Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I just received an email about the varsity football camp Night Owl will be attending in a couple of weeks. I noticed he's the only 10th grader listed. I shouldn't check these things. They just make me nervous. He'll be gone 4 nights. Sigh.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Cook Off - Phase 2

Phase 2 of the Great Summer Cook Off is underway and we're having lots of fun. Last weekend, Dad even joined in and cooked dinner!

Here's Dad as he makes delicious food from Germany! The kids weren't too sure about the purple cabbage, but the potato pancakes were a big hit!

Social Butterfly cooked some delicious hamburgers and cheese puffs from New Zealand. Her meal ended with this beautiful Pavlova. We found out it is a traditional New Zealand dish named after a ballerina. How "girly" can you get? A perfect dish for our Social Butterfly.

Night Owl wowed us with his food from Panama. He made Red Snapper, Beef Empamadas and Fried Plantains. The Plaintains were the only thing left to take a picture of. Needless to say we aren't plaintain eaters here, but Beany gave them a try!

This weekend promises more fun with food from Greece, cooked by Social Butterfly and food from Japan, cooked by Night Owl!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Great Summer Cook Off

Well, we're already starting Phase 2 of the Great Summer Cook Off so I thought I would tell you about how Phase 1 went.
First I will tell you that this was all Night Owl's idea. I was shocked!

After watching something on the Food Network he decided that it would be fun if he and his sister had a "cook off". They chose 5 different categories and each of them had to cook an item from each category, one per night. (I'm thinking, "That's 10 days of either Night Owl or Social Butterfly cooking in my kitchen. This could be a very long 10 days!")
Here they are deciding who will pick first:

The categories were:
pizza (of course)





THEN, they put a whole bunch of random ingredients into a bowl. For each category they had to draw an ingredient and use that in their recipe. For pizza, Night Owl picked chocolate and Social Butterfly picked shrimp. So one night we had a shrimp alfredo pizza that was DELICIOUS, and of course Night Owl's idea for a chocolate dessert pizza with a sugar cookie crust was a big hit too!
Picking the Ingredients:

One of Night Owl's biggest challenges was for his "burger" category. He picked apples as his ingredient. Nobody was looking forward to this meal. But, he surprised us all. Since "Burgers" doesn't necessarily mean beef, he used ground turkey. He diced and cooked some apples that he mixed up into the ground turkey and then made them into patties. He served them with bacon on top and melted "Applewood Cheddar" (his favorite cheese). They were great and we were all amazed! Here he is with his famous burger: (Yes, he's had a hair cut since this was taken!)

Social Butterfly's challenge was to make Pie with corn as her ingredient. She found a recipe for Shepherd's Pie that had corn and won her daddy's heart. (This is one of his favorites that I rarely cook!)

The kids had so much fun with this they decided to do a "Phase 2". This time they wrote various country names on slips of paper and put them into a bowl. The rule here is that you have to cook a whole meal from that country. The really fun thing is that Dad just had to get involved with this one! So, Social Butterfly will be cooking food from New Zealand tonight. Tomorrow night, Night Owl will be cooking food from Panama, and on Sunday, dinner will be cooked by Dad and the food from Columbia. This could be REALLY interesting!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Beany!

We celebrated Beany's 2nd birthday over the weekend!

He loved his cake!And got lots of help opening his presents!

Of Course, I couldn't let the big event go by without a group shot!

Happy Birthday Beany! You are truly a blessing!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Schedule

As I am planning for school to start back up in the fall, the first thing that needed "hammered out" is the schedule. This year's schedule was quite easy to come up with. We will be following the same basic plan as last year, since it worked so well. For those that care, here is the short form: (I've included some really old pictures in this post, just for fun!)

7:00 - Everybody up to pray with Dad and Night Owl before they leave for the day.

7:15-8:00 - Morning chores, breakfast, personal prayer times for everyone (except Mom who took care of that in the hours before everyone else woke up.)

Jetter making his bed when he was 4.
8:00 - "Morning Meeting". This will be our "Religion and Art Block". I think this is the most important time of our day, and depending on how it goes, it sort of sets the tone for the rest of the day. Because of this, I put a high priority on what we do and how it's done. I'm planning a separate post on "Starting and Ending Our Day" in which I'll describe what goes on during this "launch" as well as the "wrap up" of our day's itinerary.
9:45 (ish) - "Classroom Time". We will all head down to the classroom for individual lessons with Mom and time to complete the "workboxes", which I will post more on later.

Night Owl in 4th grade and Social Butterfly in Kindergarten. She really hates this picture!
12:30 - Lunch / clean up / and free time.

Builder at the park

2:00 - Chores for everyone. Chores are a regular part of our day out of necessity. As homeschool moms know, and non-homeschool moms can imagine, being home all day with the kids, cooking 3 meals and snacks, playing inside during inclement weather, etc. can all lead to a messy house. It's important that a time be set aside for everyone to pitch in. We've fallen into some bad habits this summer. Basically the kids haven't been doing their chores and mom has let them get away with it :( . So, we'll be starting this part of our schedule before the beginning of the school year. Hopefully by then everyone will know their chores and doing them will be just part of the routine.

Jetter and Social Butterfly doing dishes.
3:00 - Tea Time. This is essentially an ending to our school day. It is a snack time for the kids, who don't actually drink tea, and a time to relax and listen to literature that I will read to them. I
find that this time is almost as important as the beginning of our day, so I'll be devoting a post to this as well.
Social Butterfly reading to Jetter and Builder.

4:00 - Quiet Time. This will be a time of resting, but mostly a time of quiet reading. Social Butterfly will have A LOT of reading to do this year. The boys need to develope the habit of quiet reading time as well.

Beany and Night Owl

5:00 - Free time for the kids, dinner prep for Mom.

Night Owl at his favorite pastime. Builder, proud of his accomplishment.
6:30 - Daddy's home!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Fun

While Mom's been busy planning and organizing this summer the kids have been having lots of fun! For some reason I can't get the words to line up with the pictures when I post to the blog, so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The one of Night Owl at the bottom deserves an explanation though. That's the "Parker Family Cook-Off" and I'll write an entire post about that one!