Friday, June 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Bites

Oh, oh, oh, oh!  This looks so good and so easy that I had to just post it before I lost it.  Check out this easy, yummy snack.  Next time we have some Enjoy Life chocolate chips (Ghirardelli are my backup but I much prefer soy-free, etc Enjoy Life) I'll be getting some bananas and making some almond butter or peanut butter from soaked almonds/peanuts!  If you are dairy-free I think it would do fine without the tablespoon of milk to melt with the chocolate chips (or I've seen palm shortening added to melted chocolate chips before also).

I had to call youngest dd over to the computer to show her (she's making dog treats to sell right now for 4-H funds as I type).  She had the gleam that a young chef gets in her eye as she processed how to make it.

I found it at Allergy-Free Wednesdays:

 Any referral fees generated from links help to support our homeschool and health supplements.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Dinner: Chef Salad

What's Cookin'?

Chef Salad:  We had a late sporting activity today (uh, late for us, anyway!) which got us home about 5:30.  I ran by the store on the way home and got a head of lettuce.  I was hoping to get some precooked, diced chicken at the store but couldn't bring myself to get what I saw.  I was planning on getting the msg-free, etc. Hormel brand but this store didn't have any (We ate the very, very last bit of their home-raised 4-H broilers last night at dinner).  They didn't have organic lettuce either; although I'm sure I've gotten some there before (sigh).

The second we got in the door I rushed into the kitchen and boiled some eggs.  While that was cooking I washed and tore up the head of lettuce (I never use knives on lettuce - it makes them taste metallic to me) and diced some sharp cheddar cheese (United Market Street has Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese 8oz on sale 2 for $5!).  Once the eggs were cooked I rinsed them in cold water, peeled, and diced them with a handy-dandy egg slicer.  I do it one way, turn it and slice it again, and then (very carefully, over the bowl!) do it in one more direction.  Nice teeny tiny cubes :).  I also chopped up a handful of almonds

It turned out to be a nice, cool, refreshing, and filling dinner for all 5 of us!  I served it with store-bought crackers that I had gotten for a recent trip (convenience foods are so... convenient some times!).

Ingredients (for a family of 5 - no leftovers):

- 1 head of lettuce
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese cut into very small pieces
- 1/3 C almonds, chopped finely
- Homemade dressing to taste

Dressing:  fresh buttermilk with Real Salt, garlic powder, parsley to taste.  Add mayonnaise to desired thickness and taste.

Some other add-in options:
- Diced cooked chicken
- Diced cooked ham
- Tomato (grape tomatoes would be nice)
- Bell Pepper (raw or lightly cooked)
- Carrot (raw)
- Celery (raw)
- Diced zucchini (raw or lightly cooked)
- Craisins
- Olives
- Mushrooms


This is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

This recipe is also part of Allergy-Free Wednesdays: 

This recipe is also part of Fat Tuesdays:

And... Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange:

Any small referral fee generated from any affiliate links helps to support our homeschool, health supplements, and healthy eating.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Free Montessori Kindle Books

These titles by Maria Montessori are free for Kindles right now.  If you don't have a Kindle you can read them on your PC.

Any small referral fee generated through these links support our homeschool.

Regions of Texas

What's Schoolin'?

How Did You Do That??

I made accordion booklets for youngest's Texas studies - one for each region.  These will be a part of a lapbook (she has several volumes for Texas History already!).  I made a blank template of three connected rectangles per page using the tool box that pops up at the bottom of my word processor (I use Open Office but I'm sure Word would have it as well).  You can group these by shift-clicking them; then right-click and select "group."  Then you can copy/paste all three together for several pages.

Once I had my blank template I used text boxes and pasted my info in those.  Be sure to right-click and anchor to page or things can flip to other places as you add more things or fiddle with it.  I had to do this with each text box in the first booklet but it's worth the 2 seconds per box.

