Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Woman's Day Book ~ June 22

FOR TODAY... June 22

Outside my window... Early morning thunderstorm and rain all day.

I am thinking... breakfast. I think there's enough time this morning for waffles with strawberries!

I am thankful for... nothing to do today but spend time with my boys.

From the learning rooms... I'm working on a summer learning plan. Besides lots of nature walks, field trips, and time outside I'm thinking we'll do some "Around the World."

From the kitchen... Those waffles are calling me! I also need to do some work on my cookbook collection. Recipes printed from here and there are in disarray.

I am wearing... still in pajamas, but getting going soon!

I am creating... space. A new arrival this weekend! More to come on that!

I am going...Nowhere planned. If it the rain stops a bike ride may be in order.

I am reading... The Domestic Church: Room by Room.

I am hoping... for naps this afternoon!

I am hearing... baby brother chatter to himself and the fan.

Around the house... things are in good shape. But it's only 6:19 AM.

One of my favorite things... waking up to a thunderstorm.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I don't think we have any! The calm before summer activities start next week.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... We've mastered the stairs. Yikes!

Add your daybook here!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Trinity Sunday

In preparation for Trinity Sunday, we spent some time talking and reading about the Trinity yesterday.

It's a difficult idea to explain and understand (three Persons, one God), but Big Brother assured me that he did understand! When I shared this story with his godmother, she said that it's her belief that kids do understand these mysteries better than adults due to their innocence and pureness of heart.

Whatever the reason-- innocence or immaturity-- it warmed my heart that such a big idea was so readily accepted and embraced!

We made these simple mobiles as the final part of the discussion:

When we played outside, we found many clovers in the yard. The boys seemed to find a great deal of pleasure from such a simple plant representing a BIG person-- God!

This morning we made rolls in the shape of clovers as well.

I wanted to note that the mobile pattern came from the Who Am I? series at Catholic Heritage Curricula. We are picking and choosing from several resources for religion this year (with an emphasis on living the liturgical year), and what I like about this program is that the same content is adapted for a span of ages.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Daybook ~ June 14

FOR TODAY... June 14

Outside my window... Gray, damp, and cool

I am thinking... about our plans for the rest of the day.

I am thankful for... the gray, damp, and cool weather. I am not a summer person.

From the learning rooms... Still clearing the shelves and getting ready to start kindergarten!

From the kitchen... Breakfast soon, and I need to check dinner plans. They're posted, but my brain is like a sieve these days!

I am wearing... Jammies, and thinking about my red, white, and blue for Flag Day.

I am creating... order. Still working on this; trying to streamline our lives!

I am going... to the zoo. The cool weather is perfect for a zoo trip. It will be overrun with school groups, but we're going anyway!

I am reading... Nothing this morning. I just finished two books, and I'm deciding where to go next. I'll probably finish Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage.

I am hoping... for a good day and a productive week.

I am hearing... the boys as they talk to their dad.

Around the house... a leaky pipe was just discovered and half-fixed. A stop at the store for a new pipe, and all will be well!

One of my favorite things... little boys in panda and tiger masks. They are ready for our outing!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

This beautiful flowering bush is in the front garden. I don't know what it is! The joy of the growing season in a new house: garden of mysteries!

Add your daybook here!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cornstarch Sidewalk Paint

My sister and niece came over for play time and lunch today and we also made cornstarch sidewalk paint. This was such a fun and easy project! The kids loved it-- even more than sidewalk chalk, I think!

We mixed 1/4 cup plus a few more "sprinkles" of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and added a few drops of food coloring.

We chose to keep it simple and stick with primary colors.

WE turned the kids loose on the driveway and let them have at it. They had so much fun! They used up all their paint, and wanted more. It was time for the girls to leave, though, so we'll do more another day!

Edited Tuesday morning: it rained overnight, so all the pretty colors and designs are gone! We'll do more later in the week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flames of Pentecost Cupcakes

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2: 1-4)

The Paschal season comes to a close Sunday with Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles. There are many simple ideas out there for celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit with children, and for several years I’ve been wanting to make these cute treats. They have the added bonus of being seasonal too!

Flames of Pentecost Cupcakes with sliced strawberries “flames” to represent the tongues of fire!

Pentecost is not as easy to explain to children as Christmas or Easter, but is certainly a day worth celebrating!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23, 25)

Snacktime Round-Up

I’ve shared many of my favorite “make it yourself” recipes. I wanted to bring this series to a conclusion by offering some encouragement as well as a dose of reality.

Simply put:

You cannot do it all.

I’m not sure about your kids, but mine eat approximately 10,000 times a day. Okay, maybe not that much, but it goes something like this:

Early morning snack with Dad



Lunch (or “snacky” lunch)



Maybe even one more snack in there somewhere!

