Friday, October 7, 2011

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls w/ pictures

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
2-1/4 cups warm water (110-115)
1/4 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 up plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes.  Add he shortening, eggs, sugar, salt and whole wheat flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough.  Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Divide into four portions; shape each into 12 balls.  Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets.  cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.  Bake at 375 for 11-15 minutes or until browned.  Brush with butter.
Yield 4 dozen.

**Taste of Home Magazine October/November 2000**

Now here's how I started.  Let's see how I finish.

First step.  Getting everything ready and laid out.

Mixing all that flour in.  Notice the spoon... I started adding
the whole wheat with my hand mixer.  As I started adding the white
flour the traitor died on me.  So............... the spoon and I finished mixing.

 Finally done mixing and kneading.  So didn't want to show you the
big flour mess I made!  So here it is getting ready to set and double.

More to come.  Waiting....

Okay waiting is finally done.  Here are the last steps!

Rolled up 2 dozen balls to rise.  Rolled up 2 dozen to freeze for later!!!

Finished rolls.  Delicious and healthy (remember the whole wheat)!

Enjoy!  I'm buttering my roll right now.  Yummy.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parenting Style and advice...

Do I have parenting advice?  Not really.  I feel you parent how it is comfortable for you.

Lately I've been given A TON of parenting and schooling advice from well meaning pain in the butts.  I enjoy a stimulating conversation about parenting or dealing with specific issues.  I do not enjoy being criticized or told how to parent my children.  My cousin has three children the same ages as mine.  We are totally different in the parenting and discipline department.  It was an emotional and tense conversation.  And while I don't agree with most of the conversation I did come away with one good discipline tip.

 She said with her kids she makes her punishment match the crime.  If her child throws a rock at a car,  she will make her pick up all the rocks in the area for an hour.  If the rocks get finished before the hour is up, then she will pour the rocks back out and tell her to keep going.  Now this seems harsh.  In my view, its less harsh than taking a belt or hand to your child's backside.  Plus it teaches consequences to the action.  A long time ago my son had a really bad habit (which has just started back up) of running up and down the two sets of stairs we have in our house.  He jumps down several stairs at a time and ends up sliding and getting hurt.  For a while I made him walk back up and down the stairs TEN times for every time he ran down the stairs.  He stopped running.

I also learned another lesson.  Check INSIDE blankets before pulling them out of closets.  I pulled a blanket out last night and now have a broke toe and purple foot.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Learning

We will always be a learning/educational family and I will always be a life long learner and educator.

So its not surprising to me that on Sunday night (tonight) my children are learning.  My son is voluntarily doing Science which is his favorite subject.

My daughters are also working on their ABCs.  My youngest will know all her ABCs and counting before Preschool ever starts.

Happy Summer.. Never stop learning.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Changes in the air..

So many changes in the air right now.  Besides the heat wave that is going on here in TN, we have a few changes in the family too.  Next year my homeschooled son will re-enter the public school system for his 6th grade year.  My last baby will enter preschool and my middle child will enter kindergarten.  For the first time all of my children will be away from home for school.

How do I feel about this??

I am not quite sure yet.  This will be a trial run for my son.  If he has a good productive experience, then he will continue.  If not we will return to homeschool.  I think perhaps we both need the break. Now my littlest one is still knee hugging so this will be a sad year for me.  She is my baby.

It leaves me at a loss.  For the past four years, my days have been consumed with lesson planning and acquiring resources to make the best of our homeschool.  Now I don't have that to do.  I have three book cases full of resources that will go unused.  In a way it fills me with sadness.  I only hope that this will prove to be a positive experience.  As long as I refuse to watch the news maybe I can restrain myself from taking him right back out.

So maybe I will change the direction of my blog.  Less focus on schooling since I won't be the primary teacher anymore.  Don't think I won't be doing extra things with them and lots of fun, educational stuff!  Maybe more focus on our beliefs or cooking or reading.  Unsure on that right now.