After I made the first booklet and saved it I then went to "file" and selected "save as" the new title for the next booklet.  That way I was just switching out the info in the text boxes. The anchors transferred to this new file so I only had to anchor new text boxes.

I used this Texas Parks and Wildlife site to insert into my accordion booklet.  Much more printer-efficient than printing the webpage and physically cutting and pasting into a booklet.

This technique of making booklets, whether accordion or conventional, could be used to make information booklets to keep with shelf materials as well.

Shelf Work Extension:

I have a huge felt Texas Map for Montessori-inspired Texas shelf work.  The works are in a Texas Box in the Geography cabinet.  Somehow I want to make the regions a shelf-work also.  So far I have the control that I found at Enchanted Learning (printed on cardstock):

Here is a blank outline map of the regions (also from Enchanted Learning).  She can label and color it for her lapbook (printed on regular paper) and also use it as a guide (printed on cardstock) for marking the regions on the felt map (somehow... I'm still deciding how...):

You can see several of their options for Texas Regions maps here:

I really like these maps because they are more detailed than the 4-regions maps but not as intricate as some of the other maps out there.  The last ones on their page above are too detailed for our needs right now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Day... (Dot Game)

What's Cookin'?

We've had such a busy June so far; it's nice to have a settled week ahead of us.  I have the following soaking and ready to bake this evening.  They are all repeats except for the apple squares recipe.  The tortillas are sooo awesome.  I was bummed that I wasn't getting the organic corn tortillas that I can eat from Azure this month but one dd was happy and gleefully said something like, "Good, then we'll just have to make homemade!"  Yes, it would be so much easier to order (or get locally) Ezekiel Sprouted Tortillas - but homemade is much less expensive, the dc really like them, and it's a love choice (but I WILL try to get some next month!)

Sourdough Bread

Soaked Oatmeal Muffins (these are wonderful - even without add-ins).  I still don't have muffin tin liners so I'm just baking it in a 9x9 glass baking dish and I cut it into squares.

Sourdough Tortillas

Apple Squares (I'm soaking the flour with the melted butter and a 1/8 C fresh whey) [Update:  The apple squares are totally awesome!  I don't have a safe cookie sheet as recommended in the recipe so I greased my large baking dish and my 1/2-size one.  They are thinner than a granola bar but cooked nicely.]

We'll also be making lots and lots of all-natural homemade dog treats to sell at a dog show this Saturday.  We sold out of our horse treats at a horse show last Saturday (yeah!!) and only had one bag of dog treats left.  This is their fundraiser for their 4-H projects.

I also have rice soaking and beans soaking.

What's Schoolin'?

We are easing back into our school responsibilities after a chaotic May and busy 1/2 of June (sigh).  Shelf work is just what the doctor ordered for a nice calm re-entry into the school zone.  These are their first choices of the day:

Dd-10:  Dot Game and then zoology.  She was looking through the dynamic addition cards for the Dot Game but wanted one that went into the 10-thousands.  I suggested that she could make her own cards and she went for it with a grin (she just used the backs of my cards since I don't need to save them past her use).  I posted a link below to a nice Dot Game I found at Amazon but I seriously made mine for the cost of a $1 frame.  Here is a really nice free one on their free download page:
This is a photo of our Dot Game.  Dd has enjoyed it for years.

Dd-15:  The GeoPuzzle Africa and the Middle East (and laundry - her choice!).  She has the other boxes of puzzles out also.

Dd-16:  The zoology box (and laundry also - her choice also!)

What's Green?

Me:  "There is a huge spider in the main bathroom but I've noticed that we don't have any scorpions (that's their favorite hangout).  I left him there and just shooed him in the back corner.  I've read that scorpions eat spiders but they are also eaten by spiders."

Dh:  "You know, there are sprays that will just kill everything (yes, he knows how to rile me, lol)."

Me:  "I've already named him :)." [How's that for organic pest control??]

After brown recluse infestations, scorpions, black widows, and even mice... a spider is nothing!!


