Moonwalk Cocktail

For Christmas, Tim (who knows me a little too well 🙂 got me an awesome new cookbook.
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I am only just getting around to trying some of the recipes (it is a pretty gigantic tome). One of the first we tried is a cocktail called “Moonwalk.” It is delicious! It is already a go-to cocktail for us. Here is story they have before the recipe –

In 1969, Joe Gilmore, head barman at Savoy Hotel’s American Bar in London, invented this citrusy champagne cocktail to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing. The drink—a lively combination of grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and a hint of rose water, topped with bubbly—was the first thing astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.

With a story like that, how could we not try it?! (That and I just happened to have some rose water that I really wanted to try using)

 Moonwalk

MAKES 1 COCKTAIL

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
    • 1 oz. orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
    • 3 drops rose water
    • Champagne or sparkling wine, for topping

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine grapefruit juice, orange liqueur, and rose water in an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into a champagne flute; top with champagne.This recipe appears in the SAVEUR New Classics Cookbook.
moonwalk

ABACUS: “Letters” Project Round UP

(Above image is from a Greeley mural created by Wes Bruce.)

The theme for this month’s Abacus project is “Letters” (ABACUS is our creative home curriculum centered on a theme). I am excited to share where we have been going with it!  To see the whole list of projects we came up with (and resources!) check out our original post, here.  It’s been a lovely way to spend February.

The first thing we did was to get out all sorts of lettering sheets and make a poster for the month with all our ideas and plans. We had a fun time experimenting with different fonts and styles. I got pretty into this too and had a great time addressing all our valentine envelopes with different fonts. Ridiculous, I know. But so fun.

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Here are a couple of awesome vintage charts I found that you could print out and play with. Ah, the lost art of lovely handwriting.
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Lucy wrote a letter to her first pen-pal.
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We haven’t had a chance to set up letter writing stations around town yet, but we’re planning on doing it soon! We are also still hoping to take a visit to the local Post Office and have a tour (we did go and pick out some stamps on our last etsy mailing errand).

We started illustrating our own animal alphabet book. Its destined to be a classic.

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Tim took a brisk alphabet-photo-walk with Lucy where they found all the letters in the alphabet.
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Speaking of photos, I have been loving participating in the annual Atlas photo a day challenge on instagram.
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Lots of mail has been made and delivered around here, thanks to these cute little mailboxes we picked up for $3 at target and customized.

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Been listening to lots of this album, as well as our ABC playlist (still to come).

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We started a little stamp collection by printing out some of these pages – http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/albums/2014-Issues.pdf and putting them in a three ring binder. Any time we got a letter this month with stamps on it we add them to our stamp “album”. Hattie (who’s 3) in particular has loved this.

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Lucy has been enjoying playing these typing games on the computer.

Tim spent a morning teaching the girls about addresses. I later received this sweet, sweet letter. Keeping it forever 🙂

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A “letters” tie in that I had not anticipated has been my set-design work for Frontier Academy elementary school. One of my close friends asked me to design the set for their show called “Knights of Dawn” (its from one of the Magic Treehouse books). We did a literary theme by constructing the whole thing from oversize pages of the text and old books. Lots of “letters”! 🙂 The girls have loved it.
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Finally, we did a whole “Secret Spy” day that was pretty epic. It involved “lasers”, a spy course, and a top secret code. Read about the whole thing here.
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Share your projects on our facebook group!

– See more ideas at: http://giantsandpilgrims.com/abacus-letters-a-creative-curriculum-list-for-february/#sthash.l90fvSMi.dpuf

If you want more info about this whole Abacus project, start here.

To jump in and connect with other families and share what you are working on, join our Abacus facebook group.

Or, to connect see our whole list of Letters project suggestions and resources list, head over here.

Abacus: Top Secret Spy Assignment

Lucy woke up yesterday telling me all about a dream she had where she was a spy. She then sat and stared at the cover of “Spy Kids” on netflix for about 20 minutes, talking about how much she wanted to be a real spy. I sent her upstairs to assemble a “spy” kit (what she came up with is pictured above) and told her not to come down until I was ready. While she and Hattie were working on their bags, I set up a spy training course. I saw this idea on pinterest a while back –

laser-obstacle
So I quickly strung yarn “lasers”, set up a row of chairs over “hot lava”, and ended the course with a ride down a roller coaster. We also listened to a mix Tim and I made a while back called “This Album Will Self Destruct.” It was pretty fun (Ironically, I had woken up grouchy and tired and had zero desire to do anything fun or engaging with the kids. What I really wanted to do was to sit and drink my coffee and look at my phone.) I wanted to find a way to tie the whole thing into “Letters”, so in the afternoon, Lucy received this message in the mail:

spy code

 

Code Key

Since this month is all about Letters, we thought it would be fun to pass it on to you as well. Print it out, and, if your kiddos are into it, follow the instructions and they too will get a package from us in the mail with some fun trinkets and “spy” gear.
Signed,

Crocodile, Spider X, and Scary Bear (our spy names the girls came up with)

Love & Arrows: Some Valentines Playlists

Love songs can be pithy, schmoltzy; full of sentiment and cliche’. We’ve tried to avoid all that with these playlists.

Here are two  “mixtapes” full of earnest, beautiful, and creative songs that strike to the core of love in such a way that we can believe it.

The first playlist “Love & Arrows” is on Betony Coons’ spotify and available for listen below.

