June 10, 2014

Blogging Break

Well, hey there, dear friend!   After a close to a decade of blogging, I've decided that I'm ready to move on to other adventures. I'm leaving this blog here in case I change my mind - which I am prone to do - but I'm going to focus my energies in other directions for a time.

Thanks for sharing so many lesson plans and adventures with me over the years!  I've loved getting to know so many of you, and even meeting blog friends in person when you travel through.  It's been a good time and I am so honored to have met and/or corresponded with so many innovative and energetic parents who are forging amazing paths around the world.  

I'm still posting our activities and adventures on Instagram.  It's all of the pretty without all of the time commitment, so I'm pretty happy with that venue for sharing.  I look forward to seeing you there, at http://instagram.com/mommaskyla   

Bye for now!

June 9, 2014

Kids Cook Monday : Turtle Bread and Herb Exploration

bread header

I may have taken time off of blogging, but we sure didn't take time off from having the kids in the kitchen!  

We went to the wetlands many times to look at the various critters, we checked out a wetlands kit from
the extension office that was full of wetland story books, identification cards and charts, and all kind of other good stuff that we didn't get around to utilizing.  


Our kitchen focus has been bread making, so we decided to integrate that into our thematic unit and make some turtle shaped bread.


With whatever bread recipe you like, let it rise once normally, then shape it, let it rise a second time, and then glaze and season before baking.


To make a turtle, separate about one fourth of your dough for the head, tail, and limbs.  The rest is just a ball for the shell.  Take kitchen scissors and snip a pattern into the shell.  You can snip the eyes and mouth as well.  Don't be afraid to snip deep, as you will lose some of your shape in the second rise.


I asked the kids what herbs they might like to have on top of their turtle, and they looked at me in silence.  They had no clue.  So we paused and had a little fun letting them open every single herb bottle we own and smell it - maybe taste a flake or two, and agree on what they thought might be a favorable combination. This turned out to be a great exercise. It gave me lots of ideas for future herb lessons.

They settles on basil and Parmesan cheese over the egg wash.  It was the tastiest turtle ever!

To see what other families are up to in the kitchen, pop over to the Kids Cook Monday site.  Happy Mondays!

June 4, 2014

Finally Home

finally at home

We're all moved into a temporary rental house in our new town and life feels suddenly blissful in a way that it hasn't in years.  I can't put into words just how healthy this move feels for our family. After a month spent reflecting, I'm still not sure I've identified all the ways that our last living situation changed our family for better, for worse, and likely forever.

As we are building new rhythms in our healthier landscape, I can't help but ask myself how this blog space will reflect the shift.  Right before the move, I was toying with the idea of not blogging anymore.  It felt like just one more stressor in an already overextended daily routine.  One more place that I was putting myself out there for scrutiny when I already felt under the microscope in my non-virtual existence.  One more thing that needed to get done.

But after taking May off to settle into our new scene, I found that I missed sharing in this space.  And as my daily family routines start to find a more sustainable balance, my day seems to have natural space for sharing again.  And at the very same time, my heart seems to be healing and softening and more open.  There seems to be the potential here for this space to be a creative outlet again instead of one more thing that needs to get marked off the to-do list.

So I'm feeling renewed in many ways and I'm happy to get back to sharing that with you.  Perhaps in some different way that I did before, but sharing none the less.  It's good to be back!

May 7, 2014

Finally settling in

The moving truck finally arrived on Monday.  Silly me, I thought I'd have the whole house organized and pleasant by the time Joe arrived home from work Monday evening.  They arrived at 9 am and they were still in the driveway when he got home at 5:30.  I seriously underestimated the difficulty involved in squeezing a 6 bedroom house worth of stuff into a teeny tiny 3 bedroom rental and a storage unit. We sold SO MUCH STUFF before we even moved, and still it's tight.  I think really, the issue is that our house had 3 living rooms, which we all acknowledge is ridiculous and unnecessary, and so we have 3 couches and love seats.  Pretty sure we plan to ditch some of them, but we want to wait and see what sort of house we end up buying before we downsize so that we don't end up rebuying things that we already owned.

Gotta love water soaked boxes, right?
Anyway, we spent the entire day yesterday unpacking boxes and assessing the damage from our excessively careless moving company.  I'm told that no one ever has a good moving experience, and I'm starting to believe it's true. We had trouble at every turn.  But it's all here now and I'm just happy to be sleeping in a bed again and making my own coffee. It's the small things, ya know?

Things we love about our new town now that we're here?  Everything.

The library is everything we hoped it would be.  They might start charging us rent, we're here so much. 

This town feels so alive after living where we did. There are street performers and women in saris and  head scarves, nature around every corner, and farmers markets in the middle of the week! 

Just today we went to the post office to pick up a new mail key and suddenly the roads were closed.  We parked to see what the fun was, and there was a fair sized farmers market and someone strolling along the river playing Irish tunes on a violin.  And everyone is just happy and content, doing their own thing and paying no mind to what anyone else is doing. 

We've been to this area that we call Salamander Heaven about 5 times in our week and a half here. There are salamanders,snakes, frogs, and goldfish all over the place.  The walk to it is magical and misty, and I feel like we're on the set of Once Upon a Time.  

Just yesterday a little boy frolicked past our yard and said, "I have to go home and make ginger ale with  my dad now, but I'd like to play with you soon. I live over there and my favorite color is purple and I like playing games that involve wearing capes. Okay? Bye!"  We are looking forward to seeing that kid again. He was a hoot!  

And with the ready-made Baha'i community, the kids and I have just plugged right in. They all went to classes on Friday and there are enough kids that each of them was in a separate class meeting in a different wing of the house, and I went to my own study circle full of grown up, tall folks.  2 hours each week with adult Baha'is and I don't even have to burden Joe with child care duties?  It's like a dream!  And the other kids in the classes were so sweet and friendly.  And Hannah Jane's class is much more academic-ish than any she's had before. So much more her style than sitting in on the grade one materials like she has been.  She had homework!  Homework for Baha'i children's classes!  She's in heaven!  They are counting down the days until they get to go again. Hoorah!

So we are happy campers.  Still plenty of boxes to unpack (which I'm considering not finishing since we're just going to pack up and move again, hopefully soon), and I need to rewire the dryer so that it is compatible with our rental's outlet, and get back in the swing of cooking actual meals that take time to cook rather than grabbing quicky food so that I can get back to dealing with movers and mail and all the tedious trappings of moving. I predict that by the end of the week we will be right at home!
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