Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Happens When Mom's Sick?

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Oh lots of things have been known to happen around here when I'm sick. Thankfully I don't get sick very often. All though earlier this year I lost my voice with an icky cold that passed through. We called off school for 3 days while I recovered. The boys didn't want to take off and attempted to work through workboxes, the problem was some of the stuff they clearly needed help with. Daddy tried to help them, but rather then playing games on the substitute teacher, they told him he wasn't doing it like Mom does. In fact they became so annoyed with his method of helping them that they packed up their boxes and said, "Maybe we should just wait until Mommy's better."

So this time when a tummy bug hit we did a little school. As in, a bit of math, some reading, a few read alouds. Nothing that took much time or had anyone confined to the table too long. The problem was, we were also running low on snacks. Since we don't buy prepackaged ones it meant getting up and making something anyway.

I did. I made the guys some fruit leather, with the help of the boys (recipe to come). When I asked Morgan to fetch me the apple peeler he was delighted. Only, in typical Morgan fashion, he was sure that the shelf in that cupboard was "special" and to prove his point he yanked on it a few times. Everything on that shelf went tumbling. Morgan was shocked, and simply said, "Oh, guess it's not a trick shelf."

Daddy offered to fix it on his next work break, so we closed the cupboards and pretended it wasn't lurking. After the fruit leather was in the oven I went outside to hang up laundry and sweep up hay.

I come back in and notice that Daddy is missing. I figured he went back to work, and I continued to fold and pile up laundry. Only, I suddenly noticed a few funny looks on the boys faces, which was an instant clue that they were all up to something..

Oh yes he did.. the saying, "It'll be a squash!" came to mind, but the fact that he was in there for a good twenty minutes while I was fiddling with laundry really cracked me up.

Apparently no one wanted to be left out, and yes he has lunch all over his face, musta been really good!


Can you tell it's a big L shaped cupboard? Holds lots of stuff, including kids and husbands!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Double Facts with Living Math

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We have a lot of beanie kids in our house. They seem to multiply without much help. The boys seem to acquire them all the time. Mostly from the tooth-fairy, but they've also gotten them for Valetine's Day (see the red monster looking thing), Christmas(the blue ones with orange stitching on their tummies), birthdays (the one with the giant head there on the bottom), and everything in between! So I decided that since we needed some practice with our double facts it was time the Beanie Kids earned their keep around here. (All though I dunno, that silly one with the glasses on top.. he's a keeper just from pure funniness don'tcha think?) I sent the boys to gather up all the beanie kids and told them we had a fun math game to play.

Now, I'm sure this is nothing new to anyone out there, but this was simply something I came up with on a whim. Seriously. I'm good like that sometimes, but usually ideas hit while I'm in the shower, and by the time I get out and two little boys plague me with "can we do" and the big boy plagues me with "what's for lunch" I totally forget my ideas! Needless to say, when I come up with a good one I put it into action right away! So that's what we did.


I also pulled out a new deck of cards I made. Don't get too excited, I didn't whip out my craftiness and design my own deck of cards, rather I took a deck of cards, some double stick tape and my scrapbooking program (best present I was ever given, thanks Honey!) and I made up some math cards. It was really easy and super fun to make. You could also make them with modgepodge, but I wasn't patient enough to wait on things to dry.


I programed all the double facts into the program from 0+0 - 10+10. Each one of those was taped to a card. Then I also put in the answers from 0-20. I also taped those onto a deck of regular cards. If you're going to use modgepodge I'd suggest sanding the cards a bit so they can adhere well enough. As for my double-stick tape, I use the kind in a scrapbooking dispenser. A sticker maker would work too, but mine was out of sticker paper.


For our game I seperated all my double facts and all my answers, then I set my answers aside. I'd hold up an addition card and each of the boys had to run and get x amount of beanie kids. For the above card they each had to run and get 8 beanies and bring them back to the table. We then set them in lines on the table so we could count them.


Once we had them all laid out on the table I'd take one from a pile and throw it back, then the next child's pile, and back and forth as we shouted out the numbers until we had the answer to our math fact. The boys thought it was pretty amusing that Mom was tossing their toys around the floor. I also initiated a few rules before we started.

They couldn't be picky. It didn't matter who owned the beanie kid the idea was to get there and back again as quickly as you could with no pushing or fighting. Don't be choosy. It's not a race. We're just trying to figure out the answer quickly. There are a few beanie kids that are more cherished then others, and I was worried they'd squabble about them. They didn't, they were just as eager to get them back to the table!

