My son, the dancer

My 4 year old son has always had a love of music, and loves to show off his considerable dancing skills.  I may be biased, but in my humble opinion, he is a star!  :-)  It’s selfish to keep all this awesomeness to myself, so please enjoy this blurry montage of dancing fantastic-ness which took place after the program that ended last season’s LEAH co-op.  He couldn’t wait till it was over, so the stage could be his!

For the last few years, I have been wanting to make sugar cookies with the kdis at Christmas time.  Somehow, it never happened.  Until this year.  I’m not sure how I pulled it off, but between the knitting of 3 gifts, making and packaging 4 batches of bath-themed gifts, and Christmas crafts, we squeezed them in-I am so happy we did.  It was a lot of fun, the cookies were delicious, and the whole family joined in decorating them.  We even got to use the cookie cutters that my mom had when she was a little girl. 

These were delicious!  In case anyone is interested, here is the recipe.  I used almond extract in the white frosting, and vanilla for the others.  I had to make 3 batches of the glaze to have enough for all these cookies, and probably could have made four.  We left some unglazed.  This was a great memory, which I think we’ll be doing again!

The Crafty Crow is hosting a wonderful giveaway today, from Imagine Childhood.  While they do have some things that I could never afford, they also have a great stocking stuffers section that has some great stuff! Check it out!

Also, I hope to get back with some pictures and reports from our very first Advent adventure!  We’re reading a different book and doing a craft to go along with it each day until Christmas.  We’re also listening to an old fashioned story called, The Cinnamon Bear, available here.  Scroll down to the Dec. 1st post.  They are leaving all the chapters up till Christmas.We listen to a chapter a day.  The kids love it!


For our History studies this year, we are focusing on the Ancient time period, and have been spending a lot of time studying Ancient Egypt.  My girl is loving it!  She had a great time reading the mythology of Egypt, and is now able to tell anyone who will listen all about Osiris, and his loyal wife Isis, as well as how his treacherous brother Set betrayed and murdered him.  Oh, and the mummies have been very interesting.  Until we began our studies this year, the only experience both my kids had had with mummies was from Scooby Doo and other cartoons.  Uh, not the most accurate depiction, thank you.  So, they were both a little hesitant to learn about them, thinking them scary.  So, we’ve had fun learning about the process, being grossed out, discovering what the amulets wrapped within the linen wrappings symbolized, etc.

And the other night, Daddy joined us for a very fun project-building step pyramids out of sugar cubes!  We used just regular old Elmer’s glue, and added some appropriate animals and trees around them after they dried.  It was a lot of fun!  The kids loved it and it was so nice to have my husband do it with them.  I have to say, to anyone considering a History program, I have nothing but good things to say about our choice, Story of the World.  I would definitely recommend the activity guide that is sold separately.  It adds so much to our lessons-there are coloring pages, maps, and usually, 2 or 3, (sometimes more) activities to choose from for each chapter.  We are really liking it so far! 

I will leave you with some pictures…I really need to post some more-we’ve been having fun!  Looking through my camera, I realize I am depriving the grandparents and others who follow this blog of it!  Shame on me. 

And, TA-DA!!!  I had recently bought a grab bag of awesome little wooden animals and random shapes from Mama Goose for the kids to paint and play with.  They were perfect for this, when added to a camel from their Noah’s Ark set.  We added a cat, because they were sacred to the Egyptians, and were sometimes mummified and placed into the tombs with them.  There’s a snake back there looking to climb one of the pyramids-my daughter’s idea.  A palm tree, camel, and the Nile River flowing by in front of the whole scene completes it.  The kids loved the way it turned out.  This was a lot of fun!

My Go-To Coffeecake

This coffee cake is pretty much the only one I make.  It takes about as much time to mix up as a batch of muffins, so it’s a nice quick weekend breakfast, and makes the house smell wonderful.  It’s from a cookbook that my husband got me for my birthday a few years ago called From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens.  The recipe as is makes 1 square cake, but sometimes I double it and just bake it for about 5 more minutes so that we can snack on it over the weekend.  Or, um, just until it’s gone, which has been known to happen on the same day.  It’s really good and the kids tend to help themselves to it. 

Okay, so do the adults. 

So!  Here is the recipe.  My only adjustments are, for the topping, to use 2 Tablespoons of butter instead of 4.  I find that’s plenty.  That’s for the square cake recipe of course.  If you double it, use the 4 Tablespoon amount, and double the sugar and cinnamon called for.  Also, instead of shortening, I just use vegetable oil.  That makes it even faster, because you don’t need to dirty another pan and take the time to melt the shortening.  And that’s it!  Make it-I think you’ll like it!

Quick Sugar and Cinnamon Coffee Cake

makes 1 square cake

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup shortening, melted

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add remaining ingredients.

2.  Beat together in electric mixer on number 3 speed, about 2 minutes.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl while beating.

3.  Pour batter into 8″ square baking pan (or into a pie plate, if like me, you don’t have a square pan).  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and put on topping.


4 Tbsp. butter, melted

1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1.  Brush warm cake with butter.

2.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together.  Sprinkle over top.

3.  Return cake to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.

And there it is!  Make some coffee, pour some milk for the kiddies, and enjoy.  Let me know if you try it!

First Sewing Kit


 My girl got a lovely sewing kit for her birthday from a dear friend of ours.  Suffice it to say, she loves it.  This sweet elephant was her first project.  Daddy helped her start it, and I helped her finish it up the next day.  She decided that she wanted her brother to have her first sewing success.  Sweet girl. 

Also, she has recently lost both her top middle baby teeth.  I am so happy we got that documented.  That is a fabulous gap-toothed smile!

A few images from our first week-we started on September 1st, both to have a short week to ease us from our lazy summer schedule to our busy school year schedule, and because for reasons unknown even to myself, I liked the idea of starting on the first day of a month.  Yeah, I’m aware that my little “rules” are weird.  Quite aware.  So!  Here are some lovely pictures of our brand new Preschooler and First Grader!


It’s a little hard to tell on that last one, but those are coffee filters we painted and then cut up and arranged to look  like birds.  They’re really pretty when the sun shines through them.  My daughter added hearts and more birds around them, as well as their feet with some window crayons.  Very nice art project I thought, and they had fun doing it!  We got the idea from Frugal Family Fun Blog, which has so many great ideas. The page is here, to be precise, in case you want to see the original.   I actually made a long list of ideas for arts and craft projects, and that website was very useful in making it.  They have great, simple, and of course, frugal ideas. 

See you soon!


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