Friday, September 30, 2011

All Dried Up Snack

I got a dehydrator recently, and I've since discovered some snacks that my kids really like. The best part about these is that you can eat them on the road, take them on field trips, or just have them lying around for whenever you want them.

Dehydrated Vegetables

Cut up any vegetable you want into bite size pieces, slices, etc., blanch, and dehydrate until leathery to crisp. Add sea salt if you like, though I don't find it necessary. My kids love these snacks, and they get a tun of nutrients with them as well. Their favorites are tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, carrots, and zucchini.

Fruit Leather

Blend up any fruit to an applesauce consistency and pour onto oiled fruit leather sheets in the dehydrator. Dry until leathery. Dust with corn starch, and cut into pieces to store. We often just buy plain applesauce from the store and add things like berries, bananas, kiwis, peaches, plums, etc. Not surprisingly, my kids love them.

Beef Jerky

When I see those really good sales of ground beef, I like to make jerky.

1 pound ground meat
4 Tbs soy sauce
4 Tbs worschesire sauce
1 Tbs tomatoe sauce
1 Tbs Gingeroot
1/4 tsp black pepper
and 2 cloves garlic.

1 pound ground meat
1 cup teryaki sauce
1 tsp minced garlic

Mix ingredients together for the flavor you want, then press though a jerky press onto the dehydrator racks to dry. You can also marinade thin slices of meat in these for 4-6 hours then drain and dehydrate.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Paring Down a Bit

With all of the stuff that we had planned to do this year, I soon discovered that it was a bit much. While being overly ambitious to begin with, I also found that my basement is taking up a lot of my extra energy. Reality hit, and I had to find ways of cutting back for my own sanity. So, here's what we've done:

*We now have history once a week, instead of twice, with science on occasion.

*The girls no longer have logic.

*Sierra's piano is no longer mandatory (though she likes doing it, sometimes that and guitar in one morning is just too much).

*Latin has been re-set to the beginning so that the girls are reviewing what they've learned last year instead of doing things new.

*We're skipping Blake's interactive preschool work for now, though he still gets to do his workbook.

*I've given up biking for the time being and mostly do walking with occasional swimming for exercise.

So far, it has made a huge difference. Hopefully, when I've got the basement done, we can add stuff back in, like Blake's preschool work, history twice a week, and regular science. We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


A good ol' standby that we like to use.

Tortillas (we typically use corn, but any will do)
Cheese (sharp chedar is really good, so is the Mexican blend)

Between two tortillas, put a handful of shredded cheese, then microwave until cheese is melted. Cool a bit, then cut into eight wedges. Serve with salsa.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Egg Food Yum!

During that time where I am stuck in the kitchen, available for any questions my kids have for me during school, I often boil up a few dozen eggs, shell them, and put them in the fridge for eating whenever. I used to leave them in the fridge with their shells still on, but not only were they harder to shell as the days went on, but also I had to dye them to keep my youngest from grabbing and breaking the wrong eggs. Oops.

So, I often have shelled boiled eggs on hand, which make for some easy, quick snacks.

Egg Sandwiches (or eggs on toast, or eggs on crackers)

Take the egg(s), mash them in a bowl using the prongs of a fork, mix in some mayonnaise and mustard to taste, maybe some relish or pepper, and spread on bread (or toast, or crackers).

Deviled Eggs

They aren't such a big deal if they are already pealed.

6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonaise
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste
paprika and/or parsley if desired

Cut eggs in half length wise and put the yolks into a small bowl. Add the mayo, vinegar and mustard to the yolks and mash up with a fork, mixing well. Add salt and pepper to taste, then stuff egg whites with mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and/or parsley if desired.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Well, that goes without saying. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finally, We're Getting There!

I started back in December, and I've had to stop so many times. Things came up, exhaustion reigned, work got in the way, homeschool took priority, life went on, but finally, FINALLY, I've made it.

So what am I talking about? My basement. I'm finally wall boarding the basement. It's slow, hard work, but it is so rewarding. All that framing, wiring, fire blocking, insulating, and calking is done, and now I get to cover it all up, close it off, and have walls! Yay!

Now, we'll just have to wait and see if I can finish them off by the end of the year.

Wish me luck.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Fair day for the Fair

We went to Boulder County Fair again this year. Of course, we had lots of fun. We got to see the animals (rabbits, chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, etc.), view all of the different exhibits, make stick horses, learn all about honey bees, pick free books, eat lunch with friends, watch some equestrian competitions, and ride on the rides. Oh the rides! And I got a day pass on them this year too.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Graham Crackers and Milk

One of the old standbys:

Graham Crackers
(we like bananas)

Pretty self explanatory I think.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Successful 1st Day. . .I Think

The girls got to go to their fist full day of Options Thursday. They were so excited.

Sierra set her alarm clock, and the girls got up early, before me around 7am, so that they wouldn't be late. They ate their breakfasts, got dressed, made their lunches, and got their backpacks ready all before I was out of the shower. We had plenty of time to spare, except Blake wasn't dressed, nor did he have his lunch put together. And we had to find his shoes.

Well, with all of the girls preparation, and my helping Blake, we got there right on time with only a minute to spare before announcements started. Apparently we'll be doing the Pledge of Allegiance first thing from now on. That's new. Other then that, everything proceeded as normal. Sierra knew where her classes were and in what order to go, including when to switch her backpack for her guitar, etc. Bailey took off with her teacher, and all lights were go.

I took Blake grocery shopping and did some other errands. Then I crashed. Hard. My husband came in to our bedroom at 3pm asking when the kids were supposed to be picked up. I was so out of it that I didn't have any clue what he was talking about, and by the time that I finally understood, he was out the door on his way to picking them up. (He was taking pity on me because I'd been under the weather for a couple of days due to a bad cold.)

When I finally wandered out of bed later that afternoon, Sierra told me that her Art teacher said she wasn't on the attendance roll. I'll need to get that fixed. Otherwise, according to my girls, everything was great. They had a lot of fun. We're off to another good school year.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bailey's Portfolio

On the 4th of July, while we were waiting fo the parade to start, my little six year old asked if she could borrow the camera. Here are most of the pictures she took. What do you think?

I seem to have a photographer on my hands.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Refried Beans

Another snack we enjoy:

Canned Refried Beans
Shredded Cheese

Mix the refried beans and salsa in a bowl and microwave to warm. Add cheese and stir. Scoop with chips and enjoy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Options 2011

We now have our Options schedules set for the year.

1- Colorado History
2- Rapid Math Skills
3- Guitar
4- lunch
5- Art
6/7-Musical Theatre

Bailey will be with the 1st grade class all day learning math, science, art, music, spanish, reading, etc.