Thursday, June 28

Swim Meet

Last night was Froggy's first swim meet as a Marlin.  I was very proud of her.  She warmed up with the team and then fell in with her team fantastically.
Post warmups waiting for the meet to start
Lined up to head to Clerk of Courts - This meet had over 300 kids so there was lots of waiting.
Look Mom here is my card
Waiting for her heat. 
Swimmers take your mark - this is her freestyle race.  She only does two races and this is always the first.
Finally side breathing - it slowed her down this race but will ultimately improve her time.
Hanging with friends between races
In the pit -
Backstroke starts in the water
 And reach for the wall!!

Monday, June 25

Menu Planning Monday - 4 Tamuz

The menu is short and sweet this week since we head out of town on Thursday.  

Monday - Dinner out for Ima's Birthday
Tuesday - Tacos
Wednesday - Swim Meet Picnic - Tuna, cheese, crackers , carrot sticks, fruit and cookies

Monday, June 18

Menu Planning Monday - 28 Sivan

Review - We did much better about not eating out this week.  Our experiments did not do so well though.  The chicken tenders were ok but a bit too spicy for Froggy.  I had a devil of a time getting the coating to actually stay on them so they were not evenly coated in the end.  The rice was a disaster.  It had almost no flavor. Not a reasonable facsimile at all.  The highlight was our unusually colorful stir fry.  Just seeing it in the pan made me smile. 

Sunday -Salad, Pasta with our new vegan sauce, Garlic Bread
Monday - Swim Meet - Picnic dinner, Cold Chicken, cut up fruit and carrot sticks.
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes (a standard after pot roast), peas and corn
Wednesday - Grandparents - Pulkogi, rice, squash
Thursday - Vietnamese Rolls and snap peas
Friday - Out of town - We are gone all weekend at a retreat.  It is delightful to not plan.

Sunday, June 17

Goodbye Daisies

With the end of the school year also came the end of Daisies.   I am not the least bit sad because instead of saying goodbye as many Bridgings are, this one is more about welcoming. 
Most of the girls will be continuing on with the troop.  We welcome a new coleader, Mrs. B.  She organized a craft for the day.
Here is the sample one she made.  A Daisy petal with a picture of each girl in the center.  Each girl made a full bouquet with a reminder picture of each girl.

The girls had tons of fun cutting and pasting and showing each other their progress.

Then we moved outside for the ceremony portion of our day.  The Daisies recited the Girl Scout Promise and received their membership pin.  This year the pin is extra special because of the 100th anniversary so they received a commemorative backing as well as their regular pin.
Then it was time to make some Brownies.  Our pool was a going to be a mirror alone and then it became a mirror in the pool  I "twisted and turned them" until the saw the "elf"  Every single one of them turned shy as soon as she was in the spotlight.
But they all glowed in their new vests when they returned to the group
And what better way to end anything than with Icecream.

Thursday, June 14

Blueberries and Battlefields

We went on our annual blueberry picking fieldtrip to Eagletree Farm.  I like this place in particular because they do not spray the berries.  They have a machine to scare of birds and use other techniques like that to keep pests away
This year, E. joined us.  It was his first time ever picking any kind of berry.   
 He was so focused on picking. He picked the entire contents he is holding all by himself.  While Froggy and I picked ours together.  Froggy does not like picking very much but she loves coming on these field trips.  She looks forward to the day, has a blast when we are there and asks to go back. She just does not actually pick berries.
 When Froggy was ready to leave ( after about an hour and a half ) but E was still picking, I suggest she go on a Fairy hunt.  This adventure became the over arching theme for the rest of the day as they collected bits of nature and wove grass beds for the fairies.

We had planned to have a picnic lunch at the berry field but the lack of restroom made that impossible.(we passed it on the road as we were leaving).  So we looked for a park on the drive home.  And we ended up at Balls Bluff Battlefield.  And thus began our impromtu lesson on the Civil War.   The park had an interpretive trail which we took. 
 We visited the cemetery.  E's mom's one request was that if we talking about war that I emphasize the loss involved. 
 
 And read lots of signs introducing us to several of the commanders on both sides of the battle. Given that the Confederacy won this battle, much of our discussion revolved around the difference between a battle and a war.  We talked alot about slavery and what made the Confederacy believe they were doing something right or important. I did not lead the conversation at all.  I read only the signs I was requested to read and answered questions. 
 Out in the woods though, everything is a nature hike.
They found a fallen tree with a hole in the center that needed investigating to see who had made their home there. 
 
 Then we wandered down to the shore of the Potomac.  The river itself did not seem to attract much attention but the sqishy mud at the bank provided tremendous fascination.



