Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We {finally} did it!

Before I began this school year, I read quite a few homeschooling books & blogs and one of the things that I really like was Charlotte Mason's idea of doing nature walks. She felt that it was good to go out frequently (to the same area) throughout the year to see how things changed over the course of time. Ms. Mason also had the grand idea of taking some sketch paper and some good drawing pencils. I "KNEW" that I would do this. This would be easy, I thought. A pleasant, simple way to get in some science lessons. HA! Little did I know that taking 5 kids out daily, or even weekly, in various types of weather, would be such a challenge. I guess I'm maybe just a bit lazy. And when it is the slightest bit chilly, my scrawny body gets COLD and doesn't want to leave the fireplace-warmed home for ANY reason. So, the thought of our lovely little nature walks fell by the wayside.

Until yesterday. In our last week of school. (Yes, I know I'm not using complete sentences. Doesn't it give such a nice effect though? lol...) Anyhoo...I decided that the twins needed to get out of the house & that we were actually going to try this nature walk business, drawing materials and all. I even had to run back into the house to get the camera because the girls were doing such a fantastic job in their little drawings (and the twinsers were looking so cute being themselves)!

Here are a few (okay, maybe a bit more than a few) of the shots I took of them "working." Man, that Charlotte chick was right...those nature walks are a grand idea! :)

Emma drew this lil dandelion so well!! I should have taken a close-up
of her drawing. Maybe next time...

Sophie drawing her flower. The top was white, but the bottom was a
beautiful combo of pinks/purples. :)

Does it get cuter than that? 

Caitlin was drawing these cute lil "buttons." 

I love her attention to detail in her sketch.

Matthew being Matthew.

Wide-eyed as she imagines jumping.

Ummmm, "nuff" said? 

She ATE IT! hahahaha! And because I brought the camera over, she
refused to cry! Is it mean that I LOVE the distressed look on her face here?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mama's Day Toy...WAY Too Much Fun! :)

For many of you who already follow my blog, you also know me on Facebook, so you know that for Mother's Day, my wonderful hubby got me a new toy; one of the many photography "toys" I want: a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. {My heart is fluttering right now just thinking about it!} lol...

Needless to say, I've been having fun playing with my lens and seeing what it can do. It is better than the lens I have now because it considered a fast lens. It lets in more light at a faster rate. Anyhoo, I love it because I am able to use it in many more circumstances than my kit lens (the 18-55mm lens that came with my camera). I have used the 50mm 1.4 at home using available light and my pictures aren't blurry. It's wonderful because I don't have an off-camera flash yet (only the on-camera flash that is too bright on the face in many instances). It's also really nice to have that bokeh effect...that blurry, luscious effect that you see in many professional photos. I don't even want to know how many pics I've uploaded in the past 3 days. Probably too many! But here are some of the ones I took yesterday, along with an idea for a yummy snack, Canela (or more accurately "té de canela") and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread! :) Enjoy!

Mmmmmm...cinnamon sticks

We bought this large pack from Costco.

Place a stick or two in a pot of water.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until
you have a pinky-reddish-brown color.

My first pics were like this...however this looks more like coffee
than Canela.

I used my white board as a reflector and got some of that natural
light to shine into my cups. That is how your Canela should look. Add a
bit of sugar if you like (I LIKE! lol). 

I'm not too thrilled with any of my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread photos
but this was one of the better ones. I probably should have used a
different lens. :)

You can see the wonderful cream cheese filling! These actually taste very
similar to the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins at Starbucks. You could
always add the pumpkin seeds to the top or make muffins with these!

To get the recipe for the muffins, click here