Monday, October 31, 2011

Grammy's here!! Grammy's here!

My mom and cousin's daughter arrived on Saturday.  We're excited to see them.  I haven't been home in five years (its too expensive to travel across country with all of us) and my mom last traveled to us in May of last year.  The kids are super excited.  Even Little Miss Trouble, who doesn't remember her much, and of course its taken Monkey a little bit to warm up to her. 

We're going to do a couple of fun things while they are here.  I'm hoping that mom gets some rest though.  She works two jobs and gets pretty tired out.  The long trip across country doesn't help either.  I'm hoping we end up moving back to the east coast so that traveling will be easier on us all!

Daddy and three girls up in TL's bunk.

Showing how old she is. 

Blowing out candles on our breakfast cupcakes.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday

Okay, I have no idea how to make a button and I'm too lazy to look right now, so this will have to do. 

This week I put a new chore schedule in place.  The three oldest each have a section of the camper to clean: my room and bath, the living room/kitchen, or the girls room/bath.  They will rotate each week.  Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday they are responsible for vacumming and any dusting that needs to be done in that area.  On opposite days they must clean the bathrooms and the person with the living area must wash the floor.  This takes them about 15-20 minutes each day. 

I also put forth a rotating schedule to help with making meals, washing dishes, and doing laundry. I've decided that the person helping with meals will be able to help menu plan and we will focus on one meal a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) that they will really do themselves, with my supervision.  That person will still help out with the other meals, but the focus will be on that one meal.  The goal is that after a few weeks rotation, they will be able to do an entire day's cooking with little supervision.  I'm hoping this will help out when the flu hits, as it always does.  Last year, the girls were awesome making breakfast (cereal) and lunch (sandwiches) when I got sick.  The nice thing is that because we're in the fifth wheel I'm close by to help out!

So, here's three recipes.  The first is from Pampered Chef.  This time I made it in the crock pot, I just put in on high for 3-4 hours until the potatoes were done.  Its always been a favorite here.

Double Potato Scallop

1 cup cooked ham, cubed
1 can condensed cream of potato soup
1/2 cup cool whip
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 large unpeeled potatoes, sliced thin

Mix all together.  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.  Crush croutons on top and cook another 15-20 minutes or until done.

Taco Soup

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 cans corn, drained
2 can chili beans, undrained
2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in taco seasoning, corn, beans, and tomatoes.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with crushed chips and shredded cheese on top.

This taco soup recipe is great for lunches.  Its quick and easy and all my kids (except the picky eater) love it.

Pumpkin Spice Bars

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 can cream cheese frosting

In a mixing bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients.  Combine the rest and add to the pumpkin mixture until just combined.  Pour into a 15x10 pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until done.  Cool completely and frost.

Have a fantastic week everyone!!  We're off tomorrow to celebrate Little Miss Trouble's fourth birthday.  Next week we take our first break as my mom and cousin come into town!!  yeah!!  Haven't seen my mom in about 18 months!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Anyone use Currclick?  Its a fantastic website loaded with all kinds of workbooks, lapbooks, and unit studies that you can download instantly.  I love it.  I use some workbooks and lots of lapbooks.  Having them on my computer versus taking up valuable shelf space is ideal for me, especially now that we're living in a camper!  I also like to be able to load up the book and print the page I want instead of trying to copy it out of a book.

Another benefit?  They run freebies all the time.  And fantastic sales.  If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get to know all that's going on and each week they have a new freebie featured for you.

Just recently, I started looking at the other part of their website.  Currclick Live.  They have several clubs to choose to join.  TL is checking out the Lego Club this month.  I'm trying to talk him into joining the chess club. 

Yesterday, he took his first "class".  Science Jim's theme this month is spooky things and he learned all about dry ice.  TL really enjoyed it.

I've also signed him up for the Oregon Trail class.  That looks really interesting and he's excited about it.  Normally, I wouldn't pay that much but since he's had a hard time focusing and getting work done lately, I thought it would do him some good.  He has assignments that he has to complete and hand in so I'm hoping that it will trigger something that makes him realize that he has to get his work done.  And have fun while doing it.

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm really wondering.....

why I can't seem to get my entire to-do list done during the day.

why I can't seem to sew or quilt a little each day.

It seems that there are never enough hours, yet I have all the modern conveniences that my ancestors didn't have.  I don't have to grow my own food (although I'd like to) or clean animals after my hubby shot them.  I don't have to make every single meal from scratch (although I do that most of the time).  I have a refrigerator, stove, and running water.  No going to the well to get water and boiling it to wash dishes, cook, or do laundy.  I won't even get into what it took to take baths. 

I've been limiting my computer time.  I rarely watch tv, most of the time I'm multi-tasking....making dinner, doing lesson plans, etc while the tv is on.

I have a car to drive places, don't have to hitch up a team and drive for hours to get to the store.  I don't have to feed and take care of those animals.

Yet, my ancestors grew their own food, smoked or canned it, dealt without all the modern conveniences to do their everyday chores, and still managed to sew their own clothes, knit their own scarves and mittens, and make quilts.  Why can't I find time during the day to do some sewing? 

One of life's little questions to ponder I guess.......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Yes, I know I'm a day late with my recipe post.  On Sunday night, Bug-a-bug slipped and fell in the shower.  Now, the shower in the fifth wheel is smaller than a normal shower and she fell and hit the shelf.  Monday we took off from school cause daddy was home and she played outside.  Every now and then she'd complain about it so we gave her a little tylenol to help with the pain believing that she bruised it.