But just thought I would let those that do read my blog know what is going on.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How Salt Beds Form Experiment

Today's post is by a very special guest blogger! My very own son. He patiently waited for the salt bed to form. So I thought he would be the best one to write this blog. So here is my son's first blog. Enjoy!

This is the book I was using to find out how salt beds are made, 

This is step one. First, I put four tablespoons of salt in 
a jar with one cup of water.

Second, I put the salt in the jar of water.

This is what happened to the salt and water after a month or so.
This is what the side evaporation of the salt in the water looked like.
This is the outside view of the salt looked liked
Another picture of the inside looked like. (My mom is a camera freak.)
Okay, my mom really is a camera freak. This experiment was really fun.I liked it. Science is my favorite subject. I recommend this book to people who like science, the solar system, and flat out science.

Well, there is my son's thoughts on our experiment.  (LOL) 
Hope you enjoyed the mini-lesson.  He's already asked to create his own blog.  
Maybe we will see more by him.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Talking To A Difficult Child

My oldest son had a behavioral doctor's appointment today.  As we were sitting in the waiting room, I was listening to a mother talk to her daughter.  The daughter was hyper, not very focused and talkative.  Alot like my son.  The mother's comments to the daughter made me sad.  She was speaking down to her.  Telling her she didn't know how to draw then proceeded to tell her how wrong everything she drew was and how someone else learned to draw better than that two years ago.  There were several comments like this during our time in the waiting room.  I hope that maybe she was just having a stressful day and didn't realize how awful she sounded.  I find myself thinking about how I speak to my child.  I understand being very frustrated with a hyper or difficult child.  My biggest flaw is yelling.  But I have made myself the promise that I will work on it.  I have days where I have to lock myself in my room to calm down so I don't say or do something I will regret.  But when I do come out of my room, I like to think that I don't say things that would damage my child's self-esteem.  Children are very precious and don't deserve to be put down for any reason.  Now having said that I know I have said things like "don't act stupid" or something of that nature.  I resolve to try harder, to be more patient, and to think about how my words will effect my child.  Talking positively and not putting your difficult child down should be a part of every day life.  Remember, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Children that are difficult generally aren't that way by CHOICE.  No one gets to pick the genes they are passed or how they are raised.   BUT you do have the choice in how You raise them and how you treat them.    I read a book a while back called Raising a Strong Willed Child by James Dobson.  I think its food for thought.   I also have his book Bringing Up Boys although I haven't read it yet.

Words sometimes hurt more than fists.

Friday, March 4, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Crafts

First let me say, I'm not a huge craft person. I don't like running to the store to buy this little gidget or that little gadget just to do a craft with the kids. If an idea has more things on it that I don't have on hand than I do then I just won't do it. Call me lazy. But with three kids and a tight budget, that's life. So here are some ideas that I plan to do. Probably with adjustments according to what I have on hand or have easy access too. :)

Link to basic shamrock printable here.

Here's a gift for the kids to make for dad or to wear. A St. Patrick's Day Tie! Too cute!
We made this one and loved it!

We are making Shamrock Garlands. Similar to the chains you make at Christmas. Here is an example of one using felt. I think we are planning to stick to paper or construction paper as we don't really work with felt much. Perhaps that will be something to try in the future.

Another really cute idea that we made! Handprint Leprechauns.

I love crafts that involve toilet paper rolls. Everyone has them lying around or if not it doesn't take long to get one (especially in my house!).
So here is a really cute shamrock craft using a toilet paper roll.

I love ideas.  You can comment or share links to your blog posts on all things St. Patrick's Day below.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Science Lesson: Testing for Limestone

This week we have been studying rocks in science. I picked up Earth Science for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave. She has a whole series of books with easy experiments for kids! Love her books!

Yesterday I snuck the book onto my son's desk in the middle of his school books. He's been looking through it every since. Today he found one he really wanted to try. I love when this happens!

