"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

First set of Ingredients/instructions:

- 10 cups of all purpose apples (peeled, cored, and cut)
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 tbsp of GF all purpose flour (I used the El Peto corn free all purpose flour)
- 1tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water

1. Pour apples into a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together and spread evenly over the apples
3. Pour the water evenly over the apples and mixture

Second set of Ingredients/instructions:

- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of GF all purpose flour (I used the El Peto corn free all purpose flour)
- 1 cup of quick oats
- 1/4 tsp of gluten free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of melted butter

1. Combine the above mixture until nice and crumbly
2. Pour mixture over the apples
3.  Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, until crust on top is golden.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Detroit 5K & Lap Books

Science: LAP BOOKS
Our week has been pretty good!  We worked on our Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology: Lap Books.  This has been a welcome change from the notebooks.  We just keep adding to their year long project using the lap book method.  I think I will have them show them off in some way to their peers or extended family once they are done.  They are working hard on them. :)  

We've also been reading through the Shakespeare Play:  Much Ado About Nothing using Tales From Shakespeare .  They enjoyed the Stratford Production a few weeks ago.  I am actually glad that they saw the production first because they seem so engaged and taken with the story.  They will chat about the scene they saw as we read through the story.  I have been waiting on a book to use for some back ground on Shakespeare called: The Usborne World of Shakespeare.  I had an opportunity to look through it and it is amazing!  Just what we need to give us a solid introduction to the life, times and plays of Shakespeare. 

Detroit Free Press 5K
My 11 year old daughter and I trained from spring until last weekend to run our first race!  The Detroit Marathon held a series of different races so we decided to train for the 5K this year.  We used a Cool Running: Couch to 5K Program.  This was truly an incredible experience for us, all the way from the training to the end of the race.  We spend some amazing quality time as mother/daughter while on our runs.  We got to connect with some solid one on one time while at the same time achieving a fitness goal.  Our race was on the 22nd at 7:25am.  What an AMAZING time!  The energy of all the people in downtown Detroit about to embark on their own fitness goals was catchy!  We ran our race together from start to finish.  My 'little' girl took a fall about a mile and a half in but she got back up and we finished!  She took a skinned knee but wasn't hurt so badly that we couldn't continue the race.  We made out with a pretty good time 44min, which I thought was good with the fall she took!  We will definitely do it again next year but in the meantime we'll run some 10K's together while working to decrease the time it will take to run the 5K.  A friend of my daughter's brought her a bouquet of flowers to congratulate her for doing her first race!  So sweet.
Right after the race!  :)
With our metals! :)
Flowers for Heather from a good friend.

This post is linked back to Wierd Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly Wrap Up. (http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: GF Muffins from a Mix

I usually soak my grains for 12-24 hours before I bake them and most everything I bake is from scratch.  But every now and again, I like to cheat and use a mix to do something!  Particularly, if I am short on time.  My hubby brought home a few GF mixes to try and one of them was a muffin mix!  I was headed out to a play date yesterday morning and thought I would make a dozen with this mix.   The name of the company who makes this mix is: King Arthur Flour:  Basic Muffin Mix (you can add all your own goodies).  The muffins turned out amazing!  They were so moist and yummy. :) I made 6 with blueberries and 6 with raspberries.  They were gone in no time.  It is definitely one I will keep on the pantry shelf. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Sharing Monday: Window on the World

Front view.

Window on the World by Daphne Spraggett (with Jill Johnstone) has been and will continue to be one of those gems I keep on the book shelf!  This book contains many different cultures and countries with invaluable information on each.  It's an excellent overview with gorgeous pictures that captivate and hold my children's attention.  It's strong focus on Missions encourages children to pray for the needs of the people groups represented in this book.  I would also say that it helps children to see where they can serve in Missions as well.  

There is a wealth of knowledge in this book, without it being overwhelming.  The children love turning through the pages to see the flags of the countries, the various foods people eat, their dress,
 costumes and culture.  Often, the pages encourage other interests to unfold, all the way from studying the various flags in a book to pulling out the atlas for further exploration of the country they have just read about.  My 11 year old will pull it out to read during her individual reading time.  

I've used it a number of times when we are doing a read a loud.  We used it recently when reading through Jim Elliot's story as the Quicha were mentioned in it and this book contained information on them!  I have also read it to the kids in book club to help provide setting for them as we talk about the book we read that month.  

