Monday, November 30, 2015

Make it Monday - November Goals

I don't think I posted anything about my November goals (and if I did, I don't remember!) but, a friend of mine set up a group on Facebook called "Nine in November".  We were supposed to pick nine goals we wanted to accomplish in November, post a photo of those goals hanging up somewhere (in our home, at work), and then update the group throughout the month.  I thought I would share those here with the final update.

Here's my nine:
1. Attack and corral the Lego Monster that has grown in the boys room. The boys will be gone at grandparents homes for about 5 days total this month so I will be able to attack it without any "help" DONE! I spent about 5 hours working on this which included moving a bookcase and doing rearranging in multiple rooms to make homes for their Legos.  I let go of my perfectionism in trying to sort and organize and instead just used how they played with them to sort them.  
2. Take down the Halloween outside decor (done) and put up the Christmas decor (don't worry, I won't turn the lights on until after Thanksgiving HA!) The Halloween decor was down the week after Halloween AND put away.  My original plan was to put up the Christmas decor early, while it was still warm, but I just didn't feel like it.  So, it's waiting a few more days because the boys want to help decorate and they are visiting Papa and Nana as I write this.  The decor WILL be up by the end of the week though!

3. Get the camper cleaned out and moved to its winter location (just to the other driveway DONE. 

4. Work in the basement including selling/getting rid of a train table, two toy boxes and a kids desk and finishing up an organization project that I started this summer. This project.  For real.  I hate dislike my basement.  Uuuggg!!!!  It makes me insane because no matter what we do it is never ever organized for more than a week.  A big part of it is that it isn't a "pretty" basement - just an old damp place.  I have goals though, I really do, they just always take a back seat to things that are more fun HA!  
5. Clean off and re-set up my scrapbook area/desk (Done). Make a list of projects to do and start working on them weekly (daily . . but that won't happen!) So, at the beginning of the month I clean my desk.  Now it is the end of the month and it is a pit once again.  Like the basement, my desk is a drop zone.  Everything lands on it and it just piles.  So, I plan on cleaning it off . . again. . .today (for real).  Once it is cleaned off, I need to get back to the photos. 
6. Write and stick to our November budget like glue so that December will be less stressful (hopefully) -DONE  I wrote it and we stuck to it the best we could.  I track most of our spending so I'm happy with that.  Decembers budget will be written by tonight and the same goal starts over for December. 
7. Finish outside work - putting away kid toys, my swing, ect and get they yard ready for snow! DONE. 

8. Have the boys try on their snow gear and replace whatever is needed. DONE. 

9. Do the closet/clothes switch for my husband and I - move winter clothes upstairs and summer clothes downstairs.DONE

I feel pretty good about what I accomplished  Now, I also wrote another list of goals as well - extra ones.  Ironically, I didn't really get much done on that list.  I might make those more of my December goals ;-)  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Family Fun - A Snow Storm

On Saturday, the 21st, we got our first snow storm of the season.  I had plans on Saturday that had to be cancelled but it ended up being a wonderful family day instead.

We hung out at home, the boys played outside in the snow, and we watched football.  Plus, we introduced something new to the boys.  Almost two years ago, someone gave us a Wii.  After checking it out while the boys were gone one weekend, we decided that they were not old enough to handle the Wii yet plus they were content with the Game Cube.  Well, Darryl pulled it out on Saturday and got it set up and now, we have two boys who are loving it!  Bowling, Golf, Baseball and more.  Shoot, we only introduced them to one game HA! 

I didn't take many photos but here are two photos of the snow - it really was beautiful!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekly Menu - The one wehre I don't cook a whole lot

Welcome back from your food induced coma brought to you by Thanksgiving.  Now we enter the season of food Christmas.  Our weekends get busy and our schedule gets full but I really love this time of year.  The busyness of this time of year makes being snowed in during January and February enjoyable :-)

Saturday - Darryl and I get a date day :-)  The kids are at Papa and Nana's - the yearly tradition - and we are going to do a few things we've been wanting to do.  There is a brand new Trader Joes in Grand Rapids so we want to go see what all of the fuss is about.  We usually like to head to a fun coffee shop and get coffee and a treat not to mention getting to eat out somewhere that doesn't specialize in chicken nuggets HA!

