Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If Not for the Cat

If not for the cat,
and the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.

After The Mitten's long run, we have a new favorite book in our house.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Week of Posts

There are several ways to tackle a 7 Quick Takes Post -- today I will do a quick summary of the posts that I didn't get the chance to write over the course of the week.

  1. Even if it weren't for my Lenten discipline of staying off of the computer when the children are awake, I would not have been online very much this week. For the first time in the children's memories, March has felt springlike in New Hampshire. We have spent every possible moment outdoors enjoying the tropical temperatures. For those of you south of Boston, anything above 40 degrees qualifies as "tropical" in our minds. For comparison's sake, here is a picture from last March and a picture from yesterday:

  2. Of course, there is a reason we call this "mud season."

    Any volunteers to help me keep up laundry over the next few weeks?

  3. We have also been very busy learning about saints this week with two important feast days. In addition to cooking a boiled dinner for the extended family, we learned about Saint Patrick, shamrocks, and the trinity on Tuesday. We colored this shamrock and talked about how the shamrock can be used as an analogy for God in three persons. We also sang a cute "3 in 1" song sung to the tune of "Frère Jacques." On Thursday we reread a few nativity stories from the children's Bible and colored this image of the Holy Family in honor of St. Joseph's feast day.

  4. I never got around to posting this week's Unplugged project or last week's art gallery picture. Here are both:

  5. We marbelized paper by dripping colored oil onto water, then floating the paper on top. Amazing effect, but very messy project. We used syringes instead of droppers, and my fine-motor delayed child had a very difficult time. That child, however, is the one who has asked to repeat the project, so you may see more oil-slicked art in our future.

  6. I never posted books for the week either, probably because I was reading too much! Over the past week I have read The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Nourishing Traditions, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, and started in on Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery. I probably owe y'all a good book post soon.

  7. In place of "Works for me Wedensday," here is my tip of the week: To make rolls, mix up your favorite bread recipe, then divide into small balls after the first rise. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes, then form into miniature boules. That's it! When I make rolls for salmon burgers I use Easiest French Bread, and put some kosher salt and rosemary sprigs on top of each roll. (Yes, yes, I read Nourishing Traditions and I am still using processed flour and farm-raised fish. I am trying to eat naturally, really I am!)

  8. And finally.... This week's art gallery:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Big Boy

Listen to that laugh.

Mark this date -- March 16, 2009 my bunny first rode a two-wheeler.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dinner This Week

Sunday: @ Grammy and Grampy's

Monday: C.R.A.P.

Tuesday: @ Auntie M's with the Cousins

Wednesday: Chicken Picadillo*, tortillas, rice

Thursday: Chicken Curry in a Hurry*

Friday: salmon burgers, homemade rolls, carrot sticks

Saturday: hot dogs, steak fries, spinach

Decluttering my Brain

I am one of those list people. If it is on my list, I do it (or buy it as the case may be). If it is not on my list it does not exist.

Really. Just ask my husband about all of the things he tells me about but I completely space on because they are not on the calender or grocery list.

How on earth am I expected to remember everything?

So here is my to-do list for the next two days.


  • *bank
  • *grocery shopping


  • clean refrigerator
  • inventory spring clothes -- make list of needs and wants to for upcoming season
  • check attic for clothes in agents' next size (hope this reduces shooping list significantly)
  • organize Agent 002's closet
  • pull outgrown clothes from Agents' drawers
  • oragnize attic bins


  • menu plan
  • get "certificates of foreign birth" for agents
  • find out what do we need to do to be eligible as "emergency" foster care placement


  • menu plan post
  • *post Unplugged project on blog
  • book post


  • find out when "last average frost date" is for my area
  • make chart of what should be planted when (indoors and outdoors)
  • find out what type of growing medium tomato, eggplant and parsely seeds need


  • make living/non-living sort cards
  • finish "short a" word wheels
  • make K poster (kite shapes)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the book Basket

Picture Books

  • Green Eggs and Ham
    What better way to celebrate the Dr. Seuss's birthday?
  • Snowflake Bentley
    I continue to feed their snowflake obsession. Guess what we did after reading this book? Pulled out the scissors and made more paper snowflakes!
  • We All Went On Safari
    An excellent animal counting book that exposes the children to another culture and puts animals in their real context.

Bedtime Book Club

Mama's Downstairs Books

Mama's Bedtime Reading

Book Group

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dinner This Week

Sunday: hamburgers, leftover chili, corn

Monday: crockpot pulled pork, homemade sub rolls, green salad

Tuesday: stir-fried chicken, rice, edamame

Wednesday: sausage bean soup, french bread, green salad

Thursday: C.R.A.P. pasta w/sausage and beans

Friday: eggplant caviar w/triscuits, smoothies bruschetta, deviled eggs

Saturday: dinner @ church

Monday, March 09, 2009

Live from Xubuntu

Yes, you heard it right. I am writing this on a Linux machine.

