Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taco Tuesday: Taco Soup

We have company, and I made this soup for them.  It fed a crowd, and it was easy to throw all the ingredients into the crock pot and walk away.  And I ACTUALLY walked away, to the park, right after they got here.   They had eaten a late lunch, so when they got here at 6, they weren't hungry.  That's the joy of the crock pot, the food was ready, if they had been starving,  but it kept nicely while we walked to the park.

I was also telling Doug that I think the inventor of the crock pot is a genius and I wish I could personally thank him!  Which led me to look that up, so I could share it with you!

Here is the Wikipidia info about the crock pot. And I stumbled across a blog written by the inventor's daughter, here.

Okay, so here's the recipe for you, I found it on Taste of Home.


2 lbs taco meat, cooked, drained, and taco seasoning added
2 cans rotel (or one rotel, one stewed tomatoes)
1 can corn
2 cans of beans (whatever variety you prefer or have on hand)
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups water (next time I think I'll do just one cup, then add more if needed)


Combine all ingredients (meat is pre-cooked) in crock pot.  Cook on low or high, until warm.  I'm guess it took just a couple hours on low, and our meat was leftover this time, so cold from the fridge.  But it kept warm for several hours cooking on low, and it was no problem.  EASY PEASY. You could also cook this on the stove top if you were wanting to eat it right away.

We served ours with bell peppers, jalapeños, sour cream, cheese, black olives, salsa, tortilla chips, and corn chips.  And sweet tea, of course, sweet tea. :)

Irving Naxon, inventor of the Crock Pot, this picture was on her blog post, link is above.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Manic Monday: Lists

If you're a homeschool mom, you know things can get crazy.  I often wonder how our house can get so messy so fast.  And then I remember, it's because we LIVE here.  If we all got up and went our separate ways, the house would stay in whatever state is was in for HOURS.  But that doesn't happen, cause someone is ALWAYS or almost always at our house.

So lists are important, not only for my sanity, but they are also a great tool for kids.  Make a list with your child of things that need to get done (around the house) and have them choose a couple things they want to help with. Then let them mark things off the list.  Great for pre-readers, emergent readers, and full on readers as well.  And it might just help you keep the peace and a shred of your sanity in tact.  Feel free to add very simple tasks to the list, that gives you more things to mark off the list, and helps you mark progress, even if it's small.  Not to mention, the small things are the first to get overlooked when you have lots to do.  NO task is too small for the list!

Kees has a checklist for school as well.  You could make one of these very easily with plain paper and a pencil. But you can also get creative.  Or cheat, like I did.  I got this checklist from Dollar Tree.  It's a notepad, an I fill in the blanks.  But it'll last quite a while since you just need one page per week.

Today, we are getting ready to host guests.  Kees and I started a list last night, and I think I'm adding two things for every one thing I check off!  So I added, drink coffee.  After all, it IS National Coffee Day according to all my nearest and dearest and distant acquaintances on Facebook.

Don't judge. It makes me happy.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Flashback Friday: Huckleberry Lemonade


Every one was sick at our house (except Doug), at the end of last week, and into this week.  Not to mention, we had to wash our dishes in the bathroom all weekend long.  Yikes.  Thankfully Doug never got sick.

 Being sick means laying around watching movies. I introduced my kids to Pippy Longstocking.
And discovered this:

I had a ladies retreat to go to, so we all got bathed and dressed, a miracle considering we weren't feeling the best.

When getting dressed is SUCH an accomplishment, you HAVE to take pictures.

The kids re-discovered the wooden house that has keys.  They've been using it all week.

When it was time to clean up, both of my kids put their baby dolls inside their shirts.  This was the best picture I got.  So funny!

My ride came to pick me up a little after 4.  I decided to just meet them outside, so they wouldn't have to try and figure out which apartment building to go up to.

We ate dinner at "Tomato Street" in Spokane.  I had my first Huckleberry lemonade, yum!  My pasta wasn't the best, but they had creme brûlée for dessert.  YES!

