Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post Christmas Tantrum Disorder

My kids are suffering from Post Christmas Tantrum Disorder.

Post Christmas Tantrum Disorder is characterized by the following signs and symptoms.

1.  Frequent and prolonged tantrums. (this is the main symptom)
2.  Inability to place trash in appropriate containers.
3.  Inability to share.
4.  Inability to control the volume of their voice.
5.  Inability to reason.
6.  Inability to follow simple commands.

Post Christmas Tantrum Disorder is more common in children between the ages of 2 and 10 but can also occur in children of all ages as well as adults.  It is caused by late nights and early mornings, increased sugar intake and decreased vitamin intake, high expectations to behave for long periods of time, too much Christmas Cheer, and too many presents.

Treatments for Post Christmas Tantrum Disorder include (but are not limited to): spankings, time-outs, extra long naps, trips to Grandma's, trips to the park (weather permitting), trips to the salon (adults), trips to the liquor store (adults), increased vegetable intake, and repossession of presents by Santa.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Homeschool : C is for Christmas and W is for Winter

Wow, have we been crafting fools the past two weeks or what?  We combined W and C and talked about all things Winter and Christmas. 

Gingerbread Houses
We followed directions at Caked Alaska




Donut Reindeer (some of us got it more than others)



Cotton ball beard Santa
(I apologize.  I am too lazy to look up the link to the Santa face.  Just google "Santa face template")

This craft had such potential.  So cute.

I leave the room for literally 10 seconds and come back to this.  After they finished Santa's beard they decided he needed a cotton balled mustache too.  Then a cotton balled hat.  Then he needed "snow balls" on his face.  And all over the rest of the paper.

This is big sister's.

 Snowman (my oldest came up with and executed this one all by herself)


Snowman (I like crafts that are made out of simple shapes)


Holiday Lights (we talked about colors and patterns on this one)


Rudolph


Santa


Smallest to Biggest Christmas tree


Christmas tree decorated with scraps of wrapping paper and ribbon


Handprint Wreath (please don't look at the crumbs on my table.  It has taken an hour to get this far and I don't want to re-do it)


Milk Jug snowman


Coffee Filter Snowflakes



Whew!  We also did our usual letter (C&W) worksheets and colorsheets from education.com and twistynoodle.com.

Next up: M is for Music

Homeschool : D is for Diesel

It's all about the dog this week.  Our chocolate lab, Diesel, turned 9 this year.  He's the best dog.  With cold weather on its way we decided to have him professionally groomed so he could spend the winter indoors roasty toasty warm with us.  The girls are loving it!  He sleeps in their rooms.  They put hairbows on him.  They sit on him and cuddle him.  They sneak him donuts and cookies.  He lets them.



Paper Dog Ears
Oh, how my kids love to pretend to be "puppies"...at home, in the bath tub, at Walmart, at the Post Office, in the car, at the doctor's office, at the dinner table, in crowded restaurants.  These simple dog ears kept them busy for DAYS.  DAYS!



This is the head band.  I folded it to make it stronger.  Staple these together to fit the kid's head.

These are the ears we used.



Then staple the ears to the top of the head band.


Since it's almost Christmas we turned some of our dog crafts into presents for Diesel.

Homemade dog treats
adapted from Pink Pistachio
1 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 T oil

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.  Knead into a ball.  Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out treats with cookie cutters and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness).

This was the best baking activity for the girls.  They could play with the dough and I didn't have to worry about people eating it.  They pretty much smashed it out and cut the cookies by themselves.





We also did our usual letter worksheets and colorsheets from education.com and twistynoodle.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homeschool: All About Me K & L

The twins are 3 1/2.  They need to start recognizing their own name and each other's names...or at least the first letter.  We label a lot of their stuff with their first initial.  I thought we'd combine learning the letters K & L with the theme All About Me.

Draw your face...
Printable can be found at Mrs. Nelson's Class.



Kaelyn did a pretty good job!  Not sure what's on her forehead.  I was afraid to ask.

My favorite things collage


Apparently Lauren likes make-up.  And that green thing on the right is a green Kool-Aid tongue.  She likes it when her Kool-Aid changes her tongue colors.  True story.

Me Posters
Trace your kid on butcher paper.  Let them draw clothes, a face, hair, fingernails, etc.  We also included some facts about each kid.  And since the girls' attention span is only about 20 minutes (and my patience) the next day we labeled their body parts.  I just typed up some names of body parts and printed them off. 


Yes, my kid's favorite food is salad.  She would eat it at every meal.


Mommy and Me interviews...
Printable can be found at Becky Higgins.

Letter K & L worksheets can be found at education.com and twistynoodle.com.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Soup 'O the Week : Creamy Tortellini Soup

I couldn't find a recipe that sounded good so I basically just added a pint of half and half to the original Tortellini Soup.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:
Italian seasoning
Pepper (and if you want, Salt but the chicken broth is salty enough if you buy the regular )
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices ( I bought the seasoned ones )
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 small can tomato sauce
1 pint half and half
1 pkg frozen or fresh tortellini
3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

Directions:
In a large pot bring broth, seasonings, tomato sauce, half and half, and tomatoes to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook per pkg instructions.  Add the spinach.  Remove from heat. 

