Friday, March 30, 2012

Fractions

What's Cookin'?

We accidentally added 2x the amount of molasses in the granola bar recipe so it was very liquidy and wouldn't cook right.  SO, I crumbled it up in the pyrex and slow cooked it at 200F, stirring it every 30 minutes, for a few hours to use as cold cereal.  Only about 1/4 survived the cooking though because they served it (still very, very moist and warm) for breakfast and just ate it with spoons without milk (milk on the side) and snacked on it several times!  So, if you goof a granola bar recipe, here's a food saver idea for you :).

What's Schoolin'?

[I will be adding to this next week but wanted to go ahead and get it up]

Here are some previous fraction posts:

http://eclecticlvng.blogspot.com/2009/09/fractions-decimals-percentages-i-found.html

http://eclecticlvng.blogspot.com/2009/10/mary-mary-quite-contrary.html

http://eclecticlvng.blogspot.com/2011/01/fraction-circles.html

Things I need to print:
http://www.montessoriforlearning.com/MathFiles/Fractions&Decimals/PercentofANumber.pdf

I am doing a (dignified) happy dance because I just downloaded the fraction-decimal matching cards for US\$0.99 from this page of fraction and decimal materials.  I still need to make some more cards for mixed numbers but this is a GREAT start:
http://shop.montessoriforlearning.com/Fractions-Decimals-and-Percents-Materials_c28.htm

I need to make some task cards for this (also posted below for presentations)(Aha!  There are some in the very back of the R and D Fractions manual-yeah-just need to print on cardstock)
http://www.montessoritraining.net/elementary_program2/courses/mathematics1/sample_lessons.pdf

Here are some fraction posts from other bloggers:

http://www.montessoritidbits.com/2012/03/studying-fractions.html

http://makingmontessoriours.blogspot.com/2011/11/montessori-fractions.html

http://www.montessori-on-a-budget.com/2011/03/math-monday-montessori-fractions.html

http://mymontessorimoments.com/2011/12/06/montessori-fractions/

Here are some presentations or materials:

http://www.infomontessori.com/mathematics/fractions.htm

http://www.montessoritraining.net/elementary_program2/courses/mathematics1/sample_lessons.pdf

http://www.montessorimom.com/fractions-part-ii/

Here is a slideshow:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_hhj73DcaQ

Here is a video:

http://www.ehow.com/video_4403361_montessori-counting-using-fraction-cones.html

~Here are some printables (there were some others that I would have used but a facebook login box came up and - believe it or not! - I don't facebook):

I like this template because each section is labeled.  It wouldn't work for some tasks (such as when you want the dc to find and label) but would be great for multiplying fractions when I want dd to be able to focus on the task and not verifying what each section is (several copies of each will be needed for that as well as for other 'dynamic' work with fractions).  I can see these printed on cardstock and in a tacklebox of some sort.  OR printed on regular paper, stuck to self-adhesive fun foam, and in a sorted box or tacklebox.
http://www.printable-math-worksheets.com/support-files/manipulative-fraction-circles-outline.pdf

They have a color version also (I like to use black and white to save on ink and use colored paper):
http://www.printable-math-worksheets.com/fraction-circles.html

Here are Lisia's Fraction Circle templates.  I think I used these a zillion years ago:
http://montessorihomeschooling.blogspot.com/2009/03/montessori-printables.html

Here are some fraction products:

These are awesome - they come with the set of fraction circles (6 fraction rings and fraction circles)(\$7.75 plus shipping about \$8!  Maybe check a teacher store?  I still think it would be worth the \$16):
http://www.enasco.com/product/TB17954T
These are their rings without the fraction circles.  I would have to get a measurement to see if they would work with the ones I have from Learning Resources (mine DON'T work with the metal Montessori ones) (\$3.95 plus shipping about \$8 - might be worth the extra \$3.80 to make sure to have a set of fraction circles that fit just right?):
http://www.enasco.com/product/TB17852T

This is what I wish I had at this very moment. We'll be doing fraction multiplication (hopefully next week) and I'll have to just print off and cut out some so that she can do problems such as 1/5 x 8 for improper answers that she will then simplify. These look great for moments such as these!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Learning Resources Products on Sale

What's Schoolin'?

