Monday, January 30, 2012

Homemade Bagels

4 cups high grade flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until you form a dough.

Knead the dough on a floured counter for about 10 minutes, until the dough is uniform and smooth.

Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls and rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 220 c

Take a ball or dough and roll into a sausage shape and then join the two ends together.  Do this for all 8 pieces.

Let the bagels rest for another 20 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to boil, then add your bagels to the water as many as you can fit in your pot without crowding them.  Boil for one minute, then turn over and boil for another minute. Remove from water and let dry before placing on a greased oven tray.  Repeat until all bagels are boiled.

Bake for 10 minutes then turn the bagels and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Let cool then slice and cover with your favorite toppings.


Muffin Tin Monday ah... Tuesday

I forgot all about Muffin Tin Monday, but due to the time difference when it's Tuesday here in New Zealand it's still Monday in America.  So this morning I quickly put together a Muffin Tin Breakfast for George. 

Sorry for the horrible photo, I used my phone and first thing in the morning and no natural light. 
For breakfast George had, Vanilla dairy food with green sprinkles, orange juice, peach slices, marmight little people sandwiches and cheerios.  George gets a small amount of milk in a jug each morning which he pours onto his cereal himself.  


Next week I'll try to do better... but we will be camping so I will have to do some planning before we go. 

You Capture - Colourful


My Mother made this really colourful awesome tent which hangs on a branch of their plum tree in their back yard.  She also made a huge green cushion that attaches to the the bottom of the tent. 


B is for Butterfly

letter of the week

We've just completed week two of  Confessions of a homeschooler - Letter of the Week.  A little late due to the whole family getting a gasto bug last week but we did manage to finish it up today.  

We started the week with a Muffin Tin Meal in butterfly muffin cups.


Using the floor mats George lined them up from 1-10


Then I called out a number and George had to find it and jump on it.


Upper and lower case sorting


Counting the butterflies then found the correct number. 


Upper and lower case puzzles


Cut and paste - George started cutting out the butterfly pieces and then after cutting out one piece i finished the rest for him.  He glued it into his book all himself. 


We made butterfly wings.  Which the kids had to show their Nanna as she LOVES butterflies.


Grace and I made bagels.


George and I made butterfly cake pops.


We all ate the cake pops.


George loves these little puzzles even though they are very easy he always games to do them first. 


Sorting sizes




I had trrouble finding do-a-dot markers, they're made in USA and not in shops in New Zealand.  I ended up buying them online and George really enjoys using them.  


I let George use the do-a-dot markers on the colouring in page as he really does not like colouring in.  I need to work on this with him as he doesn't seem to understand how to scribble lines together to get a block of colour and just complains that he can only draw lines.  


Writing practice.  George always starts this activity with a lot of enthusiasm but needs to be pushed to finish it.  I don't usually make him finish it but I like to to try something from each page.  


Butterfly lacing.  He really enjoys this task as well. 


Counting butterflies.  This I had to push George to even try, he just wasn't interested.


We also did several crafts which I'll post about later in the week. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hands on Play- Week Four

Week Four - In the Kitchen

This challenge nearly didn't happen as we all were sick with a gastro bug for most of the week.  Lucky both George and myself recovered quickly so we spend one afternoon while hubby and Grace was sleeping making cake pops.


I had made the cake balls a couple of weeks ago and put them in the freezer knowing I wanted to finish them off with George.

George helped me shake off the excess chocolate after dipping the cake pops and then he covered them in sprinkles before the chocolate set. 

Grace wasn't left out either.  Yesterday I made bagels and she loved heaping me roll out the dough.  Everytime I make bread Grace rushes to help me with the dough.


Next weeks challenge: Walk in nature

Meal plan monday 30/01 - 5/02

Well last week didn't go to plan, we all ended up with a gastro bug so most of the meal plan went out of the window and if you felt like eating it was typically something bland and easy to make.  I still have the Tuscan beef in the freezer as I did get it in the slow cooker on Tuesday morning but was throwing up by the evening and couldn't even manage being near the smell of it. 

So this weeks meal plan will have a lot of repeats from last week, we also leave to go camping on Friday night as it's a long weekend in New Zealand and we plan to make the most of it. 

Monday - BBQ at Nanna and Poppas (I'm taking homemade garlic and herb loaf)
Tuesday - Pulled Pork 
Thursday - BBQ at Nanna and Poppas (Nanna's Birthday - taking pudding)
Friday - Take aways while driving to camping grounds
Saturday - Hamburgers
Sunday - Tinned spaghetti and soup.

