Maintaining, Jelly and Phonics

 
Maintaining Weight
 
I am discovering that the maintenance program for Weight Watchers is tougher for me. I have had to cut back my eating to weight loss levels. Argh. Oh well it isn’t like I have gained the fifty pounds back.
 
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Jelly Making
 
Mom and I made two different types of Jelly this week, Jalapeño (which we have made before) and a spicy Tomato Jelly. I used the MCP Pepper Jelly recipe with a half pound Jalapeños, one red bell pepper and two or three Anaheims. It turned out well – flavorful and not too spicy.
 
The Tomato Jelly took a lot longer to make. Rich and I started making it Sunday night – processing the tomatoes using my stepmother’s sauce making machine. The machine was great – it separated the meat from the skin and seeds. After we ran over ten pounds through the machine, we started reducing down the pulp. The next day I ran the reduced pulp through a fine strainer. I then reduced the liquid some more. The pulp in the strainer was very tasty – like a pure (no salt) tomato paste. I froze that for future use. The liquid was then seasoned and boiled some more to make the jelly. The jelly hasn’t set yet. If it doesn’t set by next Monday I will try the solutions in the Certo package. I gather that this is not a rare occurance. I got the recipe from "The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes" by Michele Anna Jordan. I also have her mustard and Oil & Vinegar books.
 
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Beyond the Alphabet
 
Carl is showing an interest in learning how to read. He knows all the letters and is interested in the sounds they make. We go through his alphabet books and talk about the letter sounds. I have been searching for other tools to help teach him.
 
While shopping, I found a video Phonics by Little Steps. It is very basic – the first sounds of animal names through the alphbet.
http://www.topics-ent.com/details/little_steps.php
 
I then started researching a little on the Phonics Videos, and found this article on About:
http://kidstvmovies.about.com/od/alphabetandphonics/tp/topalphadvds.htm
 
I found the Leap Frog Talking Words Factory (not the same one listed in the article) at Toys R Us. It was a VHS tape – I think the tape was marked down, it was a bit cheaper than the DVD. Carl loves it. He sings the little songs and requests to watch the movie often. I found this DVD and others from Leap Frog teaching phonics at Costco for cheaper than TRU of course…
 
YouTube has a few videos, but not anything that was really helpful. Here are some for children, geared more toward esl students:
 
The Disney site has some good games on the Book Of Pooh website:
http://disney.go.com/disneychannel/playhouse/bop/
 
I found some videos in Comcast On Demand – under the Baby Boost section (there are a lot of sections and they change all the time.
 
If Carl is interested in watching, I am more than happy to let him learn – I am just making sure I am not pushing him – he is only four.
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