Friday, September 26, 2014

Flashback Friday: 9 Unexpected Effects of Homeschooling

Welcome to Flashback Friday, where we bring you a totally awesome post from the past that you may have missed. Since we are busy with school again this seemed like an appropriate way to start.

9 Unexpected Effects of Homeschooling (from May 2014)

We are about to wrap up our first year of homeschooling and I'm pleased to say it has been a success so far. Harlee has learned so much this year and I'm so proud of what she has done, but I have learned even more!  And we are both so ready for summer! So in my short stent of homeschooling (so far) here are a few things I didn't see coming at us.

1) If I make my children get dressed they ask where we are going.

I tell the girls to get dressed everyday, half the time they come out in summer dresses in the winter or in different pajamas than they wore to bed.  It's when I pick out proper seasonal clothing that are appropriate to wear in public that they start to interrogate me.

2) My yoga pants get quickly worn out, without ever making it to yoga.

Right after you order your homeschool curriculum you might as well stock up on yoga pants, they are more important than new pencils. Come on now, all the homeschool moms are doing it.

3) After moving to a new state it was actually easier to meet people and make friends compared to life before homeschool.

I have found a fantastic homeschool group that does a lot of cool things together. We have P.E. together and co-ops and all kinds of fabulous things. It's a lot of fun and I have met some fabulous ladies that are know-it-alls in all things homeschool.  (And not the annoying show-off-I'm-bettter-than-you kind of know-it-all either.)

4) Exasperating questions from strangers.

General curiosity I can handle, but please don't look at me in horror, ask me how in the world my children will ever learn to stand in line, especially while we are standing in line at the grocery store.  Clearly we are here on a field trip to learn how to stand in line and all the groceries are just for the heck of it.  We don't actually need milk and toilet paper. (Yes, this has happened to me...twice.)

Besides I have two children not one, we do stand in line practice for exactly 27 minutes every Friday, see my schedule?

8:45am give pet fish a bath
9:00am standing in line practice
9:27am pin things on pinterest
9:30am brush teeth while eating an Oreo

I know, I know you're looking at my Friday morning thinking about how ridiculous it is that I only spend 3 minutes on Pinterest; I mean is that even possible!?!

5) How much it costs.

First,  I pay taxes for public school and then I have to buy a curriculum and supplies for my children and for me as the teacher.  Even more money for science experiments and homeschool group projects and activities, and don't forget the yoga pants.

6) My house is always a mess.

Dusting has been replaced by phonics and vacuuming has been replaced by math. Science experiments have taken over my sewing time and TeachersPayTeachers has replaced working on my blog and writing my book.

7) I have lots of time to fold laundry.

Math time is laundry folding time.  Harlee needs me to be near her but not hovering, so I sit by her and fold lots and lots of laundry. The house might be a mess but at least I have clean yoga pants.

8) It is so so hard.

Most parents teach their kids their colors and how to count to ten. That's not so hard.  This is not like that.  Not even close. I'm teaching my 5 year old fractions and phonics while teaching my three year old number recognition and letter sounds, or on some days just to please leave her sister alone so at least one of them can learn. And try to not let our house end up on a FaBreze commercial all at the same time.

9) How worth it it is.

I get to watch my children learn everyday.  I know what they are learning and I can teach them in a way that they learn best. Harlee gets good grades all the time.  If she doesn't, then it's my fault for not teaching her better or spending more time on a topic.  We say the Pledge of Allegiance and we study the Bible every single day.  It might be the hardest thing I have ever done, but it's also one of the best, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dinner Bread

Leave it to me to come up with a special way to jazz up the basket of bread on the table. Not like warm rolls or sour dough isn't amazing enough, right? WELL I have made a big mistake. Butter, cheese, green onions, ON BREAD.... Yikes. My sincere apologies in advance, but you gotta try this!

I'm sorry your fingers can't go through the screen to grab a piece. 

Dinner Bread

*This is a pizza dough recipe from my Stuffed Crust Chicken Alfredo Pizza*

This dough recipe makes 2 pizza doughs. Use one freeze the other!

3 Cups flour extra (have an extra half cup for dusting and so on)

1 package instant dry yeast sugar

2 Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 Cup HOT water

1/2 Teaspoon olive oil

Mix all these ingredients together and knead. Cut into 2 equal balls and allow to rise in a olive oil lined bowl under a tea cloth for about 2-3 hours. If you do not intend to use both dough balls no need to rise what you won't use. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and stick in freezer.

 Once your dough has risen roll out on flowered surface into long and wide rectangle shape to fit on a cookie sheet. Dough will roll out a little thinner. Allow to rise for 15-20 minutes under a tea cloth in cookie sheet. 