The girls and I took an hour for just reading during school yesterday.  We brought out half-finished books and half-unread books :) and some "unstarted" books that have been accumulating from history, literature, and for fun. It was quite a collection/pile! Dc's responses?  I'll quasi-quote one:  "Oh good!  I've been wanting to finish reading such-and-such and haven't had time."  Here are some that we had piled in the living room for our read-a-thon:

- Memories Before and After the Sound of Music: An Autobiography
- Mark Twain's Humorous Stories and Sketches
- Sherlock Holmes (I found this on the couch with a sticky note that said, "I'm watching you!" :)
- American Girl Molly Mystery
- Archimedes' biography
- Greek Myths
- The Boy's Book of Great Detective Stories (this is a collection from classic authors such as Poe, Chesterton, and Doyle)

That doesn't even scratch the surface of chicken book, cheese cookbook, and historical fiction books of my own that are stacked on the coffee table!

I'm thinking that we need another read-a-thon tomorrow... only... longer than just an hour!

Learning Resources items on sale at Amazon right now:

I looked for items that are at least 20% off and eligible for free shipping (with \$25 purchase).  Learning Resources is one of my favorite companies for educational materials.

This Anatomy Bundle Model Set is 37% off:

This Pretend and Play School Set is 50% off:

This Sum Swamp addition and subtraction board game is 21% off:

These transparent counters are not on sale but at \$5.30 for 250 they are still a good bargain. I've used these for many years with the hundred board for skip counting and multiples. They also come in handy for math counters and any number of things:

This Pretend and Play Fishing set is 40% off:

This Magnetic Learning Calendar is 36% off:

This Word Wiz Electronic Flash Card gizmo is 35% off:

This Cross Section Human Brain model is 25% off:

These Jumbo Test Tubes are 39% off:

What's Cookin'?

Piggy-backing off of my previous post about GMOs, here are some short and sweet (or rather short and sour!) videos regarding genetically modified foods:

http://momsforsafefood.net/

Some Gottatries:

Basic sourdough recipe (I can't wait to get my sourdough started again!):
http://www.wholeintentions.com/2012/03/basic-sourdough-bread-with-butter.html#more

Broccoli and cheese mini-quiches:
http://thepistachioproject.blogspot.com/2012/03/broccoli-and-cheese-mini-quiches.html

Hummus Revisited (Olive Hummus) ~ Catechism Link

What's Cookin'?

Olive Hummus:  Middle dd (our resident hummus-maker) wasn't home to remind me how to make hummus and I was on my own (while our new little puppy scrambled around my feet in the kitchen).  So, left to my own devices I put the following in the food processor:

1/2 can drained whole black olives
1 drained can of garbanzo beans (or chick peas) [we make our own and they are sooo easy, freeze well, and are healthier; I used 1 pint jar of drained garbanzos]
2 tiny garlic cloves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Real Salt to taste

I actually put the garlic alone first; then the olives and whirred again; then the rest and whirred until it was the correct consistency.  We don't keep tahini in the house normally (okay, I've never bought nor made it!) so we make hummus without it.  If you have some tahini, toss in a teaspoon :).

While waiting for everyone to get home from playing tennis with dh I plated it on a serving dish with Jacob's Crackers, fresh cucumber, and fresh carrots.  Lunch, anyone?

Now, if I had only remembered that I had recently posted the recipe dd uses... but then I wouldn't have come up with olive hummus, right?

This is part of Kelly's Read Food Wednesday:
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2012/03/real-food-wednesday-3212012.html

What's Schoolin'?

For religious ed for olders here is a cool link for a free, online, and searchable copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  If you are not Catholic and want to know what the Catholic Church teaches about such-and-such, this is the official go-to document.  If you ARE Catholic and want to know what the Catholic Church teaches about such-and-such, this is the official go-to document :).  Many of us, especially my own generation, are not properly catechized... here's a good tool in understanding and embracing the doctrine of the Church.

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

If you are like me and like having a physical book (as opposed to a non-physical book??) in your hands, here are a few.  I know Youcat seems to be popular right now but I plan on just getting my dc the regular one (now for the olders, later for our younger). Although, in the spirit of Montessori, perhaps I should show them both and see which they would prefer. My hesitancy is the wording of the description where it says "Developed with the help of young Catholics and written for high-school age people and young adults, YOUCAT is an accessible, contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith."

