Friday, March 6, 2009

What a Great Friday!

We had a great day today! It was a great way to finish up the week. I was watching a friend's two daughters, 5th grade and K. They brought their school work and let me tell you, having them here helped us stay on task SO much! At one point everyone was doing school work...even Trenton who was doing 'math'. :) It was a beautiful sight. And at break time, the kids all played so well together. I know I'm going on and on about it, but really I'm serious it was a good day. They (good days) don't happen like that very often, so I've got to relish in it!

Bethany and I are working on a maple syrup lapbook that I found at homeschoolshare. I borrowed the needed books from the library and we've been having a sweet time working on this study. The sweetness was enriched through a field trip yesterday to a maple sugar bush. Fantastic two-hour tour through the woods, and at the end, a tasty lick of the yummy syrup.

At meal times, the older girls pitched in and helped which was very fun. They made cherry delight for dessert and Parmesan Chicken sticks for dinner. *Recipes at the end. Clean-up times when fast and well too. It was all around a great day.

Today I started a training 'system' whereby the girls earn "screen time" through different means. I explained the idea to them (another friend of mine shared it with me). Basically, you make cards--I made mine on the computer. I put 15 minutes of Screen Time at the top and a picture of a tv/computer screen in the middle. My friend printed mine out and laminated them for me...thanks Angie! I have two different colors, one for each girl. They can earn screen time (computer, tv, etc.) by doing their chores and school well and by showing good character (Fruit of the Spirit qualities--love, joy, patience, peace, self-control, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness). The girls can't ask for the cards--I will reward as I see and hear. So, when the girls want to watch something or have computer time, they will give me a screen card for each 15 minutes. Their screen cards can also be taken away as a consequence for wrong-doing. This system is working very well. I could tell they were trying to do their best in every area. It was refreshing. I'm praying that it continues to go this well.

This evening my Hunny was dancing and playing with the kids. Everyone had a good time. Here are some pictures of our night. In the first picture, Trenton is pretending his stick horse is a guitar. We are listening to a Third Day song, and you know how we feel about Third Day!

In this picture, Bethany and Daddy are dancing together. He took turns dancing with us (I even had a turn!)

This last picture is of my strong men. Don't you love that little boy's face!

Well, thanks for listening to my tales of a great day. I could use many more of these kinds of days.

Parmesan Oven Fried Chicken Sticks
1/2 c. fine dry bread crumbs (I used a combination of bread crumbs and crushed croutons)
1/2 c. crushed saltines
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
2 T. dried Parsley
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1/4 t. garlic salt or powder
1/2 t. pepper
12 chicken breast halves
1/2 c. Italian salad dressing

1. Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
2. Cut chicken into strips about 1/2 x 1/2 inch
3. Dip chicken in salad dressing; dredge in crumb mixture.

To Freeze: flash freeze by laying strips on a sprayed baking sheet and put in freezer until frozen. Then put them in a ziploc freezer bag.
To Eat: Pick out as many strips as you want to cook and bake on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Cherry Delight
note: this recipe is my Grandma's and it is so delicious. I warn you, once you make it and take it to a gathering, you will be asked to bring it everytime. Marissa wants it for every birthday (here and here). I'm surprised that I haven't given the recipe before now.

2 c. cinnamon graham crackers, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
3 T. powdered sugar
2 envelopes Dream whip
1 c. milk
1 c. sugar
2 packages cream cheese softened
2 t. vanilla
2 cans cherry pie filling

1. Mix crackers, butter, and powdered sugar. Press into 11x7 pan and set aside.
2. Mix dream whip with cold milk, beat until stiff
3. In another bowl, mix sugar, vanilla and cream cheese. Beat into dream whip mixture.
4. Pour into prepared crust pan.
5. Add cherry pie filling to top and refrigerate. 24 hours is best for firmness.

Sometimes we skip the cherry pie filling and crumble oreos or butterfinger candy bars on top.

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