Friday, April 29, 2011


I do have a preschool post for this week, but these last few weeks of school have been so busy, at school and then around the house in general. I've only had time for quick posts.  The past two weeks also have brought us so much rain and crazy storms that we've been camping in the basement many evenings and nights.  It's really cutting into my project time.  Thankfully though, other than loosing the shed roof and some big limbs, we were spared the destruction and flooding many of our friends have had. 

So, here's a short one.  It verges on sacrilegious... maybe...or it's sweet and innocent.  We're going with that one.  Bee brought out her seder cup from her meal at school.   She's been drinking from it here and there.  She filled it with grape juice- nothing weird about that.  Then she went and grabbed a piece of bread and a bowl.  She cubed it up and offered us communion.

Bee has taken communion before, only after fully explaining why we take communion. Our church has no specific age requirements- so we were good there.  Our sweet college-aged neighbor was over chatting and she asked Bee if she had blessed the bread first and if she knew what to say when she served the bread and juice.  She prayed over the bread ... then she told us to all take a second piece since it was good bread.

I'm not sure if this was ok, but I figure since she's offering up the other sacraments at times, who am I to say.  She's married and baptized our pets, cats and fish.  Perhaps she feels a calling.  She did it with a sincere attitude, that's got to count for something.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

our date

I took hubby on a date for his birthday last weekend.  We went out to eat and then I took him to see girls in their undies.  Well, practically!  Our bank teller is in the roller derby and has been inviting us for awhile now.  Neither of us had ever been and frankly, none of the other moms that I talk to have either.  I didn't know what to wear, but we went. 

It was interesting!  There was a diverse group of people in attendance, many drinking, some in fishnets.  That's my bank teller in the lead spot in the first picture.  This is during warm ups.  Most of the girls wore something similar to volleyball shorts, but shorter and with more glitter.  They also wore some variety of black torn stockings.   When we first sat down (a friendly bouncer told us where to sit for the best viewing) Hubby just said, "I have no words to describe this.   And frankly, I don't know where I'm supposed to look." 

Thankfully the program they gave out included the rules, because we were LOST.  It was a rough sport, but interesting to watch.  We sort of did figure out the rules.  The girls had fun names, most appropriate, some not so much.  I'm not sure why some of them pick the names that they do because I'd be embarrassed to tell someone about my hobby and my name, "Yes, I'm in the roller derby, my name is Miss ho-killer." 

It's probably not something he'll be asking to go back to, but it was a fun night without the kids.  (There were lots of kids there, but I just can not, CAN NOT, imagine taking the kids there!)  There may be a league near you.  Here's the league website.   I think it would actually make a better girls night out than date!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

cake pop fail

I attempted to make cake pops for hubby's birthday this weekend.  I had some wonderful ones at the preschool Easter party (thanks Melissa!) and wanted more.  I say I attempted making them because they did not really work well. 

You just make a cake and mix it and the icing in a bowl.  You form them into balls and then dip them into melting chocolates.  I used almond bark.  Most ended like this.

But they tasted good.  Then we got belly aches.  I don't know what happened.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bee's seder meal

Bee's class celebrated the passover on Good Friday with a seder meal.  The children were asked to dress as someone from the bible.  Every girl in Bee's class came as Mary. Obviously, this isn't a public school.  She goes to school upstairs from where I teach preschool.  It's worked out great this year.

The outfit was drama.  I got a glimpse of what it will be like when she's a teenager.  I put together the outfit that you see the other little girl wearing in the first picture.  She had a dozen issues with it.  I tried to let her choose other fabric from my stash. Nope, nothing would work.  I reminded her that some friends would be in bathrobes and towels on their heads.  We ended up with a trip to the fabric store to get new fabric.  She found a friend who was happy to wear the undesirable outfit.

The children and the families got to sample some foods from the passover celebration.  That chicken leg is supposed to be a lamb leg.  Close enough. There's also some parsley that was dipped in salt water, a boiled egg, horseradish, unleavened bread/ matzoh bread wafer, and some apple pie filling that is supposed to be like charoses, representing the bricks and mortar that the Jewish people had to build with.  See, we all got a lesson.   One of the teachers told the story of the Jewish people's exodus and some of the traditional passover traditions.

This belt was drama for her too.  She said the Mary picture in her bible showed Mary with a brown belt that didn't fasten or tie.  Hmmmm.  I added some elastic and she was happy.  No tie, no closure.   I googled 'Mary costumes' and apparently any character can be made into an inappropriate costume.   I would think the mother of our savior would be off limits, but I've been wrong before.

The head piece was drama and the sleeves were drama.  She had specific ideas and designs.  She has a picture bible that she referenced.  Surely I can make whatever is drawn.  Of course.  She wasn't 100% happy with the end result, but she did have a nice costume and she said that she was thankful for it anyway.