Sunday - Darryl's working. I'm sure we'll grab something :-)

Monday - We'll do the same thing we did a few weeks ago - off to Applebee's to enjoy cheap burgers that are really good!

Tuesday - Darryl's bringing home dinner

Wednesday - The kids are back so it is back to cooking HA! I have a recipe for Stromboli that I'm going to try tonight.  I love pizza . . .a lot. 

Thursday - Pork Chops, Mac and Cheese, Veggies, and Applesauce.

Friday - Tacos :-)  We are planning to attend a Nativity at a local church tonight so we'll eat and head out.  I love starting the Christmas Season focusing on the TRUE reason we celebrate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What We're Eating - Crock Pot Acorn Squash

So, this is not a difficult recipe . . .I didn't even take a photo because, well, I was hungry :-)

We enjoy Acorn Squash.  I know that not everyone does but, we'll, we do.  For the past 15 years, I've made Acorn Squash in the microwave.  It's easy and they are always cooked perfectly.  Thank you Betty Crocker :-) 

Now, over the past 6 months I've worked to make my crock pot an often used appliance so that there is a reason it sits on my counter.  I've succeeded by using it 2-3 times a week for something.  I came across a simple recipe for Acorn Squash and tried it just last night. 

Take one Acorn Squash and cut it in half; remove the seeds.  If desired, slice a small piece off of the bottom of each half so that it sits nicely in the crock. 

Put 1 tablespoon of butter in each half and sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7.  They will be soft and buttery when done!  Yum!

Image result for acorn squash

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaching Tuesday - A Break

As I'm writing this, it is Thanksgiving week.  The boys ended last week with two full days of school to make up for their time at Grandpa and Grandma's.  This week, I decided to do things slightly differently so we can be done with school ASAP and get as many days off for Thanksgiving break as possible.  Yesterday, Josh and I spent a few hours moving quickly through his lessons.  We had a story to write, math lessons to do, Science, Social Studies, reading - including recording two stories that Josh had to read.  WHEW  But, he finished and is done until the middle of next week.

Nate's day is today.  He only has a handful of lessons to do plus a painting project for Art. 

Then, it's time to enjoy the holiday and some time at Papa and Nana's :-) 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Family Fun - Halloween!

My kids love Halloween.  We plan for it back in the summer; talk about costumes; I search for costumes; order costumes and then, we wait.  Yes, you read that right - I order them.  I know, I know.  Some creative people make them . . I order them HA!

 Josh 100% wanted to be a vampire.  And yes, we even used hair spray to color his hair and he loved it. 

 Nate wanted to be a dinosaur last year but I couldn't get the costume so, this year, he was thrilled.  Well, as long as he didn't have to wear the hood!  The story goes that he wanted this dinosaur "head" mask to use too but the dollar store didn't have it anymore so then he couldn't wear the hood because he had no dinosaur teeth. All I know is that he looked super cute!
My cuties :-)  Josh even has his vampire teeth in :-)

It was raining . . and cold. . .so I didn't get any photos while out Trick-Or-Treating.  Yes, we went door to door in the rain.  The boys loved it.  Darryl drove us from house to house; the boys and I got out and ran in the rain.  They got gobs and gobs of candy since they were only 2 of about about 10 kids out HA!  Like I said, we love the holiday so there was no way we were going to miss it due to a little rain!  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekly Menu - It's Thanksgiving Already!

I am amazing that it is the week of Thanksgiving.  I really, truly am.  This has been a year that has just marched right by and now we are nearing the end.  I love this time of year though so I'm going to cherish it all!

