Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Happenings

Two posts in one day! I realized that I really need to document more or I forget. That is what I have learned today. I am NOT too old to learn.

Anyway, we have been very active today. We took the entire morning and spent it out of doors. The lawn needed to be mowed terribly. There were patches pretty darned thick from dog fertilizer. I tried to mow last week but the mower wouldn't stay started. So $210 later the mowers are fixed and the lawn is finally mowed. It was definitely a group effort and quite the learning experience. Sweet mowed over half the lawn while Dill weed whipped most of it. Chip pulled weeds in the strawberries, kept an eye on the dogs and picked up as needed. It was nice being outside and having fun. The picklets certainly enjoyed the change too.

While weeding the strawberries Chip rescued a sapling and has replanted it in a dish in hopes of saving it's life. Through the Iowa State Extension interactive leaf identification we found it is a red maple. We don't have any red maples in the yard so have decided that a bird must have dropped it there in passing. I hope it survives. I would love to have a red maple. They are so pretty.

About 10 we took a break. We ate popcorn, apple slices and drank a glass of pop. The picklets then did some nature sketches in their Nature Journals. They each picked their favorite plants from around the yard, sketched them and wrote down their names, scientific names and other pertinent information. Dill was quite enamoured in learning that "Bleeding Hearts" are also called "Dutchman's Trousers".

Chip decided he wanted to make lunch. We ended up calling it "Jellogetti". It is actually modeled after a spaghetti dish my MIL made one time on accident. Chip thought the story was funny and wanted to make his own. It was actually very good and was quite fun to watch. I will have him post the recipe as typing practice next week.

After we got done eating I read from Being A Boy by Charles Dudley Warner. It is about a boy growing up in the country in Old New England. There are quite a few words we don't know and have done a lot of looking up. Reading this and looking unknown words up has really boosted the picklets vocabulary. In fact they refer to themselves as "foctotums" quite often. Do YOU know what a factotum is?

After lunch they jumped on the trampoline for a few minutes and then came in to do chores. They were given free time until 1:30 but decided to come in early when I informed them I would make a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting as soon as the kitchen was cleaned up. Nothing like cake to motivate. ;-)

I made this cake with this frosting. The batter was a winner with the picklets. Chip, who requested strawberry cake with strawberry frosting with strawberry ice cream (as a late birthday cake) said the batter (and he doesn't like batter) was really good. I didn't use the gelatin and put small chunks of strawberries in it for added flavor. It did take a bit longer to bake than the recipe stated. The frosting was really runny and took a ton of powdered sugar. It still wasn't super thick but all the sugar changed the strawberry taste. Once again strawberry chunks to the rescue! (I also didn't have cake flour so used this worked great)

The picklets jumped on the trampoline for a while when Sweet decided she wanted to build the bird feeder she got from Lowes this past weekend. Unfortunately one of the roof slats is missing and we didn't get to finish it. So we went into the garage and found the Popular Mechanics for Kids Motorworks. She and Dill sat at the table working on this for the longest time. She got rather bored as he read through each part and identified them. He is very meticulous that way where she would rather jump in with both feet and figure out the parts later.

For supper I made our favorite beef stew from Month of Menus. When I first started homeschooling I downloaded this. It has been one of the most used resources in my kitchen. I printed it and put it in a three prong folder. We have used it for going on 7 years now and it shows. I also made Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They are so good dunked in beef stew. I didn't use Bisquick though I used the master mix (butter in place of shortning) that is in Month of Menus.

Since the table was being used as a workshop for the motor, we ate outside. It was quite breezy but still rather warm. The picklets ate and then played with the neighbor girl for a little while. They rode bikes, played tackleball and had a lot of fun. Unfortunately that is where the fun ended. After the neighbor went home the boys got into a fight and were sent to bed. We didn't even get to taste the cake or the strawberry ice cream. There is always tomorrow.

Sweet picked up the outdoors while Cool and I panted some annuals he bought. We have some major horticultural projects coming up this weekend and wanted to get a jump start on them. We then sat and watched Sweet strut her stuff on the trampoline. What a great training tool that is for her gymnastics. I think Sokol needs to put that on their wish list. It would make a world of difference.

Looking back on the day we were pretty busy. We had a lot of fun and learned quite a bit.

Crusin', laughing, loving and learning. Doesn't that rock?

(c) 2008-2010 Wicked Pickles-Homefront Lines

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