Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

Last week was a fun week; we had activities, baking projects, good food to eat and fun things to do.

We began the week by helping out at a local food bank with our 4-H club. We went two mornings in a row, and helped to pass food out to those in need.

The day before Thanksgiving we did a fun project, but I can't say what it was since Christmas is coming......

For Thanksgiving we had my Sweetie's mom come for a visit. The kids love it when Obachan comes to our house.

We had such yummy food.......

....and ate too much, of course.

After dinner we played some games. We taught Obachan how to play Cocktails.

Then things got silly when she started drawing funny faces of the kids.

The next day we headed to Apple Hill.

The trees were especially pretty this year.

We went to our favorite farms where at one, I bought another 40 pounds of apples.

And of course, we had to eat apple doughnuts.

Another farm has a fun nature trail that we like to hike.

Nutsy had fun collecting leaves.

And what visit to Apple Hill is complete without Caramel Apples?

On the way home we picked up our tree....

....and took it home to decorate.

As usual, I let the kids do the decorating.

My mother-in-law and I spent all of our spare time working on a 1000 piece puzzle and we finished it in 18 hours.

The next day we were up bright and early for a rabbit show we were attending with our 4-H rabbit project.

Waiting for the New Zealands to be up.

Lots of crazy rabbit people.

That afternoon it was time for a leaf fight.

The kids actually raked all our neighbor's front yards and brought them to ours so we could have a huge pile.

Sunday afternoon after church we came home to a relaxing afternoon. We decided we had better start using the apples I had bought so we decided to try to make apple doughnuts.

This is when I am really glad we have a deep fryer.

Yum. They were delish.

And that was our week.

Fun, productive, relaxing, enjoyable.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: That it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house. It is our family tradition to set up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, and this year was no different. Christmas season is here.

What I'm reading: Mr. Lego brought a book home from the library last week...The King's Speech written by Mark Logue, Lionel Logue's grandson. It is the true story behind the movie, based on Lionel's diaries. So I have put aside my reading of ancient history for a more modern one.

What I'm listening to: Not really anything right now. The two little girls are playing behind me and the house is quiet.

What we're learning: We are back to school this week after taking a week off. In history we are learning about Ivan the Terrible, the Jesuits, and the explorers of North America. Nutsy's new phonics books came in the mail last week so she is excited about starting those today, and Dasher is starting a new literature book, The Littles.

What I'm watching: Fog. We live in a town that doesn't get too much fog during the year, but when we do get it, it is beautiful. Especially this time of year with the fall leaves and the fog hanging on the ground....if I have time before it burns off I might go out there with my camera.

What's cooking: We have eaten turkey, in many different ways, for the last 4 days. So I am ready for a change, so we'll be having Creamy Tomato Soup tonight with a green salad and french bread.

What I'm buying: This next Sunday is our monthly service at the assisted living center. In December, the kids usually make little Christmas ornaments for the residents that come to our service, so I'll be heading out to the craft store to see what they have later this week.

What I'm thankful for: I am really thankful for my trusty bathrobe. I bought it a few years ago with a coupon at Bath & Body Works, and I have to say it is the warmest thing I own. I love snuggling into its folds in the early morning.

What I'm creating: A couple weeks ago the kids got out all my old scrapbooks, (Remember when Creative Memories was the craze?) and we were bummed when the pictures stopped in 2007. Especially Nutsy, who was only 2 then. So I am inspired to start up again, and record memories for my family.

What I'm praying: That I would remember to make time this week for prayer. Not the one or two sentence prayers, but deliberate, thought out words; a very small pittance to my gracious and merciful God.

What I'm planning: I can't think of anything right now.....I do need to think about lesson planning my science for co-op for the rest of the year....oh, and our 4H presentations are coming up so I need to help the kids plan those out.

What we did this last weekend: We had a lovely Thanksgiving with My Sweetie's mom, then went to a rabbit show on Saturday. Sunday we heard a convicting sermon on thankfulness and prayer, and then home for a relaxing afternoon.

What I'm looking forward to: We have co-op this week, and the Lego class starts up again. Having the week off was very nice and I feel recharged to start up again. We only have three more weeks until our Christmas break....

A picture to share:

~Thanksgiving 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In The Kitchen

I have thought of starting a blog post a few times over the last couple weeks, but then either there wasn't enough time, or I thought that it would have been just a couple photos and a short caption and that wasn't worth it.

So right now, I have a few minutes to sit down and I thought I would share what has been happening in our kitchen the last few days.

First, I bought 40 pounds of apples from a farm near us so we were getting creative with some apple recipes.

Can you guess what we were making?


Caramel Apples dipped in nuts and chocolate. I made a salted caramel apple, but since there weren't any goodies on it, lots of the caramel slid off the apple.

I also made about 7 batches of applesauce in my crock pot. Most of them I froze, but a couple I saved to make......

Apple Fruit Roll-Ups! And these tasted so sweet with no added sugar.

After a week of apple cooking, here is what's left:

Today we made our fun Thanksgiving cooking project.....edible tee pee's.

From Pinterest, of course. 

Fall colored sprinkles.....

Melted chocolate is a good thing.....

Sticking in the pretzels......

Dipping the chocolate coated bottoms into the sprinkles.....

Cute little tee-pee's!

My happy helpers!

And I have been productive with other things in the kitchen today.
Cranberry Sauce.....

