Mar 31, 2011

Curriculum Thoughts

In regards to curriculum I decided to go with my instincts and if we have to use our HSLDA lawyer to fight to be allowed to use it, so be it. I just know that my high-functioning autistic girl does not do well with a standard workbook type of curriculum. That type of curriculum allows no time for the more creative types of things that I want to do, it does not nuture her soul and it turns school time into a battle ground. I don't want it to be that way, she needs a more hands-on, creative way of learning. I know that a Waldorf curriculum can provide that for her. I also know that choosing a Waldorf curriculum here may end up causing me to have to fight for what I believe is right for my daughter. So, I kept trying to come up with ways to compromise to make it more acceptable to the officials. But in the end I decided that I am not going to let them keep me from doing what is best for her. I truly believe in Waldorf and I am very very drawn to A Little Garden Flower. I have been all along. I keep coming back to it as no matter what else I look at, her way of teaching, talking and dealing with people speaks to me and I believe it will allow me to speak to my girl in a way that will return her love of learning.

Since math is our greatest battle, last night I ordered their math curriculum to start as soon as I get it and I will order the Grade 4 curriculum for next year.

Today, I was looking at curriculum samples from the math curriculum I ordered and read some of it out to Princess Belle. It was such a lovely way to teach math that I couldn't resist. She loved it. She wanted to know more and went on to play math on her own for at least a full 1/2 hour afterwards. I love anything that turns something that has been stressful into something fun and interesting.

The more that I told her about our future curriculum, my plans for our future school days, the more she liked it. She loves the idea of a nature table, the math Gnomes were lovely, creativity was exciting. Just knowing her reactions to it all let me know that I am making the right decision in this regard.

And the fact that I emailed Melisa last night regarding her curriculum and she got back to me within a half an hour let me know that my feelings in regards to her and how she deals with people were right on as well.

In regards to our bread making adventures yesterday, the bread ended up being cooked in the oven but mixed in the breadmaker after having overflowed the machine. It tasted yummy though, and I tried again today and it seems to have been a bigger success.

Mar 30, 2011

Mommy Moments

There are moments of pure unadulterated love. Moments when the world reminds you that despite the early morning hours and stinky diapers that are here . . . in these moments are the exact reasons why you chose to be a mommy:
  1. Feeling your sick baby cuddling into your neck, sinking into you and drawing comfort from your love
  2. Hearing your toddler say, "I luv you!" with a big grin in her face
  3. Seeing the puckered up lips of your toddler waiting for a kiss

  4. Seeing your daughter finally grasp a math concept that has been eluding her
  5. Seeing your babies play in the bath together
  6. Hearing your sick baby softly whisper, "Mama" when you walk in her room to get her.
  7. Having your older daughter give you a "World's Greatest Mom" award she created herself, just because.
  8. When your toddler sees her daddy and her sick baby sister laying on the couch together and gets her blanket to cover them up.
  9. Listening to your older daughter and your toddler giggling together in their room
  10. Unsteady steps of your baby learning to walk and the complete joy on her face when she gets where she is going without falling down, only to turn and see if she can make her way back again.
  11. Being up to your elbows in bread dough and having your daughter come up and ask if she can give it a try too.

Supper tonight is going to be:


1 lg. onion, thinly sliced
3 lbs. cut up chicken
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sweet basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix diced tomatoes, tomato sauce; add rest of ingredients. Mix well. Pour over chicken and turn crock pot on high until mixture begins to boil. Turn down on low and let simmer for the day. Serve over brown or white rice and have a tossed green salad.

I was too stressed to make my bread by hand today, so I tried my breadmaker. I have had it for years but still made bread by hand. Here is the recipe I tried:

Basic White Bread

Ingredients for a 2-lb loaf (I cut this in half for a 1 lb loaf):
1 1/2 cups water
4 1/4 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Select Basic setting. Add ingredients to the pan according to manufacturer's instructions.

Mar 29, 2011

Planning, Planning, Planning

I have so much going on right now that I have to plan for.

