NIA, school, cooking and youth group

I had a good NIA class, it was the last day of the routine that focused on the spine and posture, next week we start something new. We jumped into school when I got home, math, reading, vocabulary and making sure that Bethany stays a few weeks ahead so that she isn’t behind when we get back from the cruise. Speaking of that, 30 days to go. Hannah wants a down-to-the-minute itinerary for the days at sea, but I told her that we will plan those things when we get the list of what’s going on the next day (she doesn’t want to miss any of the kids activities.)

Bethany passed up her driving time for time to write, then it was time to get Hannah to the library for the Sticky Fingers cooking. Today they were making vegetable bourguignon (the cooking class is vegetarian) and a fruit frappe. Hannah got to chop onion, garlic, zucchini and carrots, mix vinegar and grape juice and help stir the skillet when everything was dumped in. The chef taught them how to count in French and taught them a few French words. The frappe was grape juice, grapes, bananas and ice. Hannah ate her portion of the dish, but didn’t go back for seconds, she did get some more of the frappe though (she loves smoothies.)

Back at home I stirred the BBQ chicken in the crockpot, made asparagus for myself and Hannah made 3 potato mice (twice baked potatoes with decorations.) She also made dessert – layered strawberry surprise.

Potato mice

4 medium baking potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 oz butter
5 tbsp milk
2 1/2 oz grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to season

To decorate

4 small Cherry tomatoes
4 Radishes
Spring onions

Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Prick them all over with a fork and put on a baking tray. Brush them over with the oil. Bake the potatoes in an oven preheated to 400°F oven for about an hour until they are soft. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the tops off and carefully scoop out the soft potato centers. Mash the soft centers with the butter, milk, three quarters of the cheese, salt and pepper. Then pop the mixture back into the potato jackets. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the potatoes and cook under the grill for a few minutes until golden. Make a nose and whiskers with half a tomato held in place with a cocktail stick and chives tucked behind. Finish decorating with raisin eyes, radish ears and spring onion tails.

Strawberry surprise

3 spongecakes (like you use for strawberry shortcake)
4-6 strawberries chopped up
3 scoops of strawberry ice cream (we put fresh mashed strawberries into vanilla ice cream and made our own. )
3 mint leaves

Crumble the spongecake. Layer the cake, strawberries and ice cream in a sundae cup or wide glass, repeat until you run out of room (or ingredients.) Top with a mint leaf.

Bethany got dropped at youth group, the rest of us went shopping for pants at Wal-mart and then stopped by the bookstore to read. Even though I was tired, James and I went to the gym for our evening workout. I don’t like going late, but I have a better chance of getting machine 19 if we go after 8:30.

Tomorrow is a stay home and school day with a driving lesson and morning and evening workouts.


Yesterday we did school and then I ran errands. It was the 15th, so time for TNO. I’m glad we’re moving to another Whole Foods in January, the one at Belmar is too healthy. They had none of my favorites on the hot buffet and my plate looked like I was a vegetarian. I did have some good Virgil’s root beer though…and a creme brulee, so that part was good. We had a nice turnout and the Moms and Dad got to talk for a few hours.

Today I dropped the van off for a brake fixing, I think that will solve the wobbling problem that we’ve been having. We did school, Bethany finished up her finals and Grace did some semester tests, Hannah just did a few items on her list. She’s reading Little House on the Prairie right now, we’re going to have fun with that one. We just got a stack of books from the library, I am about to start reading this one:


It looks like a good read about a man who ‘After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail: dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able eventually to compose this extraordinary book.’ We’ll be going back soon to get some more books to read over break.

This afternoon we’re making fudge and gingerbread cookies and maybe pumpkin praline cookies too. I need to have some cookies on hand for neighbors and for the homeless presents for next week….hopefully we won’t eat all of them today.

Getting crafty at the library

Bethany took her Biology final today and worked on her music project. Grace did math (functions) and grammar (irregular verbs) and reading. Hannah took a spelling test (missed one word), did math and reading. I got my Christmas cards in and got them all addressed and stamped. Hannah and Bethany walked up to King Soopers (Hannah has Grandma money burning a hole in her pocket) and Hannah bought a Barbie doll for Grace. When they got back home, Hannah told me that she thought the doll was $11, but she ended up spending $20. I looked at the receipt and saw that the doll rang up as $18, but Hannah was sure that the tag on the aisle said $11. I had to run to the store for more stamps, so I took her receipt with me and looked at the tag on the aisle and sure enough – it was $11. So, Hannah got her $18 back and a free doll (when something rings up incorrectly you get the item free and you get your money back if you already spent it.) She was very happy about the turn of events.

