Thursday, January 31, 2013



Helping daddy shovel the walk and cleaning off my grandma's car.  

I get paid for this, right?

My size snow cave!

Daddy, an angel?

Not if I can help it!!!

Uh oh...he's an angry angel.

Lesson learned.  Don't ever destroy Dad's snow angel.


 "See what dad did?!" makes it all better!

Sippin' Hot Cocoa... my new snow lounger.

 Ahhh, now this is the good life!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our American Girl Timeline

Here is a fun & exciting way to incorporate American History into your daughter's homeschool education.  If your daughter is in public school, this project could possibly earn her some extra-credit.  You never know!

Also, if you have a child who does not like to read, like I do, but she loves American Girl dolls, here is your opportunity to encourage her to read.  The books are a bit below Chloe's reading level, but that doesn't matter.  Watching her excitement as she finishes each of the six books in the box set,  and then orally recounts what happened in each one, is priceless!  Each book has a "Looking Back" section that shows actual photos from that time period, as well as real historical data.

Items you need for the timeline:

* Large poster board
* Sharpie markers
* American Girl sticker book (I've seen it at Michael's and Hobby Lobby)

(We found the sticker set above at Michael's in December, 2012.  It was on clearance for $1.00)

We love all things American Girl, so when it came time to develop our own homeschool curriculum we chose to navigate American History through these amazing dolls.

We started with Kit Kittredge in 1934, but will jump back to 1764 when we're finished with the Great Depression. 

When we decided to pull Chloe out of K12, her History class was discussing the Great Depression, so Kit was the perfect doll to start with.  We used a ginormous USA map and placed a sticker where Kit lives.

Ohio, you've never looked cuter!

Speaking of cute...

Kit had to be sent off to the American Girl Doll Hospital to have her...ahem...legs reattached.
Kit's definitely adventurous, but good-golly...both of her legs?  What was she doing?! We are glad she's all better though!

American Girl sent Kit back from the hospital in her own special box.

She also came with a Certificate of Good Health, a Get Well Soon card, fuzzy hospital socks, the cutest gown ever, and they even cleaned her up and styled her hair.

Anyway.  Let's get back to our timeline...

We then divided the timeline into 50 year segments.  I used my labeler to make these time periods stand out more.  We made some minor errors in spacing, but all-in-all, it looks great!

This part of the timeline can get a bit crowded if you're not careful.  

Sadly, we are missing Marie-Grace & Cecile.  I hope American Girl comes out with these stickers so we can finish our timeline.  We left space in between Josefina and Kirsten just in case.

We left plenty of space at the bottom so that we could add mini family photographs to help fill in our timeline.  I'm also planning to have Chloe write in some major events that helped shape America.  When we are all finished we will post a completed photo.   

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mini-Meatloaf: The kids will love it!

I found this Mini-Meatloaf idea on Pinterest and decided to try it out.  The original Pin had basic instructions, but I thought you could use a few know, to make your first try be successful.  Above was my first try.  They tasted always, but that's because I used my TnT (Tried 'n True) Amish Meatloaf recipe.  I'll share that a little later.  You're welcome.

Step 1: Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipe.

Step 2: Pack the muffin pan tightly with meat mixture.  If you fill it to the top, make sure you place a layer of tinfoil below the pan, or place it on a cookie sheet to catch grease drippings.  Mine didn't drip at all from the metal pan, but did slightly from my silicone muffin pans.  

Step 3: Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes. Make sure your drippings run clear.
Step 4: Add a bit of sauce on top and let it bake for 2-5 minutes extra.
Step 5: Add a medium size cookie-scoop of your favorite mashed potatoes on top.
Step 6: Devour! Then come back here and leave me a comment on how awesome I am.  :)

In my first try, I didn't pack the meat in very tightly.  I knew it would shrink up, but I was afraid of grease spilling out and possibly catching fire, or causing the Earth to blow up, or just having to deep clean my oven...something catastrophic like that.  
While some of the mini-meatloafs came out like full size flat-topped cupcakes, the others turned into scrumptious meatballs.  I ate them regardless.

Amish Meatloaf

3/4 cup Oatmeal (Use Gluten-Free Oats if needed)
1 cup Milk

2 lbs ground beef

2 eggs

1/2 medium onion (optional)
Salt & Pepper

1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Ketchup
2 tsp Yellow Mustard
Several dashes of Worchestire sauce
(Combine all these ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil...stirring constantly.) 


Combine oatmeal & milk into a mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and mix with hands or stand mixer until meat is well mixed and soft.  If you've ever eaten a meatloaf that tastes like someone just took the meat from the package and cooked it...this is why.  Always mix your meatloaf extremely well.  It makes it moist.  

::Follow directions above or put mixture into a loaf pan (bake loaf for 1 hour at 350*)::