This is the binding we have:

Personal anecdote:  There was a particular doctrine which I just didn't "get."  Rather than rejecting the Church because I didn't understand, nor embrace, this particular doctrine I prayed daily for a YEAR for understanding.  Finally, it made total, complete, and (I can't think of a third adjective that means the same thing for emphasis!) sense.  As it happened, I walked through the living room just as a certain scene from one of Steve Ray's DVDs was playing on the TV.  He was illustrating that doctrine that I had been struggling with and praying about all of that time!  Gee, if I had just shared my dilemma with my then non-Catholic husband I could have understood it much sooner!  Or... I could have watched the videos with him, eh?  I could ramble about this but I'll just say that we love Steve Ray at our house (not to be confused with Stevie Ray Vaughan!).  Perhaps I'll ramble about him and his influence on our family in another post?? :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

GMO Labeling (read at your own risk!)

What's Cookin'?

What's cooking?  Hopefully NOT genetically modifed organisms in my humble abode.  Our government entity that supposedly has our well-being at the forefront does not require labeling GMO on our food products so that we can choose whether or not we want to eat it.  Many don't care so I doubt labeling will mean the demise of those with financial gain in genetic engineering.  This is not about regulation... it's about *information*.  Before I rant too much I'll just post a link to this post:

http://realfoodforager.com/tell-fda-to-just-label-gmos/

I have not read any of these so I cannot personally recommend them, but here are some books about the topic of GE/GMOs.  I may look at my local library for some of these titles.  Of course, I'm already committed to trying to not eat genetically engineered foods (much less cloned meat, which, by the way, is also NOT labeled in the US market) so it would be preaching to the choir, but it might help me articulate points and strengthen my resolve.

This is just a chapter of an upcoming book:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Touch the Art: Art Appreciation Boardbooks for Youngers

What's Schoolin'?

I was writing a post about art appreciation and came across this series. I didn't want it to get lost in the other post so here it is...

I cannot vouch for these but they have good reviews and the premise is very cool :)... Touch the Art books:

Okay, so this is not part of the series but the reviews are promising:

What's Cookin'?

If you happen to be making chili and find that you don't have enough beans and meat to fill 5 tummies... adding cooked rice helps to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the meal.  I had to do that tonight but called it "faux chili" for dh's benefit so that he'll believe me next time I say we're having chili :).   I put one slice of preserved jalapeno in it for just a slight kick.  The venison I used in lieu of ground beef was so mild that it blended right in. We served it with cornbread from Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix and, quite honestly, youngest dd and I thought it was too gritty/coarse. I found that and Bob's Red Mill Baking Powder at Big Lots today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Earth Science ~ Natural Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Soap ~ Tick War

What's Schoolin'?

Youngest dd has started Earth Science and I found this cool-looking book on Amazon.  Hopefully my library carries it:

I need to scour the local library and see what they have.  Bummer that this new library only lets you check out 15 books at a time (huge sigh).  It's difficult when you use actual books to teach multiple grade levels and multiple topics for each grade level.  Plus, I'm usually checking books out to plan and prepare while we're still using others for our lessons.  Just 15 books?  I filled that up with just Ancient Greece (Greek tragedies, philosophers, history) and that's just one mini-topic!  However, I am digressing from the topic of Science studies...

We'll be using an awesome, awesome (awesome :) ) curriculum from R.E.A.L Science (Pandia Press) for our spine with shelf work and library books (and hopefully field trips!) intermingled with it.  I have the Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy book for extending the space section if necessary also.  She really likes Apologia and went through the ocean one on her own for fun during our chaotic summer moves (plural!) - that book went everywhere with her :).  She did the projects on her own for fun also.  This is the curriculum I'll use for a spine:

This is the Apologia space book I have already that can be for supplementation or free reading:

You can get the R.E.A.L. Science Earth Science cheaper at their website here (the e-book is \$39 directly and see links for sellers, I saw it on Rainbow Resource for \$46, although I got mine used from a friend) and it gives you sample pages:
http://www.pandiapress.com/?page_id=84
Quite honestly I don't remember this curriculum being this expensive when I first started using it years ago.  I had gotten the Life Science one way back when directly from them and I think it was in the twenty dollar plus range.  Just recently oldest dd said that she was so glad that we had done the worm experiments from the Life Science book in this series.  They dissected worms in the olders' Biology class but she said that having experimented with them, and having learned about them years ago helped her understand the new material/dissection better (the olders are using Apologia Biology and Dive Biology for their high school class).  Yeah!  Affirmation!

This is what the high schoolers have been using for Biology:

What's Cookin'?

