Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gone Fishing

We love to go fishing! Here's a quick activity I made up for Spice last night so she can practice reeling in the big one and reading at the same time. The fishing pole and plastic sea creatures came from Dollar Tree. There's a magnet on the fishing line and on each of the toys. She has played with it every day since she got it. I decided to capitalize on the fun last night by adding in my own fish. I cut fish shapes out of cardstock, added some eyes and a couple of other features to one side, wrote a word on the other side, then slid a paper clip on each fish. Whenever she catches a fish she turns it over and reads the word to find out what kind of fish she's caught (a pig fish, six fish...her favorite is the "lips" fish.) If you wanted to get all fancy schmancy, you could laminate the fish and write words with a dry erase marker. I'm too lazy for all that so I'll just toss these and make some new fish when she's ready.
If you can't find a fishing game like this, you can make your own pole. I did a similar activity for Sport several years ago. I got a stick from the back yard, tied a string to it, hooked a paper clip to the other end of the string, and stuck a magnet on the paper clip. I made bigger fish for him and spread them out in our plastic swimming pool. He spent a lot of time fishing in his own back yard!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great Gift Idea

If you're looking for a fun (and inexpensive) gift idea for teachers or anyone else, here's one of my favorites. Spice had her last day of preschool yesterday so I put these together for her teachers. I purchased popcorn tubs from Blockbuster for $1.99 each, threw in a few movie size packs of candy that I picked up on sale at Kroger last week for $1 apiece, and two Cokes from a six-pack. For filler, I used roasted peanuts, also on sale for $1 at Kroger. One large bag of peanuts was enough to fill two tubs. Then I purchased a Blockbuster gift card for each teacher, wrapped the entire tub in cellophane and tied it up with a ribbon. Excluding the gift cards, the contents cost under $7 per bucket. The best part about the gift is it is totally consumable. No notepads, Christmas ornaments, paper weights... cluttering up the teacher's house. I like to give, and receive (hint, hint) gifts like that. And if you're a teacher, what better way to kick off a couple of months of peace and quiet than with a good chick flick and chocolate.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else has not been doing this week. As for me...

I did not choose to focus our South American studies this week on chocolate. I am not running out of steam for our last week of homeschooling and so chocolate did not seem like a good way to keep me motivated. We will NOT use this as an excuse to make some delicious, yummy, really chocolatey confection.

I did not opt out of attending Homeschool Day at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this week because I am still recovering from our last foray into Atlanta. We did not drive around for a good half hour after the King Tut exhibit because the directions I printed out from Mapquest were wrong. They did not expect me to go down a one-way street backwards in order to get on the interstate. I did not follow an interstate directional sign and end up in a suburban area because there was never another sign pointing the way to the interstate. Atlanta does not have a problem with interstate signage downtown. Are you kidding? It is a major tourist destination/convention city so they want to make it as easy as pie for people to get around. After making a u-turn we were not all so happy to see another interstate sign and finally be on our way home. When we got up closer to the sign, we were not crushed to see that the arrow pointing the way to the interstate had fallen off and we were still on our own. I did not finally get us back to the interstate (on the other side of town) by following my own instincts and it did not start to pour down rain like it usually does as soon as we merged making it impossible to see the cars around me.

I did not call my parents Saturday to brag about how Sport schooled the 3rd graders in basketball that morning, scoring 14 of his teams 27 points.

Our countdown to Disney World has not reached the single digits!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Olden Days

The other day I broke out a plastic horseshoes game I purchased several years ago from the Target $1 bin and set it up for Sport and Spice. They had a great time trying to get a ringer. After a couple of tries Sport ran over and said, "Mom this game's a lot of fun! It reminds me of something people would play in that Homer Price book you gave me. Cause you know that was from a long time ago, like, 1986 I think."
For those of you who aren't literary geniuses like my dear son, Homer Price is the title character in a classic children's chapter book written by Robert McCloskey in 1943. So Sport was off by about 40 years. What's a few decades to an 8-year-old?

A day or two later we were listening to the radio and for some reason Sport didn't think the sound quality on a certain song was quite up to modern standards so he remarked, "It sounds like something from a long time ago. You know like in the 80s when all they had were those black and white TVs."

