Monday, September 20, 2010

Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

IMG_0401[1] This morning Em made some very yummy pancakes for breakfast. They are the Healthy Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes from the cookbook Getting Thin and Loving Food by Kathleen Daelemans. She used to have a show on Food Network and I enjoyed her healthy spin on good food.

The neat things about these pancakes are they are filling and can be eaten without butter and syrup. If you feel the need to put something on them try some natural peanut butter.


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats ( not instant)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Combine both flours, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Place egg white, brown sugar, buttermilk, and yogurt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. Add rolled oats, apples, raisins, walnuts, and dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Spoon pancake batter by heaping tablespoonfuls around pan until you can’t fit any more. Let cook until bubbly and lightly brown. Turn and continue cooking just until lightly brown on the other side. Continue with remaining batter.

We put a bowl of raisins on the table, since some of us (yes, me), don’t like raisins in things. We wrap our leftover pancakes individually in syran wrap and then put them all in a big ziploc and toss in the freezer. You can heat these up in the toaster or microwave later.

These go really quickly around here:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Day Of School Pictures


Last week was our first day of school. We had just returned home from a month long trip in Houston, where it was the hottest summer on record.  Not really where you want to be when they are breaking those kind of records. So imagine our surprise when we went outside to take our school pictures, we had to run back inside to grab our sweaters.  Love that panhandle of Texas weather.





Emma Lu starts the 5th grade this year. (Emma Lu is not her real name, but for some reason I have started calling her this.)






This is Soph who is starting the 3rd grade. She is threatening to outgrow us all this year.






IMG_7736 (2)And here is my baby, sweet Little One.  She is starting Pre-K this year. She is 3 and ready for math, spelling, and work.  She repeats this to me everyday.

Last year we named our school Where The Red Yucca Grows:IMG_7738

This year Soph asked if we could implement a uniform policy.  You know, so we don’t have to pick out our clothes each day.  I’m not sure what kind of school I am running here, but I sure do love it!

Linked to:


Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Break Is Here!

The lazy days of summer are upon us!
Okay, so even though it is summer we all know the learning doesn't stop, nor does the craziness. It just takes on a more relaxed attitude. But for this summer I'm going to take a little break from the homeschool part of my blog. The girls are busy writing in their nature journals, having garden parties in the side yard, and naming all of their toads. I'm busy trying to keep up with the garden and yard work that has suddenly burst upon me with the warm weather.

But never fear you can catch up with many of our happenings at my Home and Garden blog or check in on my writing progress at my original Eskimo Kisses blog. Please stop by and tell us what you are up to this summer as well!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flowering Treasures And Another Backyard Lesson

Last post I wrote about how spring is in the air. And it is! We’ve been getting lots of needed rain recently, so this spring the wildflowers are popping up all over the place. In fact, we don't mow in many parts of our yard because we want to enjoy the blanket of vibrant colors that cover our lawn.

I'm always amazed by these native plants and how beautiful they are. People call them weeds and I have to laugh because I see some very expensive weeds for sale in the nurseries around town! Anyway, a few days ago our girls were over at a neighbors house and discovered one of the flowers when pulled had a very garlicky odor. They came home all excited because they had seen the same flowers in our yard. Em said that our friends called it wild garlic.

Today they went out hiking along the far side of our property and came back carrying these pretty flowers.

Sure enough, they have a very pungent garlicky odor along the cut stems. This made us question whether or not they could be eaten. We decided to do a little research and discovered they are actually part of the allium family. This one in particular is Allium Drummondii, also known as Drummond’s onion.

The Native Americans used to gather these and use the bulb that is found at the end of the plant as an onion. They would cook it with their meats. It needs to be cooked, apparently for awhile, because it contains a substance that could upset your stomach if eaten raw.

So my girls have entered another page in their nature journal. We are constantly amazed by what our little piece of land provides homes for.

Do you have any favorite “weeds”?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Is In The Air


homeblog IMG_1068a

Spring is in the air here at Cotton-Top Hills.  My girls love the wildflowers popping up around the place.


They also enjoy watching the wildlife.  Recently, we have been sitting at our front window each morning watching all the birds coming and going.  They are quick to notice the birds are coming in pairs. 

 IMG_6854 sept.07 026

This always starts some interesting discussions.  They talk about how the quail, for instance, come in their little coveys through the fall and winter, but as the weather warms they begin to pair off.  They watch as males scare off potential suitors  and feel sorry for the single quail without a mate.   IMG_6847

As the weather gets warmer they know to watch for the sun loving reptiles that start stirring.

IMG_3671IMG_1645Em came across a Horny  Toad the other day, which is one of our favorites. They are really very sweet, I promise!

Enjoy the sweet days of Spring and all the learning experiences they provide.

Do your kids have a favorite bird?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Little One's Entries To Webster

When young couples I know are expecting I love to tell them that they are about to have the best entertainment they could possibly imagine. They usually stare at me blankly, not understanding that the life they created is about to arrive in this world full of their own built in entertainment factor.