Bee's best friend at school also seemed happy with the inaccurate (according to Bee's reference materials) costume.   She even brought baby Jesus with her to school.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

I heart faces- pets

The I heart faces challenge this week is pets. This isn't our pet, but it's our neighbors. We pet sat for them last summer and really enjoyed it.  This is Macy.  She's a labradoodle and the most well behaved dog ever.  If I knew our dog would act like her, we'd get one.  Until then, we'll stick to the cats.  This photo was taken with my point and shoot last summer.  It makes me smile.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter and Bee's Easter outfit

When I shared Lou's Easter outfit last week, I said that Bee wasn't interested in a matchy matchy outfit.  When I was asked this week to pattern test again for Jessica at Happy Together, I decided to use that as an excuse to make her something anyway.   I will be sharing another post about the dress and pattern later, but wanted to go ahead and show the kids in their Easter outfits.

I shared about Lou's outfit here.  The top fabric of Bee's dress is leftover from Lou's pants.  It's from the random pile of fabric my neighbor Abbey gave me.  The bottom is from some fabric that my sister in law gave me.  It was designed to be a bed skirt or curtain, but I think it added the right amount of girly-ness to the dress.

It had to be lined, but I think we are both happy with how it turned out.   They both love that they match. 

I can't believe that in the past three Easters that I have never made them matching holiday outfits.  With how cute they look now, I may have started something.

I threw on some over sized buttons at the last minute.  She loves that they are trick buttons.  I can't wait to show more about the dress. I made this and another one with some fabric Bee chose. It was a fun pattern to work with.

Enough about our outfits.  We are off to church.  Hope you find lots of eggs today. Happy Easter.
If you're at our house, enjoy some birthday cake- happy birthday Hubby!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egging and some empty rolls

I don't know how I don't have any pictures of this, but we egged Bee's friend's house last week.  It's a fun kind of egging!  I first read about it at Sun Scholars.   You hide a dozen plastic eggs filled with goodies in a friend's front yard.  You leave an egg carton on the doorstep then ring the bell and run.  They search for the eggs and then 'egg' another  friend's house.  For the carton we made up, I glued a cute poem and graphic to the front.  Again, not sure how I didn't get a picture, but I got the poem from Sun Scholars.   I borrowed the graphic from this blog.

Another last minute Easter thing we  made were these empty tomb rolls.  I read about them on the afternoon of Good Friday and just happened to have some bread dough rising for rolls that night.  I turned some of my dough into these guys.  Not enough though, they were so tasty, they got eaten right up.  They are rolled in cinnamon sugar and have a surprise inside. 

They are empty.  The tomb is empty.  I wish I would have had these for Lou's school Easter party.  Next year!

Want to know how they get 'empty ' on the inside?  The dough is rolled around a large marshmallow.  

The bread bakes and the marshmallow melts down.  Can you see some of the sticky goodness at the bottom of the roll?  I used this roll recipe for the dough.

I read about the Empty tomb rolls here at feathers from my nest.  She uses some kind of freezer roll dough and likes the results from that too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lou's Easter outfit

Here are a few pictures of silly man Lou's Easter outfit.  My neighbor gave me a pile of fabric and one the pieces was a white and blue striped fabric.  It wasn't searsucker, but not linen... I'm not sure what it is.  It was pretty much begging to be made into little guy Easter pants. 

I grabbed a white polo from last years family pictures and one of the mama's from preschool embroidered it for me.  I just gave her a scrap of the fabric and said, 'do whatever.'   I was pretty specific you see.  She did a great job and I was happy with what she came up with.

When did he get so goofy?

There was talk about a coordinating outfit for Bee, but she said no.  I only had enough of the stripes left for a simple skirt.  She wasn't interested and already had a dress she wanted to wear on Easter.

(He shares Bee's interest in toe examining.... whose weird kids are these?)

I included my favorite detail on little boy pants, big pockets.  Big 'ol pockets.

It's a birthday weekend here, but I should have some time for some projects.  Looking forward to that. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

jelly beans- preschool style

Jelly bean day might have been my favorite day had my kids not been CRAZY.  End of the year, bad weather over the weekend, storm rolling in, whatever- teachers will blame it on all kinds of things. 

I read this story My Garden by Kevin Henkes.  It's about a little girl whose family has a garden and she dreams that her garden grows chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

Then we looked at many pictures of food and talked about what they are and if they could be grown in a garden.  I got many of the garden pictures from some old calendars that my mom saved for me.  I got the other food items (cookies and pizza, etc) from real simple magazine.  They have great photos for cutting!   One of our little guys knows all the names of random fruits and vegetables.  They eat super healthy at his house and he knows all about persimmons and pomegranates.

