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Monday, November 30, 2015

Fresh bread and the bread machine

I love homemade bread.  It is yummy, smells good, and is healthier than store bought bread.  I just really do not like the way a bread machine cooks the bread.  It is too dry and the texture is not appealing to me.  I also dont like the shape.  However, I do not have time to punch down the dough, wait, punch down the dough, wait, punch down the dough....  I have too much to do.

My solution, use the bread machine to just make the dough.  I always use the french setting - it is versitle and a favorite of everyone in my house.

Basic recipe:

9 ounces water (usually use= amounts keifer if I have it)
1 tbsp butter
3 cups flour (i dont use bread flour and my white/wheat mix works just fine)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 bread machine yeast

Add ins:

  • cinn/sugar mix
  • italian dry seasoning mix
  • grated parmesian cheese

Put everything in the bread machine and use the DOUGH setting.

When the dough is finished I split the dough into 2 loaves.  Shape the dough as desired (flat, braded, bread sticks, rolls or in a loaf pan) and bake.

As I said, I don't like the texture the bread machine gives the bread.  So, I put the bread into a cold oven at 200 degrees.  I bake it for 20-30 minutes at 200 - until the crust is just gettinging firm.  You know it is firm when you tap it with a fingernail and it sounds hard.  Then turn the oven up to 350 for 10 minutes to brown the crust.  Done.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Memory Systems

Repetition is one of the primary keys to effective memorizing. Without repetition (3 is a key number) you cannot expect to remember anything. Repetition is how we first learned our alphabet back in preschool.
Reenactment is another tool. Every year we reenact wars and battles, not only to honor our fallen soldiers, but also to remember our history.
To be effective, reenactment must include thinking about the meaning and sequence of thoughts and words in the passage each time they are repeated. Without meditating on the meaning of the passage, repetition soon looses it value.
Follow a system
It is equally important to teach children HOW to memorize. If you tell a child to tie his shoe or clean her room and never show them how, they only get frustrated and quickly give up. Often times they won't try again.
Here are a few steps to get you started teaching your child how to memorize:

1: Read silently over the passage to be memorized.
2: Starting with the first verse in the passage, "break off a chunk" of the verse so that it is small enough to easily be retained. This is often done at punctuation mark.
3: Read that small portion audibly from five ten times (can also be done under the breath).  Think
about the words and the meaning of the portion being read.
4:  Recite this small portion audibly five to ten times without reading it.
5: If it can be repeated from five to ten times without looking, leave that portion and move on to the next. If it cannot be done yet try again (other options listed at bottom)
6: After the second portion is learned, associate it with the first portion and say both together several times.
7: Learn one verse (may needs to be split into smaller chunks) at a time.  As each verse is learned, say it together with the preceding verse in the passage
If you are a hands-on learner, try writing the portion on a chalk/white board. Erase a word or two at a time And continue to recite the verse until you can say it five to ten times with the entire board cleared.
If you have an active child, make up moves for every word/every other word (doesn't have to be proper sign language. What ever helps the child remember the word)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Adventures in Adoption: September 2015 Update

It's September

We have had sweet baby Moses for 13 months now.  He is 15 months old.  This "case" was speed to be fast tracked last year.  

When we first got Moses I was told a lot of different things by his cps worker. First of all I was told that he was a newborn.  He was actually 2 1/2 months old.

I was told that he would never walk and I should start looking at mobility devices (his first physical therapist said the same thing)  he is now running,  climbing,  and on target with all of his milestones.  

Finally I was told that we could finalize in just a few (6-9)  months

Here we are 13 Months later. Nothing I was told that first day was correct. I know tons change and stuff happens. I know that this will all happen at just the right time.  I just don't know when that will be

In the meantime I am loving watching my sweet boy grow and learn. He knows a few signs; please, more, all done and hello/goodbye. He is learning new words daily; daddy, Bubba (he is learning first names too), ball,  balloon, bye, pretty, moo moo, doggie, please, thank you, more....  he is climbing and getting into everything. Just when I think that something is baby proof, , he proves me wrong.  

Outside is our favorite place to play and the trampoline can keep him entertained for 20-30 min at a time. He loves to dig in the garden with me and is very gentle with flowers. He has also learned which plants he can pull leaves off of and eat (mint, chives)

This sweet boy is already so much l like his older siblings it's crazy. Everyday one of us points or a trait that is like mom/dad/sibling. Other than physically not looking like any of us,  he is tortuous a product of his environment. This baby loves to read. He will have you sit in the rocking chair and read every book in his room. Twice. That's a lot of books. And he knows when to pray. I truly believe that he knows when we need to. He will walk up to Amy of is and fold his hands.  He wants to pray.  It is the sweetest thing I have ever seen.
Image result for nature vs nurture
Before this past year I had wondered about the whole nature vs nurture debate. I am now 100% sure,  even at only 15 months,  that nurture fully outweighs nature.