Saturday, July 31, 2010

Timeline Folding

I have had a lot of people ask me about my timeline and how I actually taped the cardstock together.  Here is my very first youtube video explaining it.  Don't ask me how I knew to fold and tape it like this.  I guess you can attribute it to many years of DVR'ing and midlessly watching craft shows.  So, Carol Duvall eat your heart out....

Below is a visual hopefully further illustrating my point in the video.

One thing that I didn't mention in the video (there were a lot of mistakes and slips of tongue...sheet of tape?!?  I have new respect for people who are on DIY television shows..aaaaanyyyywaaaayyy....)

I used only 1 piece of tape per fold (in the middle of each index card) on the video.  If you're taping a larger (8.5x11") sheet of cardstock you obviously want to use 2 or 3 pieces of tape (top, bottom and possibly middle) per fold.  If you want to tape in 3 spots you may want to tape it at just the top and bottom, draw your line, and then go back and add that middle piece of tape because even a Sharpie or Magic Marker is not going to want to mark over a piece of tape.

Since we're on the topic of timelines you also may be interested in my book of centuries that I created.  I have not really used it much with my girls since it is a little more abstract but plan to use it eventually when they're a little older and no longer need concrete manipulatives illustrating the consecutive dates in that of a real timeline.  You will need to print this front and back and be warned it is A LOT of pages.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits

If you haven't figured it out by now I'm what you would call a good ol' southern girl.  And when you're a southerner you fix southern food.  Sweet Potato Biscuits fall into the southern cuisine category.  My DH's grandmother used to make them and while I did like them they were very dense biscuits and required kneading and rolling them out which gets quite messy.  And I'm not "into" messy.  Not gonna do it...wouldn't be this juncture.

When we lived in another city we had a Cafe Carolina near our home that made THE best sweet potato biscuits.  To die for.  They served it with shaved smoked deli ham and cheddar cheese.  Little sandwich biscuits of heavenly goodness.  Well, low and behold lookie what I found?  The Recipe.  You gotta love the internet.  You can find just about anything you're looking for on here. 

But I've gone and changed it up because I'm gonna do everything I can to keep from washing a dish.

First off, I cut the recipe in half.  You will be swimming in that many sweet potato biscuits.  This is a good amount for a family of 4 for  My Daddy'd have my hide if he heard me calling it dinner.  In the south we eat supper around 6pm.  Dinner's around noon.

#1 before you do anything else get out your trusted friend - the digital scale.  That baby will save you dirtying so many utensils.  Its a good thing as Martha would say.   That is why I have put the gram weights in parenthesis.

Here goes...

1/3 c. (75 g) brown sugar (plus extra for topping)
2 c. (240 g) Bisquick
1 c. (~260 g) sweet potatoes (about 1 large)

Mix the brown sugar and Bisquick together until blended well.  I found a wire whisk worked best.

Add in your sweet potatoes.  About 260 g of sweet potatoes.  (Don't mind the scale because I've just realized I didn't properly tare the scale so it is calculating the weight of the measuring cup too.)  But I've done all the hard work for you.  All you have to do is tare your scale and dump 'em in.  No messy measuring cup sacrificed.  You're welcome.

I used my magic bullet and puree'd or whipped the sweet potatoes.  I did it the night before and skipped this step and the biscuits had a different texture  and look - the texture was not bad but the biscuits did not look nearly as appealing.  So I think this step is worth it.

Alright.  fold in the potatoes

This is what your mixture should look like.  The night before I used dark brown sugar in the biscuits and I believe next time I will try light brown because the color was darker than I remember at Carolina Cafe.  Anyway make sure you get it mixed well because I had some dry spots...they were still edible though, trust me.

Scoop them onto the baking pan. (I couldn't bake without my ice-cream/cookie scoops) 

Top them with a little additional brown sugar.  Also, be sure to use parchment paper because baked on brown sugar is NOT a good thing.

Put them in the oven at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

And voila...sweet potato biscuits that were easy as...pie?!?  Mmmm...did somebody say pie?!?

First night (without whipping the potatoes and using dark brown sugar)

2nd night (whipping the potatoes and using light brown sugar).

