Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Activities

I love the advent season.  This is a really fun year as the twins understand more and more.  I love watching their imaginations blossom and seeing the magic of Christmas sparkle in their eyes. 

Santa debate:
Yes I let my girls believe in Santa.  I know some think this may bring confusion about the true meaning of Christmas but my girls also know the real meaning of Christmas and on Christmas day we plan on having a birthday party for Jesus.  I can proudly say this was one of their ideas.
The reason I teach them to believe in Santa is because I think it's such a small period in their life where fantasy is really "real" to them.  It's fun to fantasize!  and it fosters imagination and creativity.  As a teacher I was so suprised and saddened by how many kids had no imagination.  How can they develop an imagination when their toys do EVERYTHING for them.  The baby doll eat, talk, pee and poop, dogs bark, and cars honk and vroom.  Now I know that simply allowing my children to believe in Santa Clause isn't going to be the magic key that teaches them to imagine but allowing them to have some kind of fantasy and believe in something so magical is bound to foster some imaginative growth.

Toys for that matter:
So I know it's the big joke that Angela doesn't like toys that make noise and most assume it's because they annoy me, which they do but that isn't it.  Besides is it really less annoying to have a child running around the house making the same sound over and over and over not really.  So anyway my goal is for a high percentage of their toys to not make noise.  Watching my girls they get more enjoyment out of their simple stuffed animals and soundless dolls then anything else.  I love watching them create stories, give their babies voices, and explore all kinds of pretend play.  It cracked me up so much the first time one of their babies made it to time out watching one of the twins "discipline" their naughty baby.  I love watching them pretend.

Onto our Advent Activities:
So pictured above is our Advent House.  Inside each door of the house I put a picture of a different activity.  The starting on day 12 this year I followed this Family Advent Calendar.  I'll admit we were altogether behind this year and didn't manage to even start until the 9th.

So here is what we've done so far.

9'th    Ice Cream with Daddy
10'th  Christmas Parade
11'th  Pancakes for dinner
12'th  Hot cocoa night
13'th  Puppy Chow
14'th  was supposed to be gingerbread Rudolph cookies
15'th was supposed to be Christmas Caroling  The twins were sick the last two days, so on the 14'th we
        didn't do anything and today we will make the Rudolph cookies and we are watching Christmas shows
         instead, they need to be very low key today, lol
16'th  Grandma and Grandpa
17'th  Adventure in St. Louis day (visit the fish market, see snow show at the mall, visit Santa, top it off with
          our annual Christmas party with the Dolatas)
18'th  Cousin Paul and Jeep rides!
19th   Little People Village(poor Lillie-Kate got sick again)
20'th  Gingerbread Rudolph Cookies
21'rst Angel Gabriel activity
22'nd  PAT visit with Kim
23'rd  Twin's baptism bday party
24'th  Christmas Eve service
25'th  Happy Birthday Jesus, celebrate Christmas at home

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Such a let down

I feel so bad for all the I have let down.  I feel like I haven't lived up to the expectations I set out for myself.  I think perhaps I bit off a bit more then I could chew and so now that I've had a chance to re-group I hope I can do what I want with this blog.  That and multiple computer issues and internet problems have kept me away.
Originally the point in this blog was to write about what the girls and I were doing with pre-school.  But we got so behind in pre-school that I stopped writing about it altogether.  We are finally getting caught up and just in time in my opinion.  I wanted to be back on track for Advent so we would be up to date with our bible stories. 
I love this time of year.  I hope to keep up with things a bit better but if nothing else at least keep up with pre-school.  As a teacher and a stay at home mom I owe that to my girls.  My goal with my blog is to use it as a sort of diary.  I want to document what we are doing in preschool as much as I can but also have a place to share our adventures.
and what a time we've had lately.  So much to catch up on and so little time to do it.
I think compared to last year I am so behind on everything right now.  This time last year the decorations were up, the cookies baked, and all presents started on.  This year I haven't even decided what I am going to make for presents this year.  The house is scarcely sad. and we are just starting on the cookies.
But I must say I have an excuse, har har har.  We have a minor construction project going on.  We are building a wall in our kitchen.  Our kitchen opens to the basement and therefor our energy bills suck us dry.  So we are putting up the wall to close off the basement and save on heating this winter.  Our furnace went out last year and, no, we have not replaced it.  Just seriously cannot afford a furnace.  So we sold a truck and can afford to build a wall.  We will install our baseboard heater on the new wall, and between that and our fireplace try to stay warm even if it means sleeping in the living room, lol, I doubt we'll have to actually resort to that but I'd be lying if I said we hadn't thought about it.
So for now I will leave you at this and just hope and pray there is a way I can keep up with all my goals. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Moses leading the Israelites across the Red Sea!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We are playing catch up!!! We re-read the creation story then learned about Adam and Eve and their temptation. What a concept to understand that Adam was the first man and Eve the first woman. They showed a strong understanding for temtpation, disobedience, and punishment but the idea of first. Man and woman was a little beyond them. Lillian asked who Adam's daddy was and I told her God only. Then I explained that she is lucky because she has her daddy daddy but also that God is her father and just like she tries to please her daddy she also pleases God. This she understood because when she makes good or bad choices we ask her if she made Jesus happy or sad but I dont think she ever thought of God being her father too.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So sorry