Just a wonderful book! 
View of one of the people groups represented in the book!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Book Club, Common Place Book & Nature Class

Seven Gifts:  Good & Perfect
As part of our devotions in the morning the kids have been recording 7 gifts a day using Ann Voskamp's Seven Gifts:  Good & Perfect Booklet.  I read her book 1000 Gifts and was impacted by how to develop the discipline of gratitude for myself and also how to help my children develop that discipline as well.  They started out with the common things, which is good but as they developed their list they started to go beyond that.  We'll work on them this coming week as well.

Common Place Book
As the school year has geared up we went back to that half hour of individual reading time for the kids.  I have found that to be an invaluable part of the afternoon.  They are able to settle for a while, enjoy a good book and the quiet is so nice for a while! :) In addition to this, I had my eldest (11yrs) start a common place book.  She enjoys reading a variety of books and this is a great way for her to record her thoughts, impressions and feelings about what she is reading.  Common Place Books have been around for a while, they are a form of journaling.  You can read a description of them here.  While Heather loves to read she, doesn't enjoy writing her thoughts out.  However, this is a skill that is important, to be able to write and sort out thoughts with the written word.   She initially resisted it but as the week progressed and she became more comfortable with it, she started to write more.  A friend of mine suggested that she take it in chunks, so write a little bit every couple chapters of the book she is reading.  That way it won't feel so overwhelming.  So that's our plan!  I am keeping one as well. :)

Common Place Book
Book Club
  Monday, was Book Club!  This is our fourth month running it and so far, so good!  The kids have been enjoying the books and the activities we do at the Book Club itself.   This month's selection was:  Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World.  All the kids enjoyed it and the book club!  For a more detail on the Book Club, please see my post:  Book Club Monday!

Nature Program
We ended our week with a nature class, run once a month by a local nature reserve for our community of Homeschoolers.   The classes were split up in two (4-6yrs & 7-12 yrs).  This month's study was about the Autumn Season, the changes in climate, animal life and so forth.  They start out in a classroom and then move to the out doors to do some exploring.  I don't have pictures unfortunately, as I went back to a friends house to hang out for the two hour class!  All three of my kiddos are in it.  The kids all enjoyed it and they did some geo cashing, which had them pretty excited! 

My daughter and I are getting ready this weekend to run a 5K in the Detroit Free Press Marathon!  Our race starts at 7:25 Sunday morning and we are looking forward to it!  We have been training since May and are eager to participate in this exciting event together.  She expressed a desire to start training for  a spring 10K.  I readily agreed!  It has been such an incredible experience doing this with her:  Mom and daughter time as well as achieving a goal together.  :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Turkey Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

I whipped this up using lots of left overs.  I simmered some oriental stir fry seasoning, garlic, onion and turkey in about 3/4 cups of home made turkey broth until the onion was tender and there was only a little broth left over.  I added in some carrot, red pepper and spinach until warmed through.  I then added some spinach and rice noodles.  The rice noodles were quick and easy to make! I poured some hot water over them and let them sit for 8 minutes.  They were nice and soft.  I would have added broccoli and water chestnuts had I had some!   The kids loved it and it was a great way to use left overs.  They had it for lunch today.  My daughter ate hers with chop sticks!  :)

It's a nice comfort meal on a cool day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Club Monday: Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World by Deb Brammer

For this Monday, I have combined Book Sharing Monday and Book Club into one post; hence the title:  Book Club Monday.   Once a month I run a book club for ages 7-12.  This is our forth Book Club and I am happy to say that the kids have been enjoying the books we have read.  They have been participating in group discussions and activities with great enthusiasm!  Our book for October was Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World.  It's the story of a young girl (11 years) who moves to China with her family to serve as Missionaries in China.  The beginning of the story finds Amy (who was named after the missionary: Amy Carmicheal), very excited to be moving to China to minister with her parents.  As the story progresses; Amy finds it difficult to make Chinese friends and becomes more discouraged with her mission.  She finds communicating hard when she doesn't know the language, the food the neighbor brings over to welcome them turns her stomach and the culture generally has her feeling like a complete stranger.  She is attending an 'American' like school in China, where she feels like she fits in but she begins to face challenges there as well.  Another girl, Jessica, befriends her but after a while it becomes clear that Jessica rules the roost at school and the girls generally do as she does, including leaving one of the girls out of every activity.  Amy desires to fit in and have friends and struggles against doing what is right: stand up for the excluded girl or maintain her friendship with Jessica so she has a "peanut butter friend in China'.  She is finding it difficult to be friends with the Chinese girls (Chop Suey friends) in her neighborhood due to the language barrier.  She comes full circle in the end, and learns some valuable lessons about doing what's right despite what she may loose and realizing that God can use her life to touch others.  This was a fantastic read!  I heard several of the children say it was the best one yet (and they said that about the others!).