We went by RAFT so I could renew my membership and shop around. The girls all found some cool stuff and we stuffed a bag with books for $1. I got all the backpacks that we need for our H^3 Christmas event for the homeless (30 of them) for $6, I love RAFT. After that we went to the library for craft night.

We made cards and ornaments.

We made buttons and reindeer bags.


Breaking records

We broke the record low high on Tuesday and Wednesday night we broke the record low low. It was -12. Back in 1882 it was -4 on that day. I don’t mind the cold except that it means less snow, the snow is smaller when the air is colder, so it might snow for 3 days, but you only have a few inches on the ground. I’d rather it snow 4 feet and be sunny the next day. We might have a chance of that on Saturday (snow, not 4 feet of it though), snow and 28 degrees is expected, so a better chance to get some more snow on the ground.

Today we did some school and I threw a pork roast in the crockpot with some apple cider, apples, garlic cloves and onions. I did that for my dinner cooking sanity since I was going to be at the library doing a craft during dinner time. I went to the Denver library and made two terrariums. Everything was there for us to use, but I’m still going to need to go buy a plant for the small vase in the middle of the circle pot, I didn’t want just moss in there. I think they turned out cute.

Tomorrow it’s the zoo for us. Don’t worry, the temp will be in the 20′s while we’re there.

How cold is it?

Well, it’s been 98 years since it was this cold on this day in November. That’s right, the year Grandma Carberry was born the high for today was 16. We took off this morning to go swim at Apex. There were only 2 other families there from our group, not sure what happened to everyone else. The kids got to swim and the Moms talked and the snow fell. I was a bit worried about going up the huge hill on Ward, but the snow was crunchy, not slippery. It was so cold that the snowflakes were frozen in just the right way that every one that landed was this gorgeous work of 6 sided art. It was had to focus on driving and not just stare at them as they hit the windshield.

We did a little bit of school at home, then I started making angry chicken for dinner. It’s just angry because you use Angry orchard cider in it, which means that you get to drink what’s leftover. It was really good once the cider simmered down and formed a glaze, everyone liked it. It was so cold out side that when I put Maisy’s water bowl out it didn’t take long to freeze, so we just moved her water inside. You could tell it was cold because Maisy didn’t want to go out and pee before bed, fine…hold it all night.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be even colder and we’re just going to stay in, wear pajamas and do some school and art. Sounds like a plan.

Happy Veteran’s Day, thank you to all who are serving and have served to keep our country safe.

Some school

On a snowy day. We dropped 40 degrees in a few hours here and by the time we went to dance it was snowing. So good to see the white stuff coming down. James set me up on his other computer, it’s a lot bigger than my laptop and the keyboard has taken some getting used to, but at least I don’t have to kick one of the girls off in order to do things. We did some school this morning, Grace and Hannah didn’t do very much, Bethany made a slideshow for Government and did Punnett squares in Biology. She thought the worksheet for making a monster was a bit beneath her, but I think her baby monster turned out cute. You could do the same genetics workout with SpongeBob….which I might do with Hannah and Grace later.

Dance went well, Grace and I finished our dances, Hannah’s class has about 30 seconds left. The snow was very light, but it was cold outside, so when we got home we decided that we were in for the night. I made sweet and sour meatballs which almost everyone liked. We watched some TV and went to bed.

Fun Friday {bowling}

The cyberschool coalition hosts a bowling get together once a year. I figure it’s a free chance to bowl and meet up with other virtual homeschoolers, so we always go.

We had our own lane and things went well until the second game.

All the kids were using bumpers and when Bethany didn’t want to roll, Hannah did it for her. This made Grace mad because she thought it was cheating, either play your game or don’t. Also, Hannah won the first round. But, I came back strong and beat everyone in the 2nd round. Still, no one was happy about either game.

The girls had a friend sleep over, which I wouldn’t have let happen except I knew that we were headed to the doc tomorrow. Grace caught a cold last week and is neither better nor worse, but it’s hovering in her upper lung. We’ve been doubling up on meds and I’m running out of some of them, so we’re taking her into triage at NJ in the morning. It won’t be busy on a Sat. and besides the next appointment they had at our NJ office wasn’t until Feb.! I need her better before the trip next weekend, and I’d rather not have her be on a billion meds while we’re gone. So, here’s to bumping up meds for another week.


School went quickly this morning. There was a little less to do than normal, not quite sure why, but I liked it. Bethany had to watch this video and write about it for science.