I have to apologize for being mia lately!  First my internet was down, then we were out of town for a week, now everything is starting back at the same time and I have my first craft show looming over my head which I am not prepared.  I hope to be back into blogging mode as of next week and full blogging mode the week after.  So please bear with me and if you don't mind keeping me in your prayers as I am just feeling so overwhelmed right now and like it's not all going to come together and we are having some major financial concerns as winter is fast approaching and Sweetness work load is going to slow down majorly.  I really need this crafting thing to work out for me to carry us through the winter.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

straight down and then your done
that's the way you make a one!

Rolling up my pancake

special treat this morning....pancakes!!!
But oops I made them too thin. Oh well crepes it is!
Then I had an aha moment!

Number One Pancakes

Friday, September 2, 2011

Im so sorry I have been mia lately. Our internet is currently down and will be until sometime next week. It is overwhelming trying to keep up via phone text messages so check back with us in a couple weeks. I might still post photos its just hard editing and adding descriptions.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sloppy Joe Quesadillas

Remember when I said we eat a lot of quesadillas?
Alas the Sloppy Joe Quesadilla!
I love Sloppy Joes! I remember from my childhood always thinking it was so funny when my brother Joe asked my mom for Sloppy Joes for dinner. I wonder if my nieces have the same sense of humor as I do???
I must give credit where credit is due, this is not my sloppy joe recipe but the quesadillas are all me!
I got the recipe off my MOPS page from Carrie who said it is Monika's recipe.
Sloppy Joe's
1 lb ground beef
1/4 chopped onion
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t ground mustard
3/4 cup catsup
3 t brown suger (I use sucanat so its has a more molasses-y flavor)
can of whole kernel corn
s&p to taste.
Brown the ground beef and chopped onion, drain grease, then add remaining ingredients!
Sloppy Joe Quesadillas
sloppy joe mixture
whole wheat tortillas
sharp cheddar cheese
Spoon some sloppy joe mixture onto half of the tortilla.
Add three thin slices of cheese
Fold tortilla in half
Cook on skillet at medium heat for about 10 seconds per side or until light brown and crisp.
Enjoy! And don't forget your napkin; they're called Sloppy for a reason!

Use every space available! We do have a room we could use a our preschool room but its only a two season room, meaning we don't heat it or cool it. As I've said before I partitioned off my kitchen for preschool time. This is our refrigerator. It's actually pretty convenient being able to use magnets!.
On this is our calendar, weather poster, words of the week, color words, weekly objectives, and picture from our bible story.

I decided to add Words of the Week! I know this may be early but this is what I figure. These are the words we used my first year of teaching at the Kindergarten Center (I was the art teacher). In all honesty many of the twins are at the same level as many of our kindergartners and ahead of some. I'm not saying my girls are super gifted even though as their mom of course I think they are! I worked in a high poverty district and few of our kiddos attended a preschool and so many of them were desparetly behind. We really had our work cut out for us getting them caught up.
So my reasoning is that if these kindergartners can start from such a low stage and learn these words why can't my girls. No, I don't expect them to be able to recite them but exposing them to the words can't hurt and while being able to sound out words is so important knowing sights words and not having to sound everything out is important too!

I've been labeling everything in the house! The twins have been having great fun discovering words and deciphering what they say!

