Montessori Muffin Madness

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If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. – Maria Montessori

Sometimes it is messy, but when I give my children (3 and 5) space to do things on their own, their confidence shines throughout the day.  They feel more independent and start doing other things by/for themselves, without being asked; putting their shoes away, cleaning up their plates after a meal, making their beds.   The beauty in this independence is that we start to feel more like a team!

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Bread and Butter

IMG_7720Morning activity is always a fun way to start the day.  And who doesn’t like warm bread and homemade butter?  The kids helped measure, mix, and knead the bread.  Then Ella covered “her baby” with a tea towel and placed the bowl outside in a sunny spot to “sleep and grow”.  While the dough had a sleep, we made butter.  Shake. Shake. Roll. It became a game.  We sat on the living room rug (lid screwed on very tight) and took turns shaking the jar of cream and then rolling it to the next person.

It was like a morning of magic.  First the cream turned into butter, and then the small ball of dough, doubled in size.  Once the dough had grown, everyone received a piece and shaped their bread however they desired.  Bread got cooked on the BBQ.  The closest thing we had to a pioneer cook pit.   Then we played outside while the air began to smell of deliciousness.  Blanket in the shade.  Bread on the cutting board.  Their own knife to butter their own homemade bread.  Heaven.

Cottage Cheese Waffles

Cottage Cheese Waffles: Yummy Protein Breakfast:: ecopiggy.com

I’m always looking for new ways to provide my kiddos with a protein packed breakfast to start their day out right.  We often have some form of eggs.  But even I’ll admit that eggs get boring, no matter how many different ways you make them.    My mom makes a cottage cheese salad.  She has since I was a little girl.  And since I was a little girl, it’s the ONLY way I consume cottage cheese.   It’s just not an ingredient on my regular shopping radar.

Cottage Cheese Waffles: Yummy Protein Breakfast:: ecopiggy.com

Or so it wasn’t, until I discovered that just a half a cup of cottage cheese has 14g of protein.   Naturally upon learning this I went straight to Pinterest and typed in ‘cottage cheese breakfast’, discovering this recipe by weelicious for Cottage Cheese Pancakes.  My kids love pancakes, but they could detect the cottage cheese lumps, and weren’t too excited about it.  So, I pulled out the Waffle Maker….SUCCESS!

Cottage Cheese Waffles: Yummy Protein Breakfast:: ecopiggy.com We use spelt flour in our house. “The gluten in spelt is water soluble; it is degraded by heat and is easily broken down by mixing action. Wheat gluten, in contrast, does not break down in water and only relaxes when exposed to heat and seems to get stronger as it is mixed – bakers refer to it as ‘developing the gluten’.” See this link for more details on the nutritional benefits of spelt flour.

This recipe calls for 1 cup of Cottage Cheese and 3 eggs, which of course come from our happy backyard chickens.   We drop blueberries onto the batter in the waffle maker before closing it up.  Yummers!  Enjoy.

Bringing Joy

ella tree Ella’s first Christmas.  Our first Christmas as parents.  At seven months old, she wasn’t exactly concerned about what Santa would be bringing, or sugar cookies, or what the count of gifts were under the tree.  {thank goodness}

To see Christmas through her observant eyes was such a joy and a reminder that the truest gift of Christmas are the memories shared.

The Mete family is definitely known for great, often hilarious, memories!  santalaughsThis year, Dad dressed up as Santa. Siena and Parker were not amused, Ella was curious, and the adults rolled off the furniture in laughter.  Pants, a bit too big, not to mention too short.  Mom, unsuccessful in “plumping” Santa with a pillow.  Tark’s silky bloomers..need I say more.

Ella’s Christmas Eve ended with a special gift from the East coast, a beautiful book of The Night Before Christmas.  With each turn of a page, we heard Grandma’s voice telling the story and sending her holiday wishes to Ella from New York!  So sweet, so special!

Joy * Joy * Joy