Friday, October 15, 2010

Around the House Today

Sob. The kids have been in bed for an hour, and no naps are happening. Mimi is roaring like a lion. This is after putting them to bed late last night, and a rollicking kinder music class this morning! We stomped like dinosaurs! Sleep already!!

(Grandpa? Grandma? I am really looking forward to date night tonight...and I am truly sorry for what my children might act like at your house!)

So. Kids are nuts, but that's par for the course. Second load of laundry is running, bread is out of the oven, and my apple butter finally cooked down as much as I wanted and it's all jarred and processed and cooling on the counter. If you're wondering, apple butter is about the easiest thing in the world to make. Core and cut your apples, and fill the crockpot. Add maybe a cup of water so they don't scorch before they start breaking down, and crank that crock pot up! I turn it to low on the first day if I have to leave the house, and on the second day I turn it to warm if I have to leave. When it turns into mushy apple sauce, leave the lid cracked just a bit to let the steam out. Stir it every once in a while to mash down the apples and keep it from sticking to the sides. I never add any sugar to mine, but I sometimes add cinnamon. I bought a 20 pound box of galas from a local farmer, and they were plenty sweet on their own! If you're curious, a crock pot stuffed full of apple slices made 2 pints of apple butter, almost exactly. I didn't peel the apples this time, thinking I could always mash it through a strainer if I didn't like the peels in there, or use my stick blender on it...but I like the peels! Since I'm the only one here who eats apple butter, the peels stayed. Ha. (A crockpot full of apples makes about 8 cups of apple sauce, on the other hand.  I did that yesterday, the apple sauce is in the freezer.)    I have just a handful of apples left, and I'm wondering how well an un-baked apple pie would freeze?  I could just make an apple pie and eat it, too.  That would be fun.  But if Mr. Baby is really putting in an appearance in just a few short months, I want GOOD FOOD in that freezer!  My excellent husband, excellent as he is, is not a dinner cook.  (The man can make a mean pan of eggs, though!)  And, did anyone else notice this baby is set to appear 4-6 weeks before Tax Day?  No, that didn't escape my notice.  No, my husband can't exactly "take time off work," not if he wants to get paid by his clients!  (I have to say, though, that my husband IS very good at cooking when he has ample time to tinker through a recipe.  It's hard to take "ample time" to make dinner, though.)

I finished my hand-leaf-tree. I love how pretty it turned out!  The kids don't seem to care much whether or not theirs gets put up- I'll try and get E at least to get hers assembled, so I can put the supplies away.

We pulled out our Autumn decorations this week, and found the acorns that E and I collected on our afternoon walks when she was still a tiny.  Gosh.  She was 2?  The kids love sorting them and putting them in a collection of bowls I set out, along with some brazil nuts I found in the back of the cupboard.

That xylophone hiding behind the basket (the basket that holds all our kiddy musical instruments) has  been having a renaissance lately- I sat down one afternoon and wrote down as many songs as I could think of that could be played in a single-octave C-scale.  Jingle Bells....I'm a Little Tea Pot...Popcorn Popping...Joy to the World....there are more, but the big girl especially is looking forward to learning a song or two.  For right now they sing along while I play.  I can't decide how I want to notate the music for her to read.  Colored boxes?  One box equals 1 beat....and then 2 boxes of the same color, and joined together, would equal 2 beats?  That's the way I first learned rhythm, back in the Robert Pace method, and it seemed so simple to me.  I can't very well expect her to remember that the yellow bar is a G, can I?  Ha.
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Aunt LoLo said...

The tree....reminds me of Peter Pan. Your Shadow! It's come loose!! And it's posing as a tree! *grin*

As for the xylophone...come on! It's Ernie! Write some letters on those bars, using an eyeliner or something washable, and she'll know them by ear in a week. *grin*

Anonymous said...

Those hand trees are beautiful! I think I may have to try that with the kids. I've heard you can season the apples for pie and then just freeze them in a foil lined pie dish without the crust. When they are solid, pop them out and put them in a plastic storage bag. Then when you want pie, just fit the pie sized apples right into your crust and bake (a little longer than normal).

One Year Older and Wiser Too said...

Here's my humble opinion re: the xylophone. E is a smart egg. Don't dummy much down for her. Give her some very basic music theory. Teach her quarter, half and whole notes. Color them the color of the xylophone keys. Just start with the one thing (notes) and keep her with something very familiar (colors). Besides it will help reinforce math.

I'm currently teaching a five year old little boy piano (birthday about a month AFTER E). He is a smartie - much like E. He LOVES piano and is learning leaps and bounds. I'm not there - so I may be off base.... but from what I see and hear- musically she is really ready to go. Her concept of pitch and rhythm is very keen for her age. She's her Mommy and Daddy's daughter, for sure. :-) <3

Oh how I wish her Nana were there and could have piano lessons with her! Missing you all!

Alexandra said...

That hand tree is beautiful! I have to try this now.

Su said...

Wow, lots happening, Myrnie. I think I may try apple butter. I have about 1 grocery bag of apples that are... not so good anymore.

PS- love the hand tree.