Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Love of Reading

I called the children to breakfast this morning and Christian said, " Wait I need to finish my book first."

Bird Houses

My boys wanted to build bird houses, so I got online and found some kits that had the pieces cut and included the nails, paint, and glue. We only did 4 (we left Christian and Lily out.) The children sanded and painted them themselves. Chelsea and Nick were able to assemble them themselves which was a difficult task because the nails were very small. I uses a hot glue gun on Alex's and Anthony's. They were thrilled with the finished product and we hung them outside in a tree.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Favorite Recipes: Homemade Shells and Cheese

This is the recipe Nick made for the cooking contest. My kids loved it and said it was better than Olive Garden.

16 oz box of pasta (we used shells)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 stick butter
2 cups of shredded cheese Nick wanted lots of different kinds so we used 1/2 cup chedder, 1/2 cup mozzerella 1/2 cup colby, and 1/2 cup monteray jack.

Cook pasta according to directions. Beat eggs and milk. Add butter pasta and cheese. Pour into 13x9 pan. Sprinkle additional cheese over top. Cover with foil and cook at 335 for 30 min. Uncover and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday Morning Project:4-H Egg and Dairy Cooking Contest

This was not just a morning project, it took all day. My kids love to cook, and it is fun to have them in the kitchen with me, but it is a completely different experience when everyone is trying to cook something different at the same time. Chelsea is pretty self- sufficient in the kitchen, but Nick(7) and Alex (5) still need quite a bit of help and supervision. There are two different categories Egg and Dairy and they can choose to make a Main Dish or a Party Idea. The children are allowed to enter two different categories. I usually only let my children enter one, but this time I let them do two provided they chose dishes that we already had the ingredients for. Since we always have eggs it was pretty easy for them to choose a second dish. Chelsea made Midwestern Cheesecake (she earned a participation ribbon) and a French Omelet (3rd place.) Nick made Shells and Cheese (2nd place) and Egg Casserole (3rd place.) Alex made Country Quiche (2nd place) and Egg Salad (1st place.) We had a great time cooking and trying everyone else's dishes after the contest was over.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Soothing a Crying Baby

Isn't she beautiful?

Babies cry. I think everyone knows that. But, what do you do with a baby whose needs have all been met and the baby won't stop crying? When Chelsea was a baby she cried almost all the time for the first 3 months. Thankfully, Lily does not do that, but she does cry for about an hour every night. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years to help calm a crying baby.

1. Try a pacifier.

2. Motion. Stroller, Rocking Chair, Baby Swing, Walking, or go for a drive.

3. Singing or talking to your baby. Sometimes they are comforted by the sound of your voice.

4. Baths can be very relaxing for babies too.

5. Massage with or without baby lotions. Lily loves it when you rub her feet.
6. Undress the baby from head to toe (including diaper.) You never know if there is something in the clothes that may be bothering her.
7. Head for the outdoors if possible. We all need fresh air and sunshine.
8. Try feeding again. Babies don't always eat on a schedule.
You never know what might work. Sometimes something will calm the baby for a few minutes and then they will start crying again and you might try something else. Sometimes nothing seems to work. It doesn't mean you are doing something wrong. If you have a non stop crying baby and you have done all you can don't get frustrated. To quote the song, "It won't be like this for long." Don't feel bad if you need a break. Put your baby in a safe place (like a crib) and take a few minutes, or ask family or a friend to come and hold the baby so you can get some fresh air.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Planting Seeds

I love teaching doing hands on projects that children can participate in and see the results of what is happening. Children love playing in the dirt. So, every Spring we do a lesson on seeds and flowers. All last week this is what we worked on. We planted Sunflower seeds in paper cups, and within 5 days they had already sprouted. Chelsea planted a small vegetable garden and that will be her main 4-H project this year. She planted peppers, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and corn. Hopefully everything will grow. The boys also wanted to plant some vegetables, so they planted some in containers and put them under the swing set. Thursday we took a trip to a greenhouse and bought some pretty flowers. Unfortunately we did not get them planted before it rained for 3 straight days but I hope we will be able to do that tomorrow. Don't you just love Spring?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Favorite Recipes:Heathified Chocolate Chip Cookies

I changed my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe to make it a little more nutritious and was pleased with the results.

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 bag chocolate chips

I put all ingredients in my Kitchen-Aid mixer ( I love my mixer) then drop a heaping teaspoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes.

Spring Colds

Last week when Chelsea started complaining of a sore throat and stuffy nose, I thought it was the abundance of pollen in the air. But, since then it has passed from person to person slowly making its way through everyone in the family. Sunday morning the baby started sneezing and yesterday was worse and at 5:00 last night (after the doctor was closed) started running a fever. I have never had a baby this little sick before, but after a sleepless night she is much better today. Now that everyone has had this cold I am looking forward to the last of the runny noses and coughs and having a healthy household again.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Favorite Recipes: Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
3-4 med bananas
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cup flour (I used half white and half wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer and added all the ingredients in the order listed and when thoroughly mixed poured the mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Homeschooling with a Newborn

Lily is 3 weeks old now, and we have started back into our school work and trying to get into a routine. I am feeling pretty much back to normal, a little tired from nursing the baby and scaring away Anthony's monsters when they show up. Homeschooling with a newborn is pretty easy since they sleep most of the time(although Lily really likes to be held while she sleeps.) Our school time just like everything else revolves around Lily's schedule. I try to do any teaching of new material when she is sleeping so there are no distractions. I also have no plans to do any large detailed projects that I have to help a lot with. The last two weeks we have done simple crafts that the children can do on their own. We do a lot of reading aloud and that can very easily be done while nursing a baby and I can look over the work the children have done during that time also.

We do have plans to build birdhouses hopefully next week if I get the supplies in. We will also be learning about plants and seeds and I have several hands on projects planned for that. We love the spring and all of the fun things that we can do and get outdoors.

I also hope to get back to some regular blogging again, and plan on using more nursing time ( that is what I spend most of my time doing right now) to do that.