Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thirteen things

I have had a bit of the blogging slump. I just haven't felt compelled to post anything recently. I just don't think anything is that interesting to write about or I just have had other things going on. But I thought I would share 13 things I have been thinking about or doing recently.

1. I just finished reading The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter. I always enjoy and recommend everyone read her books. She is a somewhat recent find for me. My mom has told me that she read the books in her youth but I don't remember ever hearing about her novels until recently. I started with Laddie and have now read just about all of her published books. Good, wholesome, moral books! Much better than the stuff that comes out today. Before reading reading this book I had quickly read through Jane Austen in Scarsdale. Interesting, and at times funny, book but nothing I am going to really recommend or read again.

2. Emma Watson did a good job playing Pauline Fossil in Dancing Shoes. This was the only other film I have seen her in other than the Harry Potter movies. We watching this today and enjoyed it. It follows the book quite well but rushes through. If you haven't read the book, I would say read it before watching. It will make a lot more sense if you already know the story.

3. Dover coloring books are great! Last Fall I went online and ordered as many of the dover coloring books or maze books as I could for $50, which is the amount you have to buy in order to get free shipping. I got a lot of their bargain bin ones for a dollar or so and tried to find ones that would go along with our studies during the little while. At first I thought I was crazy for buying coloring books for so much money but Sophie has so enjoyed them I have no regrets. She has colored a few pages in a lot of different ones. She loves the birds, insects and flower ones and often tells me all about the flower she is coloring because she actually reads those captions at the bottom of the page. She has really enjoyed the historical ones I picked and give to her when they go along with the history. She just recently finished coloring the last of the Roman one I gave her last spring when studying about them. So they have been a good review at times of the things we have already studied. But mostly I love that Sophie loves to color while she listens to audio books. She will do that for hours some days and it is nice. Now if only I can get Ian to color. He has never taken to it... but he loves the maze books.

4. The Acrobat and the Angel by Mark Shannon is a fun library find this week. I got it to go along with our middle ages France studies for the week since it claimed to be a french tale and takes place in that time period. It reminds me a lot of The clown of God by Tomie dePaola. Maybe they are based on similar tales or legends.

5. I am ready for this election to come and go. I am tired of politics and especially the presidential race. It just makes me weary thinking about it. Plus I am ready to have my husband be less busy. He is always doing something related to his work with the Yes on Prop 8 groups. Saturdays are especially busy as we juggle soccer games, ballet and prop 8.

6. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins are the best! I can't even say how many times I have made these muffins over the last few months but they are great every time! My kids love them, I love them and my husband always shares with his co workers and they love them. Have I posted this one already? If I have then here it is again. If not then here it is and enjoy. I usually half this recipe and it still makes two pans worth.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups canned pumpkin (one large can.)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves
mini chocolate chips (as many as your heart desires)

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, vegetable oil, sugar and eggs. Mix well by hand or use an electric mixer. Blend in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix thoroughly. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven. For baby muffins bake for 15-18 minutes. For muffins and small loaves, bake for 30-35 minutes. For medium and large loaves, bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

7. I need to use my crock pot more often. I coach Ian's soccer team late on Thursday afternoons and it would have been a much nicer dinner if I had had it cooking away while we were gone and came home to something tastier then Chicken nuggets which has become my standard last minute dinner other than pancakes and scrambled eggs which we have been having far too often of late.

8. Our toad hasn't eaten in about 2 weeks. Not because of lack of food. I keep putting a cricket in his box and yet it is always there. He never eats it. I remove that one and put in another one thinking he just doesn't like that one and yet he still doesn't eat. Do toads go that long without eating?

9. My kids love halloween. They are so excited for the different parties we have planned to attend this weekend and next. They found a new favorite halloween book, One Halloween Night by Mark Teague. Sophie has read it to the boys several times. Sophie is going to be a princess, Ian will dress up as a pirate and Henry is a skeleton. Parents are supposed to dress up too but I really am not creative and usually don't end up doing anything.

10. Ok... so I can't come up with any more and my husband needs to use the computer so just image there are 13 things.




Thanks for reading!


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I love Gene Stratton-Porter's books. Girl of the Limberlost is a favorite. We say Ballet Shoes in the Desert Book catalog and were wondering how it was. I think I'll put it in our Net Flix queue.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

This is a great post and a great catch up on what you have been up to.

I wanted to come by and thank you for the nice comment on my Dover Coloring Book post on harmonyartmom. I am really happy to hear of another Dover family.

I love so many of their books and the coloring books have been around our house for years!

Thanks again. Hope to see you around the Outdoor Hour Challenge again soon.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Michal said...

i loved all the "shoes" books as a child and can't wait for bronwen to be old enough to enjoy them. i am excited to see the movie, as i loved her in harry potter.

thanks for the tip on the dover coloring books. i'll have to check them out.

we love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins around here and i haven't made them yet this fall. they sound marvelous.

Anonymous said...

I always think whatever you post about is interesting. I have a lot of things I want to blog about that I'll probably never get to, I just don't have the time!!

Ballet Shoes was one of my favorite books growing up. I'll have to get the movie. The Acrobat and the Angel looks good too.

And I need some more crockpot recipes. We haven't been eating the best lately either due to time constraints. Any recipes you want to pass along??