Math went fast, triangles, line graphs and multiplication. We left early for dance because I had to stop by the shoe store to look for ballet shoes for Hannah. I am going to have to go to Penny Robinson, Payless just doesn’t have her size, she’s in this weird between size. We made it to dance early, a first for me…I’ve been late or right at 1 pm every week. I made a decision not to be rushed today and it worked out. Today we were talking about our identity in Christ, a new creation, beautiful, and looking at what God says our identity is versus what lies are out there. We hear them every day, you are stupid, not pretty, fat, lazy, hopeless, but that is not who we are. Listen to this song, close you eyes and really listen, this is who you are.

After dance we met Lola at the coffee shop and got to visit with her and tell her about our CA trip. The girls told her about all the cool things we saw, the whales, the tide pools and more. We talked about church, how fast kids grow up and watched the girls plunk dominoes and create a domino train. We had a long visit, then we said goodbye and went to the canal trail to get some Fall pics.

Tomorrow is a busy day!

Catching up

Some pics from the improv show Saturday.

A nice sunset.

Tuesday Hannah had an art class and made a picture of a macaw, then we drove Bethany to Parker for a teen writing class on how to write, edit and publish a book. Once again she said she wouldn’t like it, once again I scored.

Wednesday morning we made plant and animal cell cookies, it was for Bethany’s class, but we all made the cookies. Once the cells were labeled, we ate them and brought extra cookies and cell parts to the park. It’s much more fun to eat a peppermint patty nucleus than to make one out of paper or playdough.

Don’t know what the cell parts are or what they do? This site uses cards with the cell parts labeled and what their function is.

For park day we were at Fly’n B park and I fired up the grill to cook hot dogs and whatever else people wanted to throw on there. We also had a fire later for s’mores and I found the best s’more – toasted coconut marshmallow between 2 honey cinnamon nut thins….heaven. The park is full of color right now.

The pond is full of fish.

Grace found a hiding hole of a bullfrog, but no frog, we did catch some toads though. Hannah was being a ninja.

Analivia ate crabapples that I picked.

We saw 5 hawks circling through the trees (there are no hawks in this pic, just trees.)

And some children got wet, note the sign says ‘no swimming’ not ‘no wading.’

We had a great time at the park, met a new family, ate hot dogs and s’mores and pumpkin chips with pumpkin salsa, yum.

Today it rained and we stayed home and did school. Bethany had to compare some sonnets and finish up a Biology webquest. Grace was reading and doing grammar while Hannah was doing cursive, vocabulary and spelling. Bethany did a virtual lab with cancer cells, you can do the lab here.

My computer is still not working, but I’ve made a run around by using Hannah’s computer after buying a new camera cable. Tomorrow we were going to the library for some art, but if it doesn’t rain we’ll be heading to Daniel’s park instead.

I’m thinking

we might never get to play tennis this week. Monday it poured down rain and hailed like crazy everywhere but my house (but that’s okay.) Tuesday we met James for dinner after the park. Today we were just heading out the door when it started raining. There is a slight chance that we will get to play tomorrow after our hike…slight.

Today was the ever important count day for our on-line school (even though 2 of my kids are using the curriculum as homeschoolers, they still ‘count’.) So we did a lesson in every class, which didn’t take Grace and Hannah long to do. Bethany had some very easy things to do in most of her classes, one exam to take (but they went over the test in an on-line session), one report to drop, one essay to drop and a few quizzes thrown in there. She was working on an essay for Government about four powers of Congress that Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives it. There are more, but she only needed to talk about four. I’m pretty sure I took Government in high school, I’m pretty sure we talked about the Constitution and I’m pretty sure we talked about the powers of Congress, but we found out today that Congress can hire pirates to protect the US against enemies. I know, right? Pirates like the ‘Ahoy matey, avast ye landlubbers’ kind of pirates…I assume.

I’m pretty sure that today no one would think of hiring pirates to scour the seas of our enemies, assuming our enemies were on the seas. But still, it’s a cool thought. (Although I’m not sure Larry would scare many people.)

So, instead of tennis we went to the library. We got some cool books like:




new york



and some other random books. Hannah is making a salad recipe that she found in the cook book to go with our eggplant and chicken parmesan.

We had a very low key day, the rain was nice, we have to drop Bethany at church tonight so we might go to the gym during that time. I’m looking forward to getting out on a hike tomorrow, so I hope we’re done with rain for the next few days.

To end, here is something Bethany made for Government. It was her first try at using Moovly and I think we’ll be using it again. The music is lame, but it’s the only thing we had downloaded to use that worked. Next time we’ll download some more music clips.