Louise lost her voice and had to "close talk" the waiter.  I got this picture after she'd moved back a little.

Jill turned 50!!!

We made it to the conference, it started at 7 and went till 9. Then we headed to our hotel.  We missed our exit heading to the hotel and ended up on back roads. Which gave us more time to share funny stories.  Then we checked into our hotel, ate junk food and played "I Never" and "2 Truths and a Lie".  I won the first round of "I Never".  It was down to me and one other lady.  So I said, "I've never been married to a man named Paul", which is her husband's name.  :)


We were up late Friday night, and I woke up around 5 am.  So, yeah.  The conference was 8:30 to 12, then we had lunch at a pseudo-Mexican place.  They just don't know how to do Mexican up here, unless you got to a Taco Truck.  The chips were weird tasting.  And after lunch, we went to Hobby Lobby, and I am proud to announce I didn't buy anything!

We got home around 3:30 or so. I had such a fun time getting to know the ladies from our church.  Lots of laughter and a good amount of tears too.  Mostly my tears, but I'm a crier.


I was dragging Sunday morning, but I got to lead Children's church this week.  Our story was about Adam and Eve and we got to play outside since the weather is still nice.  I was so proud of Kees.  I've gone one other time with him to Children's church, when I wasn't the teacher, and he was clingy and shy.  This time, when I was teaching, he was perfectly fine, just another one of the kids.  Hallelujah!  I don't think he'll go by himself to Children's church, since Kora is in nursery, but he has been going to Sunday school, and I'm more than happy with his progress!

After church, we wanted to have a picnic. So we went to a Taco Truck that also had a Philly Cheesesteak truck in the same parking lot.  I was so hungry, I forgot to get a picture of my tacos, but Doug got one of his sandwich, it was HUGE.

Doug found some sunglasses someone left on a bench.

Kees photo bombed us. Love his expression.

I was wanting a nap...

When we got home, after our picnic, Kora and I took a nice long nap.  Doug went back to church in the evening, but Kora was still asleep, so I stayed home with the kids this time.


Playing with their little people and the wooden house.

Time for school! This week I decided to review the last three weeks worth of sight words.  It's a good thing because Monday, I got a second wave of feeling AWFUL.  And Tuesday wasn't much better.


Why Kora, WHY?!

Seriously, the kids were in their pajamas ALL DAY!  I went to Dollar Tree, and a couple other stores, getting ready for company and our church Mexican potluck coming up.  Anyway. Dollar Tree had cowboy hats and our kids have been watching "Sheriff Callie's Wild West", so they were thrilled with their new hats!

Kora was having issues standing by the wall and keeping her hat on.

They decided they needed to put some cowboy clothes on.  And cowboy shoes, the poor dears don't have any boots, so they landed on these random shoes.  Kora is wearing a ghost scarf, they both have badges, and for some reason the way Kora is holding that gun makes me laugh.

Doug thinks Kees looks like the boy from "A Christmas Story" here....


We had company coming over for lunch, so I spent the morning doing food prep and cleaning.  The kids entertained themselves.

I dropped several things and had a generally frustrating time in the kitchen.  And I got powdered sugar everywhere.  GEEZE!

Dessert turned out, in spite of the mishap!

Potato soup, salad, cheddar biscuits, and sweet tea.

Our guests!  We had such a great time with them.  And the kids had the BEST time playing.  Already looking forward to the next time they visit. :)

Coloring books!

Kees read the word "Yikes" and he had never seen it before.  He brought the book over to Doug and asked, "Does this say 'yikes'?"


Breakfast!  Kees has been on an oatmeal kick this week and Kora has been splitting bagels with me and putting pumpkin cream cheese on top.


Second dinner.  They requested scrambled eggs.

Doug has bible study Thursday night. The kids wanted to watch a movie, but by the time I got it set up, Doug was home, so we all watched, "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" together.  Such a classic!