Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Homeschool Corner: Goat Farm Field Trip

We live in a small town
only about 35,000 people
and it is a FAR cry from 
the 18 months we spent in San Antonio!

We don't have as many opportunities as we 
did in San Antonio,
but we still have some neat field trips 

This past April
(yep, finally made it to April!)
were given a chance to 
visit a working goat farm.

hosted our homeschool group
for a field trip!

It was a short 30 minute drive from our house.

We pulled up,
climbed out...
and were greeted by this guy!

Since our group was so large we were split up.

Our group got to go to the 
Milking Parlour

The goats were brought in,
all at the same time.

This gives the 
milk maids
an opportunity to check on each goat.
They keep a very close eye on the health of their goats here.

A couple of the goats got quite curious and stopped eating
to peek at us and see what was going on!

This process doesn't take long.
After they finished eating,
they were ushered out.
The group on the left had to pass by us
(as we watched through an open door).
They were quite apprehensive,
and really didn't want to go!

After a little bit of encouraging,

They finally RAN past us.

The kids got a huge kick out of that part!

After the milking parlour,
we went to the cheese making building.

After visiting the two buildings,
our tour was moved to the outside areas.

These guys were either waiting to eat,
or had just been fed.

I can't remember now which group this was.
But they were QUITE curious!!

Ms. Priss even got to pet one of the smaller ones.

Quick family photo op!

We walked over to the maternity ward.
These ladies were quite pregnant
expected to deliver within a few weeks or so.

Then the nursery.

Everybody loved these cute little things!!!

Finally we moved into the store for a taste testing
of their goat cheeses.

My crew LOVES cheese!!!
All kinds!!

Ms. Priss quickly cleaned her plate
was asking for more!!!

Because of our love of cheese,
we might or might not have
let's just say,
we left with enough cheese to last us a while.
And thankfully it freezes well!! 

it was so much fun,
it wore the kids out!

We high tailed it to Raleigh after the field trip
and all 4 kids passed out!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe Corner: Kale Soup

Months ago 
my sister over at 
McWonderful Life
introduced me to her
I LOVE THIS recipe
and have gushed over it before.

I decided to lighten it up
turn it into a soup.
I wanted to add something to it.
So I found that other recipes
used white beans as a filler
in soups like these,
I honestly didn't care for the beans,
I didn't like the texture.
I even tried making my own white beans,
but they were still WAY too mushy for me,
so I just leave them out.

I have been making this at least once a month
since we arrived back from NC.

It looks a little like this!


Kale Soup

1 bunch of kale
1 yellow onion
1 32 oz box chicken stock
3 gloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup white wine
parmesan cheese

1. Wash your kale, wash it good y'all.  That is some dirty stuff.
I usually wash it by filling a big plastic bowl full of water,
then stemming the kale and then dunking it in the water.
2. After stemming your kale, layer a couple of leaves and roll it up,
then julliene the leaves. (I like mine super thin)
3. Slice up your onion about as thin as your kale.
4. Heat a large pot or dutch oven.  Then saute the onion in the olive oil.
5. Once the onions are about translucent, toss in the crushed garlic.
Let the garlic go for about 1 min to "wake it up".
6. Add kale to the pot.
7. Stir and allow it to wilt a bit.
8. Add wine and let it cook down for about 2-3 minutes.
9. Add entire box of chicken stock.
10.  Simmer until desired tenderness achieved.
(Here is where you would add white beans if you were interested).
11. Scoop a heaping spoon full into your 
favorite soup mug and top with parmesan cheese.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Easter Egg Dyeing Treat!!

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Easter Eggs?
But its September!
I am just getting a jump on next year.
(or not).

We did something special this year
for our 
Easter Egg Dyeing.

As you might have seen before,
we dye raw eggs.
Seen in the post here,
toward the bottom.

I came up with the idea a few years ago.
We don't a lot of boiled eggs.
But we do go through a lot of eggs!
So I wondered why we couldn't dye raw eggs.
Why did they need to be boiled first?

After researching a little,
my theory as to why people boiled the eggs,
was so that they could be decorated 
left out for a longer period of time
without spoiling as quickly

But we now have plastic eggs for all that.
BUT we still HAVE to dye eggs!

So why not dye raw eggs?
Well, why not??

There are a few extra precautions that have to be taken:
like putting them back in the fridge as soon as you are done,
taking them out shortly before you are ready to dye,
you have to be more careful because you are not supposed 
to consume eggs with cracked shells.

So that is what we do!
We dye raw eggs!

This year,
the word went out that our small local newspaper
was looking to do an article on someone
who really does up their eggs each year.
Like REALLY puts time and effort 
and decorates them NICELY.
Goes above and beyond.
We don't!

I just so happened to mention our new tradition of dyeing raw eggs,
to our local homeschool group.
One of the members suggested I contact the paper and let them know about what we did.
I didn't think we qualified for what they were looking for,
but figured,
what the heck!
So I contacted them.
They decided they liked the idea
decided to do an article on us!!!

So we set up a time for the photographer
writer to come by...
then the fun began!!

One of the draws for the newspaper,
was not only that we dyed raw eggs,
but also that my kids
love seeing
whose eggs are going to be used to make what!
Whether it is
scrambled eggs
yolked eggs (over easy)
or pancakes!
for Easter,
I like making pastel colored,
egg shaped

The writer liked that idea.
So those two things combined,
is what helped them decide that
it might be worth putting in the paper.

I did not get any pictures of the actual dyeing process.
I was a little busy...

Here are the resulting eggs though!

After the eggs were dyed,
the kids argued over which eggs
were to be used to make our pancakes!

Sometimes the funniest moments,
are watching this crew eat!!