In the immediate future, I have to plan for our upcoming move. Prince Charming has a job and I need us to get there as soon as we can. I need to plan for the financial side of actually moving and I need to plan for the physical aspect of it. We need a way to move and we need a place to move to. This is some pretty basic important things to plan.

In the not to distant future, I am planning on our curriculum for next year. I have settled on Waldorf, I am just trying to decide on a provider. They are so sticky here on approving curriculum's, I really feel like I need to buy one from a company and I am leaning towards Live Education. As far as I can tell, they are a true Waldorf curriculum and they have Returning Family and Multi-Package Discounts. I am really really drawn to A Little Garden Flower, but Prince Charming wanted one that had all the books included and from a bigger more established company may make it easier to fight for.

I have a lot of stuff swirling around in my head and I am trying to make some pretty big decisions.

I am making a nice big batch of bread tomorrow. I love the smell of fresh bread in our house and I will probably make some Newfie toutons as a treat too.

Toutons are made when egg-sized pieces of bread dough are flattened and fried in oil in a pan on medium heat. Originally, toutons were made in the morning when the woman of the house put the day’s bread to bake, after letting it rise overnight. With a topping of butter, molasses, jam or syrup they became a tasty, filling breakfast.

Mar 28, 2011

Ostrich Syndrome

Hi, My Name is Twisted Cinderella and I have Ostrich Syndrome.

Let me explain. There are some things I would rather not know. There are certain times when certain things are beyond my control and knowing them would only disturb me, and I would rather not know about them.

For example, you know those shows, where you see behind the scenes, caught on camera things that the waitress did to your food in the kitchen before she brought it out? Well, if it isn't a restaurant that I go to, then I don't want to know. I don't want to go into every restaurant I see examining the faces and actions of each employee trying to decipher their actions and motives, picturing the things they could be doing in the back, behind closed doors. I can't, I would never eat out again and I LIKE to eat out once in a while. Like an ostrich, I prefer to stick my head i the sand and pretend I don't see it.

Another example is news stories of little children in other cities, other countries, other places that are hurt and victimized in some way. I have three beautiful girls that I am constantly trying to protect. I struggle daily with trying to balance protecting them with giving them the freedom to grow up and learn from their mistakes and enjoy the world around them. It is hard enough for me to do that. But those horrible stories, break me. I see those children and my heart shatters for their lost innocence, and aches for their mothers who will forever have to live with the knowledge that someone hurt their babies. I can't take it. I sob, I have nightmares. When I close my eyes, I picture those lost souls and I hug my babies picturing them in their place, terrified that somebody will someday hurt them in that same way. A little piece of my soul is lost to each child that hear about. I don't know these lost souls. I can't help them in any way. As much as I long to, I can't gather them in my arms, kiss their foreheads and promise that I will be there for them, that I will love them, that I will take away their pain. And I want to. Each. And. Every. Time. I cry. Every. Time. I can't know about each case. I can't live with it. I can't carry that burden. I can't dream those dreams. I need to know that I live in a relatively safe Province in a relatively safe Country and that I keep my girls as safe as I can. I need to think that they will be okay.

I need to be that little kid who sticks their fingers in their ears, closes their eyes, and blocks out the horrors. Short of moving out into the woods, and living completely away from the world, I can't be absolutely certain that my girls are perfectly safe at all time, but in order to be a healthy mom with healthy kids, I need to be an ostrich with my head in the sand.

Mar 27, 2011

Mommy Senses

It's a funny thing. I wake up in bed, woken by some soft sound I can't identify but my mommy-senses being on hyper-alert, I lay in bed and listen. I hear a faint shuffling, doors opening and closing almost soundlessly. It wouldn't have woken up a normal person, but I am a mommy and my senses are trained to hear such things. Then I listen again, trying to identify the culprit. Who is out of bed? Do I need to get up? If it is my older child, I can let her be. I can get up later and survey the damage, discipline her for anything she may have done in the early morning secrecy. A part of me wants to turn over, assume it is her and go to sleep but I stay awake and listen. If it is my two year old, I have to get up. She is a one-princess-storm child and where she goes in secret disaster follows directly behind her. I listen for Princess Belle's tell-tale whispering. She is always whispering to her pretend friends and even early morning escapades are not enough to silence her chatter. But, there is none. All I hear is the soft pitter-patter of little feet on the carpet and I know.

