Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who Was President the Year you were Born??

Lauren picked out this laminated place mat at Wal-Mart this week and has been fascinated by the facts on the back and has sparked a number of questions from her.  Her favorite..... asking who was president when you were born- I told her -- Lyndon Johnson for myself and Eisenhower for dad when she asked for specifics.  She was quiet for a moment , then joyfully stated, "I know when Granny Elmo (my maternal grandmother in her late 80's) was born, when I aked which president , she confidently stated- Abraham Lincoln!!!  correct answer-Harding

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crusty Rolls for Po Bo's and Muffeleta/Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman

The menu this week called for Oyster Po boys-reasoning- we had originally scheduled a beach trip, but between the oil spill threatening to wash ashore and my husband on sulfa drugs that cause sun sensitivities- we stayed home. I chose to make the bread using the recipe for crusty rolls from Marcy Goldman's Passion for Baking .  She even has a webiste click here that features free recipes and a newsletter with tips for baking.  This book has an abundance of really good and different recipes for a variety of baked goods- I am especially drawn to the yeasted bread ones.  She also a yummy dessert recipes as well.  Here are some pics of the crusty bread in different stages...quick sponge, the dough mixed all together, the risen dough (almost to the top of the mixer bowl), and shaped rolls and the baked rolls.  Will definitely use this recipe again- it makes 12 delicious rolls.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garden Center Fun

Stopped at a nearby garden center to check out new plant varieties and look for a specific viburnum-chinese snowball.  Row after row of beautiful plant life and reading plant tags to determine bloom color kept Lauren busy for quite some time.  She really liked their playground , wooden swings, and koi pond.  I forgot to take a photo of the 1800 era headstones behind the center-they were underneath a magestic magnolia tree in a quiet shaded area.  I realized later that eveing those stones made a big impression upon her-she told her friends about them in first seconds she saw them- what is with kids and spooky things???

Friday, May 21, 2010

Little Kitten and Lauren

Lauren is not really sleeping-just pretending that little kitten slept with her.  She is having so much fun feeding and playing with them.  Her favorite activity is putting them down for a nap- she is so proud of herself when they fall asleep- I am pleased that she is so gentle with them and likes to help with their feedings. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Aquatic Scientists

We joined some fellow homeschooler's for an aquatic program at a local state park to determine how healthy the education pond was.  The student's handled a d nets and seine nets to capture what type of animal life lived in the pond.  Would add that the kids had loads of fun dipping the nets in and scraping the bottom of the pond in their water boots.  The nets were brought onto land and carefully picked through for any signs of life and if found- they were placed in small plastic tubs for identification.  The most common animal found - mayflies- which tolerate very little pollution- giving us a pretty good indication that the pond was quite healthy.  Also found- dragonfly larvae, minnows and tadpoles. Lauren knew before going that she would be able to get wet and muddy and wore clothes to do so.  However, she declined to get in the water-unusual for her since she loves getting dirty at home-even had a towel and a change of clothes- still no going in for her- she spent her time helping to identify the specimens , looking for crayfish holes and watching different bees buzzing around. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Finally- Success with Gardenias

I cannot recall how many times I have failed when it comes to growing gardenias.  We moved to our current home last July- there was very little done in relation to landscaping -seriously, seriously lacking.  This March I decided to give gardenias another try- purchased two Southern Living Jubilation Gardenias and amended the soil.  By April they started developing many little buds and early May - I began my daily inspection to check on their progress- no whitefly, no burning or dropping off of buds- all good signs.  The buds swelled to a fairly good size and then stopped, I patiently waited their opening and was rewarded with their sweet smelling blooms yesterday for the very first time-kinda felt like I was their mother!!!  The plant is reported to bloom again later this fall- we will see if that happens.  Noticed at the nurseries this past weekend that they had sold out of all the jubilation varieties - but had plenty August Beauty, Dwarf, Radicans and Frost Proof types-just the fact that I can recall those varieties off of the type of my head should give you an idea about the number of times I have tried unsuccessfully to grow these beauties- hopefully I am not speaking too soon.  Would love to see them get established as well as those at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama-just love walking their grounds and seeing the beautiful landscapes they have cultivated.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kindergarten Graduation

Monday, April 26th, was Lauren's last day as a Kindergarten student  at her once a week homeschool group.  The above picture is of her classmates and teachers.  The lady on the left also teaches Lauren piano lessons.  Lauren was so happy to read that the 1st grade students are not required to lay down for naps- she is not a napper and has not been for quite some time now.  We will continue to homeschool for the 2010-2011 school year and will take one week off for the months of May, June and July.  I remember all too well spending the first 6-9 weeks with my students reviewing what they learned last year and was so disappointed to find that a lot of them forgot their addition and subtraction facts in the lower grades.  Hoping this helps Lauren retain what she has learned and it also allows us to have shorter time periods of instruction.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Harvesting Lettuce

Finally- the black seeded simpson lettuce we planted in March is ready to harvest.  The heading type lettuces we started earlier- Iceberg and Buttercrunch did not "make" nearly as well as this loose leaf variety- will plant more of this for a fall supply.  Such a shame that the tomatoes are not ready as well.   As you can see- I do have weeds in my garden-I tend to be a lazy gardener and pull out weeds on a daily basis just as I am checking the health of the plants instead of just getting in there and pulling weeds.  The lettuce above is planted with some roses, sweet william, rosemary, swiss chard and morning glories-their vibrant green color and form make a nice compliment to the other vegetation.  Thinking that next time I will start them in trays and transplant later to make it easier to mulch the entire bed and will add arugula as well.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Four Generations of Females

My Grandmother, Mother, Lauren and myself.  Took several photos and not one was exactly what I wanted- this was one of the better ones- difficulty getting everyone to have a pleasant expression at the same time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Very Good Way to Smash Strawberries

Getting ready to make strawberry freezer jam, I realized that Lauren's little hands would be perfect for smashing the strawberries.  After washing her hands MYSELF- I instructed her the squish the berries- she had a great time.  Liked that the recipe called for considerably less sugar than others we had reviewed and it turned out to have a very pretty color. Cliff, however, commented that it could use more sugar.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Queen Elizabeth Rose

Love the clear pink hue of this grandiflora rose Queen Elizabeth.  Just had to snip the blooms to take camping with us this weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Pickers Are Here!

Borrowed the above title from the classic Jimmy Stewart movie Shenadoah-Cliff, Lauren and I went to Scott, Arkansas this morning to pick strawberries-lots of fresh berries to be found in our area-but very few will let you pick them yourself.  Cliff picked 5 lbs, Lauren 4 lbs. and I picked 3 lbs for a total of 12 pounds of strawberries. Plans are to just enjoy them plain, with angel food cake, chocolate covered, strawberry butter, with yogurt , in salads  and strawberry jam.  Also included a picture of Lauren picking honeysuckle- the fragrance was amazing!!!  The temperature hit 93 today-predicted to be in the 70's on Saturday.

Sewing Projects


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