Friday, August 31, 2012


Today was a crazy day with very little accomplished. Breakfast dishes are still in the sink, the dishwasher is right next to the sink. Now the lunch and dinner dishes have joined them. When this happens I seem to lose all motivation. It's so silly as it would have taken less than 5 minutes each meal but today that wasn't happening. Most days it does thankfully.

Ragweed is kicking my butt. My head hurts and my sinuses are very unhappy. I can't bend down or I see stars and my lungs feel half their usual size. I wasn't allergic to ragweed until I was 33. I wasn't missing anything good all those years!

This morning T2 and I read The Animal Rescue club - an early chapter book. We both wished it had been longer.

We also read a Magic Treehouse book. We couldn't find this one when we needed it and had to skip to the next book and then of course we found it afterwards.

We played another picnic plate word game which led T2 to the next book. She was much quicker today with some of the words we have previously worked on which is great because it is hard for her to remember words by sight. She wasn't too enthralled at the start but after a few plates, she had a very proud smile going on.

Hudson wanted to pose!

Our little caterpillar friend is still hanging out with us and munching his way through vast quantities of milk weed leaves. We have had him almost 2 weeks and he was pretty big when we found him. I thought he would be closer to a butterfly by now. It seems happy enough.

In February we stopped watching TV. The only time since then we have switched it on was to watch the dude tightrope walk across Niagara Falls. Other than that it has only been used a few times to watch family movies. It's been a while so we decided to rent one. G chose The Pirates! Band of misfits. Both kids love Wallace and Gromit so hopefully they will enjoy this.

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday reading

I started reading our next World war 2 book with T1 today. I think it will be good but maybe not as interesting for him as Charlie Wilcox mainly because the main character is a girl and T1 is still at the girls-are-gross stage. I think it will be good to learn more about the influenza epidemic.

T2 and I read our next book in The Magic Treehouse series. I love these books - such an easy read but with plenty of facts and always that suspense - will they make it back to the treehouse and get home!!
I have signed up T2 for a HS book club at a nearby library. We haven't participated before but this year I think it will be good for her even though I will be doing the reading part. The group meets once a month and each child is given a specific element of the book to share and discuss with the other members. Currently all those registered are girls of about her age which I think she will like. The first book is one I am not yet familiar with

This is what I am reading right now. Liking it so far.

T2 and I read this before bedtime.

Mmmmm gnocchi

I've never tried making gnocchi before but I have been meaning to for a while. I chose a recipe from one of my favourite vegan cook books (I changed from vegetarian to vegan on January 9 2012). It totally rocks in my opinion

The recipe is really simple but it seemed to take forever. Next time I make them I'm sitting down when it comes to the rolling into a long worm, cutting and rolling off a fork part. It was quite fun but my back was sore by the end from leaning over the kitchen counter. I definitely need to work on my technique

I dumped them in a pot of boiling water and hoped for the best. I half expected my effort to result in a soupy starchy mess. I held my breath and to my delight one by one they bobbed up to the surface. I was so pleased. I sautéed some chopped mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil and when the gnocchi were ready I tossed them in the pan and let them mingle for a minute before plating with some salad greens. It was delicious. I have the remaining uncooked gnocchi freezing on a tray so I can later pop them in a baggy for another day. It tasted way better than it looks!!


I still can't decide what to make for dinner and a busy morning hasn't allowed my brain to focus on that yet.

T2 and I just finished up one of my favourite word games.

It's great for reading and understanding nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions and articles. It's pretty funny too when the sentences end up really silly!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday eve

We finished reading Charlie Wilcox. T1 and I enjoyed it. It definitely showed the horrific experiences of front line soldiers in WW1 but at the same time it was smoothed over by other parts of the story.  Our next book which we shall start tomorrow is 'If I die before I wake'. We have touched on the influenza epidemic of 1918 but this should give us more insight. It is set in Toronto which is great because we know Toronto quite well.

I made the pasta sauce that I mentioned earlier and it was really good. It had good flavour but not over powering and it spread nicely. I now have a few jars in the freezer ready for another day. I used the bread dough for the pizza and it made quite a fluffy dough. Delicious. I should probably start thinking about what will be for dinner tomorrow. I'm thinking gnocchi....

Wednesday morning

T1 is a night owl and prefers to sleep late. Some days this is a nuisance if we need to be somewhere but mostly it works for us because it gives me time to get a few chores done and spend some time with T2 on her own. This morning while he slumbered we did another picnic plate word game.

Working her way around the word spiral reading the words from the book in the centre. This morning she wasn't really in the mood and it was a bit like pulling teeth but she did it and despite her complaints and her scowl I could see she was proud of herself and she did a great job reading the book with minimal help from me.