We did this with each and every problem. We went in no particular order. I'd shuffled them up and just pulled them out as we went, taking the top card. The boys noticed several patterns as we went along, and once those patterns were realized we discussed quick ways of getting the answers we needed without having to count from 1 upward until we reached it.

This fellow was dubbed Super Math Bear and left in the window to watch over our game..

So what are those patterns? They noticed that even though the problems would go from Even to odd (if you start with zero) that the answers were all even numbers. Not just any even numbers either. They realized that the answers were just like counting by 2's. So, I explained that if they were in a big hurry to find an answer that they were struggling with they could use their fingers to count by 2's.


This was helpful for them when we played doubles concentration (that's why I really made the cards, and the idea for this came from the Ruth Beechick's Easy Start In Arithmetic). They'd flip over an answer, let's say 18, and wonder which problem they needed. If one of them knew the answer but the other didn't we decided to count by twos to help the other one out. I'd hold up one finger for each number we said. (Try it!) However many fingers were standing up would be the answer. When you count by 2's with your fingers you'll have 9 fingers up when you reach 18. That helped them see that 9+9=18.


Now, before you chide me for letting my kids use fingers for math. We'd used Beanie Kids to start with, and we also used linking cubes for a particularly harder (for some) problem. After that I showed them the finger trick in order to give them a bit of speed.


All in all, we had a lot of fun learning and practicing our double facts today. The boys saw some really fun patterns that helped things stick. When I hear Morgan say, "OH!! I get it now! I see!!" then I know I'm on the right path. In the past he's memorized those facts for the sake of knowing them, but today he saw a pattern to help etch them in his mind because he loves patterns.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Kitchen Gadget

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This weekend after our weekly soccer game we stopped into a local store for computer ink. While we were there I was looking down the kitchen isle and spotted this Breville Yogurt Creations maker. I'll be honest and say in the past I've never been interested in one. I'm quite capable of making yogurt without a fancy gadget to help me out. However, the tag on the machine said that depending on the setting would depend on how thick my yogurt could become.

I was intrigued. While our yogurt isn't runny (most of the time) it's not always THICK either. Something we kinda like. My husband asked if I wanted it, and I said, I wouldn't mind it, because I was quite interested to see if it could live up to it's potential there or not. I was figuring it wouldn't and that I'd probably end up returning it next time I was in town.

Well, the cute little R2D2 look alike (the fact that I know that is kinda freakish) does an amazingly good job. I'd like to say it's because it's pink (see the dial? and the base, and the whole inside is pink too!), but I'm pretty sure the guys would point out the inaccuracies of such a statement.

Either way, the little machine did a fantastic job for us! I read the little book, which wasn't full of much information. Mixed up a batch of yogurt (with stevia) and then set the dial to just past the 5. It said that it should take up about 4-5 hours for one batch of yogurt. Check it and then set it for more time if you wanted it thicker.

The boys bedtime arose and they wanted to check out the yogurt, so with about 30 minutes left on the little timer I checked it and was shocked by just how thick it was. I'm talking tip your spoon over and it didn't fall off. I shouldn't have been too surprised considering all of our Beville appliance work very well despite the abuse we give them.

The yogurt was so yummy that most of us indulged in it for breakfast. I'll have to order some more of the raspberry and lemon honey and make some yogurt with them. It's really tasty that way!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Living Math: Great Books

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While our library is a bit small, and limited in some catagories I have access to every library in our state. That's right, I can scan our online card catalog and if I see a book, no matter which library it's in. I can put a hold on that book and my library will obtain it for me. It's like an inner library loan, without the hassle!

So, in my efforts to do living math I decided to scan the card catalog for books about math (called maths in my country), and was pleasantly surprised to see a vast range of books. I spent about two hours putting books on hold and wish lists and jotting others down. So for the past week I've been getting emails from my library telling me to come collect books galore.

Amongst many that I've added to our lists the Using Maths book series has been one of the best for the age levels I'm working with. These books are very awesome. They have some amazing pictures in them which has lots of kid appeal, and the math problems provided are true math problems people in these jobs encounter. The boys haven't been able to put them down since I brought them home today, and they can't wait to use them on Monday.