Here's the plan for the coming week:

Saturday - I'm leaving easy food for the boys - Hot Dogs and Corn Dogs.  I'm attending a baby shower for my niece so I'll be gone most of the day :-)

Sunday - Today is our churches Thanksgiving Dinner and we get to make a Turkey (the deacons supply all of the meat . . .) So, since we'll  be having a big dinner at 5:00 I'll keep our mid day lunch a little simpler.  Sloppy Joes, Mac and Cheese, and Chips.

Monday - Stuffed Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans, and Biscuits

Tuesday - Chick-Fil-Lay Nuggets and Fries

Wednesday - Tacos. 

Thursday - Thanksgiving at the Parents.  I love not having to cook :-) 

Friday - The kids are staying at the parents - it's an annual tradition for the boys to stay at Papa and Nana's after Thanksgiving - they've been doing it for 5 years :-)  Darryl and I are on our own.  I'm not sure what we will do tonight - it depends on when we get home, whether we stop in Grand Ledge for a late lunch/early dinner or we come home and find something to eat at home.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Holiday Planner

I work really hard every year at keeping track of gift ideas, spending, activities and more.  I do this more so that when next year rolls around I can remember the important stuff and also budget throughout the year especially since we have two birthdays (One in October and one in December) that require planning too. 

Living Well, Spending Less has a free holiday journal that you can download.  I did download mine already - it is a great referance even if you don't use the whole thing and . .. it's free!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What We are Eating - Asian Steak Bites

I haven't done a "What We are Eating" post in awhile because I haven't made a whole lot of new recipes lately.  Well, this past weekend I made a total of 8 new recipes between Friday and Sunday.  None of them were total flops but only three of the eight are really note worthy.  Isn't that it usually works? 

Asian Steak Bites
adapted from Barefeet In the Kitchen


We've been eating a lot of chicken and pork lately  . .. and I've been craving good old beef.  This was a simple recipe that I prepped early in the day and then just had to cook it later.  I used sirloin steak because it is less expensive than a Flank Steak and did not add Chili paste.  I also let it marinate all day :-)  The beef had good flavor and paired really well with fried rice. 

  1 3/4 pounds flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili paste
1-2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil

Slice the steak across teh grain into strips 1/2 " wide.  Cut each strip into bit size pieces.  Place the chunks of beef into a medium size bowl.  Stir together the soy sauce, honey and chili pasted.. Pour over the beef and stir to coat well.  Let the meat marinate for 20-30 minutes. 

Heat a heavy bottom pan or wok over medium high heat.  When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add 1/3 of the meat to the pan and spread out in a single layer.  Cook until done through.  Continue cooking the rest of the meat.  Serve hot.

1 3/4 pounds flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili paste
1-2 tablespoons light flavored olive oil

Slice the steak across the grain into strips 1/2" wide. Cut each strip into bite-size pieces, approximately 1/2" - 3/4" in size. Place the chunks of beef into a medium size bowl. Stir together the soy sauce, honey, and chili paste. Pour over the beef and stir to coat well. Let the meat marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Heat a heavy bottom stainless steel pan or wok over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat. Add 1/3 of the meat to the pan and spread out in a single layer. Let it cook for about a minute, until the meat has browned. Flip the meat or toss with a spatula for an additional minute or two as it finishes cooking. Remove the meat from the pan to a plate.

Add half of the remaining meat to the hot pan and repeat the above steps. Add the cooked meat to the waiting plate. If necessary, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan before adding the remaining meat. Repeat the steps. Enjoy! - See more at:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teaching Tuesdays

This week we did not do nearly as well as last week.  We had some extra stuff going on like a fun family day on Wednesday, haircuts and Library on Tuesday and snow on Friday. What?  Wait.  We didn't plan that but put the first snow flakes on Friday the 13th and . . wow.  Crazy.  HA!  

