Leaf Project Lasagna

I don’t think there is anything more heavenly than a full meal already made and frozen in my freezer. I have been inundated with doing school projects with my kids for the past week, plus fighting off a cold that is threatening to be nasty (what does it mean if my normal temperature is 95, and it is now 98? Is that considered a fever?). The last thing I wanted to do was cook tonight. So when I saw the lasagna we had made in the back of my freezer just begging to be heated up, I complied happily. Who cares if each bite holds a thousand calories? The most effort I had to exert was letting it thaw throughout the day and then cooking it to a crisp (uh, literally on the edges, unfortunately) until it was steaming before us on a break from the Leaf Project from hell.

Alright. I’ll admit it. My son’s Leaf Project isn’t really that bad. We have had a month to do it. In the beginning we were instructed to press the leaves in a heavy book so that each leaf would be ready to be mounted when it was time to put the project together. We went to my mother’s house and raided her garden for every interesting leaf we could find. And then, using my extremely large Vegetarian Cookbook by Deborah Madison, we proceeded to give it more use than it had seen in ages. We filled that book with leaves of every shape and size, complete with notes so that we knew where it came from (uh, grandma’s house. Duh.).

Since the leaves had to press for three weeks, the teacher encouraged his students to start on the pages they would be mounted on, create a cover, and to write an interesting introduction. Naturally, we waited till last week to do this, when the leaves were done being pressed. I mean, seriously. How long does a leaf project really take? I figured that one week was still giving us extra time to finish this project.

Boy was I wrong.

We have been spending every night on this project for the last week, coming up with facts about each leaf that wouldn’t bore the teacher to death (“This leaf is a maple leaf. It is green. I like it.” “This leaf is a fig leaf. It is green. I like it”). We also went through and made a poem for a couple, and included a recipe for the edible ones. We finally finished the leaf pages, and were closing in on the end when I re-read what else was required for this project. We had missed a very important part – telling about leaves and how they work.

You mean they have to learn something too? Sheesh.

So we went through the internet and learned about photosynthesis and the reason that leaves are flat. And we learned about chlorophyll, xanthophyll, and carotene, and why leaves change color. And we created rough drafts of drawings to give a visual for all these changes.

This is what that process looks like:

Working hard on the report.

You mean we’re not done yet?????  There’s more????

I can’t do this anymore!!!!!

“Uh, son, can you please turn off the movie and get back to work?”

All he has left to do is rewrite everything we put together, glue it into the report, create a table of contents and…….we are done.

I was stressing this morning because I thought this was due tomorrow. I had sent a bunch of pages for him to rewrite while he was at his dad’s house this weekend so that we would have very little left to do. Wouldn’t you know it, my little swindler hussled his dad and got him to believe that he only had to do half of it. And when I say half, I mean 2 pages out of 6 – 2 pages that he had to rewrite anyway because he did his best to make it as sloppy as possible. Looking at all the work we had still ahead, I couldn’t see how we could possibly finish this in enough time unless he stayed up till 10 pm. Thankfully, along with missing the part about needing to learn something, I also missed the part that said it was due on Thursday, not Tuesday. We are ultra busy in the next few days, but if we have to put off a piece or two until tomorrow night, it will still be ok.

Thank goodness for working on this ahead of time so that we aren’t killing ourselves in the final week (snark, snark). And thank goodness for frozen leftover lasagna.

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What are some of the lessons you have learned as a mom (or a dad) that you are greatful for?  Share them over on the forums at SantaRosaMom.com!

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2 thoughts on “Leaf Project Lasagna”

  1. Very cute story! Love the pictures of your son on burn-out. I can imagine my son the same way in a few years. He is already annoyed by his kindergarten homework!

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