I didn't make the English Muffins last week but i did try my hand at making bagels and I must admit I was pleased with the results.  We don't typically eat bagels and you have to hunt for them at the local supermarket as they're not in the bread section. I was surprised at how easy they were to make so will be making them again soon - most likely on Friday so I can take them camping with us.

Todays lunch - bagel with cream cheese and homemade plum jam

Day 27



I'm addicted to Pinterest, it does take up a lot of my spare time when I should be doing over things but I also find a lot of great ideas.

Ideas like this Christmas present I made for my parents, the hearts are the three places they have lived together. Click on the picture to link to the original idea.


I see so many ideas and most are just re-pinned for later, it has to be pretty good to me to do it within the week and has to be awesome if I was to stop everything and do it then and there.... 

This was the pin that stopped me in my tracks....  I'm a list maker and a folder fill of lists is totally my thing.

It took me several days in the end and I'm still working on it.  It was a slow process starting out, but with a help of a friend the first list was made.

These are the tabs I started with.

Weekly Schedule
Savings Goal
Meal planning - Monthly, Weekly, Recipes, Shops/Markets, Seasonal Produce
Homeschooling - Monthly view, Weekly Plan, Curriculum Planning, Field Trips, Additional Notes, Contacts, Kindy
Mothers Group
Weight Loss
Christmas - Countdown, Gift list, Card list

I'll come back later with photos of my folder and links to the printables I've found later.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Muffin Tin Monday

As I pack a lunch size morning tea for George at Kindy this morning so he wasn't really hungry when he came home at lunch time, hence the light lunch. 

I got some butterfly silicon muffin cups for Christmas and have been holding off using them until this week as we're doing a unit study on butterflies. 

In Georges lunch today he had strawberries, fruit yoghurt with sprinkles and half a banana choc chip cinnamon rolls


What about socialization?

Two women meet at a playground, where their children are swinging and playing ball. The women are sitting on a bench watching. Eventually, they begin to talk.

W1: Hi. My name is Maggie. My kids are the three in red shirts -- helps me keep track of them.
W2: (Smiles) I'm Terri. Mine are in the pink and yellow shirts. Do you come here a lot?
W1: Usually two or three times a week, after we go to the library.
W2: Wow. Where do you find the time?
W1: We home school, so we do it during the day most of the time.
W2: Some of my neighbours home school, but I send my kids to public school.
W1: How do you do it?
W2: It's not easy. I go to all the PTO meetings and work with the kids every day after school and stay real involved.
W1: But what about socialization? Aren't you worried about them being cooped up all day with kids their own ages, never getting the opportunity for natural relationships?
W2: Well, yes. But I work hard to balance that. They have some friends who're home schooled, and we visit their grandparents almost every month.
W1: Sounds like you're a very dedicated mom. But don't you worry about all the opportunities they're missing out on? I mean they're so isolated from real life -- how will they know what the world is like -- what people do to make a living -- how to get along with all different kinds of people?
W2: Oh, we discussed that at PTO, and we started a fund to bring real people into the classrooms. Last month, we had a policeman and a doctor come in to talk to every class. And next month, we're having a woman from Japan and a man from Kenya come to speak.
W1: Oh, we met a man from Japan in the grocery store the other week, and he got to talking about his childhood in Tokyo. My kids were absolutely fascinated. We invited him to dinner and got to meet his wife and their three children.
W2: That's nice. Hmm. Maybe we should plan some Japanese food for the lunchroom on Multicultural Day.
W1: Maybe your Japanese guest could eat with the children.
W2: Oh, no. She's on a very tight schedule. She has two other schools to visit that day. It's a system-wide thing we're doing.
W1: Oh, I'm sorry. Well, maybe you'll meet someone interesting in the grocery store sometime and you'll end up having them over for dinner.
W2: I don't think so. I never talk to people in the store -- certainly not people who might not even speak my language. What if that Japanese man hadn't spoken English?
W1: To tell you the truth, I never had time to think about it. Before I even saw him, my six-year-old had asked him what he was going to do with all the oranges he was buying.
W2: Your child talks to strangers?
W1: I was right there with him. He knows that as long as he's with me, he can talk to anyone he wishes.
W2: But you're developing dangerous habits in him. My children never talk to strangers.
W1: Not even when they're with you?
W2: They're never with me, except at home after school. So you see why it's so important for them to understand that talking to strangers is a big no-no.
W1: Yes, I do. But if they were with you, they could get to meet interesting people and still be safe. They'd get a taste of the real world, in real settings. They'd also get a real feel for how to tell when a situation is dangerous or suspicious.
W2: They'll get that in the third and fifth grades in their health courses.
W1: Well, I can tell you're a very caring mom. Let me give you my number--if you ever want to talk, give me call. It was good to meet you.