I made Pizza Biscuits for dinner and I really didn't like them.  I should know better - any time a recipe says to cook anything bready at 400F I need to just lower it to 350F and cook it longer.  The biscuits weren't done all the way in the middle so I had to lower/cook longer anyway but they still didn't do well and the top burned a bit :(.  I may not have let them defrost enough even though they are the soaked freezer biscuits and bake well straight from the freezer.  The dc liked it okay.  I'll try again another time.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-biscuits/

Personal Bread Contest:
Ever since the infamous move I have struggled and struggled with my bread routine.  I wasn't been able to cook for 3 months and by then I had forgotten which was my favorite recipe and was never satisfied with any of them.  I finally decided enough was enough and systematically went about making and comparing my bread recipes with the dc as victims  judges for each loaf.  I made recipe #1 and #2 and made them sandwiches with each at the same lunch.  Then I did  #3 and #4.  Recipe #4 won out, which is actually the same recipe as #1 but with more yeast.  It's a simple soaked recipe and slices easily for sandwich bread.  Their favorite tasting recipe was #2 but it's very crumbly when you slice it.  That will be my "sandwich bun" or "dinner roll" recipe and it's a yeast-free soaked recipe.

Normally I mix the bread in the machine and bake it in the oven.  However, dh got me a standup mixer for Christmas so I gave away my bread machine.  I honestly started boo-hooing when I saw the box... before I even knew what was in it! :)  The smarty pants had put a box of kleenex in my stocking and I had thought, ha, ha, very funny.  It turned out that I needed the kleenex!  [update:  I had to return the mixer and was so bummed.  It wasn't working correctly and I wasn't able to exchange.  I had already promised the bread machine to someone so now I'm back to hand mixing/kneading... which isn't easy with post-lyme hands.]

Vanilla Beans:  There is free shipping at Olive Nation right now (today only) and you can get a code for an additional 10% off here (don't know how long that will last).  This is a link about storing and reconstituting vanilla beans.  I have mine wrapped in a cloth that has been soaked in rum.  That's in a baggie in the cupboard.  Unfortunately, I stored them over the summer in my mom's fridge and they dried out some so this article was helpful:
http://www.olivenation.com/How-To-Store-and-Reconstitute-Vanilla-Beans-W243.aspx

This week's menu gottatry ideas:
Cornmeal/ground meat fritters (I have 1/4 lb pre-cooked ground venison in the freezer that would make this an easy lunch to make and would make 1/2 batch):
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/taco-corn-fritters

For Sunday, maybe... cream cheese pastry (note: need to make/buy 1 package cream cheese and soak dough overnight; could make a tiny 1/2 batch):
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/flaky-cream-cheese-pastry-the-healthy-way

More Gottatries (I'm TRYING to only make a few new recipes a week or I get carried away!):
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/pizza-casserole

Sloppy Joes in cornbread muffins (spoon cornbread mix 1/2 full in muffin tin and add 1 teaspoon (recipe says 1 tablespoon) sloppy joe mixture on top.  Bake 400F 20 minutes):
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/sloppy-cornbread-muffins

I have more gottatries but I'll post those separately.

What's Green?

I looked through some recipes for automatic dishwashing soap and found this one that uses things I have.  I'm going to try the first one listed with 1/2 C castille soap, 1/2 C water, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 3 drops tea tree oil, 1/4 cup white vinegar.  My only question is whether the fresh lemon juice (as opposed to lemon extract, lemon oil, or maybe a lemon vinegar) would make it not last as long.  I may take my 1/4 vinegar and soak lemon peel in it like I do to make lemon oil/vinegar cleaner; and then use that in the above recipe.  I can't wait to try this.  I've been using just a little squirt of regular dish soap (Dishmate) in the dishwasher and so far I haven't had a problem.
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf/Cleaning/Cleaning_Recipes/Dishes/Homemade-Dishwasher-Detergent-Recipes.html

What's LYME Green?

~ Here is a video report of Babesiosis and Lyme in Australia (I was infected with Lyme Disease, Babesia, Erlichia, AND Bartonella.  Yes, by God's grace I made it through... still recovery-bound though!):
http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/13207421/tick-timebomb/

~ "It's so much more than Lyme Disease" - A conference in San Diego on May 6th.
Dr. Horowitz will talk and this is from the event post:
"He has coined the term MCIDS, or Multiple Chronic Infectious Disease Syndrome, to describe chronic Lyme disease, because of all the different factors that can be involved. Learn from Dr. Horowitz and other Lyme specialists how the combination of Lyme, coinfections, biotoxins, food allergies and other conditions can make it harder for you to get well–and what you can do about it."

