FIAR: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

This week, we’ve been doing How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Day one started off really early – for me at least. Before seven. Ms Piggy decided that was a great time to wake up, so I pulled Daniel Tiger up on the Kindle so I could rest for a few extra minutes while mentally preparing for the day. We started off with breakfast, making pepper-egg flowers. Instead of using bread to make eggs in the nest, you just slice the bell pepper and crack the egg in the center of it. Ms Action ate every bite of hers.

We then went downstairs to our school room, that is currently a mostly empty room covered in construction paper, crayons, and glitter glue (still in its bottle, fortunately). We read our book, then colored pictures of the flags of Italy, France, Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica, and Vermont. We found each place on a map, then played an ingredient matching game to remember where each ingredient came from. The flour comes from wheat, which was gotten from Italy; the egg from a chicken from France; cinnamon from the bark of a Kurundu tree from Sri Lanka; butter from a cow from England (because they’re happy, charming cows, so make the best butter); salt from sea water while crossing the ocean; sugar from sugar cane from Jamaica; and apples from an orchard in Vermont. I really liked this activity, because I want my kids to know food doesn’t just come from the supermarket, but is grown somewhere by someone just like them.

Day two started a little later than the day before. By about ten minutes. I was grumpy and in a bad mood. Not much sleep, thanks to Ms Piggy nursing (I think she’s hitting a growth spurt. At least I hope so. Otherwise, she’s nursing like a newborn for no reason.). I’m tired of not having a couch, of having so few utensils to cook with, of not having my books to read, of not having proper dishes to eat off. I’ve been doing my best to make it into an adventure for the girls, keep a pleasant, cheerful attitude, keep the girls’ spirits up, and everyone entertained. I’ve also managed to make a fairly wide variety of meals, all things considered. But for whatever reason, when I woke up, I was just done. I warned the girls about my mood, then we sat down and had strawberries and blueberries for breakfast.

I kept school nice and light, since I knew otherwise our day would devolve into fighting, arguing, and tears. We read our story, went over humor in writing (bad day for that, huh?), learned some new vocabulary words, did handwriting, and went over our spelling words. Ms Piggy has the letter “D” this week, so w colored some pictures that start with the letter D, talked about what words start with D, and then called it a day.

After school, I made mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and ketchup for dinner. We’re having hamburgers with carrot fries. Until I made my own ketchup, I never realized how sweet the stuff from the store is. I had to make the mayo by hand, because I don’t have my food processor and the VitaMix is too strong and cooks the mixture instead of emulsifying it.

Ms Action lost her sixth tooth, which she was very excited about. Another dollar from the tooth fairy for her 🙂

We then got the news that the moving company could take up to a month (!) to get our stuff to us. My mood from earlier deepened and I could feel hopelessness and despair rising. What if these people steal our stuff? So much of what we have is irreplaceable – pictures, notes my grandpa wrote me, my grandma’s craft supplies, the girls’ baby books and boxes, and so much more that I won’t let myself think about. I know I’m borrowing trouble and probably worrying needlessly, but when the company couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get the right email address to send stuff to, when they have taken so long to respond, when they weren’t answering their phones, and when they said we hadn’t paid the percentage up front that we needed to so couldn’t send out the stuff, then after the hubby said the word “lawyer” they found the check in seconds? Yeah, none of that is giving me any confidence in their abilities.

So, I turned to my old “feel better”  stand-by. We made cookies. While they were baking, we read a book that had been a favorite of mine to read with my grandma growing up: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.I found a copy of it at Goodwill, that has songs, recipes, and the books If You Give a Pig a Pancake and If You Give a Moose a Muffin. After the cookies came out, we, like the mouse in the story, had cookies and milk. It’s really amazing what baking, fresh baked goods, and a glass of ice cold, whole milk, does for the soul.

I involved both girls in getting dinner on the table. Because of how blue I was feeling, we put the tablecloth that the former homeowner left onto the table (after laundering, naturally) to make dinner more special. Ms Piggy laid out the plates and Ms Action put out the different condiments. Involving them, somehow, helped me feel better.

Day three started off much more gently. Both girls woke up a little after seven, we cuddled on the bed for a little while, then came out and made smoothies for breakfast. Then, while I got stuff ready for school (and did laundry), the girls watched the plasterers working on the basement stairs through the basement door. Then we read our story and did our art project, since it was art day. Both girls decided to draw a garden, then we folded over a third of the paper to get the sort of effect in the book, showing more of one side of the drawing than the other.

We did some cleaning, learned some manners, and bout how our attitude can make things good or bad. You know, if you have a bad attitude, no matter how many good things happen, you won’t enjoy them. And if you have a good attitude, even annoying things – like not having your furniture, or kitchen utensils, or more clothes – can be an adventure.

Then the girls helped me prep dinner, dicing butternut squash, ham, red onions, and mushrooms for an absolutely delicious winter squash hash. Ms Action ate two big helpings, and Ms Piggy had two eggs.

Day four started off even better than the day before. The girl didn’t wake until around 7:15, the latest so far this week. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t have any of my stuff until the middle of October. I was planning on making the girls’ Halloween costume this year, but without my sewing machine that’s going to be impossible. So, we went to the store and each girl got a costume. Ms Action is going as a Monarch butterfly, and Ms Piggy is going as Minnie Mouse.

We the went to the grocery store to get the lemon I forgot to get earlier in the week. It’s rather difficult to make a garlic lemon aioli without a lemon.

We got home, read our book and made apple pie today. After Ms Piggy’s nap, we made some banana-vanilla ice cream to top our pie with and had an afternoon snack.

Day five we actually didn’t do much. I spent the morning hugging the toilet and feeling miserable, so I had no energy to do any type of schooling. The girls watched some educational videos so at least the day wasn’t wasted.

Last night we got to meet a few more neighbors. Ms Action is thrilled to have so many new friends, and Ms Piggy actually shook hands with the neighbors as we met them. Little girl is growing up and becoming more sure of herself. I also got the paperwork to sign Ms Action up for Girl Scouts.

Ms Action and I played some board games while Ms Piggy napped, then we discussed appropriate behavior when Ms Action got mad that I wouldn’t let her have a cookie. Like I always tell her, it’s okay to be mad, sad, and disappointed. It isn’t okay to use a nasty tone of voice, use mean words, or be disrespectful.

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