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    Rochester, NY
  1. Chicken Marsala is a favorite here. We use this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis for veal marsala using chiken instead: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/veal-marsala-recipe.html
  2. Our cooperative has been around since 1998 and has 501©(3) status and so it does have a board of directors that provides and maintains the vision of the group, handles budget, personnel, enrollment, and insurance issues of the group, and manages the administrative/day-to-day operations of the group. Members pay tuition and the group rents space and has several teachers and assistants on payroll.
  3. Solidarity, sister. I feel the same way about the Cub Scout popcorn sale! At least our pack does allow for a buy-out option. Thank goodness -- we could never sell $400 per scout minimum (we have two scouts in our household).
  4. Today: DH birthday dinner out Monday: Squash, Brown Rice, Black Beans, and Avocado Tuesday: Crockpot Shepherd's Pie Wednesday: Pesto Pasta and Salad Thursday: Homemade Mac & Cheese and Lentil Burgers (and veg from CSA box) Friday: Veggie Stir Fry Saturday: Grilled Cheese and Veggie Soup
  5. We just finished The Wanderings of Odysseus and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. Both were hits with my 7 and 9 year olds. I absolutely loved Mrs. Frisby; as a child, I think I had only seen the animated film and somehow missed reading the book. My boys just started listening to The Indian in the Cupboard.
  6. We have Jack-n-Jill bedrooms upstairs and converted one of them into a school room. The room has built in shelves, cabinets, and drawers that we use for science materials, art supplies, math manipulatives (I am always stunned at how very many math things we have!), storing completed work, and displaying projects. And I have a small shelving unit containing the daily books we use another wall. We have a table with four chairs in the center of the room and an whiteboard/chalkboard easel. The room also has a closet in which we keep board games and bins of recyclables and fabric that my kids are forever using for projects. Other than that, we have a world map on the wall and a CD player on a shelf. Nothing fancy. It's helpful that the room is connected to a full bathroom -- the sink comes in handy for art and science activities and projects, and the tub has been used countless times to test ships we've built in connection with history lessons. We don't wind up doing all of our lessons up there -- we spend lots of time reading on the couch in the living room or family room. or reading while snacking in the kitchen. But it is awfully nice to have all of our homeschooling STUFF in one place out of the way. For our morning time, which we sometimes do downstairs, I just have a basket that sits on a shelf where all of the morning time materials go, so it's portable.
  7. We do eggs, fruit, and biscuits/toast, soups, leftover dinner, and burritos pretty much every week. But my kids's absolute favorite lunch is when I just set out a big platter of cheeses, fruits, veggies, and crackers or crusty bread. I could use some new ideas too! I am in a lunch rut.
  8. I led a Clay Play class and I loved using Magic Mud for sculpting. You can get it at local craft stores or on-line. I also really love using beeswax modeling along with storytelling. It needs to be warmed to work with, so while telling a story, you should have the child hold a ball of wax in her hands ("the oven") to warm. By the time the story is through, or perhaps while you are still telling it, the wax will be warm enough and the child can form something from the story. I've only ever used Stockmar beeswax; you can get it on-line. For just playing around the house, I get a big bucket of crayola air dry clay and let the kids have at it. They have made a lot of their own little play figures using clay. For something that is sculptural, but not clay, you may want to try making wet-felted wool balls or beads. My kids have enjoyed that. I like the books The Great Clay Adventure and Children, Clay, and Sculpture.
  9. Another Bullsh** Night in S*ck City by Nick Flynn Live by Night by Dennis Lehane And I'm rereading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne for a reading group I'm in.
  10. We have a park near us where the chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches, and tufted titmice are so used to people feeding them, they eat seeds out of your hands. My whole family had birds eating out of our hands for a half-hour. It was amazing. The smile on my 8 year old budding ornithologist's face while chickadees ate peanuts out of his hand was priceless. My MIL and SIL and nieces joined us for an impromptu lasagna dinner. I always love seeing my kids play with their cousins and spending time with my MIL and SIL. Very grateful to have in-laws that I really love and who love me back. Great start to the new year!
  11. Thanks so much for sharing! Just started watching last night with my dino-crazed 6-year-old, and he is hooked. So is my eight-year old.
  12. We have four four-day weeks behind us and we took off for a week at the beach. We studied tidal pools (reading Pagoo, Life in a Tidal Pool, and the Burgess Seashore book) in those four weeks, and now the kids are exploring real tidal pools, seeing the animals and plants they just read about. It's so cool. Thanks for starting these threads; I look forward to participating!
  13. I often melt some butter in my roasting pan then roast wild salmon fillets in it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and that's it. This recipe is awesome: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/salmon-baked-in-foil-recipe.html. Also poaching is a nice change. I like this simple recipe from Alice Waters: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/12/dinner-tonight-shallow-poached-salmon-fillets-recipe.html. Jacques Pepin's salmon burgers are also fantastic: http://www.ediblecolumbus.com/item/2251-salmon-burgers-on-baby-arugula
  14. We're currently working our way through the states. I don't know how many of the factoids they will remember for each state, but we have found our state study to be a fun way to learn about our nation's history and its regional diversity, culturally and geographically. We usually complete the Elemental History "Adventures in America" sheet, read some picture books/chapter books set in the state, eat/prepare a food from the state, and do a craft or project connected to something we have learned about the state. We also sometimes learn a song or listen to music that is connected to the state. For example, we're currently studying Maryland -- we read Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later), Anna All Year Round, B is for Blue Crab, Barefoot: Escape on the Underground Railroad, and Misty of Chincoteague (Virginia is our next state, so this is a good "bridge" book!); we observed blue crabs at our grocery store (hey, we have no local aquariums or beaches to visit!) and took some home to eat; we made model skipjacks and floated them in our water table; and we've been listening to Billie Holiday who grew up in Baltimore. Last year, we studied ten states, and the kids do surprise me occasionally by mentioning something they recall about a state we studied.
  15. Wow! I love it! The colors and clean lines -- very soothing. Enjoy your "new" space.
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