May, 2012

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Wonderful Memorial Day Weekend

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

We really enjoyed our weekend.  Saturday we had to run up to New Hampshire for some maple business and took the scenic way home.  We took care of a some home improvement purchases at Home Depot and went to a steakhouse for some fabulous ribeyes!  We ate at a restaurant called Dakota for the first time and were pretty impressed.

On Sunday we went to church and came home to tackle some home improvement things.  A while back, we had scraped the paint trim around a window, along the bottom of the house and around a door getting it ready for painting.  While Dave mowed the lawn and took care of a few other things, I painted.  The paint color turned out to be a brighter shade of our current trim color,  but hopefully as it cures it won’t be really noticeable.  There are parts of our house’s trim that are WAY, WAY to high for painting.  We’d have to hire a professional.  Dave is scrapping the trim around the porch for our next painting day.

On Monday we drove out to Narragansett, RI.  We just wanted to see the ocean.  John is such a blessing.  He just wanted to sit on the sea wall and watch the waves crash against the rocks for good fifteen minutes.  I’ve not encountered many almost 3 year olds with patience enough to sit and watch waves.  What an awesome kiddo!  We drove to Niantic, CT for a seafood dinner at Costello’s.

So we accomplished somethings around the house, got in some sight seeing, had some wonderful food and a great time as a family.  Awesome weekend!

New Photos

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

We’ve updated our photos page with new photos for the month of May. Our trip for my father-in-law’s 80th birthday to Vermont and New Hampshire are included. We haven’t added captions, yet.

Easy, No-Knead Pizza Dough

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

For a long while, I’ve wanted to try making pizza dough here at home so we can try making our own pizzas.  The dough was my obstacle though.  I’m no friend of a needy (hahaha) dough.   No really, I just don’t like spending forever kneading.  And then I heard about making a “no knead pizza dough”!!! This recipe is a huge hit in my family.  We’ve been having bi-monthly pizza parties here for a couple months now and I think we’ll be keeping it up for a while.

Easy, No-Knead Pizza Dough

2 teaspoons salt

500 grams or 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I measure this in my kitchen scale to 500 grams)

1 ½ cup water (plus or minus a tiny bit)

1/2  teaspoon dry active yeast (you could use as little as 1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast)

Just mix everything together in a bowl into what will be like “shaggy dough” for lack of a better term. Put plastic wrap over the bowl and leave it at least overnight or up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I just whip this together the night before we want to have pizza.

3 hours before you want to make pizzas, take bowl from refrigerator.  Pull dough from bowl onto a floured surface.  Divide into 3-5 pieces.  Fold and pat pieces into ball shapes, put on floured surface.  Place a damp tea towel over the dough and let it rest until you are ready to make pizzas.

Stretch the dough, put on ingredients and put into preheated 500 degree oven on a preheated pizza stone.  I need to turn the broiler right after I put my pizzas into the oven.  Only takes a little while, under 10 minutes.  But cook your pizzas until it looks done for your tastes.

Booklist: 3 Year Old

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

This September we will become a home educating family.  Very casually at least.  I’ll begin doing a little more formal and planned schooling for John than I’ve been doing.  In January, I’d started doing some more formal stuff, but John just wasn’t ready.  He turns 3 in August so ’tis time.

In doing my planning I’ve come up with a list of books that I want to have readily available for his viewing for the year.  It is a list of books that he can “read” anytime.  We’ve used a large basket for his board books in the living room since he was born, but I think we need to switch to a small bookcase he can easily access.  Right now he’s got a huge bookcase in his bedroom with all “his” books.  I’m envisioning a set of books he can easily access and enjoy in the living room and use for schooling.

So here is my list for 3 yr old preschool:

101 Things to Do With a Baby (Jan Ormerod)

A Child’s Garden of Verse (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Aesop’s Fables (illustrated by Milo Winter)

Beatrix Potter series

Billy’s Picture

Blueberries for Sal (Robert McCloskey)

Brer Rabbit (Joel Chandler Harris)

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? (Bill Martin Jr.)

