Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recipe Found

Over a year ago I lost a recipe.  This was a recipe given to me at a restaurant that is no longer in business in Lancaster County PA.  I was preparing to make it as part of my bi-weekly menu planning.  I had pulled the recipe out of my card file.  And then...it was gone!  I couldn't find it anywhere!  Since then I have been searching for that recipe.  I looked on-line to no avail.  I called relatives. (I thought my mom and sister were with me when I got this recipe)  They didn't remember this recipe at all.


Today, I tackled one of the items on my four-page to do list.  I cleaned out the desk apprentice.  We have a wonderful organizer for paper and school supplies called the "Desk Apprentice."  It sits in an honored place in the corner of the kitchen right by the table where we do most of our work.  But, as most things in our kitchen, it became a dumping ground.  My organizer was in desperate need of organizing.  So I completely emptied it onto the kitchen table.  As I got to the bottom of the organizer guess what I found?  MY RECIPE!  Yippee!  Praise God!


Now, in order that I never lose this recipe again.  I am going to record it here for all posterity.  Please try it.  It is the most delicious soup.  And now, if I lose my card again...I can find it in my blog!


Chicken Corn Soup

from The Family Style Restaurant

Lancaster, PA


1 lb chicken breast

1 quart water

4 chicken bouillon

1/2 C diced celery

1/2 C. diced onions

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. celery seed

1-16 oz can whole kernel corn

2-16 oz cans creamed corn

1-103/4 oz can cream of celery soup


Dough Balls:

1 C flour

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder


In large pot, place chicken, 4 bouillon cubes and 1 qt of water.  Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour or till chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pot, pick chicken from the bone and discard bones and skin.  Dice the meat and return it to the pot.


Add remaining soup ingredients and simmer approximately 15 minutes till celery and onions are tneder.


Mix dough balls by combining flour, egg, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Sift the mixture through your hand into the soup and continue to stir.  Simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  now your soup is ready to serve.


Makes approximately 3 quarts or 12 cups.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Thing I Can't Live Without: Trays

Continuing in my series of "Things I can't live without", I would like to tell you about our trays.  I used to collect trays.  In our apartment I had a display of them hanging on the wall of our dining room.  After we began homeschooling, my husband went to the cafeteria located in the building where he works and purchased some plastic trays.  He brought home a stack of 6-8 plastic trays.


I use these trays weekly.  We use them for art projects.  T-Bone loves to add glitter to cards and pictures.  I have him make his creations on the tray.  When he is finished, I can pick up the tray and place it on the kitchen counter, or on top of the refrigerator out of the way.  When the project dries, I can tip the tray and put all the excess glitter back into the bottle, or throw it away.  I have even written the boys names on each of two trays so that I can give them "their" tray on which to put an art project.  A few of the trays have paint marks on them because they can paint outside the lines and off the paper.  If a tray has a paint mark on it I am not upset.  If our kitchen table has a big blue paint mark, I may be a bit more distressed.


Right now, for our Pilgrim/Thanksgiving study, we are building log cabins out of Lincoln Logs.  I have the boys build them on trays so that we can easily move the cabins off the table in order to eat our supper.


When we have multiple projects, like Christmas cards, I can place 2 or three cards on a tray at a time to dry.  By stacking one tray across another they can stack up without pressing down on the artwork beneath them.  This is how we allow paintings to dry also.


Of course, we have other trays.  There is a decorative inlaid-wooden tray on our table right now.  It is filled with leaves, a pumpkin, candles, an apple and our pilgrim salt and pepper shakers.  This is our holiday centerpiece.  The boys have added to it when they find something seasonal that reminds them of harvest-time and Thanksgiving.


We also have TV trays.  These are wooden trays with legs on them.  We use those to eat supper in the living room on cold nights when it's just nicer to be by the fire then to be in the kitchen.  Those trays come in handy when the boys want to color or write while watching TV, or if we want to have our lessons in the living room.


Trays are something I definitely cannot live without.  I get so much use from them.  Find a school or restaurant in your area that might allow you to purchase a few and you will find them indespensable!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making Dice

I love games.  For the past couple years I've been intrigued with making my own games.  I'm part of a yahoo group that revolves around making educational games for homeschool and school-school.  About a year ago I made a game from a suggestion by one of the mom's on that group.  The game is called "Extinction."  On the dice, 5 of the six sides are normal with dots representing numbers.  One side has a dinosaur instead of a number or dot.  Rules: First player rolls the 3 dice. The highest number is set aside and he rolls the remaining two dice. The highest of that roll is set aside and he rolls the remaining die (only 1 die is set aside from each roll.) Player's score is determined by adding up the 3 dice. EXTINCTION happens when a player rolls either 3 dinos in the first roll, 2 dinos on the second roll, or 1 dino on the third roll. At that time the score is reduced to zero and the player starts again. First player to reach a score of 100 wins.

