My aunt and uncle from Ohio showed up for a wonderful visit this morning. It was a GREAT time chatting and laughing... Jeremy and Heather showed up. It had been awhile since Jeremy had seen his Uncle Don and wanted to spend a bit of time with him ( Uncle Don tends to be a favorite around here)... My aunt and I enjoyed pictures and laughs.... ( she also tends to be a favorite around here)... We just don't see enough of them!
.... Lunch was Mexican today...and then Jesse ( Josh's gf and I ) went to the Macra Lace Outlet here in town to find a nice curtain for the new bathroom, which I might add is coming along nicely. Lots of wood and paint and nails and pictures being hung...~ looking beautimous and almost finished!!! I would say we are at the 85% mark in there right now...
...I was so anxious to sit with a nice mug of tea this afternoon after everyone went home and dig into this goodie that the post lady brought me!! Amy at Angry Chicken's wonderful book Bend the Rules Sewing. I can't wait to get started on a couple of projects. This book is wonderful for newbie sewers or folks like me a bit on the insecure side about making anything beyond the 8th grade home ec skirt form um... 35 years ago. You really must buy Amy's book..you will love love love it!
..... and I must give a big thank you to Cheryl for sharing her Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe. I made it to go with coffee this morning. Great recipe!
.. C and I have our feet propped up tonight, content that we have so many good gifts . Every once and awhile we just look up and smile at each other. I love evenings like this!
.. Tomorrow is homegroup and I am so dropping the dinner ball and buying chicken. Half of me feels I should be whipping up a macaroni salad or something, but right now I'll be more then happy to let the Colonel feed us... How quickly weekends fly by....
.....I'm off to drool a bit over Amy's book some more and work on a bit of crochet I have waiting patiently for me on my hook....
............I hope everyone has a fine day... all day long!
On Thursdays I teach a small writing class for an hour in the mornings, and then come home and teach the same thing to Christopher in the afternoon. I thought for some of the homeschoolers who read my blog,it might be a bit helpful to share these assignments. I know how wonderful the internet has been to us over the years in gleaning new ideas for our school.
... Compare and Contrast
..First we started with an intro to Venn Diagrams. I found ours to print out at Enchanted Learning but I am sure there are blanks all over the web, or make your own.
Our first activity was to simply compare two objects and collectively fill in the Venn together. I chose a shell from the Atlantic Ocean and one from the Pacific. After I was sure they had a good grasp on what was expected, I pulled out a bag where I had written 20 different orchestra instruments on slips of paper. Each student would choose two ( without looking) and the assignment for next week is to compare and contrast the two instruments. None of the children got instruments from the same family ( ex; guitar/oboe).
..I then gave them the block format for their papers.
Intro~ clincher, lead in to what they will be comparing/ contrasting
Paragraph 1: definitions of items
Paragraph 2: what is the same
Paragraph 3: what is different
Paragraph 4: Conclusion
..this can be adapted to any age just expecting a bit more from the olders and more help with the youngers.
...The assignment can be adapted to any interest. Instead of instruments you can use animals, foods, sports. Adapt to fit the situation......and have fun..... all day long!
..Its rain ....glorious rain!!!! What a wonderful day to not go any where! The only intrusion I had was a trip into town for cat food and trash bags.... The rain was so needed and appreciated I even took a walk out through the woods just to remember what our woods looked liked with rain! Ahh that beautiful fresh smell of rain...
.... It was perfect weather for me to whip up pure comfort food for dinner...
Bechamel sauce Over Rigatoni :
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown. I subbed colby-jack with the fontina and ham with the prosciutto. Here in O town I believe no one in any of our little groceries would know what either product was... besides I had all the other ingredients on hand.
the original recipe came from The Food Network I use to watch Every Day Italian with Giada De Laurentiis a couple of years ago but time just doesn't allow much TV watching anymore so I was thrilled to find her book Everyday Italian at a thrift store last year. It has been more then well worth the 1.00 I paid for it.
....I made two of these little turtles to go and live in Ohio. I'll send them to their new home via my aunt and uncle this weekend. My cousin as the cutest little twins ! I love doing small things to send them.
..I also worked on another Christmas present and am about 90% finished... shh.. can't reveal that one..and I also began work on an autumn pressie for a new swap I joined at at Craftster I wasn't going to join any new swaps but I love making autumn things and I really do like making things for people and getting back wonderful handmade items from here and there.