Any small referral fee generated from any purchases through affiliate links support our homeschool.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Water Equipment Sales

What's Green?

You may want to skip this post :) - I've been window shopping and posted my browsing list.  We are already into triple digit temperatures and are also already in stage 2 water restrictions.  Using our water wisely while saving our trees and growing a garden for food is important right now.  These are some things I'm considering but I haven't actually used them yet (so they aren't firm recommendations but they look promising).  If you have used anything that you really like related to this post please let me know - I'm open to more suggestions!  If you've tried any of these and they're a bust, please let us know that as well.

Noodle sprinkler head (15% off)(eligible for free shipping). I haven't used these but they look like they would save water by directing it only where you need it.

Orbit Brass 2-Way connector (49% off)(eligible for free shipping):


Gilmore weeper/soaker hose (21% off)(eligible for free shipping). I'm seriously considering just snaking some soaker hoses around the front yard to save it during the summer (our fruit trees are clustered in the front to save on watering). These look promising from the reviews:


This one is 25 ft long (34% off)(eligible for free shipping):


7-Pattern spray nozzle (46% off)(eligible for free shipping):


Treegator 20 Gallon Slow Release Watering Bag for Trees (24% off)(eligible for free shipping). This looks a little obtrusive but if it saves our trees than I don't mind!


Treegator junior 15 Gallon Slow Release Watering Bag (26% off)(eligible for free shipping). This looks like a more subtle and manageable size and design (in my humble opinion)[note to self: try this one!]. Dh says that he could probably try to make something like this with an inner tube??

My concern about either of these water bags is using them on fruit trees and any baddies leaching into our fruit.  However, they are young trees and the fruit we got from them this year was negligible (although very exciting since we expected nothing this first season!!).


Orbit Portable Mist Cooling System (only 15% off but the reviews look good)(eligible for free shipping):

Orbit Cobra Mistand (47% off)(eligible for free shipping):


Master Craft Watering Spikes (they use regular water or soda bottles) (49% off)(eligible for free shipping). I tried making my own one year when we went out of town and they didn't work at all so this really caught my eye.


Misty Mate Arctic Tie (48% off)(eligible for free shipping). Years ago when I was deep in Lyme Disease treatment and so miserable with the heat I used some cooling scarves on my infected knees and to cool off. These are a little different but I'm putting a few options below, especially since I've had symptoms all over again since moving and my knees are already hot and swollen (and it's only 8 am!):


Chill-it Cooling Towel (not on sale)(eligible for free shipping):


Frogg Togg Chilling Towel (16% off)(no shipping info):


Ice Bandana (31% off)(eligible for free shipping):


 Cool Wrap Cooling Scarf (not on sale but inexpensive and eligible for free shipping):


Drinking Water Hose (21% off)(Free Shipping!). I REALLY like that this is drinking water safe for the garden:


Here is a smaller size (15% off)(eligible for free shipping):


This hose is longer, drinking safe, for the same price (more or less)(eligible for free shipping):


Mini Aqua Globes (50% off)(eligible for free shipping). I have actually been wanting some of these for several years...


5-Way zinc faucet valve (33% off)(eligible for free shipping). I like this one because all 5 connections have a shut-off valve. We may need this instead of the Y-valve for the 5 front trees (2 peach, 1 apple, 1 plum, and 1 shade tree):


40 Gallon Rain barrell (36% off)(free shipping).  I'd like to research rain collectors some more.  I love the idea but don't want roof water on the edible garden (the roof is less than a year old so still lots of yucky runoff).  We could use the one using roof water for watering the foundation and shrubbery, although I'm known to put edibles in flower gardens.  I'd like to get one with food-grade plastic to set out to collect direct rain water for the veggie garden.


