Growing up, we didn't do a whole lot of traveling. Apart from our annual two day road trip to Montana to see my grandparents and swim in the beautiful river near their cabin, we pretty much stayed in our state. Traveling with four kids can be a lot to negotiate, not only financially, but logistically. Between my parent's jobs, school, activities and the mini farm of cats, dogs, birds, and rabbits (a precursor to the inevitable real farm that came later), getting out of town was no easy feat.
In all honesty though, I don't really feel like I missed out on anything. Once a year I got to go on a 'big' adventure, and Colorado isn't exactly the worst state to be stuck in. To this day, I still have trouble finding places that match its natural beauty. Plus. . .
. . . the moment that autumn chill came into the air and the school bells started ringing, I could travel anywhere I wanted to. As a kid with a vivid imagination, I would spend hours exploring the locations and historical eras that I learned about in class. I traveled to Mongolia and lived in a Ger. . .
. . . I visited Stonehenge and imagined how it was constructed. . .
. . . I traveled back in time to build boats and discover new lands alongside the great explorers. . .
. . . I made my own map of the world, one that instilled in me the desire to see it all for real one day.
Tools for Time Travel and Teleportation:
Luckily, the tools for time travel and teleportation are readily available to everyone. All you need are simple materials (scraps of paper, cloth, string, a few sticks etc.), a map or a globe and a little inspiration. For me that came from lessons in the classroom, but it could also come from trips to the library, or sharing personal stories of travels gone by.
Looking for a little more inspiration to start your adventures? Try out some of the crafts and activities listed below and download a free activity from our book Imagine Childhood: Exploring the World Through Nature Imagination, and Play.
With the Kids:
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Grammar Games
"A" is for Acorns, in the Scrub Oak Bush.
"B" is for Blue Spruce, our state's lovely tree.
"R" is for Rose Hips, round and red and oh so pretty.
And "S" is for Sunflower, brightening up the rainy morning sky. Nature's alphabet is by far my favorite. Filled with bright and vivid colors, there is never a dull moment. Best of all, it's where all the lovely words find their roots.
And we have a winner for our 1st Annual Dictionary Giveaway! Congratulations to Alicia (chosen by random number) who said:
"Great and valuable resource, would love to have!"
Thanks for participating Everyone!
*Last time in Books and Stories: 1st Annual Dictionary Giveaway!
There really is nothing like. . .
. . . making bread from scratch.
The smell as it bakes. . .
. . . the nutty taste. . .
. . . and way it makes even a simple sandwich just a little more special.
It's been a while since I've made bread from scratch. I went on a bread bender years ago, but somehow I got out of the habit and then never seemed to start back up again. When I came across this recipe, it seemed like the perfect way to ease bread making back into my everyday life. It only takes about an hour from start to finish, and the rolls freeze nicely, so you can make a bunch at once and then pull them out as you need them for sandwiches, burgers etc.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Rolls with Flax and Chia Seeds
Adapted from here.
In a saucepan, heat the milk, water, honey and butter until the butter melts. When the butter has melted, check the temperature and allow to cool to 120F. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add a little bit of the milk mixture to the bowl to temper the egg. Whisk together and add a bit more of the milk mixture again and then slowly add it all back together.
Whisk the two different flours together. Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and the salt then add it to the liquid. Slowly mix in the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time (making sure it is fully incorporated after each addition) until the dough comes together and forms a soft ball.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and kneed until it becomes smooth and elastic. It should hold its shape in a ball (and not slump down into a disc) but not be too tough. If it starts to become hard to integrate the folds, you've gone a bit too far and might need to let your dough sit a little longer before baking.
Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (16 if you want small rolls) and form into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten out the balls a bit so they look more like hamburger buns. Cover loosely and let sit 30-35 min or until they almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
When the rolls are done rising, brush the tops with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle the seeds on top. I might even sprinkle a bit of kosher salt on there as well.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.
With the Kids:
*Last time in Recipes: Brown Bag Beauties
This week's beautiful nature walk comes to us all the way from Axalp and Lütschentältli, Switzerland. There Natalie and her family went on a hike from Axalp to Lütschentältli and encountered an alpine marmot and alpine roses while enjoying the breathtaking views! Thank you Natalie for sharing this fun trip!
If you would like to contribute to our weekly Nature Walk series, you can learn more about submitting photos here, or you can also visit our Nature Walk Group Pool on Flickr to add your adventures to the collection.
Thanks again Natalie for sharing!
*Last time in Nature Walks: Alaska