Miss Beatrix Potter Hen

Miss Beatrix Potter Hen
Miss Bea posing for Mama!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Low Fat Potato Chip Cookies

I simply LOVE to snack on salty potato chips, and I LOVE to nibble on a sweet cookie! So, what happens when you mix these two delightful tastes together? Potato Chip Cookies...and they're low fat too! Hip hip hooray!

1 Cup I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
2 Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups Crushed Potato Chips (light or baked)
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips or Chocolate Chips of choice


1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and sugars
    until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in eggs.
3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda, then gradually add to the creamed
    mixture, mixing well.
4. Add butterscotch or chocolate chips and mix.
5. Add crushed potato chips and mix gently until well combined.
6. Drop by tablespoonfuls approximately 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie
7. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden
8. Remove immediately from cookie sheet and place on wire racks to cool.

Enjoy !!

Yields approximately 4-5 dozen

Nutrition Information (Serving size is 1 cookie)
Calories 123, Fat 7 g. (Sat. Fat 3 g.), Cholesterol 9mg., Sodium 48 mg.,
Carbohydrates 15 g., Protein 1 g.

This recipe is courtesy of Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook and contains
some alterations from the original.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Make a List!

Lists are practical and easy to write! And, lists or their more contemporary stage name these days, listicles, are everywhere. Simple lists just could be your homeschool's next great creative writing project.

List making stimulates the brain. Creating lists also teaches and reinforces several practical skills. In order to create a list, your child must first brainstorm ideas. Writing lists also teaches organization, how to prioritize and the beauty of simplicity or succinctness. Simpler than outlines, lists get right to the point with bullet points! And, lists appeal to young and older students alike. Beginning printers and writers can let their creativity soar while honing their fine motor skills -- single words, phrases or ideas make the grade. 

Kinds of Lists:

Hip Homeschool Moms

  • Homschool schedules
  • Chores 
  • Vocabulary words or interesting and unsual words to incorporate into writing and speech
  • To Do Lists
  • Groceries
  • Errands
  • Allowance and Budgeting

  • Things I want to do this summer 
  • Books to read
  • Movies to watch
  • Crafts to make
  • Recipes to try
  • Favorite Bible verses or verses to memorize
  • Prayer needs and requests
  • Personal, educational or vocational goals
  • Places I'd want to live if I could
  • Changes for transforming my bedroom into the ultimate retreat
  • Things I'd do if I had 1 million dollars
  • Things I'll have done by the time I'm 50 years old
  • If I were President of the United States...
  • If I had a personal robot assistant

Pro and Con
         Pro and Con lists can be practical, personal or even
         creative. For example, homeschool students might 
         make a pro and con list for joining a particular 
         club or sport, for taking an elective, for getting a 
         job, etc. This type of list helps to put things into   

         Or, create a Pro/Con list with a bit of pizazz -- the pros 
         and cons of living on a deserted island, being an only 
         child, being 8 feet tall, well... you get the idea. 

         I keep a running list of songbirds I've spotted. 
         Your children can keep ongoing lists of wildlife 
         they've seen, miles they've walked, hiked or biked, 
         places they've visited, books they've read, 
         accomplishments, struggles, prayers (for and 
         answered), etc.

Hands-on and Handy

        Lists don't have to be written! Hmmm, have I 
        piqued your interest? Whether your homeschool 
        students are visual learners, kinesthetic learners 
        or just like the hands-on approach, list making just 
        got a LOT more interesting! Using index cards, 
        construction paper or card stock, make paper letter 
        squares about the size of a Scrabble piece or bigger. 
        Essentially, you'll want to make more the letters that 
        appear most often in words. Your students can piece
        together their lists. Rearranging is a breeze!

Lists are not just for the visual learner. Lists are for anyone who's busy, busy, busy and needs to remember. Lists also reassure, comfort and help keep us on track in a variety of ways.

Why are lists THE next great writing project for your homeschool? Because they're easy to do, adaptable to 
any subject and are extraordinarily creative-- plain ordinary notebook paper, graph paper, special stationery, a chalk board or the sidewalk on a beautiful sunny day can be the perfect canvas for your lists. And, the absolute best part of making a list -- any writing instrument is just "write" !!

So, make a list :) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Homeschooling in the Merry Month of May

Welcome, May !

May is a beautiful month -- flowers bloom, grass greens, birds build nests, trees grow leaves and flower and we celebrate our mothers. May is like a breath of fresh spring air just waiting to be sampled. May is like a pretty new party dress just waiting for romance. May is warm and sunny and just absolutely delightful. To me, May just sings out, Celebrate!  And, there is sooo much to celebrate. May is not only a time of budding natural beauty, it's also the subject of many beautiful poems, songs and paintings.

So, skip along with me and let's celebrate the merry merry month of May :)

Poetry Study


 Joyce Kilmer

"The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings."

                                Song on a May Morning                           

                                        John Milton

           Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
           Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
           The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
           The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
           Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
           Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
           Woods and groves are of they dressing,
           Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
                                                    Thus we salute thee with our early song,
                               And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


    Henry Sylvester Cornwell

Come walk with me along this willowed lane,         
Where, like lost coinage from some miser's store,
The golden dandelions more and more
Glow, as the warm sun kisses them again!
For this is May! who with a daisy chain
Leads on the laughing Hours; for now is o'er
Long winter's trance. No longer rise and roar.
His forest-wrenching blasts. The hopeful swain.
Along the furrow, sings behind his team;
Loud pipes the redbreast -- troubadour of spring,
And vocal all the morning copses ring;
More blue the skies in lucent lakelets gleam;
And the glad earth, caressed by murmuring showers,
Wakes like a bride, to deck herself with flowers!

Pippa's Song

Robert Browning

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn:
God's in His Heaven --
All's right with the world!

