The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

(Well, almost wordless!)

Recently my 5 year old daughter had me take pictures of her, as she posed on a chair "singing"... Here they are! I thought maybe they would make you smile like they encourage a little grin out of me...

What a little ham-bone!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mudpies to Magnets

My sister, who is a teacher in Denver, and I had a talk one time about how tough it is to teach science. There are so many things to cover, but not the best resources to teach the subject. One of my favorite books for teaching preschool and kindergarten science is this book:
The book cover states that it is a "Preschool Science Curriculum", but I've found many experiments to be perfect for kindergarten. I use this book nearly every week in my homeschool science. I also use the sequel to this book, called "More Mudpies to Magnets" by the same authors. I highly recommend this curriculum guide, as it uses lots of items for the experiments which can easily be found in the home.

Since this past week was R week, we used one experiment about raisins, called "Dunking Raisins".

The experiment used a glass jar, water and vinegar with three raisins in it. We stirred the vinegar in to the water with raisins, then we added a few teaspoons of baking soda. Of course, this causes a reaction, which it explains in a simple manner in the book. The CO2 bubbles (which it also explains) attach to the raisins, and after watching for a few moments, will float to the top of the vinegar/ water solution. This elicited the "WOW" effect from my children, who smelled it and watched it for about an hour! The raisins kept bobbing up and down!

We liked that the book simply explains the cause and effect relationship, and that the experiment was easy enough for all ages to understand. My son had seen this experiment before, but still found it fascinating!

We did another experiment this week from the above book, in which the rain cycle was illustrated. We sealed a ziploc bag with tape, filled it with 1/2 cup of water, sealed the top and hung it on our glass door to the outside. Then we watched it for a few days, and inside the bag there is a miniature cloud, and condensation occurring! It is so cool to see, but hard to keep hands off! 

If you have not seen this amazing science book before, I whole-heartedly recommend you find and use it. We enjoy it a lot!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Psalm 27

As a Christian, I don't technically celebrate Lent. Lent is something from the Catholic faith. There is a practice in Lent of "giving something up" in a way that brings you closer to God during those 40 days. If there is a vice, a bad habit, an idol of sorts that is in the way of your relationship with God, that may be something to live without for a time. I know some friends who are giving up social media for Lent. I thought about doing that, but decided not to, because my friends and family are so important to me, and I don't feel it is in idol in my life. I am perfectly ok without it for a day, even though I really enjoy it.

This year I decided to learn and memorize a Psalm. Last Fall, our women's retreat speaker spoke about memorizing Psalm 27. I had written about it in my Bible. In my Bible study this year, I am reading through the Psalms, and really enjoying it thus far! So last week, I read Psalm 27 again, and remembered my desire to memorize it.

Scripture memorization is so important to Christians, to help us "hide God's Word in our hearts, so we may not sin against Him."- Psalm 119:11 It can enhance and deepen our relationship with God to meditate on His word and know it very well. It can help us know more of God and what His word says. It can show us God's character and His heart. It is something I know that I neglect in my relationship, and I definitely see the value of... so I decided to go for it!

Psalm 27 is 14 verses, here they are:

Psalm 27

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?

 2 When the wicked advance against me
   to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
   who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
   my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, 

   even then I will be confident.
 4 One thing I ask from the LORD,
   this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
   all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
   and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
   he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
   and set me high upon a rock.

 6 Then my head will be exalted
   above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
   I will sing and make music to the LORD.

 7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
   be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
   Your face, LORD, I will seek.
9 Do not hide your face from me,
   do not turn your servant away in anger;
   you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
   God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
   the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD;
   lead me in a straight path
   because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
   for false witnesses rise up against me,
   spouting malicious accusations.

 13 I remain confident of this:
   I will see the goodness of the LORD
   in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
   be strong and take heart
   and wait for the LORD.

There are some great verses in there! I am excited to read it often and recite to myself. You can help keep me accountable! I am also using this song that I found to help memorize the last four verses. I like it's upbeat message that easily gets caught in my head. Music always helps me remember- it is easier to sing the words!

What do you do for Lent? Anything different? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grandma's Hash Brown Casserole

My oldest cousin recently sent me this recipe, and I sent it on to my siblings. I finally made it today for MOPS and it was yummy! The pan was scraped clean... a good sign!

