Friday, October 30, 2009

A IS FOR APPLE all started with a sale....47 cents a pound to be exact. I bagged up over 30 pounds amidst the stares of the regular shoppers, danced through the check out, and skipped all the way to my van.

I knew I could make apple sauce with some of them...but what about the other 25 pounds? Time for a few experiments...

First up, apple butter. Oh and here's the kicker....I've never eaten apple butter. Didn't even know what it should look like, but it sure sounded good, and I could bust out the water bath canner and practice with it as well. I found a great and very easy recipe from One Acre Homestead.

Crockpot Apple Butter
Put 3 quarts of apples, sliced thin in a crock pot and cook overnight on high. Next morning add 2 tsp cinnamon, 3 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp cloves. Cook all day on low. Tastes like old fashioned apple butter cooked in a copper kettle.

Sounds great, eh? Off to the kitchen I go....first many apples in a quart? Back to the computer. Apparently there are 4 large or 8 medium apples to a quart. Problem solved.

I cut up 25 Gala apples, which filled my crock pot to the gills, turned her up on high at 2:30 pm and six hours later....added the sugar and cinnamon (no cloves for me thanks) and set it on low for the night.

By 7:30 am, it was looking dark, thick and rich and smelled like heaven. I firmly believe that heaven smells like cinnamon...know what I'm saying? Mmmmmm
Re-read my canning instructions for apple products and dove right in.
I turned out 8 - 1 cup jars of this super delicious treat!
I will definitely do up another couple batches of disappears fast!
Next up....dehydrated apple rings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well that has a nice ring to it, don't you think?! Actually, the original name we came up with was: Hallland Academy - School for Young Ladies Doing Everything in Their Power to Drive Their Mother to Drink. But we opted for the shortened version. lol
Okay, so let's see if I can make this long story, short.

Before we ever met our first baby, we knew we'd homeschool. It just felt right to us. Ry came along and was the perfect student. She was one smart little cookie and eager to learn. This was gonna be great!!! Sometime right before she turned 3, her bahaviour changed. She would have these wild fits and was doing harm to herself. She was still smart as a whip, but this "change" in her was upsetting for all of us. At 4, she was officially diagnosed with Moderate Autism. Wham! Well that changes everything!! Right?! And this is where I should have stayed the course, but I gave her up to the system because well....we're talking about people who know all about Autism, right? They've dealt with this hundreds of times, right? They have all those fancy letters behind their name, right? They assured me that if I would send her to "regular school", she would do much better. She would get the chance to see what other kids do and would follow along. They assured me that they knew what they were talking about. They assured me that they were prepared for her. They assured me that she would be safe.

Okay, so I sent her off to Senior Kindergarten and during the year, she totally forgot everything we had worked on. She got into trouble....a lot!! She had "zero" desire to learn anything. The meeting I had with all the bigwigs at her school at the end of the year was an eye-opener. They essentially told me that she was a smart girl and would pick things up along the way...but their focus was socializing her. Unbelievable! Oh but here's the kicker...I sent her back for Grade 1. Oh I mother-of-the-year award for that move!

So Grade 1 started off pretty well...first week whipped by and everyone was happy! Whew, maybe this wasn't such a bad idea afterall....
The next two weeks didn't go so well. One morning while I waited for her in the school yard, before class started, I watched a group of older girls poke fun at her...egging her on to act silly. 3 days later, one of the kids made fun of her Chinese eyes. She was getting into massive trouble and I was summoned to the school 3 times to come and get her. The third time I was called, they had to physically restrain her. ENOUGH!!!!

So I did a mad scramble to find some appropriate curriculum to use, sent our letter of intent to homeschool to the Board, and on October 5 2009, with Big Daddy's full support, we officially opened our homeschool.
In just 2 weeks, she's made huge strides!! She's happier, more relaxed and eager to learn once again. I am so very proud of her!