If I can't see you, you can't see me right?

It is Princess Magpie, wandering around trying to decide what trouble she can accomplish before mommy gets up. So, I get up and sure enough there she is, grinning at me. Excited to see me, wanting me to help her start her day.

And so . . . my day begins, long before I am ready, but secret disaster crisis averted by my mommy-senses sensing things that Prince Charming was completely unaware of, I head to the coffee perk to pry my eyes open and start my day anyway.

She keeps me on my toes, but she certainly is a cute one!

Mar 26, 2011

Saturday PhotoHunt: Caged

The theme this week is Caged. I saw this theme and thought of the perfect pics, my two toddlers peeking through (and over LOL) the safety gates at me! The look like adorable little animals peeking out of their cage.

Prince Charming is coming home today and we are all excited to have him back. Princess Belle is busy making a welcome home sign and we made oatmeal raising muffins as soon as she got up. I am making some Oatmeal Scones which sound fabulous to me.

Oatmeal Scones

Makes 4 scones

1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk (I use water)
1 egg

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and work with your fingers so the mixture resembles cornmeal. Pour in the milk and egg. Stir only until combined.

With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball. On floured surface, knead gently 10 times. Place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Pat into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick round. Cut into 8 wedges.

(You can sprinkle with coarse sugar before baking)

Mar 25, 2011

Friday Five

  1. We got good news! Prince Charming has the job and they are willing to hold it so we can make arrangements to move. I am really excited about it. He is coming home tomorrow so we can start to make plans. I am almost as excited simply to have him back. I miss adult conversation. I spend way to much time on-line when he is gone. I guess without him around, I need the mental stimulation. I also haven't been out of the house since he left and these walls are beginning to close in on me.
  2. I am proud of the fact that despite being just me and the girls the last couple of days, I have managed to keep on top of the housework. The house is tidy, the laundry is done and the dishes are done, the one thing I have found is that I eat too much when he is gone. I guess it is comfort eating.
  3. The girls are doing fine. They have enjoyed the little extra things I have been doing with them, popcorn and shows, simple kids dinners, cuddles and tickles, just little things that they enjoy.
  4. We are actually having a snow storm today!!! Didn't anyone tell the weatherman it was SPRING??? I am so done with snow. I am glad to be moving in the Spring though. St. John's is a great place to live in the summer.
  5. I thought for a quick treat I would make the Princess's some cake:
Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake
Servings: 2
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1. Spray a medium microwave-safe bowl with non-stick spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and milk; blend together. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; blend into the mixture until smooth. Pour into greased bowl.
2. Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched. Since all microwaves cook differently, adjust the cooking time to accommodate your machine. To serve, let the cake cool five minutes, then cover the bowl with a plate and turn both bowl and plate upside down so the cake falls onto the plate.

Mar 24, 2011

Thursday Thoughts.

I am super tired today and so that accounts for my lack of inspiration on this post. I didn't sleep well last night bu we are getting along pretty well with Prince Charming gone. I am keeping on top of the housework okay. I get it done every evening after the girls go to bed.

Homeschool is going pretty well. Princess Belle seems to enjoying it pretty well and has really taken to learning the topics we are covering now. She has been doing crafts like crazy and is constantly coming to me with some new thing that she has put together. She is really artistic and spends hours making and creating things.

It is looking pretty good for the job that Prince Charming was interviewed for. He was supposed to come back today but he had a final step in the interview process and if it goes well then he will come back tomorrow to help me plan our move. (They are calling for a storm tomorrow so if we get it he will be gone ANOTHER day. *sigh*) While he has been gone, I have been busy collecting quotes on movers and trying to see about places to rent there.

Tomorrow I would like to get a little baking done with Princess Belle. Maybe some muffins or some cupcakes. It will be fun for the girls and yummy for them too.