This recipe is actually is in my Grandma's handwriting, which I love to see... I miss her. She's been gone 12 years and I can still see her face, and hear her sing certain songs in church. :`(

Grandma's Hash Brown Casserole
2 lb hash browns
1 tsp salt
2 cups sour cream
2 Tbsp diced onion
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can cream of potato soup
2 cups grated cheese
2 cups crushed potato chips, or corn flakes (optional)
Ingredients laid out...
Before baking...
Thaw hash browns, mix all ingredients (except 1/3 cup cheese and crushed chips). Place in 9 X 12" pan and bake uncovered for 40-60 minutes at 350 degrees. This can easily be cut in half, or put in two 8 X 8" OR 9 X 9" pans, and freeze.
After baking, I added the cheese and chips, baked a little longer...
This is perfect for a MOPS meeting or a brunch. It was delicious!

And any cousins who didn't get the recipe, let me know, and I can send you a copy in Grandma's handwriting too!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

American Girl class: Addy Week 5

This week in class, we read book five (before class) in the Addy series, Addy Saves the Day! and discussed it. I had planned to make "Spool Puppets" like Addy does in the book. But I could not find enough spools for my classes and had to order them. We will make them next week in class instead. So this week, we made "Ida Bean" dolls, like the one Addy's mom gave to her in the books.

This week had more advance work for me. I traced the dolls onto fabric that I had left over from this Kaya project that we did. I found the pattern for them here. Then I sewed the two pieces together, and left the end open on the bottom. The girls turned them inside out, (and no one missed that step!), filled them with beans (a little messy!) and sewed up the bottom edge with needle and thread. Then I give them fabric pieces that were 9" X 3", and they got two of these per girl. They folded the pieces into thirds, and put them over the dolls' shoulders. The skirt piece was 6" X 17", and I tried gathering them on my machine at home, to no avail. So they got a straight piece and wrapped it around the dolls' waist. Then they wrapped a piece of yarn (about 2' long) around the doll's waist three times and tied it in the back. (I found several fat quarters that I used for the doll's dresses.)

After the dress was on, I gave them blue thread to make the eyes (I can't make a french knot, which would have been best) and they tried doing X's or "eye shapes" (ovals). I gave them pink thread for the mouth and explained how to do a chain stitch. For the hair, I bought bulky black yarn that looked like hair. I wrapped my hair around her head several times and hand-sewed it on top of her head. Several of the girls liked their doll's hair long, so they left it hanging down on the sides.

The girls really liked their dolls, and many of them said they were going to call it "Ida Bean", or Addy. My daughters liked my doll after I filled it with beans, even before she even had clothes on, so I knew my students would love them!

For snack, we had Molasses Cookies. You can find the recipe here. Most of the girls liked them a lot!

Here is the 1:00 class...
Girls showing me their dolls...

Aren't they cute?!

This girl thought it was so funny to have her dolls 
lined up and hooked together! :-D

So sweet!

The 2:00 class...

 Several of the girls in this class didn't get their hair on their dolls, so I didn't get as many pictures of them.

So far in our classes, we made corn husk dolls with Kaya, a clothespin doll with Felicity, and for Kirsten we made a yarn doll. I think this Ida Bean doll may be the favorite of all! It was another delightful day. I can't believe we are almost done with Addy- One more week!

A few other details for teachers: I used about 7/8 yard of fabric (folded) to get 9 dolls. I hope that helps you measure your fabric! For the beans, I figured about 2 cups or 8.5 oz per doll. I bought 14 pounds total and didn't use one two pound bag. (for 22 students, but 3 were absent!) I promised the girls no sewing next week! :-D

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: new scarf!

I found directions on how to make an infinity scarf from Pinterest. I found some inexpensive fabric at Jo-Ann's that felt good. It was not too warm, which I was trying to find. Maybe next time! I had a little bit of a tough time figuring out how long to make it. I found another directions page here which helped, it had directions for a shorter scarf and a long scarf. Mine ended up being somewhere in between. It is one big loop that is wrapped around my neck twice. I got a lot of compliments when I wore it!

Enjoy the pic!

(Well, almost wordless!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Great preschool activity

A friend of mine generously gave me two of these magnet sets several years ago, and my kids really like them. I found several varieties for sale on here. These little sets keep my kids busy for quite a while! My 3- year-old plays with them, even though the package says ages 4 and up. She doesn't put the pieces in her mouth, so I don't worry about her swallowing them.

