Saturday, December 05, 2009

Static on My Skirt

The Christmas party for Gary's workplace was today. I don't tend to enjoy those things -- too introverted. But last year and this year we had SO much fun because we were with one of the families from church whom I find totally delightful!

With cold dry weather, the static build-up between my coat and my dress was awful. As I was taking off my coat at the party, my hand got within 2" of Maggie's arm, and the zap of electricity was significant. Yikes! Creepy, clingy skirt! After chatting with some folks a bit, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom to find some water to knock same static out of my dress. Pam suggested hand lotion. She said a little hand lotion smeared on your hands, and then wiped lightly on the skirt, will do a good job of killing static. And oh man, oh man, it worked fabulously. My skirt hung softly ... until I put on my coat again and headed home. :-)

Friday, December 04, 2009


Enrichment is good for kids' education. It gives them experiences or knowledge as "hooks" on which to "hang" other learning.

And yet, is enrichment something that usually takes some amount of riches? Erin wrote this fall about how cool it is to be able to visit the local places they're studying about in history. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could take the kids to visit the Great Wall of China or the Coliseum? But almost none of us can do that.

But what about even the activities that many people consider normal? Art supplies, horseback riding lessons, groceries for a monthly ethnic meal, music lessons, weekly gym or swim days, etc, cost money. A homeschool mom I revere often says that it takes either money or time (but usually both) to learn something.

So for those who must be frugal, where's the line? It's possible for homeschool moms to be "penny wise and pound foolish" when it comes to investing in their children's education. But when there's just not the funds, how do we squish in appropriate enrichment?

Monday, November 30, 2009


Our trip to California started well, and then went downhill. We began by taking only 55 minutes to drive to the airport, check in, go through security, and arrive at our [far-flung] gate. We watched a fantastic first half of the Vikings-Bears game. We didn't understand how the seating on the plane worked; no reserved seats, just take-your-pick. We were last on the plane and it was full. When the man next to me noticed how I was talking to Maggie and trying to help her figure out how to buckle her seat belt, he offered to switch places with her so the two of us could sit together. That was SO nice!

Layover wasn't long. On the second stint of the flight, Maggie managed to find two seats next to each other, and she sat next to the window. Hooray!

It took us three hours from the time we landed in Sacramento until we arrived at our room in the Kiwanis House. Three hours! There was a screw-up with the SuperShuttle reservations. When we checked in, they told us it would be a 7-minute wait for the shuttle. They promise a 15-minute maximum wait. It was an hour before we had our van. Then it took 45 minutes to drive to the house (a 20-minute drive if you're not making multiple stops around town for other passengers) and about 25 minutes to check in to the house. We didn't get to bed until what 12:30 PST (2:30 our time).

Today went better. Maggie had her tests and MRI. I was planning to do a lot of editing on CCA materials, but have been having trouble with it. I'm also required for interviews with doctors more than I'd anticipated.

Three nice things I've noticed about where we are:
Gorgeous weather today.
How polite the motorists are to pedestrians and bikers!
The black people here speak in standard English, not the ghetto-speak which is so common at home.

Gotta go make some supper.

Applesauce Muffins

What to do with that little bit of leftover applesauce? So many muffin recipes have bran (which we seldom have in the house). We've tried many different bran-less recipes, and they're all pretty decent. But now I've found one that's a keeper. This one contains just a smidge of sugar, not much fat, and all whole grains.

one dozen Applesauce Muffins

Stir together:
1 cup (dry) rolled oats
1 cup applesauce
1 egg
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp oil
1/2 cup milk, orange juice, or apple juice

Set aside mixture so that oats can soak in the liquid.
Begin preheating oven to 375.
Grease muffin tin.

Stir together:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Make well in center of flour. Pour in wet ingredients. Stir just until blended and all flour has been moistened. If desired add 1/2 cup of raisins, craisins, chopped nuts, or chopped fresh cranberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Together for Thanksgiving

If I were Katie, I would have an assortment of nice candid pictures, nice posed pictures, a picture of dinner, a picture of other activities. But I'm not Katie. So here are a few shots from when I thought to grab the camera and make my mom happy. Philip stayed for two days, Paul for nearly 4 (some of which was doing homework and writing papers).

I will try to do better at taking pictures of the trip to California. (When we looked on Mapquest's street-view, I saw palm trees!)

Mom & Rachel, that's the Herb-Crust Turkey Pie which was unit#1 of turkey leftovers. Mmmmm.

You'd think with that much counter space, I should have a few spare inches of emptiness, but no....