Chocolate Trail Mix Lollies…

halloween trailmix lollies for kids halloween trailmix lollies for kids halloween treats for kids trailmix chocolate lollies for halloween trailmix lollies for halloween treats chocolate trailmix lollies for kids healthy halloween treats for kids trailmix lollies for halloween treats halloween treats for kids trail mix chocolate trailmix lollies for halloween We had our first cool fall day this past Sunday. Yes, it is nearing the middle of October and we Floridians are still melting. The crisp air totally inspired me, so I filled up their table with goodies and we made these darling trail mix lollies. I think this is definitely one of my favorite projects I’ve done here!

After seeing these chocolate mendiants on Pinterest, I knew I had to do a kid friendly adaptation.  A traditional French mendiant is made with tempered chocolate. But I wasn’t really feeling the whole tempering chocolate thing. Mostly because, I’ve never tempered chocolate and honestly, it scares me. Just for my purposes of keeping it low maintenance and kid easy, the microwave or a double boiler will work just fine. However, if you wanted to give these as gifts and are a master of tempering chocolate, I say go for it! Tempering the chocolate, will pretty much keep it from melting in your hands and all over your face.

Gather your supplies:

Chocolate chips
Dried fruit
Yogurt covered raisins
Parchment paper
Baking sheet
Scissors (for cutting dried fruit)
Lollipop sticks (I used Halloween straws I found at the dollar store)

Before you melt the chocolate, put out all the ingredients so your kids can create their designs. Mine did this for about an hour.  Once they are finished, melt the chocolate. Then lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Next place your lollipop sticks. I only did about two at a time, just to make sure the chocolate didn’t set up before they had a chance to decorate it.

Using a spoon, carefully place chocolate over the top 2 inches of your sticks or straws. Add more chocolate if needed and spread it out with the back of your spoon. Now, let your kids transfer their designs to the chocolate. Depending on their age, this step might require help from an adult. Use the toothpicks to help move stuff around in the chocolate. After their designs are complete, pop in the fridge and allow chocolate to set. Repeat for remaining lollies.

These were a huge hit in this house! I was really impressed with their creativity. I only managed to come up with about two things, while they were pumping out designs left and right. I loved Savannah’s lion, but she loved it too much and bit his head off before I could get a good picture. We will for sure do these again!

In Search of a Passion Fruit Vine…

fruitscapes12 fruitscapes2 fruitscapes4 fruitscapes14 fruitscapes15 fruitscapes12 fruitscapes10 fruitscapes9 fruitscapes11 fruitscapes9 fruitscapes13 fruitscapes13 This last summer, we vacationed in Texas Hill Country. The house we stayed in had hummingbirds zipping through the landscape everyday. They were so fun to watch! We have a few feeders that attract Doves, Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, and Cardinals. But, I’ve really been amping up my efforts to attract Hummingbirds. We put out a feeder, but I don’t think it’s enticing enough on it’s own. Also, you have to refill the sugar water every 2 days and that’s already proving to be something I can do without. I’ve been researching which plants will draw in the tiny little birds and passion fruit vine kept popping up.

So, we headed out to a favorite local fruit tree farm in search of a passion fruit vine. The kids love going, because there are endless pathways in which to get lost among the fruit trees. I love going to try some of the exotic fruits. I finally sampled a star fruit. It wasn’t as I had imagined it, but still good. After spending an hour meandering we finally found the purple passion fruit vines and bought 2 of them. I’ve never had passion fruit, except in juice. I hope it’s as good as all the reviews I’ve read. And I’m really hoping the Hummingbirds like it and come to visit often.

Back to School…

waffletime2 frenchtime caterpillartime paintingtime paintingtime2 teatime teatime4 teatime2 drawingtime drawingtime2 After an extra long summer break, we headed back to school this week. Actually, our kitchen table. This marks my second year homeschooling. I love it even more now, than when I first embarked on this journey.  I was so glad to get the first week under my belt. There is always a few hiccups, but by the end of the week all is good. I always have to remind myself that there’s no one looking over my shoulders. This is my school and I’m free to teach it as I choose. We are once again following Ambleside Online, a curriculum based off the teachings and philosophy of British educator, Charlotte Mason.

A typical week for us looks like this:

Artist Study
Composer Study
Nature Study
Folksong Study
Hymn Study
Natural History
Tea Time

It seems like a lot, but our school day only lasts about 2.5 – 3 hours. Some subjects are only done once a week. We usually take Fridays off for field trips or whatever. Most of their day is spent in our backyard catching lizards, butterflies, and pretty much anything that moves. There’s also tennis lessons, horseback riding, and baseball is starting up soon. Music lessons are on the horizon, but I haven’t finalized anything yet. I think I’m scared of the noise. Also, I ventured out into new territory and enrolled Jacks and Savannah in a local 4-H chapter. Looks like they will be raising a rabbit to show in the county fair.

I’m looking forward to all the new adventures that await. Here’s to another great school year!