet as can be...

And...

Snapped that monkey right out of that tree!


*Tree climbing this evening after cleaning up the yard so the "Weed Man" can come do his thing tomorrow... Morning Glory, Button Weed, and pill bugs beware!



Monday, September 24, 2012

ZOOM!

We played at the park
The slide went a little faster then Gid anticipated.

And then he dumped rocks on Lilly's head.
How much more fun could a lovely fall afternoon be?

*as you can see the shadows are long... Havah was home but did not get to come with us because she took 5000 years to eat her dinner and was left behind. She's not kidding when she says she misses a lot of lunch recess because she hasn't finished her lunch.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Everyone can swing! video

Uncle Scott and Uncle Nate are a little heavy for our swing set and sunk it a few inches last week. Now it's just Gid swinging height, he had a blast being a big kid with the girls.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gluten free for people who aren't: Mushroom Meatballs


I have a sister. Her name is Melissa. She has lived with us for most of the last 5 years. I believe in family dinner, and I believe that (except on pizza night) Melissa should get to eat whatever the rest of us are eating. Our Lissa has moved upward in the world and now lives with Uncle Chris, but we've been eating 'Melissa friendly' for so long, that most of our meals are Gluten free, or can been made gluten free with a couple tweaks.

Melissa was "gluten intolerant" before it was cool... Now that it is cool, I find a running theme among friends who are not 'gluten free', but have friends are relatives who are, "What do I cook for these poor/weird/crazy/sad (insert your own adjective if I missed it) people who no longer indulge in the joy that is gluten?"

I would like to devote a few posts to foods that are A)Gluten free B) Healthy and C)CHEAP!

Tonight: MEATBALLS! They are cheap and easy (actually taste better gluten free) and can be added to just about anything.

You will need:
1/2 lb. Ground pork or beef (pork is better... half pork half beef is fine... just beef... well... do they make bacon out of cows?)
Equal volume (about 4 large) Crimini Mushrooms minced (that means the pile should be as big and the pile of meat)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder (or you can use minced onions if you'd like)
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp minced garlic (more if you like)

Mix this all together with your fingers and spoon on to baking sheets I like bite size meatballs (1/2 teaspoon size) but I've made them up to tablespoon size and they work great.

Cook at 375 (F) for about 20 min (depending on size).

Serves 2 adults and 3 children.... (3-4 adults depending on how much you eat).

Now- you may be saying "MUSHROOMS! YUCK!" Let me promise you, you will not taste them. They fill out the meatballs add a dimension to the flavor, disappear into the ground meat AND they are naturally rich in vitamin D. If you make these and you can tell there are mushrooms- it means your mushrooms needed more mincing.

The other plus of the mushrooms is that if you forget that your meatballs are in the oven for say an hour... and then suddenly realize... (I'm not speaking from experience or anything...) they will be crispy on the outside, but the middle will still be moist, because unlike breadcrumbs which steal the moisture of the meat, mushrooms add moisture.

Serve these meatballs with Rice:

Sweet and Sour Style- (Thank you Betty Crocker circa. 1980)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 can pineapple chunks & liquid
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 bell/sweet pepper the color of your choice

Cook in sauce pan until thick.  Add meat balls serve over rice)

Quick Meatloaf-balls style-

Add 1/4 C minced apple and a few good shakes of worcestershire to your meatball mix.
Make your favorite meatloaf sauce. I am partial to this one:

1 cup Katsup
1/3 cup mustard
1/4 C brown sugar
pepper to taste
little worcestershire sauce

Serve with rice or potatoes or skip the carb and just serve a big salad. it will be delicious.

Curry Style-
To your meatball mix: add a little lemon grass (I like to buy the paste stuff that comes in a tube at the grocery store) and a little (LITTLE) curry paste. Trade your salt for soy sauce.

Make curry (thai style). Add Meatballs to curry. Eat over rice... or with salad.

Pepper gravy style-

2 cups 2% or whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
pepper to taste
Gluten free beef bouillon (if you have it)

Mix together cold, heat in pan until thick. Serve over meatballs and rice.(I like to serve green salad with this)

Or throw them in a veggie stew (pictured above). The thick 'sauce' base of my stew is just cooked carrots, celery, onion and spinach sauteed in olive oil until tender (not soft) and then food processed with 4 cups of water and a chicken bouillon cube. Throw in some boiled potatoes, corn and julienne cabbage with your meat balls- let simmer for about 30 minutes and you're good.

Meatballs! So versatile!

Now go make some GF friends and invite them over for dinner! (make sure they know they don't have to bring their own food).


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ABC Cupcakes


*not to be confused with ABC Gum... or any other such ABC item...


I have done co-op preschool for 4 years... this should be Lilly's second year but it didn't come together, and I am feeling pretty good about it... well maybe more relieved. :) 
We have been having "Lilly School" on the days Havah has kindergarten.
Today was 'review day'. We have done A, B & C. 
So we made Apple Banana & Chocolate cupcakes.
whenever I put chocolate frosting on cupcakes it ends up looking like poop... 
Anyway, they were delicious.

She mashed up the banana with the applesauce and other wet ingredients.

Aren't they two of the cutest cupcake eating hams you've every seen?
I love spending the day with them!

The "Ocean"... desert style.

I don't know if you realize... but Idaho is desert... and not "monsoon/flashflood/awesome lightening" type desert.
We're talking sage brush and dust type desert.... It's technical term is "High Desert".
click the link to put things in perspective.... the first 6 location hits... that our town...
It's not exactly an oasis.
So this week we went to the 'beach'... a park called Sandy Point, constructed at the foot of a dam by Idaho Power. 
All negative desert thoughts aside, we had a really good time.

 There was sand and mud (and piles of goose turds that put Bloedel Donovan to shame for you Bellinghamsters).
This is the coolest part though, because it is man made, there is a huge fountain out in the middle of the lake/pond. Cori took each of the kids out to stand next to it. He and Lilly actually walked all the way into the fridge mist.
She thought it was so awesome!

It's not the ocean... but even in the desert, there is something to be said for the restorative properties of a picnic at the beach.





Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Remember Papa Busy's Pumpkin Pie

It's that wonderful time of year when lovely growing things come into the house in the arms of my sweet children....
and then get transformed into lovely yummy things....

Like pumpkin pie...
with whipped cream...

We will be planting a lot more pumpkins next year because this was easy and delicious.

* Garden History here
1, 2, 3


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Things I'll remember when I am old...

I hope to have boxes of pictures that make my heart feel as happy and content as this one.

Swearing 101

Havah to me this morning while getting in the car to go to school "Mom, words are funny things, sometimes they're good and sometimes they're bad. Like I know that Pucker is what you do to your lips when you're going to kiss someone; but yesterday a boy said it on the bus and he almost got kicked off!"

There was a quick explanation that the boy was not talking about kissing people....

Ah... the bus....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ma-me-memom





Or as the rest of us say, "Watermelon."
Need some cuteness to carry you through the day? play the video.


Life is not easy... but I am grateful for these three sweet little people and their daddy and that I get to share my days with them.