I loved this post on Cup of Jo this week about thinking about words to describe your family's core values. If I had to choose, I think ours would be curiousness/love of learning and optimism.Read More
The Kid is switching over to public school from his Montessori preschool/kindergarten at the end of the summer, and (like you do) it's starting to make me nostalgic about all the things I love about Montessori.
Example: using restitution over punishment. A few times over the years, the kids have brought home a toy (like the doll with the newly repaired beard above) or piece of a classroom work with a note that they need to help fix it and return it. It's not done for accidentally broken items, but when something gets damaged more intentionally or carelessly, the child is expected to help make it right.
[Shameless sidetrack: My favorite story of this is actually when the Kid capriciously decided to flush the state of Mississippi--in puzzle piece form--down the toilet. We made him do chores all weekend to pay to replace the puzzle, but I did privately share a laugh with Sweet Husband, "Mississippi! Of all the places!"]
Now, of course, I know that the ability to send things home with those expectations presumes a lot--parents who don't work two jobs and are home in the evenings, a stocked cabinet of art supplies, etc.--but still, it makes so much sense to me. And it really illustrates so much of what I love about the whole Montessori underpinnings--we want these kids to be smart, sure, but we're trying to raise good people here, most of all.
I've been having some good discussions with a friend lately about the pros and cons of public vs. private school. I haven't come to much in the way of conclusions about which is better (civics vs. academics, diversity vs. individual attention, supporting all kids vs. maybe having better for your kid, and on and on and on), but I have firmly decided that, at least, in the realm of possibilities in my area, there are things to love about all of our schools.
In that vein, if you'll indulge me in a small, unscientific poll, just because I'm curious: What do you absolutely love about your kid(s) school?
Awhile ago, I attempted to get my lady friends together to go to a local macaron baking class. It ended up being at a bad time for everyone, but--when I said I'd be a little sad to go alone--Sweet Husband said we could get a sitter and he would come with me instead.
It ended up being for the best. For THEE BEST, actually.
Because my husband likes to bake. He also has great attention to detail and the patience to repeat a process over and over again until he gets it right.
Do you know what that means, my friends? It means that my house has been fully stocked with macarons for about two weeks now.
The first batch was a bit of a failure, but by the second batch Sweet Husband had them near perfect. (We're still getting them just a titch over-browned, but with our inconsistent oven that may just be the way it goes. And do I care? No, I do not.)
For the third batch, he branched out from pistachio (which was the flavor we learned in the class) to chocolate with raspberry ganache filling. He doesn't know it yet, but I'm plotting coffee flavored macarons next.
*Sigh.* Isn't that a thing of beauty?
As those of you who are friends on the 'gram will know, Little Miss has started ballet this winter. Aided and abetted by her favorite Ella Bella books, she's been really excited about it.
"Are we going to dance class?" she asks hopefully almost every day when I pick her up from school. She doesn't quite have days of the week down well enough to predict it yet, so when I get to say, "Yes, it's Tuesday!" it's like a mini-surprise.
Of course, once we're there I'm not allowed to leave the room. And it's really more like organized (semi-organized?) stomping and cavorting than something you would really call "dance". But she has fun, so that's the main thing.
And, I'm not gonna lie, I have fun, too. Of course, it's most important to me that the kids love whatever activities they decide to do, but it's a great bonus when their chosen thing is interesting for me to watch, as well.
And, and, if there's knitting involved that's, like, a double-down great bonus.
As soon as I saw this sweater on Alicia Paulson's blog I knew that it was a thing that simply had to be made. I originally thought I'd do it up in pale "ballerina" pink, but I was overruled, so purple it was. The pattern had a few places where I had to guess, but it was fairly easy on the whole. I knitted it in just a few days in Malabrigo Arroyo (new washable sport weight--love!), and it's been happily thrown on with her tutu and "tap-tap" shoes every week since.
[Ravelry details here for my knitter friends!]
Do you know about shrubs? They're drinks made with fruit, sugar, and vinegar. They were popular in the colonial era--both mixed with booze and mixed with water as a non-alcoholic "day drink"--and are now enjoying a comeback as trendy craft cocktails.
If you haven't tried one, you're probably thinking, "Drink vinegar? Ew!" But the vinegar really just gives the berries and sugar complexity. It's not truly sour; just a little "wang" on the back of your tongue.
As the recipe set out, I made my shrub using the cold method (so I mixed it all together and let it steep in the fridge for a few days rather than warming the ingredients together on the stove), and I was really happy with how it came out. By not cooking it, the flavor of the blueberries and ginger came through nice and fresh and juicy.
This afternoon, when my shrub syrup was done, I strained off the berries and spent some time mixing up a few drinks.
For the boozy version, Sweet Husband and I decided we liked it with about two ounces of syrup, an ounce and a half of bourbon, a dash of bitters, and the rest of a (eight ounce) jam jar filled with tonic.
As I said above, the vinegar gives the concoction some depth of flavor, and as a result the drink tasted like something you'd get at a fancy cocktail place. Sweet Husband opined that rye might be better than bourbon--so we may experiment with that still--but I was quite pleased with it as it was.
For the non-alcoholic version, I poured two ounces of shrub syrup over ice and then filled the (again eight ounce) glass with tonic. I thought the shrub was fine that way, too, but Little Miss was over the moon for it. The "fizzy drink" was such a hit that I could definitely see us making more (and experimenting with different kinds) this summer in order to make the kids a fun drink when mama and dada have our grown-up versions on warm Friday nights.