- Make a holiday wreath with greenery from yard.
- Make gifts for teachers and others.
- Decorate our chalkboard with holiday pictures.
- Make paper decorations for doors and windows.
- Make snow ice cream/angels/paintings/snowman.
- Have a holiday tv marathon--Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, Olive!
- Go caroling by telephone by calling family members and singing to them.
- Donate canned goods to the local food pantry.
- Make fleece blankets to donate to the Linus project or scarves for another charity.
- Hang our holiday branch on the front porch to decorate.
- Make gingerbread houses.
- Walk around the neighborhood at dusk and look at decorations.
- Start a neighborhood Secret Santa chain.
- Have dinner by candlelight.
- Have a holiday book read-a-thon.
- Watch Emmett Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, The Nutcracker, or other seasonal movie.
- Learn about another winter holiday.
- Stuff, seal, and send Christmas cards.
- Make a holiday treat for animals (either our cats, birds and squirrels, or shelter animals).
- Print covers of thank-you notes.
- Decorate a backdrop for our Nativity.
- Host a family Solstice party and stay up late.
- Play "Christmas morning" and practice how to thank someone for a gift.
- Read the Christmas story in the Bible and talk about how every child is special.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I've got someone who loves me more then words can say
And I'm thankful for that each and every day
And if I count all my blessings, I get a smile on my face
Still it's hard to find faith..
But if you can look in my eyes
And tell me we'll be alright
If you promise never to leave You just might make me believe--Sugarland, "Just Might (Make Me Believe)"
(which I made without the cilantro, of course)
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended
Baked brown rice is mostly hands-off—no fussing or checking for doneness, just a relaxing, undisturbed 45 minutes in the oven. Your reward for doing next to nothing is a pot of tender, fragrant, slightly spicy grains (if you want more heat, use up to a tablespoon more curry powder). This recipe would go perfectly with any simply seasoned pot of chickpeas or other beans.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup brown basmati rice
Salt and black pepper
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1⁄4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tart apples, cored and chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄4 cup yogurt, optional
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. A minute later, add the curry powder and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the rice and some salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and translucent, just a minute or 2.
2. Measure 13⁄4 cups of the coconut milk; stir it into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Bake, undisturbed, for 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put the shredded coconut in a small skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan and stirring often, until it begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven, uncover, and use a fork to stir in the shredded coconut, apples, and cilantro. Replace the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and fluff again. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with yogurt if you like.
Mark Bittman, Food Matters
Saturday, November 20, 2010
- roasted nuts
- brie en croute (pre-packaged)
- turkey (from our farm, probably gobbling as I type!)
- rolls (new recipe: Parker House, from scratch, in bread machine)
- green bean casserole
- sweet potato casserole
- baked sweet potatoes
- cranberry sauce (one in the can; two homemade, probably)
- strawberry jello (does this count as homemade if I add boiling water?)
- pecan pie
- cranberry-fudge pie (new recipe from KAF)
- pumpkin pie (frozen)
Friday, November 19, 2010
- At Daisies, several of the girls, including mine own, when asked about things for which they are thankful, said that they were thankful for our Daisies meetings and the leaders (that's me!).
- When I made a surprise visit to the school yesterday, subbing for a volunteer whose child was ill, I got a huge smile and enthusiastic wave from Sis and a jubilant thumbs-up from Bud.
- When I volunteered today, both kiddos held my hands and gave me hugs.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
- The yellow leaves are gone. Now there are bright red trees. Fall didn't seem to happen all at once this year. Or it's just the first year I've been out so much (210 minutes of walking outside a week!). Yesterday, our yard guys came and cleaned up all the yellow leaves. Last night's storm knocked down all the red ones, which I guess will be with us til spring! But the yard is beautiful in its crimson cloak. At least there are more leaves. The kids were bummed to see their yellow piles disappear.
- Bud has realized that school is permanent. On Monday morning, he cried about going, preferring to stay home with me to play. And then the moment passed and he got ready to go and had a good time.
- School is taking it out of them. They hold it together really well there--do their work, follow directions, cooperate with others--and then come home and pummel each other. When they aren't playing divinely.
- Daisy Scouts continues. Oddly, I feel weird blogging about that. And so haven't. Not sure why, exactly. Sis likes it and Bud continues to want to join. And nothing seems to substitute.
- I had breakfast with Mommy Goose today. It was great to catch up after what seems like too long. And it wasn't even all gossip or bitching! Though it was pretty much all kids.
- I got to know one of my neighbors better last night, when after 8 years of saying we would, we had coffee together. She's delightful.
- My bursitis is improving and I'm driving some, though it's still the hardest thing to do, much harder than sitting on the couch drinking coffee. The rest of my back is quiet right now.
- The squirrels are chunky this year. And a red-tailed hawk has been bothering the parrots who live nearby and keep swarming to distract it.
- I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. It really has all begun. I know, we've all said it, but where has the time gone? The kids have even made Christmas lists! December is packed with activities. And the planning (and stress and emotion) of it all has begun.
- Mama's cold is improving, I think. And now I've got it. I think.
- I talk to Mama Teacher everyday on her drive home. It's a (sometimes!) sane call into our wild afternoons.
- The family store isn't really working anymore. But losing DSi privileges does. Even though I admit as I type that how much I dislike parenting-through-punishment-and-reward.
- Reading interesting articles on line sometimes, including mindfulness for Thanksgiving, a poet's exploration of death and dying (plus several other posts on similar topics), saying yes, lentils, drinking water. You know, I really ought to do a links list soon (because I'm not even sure when I'll add the links to this bullet).
- Divorce seems to be in the air for some of my friends and neighbors. Haven't given divorce as an occurrence much thought, not having known too many families who've gone through it, and no peers. I've seen several articles on it recently too. And have just been contemplating it in an abstract kind of way. (No worries, Mama and I are just fine, which is why perhaps I'm so curious about relationships that aren't.)
- Aunt Banana's baby will be here soon, give or take. I had thought to write the mother of all mothering posts (for this blog, anyway) but realize that my advice is so particular to me and to Mama and to twins and to our experience and personalities and situation. Everyone is different and we all do the best we can under the circumstances. I try not to judge (except when I do. Sigh.) She said "adaptability" will be her motto; that works. No "if I knew then what I know now" from me. So I'll just wish them good labor and a homecoming soon!