You can see the flyer and get more info to register here:
http://lymedisease.org/news/lyme_disease_events/lyme-horowitz-san-diego-may-6.html

~ "Freak In" (as opposed to a 'freak out'):  We found 3 ticks INSIDE the house recently. [insert silent internal scream here].  It's been such a mild winter and we've had a lot of rain - plus all of the neighborhood dogs come right up to our house to mark every single day (grrr!!) and coyotes traipse through our yard at night.  After freaking in so as not to overly alarm the children by freaking out I did the following:
- Spread sulphur around the entire perimeter of the house (including the garage).  I spread from the wall out to about 2 feet.  I used the pellets and found it at a native plants nursery.  This is totally safe, organic, and non-toxic.  However, it only makes a repellent barrier and does not kill them.
- Sprinkled diatomaceous earth (DE) around the back door area and made a "moat" around the couch since all three were in that vicinity.  This is totally organic and non-toxic.  This will kill them but I only sprinkled over a small area.  I also sprinkled it between the cushions and the base of the couch.  I'd like to spread more but there never seems to be a good time.  I'll probably just spread it around the living room overnight and then vacuum the next morning when the family is up so that the kids are not around it.
- Put totally non-organic and potentially toxic, although commonly used, flea/tick oil on my dog (Sorry, Bamboo!!)
- Got some of the same yucky stuff for our new puppy from the vet for when she is old enough.  The ticks showed up right after we got her but I think it's coincidence.  I don't like toxics for dogs either but when Lyme has taken such a toll on your family indirectly from your illness (not to mention the personal pain and suffering!), protecting your children from getting it comes first for me.
- Got some organic essential oil-based spray from that native plant nursery for the dc's bedrooms.  Here are some organic tick sprays.
- Called dh and asked him to pick up some conventional bug killer for around the outside of the windows and door frames.
- Since I have been sleeping on said couch to get up with said puppy I put on some organic bug repellent by Tropical Traditions that I had on hand before going to sleep at night.
- And last but not least I scratched and itched and imagined that I had ticks all over me for about a week!

Insect Repellent and Moisturizer - 4 oz. - Natural

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

Today is the day that we're all Irish, right?  There are plenty of secular St. Patrick's Day coloring pages, snacks, and activities online (which we love as well!) so I'm going to focus on a few religious items I found to celebrate this awesome courageous role model.

Short bio:  He was kidnapped from Scotland and was a slave in Ireland.  He escaped years later, was reunited with his family, and became a priest.  He went BACK to Ireland to spread his faith.  Here's a better bio:
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=89
You can print their Fun Facts card here if you copy/paste it:
http://www.catholic.org/saints/fun_facts_arch.php?image=/saints/ff_images/42.jpg&si=89&s=St.%20Patrick

Coloring pages/lessons/activities:

Stained glass coloring page.  If you color with marker and then dab oil lightly (we've used cotton balls in the past) it will have a translucent look to it.  You can then tape on a window for the full effect.
http://sjtbre.org/docs/St.%20Patrick.pdf

http://www.chcweb.com/catalog/files/colorpatrick.pdf (coloring page)

http://www.free-macrame-patterns.com/celtic-cross.html (macrame Celtic Cross)

http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/luck-of-the-straw-841010/  (St. Brigid's cross with raffia)

Wow, Celtic knot cookies:
http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/03/celtic-knot-cookies.html

Wooden painted doll (we made some St. Nicholas ones and the dc really enjoyed making them):
http://www.etsy.com/listing/61482390/saint-patrick-catholic-saint-doll-made

Paper bag puppet with some Linkys (the Linkys are a must-see also; love the simple idea of a green paper shamrock with symbols on each leaf for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit):
http://catholicicing.com/2011/03/saint-patrick-puppet-craft-and-linky/
http://catholicicing.com/2011/03/religious-shamrock-craft-for-st/

Doll makeover:
http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com/2011/03/st-patrick-ty-doll-makeover.html

Clover Cookies:
I have a 4-H four leaf clover cookie cutter that I could use to make roll-out cookies.  My dye-free food coloring may be too old but I'll try it in some frosting left over from dd's birthday cake to test it. (I put the bit of frosting in the freezer).

