Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dancing Naked Covered in Pear Jam

See, that's where commas become really important. Those are actually three different events from the weekend - sorry for any disappointment!
Hooray for three-day weekends! I wanted to spend a lot of time with the kids, so first order of business was getting the rest of the Bountiful Baskets haul taken care of and out of the way. After Sunday's Cooking Marathon, I was only able to pick at it here and there (darn job getting in the way!), and still hadn't really touched the 38 pounds of pears.
So, I made a huge batch of Bartlett Harlequin Jam, an equally large batch of Apple Pear Cranberry Relish, and this Pear Honey.
Fortunately, they all required lots of simmering time, which gave me a chance to play with the kids in between. The Pear Honey was really good over confetti cornbread muffins - just regular cornbread with leftover corn on the cob, bell peppers, and hot peppers that hadn't already been used up. Those will both be going to the fire department meeting Tuesday (assuming there are any left).
I made this Pina Colada Jam with the pineapples, but I haven't tasted it yet due to the rum in it - I know, most alcohol may have been cooked out, but I don't take chances there. I'll have some in January:) I did have to add a lot more pectin than it said, but it looks and smells good!
Having pesto on hand is proving...well, handy, so I was happy to find this recipe for Spinach and Kale Pesto (not to mention a new blog to follow!). It even used up the half bag of slivered almonds that has been sitting in the cupboard since Christmas. I froze a bunch and used some with a medley of potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, celery and onions, which I baked for supper this weekend:
Okay, enough heating up the kitchen, time to go play outside!

Yes, I used to be one of those childless people who shook her head at other people's children's mismatched outfits. But I love her sense of style! Why NOT wear snow boots with your halter dress?

We spent a lot of time climbing around and using C.'s tools to measure things,

and making sure they were level (um...they're not.)
Saturday night there was a street dance in a small village north of here. We told the kids we were going "some place special", and they drove me NUTS all day trying to guess. Next time, I just pack them into the car and start driving! They were pretty happy with the surprise once we got there, though.
Of course, L. is not fond of loud noises (unless he is creating them), and shares my taste in music. He spent the first twenty minutes like this:

And C. pretty much concurred:

L. loosened up a bit when he discovered he could dance with pretty girls, though!

And even more so when he got some 7-Up in him.

Dang, kid, it didn't even have caffeine in it!

C. discovered places to climb and jump off of and swing around, so he was good. S., on the other hand, ran around and demanded dances most of the evening:
She even made Daddy dance with her to "Cotton-Eyed Joe", which for some reason didn't wear her out as much as it did him. All three littles fell asleep on the short drive home, and I don't think S. fully woke up until the next morning. As I was getting her out of her car seat, she stumbled to me saying, "Mommy, I want to dance with you," then collapsed into my arms.
In 'school', we are learning the letter "N", which of course is easy to confuse with "M", so this weekend we did a lot with both letters. We still haven't put the new flooring in, so I had the perfect canvas for a game:

I call out a letter or a word, and they all have to stand on the right one. You can do this with tape or chalk if you don't want red enamel paint everywhere:)
C. has started school again - second grade! - and brought home his first spelling list of the year. We came up with sentences together, trying to include words that started with "m" or "n".

We seem to be partial to the word "naked" for "n".
Getting C. to write is like pulling teeth, so I just made him write the actual spelling words:
then S. went over all the "m"s and "n"s with her own markers.
"M" is for "mailbox", so we made these to leave each other notes. I picked the kits up a week after Valentine's Day for something like 30 cents each.
I LOVE when kids do the Picasso thing.
Back outside again! The kids dug for dinosaur bones for a while (you'll want to be careful walking around our property), then S. decided she wanted to come back in and help me make dessert. We used up some leftovers and made individual brownies,

with the cans of frosting that only had an inch left each, and the malted milk balls that everyone seems to pass over.

S. is very generous with her toppings. These definitely did not lack for sweetness; holy sugar coma, Batman!
And then back out again, where we found a new friend.

Poor guy wanted to run (slither) away, but wasn't sure which direction was safe. Every time he thought he could make a break for it, C. had to go check to see if he was still there.

He finally headed downhill and away from the crazy noisy place.
Monday started with coed naked math:
Try that in public school! Over the course of half an hour we had sorting, patterning, bartering, and greater-than-less-than.
Then they suddenly remembered the mailboxes, and there was a frenzy of coloring pictures for each other.
Um...hello? Where'd everyone go? Mess on the table?
Busted! And you two, don't even try to act like you weren't standing on the bed, too, when I walked in.
Do your kids do this? When you remind them they are supposed to pick something up when they are done playing with it,
they just decide they aren't done playing with it after all? We went back and forth with the shapes all day, interspersed with play-do and books. It rained on and off ALL DAY. We did go out and play in the mud in the evening, followed by much-needed baths, then chili for supper. Kind of a lazy day after all the activity over the last two! Sometimes we need lazy days, though. Back to work tomorrow - except for poor Daddy, who has been 'back to work' all weekend:( Hope everyone else got to enjoy at least some time off!



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