Saturday, May 30, 2009
I should have videoed the feeding frenzy that ensued when I placed the bowl in the middle of the living room!
Microwave Carmel Popcorn
4 quarts popped popcorn
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C light corn syrup (but pancake syrup works if you're out)
1/2 tea. salt
1 tea. vanilla
1/2 tea. baking soda (I forgot this , but no one complained)
Place popcorn into a large brown grocery sack. Set aside.
In a 2 qt. measuring pitcher, combine the brown sugar, butter, syrup, salt, and vanilla. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, stir until well blended. Heat for another 1 1/2 minuted. Remove from the microwave and stir in the baking soda.
Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top to close the bag and shake to coat the corn. Place bag in the microwave, and cook for 1 minute 10 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 1 minute 10 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The "Before" Shot
Everyone working hard
An "After" shot of one of the finished beds
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The team has nicknamed itself, "Small but Mighty" because only three members remained once the competitions season started. This isn't an activity for the faint of heart. It takes A LOT of time and work. However, they finished strong against larger teams from bigger programs. Here's the recap:
Competition #1: Team 4th Place, Emelie 4th Place Individual
Competition #2: Team 1st Place, Emelie 3rd Place Individual
Competition #3: No Team Competition, Emelie 42nd Place Individual
Competition #4 (State Qualifying Contest): Team 2nd Place, Emelie 3rd Place Individual
State Contest: Team 4th Place, Emelie 14th Place Individual
It still amazes me how well she did her first year out! Her coach is even talking of a national competition in the fall. And there are colleges that offer full-ride scholarships to their Judging Team. WOW!
By far the greatest benefit has been the boost to her self-esteem and the incredible improvement to her public speaking skills. She is not phased by getting up in front of crowds now. Quite the turn-around for a girl that used to be painfully shy.
Friday, May 22, 2009
The key is to stop determining when to leave solely based on how long it takes to get someplace. That is only one factor in the equation. The real question is: How long does it take everyone concerned to find matching shoes, put on those shoes, go to the bathroom, go out to the van, come back in for a book, go back out to the van, come back in from the van to go to the bathroom again, only to go back out and get buckled in? Also, remember that the toddler waits to fill her diaper until just two minutes before departure.
Once you've calculated the time it takes for this Departure Routine, add that to the travel time. Subtract the total time from what time you need to be at your destination and you now have what we Stumpfs call "Shoes On Time."
For example: Church starts at 10am. We would like to be there by 9:50. It takes 25 minutes to drive there. Our Departure Routine takes 15 minutes in the summer (more in winter - coats and mittens!) for a total time of 40 minutes. Therefore the Shoes On Time is 9:10.
That is the only time we will mention all morning. That is what we aim for. When that time rolls around, Bryan or I yell out "Shoes On Time," and the flurry of activity begins. I'm not always (ok, never) even ready myself by this point. But I can continue to brush my teeth during the bathroom runs and shoe hunts.
Bottom line, don't think in terms of "What time do we need to leave?" Decide what time you need to put your shoes on!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So, two weeks ago, Ghirardelli, the chocolate Rex buck, joined our family. He was welcomed with more attention than he has ever desired. He is the softest thing you could imagine. Now Emelie and Teddy enjoy teasing Meg saying they'd like a pair of mittens out of Rex rabbit.
Now Jacob (5) want a female for his birthday so we can have lots of rabbit babies. We'll see about that one...
He's already been shown by his breeder at a national Rex show. Next year Meggie will show him for her rabbit project in 4-H.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Changing out clothes for the new season is here again, and this time I was determined to do it properly. I read an excellent post at Raising Olives about switching for seasons and clothing limits.
I first worked on the boys clothes all at once since they're close in size. Then the two little girls. Tonight it was Meggie's turn. I pull out everything hanging in their closets (we hang everything except socks, undies and jammies). I rummage through the clean laundry and pull down the boxes of clothes in the appropriate size. Everything goes to the nook table where I work on it after the little loves are in bed (so I'm not subjected to their opinions/questions/etc.).
I sort everything into piles: give away, too small, too large, just right. I only keep items that I really would enjoy seeing on the children and are in good condition. Four big bags have gone to Goodwill. Halleluiah!
In the morning, the child gets to shop from their piles for the pre-determined number of articles (see below). They've absolutely loved this part! Meggie's been asking for a week to go "shopping." Whatever they don't pick, I box up immediately while the recipient hangs up their "new" clothes.
The next night, I do the same thing for jammies, undies, and swim suits. I still need to work on shoes and Spring coats. It's been a big job the last couple weeks, but their closets are so much tidier which makes for a happier mommy!
Boy Summer Clothing
2 swim suits
5 nice short-sleeved shirts
5 play shirts
3 long-sleeved shirts
1 pair of khakis
2 jeans or other pants
1 pair of sweat pants or track pants
1 sweat shirt
1 beat-up pair of pants for work pants
Girl Summer Clothing
2 swim suits
6 play outfits
6 nice outfits
1 pair of jeans or capris
1 pair of sweat pants or track pants
2 sweatshirts or cardigans
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
From the ABC Website:
May 17, Sun 7/6c
Ty and the gang travel to Indianapolis, IN, to help a single father of three who started a program that empowered his community's children with books and knowledge.
We're very excited to see how the neighborhood improvement projects are depicted. Bryan has spent so much time working on this. He's not looking for any personal recognition, but really wants the neighborhood showcased. When Estridge first approached ABC with their plan for neighborhood revitalization, they were told "Do what you want, but it won't get any airtime." I believe that by the end of the production week, they changed their perspective!
So please watch and let me know what you think!