Monday, February 28, 2011

Parts of Speech

I was browsing the library shelves on one of our weekly trips to find books that I wanted my 10 and 9 year olds to read.  I found books on the parts of speech written and illustrated by Ruth Heller that are delightful.  The illustrations are very bright, and bold, and enjoyable.  The text rhymes, is fun to read, and the words in the text that are the part of speech covered in the book are in all caps so they jump out as you read.

Yes, one could do multiple lessons and drills on nouns while reading, Merry-Go-Round, or on pronouns while reading, Mine, All Mine,  get obsessive about adjectives while reading Many Luscious Lollipops, but I think that misses the point.  Simply have Up, Up And Away (a book on adverbs) or Behind the Mask (a book on prepositions) lying around for the children to snatch up and enjoy.  Or like me, give your child, Kites Sail High (a book on verbs), or A Cache of Jewels (a book on nouns) and tell them you'd like them to read it and see what they think.  Mine enjoyed all the books and I have even caught them reading them a second or third time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Me? I Just Want to Eat Meat

My friend posted this on Facebook.  I showed it to my husband who thought it was funny and wanted me to post it here so he knew where to find it.

Thanks for the good laugh EC!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Visions or Not?

Saturday David came home for lunch and told me that Marlene, a member of our church, told him that morning that she had a dream that he announced he had a call.  He said she told him it was so real, and that she didn't like it one bit.

Saturday night David and I went to our 500 club party.  Chad, a member of our church, not related to Marlene, came up to us and said, "I had a dream the other night that you were leaving.  It was so real, I woke in the middle of the night, and then in the morning asked my wife if  Pastor was leaving."  He was very relieved to know we were staying.

Completely weird.  Two different people with similar dreams in one week. If he were to receive another call, we'll cue the Twilight music.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Last year's Valentine's Dinner was superb and we didn't know how the children would surpass that meal.  But we found out and we're delighted.

Once again our restaurant, Sous la Maison, had our cozy table ready for us to enjoy our meal.

The ambiance is fantastic

One way to know if a restaurant is of good quality is the wait staff.  Sous la Maison has some of the best, and they must be treated very well as they have been the same each year.

Her sisters sewed her this waitress uniform and curled her hair.

Quite the attentive waiter

After being seated, we were given our menu.  Last year we enjoyed a delicious German meal, this year a French meal was going to be the special.

First course: Salade avec Vinaigrette

There was a choice of three wines on the menu, we chose a red burgundy:

After our salad, the waiter and waitress cleared our dishes and brought us Soupe al'oignon et la Pomme de Terre (onion and potato soup):
The french bread was homemade that day and very delicious.

The soup was so delicious, the sour cream adding a very nice, creamy and tangy twist to the hot soup.

Next was our Plat Principal:
Steak Diane, Pommes de Terre Sautees au Beurre (potatoes sauteed in butter), and Haricots Verts (green beans)

This was so scrumptious, perfectly cooked, I cannot rave enough how good this tasted.

To finish the meal was the Dessert: Crepes aux Fraises (Crepes with strawberries):

They made up their own filling based on a few different recipes they read.

Here is the staff of Sous la Maison:
I think they are the best restaurant staff anywhere.

After our meal we asked the staff where they had gotten the idea for this year's menu.  They said they thought about last year's German meal and said oh we should do a French meal.  So they checked out every Julia Child cookbook from our library:

And from these books, they picked the recipes they thought sounded good and planned that way.  Isn't that awesome!  I'm simply amazed at their abilities, love, and generosity.

Afterwards, they cleaned up the kitchen and watched a Star Wars movie upstairs while letting us watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie they had given us for Christmas downstairs.

Yes, it was another simply wonderful Valentine's Day with my family.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I like to scrapbook.  I started when I received my first Creative Memories album as an engagement gift.  I spent the first couple years of our marriage and my husband's vicarage year doing quite a bit of scrapping.  It was fun, relaxing, and neat for me to see completed albums.  Then along came more than one child and a move and scrapping took a back seat to motherhood and household duties.

Then two years ago we started a scrapbooking group at our church.  We try to meet about once a month on a Sunday afternoon and work on our albums all while eating and visiting with one another.  It is great fun.  One of the gals, who is younger than I, has always done hers through Photoshop.  She has been trying to get me to try it too - I even have Photoshop elements on my computer - willing to teach me as I learn.  But I've had all these 4x6 prints to put into albums because I had a film camera for so many years and have only played a little bit with her way of scrapping.

Until yesterday.  She came over and tutored me on Photoshop elements and I now understand it a little better.  Yippee!  The motivation came because I want to update my Christmas album (I started one that is simply each year's Christmas letter, card picture, and all other pictures from that year's celebration) and I finished all the years that are from my old film camera, which brings me to the year 2007 and the first year all the pictures are on a digital camera.

