Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'mmmmm mmmeeelllltttiiinnngggg

Well, okay, I'm not melting.  But all this snow is.  My yard looks like a lake and we won't mention the driveway.  I hit the gas pedal of the truck and pray that we make it through the mud to get to the street. 

Most of the snow is gone however, the drifts are still here.  Some of them are still almost two feet tall.  We're supposed to get rain today which will help with the driveway.....not.  Tomorrow is wintery weather with high wind.  Perhaps the wind will blow the water away?  At least we won't be in as much of a drought as we have been.  I'm praying that this summer we see showers otherwise we'll be in trouble.  Its been too dry for too many years here.

I thought I'd post some more soup recipes.  These are favorites of ours.  Soup weather is almost over here.......the kids are crying for more sandwiches.  The birds are starting to come out.  I'm going to hang some bird feeders from the trees in the front so that we can watch them while we're doing school.

Cheeseburger Soup



  • In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1 cup) equals 330 calories, 18 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 59 mg cholesterol, 1,027 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 15 g protein.
Originally published as Cheeseburger Soup in Taste of Home October/November 1996, p29 Recipe
Taco Soup
One pound ground beef browned and drained.
One large can of diced tomatoes
one can beans (any kind you wish: I use kidney or chili for spice)
one can corn
One package taco seasoning
Put all ingredients on a pot on the stove.  Heat up and simmer for about thirty minutes until all the flavors are mixed together well.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and nacho chips.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Schoolroom photos

You'll have to excuse the poor photos.  I still don't have a camera so I took these with my cell phone and then send them to my husband who emailed them to me.  Crazy, yes, but it gives you an idea of our schoolroom.  I need to paint it a different color. Olive green is a bit drab.

My father made all of the desks.

The view into the living room.

As you can see, we have a ton of windows.  The view out the front is really nice.  I enjoy all the sun.

The picture below is taken of our "gravel" road.  As you can see there really isn't any gravel in it.  These ruts are the "good" ones.  There's another section that was worse and much deeper and muddier.  My truck looks like it should be in a monster truck mud show.  Thank goodness they came and grated the road yesterday so it doesn't look like this anymore.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

planning next year......

End of March.....can you believe it already?  How's your planning going for next year?  I think I've finally completed mine. 

The Rod and Staff preschool books

Miss Trouble-first grade
Horizons phonics and readers
All About Spelling level one
Printing from Handwriting without tears
Explode the Code book 1 and two
Horizons math
Science: Teacher Created Resources unit on Human Body and Evan Moor units on Weather and Animals.  Not sure what else we'll add in to make the year fun yet, but that's a good start

For all the girls, I will be using the Egermeier's Storybook Bible.  Our pastor's wife showed it to me and I fell in love with it.  Miss Trouble and Bug a Bug will be studying for Junior Bible Quiz Team.

All the kids will be studying Tapestry of Grace.  We have one unit left of year three and then year four.

Bug a Bug-Fifth grade
Teaching Textbooks
All About Spelling
Trail Guide to US Geography
Elemental Science-Biology
Easy Grammer and Daily Grams
Vocab Connections
Classics to include Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables, On the Banks of Plum Creek, The Long Winter, three of the Narnia stories, and Mr. Poppers Penguins

Princess-Sixth Grade
Same as Bug a Bug but up one level
They will be studying Geography, Science, and Classics together

TL-tenth Grade
undecided on bible
Trail Guide to Bible Geography
Saxon Geometry
Biology (not sure which program we will use yet)
SAT daily warmups and vocabulary study
Easy Grammer
Classics to include: Diary of Anne Frank, All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Farm, Great Gatsby, Old Man and Sea, Glass Menagerie, Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, another Shakespeare play (we will watch them not read them), and poetry study

How's your coming year shaping up?

Friday, March 22, 2013

snow snow snow

Monday we got another snowstorm.  We've had one every Monday this month with almost two feet of snow falling so far this month.  We only had about four inches fall but had these horrible wind gusts that made these huge drifts of snow.

The snow drift is level with the deck

These drifts are about waist deep.  The side of the barn is covered with another drift.  This is where the door is, I guess I should be glad we don't have any animals in there yet.

The kids love when the neighbor comes to plow.  He makes huge piles for them to play in.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekly review

School this week.....

Went really well.  We did end up taking a snow day when we had the ten inches fall.  The kids are still enjoying the snow and its only the second good snowfall we've gotten this year.  The public kids were out too, so I figured it was worth it to let them play.  Plus, I had a ton of homework to do.

The girls have moved out of space and onto other Earth Science topics.  In Tapestry of Grace, all the kids studied the Alamo this week.  Next week we're onto the Victorian era.

Our house.......

I'm so behind in cleaning and organizing. The big girls help alot, but this class has killed me this last eight weeks.  When we moved in, I threw stuff into the closets and started homeschooling right away.  Then I got sick and then it was Christmas.  The closets and my desk need a good over haul and I plan on spending the next two weeks doing that.  I also need to try to get the dining room painted and put kilz on the living room ceiling from that big stain from the water leak in the bathroom. 