To demonstrate a positive test for limestone.
If it bubbles, it is limestone. See the tiny bubbles.

I asked what would happen if the shells sit in the vinegar? Will it eat through the shell or just stop bubbling and sit? We will let it sit undisturbed and see what happens! How interesting.

I wish everyday was creative like this!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Homeschooling a bipolar child

I have been thinking about a post on homeschooling a bipolar child for a while now. And since the kids have the flu and are resting.. now seems like a good time. First let me state that all children are different. Two kids living in the same house with the same parents can act differently even with a diagnosis of bipolar. Our neurologist told us that Bipolar disorder is like ADHD in that its the term doctor's use when all the symptoms don't fit into any other disorder and still meet the qualifications of Bipolar or ADHD. Did that make sense? My son has both. So life can be unpredictable.

For my son, the school day needs to be structured. It has to have a purpose. I can't just say okay we're going to work on this for a while. We tried that. It left alot of work undone and maybe some yelling (on both sides). So what I've learned to do to help him is make a full days schedule out the night before. Making it for more than a day or two does not work either. If for some reason I need to make a change once he's already seen it. Yikes! That can cause a meltdown. As long as it is on the list, he will do it. So everything has to be on it.
Here is an example of our list for the day.

Spelling - p 40 1-20
English - Read p 114-116, 1-5 Vocabulary p. 117
Science - Read pg 42-47 Vocabulary and review questions
History - Read p 4-7 Vocab and 5 questions
Math - P. 12 in workbook. Powers and Exponents
Read 30 minutes.. my choice of book

I use a teacher's blank book I bought and keep it all in a notebook.

A day goes something like this. We get up at 6:30 to get everyone ready to take my oldest daughter to pre-k. Back home around 8. Breakfast (if the other two didn't eat before we left) and then schoolwork. My son normally will just sit down and start working while I get my 4 year old started on something. Some days he starts easily and will get things moving without too much pushing from me. Other days it requires a bit more.. "sit down and do your work!!" from me. Or a few "no tv, wii, or games unless all the work is done". Let me say I am not a fan of TV, Wii or Xbox, or DSi but they have unfortunately become a part of my life. Lunch falls around 11am with a snack again about 1. Whenever his work is complete then his school day is over. I check work that night and correction work is put on the sheet for the next day. Or if there is something I need to go over, then we go over that before I hand him his sheet. I know that sounds like I don't do much teaching. Really he doesn't want a whole lot. He reads and does the work. I do tend to work with him over math. The powers and exponent worksheet required a bit of one-on-one. I suspect that as 6th grade approaches math will go back to being a teacher-led lesson.

You would think that sitting down and doing work with ADHD/Bipolar would be pure torture for a child. Honestly I don't torture him... I might revise that when he becomes a hormonal teenager but for now I swear its not torture. lol He really is pretty good at doing his work without too much moving around. He does talk his way through all the lessons. Usually the talking has nothing to do with his work. I'd love to see inside his head to see how his brain shifts from subject to subject. It doesn't interfere too much with schoolwork. The mood swings and craziness comes after all the school is done. I imagine that it would be that way if he went to public school also. Go to school, sit, be good.. Come home, go crazy, be loud.. Even with his meds there are some days when I think buying stock in Tylenol and earplugs sounds like a sound financial investment.

So there is a little bit about homeschooling at our house.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flu and Birthdays.. Never a Good Combination

We've gotten the dreaded flu virus here. It started with a stomach virus my daughter picked up at school. Somehow it transfered to me and her two siblings and morphed into the flu. Go figure. So not much has been done last week. The girls' had birthdays recently that we didn't get to have a fun celebration for since we suspected that the victims .. I mean guests.. wouldn't care too much for their parting gifts. But we did finally give up and pile all the presents in the floor for a really fun unwrapping party! No cake, though, since there is still tummy trouble in the house.

Here is a little of the fun!