The Zookeeper book is loaded with simple yet interesting math facts. One of the more simple facts is: TanTan is six days old. Her black patches will start to grow when she is two weeks old. How many days are in two weeks? This math fact comes complete with a picture of a six day old giant panda cub. Some of the more "complicated ones" for littlies would be involving multiplication, but what a great way to introduce it.

Each book in the series puts the reader in the roll of a job that matches the title. Then you solve math problems that people in those jobs would really use each day. I love the fact that the learning is hands on, and shows the boys exactly how they'd use the math they are learning. They also ask such simple questions that will give the boys the ability to work out things that are really quite common, but they probably don't know the answers to off the top of their heads. ( Like Bella is 24 months old, how old is that in years.)

There's an entire series of these books too: Be a Zookeeper, Ocean Giants, Dinosaur Dig, Firefighers To The Rescue, Journey To The Moon, Treasures In The Jungle. They are put out by a company in London, and I suspect we'll be adding some of these to our maths collection.

Schoolroom Revisited

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As some of my family will attest I rearrange way too often. My husband once said that he would likely walk in the door after work and not recognize his own home, and I'm pretty sure that happened the day I moved the fish tank into the kitchen. I had to stop halfway there because the washer hose popped off and there was water ankle deep flooding our apartment... However, he's also made a few remarks about what an awesome view we had from the schoolroom and how he wished the office had the same view. In a moment of insanity I said, "Let's swap." He thought I was joking. I wasn't. I told him I'd be back in 5 minutes and his mind had to be made up by then. When I came back he was still deliberating, and humming, and completely unsure. Truth be told, I suspect he was agonizing over the three brimming bookcases that flank the walls of our schoolroom. He was also worried his "stuff" wouldn't fit. (You know his desk and trash can, cause our office is seriously lacking in it's professionalism.. Don't laugh, some businesses start on a coffee table..)

I drew it all out on paper, pulled out my trusty string (the tape measure was missing) and showed him that his single desk and trash bin would fit in the room. I had my doubts that I'd fit all our school related stuff in the "blue" room, but I was up for the challenge. So we dug out boxes, and the kids let out cries of, "We're moving again??" In fact I think for the first time in their little lives they were very disappointed by the thought. Once we assured them that we were just swapping stuff around they were eager to help. "Many hands make light work."

By the end of the day we'd officially swapped the contents of two rooms. It didn't take much to transform our new schoolroom into a cozy little spot. I also pulled down a privacy curtain (lace) that was in the window (because in the winter our naked tree permits our neighbors to see in it if they so choose), and it gave us a much nicer view. We get to stare at the farmer's field next door, and watch the sheep graze, the pigeons forage (yup really), the seagulls squawk, and the lapwings demand they all go away.

In the spring we'll be able to see the farmer plowing and planting, and even some in the fall. We'll have a great view of the harvester when it comes to collect the poppies. It's also great fun to watch the Honey Suckers jump from tree to tree as they spot the lizards in the back garden, or the blackbirds who've decided our roof is their home and no one else is allowed near it.

I probably shouldn't share that photo, because the tree in the background that's half naked from lack of leaves.. that's the boys "secret place" where they go and hide and plan and plot all sorts of fun things. One day they hope to see a treehouse there. The guinea pigs are also burried up under that tree. But, I had to share the photo, because the bush right next to it is loaded each summer with some very beautiful daises. Plus, if you squint hard enough you'll see a bit of the mountains in the very back of the photo. The front of our home looks out into the ocean, and the rest of the windows get mountainous views.

We can see those mountains from the schoolroom too, but I couldn't get a good picture from the schoolroom window. Hopefully my neighbors didn't think I was spying on them. At night, we get a view of the city lights on the other side of the harbor, and when they do fireworks over there we get a spectacular view right from our own home. The only thing better is when the moon is big and round and white and it shines down on the ocean. Jayden keeps hoping one day when it happens he'll get to see a dolphin swim by..

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Living Math

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For some time now I've been considering a living math approach, but I haven't actually taken the plunge. We've added living math approaches to our daily math, but haven't let go of the textbook. So last week while preparing school plans for this week I spent a lot of time reading some information about living math.

Something you have to understand isn't that we aren't not doing math anymore, but rather the way we choose to teach the boys is different. Instead of pulling out the textbook and following their prelaid plans, I might pull out a manipulative or game to teach the kids a new skill. There are many upsides to this form of learning. For one thing Morgan is a hands on learner and this means that he sees the how and why of learning the skill. It also means the boys can share in the same math lesson and we just break Jayden's down a bit more if he needs it.


