Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Then when you work with the clay you need to mix it with some fine sand or crushed up shells to help make it so your pots won't crack. Above the kids are sifting the sand so they could get the big chunks out of it. Then we worked a little sand into our chunk of clay. To form to base of the pot you make a hollow in the ground (we were inside because of rain so we used buckets of sand to make our molds). The hollow you make is the mold for the base of the pot. Inside that form you place a thin layer of leaves.
Then you start to form your pot in that hollow. You want to be sure that the clay is even in thickness and around 1/2 in thick. You don't want any holes either. After you get the base part done then you can start adding coils to build it into your desired shape. You need to smooth out the coils so that the whole pot is smooth however. After that is all done then you can add decorations to it by engraving with a sharp stick or pressing it with other textures like the end of a bone or a stick wrapped in twine. Then let your pot dry for a week or so. At this point you need to scrape the bottom with a shell to make it even. Then let your pot dry for about another week.
Then you need to build a nice fire and let it burn down to coals and then carefully place your pot on some coals and then cover up the it up with more coals. Let it stay in there for 45 minutes (approx.) and then carefully take it out. During the firing time I guess it is common for pots with weak spots to break but it was neat because though there was a bunch of amateurs making pots at this class, none of them broke.
Here is one of our finished pots. This can be used for cooking in or eating out of. Before cooking it should be oiled, inside and out. Pottery making is quite neat, I hope to do more in the future.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
I was brousing other blogs lately and came across a neat post at Cheap, Healthy, Good. about was to use apples. She had two neat pictures of apples in vases . I especially liked the one of just green apples in a tall clear vase.
All of these things really make me want to do some experimenting with displaying odd bits of nature. God gave us beauty and uniqueness everywhere. It is just up to us to enjoy it!
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shifting shadow." James 1:17
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I thought I would share our plans with you, so here they are: (I would love to know if anybody else decides to join us in our adventure!)
How to dress: In apricot, azure, amber or aqua colors.
How to act: Adorable and with Agape love
Supper: Au Gratin Potatoes with Ham*, Aylmer Bread*, Apple Juice and Alfalfa sprouts on salad.
What to do: Find things to Admire and Appreciate. (remember to tell God "Thank You!)
How to dress: In black and blue colors. Beautifully!
How to act: Be bright!
Supper: Beef Burgers on Buns, Beans, Beverage and Blackberry pie.
What to do: Blow up Balloons.
How to dress: In cream and cobalt blue.In costumes.
How to act: Carefully.
Breakfast: Crepes and cantaloupe.
Supper: Crab casserole , carrot and cabbage salad, cottage cheese, candy
What to do: Clean!!
How to dress: In Dark colors. Wear a dress.
How to act: Daring, delightful.
Supper: Dairy drink, doggies in a blanket*, dill pickles.
What to do: Dance!
How to dress: In Eggplant.
How to act: Entertainingly.
What to do: Enjoy eating.
How to dress: In fuchsia and floral.
How to act: Forgiving, fun!
Breakfast: Fresh fruit, french toast*.
Supper: Fish fillets, fabulous fruit salad, french fries*.
What to do: Play Frisbee.
How to dress: In green, gray and gold.
How to act: Good.
Breakfast: Grapefruit and granola*.
Supper: Goulash*, garlic bread and green salad.
What to do: Play a game.
How to dress: In hunter green.
How to act: Helpful.
Breakfast: Hash browns*.
Supper: Ham and Hush puppies*.
What to do: Give lots of hugs.
How to dress: In indigo.
How to act: be Inspiring.
Supper: Ice tea, Indian tacos, ice cream.
What to do: Make an Ice sculpture.
How to dress: In jewel tones and wear jewelry.Wear a jumper.
How to act: Joyful!
Breakfast: Jam on bread.
Supper: Juice, Jambalaya, Jello.
What to do: Tell jokes.
How to dress: In Khaki.
How to act: Kindly.
Breakfast: Kalaches*, Kiwi.
Supper: Kentucky fried chicken (okay I'm not sure we will actually buy this, I might make my oven fried chicken* and call it Kentucky fried- or does somebody else have a protein idea for K?), Kohlrabi or Kraut.
What to do: give Kisses.
How to dress: In lavender, lilac and lemon. Wear loose clothing.
How to act:Loving.
Supper: Lemonade, Lasagna, Lettuce salad and Lemon bars*.
What to do: Learn and love!
How to dress: In Maroon. Or wear a mustache!
How to act: Manly and/or meek and merciful.
Breakfast: Mint tea or milk and mush or muffins.
Supper: Milk, meatballs*, Mexican rice and marshmallows.
What to do: Make music.
How to dress: In navy, neon colors.
How to act: Nice.
Breakfast: Nut bread*.
Supper: Nice noodles Alfredo,
What to do: Notice noises.
How to dress: In orange and olive green.
