What a busy month this has been. I feel like the weeks are flying by and we will soon be posting about Christmas plans. Eek, never mind I’m not ready to go there yet.
This weekend we went out kayaking for 3 hours. Let me tell you that if you kayak correctly, you get a really good core workout. I was focusing on keeping my “paddle box” and not paddling with my arms as much. I could really feel it in my lower back and abs. We saw the blue herons, cormorants, blue jays and ducks. This was scheduled to be a fall leaf tour, but the leaves still haven’t changed here. I think this is going to be a very blah fall. The leaves aren’t changing, but they have started to fall off the trees. I hate falls like this. There is something magical about the colors of fall and when they don’t turn it feels like something is missing. This is one of the changes I was glad to have again when we moved to PA. I always missed the color changes when I lived in FL.
Today was one of “those days” at school. You have those days from time to time where you feel like it must be a full moon, but it’s not. I must be talking in a different language, but I’m not. Ummm ok it’s just an off day. Tomorrow we go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Today it is raining…. This means tomorrow we should be having a very muddy field trip. I will have 17 children and their families in a muddy pumpkin patch, oh joy! Oh and the temperatures have finally decided to drop into fall temperatures (Saturday we didn’t get out of the 40s!) My class is meeting at 10:30 it is forecast to be 39F at 10am and 42F by 11am. Cold and muddy. I think I’m pulling out my warm boots.
I hope life is treating you well in your little corner of the world.
This weekend my school held their fall festival. This was an opportunity for the children to show off their classrooms, play games and play in the bounce house. We also had the book fair open and were selling items at a bake sale. All the staff members were asked to bake items to sell at the bake sale. So, I got thinking… what am I going to make.
I decided to bake two different cookies. First I baked S’more cookies, and messed up the recipe. It turned out ok, but would have been better if I followed ALL the steps.
The second kind I decided to bake at pumpkin spice oatmeal cookies. I figure, oh everyone is head over heals for pumpkin spice these will sell like hotcakes. Well they didn’t, but I don’t care they still tasted really good (and I am not a huge pumpkin spice person).
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal cookies. (edited from Food Fanatic)
- 1 cup Butter, Softened
- 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Preheat oven to 350°F, line your baking sheets
- Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl, and mix in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and oats). into the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Scoop out dough with a large cookie scoop and place on the lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, its okay if the middles look slightly undercooked, they will finish cooking on the pan as they cool.
- Allow to set for 4-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
These cookies were REALLY tasty. They were not dry in the least. Colby took home some of the extras from the bake sale and they were sticking together. Colby was hesitant to try it at first and then loved them. I think he took home 4 bags from the bake sale. I guess I will have to bake these again. I bet they would be very tasty if you used apple pie spice in lieu of the pumpkin pie spice. I have more pumpkin pie spice now I want to make snickerdoodles with the pumpkin pie spice… yummy!
Every once in a while you just need to have a weekend to do things. This was one of those weekends. Saturday we went kayaking for the second time. All of us did a much better job this time and we were able to go further than the last time. The guide this time said that Colby needs a narrower kayak next time. They ended up having to give him a tow back to the spillway. They gave him a turn to try the other kayak at the end and it was so much easier for him. We are planning to try a longer trip the next time we go. LLBean has a 3 hr fall foliage kayak tour. We talked about doing it this time, but it wouldn’t have been worth it since the trees haven’t even really started to change. Maybe in about 2 weeks we can try?
Today we headed to Sorgel’s for their fall festival. We started by picking apples. We ended up picking a whole peck of apples.
We then went over and picked pumpkins. We told the boys they had to be able to carry their pumpkin down to the car. Blake kept picking ones that were way to big for him to carry on his own. Even the one he ended up picking was a bit too heavy for him.
After bringing everything to the truck, we went and watched them press cider. We did this last year too, but it was fun to watch again. Plus this year they had samples of cider and we were able to go into the room where they pasteurize and bottle the cider. The guy who was running the press said they now have to press cider all year long to have enough for the stores and for the companies who purchase it to make hard apple cider.
While we were on the tour, the apple cider dude told us that they filmed an episode of Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood in the cider press. Here is the guy we spoke with as well as the press and areas we visited. http://pbskids.org/video/daniel-tigers-neighborhood/2365854390
It was a great weekend and a lot of fall fun. I’m not ready for Monday, so I’ll enjoy a bit more of this last day of Sept! See you in October
This week we are learning about color mixing in school. We are doing a walking water color experiment and colored ice cubes mix. The children will color on coffee filters with markers and then wet the filters to let the colors bleed together. We are also doing rainbow writing with their names and sorting pom poms by color.