So this week I pulled out a few resources from around the house and we lined up our lessons. For a day of skip counting I threw half of our linking cubes into each child's workbox. I asked them to make groups of ten and left them to it. Then we counted by ten's to discover how many we had in all.

This worked as some good counting practice for Jayden in the ones area too, not that he needs much help counting to ten, but he got it all the same. It took them about 20 minutes to get them all linked up, but that might be because we had a package delivery and that always attracts a lot of attention.

Morgan worked on patterns as he went. Not because I told him to, but because Morgan lives for patterns and order. He chose all the patterns on his own, and as he neared the bottom of his box (and disposed of a dead bug) he realized he didn't have enough to make an AB type pattern anymore. This frustrated him until I pointed out he could easily make an ABC type pattern instead.


Jayden lost a bit of steam, so he also got addition practice in because I started linking some of his cubes together and placing them on the table. I made groups of 1, 3, 2, 4, and 5 with a couple of 6's as well. He had to decide how many more he needed. When all was said and done we stacked all our links on the table and counted by tens a few times over. I let Jayden have free time with his while I asked Moragn to break each of his linking cubes in half. I wanted 12 groups of 5 so he could get some practice in there. Then we broke them down to 2's and counted that way as well before packing it all away for the day.


For double fact practice we used this handy little printable which came from the Fall Math book I purchased in the CurrClick sale. The book suggested you draw a spider on the blackboard and let the kids draw their own. Um, I don't own a blackboard and I probably NEVER will. I HATE the sound of chalk on a blackboard, it's always given me the chills. Instead of drawing I simply copied the spider onto white paper, and then put another one on the same paper as well. I told Morgan that I wanted him to find ways to come up with ALL the double facts from 1+1 through to 9+9. He ended up having to add some things to his spiders. Like extra eyes and spider eggs. He had fun with it, and that's the important part. It also proved that while he may not always be quick with the higher doubles, he knows how to get the answer.

On Wednesday I decided to prove to Morgan there was a reason for learning his 5 family. You see, Morgan likes skip counting, but he has issues with the 5 family. When his front two teeth were missing he said 15 in a way that sounded like 50. Thus he's now in a very bad habit of saying 5, 10, 15, 55. It's not because he doesn't get the pattern or know, it's simply a bad habit we have to work through to "fix".


I took some flash cards we've had laying around and set them up like a clock. The 1's cards came with our math curriculum (Saxon), and the 5's were freebies I printed and laminated ages ago. I set each 5 card next to the proper one card so that the boys could view minutes and hours all at once. (Morgan's watch is set up in the same fashion, but the 5's are quite tiny!) Then I gave him a big marker and a small marker. He all ready understood that minutes on a clock were often counted in groups of 5, add the cards on the floor and I was able to call out odd times and he could go to them.


I had Jayden set up with the learning clock so he could do both analog and digital time. I was mostly giving Jayden whole and half hours to work on, but he wanted a trickier one. He's got the concept right, even if the 5 is upside down! By the time he called me to officially check the clock time, the 5 was right side up. After a while I had them switch so Morgan worked on digital while Jayden got the chance to sit on the huge clock and use it.

Last, but not least, we've also played a game called Ten's Concentration. (For the record, I did not make this up. I found a sight with math games on it and this was one of them.) Morgan has requested to play this game every day since I first introduced him to it. The idea is to play memory (aka concentration) but your two cards must equal ten. I suspect Morgan will know his ten facts far better then any other facts by the end of the week.



After seeing the way Morgan has responded to math this week, something he's always enjoyed, I think we'll be keeping this up for some time to come. This doesn't mean we're writing off math just because we don't crack open the manual every day. Rather I'm using my manuals as a guideline of what we should cover. We do still use our worksheets, but we do them after so much hands on application that Morgan has has no problems with it. He's even noticed a few "secrets" at figuring out patterns and answers.