And if you leave this on the stove for half an hour on low the liquid thickens up and it turns into a great pasta dish!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gingerbread Play-Doh

Gingerbread Play-Doh (aka how to keep your three year old twins busy so you can clean the bathroom)
from Sweet Sugarbelle


Ingredients:


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves (maybe a little less...it was pretty clovey)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tsp orange extract {optional}

Directions:


In a medium saucepan whisk together dry ingredients. Next mix in the water, oil, and orange extract and stir until a thick batter is formed. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. Turn out onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grandma Colburn's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This is for Stephanie.

These are a favorite of pretty much everyone in our family.  My grandma taught me how to make them.  And if you don't bring enough to Christmas dinner Aunt Lisa and Mandi get ticked.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
makes about 2 dozen
Ingredients:
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough of your choice (we use pre-made refrigerated dough but homemade dough would probably be a lot better.  You might be able to use the Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie dough but it might be too crumbly.)
1 bag of mini peanut butter cups

Directions:
Prepare (or open) dough.  Roll into small (about 1 inch) balls and place in mini muffin tin.  Now, you have a choice.  Every recipe I look up on the internet says to bake the dough first, then smash a peanut butter cup into it.  We have always smashed the peanut butter cup into the dough first, then baked.  Either way, bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.  Cool in pan until chocolate re-solidifies...about 30 minutes.  If you don't, they fall apart and you end up with a gooey mess...which isn't that bad since you get to eat all the "bad" ones.

I didn't take this picture, but this is what they look like when they're done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I'll go as far as to say it's the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie.



Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Apple A Day
Original recipe from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada
makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch (I left out the cornstarch!!!)
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used half mini chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chips)

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


2.  Cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.


3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch (or not), baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.


4.  Drop dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)


5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  She then says "Try not to eat them all." 

We finished off half of them in about 5 minutes flat.  My oldest said, "These are the BEST cookies you've EVER made."



P.S.  I know the color is wonky.  Can't figure out how to fix it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snickerdoodles

I've been on a quest lately for perfect cookie recipes since bombing chocolate chip cookies a few times.  These Snickerdoodles are pretty darn good.

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
from Allrecipes.com
makes 4 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
sugar and cinnamon for coating

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400.  Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Blend in flour, cream of tartar, soda, and salt.  Shape dough into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for exactly 8 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheet to cool.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Soup 'O the Week: Easy Pasta e Fagioli

What's better than Italian food or soup?  Italian soup!

Easy Pasta e Fagioli
adapted from Annie's Eats (love this blog)
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/2 lb hamburger or Italian sausage
1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth ( I only used 2 and it was thick )
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. small dry pasta

Directions:
Brown hamburger or sausage in soup pot.  Add diced tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.  Add the beans, broth, tomato sauce, and all the seasonings to the pot.  Stir well, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes.  Top with parmesan and serve with bread.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homeschool: T is for Thanksgiving

We skipped a couple of weeks.  Like, three.

T is for Thanksgiving...and Turkey.  This week we practiced writing the letter T, talked about Native Americans and turkeys, and ate some really yummy food.

Paper Plate Turkeys

1.  Cut feathers out of construction paper.
2.  Print out turkey template from DLTK in black and white or color.
3.  Have kids color turkey templates and cut out if they can...or just cut it out if you printed the color one.
4.  Fold or cut a paper plate in half (folding is easier).
5.  Have kids glue feathers along inside and outside rims and glue plate together.
6.  Have kids glue turkey shapes to plate.


What's on Your Plate?

1.  Cut pictures of thanksgiving food out of holiday magazines.
2.  Print off What's on Your Plate worksheet from education.com
3.  Glue pictures of food onto "plate"





Friday, November 18, 2011

Bartlesville

We had some errands to run in the big city of Bartlesville, Oklahoma today.  It's a bit of a drive so we decided to make a day of it.  We took Grandpa along.  We also had lunch at 2 Sisters Pub and Grille.  Highly recommended.


First up was the restored steam engine. 









They've recently added a caboose too but it's not restored yet.









Watching a video about the engine.


Next we headed over to Frank and Jane Phillips' mansion.  We were a bit disappointed that they were closed for lunch and we didn't have time to wait around.  We toured the grounds instead.  And found a cat.





The girls were pretending that this was their "house".


Since the mansion was closed we headed back up to the Phillips Petroleum Company museum.

A revolving door!



I didn't quite get this.  It's hard to read the signs when you have to watch and chase two 3 year olds.  Frank Phillips invented hula hoops?  No, that's not right.




 I don't think they were supposed to play on these...but they looked like a slide I guess.  I was too tired at this point to tell them to stop.


We had a fun day.  Bartlesville has lots of neat places like this.  We're planning to go back when we can tour the Phillips' mansion.