Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You are not alone...

There is a spot I pass

in my travels

'most every day.

If someone is not thinking about it,

it is easy to miss.

A little container of flowers,

placed there by parents

with a hole in their hearts.

You see, their little boy died on that spot.

It was an accident.

Sometimes, it really is JUST a terrible, awful, accident.

A child runs out from between cars.

A driver cannot stop in time.

And a precious, bright light goes out

FOREVER.

And after the other people go home,

and the media attention dies down,

and the official paperwork is finalized,

there is STILL a Mother, left without her child,

and a Father without his buddy...

Who, in their loneliness, tend a roadside memorial.

Because there is nothing else they can do.

I don't know you personally, Mom and Dad.

And I didn't know your son.

 But I noticed you changed out his flowers again.

You must have loved him so dearly.

My heart breaks for you.

I am sure many people pray for you when they pass your son's memorial.

I am one of them.

May God's peace be with you.

You are not alone.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hostage situation...

One homeschooling Mom...

Trapped in her van.

Taxi-ing around the countryside.

Drop Hubs at site A.  Son 1 at site B.

Go home with daughter for 10 mins.

Pick up son from site B...drop at site C.

Take second son to scout activity next town over.

Drop daughter at friends house in yet another town.

Picks up second son.

Pick up Hubs.
  
Dinner?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Here's a banana...and a graham cracker. 

On a good night?  Little Caesars...


Pick up #1 son from site B...drop at Site C.

(Pray son's ride home from work shows up...if not, 3am 20 min ride to get #1 son)

I keep waking up with a start...WHO DIDN'T I PICK UP?!?!?!

Blog?  Uhm... chuckle.

I shall return to the blog when I am no longer held hostage in my car.

SEND HELP!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

There've been incidents and accidents...


Just about the time when you think you are juggling so many balls that if your stress level gets any higher, your head is going to explode...

Silly things like getting the kids to help with chores, projects like painting the bathroom, kids camp fees, and life. 

Then you answer the cell phone, and  hear those dreaded words from your eldest child...that suddenly puts everything back into perspective .

"Mom, There's been an accident."

And your heart promptly leaps into your throat.

Then you proceed to have one of those MOVIE MOMENTS, where everything around you goes into slow motion. You know those special effect moments where the background becomes a blur around the main character?   Oh yeah...that really happens!

To be honest, I don't actually remember much of the conversation that followed.  All I remember is those evil words echoing in my brain.  I HOPE I told him reassuring things before handing the phone to Hubs...

(Thankfully, there were no injuries... the incident was actually relatively minor, although his poor ol duct tape and chewing gum clunker is history)

To quote (or misquote) one of our favorite shows...

"God protects fools, small children, (college kids in snarled traffic) and ships named ENTERPRISE." 


Thank you Lord for your grace in watching over our son!


And may you nice folks NEVER hear those heart stopping words spoken on the other end of your phone...

EVER!!




Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!

From our favorite movie (which we watch EVERY 4th of July)

Enjoy your cookout...enjoy your fireworks...have fun with your family...but take a moment to remember those who sacrificed EVERYTHING to afford us this luxury...

God Bless the USA!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Whew...long week!

Contrary to popular belief, I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth...

If you follow the blog FB page, you know, this week was PORTFOLIO EVALUATION, and State required STANDARDIZED TESTING!

On top of which...during the dreaded print of SOS (our core curriculum), our main desktop computer got hit with a virus!

Murphy's law for PA homeschoolers: If it can go wrong, it will go wrong JUST before portfolio evaluation!

I literally went 3 nights this week with no sleep, between printing portfolio, collating, making it all neat and nice...and computer de-bugging.

I hope I didn't scare our evaluator too badly.  I looked like an extra from WALKING DEAD when I showed up at her house.  I was going on about an hour of sleep, no coffee, and post computer virus heart attack. 

Thankfully, no computer harm was done...I have multiple layers of  handy, helpful  anti-viral/anti-spyware software, and it was caught IMMEDIATELY.  Spybot S&D, HIJACK THIS, Spywareblaster, and AVG are some of the best freeware programs out there... It was just time rather consuming.