For Book Club, I use a Charlotte Mason approach to encourage discussion and learning.   I find this approach invaluable as it gives children the freedom to explore and learn about the world in which they live.  If you have not heard of this approach, you can learn more about it on Ambleside On line.

We began by talking about where China was in the world, using the globe for reference.  Children love seeing where the story took place in relation to way they reside.  We also read about the culture/religions of China in an amazing book called: Window on the World.  I would highly recommend this book.  It has some fantastic information on the various cultures in the world starting from the names of cultures from A right through to Z.  There was ample time for book discussion including but not limited to what they liked best/least about the book, which character they identified with and why, what they learned about the culture of China, what they thought of all the situations Amy went through, and what it means to be a friend.  It was so exciting to see their various perspectives and perceptions!  It was also amazing to see how much they loved the book.

At the back of Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World were several games that children play in the Chinese Culture.  My children took the skipping game and demonstrated it to the children at book club.  They each had an opportunity to play the game.  They had so much fun!  My daughter has an app on her touch that taught her to count in Chinese and she used it to help the kids learn a few numbers. :)  Below are some shots of the skipping game.
Playing a version of Chinese skipping.
I visited a couple of local Chinese stores to buy some treats for the snack part of our book club.  They had some traditional Chinese rice crackers, and some fresh fruit.  We also had tea, as tea is important part of Chinese culture.  A friend of mine loaned me some beautiful Chinese tea pots and tea cups.  I made green tea and jasmine tea.  They didn't need to drink it all but I asked that they try a bit!  They were pretty good about it! lol  My friend also gave us some decorations to hang: Chinese lanterns, some lovely pictures and Chinese tinsel.  A couple of the kids wore Chinese clothes and I wore a Chinese hat and kimono my friend lent me.  At the end, I sent them home with some chop sticks and a traditional Chinese envelopes that are used to hold a chocolate coin.  (I couldn't find chocolate coins so I used another candy).  I forgot to take a picture of those envelopes but they were a beautiful red.

It was a wonderful book club today!  I appreciated all their enthusiasm.
Having tea and snack together.
More skipping!
Tea time!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Lap books, History Notebooks & Swimming

History Sketch Books
A great week!  We were able to get a fair amount accomplished.  I really LOVE those weeks.  We started a history sketch book for our lessons.  We are using Donna Wards All Inclusive History Bundle for Canadian History.  This is an excellent package.  This particular notebook page was about the flag of England and France.  They coloured the flags and wrote a brief description about them.  The flags sparked an interest to look up more countries and their flags so we looked some up.  There is certainly no shortage of flags! They were keen to look up all sorts of interesting ones, picking out the ones they liked best.  

We also read through some pages of The Kids Book of Canadian History.  That is a beautiful book!  The illustrations are colourful and engaging and the information both accurate and interesting - just enough to cover a topic without being overwhelming.  We also read through the first chapter of the Natives Peoples (Discovering Canada Series).   It was filled with interesting facts about the Native People along with some sketches of villages, homes, toys etc that the Native People used.  They sketched some of those too, particularly the various canoes. :)
Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day Lap Book
We did some work in their Science Lap Books.  We have begun working our way through Apologia's Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  The kids requested we do this one for Science this year.  I'm not using the notebooks, we're doing lap books for our study this year.  In past years we have used the free notebook pages for the kids on the apologia website.  I found that was all we needed for this age.  Here's the link, just click on: Course Notebook for the free pages to print.  This time around we're using Exploring Creation with Zoology: Flying Creaures of the Firth Day Lapbook by Cyndi Kinney.  This is a fantastic lap book series that compliments the Apologia's Textbooks.  I love how clear the instructions are and the fact that you can photocopy the sheets for your students.  They will be building on the pages each week with useful information.  I appreciate how the lap books are like an on-going project all year long.  I also enjoy the unit style approach to Science.  I feel like they get a complete picture of a topic. 
A little bit of fun to end Swimmer One Swimmers Class!
We ended the school week with swimming lessons, always a fantastic way to end the week.  The kids look forward to seeing their friends and doing their swimming for the afternoon.  My youngest one was treated to some fun at the end of the lesson! :)  She was pretty happy about that! 

