Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama for President

I also wanted to mention 3 newspaper articles that caught my attention, as we carved pumpkins upon them, as a sign of our times. 

Racism? McCain Says It Won't Be A Factor (The US elects a new President on November 4th. We desperately need Obama's leadership!)

American consumers clobbered by housing, credit and financial fallout.

Court ruling to allow gay marriage in Connecticut takes effect; couples can marry next month.

Halloween festivities

Dare I say that I would rather forgo celebrating Halloween. Mostly because it so commercialized and all the candy. Yes, I grew up with candy being handed out to me all the time and I'm alright. And I watched morning cartoons. But, that does not make it good for you and it's not happening with my little one. And, I disapprove of chocolate milk at dinner and a sweet after every meal (I know that grandparents mean well but it's not what I, THE MOTHER, would like for my little one.) 

Okay, let's move on. 

I struggle to find more meaning to each day and simplify my life. I feel extreme pressure to do what everyone else is doing. For example, at my mother's house, trick-or-treaters take pictures outside her completely over-decorated ( for me) house. That's how I grew up and it's difficult because I would like the opposite of that for my little one. It's a struggle to find the balance between the two. 

Treats are occasional in our house. My little one had lots of fun mixing and rolling and decorating the cookies and that's what it's all about.

Someone's not to sure about that funny feeling between her fingers. Daddy could do that. 

The best part is the smiles on my little one's face. She ran over to her kitchen and grabbed a bowl to make pumpkin soup. Okay, I'm doing something right. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artful projects

My little one has a "create" box which has random craft materials, some purchased and some salvaged from packaging of household goods. Bottle caps and spice shakers are a big hit. This was a gift for her music teacher.

Watercolors with daddy. HOW FUN ! !

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween is almost here

Wow. I just realized that Halloween is almost here. I must say that I seldom know the date, which is something I should work on. I can not believe October is coming to an end. The month flew by.

As we get ready for the festivities, I quickly grab a song out of A Child's Seasonal Treasury.

Five Little Pumpkins
Here's five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late!"
The second one said, "Oh, I don't care!"
The third one said, "There's something in the air!"
The forth one said, "Let's run, run, run!"
The fifth one said, "It's only Halloween fun!"
Then WHOOSH goes the wind and OUT goes the light,
And five little pumpkins roll out of sight!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A view of the world

The world.

I think it is important for children to understand that they are part of the whole. Their is an entire world out there for them to discover and experience. And our journey is to utilize our gifts, each making a difference in his or her own special way.

I think it is especially important to instill in our children the importance of preserving wildlife & nature. I really like to opportunity this magazine gives my little one to learn about different animals. I especially love the nature section & the culture section that gives my little one a look into a different part of the world.

After reading through the vocabulary rich pages, my little one really had a sense of the bigger picture in preserving natural areas for the sake of the animals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Castles in the sand

We enjoyed a brisk day outside, racking some leaves, digging in our hole in the yard (at one time in was a little hill) and building some castles of shells in the sand. The shells remind us of our warm, fun-filled days of play, while the chilly weather keeps us in the moment. 

I have always loved shells and have decorated areas of our house with them. My little one loved when I would take down a jar for her to play with. A basket of shells has a home on my little one's playstands. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Contest for mamas

Check out for your chances to win this handcrafted work. What a wonderful hands-on learning tool so little ones can see exactly how the baby is growing in mama's belly. It was great to share the pictures with my little one, as it opened up an afternoons worth of questions and comments, as our little one has a few more months before her brother or sister arrives. 

Natural play kitchen toys & wooden building blocks

We've been having fun with some new wooden toys. One day we are in the play kitchen and we're baking, measuring, organizing & cooking. The next day, we're building towers. The great thing about toys with a simple form is that they can be anything. The possibilities for play are endless!!!

I will be breaking out my felting needles and wool to add to her creative play. We can celebrate the season with some apples, acorns, mushrooms, and pumpkins. Maybe even a jack-o-lantern and some Indian corn. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last of the season

The end of our growing season is coming to an end here in Connecticut. This morning, I made some zucchini pancakes. I also used the last of our basil for some Turkey Meatballs and sauce. We have a few more peppers and maybe a handful or two of tomatoes before we say farewell to our garden. 

Next year, I have plans for a bigger garden. Some beans, berries, cilantro, lots more basil and an early, mid, and late cherry tomato plant.   

Friday, October 17, 2008

Apple galette with children

For the galette ( a flat round cake of variable size) pastry
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 stick cold butter
4 T ice water
1-2 T raw sugar

Mix flour and salt in mixer. Add chunks of cold butter to mixer a few at a time. Gradually add ice water until dough begins to clump together slightly.

Gather dough into small balls & flatten into circular disks. Chill in refrigerator, while you make the filling.

For filling:
4-5 apples, chopped
3 T brown sugar
1/4 c flour
2 t cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients, then mix in apples.

Bring out chilled dough. Add heaping spoonfuls of apples to center of circular dough disks. Fold ends inward, leaving center exposed. Brush dough with milk & sprinkle raw sugar on top.

Cook at 450 for 20 minutes until pastry browns.

Yum. Yum. We made our apple galette with whole wheat flour and topped with some homemade whip cream. My little one loved making the whip cream.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin picking

Same cow, different day

I'll be going back to hopefully capture a picture of my little one picking out a pumpkin, kind of an annual event. My little one was busy playing with her friends.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mother of pearl serving sets

I have been gradually adding on to my basic dinnerware set and purchasing platters and serving bowls, mostly when I need them. I recently brought a pasta salad to a family picnic in a platinum rimmed china bowl, which was the only bowl that fit the pasta salad. So, the next day, I purchased a basic white mixing bowl set, which has come in handy. 

I have a few dinnerware sets, including my basic white everyday dishes, my Mikasa Cameo Platinum china that was a wonderful shower gift from my girlfriends, to my family Azurite Charm depression glass. For serving pieces, I have a variety of white platters and a number of shiny silver pieces, including a few Wilton Flutes & Pearls pieces that go right from the oven to the table. 

I do have a serving set to match my gifted flatware set, but I otherwise held off on serving sets, as I was looking for some sets to coordinate with my dinnerware and china as well as my depression glass. Well, this spring I discovered some mother of pearl pieces at Pottery Barn that I really loved. I think they really go great with all my sets, so I went ahead and purchased the serving spoon set, the spreaders, and a charger, to use as a platter. I also won an ebay auction for the PB serving spoon & fork set. The price could not be beat.

Recently, I came more pieces, a Pier 1 dessert serving set and cheese knife set and found some Towle pieces with mother of pearl. Some day, I'll have the house to actually entertain. For now, I guess we all need a thing or two to collect and I'll be collecting mother of pearl serving pieces.

More games

My little one is involved in random play today. We are just going with the flow and letting her work through her frustrations from school. She is asking about my jewelry and I seem to know where this may go

Another day, another ear of corn

Some more fun to be had removing the kernels of corn.

Some tools were requested for the job.

2 ears down and 3 more to go.

Some digging and planting also helped my little one settle in after school. She seemed to be a little frustrated today when I picked her up. I was planning on getting a few groceries on the way home but I knew it would be best to come straight home. Some fresh air and unstructured activities seems best on these days.


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