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Archive for October, 2010


Halloween Dessert
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

This year, the girls went through my ideas folder for Halloween.  Sophia chose several recipes from Family Fun that she wanted me to make. 

So, I tried them and made a special lunch for them this year.  The girls loved all the recipes and were so excited to have “the best lunch [they] ever had for Halloween!” 

These were the things I made that they enjoyed.  To the right is the mult-layered dessert that was in Family Fun magazine many years ago. I’ve wanted to try it, but it is loaded with dairy ingredients.

So, I modified the recipe by using orange food coloring to color the non-dairy vanilla ice cream orange and using Soy Whip.

This is a picture of the dairy version (the non-dairy version looks identical to the dairy one). The layers are:

– Crushed Oreo cookies
– Orange sherbet
– Cool Whip
– Crushed Oreo cookies

If the container was larger, the layers could be repeated. As it was, this was more than enough for a dessert.

Another thing I made were these apple mouths.  Family Fun  said to cut an apple into quarters, remove the core, and slice a section out of one side. Then, put slivered almonds into the “mouths” to look like teeth.

The girls thought these were funny. It got Olivia to eat an apple (with the peel) which is good. Sophia likes apples, so this was a different treat for her.

 
Sophia pulled this recipe out of my files. It’s also from Family Fun magazine from many years ago. The recipe called for small tapioca pearls that were cooked and then colored green and blue. Unfortunately, small tapioca pearls didn’t work. You really need to use the large pearls (like the kind that is used for bubble tea).  They should be at any Asian grocery store.

Since I had all the other ingredients on hand, I improvised. So, the beverage is lemonade with a couple of drops of green food coloring, diet 7-Up (instead of seltzer water which they wouldn’t have enjoyed), a few gummy fish, and 1 gummy worm hanging out of the side of the cup. Mix it up, and serve.

The girls enjoyed the beverage and thought it tasted great. They liked using the fancy cups for this unusual drink.

The girls with their Swamp Juice, apple mouths, and layered dessert on Halloween.
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As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for…
:: Good  vets who help keep the pets healthy.
:: Being able to hear the Minnesota Orchestra’s performance for school children/families on Wednesday.
:: Having fun celebrating Halloween at the party on Saturday and then with my parents/family today.
:: Seeing three deer on Saturday and two deer on Sunday.
:: Having good memories of grandparents who I knew (some died before I was born or shortly after), and seeing how their legacy lives on through me and now through my daughters.

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

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As I think back on the past week, I am grateful for…

:: Opportunities I had in 4-H when I was younger; and being able to have Sophia and Olivia involved in 4-H again this year.
:: Medicine and the availability of flu shots this year.
:: The compassionate guidance of Olivia’s speech therapist at the local elementary school.
:: Caring neighbors.
:: Being given the time to spend Thursday with my parents to help set up in-home health care/cleaning, and then having a nice lunch with them.
:: The Sharing Shop’s clothing giveaway where the girls were able to get some fall clothes and a warm jacket for winter.
:: Laughter…as I watched the girls play hide-and-go-seek with the dogs on the nature trail.

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!

*** *** ***

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On a recent afternoon, I was organizing my wool.  I had not done much needlefelting recently, so I thought it would be fun to take a little break, pick up the barbed needles, and start creating some natural toys for children.  Ended up making a dozen of the wool felt balls.  It was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

These felt balls (to the right) are needle-felted from beautifully soft, 100% wool roving. They are colorful, safe, and fun to play with indoors. They are the perfect size for small hands, and easy to catch and throw.

Felt balls also:
– make great cat toys
– can be easily juggled
– make a light-weight bowling ball
– teach children about the colors of the rainbow
– are natural and safe to play with (no risk of lead!)

Each felt ball is approximately 3 1/2″ (8.5 cm) in diameter; and 10 1/2″ (26.5 cm) in circumference. The core is clean roving that was from one of the sheep I raised at Harvest Moon’s organic farm. The outer layer is wool roving that has been hand-dyed with natural dyes.

Some of the wool balls are a single color…while others use roving that have a lovely blend of shades and specks of vibrant colors.

If you’re interested in purchasing a felt ball (or a whole collection of them), please visit Harvest Moon by Hand.

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Went to a miniature horse gathering over the weekend. There was such a wide range in the size/shape of the miniature horses – some being quite tiny and petite while others were more stocky.

All the miniatures were hooked up to carts and were pulling 1-2 people. Here the cart drivers are getting instructions for the first activity.

What are the benefits of cart driving for the horse?

Ponies and miniature horses are often ideal for driving as many breeds and bloodlines have been bred for that purpose. Even a miniature horse can pull an adult in a cart. Driving can also be a great second career for a pony or small horse that has been outgrown by his young rider.

Driving is an option for horse and pony owners who are unable to ride or those who prefer not to. Driving provides training and exercise for a horse and gives owners quality time with their equines without ever having to put a foot in the stirrup.

What are the benefits of cart driving for the driver?
Both Sophia and Olivia have done therapeutic horseback riding, and now are interested in cart driving (as well as continuing with horseback riding). I wanted to find out what the benefits are to cart drivers, and found that the benefits are very similar to therapeutic horseback riding:

– Increases self-confidence and awareness
– Normalizes high or low muscle tone
– Develops pre-ambulation skills and strength
– Improves balance, posture, coordination
– Motivates learning and self-discipline
– Helps in the development of interpersonal relationships

The Next Step

Clearly, it would be a great benefit to both the girls. It would be ideal if there was someone who no longer wanted their driving equipment and wanted to pass it along. I wonder if there’s someone out there who wants to do this….

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