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Archive for October, 2009

These were so good! Keagan and I baked some Sunflower Seed Butter cookies yesterday. These are free of many major allergens, though if you can’t eat egg, you would have to use a substitute.
I pieced together a few recipes to try and make a gluten free peanut free alternative to a peanut butter cookie. Here’s what I came up with:

1 cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or you could use basic sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 for about 10 min.

These were seriously so delicious. A lot of allergen free alternative are good, but can leave you wanting the real thing. I liked these better than “real” peanut butter cookies.

Keagan had a lot of fun helping. Or should I say stirring the sunbutter, stealing the spoon and running to the living room to hide.

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He really did enjoy the whole process. I always try to distract him when I cook and I know everyone always says to include the kids and how much they learn from it, but it just always stressed me out. I realized yesterday it was no big deal and was more fun for both of us. I see a lot of baking together in our future.

Eden kept herself busy with some ribbon while we baked. She’s not quite ready for baking 🙂
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Naptimes’s over, so this blog is too 😉

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Keagan had a blast with this activity. I cut out four head shapes, several sets of eyes, noses, random shapes, mouths, hair etc in multiple colors and had Keagan create “monsters.” It was a great Halloween craft for him because in addition to being fun, it reinforced his knowledge of shapes (circle nose, oval head etc) and colors and also spatial reasoning. I was surprised how accurately he placed the pieces on the faces.(Excluding one upside down eyebrow, of which he was quite proud.)
I think we’ll repeat it again later… we could make silly turkeys, snowmen, etc.
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The past week or so has really been a blast with Keagan. I told you all before about Keagan’s Halloween Faeries. Well I’ve been having to come up with gifts for him each night ever since he decided that the Halloween gift exchange with the faeries was not just a one night thing. We were sick last week and I decided a few store bought (wood and made in the US) toys wouldn’t kill us. He really loved the wooden top and airplane. He did forget a few nights and that helped me as a tired sick mama. Last night, we ran out of store bought toys and were back to making them again.

I wanted to make him a plush monster as he’s really loved monsters lately and they don’t have to look perfect. I also wanted it to be small so I could use my scrap felt. My wonderful husband got in on the whole project. He cut and sewed the original shape and then told me how he wanted the eyes and mouth to look. I attached the eyes and mouth with sloppy (on purpose this time haha) embrodery.I was up into the wee hours of the morning finishing “silly monster” (as Keagan has been calling him) but the look on Keagan’s face when he saw it sitting under our “faerie tree” made it all worth it.

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So sweet!

I will be glad when Halloween is done so I can get back to my Christmas crafting. I love doing this, but I know I have so much to get done. Ido think I will have a helper for that now, as my sweet husband seems to have caught the crafting bug. How can you not love creating for the ones you love?

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I Won a Blog-Award!

Lisa from Retro Housewife Goes  Green nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thanks, Lisa!

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The ‘rules’ for the award are listed below:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name seven things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven “Kreativ Bloggers.”
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Seven Things No One Would Really Know About Me:

1. I chipped my left front tooth on a toilet when I was seven.

2. My living room walls are primed, but not painted yet. We’re painting them green.

3. If Keagan had been a girl, his name would have been Ella Grace.

4. If Eden had been a boy, her name would have been Kai Agape.

5. As much as I love the Pacific Northwest, I long to live somewhere warmer.

6. I think we’re done having kids. But I am not promising I won’t change my mind 6 months or 6 years from now.

7. I love music, but I am so musically untalented it’s not funny, in spite of the fact that I paid money for private voice and piano lessons.

Seven “Kreativ Bloggers”

1.Rosie

2.Chasing Cheerios

3.Craft Scmaft

4. One Pretty Thing

5.Start Sewing!

6.Future Girl

7.You Go Girl!

Thanks again, Lisa for the award!

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So in yesterday’s post, I told  you that Keagan and I made a paper chain to count down to Halloween and that I’d explained to Keagan that when all the chains were gone, we’d put on a costume, go out and get candy for the faeries and we’d leave it under our “faerie tree” where he’s told me they live and the next day, he’d have a gift from them. Keagan seemed excited and it seemed like he understood (he’s 2.5 if you’re not a regular reader)

Well last night, we tore a link off the chain while getting ready for bed. Then Keagan’s eyes lit up and he said “Let’s go give the faeries their present!” and ran to the front door. I stood there, in that moment knowing that I could either a) crush is happy little idea and have a toddler who would be angry with me until Halloween when we would be giving the faeries their present (candy) in exchange for some goodies or b) Allow it and know that I’d have almost two weeks of small gifts to come up with, thus creating a tradition that puts Halloween in competition with Chanukah for holiday with the most days of gift giving.

I chose b. The world needs more magic. So Keagan ran out the front door gleefully and called out “Hey faeries! Look! I have present for you!” We placed his paper chain under a pile of pinecones and I told him the faeries would take it while he was sleeping. “And bring Keagan a present!” (this was a statement, not a question) “Yes and they’ll bring you a present,” I said, wheels turning in my head. What on Earth would I give him?

