Photo by Chunky Monkey Photography

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chunky Potato Soup

This is a favorite soup especially on a cold wet day like today! We are not use to having highs in the 30's in NOVEMBER in Texas! Add to that two days of rain and you've got me wanting to stay bundled up with the boys watching movies and eating soups, stews, and chilli.... Which is exactly what we're doing!

5lbs red potatoes, diced
1/4c + 2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T dried parsley
2 tsp dried chives
1 tsp dried dill
1tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp season salt
1 tsp black pepper

Toss all ingredients together in your pot. 

Pour in 6 cups of chicken stock or broth. Add half a stick of butter. 

Cool until potatoes are tender. This can be done by simmering on the stovetop or by using your crockpot. If crockpot,  cook on low for 8 hours of high for 4 hours.

In the mean time, fry up a lb of bacon and crumble it.

Once potatoes are done remove from heat and mash a little. Not to much because you want it to be nice chunky soup!  Now stir in 2 cups of half and half. Heat again just to make sure it is warm throughout.

Serve with green onions, shredded cheeses, and the crumbled bacon  that you cooked earlier if no one snuck in and ate it! 

**will add pics when I get to computer. I can't get google+ to work on my phone! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vacation is OVER!

We had a fantastic road trip!  We saw so many great sites, visited with great friends, and had lots of quality family time.  I was so worried about being cooped up in a car and tiny cabins together for so long but it was not bad at all.  It was actually quite nice.  Besides our visit in southern California with friends, my favorite place... I think all of our favorite place was our Colorado stop.  The weather was perfect.  The scenery that God created was awe inspiring.  Southern Utah was pretty high on the list, too.  And the Grand Canyon is SO not "just" a hole in the ground.  It was truly awesome!  I really miss the road trip.  I am already planning (in my head) our next one.  And longer visits to our stops places... two to three days just wasn't enough to soak it all in.  And a winter trip so we can see snow.  I tried to talk James into quitting his job and selling the farm (HAHAHA!) and us just becoming homeschooling gypsies but he said no.  <insert sad face here>  Oh well.  I will have to just talk him in to traveling every year. 

Phew... we are back to school in HIGH gear folks!  We took an extra week off when we got back because Momma couldn't get her butt in gear.  Then I looked at the calendar and realized I had miscounted *gasp* our school weeks when marking off our school year.  That makes us another week behind if we want to keep our end date the same... which I do.  So starting yesterday we are packing in as much as the kids can stand.  We normally only have sit down school work from 10-2 with a break for lunch.  We are packing in an 8-3 schedule this week and probably next week along with doing read alouds at our normal time and at bedtime.  If we get too bogged down before this two week period is up I'll reevaluate the calendar and maybe shave some time off our some of our school holidays or just do a long day once a week til we get caught up.  Or just extend our end date.  Or .. I don't know.   :) 

Henry has started back up in soccer. He loves is and is quite good at it.  We are playing in a different league this time and so far it's okay.  I do like our previous league better but it's not in Daddy's district so he wouldn't be able to watch the games when he is on duty.  This league he can.  It's also a little bit closer to home so that is nice.  Nelson isn't getting to play any sports right now.  The one baseball league we could have played in is just too far in the opposite direction of soccer and I couldn't stretch myself that much.  He waited until after sign ups were over to tell me he decided to do soccer so he is just taking a break from athletics.  I personally am looking forward to basketball season starting.  It's in doors.  And if even if it wasn't, it's just cooler weather so it's nice.  I gave Jack the opportunity to play soccer too but he chose not to.  He has been really bashful lately and I think playing with a big group of kids he doesn't know just didn't set well with him.  Maybe next year!  Now, if they had a team for 2 year olds, Kash would have been all over that!  He looooves to play soccer in the yard and he is not shy at all. 

James isn't playing soccer either.  But he is back to work in full swing.  We are also working at the land on his days off.  We have a garden going... sort of.  I'll explain that in another post.  We are still living in the same place and still hoping to sell and build and all that fun stuff.  Some changes will hopefully take place soon.  We had a realtor before we left on our road trip.  She didn't  work out so now we are hunting for another one.  Blah blah blah.  I am trying to be patient and not complaining which is hard to do sometimes!  I know this is all going according to God's plan and in His time...  I just have to remind myself sometimes. 