I even managed to surprise my son with a couple things I picked up for him. Didn't want him to feel left out. Its been a long, tiresome week. Even with everyone sick, we have still had to run here and there, do this and that. Doctors appointments, speech appointments, school stuff. I will be very glad when Saturday gets here! You won't be catching me up early!

Even though I plan to sleep Saturday and rest, Sunday I do have a couple things I want to do. I plan to make a batch of breakfast goodies McMom's Breakfast Sandwiches for the Freezer that I found on Homesteading Homemaker's blog.

My fiancee found a job (woohoo) so I have more things to do, less help, but hopefully more income. Having breakfast sandwiches that he can grab on the way out the door will help keep his spending down. :) Plus it will free me up from making breakfast and the kids can help themselves. Well the big one can and I'm sure the little ones will catch on quickly! So I think this will be worth the time to do. Her blog is really fantastic. Lots of great ideas on stretching money and great recipes.

Have a good night. And hopefully you won't have to experience to joys (cough cough) of the flu.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Picket Fence Blogs

Just an update post to say I put my blog up on Picket Fence Blogs where you can vote for your favorite blogs or just go check out different blogs. Warning: Its Addictive! lol If you like my blog, feel free to click on the picture on the left to vote for me. Either way you should go check it out! lol

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Testing thoughts...

I live in a state that requires homeschoolers to test in 5th grade. It also requires that in high school the parent must have a bachelor's degree to continue independently homeschool. Since, I don't have one my other option is to enroll him in an umbrella school. Basically a school that "hires" me as a teacher to teach him at home. Nice, huh. As for this testing, it is coming up really soon for my son. I'm a bit nervous about it. Way more than he is I am sure. So I found that the state of TN has a sample TCAP test on its website that you can print. Nice. Well nice for me.. Not so much for my 11 year old. We will begin the literature part tomorrow. I am not going to do the timing or super strictness that I remember. I want him to become familiar with the paper and what to expect. I printed the 5th grade booklet but some of this work looks like things we haven't gotten too in math.

I'd love to hear from anyone that has done this testing through the school.

Just a note. I changed up my theme and added some interesting widgets on the side bar!
I plan to try to post more. So if you want me to talk about something in particular in relation to couponing, homeschooling, parenting, being pagan, living in TN, or whatever else I can help with, just let me know.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Art and Math

I've been taking pictures and meaning to post them on the blog. I enjoy sharing our work with other people and I hope that someone else enjoys seeing it. :)

So we started Art back up. Lack of inspiration was what stopped us last time. But this time I am determined to keep it going if they like doing it. My son said he didn't like art because all he could draw is stick figures. So I found an art book that started with stick people and taught you how to transform them into more life like characters. We started that and went all the way to facial expressions. I am happy to say that his people look a lot better now. :)

Maybe not perfect but my son has more self-confidence now in his ability. And that makes me happy.

I am disappointed in that I misplaced the book after our last lesson. But I came across another one that teaches you to draw a Alien cartoon. We did that one with great success. There is more in that series that I think we will keep doing. :) His is the yellow and the green one by itself. Mine is the sheet on the far right. Of course mom was in on the fun!

So that has been are latest adventures in art.

I found a great math game online called Add It. Confessions of a Homeschool Mom made this cute game and uploaded it for her blog fans to use. I totally recommend you go check out her blog! I adore it. So I made this game for my daughter today and surprised her with it tonight. She loves it! Pushed her bedtime back a bit but it was worth it to watch her adding away!
Just realized it might be hard to really see the game since its upside down. lol

But you can see that she is enjoying it!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Favorite Chicken Potpie Recipe

Since there was an interest, I am posting the recipe for Chicken Potpie from the cookbook Taste of Home Dinner on a Dime 2009.

Chicken Potpie

(Remember: This recipe makes 2 so you can eat one and freeze the other for the next time you want this yummy meal!)

2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1-3/4 cups sliced carrots
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups milk
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
Pastry for two double-crust pies (9-inches)

1. Place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. drain and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, saute onion in butter  until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes and carrots; remove from the heat.