I am absolutely going to get these when I can (which may be a few years but it's going on my wishlist now :) ).  I think they would last much, much longer than the liquid colorings and would be fine for our small-scale needs (occasional birthday cakes and rare sweets):

They have single packs as well but they are about \$10 apiece.  Ouch.  Worth it, though, to avoid fake dyes.  If you haven't seen how colored frosting from the bakery killed our grass, here's an old post with a picture (scroll down):
http://eclecticlvng.blogspot.com/2010/10/montessori-chemistry-works-part-2-ive.html

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Birthday Treats [Cake and Peppermint Patties]

What's Cookin'?

Here is a picture of dd's birthday cake... all from scratch and absolutely zero coloring.  She chose lemon cake and we did a sheep because she's hoping to get a sheep for her next 4-H animal project.  The vanilla icing is just softened butter (REAL butter), a dash of (REAL) vanilla, and (homemade) powdered sugar to taste (rapadura ground up in the blender).  The contrast chocolate frosting is the same with added cacao powder.

Here is the recipe I started using about 3 years ago with some tweaking.  I use rapadura instead of white sugar; lemon extract instead of the lemon peel (I don't usually have organic lemons on-hand, just regular ones); I use palm shortening instead of crisco although I'm wondering if I could use coconut oil instead; I use plain yogurt (homemade if I have it) since flavored yogurts usually have undesirable ingredients included.  Sprouted flour would be best to use but I compromised and used regular unbleached all-purpose.  It's not like it was a nutrient-dense meal before the flour compromise ;).
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-yogurt-pound-cake-with-lemon-glaze/detail.aspx

Peppermint Patties:  Weeks ago she had casually mentioned wanting homemade peppermint patties for her birthday.  The big surprise is that I actually remembered :).  Basically, mix the following and let it chill.  Then make flattened balls (nickel or quarter size) and rechill on parchment paper.

3/4 Tablespoon softened butter
1 C (homemade) powder sugar
1/2 Teaspoon (real) vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk
Peppermint:  the recipe said 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.  I used 2 DROPS of my peppermint oil and the strength was just right]

The patties are then dipped in melted chocolate .  Melt 1/2 bag, or 4.5 oz chocolate chips - I use Enjoy Life -  and 1 Tablespoon shortening - I use Spectrum palm shortening - in a bowl setting in hot water.  Then rechill them on the parchment paper.  Last time I made these for her she kept them in the freezer or fridge.

Here is the original recipe.  Tweaks:  parchment paper instead of aluminum paper; milk instead of evaporated milk; homemade powdered sugar from rapadura; peppermint oil instead of peppermint extract ('cuz that's what I had and actually use it daily, topically, but this brand is also food-grade so be careful which you use).

http://www.joyofbaking.com/candy/PeppermintPatties.html

*These birthday recipe tweaks are part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2012/03/real-food-wednesday-372012.html

Meatloaf:  For her special birthday dinner (my gift to each of them each birthday) dd chose meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and applesauce.  Boy, were we stuffed!!  I quickly found this recipe and used 1 pound organic grass-fed ground beef (double the cost that I pay locally since I had to buy from the grocery store! Ouch!) and organic store-bought milk since I was out of local milk as well (also for more than our local dairy!).  We had just 2 small slices left and a handful of potatoes left so I put them in egg rolls and fried them for lunch the next day.  Mmmm.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-meatloaf/

What else is cookin'?

I have a couple of wild hog chops that a friend gave me and wasn't sure how I would use them (I've never had wild hog before).  We're 5 so I knew I needed to stretch it.  I will make a mixture of the marinating technique mentioned for pork at WAPF here with Laura's beef stew recipe here.  I plan to marinate the 2 chops with 1/2 C apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon *fermented* soy sauce for about 24 hours; then drain the marinade, cut the chops into small pieces, and continue with the beef stew crock pot recipe [8 chunked potatoes, 2 C frozen green beans, spices - garlic, onion, oregano, parsley, pepper, thyme, Real Salt, celery (finely diced fresh leaves)].  Let's hope it works out.  The chops are defrosting right now.

What's Schoolin'?

Youngest dd just got a puppy for her birthday (which was last December!) so she is doing a lot of journaling about that.  Spring Break is this week so that will help.

