Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cannonball House

We took a field trip to the Cannonball House in Macon, Ga yesterday. This house was given the name Cannonball House because in 1864 a cannonball struck it. It was very interesting to go back in time and see how they lived back then. We are so blessed to have so many conveniences today. In some ways it has become to convenient. Our tour guide made a comment about the mop that they used in this house weighed over 40 pounds dry. A lady with the homeschool group said, "That's why the ladies back then did not need exercise videos".

We stopped off at the kitchen first. It was separated from the rest of the house because if there ever was a fire, it was easier to replace a kitchen than a whole house. It was so hard not to touch things( especially for Laney who is very touchy feely) but the guides were very strict about all hands off.

Ella is pretending to cook us up a good meal from scratch. The bowl you see in the next 2 pictures was owned Mrs. Robert Lee.

This was their refrigerator.

Inside the house she took us to where some of the first lady societies Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu met.

They had some really beautiful dresses. I am a very casual person. Most days I am in workout pants and a tshirt. I am glad we do not have to go through the trouble they did to fit into a tiny dress like that. Most of them sucked in( with the help of a girdle) until they had an 18 inch waist. I may have been that size as a baby.

I had to take a picture of this lady because her name was Ella. My Ella was so thrilled a pictured was named after her. She wanted to go find one for Laney. Of course, we had no luck.

See this.....Do you know what this is? This is one of those conveniences I am blessed to have today. Still not sure???? Look at the picture below this one and I think you will figure it out.

Yep! You guessed it. You're own little port-a-potty. Guess who got the job of emptying it out each morning? THE KIDS!

The cannonball that hit the house.

We have so many field trips planned for the next few months. Check back as we will be visiting the .......
Hay House
Annie Play in Montgomery
Junie B Jones Play in Macon
Georgia Aquarium
Strawberry picking
Children's museum for Dr Seuss Day
and many more

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's up with that Egg-Speriment?

We are discussing dental health this week in school. To teach the girls the importance of brushing their teeth we are doing an egg-speriment. We placed a room temperature egg into a bowl of toothpaste so that only half of the egg is covered. We wrapped the bowl with saran wrap and set to the side for 4 full days......

At the end of the 4 days we will place the egg in vinegar for 7 hours. We should see at the end of the 7 hours that the side that was sitting in toothpaste will be hard and the non toothpaste side will be soft. Proving that brushing with toothpaste helps keep your teeth hard and healthy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What do you do when meat goes on sale?

You have a baking day of course!
I went to the commissary the other day and they had there Tyson whole chickens with a $1.50 off coupon on them. Usually when I see those, I stock up because there prices are cheaper than most even without the coupon. The coupon sweetens the deal even more!! I end up getting 6 for around $3 each. When I get home I have no other choice but to cook them because my freezers are full on that particular day. So the cooking begins.........
I spend the week cooking each one in the crock pot. I cooked the chicken during the day and the broth at night. I thought I would share this process with you for those of you who may not know how. Per request, I will also include the homemade condensed cream of chicken soup recipe.
Take your chicken and empty out all the nastiness( I throw mine away). Next, rinse the inside and outside with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place your chicken in the crock pot( I like to sprinkle a little paprika on mine), turn on low and walk away for 8 hours. Once it is done it should look like this.
See the liquid from the chicken....don't throw it away......its time to make broth. Take all the chicken off the bones and put what is left (bones, skin, fat) back into the crock pot. Pour 5 cups of water in with the everything else, put the lid back on and cook overnight. Side Note:
I thought I would let you in on a little secret I experimented with. The pot below is from Pampered Chef. It is one of there stoneware bakers. I have cooked a pork loin in less than 14 minutes in it so I thought I would give chicken a try....hey I had 6 so I thought I could make one the guinea pig(or chicken). RESULTS: It cooked in 20 minutes and left enough juices to make broth in 14 minutes. AMAZING!!!!

So back to the chicken in the crock pot. Here is what it will look like once it has simmered overnight, liquid drained and cooled. Next step, pour into containers. I like to use sour cream, butter, frosting or Rubbermaid containers. Place them in the fridge for a couple of days.

This is what you will see after a couple of days. The fat rises to the top(ohh! if this could only happen to me. Hehehe!). Take a spoon and scrape the fat off. Now you can either freeze it for when you need some or you can make..........

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken
makes 3 cups( 2 cans)
1 1/2 c chicken broth 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning 1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp onion powder dash paprika
1/4 garlic powder 1 1/2 c milk
1/8 black pepper 3/4 c flour
In a saucepan boil chicken broth, 1/2 c milk and seasonings for a minute or two( longer if fresh onions and garlic). In a separate bowl whisk the remaining 1 c milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue to whisk until it boils and thickens. Compared to cans it is so much cheaper and tastes better.

I have to confess something. I know you can not tell in the picture but I wanted you to know that the recipe does not make this much. When I began making it I looked at the wrong measurement for the broth( I was looking at how much the recipe made instead of the amount of broth I needed) Long story short.........I ended up multiplying it by nine. Yes, you heard me right........nine( I don't think I have ever done that). It all worked out because I was making several casseroles to freeze. The little I had left I froze.

