Wednesday Families, You Asked For It

Knowing I had 4:30 and 5:30 classes to teach on Wednesday, this past week I managed to pull myself together earlier in the day and get something simmering on the stove to be ready for dinner. Mind you, this does not always happen, particularly on a day when Miss-Almost-Two-Years-Old decides not to take a nap. Yes, many a Wednesday evening will find Ian throwing a frozen pizza in the oven while I finish classes.

The Our Time classes have been having a lot of fun “cooking” also!

This week, as I said, I did get the stove fired up and a pot of spaghetti sauce on the go. After class I was directly told by a couple of moms that this one needs to be posted. (I think they were just really hungry but here it is anyway.) Keep in mind that I make BIG batches of this kind of stuff and fill up the freezer for an option to those frozen pizzas.

1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
3-4 stalks celery chopped (small so Daddy doesn’t know it is there) Throw in the leaves too.
3-4 onions roughly chopped
8 or so cloves of garlic pressed
2-3 bay leaves
3 Tbl basil
3 Tbl oregano
2 Tbl marjoram
1 Tbl crushed red pepper flakes
ground black pepper
2 lb. ground chuck, browned and drained
1/2 cup red wine
several shakes of Tabasco sauce
several Tbls of Worschester sauce

In the morning or shortly after lunch I spend a little time chopping and opening cans then walk by every now and again and stir. Everything doesn’t have to go in all at once. I usually get the cans and most of the veggies and herbs in then go take care of STUFF and every now and again come back and add something else. This works for my ultra distracted way of life! I do turn OFF the stove to go run errands, pick up and deliver kids, etc. Just remember to turn it back on when you come in. The smell will usually remind you!

When I find it on sale I buy the big packs of ground chuck, cook it up and put it in the freezer. This is great for something like this because you don’t have to stand over the stove on sauce making day. If I have leftover veggies sitting in the fridge I will often throw those in. Half a zucchini, last nights green beans, shredded carrots, it all works. I often add a few more garlic cloves towards the end for a fresh garlic kick. In our house you can’t really have too much garlic.

Babies Have a Sense of Rhythm

It will be months before they talk, walk or even sit up. But at just a day old, babies have a strong sense of rhythm, say researchers.

Newborns are also sensitive to pitch and melody, they found.

Experts said that introducing a child to music at an early age could enhance these innate musical abilities and also help them learn to talk.

The fledgling musical talent was discovered by Hungarian researchers during a study of more than 100 boys and girls who were only one or two days old.

They played the babies music as they slept and measured their brain activity.

The researchers found that their brains computed changes in beat, tone and melody.

For instance, if a key beat was missed from a rhythmic pattern, the baby’s brain registered the change.

A change in pitch, similar to that between male and female voices, also provoked a reaction.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences study was part of a threeyear European project on how the brain processes music and other sounds, co-ordinated by Dr Susan Denham, of Plymouth University.

She said: ‘What is perhaps most significant is that not only do babies’ brains register changes in beat, pitch and simple melodic patterns but they do so more or less automatically, as they are fast asleep during these experiments.

‘People come into the world with brains that are wired-up to detect patterns’.

Dr Denham added: ‘A lot of music reflects the rhythms and contents of speech. If you are listening to music you will also probably be more sensitive to speech rhythm.’

From the article “Babies Have a Sense of Rhythm, Which Could be Used to Help Them Develop,” in the British Daily Mail.

No More Excuses

Ok, folks. If you live within Oxford there are no more excuses for not recycling. Starting NEXT week the city is providing curbside pickup for EVERYONE all over town. To participate you must go to the city website and sign up. You can do that online or by contacting

Curbside Recycling Program
Amberlyn Liles, Recycling Coordinator
(662) 232-2745

The pilot program in certain neighborhoods has ended. Even if you actively participated in that program you must sign up.