October 28, 2014

Quick Halloween Treat ideas for teacher, classroom, or you!

 Need a Halloween idea for your child's teacher?  How about a treat for the kids involving candy corn and rats?  Just the thing you were looking for?  perfect!  Let's get to it...

I found some bone shaped chalk at Target (who would have thunk it?!).  I also gathered up some festive Halloween themed washi tape.  Thought up a ghoulish little saying and...

BOO!  I glued the 5x7 sign onto construction paper for durability. There were 0 sheets of cardstock in the house, otherwise I would have used that to print on. 

Scored some rats at Target.  Bear suggested we give them corn to eat.  

We added in a fun little riddle for the tag, and I was set for school-wide trick or treating.

Why, whatever else would a rat eat on Halloween?

October 25, 2014

Fox barks on the weekend

Last week a barred owl kept me up with it's call.  I would not, could not fall asleep while the bird's cooking related question kept drifting in through the (now open) window.  Barred owls are my favorite; I would stay up all night to hear their message.

Nothing is going to rival my fondness for barred owl calls, but Champ and I head a sound last night that came pretty close:


What do you think?  I find creepy sounds coming from the dark woods during Halloween season to be fabulous... as long as I'm hearing said creepy sounds from the comfort of my home.  My knees would have been knocking quite a bit if I'd been walking in the woods at midnight and heard this vixen's bark.


Some other -slightly less vocal- moments of late:

Ace has had a few more birthday desserts.  A few more gifts given.

We were delighted to have our friend E come for a quick visit! I showed her a good time by taking her to Bear's school assembly, and then a field where I picked up my monthly co-op order.  It was a rockin' time; with those kind of planned events she's sure to come visit again soon.   

Grammy and Pappy came to visit.  They did not pack a baby with them.  They did help us pick out some pumpkins.  Grammy and Pappy are fans of cauliflower like us, so I made this recipe (sans red pepper flakes).

Bear has been inspired by our reading of the "Indian in the Cupboard" book series.  We had a few ears of corn kickin' around: he took it upon himself to prepare the corn "the way Little Bear would" after asking permission to use a butter knife.  The view from my kitchen window hints of the past as the books always stoked my imagination as a child; I have a tiny, magical idea of how he viewed himself in this moment.

Enjoy your weekend!

October 22, 2014

hold on a minute...

Hold on.  Before you up and start thinking I'm someone I'm not, let me clear a possible misconception.  Yes, yesterday's post is near and dear to my heart.  I not only care about the foods we eat around here, but I really really really enjoy chowing on healthy foods like: arugula, and soba noodles, and milk kefir, and sushi, and I know the farmer-all happy-eat pesticide free grass-hang with your calf-beef.  Sure.  For the most part I live off a diet like that. But...

I am a card carrying member of the Booberry cereal fan club; have been for quite a long time.  It has quite a following actually- even secured it's own Facebook page.  

Part of it's mystique (besides the fact that it's a ghost mascot on the box.  Serious.) is that it's only mainly available during the Halloween season, so hunting down my holy grail of cereal in Target this past weekend led to a thrilling find.  It's back!!  It's crunchy marshmallow ghosts and it's blueberry flavored grains.  Here's how I showed restrain: I did not buy more than one 2 boxes because it wouldn't be any fun if I could eat it whenever I wanted (and since Champ knew I had already bought a box for my brother-fellow card carrying member- earlier this season my excuse that it was for him would have been a total lie and I would have been busted.)  Here's how I did not show restrain: this afternoon I pulled out two bowls and treated Ace to his first helping of this ultramarine dyed deliciousness.  He didn't know what to think since boxed cereal of any sort is a rare item to find in this house.

I said "Happy Halloween season!  Dig in!" and then modeled what to do.  After a few moments of crunching, he smiled wide his blue stained teeth. "This good" he said.  That's my boy I thought, then I went and hid the second box.

October 21, 2014

The school lunch

Going in to this whole "starting kindergarten" thing, I had my reservations.  Mainly, food.  Especially lunches.  Bear eats well- I believe the going term is "adventurous"- but I had no idea what would happen once he started in on these 7 hour school days.  A Mama can pack a healthy lunch, but will her boy eat it?!  Admittedly, one of the great joys I've found in motherhood is watching my children ingest the food I've prepared for them.  This frames me as a creepy overlord, but the sentiment is genuine with little hearts drawn all over it.   From nursing on up, I've liked to watch my boys eat; perhaps a layover from our primal past?  I don't need to be around when my boys are ordering ice cream at the dairy bar or housing restaurant french fries, but if they are at home, eating homemade foods, I'm usually nearby with a goofy grin on my face.  I LIKE seeing what they eat.

School then, caused a problem.  I thought about his lunch a lot in the weeks leading up to school.  I wondered how I would get nutritious foods into his system both willingly, and without making him feel like the wackiest lunch carting kid in kindergarten.

In the end, my seeming problem resolved itself; even proving to supply my mealtime
maniacal grin as I pack lunch each night.  The school encourages lunch packing (for most of the week anyway).  CHECK!  My sister-in-law gifted Bear with the coolest lunch box ever right before school started.  DOUBLE CHECK!  Bear picked out a shark themed carrier for it and suddenly lunch time at school was a rockin' place to be: was it because I put a silly little something in his lunch each day to make him laugh, or maybe the daily note tucked around his silverware?  I was thinking about this last night as I steeped his caffeine free rooibus tea to put in his SIGG bottle. Gathering up the weird toy to hide in his kiwi, funneling the tea into his water bottle...  all are actions that help me to feel I still have a handle on my child's life- he's only 6 of course I do- but that isn't always easy to stand by when Bear is someone else's responsibility for such a large chunk of the day.  Who steeps tea to send with their child each day???!!!!!!!  I do thank you very much, and I will continue to do such things for as long as he lets me.  Some folks don't need these
salvations, but oh I do. My gig is food: it's the most tangible way for me to show love to my family.  Prepping Bear's lunch tonight, tomorrow, the next day, and the next has been the unexpected balm helping me to ease into this new, adventurous world of kindergarten.

October 15, 2014

Picture book review: Grandfather Twilight

Move over Goodnight Moon, there's a new bedtime book in the house!  Yeah, yeah Margaret Brown knew her stuff and children should own a copy of Goodnight Moon, but you know what?  Children should also own a copy of Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger.  I first came upon this book when working at the bookstore.  I promptly bought myself a copy and squirreled it away because I knew it was bound to become a classic in our house.  It did.

Grandfather Twilight is a calm exuding, elderly gentleman- as modeled here by Ace who is smitten SMITTEN with the character.  He lives in a dreamy house in the woods along with a cat, a German Shepherd, and a gorgeous chest full of pearls.  He also owns a pair of slippers; a key detail in Ace's opinion.

Similar to "Goodnight Moon", the story line is tightly composed with perfectly curated words.  The pictures set the tone immediately with wispy watercolors that are pure art.  
I'm not kidding- I could frame every single picture from this book.  As Grandfather walks through the pages he leaves twilight behind where daylight had just been;  journeying through the woods to the sea where he gently places the pearl in the sky to complete the Earth's cycle in to night.  Returning home, the animals are tucked in, the candle blown out, and good night whispered.  

 The book is moving enough to have Ace spending his days "walking like Grandfather Twilight"*, thus how can you not give in to this kind of recommendation for a book?! 

* actually Grandfather Twilight has great posture

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