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!

May 2, 2014

May Moving Break

We made it to Corvallis, friends!  We're settling nicely despite the fact that our moving truck has yet to arrive.  We're sleeping on camping cots and in the floor, we're taking turns eating meals because we have 3 borrowed dishes that we're taking turns with, and we're schooling exclusively from workbooks so that the kids can work independently for a while as I set up utilities, study maps, and fill out forms for everything from homeschooling to mail box key access.  There's a lot of paperwork involved in a move!

So I suspect that I won't be blogging much in May.  We are considering not even bothering to set up internet at our rental since we hope our house sells soon and we can move on to a house of our own.  That means library visits will be my only computer time.  

But once we're settled in, I'll have all kinds of new an exciting adventure stories to share. So check back!  And who knows? Maybe the library will prove an excellent blogging location.  But with 3 kids in tow, I somehow doubt it.  

Hugs and love from one happy camper in Oregon!  See ya soon!

April 21, 2014

Kids Cook Monday : belated Easter bread


We haven't cooked real food in our kitchen for weeks.  Keeping the house ready for buyers to walk through at any given moment has resulted in a lot of sandwiches and eating out or at friends' houses.  But for Easter, we needed a little something special.  Plus, meal times seem to be the most popular time to tour a home.

As you may have heard, we have historically stunk it up when it comes to cooking anything with yeast.  But this year, thanks to a lesson from some friends, we're sitting at about a 70% success rate.  So we decided to give this Greek Easter bread a try.  I knew within minutes of kneading the dough that it wasn't going to work.  Don't ask me how.  Call it a bread failure's intuition.  So while the kids kneaded some more, I made a back-up dough using the only bread recipe that has ever worked for me.

PicMonkey Collage

As I suspected, after an hour to rise, the listed recipe dough was just sitting in a dense lump and the back-up dough was high and full of air pockets!

I used the better dough to make the shape of the Greek ring while the kids made the eggs.  We have never dyed eggs without those little Paas dissolving tablets, but the kitchen is almost completely devoid of food, and there in our empty lazy Susan stood a lonely box of food dye.  We added vinegar to that and it worked out just fine. Weird that I never thought of using what was on hand and always bought the kit.  

The kids each chose one of their eggs to tuck into the bread ring and we baked that baby up wit a a light egg wash.  

It turned out lovely and the kids collected green, leafy bits from around the property to garnish it.   I wasn't sure what all the greens were, or if they should touch food, so I made a little foil platform to put the bread on so that it didn't actually touch the greens, and then we put the dandelions in the middle because those we knew were fine.  

My dear friend Barb invited us over for Easter brunch since we're away from Joe and half of her family is away too.  It was so nice to have something lovely to contribute to the amazing spread she prepared. The eggs were supposed to hard boil while the bread baked, but I was worried about being late, so I rushed the bread a little and the eggs were only soft boiled, which the kids have never seen before, so they freaked out a little about the weird egg texture.  But whatever. It was gorgeous and we will totally make this every year because it has a wholesome wow factor. 

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

To see what other kids are up to in the kitchen, pop over to the Kids Cook Monday and check it out!

April 6, 2014

Looking Forward to Oregon!

Doing so much work to get the house ready for someone else to love is kind of a bummer.  Okay, it's a big bummer.  We're ready to leap forward and get on to the next big adventure, and instead we're washing windows that we never ever washed for ourselves, so that someone else can have a nice view.  But that's part of it.

To keep our spirits high while we're doing more dirty work than we've ever done before, I'm focusing on what we have to look forward to.  That's pretty easy to do, being that we've never stopped loving Oregon!

But we've never lived in Corvallis, so I'm filling my free moments digging around online, finding things that I want to check out when we arrive.

Things I already love bout Corvallis: 

1.  The Corvallis public library website is thebestlibrary.net  I like a city with library pride!  We have long suffered with a tiny library that never has the book we're looking for, in a county that doesn't see the point in moving to a county-wide library system because the average tax payer apparently doesn't read much.  In fact, our current library might be interested in the web address smallwithmanymormonbooksandnotalotelse.net  I don't know.  Maybe that one was taken. I haven't actually seen our new library just yet, but with a web address like that, I'm sure it at least aspires to greatness.  That is enough for me.  
2.  Corvallis has actual bike lanes AND some bike paths that are off the road for super safe family bike riding. According to wikipedia, in 2009 Corvallis had the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the United States.  That's pretty cool.  We're looking forward to NOT getting in the car every day.  I'm feeling like I'd rather own a dumpy house in town and bike everywhere than have a McMansion in the country and have to get in the car for every single outing.  But we'll see.  Maybe I'll fall in love with a McMansion and change my mind.  Looks like we'll be renting in line with  my dump but in-town vision so we can try it on for a while and see how it feels.  

3.  There's no mall (that I can find, anyway).  I think I find myself in the mall about 4 times a year and I always feel like a small part of my soul has been stolen.  It's a necessary evil when Joe needs new work shirts, but other than that, I see no reason to ever set foot in the mall.  The fact that a mall doesn't even exist there kind of brightens my day.  

4.  In addition to there being no mall, there IS Goodwill.  I have missed Goodwill so much!  In fact, on our vacation/job interview, that's what we did with our free afternoon.  We went shopping at the Goodwill for summer clothes for the kids just in case we weren't going to be back where there are cheap second hand clothes again any time soon.  Here, there's no Goodwill.  There's the DI, which is an LDS version of Goodwill, which is fine except their prices are ridiculously high for used stuff.  It's cheaper to buy new at Ross than to buy at the DI.  I don't think a second hand boy's shirt with a missing button should ever be $5.  It should be a buck.  Period.  And now it will be once more.  

6.  It's close enough that we can go have clam chowder at the coast on a semi-regular basis.  I don't actually like clam chowder all that much, but Joe does and it makes for an excellent excuse to go to the beach.  Oh, to live close enough to enjoy the beach on a more regular basis! 

7.  Hiking, hiking, hiking in the green, green, green!  That's right!  Green!  Not brown or yellow or on fire.  Green and wet and fresh and clean!  When we moved here, I thought I would grow to love the brown mountains.  I love them when there's snow on them, but I never did figure out how to appreciate the brown.  Maybe I have a narrow vision, but the brown simply doesn't speak to my soul like the green.

There's more, but seven is a nice lucky number so we'll call it good there.

I am so ready to make this move!  Ready!  I feel like I should be trying to savor my last moments in Utah rather than rushing past them to get to Oregon, but my heart is ready to take the leap and be there already.  Peeking ahead to our new home town is making these last few days more bearable.
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