Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Counting Activity

The perfect counting activity...I picked up a bag of mixed corn and pumpkin candies for this activity. Learning has to be fun and hands on for this little guy. How the activity works is he had to read the number and count out the correct number of corn to go with each number. He did fine with zero to three but after that he really struggled. His little sister can count better than him. I'm really struggling with him. He just doesn't seem to get it. He did have a lot of fun with this activity. Once he was done, I called out a random number and he had to pick up the recorrect pile of corn on that number called. So, we were able to do several different activities. Counting, sorting, and identifying numbers.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Bakers Man

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, bakers man,

Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

Pat it and prick it, And mark it with B.

Put it in the oven, For baby and me.We are busy working on learning all about the letter "B". I have discovered with Logan everything needs to be hands on for him to get it. We are slowly working on learning a new letter each week. He knows the name of this letter and the sound. Whether he will retain it. I'm not sure.

I decided it would be fun to make pretzels out of shape of "B" and "C". We are about to move forward with the next letter.

I ended up trying a new recipe that I found on, click here! These pretzel taste just like the ones at the mall. I wasn't sure if they would taste that good but they did. Seriously, so soft and chewy. Don't skip the part about boiling them in baking soda and water. Yummy!

Also, Logan can sing the nursey rhyme Baa, Baa, Black Sheep. I'm going to work with him and see if he can recite it instead of singing it.

Like A Fairy Princess

Slaving away at the sewing machine trying to finish up this project. I'm making a cute little jacket to go over the dress. I seem to be missing one of the pattern pieces. My friend from church has been coming over to help me with this project. She's currently out of town. Hopefully, when she gets back she can help me with the missing pattern piece. Leah dress consists of a full skirt! She loves to spin around in it. The dress totally matches her personality.

A lot of people don't like to sew because it can be so expensive. I just wanted to explain that this dress didn't cost me one penny. My friend brought over a huge pile of left over scrap material. We just pieced together some different types of materials and came up with this combination. My friend gave me the pattern to use and gave me the buttons. I just love the fact...I made this completely free!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bringing Home The Bacon...

The best time ever this year. I have pushed myself to improve myself. I have set goals and achieved them. I'm so proud of myself. The kids were so excited when I brought home all of my ribbons. Life can't get any better than this.

I attended Logan's preschool field trip to the Benton County Fair! Logan had the opportunity to milk a goat at the fair. Leah chickened out. The kids also got the chance to hold baby chicks at the petting zoo. The best part was at the end of the fair. Free carnival rides for the kids.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Showing Off...

I decided to try my luck at Benton County Fair submitting my canned goods. I dropped off a total of eight jars of canned food. I thought at the fair they tasted the food that was canned but I found out I was wrong. They base it all on appearance. My stewed tomatoes looks awesome. I canned them with pieces of onions. I have never done anything like this in my life. I'm very proud of myself. I can't wait for next year. I'm going to do a couple of things different next time maybe pressure cook some more veggies to display at the fair.

1. Stewed Tomatoes-first place

2. Tomato sauce-first place

3. Candied Jalapeno-first place

4. Strawberry Jelly-second place

5. Salsa-second place

6. Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly-blue ribbon

7. Jalapeno Pepper Jelly-blue ribbon

8. Blueberry Jelly-blue ribbon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Playing Hookey

Remember this morning, Landon was complaining about a stomach ache...Oh! It doesn't appear to be bothering him anymore. I reminded him during his meal that his stomach was hurting earlier. He quickly told me that his stomach is still hurting but he wasn't thinking about it. Ya,right! The little guy ate a whole plate full of mexican food.
Sweet memories before Landon started going to full time school we use to always stop off for Mexican food after storytime. We decided to hit the Roger's Library for storytime and swing by our favorite Mexican Restaurant Marie's! Sometimes, I wish we could go back in time when the kids were really little. I just loved having lunch with my kids. Landon kept saying outloud he wished he was Mexican so he could eat Mexican food all the time. Silly boy!

After we got back from Marie's the boys wanted to do a pumkin craft. I put these priate crafts on clearance last year. The boys have been waiting patiently all year long to put them together.
Landon with his priate head...
Logan did a great job as well. I only had to help him a little bit. The little guy wnated to stop off at the pumpkin patch but it's way too early to crave pumpkins. It's way to warm outside. The pumpkins would get moldly way too fast. So, foam pumkins were the trick to this problem.