How to act: Organized
Breakfast: Oatmeal, omelet* and orange juice.
Supper: Open faced sandwiches, olives and onion rings*.
What to do: Talk about opposites.
How to dress: In pink, purple, periwinkle and plaid. Wear pants.
How to act: Polite, peaceful and patient.
Breakfast: Puff pancakes* with peaches.
Supper: Punch, pizza* and pumpkin pie*.
What to do: Play by pretending.
How to dress: Wear quilted clothing(if you have any!) and wear your hair in a queue( a single braid down the back.)
How to act: Quick and quiet.
Breakfast: Quick oats
Supper: Quartered Quesidillas
What to do: Ask lots of queries/ questions.
How to dress: In red, raspberry or rust.
How to act: Respectfully.
Breakfast: Rise and shine cookies*.
What to do: Run a race.
How to dress: In salmon, scarlet and stripes. Wear a scarf.
How to act:Silly, serious, sober and self-controlled.
Breakfast: Sausage, scrambled eggs and smoothies.
Supper: Spaghetti and salad.
What to do: Sing!
How to dress: In tan and teal. Wear a tie.
How to act: Be talkative.
Supper: Tomato juice and tuna turnovers*.
What to do: Take turns tossing a ball.
How to dress: In Umber (a dark dusty or reddish brown). Don't forget your underwear.
How to act: Unaffected and unpretentious.
Supper: Unleavened bread (I am thinking tacos) and upside down cake.
What to do: Try playing the Ukulele.
How to dress: In violet. Or try Victorian clothes.
How to act: Be valiant.
Supper: Vegetarian pizza* and vegetables.
What to do: Try vaulting.
How to dress: In white and warm colors.
How to act: Be warmhearted.
Supper: Water, wild rice hot dish*, whole wheat bread, and whipped cream fruit salad*.
What to do: Whisper while taking a walk.
How to dress: Something eXotic.
How to act: Be eXciting.
Breakfast: An eXtremely satisfying one.
Supper: EXcellent Potatoes, eXciting meatloaf and eXotic vegies.
What to do: Play the Xylophone.
(Okay sorry for the horrible cheating here but all I could find to eat was Xantham gum (something that is used as a thickener) and that XX stands for powdered sugar. )
How to dress: In yellow and clothing made from yarn.
How to act: Be yourself.
Breakfast: Yogurt and Yummy oatmeal breakfast bars*.
Supper: Yellow fin tuna patties, yeast bread and yellow corn.
What to do: Yawn, Yodel and use a Yo-yo.
How to dress: In Black and white stripes like a Zebra. In clothes with zippers.
How to act: Be zealous and zany.
Breakfast: Zucchini muffins.
Supper: Zesty ziti pasta* and zwieback.
What to do: Go to the zoo, for real, online or in a book.
How to act: Cheerful
Breakfast: Cheddar cheese and chai tea.
Supper: Chocolate milk, chicken, chapatis and chocolate chip cookies.
What to do: Play a game of chess, checkers or just chase each other.
Breakfast: Philadelphia cream cheese.
Supper: Philly sandwiches
How to dress: Wear shoes and shells necklaces.
How to act: Sheepishly
Supper: Shepherds pie.
How to act: Be thankful!
Dinner: Thanksgiving dinner!
What to do: Give thanks.
There is our plan. Some places I obviously had more trouble coming up with stuff. If you have any ideas to fill those places that are lacking please leave a comment to tell me what I should do.
The recipes with * are ones that I could post if anybody would like.
We are planning on doing this in one month but I also think you could just do one letter a week and have one day where you had meals to do along with it. If anybody else decides to do this I hope you have a lot of fun (and please let me know!). I will try to keep you posted on how it all goes.
Here are some links to other posts about our Alphabet Adventures:
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Here is the bear cake, not to fancy but Aaron liked it.
Mara brought out teddy bears ( and dolls) to help decorate.
For drinks I used some old honey bottles (I had bought a bunch last year when they went on an excellent sale.) and we put chocolate milk in them so that they would look like brown bears.
We had a great time at our bear birthday party. I am so convinced that it doesn't take a huge expensive party for a child to have a wonderful birthday!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Our day went quite well. The house was already fairly clean from heavy cleaning yesterday which was nice. I love working in a clean house. The kids got done with their schoolwork before lunch. I was able to make some needed phone calls and work on odds and ends of projects that needed done like putting up this little hook below and a frog one that goes with it. They hang above my sink and we had put them up earlier with screws but they got pulled out of the wood. So now I decided to put them up with Gorilla glue. I think it will work well.
This afternoon I started teaching a new student piano. That was fun, I believe she will catch on very well which is always nice. I also taught one of my violin students. I also found the time to play both violin and piano myself, which is always fun.