From the first coo to the gassy smiles we become enraptured. Suddenly Oprah is lost in the background, as we focus on our little one and anxiously call our husbands each time she does something amazing. Like sucking on her toes. Surely toe sucking is a sign of future gymnastic abilities, right? Their baby years are so full of new and exciting accomplishments that mom and dad can just sit on the couch and stare at their baby for hours. Not once wishing they were at the movies or watching the latest CSI program.

But it only gets better because one day they will start to talk. The world that they have absorbed silently for the first couple of years of their life will suddenly emerge in words and sentences. Let the fun begin, because you will constantly be amazed and humored by what comes out of their mouths. I've tried to jot down some of the ramblings of all three of my girls at this age.

Little One just turned 3 and she is chock full of neat sayings. Partly, I think, because she has two sisters ages 7 and 10 who talk a lot. She listens to what they have to say and then puts her own spin on things sometimes.

I just thought I'd share her latest entries for Webster. Honestly, I think these words have a good chance of making it in, don't you?

High-heeled Chair - noun the elevated chair with a tray that babies sit in to eat.
"Mom remember when I was a baby and sat in that high-heeled chair?"

Cold pink- adj. a pastel color which is the opposite of hot pink
"Mom, my toes are a cold pink and yours are hot pink."

Risers- noun steps that lead to another level
"Do they have risers at their house? You know, like at our house. Those things that raise you to the upstairs."

Sharps- noun kitchen utensil that is used to slice through objects
"Mom, are you going to use the sharps to cut that apple?"

These are just a few of the words she comes up with? I love it because it tells me she is constantly observing the world around her. She is making comparisons and not letting her limits of vocabulary stop her from expressing herself. Who wouldn't be fascinated and entertained by this?

Does your little one have some memorable words that we need to enter into Websters?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

First Communion Weekend


This weekend we celebrated my 2nd child’s First Communion.  Both sets of grandparents flew in for the celebration and an uncle.  It was a day filled with blessings as we watched Soph take the next step in her spiritual journey.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Owl Pellet Fun

As part of our owl unit I ordered owl pellets from a company in California that had barn owl pellets. I also ordered a little guide book that not only gave information on the owls but had skeletal pictures of many of the rodents and birds they ate.

The owl pellets are sterilized and come wrapped in foil. They say you can dissect them dry or moist. All I can add is that when these pellets are moist they are very stinky, so we did ours dry. We just used toothpicks to gently take the pellet apart.

The girls were amazed by the number of bones we found in each pellet. Several skulls were identified as mice and shrews.
We had a skeletal drawing of a mouse that the girls could look at to identify hip bones, leg bones, ribs, etc. Even my three year old enjoyed this activity. When we were finished my girls glued the bones to a piece of paper. For older children, or if you have more time you can try to reconstruct an entire rodent with the bones you find.
This fit into our discussion about food chains and owls perfectly. I'm so glad we did this!
We did this activity the night before leaving on our spring break trip so we didn't get to spend too much time on it. We will pick up more activities to do when we get back to school.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Owl Babies Activity

We are continuing on with our Owl unit study this week as we continue to watch Molly the Owl.

Yesterday we read Owl Babies:

It is a cute book about three owlets waiting for their Momma to return from hunting. We decided to make a counting book. We got the idea from here.

We had so much fun gathering twigs, stamping our thumbprints and putting the book together. My older girls enjoyed helping Little One during this preschool activity.

The first page of our book.

We went all the way up to five for our little book.

I wanted to show you some pictures from our last owl activity. Please note that I found mistakes on the definition page as I mentioned at the end of last post. Sorry about that!

Our chart on producers, consumers, and decomposers.
Our vocabulary flashcards.

Soph's life cycle: flower, Caterpillar, mole, and Molly.

Em's life cycle: tree, ladybug, possum, Molly, mushrooms. (hers is a circle of life)

Our owl pellets arrived so stay tuned for some dissecting fun!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Molly The Owl And Food Chain Lesson

My family has been watching Molly the Barn Owl live since she laid her eggs. It has been fascinating to watch the eggs hatch, see her mate bring her food, watch her eat, and even cough up owl pellets. It's amazing how much we have learned. We can now distinguish her call which tells her babies it's time to eat from her call to her mate. A homeschool has even been developed in Yahoo groups since so many homeschoolers were watching her during the day.

So I've decided to put together some curriculum to go along with all we've been learning about owls. Today the girls and I are going to start a lesson on food chains. Since I have a 2nd grader and a 4th grader I'm going to try to aim this lesson at both of them.

First we are going to define producers, consumers, and decomposers in the food chain. I made up some flashcards here . Feel free to use mine or make your own. Next thing we are going to do is go through pictures of magazines and have the girls make a chart of each of these "characters" in the chain. My preschooler will love helping with the finding of pictures in the magazine and she can make her own collage.

Next we are going to discuss food chains and have the girls draw or use their pictures to put together a food chain. This website has wonderful information about food chains as well as some fun games the kids can play. I found another website that has word searches, crosswords, and card games dealing with the food chain for the older child.

I'll post pictures tomorrow of all our activities. I ordered owl pellets yesterday to dissect so tune in for that fun lesson soon!

