What I'm thinking: I am thinking that I really do enjoy homeschooling--most of the time. :) I am consistently amazed at the interests and abilities of my children. I love seeing them blossom right before my eyes. Each of them have different skills and talents and it is really a wonderful thing to watch them develop. The conversations I have with my older children--I just feel very grateful to have them with me.
What I'm reading: Meh. I am not reading anything exciting right now. I have spent a little time in my homesteading/garden book, but since the weather is not planting weather, I have not been too motivated. I am looking for a good book to read to my children. We started Pilgrims Progress. While I know it is a classic Christian work, it is very difficult for me to get into it. They all know the story through what I think is a much more interesting illustrated edition, The Dangerous Journey, and so I think I am just going to move on.
What we're learning: We are wrapping up modern history, but are still in the 50's/60's. We are not done with it yet, but wow, I can taste ancient history already, and am planning for our next history cycle. I have assigned the kids in our history co-op some interesting topics for presentations. I am really looking forward to hearing them all this Wednesday. These are some of them:
The Space Race US Nuclear Experiments in the Pacific Ocean Post-WWII President Eisenhower Post-WWII East Berlin Various Civil Rights Topics
What's cooking: I am making beef stew tonight. I don't know if I ever posted a recipe for that. Probably not. I might just do that! :D
What I'm buying: My order for Elderberries just shipped from Amazon. I am wildly excited it shipped because it took a week for it to do so and I thought the order would be cancelled. They are very hard to find right now. I am planning on making Elderberry Syrupfor wellness. Elderberries have the most amazing properties. I might also make a tincture just to have that on hand too. We will see what a pound looks like first. A friend of mine has planted some elderberry plants. I think I am going to look into that.
What I'm thankful for: All the curriculum I am blessed with in my job. We are currently using some truly wonderful things and wow, I would not have them were it not for my work.
What I'm creating: Loosely, in my head, a garden plan. My garden plans are usually much more vast in my head than what actually comes to pass, but I like to think of what could be here. We already have started some seeds that we hope sprout to plant just after the last frost here. Spring comes early and I am going to take advantage of it. If I have to live in one of the hottest places, I am going to do my best to use the heat! I would like to purchase two more EarthBoxes, but the shipping is a killer. I don't want to pay $16.95 to ship something that is $30 so I am going to wait to see if they come out with a coupon for the spring. You never know!
What we did this last weekend: We had a very busy few days! We had friends overnight on Saturday and they joined us at church Sunday morning. We then went to a dear friend's ranch and enjoyed the most glorious weather and more fellowship and then back to evening service. It was a very enjoyable time!
What I'm looking forward to: Friday night we host our church's youth study. Our pastor does a great job of leading the youth in study and then everyone will stay for snacks, games, and conversation. I enjoy hosting and am happy to do it!
A picture to share:
Our new bird, Flash. He is a Lutino Cockatiel.
I cannot tell you how often this recipe has been eaten here and enjoyed. It is a great "must serve a lot of people" kind of meal and is flexible in how you can use it. It is one of my go-to recipes for winter and summer and is well-loved by all of us.
Crockpot Chalupa (or Stovetop)
3# pork roast (can be smaller - just has to be pork)
4 C dry pinto beans (soak overnight or quick soak on stove before adding to crockpot)
8 C water
1 C chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 t oregano
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
My crockpot doesn't cook beans thoroughly when they are mixed with this recipe so I usually crockpot the beans overnight in the water so they are ready in the AM to add the other ingredients. If your crockpot is better than mine, you can add the dry beans to the crockpot in the AM. I do recommend you quicksoak them first though, just to be sure. :D
In the AM, add all other ingredients to the crockpot (push roast down into the beans) and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. In the evening, shred the pork (remove bone if you used a bone-in roast), mix well and serve as taco filling, burrito filling, over chips. This is excellent with cheese, salsa, avocado, cilantro, or thinly sliced red onion. (All options work!) I have also put the chalupa over sopas. Masa is really inexpensive and sooo easy to make. Very tactile too so your children that like to get into cooking will enjoy shaping them.
All all ingredients and simmer for five hours on stovetop. You may need to add a little bit of water if the water used is soaked into the beans. Just keep an eye on it. Shred as indicated above and serve in the same manner.
We love Sculpey Clay around here - do you use it in your home? I have several children that love to work with it and they are not all the youngest ones! We have been doing things in miniature and here are some of the results. There were done by my ten year-old who really enjoys working with clay!
These are next to a dime so you can see the size of these figures:
Here are some ladies and their party food.
And a dime again for size.
And the cat...
She comes up with these things entirely on her own. I just love to watch. :)