The boys had their last gymnastics class for this session on Monday.  I didn't take photos - it is a hard room to take photos in - but I was very impressed with their balance on the beam.  Neither one can do a cart wheel yet but it isn't for lack of trying!  They also had their last Tae Kwon Do class on Friday.  When we started the semester, Josh loved it and Nate told me he didn't want to do it again.  On Friday, as it ended, Josh STILL loves it and Nate informed me that he wants his uniform and he plans on testing for a new belt next semester.  :-)  They both impressed me with their ability to learn the moves and retain the information.

This past week the boys had several projects they had to do for their portfolios. 
 Both boys have been learning about the elements of shape in art.  Josh had a project this week where he had to make 3-d art with texture.  So, we all had some fun with some of the worst homemade playdough. (For real- the recipe was awful). We all worked on making an animal.  Josh and I each made a questionable dog where as Nate created a very lifelike giraffe.  I helped Josh . . .Nate did his on his own . . .I am not artistic.  HA!  We also attempted to make cups and cupcakes. 
 Here's a close up of Josh's dog. 
And this has nothing to do with school but this is Josh and "his" cat.  He loves this cat . .. too much sometimes  :-)  The cat loves him too and can run really, really fast when he needs to. 
Back to school.  Nate had to build a nature center piece for his science class.  We all went outside and the boys went digging for stuff.  Rocks, leaves, sticks and flowers. 

We also had a fun visit from Darryl this past week (or I think it might have been the week before and I forgot to share it).  Darryl had a pick up near our house so he stopped by home for a little bit since he had some down time between when he dropped the guy off in town and when he had to pick him back up. The boys loved being able to see the inside of his cab.  :-) 

This week the boys are gone for a few days with my Mother-in-Law.  They will no doubt get some hands on science - she likes to take hikes, pick different things from their woods and look at bugs and birds.  They always come home with new bits of knowledge that they share with me often :-)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Make it Monday - The uses of Kool-Aid Lemonade

The "curse" of being blond . . .blond hair likes to suck up all the impurities in water.  Whether it be rust or chlorine, blond hair will turn funky colors!  Despite having a great water softener, my hair still starts to show the fact that we have really rusty water every few months.  Periodically, when it gets really bad, I'll pay the money to have my stylist do some treatment on it - sitting under the dryer for upwards of 45 minutes to make sure it "really works."  And it does, without a doubt, but it also costs money. Recently, a friend mentioned in passing that she did a rust treatment on her hair so I asked what she used.  She told me she uses this:

Yep, that's it.  Lemonade Kool-Aid.  For real.  Now, back in the days before you could spend $5.99 on dishwasher cleaner, I would use this same product (shown above) to clean my dishwasher and it worked like a dream for $0.22. 

So, I took about 4 packets of this stuff (so just under $1.00 for this treatment), added a teeny tiny amount of water to make a paste.  Then, took a long how shower.  After getting my hair wet, I rubbed this all over it, put on a shower cap, and stood in that hot, steamy shower for 15 minutes to let the heat and "paste" go to work on my hair.  I'll be honest, I figured it wouldn't work.  My friend told me to leave it on for at least 20 minutes but I'll be honest, by the time it hit 15 minutes, my head was burning HA!  So I rinsed it out.  I could tell right away that something had changed because my hair was smoother.  Then when I went to brush it out while it was still wet, it brushed much easier.  As it dried, it was quickly noticeable that all of the rust color was gone - my blonde color was back!  For real.  I should have taken a before and after picture of the ends of my hair.  So, I think I'll do this treatment ever 2-3 week just for up keep.

I also learned that this same product will clean rust stains out of your shower :-)  Again about once a month I use Iron Out to spray down the shower and take away any build up.  Iron Out works like a dream but stinks to high heaven.  Well, the bowl that I used to mix up the paste, I had set on the shower floor upside down.  When I picked it up later, that circle was completely clean HA!  I think I'll be cleaning my shower with Lemonade mix from now it - it smells SOOO good!