The olders just finished DIVE/Apologia Biology.  Now they are ready to study and take their first CLEP test. Yikes.
http://www.diveintomath.com/biology-10th-grade/

I did the sample lesson from Brave Writer's Help for High Schoolers with all 3 (yes, even my 4th grader likes to sit in on complex writing lessons - she just does things at her own level of understanding and ability).  It wasn't any stretch for them but it was a good exercise.  I see worth in it and would be fine using it for a structure and adding to it (since I really can't seem to use anything, curriculum or recipe, without adding to it, taking something out, or tweaking somehow).
Then I took out our Write Shop 2 materials and we went through it and compared each.  We decided to continue with Write Shop 2 for now and possibly (most likely) continue with Write Shop 3 which will prep them for college essay writing.  We'll do a lesson a week or possibly every other week with other writing on the off-weeks.  We may even do more than one lesson a week depending on the week, the lesson, and (of course!) the children... The joys and uncertainty of "following the child" even with set curricula!

I really enjoy discussing choices with dc and seeing how their brains work, what they like/don't like, and getting their input for curricula choices and class decisions.

http://www.bravewriter.com/program/home-study-courses/help-for-high-school/

http://www.writeshop.com/ (weird but I don't see Write Shop 3 on their website.  I talked to them extensively over a year ago and it was in-process.  Surely it's ready by now?? I'll check at the bookfair)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Geopuzzles on Sale!

It looks like all of the Geopuzzles are on sale at Amazon but this one is an especially good deal at \$5.99 (63% off). Not every country has its own puzzle shape but many do and we still enjoy the puzzle itself (we're thinking of other options for map tracing/punching):

GeoPuzzle Europe

Here are the other Geopuzzles. We have Europe, Africa, Asia, and The Middle East.
Geopuzzles

Here is a double pack:

10 Days in Africa is currently on sale also. I've never used it but have seen it recommended:

Here the current sales in Kitchen and Dining Sales

Here are some for Cell Phones and Accessories

Gottatries

Cherry Almond Oatmeal Bars:  I'm going to go soak some oats so that I can cook them tomorrow just for this recipe!  I know I don't have 2 C of cherries left in the freezer but I have a little left and some frozen apples.
http://www.realfoodfreaks.com/2012/02/21/cherry-almond-granola/

Audio regarding essential oils:
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2012/02/crash-course-on-essential-oils-in-case-youre-still-in-the-dark-like-i-am-on-how-to-use-them.html

Sourdough tutorial videos:
http://www.dyno-mom.com/p/idiot-proof-sour-dough.html

Compilation of Kelly's Mexican Food recipes here (we use her fermented tortilla recipe for flour tortillas):
http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2012/02/love-mexican-food-check-out-these-recipes.html

Whole Food Snacks You Can Pack.  Includes chocolate peanut butter monkey bars; almond butter protein bar; roasted red pepper hummus; yam chips; 3 berry scones; almond power bars; walnut feta cheese dip; dried cherry almond biscotti; chocolate chip walnut protein cookies:
http://www.beyondthepeel.net/2012/02/10-whole-food-snacks-that-you-can-pack.html

Worchestershire Suace (I have seen frozen tamarind pulp in 2 different grocery stores in a corner of the regular frozen section):
http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/5/Worcestershire_Sauce22719.shtml

Creepy (VERY creepy):
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46499162/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.T0sG24c7WAh

What's Cookin'?

I have almonds and peanuts soaking to dehydrate tomorrow.  I'm also making peppermint patties for dd's birthday (a surprise gift) and a lemon cake per her request with butter icing.  She wants homemade flour tortillas for tacos for her birthday dinner so I need to go soak that also.

If you are looking for some unbleached parchment paper, here are a few leads.  I've started getting mine from Azure Standard since our local drug store quit carrying unbleached.  I never thought to check Amazon :).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Adjective Extensions ~ Chicken and Dumplings ~ Glutathione

What's Schoolin'?

Here is a drawing contest for The Lorax [I'm really bummed that they made the movie with junk in it to make it PG :( ]:
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/blog/?p=1408

Adjective Extensions:

We just finished the last adjective presentation from the R and D Language Arts Elementary Grammar Volume 1 (p. 124).  Rather than using the command cards we did them orally with just the adjectives written in dark blue on cards. [Okay, confession... I couldn't find them! I thought I had put them back in my handy-dandy sorted binder (photo below) but, alas, they were missing.  No problem, though.]  After doing the activities with the materials (water, tubes, sponge, paper, etc) dd was to write the adjectives in her notebook (convex, concave, permeable, etc) and draw little illustrations to remember the meanings.  She ended up writing definitions in a much better way than I had expected.  Gee... she sure showed me, lol.  Her idea was much better than mine :).