When I read about this game I knew I wanted to make it.  The original person who suggested the game simply put a dinosaur sticker over the 1 dot on a regular set of dice.  Me being an overachiever and all, I had to make a set of dice.  So I bought a package of wooden cubes at the craft store (very inexpensive) and started by painting them with acrylic paint.  I put a few coats, allowing them to dry for several hours.  Then I used a contrasting color of paint and painted the dots onto five of the six sides of the cube.  I had a set of small dinosaur stickers and I used three different dinosaurs on the blank sides of the three dice.  When the number spots had dried completely, I got out some clear acrylic sealer and painted a few coats onto the dice.  These dice have stayed beautiful for more than a year.  So I would consider it a success.


Last week, I made two new dice.  Each die is unique to its own use.  One is the chores dice.  Every Monday, the boys roll for the chores that they will have for the following week.  Each boys has three daily chores and since we have two boys, it lends itself nicely to dice.  So, once again, I got out the acrylic paint and painted a few coats.  This time I used light blue.  Then, when the paint was dry, I wrote the chores using permanent black marker onto each side of the dice.  Then I painted several coats of clear acrylic sealer, allowing it to dry between coats.


The other die was painted yellow and on the sides we have written:  Mommy, Daddy, Big Mac, T Bone, You Choose, and You Choose.  This die will be used for a new game we are developing called, "Family Favorites."  I read about this game in the October "Highlights" magazine.  We will be making a list of everyone favorites in the family.  Then we will make a deck of cards that say, "Favorite Food", "Favorite Movie", "Favorite Book", etc...  The way the game will be played is that one person will roll the die to see for whom he has to guess a favorite.  Then he will pick a card and try to guess that persons favorite based on the card.  If he gets it right, he gets a point.


I like to make dice.  And I love to play games.  I especially love games that teach.  Extinction teaches math.  The chores dice teaches responsibility and Family Favorites will teach us more about each other.  You can't get any better than that.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First "Laying Down" Snow

Today was our first snow fall that laid down on the ground.  The boys were outside within 30 minutes of their waking.  Big Mac found this leaf frozen in the ice and took a picture.  It's quite beautiful.  Good job, God!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Overheard in Newport, PA

This afternoon my sons and I were hanging out by the fireplace in the living room and our youngest son, T-Bone, who is 10 years old said, "You know what they should make?  Bubble wrap clothing.  Because then when you fall off of something it wouldn't hurt!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Use What You've Got

We are reading Margaret Pumphrey's "Pilgrim Stories" in these days leading up to Thanksgiving.  It is a wonderful book we downloaded last week at www.homeschoolfreebie.com  If you ever have a chance to read this to your children, do it!

In today's reading the Pilgrims had escaped religious persecution in England by going to Holland.  The chapters we read explained about life in Holland with much detail.  It was a mini-geography lesson.  As I was reading I was reminded of a story-book I picked up at a library sale years ago.  When finishing the chapter, there was a footnote about reading a poem to your students about the child who put his hand in a hole in the dyke holding back the sea in order to save his community.  So, even though we weren't finished with our reading of Pilgrim Stories, I skipped over to the PC to find the poem in question.  It's called, "The Leak in the Dike" by Phoebe Cary and you can find it here:  http://www.poetry-archive.com/c/the_leak_in_the_dike.html

Then I ran upstairs to the bookshelf in the boys' room where we keep the picture books and found our old and worn copy of "The Wheel on the Chimney" by Margaret Wise Brown.  Yes, this is the author of "Goodnight Moon."  The book we read was all about storks.  Although it was a picture book, the information given really gave us a knowledge of storks and how they live.

So, we had science, geography AND history (language arts, too, by just reading) and all we had done was read!  Of course, our Thanksgiving lessons included much more than this, but I was so thrilled with how this morning progressed.  I love homeschooling because I can see what needs to be done and do it.  There are no pre-submitted lesson plans to which I need to stick.  I can spontaneously use whatever materials are at my hand and it turns into a great day.