*Correction on the worksheets I made. The definition for consumer and producers need to be switched. When we were editing and moving things around the definitions got switched I am so sorry!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sweet Alligator Cupcake Cake!

My Little One turns 3 next Friday, but we are having a little Kindermusik birthday party for her tomorrow. She picked out Diego party plates and decorations because she loves anything to do with animals. Next, her 10 year old sister Em, asked her to look through this:

This was a gift from her Aunt Kim because Em says she will have her own cake shop one day. Oh, and that cake shop will also serve sushi!

Anyway, Little One picked out the alligator cupcake cake. So today Em baked all the cupcakes and went about putting it together. I'd peak my head in every once in awhile to see how it was going and she had it all under control. Even let her sisters watch and help out a little. All this was done while I was busy trying to figure out a way to hook up my new wireless printer.

I think the cake looks awesome! And I can say that because I'm her mom, but I think others would say it too.

Soph helped with the flowers. Pretty, huh?

We had a little Ace of Cakes moment before the cake making commenced. How were we going to transport this to the party without destroying it? It was way too big to put on a cookie sheet or any pan I had with a cover. We debated about icing it and then assembling it at the party, but that seemed to0 last minute crazy. Luckily my printer box was lying around because it was just the right size.

The Styrofoam in the bottom will help keep it elevated so we can reach in and take it out. Now just keep your fingers crossed I don't hit any large potholes driving into town!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Resurrection Cookies

Last year we fled the almost always frigid Easter temperatures of the panhandle to WB's parents in Austin. We decided to try something new the night before Easter Sunday. Something a little bitter, but sweet too. We made Resurrection Cookies, and if you haven't made them you are in for a treat.

To be made the evening before Easter.

You need: 1c. whole pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites,
pinch salt, 1c. sugar, zipper baggie, wooden spoon, tape, Bible.

Preheat oven to 300 BEFORE BEGINNING.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.
Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.
Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.

Add 1 c. sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know this and how to belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt.27:65-66.

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie
Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty! Read Matt. 28:1-9

We all had fun doing this, but more than that it was a wonderful way to spend Easter Eve. Gathering around as a family, reading from the bible the story of Jesus. Remembering the true reason for joyful celebration on Easter morning.
For more fun and frugal ways to make Easter more memorable head over to Keeping The Kingdom First!
Also, head over to Beauty and Bedlam for all sorts of wonderful cuisine at Tasty Tuesdays.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Preschool Counting With Daddy

Daddy is not home very often on school days, but when he is everyone gets excited. Well, the older girls are excited until Daddy asks them to memorize the periodic chart or explain Einsteins Theory of Relativity. Then they remind him they are 7 and 10 and are not studying that. In which hubby, WB, always responds with some remark about how age shouldn't hinder there learning and how they need to challenge their minds. And before I know it I have a mutiny on my hands. Okay, this does not always happen just sometimes.

So when he was off the other day I put him in charge of Little One. He immediately said to her, "Let's go count" and scooped up an armful of fruit. I gave him some peanuts and an empty egg carton. Later I peaked in on them and found them very busy in the guest bedroom.

They were working with the peanuts and egg carton.

Little One was busy placing the peanuts in the carton as she counted them. She was doing very well. I have to say WB was right there with her, no mention of periodic tables or Noble gases or anything of the such. And my two older girls were breathing a sigh of relief in the other room.
What are some of your favorite preschool counting activities?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WFMW- Live Owl Cam

We love watching the wildlife around here. We seem to have binoculars by every window just in case we spot a red-tailed hawk feeding or spot an owl sitting on the ridge behind our home. My girls keep a wildlife journal to document the comings and goings of all the animals around here. So for this Works For Me Wednesday I thought I'd share a neat website I found through a friend.

It is a live cam on a Barn Owl nest in the wild. Her eggs are due to hatch any day. My girls think it is neat that one day soon we will see little baby owlets and we might even be lucky enough to watch it hatch. I find myself fascinating my this act of nature myself. Just click here to go to the link.

My children are so much more aware of their surroundings due to their interest in nature. They've also learned some valuable life lessons watching the animal families around our home.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips head over to We Are That Family!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


There once was a strange lady who taught her three precious daughters at home
She walked around the house wide eyed with hair looking in need of a comb
"Oh my, my, what have I done?" she asked over and over with a desperate moan
Kids crying, paper flying, and laundry that looked like it was caught in a cyclone
But she knew that it took more than a day to build the City of Rome.

That is my very poetic limerick. The good thing about limericks, especially for me, is that they can be nonsensical and silly. The girls and I had fun today writing some limericks. We went over counting syllables and that lines 1,2, and 3 rhyme and have the same number of syllables and that lines 4,5 rhyme and have the same number of syllables.

I used a worksheet with Soph to help her write her poem.

Em branched out on her own and wrote one. When we were finished we put them on a shamrock to hang in our schoolroom.

Little One worked on coloring a shamrock while we wrote our poems. Then proceeded to put together a picnic lunch for us. Almost 3 year olds are very industrious and she earns her keep.

If you head over to my main blog you can help me finish a limerick for a chance to win a St.Patrick's Day basket the girls have put together.