Caps for Sale (Esphry Slobodkina)

Carl Goes Shopping

Carl’s Afternoon in the Park

Carl’s Birthday

Carl’s Masquerade

Carl’s Sleepy Afternoon

Carrot Seed (Ruth Krauss)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Bill Martin Jr)

Corduroy

Ferdinand (Munro Leaf)

Good Dog, Carl

Good Night, Moon (Margaret Wise Brown

Greedy Python (Carle)

Green Eggs & Ham (Suess)

Grouchy Ladybug (Carle)

Guess How Much I Love You? (McBratney)

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Harry by the Sea

Harry the Dirty Dog

Home for a Bunny

Itsy Bitsy Spider (Trapani)

Katy No-Pocket

Kitty’s New Doll

Little Book of Poems (ISBN: 0307681424

Little Cottontail (Mamling)

Little Engine that Could (Piper)

Little House (Burton)

Little Red Hen (MCQueen)

Lost in the Woods

Make Way for Ducklings (MCCloskey)

McDuff and the Baby

McDuff Comes Home

McDuff Moves In

McDuff’s Wild Romp

Millions of Cats

Miss Rumphius (Cooney)

Mitten (Brett)

Museum ABC (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

No Roses for Harry

Noah’s Ark (Spier)

One Morning in Maine (McCloskey)

Ox-Cart Man (Cooney)

Peepo (Ahlberg)

Play with Me (Ets)

Poems and Prayers for the Very Young (Alexander)

Poky Little Puppy

Polite Elephant

Pretzel

Real Mother Goose (illus Wright)

Richard Scarry’s First Word Book

Richard Scarry’s Please and Thank You Book

Saggy, Baggy Elephant

Shy Little Kitten

Stone Soup (Brown)

Story About Ping (Flack)

Stranger in the Woods

Swimmy

Story of Little Babaji (Bannerman)

There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (Taback)

Very Best Home for Me

Very Hungry Caterpillar (Carle)

Very Quiet Cricket (Carle)

We Help Daddy (Stein)

What do you do with a Kangaroo? (Mayer)

Winne-the-Pooh series (Milne)

I Think I Finally Have A System!!!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

I’ve blogged about my inability to figure out a system that will keep me organized and motivated to finish all the work I need to accomplish as a wife, mother, homemaker, soon-to-be pre-schooling home educator, and co-owner of a small farm.

Well, I’ve been reading about Dawn’s filing system that she uses now for a long while.  There were aspects that I put into effect a while ago, but something about her latest blog entry about her files system of organizing herself clicked with me.

For whatever reason daily things to do lists depress me more than aid me.  I get all carried away thinking of all these things I want to accomplish in one day.  When they all don’t get accomplish, dejection sets in and I stop making lists.  Again, for whatever reason weekly lists work pretty well for me.  I can put tons of things down and I know I’ve got a whole week to accomplish them.

This afternoon I even came up with a weekly sheet that includes a column for those things I need to do daily also.  I just put a letter for each day of the week (S,M,T,W,T,F,S) that I can cross off daily when I’ve accomplished that task.  There are 11 things that I need to do daily to make our lives run smoothly in this house.

  1. make beds
  2. Empty/refill and run the dishwasher
  3. wipe kitchen counters/stovetop
  4. do a quick declutter of the house
  5. scoop the cat litter
  6. provide at least an hour of outside time for my son
  7. empty clothes hampers and take laundry to basement
  8. fix dinner
  9. Mon-Fri Fix my husband’s lunch
  10. Mon-Fri put together a breakfast for my husband so he can eat even when I’m still asleep
  11. and plan a lite evening snack (because if it is unplanned there is wide spread high calorie snack consumption, something we’re trying to avoid around here)

Obviously, in life there are other “daily to-dos”, but I need motivation (aka a checklist) to make myself accountable for those eleven because I’ve learned that my life just runs a whole lot smoother when they get accomplished, plus I feel better knowing I’m being a good homemaker.

So I need to take pictures of my personal little “system” using file folders and make a post of it.

Maple Sugar Project

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

My husband has a great new project involving production of maple sugar.  We’re seeking backers for our project and would love any extra exposure we could obtain. Dave did a really great job producing the video for the project.  Please check it out at:  www.realmaplesyrup.com/project.

Thank you to everyone that takes a look at our project!