God Gave Us You

During story time today we read, "God Gave Us You."
What a wonderful book. I read it a couple of times to prepare but I still couldn't hold back the tears when I read it to the girls.
I read it one time through with them showing them the pictures in the book. The second time I had a special surprise for them. I dug through our baby albums and found a bunch of our own pictures to tell our story. This time I laid the book in my lap and read it again. Rather then just read the words as written I followed the book but talked to the girls and showed them their photos. They loved it!. Lillian laughed at my last pregnancy photo and said, "Mommy you were huge!"
I also shared pictures of everyone who came to visit them in the hospital and the twins were surprised by how excited everyone was to meet them!
I have another surprise in store for them. I'm going to have a photobook made for them using a similiar story line as "God Gave Us You"

God Gave Us You

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes from The Mother Huddle

Fried Green Tomatoes...Yumalicious!
Mmm Mmm another great one from The Mother Huddle!
I'm so impatient for my tomatoes to ripen so when I saw this recipe on The Mother Huddle today I dove in head first!!!  Click here for the recipe:  Fried Green Tomatoes

I did alter the dipping sauce recipe though because I've been dying to use the Horseradish I bought at Weaver's Country Market!
2 T Catsup
2 T Mayonnaise
Chili Powder (probably about 1/4 t)
Horseradish (about 1/2 T)

Super yummy, kind of like a creamy cocktail sauce!

So while I was at it and I was making a mess anyway I thought hmm why not fry up some Sweet Vidalia Onion Rings too!!!

We also had a Ramen Noodle Salad which is my new obsession since trying our neighbors then trying another version from a MOPS friend!  It was great but I will be making some changes to make it uniquely mine!

Honey Mustard Chicken Quesadillas

We eat a lot of quesadillas in the Rudolph household!  Especially on the days after we have had chicken for dinner the night before.  From barbecue chicken, to pepperoncini chicken to mexican chicken almost any leftover chicken can be turned into a quesadilla!  

First you will need my recipe for honey mustard chicken.
It's super easy and takes only a few ingredients.
6 Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  1. Spray a 9x12 casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pound the chicken breast as thin as you can get them without them breaking apart with a meat mallet
  3. Lay them down into the casserole dish in a single layer
  4. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl
  5. Brush half the honey mustard sauce on top of the chicken breasts
  6. Cover the casserole and put in the oven for 15 minutes
  7. After the 15 minutes is up take the casserole out of the oven.  Flip the chicken breasts over and brush the remaining half of the honey mustard sauce on them.
  8. Return the casserole to the oven this time uncovered and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through

Leftover Honey Mustard Chicken Quesadillas

left over honey mustard chicken
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
whole wheat tortillas
sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Pull apart the leftover honey mustard chicken then warm it up in the microwave
  2. In a small bowl stir together the Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vnegar
  3. Heat a 10 inch skillet to medium high heat
  4. Warm up your tortillas on the skillet just enough to soften.
  5. Lay a tortilla flat.  Distribute a small amount of the broken up chicken on half of the tortilla.  Drizzle some of the honey mustard sauce on the chicken then top with three slices of cheddar cheese.

Fold the tortilla in half

You can cook two quesadillas at a time.
They only take about 10 seconds per side.  Put them in the skillet, count to 10, then flip it over, count to 10 take them out of the skillet and put them on a plate.

They will be a medium brown and crisp.
Cut them into 3 triangles

If you have any leftover honey mustard sauce you can use it for dip.


Five Little Ducks day three

An example of how I evaluated the girls counting and listening skills.

These are the ducks the girls created.  I traced their hands and cut them out of four layers of yellow construction paper.  They tore yellow tissue paper and glued it to the bodies of the ducks then when their hands were ready they glued them on.
This is where I got the duck template and instructions:  Duck Craft

Creation Booklet Day 3

On the third day God said, "Let there be grass and plants and trees."
Day three page from The creation booklet
green paint
small paintbrush
pre-cut tree trunk
flower stickers or small pom poms

  1. The girls glued the tree trunk that I had already cut for them onto their paper.
  2. The girls glued pom poms on next.  We talked about where flowers grow and whether they are taller or shorter then trees.  I tried to direct the girls to glue their flowers lower then their trees but ultimately allowed them to glue them where they felt they needed them
  3. We talked about where the grass grows.  They painted the grass at the bottom of their picture.  I modeled for them how to dip only the brush part into the paint and how to pull and not push the brush across the paper.
  4. I painted the hand green then they made a green handprint at the top of their tree to represent the green leaves

Kirby's turned out nice!

