Friday, January 29, 2016

Is It the Jellyfish Hat... or the Hanna Andersson Pajamas?

What was it that made last night so silly and fun? Was it the jellyfish hat... or the Hanna Andersson pajamas? Either way, Leah had a great time acting out the Norse myth of "Bragi, God of Poetry." She was quite vibrant slithering as Odin the snake and flapping and flying as Odin the eagle (the jellyfish hat came into play when she had to cover the missing eye, of course) and she fell on the floor laughing more than once. For "Heimdall, the Watchman of Asgard," she wrapped the blackboard diagonally with her rainbow silk to make Bifrost, and created little figures out of modeling beeswax to act out the story. These myths are touching her deeply and you can tell because she is so moved by them, and yet she is so joyful and light. For the illustration for the Bragi story she painted the outline of a cauldron on her page and then used an old screen, an old toothbrush, and some paint to spray "spittle" in the pot. She's writing the story summary around the edges. Today is the final day of Norse Myths I, with "Odin's Eight-Legged Steed."

Natalie is finishing up her Literary Criticism / Short Stories and I'll post the rest of her stories and the resources I used in my next post.

In Science explorations we did investigation #1 from Puddle Questions for Science - Grade 4

It was the perfect combination of fun and thought-provoking.

I wrote a review for this book on Amazon since nobody else had! I think it's excellent and I plan on getting her math series as well. I just ordered the math books for grades 6 and 8. We also did a somewhat Science project today when we made a magic trick: how to cut and restore paper. I saw this on the local morning news when my husband was waiting for the weather report... and since it only takes a strip of folded newspaper, rubber cement, baby powder, and a pair of scissors, it looked very doable.

We have been doing so much cooking for school lately. With their mornings free, they seem to be in the kitchen every day. The girls have also done lots of art and reading, as well as playing outside and working on their huge fort under the magnolia tree. They also love to practice Latin and their multiplication facts and do cross-stitch and knitting and weaving.

Leah made alphabet letters out of the "Rich Roll Sculptures" dough in Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough, and Modeling Experiencesand spelled out "Happy B-Day Meg." Then she decided they looked delicious and ate them all! I guess Meg is getting some other kind of gift this year.

For Lauren (also having a birthday soon) Leah decided to make up a batch of Mixed Grain Muffin Mix, then give her the recipe card for the muffin mix as well as for the muffins. And last night she made a wonderful Ham-Lentil Stew in the crockpot.

Mixed Grain Muffin Mix

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and store in a one gallon freezer bag. Keep in freezer for freshness.

  • 4 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 T salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp baking soda

  • "Muffin Mix" Muffins

    Mix thoroughly. Add more applesauce as needed to achieve desired consistency.

  • 1 1/4 cups mixed grain muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3 T milk
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes. Makes one dozen.

    Ham and Lentil Stew

    Combine in slow cooker

  • 3 cups diced fully cooked ham
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • one onion, chopped
  • 2 cans condensed chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • Cover and cook on low heat 7 - 9 hours or until lentils are tender.

    Natalie made Chocolate Pudding from scratch (mmmm.....)

    Chocolate Pudding

    In medium saucepan combine

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • Whisk in 2 cups of milk and 1 egg, lightly beaten. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Flavor to taste with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and/or 1/4 tsp almond extract. Serve warm.

    She also made mayonnaise from scratch this week! She hard cooked some eggs and made lovely egg salad sandwiches for lunch on Wednesday. Then she used up the rest of the mayo in a Cranberry Waldorf Salad yesterday.

    Cranberry Waldorf Salad


  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Combine

  • 2/3 cup mayo
  • 2 T sugar
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • Pour dressing over apple mixture and toss gently.

    And, yes, I've been cooking too! One of my favorites, which we had for dinner Wednesday, is Moroccan Sweet Potato Stew.

    Moroccan Sweet Potato Stew

    Saute two medium onions, chopped, in Dutch oven with 4 tsp olive oil. Add

  • two 15 oz cans garbanzo beans
  • two or three large sweet potatoes, baked and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 T honey
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve over couscous.

    So quick and easy! Of course if you make your chickpeas in the slow cooker you can sub in the appropriate amount. I do now, since I've learned how easy dried beans can be when prepared this way.

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