Water walk color experiment: You fill cups with water (I used 9 cups) set the cups in sets of three. Put color into the outside cups and leave the middle cup with just water. Then put paper towel “bridges” between the cups. The water will begin to wick up from the colored water cup into the plain water cup. Then the two colors will mix together. This took a LOT more food coloring than I expected. I ended up having to put food coloring right at the top of the “bridge” to get it to mix. But in the end, it worked and the children got to see yellow and blue make green, red and blue make purple, and red and yellow make orange.
Colored ice melt: Fill and ice cube tray with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to the sections to color the ice red, blue and yellow. Once frozen, you can put the ice into clear cups and then let the ice melt together. As it melts you should see the colors begin to mix. When we do this I will also add a cup that has red, yellow and blue so they can see it mix together into brown.
Coffee filter color mixing. This is a process based art activity. The children draw on coffee filters with markers. Then you have them use pippets to drop water onto the filter a few drops at a time. The marker colors will then begin to bleed and blend. Often times you will also see the colors separate. This is really cool when the black starts to separate into other colors.
Rainbow writing is a great way to help children master writing words. You write a word in one color, pencil or black works best. Then you have the children choose 3 or more crayons. The children have to write on top of the word you wrote with each of the three crayons, layering each on top of the last color. The more you write it the more colorful it becomes, and writing in layers of crayon helps build up the “feel” of the paper. (I often had my first graders use this method to practice spelling words)
Our poem this week is very simple and the children are already mastering it. I wrote it out on chart paper writing each line in the color word at the beginning. I then added quick illustrations to help them remember the last word. The children then had to illustrate their copy of the poem for their poetry journal.
Orange is a carrot.
Yellow is a pear.
Green is the grass.
Brown is a bear.
Purple is a plum.
Blue is the sky.
Black is a witch’s hat.
Red is cherry pie.
We got up this morning with the plan to go out for breakfast. Richard had requested a few weeks ago to go to Kelly O’s for a cheat meal. Colby had asked for pancakes and bacon when we were creating our meal plan. So, this morning we went to Kelly O’s for breakfast. Colby had his chocolate chip pancakes, Blake had a ham and cheese omelette, Richard had an omelette with pretty much everything in it and I had a breakfast burrito.
Then off for hair cuts we went. Richard, Blake and I got hair cuts. Colby didn’t since they really cut his short last time (2 months ago) and his bangs just grew to the length that he usually asks for them to be cut.
When we got home, Richard and I tackled the lawn work. When we were done we decided to put out the outside Halloween decorations. Now the house is done!
The boys headed to the park and I decided to camp out on the couch and catch up on some of my tv shows. I don’t often have time on my own to sit down and watch tv anymore. This is not a big thing, but it was nice to have that bit of time today.
Yesterday was the first time that Richard and I did not get up to complete our workout. We did it when he got home instead. Well then both of us were achy and slept like crap. I guess we need to get up and workout in the morning from now on!
Since we were tired and so were the boys we had a slow morning today. Richard decided to go on a bike ride by himself and then he needed to take his bike into the shop. The boys headed off to the playground with a football and I decided to clean and put up some decorations. For the last few weeks I’ve been saying I need to put out my fall decorations. Well since it’s already half way through Sept. I decided to put up my Halloween decorations too. I did not put out the outside ones, just the ones in the house.
I always like this time of year. Time to open up the windows. Time to decorate for the upcoming holidays and so much more. This is the beginning of the craziness of the holidays, but also the beginning of the fun.
This week I have salsa stoup and chili on our menu. Since the 21st is the official start of fall I guess I’ll get into the fall spirit. (One of my students tried to convince me that fall already started, ummmm nope sorry it hasn’t. Labor day is the unofficial start of fall… the autumnal equinox is not until Sept. 21)
This means plans to go apple picking, pumpkin picking, decorating for Halloween and so much more. I can tell you one thing I won’t do, have anything pumpkin spice. I don’t like pumpkin spice. I do not get the fixation everyone has with this smell and taste. Personally it does nothing for me. Oh well to each their own.
Are you ready for fall? Do you like pumpkin spice? When do you decorate for Halloween?
It’s almost officially fall, but it has felt like fall here for the last few weeks. Ok well maybe the locals don’t think it feels like fall, but with temps in the 70s and lows in the 50s, that’s fall to us (actually that would be winter temps in FL). The leaves are starting to change color, slowly, but they are changing.
The Halloween decorations are out in the stores. And there is pumpkin everything everywhere. Shhh don’t tell the world, but I don’t like pumpkin. I’ve tried to like pumpkin, but I just don’t like it. I don’t like pumpkin pie. I don’t like pumpkin candles. I don’t understand why there is pumpkin everything! When you go to the store everything has turned pumpkin. I just don’t get it.
When I think of fall favors I think of apple. Apple is such a yummy flavor, so fresh and then add cinnamon… ummm yummy. But, I don’t want the world to go apple crazy like they do pumpkin because then it will all become fake apple favor.
So I will use pumpkins in my Halloween decorations, but I will not eat pumpkin anything. I leave that for someone else.