This evening I helped Jonathan work on a present for Aaron's birthday and we also wrapped most of Aaron's presents. I feel very ahead of schedule on that as I usually do it the night before and we are 2 nights before!
I cut all my Men's hair this evening. Aaron actually sat for it happily tonight which was very nice. He has tended to be rather scared of haircuts and likes to go and hide.
The very yummy thing we enjoyed this evening was Homemade icecream. I am not sure that I have had it since I was a kid and it was very GOOD! We don't have an icecream maker but Mom had loaned us theirs since we are getting a lot of cream. It was very simple to make the icecream. I heated up 1 cup of milk in the microwave and dissolved 3/4 cup sugar in it and then mixed that with another cup of milk, 1 1/4 cups cream and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and let it cool in the fridge a couple of hours and then stuck it in the icecream maker, turned it on for 20 minutes and we were all done. I enjoyed mine with bananas and pecans.
Mara was wanting to try to make hers in layers like there are layers in the earth so she had a crumbled graham cracker, nuts, banana slices, chocolate sauce, icecream and sprinkles. Jonathan made a similar bowl full.
I am curious, does anybody know of a good recipe for icecream that doesn't require a icecream maker? I plan on returning mom's to her before long and I don't have the room to get one but I would still like to make icecream. Any comments would be appreciated!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
3 1/2 cups (a 29 oz. can) a cooked pumpkin (or winter squash)
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Top with mixture of these ingredients:
2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
(or you can use a white cake mix just as it is)
Over the top of all pour 1 cup (or less) melted butter.
Sprinkle with nuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
Now I feel like doing some baking!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Have you ever read the book "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney? This is a children's book that has been one of me and my children's favorites to get at the library. It is well written and has beautiful pictures. In the book Miss Rumphius, Alice loves visiting her Grandfather and listening to his stories of traveling to far places and says that when she grows older she to wants to travel to far places and then come and live in a house by the sea. Her Grandfather tells her that what she is planning is well and good but she also needs to do something to make the world more beautiful. Well she does travel and then does get a house by the sea but cannot figure out what to do to make the world more beautiful and then almost by accident she starts spreading Lupine seeds and flowers grow. She starts walking everywhere and planting them in ditches and all over and becomes known as the Lupine Lady and that is how she makes the world more beautiful.
We have been inspired by this book and I encourage others to read it so that they will be as well. God gave us a very beautiful world but many times people are a little thoughtless and throw out trash and don't bother to beautiful the area they are in. We can be different though. One thing we have been doing is planting perennial flowers, bushes and trees. We can also pick up trash (this summer my sister Anna organized most of the kids in her neighborhood to pick up trash, they had a good time and did a good job- she said they even went up into people's yards :-) , I am hoping to do that soon on our street. Whatever it is you choose to do I think that is a good goal to have, "Do something to make the world more beautiful". Maybe you can leave it nicer than you found it!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
We live in a place that is not ours, it belongs to God. When we use something that is somebody else's usually we work hard to take extra good care of it. I am not sure that has always been the case with the things God has given us however. Sometimes we tend to take Him and His gifts for granted. I have been thinking about this more lately and I am trying to make my lifestyle more aware of keeping the earth that God is letting me live in clean and nice. I am writing this post to encourage you to also work towards wasting less and reducing the amount of trash that you throw in the landfill. I am sure many of you are already doing far better than I, and so maybe you can give me hints in improving my lifestyle. One thing I did want to mention though before I tell you what I have been doing is, though I think it is very good to become aware of what is going on environmentally and work towards improvement we don't ever want to become like the people mentioned in Romans 1:25 "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." We don't ever want to take our focus off of God.
One of the things that really bothers me environmentally is all the waste in our culture. We have so much stuff that is made to be used once and then thrown away. We also live in a society that just likes to buy, has to much stuff and throws perfectly good stuff in the landfill. I am really working at not doing that at our house. Here is some of what I do:
- We recycle our newspapers, cans, bottles, magazines, boxes and paper. I have done that for a while but recently we got more organized and we are trying to do even more. I am trying to make sure that every piece of throw away paper gets recycled and that every bottle gets rinsed out and recycled rather than ever thrown away. However I know that recycling takes a lot of energy and also I don't get anything out of it personally so I try to self recycle a lot of stuff instead of throwing it in a bin.
- I wash and re-use bags. I know this seems small but each bag I re-use is one less in the landfill and also I don't have to buy bags and use up resources that way. I do have a box of zip lock bags on hand but I bought it a few years ago and there is still plenty left. I wash bread bags, cheese bags, and zip lock bags. Growing up we also washed out sugar bags and veggie bags.
- We use cloth napkins. (Mostly anyway, Ken isn't sure that he likes them so we do keep the others on hand). Most of our napkins are homemade (other wise they were given to me) made out of remnants or old curtains. I really like cloth napkins which are much sturdier than the paper and they save you money too.
