Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Best Quiche!

Believe it or not, I forgot to take a picture of this before we devoured it! This was the leftover half-piece. This is called My Best Quiche because it is the only quiche I have ever made. We all liked it. I had seen a bacon and spinich quiche recipe in a magazine, then couldn't find it after I had all the ingredients assembled. This recipe is cobbled together from several internet visits and my own instincts.

My Best Quiche

1 uncooked pie crust
1/2 lb. of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 lg. onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped or 1/8 tsp. dried, diced garlic
6-8 oz. fresh spinich (one bag)
4 large eggs
1 1/3 c. half and half
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 c. shredded cheddar, divided

Line a deep dish pie pan or quiche pan with pie pastry. Brown bacon and reserve 2 Tbsp. bacon fat. Cook onion in fat 8 min. until transparent. Add garlic and spinich. Cover and steam 3-5 min., stirring once. Whisk eggs in bowl, blend in half and half, mustard and spices. Spread vegetable mixture in bottom of pie shell. Sprinkle 1/2 of each cheese and 1/2 of crumbled bacon over the vegetables. Gently ladle egg mixture over vegetables. Top with other half of cheeses and bacon. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 min. until firm and lightly browned. Let cool 10 min and serve, or serve cold. Serves 6.

Easter Cantata

Daughter A. was in an Easter cantata last Sunday. It was very good! Several area churches joined to put it on. She is right under the purple banner on the first picture. My brother is in the blue shirt in the front row (grey beard), and my sister-in-law is in the red shirt in the front row (looking down) in the second picture. Several others from our church were in it also.


Haiku is Japanese poetry with 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. In English, the syllables are sometimes in a 3, 5, 3 pattern.

The girls are doing haikus in Mrs. Kane's Poetry (Shakespeare) classes. Daughter L. did these last week, about three of her favorite things.


Flat-footed dancer
Graceful, thrilling, cold, fluid
Fast , fun, fantastic.


Climb, calm, comforting
Limbs enfold, rocking, swaying
Lounging with the birds.


Tomes, tales, pages, words
Cozy, steady companion
History, fiction

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Broken Arm Club

We got a picture of Daughter L. and Cousin Brittney on Sunday with their broken elbow/wrist. They both broke them snowboarding-two weeks apart. Ironically, on the day L. broke her elbow, I had the children's sermon at church and it was called "The Broken Arm Club." I feel a little guilty.

Even damaged, Brit can take on A. with her wiry strength. (The were just being silly!)

Are We Old Yet?

Some of us vowed to each other that we would not fall into the trap of being "old" and talking about bodily functions and recent operations. So what did we talk about at a recent YMW (couples club) supper? How we can't eat after a certain time at night and still be able to sleep. And then we discussed antacids. We talked about recent operations, but they were our kids's.

We also talked about taking photos on our cell phones. This led to looking at everyone's pictures. We discovered that one brother (the blond one) had over 100 blurry cell phone pictures that he had never deliberately taken. Apparently his hip takes them for him while he works. Time to delete, Brother!
So apparently, we are only partially on our way to old. Middle age in this century.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shearing Sheep

M. went to Friend Ann's house yesterday to watch them shear their sheep. I wonder what kind of a world we are living in when the farm kid has to go to the lawyer's kid's house to pick eggs and shear sheep?

Two by W.

Top: Daughter W. made another chalk pastel last week, in the O'Keeffe tradition. ( I did the preliminary sketching.)

Next two: Her co-op classroom is doing poetry this year. They always have a fun poem and a project with it, then they do Science in a Bag. This Easter magnet was this week's project. We might have to make more. Thanks Mrs. J and Mrs. S.

Hosanna in the Highest!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cross and Crown Art

My practice/example sheets.

I developed this project after seeing an art piece on the cover of our church devotional. It is called Blood of My Lord by Korean artist Byong Hwa Son. The crown of thorns struck me and I wanted to figure out a meaningful Easter project featuring it. This was very exciting and successful project for me and my classes.

Here is the process. You need:
black paper
white glue
chalk pastels

The first week we used glue to "draw" a crown of thorns at the top third of the page and let it dry. Because our class periods are short, I pre-drew circles (butter/margarine tub sized) for each student. (I used white pencil here for clarity.)
In class I showed them how to draw a wavy line following the penciled-in circle. Another wavy line was drawn over the first, weaving in and out. Lines should wave gently and stay separated from each other a little so the glue lines will not run into each other when "drawn" on. (Still in white pencil below.)

Using the tip of a glue bottle like a pencil (touching the paper) and pulling bottle away from the line of glue, draw over the wavy lines with a thin bead of glue. (Leave the original guide circle plain.) Add thorns randomly to the vine lines by pulling the glue out from the lines or adding more glue with the glue bottle tip.I did this project with 4-6th graders, but you could make the crown of thorns ahead of time yourself for younger kids.

The second week, (after the glue dried) we sketched a cross across the crown of thorns with chalk pastels and colored in. I offered the kids some copies of clip-art cross styles for reference. I made them use only pastels for drawing, no pencils. When instructing the class in drawing their crosses, I showed them how to draw a "skeleton" (one vertical line and one horizontal line) of the cross before filling it in and shaping it. This helps with correct placement and size on the paper before committing to a lot of drawing details. The kids should put down major colors first in the cross and background and then add details.

We worked on light source and shading for the crosses, highlighting one side with a lighter color and shading the opposite side with a darker color. The shining rays behind the cross need at least three colors; the main color chosen, then one lighter and one darker color. This gives depth and definition. Most kids did the "rays", but some went in their own design direction. (See earlier post.)

Draw right over the dried glue. When drawing is done, gently clean the crown of thorns a bit by wiping lightly with a finger or tissue. We sprayed the finished projects with hair spray as a fixative.

Classroom tips for using chalk pastels:
Push up sleeves. Use paint shirts if desired.
Cover tables for easy clean-up
Kids should not blow chalk dust-carry it to the garbage and gently dump extra chalk off.
Do not dump chalk dust on the floor or tables.
Blend with fingers or tissue.
Wet rags at each table aid in keeping hands clean(er)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Airing the Arm

Rest and recuperation.

Crown of Thorns

I know the number of pictures in this post is a bit excessive, but every week I am more and more pleased with the 19 kids in my two homeschool co-op art classes. This week every one of them did such a great job I had to show everyone's picture. This Easter project was fun, simple and satisfying. The top picture is my daughter M's.

Into the Splint

Wednesday we went into L's one week post-op orthopedic appointment. They removed the half-cast and we saw the incision for the first time (I'll spare you.) After x-rays, she was fitted for a splint and given physical therapy exercises to do. She is happy to be able to remove the splint for showers and exercises.

One Blue Toe

We watched Miss Olive yesterday. The cousins had to do nails. She knew which colors she wanted for which toes. Her last request was "one blue toe!" (When we undressed her feet to do them, she had purple marker on each toe. She was quite proud of her "markering!" )