The second playlist is from just throwing the question out there on Facebook, “What song would you/ did you play at your wedding?” The answers were really beautiful to hear! The long playlist called “Our Song” and is below as well!

 

Sewn Valentines DIY Tutorial

My Valentines for this year are still in the works, but I thought you might enjoy seeing these sewn Valentines I’ve made the last couple of years (see that old tank of a sewing machine? It is no more, sigh…). Basically I cut out cardstock hearts, traced them onto various papers (scrapbooking paper would work great), fabric, and even leather (basically use whatever you have on hand. Have fun making different combinations. I then sewed the two layers together – sometimes with either fun trim or a ruffled ribbon sandwiched in between using various stitches.
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Beeswax, Song, and Wood – A Collaborative Art Piece for Lent

We are excited to share this beautiful collaboration with a couple of our favorite craftsmen – Illuman Apiary and Wes Sam-Bruce.

Here’s the description:

This Lenten Set is a collaborate project completed by musician Tim Coons, beekeeper KJ Tencza and woodworker Wes Bruce. Together they have created an experience that will enlighten, deepen and enhance your Lenten practice. The set comes with a wooden base, hand-crafted by Wes, which holds the candle and two glass, corked jars: one with olive oil and the other with palm ash. The candle is made from 100% beeswax, slightly scented with myrrh and infused with palm ash. (The candle has a burn radius the size of a silver dollar, leaving a solid wax shell as to not drip or leak onto the wood.) A digital download of Tim Coons’ album of spirituals and modern songs called “Potomac” accompanies the set. Along with the album is a devotional written by Tim Coons that leads you through the music with Lenten prayers and readings.

Set Includes:

Handmade Hexagon Wood Candle Holder made by Wes Bruce

Hexagonal Hand Poured Beeswax Candle by illuman Apiary

1 Vial of Oil

1 Vial of Ash

Digital Download of Potomac by Tim Coons with devotional and boat charm

 

This will be the table centerpiece for our Giants & Pilgrims family throughout lent! We plan on lighting the candle each night as part of our lenten routine as a practice of prayer and centering.

 

PURCHASE one of these lenten art pieces here – 
https://squareup.com/market/illuman-apiary
(Hurry! They are only making 25)


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Abacus: “Letters” – A Creative Curriculum List for February

Giants and Pilgrims Abacus is a creative home curriculum centered on a monthly theme. This month’s theme is “Letters”!
Read all about how to use this list and our heart behind this project here.


A couple of February Dates to keep in mind as you are scheming fun activities-

Groundhog Day = Feb. 2
Valentines Day = feb. 14th
Mardi Gras = Feb. 17th
Ash Wednesday = Feb. 18th
The Chinese New Year = feb. 19th

And if you are in the Greeley area, the Stampede troupe is putting on Treasure Island feb. 27 & 28

 

Letters:

Language/Writing:

Experiment with tracing paper – cool letters, etc.

Learn/practice cursive and calligraphy – I am excited to revisit this myself (later in the month I will post some really cool charts for this)

Penpal exchange for the month (anyone want in on this?)

Keeping Adventure Logs/Diaries

Adventure:

Set up letter writing stations around town

Visit the local Post Office (do they do tours?)

 

Art:

Make Sewn Letter mobiles 

Mod podge a set of Alphabet rocks

Illustrate our own animal alphabet book

Take an alphabet photo walk – #almanacalphabetseverywhere (put them together, spell names, etc.)

 

Building:

Construct valentine mailboxes – this one is particularly adorable

Table mailboxes

 

Reading: 

(Various age appropriateness here)
The Jolly Postman
by Allan Ahlberg
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Vocab – “Epistolary”


Movies

Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (awesomely bad 90’s movie)

Spellbound – spelling bee documentary

Word Wars – Scrabble documentary 

For the Romantics:
You’ve got Mail
P.S. I Love You

 

Music:

The Postal Service

Abc playlist -We will post ours on Giants & Pilgrims this month

 

History:

Illuminated manuscripts – I used to make these with my art class using parchment paper, that we would burn the edges of and metallic ink or gold leaf to embellish the drop caps with.

Stamp collecting – I am printing out some of these pages – http://stamps.org/userfiles/file/albums/2014-Issues.pdf and any time we get a letter this month with stamps on it, we will save them and add them to our stamp “album”. The pdf has some nice history stories behind each stamp.

 

Technology:

Typing games on the computer (suggestions anyone?)

Play with the typewriter


Kitchen:

Alphabet pasta/soup

 

Math:

Roman numerals

Learn about addresses

 

Games:

Scrabble
Boggle
Spelling Bee
In the Car – the alphabet game (could be a race), letter finding game, etc.

 

What would you add to this list?
Share your projects on our facebook group!

February Desktop Background and iPhone Wallpaper

Happy February! A month made up of love, chocolates, football, letter writing, mardi gras, the Chinese New Year, Ash Wednesday, ground hog day and oh so much more. We plan on spending the month digging into the theme of “Letters” (more coming on that tomorrow). And, if you are looking for more February inspiration and sparks, here is a beautiful Poem written by Tim called Send, a recipe for Simply Perfect Chocolate Brownies, and a downloadable pdf of envelope templates to start your valentine and letter writing endeavors. Happy February!

 

iPhone wallpaper:
iphone february

Click small image below to view large size desktop file.
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