Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas card 2014

 Our Christmas Card this year was so fun. We had mom visit for the first time in our new home. She brought her camera and we got up early! We drove to Prosser to the 25th Annual Balloon Fest. We saw many amazing hot air balloons. We met up with our friends the Definbaughs. After the launch, we ate lunch and visited the Willard Farm for a photo shoot and apple picking. We took several changes of clothes and mom took some great pictures. We even found Ignacia and got a few pictures with her. Next we went to Bill's Berry Farm for their harvest celebration. Paisley loved the horse ride and had a bad fall from a stack of hay bails. We are thankful she is ok and even her glasses survived! Finally, we stopped at the red barn along the Yakima river and Gibbons Road. Mom took some great pictures of the kids for their school pictures. We saw a very large slow bull snake. I even survived! It was a great day and many memories were made.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 2014

Willard Farms October 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

K12 homeschool 2013-Idaho Virtual Academy

In thinking over the things that have gone very well for us in our first semester of homeschooling the kids, many things come to mind.

First, I love the fact that you set the days schedule, the weeks schedule and are given goals for completion. Since we are awaiting the sale of our home in Idaho, I have been pushing the kids to complete more each day. Once we well, we are not allowed to participate in IDVA. We will have to transfer to Washington if we are not complete.

Second, I love the fact that the kids get a good nights rest and the evenings are not hurried with massive amounts of homework, stress, crying and frustration. We can watch a movie, basketball game or read as a family. This time spent as a family will never happen again, we are not missing it. With the busy schedules of public school, activities, swim team and not being a family took a toll on our family. We did not see this till we were a unit here on the farm. Just the four of us, no where to go, no commitments beside school and a feeling of freedom.

In addition, I get to spend the whole day side by side with my kids. I see the engagement, the learning, the wonder, the fun, the giggles, the bad days and good days! Before, I would prepare them with a good breakfast and greet them at the end of school, then off to the business of life, swimming, and commitments. I would not trade our new situation for anything.

Some of my most favorite activities are the ones I can plan and share with the kids. The activities are most likely not taught while in traditional school. We can teach how to prepare laundry, cook, clean, play a game, fix lunch, make cookies, take pictures etc.  We can plan vacations, field trips, and visit family. Jeff loves to help with the science and geology. There is a freedom in planning the week. You can look at days you need to have lighter due to other commitments and adjust the lesson plan. You can work weekends to get ahead. You can challenge a topic, if the kids do well on the concept and assessment, you don't need to spend time teaching something they grasp easily or already know.

Finally, I love that Nicholas can move at a speed he is comfortable with. He often will tell me how much he loves something because its not like at school. He did not verbalize how difficult a day was for him till we removed him from the situation. He was bullied daily and did not do well with the expectations of a "Normal student". He tells us stories that will break your heart. I am thankful he is comfortable and doing well at home. We are helping him catch up and helping him grasp main concepts he missed in the Third and Fourth grade. It gives me peace to know he is safe, learning and growing in comfort.

We are thankful for IDVA, the Willard Farm, and my ability to stay home to teach the kids. Jeff goes to work and works hard. We are home for him when his day is done. Our family is adjusting to our new temporary home while our  Idaho home is now a vacation home. We look forward to what God has in store for us next.  Mostly, we miss our swim family and swimming. Here are a few pictures from Summer Championship in Boise last July.
Nicholas age 10 Breaststroke

Paisley age 7 Breaststroke

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

April's Gluten free Flour blend

In cooking and baking, I use this blend cup for cup. I do not like the ratio as well in raised breads.

April's Gluten free flour blend

GF Flour Blend 
Mix the following:
8 cups white rice flour
2/3 cup potato flour and 
1 1/3 cup tapioca flour
Store extra mix in an airtight container.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Chocolate chip Pancake Donuts

GF baked doughnut pancake

¾ cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 cup April’s GF flour blend
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp lime fresco sea salt
2/3 cup mini choc chips

Mix all in batter bowl. Don’t over mix. Pour in greased Norpro donut baking pan and bake for 15-20 min or till top set and edges are light brown. Makes 6 donuts.
Nick enjoying breakfast!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

April's GF Nutella Donuts

April’s Nutella Donuts (Gluten Free)

Makes 6

I purchased  6 piece Norpro donut pan at Prepared pantry in Idaho and use it often! I also purchase my potato flour there. Great store by the way!

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup Greek honey yogurt
1 tsp soda
1/8 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 cup April's GF flour blend
Nuts optional, ¼ cup

Mix sugar, egg, and yogurt. Add nutella. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Add nuts. Bake in greased donut pan at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Donuts will be firm to touch and brown on sides, not top. I frosted these with a powdered sugar glaze, great plain too.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Paisley's GF Blueberry Breakfast bread

 Paisley is enjoying planning meals and cooking. Yesterday she chose to make something blueberry for breakfast today. We came up with this recipe with the help of Pinterest. It makes 2 mini loaves in the papered chef 4 mini breadstone or one 8' bread loaf. We used frozen berries, they were juicy and did not discolor the dough. We used a junior size coffee filter as the liner. She wanted to have it be like a cupcake:)

 The brown sugar gives it a wonderful flavor! You will not be disappointed. She did not want the crumble topping.

  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups april's gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Crumbly topping:
  •  2 tablespoons butter, melted
  •  ⅔ cup brown sugar
  •  4 tablespoons flour
  •  ½ tsp. cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in nuts, and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Mix together the 2 tablespoons melted butter, ⅔ cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Mix all ingredients until crumbly. Crumble onto the top of the bread batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.