Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple Crisp

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream.

Recipe from:

Apple Pie Smoothies

This is one of my husband's inventions. It could also be called "Iced Apple Pie in a Glass". It seriously messes with your brain. It has the consistancy of a smoothie but it tastes like apple pie. This is a REALLY great fall treat!

1 large apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider
1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 cups ice

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serves 3.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple Tree Craft

After we went to the apple orchard, Mercedes has been obsessed with apple trees and picking apples. She will take her sand pail outside and pick leaves off the trees saying she's picking apples. I asked her if she wanted to paint the other day, and she said she wanted to paint an apple tree. So I cut a piece of green construction paper in the shape of a tree (sort of) and a brown piece of paper in the shape of a trunk. I gave Mercedes a few cotton balls to use to paint apples on the tree. Then we hung it on our kitchen wall. She is so proud of her apple tree. =-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My High Needs Toddler

My daughter is two. I adore her. My husband adores her. Her house is filled with toys. Her days are filled with crafts, projects, outside play, games, movies, reading stories, and tons and tons of love, hugs, kisses and cuddles from me. I am a stay at home mom. I give her my all, 24-7. 

Today we were playing tag/hide and seek (the toddler version where I hide behind a tree, she "finds" me, chases me, and catches me). We were laughing and playing and having tons of fun. All of a sudden her face turned sad, she walked away slowly and sat by this fence. Miserable.

This happens a dozen times a day. She won't tell me why. I have no idea how to start guessing. She has never been abused. Or yelled at. Or made fun of. Or been called a name. Not once. She has never been left alone to cry-it-out. She has never been physically or emotionally scarred. Her life is practically perfect. And yet sometimes she gets so, sad.

Dr. Sears describes "The High Needs Child" as strong willed, intense, super sensitive, persistent, easily angered, defiant, prone to power struggles and tantrums. They are also compassionate, empathetic, generous, assertive and determined. High needs children focus on the negative. They are also extra intelligent and have strong leadership qualities. (The Discipline Book Page 283). This is my daughter. This is my daily struggle. To help my high needs child thrive. To help her find sunshine when all she sees is negativity. To dwell on her good qualities and not let the difficult parts of her personality crush me...or crush her. This is hard. This is crucial. She is young. She is so easily influenced. Everything that I say and do (and everything I don't say and don't do) will impact this super sensitive child. For good or for bad. So much pressure. So much responsibility. So, so important. I must help my high needs child to thrive.

My daily prayer: "Dear God, please show me how."

Friday, September 21, 2012

B is for...Bananas!

Mercedes loves bananas, so I decided to make a lesson out of it.

We read a book telling step by step how bananas get from trees to our kitchen.

We made banana and chocolate chip faces.

And we made banana bread. Mercedes loved smashing the bananas.

 Click HERE for the recipe.

Friday, September 14, 2012

S is for...Spiders!

Mercedes is fascinated with spiders. We went to the library the other day and found a few books with pictures of spiders and one that tells at preschool level about how spiders catch and eat their food.

We made our own web with yarn. Pretty good for our first try! For instructions, click HERE

I bought her a spider at the dollar bin at Walmart to live on our web.

Mercedes acted out a fly landing on the web and getting stuck.

And then acted out the spider wrapping up its' lunch!

We made these adorable Oreo HERE for instructions.

We also made pipe cleaner spiders to sit by the window. Mercedes helped me make these so they got kind of funky looking. =-)

This is more like what they are suppose to look like. I made these a few months ago before Mercedes was old enough to help. =-) Click HERE for instructions.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alphabet Blocks

Every child should own these! Mercedes and I have been having a great time with our alphabet blocks lately. When she was younger, she just liked to build towers and knock them down. Now she's realizing that there are letters on each block, and pictures that "match" the letters. The ones that we own are Garanimals Wooden Alphabet Blocks . They have super cute pictures of animals and things on each block. We got them at Walmart.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Animal Alphabet Game

Mercedes' absolutely favorite thing to do right now is to play with her box of plastic animals. I want to find ways to turn the things she loves into fun lessons for her. I pulled out the Alphabet Bingo chart from when we were growing up (you could easily make one of these charts with a piece of poster board, a marker and a ruler). I let her pick out animals and we find the letter each animal starts with.

Mercedes LOVES this game. Ever since I introduced it to her, it's all she wants to do. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apple Bowl Caramel Sundaes

1 apple per serving
2 scoops vanilla ice cream per serving
Your favorite caramel syrup
Pecan pieces
Cut off top of apple. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the core. Fill apple with ice cream. Drizzle with caramel. Sprinkle with pecans. Eat the ice cream and then eat the bowl!

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

I am working on starting some seasonal traditions for my kids. One of the wonderful things about the changing of the seasons is the yummy food to be enjoyed. This fall I'm experimenting with festive recipes with apples and pumpkin. Mercedes gobbled up this pumpkin pie french toast so apparently she likes the pumpkin flavor!

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 slices of bread

For extra "pumpkin pie" flavor, add:
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
I skipped these three ingredients because I am not a fan of the strong "pumpkin pie" taste.

Mix the eggs, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar (and additional spices if desired). Heat pan to medium heat and grease with butter or margarine. Dip bread into the egg mixture on both sides and heat on pan until lightly golden brown (about 2-3 minutes per side).

Recipe from: