"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lego Homeschooling, a "Book Bind," and a Sewing Update

It's been a few days since I updated you on what's been going on.  Busy here as usual. More ski club meetings (they are never ending - almost weekly meetings now, on top of weekend practices), and then the normal everyday reading, sewing, daycare and homeschool.  In other words, business as usual :)

So why the pictures of Legos?  Well, this my friends is homeschool. (Not complete homeschool, mind you, but part of it.)  This is a model of a home, gardens, etc., that was typical of the Ancient Indus River Valley.  Don't know where that is?  My homeschooler does :P  lol.  Just giving you a hard time ;)  Anyway, he was pretty detailed in his creation, including the river, a ladder, and a well.  At the same time, we've been learning about different religion - specifically Buddhism and Hinduism at the moment, along with lots of mythology and ancient history.  I used to hate ancient history, but I'm coming around to it.  There's some pretty interesting stuff to learn about.  

 It is our routine to do baths right after dinner (see that face and you'll understand why).  Last night, the one year old got down from his chair and ran straight into the bathroom, and climbed into the tub without waiting to get undressed.  It's one of his favorite things every day.  He often gets two baths a day as he tends to soak through his diaper overnight - even when we get up with him and change him in the middle of the night.

 The first of my allergy-free cookbooks arrived yesterday.  I have three more coming - two focused on baking, and two for meals.  This one looks like it's going to be pretty good.  I didn't have time to go through and pick out recipes yet, but I'm hoping to get a chance to do that later today.  And a bonus for my 22 year old when he comes to visit, these are all vegan recipes :)  I didn't notice that when I ordered it.

Their baked goods look really good - I hope they turn out as nicely as they look in the pictures.  So far I've only seen a couple of recipes that he can't have - using cornmeal.  He's allergic to corn, along with eggs, dairy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, coconut and sesame.  But thankfully I only saw a couple recipe (things like corn bread) that use it, so hopefully it won't be too much of an issue.

I made up a batch of breakfast cookies for him this morning.  Well, two batches really.  This is not a recipe from that book, but one I found on Pinterest.  I know I've mentioned this recipe before but I can't tell you how much I love it.  It's so simple and quick, and it keeps well.  I just mashed a banana on a plate, stirred in some oatmeal (I just eye-balled it), and then mixed in raisins.  I was going to use dark chocolate chips which he had been able to have before, but when I reviewed the contents, I saw that they contain soy, which we recently found out he can't have.  So no chocolate now unless it's straight from cocoa powder.  Maybe next time I'll have to try adding some of that.  I was thinking about doing a batch with applesauce and chunks of fresh apples, but I figured two batches was enough at once.  They each made about 8 cookies.  Three of them makes a good breakfast for him (we use them for snacks too).

 I added Craisins to the second batch.  I was surprised to find when I went to the store that several of the Craisins brand contained something he could not have.  I'm definitely having to read the labels on absolutely everything now.

 These cookies don't change much in the oven, so make sure they're pressed down into the shape you want them before you stick them in the oven.  The first time we made these we ended up with cookie balls.  This is what they looked like before I put them in the oven (using the cookie sheet on top of my skillet to melt the cheese on my breakfast.  Let's hear it for multitasking -lol).

And this is what they looked like after being baked 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Pretty much the same, just a little browner.  The original recipe said to be sure and grease the cookie sheet or you would be sorry.  I haven't found that to be the case.  I like them better when I bake them on the stone, but even on the airbake sheet, I didn't have a problem getting them off.  They do stick pretty good, but I just use my metal spatula to slide them off, and I made sure to remove them before they had entirely cooled.

He still looks pretty sleepy here, doesn't he?  This is the kid that is talking about breakfast as I'm lifting him out of the crib.  I do make him get his diaper changed and get dressed before he eats, and you should hear it on the days that he has to have a bath first.

This is a little better.  One cookie down, two cookies with bites missing, and starting to perk right up.  I love that these cookies don't have any added sugar (the fruit is plenty).  I have added cinnamon to these in the past, but didn't today because I just didn't think about it, and I think they were just as good without it.  Of course if you wanted to get really fancy, a dash of vanilla might be nice...

The table project is moving along nicely.  It is nearly scraped off entirely.  This has been a much more labor-intensive project than we anticipated.  My husband works on this about every night, with the eight year old pitching in once in awhile.  I'm hoping this gets done this week so I can paint the top over the weekend and get the eight year old to working on it with the markers.

I also talked to a professional painter about doing our living room (main daycare room).  I have so much going on that I think it would be nice just to hire the work done.  Then it would definitely be done in one day and I could get on with setting up the daycare space the way I want, and doing the fun decorating projects I have picked out from Pinterest. ;)  It's a bit pricey, but I think well worth it. We have 10 foot ceilings in our living room and ladders and I are not on speaking terms - ha. More like mortal enemies.  My husband doesn't mind ladders (despite the fact that they've bucked him off more often than not), but straight lines are not his forte - and we're doing dark chocolate brown against a white ceiling on one of the walls...

I managed to get myself into a bind... a "book bind" if you'll pardon the pun.  Last weekend I decided I had too many library books checked out that I wasn't going to get to read soon enough, and I had a big stack of books I own that I want to read soon.  So I returned most of the library books, and put all my "want to read really soon" books on the piano (where I normally keep my current reading) instead.  Only eight of these are library books.  Yea... I can hear some of you laughing at the use of the word "only" in that statement.  The rest are mine, with fiction to the right and nonfiction to the left.  I have a self-imposed rule that I read a fiction book, then non-fiction, then fiction, etc.  And here enters my dilemma.

 I am about three quarters of the way finished with the book on the bottom "The End of Your Life Book Club" by Will Schwalbe - which by the way is a really good non-fiction book about the author's mother's battle with pancreatic cancer.  I think I mentioned that I recently joined the book club at the library.  It meets at noon in the middle of the week, which means I can only participate via their facebook page, thanks to the daycare.  I had asked if they ever thought about doing an evening book club, and from that question, a new evening book club was formed.  Their first meeting will be later this month, and will be on "The Poisonwood Bible" - which looks like it's going to be a great book.  But it's non-fiction.  (I should be clear that I LOVE non-fiction, and have to fight myself to ever read anything other than non-fiction).  But thanks to my self-imposed rule, this means that I can't start this book until I finish the one I'm reading, and then read a fiction book.  Lol.  Oh, and both of these books are about 2 inches thick :)  Suffice it to say I will be choosing a much shorter fiction book to read in between. :)  The other problem is that I've also requested to borrow another non-fiction book for training credits for my daycare licensing.  I had suggested a couple of weeks ago that they purchase the book, which they did at my request.  They are now mailing it to me, and they only allow three weeks from the time it is mailed from Cheyenne and returned back there - via  the ever speedy (not) media mail.  So I guess I'm going to need two very short works of fiction - lol.

Okay, so when I type it all out like this, it sounds a little obsessive, huh?  :)  Yep, That's me.  And pretty much all of it self-imposed.

 So in between everything else, I've also been working on sewing the red borders on my blue hexagon diamonds.  I am working on number 7 right now.

I also have seven more after that needing red borders.  Then I'm going to sew all 14 of them together and then remove the paper templates and start all over again.

Also in yesterday's mail was a lovely package from Connecting Threads ... my good friends.  They don't know me personally, but they're fairly well acquainted with my debit card.  LOL.  Anyway, the arrows pattern I mentioned the other day arrived.

I'm planning to use my Wing Clipper ruler for the flying geese section of the arrow blocks.  I think it's going to make things really simple.  I probably won't get to sew this for awhile.  I need to get the tote bags (yes, two of them) done asap.  I should have had these done last week, but it didn't happen.  All of my sewing machine time needs to go toward those before I worry about anything else.

Of course I couldn't just order the pattern.  I mean, as long as they were shipping something to me, I might as well have a little sale fabric, right?  So I picked out this nice assortment of blue fabrics to be added to my hexagon quilt.  (That was the intent anyway.  I'm trying to decide whether that blue rain drop fabric - the one with the green in it - really goes with this, or if it's too much.)

I'm thinking maybe I'll start cutting fabric later today - both for the hexagon quilt and the arrows.  But then, I keep thinking of things I want to get done "later today" and the list is getting mighty long... and it's already noon.  I'm also hoping to finish the Will Schwalbe book, clean off my kitchen island (where all my sewing stuff is), study the recipes in that new cookbook, homeschool while the daycare kids are napping, re-organize one of my kitchen cabinets, sew more of the red borders onto the  hexagon diamonds ... oh, and I have a chiropractor appointment at 5:45 (because my whole left leg has been numb from my hip to my toes for three days now) and we have AWANA clubs tonight, which my husband and I run.  I'm the master of multitasking, but I think it's clear to see that not all of these goals will be met - ha.

   In case you were wondering (or seriously bored) this is the cupboard I intend to change up.  I need to raise the top shelf so I can stand my recipe binders upright.  I have at least three more cookbooks arriving, and another I'm considering ordering, and I hate digging through a stack of binders laying down. It's so much easier with them upright.  (And you know how I am with books... I have another entire cupboard shelf full of cookbooks too... and more on the shelves in the garage...)  I think I'll also move the plates and bowls to the lower shelf.  See how bad this one is bowing?  I think the bottom one should be sturdier - and easier for the eight year old to safely put plates away on.  (He empties the dishwasher for me each morning.)

So there you have it.  When my older kids call they always ask me what I've been up to.  I usually either say, "Not much" or "Same old, same old."  So D & N, now you know what that means... assuming you actually read all this. :)

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