I had to share this one last photo of my little sensory child.  I snapped it a little too late but she wet her hands then rubbed the green paint all the way up to her elbows.  She sudzed up to her elbows and just rubbed up and down.  Great activity for my sensory seeker!

Preschool Creation Day 3

Today is the third day of preschool and we seem to be falling into a good routine.

9:00 am Calendar Time followed by Math

  • So today after all our Calendar songs we pulled out our zero sandpaper card.  First we said together, "Round and round and round we go.  That's the way you make zero. Then each girl did it on their own while running their finger around the zero.  The girls colored their zero posters and put no stickers on it.
9:30 am playtime
10:00 am Story Time (book of the week)
  •  The book of the week is 5 Little ducks.  So we sang 5 Little ducks and the girls made the ducks move on the flannel board. We sang it normal one time then the next time I would have a different number of ducks return each time.  So rather then go in order of 5..4..3..2...1 I surprised them each time.  They really had to pay attention to know how many ducks to put back Next we did 5 Little Ducks with the finger puppets.  Again we sang it normal the first time then the second time I surprised the girls with how many ducks came back, I also let the girls be the Mama Duck.  This time rather then say the number I held up a different number of fingers and the girl that was Mama Duck had to say how many ducks came back (they counted how many fingers I held up).  Finally we did our Duck art project.
10:30 am playtime
11:00 am Bible Story Time
  • We are learning the Creation Story and this week we concentrated on Days 1,2, and 3.  First we sang our Bible Verse.
Tune: "Are You Sleeping"
In the beginning. (2x)
God created (2x)
The heavens and earth (2x)
Genesis 1:1 (2x)

  • Then we read the Bible Story.  We said together, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth"  Then I read, "On the first day God created:"  and the girls filled in the blank.  They know day one and day two.  I read, "On the third day God said, 'Let there be grass and plants and trees." We talked about the grass, plants and trees.  What do they look like?  How tall do they get?  Next we did our art project for Day 3.
11:30 playtime
12:00 lunch

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Five Little Ducks

Today I introduced the nursery rhyme, "Five Little Ducks" to the twins.
I don't have the book but I didn't need it.  First we did it on flannelgraph, then we watched a version of it on YouTube.
When I used to do Five Little Ducks with my Kindergartners I always did it with my fingers.  When we sang, "Over the hills and far away," I would hide my hand behind my back then, "Four little ducks came waddling back" I tucked one finger back and showed four fingers.
So I thought, "How can I take this to the next level?"  I raided my felt stash and I had just enough yellow and orange to do what I had in mind.
I made five little duck finger puppets. and one large beak hand puppet to be the Mama Duck.  They were super simple to make, you don't need any real sewing skills.  You could actually glue it but I sewed mine so they would last longer.
Cut out a little duck shape from cardstock then trace it onto yellow felt.  I free handed the orange beaks.
I used a black magic marker and drew a dot for the eye and little feathers on the side.
Next I cut strips of yellow felt.  I measured it around finger to make a circle like a ring at the end of my finger. I sewed it together using yellow thread then sewed the ring to the middle of the back of the duck.  I also sewed the beaks on.

Like I said before I sing the song and hide my hand behind my back, then when I bring it back out with one finger folded under.  I had considered dropping the duck off my finger while behind my back but then I wouldn't have the ducks on my fingers to show back up at the end of the song.

Four Little Ducks

Three Little Ducks

You get the picture.

For the Mama Duck I folded the orange felt in half, then laid my four fingers on it and traced around them in a semi-oval shape. (I didn't trace my actual fingers)  I cut on the line and kept it folded in half.  Keeping this piece folded I unfolded the orange felt and laid this "semi-oval" piece onto the felt.  I traced around this shape making it about 1/4 inch larger around this time.  I cut this piece out and laid it on the top half of my doubled semi-oval.  I sewed all the way around.  because it was bigger it makes a pocket for your four fingers.  On the bottom part of the semi oval I made another ring for my thumb and sewed it to the bottom.  Now I can open and shut my beak while the mom says, "quack quack quack quack."

The girls were so excited to have another way to sing this nursery rhyme.  They wanted to do it themselves but the ducks will be too big for their tiny fingers.  I have a feeling I may be busy making some finger puppets for two little girls for their birthday!

