Saturday, August 29, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I recently ran across this recipe (great blog by the way) for homemade granola bars and they looked so yummy. Ellie and I love cooking together so I knew that she would be up for helping me! Well let me tell you, they didn't disappoint. I don't think I will ever buy granola bars again!! Here is the recipe:


2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking oats are fine)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 cup choc. chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or raisins
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, flour, chips and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well. I use my hands (this is very sticky). Pat and press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.Bake for 20-30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges (you'll want to start checking them after about 20 minutes; in my oven it only takes 25 minutes - you want them to be just turning brown around the edges). Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut. Place on wax paper and cool completely.

I ended up with about 16 bars. You can wrap them individually. I put half in the fridge and froze the other half.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

1st Week of School

We started school last Monday and believe it or not I only got a few pictures:( I was so into what we were working on that I barely picked up my camera. We had a great first week. I am going to do 2 separate posts so it won't be so long. I will do this post on circle time and a different one on Ellie's preschool activities. We had circle time Monday and Wednesday. Here is where we are doing story time. We were focusing on the letter A (teaching Emily to recognize and both girls to sign it) and our theme Monday was apples. We read lots of books about apples and learned about the different types. We had an apple snack that the girls really liked. I chopped up apples and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar and put them in a ziplock and let the girls shake them up. We did a felt story about apples, sang apple songs and did a few apple activities like an apple puzzle. The girls also used a dot marker to make apples on a letter A worksheet. We also talked about respect and manners. Ellie learned her first bible verse 1Peter2:17 - Show Proper Respect to Everyone. We finished Monday off with a manners tea party. I didn't have any preconceived notions on how long circle time would last and was just going to follow there lead. It ended up lasting an 1 hour 10 min. and it only stopped there because I didn't have anything else planned. Wed. we talked more about respect and also African animals. We read more books, played with a magnetic zoo animal story, listened and danced to African music and had a puppet show (the library had so many great props for us to borrow). I think my favorite thing we did was after re-reading some of our books on African animals we got the globe out and talked about Africa and looked up some interesting facts on elephants, lions, zebras etc. Afterward I surprised them by letting them watch The Lion King while they ate lunch in the bonus room. I rarely let them eat up there so this was a big treat. Emily only watched the first 10 min. but stayed in there with us the whole time playing. The girls are enjoying this time together so much!! I won't bore you with all of the books we read because we read a ton but here were some of our favorites:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pretend Play

One of Emily's favorite books is Carlo and the Really Nice Librarian. After we read it for the fifth time today we were inspired to set up our own library. I had the idea but Ellie really ran with it and most of the ideas were her own, which I loved. She wanted to make it just like the library we frequent. Emily decorated a sign for the library, we made library cards, set up a computer station (Ellie's favorite part of going to the library), placed books in several different areas of the room for checking out, set up the princess cash register for book check out time and most importantly set up for story time. We had a great turnout for story time!!! Bear, owl, Cinderella and all of their friends showed up. I tried to make story time similar to the libraries. We read several books, listened to music, danced and most importantly handed out stickers and blew bubbles. I have a feeling we will be playing this again soon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fruits and Veggies

Remember how I joined the fruit and vegetable co-op? Well I had my first pick-up today and I am so excited!! I got all of this for $17.50. Now it is time to plan my menu and start cooking!

Here is the breakdown:
4 Green apples
5 Bananas
Head of Brocolli
2 Green Peppers
2 Red Peppers
7 Potatoes
3 Squash
1 Zucchinni
4 Kiwi
Head of green leaf lettuce
6 Tomatoes
1 Red Onion

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Making Cupcakes

Ellie and I made cupcakes from scratch and believe it or not that was my first time. I normally use Duncan Hines but I wanted to make a healthier cupcake. I found this recipe online and we decided to give it a try. It is still a cupcake so it is not completely healthy but instead of using oil and eggs the recipe uses yogurt and egg whites. I thought they were quite tasty. Now don't get me wrong it wasn't as good as a regular cupcake but we will be making these again for sure. Here is the recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg whites
2/3 cup plain yogurt

1Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Line 10 muffin cups with foil or paper liners.

2In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

3In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter and vanilla on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until well mixed. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for about a minute after each one. Now add the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, in about 3 portions each, beating after each addition just until combined, and scraping down the sides to make sure everything is well mixed.

4Pour batter into the prepared cupcake pan and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and a toothpick poked into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack.

For the icing I mixed a tub of Cool Whip with an 8 oz. cup of flavored yogurt. The girls never noticed the difference in the cupcake or the icing! Let me know what you think if you make them!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blog Award

I got my first blog award:) Does it make me dorky that I was excited? My Two Happy Homeschoolers recently awarded me with the Honest Scrap award. I am supposed to tell my readers 10 things about myself and then pass the award on to 10 more bloggers who I enjoy keeping up with.

1. In my previous life I was a personal trainer

2. I have been married for 15 years to the most amazing man!!

3. I throw everything away. My motto is if you haven't used it in a couple of months it is going in the trash!! Drives my hubby crazy. He can thank my mother for that.

4. I have a 13 year old cat, Typsy

5. I love to read!!!!! I honestly can't go to bed at night without reading

6. In January I decided to read the bible in a year and I am still going strong!

7. I have found a new love for gardening this year!! Who knew?

8. I love outdoor activities like hiking, tennis and sand volleyball. I don't get to do them very much since having children but I still love them.

9. I love fresh brussel sprouts. I can sit down and eat a bowl of them for a snack.

10. I have a huge sweet tooth. I think I crave sweets like a smoker craves cigarettes!

I am going to pass the award to:

The Clark Clan

Eat, Drink and Decorate

The Snail Trail

Homeschool Creations

Filth Wizardry

Apples and Jammies


The Home Teacher

Ten Kids and a Dog

Handmade Beginnings

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Homemade Play Dough

Last week we did our ice cream chart and one of our activities was to make play dough. I have made it before but Ellie didn't help so I thought she might enjoy it. I used this recipe and Ellie wanted to make pink play dough and we also made green. I was inspired by this blogger, she is amazing, awhile back and thought it would be a great time to make our own mermaid lagoon (yes hers is a million times better). I started off with a few things from the recycle bin. We taped them together and put a pie pan in front of it for the lagoon part. Then we covered it in aluminum foil and then covered it in play dough. I let Ellie decorate it with jewels, stones and sea shells. I ran out of home made play dough and had to use a little store bought. We put water and food coloring in the pie pan and we were ready to play. Ellie LOVED this!! We played for a few hours and ended up leaving it out all the next day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wanna Play Dress-up?

A friend gave me a desk recently and I love the desk itself but didn't really need the top hutch. I saved it because I figured I could use it for something and I was right (doesn't happen often so I feel the need to point it out when it does:). I have been wanting to find a way to house the girls dress-up clothes in the play room but could not find anything I was happy with. I decided to use the hutch and I am so happy with the results. My handy husband attached a 1x12 to the top (which used to be the bottom), we painted it and and added hooks to the 1x12 and voila a new dress up area.