Now that we are back into the swing of the school year (after being on holiday for three weeks in September), I have gone back to that half hour each day of personal reading time for each child.  They picked out some good books.  My eldest read through a couple books (Sarah: Plain and Tall, and The Cabin Faced West).  For my son we are reading through The Art, the Reed and the Fire Cloud.  He has been loving that!  :) 

We also had some good friends come over for turkey dinner after swimming!  I had been so sick the week of Thanksgiving that we weren't able to make a Turkey Dinner.  We planned for a late Thanksgiving dinner with some friends.  It was a nice refreshing time and everyone enjoyed themselves.  What a great way to end off the week days! :)

We're looking forward to next week.  Monday is Book Club.  The kids are super excited about this.  I run the Junior Book Club for a small community of homeschoolers.  We just finished Peanut Butter Friendship in a Chop Suey World.   I have about 12 kids in my group.  It's been a great experience thus far.  This will be our 4rth month running it.  I have some fun activities planned.  My kids have been privy to it so that's why they are looking forward to Monday with such anticipation! lol  I will blog about it in my Book Sharing Monday post the following week.  It's been a joy to listen to the kids and their observations about the books we have been reading.  They have such unique perspectives and enjoy sharing.

This Weekly Wrap Up is linked back to Weird Unsocialized Homechoolers Weekly Wrap Up.  Join in the fun with your own weekly wrap up!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - GF Dutch Apple Baby

Fresh out of the oven! Mmmmmm!
When I call out that I am about to make this dish, the kids are most happy to help and eat. :)  This recipe can be made with many different flours (wheat, spelt, almond, qunioa, brown or white rice, GF all purpose flour, sorghum - ANYTHIING really!)  I will post what I used today though.  This dish makes for a nice breakfast, snack or even a lunch if you so desired. I love how the house smells while it's baking and it is ever so good!

Dutch Apple Baby:

Apple Mixture:
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup of sugar or sugar substitute like stevia (follow directions)

Flour Mixture:
3 eggs
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp of arrowroot/tapioca flour/or corn starch (this is to thicken the GF flour)
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp of yogurt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

- saute the apple mixture in the butter or coconut oil until just soft
- whisk together the flour mixture and then pour over the apple mixture
- bake at 400F for about 20 minutes
The Apple Mixture simmering away on the stove top.
Poured the flour mixture in; ready for the oven!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Sharing Monday: The Ark, the Reed & the Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote

A good friend of mine gave this book to my daughter for her birthday one year.  It has been read twice by my daughter.  She loved it that much! :)  The book's primary characters are Max and Liz (a dog and a cat), they meet up on a journey to follow a fire cloud to its destination (Noah's ark).  Along the way they meet several animals and must brave the lands/waters on an adventure filled with excitement, danger and: faith.  The story stays true to the Biblical account of Noah but it is an allegory/fantasy.  The author does a brilliant job weaving together strong scriptural themes into the story while at the same time sprinkling in humor, mysteries to solve, details about animals and their habitat, trials that come along the way, and the triumph of doing the right thing despite opposition and difficulty.   This book is a page turner!  Its story line captures the imagination of the reader and holds his/her attention the entire way.  My daughter loved this book so much we got the second and third books directly after she read this one. (The Dreamer, the Schemer and the Rob, & the Epic Order of Seven:  The Prophet the Shepherd and the Star (book 1).  There is a new book in the Epic Order of the Seven that we pre ordered for her:  The Roman, the Twelve and the King.  She is very excited to get the next one.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ohhhhhh Material for quilting!

