Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili

Yum!! I am making this for our small group tomorrow! My sweet sister-in-law, Vanessa, shared the recipe with me and said I could share it here! It is very easy to make and so very delicious. It is called White Chicken Chili but since it is technically not white, I'll just refer to it as chicken chili =)

Chicken Chili

3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cut up
3 cans great northern beans
1 jar salsa
1 carton chicken stock (I use a little less than the whole carton)
2 heaping teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
16 oz pepperjack cheese

Combine all ingredients except for the pepperjack cheese in a large pot. Boil 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in cheese. Serve with sour cream and tortilla chips.

I am going to make this in the crockpot for the first time tomorrow. I plan to put all but the cheese into the crockpot before church and let it cook on high until we get home. I'll stir in the cheese before we head up to small groups. My kids really like this. I usually reserve a little chili without the cheese for them but they always want seconds of the spicier version.

And because I LOVE to bake I will be making these cookies for tomorrow as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm FALLing Behind

Aren't I funny? My husband just said no. =)

I have all these posts in my head that I am sure someone is just dying to read but I hardly turn my computer on anymore! I got an iPod about a month ago thanks to Swagbucks! Do you use Swagbucks? You should. I saved up $100 in Amazon credit (just since January of this year) thanks to Swagbucks so I used it towards the purchase of my iPod.

Search & Win

I take most pictures with the iPod now. Not quite the quality of my Nikon but very convenient.

A few updates.

First, the pumpkin patch. It's October. We're waiting on the Great Pumpkin but I'm pretty sure we must have been bad this year because our pumpkin patch is bare. Completely. Gone. Not even a vine is left. I don't know what happened. Maybe the driest summer ever combined with the wettest day ever. We'll try again next year.

Second, I am so close to the weight loss goal I set at the beginning of the year! I have lost almost 20 lbs since January and am 11.8 lbs from my goal weight. The goal date (31 lbs by my 31st birthday) is Nov 16, less than 4 weeks away! I've got to stay focused! I am competing in Shrinkvivor right now over at Shrinking Jeans! It is such a fun competition and it is really keeping me on target! We are currently in week 4 and thankfully I have avoided exile thus far! I would love to make it to the end!

Third, school. It's going. It was going really well but I think I am trying to do too much at once. I love history and science. I want to do them both. I am struggling with getting it all done though. I'm also trying to teach writing skills and handwriting and grammar all at the same time. And the Prairie Primer which more than likely requires more organization than I care for. And of course reading and math. And Bible. And all the fun holidays coming along. And music. And clearly, since I can't keep up with it all I'm trying to do to much but I want to get it all in and I want to enjoy it and more importantly, I want the girls to enjoy it all without feeling totally overwhelmed. And I feel like I am failing teaching reading to Kennedy. I wish it wasn't so hard for her. I want so much for her to be able to read the books I was reading in second grade. She is doing so much better and she longs to be able to read well. I wish it wasn't such a struggle for her. Now I'm crying. Moving on ...

Floors. We pulled the carpet up in our living room this last weekend. The guy we bought the house from who was remodeling it for his own family promised me the floors underneath the carpet were just as good as those throughout the rest of the house. Only he neglected to tell me that he didn't throw down any drop cloths when painting and that the beautiful floors were under a layer of paint.

 I'm not exactly sure how it has happened but my wrist is literally black and blue (and still swollen) from 3 days of scraping paint off the floor. We are kind of stuck at this point. There are still specks of paint all over the floor and there are 2 pretty bad places. The floor is pretty dull and definitely needs a new coat of polyurethane. I don't want to have to strip them completely because they aren't that bad but I'm afraid to try to redo them ourselves. However, the quotes we are getting are all in the neighborhood of $1,000. Way more than we have or were planning to spend on the floors. If anyone has redone floors and has any advice PLEASE share!

Lastly, it's fall. And cold. =( I miss summer. It is going to be a long winter! But that means yummy food like white chicken chili! I will post my sister-in-law's recipe tomorrow!

And one more thing. The new Casting Crowns cd, Come To The Well -- AMAZING!!! Love it! Love it! Love it! I bought Adam The Well by Mark Hall a few weeks ago as an "I'm thinking about you" gift. I recommend it strongly, too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dayspring Giveaway!! All Day Long With Jesus

We have a winner! picked #1, Wendy!! Wendy, I'll email your code!

Yay! Finally, the giveaway I mentioned a while back! Sorry for the delay, I was waiting on the go ahead from DaySpring (which I got several days ago and just haven't had a chance to blog)!

Firstly, I am so excited to be part of DaySpring's product review team! I love their products!

