October 28, 2010

Where's George?

Have you ever seen a bill that looks like this?



Nothing special about it right? Except, what's that writing?


The kids and I discovered these some time ago. We've tracked them off and on for a few years now.

If you find one of these bills you can go to the Where's George website and enter in the serial number on the bill.


The website will then show you where the bill started and where it stopped on it's journey to you.


This is a great way to study the circulation of money and geography. Sometimes people will leave notes about the money which creates a sort of "Flat Stanley" story.

After submitting the bills you then release them back into circulation for someone else to find. You can also create an account and register your own dollars.


October 26, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Muffins


I used applesauce in lieu of oil in this recipe. I should have shortened the cooking time. But they were still very tasty, though a little dry.


1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 c Rolled oats
1/2 c Sugar
2 ts Baking powder
1 ts Baking soda
1/2 ts Salt
2 Eggs
1/4 c Canola oil (applesauce substituted)
1/4 c milk
1 c Mashed bananas; 3 medium


In a large bowl measure dry ingredients. Stir to mix. Make a well in center. In a small bowl beat eggs until frothy. Mix in oil, milk and bananas. Pour into well. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 mins.

***I found that the most important part of muffin making is to barely mix the wet ingredients with the dry. The texture is just way better.***


October 20, 2010

Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins


We are exploring muffin making. Muffins are so much better for a fast breakfast than the sugar cereal my kids love so much. The bonus is that they are great for those mornings we have to grab breakfast on the run. My new plan is to make muffins each week. I'm hoping to vary the recipes a bit for variety. So far, it's been a big hit with the kids.

Food.com is a great resource for recipes. It and Pioneer Woman's Tastykitchen.com are my two favorites. I really like that Food.com breaks down the nutritional value of the ingredients and combines them for the recipe.


* 2 cups pumpkin puree
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup canola oil
* 1/2 cup water
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups flour
* 1 cup oatmeal
* 4 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup chopped nuts


1. heat oven to 375*F.
2. Grease and flour muffin tins, or use paper liners.
3. in large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients except nuts, blend until just combined.
4. Do not over mix.
5. Stir in nuts.
6. Fill prepared muffin tins three fourths full.
7. Bake for 18 to20 minutes, or until muffins test done.
8. Cool in pan or on a wire rack.

They came out so delicious. I think my next batch will be made with apple sauce instead of oil.

We enjoyed these fresh from the oven with some apple cider.


They were super delicious.



October 18, 2010

A Fall Afternoon

We are going to take a break from our normal school day. Instead we are going to celebrate fall!


We read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irvine. We read about the author here first. I found a copy of the short story online here.

One of the cool facts we learned about the author was that he went by a pen name of "Diedrich Knickerbocker". The NY Knicks got their name from this pseudonym.

This is one of my favorite fall stories. There are many good moral lessons to draw on from the characters. I love how Irvine twists irony, humor, and suspense into one short story. There were a few times that I had to reread a sentence or two because the irony was lost on them at first. It was fun to talk about together.

While I read out loud the kids enjoyed apple cider and pumpkin-oatmeal muffins. My house smelled so lovely.

After we finished reading, we kicked back and watched the Disney cartoon.



October 12, 2010

Wanna Play Hangman?

That was the question Calvin posed to me this morning.

I'm not so sure...but the game looks rigged to me.


October 2, 2010

Career Mom - Fashion

It's official. I am now a working mom...again. lol

I work the night audit at a Wingate by Wyndham hotel. It's brand spankin' new..as in...we just opened a few nights ago and about 80% of the beds have never been slept in. I am loving my surroundings. I'm still working for the same company as before. This transfer gave me a full-time position.

I'll still be homeschooling, leading the Cub Scout Pack, sitting on the Boy Scout Troop committee, and running my daughter to ballet a few times a week. Whew...

One of the things I like about my job, is the dressing up. I had to go shopping today for a few things to add to my wardrobe. My favorite store is Fashion Bug. They area always running specials and I can usually find a great coupon.


Today I picked up a nice top. I like the way it fits.


I was starting to give up on finding a pair of pants that fit me in length (didn't hang in a puddle around me feet). But I finally found my size in a petite. I may still have to bring them up an inch...or wear taller shoes. They are so comfortable...and that's what's really important here.


I layered it with a cardigan sweater.


Now, if I can only find a few pairs of comfortable black flats...