Archives for posts with tag: baking

Little Brooks and I did some crazy, intensive homeschooling today. With two and a half weeks of Mommy being crippled by pain it was more a necessity than an aim for extra excellence. Homeschooling in June is not on my current to do list. I intend to keep it that way, especially since we’re thinking of enrolling Brooks in school next year (gasp!).

So after an all day school fest Brooks and I were ready for some low key art. Poor Marilyn has been sick all day with a fever and cough. She’d been sleeping on and off all day, which was def for the best since she’d been having a tough time sleeping through the night. She’d wanted to join us for art but fell asleep before we got around to it. BB said for sure we’d have to redo this project with her, since he loved it so much and knew she’d enjoy it too.

As a side note, I made chicken and dumplings for lunch/dinner (since with my gimpy foot making one meal that lasts two just makes the most sense) for Ms. Marilyn, since I always think chicken soup of any kind hits the spot when sick. Here’s the link for that because it was insanely fabulous: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/chicken-and-dumplings/

And back to the art project…

I found this project on a blog called Bloesem Kids. http://bkids.typepad.com/bookhoucraftprojects/2008/04/project-17-scri.html The original project called for doodles and scribbles created with india ink being cut and then pasted into a surreal flower garden collage. Brilliant! Little B, being Little B, decided that what he really wanted to do was create a surreal flower garden with india ink, sans the cutting and collage making. And so he did. He told me later this one was frame-able.

After art we headed into the kitchen to make marbled Easter egg cookies. I wasn’t able to take pictures of the process since I was helping The Boy and we both ended up with marbled hands from the process. We’re both used to making big batches of whatever it is we’re baking and had to giggle furiously at the small amount of cookie dough produced. We both hedged bets on how many cookies we’d end up with. I figured six, BB eight, and we ended up with ten.

Hopefully Marilyn feels better tomorrow, I get my walking/driving papers at the podiatrist, and BB does well at his soccer practice. Tomorrow is going to be a busy, but good day.

My heart just broke a little today.

The last few weeks it’s been clear that Little Brooks is well, not so little anymore. He’s not just grown taller but he’s acting in a more mature, measured manner. I’ve given him kuddos for that and have been excited to see how he’s changing as he’s growing.

And then today we went to help stuff easter eggs for a friend’s Battalion Easter Egg Hunt.

They arranged for the Easter Bunny to make an appearance to surprise everyone. I fully expected Brooks to jump up excited about the whole thing. Yes, I know he’s almost eight, but really, this kid has always been pretty young at heart. Although for the last several holiday’s he’s been keen on the whole that’s-not-the-real-(insert random holiday character here) he’s been excited to get up close and personal with whoever it may be.

Not so today. He was actually upset that someone would pretend to be the Easter Bunny and he wanted me to know that he knew this guy wasn’t the real thing and he knew, somehow he said, that this guy wasn’t working for the real deal Easter Bunny in any way, shape, or form.

Thankfully he allowed himself to be photographed with the Easter Bunny, though I suspect he did so more for me then anything else. I suppose this moment was coming and I should have known, but man, where does the time go? It doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was toddling everywhere, burying his face in my neck when I’d pick him up.

And so he grows up a little, moment by moment, and I’d be silly to want to hold him back. I’m not sure I’m ready for him to tell me Santa’s not real, though I have a feeling it’s coming. Oh, boy.

After we came home from the egg stuffing and my first physical therapy (not my favorite thing to do by any means) The Boy and I sat down to make a project. I wanted to combine the project with an activity because I was in a bit of pain from the PT and wanted to take some pain meds and pass out, though not before spending some time with Little B.

I browsed the internet and came upon this activity: http://bkids.typepad.com/bookhoucraftprojects/2009/09/project-33-jumping-cups.html

The Jumping Cups are ingenious and I knew right away that it would intrigue Brooksy and that he’d be excited about the whole thing. I was just glad I found something that was easy to assemble and create.

Here is our process:

Little B began by creating a monster for his jumping cup. He nixed the idea of a jumping animal, though he temporarily fancied the idea of a creating a geyser.

After he cut out his monster he began working on his cup. He poked four holes in the lip of the cup using a small screwdriver.

Then he attached two rubber bands to the holes and I tied off the ends for him.

Lastly, we attached his monster. Super duper easy. And he was one happy boy.

He’d been playing off and on all day with his paper wand we made yesterday and now he had a jumping cup, which he really fancied. Now, as the mother of a boy, who can be quite rowdy at times, I should have know that a jumping cup would turn into a weapon. He learned that if held both cups against his chest, the top cup would shoot out straight, like a missile. Nice!

And so we had a great day, insightful as it was. And tomorrow is going to be a special day since my cousin’s daughter is coming to visit. The Boy is beyond excited to have a visitor and I’m looking forward to catching up with family. Life remains good.

I was determined that today we would get back to some semblance of a schedule. I miss our old schedule and sadly, so does Brooksy. He mentioned that he missed me being able to walk around and play with him. I think we are both feeling how differently life is with me being gimpy.

Either way after spending a few hours cleaning my house, yup, a few HOURS, The Boy and I spent some time playing and creating. My house has been kept clean and neat by the tireless efforts of Little Boy B; however, those of you who know me know how OCD I am about my house and it was getting to me, the lack of daily deep cleaning. After today, I accept that the deep cleaning my way is only going to occur once a week. It took us five hours to clean the house, and it was neat and “clean” to begin with.