A friend of mine stopped by yesterday to drop off some yarn she had purchased at an Estate Sale, then she told me that I really needed to go have a look at the fabric they had there.  I was extremely tired and feeling run down from my busy week but I loaded all the kids in the van and took off.  The lady had lots of material and I got all this for $20!  I was very pleased!  The are very big pieces of material and I can't wait to sew them into beautiful items to cherish.  My two biggest projects that I would really like to accomplish this year are quilts for my two girls.  I have the patterns picked out and the material ready, now to start!  I am hoping for a Christmas debut. :)

Weekly Wrap Up: Ford Museum & The Stratford Theatre Production

The group of kids at the Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, playing at The Stratford Theater

The car President Kennedy was assassinated in.

I didn't get an opportunity to post my weekly wrap up last week, so I thought I would combine last week and this!  We got back from a three week holiday up north a couple of weeks ago and then headed into a full week of activity for our first week back.  Our week included:  Book Club, Speech Competition Workshops, Swimming and a field trip to the Henry Ford Museum!   The kids had a great time touring  the museum, going through the Titanic exhibition and an IMAX film on the Titanic. We went with a local homeschool group as well as my SIL and her kids (who are new to homeschooling - yay!).  The Titanic Exhibit was interesting (no pics of that as per their policy).  We had taken a unit study on the Titanic around the time of the 100th anniversary so it was good to follow it up with this!  We were given tickets of actual people who boarded the Titanic.  There was information on them and at the end we looked up their name on the wall to see if our passenger had made it.  There were a wide variety of artifacts from the ship including: plates, purses, clothes, documents, silver wear and the like.  Scattered about the exhibit were quotes from those who survived and stories of those passengers who did not.  It was amazing to walk through as this was such a significant event in history and affected so many people from all walks of life.

The Ford Museum was also interesting.  There was lots of cars (of course!), furniture, heavy equipment, trains etc.  I was surprised to find the car President Kennedy was assassinated in, along with the bus Rosa Parks sat in when she sparked a movement to end segregation.  The latter was of particular interest to my daughter.  She has read articles and books about her.  So she was very excited to sit in the same bus seat as she did!
The kids in an older combine (farm equipment)
An interactive car game at the Henry Ford Museum
Heather sitting in the seat Rosa Parks sat in when she refused to give it up.
Graham doing one of the eye tracking exercises.

My son has been concentrating on eye tracking exercises to improve his reading fluency.  We've been using the Eye Can Learn Website.  He found some of them challenging.  In the above picture he is staring at the dot on the screen and, without moving his head, needs to touch with his right or left hand the colour the dot changes to.  The object of the exercise is to help improve peripheral vision.  He developed some headaches while working on them so we would just stop and pick it up the next day.  He was a trooper though. :)
Baking - tis the season!

We did some baking!  Mmmmmm!  Wonderful muffins from the Nourishing Traditions book!  I used a combination of spelt and Gluten Free Flours.  This is a great baking/cooking book.  It encourages the process of soaking your grains to make them more easily digested as well as bring out the natural nutrients in the grains.  The kids love these muffins and they enjoy making them with me as well! :)
Our view driving to and from Stratford.

At very short notice we took off to see a play in Stratford. We saw Shakespear's: Much Ado About Nothing.  I had an opportunity to take them on various dates that were open for homeschoolers at a reduced rate.  I was hoping for later in the month but our calendar was full for both the later dates.  So, the night before this production we purchased tickets on line!  I was rather scattered because I had wanted to, at least, read through the brief version of Much Ado About Nothing with the kids out of the book: Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb.

Despite the fact that we didn't end up doing that the kids truly enjoyed the day.  We were able to join another homeschooled family for the 3 1/2 hour trip up and back.  It was a gorgeous drive as the leaves are turning and the scenery was stunning (see above picture).  We did some fast food for lunch and dinner and the kids were able to take in the play.  They were a bit lost at first but as the story line of the play was revealed they were taken in!  They raved about it on the way home, the two eldest wondered how they could get themselves into a production. :)  They definitely want to see another Shakespeare play and I will gladly take them next year.

We will be studying this play in detail over the next couple months with a book club I help facilitate.  I was actually glad that they saw the production first as they are entering into the study with lots of good images in their head about the Shakespeare production they just saw.  They are eager to read through it now.
Two girls very excited to be at the Stratford Theater for Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

It has been a wonderful two weeks, full of activity and what not!  It's good to have been busy to keep those post vacation blues away. But I am looking forward to a slower pace these next couple of weeks will bring! I have had some sniffles and am a wee bit run down with all this running around.