A few weeks ago DaySpring sent the recordable story book All Day Long With Jesus for me to keep and review! I was so excited to get it! Adam has had to work nights with this new (since March) job occasionally and the kids have greatly missed story time with Daddy before bed. The book came very quickly and Adam sat laid down to record the story the night the book came in.

The quality -- superb! It has a great, thick cover and sturdy pages.

Ease of use -- excellent! The directions were clear and concise. Adam was able to record each page and if he messed up at all he only had to re-record the page that he messed up on. When he was finished he simply slid the button over to lock and screwed the battery cover back on. The sound quailty is great!

The verdict -- LOVE! I love it, Adam loves it, the kids love it! The story is very cute and a great reminder that all day, no matter where we are or what we are doing, Jesus is right there with us!

And the best part? One of you will be the lucky winner of your very own copy of All Day Long With Jesus! To enter simply leave a comment and make sure that I can contact you (meaning- leave your email address if it isn't linked to your account!). The contest will close on Monday, October 17th at 10 PM eastern! I will choose a random winner. The winner will be sent a code to receive the book for free, you'll just need to pay shipping.

FTC Disclaimer: DaySpring gave me the recordable storybook, All Day Long With Jesus, for review.However, all opinions are my own.

Can't wait to get your hands on one of these recordable storybooks? You can purchase your own HERE.

PS - DaySpring is currently offering free shipping on orders over $25 with code ship25 (not valid with other coupon codes)!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The 'Tie A Bow' Book - A Reading and Tutorial

'Tie a Bow' book is read and demonstrated by my sweet Kennedy girl!

Stay tuned!! Monday I'll be hosting a fun giveaway!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homeschooling and the 18 Month Old

Last year schooling with a baby was pretty easy. He was just a few months old when we started up for the year. He slept a lot. He was easily contained. He slept a lot.

Now, he isn't so easily contained. Very occasionally I can get him to play in the exersaucer (which he is by far too tall for) and sometimes I can lure him into his room, put up the baby gate and sneak out while he is playing. He still naps really well but not as long. He seems to have transitioned to an hour morning nap and a couple hours afternoon nap.

This week I've been working more on having the girls work somewhat independently. I will set them up with what they need to do and then sit down and work with Hurricane Haden.

He really likes to color and look at books. Here we have Haden and the Purple Crayon and him looking at an Usborne book, Telling Time.

He really, really likes to color. I bought him a cute monkey pencil pouch and a pack of his very own crayons last week. He really appreciated it.

After coloring today (we are really working on where he is allowed to color and where he isn't) I got out the 'gummy bears' and we practiced sorting. He was doing pretty good to begin with, putting each bear in the cup that I pointed to. Then he got a little bored with it which is fine with me. He played with the bears for a bit longer putting them in the cups and dumping them out. Then he started throwing them all over the living room and 'drinking' out of the cups.

Coloring and sorting lasted for a little more than 30 minutes. That was enough time for Kennedy to do her grammar lesson and for Aubrey to do her Get Ready for the Code lesson. I try to always save any read alouds for when he is in bed.

What do you do to keep your toddler entertained during school time?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Discovering the Americas

This year we are using "The Story of the U.S" and "Pilgrims and Patriots" from My Father's World for history. History was probably my favorite subject in school. Up until high school anyways. It wasn't as much fun in the AP classes for some reason. It derailed me from any interest in majoring in history in college that's for sure. Anyways, relearning US history has been a lot of fun for me and my girls seem to be enjoying it, too.

We started off learning about those fierce Vikings ... Leif the Lucky, Eric the Red, Lyle the Friendly.

After the Vikings we moved on to Spaniards. My printer is temporarily (better only be temporary!) out of order .... acting as a wireless router and not a printer so I had to draw out the map for Columbus' journeys. I drew it on card stock and then mod poged it to a piece of foam board. The girls sat outside and painted them with water colors.

check out aubrey's mermaid outfit

Then we went in search of acorn caps to make the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. We used little pieces of paper for the sails and toothpicks for the masts. Then I hot glued the sails into the acorn cap and then hot glued the ships in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The next day we finished up our reading on Christopher Columbus and marked his trip on the maps using push pins and embroidery floss.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We Miss Her

It's hard to believe 4 years have gone by since we buried our daughter, our sister. Sometimes I feel like it is harder now than it was then. It is hard to see pictures of our family because I know that there is a face missing. I miss that her brother will never know her the way her sisters did. I miss that we don't get to see her, hear her, feel her. No Christmases, no ballet classes. The girls miss her, too. Often times when we are the store Aubrey will pick out an outfit, "Can we get this for baby Joslyn?" It must be her age because I remember Kennedy doing the same thing a couple years ago.

