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Everything posted by RocCityMom

  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.
  16. Sunday -- Chick Pea Soup Monday -- Cobb Salad Tuesday -- Eggs, Potato Pancakes, and Smoked Salmon Wednesday -- Spaghetti and Meatballs Thursday -- Keema Matar with rice and naan Friday -- Roasted Fish, Rice, Veg
  17. We've done ice cream cakes, ricotta cheesecake, pineapple upside down cakes, and -your-own sundaes for people who are not into traditional cakes with icing.
  18. Some of our favorites: Trumpet of the Swan Pippi Longstocking The Water Horse The Reluctant Dragon
  19. Richard Louv, the author of The Last Child in the Woods discusses how environmental "education" can actually have the opposite effect, as many of you are seeing in your children --"Wellmeaning public-school systems, media, and parents are effectively scaring children straight out of the woods and fields." I am following this thread; my eight-year-old sounds much like yours, OP. We just engage with nature during our hikes and walks and spent lots of time outdors, but I would love for him to have some reading material that engages his curiosity and passion about the natural sciences without overwhelming him.
  20. This torte recipe from Marcella Hazan's Italian cookbook is delish: 2.5 lbs young Swiss chard w/ undeveloped stalks OR 3.25 lbs mature chard Salt Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup for cooking chard plus more for greasing and topping the pan 2/3 cup onion chopped fine 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/3 cup seedless raisins Freshly ground black pepper 9" or 10" springform baking pan 2/3 heaping cup of unflavored bread crumbs, lightly toasted 1. If using mature chard, cut off the broad stalks and set aside [good sauteed with garlic and olive oil for a side dish!]. Cut the leaves into 1/4 inch shreds. Soak and wash the chard. 2. Boil water in a pot, using enough water and pot volume to accommodate the chard. Cook until tender, approx. 15 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. 3. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the moisture from the chard. 4. Chop the chard very fine. 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 6. Choose a saute pan that can accommodate the chard. Put in 1/4 cup olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook at medium until the onion turns a light nut-brown. 7. Add the chopped chard, turning heat to high. Cook, turning the chard over frequently, until it becomes difficult to keep the chard from sticking to the pan (if using non-stick, you'll have to eyeball it to sense when the chard has properly heated through and become coated with the oil/onion mixture). When done, transfer entire contents to a bowl and let cool. 8. When chard has cooled to room temperature, add the grated Parmesan, the beaten eggs, and the pine nuts. Drain the raisins, squeeze them dry in your hand, and add them to the bowl. Add a few grindings of pepper. Mix thoroughly, taste and correct for pepper and salt (the Parmesan is salty, so a small pinch of salt is probably all that's necessary). 9. Smear the bottom and sides of the spring form pan with olive oil. Use a little more than half the bread crumbs, spreading a thin layer evenly over the pan. Add the chard mixture, leveling it off, but not pressing it hard. Top with the remaining bread crumbs, and drizzle the top with olive oil. 10. Put pan in preheated oven, bake for 40 minutes. 11. Remove pan, running knife edge along side of pan to release the torte. After 5 minutes rest, use a spatula to loose the torte from the pan bottom and slide it, without turning it over, onto a serving plate. Serve at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
  21. We love making these stars from kite paper to hang in our windows and to give as gifts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua__xf55z1Q
  22. We have used Alfred's Music for Little Mozarts for beginning piano.
  23. Some of the most creative and peaceful play I've seen my kids engage in was when we lived in a furnished apartment for a month while waiting to close on our house. Most of our possessions were in storage. The only toys I packed for us for that month were: 1. A basket of play silks 2. A basket of wooden blocks 3. A basket of wooden vehicles 4. A basket of Schleich animals 5. A wooden tabletop stove (we used home made playdough and pots and utensils from the kitchen to play with this). We also had a craft/art box filled with supplies. I'm trying to get back to a pared down family room/toy room since my 2, 5, and 7 year old spend most of their time constructing things out of cardboard boxes and recyclables anyway. This thread is reminding me to get on the project of creating a less cluttered and more open family room!
  24. For DS1, our alternative boy name was Graeme Francis. He would have been Honora Frances if he had been a girl. The alternative names for DS2 were Cole, Seamus, or Eamon. The alternative name for DD was Maeve Cecilia.
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