I also made granola. I have recently become a fanatic of vanilla yogurt, fruit and granola.
Here is the granola recipe:
3 c dry oatmeal
1/2 c butter
1/2 c honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c wheat germ
Melt butter in a 3 quart pot over medium heat. Add honey and salt and briefly heat with butter. Turn off the heat and add oatmeal and wheat. Stir and pour on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.


Here is what I got done:
2 - Broccoli, cheese, chicken, rice casserole
2 - Spinach, cheese, chicken, rice casserole
2 - Chicken Tetrazinni
1 - chicken casserole
1 - Sausage pasta
1 - Spaghetti bake
1- Fiesta roll ups
turkey meatballs
double batch - granola bars
double batch - granola

Hopefully, I can get to the breads, muffins, pizza dough, cinnamon rolls and slice and bake cookies sometime this week.
I am loving the baking days that and host each month. I get so many great recipes including the ones in this post. They are getting ready to fill up there freezer again for the month of March.
So stay tuned for Part 2 of my baking day.

We had a striking good time!

Friday,we went to Carmel's work party for February birthdays. Everyone meet at the bowling alley for a few games of very competitive bowling. I was asked to make the cake so this is what I came up with.

Griffin, Laney, Ella and I were on a team since we were late. I do not want to brag or anything but I smoked them. I had 4 strikes in a row. I could have had 6 but Carmel decided to bowl for me while I was cutting the cake. PRACTICE... on your own lane is what I say!

There goes that strike I was telling you about earlier.

Carmel did win a prize for coming in first in his group. I don't know about you but I think the military should seriously consider adding bowling shoes to there uniforms.

I did not get a picture of Ella bowling. She was just not interested in it that day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our trip to Tybee Island

I mentioned in the last post about going to Tybee Island to look at the beach houses for the ladies retreat in Oct. Let me just tell you how excited I am about going this year. Those of you who know me or read my blog know that I LOVE THE BEACH! Anytime I am there or know that I am going there I get like a little child all giddy and excited. Here are a few highlights from our trip.
Beach house #1
Beach house #2

Beach house #3

Beach house #4

The crew
Laney, Ella, Dawn, KK, me and Griffin(who is taking the photo)

All of the houses we really nice. This one had a big porch.

House #2 is within walking distance to the beach. We couldn't go all that way without a little playtime on the beach so we headed that way.

Griffin found a nice starfish.

We had a great time!
Now I am off to the kitchen for a baking day.

Yet another reason why I should win mommy of the year

Yesterday, we went to Tybee Island to look at the beach houses we have selected for the Ladies Retreat. There were 4 houses but we were only able to see the inside of 2 because the others were occupied. We needed to get an idea of which house could accommodate who, which one we could try to fit everyone in, best parking, etc. I was taking pictures and my mind was going ninety to nothing with ideas for that weekend in Oct.

We all got out to look at the first one. It was 3 stories and just like all kids they are curious and want to see each room. Mine took off and once they had seen all the rooms they played hide and go seek. 15 minutes later we load up and head on over to the other house.

We arrive at the other house. I get my camera and start taking pictures starting with the outside and working my way inside. Just like in the other house the kids go check out all floors. We spend another 15 minutes in this house and get ready to leave. I yell up the stairs for the kids to come. Griffin and Laney come but no Ella. I figured she is hiding and not saying anything( she tends to do that at home). We start looking in all the rooms under beds and in closets. No Ella! Come to think of it I hadn't remembered seeing her the whole time we were in the house.

I would not have seen her because............ I left her strapped in her car seat in the car the whole time?!?!?!?

I am such a bad mom!!!!!!!! She had been crying of course.When I got to the car she said, "YOU LEFT ME!" I loved on her, we took her on a special tour of the house and walked down to play on the beach.

She forgave me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Southern Blizzard 2010

Well, the weatherman was right . The snow actually came this time. My kids stood by the window all day Friday just waiting for those first few flakes. By that afternoon, it was time to play!
You can tell my kids are not used to being around snow. Griffin has seen it several times so he dressed appropriately. On the other hand, Laney has played in it maybe twice so she runs outside in a tank top and pants with no gloves, jacket or hat. She quickly learned she needed more on. This was Ella's first time to play in the snow. She was asleep last year when it snowed in Birmingham( we were on our way back from a youth conference and pulled over on the side of the road to play. I tried to wake her up but she wouldn't budge). I dressed her but she still complained about it being to cold. I guess she gets it from me. I am not a cold weather person. Give me the beach and the sun and I am happy!

They built a little snowman. I guess they did not want to use up all the snow in the beginning.

Ella's mouth is red in this picture from chewing on a snowman's eye(gumball).

Every time I saw Laney she had a ball of snow and was eating on it.

Nothing like taking a break for hot chocolate and snowman cookies.

Carmel was in Atlanta all day. So when he got home that night we headed back outside for some more fun in the snow.

After a restful night, it was time for more snow fun.

Laney eating on the snow.......AGAIN!
We wonder how much of Chewy's poop was balled up in those snow balls?

Griffin made a bigger snowman the next day.

While most of the snow is gone, the bottom part of this snowman is still hanging on outside.

After a full day of fun, Mrs. Crissy treated the kids to a heart shaped pizza.