Thursday, June 30, 2011

Have a safe and wonderful Canada Day!
Wanted to share this old video of R wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day!

Take Care,
D

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

While looking through the blog-o-sphere the other day, I discovered lesson ideas for a pond.  I love making something from your everyday into lessons and having fun at the same time.  There is a lot of science to be learned from a pond and Ree from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman had some good ones listed for various ages like: pond formation, pond life, migratory patterns, drought, and biology.  Click on the link below to read more of Ree’s homeschooling pond science lessons.
Take Care,
D

Lessons from a Pond

via Confessions of a Pioneer Woman by Ree Drummond

Monday, June 27, 2011

Passion is the third book in the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate.  It is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance which follows Luce Price through her past lives in an attempt to discover why she’s destined to die over and over before she even turns 18.  Published by Random House Children’s Books, the series may be enjoyed by those who read Allyson Noel’s Evermore Series.

There are many similarities between the Fallen series and the Evermore series.  This is especially true in Passion when Luce actually visits past lives similarly to Ever visiting past lives in Summerland.  Admittedly, I had difficulty in the beginning paying attention to the storyline because I was constantly comparing Luce with Ever.  This is quite likely because I read the books back-to-back.  I believe I would have gotten into this book a lot sooner if I had read something completely different between them.  Both stories follow the protagonist who is in love with an immortal of some kind and throughout time, both of them die young only to find their same love in the next life.  Both of them are struggling to find the secret to allow them to finally be with the person they love without the threat of death between them.  The difference is the love interest’s immortality (angel vs. alchemy) and in Passion, we learn that this goes much deeper than simply soul-mates and love across time.  The consequences and actions taken can impact the entire history as well as future of the world and heavens.

Despite the similarities to Evermore, I liked this book because of the quest that Luce was on.  Her travels through her past lives led her through many emotional trials and self-discoveries until ultimately uncovering the truth behind it all.  Although, that truth brings a whole new challenge to be dealt with.  I am eagerly awaiting the next book to see how, or even if, Luce and the gang can get through this new development.

I really enjoyed the puzzle of trying to figure out who Luce’s travelling companion really was and whether he was all that he seemed or if he had an underlying motive behind it all and what that motive might be.  I must admit, his identity was not what I expected and brought a great twist to all the characters’ story.

Ms. Kate did a fantastic job of capturing her intended audience.  She seemed to be channeling the teen I once knew in myself and the way I once would have thought and handled the situations presented (paranormal elements aside-my life was never as exciting as Luce’s).  I know this book would be well-loved by my teen-aged daughter and her friends simply because they could empathize with Luce’s emotional traumas.

I would, and have, recommended this book and series as good reads with a slight warning – do not read this book in conjunction with the Evermore series.  Enjoy immersing yourselves in Luce’s past lives but empathizing may take your emotions with her too.

Take Care,
D

Friday, June 24, 2011

Found this in the blogosphere and thought I'd pass it along.  I know our family has been waiting for Cars 2 to come out for a while and will be attending the movie ASAP.  Here are some activities from
Midget Momma like cookies, a derby, and other ideas to do to celebrate this fantastic Disney movie release.

Take Care,
D

Monday, June 20, 2011

When this came out of the oven I was so excited, I had to share it with you all.
We discovered that Hubby is Celiac a few months ago when we tried an Atkins type diet.  We cut out most starches but had one cheat night per week – usually when we ordered in.  On those nights, Hubby would complain of pain while I would nod empathetically with my mouth full of food.  We originally thought it was just because we had gotten used to not having so many carbohydrates but that didn’t make sense because I had cut them out too and was not in any pain.  In fact, I was blissfully happy to eat all my favourites to my heart’s content because it was cheat night.  One day it occurred to Hubby that it might be the gluten.  His sister is Celiac, they have a cousin who is, and they feel it is quite likely that their father was – though undiagnosed.  So we began trying carbohydrates without gluten and TA DA…no pain.  Since then we have been searching for recipes to replace some of his favorites.  Until now, we couldn’t find anything to replace buns for things like hot dogs, hamburgers, philly cheesesteaks, etc.  Our small, remote city, has very limited resources when it comes to gluten-free products but we have Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour.  I looked on their website and found a cookbook by Carol Fenster, Ph.D. called 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes. 
After purchasing this book I flipped through the pages and found the Focaccia Bread recipe.  I made a few modifications to match my ingredients and my *cough* level of expertise *cough*.  Now, I’m not an master baker or anything of the sort so I don’t have any fancy pans or tools but a cake pan I can do and cutting into rectangle buns works for me.  Here’s my modified recipe.  To find the original recipe click on the link to purchase Carol’s book.
Bread
4½ tsp active dry yeast (I use 1.5x the yeast due to my elevation-recipe calls for 3)
4 tsp sugar
1 c warm (110°F) water
White Rice Flour for Dusting
3 c Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs (room temp)
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
Topping
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried Rosemary
1 tsp Italian Seasoning