Then we worked on the jelly bean prayer.  I sent the jelly bean prayer color booklet home for the kiddos to work on if they wished along with the correct colored jelly beans in a little wax paper envelope.

As we went through the prayer/poem, I used these larger pieces on the felt board.

Jelly Bean Poem
Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace he gave.
 Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
A basket full of jelly beans, Colorful and Sweet
Is a prayer, a promise, A loved one's treat!!

I had all  these jelly bean pieces cut out to place in the middle of the floor intending that with each color, the kids would search for their own so that they had a complete set at the end.  The kids were crazy as I mentioned, so I skipped this and will save them for another year or another activity.   Its' a lot of cutting to waste, bu that's just how it goes. 

Then I handed each child a plastic egg with 5 jelly beans.  We went through this little counting rhyme together.

Jelly Bean Countdown

5 little jelly beans I wish I had more! I'll eat the (color) one
Now there are four!
4 little jelly beans Tasty as can be I'll eat the (color) one
Now there are 3!
3 little jelly beans Only a few. I'll eat the (color) one
Now there are 2.
2 little jelly beans Eating them is fun I'll eat the (color) one
Now there is one.
1 little jelly bean The last one for me I'll eat the (color) one
I'm as happy as can be!


We also graphed some jelly beans that I passed out to the kiddos. I don't have any pictures, but just had them place the appropriate color on our felt board in rows.  I asked some questions about the colors and the numbers.  I love how even little bitty guys can do this kind of math.

Here'  the craft from jelly bean day.  The jars were drawn on the paper and the kids stamped jelly bean shaped sponges in the jar.  The kids held onto the sponges by an empty film container hot glued to the backside of the sponge.   Lou put his in rows.

I found these cards in the paint sample section at walmart.  Some cards have photo of items.  I grabbed one of each of them and was sure that I'd find a game or activity to use them with.  I also grabbed a matching paint color.  I just left them out for the kids and a few of them created their own little game with matching and sorting. 

I also reviewed the Easter story with the resurrection eggs.  I made a bingo sheet to go with it.  I used these print out cards from 1+1+1=1 to go along with it.  I tried leaving out the resurrection eggs and pieces for the kids to play with, but the kids made off with the pieces and I had to track down everything.  Leaving the cards out was safer for all of us, eggs included.   For the bingo game, all the cards were the same and the pictures were in order so that we reviewed the story as we went.  It's just something I made up in word with pictures I google imaged.  If I knew how to share files, I'd would share the bingo sheet.

Edited to add:  This post was late today because we spent last night hunkered down in the basement.  Crazy storms!  We lost the roof off our shed and a bunch of branches, but the house was fine and the kids slept through it!  It was a little exciting in the morning to go see all the wind damage in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

more eggs

Here are last years eggs. What's left of them anyway. When they break, it's a bad thing. Not only is it time and creative effort down the drain, but it stinks.. really bad.

The bunnies have been busy again though.

We hope to have several more ready to share by Easter.  Someone in our house keeps eating the eggs though... ahem.. daddy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I heart faces- wind

This week's I heart faces photo challenge is 'wind'.   This picture of Bee from last year was taken with my point and shoot while we were out in the woods doing some hiking and fishing... and getting ticks.  The wind off the lake was throwing her hair all in her face.  Ticks must like the wind because we all ended up with them.


Another item off the short list.  I can't believe that it took me this long to do it.  I guess I thought homemade bagels were somehow harder than homemade pretzels or bread or cinnamon rolls or yeast waffles.  They are not. Think of all that time wasted not enjoying homemade bagels. 

Homemade bagel recipe (from Hub Pages)

4 cups bread flour  (I used 3 cups spelt and the rest regular unbleached white)
1 Tbls sugar
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 Tbls vegetable oil
2 tsps yeast
1-1/4- 1-1/2 cups of warm water.

Dissolve yeast in bowl.  Add other ingredients (add flour slowly so you don't over stiffen).  Knead well.   The directions say 10 minutes but I like to under knead a bit.  Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls.

Here is the rolling method from Hubpages:

Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be!

I tried another way and preferred it:  I took the ball and flattened it a touch, then I poked a hole in the middle and stretched and worked it from there. 

Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil.  I use baking stones, but the directions say a greased pan.  To each his own I guess.

I tried some blueberry and some cinnamon raisins.  The cinnamon raisins were the best!  Blueberries not so much.

After the 20 minutes your bagels will rise more and look puffy.  Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. 

Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on the baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

Bake 425 for 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another 10 minutes.

The blueberry ones did not turn out well.  The berries made the dough around them soggy.  They were mushy and a little gooey.  The cinnamon raisins were really very yummy.  The plain were pretty much plain. We will make them again and will make lots of cinnamon raisins and some with dried cranberries or other dried fruit. 

I'm going to have to see what's next on my list to do. Raising chickens?
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