Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lesson On Following Directions: Make A Turkey

I love to make these simple gobblers every year when Thanksgiving nears.  I know they aren't spectacular or extremely creative, but the children adore these.  My 3rd grade teacher introduced this to us way back in the day and are now a part of my family's traditions.

Whether you want an easy Thanksgiving craft or a fun lesson idea, these feathered fowls are sure to please.

I used this craft with my daycare children to reinforce listening and following directions. You can adapt this simple craft for a variety of lessons, but this year I wanted to use this for a craft in Sunday School. 

I needed to tie it to a lesson. 

My objective was to help the students see that sometimes we need directions to follow to help us make something special.  The last time I checked there was a shortage of turkeys in the bible so I decided to incorporate the concept of "why do we need the Bible?".  I know this is complicated, but I went for a simple version a 3rd and 4th grade class would be able to process.  I am even guilty of ignoring directions from time to time so I was hoping the students would deduce that the Bible is our directions for our lives if we study it for guidance. 

Here are the supplies you will need to create your own turkeys:
  • ginger snaps, striped cookies, or any other sturdy round cookie
  • large marshmallows
  • chocolate frosting or peanut butter
  • candy corns
  • spoons or dull knives
Here is how you make them:
  • Generously frost two cookies. 

  • Place a marshmallow in the middle of one cookie.

  • Rest the second cookie behind the marshmallow, securing it on the first base.

  • Gently slide three or more candy corns behind the marshmallow and second cookie to create feathers.

  • Finally, dab frosting onto one candy corn and stick it to the front of the marshmallow for a face.

Now comes the fun part!  Gobble them up!

What special treats or activities do you use with a Thanksgiving theme?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Get A FREE "Money Saving Mom's Freezer E-Cookbook"

I thought I would pass this on to you.  Her book is available for pre-order  here on Amazon .  I strongly recommend checking this out.  Her blog stocked with amazing resources.  I have learned a lot from her posts and links.

Money Saving Mom is a blog where frugality meets functionality.  Her blog is full of money saving ideas, recipes, budget tips, slashing grocery bills, and more.  Her book appears to be a complilation of advice and ideas for saving money.   I have been looking forward to reading it for a few months now. 

In anticipation of her book's release, she is graciously allowing people a few ways to receive a free copy of her ebook on freezer cooking.

I am positive that this freezer cookbook will be convenient and economical.  Freezer cooking seems to be a new fad that helps moms out everywhere.   

Here is the link to the information on getting this free e-book:

Money Saving Mom's Freezer Ebook Link

Happy Cooking!

Do you freezer cook?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Scream! You Scream! We All Scream For...

 Ice Cream Treats!

My son's birthday is today and I thought we would bring treats to his preschool class.  They are studying the letter I so we decided to make little faux ice cream cones.  These are fairly sturdy for transporting and lack the frosting mess factor.   As a daycare provider and former teacher, I love the fact that little fingers should be clean after nibbling this snack.

To make these little ice cream cones you will need:
  • Marshmallow Fudge Cookies-  I have seen vanilla before and if you are having difficulties in finding these little guys-  check in the dollar aisle or dollar store
  • Small candies
  • Ice cream cones-  we went with the "normal" size to make sure our cookies would fit on the top.
  • baggies and ties, optional

Here's how to put them together:
  • Fill your ice cream cones with small candies.  We used candy corn and m&m's, because that is our son's favorites.  Get creative!

  • Take a marshmallow cookie and top each cone.  This should look like a scoop of ice cream.

  • Finally, I bagged each treat and tied them.  This is optional, but for transporting I thought it would be easier and reduce the risk of spilled candy everywhere.

Do you have any fun treat ideas?

Friday, November 11, 2011

How To Make Colored Popcorn

My children love popcorn!  This simple recipe that my Grandmother gave me years ago is a fun way to spruce up the humble snack.  You can make any color you want and combine them to make "team" colors for tailgating or bowl games.  Mix and match!

I like to send this treat on days my children are the snack person at school or church.   It's also a fun way to incorporate Veteran's Day or other patriotic celebrations.  I usually add plain white popcorn to take away some of the sweetness and add contrast, but that is a personal preference.

Here is how we made our syrup for the corn:

In a sauce pan over medium heat mix and bring the following to a boil for at least 3 minutes:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • food coloring (optional)

While the syrup is boiling, pop 4 quarts of popcorn.  Remove the old maids...

In a large bowl or pan, pour the hot syrup over the popcorn.  Stir to coat.

I like to pour out the popcorn onto wax paper or cookie sheets to dry for about an hour.  I find it's easier to store and bag the treats if they are dry.

Finally, ENJOY!

What colors will you make?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"No Shave" November

My husband and his coworkers are participating in a "No Shave" November contest.  The title explains it all. 

Stubble and whiskers are now on schedule for the foreseeable future and razor retailers in our area may see a small decline in sales.  Wives will cringe at the first few bristled embraces and children will be wondering if their fathers are turning into Santa Claus.  Thanksgiving will have to compete with a fresh shave to be the most anticipated event at the end of the month.

Why does this appeal to men? 

I see the obvious benefits of scraping a few minutes off their daily routines.  No more razor burn.  No more embarrassing pieces of toilet paper left behind on their necks in church.  No more nagging about the fuzz left behind in the sink.  Five o'clock shadows will no longer be a worry.

This month of facial hair freedom will allow them the chance to explore their manhood in a whole new light.  I ponder if they are attempting to find a civilized way of crowning an alpha male by seeing who can grow the fluffiest nest on their chin.  Or perhaps the guys are fulfilling a desire to connect with their cro magnon ancestors.  Who knows?

Actually, they are probably just searching for a little amusement and a fun way to compete without the help of motors or gunpowder.

In the spirit of supporting my husband and the secret desire to save a little cash on razor blades, I gave my blessing to his endeavor.  Hopefully, the sprouting mutton chops will awaken his inner mountain man and the desire to clear and conquer the landscape area where I want to create a "prairie garden"-  complete with a small fish pond.  A girl can dream.  Right?

Now, I need to ask the guys if  women can participate in the "no shave" challenge, but I already know their answer...


Dress Up Plain Cornbread

For the most part, my family enjoys cornbread.  There is something wonderful in it's simplicity and ability to put a smile on the children's face.  I can also snag cornbread mixes and cornmeal for a nice price when they are on sale. 

Money talks and when items are at bargain prices it whispers, "buy me" .

I have been known to pick up quite a few cornbread mixes and I have found ways to spice up a boring mix.  With family gatherings in the near future, you can use these ideas to make an easy addition to dress up the menu.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Sprinkle a tad of white sugar on the top-  this makes a sweet crust that the boys call "frost".

  • Add a can of creamed corn to the mixed cornbread batter.  It may take longer to bake, but it's worth the extra time.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

  • Add Tabasco sauce or a small can of chilies to the mix.  I prefer my bread sweet, but my neighbor introduced me to this kicked up version.

  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on the top.  Get creative and use pepper jack or cheddar.

  • Use the batter as a topping to creamed veggies or chicken/turkey.  Bake in the oven until the bread is done. 
Do you have any other tips?