Grocery Bonanza

I just had the greatest time at the grocery store today!  Last Spring I attended Cindy Rushton's Ultimate Homeschool Seminar.  One of the seminars was on saving money at the grocery store.  It was given by Crystal Paine.  Since then, I have frequented her website/blog www.monesavingmom.com to learn more about using coupons wisely.  I've also learned how to CVS.  Yep, it's a verb.  I enjoy CVSing!  But that's for another entry.


Today, I went to a local grocery store with coupons in hand.  I spend Sunday afternoon clipping most of the coupons out of the Sunday paper.  We buy two papers on Sunday.  Then I go through the sale papers for the two major supermarkets in our area.  I list the items on sale that week at each particular store and then I pull out my coupons and figure out the price of the items after sale and coupons.  I don't buy everything that's on sale and for which I have a coupon.  I try to stick to the bargains.  I have a little notebook for all of my shopping lists.  I have a page for each store and I write my grocery list by writing the items I wish to buy per store.


Well, today I had a discount I could use at one local grocery store.  I had accumulated enough points through prior purchases to receive 10% off my total order.  Also, for this store, there was a coupon on the front of the paper for $5 off a purchase of $50.  One other reason I was shopping at this store was that I could get a turkey for 37 cents a pound if I made a $25 purchase.  So, with all of that being said...here's what I got for $51.71.  I think I did pretty great!!!


Want the list?  For $51.71 I got:  1 large bottle of extra virgin olive oil, 1 sm. bottle of reg. olive oil, 1 dozen eggs, 2 boxes soft pretzels filled with mozz. cheese, 2 containers of cool whip, 1 spreadable butter, 1 bag frozen corn with butter sauce, 2 tubes of crescent rolls, 1 bag decaf coffee, 1 large bag of rice, 1 tub of buttery spread, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 22-pound turkey, 4 bags of salad croutons, 2 gallons of skim milk, 1 bag frozen vegetables in cheese sauce, 4 rolls of toilet paper, 6 boxes of pudding, 4 cans tropical fruit salad! 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving for Free

I decided late last week to spend the rest of our lesson's days doing Thanksgiving activities.  For the past few weeks I have been receiving free downloads from various sources.  I saved them in a "Thanksgiving" folder on my PC.  So, on Friday, I printed out my favorite lessons plans pages and began writing out plans for the eight lessons days leading up to Thanksgiving.  I have a lot of lessons and activities for the boys and myself and I've downloaded all of them for free!

It may be too late for you to download some of these resources, but if you make yourself aware of them, you will have an abundance of downloads in the future.  Christmas is right around the corner!.

First, here is the link to those planner pages I told you I love.  They can be found at Hold That Thought's website:  http://www.holdthatthought.com/free.php  I love these free forms that Hold That Thought offers.  They also have a really great Father's Day card on their "extras" page, but I digress.

Of course, I've gotten many resources from www.homeschoolfreebie.com  We are currently reading Margaret Pumphrey's Pilgrim Stories which we downloaded last week at homeschoolfreebie.  We will also read An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott which was a download at homeschool freebie last week.

We are doing a three-day Thanksgiving unit study from Brandenburg which we received from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's "Teaching Toolbox" ezine.  They send a themed ezine monthly with a terrific download, usually a unit study or a lapbook.  Last month's was the Thanksgiving ezine.  This is a free online feature for subscribers to The Old Schoolhouse magazine.

I also downloaded a free resource from www.currclick.com.  If you're not checking out their free downloads on Mondays, you need to add that you your list of weekly to do's.  One of the freebies you can take advantage of now is the free Thanksgiving notebooking pages.  Just hit the word "Free" on the left side of the screen and you will find it there.

Vision Forum has several cute Thanksgiving crafts as well as recipes and other activities here:  http://www.visionforum.com/thanksgiving/?&sc=501191

If you follow the happenings at The Old Schoolhouse Store's Spotlight blog they sometimes offer great discounts and even freebies.  I subscribed to this blog so that I get an email every time there is a new posting.  Last week, they offered a free activity pak from Hands of a Child.  Although this Fall/Harvest activity pack is a little young for my guys, I know I can adapt it to their age.  You can find this blog here:  http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/storespotlight

So, we're having a free Thanksgiving unit study.  And it's of great quality.  I just love the homeschooling community on the internet.  I get some great resources, many for free, but when I do buy something, I'm helping another homeschooling mother and therefore perpetuating our calling!  Go Homeschool Mom!