--Author unknown

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Meal plan monday

I've been meal planning for most of my adult life, more so once I became a Mum.  I do slip up often (A LOT) and stop making meal plans and find my evenings turn into chaos while trying to work out what to cook for dinner usually with two kids wanting attention from myself at the same time.

I'm hoping by blogging my meal plans and joining the link party at I'm an Organizing Junkie will keep me from slipping up.

So this weeks meal plan is....

Monday- Slow cooker Fajitas
Tuesday - Tuscan beef on brown rice
Wednesday - Slower cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday - Slow cooker roast chicken with potatoes and salad
Friday - Fettuccine with left over roast chicken
Saturday - All day meat balls and spaghetti
Sunday - Pulled Pork

I also found a recipe for home made English muffins which I want to try if I can this week.

A is for apple

letter of the week

We've just finished our first week of Confessions of a homeschooler - Letter of the Week.  I wasn't sure which order I should do the curriculum in.  I guess that sounds stupid, should i just atart at the letter A and work through the alphabet?? Well yeah that is one way of doing it but as I'm trying to get George to write the letters I could mix it up and start at the easier letters to write first, like letter L or T or I.

In the ended I did start with the letter A.

We cut an apple in half and looked at all the parts - skin, flesh, core, seeds, stem.  We counted the seeds and then dipped the apple halves in paint and painted with them.


I called out a number and George jumped on the matching floor mat.  Then George linned them all up in order.


One of the puzzles we did this week. 


Apple lacing


Upper and lower case matching


I didn't take photos of everything as for me it's more important to be there with George teaching/helping/playing with him.  I only get a photo if my phone is near by and there is time. 

We did many more of the Letter of the Week activities as well as making apple fruit leather, apple pancakes and even made apples and the letter A out of lego. 

Day 21

Geocaching in Raglan

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hands on Play - Week Three

Week three - Paint.

I know my kids LOVE to play with paint.  It's not usually about the end result, just the act of painting they enjoy.  The only thing.... preschoolers painting equals mess!!

I know I just need to suck it up and enjoy the mess with them, which is something I'm working on.  Even when I do get the paints out I usually have enough well before the kids and trying to clean up - including clean up the kids isn't easy when they don't want to help and just want to go back to painting.

This week I let the kids paint for as long as they wanted.  Grace had enough well before George did and just wanted to wash her hands which resulted in water play for her while George finished his painting.

As we were working on apples for Letter of the Week, I cut a apple in half and they used a half each as their paint brushes.


Next weeks challenge: In the Kitchen

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14


Homeschooling... the beginning


Since a became a Mum homeschooling has appealed to me more and more, although at first hubby wasn't keen as the few real life examples he's had prior to having kids were enough to put anyone off.

As our oldest George has gotten closer and closer to 5 which is the age that most children start school in New Zealand, hubby and I have talked more and more about it and we've decided that we will give homeschooling a go at least until George is 6 which is when he has to legally either be enrolled in a school or have an exemption from the Ministry of Education so I can  legally home school.

Even though George is still only 4 years old I decided that I would start schooling at home from the beginning of this year.

This is what has been keeping me busy for the last couple of weeks.  I've been looking at different curriculum ideas and get planning.  At  George's age I want things to be mainly play based but I want him to start learning to write letters.

After looking around I decided to purchase the Letter of the week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I've used some of her printable in the pass and  George loves them, I hope to do a letter a week but depending on how long it takes us to do all the activities we might do two a week instead.

I also brought  a Homeschool-Planner from Homeschool creations which will hopefully keep me on track, I also love to make lists so I now have the one place for all my home schooling notes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hands on Play - Week Two

Week two - Ride a horse.

Every time I take the kids to the supermarket Grace always heads to the ride on toys.  I usually have to drag her away screaming.  I've tried letting her play before hand but then she's unhappy the whole time I'm shopping as she just wants to go back, and also tried letting her play afterwards but then it's hard to get her to leave while carrying my shopping and getting her into the car to go home. 

So far a change I headed down to the supermarket with no plans to buy anything, only to let George and Grace play as long as they wanted. 


Next weeks challenge: Paint

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 10

Rain rain go away, come again another day.

I really do want to play.

Day 10 - rain

1. Sunrise
2. Rain
3. Chicken
4. House
5. Strawberries
6. Horse
7. Cars
8. Tomatoes
9. Juice
10. Worms
11. Eyes
12. Bunny
13. Toys
14. Ribbon
15. Pop
16. Bubbles
17. Police
18. Ink
19. Recycle
20. Umbrella
21. Robot
22. Plants
23. Patch
24. Fur
25. Art
26. Dance
27. Literature
28. Sliding
29. Zip
30. Shoes
31. Collection