That's all for now!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Floor Plans, Floor Plans, and More Floor Plans

James and I have been looking and looking and looking at floor plans and have narrowed it down to two.  It's really  hard when there is not a model of the home to look at.  The numbers mean nothing to me.  I can't picture how spacious a room is going to be with furniture in it.  Well, I THOUGHT I could until yesterday.  We had the opportunity to tour a home that was built from one of the floor plans we had narrowed it down to.  It was nicely built and furnished but the space was not at all what we expected.  I have a 1905 home that is NOT an open floor plan.  But I like it.  It feels comfortable and not at all boxed in.  Based on the floor plan of this house we looked at, I thought it was more open and bigger rooms.  But the living room felt so much smaller than ours now.  The kitchen and master bedroom where what I was expecting, the master closet, too.  But the master bathroom... I am sure that was a miniature "garden" tub.  The dining area looked much smaller than I expected it to, also.  The kids bedrooms were okay.  Anyway, we were disappointed that we didn't love it as much as we thought we would.  The other house that we have narrowed it down to is not available to look at right now.  We did drive by it and I have absolutely fallen in love with the outside.  As soon as possible, we hope to look inside.  I will for sure cry a river if it is not what I think it is.  After seeing the inside of the other one, we have compared the room measurements and layout and we're pretty sure it is much better.  I guess we will be starting the floor plan search over if it's not better! 

How do people build homes without having ever seen a model of it?  I would have been SO disappointed if we had just gone with the first floor plan without looking at this family's home first. 

4,261 Minutes

This is what 4,261minutes of driving look like....
 if you don't count all the 2 year olds potty breaks. Even still, we CAN NOT WAIT!!!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

School, Facebook, and the House

We started school full time this week and it's going surprisingly well. I was worried since we aren't sharing curriculum (last year they shared core D) like we did before.  Nelson is in Sonlight Core F and Henry is doing B+C.  So far they are both very excited about the history and science they are learning.  Nelson is enjoying math, too.  He likes that is challenging. 

We have plans to get a saxophone for Nelson to start music.  We are also considering fall baseball for him.  Henry is registered for fall soccer already.  I wish we could get both sports in the same town so I could easily let them do both. 

I have been off Facebook for a week and... I am so disconnected.  I knew that it was too heavily relied on to keep in touch with others but I had no idea how bad it had gotten.

We are still working on house stuff and James is working way too much overtime so it's been stressful around here.  Like, make me emotional, keep me up at night stressful.  James has vacation coming up in a month so it will soon be better!! 

I guess that's it.  I will update again soon.  Happy Friday to You!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Consistently Inconsistent

That is what I would use to describe my blogging!  And my menu planning.  Things have gotten out of hand, friends!  I have not planned a menu since... well, the last one I posted here.  I don't even think I followed that one.  I really am going to get back to doing that and hopefully stick with it since it really does help!  I will get back to it as soon as baseball season is over and life slows down. 

Nothing new and exciting has happened lately.  We are just doing our usual, playing, reading, visiting friends, playing baseball, practicing baseball, reading, and playing.  Did I mention baseball?  And playing?  Oh, and laundry! 

We are also decluttering the house in preparation for putting it on the market.  It's taking a lot more effort than I expected.  I don't know where all this stuff came from.  Or why we still have it hidden in closets and under beds.  Wow.  We have only lived here for about 5 years and already we are busting out of the seams!  That is coming to an end now!  We have gotten rid of old toys, I have boxed up old clothes that no one is wearing... I can't decide if I should jsut give them away or keep holding on to them until Jack is old enough to wear them.  There is a five year gap between he and Henry.  Maybe I should just buy for Jack so I'm not hoarding clothes for 4 years just waiting... Anyway, we have lots of books too.  And it's the same deal as the clothes... I am holding on to books so Jack and Kash can read them even though Nelson and Henry have outgrown them. I think that is okay though.  I do want a library in my new house.  Not that it will happen but at least one wall of bookshelves in an office or schoolroom.  We're also deep cleaning which is embarrassing me.  I don't know how I let the house get this grimey.  The good news is, I have had one of the four be particularly naughty lately so he has been working off his bad attitude while getting to know the baseboards.  I have never been more excited for one of my kids to misbehave! Haha! 

I had planned on getting started on our summer session soon but we are just going to play it by ear.  We are keeping busy and no one has dared to utter the b-word (bored) yet so we'll just keep going like we're going. We DO have to get started by mid summer though since we are off most of September. 

Soooo.. that's my rambling update for now!  I hope you all are having a wonderful summer so far!  I'd love to hear what you're up to! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

School Calendar!

The boys are taking it easy today and the two little ones are playing nicely so I am getting our school calendar planned out.  I can really only do now through the end of 2013 since we won't know until January what the husband's vacation will be.  As of now, our OFFICIAL school year will start July 29th and end May 30th.  That includes 3 weeks off in September, 2 weeks off at Thanksgiving, 3 weeks off for Christmas, and an undecided week off for spring break.  I've also looked up all the one day student holidays our local school district has and written them off our calendar as well so if the opportunity arises, they can spend some time with their friends.  If not, we'll work those days, too.  I anticipate that we'll do some school time in June and earlier in July, too, when the boys get bored or complain about it being too hot.  I would like for us to be year round but I really want to be flexible during the summer months.  Any weeks we do before the official start day will get taken off later in the school year whenever James gets time off.  We just need to be flexible for his vacation time and still get a minimum of 36 weeks of school time in. 

I am really enjoying the Debra Bell Ultimate Homeschool Planner!  It is really making it easy to see the year at once and get everything planned out.