Supper tonight was leftovers from a quickly prepared big pot of lunch. I haven't eaten anything yet myself. But for the girls, I put random amounts of the following together in a pot and heated through:
  • brown rice
  • lean ground beef
  • mixed beans
  • frozen corn
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • salsa
  • taco seasoning
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
It was a huge hit with all the girls. Even the toddlers had seconds of it.

dirty face from treats

Mar 23, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I am a sucker for Princess Snifflefritz in her little diaper and shirts. I just love her adorable little legs coming out of that big old diaper. She is just so sweet as she tries to make her way around the room. I can't help but grin at her as I watch her wobbly walk.

I am a little lost without Prince Charming, but we are doing okay. His job interview is today. I hope he gets it! I really want some answers soon. The best thing is that we have friends there. We have contacts there already. I would love to see some of them again. I would love to be settled there again. We lived there for four years in the same house, in the same neighbourhood. We liked it there.

I am thinking that Princess Magpie is ready to potty train, but I am so NOT ready for that step. Isn't that funny. It is the one part of mommyhood I get nervous about. I could really use any advice that any of you mommy's out there have.

She was really industrious yesterday. She emptied out the bin that all of the girls toys are in and she dragged it into the living room and after using it as a car, a table, and a stool, she then made a bed in it.

Since Prince Charming has gone for a few days, I am making an easy dinner for the girls. I am making Ground Beef and Macaroni Cheese.


1 sm. pkg. elbow macaroni, cooked
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 can tomato
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 med. bell pepper, chopped
1 lg. onion, diced

Brown meat and pour off the fat, saute onion and pepper. In large baking dish combine meat, cooked macaroni, onion, bell pepper, seasonings and tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover and top with grated cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Serves 6.

I a decided to make something different for my dinner. I need to get healthy again. I haven't been eating that well lately, but stress is no reason to screw up all this weight I have lost. So, my supper tonight is Taco Rice. I can eat the leftovers over the next couple of days.

Vegetarian Taco Rice

2-Cans Low Sodium Canned Yellow Sweet Corn
6-Cups Brown Rice
1-Packet Taco Seasoning
1-Bottle Ortega Taco Sauce (Mild, Medium, or Hot)
1-Can Black Beans (Low Sodium if possible)
Hot Sauce as wanted...

Combine packet of Taco Seasoning, Corn and Beans in separate pans to rice in large bowl. Stir in 1 bottle of Taco Sauce. (I will probably add salsa since I have some in my fridge.) Heat through.

Serving Size: Makes 9 1-cup servings, or 18 1/2 cup servings

Mar 22, 2011

Rambling Thoughts from my scattered brain.

Okay, so be prepared this may be a bit of a random ride, Prince Charming is heading out of town today for a job interview and my mind is racing around in circles. I have mixed feelings about this. Mostly I am wishing it away. I want answers now. I am not big on patience. I want to know if he has the job, I want to know if I am moving. I want to know when I am moving. I want to know how I am moving and where.

I am also nervous. This means I am home alone with three girls for a few days. I hope they let me sleep at least a little! And I don't see a lot of baths in my near future either LOL. I am thinking I will be making super easy kid friendly meals for the next couple of days and I will probably be doing less baking because lets face it, we don't need a stressed out, temporarily single mom having free access to lots of baked goodies now do we?

I am a planning fanatic. I research the heck out of things. I make plans and then improve them. I organize and sort and fix and prepare. But until things are settled all the way, I can't do any of that and it is KILLING ME. LOL. Okay, so maybe I have issues, but planning too much isn't usually a bad thing . . . right??

Btw, I watched The Biggest Loser that I had on the DVR and I love that they are all one team now. It was super episode and I LOVED it. I wonder if those new trainers will be on future seasons? I kinda hope not. They are fine and dedicated and I like them well enough, but I really really admire Bob and Jillian and The Biggest Loser wouldn't be the same without them.

Mar 21, 2011

Mumbling on Monday

I am having one of those days when my head is hurting too much to even hold my head up. I am spending my day drinking too much coffee and self-medicating with food (which I am sure I will regret tomorrow). I will return tomorrow with more to say I am sure.