And the sweet potatoes for our sweet potato casserole.

I am not planning to blog or even check the computer for the next few days, so to all my friends and family,

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: I am tired this morning. We have to be up a bit earlier today and out the door to help pass out food to the needy. I am also thinking that I am so thankful that my children have this opportunity to help others this way.

What I'm reading: I am still reading A Brief History of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Peoples by JD Steele I am just finishing Ancient Rome and then we are headed to the Dark Ages. I am not planning to do much reading this next week, though.

What I'm listening to: Not Christmas music......yet. But come Friday, we'll have it playing all day. It just doesn't seem right to listen to Angel's We Have Heard on High with a pumpkin on my coffee table.

What we're learning: We are taking a learning break this week, and I think we needed it.We haven't even had one sick/vacation day yet this school year. That has gotta be a record for us.....

What I'm watching: The leaves in full color this week. The fall color started out slow in my area, but now it is incredibly colorful.

What's cooking: I have a few easy meals the next few days, and then like millions of others, we'll partake of a turkey on Thursday. I did hear that one of my friends traditionally has lasagna on Thanksgiving.....do any of my other friends serve something other than turkey that day?

What I'm buying: I did all my food shopping last week, since I don't feel like hitting the stores in the mad rush this week.

What I'm thankful for: As we prepare today to go help pass out food at a local food bank, I am so thankful for the freezer full of food that we have.

What I'm creating: Last week I found a great deal at an apple farm near me....40 pounds of apples for $14. So we made 3 batches of applesauce that are in the freezer now...the box is still 3/4 full. So this week I am planning to make apple pie filling to freeze and also try to make apple fruit-roll ups.

What I'm praying: That I would not respond to the Lord's discipline with frustration, but with humility.

What I'm planning: Later today we have friends coming over and we are going to try to make candles with the kids. We'll see how that works. We are planning to go to the food bank another time this week, we have family coming from out of town on Thursday, and then we'll get into the Christmas mood Friday. Busy week, but very fun.

What we did this last weekend: We ran a couple errands and then the kids and my Sweetie 'winterized' the backyard. They cut back the roses, our tree, pulled out the vegetable garden, and raked up the leaves. Yesterday we heard a convicting sermon on Matthew 4, and then had friends over in the afternoon for fellowship. Then back to church for our monthly evening service.

What I'm looking forward to: Eating good food. Being with family. Trying a new appetizer recipe. Sleeping in. My Sweetie and I and our annual watching of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles the night before Thanksgiving. Finding the perfect tree. Getting down the box of Christmas decor, and remembering what is inside. Good times.

A picture to share:

~November 2007

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

What I'm thinking: I am cold. I am always cold during the winter. And I live in California! I love being bundled up with a nice hot cup of tea. Which is exactly how I am right now.

What I'm reading: I am still reading A Brief History of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Peoples by JD Steele. Now I am up to the Ancient Romans. What I love about this book is at the end of each section, the author describes scenes from daily life during that time period. I only have about 350 pages to go.....

What I'm listening to: The house is quiet right now....some kids are outside checking the rabbits, another is upstairs in their room. That leaves one that is unaccounted for....just checked and it is Nutsy, and she is sitting on the sofa behind me, reading quietly.

What we're learning: In history we are learning about Titian, Women of the Renaissance, and John Calvin. I have a couple of books on Calvin that the older ones will read, and I am going to read aloud to the younger ones the section on Calvin from the book Courage and Conviction by Mindy & Brandon Withrow. In science this week we are making hummingbird feeders. I know, this is totally the wrong season for hummingbirds, so we'll save them and put them out in the spring.

What I'm watching: My garden. I went out a couple days ago and picked the last of the tomatoes from my garden. We have had a couple of frosts so I think that is it. So now it is time to pull it all up and fertilize. While I was out there I saw some arugula coming up from the spring planting, which reminded me that now it is lettuce season here again. To plant or not to plant?

What's cooking: This week I am making Japanese Takeout Chicken in my crock pot from the second volume of Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. We will see how it turns out....

What I'm buying: I have big shopping this week so I am making my lists and thinking about all the food we will consume in November. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is next week!

What I'm thankful for: Today as I sit here on this foggy morning, I am thankful for my wool socks.

What I'm creating: Not much right now. Any ideas?

What I'm praying: For my children's hearts, that the Lord would draw them closer to Himself.

What I'm planning: To go upstairs right after this and work out with Jillian Michaels. I really do not enjoy working out, but I know it is good for me.

What we did this last weekend: Saturday night we had a family movie night, and all watched The Princess Bride. The evening was made complete with Caramel Chocolate Fudge Brownies. Sunday we went to church and Sunday school, then went to the park with a few families and had a picnic. We talked and played volleyball until it was dark.

What I'm looking forward to: This week we have our 4H rabbit meeting, co-op and Mr. Lego's Lego class. Our last week of school before taking off for the week of Thanksgiving.

A picture to share:

~Bookworm and a friend at our 4H club meeting last week. They were participating in a pie eating contest. A member of our family won. Anyone want to guess who that was?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day 2011

Getting ready for the parade...

Honor guard.....

Flags were everywhere.

Seeing those who had served....

.....and we thanked them....

...and remembered those who had fallen.

So many things to see...

...and remember.

Honor given to those who serve.