I did some online research this morning while taking a break while Big Brooks went to eat lunch. I found some stuff I thought might be fun for us today.

I found a blog where a mom had some fun with her boys with simple plastic fork catapults. Genius!  http://frugalfun4boys.com/2011/02/24/plastic-fork-catapults/

The Boy helped me assemble our needed supplies and we both set off to figure out how best to launch the cotton balls. After we got pretty good we sat and shot at each other and then had a contest to see who could launch a cotton ball the furthest. Little B beat me, but just barely. I think he kinda leaned into his launch, but I couldn’t quite tell 🙂

After some video games we sat down and read up on Alfonso Ossorio. Little B enjoyed learning about a new artist and we discussed how he used wax, watercolors and ink to create works of art. After looking at some examples LB sat down to try his hand at his own piece, inspired by what he had seen. He was very thoughtful in how he applied the wax to the paper. We used a white crayon, and he pressed hard to ensure that the lines would show up when he later covered the paper in paint.

After painting and allowing the paper to dry BB sat down with some black paint I had placed in a small plastic bottle. This was by far Brooks’ favorite aspect of the process. The project called for using india ink, but that is one of the few craft items we don’t have on hand, yet. http://laughpaintcreate.blogspot.com/2010/03/express-yourself.html

Little B loved squirting the black paint all over and even used a thin paint brush to create wider strokes. His favorite part was probably squirting paint. He was quite pleased with his piece and wants to make another one tomorrow.

After a long day of cleaning and playing we made some homemade peanut butter cups and settled down to watch a movie. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cups/Detail.aspx

I am ever thankful for our friends Kat and Phil who brought us a delicious dinner, and for a Little Boy who is hardworking and caring, and for the opportunities we have to spend together.

Today, The Boy and I headed to Fire Station number 3 in Killeen for a quick field trip with our local homeschool co-op. We were able to chat with D.Brooks for a bit in the morning, did a half day of homeschooling and headed out to fire station. Honestly, when I signed us up to attend the field trip I wasn’t expecting much. We’ve toured several fire stations before, and done the whole: sit in the cab, take the picture, get a flimsy, red, plastic fireman’s hat, don’t forget your coloring book routine. And we enjoy it, don’t get me wrong… it’s just always the same. So when we left this morning I was expecting more of the same and was pleasantly surprised by a whole different fire station tour.

The firefighters at Station Three were absolutely wonderful. They took their time showing the kiddos all the implements necessary to do their jobs, answered questions in their entirety, were funny, engaging, and brimming with information. We learned so much today, from the fact that most of their calls are not fire related, to exactly how the jaw’s of life work, to the in’s and out’s of their schedules. After showing us their vehicles and the clothing they must wear to keep safe while fighting fires, they took us inside the firehouse to tour their home. We were able to check out their kitchen, living room, bedroom, and even their bathroom. They told the kiddos about a typical work day schedule, spoke about their training, and gave us some insight to the things that make their jobs tough.


One of the firefighters made a great point in that they said that they are paid for what they can do, not what they do, because each shift is different and sometimes you don’t get called out much. It was an insightful trip and we were so glad we made it out today. It’s wonderful spending time with real heroes, and people who are extremely dedicated to what they do. Their passion for their profession is evident in all they do. Little Brooks even said after leaving that he may want to fight fires when he gets bigger, funny little man that he is.

We returned home to work on baking some goodies up for D.Brooks’ care packages. I know Brooks prefers to eat healthy, but most baked goods just aren’t. I did try to appease his preference for healthy foods by making him homemade granola and carob wheat walnut brownies. The brownies are ridiculous. The recipe only produced nine brownies so I split one with the boy, to taste test… of course. I was half tempted to taste test another, just to make sure, but then I felt bad, so I didn’t. We also whipped him up some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that are moist, chewy, and super duper tasty. Yay for care packages!

Brooks was able to settle into his room today, which included hooking up his internet. I have to say after four deployments that I wasn’t expecting much from his in-room internet connection. I think it was his last deployment that he had a satellite or some contraption on top of his room to help with the connection and it wasn’t a huge improvement. I am super pleased that his internet was hooked up quickly and that the connection is wonderful. How wonderful for both him, and us, that he’s able to call several times a day, from chatting online to video phone calls. Seeing him is an unbelievable gift, and makes it feel likes he’s here with us, partaking in our day to day, a simple phone call away. Yay for great internet connections!

Today, being Friday and all, is our Campfire USA club meeting. We were doing a lesson on Pets for our Environmental Emblem and I had told the kiddos they could bring their pets to show and tell. I was tickled pink that we ended up with five dogs, a tarantula, four hermit crabs, and some gold fish. The kiddos had a great time telling their club mates all about their pets and did a wonderful job taking and answering questions. Campfire time always flies by! I always feel like an hour just isn’t enough to get all our activities in, and sure enough while playing a game we realized we’d gone over our scheduled time. Thankfully our parents are super understanding and we were able to squeeze in a snack. I think the kiddos had as much fun as I did. And the best part? Brooks called right at the end to say good night!

It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day!