Nov 30, 2008

Decking the Halls....With Sponge Bob?

We were a bit late this year in getting our decorations up. Usually we do it the day after Thanksgiving, but CJ was working and we had to get a new tree....CJ went to the store to pick up new smoke detectors and some extra lights and when he got back, went into the crawl space to get the tree out - we suddenly remembered that we had recycled the 6 year old tree last year - as it had just served it's time! - and had planned to grab one during the after christmas sales - OOPS!
It took him along time to pull those branches apart, but in the end it was worth it.


They decorated....

while I nitpicked...

and hung the stockings, doodads and boobles..

and it turned out beautifully!

We decided to put the Spongebob that is usually on the porch indoors this year.
I don't know how well SC is going to do with it, but it will be fun to see!

When do you do your decorating?

Nov 28, 2008

27 Days Til Christmas!!!!



This is my FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!!!
I stumbled across this site that looks pretty cool!
I am so glad that I have SC around to keep the Santa Magic going!


Nov 27, 2008

A Wonderful Thanksgiving

We had such a great Thanksgiving! It was the smallest that I have ever done ~ there were only 7 of us ~ and we actually got to eat at the table family style, instead of doing a buffet line!
The turkey came out perfectly!


The kids played "Boogie" on the Wii for a bit after dinner.


Then we headed over to MC's new house for desert!
The girls hung out and watched some TV.


While the parents got a bit silly!

We were most grateful for the wonderful family that we got to spend the day with!

I am hoping that all of my visitors had a great, wonderful and safe holiday as well!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful, enjoyable
Turkey Day!


Nov 26, 2008

National Cake Day 11-26

While Googling images for this post...these were the 2 I liked the best...

I always wondered what the smurf cake was made of!