The Butterfly

Clinton Scollard

Up and down the air you float            
Like a little fairy boat;
I should like to sail the sky,
Gliding like a butterfly!

The Flowers

Robert Louis Stevenson

All the names I know from nurse:                      
Gardener's garters, shepherds's purse:
Bachelor's buttons, lady's smock,
And the lady hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,'
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for the tiny dames --
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny treetops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all.

Music Appreciation

Many melodies have been inspired by the pretty month of May and have"sprung up" in all sorts of ways -- the very traditional While Strolling Through the Park is an all-time favorite. This famous ditty has appeared on stage and screen, has been a longtime friend to barbershop quartets and a more child-friendly version was created by Kidsongs. And, zoom, zoom, zoom, it's off to the moon we go...on NASA's Apollo 17 mission, astronauts sang their own little zero gravity version..."I was strolling on the moon one day..."

So warm up your voices and sing a song of spring! 

In the Merry Merry Month of May by Stephen Collins Foster
It's Spring by Pam Minor

Artistic Pursuits

Spring paints a lovely scene on the merry May canvas! Some of Vincent Van Gogh's best paintings were inspired by the beauty of May.

Farmhouse in a Wheat Field

Landscape With Couple Walking and Crescent Moon

Still Life Majolica Jug With Wildflowers

Sketching and painting is a great way to capture the beauty of May! May is just bursting with color --
bright blooms popping up all around, vibrant green grass and wildflowers reveling from April's showers, happy-go-lucky bumblebees buzzing about in hopes of satisfying their sweet tooth, and songbirds flitting from branch to branch. Or, if you need a little more inspiration, please check out my article entitled, Artistry Abounds, in Home School Enrichment Magazine. Happy creating :)

May is chock full of inspiration for learning. So, savor the beauty of this gorgeous little snippet of spring with beautiful poetry, music and art -- read, listen, create and appreciate.

And, "may" you happily enjoy the merry, merry month of May!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring into Action – Simple Creative Physical Fitness Activities for Homeschoolers

Ah, spring is in the air! 

There's just something about the warmer sun filled days of spring that make you want to get up and move. Pack your winter blahs away with your coats and mittens and say hello to spring with these easy fun-filled activities that get you movin' and groovin'!

Rain is in the air too, though :( 

As homeschoolers and a family in general, we were never the sports participation type. Oh, we were active -- we walked, hiked and bicycled...in the nice weather. When it was raining cats and dogs, not so much. So, as a mom who was committed to my family's health and fitness, I rose to the challenge. I created some simple physical fitness activities -- no warm sunny days required. So, bring on the spring rain, but get fit without your umbrella.

Winter Wonderland Skating Party

Ice Skating isn't just a winter activity. It's great exercise any time of year. So pop on some skate-friendly music, don your slipperiest socks and "ice skate" around the kitchen. We always skated to the traditional, Winter Wonderland  by Anne Murray. Since we just happen to have a central island in our kitchen, we "skated" around in circles as if at a rink. Have hardwood floors? Even better! Let your children skate the day away. Hot cocoa with mini marshmallows, optional.

Marching Marathon

Marching is easy yet, it can work up a good sweat at the same time. A marching marathon can be played in a variety of ways. Play it like Simon Says. Or, choose a leader from names in a hat and that child can lead the marching mania all through the house. Show your children how to put a little oomph and style into marching -- tap their raised knees, raise their arms or flap their wings with each step, march double time for a spell, etc. Mom or Dad can also be the leader and either call out or demonstrate different marching variations. Spice it up even more with more complex patterns for older children such as march, march, march and kick. The possibilities are endless. So, march on..

Potato Sack Races 

Take a step back in time to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Simpler time,simpler games. All you need for this activity are old pillow cases. Well, pillow cases and energy, that is. Simply gather your racers in the largest room of your house, hallway, etc. and have them step inside their "sacks". Ready, set, go and they're off. 

 Creative Strength Training

Have soup cans, will strengthen muscles! Everyone has a couple of soup cans sitting on their pantry shelf just waiting to feel usefull. There really is no need to purchase expensive hand weights, when ordinary soup cans will do the trick. Simply grab a soup can in each hand and demonstrate some basic arm movements. Again, this activity can be spiced up a bit with a variety of different moves. Your young weight lifters can circle their arms, flap their wings or even add a mini-marching marathon into the mix. Strong muscles are 
    healthy muscles!

Dance, Dance, Dance

Everybody can dance! Yes, you can. You don't have to be the next Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. You just have to move to the music. Dancing is GREAT fun and a fabulous way to get fit. And, dancing ties in well with almost any unti study that revolves around a specific time period. You and your children can boogie to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, dance the Charleston or waltz elegantly around the family room. Or, teach your children some classic yet young at heart dances -- do the swim, the mashed potato, the twist and many more. So, roll up those rugs and cut a rug with your kids! 

Fitness in a Jar

Fitness in a Jar was one of our all time favorite fitness activities. Great for a scheduled physical fitness class or just right for a much needed break from school work, Fitness in a Jar is a unique "get fit" adventure for your family. A simple yard sale cookie jar was home to a myriad of fitness exercises and "be healthy" acts. Simply, write out some basic exercises on index cards and illustrate with simple stick figure people. Add a bit of creative flair and F U N by including some family specific or special cards:

*Walk the dog
*Drink a glass of milk
*Choose ANY exercise
*Eat a healthy snack
*Do as many Jumping Jacks as Mom is "young" in years!

Anyway, I think you get the idea! 

Fitness works best for children when it's fun and not too challenging that they end up feeling frustrated and defeated. I think that goes for adults too! And, it's much healthier to start out slow and gradually work up to more challenging exercises and activities. 

So, get movin' and groovin' and start getting fit today!