After we finished up at our evaluators  (it was 100 degrees, took 2 hours, and my brittle asthma was VERY unhappy with no A/C...this wasn't pretty), we went to OLD COUNTRY BUFFET to celebrate.  As far as I was concerned...they could have kept the food.  It was REALLY cool, and they have unlimited ICEES...

The kids asked the hostess on the way in if it would be okay if Mom just lay down under the ICEE machine spigot.  She looked amused, and quite sympathetic when she said "Hey, the lunch rush is over, Honey...Go right ahead!"

I was ALMOST sleep deprived and heat exhausted enough to take them up on it.

Instead, I settled for several small glasses, a HUGE cold salad...I don't know how many cold diet sprites...and enjoying my kids again, for the first time in I don't know how long.

(I also can't leave there without a little dish of their bread pudding.  I love bread pudding... )

Heavens, I have been a grouchy Mom lately.

I HEARBY DECLARE A 2 WEEK SCHOOL VACAY...

(Mom took a nice lil nappy poo after she got home. I mean...I got up at 7p, checked on the fam, got something for my migraine headache, and then slept another 10 hours...then showered, and slept another 5)

Goodness, I have great kids.  Whilst Mom was in her coma, what had they been doing?

They were busy cleaning up the kitchen and dining room (All of that paper punch confetti was EVERYWHERE) , running a few loads of laundry ... and reading.

What teen rebels...



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lemony chicken and whole grains slow cooker dinner!

This dinner goes together FAST and feeds a good sized family VERY well!

Lemony chicken and whole grain slow cooker dinner!

3 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) cut into cubes
3 cups whole grain barley
1.5 cups dried kidney beans
1 cup brown rice
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced


8 cups warm water (chicken broth would be awesome, but I was out!)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2t. dried lemon peel
3T. Butter
Kosher salt and pepper



Toss everything  into an oversized  slow cooker, set to high and let sit for the day! (I set this to cook for 7 hours)




Goes nicely with a large loaf of bread from the bread machine (in this case...a loaf of herb and cheese bread, set to be done at the same time!)

Herb and cheese bread machine bread

1.5 cups hot water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup powdered milk
2t. salt
4.5 cups bread flour
2t. yeast
2.5t. granulated garlic
1.5t. Italian seasoning

2 slices provolone cheese (torn into strips)
1 slice cheddar cheese (torn into strips)

Put  first group of ingredients into your bread machine in the order listed.  My latest bread machine (a Cuisinart...which has it's pro's and cons)  has a signal for "Mix ins"  I hold the cheese pieces until this part of the cycle. 



The slow cooker and the bread machine have GOT to be some of a busy homeschoolers very BEST friends!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In search of...automotive edition...

Don't you just LOVE IT when...

The whole family piles into the van.

Wrinkles their noses.

And asks...

WHAT STINKS IN HERE?!?!

Don't you love it even MORE when...

Several days pass.

And you STILL cannot locate the source?

And would it amuse you all to know...

My van smells like...

ROTTEN FISH?!?!

Anybody want to go for a nice, long drive with me?

MMMMM...yeah...me neither...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A page worth checking every day: The NOOK Daily find for families

When I boot up the computer in the morning, one of the first destinations I hit is the NOOK DAILY FIND FOR FAMILIES.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the selection of e-books which they offer.  If you get into the habit of checking out the NOOK Daily find for families, I think you will be pleased as well!

Don't have a Nook?  Not to worry... The software is free for PC!  In the future, if you decide to purchase a Nook device, register it with the B&N account that you had been using.  Your library will be available on your PC AND your NOOK!  I currently have 2 Nooks AND a laptop set up on the same B&N account.  We buy ONE copy of any book, and read it as a group on all 3 devices!

We have found some GREAT deals there, such as The BORROWERS ($1.50) or the 39 clues ($1.99).   The tale of Desperaux (which was WAY better than that awful movie) is there currently...but we still have that one in hard copy! (We have kept SOME regular books!)

I have discovered, if you miss a day of checking this e-book bargain bin...they cycle these treasures into the section titled "Nook books under $5 (they may be $0.50 to $1.00 more than what they were as a daily find).  Just a warning, though...don't let the kids randomly sift through this section!  Some of them are beyond NOT APPROPRIATE! (Some of the cover art on these books could singe your eyelashes! YIKES!). 

