Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cranberry Harvest - {Early Varieties}

The most and least anticipated time of year is upon us.  Cranberry harvest.  This early harvest is kind of a tease.  It's only a few days compared to the later harvest which will be a full 2 weeks, even longer if you count in all the days of prep, pipe pulling, water checking, and bed raking.

These harvest days are exciting for the little kids.  All morning they were begging to go out on the marsh, but first we had to pick beans.  Yes, the plants are still producing.  Another 14 quarts canned today.  We picked the last of the tomatoes and a pile of cucumbers.  I think Joseph ate 4 or 5 huge cucumbers today.

Finally, I announced it was time.  After a scramble for socks and boots we were off.

Joseph's exercising his 2nd amendment right....with a toy gun, of course.

Amber and Sam, 15 and 12, working together for their debut cleanup round booming.  It may not seem like that big of a deal, but if you've ever experienced after supper dish washing with a teen and preteen, then you can probably understand the significance of this event.  Teens and preteens don't naturally agree on many things, and they definitely don't want to be in each other's space.  Booming the cranberries involves getting in one another's space and working together.  Kuddos to them for making it work!!

Booming is the lingo we use to describe corralling the cranberries at one end of the cranberry bed and pulling them to the end where they'll be loaded into trucks.  More specifically the clean-up round involves blowing every last cranberry out of the grass to be corralled.

And there's Warren booming his side alone - that's what happens with years and years (and years!?) of experience.

This post was started last week, which is when the actual harvest took place.  I've been slow at blogging - as if you haven't noticed.  We're in week four of school; it's been a whirlwind of activity that's keeping me away from the computer.

I still have an August recap in the drafts file to finish up, and all too soon September will be in the past and I hope to share a recap of the birthdays and duck hunting and homecoming.  

Teaching reading has taken center stage here.  I have so much to say about All About Reading and All About Spelling.  I've been doing a rhyming activity with Joe that I'd like to share.  And hallelujah!  Praise Jesus!  I started teaching Peter to read using All About Reading Level 1 and it's looking like he's a typical learner (whatever that is).  B's and D's - no problem!  Remembering to sound out from left to right - no problemo!  I introduced the word "the" and he believed me when I said you have to memorize this word and never try to sound it out.  I point to "the" and he says the.  It's been 10 years since I taught reading to a typical learner and I am SO ready for this.

I wish you all a happy & blessed fall.  I'll be back soon.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Wisconsin With Kids - {Merrimac Ferry}

Way back in July (time marches on at quite a clip these days) we dropped Amber off at the 4-H bus stop and she headed to Washington D.C. for a leadership experience.  The rest of us used the day (Sam's birthday) to enjoy a couple of fun Wisconsin destinations:  Parfrey's Glen and Merrimac Ferry.
Although summer break is over, there's still time to enjoy a day trip to Merrimac where you'll find the free 7 minute ferry.  Vehicles, bikes, and walk-ons are welcome.  We like to park our vehicle, grab an ice cream cone and "walk-on" the ferry.

The ride is short and as such there's not much to see.  Seagulls, boats, jet skis - that's what we saw, but it's such a fun, quick ferry ride for little kids.  

Once on the other side we found a grassy spot to relax, watch the boat traffic, and throw rocks.

After watching the ferry travel back and forth a couple of times, we were ready to board for our return trip.

When you find yourself amidst a pile of travelers you never know what you might see.  Today we saw a woman prop her stuffed lion at her vehicle window so it could "take a look around".  Crazy, but it sure got the attention of the ferry passengers, including us.

We love daytripping.  Leave your Wisconsin suggestions in the comments here or at Facebook.  Thanks.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Very Berry Muffins

Doesn't that look good?

Chocked full of cranberries and blueberries (as local as they come) and topped with a walnut, coconut struesel, these muffins are to die for.

These aren't the serve with a cup of coffee or glass of milk muffin.  No siree.  These are moist with a capital M.

I found this recipe in either a Quick Cooking or Taste of Home magazine years ago.  I think the original recipe called blueberries and raspberries, but since I have an abundance of cranberries, I normally make these with all cranberries.  If I happen to have other berries, I'll add those, too.

We were invited to pick blueberries at a neighboring cranberry marsh, so I took full advantage of the 9 pails of blueberries and made these a few times already.  I should be making a batch right now instead of blogging.  Sam's going camping with friends this weekend and these very berry muffins will make a great treat for them.

Very Berry Muffins

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup sugar, divided
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg

In a bowl, combine berries and 1/4 c. sugar, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and beat well while drizzling in vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients, add to cream cheese mixture.  Stir on low just until combined.  Fold in berry mixture.  Fill 12 greased muffin cups.

1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. flaked coconut
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon

Mix together; sprinkle over batter.  Bake at 400 degrees (375 if using dark pans) for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.  Makes 1 dozen delicious, moist muffins.

Recipe Notes:

If using frozen berries, do not thaw.