We have two sets of these, one is Horses: with 3 horse scenes, 3 magnetic sheets and 34 magnetic pieces, durable metal carry case, a Magnetic CreationsTM play center.

The other set is Weather Dress Up: with 3 background scenes, 3 magnetic sheets with 48 magnetic pieces, durable metal carry case, a Magnetic CreationsTM play center.

The back of the package says it is "Hours & Hours of Magnetic CreationsTM Fun! Great for Travel... Mix and Match play pieces to create a different Magnetic CreationsTM Scene every time." I would have to agree. They are fun for quite a time. My younger daughter likes to put the girl in her swimsuit in the winter scene-- so funny! The girls also like to place the girls hair on the boy, while he is in boy clothes-- so funny! (to a preschooler!)

I am sure we have lost the smallest parts to the trash or the vacuum, but there are plenty of pieces for entertaining your child. My oldest daughter enjoyed them often, and even put the pieces in separate plastic bags, to separate the weather scenes. Love her organizational skills!

Check Magnetic CreationsTM out for a birthday gift for a child you know, they will enjoy them!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidential Prayer Team

Several years ago, I was part of a group of people that voluntarily prayed for the president and other leaders daily, and it is called the "Presidential Prayer Team." I enjoyed being a part of it, but as my mothering and homeschooling responsibilities became more overwhelming, I had to back out of it. I still try to pray for the president and leaders often, but I am not part of the PPT anymore.

This information is from their website:

Who is The Presidential Prayer Team?

Since 2001, The Presidential Prayer Team has been the source millions of Americans have turned to for encouragement and inspiration to pray for America, our President, our national leaders and our Armed Forces.

We are a national ministry dedicated to a focused mission of encouraging, inspiring and practicing PRAYER on behalf of our President, nation’s leaders and our troops. We also seek to be a catalyst in the development of a robust prayer lifestyle. We do this by finding and PROVIDING tools to encourage prayer – through email, web, mobile phones and other communication tools. Ultimately, we believe that prayer will TRANSFORM our nation, one heart at a time.

We believe that Almighty God who rules over the affairs of men…and who moves in response to the prayers of His people. So, with unflinching devotion, members of The Presidential Prayer Team are working everyday to raise the shield of prayer over our beloved country.

Please consider joining our membership – it’s free! When you do, you’ll join the largest group of intercessors in America, and we’ll provide you with an extensive variety of tools and resources to assist and support your prayer life. Join Here

I enjoyed the website and its prayers that they suggest, and they way the PPT sent out frequent reminders to pray. There are many Christian leaders that support and are involved in the Presidential Prayer Team. If you feel so burdened, and are interested, please check out their website and join the PPT. It is a wonderful organization, and prayer is a powerful tool. Even if I don't agree with the president, I can still pray for him, and God can use him. 

There are many Bible verses about prayer, but here are a few that relate:

"...If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."  2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Parmesan recipe

A friend of mine made this dish one time when we went to their home for dinner. It was delicious, and she generously gave me the recipe! It is one of my favorite recipes, but I don't make it too often. It is a little bit of work, but worth it-- so it was perfect for our stay-at-home Valentines dinner this past Tuesday! The pictures don't do it justice, it honestly is SOOO tasty!

This is a recipe that you can adjust for however many people you are serving. We made 5 chicken breasts, four of them were smaller. There are not amounts, since you can adjust it. If I were serving adults, I would have one larger chicken breast for each.

Here is the "recipe"...
Chicken- Tenders or Breasts
Eggs, beaten (we used 2-3)
Italian style breadcrumbs
Olive oil
Spaghetti Sauce (we use Prego Roasted Garlic & Parmesan)
Shredded Mozzerella
Grated Parmesan (from the can)
Before cooking in the oven...
Place eggs in one pie plate, and breadcrumbs in another. Dip chicken in egg, then in crumbs. Pan sear it in olive oil- about 1/4" in the bottom of a pan. Keep temp not too high- med high at most, til it sizzles. Bake a few minutes on each side until golden brown.