Before you ask the question, "If it can clean like that think of what it does to your stomach."  We all sing the praises of such products as baking soda and vinegar for cleaning - yet we all cook with them and, therefore, eat them.  :-) 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Things my Kids say

I haven't done a "Things My Kids Say" post in awhile because, well, they haven't been as funny :-)  Ok, that's not true.  They are still funny but it's just because they are fun!  (And I forgot to write things down.)  Anyway, here's a few for ya.

Nate was discussing job options recently.  He informed me that he was going to be a Pet Doctor.  "Because, Mom, I don't want to be a people doctor.  I don't like people - their stuff is all so gross.  That's why I'm going to be a Pet Doctor.".  I would agree, son, people are gross. HA!

Nate apparently likes to plan ahead.  He has decided he is going to live in New York when he grows up.  The other day he told me that we could come and visit him.  "Mom, you will need to stop and pick Josh up on your way.  Then, when you get into New York, I will meet you on the big road - just park your car on the side of the road and I'll drive you in my vehicle from there.  I'll have plenty of room since I'll have a van.  It will have 8 seats.".  He has the whole thing planned out.  :-)

Josh sings.  Non stop.  And most of the words are not right.  Away in the Manger becomes, "The Capital ringing . . ." (Instead of "The Cattle are Lowing". I wish I could remember them all - Darryl will correct him. . I just sit there giggling, loving every moment of incorrect lyrics.  :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Family Fun - Carving Pumpkins

This is the first year that the boys really were excited about carving pumpkins.  They had both picked out a good size pumpkin when we went to the Orchard a week or so prior . . .they also had two small pumpkins from our field trip. 

 Well, Josh was very attached to his big pumpkin so, he picked out his little one to carve.  That big pumpkin is now the centerpiece in my dining room on the table . . .
Nate 100% completely designed his pumpkin face.  He had the whole thing planned out in his head before we even sat down.
Darryl was given the task of carving out Nate's design.  Nate tried to help clean out his pumpkin but, well, he has a weak stomach . . . he was totally grossed out!

Josh, on the other hand, loved cleaning out his pumpkin!
Hard at work getting the perfect face.
 Josh also designed his pumpkin face and I carved it out - thankfully he kept it simple!
Nate and his pumpkin .  He loved his design!
 Checking them out and looking at the candles.
Our friendly pumpkins :-)  We loved lighting them every night for a week.  So much fun!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekly Menu

There really isn't a whole lot to say about food this week :-)  This coming week the boys will be at my mother-in-laws for a few days so I cook (or don't cook haha) a little differently.

Saturday - Asian Steak Bites, Fried Rice, and Zucchini cheesy casserole

Sunday - We'll have lunch at my mother-in-laws when we drop the boys off. To celebrate being kid free for a few days, I have some snacks planned.  Bacon Crack, Crescent Wrapped Brie and Crackers, and Meatballs.

Monday - Tonight I have practice but, we still l need to eat.  As far as I know, Applebees still has their 1/2 price burger night on Mondays so we'll just get a burger.  It's about the least expensive thing we can eat!

Tuesday -Tonight we'll either go out to eat somewhere or I'll have Darryl bring something home - probably the second option just so we can hang out at home.  

Wednesday - The kids come home sometime today.  I love doing breakfast on Wednesday nights - I don't know why :-)  I thought I'd do a breakfast pizza and apple fritter rings.  Plus I can always throw a frozen waffle in for any kid who doesn't want to enjoy this goodness.

Thursday - Pan Fried Steak (we love beef!), Lemon Garlic Rice, roasted veggies.

Friday - Tacos

Can you believe that next week is Thanksgiving??? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaching Tuesdays

I thought I would share you a few things the boys did this past week for their portfolios.  A portfolio is an item that I actually have to send to their on-line teacher.  Generally, I can scan everything in and send it via email.  It's a great system.  Portfolio items show that the boys understand things they are learning and also show improvement as we go along. 

