Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Homeschool is COOL!

Here’s my amazing homeschool story for the day. 
First, the groundwork for this story is that for a couple of years there has been some unusually rapid deterioration in the vision in my right eye. On my last visit to the eye doctor, she was concerned that she was seeing Macular Degeneration, and wrote me a referral to a specialist.
Tack on to that some information about my little guy’s interest this year. He wanted to study the five senses. I owned a Scholastic book called The Body Book (you can click it on the sidebar), so I made copies of all the student pages in preparation for going through it. The first section is on the Five Senses, so it is a good fit.

So, yesterday I had this specialist eye doctor appointment, and I was wondering if I should get a sitter, when it dawned on me that I could try to capitalize on the visit in light of our studies.  Would the doctor be able to talk to my son at all, or would the office be too busy?…

Well, not only was the great doctor able and willing to, but he also let my son look INTO my eye!  He let my son look through two different pieces of equipment. My son saw the optic nerve (it is yellow), the retina (it is orange), blood vessels that feed the eye, …the whole bit.  He said my son is the only child his age that he knows of who has ever seen some of that stuff!  It was so cool!

So then we came home and put together the paper model of the eye (over two days).  Now I just wish he ever enjoyed coloring, because I really wanted him to use the colored pencils and get the model colored, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I’ll keep working on him.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's Cookin'?

Today Mama’s cookin Bison Chili.  Okay, okay, you can make this with your meat of choice, but Mama’s makin it with ground bison.  Mama’s makin this to go in the freezer for two meals sometime in the future, but Daddy’s gettin home late tonight, and it looks like Mama might just serve the first dinner from this chili tonight, since Mama doesn’t much like to cook dinner twice in the same evening.

Here’s the recipe.  This is a CORE recipe on the Weight Watcher’s plan:

2 pounds ground bison
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 15- ounce can tomato sauce
non-CORE optional ingredient: brown sugar

Brown meat with onion and green pepper in large Dutch oven; add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or in a crockpot for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve hot with fat-free sour cream, and for non-core eaters, shredded cheddar cheese.

Serve with salad.  For 2 Weight Watcher points, cook up some hot muffins (in paper baking cups) and crumble into your bowl of chili.

Also a great meal in the following ways:
  • Stuffed Baked Potatoes:  Bake potatoes and serve covered with steamed broccoli, Mama’s chili, fat free shredded cheddar cheese,  and fat free cheddar cheese.
  • Chili Dogs:  (not CORE) Cook up some Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs and serve in hot dog roll, smothered with Mama’s chili and more chopped onions and cheddar cheese, with baked beans and saurkraut on the side.
So, as a way to do this, you can
  1. Eat chili for dinner, and place the left overs in a heavy-duty freezer zip-lock-bag, mark it either "Stuffed Baked Potatoes" or "Chili Dogs", and plan to serve it for dinner two weeks later (so the family doesn’t feel like they are eating "leftovers".
  2. Using a Once-a-Month-Cooking mentality, make up the whole thing and freeze 6-cups-worth in a gallon-size freezer bag marked "Mama’s Chili", and the rest of it bag in a 1-quart freezer bag and mark it either for dogs or stuffed potatoes.
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my madness today. I love to serve this with a Hot Muffin recipe I will have to post later.  While I was posting this Papa called, and he plans to swing by a Vie de France store and pick up some salad and French bread to go with tonight! He spoils me so!