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I love to keep healthy (i.e. homemade) muffins in the freezer for the kids to eat for breakfast or a snack. I've been slacking in that department for awhile though and finally decided today it was time to restock. We usually make my favorite banana muffins, but since I did not have any really ripe bananas on hand we had to try something different. I found an apple muffin recipe from Hillbilly Housewife and decided to go with it. Boy are we glad we did. They are delicious! Even Spice couldn't get enough. I figured as soon as she dumped in the applesauce she would find an excuse not to eat them, but she did and raved all through our "breakfast" dinner about how yummy they were. I made a couple of changes to the recipe...doubled the cinnamon since we love it so much, doubled the allspice since I didn't want to hurt its feelings, and omitted the cloves since I only had whole cloves in the house. Here's our version of the recipe:

3/4 C canola oil
2 C sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
2 C unsweetened applesauce
4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 scant tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine sugar and canola oil in a large mixing bowl and stir until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla. Stir until mixed well. Stir in the applesauce.
In another large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice. Slowly add this to the sugar mixture and stir just until moistened. Spray muffin tin or papers with a non-stick cooking spray and fill each cup 3/4 full of batter. Bake 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.

Hillbilly Housewife has tons of great recipes. If you're ever in a pinch because you're in the middle of cooking and realize you're missing a key ingredient, it's Hillbilly Housewife to the rescue. She has recipes for all kinds of convenience foods and even condiments like pizza sauce (I've tried this one and it's good), frostings, and even ketchup (haven't tried this one yet, but I plan too.) I've only found one problem with the muffins...they won't last long enough to make it to the freezer.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Not Me Monday...It's Back!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else has not been doing this week. As for me...

I did not miss the actual return of Not Me Monday last week because I've barely been in the mood to blog since MckMama's extended absence began and had given up on all things blog related.

I did not carry a thermometer around in the days leading up to Sport's First Communion and check Spice's temperature at random a dozen or so times a day because I was paranoid SOMEONE was going to get sick on the big day and something told me it would be her. The discovery of Swine Flu in Georgia the day before the event did not spur on my fears, nor did the arrival of my mother-in-law. Nothing against my mother-in-law, but there seems to be a disturbing trend in our household...every time she comes to visit someone gets sick, usually to the point of throwing up. We're generally a healthy family and I'd almost go so far as to say we never throw up unless she's around. We don't know why this occurs and there seems to be no scientific explanation. It just happens. So the combination of Swine Flu and my mother-in-law did not cause me to worry incessantly, nor did the memory of Sport throwing up in his Godmother's van on the way home from Spice's baptism four years ago. (And yes, my mother-in-law was present for that one too). Anyhoo, I'm happy to report we all made it through the weekend healthy as horses and Spice absolutely did NOT wake up with a 101 fever the day my in-laws left. That would be insane!

I do not force my mother-in-law to bring many packs of frozen crawfish with her anytime she comes to visit in exchange for room and board. Really...I don't. She simply does it out of the kindness of her own heart.

We did not scarf down the first pack of crawfish the day my in-laws left before they even had a chance to make the drive all the way back to Louisiana. That would make us sound like pigs and besides, crawfish are precious commodities for anyone trapped in Atlanta far, far from the bayous of Louisiana. They must be rationed!

I did not show my children this video to wrap up our Ancient Egyptian studies this week. Just like I did not show them this video as a study of Irish dancing on St. Patrick's Day. Although, if I had, those monkeys would have been a BIG hit around here...something the kids would still be talking about to this day.

I also did not have to stifle sobs during Spice's dance recital this past weekend when another class used this song for a performance. That song would have no effect on me whatsoever because I never worry about how quickly my babies are growing up and how they will be leaving me in the blink of an eye. I also would not decide to use this song for Spice and Hubby's father/daughter dance on her wedding day. That's soooooo far away and this song will be so lame by then. Besides, something like that would be completely up to her anyway.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Word of the Day

Weeha: (interjection) A term used to show joy, pleasure, or excitment; often heard on the Little People Farm. Word Origin: Spice, 2009. Related Terms: Whee, yeeha. Usage: "Weeha, Farmer Jed is riding his horse! Weeha!"