Saturday, October 30, 2010

My new favorite peanut butter cookie recipe

I love peanut butter cookies. I have had this recipe in my "Recipes to try" file for a few years. We finally got around to trying this one a few weeks ago. Here it is:

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup raw sugar (I use evaporated cane juice crystals)

1 large egg

In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and then gradually add small bowl mixture.

Spoon cookie dough into a 12 inch log on a piece of wax paper and roll it up a freeze for 3-4 hours until firm. (I put it in the fridge overnight)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.

Remove wax paper and slice into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Leave about 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake about 15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 cookies.

I am going right now to start this dough. Yummy!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Regaining the Home

For sometime now we have been using  Managers of Their Chores. I really have always looked for some way to teach the kids accountability, work ethic and something to help them realize how messy we all are and that we all have to help clean up. I personally need something that also keeps me accountable. We have used charts, stickers, lists, chore notebooks, etc. I looked at this book for some time before I decided to make my purchase, I am a book snob, I must really like a book before I will spend my money on such a thing. I did quite a bit of research.  I bought and read the book and made our first batch of chore cards. We were off and going until some of the Blessings started with the "I know my chore pack so I don't need to wear it". So, I get the chore pack and start going through the cards and checking things with them. Guess what??? They didn't know their chore pack like they thought. We had to go through a few weeks of that (I don't know where they get their hardheadedness?) struggle until we got it through to them that they did need the chore pack and that we would decide when they were responsible enough to give up wearing the chore pack. Honestly, I think some of mine might be wearing them on their wedding day. Just thinkin' maybe.

Then we got used to the chore packs and I failed to add any new chore cards or times, plus I wanted to have some rotating jobs so that some Blessings could learn some new jobs.

I finally got around to making new schedules and chore we have a morning rountine pack, which honestly some could stop using, we will have to test and see soon. We have an 11:30 chore pack. 11:30 chore pack consists of things like emptying the dishwasher, taking out trash, bringing in wood and giving a floor or two a dust mop. I have tried to keep this list short and it is part of our lunch break from school.

We now have just added the 4:00 chore pack. Why the times? The times help me stop when we need to stop. 11:30 for instance, Benjamin is getting hungry, tired and needs to move. So, I make lunch and get Benjamin started on his lunch while the kids are working on chore packs. 4:00 is about an hour before dinner and we need to get thing in order for the evening and clean up all that we have drug out throughout the day. The 4:00 chore pack has been designed to focus on one room every day. That room gets picked up, straightened up and some light cleaning. For example, today was the kitchen's day. Someone cleaned the lid and outside of the garbage can while someone else cleaned out one shelf of the fridge and one straightened something else, then someone vacuumed rugs, someone else the floor and someone ended up with mopping. I supervised, taught and did a few little things that I normally wouldn't have gotten to today. So, their chores really help me take care of some of my chores as well. 

This is not a review, just sharing what is working for us right now!

Now I must feed the crew!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I am wondering why on my new post page that the space for posting so tiny and I cannot make it bigger?

Sea journals--Part One

We will be making sea journals to record vaious adventures from the high sea and new lands. Today we tea stained the paper and hung it to dry by the woodstove. Later someone will iron the paper and we will burn the edges for a really aged look. Then we will sew our journals together and cover with vinyl and we will commence to journaling.

Working out the kinks

I have been trying to work out the kinks in our schedule...we might be getting somewhere. If I could only get my children to spend their time more efficiently...If only. That is a dream I have. Sometimes I wonder.

I have realized that the little fella needs to get outside everyday that he can (and so does Mom). So, everyday after lunch (weather permitting, which is until around -10 for my taste) we are going to get outside for fresh air and sunshine for at least 30 minutes before the little fella's nap. He loves to be outside, I mean loves it.

I have the school aged blessings working throught their more independent studies in the morning and we do group or Mom help items while the little guy is napping. We will see and I am sure I will change things up again as we move through these toddler stages.

