Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Cooking

It is still a bit strange to have only four children home, and to only have four children to cook during the month. We got a little more back on a routine in October.
Jasmine made "Jasmine's Mini Meatloaves." Jasmine doesn't really like meat. She'd live on pasta of all sorts if given the chance. But these were named after her because she was the first one to make them.

They came out great, but there's a lot of sugar in the topping. And as usual we totally changed the recipe. I don't like meat loaves that are just meat. We always add an egg or two, some sort of tomato based product (ketchup, tomato paste, tomato soup, left over spaghetti sauce, whatever's in the fridge) and oatmeal, bread crumbs or rice.

Jasmine’s Mini Meatloaves
3 lbs ground beef                  ¾ cup ketchup
½ med onion chopped (optional)   2T light brown sugar
1 cup old fashion oatmeal      salt and pepper
4 lg eggs beaten

1 cup light brown sugar            1 cup ketchup
2 t yellow mustard

Mix ground beef, onion, oatmeal, eggs, ketchup, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Make into six mini loaves. Place in 10x13 dish. Mix topping and pour coat mini loaves. Bake at 350F for one hour (or less if they are small).

Kayla made waffles. Since it's usually just Rick, myself and the three youngest kids on Friday nights, we sometimes make pancakes or waffles.

Kaleb made an easy noodle casserole. This one is also named after Jasmine. No, we don't name all the food after the kids, but sometimes if we can't think of a name for it, we do.

Jasmine's Noodle Bake
1 lg can tomato soup
1/3-1/2 c water
1 can drained corn
1 T sweet relish
1 t mustard
1 pkg hot dogs sliced
4c cooked spiral macaroni

Stir ingredients together. Pour into baking dish. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Jessica made crescent roll taco bake. She used a pie pan, but it really needs to be baked in something bigger.

The recipe was one of those posted everywhere on facebook. But it was very confusing, so we rewrote it step by step. And last time we made it, we took pictures step by step. They are below.
Crescent Roll Taco Bake

2 crescent roll tubes
1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce
1 or 2 diced tomatoes depending on size
1/2 small can sliced olives if desired
Sour cream optional

Lay out the two tubes of crescent pastry, thick sides in. Use some of the left over crescent rolls to make the center a bit thicker. 
Brown beef and add taco seasoning. 
Lay beef in a circle inside of the laid out crescent rolls
Add some of the cheese to the top
Pull over crescent rolls and tuck in under meat and cheese. 
Follow cook time on the pack of crescent rolls.

Add cheese, lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream or whatever you desire for your tacos, in the middle.

Here it is step by step: 

 Bake before adding the rest.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunny Weekend

Last week I had a post called Rainy Saturday, so I'll call this one sunny weekend, because it was beautiful weather for soccer and the fall festival.

Kayla played forward. I think she's going to be a good player. She is aggressive, she just needs to focus it a bit.

Her team won 1-0. The teams were pretty even, which makes for a more interesting game.

Saturday night Rick and Jasmine made pumpkin pie. We put it in individual small glass bowls with no crust. I do not like crust. I don't think Jasmine does either. The others don't care either way.

Jasmine and Kayla decided to try on costumes.

Then they carved the pumpkin.

No one thought to take a picture of the finished pumpkin! It was a skull and crossbones due to the recent interest in pirates.

The girls are ready for church. The middle schoolers were supposed to wear team shirts, and they had a tailgate breakfast.
On the fourth Sunday of the month (unless we are needed on a different week), Jessica and I have nursery duty together. We have the children who can mostly sit and some of them can crawl. Once they walk well, they move up to another room. This means we may not have the same kids next month that we had this month. We usually have them for about 4-6 months.
The blue shirt is the nursery shirt so you don't get spit up on your clothes.

In the evening our church had fall festival. Jasmine was a helper.

Jessica was in the dunk tank.


Jessica had to go to work after she was in the dunk tank.

The girls. Kaleb started out at the festival even though he was on restriction. He knew he could have the hot dog and chili but that he'd lost the games. He used the time to pout and try to get everyone to feel sorry for him. It didn't work, and he ended getting taken home. It's been a rough weekend. Sometimes when he gets corrected for something (like cheating on the school behavior chart), he will go through several days of defiant behavior before fixing things. 
We took Jessica to work and stayed to see "Planes." 

Before, we'd get in free and get free popcorn and soda as long as we'd bought and brought the bucket and our own cup. No more. No one gets anything free--not even the employees!

So that's how our weekend went. I'm hoping for a calm week this week but we'll see. Keep Jasmine in your prayers. She has boils on a part of her body where no girl should have boils, and it's very painful. She's on antibiotics and we're hoping they respond to that.

Jasmine needs to finish up her science project this week, and the twins need to finish their paper bag costumes and book reports. Kayla's written report is done, and her bag is started. Kaleb knows what he wants to do, but doesn't have much done yet.

Tyler is still doing well. He calls twice a week most weeks. He is trying the computer tech training.

Adam called Saturday as we were leaving for Kayla's soccer game. He says this training is just as hard as boot camp was. He threw his first live grenade and is shooting machine guns. Guess he has grown up on us.

Hope you all have a great week. Do you have a fall festival or go trick or treating or both? Or neither?

Friday, October 25, 2013

You Can Tell It's Been a Boring Week...

...when the excitement of the week is amusing ourselves making pancakes in different shapes.

Rick's Star ship Enterprise D

Mike Wazowski--you can tell, right?

 Mickey Mouse (this was actually the first pancake made)

Her project is on how the length of the air column affects pitch. An empty bottle is G#.
As she adds water, which shortens the air column, the pitch is higher.

The twins are doing so much better behavior wise this year. In general, we are very proud of them. The problem is one of them changes his behavior chart and lies to us when he don't do well; the other doesn't bring home a daily chart. Good behavior means more privileges of course. Poor behavior means a loss of privileges until you bring a good behavior mark home. So usually a loss of privileges for 24 hours. But lying has a worse consequence--usually two days of restriction instead of one. We are trying to help them understand that lying only makes things worse. We expect kids to mess up. We adults mess up too.

Tonight one was already on restriction for lying about something really trivial earlier. The thing itself would not have had any punishment, the child just needed to go fix the problem. But she lied instead. Sigh. 

The other had been telling me how great he was at school this week, especially today.  As he was on his way out the door to a special movie with Rick and Jasmine something didn't seem right. So I asked to see his chart. (The colors this year are totally opposite of earlier years. Red is best, orange is next best then yellow. Green is neutral. Light blue is poor, dark blue is very poor, pink is worst).

This is what the chart looked like.
You can see blue under the orange. And tonight I also realized there is blue under yesterday's green. I marked it on the planner, but also e-mailed the teacher. She confirmed he was blue both days and that it had been blue when he left for the day. She told me to check his backpack because his green, yellow and orange crayons are missing from his desk. Yep, hidden under stuff in the back pack.  So he's on restriction a whole week because this is three times in the past week. And what a week to do this. Sunday night he and I will go to the church festival, get our free hot dog and chips and watch the other children play games, bounce on the bouncy castles and take part in competitions. If he had been honest yesterday and today, he would have gotten privileges back Sunday morning. Starting Monday the teacher will mark his chart herself using markers.

On to a more fun topic, Jessica and Hunter spent their Tuesday date night carving pumpkins. 

I'm glad they can have fun together. Hunter isn't smiling, but that's just Hunter :)