Any purchases through any of the amazon links grant me a teeny tiny referral fee.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Montessori Globes

These are the globes that I made years ago.  They still look like new!  I bought each one for less than $5 at Wal-Mart.  I left one unpainted with all of the info showing.  One is the land/water globe.  The other is the continent globe.  I had a lot of fun making these and wanted to offer a few tips:

1. I used acrylic paints and they did well.

2.  For the land/water globe, paint the blue first.  You don't need to be fiddly with the islands in Canada or elsewhere... just do your best.

3.  If you're using play sand for the land/water globe, SIFT it first!  Yeah, there is STILL a huge mountain in my Australia :).

4.  Paint glue on with a small brush one small section at a time.  Then roll the section in a small plateful of sand.

5.  If you are using Montessori colors for your continent globe use the following:
North America - orange
South America - pink
Australia - brown
Europe - red
Africa - green
Asia - yellow
Antarctica - white


One summer we were making time capsules and one of my dds put one of these globes in it :).  They also make the schoolroom or materials area look nice so we still have the land/water and regular ones out.  Mine are only 4 inches so they don't take up very much shelf space but are big enough for our needs.

If you don't want to make your own, here are a few for purchase at amazon:

What's Cookin'?

As I dug through the fridge/freezer I came up with potato soup for tonight with 1/6 lb cooked ground hamburger in it and some squash (sauteed and pureed) snuck in it as well.

I also got some organic tortilla chips for some tortilla soup.

I'm going to get some beans soaking to have ready for whatever (probably "mainly bean" chili, bean/cheese melts, or tacos).

I'm soaking this pizza/calzone recipe to make breakfast and pizza calzones for tomorrow (we're working a horse show for dc's 4-H fundraiser).  I soaked the flour and 1-1/2 C yogurt and water.  Then I'll warm a 1/2 C water and add the salt and yeast later tonight.  Hope it works!

Any proceeds from referral links support our homeschool.

More on British Literature...

What's Schoolin'?

British Literature by James Stobaugh I found this book as a set of Teacher and Student books for British Literature for $10.00 (for the set!) at a homeschool bookfair.  I had just seen a set at the Sonlight booth for close to $100.00.  I went back and forth a few times and was really excited by the time I bought it :).  Yes, it really was a great resource and yes, it really was only $10.00!

This link is just the student book:

I handle literature and reading in our homeschool a little differently than most.  For high school we're reading where life and other studies (mainly History) take us.  They write down every title in a notebook (separate from their Reading Response Logs) and I will divide them out by:  American Lit, British Lit, and World Lit.  Some works we study in great detail (like Animal Farm that we are currently finishing - I wrote a post about it but I haven't put it up yet) and others we just read, like the diary of Anne Frank (Diary of a Young Girl).  They will have more than enough works and lit analysis to qualify for each credit but it'll be done in a less stressful way.

The above book will be my "spine" for the works we read that are included in this curriculum.  I love finding lessons and such online but this will save me a ton of time that I can use for kitchen   fiascos  experiments, um... wholesome meal preparation :) and the many other things competing for my time and energy (4-H, anyone??).

Reading is actually where I am very comfortable and it's one of my professional backgrounds.  I guess that gave me the sense of freedom to really follow my children in that area and not worry so much about it.  When people would ask me what Reading program we used, or what we did for Reading I would simply answer that... we read!  Okay, so it's not THAT simplistic but that's basically what we did and still do.

Today youngest dd finished a Wanted Poster for Hank the Cowdog as a literature extension for a book she just finished and the olders were writing about Orwell's analogy of WWII in Animal Farm's Battle of the Windmill.  While showing me her Wanted poster youngest dd gave me the plot (in great detail!) and described how the author had creatively handled telling both the dog and cat perspectives.  Meanwhile, middle dd and I had a great discussion on how the Battle of the Windmill in Animal Farm paralleled Russia's experience in WWII and how it was different.

I actually don't let on that I have a masters in Reading nor 1/2 a PhD in Reading because then people might actually expect me to converse intelligently about it, lol!  So, shhhhh....