Hubby suggested the woodland elf hat in “Bend the Rules Sewing” by Amy Karol of Angry Chicken. We have the wool felt on hand for that.  But I’ve been planning on giving that to him the day after Halloween, when he was feeding the faeries his trick or treat candy. Plus, if I start with something that big,  it’s going to be hard to make it fun every day.  And I didn’t feel like sewing a hat.

So I thought about what we have laying around the house. Lots of toliet paper rolls. I save them compulsivly, because I think we can use them for craft projects. Probably because I feel guilty that we haven’t switched over to using cloth instead of paper yet. Anyway, we have a ton of those. Could I color it? Too cheesy. Make a necklace? Maybe.  Then I got the idea to make a telescope to see the faeries better.

We have a lot of felt from various projects I over bought for, so I wrapped the felt around two tubes (one stuffed into the other) and cut the fabric. Then I wanted to use fabric glue to make it stay, but I couldn’t find it. So I decided I’d duct tape it in place. haha. Then I decided to embroider his name on it. The embroidery hoop was dangerously close to the sleeping baby and I didn’t have time to wash off any fabric markers, so it was totally free form and pretty sloppy.  Oh well. Then I added the leaves because I thought it made it look more faerie like. All in all, I don’t think it turned out too terribly for a  tired rushed project with limited supplies on hand.

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Keagan seems quite pleased with it. Now I just have to come up with something for every night for the rest of October.

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Looking at him and thinking of the fun that we could have with this tradition, I think it’s worth it 🙂 I will, however, start the Halloween chain much later next October.

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For the next two weeks Keagan’s homeschool theme is Halloween. We started today and we’re both already having a lot of fun!

Since we’re still going to do some letter work the next two weeks, we started with an “h” collage this morning.  Then we read three books to fit our letter theme, “Harry Hungry!” by Stephen Salerno, “Hippos Go Berserk” by Sandra Boynton (one of our favorite authors around here!) and “Halloween Kitten” by Mary Packard. The latter we found at the thrift shop for only a quarter- and it still had two sheets of stickers in it. I used it  as an into our Halloween activities.  After we finished the book, I wrote “Happy Halloween” on orange construction paper and Keagan used the stickers from the book to make a collage.  He loves sticker collages, but we don’t do them often as I think stickers are pretty wasteful. But hey, they came with the book, so we went for it. 🙂

After that, I cut some ghost shapes out. Keagan glued them on to black construction paper and then drew faces on them. I think they came out pretty cute. I’m also really happy that he’s stopped being afraid of ghosts. I contribute this to another thrift store find, a copy of “Gus was a Friendly Ghost” by Jane Thayer.  He’s insisted that I read it to him every day, several times a day since we picked it up last week.

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After that, we made a paper chain as a countdown to Halloween. Keagan loves to use gluesticks, so this was great for him.We talked about how we’d rip one link off every night from now until Halloween and then he’d go trick or treating. I explained to him that he’d dress up and get candy for the faeries and he’d get a gift the next day. He said “that’s right, Mama,” so I guess he’s on board with the idea of swapping candy for whatever a faerie might bring him.

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He’s napping now, but later on I am sure we’ll be back at it. I’d like to come up with a baking/cooking project he can help with that actually looks Halloween-y. I am not sure if we’ll come by it. We recently had dairy added to the list of things he can’t eat (a food already avoided for the household, but not strictly restricted previously for Keagan) and it seems that so many of the cutesy Halloween foods use cream cheese or sour cream etc. Maybe I can make goat’s cheese work.

Homeschooling has become so much fun with a holiday theme. I can’t wait for Christmastime. I am thinking all of December will be devoted to Christmas. There’s just so many possibilities and since we get to make our own timeline at home, I think we should embrace the joy of the season.

Well off to enjoy what’s left of naptime with my very awake six month old. I’ll leave you with Keagan’s art wall, something of which he’s oh so very proud.

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Since we can’t have virtually any prepackaged candies, I thought I’d look for some fun recipes for Halloween. We are soy, gluten, dairy, shellfish, nut and citrus free. We also avoid high fructose syrup. So there’s just not much left  for us to eat without going through extra efforts, especially when we want to celebrate.

It seems fairly easy to have Halloween treats if all you’re avoiding is gluten, by the way.  It seems that all Tootsie and Jelly Belly products are gluten free.  I also found this list of gluten free candies.  Since only my husband could eat those snacks, I found options our whole family (well those of us with teeth) can enjoy.

Sunbutter Cups and Popcorn Balls

We’ll roast pumpkin seeds.

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I’m going to try to make caramel apples using this caramel sauce recipe. I have no clue if it will work or not, but you have to try things out to learn. 🙂

I’ll probably just make soup and gluten free bread that night, and maybe use a cookie cutter to cut the bread into pumpkin shapes. Keagan loves pumpkins. 🙂

It’s funny. I never cared about Halloween one way or another, but now that I have kids (and that one is old enough to enjoy this all…) I am so excited about it. I’m decorating and making costumes. I’m planning silly meals and trying to figure out age appropriate activities for the day. It’s a lot of fun! I love that kids bring back the joy of celebration. I just want to make their world a little more special… a little more magical. And I know I am creating memories to last a lifetime. How great is that? I have a feeling that the time  from now through the new year will be filled with so much joy. I can’t wait!

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