Friday, October 26, 2012

{this moment} - Sick babies - Tired Mama

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Friday, October 19, 2012

{this moment} - wind swept Autumn

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kitchen mini-remodel or ‘from baby poo to baby blue’

When we first moved in I loved the size of the kitchen.  It is a nice big open space where you have a good work triangle and plenty of counter top space, which I had never had before.  Everything else, however, was functional but dated.  Very dated.  The stove and stove top were both 1970’s “Chocolate Brown” and the fridge was “Harvest Gold”.  There was a large empty space in the middle of the kitchen which was wonderfully open but not terribly useful. 

Quickly, we put in a pantry shelf, replaced the stovetop and fridge, and got an island from Ikea to go in the middle of the room.  But for the past three years, we have stuck with the kinda harvest yellow color of the room and just worked around it, knowing that kitchen remodels are SUPER spendy and not wanting to get in over our heads. 

Last week, I threw all that out the window.  I was dying for a change in the kitchen.  I wanted to have a happy, cheerful room that was the start of our remodeling changes, but without tons of expense.  So I settled on paint.  Paint can cover any space and change the look of any room.  I also realized that with the style of this house (built in the late 50’s) we could easily do some Shaker molding inexpensively and (with my new found love of the miter saw) pretty easily too.  The project took a day and a half, and although we still have some touch up paint to do, I think it already has made a huge improvement to the ‘baby poo yellow’.

Before:

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After!

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Before:

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After!

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Before:

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After! 

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I just love the blue and green and how cheery it has become!  It is the only room in the house that isn’t used for resting, sleeping, or learning, so I could be BOLD in this room and I love it!  This is just the start of the changes.  Every time I think about what we could do with the room I feel like my own rendition of ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”. 

If you give a woman a paint brush, she may want some paint to go with it.

Then she will decide that the molding is old and broken, and want to replace it.

Then she will realize that the molding was easy and want to do the door frame too…

You could see where that could get out of hand pretty fast.  Winking smile  But I am super excited to be started on the project and to realize that it doesn’t have to render my kitchen useless for weeks to update the look of it significantly.

Friday, October 12, 2012

{this moment} - A boy and his kitty

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

{Inspired by SouleMama}

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Inner Child Fun

Several months ago, Valerie from Inner Child Fun (Formally Frugal Family Fun Blog) asked me to write for her new site Inner Child Learning.  She made up a team of wonderful ladies including Joyce from Childhood Beckons and we all got started on the blog a few weeks ago! 

I have put up two posts that I am super excited to share with you here.  I hope you enjoy them!

Teaching Gratitude by Being Grateful for Your Children

and

How to Preserve a Spider’s Web!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Making ricotta and lasagna from scratch

From scratch week started with yogurt (that’s that funny looking blanket covered lump in the background), and ended with bread, and in the middle we had the most amazing lasagna in the world!

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Logan and I recently found a source for local milk!  It is not organic so it is a ‘once in a while’ thing, but it was neat to bring all the lovely glass bottles home for our from scratch cheese adventure.

He was invested in the whole process and wanted to do it all himself.  He said we were making ‘moon cheese’ because we were studying the moon and I guess… if you’re 5… a ball of fresh ricotta looks like the moon.

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Recipe for Ricotta from Eating From the Ground Up.

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See?  Kind of ‘moonlike’.  Smile

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To get enough cheese for the lasagna required a TON of self control.  This cheese was so good.  At least two of the kids at all times stood in the kitchen with their mouths open like little birds.  Or, in the case of Alex (16) and NOT so little bird.  lol…  He loved it as much as I did.

We used some fresh made Roasted Tomato Sauce (also part of ‘from scratch week’).  I added about 12 Tbs of whey from the ricotta to help the noodles soften faster as everything we added, including the cheese, was hot.

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We all waited the 45 minutes until we could take it out of the oven and serve it up!

It was pretty much the best lasagna I have ever had ever.  Seriously.

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I think my very favorite thing about homeschooling is being able to learn along side my kids.  I had never made ricotta before.  We spent the whole day in the kitchen, cooking, chatting, and just being together.  It was a wonderful school day!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Opposites Attract - or - “The story of one scared mama, a fast bike, and a happy man”

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My man.  His idea of a good weekend is long motorcycle rides and evenings in front of the tv. Mine is learning to use a miter saw and painting the kitchen.

Lately he has asked me to try to enjoy his hobbies.  This is hard for me to do, as most of them require firearms, fast motorcycles, or video games.  None of which I know anything about besides the bits I have gleaned by osmosis.

It’s very true when they say that opposites attract. 

However, being amazingly in love with the man, I decided to try my hand at the one that took the least time (and required no permits… or bullets).  Last week I went out, and bought myself a motorcycle helmet.

All the kids gathered around as we got ready for our first ride.  It was likely they were waiting for me to scream…. which I never did.  I was a very good, completely terrified, mama.  I saved my screaming for when we first got on the freeway and rounded a corner at 65mph.  (Cuz then, he couldn’t hear me over the ‘exhaust note’ of his bike anyhow.)

I think the pictures that Alex took speak for themselves.

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My point exactly.

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“Mom, was it fun?” asks my daughter when we get home…

I answered - “It was the second time.”

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Playhouse Housewarming S’mores party!

Our summer was spent building a wonderful new hideaway for the kids! 

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The kids wanted to share their joy with their friends so I put together a sweet little s’mores party so that everyone could come over and enjoy the playhouse before the fall and cold weather made it harder to play outside.

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Cyan set most of it up.  She designed activities for her friends to play and taught everyone how to play ‘Telephone’ and ‘Poop Deck’.  She also set up a little contest and found the prizes for the winners all by herself!

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We spent a bunch of the evening making s’mores and trying different sugery combos of cracker, chocolate, and mallow.

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 I made sure they had a bunch of options to choose from and was curious what they thought was best.

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So far, I think it’s pretty unanimous that the peanut butter cup s’mores with a small marshmallow and honey grahams were the favorite.

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The whole party gang!

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Now the space is ready for tons of future play!