Since I have to print the pictures anyway, my friend showed me that I can plan my page layout first, and then edit the pictures and size them before they are printed.  So now one 4x6 picture might have three 2x2 sized pictures on it, or one 5x4 picture, or some other combination.  Wow, this is cool!  Now I only have to print 14 4x6  pictures but that is actually 36 pictures which completes four pages.  Ya-ha-hooey!

This old dog is learning new tricks - slowly yes, but learning nonetheless!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Now This Is The Way To Start The Day

Yep - that is a hamburger seasoned with seasoning salt with a slice of pepper jack cheese and fried mushrooms and onions on top.  And I fixed one for my husband and myself for our breakfast.

He and I have always loved a good hamburger.  We have heard and read from various people, blogs, and books, that it is much better to eat lots of good protein with meals and fewer carbohydrates.  And although we still eat plenty of carbohydrates that would make any paleo or low-carb fanatic cringe, we both can easily jump on the enjoy-a-good-hamburger-without-the-bun for breakfast option.

Besides, it beats eating some form of eggs and bacon every morning.  And those of you who know me, know how much I love bacon.   OH!  Next time I'll fry some bacon to go on top of my hamburger.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Smarty Pants

The other day I was working on part of a history project for the kids.
Aren't you intrigued?
While I was talking to David about a problem I was having with it, I mentioned to him that I learned a new word.  Then, like normal, I forgot the word but was able to define it for him.  But before I could finish he said, oh internecine you mean.  Yeah that's the one smarty Latin pants.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cuba Day

We've tasted a lot of different foods through our Culinary Trip Around the World.  I've linked the posts in the sidebar in case you want to read them again or for the first time.  Our next stop was Cuba.  No cigars, but we did have a really tasty salad.

Ensalada de Garbanzos (Garbanzo Bean Salad)
All those bright colors are so cheery!
We really enjoyed this salad.  Okay so maybe it was just myself and my husband who really enjoyed it, but the kids all did try at least one bite.  I think a couple of them ate a larger helping.  the vinegarette dressing gave a nice tart taste, while the peppers gave good crunch, and the garbanzo beans added substance.

We also had Arroz Amarillo (Yellow Rice):
Appropriately Named
It didn't taste much different, as it was seasoned with onion, garlic, and salt, but that yellow color was, well, a bit frightening.  It called for saffron to give the color, but since I didn't have that, the girls added the turmeric instead as per the instructions.

The meat was Cerdo Asado (Roast Pork):
Nothing fancy, but still quite tasty
Apparently it is traditional to roast a pig, but since that wasn't an option, a pork roast served the purpose. First it was marinated in garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and sour orange juice for a few hours before being roasted in a slow oven, basting with saved marinade if the roast looked dry during roasting.  We all liked the taste, very moist and delicious.

Here was our Cuban supper all dished up, ready to be eaten:

For dessert, I helped the girls make Mango and Papaya Milk Shakes:
Sorry for the bad lighting, but they did look pinkish/orangish

It included a diced mango, diced papaya, milk, and ice. They tasted pretty good.  It would have been better if I would have added more ice to make them thicker.  Oh well, live and learn.

Some Days. . .

. . . I want to pull out my hair, or scream, or stomp my feet, or throw something, or all of them.

. . . I can accomplish all the tasks necessary for a smooth day feeling confident, certain, and pleased with jobs well-done.

. . . are simply there, with what seems no rhyme or reason for starting or finishing anything.

I'm having one of these days.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Trouble With Horizontal Surfaces

I don't know about your house, but in mine, anything that has a horizontal surface is the perfect place for  discarding whatever you were doing and leaving it there.  This includes our new ottoman.
There's barely room for my feet most times.
One good thing though, is that all that stuff used to be on the seats of the chairs or on the floor.  At least now we're not stepping on it and our backsides have a place to rest even if we have to precariously pile the stuff on a corner of the ottoman to find room for our feet.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Good Book to Read Aloud

My friend Amy brought this book with her to our annual camp vacation last year.  My husband and I really liked it and finally bought it a couple of weeks ago.

It is a lovely read with short chapters - usually two or three pages, and interesting content about the people who make up the history of England.  Since our study of history this year is The Middle Ages, Reformation and Renaissance, this is a perfect time for me to read this book aloud.

I try to read two chapters each evening which doesn't take a very long time.  Everyone has been enjoying the story and the younger set are remembering some of the people we have already studied in history, and the older girls have commented that they remembered some of the people from their reading of Bede.  I love it when it all comes together.

We bought our copy from amazon and I recommend that you buy one for your family.