Now, I must go supervise tea staining paper for our sea journals.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knot Tying

I recently purchased Homeschool in the Woods New World Explorers to add to our history studies of the explorers. I really needed to add something and I am happy with my choice.

Today we learned about food, disease and living conditions on the ships and one of the projects were to tie knots.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The kitchen after lunch

So, I decided to get my after post up right away.

Here is the kitchen after chore time and the big kids are eating lunch and listening to Peter Pan  while the little guy is in his crib falling asleep.

The kitchen isn't perfectly clean but I can honestly say that my kitchen really never is perfectly clean. But this makes me happy. The dishes will be put away later this afternoon after we finish our school work. Oh, how I miss the half day days, but it seems we have outgrown them.

Here is the other side of the kitchen. See the basket on the counter? I greatly dislike having that basket there but my husband likes the bread right there so instead of bread all over the counter I tossed it into this basket. I have ordered a new utensil holder that should arrive in a few days. I am really looking forward to the new addition to the counter.

The reality of some days

This is not a pretty post but it is the reality of some days around here, how about you?

This one is super small, edited it too small at Photobucket.

This picture shows the dirty dishes from breakfast(the dishwasher gets unloaded at our 11:30 chore time), and the clean garbage can lid(washed last night). That lid takes up too much space.

This one is a bit bigger.

This shows smoothie and toast station.

This last picture shows the flax seed grinding and oatmeal station.

Yes, I could have taken time to straighten up a bit more but I chose to get the day started. And it helps to know that at when we do our chores at 11:30 that this will all be cleaned up and ready for the lunch mess. Yes, another mess but not as messy as this one and lunch gets cleaned up right away! Then there is dinner, see it is never ending. My attitude about the whole thing is what I can adjust.

Now the length of time it takes some blessings here to do math is another story....I will be setting a time for math from now on.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

In which the grandparents visit and we take very few photos....

Can you believe that the grands came and we didn't take one picture of them and the kids? Oh, my. Lots of duck hunting and grouse hunting pictures were taken though.

The hunters and their ducks.

The hunters and the grouse (and one little boy who is always glad to see his Daddy)

Do you notice the lack of jackets? The weather was crazy, unseasonably warm!

One of the blessings did get this picture of Nana and Benjamin

This is one wonderful big sister, so patient with our little determined fella!

The flurries have begun to fly but there is no snow on the ground yet, soon enough though we will have a white covering to help pretty up all the brown. That is what I enjoy about the snow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Birthday

I am very behind on getting these pictures posted!

Last week we had a birthday, Judith turned nine. She was beyond thrilled. We picked up the Grands the evening before her birthday so Levi, Elisabeth and I were up late getting the dining room decorated. I had assigned them the task of making decorations earlier in the day so that helped.

She chose a kite cake so the decorations were kites. So, if you are a IRL friend, yes I know that someone spelled their middle name wrong, we are all only human!

The decorated room complete with newly painted walls.

Here she is first thing on birthday morning.

We had day at home with one of Judith's friends coming over to celebrate with her. It was a fairly slow day with a shrimp dinner and cake and ice cream.

She decorated her kite cake, she is a cake decorating girl.

Oh, one of her gifts was this toolbox. She asked her Daddy to get her some tools. He bought her pink ones/.

Monday, October 4, 2010

90 days --completed

Back in the summer I kept seeing blog posts about reading the Bible in 90 days. Caught my attention and then I let it go...I kept seeing the posts so I went to the source, Mom's Toolbox. I read and thought and prayed about this.  I took the challenge. Now what?

I printed the schedule and put it in my Bible.

Some days were a challenge to get the reading done. It was summer so I could read outside while the kids played. I tried to keep ahead to stay on track over the busy summer weekends. I also used the Bible on CD for those times I got behind or needed to stay on track.

What did I learn?

  • I do not read enough of the Bible on a daily basis

  • 90 days was too fast for me during this  season of my life

Would I do this again?

Yes, but not right away, maybe next year.

This was a great experience and I am glad to have taken the challenge.