Apple Tree Book

There are no apples on our trees!

Kirby's Family Picture

While Lillian focuses on the arms and legs Kirby really focuses on the face.  It may look confusing but she draws on circle for the outside of the eye and one circle for the iris and sometime the pupil.  She also tries to draw a chin under the face.  She's very observant.

Lillian's Family Picture

Lillian's picture of My Family.  I love how she concentrates on the arms and legs.

B-L-U-E spells blue

Today we added a blue scoop to our ice cream cone and blue to our caterpillars.  The girls also made a face for their caterpillars.

Blue Song (The Farmer and the Dell)
B-L-U-E spells blue
B-L-U-E spells blue
Hi Ho Did you know
B-L-U-E spells blue

The big sky is blue
The ocean is too
Hi Ho Did you know
B-L-U-E spells blue

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School!

Today's schedule was a little off because we had a meeting first thing this morning.

When we got home we started with Calendar time.
We took about a 20 minute break while the girls played and I prepared for our next activity.  They were very curious about what I was doing and hung close to me rather then go downstairs to their play area.

Next we continued with our Bible story.  We talked about how many days it took God to create the world including the day 7 when he rested and counted the number of days in the week.  Then we focused on day one.

We talked about light and dark, day and night, black and white.
We are also creating a creation book found on this website:  Hubbard's Cupboard

(sorry it's sideways)
Then we sang our color songs and did our two color activities.
We did actually forget to do the number activity for the day.  
One girl started Charlie Church Mouse Creation game while the other finished her work.  Then they switched.
Finally the girls practiced cutting with scissors while I gave them a pre-assessment individually.  I'll be excited to see how they do when I re-assess them at the end of the year.

I don't want to post an example of my daily routine until I get more comfortable with it.  I didn't start the book of the week today and we may do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays depending on how everything else works out.  All other preschool activities will be on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.  Afternoons will be open for free play, gross motor activities, sensory activities, and games.

During preschool time our "bulletin board is hanging in the middle of the room.  I have four clips mounted on a beam in my kitchen.  So when preschool time is over I simply move our bulletin board over to the other two clips.  You can still see the side that says, "Check Out What We're Doing"  
It's helpful during preschool time because it partitions off the room and the girls are less distracted.
For this same reason too I have the computer in a different room.  I thought about moving it into this room but I decided it would be less of a distraction if one girls is doing computer time while the other is still working on her daily work.

on the other side of this paper is our months.  I got a large roll of brown paper at Home Depot or Lowes for about $5.  I have it hanging from a beam in my kitchen.

Today I introduced the colors Black and White.
While the girls colored their ice cream scoops and caterpillar circles I sang the Black color song and the White color song.  They know these songs already and we often sing them in the car.  By second semester after we sing our last song for calendar time we will also sing all the color songs.  My girls love singing so it works well for us.  Here is a list of all the color songs but I will also post them as we color new colors:  Color Songs

Black Song (If your Happy and you Know it)
(the letters separated by hyphens are spoken)
B-L-A-C-K spells black
B-L-A-C-K spells black
Flying bats are black
Scary cats are black
Jelly beans are black 
I like black

B-L-A-C-K spells black
B-L-A-C-K spells black
Sunday shoes are black
Santa's boots are black
B-L-A-C-K spells black

White Song (little brown jug)
That spells white now sing with me
Milk is white and so is glue
Ghosts are white and they say boo

That spells white now sing with me
The clouds above the snow below
Santa's bears, ho ho ho

The purple box on this wall is our daily work box.  When the twins are done with their daily work they put it here.  
Beneath the box is their sensory table.  My dad made this for the girls when we found out Kirby had SPD.
On the wall I want to hang an alphabet poster and a number poster.
We have no teacher's stores where I live nor Dollar Trees.  I will probably get the ones they have at Dollar Tree.

Calendar area and their table.

During calendar time we also talk about the weather but we forgot to do it today.