You can read More about living math from these sites:

  • Living Math -- the sight is full of resources from books to websites. Games, links, and even a prelaid out lesson plan if you're so obliged.
  • Let's Play Math -- a website loaded with math information, games and resources as well. This is where I got the Ten's Concentration as well as a few other fun games from.
  • Squidoo Lens -- this is another great lens that Jimmie put together and it helped me find a few of my missing links. It also encouraged me to do what I really felt was the right thing for our family. (You can also read about some of their fun Living Math lessons over on her blog.)
Books:
  • Family Math -- this one has been on my wish list for over a month now awaiting my next Amazon order. After reading some raving reviews from other homeschoolers who use it I can't wait for my copy to arrive.
Be sure to check your library for books as well. Our library has a huge collection of math books. In fact when we checked a few out this week the librarian wrote the names and barcodes down so she could check them out for her own daughter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mailing May & Daniel Boone

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The boys have been learning about a variety of explorers since the beginning of last school year, and with our current study we're able to dip into a few of the American explorers.

We've been reading, and will continue to read, about Lewis & Clark for the next 2 weeks. Today, however, we did a quick study on Daniel Boone. My resources are fairly limited when it comes to American history, but we had a book on hand and the great North American Explorers Pocket put out by Evan Moor. (We've been slow at this adding explorers as we come to them..) You're suppose to use an oversized bit of construction paper to make the pockets, but I use the 12x12 cardstock paper instead.

Today we read about Daniel Boone and put together his pocket. Morgan is always delighted with these nifty pockets because just about each one has a map somewhere in it. Each explorer pocket has it's own map, which delights him fully!


This pocket had a few different things in it, this buckskin coat was suppose to have a poem on it about Daniel Boone, and this was Morgan's rendition:

Indians & Warriors

Guns and bullets shooting all around
some men fell to the ground.
But Daniel Boone stood for his people.

He also made the cover to a book where he'll write a story about Daniel Boone later this week. He's enjoyed tracking Daniel Boone across the map as well. They are equally impressed to know that Daniel Boone was once in the same state they lived in.

Mail Bags

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With our Mailing May study I decided it would be fun to make the kids mail carrier bags. They were both delighted to find material and pins in their final workbox for the day on Monday and couldn't wait to find out what we'd be doing.

I have to admit I'm not quite brave enough to let them use my machine yet, shameful perhaps, but.. I did, however, let them help do lots of pinning before they ran off to watch a video.

I used a typical bag tutorial to make this with so that I came out with a square bottom, but I wanted a flap on the bag. You know, messenger bag style. However, I needed a full sized handle and a flap. I ended up putting the full handle and flap on when I put the inner liner in. Which will probably only make sense if you go look at the tutorial.


That's actually the interior of Jayden's, Morgan has a cute bookworm fabric that I picked up from Spotlight when it was on the clearance table. I didn't end up sewing the liner in place because I was running very short on time and still had dinner to deal with. I'm tempted to sew the liners in one evening after the kids have gone to bed!


The exterior of the bags is some denim I had on hand for a project we never worked on! The "patches" on the front are nothing more then paper print-outs that we stuck on the bag with a thin strip of double stick tape. The kids were delighted, and really so was I. The whole project only took me about 2 hours. They spent the evening filling out envelopes (Jayden asked me to address his) with all sorts of funny things on them.

Morgan wrote to Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, John Quimby, & a few other funny names. His spelling was just as cute too. Because Jayden was very tired and cranky (allergies) he wanted REAL letters and wouldn't settle for anything else. So I pulled up a typing program and typed in:

Dear ____________,

I hope you are feeling well and having a wonderful day! I was thinking of you and so I wrote this letter to mail to you.

Today I am being a postman and it's so much fun! I get to bring everyone their letters and packages. Do you have a package or letter you'd like me to mail for you?

If you do you can just call and I will come and get it and put it in my postman bag and take it to the person it's addressed to.

I am learning all about postman and posts and even a little girl who was put in the mail to visit her grandma! I'd love to go through the mail to visit my grandma, but I don't think they'd let me do that do you?

Love,

The boys thought it was very cool that they could put their name and the name of someone to give it to. Should be quite handy this week when we build a post office in our very empty living room. I'm also collecting all the junk mail we get this week for them to use too.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Things I've Learned From Soccer...

