Thursday, August 27, 2015

What's Cooking?

This month I pulled out an old Campbell Soup cookbook to try new (and easy) recipes with the kids. I started at the beginning of the book, and most of the recipes involved tuna. I don't like tuna, but the rest of the family does.

Jasmine cook several times and Kaleb a couple. Kayla was mostly, well, being Kayla. Sigh.

We also discovered this, which is amazing on graham crackers.

We also had lot of easy food this summer, like mac and cheese and corn dog nuggets.

Jasmine loves all sorts of pasta, so any recipe with noodles stands a chance with her. She is our pickiest eater. She doesn't really like beef. But she does like tuna.

Diet soda cake. You only need these two ingredients. Don't use the water, eggs, oil or anything it says on the box. Simply mix a cake mix with twelve ounces of soda/diet soda. Bake according to the directions. It is more moist than normal cake, so I recommend making a 9x13 cake. Don't frost it. 

Tuna Casserole
1 can (10 ½ oz) condensed cream of celery or chicken soup
½ cup milk
2 cups cooked noodles
1 can (7 oz) tuna, drained and flaked
2 T diced pimiento
2 T chopped parsley
2 T buttered bread crumbs

Blend soup and milk. Add noodles, tuna, pimiento and parsley. Pour into 1 ½ quart casserole. Top with crumbs. Baked at 350F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

This didn't last long at our house. Good cake/ soda combinations are strawberry mix/cream soda, chocolate mix/sprite, lemon mix/sprite or ginger ale, vanilla or white mix/grape, orange or strawberry, spice or carrot mix/ginger ale, sprite or mountain dew. Some people like chocolate/coke or root beer. I don't think we've tried  that combination.

Kaleb's recipe had noodles. cream of chicken soup, tomatoes and hot dogs. No one really liked it but him, so we didn't add the recipe to our collection.

This recipe was good, but it needs either noodles in it, or it need to be served over some kind of pasta.

Jasmine made ribs in the crock pot using McCormick's slow cookers seasoning pack. Rick pulled the meat off the bones so the kids could put it over rice.

Chicken Pot Pie
1 2/3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, cooked
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

show preparation
     Heat oven to 400°F. In ungreased 9-inch pie plate, stir vegetables, chicken and soup.
     In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
     Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crust golden brown.

Makes 6 servings 

 This is a favorite recipe. Everyone makes his/her own with as much of each ingredient as desired.

Foil Wrapped Taco Chicken
Boneless chicken breast per person
Taco seasoning
Potatoes peeled and thinly sliced (a half of large or whole small per person)
Shredded Mexican cheese
Sour cream

Preheat oven 400F. Place serving of potato slices on a large piece of foil for each person. Cut the chicken into strips and put one portion on each foil on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. (Per individual taste) Add one tablespoon of salsa and shredded cheese to each. Wrap the foil over the chicken mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Release steam and let stand five minutes. Serve with sour cream.
 Jasmine saw coconuts last time we went grocery shopping and wanted to get one. But how to get it open. Love these faces!! This was 5:30 a.m.
He didn't like it. The girls did. I'm not a coconut fan, although this had little taste. But I do not like artificial coconut at all.

Whew. I think we are caught up on cooking! I  know there were several months I didn't post, but this is what we've made recently.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kid Updates

There's a lot going on with several of my kids, but I can't share all of it obviously. So I'll share the stuff they don't mind me sharing.

Ty is currently firefighting in Louisiana. Here is a link to a news segment online. He is one of the guys they mention when they say 20 guys came from job corps to help with the fire. He is one of the guys shown, but I don't know which with them all in uniform.

Watch here

On Jessica's 24th birthday everyone got together, and she and Hunter revealed that they are having a girl.

Jessica starts her internship at the ME office tomorrow. I don't think I'd enjoy working with dead bodies.

Jeff is currently stationed in Louisiana and is only an hour from where Ty is, but unfortunately won't meet up. Ty's group will leave as soon as their job is done. Jeff will be heading to NY sometime in the future.
I'm not sure what kind of fashion statement he is trying to make. This may be in Korea before he left.


Adam is currently looking into options in law enforcement. There are a lot of choices. He did not sign up for college classes this fall. He is mostly really busy with work now and trying to figure out the best options for himself.

Jasmine usually takes dance, but the two classes she wanted this year--musical theater and hip hop--are both during after school marching band time. So for now she has county Christian youth choir on Mondays and marching band after school Tu & Th (in additional to having it zero period). She might be able to join dance after football season is over. We need to see how the homework load is too.