Note:  I skipped the grammar boxes with my olders and so far with my youngest and the World didn't stop spinning nor tilt off of its axis.  I think they are wonderful but was too overwhelmed to make them adequately (although I've printed quite a few!) - I just had to let them go.  I'm noting this in case others are in the same boat of wanting to do it just right.  Don't let that perfectionist desire stop you from doing what you can!

Skipping ahead to the Adjective Extensions.... (p.139)

They recommend using Animalia by Base for the child to choose an animal and describe it using adjectives that start with the same letter (the book uses alliteration).  It doesn't say whether to do orally or written.  I (again) couldn't find my copy of that book (seeing a trend here???)(picture books haven't been reorganized since "the move").  However, I WAS able to put my hands on Rainforest Animals by Hess from my "lesson books" section of my teaching books.  When dd saw it she exclaimed, "I've been looking for that book for a year!" (yes, we all tend toward hyperboles in our home)  Any book with nice illustrations would do.  I actually prefer the realistic illustrations in the Rainforest Animals book to the fantastical illustrations of Animalia (in fact, it's totally possible that I couldn't find it because I sold it several summers ago when I culled my picture books).

Dd chose an animal from the pages.  I folded a paper in fourths and wrote the noun in black as a title.  She then wrote adjectives that she could think of for that animal (starting with the same letter) in dark blue pencil as a list.  Then we added any other adjectives.  When we had exhausted our brain cells she picked another animal, we flipped to a clean square and repeated the process for a total of 4 animals.  She then trimmed each square and glued them in her notebook.  We could have just make a 4-square grid straight on her paper in her notebook but this was somehow "cleaner" visually as we did it.

Another extension is to find noun families in literature and write them in her notebook.  She's been reading Little House books, Berenstain Bears chapter books, and a Molly Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
that I checked out since the olders were doing WWII (and her Noah's Ark Bible - excellent transitional Bible)

What's Cookin'?

Beef broth:  I got some awesome neck bones with a bit of meat on them from our beef supplier (actually, they've become friends so 'beef supplier' sounds too officious!).  I roasted them on 350F one day until they were cooked.  Then I made 2 batches of bone broth with just one bone (the others are in the freezer).  I saved it to pick off any meat for a sandwich (yes, f-r-u-g-a-l!).  For some reason the smell while it cooked in the crockpot was much more pleasant than when I've used "soup bones" for beef broth.  It was milder.  We're making soup right now as I type so then I can compare the flavor... [update:  great broth flavor!]

Chicken and Dumplings:  The dc made this chicken and dumplings recipe last night for dinner.  Oh, it was sooo good.  Many hands truthfully did make for light work.  I appreciated it so much because a quick trip to town for groceries had worn me out plus I was able to get in my Azure Standard order on time!
Adjustments:  We are out of milk so had to use water for the dumplings.  I was busy helping youngest dd on my left and didn't realize until other dd on my right had finished putting in all 4 eggs that it was waaaay too runny (more like a batter than a dough). We probably added about another cup of flour to get it okay (still runny but okay since it was piped from a bag into the soup).  Next time we'll use milk, hopefully, and check it after each egg for consistency.

[Sidenote:  We had already used up the beef broth mentioned above so I tossed another bone from the frozen roasted ones in 3 quarts filtered water and let it go at a low boil while we prepped the rest of the ingredients.  Then I (frugally) let it cool and tossed it back in the freezer to get another batch out of it later (yes, I really did that!).]

We doubled the recipe but only did one of the dumpling recipe.  My only disappointment?  No leftovers!!

http://www.cheeseslave.com/sprouted-flour-chicken-dumplings/ (thanks for the recipe!)

L-Glutathione:  I believed that it was better to have the precursors for your own body to make the glutathione that it specifically needed  (because the body knows how much/where it needs it AND it would be more bioavailable when made by our bodies from the precursors).  E. in one of the health groups explained how MS patients (and here I'm extrapolating to Lymies like myself) simply don't have the ATP energy to make their glutathione - or rather they use up their energy making it;and they may be sensitive to the cysteine that is one of the precursors; or maybe are not able to make it effectively.  Thus, for some people it is better to use the liposomal glutathione, already made.  Glutathione is essential in liver detoxing (and detoxing in general).  I believe it's also essential for cell recovery.    I hope I got this right and may have to come back later and edit this; however, that's how I understand it at this point.

Here is good run-down of glutathione:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html

Here are some options I'm considering:

I've seen this recommended in several places in the medical community but they are sooo expensive (it's even mentioned by name in the above link):