Yesterday was totally different.  She had to sit all day and do school.  By dinnertime, she was in tears.  After dinner, I took her to urgent care and found out that she has a fracture in her coccyx.  Poor thing!!

So, I'm posting two recipes today.  First, is a favorite around here for all of those apples you've been picking.

Harvest Apple Dip
8 oz softened cream cheese
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together and beat until smooth.  Slice apples and splash with 7up or lemon juice to keep from browning.  We use red, green, and yellow apples for pretty coloring.

This next recipe I got from a friend of mine.  She makes it all the time and its become a family favorite here also.  Even though it has chicken in the name, there isn't any chicken.....don't ask, cause I have no idea why.

City Chicken
Boneless Pork Roast cubed
Bread Crumbs
chicken broth
dry onion soup  mix

Cube pork.  Roll into egg and then bread crumbs.  Fry in crisco oil until browned on each side.  Put into a baking dish with soup mix and chicken broth.  The chicken broth should be added until it is halfway up the side of the pork, do not cover the pork.  Cover and cook at 350 for one hour.

Now, her original recipe calls for the pork to be skewed onto skewers but I'm too lazy and I can see the skewers being used as weapons, so I don't use them.  This is easy and very tasty. 

Have a great week!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Our little adventurer

Even though we live in a fifth wheel, Monkey gets into all kinds of trouble.  When we went to dump last week, we couldn't figure out why the water was moving so slowly through the hose and it wasn't emptying.....well, she'd put a small gatorade bottle down the toilet.  I'm also missing the toothpaste, my makeup, and my deodorant.   Everything has now been put up and out of reach.

She still likes to color on the walls.

And climb....

Look what I saw today peeking out from her brother's bunk?

Who me?  She wanted to just stand on the ladder...wouldn't go up or come down.

She fell asleep one day under the table.  She had the chip in her hand but dropped it in her sleep by the time I got the camera.
I wonder what next week will bring with her!!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

So, here's a new thing I'm trying here.  I will post new recipes on Tuesdays for everyone to share.  Maybe I'll try to figure out how to make a button and do a linky thing to share everyone's recipes! 

I'm working on finding more crockpot recipes for my family.  We need to crockpot three nights a week so that dinner is ready as soon as we walk in the door.

Last week, I tried these two recipes.

Chicken and Rice Casserole
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/4 celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrots
1 lb uncooked chicken breast, skinned and boned and cut into cubes
1/2 lb cheddar or your favorite kind of cheese

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.  Combine all ingredients, mixing well but gently.  Cover, cook on low for 4-6 hours or until rice, vegetables, and chicken are tender.

*****I made changes before I even started.  No celery.  My hubby is not a fan and quite frankly I usually end up throwing it out of the fridge when it goes bad because I don't use it fast enough.  I sprinkled celery seed in it.  I used regular rice which didn't work out well.  It didn't have enough water to get the rice soft.  And I used a bag of mixed frozen peas and carrots.  Call me lazy, it was easier to cut open the bag and dump it in.  No cheese for just sounded weird.  

Results:  Good, except for the rice.  The kids and hubby requested no rice from now on.  Okay, we're rice nerds.  We lived in Japan for three years, they need it to come out of a rice cooker and not mixed into their meal.  It had a really good flavor, almost like chicken pot pie, which is a HUGE favorite around here.

Slow Cooker Enchiladas
1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
16oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
10oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
6 (6in) flour tortillas

Cook beef, onions, and green peppers in skillet until beef is browned and vegetables are tender.  Drain.  Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Combine cheeses.  In slow cooker, layer 3/4 cup of beef mixture, one tortialla, and about 1/3 cup cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours or until heated through.

******I did not use green peppers in mine.  Again, hubby doesn't care for them and they're too expensive.

Result:  Hubby and I really liked it.  Kids were had too many beans for them.  They're not big bean eaters. 

Both recipes were taken from Fix-it and Forget-it Cookbook.

I have lots of soups, stews, and chili recipes.  If you have any others you'd like to share, please email me at  With your permission, I will share them here for everyone to try out!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…

Just trying to get organized and settled into a routine.  The heat isn't making it easy though.  With the front air conditioner broken,  the six of us are stuck in the living area of the fifth wheel.  This next week is supposed to be cooler!!  Yippee!

In our homeschool this week…

Like I said, trying to get into a routine.  The kids are going to bed really late and getting up really late.  When the sun goes down it cools off so we try to get them outside to play.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We're getting to visit with friends that we've know for years but haven't seen in forever.  Today we went to our friend's commission to officer.  It was such a wonderful day for him and his family!

My favorite thing this week was…

hmmm, my air conditioner?

What’s working/not working for us…

This awful schedule of late to bed.  Too many hours of kiddos awake for me.  I need a break at night!

Things I’m working on…

I'm trying to work on a quilt for Halloween and some Christmas stuff but I can't seem to get motivated.

I’m reading…

Nevada by Dana Fuller Ross and Help for the Harried Homeschooler.

I’m cooking…

Lots of crockpot meals!!  If you have any recipes to share, please do!!  We are almost thirty minutes away from home between 5-6 for TL's karate class.  Needless to say, the kids are starved when we get home and want food immediately so I'm making good use of my crock pot.  I'll post two recipes I tried this week.

I’m grateful for…

My wonderful husband whose been putting up with my short temper (because of the heat) the last few weeks!

I’m praying for…

The soldiers and their families

Have a wonderful weekend!