Mix up the berry combination.  Today I'm going to use blueberries and wild blackberries.

Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days on counter or refrigerate if storing longer.  They never last that long around here.

Do you think someone else would like this recipe?  Please share.  Thank you BERRY much!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Feast of St. Christopher - July 25

Early last week I happened to notice that St. Christopher's feast day was coming up - July 25.  A medal of St. Christopher hangs on Warren's key ring.  Often he mentions that it was a gift from his mother when he got his driver's license.  As the patron saint of travelers, and summer being the official travel season, St. Christopher is the perfect summer saint to learn about.

Celebrating saint feast days is kept super simple around here.  I pulled out Picture Book of Saints and read the one page St. Christopher story.

Then Joseph grabbed the microphone and book and did a little singing for us.

I printed copies of this coloring page from The Catholic Kid.
Joseph added bits of color to his, while Peter colored his St. Christopher like a rainbow.

I like to add a craft project to our saint celebrations, so of course I went straight to Pinterest, but found nothing.  I had to be creative all on my own this time.  After looking at the coloring page, I decided to paint walking sticks.  Sam cut and peeled the bark off a few green branches.

Peter got started painting his walking stick right away.  There were no rules, just paint till your heart's content.

Joseph waiting patiently for Sam to strip the bark from his walking stick.

Mom might call these walking sticks, but little boys, they might call them fighting swords.  Either way it was a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.

St. Christopher, patron of travelers,
Pray for us.

Homeschool Curriculum & Book Sale

Every flat surface in the house is covered with books - that's a sure sign planning is underway for the 2016-17 school year. I've run across plenty of loved, but unneeded books and craft kits, and I need to make room for this year's curriculum.....SOOOOO I'm selling it.

 Jessica at Shower of Roses is hosting a curriculum sale blog hop which means if you don't find what you need here at Camp Homeschool, you can head over to her blog to find links to more curriculum sales.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the items in this post, please leave a comment listing the books you would like, along with your email address. I will send you a private email with your total, including shipping, along with my Paypal address. 

To keep it as simple as possible, I have decided to charge a flat rate to help cover the cost of packaging, postage, and any Paypal fees. This year it will be $5 for 1-3 items and $7.00 for 4+ items. 

Please only request items that you intend to purchase and are able to submit payment for promptly. I will update the post as quickly as possible with "sales pending."

Thank you!

Saxon Math 7/6 Tests & Worksheets (all tests missing) - $5
Saxon Teacher CDs Math 8/7 (excellent) - $70
Saxon Teacher CDs Algebra 2 (last cd is MISSING, otherwise excellent condition) - $40
Saxon Algebra 1/2 Text, Solutions Manual, Home Study Packet (good) - $20
Dive CD Algebra 1/2 (good) - $40

The Fun With Tangrams Kit (good, 1 set of tangrams missing, 1 set is still unpunched) - $1

First Ladies Word Search (new) - $1
Catholic Geography Bee (very good) - $25 set of student and parent guides SOLD
Story of the World vol. 2 (very good) - $7

Starline Press 10th grade English, books 6-10 + answer key - $10
Creative Communications (very good) - $10

TOPS Analysis 10 Task Cards (very good) - $2 SOLD
Earth Science (good) - $3
Beginning to Learn About Science (good) - $1
Dolphins around the World (good) - $1
Eagles (very good) - $1
The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor (well-used) - free with order

Christian Character (good) - $3
Building Christian Character (very good) - $3 SOLD
Jesus Forgives My Sins (very good) - $1
Jesus Comes to Me (very good) - $1
Through the Year with Mary (very good) - $5
Raising Catholic Children (very good) - $2

The Little Hands Art Book (good) - $2
Rainy Day Play! (good) - $2

Easy Chapter Books horse themed (well-loved) - $2 set

The Runaway Chick (very good) - $1 
Little Lamb to the Rescue (very good) - $1
The Little Match Girl (good) - $1 
Cars (very good) - $1
Magic (very good) - $1
Under the Eagle's Beak (very good) - $5
Alice in Wonderland (very good) - $2 

Star Wars beginning readers - $3 set SOLD

Set of beginning readers - $3 set

Discover Crochet for Beginners (a tiny bit of yarn was crocheted, buttons are missing, otherwise everything is in bag, including instructions) - $10

Klutz Knitting (like new, gift giving quality) - $16

materials are in binder - $10

Happy Phonics - A Delightful Method of Teaching Reading with Games
Each game is in a clear sleeve or envelope, some things may be missing; above are 2 of the beloved games: Muffin Match and The Castle Game - $30

Rug Hooking for Beginners (my son attempted, so it has been opened, but all parts are in box, including instructions) - $15

Thistle Hill Farm Penguin Needle Felting Kit (like new)
Wool Pets kitty & pony (like new)
Foam square & needles (like new)
I'd like to sell this all together for $40

Thank you for looking.
Please leave a comment or email me directly if you have any questions.
cranmomof7 at gmail dot com