Remember the sob story I told you back in December about death, Christmas and fried computers?'

Got the fried computer running for a total investment of 15 cents and an hour of labor
So far so good except for he random fuzzing out issue. Bac to blogging soon.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Since everyone else is posting snow pictures....

Friday, March 06, 2009

Agent 004 Speaks about Mama

Copy this note,ask your child the questions and write down exactly how they respond. Please join in!

1. What is something mom always says to you?I love you.
2. What makes mom happy?Hugging
3. What makes mom sad?not loving
4. How does your mom make you laugh?I don't know.
5. What was your mom like as a child?You hugged your Mommy.
6. How old is your mom?31
7. How tall is your mom? Very tall. (How tall?) Four feet.
8. What is her favorite thing to do?cook dinner
9. What does your mom do when you're not around?read books
10. If your mom becomes famous,what will it be for?I don't know.
11. What is your mom really good at? cooking dinner
12. What is your mom not very good at?sewing
13. What does your mom do for her job?Take care of us.
14. What is your mom's favorite food?onions
15. What makes you proud of your mom? cooking dinner
16. If your mom were a cartoon character,who would she be? Sam I am
17. What do you and your mom do together? cook dinner and stuff
18. How are you and your mom the same? Mama has two ears and I have two ears.
19. How are you and your mom different? Mama has brown hair and I have blonde hair.
20. How do you know your mom loves you? Saying I love you.
21. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? the dump

7 Quick Takes

  1. We had an amazing weekend skiing with mr warillever's family last weekend. I promise that I will post some pictures as soon as I can.

  2. On a related note, I had not realized how quickly Uncle Ichabod's deployment to Afghanistan is approaching. Make sure to pray for him (and all of our soldiers) as well as for peace.

  3. Reading everyone's posts about snow made me somewhat giddy. Given that we haven't seen bare ground since the first week of December, we sometimes take snow for granted. Y'all reminded me how blessed we are to have this amazing play material fall from the sky.

  4. As I mentioned earlier (although maybe only on Twitter), I have lots of great books out from the library right now which have kept me offline. I am simultaneously reading Catholic Matters, Nourishing Traditions, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, and Orphan Train Rider. Lots of fodder for thought, and maybe future posts.

  5. I have a love/hate relationship with my crockpot. Love how convenient it makes stew prep, but hate how the cooking aroma makes me hungry all day. I am salivating as I type!

  6. The kids are itching to be released from "Quiet time," so I am cheating a bit on posting a #6. I hope you'll forgive me.

  7. Our art gallery:

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Where the Ideas Come From

A friend of mine once commented on a preschool post that I was "so creative." Heh. If only he knew... I just creatively use others' ideas!

Since this is "Greatest Hits" week at Works for Me Wednesday, I thought I'd tell you about those great resources that I depend on to make my happy little preschool work.

Here is a quick list of the free resources I use to plan our preschool time.

  1. Books More of a background resource than as a specific planning tool, I have borrowed a number of art, activity, and theory books from the library. Currently the most influential:
    • Blogs Sometimes it is best to see how someone else manages to make preschool work in the real world. In a blog you can see how a Montessori theory applies in the home, or you can get a new angle on an old problem. You may see some of "my" ideas displayed on these blogs in particular:
    • Groups The best ideas come from those in the trenches. I have been a member of the Homepreschool Yahoo group for three years, and although the message volume has ebbed and flowed over time, the advice is always invaluable.

    • The Google - When in doubt, search the web for answers. A recent search for phonics activities netted two treasures -- Fun Fonix and the Clifford Make-a-Word game , both of which have proved very helpful to Agent 004.

    How about you? Any resources to suggest to the rest of us?

    Tuesday, March 03, 2009

    In the Book Basket

    Picture Books

    Mama's Downstairs Books

    • Haven't been home to read in the kitchen

    Mama's Bedtime Reading

    Book Group

    Monday, March 02, 2009

    Dinner This Week

    Sunday: {Chinese takeout}

    Monday: roasted chicken, baked potatoes, pureed squash

    Tuesday: Cranberry Pork Chops, brown rice, veggie pork chops w/sauteed apples

    Wednesday: pasta primavera

    Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Bread,** salad, carrot sticks [found via Homemaker Barbi] (using chicken leftover from Monday's dinner)

    Friday: crockpot bean chili, Italian Bread, salad corn bread

    Saturday: ???? w/Uncle On and Aunt K