Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My in-laws have an apple tree and shared their abundance with us.  No one knows what kind of apples they are, but they are very tart, crunchy and juicy!  We've made 3 crock pots full of applesauce (very full!).  The first picture is of cinnamon apple sauce with raisins.  Kevin and I think it's great, but the kids don't like it...  My aunt gave me the recipe, here it is:

Crock Pot Applesauce
3 lbs apples (I think we used more than this though)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Peel and chunk apples, add all ingredients to crock pot.  Cook on low setting for 8-10 hours.

Note:  When slicing apples, make sure you cut out all the core parts, especially the hard rounded parts that are around the seed, otherwise you'll have hard shell like things in your applesauce.  (like we did on one batch)

Then we decided to try strawberry applesauce using our frozen strawberries with sugar that we have in the freezer.  We used the same amount of apples, and added a 2 cup bag of strawberries with sugar.  That's it, nothing else.  Thankfully, the kids love the strawberry applesauce!  It is more tart than the cinnamon one, so if I did it again, I would add a little bit of sugar.

Since I have an abundance of apples, I made a pan of apple raisin bars to take to our Financial Peace class.  They were amazing!  Here's the link to the recipe, sorry no pictures.  Apple Raisin Bars  I made it exactly as the recipe says, except I didn't use cream cheese in the glaze on top.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Farmall Tractor Cake

Another cake!  September has been a busy month for us, lots of parties!  My Step Dad loves Farmall tractors, so this was a perfect cake for him.  I made a 9 x 13 cake to carve the tractor out of, then 6 cupcakes for the hay bales (or hay balls according to my son), and a smaller rectangular cake for the wagon.  First, I drew a tractor outline on a piece of regular computer paper and cut it out.  Then I laid it on top of the cake, and cut around the picture, it worked perfectly!  My son decided that he wants a tractor cake for his birthday too!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie

This is one of the best desserts ever!  I've been making a lot of cakes lately, so my husband decided that he wanted something else for his birthday.  He requested chocolate chip cookies and brownies with ice cream.  So, I put the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, and then poured the brownie batter on top!  I baked it about 30 minutes at 300 degrees (although my oven cooks hot, so that would be 350 in a normal oven).  It's amazing!  We served it with ice cream too, yum!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ll Leaf, Homeschool Highlights in MFW, week 4

This week we learned about the letter L and leaves.  The bible words to remember were "I will live and grow in Jesus".  In order to illustrate this concept, we plucked a leave off of the plant below to watch what happens when the leaf thinks it doesn't need to be with the plant.  The plant is like God, and we are the leaves, when we stay connected to God, we will grow and flourish, but when we try to do things by ourselves, we will shrivel up and die (spiritually).

We made letter L's out of cereal.

We also drew a big tree.  They were supposed to draw leaves on it, but decided to make apples instead, oh well.

Our favorite activity was going on a nature walk to collect leaves.  Then we pressed them over the weekend using paper towels and books.  We made leaf place mats using contact paper (which was really hard work with since we needed such a big piece).  The leaves in our area have only just begun to change colors, so we had to settle for mostly green ones.  We also used this site, What Tree is It?, to identify them.  We discovered that the very large green ones were Planetree Maples. 

Here are our lapbooks for the letter L, that is supposed to be a leopard L on the cover from DLTK's (we also found the "What begins with L?" book there too.  We also made some leaf rubbings using the sides of crayons.

We actually did some Cuisenaire Rods without screaming this week!  I'm hoping next week I'll even be able to discuss some of the math concept they are learning with them, this week they mostly just put the rods on the spaces.

Lastly, here are all the books we've read this week.  We are fortunate to have a wonderful library here with great online services!

And that was our Ll week.  Hop on over to Discover Their Gifts to see what other MFW users are doing this week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome Baby Girl Cake

A pink baby girl cake!  I'm impressed with my cursive writing!  I usually do the block lettering because it's easier to make straight lines, but I think I did a good job.  I really wanted this cake to be pink and black, but the black icing just tastes so bad.  Instead, I decided to use green and yellow to match the paper plates we used!  This month is a big cake month!  I have two birthday cakes coming up in the next couple weeks, so keep checking back to see them.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Girly Reversible Nursing Cover

I made another reversible nursing cover for a friend as a baby shower gift.  She had a baby girl, so one side is a pink fabric that says baby on it.  The top side is black with swirls on it.  I wanted a more grown up fabric for the mother.  I blogged about the first nursing cover I made here, you can find the link to the pattern I looked at there.  For this one, I just did everything by memory.  Now I just need to find some cute boy fabric so I can make one for myself!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Credit Card Cake - No More Debt!

I made this credit card cake for our Financial Peace University class.  We had an end of class celebration.  I think the cake turned out great!  If you have any interest in becoming debt free, learning how to budget and save money, or build wealth, you need to check out Dave Ramsey's site, here, to find a class near you.  It will change your life and truly give you financial peace!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Homeschool Highlights in MFW: Week 3

I am linking up again with the Homeschool Highlights in MFW.  We are in kindergarten, on the Mm Moon lesson.  This has been our best unit yet.  I love the bible words to remember "I am the light of the world".  We talked about how Jesus is like the sun and we are like the moon, we reflect His love onto other people, just like the moon reflects the sun.  We made moon cookies to share with our neighbors to shine some of Jesus' light on them!  The picture below is them making phases of the moon cards.

Every day we add a number to our 100 chart, and add a stick to our 100 cup.  Yesterday we added number 10 and bundled them in a rubber band.