Let me know if you fix you some biscuits and if they were fit to eat or not.  That's a little suthah-nese for ya...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I "heart" Television..hear me out

I am not a perfect homeschooling Mom by AAAANNNYYYY stretch of the imagination.  Let's just say I have my moments and leave it at that.  One of my coping mechanisms at times is the age old baby-sitter, dear old tv.

Last fall, I went with a good friend to hear Steve and Teri Maxwell speak.  It was a nice talk and Steve spoke at the very end.  He described a box in our homes that sucked the life out of all of us.  He was very convicted about this and while my friend pointed out they are the "real deal" as in they practice what they preach and the fruits of their labors are evident, I still can't give up my tv.  (Not to mention the next day I had one of THE worst days in my homeschooling life because I felt like I just didn't measure up to the Maxwell's standards.)  But I'm getting off point, here.

I am brought back to my mother's words to me as a child when I would (I'm sure) incessantly inquire whether any one particular thing was "good for you" or not.  After being asked that question probably a couple of hundred times her reply has been a keeper.  She said, "Ginger, too much of anything is bad for you."

While we try not to keep a lot of news and trivial television on in our house (especially when the girls are around) and we are VERY aware of the influence commercials have.  However we still USE our tv.  We use tv, Nintendo DS's, Wii, and the internet.  But my girls also read books, knit, play board games, play outside, do arts and crafts galore, dance and so on.

This all leads me to the reason I am posting.  I shared on a homeschooling forum a list of television programming that we DVR.  My girls take some of these programs in phases but here is a list of our television repertoire (in no particular order):

  • The Electric Company (PBS)
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtue (BYU)
  • Peep (Discovery Kids)
  • Nest Family Animated Stories (TBN and BYU)
  • Animated Hero Classics (BYU)
  • Fetch (PBS)
  • Animated Stories of the New Testament (EWTN)
  • Animal Atlas (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Jack Hannah's Into the Wild (local Fox Affiliate)
  • Magic School Bus (Discovery Kids)
  • Children's Heroes of the Bible (HOPE)
  • Looney Tunes/Tom and Jerry (Boomerang) - Did I just type that?!?
  • Also ABC Family channel will often have a lot of good movies, etc...
I was watching O'Reilly on Fox news the other night (after my kids were in bed) and he had a guy on from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (....have you ever?!?) that wants to SUE McDonald's over Happy Meal toys.  They claim the toys attract kids and make them fat.  My kids have amazingly NEVER really begged to go to McDonald's and they certainly don't care about the 2-bit toys.  As a matter of fact, we don't even eat at McDonald's because their workers are usually not the squeakiest of clean and I saw this video about an alleged 4 year old petrified Mickey Dees cheeseburger.  Therefore we eat at Chick-fil-A 9 times out of 10 for obvious reasons and guess what?  My girls usually TRADE IN their "toy" for an ice-cream.  Gasp!  (That is when I let them buy the kids meal and don't make them buy a sandwich and split it.)  But far be it from me to tell someone else they can't take their children to McDonald's or anywhere else for that matter.  I'm just sayin'...I think because I have limited my girls' television repertoire we don't have these marketing issues and hence the tv is used as an educational tool in our home.  Boy...I am getting waaaaay off subject in stepping from one proverbial soapbox to another...

I recall my husband's deceased grandmother telling how thankful she was when she got her first television.  As a single mother of 2 children in the 40's and 50's she was thankful to have it to keep them busy when she was working.  Isn't that an ironic point of view, especially today?  I think about how hard she worked just to support her family.  She was an independent woman for sure.  A true conservative through to the bone, relying on her own hard work - not others - for just about everything she had.  I am constantly reminded and thankful to the sacrifices that both my husband's family and my family have made so that now our family can be where we are today, particularly being afforded the opportunity to homeschool and hopefully counteract some of modern society's ills.  Maybe one day I will be telling my children's children how thankful I was to have a DVR.

I guess I just feel like maybe we need to lighten up and remember that too much of anything (including moderation or the lack thereof) is bad for you!  I hope this list of television shows will help bless your family.