[By the way, I have an opportunity to teach adjunct classes in either Reading or ESL but my health is not up to any additional stressors since backsliding this year (plus my energies go toward our dc and homeschooling and I don't want to compromise that) - if you think of it during prayer time any prayers thrown my way for discernment (is this the financial help we're needing?) and health improvement would be appreciated.]

What's Cookin'?

My mom gave me a set of these Measuring Ladles/Spoons for my birthday and I have to say that I really really like them and use them a lot!  There are 3 spoons to the set:  1 C; 1/2 C; and 1/4 C.  They are nice and heavy.

They are great for scooping out pre-measured amounts of deboned/shredded chicken into containers for the freezer in just one movement instead of spooning it into a measuring cup, spooning it back out of the measuring cup into the container (or spilling some as I try to pour it straight from the cup into the baggie).

I've used them for all sorts of things in the kitchen from working with hot foods to measuring for baking.  They are especially handy for scooping out drippy sourdough starter for recipes.

Okay, end of commercial! :)

The little bit I get from any referral links supports our homeschool and health supplements.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

May Crowning (Part 2)

Yikes, I never updated about our domestic May Crowning!

The night before middle dd made some blueberry muffins.  When they got up they found a "crown" of muffins and a Rosary made from raisins and craisins for breakfast.  Dd added the cross. [photos below] We crowned our little humble plastic statue with the detached crown that fits in a little hole and played Marian songs from the computer and a Little Flowers CD .

We later had rice krispie treat crowns and root beer floats.  Here is the recipe I followed for the treats (from their own website) but I used real butter, homemade marshmallows, and organic puffed cereal (next time I will use pure puffed rice ).

I used this recipe for the marshmallows.  Dd did it with me as assistant :).  We completely left out the corn syrup and it was fine.  I don't even have corn syrup in the house and omit it from recipes (unless I need to substitute with honey occasionally).

They made Mary lapbooks.

These are the homemade marshmallows in progress.  Youngest enjoyed slicing them into squares.

Our rice krispie treats did NOT turn out like I expected (I wanted to make crowns but made blobs instead!).  I used store-bought sourdough bread to make the lily sandwiches.

 We used these special cups for our root beer floats as a special vessel.

What's Green?

Organic bug repellant:

What's Cookin'?


If you sign up for Cultures of Health's newsletter you get a free pdf of a Kefir Recipe eBook.  I ran out of time on page 16 (that's my note to self!).  I quit kefir last year (killed it with our move) but am currently on a cultured buttermilk kick.  I plan on substituting buttermilk or yogurt in the recipes:

What's Organizin'?

Check out this ultra-cool calendar/planner!

Here is another one:

I think this would be a good one to log each child's 4-H activities as they do them (as a log, not planner).  Each child's name could be at the top and whatever they do that day in the squares (like made brownies, dog treats).  It could also be used as a Montessori shelf work log for the parent with multiple children or for the child for different areas.

Any proceeds from any affiliate link helps to support our homeschool.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Treats (Kitchen Items on Sale at Amazon)

I am not necessarily endorsing these products, but here are some great kitchen sales that I thought looked like good summer matches.

Controlling what is in their summer treats is really important to me - especially since we avoid food dyes, among many other things (I just tried to buy a simple box of crackers at the grocery store and came home empty-handed and discouraged!).  These tools are just that - tools in controlling the healthy eating of our children.  I'm not thrilled with plastic, but there are few non-plastic choices for molds (see the stainless steel and silicon molds below).  Enjoy your shopping!

Cuisenart Ice Cream Maker (38% off - savings of over $50 with free shipping)

Cuisenart 1-1/2 QT Ice Cream Maker (54% off - save over $45; free shipping):

Star Ice Pop Molds (27% off and eligible for free shipping):

Animal Shape Frozen Treat Mold (45% off - eligible for free shipping):

Arctic Pop Gel Ice Canister (40% off; free shipping):

There are several styles of shaved ice/snow cone machines on sale at THIS LINK.

