Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Please excuse my absence of posts.  I am experiencing some technical difficulties with the new version of Blogger.  It appears that I may have downloaded the maximum number of pictures (1,000) and it will no longer let me add pictures.   We all know that without those cute Punkettes, well, this blog is just not worth much.

My technical support will be working to resolve this issue at his earliest convenience (this weekend).  In the mean time, a little story from Annabelle:

Annabelle was helping Daddy fold clothes.  She picked up a pair of his boxer-briefs and noticed the details on the front.  "Daddy, your underwear has a pocket in the front.  What is that for?  Wait a second, the pocket has a hole it it.  I can stick my whole arm through it!"

I don't think the mystery of the holy-pocket has been solved.  ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Day at the Farmstead

We took advantage of the beautiful weather last week to do a field trip to the Children's Farmstead.  After watching a cow being milked, Annabelle decided that she wanted to find out what a calf's tongue felt like  (ewwww!)

Since the rest of our friends who joined us we preschool age, Aliah brought along a fellow home-schooled friend, Katie.
feeding the ducks:

A highlight of the visit was visiting with a very knowledgeable Native American in the Indian encampment.  The girls learned what their jobs would have been if they were living in an Indian village long ago.  The were told they would help with food preparation and gardening. 

Everyone took a turn riding a pony. 
  A fun thing that happened while we were there was a professional photographer was walking around taking pictures.  His assistant asked me to sign a release so that he could take pictures of the girls while they were petting the cows.  They were from Midwest Living, which is a magazine that both my Mom and I subscribe to.  Wouldn't it be fun to see the girls in there?  Here is the photographer, with his assistant in the background taking pictures of a little boy fishing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Can We Have That Russian Guy?

I have decided that it is time that my kids branch out in the area of music appreciation.  Frankly, they were getting bored with Mr. Stinky Feet.  I can't blame them.

I am a big fan of classic rock.  So I went straight to the Beatles.  I am the Walrus, and We all Live in a Yellow Submarine sound like topics that kids would like, right?  "Mommy these songs make me feel weird."  Okay, maybe I don't want my kids to feel like they are on an acid trip.

So we moved on to some of my other favorites.  I glanced over my Eagles greatest hits CD.  Witchy Woman, Lyin' Eyes, and Tequila Sunrise.  Hmm, I think I will move on.

So I move on to Lynard Synard, another one of my favorite artists.  The kids seem to like it.  Ricky walks in and hears "Really love your peaches wanna shake your tree" blaring from the speakers.  I can't convince him that they are referring to a peach orchard and he tells me I have to turn it off.

I decide I need to try a completely different approach and dive into the Romantic period with Tchaikovsky.  We listen to the Story of Tchaikovsky and learn about this great artist on our next hour long car ride.   A little bit of Nutcracker and 1812 Overture, and the next thing I know kids are hooked. 

"Mommy can we listen to that Russian Guy again?"  I love that I am raising my own little troupe of Artsy- Fartsy Punkettes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Butterfly Villa

This week we are having a light school load so that we can do some field trips. First stop: the Butterfly Villa at Pendelton's Country Market.
Annabelle spent the entire time coaxing butterflies onto her hand. 

Violet's little friend Garret and his Mom Rebecca joined us.

Aliah spent a lot of time documenting the different stages of the butterfly life cycle by drawing them out on her brochure.

A trip through the no-left-turn maze (just for the record, Daddy did figure it out after a few tries)


Monday, September 20, 2010

Easy Yeast Bread

We love our Usborne Science books. This one, Science in the Kitchen combines some of our favorite topics- science and cooking! Last week we learned about yeast, and how it works to make dough rise. The girls made yeast bread all by themselves. They measured the ingredients, and even kneaded the dough themselves. All I did was supervise and handle the oven end of the operation.

Annabelle got the raw end of the deal since her dough was the whole wheat and much tougher to knead. No complaints from her though.
The result, two loaves of bread, a white and wheat:

Easy Yeast Bread

1 T. yeast
1 c warm water
1 T. honey
1/4 c oil
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water with honey. Let stand for one minute.
Add oil, slat, and flour and stir (my kids used their hands to mix up). It will be thick.
Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes.