This was their favorite tactile activity we've ever done!  They have asked to do it every day since!  It's just shaving cream.  After practicing a few Mm's, they made construction sites (I think their hands were the bulldozers!).

This was not during school time, and Rebekah is not supposed to be on the arm of the couch, but I thought it was so cute that they were reading together.  After I took the picture I made Rebekah get off the arm!

This was our favorite activity!  We made a space ship out of a big wardrobe box we had left from our move.  It was such a beautiful day, we built it out on the deck.  Once it was built, we pretended it was headed for the moon.  After blast off, I had them look out the window while I held up the globe, they were so far from the earth that it looked little!

Complete with controls inside!

Once we got to the moon, we space walked and measured how high we could jump.  Then we made moon craters in the sand box and added moon rocks (and didn't you know the moon has moon pine cones!).  We also added a flag to say we had been to the moon!

We were able to have a big nature walk with daddy this weekend too.  We went to a nearby state park and hiked on a few trails, and climbed an observation tower.

Here they are painting to the song "Spring" by Vivaldi.  They were supposed to be painting a spring picture, so we called them spring thunderstorms (my sons idea).

Their finished paintings:

Our mostly finished lapbooks.  You can also see the backside of last weeks letter S lapbook.  The M - Marshall on the cover is from DLTK's Alphabuddies

 The moon poem on the cover, the Mm book and the Let it Shine Light Bulb book are all from Homeschool Share in the lap book section.  On each light bulb book page, we wrote what we could do to let our light shine on others, like making cookies and helping people with their work.

Lastly, here are the books we have read, or will read today.  We are going to read Mooncake and then make a moon cake, and we are also going to read Happy Birthday Moon today and make paper hats!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yet Another Jean Skirt

I fixed another jean skirt for a friend.  This one had a slit in the back that ripped, so I had to cut the skirt off at the rip and add some length.  I added a straight piece, and then a little ruffle.  I was a little nervous about the bottom add on being too light, but my friend said she liked it, yeah!  (Hopefully, she wasn't lying!)

Today's Simple Joys
Church - How blessed we are to be able to worship Jesus with other believers, still thinking about the power of God I felt last night!
Zucchini Bread - I've made 3 batches today, some with raisins, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips!
Electricity - Our power just cut out twice a little bit ago.  With zucchini bread half done in the oven, I'm glad it came back, and that it's always there!
My Kids - I just put a picture of them right next to my computer, they are laughing, and I can't keep from looking at it and smiling!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rainbow & Flower Birthday Cake

Here is Rebekah's 3rd birthday cake.  She requested a rainbow and flowers.  The front has her name and the number 3, and the back side says "Happy Birthday".  The bottom picture is right before we lit her candles!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby Doll Jumpers, Tights and Shirt

Aren't these dresses just adorable!  I made them to match dresses that I made my daughter.  I made the patterns for the dolls exactly like I made my daughters and followed the same directions, see here.  The first time I made the jumper pattern though, I forgot to make the armholes!  I didn't realize it until the dress was almost done and I went to put it on the doll, oops!

For the tights and shirt, I bought this Simplicity doll clothes pattern.  The tights were really easy, but you have to use a two way stretch material, which can be difficult to work with.  I actually got it stuck in my machine and thought I broke my machine!  Fortunately, my mechanical engineering degree came in handy and I was able to fix it myself.  The little shirt I made was also fairly easy.  The pattern gives directions for what part to sew first and in what order, like hemming the sleeves before you sew them to the shirt, nice!  I actually bought the pattern because I wanted to make the pajamas, but I ran out of time.  Looks like I have an option for Christmas!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jumpers Made for a Little Girl

This is jumper #1.  It's made out of a purple denim fabric that I scored at a thrift store for only $1, along with the pink one below (and there's enough material left over of both to make several more things)!   Below is jumper #2. 

I made my own pattern for this dress.  I started by taping several pieces of paper together, and then laid a jumper that currently fits my daughter on it.  I traced the jumper, then added about 1 inch to the sides.  I used an inch because I was adding a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and making the dress a 1/2 inch larger in each direction. 

Here is a close up of my pattern.  I extended the straps upwards, and drew in the front neck line.

When cutting out my fabric, I used the same pattern for both the front and back.  I just folded down the straps for the front, and then used my drawn front neckline to redraw it on the fabric.  

Pinned together and ready to sew!  Before I began sewing, I zig zag stitched around both pieces completely, this was to prevent fraying.  Then I sewed the two pieces together. 

You can see in the picture below that I put a hem around the top of the dress, the arm holes, neckline, and straps.  Then I folded my straps down until they were the desired length and pinned them in place. 

Next came button holes and buttons.  I have become a pro at making button holes with my machine!  I found these adorable heart buttons at Walmart.

For the pink dress, I added a pocket on the front, which was just a square of fabric.  And finished!

For the purple dress, I added a ruffle to the bottom, and ribbon around the waist (with a bow).  The ribbon was simply something I had in my stash of stuff.  I had to hand sew the bow on.  Here's it is finished:

Come back tomorrow to see how I made matching dresses for her baby doll!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mommy Daughter Scrapbook Date

Today I had a scrapbooking date with my daughter.  She was so excited to use mommy's special paper and stickers (although I gave her the paper and stickers that I didn't really care for, shh).  She made three pages of her own.  I gave her all the extra pictures that I didn't have room for in our family scrapbook, and she went to town.  Here's what she made:

I was able to create two pages in between helping her.

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