Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jesse Tree Advent Devotional Book

I have been following a local homeschool blogger Jennifer at Planted by Streams for a few months now. She is always inspirational and fun. Earlier this month she blogged about Ann Voskamp's Free Jesse Tree Advent Devotional. It has been a blessing to our family. If you did not get a chance to do it this year, I encourage to you make it part of you homeschool adventure in 2011.

Christmas Decor: Homemade Mantel and Fireplace

Mom,can we have a Christmas mantel like we did in our old house? Sure son. (Internal grimace.)

During our move the kid lost a backyard, sunny Decembers and his life long friends. We can not replace any of that but try to give a little Texas Christmas by giving him a mantel on a tight budget.

I felt like MacGyver minus the chewing gum. I had left over USPS boxes, brown butcher paper, a Wii Fit Board Box and the Family Fun Christmas book from the library.

My normally none crafty son was very pleased with the results.
In true boy fashion he had to take it up a notch. "Mom, can we make fake fire?" He runs to the Michael's bag and pulls out two flickering tea lights (battery operated) then places behind our fake logs. "Mom this is going to be AWESOME!" It is awesome.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday:Christmas Edition

Our first rolled out gluten free Christmas cookies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Homemade Christmas Workbox Tags

I just got into a festive mood and made these Christmas Workbox Tags for our workboxes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Washington, D.C.

As part of our holiday celebration we are reading "The Twelve Days of Christmas in Washington, D.C." by Candice Ransom. This is a great way for us to discover the city and start new family traditions.

So far we have done 5 of the 12 activities discussed in the book. Most of which have been free admission and loads of fun. However the blistering cold of the last couple of weeks have made each an adventure dressing for winter.

I have been having camera issues so most of the pictures will be borrowed from other sources on the web.

Some of our favorites are:

Zoolights at the National Zoo

A chilly Saturday morning visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The lobby has a beautiful glass floor with an amazing Christmas tree.

While there we visited the First Ladies at the Smithsonian exhibition. The gowns were wonderful and the space incredible.

My favorite dress. I loved it! The shoes were AWESOME!
Also on the display is the George Washington Statue from 1841. This was a different view of the first president. I personally did not care for it. Then Ironhide say "Look at your man, now look at your president" (reference the Old Spice commercial), I was well and truly done.

And of course the Ruby Slippers.

Our next adventure was on a cold and windy day to visit The White House and the famous squirrels at Lafayette Park.

The original black and gray squirrels where actual escapees from the zoo who found a home here in the park. These are the chubbiest squirrels I have ever seen. They have no fear of people and will come right up to you. When I did not feed them one actually stepped to block my way.

We were all in awe of The White House. It is beautiful sight.

And of course it would not be DC without the Washington Monument.
Well that is all for now.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Co-Op Question: How do you celebrate Gluten Free Thanksgiving?

Okay so here are the main dishes. The family voted against turkey this year because we eat turkey in some form almost every day. I will try to capture pictures this week.

Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Onions and Garlic


· 1 3 to 4 pound frying chicken. (It’s easier to roast a fryer, and they have less fat on them overall.)

· 1 apple, cut in four pieces

· The juice of one lemon

· 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces

· 1 large red onion, cut in 1-inch pieces

· 6 cloves garlic, peeled

· extra virgin olive oil

· Salt and Pepper to taste

· Liberally season both the inside and outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the apple slices inside the body cavity of the chicken and pour the lemon juice inside as well. Place chicken in the center of a baking sheet that has a cooling rack placed right-side up in the pan.

· Toss the potatoes, onions and garlic in a bowl with a few tablespoons of olive oil, some salt, pepper and a bit of nutmeg if desired. Arrange around chicken on baking sheet. Pour any remaining olive oil over the chicken.

· Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh, making sure the probe is not touching any bones. (I generally slide the probe all the way through the bottom of the breast and into the thigh; just to be sure I’ve got the tip in the right spot.)

· Place chicken and vegetables in a 350° F oven and cook until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 155 degrees. (You may have to peek in on the veggies. If they look like they’re over-roasting, turn once.) Remove chicken from oven and cover loosely with two layers of aluminum foil. Allow to rest until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (Approximately 15 minutes)

Gluten Free Southern Corn Bread Dressing

To prepare: Preheat oven 350 F. Makes about 8 cups; 12 servings


· ½ cup (1 stick) butter

· ½ cup chopped onion

· 1 cups chopped celery

· ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

· 1 teaspoon rubbed or ground sage, or to taste

· 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

· ¼ teaspoon rosemary seasoning

· ½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper

· ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

· 5 cups crumbled Bob Mills Gluten Free Corn Bread mix

· 3 large eggs, slightly beaten

• 1 ½ to 2 cups Chicken Broth

Heat oven to 3500 F. In large skillet, melt butter; add onions and celery. Over low heat sauté until tender (but not mushy), about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, sage, thyme, pepper and salt (if desired). In large bowl add crumbled corn bread and vegetable mixture. Stir in eggs and 1 ½ cups of broth. If mixture seems dry, add remaining ½ cup of broth. Taste and if necessary, adjust seasonings

To cook inside turkey: Spoon dressing into body cavity (do not pack); spoon any additional dressing into neck cavity and/or buttered baking dish.

To bake dressing separately: Spoon into large greased baking dish; cover loosely. To cook along with turkey, add to oven during the last 30 to 40 minutes roasting time.