It seems like someone is always eating (this doesn’t include the baby’s nursing habits, of course!). As much as I would like to, I’m not there yet with making every single snack from scratch. I know some people do, but I’m not quite that organized!

Here’s what I recommend if you are making a shift from store-bought to at-home:

1. Pick and choose. Decide what’s most important to you. Is it to avoid added sugars? Dyes? White flour?

2. Start by replacing one store-bought item with homemade. You don’t necessarily even have to make the switch for each time the item is consumed. Go through a lot of bread? Maybe resolve to make bread for lunchtime PBJs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Maybe it’ll be chocolate graham crackers the third Friday of each month for a weekend treat.

3. Once you feel comfortable with one, add another.

4. Make a schedule. Know that Thursdays are always slow? Make your yogurt and applesauce for the week then.

5. If you stick with store bought, choose a better option. Instead of Ritz crackers, we eat Late July.

I tend to rotate what I make. I always, always bake my own bread/rolls and make my own yogurt. Other than that, it fluctuates. During apple season, I make a lot of applesauce. During the summer, I make ice cream. I go through cycles of making and freezing my own stock and tomato sauce. Occasionally, I make crackers. Once a week or so, I bake cookies or another dessert and make other items like granola bars, brown rice snacks, or Jell-o.

My next goal is to add tortilla making to the rotation!

Find what works! The journey from refined to real food does not happen overnight!

Brown Rice Treats

I had intended to move on to some summer meal ideas this week, but I keep thinking of snack ideas I cannot resist sharing! Here is one that is a more natural alternative to Rice Krispie Treats.

Brown Rice Snacks


1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinammon

2 cups brown rice cereal


1. Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon to a large bowl and mix well. The amounts listed above are flexible. I reduced the honey and increased the peanut butter. I thought they were too cinnamon-y, so next time I”ll reduce that as well.

2. Add the cereal and slowly mix until all the cereal is well-coated.

3. Roll into walnut-sized balls and place on a greased or wax paper lined pan.

After I had rolled about half the mixture, I added a little Ricemellow Creme to what as left. It added a little more stickiness and sweetness. I definitely wouldn’t add it without reducing the honey, as I did in the first step.

Really play around with these- roll the balls in crushed nuts or coconut. You could also add flax, nuts, or coconut right to the cereal mixture. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Simple Woman's Day Book ~ June 7

FOR TODAY... June 7, 2011

Outside my window... the last light has just faded, but it's still hot!

I am thinking...
about faith.

I am thankful for...
a quiet house, a supportive husband, and a full schedule tomorrow.

From the learning rooms...
so much to think about after our homeschool conference last weekend!

From the kitchen...
menus and half-completed shopping lists await! Working on some new ideas for my posts at Fancy Little Things.

I am wearing...

I am creating...
blog posts.

I am going...
to bed soon and for a bike ride with the boys first thing in the morning.

I am reading...
The Wilder Life.

I am hoping...
for a peaceful night's sleep.

I am hearing...

Around the house...
some rooms need some work, and some rooms are sparkling!

One of my favorite things...
a long day playing outside.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
last swim lesson of the session tomorrow, grocery shopping, and some housework all between time in the fresh air.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

The newest musician.

Please visit The Simple Woman's Daybook to read more entries.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heavenly "Jell-O" Treats

“So then the Lord Jesus…was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19)

The Ascension of the Lord is celebrated 40 days after Easter, and this year that was yesterday (although some move the feast to the seventh Sunday after Easter, two days from now)! Either way, it’s not too late to include these tasty treats as you celebrate the completion of Christ’s redemptive work.

While this is not the healthiest snack for kids I’ve shared over the past few posts, this is an improvement over Jell-O (which contains artificial flavors, sugar or artificial sweetener, and dyes), and can be adapted by substituting your favorite juice. Leave out the whipped cream, and this is a perfect snack for a hot afternoon!

Note that this recipe does still use gelatin, but agar-agar is a good vegan substitute.

Heavenly Jell-O


4 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1 cup cold blueberry juice

3 cups blueberry juice, heated to boiling

Heavy cream, for whipping


1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold juice in a large bowl; let stand one minute.

2. Add hot juice and stir until gelatin completely dissolves.

3. Pour into 9 x 13 pan or individual serving cups.

4. Refrigerate until firm, about three hours.

5. Enjoy with whipped cream!

The effect of a blue sky and white clouds isn’t evoked as well with the blueberry juice as blue dye, but the taste is heavenly!

For more traditional food celebrating the liturgical year, I recommend A Book of Feasts and Seasons and All Year Round.