.. I need to pick up the pace with some things I want to get done for the Durham Rescue Mission Christmas drive. I bought two Dora Dolls and hope to get outfits made for them and then some stuffies also. It all looks so doable on paper.... ~sigh~ a few more rainy days and I might just be able to reach my goal!
.. about the pomegranate green tea last night... if you are crazy about pomegranates and green tea... it might work for you... if you want to appear very in the loop by drinking weird teas... it would probably serve that purpose.... if you just want a great cup of hot tea with honey to relax with.... not so much...tonight its back to chamomile lemon with a big glob of Jimmy and Shelley's honey and perhaps a bit of spice cake to go with it...
.. I sure wish those Chalmer bees would get buzzing... my honey supply is running low... next year I'll know to buy more .
.... Since we didn't have to run hither and yon with basketball today, Christopher hit the books hard and the outcome was very good. Despite my worries and frets I do think this curriculum is a good fit for him. You would think after all these years of homeschooling and having graduated the older boys already, I wouldn't have such worries. I know a semester at a community college or a year or two at a jr. college is always an option... and Chris and I every night ask the Lord to guide us in homeschooling... and every morning I pray for the Lord to show me exactly what he wants Christopher to learn that day. I have to break from the mind set that sometimes those lessons are helping in the yard and learning how to care for things, which will take him into adult hood so he can one day care for his own home. some days its conversations with his dad and I on current event topics...there are many many lessons not taught from a book and measured by a test.
..Tomorrow we tackle a compare and contrast paper.... he'll work through his work books and do his algebra... then off to Networks. This is his last preseason session. I think Chris will miss it as much as Christopher. He has great fellowship with some of the other dads and they spend the 2 hours walking the campus of Cary Academy and talking.
..It will be wonderful sleeping weather tonight with the rain hitting the roof. One of the times I love having a tin roof!
.. Remember to pray for the troops.... and have a fine day... all day long!
... OK, not my child... he's the Riesneberg 8.0 edition of my friend Laura... This was taken a couple of years ago but remains my absolute favorite Oct. picture bar none... I have visions of trying to convince daughter in laws and future daughter in laws to cooperate in similar photo shoots in years to come...and if I can't get my kids to cooperate I can always fall back on my BIL & SIL who want a family soon... it might be a tougher sell but worth a shot...
... Today ended up not being as busy as we originally thought. Christopher's eye exam went well and then a bit of shopping with out my list... I always hate that... I have this ADD thing going on... my mind is sharp as a tack normally... but put me in a grocery store and I become so distracted with lights, sounds, things to look at that I completely forget what I came for... this has been going on for the last um... like 40 years... probably why I steer clear of malls... as Kurt would have said " busy busy busy"....
..I did get that feeling sort of watching folks standing in line... ring up the purchases... bagg em... next... sort of made me sad for society in a way..you know, the old farm stands where you could discuss a rutabaga with the person who grew it sort of thing... Our quiet little town is getting a super Walmart... with the Super store doing away with the craft & fabric dept I could care less... This will mean an hour plus drive to buy those goodies for us Oxfordites...seriously, if I had the game plan... I'd set up shoppe! In this lazy town there will be grannies all over the county in search of Red Heart acrylic.. grand kids will do with out handmade hats for Christmas... makes me depressed just thinking about it!
...D & I didn't have Bible Study today...Chris got off a little early ( not as early as he originally thought) and he asked about making some decisions on the bathroom.. we decided on light fixtures .... we ended up ..... keeping the ones we have... we just couldn't find anything so we are burnishing the metal to match the faucet. .. We did get new shades that are hung and looking great! Dana sounded a bit busy when I called her anyway... something about not a day for egg whites... sounded rather crucial.. I do miss our Bible Study though... its always such a wonderful time of fellowship (edit: I just read Dana's blog and not you must go HERE to read her recipe.. and don't be jealous you won't be with us on Sunday night to
pig out try her new recipe.
... I got my Peaches and Cream order today from Elmore Pisgah yummy fall colors... not sure what will turn out from them... but loving the colors.. and I LOVE cotton yarn. Elmore Pisgah is in Old Fort , NC. We stayed there with a wonderful family back in 2000. The area is just beautiful, tucked into the foothills of western NC. I'm trying to figure out if we will be going near there on our mountain trip on the 9th... one just can't have too much yarn can one???