We always celebrate her birthday. This year was a little different since Adam could not get off work. When he got home we went to see the Winnie the Pooh Movie (actually, I slept through the entire thing!) and then went to Abeulos for dinner. I didn't make a cake this year ... I still feel guilty about it. It had rained more in the days leading up to her birthday than it had all year long so we waited until the weekend after her birthday to take new flowers to her grave. I'm doing better about not feeling like I need to go by there weekly and change the flowers monthly. I forgot my camera that day so I didn't have any pictures.

We've been working on our Christopher Columbus project for history and needed acorns. There is a massive oak tree in our neighbors yard but it produces the tiniest acorns I've ever seen. The girls knew where to find gigantic ones so we headed over to the cemetary to harvest a crop of acorn caps. We weren't dissappointed. It's kind of wierd but the kids have fun there. They ask questions about those buried around Joslyn. There are several other babies, many born within weeks of her. There are a lot of older graves, too.

Anyways, tonight I was putting the girls to bed. The conversation some how turned to Joslyn and Aubrey asked why she died in my tummy. I told her I didn't know. I told her we had lots and lots of tests done and that the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me or the baby. Kennedy spoke boldly and said, "I know why she died. God didn't make her for this world. God made her for heaven." Oh the tears!! She is so right. And I've never thought about it like that! Then Aubrey asked to pray again .. "Dear Jesus, please come quickly so we can see Joslyn. We love her and want to play with her." She didn't ask for Jesus to send her back, she asked that He would come soon! I am so very blessed! I only wish I possessed half their wisdom!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to School, Back to School

We've been back to schooling for a while now. April and August are probably the busiest months of my year and some times it spills over into the following months. I had lots of 'back to school' things planned to do with the kids but I either forget or we haven't had time to get it in. I wanted to do first day pictures, but things happened. I even have the outfits but it may be too chilly to use them now. I have little gifts for the girls that I wanted to have sitting on the school table on their first official day back but they are still in the top of my closet ... I only remember them at bedtime. I want to make stepping stones with the girls hand prints like we did last year. I bought the stuff back in the summer so I would be prepared but the stuff is still in the Hobby Lobby bag.

So here is a quick catch up of the things we've been doing. In August we started the Little House series and read Little House in the Big Woods. I decided to try working through the Prairie Primer I ordered it from eBay and it took a very long time to get so we are trying to quickly work through some of the activities for the first book but I think we'll wrap it up by the end of this month and start fresh with Farmer Boy. Our first activity was to make Snow Candy using molasses. It was a flop. I think we burned it even though I took it off the eye as soon as it hit hard crack stage. If it happens to snow again this winter the way it did last winter then we'll try it again.

Ready to start!

1 cup molasses, 1 cup brown sugar

Not nearly as attractive as I imagine the Ingalls' would have been!

The general consensus!!
More catching up later ... blogger isn't being nice about pictures =)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Morning Pictures

Our little pumpkin patch is growing!

Lots of pumpkin flowers.

We have a pet. His name is Lucky Silver Diamond.

Breakfast time!

I can't believe how big this boy is getting!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Things That Make Me


Scoring awesome deals on diapers so that I don't have to worry about buying at full price. By the way, Haden is 16 months old and only once in 16 months have I paid full price for diapers. I am very thankful for that!

A crayon roll for Kennedy

I've been wanting to make one for over a year.

She loves it!

A crayon roll for Aubrey

I finished the second one in half the time that it took to finish the first.

You can't really tell, but the solid purple is very sparkly. That girl loves sparkles!


jillian Pictures, Images and Photos

This is tough!


Sorry, no picture for the big finale BUT I have finally dropped to a new low in my weight loss journey (long term goal was 31 lbs by my 31st bday)! I've lost 12 lbs since the beginning of June. I'm ALMOST half way to my goal weight loss! In an effort to help me get there quicker I've pulled Jillian out of the back of the dvd cabinet. So while it makes me not so happy to hurt the way I am, I'm so excited to be almost half way to the goal!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Science Sunday {Apple Pie}

This is the 7th summer we've lived in this house. This is the 7th summer we've had apples growing on our own apple tree. This is the first summer I've utilized the apple tree!  We've had friends and family pick apples from our tree before and they've made pies, jelly, apple butter, apple sauce ... but this is the first year I've had a desire to do anything with the apples.

They are huge and very tasty!

The girls and I made an apple pie today (my very first apple pie!) using apples from our tree.

I'm starting to feel like a regular ol' country girl growing my own pumpkins and baking pies with fruit produced in my own yard! The thought of planting more next year is really starting to grow on me!

Science Sunday