Mr. T had a hard time tackling
these egg shaped pancakes.
And he wouldn't let me cut them up for him.

The writer,

and the photographer 

Enjoyed some of the pancakes too!

We patiently,
waited for our article to show up.
We were told it would be in the
coming Sunday's paper.

The paper arrived...
we weren't in it!

I was a little surprised.
And, I know how media works,
and things can get bumped at the last minute.
So I thought we might have been bumped.

I contacted the writer the next week,
and we did, in fact, get bumped.
To the following Sunday,
which was Easter Sunday.

So when we woke up Easter Sunday,
the kids ran to see what the Easter Bunny
had brought...
while I ran to see what the
paper boy had brought!

My baby girl and her funny face,
was on the front page!!!

Then the article and pictures!

We had a great time
were honored to be featured in our local newspaper!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recipe Corner: Grammy's Fluff Salad

My sweet Jackson is my sous chef.
And almost daily,
he is asking to help in the kitchen.

So when it came time to make
my mother-in-law's 
Fluff Salad
that my husband took to work for a PotLuck...
Jackson got to make it!

It is an all time favorite of the hubs.

Start by putting a small container of whipped topping into a large bowl.

Next, stir in one small package of vanilla pudding mix.

Fold in one 16 oz container of cottage cheese.

2 - 15oz cans of mandarin oranges
1 - 20oz can of crushed pineapple
1 - 16oz jar of maraschino cherries

Fold fruit into the whipped topping mixture.

Admire your work.

Send it with your dad to work,
and get tons of praise from your dad
when it was a
made it!!

Thanks Grammy!!

Grammy's Fluff Salad

1 - 16oz jar maraschino cherries
1 - 20oz can crushed pineapple
2 - 15oz cans mandarin oranges
1 - 8oz container of whipped topping
1 - small package vanilla pudding mix
1 - 16oz container cottage cheese

1) Dump all canned fruit into a colander to drain.
2) Spoon the whipped topping into a large bowl.
3) Mix the powdered pudding mix into the whipped topping.
4) Fold in cottage cheese
5) Carefully fold in the drained fruit.

Serve Chilled!

Easy as that!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Recipe Corner: Grandmother's Best Most Awesome "Always a Winner" Southern Banana Pudding

I know what you are thinking...
banana pudding
banana pudding.

I am here to tell you...
all banana puddings are 
created equal.

Once you have tried this one.
You will
I repeat,
make it a different 
way again!

Hold on to your socks...
cause here goes!!

Soften one 8oz block of cream cheese in a glass bowl,
in the microwave.

A little at a time, mix in 3 c of milk with a wisk, til smooth.

Those are air bubble, not lumps.

Wisk in one large box of instant vanilla pudding.

After the pudding has set (about 5 minutes later),
fold in one small container of whipped topping.

In a 9x13 dish,
layer nilla wafers - flat side UP!

Next, COVER completely, with banana slices!

Spread one half of pudding mixture over bananas.

Add another layer of nilla wafers, flat side up, pressing them lightly into the 
pudding layer.

And another layer of banana slices.

The spread on the remaining pudding mixture.
(Look at the layers from the side!!!)
Purdy, ain't it?

Finally sprinkle with a few of the wafer crumbs.

I like mine a little soft, 
so I like to let it sit overnight.
And can probably eat the entire pan myself!
(over a day or two)
My husband likes his cookies on the crunchier side,
so he prefers to eat it immediately.
(But he never gets to because these are usually made
for some sort of function
and he is not allowed to dig into it early!)

Southern Banana Pudding

1 8oz bar cream cheese
3 c milk
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 8oz container of whipped topping
2 boxes of vanilla wafers
6(ish) bananas

1) Soften cream cheese in a large glass bowl, in the microwave.
2) Wisk until smooth.
3) Slowly wisk in the milk until completely incorporated.
4) Wisk in pudding, set aside.
5) Layer vanilla wafers, flat side up on the bottom of a 9x13" pan.
6) Slice bananas and completely cover the vanilla wafers.
7) Fold the whipped topping into the pudding mixture 
and layer half of the mixture on top of the banana layer.
8) Repeat steps 5-7
9) Garnish with vanilla wafer crumbs.
10) Cover and refrigerate overnight.
11) ENJOY!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Homeschool Corner: School Room Makeover

When we started homeschooling,
we didn't have an official schoolroom.
 We used our kitchen table,
stored most of our books in our 
pantry/laundry/entry from our garage room,
and extra books that we store on bookshelves in our 
living room, turned playroom.
(then we used our formal living/dining room combo as our family room)
I know, 
its really confusing,
but it worked for us.  

When we moved back to NC,
we actually had an official dining room.
But in our 14 years of being married
4 different houses,
we have 
used our dining room
as an actual dining room
I hate having 
unused rooms in our houses!

So without hesitation,
our dining room
became our new school room.

We shoved all of the pieces we had in here,
but I didn't have a table!
I wasn't sure what kind of table I wanted,
so temporarily
we used a folding table from the garage.

(Here is the "Before")
That temporarily...
turned into a year!

I had finally had enough,
and started hunting...
Our little town doesn't have a lot of options,
and I really wanted a used table for our school table.
I was even willing to paint it,
if it was the perfect one...

I took measurements,
and started hitting the used furniture ads 

I started to see some pieces that might work,
so I sat down with one of our dry erase boards,
and started "moving furniture around"...
to see how it would fit best.

I never did find a table that was exactly what I was looking for,
mainly because I wasn't sure exactly 
what I was looking for.

But I did stumble upon a table
that I thought would work,
and would be a good investment.

So, I got tired of looking and got it.
I also stumbled upon another desk.
So my husband and I do not have to try and share.

Here are the

I redid the room in March,
and it still pretty much looks the same,
6 months later.