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1. Small players have more enthusiasm
2. Big players find little players amusing
3. Big players underestimate the speed of the little players
4. Nothing's colder then Saturday morning on the soccer field
5. 60 minutes of clapping keeps your hands warm, but leaves them sore
6. You can hold your breath for a full 45 seconds without realizing it
7. Warming up with the players is a great way to stay warm
8. Striped long johns are embarrassing if your teammates see them
9. No matter how warm purple snowman bathrobes are, it's too embarrassing for your child to permit it at the game
10. 8-10 year olds say the funniest things when it comes to being out run by little players
11. 3 shirts is not enough to keep you warm on a Saturday morning
12. No matter how dry it looks, the ground is always wet
13. Even soccer players have to stop and pull up their socks
14. You can play soccer in a skirt
15. Your team mates can amaze your little brother because they share the names of some of his favorite trains
16. It's possible to play soccer for 1.5 months and not know the names of all your teammates
17. Being knocked over on the soccer field doesn't hurt, as long as your brother didn't do it
18. Referees are the same size as the players
19. City buses can easily squash soccer balls
20. One must petition the local council in order to fence in a soccer field
21. Warm quilts are mandatory for spectators
22. A 6 year old will be bored 3.25 minutes into the first half
23. It is possible to freeze to the ground before a game ends
24. You can be a one man cheering squad and your kid thinks it's cool
25. Your life will never be the same once you sign up

Crunchy Coleslaw Recipe

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A quick supper around here on nights when things are crazy is to pull corn flake chicken out of the freezer, or hamburgers, or the occasional roasted chicken. Which means we need a quick veggie or three to go on the table. This usually means coleslaw, and it's often never the same way twice. I tend to open the fridge and dump whatever I have in there in the bowl. So one night it might be cabbage and carrots with chives, and another time you might find sweet red pepper floating around with some cucumber amongst all that cabbage. The basics usually stay the same, and since it's a tasty sugar free dressing I thought I'd post it here to share!

Crunchy Coleslaw

1/4 head (give or take) cabbage, shredded (I usually just do this with a knife)
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1/4 c finely chopped chives, I never measure them, and I use the scissors to cut them
Any other veggies to suit your fancy, we've used:
1/2 a red pepper finely diced
1/2 apple, peeled and finely diced
1/2 medium cucumber, finely diced
2 T dark currants (occasionally and 100% optional)

Throw all the veggies/fruits in a bowl as you go along. I have a really handy chopper which is what I usually use for finely dicing and chopping of veggies and fruit. Works very well for this recipe! In fact I use it as often as I can because it's not only very useful, but just too fun not to use!

Dressing

1/3 c mayonnaise
2/3 c sour cream
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4 pepper
1 t onion powder, optional
1 t garlic powder, optional
1/2 t prepared mustard, optional
3-6 "scoops" stevia


I've made this many times. I prefer it with lemon juice and no mustard, but the mustard will make the dressing last longer. That dressing is enough for 2-3 salads (for the size I make, the original recipe that I've adapted called for 1 lb of shredded cabbage!) Sometimes I use garlic and onion and sometimes I don't. Again, it just depends on what I have on hand. In either case I mix it all up in a separate bowl and pour on what I need.



For the record we use Paul Newman's Own mayo. It does contain sugar, but it contains the least amount of sugar in any brand I can find and obtain locally. I'd love to get some with Agave Nectar, and I know I could make it, but there's no point because we use it so rarely it'd probably spoil before consumed. We just don't use it that often, probably because we're not big on sandwiches due to the price of luncheon meat here! Plus, as I pointed out last night, using Paul Newman's products means we can claim part of our grocery bill on the taxes, all though Lawrence told me that was just 100% pure cheapness. He has a point...


I said I'd post a picture of my stevia scoop and here it is. I'm not kidding when I say it's tiny. That's a child's Wall*e fork, and that's my itty bitty scoop next to it. I find that 3 scoops is more then sufficient in sweetening 1 cup of liquid, and leaving a sweet taste. I usually put in about 3-4 of those little scoops (level) for my recipe. You'd use more or less depending on how sweet you like your dressing.


I had to get a photo of this for all you American's out there. The variety of mustards here is limitless, and I was highly amused when I found this one on the shelf. Notice how it's open and used and the Australian mustard isn't? To be totally honest though, the grainy mustard, with the mustard seeds half ground, is the one I use the most often! I'm the only one in the house who uses mustard so we don't go through much of that very often either, unless, of course, I'm making Romano Chicken. Now, if you're done laughing...


Mix the coleslaw and dressing together and serve it with the worlds funniest cow spoons! Aren't they great? Lawrence brought those back from the mainland and we use them every chance we get because we can't help laughing at them. The boys wanted to try eating cereal with the spoon one, and pasta with the more fork one, but they gave up on that idea after they realized how hard it was to get the spoon and fork in their mouths. Now that was a picture we should have taken!