Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oatmeal Cherry Scones

These are wonderful little scones that are quite easy to make.

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450*F. Have ready a large ungreased baking sheet.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir in, using your fingers if necessary to separate the fruit:
1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cherries, cut into small pieces

Whisk together, then add all at once:
1 large egg
10 Tbsp. warm melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk

Mix with a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be quite sticky. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. With floured fingers, pat the dough into an 8 inch round about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 8 or 12 wedges. Using a spatula, place the wedges at least 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a rack or serve warm.

We enjoyed ours warm with fried eggs. YUM!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Nature Study Plans

We love nature in our home. We all love to be outdoors and we are constantly learning more about this beautiful little world right here in our backyard. But.......I tend to stay indoors way too much. There is always something begging for my attention in doors! My kids add to their nature journals much more frequently than I do. In fact, I'm ashamed to say how many entries my journal contains. My children also take pictures more often than I do of the beauty around us and they even grab the field guides more often than I do.

I'm hoping the challenges posted from The Heart of Harmony will help to break me out of this rut that I am in. I plan to participate in her projects, not as a way of encouraging my children, but as a way to motivate ME! Of course, my children will most certainly be happy to participate ~ they always are delighted to see mom outside!

I've copied off my challenge and plan to post the results my homework sometime this week. I'd love to join in her sketching challenges, also, but at the moment I just enjoy seeing the art that is presented each week.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

President Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

I don't seem to ever tire of reading stories to the children about Abraham Lincoln. And they are always eager to listen. To celebrate Abe's birthday we read some picture books about this great man and also read an illustrated version of The Gettysburg Address by Michael McCurdy.

The pictures in this book really make it come to life and it would be an effortless way to memorize this great speech.

In the book Heroes of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln by Susan Dye Lee an incident is related that I don't recall ever hearing. Abe becomes a lawyer and turns out to be quite the clever lawyer.
"In one case, a rich man asked Abe to get $2.50 owed to him by a poor man. Abe took the case for $10. Then he went to the poor man and gave him $5. The poor man then paid the rich man and had $2.50 left over. The rich man was happy, and Lincoln made $5."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweet Baby Boy

Zeke was sick with a fever, cough and runny nose all of last week. One morning, he was feeling especially bad and I thought he'd benefit from an early nap. We laid down in my bed and I started to softly sing to him. After the first song, his weak little arms raised up and he gave me two little claps and then his quiet little voice whispered, "Again." And this is how it went for some time. He then treated me with his songs. He doesn't sing the words in English to any of them but he knows the tunes very well. He would pause, I would clap and say, "Again."

Such sweetness I want to hold to and never let go!

Rachel Carson Picture Book

I really enjoyed reading this picture book to the children. It is filled with full-page pictures that are lovely! I feel as though I received a very informative and interesting overview of this unique lady's life. Although, I don't hold to her belief that the world is millions of years old, I do believe she obtained wisdom by being in nature and keenly observing what our Creator has given to us.

This past fall I picked up a 1955 version of The Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson at our library book sale. I'm looking forward to reading it sometime soon.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

February Financial Goals Update

I really enjoyed reading Money Saving Moms update on their financial goals. I suppose I'm a bit strange in this area. I love to read about money and how people use it. I especially like to think of ways to save it or maximize what I can get out of it. Boring, I know!

I wrote the following with a week left in January:

I am committed to sticking to our new budget for this year. I'm kind of an all or nothing kind of person and so can get discouraged when I realize I fall short, which obviously I did already this first month of the new year. But my husband tells me this is just a learning experience and we'll do fine and learn from this. :) I'll tell you what sent me over my limit. I bought a gallon of maple syrup at $45.89. Ouch! It will last me a long time which makes me feel better, you know, like buying it was a sort of investment. See, I'm thinking positively. The other set back of the month was spending a little over one hundred dollars on processing a side of beef. But, again, that was an investment. I really need to set aside between $50.00 and $100.00 a month for meat purchases that I'll make throughout this year from local farmers.

My food budget is $500.00 a month. I know there are many moms who feed their families for much less than this. And my hat's off to them! Food is very important to our family and there are some things we just aren't willing to give up. For example, we love honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and good chocolate.
We use whole grains often and never use bleached flour. I try to purchase as much of my meat as possible from local farmers and we supplement our egg supply with local farm raised eggs. In the summer we support our local Farmer's Market. We love fresh vegetables and fruits and like for our diet to consist of as much of these fresh foods as possible!

I overspent for the month of January $45.73. We've sure been enjoyed that maple syrup, though! :)

We did finish out the month just fine. You can't imagine how much I've enjoyed shopping this week! Taking two weeks off was tooooo long! :) I hope to keep some money available at all times this month.

We've especially enjoyed all the fresh food. These were a couple good buys that we've gobbled up!
16 pounds of oranges! $5.98
10 red peppers @ 50 cents each
Oh, and this was a wonderfully yummy and easy recipe!

Fill a salad bowl with baby spinach greens. Fry one piece of bacon and drizzle the grease and crumble the bacon over the spinach. Mix. Add a splash of Sushi Vinegar. (I used Nishiki 100% Natural Sushi Vinegar a seasoned rice vinegar. Imported form Japan. I liked the taste very much but I'm not an expert in rice vinegars. I only paid 99 cents for this bottle.) Viola! Simple can be so good!

The bacon I purchased on sale for $1.99 a pound and the baby spinach was marked down to 99 cents a box (5 ounces, I believe).