Lay the chicken in a prepared pan or dish, with a layer of spaghetti sauce first. Drizzle the olive oil from the pan into the dish. Spread grated mozzarella, then more spaghetti sauce, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: We did this for 4-6 breasts, and we poked the chicken breast that was the largest with our meat thermometer. It was not quite done, so we put it back in a few more minutes. Be sure to check the doneness of your chicken. There's nothing like too-pink chicken to spoil a meal!
My youngest at our fancy dinner table, ready to eat!
We served the Chicken Parmesan over pasta, and had roasted asparagus (find recipe here) instead of a salad. We also had crunchy bread to complete the meal. The kids were excited that we broke out the sparkling cider!

Flavors all mingled, melty cheese=YUM!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

American Girl class: Addy Week 4

This week in class, we talked about the book Happy Birthday, Addy! Addy did not have a birthday, since many slaves did not know the day that they were born. Addy chose a special day to be her birthday, which was the day that the war ended-- April 9!

In the book, Addy received a few surprises for her birthday, and one of them was a jump rope from her friend. We discussed jump rope and "Double Dutch". A few of the girls had done that before. I wished we had time to try it during class!

One of the featured crafts in Addy's Craft Book is a Hobby Horse. (or Stick Horse, as we call them!) The pattern in the book was a little more complicated that the one that we made. Our horse had a man's crew sock for a head! We also used white felt for the ears, buttons for the eyes, and brown yarn for the mane. We bought one 5/8" wood dowel that was 36" long for each girl. We bought a cap for the end of each dowel, which we found at the craft store (actually 2 stores to get enough!) in the wood aisle, they are used for doll heads. We used hot glue to put some of it together, and a needle and thread for the button eyes. They turned out really cute! You can find a more detailed pattern here.
 Sewing on the button eyes...
Putting on the yarn for the mane...

The girl on the right is mixing up the ice and cream for snack in a bag...

 The 2:00 class...
Sewing on the eyes...

Sewing on the yarn mane...

For snack, we made ice cream in a bag. To make it easier on our volunteer moms, and to save time, I had two bags of ice cream for each class. The recipe shows how to make one bag for each child, using ziploc bags. We had this snack because in the book, Addy and her father found a broken ice cream freezer in the trash, and they fixed it. Then they had ice cream on her birthday! This snack was a big hit!

It was a delightful day, fun to celebrate our character Addy's birthday! (and Valentine's Day!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Valentine's party 2012!

We had our homeschool Valentine's Day party at our church this past Monday. We had a great time getting together with friends, playing games, and sharing lunch. We also exchanged Valentines, decorated cookies and enjoyed fellowship! Thanks for coming, friends!

Enjoy the pics!
Playing Conversation Heart Bingo! 

Exchanging Valentines...
Looking at Valentines...

We decorated Heart shaped cookies....
The girls loved chatting and decorating!

And this is what the boys were doing!
The whole group at the end!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friendship Riddles

These are some riddles that we used when I taught Pre-K classes at a local preschool. The teacher that I worked with always had clever ideas like this, to get kids to think of rhyming words and words that would fit in a sentence, as beginning reading tactics. She would write these on strips and put them in a sentence strip board. She would outline one word in a color, and that was the color the kids needed to rhyme with... I will highlight it below in red. The italicized words in parenthesis are not included for the children, only for you as teacher! You could use these with your own kids or if you're a teacher, at school!

Riddle 1
Some food in on the table
A friend is standing back.
You walk up to her and say
Let's go share our _________.      (snack)

Riddle 2
Looking sad and lonely
Your friend sits on the rug. 
Since you want to cheer him up
You offer him a __________.       (hug)

Riddle 3
You have two robots in your hand
You see a watching boy.
Now you could play alone or say,
"I'd like to share this __________."  (toy)

Riddle 4
A girl is sitting in a two-seat swing
looking sad and blue.
You think, "I'd like to be her friend."
You say, "I'll swing with __________."  (you)

Riddle 5
You really wish that doll was yours,
Now help your friends to learn.
Would it be best to grab, or say
"Could I please have a __________?"  (turn)

Riddle 6
Just one more time, think hard and say
the words to answer this:
To show you are a friend you can
Give your friend a __________.       (kiss)

I really enjoy getting my kids to think in this creative way, and also gets them to think about ways to be a friend, which is great around Valentine's Day! We can talk about these things with our children, to teach them kindness and love!

