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February 2011
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April 2011

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

This was a cheap and easy meal. A bowl of fruit would go nicely with this but it was plenty hearty for my growing boys.

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

(adapted from Deep South Dish)

1 pound of bacon, chopped

2 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced

½ cup butter

1 large head of cabbage, core removed and rough chopped into chunks

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

¼ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Your Mama regular)

1 can of corned beef (not hash), broke up into pieces

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

In a large cast iron skillet render the bacon until cooked but not crisp. Add in the onion and toss, cooking an additional couple of minutes. Add the butter. When melted and the cabbage and season with the pepper and Cajun seasoning. Stir to coat the cabbage well and cook over low to medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the corned beef pieces and stir in gently and warm for another few minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and stir in gently just before serving. Serving for 6.

Homeschooling with Saxon Math 8/7 with Pre-Algebra

Saxon Math 8/7 with Pre-Algebra (Purchased at Christian Books because of the price)

After several months of working with Saxon Math 8/7 my Georgia Boys are very happy with it. Reviews I read when seeking out a math curriculum when we began homeschooling all centered around the repetitive nature of Saxon Math. This seemed like a good idea to me. I really didn't know what we were getting into. I ordered everything, the textbook (which really isn't like a textbook), the solutions manual for me, and the practice sheets and tests manual as well as the Saxon Teacher. We use all but the Saxon Teacher.

Likes: We like the repetition. Each new concept offers practices on those new concepts then offers mixed practice on all concepts up to that point. Thus, the repitition - or reinforcement!! In other reviews I've read some homeschool students do all the practice problems but only every other one of the mixed practice. I have assigned all 30 problems each math day. My Georgia Boys have no problem with completing 30 problems and after checking their work I know what they know and what they don't.

Dislikes: 1) Saxon Teacher! Oh my, this is the worst. It goes word for word from the text book - what's the point! We've never used it. I will not subject my boys to that. 2) Not enough varied new concept instrutions (Note: at this point this isn't an issue because I can handle the concepts but I'm concerned when we move into heavier algebra. While I've taken Algebra and Calculus for that matter teaching it is a different story).

If you want to know your child is learning the concepts and they don't mind the repetitive nature of the problem sets this is an outstanding Math curriculum. I have noted that my boys have already had some of the concepts (although not all of them prior to beginning homeschooling) so overall the Math 8/7 with Pre-Algebra seems to be in line with a 7th grader.


Looking back...still some more

January 1, 2004. This was a memorable day for several reasons. It was sooo much fun. We visited a friends farm and the kids got to ride horses, Jeff got to love on them and care for them. The boys not only rode horses, but went hay jumpin' and ridin'. Memorable also though because John was gorged or gouged by one of those sharp hay-bailer-picker-upper-thingies. Nasty little gouge too; long and pretty deep. No hospital visit necessary though. Cleaned it up and moved on although it hurt all day. Didn't stop him from ridin' horses though. The other memorable part to the day was Elizabeth fallin' off a horse when it was trottin'.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw

Everyone like this new recipe. I doubt it will often be on our menu but it will make a nice fresh summer meal. Slightly spicy.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tacos with Jalapeno Slaw                       (adapted from Paula Deen’s Santa Fe Spicy Chicken Tacos) 

20 Old El Paso Stand n Stuff Taco Shells

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

½ teaspoon ground cumin

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 jar Lawry’s Caribbean Jerk Marinade

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, jalapeno flavored

Jalapeno Slaw (recipe follows) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lime juice, and cumin. Chill until serving. In a 9x13 glass pan place the chicken breasts. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and shred the chicken on a cutting board. Return the shredded chicken to the pan and stir back into marinade. While shredding chicken, place taco shells on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until heated, about 6-8 minutes. Fill baked shells with shredded chicken, cheese, and the shredded slaw. Serve with the sour cream mixture. Servings for 5-6. Yum! 

Jalapeno Slaw                                                         (adapted from Palu Deen’s Jalapeno Slaw) 

1 (10-ounce) bag angel hair coleslaw mix

½ large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

¼ teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients. Cover and chill up to 2 hours. Serve with Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tacos.

De-stressing my Closet

I have stressed over my closet for months and months now. I decided to do something about it last weekend. I had a plan in mind too.

1. I would try everything on. This was the most difficult part. I hate trying on clothes right now - because of my size and because I knew there would be many clothes in my closet that just won't fit anymore because of my size.

2. I would make 3 piles. One pile to give away (or toss if it was nasty - I didn't have anything to toss); one pile to keep for later (because I have already lost 5 pounds and with our 500-mile challenge I forsee losing more). This pile are clothes I really like, would definitely wear again if I lost about 30 pounds. If it would take more than 30 pounds I automatically put it in the giveaway pile. The third pile was my keep pile.

Here is the before shot. A packed full closet that was just stressing me out. I have a ball dress in there from 6 sizes ago - just to give a hint!!! Yikes!

The keep and store for later pile didn't end up being to big. Quite a few nice, dress pants that I really like. A couple I was even able to get on and buttoned but they looked horrible - 30 pounds should take care of that. I didn't keep anything that I didn't absolutely love and know I'd wear again.

This is what the give away pile ended up like. HUGE! I stuffed full two tall kitchen bags. Lots and lots of clothes. Some I wish I didn't have to give away but just no way was I going to keep them.

Oh My!!! I actually like walking into my closet now just to get a peek at the lovely, de-stressed line of clothes. Everyone of them fits and I opened up a massive amount of space - pretty good too because I still need a few things for the cruise - hee hee!

Homeschooling - Logic and Reasoning (A Review of the Fallacy Detective)

It isn't taught in public schools. But because we are now homeschooling we can add wonderful little nuggets to our curriculum - like Logic and Reasoning.

The Fallacy Detective is a wonderful little book of lessons on identifying bad reasoning. The authors of the curriculum write with a Christian worldview and I've read nothing but rave reviews. In my research for curriculum from other homeschoolers I noticed many adding logic and reasoning and I must say that 'I had no idea'! When the world looks at everything from a secular worldview I want the boys to look at the world from God's spy glass and be able to pick out fallacy's - errors in logic.

We all like this curriculum so far. I will probably add The Thinking Toolbox by the same authors to our curriculum for next year. To enhance their thinking skills we have already been using Mind Benders

There are many of these little books and I'll definitely keep the boys working in these. They don't take very long but certainly excersize the mind.