In the meantime, tomorrow Prince Charming is going out of town for a job interview and I am really nervous. I hope he gets it. I hope we find out soon he gets it. I hope moving plans go smoothly. I hope we can get things organized quickly. I have a lot of things on my mind and my head hurts too much to think about them. Go figure . . .

TOS Crew Review - BrillKids Aesop's Fables Volume 1

The Aesop Fables BrillKids Reader’s that we got in the mail were an instant hit in our house. We are a house of book lovers in this house and it is always exciting when my girls get a chance to see new books, but we were especially pleased with when we got these Little Reader Storybook Series, Aesop's Fables, Volume 1. They are simplified and illustrated versions of the traditional Aesop's Fables, and the book formats are "specially designed to give your child all the fun of storybook time, while also teaching your child to read".
Currently sale priced at $37.50 (reduced from $50!) the series of 5 familiar titles is available for purchase here. This includes:
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • The Turtle and the Rabbit
  • The Fox and the Grapes
  • The Lion and the Mouse
  • The Fox and the Crow
The thing I really like is that BrillKids has done a truly brilliant thing with these readers.


Each book has a flap on the back cover that can be flipped down over the picture while reading the page. If you have a child who tends to look at the picture and guess at what the words say, or who memorizes the story and uses the picture as a cue to recite the words (rather than actually reading them), these might work for you. Once she reads the page, you can reveal the picture as a reward. An added bonus: you can use dry-erase markers to write on the flap (it’s glossy), and wipe it off easily. Use it to practice copying letters or words.

And, there is another really big bonus…

…the Little Reader Storybooks are compatible with the Little Reader software. When you purchase the books, you’ll receive a special code. If you own a license, you’ll be able to download animated audiobook versions of the books for your Little Reader software.aesops screen 1

The book plays as a slideshow with audio, first the text page, then the accompanying picture. The pictures have little touches of animation, so it’s not like an animated film, but not a static image, either.

aesops screen 2

As you can see, the program displays the words divided by syllables (alternating red and blue syllables). This is the default. You can change it so all the syllables are one color, you can also change the colors used for the text or have it use a random color (being able to change the colors could be important for children with vision issues).

Playback is customizable in other ways too:

  • set it to play through automatically or click to advance the slides
  • choose whether the picture is captioned
  • select the audio file for each slide
    • 3 different readers to choose from: a woman, a man, and a girl
  • add your own audio files (Little Reader gives you the option of recording a new file)
  • turn the pronunciation off (program then will not read the text slide)
  • add your own picture or video file
  • even change the text
  • and more

If you set the program to not advance automatically and to not pronounce the text slides, you can have your child read each text slide aloud, and then get a treat when you advance to the picture slide and she hears the program repeat what she just read. There are lots of ways you can play around with this and make it work for you, it really is well thought out.

I really enjoyed the look of the books, the colorful illustrations, the large print with the spacing between the words and the inside flap.

To see what others from the TOS Crew are saying go here!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary set of these books for the purpose of my review as a part of the TOS Crew. The opinions expressed are my own, based on my family and I’s experience using this product.

Mar 20, 2011

Relax in the bath??

These days I take mostly quick showers. I hop in, get done what needs to be done and hop out as quickly as possible to try to avert any disasters that may have occurred in my absence. From 5 am when my first child calls me until 9:30 pm, a full half an hour before I pass out in my bed, I am with my girls, cuddling, teaching, helping, and crisis averting. Yesterday, I decided it had been an extra long day and I wanted to treat myself to a nice hot soak in the bathtub. So, I beckoned Prince Charming, asked him to watch the girls and started up the bath.

Well, it wasn't the most relaxing bath I have ever had, let me tell you. First of all, after getting the water started, I realized I forgot my shampoo in the other room. So, I closed quickly went down the hall to go get it when the bathroom door locked behind me, with the water running in the bathtub!!! And we have one of those weird bathroom handles with no hole in the middle. But, Prince Charming and his lucky screwdriver came to my rescue and a disaster was prevented. So fast forward and now I am soaking in the bath, this should be the relaxing part, right? Ummm . . . it would be except for the two year old screaming outside the door convinced she needs to be in the bathroom too and that mommy is never coming out. Prince Charming, bless him, tried and she was coaxed away from the door for a short while only to come rushing back as soon as she remembered. When I got out of the bath (somehow not relaxed after all) she glued herself to my side and had to be cuddled for a full half hour before she could get over the trauma that was mommy's nice hot relaxing soak in the bath.