I have 3 more dough balls in the fridge from when I made the focaccia yesterday. I'm thinking they might become pizzas this evening so I need to whip up some pizza sauce. I'm going to try this recipe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Eve

All day long our house smelled divine. It started with the spaghetti sauce which turned out delicious. Later the additional aroma of home made focaccia. I used the recipe from one of my favourite bread making books

I had never made focaccia before, this was very easy and cooked up quickly. This was a good thing because I was cutting it a bit close with the need to leave to take T2 to horse riding. Unfortunately it was too hot to try before we ran out the door.

Our plan was to have a very early dinner as G was working late. Apparently I was unable to wait for the noodles to cook

I had a couple minor mishaps with dinner. The first being forgetting to remove a bay leaf before attacking the sauce with the immersion blender (apparently chunks are disgusting). I did stop and yank out the second one but the first had already been pulverized. Then when I was transferring cooked spaghetti noodles to T1's plate (minus sauce thankfully) I dropped them. Today must be a really good day as I would typically not handle such a thing well, especially as I had skipped lunch, but  it made me laugh instead as my first thought as I saw them stuck to the cabinet door was "I guess that means they are cooked just right". Im not sure if it's true that perfectly cooked spaghetti will stick to a wall but at least it saved me from a hungry Mommy melt down.

 T2 greeted my bread and sauced spaghetti with complaints and slouched shoulders, already tired from riding and nearing the end of her tolerance for everything, yet she asked for seconds. RESULT!

Second week of riding lessons went really well and T2 remembered a lot from last week. This week she was able to guide her horse through a line of orange cones and around the small paddock without help. The horse she rides is very tolerant and docile, today he wanted to yank leaves from a particular tree each time they passed it which caused quite a lot of unexpected movement for T2 but she handled it well and the second time she didn't hesitate to nudge her heels and remind him to keep walking.

She was concentrating too hard to smile!

No science scheduled for tonight, just some more Charlie Wilcox (it's a good WW1 book. T1 and I are enjoying it) and T2 and I will read the next Magic Treehouse book. Then early bedtime for all of us!!


I am trying a new spaghetti sauce recipe that I found on Pinterest. I love Pinterest! It will be slow cooking all day so my house will smell real good!!! This is the recipe here.

I can't wait to try it

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Eve

We did two experiments from this book again

We rubbed a metal paperclip against a bar of soap, sprinkled baby powder on a tray of water and dropped the soapy paperclip in the tray to see what would happen to the powder. I forgot to take a picture of that but it was cool (try it if you want to know what happens).

Next we further explored surface tension of water by filling a bowl to the top and sliding in pennies to see how many it would take to break the surface tension and cause the water to over flow. It was almost  like playing Jenga or some such game waiting to see who would be the one to break the tension!

Next we further explored surface tension of water by filling a bowl to the top and sliding in pennies to see how many it would take to break the surface tension and cause the water to over flow.

Next on our list is for me to read the next Treehouse book to T2 and to continue with a couple more chapters of Charlie Wilcox then i Can continue with my WW1 novel Deafening

Monday afternoon

At least now most of the polish goes on her nails!

Made this rice for dinner. It is SO good. The recipe is here

I was reading Charlie Wilcox to T1 which we are enjoying. I had to take a break for a minute and oops I dozed off. I am annoyed because I really want to know what happens next.

While dinner finishes cooking I need to decided what science experiment we will do afterwards.....

Monday morning

Dyslexia is hard. Hard on T2 and hard on my heart. T2 wants to be a reader. She loves books and we read together a lot but she wants to be an independent reader. She wants to be able to read simple instructions in work books and on video games, to follow a simple recipe, to be able to snuggle under a blanket and lose herself in a world of characters at times when I can't read to her. We keep trying new approaches but so far nothing seems to bring progress. We will keep trying until we find something that works.

Today we played a game. I wrote down words on index card halves and set each card on a picnic plate. Her job was to toss bean bags and read the word on the plate the bean bag landed on. If she read it correctly, she could take away that plate. It took quite a while but she did it. Only a few words she really didn't know at all and those were What, now, will, sees, puts, this, that. The others were all one syllable words that can be easily sounded out. Once we completed that game which got silly at times with bean bags flying and plates flipping, we read the easy reader books that I took the words from. Seeing those words grouped as 2-6 words per page was just overwhelming for her and we had to cover all but one word at a time. Her frustration is very high at times so we have to keep these sessions short and fun

This is what she would rather be doing. Crafts and horses - her favourite!