Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seasonal Changes & Lots of Learning Opportunities

Autumn is my favorite season.  I love the change of the leaves, pulling out the sweaters and scarves, and all the wonderful seasonal favorites -- apples, pumpkins, cardamom, and cinnamon.  

Here are a few of my favorite fall images.  

One of the first trees to turn.

I love the crunch of the leaves, the smell of the trees and the sounds of the forest animals.  Having returned to teaching, there is also the opportunity to teach the children to appreciate these things.  Our entire month has been full of tree related learning and I am loving every minute!  

Our 3-D model of the parts of a tree.

"Why we love trees" list.

A display on the wall of the math center.

Sorting, counting, and patterns with acorns and leaves on the
light table.

Graphing our favorite types of trees.  

Menu Planning October Week 4 & the Importance of Drinking Water

I have never been a water drinker.  I think that my distaste for it occurred when the suburbs gained access to "Chicago water" from Lake Michigan which from my research started around 1985.

I have found; however, that I feel better when I drink water.  Pinterest and food blogs all over the internet are full of "fruit water" recipes some with sugar some without.  Experimentation has lead to my own favorite concoction of lemon, orange, and cucumber.  I even freeze some in the bottom of my water bottles so that I can enjoy cold water all morning at work.  Preparing it on a large scale in mason jars ensures I always have some on hand.

Here is my menu for the week:

Monday breakfast:  homemade muffins, fruit water
Monday lunch:  Meeting at work - lunch served
Monday dinner: beef sandwiches with peppers, homemade sweet potato fries

Tuesday breakfast:  cold cereal, almond milk & banana
Tuesday lunch:  leftover chicken and noodle bake from Sunday, green salad
Tuesday dinner:  chicken enchiladas verde, rice, ff refried beans

Wednesday breakfast:  apples with peanut butter, fruit water
Wednesday lunch:  eat at work
Wednesday dinner:  shrimp fettuccine, minted peas

Thursday breakfast:  homemade muffins, fresh fruit
Thursday lunch:  eat at work
Thursday dinner:  ham steak, baked apples, scalloped carrots

Friday breakfast:  oatmeal, fresh fruit, fruit water
Friday lunch:  eat at work
Friday dinner:  Mexican Potato Casserole  from the website Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  It is my "testing" recipe for the week and I promise to have a review for you next week.

Saturday breakfast:  eggs & bacon
Saturday lunch:  BLT sandwiches, potato salad
Saturday dinner:  spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and green salad

Sunday breakfast:  hashbrown casserole, fruit salad
Sunday lunch:  beef and vegetable soup
Sunday dinner:  beef fajitas with peppers and onions, fresh tortillas, sour cream and avocado

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday Photo Challenge: Monochrome

The theme for this week is monochrome.  I have some photographs I have changed to black and white or sepia but I think this one (which is actually untouched) is a better photograph.

 Our trip to St. Louis, Missouri.  The day was dreary but it stopped raining long enough for my husband and I to walk across the street from our hotel to visit the arch.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Menu Planning October Week 3 & Pantry Cooking

This past week was pretty smooth despite not having finalized my menu here.  I have to say that the corned beef hash from two weeks ago was hubby's favorite meal - he was disappointed to hear it was gone.

Since purchasing our new car, we've been trying to economize and grocery shopping seems a natural place to start.  Continuing with that theme, my menu plans for the next few weeks will focus on using up what we have in the freezer and pantry.

In addition, I am craving some traditional autumn dishes and did purchase some canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and apples.  More on those in the next post.

Here is my menu for the week:

Monday breakfast:  blueberry muffins, lemon water
Monday lunch:  bean and cheese quesadillas, green salad, lemon water
Monday dinner:  chicken noodle soup, crusty bread

Tuesday breakfast:  cottage cheese, fresh plums, buckwheat tea
Tuesday lunch:  leftover soup, lemon water
Tuesday dinner:  meatloaf, mashed sweet potatoes, green peas

Wednesday breakfast:  oatmeal, almond milk
Wednesday lunch:  leftover meatloaf, sweet potatoes, green salad, green tea
Wednesday dinner:  BLT sandwiches, homemade potato chips

Thursday breakfast:  cottage cheese, fresh apples, lemon water
Thursday lunch:  bean and cheese quesadillas, green salad, lemon water
Thursday dinner:  mini pepperoni pizzas, green salad

Friday breakfast:  toast with peanut butter, fresh apples, lemon water
Friday lunch:  bean and cheese quesadillas, green salad, green tea
Friday dinner:  garlic pasta with chicken, tomatoes, and spinach, crusty bread (I love the recipe from the Pioneer Woman.)

Saturday breakfast:  pumpkin pancakes, hash-brown casserole
Saturday lunch:  macaroni and cheese with bacon and peas
Saturday dinner:  chicken lettuce wraps

Sunday breakfast:  scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, leftover casserole
Sunday lunch:  rice cake soup
Sunday dinner:  ham steak, baked potato with broccoli and cheese


Thursday Photo Challenge: Shadows

In honor of this month's spooky holiday (I assume), we are playing with shadows this week.  Here are my submissions: