Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everybody! Hope your year has been great! Speaking of which, why don’t we reflect on our year? I know mine was great (even though I forgot some stuff)!

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The biggest thing I remember is our Alaska trip. That was really fun, and cold, but mostly fun. Next year/this coming year, hopefully we will make better memories of Seattle ūüôā¬†. We learned a lot about Alaska’s history and culture, and about sled dogs, and glaciers, and learned just plain out a LOT.

I also remember my first day of 7th grade. It was…interesting. We had to carry our stuff around for a few days in a backpack, because they didn’t have our lockers for us yet. That was the only really bad thing on the first few days. The rest of the year (so far) has been stressful, fun and great!

There was a lot of craziness in October and November with the play in Kenosha, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I¬†had to go up there almost every single day of the week! But the shows and performances were worth it. I performed¬†as Scout in two day performances, and even though I¬†missed a few lines (and school that day ūüôĀ ), it went really well.

P1040805We also made steampunk style a big part of my world. My Halloween costume was a steampunk girl, and we changed my room into a steamounk den (sort of). We also decorated our tiny tree as a Doctor Who-Steampunk tree this year.

We decoupaged some heads to put my Halloween masks on

We decoupaged some heads to put my Halloween masks on

This coming year will be crazy at the beginning with school. We have about a zillion tests, and we have Battle of the Books (a reading competition), and Destination Imagination (http://www.destinationimagination.org/).

We are going to  be busy, but I hope your new year gets off to a great start!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope you are enjoying this holiday of thanks. I found some interesting facts about this feasting holiday:

Lots of people know that the First Thanksgiving was with the Pilgrims and Native Americans, but did you know that it wasn’t an official holiday until 1863? In the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated every November. It’s celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.¬†Now, even though we still celebrate Thanksgiving, lots has changed from how it used to be. People didn’t eat turkey at the first Thanksgiving. They ate seals, swans, deer, corn, shellfish, and lobster. It just depended on which people brought each food. The Pilgrims didn’t have any ovens or sugar, so they didn’t have any cakes or pies like we do today. The Native Americans and Pilgrims ate together for three days as they celebrated a harvest feast.

Thanksgiving Tree

Our “Thanksgiving Tree”

The Pilgrims were thankful to the Native Americans for the food. So what are you thankful for? I’m thankful for my loving family (including my cat), my friends, and the roof over my head.

Having an “H” of Time with Food

We watch two cooking challenge shows: Chopped and Guy’s Grocery Games.¬†In Chopped, contestants have to make an appetizer, entree and dessert using bizarre ingredients from mystery baskets. Guy’s Grocery Games has different events that limit the competitors, one being “ABC” where the¬†competitors can only use food items that start with a certain letter. They can also use basic ingredients found in their pantry, like flour, salt, sugar, milk, etc. We decided to mash-up the two shows by doing an appetizer, entree and dessert using just one letter. We drew the letter “H.”

WP_20150823_11_33_19_Pro[1]We did our appetizer for lunch and made sliders. We hard-boiled eggs and used the yolks to make a spread by mixing in hummus and herb blends. It was delicious! We divided some hamburger patties and put them on Hawaiian sweet rolls to form mini burger sliders with our yummy egg mix on top. It could’ve used some crunch, but it still was really good.

WP_20150823_17_04_17_Pro[1]For dinner, we made a hamburger and hash brown casserole with Havarti cheese on top. We seasoned the meat with some more herb blends, and I made a gravy using flour and milk from our pantry. We used our slow cooker thingy to cook it, and the hash browns were crispy for once!

WP_20150823_17_35_27_Pro[1]We had honey and hot cocoa mix to make a dessert with, so we created a chocolaty microwave honey cake, partially following a recipe (everything else we made¬†was done from scratch). We put in estimates of raw and mesquite honey and hot chocolate mix. It was more of a chocolate honey sponge cake, but it was still REALLY good with a little bit of milk poured over it (my parents substituted ice cream in for the milk–which was kind of cheating). Overall, I think it was a successful “H” centered food day. I’m very glad we didn’t draw an “X.”

National Milk Chocolate Day!!!

July 28 is¬†National Milk Chocolate Day. To celebrate, my mom’s work held a bake sale for charity, and there were a LOT of chocolate creations. Our whole family LOVES chocolate, so we all got involved. My grandma made delicious chocolate-raspberry cookies. My grandpa and I made his family-famous fudge. It’s really good, and it melts in your mouth. My mom and I made chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes. I thought they were good, but my mom thought they were “gummy,” maybe because of the humidity. We brought our treats in to my mom’s work early Tuesday morning, and by lunch there were tons of cookies, cupcakes and other chocolate goodies, plus some yummy creations donated by a local French pastry school. We donated money so we could try some of everything. It was all really good.
chocolate1 chocolate2I think chocolate is really cool. You could do a lot with it. You can melt it, make cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and even mix it with milk to make drinking chocolate. You, of course, can also eat chocolate as chocolate (but I prefer to make chocolate foods with chocolate). Making drinking chocolate is easy. You have to melt chocolate chips in a microwave, then slowly add milk and heat it some more. I like to add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to it once I’m almost done adding the milk. It’s basically making chocolate milk, but it tastes more chocolaty.