This class was horrendous.  My first C and I don't really care.  I think I have a bad case of senioritis.  One more class and I'm all done!!  I plan on working hard to get a decent grade this last class.  I'm going to spend some of the two weeks off working on my notes and outline for my 25 page term paper that I have to write.  If I can get those done before class starts, it will be a little easier on me.

The littlest was up most of the night last night with an ear ache.  I went to bed after 2 am and she was restless all night long.  I sent the big girls to church and the rest of us are hanging out until they get back.   She was finally in a restful sleep so I didn't want to get her up.  In fact, its 10:30 and she just woke up.  I got to catch up on three episodes of Dallas last night while up with her.  I know, I know.....but its Dallas y'know?

I thought I would post two recipes that I've gotten off of pinterest that we just love.  My kids absolutely love this ham and potato soup.  They would lick the pot clean if I let them.  I don't add the carrots though.

Ham and Potato Soup


7 c. diced potatoes (about 4 medium)
1 c. diced onion (about 1 medium)
1 large carrot, chopped
2 c. ham, diced
5. c. hot water
1 Knorr Chicken Bullion cube (extra large size that
makes 1 quart broth or 4 small cubes that make 1 cup each)
1 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste

Add diced potatoes, onion, carrot, and ham to a crock pot. Dissolve chicken bullion in 5 cups hot water, then add this to the crock pot also. Cook on low 7 hours, or high 3 hours. Then add milk and sour cream. Stir and cook an additional 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes twelve 1-cup servings.

If you'd like a thicker soup, just before adding milk and sour cream, remove 2-3 cups of the potatoes and slightly mash, then return the mashed mixture to the crock pot.

Makes 12 Servings (About 1 Cup Per Serving

Bourbon STreet Chicken   **I added less red pepper flakes because it was too spicy for the kids
2 poundsboneless chicken breasts; cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoonolive oil; (1-2)
1 garlic clove; crushed
1/4 teaspoonginger
3/4 teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cupapple juice
1/3 cuplight brown sugar
2 tablespoonsketchup
1 tablespooncider vinegar
1/2 cupwater
1/3 cupsoy sauce
1 tablespooncornstarch; (if thick sauce desired)                                                     

Bourbon Chicken Preparation

Heat oil in a large skillet.
Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
Remove chicken.
Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved.
Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered.
Serve over hot rice.

And I'm making these for lunch today:

Sweet Ham and Swiss Sliders
  • 16 White Dinner Style Rolls, cut in half
  • 24 slices Honey Ham
  • 16 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 C Mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 8 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet place bottom half of dinner rolls and top with 1 1/2 slices of ham and 1 slice of swiss cheese. Spread about 1 tsp of mayonnaise on each top-half of roll and place on top of ham and cheese. You want the rolls to be snug together, kissing just a bit so the sauce can soak up into all of the nooks and crannies.
  3. In a small bowl combine the mustard, melted butter, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and brown sugar. Mix until combined and evenly pour over the assembled rolls. Cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  4. Bake covered with foil for 10 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the tops are browned, and cheese is good and melted.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ugh!! Its time to make dinner and I don't want to!!

Just grab the phone and call for pizza right? least in our house.  Right now, we're running two households with hubby stationed in CA.  Every single dime counts and I don't have money to throw away on pizza.  It can cost up to $30 to feed our many pizzas can I make at home for that?

I plan out every single meal and snack, but need to be flexible.  So, I grabbed a calendar wipe off board from the store and put it up.  Now, I use sticky notes to plan our meals on.  Breakfast is blue, lunch is pink, dinner is yellow....or whatever I grab to write on.  If I need to switch meals around for some reason, I use move the sticky notes around.  I also plan out snacks and desserts, which I list on the side of the board.  Cookies, breads, and bars are also listed and made whenever I have time.

I don't buy any ready made snacks or junk food anymore.  Honestly, we don't have the money and let's face it, although its convenient, they're horribly unhealthy.  We eat yogurt, fruit, veggies and dip, and cheese and crackers.  I won't even buy chips anymore......they just devour the bag in a single sitting! 

I go grocery shopping once a week.  I'd love to switch that to two times a month.  I hate grocery shopping after all.  I'm going to work on doing this and try to shop at Hyvee the second week for fruits and fresh veggies.  I usually shop at Walmart because I get more bang for my buck and with all of these mouths to feed, I need to save where I can.

I plan 2-3 crockpot meals a week.  I can get the meal in the crockpot in the am and forget about it the rest of the day.  This is fabulous because three days a week, I'm running around with the kids.  One night is pasta and one night is usually pizza (we usually do pizza on Sundays).  This means realistically, I only have to plan other meals on 2-3 nights a week.  Depending on our schedule, I might do a casserole.  The casseroles can be prepared during lunch break and put into the fridge until its time to pop it in.  Its such a relief knowing that I'm not trying to throw together dinner at 5pm.

Once I get a new camera, I'll show you the calendar so that you can see it. 

We got about ten inches of snow on Monday night.  The kids are loving it.  They played in the snow most of the day yesterday.  It was a blast for them.  I put a pot of homeade chicken noodle soup on the stove for them and they ate a bowl every time they came in.

Hope your week is going well.