HOWEVER, (in compensation for the trauma) they do have ALL of the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan in that section, for under $5 each! (My kids are huge Rick Riordan fans!)

I have been telling my kids...I now have Nook envy!  I WANT ONE! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NETFLIX ALERT: Art 21: Art in the 21st century

My kids are enjoying season one of a series on NETFLIX that would be an interesting addition to your homeschool art program, by the name of  Art21: Art in the 21st Century

Netflix has 5 seasons of this series available.  It is a  PBS production which profiles various contemporary American artists, and includes interviews and examples of their work. My kids have been quite taken by it!

There is a series website, with a wide range of downloadable teachers materials available for free! (Prompt questions,  episode viewing guides,  HERE.)

The season 1 PDF educator guide is HERE  Someone could easily use this series as a High School modern art curriculum!

The intro to season 1 is VERY kid oriented and a bit silly.  It is by performance artist Laurie Anderson, and your kids will laugh. It is rather funny.

Content warning: The photographer SALLY MANN is profiled in episode 1.  She shows some captivating black and white portraits of her own pre-pubescent children in the n u d e. Mainly swimming and diving. The shots are quite innocent...but I feel a parental warning is in order.   My kids reaction was a giggle and "SHEESH!  Put some clothes on those kids woman!"   My daughter suggested, "Fig leaves? Give them SOMETHING!!" Select shots made me a little more uncomfortable.  From MY perspective, the kids were a bit too old (I am not talking about toddlers...but 8 and 9 year olds), to be photographed like that.  Parental judgement call there...but it makes me wonder how many creepy people are looking at her kids...MY Mama bear instincts were yelling "Don't show pics like that of your babies to the world!"
Let me clarify.  I don't think HER motives are creepy, (she seemed a driven photographer and a loving Mom...maybe a bit naive?) but it strikes me that those pics could attract the attention of , well, a less than savory group.  It is a thin line between "art" and, well, something nefarious...

I have been pausing during the episodes on shots of certain interesting sculptures, photos, and paintings...and letting the kids do a quick pencil sketch or oil pastel.  15-30 minute limit.  Just to see what they come up with.  It is a fun, uncomplicated exercise! (Not to mention providing good PA portfolio fodder!)

Some of the artists profiled are a bit odd.  Some are FASCINATING. 

Not all of the art is standard paint, photography and sculpture.  Some are textile, and performance art. Some of the cultural art is breathtaking...while the graffiti?  Not my thing...

It begs the obvious, challenging question...what is the definition of ART, anyways?

I cannot vouch for the kid friendliness of EVERY episode, as I have not viewed them all (there are a LOT here!)


Definitely worth checking out... an interesting way to expose the kids to an element of something different.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Preoccupied..

I have been TRYING to write a homeschooling blog post today.

REALLY.

But every time I try, my mind wanders...

Back to that awful day 9 years ago.

Today.

It was nine years ago...holding my Father's hand...in the wee hours of the morning, at the hospital.

I was keeping vigil.  With my younger brother.

Just dozing off, with one of us on either side of his hospital bed.

When my brother said loudly, "WHAT WAS THAT???"

And I startled upright, to find our Dad in agonal breathing.

We had all known, it wouldn't be very long. 
It had been a LONG week of getting our hopes up, and having them dashed.
The stroke had just been too devastating.
He had rallied, long enough to say goodbye to each of us.
But the doctors had called a "realistic family meeting"
And we knew...

I made a quick phone call to one of my older brothers, at home with Mom.

Then returned my attention to Dad.

I remember kissing his hands.  Telling him I loved him for the millionth time.  Thanking him for everything. Wishing him to "Walk with God."

And then he was gone.

And our whole world changed forever.

When the clan left the hospital that day.. it was overcast and gloomy.

Matching our mood.

That afternoon the heavens opened up, and it poured for several days straight.

After the funeral home appointment the next day the weather turned HORRENDOUS.  It was a deluge! For days...

I came home late from my parents house that night with my younger brother and nephew (and his wife to be).

It was 12 AM. My brother killed his engine in my driveway, and we all just SAT in silence in the car ...SO depressed, the rain hammering down around us.

That's when my brother turned to me, and whispered... "KIM HAS A BRAND NEW TRAMPOLINE IN HER BACKYARD!!!"