..I wish I had fabulous wonderful recipes to post for you this evening... but we had Chinese take out.... and I wish I could tell you about the wonderful progress made on some unruly closet or spare room... but... it would be a fib.... I got alot of embroidery done though....and ate a bit of spice cake... wrote a letter to my soldier and heard accounts form the olders about their Martinsville weekend... AND I didn't answer as many emails as I would have liked...
... I'm off to try a cup of pomegranate tea..it came with my Republic of Tea order.... I'll have to clue you in on that one...
... anyhow...Pray for the troops.... and have a fine day... all day long!
..I'm not going to lie to you... Monday's wipe me out! I'm not sure if it comes from the lazy pace around End of the Road on the weekends or if its just a mental Monday thing... Either way I'm usually in my jammies by 9:00 and dreaming of good things by 9:15...
...Christopher had basketball today and so it was the old sit for 3 hours waiting for practice to be over marathon... I visited with a couple of moms for awhile and brought both my embroidery and crochet... do you realize its almost Nov.... do you realize if anybody is getting a handmade gift from me for Christmas this year then I need to get shaking... especially with b-ball season going full swing starting Nov 2!!!! There are 20 plus games and 3 tournies to be played between now and the end of March ...and only 3 of those games are less then an hour away. Makes me tired just thinking about it!
... Thanks so much for all the thoughts and prayers with Josh yesterday.. he was able to call briefly this a.m. to let us know he was OK.. He of course couldn't give too many details but physically he was fine. It was good to hear his voice.
...Anyhow, I did try a quick and easy recipe over the weekend from Cheryl... I can't get it to link just to the recipe so go to her Oct 18th post and look for Hamburger Patties and Mushroom Gravy.. The mushroom soup gave great flavor to the burgers but I really would need to render it a bit to pour over the rice. It was great though. We did so much work ont eh bathroom this weekend that it was good being able to make a quick dinner.Chris continued with the counters and even added a nifty drawer in the vanity ..We are probably 80% done int here... Tomorrow my mission is to grab some paint and a new knob for the medicine cabinet. We have to be out and about anyhow for C's eye appt and my Bible Study...I am so looking forward to the bathroom being completely done!!!
.... I am so far behind on my emails folks... I PROMISE I will work on them tomorrow..
... For now we'll settle into the family Bible Study and then my new mattress is calling my name... it is a MAJOR struggle to roll out of bed in the a.m. with the new mattress.....
..So ... pray for the troops... and have a fine day.... all day long!!
...while we still have not heard word from Josh yet, this just came over the wire a couple of minutes ago
The U.S. military said it was not aware of any civilian casualties, and the discrepancy in the death tolls and accounts of what happened could not be reconciled. American commanders reported no U.S. casualties.
...Continue to pray for the troops... and have a fine day ...all day long...
..I've nto heard form my child in a couple of days ...Today this came over the news. My child is in Sadr City... I know he was part of this battle.... I don't feel victory at all... I feel an over whelming sadness for both sides... There are families suffering great loss all over Sadr City....I pray my child is OK....
The Iraqi reports followed other recent claims of civilian deaths as a result ofaction or shootings by private Western security teams protecting American diplomats and aid groups. The military said it was not know of any civilians killed.
Tensions also rose in northern Iraq after separatist Kurdish rebels ambushed a military unit near Turkey's border with Iraq, killing at least 12 soldiers. Turkey's government has threatened to take action against the rebels based in northern Iraq if the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq does not stop the Kurdish attacks on Turkish forces.
Hours after the ambush, an Iraqi army officer from the border guard forces, Col. Hussein Rashid, said Turkish forces fired about 15 artillery shells toward Kurdish villages in the border area in northern Iraq. But there were no casualties.
In Sadr City, the U.S. military said "an estimated 49 criminals" were killed in three separate engagements during a raid targeting a suspected rogue Shiite militia leader specializing in kidnapping operations for which he sought funding from Iran.
U.S. troops returned fire after coming under sustained attack from automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades from nearby buildings as they began to raid a series of buildings in the district, according to a statement, which added that some 33 militants were killed in the firefight. Ground forces then called in airstrikes, which killed some six militants.
The U.S. troops were then attacked by a roadside bomb and continued heavy fire as they left the area, killing another 10 combatants in subsequent clashes.
"All total, coalition forces estimate that 49 criminals were killed in three separate engagements during this operation. Ground forces reported they were unaware of any innocent civilians being killed as a result of this operation," the military said in the updated statement.