My "a" Sound Box

My favorite series of books to teach small children their alphabet and letter sounds. I had all three kids pick up a box and explore the house for items that start with the letter "A" sound. It wasn't an easy challenge. The boys found bags of apples, animals, and animal crackers.
Landon took over reading the book. I can still remember when I first read this book to him over two years ago. He ended up reading most of the book to Logan and Leah. I taught my son how to read not his Kindergarten teacher. I'm so proud of my little guy.
Leah is really enjoying this hands on activity!

After, we were done with the book. I decided to get get out the letter cookie cutters. Logan practiced making Letter "a's" in the play-doh.

Landon is very bored at school. He keeps complaining about his tummy hurting. I know his tummy isn't hurting him his super bored at school. I called Landon in sick. I know he isn't sick but maybe a break is all the guy needs.
I decided to pull my homeschool material from downstairs. He sat down and got busy. He loved it. He even said he felt like he was finally learning something. I'm working with his teacher but I don't know if she can really challenge him at this point. The seat work is super easy for Landon. I'm now thinking about homeschooling him again. We will see...


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My new Favorite Author!

I can't believe I have never read Rosemary Wells books before to my kids. I came across them at the library last week and decided to check them all out at once. While, reading the books to Logan and Leah this afternoon. I discovered this book series called "The Edward Unready" is a perfect fit for Logan. Edward is a shy little bear that has a hard time dealing with new situations. My favorite line in these books is "Not everyone is ready for the same things at the same time." This is how I feel about Logan. His doing everything on his own timeline. Some kids need to take things a lot slower. In today's rush to rush society its a great refreshing book. What's wrong with a child being able to stay home in a warm and loving environment. Logan loves to be home. Logan does attend preschool but he could be in Kindergarten but he isn't ready. So, if you have a shy child this is the prefect book for them!

I'm in the newspaper!

 ZAC LEHR THE MORNING NEWS Katie Rieff (left), a food preservation superintendent at the Benton County Fair, checks-in items Monday, September 14, 2009, for Lara Scheele, of Bella Vista, in the exhibit hall on the Benton County Fair Grounds.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crumpet Tea Room

We just finished a fun weekend with my sister and mom! My mom came in Friday evening. Leroy called and ask where we were and was surprised we were at the airport. He claims that I didn't tell him my mom was coming into town. My mom came out for the Preparedness Fair. I was running the three month food pantry supply booth again. I will post pictures from the fair another time. We spent the weekend at the fair, canning, cleaning up my house, and watching movies!
My sister has an amazing gift of organizing stuff. I brided her with a free lunch if she helped me reorganize my pantry shelfs. So, once we were all done we decided to head down to Crumpet Tea Room for lunch. Who can pass up those yummy orange rolls. My favorite. While waiting for our food we decided to take a couple snap shoots of the kids. The kids didn't want to dress up! They can be no fun at times. We did manage to get a couple of pictures.
Overall, a quick and fun weekend with family. Not too long but not too short. We also dropped of my canned good at the fair. They will be judging tomorrow. I'm taking Logan to the fair on Friday for the preschool trip. I'm really hoping I place something. I managed to submit 8 canned jars. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Monday, September 7, 2009

applesauce-Special Made

I created this special recipe for my little boy Logan! I'm going to name this recipe Logan's Applesauce. It's so easy to make. I still had a small half bushel of apples left over from my canning adventures. I decided to go ahead and try to make applesauce in the crockpot. I love it. The house smells awesome. The pumpkin spice gives it a real nice fall taste to it. It's not too strong but just the right amount of spice. Also, the applesauce is a little chunky just how Logan likes his applesauce! So, here's the recipe!
Logan's Applesauce
8 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup packed brown sugar or white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine the apples and water in a slow cooker; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the sugar and pumpkin pie spice; continue cooking another 30 minutes.
Once done cooking, I used my hand held blender to mash up the apples to turn it into applesauce. Process jars for 20 minutes in hot water bath.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm done!

200 apples

24 quarts of Applesauce
10 quarts of Apple Slices

9 quarts of Apple Pie filling

Apple Pie Filling
10 pounds of apples
3 1/2 C. White Sugar
1 C. Brown Sugar
1 C. Cornstarch
3 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground nutmeg
2 tsp. Canning Salt
9 C. Water
3 Tbps Lemon Juice
  1. In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch and spices. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.
  2. Sterlizie canning jars, lids,a nd rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.
  3. Peel, core, and slice apples. Pack the sliced apples into hot canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  4. Fill jars with hot syrup, and gently remove aire bubbles with a knife.
  5. Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
I want to thank all of my friends and family members for helping with my lastest canning adventures. Besides the apples, I did can 11 quarts of peaches and 10 quarts of crushed tomato sauce. I wouldn't of been able to do it without everyones help. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's official...