I did in fact!  While my Dad lay in his hospital bed, I kept telling him he needed to wake up and tell me what an idiot I was, and how I must just LOVE the emergency room. (But he would have secretly gotten a kick out of it)

It was untouched and unused...my kids hadn't even been on it yet.

So, at MIDNIGHT, in the POURING RAIN, the day after my father died... my brother, nephew, and his fiancee tore across the backyard, and hit that brand new 15 ft trampoline (complete with safety enclosure, and ENORMOUS florescent green bouncy balls).

There were SHEETS of water erupting off of everyone!

People bouncing off of the trampoline, the enclosure, the big green yoga balls, and each other!

 Oh, the screams!  The laughter!

(Oh, the apologies I made to my neighbors the next day!)

They came off of that trampoline looking like different people! (People in desperate need of towels!)

And everyone agreed, DAD WOULD HAVE LOVED THIS!  He would have been laughing, and telling them they were INSANE, (His exact words-I believe- would have been..."I think you guys have a screw loose") but he would have been laughing!

Nine years later...so much has changed!  My younger brother is married now.  Dad would just LOVE his wife (She's a pistol!)  He would be so thrilled with the new baby granddaughter too (bringing the total grandchildren to 17...so far).

Several of the grandchildren have gotten married in that time (one just last weekend),  and one has given my Mom the joy of holding her first GREAT grandson. 

Dad would be so proud!

Such a legacy.

Still miss you Dad.  Still love you.

Always will.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Silver? Nah, we're GOLD...

Is it POSSIBLE?

This week, the hubs and I will celebrate our 25th wedding Anniversary.

On one hand, I find that hard to believe.  I can't be that old!

On the other, I really cannot imagine NOT being married to this wonderful man!  The time before we were married seems like a different lifetime.

We have been together now longer than either of us were single.

I was a whopping 20 when we married.  Him...a ripe old 23. (#1 son's age this year)

The thing is...by now, according to the world, we are supposed to be sick of each other.

HARDLY!

I'm still hooked.

Never could I have imagined how remarkable the man was that God was giving me to, and to me, those many years ago...

Though my parents had an inkling, apparently...

I'll never forget the night he went to my Mom, as she washed the dinner dishes... (A nervous me standing in the background) and asked her "The best way to approach Dad about Kim and me getting married...", Watching my Mom just drop her dishcloth (and whatever she was washing) in the sink, grab him by the hand, and say "THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH HIM???  SURE! IT GOES LIKE SOMETHING LIKE THIS!" As she proceeded to literally DRAG the poor man down the TV room steps until he was standing in front of my Dad (who was watching the news).  She turned OFF the TV, and said "HEY DAD, THIS GUY HAS SOMETHING HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT!  YOU!  YOU ARE ON!"
Poor hubs!  It's a wonder he was able to sputter out a word, he was so taken aback!  He did, though, and my Dad's response was classic.  "OH, This is where I am supposed to act surprised?  WELL IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?"

My Dad knew a good man when he saw one!

And Hubs is one good man!  There are so many things about him I admire, his gentle nature, his work ethic, his sense of honor.  Then there's that FANTASTIC sense of humor!

(When the chips are down...hubs will ask for salsa!)

When our kids and I talk about what qualities they want to look for in a spouse, and when we pray for them to find the one that God has for them, I frequently say...


"I want you to be as happy with your husband or wife, as your father and I are together!"


It isn't often that people are given their SOULMATE.

I am SO blessed.

Happy Anniversary, Handsome!

I LOVE YOU!

I am looking forward to seeing what kind of mischief we can get into on our way to our 50th!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stoney Valley Day! (AKA St. Anthony's Wilderness)

On a day as completely LOVELY as today, who wants to be stuck inside?  Especially when the nicest hubs in the world surprised us by taking the day off?  NOT US!

SOOO...

We packed up kids, and car, and a few necessities, and hit the road for one of our favorite  spots ...STONEY VALLEY!

This is an AWESOME place for a walk or bike ride through the woods, in Dauphin County PA.  It is a historic RAIL TRAIL, along Stoney Creek.

DCNR Stoney Valley Info

Historic information about St. Anthony's Wilderness

Top 10 things to see on the Stoney Valley Trail

This time of year, fishermen LOVE Stoney creek, and we must have passed a dozen folks with fishing gear along the trail.