- We use cloth rags instead of paper towel. I do usually have paper towel on hand for draining bacon and stuff like that but we use them very rarely. Rags are made out of old clothes (absorbent t-shirts or flannel shirts) or old cotton socks. Sock rags are wonderful for dusting and little cleaning jobs. I cut them up the side and on the end (as pictured below) so that they open up flat.
- We are switching to florescent light bulbs. I think most of our home is now florescent, as they burn out we are changing them. This costs more at first but is supposed to save a lot of money in the long run. It also saves time as you don't have to change them as often and then reduces the amount of stuff going to the landfill.
- I compost all the organic material from my kitchen. This is so great for building up the soil in your garden too. I was so impressed this year at how fast it turned into good dirt. You might notice that I used old pallets for the compost bin and that I am reusing carpet in the garden to keep weeds down.
- For starting plants for my garden , I used milk jugs with their tops cut off and drain holes put in to plant the seeds in.
- We re-use containers. I have found that peanut butter jars work very well for freezing food in. You don't have to worry about it getting bumped open in the freezer. The others containers work well too. There is absolutely no need to buy bunches of containers when you can get so many for free. Also containers are easier to re-use then bags.
- We recycle lots of paper, magazines and cardboard by making cards and envelopes, kids crafts (my kids love to create and so I try to keep scrap paper, boxes, toilet paper tubes and magazines on hand for all their work), and drawing and just writing of notes and lists.
- I also enjoy using recycled material for gift wrapping.
- This is one of my more recent attempts at producing less waste. This is a Diva cup and it is used for your menstrual cycle. It is reusable and should last for years. I am impressed with it. This is also a great money saver as I paid $25 for it (including shipping) and it should last for at least 10 years during which time I should have to buy very little else. Crunchy Chicken is the blog where I learned about this and she has a lot more information. Here is a place you can buy one.
- Handkerchiefs are something we are trying to use more here. Ken has used them often but the kids and I hadn't much but lately we are trying. The kids think handkerchiefs are very fun so that is nice.
- I decided to include this picture as stuff like this is an important part of my recycling. For her birthday Mara really wanted butterfly or fairy wings. I used some old curtains (along with wire and a little fabric) to make some for her. I did much the same thing for all our costumes for the colonial class, using stuff that others had rejected to make something that worked for us.
- Old clothing is something that it seems like many people throw away, it is also one of my favorite things to recycle. I like to make bags like the one pictured above, I also enjoy making quilts, making "new" clothes, making rugs and cutting t-shirts into strips and knitting or crocheting them.
There I have shared with you some of the stuff I do. There are other things I am working on and dreams that I have but I will have to share them with you another time as it is getting quite late. As always I am always open to your thoughts and ideas too!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We cooked Pottage (chicken, barley and black bean stew) and Indian cornbread (which burnt) over the fire. The kids helped to gather firewood and get the fire going nicely. The also shook up cream to make butter and used the mortar and pestle to grind up the spices for our pottage. I learned about the challenges of wearing long skirts and working over a fire. I guess that was quite a danger in colonial times.
Here are Megan and Jonathan working on the Indian cornbread.
I sewed or re-made most of the clothes we wore today. That has kept me busy this week but has been fun. Aaron's outfit was probably my favorite. I used an old short linen pair of pants of his and turned them into knickers. The Waistcoat (vest) I made from some red wool that had been given to me that was already cut out for a little girls coat. I eliminated several pieces and made it into a waistcoat for him. He wore some long socks of mine which we tied up with garters. The shoes, shirt and hat we already had. Jonathan was dressed similarly, I had to use scraps of wool to make his vest as I didn't have any big pieces left. He liked it though and decided the front was kind of like an airplane.
Here is Mara in her cloak that I quickly put together last night after church. It was warm and cozy and she liked it a lot.
Here is Mara in the dress that we re-made from an old dress that was in my quilt box. The apron was one I made for our class last year. Her cap is what they call a "coif".
Here is my great helper, my younger sister Keren. She helped to watch over kids and cook and anything that was needed. She put together her own outfit. This picture also shows our empty stew pot. We all ate together and licked the platter clean.
This picture show the pocket that Keren made for herself (she and I also made one for me but I ran out of time and didn't get much embroidery done on it.) In colonial times pockets in clothes had not been invented yet but women wore these tied around their waist. Sometimes they had two.
Here is a spindle and some wool. We worked at spinning yarn a little during the class. We also dyed some fabric using natural dye but I think I will talk about that in another post.
Well I hope you enjoyed our colonial days class. It would have been more fun if you could have been here but I guess this will have to do! :-) In my opinion pretending to live in other time periods is the best way to learn history. We have also been reading heavily about that time period these last few weeks. If you don't feel like going to all this bother at home ( your kids would love it if you would though) I would recommend going to living history museums or a Rendevous. Those are great places to learn history.