Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gluten Free Grasshopper Pie

For St. Patrick's Day, we have a special dessert.
Gluten Free Grasshopper Pie.

I took a regular grasshopper pie recipe and modified it so that Princess P and myself could eat it too.

2 cups crumbled gluten free chocolate cookies (gluten free oreos)
3 cups of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon of mint extract
1-2 drops of green food dye
chocolate shavings
chocolate coin

Remove the icing from the cookies. Crumble the chocolate cookies.
In a pot, melt the marshmallows with the milk over low heat. When the marshmallows are all melted, chill the mixture. Stir it occasionally until the mixtures sets.
Once the marshmallow mixture has cooled and set, stir in the mint extract and green food dye. 
Set aside.
Using a mixer, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipping cream into the marshmallow mixture. Leave a little bit for topping the treats.
Set aside for later.
Take your cookie crumbs and press firmly into the bottom of small glasses. 
Add the green marshmallow mixture onto the cookie crumbs.
Top each cup with a dollop of whipped cream.
Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate shavings onto the whipped cream.
Place a chocolate coin into the whipped cream.

Chill for at least 2 hours.
Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
They can be made a day before.

Moments of Grace

As I look out my window.....
I see snow! SNOW! Almost April and snow/sleet is falling. Thankfully it isn't sticking to the ground. I keep hoping and praying for spring to arrive. I am starting to have my doubts if we will see it soon.

I am thankful for....
friends to share frustrations with
my fellow homeschool moms
children using their imagination
"vikings" running through my house
viking shields and swords being constructed out of household items
date night with the hubby
a warm fire on a cold snowy day (even if it's almost April)

What I am reading.....
I'm still reading through the CCM teacher's manual for the Gamma year. I have all my science lessons planned and my reading list for history done. I am halfway done with the history outline. I think I am on target for getting the lessons planned for next year done by MAY!

What I am working on....
Planning lessons for next year, updating our lessons for the rest of the year, and purging things we no longer need. I have gone through the kids spring/summer clothes to see what fits and what doesn't. I would love to get their closets switched out but since we keep getting snow it doesn't seem like I will get to do that anytime soon.

What's on the menu....
Sunday- Potato soup
Monday- Crockpot shredded chicken with tacos
Tuesday- Leftovers
Wednesday- Chicken lettuce wraps
Thursday- Spaghetti and turkey meatballs
Friday- Lenten Supper at our church
Saturday- Pork chops, cooked apples, green beans

What I am praying for....
A fellow homeschool familiy who lost everything in a fire this past week. They lost their house, car, and everything in their house. God was watching out for them; they all made it out safely. They are relying on God during this difficult time.

A Prayer....
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

This prayer was on my grandmother's fridge growing up and it always helps me when we are struggling with our homeschooling or day to day life.

A sign of spring to come

Linking up with....Moments of Grace and Happy Homemaker Monday

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

10 Craft Supplies to Have on Hand for Creativity

I love inspiring my children to create various art pieces using a wide variety of media! Allowing children to create allows them to foster their imagination and I believe it helps build confidence. When a child is able to create they learn to trust their instincts. If a problem should arise they can analyze it and work through the problem. Here is my list of must haves for in the art room....

1. Paper
All types of paper should be available. Construction paper, drawing paper, watercolor paper, newsprint, tracing paper, etc. Having different sizes is helpful too. Smaller paper is easier to fill than larger sheets. Teaching  a child to fill the canvas is a lot easier when the paper is smaller. Scrapbooking paper comes in various sizes and patterns which are create for art projects.

2. Markers, Pens, and Pencils
It's fun to learn how to use different types of media. Markers come in all types of sizes, colors, and some even have fun tips that can be used as stamps. Pencils can be found in a variety of colors and sizes. Some can add a fine detail while other wider points can add wonderful shading effects. Charcoal is a great way to teach children to add light and darkness to a object by shading. Learning to draw with pen can be fun for older kids. The pens can come in a variety of tip points. A really fine point can a the tiniest detail while the a broad tip can add an important focal point.

3. Crayons
These are must for any household. It is the first tool most kids get to use. They come in so many colors and they have different sizes available for the youngest artist. You can even melt them to create rainbow crayons. Crayola even came out with a crayon maker. We save up the small crayon pieces, the ones that get broken off or are too small to use.

4. Colored Pencils
The selection in colored pencils is amazing. They have cheaper brands perfect for the younger artist starting out. As they get older you can invest in a set of more expensive set that can be blended. They come in a variety of colors and they even have glitter ones which Princess P loves.

5. Chalk
Regular school chalk, colored or white, can be fun to use. Kids can use it outside and inside for various art projects. My kids get a pack of chalk every year in their Easter basket. There also chalk pastels which are a great introduction to pastels. As they get older, you bring in oil pastels that can add a whole new dimension to a child's art work.

6. Pastels

Pastels are a wonderful way to teach kids how to blend and create an Impressionist piece of artwork. You can start out with chalk pastels and then move on to oil pastels. Crayola now makes an oil pastel that are geared to younger kids.

7. Paint and Paint Brushes
Paint! There are so many choices here. Washable, Tempera, Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor, etc. With younger kids, it's always great to start with a washable and non toxic paint. Once the kids are older, you can introduce them to Acrylic and oil paints. Each paint has a different texture. It changes the way the kids can paint with them. Acrylic will dry faster than oil. Experimenting with different brush sizes and shapes will allow for more creativity. There are fine tipped, broad tipped, fan, and sponge brushes. All of them can be used to create a wonderful painting. To introduce kids to painting have them watch a Bob Ross video on YouTube. It will leave them amazed!