We walked a leisurely 2 miles in (and back out)...while enjoying the many sights and sounds of the forest along the way.  

  •  Eagle-eyed Sarah spotted perfectly preserved deer tracks in the mud.  

  • Butterflies!  OH the BUTTERFLIES!!!

  • The heavy rains from the last few days created many happy little babbling brooks that meandered here and there, searching for Stoney Creek.  The sound is just so peaceful...

  • A busy woodpecker finding dinner off in the distance.

  • Some crazy lady singing "Tie me Kangaroo down sport" obsessively, driving her kids insane.  Never seen her before in my LIFE...(although, truth be told, she was also the dork who forgot the camera...DOH!)

If you ever have the chance, we HIGHLY recommend this jewel of  PA rail trails!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The TIME magazine cover Bru-ha-ha

Have you seen the TIME magazine extended breastfeeding cover?

See the cover photo here, if you haven't already...

It sure is causing quite a commotion!

What I find remarkable about the controversy is people's lack of tolerance for a parent with an opinion other than their own!

Across the web, there are even people calling this picture child abuse!?!?!?

Seriously?

This is a parental judgement call people!

Newsflash:

  • People are different! We all have different "comfort zones".  Another parent doing something outside of your personal comfort zone does not make them ABUSIVE! (even if you think it is "weird"!)


  • Kids are different!  One sibling may self wean at 10 months...another may makes everyone's life miserable at 2, yet another gets jealous of the interloper (aka: new baby) Mom is holding at 3 and regresses, wants to nurse...all kids are wired DIFFERENT!  (SIDE NOTE: My kids were WAY different here!  #1 son would NOT nurse, bottle only!  Mildly interested in a pacifier, (at first)  but never loved it. Daughter, much more nursing friendly, but LOVED her PACI! (would not sleep without it!) but when she was about 18 mos, lost her last one...and we didn't replace it.  She cried about 5 minutes, and never asked for it again!  Bitty boy, nursed like a champ, till he bit me...(drew blood, and I said YOU ARE DONE DUDE!) but always HATED that pacifier!  Projectile spit it at me, whenever offered!  Mom finally took the hint...)

  • Families are different! We may have COMPLETELY different goals and priorities as a group! Different doesn't make one wrong and one right!  It makes us DIFFERENT!

How completely BORING would this world be if no disagreement were allowed!  Should we all be legally required to raise our children to government mandated milestones?  Must be weaned by this age?  Must be out of diapers by this age?  Must march in straight and even lines with no deviation!

(Suggested good reads on this topic: THE GIVER by Lois Lowery...A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeline L'engle)


Disclaimer: Would I personally be comfortable with the situation pictured here?


No.

(I personally found the photo to be tacky and Biblically immodest.)

Then again, I HOMESCHOOL!

Not every family would be comfortable with MY parenting decisions either!

On the news last night, I found myself laughing at the comment of a parent who was OUTRAGED over the idea of a local public school district cancelling Kindergarten (for budgetary reasons) next year.  In a huffy voice DRIPPING with indignation she said, "WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO, TEACH HER AT HOME?" 
 From the perspective of someone who does exactly that...I couldn't help but chuckle.  TEACH YOUR OWN CHILDREN? THE VERY THOUGHT...I MEAN, REALLY...

The idea of teaching her child at home was as alien a concept to HER as the idea of nursing a 4 year old is to other families.


My real issue with the cover is actually the title..."ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?"

NOW THAT'S OBNOXIOUS!

When are we going to learn to stop falling for media manipulations like this?

This stunt was intended to pit family against family, and has fulfilled that purpose.

As PARENTS, we have the right to raise our children as we see fit (barring certain extreme situations).

We must then also allow others the same courtesy, EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREE with their decisions!


Is that child on the cover being fed?  Are his basic needs being met? Is he clean and cared for?
(Yes)


Is there any reason to believe he is being neglected or beaten?  SEVERELY mistreated?
(No)


Then leave this Mother to parent as she sees fit!


NEWSFLASH: In this country, we have the right to make decisions others might actually disagree with.

Can we knock it off with all the drama now?

As for the "OH NO! She may embarrass the kid" aspect of the photo...

