Friday, October 21, 2011

Nature is Nurturing: Exploring a Park

Thanks to the invitation of a friend we've discovered a charming park. While a hefty drive and out of the way for us, it's well worth it. It's on the far northern outskirts of town. I'd never heard of this place before and made sure I went over maps with my husband this morning. Also made sure I had the up-to-date cell number of my friend in case we got lost. But we made it. What a park. :)

The park had a very pretty wood with a narrow walking trail.

The trail meandered through the woods, going around a pond and a field.

We found this log that looked like it had a face. See the eye and the mouth?

This flower- I don't know what it was, I need to learn!- grew near the pond.

Look, there's a hole in the ground! I wonder if anything lives there? :)

Actually, two. And a narrow footpath between the small hole and the deeper, larger hole.

Don't forget the playgound. Check out this awesome airplane 

It actually rocked when you sat it in, and had seats for several children. The propeller spun when you turned the "steering" wheel.

We had so much fun with our friends in the park! Hopefully we'll be going back and exploring that park again very soon. Perhaps we'll take Papa with us as well. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friendship Project 2: Pretzels

Pretzels look like a big embrace. Yes, I know they're supposed historically to look like hands praying. But seriously, don't you think they could also be seen as hugging arms?

One fine morning about a week ago I was preparing to bake some bread in the kitchen before T and I met some friends at the park. T asked me for pretzels. There were none in the house. Between making the bread, grabbing a quick lunch, and then meeting our friends at the park I didn't have time to run to the store for a bag of pretzels. 

Quickly the thought flashed through my head "He's supposed to be learning about friendship and loving our neighbor as ourselves, and we already have all we need out, so why not?" 

"T," I asked him, "Would you like to make pretzels to share with S and D at the park this afternoon?"
He was thrilled!

He worked very diligently on his pretzels. I measured, he poured the ingredients in the bowl. Together we mixed. I divided the dough into pieces and showed him how to make snakes. Then I formed them into pretzel shapes. 

They didn't turn out perfectly shaped, but that's beside the point. T had a great time making pretzels to share with his friends. We also decided the rolled and twisted pretzel dough looked distinctly like the hugging, caring arms of friendship. Not bad for an impromptu "Friendship" project.

Want to make your own pretzels? It's easy. If you can make pizza dough you can pretzel dough. Here's the recipe I used. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Well, today is CD 1 for me *and* I got a flu shot. Not the most comfortable combination. Let's just say I'm exhausted. Very thankful I have a crockpot meal planned for tonight! I'm joining Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday for the first time this week too!

Monday: Sparkling Beef Tips (got this from the Cooking for Your Family forum on BabyCenter)

Tuesday: Chili (rainy day + chili = wonderful. Love this chili, three kinds of meat ((we use crumbled bacon instead of bacon bits)), beans, beer in addition to beef broth, lots of herbs and spices.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Culinary Adventure (will blog this on Cook In Fifty-Two)

Friday: Apple Cider Beef Stew

Thursday and Friday may be flipped.

Weekend will be leftovers and Thai Chicken and Basil from Fine Cooking