Princess Pout

It's a good thing she's cute!

I have already given up rights to a full night's sleep, I am not ready to give up hot baths too!

At one point in standing in the middle of two crying toddlers, I told Prince Charming that for my birthday today, I wanted children that weren't crying , he told me that he would see if he could pick some up at the grocery store.

Mar 19, 2011

Saturday Stuff

Thanks to my beautiful girls, I rose before the early bird, the rooster and the sun! By 6:30 I had my second batch of muffins in the oven and by 8 am I had laundry done, the baby back down for a nap, supper in the slow cooker and was relaxing with my email and a nice hot cup of coffee. I am a little tired now, but I still managed to get more laundry done and to get the extra dining room and kitchen cleaning done.

I was hoping to get Princess Belle out a festival that was going on today in town, but we have a storm warning and and I HATE driving in bad weather. So we are staying in.

The culprits behind my early productivity

as I said, tonight's supper is a simple slowcooker meal:

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken

16 boneless chicken thighs
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/3 cups water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

1. Put the chicken pieces and potatoes into a slow cooker. Combine the soup, water, cornstarch and dry soup mix and pour over the chicken. Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. Serve over mashed potatoes!

Mar 18, 2011

Friday Five

I have been waffling a bit about the coming homeschool year, trying to make the best decisions regarding Princess Belle's curriculum, but I made some final decisions and I am very confident in them. I am even excited about the coming year.

Prince Charming has a job interview this week. Wish him luck! It will mean great things for us and I am really hopeful that he will get it.

Princess Magpie seems to be getting a little less jealous of Princess Snifflefritz lately. She hates to hear her cry and is quicker to help her out and give her things instead of taking things from her all the time. It is sweet to see.

I have come up with a cute solution regarding the carpet in the living room and kids snacks. I get out a blanket and they have a picnic in the living room. they get a kick out of it and it protects the carpet. I only wish I had come up with this idea when we first moved here! (ignore the mess you see creeping in on the edge of this pic, I haven't had a chance to clean up their other messy bits yet)

I made a fun supper for my family yesterday that was a big hit. When I made bread, I made one loaf on a round cookie sheet and made it a big round loaf. After it was cooked, I cut it in two, scooped out some of the center (saved for bread crumbs) and filled the center with pizza type fillings, a little tomato sauce, some deli meats, some cheese and some cooked ground beef. Then I heated it up. When I was done it looked a little like a giant hamburger, but Prince Charming said it tasted like a homemade oven-sub. They only managed to eat half of it and ate the rest of it for breakfast and lunch today! I have a pic of it (notice the teaspoon to compare size)

Mar 17, 2011

Thursday Thoughts.

I had big plans today. As soon as I got up, I got ready and started to make bread, I underestimated how much flour I would need and ran out of flour half way through. So, I set it to it's first rising and ran out and got flour to finish.

After I was done, I started going through our storage space. I got through that and was bunning down the bread when someone came to give us an estimate on possibly helping us with our move. I hadn't gotten around to tidying up the kids' mess when she got here (which I hate), but that's all I could do. I can only move so fast.

I am making some muffins after the bread comes out of the oven.

(I don't know if I told you, but Prince Charming has a job interview out of town, so that would possibly speed up our move)

Blueberry Muffins

Servings: 6

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries (I use frozen)

1. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, water, applesauce and vanilla; add to the dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill greased or paper-line muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Although I tend to do my bread making mostly by how it feels, here is the recipe I use as a starting point:

Basic White Bread

Baking Time
25-30 minutes.


2 tsp sugar
1 cup water, warm
2 envelope active dry yeast
2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter or margarine
4 tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
1 cup water, warm
10 - 11 cups White Flour


DISSOLVE 2 teaspoon sugar in 1 cup warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir well.

