Summer Vacation — Banana Bread

April 22nd, 2014

Due to Paul’s determination to finish his schoolwork by Easter (doubling up his schoolwork last week to finish on  Friday, rather than finishing school the end of this week), we are in our first week of summer vacation.  The kids are playing an incredible amount of time, most of it outdoors.  My high goals of teaching them how to really work this summer have not gotten very far.


Another one of my goals for this summer is to teach my kids how to cook and bake (or at least have them do it alongside me so they can begin learning how to do it).  We did start on that today.


All four of them made banana bread.  It was pretty easy to have Marie and Rachel occupied peeling and mashing the bananas while Paul and Hannah were measuring out the dry ingredients.


After that part was done, they all had about a 5-10 minute recess outside while I regrouped (put away all the dry stuff and got out the wet stuff).  Then they all took turns putting in sugars, flavorings, and so on.


Cracking the eggs is the most-anticipated and prized part of any baking operation for the kids.  They kept asking when they could do the eggs.  Since we were using 12 eggs, each one got to do three.


I got out four bowls, and each person had to crack their eggs (one at a time, emptying between eggs) into the bowl and then pour it into the main bowl.


I helped Rachel, who was very eager to crack eggs.  After the first one was almost totally on the counter, she managed to get the rest of them into the bowl.  We did have to have a major hand-washing and counter-cleaning session after the eggs.  I purposely saved those for the last ingredient to add to the wets bowls.


Then came the second most exciting time–running the beaters.


It was a thrilling experience.


(Katie, notice that the girls are wearing the aprons you made?)



Marie was waiting her turn to run the beaters.






I think I’ve got some good electric beater managers in my house.


IMG_3346We have enjoyed some wonderful banana bread this afternoon and evening.  I let Paul and Hannah do pretty much all of the measuring on their own.  I had to tell myself that these could have some minor variations, and it wouldn’t make that much difference.  The amount of sugar and flour and cinnamon and so on is probably a wide range on a continuum, but the banana bread tasted great and my bakers took a step forward in their skills.

(Since this was the only project we did today, I’ve decided we won’t do a baking project every day!)

A New Princess

April 14th, 2014

“Inside every girl is a princess.”

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Hannah told me that someone told her that, but she can’t remember who it was.  She explained that made her realize she didn’t have to have long hair in order to be a princess.


I was extremely surprised when Hannah told me on Saturday that she wanted a short haircut.  She wanted it cut off right at her ears.


I gently persuaded her to start with a short haircut that was a bit longer, like maybe as long as mine.


She so badly wanted me to cut it right then and there, on Saturday evening.  I assured her we were waiting until the next week when the beauty shop would be open.  Plus, I told her to think about it for a couple days to make sure that’s what she wanted to do.  Sunday she still wanted short hair.  So in the afternoon, we looked a pictures of short haircuts for girls online, and she found one she really liked.  Andrew put it on my phone, and today we went to the beauty shop, showed the lady the picture, and Hannah underwent a transformation!



The new princess is almost finished!



Rachel Anne didn’t take in this adventure (she was napping at home), but Marie enjoyed watching the process.


Paul did some watching, but also read the history book.


One of the big things Hannah has talked about ever since saying she wanted short hair was being able to fix her own hair.  She has asked me several times if I was sure she could fix her own hair every day.  I assured her she could.


When we got home, the first thing she did was fix her hair!  I think it’s positively cute and lovely.


I’m also thrilled to have her taking care of her own hair.  I am sad to admit that a lot of days, if we weren’t going away from home, I just never got around the combing it.  The poor girl has suffered.


I have assured Hannah that if she changes her mind and wants long hair again, it will grow.


Right now, she is happy to be bouncing around outside with her short curls.