I agree, this kid is probably going to be embarrassed by this pic of his Mom and him at some point.   

He is probably also going to be embarrassed by a WHOLE HOST of other things she does as well.  

 Parents have been embarrassing their kids for Milenia...heck, the lil darlins have to have something to tell their therapists about!

Famous (and want to be famous) parents do it in front of the country.  Not so famous ones (like most of us) keep the kid's humiliation on a more local level. Though, some of the people on "AFV "do make me wonder, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

 I don't call those clips child exploitation, or child abuse!

Now...have I ever embarrassed MY CHILDREN??

HAVE YOU READ MY BLOG???  :-)


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good reads: LOSER by Jerry Spinelli

I pre-read this book in one sitting, and have since been reading it again with my crew. In my humble opinion, this book should be required reading for all upper elementary and/or middle school students.

LOSER is about a sweet, dreamy, "different" kind of kid named Donald Zinkoff, who doesn't have a mean bone in his entire body.

As we get to follow this eccentric  little guy  k-8, we enjoy his adventures with good and bad teachers, his academic struggles and hard won achievements, as well as his encounters with bullies and peer pressure.

His goofy antics will soon win your heart.  From his "upside down stomach valve" which causes  him to vomit in the oddest of places (his long suffering Father's mail bag, for example), to his experimental adventures in postal careers, this story had us in hysterics.

Under the hilarity, there are good messages in this book.

The main point of "LOSER"  is, of course, that our young friend is anything BUT a loser.   He is a fine young man of sound moral fiber and resolve.  Unfortunately, that never stopped the mean people in the world from picking on you because you are a good soul...maybe just a little different than they are...now, did it?

In fact...it often makes one a far bigger target.

Young Donald shows us time and again that there are more important things in life than sports, grades, and being POPULAR.   Donald illustrates for us that CHARACTER COUNTS. 

I love the open ending Jerry Spinelli chose, giving the kids the chance to figure out what they think happens to young Zinkoff next from the ending's rather subtle contextual clues.

This is a  MARVELOUS book for all ages.  Highly recommended.  It's well done and non-offensive humor will engage the attention of the struggling learner as well.

A+


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pizza, Pizza, PIZZA!!!

My bread machine was kept SUPER busy yesterday, helping me make up some awesome home made pizza dough.

You don't need a bread machine to make this though!  I am just lazy like that!

The basic ingredients were found on the manufacturers website...but then I played around with it.  They suggested using part whole wheat flour (which was, frankly, NASTY).

I used all bread flour (which is made from a hard winter wheat...and rises better) and added granulated garlic, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese to my dough.

Through trial and error with this recipe, I have found that dusting the pan with cornmeal, a final 20 minute rise with the ingredients on top...as well as placing the pizza in a cold oven, gives it an AMAZING crust.

Makes 1 LARGE crust:

1 cup warm water
1tsp. honey
2Tbsp Olive Oil
2tsp. salt
3cups bread flour
2t yeast 
1.5tsp granulated garlic (approximately- I just kind of threw it in)
1tsp Italian seasoning (ditto above)
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (ibid)

Add ingredients to bread pan in given order, set to the pizza dough cycle. (If you are making multiple crusts, like I was...I suggest removing the dough after kneading, and placing it in a bowl covered with saran wrap or a gallon size Ziploc bag in the microwave...after boiling a small bowl of water in there to heat it first). Then reset your machine for another crust.

 If you aren't using a bread machine, no worries!  Mix liquids, add yeast, then flour, in a large mixing bowl.  Knead well (I would work it at least 10 minutes after it forms a cohesive ball) let rise 1 hour, (Use the microwave trick above, it works exceptionally well) then good to go!

I stretched it out over a large pizza pan, which had been dusted with about 1/3 C.cornmeal. (I have several of these purchased from my favorite restaurant supply store.  With a fancy doily added, they do double duty as my pastry serving trays!).  Cover with generous amount of ALDI brand pasta sauce with meat. I believe I used at least 3 big handfulls of shredded mozzarella over that.  Then I sprinkled more granulated garlic and oregano. let rest 20 mins. Place in a cold oven, set to 350, until crust is golden, and cheese is browned and bubbly!

Makes for some HAPPY kids!!!