Thursday, August 23, 2012

Desert Silhouettes

Paint chips.

They are so awesome they deserve their own line.  If you have searched Pinterest, then you have seen the abundance of crafts using paint chips.  Really, why not when they are free and come in every color you could dream.  We used paint chips to make desert silhouettes and I adore the results.

Ladybug - Can you guess who likes purple?

Mister - I know that he isn't a huge fan of art, so I made sure to model how to cover the entire paper with paint chips.  
The Wee One - Her picture sparked interest in collage.

Ladybug's desert colors collage

First we looked at pictures of silhouettes and talked about what they all had in common.  Then, we talked about dessert sunset colors and read Listen to the Desert.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From One Desert to Another

The Wee One still gets  kick out of pouring and transferring, so I put together sand pouring for her shelf.  She spent two fifteen minute intervals pouring on her mat.

She preferred the mismatched pitchers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Desert Activities

Now that the twins are finished with all their summer activities and there is a small break before their preschool programs starts, we have been back in our room.  It feels good to be back to school and everyone seems refreshed after a fun summer.  Mister is loving all the desert animals and Ladybug and the Wee One are into all the art projects.

Math - Mister and Ladybug are obsessed (their word) with time, whether it's how long something takes to the actual time.  I took this opportunity to introduce the clock.

Match the time on the cards - All cards are on the hour
Making a clock - We will redo this activity with stamps because the stickers kept falling off.

Literacy - We are still working on word families and CVC words.  Ladybug is fully reading and Mister is not too far behind.  We have talked about blends here and there, but nothing formal.

Making words - CVC with one CVCC

Writing words - CVC

Desert colors - paint chips from light to dark
Desert photos 


One dollar snakes from Michael's.  I replaced the provided colors with  desert snake colors.  Before we painted, we looked at pictures of snakes in the deserts of the Southwest.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

'Tis The Season

When you live in the tundra, you spend a lot of time thinking about wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables.  Well, at least I spend a good part of winter thinking about them and when summer rolls around we eat as many from the farm to the table vegetables as possible.  My pizza was fantastic and just my luck I had some italian sausage and kale left over.  The tomatoes were picked in the morning and bought from the Farmer's Market (my tomatoes are just now turning red) and the kale and herbs were picked an hour before I put it on the table and the result was an amazing meal.

What you need
  • 6 beefsteak tomatoes
  • Italian sausage mix
  • 4 more kale leaves - I can't get enough!
  • Parmesan
  • Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Cottage cheese — drained
  • Panko crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • Red wine 
  • Garlic
  • Fresh herbs - thyme, rosemary, and basil.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the insides using a melon baller.  Reserve any juice and tomato pulp for sauce.  Rub the tomatoes with olive oil.

Mix the Italian sausage mix and kale (you can cook the added kale in a heavy pan by heating up the Italian sausage mix), parmesan, mozzarella, and cottage cheese together and stuff your tomatoes.  Top with panko crumbs that have been mixed with olive oil and parmesan.  Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes or just before the tomatoes split.

While the tomatoes are cooking take the tomato reserve and make a sauce using the tomato sauce, garlic, wine (a splash and to taste), and herbs.  Let it simmer while the tomatoes are in the oven.

Pair with spaghetti (I used multi grain) and serve.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

This Couldn't Wait

I don't normally blog at this time of night, but I had to tell you all about the most amazing pizza ever.  This blows away the bacon candy pizza, which I thought was amazing, in every way.

The Happy Housewife has a wonderful whole wheat crust and it makes two large pizza.


  • 1/2 lbs Italian sausage 
  • 4 cups Kale - My neighbor grew some for us again, so I picked, chopped, and cooked within 5 minutes.  
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • Sprinkle of parmesan
  • Fresh herbs - I had rosemary and thyme ready in my garden

Saute the italian sausage in a heavy pan.  Use about 1 tablespoon red wine to deglaze the pan.  Saute the onions and when they are soft add the kale.  Cook the kale until wilted.

Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the crust and the fresh herbs.  Add the Italian sausage, kale, and onions to the pizza top with tomatoes and cheese.

Bake until golden!  We started with a salad and still ate the entire thing.

Buen provecho!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Desert Colors

The Wee One picked up on colors relatively early and she loves matching, so I put together a desert color challenge.

Dark and light yellow and dark and light pink - One set is taped onto the magnetic board and the matching set has magnets on the back.
Shades of pink - This was difficult because the two middle colors are very close in color.  She still doesn't have it down, but we are working on it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Sensory Bin - Desert

This summer has me feeling like we live in the desert, so to honor all our sweat we have a desert sensory bin.  Safari Toob is the answer to most of my sensory needs and I used one again this month.  I did get a little hung-up that the animals aren't from the same desert, but enough can be found in the same desert that I overlooked it.

The blue is oasis.