 Smoothie Express blender (39% off and eligible for free shipping):

These are not on sale, but if you are like me and are missing 1/2 the lids to your popsicle mold and looking for a new one, these may come in handy (I am especially drooling over the stainless steel one!!).  I wonder how practical the ice cream sandwich makers are??

Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold (free shipping):

Norpro Silicon Ice Pop Maker:

Rocket Ice Pop Mold (eligible for free shipping):

Push Pop Molds (eligible for free shipping):

Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker:

Kitchen Art Ice Cream Sandwich Maker:

Cool Cones:

Any purchases made through any of the affiliate links (even for different products) helps to support our homeschool.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Banana nut muffins (soaked):

Some great traveling ideas (food-related!):

Peanut Butter muffins (PB is the base - no flour; 4 eggs):

Soaked Buttermilk Oat Muffins (I'm making these TODAY!):

Soaked buttermilk pancakes:

Pizza balls (these could be made with yogurt dough, pie crust, or the dough recipe included):

Cinnamon Roll Rice Crispy Treats [My oldest is going to LOVE these!  I have some homemade marshmallows in the fridge and recently found some inexpensive puffed rice at a local grocery store... ]

Pumpkin cheese yeast bread loaf:

Old  Fashioned, natural root beer:

Chicken Paprika served over rice (uses shredded chicken which I happen to have in the freezer):

Gluten-free strawberry shortcake biscuits:

Blender chocolate pudding (avocado base).  I'm all over this!  I'll make it when the dc are not in the kitchen - he, he, he... [1 pack of avocado, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 C cocoa, 1/4 C sweetener (syrup but I'm out of syrup and honey!), 6 T milk)]  It seems like a lot of sugar for small servings but I'm willing to try it!  Look at her beautiful photos:

Patriotic cookies... Definitely swap out the M and Ms!  I use Sunspire Sundrops and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips ):

(Any proceeds from affiliate links support our homeschooling and health supplements)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CLEP Prep ~ Sourdough Recipes

What's Schoolin'?

Here is a great homeschool online sale:  30% off!  The sale goes until July 31st:

Free famous people notebooking pages:

Free CLEP lesson plans for independent study:

They recommend the following for American Literature prep (but add in Williams and O'Neil playwrights)[The Complete Idiot's Guide to American Literature (I do not like the title but I'd like to look at it); American Literature (Barron's Ez-101 Study Keys) ].  They also have the student watch one of these videos a week:

Here are the lesson plans for American Lit:

These are recommended for the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP (rumored to be one of the easier CLEPs).  Their lesson plans for this study is only 3 weeks:

What's Cookin'?

I've compiled some sourdough recipes.  My starter is off to a running start and I have a side bucket that I've been feeding and feeding and feeding because I didn't have time to bake.  Now that the "bread bucket" is overflowing today is the day!  This empty gallon bucket from Tropical Traditions' coconut oil is perfect.

I tried these muffins from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship and they were amazing.  I didn't have any muffin tin liners so I just used a 9x9 glass pan.  I did one batch with blueberries and 2 batches with pumpkin that I found in the freezer.

We really need tortillas today since I have red beans ready to turn on in the crockpot.  We're eating a lot of beans and rice lately (but the meatloaf yesterday was amazing!) so hopefully I'll get a few batches soaking here in a minute:

This is the recipe I used several years ago and I'm trying it again today.  I liked it because you basically just had to remember to do something at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Sourdough Whole Wheat Crackers:  I'm always trying new cracker recipes.  This uses 1 C starter, 1 C flour, 1/4 C fat (coconut oil, softened butter, palm shortening, lard...), 1/2 teaspoon salt.

This is the sourdough e-course from GNOWFGLINS.  I would love to take this one day :).