I also like to make chocolate pudding in the microwave and microwave cupcakes. There are tons of microwave cupcake recipes online. It’s nice to be able to make treats quickly without heating up the house. I can’t wait until the next chocolate holiday (maybe I can make up my own)!

Our Alphabet Weekend

Capannari Ice CreamWe had a very eventful Memorial Day Weekend. On Sunday, we met my Grandma Debbie and her husband, Neal, at Barnaby’s, which is a pizza place. Then we went to¬†Capannari¬†Ice Cream, where I had Chocolate Malt Ice Cream. It was really good. Since we had a B and a C, we decided to continue the alphabet (for “A,” we figured we awoke).

Dam No. 1 Woods

gosslingsFor D, we went to Dam¬†No.1 Woods, the west part. Then we went to the¬†east¬†side of the¬†forest¬†preserve to look at the¬†goslings. Then we went to¬†Half-Price Books, a store where I got¬†another Doctor Who Encyclopedia. Then we did¬†iced drinks. I had iced coffee that was AWESOME! We kind of cheated and didn’t really do anything for J, K, and L since our names start with those letters (Jerry, Kendyl, Lisa). After that we watched Sherlock Holmes, a¬†mystery movie. For “n,” we said, “‘Night.”

On Monday morning, we ate chocolaty oatmeal. We walked in the Memorial Day Parade. We ate quesadillas while it rained (it rained on the parade, too). We made ice cream-y sodas. My parents tormented me by playing Tiptoe Through the Tulips by Tiny Tim with a ukulele. The reason it tormented me was that kids at school sing it NONSTOP and in a very high Mickey Mouse voice. It gets very annoying, being that they only know half of a verse, and they repeat that part over and over.

Capannari Ice Cream

We looked around at Victorian houses in¬†Waukegan. Then we did xylopyrography, which means wood burning. I made a project for my boyfriend, Louis. Then, we played¬†Yahtzee, where I surprisingly won with 3 Yahtzees. I had never played it before, so it must have been beginner’s luck. Finally, we went to bed to catch some¬†Z‘s.

Easter Weekend/Spring Break

bird at Prairie Wolf This weekend was sort of my spring break, only kind of windy and egg-y. I say egg-y because it was Easter, and eggs were our theme for the weekend. We went for a walk at the preserve that was right next to the little store and restaurant area, where we ended up eating. There was this one bird that was at the beginning of the trail and at the end of it, too. I don’t know if it had any eggs, but it loved having its photo taken.

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St. Patrick’s Day (My Favorite Day of the Year)!

tour-ireland-brochure

Here’s the front cover my Tour Ireland in the Middle Ages brochure.

St. Patrick’s Day is not only when you wear green and orange or leprechauns are about, but you get to celebrate the Saint of Ireland, Patrick. I had another I.D.U. project that was about making a tour brochure for medieval people of medieval Europe. I chose to do mine on Ireland’s medieval heritage, and I learned several facts: Continue reading

Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March first is Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day. This is one of my favorite holidays because I LOVE peanut butter! So, we made a lot of peanut butter-y food! My mom did Nutella on her foods instead of peanut butter because she can’t stand peanuts/peanut butter and may have an intolerance.

For breakfast, we did pocket pies. We [somewhat] followed a recipe from Woman’s Day Magazine. We cut rounds out of store-bought pie crust dough and spread the peanut butter/Nutella over some fruit. Continue reading

Presidents’ Day: About More Than Two

Presidents’ Day is usually thought of as celebrating Pres. George Washington and Pres. Abraham Lincoln because their birthdays are in February. But, we all know there are many more presidents than that! I have some fun facts for you about some of the presidents.

Did you know…

  • James A. Garfield was ambidextrous¬†and could write a sentence in Greek and Latin, one sentence per hand.
  • Chester A. Arthur owned over 80 pairs of pants.
  • Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity and he refused to touch the light switches.
  • Barack Obama collects comic books.
  • Dwight Eisenhower almost had his leg amputated, but he liked sports so much that he made a miraculous recovery.

And there are even more! I just haven’t written them all down. Also, did you know that Presidents’ Day is actually supposed to be the celebration of Washington’s Birthday? But I think it’s better to celebrate all of them!