 Nate has to write a story last week.  It had to have a beginning, a middle and an ending.  Now, for as big of an imagination as he has in playtime, trying to get him to do creative writing is like pulling teeth.  In case you can't read it, the story says, "I cook mac and cheese.  I eat mac and cheese, I let my mom throw away mac and cheese."  What?  He loves mac and cheese! 

Josh has been learning about maps and map keys.  His assignment was to draw our house and neighborhood.  It had to include our neighbors home, three "landmarks", two roads and at least three colors.  Yes, he did this all by himself.  Our house is the BIG yellow house on the curve.  His landmarks were the State Police Post just down the road from us, the Ionia Fair Grounds across the street from us, and the stop sign.  I was pretty impressed with his work - it took him 2 hours to put this map together.

I would like to pat myself on the back.  Last week, for the first time ever, we finished every single scheduled lesson, learned multiple AWANA sections, did our new morning work every single day and practiced sight words.  All portfolio items were turned in on "time" and Josh's reading group recording was e-mailed on Friday morning - the due date . . .not Wednesday of the following week!  I'm not sure that will every happen again :-) 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Family Fun - A Seventh Birthday

On October 22nd, Josh turned 7.  He had one very specific request - no school!  I am in total agreement.  No one should have to go to work or to school on their birthday - it should be their own personal holiday. 
 Waiting for the birthday boy to wake up :-)

 Josh and Nate together. 
 Every time I wanted to snap his photo he would pose and say "seven!!!"
 Can you tell he is a little excited that it is his birthday????? 
 The day before his birthday, Josh helped me make a birthday cake.  Then, on his birthday morning, he frosted and decorated the whole thing.  This cake is for celebrating with the munchkin and princess later in the day.
 Once the cake was done, I took the kids to McDonald's for lunch and to play at the play land.  From there, we went to the store so Josh could pick out his "family birthday cake".  It's tradition - the boys gets to pick out any cake they want from the grocery store. 

 Once the Munchkin got home from school, we had cake and Josh got to open his gift from his friends.
 Josh got to pick out his birthday dinner which was Spaghetti.  (I added garlic bread and salad so we had more than just spaghetti!). 

 Then it was time to pop those money filled balloons!  Such a fun tradition for the kids to get some money.

 Finally, it was time for the gifts. 
 Josh opening one of Nate's gifts - Legos, of course.  He also got more Legos from both Nate and us; Matchbox cars from Nate; Monopoly Jr and a video camera from us and . ..

This giant stuffed bear.  He has been asking for this bear for MONTHS!  He saw it when we went to buy their bunk beds and cried when we didn't buy it (the one at the furniture store was MUCH more expensive HA).  Needless to say, he was thrilled. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weekly Menu

So last week we had a Turkey dinner, Turkey and Dumplings and Turkey and Noodles.  Wonderful, hot, yummy comfort food perfect for nice cool nights summer weather.  WHAT?  UUGG!  We had temps in the 70's this week so our meals did not fit the weather.  Shoot, while eating the dumplings, it was making me sweat it was so hot!  When Josh was born seven years ago, we had weather like this . . .then we had huge storms that brought tons of snow :-)  We'll see!!

What's on the plan for the coming week?

Saturday - I'm leaving this up in the air.  I have big plans for some projects that need to get done so usually, I don't cook dinner - we order "in" (ie. Taco Bell HA!)

Sunday - Pork Loin, baked beans, cole slaw, and biscuits

Monday - This is the last night of Gymnastics!  We'll have Italian Crock Pot Chicken on buns with salads.

Tuesday - Quasidillas, Rice, Beans, and Chips

Wednesday - Breakfast!  Eggs, Waffles, Sausage, Bacon, applesauce and Toast!