3-4 Tablespoons butter, melted 
1/3-1/2 Cups parmesan cheese (Depending on your cheese preference)
1/2 Cup chopped green onions
1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
Sprinkle of chopped chives on top (Optional)

Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Pour melted butter on to raw rolled out dough. Cover entire dough surface even over "crust" area so your edges brown a little. Sprinkle parm, then green onions, spices and optional chives over the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cut into squares for serving and enjoy along with a delicious dinner or as an appetizer, or with just a glass of wine. Been there done that and no complaints with that combo. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Black bean salsa

Appetizer or side dish? That's the dilemma here.  Then when you get done with that you can decide between a spoon or chips.  Choices, choices.  Life is hard. I have faith in you, you can make these choices. You are a winner. You are awesome.

1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 purple onion, diced
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir everything up and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before eating, overnight is better.  Let all those flavors meld together.  Serve with avocado and chips...or just a spoon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Mexican Pie

With being an outdoors junkie that I am. There are a lot of late nights getting home from long days on the mountain. Needless to say dinner is frequently a puzzle.  I have been striving to come up with a few recipes to have for emergencies! This is one of them! You could easily have these ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Plus, you could be so creative with it and make it your own. Another one of Mia's famous throw anything in it recipes... Don't you love em?

Crank that oven to 375 and lets do this!

Mexican Pie

1 Large onion diced
4 Hatch chilis chopped and deseeded
2  Cups spanish rice
1/2 Can refried beans
1 pound ground beef or elk or venison. 
4 Large burrito sized flour tortillas
Small can of green chili enchilada sauce.
Taco seasoning
Dash of sea salt
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 Green onions diced for garnish

Heat your oven to 375. Lightly spray a pie dish with non stick spray.  Saute your onions and chilis until translucent with a dash of salt. Once cooked transfer to plate. Cook your ground meat until done in taco seasonings. Warm up your beans in the microwave. 

Now were ready to build. Pour a little green chili sauce out of the can into the bottom of your pie dish. Layer 2 tortillas on the bottom for your "pie crust." Pour half your beans in bottom. Layer onion chili mixture then rice, meat and 1/2 cup cheese pour a little more green chili sauce. Layer two more tortillas over the top and sprinkle remaining cheese and garnish with green onions. Bake until top is golden and bubbly. 

Slice with pie cutter and serve with Salsa, Guacamole and a dollop of Taco Cream

Dinner is served in a short amount of time and tastes delicious! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Taco Cream

So Mexican food is amazing as we all know. Well I hope we all know. If not you really need to try it, or if you don't like it you should try it again! ANYWAYS... With lots of elk meat in the freezer and some pork and chicken as well I find myself making taco's, enchiladas, carnitas, taco salad, fajitas, loaded nachos and all sorts of Mexican food quite frequently! Always have some Salsa & Guacamole in the fridge.

One thing with Mexican food that I have been thinking hard on is bringing sour cream to a new level. I buy sour cream in bulk. I love it on everything and could literally just eat it with a spoon. No doubt guacamole salsa and just PLAIN sour cream is fantastic but being the creative cook I am, I always am thinking of ways to twist a condiment to boost it to a delicious new taste. As simple as this little recipe may be the flavor it holds is amazing. You can put it on any Mexican dish you prepare. Dipping chips in it is even knock you silly delicious. 

I hope you give it a try and bring your Mexican meal to a whole new level with a simple topping! 

Do a dollop of TACO CREAM! 

Taco Cream

1 Cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 Teaspoon salt

In a small bowl combine all these ingredients and whisk together until combined. Add more spice if you desire and start putting a spooning it on everything!! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ladybug birthday party

 You may of recalled seeing Harlee's 6 year old birthday interview.  If not check it out. She really is one funny girl.  She manages to make me laugh multiple times a day no matter how terrible of a day I'm having. She is smart and creative and has a mind that can solve her problems like no other.

This year she was dead set on having a ladybug party.  Last year during school she took lots of pleasure in learning all about ladybugs and their life cycles.  It's such a beautiful thing to watch a child get so interested in learning about a subject.

Lady bug pinata, most certainly a must  have.

I read an article a while back on the top ten most dangerous birthday party actives.  Pinatas where certainly on that list, but I like to live on the wild side, so pinatas we will continue to have at our parties.

These ladybug sugar candies where perfect to make a super easy cake.

Dirt cups, if you have never had dirt you are missing out. (Recipe HERE!)

Veggie tray Ladybug bites

Ladybug juice.
 I spent 4 weeks catching and crushing ladybugs to make this, or I bought fruit punch.
One only of the above statements is true, pick one.

And that, my friends, is how you throw a ladybug birthday a boss.
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