Wednesday, August 26, 2009

14 and 4

This year's birthdays have been very exciting. Almost more than a mother's heart can take! All the children have had their birthdays for the 2009 year. We now have a 16, 14, 12, 10, 5, and 4 year old, not to mention Rose turned 1 in January. She is now 19 months old.
This month we had Samuel's 14th birthday and Lily's 4th birthday. These two are so much alike. They both have tons of personality and energy. I really wish I could tap in to that energy and bottle it! They are smiley , happy kids too. I love to be around them. They are such a joy and a blessing!
Happy Birthday Lily and Sam!
Love you!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tater Tot Casserole

This is great "comfort food". I also think this will be a new kid favorite. I recently read somewhere about this dish and thought, "My kids would probably really like that." Doesn't everyone like tater tots? I was surprised how many recipes you'll find online when you do a search of this one. Then I remembered seeing this on the Duggar's website. Read their version of the recipe here.
I came up with my own version and it turned out really tasty.

Tater Tot Casserole
2 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef, (browned and drained of any grease)
season the beef with garlic, salt, and pepper
1 can of green beans drained
1 can of corn (drained) save the liquid
1 can Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
1 can of milk (after you dump in the soup, fill up the can)
1 cup of sour cream
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
32 ounce bag of tater tots

While you browning the ground beef, spray a 9x13 glass casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375*. Layer corn, green beans, and ground beef in the dish. Whisk together the soup, milk, sour cream, and most of the liquid from the corn. Pour over the meat evenly. Add a layer of cheese. Add tater tots. I put them in one at a time to get a "full dish". Bake covered for 40 minutes and 15 minutes uncovered to brown the tater tots.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our 2009-2010 School Year

School will be starting here next Monday, August 17. We never really stop school. Well, we do take breaks, sometimes quite lengthy breaks. I like having time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to bake and be crafty! But we try to continue reading and math year round and play a lot of catch-up after a new baby arrives. I love having this flexibility as a homeschooler.

This year is especially exciting because we have decided to participate in a homeschool co-op. We will meet on Mondays and the parents each teach and assist one class. The rest of the week our work will be completed at home. It's going to take a lot of organization and effort on our part to be successful. But, the payoff of completing so many classes for all of my children will be huge. I really need the help this year!

Here is a run down of the classes that we will take either in co-op school or at home. Anything marked with an * will be taught at home. I will be glad to answer any questions in the comments.

Jacob (16yo)
Saxon Algebra 1 *
Apologia Physical Science
Bob Jones American Government
Bob Jones Economics
Virginia History
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Abeka Geography

Samuel (14yo)
Saxon math *
Apologia Physical Science
Abeka Geography
Abeka Health
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Spelling and Grammar review *

Abigail (12yo)
Saxon math *
Apologia General Science
World History
Geography Through Art
Institute for Excellence in Writing

Anna (10yo)
Saxon math*
Shurley English
Apologia Astronomy
Virginia History
spelling review*
required reading*

Wendy (5yo)
Children's literature Five in a Row (I'm teaching this class at co-op)
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons*

Lily (soon to be 4 yo)
number and letter recognition *
as much paint and markers as I can stand :) She loves to paint and create art! *

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blueberry Desert

2 cups of fresh blueberries
half a box of graham crackers made into crumbs (approximately 2 cups of crumbs)
1/3 cup of sugar (omit this if you want less sugar)
1 stick of butter melted
8 ounces of cream cheese brought to room temp.
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large container of cool whip
8 ounces of chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven at 350*. Mix the cracker crumbs, half the walnuts, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of your pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool. Refrigerate until cold and set.
Use your mixer to combine room temperature cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mix well. Spread this over your graham cracker crust. This will be a pretty thin layer. Spread your blueberries over the cream cheese. Top this with cool whip. Sprinkle with remaining chopped walnuts. Refrigerate and serve cold. This is a great desert to make a day ahead. It tastes best the next day.

This is one of Tommy's favorite deserts. We used the blueberries from our bushes to make this for his birthday last weekend. I make 2 9x13 pans for my family.
*Note: You could buy graham cracker pie crusts from the grocery store. Homemade is better though!*