Thursday - Beef Tips and Noodles, salad and rolls

Friday - Tacos.  It's been awhile since we've actually had tacos on Friday so I think its about time!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gymnastics Fun

Since we homeschool, I try to find activities that the boys enjoy that they can participate in for PE.  It keeps them active and teaches them how to play well with others.  For whatever reasons, they boy have taken an interest in gymnastics.  As a matter of fact, Nate would like to do it all year long - not just for 8 weeks, twice a year.  Their teacher handed out their "sport" photos this past week and they made me smile.  I remember the second week well - I forgot about picture day, we had a long day with school and, really, we were all just done.  I walked into gymnastics and my heart sank as I realized my kids weren't "dressed" nicely for photos and their hair was standing up.  I straightened their clothes and slicked their hair down and said, "oh well."  So, when these adorable photos showed up, well, it was just awesome.

Aren't they awesome?  I think so! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What we are eating - Pork Enchiladas - the Slow Cooker versions

We've been eating pretty simply lately so I haven't made a lot of new recipes but I did try a new version of enchiladas recently that came across my newsfeed on facebook and Darryl said that they were the best enchiladas he has ever had AND he would order them in a restaurant.  I guess that means it was an A+ meal!

This is not my photo (we were too hungry to wait to eat HA) but it comes from the source of the recipe, Prego and Mommy Chats facebook page. 

Here's the simple recipe:

Put pork in the slow cooker on low for about 7 hours with a can of enchilada sauce (spiciness to your preference), pull out pork with a slotted spoon and shred with a cake mixer for fast shredding, heat up tortillas and fill with meat and a little bit of juice (you can add rice, beans, onions, etc to your liking), roll burrito and place on oven safe dish, add more juice and shredded cheese, bake until melted, add more juice if desired. Serve with Rice, beans, chips, salsa.  

A few things I would do slightly differently (or maybe in addition to the above recipe) next time.  I would add green chili's in the crock pot with the meat and sauce.  I felt like the meat itself was a little bland so the chili's would help add flavor.  I would probably add some onions too.  :-)  The other thing is I would add much more sauce to my shredded meat before putting it into the tortillas.  I didn't want to use too much but in the end had plenty to pour over the top of the tortillas . . .so they were plenty saucy on the outside but a little dry on the inside.  I did put cheese inside with the meat too :-) 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Teaching Tuesday - Just about the time I think I can breath . . .

I've finding it hard to believe that it is November.  Two full months of school have gone by and just about the time I have a routine, something new gets added to our day and it messes with my plan.  I continue to learn ways to get the boys lessons done in an efficient way that ensures they learn everything they need to while keeping my sanity.  For example, both boys have art each week and there is always an art project that they are technically supposed to do.  Well, lets face it, when it comes to art if one boy is doing it, they will both want to do it.  Now, each week, I'm picking the best art project of the two and we are doing that one together.  It exposes them to the same thing and allows them to do art.  I'm also working on putting together morning work folders which includes some practice worksheets but also their weekly workbook pages since trying to do them during their lessons is not working. 

But, putting all of that aside, this is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.

Josh had some workbook pages to work on so he asked if he could sit outside and do them.  Of course I said yes.  He sat out there and completed everything while soaking up the sun.  I love that my kids can work anywhere - where ever they are comfortable - to accomplish their tasks.

This is where we spend a lot of time (well, especially me - hours and hours some days!)  It's our little computer corner.  I'm working on getting a smell computer desk (about the size of a tray table or so) that will sit between their actual desks so that the boys can sit at their desks and do computer work instead of being stuck in this corner.  And yes, doing school in PJ's is another advantage to homeschooling :-)

Each week the boys have Live Lessons where they doing a "class" with their teacher and "classmates" around the state.  Josh has an absolutely fabulous teacher who threw a Halloween Party on Friday.

Yes, Nate got to participate too.  To say they were excited was an understatement.  Josh's teacher supplied us via e-mail with Bingo cards and  he had parents send in pictures of our kids in costumes so he could share those during the class time too.  Playing Bingo was a huge hit, followed by a fun Halloween Video and then the teacher turned on the Webcams so the kids could stand up in their costumes and see what everyone looked like.  It was so great!! 

This week we are working hard to stay on top of our studies and even get a lesson or two ahead as the boys get to spend some time with both sets of Grandparents in the coming month.