I'm crazy. I'm currently working on another project. I'm making Leah a new dress for church! If canning wasn't enough, I'm sewing at the same time, and trying to knit dish rags.

The top part of the dress is this tie dye material with a full shirt! I'm also making a cute long sleeve jacket to go over the top. Leah is going to be so stink'n cute in this dress.

Johnny Appleseed

Canned Applesauce
makes 8 quarts

20 lbs of apples
3 c. of sugar
2 tsp. canning salt
2 TBPS Cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
red food coloring

1. Wash 20 lbs of apples and cut up into smaller pieces.
2. steam/heat 15-20 minutes.

3. Use a Victorian Strainer to strain the apples. Take the apple guts and restrain them thru the strainer.
4. Put the applesauce back on the stove to reheat. Add sugar, spices, salt, and 3-4 red food coloring.
5. Sterilize your jars in the dishwasher and heat up lids in a pot on the stove top.
6. Fill applesauce in hot jars from the dishwasher.
7. Put lids and rings and put the jars in the water bath for total of 20 minutes!
Ta-Dah! The final product! This is not your regular applesauce. It's a little bit like apple pie but it's applesauce. I ended up using mostly red delicious apples which aren't recommend for baking or canning. I felt like I really needed to dress up the flavor of this applesauce. It turned out really good. I'm thinking about entering it in the Benton County Fair. What do you think I should do? I'm afraid all the grandma's will be beat me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Canning Obsession

My latest canning obession! My friend called me the other morning to tell me about an awesome deal on apples at the Walmart Assoicate store. I wasn't sure how many Apples would be left but my heart was racing. I didn't want to miss out on this great deal. As soon as I got off the phone. I grabbed the kids and we drive straight down the Associate store. It was like being a kid in a candy store. I loaded up my shopping cart all the way up to to the top. I ended up picking up close to 200 apples for only 10 cents per apple. So, I managed to get all the apples for only $20.00! I love a good deal.

I also got a lot of stares from people. I hope no one thinks about me taking the majority of the apples. I ended up having to count each and every apple at the check out stand. Talk about a pain in the butt. The cashier finally decided to help me count all of the apples or we would of been there all day. They had to bring in another shopping cart and we loaded up two carts with several boxes full of apples. Poor Logan was trying his best to push his cart. I was in the front with my cart and I was helping him with his cart from behind. Logan couldn't see anything over the cart due to all the boxes of appels. A friendly walmart guy offered to help us to the van. He wanted to go back but I wouldn't let him. I'm not sure if I could of done it by myself. Several more people staring at me as I'm loading up the van. Finally, this guy asked me what I was planning on doing with all of these apples. I told him I was planning on canning all of these apples. He turned to his wife and said "I told you so"! So, I finally made it home and unloaded all of the apples in the garage.

Today, we decided to finished up the peaches. Leroy's co-workers wife came over to help me with the canning. Also, Leroy, Sr. also came over to help. Canning with friends makes everything go so much faster. We managed to peel, cut, and can all the peaches in less than a hour. My other friend stopped by to help. We were done with the peaches so we moved unto the apples. I decided it would be best to make apple slices. I'm waiting for someone to finish up using the food mill so I can make my applesauce.

So, this is how we made the apple slices. We peeled and sliced all the apples. We boiled the apple slices in a light syprup for a total of five minutes. Once, they were done! We put them in hot jars and add light syprup to the apple slices. I processed them for 20 minutes in the waterbath.

Finally product: 10 jars of sliced peaches and 10 jars of sliced apples.

Not too bad, for one days of work.

Also, 25 pounds of apples produced 10 quarts of apple slices!
Yesterday, I made my famous homemade bread! Yummy! I'm thinking about doing another contest on my blog in a couple of weeks. Who would love to win this beautiful loaf of bread?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sewing 101

My little guy is all hands on. He discovered in my closet a huge bag of left over fabric when I made the boys blankets for Christmas. Logan told me he wanted to do some needling. He wanted to sew the squares together by hand. I told him hand sewing would take him a real long time. So, we went to set up my sewing machine. I have a little mini machine but Logan wasn't able to find it down stair room. It's a disaster down there. I wouldn't even go down there.

Logan did a great job on the sewing machine. I have noticed that boys aren't afraid of the sewing machine and more likely to sew sooner than girls. Girls tend to be more afraid of the sewing machine. Logan jumped right on and got busy. I sat right behind him to make sure he didn't hurt himself.

Logan is planning on working on his quilt a little bit everyday. He calls his blanket "hot and cold"! He actually did a really good job for only being 5 years old.

The little guy is my little crafter. He's always off creating and making stuff. Very hands on!