Friday, April 13, 2007

My Great Idea: Oatmeal Bar

Oatmeal is not my sons' favorite breakfast.  It is on the breakfast rotation once every two weeks.  Every time I serve it, my boys run to the breakfast table with hungry bellies and then groan when they see the hot steaming bowls of oatmeal...except today.  Today, God gave me a fabulous idea!


This morning when the boys ran to the table, they found my tupperware sectioned server filled with oatmeal "accessories."  As they were oohing and aahing over the items in each section I explained that they could make their oatmeal anyway they wanted.  I had my teapot filled with hot water and covered with the tea cozy for warmth.  The boys selected a packet of oatmeal and added water to their bowl.  Then they chose from sunflower seeds, raisins, apples, bananas, honey, brown sugar, and/or peanut butter to add to their oatmeal.


It was the first time I served oatmeal without groans!  I also included a few packets of hot chocolate for them and some mugs to make a warm beverage to go with their warm cereal.  My oldest son said, "Mommy how do you come up with these great ideas?"  My answer?  "God!"

Touring PA

I just wrote up this list of activities we've encountered in PA and I thought I'd post them here for all to peruse!


These are locations we've actually visited and enjoyed with websites so that you can plan your visit!


If you're in central PA, there are several free places to visit.  In Harrisburg the state museum is free.   It's not hands-on, but my guys still enjoy it.  You can also visit our state capitol building right across the street.  It is also free and has a very interesting hands-on orientation room.  The capitol itself is also very interesting, beautiful, and ornate.   My guys LOVE to visit the capitol building.


In Hershey, PA a ride through Chocolate World is fun and free, there are other features for which you must pay, but just the chocolate world ride is free and there is free parking if all you are doing in Choc. World.  There is a museum that is a lot of fun, but there is an entry fee required.  However, the fee is small and the museum is pretty cool.


In State College, PA you can visit Penn State University.  We have not visited these museums, but plan to soon.  They have a few museums on campus, again, free!

-Palmer Museum of Art:

-Frost Entomological Museum:

-Penn State All Sports Museum:

-Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum:

-Pasto Agricultural Museum:

-Mascaro-Steiniger Turfgrass Museum:


If you just need a break from the car, stop at a state park.  The parks we've visited thus far are neatly kept and usually offer trails, play grounds and sometimes lakes and pools.  The swimming pools usually have a fee, but the lakes that have swimming areas are free.  Our two favorites are Col. Denning for the free swimming in the icy cold lake:  And Little Buffalo, which is near our home, for swimming in the pool in the summer, playing on the parks and fishing in the Fall and Spring, and hiking the trails and exercise trail any time of the year:  They have lots of activities year-round like a Christmas walk, and an apple butter boil.


Pittsburg has TONS of neat museums, but all come at a cost.  We all loved the Carnegie Science Center and the Carnegie Natural History Museum.  (I loved the art museum!)


Of course if you're going to the Eastern side, there's Philadelphia.  There's tons to do there!  Right now, King Tut's collection is being exhibited at the Frankline Institute (this is not free)  or  We really liked the National Constitution Center: but it came at a cost.  You can also see the liberty bell and tour Independance Hall.  My guys LOVED this tour:


OH, one more!  Gettysburg!  We spend 3-4 days there every summer there is so much to do and we STILL haven't done it all!

-Eisenhower Farm


In Northern PA, the PA grand canyon is beautiful any time of year.   Right outside of it is the town of Wellsboro which still has gas street lamps.  It's a slice of Americana.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but there's lots to do in PA and much of it is free.  I hope you can find something fun the next time you're through the area.