Jasmine and I work in two year olds one morning each month, sometimes more if they need help. Today we met our new group. There are three different rooms of two year olds. I think we have the older ones. Our group that promoted July were much more rowdy and vocal. Of course they were all three by  then and a couple were close to four. I don't think we ever had that whole group sitting at the table at once.


Jessica, Kaleb and I swam the 3/4 mile shell island swim yesterday. He did great for his level of experience. He was tired near the end but pushed on.
 We swam from the grassy area you can see behind us to the pier in the last picture.

Kaleb tried out for the city swim team. You only have to be able to swim one length front crawl with proper breathing to make novice, and he did that. The coach was kind of surprised when I said he wasn't in their summer lessons, I taught him myself.

 I learned to swim in college and went on to lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor. I miss teaching swimming. I tried putting my kids in lessons, but I didn't like how they teach--18 kids to two teachers so in 45 minutes they might get two turns to blow bubbles.I don't even start with face in the water, bubbles and all that. I teach them to do a glide and then add kicking, then arms, then breathing. 

Also, we have a lot of thunder during the summer and if there's thunder or lightning, the pool shuts down. Lessons are not rescheduled. So we lost a lot of money the summer they had lessons and all they learned was to put their faces in and blow bubbles. The next summer I started teaching them and in a few weeks they were swimming the length of the pool (without the breathing), last summer we added the breathing and added back crawl. 

This summer the pool has hardly been open due to random thunder. Or imaginary thunder. Rick too the kids today after church and the pool was closed. He asked the weather person for the area, and there was no thunder reported. Hmmm.

 Swim team  practice

Due to the expense of swim team and the fact that it is four nights a week for an hour, Kaleb isn't currently doing gymnastics. He may add it back later.

Kayla has just started meds for ADD/ADHD (one dr called it one, the other dr called it the other). Hopefully this will help with the issues. The pediatrician is not too sure though since what may look impulsive is sometimes very well planned out-ex. running over to a shelf, grabbing someone's back pack and throwing it across the room. I am not convinced she is ADD or ADHD at all, but the specialist coded her that way. I guess time will tell. For now she has an ODD, ADHD diagnosis.

We are working with her counselor to manage some of the behaviors. She can be a very kind, helpful person. And she can be mean, hateful and antagonistic. We are working on seeing the kind, helpful side more. The school year seems to be off to a good start, but we are only a week into it. She told me she probably won't get in that much trouble this year because they are too busy. That's good thing! There are privileges she can earn, and of course there are activities that don't have to be earned, but many require trust.

Check out our highlights of summer HERE. You can also read some of the kids' journal entries on earlier posts.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This School Year

Kaleb, day 2 of fifth grade. Kaleb gets home 90 minutes before the girls. His bus  picks up at 6:50 and returns at 2:20. Since the girls are out of zone, they have a longer time on the bus. They get on the bus at 6:10 and return at 4:00.

Kaleb's school day is 7:30-1:50. Kayla's is 7:30-2:20. Jasmine's is 8:15- 2:25. The middle school combined  with Jasmine's high school starts 15 minutes earlier and goes a half hour later, so the buses run after the middle school is out. They start at her school and then go to Kayla's school for those kids. There are staggered start times for elementary, middle and high school due to the traffic jam in car pick up.

Being at a public school, Kaleb has less homework and less strict rules and expectations, although he's at one of the best elementary schools, so I know he's learning everything he needs to. That won't be true if he goes to our zoned school for middle school, so we are making decisions about that.

Day 2 of school. The pets are always glad to see their children come home.

Travis provides a lot of stress relief.

Day 3 of school. The school that the girls go to has a whole rainbow of shirt colors whereas the public school only has three choices--the two school colors and white.

Day 3 of school

 Jasmine's high school is on the block system. None of the other high schools are, so you cannot easily transfer to another school during the year. Jasmine has four classes this semester--technology (the class does the morning podcast), English 1, Algebra 1a and Geography & World Culture. She goes to each class 90 minutes a day. The whole year's work will be finished this semester. Then next semester she has four different classes-Physical Science, Personal Fitness, Algebra 1b and Creative Writing. Algebra is going to be a challenge for her, especially since she hasn't had pre algebra so she went from 7th grade resource math to regular algebra 1.Crazy.

Because of the schedule, there isn't time for some of the classes. So band, choir, yearbook and football meet before school from 7:15 to 8:10. That is zero period. She has band at that time. It also meets after school on Tu & Th from 2:30-5:30!! That, unfortunately, is the same time her two dance classes meet. So she doesn't have dance this year, although we might be able to join after football season, but she will have missed 2-3 months of class.

The schedule leaves her only extracurricular as the County Christian Youth Choir that meets on Monday nights.

Kaleb made swim team and has that four evenings a week. More on that next post.