3. Line two 9-inch pie plates with bottom pastry; trim pastry even with edge. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and flute edges.

4. Bake one potpie at 425 F for 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Cover and freeze remaining potpie for up to 3 months..

5. To use frozen pie: Shield frozen pie crust edges with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake 70-80 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown.

Yield: Two potpies (6-8 servings)

My notes: We have used canned vegetables instead of frozen and it worked great. We didn't use the thyme as we don't care for the taste. On the second pie, we didn't have enough freezer space to freeze a pie so the filling was placed into a bowl (or you could use a baggie once it is cooled off) then when we want to make it. Just pop it in a pie crust. Easy as can be.

Hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does!
We love the whole line of Taste of Home cookbooks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr Holiday work

Since today is the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr we decided to do a lapbook and learn more in depth about this great man.

We started with a Hands of a Child Lapbook (found here). This is my favorite place to find lapbooks! It starts with several pages of reading then begins the activities. I cut, he did the work. He completed the first activity which doesn't sound like much. Really though it was making 18 match book folds with vocabulary words and definitions inside. We took a break halfway through the reading to watch his "I Have a Dream" speech here. We also listened to the Bruce Springsteen remake of "We Shall Overcome." If you want to listen, Amazon has it for download for .99. I think we will continue this lapbook all week to replace his normal history for the week.

I'm fixing to start a (kids) book biography of Harriet Tubman by Judith Bentley that I might just read out loud. My 11 year still doesn't mind mom reading out loud. Just means he isn't having to read it! haha

Last week we got a ton of snow. At least 8 inches and for where I live that puts the whole town out of commission. So we had plenty of time to enjoy each other's company. We also had my fiancée oldest son with us this week. Uhm so tomorrow public school goes back and that means my preschooler whom I love dearly will be going back to her regular week. Hopefully that will put my son back on his regular schedule. We didn't get much done last week. We did manage to get some weaving time in. I made these when I was a kid so it brought back some nice memories.

Such a priceless look of concentration on my oldest daughter's face.
She did get frustrated so we put it aside and I plan to bring it back out this week so she and I can finish it.
I glanced at the pamplet that came with one of the three kits we had. The strings are actually colored panty hose. lol Thought that was a fun fact!

I also want to show you what we cooked tonight. We made Homemade Chicken Pot Pie from a great cookbook we bought that gives you double recipes so you can freeze half for later. So we had one tonight and froze the other half for a quick and easy dinner another night. This recipe is alot of work but its really good and saves you work on another more busy night!

Here is what we made:

Doesn't that look yummy. If you want the recipe, let me know and I will post it on here.

Hope you have a great week.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year

A new year. Wow time flew on that year! We started school back up today after being off since the 15th. For a first day back, it was pretty nice and I hope it continues! Still struggling with a history lesson plan. I did come across a book today that I think I may purchase from Amazon. Its a three book set called America's History. Right now we are going over the Civil War and all the things leading to it. Sometime this year, the school system will be sending me papers to let me know when he will have to take our states Achievement test. I'm a bit nervous about it but I think he has all the knowledge he needs as long as he can put it on paper the way they want!

Preschool is going well for my oldest daughter. She has learned so much. For Christmas, we bought both girls' a tag reader pen in different colors. I personally love those things! We get a break from reading a million books a day but with only 10 books for it so far... It won't last.

The reading challenge I did for the year ended on the 31st of December. I read 55 books for the year. Not too bad but I will beat it this year! My son read more than me. He told me how many but I can't remember at the moment. He's 11 now! Maybe that means I did a good job getting him into reading. He was reading hard books too. If you've ever seen the Septimus Heap book Queste then you know its 624 pages long!

I keep a running list of my reads on shelfari. You can go see what I read there if you like.

Well tomorrow is a busy day but I wanted to check in. I need to make the resolution to update my blog more.