Shape it into a loaf and put it in the pan. Put in oven for 20 minutes to rise. (Turn off the oven as soon as you put the bread in the oven.)

After 20 minutes, leave the bread in the oven. Do not open the oven, but set oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Ventilation

Ricky worked on a new ventilation system for our basement this weekend :)

Actually, he started the project of replacing all of the old yucky aluminum windows with new energy-efficient Anderson windows:

This is our playroom in the basement. But in about 2 1/2 years this will be our homeschool classroom. I figure by the time Violet starts kindergarten, the kitchen island just won't cut it anymore.
So in essence, Ricky is starting to renovate our new homeschool classroom! Yipee! Our basement is finished, but just not finished to the quality of our upstairs. So this is a step in the right direction. I am already dreaming about the built-in bookshelves he will build for me along the entire length of this wall under these two windows. I have my fingers crossed that 2 1/2 years is enough time to get it all done.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go YellowJackets!

Aliah is on the YellowJacket soccer team this fall. My good friend Michelle is her coach, we couldn't have been any luckier in that aspect. Plus Aliah's home-schooled friend Katie (in the blue shorts) is on the team. Perfect opportunity for them to get to know each other better and have someone to hang out with while her other friends are in school.
As goalie, Aliah saw a lot of action. Here she is bracing for a block:
Goalie kick-in, which she did with a lot of "umph" sound effects and all, about 5 times during the game.

Violet in the side-lines being entertained by our friend Riley:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Busy Bodies Once Again

School and all of the accompanying activities are in full swing. The girls and I have settled into a predicable weekly schedule. Thursday's activity is homeschool coop. This year, Violet has joined our weekly trek out to Grace Community Church to join our coop's preschool class.

(Who is responsible for teaching this child this horrific crayon grip?)
Hey Violet, watcha doing down there?
Um, let's color on our paper, not our hands.
"Do you think anyone will notice if I suck my thumb while I color this picture?"

Now for some pictures of Aliah. When you are home-schooled, even waiting in line with your friends can be fun:
Especially when it is to participate in a human obstacle course:

In history, the coop is studying the Renaissance period. Today they had a display of period clothes and accessories:
Hmm- I wonder what this was used for?

Sorry there are no pictures of Annabelle. She spent most of the morning crying in the corner since I told her she had to apologize to the sign language teacher for lying about her father's hearing ability. She was so emotionally drained from getting up the courage to apologize that she took a three hour nap when she got home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Raising Annabelle

Raising Annabelle is quite a challenge. She thinks she can get away with anything and is about as smart as Doogie Howser. Not a good combination.

Case in point:

Last week at home school coop, the girls had a new teacher in a new class, sign language. As I mentioned before, we did work on learning new signs over the summer. So of course Annabelle considers herself an expert.

Our coop director comes over to me during snack time and says to me with a huge smirk on her face, "So Crystal (the new sign language instructor, who I am sure is fluent in American Sign Language), didn't KNOW about Annabelle."

"Oh, dear, what did she do now?" I reply as I brace myself.

"Well, Annabelle tried to take over the class. And she told the instructor that she was doing several signs wrong."

Later I approach Crystal, to apologize for my Punkette's behavior and to get the rest of the story.

Turns out there really was a rest of the story. . .

Crystal, then told me that not only did Annabelle try to teach the class, she raised the bar even more. She told Crystal that she was an expert at sign language because her father is deaf. Annabelle was so convincing in this blatant lie, that Crystal and the assistant in class believed her.

We now have a new verse plastered across our refrigerator:

Proverbs 12:22 "The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."

Friday, September 10, 2010

God's Work

Psalm 24:1-2 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.

I took this photo with my iPhone as I watched the sunrise over the lake this past weekend. What a blessing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grillled Eggplant Bacon Sandwhich

I got these beautiful deep purple eggplants from our CSA farmer yesterday. I combined one with bacon left over from breakfast to make this delicious sandwich.

First, combined olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and fresh chopped basil. I brushed this mixture on the sliced eggplants.
I grilled the eggplants about 3 minutes on each side. I also grilled some slices of french bread.

After heating up the bacon, I assembled the sandwich. I spread cream cheese on the bread, and then layered the eggplant, bacon, and spinach. De-lic-ious!