8. Fabric, Ribbons, and Rope
Any type of fabric will do. Scraps from leftover projects, old t-shirts, towels, etc. Fabric can be used with a mixed media project like a collage.

Fabric can be woven together, sewn to make an animal or outfit, draped to create a beautiful visual effect. Fabric can also be used to teach kids how to draw. You can drape the fabric and have the kids work on recreating the folds and light of the fabric.The possibilities are endless.

9. Glue
Not all glue is the same. For younger kids, I would suggest a type that is non toxic. Types needed for various projects are Elmer's school glue, glue sticks, rubber cement, wood glue, fabric glue, etc. They even have a ribbon fray glue that will keep ribbons from fraying. This can be very important for a project made from ribbons.

10. Clay
Clay can be used to make models of buildings, animals, jewelry, mugs, etc. You can find clay in all types of colors. Some clay will be air drying while some will need to be baked. In the past, we have created canoes, gargoyles, hieroglyphics, mugs, and lots of animals. Princess P and myself have created play food for her dolls.

You can see what we did here and here.

And two to bonus supplies that can be fun.

11. Recycled Products from the House
Basically think garbage or anything you would put in the recycling bin. Plastic containers, glass, jars, twisty ties, lids, plastic silverware, different size packaging boxes, shoe boxes,cotton balls, q-tips ....the list in endless. We have a whole shelf devoted to this type of stuff in our pantry. Lego Man has created robots, cat houses, and forts out of regular household items.

12. Various Craft Supplies
If you head into any craft store, you will see an endless array of supplies that can be used for craft or art projects. Beads, Pipe Cleaners, Popsicle sticks, foam, felt, gems, pom poms, stickers, wax, flowers, ribbon, tissue paper, wood cutouts, buttons, and so much more.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moments of Grace

As I look out my window.....
I see "the girls" scratching away in the leaves.

They have been enjoying the few warm days we've had and have loved searching for bugs. They are calling for snow in our area again! NO MORE SNOW! I really am hoping this will be the last snowstorm of the season.

I am thankful for......
daffodils emerging from the cold hard ground
Stations of the Cross
a boy conquering his fears
Lenten suppers
a Saint Patrick's day dinner
the loud purr of a cat curled up on my lap
family dinners
spending warm, sunny days outside with family
children giggling while they do dishes

What I am reading......
The Classically Catholic Memory Gamma Year textbook.

I am reading through it and starting to plan out next years lessons. I am hoping to have them done by May! This is the 3rd year we will be using the CCM books. We love the program and are so happy we found it.

What I am working on.......
Lesson plans and spring cleaning. I love planning lessons for the upcoming year. I get excited about the lessons and what we will be learning next year. Spring cleaning is something I don't enjoy. I really wish the house just cleaned itself.

What's on the menu this week....
Sunday~ Chicken Kabobs with homemade french fries
Monday~ Gluten Free Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Tuesday~ ???
Wednesday~ Leftovers
Thursday~ Tacos
Friday~ Lenten Supper at the Church
Saturday~ Italian Chicken, Potatoes, and Beans

A favorite prayer......
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me to come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy Saints
and with Thy Angels
Forever and Ever


The kids captured this photo when I left the room. Miss Maddie decided she was going to be the teacher for awhile. Silly puppy!

Linking up with Plain Grace and Happy Homemaker Monday

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Feast Day

Today in CCD, we talked about Saint Patrick since his feast day is tomorrow. While the kids were waiting for the other students to arrive and class to begin, they colored a coloring page of Saint Patrick.

Here are some wonderful coloring pages for Saint Patrick!

Saint John the Baptist Church ~ These coloring pages are taken from the stained glass windows from St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, VA. They depict the life of Saint Patrick. They are wonderful coloring pages.

We watched a short film about Saint Patrick, called Patrick Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle.

The children really enjoyed this wonderful tale of how Saint Patrick found himself in Ireland.

I had a game from when we celebrated All Saints Day. Pin the Shamrock onto Saint Patrick!

We made a Trinity shamrock craft from Catholic Inspired
You can gain access to this fun craft if you subscribe to  Jennifer's blog!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gluten Free Banana Streusel Muffins

Last week we bought bananas at the store. The kids ate a few of them but suddenly stopped eating them. I reminded the kids about the bananas and they informed me they were letting them go bad so I would make banana muffins. So a few days passed and the bananas were ready for use. I had 4 bananas ready to go. Since adding Princess P to the gluten free diet, I have been experimenting more with the gluten free flours we have.
I took two recipes, my grandmother's banana bread recipe and a streusel banana nut muffin recipe. I worked with both recipes and gluten free flour to create a new gluten free banana muffin recipe.

The muffins were a hit. They are moist and have tons of banana taste.

2 cups gluten free flour ( I bought mine at Costco)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 ripe medium bananas
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

6 tablespoons of gluten free oats
5 tablespoons of gluten free flour
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your muffin pans. I use butter to grease mine. You can use cupcake liners.
In a large bowl combine the gluten free flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, bananas, butter, vanilla, and egg. Pour the banana mixture into the well. Stir the ingredients together until well blended.

To make the streusel, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and blend with a fork until it's a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle the mixture onto the prepared muffins.

Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool and enjoy. These are very moist and soft when you eat them. They are not dry or crumbly!

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