Calendar Time

We start each morning with calendar time. (I need new numbers I'm missing a few..oops)

We start by counting the days up to the current day then one of the girls adds today's date to the calendar.
Next we sing the months of the year song.
Months of the Year (Ten Little Indians)
January, February, March and April
May, June, July and August
September, October, November, December
These are the 12 months of the year

After we sing I point to each month and say the name of the month then stop when we get to the missing month.  The twins say what the current month is.  
Next we sing the days of the week song.  Mine is a little different the ABCJLM
Days of the Week (Oh my Darling Clementine)
Sunday, Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday
Sunday, Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday
Thursday, Friday
Days of the Week (Adams family song)
Days of the week (snap snap or clap clap)
Days of the week (snap snap)
Days of the week, Days of the week, Days of the week (snap snap)
There's Sunday and there's Monday
There's Tuesday and there's Wednesday
There's Thursday and there's Friday
and then there's Saturday
Days of the week (snap snap or)
Days of the week (snap snap)
Days of the week, Days of the week, Days of the week (snap snap)

After this we figure out what day of the week it is.  We then say, "Today is day, month date."  For example today we said, "Today is Monday, August 22."  I don't add the year because I think they are ready for that yet.

Next they find the day card in our organizer.  They put that card next to "Today is..."
Then they put the previous day in "Yesterday was..."
and the next day card in "Tomorrow will be..."
We read the three sentences then sing our today song.  While singing the lines I am pointing to the sentences.

Today Song (Brother John)
Today is Monday
Today is Monday
All day long 
All day long
Yesterday was Sunday
Tomorrow will be Tuesday
Oh what fun
Oh what fun

After Calender time the twins get 20 minutes of free play while I prepare for our next activity.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Excited about tomorrow

We are starting ABCJLM on Monday after all.  We'll have altered plans for our first day because we have a meeting first thing in the morning.  I had planned on waiting until Tuesday but forgot I have a Picnic kickoff for my Osage MOPS group!  I can't wait to teach my first lesson and I'm sure even though I have everything prepared already I'll be up late getting it all just right!
Can't wait to blog about it tomorrow!


Okay so I know applesauce is one of the easiest things to make and I hesitated posting about it, however there was a time I didn't know how to make it and would have thought it was much harder then it really is.  It's not much cheaper to make on your own but if you make it then you know what is in it and you can control what your children are eating.  Plus it's just fun to make and the kids will have a blast joining in.

Another great thing about making applesauce with your kids is it opens yet another opportunity for a bible lesson.  I love making the analogy of 3 in 1 with an apple.  So the girls and I talked about how God is three in one, God the father, the holy spirit, and the son and I compared it to an apple peel, flesh, and core.  There's a great book out there that does make the same exact comparison but the girls are a little young for it just yet.

On my recipe I do not add any sweetener or cinnamon but I don't need to because of what I use to steam the apples.

These are the ingredients I used:
9 green delicious apples
whey from yogurt making (I freeze my whey in ice cube trays and I used 16 cubes)
     because I used whey I didn't have to add any sweeteners, whey from yogurt making is naturally sweet plus
     it adds that much more goodness to your applesauce even thought boiling the whey probably kill a lot of            
     the good bacteria I still believe it add something to it if nothing else allowing you to not add sweeteners.

Typical Ingredients:
Apples (the more apples the more sauce you will have)
about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot

First you need to peel and cut your apples into small cubes.
Here is where you can get the kids involved and let them help out a bit.
                    I peeled the apples                                          

quartered them

                                                                                                                       removed the core

Then I let the girls cut them into smaller pieces!

Lillian just couldn't resist trying some!

yes she's topless again...oy

In the meantime:

If you choose to use whey put them in the pot on low to melt the cubes

Choose a pot that will be big enough to accommodate all your apples.  They should come to about the middle of the pot.  If using water you want about an inch of water in the bottom of your pot.
I am using what I call a soup pot I guess its sort of a stock pot but short and wide.  I think of stock pots as being taller.
Set the temperature on Medium and wait for it to simmer.
Add your apples!
yes my apples look brown, it doesn't affect the taste, a way to avoid it is putting them in lemon juice but I don't like the taste it adds to the sauce.
Keep the heat on medium and put a lid on the pan.  It takes about 30 minutes.  At this point just start checking your apples for tenderness.  I pull some out on a spoon and press a fork against them, if they are spongy they are not quite ready, they should break apart easily.
Once they are ready you have a number of choices, whatever works best for you.  You can use a food processor, blender, food mill, or immersion blender.

I prefer the immersion blender.  I have used my food mill but you can't control the texture with it.
I like my applesauce a little chunky and with the immersion blender I feel like I have the most control!

and now your done!  You can can it at this point but we eat ours far too fast, so I put it in the jars without going through the canning process.
9 apples makes almost 2 quarts