Saturday, May 23, 2015

We Made It: Our Last Day of School

Yesterday was our last day of school.  Our last day of our first year of homeschooling. As with anything new, this year has been learn-as-you-go. 

Our last day included a game over breakfast,
finishing up our dinosaur unit

a hula hoop contest during a break when it was clean no one wanted to do their work,
  and celebrating the end with a whipped cream pie eating contest. 

It has been a crazy year for us...but we made it. Not without a few tears, 
but also with a lot of joy.

Are you celebrating the end of the school year?  I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Meal Planning

I'm trying to be more intentional about what I'm feeding my family. Planning and making healthy dinners has been hard for me since we had Joseph. I think it's a combination of lack of time and the fact that there is always a list of things I need to get to. Meal planning has been pushed aside.  

Here's what I came up with this week.
Frozen waffles (kids make these on their own)
Cinnamon Pancakes 

(I let Kayla make her own batch since without cinnamon. She loves to cook by herself so I'm trying to get her in the kitchen when I can. We just half the recipe and freeze the extra batter)

3 1/2 c flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
4-5 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 1/2 c milk (I use whole)
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients last, adding melted butter in slowly while mixing. Stir dry ingredients into wet. Mix until incorporated and let sit while griddle or pan heats up.  I love cooking pancakes in my cast iron pan over med to medium-high. They are ready to flip when they bubble and start to look dry. 
We serve our pancakes with butter and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Some days I take out fruit, cold veggies and ranch, pepperoni and lunch meat, chips or some other type of fun food. I give the kids a plate and they fill it up making their own choices. 
one on-the-go lunch

Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

1-2 lbs chicken breast
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can seasoned black beans
1-2 cups frozen corn
1/4 cilantro (I use freeze dried from the produce section)
3 green onions, chopped (when I forget to pick these up, I use freeze dried chives
1-2 cans chicken broth (I just use the big carton and fill with enough to cover the chicken plus a little extra
Taco seasoning: (use for this soup, or in a skillet on taco night with one pound of meat)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper to taste 

Add all ingredients to crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until chicken easily shreds. Shred chicken and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and avacado.

Hot Dogs, tater tots, and veggies for kids and leftovers for us
Chicken, rice, veggies
Steak with bleu cheese salad
one dinner out

Is meal planning something you do? I'd love to hear what you are cooking!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tried It: Oven Bacon

Mmm. Bacon.  
Ok... this seriously is a game changer.  I always have hopes cooking a nice breakfast when we have company but when morning comes around, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen cooking bacon over and over.  Then clean up after it. And then there's the smell. I love bacon and even the smell of it while you're cooking it, but I can't stand to smell it in the house (the entire house) later in the day!  

Cooking it in the oven is so easy. Line your cookie sheet (or sheets depending on how much you're cooking) and fill it with bacon, making sure they aren't touching. I always cut my bacon in half just because it seems to last a bit longer that way. 

400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes. Keep an eye on it at the end and you're good to go! So easy! If you're baking 2 sheets at once, switch them once while cooking. 

idea via

Other posts in the Tried It series:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Our Week

I woke up on Sunday to find love notes from the kids taped all over the house. My bathroom floor and mirror were covered. After church we relaxed and went out to's choice!
This bowl will be full very soon. 
Noah wanted to learn about dinosaurs, so we are working on a dino unit that I put together. He is so excited about it! It is so fun to see. This is his favorite dinosaur. Protoceratops.
Kayla was reading Frozen Fever this week and finished it up.  As a fun end-of-the-book activity, she wanted to design a play dough Elsa dress.  She wrapped her Aurora Barbie (we don't have Elsa) in plastic wrap and designed this dress. 

Noah's days are revolving around he made play dough dinosaurs. 

This guy has been falling into a more reliable schedule.  That means he has been hanging out with us as we do school.

Have a great weekend!

linking up at 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tried It: Peeling Eggs

We have been trying some of those tricks that have been floating around Facebook for a while now and guess what? They are working!

The first one I'll share is how to peel hard boiled eggs.  This one made us all so excited!  Peeling eggs can be so frustrating. This has worked EVERY SINGLE TIME!  

Here is Noah (complete with pj's and morning hair) to show you how! 

Original idea: via
Have you tried any tricks that worked recently?

Have a great Monday!

Friday, May 1, 2015

This Week

 Our school group, Classical Conversations, is on summer vacation. That means we are on a more relaxed schedule.  We have been learning, but with a few more fun activities.  

Friday: At our house we are on a 4 day school schedule and we have Fun Friday.  Noah and a friend did the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment.  I LOVE this photo of him.  When you see the full image, he is jumping in the air and his face shows so much excitement!  Want to do this? The trick is taping the Mentos together on two sides like this.
The girls wanted to bake so we made chocolate chip cookie dough. I had several add-in ingredients available for them. They divided their dough and tried different combinations.  And...because it was fun Friday....they mixed them in with their hands.  Messy is fun!

Monday: We had the chance to get together with our CC group for a day of playing and visiting. So fun to have the chance to hang out with the families. We really have some great friends!

Thursday:  Kayla and Noah made a restaurant and set up a table to eat lunch at.  One of the things I love about our kids is that they use their imaginations. I love that homeschooling is allowing them lots of time to just play and be kids. 

Checking on every day: We grew crystals!  They are amazing!  Tutorial coming soon!

Hope your week was great!