Sourdough English Muffins (how I miss Eng Muffins!):

Sourdough Monkey Bread:

Another version of blueberry muffins:

Schnecken sweet rolls (I think this could be rolled out when you would punch down the bread or after the sourdough starter/flour has soaked):

I have NOT had good results with sourdough biscuits :(.  After several tries with 2 different recipes I'll just stick with soaked recipes for biscuits.  On the other hand... the hockey pucks came in handy when I needed bread crumbs for the meatloaf!

Money Saver Alert:  I just got 4 loaves of sourdough bread, 1 batch of sourdough crackers, and a huge batch of sourdough tortillas from ONE 5-lb bag of white whole wheat flour that cost me just under $3.00 (it's not great flour - just Kroger brand so I'm sure it has bromide and pesticide.  I hope to get some organic from Azure soon for about the same price).  Add in minimal additional ingredients and we can push it to a cost of $3.50.  Even if I was getting the dollar bread that dh loves with all of the additives and L-cysteine (an excitotoxin like msg) and the least expensive crackers and tortillas (worth 2 packs at least) I would have spent at least $7.00 on the same amount of food!  If I was getting healthy versions of the same items it would have been at least double that amount.

Now I'm down to one bag of white whole wheat flour and the dc are busy making all-natural dog treats and horse treats to sell to support their 4-H projects - hopefully these baked goods will last all week!

I used this sourdough starter from Cultures for Health and it's doing great so far!  It was actually cheaper for me at Amazon because I got free shipping with a combined order.  They have many Cultures for Health sourdough starters and sourdough resources.

This is part of Real Food Wednesday:

Any referral funds procured from product links are used to support our homeschooling, supplements, and food (yes, I even buy food at Amazon!).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Paper Monster

What's Schoolin'?

There are 2 sides to the paper monster in our homeschool:  before the children use the paper and after the children use the paper.  This is about the "before" aspect of keeping our papers organized and available.

I am fortunate to have an armoire in the office with supplies.  I have some heavy paper sorters stacked almost all of the way up in 1/2 of the armoire with lots of different things in them.  Five slots are dedicated to paper:  graph paper, lined notebook paper, white cardstock, printer paper, colored/misc paper.  Cardboard sorters would not hold up to the weight of being stacked but the ones I have are hard-sided.  Make sure you check that before buying if that is a feature you like.

They are similar to this and I found them at Sam's many years ago.  The inserted shelves can be taken out which is very convenient for storing non-paper items or, for example, extra notebooks (which we always seem to need) upright in another space.  Make sure you check that before buying if that is a feature you like.

For construction paper I added a shelf to my regular bookshelf about 6 inches from another shelf that holds the long construction paper.  I just have them stacked, not sorted by color, and this seems to work fine.  I have the 1/2-size construction paper in the same shelf on top of the long sheets.  My children don't seem to use a lot of construction paper any more.  They prefer the other paper except for certain craft projects.

This holds 1/2-size construction paper.  I had something similar in my classroom made of cardboard and it worked well:

What's Cookin'?

Horse treats:  My youngest has made homemade dog treats - which our dogs LOVE by the way.  Now my oldest two are going to make homemade horse treats:  apple and carrot varieties.  I'm excited about it and will post our recipe once we tweak it.

Here are some Gottatries that I don't want to forget:

Preserving Kale (by washing, whirring with some lemon juice, and freezing).  Kale is one of those few plants that I could grow really well at our old house... but nobody really likes kale in my family :).  This is a fantastic way to add it to soups and dishes (he, he, he...):

Coconut milk:  I normally make dd almond milk (and use the 'mush' to dehydrate and use for baking as almond meal/flour).  However, recently I had been wondering about making coconut milk.  I was thrilled to read this recipe and see how it's done.

Quinoa salad (with zukes):

What's Gardenin'?

This is a great post about organic pest control:

What's Green?

Here is a good post about conserving energy.

I plan on buying this energy meter to help us save in the long run:

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