Wednesday, June 13

Fruit Tortilla Cups

Froggy picked Fruit cups as her cooking experiment this week.  It was a lesson in knife skills more than anything else.
 Froggy started with reading the directions and gathering her materials and ingredients.  I am trying to teach good habits as much as techniques. 
 We modified the recipe a  bit and I explained to Froggy why.  We used olive oil instead of PAM
 Then came the cinnamon sugar.  This showed why it is important to read the recipe thoroughly first.  The recipe said "sprinkle with cinnamon sugar."  Froggy asked how much.  The recipe did not say.  So she had to thin about all the places it was used and deduce how much to use for each side.
 Folding it into the muffin tins was tricky but we got it to work.  Froggy set the oven temp but I put them in.
 Then it came time for the lesson in knife skills.  This is Froggy's first time using a 'sharp' knife.  She cut the grapes in half.  We talked about keeping fingers back and watching the tip of the knife and I poked her every time the fingers drifted back in.
 She also got to cu the banana slices.  I cut the strawberries for speed sake only.
 Add the yogurt and mix it all together
  Fill the cups and enjoy. 

Tuesday, June 12

Still Singing After All These Years

Girl Scouts are 100 years old.  To celebrate, scouts from all over the world gathered on the National Mall to sing and swap and enjoy the fellowship. Our troop did not go but our family did.
 Froggy taking in the huge crowd on arrival. We arrived in time for part of the pre-show but not early enough to see our friend perform with her choir.
  They made an announcement at one point that there were 250,000+  people in attendance. It was packed.  We filled the Mall from the Washington Monument to the World War II memorial. 
 This is a platform in the center set back from the main stage one field worth.  It offered a great view and a chance to scope out the whole scene.
  There were tons of troops from everywhere with all kinds of neat messages.  We liked the ones encouraging girls to be themselves.

Monday, June 11

Menu Planning Monday - 21 Sivan

We  ended up eat out a bunch more than I had hoped this week.  These evening swim meets are really rough on the cooking schedule.  Thank goodness this is our last week. I also changed up our Shabbos menu at the last minute.  We had yummy delicious corn on the cob instead of the potatoes.  The broccoli slaw turned out even better than expected. 

Monday - Pulled Chicken, Green Beans, tator tots
Tuesday - Stir Fry and Rice
Wednesday - Salad,Pecan Chicken Tenders, Rice a Roni redo
Thursday - Salad, Fish ala Jenn and rice
Friday - Challah, Gefilte Fish Loaf, Alphabet Soup,Pot Roast, Honey Roasted Potatoes, Peas, chocolate croissants (Froggy is making these)
Saturday - Kiddush at Shul, Seudah Slishit - cheese, cracker, garden salad, caprase salad with maple balsamic reduction, crudite and hummus

Sunday, June 10

Transit of Venus

This week we have been studying Venus.  We learned about Venus in our Astronomy book.  Froggy was fascinated by the volcanoes. I answered a zillion questions of would X melt if it was on Venus.
On Tuesday, we went to see the Transit of Venus at the Naval Observatory.  We hauled in even though the weather was dubious.  We could not actually see any of the transit due to cloud cover but the scientists gave us a great tour and showed us pictures of the Transit from another location where the cloud cover was not so heavy.  Froggy also got to look at very cool telescopes as part of a great tour of the Observatory.

Thursday, June 7

Artist Study - Renoir

One of my goals for this summer is to try to get Art Study working for us.  We are going to start with Renoir.  I picked Renoir because of all the artists in this summer's Stories in Art program that we know the least about. 

I am making a screen saver of several of his paintings.  As well we will post the collection one by one as we study them on our "museum" wall in our entry way.
We are going to start with a couple of his landscapes and then move on to the figure paintings he is most famous for.  The first painting we will study is La Grenouillere.

Wednesday, June 6

Meringues

Froggy used to bake with me lots when she was a toddler.  As she got older, and more independent, that fell by the wayside.  We are working on correcting that.
Today she made Meringue Surprise Kisses from the Kosher By Design Kids cookbook.  She did it all by herself. The book was a gift from Auntie Lisa.  It is specifically written so that children can do it on their own.
 Reading the recipe to get ready.  It really helped her to have the complete picture in her head before starting.
 Laying out all the supplies and ingredients
 Trying to tear the parchment paper.
Pouring in the egg whites.  These were all ready separated, leftover from our Shavout ice cream making.
Adding the cornstarch. She did level the teaspoon before dumping it in.
 
Watching the clock, waiting for the whites to form their "stiff peaks"
 Preparing the bag for the whipped whites.  This step was a perfect example of bad directions.  She did exactly what was written in the book and end up with the top of the closed bag rolled over in the form of a cuff.
 Filling the pastry bag with the meringue mixture.
And creating the meringues.  This was the trickiest part.  I did a couple to show her.  Then we did a couple hand over hand then I turned her loose.  Then we added the surprise,  a chocolate kiss,  and a bit more meringue on top to hide the surprise.

Then we went off and played while they baked for two whole hours.  Froggy was shocked it took that long.  Froggy yummed hers up as a pre-dinner treat.