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. "Ephesians 4:32

Monday, February 13, 2012

Music Monday: "All About Love"

Several years ago, one of my favorite artists, Steven Curtis Chapman made a CD of love songs for his wife. He even covered the song "500 Miles (I'm gonna Be)" by Bare Naked Ladies. He has a variety of songs, from the questioning song, "How Do I Love Her?" to the sweet ballad, "I Will Be Here", which Joshua sung at our wedding! It is one of my favorite CDs to enjoy each February! This song is a jamming, upbeat song, and I hope you'll take a listen to it!

All About Love- Steven Curtis Chapman
You can listen to this song on YouTube here.

We've got CDs, tapes and videos, radios and TV shows
Conferences, retreats and seminars
We've got books and magazines to read on everything from A to Z
And a web to surf from anywhere we are
But I hope with all this information buzzing through our brains
That we will not let our hearts forget the most important thing is

Love love love love love's all about
Love love love love love
Everything else comes down to this
Nothing any higher on the list than love
It's all about love

Now they're fighting in the Middle East and they're fighting down on 7th street
And there are fights in my own house on given days
It's like something's lurking deep inside that can't seem to be satisfied
But life was not meant to be lived this way
'Cause it's true for every man and woman, every boy and girl
That our only hope for living here together in this world is ...

Love love love love love's all about
Love love love love love
Everything else comes down to this
Nothing any higher on the list than love

This is the reason we were made
To know the love of our creator
And to give the love He's given us away
Yeah, the Maker and the Father and the God of everything
He says to ...

Love love love ... He says love love love
Love love love ... 'cause after all it's all about love
God says ...

Love love love love love's all about
Love love love love love
Everything else comes down to this
Nothing any higher on the list than love
'cause after all it's all about love

Lyrics found here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stir-Fry Ham with Raisins recipe

Who doesn't love a good stir-fry? A little Oriental food is one area that I tend to neglect in my menu planning, but when I do slip it in, it is a taste-sensation and surprise!

This recipe is from our church cookbook, and an older woman in church submitted this recipe. It sounds a bit unusual, but I really like the combination of sweet, crunchy and salty.

Stir-Fry Ham with Raisins

1 large onion, cut in wedges
2 large stalks celery
1 small green pepper, cut in chunks
1/2 lb. ham (cut in fingers)
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange peel

Cook ham quickly in hot oil until it begins to brown. Add vegetables and raisins. Cook, stirring about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch mixed with soy sauce, juice and peel. Cook, stirring until sauce clears and thickens, and veggies are crisp tender. Serve over rice. Serves 4. *May use turkey ham.

When I did this recently, I didn't have orange juice, so I juiced an orange, and it worked well. I also didn't have cornstarch (where did it go?!) so I omitted it, and the recipe still tasted wonderful.

Let me know if you try it, I'd love to hear your review!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

American Girl class: Addy Week 3

We had another fun Addy class this Tuesday!

We made Shadow Puppets, from a pattern I found in Addy's Craft Book. We traced, cut them and decorated them. Then each girl got three dowels to hold them, one on each arm and one in the center. I bought 36" lengths of 1/8' dowels, and my hubby helped me trim them each into thirds, so they were all about 12" in length. Then we taped them onto the body parts. I also gave the girls each three mini-brads (found in the scrapbook section of the craft store). They punched holes and put the brads in to make joints, and hold the arms together. The dolls were decorated with colored pencils. I thought about trying to decorate them with fabric and ribbons, but I was worried that would take too much time. It took more time than I thought with the girls just coloring them! The girls were even giving them names...They turned out cute!
tracing the dolls...
coloring the dolls and putting in brads...
All done!
For snack we had Sweet Potato Pudding-- it was yummy! You can find the recipe here. Almost all of the girls really liked this snack. It reminded me of Thanksgiving, but a little sweeter than what I usually make!

We also"made" fleece scarves. Each girl got one length of 42" X 6" piece of fleece. They didn't require much work, only trimming the ends into fringe and tying the fringe (if they wanted). Addy saw a red scarf in the book that she wanted for her mother, so this is similar to that! It seemed fitting to have a new red cozy scarf right before Valentine's Day! 
Trimming their scarves...

 The 2:00 class...

tracing and cutting their dolls...

Coloring her doll with her own markers!
Taping on the dowels...
Cutting the scarves....

It was quite the enjoyable day! We didn't get to work on our braided rugs, with the two crafts. I don't know that we'll have time next week either!

We are now halfway done with Addy already. I'm glad the girls have been enjoying the books. :-D
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