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Cover with clean towel and set aside to foam.  Line a 13x9-inch cake pan with wax paper then spray with olive oil cooking spray.  Dust the bottom and sides lightly with rice flour.  Heat oven to 200°F then turn off oven.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, rosemary, onion powder, and salt.  Turn over dry ingredients with wooden spoon or spatula until well blended.  Add eggs, oil, vinegar, and yeast-water mixture.  Beat with mixer on low speed until thoroughly blended.  Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating for 30 seconds or until dough starts to thicken slightly.  Dough will be quite soft and sticky.  Ensure oven is off but still warm.  Transfer dough to pan.  Spread dough to edges of pan with a wet spatula – may need to re-wet often to spread without sticking.  Try to spread it evenly.  Place pan into warm but turned-off oven until about double its size.
While the dough is raising, place the topping ingredients in a bowl.  Once the dough is raised, take it out of the oven.  Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Brush the topping gently onto the top of the dough to cover.  Bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm.  Remove from oven and cool focaccia in pan about 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan and wax paper then allow to cool for another 10 minutes.  Then cut with a serrated knife.

Take Care,
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
D
 I purchased these products on my own as a regular consumer and was not asked to review or advertise for any of these products.  All opinions are my own and not those of the companies within.  The recipe has been modified from original and should not be reflected in any way upon the original however, the original is available for purchase herein through a third party which I cannot comment and am not to be held liable for any delivery, payment, or product as it is completed through that particular third party.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Check out these blog hops by clicking on the button then following the rules to find some great blogs.  Don’t forget to leave comments wherever you hop so participants can hop by your site.  Thanks for hopping by!
           The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom
Take Care,
D

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Looking through my Google Reader the other day and saw a treasure map on


I thought, what a fabulous idea!  I am saving this idea for a summer activity.  I’m also thinking of making pirate names for various parts of our backyard or a little nearby park, then actually hiding some treasure (maybe chocolate money or dollar store poker chips) under the X for a little treasure hunt.  Maybe we’ll even make a little neighborhood BBQ out of it and add a scavenger hunt.  Or have the kids make maps for each other to follow.  It would even be a fun camping activity to explore the area.  The possibilities are endless!  Before I get completely carried away, here’s the actual link…

Take Care,
D
DIY Treasure Map via Lesson Plans by kristenstephens on 6/11/11

The Imagination Tree also includes ideas for games you could play with your very own treasure map!
When I was young, can’t remember what grade, I had to do a project that required ‘old’ paper in which I used tea bags and a match to create that effect.  This Treasure Map project involves some of the same techniques. How fun would it be to make this map for a birthday party of evening family gathering?

Monday, June 13, 2011

It is Knit in Public Week!  So knit everywhere you go until June 19th.  Email me pictures of your knitting locations or you knitting somewhere (don’t forget the link to your blog) and I will post it in a feature next week.  My email can be located to the right under connect with me.  Happy Knitting!
Take Care,
D

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We have a little gravel sitting near the back of our garage and R decided he wanted to play in it with his trucks.  I thought it would be fun to dress it up a bit so we put our imaginations together and created a construction site. We got out his hard hat, safety glasses and gloves – being a former safety trainer, I felt it was important for him to have the right Personal Protective Equipment. We didn't have any steel toed boots but we talked about it. Then we hammered in some lath around his construction area and taped it off with flagging. 
Notice the thumbs up!
We took a break for snacks and I pulled up some construction signs on Google Images.  We printed and cut them out then taped them up as well.  We went back outside and grabbed the Tonka Trucks and R played for hours.  That night at dinner and bedtime, all R talked about was his many adventures on his construction site.
Take Care,
D

Monday, June 6, 2011

I have been feeling very stressed lately and in the last week have been starting to get that anxious stomach feeling and stress headaches.  I don’t really know where it’s coming from.  I mean, I am busy but not any busier than usual.  I’m feeling very easily distracted, scattered, dis-organized and quite overwhelmed.
I can usually relieve some stress by reading before bed or doing some crafting or even having a nice long bath but this time it seems to be swallowing me up.  Even my usual ways haven’t helped since I end up getting distracted then get frustrated that I need to re-read several paragraphs because I wasn’t paying attention or lose count on my stitches or botch up some baking. 
What do you do to de-stress or get through a time that seems to be swallowing you up – or do you even get those feelings?  How do you get through a rough patch?
I find myself repeating something a college instructor kept repeating to us, “And this too shall pass.”
Take Care,
D

Thursday, June 2, 2011

C’s cat, Tinkerbell, was being extra cute today.  She was just laying around watching me fold laundry… until I got to the tablecloth.  As soon as I moved it, she attacked!
  Tink is about 11 years old now so she doesn’t play often.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with her.  She and I wrestled with it for a minute until she decided it was more comfy to lay on than kill.
  Afterward, I sighed and placed the tablecloth back in the laundry to be washed again but I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.
Take Care,
D

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