Iraqi police and hospital officials put the death toll at at least 13 and said a woman and three children were among the dead from the pre-dawn raid in the sprawling district. They said 52 people were injured.
Associated Press photos showed the bodies of two toddlers, one with a gouged face, swaddled in blankets on the floor of the morgue. Relatives said they were killed when helicopter gunfire hit their house as they slept. Their shirts were pulled up, exposing their abdomens. A diaper showed above the waistband of the shorts of one of the boys.
Several houses, cars and shops were damaged in the fighting, which witnesses said lasted two hours.
Iraqis have routinely claimed civilians were killed as U.S.-led forces stepped up raids to try to root out extremists inand other Shiite strongholds as part of an 8-month-old security operation to quell sectarian violence.
But the reported death toll in Sunday's strike was among the largest.
On Aug. 8, thesaid 32 suspected militants were killed and 12 captured in an operation targeting a ring believed to be smuggling armor-piercing roadside bombs from Iran. Iraqi police and witnesses claimed nine civilians, including two women, were killed in that raid.
The sweeps into Sadr City have sent a strong message that U.S. forces plan no letup on suspected Shiite militia cells despite risks of upsetting the Shiite-led government of Prime Ministerand its efforts at closer cooperation with Shiite heavyweight Iran.
An Iraqi military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, said the government would ask the military for an explanation about Sunday's raid and stressed the need to avoid civilian deaths everywhere.
The government has had mixed reactions to the raids and airstrikes, particularly when they target Sunni extremists.
U.S. troops backed by attack aircraft also killed 19 suspected insurgents and 15 civilians, including nine children, in an operation Oct. 11 targetingin Iraq leaders northwest of Baghdad.
Ok, I was gone just a tad bit longer then anticipated but Thursday night and Friday knocked me with a bit of a stomach thing.... I don't really want to blame it on the chef's salad I bought at our fav restaurant on the way home Thursday evening... but I have my suspicions . Just enough that I probably won't order it for awhile ~sigh~
..lots of ginger tea and soda crackers and some sweet pats and words from my dearest and I am feeling much much better.
..So much so that C and I went out and bought a new mattress set today..This is VERY exciting since the mattress we were sleeping on was about 20 years old and a water bed.... Its sort of the ending of an era you know.... giving up the water bed and become Sealy folks now. It was perhaps the last bit of rock and roll hanging on in our lives except for possibly the occasional song we both just have to cut loose to.
.. This weeks blog break was a bit busier then I expected. I had dreams of long periods of reflection but it turned out to be one thing after another needing my attention... It wasn't ironic I don't think that the Bible Study this week was on the very thing... doing things our way with our plans instead of God's way ...
... This will be another busy week preparing for a visit from my Aunt and Uncle ( previously know as "one of the top 4 smartest people I know). Our family is ALWAYS very very happy to see them and so we look for ward to Sat. morning when they will arrive.
... Do you see that splended tea package I posted??? Its from my friend CJ in CA. I am looking forward to savoring so many of these teas I have never tried.. I decided that CA must have just the best teas...The day before the package arrived I had received my order from Republic of Tea If you haven't tried their teas and you are a tea lover give it a go... I think Panera also sells their teas in bulk .
... Do you know the maples are finally starting to turn.... I was a bit of a skeptic about our trip to the mountains in 2 weeks but perhaps the timing will be about right...
... Our buddy Ben offered us use of his kyacks for a bit of a spin around what might be left of some of our lakes ( we are in a severe drought)... I might have to whisper that one in my honee's ear. I tend to be more of the outdoor activity type but he can be a good sport about those things...
... The olders are at Martinsville this weekend Josh checked in and is feeling the stress of all that's going on... I have a new thing to be thankful for ...Apache helicopters...Christopher is gearing up for a preseason tournament in Greensboro in a couple weeks .. and so that begins...
... I'm glad to be back ... and promise to catch up on my blog reading I've missed you all back and want to thank everyone who sent an email, said a prayer or sent a good thought... nice to know along with the IRL friends I have so many blog peeps...
.. So pray for the troops... and have a fine day ... all day long~
...sometimes... just sometimes I need to play introvert... and do a bit of sorting and processing, regrouping, understanding a few things, licking a wound or two, evaluating, decluttering , freshening up............turn into, pray a bit more... come out on the other side as always a much stronger, better person.... so until Wednesday or Thursday .....I hope you have a fine week.... all week long!