We will be getting ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, by making several different cakes and breads...came at a perfect time!


~~~~updated at 9pm on 11/26 ~~~~~~I had high hopes that I would get some sort of cake baked today, but it just did not happen! I did cook, bake and prep all day though...that should count for something. I will make sure that for the next odd holiday we get something done!!! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 25, 2008

EcoZone Visit

This week we have been on a very light "schooling" schedule because the holiday is coming so I thought another field trip would be a great idea. Since we have been studying Biology and Life Science, I thought a trip to our local Natural Science Center was the perfect fit!
We had such a good time and the whole place to ourselves! Love when that happens!
Here are some of the cool things that we discovered...


some rather interesting plants...

This one above, we could not identify, any ideas?


Some small, delicate skeletons and a visual of the turtle that has cleared up the confusion KM was having with the structure of it...

SC's Favorite thing had to be the log tunnel, that had neat windows along it so that you could see into the water on each side.


Most appropriately timed pic of the week...


They really are ugly birds...when I was on the phone with LP the other morning, she was cursing at the dozen that were on her front lawn and KM said, "but they are soooo cute, how can she be mad that they are on her lawn?" REALLY she thinks THAT is cute!?!?

Nov 24, 2008

Turkey Day Prep part 2

After yesterdays Turkey Day Prep post, I got lots of emails - and even a few phone calls - from some of my friends who are starting out with the holiday responsibilities, looking for suggestions for turkey recipes. So I figured I would take a few minutes this morning to post the recipe that I use.

Here is Giada De Laurentiis' Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus Recipe. I follow it to the letter, as it has always come out PERFECTLY! I stumbled across this a few years ago on the Food Network site and have just never strayed from it, cause it truly comes out sooo good! I cannot rave enough about it and if you don't believe me just look at all the incredible reviews she has gotten on the site as well!

Nov 23, 2008

Turkey Day Prep

We are in full force Turkey Day preparation mode here, as I am sure most everyone else is as well! I have been doing Thanksgiving for nearly 10 years now and I don't really stress too much about it anymore. I have come a long way since that first year where we ordered everything in, to this Thanksgiving when I am planning on making everything from scratch.

Last year was the most nerve racking, as it was the first time that I made the Turkey myself. Since I had taken over the holiday events for the family, Noni had always continued to make "the bird" to take some of the pressure off of me. Then on the first Thanksgiving after she passed away, I was just too overwhelmed and asked DD to do it for me, which she gladly did and it came out perfectly. Last year I took the reigns and did it myself. I had been offered help by many, but I really just wanted to do it. It was not like I had never cooked a Turkey, it is just that it is the centerpiece at Thanksgiving and there really is no room for error when it comes to a holiday that is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! - I know it is also about being thankful, but really who thinks about being thankful if the Turkey is going up in flames? hmmm

So this year will be a small group at my house for dinner, since MC is going to be having her first go round hosting for her in-laws. I have decided to try and make as much from scratch as I can. I have been practicing and trying different techniques out over the past few weeks and think I have it all pretty well figured out - I do however have some things like gravy and crescent rolls in the fridge just in case any debacles should occur!

I do have some posts in the works, but if it is quiet round here, you will now it won't be for too long!

Nov 22, 2008

Recycling Project #1

As winter begins approaching we tend to look for more quiet projects to do around the house. We are also generally trying to pinch lots of pennies together, as CJ's work slows down great deal. So we tend to do lots of recycling projects and I figured this would be a great thing to share here!

This afternoon I decided to take my sewing machine out of hiding - it spends the summer in my closet you see and generally does not see the light of day until Christmas and Yule presents start being worked on, but it is getting an early appearance for this project!


At some point, in the not too distant past, I saw an article or a clip on a show or a blurb on some other blog - I can't keep these things straight sometimes - a project to recycle jeans that were either too short or had a hole in the knee into a skirt. It is a fairly simple project and you can find a great set of instructions with all the pictures for it HERE .

For KM's version however we skipped a few steps and only made the two panel version using extra material remnants we had laying around in the craft closet instead of using the bottoms of the pant legs. Here was our outcome -
They have now traveled to the art center in KM's bedroom to get some final fashion touches added!

I wish I had discovered this or remembered to try this sooner!!! It came out so cute and is such a great way to get a little extra life out of the jeans!!! The thing I have to work on now is her nervousness with the sewing machine. She is always worried she is going to break something, injure herself or mess something up. Any suggestions on how to get her more comfortable with it would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by!

I received an award...


I was nominated by one of my favorite blog-friends - FairyLuver for this wonderful award and it is greatly appreciated! Especially since I made her shortened list! I however had the hardest time choosing from all the great blogs that I visit down to ten, but I know that my other favorites will be nominated by some of my nominees!

Here are the rules...
1. Put the logo on your blog
2.Add a link to the person who awarded you
3.Nominate 10 blogs that you follow
4.Add links to those blogs
5.Leave a message to those nominees on their blog

I love reading what other families are doing and the blogs that I choose all have such great insight, events and ideas!
So with out further ado ------Here are my nominations ---- in no particular order:
1. Audrey
2. Danette
3. Jenney
4. Jessica
5. Summer Fae
6. Misti
7. Marcia
8. Stephanie
9. Kathy
10. Lori

Thanks so much for sharing all that you do!!!

Nov 21, 2008

World Hello Day - 11-21

Since today is World Hello Day, I thought I would say Hi and thanks to all of you who have been visiting lately and leaving comments, adding on links and emailing me with answers!!!!

We will be learning how to say hello in 25 different languages today! I will let you know how this turns out! Here is a link to the Wikihow site we will be using!

Nov 20, 2008

Hmmmm...New Idea!

As I was meandering around the internet earlier today looking for some sort of craft to do this weekend, I somehow ended up on this site - I cannot believe how many strange and silly "holidays" there are! So I have decided that I will try to acknowledge one silly holiday a week - some way or another and will share them here!

I am hoping it will work like this. On the morning of said day - which ever day it is that week - I will post the days holiday and what we planned to do for it. Then, later in the day, I will post how it went and if things went as planned.

Tomorrow will be the trial run to see how it goes!

Nov 19, 2008

Lots of Fun at the Children's Museum

We went to the Children's Museum in Boston today and the kids had a wonderful time!

They played with bubbles...

Climbed across a wall...

This one would have made Noni proud...

Worked out and measured their heart rates...

Found a phone...but the call was apparently for someone else!

Worked on some cool equipment...

Went grocery shopping...

Found another phone...this call was for her!

Planted rice in nice straight rows...
I would have to say that the favorite section of the day was the
Air Play Area!

KM liked the tube drums and
SC liked the pinwheels (of course)!
It was a wonderful day of "PLAY" at the museum!

shhh...don't tell her she may have learned something!

Nov 18, 2008

Massachusetts Children's Book Award


Our wonderful new children's librarian just email me a link to this year's list of nominated titles and there are some GREAT ones included!

Take a look here or at the official site here. The majority of libraries in the state will be having sign-ups, but even if yours isn't this is a great resource for extremely well written and engaging books!

If you are unaware of the program here is how it works -

Kids in grades 4, 5 & 6 (aprox. 9 - 12 year olds) must read 5 books from this list by March 1st and choose their favorite. Votes will be tallied by local librarians and sent to Salem State College. The winner will be announced on April 3rd!

Nov 17, 2008

Where are the kids...

Can you find them?

We went to the playground today on our way home from coop classes and the kids had the whole place to themselves! It was wonderful! I didn't have to remind them once to slow down for the little ones or to watch where they were going! They could go at full force and had a blast!



Nov 16, 2008

Sunday Afternoon in the Kitchen

I spend most Sundays in the kitchen and today was no different!
However I didn't spend the afternoon baking goodies like I normally do,
I spent it making fingerpaint.

KM attends a bi-weekly art club with some other local homeschoolers and really enjoys it! Last week while she was doing her Creativity Express Art Program there was a lesson on making paint and she thought it would be a great thing to do with the other girls at Art Club this week, so I spent the afternoon trying to get the recipes to work. - I wanted her to be able to do it for the first time with the other girls. - There were several different ones, but for some reason the consistency just would not come out right on some of the more complex ones. Then I turned to the basic recipe that I had done hundreds of times at my old job - 1 part cold water to 1 part flour, add some food coloring and Presto - completely safe, non-toxic, totally edible fingerpaint!

This recipe always seems to work! Sometimes the simple route is the best route!

However if anyone else decides to try out the other recipes I linked to above, please let me know if there are any tricks that I may have missed!

Nov 15, 2008

A little space...

for the little learner.


We have an area, off the kitchen, just outside the laundry area and in between the playroom and KM's bedroom, that has always been a bit useless. Until today when CJ took an extra piece of the new counter from the kitchen and made a little desk/shelf out of it.



It is just the right height to rest the laundry basket on
or for SC to pull her stool up to and do some coloring.

ALL CUDDLED UP!

Really...is there anything else to say!

Nov 13, 2008

VASCULAR PLANTS EXPERIMENT

his was one of the simplest, yet coolest experiments we have done in a long time.

We cut out paper flowers...folded the petals up
Then dropped them in the water

Here is what happened:


video