Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Xmas to all..

Christmas Eve in Australia...  It's 38 degrees C (ie HOT!), I'm sitting here in tank top and shorts sweltering...

We had "christmas lunch" with Pete's side of the family yesterday - the kids spent most of the day in the pool.

We'll open family presents tonight, Billy and I will watch some of the broadcast Carols by Candlelight while making Christmas crackers to go on the table at my Mum & Dad's tomorrow.  I have some Xmas sweets to make but I'll wait until it's cooler. 

Then we'll read Twas the Night before Christmas and attempt to get Billy to sleep sometime this side of midnight, before the big man arrives. 

To all my friends who take the time to read my blog - especially those who comment - Merry Xmas to all... and to all a Good Night!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gluten free cooking

This is my first foray into gluten-free cooking.

Banana bread

Choc-chip muffins
I've been off wheat and sugar about 80-90% of the time since mid-July.  In that time I've lost 5kg - the really stubborn 5kg that I've never been able to lose no matter what I did.  I'm pretty sure I now weigh less than I've done for about 20 years!  While I'm off wheat, I feel better, sleep better, have more energy. 

Up until now I've just done without wheat things like bread rather than finding GF substitutes.  But sometimes I feel like a piece of toast or a slice of cake - and when I do give in, my stomach complains and I find it hard to stop again.  It's surprising how addictive wheat can be..

Billy also has some tummy issues that I'm suspecting may be related to wheat.  He doesn't eat a lot of bread, but he eats quite a lot of pasta.  He'd eat it 3 meals a day if I let him!

So I've started trying out substitutes.  The first brand of GF wraps I tried were disgusting, the second were at least edible :)  I've got some GF bread in the freezer but I haven't tried it yet.  I mixed the GF pasta in half & half with Billy's normal pasta and he didn't notice a difference.

I bought pre-mixed GF flour and made the recipes above.  The choc-chip muffin recipe was a normal one and I just substitued the flours.  They were a bit dry - not sure if it was the recipe or the flour.  The banana bread recipe was on the back of the GF flour packet and is delicious!  (So good I've had to cut it up and put it in the freezer so I don't eat too much!)

I haven't told anyone else they're eating GF baking, because I know they'd immediately turn their noses up.  They've both been quite happy with the results though :)

Stay tuned..

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homeschooling Monthly Memories - Nov 2012

Hmmm, somehow I seem to have missed recording what we did for some of November - but I know we were busy!  My camera is playing up so photos are in short supply. 

Cubs 'Curriculum':
  • Billy completed his local history badge.
  • One of the dads brought along some frames from his bee hive one night and showed the kids how they extracted the honey.  I'd never seen it done before, so I was equally as interested as they were!  (In truth, maybe more so!)  The kids all got to take home a sample of honey.

Intentional Learning:

Creative Arts

    • Drama classes - they've been doing clowning this term.  Some of the exercises I've seen them do involve impromptu acts - for eg they choose a dress up item, create a clown persona around that and then have to be interviewed about their clown character.  Amazing stuff :)
    • Billy has also has his keyboard out, teaching himself Jingle Bells and creating music for his videos

    • Australian history
      • We finished reading Daughter of the Regiment by Jackie French
      • We read Valley of Gold by Jackie French 
      • Billy researched the Gold Rush for his history badge, as well as researching some local history
    • He followed the US election.
    • He watched lots of Brain Pop movies - I'm not sure what they were all about but I know some were about the American Indians

    • He watched Cyberchase episodes
    • He played Times Attack and we did more on the times tables from the Awesome Arithmetricks book

    Science & Technology

      • He's been doing more Java programming in Minecraft
      • We watched a BTN Health special - discussing diabetes, vision and how sunscreen works

      • He's continuing Italian lessons - clothing, vegetables and time.


      • He's taken part in archery and martial arts

      As well as plenty of time spent hanging out with friends and family, cooking etc.