This post is linked back to Weird Unsocialized Homechoolers Weekly Wrap Up!  Join in the fun and post your own weekly Wrap Up.  Very encouraging way to end your week! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pretty Shawl

View of the completed shawl  
Of all the shawls I have crocheted this one was my favorite to make thus far.  It's a lovely pattern.  I got it from the Bernat Website, it's called Sheep(ish) - Bohemian shawl (crochet) and is under the section called shawls.  You have to join the site to get the patterns but it's a free membership.  I made this for a good friend after the birth of her baby boy.  She is a fellow crocheter and when she saw this pattern she loved it!  So I offered to make it for her.  :)  It was so much fun to make!  It was detailed to crochet but I found the pattern easy to read and understand.  I was surprised by how quickly it came together.  The intricacy of this design is what gives it, its allure.  So beautiful with all the stitches coming together to work in this web like pattern.  I also learned how to do a Fsc: Foundation single crochet for the first time.  I found that I really liked that way to start a row, it gave the piece a nice solid start and combined two steps into one.  

This shawl was truly a pleasure to make and give!

Side view of shawl (you can see the Foundation single crochet).   

Tasty Tuesday: Buttermilk Soaked Blueberry Muffins

I have been experimenting with alternative flours for years now, as we have gone Gluten free for the most part.  My son has been GF for these past five years.  He has healed up quite nicely, so I decided to see if his gut can handle some spelt flour when soaked in buttermilk.  Soaking your grains is very good for your digestive system and gut.  A friend of mine gave me an incredible cook book that addresses this issue.  It's called Nourishing Traditions.  I would highly recommend using it for healthy, home made, from scratch baking and cooking!  It fully explains why soaking grains is so important and nutritious.  You won't be sorry if you buy this book.  It has become my main stay in kitchen cooking.  We quite regularly use the recipes.  I have had to modify the ingredients as we bake with GF flours but the benefits of soaking your grains remain the same, even with GF flour.  It takes some planning to soak your grains but like anything, once the habit is established it is easier to keep up with it.

My son has dubbed these muffins my:  'famous blueberry muffins', as he quite likes them.  I make raspberry for my girls as they like them better then blueberry.  I place the fruit I am using on the top of the muffin before I put them in the oven.  The fruit falls down into the muffin as it bakes.  I have modified them a couple of different ways depending on the flours I have in the house at the time.  So far, he has tolerated the spelt flour quite well but I did not make them with straight spelt. The kids didn't like the taste of the straight spelt.  I didn't want to use whole wheat because of past issues with the straight wheat so I used a GF flour combined with the spelt.  I am going to give out the recipe, but the foundation recipe came from the Nourishing Traditions book.

Blueberry Muffins:
- 3 cups ground spelt, or whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups of Spelt, with 1 cup of El Peto's GF/corn free all purpose flour OR 1 cup Sorghum Flour, 1 cup Brown Rice Flour, 1 cup arrowroot or tapioca  startch/flour)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 maple syrup (or honey or agave)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 TBSP melted butter
- half a cup of whatever fruit you are using frozen or fresh

Soak the flour in the buttermilk in a warm spot for 12-24 hours.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Butter your muffin tin or stone well and pour into the muffin mix until it is about 3/4 full.  Bake at 325 for 30-60 minutes, until a tooth pick come out clean.

Mine take about 30 minutes. I use a gas range.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Sharing Monday: The Kids Book of Canadian History

 We are starting on Canadian History this year!  I am using Donna Ward's Canadian History Bundle.  This book came with the program.  It's a beautiful book, starts out with Canada's first people right up to the Trudeau Years.  The information is informative and the illustrations colourful and engaging.  They will be reading this book 2-3 times a week as part of their history program.  It's easy to read and follow.  There is enough information to provide a clear picture of the historical event while at the same time, not wieghing the reader down with needless details.  The kids appear to be enjoying it already, leafing through the pictures.  They are ready to start learning about their own country's historical events and how that has and does impact their lives as Canadian citizens! I'm pleased to have this book to help that process along.

Book Cover
A sample of one of the pages inside the book.