"Believe in your heart, follow your dreams or just go to Disneyland." Emma -age 4

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Tooth Fairy, Pumpkin Bread and Homeschool.

How's that for random? I feel like I have a lot to say without wanting to really say anything. Do you ever feel that way? Anyway, first a story, then a recipe, then a question.

Emma lost her tooth on Thursday last week. She put her tooth under her pillow and was giddy with anticipation for the next day. When Jason went to wake up the girls that morning and found Emma face down on the couch, he knew. We are the most terrible parents. He walked up to check on her and she rolls over and slowly opens her hand. Inside is her tooth. Here's how the rest of the conversation played out.

"I can think of four reasons this happened.
One. The tooth fairy isn't real.
Two. My parents forgot to put the money under my pillow. Because the tooth fairy isn't real.
Three. When the tooth fairy came, I was awake so she couldn't leave the money.
Four. She couldn't find my tooth because it was under my pillow."

I don't know how Jason kept a straight face. Emma went to school and later that evening she lost another tooth. So Jason quickly set an alarm on his phone to remind us to set out her money. He left her 3 dollars. One for each tooth and a bonus dollar plus an apology note from the tooth fairy. We thought that should cover it. However, upon waking the next morning, Emma let us know how she really felt. Her exact words on finding the money, "This is pathetic." Okay then.

I have made this bread recipe for ages. It is just a simple pumpkin bread. Nothing fancy. No nuts, no chocolate chips, no streusel topping. But it is the best pumpkin bread I've ever eaten. The other day I decided I didn't want to wait the hour it takes to bake it and made it into muffins instead. This was a revelation. Because you have to watch the bread really carefully. There is a very fine line between an undone center and a dry and burnt bread. No such problems when you make them into muffins. They are dense and moist. And the best part? They are ready to eat in under 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread or Muffins
2 c. pumpkin (I just use one can of Libby's)
4 eggs
1 c. oil
3 c. sugar (This seems a shocking amount. It's not. Just go with it.)

3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ground allspice

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the dry to the wet and stir until combined. Pour into 2 well greased loaf pans. If you are making muffins, line your cups with paper. It's the easiest way. Bake this heavenly concoction at 350 degrees for 1 hour for the bread and 18-20 minutes for the muffins.

And now a question. Jason and I are seriously considering homeschool. That's not a question really but a statement. I know. But I would like your advice on this. We are at our wit's end with the school here. And being a small town, we have no other option. There isn't a private school, and if there was we couldn't really afford it anyway. So what do we do? I know if we pull them out without trying to make a change in the school first it could seem cowardly? Elitist? Avoidist? Is that even a word? I don't know what I'm trying to say. But I do know that trying to fight the entire school system is not easy. They have policies, curriculum, standardized tests, etc. etc. And all these things are failing my children. But I don't know if homeschool is the answer. I'm not even sure I could do it. But I can't sit idly by anymore. So. Thoughts? Advice? Any and all are appreciated.