HEAT milk to lukewarm. Stir in butter, 4 tablespoons sugar, salt and 1 cup warm water. Add milk mixture and 4 cups Robin Hood Best For Bread Homestyle White Flour to dissolved yeast mixture. Beat with wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth and elastic.

STIR IN remaining flour gradually. If necessary, add more flour to make a soft dough which leaves sides of bowl. Turn out on floured board. Round up into a ball.

KNEAD dough, adding more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth, elastic and no longer sticky (about 10 minutes).

PLACE in lightly greased bowl. Turn dough to greased top. Cover with greased waxed paper and tea towel.

LET RISE in warm place (75°-85°F/24°-29°C) until doubled (45-60 minutes).

PUNCH DOWN. Turn out onto lightly floured board and divide into 2 equal portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

SHAPE each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down in 2 greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/4" (1.5 L) loaf pans. Cover with tea towel.

LET RISE in warm place until dough rises 1 1/2" (3 cm) above top of pan in centre and corners are filled (45 to 60 minutes).

BAKE at 400°F (200°C) on lower oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately. Brush top crust with butter if a soft crust is desired. Cool on wire racks.

Mar 15, 2011

Random Tuesday Tidbits

Princess Belle has been busy this morning. Because she doesn't have the shows she likes, she has been accidentally learning instead. I loved it so much, I waited to start school so she could keep it up. She was reading and studying a nature book and drawing diagrams of various things including sorting them into categories. She was reading and sharing a book about Canadian Geography and she watched a video on Canadian History. She has spent her whole morning voluntarily learning.

Once we started actual bookwork, it went downhill for a little while. She developed her nine-year-old attitude and said she was bored with it. But after a little struggle and frustration, we pulled it together and actually did okay and had a little fun with our work.

I changed around the living room yesterday evening. I needed to get the couch away from the window because the girls were climbing it and pulling on the curtains, bending the curtain rods. So now the television and bookshelves are in front of the bottom of the window (blocking their access). It actually looks okay.

I have been thinking about our education goals for next year and I have decided that I am going to do Waldorf with Montessori elements brought in. I think it will suit us better than strictly Waldorf alone. I can't wait to be able to get our new curriculum. There are parts of it I plan to use right away.

I am making a treat of fried chicken for supper tonight. I think Prince Charming will love it! I am also making some cookies today. I am having fun spoiling my family with all the goodies I have been making. They are in no way feeling the fact that I had to be very frugal with my groceries. Old fashioned cooking and baking is making my house smell yummy and homey all the time.

Southern Fried Chicken

1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 egg
1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1. Beat egg and milk together in a shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, then season chicken pieces and roll in flour. Shake well.

2. Add 1/2 to 3/4 inch oil to a large, heavy skillet. Heat to approximately 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Place chicken pieces in hot oil. Cover, and fry until golden, turning once, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (since this is a treat and not a diet recipe in any way, I will probably experiment with using my fryer for this one )

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    1-1/2 cups rolled oats, (not instant)
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2/3 cup softened butter
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup raisins
1. In bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder and baking soda, and salt.
2. In separate large bowl, beat softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture. Stir in raisins.
3. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
4. Bake in centre of 375°F oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool on pans on racks for about 2 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool completely.

Mar 14, 2011

My Monday Mumblings

I have been wearing dresses on Princess Snifflefritz. I LOVE how patient she is. She gets tangled up in them when she crawls but she just takes her time and adapts, she doesn't get frustrated. She is such an easy going child. She has even developed this funny butt-stuck-up-in-the-air crawl which makes us laugh

I have been a little concerned about Princess Magpie's eating. She has always been strong-willed but she gotten so picky lately and she is perfectly content to go without food instead of eating something she deems inedible. I worry about her because, although she looks chubbier than her sisters, she isn't really. She is just built differently and she is losing weight lately. I am open to any ideas you guys might have on this.

Another thing (to go along with yesterday's post) that I told Princess Belle is that we would work together to come up with other things to fill our time instead of television and the computer. I know these are handy crutches but they take up entirely too much of our time. So as the weather gets warmer, we will start going out after homeschool every day. And another goal is that by next year, I would like to find things to do out of the house in the winter time. We will be moved by then, so hopefully our options will be wider.

