:: Chickadee arriving at the feeder ::

Things here are Good, with a capital "G." We've been watching the birds and living in harmony with each other. 'A' continues to plow ahead with learning to read (she's still not excited about it - she's not inclined to sit down with a book unless I suggest it. But that will come.). She loves, loves, loves to do math. She just "gets it." Today we played a math game that is similar to Go Fish. We use number cards and instead of asking for cards that give us matches, we ask for cards that will make pairs that add up to ten. It's a good way to make math drills fun. Really, you're just memorizing the sets that add up to ten. I use the number cards that came with the Rightstart math kit I purchased. There are six of each number card. I suppose you could use two regular decks of cards too, using the Ace for the number one. Or you could make your own using card stock.

Little House on the Prairie continues to be a BIG THEME in our home. 'A' wants to wear her prairie dress every day, and the girls role play all day long. I've even started weaving the Ingalls family into the math lessons: Laura and Mary each twisted four sticks of straw. Ma came out and wanted half of what they had twisted for the fire. How many did she take?

:: Chickadee eating at the feeder ::

The big news for me is that I met with a group of moms who all have children with severe food allergies. Ahhh.... what a satisfying experience to be in the company of other people who go through the same things I go through on a daily basis (living in fear that today is the day our child will die; washing our hands a million times just to stay clean; cooking everything from scratch; saying no to endless social invitations because the risk of an anaphylactic attack is too great... I could go on and on). We spent hours talking about how we manage it day to day... keeping our children safe, and keeping our anxiety at bay. I didn't realize how much I needed them. I live so much of my life in a bubble, and it's so good for my spirit to be with others who live in similar bubbles too. It's informative and it's healing.

:: Chickadee leaving the feeder ::

The snow is coming down today and we'll leave the house only to play in it and fill up the bird feeders. Soon the girls will help me make bread for dinner and granola for breakfast tomorrow. I'm still looking for the perfect granola recipe. Any ideas? Our bread will pair well with pasta. This recipe uses semolina flour and is hearty and satisfying. And the best part is, there's no kneading involved. None!

No-Knead Golden Semolina Bread

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil or garlic oil, plus additional for drizzling
2 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 cup semolina
2 teaspoons pizza seasoning, optional, for topping

1) Lightly grease a 9" round pie pan or cake pan, and drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bottom.

2) Combine all of the ingredients, and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes; or mix in a bread machine set on the dough cycle for 10 minutes or so.

3) Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the dough is very puffy.

4) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball.

5) Place the ball into the greased and oiled pan, cover the pan, and let dough rise for 60 minutes, until it becomes puffy. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

6) Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger. Drizzle it lightly with olive or garlic oil.

7) Bake the bread till it's golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove it from the oven, sprinkle with the pizza seasoning or dried herbs of your choice, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Erika Says:

I should use the card thing for Jack. He doesn't hate math but he has a hard time getting certain things to stick in his brain.

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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!