I had a lovely 4 hours sleep last night and even that wasn't in a row. I am tired and grouchy today, but I am trying to put on a happy face. In light of that, I made some healthy Oatmeal Raisin Muffins for breakfast. They smell and taste fabulous!!

For Supper I am trying a new recipe, Beef Skillet Dinner. It was really yummy and inexpensive and easy. It was a huge hit with everyone including the kids. Next time I may use less tomatoes and more salsa, but even as it is, my family loved it.

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins


* 1 1/4 cups Flour
* 1 Tbs. baking powder
* 1 Tsp. Salt
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 cup uncooked quick Oats
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1 egg
* 1 cup water
* 1/3 cup applesauce

How to make it

* Mix in large Bowl: First 4 ingredients
* Stir in oats and raisins
* Beat egg and milk together.
* Add oil
* Add this mixture to Flour mixture
* Stir until dry ingredients are wet leaving batter lumpy
* Fill greased muffin tins have full Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
* Makes 12 Muffins

Beef Skillet Dinner

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 cups brown rice, cooked
1 can beans (I used white kidney beans)
1 cup salsa (I didn't measure)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup shredded lite cheese
1 cup frozen corn


1. In a large skillet or saucepan, brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Drain, rinse and set aside.

2. In the same saucepan, add the brown rice. Add the browned beef, black beans, salsa, undrained diced tomatoes, ground cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper, to taste. Once boiling together, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until it has cooked through. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover until melted.

Mar 13, 2011

Sunday Sum-up

Just a lazy day at home with my girls. I made a chicken and pasta dinner for supper that I will share when I have it perfected.

There are some things my girls do that baffle me, such as systematically grinding crackers into the carpet, tearing apart the couch every chance they get and emptying out my linen closet every time I turn my back.

I have been trying to convince Princess Belle to have different idols than these "puppy in a purse-rich blonde bimbo-boy chasing-barbie" types. I would like her to just be the best Princess Belle she can be but she keeps patterning her ideal off characters she sees on television. Prince Charming and talked and we told her we have decided to block some shows from the television. It isn't a punishment, I just don't want her trying to be something other than what she is. So, we have decided that we are limiting her to mostly educational shows and cutting out all the shows aimed at young adults. She is only a little girl. I would like her to stay that way as long as possible and not rush headlong as quickly as she can into adulthood (or at least teenage-hood).

Princess Belle being her best superhero

I have promised her that I will help her to feel pretty by getting her nice skirts (LONG ENOUGH) and letting her hair grow out but layering it so that it doesn't get tangled. We talked about her being a strong girl who has an opinion of her own and isn't afraid to be her own person. I actually would like some stories and movies and things that feature strong women and girls that she can look up to.

I have also been trying to convince Princess Snifflefritz (unsuccessfully) that it doesn't matter if her two year old sister yells at her. She doesn't have to take it to heart and cry. She is convinced that if her sister (who again is TWO and only marginally bigger than she is) yells at her she is in trouble and it breaks her little bitty heart.

Mar 12, 2011

Conversation with Princess Belle:

Belle: Look mom, I made a paper doll and he is dancing. He is always dancing.

Me: Cool. Umm . . . he has a hole in his head.

Belle: Yup, and he is always dancing.

Me: Of course he is dancing, his brain fell out, he is always happy and so he is always dancing.

Belle: Giggle. Nooooo, they took out his brain so that they could take away his autism and stuff and then put it back. Wouldn't that be nice?

Me: Yeah, wouldn't that be nice? Actually on second thought, no I wouldn't like you to have that surgery. I think you are special just the way you are and I wouldn't want to take away the autism and then change who you are.

Belle: What do you mean?

Me: You are fun and creative and musical and I would be afraid that taking away the autism would change any part of that. You are special and perfect just the way you are. Well, maybe not perfect, perfect people wouldn't wake up their sisters at 5 o'clock in the morning, but you are special.

Belle: *Giggle* Okay *Happily dances off with her paper doll with the hole in his head.*